A Long Road Chapter 9 Crossover Ficbit – Wistful

He probably won’t show up here. Nie Huaisang flicked his gaze around the practice field the Weaponsmasters had granted them the use of; a dozen-odd young men and women stabbing the air over autumn-dry grass, earth torn in places where a few of them had discovered the limits of holding against a firmly pushed saber. It’s too open, too visible, inside the Palace walls… and this is a whole new city to scout. Nie Zonghui thinks he’ll want to pick at least three escape routes before he finds us again.

The first disciple had been on the battlefield with the Ghost Flute. He’d probably know. Nie Huaisang had run logistics and kept track of a dozen supply lines at once; and supplies that ended up in the middle of a battlefield were usually worse than wasted. They might feed the enemy instead. No, he’d tried to avoid the fighting as much as possible.

Tried.

There was a shiver over his shoulder. A whisper of, silly dead practice steel….

Hush, Nie Huaisang willed Aituan. These are new seedlings. Very tender. They need years more training before they get true sabers.

Like the live – very live – steel on his back. Spirits, he wished he could hide behind his fan. Or maybe a convenient tapestry. Or just be elsewhere; preferably a few li elsewhere. Wearing steel in full view of Guards and Heralds and whoever else might come wandering by… he’d feel less naked stripped to his under-robe.

Nie Huaisang made himself breathe slowly, channeling the nerves before they could become panic. The locals knew he’d been trained to fight. With luck, all his fluttering would convince them he only knew how to spar.

Gods, he wished he only knew how to spar.

“Urk!”

Thump.

Nie Huaisang winced as Mina hit the ground; even if he could feel from the impact that she hadn’t landed as hard as she would have last week. Progress. Good.

Saber still extended, Nie Zonghui backed off a step, letting her catch her breath. “Sorry,” Mina got out, rolling onto her side. “Long run – up here – from the Temple.”

“Good,” Nie Zonghui nodded. “You could all use more endurance training.”

Mina wrinkled her nose at him, but got to her feet.

Stubborn, Nie Huaisang sighed, and tried not to visibly look enchanted. But she was, so wonderfully stubborn, and if she could get good enough to put him down like that….


A/N: AKA yes, Huaisang has Noticed. Poor guy, if only he didn’t have all these plots to be responsible for….

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34 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 9 Crossover Ficbit – Wistful

  1. LOL, best time to get hit with the clue-by-four, Plotting Nie! But interesting to see inside his head and see all the threads of plots and plans weaving themselves together. Well, I suppose we know how WWX gets past him! 😂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You do feel sorry for Huaisang. Just a bit. Because calling WWX in to solve your problems is kind of like catching a tiger’s tail. AKA Now What?

      He’s pretty sure Wei Wuxian won’t do anything horrible to anyone who doesn’t really, really deserve it.

      OTOH Wei Wuxian has a well-deserved and earned reputation for killing enemies that deserve it in ways that leave people on his own side with nightmares. And Nie Huaisang has had the sinking realization that the Heralds… Are Not Prepared. At all.

      And he honestly likes some of these people. So… yeah. He’s worried.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Mina and Huasisang are so cute though I get why he’s so worried between the saber problems and Wei Ying doing whatever he’s gonna do.

    Speaking of WWX, I think he’s going to be delighted over this once he gets over being tricked. Sure he’ll tease Huaisang to death about it but WWX will fix that saber issue so his friend can be happy because that’s the way he is.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Hmm… Mina recognizes him from the portrait and descriptions, and immediately latches onto “cousin Wayne’s” arm and goes Full Chatterbox while discretely steering him towards someplace they can talk privately?

        WWX would probably go along with it, too. Watching the ensuing conversation would require popcorn.

        Liked by 4 people

  3. Excellent fic bit!

    I love NHS, he’s like a housecat, sleepy and fluffy and cute enough that most people in universe don’t realize that he’s just as much a predator as the tigers around him.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Oh dear. Baby Companion whispering in delight after meeting meeting Wen Ning, “I didn’t know we could come on two legs!

    Niè Zonghui knows the Ghost Flute on a battlefield. Niè Huaisang knows Wei Wuxian in mischief mode. He might have just a good idea as to what might happen!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. WWX: “On the one hand, those not-yao are taking *shameless* advantage of Wen Ning’s kindness. Even more than cats! OTOH, he’s in his Happy Place right now. On the gripping hand, they’re SO CUTE! I feel my paranoia slowly eroding — no! I need my paranoia, it’s a survival skill!”

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Re: herding bunnies

        I bet you the second Kellen sees the bunny meadow in LWJ’s thoughts or memories he’s sending a ping on Companion Mail to see if they can get some of them sent up to Valdemar so LWJ can be more comfortable.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. I have to admit, Mina has enchanted me so far. Glad to see more of her. Though I would not be surprised by the end if he’s ran so fast he’s caught her regardless.

    And yeah, when your survival has depended as seemingly useless in a fight, having an open area you’re sparring in would give anyone the heebee jeebies. Glad to see more of the training going on.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Something i just now thought of- just how much WOULD bringing the valdemarans to the sect lands, and arranging marriages with some of them- like Between Mina and Huaisang, ruin plans of the Jin leader?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. For starters, Mina would likely see some hints of the Jin leader’s manipulations, especially around the Nie leaders. Because she is a foreigner and used to plots, she would have a better chance of recognizeing them where the rest of the cultivators don’t. And the support system of a good marriage is also important, particularly with foreign ties, it introduces an unknown element and potential back up. Also, if Lan Wangji and the Nie use the info they are learning to create something that will bring justice for people like Sect Leader Jin in the future….

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Hmm. At the very least it’s a factor Jin Guangyao didn’t plan for, and that’ll throw anyone off. Simply having more outsiders around in the Nie Sect could make that whole Song of Turmoil plot go south – Nie Mingjue may not have the best musical ear but a lot of the Blues have trained with Bards, they know about music affecting mood. At least one of them would find something hinky.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Especially when Shadow Stalker is a part of their repertoire. Valdemarans definitely have a knowledge of mood messing music, and that it’s not a friendly misunderstanding. They also wouldn’t have the blinders of ‘Niè always Qi deviate to blind them to the abnormalities in expected conditions and what’s happening.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Been lurking and enjoying these snippets for a while, but, hopefully it is not weird to comment out of the blue…

    Love it! I think Mina could be very happy with some adventures to the Sect Lands, she’s great.

    As soon as Nie Huaisang says that he doesn’t expect him to show up, I was half-expecting him to pop out of a bush or something, haha! After reading it through, my prediction is that although Nie Huaisang and Nie Zonghui are correct about Wei Wuxian wanting at least three escape routes, they may be underestimating how *fast* he can be about setting up those escape routes.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I meant to comment before, but I have been sick. I love that our Plotting-Nie is at least aware that he is falling for the lovely lady, it should make the Nie first-Deciple’s goals a little easier… I also want to say that, as much as I understand why he doesn’t want to fight, I don’t understand why he is freaking out so much being out in the open. It can’t really be war trama, and I feel like I’m missing something obvious… 😕

    Liked by 1 person

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