A Long Road Chapter 12 Ficbit – Three Great Sects

The part of her that was just Talia wanted to hug them in sympathy. The part that was the Monarch’s Own wanted to kidnap them to a nice warm room with hot mulled cider and ask all the questions. Commoners and nobles saw the land they lived in very differently, and while a former First Disciple and a low-level cultivator of Wen probably weren’t common, they weren’t Sect Heirs. What they could tell her about the Jianghu would be as different from Lan Wangji’s tales as a Holderkin’s from a Haven Lord.

And from that twitching curiosity behind her, Crathach wanted to ask even more questions.

Patience. “But you did prove it to Nie Huaisang,” Talia observed. “And he said Nie Mingjue had decided he’d had enough, and the war was over.”

Wen Qionglin nodded, quick and shy as a squirrel darting behind a branch. “They… saw what was left of us. Sect Leader Nie said they’d had their vengeance. They just wanted us gone.”

Exiled. She could feel the hurt of it, and the reluctant acceptance. Not hope; not yet. But a hope that there would be hope.

“Many smaller sects are allied with Nie,” Wei Wuxian mused. “They remember how the Crimson Blade Master led us to victory; they’ll follow his lead. Your problems are going to come from the other Great Sects.”

Talia nodded, listening hard. “Lan, Jiang, and Jin?”

“They’re not separate problems.” The necromancer glanced away, across the field; from the twitch of his nerves, looking at something she couldn’t see. “The Jiang Sect seethes at the fact any of us still draw breath, but they’re not likely to come after us alone. Problem is, they won’t have to. Jiang Yanli is married to the Jin Sect heir, Jin Zixuan, and Jin Guangshan wants secrets he thinks we have.” He paused. Braced himself; a whisper of fear, exhaustion, grim fury. “And while the Lan Sect never complained during the Sunshot Campaign, Lan Xichen is Jin Guangyao’s sworn brother, vowed to come to his aid… and many current Lan elders believe the cultivation of resentful energy is an abomination to be cleansed. By any means necessary.”

22 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 12 Ficbit – Three Great Sects

      1. So, “go jump in a lake” buried under five layers of flowery language. Perhaps delivered in musical form? Valdemar is famous for its Bards…
        (I know they wouldn’t actually do it, but I feel like it would be a hilarious way to tell the Lan in particular to go fly a kite)

        Liked by 5 people

      2. And now my imagination is tied between that, and a certain fluttery fellow suggesting that the Incredibly Awesome and Righteous cultivators go visit the place where the guardian spirits are really grabby about shining examples of awesome.

        Liked by 6 people

      3. a certain fluttery fellow suggesting that the Incredibly Awesome and Righteous cultivators go visit the place where the guardian spirits are really grabby about shining examples of awesome

        *hysterical giggling*

        Liked by 4 people

      4. NH: “What? Me, chosen by their guardian spirits?” *flutter* “They only choose the most pure of heart, the highest skilled–”

        :shakes head: I am getting far too much amusement out of the idea of weaponizing the snootery and political stuff as a defensive measure.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. See, here’s the flip side of us giving Valdemar all that grief for not knowing about how things look to outsiders: If you’re going to do what you’re going to do *regardless,* why put effort into trying to see the other POV? (laughs maniacally! It’s a joke!)

    Checking: Nie Mingjue, Lan Xichen, and Jin Guangyao are all three sworn brothers? So … Does this sworn-brotherhood drag Nie Mingjue back into pursuit of the Wens in spite of his best judgment?

    Or is the difference that Nie MIngjue doesn’t *really* trust/like Jin Guangyao even though they have that battle-sworn brother connection, whereas Lan Xichen apparently actually *does* like and trust Jin Guangyao? (It’s funny how Lan Wangji is the one who, in canon, will get in trouble for his “bad judgment” in friends)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. NMJ, LXC, and JGY are all mutually sworn brothers, but only because LXC convinced NMJ that the bond would allow him to ‘guide and support’ JGY. Obviously that didn’t work lol.

      Sworn brotherhood also isn’t a pact to always support each other in everything. Technically, it isn’t actually a political alliance, just a personal bond between them. But NMJ and LXC were already longtime friends who supported each other, and LXC wants to support JGY because of JGY’s manipulations.

      For the most part, they present a united front, but not always. For example, NMJ in canon refused to let Xue Yang’s crimes lie and kept demanding his execution……right up until JGY killed NMJ and the Jin quietly changed Xue Yang’s sentence to “imprisonment” so they could have him work on recreating the Yin Tiger Tally and experiment with demonic cultivation based on WWX’s stolen notes for them.

      So no, NMJ should not be forced to renege on his deal with WWX and the Wen Remnants for the sake his sworn brotherhood. JGY might try to use it to manipulate him into it, and LXC might try and pressure him into “helping poor A-Yao please his father,” but it’s canon that he’s stubborn enough to stick to his morals in such a case. Though it would definitely move up JGY’s plans to kill him.

      And yes, it is VERY ironic that LWJ is the one who was initially castigated for his choice in “person to trust no matter what the world says” only to be vindicated, while LXC – who himself did a lot of the judging for LWJ’s “poor choice” – ends up being the one revealed to have been trusting and enabling a monster all along.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. It’s one thing when the Wen are right there with a demonic cultivator in the middle of the Burial Mounds, obviously in the process of raising an undead army for nefarious purposes. That would be seen as a threat to Qinghe Nie as well.

      They’re gone? All of them? Sorry, brother, I have a sect to run. Bye, have fun crossing the world….

      Liked by 7 people

      1. “You have a diplomatic party there!”
        “Eh. Don’t worry. I think they can avoid talking Valdemar out of taking over the problem.”

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I think the sheer fact that most know that Chifeng-zun is stubborn as a mule is the only thing keeping the other two members of the Venerated Triad from dragging the Nie into the persecution of the Dafan Wen whether he wants to or not. If he says the Nie won’t pursue this, they won’t. No one wants to end up on the wrong side of Baxia for suggesting otherwise. The Jiang don’t have the numbers, no one likes the Jin, and the Lan have no allies for their crusade.

    Or at least they didn’t unless word gets back to Zewu-jun about Lan Zhan getting kidnapped by a foreign power that JUST SO HAPPENS to be harboring the Yiling Patriarch, his undead army, and his Wen-dogs? Not sure NMJ could counteract that.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. And here again we see the difference in perspective. And Talia starts to see that even if Wei Wuxian realized that Lan Wangji didn’t mean Gusu to be a death sentence, that wouldn’t have mattered. There were plenty of elders who did, and would. Maybe by assigning a full fast, not knowing/caring that he can’t do inedia. Maybe that full fast would include lack of water, or “forgotten” water. There are many, many ways to kill a man without ever laying hand on him yourself after all.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. And that is a big part of why Lan Wangji was beating himself up over not realizing this before now. It makes me angry just to imagine supposed “family” deliberately doing that, even if they supposedly dont realize what having Wei Wuxian die do to this would do to Lan Wangji, especially since he had brought him there to SAVE him. I kinda wish we could sic both Talia and Plotting-Nie on Zewu-jun, maybe also on Lan Quiren and the Elders at the same time, that would be a show worthy of popcorn! Especially because I can see Wei Wuxian sitting off to the side, honestly torn between giggling, terror and awe, part of that directed at a very unusually obviously angry Lan Wangji who is hovering very protectively nearby and an equally angry “Guardian spirit” not-horse guarding his other side….. 😁

      Liked by 5 people

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