A Long Road Chapter 11 Ficbit – Finding Help

I need more assistants. My years may not number Elcarth’s, but I have not the raw energy of my students. I need more help. For the littles most of all. Jeri tries her best, but frightened children… do not find her approachable.

And Kerowyn, while skilled at training those of age to join mercenaries, had not the kindness nor the patience for children. Especially those who had never wished to raise a blade.

Where can I find more help?

He might be bound to Haven, but he had all of Valdemar to call on. He’d ask if there were any interesting accounts of swordsmen from Heralds out on Circuit. Even if they were not fit to teach at the Collegium, they might be leads to those who were.

In the meantime, perhaps Crathach’s odd ideas on bee stings would be worth trying after all. Dethor had suffered greatly with every change of the weather. His joints were not quite so bad yet – but anything to hold that at bay a few more years would be worthwhile.

:Are you taking Crathach’s name in vain?: Kantor broke into his musings. :Because he’s heading toward your quarters with Mical, and he looks worried. And intrigued.:

Either one on the Mindhealer was cause for concern. Both, and with his Object-Reader second cousin in tow? Alberich leaned on a wall and reached out with a polite mental tap. :If you are looking for me, class just finished, and I will be there directly, as soon as my creakiness permits.:

:Excellent!: Glee and concern rang in Crathach’s tone in equal measure. :We brought dinner. Mind if we meet you in your sitting room? I found something strange in the Healers’ cast-offs… and I want you there when Mical Touch-Reads it, because it’s very odd.:

Crathach was an old friend and true; Micah had grown to be a quite respectable Herald, far past the young idiot who’d shattered a salle mirror and then helped save his Queen. :For the two of you, I will always find time. What did you find?:

:What impaled that poor youngster Rikard.: A pause. :Or should I say, part of what did.:


32 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 11 Ficbit – Finding Help

  1. Oh boy. The dominoes are starting to fall. I see many a brewery getting a lot more orders from the Collegium-adjacent area. This is what happens when you’re dealing with WWX, Heralds! Enjoy! 😂

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Let’s see… a ‘part’ of what impaled Rikard would be the rod left in him while hauling him to Haven for aid…

    …and that means it will have the cut left from our friendly ghost-path cultivator shaving the rod down to a manageable length. Likely a very *smooth* cut since he used resentful energy to make the cut…

    And bringing in a psychometric… hoh boy, hope he’s ready for that rush of experience: first, getting shoved through a human body (and staying there for quite some time) and then getting ripped in half by a blast of resentment…

    Liked by 6 people

    1. *G* They’re got a lot of tools in their box. The problem is making sure the right Herald gets to the right place. Vanyel and the other Herald-Mages did a lot of that with the Web, but… they were focused on overall threats to Valdemar, as they should have been.

      WWX is not an overall threat to the country. Unless something Goes Horribly Wrong.

      Liked by 5 people

  3. Ummm, what is this poor Herald going to feel when he touches that? Because part of the time, there was a person nearby who was DEAD yet still helping… And there is probably going to be resentful energy still lingering… And I honestly thought there would have been something to give Lan Wangji a hint that Wei Wuxian was around before he showed up, but Nope! He is going to be caught completely flat footed and is already an emotional mess right now… This is going to be SO interesting! Aww poor Albrich is hurting, and he knows he needs more help. I know there is someone with experience teaching swordsmanship to kids wondering around, but Lan Wangji might also be a good option… He is supposedly good with kids, even if he has never taught them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s my personal head canon that Lan Wangji had no clue what to do with kids until he suddenly acquired one of his own. On the other hand he’d probably be inclined to treat them like they have a brain which goes pretty far with them. So, not hopeless. Just out of his depth.

      Liked by 5 people

  4. Another thought I just had, any bets that the lovely Life Bond that the other Heralds noticed is going to hit both Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian a lot harder now, with Lan Wangji’s mindspeach being strengthened by his Bond with Kellen… 😈

    Liked by 4 people

  5. :highly amused:
    I can totally see kids having an easier time with big, dark-garbed, scar-faced, funny talking guy than any of the other teachers, but when I take a step back it’s funny.

    (I’ve spent too many years watching scared kids latch on to big and scary over objectively less threatening but not welcoming in the way they expect people.)

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Objectively less threatening to an /adult/.

      Kids can be a wee bit more fragile.

      If the big scary guy’s immediate behavior is closer to daddy’s, than the teeny little gal’s immediate behavior is to mommy’s, the big ‘scary’ guy is least threatening.

      If you recognize the behavior, you can guess how they would respond to your own behavior.

      Liked by 5 people

  6. I haven’t commented here before, but I adore your writing… I think I may have read all of Embers in one epic sitting, or maybe across like two days… RIP my sleep pattern, but worth it.

    I love this story so much!

    I have this mental image of WWX somewhere on the Palace grounds, being sneaky (as one does), when he comes across a small child, crying over a skinned knee. Of course he stops, and comforts, and then said child’s friends arive, and there is mass cute cuddling and reassurances, and then Talia wanders in, only to discover *her children* and the *twin heirs* sitting on or leaning on the shoulder of the flipping Yiling Patriarch, who is telling a ridiculous story just to make them giggle and laugh…

    Wee scamps escape their designated adult caretakers for fun, get a little scrape, find comfort from a very friendly and nice fella with really good stories and the “I’d rather pull my own arm off than ever hurt you” energy.

    The things my own mind comes up with, to comfort me, while waiting for new chapters…

    Liked by 5 people

      1. First, panic the Heralds because OMG cultivators can do some damage. Then soothe them by burying Wuxian in kids, WN in baby companions, and LWJ in bunnies. Because they are all dangerous badasses who are soft on the inside.

        And because I need some tooth-rotting fluff!

        Liked by 4 people

  7. Poor Micah . . . this isn’t going to be a fun day for him.

    Thinking about, by being way too confident about their security – even having it demonstrated that it is not as secure as they think or having very competent people repeatedly warn them of this fact – they were taunting Murphy. So they only have themselves to blame that said cosmic entity directed one of its favorite chaos-bringers / trouble-magnets in their direction.

    Yeah, it could be worse. They could be dealing with every one of Vathara’s favorite trouble magnet characters bringing the chaos all at once. And then said trouble-magnet’s companions came looking for their missing archeologist, etc, etc, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I dunno, I kind of see LWJ becoming renowned for his excellent child-care technique:

    “Greetings young seedlings, young Companions. I feel obligated to inform you that my friend here has candy and carrots in his pockets, and you get to eat whatever you can wrestle away from him.”

    “Lan Zhaaaaa–AUGH!”

    (Epic Gulliver-vs-Lilliputians scene ensues)

    “Ah… my most abject apologies, young ones — it appears the candy and carrots were in *my* pockets. Here, no wrestling required. Spoils to the victors, after all.”

    (because Delegation is one of the Ultimate Techniques)

    :Chosen… has anyone ever told you you’re kind of evil?: 😀

    “Well, I *did* learn from the Dread Yiling Patriarch, Enemy Of The Cultivation World, Seducer of Ghost Brides, Practitioner of Dark Cultivation Arts….”

    (once LWJ learns how to humor, I kind of see him being a Deadpan Snarker)

    Of course, revenge is a part of any good relationship:

    :You know, WWX, I know where to find all the best sources of Fluffy Bunnies in the entire city.:

    “You don’t say, horse-yao? Say on!”

    :Not a yao– never mind. Come on, I’ll introduce you.”

    Liked by 3 people

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