So I am finally (!) forcing myself to read the whole of the MDZS novel, which I haven’t done so far because I dislike the language it’s written in (and I wonder whether it’s the issue of the translation or the original, but that’s a subject for another post) and I stumbled upon this sentence: “For example, a living tree was tainted with the energy of books, cultivated into a conscious being, and causes mischief, it would be a ‘yao’.” And I kind of read the end of this sentence as “it would be A-Yao”, so now I’m stuck with this idea of JGY being a mischief-raising dryad and LX being sent to night-hunt him… and things not ending as planned, of course. Please someone write or I’ll have to do it myself :).
-Lan Xichen’s cultivation being sealed would have been very scary and very traumatic for him
-It would also have given him a very visceral sense of the danger Jin Guangyao had spent his entire life in, with no golden core and then a weaker one, and I think he would have been very aware of that.
And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my rope
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat
‘Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, for the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me
Morning came with a warm presence pressed to Xichen’s front. Before she opened her eyes she knew; she was curled around A-Yao, her arms wrapped around her holding her close. The other woman was so still that she must still be asleep, and Xichen was content to leave it that way. If she didn’t, then they might have to confront the night before sooner, and right now she wanted to savor what was, to say in the cramped room of the tiny inn they’d sheltered from the snow in, and pretend that she wasn’t a married woman. Even if it was only in name, even with her and A-Su’s agreement never to touch each other or even share a bed, it was so strange to share this one with his sister. Not a betrayal, exactly but, strange. Had she seduced A-Yao? Maybe. She was the one who’d spoken first, the one who’d said,
“I love you,” even if A-Yao had kissed her first and taken off Xichen’s dress.
It wasn’t as difficult, physically, as she’d expected, even if neither of them knew exactly what to do. Just being close was so much, enough and more than enough to drive away almost everything else. Almost. There was still a sliver of sadness, of regret in A-Yao’s eyes, even if most of it had gone away with Xichen’s kisses. The letter from Hubei addressed to Jin furen sat discarded somewhere across the room, and after a while, A-Yao’s eyes had no longer flicked toward it nervously. Xichen had only asked once; she didn’t know anyone who lived there, after all. A-Yao had just shrugged.
“I don’t know. I haven’t been there in years, the only person I knew is gone.”
Xichen had needed to banish the thought from her mind to continue. But A-Yao’s perfect face in the low light, even with those sad eyes, made it easy. All she wanted on this earth was to make this woman happy. So she had.
“Stop living in the past”, she’d said as she took the pins from A-Yao’s hair and unraveled the swallow’s tail braid, watching the loose black hair spill over her shoulders. “I’m here, now.”
Now Xichen sighed into A-Yao’s hair as she felt her stir. The woman’s voice was quiet and strangely small when she murmured,
“Xichen… stay with me?”
“I will,” Xichen answered thoughtlessly. “A-Yao, I live with you.” She felt a nod.
“You live with me,” she echoed in the oddly empty way she spoke sometimes, almost dreamy, “You won’t leave Jinlintai.”
Xichen froze. In her mind’s eye she saw a woman — a thing that had been a woman once — in white, black hair hanging down in her face, leaning over her and Wangji where they cowered behind Xichen’s bed.
“What?” she asked, her mouth suddenly dry.
Years and years vanished, she was a child again and her dead mother whispered to her, frigid, starved fingers curled around her shoulder.
“Jinlintai,” A-Yao repeated. “That’s what people call the manor, because of the color. Why?”
Xichen swallowed down the mix of horror and confusion that flooded her body, and tried to keep herself from shaking.
“Nothing,” she said. “It’s nothing.”
Jiang cheng every time wangxian have their moment:
This goes for nie mingjue when xiyao was having their lil moment RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM TOO 😭