Heading for Companions’ Field, Lan Wangji released a meditative breath, and brought to mind images of Yiling. The way Wei Wuxian had sat at the inn table to eat, ever so slightly stiff. The flicker of a wince, when A-Yuan thumped into his side with all the force of a delighted child. The shift of his body as he pulled out a burning talisman, the angle he’d used to rise and hurry back to Wen Ning….
:Ouch,: Kellen winced, tossing his head as his Chosen approached. :You’re right. That’s a man with something wrong in his side. Though… hmm. Given he was running around with a small child – that seems less like ‘not healed’, and more like ‘something healed wrong’.:
Lan Wangji reached out, burying his fingers in a thick mane. “In a cultivator with intact meridians, nothing should heal wrong.”
Kellen rested his forehead against his Chosen’s white ribbon, warm with relief and quiet joy. :Good. I look forward to many, many years of the both of us being the most moral troublemakers Valdemar has ever seen.:
No one was watching. He could smile, stiff as it felt. “Wei Wuxian would approve.”
:I like him already.: Kellen huffed. :So. He’s covering injuries. It takes time to learn how to do that. That and bloody-minded determination, but we know he has that, he’s protected the Jiang Sect at every step… can you show me more of how he moved during the war? Before he would have perfected his concealment?:
Carefully, Lan Wangji assembled an array of images. Wei Wuxian in the Xuanwu’s cave, chest still smoking from a spiritual brand. Appearing after months of no word, floating with dark energy, to slay Wen Zhuliu and hound Wen Chao to his death. Stalking through the years of the Sunshot campaign, thin and drawn and angry, always angry….
All the while those words echoed through Lan Wangji’s mind; he protected the Jiang.
As the warrior who’d fought to defeat the Wen, it was outrageous. How could any cultivator move against the enemy, if his allies would not admit when they needed rest? Resupply? Healing?
But as the Second Heir of Lan, dealing with the first disciple of a weakened sect clawing its way back into power among the Great Sects….
Yunmeng Jiang could not show weakness. The Nie would have brushed them aside. The Jin would have swallowed them up. Even my own people… would have thought them not important enough to treat as equals.
For over half the war, Yunmeng Jiang had relied on Wei Wuxian’s power to hold their place against all others. Had it been known the Ghost Flute was injured, that his cultivation was impaired – the consequences would have been catastrophic.