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#grandmaster of demonic cultivation

number one way to trick me into writing almost 1400 words is, apparently, to ask for NMJ caring for NHS. i hope you like it!

Nie Mingjue crouched low on his saber, eyes squinting against the wind as it whipped past him. The sound of the wind covered everything else, from the calls of the Nie cultivators slowly falling behind his breakneck pace, to any screams that might be echoing on the horizon.

But no matter how painful keeping his eyes open became, he kept them open. He couldn’t crash. Couldn’t lose any more time. And, perhaps most importantly—if the Wens had set fire to the Unclean Realm, as they had to Lotus Pier and the Cloud Recesses, the sight of smoke on the horizon would be his first clue.

As Nie Mingjue got close enough to see his home peaking over the treetops, though, the churning in his gut that had pushed him so far became more frantic.

They had received word early that morning that a small force of Wens had been spotted heading toward the Unclean Realm. Unsure what their purpose was, but positive that this was Wen Ruohan’s response to Nie Mingjue killing Wen Xu, Nie Mingjue had gathered his fastest cultivators and set out immediately.

After Nie Mingjue had killed Wen Xu, the Wens had retreated far enough that the Unclean Realm was guarded only by Nie Huaisang and a thin force of cultivators. There wasn’t supposed to be any Wens between the Nie frontline and the Unclean Realm. But then there had been the missive. And yet…

Squinting even more against the harsh wind, Nie Mingjue struggled to make out more details. Everything seemed fine. There were no hints of burning, or invasion, or—

Nie Mingjue’s eyes narrowed on a small figure taking off from the courtyard and bolting in his direction.

It only took a minute more for them to meet, and Nie Mingjue, knowing they were both moving too fast for him to reach out and grab the man, instead snapped a loud, “Follow me!”

The figure staggered in midair, but did as he said. Nie Mingjue glanced at him, and cursed silently when he realized it was the fastest cultivator he had left with Nie Huaisang.

The instant they landed, Nie Mingjue whirled on the man.

“What—”

“Please follow me, Zongzhu!” the cultivator cried, already moving towards the entrance. “Nie-er-gongzi has been attacked!”

Nie Mingjue stumbled, but quickly recovered and ran after the cultivator. A-Sang had been attacked. Not the Unclean Realm, but A-Sang, and Nie Mingjue hated how much that made sense, and he hated that he hadn’t seen it coming, and that he hadn’t seen fit to fortify his brother’s personal guard more than he already had.

An eye for an eye was exactly the kind of punishment that Wen Ruohan would find suitable. With Nie Mingjue lacking a son, of course the man had targeted his little brother instead. Nie Mingjue had been blind in his certainty that the Unclean Realm couldn’t be breached, and now it might cost him the only family he had left.

Ahead of Nie Mingjue, the cultivator skidded to a stop at the door to A-Sang’s rooms. Nie Mingjue didn’t bother doing the same: He threw the door wide open and barged in, mouth already open and ready to demand to know what was happening, only for him to halt at the sight of the room.

The first thing that caught his eye was the blood. It had splattered all over the walls and floor, mixing its bright red with the paints that A-Sang had had out. There were more than a few fans and paintings that Nie Mingjue already knew would have to be thrown out; there was no saving them.

The second thing Nie Mingjue noticed was the ring of doctors surrounding a body lying, unconscious, on the floor. It was cloaked in Nie robes and still clutching a fan, despite the arrows in his side and shoulder. Nie Mingjue’s mind shuddered as he took in the sight, but he didn’t allow himself to cry. He couldn’t, not when there was so much to do.

Nie Mingjue pushed his way through the doctors and squatted by his brother’s head. He palmed his cheek once—reassuring A-Sang that da-ge was there. Reassuring himself that A-Sang, no matter how pale his face was or how blood-matted his hair was, was still alive and fighting.

And then Nie Mingjue stood, and he walked away. He didn’t let himself look back.

The doctors would do their job. It was time Nie Mingjue did his.

<line break>

Nie Mingjue spent the next several hours directing his people to and fro. A half-dozen cultivators were stationed in A-Sang’s rooms, and a half-dozen more were stationed at its doors and windows. The Unclean Realm as a whole had to be swept from to bottom, to ensure the assassins hadn’t decided to hide instead of running, even while Nie Mingjue sent cultivators out to search the surrounding area in the case that the assassins had run instead of hiding. He told the kitchens to make the most hearty meals an injured person could stomach, dictated messages to the other sects and his own frontline, and then sent those messages out.

And then, just when Nie Mingjue started to flag enough that thoughts of A-Sang began to sink in again, the doctors filed into his office and told him that A-Sang had been moved to his bed. He would live.

<line break>

Nie Mingjue reached A-Sang’s rooms as fast as he could. Entering, he reminded himself that he would have to have servants come in and clean soon; it wouldn’t do for A-Sang to find his living space covered in blood. His brother was in the bedroom, though, which hadn’t been affected. The other room could stay for now.

Nie Mingjue nodded to the cultivators guarding his brother, but didn’t say a word. He didn’t have to. They filed out of the bedroom, and when he closed the door behind them, he and his brother were left alone and Nie Mingjue could finally allow himself to feel.

He padded over to the bed, noted the bandages around A-Sang’s torso, and decided that the head was probably the best place for him to sit. He just sat on the edge at first, looking down at his brother—and then he brought his legs up, crossed them, and gently eased his brother’s head onto his lap.

“A-Sang,” Nie Mingjue murmured, bending over him. “A-Sang, I’m here. Da-ge’s here.”

There was no response. A-Sang’s eyes were closed, his cheeks still pale, though his features had relaxed and Nie Mingjue assumed the doctors gave him medicine for the pain. But his brother didn’t wake. His fingers didn’t even twitch.

“I’m sorry, A-Sang,” Nie Mingjue whispered, breathing through the knot in his throat and the cold settling in his head and stomach. “I never should have left you alone.”

Nie Mingjue cupped his little brother’s cheek and smoothed his thumb over it. With his other hand, he gathered A-Sang’s hair, absently noting that someone had tried to wash the blood out. They had done a decent job, but A-Sang’s hair was even more knotted now.

Slowly, Nie Mingjue sectioned his brother’s hair and started combing it, easing his fingers through the strands.

<line break>

Nie Mingjue stirred at the sound of moaning. He had apparently slumped forward at some point, falling asleep right where he sat while he combed A-Sang’s hair.

“Da-ge,” a familiar voice whimpered, and Nie Mingjue jolted, blinking rapidly to focus on the sight below him. A-Sang’s eyes were filing with tears, already red and crinkled, but they were open.

“A-Sang,” Nie Mingjue gasped. He rubbed his thumb against his brother’s cheek, wiping away a tear, and then twisted and yelled, “Fetch a doctor! Nie Huaisang is awake!”

There was a clatter from the other room, but Nie Mingjue paid it no mind and turned back to his brother. He squeezed his shoulder gently.

“Never again,” he said. “I’m doubling your guard. Permanently.”

A-Sang giggled, but then moaned in pain and clutched at his side. Wincing, Nie Mingjue reached out and took his hand in his own.

“Don’t laugh right now,” he said. “You had several arrows in you; you’ll be sore for awhile.”

And A-Sang smiled, though his face was still twisted in pain, and whispered, “Yes, Da-ge.”

Go here for more hurt/comfort prompts to send me! All I need is at least one prompt selection and two characters!

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Follow the tag below for the previous parts, or you can read it all here on AO3 if you prefer.

Jiang Cheng would have been pacing if his leg wasn’t currently splinted up. Instead, all he could do was sit and stare at the door of the dungeon, tensing whenever he heard a noise outside. They had taken Lan Xichen away some time ago. He didn’t even know how long it had been.

Needless to say his welfare was foremost in Jiang Cheng’s mind.

Mo Xuanyu had drifted off into a troubled sleep, his head resting in Jiang Cheng’s lap, who continued to stroke his hair soothingly, and hum snippets of the lullabies he could remember A-Jie singing to him when he was a child.

Keep reading

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  • ok, so i think that the way JC reacted to JYL’s death was, while extreme, understandable. but. imagine. an AU where, when faced with JYL’s death literally in his arms, and his brother’s death fast approaching b/c all of these thousands of cultivators came to KILL HIM—JC does, in part, blame WWX, but he blames the cultivators more. they’re the ones who insisted WWX couldn’t be left alone, and maybe JC found out beforehand that Jin Zixun ambushed WWX, and that’s why JZX died? idk. point is:
  • JC sides with WWX, and the two brothers fight their way out of the Nightless City side by side, surrounded by Jiang disciples and bearing JYL’s body. they head straight to Koi Tower to pick up JL, and then from there to Lotus Pier, where they barricade themselves in
  • and, let’s say that this is the CQL version, so WWX thinks that all of the Wens are dead. which means Wen Yuan still becomes LSZ
  • so then the events of the future happen after 16 years of the cultivation world being divided. everyone eventually left Yunmeng alone, b/c the Jiang sect—who together slaughtered thousands of cultivators in their escape—don’t stray far from their home, and they’ve already proven themselves more than dangerous
  • JL grew up with two loving but bitter uncles and surrounded by supportive Jiang disciples. no bullying allowed. LSZ, LJY, and OZZ grow up believing that the Jiang sect is evil. and LWJ mourns WWX, believing that the man he loves hates everyone but the Jiangs now and that he won’t be accepted in Lotus Pier
  • and then canon would either split–b/c idk if the events with NMJ and JGY would happen the same now, or what would happen with MXY–or:
  • suddenly the Lan disciples come back with this demonic arm, and of course there’s no one more qualified to handle demonic energy than WWX. so LWJ gets his brother’s reluctant approval to seek out help, and to take a few disciples with him—not enough to appear like an invasion, but enough to fight their way out again if necessary.
  • and the juniors are all astonished, b/c um, hello, the Jiangs don’t seem evil? are you guys sure? and—and hey, wtf, LWJ definitely seems in love with this guy? cue matchmaking
  • OR
  • JL gets tired of not being allowed out of Yunmeng and sneaks out. he immediately runs into the other juniors, but obviously he can’t just tell them that oh, hey, he’s the heir to YunmengJiang and a perfect hostage if the cultivation world still wants them all dead—so instead they all have a fun adventure, while JC and WWX freak out and leave Yunmeng for the first time in 13/16 years in search of their idiot nephew. along the way, they run into LWJ—and suddenly JC is third-wheeling, how the fuck did that happen? he would like off this ride, JL!
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