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Miracles

Chapter Text

It was a coincidence that Xie Lian met Wei WuXian and his husband, Lan WangJi.

On his way back to Ghost City, to return to Hua Cheng, he had met the cultivation partners. Their contrasting black and white robes stood out to him from afar. In front of a small shrine of his, they stood and prayed earnestly. Their eyes closed, their hands pressed together in front of their chests, their mouths soundlessly made wishes. It was unusual for others to follow instructions and not kneel to him. Furthermore, it was even rarer for him not to be swarmed with prayers from other worshippers. Thus, Xie Lian decided to personally listen to their prayers, their hopes and grant them, assuming that the prayers are made within reason, with a smile before returning and telling Hua Cheng of his day.

‘Let this trip be a success, and we obtain the child-bearing pill.’

‘Let this centuries-old marriage of love bear fruit.’

As their wishes made their way into his mind, Xie Lian’s smile froze at the mention of the child-bearing pill. Just by hearing its name, one would immediately realize what the pill’s purpose is: to bear children. Simply eat the pill once, and a womb will be created for the person to bear children for the rest of their life. This miraculous pill was given as a gift to Hua Cheng on his birthday, the first birthday, although disastrous, that Xie Lian celebrated with his lover. It was gifted by a ghost whose intentions were clearly to please his lord and help him create a family with their Grand-Uncle.

His pale face soon became tinted with a faint blush as he hid the ornate box that contained the pill from Hua Cheng. Although Hua Cheng was curious about what made his beloved Gege so flustered, he didn’t push the topic and simply let Xie Lian do whatever to the box. But now… there were people who desired the pill, even coming to his shrine to pray. Before he could ponder further, the cultivators’ voices joined together and invaded his mind.

‘To ascend to immortality together, to retire from the cultivation world hand-in-hand, to build a house somewhere peaceful and… to make our own gigantic family. And if we get bored with retirement, we’ll return to the cultivation world with our children following behind like little ducklings.’

And with those firm voices, the cultivators in black and white bowed and left together. Xie Lian watched the two cultivators from afar, watching how the cultivator in black puts his arm around his partner’s neck with his head tilted back for a kiss. His partner could only oblige the other before they head towards the same direction Xie Lian intended… Ghost City.

As soon as their figures disappear, Xie Lian came out from his hiding spot. Although their figures were gone, Xie Lian’s eyes still watched the road with a dazed expression, expecting the couple to return. He was intrigued by these cultivators, by their strong desire to be with each other, by their love that created such a sweet dream.

Such an ambitious dream... Xie Lian wants to protect it. He wants to watch the ambitious dream become a reality for the sweet couple. His lips curled into a soft smile at the thought. Reaching into his long sleeves, he pulled out two exquisite dice. Thinking of his beloved and telling him of Xie Lian’s desire to protect the ambitious dream, Xie Lian threw the two dice, and a door appeared.

He rushed through and found Hua Cheng obediently practicing his calligraphy at Qiandeng Temple. Xie Lian watched the dull, bored eye brighten and twinkle with stars like in the night sky at the sight of him. As he sat down beside Hua Cheng, he took in the details of his beloved. Hua Cheng’s lips were curled up to form a playful, mischievous smile that made his good mood obvious, his pale skin enhanced by the dark midnight hair. These small details never escape Xie Lian’s eyes. His thoughts soon broke apart when a deep voice whispers beside his ears.

“Gege. Is there something you would like to tell San Lang?”

As expected of Hua Cheng to figure out what Xie Lian wants to share with him, waiting patiently for him to tell him anything, insignificant or not.

“San Lang. Is it alright if we go to the gambler’s den?”

“If Gege wants to, then we can go now if you so desire to do so. But… What does Gege want to do there?”

“... I want to protect a dream.”

Thus, he shared with Hua Cheng everything, starting from how his day went to how he ran into the two cultivators of black and white who shared a dream and how he wants to watch the dream turn to reality.

“So in that box that you refused to let me see was a child-bearing pill. And now you want to help your worshipers to fulfill their dream by giving them this pill. But because you can’t give it to them directly, you could only lead them to the Gambler’s Den where they will challenge me and bet with something valuable in exchange for the pill. Even though it was meant for us?”

“San Lang!” Xie Lian couldn’t look Hua Cheng in the eye as Hua Cheng chuckled softly at his flustered expression. With a soft clink, Hua Cheng’s brush was abandoned on the table, and he scooped Xie Lian into his arms.

Hua Cheng’s mischievous smile softened into a much more gentle smile, full of affection and love. His eyes narrow in affectionate as he spoke, “Dianxia… If you want to protect that dream, San Lang will follow you to the end. I’ll protect that dream with you.”

Xie Lian laughed as he wrapped his arms around Hua Cheng. With Hua Cheng by his side, there was nothing that he couldn’t do. Thus, together, they patiently waited for those two cultivators to arrive at Ghost City.

Chapter Text

After making their prayers to the shrine of the Flower Crown Martial God, Xie Lian, Wei WuXian enthusiastically pulled Lan WangJi to hurry onward for Ghost City. It was only a few months ago that they decided to make the journey to Ghost City.

When they ascended to immortality together, a quarter of their dream was fulfilled. Reaching immortality, Wei WuXian realized that he can simply stare at his husband’s ethereal beauty for eternity without getting bored and live his immortal life admiring the beauty beside him. He felt that immortality really suits them. It gives them the title of immortals and Lan WangJi can finally, truly be the immortal being that descended from the heavens. And… Wei WuXian, cultivator of both the righteous, orthodox and the demonic, ghostly, unorthodox ways, can have the excuse of being so taken with Lan WangJi’s beauty that he simply stole him away.

Not long after their immortality ascension, they made plans to leave Cloud Recesses for their long-awaited journey, to find a perfect home for their retirement. They had full confidence in Lan SiZhui and Lan JingYi to help Lan XiChen with the sect leader duties when they leave for their journey. They didn’t plan to retire forever, simply to find their retirement home. However, there were some changes in their plans.

For a long time, Lan XiChen stayed in seclusion, barely associating himself with anyone that was not Lan WangJi. He responsibly did his sect leader duties during the day but cultivated in solitude at night while finding comfort in his brother's presence. There were times where he left seclusion, but it wasn’t long enough to be considered as an improvement. The times when he stood in front of the Lan Sect to make speeches, to talk to other disciples, Lan XiChen was tired and a shell of his former self. Lan WangJi understood that his brother needed more time to completely recover. No matter how long Lan XiChen needed to heal, Lan WangJi was willing to accompany him and be there for him just as Lan XiChen was there for him. So even after their ascension, Lan WangJi couldn’t leave behind his beloved brother and Wei WuXian understood that feeling. Thus, they stayed in Cloud Recesses.

But after hearing news of their ascension, Lan XiChen began to leave his seclusion more, slowly interacting with the outside world and the people from the outside world again. It wasn’t much, but to Lan WangJi, it was a huge improvement. His brother was finally healing.

At the sight of his brother leaving his seclusion more often, Wei WuXian knew Lan WangJi wanted to support his brother even more. How could they leave when Wei WuXian’s brother-in-law finally allowed himself a chance to step back into the outside world and leave his lonely solitude. Thus, they decided to stay in Cloud Recesses and their plans were left forgotten.

But Lan XiChen didn’t allow them to do so. He didn’t allow them to forsake their plans for him.

In fact, he kicked them out of Cloud Recesses, telling them, “have a safe trip and take your time,” with a gentle smile that was almost resembled his old one. Lan XiChen hadn’t shown even a hint of his sadness, his anguish. His eyes gave nothing away, none of the tired and dull gleam from before. Instead, Lan XiChen showed happiness, even excitement at the idea of kicking his beloved brother and his husband out of Cloud Recesses.

Even the Lan disciples had built a human wall and refused to let them go back into the Cloud Recesses.

“We want HanGuang-Jun and Senior Wei to be happy,” they said while blocking access to the Cloud Recesses.

With such a supportive sect leader, brother-in-law, and cute disciples giving them their blessings, wishing them happiness, how could Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi not comply with their wishes. And so, they left on their journey earlier than expected.

And indeed they found their perfect home after a year or two of simply traveling around the Jianghu. A secluded mountain that was abundant with pure spiritual energy that will help strengthen their cultivation. Furthermore, the mountain was essentially a huge pile of flowers. Everywhere they go, flower petals of plum blossoms, peach blossoms, cherry blossoms, magnolias, and many more would rain down on them no matter the season. It was an eternal spring for the mountain.

Thus, Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi built their home on the mountain, beside a lake of spiritual water and a great magnolia tree. They also created a miniature garden for Lan WangJi’s rabbits. They erected a barrier around the mountain, secluding themselves from the cultivation world. Similar to how the barrier for the Cloud Recesses works, jade tokens were also required to enter their home. Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi may have pulled away from the cultivation world, but they still welcome family and friends to visit their humble home.

With that, Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi almost made the entirety of their dream a reality. They only needed to build a family, have a bunch of children that rivals the number of Lan WangJi’s pet rabbits in their garden. Although Wei WuXian has tried countless experiments, that had Lan WangJi’s seal of approval for guaranteed safety, to induce pregnancy, they have all failed.

But they never lose hope despite the numerous failures. And they were finally rewarded for their patience and attempts when they ran into a ghost when they went down their mountain. The ghost wasn’t bothering or terrorizing any mortals. It was simply watching over a happy family from far away. Coincidentally, this ghost was also the one who gifted Hua Cheng the child-bearing pill, thus the existence of this pill was revealed to the immortals.

“My apologies, but that was the only child-bearing pill in my possession and I have given it to my Cheng Zhu. And unfortunately, I don’t know who else has the pill.”

“Who is your Cheng Zhu?”

“My Cheng Zhu is one of the four disasters, the infamous Xue Yu Tan Hua!”

One of the four disasters… Not exactly someone they want to go against, but for their dream? They’d willing to try. Gathering more information about Xue Yu Tan Hua, they learned of his name and some events that involved him, such as the challenge to 33 gods, winning the challenge, and humiliating the heavens. But they also learned of the Ghost King’s great affection for his spouse who happens to be a martial god. Basically, they had their work cut out for them.

However, when they finally arrived at their destination, Ghost City, their worries were no longer in their mind. Instead, their minds were intrigued by the mysterious Ghost City.  Particularly Wei WuXian who was excited at the sight of demons, ghosts, humans, and even some gods roaming around with a huge variety of masks on. Although the street is wide and stretches for quite a distance, it is still crowded with stores, stalls, and otherworldly beings walking around. The street is lit up with the red glows from the numerous vermillion lanterns that decorate each and every store. Wei WuXian’s silvery eyes sparkle at the bustling city, his excitement loud and clear as his hand grasped his husband’s tightly.

“Don’t let go, okay? I don’t want us to be separated.”

“Mn.”

They were one of the few that wore no mask. Furthermore, his husband is very eye-catching, especially with his cold beauty of elegance and tranquility and his signature white robes. So he was certain that even if they were to be separated, they could easily find one another.

However, feeling the hand in his tighten its grasp, Wei WuXian couldn’t help but laugh heartily at his husband. Fond of the warmth that was transferring to him, he returned the tightening grasp and dragged Lan WangJi through the crowds. Although they should head to the Gambler’s Den where they’ll challenge Hua Cheng for the child-bearing pill, Wei WuXian wants to explore the place first. It was a perfect chance to go on a date with Lan WangJi.

He ignored the stores and stalls that sold human flesh. It was absolutely morbid. He did not need to see how the human body can be chopped into tiny bite sizes and seasoned perfectly with rare spices. He also did not need to see stalls that use human blood to sell their calligraphy or painting. Nor did he need to see hair and human intestines being sold as types of noodles for customers with eyeballs, nails, and slices of the heart as a side dish.

He was apathetic to these things, but if he can, he’d rather choose to avoid looking unless necessary. If Wei WuXian didn’t need to see such obscene things, then Lan WangJi didn’t need to see either. He was rather tempted to simply cover his husband’s eyes from the morbid scene, desperate to save his eyes from being tainted, corrupted by the obscenity.

As his eyes stopped at a stall that sells masks, he found a silver demon mask with a rather cold expression, reminding him of the man beside him. The mask wasn’t grinning with insanity nor was it frowning in fury. Despite the cold expression, its eyes formed crescent moons, indicating the mask’s good mood. The crescent eyes were outlined with a sky blue color, decorated by a rather humble amount of sparkles. Two thick horns were attached to the mask, outlined with thin black lines. For a demon mask, it was rather elegant. Thus, Wei WuXian picked the mask up and put it on his beloved, chuckling at how the mask seems to suit the dignified Lan WangJi.

He then picked up a matching mask from the stall. The mask was of a dark red color, almost resembling blood. The demon mask also had red horns outlined with black, but one of the horns was purposely broken off. It gave the impression that the demon was injured, wounded, broken. However, its expression doesn’t reflect the demon’s pain nor does it reflect anger or grief. Instead, the mask is lively, grinning its face off. Its smile wide and even shows the demon’s sharpened teeth. Its eyes also formed crescents, black tears running down its eyes from the laughter.

Wei WuXian placed the mask on himself before dragging Lan WangJi to a hung mirror, admiring how the masks quite suited them.

“Lan Zhan, don’t you also think that these masks suit us quite well? You’re the elegant demon while I’m the unruly demon. Even as demons, we’re not separated. Don’t you think so?”

“Mn.”

“Do you—”

“Buy.”

As expected of Lan WangJi to already pull out their pouch of money to pay for the masks. Wei WuXian chuckled fondly at Lan WangJi as the stall owner accepted the money graciously. The two cultivators soon walked away from the stall and continued on their date.

Unbeknownst to them, the stall owner had already informed the lord of Ghost City. Hua Cheng had ordered the inhabitants of Ghost City to keep an eye out for the cultivators since Xie Lian told him of his desire to protect the couple’s dream. Thus, the entire street of Ghost City was well aware of the cultivators and could only wonder who the two are, to make their respected Cheng Zhu, whose eyes only look out for their Great Grand Uncle, to keep an eye out for them.

Continuing with their date, Wei WuXian stopped in front of a cosmetic store. Before Lan WangJi could let out a sound of confusion and question his intentions, they were pushed in by a small group of excited women who were both ecstatic at the prospect of new customers and curious of the cultivators.

“These young masters! Please come in and look at some of our products! These are high-quality rouge, made from rose petals that have been seeped in purified water. Not only that, our rouge also contain honeycombs from a rare type of bees called the Jade Bees. Our lipstick paper are also—”

“Alright alright. Please bring out cosmetics of the highest quality. We’ll test them out and if there are any that we like, we’ll buy it.”

Immediately, they were led to a table and a mirror, set with cosmetics in a variety of beautiful shades of red and pink. Wei WuXian quickly lifted the silver mask off of Lan WangJi, revealing his heavenly beauty. Faint gasps escaped many mouths, light blushes dusted many cheeks, coy looks were then thrown at the man in vain efforts to attract his attention. He patted Lan WangJi to sit down on the cushioned seat as he checked out the cosmetics.

Although he loved seeing Lan WangJi in dark colors that contrasted with his snow-white skin, such as during their wedding, he’d rather keep that sort of Lan WangJi to himself. But Lan WangJi was a beauty that was rarely seen. Wei WuXian would be a failure of a husband if he didn’t show off Lan WangJi to the world. For a cold beauty like Lan WangJi, enhancing his jade-like features would be best. Thus, Wei WuXian paid much more attention to the lighter shades as he looked at the cosmetics. Eventually, he settled on a rouge that has a light creamy ivory shade that held tints of a faint rosy color. The rouge smelled of roses and carnations.

Reaching a finger into the jade bottle, he took a small amount of rouge and smeared it onto the top of his hand. He lightly spread it, allowing the rouge’s shade to become fainter before lightly dabbing it onto Lan WangJi’s cheeks. He made sure the rouge blended well onto his husband’s cheeks before choosing an ebony shade of brow powder and a thin brush. With his other hand, he tilted Lan WangJi’s head upwards while he leaned and crouched closer to the man. He ignored the eyes of glass that were watching him closely in amusement and meticulously drew his eyebrows. Once he deemed his eyebrows to be perfect, the tips of his fingers were dipped in an icy blue powder.

“Close your eyes.”

Obediently, Lan WangJi’s eyes of glass hid behind a pair of eyelids and allowed his head to be tilted up once again. Wei WuXian let out a soft sound of adoration at his husband as he once again meticulously brushed the tips of his fingers on his eyes.

As soon as he’s satisfied, he let out a grin that was hidden by his mask. He freed Lan WangJi who began to stand up, but there was still the finishing touch that Wei WuXian needed to make. He quickly lifted his mask to reveal half of his face. A finger dipped in water wetted his lips before he pressed his lips down on the coral red lipstick paper.

His hand shot out to grab Lan WangJi’s neck from behind as his other hand threw the lipstick paper aside. With a quick pivot, Wei WuXian turned around and pressed their lips together.

It was a sweet yet deep kiss.

His lips gradually rubbed the dye onto the other pair of lips. Their kiss drew even louder gasps, brighter blushes, and disappointing looks. Wei WuXian smirked in their kiss before separating. Lan WangJi gazed dazedly at him as his thumb lightly tapped the middle of Lan WangJi’s lips, dyed with a faded out coral red by their kiss, with a softer shade of carnelian.

Wei WuXian took a step back to admire his husband before smiling happily at his masterpiece. His husband was truly heavenly.

“Madam, don’t you think my husband is beautiful?” He grinned at the blushing woman who was quickly awoken from her blatant staring.

“Yes yes! This young master here really is a beauty! In fact, he could possibly rival our Cheng Zhu!” Whether she ignored Wei WuXian calling Lan WangJi his husband or not was unknown. What’s certain is that her eyes now gleamed of greed and the corners of her mouth slightly drool at the prospect of more profit from the couple’s demonstration.

To the onlookers, Lan WangJi’s cold beauty became enhanced and became more enticing. And with the manager even saying that he could rival their respected Cheng Zhu, how could they not be tempted to buy the same cosmetics used to enhance their own beauty. Soon enough, customers of both men and women pushed and shoved into the store, hoping to get the cosmetics before they ran out. The woman rubbed her hands together gleefully at the profit that she’ll earn before her two assistants handed her the packaged cosmetics that Wei WuXian used on Lan WangJi. She smiled graciously, although with a hint of some coyness, at them as she handed the package to them. “Young masters, please consider this a gift from me.”

Wiping his lips with a hand, he graciously accepted the gift and took Lan WangJi’s hand in his once again. Lan WangJi’s silver mask laid comfortably on the side of his head, his hair hovering in front of his face as he soundlessly nods a quiet, yet polite thank you.

They walked a good distance from the store before Wei WuXian pulled him into an alley, pushing him against the wall. His hand nonchalantly slides behind Lan WangJi’s neck, pressing their lips together for another deep kiss. How could he not give the man a kiss when he has been seducing him with just his beauty.

Unlike the demonstration at the store, the kiss was not at all sweet. It was downright dirty and lustful.

Their tongues twist and turn, sharing saliva with each other. The tip of his tongue occasionally flicked against the coral red-dyed lips as if Wei WuXian was having a taste of his husband. He sucked on the other’s tongue, paying close attention to the soft subtle moans that escaped him.

Eventually, Wei WuXian was satisfied and pulled away from their kiss. Lan WangJi’s slightly swollen lips shimmered with a gleam of saliva. His glassy eyes were dazed for a split moment before he pecked Wei WuXian with a soft kiss.

Wei WuXian laughed with adoration as they left the alley hand in hand, “Shall we head to the Gambler’s Den now?”

“Mn.”

From the shadows and cloaked with a spell of invisibility, Xie Lian stared at the disappearing backs of the two with dazed eyes and his mouth slightly parted, shocked to see such a bold and open display of affection. Meanwhile, Hua Cheng could only chuckle at his lover, his hand raised to place on Xie Lian’s back.

“Dianxia. Shall we go as well?”

“... Yeah…”

Chapter Text

In front of them was a large magnificent building, its scarlet decorations making it shine even brighter than the main street of Ghost City. In and out were bustling crowds of demons, ghosts, humans, and gods. At the entrance, there were a set of verses in the middle and on the two columns.

“Money over life… Gains over shame…”

“Hahahaha! Such crude verses for an entrance.”

Wei WuXian’s eyes shifted, watching his husband’s eyes twitch slightly at the tragedy in front of them. Calling it calligraphy would be an insult, and merely dismissing it as sloppy handwriting would be too soft, too nice. Even when compared to his own calligraphy that was unbridled and illegible, ridden with mistakes, at least it was aesthetically beautiful in an abstract way. However, the characters in front of them were wild, frenzied scribbles that aren’t even beautifully abstract. It was almost painful for Wei WuXian to even look at them, much less his husband whose calligraphy is much more proper and neater.

Patting his back softly, Wei WuXian led his husband into the main hall of the den, following the loud cheers of the crowd. They observed the extravagant decorations that made the place rich with style and taste. Surrounding them were excited cheers and screams, loud sounds of dice knocking against each other, and the smell of musk and sweat. The den was hot, heated by the people. Out of curiosity, Wei WuXian approached a gambling table and poked his head between crowds, watching a dealer spread out a large number of pebbles as the crowd places their bets.

“Big!”

“Small!”

As the crowd calls out, Wei WuXian watched the dealer slowly separate the pebbles with a long stick, gradually reducing the pebbles to a mere number of four. The dealer rung the bell and loudly called out: “Small!” Some people from the crowd groaned while others cheered, looting their gains.

Wei WuXian then focused on another table where the dealer placed three dice into a cup and begun to shake it. As he shook the cup, he called out to the crowd: “Now my lords and ladies, young masters and young mistresses, fellow servants! Place your bets, money, jewelry, weapons, your title, your honor, your lives or your families’ lives! Anything of value will go! So place your bets! Big or small!”

Wei WuXian smirked as he dragged Lan WangJi to the table. Casually slipping a hand into Lan WangJi’s robes, he took out a jade tablet. He tapped the jade tablet against his chin, leaning against his husband, and silently listened to the reverberating sounds of the dice knocking against each other.

“Wei Ying. Four, five, six. Big.”

Although Lan WangJi’s voice was almost drowned out by the crowd and dealer’s roars, Wei WuXian still heard him, loud and clear. He snickered softly, “I’m such a bad influence… Our esteemed HanGuang-Jun is now participating in acts such as gambling.” He watched his husband’s eyes close, his face turned away from Wei WuXian, obviously sulking at his words.

‘How cute.’

He sneaked a kiss on a pale cheek before pushing himself to the forefront of the crowd, directly in front of the gambling table. He then slammed the jade tablet down onto the table, calling out, “Four, five, six! Big!”

“Alright! This young master has betted on big and even three specific numbers! Anyone else who’ll follow him?! Place your bets now!”

At the dealer’s rousing words, the crowd placed more bets on the table. Each and every individual voice called out “big” and “small”. Wei WuXian crossed his arms, smirking, completely confident in his husband’s choice. When the dealer finally sets the cup down, Wei WuXian already knew the outcome.

“Four, five, six! Big!”

It was an expected outcome. Wei WuXian grinned as he harvested their winning. And the cycle continues as they stood there to play. They won every single round, earning looks of both envy and suspicion. Before the owners of those gazes of suspicion could do anything to the couple, a petite attendant with a laughing mask approached the couple. Immediately, the area quieted and backed away from the attendant and couple.

“These young masters, please accept my lord’s congratulations on your winnings,” the petite attendant clasped their hands and lowered their heads humbling, saluting them for their winnings. “My lord is in a good mood today and he is interested in playing against these young masters. Will you accept my lord’s invitation?”

At the end of the attendant’s words, the crowd simply let out gasps of shock. It was quite obvious who the attendant serves. The person— or rather Ghost King that Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi came to Ghost City for.

‘Xue Yu Tan Hua.’

“We would be honored to humor your lord. Please lead the way.”

The attendant soundlessly directed them to the back of the main hall. Two other attendants held the bright red curtains apart, quietly saying words of welcome as they walked in. There was already a crowd in front of a long table. However, the crowd didn’t place bets or make loud cheers or boos. Instead, they were staring at them with curiosity and waited for either Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi or their lord to make a move. Some shameless ghosts focused their eyes on Lan WangJi, lusting over his cold beauty, even wondering which god he was. Some sharp-eyed ghosts took note of Wei WuXian, trying their best to remember who he was and why he was so familiar.

As Lan WangJi looked around, taking note of their new surroundings, Wei WuXian focused on the three figures behind the red curtains. He lightly tugged on his husband’s sleeves, his silvery eyes flashing towards the curtains before landing on the familiar glass eyes. Lan WangJi nodded soundlessly as one of the shadows from behind the red curtains came out. It was the dealer.

“These young masters. The lord has decided on a simple dice game. There will be two dice. The rules are simply to see who can roll the smallest number. The smaller the better.”

‘So in other words, the game is based purely on luck.’

“Young masters. You are free to bet whatever of value against him.”

Wei WuXian’s hand cupped his chin, his fingers tapping lightly against his lips before reaching inside his sleeves. He pulled out a book, a manuscript of the demonic cultivation that he created. He set it on the table and one look at the manuscript made the crowd panic. All of their eyes were on Wei WuXian who was nonchalant about the growing commotion. It didn’t take long for the same sharp-eyed ghosts to come to a realization, to remember who the cultivator in dark robes was.

“Wei WuXian!”

“It’s the Yiling Patriarch!”

“It’s the ghost flute, ChenQing!”

Wei WuXian ignored the panicking crowd and spoke smoothly, “I’m betting with the most updated manuscript of my demonic cultivation.”

Over the hundreds of years that he used to cultivate the orthodox path, he also used to cultivate the unorthodox. How could he possibly drop it after coming so far with the cultivation that he created from scratch. There were disapprovals of the unorthodox path, but he didn’t care about outsiders’ approval. What he did care about was Lan WangJi’s opinion, but in the end, he didn’t even have to question Lan WangJi. The day he intended to bring the topic up to discuss, Lan WangJi simply placed a finger on his lips, shook his head, and pressed their foreheads together.

“I am here.”

‘As long as you’re safe. As long as you won’t lose yourself. As long as you are still here with me, I’ll be here beside you. Whatever the consequences, we’ll accept them together.’

“Ah… Lan Zhan. You’re too much for me. Taking my heart and squeezing it again. Come here, let me kiss you,” as Wei WuXian puckered his lips to place tens, hundreds, thousands of sweet kisses on his husband’s face. He smiled confidently and cupped Lan WangJi’s face, “I’ll cultivate both the orthodox and unorthodox. I’ll make you proud.”

“Mn.”

Thus, Wei WuXian enthusiastically cultivated both paths. He improved his demonic cultivation after further research.

Wei WuXian was able to concentrate the abundant resentment energy from the outside world and form shapes with it. Various notes from ChenQing were assigned to the forms and became directions for the resentment energy to follow. A low note for the energy to form a hand. A slow vibrating low note to tell the energy to grab and take hold of something. A high note to form spikes. A sharper note to form more than five spikes. A fast vibrating high note, resembling a shriek of a child in pain, to manipulate the spikes to attack. A quick vibrating mix of high and low notes to form a spherical barrier. Quite a useful addition when emergencies, such as loss of spiritual energy, arise.

On the other hand, while there was the external resentment energy that surrounds them, there was also the internal resentment energy that came from within the soul which can be manipulated. The internal resentment energy can range from mere regrets to pure rage. It serves as the core of some fae, ghosts, demons, and monsters’ powers. If he could make use of the abundant resentment energy from the environment, then why not control the internal resentment that is the core of some fae, ghosts, demons, and monsters’ powers.

Wei WuXian experimented on the internal resentment energy. Originally, he wanted to test it on himself, but thinking of the potential risks and possibly leaving Lan WangJi alone, he didn’t dare. Instead, he tested it on malicious ghosts that were practically soaked in the resentment energy and on captured demons and monsters that were terrorizing villages. When he started out, he couldn’t manipulate the resentment energy that emitted from the demons with the usual sounds from ChenQing. The inner resentment was much more potent, much denser. However, he noticed that whenever Lan WangJi helped him suppress the resentment energy from spiraling out of control, the resentment energy becomes less dense and much weaker. The resentment energy was practically calmer in his presence. Wei WuXian eventually discovered that it was solely because of Lan WangJi’s purer spiritual energy acting as an automatic suppression, balancing out the resentment energy.

Thus, he decided to add Lan WangJi’s own spiritual energy into ChenQing and enhance the effects. It was a series of failures until he found the perfect balance for the spiritual energy to be released from ChenQing without potentially destroying the flute itself.

Upon his success in enhancing ChenQing, Wei WuXian became even more infamous in the cultivation world, particularly the malicious ghosts, demons, and monsters. News of his experiments traveled across the cultivation world and the piercing cries of the ghost flute, ChenQing, would send them running or hiding.

What made Wei WuXian’s demonic cultivation so dangerous, so fearful was the fact that they could lose everything that they have worked, cultivated if they were to allow themselves to be controlled, to lose to the sounds of ChenQing for even a split second. Another reason for fearing the demonic cultivation is the possibility of controlling a Devastation-ranked.

A split second is all Wei WuXian needs to control a Devastation-ranked ghost, demon, or monster such as Hua Cheng.

To bet with all the secrets to Wei WuXian’s demonic cultivation, just for a child-bearing pill. Hua Cheng’s lips curled up and his dark eye practically glowed in amusement.

The hall quickly became silent as soon as Hua Cheng’s laugh was heard from behind the curtains. The mixed crowd of ghosts, demons, were shocked. Hua Cheng burst out laughing, at someone who wasn’t Xie Lian. How could they not be shocked. And it was not just them who was shocked. Xie Lian was also surprised to hear Hua Cheng so carefreely, so readily in front of the crowd.

“Very well,” Hua Cheng stepped out from the red curtains, his silver trinkets clinking and creating ominous sounds of ringing, “if I lose, you can choose anything that is in my possession for your reward.”

Wei WuXian grinned, “I’m glad the lord is understanding.”

Wei WuXian and Hua Cheng slammed their hands on the table, allowing the two dice to fly up into the air. Their other hands held a cup and swiped the two dice from mid-air at the same time. Wei WuXian shook the cup and tried to listen to the sounds of the dice knocking against each other, to guess which side the dice will land on. He watched Hua Cheng casually shake the cup, taking note of the intriguing eye that also watched his actions closely.

Finally, they threw the cup down onto the table. Their hands remain on the cups, their eyes watching each other. The dealer then walked up to them, “please allow me to reveal the results.”

The dealer revealed Hua Cheng’s first. They lifted the black wooden cup and spoke smoothly, “The lord, a one and a two. A total of three.”

The crowd cheered for their lord while Wei WuXian gritted his teeth. He balled his hand to form a fist. Rolling the lowest number and Hua Cheng got a three. Wei WuXian needed to get a two in order to win the gamble. It was at this moment that he prayed, begged, promised many things for his luck to be decent and that he won the gamble. However, the dealer’s next words crushed him.

“The Yiling Patriarch, a two and a three. A total of five. The lord has won the game, thus your manuscript is now his.”

Wei WuXian took a deep breath and released his balled hands. It couldn’t be helped that the Ghost King won the gamble with his enormous luck. He wasn’t sad that he lost his manuscript. He was simply disappointed, disappointed that he has to wait, to make Lan WangJi wait for their dream.

From the curtains, Xie Lian watched Wei WuXian’s previous good mood turn into a more somber one. Wei WuXian’s eyes showed disappointment at losing the gamble and it was almost unbearable to watch the man become so quiet, so disappointed. In Xie Lian’s hands was an ornate box that held the child-bearing pill. His grip around the box tightened as he determined to step out and simply give him the box that contained the pill.

However, Xie Lian never got the chance to step out. He paused in his footsteps as Lan WangJi came up to the gambling table and held Wei WuXian’s hands. Lan WangJi simply caressed his husband’s hands, quietly comforted him before looking at Hua Cheng.

“I’ll bet with my entire cultivation.”

“Lan Zhan!”

Wei WuXian absolutely didn’t want his husband to bet anything. He couldn’t bear to see him lose anything. His own demonic cultivation could be improved upon, revised, and such. But he didn’t want to see Lan WangJi risk his cultivation and waste several centuries. But Lan WangJi is a stubborn man.

He shook his head at Wei WuXian, pressing Wei WuXian against his chest. Wei WuXian silently listened to the steady heartbeats, allowing himself to be calmed by the heartbeats before nodding his head.

With Wei WuXian’s approval, Lan WangJi’s pale hand grasped the black wooden gambling cup. Hua Cheng smiled, once again intrigued by the couple in front of him. His silver trinkets clinked together when he took the gambling cup. At the shift of their eyes, Lan WangJi and Hua Cheng threw the dice into the cup and shook it.

Unlike the match with Wei WuXian, the atmosphere between Lan WangJi and Hua Cheng is much more calmer, quieter. However, it was also much more foreboding. The atmosphere was like a calm deep sea that threatens to swallow everything in its path. The crowd couldn’t even let out a soft murmur nor could they let out a soft breath. They held everything in at the face of the two. The only sounds that were allowed were the knockings of the dice.

Even when Lan WangJi and Hua Cheng placed their cups down, nobody dared to move or make a sound. Only the loud sound of the cups’ rims meeting the table echoed in the hall. They slowly removed their hands from the cups’ base.

The dealer once again moved to reveal the results, but Hua Cheng raised a hand. He silently stared at the dealer from the corner of his eye, waving them off before facing Lan WangJi. He gripped the cup’s base and swiftly removed it.

Two ones. A total of two.

He set the cup down and raised his hand towards Lan WangJi, cueing him to reveal the results. As they waited for Lan WangJi to reveal his dice’s result, the crowd silently believed that it was another loss for the cultivators. They sneered in their hearts for the cultivators’ arrogance, for even attempting to play against the Ghost King and even hope to win. The lowest possible Lan WangJi could get is two which would make it a draw. It was impossible to win.

But Lan WangJi shocked all in the room.

Lan WangJi fell in love, married Wei WuXian, the embodiment of YunmengJiang’s “achieve the impossible”. How could he dare to disappoint his husband.

When Lan WangJi lifted the gambling cup, he let out a breath and blew some dust across the table. There was only one die on the table. Lan WangJi’s result…

One. A total result of one.

Lan WangJi beat Hua Cheng.

Chapter Text

To say Hua Cheng was surprised would be a lie. But to say he wasn’t intrigued would also be a lie.

In order to win the gamble, one must not only have the ability, but also the luck. Lan WangJi had both. While shaking the cup, Lan WangJi had subtly sent his spiritual energy into the cup and soundlessly crushed the dice. Indeed, destroying a die is a good idea, but it was also risky. The other die could have easily ended up with a two or higher. The man essentially betted on rolling a one, on the one-sixth of a chance to win.

Hua Cheng was impressed.

He glanced back at Xie Lian and chuckled when he let out a sigh of relief. It didn’t take long for Xie Lian to notice Hua Cheng’s glance and nodded, immediately understanding his silent message, and slipped out of the den without further notice.

Hua Cheng turned back to Lan WangJi who was embraced tightly by Wei WuXian. His sharp ears caught bits and pieces of Wei WuXian’s muffled voice, saying “silly, silly husband”, “what would I do if you had really lost”, “tell me before you do something like this”, “my heart can’t take much more”. His eye almost softened as he witnessed Lan WangJi’s firm nods and voice, obediently listening to his husband.

He eventually stopped observing the couple and coughed lightly as an attempt to catch their attention.

“Congratulations on your winning. Would you like to collect your prize now?”

“Mn.”

“Then follow me.”

He turned to the silent dealer and with just one look, he gave an order to the dealer to continue to help manage the den. The crowd was still in shock and would become an annoyance if they didn’t leave as soon as possible. He rolled a pair of exquisite dice and led Lan WangJi and Wei WuXian through the large doors.

As soon as they stepped through the doors, they found themselves in a completely different location. No longer were they at the gambler’s den. Instead, they were in front of a magnificently lavish temple that shone even brighter than the red streets of Ghost City. Surrounding the temple were lit lanterns, their orange and red hues created an illusion of colorful flowers that bloomed around the magnificent temple. They looked around and noticed that the temple was right at the heart of Ghost City.

Hua Cheng chuckled, “this is the Thousand Lights Temple, my home.”

He pushed open the gates and walked in casually. Lan WangJi and Wei WuXian could only follow him until Hua Cheng stopped in front of a young man who wore pure white Daoist robes that seemed to enhance his pale skin. His face held a small, shy smile and kind eyes. An affectionate “gege” left Hua Cheng’s smooth lips as he stood behind the young man. In the young man’s hands was an ornate box.

Lan WangJi and Wei WuXian were certain that the box in the young man’s hands contained the child-bearing pill. It was impossible for the Ghost King to not know of their intention to get the pill.

“Are you not going to receive your prize? You won it fair and square from us after all.”

“... It’s suspicious that you’re just offering the prize to us. You obviously know that we’re here for the child-bearing pill. What are your intentions?” As much as he’s happy, grateful for the opportunity that was created by Lan WangJi’s winning, Wei WuXian couldn’t help, but question the Ghost King.

However, Hua Cheng never gave them an answer. Instead, it was the young man beside him who spoke. “‘Let this trip be a success and we obtain the child-bearing pill… Let this centuries-old marriage of love bear fruit.’ Your prayers… I heard them loud and clear. Is it not right for me to assist you in achieving this dream?”

It didn’t take long for Wei WuXian to remember the prayers made to a certain god during their journey. He took a closer look at the young man, taking in his soft features, before making the connection on the young man’s identity. It was the Flower Crown Martial God, Xie Lian.

Upon their realization of his identity, Xie Lian stepped forward and with a soft smile that adorned his graceful face, he handed the box to Lan WangJi.

“I… I want to protect your dream. Will you allow me to do so?”

As he accepted the box, Lan WangJi’s eyes turned to look at Wei WuXian whose twinkling eyes were already on him. Their prayers were heard, the Flower Crown Martial God heard them, a God wants to protect their dream. Wei WuXian grinned at Xie Lian while Lan WangJi nodded silently at him. Xie Lian could feel his own smile widening before he turned to the observing Hua Cheng and beamed at him. With such a beautiful smile on his beloved, how could Hua Cheng not return the smile.

At the sight of smiling God and Ghost King, Wei WuXian felt, knew, that they were trustworthy, that they could really protect their dream. The Ghost King might simply protect their dream because of Xie Lian’s own wish, but that was fine. It was still reassuring that the dream will be protected, cherished by others that were not them.

‘Dianxia… Xue Yu Tan Hua… Thank you.’

Chapter Text

With Xie Lian and Hua Cheng accompanying them, Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi returned to their retirement home.

During the journey, Wei WuXian and Hua Cheng quickly bonded over the topics of demonic cultivation. Hua Cheng had brought along the manuscript that he had won from Wei WuXian. And it was no secret that he was intrigued by a demonic cultivation that allowed the possibility of manipulation of even Devastation-ranked ghosts and demons. When he came across a theory in the manuscript, he would turn to the creator and start a long discourse.

“I wasn’t lying when I said that it was my most updated manuscript. After I finished the manuscript, I made some more discoveries. The internal resentment energy can actually range from any sorts of emotion, not just mere regrets and anger. It can also be happiness, joy. The key point to it is that the emotion is strong enough to keep the fae, ghost, demon, monster, whatever in the living world,” Wei WuXian took a bite of the bun in his hand, gulping the food down before he continued, “thus, this creates two separate meanings of ‘staying in the living world’. One is because their emotions, resentment energy, are so strong that they just can’t move on. They are unable to, so they stay in the living world. The other is the refusal to move on. They forcefully attach themselves to the living world.”

“But there’s really not much difference between ‘can’t move on’ and ‘refuse to move on’. Let’s say you died. You can’t move on because you can’t let go of your attachment to Lan WangJi. And you refuse to move on because you want to watch over him, protect him, and stay beside him in some way even if you become a malicious ghost. The main motivation here is related to Lan WangJi. So the meanings themselves become mixed together.”

While Hua Cheng was right and Wei WuXian admitted that there was practically no difference, he still argued and countered with separate theories. Such discourses would continue for a long time.

And if there were no discourses, Hua Cheng would stop reading the recorded demonic cultivation theories and give Wei WuXian ideas on how to improve a certain skill of the cultivation.

“Have you tried cloaking your sword in resentment energy? It should follow the same method as cloaking a sword in spiritual energy to enhance its durability and strength. It’ll help you in times where you have no spiritual energy.”

“Why don’t you manipulate the resentment energy to reenact certain memories from a spirit? It’ll reduce the risk of you losing yourself when doing Empathy and it’ll allow everyone to see what’s going on. Of course, it won’t be as in-depth as using Empathy, but it will still give both yourself and the people involved to see the general story.”

There were many other ideas that Hua Cheng would suggest to Wei WuXian. Some ideas were also thought of by Wei WuXian but never recorded or executed successfully or safely enough to be considered. Hua Cheng would then propose potential solutions to the problems that came up with the idea. Hua Cheng essentially worked together with Wei WuXian to create another improved version of his demonic cultivation.

But most importantly, Wei WuXian and Hua Cheng became closer, to the point of possibly considering the other “friends” or at least fellow comrades as a result of their love for their precious partners. They had no shame in showing excessive praise and reinforcing their biased view of their beloved.

In front of Xie Lian, Hua Cheng has always been honest with his expression of love, always there to straightforwardly love him. He absolutely had no qualms showing Xie Lian off. He doesn’t even bother being humble. More often than not, he would be playful with his expressions of love, but it was done in a softer, mature way. It gave him a suave feeling. However, in front of Wei WuXian, that same mature yet playful love seems to almost disappear. It was much more… smug.

“Gege is a graceful and poised heavenly beauty of radiant jewel colors.”

“I will admit that Dianxia is graceful and charming. However, my Lan Zhan is a reigning beauty, endowed with both beauty and talent.”

“Gege is of exceptional talent and distinguished appearance. How can you compare both of them.”

“He may be of exceptional talent and distinguished appearance, but even when Lan Zhan was a mere mortal, his beauty can already rival the gods themselves. He is truly a  heavenly beauty of ethereal color and celestial fragrance whose flesh is of ice, his bones of jade!”

Both Wei WuXian and Hua Cheng were adamant, passionate with their opinions. It was a competition between them to see how far the other is willing to praise, to hear the many idioms to describe their beloved. Although neither sides backed down, both were impressed with the other’s dedication and their sense of closeness, comradery strengthened.

However, these passionate sessions were pure embarrassments to Lan WangJi and Xie Lian.

Despite being with Hua Cheng for so long, Xie Lian’s face never thickened again. It thinned every time Hua Cheng played with him, spoke words of pure love to his ears. On one hand, he’s in pure bliss, but on the other hand, he is embarrassed to no end. He could only bear the endless love and hide his face with his two hands. Luckily, Xie Lian is never alone in his embarrassment.

Although his face never gave away any sort of emotions, appearing cold and distant, Xie Lian just knew that Lan WangJi did not fare any better than him. Lan WangJi’s ears were dyed a soft pink, his pale glass eyes were hidden from sight, his arms slightly hugging the guqin closer to his body. It was obvious that even a centuries-old marriage will never prepare him enough for the onslaught of Wei WuXian’s nonsense, his exaggerated idioms to show him off.

While Lan WangJi and Xie Lian found a similar sense of comradery in each other when their partners do their onslaught expressions of love, they were more interested in each other’s cultivation and martial arts.

As opposed to his cold and distant appearance, Lan WangJi was fearless and almost aggressive in his swordsmanship. He was observant and surprisingly very adaptive. He certainly did not hold back when sparring. Every move was precise, pinpointing moments of potential weakness, adapting to Xie Lian’s swift but aggressive moves.

And… Xie Lian really, really enjoyed the spars between them.

As a martial god who ascended because of his swordsmanship, how could he not be excited by another swordsman whose swordsmanship were scarily accurate despite being so aggressive. Xie Lian was excited, even more so at the sight of Bichen. The sword’s thin blade is transparent and icy cold. Under sunlight and a certain angle, the transparent blade practically disappears. Whenever he had the chance, he would scrutinize Bichen with shining eyes. However, his fascination towards Bichen often made the E-Ming, the sabre by Hua Cheng’s hips, tremble and seemingly crying over Xie Lian’s attention divided for another weapon.

Meanwhile, Wei WuXian frequently “borrows” E-Ming from Hua Cheng to study the sabre. Eventually, the study became a session to bully the poor sabre. Hua Cheng did nothing to save E-Ming, preferring to stand to the side to watch Wei WuXian bully E-Ming. The sabre could only tremble in fear of Wei WuXian, occasionally making loud rackets in its scabbard and cry out for Xie Lian.

By the time they made it back to their retirement home, the immortal cultivators became much closer, more relaxed around the Flower Crown Martial God and the Ghost King. It was also the perfect timing for the womb in Wei WuXian to be completed.

Upon receiving the pill and accepting Xie Lian’s promise to protect their dream, Wei WuXian had no qualms and ate the pill. He didn’t even wait for further instructions from Xie Lian. Thus, Wei WuXian went through a day of excruciating pain as a result of the pill immediately taking effect and laid on an extra divan, only Lan WangJi patiently listened to Xie Lian’s instructions.

“As you already know, the child-bearing pill’s purpose is to bear children. Once you eat the pill, the pill will create a womb and connect it to… your…” Xie Lian trailed off for a moment before he continued again, trusting that Lan WangJi will understand.

“How it creates the womb is by forcing the body to take apart bits and pieces of itself to construct the womb. The process takes one whole day. So… Wei-gongzi will be in pain for the whole day,” Xie Lian paused to take a breath, but seeing the worried expression on Lan WangJi’s face, he quickly spoke again, “but don’t worry! While the body quite literally reconstructs itself internally, the pill reinforces the body’s strength and guarantees that the body will be safe and perfectly healthy. After that, the spiritual energy within his body will then reinforce the womb, to make sure that it’s stable. This process can take around two weeks.”

“...”

“I believe your home is quite far from Ghost City. It takes a few months if you travel normally on foot. But… If you’re in a rush, then we can travel with an array drawn out. Although, the array will only go to a certain point before we rest up and use the array again.”

Lan WangJi shook his head as he held Wei WuXian’s hand, “we can travel from there.”

And that was exactly what they did after Wei WuXian’s one day of excruciating pain.

The jade tokens allowed them access through the erected barrier that appeared in a form of dense fog. Past the barrier, in front of them was an eternal spring that seemed to lit up the dark night with the glowing petals of flowers that were dancing with each breeze. Every step they took, a flower petal would land on their heads, hands, shoulders. Hua Cheng had called forth hundreds, thousands of silver butterflies that would glisten explore the mountain that was abundant in spiritual energy. The scene of silver butterflies joining the petal dance was simply too beautiful to put it into mere words. Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi’s home was truly perfect for their peaceful retirement.

As a flower lover, Xie Lian was genuinely entranced by the eternal spring in front of them as Wei WuXian welcomed them to their humble home.

It wasn't a lavish mansion or anything of the sort. It was a cozy cottage that was reminiscent to the cottage that Lan WangJi's mother once lived in at the Cloud Recesses. The cottage was beside an ancient magnolia tree, its dark and long roots soaking in the lake of spiritual water. The magnolia tree was huge, its branches and flowers stretched over the cottage, enveloping it in a cool shade. Shaded by the magnolia tree, the wooden cottage itself was adorned by vines that varied in sizes of pale blue, pure white, and soft lavender wisterias. The blooming flowers draped from the room, creating a curtain of soft shades as they enter.

While the outside was lovingly adorned by the blooming flowers and protected by the magnolia tree, the interior of the cottage was spacious and clean. Upon entering was a decently-sized hall, chairs and tables set and ready to welcome guests. The wooden walls of their home were decorated with paintings of wondrous sceneries—of mystical mountains that reach for the heavens with its snowy tips, of tears of weeping willows that create a melancholic lake, of lotus flowers that bloom at the sight of summer. Before Xie Lian could get a better look at the beautiful paintings on the walls, Wei WuXian had already led him and Hua Cheng away from the main hall to a hallway that leads to their rooms.

When their home was first built, Lan WangJi had included making several guest rooms for whenever they decide to invite their family. These guest rooms were decorated with a simple, but comfortable bed, desk, and bookshelves with an incense burner. These guest rooms were also connected to a private room that consists of a wooden tub and a ladle which will allow their guests to clean themselves up.

“Your room will be right beside ours. We haven’t really decorated our guest rooms yet, so decorate it however you like! You’ll be staying here for at least a year after all. Might as well make it your home despite the temporary stay.”

The room was indeed simply decorated, but it was spacious and rather cozy. As Xie Lian stepped into the room, he noticed the talismans on the walls. His gentle eyes narrowed in suspicion, his feet began to step back and retrace. Soon enough, his back collided into Hua Cheng's chest and his eyes landed on the doors to their room. There were also talismans on them. And it was not just their room. Even the immortals’ room was marked by several talismans.

Wei WuXian’s head tilt in confusion at the questioning look on Xie Lian's face before he let out a loud “oh”.

“I don’t hold back my voice.”

“Huh?”

“Also you never know what will happen in other rooms.”

He smiled and walked back to his own room. Lan WangJi was already inside waiting for him and he didn't waste any more time either. He gave them just one look and it was enough to understand one thing.

Wei WuXian was shameless.


 

Behind the doors, Wei WuXian’s clothes were quickly stripped and thrown carelessly onto the ground. His hands grabbed hold of his pristine husband and pushed him down onto their bed. He captured his lips in a hungry, passionate kiss. He doesn’t bother holding back his moans. He allows himself to salivate, to suck on Lan WangJi’s tongue, to share his saliva with him.

Their “everyday is everyday” was postponed during the trip back to their home. They couldn’t do it while his body was still stabilizing the newly constructed womb. And now that it stabilized, Wei WuXian wanted to continue their everyday activities.

“Hah… Hah… Lan Zhan. After centuries of practicing, you can surely impregnate me right?”

“Mn.”

“Hahaha! Good husband. Don’t hold back, okay? I expect to be carrying little young master Lans. They’ll cause so much trouble inside me and kick my insides—oh wait. I lied. They’re going to be like their father. Quiet, gentle, and loving towards me right? They won’t treat me roughly right?”

“Don’t talk nonsense!”

Lan WangJi quickly sat up and forced Wei WuXian to sit on his lap. Wei WuXian’s legs were spread and encircled around Lan WangJi’s hips. His throbbing dick rubbed against his husband’s clothed one, the pure white cloth becoming stained by his leaking precum.

“What nonsense? Lan Er-gege, this is our reality now. You’ll impregnate me in one try. I’ll carry a small young master Lan or even Lans… Or even young mistress Lan. Oh, the possibilities!”

As he spoke, Wei WuXian tore apart Lan WangJi’s white robes. The robes were thrown carelessly onto the ground alongside his own robes. Their naked bodies were heated, sweaty, and lustful for the other. His dick throbbed and leaked precum, his ass puckered, his new womb even itched for a deep penetration, for a ravishment that will shape his hole to solely fit Lan WangJi’s well-endowed member. His thumb parted Lan WangJi’s lips and presented his fingers in front of his mouth. Lan WangJi could only obediently open his mouth and taste Wei WuXian’s fingers.

His hot tongue would swirl around the intruding the fingers. The tongue would lick the fingers, taking care to note every little detail of the fingers, occasionally flicking under the nails. Wei WuXian would also capture the tongue between his index and middle fingers, rubbing and pulling against the tongue softly.

The ecstasy expressed in Lan WangJi’s glass eyes, the burning red ears, his soft moans vibrating from his throat, the hot breaths… Everything about the situation aroused Wei WuXian.

At the same time, Wei WuXian’s other hand and Lan WangJi’s hands played with his ass. Together, their hands spread the puckering hole and dig deeper inside. While he sharply pressed against his prostate, Lan WangJi’s fingers would circle around the prostate and softly rub the tip of his nail against the sensitive prostate. His ass quickly became a mess as his back arched in pure pleasure and he pressed their nipples together. His own nipples were hard, perking up, desperately rubbing against Lan WangJi’s.

The multiple stimulations drove Wei WuXian crazy with lust, his moans becoming exceedingly louder ass time passes.

Eventually, Lan WangJi’s hands left his ass, pulling Wei WuXian’s own hand out as well, leaving his ass to gape widely, throbbingly swollen and red from constant tease.

“Lan Zhan, fuck me.”

It wasn’t a request, it was an order.

And… Lan WangJi obediently obeyed that order, unable to restrain himself any longer. His hands grasped Wei WuXian’s buttocks, his throbbing dick lined up against his gaping hole. His hole practically drooled messily over just the head poking against it. In one swift thrust, Lan WangJi’s dick penetrated him deeply, down to the hilt. Wei WuXian’s moans came to an abrupt stop as the thrilling pleasure took away his voice.

He became speechless as his body graciously accept the penetrating dick. The dick’s throbbing veins pulsed against his prostate. The head also brushed past something, but he wasn’t sure what. He was distracted by how deep his husband is inside him. He penetrated so deeply that the dick broke into the colon territory, his natural curved dick protruding from his stomach, the wide girth opening his hole and shaping it. Wei WuXian ass throbbed, spasmed around the dick as his arms wrapped around Lan WangJi.

“Wei Ying. Does it hurt?”

Wei WuXian shook his head, relieving his husband at once. He simply lost himself for a moment. He pushed himself off Lan WangJi’s body and looked down at his stomach.

“Ah… It really is protruding.”

In the past centuries, Wei WuXian knew his husband was well-endowed. It was no surprise to him to see his stomach being inflated from the mere size. However, he never got the chance to touch the inflating belly. Thus, he touched it and felt for his husband’s sensitive head. He laughed as his fingers rubbed against the area, feeling around the protrusion in glee before his laughter was stopped by Lan WangJi pulling out.

He pouted, “Lan Zhan, husband! I haven’t finished touching yet!”

His body quickly adapted, relaxed with an empty feeling when Lan WangJi pulled out. His hole was twitching, contracting, protesting at the empty feeling. However, he was quickly filled up again, bringing his complaint to a stop. His voice was silenced by the feeling of being full. To put it simply, Wei WuXian was fucked speechless. Lan WangJi’s lips hovered beside his ears, whispering softly, almost seductively in his deep voice, “you’ll have many other chances to touch. Is this deep enough?”

“Deep, it’s deep! Go deeper if you want!” Wei WuXian finally regained his ability to speak, his voice desperate and lewd. 

Lan WangJi was a tease.

He pulled out slowly, pushing Wei WuXian to nearly scream from the frustration, from the empty feeling. But his voice would then become silenced at the swift, harsh thrust that reaches deep inside. His insides spasmed. His erect dick leaking all over Lan WangJi.

Although, the teasing came to a stop when Wei WuXian pulled away from the agonizing, slow pace and created a faster pace by moving his own hips. He leaned back, his arms keeping his body up, his legs loosened their encirclement around Lan WangJi and helped stabilize his hip movements. He desperately moved his hips. Up and down. Right and left. Every movement allows the penetrating dick inside him to piece him at different angles. The pleasure quickly built up, the heat pooled in his groin as he orgasmed.

His cum splashed onto his face, chest, and stomach. His silvery eyes narrow lustfully at his husband, his tongue licked a dripping drop of cum.

Wei WuXian was enchanting, bewitching, seductive.

Lan WangJi the folded Wei WuXian in half, his legs practically touching his upper body.

“Finally! Good husband, show me how you’ll impregnate me!”

Wei WuXian was excited. He hooked his ankles behind his husband upon feeling the dick line up against his dripping hole. And once again, in one thrust, his husband pierced deeply and came inside him, however… Wei WuXian felt a strange feeling. His husband’s cum was being released inside him, but it wasn’t the usual feeling. He was releasing in something that was inside him.

Wei WuXian quickly came to a conclusion. It was his womb!

At a certain angle, Lan WangJi managed to pinpoint the location of Wei WuXian’s newly constructed womb, put pressure against the entrance of it and came. While it was pleasurable, it also felt weird. But before he can ponder any further, the dick inside him moved as it was releasing its seeds inside him. Lan WangJi’s hand lightly flicked his neglected dick, drawing a groan from his mouth. His dick was painfully aroused and his husband only teased it.

But… it felt amazing.

The stimulation of having Lan WangJi’s seeds planted in him while penetrating him and his dick being teased drove Wei WuXian off the edge. He cried out in a thrilling pleasure, his moans enveloped the whole room, his ass continued to make slutty squelching noises. His dick could only release his cum once again. However, his release never stopped just like how Lan WangJi never stopped thrusting roughly and deeply.

His cum thinned out so much, to the point where it was almost transparent and thin like water. His dick became so sensitive from the continuous release, his ass throbbed and twitched. He orgasmed from just his ass being penetrated, from his womb greedily drinking up the overflowing seeds.

Wei WuXian’s hands tightly held onto Lan WangJi's, his smooth pale legs trapped Lan WangJi, pressing their bodies together, and keeping his husband’s dick snugly inside him. Not only did it felt good, but it would also plug his ass up and stop the cum from leaking out. And he wanted to kiss the man who will soon become the father to their children.

“Lan Zhan, we’re still doing these things when I’m pregnant, okay?”

‘Sorry in advance to my future children. Your father is too good and I’m deeply in love with him. I can’t stop anymore.'

Chapter Text

Wei WuXian really has no shame, absolutely no qualms with shouting himself hoarse. As if he wanted to show off, to emphasize that he’s having shameless sex with his husband, his voice pierces right through the sound barriers erected by the talismans.

Xie Lian was annoyed at first, thoughts of slamming a fist against the walls to disrupt the loud sex entered his mind. However, before his thoughts became reality, Hua Cheng decided to put up his own sound barriers, effectively muting them. Finally, they could have a good night sleep. Or so Xie Lian thought. Somehow, Wei WuXian’s voice still pierced through the barriers with his shameless begging.

Xie Lian’s body immediately sat up, his hands searching though his robes, ready to roll out his pair of dice to leave the shameless couple’s residence, but then… Wei WuXian’s voice softened. However his thrilling pleasure and lust was still detectable in his voice. Instead of begging and screaming shamelessly, Wei WuXian was whispering his husband’s name affectionately, gasping out “good husband”, “I love you”, and many more expressions of love.

Such open affection… It was embarrassing just listening to him. Xie Lian couldn’t help, but bury his face into his hands, his face burning from the second-hand embarrassment.

“Gege?”

He peeked through his parted fingers and gazed at Hua Cheng. His thick locks were kept behind his ears, allowing Xie Lian to take in the details of the man’s face. Hua Cheng’s dark eye stared at him with concern, but at the same time, the corner of his lips were curled up in amusement. Xie Lian groaned with a muffled voice at his beloved’s amusement.

Their room was enveloped in darkness except for a small of moonlight that entered through the slit of a window. The small beam of moonlight made Hua Cheng’s jade skin glow.

“San Lang…”

Xie Lian buried his face against the crook of Hua Cheng’s neck, his hands sneaking down to grasp Hua Cheng’s. Hua Cheng was alluring, enticing and Wei WuXian was still spouting affectionate, but embarrassing lines. Although Wei WuXian’s affectionate lines were said for Lan WangJi, Xie Lian felt such words could also be used to help him express his own affections for the Ghost King.

“I adore you. I really love you. An eternity is not enough for me to express myself. I…”

There were many things that he wanted to express, to tell Hua Cheng. However, before he could say anything further, Hua Cheng tilted his chin up and pressed their foreheads together, gently rubbing their foreheads against one another.

“Gege. Dianxia.”

‘Likewise, an eternity is not enough for me to love you. We’ll take our time loving together.’

Backing away, Hua Cheng placed feather-like kisses on Xie Lian’s face. A kiss on the forehead. The temples. The eyebrows. The eyelids. The corners of his eyes. The tip of his nose. His ample cheeks. His shy lips.

He didn’t dare to deepen the kisses, but his beloved highness dared to.

As much as Xie Lian enjoyed the feather-like kisses, he wanted more from Hua Cheng. In a bold move, he grabbed the back of Hua Cheng’s neck and captured his lips. He tilted his head and tried to deepen the kiss. He tried to think back to their previous passionate kisses, to the times when Hua Cheng took the initiative, but then he remembered the kiss Wei WuXian placed on Lan WangJi in an alley of Ghost City.

It wasn’t a sweet kiss. It was a dirty, shameless one. Exchanging saliva, drooling from the corners of their mouths, their tongues swirling around in each other’s mouth, their breaths mixing together… Such a kiss…

Xie Lian wanted it.

Thus, he was inspired, motivated by the image of the kiss in his memories. Their lips parted for a brief moment as he pressed Hua Cheng against the bed. His hand gently lowered Hua Cheng’s head before holding Hua Cheng’s arms up. In a swift move, he captured the Ghost King’s lips, nibbling softly before sneaking a tongue into his mouth.

Xie Lian was clumsy as he sucked on Hua Cheng’s tongue. His tongue occasionally flicked against the other tongue as his lips pressed down softly. His hand released Hua Cheng’s arms and caressed his face. It was like Xie Lian couldn’t get enough of Hua Cheng.

Meanwhile, Hua Cheng allowed Xie Lian to do as he pleased, allowing himself to salivate, to drool at the bold actions of his beloved. His arms wrapped themselves around Xie Lian, his hands caressing the God’s ass, his fingers rubbing against the twitching hole through the pure white robes. A moan escaped into their kiss as they parted.

Their faces were close, their breaths were mixing together. Hua Cheng’s lips were glazed, swollen just as Xie Lian wanted. He chuckled at the sight of Hua Cheng’s swollen lips. But his moans quickly replaced his chuckles.

Hua Cheng’s hands sneaked under the white robes, his fingers tenderly rubbing and tapping against the twitching entrance. Xie Lian was almost driven mad at Hua Cheng’s teasing. He buried his face against Hua Cheng’s shoulder, his back arching, his ass pointing upwards and shoving itself against Hua Cheng’s fingers. It trembled, shook as Xie Lian tried to get Hua Cheng’s finger, or even the tip of his nails to enter, to prob him.

“... San Lang.”

He was almost desperate. He didn’t want to be reduced to begging that quickly.

Xie Lian tore apart Hua Cheng’s undergarments, his hands reaching down to boldly stroke Hua Cheng’s growing arousal. As the hardening dick pulses in his hands, Xie Lian was entranced by the prominent collar bones in front of him. With a soft peck, he slowly began to nipple on them, leaving behind small trails of marks on the man. He moaned as he marked Hua Cheng whose fingers finally began to enter his hole.

The fingers stretched and explored his tender insides. They thrusted, they probed. However, it wasn’t deep enough. Hua Cheng’s fingers barely reached deep inside. The invading fingers barely even touched his prostate. Even if his prostate was touched, pressed upon, it was a fleeting one. It was pure frustration as he wiggled his ass, trying to get Hua Cheng’s fingers to enter deeply again.

He bit down on his lips before looking up at Hua Cheng.

Hua Cheng was smug. He was smirking while his fingers teased Xie Lian.

Xie Lian’s body began to shake. If Hua Cheng wanted him to beg, then so be it. Almost as if encouraging him to beg, Wei WuXian’s voice that was whispering sweet love lines a while ago now began loudly beg Lan WangJi to “go deeper” once again.

The white robes slipped off, revealing smooth shoulders and unmarked skin. He threw his stained pants away as he sat on top of Hua Cheng. As he leaned back, his trembling dick kissed Hua Cheng’s arousal. His dripping precum was messily smeared on the underside of Hua Cheng’s dick. Their dicks rubbed against each other, exchanging heat and body fluids. Xie Lian gazed at Hua Cheng with a heated expression.

“San Lang. I want you inside… Do you not want me?”

Of course his beloved San Lang wants him. He wants his everything.

Hua Cheng quickly grasped Xie Lian’s ass and lined his dick up to it. Xie Lian’s body hovered in the air as the tip of the other’s dick began to penetrate him, stretching him widely. However, Hua Cheng never shoved it in. His tip remained inside and was shallowly thrust. Letting out a cry of frustration, Xie Lian grasped his beloved’s shoulders. However, before he could push himself down on the dick, Hua Cheng released inside him. His tender, but greedy insides drank up the released semen. His insides spasmed, throbbed for more of Hua Cheng who was still aroused and willing to grant his Dianxia whatever.

One move was all it needed to push Xie Lian off the edge.

His body no longer hovered awkwardly in the air with Hua Cheng’s dick barely inside him. Now, he was sitting on Hua Cheng, his hole stretched to its widest and touching Hua Cheng’s balls, his insides rubbed raw, his prostate pulsing against the penetrating dick. He let out a loud moan, no longer remembering that next door was a shameless couple who were still going at it and that they were also joining the shamelessness.

“San Lang! Deeper!”

Hua Cheng pulled out with a chuckle before roughly piercing him once again. He kissed the corners of Xie Lian’s eyes, lapping up the forming tears.

“Gege, Dianxia… Whatever you want, I’ll give.”

He thrust deeply. The tip of his dick kissing the barriers of the colon, his veins pulsing against the spasming insides. Every thrust became rougher, more desperate and rushed. At the same time, his beloved’s voice grew louder at each and every deep thrust. Xie Lian didn’t hold back his voice. His voice joined Wei WuXian’s and it felt almost as if they weren’t separated at all, as if they were having sex in the same room.

It was embarrassing, mortifying in fact if they were in their right minds, but they weren’t. None of that mattered to the lustful God and Ghost King presently. What did matter was that they were together, their bodies combining and becoming one, that their only beloved God and Ghost King, believer, were in front of them.

Thus, they continued.

Hua Cheng gave Xie Lian pleasure and Xie Lian gratefully accepts it.

Chapter Text

Precisely at five, before the sun could even rise to greet the world with its warm light, Lan WangJi’s glass eyes were opened. He blinked once, twice, ridding himself of any remaining drowsiness. His eyes found themselves staring at messy ink-like hair. The head of spilled ink soundlessly rose up and down, following every breath that Lan WangJi took.

An arm slowly pulled away from Wei WuXian, his hand touching his own face as an attempt to measure his temperature. Once he deemed it warm enough, he carefully sneaked his hands under his husband and lifted him up from his chest. However, Wei WuXian let out a low groan at the loss of his human bed and pillow and tried to embrace Lan WangJi again. He snuggled and pressed his ear against the chest, listening to the calm heartbeats. He sighed in content as the calm heartbeats harmonize with his own.

Lan WangJi sat up while softly pressing his hand down on the back of Wei WuXian’s head. He laid back against the bed’s frame and glanced down at his beloved. His right hand quietly pats his head while his left rubbed circles on his back.

“Wei Ying. Be good.” His voice was soft and husky. He didn’t dare to wake his husband up. He could only gently coax his sleeping husband to let go.

It didn’t take long for Wei WuXian to listen to Lan WangJi’s gentle coaxing. Lan WangJi was finally able to slip out from under his husband. He wrapped Wei WuXian up, making sure that he was warm under the covers and comfortable. Before he left, he leaned down and placed a kiss on top of his forehead.

“Good morning.”

Picking up his white cloak from a nearby rack, he swiftly draped it over his shoulders and grabbed his forehead ribbon on his way out of their shared room. Compared to the warmth from their room, the hallway was much colder and certainly much quieter. Before he left their humble home, Lan WangJi stared at the room that Xie Lian and Hua Cheng resided in.

In the midst of their everyday activities from last night, Wei WuXian had blocked his ears. His lithe body had twisted and turned, bounced up and down. All those erotic movements while he took away Lan WangJi’s rights to hear his slutty moans. Wei WuXian only told him to feel, to see, to taste. Although Lan WangJi was confident that his husband had another reason for blocking his ears that might be related to the God and Ghost King in the other room.

He let out a quiet breath as he rolled his sleeves up. It was time for him to start his daily routine.

As he stepped outside, the petals of the wisterias brushed against his smooth strands of hair. Lan WangJi gathered his hair into one hand and tied his forehead ribbon around it. The low ponytail neatly kept his hair out of his way as he knelt and dipped his hands under the transparent water of the cold lake. He quickly gathered the water into a small bucket before setting it aside to wash his own face. Droplets of water dripped down his crafted face as he stared at some fish that popped their heads out to have a glance at the person who disturbed them. The fish returned his gaze, unable to look away from the beauty. When he tilted his head to the side, the fish would imitate the action.

For a short while, Lan WangJi entertained himself with the fish’s many attempts to copy his actions. He eventually left to prepare basins of water for both his husband and guests. Once the basins were prepared with separate sets of cloth, he came inside the kitchen that was built separately from their home. He released his low ponytail, allowing his long hair to flow freely down his back before gathering them in one hand once again. He raised his ponytail, securing it tightly with the ribbon.

With a glance around the area in the kitchen, he quickly picked out the tools he needed: a basket and a small knife. Strapped to his back, the basket hung low as he stepped out. As soon as he walked past the garden that was created especially for his pet rabbits, the rabbits that were originally sleeping immediately woke up and followed him. Unlike before, they finally could follow their precious master to another place instead of waiting on a field at the back of the mountain.

One hop was followed by another. Each and every step Lan WangJi took, the rabbits followed relentlessly.

He paused before a field of vegetables that was soaked with the mountain’s pure spiritual energy. He carefully harvested what was needed for their lunch and dinner. He took care to organize the vegetables in the basket. He slowly counted off what’s in the basket while peeling spare lettuces, cutting them into smaller bits for the rabbits. After he decided that he had enough ingredients, he immediately returned to his home to prepare a simple breakfast for his husband and guests.

Although by the time he came back, Lan WangJi found one of his guests up and about in front of the cottage home. Xie Lian’s hair was loose and smooth. It swayed along the cool morning breeze, the flower petals of magnolia, wisteria, plum blossoms, and many more kissed every single strand of his hair. A dark red cloak draped over his shoulders as he stood admiring each and individual flowers of the blooming wisteria.

“Dianxia.”

Lan WangJi’s low and magnetic voice snapped Xie Lian from his entrance. His seemingly delicate hands quickly let go of the wisterias, his slender body turned around, his gentle eyes met aloof ones.

“HanGuang-Jun! You’re up quite early!”

“Mn.”

And there was nothing left to say. Although the journey did indeed help them get closer, there was still a certain awkwardness between Xie Lian and Lan WangJi. Perhaps it was because of Lan WangJi’s cold exterior, his quiet personality that created the slight awkwardness. Perhaps it was because Xie Lian didn’t want to be pushy which unintentionally created the current awkwardness. Surely, there were other things that they could possibly talk about that were not related to swordsmanship and martial arts.

However before Xie Lian could ponder any further, his eyes were led astray by the many white balls of fluff that surrounded Lan WangJi. The revered HanGuang-Jun—in his snow-white robes with pale blue clouds lining the robes, his glass-crystal eyes partially hidden by drooping eyelids, his dark long hair tied tightly up by a thin ribbon—everything that made him seem like a god from the heavens, was surrounded by plump and fluffy rabbits. Those fluff balls would often nudge against the man, nibble on his pure white robes, and even crowd against his feet to prevent him from moving. Lan WangJi’s cold and distant image quickly shattered and was replaced by the soft scene in front of Xie Lian.

Xie Lian couldn’t help but let a soft chuckle escape his lips. Although his hands flew to cover his mouth, to prevent any more laughs that could lead to further offense, the man in particular did not seem to be offended.

“Dianxia. Would you help me feed them? I still have to make breakfast for us.”

Xie Lian was surprised by Lan WangJi’s offer, almost forgetting to reply until the man’s head tilted to the side in confusion at his silence. Xie Lian smiled, “Of course!”

“Mn.”

Lan WangJi swiftly took the basket off, set it down on the ground. He picked out some cabbages, lettuces, yu choy, bok choy, and spinach before handing them over to Xie Lian who accepted them with his sleeves.

“Dianxia can just cut or peel the vegetables into smaller pieces. Don’t feed the rabbits the same thing. Alternate between the vegetables.”

“Okay.”

Lan WangJi nodded at Xie Lian, his hand grasped the strap of his basket and swung it over his shoulder. He gradually made his way towards the kitchen, but he stopped at the voice of Xie Lian. He turned back to look at Xie Lian who was surrounded by the plump balls of fluff.

Xie Lian didn’t know what made him call out to Lan WangJi. Perhaps his contrasting image, perhaps his straight-to-the-point speech, but Xie Lian really did want to get to know the man better. Lan WangJi patiently waited for him to speak whatever he had in his mind, his glass eyes softly gazing at him.

Xie Lian inhaled deeply before speaking loud and clear, “may I call you ‘WangJi’?”

Those same aloof glass eyes widened in surprise before they returned to their usual aloofness. Lan WangJi nodded firmly at Xie Lian, “mn,” before heading towards the kitchen.

Xie Lian’s smile grew as he looked down at the vegetables in his robes and the balls of fluff that began to nibble on the edges of his robes. He chuckled, his hands slowly peeling the leafy greens and feeding the enthusiastic rabbits.

Lan WangJi and Xie Lian were awkward, but they can work on it, step by step.


 

When it was nine, Wei WuXian woke up with the realization that his human pillow and bed had slipped out several hours ago. He groggily pushed himself up from their bed, his silvery eyes sleepily searched for his husband. He sighed, knowing that Lan WangJi was most likely outside making breakfast. Thus, he slumped back down on the bed and buried his face into their pillow.

His eyes closed, his consciousness slowly slipping from his grasp until he heard soft footsteps. Although he says “soft footsteps”, they weren’t soft. They were practically silent to others. His lips curled into a smile as he rearranges himself into a proper sleeping posture. He waited for his husband to enter and pretended to sleep peacefully.

Lan WangJi paused in front of the sleeping Wei WuXian. He soundlessly sat on the bed, beside his husband. He grasped Wei WuXian’s hand, tightened his grip around the hand and waited for him to wake up.

“In order for Yiling Patriarch to revive, he needs the kiss of life from HanGuang-Jun.”

Wei WuXian’s eyes were closed, not at all pretending to be asleep, as he demanded a kiss from Lan WangJi. And… Lan WangJi obliged him.

Lan WangJi leaned down and gave Wei WuXian a soft peck on the lips.

“Is that enough?”

“Hmmm… Nope. Yiling Patriarch still needs another kiss of life from HanGuang-Jun.”

Another kiss was placed on his smiling lips.

“Again.”

The soft moist pair of lips grazed against his drier ones. They remained there for a few seconds longer than the previous before they were pulled apart.

“Another one.”

And thus another was given but on the corner of his eyes.

“HanGuang-Jun, your kiss of life was not received. Please give it to Yiling Patriarch properly this time.”

Unfortunately for Wei WuXian, Lan WangJi did not do as he told him to. He placed a kiss on the tip of his ticklish nose.

“Aiya… Yiling Patriarch won’t be reviving anytime soon if HanGuang-Jun is being stingy with his kisses of life.”

Lan WangJi once again leaned down, his face closed in on Wei WuXian’s smiling face. His lips locked against his husband’s. It was a short kiss. When he pulled away from the kiss, Wei WuXian’s silvery eyes were wide open and shimmered with mischief. His arms were thrown around Lan WangJi’s neck, pulling him down onto his body. He pressed their foreheads together as he glared playfully at him.

“HanGuang-Jun. How could you leave your husband behind so early in the morning and not give him any kisses.”

“Mn.”

“Don’t give me that cheeky response. Not only that, you cleaned me up from last night. You pulled yourself out even though you clearly know that I like the feeling of being filled by you. You didn’t even leave behind any seeds inside me. I’m trying to get pregnant and you’re reducing the chances. Therefore… HanGuang-Jun needs to be punished.”

Wei WuXian’s smile grew brighter and wider. It was almost blinding if Lan WangJi didn’t fall in love with that same smile. Lan WangJi nodded his head, rubbing his forehead against Wei WuXian’s before snuggling against his neck.

“What kind of punishment?”

Although his voice was muffled, it was still deep and magnetic. To Wei WuXian, it was an absolutely seductive voice that could make him do anything to hear more of it. Wei WuXian hugged Lan WangJi’s head, his hands pressed his husband against his covered body. His lips grazed the faintly tinted earlobe as he spoke, “Lan Er-gege will see tonight.”

“Mn.”

“Hahaha! Is it a punishment anymore if you’re looking forward to it?”

Ah… No matter how many years have passed, Lan WangJi doesn’t change. He is still the same Lan WangJi that Wei WuXian adores greatly. The only one he wants.

“Wei Ying. You need to eat.”

“Lan Er-gege. Indulge me a little. Stay in bed for a little more? I’ll eat until my stomach bursts if you stay in bed with me for a little more.”

“No eating until stomach bursts.”

“Alright alright. Whatever Lan Er-gege says. So… indulge me?”

“... Mn.”

Lan WangJi’s arms wrapped themselves around Wei WuXian’s waist while Wei WuXian himself tightened the embrace. He quietly inhaled the sandalwood fragrance from his husband, his heart beating calmly at the relaxing scent, his ears placed on top of the other beating heart that belonged to his husband. Wei WuXian was certain that he would get wrinkles from smiling too much, not that he minded.


 

On the other side of the wall, Xie Lian was coaxing a sulking Hua Cheng.

When Xie Lian woke up to admire the wisterias in the early morning, he left behind the sleeping Hua Cheng. It was rare for the God to wake up before the Ghost King and even rarer for Hua Cheng to be in such a deep sleep that he didn’t wake up the moment Xie Lian did. Xie Lian didn’t have the heart to wake him up, thus he slipped away silently. Furthermore… it was embarrassing to face him when his memories were still fresh from the previous night.

“San Lang… I didn’t mean to leave you behind. Don’t be like this.”

Xie Lian’s tone was light as he snuck under the covers that Hua Cheng threw over himself to hide from him. A hand crawled over to grasp the other’s cold hand, rubbing their middle fingers together. Hua Cheng was sulking, but Xie Lian knew it wasn’t serious. It was a chance for Hua Cheng to act childish in front of him.

Xie Lian pulled the covers and revealed the dark messy hair. He leaned over to find Hua Cheng’s eye still closed, his lips not smiling, but the corners slightly twitching to curl up.

“San Lang, look at me.”

He patiently waited for Hua Cheng to turn around to look at him. His dark eye finally opening to look straight into his gentle ones. He smiled at the slightly pouting Ghost King. He grasped Hua Cheng’s cold hands and used them to caress his face. He held the other’s hands in place as he pressed their foreheads together. His face burned, scorched from the touch of the Ghost king despite its cold temperature.

Neither of them said anything. They simply maintained the position, Hua Cheng’s hands being held by him to caress his own face, their eyes staring into each other. Although he burned under the scorching touch and the piercing eye, Xie Lian never ran away from Hua Cheng.

Hua Cheng sighed, his eye in clear amusement, “Gege has gotten bolder nowadays.”

Xie Lian’s face burned even hotter, his memories flashing back to last night’s activities. He didn’t think about them when he faced Lan WangJi, perhaps because he didn’t hear the man’s voice through the walls or it was overpowered by Wei WuXian’s moans, but now that he faced Hua Cheng, he was forced to remember everything. His grasp on Hua Cheng’s hands tightened as his face became redder, hotter.

Hua Cheng chuckled, pulling his hands away from Xie Lian’s grasp in order to take those calloused hands into his. He pressed those hands together, held them up to his lips, and placed a gentle kiss on them.

“I still adore Gege no matter how he acts.”

“... Then… San Lang won’t sulk anymore?”

Hua Cheng laughed once again, his dark eye narrowed affectionately at Xie Lian. “As long as Gege brings me along to view the flowers, then I won’t sulk. I want to accompany you everywhere.”

His thumb then rubbed on the red string that was tied on Xie Lian’s middle finger. Xie Lian’s face was hot but he was also blissfully happy. He nodded quietly and buried his face against Hua Cheng’s chest.

‘I’m very blessed to have you.’


 

Eventually, the couples came out of their room after some time cuddling together. They entered the main hall together and sat down at the table that was set up beforehand. Lan WangJi silently left them to warm the food up. It was just Wei WuXian with Xie Lian and Hua Cheng.

Wei WuXian was dressed casually in his dark robes, his head laid against his folded hands, his eyes observing Xie Lian and Hua Cheng. His silent observation unnerved Xie Lian. It made Xie Lian finally look him in the eyes. Wei WuXian suddenly grinned at him, his mouth slowly parting to speak. Xie Lian immediately had a foreboding feeling that whatever Wei WuXian wanted to say wasn’t going to be anything good. Ruoyue swiftly unwrapped itself from his arm, slipped out from his sleeves, ready to silent Wei WuXian, but it was too late.

“Dianxia is very erotic in bed. Very lewd. I didn’t expect that from you at all!” Wei WuXian grinned even wider at Xie Lian’s embarrassment, at Hua Cheng’s own widening smile. Wei WuXian’s right index finger wiggled out from its entanglement with his left hand and tapped on his suspiciously glossy, swollen lips. “Although you may want to keep it down a notch. I don’t want Lan Zhan to hear such erotic moans.”

Xie Lian almost launched himself towards Wei WuXian, ready to silence the grinning man, but was held back from the chuckling Hua Cheng. Hua Cheng’s shoulders shook from seeing this rare shorter-tempered side of Xie Lian. At the same time, Lan WangJi carried out trays of their breakfast. Whatever that Wei WuXian wanted to continue to speak, whatever that Xie Lian wanted to do to Wei WuXian… All was postponed for the simple, but filling breakfast in front of them.

It was a very peaceful morning for them.

Chapter Text

After a simple, but homely breakfast, Xie Lian decided to get Hua Cheng to practice his calligraphy.

It was a surprise to Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi that the infamous Xue Yu Tan Hua, feared by both the heavens and hell, is utterly hopeless when it comes to writing beautiful calligraphy. To put it nicely, in Xie Lian’s words, his calligraphy had its own bold style, a wild personality that stands out from others. To put it bluntly, it was complete madness, no sense of aesthetic, and a hopeless case.

On the smooth piece of parchment is a meaningful proverb, “separated by thousands of miles, some people are destined to meet”. It is a good proverb to apply to the cultivators and the god and ghost king’s relationship with each other. It was meant to be, for them to come together over a mere child-bearing pill. However, the proverb was utterly ruined by the scribbles on the parchment. If the intent of the proverb was to be beautiful and meaningful, then Hua Cheng single-handedly turned it into madness, to a proverb that portrays utter coldness.

“You have talent.”

Wei WuXian snickered at his husband’s words before adding on to the judgment. “Yeah, talent for turning something meaningful into the opposite.”

Hua Cheng’s face was buried into Xie Lian’s neck. Although his face was cold, Xie Lian knew Hua Cheng felt at least some shame at his calligraphy. Xie Lian could only silently comfort him, his right hand rubbing Hua Cheng’s back softly and his left hand caressing the back of his head, his fingers tangling themselves with the jet-black locks.

Lan WangJi held the parchment in his hand, his eyes earnestly studying each individual strokes of the characters in front of him. Wei WuXian sighed before pulling the parchment out from his husband’s hand. He set it down on the low desk, his hand swiftly writing the same characters in his own messy, sloppy handwriting. He then offered the brush to Lan WangJi who neatly wrote the proverb, each stroke meticulous and firm, before handing it to Xie Lian. Reluctantly, Xie Lian took the brush and repeated the same words on the parchment, his strokes thin and elegant.

HC-WWX-LWJ-XL

The moment Xie Lian put the brush down, Hua Cheng pulled away for a brief moment to take a glimpse of the four different calligraphies only to once again sulk against Xie Lian’s neck. It was already embarrassing enough to show him his handwriting to Xie Lian, but that same embarrassment multiplied with Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi’ now also knowing. Hua Cheng doesn’t and shouldn’t care about others’ opinions, who are not Xie Lian, regarding himself, but his reluctant, growing friendship with the two cultivators say otherwise.

Xie Lian patted his head, his voice soft and comforting, “San Lang, I have told you before. Your style is not bad. Your strokes are powerful and confident. You have potential to become even better. Don’t you trust me?”

“Whatever Gege says, I believe. But…”

“No buts.”

Hua Cheng lowly groaned, his arms encircled Xie Lian, resting on his waist. On the other hand, Wei WuXian rested his back against Lan WangJi’s chest. From his sleeves, he pulled out a tangerine and wiped it on his robes. With a nail dug into the middle of the tangerine, he peeled the citrus. Before feeding himself, he chose the cleanest ones with little to no pith to feed Lan WangJi.

“I agree with Dianxia here. You have your own style. However, if you want it to be at least legible, then you need more practice.”

There was a short silence from Lan WangJi and Xie Lian that Wei WuXian immediately noticed. Indeed, he was not one to talk as his handwriting is quick and simple, his brush barely lifting and leaving the parchment, connecting most strokes together. In the end, his own handwriting can be full of careless mistakes and can even be as illegible as Hua Cheng.

Wei WuXian sighed, his hand lifting to feed Lan WangJi another piece of juicy tangerines. A shiver crawled down his body as his fingers were shallowly enveloped by his husband’s warm mouth, softly flicked against by his tongue. He quietly gulped before facing in Hua Cheng’s direction. “Xue Yu Tan Hua. Who taught you calligraphy?”

“... I was never taught.”

“How about now?”

“...” Hua Cheng gave silence as his response to the question. However there was no need for the Ghost King to say anything.

“I’m still teaching San Lang. Is there something wrong?”

Wei WuXian smiled as Lan WangJi fed him the last piece of the tangerine before he could feed him the piece. “Dianxia. Even if you were taught by famous calligraphers since young, are brimming with talent to be versatile with many handwriting styles, you should not be the one to teach Xue Yu Tan Hua.”

Such words quickly got both Xie Lian and Hua Cheng’s attentions. Hua Cheng pulled away from Xie Lian, his dark eye stared at Wei WuXian, almost glaring to stop him from saying anything unnecessary. However, Wei WuXian ignored Hua Cheng’s glare and continued on with his speech.

“I’m going to be blunt about this. Dianxia, you distract him from actual improvement. While Xue Yu Tan Hua here hates calligraphy and has no intention to improve, but will regardless take the opportunity for more of your attention.”

Xie Lian softly bit the bottom of his lip, his mind processing Wei WuXian’s words. His gentle eyes landed on Hua Cheng who looked away. His slim hand then grasped Hua Cheng’s chin, his thumb barely touching the bottom of Hua Cheng’s lip as he forced the Ghost King to face him.

“San Lang.”

“Gege…”

Xie Lian had a hard time accepting that under his instruction and supervision, Hua Cheng not only did not improve, but was also being sneaky. On one hand, Xie Lian wanted to go even harder on him to help improve, but he didn’t want to force him to do what he dislikes. But on the other hand, it couldn’t be denied that Xie Lian also enjoyed and took advantage of the calligraphy practice to play, to spend time with Hua Cheng. Xie Lian was very conflicted because of Ghost King in front of him.

“How about we let Lan Zhan help him with the calligraphy practice?”

“Huh?”

“If even my Lan Zhan can’t help you improve your calligraphy, then you’re a hopeless case.”

In other words, Wei WuXian truly and completely believes that without Xie Lian distracting Hua Cheng, then Hua Cheng can improve. Even without knowing of their relationship and hearing of what they can do in bed with each other, Wei WuXian just knew that calligraphy be damned if Lan WangJi was in front of him, unintentionally seducing him.

Wei WuXian grinned, his silvery eyes brightened and enthusiastically returned Hua Cheng’s sulking glare with a smug expression on his face. Lan WangJi and Xie Lian could only sigh at their beloved’s eventual war against each other.

Thus, Lan WangJi became Hua Cheng’s temporary calligraphy teacher while Xie Lian was free to complete the prayers that slowly piled up from his worshippers. It was at this moment that Hua Cheng held a small, petty grudge against Wei WuXian. He silently promised to himself that he would return it to Wei WuXian one day.

Chapter Text

Although Lan WangJi became the newly appointed calligraphy teacher for Hua Cheng, their lessons together didn’t start immediately. Lan WangJi wanted to prepare thoroughly for Hua Cheng. He took the appointed task seriously, sincere in his hope to help the Ghost King improve his calligraphy. With such sincerity, even Hua Cheng had to accept the help, albeit rather reluctantly.

“You don’t have to prepare immediately. Just relax for a day or two.”

“Mn.”

Hua Cheng released a low breath as Xie Lian handed back his brush, quietly comforting the Ghost King with words such as “it won’t be too bad,” “San Lang, be good,” and “we can still spend time together”. Xie Lian’s hand rubbed circles along his back, clearly showing his affections. Thanks to Xie Lian’s boldness, Hua Cheng’s mood immediately improved, but he remained acting spoiled in front of him. How could he not take advantage of Xie Lian doting on him so openly in front of others. On the other hand, Xie Lian enjoyed these few moments where he can spoil Hua Cheng.

Meanwhile, Lan WangJi had already approached the loving couple. The parchment with four styles of calligraphy was taken away from Lan WangJi, rolled up and safely tucked away on a bookshelf. Several more pieces of parchment were then placed on the low table, eventually joined by thin jade cups that carried bright colors. The beautiful colors before Hua Cheng caught his attention, forced him to look away from Xie Lian.

Upon seeing his confused expression, Wei WuXian grinned and patted the table. “You can’t do calligraphy, but surely you can paint.”

“San Lang can also create sculptures.” Instinctively, Xie Lian blurted out another hidden talent of Hua Cheng’s.

“Really.”

Unfortunately, Xie Lian couldn’t take back the words that he spoke. Wei WuXian had heard it and Xie Lian had nothing but bad feelings, a premonition that Hua Cheng’s talent would be used for… other things. Wei WuXian’s grinning smile only made Xie Lian more cautious.

“Dianxia. You don’t have to be on guard. I won’t make your San Lang do things he doesn’t want to do.”

“...”

Wei WuXian laughed loudly at Xie Lian’s polite, cautious smile. He looked towards Hua Cheng and spoke clearly, “I just want to commission you to paint and make a sculpture of my Lan Zhan for me!”

A very simple request, but… “How would you know that I’m good at painting or sculpturing? Gege has only said that I can do them.”

“Because you seem like the type to capture every fine detail of things you see. I’m sure that’s the case when you paint or make sculptures of your beloved Gege.”

“You said it yourself. It’s only for Gege. I don’t take commissions.”

Wei WuXian only smiled at Hua Cheng, his eyes narrowing and gleaming. “Alright. I won’t force you.” ‘I’ll make you do it of your own volition.’

‘I’ll see how you will get me to do it of my own volition.’

The first gamble between Wei WuXian and Hua Cheng ended with Wei WuXian’s loss. Although he is slowly reaching an understanding of the kind of person Hua Cheng is, gradually becoming comfortable with calling him a “friend”, Wei WuXian couldn’t help, but bear a grudge against the Ghost King for the loss. Thus, Wei WuXian was determined to win against Hua Cheng this time, no matter how long it will take for the Ghost King to yield.

“But it’d be a waste to not use these paints. How about we have a friendly competition? You paint Dianxia, while I paint HanGuang-Jun. We’ll be judged based on our strokes, details, vividness, colors, efforts, and feelings put into the painting. Our judges are, of course, Dianxia and HanGuang-Jun.”

A dark, thin eyebrow was raised elegantly at Wei WuXian’s suggestion. “Oh? Then what will be the prize if one of us wins?”

“Hmmm… We’ll leave that up to the judges.”

Hua Cheng chuckled and faced Xie Lian. His eye narrowed affectionately as he spoke. “Is Gege alright with this?”

How could Xie Lian not be okay with the sudden competition. It was an opportunity for him to watch Hua Cheng demonstrate his talent and an opportunity for Hua Cheng to play, to interact with others. Thus, his only reply to Hua Cheng was, “Of course!”

Therefore, Wei WuXian and Hua Cheng began painting.

Wei WuXian moved his art supplies and table outside, eager to have Lan WangJi model for him with the flowery sceneries. On the other hand, Hua Cheng remained inside their home, staying at the main hall. Scooping his hair into a thick bundle, he swiftly wrapped a crimson ribbon around it and kept his hair out of the way.

His thin, pale fingers brushed against the parchment before him and smiled at its quality. His dark eye narrowed in contentment when it landed on the various brushes that were obviously well taken care of. The tip of his nail poked at the fine tips of the brushes before he pointed the dry tip at the parchment. He nodded quietly to himself, satisfied with the brush’s flexibility and firmness, he finally dipped the brush into smooth black ink. In swift movements that lack any hesitation, Hua Cheng smoothly sketched out Xie Lian’s figure.

A task as simple as sketching out Xie Lian was nothing troublesome nor difficult. He had eight hundred years of practice after all, how could he be troubled at all.

As he observed Hua Cheng, Xie Lian smiled, his soft eyes darting back and forth, left and right, eager to see every little detail, action of Hua Cheng. In his heart, he sighed contently.

‘San Lang really is beautiful.’


 

“Wei Ying.”

“Hm~?”

“Is this necessary?”

“Of course. I need to show off HanGuang-Jun’s slender neck and his wonderfully beautiful body. Capturing the essence of HanGuang-Jun’s beauty is utmost important.”

Lan WangJi’s back was pressed against the ancient bark of the magnolia tree, his white robes were partially stripped, loosely draped, the robes barely covered the scars of the discipline whip, barely revealing pure jade-like shoulders. His face held a cold, aloof expression that resembled the ethereal gods, his head dipped lowly, his eyes were softly narrowed. His long smooth hair was swept in front with several strands straying in front of his eyes, his forehead ribbon intertwined with his loose hair, the white ribbon with blue clouds enhanced the beauty in front of Wei WuXian.

It had been a long time since Wei WuXian painted Lan WangJi.

Many years ago, Wei WuXian discovered that Lan WangJi had kept his old drawing of him since their teenage years. With his own eyes, he saw how well kept the drawing was, how the strokes barely faded from the parchment, how every little detail of Lan WangJi was still tattooed onto the parchment. It fueled, flared, amplified his love for his husband.

‘Ah… What do I do? I really, really love him. I love him so much.’

Wei WuXian then decided to draw, paint, capture every part of his husband that made him Lan WangJi. He would take every free opportunity to sit down and paint, one of the few times that Wei WuXian was willing to sit still in silence.

Wei WuXian lightly blew against the parchment, watched the colorful paint slowly spread and dye the parchment, the dark ink outlining the seemingly delicate figure of Lan WangJi. He set down his brush and admired his work. In his painting, Lan WangJi was blissfully drunk yet his face still cold and distant like a god, loved by the dancing petals of the magnolia tree, white robes that were like light clouds, his long, slender fingers barely grazed the surface of the lake. Even then, Wei WuXian felt that it was hardly enough to portray his husband’s beauty.

Looking at the painting for a while longer, Wei WuXian finally looked up at his husband, his eyes gleamed, his lips smiling. Without wasting a single movement, he placed two jade paperweights on the top and bottom corners of his painting. He then walked towards Lan WangJi, his right hand stretched out and tilted Lan WangJi’s chin up. He bent down, his lips capturing the soft lips in front of him.

It was a sensual kiss, a kiss of pure affection.

“Lan Zhan. I changed my mind. I’ll give you your punishment right now.”

Wei WuXian knelt down in front of him, his right hand caressed Lan WangJi’s jade face, his left hand slipped under the white robes. His hand teased, stroked at his husband’s member. His thumb brushed, pressed against the slit of his head. Wei WuXian reveled in the soft gasp from his husband. Soon enough, Wei WuXian stripped Lan WangJi of his many layers of clothes, leaving behind only the outer robe to drape against his shoulders.

Pulling back with lustful eyes, his right hand searched in his dark robes and revealed a thin, but long rod. His husband’s member twitched at the sight of the rod, his slit almost throbbed at the rod. Wei WuXian’s thumb constantly rubbed against the slit, his knuckles pressed against the underside of the hot arousal.

“Hold this.”

As he handed the thin rod to Lan WangJi, Wei WuXian took out a small bottle of oil from his sleeves, his teeth bit onto the cork and pulled it out. Slowly, little by little, drops of oil were poured onto Lan WangJi’s dick, onto the slit. Wei WuXian’s hand began to stroke the arousal faster, harder, spreading the oil from the tip to the base.

With one look from Wei WuXian’s eyes, Lan WangJi immediately knew what to do. Wei WuXian’s hand held the dick in place, stabilized its position, his nails barely grazed against the sensitive head and seemed to lightly spread the opening. Gradually, Lan WangJi allowed the rod to sink into his dick. His dick became harder, hotter as the cold, thin metal rod entered him. His dick trembled as the rod entered deeper, as his husband poured more oil onto his dick.

Eventually, the rod stopped sinking any further into him. The tip of Lan WangJi’s ears was dyed bright red, gasps of breath escaped his mouth. It was pure arousing to Wei WuXian. The strokes from his left hand stopped, his slender fingers teasingly crawled up to rub against the sensitive head, to tease the hole with the rod. Grasping the rob with his index and middle fingers, he leisurely pulled the rod out and plunged into the trembling dick. He repeated the notion, knowing that his husband enjoyed the slow tease. More oil was poured as he penetrated the hard dick in front of him.

The dick that always penetrated him, that always created bulges in his stomach, the dick that always planted seeds, released semen inside his hole, was thrillingly trembling in pleasure and was at his complete mercy. It was arousing.

He planted a kiss on Lan WangJi’s lips, shiny from his own saliva. Wei WuXian swallowed the gasps of breath, the moans from Lan WangJi as his plunging of the rod became faster. Gradually, the rod penetrated deeper and deeper before it reached past the bend in the hole and poked against his prostate. Another moan was swallowed by their kiss and the probing against the prostate increased in intensity. His balls tightened, his dick constricted, ready to come. Lan WangJi’s hands swiftly grasped Wei WuXian’s hands in an attempt to stop, however, Wei WuXian made one final pull and removed the rod from his dick. His dick immediately shot out loads of semen, cum that landed on their faces and bodies.

Wei WuXian laughed heartily, his eyes greedily soaking in the gasping and flushed  Lan WangJi. His hand set the bottle down against the old roots of the magnolia tree and removed his belt. The belt was casually thrown on the ground beside Lan WangJi’s clothes. Under his dark robes, Wei WuXian’s own dick was aroused, leaked puddles of precum as he pleasured Lan WangJi, and came at the sight of his husband coming.

“Lan Zhan, look at me. Look how much my body, my whole existence, yearns for you.” His freed dick kissed the head of the trembling, but still hard dick of Lan WangJi’s.

“Wei Ying…”

Hearing his name being gasped out so breathlessly by Lan WangJi, Wei WuXian smiled and lined the rod up against the opening of the slit on Lan WangJi’s throbbing dick. With both the oil and the leaking cum, the rod smoothly sank down the hole, once again penetrating his dick.

As soon as the rod stopped before the bend, Wei WuXian dumped the rest of the oil onto his own hardening dick and tilted his husband’s dick downwards. He directed the dick at him, pointing and lining the rod up in front of him. Lightly, he attempted to spread the small opening of his dick, slowly moving closer to Lan WangJi and penetrated his dick with the metal rod.

Feeling a moan about to escape his mouth, Wei WuXian grabbed the back of Lan WangJi’s head, his fingers tangling and messing up his luscious locks, and kissed him. He released a loud moan into Lan WangJi. As he inched closer to Lan WangJi, the thin metal rod penetrated deeper into his dick little by little.

Lan WangJi’s softly bit down on Wei WuXian’s bottom lip, tugging and sucking on it. His hands snaked behind him, soundlessly grasped the perky ass and dipped a finger inside. The tender insides clamped down on his finger, squeezing tightly.

With his ass being fingered, Wei WuXian scooched closer to his husband, his dick pulsed as it pushed against the rod. The rod once again passed through the bend of his dick and probed against Lan WangJi’s prostate. At the same time, his throbbing dick met Wei WuXian’s. Their sensitive heads, leaking precum and smeared with oil, touched and mixed the bitter, musky cum together.

The single digit in Wei WuXian’s ass increased to two, reaching deep inside, the slender fingers poked at his prostate. The constant poking at his prostate built up the intensity, the thrilling pleasure. His hips trembled as they rocked against Lan WangJi’s. The slow motions of pulling out and plunging in allowed their dicks to be fucked thoroughly. When their dicks kissed each other’s head, Lan WangJi’s fingers would push against Wei WuXian’s prostate and tug their bodies closer, allowing the angle to slightly change for the rod to press against their prostates together.

The overstimulation was addicting. Their prostates probed and poked at, their dicks being penetrated, their moans swallowed by each other. Everything felt good.

Soon enough, his ass craved for something hotter, bigger than the fingers inside. Pulling away from their kisses, both lips and dicks, he removed the rod from Lan WangJi’s dick. It was entrancing to watch the slight bulge created by the rod to fade. Upon removal, the dick leaked additional precum, drenched Wei WuXian’s dick.

“Hah… Hah… Lan Zhan. Don’t stop even if we’re both coming.”

“Mn.”

“Good husband.”

Wei WuXian grinned, his eyes lustful towards the beautiful man in front of him. The hands on his waist swiftly turned him around, his back rested against the strong, broad chest. Despite having his outer robe in between them, he still felt the Lan WangJi’s heartbeats, which grew faster and faster, through his back. Its fast beats influenced Wei WuXian’s own heart to pump even faster. He reached an arm behind that caressed Lan WangJi’s jade cheeks, arched his back and head and captured the soft lips. Their tongues tangled, intertwined, saliva dripping from the corners of mouths. Wei WuXian spread his legs wide open when Lan WangJi lifted his body, his ass lined up against the leaking dick. In one swift movement, his body sank down on the throbbing dick, down to the hilt. The dick pushed past his prostate, the entrance of his womb, and reached his colon. In one penetration, the dick pushed his tender insides upward and created a stomach bulge once again.

Lan WangJi gradually pulled out to the tip, Wei WuXian’s hips lifted before it was slammed down. Wei WuXian’s free hand felt around the bulge whenever it was created, drawing pleasure from pushing his insides back towards the impaling dick. The same hand would also grind against his prostate with the rod that was still in his dick. The thrilling pleasure shot up his spine whenever his husband’s dick grazed even a little against it as the rod ground against it.

At various paces, Wei WuXian was fucked thoroughly in both holes: his dick and his ass. Even with a rod inside his dick, the precum still escaped and dripped down his ass, wetting it even further. Eventually, the double stimulation grew to be too much as his insides spasmed. Nothing came out of his dick, but his ass became numb from the spasms and tightening around the penetrating dick. It was almost painful, but the pleasure overshadowed the slight pain from overstimulation.

While Wei WuXian had dry orgasms from the overstimulation, Lan WangJi came inside him. Wei WuXian’s ass greedily drank the cum, absorbing the semen into his womb. However, as Wei WuXian desired, Lan WangJi never stopped his hips, never stopped plunging into the twitching ass. Every penetration leaked a little of his seeds from the spasming hole.

Wei WuXian bounced up and down, his hole already a perfect sheath for Lan WangJi’s dick, shaped exactly for him. Even as they came, dry or not, they never stopped their movements. Instead, they fucked harder, their movements progressively becoming erratic and messy. Lost in the pleasure, they never noticed a soft gasp and the movements of the grass.

Finally, Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi reached climax together. Wei WuXian reached his final orgasm, an orgasm hard enough, strong enough for the rod to be shot out from his dick. The rod landed on the forsaken table, on his painting of Lan WangJi, still drenched in his cum. His dick throbbed, his balls tightened, his cum being released nonstop. On the other hand, Lan WangJi was buried deep inside him, releasing his seeds into his womb. Wei WuXian relished in the pulsing of his husband’s dick, relished in the hot semen being poured into him.

His legs were still spread, his ass and womb still drinking up the released, hot semen. It was then that Lan WangJi’s deep, magnetic whispered into his ears. “... Take responsibility.”

“Huh?”

“Take responsibility.”

Although Lan WangJi’s face seemed cold, it was actually hot, flushed. His eyes were narrowed, but it was almost glazed with tears. Wei WuXian twisted his back, his expression of amusement as he pecked Lan WangJi on the lips for a sweet kiss.

“Of course I take responsibility for you. Don’t look at me like that. I didn’t bully you that much. Be good and kiss me again.”

A kiss was placed on his smiling lips. Lan WangJi began to slip out of Wei WuXian’s ass, but his husband once again plunged his twitching ass onto the sensitive dick.

“Don’t pull out yet. I’ve told you many times that I love feeling like this. Let me stay like this for a while longer. Anyway… Lan Zhan. I take responsibility, but you? You’ve turned me into a pervert.”

Lan WangJi’s glass eyes narrowed once again, his mouth opened to speak, however, Wei WuXian placed a finger against his swollen lips, silencing him in an instant. “I’m not accusing you without reason. I’ve turned into a pervert who lusts for you day and night. I’ve been bewitched by you, my thoughts are full of you.”

“Mn. Take responsibility.”

Wei WuXian grinned wider at the short and concise answer. “Yes, we take responsibility for each other.”

Wei WuXian closed his legs, his head laid against the crook of Lan WangJi’s neck. His eyes outlined his stomach as he caressed it. His silver eyes became gentle, his smile became much softer and more affectionate.

“Lan Zhan… I…” He paused, pondered on his words briefly before continuing. “I really became more impatient over the years. I can’t wait to give you little young masters, young mistresses Lan. Hundreds of years… It’s not enough for me to love you. No, even an eternity is not enough. I need our children to help bury you in our love. I need them to help convey my love for you. You deserve the world, you know that right?”

“Wei Ying and our children are my world.”

Wei WuXian chuckled as he inscribed every word Lan WangJi spoke into his mind and heart. Their hands intertwined in front of his stomach. He snuggled against his husband’s neck, inhaling the soft sandalwood. He quietly enjoyed the gentle breeze and watched the petals dance in the air.

Blissful happiness really is addicting.

Chapter Text

Xie Lian was there. And he saw everything, from beginning to end.

Hua Cheng was focused on painting and Xie Lian didn’t want to distract him with his presence. Thus he left the main hall with the intention to take a walk and admire the flowers. However, he hadn’t expected to come out and catch the couple in the act.

Completely lost in their own world and in each other, Lan WangJi and Wei WuXian never heard the soft gasp from Xie Lian nor did they ever saw how Xie Lian panicked and hid behind their home with a burning face.

Behind their home was the garden that made specifically for Lan WangJi’s rabbits. Some rabbits surrounded Xie Lian whose back was pressed against the wooden walls of the cottage. His hands covered his ears to block out the lewd, wet, sloppy sounds, and the soundless moans that seemed to be louder than ever. However, it was a futile attempt.

Xie Lian’s face burned even hotter, his eyes squeezed shut. The images of Lan WangJi and Wei WuXian engaging in a such lustful, passionate activity were engraved, carved into his brain. No matter how hard he tried, the images remained. And gradually, the persons Lan WangJi and Wei WuXian changed, transformed, morphed into others. In his mind, they were replaced by Hua Cheng and himself.

Xie Lian was embarrassed, mortified by the transformed images. Soon enough, his lower body began to react to his thoughts.

His thin hand quickly reached down and rubbed his hardening member through his robes. His head was thrown back, slamming against the walls of the cottage. His free hand muffled his voice as the other rubbed his arousal. The leaking precum slowly seeped through and stained his robes.

Ignoring the rabbits that surrounded him, Xie Lian noticed another group of rabbits that openly stared at something from the garden. With a suppressed moan, Xie Lian crawled to them and immediately knew what they were staring at.

The rabbits were staring at Lan WangJi and Wei WuXian. However, it wasn’t just the rabbits and Xie Lian. From even this distance, Xie Lian could see the colorful groups of fish that poked their heads out to spectate the lovemaking between the couple. Essentially, the couple was a striking spectacle for them to watch. Xie Lian was almost certain that even the birds stopped flying to watch them, that even more petals bid farewell to their flowers to join the wind to spectate the act, that even the sun, the heavens were shamelessly watching the two become so lost in each other.

As Xie Lian watched, he imagined himself and Hua Cheng doing such intense, lustful acts. Hua Cheng would be played by Xie Lian, the thin metal rod would go in and out of the handsome Ghost King’s dick. The rod would sink, penetrate Hua Cheng’s dick as he pulled it out. His tongue would lick every drop of precum that leaked from Hua Cheng while his dick would be penetrated by Xie Lian. Hua Cheng’s smooth and confident facade would immediately be broken by him.

Upon seeing the lightly tinted red eyes and the glazed look on Lan WangJi’s face, Xie Lian could almost imagine himself putting that sort of expression on Hua Cheng. That sort of bullied, almost wronged expression with his raven-locks stuck to his face because of sweat. Xie Lian wanted it on his beloved Hua Cheng.

As these thoughts swirled in Xie Lian’s head, his hand sneaked under his robes, into his pants. Rubbing himself through his robes wasn’t enough to relieve him of the pooling heat. His thumb pressed down harshly on the tip of his dick, rubbing his head raw. Every bead of precum was wiped away by his thumb, his nails lightly dragged themselves across the pulsing dick and softly scratched the underside.

Hoarsely, moans escaped Xie Lian’s mouth.

His eyes narrowed as he watched Lan WangJi slam into Wei WuXian. His eyes glazed as he witnessed a bulge created by Lan WangJi’s arousal. His eyes carved every detail into his memory, how Wei WuXian was penetrated in both dick and ass, how he was overstimulated, how he climaxed together with Lan WangJi, how he continued to sheath the other’s ejaculating member with his spasming ass.

Xie Lian was there to see everything, to hear everything. He was also witness for the couple’s love, for their confession, for their blissful happiness.

It didn’t take long for him to come in his own hands, staining both his hands and pants, from the mere thoughts of Hua Cheng and him engaging in similar activities, just as intense, just as passionate, just as loving. As the Hua Cheng in his mind laughed breathily as he let out a “Gege.” And for sure, it didn’t take long for mortification to overcome Xie Lian. Once again, he hid behind the cottage, removed his presence, and fled from the area.

He didn’t have the courage to see Hua Cheng after having had relieved himself nor could he muster up the courage to look Lan WangJi and Wei WuXian in the eyes as he used them as material, as reference in his mind for his own passionate activities with Hua Cheng. Thus, he could only run and clear his mind.

By the time Xie Lian came back, Lan WangJi had just finished cooking their dinner, and Wei WuXian and Hua Cheng waited for their paintings to be judged.

“Gege, welcome back.” Hua Cheng said with a donned smile. His deep eye pierced Xie Lian who flushed and nodded, barely whispering “I’m back.”

“So before we eat, shall we have our competition?”

Xie Lian nodded as Lan WangJi joined them. Wei WuXian and Hua Cheng set up their paintings on the walls, proudly presenting and worshipping the person painted.

Xie Lian walked up to Hua Cheng’s painting and was once again astonished by his beloved’s skills. In the painting was himself, holding a branch of plum blossoms in one hand and holding the long and slender Fang Xin in the other. The pose reminded him of his past self as the Crown Prince of Xian Le, of his first meeting with Hua Cheng. However, he was attired simply with his white robes. Rather than his fancy golden mask that hid his young, handsome face, he wore his humble bamboo hat with a gentle smile.

Xie Lian wanted to laugh at himself, at his simpleness, but he was too astonished by the God in the painting. Although the Xie Lian in the painting was humble, he was graceful and elegant. He danced lightly in the air, soared through it with a branch of plum blossoms and a sword. RuoYe swayed, danced lively in the air alongside Xie Lian.

As he scanned the painting for an umpth time, he noticed that the white that decorated the painting weren’t clouds. In fact, they were butterflies. Xie Lian was dancing among the white silver butterflies. Not only that, he finally noticed the red, almost shining, pearl on his ear. Although Hua Cheng wasn’t physically painted, his presence was clearly beside the Xie Lian inside the painting. The Xie Lian from the painting wasn’t lonely and had his very own Hua Cheng who he first rescued, but was now dancing beside him.

It was a beautiful piece where each stroke was meaningful. Xie Lian felt as if his heart would explode from the overwhelming love he had towards Hua Cheng.

When he calmed his heart down, settled his racing heart, he switched his attention to Wei WuXian’s painting. The scarlet tips of Lan WangJi’s ears did not escape his eyes as he focused on the painting.

Perhaps due to his own unconscious biased, he was surprised as there was another that could possibly rival Hua Cheng in painting.

Wei WuXian truly captured Lan WangJi’s ethereal beauty. In the painting, Lan WangJi was leisurely sitting on the thick roots, his back against the ancient bark of the magnolia tree. His slender left hand lightly dipped in the spring beside him, his fingers kissed by the puckering lips of the vibrant fish. Meanwhile, his right hand rested beside him, kissed by the soft lips of the beloved snowballs, rabbits that he raised. His long black locks swayed in the air, caressed by the wind as the petals danced. Wei WuXian clearly depicted Lan WangJi as an ethereal beauty, loved by the three elements of water, earth, and wind. What was more enchanting was that the Lan WangJi in the painting didn’t just wear his usual glowing white robes. Instead, an obsidian robe was half stripped, laying lowly on his arms, while his glowing white robes were stripped to reveal his jade-like shoulders.

If Xie Lian looked closer, he could easily follow the faint trails of kisses that outlined Lan WangJi’s neck and collarbones. Lan WangJi’s expression in the painting, at first glance, was one of aloofness and frostiness, but in fact, Lan WangJi was smiling. It was a very small smile, but it was of warm sunlight upon the large blankets of frosty snow.

Xie Lian softly coughed into the back of his hand, almost embarrassed to have witnessed a seemingly touching moment. He then scanned the painting, with a slightly flushed face, for further details. He noticed that Lan WangJi’s hair was intertwined with both his usual white ribbon and a bright red ribbon that suspiciously seemed to belong to Wei WuXian. Even in the painting, Wei WuXian’s presence was somewhere beside Lan WangJi. It was another detail that Wei WuXian added alongside the dark robe to lay claim, to mark his husband. However, what stood out to Xie Lian the most was the faint, almost transparent, white splatters that donned the cold beauty and his robes.

However, he never questioned it nor did he question Wei WuXian’s smile.

“So, Lan Zhan, Dianxia. What do you guys think?”

“Paintings were vivid and full of essence.”

“Each stroke were meaningful, colors were used in the right areas to add life to the paintings. You both really astonished me.”

In the end, it was a tie between Wei WuXian and Hua Cheng. It was truly impossible to judge the winner when both earnestly painted and left behind their own presence in the paintings, both subtly and openly.

Thus, the day ended rather peacefully, despite the initial chaos, with the two couples having dinner alongside each other. It wasn’t a quiet dinner nor was it a loud one. It was just the right amount of talking that helped them become closer.

Indeed, another peaceful day had gone by.

Chapter Text

“I’m pregnant!”

Wei WuXian’s voice was loud and clear, full of excitement and joy as those words became his first words of the day. Not even appropriately dressed in his robes, Wei WuXian rushed out of his room, excitedly bounced into the main hall. His skin glowed, his cheeks a soft flush, his eyes narrowed into crescent moons, his lips turned upwards to form a happy grin. He stopped in front of Lan WangJi and Hua Cheng who froze in surprise, his hands affectionately rubbed his still very flat stomach.

Once again, he excitedly reported to them, his eyes shining, his grin seemingly growing even wider than ever. “I’m pregnant!”

It had been three weeks since the immortal cultivators, God, and Ghost King started living together. It didn’t take long for them to eventually find a routine.

The day always began with Lan WangJi waking up as early as five in the morning to care for his pet rabbits and make preparations for their meals. Despite reaching immortality, thus having no need for food, it was already ingrained in Lan WangJi to continue cooking, to continue feeding and caring for Wei WuXian. Although they now lived with two extra mouths to feed, it was rather fun to cook for not only his husband but for Xie Lian and Hua Cheng as well.

After an hour or less, Xie Lian would be the next to rise from his sleep. Caring for Lan WangJi’s rabbits became part of his daily routine. There were also several times where he would join Lan WangJi to gather ingredients for preparations. It was during these times that he got to know Lan WangJi better as they quietly converse whatever that comes to mind or enjoy the peaceful silence between them.

Occasionally, Hua Cheng would wake up at the same time as Xie Lian and join them in their morning preparations. He either helped chop wood or start the fire in the kitchen and make minor preparations with seasoning as he waited for Lan WangJi and Xie Lian to return. If he was in a particularly good mood, he would approach and tease Lan WangJi that he would eat one of his pet rabbits. Although Hua Cheng found it amusing, Lan WangJi became more protective over the fluffy white buns in the garden.

Essentially, it was a very harmonious routine.

Wei WuXian was always the last to wake up, difficult to be roused from his deep sleep. And as the days go by with Wei WuXian gradually waking up later than the previous time, the others eventually decided to simply eat without him, to make him a separate meal for a warmer and fresher feel when he finally woke up.

And after their breakfast, Lan WangJi and Hua Cheng would start their calligraphy lessons. In the beginning, Xie Lian was there to watch their lessons, to make sure that Hua Cheng doesn’t slack off, to observe another person’s method to teach. Xie Lian was confident in his ability to teach, positive that he was not at all lenient, that he was strict when necessary. But eventually, his presence during their calligraphy lessons became less often when he realized that he was indeed distracting Hua Cheng, that he was not strict enough on Hua Cheng. Thus, Xie Lian would take this time to sort out the prayers sent to him from his worshipers.

During the calligraphy lessons, Lan WangJi was persistent and strict. Every word was copied countless times, each stroke slow and steady. If Hua Cheng was displeased by the repetition, then he never showed it. He smiled and bore with the repetition of writing every individual character hundreds of times, endured the glass-like eyes that watched his hands move. Gradually, Hua Cheng’s writing began to actually form legible words, words that could be recognized without difficulty. It was an improvement, but his chaotic, full of madness style still retained. Lan WangJi was very determined to improve the chaotic writing.

When Wei WuXian barged into the main hall with his exciting news, Hua Cheng was in the middle of his twentieth time rewriting the single line of "谁言寸草心,报得三春晖," how the young grass can ever repay the sunlight of the whole spring.

HC improved

The tip of his brush created a huge splatter of the dark ink on the parchment, ruining the wild strokes.

His dark eye sneaked a glance at Lan WangJi whose entire being froze, glass eyes widened in shock, pale luscious lips never got the chance to kiss the rim of the porcelain teacup to taste the warm tea.

“Wei Ying…” His hands almost shakily placed the teacup down as he pushed himself up from his kneeling position. A hand reached outward towards Wei WuXian who swiftly grabbed the hand and placed it on his stomach.

Hua Cheng lowered his brush, his eye engraving the scene in front of him into his mind before it drifted to Wei WuXian’s stomach. His eye gleamed with a dark scarlet, viewing the very faint presence that could have been missed in the flat stomach. As the gradually forming presence grew, his sharp ears began to pick up a soft beat.

One thump.

Two thumps.

Three thumps.

Another heart was beating in Wei WuXian. It was soft, but Hua Cheng still heard it. The soft beats of the forming heart were trying its best to keep up with the excited heartbeats of Wei WuXian. A new life was forming in Wei WuXian’s body.

Hua Cheng chuckled, his eyes were soft as they narrowed into crescents. “How do you know that you’re actually pregnant?”

“Intuition.”

“...” Hua Cheng wasn’t sure whether to laugh or to sigh at the response.

“Not just intuition.” An eyebrow was raised at Lan WangJi’s soft yet steady words. Hua Cheng looked at Wei WuXian who laughed and hugged Lan WangJi’s head closer to his stomach.

“Fine fine. Yes, it wasn’t just my intuition. I’ve been feeling more fatigued and my breasts have been feeling pretty tender. And it’s not because of my everyday activities with Lan Zhan. But, it’s mostly because I trust my intuition!”

“So you’re confident that you’re pregnant?”

“Yeah.”

‘Your intuition was spot-on. You really are pregnant.’

Hua Cheng hummed softly, feeling almost happy for the couple whose dream was gradually being fulfilled. He observed the permanent crescents and smiles on Wei WuXian’s face, the pure bliss expression on Lan WangJi’s face as his head laid against the flat stomach.

Lan WangJi had no doubts—he fully trusted Wei WuXian’s words and intuitions. He laid his head against the stomach, almost as if he was trying his utmost to listen, to find the new life that he created with Wei WuXian.

At this moment, Hua Cheng’s presence was forgotten, the couple in their own little world as he observed from behind, became witness to a centuries-old dream that became reality. Hua Cheng didn’t stay for long. What he witnessed was too personal, too intimate for him to continue watching without getting his own ideas.

“Lan Zhan, are you happy?”

“Happy.”

“Are you excited?”

“Excited.”

“Lan Er-gege, our baby and I want to hear more of your voice.”

“... Mn.”

Wei WuXian laughed heartily, his legs giving out on him. He knelt in front of the already kneeling Lan WangJi, his hands grasped the ethereal face, his lips kissed the temples, the nose, the forehead, the lips, and the fluttering eyes that gradually shed tears.

‘Ah… I made him cry.’

The crystal beads of tears freely rolled down Lan WangJi’s pale cheeks, down Wei WuXian’s hand. The tears were contagious. It didn’t take long for similar crystal beads to roll down his own cheeks. However, Wei WuXian still smiled and laughed in the midst of his tears.

He wrapped his arms tightly around Lan WangJi whose own arms embraced him just as tightly. ‘I love you so much.’

Their dream was really becoming true.


 

Hua Cheng sat on the thick roots of the ancient magnolia tree, his dark boots thrown to the side, his pants rolled up. His bare feet lightly swung, splashed, played with the cool water of the lake. The light breeze pushed his inky hair, mixing soft pink flower petals into the thick locks.

Light footsteps came from behind him as a pair of warm arms embraced him from behind.

“San Lang, what are you doing out here?”

“Gege, you’re back.”

Xie Lian hummed as he peered into Hua Cheng’s eye. He landed a tender kiss on the Ghost King’s lips, drawing a chuckle from his beloved.

“Gege, join me?”

Without a moment of hesitation, Xie Lian stripped off his white boots, rolled up his pants, and joined Hua Cheng. They sat side by side, their hands intertwined with each other. Together, their legs swung in a rhythm in the water, making cool light splashes.

Occasionally, the fish would daringly swim up to the couple. Some were even braver than the other. The brave colorful fish would swim up to Xie Lian and Hua Cheng and brush their lips against their toes.

Xie Lian laughed at the silly fish as Hua Cheng smugly hooked a leg around one of Xie Lian’s leg and rubbed against it with his feet. Hua Cheng would even lift Xie Lian’s leg into the air and kick the water. It was rather refreshing.

“San Lang. Do you have something you want to tell me?” Now that Hua Cheng had relaxed, Xie Lian could finally jump to the topic that seemed to bother him.

“Mn. Wei WuXian is pregnant.”

“Really?! That’s great!”

“Yeah. It was faint, but I sensed another presence and heard heartbeats.”

Xie Lian was genuinely happy for the couple. He enthusiastically played in the water with his feet, his leg hooked itself onto Hua Cheng’s leg and kicked out similarly. As the water splashed, he leaned his head against Hua Cheng’s shoulders.

“San Lang. Once you’re ready, tell me your thoughts.”

“Of course.” Hua Cheng was surprised, but he was comforted by the fact that Xie Lian was willing to wait for him to share his thoughts, his feelings. Hua Cheng quietly laid his head on top of Xie Lian’s, their legs swinging together in the clear water, their hair swaying along the gentle breeze.

‘Dianxia… Can we also be like that?’

Chapter Text

By the time Xie Lian and Hua Cheng entered the homely cottage, Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi already separated from their hug, returned from their own world. However, it was still obvious that they were ecstatic, that they were overjoyed from the almost puffy, swollen red eyes. No amount of time could allow them to fully relish in the moment, thus it was temporarily put aside.

“Dianxia, I’m pregnant!”

Xie Lian let out a soft laugh, his eyes full of mirth. “I’m happy for you. One step closer to your dream.”

Wei WuXian grinned, his hand, intertwined with his husband’s, laid calmly on his stomach. Xie Lian watched the hands on the flat stomach, hidden behind the dark robes, before his eyes landed on Lan WangJi. The tears that shed from those eyes of glass made them seem even glossier, more vibrant. With his swollen, glass-like eyes and cheeks that were a soft shade of rose, Lan WangJi seemed very much like a bashful beauty. However, the unmistakable happiness was what made Lan WangJi’s bashful face glow brilliantly.

“WangJi, you’ll be a father soon. Are you excited?”

“Mn.” The blissfulness never faded from Lan WangJi’s eyes or face.

That night, Lan WangJi made even more food than usual. He refused to let anyone assist him. The clean cuts of many green vegetables, the stir-fried eggs and tomatoes, the soft and sweet tofu, and the various fruits and berries that were gathered on the spot… everything was done by Lan WangJi.

It was a small feast between the four of them as they basked in the blissfulness.


 

Although it was almost midnight, neither Wei WuXian nor Lan WangJi could sleep. Wei WuXian laid on top of Lan WangJi’s chest, their naked bodies still intertwined, warm and tender from their passionate activities. Their hearts beat in harmony as only tenderness takes over their bodies.

Wei WuXian enjoyed the pleasurable thrill whenever he becomes one with his husband. It felt especially good when he was full from the hot cum, the throbbing member, and his gradually forming baby.

They laid there in silence, basking in the moment, in the bliss, before Wei WuXian broke it. His voice soft and clear, “Lan Zhan, I’m so happy. So happy that I’m almost afraid that these past centuries were a mere dream of mine.”

Lan WangJi’s chest moved up as he took in a breath. As usual, he didn’t say anything. He simply waited for Wei WuXian to continue. His left hand pressed down softly on the center of Wei WuXian’s slender back and silently stroked it. His right grasped tightly around Wei WuXian’s hand. Their hands hung lowly from the bed, lightly swinging under the covers that were casually .

“I died and remained that way until I was given a chance to come back. I then got myself a wonderful husband who waited for me, loved me for so many years. The me who lost everything suddenly gained everything again. I gained a home, a family… And now, I can even give life to our children. Lan Zhan, I’m very fortunate.”

Wei WuXian began to push himself up from his husband’s chest and faced the man. His silver eyes glistened with tears, his lips still curled in a soft smile. Gently, his forehead touched, pressed down on Lan WangJi’s, his tears freely falling on his face.

“This is not a dream, right? Lan Zhan, I won’t suddenly wake up from this beautiful dream, right?”

“Mn. Not a dream.”

That was all Wei WuXian needed to hear from Lan WangJi. His short responses were straight to the point. Wei WuXian’s heart calmed from the resolute words.

“Wei Ying. This is not a dream. So let me accompany you to the end. Anything you want, I won’t refuse you. Whether in this long immortal life or in other lives, past, present, and future, I give you my all.”

And just like that, Wei WuXian’s heart was sent into a frenzy once again. Softly groaning, Wei WuXian buried his burning face into his husband’s neck, his . “Lan Zhan, what did I say about confessing your affections to me?”

“Give you a warning.”

“Yes, but you never do that. I really can’t bear it if you keep doing this to me.”

“Shall I stop?”

“No. Don’t you dare stop. I don’t give you permission to stop professing these words of affection to me.”

Wei WuXian finally looked up at Lan WangJi, his silver eyes narrowed and glared at Lan WangJi. The usual smooth cheeks puffed out slightly as Wei WuXian scooted even closer. Their bodies were pressed against each other even more, unable to separate for even a split second. Tall noses affectionately rubbed against each other and affectionate eyes met each other.

“Lan Zhan, are you listening?”

“Mn.”

With that, Wei WuXian’s cheeks stopped puffing up, his lips once again in a bright smile. His eyes carefully watched Lan WangJi whose lips were similarly curled upwards, creating a small but warm and affectionate smile that he could never get used to. He was attracted, allured, enchanted by that smile. Slowly, he captured those full lips that were smiling at him. A free hand sneaked up to caress the jade-carved face as they kissed. His thumb softly rubbed small circles on the beautiful face while the rest of his fingers tangled with the luscious dark locks.

It was a very sensual kiss between them, a kiss where they tasted each other more thoroughly, a kiss where they become addicted to each other.

‘Lan Zhan… Do you know how much I love you? Do you know how much I’m addicted to you? I’m infatuated. I adore you so much. So let me love you some more.’


 

Meanwhile, in the middle of the night, Xie Lian and Hua Cheng drew up a Distance-Shortening array to quickly return to Ghost City. Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi needed more time to let the reality sink into their heads, therefore, Xie Lian wanted to help them prepare for the pregnancy by collecting information from actual people who were once pregnant. And the only person who came to mind was Jian Lan.

In the beginning, Jian Lan ran away and tried to erase her existence from Feng Xin’s life. She was a ghost and their child was a ghost. How could she allow them to be a stain in her beloved’s life. Jian Lan absolutely refused to be the burden to Feng Xin. However, Feng Xin always ended up finding them. And the cycle would restart again as Jian Lan would be on the run to disappear from him again.

Thus, she hid herself and her child in Ghost City, protected and assured by Hua Cheng that Feng Xin would never be able to enter the city to find them. By this point, Xie Lian could no longer interfere with the matter nor did he have the desire to do so. Hua Cheng already decided to help Jian Lan hide and shelter her in his city, so Xie Lian had no intentions to make things any more difficult than it already was. Furthermore, in the end, it was Feng Xin’s problem and only Feng Xin could solve it, only he could save his relationship.

Xie Lian eyed the weary smile on Jian Lan’s plain face that still held some elegance behind. The weary smile made the wrinkles around her eyes much more prominent, her weariness apparent and obvious. Her ghostly features no longer hidden behind a heavy layer of makeup.

“I am honored to be in my lords’ presence. What do you need of this humble ghost?” Jian Lan seemed calm, but it was obvious from the tightening of her hands.

“Lady Lan Chang don’t need to worry. Feng Xin is not here nor are we here to bother you about this matter. We… just want to request your advice.”

“Oh?” Jian Lan’s hands loosened, her head tilted questioningly at Xie Lian who coughed softly at the end of his words.

For a short while, there was silence. Xie Lian pondered over how to phrase his words. It wasn’t that Xie Lian didn’t want to say it in an outright manner, but simply because he realized that saying it made it seem as though he and Hua Cheng were the ones who were expecting. If Xie Lian couldn’t say it out front, then Hua Cheng could. “What are some things that need to be known for an expecting family?”

“...”

Needless to say, Jian Lan was shocked, her eyes wide and her lips parted, her words stuck in her throat. Xie Lian almost couldn’t bring himself to look at her straight in the eyes. When Jian Lan smiled, Xie Lian just knew that she had a misunderstanding and wondered whether to correct her or not.

“As my lords already know, I… didn’t get to carry my child for long. He was torn away from me. Even as he rests in my stomach, I still fear that he would be ripped from me somehow. However, I hope that my short-lived experience can help my lords.”

And thus, Jian Lan tried her best to recall every memory of her pregnancy. She even gave them the advice that other mothers gave her when she was expecting. While Jian Lan recalled her experiences, Xie Lian recorded every little thing that she spoke of on a long scroll. His strokes were thin, clear, and swift.

After a long list of advice, Xie Lian and Hua Cheng finally departed from the home of Jian Lan and her child. It was not a wasted trip at all.

“I hope my lords will have a healthy and pretty child!”

Xie Lian missed his chance to correct Jian Lan’s misunderstand and it was already too late to correct it.


 

When they returned to the residence through the Distance-Shortening Array, it was three in the morning, the sky still dark with the moon faintly shining its light. Although it was late, they found Lan WangJi wide awake, reading several stacks of books and wooden scrolls in the main hall.

“WangJi?”

“Dianxia.”

“What are you doing?”

Instead of a response, Lan WangJi handed them the book that he was viewing. With just a quick glimpse, they immediately knew what the book was about. The book was a record of a midwife’s experiences and her knowledge of pregnancy.

As Xie Lian handed back the book to Lan WangJi, Hua Cheng glanced over at a pile of books and casually picked one up to read. It was a medical book. Flipping through the pages, the book was already marked and had short notes that accompanied the extensive information that the books recorded. Furthermore, the book even had a detailed diagram of acupressure points.

Seeing that, Xie Lian picked up another book that also happened to be a medical book. However, this book was focused on the female body. Even this one was marked with notes and obvious marks of constant flipping by the immortal in front of them.

Hua Cheng was already reading up on another marked medical book that focused on pregnancy as he spoke. “If you are even reading up on medical books, you might as well be the midwife for Wei WuXian.”

“WangJi, we also collected some information and advice. Do you want to see it now?”

“Mn.”

Lan WangJi quietly saved his spot in the book with a well-kept dried peony bookmark and accepted the long scroll from Xie Lian. As he read, he admired the beautiful calligraphy by Xie Lian.

The first advice written was to eat food with yin nature. This was because carrying a child would lead to an imbalance in the body’s nature. The pregnant person would suffer a yin deficiency which would then lead to excessive internal heat. Therefore, to make up for the yin deficiency, food that were cold in nature were perfect to balance the body.

The second advice was to keep the mind balanced and at peace. It would reflect upon the child. The expectant shouldn’t gossip nor laugh loudly. Furthermore, they should restrain themselves from criticizing others as the unborn baby would then become the criticized in both appearances and attitude. To help keep the mind at peace and positive, reading good literature or poetry was utmost important.

“...”

From the hesitant glass eyes that slowly went through the scroll of advice, Hua Cheng just knew that some of the advice were already difficult to put into practice. It was obvious that Lan WangJi had no intentions to restrain Wei WuXian in any way, especially when it took away the essence of what made Wei WuXian him. Furthermore, Wei WuXian himself most likely already know what to do to keep himself balanced without strict restrictions.

“You do know that some of these advice actually has no basis right?”

“WangJi, we’ll help you sort out the advice and information.”

Reluctantly, Lan WangJi nodded his head. Although he didn’t want to trouble Xie Lian and Hua Cheng, it would be faster with three heads working together to sort things out. Thus, they spent the rest of the night until the sun poked its head out to create a new scroll that served as rules, reminders, and guide to leading a healthy and balanced pregnancy for the next nine months and even after childbirth.

  1. Remain psychologically healthy and balanced, stay even-minded.
  2. Avoid fights, annoyance, anger, anxiety.
  3. Read good literature, poetry and paint
  4. Do not eat food too greasy, salty, or spicy.
  5. Too much hot (yang energy) foods like mutton, ginseng, ginger, contributes to miscarriage.
  6. Neutral or cold (yin energy) foods like citrus, watermelon, lotus seeds, congee can help prevent miscarriage.
  7. Drink sugar cane juice, ginger juice, apple juice, lemon juice, honey water, or by eating pomelo fruit to relieve nausea and other symptoms.
  8. Reinforcement foods include spring cabbage, carrots, spinach, sesame, white fungus, black beans, jujube and pork chop soup, eggs, dang shen, and lean meat cooked with ginseng.
  9. Too much ginseng will lead to excessive bleeding.
  10. Take baths in the sunshine to prevent pathogenic colds and help the baby grow.
  11. Reinforce the body with hot (yang energy) after childbirth.

For now, the guide was short from the constant narrowing down by Lan WangJi, Xie Lian, and Hua Cheng. The guide may be revised once again in the future.

For the first time in a while, Wei WuXian was able to join his husband and his guests, or friends, for a very late but nutritious breakfast.

Chapter Text

Initially, Wei WuXian’s pregnancy was smooth and easygoing. The only symptom he had was tender breasts that swelled up gradually for every day that passed. He laughed and even cheered, “my baby knows not to be mean to their beloved dad!” Thus, Wei WuXian ate, slept, and had sex with his husband while occasionally reading some of Lan WangJi’s old calligraphy and essays and watching Hua Cheng practice his own calligraphy to keep his mind calm and peaceful.

It was very peaceful and relaxing.

But it was too good to be true when Wei WuXian began to sleep in even more than usual within the next three weeks.

No matter how much Lan WangJi pushed and prodded, Wei WuXian’s eyes refused to open. His eyes remained shut, his movements slow and sluggish as his hands blindly reached out for his husband’s face and caressed his cheeks. Voice low and heavy with sleep, he whined to Lan WangJi. “Lan Zhan… Don’t be like this. Good boy, good husband. Let me sleep some more… I promise I’ll wake up and play with you later…“

Immediately, Wei WuXian slipped back into a deep sleep, his hands no longer caressing Lan WangJi’s face, but instead grasped the other’s hand and laid his head on it. A soft, satisfied sigh escaped his lips as he slept.

Lan WangJi waited for Wei WuXian to slip back into sleep before he pulled his hand away. The pure white boots were swiftly taken off and placed neatly beside Wei WuXian’s own pair. Soundlessly, Lan WangJi climbed into their bed, pulling the covers over his head as he sat at the end of their bed. Not at all hindered by the darkness, his slender hands maneuvered around the silky inner clothes of his husband and skillfully pulled the pants off.

A flaccid member immediately entered his view.

Letting out a warm breath on the dick, Lan WangJi caressed the balls underneath. Wei WuXian released a soft groan at the caressing and a leg was thrown over Lan WangJi’s shoulders, hooking and bringing him closer. Lan WangJi waited for his husband to once again settle back into his sleep before he proceeded to take the flaccid dick into his other hand.

His thumb gently pressed against the underside while his index finger rubbed against the sensitive head. With his nail, he scratched lightly and teasingly dug into the slit. The hard calluses on his fingers and hands grazed against the hardening arousal and balls.

Lan WangJi let out another warm breath, his hand squeezed the balls as his lips nipped it softly. He licked and kissed with his lips while his hand massaged and fondled. At the same time, his other hand began to stroke the pulsating arousal.

A sensual moan was heard yet Lan WangJi never stopped his actions.

Boldly, Lan WangJi’s tongue slowly, teasingly licked and slid from his balls to the underside of his husband’s dick. He tasted the almost-transparent bitter fluid that leaked when his tongue flicked the sensitive head. The tip of his tongue dug shallowly into spasming slit. Opening his mouth, Lan WangJi engulfed the entire length, allowing the sensitive head to ram itself into the back of his throat. Without gagging, he made a swallowing notion that made his throat tighten around the dick. Slowly, his head bobbed up and down, sucking, licking, and kissing the arousal, his saliva and the leaking fluids wetting it.

It was scorchingly hot as he sucked his husband off, letting the hardened dick slam into the back of his throat once again. A soft moan sounded from him, his throat contracting and vibrating against the dick.

It didn’t take very long for the covers to be carelessly thrown off, bringing light back into his view. With an erect dick that was pulsating in his mouth and being swallowed in his tightening throat, his glass eyes met with lustful silver ones.

Wei WuXian was finally and completely awake.

Since his husband was awake, Lan WangJi proceeded to slowly remove the hardened dick from his mouth. However, a hand quickly shot out and grabbed the back of his head. His head was once again pushed down, throat contracting and restricting around the dick that slammed into him. His lips pressed down around the dick, feeling the individual veins that pulsed in his mouth. His tongue swirled around the arousal and drank up the leaking precum.

Now that he was awake, Wei WuXian was excited, horny, lustful for his husband. “Lan Zhan…” Wei WuXian breathlessly dragged out his name, his hips barely snapping into the warm mouth that enveloped him. “Don’t stop so suddenly. Please continue!” Thus, every morning, Lan WangJi would wake Wei WuXian up through such intimate acts. It was through these intimate acts that Lan WangJi realized that his husband became much more insatiable and lustful as a result of his pregnancy.

But at the same time, Wei WuXian’s fatigue was obviously increasing and even with the sexual acts, it was still extremely difficult to get him up to eat a full nutritious meal at the right time. It took everything Lan WangJi had to get his husband to not skip any meals. Even now as he watched over Hua Cheng’s calligraphy practice with Xie Lian, Wei WuXian’s head laid on his lap, quietly sleeping another portion of his day away.

“Well, no wonder he’s that tired. He’s carrying another child inside him.”

The hand that was combing Wei WuXian’s hair, smoothing out the individual strands and loosening any stray tangles, and scratching his scalp froze at Hua Cheng’s casual words. He couldn’t hide his surprise as he looked towards Xie Lian who only smiled softly. “San Lang isn’t lying. Wei WuXian really is carrying two children inside him. Another set of heartbeats were heard after the first set a while ago. We wanted to surprise you.”

Their first pregnancy was a twin one.

Wei WuXian was carrying twins.

A whole garden of children didn’t seem too far-fetched now.

For a moment, Hua Cheng thought he would witness Lan WangJi’s tears for the second time, however, the tears never fell from his glass eyes. Instead, he witnessed his lips curl up to barely form a faint smile. Instead of shedding tears, Lan WangJi smiled a smile that was clearly full of happiness, full of pure bliss that could easily melt blistering cold ice to glistening water.

Xie Lian’s smile widened at the sight of Lan WangJi’s faint smile. “WangJi, are you going to tell him yourself?”

“No need.”

With just a glance, Xie Lian immediately understood. There certainly wasn’t any need to tell Wei WuXian this piece of news when he had already heard them.

Wei WuXian woke up just in time to hear that he was pregnant with twins. Although he was quiet, his body shook in excitement. It was impossible to hide his own bliss. He was grinning from ear to ear as his arms wrapped themselves around his husband’s waist. While his head laid on top of his thighs, Wei WuXian buried his face against the flat, hard abdomen that was hidden behind the white robes of elegance.

Hua Cheng lightly coughed, “Does this mean that my calligraphy lesson for today can be canceled?”

No matter how happy he was from knowing that his husband was carrying twins, Lan WangJi couldn’t allow for another exception. “No.” Hua Cheng’s improvement was slow, but nonetheless still an improvement. There was still time and Lan WangJi wanted to make further progress before letting Xie Lian take reins again. He had no intentions to get between the couple’s time together for long.

Xie Lian chuckled, his hand reaching out to pat Hua Cheng’s head, ruffling and tangling the smooth and silky locks of dark hair. “San Lang, don’t be like this. I know you can improve. It won’t be long until I help you practice again.” Xie Lian wanted to give Hua Cheng an incentive to actually work harder on his calligraphy. For a split moment, he wanted to be like Wei WuXian and shamelessly tell Hua Cheng that he would reward him if he improved, but the thought was immediately erased from his mind. Some things were better left unsaid.

Not that Xie Lian needed to say anything. The slight tilt of his head downwards, the bobbing of his throat, the split second of aversion of eyes, the soft tug on his locks as his hand rubbed his head… They were loud and clear to the Ghost King who paid attention to every fine detail of Xie Lian. Hua Cheng’s eyebrows were raised in amusement. He chuckled, “If Gege wishes for me to improve, then I shall do so.”

‘Gege, I look forward to my reward.’  As soon as he spoke those words through their private spiritual communication array, all Xie Lian could think of was Hua Cheng’s sultry voice.


 

“Lan Zhan~ Can you make duck soup with dried bamboo shoots? I want to try the soup for dinner!”

“Mn. Rest up.”

Wei WuXian leaned his face into Lan WangJi’s hand, snuggling his face and kissing the gentle palms. “See you later, Lan Zhan… Wake us up, okay?” With a smile, his eyes began to dim and hid behind his eyelids. Only once he confirmed that his husband was once again sleeping could Lan WangJi finally remove himself from their room.

When he finally joined Xie Lian and Hua Cheng in the kitchen, the glow from his face was even more radiant.

There were no words that could possibly describe the bliss that Lan WangJi felt when Wei WuXian told him to wake both him and their unborn twins. He glanced at the God and Ghost King and silently thanked them from the bottom of his heart, for their never-ending support, for the bliss that they gave them.

“So, what delicacy are we going to make for your beloved man?”

“Duck soup with dried bamboo shoots.”

“Some ingredients will have to be replaced.”

“Mn. Too much yang energy.”

“But it won’t be very fulfilling if it was just the duck soup. We still have some bones from last time. Shall we also have some beef broth and stir-fried vegetables?”

“Mn.”

It was a fine balance between vegetables and meat. Wei WuXian would be satisfied with the amount of meat and he would also have his daily nutrients. Thus, with a clear image of what dinner was, the three split the tasks between them.

While Lan WangJi watched and tended the fire to boil the broth and soup, he also prepared the seasoning such as the dried oregano and pepper flakes. The seasoning was also used by Hua Cheng who finished defeathering and deboning the wild duck that he caught a while ago. It was a task that only Hua Cheng could possibly do. When Hua Cheng found out about Lan WangJi’s reluctance to kill a live fish, especially when the fish showed its admiration of him by poking its head out of the waters for a glance, it was decided that he would handle it. Dinner would take even longer to prepare if Lan WangJi were to handle the live animals with his soft heart.

On the other hand, Xie Lian set off to travel around the mountain and fields to gather and harvest the vegetables, mushrooms, and such. He had the most experience with knowing what was safe to eat and their yin and yang nature. By the time he came back with baskets full of green and white, the beef broth was simmering and the boneless duck meat was ready. But the gradual intensity of the aroma from the broth wasn’t enough to distract Xie Lian who was mesmerized by the nape of a certain Ghost King.

Hua Cheng’s dark luscious locks were held up by a piece of thin red fabric. The ends of his hair barely grazed the cold pale skin of his nape. Whenever Hua Cheng tilt his head downwards or even a slight movement gave Xie Lian the perfect view to the smooth nape. Xie Lian merely stood at the doorway, mesmerized by Hua Cheng’s nape until he finally turned around.

“Gege, let me help you organize them.”

“... Okay.”

It was a peaceful silence in the kitchen as Hua Cheng helped Xie Lian unload and separate the vegetables from each other until Lan WangJi slowly approached them from behind. “Dianxia, is it alright if you stir-fry the vegetables?”

Xie Lian’s dark eyes lit up, full of zeal. “Of course!” It was a chance for Xie Lian to try his hand at cooking again! He had been practicing for a few years now. Surely, his cooking skills must have improved from back then. He looked to Hua Cheng and received his silent encouragement.

Thus, Xie Lian stir-fried the vegetables while Lan WangJi. He enthusiastically threw in bok choy, spinach, mushrooms, and some leftover bamboo shoot. He even added some extra pepper flakes when he remembered how spicy Wei WuXian tended to eat.

When dinner was finally ready, a mouth-watering aroma spread from the kitchen and carried off to far distances and down the mountain by the soft breeze. Everything was settled on the table when Lan WangJi finally dragged out the sleepy, but obviously contented Wei WuXian.

“Wow!”

Wei WuXian was indeed contented. He was enticed by the delicious food in front of him, allured by the fragrant aroma. And the most important thing was that everything had a layer of pepper flakes that decorated it. It was absolutely wonderful. “I’m so spoiled by you guys.”

He grinned, marveled at his pregnancy that allowed him to be extra spoiled. He rubbed his stomach, quietly thanking his unborn twins before picking up his ivory chopsticks. However, he noted Xie Lian’s wider than usual smile, his excitement radiating off his body.

“Dianxia?”

Hua Cheng chuckled lowly, his hands moving to pick up a piece of stir-fried bok choy, covered in heavy amounts of pepper flakes. “It has been a while since Gege cooked.”

“Ah, now this, I must try!”

But Wei WuXian’s chopsticks never quite managed to reach the plate of stir-fried vegetables. Whenever he reached out for it, Hua Cheng’s chopsticks would directly block him or steal the piece before his chopsticks could reach.

“May I know why Xue Yu Tan Hua refuses to let me try the dish? Even Lan Zhan has tried it.”

Hua Cheng never graced him a response, only inhibiting him from eating.

“San Lang, why don’t you let him have some?”

“I only want Gege’s food for myself.”

It was partly true, but at the same, everyone at the table knew it was an excuse, a very poor one. But Lan WangJi can understand the excuse. No matter how much he chewed on the piece of bok choy and spinach, it was difficult to swallow the vegetables. He picked up the pieces with the least amount of pepper flakes, but it was still spicy. Furthermore, the more he chewed, the more obvious that there was also an unknown taste to the food that already washed away the rich taste from the beef broth. Lan WangJi could not swallow it down nor could he spit it out. It was a dilemma and it was even harder to keep himself conscious as he chewed.

Indeed, Xie Lian’s cooking had improved to a certain extent after a few years of practice. He could finally replicate the taste of something normal and edible, but that was the initial taste. The normal taste was a mere distraction to get others to chew more and finally get themselves knocked out by the hidden strange taste. To put it simply, it was almost like a slow-working poison.

Before Wei WuXian could pick out Hua Cheng’s excuse, from the corner of his eyes, he immediately noticed the curling of Lan WangJi’s hands under the pure white sleeves and the small beads of sweat that rolled down the sides of his face. Now that he paid attention, Lan WangJi was chewing excessively slow, slower than his usual slow pace. He looked towards Hua Cheng and Xie Lian and reached an epiphany.

Hua Cheng’s dark eye narrowed as he smiled. “Since you understand, eat your food.”

With that, dinner continued on peacefully. Wei WuXian and Xie Lian greatly enjoyed the duck soup that his husband and Hua Cheng made. The duck meat was extremely tender and not greasy at all. One bite was enough for the meat to practically melt in their mouths. And whenever they bit into the meat, the vegetable juices and soup broth would envelop their mouths with a long-lasting rich taste.

Occasionally, Wei WuXian would set aside some duck meat and dried bamboo shoots that were soaked in the soup for Lan WangJi who finally found the strength to swallow down the stir-fried vegetables. Although Lan WangJi would immediately pick the pieces of duck meat and feed the tender meat to Wei WuXian.

Wei WuXian was almost certain that his cheeks were puffed up from his constant stuffing. He ate and ate until he was happily stuffed. ‘Did I eat enough for you two as well?’ Wei WuXian was content with the food and very satisfied by the extra spoiling.

Chapter Text

“Lan Zhan! My belly is getting bigger!”

Since the discovery of his body carrying twins, Wei WuXian was anxious to see even a slight hint of his twins showing up in his stomach. Every night, before and after his nightly activities with Lan WangJi, he would strip and attempt to spot any signs of his twins before being filled with disappointment. But gradually, the fine lines that defined his muscles on his stomach began to disappear and his stomach became much fleshier, meatier. Wei WuXian had never been so happy to gain some fat and lose his formerly flat and toned stomach.

“Lan Zhan, give me your hand!”

Without a wasted movement, Lan WangJi reached out with his hand and was immediately grabbed by Wei WuXian. “Do you feel it?” Together, their hands slid down slowly from his chest down to faint bump that defined Wei WuXian’s stomach.

“Mn. Feel.” His stomach was still rather soft. In fact, it was quite fleshy and squishy, but he knew for sure that the bump will grow firmer.

Wei WuXian grinned as he pushed his husband down onto their bed and forced him to sit. In one swift movement, he sat down between the smooth pale legs, his back against Lan WangJi’s firm chest. His hands swiftly grasped both of the slender hands that he adored and together, they rubbed his stomach. “Babies, can you feel that?  Even if you can’t, this is your dad and father. We’re waiting for you.”

“Eat and rest well.”

“Ah, yes, yes. Eat and rest well. Babies, do you hear your father? Listen to him, okay? Ah, wait. Lan Zhan. Are you telling that to me as well?”

“Mn.”

“Hahaha! Okay, I’ll eat and rest well for myself and our twins, but you need to eat and rest just as well. Our twins and I still need Lan Er-gege to spoil us!” While their hands rubbed Wei WuXian’s stomach together, their bodies, in a close embrace, also rocked in a slow rhythm. “That reminds me. You’re going down the mountain tomorrow right? Take me with you next time! We can go down the mountain together with Dianxia and Hua Cheng as well. And when I give birth to our twins, we can take them and travel around, go on night hunts!”

“Can they do that?”

“Of course. We are the twins’ parents. They’re going to be just like us. I guarantee you that they’re going to be geniuses! If you can kill the Xuanwu of Slaughter back then at the mere age of seventeen—”

“No. You killed the Xuanwu of Slaughter.”

“You were the one who waited outside alone to kill it with the Chord Assassination, holding onto the string for an entire six hours.”

“You went inside its shell to lure it out. Highly dangerous… You killed it.”

Just like back then, Lan WangJi gave him credit for the kill. And similarly, Wei WuXian gave him the credit. Nothing had changed since several centuries ago. It was very nostalgic. Wei WuXian released a soft chuckle, his shoulders shook in Lan WangJi’s arms. “Okay, okay. We both killed it. Are you happy?”

“Mn.”

“How simple of you.”

“Mn.”

“Hahaha! Alright, now listen to me. Since we killed the Xuanwu of Slaughter when we were seventeen, our adorable twins are going to be able to night hunt even earlier than us. As mere toddlers, they’ll even discover some other corrupted Qinglong, Zhu Que, and Bai Hu to kill. Not just that, they’re also going to be just like SiZhui! SiZhui was raised very well. The twins have a lot to do to catch up to him as well.”

“Would it not be dangerous?”

“Not at all! We’ll be there after all. And since we’re dragging Dianxia and Hua Cheng along, our twins will be very well-protected.”

It was all nonsense, but Wei WuXian loved to imagine such nonsense. He especially loved to share his daydreams with his husband who listened patiently and attentively, even asking questions to indulge his imagination. Wei WuXian couldn’t help talk about the twins as if they were already born into the world. He was excited to meet his twins. Waiting for many more months to meet them was almost painful.

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan! Since they’re twins, we need two names for them. Have you thought of any good names? Lan… Lan… Oh, wait. Do you want to give them milk names as well?”

“Mn.”

“Does that ‘mn’ of yours mean you’ve already thought of names for them?”

”Yes.”

Wei WuXian tilted his head back against Lan WangJi’s shoulder, his silver eyes peaked at his husband with curiosity. “As expected of my Lan Er-gege! Already thought of names for our twins. Birth names right? Tell me. What do you want our little buns to be called?”

“...” Lan WangJi buried his face into Wei WuXian’s shoulder, deliberately hiding his eyes from Wei WuXian.

“Oh? You don’t want to tell me? My dear husband is hiding secrets from me?”

A soft, muffled “mn” sounded out from his husband, the slight vibration tickled his shoulder.

A sense of adoration arose from within Wei WuXian as he witnessed his husband hiding his face. “How bold of you. Not only are you hiding secrets from me, but you’re also trying to act all cute to avoid any further questioning.”

“Will you?” Glass eyes quietly peaked from behind luscious locks.

“No, no. I’ll wait for you to tell me. Then what about milk names? Do we need them? People tend to use milk names as fake names so ghosts and demons won’t be able to take their babies.”

“... Xue Yu Tan Hua.”

Wei WuXian nearly forgot, but they had a ghost king that was currently living in the same cottage. Not only that, that same ghost king was sleeping in the room beside theirs with his beloved god. What was the point of worrying about using milk names to defend their twins from ghosts when a ghost king and a god was in the same home protecting them.

“You’re right. Lan Zhan… Will you return soon from your trip down the mountain?”

“I will buy dinner.”

“Silly husband. You know what I mean.”

Lan WangJi finally lifted up his face, his eyes watched Wei WuXian closely. “You will be bored.”

“Yes. As much as I enjoy Dianxia and Hua Cheng’s presence, I still want my husband beside me. I’ll be too lonely.” Wei WuXian was very honest when he said these words.

When they were in the Lan Sect, Lan WangJi often had to go on trips to other sects for meetings in his brother’s place and Wei WuXian would stay back to hone both the senior and junior Lan disciples’ skills. He should be used to temporary separations, but now that he was pregnant, he felt almost reluctant to let his husband go on a trip by himself. He wanted to spend every second, every hour, every day, every little moment of his pregnancy with Lan WangJi.

“That is not good.”

“Exactly. So… Come back soon. Rabbits die if they’re too lonely.”

“Okay.” Lan WangJi tightened his embrace around his beloved. Once again, he buried his face and smiled against the crook of Wei WuXian’s neck, his lips pressed softly against the smooth and pale shoulder.

Feeling the smile on his shoulder, Wei WuXian released one hand from their rubbing of his small bump to reach his fingers back into his husband’s hair. His fingers tangled in the silky locks as he groaned, “Lan Zhan, don’t let me see you smile. I’m going to get horny again.”

“Mn.”

“...” Their bodies were still rocking softly in silence.

Wei WuXian’s hand tightened around Lan WangJi’s hair and tugged his head up for a kiss. He captured the smiling lips, nibbling and sucking on the lower lip playfully. “I take it back. I have to see your smile no matter what.”

In their private room, a very soft and light laugh was let out and the alluring lips in front of him were curled into a warm smile. Fortunately for Wei WuXian, the beautiful sound of his husband’s laugh was reserved only for him and the smile was only for his eyes to see.

Wei WuXian turned around in their embrace, his stomach lightly pressed against Lan WangJi’s, his arms wrapped themselves around his neck. He very gently ground his hips down, his belly bump that indicated twins was immediately felt by Lan WangJi. In Lan WangJi’s embrace, Wei WuXian enveloped himself in the calming sandalwood fragrance.

With his husband’s arms around his waist, their lips brushed together, their warm breaths exchanged. Wei WuXian’s silver eyes narrowed in glee as he pushed his husband down and laid on top of him. With a bite on Lan WangJi’s bottom lip, he pulled and sucked on it.

He smiled, his eyes gleamed with slight possessiveness.

“Mine.”

'Forever yours.'

Chapter Text

Xie Lian was very shy when it came to matters in the bedroom. However, Hua Cheng never found it a problem. In fact, he greatly relished in his beloved’s flushed face hidden behind his beautiful hands, especially when his insides squeezed and tightened around him in sweet pleasure. Whatever Hua Cheng wanted to do, Xie Lian was willing to go along with his smooth seductive whispers and throw himself into pleasure.

Thus, it was a rare sight to see a naked Xie Lian boldly sitting on top of Hua Cheng with a flushed face, hands tearing apart his crimson robes. Hua Cheng leaned against the bed frame with a smile, his hands cupping the round cheeks and slowly massaging them. “Gege, isn’t it a bit early to give me a reward?” He couldn’t help but tease his beloved God.

Xie Lian’s face flushed an even brighter shade of red before thickening his face. He grinded his body down, feeling the hardening arousal that poked the crack of his ass. “Today… I want San Lang to listen to me.”

An eyebrow was elegantly raised, lips still turned upwards with amusement. “When has San Lang ever not listen to Gege? Gege is wrongly accusing me.” Although he was obviously amused, Hua Cheng still spoke in an aggrieved tone, almost whining to Xie Lian. Such stark contrast in expression and voice was amazing.

Gathering his courage, Xie Lian fully stripped Hua Cheng and carelessly threw the clothes towards the rack until it was knocked down completely. He leaned down and captured Hua Cheng’s cold lips with his own. His hands caressed Hua Cheng’s cheeks as his tongue invaded the other’s mouth. Xie Lian didn’t hesitate to dance around the other tongue. Enthusiastically, he licked the upper roof of Hua Cheng’s mouth, digging under his tongue, sucking and flicking his tongue.

Basically, it was a messy kiss with saliva constantly exchanged and dripping from their mouths.

Whatever dignity or face he had, Xie Lian threw away completely for the night. He didn’t allow either himself or Hua Cheng to take a break from the messy kiss. They kissed and kissed until reluctantly parting, a thin string still dangling from the bottom of their lips. Their warm, hot breaths exchanged, their eyes glowed with lust.

“... What does Gege want San Lang to do?”

“Don’t move.” The moment those decisive words were let out, Xie Lian bit down on Hua Cheng’s neck, sucking on his Adam’s apple hard. As he did so, he felt every little movements from the Adam’s apple. It aroused him greatly to know how affected Hua Cheng was with these actions. Xie Lian’s tongue flicked against it, circling around it and leaving trails of saliva as he traveled downward to Hua Cheng’s chest.

His warm mouth swiftly engulfed the perking bud, sucking on it as hard as he could.

Hua Cheng let out a breathless chuckle which Xie Lian could feel the deep vibrations from his beloved’s chest. “Gege, even if you suck that hard, I won’t leak any milk.”

Hua Cheng teased him once again.

Thus, Xie Lian stopped sucking on the hard nipple. Instead, he clamped down on the bud with his teeth and pulled it. The erect nipple was tortured by Xie Lian, forced to stretch and enlarge. Although Xie Lian didn’t do pull too hard to avoid hurting his beloved in any way, Hua Cheng enjoyed the mixture of pleasure and pain. Whatever Xie Lian did to him, Hua Cheng would moan with thrilling pleasure shooting through his body.

“Hah… Hah… Gege… Can you touch me?”

Xie Lian hardened at the breathlessness, his dick messily dripped precum, barely grazing Hua Cheng’s smooth abdomen. He was excited, his mouth freeing the erect nipple. “Where does San Lang want to be touched?”

“... Gege is very mean tonight.”

Xie Lian laughed before his hand was grasped by Hua Cheng. Hua Cheng placed their hands together around their dicks, squeezing them tightly together and mixing the precum. A soundless gasp escaped Xie Lian’s mouth. Their hands stroked the two arousals as pleasure overwhelmed them. Their thumbs rubbed harshly against the sensitive heads, smearing the precum over their fingers and dicks.

One of Hua Cheng’s arm encircled his waist and pulled him closer. There was very little space between them. Xie Lian melted in Hua Cheng’s arms as he brought their faces together for another deep kiss. While their hands stroked each other, Xie Lian’s other hand sneaked behind Hua Cheng, snaking down to feel for his hole.

When Xie Lian lightly tapped the entrance, Hua Cheng swallowed his gasp and separated from their kiss. His dark eye peered at Xie Lian with a curious gaze. “Gege, do you want to put it in? We can do it if you desire to do so.” Hua Cheng was very sincere. Whatever Xie Lian wanted, he would grant it.

Xie Lian’s hand paused, his eyes gazing at Hua Cheng. He wasn’t sure what to say and pondered his words. But before he could say anything, Hua Cheng smiled.

“If Gege isn’t sure, then we’ll take it slowly. One step at a time.”

Without a wasted movement, Hua Cheng pushed Xie Lian down. Hi’s hand quickly removed itself from Xie Lian’s waist and placed itself behind his head, softening the impact. Their positions were swiftly switched by Hua Cheng who sat on Xie Lian. He grinned, grabbing Xie Lian’s hand from behind and pulled it towards his mouth. Xie Lian’s fingers were instantly wrapped in the warm mouth—sucked, licked by Hua Cheng as if his hand was a wonderful delicacy.

Soaked in saliva, Xie Lian’s hand reluctantly left Hua Cheng’s mouth, a string of saliva still attached to his fingers and made Hua Cheng’s lips seem especially glossy. Hua Cheng then crawled upward and lowered himself, his nipples barely touched Xie Lian’s forehead. He guided Xie Lian’s hand to his ass, softly probing his hole’s entrance and wetting the rim.

“San Lang…”

One finger pushed past the rim. The finger, full of curiosity, probed here and there. The initial discomfort gradually went away as Xie Lian messed with his insides.

Hua Cheng let out a soft moan beside Xie Lian’s ear, enticing him even further. “Dianxia… May we do it together?”

Even as his dick was stroked and rubbed, his own fingers messing with Hua Cheng, Xie Lian’s hole ached and itched for Hua Cheng. On one hand, it was mortifying to realize how his body naturally became so sensitive, how he truly desired for his beloved. It was embarrassing to be so aware of his sexual desires. On the other hand, he was becoming honest and bold which meant that Hua Cheng no longer had to hold himself back. Xie Lian definitely wanted to see a Hua Cheng who lost all suave and calm.

Xie Lian nodded his head, his face as flushed as ever. Slowly, he spread his legs under Hua Cheng and stopped stroking their dicks. Instead, their hands, drenched with the flowing precum, were led to Xie Lian’s twitching hole. Teasingly, Hua Cheng dragged his finger around the slightly swollen entrance, his nail lightly grazed the sensitive rim.

“San Lang! Don’t… tease me…” Xie Lian’s fingers stopped moving inside Hua Cheng as a result of Hua Cheng’s teasing. He was quickly becoming undone by Hua Cheng.

Hua Cheng released a low chuckle, his eye narrowed in glee. At the same time, he stimulated both holes. One hand pushed Xie Lian’s to enter and prob deeper while the other massaged his prostate and turning him into a leaking mess. Hua Cheng flinched when Xie Lian’s fingers curled, lightly flicking against Hua Cheng’s prostate. He then grind against Xie Lian, their dicks kissing each other and smearing precum. His fingers stretched Xie Lian’s hole as they thrust in and out. The wet sounds that both holes made were absolutely lewd.

Xie Lian couldn’t help but come when Hua Cheng suddenly pressed against his prostate roughly. The toe-curling pleasure shot through his body, making it tingle in thrill. The semen made a mess between their bodies, dripping down slowly. Xie Lian’s fingers stopped as he tried to recover from the pleasure. However, Hua Cheng continued to push their fingers deeper into his twitching hole and probed Xie Lian’s hole.

Eventually, Xie Lian could no longer bear it. He roughly pulled out his fingers from Hua Cheng’s hole with a loud ‘plop’. With a burst of power, he switched their positions and lined his ass up against Hua Cheng’s hard dick.

Before he would suddenly lose his courage and boldness, Xie Lian unhesitatingly plunged the dick into his hole. There was little to no pain despite the plunge. Instead, Xie Lian was immersed in pleasure. Immediately, the dick rammed harshly against his prostate which drew a loud moan from his lips. His hands immediately flew up to cover his mouth. However bold he was, he refused to allow himself to moan so loudly with their next door expecting neighbors who had a very active sex life lest he wanted to be teased to death.

While his hands covered his mouth, Hua Cheng paid a particularly great amount of attention on his hands. Especially the hand that was just in his ass, messing with it, a few moments ago. His dick became even harder at that as he thrust up with great tenacity.

A moan was muffled.

Thus, Hua Cheng rammed against his prostate once again.

However, another moan was suppressed.

Hua Cheng felt mean for the night. His arms reached behind and his hands held onto Xie Lian’s round ass. His hands spread the cheeks, his dick thrust up in a series of fast and rough movements. Xie Lian’s back arched in pleasure. His eyes blurred with lust, his hands losing the strength to continue suppressing his moans.

As soon as his hands were let down, his hands were revealed to be drenched. The corners of his mouths drooled, his breaths were hoarse and warm. Not that Hua Cheng cared. Not an ounce of hesitation shown, Hua Cheng kissed the drooling mouth. His tongue danced with Xie Lian as Xie Lian threw his arms behind him and wrapped his legs around Hua Cheng’s waist. He brought their bodies closer and allowed Hua Cheng to penetrate even deeper into him.

Xie Lian’s hips lewdly moved up and down, his perky nipples rubbed against Hua Cheng’s. Xie Lian’s tender insides were rubbed raw, spasming and twitching. His dick throbbed painfully when it regained vitality.

When they finally came together, they collapsed on the bed with a loud thud. Hua Cheng’s balls tightened, his dick came inside with a good amount of semen. It was a natural thing for Hua Cheng to come inside. Xie Lian relished in the warm, sticky semen that seeped out from his throbbing, swollen hole. He greatly enjoyed the feeling of being released inside. The warm feeling made him sleepy and comfortable.

“... Dianxia. Is there a reason for your boldness?” Hua Cheng’s low voice whispered in his ears, almost reluctant to rouse him from his sleep.

“San Lang doesn’t like it?”

“No. Whatever Dianxia does, I will like it. However, is there a reason for the sudden boldness?”

“...” Xie Lian scooted his body up and buried his head into the crook of Hua Cheng’s neck and took a huge whiff. He relished in the faint flowery scent that was almost overwhelmed by the smell of sex and musk before looking up. He pressed his lips onto Hua Cheng’s softly and smiled. “I was just inspired. It isn’t good to be holding back too much either.”

There was no need to mention what or who Xie Lian was inspired by. Hua Cheng smiled and kissed him back. “Okay. As Dianxia wish.”

Chapter Text

Before he descended the mountain, Lan WangJi made little notes for Wei WuXian, to remind him to be mindful of both him and their twins, to not tease Hua Cheng or Xie Lian about the previous night, and to miss him a lot until he returned. Feather-like kisses were pressed and littered throughout Wei WuXian’s sleeping face. A slender hand hovered over Wei WuXian’s belly, softly patting it.

“I will return soon. Be good to your dad.” His deep voice was gentle, his glass eyes soft.

With those parting words, Lan WangJi carried his guqin on his back, brought several qiankun pouches and a heavy pouch of money, and had his sword in his right hand. In one movement, he partially unsheathed Bichen, allowing its transparent blade to gleam. A soundless chant was muttered by him. A surge of spiritual energy was sent to Bichen as it immediately obeyed the command. It jumped out of its faint blue sheath and hovered above the ground, waiting for its master to take the first step.

For a split second, there was a fluttering feeling that brushed past his cheeks but wasn’t distracting enough for him to delay his trip. Lan WangJi quietly stepped on the clear blade, his pure white boots lining up against the blade and immediately took off to the skies. With the jade token of passage tucked safely under his belt, he left the protective barrier and soared freely in the skies. At his quick speed, the heavy clouds don’t dare to stand in his way, dispersing without hesitance. While the clouds could barely graze Lan WangJi, the cool wind blew against him. His long dark hair flowed in the air, white forehead ribbon whipped alongside, elegant white robes swayed with the wind.

When a decently sized town was in sight, he stopped a few distances away to descend. With a graceful appearance, he jumped down from Bichen and the transparent blade shimmered before sheathing itself. Lan WangJi held Bichen in his hand and silently exited the woods to enter the town.

Unknowingly, there was a lumberjack who witnessed his descent.

“My god…”

Although the day was cloudy and the woods were rather dark, Lan WangJi’s pure white outfit practically glowed. His face was cold and distant. To the surprised lumberjack, Lan WangJi was a heavenly deity who descended to the mortal realm. He was flabbergasted for a long time until Lan WangJi disappeared.

The lumberjack was disappointed that he wasn’t able to see the heavenly being for very long. However, he was also happy. It was an auspicious event for him to have witnessed a heavenly deity’s descension. He quickly burned the image of the heavenly deity into his mind with a positive attitude. He clapped his hands together and made a small prayer before grabbing his axe. Blood pumping and brimming with effort, he excitedly went back to his job. He did not dare to slack off in the presence of a deity. He needed to put more effort.

Thus, Lan WangJi unintentionally inspired a person on his way to the town.

The town wasn’t too big nor too small. It was decently sized and the streets were spacious. Originally, not that many people were out on the streets because of the clouds seemed to threaten to pour rain. Only some opened shops and stands. But the moment Lan WangJi walked around town, the streets became crowded with people hoping to get a glimpse of a heavenly deity.

No matter how many people crowd the streets, they would always part and leave a passageway for Lan WangJi. It was a scene of both admiration and fear. As much as they admired him, they also feared to taint the deity in front of them.

Lan WangJi paid no mind to the astonished people and looked around for a shop that sold fabrics and silk. Wei WuXian’s belly was undoubtedly growing bigger day by day. It won’t be long until he no longer fits into his clothes. Even if he weaved the fabrics himself, Lan WangJi wouldn’t be able to weave fast enough to create enough to make more than five outfits. More than half of Wei WuXian’s wardrobe was weaved and sewn by Lan WangJi and Lan WangJi wanted to continue to make clothes for his husband. If he couldn’t weave, then buying the fabrics before turning them into suitable outfits for Wei WuXian’s pregnancy seemed like a better idea.

Furthermore, he wanted to make some for Hua Cheng and Xie Lian.

When he finally found a reputable fabrics shop, he was warmly welcomed and ushered in by the shopkeeper.

“This young master sure has great eyes! My shop here has more than one hundred fabrics! Each one is guaranteed to be of the highest quality! Please allow me to show you some examples.”

While Lan WangJi looked around the shop, the shopkeeper already pulled out some fabrics for him to see. The shopkeeper enthusiastically introduced the fabrics and appealed to Lan WangJi, his mouth was unstoppable. The fabrics’ colors were a mixture of vibrant ones and monochronic, patterns simple yet elegant, not at all flashy and gaudy. The texture of the fabrics themselves was soft and smooth, rather comfortable in his hands. Indeed, they were of high quality, at least to mortal standards.

In the cultivation world, fabrics’ quality also included on its durability and ability to protect the user. However, Lan WangJi wasn’t picky. He could still sew protection scriptures with his spiritual powers when making the clothes.

“I will buy.”

“Young master truly has a great eye! How many rolls would you like? This old man will personally get them for you!”

There would be trial and error when he made the clothes. It was better to have an excess than a lack of fabrics. “Ten rolls, please. The colors will be black, red, white, and blue.”

If the shopkeeper was shocked, then he certainly didn’t show it on his face. The shopkeeper immediately dashed to the back of the shop to pick out the rolls with the finest quality and not blemished in any way. He called for a helper to assist him in bringing the delicate rolls of silk before expertly calculating the cost with his abacus.

Lan WangJi had no problems dropping several taels of gold on the counter, paying more than the actual amount.

“This young master, you don’t need to pay us this much…”

“Keep it.”

The shopkeeper truly felt that the day was extremely auspicious for him. This customer of his was clearly generous with his money! His grin widened as he cupped his hands and bowed in many thanks. Before he could wonder how to help to transport the long rolls of silk, Lan WangJi had already pulled out his qiankun pouch and stuffed the large rolls into his small pouch of infinite space.

“Thank you.” With those words, Lan WangJi quietly left the shop. The shopkeeper really felt that he was lucky to have made a fortune and met a cultivator—a deity.

Lan WangJi had another reason for descending the mountain.

Umbrellas.

During the many weeks that he lived together with Hua Cheng and Xie Lian, there were times where he caught the couple under a red umbrella, shielding them from a storm of flower petals as they chuckle and whisper sweet words in each other’s ears. Lan WangJi figured that the red umbrella must have some significance to the couple. Additionally, Hua Cheng had shown improvement in his messy calligraphy. Lan WangJi wanted to give him a final practice before returning him to Xie Lian.

Lan WangJi wanted blank umbrellas that were handcrafted with oil-paper ready to be painted or written on. He walked along the road for a while, but there were no stands or shops that sold such blank umbrellas. In fact, the more he walked and the longer he looked, the skies would turn gloomier and the winds would howl loudly.

Luckily, at the end of the street, a stand with blank umbrellas was there. Lan WangJi quickly approached the young maiden who began to put the umbrellas away. Even in the dark, Lan WangJi’s robes glowed and his handsome face crafted out of jade was very attractive.

“Young master, are you interested in our umbrellas?” The young maiden’s little stand was at the end of the street, attracting little to no attention in addition to her plain, blank umbrellas that cannot compare to others’ vibrant umbrellas with beautiful designs.

“Mn.”

The young maiden’s face glowed at his response. She finally had a customer! “This young master, how many would you like?”

“All.”

“...”

The young maiden’s little stand really was little. It barely allowed to her put more than ten umbrellas on display. And Lan WangJi wanted all of them! She gulped quietly, her eyes gazed at Lan WangJi with slight caution. “Are you sure you want all of them? You’re not tricking me, are you?” Her voice was soft and held tints of uncertainty.

“Mn. I want all.”

To prove his words, Lan WangJi pulled out some taels of gold from his money pouch. He quietly placed it in her hands, forcing her to accept them. The young maiden nodded her head happily, pleased that she’s not being tricked by the ethereal young master in front of her. As she gathered and bound the oil-paper umbrellas together, Lan WangJi pulled out another qiankun pouch. He loosened the string around the pouch and gently stuffed the umbrellas into his pouch.

The young maiden stared at him in wonder. “Young master, are you a cultivator?!”

“Mn.”

“Is it really possible to cultivate to immortality and have all the riches in the world?!”

“Possible.” Lan WangJi wasn’t lying when he said it was possible. The journey to immortality was rough, but the reward is worth all the hardships when there’s another person beside to enjoy the endless time and constantly changing world. It was even better than having all the riches in the world.

Before the young maiden could question him any further, he firmly spoke to her. “It will rain. Go home.” The young maiden grumbled, reluctantly packing her things up while Lan WangJi turned on his feet to leave town and return to his home.

However, it didn’t take long for the heavens to sprinkle some droplets of water. It wasn’t heavy, but it was enough of an annoyance for the people of the town. On his way, Lan WangJi’s glass eyes landed on a restaurant, still open and very crowded as people tried to avoid the rain temporarily. He then remembered to buy dinner for the people in his home. Wei WuXian was pregnant and should not be doing anything laborious. Xie Lian’s cooking can potentially kill. Hua Cheng can cook, but there was no guarantee that he will cook anything decent if he indulged Xie Lian’s attempts to cook.

Therefore, Lan WangJi entered the restaurant and waited until a waiter noticed him to order some dinner. It was a cold rainy day. So Lan WangJi ordered some snow fungus congee, buddha congee, egg sweet soup, and sang ji sheng tea. While he waited for his order, he looked out from the restaurant and it was pouring.

It was fine as he bought plenty of umbrellas. One umbrella could be spared to use for himself. However, the thought was instantly erased by the sight of a small group of beggars running through the pouring rain.

“An-xiong! There! Over there! A shelter!” It was a bright and clear voice. It came from a lively man with clear bright eyes who was being carried by another man clad in black who was most likely ‘An-xiong’. There were faint hints of laugh lines below the man’s eyes.

Behind the two were some children who were also in worn clothes, but they were just as lively as the man being carried. “QingXuan-gege! Wait for us!”

“Then you guys better run quick or else An-xiong will leave you guys behind!”

As Lan WangJi watched them crowd around a closed shop, hugging the walls and hiding under the roofs that barely protected them from the pouring rain, he came back into the restaurant and ordered more than enough congee for a group of people. Once again, he stood against the frame of the doors and watched the group of beggars.

The beggars patted their drenched clothes that were already worn out to begin with. Although he was as drenched as a rat, the beggar in black named ‘An-xiong’ still took his sleeves to wipe and move the hair that stuck to the beggar with clear bright eyes, ‘QingXuan-gege’s' face. His face was pale and had a rather emotionless face on, but his eyes were soft and almost caring.

As soon as the bangs were moved out of the way, ‘An-xiong’ looked away from ‘QingXuan-gege’ and his dark eyes, originally soft, hardened and stared at Lan WangJi who continued to observe them from a distance.

At this time, Lan WangJi hadn’t known that the beggar known as ‘An-xiong’ was in fact the other Ghost King, Hei Shui Chen Zhou. He Xuan had already noticed the fluttering butterfly that was hidden in Lan WangJi’s hair. He wasn’t sure of Hua Cheng’s intentions to spy on the cultivator, but as long as the cultivator does nothing, then He Xuan won’t do anything.

He Xuan turned back to the laughing man with clear bright eyes. Despite his misfortune, his broken arm, and leg, Shi QingXuan never lost those eyes—he never dimmed even the slightest.

And somehow… Shi QingXuan still had the ability to turn those eyes to him and laugh at him, happily calling him ‘An-xiong’.

The familiar movements, actions such as hugging and teasing… it was just like the past. It was impossible for Shi QingXuan to not have noticed. But it was fine that Shi QingXuan pretended not to. Between them, there were too many complicated knots that can be resolved. The resentment, the lies, the debt… There was too much to be said, but at the same time, there was nothing left to say.

‘Dream on’ was He Xuan’s twisted promise to both himself and Shi QingXuan. He won’t let Shi QingXuan die. Whether as ‘Ming-xiong’, ‘He-xiong’, or ‘An-xiong’, He Xuan will accompany Shi QingXuan to the end. In the end, Shi QingXuan will never be able to openly call out to him with his real name. It was the price that they paid to maintain this delicate illusion that replicated the past.

“An-xiong, what are you looking at?”

“Him.”

By the time that Shi QingXuan paid attention to Lan WangJi, the cultivator was already standing in front of them with two large wooden boxes. He silently handed the boxes to the former god before turning and walking away.

Shi QingXuan stared blankly at him as He Xuan opened the boxes. They were all warm snow fungus congee and buddha congee with some tofu soup to accompany. The beggar children quickly gathered around the boxes, small hands reaching out for the warm savory congee that will not only warm them up but also fill their empty stomachs.

The warm steam gushed up at his face and it couldn’t be helped that He Xuan’s stomach began to rumble loudly. Shi QingXuan laughed and handed him two bowls of congee.

“QingXuan-gege! You’re being very biased here! How could you give An-ge two bowls!”

“Ah, you’re still kids, so you don’t understand. Every day, An-xiong has to carry me up and down the hills, following the roads and leading us around. How could I not give him two bowls?” Shi QingXuan smugly took his fan out and tapped each of the complaining children on their heads. While what he said was the truth, it was also based on personal experience that he knew He Xuan ate a lot.

His smile almost turned wistful, but Shi QingXuan distracted himself when he suddenly remembered about the cultivator. He wanted to thank him for the food, for his kindness. As if summoned by his thoughts, Lan WangJi indeed came back, but with several umbrellas in hand. It was a mixture of both the blank ones that he first bought and vibrant ones that he just went and bought after handing the beggars the congee.

“Ah… This young master, you don’t have to go this far. Just the congee is enough. Isn’t it a waste of money?”

Lan WangJi soundlessly shook his head and carefully placed the umbrellas down. It was getting late and he had no intentions on staying out any longer than necessary. If he wasted any more time, the food that he placed in the qiankun pouch will get cold.

“Thank you!” Shi QingXuan and the other beggars’ voice rang out, but not at all drowned out by the pouring rain.

Lan WangJi nodded his head politely, wordlessly bidding them farewell. It didn’t take long for him to disappear from their sight and a burst of spiritual energy, disguised as the gust of wind, was instantly felt by He Xuan.

With a soft sound of umbrellas opening, He Xuan was immediately under one. Just as the beggars shared the umbrellas, he shared one with Shi QingXuan. “An-xiong, hurry up and eat while the congee is still warm!”

“Yeah yeah! The congee is really good!”

“It’s very warm too!”

The loud voices around him echoed as he ate under their encouragement. Shi QingXuan’s eyes softened as he asked He Xuan. “Is it delicious?”

“Yeah.”

Chapter Text

While Lan WangJi was out on an errand and astonishing people with his deity-like presence, Wei WuXian stayed home, very much lonely and missing his husband. Unfortunately, Hua Cheng and Xie Lian weren’t very great companions. How could they be great when they were flirting with each other in front of him while he didn’t have his husband to flirt with.

When they came into his room to wake him up and drag him out of bed, Wei WuXian was forced to watch the subtle glances, the sneaky touches, and the shy smiles.

‘Was this how others felt when I flirted with Lan Zhan? Is this karma?’

Wei WuXian couldn’t help but frown at those actions. His silver eyes dulled and narrowed at Xie Lian who tried to feed Hua Cheng a spoon of warm porridge. Hua Cheng sipped the congee, happy to be fed from Xie Lian’s hands. The Ghost King somehow made the porridge seem like the most delicious thing to ever exist with his ecstatic expression. Wei WuXian looked over to his side where his beloved husband always sat beside him and frowned. Grumpily, he hovered the spoon over his mouth and ate his porridge quietly.

The porridge was very plain and watery.

After breakfast, he took over Lan WangJi’s job and watched Hua Cheng practice his calligraphy. Unable to sit inside the stuffy home without Lan WangJi, Wei WuXian decided to move Hua Cheng’s calligraphy practice outside to the garden with the rabbits.

While the outside was certainly far less stuffy and had much fresh air, it was also gloomy. The skies were dark and ominous, the clouds blocking the warm sunlight from even peeking out for a glimpse. Wei WuXian lowly chuckled, not at all amused by the situation. “It seems even the heavens agree that today is not a very good day…”

He laid his head on the thick roots of the ancient magnolia tree, his back on the damp, squishy grass and grabbed an absent-minded rabbit. He ignored its struggling and buried his face into its fluffy body. He sniffed and rubbed his head against the terrified rabbit. He was already lonely and this rabbit was rejecting him.

Wei WuXian sneaked a glance from the rabbit’s snow-white fur and observed Hua Cheng’s calligraphy practice. Hua Cheng had transformed to his younger teen form, his body somewhat smaller than Xie Lian which allowed him to fit comfortably in the martial god’s arms. Xie Lian stood behind the ghost king, his slender hand delicately grasped the pale hand from behind and held the brush tightly. Lightly, Xie Lian dragged and guided Hua Cheng’s hand. Together, the brush glided across the parchment and created some thin and thick strokes that combined together to create a word.

Perhaps Wei WuXian would have been happy for the couple if it weren’t for Hua Cheng’s happy smirk that was constantly thrown his way. Wei WuXian quietly thought to himself. ‘I should have known that he was this petty. Who would have thought that the infamous Xue Yu Tan Hua would get his petty revenge by flirting with his lover endlessly.’

By this time, the rabbit in his face gave up on struggling. It calmed down considerably, laying its body on Wei WuXian’s face, snuggling against him. Wei WuXian was quite happy at this and held the rabbit even closer. At least the rabbit realized his loneliness was of the same kind as theirs.

From a short distance away, Xie Lian watched Wei WuXian play with the crowd of rabbits that eventually realized that he was one of them, very lonely because Lan WangJi wasn’t around from the corner of his eyes. Xie Lian wasn’t oblivious to the smirks that Hua Cheng sent towards Wei WuXian. He chuckled as their hands glided across the parchment once again to write another word. “San Lang. Behave. Don’t antagonize him.”

An eyebrow was raised at Xie Lian’s comment. “Gege. What did I do?”

“You know what you did. WangJi is not here so he’s very lonely. I wouldn’t be very happy either if someone were to taunt me because San Lang wasn’t beside me.”

Hua Cheng nodded his head and turned his head, the tip of his nose bumped Xie Lian’s cheek. His dark eyes glowed. “Gege. Who dares to taunt you?”

Xie Lian lightly coughed. “It was an example for when you aren’t with me.”

“Why am I not with Gege in this example?”

“San Lang!”

Hua Cheng laughed heartily and sneaked a kiss behind Xie Lian’s ear. “Sorry sorry. I’ll stop teasing Gege now and I won’t tease Wei WuXian anymore. Gege doesn’t have to worry when you go to complete some prayers now.” As much as he wanted to spend more time with Xie Lian, Xie Lian was definitely behind on some prayers in order to juggle time between his godly duties and Hua Cheng, Wei WuXian, and Lan WangJi.

“San Lang is good…”

“Am I just good?”

Xie Lian’s hand slipped out from Hua Cheng as he stood up. He rained some feather-light kisses on the Ghost King’s face. “San Lang is very, very good. So wait for me? I’ll be back soon.”

Eventually, Xie Lian left and it was just Xue Yu Tan Hua and the Yiling Patriarch on the mountain, sitting outside in a garden where rabbits that pitied, sympathized with their loneliness surrounded them. Hua Cheng’s formerly smiling face was now of indifference as he dragged the tip of his brush across the parchment, slowly doodling his beloved on the corners instead of practicing.

“No doodling.” It was muffled by the rabbits on his face, but Wei WuXian’s voice was still loud and clear. Without even looking at Hua Cheng, he knew that the Ghost King no longer cared about the calligraphy practice.

“Thanks for the reminder. In return, I’ll give you a piece of advice as well. Don’t be too lonely. It’ll affect the twins.” Hua Cheng sneered lightly, his hand stopped doodling and once again scribbled a line of poetry that cannot be compared to the beautiful lines that were written when Xie Lian guided him.

Wei WuXian then snickered and pushed himself up from the ground. His locks were a mess from his rolling around on the grass with the rabbits, his robes damp from the grass. He patted his protruding belly. “You don’t have to worry. My little buns will understand and they’ll be strong for me.”

Hua Cheng and Wei WuXian stared at each other with narrowed eyes. It was a long silence between them until they simultaneously sighed.

“... Do you want to watch Lan WangJi?”

“... Can I talk to him as well?”

“No.”

“Don’t you want to watch Dianxia instead?”

“I don’t need to watch him. If Dianxia needs me, I’ll go to wherever he is.”

“Alright then. Let’s watch my husband.”

Thus, Hua Cheng immediately dropped his brush on the parchment, not at all caring the splattered mess that the bristles made as it rolled around. Carrying a rabbit in his arms and a trail of many other snowballs followed the footsteps as Wei WuXian approached Hua Cheng. With a soft plop, Wei WuXian sat in front of Hua Cheng, his hand hovered over his robes, protectively covering his belly.

Pale fingers clasped together, the silver rings clinked and created a gentle sound. A pale flame gathered at the tip of his fingers. Hua Cheng then pointed his fingers both at himself and Wei WuXian. He blinked his eyes once and motioned Wei WuXian to do the same.

Immediately, the scenes changed in front of him. His vision was divided between the peaceful gloomy mountain and the bustling town. He narrowed his eyes at Hua Cheng who simply shrugged.

“I can only see the situation through my right eye.”

Thus, they quietly watched the situation through Hua Cheng’s silver butterfly. They witnessed Lan WangJi’s attempts to search for decent fabric materials and umbrellas. It didn’t take long for them to realize what they were for. Hua Cheng was almost touched when he realized that Lan WangJi bought umbrellas for him to not only practice but to also paint on. On the other hand, Wei WuXian was excited to let his husband create new clothes for him. ‘Is Lan Zhan going to make some for Hua Cheng and Dianxia as well? Hopefully, there’ll be some fabrics left to make some for the twins…’  

Wei WuXian’s thoughts were quickly thrown at the back of his mind when he and Hua Cheng saw how the mortals’ eyes brightened and followed the cultivator’s every step. Wei WuXian whistled and snickered whenever a mortal’s jaw dropped because of Lan WangJi.

“They’re basically worshipping him.”

“Of course! My husband is too good.”

“... Dianxia is better.”

Wei WuXian snorted at Hua Cheng’s words but didn’t comment. If he said any further, Hua Cheng would cut off the vision and continue to argue with him. Wei WuXian simply continued to watch Lan WangJi with Hua Cheng in silence. His arms hugged the rabbit in his arms while Hua Cheng absent-mindedly played with the soft fur of a rabbit that climbed into his lap.

They were so engrossed in watching, so lazy to move from their spots that Hua Cheng snapped a finger and placed a red carpet that radiated heat below them and planted his red umbrella into the ground that created a barrier to ward off the rain. Not a single drop of rain touched the two as they continued to watch in silence. By this time, only two rabbits remained by their side while the rest of the balls of fluff hid from the rain in a little house that Xie Lian and Lan WangJi recently built.

Hua Cheng laid against an arm on his table until a slender hand patted his shoulder from behind. Hua Cheng smiled and turned his head to look at Xie Lian.

“It’s cold and raining. Why are you guys still out here? Especially you, Wei-gongzi.”

“We’re watching Lan Zhan right now. Dianxia, come join us.”

“But…”

“Gege doesn’t have to worry. The umbrella and the carpet below us will keep us warm and dry. After we finish watching, we’ll go right inside.”

Xie Lian bit his lips, mentally apologizing to Lan WangJi and promising himself to immediately drag the pregnant Wei WuXian inside the second Hua Cheng stopped the vision. He entered the umbrella and was quickly greeted with great warmth that emitted from the silk. Hua Cheng grasped his hand, pulling him down and pressing their foreheads together.

Soon enough, Xie Lian’s vision was split between two different sceneries.

Lan WangJi was standing against a restaurant’s door frame until a cheerful voice echoed in Hua Cheng, Xie Lian, and Wei WuXian’s ears. Xie Lian was in slight surprise at the appearance of Shi QingXuan.

“Gege. Guess who is Hei Shui.”

“... It’s not… that An-xiong, is it?”

“It is.”

Xie Lian narrowed his eyes, his hands curled into fists. However, before he could ask Hua Cheng any further, Wei WuXian’s questioning eyes aimed at them. “When you guys say ‘Hei Shui’, do you mean the other Ghost King, Hei Shui Chen Zhou?”

“Yeah.”

“San Lang. What is Hei Shui planning?”

“Gege doesn’t have to worry. He’s not planning anything. He just wants to watch until the end.”

“I never even noticed… When did this start?”

“A while now. Gege, you really don’t have to worry. There’s nothing that Hei Shui can do now.”

Even though Hua Cheng reassured him twice, Xie Lian couldn’t help but be wary. He Xuan had singlehandedly blinded the heavens and tricked everyone. He was the one who killed Shi Wudu, the one who reduced Shi QingXuan to his current state.

Xie Lian watched from the butterfly in Lan WangJi’s hair and observed the bright eyes that shined at He Xuan. Lan WangJi gave them the congee and umbrellas before leaving. The butterfly seemingly turned around for them to further observe Shi QingXuan and He Xuan. Even from an increasing distance by Lan WangJi’s speed, Xie Lian could see how Shi QingXuan laughed as bright as he did beside He Xuan when he disguised as the Earth Master, Ming Yi. It couldn’t be denied that He Xuan truly held affections for Shi QingXuan as he shared the bowls of congee, hand holding his slipping locks back as he fed spoons and spoons of warm congee.

The last glimpse that they saw of Shi QingXuan and He Xuan was a soft peck on the lips and a tight hug under the umbrella that shielded them from the rain.

Xie Lian took a deep breath, slowly letting it out and smiled. ‘I should visit the Wind Master next time…’

“Wei-gongzi, shall we go inside now? Let’s not worry WangJi any further.”

He easily lifted pregnant Wei WuXian and the calligraphy table from the ground. Simultaneously, Hua Cheng stood up and dropped the other rabbit into Wei WuXian’s arms. In a gentlemanly manner, he held the umbrella over their heads. Together, they brought Wei WuXian and the rabbits into the warm residence.

Wei WuXian silently gazed at Xie Lian who placed him gently onto a cushion. As much as he was curious, he didn’t question Xie Lian or Hua Cheng about the other Ghost King and his companion in the vision. It was clear that there was a complicated relationship and Wei WuXian had no intention to learn about it unless they willingly tell him on their own.

Wei WuXian suddenly grinned at them. “Dianxia, Hua Cheng!”

He jumped from his seat and handed them the rabbits. As they held the rabbits, Wei WuXian dusted his robes and stretched his body.

Hua Cheng had a foreboding feeling. “Wei WuXian. You better not do anything rash.”

At the end of his words, the doors quietly opened with a creek. White robes barely entered their view, but Wei WuXian already jumped into the man’s arms, completely confident that the man would catch him.

“Lan Zhan! Welcome back!”

Chapter Text

Since they left Cloud Recesses to travel around Jianghu and search for their retirement home, Lan WangJi took the time to keep their close ones up to date. He didn’t dare to leave his family members behind, didn’t dare to leave them in the dark, constantly worrying over the couple.

At earliest, there would be a letter from Lan WangJi every other week. At latest, there would be a letter every month. Lan WangJi was very diligent in writing the letters. Whenever he had time, usually late at night when Wei WuXian was deep in sleep, Lan WangJi would write. Sometimes, he wrote one sentence. Other times, he only wrote one word before joining Wei WuXian in bed. But little by little, whatever that Lan WangJi wanted to say, he would write the words that built up inside him down in an earnest manner.

Thus, when it was discovered that there was a way for men to give birth, that Lan WangJi and Wei WuXian successfully acquired it, the Lan Sect was the first to be told as they anxiously waited for Lan WangJi’s updates. A while later, the long-awaited news that Wei WuXian was finally pregnant, with twins, the Lan Sect was ecstatic. However, it wasn’t just them who received the news.

Such an important matter, Lan WangJi could not leave Wei WuXian’s own family out of the news. Thus, he sent private letters to Wei WuXian’s beloved nephew, Jin Ling, who was now known as Jin RuLan, the sect leader of the disgraced Jin Sect who spent countless of years to redeem its name. Many letters were also sent to Wei WuXian’s brother, Jiang Cheng. Although he was no longer a sect leader, Jiang Cheng held the position of Grand Elder in the Jiang Sect. He still held significant authority over the sect—whatever he said, no one can defy.

If there was too much to be said, but in the end, there was nothing left to be said between He Xuan and Shi QingXuan, then between Wei WuXian and Jiang Cheng, whatever that should be said was said and whatever that shouldn’t be said was also said. Whatever promises that were made were kept. And whatever promises that were made were also broken. For Wei WuXian and Jiang Cheng, they couldn’t say anything to each other. The two brothers awkwardly danced around each other whenever they meet for decades. Unable to speak honestly, unable to reconcile.

During sect conferences and meetings, Wei WuXian either stayed behind in the Lan Sect to supervise the junior disciples or he would come along but stayed beside his husband. If they ran into Jiang Cheng, then Wei WuXian would place a smile on his face and say the distant words:

“Greetings, Sect Leader Jiang.”

Sometimes, he would also say: “It’s been a long time, Jiang WanYin.”

Similarly, Jiang Cheng only nodded his head and greeted back distantly. “Greetings, Lan Er-gongzi, Wei-gongzi.”

On other times, it was a nod and a distant: “What a coincidence to see you here, Wei WuXian.”

In front of each other, they politely greeted each other. Behind each other’s backs, they spoke of fond memories, both intentionally and unintentionally. It was truly an awkward dance between the two brothers.

A few decades after the first sealing ceremony led by Nie HuaiSang, another sect conference was made and invitations were sent by the LanLingJin Sect. It was also the first conference that Lan XiChen participated since his seclusion. Lan WangJi voluntarily participated to support his brother. However, Wei WuXian stayed behind to cultivate as he was in the middle of an important period where he was going to have a breakthrough to the next stage.

Thus, the Twin Jades of Gusu set off together with some Lan disciples. Lan SiZhui and Lan JingYi also participated to give them experience in the matters between sects and as well as visit Jin Ling who was leading the conference. Minor sects around them often snuck in sarcastic comments regarding the Jin Sect and questioned Jin Ling’s authority, but the young leader had learned to ignore such comments and treat them as air until the end of the conference where he addressed their rudeness.

He was polite with his words that no one could refute him, but also ruthless. He no longer needed Jiang Cheng’s support.

On the other hand, when these sects failed to target the Jin Sect, they then switched targets and targeted the GusuLan Sect. They slyly criticized Lan XiChen’s seclusion and his failure to keep his sect’s disciples from doing night hunts with a fierce corpse. Nonetheless, such criticisms were quickly shut down by a piercing glare from Lan WangJi.

There was no need for words as his glare spoke louder than his own voice. If they had nothing to contribute to the discussion, then they should stay silent and waste others’ time.

But in the end, the conference wasn’t so much a disaster and successfully came to a resolution. When it ended, the sects stayed at the Jin Sect for one final day before returning to their own sects or whatever business they had. On the way back to Gusu, they were accompanied by the YunmengJiang Sect who wanted to have some talks of a trading business. On the way back, they were ambushed by a large gathering of hundreds, thousands of ghosts and demons. It was an abnormal sight to have so many ghosts and demons in one place. Furthermore, all of these ghosts and demons were bloodthirsty and full of bloodlust.

It was an ugly event.

Many disciples that both sects brought were either severely wounded or killed. Several signal firelights were fired, but there were no signs of reinforcements that could help them. They could only fight to survive. It took the combined efforts of the two sect leaders and Lan WangJi to open a pathway for the remaining disciples to escape back to GusuLan and join the reinforcements to exorcise the ghosts and demons.

When a pathway was opened, the disciples carried each other and successfully escaped. The last to escape were the two sect leaders and Lan WangJi. Lan XiChen was the first to escape the bloodfest, but his brother and fellow sect leader failed to.

“WangJi! Sect Leader Jiang!”

Several ghosts jumped on Jiang Cheng, effectively separating him from the Twin Jades. They prevented him from escaping and even depleted his spiritual energy to the point where Zidian was forced to return to its ring form, leaving the Jiang Sect Leader unable to dual wield Zidian and Sandu. Lan WangJi noticed the crisis and could only return to save Jiang Cheng. Thus, both Jiang Cheng and Lan WangJi were left behind in a crowd of hundreds of ghosts and demons.

Lan WangJi quickly strummed his guqin, sending a wave of overwhelming spiritual energy while reassuring his brother to return and bring reinforcements.

At this time, the two brothers-in-law were forced to cooperate and put aside their dislike towards each other. Lan WangJi strummed, plucked until the calluses on the tip of his fingers bled, sending waves and waves of spiritual energy, but the ghosts and demons were endless. While Lan WangJi handled the frontlines, Jiang Cheng protected the rear. He picked up a fallen YunmengJiang disciple’s sword and Jiang Cheng dual wielded the swords, spinning and dancing, mercilessly cutting down the ghosts and demons that tried to attack Lan WangJi.

Although it was merely a physical attack of no spiritual energy, Jiang Cheng practically shone as the blood of his enemies splattered in the air and painted each others’ corpses.

Unfortunately, the two cultivators didn’t have an infinite amount of spiritual energy nor do they have endless stamina.

The two could barely dodge incoming attacks, their movements gradually becoming slower, their reaction speed delaying by as little as .01 second. When an attack that was aimed for Jiang Cheng threatened to pierce his heart, Lan WangJi barely pushed him away in time to change the target to himself while at the same time deflect the directory of the attack to merely pierce his abdomen with Bichen. He ignored the raging pain on his hands and abdomen. Lan WangJi no longer relied on his guqin to attack and used his bleeding hands to knock down nearby trees to disperse the crowds of ghosts and demons.

Immediately, Jiang Cheng found a pathway among the dispersing crowd and carried Lan WangJi away and hid in a cave. Lan WangJi was stripped of his sullied robes that were used as a distraction. He bore with the pain and forcefully tied a ripped piece of cloth around his abdomen to stop the bleeding. Hidden behind the rocks in the cave, Lan WangJi and Jiang Cheng barely escaped death when the ghosts and demons followed the trail of blood.

“Where did those cultivators go?”

“I recognize one of the uniforms! It was the YunmengJiang!”

“Wasn’t the other one from GusuLan?”

“Who cares! Kill them and eat their flesh! They are both cultivators of the late-stage Nascent Soul.”

“You better split their flesh fairly. Or else, don’t blame me for being ruthless.”

“Hmph! A greenhorn like you dare to threaten the great me? Just because Mount TongLu has opened, you think you’re the second Ghost King already? Dream on!”

In the end, these ghosts and demons were not teammates. Mount TongLu has opened. The less competition, the better. Thus, they began to fight amongst one another in the cave, destroying the cave into smithereens. Lan WangJi and Jiang Cheng escaped death simply because these ghosts and demons failed to work together to kill them.

Nonetheless, they survived and only had to wait for the reinforcements to find them in the obliterated cave.

It was complete silence between them excluding the dripping blood from their wounds. Jiang Cheng could only strip himself and tore his clothes to wrap around his wounds before helping Lan WangJi with his own. If Lan WangJi didn’t want his help or hated his attempts to bandage his wounds as it required physical touching, then too bad. Not that Lan WangJi said anything.

Jiang Cheng tore the bloodied, makeshift bandages on Lan WangJi’s abdomen and wrapped his torn purple cloth around the man. They said nothing to each other until Jiang Cheng broke the silence.

“Why did you save me? Don’t you hate me?”

“...”

“Fine, don’t answer me.”

“... Because you are Wei Ying’s brother and it was the right thing to do.”

Jiang Cheng was shocked, his movements incident also paused. He chuckled in a low voice. “I see. You guys truly suit each other. Hero-complexes. Great heroes with a moral compass. Saving all and being wherever the chaos is.” It was a tired statement. Jiang Cheng had no fight as he said these things.

Lan WangJi said nothing which made a brief silence until Jiang Cheng spoke once again“... How is he?”

“Good. He is in the middle of a breakthrough.”

“Good for him. Even in a supposedly hopeless body that can’t cultivate, he still manages to cultivate this far.”

“Because of hardworking effort.”

Jiang Cheng snorted at this statement as he pulled tightly against the purple cloth and tied it. Lan WangJi let out a soft grunt at the action, but he didn’t blame Jiang Cheng for the rough treatment. Jiang Cheng sat beside his brother-in-law and let out a tired sigh. His eyes were closed as Lan WangJi stared at him.

For the first time, there was no animosity between them. There were no sneers, no mocking, no sarcastic comments, no provocations. It was rather peaceful.

Lan WangJi pulled his guqin into his lap and lightly flicked a string. The low sound quietly echoed in the cave. He allowed the string to vibrate until it stopped on its end before he finally spoke. “Still the Two Prides.”

“Huh?”

Jiang Cheng’s eyes snapped open, confusion written over his face. However, Lan WangJi never faced him. He gazed at his guqin and silently ran his bloody fingers across the strings.

“So long as the GusuLan has its Twin Jades, the YunmengJiang would have its Two Prides. Was that not what you said?”

Jiang Cheng once again snorted and laid back against the rocks. “Words spoken by an idiot… words that another idiot believed… They shouldn’t be taken seriously.”

“No.”

Nothing was said afterward. The conversation seemingly ended. It was futile if Lan WangJi waited for Jiang Cheng to speak. Lan WangJi may have wanted to continue the conversation, but Jiang Cheng had no intention to continue it. But Lan WangJi was adamant in making his final point before letting Jiang Cheng go.

“Wei Ying may have married into the Lan Sect, but his origins still lie with the Jiang Sect.”

Lan WangJi wasn’t sure if Jiang Cheng heard and listened to him, but he was satisfied with making that statement. He didn’t make an attempt to watch Jiang Cheng. If he heard, then great. If he didn’t, then that was fine as well. There are still other opportunities to talk in the future. He simply closed his eyes and meditated.

The next time he woke up, Wei WuXian was sleeping beside him. His silver eyes were glazed with worry as he tenderly held him in his arms, raining feather-like kisses across his gaze. “Don’t scare me like that again.”

“Mn.”

He thought for a moment before speaking. “Jiang WanYin?”

“He left.” It was a very simple response from Wei WuXian, but Lan WangJi could tell. Wei WuXian’s smile, his shining silver eyes, the slight excitement in his movements as he cared for Lan WangJi—they all told Lan WangJi the outcome. There was no need for verbal words. Lan WangJi was very happy for his husband.

Although this incident was a complete bloodfest, it ended up with the Two Prides of YunmengJiang and a better relationship between Lan WangJi and his brother-in-law. It was decent enough for them to occasionally exchange letters regarding Wei WuXian.

Thus, it wasn’t such a surprise to receive a letter from the Jiang Grand Elder and many herbs that helped to nourish a pregnant person.

Lan WangJi massaged the smooth shoulders of his husband who read aloud his brother’s angry but very concerned letters. Hua Cheng and Xie Lian both listened to the contents of the letters that Wei WuXian willingly shared as they worked on sewing. Or at least, a very good attempt at sewing by Xie Lian whose handicraft required some actual looking over.

“Lan Zhan, did you really have to tell him how I stayed out in the rain with Hua Cheng? The rain didn’t even touch me! I’m surprised that you didn’t tell him about our everyday sex life! Now, look at all these letters! There are at least ten complaints in them. He’s not even here, but he’s still nagging!”

“Shameless.”

“Ah, dear husband. You tattletale to my brother while hiding in the dark. And you dare call me shameless? Ah! Right there! It feels really good! Ah…” Wei WuXian was in heaven, moaning out in pleasure, which Lan WangJi failed to muffle. Wei WuXian chuckled and kissed his husband’s slender fingers, brushing the rough calluses on his face before allowing them to press on his sore spots and loosening whatever that is tight. His husband was indeed very good. Exceptionally good. And very virtuous.

Hua Cheng snickered. “Then what is the punishment for tattletale? No sex for a week?”

Xie Lian and Lan WangJi lightly coughed at Hua Cheng’s words. But Wei WuXian didn’t even blink an eye as he flipped to the next letter to read. “I have my needs as well. I’m not going to punish myself. It’s okay. Lan Er-gege will make it up to me by massaging me and staying by my side all day long.”

“Gege. I’m sorry I failed to make him quiet for a week.” Hua Cheng disappointedly said as he buried his head against the crook of Xie Lian’s neck. Xie Lian blushed, dropping his craft on the table and patting Hua Cheng on the back of his head.

“San Lang… Be good.”

Wei WuXian abruptly turned his head and faced Lan WangJi with bright eyes. “Ah, Lan Zhan! Can you and Dianxia build a swing next time?”

At the mention of a swing, Hua Cheng looked up from Xie Lian’s neck. “If that’s the case, build it over the lake.”

“Dangerous.”

“Then we’ll build two. One over the lake for us to jump into the cake and the other over the soft grounds.” Xie Lian then jumped into the conversation. The swings would be great additions to the homely residence.

“We should make them as wide as possible!”

Hua Cheng raised an eyebrow, his tone almost teasing Wei WuXian. “For you and your husband?”

“That too, but also for you two. Unless you want Dianxia to sit on your lap, then go right ahead. I also want space so that our children can all play at the same time.”

The wind blew into the cottage and brushed against the flapping letters in Wei WuXian’s hands. They enjoyed the cool breeze as they made further plans for the future. And thus, they passed yet another peaceful day with each other.

Chapter Text

In the beginning, Wei WuXian’s pregnant belly wasn’t very big. It barely qualified as a twin belly, especially when he wore his robes. Thus, the four people of the cottage took their time to prepare Wei WuXian’s pregnancy robes. Furthermore, Xie Lian wanted a break from the delicate needlework that taunted him for his inability to make any designs presentable for the public eyes. Unhesitatingly, he abandoned the needlework and began to work on the swings.

The first month was spent building swings in the garden of rabbits and over the lake. The swings were wide enough for at least four people to sit on and they were stabilized, held up by ropes that were braided by Xie Lian. The ropes were intertwined with thick vines and decorated by vibrant flowers. The swings themselves were hung from the thick branches of the ancient magnolia tree, allowing the gentle petals and leaves to give them cool shade and shield them from the bright sun. It was a perfect place for the couples to relax in their beloved's presence and enjoy the sways of the swings.

It was especially relaxing to sit on the swing, hover over the cool surface of the lake and splash their bare feet in the water that created ripples across the lake.

Wei WuXian often sat on the swings. He loved the sways of the swings that lulled him to sleep under the cool shades. Oftentimes, Lan WangJi would also join his husband and sleep beside him. If Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi occupied one swing, then Xie Lian and Hua Cheng would occupy the other. From a distance away, Xie Lian would watch Wei WuXian sit beside Lan WangJi and hold his husband's hand while he enthusiastically increased the momentum of the swings. Wei WuXian's smile was especially bright when Lan WangJi was on the swing and he was the one who pushed the swing. It was a peaceful image that Xie Lian particularly enjoyed watching with Hua Cheng. He felt his long years as he happily watched them from afar, his arm tightening around Hua Cheng's waist.

Thus, the new pastime was greatly enjoyed by both couples.

When the swings were finally built, Lan WangJi then personally taught Xie Lian how to handle threads and needles. It was obvious that Xie Lian truly had little to no talent or skill if the work was delicate and very much related to house chores. Give him a cooking pot, the food will turn out to be a deadly weapon. Give him thread and needle, his hand will become a bloody zongzi.

Thus, it wasn’t too much of a surprise when Lan WangJi found a unique belt in the basket of laundry that he needed to wash. Clumsily embroidered onto the belt were two intimate flowers.

It was clearly a beginner’s work.

Lan WangJi only had an inkling of whom the belt belonged to and the designer of the belt. He had no intention to confirm his suspicions until Xie Lian appeared beside him, face pale with small beads of sweat rolling down his cheeks and wild hair that was barely pulled back into a bun. His face paled, his eyes dilated out of anxiety, his mouth gaped like a goldfish at the belt in Lan WangJi’s hands.

“W-WangJi…”

To Xie Lian, the belt was an abomination that shouldn’t be worn for the public eyes to see. An embarrassment that should never see light. Xie Lian would die of humiliation were anyone else to see his handicraft. It was different from the failed attempts that he tried in front of Lan WangJi. The belt was only meant for Hua Cheng’s eyes to see, only for his beloved to wear on his body. And over the past few years, Hua Cheng kept his promise to flip the belt over and hide the embroidery. Xie Lian was able to peacefully ignore the belt’s existence until the morning he woke up with Hua Cheng asking him where the belt was.

The abomination was finally seen by another person and that same person was a very virtuous husband who was an all-rounder in house chores.

Xie Lian wanted to just faint, to die right there and then. They stared at each other in silence before Lan WangJi turned to the belt and began to scrub at it. The belt that was never dirtied shined even brighter when Lan WangJi washed it. Calmly, he handed the belt and a basket of clothes that he just scrubbed clean back to Xie Lian.

“Dianxia. May I ask you to hang them up?”

If Lan WangJi wasn’t going to question him, then Xie Lian had no reason to continue standing there and embarrass himself any further. He turned on his heels and was about to fly back to the cottage to hide the abomination before doing his task. But then Lan WangJi’s deep voice stopped him in his tracks. “If Dianxia does not mind WangJi’s amateur skills, WangJi can teach Dianxia.” Xie Lian was rather touched that Lan WangJi truly believed that with proper guidance, Xie Lian still had some hope to learn how to properly embroider something without stabbing himself.

Xie Lian silently thought to himself. Lan WangJi was a much more patient teacher compared to Mu Qing. He would never lose his patience with Xie Lian and question his design choices and may even give him a passing grade in embroidery that he could finally make something decent-looking for Hua Cheng to wear.

The martial god was then motivated by the thought of Hua Cheng wearing something he personally designed. He quickly agreed to Lan WangJi’s teaching.

Within the next few days, Lan WangJi brought a small basket of threads, a rolled up needle pouch, and pieces of evenly-cut silk. They began their private lesson as quietly as possible.

And Lan WangJi was indeed very patient with the hopeless Xie Lian. When they first started, he allowed Xie Lian to freely sew whatever he wanted. Xie Lian remembered Mu Qing’s questioning of his initial attempt of making two little heads on the belt and decided to make something simpler. With pure white threads, he embroidered Hua Cheng’s silver butterflies. Or at least, he wanted to. Before it turned out as five ugly circles of rough needlework, none of the deadly elegance that belonged to the silver butterflies was replicated despite his bandaged bands.

Before Xie Lian was depressed for very long, Lan WangJi gently pointed out his mistakes and how the embroidery had turned out so messily. His voice was soft and low as usual, completely guiding Xie Lian with none of the grudging manner that Mu Qing showed. He even marked the path that the needle needed to follow and where the threads needed to meet and intersect. Thus, Xie Lian was happily given another chance to recreate the silver butterflies and abandoned his first try on the ornate table. Lan WangJi kept the failed attempt and discreetly gave it to Hua Cheng when Xie Lian was too focused on following the given path.

Hua Cheng was ecstatic.

He laughed heartily and cherished the piece of red cloth that Xie Lian practiced his first silver butterflies embroidery on.

“Please stop Dianxia from throwing any of his handicraft away. Instead, give them to me.” It was an agreement between Lan WangJi and Hua Cheng when Hua Cheng discovered the private lessons that his beloved was receiving.

While practicing his calligraphy and chatting with Wei WuXian, Hua Cheng would trail his long fingers across every individual thread that Xie Lian used under his sleeves. In Hua Cheng’s eyes, the silver butterflies were already beautiful and perfect. The silver butterflies that Hua Cheng spent more than hundreds of years to hone to perfection to protect Xie Lian was already captured in essence.

Hua Cheng’s lips would curl into a long-lasting smile from seeing the silver butterflies that Xie Lian made for him, his mood extraordinarily great for the rest of the day. Even the actual silver butterflies danced around Hua Cheng and swooped in the air with clear joy.

If Lan WangJi patiently taught Xie Lian to sew and embroider, then Hua Cheng patiently waited for Xie Lian’s handicrafts. He collected each and every attempts, placing them under his robes and carrying them with him everywhere.

Hua Cheng was very excited to see the five ugly circles transform into five beautiful silver butterflies.

However, while Xie Lian received lessons on embroidery, Wei WuXian who didn’t need new clothes to accommodate for his twin belly grew bigger and bigger. Finally, a few weeks later, Wei WuXian officially could no longer fit into his white inner clothes. Neither could his black robes fully dress him without the threat to fall apart and reveal his very pregnant self.

Thus, his only resort was to wear his husband’s robes that were a few inches wider and sleeves that were much longer than his arms. The elegant robes that looked overly neat on Lan WangJi was a mess on Wei WuXian. Despite the unorganized look, Lan WangJi’s clothes were very loose which allowed it to accommodate Wei WuXian’s pregnant belly.

“Lan Zhan, you don’t have to rush. Be careful of pricking yourself. I don’t want you to bleed and hurt yourself. I still have your clothes to wear. It’s rare for me to wear the Lan Sect’s robes after all. You can just feast your eyes on me!”

“...”

“Lan Zhan…” Wei WuXian dragged out his husband’s name and draped himself over Lan WangJi’s body and pressed their faces together. His protruding stomach poked itself against his husband’s broad back. “Don’t ignore me.”

“I am not.”

“Then why aren’t you talking to me? Not just that, you’re not even facing me. Come on. Look at me! Kiss me!”

Lan WangJi didn’t move at first, but Wei WuXian waited patiently for his husband’s reaction. Eventually, a smirk made its way on Wei WuXian’s face. He smirked proudly as Lan WangJi’s glass-like eyes moved to finally glimpse at him. They gazed at each other in silence before they caught each other’s lips.

Sucking on Lan WangJi’s lips, nibbling on those luscious lips—Wei WuXian enjoyed and swallowed the quiet moan that Lan WangJi released through their kiss. When their lips parted, Wei WuXian’s eyes narrowed with tenderness at the tinge of red that dyed the tip of Lan WangJi’s ears. His eyes then traveled down his husband’s body, following his hands and rested on the inner robe that was being sewn.

Wei WuXian smiled, remembering his husband’s first attempt with handling needle and threads. The beautiful, slender, long fingers were pricked and clumsy. It caused him quite a heartache when he saw his husband’s fingers, poked with yet another bloody hole. Despite the bloody, clumsy attempts, Lan WangJi persevered and became a master. He made all of Wei WuXian’s clothes, embroidered simple but elegant designs to the hems of his sleeves and robes, and patched up whatever holes that Wei WuXian made in the clothes.

Lan WangJi was truly a virtuous husband.

“Lan Zhan. Have I told you that you are very, very, very good? You’re such a good husband. Look at you. You’ve ascended to immortality, a master of the six arts, proficient with the ways of medicine, a good chef, and an expert at handling needles and threads. How are you so good and virtuous, huh? You have so many talents that you’re making me jealous!”

Lan WangJi’s ears flushed a shade darker at Wei WuXian’s praise. A soft mutter escaped his lips as he went back to his handicraft. “Ridiculous.”

“No, not ridiculous at all! Everything I’m saying is true!” Wei WuXian draped himself further over his husband’s shoulders and stopped the slender fingers from sewing any further, grasped them in his hands and tenderly pressed them against his soft lips. “These hands are precious… very precious.” Wei WuXian made sure that Lan WangJi could feel, see the kisses that he placed on each of the fingers.

His virtuous husband was very lovable and adorable.

And Wei WuXian loved and adored him very much.

Chapter Text

As Wei WuXian sat in the warm, steaming water, scrubbing the sweat and dirt off his arms, Lan WangJi sat behind him, meticulously rubbing the soap onto the individual strands of his husband’s hair. From his bareback, Wei WuXian could feel the calm and steady rhythm of the beating heart behind him. He softly patted his protruding belly and hummed their song.

It was very relaxing as Lan WangJi gently massaged his husband’s scalp, softly scratching certain areas that drew a satisfied moan. He leaned in closer, his nose barely grazed Wei WuXian’s hair as he quietly sniffed the soft fragrance.

Wei WuXian laughed at his husband’s sniffing. His pale hand reached back to caress the jade-like beauty’s face before turning his head. The movement caused his hair to brush against the tip of Lan WangJi’s nose. Finally facing his husband, Wei WuXian chuckled even more at the remnants of the soap at the tip of his nose.

“Lan Zhan. Do I smell good?” His fingers teasingly twirled around stands of his husband’s hair.

“Good.”

“Hahaha! I smell so good that you even got soap on yourself?” Wei WuXian turned his body around, splashing the water around and pressing himself against his husband as he swiped the remnants of soap away with his thumb. He wrapped his arms around Lan WangJi. Their naked bodies were pressed together in the small space of the bathtub.

“Mn.”

Wei WuXian smiled, pecking the luscious lips in front of him. His husband was very adorable. “Alright, alright. Let me wash your hair now!”

He forcefully turned his husband around and gathered all of his hair into one hand. He placed small kisses on the wet hair before rubbing soap onto them. Unlike his usual quickness, Wei WuXian purposely slowed down to painstakingly wash Lan WangJi’s hair. He wanted him to shine.

As he rubbed the thick strands of hair, Wei WuXian’s eyes followed the smooth, graceful lines that outlined his waist and back. However, as he followed those graceful lines, he would also have glimpses of the thirty-three scars of the discipline whip. The scars intersected and marred his husband’s perfect, fair skin. No matter how much the scars have scabbed over, they were still ugly. The scars were deep—Wei WuXian ran his fingers across the strong back and felt the bumps and dents that the scars created by tearing apart the flesh from Lan WangJi’s body. 

His heart hurt at the sight of those scars. Wei WuXian sucked in a breath before he reached a hand to cover Lan WangJi’s eyes from behind. “Close your eyes.” He felt his husband’s long eyelashes flutter behind his hand and smiled. ‘How obedient.’

He then poured a handful of warm water down. He watched the trails of water travel down the dark, wet hair, carrying the remnants of soup with it. He felt the water trickled down his hand. The trails of water flowed down from Lan WangJi’s neck and collar-bones. The slight steam from the water floated around Lan WangJi and enhanced his gracefulness. Lan WangJi was simply alluring.

Wei WuXian released a shaky breath, his silver eyes darkened. His pale hand slowly lowered themselves from protecting Lan WangJi’s eyes to probing his lips. His fingers smoothly slipped past Lan WangJi’s lips and played with his tongue. While his fingers teased his husband’s tongue, his face lowered, his lips kissing the back of Lan WangJi’s neck and trailing down to the ugly scars that marred his back. He kissed each one of those thirty-three scars—his kisses evolved from mere pecks to passionate ones.

Wei WuXian hardened at the soft gasps of breath that escaped his husband’s mouth. He especially loved how his kisses made Lan WangJi arched his back.

Pale hands grasped the broad shoulders and forcefully turned the beloved jade around.

Wei WuXian loved Lan WangJi.

He especially loved the breathless, flushed look on the perfect beauty of his husband. His eyes were slightly red, his ears were dyed a faint red, his lips were tinged, glossed with his saliva. He was absolutely enchanting.

“Hah… Lan Er-gege is getting better and better at seduction.”

“Is that not good?”

“Good. Very good. Continue on seducing me.” His hands lingered at the burned sear near Lan WangJi’s heart. “Every part of you allures me. I love you, adore you. I love you so much. And I love you even more tonight.” His heart beat wildly, his fingers gradually climbed up to grasp the scarred shoulders. Lan WangJi’s lips parted slightly, about to respond back to Wei WuXian’s love, however, a feather-light kiss stole his voice away. 

With his husband’s shoulders tightly grasped, Wei WuXian pushed his pregnant body up. 

The water spilled from his wet naked body. He stood in front of Lan WangJi and tugged him closer, allowing his head to lean against the bulging abdomen. Lan WangJi silently pressed his ear to the abdomen, listening, feeling for any movements. 

A soft chuckle rung out from Wei WuXian. He narrowed his eyes, his fingers tangled with the wet, dark hair. The hair seemed to glisten in his hand as he pulled away to follow the fair jawline with his fingers.

The pale fingers paused at Lan WangJi’s chin—Wei WuXian tilted his chin up to face his narrowed eyes and curled lips. 

Wei WuXian softly pushed Lan WangJi back, deeper into the water and against the wooden tub. Reaching back, both of his hands parted his cheeks. His fingers dipped in shallowly to further spread his twitching hole. Slowly, he lowered himself into the lukewarm water. He almost flinched at the rush of the water entering his hole.

He took in a loud breath.

In one swift movement, he lowered his hips, his hole swallowed the entire length of Lan WangJi. His insides throbbed at the penetration, his toes curled at the thrilling pleasure. “Ahhh, Lan Zhan! I knew you were hard!” Wei WuXian grinned widely. Although his bulging abdomen gave him some difficulty, Wei WuXian still managed to loosely encircle his legs around his husband’s waist.

Lan WangJi’s flushed appearance was absolutely arousing. “You too.” 

Wei WuXian laughed. “Yes, yes. I’m hard, very hard. You did this, you seduced me. So… take responsibility.” His voice deepened with lust, his hips snapped, his ass slammed down to take in his husband’s dick. 

He had no qualms about moaning loudly. He loved how his hole was already molded into Lan WangJi’s shape, how Lan WangJi’s dick could turn him into a mess so easily.

Wei WuXian began to slow his hips down and leaned back as if he was going to fall. His hands stretched out towards Lan WangJi. 

‘Catch me.’

He barely leaned back when Lan WangJi caught him. In his hands, he held and gripped onto Wei WuXian’s hands. Wei WuXian tightly returned the grasp. He gazed into Lan WangJi’s glass eyes that reflected his lustful appearance. 

At that moment, Wei WuXian’s back arched, his hands held tightly onto his husband’s beautiful hands. 

Lan WangJi pulled back out before he penetrated him once again. Wei WuXian’s body bounced, his hips shaking at every thrust that Lan WangJi made. The lukewarm water entered his hole, filling him up and spilling out. The dick deep inside poked, probed, tortured his soft insides.

As his hole enthusiastically swallowed Lan WangJi whole, the indescribable pleasure filled up his entire body. Gradually, it was not just his own dick that leaked. From the erect nipples on the formerly flat chest, a creamy-white substance leaked. 

The creamy-white fluid gradually escaped and dripped down his body. His breasts bounced, his milk spilled. 

Wei WuXian was truly lactating.

Wei WuXian laughed in wonder as he looked down at his own body. His breasts were leaking milk, his pregnant body was fully preparing for his twins. His skin stretched, his bulging abdomen that grew larger and larger, his and Lan WangJi’s twins were growing inside him. His dick was completely hard and gushing its own clear fluid. His ass spread, his hole loose and stretched to accommodate his husband.

His body was amazing.

He released a hand from Lan WangJi’s grasp and grabbed his own lactating breast. “Hah… Hah… Lan Zhan… Want to taste? Just this once. Come on! Our twins won’t know that their father is stealing their milk.” Wei WuXian squeezed the breast, pinched the nipple. The creamy-white fluid leaked out once again.

Wei WuXian wanted Lan WangJi to lose his self-discipline. He waved the breast, spilling the milk everywhere on his pregnant body. 

It didn’t take long for Lan WangJi’s warm mouth to engulf his nipple.

Wei WuXian moaned, screamed when his nipple was bitten on, sucked on. He released his hands and threw them around his husband’s neck. His back arched as much as possible with his pregnant body. From the corners of his eyes, he watched Lan WangJi’s Adam’s apple bob up and down. On the other hand, Lan WangJi’s hands were free—his left hand’s fingers sank into his flesh, squeezing and spreading his cheeks, and his right hand massaged Wei WuXian’s other lactating breast with the occasional pinch and pull. Lan WangJi not only sucked, drank Wei WuXian’s milk, he also milked him.

Wei WuXian’s nipple was released by the warm mouth, only to be bitten and tugged on by his husband’s white teeth. In front of his eyes, he witnessed his nipples being pulled and stretched to its utmost while lactating. The sharp pain quickly turned into another unspeakable pleasure that drove Wei WuXian insane.

Combined with the pleasure that his lactating breasts were receiving, Wei WuXian was lost in the thrilling pleasure, contented with being fucked raw—his insides spasmed, tightened as Lan WangJi thrust against his sensitive prostate.

In one final thrust, Wei WuXian’s hips lifted and sunk down, his hole swallowed the entire length of Lan WangJi, his fleshy buttocks slapped against his husband’s skin. Together, they reached climax. 

White semen was released into the water while his hole was filled by both the water and Lan WangJi’s semen. Wei WuXian felt rather proud that he came without touching himself. His twitching insides were especially burned by the hot cum. His tortured nipples, finally released by Lan WangJi, stood erect as Wei WuXian trembled in Lan WangJi’s arms. His legs were still hooked around Lan WangJi. Quick pants and breaths filled the room as Wei WuXian’s spasming hole greedily drank up the white cum. 

The corner of Wei WuXian’s eyes was tinged with tears. 

‘More…’

As he released more breathy pants, his voice hoarsely whispered “more”. Although he just came, his dick was still hard and twitching. With a burst of strength, he grabbed the back of Lan WangJi’s head and threw himself towards his husband. Their lips roughly locked against each other. Breaths were exchanged, tongues that were sucked on, and saliva that dripped from the corners of their mouths.

With a wave of his hand, Wei WuXian destroyed the wooden tub. The water immediately spilled and flowed everywhere. At the same time, Wei WuXian pushed Lan WangJi down. Lan WangJi laid below him, on the wet hard ground with his beautiful dark locks spilled and dampened by the water once again. Wei WuXian’s knees knelt beside his husband’s waist, his ass slowly leaking cum on Lan WangJi’s thighs.

His pale hand reached out to grasp his husband’s dick, his thumb swiping off the remnants of cum. On the other hand, his own dick was smearing his pregnant abdomen with his release.

Wei WuXian lowered his waist even further and forced the tips of dicks to kiss. He laughed when Lan WangJi twitched and pulsated in his hand. “Lan Zhan~ I’m just as excited as you. You don’t have to wait for more anymore!” As he spoke those words, Wei WuXian scooted his body closer, his hand pressed down against the firm abdomen of his husband, his other hand lining Lan WangJi up against his leaking hole.

His hips raised themselves as high as possible before plunging down on the erect dick. The twitching hole that barely came down from the previous high from its orgasm was fucked raw once again. The cum that once filled his hole gushed out as his husband’s dick reached deep inside him. His prostate poked at, the walls of his hole spasmed.

It couldn’t be helped that Wei WuXian orgasmed at the deep penetration.

Wei WuXian’s face wrinkled in pleasure. His lips quivered, his moan left stuck in his throat. His dick pulsated, twitched before finally squirted out the thin, clear, silky fluid. The fluid was shot right onto Lan WangJi’s face. The fluid gradually dripping into his soft lips.

Wei WuXian narrowed his eyes in glee at the sight of Lan WangJi soaked in his fluid. 

Still twitching, still living in the pleasure of his orgasm, Wei WuXian moved his hips. His hips rolled, his hole stretched and tortured, his lactating breasts bounced, his pregnant stomach and erect dick hit each other.

He moaned loudly. “H-hands! Lan Zhan! G-Give me your..!”

Another moan escaped his lips as he reached his hands out for his husband. Lan WangJi hurriedly reached out, his slender hands grasping onto both of Wei WuXian’s hands. Together, their hands bounced alongside the rough fucking that Wei WuXian’s hips rolled to. 

When he tightened his insides around the penetrating dick, Lan WangJi finally moaned out loud. His voice was soft and deep. It barely rung out, not even echoing in their room. But it echoed in Wei WuXian’s ears. It was all that Wei WuXian heard. Not the wet sounds of his lewd hole. Not even the loud slapping of flesh. Lan WangJi’s enchanting voice was all that he heard.

And it turned him on immensely.

Wei WuXian orgasmed once again. His grip on his husband’s hands tightened. However, he forced his fingers to not leave any fingernail marks on the beautiful, slender hands. His dick once again squirted, released onto Lan WangJi’s face.

His body was numb, his legs melted. He barely kept his body up if it weren’t for Lan WangJi pushing him up through their hand holding.

In their final climax, Wei WuXian was immensely satisfied. His body was completely worn, his limbs soft and tired. While his hole still engulfed the whole length of Lan WangJi and drank up greedily his cum, he rested his pregnant stomach on the firm abdomen.

“Lan Zhan… Carry me to bed?”

“Mn.” Lan WangJi proceeded to take himself out of the twitching hole, however, he quickly let out a soft gasp when Wei WuXian tightened around him.

Wei WuXian narrowed his eyes with a slight pout. He lowered his hips once again and allowed the parts that slipped out to sheath themselves in him. “Without taking yourself out.”

“I need to clean you.”

“Leave it inside me. It’s rather warm and I enjoy the feeling.” Wei WuXian softly tugged on their hands to pull Lan WangJi up. He quietly whined. “ Lan Zhan… You can clean me out tomorrow. Stay beside me for tonight, okay?”

Wei WuXian yawned and rested his head on Lan WangJi’s shoulder. 

Lan WangJi sighed and gave in to Wei WuXian. He let out a soft hum and released his grasp around his husband’s hands. While Wei WuXian threw his arms around him, Lan WangJi carefully secured his arms around his husband to carry him to bed. When he finally stood on his feet, Wei WuXian loosely encircled his waist with his legs. He let out a moan when Lan WangJi’s dick slipped out slightly.

The wooden frame creaked when Lan WangJi lowered their bodies onto the bed. Their naked bodies were covered by the blankets and covers. Under the covers, Wei WuXian sighed gratifyingly. His eyelids began to droop, his silver eyes tiredly searched for his husband’s glass ones. 

Once he found the glass eyes staring at him, his lips curled, his hand hugged his husband’s waist, and he leaned to peck the lips of his husband. “Lan Zhan, see you tomorrow.”

Chapter Text

“Stay in bed with me.”

It was early in the morning, dawn barely broke, light hardly peeking through the windows. Wei WuXian was surprisingly awake, arms refusing to let go of Lan WangJi’s waist. “HanGuang-Jun won’t leave his delicate, pregnant husband, right? I was fucked to death by you last night. I’m all weak now.”

For someone who was, according to him, “delicate” and “weak” and “fucked to death”, his limbs still had enough strength to grasp onto Lan WangJi to stop him from leaving. The arms encircled around Lan WangJi's waist tightened. Wei WuXian wanted to be lazy in bed with his husband, to be further spoiled by him. 

“But breakfast…”

Before Lan WangJi could continue his words, Wei WuXian raised his hand, effectively covering his mouth. Lan WangJi’s soft lips released a quiet, breathy gasp. The slightly bruised lips barely grazed his hand. Wei WuXian pressed his hand closer, effectively making Lan WangJi kiss his hand. He smiled at the kiss. “Don’t worry about breakfast.”

Immediately after he spoke, a knock sounded out at their door.

“WangJi, San Lang and I will take care of your rabbits and prepare breakfast. Take a short break with Wei-gongzi.” Beside the silhouette of Xie Lian was the silhouette of Hua Cheng whose hand was raised to silence his yawn. “We’ll call for you two when everything is ready. Just relax today with Wei-gongzi.”

“... Thank you.” With that, the silhouettes of Xie Lian and Hua Cheng moved away from the door and disappeared. 

And just like that, Lan WangJi was released from any morning routines, free to spend his morning with Wei WuXian. Lan WangJi, still naked, sat on top of their bed. He looked down at the smiling Wei WuXian. “What did you do?”

“Lan Zhan, what are you trying to say?” Wei WuXian’s smile turned innocent as he spoke. He nuzzled his face against the flat abdomen of his husband before peeking an eye out to gaze at him. “Are you trying to say that I colluded with them to make you stay in bed with me?”

There was no answer from his husband. Instead, Lan WangJi simply tilted his head further down, his dark locks hovering and brushing against Wei WuXian’s cheeks and arms. “Is that not the case?”

“Oh, sweet, naive Lan Zhan. Dear husband, it is not just a collusion. I am doing them a favor. If I want some more alone time with you, then surely Dianxia and Hua Cheng does as well. It’s rare for either of us to spend time together alone in the morning. You’re always with them in the morning, taking care of the rabbits, collecting vegetables and herbs, cooking breakfast.” With a gentle tug, Wei WuXian pulled the sitting Lan WangJi down who willingly allowed himself to be pulled. As Lan WangJi faced him, Wei WuXian caressed the jade beauty, his finger flicking and sliding across the smooth skin with great delight. His eyes narrowed, glaring at his husband playfully. “Meanwhile, you leave me all alone, sleeping by myself. Don’t you remember what I’ve told you before? Rabbits die if they are too lonely.”

“You are tired.”

“Yes, yes. I am tired because of the twins, but at least carry me out. I can even help you feed the rabbits with Dianxia or help you prepare breakfast. If you don’t want me to overexert myself, then I can even be a pretty little flower vase. I just want to watch you.” Wei WuXian was very sincere as he rubbed their noses together with tenderness, his hands pressing and imprinting on the round and fair shoulders. “So, promise me?”

“Mn.”

Wei WuXian laughed heartily at the little nod that Lan WangJi gave him. “Good husband.” His voice lowered a notch, becoming coquettish and sultry. His breaths were warm. A gentle press of his lips on another pair of lips.

The kiss was quickly reciprocated. Wei WuXian didn’t hesitate to deepen the kiss. Their hot breaths mixed, their tongues collided. With a simple push, Wei WuXian climbed on top of Lan WangJi and sat on top of him. He smirked, “Lan Zhan. We have some time. Shall we continue where we stopped?”

His hand grasped his husband’s tightly, slowly dragging their hands across his body together before stopping before his loose hole.

Lan WangJi placed a tender kiss on his lips before bumping their foreheads. “You said that you were all weak from last night.”

“Yes, I still am. You really fucked me to death, but you know what? Even if I really am fucked to death, I would still open my legs for you. My hole is still loose, completely open and leaking cum. Not that it hasn’t been loose in all these years, but I really do need you to plug it all in~” There was no shame in speaking the truth as he spread his buttocks apart, his finger and Lan WangJi’s finger lightly tapped against the swollen rim. A slightly lewd sound was created as the light taps mixed with the escaping cum. It was soft pop against the thick cum.

Lan WangJi’s ears were a soft shade of red as he listened to the lewd sounds.

Wei WuXian absolutely adored his husband’s shyness. He opened his mouth, ready to spout some more dirty things. However, his voice never escaped his parted lips. Instead, his eyes widened, his voice stuck in his throat, his Adam’s apple bobbed. He lowered his gaze to his big belly.

It was very faint, but he felt it. There was movement in his belly.

A very soft flutter inside him. His babies were moving. 

“L-Lan Zhan! Did you feel that?! Our twins are moving around!”

Whatever lust that fueled him quickly dispersed and pushed out of mind. He instead was fueled by his excitement for his twins. He wanted to feel more of the fluttering movements. The hands that were doing lewd things together were placed on top of his stomach, waiting for another movement. 

However, there were none.

Lan WangJi was disappointed that he missed the first visible movement of his twins, but he was willing to wait for them to show themselves. He quietly sighed as he wrapped his arms around Wei WuXian who was probably even more disappointed than him. “I can wait.”

“... But I don’t want you to wait. You’ve done enough waiting.”

Wei WuXian sighed and returned the embrace. His hands quietly traced the scars on his husband’s strong back. Lan WangJi simply hugged him tighter, his lips curled up ever so slightly at the blatant adoration that his husband displayed towards him.

After the adrenaline from the excitement of the twins’ movements, their time was spent much quieter. It was very rare for them to enjoy such a relaxing morning together. Wei WuXian wanted to indulge in it a little longer. 

He snuggled in Lan WangJi’s arms, indulged in the warmth that Lan WangJi wrapped him in. As he basked in Lan WangJi’s warmth, Lan WangJi’s chest vibrated, his soft and deep voice soothed him. Lan WangJi hummed their song as his arms, wrapped around Wei WuXian’s pregnant body protectively, rocked their bodies along with the melody. It was very comforting.

Wei WuXian almost fell asleep once again, but he felt the flutters in his stomach once again. His silvery eyes snapped open, excitement sparkled within them as he looked up to his husband. 

This time, Lan WangJi felt the fluttering movements. The twins kicked very softly at Wei WuXian’s stomach, their hands lightly tappped and scratched against the surface. Wei WuXian laughed when their kicks were strong enough to knock against his hand. The joy far outweighed the discomfort that he felt from the kicks. His eyes followed the hands that eventually made their way to Lan WangJi’s slender hands and tapped against them.

As the twins reached out for their father, Lan WangJi gently pressed down on Wei WuXian’s bulging belly. The more he looked, the more he could see the very faint outlines of his twins’ hands that reached out for their father.

Wei WuXian then gazed at Lan WangJi who was mesmerized by the soft bumps that the twins made against his stomach. Lan WangJi was smiling once again. His glass eyes were narrowed, his eyebrows soft. He couldn’t help but caress the beauty in front of him. With just a smile, Lan WangJi melted Wei WuXian’s heart and filled him with pure adoration. 

“Lan Zhan, I’m happy.”

“Me too.”

“Lan Zhan, sing for us again?”

“Okay.”

A lively laugh and fluttering movements accompanied the deep voice that softly hummed a song that never failed to express the love and bliss of the present and the future.

Chapter Text

It did not take long for Xie Lian and Hua Cheng to be told about the fluttering kicks in Wei WuXian’s stomach. It also did not take long for them to witness the faint outlines of the twins’ hands or feet.

While Wei WuXian laughed at the increasing strength of the flutters, the flutters were rather fascinating to the God and Ghost King.

However, Hua Cheng’s fascination was not enough to stop him from making jabs at Wei WuXian. “Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to tell you that the kicks could have been just some gas.” With his arms propping his upper body up while his long legs were slightly crossed, Hua Cheng showed a mischievous and devilish smile.

As he chewed on a thin blade of grass, Wei WuXian threw a small pile of dirt that he dug from the rabbit garden at Hua Cheng. “How unfortunate indeed that you didn’t ruin my happiness. And for compensation, I give you dirt.”

Hua Cheng looked at the pile of dirt that plopped soundly on his red robes. Bits and pieces of the dirt fell apart and soiled his robes with countless dots of dark brown. A lid drooped lowly, his eye boringly gazed at the Wei WuXian who laid on his side with an arm propping his head up.

A hand quietly brushed off the specks of dirt, his dark eye keeping its gaze on the pregnant immortal. It didn’t take long for him to return the favor by throwing another pile of dirt at Wei WuXian that landed on his head. It took a very short amount of time before they started a petty, childish fight of throwing dirt at each other. In the beginning, the throwing of dirt was harmless and had no real accuracy. It was simply an annoyance to be dotted with specks of dirt. However, the harmless throwing gradually evolved to precise shots that aimed to bury the other in dirt.

By the time Lan WangJi and Xie Lian came out from the homely cottage, they found their respective lovers in the middle of a very intense dirt fight. Wei WuXian hid behind the ancient magnolia tree, implementing guerilla tactics while Hua Cheng merely blocked the shots of dirt that aimed for his face with his red umbrella. He skillfully spun it in one hand, the other freely throwing a ball of dirt at the spot that Wei WuXian’s face was just at.

“...”

At first glance, it may seem as if the immortal and Ghost King were fierce enemies who could not coexist, a relationship where if one were alive, the other would be dead, but to Lan WangJi and Xie Lian, Wei WuXian and Hua Cheng were very close. If Hua Cheng truly disliked Wei WuXian’s presence, he would never tolerate Wei WuXian nor have the motivation to go along with his whims. Likewise, if Wei WuXian truly didn’t like Hua Cheng’s presence, then he would never have the intention to interact with him.

Upon his first glance of white robes, Wei WuXian rushed out from behind the trees, his pregnant body not at all holding him back from making quick movements. Black clashed with white, his arms thrown around Lan WangJi’s neck, his head buried into his husband’s chest. “Lan Zhan! I don’t want to stay with Xue Yu Tan Hua anymore! Do you see what he’s been doing to me?! It’s not just physical abuse, but he is also verbally abusing me!” 

Lan WangJi sighed and quietly thought that Wei WuXian would forget about today and drag Hua Cheng outside to play with him again the next day.

“Gege, please don’t listen to him. San Lang has been very good. YiLing Patriarch started this fight. San Lang doesn’t want to watch over this person anymore. If I stay with him any longer, who knows what he’ll accuse me of.” Despite his tall stature and overbearing aura, Hua Cheng made himself smaller and hugged Xie Lian tightly. He made himself to appear to be extremely wronged.

Xie Lian didn’t know whether to comfort his lover or to laugh at him. The corners of his mouth twitched for a split second. Hua Cheng tightened his hold around Xie Lian and soon enough, Xie Lian’s mouth stopped its twitching.

He patted the back of Hua Cheng and rubbed wide circles as an attempt to soothe his beloved. “San Lang, do you want to cook together again?”

His head was buried on top of Xie Lian’s head as he replied with a muffled voice. “If Gege wants me, then San Lang is willing.”

Xie Lian chuckled as he looked towards Lan WangJi. “WangJi, do you mind if we cook for the rest of today’s meals?”

Once he saw Lan WangJi’s shook, he quietly dragged Hua Cheng away into the kitchen. Lan WangJi was soon left alone with a shaking Wei WuXian. Glass-like eyes gazed downwards and held the gaze for a long time before slender hands attempted to push Wei WuXian away.

“... Husband. You dare push me away?”

“No.”

“Good.” Wei WuXian grinned at his husband before he abruptly pulled away. A small step was taken backward. Silvery eyes narrowed at the very faint handprints of soil that dirtied Lan WangJi’s pure white robes. His lips turned downwards and formed a sad frown. “... I didn’t want to dirty you.”

Pulling on a clean edge of his sleeve, Wei WuXian dabbed lightly on the handprints in an attempt to erase the print. He softly mumbled to himself, “Lan Zhan should always be clean and pristine.”

Lan WangJi tugged softly on the hand, drawing Wei WuXian’s attention to himself. “Clean up?”

“Together?”

“Mn.”

Wei WuXian happily nodded at the same time as the fluttering kicks started again. “Ah, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan! The twins are kicking again!”


 

While the immortals happily indulged in their twins’ kicking to make their presence known, Xie Lian held a damp cloth and gently wiped away the non-existent dirt and sweat from Hua Cheng who sat on a wooden stool. He smiled when Hua Cheng’s skin seemed to clear up even further.

Hua Cheng’s eye brightened at Xie Lian’s smile. “Does Gege like San Lang’s looks?”

“... What do you think?”

Xie Lian’s face seemed very normal, his voice clear and stable, but Hua Cheng knew that inside, he wasn’t as calm as he seemed. Hua Cheng tilted his head to the side, his hair swept to the side, his smile becoming even more devilish. “Mmmm, maybe Gege finds San Lang very pleasing to the eye?”

“... If you already know, then must you ask again?”

Hua Cheng simply grinned. “Of course!”

“San Lang is very mischievous.”

Xie Lian set aside the cloth once he was satisfied with the clean appearance of his beloved. No matter how dearly he held Hua Cheng to his heart, Hua Cheng dared to tease him this badly. Thus, he silently left Hua Cheng sitting on the stool alone as he searched for the vegetables that he gathered together with Hua Cheng in the morning.

There was some silence between them before Hua Cheng approached his beloved God from behind. Wrapping his arms from behind, Hua Cheng nuzzled his face into the crook of Xie Lian’s neck. “Gege. I was wrong.”

“...”

“I am not that pleasing to Gege’s eyes.”

Xie Lian didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh as he turned around. With one arm propped against the wooden table, his other arm reached a hand full of rough calluses back and caressed Hua Cheng’s face affectionately. “You still dare to tease me? Fine fine. You are very, very pleasing. Are you happy now?”

“Yes! Only Gege is the best towards me!”

A soft chuckle escaped his lips as Hua Cheng released him from his warm grasp. They finally began to prepare the next meals. While Xie Lian watched the flames and timed when to exactly throw in the firewood to keep the flames steady, Hua Cheng stir-fried the chopped greens while throwing in dried peppers and gradually increasing the intensity of the spice.

Xie Lian watched Hua Cheng’s smooth movements from below, watched how the small beads of sweat rolled down his jawline. It left behind a thin trail of dampness and outlined his clear skin. His dark eyes followed the smooth movements that were executed, his ears listened to the sizzling of oil, his nose smelled the strong seasoning.

To sum it up, Xie Lian loved watching this side of Hua Cheng that could cook and do simple chores but still look pleasing to the eye.

“San Lang. Right now, you are very pleasing. But I want to see more.”

It was rare for Xie Lian to be so open. Hua Cheng smiled as he poured the food onto a ceramic plate before switching his attention to a pot that finally boiled. “Oh? Then what does Gege want San Lang to do? San Lang is willing to oblige.”

“I want to see more of the little Hong Hong Er from back then.”

Hua Cheng’s smile froze at the same time as his arms did. He stiffly continued to stir the pot before tasting the soup. “Dianxia. That Hong Hong-Er from the past is not very pleasing…”

Xie Lian glanced at the sullen expression on Hua Cheng’s face, watched how his carefree smile morphed into a bitter frown. His eye was dulled, his hair cast a dark shadow over his pale face. Xie Lian continued to kneel on the ground, throwing in the firewood when the flames showed signs of extinguishing. Not a sound escaped Xie Lian.

The lively atmosphere in the kitchen turned into a solemn one with occasional clinks of metal, the crackling of flames, and the pops of boiling soup. 

As Hua Cheng quietly ladled the clear soup into four bowls, he finally found his voice and will to use it. “... Dianxia. Little Hong Hong-Er is truly ugly and unpleasant. Nothing good. Why do you want to see him?”

While Hua Cheng waited for an answer, Xie Lian’s hand grasped Hua Cheng’s cold hand. He gently tugged Hua Cheng down, forcing him to kneel beside him. Pivoting his feet, Xie Lian turned to gaze at his beloved. His hands patted the red robes free of dust before tenderly caressing the pale cheeks.

A quiet breath was inhaled before just as quiet words were whispered into Hua Cheng’s ears. “San Lang. You were the one who said that the me who stood in infinite glory, the me who fell from grace is still me, that what matters is I and not ‘how’ I am. Were all of those lies?”

“No! I—”

“Then the little Hong Hong-Er who is unsightly and toxic, the big Hong Hong-Er who is the most pleasant and graceful is still you, my beloved San Lang. What matters to me is you, not ‘how’ you are. Do you believe me?” Their foreheads soundlessly pressed against each other. Xie Lian tenderly rubbed the tip of their noses together, his thumbs holding and rubbing against the pale face.

Shakily, Hua Cheng took a breath and smiled. He nodded as his hands found their way around Xie Lian’s waist. “I will forever believe Dianxia.”

“Good. Now, I have your permission to see Hong Hong-Er?”

“Mn.”

Xie Lian planted a quick peck on the Ghost King’s lips, his dark eyes narrowed in glee. “What do you think of little Xie Lian and little Hong Hong-Er learning together with the two Lan classmates? Or even Xie-laoshi giving lectures?”

The formerly dulled eye quickly brightened. Instantly becoming lively, Hua Cheng tightened his hold around Xie Lian. “If Gege wishes for either, San Lang will oblige.” He buried his face against the crook of Xie Lian’s neck.

Hua Cheng’s most beloved God laughed heartily, his arms returning the embrace.

Chapter Text

It had been approximately five months since Wei WuXian’s pregnancy was confirmed. From a late spring, Wei WuXian and the twins healthily and safely made it through the warm summer, slowly entering the cool autumn. However, the gradual transition from summer to autumn made little changes to the dancing blossoms that surrounded them. Their homely cottage was still enshrouded by these blossoms that were in bloom all year long despite being ill-suited for certain seasons.

Under the magnolia tree, Wei WuXian relished in the sugar buns that his husband made for his sudden craving of sweets. Although he called them sugar buns, the ones that Lan WangJi made were not excessively sweet. In fact, he barely put a lot of sugar for the filling, but it was just enough to satisfy Wei WuXian’s cravings.

The steamed sugar buns were delicately folded into triangles by Wei WuXian’s favorite hands. The bread was as soft as clouds. With just one bite into the soft bun, the sweet filling, made of toasted brown sugar and sesame seeds, would instantly melt inside his mouth. Together, the plain, soft bread and the sweet filling created a wonderful harmony. Wei WuXian was in absolute bliss with his cheeks puffed out as he savored the sugar buns.

When the hems of pure white robes entered his sight, Wei WuXian’s face instantly brightened with a smile. “Lan Zhan!”

Wei WuXian’s arms quickly reached upwards, tugging his beloved downwards for a sweet kiss. His heart beat wildly at the small hints of the smile on Lan WangJi’s face. For a while, Wei WuXian simply gazed into the eyes of his husband before noticing the warm sensation on his lips.

It was a steamed bun.

“Wei Ying. Try these.”

Without a single hesitation, Wei WuXian bit into the steamed bun. As he did so, he quietly thought to himself, ‘Although I love the delicacies that you’re making for me, I don’t mind if you gave me your lips to try instead.’ 

At the end of this thought, a sweet and rich taste quickly exploded in his mouth. His smile further widened as he swallowed and ate more of the bun. It didn’t take long for him to realize what the sweet filling was. He absolutely relished in the buns, eating them as if he were simply drinking water.

Lan WangJi’s eyes narrowed affectionately as he knelt down beside him on the grass. His long, callused finger tenderly poked his husband’s puffed cheeks. “Slow down, you will choke.”

“Yes, yes. I must savor these lotus seed buns that HanGuang-Jun made for me.” Wei WuXian swooned at Lan WangJi, falling into his arms with a hand on his chest. “Lan Zhan, you’re too good. I can’t beat you at all.”

“Mn.”

“Did these take long to make?”

“No.” Lan WangJi carefully brushed through Wei WuXian’s long locks, removing any entanglements and knots, and brushing the bits and pieces of leaves and grass from his hair. “I will make more.”

“For Hua Cheng and Dianxia?”

Lan WangJi shook his head before another deep voice interrupted their conversation. 

“He already made some for us. In fact, we were his taste testers.” 

Hua Cheng bit into a lotus seed bun as he carefully painted a long, dark tree branch onto a plain oil-paper umbrella. As he swallowed down the sweet bun, his hand swiftly swiped across the umbrella, adding another dark branch. Switching to another brush with a fine tip, Hua Cheng decorated the dark branches with emerald leaves that created a great canopy. In this great canopy of leaves, there were thick stalks of vibrant golden flowers that bloomed beside long pods of seeds. Some pods revealed the bright red seeds, some red seeds rained from the lively tree.

This was the final calligraphy practice that Lan WangJi gave him: to paint his own design on the oil-paper umbrellas that Lan WangJi bought when he descended the mountain and write accompanying poetry that will enhance the beauty of his designs. The practice was not only for Hua Cheng to show his improvement in calligraphy, but to also allow him to have fun with his specialty.

Although Hua Cheng was initially unwilling to have Lan WangJi as his temporary calligraphy teacher, he appreciated the immortal’s attempts. He thought of how this was a very good chance for him to show off to Xie Lian his improvement. And even if he didn’t improve on his calligraphy, at least he can distract his beloved with his paintings instead.

“Oh? How did it taste when he first made it?”

Wei WuXian snuggled in Lan WangJi’s arms as he watched Hua Cheng flick his brushes, splattering small splatters of gold paint across the umbrella. It was a storm of golden petals that wrapped around the saga seed tree.

Hua Cheng softly blew on the wet paint before setting the umbrella down on a dry piece of cloth for the paint to dry. He looked towards Wei WuXian with a devilish smile. “Not very sweet. In fact, it was even a little hard to swallow.”

“Oh? Even our HanGuang-Jun had some trouble with making these sweet buns?” With his head leaned backward, Wei WuXian placed a kiss under Lan WangJi’s chin. His husband simply nodded his head, not at all hesitant to reveal his initial failures with his cooking.

“When he first started, the filling wasn’t sweet enough. Then it was too sweet. Even after he made the filling reasonably sweet and not overly sweet, the buns were too flat and rough. So he restarted several more times before getting it to its current smooth appearance.”

“Aiya, Lan Zhan, good husband. Even if the appearance was unbearably ugly, or if its filling was bland and bitter to no end, I would still have happily eaten them.”

However, Lan WangJi shook his head and patted Wei WuXian’s bulging belly. “But the twins will not like it.”

Wei WuXian laughed heartily at his husband’s answer while Hua Cheng snorted. “Is that why you began to make different kinds of sweets? Last time, you made a pan-fried version of red bean paste buns, ginger milk pudding, and even huangshi cakes. What else are you going to make this time?”

Indeed, if he wasn’t by Wei WuXian’s side, then Lan WangJi spent much of his time cooking. In the beginning, he wanted to make simple snacks and desserts for his husband. As he made more to suit Wei WuXian’s cravings, he entertained himself with thoughts of the future: the smiling faces of the twins and Wei WuXian as they ate his food and the pure delight that Xie Lian and Hua Cheng will occasionally reveal. Lan WangJi was instantly motivated by such thoughts and began to experiment with the desserts that they have previously come across along their travels. He wanted to recreate these desserts and share them with the twins, Xie Lian, and Hua Cheng.

“I want to make yuanxiao. Whether it be black sesame filling or lotus seed paste, I want to experiment.”

Hua Cheng raised an eyebrow at Lan WangJi as he picked up another plain umbrella, his brush sliding across the oil-paper, splitting it in half with a dark stroke. In the middle, his brush painted around the tip of the umbrella, drawing a perfect circle. “Oh? Is it for the Winter Solstice Festival?”

“Mn.”

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan. Will you also make some wontons?” 

“I will.”

Wei WuXian hummed happily to himself at Lan WangJi’s confirmation. It would be a few more months until the Winter Solstice Festival, but time passed quickly. And what Wei WuXian had the most would be time. He can wait for the Winter Solstice Festival and anticipate the twins’ birth after.

His humming quickly stopped when he remembered the sacrificial rituals for the Heavens and Gods. “Oh right. Hua Cheng, will Dianxia also be around for the Winter Solstice? Or will he be accepting more prayers from his worshippers?”

Hua Cheng nodded, his hand carefully painted in half of the wide circle at the tip of the umbrella. It was a dark sun. “That’s right. From the winter solstice, the Yin will be at its peak while the Yang cultivates itself until its rebirth. For a successful rebirth, the common people will pray. They will pray for the present where they will survive through the coldest of winters. And finally, they will pray for the future, for a good harvest, for a long-lasting peace upon the rebirth of the Yang.”

“Heh… Looks like Dianxia will be quite busy that day.”

Hua Cheng chuckled softly. “Yes, he will be very busy.” Hua Cheng fondly remembered an exhausted Xie Lian who willingly acted spoiled in front of him. He was exhausted, but there was a sense of accomplishment when he told Hua Cheng each and every prayer that he had listened to. When Xie Lian told him the final prayer that he had listened to, that very same prayer was one that pushed Xie Lian to continue listening to more prayers and do his best as a God.

“Dianxia. I pray for your well-being. I pray for your happiness. I pray for a tomorrow where you will turn around and call out my name.”

Hua Cheng smiled at that prayer, his dark eye narrowed softly. He painted great mountains that failed to hide the dark sun, a small plateau could only hope to take a glimpse at the majestic dark sun, clouds that could only enhance the dark sun’s beauty. On the other half of the umbrella, rather than filling in the remaining half to complete the dark sun, he left it blank. Instead, a brush with a wider and flatter tip was in one hand, used to sweep across the umbrella. From the edges of the umbrella, the paint was the darkest there as it grew lighter and lighter with each stroke, creating a wondrous gradient. In his other hand, he flicked a brush dipped in white paint to form a bridge of glowing white stars in the darkest of skies, hovering over the reflected great mountains and plateau. 

“San Lang.”

Hua Cheng looked up and found Xie Lian kneeling in front of him, his hand holding a lotus seed bun. He laughed heartily, his hand carefully setting the umbrella down for its paint to dry. That final prayer is still kept to this day.

“San Lang? Is something wrong?”

“Nothing. Gege, did you finish listening to the prayers? How were you able to come back so early?”

Xie Lian smiled, his thumbs rubbing circles on top of Hua Cheng’s hands. ‘Occasionally, he would even knead the pale hands, fingertips grazing the calluses on his hands. “WangJi told me that today is the day you’ll show me the fruits of your effort. Of course, I have to return early and judge your calligraphy for myself.”

Hua Cheng pressed his lips together, his head drooped lowly in response to Xie Lian’s happy words. “Gege… Aren’t you deliberately bullying me?”

Xie Lian chuckled at those words, his eyes wrinkled with adoration while Wei WuXian snickered in the background. “Wow. Lan Zhan, did you hear that just now? You say I’m shameless, but I don’t think I can compare to our beloved Xue Yu Tan Hua. Even I don’t have a thick enough face to act like that.”

In response to those words, a brush was immediately thrown at Wei WuXian’s face who quickly caught the brush between his index and middle fingers. He twirled the brush in his hand while Hua Cheng’s head tilted up again, his lips no longer formed a pout, but a smile instead. “Shouldn’t you continue to eat your husband’s lotus seed buns? You haven’t finished your sugar buns either. Don’t waste his efforts and our efforts in being your personal food taster.”

His back straightened slightly as he turned to his husband. “Oh yes! Lan Zhan, good husband! Feed me, pretty please?” With the long brush placed on top of his philtrum, Wei WuXian puckered his lips and held the brush in place. His hands were tightly clasped together in front of his chest, his silvery eyes blinking rapidly and seemingly glazed with pitiful tears.

Lan WangJi muttered quietly under his breath, “Half catty, eight taels.” He pretended to have not seen the betrayed look on Wei WuXian’s face as he pulled the brush away from his husband. Instead, he obediently fed and comforted his husband with a sugar bun.

Wei WuXian huffed, his cheeks puffed out as he ate the fluffy buns. Hua Cheng snickered before getting knocked on the head softly by Xie Lian. His snickering, mischievous expression turned into an aggrieved one.

“The paint has dried now. Surely, you can write on the umbrellas now?”

Hua Cheng pouted, but Xie Lian made no indication of being budged from his position. Stuffing another lotus seed bun into his mouth, he patiently waited for Hua Cheng to present his umbrellas. The Ghost King could only comply to his beloved, his hand formed a fist and his other hand cuffed it. He formally bowed, as if a general receiving an order from his king, and picked up the umbrella of the saga seed tree.

He took a deep breath, his long fingers elegantly held a thin brush with the finest tip. The tip hovered over the oil-paper. Besides the floating golden petals, he wrote these words: 

紅豆生南國, 春來發幾枝. 願君多採擷, 此物最相思.”

“When those red berries of the South, flush on the branches in the spring, take home an armful, for my sake, as a symbol of our love.”

Each stroke was cautious, but it wasn’t slow enough to disrupt the flow of the characters. The lines weren’t scribbly worms that crawled across the oil-paper. Although he looked quite majestic with one hand behind his back and the other grasping a long brush, Hua Cheng’s calligraphy was not one of perfection and complete elegance. There was still a hint of wildness and chaos as if showing his growing impatience at written words.

Xie Lian observed the smooth eyebrows slowly arching in annoyance, the dark eye narrowing and a bottom lip that was licked and bitten by Hua Cheng several times. Hua Cheng was absolutely stunning despite his obvious dislike for calligraphy.

At the final stroke, Hua Cheng looked drained. He gazed into Xie Lian’s eyes who only smiled. “Good San Lang. You indeed have improved very much. As expected of my San Lang.”

“I’m glad Gege is happy.”

“Mn. Now, San Lang. You still have this oil-paper umbrella left.” The dark sun and white moon umbrella laid peacefully on the grass, paint already dried and ready to be written on.

“Gege… Isn’t one good enough?”

Seeing how drained Hua Cheng was, Xie Lian decided to give him a small reward. His hands cupped the cold, pale face in front of him. He stood on his toes as his face leaned in and gently kissed the obviously delighted Ghost King. “San Lang, be good. Only one more umbrella.”

Hua Cheng was revitalized by this kiss of life granted by his god. He happily nodded and checked on the remaining umbrella. He ignored a certain cultivator who made kissy faces from the background as an attempt to tease the Ghost King. Hua Cheng was also certain that that same cultivator was quickly kissed by his husband, his teases forgotten and he happily calmed down in his husband’s arms.

On the half that contained the dark sun, Hua Cheng lifted his brush to write two lines: “向晚意不適, 驅車登古原.” Just like before, his strokes were cautious. However, this time, Hua Cheng was a little more confident. He held in his impatience until he reached the final character of the second line. One deep breath was taken before the umbrella was spun, flipping to the dark twilight side. 

He dipped the fine brush into a cup of water, washing away the dark ink. Once the ink was washed off, Hua Cheng dipped the brush’s fine tip into the white paint that he used to create stars earlier. Once again, in careful strokes, Hua Cheng wrote the final two lines: “夕陽無限好, 只是近黃昏.”

“It’s late in the day, my heart’s not well at ease; to the ancient plateau, up, in a carriage I go. Sublime is the time while the sun is yet to set; too soon, alas, is dusky darkness to follow.”

Hua Cheng sighed in relief upon finishing up with a final stroke. His calligraphy still wasn’t elegant, still rather wild. However, the lines were confident and full of the patience that Hua Cheng exhibited. 

Xie Lian was very proud of this man in front of him.

“San Lang did very well and improved so much. WangJi taught you well.”

Hua Cheng felt quite proud as he set the umbrella down. He wrapped his arms around the slender waist of Xie Lian and let out a tired breath. “Gege, I was very nervous.”

“I know, but even so, San Lang did very well.” Xie Lian returned the embrace, his hand rubbing circles on Hua Cheng’s back. “San Lang… Now that you’ve returned to my tutelage, I expect that you’ll be writing like this from now on?”

A groan sounded out from Hua Cheng who buried his head into Xie Lian’s hair. “Gege is mean.”

Xie Lian laughed, “I have high expectations for you!”

The saga seed tree bloomed flowers and saga seeds, their love grew more and more as the tree continued to bloom flowers and seeds. And the day may be fleeting, time was too short to spend today dwelling in the trivial. However, as the sun set, the moon that shone brightly in the skies would foretell the tomorrow. This was the prayer that would go on until the end of time.

Chapter Text

As they were now in the middle of autumn, it was rather relaxing for Wei WuXian to take walks with Lan WangJi through the mountain as one of the few forms of exercise that he comfortably do. However, they also realized that the more time passed, the closer they will reach the day of the twins’ birth. Although, as much as they were excited about the twins’ arrival, that very day was also a great source of confusion.

“I already have an idea, but how exactly am I going to give birth again?”

“... Don’t mind my crude way of saying it, but you will shit them out.” 

As those crude words casually left his mouth, Hua Cheng very nonchalantly cracked open a boiled egg. Sprinkling some salt and pepper, he ate the simple egg while Wei WuXian looked conflicted.

“I’m loose, but I haven’t reached the point where two six-pound children can be brought out easily. Nor do I want them to be covered in shit once brought out. What if I cut my open stomach?” 

In the hall, both sat at the table across from each other. While the side of his head rested on his palm, Hua Cheng looked up from his reading of the past theories that Wei WuXian had written. Wei WuXian himself drank some warm herbal soup that nurtured the twins, his eyes were narrowed with a serious glint, not at all joking about the idea of cutting himself open to bring the twins into the world. 

“There are some reasons why the idea will be rejected. Want to hear them?”

“No. Then we’re really going to stick with me shitting them out?”

It was at this moment that Lan WangJi came in, to hear the crude words that were spoken. Lan WangJi pressed his lips together before he knelt down beside Wei WuXian. “You will be working hard.”

“Ah my wonderful husband, indeed I will be. So you must be nicer to me.”

Lan WangJi nodded as Hua Cheng snorted rather ungracefully, pouring two cups of tea, one for himself, one for his beloved. It was then when Xie Lian entered the hall, bringing along with him some books and setting them down on the table. The books were collections of the birthing process and diagrams of the process. “Wei-gongzi’s body had been reconstructed by the child-bearing pill upon consumption, so your body can handle the typical birthing process without problems. However… We don’t have an actual physician or midwife who can help us. So…” Xie Lian took a quick pause and drank the cup of tea that Hua Cheng poured for him. “We’ll have to do everything ourselves.”

This was the reality that they needed to accept as men who had no experience with birthing processes, as men who were only cultivators, as men who were experts with dressing wounds and using swords. 

Asking for mortal physicians and midwives, they would run off screaming out of fear at the very fact that Wei WuXian, clearly a man, is pregnant and ready to give birth. They would be gone before Wei WuXian could even begin to push. Asking for physicians who were also cultivators, not only must they be trustworthy, but they needed to be open-minded and generous. A man giving birth? Expect to be experimented on or rejected for being abnormal. The Yiling Patriarch giving birth? As expected of those of the unorthodox to be able to disrupt the natural order.

Simply thinking of the potential troubles that may arise was exhausting enough, much less facing those troubles head-on. Who knew what the cultivation world would say or what they will do as a response to Wei WuXian’s pregnancy. Everything about the situation was unnecessarily troublesome.

“Dianxia, the Lan Sect can be trusted.”

Seeing how Lan WangJi and Wei WuXian still had some sort of hesitancy, Hua Cheng decided to give them a further push. “Gege is right. Don’t ask to bring more trouble upon yourselves. Even if the cultivation world doesn’t condemn you or that you can trust the GusuLan Sect to help, there is still the ghost realm. Don’t forget that you, Wei WuXian, created a cultivation that allows others to harness resentment energy to manipulate ghosts and demons. While you and I know that the cultivation cannot so easily control a Devastation-rank, that it is only a potential, the outside world doesn’t. They still believe that with your methods, a Devastation-rank can be controlled. Ghosts and demons that can harness the resentment energy desire this cultivation even more. For power, to satisfy their greed, they will risk everything.”

Wei WuXian knew that Hua Cheng wasn’t merely convincing them to avoid troublesome things, but he was telling them the facts. While he was not condemned to the point where everyone was out to target him as before, but it cannot be denied that he had many enemies, too many to count. His name was especially known in the ghost realm for his experiments. On the other hand, Lan WangJi may be loved and respected in the cultivation world, but for his active appearances for where chaos was, Lan WangJi was a thorn in the eyes of the corrupted and most of the ghost realm. Who would like someone who kept foiling their plans.

“Lan Zhan, will we do this together by ourselves? There’s no need to trouble the Lan Sect. After all, the twins need to make their surprise visit, and it won’t be a surprise if the Lan Sect will know what they look like.”

Lan WangJi nodded his head as Wei WuXian grinned. “We will.”

Wei WuXian turned to Xie Lian and pointed at the books in front of them. “Are we going to study the books or something?”

Xie Lian smiled, “Yes, but it’s only to provide us with the basic overview. On my way back the other day, I found a midwife in a village called “Dongfan” who is teaching the procedures to people who are interested in midwifery or people who want to be the emergency backup in case the midwife doesn’t arrive in time.”

“Gege, is the village far?”

“It’s rather close to Yunmeng. So even though we’re in the Jiangnan region, the distance is not too bad. It’s not as far as Ghost City, so we can immediately travel there with a Distance-Shortening Array. ”

Before Hua Cheng could speak any further, Wei WuXian tapped the table to draw their attention. “Ah, Dianxia. I want to come too.”

“... Won’t it be risky? After all, you’re at least six months pregnant.”

“It’ll be fine! It’s not like we’ll be traveling there on foot. The twins are also very well-mannered, they won’t cause me much pain. If there really was a risk, then I would never go. Also… I need to learn too so that I’ll at least know what to do if I ever somehow end up alone.”

“That will never happen.” A pale hand grasped onto Wei WuXian’s hand and squeezed softly in reassurance.

“Yes, it won’t ever happen. But it’s a what if.”

“A crow’s mouth.”

“Fine fine. Even if not for myself, it could be for other pregnant people who are unfortunate enough not to have a good husband, a God, and a Ghost King around to watch over them every day. And…” Wei WuXian meaningfully glanced towards Xie Lian and Hua Cheng before taking his eyes away. The God only smiled silently and pretended that he hadn’t noticed the meaningful glance while the Ghost King ignored the glance.

“Very well. However, Wei-gongzi, be sure not to disrupt your pregnancy.”

Wei WuXian tapped Lan WangJi’s arm. Without a word, Lan WangJi supported his husband up who began to kneel in front of Xie Lian, back straight, eyes, although playful, were serious and looked downwards. His arms were stretched outwards above his head, his left hand on his right hand as he resolutely declared, “This subject has received your order, Taizi Dianxia.”

Xie Lian didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry at this pregnant man who had no intention to drop the sudden use of his former title. “Alright, alright. Get up, making a pregnant person kneel will only make others think that I’m bullying you.”

“Yes!”

“We’ll head to Dongfan village tomorrow morning.”

There were nods and hums of agreements from the others as Xie Lian planned out the next day. As soon as he finished, Hua Cheng poured another cup of tea as he spoke. “Gege, what “fan” is used for the village’s name?”

“Fan as in model.”

Hua Cheng sneered at the name. “Model Village of the East. How arrogant.”

Xie Lian sighed as he patted Hua Cheng’s head, running his fingers through the thick locks of dark hair. For the rest of the day, the four resumed their typical activities while making preparations for the trip.

At the crack of dawn, they traveled to Dongfan village. Some villagers were already setting up their stands and stalls, displaying simple accessories and trinkets or wiping down the precipitation on the wooden tables. 

Despite not knowing the village as well as Yunmeng, as soon as they stepped through the village gates,  Wei WuXian led them around. He visited stalls that two elderly villagers managed and bought some handcrafted grasshoppers, folded purely with long and thick stands of bamboo leaves. However, he never left the stalls after buying those grasshoppers. Wei WuXian continued to stick around, asking the elderly villagers to teach him how to make them as well.

He sat down beside the elders and copied the movements. Despite their elderly age and the occasional trembles, the elders’ hands were nimble as they folded the leaves one by one. “Fold this leaf here inwards. Wrap this around the body. Make sure you have six sections before matching the other side.”

Lan WangJi stood behind Wei WuXian and carefully observed the elders’ hands and Wei WuXian’s hands. There were even times where Wei WuXian would purposely fold something wrong to get Lan WangJi to point out his mistakes. Meanwhile, Hua Cheng and Xie Lian watched from the side. Hua Cheng twisted the stem that held the grasshopper together, his dark eyes coldly reflected the little folds and creases of the grasshopper. 

A folded grasshopper was a cheap toy that was easy to make, but still enticing to little children. But it could also be easily ruined by others with malicious thoughts. Hua Cheng briefly remembered the past of harsh kicks, scornful words, and the burnings of what little happiness he had in those folded grasshoppers. The ugly grasshoppers burned to ashes and he was beaten to the brink of unconsciousness. Those same ugly grasshoppers never had the chance to transform into brilliant butterflies.

“San Lang?”

Xie Lian grasped the hems of the dark red robes, outlined with gold streams and black butterflies, and shook Hua Cheng out of his memories. His eyes were narrowed with worry. Hua Cheng simply smiled and kissed Xie Lian’s forehead. “I’m fine, Gege. I just remembered some unpleasant things. I’ll tell you later tonight.”

Xie Lian pressed his lips together and nodded his head quietly. His hand sneaked into the long sleeves of Hua Cheng’s robes and held tightly onto the cold pale hand. Hua Cheng’s smile turned warmer at this small action before focusing on Wei WuXian who finally finished learning from the elderly villagers.

His hands raised up, Wei WuXian made a quick bow to the elders in front of him. “Thank you. I appreciate your efforts and time teaching your craftsmanship.”

“What craftsmanship, this is only a simple toy that we commoners can afford. We should be thanking you for even buying them!” An elderly woman laughed, her wrinkly face wrinkled further with a smile. Her old hands began to fold a grass butterfly.

Beside her, an elderly man narrowed his eyes at Wei WuXian’s obviously bulging stomach. “Gongzi, don’t mind this old man for being nosy. However, you are still young. You should not be letting yourself be so out of shape so soon. You’re even bigger than my daughter when she was pregnant! Your family still needs to depend on you. The country still needs you. Look at your companions. They are clearly in much better shape than you!” Wei WuXian was clearly a stranger and possibly a rich one as well. Yet, the cultivator’s friendly demeanor drew out this old man’s lectures, saved for his children and grandchildren. “And you three as well! If you are his friends, then you should have advised him instead of indulging him. You cannot escape this crime of reckless indulging.”

Tilting his head down, giving off a somber atmosphere, Lan WangJi bowed to the old man. “This one has received elder’s discipline. I will do my best to guide my close one.”

The old man let out a huff, however, he was rather pleased with Lan WangJi’s polite and respectful manner. He wasn’t at all arrogant and distant as he had first seemed. Truly, people’s appearances cannot be trusted.

Although the old man was proud of giving some advice to these wild young masters who clearly had no worries, the old woman beside him smacked his back. She began to scold him, “Old man! Have you gone senile after all? How could you lecture others just like that! That habit of yours still hasn’t changed after all these years!”

Wei WuXian chuckled as they bid farewell to the elderly villagers. As they walked away, they could still hear the banter between the old woman and old man, these pair of old friends who still stuck together despite these kinds of trivial banter. 

They eventually went to a stand and bought some warm congee and youtiao for breakfast as they head off to the midwife. As Wei WuXian bit into the crispy and hot youtiao, Hua Cheng suddenly snorted. “That old man would have never expected that you’re not just fat, but you’re actually pregnant and carrying two kids inside you.”

“Wei-gongzi is, after all, six months along. With twins, it can’t be helped that his belly is larger than normal.”

“It is a good thing that your husband finished making your clothes for you before we went down the mountain.”

Indeed, Wei WuXian was no longer wearing his husband’s robes. He finally wore his own clothes, custom made by Lan WangJi. The black outer robes were loose and his inner robes did not stick closely to his skin, did not hug his figure at all. They were still rather loose, an attempt to make room for his growing stomach. The robes were flowy and elegant with silver clouds that decorated the edges and hems.

Wei WuXian smiled very smugly, swallowing a large chunk of youtiao before hooping his arm around Lan WangJi’s arm. He was very proud of this man beside him. He was too good. “Not only did he finish making my clothes, but Lan Zhan is also currently making clothes for the twins as well.”

Lan WangJi shook his head and wiped the shiny oil from the corners of his husband’s mouth, softly telling him, “Slow down, you’ll choke.”

“WangJi, Wei-gongzi. We’re here. That is the midwife that I was talking about.”

In front of them was a small woman who carried a bucket of water all by herself. Xie Lian quickly approached her and took the bucket from her little hands. The woman was shocked at the sudden appearance of these four men with seemingly very high statuses at the crack of dawn. 

“... You… Do you guys need something?” As soon as those words left her mouth, the small woman’s eyes immediately narrowed and had hints of urgency. She slammed open her wooden door, not at all caring that the door was almost dislodged from her strength. “Are your wives in labor? I’ll go get my tools right now!”

Xie Lian jumped in front of her, his hands still holding onto the bucket of water as he stopped her. “Ah, no no! We’re not here for that.”

The small woman stopped and tilted her head at him. “Then what are you here for?”

“Weren’t you going to teach the procedures of midwifery to people? We would like to learn.”

The small woman was rather speechless. These rich looking young masters were willing to lower themselves to help their wives to give birth? “Um… I’m Dong HuoHe.” She narrowed her eyes at them. “Are you guys really here to learn? Midwifery is not a game nor is it simply helping the mother give birth. Our job is to be a bridge for a mother to cross, for a newborn to cross. We have to be there at all times to support both mother and child.”

At the end of her small speech, Dong HuoHe’s small stature that barely reached Xie Lian’s shoulders didn’t seem so small. She stood tall and proud of her job, her responsibility. However, when Wei WuXian laughed, she almost walked up to him and give him another speech of hers. But before she could do anything, Wei WuXian gave her a wide smile. “If that’s the case, please help us become a strong bridge that will help both mother and child transition into another stage in life.”

Simultaneously, the four young men bowed to this small woman to show their respect to her job, to show their decision to accept this heavy responsibility.

Dong HuoHe blinked blankly before jumping up and down with joy. With her hands placed in front of her, she returned the bows. “Thank you for giving me this honor to guide you through this long lesson of midwifery.”

Thus, for two shi chen each day, Dong HuoHe gave lectures to the four men. It very much felt like a classroom. Although there was something that felt off with men who were over centuries years old sitting down in a very small but homely classroom taking notes and listening seriously, Wei WuXian took great delight in the situation. Wei WuXian got to relive his old days as a student in Cloud Recesses, finding great pleasure in watching his wonderful husband taking note of every single word, written with slow and steady brushstrokes, that Dong HuoHe said without leaving even unimportant details. He saw the same concentration and seriousness from the past, the same attentiveness that he loved dearly. 

Wei WuXian quietly thought to himself as he divided his attention, one to listen to Dong HuoHe’s lecture on the tools used to assist the child coming out and the other to gaze at Lan WangJi . ‘To my past self, I can definitely sit in front of such a stuffy person for many hours, not just for a whole month, but for the rest of my life. No matter how boring a lecture may be, how tedious writing and copying things are, if a great beauty is in front or next to you, nothing can go wrong.’

On the other hand, this was Hua Cheng’s first time being in such an environment. While his face was outwardly calm and quite attentive, his fingers were stiff as they held an equally stiff brush. Although it was briefly mentioned by Xie Lian before and Hua Cheng had imagined it many times since then, it felt surreal to Hua Cheng now that it was happening. But whenever he felt the surrealism of the situation, Xie Lian would quietly move his desk closer to Hua Cheng’s, casually moving his notes closer for Hua Cheng to take a look at.

‘Ah… This is reality.’

Hua Cheng was flattered and scooted closer to Xie Lian, their knees barely grazed each other. This kind of classroom situation was a great practice for the future.

For the next month and a half, every day was a new topic. Dong HuoHe was diligent and even brought in a pregnant woman for demonstrations. “Some women are different and will not experience nausea. Even so, it’s still beneficial on learning how to relieve them. There seven pressure points—nei guan, he gu, tai chong, gongsun, zu san li, pi shu, and youmen. These can all relieve nausea, but it is important to avoid the he gu for pregnant woman. This pressure point along with the sanyinjiao, kunlun, laogong, zhiyin, and ciliao are used to induce labor. It is best if you use it when the mother is at least thirty-eight weeks pregnant.”

Dong HuoHe loved to dump big loads of information on certain topics before pointing out the specificity. She quietly turned the pregnant woman around, pointing out certain pressure points without applying force upon them. She then tapped gently on a spot on the woman’s shoulder. “The jiang jing is normally the spot that you aim for when relieving shoulder pain. However, applying pressure on this point can cause weakness in the pelvic floor that is responsible for supporting the weight of pregnancy. You should be utmost careful when working with this pressure point.”

Even though class was over, Lan WangJi was studious and reviewed the topics quite often with Xie Lian. Even now as they sat in a restaurant, instead of touching the food in front of them, they reviewed the pressure points that Dong HuoHe talked about. As someone who was pregnant himself, Wei WuXian was the prime study material for his husband and his companions.

“Wei Ying. How does this feel?” Lan WangJi very lightly applied pressure on the jiang jing, occasionally sending spiritual energy through his fingers into Wei WuXian’s back. 

“Mn, very comfortable.” The feeling of pure spiritual energy circulating through was indeed relaxing. Wei WuXian simply wanted to melt into his husband’s embrace, to just let himself go completely.

“WangJi. Do you want to come with me to ask some further questions?”

Lan WangJi nodded at Xie Lian and left his husband alone with Hua Cheng. Wei WuXian would have felt lonely if it weren’t for the sneaky cheek rub that Lan WangJi did when he bent down to whisper a soft “I will be back.”

He looked towards Hua Cheng who studied Wei WuXian’s body while looking down at the diagram that he personally drew. “I didn’t think you’d be so studious.”

“It’s good for the future.”

Wei WuXian hummed as he stuffed himself with some stir-fried lotus roots. Hua Cheng himself simply drank tea. It was rather peaceful between them, with occasional gossips around them from the mortals. That was, until a group of cultivators came into the restaurant.

It wasn’t that the cultivators were rowdy and disturbed the peaceful atmosphere in the restaurant. They were polite to the manager and ate rather quietly. However, they drew the duo’s attention when they began to talk about the upcoming sect conference.

“This time’s sect conference is actually being hosted by ZeWu-Jun? He just came out of seclusion. Will he even be alright without HanGuang-Jun?”

“Possibly? ZeWu-Jun is the only sect leader from the generation of the Sunshot Campaign after all. He has the most experience.” 

“That’s not exactly true. Even though the YunmengJiang Sect has already changed sect leaders several times, who in the cultivation world doesn’t know that Grand Elder Jiang is still the one in power.”

“Jin RuLan himself is considered a younger generation, but he’s just as old as ZeWu-Jun and Grand Elder Jiang! He’s merely a few decades younger. There’s almost no difference. He has just as much experience as them. He single-handedly brought up the LanlingJin Sect from the deep pits. ”

Another cultivator in the group almost spit in the others’ faces as he argued back. “Stop exaggerating! Jin RuLan may have saved his sect from the mud, but QingheNie rose from the pits back then. Their sect leader went from that ChiFeng-Zun to a seemingly good-for-nothing head-shaker. Nie HuaiSang lived a short but accomplished life. Since performing the ceremony, he suddenly became a charismatic leader despite his cultivation being the lowest of all the sect leaders back then. Even now, his descendants and successors don’t fail to live up the sect that he set up.”

They argued over the sect leaders over and over, their accomplishments. Such rumors shouldn’t be of interest, but their gossips eventually led to criticisms. “So what if ZeWu-Jun has experience and finally left seclusion again? He’s still abandoned by both sworn and blood brothers.”

“How could you say that? HanGuang-Jun never abandoned ZeWu-Jun.”

“Why wouldn’t I dare say that? HanGuang-Jun may seem like such a good, virtuous person, traveling to wherever chaos is, but what does that matter if he cannot even solve the chaos in his clan. In this time, when his brother most likely needs him the most to handle the sect, he just disappears off to who nowhere. So much for the Twin Jades, so much for a famed pair of brothers. So much for models of all generations!” The other cultivators of the group remained silent as their companion continued to criticize Lan WangJi.

Hua Cheng’s sharp eyes took a glance at Wei WuXian whose face became frostier with each criticism. However, Wei WuXian was very calm. His silvery eyes were cold, his hands tightly gripped the chopsticks. He continued to eat his food quietly. Hua Cheng sighed, setting his cup down and calmly stood up. His cold hands fished through his robes for some gold ingots as he went to find the manager of the restaurant, leaving the sullen Wei WuXian alone.

“You know what else I think? That HanGuang-Jun must really be a good lay.” Wei WuXian’s grip around the chopsticks tightened, a small crack began to outline and wrap around the chopsticks. Gradually, the pressure increased along with the critcisms.

“Huh? Don’t you mean the Yiling Patriarch? I can agree with you that HanGuang-Jun is not such a good person after all, but it’s all because of the Yiling Patriarch’s influence. Back then, people said that he placed a spell on HanGuang-Jun after all.”

“You fool. Do you think the Yiling Patriarch is that docile? Willing to marry HanGuang-Jun and live in Gusu? I think HanGuang-Jun seduced the Yiling Patriarch. Who doesn’t know that no one from the GusuLan Sect is ever ugly. ZeWu-Jun and HanGuang-Jun, after all these years, still hold the top spots for not just cultivation, but for beauty. You guys may not know this, but HanGuang-Jun’s cold demeanor may scare many people off, they are also aroused by him.”

“What can be so arousing?”

“Well, obviously, the cold expression that cracks when he’s fucked!” The cultivator laughed, hand slapping his thigh, not at all noticing the fist that flew straight towards his face. Upon impact, the cultivator crashed into one of his companions and crashed straight into an empty table.

The noisy restaurant immediately quieted down to an awkward silence. Not one person dared to release a breath as they stared at this man, stomach bulging, knuckles cracking and silvery eyes that seemed to glow red. The cultivator and his companion groaned in pain, staring warily at the man in front of them. 

Wei WuXian was livid.

The clear disrespect and contempt that they showed towards the HanGuang-Jun that Wei WuXian knew trampled on everything that he loved about his husband. It was one thing to disrespect him, but to insult a good man and dare to sow discord between the Twin Jades. Wei WuXian had no patience to listen any further.

“Such trash that I had to hear.”

Hua Cheng simply gave the manager some more gold ingots before approaching Wei WuXian. However, he didn’t stop him. He patted the shoulder of Wei WuXian and smiled coldly, “have fun.”

Just like that, Wei WuXian fought. As if the twins in him heard every single word and understood those insults, the twins thrashed and kicked harshly inside. Each and every jab and kick grew in intensity. Wei WuXian was in tremendous pain and his movements gradually became stiffer and harder to control, but it was his duty as Lan WangJi’s cultivation partner, his husband, to protect him—body, reputation, honor and all. 

The commotion caused many outsiders to run towards the restaurant and the customers there to run away from the fight. It didn’t take long for Lan WangJi and Xie Lian to understand what was going on. They bid farewell to Dong HuoHe and returned to the restaurant. What greeted them upon returning were rapid palm thrusts to a cultivator’s face and a very smooth shoulder throw that tossed another cultivator into the earth. It really wasn’t the time, but Xie Lian couldn’t help but release a “wow” at the smooth movements from the pregnant Wei WuXian, who sweated from the pain that the twins caused.

“Wei Ying!” Lan WangJi rushed to Wei WuXian who somehow grinned despite the overwhelming pain. He almost wanted to curl up somewhere and cry at the twins who were clearly still provoked by the insults.

“Gege, I’ve set up a Distance-Shortening Array. Let’s go back now.”

Thousands of silver butterflies surrounded them, hiding them from the prying eyes of outsiders. Arms thrown under Wei WuXian’s back and knees, Lan WangJi carried the man to Hua Cheng and Xie Lian. On his usual cold face was a desperate worry as Wei WuXian curled his face into the crook of Lan WangJi’s neck, lowly groaning. With a snap of Hua Cheng’s pale fingers, the array took them away from the village. At the last second, Xie Lian swept his foot across the ground and effectively removed the array before disappearing.

As they settled Wei WuXian down, Lan WangJi wiped down the sweat on his face and back. “Wei Ying. We were only gone for a bit. How did things lead to a fight between you and those cultivators?”

“I didn’t like them. They were too insulting.” A plain and simple reason. Wei WuXian had no intention to repeat the insults that he and Hua Cheng had heard. Such insults were a waste of breath and too dirty. Wei WuXian gazed at Xie Lian, quietly pleading with the God to never reveal the insults that Hua Cheng most likely already told him. Xie Lian could only nod.

“WangJi. San Lang and I will go back to the inn to grab our stuff and buy dinner.” Lan WangJi nodded quietly, quietly thanking the God and Ghost King. “Wei-gongzi, we’ll get something nourishing for you and the twins. So please take care of them. Try not to disrupt your pregnancy again.” Thus, with those last words, together, Xie Lian left the room with Hua Cheng, leaving the married couple alone.

There was a brief silence between them before Lan WangJi spoke again. “Insults can be ignored.”

Wei WuXian’s head snapped up towards his husband, his silvery eyes still furious as they glared into the beautiful glass ones. “Some insults can be ignored, but if they are insulting my husband, then I can no longer ignore them. Lan Zhan. If they said disgusting insults about me, would you ignore them?”

Lan WangJi shook his head, his hands curled inward, hiding underneath the white hems of his robe. Wei WuXian smiled softly, a hand sneaked into Lan WangJi’s sleeves and forced those elegant hands to uncurl. Their hands rested on his bulging stomach together. “See? Lan Zhan, just like you, I can’t ignore those words. My husband is such a good man, so good yet they don’t see it. I can’t bear it.”

Lan WangJi nodded with a soft “mn,” pulling Wei WuXian’s robes together before he rested his hands on top of his husband’s hands. “Did the twins hurt you a lot?”

“Ah, that’s right! Lan Er-gege, as expected of your children, the twins are extremely strong. One jab was enough to make me lose my breath. Their kicks were painful as well.” Lan WangJi frowned slightly at those words, his hand tapped against the pregnant belly and felt a soft tap from one of the twins. “Be obedient. Do not be so rumbustious.”

“Aiya, father has misunderstood them. The insults were truly horrible to listen to. How could they bear listen to disgusting trash when I myself couldn’t bear it? See how much we love you?” Wei WuXian wrinkled his nose at Lan WangJi, his thumb and index finger grasped his husband’s chin and manually made him nod. “Good husband.”

Pulling away from Wei WuXian’s hands, Lan WangJi crouched and whispered a soft “Father is grateful” at the pregnant belly. On his face was a small smile, warm and comforting, a beautiful smile that could certainly stop Wei WuXian’s heart. He gently laid a kiss, a very light peck that almost tickled Wei WuXian, on the belly. His graceful hands felt the twins’ continuous taps against the stomach. “Are the twins still hurting you?”

“No, but they’re still excited over their too-beautiful-for-his-own-good father and still angered by the insults. They’ll calm down soon enough.”

Wei WuXian stretched his arms and wrapped them around Lan WangJi’s waist. A soft sigh was released when he gazed into his husband’s glass eyes, noted the long lashes, the elegant nose, and soft, pale-red lips. “Lan Zhan… You’re very beautiful.” A hand sneakily crawled up Lan WangJi’s back and rested on his back. With a gentle tug, their lips met for a very sensual kiss. Intoxicated with Lan WangJi, Wei WuXian bit on the soft lips, refusing to release them until he was satisfied. Lan WangJi simply indulged him to the end.

When the bitten lips were released, their kiss separated, the soft, pale-red lips were now somewhat swollen. The lips were soft and plump. Wei WuXian smiled, his arms embracing Lan WangJi. “You’re mine and the twins.”

Bodies pressed together, separated by mere layers of silky robes, Lan WangJi hid his face in the crook of Wei WuXian’s neck. “Mn. Forever yours and the twins.” Wei WuXian laughed heartily, the stress and anger quickly disappeared, replaced with an overwhelming love for the man in his arms.

Chapter Text

“The Yiling Patriarch beat up some cultivators in Dongfan village!” This was the latest talk within the cultivation world.

“Obviously it is because they pissed him off! They probably asked for the beating.”

“I doubt it. Wei WuXian is an eccentric man. He’s already deep in his unorthodox ways. What if he had a qi deviation because of his cultivation?”

“Where was HanGuang-Jun in the middle of this? Isn’t he always with him?”

As people gossipped about this event, no one was able to understand why Wei WuXian suddenly attacked the cultivators. There were no answers from the cultivators who were beaten up. The only thing they knew was that Wei WuXian attacked them out of nowhere in a restaurant in Dongfan village. The fight was so horrific and bloody, according to the villagers that were there, that the customers of the restaurant did not even remember how the fight started.

It was a dead-end no matter how they investigated. The Yiling Patriarch and HanGuang-Jun both also disappeared from the cultivation world’s sight. If they couldn’t get answers from either of these great men, then they could only ask for answers from the sects. The Yiling Patriarch was married into the GusuLan Sect, surely they must have an answer. Thus, these melon-seed eating gossipers would travel to Gusu for some answers only to come across another wild scene. The cultivators who were beaten up had come to the sect to ask for compensation, for some kind of apology. However, the GusuLan Sect was rather cold, almost passive-aggressive towards these cultivators. It certainly didn’t help that the Cloud Recesses were at the top of the high mountains as the weather became colder day by day.

Lan XiChen greeted the cultivators with a smile that didn’t seem to reach his eye while Lan JingYi scoffed loudly, unbefitting of the model image of a Lan disciple, especially one that assisted the sect leader. “How shameless can you be! Asking for an apology from us when you’re the ones insulting our clan members! Even sowing discord between our Twin Jades! Senior Wei was right to beat you guys up!”

The gossiping cultivators were shocked. What was Lan JingYi talking about? On the other hand, the disgraced cultivators were equally shocked, but for a different reason. How did the GusuLan Sect know?

“JingYi. Don’t be rude to our guests.” A soft warning came from Lan SiZhui. His long hair swayed as his body bowed, his hands raised above his head. “These cultivators, indeed it is our Senior Wei’s fault for interrupting your conversations and even raising a hand against you. Whatever you said back then, our GusuLan Sect will ignore and will not dispute against you. Please come in. Our senior isn’t here, but we will properly compensate you in his stead.”

Gracefully, Lan SiZhui stepped aside as if welcoming the cultivators in. Unexpectedly to the outsiders, the beaten-up cultivators stammered and declined the invitation, seemingly out of embarrassment. “No no no. It is our fault. We were the ignorant ones. We still have some things to settle. We will take our leave now. Please excuse us.”

Lan XiChen’s smile seemed much better as he spoke. “Then we won’t see you out.” 

That was the end of it. 

There were still no answers. Neither the GusuLan Sect nor the disgraced cultivators would say a word about this incident. The beaten cultivators don’t even dare to show their face to the cultivation world much less speak a word about this. The incident was supposed to be forgotten, erased from the mind. But… The rest of the cultivation world was still curious. Thus, they decided to come to the LanlingJin Sect for answers. Even without the past history between Lan XiChen and Jin GuangYao, the LanlingJin Sect was still very close to the GusuLan Sect as a result of Jin Rulan’s relationship to Wei WuXian and his friendship with Lan SiZhui and Lan JingYi. However, unexpectedly, the doors were shut on them upon their arrival as Jin RuLan spoke with a tinge of annoyance hidden in his eyes. “The LanlingJin Sect has nothing to do with this incident. Why don’t you ask Grand Elder Jiang?”

Now that they think about it… Geographically, Dongfan village was closest to Yunmeng. The first one to hear of this incident’s details should be the YunmengJiang Sect. Furthermore, Grand Elder Jiang was the Yiling Patriarch’s shidi! Even if they had fallen out hundreds of years ago, weren’t they still shixiong and shidi? This kind of bond, once one had it, was hard to erase. Therefore, with the Jin Sect Leader’s piece of advice, they headed for Yunmeng.

As the Grand Elder, Jiang Cheng really had no leisure time—constantly supervising and advising the younger cultivators and handling issues of both clan and sect that the sect leader cannot handle. He had no time to spare for nonsense talk. In fact, he planned on ignoring this incident. But in the end, his own nephew betrayed him and sent a hoard of cultivators towards his way.

‘Truly, three days without a beating, and a child will scale the roof to rip the tiles.’ To the Grand Elder, the Jin Sect Leader was still a greenhorn, no matter how old he was, that needs to have his legs broken. However, disciplining Jin Ling was saved for another time. The culprit for all of this mess was still most likely leisurely eating, drinking, and flirting with his husband without a single worry of the commotion in the cultivation world.

Jiang Cheng sighed with a hand massaging his aching temples. He looked down at the scrolls on his desk and stared at the date for some time. He needed to give a stern talking to the troublemaker anyway. Therefore, for the first time in a very long time, Grand Elder Jiang finally decided to take a short leave from his duties and travel to a certain mountain to beat up the culprit to his problems.

And that very culprit was still unaware as he engaged in a kind of reenactment with his husband.

Wei WuXian had taken his husband’s forehead ribbon. “Alright. Lan Zhan. Lay against the tree. And raise your hands.”

Obediently, Lan WangJi raised his hands up and allowed Wei WuXian to tie his hands together with his forehead ribbon. He tilted his head to the side, his dark hair smoothly sliding across his cheeks and resting on his lips.

“Very nice. Seducing me with just a tilt of your head.” From his wrist guards, Wei WuXian took off a black ribbon. “Have I ever told you that you look great in black as well?” The moment he said this, the black ribbon was quickly wrapped around Lan WangJi’s eyes. The black ribbon was supposed to cover, hide the beautiful glass eyes completely. But no matter how much Wei WuXian wrapped the ribbon, he could still see the piercing gaze, see the speckles of light in his favorite eyes through the overlapping layers.

“Can you see me?”

“No.”

“Really? HanGuang-Jun is not tricking me right?”

“Really. You can do whatever to me.”

Wei WuXian’s smile grew wider and became even more mischievous at these words. He tightly tied the ribbon behind his husband’s head before his hands snaked up to the similarly tied elegant hands. As he held those hands up, Wei WuXian looked down at the beauty below him.

Inviting plump, red lips that seemed to quiver in his lustful eyes.

“Was this how you felt back then? These pair of lips… very inviting and defenseless. No wonder my first kiss was quickly taken by you. Ah, don’t be scared, don’t look away from me.” Looking away with a mix of shame and shyness on his face, Lan WangJi tried to hide his face in the crook of Wei WuXian’s neck who simply backed away while pressing one hand further down on the held up hands into the tree bark. His free hand’s fingers lightly brushed against the red lips. “Lan Zhan, I’m kissing you, okay?” A thumb parted the pair of lips, pulling against the bottom lip very softly. Just barely, he could see a shy tongue that poked out.

“Mn.”

With just that, Wei WuXian mashed their lips together. Frantically, he sucked and bit on the bottom lip. Every suck and bite on Lan WangJi’s lips made them plumper and even redder. Despite the pale and cold face, Lan WangJi was thoroughly flushed and hot. His warm breaths lingered on Wei WuXian’s lips as his tongue tackled the other tongue.

Muffled moans were swallowed, saliva were exchanged. Wei WuXian loved these sloppy, uncontrolled kisses. All he could think of was how to ravish the cold beauty in front of him. As his tongue flicked and teased the other, leaving behind further traces of saliva, his hand pulled apart the thick layers of robes. 

Wei WuXian relished in the messy kiss and the smooth skin beneath his hand. In those open robes, his hand sneaked behind Lan WangJi’s smooth back and pressed against his spine. His husband’s back arched until Wei WuXian’s pregnant belly grazed him. The arching back also gave Wei WuXian more opportunities to dig his tongue deeper, to suck on the shy tongue, to have Lan WangJi’s breaths linger and mix with his.

Wei WuXian wanted more of Lan WangJi. And he was going to do more than mere touches and kisses.

However, his actions immediately stopped when a lotus pod smacked right onto the back of his head.

“Wei WuXian! How shameless can you be! Doing these things right out in the open!”

In the middle of this cold autumn, Wei WuXian was kissing and touching his spouse without a single care. Whatever complaints he wanted to say for giving him trouble was thrown out of Jiang Cheng’s mind at the sight in front of him. 

A pregnant man holding and ravishing a seemingly innocent-looking man against a tree.

Lan WangJi was stripped of his forehead ribbon and tied up by that very ribbon, face flushed and saliva dripping down his jawlines, his upper robes were askew. On the other hand, Wei WuXian, with his bulging belly, pressed down against Lan WangJi. His hand was in Lan WangJi’s robes and who knew what Wei WuXian was doing to Lan WangJi.

“Jiang Cheng. You really came at the wrong time.”

Jiang Cheng scoffed at Wei WuXian who finally climbed off Lan WangJi and untied the other’s hands. “Wrong time? You even dare have the face to tell me that you would continue your perverted acts!”

“Of course. Lan Zhan is my husband. If I don’t continue these acts with him, then how am I going to live?” Wei WuXian unabashedly scratched Lan WangJi’s chin before caressing the flushed, but pale cheeks. Lan WangJi quietly peeled off the black ribbon and revealed the glistening glass eyes. If it weren’t for those beautiful eyes that seemed to glisten due to Wei WuXian’s bullying, then Lan WangJi would have instantly returned to being the perfect HanGuang-Jun that Jiang Cheng knew.

“You’re already becoming another year older today! You’re also becoming a parent! Look at you! Molesting your husband in the middle of the day, out in the open, while still heavily pregnant! Even the babies inside you are embarrassed!”

Wei WuXian couldn’t help, but murmur to himself. “It’s not molestation if I’m the one doing it. Plus, I have his consent.”

However, these words were still heard by the other two either way. While there was nothing that Jiang Cheng could do except scoff at the pregnant him. He moodily walked into the residence, his head thrown back. “Still not coming in?”

Wei WuXian laughed and took gradual steps towards the house. On the other hand, Lan WangJi couldn’t help but remember those similar words said to him in the cave. ‘It doesn’t count as harassing if I’m the one doing it. It only counts if the one doing it looks as greasy as Wen Chao.’ Such ridiculous, but nostalgic words, Lan WangJi chuckled softly. He looked inside the cottage, watched how Jiang Cheng angrily slammed the table with various herbs, plump lotus pods, nice-looking clothes, and much more while lecturing Wei WuXian.

Lan WangJi gave a soft sigh before looking up the mountain. Hua Cheng wanted to build a hot spring. So he went up the mountains to find the source. Xie Lian came back from his godly duties and also joined Hua Cheng in his search. Who knew if the two were being intimate at this moment and Lan WangJi had no plans to disturb them neither did he want to disturb the good atmosphere between the Two Prides of Yunmeng.

A rabbit then tore him out of his thoughts with a bite on his robes. It wasn’t just that rabbit that came up to him. Flocks of white fluff balls surrounded him, some individual fluffs even pressed their soft paws on his boots for his attention. His lips barely curled at this act.

“I have not spent much time with you guys. I apologize.” Lan WangJi knelt down beside them, gently and carefully picking a kneading rabbit. Not once did the rabbit struggle in his hands. He brought it up to his face and quietly kissed the obedient rabbit. He released a hand to pat the other balls of snow that began to jump on his body. “I will make it up to you guys.”

These playful rabbits trembled with excitement and climbed him. As much as they loved Xie Lian’s peaceful presence when he fed them, they still missed their master very dearly. Lan WangJi felt very warm in the rabbits’ presence as they basked him in their adoration.

On the other hand, Jiang Cheng finally calmed down. He no longer lectured him about human decency. Instead, he gathered the herbs on the table together and threw them in a mortar that he had brought along. As he crushed them with a pestle, rotating the blunt point around and squishing the herbs. “What happened in Dongfan village? Why did you suddenly beat up some random cultivators?”

“Oh? Everyone knows already? Rumors really can spread thousands of miles faster than truths.” Nonchalantly, he threw some already peeled lotus seeds into his mouth, munching and savoring the refreshing sweetness. “Did you steal these for me?”

“Scram! I paid for them out of my own pockets! You should be grateful!” Jiang Cheng flicked the pestle at him. His dark eyes narrowed threateningly. “Don’t change the subject! Talk! Lan WangJi is not here. He is in the garden with his rabbits!”

“If you’ve already guessed the reason, then why do you want me to tell you?”

“Only those idiots in the cultivation world don’t know why you fought with the random cultivators. I want to know what they said about Lan WangJi to actually provoke you to make the first move.”

“Things that make one’s ears bleed.” Wei WuXian absolutely had no intention of recalling the bad memory. It just pollutes one’s ears and mind. Peeling some more pods for the creamy seeds, Wei WuXian gave Jiang Cheng a bowl of lotus seeds. “So, for these seeds, just don’t ask anymore. Just know that they deserved it.”

Jiang Cheng didn’t doubt that at all. Outsiders were needlessly nosy and cruel with their words, nitpicking and tarnishing others with mere words. How could Jiang Cheng not understand. He set down the pestle in his hand and stared at the freshly peeled lotus seeds. 

Before, it was Jiang YanLi who peeled the seeds for both Jiang Cheng and Wei WuXian. Now, they both do it themselves, peeling for not just themselves, but for each other.

It felt surreal that they were able to talk normally after decades of estrangement between them.

When Lan WangJi and Jiang Cheng were trapped in the cave by the large gathering of ghosts and demons, Wei WuXian had no clue of the incident. He was in the middle of a breakthrough. Wei WuXian was finally breaking through to the Nascent Soul stage after years of cultivation and experiments with his demonic cultivation.

For days, he drew in the dense natural spiritual energy around him in the Cold Springs through his pores. As the spiritual energy traveled through his meridians and entered his dantian, he ignored the piercing cold of the springs. His ears blocked out his surroundings, muted the loud splashes, ripples of the water. He couldn’t hear the breeze’s whispers nor could he hear the birds’ chirps.

He was in an absolute calm state where the one thing he did hear was his own heartbeat. It wasn’t rapidly beating out of anxiety or impatience. It was slow, rhythmic.

Carefully, Wei WuXian guided the threads of energy inside and wrapped it around his very being, his very soul. When his soul was finally enveloped in the abundant energy, his hands swiftly formed hand seals. Not one moment did he fail or hesitate to connect a seal to another. The seals increased the energy flows within his body, increasing the circulation. As he did so, behind his closed eyes, he was in the world of his mind. In the middle of a large lake with a clear blue sky, surrounded by vibrant lotuses and magnificent magnolias, he sat on the surface of the water. Faint ripples followed soft steps. In front of his physical body, this Mo XuanYu’s offered body, was his soul, his original appearance.

He opened his eyes and smiled. His original face also reflected the same smile. 

Wei WuXian stretched out his hand. His soul also stretched out a hand.

Although his body looked completely different from his former self, they were still the same person. They were Wei WuXian.

When the physical body and the soul touched, Wei WuXian felt himself become fuller, more complete. Inside his world, there was a strong gale that created more ripples that the lotuses danced along to. Magnolia petals peeled themselves off from their flowers and chased after the gale.

On the outside world. Wei WuXian expelled the impurities within his body and unleashed an outburst of spiritual energy. The energy traveled throughout the Cloud Recesses. Wei WuXian successfully broke through.

“Senior Wei!”

“Did you finally breakthrough?!”

During Wei WuXian’s meditation, it was Lan QiRen who guarded the Cold Springs along with some Lan disciples. As someone who was part of the clan, Wei WuXian needed to be secure during the crucial breakthrough.

Lan QiRen quietly nodded his head at Wei WuXian with clear approval in his eyes. He handed Wei WuXian his dark robes. “You worked hard. WangJi will be home with XiChen soon. We will have a family banquet tonight. Be on your best behavior.”

Finally appropriately dressed in his dark robes that were lined with red spider-lilies, Wei WuXian happily obliged to his uncle-in-law. “I will!” Not only was he already old, but Lan QiRen was also Lan WangJi’s beloved uncle. Wei WuXian wasn’t willing to infuriate this old man as he used to do. His hair had almost gone completely white from the many decades and taking care of the sect. Wrinkles gradually increased on Lan QiRen’s face. His time was ticking with every wrinkle and strands of white hair.

A quiet humph sounded out from Lan QiRen. Wei WuXian followed Lan QiRen who began to leave. Quiet congratulatory greetings from the younger Lan disciples echoed behind as they followed the two.

Wei WuXian enjoyed this calm peace between him and his uncle-in-law. And as a Nascent Soul cultivator, he could calmly use his soul to be closer to the natural world, able to feel the flow of spiritual energy even clearer. He could see the powerful strands in front of him.

Before he could relish in his newfound cultivation and peace, Lan JingYi ran past them with a worried look. “JingYi! Why are you running?!” Lan JingYi abruptly stopped in his steps and ran back to Lan QiRen and Wei WuXian. If it weren’t for the blood on his pure white robes, hair that resembled a crow’s nest, and entire being drenched with sweat, Lan JingYi would have definitely been scolded and disciplined.

“We and the Yunmeng Jiang Sect were ambushed on our way back by a large gathering of ghosts and demons! Hundreds of them! They were relentless and killed many of us. With some of our disciples and YunmengJiang Sect’s disciples, the Sect Leader, SiZhui, and I were able to escape!” Everything was said in one go without a pause. 

Wei WuXian’s eyes were narrowed with worry as he grabbed Lan JingYi’s arm. For a moment, he couldn’t hold back his strength. “What about the Sect Leader Jiang and HanGuang-Jun?”

“Sect Leader Jiang was separated from us during our escape so HanGuang-Jun came back to help him!”

That was enough for him to rush out of the Cloud Recesses. In his robes was ChenQing and strapped by his side was Suibian. Unsheathing Suibian, he transferred spiritual energy to the sword and stepped on the smooth blade. He soared through the skies, flying straight to the abundant and chaotic resentment energy. The resentment energy was dense enough to create dark clouds only in that specific area.

Slipping through his robes, Wei WuXian took out ChenQing. His lips rested on the flute and blew into it. He played many notes, sharp sounds and vibrating sounds. That much resentment energy was perfect for him to manipulate. His eyes glowed with fury as he manipulated the resentment energy to chase after the ghosts and demons. When he jumped off Suibian, the cries that came from ChenQing echoed in the forest. Rotting hands shot out of the grounds that held these ghosts and demons in place. ChenQing screeched even louder under Wei WuXian’s control. In just a split second, the resentment energy solidified and stabbed through each and every ghost and demon in front of him.

It was a massacre.

Normal ghosts and demons, even cultivators, would be terrified at this bloodfest. However, the massacre wasn’t enough to scare these ghosts and demons who were ready to risk it all for Mount TongLu to become a ghost king. A massacre was good. Less competition and they didn’t have to waste their energies on them. 

They simply needed to kill off this demonic cultivator.

Thus, one of the stronger ghosts attacked. He was a Wrath-ranked ghost, wielding a halberd. He swung the sharp curved blade at Wei WuXian. But when Wei WuXian blew a sequence of high and low notes, the ghost stopped in his attack. The blade failed to slash through him. The ghost’s hands trembled and shook. His face wrinkled with displeasure. ChenQing continued to cry out as Wei WuXian wrestled for control of this Wrath-ranked ghost. 

The surviving ghosts immediately took the chance to attack. They kicked away the pestering rotting hands and prepared their weapons. Spears, swords, arrows, energy blasts—all sorts of attacks aimed at both Wei WuXian and the wrath-ranked ghost, ridding both obstacles. But their attacks failed when a halberd swung to deflect these attacks. Wei WuXian successfully gained control. With one note, the ghost was manipulated to start another bloodfest.

It was at this moment that the ghosts and demons were terrified. The same incident that spread Wei WuXian’s name, ChenQing’s wails, and the rumors of the power to possibly control even a Devastation-ranked ghost.

Such a commotion was enough to draw Jiang Cheng’s attention who prepared himself to fight back any invading enemy to protect the unconscious Lan WangJi and Lan XiChen who came back to aid Wei WuXian in the rescue mission. When Jiang Cheng wearily came out of the cave with swords in his hands, he saw a sight that reminded him of the Sunshot Campaign.

Bodies that were torn apart, spikes of resentment energy that pierced multiple ghosts and demons together through their heads and mouths, fellow ghosts that stabbed each other to death, bodies full of bloody holes. It was a gruesome sight. And in the middle of it all was a man that was supposed to be part of the Two Prides. Wei WuXian stood in the midst of this bloodfest.

But unlike the coldness that he depicted back then, he was still full of warmth. He was full of worry and anxiety as he looked at Jiang Cheng. “Jiang Cheng!” For the first time in so long, Wei WuXian finally looked straight at Jiang Cheng and called out his name. There was no fake formality between them.

“Are you okay?! What’s with the blood? Where’s Lan Zhan?”

“... Inside.”

Wei WuXian dragged Jiang Cheng inside and found a similarly bloodied Lan WangJi behind a wide rock. He ran his hands, touching and checking for injuries while avoiding the purple clothed wrapped ones. On top of his guqin laid his bloody hands. No matter how the fingers were wrapped, they continued to bleed through them. Lan WangJi’s blood trickled down each string, layering them with thick blood. The elegant guqin turned into a horrifying guqin with strings made of blood. His heart hurt at this sight of Lan WangJi. He groaned, embracing Lan WangJi in his arms. “Lan Zhan… I’m here. You’re okay now.”

Jiang Cheng stood from the side and witnessed Wei WuXian affectionately calling out to Lan WangJi. He didn’t feel disgust over these intimate actions nor was he angry to see this different side of Wei WuXian. His tired eyes gazed at the couple, but he didn’t feel like an outsider. Jiang Cheng then remembered Lan WangJi’s last words to him. He couldn’t help but snort at them, his arms crossed and his back against the broken walls.

When Lan XiChen finally came, desperate eyes, disorderly robes that were stained with blood, they were then brought back to the GusuLan Sect.

Despite their injuries and weariness, Lan XiChen and Jiang Cheng continued their talks of trade. During their discussions, Jiang Cheng pitied the older man who was cursed upon his return to the cultivation world. Almost losing his younger brother to a horde of ghosts and demons crippled Lan XiChen’s motivation to step out of the Cloud Recesses.

“I’ll be taking my leave now. Sect Leader Lan, please take care of yourself.”

“... Sect Leader Jiang too.” At that time, Lan XiChen smiled and greeted him out of Cloud Recesses with Lan SiZhui and Lan JingYi. But Jiang Cheng saw the exhausted relief in that smile. Once again, he pitied this man who boldly shouldered the responsibilities of a sect but lost the courage to face the cruel cultivation world.

As he led the YunmengJiang Sect down the mountain, Wei WuXian waited at the foot of the mountain. A quick turn to his sect, Jiang Cheng waved them off.

“... You guys go on ahead.”

During his short stay at the Cloud Recesses, they never approached each other. They returned to the old routine of avoidance, but fake formality if they meet. Even as they stood in front of each other, they still have no words to say to each other.

“Sect Leader Jiang.”

Jiang Cheng scoffed. “Aren’t you tired of saying that title by now?”

“If I don’t, then it’ll reflect poorly on the Lan clan.”

“Oh? How considerate of you, caring for your husband and his sect’s reputation. Why didn’t you display that sort of behavior when you were still in the Jiang Sect?” He no longer made eye contact with Wei WuXian. Instead, he turned his gaze towards Zidian, turning and twisting the ring around his finger, feeling the deep engravings on it.

“I married into the Lan clan, but I still am part of the Jiang.”

Jiang Cheng paused his twisting of Zidian. He released a soft sigh. “I heard of those words already.”

“Oh? Who said it?” Although Wei WuXian tilted his head questioningly, he was still unable to mask the smile on his face. He already knew the answer but still pretended to be ignorant.

Jiang Cheng ignored Wei WuXian’s smug smile. “Lan WangJi.”

“Ah, as expected of my husband. He truly knows me. Don’t you also think that he’s the best?” In Wei WuXian’s voice, there was nothing but a certain undeniable pride. Matching his voice, his face was even prouder and livelier at the mention of Lan WangJi.

“... Yes. He knows you so well compared to me who grew up with you. No matter how, I have completely lost to you pair of husbands.” Jiang Cheng didn’t wait for Wei WuXian’s reply. He suddenly moved from his position and walked away. From his robes, he fished out a simplistic silver bell with the YunmengJiang’s motif, nine-petaled lotus, engraved on the silver body. Attached to the bell was a slightly worn out purple tassel. Jiang Cheng clutched the bell in his hand before tossing it behind him.

The silver bell had a clear sound as it jingled in the air before landing in Wei WuXian’s hand. Sharp ears twitched at the nostalgic ring, silvery eyes widened at the bell in his hand.

“As part of the Jiang Sect, don’t embarrass us any further in front of our in-laws and the cultivation world in general. If you do, don’t even think you can get to your husband before I can break your legs!”

Wei WuXian heartily laughed, his hand waved the bell around and watched Jiang Cheng leave until his silhouette disappeared. The bell carefreely jingled and sung along with laughs to no end.

In the present, Jiang Cheng observed the man in front of him, his eyes followed the outlines of Wei WuXian’s bulging pregnant belly that awfully stretched out his skin as much as it could and two breasts that were most likely filled with milk ready to nurse children. Whatever muscles he had were practically gone. Wei WuXian was very round, skin smooth and shiny. “... Why are you so round. Even A’Jie wasn’t as big as you.”

Wei WuXian’s hand never paused in throwing more lotus seeds into his mouth. “I’m feeding three mouths. That is completely different from Shijie feeding herself and Jin Ling.”

Jiang Cheng scoffed and went back to pounding the herbs in the mortar. “I think it’s also because of Lan WangJi spoiling you.”

“Lan Zhan is very caring. He’s feeding me all kinds of nutritious food.”

“In his letters, Lan WangJi mentioned about two people living with you guys. Where are they?”

“Ah… Digging for a hot spring.”

Jiang Cheng let out a quiet a “heh…” as he scooped out the smashed herbs and collected the extracts that were drawn from the herbs. He wasn’t curious about the two guests so he let the topic just die off. At the same time, he picked up some lotus seeds and munched on them. It was then that from the corner of his eyes, he noticed Wei WuXian’s face wrinkle in discomfort, one hand resting on his belly and the other blocking his mouth.

Immediately dropping all of his tools on the table, Jiang Cheng flew off from his seat and ran his hand up and down Wei WuXian’s back. As he did so, he knelt on his knees and quickly pulled off Wei WuXian’s boots and socks. Without a care for his image as the Grand Elder of the Jiang Sect, he applied pressure on the tai chong pressure point. He continued to massage that point on both feet until Wei WuXian’s discomfort disappeared from his face.

“Jiang Cheng… how do you know where to press to relieve nausea?”

“... I watched Jin ZiXuan.”

Wei WuXian was shocked at this revelation. He couldn’t imagine the man kneeling on his lavish golden robes and trying his best to relieve his wife’s discomfort with his pristine hands of a young master. “That peacock actually did these things? Were there no servants in waiting for Shijie?”

“He wanted to do everything himself. So during my stays, I always saw Jin ZiXuan spoil A-Jie rotten. He hand-fed her every little drink, food, practiced lines that were written on a long wooden scroll on his own before stuttering before A-Jie’s stomach. There was almost no point since Jin Ling was only a fetus at that time. But he still insisted.”

Wei WuXian snorted ungracefully at every word that Jiang Cheng spoke of the past with Jin ZiXuan. Despite that, he latched onto every little memory of his beloved Shijie and her peacock of a husband that Jiang Cheng began to tell him. He laughed at some of them, almost wished to be there for her during her hard times, and felt somber before feeling his own twins kick him from inside. If Jin Ling was Jiang YanLi’s bundle of pain and joy, then Wei WuXian had his own two bundles of pain and joy.

“Wei WuXian. You’re older by one year now. Remember that you’re becoming a parent.”

“Alright. Stop nagging me.”

“Unlike before, you have to listen to the nagging. Here.” Since Wei WuXian felt better, Jiang Cheng got up from his position and carefully took out a small pot from his baggage. Carefully, he set the pot down in front of Wei WuXian and lifted the lid before scooping bits and pieces into a generous porcelain bowl. It was lotus pork rib soup.

“Be grateful. I, the Grand Elder of the Jiang Sect, took precious time out of my hectic schedule to not only make you soup, but even poured it out into a bowl for you. I even kept the meat this time. And be grateful that you’re carrying two kids inside you so you don’t have to kneel down to me in gratitude. Also, you’re not three anymore.” Jiang Cheng poured himself a bowl and sat down. He took out a piece of paper and placed it beside the pot. “The recipe is on the paper. Give it to Lan WangJi so he can make it for you.”

Hiding his excitement and nostalgia, Wei WuXian sipped the soup with a spoon and nodded his head. “Not bad. Unfortunately, your craftsmanship still needs some work. But it’s okay. You’re clumsy after all. After the twins are born, I’ll show you that my Lan Zhan will perfect your recipe for you.”

“Don’t make me pour this on you.”

“You dare?!”

And thus, the Two Prides argued playfully until the end of the day when Jiang Cheng decided to leave. One day was enough for him to know how Wei WuXian was doing. One day was enough for him to celebrate their birthdays together, reminiscing fond memories over some bowls of lotus pork rib soup.

The Yunmeng silver bell continued jingle as it sung out loud along to the quiet whispers of the cool breeze.

Chapter Text

A soft sigh escaped Wei WuXian’s lips as Xie Lian helped gradually enter the warm water, steam hugging his skin. Stretching his limbs, Wei WuXian rested his smooth back on the rocks behind him. He wiggled his body around, scratching the itches on his pale back with the rough edges of the rocks. The warm water splashed loudly and made many ripples with his movements.

Wei WuXian rubbed his bulging belly and hummed a quiet tune while Xie Lian himself lowered his body into the waters. Xie Lian’s eyes were closed, his shoulders drooped lowly, his body free from tight, tense muscles. It was very quiet and peaceful between the two. 

Their lower bodies were submerged under the warm water while their upper bodies were revealed. Fair shoulders and smooth backs were wet, droplets of water rolled down their skin. The hot spring was surrounded by a canopy of plum blossoms. The petals of these blooms rocked alongside the ripples of the water. Together with the dense mist that hovered and danced around the hot springs, the plum blossoms enhanced the ethereal beauty of the two men.

This was one of the rare times that Wei WuXian spent time alone with the god. A good majority of the time, he spent his time with Hua Cheng, either arguing or playing with the Ghost King and Lan WangJi, flirting with his husband and having secret discussions with the twins in his belly. It was very beneficial to start teaching them to wax poetry and love for their father. On the other hand, Xie Lian had his godly duties. If he wasn’t gone to do them, then he was with Lan WangJi, learning the arts of embroidery or relaxing with the quiet man by exchanging swordsmanship techniques or other times, he would be with Hua Cheng, flirting during their calligraphy lessons. If none of these situations apply, then Xie Lian would be together with all three of them. 

Thus, Wei WuXian very rarely spent time with this god. It was a very good chance for him to bond with this god who blessed him with a great miracle.

Wei WuXian gazed at Xie Lian and observed the pale skin flush under the steam and warm waters of the hot spring. Xie Lian’s eyelashes very delicately dripped droplets of water, his long, dark hair wrapped into a simple bun that made him seem like an innocent priest apprentice and revealed a very slender neck. He stared at him for a very long time until the other noticed his gaze.

“Wei-gongzi? Is there something wrong?”

“...” Wei WuXian stared for a few moments longer, his gaze seemingly pierced through the steaming waters before smiling. “Very nice marks.”

At that remark, Xie Lian’s fingers twitched very slightly, the index and middle fingers curled inside half-heartedly towards his inner thighs. Wei WuXian snickered at these small actions. “Dianxia. I didn’t say where I saw the marks.”

With an expression mixed between aggrieved and sheepishness, Xie Lian’s face tilted downwards. “... Please don’t tease me.”

Wei WuXian’s soft snickers turned to a burst of heartful laughter. Reaching back towards his folded black robes, his pale hand wiped the excess water on the outer layer of the dry robes. At the same time, the sneaky fingers grabbed a book with a dark cover. With the help of the rocks, he pushed himself up, the hand tapping back against the stretched skin of a small handprint while holding the book. Wei WuXian began to waddle towards Xie Lian in the water, his stance somewhat wider than usual. 

It was then that Xie Lian noticed the proud expression on Wei WuXian’s face. He gradually backed away from the cultivator and his book.

“Dianxia. What are you avoiding me for?”

“Because I don’t feel safe.”

“How cruel of you, Dianxia. I am not threatening you or anything.” Wei WuXian’s waddling finally stopped in front of Xie Lian.

Xie Lian was trapped against the rocks and debated whether to actually run out of the springs and wait for Wei WuXian to finish. However, when Wei WuXian very slowly and carefully plopped himself down into the waters, Xie Lian’s face flushed even further. ‘He purposely positioned himself for me to see!’

Indeed, before plopping himself beside Xie Lian, he turned his body around. A very perky and fleshy ass faced Xie Lian. What made the god flush at this sight was how spread apart the buttocks were. It gave him a very startling glimpse of a somewhat gaping hole, somewhat swollen and lively. It was a literal sense of the idiom “seeing once is better than hearing one hundred times”.

The first time he saw them, it was from a distance and he hid behind the cottage. It was the one shameful act that he wanted to bury, pretend that the fact he had lost himself to mere lustful thoughts never happened. But now, Xie was forced by Wei WuXian to remember that mortifying day, forced to acknowledge the other’s active sex life.

“Wei-gongzi. Was there a need to position yourself in front of me like that?”

“Not really. But I did expect yourself to look like that.”

Xie Lian wanted to bury himself into the waters and just die there. He curled into his body, face in his knees, arms hugging his naked legs against his body. If he laid on his sides, he would immediately look like a shriveled shrimp, boiling from the steaming water. The god expected Wei WuXian to continue with a barrage of teases, but surprisingly to Xie Lian, Wei WuXian stayed quiet. He peeked out with an eye and saw Wei WuXian who calmly stared back.

“Dianxia. Be honest with me, okay? Everything that I’ve done with Lan Zhan, you want to try them out with Hua Cheng right? Or at least initiate the bolder acts instead of letting Hua Cheng do everything.”

“...” 

There was nothing that he could say to counter Wei WuXian. Since getting together with Hua Cheng, he followed his whims in bed, obediently let him do whatever to his body. Rarely did he make a move to try something new, try something pleasurable for both of them. Living together with Lan WangJi and Wei WuXian whose actions are flirtatious and constantly full of initiations inspired Xie Lian to become bolder, to slowly initiate things. It was necessary for him to initiate, to shower Hua Cheng with affection and erase the 800 years of carefully concealed self-disgust.

800 years was a very long time. Even if Hua Cheng no longer emphasized on his ugly past self, it was still impossible to erase the occasional memories that popped up once in a while. During their stay in Dongfan village, living with common mortals, Hua Cheng shared stories of the painful childhood before their meeting. The burnings of folded grasshoppers, brutal kicks and punches, and scornful words that stabbed at the little blood-red figure of the mural paintings. Hua Cheng smiled when he retold Xie Lian the past, smiled even wider when he found his god.

“My life’s one and only blessing was you, Dianxia.”

At those words, Xie Lian’s heart was filled with an unbelievably enormous amount of love and affection—both heart and mind, his very soul etched with Hua Cheng. Xie Lian had nothing to hide from in front of Wei WuXian. He wanted to be boldly intimate with Hua Cheng, wanted to initiate, wanted to love this one and only loyal worshipper of his. His one and only beloved whose only blessing was him.

Wei WuXian patiently waited for Xie Lian’s answer. Xie Lian threw away his bashfulness as he confidently nodded his head, his voice loud and clear. “Yes.” Nonchalantly, he scooped some water and dripped it over his shoulders. A warm gush of water trailed down his cold round shoulders, leaving behind faint traces of warmth. “Was it that obvious?”

There was no verbal confirmation from the other hand. Instead, as if he had been waiting for his answer, Wei WuXian mysteriously smiled and shoved the dark book that was in his hands in front of Xie Lian’s face. Clearly, he had no intention to say anything further nor did he have any intention to pull his hand back until Xie Lian read the book. 

Hesitantly, Xie Lian dried his hands with his own robes and gently took the book. He sighed and casually opened the book. But just the first page of it was enough to make Xie Lian once again flush with embarrassment. It was an erotic book. But what made him flush was not the fact that it was an erotic book, but because it was an erotic book with Hua Cheng and him as the models.

“It took a very long time for me to draw all of this. I had to redraw many times until I realized that I just needed to imagine that I was drawing Lan Zhan and I and replace our faces with yours.” Wei WuXian was very proud of himself for completing this series of erotic illustrations.

“W-When did you have the time to draw all of this?!”

“Whenever I’m free and when neither you nor Hua Cheng is around.”

Xie Lian was speechless while Wei WuXian was very proud. In fact, Wei WuXian originally started drawing his own erotic illustrations with himself and Lan WangJi as the main figures some hundreds of years ago. It was meant to be a memoir, a journal, a checklist for him to keep track of their sex life. There were many things that Wei WuXian wanted to try out with Lan WangJi. The activities ranged from pure foreplay to more intense acts such as double penetration, fisting, or even roleplay.

In fact, Wei WuXian would draw inspiration from an old collection of erotic illustrations that he used to read with Nie HuaiSang or cheap romances that Lan JingYi often indulged in. Such works inspired various situations, scenes for them to act out. One scene that they acted out was when he pretended to be a prostitute who fell in love with a scholarly young master who needed some relief from the stressful imperial examinations. This scene was one where Lan WangJi truly shined.

If he was going to be a prostitute, Wei WuXian must be the best and he needed to have as many customers as possible. Thus, Lan WangJi not only went along with his role as the scholarly young master but also as the many “customers” that Wei WuXian had to satisfy. 

After one round of rough sex, Lan WangJi would leave behind a tael of gold beside a panting Wei WuXian who laid on the bed restlessly and twitchingly. Lan WangJi would then walk out of the Jingshi, into a free room where he prepared various robes. He would neatly take off the first “customer’s” clothes of a dirt-like brown color, a man who is poor but had scoured enough money to rent out the perfect, number one prostitute that is Wei WuXian. The diligent Lan WangJi would dress himself in a new teal-green silk robe and even tied his hair up into a high ponytail, playing the second “customer” who was, according to Wei WuXian’s script, a lively teen who made up for his premature ejaculation with his enthusiasm.

Lan WangJi was not perfect in this role, he had too much self-control and his original personality leaked out a majority of the time, but it was fine. Wei WuXian was still very happy with his husband’s performance.

Another scene that they acted out before was one where Wei WuXian was a cheating spouse who was unsatisfied with their husband. Wei WuXian was very spoiled by Lan WangJi who indulged him once again. He played multiple roles and satisfied the various scenarios that Wei WuXian wrote. Although there were also times where at the end of their roleplay, Lan WangJi would bluntly tell him, “Wei Ying. This is awkward and troublesome.”

Indeed it was. How could it not be awkward when the supposedly many sex partners were still the same person, his husband, who merely changed clothes and hairstyle. It was essentially Wei WuXian cheating on Lan WangJi with Lan WangJi himself. Furthermore, how could it not be troublesome when Wei WuXian himself doesn’t even follow his script to the exact detail and leak out his husband’s name and forget that he was not supposed to be himself.

“But you still indulge me anyway. So, indulge me some more? I’ll make the scenarios less troublesome. For the next one… How about you be an enchanting fox while I’m the heroic cultivator who became infatuated with you?”

“Mn.”

Wei WuXian laughed at this simple agreement. He was already infatuated with Lan WangJi, this new role that he made up on the spot was very easy to act out. Thus, they continued on with these kinds of play.

When Wei WuXian became pregnant, he recorded his enhanced sensitivity, his increased sex drive. He filled out and drew more illustrations of his pregnancy sex in his book. It was very gratifying.

A recent activity that they did in the past month during his pregnancy was one where Wei WuXian ad-libbed to match Lan WangJi’s actions while memorizing the dirty dialogue from his old erotic collections. As much as it excited him, Wei WuXian was teased endlessly and tortured as a result of Lan WangJi’s actions. Lan WangJi refused to move, refused to make any thrusts or probe his prostate. Wei WuXian merely acted as a sleeve for the arousal. “Lan Zhan! Don’t be like this! Fuck me! Turn me into your mindless slut!”

At that time, Wei WuXian’s insides spasmed even more than usual. His entire body twitched in despair for his husband to move. When he himself desperately tried to wiggle his ass for a deeper penetration, Lan WangJi would hold him in one place. Wei WuXian almost cried as he begged Lan WangJi. Thus, upon the words “mindless slut”, Lan WangJi’s glass eyes darkened and narrowed at Wei WuXian. The fair face was layered with a shade of lust, the elegant hands on his ass spread it widely and pushed his body further down. The hardened dick pressed harshly against his prostate, brushed against his womb that carried the developing twins, and rubbed his lustful insides raw. From there, Lan WangJi stayed still, his dick merely pressing against the bullied prostate. Wei WuXian almost cried as he begged, “No, no, no! I wanted more than this!”

At that plead, his heavy body began to bounce up and down as the dick inside him very shallowly fucked his prostate. At the same time, Wei WuXian began to ad-lib, his voice becoming deeper with breathy pants. “I-It is fine if I just fuck your prostate right? Is this g-good enough for you yet? Is your hole t-that l-lewd?! It is sucking me in so—!” Unable to finish his ad-lib, Wei WuXian released a breathy gasp, his voice crackly moaning.

Wei WuXian’s toes curled in a frustrating pleasure as he screamed back in reply to his unfinished ad-lib of Lan WangJi. “No! Just fuck me to death! I’m—”

Whatever Wei WuXian wanted to say, it was quickly forgotten with a very deep thrust. His mouth opened, tongue curled in pleasure and saliva that rolled down the corners of his mouth. He was silenced with pleasure. Lan WangJi whispered something besides his ears, his warm breaths tickled him. However, that didn’t matter. And from there, all Wei WuXian knew was that Lan WangJi tortured him with slow thrusts, soft whispers that filled his mind with lustful words in his deep voice—Lan WangJi drove Wei WuXian crazy with pure joy and lust. 

Such experience was delightful to Wei WuXian to draw down, to reminisce, especially when his twins started protesting against his activities with Lan WangJi by roughly slapping around inside his belly. He was satisfied with just drawing and painting himself with his husband. Simultaneously, when the four of them are together, Wei WuXian would notice Xie Lian’s lingering gaze, affectionate touches that want to do more, linger longer. But the lingers were never noticeable. It was possible that Hua Cheng also knew these lingering moments from Xie Lian, but never commented on them, patiently waited for Xie Lian to do whatever he wanted to him.

Wei WuXian hadn’t planned on saying anything, but as the days passed and he was gradually approaching the day to give birth to the twins, Xie Lian’s lingering gazes and touches grew. It finally got to the point where Wei WuXian could no longer ignore them. He knew he was essentially being a busybody, but surely, a little reference book for the couple wouldn’t hurt.

“...” No matter how embarrassed Xie Lian was, he continued to view the illustrations. The positions were precise, the little details were strewed everywhere on the pages. If he followed the illustrations… he could do them with Hua Cheng.

Xie Lian was very quiet. Wei WuXian coughed lightly, a dry hand reaching out to pluck the book out of the god’s hands. “Ah, Dianxia. I went too far. I apologize. Here, let’s forget that I said anything.” However, when his fingers brushed against the dark cover, Xie Lian tugged the book closer to himself and seemed to almost squeeze himself further into the rocks.

“I’ll keep this,” Xie Lian looked away from his eyes, gazing at the ripples of the water and drifting plum blossoms. “Thank you, Wei-gongzi.”

Wei WuXian gave a bright smile while pushing himself up from the waters. He began to waddle towards his clothes, but certain white robes entered his sight. His bright smile widened at these pure snowy robes. “Lan Zhan!” As fast as he could, Wei WuXian waddled towards Lan WangJi who delicately wrapped him in his robes, dressing him and drying him off properly. 

The warm sunlight that peeked through the canopy of pink plum blossoms reflected off of Lan WangJi’s glass eyes, making it seem transparent and further exquisite. Wei WuXian wanted to kiss the plump lips in front of him and make the enchanting eyes face him, but he held his overflowing affections inside. As Lan WangJi gently wrapped and tied the red sash above the bulging belly, he quietly spoke to Xie Lian. “Dianxia. Xue Yu Tan Hua will be back by dinner. He still has to do something.”

“Ah… Alright...” Xie Lian hesitated because he spoke again with a hint of bashfulness. “I will come back on time for dinner. You should spend more time with Wei-gongzi. He started waddling and it’s better if his husband is beside him more often.” It was a piece of sincere advice, but also a legitimate excuse for Xie Lian to be left alone. 

Lan WangJi paused momentarily to gaze at the book in Xie Lian’s hand who quickly threw it behind a rock. Lan WangJi looked at Wei WuXian who smiled innocently, his head tilted to one side. “... Mn.”

“Then, Dianxia, enjoy the hot spring.”

Just like that with their arms affectionately around each other’s waist, their footsteps synchronized, the married couple left the hot springs. Xie Lian waited until they were gone completely before pulling the book out. He carefully observed the details and found some loose notes that Wei WuXian stuck between the book’s pages. Wei WuXian was almost unnecessarily detailed when it came to describing the processes in his notes. One of the activities’ processes described was urethral play. Out of curiosity, he held his own flaccid dick, bouncing it in his hand under the water and feeling the slight water whisk around him. His thumb very gently rubbed the tip, brushing the small slit. ‘It’s so small… Can it really fit a metal rod even if it’s thin…’ At this moment, Xie Lian was very glad that Hua Cheng wasn’t beside him to tease his mortification as he continued to explore his body.

In fact, the very reason why Lan WangJi and Hua Cheng weren’t in the hot springs with Wei WuXian and Xie Lian was that they had gone down the mountain together—one wanted to purchase some more silk and cotton and the other to meet a certain poor Ghost King. During the trip down, neither Lan WangJi nor Hua Cheng made the initiation to make conversation. There was no Wei WuXian to start off and no Xie Lian to mediate. However, their silence wasn’t bad either. If there was nothing to say, then that was fine as well.

In a seemingly good mood, Hua Cheng accompanied Lan WangJi to various stores to buy his silks. He even gave advice on choosing better silks and personally chose some high-quality ones. The appearances of these two men, flamboyant red and pure white, drew a lot of attention from the mortals and possibly even the eyes of the heavens.

“Tell Gege that I will be back by dinner.”

Lan WangJi quietly nodded as he stuffed the long rolls of silk into his qiankun pouch. They parted ways at an intersection and Hua Cheng headed off towards an abandoned temple of an unknown god. 

Inside the old, dusty temple, with torn linens and hay stacked on top of each other, Hua Cheng met face to face with a dirty beggar clad in worn black clothes. Behind the smudges of dirt was a pale, ashen face that seemed to be much happier than before. It was a He Xuan who was still disguised as a beggar. With a fake smile, Hua Cheng spoke with a voice that screamed fake. “What do you want this time? I’m rather busy.”

He Xuan scoffed quietly. “You mean living leisurely in that mountain?”

Hua Cheng happily nodded as he threw a heavy pouch of gold ingots and leaves at He Xuan. “Is that enough?”

For the past years, He Xuan followed Shi QingXuan and dragged Hua Cheng into helping him. The debt that He Xuan owed Hua Cheng gradually piled up even more with the little favors such as lending him money and luck. Money to feed He Xuan’s insatiable stomach and luck to guarantee Shi QingXuan’s safety. It wasn’t enough luck to allow him to ascend again nor was it enough to miraculously allow him to fix his lame limbs. It was just enough for Shi QingXuan to maintain that carefree smile, to never be in pain again.

“Yeah.” He Xuan accepted the money and thought of the warm congee that the cultivator from back then gave them. The weather was becoming colder with the skies ready to sprinkle white powdery snow. Shi QingXuan was mortal now, how could he stand the blistering cold. He needed some new clothes and another place that can house multiple beggars, both old and young. “Give me a rundown temple or home, but it won’t collapse and house at least twenty people. A used outfit, but not torn. Add all of this onto my debt as well.”

He Xuan was rather calm as he gave out his demands to Hua Cheng. He ignored Hua Cheng’s raised eyebrow, his dead eyes stared into the open pouch of gold. Simultaneously, multiple people walked into the temple. They varied from a wealthy woman, an elder from a nearby cultivation clan, and a young master who barely knew the outside world. They were all his clones, settled by He Xuan around Shi QingXuan and the group of beggars.

Hua Cheng stared at He Xuan who distributed the pouch of gold ingots and leaves to his clones. “Instead of spying on the heavens, you use these clones of yours to act as a benevolent passerby who coincidentally comes to donate large amounts of money to the poor. Shi QingXuan doesn’t say anything about that?”

“What can he say? If he says anything, he will acknowledge the fact that the one who was wronged by his brother, disappointed by his choice, and even killed his brother in front of him is actually following him around to play beggar. He’s not that stupid.”

The past years that He Xuan followed Shi QingXuan, Shi QingXuan never failed to keep their current relationship. When he first noticed his presence among the loud old beggars that called out to “Ol’ Feng” and the youngsters that called out to “Feng-gege”, Shi QingXuan was conflicted. His bright, brilliant eyes were dulled with confusion, his dry lips trembled as he wondered what to say to him. However, no matter how long He Xuan waited, Shi QingXuan was never able to find the words he wanted to say to him. If the mind was blank, then that was fine. If Shi QingXuan didn’t know what to say, then He Xuan would speak first.

“An HuaiJiu.”

“Huai… Jiu…” A fond remembrance of the old times that can only be hidden. At that time, Shi QingXuan’s bright, brilliant eyes were glazed with tears. However, those tears never fell and he laughed. Begrudgingly, he spoke to He Xuan. “I want to be mad, to be furious, to be vengeful. But what right do I have?” His hand had trembled even as they grasped the cold hand of the disguised Ghost King. “QingXuan wants to do a play. Will An-xiong accompany me?”

He Xuan nodded firmly, his hand held onto the other tightly. “Alright. I’ll accompany you until the end.”

Hua Cheng released a breath through his nose. His arms were crossed in front of his chest as he nodded his head. A quiet rustle from outside of the temple revealed a dark-cladded man with a ghost mask. He bowed before the two Ghost Kings, his feet pivoted to Hua Cheng as he waited for his orders. If it weren’t for the intentional rustle, this man’s dulled presence would have made him be forgotten or not noticed at all. “Did you get everything?”

“Yes.”

“Then arrange everything according to… An HuaiJiu. Before you go back, write everything down in the records.” Throwing another ingenuine smile at He Xuan who already dismissed his clones, Hua Cheng began to head back. His steps were slow and steady, the intricate silver trinkets jingled and clicked with each step. There was a tinge of contentment in his footsteps and there were two reasons: going back into his beloved Gege’s arms and getting He Xuan to owe him more favors.

It didn’t take long for Hua Cheng’s silhouette to disappear among the crowds of people when he entered the main street. He Xuan eventually stood in the temple alone when Hua Cheng’s plain subordinate also left to arrange his requests. Before Hua Cheng left, He Xuan had debated telling Hua Cheng of a very recent talk that started a few hours ago in the heavens, but in the end, he decided not to. 

Some small middle court gods discussed with each other how they saw the infamous Xue Yu Tan Hua, who was supposed to be infatuated with the Flower Crown Martial God, accompany a very beautiful cultivator to many shops that sold rolls of silk. There were many implications to this talk that would not only make the involved unhappy, but there would certainly be bloodshed for spreading nonsense. Therefore, this short-lived talk didn’t even last for one day as it got shut down by many other gods of the heavenly upper and middle courts. Xue Yu Tan Hua going out with a person that was not Xie Lian and tolerating their presence for that long without a displeased look? Impossible!

He Xuan shrugged to himself, his feet gradually carried him to carefree Shi QingXuan who played with the little beggar kids, somehow keeping up with their liveliness despite the dead weight of his lame limbs. “An-xiong! You’re back!” Shi QingXuan patted and ruffled the messy hair of the beggar kids, hopping on his one good foot and dragging the dead weight behind him.

He Xuan didn’t smile at this enthusiastic greeting, but his cold eyes softened at the brilliant eyes. His arms quietly opened as Shi QingXuan hopped into them. “I’m back.” Another wordless, beaming smile, eyes that turned into crescents, He Xuan was dragged into playing with Shi QingXuan and the beggar kids until the sun bid farewell and welcomed the moon.

At the same time, Hua Cheng finally ascended the mountain once again. He quietly passed through the barrier with his jade pass and held an ornate box that consisted of many bing tanghulu in his tight grasp. At the door of the homely cottage, Hua Cheng found his beloved god, in his plain white robes, waiting for him, sitting on the steps and scratching a rabbit’s ear.

“Gege.” Kneeling in front of Xie Lian, Hua Cheng softly caressed the god’s face and brushed away the stray petals of wisteria.

Xie Lian caressed the slender hand and affectionately dug deeper into the hand, his lips very tenderly kissed the cold palm. “Welcome back.” Letting the white fluffy rabbit go, he took Hua Cheng’s hand and led him into the cottage, into the main hall where the table had been set with plenty of nutritious food, where Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi waited for the two.

“I’m back.”

Chapter Text

Snow piled up on the hard ground and powdered the blossoms. The mountain still flourished with its blooming blossoms of the four seasons, not at all bothered by the increasingly cold weather. Despite turning into a snowy white mountain, the contrasting image of snow and flowers created a rather sensational scenery. Soon enough, it was time to prepare for the Winter Solstice Festival.

Under the magnificent magnolia tree, a large table was brought out and three men sat at the table making preparations together. A heavily pregnant Wei WuXian rotated a stone grinder counterclockwise while Lan WangJi poured one spoonful of soaked sweet glutinous rice into the hole on top of the grinder. Gradually ground, the soaked glutinous rice transformed into a watery liquid, slowly pushed out of the edges of the grinder. On the other hand, Hua Cheng ground, crushed roasted black sesame seeds into finely ground powder while adding bits and pieces of sugar.

This was the process of making yuanxiao. Although it was easy for a pair of immortals and a ghost king, it was also very tedious to do everything by hand. “Wei Ying, are your arms tired?”

“Not at all~ What about you? Are you tired?” 

Lan WangJi quietly shook his head at this, continuing to pile the glutinous rice into the grinder. Absentmindedly, his hand reached out to brush a strand of Wei WuXian’s ink hair back against his ear. Such a natural, thoughtless action provoked Wei WuXian. The man couldn’t help but pucker his lips for the slightest brush against those graceful hands.

As the two continued to flirt, the silent Hua Cheng paid no mind to the immortals. Instead, his hands were nimble and decisive when they crushed the black sesame seeds, his dark eye dazed, his head in the clouds. Hua Cheng dearly missed Xie Lian, his beloved god, who was now swamped with his duties.

If the Lantern Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival were the rare opportunities for the Gods to feast and battle it out with the Everlasting Blessing Lanterns, then the Winter Solstice Festival was one where the Gods had no choice but to work. Not only were there an endless amount of prayers that came in, but the number of reports that had to be filled out was also just as endless. Prayers had to be fulfilled by the end of the Winter Solstice Festival, reports of expenditure and merits had to be filled out and submitted before the end of the year. Every flame that lit up the candles on these gods’ altars in their palaces was a prayer, a wish that needed to be granted. These flames would also need to be collected into some enchanted tokens.

Even though they had wishes, prayers to fulfill and listen, these gods still abandoned their worshippers as they marched and stomped their way to the Palace of Ling Wen. Ling Wen was swarmed by the majority of the Upper Courts, surrounded by collapsing towers of reports and scrolls.

“Ling Wen! There’s a missing section to my report!”

“Ling Wen! The number of merits from my temple in the Central Plains is miscalculated!”

“The junior gods from my palace will be making their debut in the mortal realm in the next year or so. Please withdraw some merits from my account and distribute it evenly to them.”

“Ling Wen! Have you happened to see my report?!”

Bombarded by these incompetent gods, Ling Wen could only wish for escape as she feared her own name, her own title, and competence. Her entire existence was just that: filling out reports, answering questions, both necessary and unnecessary ones, and writing her own reports. Even as Xie Lian sat beside Ling Wen, quietly and neatly writing his reports, he felt bad for this Noble Jie whose efficiency was a curse, marked by the permanent dark eyes around her dead eyes. “Ling Wen… Do you want a little break?”

“A break…” Ling Wen turned to her left side, her eyes climbed the numerous stacks of scrolls. She threw her head out the window, countless gods swarmed her palace like millions of ants. Truly, the Winter Solstice Festival was nothing but a once-a-year kind of hell that was different from the nightmare that was Hua Cheng. “Thank you Dianxia for the offer.”

Now that Xie Lian had spoken, the other gods had to back off and complete things on their own. On the other hand, a loud announcement echoed from outside the palace and interrupted the murmurs of the gods. “Lord Rain Master has arrived!” 

In steady strides, the Rain Master greeted Xie Lian, neat scrolls rested on her elegant hands. Her voice soft, almost a whisper. “Dianxia. This is my report for this year’s merits. This is also the plan for the upcoming harvests.”

Amidst the chaos that is the Heavenly Courts, the Rain Master was a breath of fresh air who neither added onto the workload for Ling Wen nor so incompetent that she was unable to fulfill things out correctly. The harvest for the year was abundant, the following year was planned to be just as abundant to give the mortals a period of peace and bountiful riches. “You can proceed with the plans.” And thus, the Rain Master was the first god to complete her annual reports and return to her domain to listen to the rambunctious farmers’ cheers and celebrate the Winter Solstice with her bull. "Dianxia. I'll return in time for the ceremony."

Xie Lian almost envied the Rain Master who walked out of Ling Wen’s palace calmly. She had enough time to run from and to her domain before returning to the heavens. The Rain Master who secluded herself from the Heavenly Court left behind an awkward Pei Ming who barely brought himself to give a greeting, an arguing Mu Qing and Feng Xin, an exhausted Ling Wen, and a Xie Lian who wanted to return to a warm cottage on a mountain of blooming blossoms.

It was then that Xie Lian received a prayer, a favor, from a familiar mortal. ‘Dianxia. May we meet? I want to ask you for a favor.’ In an abrupt manner, he stood up, feet clad in white boots about to take large strides out of the hall until he remembered Ling Wen. “...”

Ling Wen could only wave her hand. “It has been a while since I’ve seen him myself. Dianxia, please pass my greetings to him.”

“Thank you!”

Since his discovery of He Xuan’s act of following Shi QingXuan, Xie Lian never got the chance to visit Shi QingXuan to see the situation for himself. He indulged in the peaceful daily routine on the mountain. Instead, he was reassured by Hua Cheng who constantly kept an eye on the two as well as frequent conversations with the other Ghost King when he needed favors.

At a rundown temple, Shi QingXuan sat on the ground surrounded by stacks of hay, wearing much newer clothes than Xie Lian last saw him in. He swung his limp arm out of boredom until his bright eyes landed on Xie Lian. “Dianxia! Long time no see!”

“QingXuan…” Xie Lian knelt on the itchy hay in front of Shi QingXuan. The hay cracked from his weight and scratched the floor as he situated himself. “How are you?”

“Good good. I bet you were swarmed by the reports during this time of the year right? I still remember how I always turned in my reports at the very last moment. I’m also very happy that Dianxia hasn’t forgotten me and even willingly abandoned the duties of the Winter Solstice Festival just to grant a prayer of this ol’ me.” Shi QingXuan wanted to continue to ramble on, to show his talkative, lively self to reassure Xie Lian’s worries. He scooted closer to Xie Lian, daringly threw his arm around the god.

“It has been a long time since we got together! It was seriously difficult, but I finally got everyone to leave me alone to defend our residence while going out to search for food! Hopefully, they’ll get some donations. The mortal realm is seriously freezing during this time. Really, you gods need to tone it down a little. Even for the sake of old acquaintances!”

Xie Lian chuckled softly at the trivial complaints. “Alright. I can see that you just want to reassure me. Let’s get to the point. QingXuan, what did you want me to do for you?”

“...” Shi QingXuan’s lips trembled ever so slightly, pressed together, words barely escaped his lips. “Dianxia. Can you tell Xue Yu Tan Hua to stop giving He-xiong favors?”

“This is San Lang’s business with Hei Shui. I have no intention to intervene. On the other hand, I want to ask you a question. If you already know that it is Hei Shui who is beside you—”

“Why is it that I insist on being with him?” Xie Lian’s question was finished by the former Wind Master. Shi QingXuan hummed to himself and immersed in his memories. He dazedly replied, fondness dripping over his voice. “Because his presence is the most luxurious thing that I can allow myself to indulge in.”

He Xuan’s fate was robbed from him, the infinite glories were all given to Shi QingXuan. The luxuries that Shi QingXuan encountered and experienced were all He Xuan’s. He indulged in them with no sense of the burden of the dried blood, trampled bones that were sacrificed for him. Now, the one luxury that he indulged came from the same person that he once robbed. The same person that he unknowingly trampled on in the past. Shi QingXuan indulged in his familiar presence despite the fear and resentment that poked him every so often.

When He Xuan agreed to his play, He Xuan wholeheartedly accompanied him, indulged his fantasies. Shi QingXuan wanted to drink the luxurious wine from the royal capital? Within the next few weeks or even within days, there would be a drunk who kindheartedly smashed a jar of the wine and splash the wine into their broken bowls. He wanted to climb the mountain peak to watch the sunset. Despite his grumbles, He Xuan carried him and walked to the peak to watch the sunset with him. A trembling Shi QingXuan who wanted He Xuan to hug him, kiss him, to have whispers of intimate promises sung to his ears was indulged to the end.

Shi QingXuan called out to “An-xiong” constantly, chirped his name constantly, his nostalgic heart entrusting itself to the cuckoo. However, for the past years, he was confused by the names that he knew. The person in front of him was “An-xiong,” but in his mind, he was the “Ming-xiong” that he never actually knew. Now, in front of Xie Lian, he called him “He-xiong.”

These three identities made up the same person, but it so clearly defined and separated his beloved. Shi QingXuan wanted to call out to “He-xiong” to give him the acknowledgment that he failed to do at the most crucial of moments. But the name never sounded out from his mouth. Together, his brother and him took his divinity and glories away. His brother created the third path that He Xuan didn’t offer while he himself took away the identity that He Xuan had. He was left with a fake identity, and even as they act in this play of nostalgia, Shi QingXuan still forces He Xuan to still be left with a foreign identity that didn’t belong.

“Dianxia… Do you know why I want Xue Yu Tan Hua to take away the things he did as a favor for He-xiong? Because I can’t afford to add to the luxuries that he has given me. I already can’t call out to him with his real name. I can’t give him the acknowledgment of his identity. So I don’t need more than what He-xiong is giving me. My luck is terrible now, I run into dangers all the time, I could lose another of my limbs. I could die at any moment. But that’s fine. Having He-xiong accompany me through this unlucky life is the greatest gift, luxury, security that he could give me.” His face crumpled into a magnificent smile, his brilliant peach-blossom eyes turned into crescents.

The brilliance of those shining eyes, the magnificence of the smile silenced Xie Lian. His voice was taken away, his arguments shoved down his throat. Shi QingXuan wasn’t the naive Wind Master who was dependent on his brother, he wasn’t the indecisive Wind Master who couldn’t decide for himself. He didn’t need to be babied. Xie Lian didn’t feel as worried now that he heard Shi QingXuan’s thoughts.

He laughed at the Shi QingXuan in front of him. Despite the worn clothes, the slightly rumpled hair that flowed down his back, Shi QingXuan was somehow brighter than he once was. “Alright. I’ll ask San Lang, but I cannot guarantee that He Xuan himself will agree to it.”

“Thank you, Dianxia.”

Despite the chaotic situation of the Winter Solstice Festival, Xie Lian bided his time to drag out his conversation with his friend. Shi QingXuan didn’t hesitate to recount his memories with Xie Lian. “Ah, Dianxia, you don’t know this, but He-xiong was so ruthless when he captured dozens of chickens for us! He didn’t even give me or the kids a warning when he sliced the chickens’ heads off in one go.

“And with no tact at all, he grabbed one of the chickens, that was still flinching and spurting blood, handed it to me, and said: “Disembowel them. I’ll go dig some holes and find the clay.” I almost fainted when he dropped the chicken in my hands! The other old guys laughed at me, the kids ran away from me!”

Xie Lian laughed alongside the pouting Shi QingXuan who couldn’t help but laugh at the memory as well. “Did the chicken turn out well?”

“Yes! It was delicious! Ah, now that we’re on the topic, Dianxia.” With his good arm, he patted Xie Lian’s shoulder. His cheerful expression morphed into a serious one, his bright eyes sharpened, his forehead creased with disapproval. “Dianxia. I didn’t say anything back then because you were treating us to a great meal, but I sincerely hope you are not relying on that rooster spirit to always bathe in your broth before serving. If so, I’ll ask He-xiong for the recipe to the beggar chicken. That way, you can make—no wait, sorry, I meant to get your San Lang to make it for you.”

Shi QingXuan couldn’t help but remember the food that the god in front of him had made and served him. The unique taste of Xie Lian’s “Love for All Seasons” stew that drove a consistent flow of tears to rush down his face and tied his tongue together to render his speech useless was certainly unforgettable. It was better if Hua Cheng were to cook and serve Xie Lian instead. It was much too risky to leave it to Xie Lian and who knew if the rooster spirit would do something to the chicken beforehand.

At Shi QingXuan’s honest, harmless advice, Xie Lian coughed loudly, almost ungracefully. “Y-You don’t need to worry about that. I have improved!”

“...”

“And… Well. I have San Lang and my companions to help me.”

A delicate eyebrow was perked up at Xie Lian. “Dianxia. Who are these companions that Xue Yu Tan Hua would be willing to so carefreely cook for you?”

“... My worshippers.” Lan WangJi and Wei WuXian were immortals who would rather stay in the mortal realm to stay with their sects and possibly retire to raise their children and pet rabbits. He just happened to come across them praying before his statue. He also happened to be touched by their determination to make a dream become a miraculous reality. And eventually, it led to this domestic life that he looked forward to returning to.

“... I see they are of the same mind as your San Lang. Worshipping you for your love.”

A soft chuckle was let out, delight in his voice rung out and bounced along the worn walls of the temple. “I was joking. They are our friends.”

There was more that Xie Lian wanted to say to Shi QingXuan, much more to share with his first friend when he returned to the heavens. However, he really had to return as Ling Wen called out to him. “Dianxia, introduce us sometime.” Shi QingXuan limped to the temple entrance and looked out towards the skies. He stood there with his lame limbs hanging and dragging until he saw a pale man with dark robes. “An-xiong, welcome back!”

Shi QingXuan’s voice was loud and clear, full of joy that it drew Xie Lian’s attention before he entered the heavens. He looked back, the scene that he saw was a faded emerald robed man who tripped into a torn black-robed man’s arms.

When he returned to the chaotic heavens, Xie Lian was motivated and energetic as he completed his reports together with Ling Wen. In golden robes, a coral red bead hung on his ear, Xie Lian guided the other gods of the heavens to the mortal realm. At the peak of the Yin, the gods gathered the remains of the Yang that hid from the Yin. The Yang was placed at the hearth of the earth by the gods. The warmth and abundant force within the remains of the Yang was cultivated by the hearth.

From his sleeves, Xie Lian took the tokens that consisted of the prayers that he heard, the wishes he granted, the people he blessed and held them in the cuff of his hands. The gods around him copied this gesture. The tokens were held with great care in these gods’ hands. Together, the voices of the gods rung out like a calm bell, clearing the world of resentment and suffering. 

From the enchanted tokens, a small bead of flame popped out. One by one, the beads of flame floated up from the tokens. Within the hearth, surrounding the gods, were millions of beads of flames that held the wishes and prayers of the people. The beads bloomed like elegant flowers. They floated around the gods, bounced with great vitality like fireflies, shining its small light as much as it can. These warm beads of flames gradually levitated towards the Yang, drawn to the pulsing energy. The millions of flames encircled the Yang, created a pillar of elegant beads of flames. As if warmed by these prayers, the Yang beat in strength, gradually growing stronger.

This was the ceremony of the gods to guide the Yang to properly cultivate for the new year. They begin the year with prayers from the people and end it with prayers from the gods.

At the end of this majestic ceremony, Xie Lian ripped himself out of the lavish golden silks. Dressed in his plain white robes, he rushed out of the heavens and ascended a flowery mountain. The mountain was covered in snow and ice, the snowflakes joined the petal dance. The wind sang and guided the dance of snow and blossoms.

In front of a graceful, homely cottage were some snow figures that were incomplete. One was missing his forehead ribbon, the other was missing his head. Besides these two figures of snow, another figure was missing his eyepatch and his partner had no face to show. Xie Lian couldn’t help but awkwardly draw a pair of simple eyes and shy smile on the snowy face. He swiftly rolled up a deformed head of snow to place on top of the other figure. ‘I’ll fix it tomorrow morning.’

“Dianxia! What are you doing, standing out there in the cold! Hurry and come in!” A pregnant dark-robed man gestured with his hands for him to come in.

“Dianxia. Please come in before the yuanxiao becomes cold.” A pure white-robed man with pale blue clouds carried a tray with four bowls of warm yuanxiao.

“Gege, welcome back!” A brilliant vermillion robed man stood at the opened entrance, his lips curved in a soft smile held his arms open.

‘I’m back.’

Chapter Text

When Wei WuXian began to waddle, it wasn’t very noticeable. His feet barely spread very far from each other and he didn’t jut out his bulging belly very much. The small change didn’t draw attention when Wei WuXian took his short walks with Xie Lian, started playful fights with Hua Cheng, and his growing frequency assisting Lan WangJi in their kitchen.

However, as Wei WuXian went through his last few months of pregnancy, his waddling became the main attraction to Hua Cheng who snickered at the widened stance. It couldn’t be denied that the twins were getting heavier which caused his center of gravity to be thrown off. In fact, there were several times where Wei WuXian lost his balance. When this happened, he grabbed onto his husband who made a point to be next to him at all times.

“Lan Zhan… Our twins are so heavy…”

“Mn.”

Wei WuXian could only complain to Lan WangJi who in turn could only smother his face with dozens of kisses. It was compensation for Wei WuXian who became slightly frustrated at his clumsiness as a result of the shift in the center of gravity. It was also Lan WangJi’s quiet way of asking Wei WuXian to forgive the twins. Not that Wei WuXian was mad at the twins.

If Lan WangJi wasn’t beside him, then the next best thing for him to do was to grab onto Hua Cheng, his official guardian. Wei WuXian had no qualms with pulling the elegant vermillion robes to hold his balance. Hua Cheng never lost his balance at the sudden pulling of his robes except for that one time where Wei WuXian pushed his palms back against Hua Cheng to swing his heavy body into Xie Lian’s arms. Between the three men, Xie Lian was probably the most stable.

Despite his slightly shorter stature, Xie Lian was able to halt Wei WuXian’s heavy body from meeting the ground and risking a premature birth. With just one hand, he gently pushed his body to a stable standing position. “Wei-gongzi, are you okay?’

“Y-Yeah, it’s all thanks to Dianxia.”

Wei WuXian was then given a plate of sweets by Xie Lian. “WangJi is making some ginger milk pudding. Do you want to assist him?”

Silver eyes that twinkled in excitement, corners of a mouth that hooked up made the pregnant man quite attractive. “Yes!”

Xie Lian chuckled softly at Wei WuXian’s clear delight. “Alright, I’ll help you there. Please save some for San Lang and I.” Although there was no need for Xie Lian to tell Wei WuXian to save food for them, it made him feel warm inside to hear no refute from Wei WuXian at the subtle indication of them being a family. 

“Dianxia can relax. I’m not that much of a glutton to not leave you guys anything~ At the very least, you’ll get just one small wine cup worth of the pudding.”

Xie Lian heartily laughed at Wei WuXian’s words. “That can’t be enough! Wei-gongzi really is a glutton.” Their interactions gradually faded from the garden as they approached the kitchen. There was a significant pitch higher in Wei WuXian’s voice when he greeted Lan WangJi.

On the other hand, Hua Cheng, who was pushed to the ground by Wei WuXian, sulked by himself. He was forsaken by his beloved god who simply walked away with Wei WuXian. Thus, when Xie Lian came back out, he found a large red figure on the ground, burying his face into the ground, his arms laid flat beside his sides. If it wasn’t because he was looking at Hua Cheng himself, then he couldn’t relate this openly childish Hua Cheng to his suave lover who would discreetly be childish in front of him only. 

Once again, Xie Lian laughed at this sight. He laughed quite often these past months. The laughing Xie Lian knelt in front of Hua Cheng, his hands cupped the cold pale cheeks that still sulked. Even with small pecks on the face as comfort, Hua Cheng sulked.. “Lately, Gege has been very cruel…”

“Is that so? San Lang doesn’t love this side of me?”

“No!”

“No? Does that “no” mean that you really don’t like this side of me?”

“Dianxia, you know what I mean! No matter whether you tease, bully me, rip me to shreds, I will still love you and devote myself to you!” Then Hua Cheng buried his face into Xie Lian’s chest, his long arms encircled the small waist tightly. “Dianxia, please trust me.”

“I trust you. So trust me when I say that I’m just teasing you.” Neat fingernails scratched softly at Hua Cheng’s scalp, thin fingers ran through the soft ravenous locks.

“San Lang knows. San Lang just wants to say that to Dianxia again.”

They stayed in each other’s embrace for a very long time that day. Under the cool weather, Hua Cheng fell asleep in his beloved’s warm embrace, lulled by the gentle scratching of his scalp and fingers that brushed his hair out. 

The next day, Wei WuXian smacked Hua Cheng’s back to push himself into Xie Lian’s arms once again, but he failed. Hua Cheng was immovable as a statue as he reached his arm out to balance Wei WuXian. He devilishly grinned, his dark eye gleamed with slight tease. “You’re welcome.”

Although Wei WuXian’s movements became much clumsier and limited his movements, his body also began to quickly adapt to these changes. His spine and pelvis began to curve in to support his growing stomach. Therefore, Wei WuXian began to lean back when he walked with his widened stance.

Hua Cheng laughed for a very long time.

Wei WuXian threw a snowball at the ghost king and ignored his snickering. He was simply satisfied that he could still walk, albeit with a weird stance, and do some exercises. He could still sneak up on Lan WangJi and hug him from behind to dig his head against his husband’s spine.

That was until his feet began to get swollen.

“It was too good to be true that my first pregnancy could go completely smooth.”

With extreme exhaustion in the beginning and barely any nausea and only kicks from the twins, Wei WuXian was very lucky. Even with the fact that he had received fake, irregular contractions, the contractions did not bother him either. The pain was bearable and easily subsided. The first time he received a contraction, he almost jumped with glee despite the mild pain from the tightening of the abdomen. He didn’t flinch away from the pain, instead Wei WuXian ignored it. Excitedly, he called for Lan WangJi.

“Lan Zhan! I might give birth now!”

He peeled off his loose layers of robes, ready for his twins to finally be born. Lan WangJi rushed in with Hua Cheng and Xie Lian, carrying tools such as gloves, linen, scissors, bottles of pills and ointments, and a pouch of acupuncture needles. Climbing onto the bed, Xie Lian sat behind Wei WuXian and supported him. With a lift, Wei WuXian knelt against the god at an angle.

With Dong HuoHe’s lessons in mind, they waited in anticipation. But the mild pain that Wei WuXian experienced that gave rise to his excitement faded away. What was left behind instead was an empty feeling and some dull pulsing from the twins. Wei WuXian just knew there was some disappointment in him.

A quiet thud sounded out from the side of the bed. Like Lan WangJi whose eyes flashed with a silent realization at the same time as Wei WuXian’s disappointed expression, Hua Cheng had pulled his long sleeves up and wrapped a white ribbon to keep them up. He swiftly took Wei WuXian’s wrist and felt for his pulse. Lan WangJi pressed softly against the bulging belly while consulting Xie Lian who also felt around his belly.

A disappointed voice asked a question that he already knew the answer to. “Is this what Dong HuoHe talked about...”

“Mn.” A quiet confirmation from his beloved husband who was probably just as disappointed.

“There’s no doubt about it.” His wrist was softly against his side by Hua Cheng.

“What you felt were just fake labor contractions.” Xie Lian dealt the finishing blow with his final confirmation. He settled Wei WuXian down on the bed and climbed off. The god picked up the fallen robes. Wei WuXian sighed and allowed Lan WangJi to dress him up again. He bashfully grinned at them with dulled eyes. His face was pale, yet hot to the touch. Wei WuXian was disappointed, but also mortified.

“What a disappointment, huh? Got everyone excited for nothing.”

“The twins are simply not ready to come out yet. Wei-gongzi just needs to be patient. Plus, we still need more time before we have miniature Yiling Patriarchs running around. It’ll be a handful.”

“Dong HuoHe said that it will happen naturally. The twins have not caused enough ruckus inside you yet. No need to rush them. Let them play around some more.”

Thus, his first contraction was a disappointment and crushed Wei WuXian’s hopes. Despite the comforts and reassurances from Xie Lian and Hua Cheng, Wei WuXian felt exceedingly tired. He stayed in bed and was comforted by a Lan WangJi who whispered sweet things to his ear. 

A graceful hand rubbed Wei WuXian’s back quietly, passing spiritual energy to soothe the tightened muscles. “Lan Zhan… Am I too impatient?”

“No. It is natural to desire to see the children as soon as possible.”

“That also means that it is natural for you to want to see them as soon as possible. And I just cruelly stomped on our hopes.”

“You didn’t.” Lan WangJi’s hand stopped its soothing motion. This piqued Wei WuXian’s attention who looked up into his husband’s glass eyes. A soft pair of lips gingerly kissed the pouting lips. “Wei Ying is doing very well. You are strong. You are keeping the twins healthy.”

With a hand behind Wei WuXian’s arched back, Lan WangJi’s glassy eyes narrowed and glinted with a teasing gleam. “I also really like Wei Ying’s present self.”

Finally, Lan WangJi drew a small laugh from Wei WuXian after the fake contractions. His entire body shook with heartful laughter. It tickled Lan WangJi who held Wei WuXian in his arms. “Ah, HanGuang-Jun is so openly shameless.” Wei WuXian then pushed his beloved husband down onto their bed. Fair arms and feet trapped his beloved Lan WangJi below him. “Since you’re so honest, I will reward you tonight. And let me tell you this… I love how it feels when you fuck me when I’m pregnant as well.”

After a whole day and night of comforting, Wei WuXian returned to his usual self. Xie Lian also noted how Wei WuXian showed more affection towards his pregnant self, very adoringly showing off his growing belly. However, Xie Lian also noticed how at the same time Wei WuXian was even more cautious of his occasional contractions. It was obvious that he was afraid to disappoint himself again when the twins are not ready to be born.

So, when he received the contractions again, the mild ache in his abdomen was ignored by Wei WuXian to avoid the guaranteed disappointment. With a simple change in position and a walk, the contractions faded away and he continued on with his life. The contractions almost put a damper on his mood towards pregnancy for giving him hopes and disappointment, but now Wei WuXian was rather upset with his swollen ankles and feet.

Right after the Winter Solstice Festival, in the cold frosty morning, Wei WuXian’s feet finally could no longer fit into his boots.

He chuckled hopelessly to himself. “Lan Zhan… Can you sew new boots for me?”

“Mn.” Lan WangJi nodded as he cautiously pulled at the right boot that refused to be pulled off of Wei WuXian’s feet. 

“Really, you shouldn’t be surprised. For a long time, you sat in one spot to grind the sweet glutinous rice. After that, you basically stood for hours yesterday to build the snowmen. No wonder your feet are swollen.” Hua Cheng’s voice was monotone and very matter-of-fact. Together with Xie Lian, he weaved a thick and large basket. The basket was wide enough to contain two newborns. The outside was made of thick, but flexible vines and wood splinter. Inside was stuffed with cotton and fluffy white balls of rabbit fur that were shed every few months. 

Wei WuXian groaned, swinging his legs lightly as a form of exercise to ease the swelling. However, he quickly stopped when Lan WangJi managed to pull off his boots and white socks. His bare, swollen feet were revealed. He curled his toes inward and outward, twisted his ankles around in Lan WangJi’s beautiful hands.

He released a satisfied moan when those beautiful hands that belonged to his husband began to massage his feet. At the balls of his feet, Lan WangJi pressed lightly, pinched softly. His ankles were rolled around in a gentle manner, guided by the graceful hands. Wei WuXian really couldn’t help but curl his toes and attempt to scratch the smooth top of Lan WangJi’s hands.

When Lan WangJi caught those toes scratching him lightly, he paused his massage. Wei WuXian stopped the scratching, but he began to harass Lan WangJi’s hands in another way. Flexibly, his toes held onto Lan WangJi’s fingers. His toes captured the fingers in between them and he smugly rolled his feet around.

“I captured you.”

“Mn.”

“... What kind of play is this?” Hua Cheng deadpanned at the couple from a short distance away.

Wei WuXian returned the deadpan expression. “You just destroyed the mood.”

“WangJi. Wei-gongzi. Where do you want us to hang this basket?”

Hua Cheng and Xie Lian finished adding the final touches to the basket. With several thick and stable vines that were intertwined with more ropes, the basket was ready to be hung. “Is the center of the room alright?”

“Just a little closer to our bed.”

Throwing the intertwined vines around the center ceiling joist, Xie Lian wrapped the vines around the wooden ceiling joist. He tightened the vines before letting loose the basket. The basket began to hang from the ceiling joist, quietly swaying.

Setting Wei WuXian’s feet down on the bed, Lan WangJi went to a dresser and pulled out a stack of robes and a set of warm blankets. Kneeling on the cold wooden ground, Lan WangJi settled the robes and blankets below the swaying basket. Together, the robes and blankets built a thick cushion. He patted the cushioning spot with his hand before grabbing more sets of blankets to stuff the hanging basket.

“WangJi, I think the twins will love it.”

Lan WangJi nodded as he baby-proofed the room. He tugged on the basket several times and was satisfied that the ceiling joist did not collapse on them. Once again, he patted the soft blankets in the basket. “I hope so too.”

Wei WuXian pushed himself up and walked to Lan WangJi. He draped himself over Lan WangJi’s broad back. There was a hint of discomfort when he pressed his pregnant belly against the strong back, but he also very much enjoyed the feeling of pressing his belly and burying the belly into the arch of Lan WangJi’s back. “Don’t worry. I can guarantee you that they will love it. The twins got a god and a ghost king to personally weave their baby basket. And they got their beloved father to work day and night to make their blankets and clothes. How could they not love it?”

“What about you?” Hua Cheng’s eyebrow was raised.

“I also worked day and night. I helped to groom the rabbits and helped pull the dangerous needles out from the silk. I prevented Lan Zhan’s fingers from being poked with another hole.”

Hua Cheng scoffed as Wei WuXian grinned while draped over Lan WangJi. It was during these moments where Wei WuXian enjoyed and appreciated the slow progress of creating a life and making preparations to welcome the two new lives in his belly. There was no need to rush after all. The twins will come when they’re ready. There was still much time left to prepare for his beloved twins.

Just like that, another peaceful day went by.

Chapter Text

With time, contractions grew stronger and stronger. In the middle of a winter night where the wind howled and powdery flakes littered the mountain, Lan WangJi was woken up by a groaning Wei WuXian who clutched his bulging belly. The blankets that once covered them both were kicked off by the pregnant man. Lan WangJi was once again given a scare during this late-night as his husband sweated, clutched the covers and bunched up his night robes, tormented by the contractions. 

The mild ache from his tightening abdomen that was formerly possible to ignore transformed into an intense pain that seemed to twist and stretch his insides. It couldn’t be helped that Wei WuXian often woke up from his deep sleep because of the pain. The pain barely lasted for half a minute, but the pain was excruciating enough to make him feel that the pain lasted for hours.

“L-Lan Zhan. Kiss me, hug me, play with my body, fuck me. Do whatever! Just distract me. I don’t want to think or feel this pain anymore!” Wei WuXian wailed in great pain. He was desperate for another stimulation to battle the pain. Weakly, he pulled Lan WangJi closer to smash their lips together. He forced himself to pay attention to their lips pressing against each other, threw himself into the pleasurable digging of Lan WangJi’s mouth. He sucked on the plump red lips, traded silky saliva that lingered and glossed their lips.

Although it was hard to breathe, Lan WangJi indulged in this desperate kiss. He returned the fierce kiss with bites. Their lips swelled together, sensitive to each other’s steaming breaths and warm saliva. 

With his insides threatening to tear apart, Wei WuXian hastily guided his husband’s hands to his breasts that were full of milk and his flaccid dick, hidden by the layers of clothes. It was uncomfortable, but holding his hand with Lan WangJi’s, he thrust his hips forward into their joined hands. The friction of the calluses from holding their swords to fight together, the calluses of playing an instrument to sing their love for each other, gradually hardened his dick. It grew hotter and hotter in his clothes as the heat turned him on.

Meanwhile, Lan WangJi twisted the perky nipples that poked against his other hand. Wei WuXian’s formerly flat chest had finally grown to a large enough size that could allow Lan WangJi to pull both nipples at the same time. Roughly, he rubbed and teased the nubs. The pinch of pain from this pulling gave a thrilling pleasure to Wei WuXian that momentarily overshadowed his contractions. 

Wei WuXian couldn’t help but scream into their messy kiss. His fingers curled into the top of Lan WangJi’s hand from the piercing pleasure, his fingernails almost digging into his beloved’s hands as their joined hands tightened around Wei WuXian’s erect dick. His balls tightened before release. The white, pearly liquid stained the thin layers of night robes that acted as a barrier before their bodies and splattered into their joined hands.

With the release, Wei WuXian’s body went rigid before softening against Lan WangJi. His breaths were heavy and hot as he breathed in the cold scent that belonged to Lan WangJi. The pleasure that he felt countered the contraction pain as the pain faded away.

“Lan Zhan, it finally stopped hurting.” Wei WuXian breathily chuckled, relieved that he was no longer in pain.

“Mn.” Lan WangJi’s eyes were soft and gentle. The beautiful glass eyes glistened with concern while the hands rubbed soothing circles on top of the belly. He could still feel the pulsing insides that stretched and tormented Wei WuXian and the quiet movements of the twins that tickled and fluttered inside. “It was hard, but Wei Ying did very well. Can you sleep now? Do you want anything?”

“...”

As he laid on his husband’s chest, Wei WuXian was wide awake. He was abnormally clear-minded, brain active and his body twitched against Lan WangJi. His head tilted up and his twinkling eyes met glass ones. In those clear eyes, he saw a flushed face, skin glossed with a faint glow, and luscious locks that stuck to the flushed face. It seemed quite lewd.

Wei WuXian very much liked that flushed face that was reflected in his husband’s eyes. “Lan Zhan… Let’s do it.” A wet hand untangled itself from the joined grasp and slipped under Lan WangJi’s pants.

However, that sneaky hand failed to grasp his husband’s arousal. It was caught by a graceful hand that was just as wet. The hand pulled Wei WuXian’s hand out of his husband’s pants. “It is late.”

“That has never stopped us before.” Wei WuXian’s other hand shot out and peeled a layer of robe off of Lan WangJi. This then revealed fair skin that was as white as the moon’s gentle light. A red tongue poked out from a pair of swollen lips, smoothly sliding across. Lan WangJi’s appearance was very inviting. The round shoulders and prevalent collar bones were just as enticing for large, obvious bites that will allow Wei WuXian to have a taste. 

But Wei WuXian failed to stare at the fair skin for very long. Lan WangJi had already pulled up his robes, his hand holding the layers together in front of his chest. “You could go into labor.”

In the glass eyes’ reflection, Wei WuXian saw a hungry beast. The beast’s eyes hungrily glanced at every part of the man below him. How Lan WangJi protected his body so much in front of him, how that graceful hand desperately gripped together a robe in front of his chest. Such action provoked Wei WuXian even further, the fire within him burned even more fiercely. “That’s fine as well. It has almost been nine months.”

“You are sleep-deprived.” Lan WangJi turned his head away from facing Wei WuXian.

A mischievous smile found its way on Wei WuXian’s face. With a finger on a pale cheek, he tilted Lan WangJi’s head back. Glass eyes once again reflected a hungry beast. “I will sleep during the day.”

There was nothing else that Lan WangJi could do to fend off his husband. Thus, the glass eyes hid behind eyelids, concealed themselves from Wei WuXian’s piercing gaze. “I am sleepy.”

Abruptly, Wei WuXian’s hand broke away from Lan WangJi’s capture and directly grabbed a certain hardening arousal. Wei WuXian's hand barely wrapped itself around the wide girth. His thumb teased the tip, fingernails lightly scratching the underside of his husband’s member and drawing ticklish circles around the large head. A pinky traced the pulsing veins, chasing after the pulses that gradually intensified. “This part of you is not, however.”

Wei WuXian pouted, his hand slid up and down the erection. He fondled the pulsing dick and caressed the heavy balls. “Er-gege… Don’t reject me, okay? Wei Ying will be good, so please?” His lips puckered and lightly, he planted a kiss on the trembling Adam’s apple.

“... Mark your words.”

 Wei WuXian was very happy when Lan WangJi said those words. He allowed Lan WangJi to shift their positions. When Lan WangJi sat up, Wei WuXian was prepared to get on his knees, ready to be taken from the back, but he was instead settled at the edge of their bed. The warmth of the blankets that once covered his feet fled as soon as his bare feet met the freezing floor. 

On the other hand, Lan WangJi pushed himself off the bed and knelt before Wei WuXian. The silky pants were pulled off to reveal fair legs and an erect dick that stood against the bulging belly. At the tip of the erection, a bead of pearly liquid formed, threatening to spill from the tip. Even as a pair of graceful hands reached out to grope the erection, the long fingers wrapping themselves around the pulsing veins, the pearl of liquid still never fell from the tip. Instead, it grew harder at the sight of the beautiful hands. 

However, Wei WuXian’s erect dick eventually lost its composure when a refined jade face buried itself into his crotch. The tip of a defined nose affectionately rubbed against the sensitive head. Additionally, a small, elegant mouth was wide open, revealing an eager tongue that resided inside a shy mouth.

Lan WangJi was the epitome of elegance and grace. Yet now, in front of Wei WuXian, Lan WangJi’s grace was abandoned. The small mouth that belonged to his husband that rarely opened wide to shout vulgarities or to shove food was now wide open to engulf a whole dick, with a tongue that was eager to lick and fondle. His elegant husband was replaced with an erotic husband who beguiled him with minimal efforts.

As a man, how could Wei WuXian bear seeing his husband be so enchanting, so seductive without doing anything. Thus, with his arms supporting from the back, Wei WuXian thrust his hips forward, his erect dick broke free from the fair hands and threw itself into the open mouth. And somehow with his small mouth, Lan WangJi took the whole dick inside easily and almost gracefully while his hands were left to crawl behind Wei WuXian’s back and rested there. Gradually, the dick leaked trails of the pearly precum inside Lan WangJi’s mouth as it traveled deep down into his throat. 

Although Wei WuXian’s pregnant belly prevented him from seeing his husband, he could still imagine the defined face become puffed up from his dick. From his dick, Wei WuXian could feel Lan WangJi’s attempts to constrict his throat around him. A low moan escaped his lips when the head of his dick was squeezed. He wasn’t sure if the pulsing came from himself or Lan WangJi’s throat.

Wei WuXian couldn’t help, but shallowly thrust his hips and fuck his husband’s throat. “Hah… Hah… Lan Zhan. You’re so tight. I-I love this! Is this why you love to fuck me so much? With just your throat, you can squeeze me so hard!” He was addicted to the feeling of rubbing rawly against the insides of his husband’s throat.

But Lan WangJi wasn’t completely obedient as he allowed his husband to fuck his throat. While he accepted the shallow fucks, Lan WangJi’s tongue licked thirstily at the pulsing veins, his teeth lightly scraped the base. These little stimulations that built up over time, combined with the occasional constriction of the throat, drove Wei WuXian crazy with lust.

Thus, his bare feet left the cold ground. Wei WuXian began to search blindly for the edges of Lan WangJi’s pants. His toes groped the patch of wetness on the silky pants. The soles of his feet pushed and created an outline of the well-endowed erection that belonged to his husband.

Under his feet, beneath the thin layer of silk, the dick twitched and pulsed against the thick skin of his soles. Wei WuXian continued to rub his feet against the leaking dick, his hips proceeded to thrust. However, he still could not see his husband. He could only imagine the erotic, indecent faces of Lan WangJi. He wanted to see ears that flushed an impossible shade of bright red, a cold face that was actually hot enough to burn his skin, and elegance that morphed to indecent lewdness. 

Wei WuXian was grateful for his flexible toes as he agilely pulled the silk pants down. The pants were pulled barely enough to reveal an erect dick. With a quiet plop, the dick slapped against his soles. It flicked against his soles and smeared precum.

Wei WuXian’s grin grew wider, his eyes completely enveloped in a thick layer of lust. His hips stopped thrusting, but his feet became more active. With wet feet, smeared with precum, Wei WuXian trapped the erection between his feet. His little toes lightly scratched the dick’s underside, his big toes rubbed the leaking head. More precum spilled and stained his feet. 

“...!”

The endless playing and rubbing of the feet caused a breathless gasp to escape Lan WangJi’s stuffed mouth. His throat tightened even further. Lan WangJi wanted to swallow, however, with Wei WuXian’s dick shoved down his throat, he finally choked and gagged. He coughed as Wei WuXian hurriedly pushed his head away.

For the first since Lan WangJi swallowed his dick, Wei WuXian finally saw his husband’s face. It was just as he imagined. Ears that were impossibly red and an arousing face that matched well with swollen red lips. “Lan Zhan! Are you okay? Does it hurt?!”

Soft coughs rung out, Lan WangJi’s Adam’s apple bobbed up and down. His soft voice held tints of raspiness, causing it to become softer and deeper. “No… I’m fine. Did I hurt you?”

Wei WuXian didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry at his husband. “How could you hurt me? You made me feel good. You drove me crazy, you know! I can’t believe that I have such a lewd husband!”

“Then I’ll do it more.”

“...!”

Lan WangJi quickly recovered from his coughs and abruptly swallowed the whole length into his small mouth once again. However, this time, he didn’t allow Wei WuXian to move his hips. Instead, he sucked on the head, his lips enclosed around the little slit on the tip. Almost desperately, he sucked on the slit while his tongue flicked the edges of the opening. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed the bitter precum. The insides of his mouth and down his throat were all covered with the taste of Wei WuXian.

When Lan WangJi relaxed his throat, he shoved the length down his throat. Slowly constricting around the pulsing dick that threatened to shoot, Lan WangJi grabbed his husband’s hand and guided it to his throat. 

Very faintly, Wei WuXian felt an outline of his dick. And suddenly, the insides of his husband’s throat vibrated, the lips of Lan WangJi opened wider. His tongue laid beneath a twitching dick. Saliva trailed down his neck, his collarbones. His voice raspy, and muffled. “Does it feel good?”

“Ah, it feels good. Too good, my erotic husband!” Thus, Wei WuXian fucked into Lan WangJi’s mouth once again, much more vigorously. His movements gradually became erratic, his balls tightened, his dick spasmed inside his husband’s mouth. Wei WuXian gasped loudly when the pleasure shot through his body. His toes curled around a well-endowed dick, his body tingled. When he finally shot a load of cum, Lan WangJi quietly took it. However, he didn’t swallow the pearly cum. His refined face became slightly bloated from the cum.

“Lan Zhan?” Wei WuXian barely came back from the high of the pleasure, but Lan WangJi already stood up and positioned Wei WuXian to be on his knees on the bed. His ass pointed up towards the air, his perky cheeks were already slightly spread to reveal a twitching and hungry hole. 

With his puffed cheeks, Lan WangJi climbed behind Wei WuXian. His hands kneaded, massaged the perky ass. Wei WuXian happily moaned as he thought how his ass would definitely have handprints when they wake up. His moans abruptly came to a stop when a finger poked his swollen hole, spreading it slightly for a red tongue to invade.

Wei WuXian screamed at the warm sensation of the tongue slithering around inside his twitching insides. Lan WangJi’s tongue flicked up and down, slid left and right. Everywhere it traveled inside him, Wei WuXian spasmed. He wanted the tongue to be longer to prob deeper, to brush against his prostate even harder. But Wei WuXian couldn’t even think any further when his insides burned with a gush of liquid from Lan WangJi’s mouth.

Wei WuXian’s own cum was used to feed his hungry hole. He buried his head into their bed, his hands bundled up their covers. His pregnant belly seemed to swing a little while his legs trembled. From below, Wei WuXian watched, little by little, his white cum dripping down his legs from his ass. All his ears heard were lewd squishy sounds that his hole made and ungraceful slurps that his husband made while eating his ass. Everything made his dick that recently came to be lively once again. Thus, Wei WuXian’s back arched as his upper body came up while he wiggled his ass, desperately asking for a hard fuck. 

“Hurry up, Lan Zhan. I want you to fuck me! Let your fat dick penetrate deep inside me!”

Both silver and glass eyes met each other and were glazed with clear lust. With the loud permission from his husband, Lan WangJi’s tongue stopped slithering inside, his mouth stopped sucking on the puckering hole. His twitching dick kissed the puckering lips of Wei WuXian’s hole.

With one swift movement, Wei WuXian’s prostate was stabbed harshly at. His already sensitive from pregnancy insides contracted, tightened when rubbed raw against. He loved the pulsing of the dick inside him. His back arched, his voice cried out in pleasure. The tingly pleasure traveled throughout his body. His brain shut off, coherent thoughts replaced with mere pleasure and love for his Lan WangJi. His nipples perked up, creamy milk that escaped the ducts. His breasts swung in rhythm to his ass getting fucked, his leaking milk splattered wastefully against his face and their bed covers. The pleasure traveled to his dick, forcing him to come, to squirt at every thrust that rammed against his prostate. His fingers and toes curled inwards, his mouth became unable to close itself.

Loud moans, drizzled with thick pleasure, echoed in both Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi’s ears. These moans were merely Wei WuXian expressing his ecstasy as he called out his husband’s name nonstop. “Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan!!”

Even when Lan WangJi came inside him, Wei WuXian didn’t want it to end. With another scream for his husband, Wei WuXian was fucked again. As the hard dick spurted large amounts of cum that burned into his spasming insides, Lan WangJi continued to move. The movements were erratic and desperate.

They fucked and fucked until Wei WuXian’s legs could no longer support his heavy body. Thus, Wei WuXian was repositioned to lay on his sides, his pregnant belly no longer had to hang and swing back and forth from their fucking. His fair leg was lifted high up in the air before it folded and rested on Lan WangJi’s shoulder. Just barely, his sticky soles brushed against the scars and dented back. 

Lan WangJi hugged the leg with one arm and the other placed itself on top of the pregnant belly with Wei WuXian’s hand. For split moments, he felt knockings and pulsings from inside the belly. However, when Wei WuXian willed his spasming hole to contract even further around the arousal, Lan WangJi returned to his duty. His hips thrust forward, his dick rammed inside the twitching hole, once again shaping his husband's ass to be his own dick sheath. Simultaneously, Wei WuXian’s dick continued to squirt until it hurt to even come. What came out of his dick was no longer cum, but a thin, translucent liquid that was both odorless and tasteless.

With one final spurt inside his ass, Wei WuXian came at the pleasure of being filled. He was finally satisfied. His body was exhausted. With collapsing lids, he pulled Lan WangJi down to lay beside him without any parts of his husband’s dick being pulled out. Their lips met, tongues tangled together. Traces of saliva and cum were mixed and exchanged. With a breathless gasp, Wei WuXian chuckled lowly. “My cum tastes so horrible. How could you even hold it in your mouth, much less swallow it?”

“I got used to it. The taste doesn’t bother me anymore.” Lan WangJi’s voice was still soft and raspy. But Wei WuXian was still allured by his husband’s voice.

“Wow, my Lan Zhan is so erotic...”

By the time Wei WuXian fell asleep, Lan WangJi could no longer escape. He was held in a tight embrace by his husband. With a quiet sigh, Lan WangJi returned the embrace, his deep voice became a lullaby to Wei WuXian, softly humming a familiar song that was first hummed in a cave.