A Long Road Chapter 16 Ficbit – Getting into the Flow

Talia traced a finger over two sketched outlines of a body, each veined with odd lines, with a few characters of Jianghu script to the side. “Does this mean what I think it does?”

“The right sketch is a normal cultivator’s flow,” Wen Qing confirmed. “The left is what resentful energy damage looks like to a skilled medical cultivator. From what Nie Huaisang described and what I’ve observed in both of them, the worst effects seem focused here and here, burning the mind….” She trailed off as Crathach frowned at the diagrams. “What?”

The MindHealer poked the left drawing, near the gut. “I know these nerves. If they’re inflamed – no wonder paranoia is one of the symptoms.”

Talia blinked, and looked closer. “Nerves near the bowels? Emotions don’t come from there!”

“The emotions your Gift affects don’t,” Crathach agreed. “You deal with the feelings of the heart and mind. But there are… hmm. Emotions isn’t really a good word for them. They’re reactions of the body, of nerves and bone, and Empathy doesn’t touch them. If something affects here,” he tapped the sketch, “then the body thinks it’s being poisoned. Torn apart from the inside out. That drives the mind and heart to fear, and rage, and attack. Because something is killing you, so you have to kill it first.”

Wen Qing sketched a pattern in air, a shimmer of blue following her finger. Checked the result against the sketch, and grimaced. “Ancestors. That makes sense.”

Talia pulled at plaid, wrapping it against the chill of their expressions. “So even if we Heal the mind and heart, we’d only slow the problem down. We need to get deeper.” Think. Think! “Can we – can we soothe the burn? Like putting jewel-stem on poison ivy to stop the itch?”

“Internal cooling specific to those acupuncture points?” Wen Qing frowned, one brow quirking up. “I don’t think anyone’s tried it before.” She leveled a look at her fellow Healer. “How would you treat it?”

“Normally a persistent gut problem without an outside cause means there’s something in the patient’s food or drink that’s a problem for them and no one else,” Crathach muttered. “Milk, for some grown past childhood. I’ve dealt with some unlucky souls who react that way to buckwheat; we’ve had to advise them to move south, there’s too many northern breads that have a trace of it. But this is energy, and humans don’t eat energy….”

He stopped. The Healers stared at each other, eyes widening.

Talia held her breath, and knew Wei Wuxian was holding his. They could both feel that knife-edge of pieces fitting together, this leads to that leads to

Sabers eat energy,” Wen Qing breathed.


8 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 16 Ficbit – Getting into the Flow

  1. Ooo! A good way to show outside system solutions! Everyone was so focused on the brain that they overlooked actual cause of it all. Understandable really. And this way everyone gets to showcase Equal Opportunity Awesome.

    This also gives some hint as to what Wen Ruohan may have done to former sect leader Niè’s saber.

    Liked by 4 people

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