A Long Road Chapter 10 Ficbit – Old Wounds and New

:I have good news, bad news, and odd news.: Kellen flicked an ear, brushing across his hair. :The good news is, I think he did heal from the war. Back then – my best guess is a shoulder-wound, along with that horrible brand. He was probably wearing his hair down because it hurt to reach up and back.:

Lan Wangji’s blood ran cold. If Wei Wuxian’s range of motion was impaired such that he could not do his own hair properly…. :He gave up the sword. He let us believe it was arrogance.:

:Likely not.: Kellen’s tone was ruthlessly honest. :I’d guess he could still use one – but any trained swordsman would have noticed the weakness.:

Meaning every cultivator. Lan Wangji considered that, and frowned. “Yet in Yiling-”

:And that would be the bad news. That was a different – newer – injury.: Kellen paused. :A much worse one. Wounds near the gut are bad enough when you have Healers right on the battlefield to cleanse the wound, stitch it, and make sure the body starts knitting back together. You say Wen Qing is a master herb-Healer?:

“Herbs, surgery, and cultivation,” Lan Wangji nodded.

:He’s damn lucky he had her, then. I hope he killed whatever bastard got that close.:

“He did not.” Lan Wangji swallowed, a thread of nausea snaking through his gut. “Rumor says, the Yiling Laozu dueled Jiang Wanyin, before Sect Leader Jiang declared him expelled from the Jiang.”

Kellen blew out a hot breath. :Tell you what, Chosen. You hold him down, I’ll stomp him.:

Lan Wangji shook his head. “He is the Sect Leader of Yunmeng Jiang-”

:Which means he’s more than good enough to duel someone to make a point and not come within a hairsbreadth of killing them, Chosen!: Kellen bared large, white teeth. :As you said, he’s the Sect Leader. All he had to do was declare Wei Wuxian was getting kicked out. Hells, if he needed a reason, all he had to say was the Yiling Laozu wouldn’t give up resentful energy and Lotus Pier wouldn’t shelter heretical cultivation that now that the war was over! Everyone would have scrambled over themselves to agree. Wouldn’t they?:

Wincing, Lan Wangji nodded.

:That brings us to the odd news.: Kellen nudged his head up. :Cultivation isn’t the same as magic here up North. From what Sayvil’s passed along about the Skybolt mages, they get mage-exhaustion the way Heralds can get Gift-exhaustion. Burn through your energy long enough, often enough, and it hurts you inside. Does that happen to cultivators?:


23 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 10 Ficbit – Old Wounds and New

  1. Uh oh, Kellen’s pissed. And not feeling very fuzzy towards Jiang Cheng right now, not that I can blame him. I somehow foresee Lan Zhan hating Jiang Cheng even worse than he does in canon, but in this case he has a better reason!

    Still missing several pieces, but poor Lan Zhan is gonna need to hide in Kellen’s mane for a while trying to process all these bombshells….

    Liked by 6 people

    1. The only things I’m wondering is if the stab wound was in that place where you miss anything important(very small area, but often used as the excuse to stab someone in the torso without them dying) and how would a cultivator with a really strong core handle such a wound? If a strong core means that kind of wound is more annoying than potential death, then it would be a fair counter for a broken arm. Only problem is WWX doesn’t have a core and JC doesn’t know it. I doubt he’d have done it if he had known.

      Actually a lot of things would have been better if WWX told his siblings. Which is of course why he didn’t and we get a great story, but still…

      But the fight did sell the story to the rest of the world. I don’t know if anything less would have convinced the rest of the cultivation world that they really were done. A declaration by itself wouldn’t have worked to separate WWX from the Jiang, everyone would have known it was made up for political reasons and they had a plan. I bet some suspected it was anyway, but they didn’t care since it still did what they wanted and made it difficult for them to work together on anything…

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Um. Book canon, WWX was holding his guts in to get back to Wen Qing. Not a fair trade for a broken arm at all.

        It’s one of many ongoing themes in the book; in this case, the attitude that “the massive harm I do you is completely justified by the little hurt you did to me.” Taken to the extreme, that’s Xue Yang, who wiped out a whole sect down to the children for the loss of a finger.

        Yes, the fight was probably necessary. But Jiang Cheng did not have to go that far.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. RIP I had a whole long message but I guess it deleted rather than sent.

        As far WWX telling the Jiang siblings changing things, I actually disagree.

        For one thing, we KNOW how Jiang Cheng reacts to learning about the core transfer. He is furious. Specifically, he is furious that everything he will ever do as a cultivator is the direct result of WWX’s power and sacrifice, and he can’t stand that.

        For another, why should knowing about the core change either Jiang Cheng or Jiang Yanli’s behavior at all?

        Jiang Cheng KNEW that he owed Wen Qing and Wen Ning his life (even if he didn’t know about the core transfer, he 100% knew that Wen Ning got him out of Lotus Pier and Wen Qing hid him and healed him) and for allowing him the chance to properly bury his parents. He KNEW that the Wens in the Burial Mounds were the elderly, women, and a toddler, not soldiers and not even proper cultivators.

        If he was willing to be honorable, he would have stood up for them just for that. If anything, knowing about the core transfer would have just pissed him off further, not convinced him to help them.

        And as for Jiang Yanli, she definitely seems to have been sheltered from most of the truth of what was going on. But even so, she could not have possibly have been ignorant to Jiang Cheng announcing WWX was an enemy to the sects. She HAD to have realized that WWX was not in a good situation. At best, you could say that her position as a noblewoman of delicate health and zero cultivation ability left her functionally powerless so she couldn’t help WWX at all, not even bringing him money when visiting to show off her wedding robes, which would be unfortunate but not her fault. Or else she did have some power she could leverage on his behalf….and just didn’t.

        Again, the fact that she didn’t help him without knowing about the core implies that she either couldn’t or wouldn’t, so telling her would change nothing.

        WWX is actually much better at reading people and navigating difficult situations than a lot of people give him credit for. He accurately predicted how Jiang Cheng would react to the core transfer, which is why he never wanted to tell him in the first place. And he also knew that if the rest of the cultivation world found out about his lack of core, they would see it as a weakness and hunt him down all the faster.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. When you consider that only the three oath brothers earn as many achievments during the war agains the Wens, (and i think only Nie Sect Leader really earn more merits then WWX) that is a grim treatment of a former hero.

    and LWJ learns both how really bad WWX was urt, and the many reasons he could not just go for help.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Well, there is a key difference: Wei Wuxian is the son of a servant. The other three are gentry. MDXY did a great job at showing the influence of class on how one is treated in that setting.
      Consider how JC could just go around and murder people for 13 years!

      Liked by 6 people

  3. Someday in the future —
    LWJ: Stares at JC intensely but with no expression
    Kellen: Stares just as hard but with a horsey sneer and pawing the ground intently
    WWX:Aiyah Lan Zhan, that stone face of yours isn’t any use when your shadow over there acts on your true thoughts!

    Liked by 8 people

  4. Aaaaand Kellen has enough pieces now to know something is really off… 😈 I wonder how fast he will figure it out. And Poor Lan Wangji…. He is going to be so shocked/Hurt/Terrified when Kellen tells him. I’m expecting a small period of Denial….

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Now I’m just waiting for when LWJ finds out that the injury was being effing whipped by Zidian not long before he lost his Golden Core.

    I’m sure he will be repressing the urge to just wrap WWX in bubble wrap.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hmmm, very true. Especially because he knows that it would NOT help the situation, but that won’t stop him from WANTING to. And reacting even more forcefully than before if someone threatens to hurt WWX…

      Liked by 4 people

  6. “From what Sayvil’s passed along about the Skybolt mages …”

    That’s so cute, Kellen, throwing in those extra clauses to keep up the pretense that your knowledge is so limited!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Oh, holy, crap. That is going to tally so well with what Lan Wangji was seeing. And as Heralds and mages prove, just because you don’t have a reservoir doesn’t mean you don’t have a set of rivers/meridians.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A massive one. The only reason he didn’t have one in canon is because he had to get WWX out of Lotus Pier and away from Jiang Cheng. He couldn’t afford to, and had processed it some by the time he could.

      Liked by 5 people

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