You know those "jokes" that get very very lost in translation unfortunately? This is one such instance within chapter 75 with the issue of the "Lan" character which phonetically sounds the same but, can mean "Orchid" 兰 and "Blue, lit indigo" 蓝.
The message is not only because of the phonetics, but due to both "Lans" and what they represent literally in the context of what they mean in Chinese symbolism and the small nudge to Wei Wuxian's ever present infatuation with Lan Wangji.
Orchids in Chinese are known as the flowers of scholars, confucians, who taught dao as the pinnacle ethics and morals. So, it is used in a large amount of traditional art as Confucius compared it's likeness to what a perfect, noble, refined, cultured and virtuous man should be. Beautiful but understated, was the ideal of Confucian beauty of men. It is also a popular addition at weddings as being set in vases means unity. The Lan clan is the one notorious for the beauty within their sect and shifts into the subtle call into their romantic inclinations under their refinement.
Indigo blue as a color meaning represents integrity, power, fair justice and surprisingly, deep devotion. The Lan Clan was first and foremost built upon the love of their ancestor for his spouse. And, they are the most traditional in their practices of Confucianism methods out of the other sects.
Ironically, when Wei Wuxian calls for the courtesy name of "Rulan" (roughly translating as To Be As AnOrchid), he had just seen off Lan Wangji who he brooded over possibly never seeing again, and who was the one to let him know of Jiang Yanli's marriage. He has always viewed Lan Wangji as someone who was respected and virtuous, someone on the opposite spectrum of what he thinks of himself.
There's the layer of Wei Wuxian reminiscing of Jiang Yanli's wedding, being told he's not the one marrying and Jiang Cheng's suspicions of the name itself as he notes, the Jiangs and Jins are not known for their delicate refinement.
But, he catches on to Wei Wuxian's exultations of the idea of Lan ideals, more so of Lan Wangji's, that Wei Wuxian used to pick on. Only to suddenly call those same gripes "A good name to go by".
TL:DR; Wei Wuxian's own pining is a joke that even Jiang Cheng has to convince himself doesn't mean what he thinks it means out of sheer denial.
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I’m late but here’s my gift for @dianne-dejarjayes-art for @mdzsgiftexchange
(It’s also late for what’s set in the story but we all can’t be on time now can we?)
Thank you to the mods for planning this event, I had fun (despite all the delays lol) and thanks to @maraichh for beta-ing for me
Surprise! - A WangXian fic
“WangJi, can you do me a favor?” Lan XiChen called Lan Wangji into the main hall. A smile was across his face and his hands clasped his back. As expected of the one dubbed as Hanguang-jun, he nodded. “I received a request. It seems that a small village south of CaiYi town has a small ghost problem that I want you to attend to.”
“Mn.” Lan WangJi nodded and turned to leave, his light blue robes swirling behind him as he walked.
“Take Wei-gongzi with you.” WangJi paused in his step as he reached the exit to the main hall. He turned to face his brother. “Why are you surprised, WangJi? I can’t let you go on a trip without your husband.” The tips of his ears turned cherry red. He left the main hall of the Cloud Recesses without another glance at his cheery brother.
His feet brought him to the front of his own courtyard where a figure wearing black and red instead of the Gusu clan’s white and blue was playing with the rabbits huddling in a corner. “Lan Zhan!” Wei WuXian waved at him from a distance. He hopped onto his feet but kept a rabbit nestled in his arms as he ran towards WangJi. WuXian handed the rabbit over to the latter and a smile wiggled it’s way onto his lips as he rocked back and forth on his heels. “What did your brother ask you to do?”
“Night-hunt.” WuXian vigorously nodded, urging the other to say more but when he didn’t, he resorted to other tactics.
“Where are you going? Can I come along? Will the juniors join you?” He jumped up, wrapped his hands around WangJi’s shoulders and nuzzled his head into the crook of the other’s neck. “Please tell me Wangji-xiong…” His words tickled against the other’s ears.
“South of CaiYi town, you can come along.”
“Really?” WuXian pulled himself closer to WangJi’s jade-like face. “I can go?” He wrapped his legs around the other’s waist.
“Yay!” He leaned forward and planted a small kiss on the corner of the other’s lips. “When are we leaving?”
“Today.” WangJi walked towards the entrance of his bedroom. The rabbit in his hands stayed still as he returned to the small group that had huddled around his feet. “Are you getting off?” He turned to face WuXian who was still tightly wrapped around himself even as he reached the innermost parts of his bedroom.
“Do I have to?” He was given a mischievous look by the person on his back. “I won’t.” WuXian held onto WangJi’s shoulders and rocked back and forth yet his actions barely moved the ever stoic Hanguang-jun. “Being on Lan-erge’s back is the best.” He was about to say more until he was yanked off and into the awaiting wooden bed. WangJi planted a firm kiss on the other’s lips then made his way to WuXian’s neck. “Stop! Stop! Stop! Hanguang-jun! We need to go somewhere later.” He pushed against WangJi’s chest which gave him two inches of headroom for a minute. “I can’t breathe.” His arms went limp as he was pushed against the bed and peppered with tens of kisses all over his lip and neck.
One sore Wei WuXian later and they were on Bichen. WuXian gingerly held onto WangJi’s waist as they flew over CaiYi town. “Lan Zhan was there really a need to torture me like that? Everywhere is sore now. How am I supposed to walk later?”
“No need. I’ll carry you.” WangJi glanced at WuXian who turned red and moved his gaze to the view beneath them. “No good?”
“I’m a grown man y’know. I can walk on my own.” WangJi’s eyes were a little downcast when WuXian said these words. “Don’t be upset, WangJi-xiong, I just want to save myself a little bit of face, alright?”
“Lan Zhan,” WuXian fawned, “don’t be mad at me anymore. We can do what you want when we get back.” He caressed WangJi’s back, feeling the scars beneath his robes. WuXian rested his head against the taller’s back. He closed his eyes and when he opened them again, Bichen was hovering over the ground at a level that could be jumped off from safely. “Are we stopping here?”
WangJi gracefully hopped off Bichen and reached a hand out to WuXian. The latter took his hand and was pulled into the former’s arms. Bichen flew back into its sheath as its owner walked into the woods with his squirming husband in his arms. “Lan Zhan! Put me down! I can walk!”
“No.” WangJi tightened his grip around WuXian’s shoulders and knees. Overhead light was dimming as the sun began to set into the west.
“Ah that’s it I really have no more face to spare.” WuXian stopped squirming and surrendered to laying in WangJi’s arms like a ragdoll. “Do whatever you want, Lan-erge. I give up.” His ears were tipped with pink.
“Hanguang-jun?” WangJi raised his head at the voice and WuXian peeked outside of his sleeves.
“SiZhui?” WuXian tried to scramble out of WangJi’s arms but the latter’s grip was tight around his body. “What are you doing here?” His eyes looked behind the junior and spotted a small group of people behind him. SiZhui noticed his gaze and shifted to block the opening behind him.
“The sect leader sent us here to deal with some ghosts. We were just finishing up.” SiZhui approached the pair but left a respectable distance between them. “Wei-gonzi, why is Hanguang-jun carrying you?”
“How am I supposed to know? Ask him yourself.” WuXian crossed his arms across his chest and turned his face away from SiZhui without remembering that he would be facing WangJi’s chest if he did so.
“His wai--” WuXian’s eyes widened as he scrambled around in WangJi’s arms and planted a kiss on the latter’s lips.
“Nevermind, don’t ask him.” He kept a hand over WangJi’s lips while he faced SiZhui. “Lan Zhan’s a bit tired from traveling.” WuXian eyed the area behind the junior carefully. A group of people of all ages were standing there behind a row of trees. They were gesturing ‘no’ with their hands and eying WuXian while shaking their heads. “If you guys have it covered over here, Lan Zhan and I will be around CaiYi town.”
“Yes, Wei-gongzi. We can meet up there once we finish.”
“Let’s go, Lan Zhan.” WuXian let go of WangJi’s lips and rested his hand onto the other’s shoulder. “They can handle it, the resentful energy here isn’t that strong.”
“Alright.” WangJi unsheathed Bichen and stepped onto the sword with WuXian still in his arms.
“Good luck, SiZhui!” He bid the junior goodbye as they rose several feet into the air and above the treetops. “WangJi-xiong, can you put me down now? Aren’t your arms tired?”
“Not tired.” WangJi shifted his hold. “Where do you want to go?”
“Anywhere, just put me down first.” WuXian rolled around in the taller’s arms. WangJi finally gave in and let WuXian stand on the sword on his own two feet. “Thank you.” He held onto WangJi’s shoulder as he balanced his weight on the blade of the sword. “Lan Zhan, let’s have a small snack?” He clasped his hands behind his back and showed WangJi a smile.
They landed near the river running in the middle of the CaiYi town. Bichen flew back into its sheath as the pair walked down the streets. CaiYi town was as busy as ever. Mothers were hanging out laundry on the sides of the streets while their children were running around together with toys in hand. There were people rowing boats on the river, selling fish and similar produce. Along the riverbank were people selling loquats and even an occasional seller of the world renowned Emperor’s Smile.
WuXian snagged a jar of wine and WangJi threw the seller a coin as the former started drinking straight out of the jar. He let out a refreshed gasp of air. “Lan Zhan, want some?” He turned on his heel, shook the jar of wine in front of WangJi’s face while he continued to walk backwards. “On second thought, I don’t want to show other people Lan Zhan’s drunken side.” He turned back and took another swig from the jar.
Near the entrance of the Cloud Recesses was a quaint shop where WuXian frequented during his stay at the Gusu Sect’s territory before WangJi started cooking him the spice-filled dishes he desired. He rarely visited the shop after that since he was always with his husband who could cook amazing meals for him.
He knocked on the support outside the shop and not an incense stick later, the shopkeeper came rushing outside. “Wei-gonzi, Hanguang-jun.” She clasped her hands in front of her and bowed to the two world-renowned cultivators. “What can I do for you?”
“A few snacks for the both of us please.” WuXian gestured to himself and the one next to him. “We won’t be staying long.” He said casually to the shopkeeper who busied herself with preparing snacks behind the counter.
“How do you know?”
“Hm? What was that, Lan Zhan?”
“Hanguang-jun!” SiZhui’s voice came from behind them. He quickly bowed towards his seniors. His breaths were sprattic and uneven as if he ran all the way here.
“What’s wrong? What happened?” WuXian grabbed SiZhui’s shoulders and held the junior steady. “Take a deep breath and explain.” He leaned closer to SiZhui and whispered into the latter’s ear. “Everything is ready?” WuXian felt the nod of the one in his arms. A smile wiggled onto his face within the space unseen by WangJi. When he pulled away, his face had a serious look on it. He turned to WangJi. “We should hurry, the others could be in danger.” He glanced at SiZhui, his gaze steady. “SiZhui lead the way.”
“Yes, please follow me Wei-gongzi, Hanguang-jun.” Before WangJi summoned Bichen, he threw a coin onto the table.
They got onto their swords, WuXian and WangJi sharing the narrow blade that was Bichen. They flew over Caiyi town and headed south to the forest where they bumped into SiZhui earlier. The sun was nearer to the horizon so the forest was darker. The moon was starting to rise from the other side. SiZhui led them deeper into the forest and the dim lighting became even dimmer.
“Be careful.” WangJi wrapped his arm across WuXian’s shoulders. “There’s something up ahead.”
“You can feel it?”
“That’s good.” WuXian whispered under his breath. “Lan Zhan, what do you think is here?” He looked straight ahead. “The resentful energy is pretty strong.”
“We’re here.” A mischievous smile covered WuXian’s face. He broke free from WangJi’s grip and jumped onto the other’s back. He wrapped his legs around WangJi’s waist and his hand covered his eyes.
“WangJi-xiong don’t shake me off or I might hit my head, alright?” He turned to SiZhui who was staring at him with wide eyes. “Well?” he glanced around the forest which was slowly lighting up and filled with more people, juniors and sect leaders alike.
“Happy birthday, er-ge.”
WangJi’s ears became tipped with red but before he could recover, WuXian removed his hands and rested them, along with his head, on WangJi’s shoulders. “Happy birthday, Hanguang-jun.” Juniors, fellow cultivators greeted the birthday boy in chorus.
Lan XiChen came from the side. “Happy Birthday, WangJi.” Behind the cultivators present were tables filled with presents and platters of cuisine from all over.
“Thank you.” WangJi bowed slightly. His silent voice filled the clearing and echoed through the trees. A tiny smile was visible on his jade-like face. He shifted his arms to hold WuXian so that the latter was sitting on his right arm.
“Eek, Lan Zhan what are you doing?” WuXian grabbed onto WangJi’s neck as he was shifted around. His cheeks flushed as he was pressed closer to WangJi’s steadily beating heart. After his initial shock, WuXian snuggled closer to his husband’s chest.
People started separating into groups, sect leaders chatted with sect leaders and the juniors formed a group near the center of the clearing. The only people who stayed where they were at the start were WuXian and WangJi.
“Sorry for not greeting you earlier, Lan Zhan.” WuXian gently tugged on the lapels of WangJi’s robes. “I wanted to give you a gift this year so I asked SiZhui and the rest to help me prepare this. Do you like it?”
“Mn” WangJi nodded slightly and dipped his head lower to reach WuXian’s lips.
“Ahem.” Lan XiChen loudly cleared his throat before his brother could reach his goal. “There are juniors here, WangJi.”
“Brother.” He pulled back and his posture was straight as a pole was more. “Please excuse us.” He turned on his heel and within the span of five minutes, he and WuXian were in his room at the Cloud Recesses.
“Lan Zhan, what are yo--” WangJi’s lips met WuXian’s and his ears turned red as he continued to pepper the other with kisses.
“Receiving my gift.”
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