More inadvisable late night Untamed fic. I have a lab in the morning......
Based on the personality swap AU @valdrift drew
The thing about Zidian was, it didn't require a particularly strong cultivator to wield it. Not anymore. Generations of Yu cultivators had filled it with all the power it needed to be a devastating force even in the hands of a weak cultivator. What Zidian truly required in a wielder was the finesse and strength of will to only every hit what was aimed at, and a proper temper. The former could be taught, but the latter needed a solid foundation, a soul that was inclined towards thunderous indignation as the only warning for lightning strike fury.
And so, when Yu Ziyuan needed to choose one of her children to inherit her deadliest weapon, she chose Jiang Yanli.
Jiang Cheng had the core to be truly devastating with Zidian, and he would have done well with it, but he was a mischievous boy, far too easy going, and wouldn't know a slight against him if it slapped him in the face. He was quick enough to anger if someone insulted his sister, and indeed Ziyuan had had to mediate several disagreements caused by Jiang Cheng verbally or, on one memorable occasion, physically assaulting Jin Zixuan. Never mind that his sister was more than capable of verbally assaulting Jin Zixuan herself. The rest of the time, anger slid off his back like water off of a lotus leaf. Even at the tender age of nine, Ziyuan could see that her son would never have the temperament necessary to wield Zidian properly. Perhaps in short bursts, if needed, but he would never truly master it. Not like Yanli would.
The eldest child of the Jiang sect held a fury in her that can only have come from her mother. And why not? As the eldest child of a great sect, she should have everything. But the archaic rules her father insisted on enforcing prevented her from inheriting her rightful position as sect heir, instead condemning her to a life of power borrowed from her future husband, in a sect that would never appreciate her talents. It had been the best that Yi Ziyuan had been able to secure for her daughter, and it would never be enough. Jiang Cheng would inherit, and he would flourish as sect leader, Ziyuan was proud to say, but the knowledge that she would never stand in that lofty place would always weigh her daughter down. And her daughter raged under the weight.
And so, a mere two weeks after Fengmian brought that whelp of a street child into their home, Ziyuan started training her daughter in the use of Zidian.
And in the hands of Jiang Yanli, the whip roared.
A week after Jiang Yanli's twelfth birthday, her father brought home a dirty pile of rags. Those dirty rags turned out to be a boy, a quiet, shy boy who spent most of his introduction to the Jiang children hiding behind her father's robes. Even after a warm bath and a hesitantly eaten hot meal, there wasn't much of him. He seemed to be trying to make himself smaller and smaller. If he could have sunk into the floor, Jiang Yanli was sure he would have. Jiang Yanli scoffed, and went to bed that night thinking that he would be run out of the sect in a week.
It didn't take nearly that long. Jiang Cheng barged into her room in the middle of the night, bawling his eyes out. It took Jiang Yanli pinching him on the thigh to shock him out of his tears enough to tell her why he was crying. "I was sad about Princess an' Jasmine an' Love an' I yelled at Wei Ying and now he's go-o-o-one!" And with that, he started crying again.
Jiang Yanli would have left it at that. Wei Ying didn't want to be here. That was clear enough. All her other shidis had been nervous when they'd arrived, but twenty minutes with Jiang Cheng had them forget their nervousness and by the end of the day, they had opened up and were running and laughing with the other disciples. Wei Ying had been in Jiang Cheng's presence for an entire evening and he had still kept himself separate and small. If he didn't want to be a Lotus Pier disciple, Jiang Yanli was very ok with letting him run off.
Her baby brother was crying.
Jiang Yanli was not a comforting person, in general. Too sharp, too quick to anger, incapable of seeing things from other people's perspectives, or at least, incapable of doing so with the ease her brother had. Sometimes an arm wrapped around her brother's shoulders, the one thing she knew worked more than it failed, was enough to stop his tears, but she could tell that in this case, it wouldn't even come close. Which meant she had to remove the source of his tears. So she stood up, dropped her quilt over her brother's head, and said, "Stay here dummy." Then she grabbed a lantern and headed out.
Wei Ying's tracks were easy enough to follow and ended at a hollow under a downed tree's roots. The light of the lantern reflected off Wei Ying's pale face. "What are you doing under there?"
"Ah. Well." It was the first time she had heard his voice. Soft and gentle, like a fall rain. "Jiang Cheng told me to go away."
Wei Ying was too deep for her to reach him. Which meant she needed to convince him to come out. Ugh. "And you listened to him? If you do that he'll get a swelled head. An even more swelled head. A-Cheng says a lot of stuff, and if you listen to everything he says you'll start believing that water ghouls sleep under the docks and lotus pods taste better with the stems still attached."
"No. A-Die wouldn't let ghouls anywhere near the docks, and lotus pods taste the same whether the stem is long or not."
"Oh." Wei Ying fidgeted. "He told me to go away. That if he saw me again, he'd set his dogs on me."
"Dogs he doesn't even have anymore, thanks to you." Wei Ying flinched at her words, and Jiang Yanli winced. Well she'd already started digging this grave. "So he couldn't set them on you if he wanted to. And since he was just in my room crying about scaring you off, I don't think he wants to."
"Yeah. He was just sad cause his dogs are gone. He didn't mean what he said. Now get out here so we can walk back and he can tell you all of this himself."
There was a shuffle. "I hurt my ankle when I was running. That's why I crawled in here."
Jiang Yanli sighed. "Well come out here so I can carry you back, and then a-Cheng can tell you all of this."
There was another shuffle, and then Wei Ying's face appeared between the roots of the tree. Dirty again, like they hadn't just given him a bath. She gave him the lantern to hold and loaded him onto her back.
In the end, Wei Ying didn't have to wait until they got all the way to Lotus Pier to hear Jiang Cheng's apology, because he had followed them, when Jiang Yanli had expressly told him to wait for her! And he'd hurt his knee falling into a ditch. He gave Wei Ying a blinding smile when he saw him and tried to climb out of the ditch in his excitement and then almost hurt himself worse. Which meant Jiang Yanli had to carry both boys home, which meant she was angry enough to burst when she finally got there. As such, instead of heading to the rooms, she went to the kitchens for some late night cooking. Setting things on fire always calmed her down.
She set Jiang Cheng carefully on a chair, then turned around to put Wei Ying on the one next to it. And she washed the dirt off of her hands, set a basin of water and a spare medical kit on the table between the boys, and turned to do some cooking.
In between dry frying spices, blanching pork ribs, and chopping lotus roots, she listened to the boys talk. It started with a hiss as Jiang Cheng wrapped Wei Ying's swollen ankle. Then, "Does she hate me?"
"A-Jie? No. Why would she hate you?"
"She seems mad..."
Jiang Cheng snorted. "That's just Jie. She's always mad. Even when she's happy, she's a little bit angry."
"Oh." More silence, then, "Want me to clean your cut? I'm pretty good at it."
"Ok!" Jiang Yanli looked over just in time to watch Jiang Cheng happily push the cloth into Wei Ying's hands and prop his leg up on Wei Ying's chair so he would have easy access.
For another few minutes, the only sounds were the boiling of the soup, the quiet, indrawn breaths of Jiang Cheng, and the splash of water as Wei Ying rinsed his cloth. He reached for the bandages, but Jiang Cheng pushed the salve towards him. "This first, then bandages. It'll help it heal faster."
Wei Ying put a little of the salve on his fingers, staring at it wonderingly. Then he applied it just as gently as he had cleaned the wound.
Once the bandage was wrapped and secured, Jiang Cheng pulled his leg down, bending the knee to test it. "Wow, you're really good at that! Where did you learn?"
"Ah. Sometimes dogs would attack me if they thought I had food. I had to clean out my injuries very thoroughly or they got infected."
Jiang Yanli paused in ladling her soup. A-Die hadn't said anything about that when he'd taken Jiang Cheng's dogs away. She put the bowls on a tray and carried it to the table. "Eat."
"Yay! Thanks a-Jie!" Jiang Cheng grabbed a bowl and started slurping like the ill mannered cretin he was. Jiang Yanli hid a fond smile.
Wei Ying hesitated, not picking up his spoon until Jiang Yanli put the soup bowl in front of him as hard as she could without spilling any. "I said eat. What, is my soup not good enough for you?" And then she cursed herself, because Wei Ying was doing that making himself smaller thing again. Desperate, she stared at Jiang Cheng until he got the hint, hating herself for having to lean on him like this.
Jiang Cheng just grinned and wrapped an arm around Wei Ying's shoulders. "Jiejie's angry soup is the best. You just don't know that cause you haven't tried it yet." He nudged the bowl closer in an unsubtle hint. When Wei Ying still didn't eat, he pulled back, using his grip on Weo Ying's shoulder to turn him so they were facing each other. "Hey, what's wrong?"
"I just..." Wei Ying's shoulders curled in even more. "I don't want to get used to it. Every time I thought I would get to stay somewhere, it hurt more when I got kicked out."
Jiang Yanli's grip on her spoon tightened. "What do you mean by that?"
Wei Ying shifted uncomfortably. "Well the lady who ran the book store let me sleep on the floor of the shop for a few days once, and she fed me lots of good food, but then someone broke in and kicked me in the dark, and I screamed, and... turned out there had been a bunch of robberies and she just wanted some extra security. She kicked me out once they'd caught the guy. And the guy at the inn let me stay in exchange for helping clean the place up, but then when the party of nobles had been expecting arrived, he kicked me out too. And others. So I don't know why I'm here, but I don't want to get used to it so it'll hurt less when I have to leave."
"No!" Surprisingly, it wasn't Jiang Cheng who shouted. He was still staring slack jawed at Wei Ying. It was Jiang Yanli who stood, indignation flooding through her. "You aren't getting kicked out!"
"That's right! Weren't you listening to a-Die? He said you were going to live here and be our new brother!" Wei Ying still seemed hesitant, so Jiang Cheng added, "That means you have to stay here forever and eat a-Jie's soup and learn cultivation with me, unless you can't in which case you need to learn how to be my second for when I inherit the sect. Those are the rules. The most important being the stay here forever bit."
"You mean it?" Wei Ying looked up at them, still wary, but hoping.
Jiang Yanli pushed the soup closer to him again. "We mean it. I don't cook for people I don't like. Now eat your soup."
And then, for the first time, Wei Ying smiled, and it lit up the room like sunrise breaking over the lake. "Ok!"
And Jiang Yanli felt a blow to the place in her chest where she hid her love for her brother, a blow like something, or someone, making a home there. And she thought, Oh no, and she thought, Oh we are definitely keeping him, and she thought I will protect him forever.
She looked over at her baby brother - one of her baby brothers, she thought with a thrill of... something - and saw the exact same sentiment on his face.
Jiang Yanli finished eating her soup and then she took her brothers' bowls to the sink for washing in the morning. And then, she took her brothers, new and old, to their room for bed.
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Jiang Cheng's daughter
Request by anonymous: I love you so much. Can I ask a Jiang Cheng/Lan Xichen daughter!reader, you can choose either one, thanks 😊
Word Count: 544 words
A/n Hope you like it
"Shut it Jin Ling!' You spoke as you walked towards your father with the younger one following you. Once you reached him, you just stood beside him, staring ahead of you.
"Who are they again?" You asked, leaning closer to your father, who gave you an annoyed look before calmly explaining who everyone was. You just nodded along, the words floating through your head as you tried to remember everything. But you gave up when you didn't even remember the first name or position.
"Behave." Your dad spoke and you looked up at him.
"And you? You're worse than me." You sassed him back, sticking out your tongue. He just shook his head, a small smile on his face as he watched you saunter off once again to join the people your age.
Most of the party went by smoothly and it soon ended with your father having to drag Huaisang behind him while you awkwardly walked behind them, avoiding the stares from other who were not yet used to the scene. Your uncle was a special one that's for sure... Then again, so was everyone in your fathers' friend group and so was your friend group (the juniors).
Huaisang stayed at yours, something you didn't mind since it meant that you could paint with him again. That being said, it would be impossible since he was now completely gone. You sat in the room as your father tried to put him on the bed in the corner, which was proven difficult as Huaisang tried to cling onto him desperately. After a few minutes, you got up and grabbed Huaisang's arm.
"Dad, let me." You said to your father as you grabbed Huaisang's hands before pushing him down to the bed. Huaisang whined, but laid his head down. The moment his head touched the pillow, he was gone and snoring slightly.
"You have magic, I'm sure." Your dad spoke and you laughed, covering your uncle with a blanket before joining your father at the table. You grabbed some tea and drank it quickly before looking at your father.
"Don't you dare drink more. You're only allowed to drink yourself to death when I'm married." You said as you drank a second cup of tea before filling yours and your fathers again.
"Until you're married? I have to wait for another hundred years?" He spoke and you looked up from your cup, giving him a glare. He just gave you a smirk before drinking his tea. You rolled your eyes and drank from your own cup before looking at him again. You then yawned, covering your face awkwardly as your eyes connected with his.
"Go to sleep." He said and you pouted, but got up anyway before walking around the table and hanging your arms across of his shoulders.
"Carry me." And he did, carrying you on his back as you slowly fell asleep on his back. When he reached your room, you were fully asleep and clinging to his arm as he laid you down on the bed. After trying to get you to release his arm, he gave up and laid beside you before smiling down at you as he noticed the smile on your face. Then he closed his own eyes, protectively wrapping one of his arms around you before sleeping comfortably.
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