• Vanya Kishore

Soup and Secession

(From the eyes of Luo Qingyang of Mo Dao Zu Shi)

Luo Qingyang, senior female disciple of the LanlingJin sect, was returning to the tents from her

patrol at the camp during the ceasefire. She needed to find the Sect Heir Jin - her best friend Jin

Zixuan - and drag him to a proper meal. Her mind wandered down mellow memory lanes as she

walked, a hand resting comfortably on the hilt of her sword.

Wei Wuxian was helping them out, to get revenge on QishanWen for burning his adoptive sect

to the ground. He was helping them just like he'd helped her back at that sham of an

indoctrination camp by taking a branding iron meant for her to the chest.

Her thoughts drifted to the Second Jade of Gusu, Lan Wangi, or Hanguang-jun, as he was

known. That man had also stood shoulder to shoulder with Jin Zixuan when that scumbag Wen

Chao was attempting to make her live bait to lure out the monster tortoise, the Xuanwu of


It made her smile, knowing how those two were polar opposites yet unable to help being drawn

to the other by the common nobility that ran through their spirits, regardless of differences in

birth and upbringing.

Luo Qingyang was nearing her tent when she hears her best friend Jin Zixuan’s constipated

drawl saying the words ‘soup’ and ‘honesty’ and speeds up, knowing that the guy was hopeless

with communication around people he was actually attracted to and it was probably already too


... And dear almighty Guanyin, was she right. She’s immensely grateful for Hanguang-jun

arriving on site and keeping a leash on the Wei Wuxian she was unfamiliar with – cold,

intimidating and ruthless, borderline unreasonable. If it wasn’t for his familiar brand of

protectiveness for his shijie and calling her that silly nickname MianMian, Luo Qingyang

would’ve believed foul play was afoot and thrown a fit, demanding to send a search party for the

troublemaking, gold-hearted, smiling, real Wei Wuxian.

She plants herself firmly in front of Jin Zixuan and tries to explain context for the men present,

having herself witnessed Jiang Yanli’s initial instructions to that stupid maid A-Yuan, intending to

have some choice words with her immediately after this. But as she’d feared, the damage was

already done. Maiden Jiang was already unable to control her tears and Jin Zixuan, with that

good-for-nothing male ego he acquired god-knows-where, refused to apologize no matter how

hard Luo Qingyang pinched and nudged him secretly. She gave the other three an apologetic

bow, taking it a step further by brushing fingers against Jiang Yanli’s elbow in the secret

Meishan code of understanding, and let the men guide her away.

(She made sure to sit her friend’s moronic self down and give him a long, unwomanly,

expletive-laden lecture that Madam Jin would be proud of. First thing post war on her list was to

get the repeat performance from Madam Jin herself.)


Jin Guangshan was one manipulative, conniving old bastard that deserved to rot in hell, in Luo

Qingyang’s humble opinion.

Sure, she was aware of this for a long time considering she practically grew up under Madam

Jin’s care, but to be in the direct line of reception of his crap was... instigating some of her

crueller tendencies. That loudmouthed Yao character wasn’t helping at all.

When they keep stating how poorly Wei Wuxian thought of his elders, how disrespectful, how

this, how that... Luo Qingyang stands up and tries to reason. She realizes how futile that is the

moment she opens her mouth – these people turned on their saviour the moment he got rid of

their biggest problem; what were the odds they were going to listen to her – a female cultivator

from LanlingJin, the sect whose leader was famous for valuing beauty over brains in women –

rather than their many accomplices in dishonourable deeds?

Lan Wangji, the great Hanguang-jun, finally breaks his verbal reticence to defend his... friend?

Acquaintance? Ally? Qingyang didn’t bother much with the labelling – the most righteous man in

the cultivation world was standing up for someone she definitely considers her benefactor,

surely these fools would see sense?

But no, 'Hanguang-jun is known to favour Wei Wuxian, of course you’ll put in a good word-'

She isn’t finished though, how can she let this happen? Why is Jin Zixuan not defending his

wife’s beloved shidi? Why is Sect Leader Jiang even listening to these gossipy old farts and

rising to obvious bait, completely ignoring the infallible loyalty his childhood friend has shown

him since the day they met?

Her appeals to the older generation's better sense are shot down with jabs at her inexperience

and the unsaid lack of political understanding. She clenches her fist one helpless moment, eyes

briefly flitting to Lan Wangji’s equally irate form.

‘He’s done so much for us, for all of us, when he didn’t have to. And this is the best we can do

for him, when he needs it the most?’ she thinks, feeling disgust and anger and pride welling up

within her.

‘Am I really a cultivator?’ She asks herself as the Yao-named buffoon says something she

doesn’t hear but knows is condescending. ‘Am I really on a path that will give me peace and

fulfilment in life, when my path is muddied by the ones who’ve walked on it before me?’

She looks up at Jin Guangshan’s face, his eyes snapping up to hers from where they were

lingering near her chest.

She straightens her shoulders and speaks up, clear and cold.

“You all speak loud. You all speak sense. Such being the case, I will secede from the clan.”

She rips off the outer robes she wears – has worn for so long, with such pride, that it feels like

ripping a part of her. Foolish pride; the worst part of her, she thinks jauntily, feeling more sure of

herself than she ever had.

These men have disappointed her, so she will stick by the one man who didn’t.

She flings the robes onto the floor, brings her hands together for a very short, borderline rude,

bow as she turns on her heel and marches out with her head held high.

She steps out into the afternoon light, the air feeling sweeter with every breath she took. She

knows it isn’t easy being an independent cultivator, but she feels free.

Free to think and speak and act as she sees fit.

She hears footsteps behind her and turns, expecting that idiotic friend of hers, but is met with

Lan Wangji. They just look at each other for a moment, taking in the implications of their

presence out there rather than inside.

Then Lan Wangji gives her a casual bow; the kind given to friends, to people you are

comfortable around. Luo Qingyang knows she’s gaping, but she can’t help it – thankfully her

autopilot kicks in a second later and she reciprocates the gesture, a smile stretching on her lips.

“Why, Hanguang-jun?”

“...You chose to walk out rather than be silenced. Wei Ying would do the same.”

“...You believe in him, then?”

“Of course.”

“Good. Me too.”

“...Your plans?”

“I am tempted by the idea of becoming a rogue cultivator; my father was one too. I think it is a

good opportunity for me to put my skills to the test and also help out the common folk.”

“Mn. Will assist if needed.”

Luo Qingyang gives him a proper bow – for he was the other man who did not disappoint her

and thus deserved her respect – and makes her way to her quarters at Koi Tower.

She bids farewell to the staff under her jurisdiction, consoles her crying mother and leaves her

in the Head Healer’s care, then takes her time talking to Madam Ji- no, Madam Zhu Lihua of

MeishanYu and her surprise visitor Jiang Yanli. She left feeling happier than sad, confident in

her ability to be a decent woman and a good cultivator at the same time. She had training from

both LanlingJin and MeishanYu, her mother had taught her how to utilise herbs for more than

just medicine and healing and Hanguang-jun said he’d support her if she needed it.

She wouldn’t be alright.

She didn’t want to be.

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