The Untamed/MDZS - or; how to be completely emotionally compromised by the extremely basic concept of soup.
In other news, this rewatch is going greaaaaat. 😭😭😭😭😭
Having just finished The Untamed, let me just say: as an oldest sibling, I’ve never felt more strongly about the validity of a character than I have about Jiang Cheng. Iconic ace king, purple grape man, grumpy uncle extraordinaire. Also youngest sect leader of his generation, hard-bitten survivor, loyal to his own down to his bones. Jiang Cheng is technically a youngest sibling and a baby brother, yes. He definitely acts like it (bastard baby brother behavior on main, always, especially when he has to watch Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji fucking flirting! Right in front of him!). But he’s also given all the burdens of being an older sibling with none of the benefits and all of the oppression.
Listen. I’m an oldest sibling in an Asian family. I’m responsible for my younger siblings, I love them, and I absolutely would kill anyone who hurt them. And YET, let me tell you, if my younger sibling decided to be indirectly responsible for the destruction of my family and home (this point is still kind of forgivable because you know, indirect) and THEN decided to break their oath to me, directly put our entire sect and what’s left of our family in danger, get our remaining sibling killed, and run off to save a group of strangers (ok, Wen Qing and Ning are not strangers, but they helped the Jiangs for their own reasons and not because they were extracting a debt) in the name of an abstract justice, sjw-style…that would be unforgivable, because it’s all on purpose. I’d disown my sibling at the very least. At that point, if I were to be staring down at them over a cliff, their life in my hands, yeah. I might be mad enough to swing my sword down and shake them loose in my rage and grief.
WWX chose to abandon JC, their family, their people, and to endanger them with his selfish ass actions, which remain selfish even though under a universal-ethics framework, his actions might have been objectively right. I don’t give a shit how right he is, I give a shit how he decides that being right is more important than keeping what’s left of his family and sect SAFE. I need people to understand the sheer magnitude of WWX's betrayal of JC.
WWX’s not a bad person. He has an excellent heart, but as another post about him somewhere has said, all of his best features are, tragically, also his worst flaws. He really does have a hero complex the size of the moon. He’s a crusading sjw who is just–unbearably, utterly, completely selfish even as he crusades for people and things with his intentions in (mostly) the right place. And yeah, maybe things with the Wens would have gone down differently if he hadn’t spent 3 months getting tortured in the wastes. But I would argue that that selfishness, that almost pathological need to be right in whatever sense he decides rightness is, is totally already present before his fall and in fact was a huge part of his character. See his interactions with Lan Qiren at Lan summer camp, or his interactions with JC before everything goes to shit, or his interactions with Jiang Fengmian and Madame Yu. He’s a righteous little smartass. And in some ways that’s good. Shaking the boat a bit (and also shaking up Lan Qiren's stick-in-the-mud vibe; we love him, but the dude needs to take a sip of some Emperor’s Smile, am I right) can be good. Not caring what others think can be good. But it’s NOT GOOD when he leaves Jiang Cheng and the Jiang Sect basically holding the bag and paying the cost for WWX’s actions. JC is forced to shoulder burdens on his own that he should never have had to take on as a direct result of WWX abandoning him.
So that scene in Guanyin Temple just…fucking punches me in the gut. There’s so much care, love, hurt, grief, anger. I’ve been gorging myself on reconciliation fics basically since I finished the series. But as much as I want them to reconcile, I also think that the ending as shown in the show is…legitimate and fine, even cosmically fair. They both have every right to walk away, to finally leave everything between them in a past life, and to start healing for real.
I DID IT. I finally got to ep 46 and got to see in real time both Jiang Cheng and LWJ in tears for different reasons when they’re told about the golden core transfer. Jiang Cheng screams, “YOU’RE LYING!” with hot tears in his eyes because how the fuck else are you supposed to react when you learn your brother had non-consensual surgery performed on you?
Jiang Wanyin: *trips Jin Zixuan*
Jiang Yanli: Why did you do that??
Jiang Wanyin, nodding: You’re right. I should have waited until we were near the Cold Springs.
Wei Wuxian, from the other room: Or until we reached a very steep hill!
Mo Dao Zu Shi Q ✧ episode 11 ✧ Yunmeng siblings
Jiang Yanli deserved to give her brothers a noogie.
i made this instead of working on the angsty gifset i had planned
Hi! Hope you enjoy this story!
It had been a stressful day at work for Jiang Yanli. You see, she was an elementary school teacher and dealing with a class of twenty students all at the age of five was exhausting. Most of the time the students were respectful, they paid attention in class, they didn’t make a lot of noises, they did as they were told, but for some reason, that day was just a bad day for everyone. Everyone seemed to be in a bad mood and Jiang Yanli had to break up at least three different fights on the playground during recess. During lunchtime, someone decided to start a food fight and that was an absolute nightmare to stop because most of the teachers got pelted with food, including Jiang Yanli. But being the absolute sweetheart that she was, she didn’t get angry and just calmly cleaned herself before asking the children to stop throwing food around. After lunch, it was time for nap time, but none of the students wanted to take a nap, which was a bit of problem for Jiang Yanli, who actually wanted some peace and quiet. However, she wasn’t going to try and fight with the students to try and get them to take naps, so she decided to let them use their naptime as playtime while she stepped out to take a breather. After taking a breather, she went back inside to work on the student’s journals, checking them to make sure that they were filled out correctly before she gave them a sticker and signed off on the page for the day. Once playtime was over, she quickly got started on the final lesson for the day because she wasn’t sure how much attention the students would give her. Thankfully they were a bit more respectful that afternoon after playtime and actually gave her their attention so that she could actually teach.
After school, Jiang Yanli headed straight home, heading straight to her room, not even bothering to say hello to her two brothers, Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng, who looked at each other in shock. Something was definitely wrong if she didn’t even bother to greet them, so they both stood up from the couch and walked over to her bedroom, Jiang Cheng knocking on the door.
“Jie? Jie, we’re coming in” he called before he opened the door, he and Wei Wuxian walking inside. When they entered, they found Jiang Yanli lying face down on her bed, her shoulders shaking slightly. Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng’s eyes widened and they quickly walked over to her, both of them sitting on either side of her.
“Shijie, what happened? Are you okay?” Wei Wuxian asked, concern in his voice. Jiang Yanli let out a sniffle as she rolled over, flopping on her back as she let out a heavy, shuddery breath.
“Today was a bad day at work” she replied. Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian snarled.
“Did that fucking peacock do something?!” Jiang Cheng snarled. Jiang Yanli shook her head.
“No…Zixuan actually…actually comforted me” she replied.
When Jiang Yanli stepped out to take a breather, she walked over to the bench outside her classroom and sat down, letting out a shuddering breath as she felt tears fill her eyes. As she stared at the ground, she felt the tears drip from her eyes and before she knew it, she was softly sobbing outside her classroom.
“A-Li?” a surprised voice called out, making Jiang Yanli lift her head to see third grade teacher and fiancé Jin Zixuan quickly walking towards her. He then knelt before her and took her hands, looking into her eyes.
“What happened? Are you okay?” he asked. Jiang Yanli sniffled.
“I’m fine…I’m just having have a bad day” she replied. Jin Zixuan frowned as he looked her up and down before he reached out and gently touched her dress.
“It’s sticky…why is it sticky?” he asked, looking up at her. Jiang Yanli sniffled and wiped her eyes.
“There was a food fight in the cafeteria today…I got hit” she explained. Jin Zixuan’s eyes widened and he quickly stood up, helping Jiang Yanli up as well.
“Um…A-Xuan, what are we—” she started when Jin Zixuan pulled her away, leading her back up to his classroom, which was empty due to the fact that his class in P.E. at the moment.
“Stay right there” Jin Zixuan instructed as he walked over to the cabinet that was behind his desk and opened it up, pulling out a black garment bag. He then walked back over to Jiang Yanli and held out the bag.
“Here. A change of clothes” he stated. Jiang Yanli looked at him in shock before she took the bag and dipped her head before she turned and headed to the bathroom that was near his bathroom, quickly changing before heading back into Jin Zixuan’s classroom. She then spun around, showing Jin Zixuan what she looked like in the change of clothes before she looked at him.
“How did you…” she started when Jin Zixuan smiled and blushed.
“I figured that it would be pragmatic to keep a change of clothes in my office, just in case something were to happen, like today. You don’t mind, do you?” he asked. Jiang Yanli smiled and shook her head before she rushed forward and kissed Jin Zixuan on the lips, leaving him stunned. She then stepped back and giggled before she dipped her head.
“Thank you. But I have to return to my class now. “Nap time” is almost over” she bid before she turned and walked out of his classroom, taking the garment bag with her. Jin Zixuan stood there in shock before he blushed bright red, causing him to rush back to his desk to calm down before his class got back from art.
After hearing the story, Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian huffed.
“Huh, so the peacock isn’t as useless as we thought” Wei Wuxian mused. Jiang Yanli looked over at him and gently smacked his knee before she let out a sigh and a yawn.
“I’m so exhausted I don’t feel tired anymore” she murmured. Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian looked at her before they smiled.
“We’ll make dinner tonight, Jie. Don’t worry” Jiang Cheng assured before he and Wei Wuxian stood up and headed out of her bedroom to make dinner. Jiang Yanli watched them leave and paused, wondering if she should go after them, before she flopped back onto her bed and shook her head.
“They’re adults, they know how to cook” she murmured before she shut her eyes, hoping to sleep for a little bit.
Two and a half hours later, there was a knock on Jiang Yanli’s door before Wei Wuxian poked his head in.
“Shijie. Dinner’s ready” he called out softly. Jiang Yanli let out a yawn before she pushed herself to her feet and shuffled out of her bedroom, walking over to the dinner table, where Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian made a lovely spread of lotus root and rib soup, rice, Sichuan dry fried green beans, fried cabbage, choy sum with garlic sauce, and tea. Jiang Yanli’s eyes widened and she looked at her brothers in shock.
“You made all this?” she whispered. Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian grinned.
“You’re not the only ones in the family who can cook, Jie. And this is the one thing we actually agree on, so it’s a nice bonding time for us. It also gave you some time to rest, since we know that dealing with kindergarteners can be a pain in the ass sometimes” Wei Wuxian stated. Jiang Yanli huffed and shook her head.
“They’re just children, A-Xian. Children can be unruly” she murmured as she sat down; Jiang Cheng pouring her a cup of tea.
“Good thing A-Cheng and I don’t have to deal with children of that age” Wei Wuxian mused. He and Jiang Cheng were both college professors; Jiang Cheng taught physics while Wei Wuxian taught chemistry.
“Amen to that” Jiang Cheng agreed, raising his teacup in a toast. Jiang Yanli laughed as did Wei Wuxian, before they dug into their meal; the three siblings laughing and enjoying each other’s company. As she ate and laughed with Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng, Jiang Yanli felt her exhaustion leaving her body and she was grateful to have two wonderful brothers who could lift her up and make her bad day end as a good one.
Autistic Jiang Cheng?
— don’t forget shījiě is still waiting for us to find her.
(pocket sized version of this)
Step One, You Say We Need to Talk
“Enough! Shut up or I will do it for you.” Wei Wuxian didn’t even have to shout. Jiang Cheng took one look at his face and shut up. He had seen this expression on Wei Wuxian before—only when the disciples did something too unforgiving. He had admired how Wei Wuxian could get them under control with a single look. It was the same look he aimed at Jiang Cheng now.
“I have heard enough of your nonsense. What is your problem with Lan Zhan anyway? Don’t like that he took your pretty little toy’s attention off of you?”
Jiang Cheng opened his mouth and Wei Wuxian shut him up again, “Not a word. All our lives, I have heard what you have to say and now you will hear what I have to say. I am a person, Jiang Cheng. A person with real feelings. A person who could get hurt just as easily as the next one. You have talked endlessly about the debt I owe you, the promises I broke, the hurt I caused. But have you ever thought of the hurt you caused, Jiang Cheng?”
“Do you have any idea what it was for me to grow up there? I was the charity case. A servant’s son. Everyone pitied me. Every. Single. One. Madam Yu reminded me every damned day of my life that I owed my life to the Jiang sect. That I would have died a street rat if not for their charity. Imagine the kind of pressure that puts on a young boy. You are familiar with it, aren’t you? Being the sect heir, you’ve experienced similar pressure. Now, in my case, I was even more afraid that if I didn’t prove myself worthy, I would be kicked out again to wander the streets. What would I do then? Fight with even more street dogs? Starve some more? Die a horrifying death because I had no one to care whether I lived or not? I didn’t just have to show everyone that I was worth Yunmeng Jiang’s charity, I’ve also had to do that in a way that I didn’t outshine you. I couldn’t be better than the sect heir, right? Are you aware every time I forgot and showed you up one way or another, Madam Yu would come to my room and beat me until I bled? No?”
Jiang Cheng’s wide eyes told him he hadn’t known.
“You never noticed me flinching or slowing down, did you? Shijie did. She used to put salve on my back. Sect Leader Jiang always expected me to shine so bright that the Jiang name would spread far and wide. Madam Yu wanted me to never dare step out from the shadow of her own son, the sect heir. Do you see the problem? I tried to please both and I couldn’t. I always ended up either disappointing Sect Leader Jiang or angering Madam Yu. She used to tell me that my only worth was in protecting you. Nothing more. Nothing less. I believed her.”
“Then there was you. You love me. I know you do. But Jiang Cheng, your words…sometimes they hurt so deep that I’d prefer that you actually hit me. I’ve let it happen for a long while, but I can’t anymore. You are not a child I have to shield. You always expected me to be there, like it was granted that I would be. Have you ever asked me if I actually wanted that? You love me, but you resent me as well. I am aware, Jiang Cheng. For all I play the fool, I’m not really one. You resent me because you think I am better than you and that makes you weak. My cultivation might have been stronger, but you, you were the one people could depend on. How did you never see that? I am irresponsible, silly, I do what I please with no thought to the consequences. If you were like me, that would have been what made you weak, Jiang Cheng. You resent me for causing problems between your parents. You resent me because you believe your father loved me more than he loved you. But none of it was my choice. I didn't make them fight over me. I didn't ask Sect Leader Jiang to put me over you. They were the adults. I was the child. How could I have changed any of that? The only thing I could do was downplay myself, which I did constantly because I didn’t want you to hate me. And you didn’t, and I was so glad. But as we grew older, it all became a competition for you too. Even a small mistake from my side, and you would go off for hours. You would go on and on and on about how much of a disgrace I am. My destiny was to live in your shadow, be your subordinate, and help you be the leader you wanted to be. Every time I made a mistake, you got an opportunity to remind both of us of that fact. The funny thing is, you don’t even do it consciously. But you grew up hearing the same things I did and I don’t blame you for believing them just like I did. I know you don’t mean half of it Jiang Cheng, but the other half is the resentment you try so hard to hide from me. I know that. I understand that. Even so, it is really really hard to hear it every day from you too and not believe at least some of it. The words you say in anger, they are sharper than Sandu and wounds deeper than Zidian. You have taken me for granted for so long that you don’t even see me as an individual person anymore. So what if I left Lotus Pier? What if I liked Lan Zhan? I am not a thing for you to own, Jiang Cheng. Remember how jealous you were of Lan Zhan? You’ve never liked me getting closer to someone else. Always wanted me bound to you. You want me to always put you first. I can’t, Jiang Cheng. I tried, but I can’t. I can’t rip myself apart to please you anymore. There is not even enough of me left to do that.”
Read the entire chapter here.
here’s my yunmeng siblings hot take of the day jiang yanli will swoon to her little brothers about her crushes and they’re both like EW JIEJIE GROSS FEEEEELINGSSSS, wei wuxian will ask jiang yanli for Love Advice but would rather die than actually tell her anything about his love life, he will go on and on and on and on and ON to jiang cheng about his crushes and specifically one lan wangji no matter how much jiang cheng does not want him to, jiang cheng will try to talk to jiang yanli about crushy things but as his older sister its her job to embarrass him about it, and jiang cheng talked about a crush one (1) time with wei wuxian and promptly regretted it for the rest of his life
uuuuuuuh icarus the crane wives yunmeng siblings song
bi yunmeng siblings 🥰♥️💙💜
Scents of Love Series
Wei Ying never really knew what to think of his younger brother. The difference in between their ages was barely as noticeable as their personalities.
They had always been so different.
But to Wei Ying, Jiang Cheng always had the lingering scent of sun dried lotus pods. Maybe it was because Wei Ying can’t forget how much Jiang Cheng used to eat those snacks. Or how often their childish fights and quarrels had been over the last pod. But Jiang Cheng smelled like the crisp and warm scent of sun dried lotus seeds. They’re not as fragrant at first, a very light scent that only someone who was really looking for it would find.
But with a single bite, the seed would crunch and break. It was the taste of summer. Of nights spent laughing over brimming cups of liquor. Of night hunts and archery practices and various tests of skills. Of sitting in a dark of a bedroom and talking about their dreams and fears.
Wei Ying thought that he would fight over lotus pods with Jiang Cheng forever.
He wished that he did.
Wei Ying clutches Chengqin in his hand. He doesn’t have to look over at his brother to hear the Zidian crackle like a flame in his hand.
“Let’s duel. I can’t leave you alone here, unless I come out with something to show for it”
Wei Ying realizes for the first time that Jiang Cheng’s voice had aged since the last time they had spoken to each other. Why did he sound so much older, lonelier?
The Burial Grounds, sounds as fitting as the name of a place can be, to end their relationship.
The younger of the two only pauses his step slightly at the call of his name. When Wei Ying stares at the dark purple robes in front of him, he realizes how much Jiang Cheng had grown into his father.
He sees for the first time how much his younger brother had grown without him.
“I don’t have any more time to spare.” Jiang Cheng replies slowly, when Wei Ying doesn’t follow his call with any other words.
Wei Ying blinks down to the ground, flickering between the flute in his hand and Jiang Cheng’s still too young in his sect leader’s clothes.
I don’t want to hurt you,
Wei Ying takes in a shuddering breath, sealing himself.
Please forgive me.
The scent of Jiang Cheng, as digested by Wei Wuxian
man I go on and on about the yunmeng bros but let’s talk about how both the one single thing in the whole world that could make jiang cheng really, truly, irrevocably angry at wei wuxian, and the one thing that drove the last bit of sanity from wei wuxians mind and made him finally Snap, quite literally pushed him over the edge, was jiang yanlis death
i love all my yunmeng siblings hugs bc they always last like a Full Minute. it’s esp. great in that reunion scene where LWJ and JZX talk in the foreground and the camera shifts so you can see that behind them, Jiang Cheng and Jiang Yanli are STILL hugging. just. 10/10