A Long Road Chapter 13 Ficbit – Detail Work

“Just please tell us the rules aren’t carved on a giant rock wall,” Wei Wuxian sighed. “Or dictate how many bowls you’re allowed in a sitting, how many ornaments you’re allowed on your belt, and whether or not you should gossip when you know everybody does it.”

Daren felt his eyebrows climb. Well. That explained… quite a lot about Trainee Lan Wangji, actually.

“How many belt ornaments-?” Talia suddenly brightened. “Are there other clothing requirements? I was wondering why Lan Wangji was so uncomfortable with getting measured for court-formal uniforms….”

Wen Qionglin frowned, and looked at them. “Oh. That makes sense. Not enough layers.”

“I’m surprised you could even wrestle him into the Trainee uniform.” Wei Wuxian grinned, sudden and full of mischief. “I got him to cough up blood by stripping off my over-robe, once.”

Wen Qionglin’s eyes went wide. “Cousin Wei?”

“It was an emergency! We were trapped in with the Xuanwu and he needed to purge the congested qi. He was already wounded with a fever, he didn’t need a qi deviation on top of that. Otherwise I’d never have embarrassed him like that.” Wei Wuxian’s fingers gripped his sleeves; relaxed again, smile turned sad. “I hope no one here does. Lan Wangji’s really very shy.”

Wait, what? The not-quite-mage who took off on a sword and flew over the Palace grounds? Was shy?

“Yes, he is.” Talia smiled back. “You know, you’re one of the few people who’s noticed?”

“We got into a lot of trouble on the same fields in Sunshot,” Wei Wuxian shrugged. “Some things, you can’t miss.” A tilt of his head, and his eyebrows flicked a question at Wen Qionglin. “Wen-gongzi. Is there anything else we need so we can get along well as new neighbors?”

“Dictionaries,” the Wen heir said in a rush. “Laws… have formal language. We know your script now, but a dictionary would be good. And any legal tomes that support the law.” He swallowed, scarf dipping with the motion to briefly unveil an odd trace of black on pale skin. “Healer’s lexicons. Botanical guides. Herb samples. You want to learn our healing techniques. Surgery we can apprentice. And pressure points. But some treatments need combinations of herbs. They might not be the same. We need to translate medical cultivation.”

Daren felt Selenay relax, and nodded along with her. Once you had a Healer talking about specifics, whether or not they would treat a patient was generally a done deal.

19 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 13 Ficbit – Detail Work

  1. Are, are they just going to blow past what the Xuanwu that injured Lan Wangji is? There’s so much in that statement, in that exchange, and they missed it. To be fair it’s an out of context problem for them.

    And what are the odds that the Heralds are keeping one Trainee on the opposite side of the compound while this meeting happens?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Also, Lan Wangji is like the ultimate assertive introvert. Want someone to take point in the group? Fine, get it over with. Want a volunteer to go first? Ok, then I’m done. Want to go to a party Saturday? No way.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Reminds me of when Coulson explained to Fowl Senior in Vathara’s “Thrower of the Dart” that Artemis was shy.

        Verbal eviscerate an enemy? No problem.

        Manipulate to get him and his allies in favorable positions? Easy-peasy.

        Get him to talk about “normal” things at parties? In his own words, “rather deal with rattlesnakes.”

        Liked by 5 people

    2. It’s always possible they *did* notice it, they’re talking about something else just now and they’ll get back to that at a more appropriate time. This is a healing/laws conversation, war stories later.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. feels like Selenay and Daren both miss that Qionglin wanted dictioneries and Law Tomes – that is not just for being law abiding, but also for legalese, and to know how to properly wield Valdemaran law to their advantage. And to use existing loopholes in laws.

    something i believe WILL happen

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t think they missed it. I think that it is reassuring to have someone want loopholes, rather than “the strong do what they want, and the weak just have to suffer.”

      Also, all bards and lawyers love loopholes, which is allegedly why Ireland split the legal system off from the Poets.

      Liked by 5 people

  3. Part of me wonders if they will ask for the story behind at least how Lan Wangji was injured enough to have a fever and clogged Qi. I think it would benefit Lan Wangji’s teachers to know he is stubborn enough to walk for days on a broken leg and refuse help after his Sect was attacked and his only family was missing… at least Kero might realize there is only so far she can push him before he will dig his heels in. Wei Wuxian is like one of the few people who can out stubborn Lan Wangji, although Kellen might be able to…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ask for maps — Some people try to restrict maps for tax and military purposes, it would be interesting to find out the attitude of the Vademarans. They also could have — we love maps, but ours arent as current or detailed as we would like due to lack of surveyors.
    They are already living in a Valdemar community so they have a window into local knowledge and customs. Get legal tomes and examples of common contracts for use in buying or selling to neighbors — they will probably be buying and selling things as a community and need to know contract law to sell a load of cut timber in return for wagon loads of grain. If such things exist also get children’s text books and histories to see what most people are taught. In Arrows of the Queen, there is a requirement of universal literacy but some people enter the Herald Collegium and need remedial writing and math.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Have you read “All Things Belong” by kuroi_atropos? It’s the best take on Wei Wuxian is a Wen that I’ve seen. Now if only Wen Ruohan would deign to explain anything…

    Liked by 1 person

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