Talia blinked, forcing wide-eyed alarm back to deliberate calm. “And what do you mean, Lan Wangji doesn’t respect him? They’re lifebonded!”
“I’d wondered.” It explained quite a bit, including the reckless charge to the rescue across half the world.
…Then again, given he’d rescued the Wens in the first place, maybe that was just Wei Wuxian.
Crathach took a long sip of his own cider, then fixed Talia with a stern eye. For all she was an experienced Herald and a mother… well, Heralds sometimes had blind spots. Witness how many times he’d had to threaten Alberich with sharp objects so the Weaponsmaster would rest enough to heal up properly. “How old were you when you lifebonded to Dirk on first sight?”
“That’s different! Lan Wangji is-”
“An extremely sheltered sect heir, for all he’s a blooded warrior,” Crathach interrupted. Deliberately. “One who still believes Wei Wuxian’s magic is corrupting him – even as he admits that Wei Wuxian has become calmer, less twitchy, and healthier than he was during their war. Tradition says resentful energy corrupts, after all. And the Lan are very traditional.” Crathach paused. “Given our necromancer – no, our ghost-path cultivator – seems to have invented how to use resentful energy without killing himself, just as Heralds had to invent how to train Firestarters not to kill themselves and everyone around them… that is a dangerous lack of respect.”
Talia hesitated. Almost spoke – then blew out a tired breath. “You’re right. I didn’t… Lan Wangji is a good man.”
“Of course he is,” Crathach agreed. “But you had to grow into yourself before you could meet Dirk on common ground. Lan Wangji needs time.” He paused. “And, like some of our Trainees’ families, possibly an attitude adjustment. With a heavy blunt object.”
“Because unexpected Gifts upset everybody’s grand plans. Ooooh.” Talia rested the back of one hand against her forehead, as if to chill her way to clearer thought. “My family loves me, they hate my Gift. How many times have I heard that? Oh, that makes sense. Wei Wuxian doesn’t think Lan Wangji wants him dead. He thinks Lan Wangji wants his magic gone. And….” She swallowed.
“And that would likely kill him,” Crathach finished. “Wei Wuxian is staying at arm’s length from his own lifebonded? That strikes me as a sane, healthy, and reasonable reaction.”