Chapter 1: Finding a suspicious stain on your white sheets
Lan Qiren wasn't quite sure how he had ended up in such an indignant position. One moment he was in his jingshi having a warm cup of tea and the next his face was being pushed down against the cool hardwood floor.
A small grunt escaped from his lips, His eyes straining to catch a side profile. Of whoever had managed to sneak into his quarters.
There was a towering figure holding his head in place. His pupils dilated when a familiar pair of blood soaked eyes met his own. Their depths held enough animosity to burn his retinas. For a second, it made his stomach churn.
However he only scowl and rolled his eyes at the sight of the larger man that was clearly relishing in his discomfort. Wen Ruohans knee digging into his side, it was almost relieving to see the devilish smirk across his face.
Wen Ruohan may have been ruthless but lacking in control and composure were not one of his major flaws. His moves were calculated despite his ruthlessness, killing a master of the Gusu Lan sect for little reason, didn't quite seem like his style.
His tyranny was structured and well thought out, above all, it was predictable. Gusu was too complacent for him to make that kind of move.
No, this was about something else. Those red irises held an inferno, one fueled by not just animosity but Lust.
It sent shivers down his spine.
Wen Ruohan shifted his weight causing Lan Qirens head to practically meld to the floorboards.
He Grit his teeth. Partially in anger but mostly because he had only just realized how drastic a situation he was in.
Wen Ruohan had already slid his hand in between Qiren’s thighs. Not quite touching the bothersome erection that had begun to form.
"Pressure in Gusu must really be building up. You seem ... Tense." His lips curve upwards parted slightly to reveal his canines. Like a smug lion taunting his prey before he violently rips out his innards. This was no different.
Lan Qiren would smack him if he wasn't so turned on by this. He hated to admit it but he hadn't been with anyone in over Ten years, and the idea of being taken by his old fling was was equally appealing as it was appalling.
Wen Ruohan had always been a bit of a sadist. It was always apparent from how he was towards Lan Qiren in his youth to the way he treated his clan now.
Attacking the younger of the two gusu leaders where he knew he was most vulnerable. It hadn't helped that back then Lan Qiren had it bad for him.
Wen Ruohan let his hands slide further up his inner thigh, lightly grazing the hardness beneath his pristine robes. He grunted slightly at the sensation.
Evidently he still does.
As a youth Wen Ruohan had been similarly smug and domineering with the same graceful poise of nobility. Everyone was to fall in line with his will and controlling others was his specialty.
Lan Qiren was no exception to this rule.
When The Wen Sect leader first came across Lan Qiren he expected him to bend to his will like everyone else. But Qiren was unwilling to trade his principles for the approval of Ruohan.
This frustrated the young Wen leader as Lan Qiren opposed him at every turn.
That didn't stop Wen Ruohan from disregarding him nor undermining Gusu's leadership.
He'd always mockingly ask why exactly the sect leader had not shown his face in over a year. Why Lan Qiren attended meetings in his place. He even dared questioned his authority to negotiate in his brothers place.
There was always sort of an equilibrium of wills. Both of them were immovable object who refused to back down. Despite their Jabs at one another, neither really had the upper hand.
That was until the carpet was suddenly pulled out from beneath Qiren's feet.
Lan Qiren was discussing an issue with another clan leader after a meeting called by the Wen sect. The exchange wasn't supposed to last more than a few minutes, yet the leader of the small clan was very insistent he stay.
And this man could talk.
It took over an hour before he was able to shake the man off his sleeve. He even had to lie, saying he was needed elsewhere. The small clan leaders voice was loud and not shy about demanding specifics, His eyes narrowed with a cocked eyebrow.
"I'm due to meet sect leader Wen Ruohan, I have some sensitive issues I cannot disclose to go over with him."
The little twerp should have been thankful he was even dignified with a response. Instead he became more shameless and had the audacity to walk with him, trying to continue their previous chat.
Lan Qiren noticed quickly that he didn't actually know where he was going. So he slipped into one of the side rooms insisting that this was where he would meet the sect leader.
"Ah but I'm sure I'll see you at the next meeting and we can continue our chat then!"
God, he hoped not.
Qiren only politely nodded and closed the door behind him. He took a second to sit down after such an exhausting conversation. The new generation were becoming more rowdy and unruly with every passing year.
A strange sound was coming from the room next door.
There was a door connecting the two rooms and Lan Qiren curiosity was getting the best of him. It was clearly rude to snoop, and it was already bad enough he had ended up in some random room along the estate, but now he was going to actively investigate a strange noise?
He slid it open just enough to be able to peer inside. And at first it looked to be your average living quarters, but as his eyes focused on the bed he realised there were In fact two people on it. Clearly in the midst of a passionate exchange.
The woman raised her hands up to wrap them around broad shoulders but was quickly stopped as someone pushed her hands back down onto the wood surface.
She whined a little but eventually her whining turned into unabashed and loud moans of pleasure.
Lan Qiren was scandalized, he couldn't believe he had just peeked in on two people going at it. And even more scandalized that they were doing such a thing so near to a common room, where guests could come and go as they pleased.
He just couldn't pull he gaze away. The man's viciously thrusted into her body, her squirming halting as she became limp with pleasure. She could barely speak, choking out a strangled,
The words hit the esteemed Lan like a truck. He felt a very familiar tension building within him. Similar to the headache that would form whenever talking to the arrogant prick but now the pressure was in his crotch, building up a pool of heat in his stomach.
No, No, No!
How could he be hard at a time like this? He needed to get out of here before the Wen clan leader noticed his presence, and then try not to think too hard about why this realisation had caused him to react in such a way. But by the time he had the chance to pull his prying eyes away from the scene. He was met with a pair of hypnotizing red orbs looking at him from the bed. His gaze locked on Lan Qiren as he continued to mercilessly pond into the woman. A small semi smirk graced his face as he finally came, making sure not to break eye contact as he did so.
And all Lan Qiren could do was watch in horror as the smugness once again consumed his features when he saw the straining in his robes.
He quickly turned away, his face entirely red, and stormed off. Trying to pretend like he didn't just walk in on the sect leader pounding some nameless girl.
Yet the tightness in his pants kept reminding him and It was really starting to annoy him.
He had tried to ignore it for the most part, putting the incident in the back of his mind as not to distract him from more important duties. Duties like maintaining the appearance and grace of the Gusu Lan sect after his brother had so promptly 'retired'.
There were many questions concerning his elder brothers seclusion. Many of which he would sooner or later have to answer during the conferences' they held.
Hopefully that way the host would stop providing an extra seat for his brother, the emptiness beside where he sat had always given him an odd pang in his chest. He missed his brother, he didn't need to be reminded of such while talking about politics.
Although his brother was not dead, he never really talked much to anyone outside a few Curt conversations discussing sect issues. Lan Qiren thought his brothers death was not too different from his current situation. And he couldn't help but feel resentful towards the woman who had taken that away from him. And now she had bared two children from which he now had to look after.
Not that looking after his nephew's bothered him, but he was not their parents. And to see both of their parents so unwilling to take care of them, he could only feel pitty for A-Zhan and A-Xichen. Infact thinking about his brothers selfishness started to make him angry, a crease forming between his brow as his eyebrows tensed.
He walked outside to get some fresh air and calm his temper a little bit. However before he got the chance to even breathe, a disciple rushed towards him clearly in a bit of a hurry to find him.
"S-senior Qiren!" The boy said as he stumbled to a stop at his feet. How unbecoming of a Gusu Lan disciple.
"Stand up straight, who taught you such poster? Do you take the sect rules for a joke? Running is clearly prohibited, you'll be copying virtue for such a rowdy and unbecoming appearance!"
The disciple merely swallowed the saliva in his mouth and bowed in respect.
"Forgive me, but sect leader Wen has requested a meeting with you next week."
As if Lan Qiren's annoyance hadn't already been spiked by the disciples presence, now he had the Wen sect leader to worry about.
"Very well, clear my schedule to make room for a meeting with him." His voice more solemn as thoughts once again started to race at a mile a minute. It had already been over a month since the incident. Not to mention another meeting had just passed where Qiren thought Ruohan might've brought up the incident privately, afterwards. But when that didn't happen, he thought (hoped) that Wen Ruohan had just decided to push it aside and forget about it. He supposes he should have known better than to assume such an arrogant man would let this opportunity to rattle him, pass by.
The scheduled visit had arrived sooner than he would've liked. The cloud recesses had been quite busy these past few weeks and before he knew it he was sitting at a table outside awaiting Wen Ruohan.
It wasn't long before the sect leader of the Wen clan had made his way up the pathway, two lackey following in his wake.
He stopped abruptly raising a single hand silently, the two men beside him walking back down the path.
Wen Rouhan then turned his attention to the elegant man in white robes. Seating himself across the table from him.
The Wen sect leader had a gaze that was sharp and piercing, his presence was almost oppressive. He sat across that table as if he were high above Lan Qiren with a perfect posture and his chin tilted at an upwards angle ever so slightly. However his face remained neutral. No trace of the cocky smirk he had been flashed weeks ago. Perhaps this really was just sect business as usual.
“Lan Qiren, It has been quite a while since I've had the honor of having a personal conversation with you. Not since adolecensce I believe.”
Qiren merely nodded in response and moved his hand up to stroke his beard. He was once again reminded that he had been forced to shave it off recently, after a particularly incompetent student from another sect had gotten sap in his goatee, forcing Qiren to shave it off completely. The reminder only proved to set him on edge even more. Stroking his beard was almost a stress reliever, it helped to calm his nerves and tame his temper. And here he was wracked with anticipation and yet his face clean shaven.
Surprisingly his anxieties were quickly washed away as the man across from him proceeded to discuss politics and the passive relationship between the gusu lan sect and Qishan Wen sect. Of course by passive he meant the Wen sect did whatever they wanted while gusu passively ignored it. But such was the nature of things. He was only happy that the conversation had not yet ventured into any personal matters
“So I heard that the Gusu Lan clan is renown for their principals of composure.”
There it was, the iron rod that he had been holding back all this time. Qiren could only sip his tea, trying not to crease his brow at this comment.
“ Your reputation also precedes you, as one of the best teachers in Gusu, I can only imagine you are one of the best examples of your clan's polite composure.”
“In Fact I was a little surprised when I saw you not a month ago near my servant's quarters. Your face was quite red, you must have done something truly strenuous that put you into such a state.”
Lan Qiren felt his eyebrows twitching violently finding it difficult to formulate a response. This man was taunting him on purpose. Trying to get under his skin. And it was working. Wen Ruohan truly had the upper hand in this situation, Lan Qiren was but an animal unable to evade capture.
In response he merely continued to sip his tea quietly albeit with much more annoyance present on his face and the faint hints of embarrassment.
Wen Ruohan clearly thought what he said had been adequate as he sipped his tea. The villainous smile not quite vanishing from his features.
The tension filled silence was only bearable for a couple of minutes, eventually he could feel his stomach begin to churn at the thought of Wen Ruohan having the last word.
"I was just surprised you stooped to sleeping with servant girl. I had always thought you'd think yourself above that."
The grip on Wen Ruohan's teacup become tighter.
"And is it not just as unbecoming to snoop around The great Qishan Wen Sect uninvited!"
Lan Qiren could not argue that it was not. He himself was ashamed he had been forced to wander the halls in order to shake some nameless cultivator off his sleeve.
The Wen sect leader took in a small breath and regained his composure, looking towards Qiren with another devious smirk.
"Regardless of why you were there, I think the effect it had on you is the real pressing issue here."
Qiren felt himself die a little inside. His embarrassing reaction was the exact last thing he wanted to discuss.
Wen Ruohan stood up, his figure towering. The shadow he cast blocking Lan Qiren's view of the sun.
He took pronounced steps towards the other man below him, looking down and smirking.
"I didn't think it'd turn you on as much as it did, I have to admit I always thought you were above such indecency."
Lan Qiren's eyes narrowed
"You're insatiable. Your lust for power, people, control. There's no grace in your quenchless thirst."
Wen Ruohan only laughed at this. "You think I care what my servants think about me? So long as they understand their place, their opinions matter not."
"Obedience comes with respect. I have no respect for a leader without digni-"
He was on the ground, his robes making hard contact with the soft grass below him. A heavy weight on top of him. And two hands gripped onto the hem of his outer coat, pulling his face off the ground.
"You'll respect me whether you like it or not!" He practically spat.
His teeth were clenched and his face was pulled tight, a few wrinkles on his brow. Lan Qiren didn't even know it was possible for this ageless man to have so much as a blemish on his perfect skin.
But here he was angered to the point of creasing.
Their faces were quite close and he could feel hot breath on his face. He turned his head a little to avoid the searing gaze.
The anger once again dissipated from his face and instead held a knowing look. He brought his hands down from where they had gripped his collar to the bulge that had begun to pierce through white pristine fabric.
He was hard, rock hard, and he hadn't even noticed until those smooth long hands made contact with his own heated length.
Needless to say he let out a very undignified yelp of surprise.
" I hadn't realised you were this wanton. It's even started to show through your robes, how undignified. "
His words came out in a low sultry tone. They echoed off the shell of his ear and Qiren felt a shudder work its way through him. Shit.
The Gusu Elder felt his pulse quicken, his face becoming as red as the blood pumping through his veins. His own heartbeat was reverberating through his member and when Wen Rouhan began to move his hand he immediately felt a surge of electricity where the friction had occurred.
"Ah- Aha- Ruohan! S-Stop." He said mustering his sternest voice. He hoped it hide the squeak that threatened to release itself.
Wen Ruohan merely smirked and released his hand from where it had been rubbing against Qiren's crotch.
The Lan leader being released from the daze arousal had put him in, shot up.
"H-How dare you!!?!?" He practically screeched. his voice cracking slightly. "LEAVE THIS INSTANCE!"
It was all he could really think to say in the heat of the moment. He had never been in such a situation and all he could do was ensure that the Wen sect leader left as soon as possible.
Wen Ruohans first reaction was to scowl, but it was soon replaced by a menacing smirk as he began his leisurely descent down the path back down the mountain.
Lan Qiren let out a long sigh. He tried to calm himself down after yet another heart attack inducing incident. He too a drink from the now cold tea before him. At least it was over.
Chapter 2: Oh no?! It's an erection!
A look into the past as Lan Qiren tries to deny how much his accidental walk in effected him, and we see their interactions develop into something neither of them expected.
Chapter 3 should be out in the next week or two just gotta edit it~
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
He wished he could've said his previous encounter with Wen Ruohan was the last time there was such a heated interaction between them. But unfortunately for him, the Wen Sect leader attended all major clan gatherings. It didn't help that this month was especially jam packed.
He seemed to be coming into contact with the Tyrant quite often. Which was why it was so perplexing that he chose to approach him during a celebratory social event; a party to welcome the future heir of a smaller sect into the world. He was surprised to see the prideful man there to begin with, he half expected him to send his eldest son on his clan’s behalf instead, as Qiren was pretty sure Rouhan saw himself above these kind of events. Yet the Gusu teacher wasn't mistaken - he was unmistakable, his aura of sheer dominance could be felt from the edges of a crowd and unfortunately for his subordinates and anyone who talked to him, he was no less intimidating in person.
Those burning pupils met his own for a second before Wen Rouhan promptly cut off a conversation mid sentence with a stranger and walked towards the prestigious Lan. The stranger seemed more than annoyed but was only able to walk away with a dejected breath.
The Wen sect leader took long, powerful strides, his robes flowing behind him. They were different than his usual sect attire; it's wasn't formal wear, nor was it casual, and the small jewels stitched across his chest caught the sun's blaring light, reflecting them into Qiren's face. His features were mostly neutral, aside from an ever present pressed brow that always made Rouhan seem a little annoyed. His chin was tilted slightly upwards and his pupils down cast, looking at everyone from a slightly downward angle.
There were certainly properties he admired about the man, his silent authority was one of them. It was something the new professor himself had yet to master, and it made him slightly envious.
Those blazing red irises focused on him, their emerald reflections casting shadows on his own icy demeanor, it's warm rays of light uncomfortable against his skin.
"Lan Qiren," His voice maintained its normal taught and demeaning nature.
The composed Lan merely gave a polite nod in acknowledgment. His eyes scrutinizing his opponents’ features, but from the overconfident leader he saw no traces of ulterior motives (not that he entirely trusted his ability to read him). His face was stretched into a tight lipped smile and furrowed brow that lent itself more to boredom than any kind of malice. Just pompous arrogance.
Lan Qiren himself was clothed in a white robe with stronger blue accents than the typical Lan uniform. His hair was done in a more formal updo, with loops frivolously added around his forehead ribbon, and small rhinestones placed here and there. The blue undertones helped draw away from the morning cloth feel of the Gusu sect's normal attire. Seeing as it was a celebration for a newly born child, it would’ve been inappropriate to opt for anything with a solely white color scheme. Disrespectful, even.
The mother was in the center of the room, her child in her hands as it began to fuss and squirm. Instead of placating it, she gave it a small shake.
The child went from fussing to crying, the loud screams echoing off the walls. It was high pitched, and despite multiple servants coming to her side to aid in calming the child, it didn't quiet the baby's aggravated cries.
He could feel the atmosphere slowly shifting as the infant’s screams drowned out the music. Wen Rouhan balled one of his open palms into a white knuckled fist.
"Do you think their child will be just as intolerably arrogant as they are?" The phrase rolled off his tongue like a casual comment. Lan Qiren would’ve spat out his drink, had he been having one.
Standing beside the two of them was the father of the child, idly chatting up another small leader and ignoring the fit his son was throwing. The New Father was part of a prospering clan of well trained disciples and a base of strong clan members. Their small sect had been rising up in the cultivation world, and there was talk amongst cultivators that they would soon grow to join the big 5. Yet Wen Ruohan had no qualms about smearing their image within earshot of the very founder, not that the man was particularly respectable, but his prominent status meant saying these things to his face could shoot future alliances' in the foot. It was reckless even if the Wen clan was affiliated with over half of all cultivation sects.
The child's father was too wrapped up in his own conversation to even notice. After a couple minutes of scrambling, the baby's wails ceased while the servants continued to bend and contort themselves into all sorts of silly shapes and faces. As soon as the crying was replaced with a toothless smile, two of the servants escorted the one month old to another room.
A sigh came from Qiren's lips when the ringing in his ears died down. His feet buzzed with each step he took, only soothing when he finally opened the doors to the garden and his shoes were met with soft grass as opposed to the hard wood of hall's floors. For a few fortunate seconds he was at peace, or at least until the sticky Wen sect leader came trailing behind him; insisting on following him on his trip to the garden.
The air around them was stuffed with painful small talk. He was unyielding in ensuring The Lan never be able to forget what he'd seen. Lan Qiren's eyes darted between the figure adjacent to him and the white hem of his robes. What had he done to deserve this?
"My son is at the age where his mother is not enough and he's started to demand my attention too." Wen Ruohan paused and let out an exasperated sigh. "I've never really favoured children's company but they are going to be my next of kin. They need a strong father to show them how to run a nation." He looks over at the flowers that had begun to sprout and the lily pads that poked out above the surface of a small stream. The sun reflected the small jewels that were adorned on Rouhans robes, "You have two nephews of your own, correct?"
"Mn, I do."
"Lan WangJi And Lan Xichen?"
"Yes." The teacher looks up from the stack of rocks that stand between him and the pond, his eyebrow hitching and breath becoming a little more hesitant- why is he asking about my nephews?
"You're close with them, I can't imagine your brother is very capable of taking care of them after the death of his wife."
Blue robes came to a halt and Lan Qiren could feel the blood in his veins freeze over. It was true his brother couldn't take care of them after going into seclusion but not exactly because his wife died. Instead it was a fabrication by his sect's elders, a lie to avoid the shame of the truth.
"He's gone into seclusion," he can feel the phlegm building in his throat; He clears it. "So I'm they're primary caregiver for the time being. They're Both growing up to be honorable young disciples"
It was an unnecessary add on but he can't help the little bit of pride that laces his voice. They were both easy and respectful children brimming with innocence and trust, how could he not adore them like his own children?
"Hmm, I suppose my boys are doing quite well too, they're rather rowdy but what young child isn't?"
Qiren feels himself nod but the back of his throat is itchy. Something about the venerable topic of family causes his mouth to move before he can process the words.
"Xichen and Wangji are both rather quiet and well behaved."
"Well they have lost both of their parents, one to death and the other to seclusion, i can't imagine they act like normal kids."
"Hmm, It's been hard on them, but they're fairing it well. "
"With such an esteemed Gusu cultivator and teacher, I can imagine they're being raised to be honorable members of the Lan clan."
The Lan felt a little heat rise to his cheeks, "Mn, I try my best to raise them like my own children."
"I've never really been good with children, I assume you enjoy they're presence if you've taken on not only your brother’s kids but also become a teacher for your clan’s next generation."
"They are our clan’s future, it's important to shape their minds with support and structure."
"A very noble cause, I'm a little surprised you haven't had any children of your own," The Wen sect leaders lips curled into a teasing smile. "Well, I guess I do know why."
The other man scoffs. "Are you trying to suggest something?"
"Don't pretend, The way you reacted when you walked in on me and that girl, well, it was pretty clear it wasn't her who caught your attention."
His blood pressure began to rise. "Why're you constantly pestering me with this nonsense? Do you really need someone to validate you? Do you not have that swooning servants and a wife for that?"
Wen Ruohan scoffs, "I didn't know you thought so little of yourself, comparing servants to a world renowned cultivator!"
Lan Qiren found his patience for this topic quickly short circuiting, "You don't seem to treat them different, In fact I think you gave more respect and dignity to that girl than you did to this clans sect leader."
Silence fills the air once more.
Wen Ruohan pause for a moment and says nothing as they walk across a small bridge located in the center of the garden. Qiren glances down at the lake and he can almost make out the expression on the Wen Sect leader's face. Wife eyes and a contemplative frown, He turns his face towards him before the Lan can decipher his emotions and instead promptly averts his gaze from their reflections.
"Dignity is to be taken into account," his eyes seem aloof and disconnected "I don't respect those who do not know their place."
The Gusu Leader feels something akin to laughter bubble in his throat. "I highly doubt dignity is something you value, your sect seems to only respect its own authority." His lips seal before he digs himself in deeper. That was already too much, maybe Qiren had truly stepped his bounds, it seemed he had forgotten that he was talking to the Wen Sect leader, A sect with more power than Gusu could ever hope to hold.
Out of the corner of his eye the tyrants fists clench and unclench, his brow furrowing ever so slightly, as if a nerve had really been hit.
"It seems we're both similar in that aspect."
The sun was begging it's decent and daylight seemed to becoming more scarce, The Lan teacher could feel the liquids in his stomach sloshing around. The path back to the main hall was beginning to look more and more appealing.
"Mn, Well It appears I've been out here for longer than I should've, I should return now-" He felt a tight grip around his wrist.
"You're not the same as the servant girl- I don't see you two as the same," The sect leaders eyes once again pierced into the Lan's composure, its heat burned like a brand and was enough to melt not only the ice but maybe even his very heart. "You understand; order, elegance, self restraint, you embody your clan and what they stand for. You're an honorable man, a powerful cultivator and I'm positive you'll become a renowned professor." The red robes hide just how pale his skin is and depth of his red irises, but from this close the Gusu teacher can see Wen Rouhan's Adam's apple bob like he just swallowed a mouth full. "more importantly you're my equal. You're polished. It's because of that I'd never treat you as a lowly servant" The words came off his tongue and engulfed The Lan's heart in warmth that felt like a drop of rain before an oncoming shower. It was the prelude to a deeper emotion, the pride filtering the words at his throat.
Qiren could feel sweat leaking from his forehead; the summer heat must have been getting to him.
Fortunately, he never let his hopes get too high, he too had a filter and they made sure to block out the ridiculous , love sick , thoughts that filled his head. He wanted to laugh. As if the Wen sect leader cared for anyone but himself. Yet hope bloomed its sun kissed petals within his chest cavity his brain working overtime time make sure weeds of doubt arose equally as fast.
This was the same man who saw even his children as trophies on the shelf; only really there to show off to visitors. It was foolish to think that there was anyone in Wen Rouhan's life he didn't view as an accessory.
Lan Qiren in his elegant blue robes shook his head only giving a scoff as a response. The weeds that dangled out in front of the small path were wet and his mind became hyper aware of them. They were currently brushing against a white accent his arm. He gathered his sleeve, the garden was no excuse for dirty attire.
The Wen leader himself looked somewhat discontent with his words.
"Qiren, what I'm saying is that I have been persistent for a reason."
He understood what the Wen had meant, and the clarification was doing little, if not causing more ailments. A headache was coming on and the problem was self evident, even he could feel those horrid black tendrils wrapping around his spine and encircling his heart. It was undoubtedly a fatal grip. The same deadly grip that led his brother astray. Lan Qiren needed to stomp it out before it swallowed him whole, he needed to rid himself of the Lan Curse.
It had always been jokingly called a curse; because whenever Lan's fell in love, there was little that could stand in between them and the object of their affection. They were snowball's rolling down the hill, only growing in size and mass. Which wasn't necessarily a problem, it usually meant long and passionate marriages, but for the Lans whose heart sang a deviant tune; It felt more like a massive boulder trailing down the hill.
It seemed he had a boulder of his own resting on a hilt at the top of the mountain and with every word that came from Ruohan's prideful face was a small piece scraped off the ledge holding it back. He couldn't let it fall, even if it cost him his sanity.
"And what might that reason be." He heard himself say before his brain could process the words.
"What else? You're not ignorant of your own appeal, The Gusu Lan Sect is known for it's beautiful men and women, and I concur. There aren't many who come close. I'd be lying if I said you didn't have a certain charm to you." Inching closer, he could feel the man's hot breath on his neck. "Is it so hard to understand? I want you!"
The tendrils on his heart only grew in size, their dark black colour was seeping into his blood. He clenched his fists, trying to suppress the body shaking shiver that was making its way straight to his cock.
He couldn't give in, not even the smallest but. If his own brother was anything to go by, an inch would give way to a mile. Lan Qiren had thought his brother was the only outlier in the family, but he was starting to feel the deviance rise within him like a volcano.
He hated the woman who had caused his brother to fall from grace, and now he was letting a power hungry tyrant do the same to him. Wen Ruohan was a prideful ruler who only cared for himself, nothing good would come of this- he knew that too well - the Wen sect had already begun to abuse its power over the other four prominent sects. And the wen clan always put forth ridiculous demands and suggestions that only sought to increase and line the pockets of the great sun.
A sarcastic chuckle came out of the Gusu Lan professor’s mouth, "Nonsense!" But his face double crossed him, as a warmth lightly dusted his cheeks.
"Nonsense, maybe, but it sounds tempting doesn't it?"
Another scoff- they seemed to be common around the Wen sect leader. " I don't answer to my desires, and neither should you." He was shaking a little. This was a. Waste of time when he had more important things to do.
Like get back to A-Zhan and A-Huan, They were his responsibility now and more important than whatever shameless proposition the Wen Leader had.
A hand placed itself on his shoulder. "I won't bother you about this again, but don't feign ignorance, everyone has desires and to ignore them entirely is to live as a shell of a person. Now, you know what I'm proposing, I want a straight answer, not denial."
"This isn't going to go anywhere, I don't know why you're so insistent."
"It doesn't have to go anywhere, this is just an interaction, outside the politics of our sects."
"How can it be outside the politics of our sect? Did you forget who the leader of the Wen clan is?" His voice took a sharp edge. "You are your sect's politics! I can't ignore the fact that you continually step on Gusu."
"It's just a proposition, I don't see why you need to bring our sects into this! You can continue to up hold your value and I can lead my great nation. This and our private interactions are not mutually exclusive."
A drop of water hits Qiren's nose before another trickles down his cheek, one drop turning into three and three quickly turning into seven, before he knows it his robes are being dotted with little pellets of water; How unbecoming!
He swiftly cuts the other man off and walks as fast as his postured back can muster, he can already feel shame creeping up on him, his sect embodies elegance and self restraint yet here he was so swept up by his annoyance at a conversation, that he failed to notice the encroaching rain clouds. It was a small inconvenience, but it couldn't be disregarded, he did not want to find himself in a hole too deep to crawl out of.
When he reached the door, the Tyrant leader close on the hem of his robes, he noticed that the doors had already been sealed off. While he had half a mind to simply disregard it and power his way through, his skin crawled at the suggestion, Elegance and composure, this was sloppy and rugged, more befitting of the Nie sect and their savage like way of cultivating than that of Gusu Lan.
The water had started to pierce through the many layers of fabric and dampen his skin.
"I saw a small hut past the garden." Wen Rouhan pipes up, his robes becoming equally soaked.
Lan Qiren nods and they make their way towards the small hut. Inside there's a small bench which the two of them begrudgingly sit on. Water drips from the ceiling and lands directly on the Wen leader’s nose.
"This is ridiculous, How dare they lock their two most important guests out. I bet that prideful little man didn't even notice our departure. If anything he should be extra aware of our presence, when I visit smaller sects, at least three or more servants are dedicated to my comfort, no matter the duration of the stay!" His fist slams against the small bench. "To have some of the most powerful cultivators take shelter in a shed is disgraceful."
Qiren sighs but says nothing of protest, this truly was unbecoming of such a new sect. The Mei sect had severed its chance at any alliance or assistance from Gusu or Qishan.
The pattering of raindrops filled in the void silence has left, Neither of them speaking, only shuffling around lightly. The bench seemed impossibly small and neither of them could fit on it without brushing shoulders with the other.
The professor cleared his throat. The force of it didn't seem to break the barrier of silence around them.
Red burned into the side of his skull and caused his stomach acids to swirl around. He glanced to his right, Wen Rouhan’s vision fixed on him. The rain only coming down harder, the pellets louder and the room between them growing more humid.
It didn't help that even in the sparce lighting within the shack, Ruohan still looked as handsome as ever.
He couldn't handle it.
He lunged forward and captured that burning gaze in a deep kiss, their mouths melding together in a sound of sharp surprise from the man in red. Lan Qiren pushed closer, sliding towards Wen Rouhan, pressing their bodies up against each other.
When sitting shoulder to shoulder became awkward the Gusu leader turned to straddle the bench in order to get a better angle.
Their mouths moved feverishly against each other, tongues swirling in a desperate need to overpower the other.
A hand slid over the growing heat in the Gusu diciple’s pants. The fabric moved against his groin and sent pleasant tingles up his spine. He should stop , any self respecting Lan clan member would- instead he brings his own hands to the other man's shoulders and pushes him closer, rutting himself against the others palms. He whimpers when Ruohan’s hand reaches into his robes. The noises are drowned out by the sound of loud bombing thunder.
When the rain cleared up, voices rang from the outside of the shed as servants called out for them. Clearly the master of the house had realized that the only people he should be worrying about, were gone and had frantically searched to make sure they weren't stuck in the rain.
“Young master Lan? Are you out here?” came the voice of a servant.
Lan Qiren was lying against Wen Ruohans chest, his bones felt like silk strands and almost refused to comply when he tried to get up.
“Young master Lan?” the handle for the shed began to turn and they both quickly positioned themselves properly, sitting upright, Qiren fascening a scowl on his face.
The servant rushed to the two of them and bowed deeply. “Sect leader Wen, Young Master Lan. please forgive this household’s grave oversight." He scurried over to open the door for the two men. "I promise if you join us in the main hall you'll find fresh clothes prepared.”
They both got up curtly, taking determined steps back to the house. It was almost an insult that a servant was sent to apologize. The large wooden doors swung open with a loud thump and all the chattering guests turned in silence. The young sect leader of course, was still talking freely with another man.
Qiren could already feel a scorching heat rising in his chest, he clenched his fists and stormed towards the oblivious man. Wen Ruohan following in turn, his eyes holding more bemusement than malice.
“Is this how you treat your esteemed guests?” His voice was taught and contemptment oozing from his tone.
The house master turned around, as if stung he took a few steps back almost immediately after their eyes met. A high ranking Gusu member, a sect well known for their elegance and of their appearance was in front of him wet like a dog. behind him was the most powerful sect's leader soaked in every sense of the word. His garments, expensive and vibrant now paled and dripping with rainwater. No amount of ice could freeze the shame crawling up his face.
“Oh my god, I-I hadn’t realized-” his flustered ramblings were cut off when both of them simply turned their backs and walked straight out of the main hall.
Once they were out of sight, Ruohan snaked his arms around the man in blue’s waist as they walked.
“That was impressive, the man didn’t even have the chance to react. Authoritative assertiveness is quite attractive on you.” he whispered into the other man's ear. The Lan professor turned on his heel, causing Wen Rouhan to step back instinctively.
“It is,” his voice hinged on arrogant. Wen Rouhan pulled him back in, their lips barely grazing before the Gusu Lan Desciple was tugged in harder and enveloped in a passionate kiss. In the end it was Pan Qiren who pulled away “A Gusu teacher has to be strict and assertive.”
Wen Ruohan smiled devilishly, “Is that so?” The Lan felt his cheeks heating up at the intense stare the tyrant was directing at him, as if he could devour him whole, so he opted to push the other man away and jump on his sword instead. He nodded politely and hopped he wasn't as flushed as he felt. Lan Qiren needed to clear his mind, he was really becoming too shameless for his own good. This was the exact inch that could lead to his downfall and he wasn’t going to let Wen Ruouhan take a larger place in his life than he already had.
Or at least that's what he told himself.
He soon found himself stuck with the Wen sect leader after meetings and conferences, quiet heated debates between the two during the day that no other leader dared to get between that lead to much more once behind a closed door.
“Qishan Wen has no morals, your demands don’t benefit anyone but the lining in your own pockets.”
“The Gusu Lan clan seems very opposed to lining one's own pockets, funnily enough, the alternative would have you remain the sole financial beneficiary.”
What did he even argue for? In the end Qishan would alway use its overwhelming influence to make the final decision.
That then led to a small quarrel after the meeting which always somehow turned into an equally heated make out session. They’d find a small room in the back and hash things out- which of course meant a couple rounds of hate sex.
Lan Qiren stored it at the far end behind boxes of clutter in his mind, he didn’t want to deal with it. It was an unspoken arrangement they upheld because they were both sexually frustrated- he corrects himself- they both upheld this because he was sexually frustrated and the Wen sect leader was simply just as insatiable in bed as he was in every other aspect of his life.
But the clutter doesn't hide his dillema for as long as he'd like.
One night as he lays on the other man's chest, his body exhausted after what they'd just done, his eyes lazily scanning over the other man's body, a true specimen; his muscles toned and well defined, an even smooth porcelain tone that darkened slightly around his genitals. It was the body one expected after rigorous cultivation.
“Caiyi is quite different from the Nightless City.” Ruohans raspy voice came, still a little dry and winded.
“Mn, it is.”
“ Not just in size but your sect's perchant for restraint seems to rub off on its towns folk too.”
“They’re people of good faith.”
“Have you ever flown over the Nightless City after dark?”
Qiren gives him a perplexed look. “No, I haven’t.”
“I take great pride in this city, its people should be just as prideful to know their leader favors them.” he sighs, almost endearingly. “The lights, decorations and festivals are just a part of why Qishan is so lively.”
“Festivals aren’t all there is to a city.”
Where was he going with this? “No …” Those well sculpted muscles removed themselves from underneath Qiren’s head and he puts on his robes. The Lan would never admit it but he felt the slightest disappointment that their post coital conversation had ended so fast. But as Qiren slipped back into the elegant Gusu attire he sees The Wen leader pull something out of a closet.
Ruohan’s sword, something the Lan professor doesn’t think he’s ever seen before. Even in battle, Wen Ruohan oddly avoided using spiritual weapons. It’s blade glimmered in the soft candlelight illuminating the room. His heart began to beat rapidly and his hands twitched; Is he going to?
The thought was quickly brushed aside when the blade was handled like a porcelain ornament. It left his hands in a swift movement, filling with spiritual energy and gliding near the tyrant’s feet. He hopped on, gesturing for the Lan to join him.
The Professor stepped forward to take his hand and hop on along with him, his palm was warm and soft and not callosed like his own. He pressed himself close to the other man's chest his nose filling up with the smell of incense that had seeped into the sect leaders clothes. It made his nostrils tingle a little.
The sword began to move towards the balcony, and as the flew beyond the Wen Clan area his stomach dropped, looking down below to see all the glowing lights and cityscapes below was surreal. Whistling filled his ears as the sword cut through the wind. It made Lan Qiren’s hair stand on end. The person standing in front of him, the wind blowing through his hair and their disheveled appearances after a night of love making- even that word love making, it made it seem like there was something between them, something other than just a mutually beneficial arrangement.
“It's impressive, isn’t it?” The man in front of him muttered.
Lan Qiren offers a humble nod,”It’s quite the picture. Although I still find it all a little excessive.”
Wen Rouhan chuckles. ”I suppose it is~”
They glide for a while, circling the city, the sound of the wind sometimes being drowned out by the music clamoring below. He felt content, a warmth spreading in him. The sun had been placed in his stomach and was radiating heat throughout his body.
The ride ended almost too soon, but the warmth remained making its way all over under his white robes.
Feet hitting the ground was the next thing his ears registered as they both jumped off the sword. Lan Qiren hadn’t even noticed that he still had a hand planted around the Wen sect leaders waist until it was taken into the other man’s hand; The Wen ran his thumb over Qiren’s knuckles and brought it to his mouth, brushing his lips over them.
"Would you like to stay the night?"
It was a rock that shattered the mood. The question seemed to hold implications that Qiren wasn't sure he was ready to face. His face was white and ice traveled through his veins. He paused.
An elephant was between them before Wen Ruohan finally opened his mouth again.
"I had the servants clean your outter robes while we went out, their neatly piled on the table outside the room. It's dark so be careful going back on your sword." The words came out in a calm and polite tone. No hint of resentment or anger not even hurt. Lan Qiren merely nodded and slowly made his way to the door.
He felt a little disheartened like he should've said something; Shouldn't of hesitated! But with that came the crushing feeling that he might be thinking too much into it. That maybe it was more of a convenience offer than anything else. That he was more hung up on the Wen sect leader than the other man would ever be … maybe, maybe he was just like the servant girl.
He slipped into his clothes as fast as his arms would allow and then hopped on his sword to rush out the nearest window. He didn't nod, didn't turn to say goodbye. He wasn't in the mind to uphold formalities.
The wind was particularly harsh on his face and hot tears were pulled to his ears as the gust pounded against the skin of his face. He wiped them from his cheeks. Why was he sad? Qiren was merely ridding himself of the toxic arrangement he hadn't had the courage to end sooner.
His heartbeat was hammering against his ribs almost as fast as the tears draining from his eyes. He couldn't hide from himself, it was obvious what he was feeling. It was because he knew exactly what this tightness in his chest was that he couldn't allow himself to get roped back in, especially if the Wen sect leader himself didn't-
The Lan brought his fist up to his head and tried to massage away the thought from his brain. It didn't matter regardless .
The jingshi was quiet and the morning sun had just begun to come in as it illuminated a small mat on which his brother kneeled. Lan Qiren hadn't been here in a while, yet here he was, face flushed, half frozen tears on his face and both fists clenched at his side. His knees wobbled a little, their weight dropping to the mat adjacent to his brother.
His brother raised his head and looked at the man beside him; his body was shaking, his face was clearly trying it best to cover up thinly veiled distress and his clothes were disheveled. A quiet nod was The Lan Professor's greeting as be sat down beside him.
"I can only assume that the old Maiden has paid you a visit."
Lan Qiren didn't say a word, instead his cheeks prickled as hot liquid silently travelled down them
"Mn, I see," he paused as if to give Qiren a moment to tune him out. "I had always thought you were too cold for such a romantic legend …" Lan Qiren kept his eyes glued to the floor even as his brother talks. He can't meet him in the eyes, not just because of what he's admitting to by showing up like this but also at the awful feeling rising in his esophagus when his brother says "It's been a while since you've visited me." He regretted only coming here to ask him for aid on his own problems. It was quite selfish.
His brother continues "But it's okay. I guess you're cold nature is why it should've been obvious that you'd also eventually succumb to it too." He chuckles to himself, it's faint but Qiren can tell it's genuine. "It's always the ones you least expect."
Like they are burning plastic sticking to his body, Qiren feels his brother's words makes him itchy.
"You say that as if anyone would have guessed you'd take on such a deviant …"
His brother nods and chuckles again, this time with a fondness that catches in the light. He hasn't seen his brother smile like this in a while. He misses it. He misses him.
"Yeah, I guess I was the only one it was obvious to. I was the only one who knew just how much of a romantic I am- I mean I used to sneak the romance novels out of the library pavilion when I was young and read them before bed. I thought surely someone must've noticed a little boy hiding the flowery prints behind my back… but I guess not."
The plainness and white walls carried no decor or intricacies. The single jade statue that stood before them held incense sticks, minimal and yet the silence that followed felt cluttered and oppressive.
"So the brother I knew was merely a facade?" It came out harsher and more spiteful than he intended. He knew that even if this were true, it would be no fault of the young boy he used to be. He was just trying to fit into the mold he was given. Yet he couldn't bring himself to correct or even feel guilty for what he said.
His brother didn't respond merely shook his head and stood up, placing a hand on The other Lan's shoulder. Their gazes met and Lan Qiren could almost feel the warmth radiating in his eyes, it cleared the uncertainty that had been fogging his own vision. Qiren dropped his line of sight to the floor, timidly nodding, there was something about this interaction he had been desperately craving, he wanted to know his brother was there,not just physically but emotionally. The hand that was still resting on his shoulder gave a light squeeze before it was gone and along with it his brothers presence. He once again sat in a meditative position and left reality.
Qiren got up and left. It wasn't concrete but he had gotten what he needed, and his nerves felt at ease. It was going to be okay, he would overcome this.
It'd been a few months since the Lan professor had had any contact with Wen Ruohan aside from the occasional meeting. But even then, unlike before he would often avoid eye contact and conflict with the wens, opting instead to have an elder speak in his place when concern was too great to merely let it slide.
He knew it was a little dramatic however it was necessary if he was going to break this nasty little arrangement he had set up with the Wen tyrant.
After six months of silence though he began to gain back some ground and began to talk more at meetings and interact with more ease.
He felt his stomach unwind itself as he spoke in front of his fellow sect leaders, all their eyes on him, full of respect and restraint as he talked, made something familiar swell in his gut. None dared interrupt and when they did he'd put them back in their place with swift cool calculation.
"Each sect has its jurisdiction and we can't control the time it takes to travel to rural areas." Qiren said l, stroking his beard with light touches. "There is little to be done about it-"
"Sect Leader Lan, our rural communities are suffering! You can't just turn a blind eye!" A man in worn down robes shouted from the back, presumably from one of the many smaller clans. His voice carried with it a deafening silence. No one spoke up after him and merely looked at him with indignation. Lan Qiren was not the sect leader, it was as if this man had just trampled on their heads name, talking as if his brother was dead as if he wasn't even worth considering the sect leader! Lan Qiren clenched his fist tightly around a cup of tea before him, his eyebrows twitching. If he had been a man with less self restraint the table before him would've been shaking with his fury.
"Presumptuous of you to interrupt the second young Master of the Gusu Lan, and disrespect their sect leader on top of it. Might I remind you that Qingheng-Jun is still sect Leader." It was The Wen sect leader who interrupted Lan Qiren this time and he wasn't sure whether he should be more offended.
His teeth clenched and he found the words die on his tongue as he tried to speak. So he sat back down. He didn't speak for the rest of the meeting.
Sweat had begun to leak through his clothes and he was itching to leave, he couldn't bring himself to let go of the anger he had been holding in so he had stayed in silence, and when the clans had been dismissed he found himself rushing to get outside to cool off. The halls towards the outside were straight forward enough and he appreciated the new building that had been created especially for clan meetings. But just as he could feel the cool air from the outside reaching his skin a hand grabbed him.
The grip around his hand was tight and stopped him dead in his tracks. He turned around and for a second he could've sworn the bright fire illuminating the halls were causing him to hallucinate, but even as his eyes adjusted, the man before him remained the same. From his sharp jaw to the gold pendant that decorated his hair.
"Lan Qiren, please stay behind for a few moments, I'd like to talk with you if that's possible."
His mouth was dry and he moved his tongue in a weak attempt to salivate the rest of his mouth.
"I'm afraid I must be in Gusu soon, I don't have the time."
Wen Ruohan loosened his grip, allowing the Lan’s wrist to drop back to his side.
" You seemed quite angry when I brought up Gusu Lan's head. He has been in seclusion for over two years now and I think that it would be appropriate for you to assume the Sect Leader position. I don't see why I have offended you!"
the only reply he received was an aggravated grunt and the sweep of long black locks facing him once more as Lan Qiren began to walk back through the exit.
" Lan Qiren! I do not mean to upset you," his wrist is grabbed once more and he reluctantly makes eye contact." You've been avoiding me and I'd like to discuss this. If you're busy now then I insist we schedule something after our next meeting …"
Qiren felt bile rise in his throat, he was going to be sick.
"It is no guarantee, I have been very busy lately."
The Wen leaders gaze was becoming very intense as if he could read the thoughts that were going through Lan Qiren's head.
"You've found more than just release in our encounters, haven't you?" He said it so calmly yet Wen Ruohan's gaze searched the other man's face like he was looking for something, as if he found what he was looking for his flat expression morphed into a cocky grin. "I see." The Lan could feel his own face slipping and salt being viciously poured into his wound. Was it that obvious on his face?
He violently pulled his hand away
"I- I have to leave."
For a split second something akin to shock passed through Ruohans features but it was quickly masked.
"I see … well have a safe trip to Gusu."
"Thank you Sect Leader Wen."
He turned back around and practically ran off. He didn't see it but he could hear the loud footsteps echo through the hall and the small grunt as the sect leader turned on his heel.
Qiren got back on his sword and began his journey back to Gusu. He wiped at his cheek half expecting to find wetness on his fingers, but it was dry.
It was quite some time before he ever had such a personal interaction with the Wen Leader again. He wasn't sure if he was happy about that.
Lan Qiren in this chapter be like:
No chance no way!
I won't say it,
(You swoon, you sigh)
(why deny it? oh! oh!)
It's too cliche!
I won't say I'm in love
Woot woot! I'm finally finished this chapter after however many fucking months!!
In my defense I wrote the third chapter by accident and then realized I needed to add in some critical stuff before we could get RIIIIIIGGGHHT into the porn!
So needless to say the wait for the third chapter shouldn't be as long- then again I'm starting up school again so have patience with me~
Also a big thanks to the people who help me edit. Some don't have ao3 accounts but I'll list em below if they do!!
Follow me on Twitter for questions and updates~ @chienne88 🤧