A Long Road Chapter 16 Ficbit – Flood Control

He’d never been this far west. So many trees.

Though apparently there were fewer now near the village than there had been weeks ago. Fresh stumps trailed uphill into the forest, and there were a dozen new lean-tos against fresh rock walls, sheltering green wood to dry for later-

Alberich tore his gaze from new stonework, studying the trail of stumps again. Huh.


:Either the Wen have good foresters, or Rabbit Hole does and they have helped,: Alberich noted. :The people here cleared roots and all for the new buildings, but left the roots in every slope. And the trees they chose to cut-:

:When the spring rains come, the earth’s going to stay put,: Kellen followed his thought. :If resentful energy flows like water, and the way they handled the river-ghosts it likely does….:

:Then they have studied how water flows, how to divert it, and how to keep it from running wild,: Alberich finished. :What floods will come, will be guided away from the road.:

As a captain who’d had to bring troops across every kind of terrain, he approved. Yet as a Herald and Weaponsmaster who knew how much loss Wei Wuxian had suffered, he had to wonder at how easy good roads made it to bring troops in without warning.

:Oh, I’d bet it wouldn’t be nearly so easy for enemies.: Kantor’s mindvoice was desert-dry. :I’d bet, in fact, that there are traps and pitfalls about this whole town that we’ve never even seen before. Most of his enemies can fly.:

Hmm. And how much did Rabbit Hole know of those enemies? For all that the town elders were busy with the Queen’s Own and making sure everyone would have lodging, they were keeping a very close eye on the Nie. And Lan Wangji.

Though those eyes softened when Wei Wuxian’s smaller bundle blinked at the Lan cultivator and lit up. “Rich-gege!”

27 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 16 Ficbit – Flood Control

  1. “Of course we need good roads. How else will I move my armies of zombies? You’ve never seen a mess until you’ve seen an army of zombies stuck in a muddy, churned up road.”

    Liked by 5 people

    1. “Rrrrrrrooooooooooadsss…. rrrrrroooooooooooadsss…”

      “Right, that’s the last time I raise Civil Engineers as zombies.”

      “You know, zombies might make decent road crews. They don’t unionize, and OSHA rules don’t apply.”

      “Yeah, but you have to micromanage them *constantly* if you want anything done right.”

      Liked by 7 people

  2. Civil Engineering FTW. 😛

    “Rich-gege.” 😀 Well, A-Yuan appears to think LWJ is good people. Though I doubt LWJ thinks of himself as “rich” — the *sect* might be, but he’s just (in his mind) a proper son and loyal sect member.
    (WWX: “I’m looking for ways to corrupt him! Just a *little*….”)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. He can buy things for a’Yuan pretty much on a whim, even of it was a cheap grass butterfly toy. Compared to people who can’t even really feed themselves? That’s rich, at least in a toddler’s eyes. Hopefully he gets that

      Liked by 3 people

  3. The individual cultivators might be able to fly but their supplies would need rivers or roads. The Wen have a high standard for roads, but the Jiang understands water very very well — hopefully the locals understand flash floods and hills and why the forest immediately above the village is kept as a forest preserve.
    If I was Alberich I’d start looking for choke points along the roads for guard posts and custom inspection even if this is considered impolite inside Valdemar. If I was a slightly paranoid village, I’d have the ideal spot for a caravan — water, shelter, horse grazing to be somewhat outside town limits; and have it maintained by the village. Have a store near by to sell food and drink and supplies to the traders — again controlled by the village. Tell everyone that this was established in the days when hoof and mouth disease was prevalant and you didn’t want cattle traveling to the village without inspection.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Tell everyone that this was established in the days when hoof and mouth disease was prevalant and you didn’t want cattle traveling to the village without inspection.

      Honestly, you wouldn’t have to do that– taking animals through a town is PAIN.
      “Wow, this place has a dedicated campground? Where we can pull the carts right in, unhook the horses, put them away, and not have to bother with dodging around ANYBODY? Sure, they’re set up to sell us stuff, and it’s a bit of a walk to the inn if we want to drink in town, but the prices aren’t any worse than at the inns where it’s a pain to park and stable the horses.”

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Ask anyone who has ever done vacationing in an RV before (or drives a semi-truck) and this logic still holds true today. Those things do *not* play nicely with most parking garages and many fast-food join roof-lines. There’s a reason once you get on American highways travel centers become a huge thing; they’re specifically set-up to accommodate the dimensions of RVs and semi-trucks in a way even large cities amenities are not.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. I’m pretty sure the forest bit is a joint effort, given Valdemar’s been settling out here at least a few decades. Though Wei Wuxian probably impressed some flood horror stories on them before he left.

      And setting up a caravan spot sounds good. The Wen plan to also have a fallback position….

      Liked by 4 people

      1. We have Buc-ees now. In Louisville KY and in Richmond IN. I have seen so many Buc-ees truck stop shirts in the last couple months!

        It is a good thing, because the truck stops in Ohio and the tri-state area have been kinda going downhill. I am pretty sure that Buc-ees detected weakness, because holy crud do we need truck stops. (And Cracker Barrel has also been going downhill, and that is a needed stop place.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Caravanseri sounds much too elaborate for something that is a cross between a highway rest stop and a dedicated camping spot and horse pasture. Probably the store is a permanent building but not always stocked. Supplies can be sent for when travelers arive — however the shopkeeper is a part time sheriff’s deputy who is suppose to keep peace, and report on the travelers, sending for help if anyone needs to be rescued or arrested.


      1. There is no use having a secret retreat if all the tourists are allowed to visit. Is it visible from the air? LWJ and both Nie can fly.


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