A Long Road Chapter 10 Ficbit – Summons

Not the easiest summons he’d ever done. The surface of Haven was – not polished clean of resentment, but almost; the execution ground’s restless energies shifting this way and that over the echoing chime of hooves like mist in a mountain pass. The streets out of the square led by their meandering ways to the temples and spun from the Palace that guarded the Companions, and spiritual energy flowed from both.

He had to dig under the streets. Where trickles of the Terrilee seeped into the soil, untamed by man or Companion, and the earth itself cradled the bodies of the executed dead.

The Yiling Patriarch knew how to dig.

Show me your hate. Show me your wrong. Show me your resentment.

Tell me how to reach the Heralds so they’ll never see it coming….

A spectral hand pulled free of the earth under the gallows, fangs gaping in its wake as the ghost wriggled free. Then another, and another; some mere billows of black smoke, others formless wraiths of misty shadow, still others with each prisoner’s smock and broken neck outlined in vicious detail.

Wei Wuxian felt Wen Ning tense behind him, and couldn’t blame the man. The ghosts here had been building a long, long time. Many – too many – felt old, so old; tattered bits of hate for Heralds and all they stood for, even if those Heralds might be a thousand years dead and buried.

Too old. I need someone who knows the Heralds today.

He poked and prodded with deliberate notes and his own trained will. Who knows the Heralds of Haven-now? Who knows their spies?

Wraiths and smoke hissed, shoved at him-

Wei Wuxian cut a glance at each, eyes glowing red. I’m waiting for an answer. If you want revenge, tell me what I want to know. Now.

A great murmuring, like the river in flood. Moments passed.

The echoes of footsteps cut through the spectral crowd, as a tall, muscular specter shouldered its way to the front. He wore leathers like a mercenary, face seamed down one side with the scar of a blade. Bracers clasped each wrist, flickering with the ghostly outline of hidden knives. His neck was bruised from the rope… but this one’s anger had kept his memory of life, before his dangling final moments. “Who the hells are you?”

Wei Wuxian lowered Chenqing to his chest, wearing his most cocky grin. “Me? I’m just a passing traveler. With a grudge. Several grudges. I think we have that in common.”

18 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 10 Ficbit – Summons

  1. Why does this terrify me a little? Also, part of me can’t believe all those “spiritual beasts” don’t sense something like this happening?? I do understand Wei Wuxian is very good at this, but my brain keeps saying: surely SOMEONE can sense this?? Even of it is on the execution grounds? I am kinda excited to see some people’s faces when they realize what happened here…. if only to realize a lovely new hole in their defenses…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Admittedly I am getting Valdemar entirely secondhand, but my impression so far is “canonically, they miss an awful lot for plot reasons.” This might be in the wheelhouse they’d be expected to catch, but on the other hand, maybe it’s camouflaged… or they’re onto him and can’t say because of Valdemar’s-gonna-need-this-guy reasons.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Valdemar canon, Heralds may get visited by ghosts in extremis, but dealing with them day to day is delegated to the few ghost-speaking priests that exist, when they’re around. It’s not something most people worry about.

        Yes, there’s the Groveborn, Rolan, to detect anything moving on a big spiritual scale… but WWX isn’t doing anything like mass murder or other nasty blood-mage stuff. All he’s doing is moving around energy that was already there.

        Think of it this way. You’re watching a stream, and you know it regularly floods and washes a certain amount of dirt downstream to muddy the water. Unless something really obvious happens, how are you going to tell the difference between dirt washed out of a hole somebody dug, and just regular flooding?


    2. Look at it this way. Canon, cultivators are extremely good at detecting both spiritual and resentful energy moving, and Wei Wuxian gets stuff past them all the time.

      Also note that he’s not near any Companion at this point in time. Deliberately.

      I swear I’ve tried to check anything Valdemar could use to find him. They just do not have the tools. That’s why Elspeth went after mage-training in the first place – the Heralds have nothing that can handle, or even detect, magic outside very short distances. And they don’t have anything that can do ghosts.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oooh, and they’re actively being HAMPERED by anything he does that they could figure out, if they thought in terms of magic, being muted.


        There’s also that while yeah, the level of spite involved in the favorite hair stick causing a resentful ghost example is notable for the nasty, it’s also basic human stuff.

        Being able to clean that out to even mostly clean is really impressive– and we even have folks commenting on how notably peaceful some of the areas of Haven are, which means there’s got to be a not-peaceful zone, as well. Tail end of … I think Exile’s Honor… made a very strong note about how peaceful the Temple of Light was.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. /The books don’t linger much on the people the Watch has cleaned out of Haven’s gutters from Heraldic evidence./
    Oh my, I just imagined the ghost’s likely reaction if a Herald gives that sort of response when WWX sends it to distract them.
    You know: ‘You were just another piece of scum that deserved the noose, why should I bother remembering your name?’

    Cue ghostly fury. WWX then is torn between reining in the ghost or letting Darwinian action run it’s course. Because there is poking the bear and then there is going ‘For me it was Tuesday; now go away, shoo’ to a spirit that considers you the primary reason it’s dead.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. /Not unless someone gives him a reason to want death and destruction./
        So chapter 12 by the latest? 😛


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