prompt: mdzs, but with daemons.
On the night he crosses swords with the lawless head disciple of the Yunmeng Jiang sect, Lan Wangji finds himself suffering the worst humiliation of his entire life.
He was ready to reprimand Wei Ying, ready to still his maddening, beautiful voice with a silencing spell and drag him off to the meishi to be punished—but then Wei Ying gasped in his arms, oddly unbothered at the prospect of being bodily hauled off the roof, and let out a bubbling peal of laughter.
“Second Young Master Lan, look!” he wheezed, pointing over Wangji’s shoulder. “Oh, heavens—are you this affectionate with everyone, Lan Zhan? Just what is your daemon doing?”
Lan Wangji turned around and blanched.
Yuchen was lying on the roof not six paces away from him, her furry limbs tucked comfortably beneath her, and Wei Ying’s brown-bellied osprey was cuddled up under her neck.
“This wasn’t my fault,” Qingwan chirped, burrowing deeper into Yuchen’s spotted coat. “Yuchen won’t let me go.”
“En, and I will not,” Yuchen said drowsily. “You can just sleep right here, since my Wangji is determined to run around playing the fool in the middle of the night.”
Lan Wangji wanted to die on the spot. Yuchen had never dared cross lines with the daemons of others, save for Xiongzhang’s white serpent, Yulan, who named Yuchen and helped care for her and Wangji from infancy—and yet here she was, caressing the feathers of a daemon she had known for less than ten minutes, and granting him a liberty she would not permit even to Shufu’s Kexin!
“Yuchen!” Lan Wangji cried. Wei Ying fell out of his grasp in a protesting heap of arms and legs, muttering something about rough treatment and wasted good looks and sticks-in-the mud, but Wangji was too horrified to listen to him. “Yuchen, let him go at once!”
“I do not wish to,” his daemon returned, so simply that Wei Ying staggered on his way to collect his fallen wine jars. “And Qingwan does not wish to leave me. For now, you must remain with Wei Wuxian.”
“Qingwan, come here,” Wei Wuxian chortled, now clutching the two pots of Emperor’s Smile to his chest. “Look how red Lan-er-gongzi is getting. And anyway, it’s late. Don’t you want to see Bao Xuan?”
At this, Qingwan perked up and wriggled out from between Yuchen’s white paws.
“Bao Xuan is our Shijie’s daemon. He’ll be worried if we don’t reach the guest quarters soon,” he apologized. “Madam Yuchen, farewell! I’ll see you again tomorrow.”
And with that, he fluttered off to perch atop Wei Ying’s head, after which the two retrieved their dropped passage token and vanished into the night.
Lan Wangji picked Yuchen up, afraid the leopard would disobey him and chase after Qingwan again, and took her back to the Jingshi in such distress that he thought he might go mad. He had never seen a daemon behave so shamelessly before, let alone one born of the Lan clan; the lone exception was Nie Mingjue’s tiger daemon, who was once spotted cleaning Yulan’s scales with her tongue after a particularly bloody night-hunt. But then again, Lan Xichen was the beloved of Chifeng-zun’s life, soon to be his lawful husband, and Wei Ying...
Wangji sank to the ground with Yuchen in his lap, and tried not to think of how Wei Ying had laughed when he saw their daemons embracing.
“No,” he begged, cupping Yuchen’s fluffy face between his hands. “Yuchen, you can’t mean that we—Wei Ying and I, we’re not—”
“The daemons of the Lan recognize their other halves at first sight,” Yuchen said kindly. “It was just so with Yulan-jie and Nie-zongzhu’s Chixin. You are fated.”
Yuchen would say no more, having explained all she wished to, and Lan Wangji was left to lie in his chilly bed, alone, reflecting on the clan scriptures to prevent himself from dreaming of Wei Ying.
He did not succeed, for better or for worse; but by the end of that week, Wangji was Wei Ying’s, and he had fallen so deeply in love that it no longer mattered.
Thinking about that one 'what if' where Xornoth had made Jimmy, Lizzie, and Pix the heads of the wither and came up with a thought.
Scott manages to convince Jimmy that what he is doing is wrong and he doesn't need to do it or something else flower husbands related causes him to defect.
Meanwhile, Joel finds himself madly in love with Lizzie after the Wither attacks Mezalea. Like, he can't even be mad about it in a way and his love for Lizzie makes him join them once Jimmy defects.
Oh, that's a good thought! If you don't mind, I'm going to take this and run with it for a moment...
You've got Jimmy, Lizzie and Pix just doing their thing. Mezalea is the next target, they go to destroy it up and come face to face with Joel. Except he's not attacking them, he's just staring at Lizzie. He doesn't even chase after them when they leave and Lizzie believes she may have caught a glimpse of madness in his eyes.
Pix gets a glimpse of the future in which it becomes apparent that the King of Mezalea will fall head over heels for Lizzie and plans are made. Lizzie independently goes to visit the king - first during the nights, then during the day, too. The more she visits, the clearer his devotion for her becomes. She's got him wrapped around his finger to the point where his love for her is no longer a secret. Joel's allies try to dissuade him from pursuing a relationship with her, she's clearly using you, but Joel does not heed their warnings. They don't know what true love is. She's powerful and strong and very passionate. He's very aware of their evil actions, but they seem to have spared Mezalea ever since and if others couldn't keep the Wither from destroying their lands, well, that was their problem, not his.
Lizzie, too, realizes she's actually falling in love with him. It would not be a problem, though, so long as Joel chose her and the Wither over her allies.
As for Jimmy, he was facing a different battle, namely with the King of Rivendell. Pretty face. He shouldn't be so distracted by it, but he was. Worst of all, the lies Scott was spewing somehow sounded logical and made sense. Yes, he felt kind of good while underwater. Yes, the cod spoke to him for some reason and he inexplicably hated salmon. Yes, they addressed him not as a villain to be feared but as a ruler returning. And then there were the poppies, the symbol Scott chose. Jimmy denied falling in love. No, of course he didn't like the guy. Why should he like that haughty Elf? Champion of Aeor, no less. Only spoke lies anyway.
And then something happened. In Rivendell, during what was supposed to be a battle between Jimmy and Scott under the statue of Aeor, Scott asked the impostor god for aid. The next moment, Jimmy regained clarity and memories. About everything that happened before the Nether. Jimmy didn't want to believe it was true and denied it for a while, but the more he thought about it, the more it made sense, and he hated it.
The evening he planned to kill Scott once and for all, Pix told him Joel was coming over and he gave Jimmy a scroll, only to be read after he killed Scott. Jimmy made the promise and left. During this conversation with Scott, Jimmy broke down and admitted he couldn't do this anymore. He read the scroll alongside Scott - in Pix's neat handwriting, it basically told him not to return, Joel has taken his place, "when you're reading this, you are officially considered an enemy of the Wither". Jimmy doesn't take this well, but luckily Scott's there for comfort and to help him further.
In the meantime, Joel met up with Lizzie and Pix in the Nether, ready to become a full member of the Wither. He couldn't see Xornoth and was unable to be influenced by them, but that did not matter so long as he was infatuated with Lizzie. He could continue his kingly duties, but was asked to wear a modified Wither uniform to show his loyalty and to declare war on the known world. He had no qualms with this, as he believed nobody would actually dare besiege Mezalea and his own army wasn't attacking anyone yet, either.
It was the best case scenario according to Xornoth. The Wither might have lost Jimmy, who was slipping away from Xornoth and the Wither, but they had gained another wonderful ally in Joel, one who would not have any qualms backstabbing people, to cause chaos and destruction, and all of that without having to be convinced to do so. All it took was a suggestion from Lizzie and he’d set off on himself already. Best case scenario indeed.
Do I play League of Legends? Nope, never have and most likely never will.
Would I still recommend Arcane? Absolutely.
Even if you know nothing of the game, this is a series you can go into blind and keep up with. The dive into politics, the exploration and the complexity behind the characters we follow, the world building—all are handled with skill. The animation is absolutely gorgeous and stunning. I’ve been listening to its soundtrack for literal days.
If you were thinking about watching it? Do it!