32 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 12 Now Up on AO3

  1. I’m taking Rolan’s side here, I just want to hug everybody. Hope springs eternal for more time with the foals but I’ll take Itty bitty trainees too. WWX kid magnet will always be adorable.

    Vathara thank you so much for the shout-out๐Ÿ˜ถ๐Ÿ™ˆI’m glad my hoard of Lackey books was able to help.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. At this time I am going to be a party pooper, and point out that Talia grew up with her only book being a historical slash romance book about Vanyel.

      There are very big differences between fiction books about male gay relationships written by women (even lesbian women), and books written by gay men on the same subject. To the point that most romance readers would have a difficult time identifying them as romance.

      Now Talia has spent a lot of time as an empath, meeting and getting to know all kinds of people. But she still has a lot of fluffy slash romance bunnies in her heads, and both of these universes actively enable slash tropes.(Or whatever the Chinese word for it is.) And the guy looks like Vanyel.

      So of course she is enabling WWX.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Um, that was not her only book. She had an established pattern of how to read a book while doing chores, and given she never got to finish it, the book about Vanyel was most likely a recent acquisition. Her father, against custom and tradition, taught her how to read, much to the ire of his First Wife. Given everything, sheโ€™d read other books.

        But in her own lifebond, most of the problems came from miscommunication and both misunderstanding the otherโ€™s feelings and intent. I can understand where her stance is coming from. If you discount politics, Wangxian look the same. And now Talia is slowly coming to the realization that while miscommunication wasnโ€™t helping, they have some bigger issues hiding under that. Let the woman have her โ€˜eep.โ€™

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Not that she would do anything unethical or dangerously against her country. Just bend a bit in their favor.

        I found the discussion on the word zhiji in historical Chinese literature, and it was very interesting. A nice reflection on “men like hierarchy” and “men like recognition of their abilities, and getting to use them to their limits; and they take pride and satisfaction from being trusted and put to use, as well as in being treated fairly and generously.”

        The theme of a proper, respectful, and close relationship between lord and retainer is one of the big themes of heroic literature from ancient times up into medieval times. You get lots of instances after that too.

        I just think it is important to remember that what women, or modern people, read into this kind of language is not necessarily what modern men, or modern gay men, or even ancient gay men, would have gotten out of it. There are universals; but there are feelings that are not universal, and situations which are very particular. Ancient literature is very good at sticking you with feelings that are both strong and have no easy modern referents.

        When I started reading Homer in Greek, suddenly all the boring council scenes were just crackling with stuff going on that I had never understood was an issue. But I couldn’t transfer it to anything modern in any kind of one to one correspondence, because all those guys were Bronze Age guys with Bronze Age concerns and needs.

        The strength and weakness of all historical fiction is that you make things more immediate and understandable, but it also makes it easier to use modern or genre tropes instead of getting into complexities. For the readers, too.

        I had a point somewhere. But I have forgotten it. It is my day off and a snow day outside, so I think my brain is telling me to nap.

        Very much enjoyed this chapter.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Well, I have now revealed how long it has been since I reread Arrows.

        More than one book is a sign that even Holderkin were not all that poor or all that isolated. That is Victorian cheap, and argues a fair number of printing presses.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. /I was thinking in terms of the mischief with coming in the front gate. /
        Of course just because he decides to come in through the front gate doesn’t mean he needs to leave the same way.

        After all, Kerowyn does needs some help in finding and plugging all the holes in palace security. It has absolutely nothing to do with how funny he finds the collective reactions to him appearing out of/vanishing into thin air no matter what they do.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I am rereading from the beginning before having Chapter 12.

    Nie Mingjue was/is probably a *very* good general: He anticipated that this plan of NHS’s would become a mess, even though he could not know the exact mess it would be.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Attaching that foresight specifically to NMJ’s knowledge of NHS is cute, but I think that view sells NMJ short.

        I am fully prepared to give NMJ lots of respect and think: NMJ is a good and experienced general, he *knows* that no plan survives contact with [reality].

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I figure it’s entirely compatible with NMJ having basically a form of Big Brother Powers that is so advanced it works on those he isn’t related to– kind of like how WWX radiates Safe For Kids.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Notably, the “NMJ has wide-ranging big brother powers” also works as a joke for “how stressful is it to have NHS as a little brother? To cope with raising him, NMJ grew a super-power.”

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Sooooo… given his expressed/dismissed worries, I’m not sure WWX is clear on the degree to which LWJ being a Herald means Valdemar will have to come to terms with it… but I gather at some point it’s going to become super weird for everybody when they find out not only that much cultivation involves being a terrifying blood mage but also that WWX and many of the specific activities that make him a Dread Necromancer have a perfectly respectable if unusual Valdemaran Gift category?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. “… ghost-path cultivation can be done totally without.”

    Then it’s *really important* that this “mage school” gets organized! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Another comment from my reading from Chapter 1: In my memory of the recent-chapters ficbits, NHS was not making jokes (obviously – memory, may be wrong). So I am reading NHS making jokes in early chapters and I think: Ah! In later chpaters I am seeing effects of how *stressed* NHS has been through the weeks (day after day after day!) in Valdemar.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Read the comments.

    Saw the empathetic objection to JWY/WQ.

    Agreed that it is not the healthiest possible relationship, and started composing an insane argument in favor of it. (Most reasonable component was “Old man Jiang had a marriage with issues, Big Sis Jiang had a marriage with issues, obviously, so should Jiang Junior.”)

    During the resulting internal discussion, the bunnies got some ideas, and I may have to do something with it.

    So, once a upon a time when they were young, in Cloud Recesses, LWJ, WWX, WQ, JWY, JYL Jin ZX (sp?), NHS, and Wen Ning go on a Night Hunt under the supervision of Lan Qiren, to Jusenkyo. Folks get cursed, and there is some time shenanigans possibly involving another world. After hijinks settle, they find that what was a few years for them was like a week, and no else knows. With that, and with how unsettling the experience was, they agree never to speak of it again, perhaps declaring it a Jiang Sect secret to properly bind the Lans.

    Then canon happens, but with somewhat healthier relationships, I guess until JYL accidentally gets un-uncursed at her wedding, and then incidentally kills JGS and JGY.

    Anyone have a pointer to a time line showing a) events of the war b) JGY’s adoption, wedding, etc c) JYL’s wedding d) etc?


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