The day was bleak, with little to no sunlight entering the place with ominous grey and black clouds covering the sky. Everything suggested of rot and decay and death. No sensible human would ever venture out here, not if they had a sense of self- preservation.
Except there lay a figure in the midst of this dreadful land, hunched over in pain. Physical pain, of suddenly having been reduced to a common (core-less) man; agony, of losing trust, hope and faith; betrayal, red hot and scalding, leaving a void within him.
Betrayed, by his "family", his dear "Uncle" Jiang FengMian, his shijie, and Madam Yu. He had not expected this much hatred from that woman, who was the reason behind making him lie here in the Burial Mounds, without a single fleeting thought for his loyalty that was always with the Jiangs.
Life was colourful, decorated only by the red of blood, and blacks and greys.
The Lotus Pier was adorned by lotuses in full bloom and merry children playing around. Jiang Yanli waited on the docks to welcome her youngest brother, Jiang Cheng, from his year long stay at Gusu's Cloud Recesses.
She waved happily when she spotted the boat bringing him and his shixiong home, both dripping wet after the prank Wei Ying had pulled on him.
"Welcome home A-Cheng. A-Xian and you should go and change. I have made lunch for both of you today and it will become cold if you don't come soon."
Hearing her words, the boys answered with a "Yes shijie" and "Yes A-jie", and raced to their rooms, pushing each other playfully, leaving Jiang Yanli giggling at their childish antics.
Madam Yu sneered at this, watching it hidden away from their sights, thinking, " Today will be the last day you smile like this, Wei Wuxian."
Yu Ziyuan had never tolerated the presence of this boy, right from the day he was brought to Lotus Pier. All he did was stealing everything meant for A- Cheng, right from the title of head disciple to the affection supposed to be shown by his father.
These thoughts festered within her for years, and Wei Wuxian becoming Jiang Cheng's sworn brother still did absolutely nothing to quell the sour feelings.
Later that evening
"A-Niang, A-Die", said Jiang Cheng greeting them with respect.
Yu Ziyuan couldn't help but say, "I hope studies at the Cloud Recesses were at least valuable to you, unlike that unruly brat who disgraced us."
"San-Niang!", exclaimed Jiang Fengmian.
"What? Don't behave like that isn't true. A-Cheng, I have arranged for some duels to test you and Wei Wuxian to see if there is any improvement after your study year as a guest disciple at Gusu. Inform that brat as well and be ready at the training grounds tomorrow. You can retire to your quarters for the night."
"Yes mother" replied Jiang Cheng.
Morning greeted them with continuous rounds of duels with various disciples. Both Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian had no issues defeating all other disciples, until it was only the two of them left to spar against each other.
At this point, Yu Ziyuan, who was quietly watching the matches stood up and gestured for one of her companions, Yinzhu to duel against Wei Wuxian.
In this match, both opponents were allowed to use a weapon of their choice. Wei Wuxian chose his sword, Suibian, while Yinzhu chose her dagger.
The match between the two began and built up tension quickly. Even though one might think a dagger against a sword was no match, it wasn't easy to overlook the fact that Yinzhu obviously had a much higher cultivation level. And to top it off, no one but Yinzhu and Yu Ziyuan knew the true powers of her dagger.
Wei Wuxian took the match seriously and gave it his all. In his mind, it was another way Madam Yu employed to teach him how to face more experienced cultivators in a battle. He parried another strike of the dagger with Suibian and continued his defensive stance.
Yinzhu moved around like a vixen, ready to use any opportunity that presents itself to her advantage. So far, none could be seen as the boy was naturally a prodigy. She continued attacking him until there was a moment where his left side was left unguarded. That was all she needed, and she slashed, drawing blood.
Wei Wuxian paid it no mind and began advancing towards Yinzhu, when suddenly, all he could hear was the barks and howls of a dog. Try as he might, he could not stop the absolutely earth-shattering fear grip him. His drastically heightened emotions caused his actions to stiffen up. He was motionless and seemed paralysed in place.
Jiang Cheng was raptly watching the duel between his sworn brother and his mother's ever present companion. He was completely on edge and his nerves were not calming down.
Yinzhu's attacks had progressively become more and more ruthless. Swish. And that strike finally drew blood.
Alarmed, Jiang Cheng stood up, only to see something more alarming. Wei Wuxian had frozen out of the blue, as if he had gone to sleep or more frighteningly, as if he was dead in the posture he was standing in. His breathing seemed to slow down and his limbs stayed stiffly in their earlier positions.
Despite observing this, Yinzhu moved forward to attack, and Jiang Cheng saw the killing intent flash in her eyes.
Horrified, Jiang Cheng rushed forward to push his stiff brother out of the attack range.
Two distinct thuds were heard. Thuds, of two human bodies hitting the ground.
I was suddenly reminded of an episode of 101 Dalmations that I had seen somewhere with a character named "Poison Ivy" or something like that employed by Cruella DeVil... And Yu Ziyuan in this fic reminded me of Cruella... Harming my poor baby Wei Ying :'(
Time did not slow down. Rather, everything seemed to happen over a span of few seconds.
Both Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian were on the ground, Suibian still in Wei Wuxian's grasp. Yinzhu's hand remained raised, but the dagger was embedded in Jiang Cheng's chest.
The training field was blanketed in deafening silence for a moment, until screams erupted from Jiang Cheng's mouth.
"A- Cheng!!", shouted Yu Ziyuan, running to hold him, at the same time, Jiang Fengmian exclaimed ," A-Xian!"
Yu Ziyuan was enraged, both at her plans backfiring and at Jiang Fengmian. The audacity he had, to care about that brat who was to receive the blow his son took!
She quickly ordered few disciples to take Jiang Cheng to the physicians, while she told Wei Wuxian to be taken to the ancestral hall.
" San-Niang! What is the meaning of this? He should be taken to the physicians as well!"
"You shut up Jiang Fengmian! I have had enough of you repeatedly putting down your own family for the sake of that mere servant's son !", raged Yu Ziyuan. "Tomorrow, all the actions of this ungrateful brat will come to light." She stormed off to the medical quarters, already aware of what has happened to Jiang Cheng and formulating what to do with that Wei Wuxian. He will repay for the pain he has caused to Jiang Cheng.
The five Great Sects each have their specialities. But they would not be called the Five "Great" Sects if each of them did not have a method to terrorize, a dangerous secret, to destroy or irreparably damage one's golden core.
These were only known by few selective members in a clan.
The Lan Clan had the Song of Lucidity, the Jin Clan its Core Piercable Arrowheads, the Nie Clan its overwhelming Transferable Fury, the Wen Clan had the Core Melting Hand and the Jiang Clan, its Core Corroding Poison.
When Wei Wuxian came to, he was shocked to find himself bound by rope, in the Jiang Sect's ancestral hall. He knew that he was sent here only when he was to be punished specially by Madam Yu.
All he could remember was being in the middle of a duel with Yinzhu when he heard the barks and growls of a dog. So what could have happened that he ended up here, and that too tied up? As if he would run away from punishment, disrespecting the Jiangs. As if he could ever escape if Madam Yu set her mind on something.
So he knelt there for the rest of the day and night, without food, water and sleep wondering what on Earth was happening.
Jiang Yanli was scared. She was humming to herself and cooking when a disciple burst into the kitchens informing her that Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian were injured. Abandoning the ladle, she rushed to the physicians place as fast as she could.
The physician's room only held A-Cheng. She frowned in confusion and was about to go in when her mother, looking devastated and angry stopped her.
"Yanli, I need you to promise me something", said Yu Ziyuan, with no other preamble. " Tomorrow, something very important is going to take place, and I need you to promise me to not interrupt it, no matter what happens until the end." Yanli was now thoroughly afraid of what was to come, but dared not go against her mother when she went so low as to ask a promise out of her. She gave her vow to Yu Ziyuan and went in to see A-Cheng, thinking about where A-Xian was and how he was doing.
Yinzhu kept her head low and dared not look up at Yu Ziyuan.
"How did you manage to mess up the very clear and simple plan and ended up not only missing your target but also stabbing the wrong person with the Core Corroding Poison?!", growled Yu Ziyuan.
Yinzhu wisely kept silent.
"My son is now permanently core-less, thanks to that stupid Wei Wuxian. Now listen carefully and do as I say. If you fuck this up as well, be prepared to become a corpse. I won't even spare you a single glance just because you are my companion since childhood. This is my son's life you are playing with."
Informing her plan to Yinzhu, she handed her a bag full of her ancestral jewels and weapons.
Jiang Fengmian was outside the ancestral hall where disciples restricted him from entering as per Yu Ziyuan's commands. He was not allowed to see Jiang Cheng as the physicians were in the midst of treating him. To say he was confused at his wife's actions would be an understatement.
With a heavy heart and unclear mind, he went to his wife's quarters. He found her gazing at the lotus ponds, unable to decipher her expression. Hearing him approach, she turned to him and said, " Arrange for a meeting with the sect Elders tomorrow. This is about Wei Wuxian." When Jiang Fengmian started, she cut him off by her hand. " I know you will not believe me now. I will adress this in front of the Elders." With this she went into her quarters, leaving Jiang Fengmian standing outside dumbfounded.
Wei Ying looked up when the doors to the ancestral hall finally opened. Uncle Jiang, Madam Yu and shijie walked in, followed by the Jiang Sect Elders. He bowed to them as well as he could while being bound.
With no further ado, Madam Yu said, " Respected Elders, we are here today to discuss the matter of Wei Wuxian courtesy name Wei Ying, who has committed unforfivable crimes against the Jiang Sect. He is a thief and a traitor as well. Apart from that, even though it was an accident from Yinzhu's side, Jiang Cheng, the sect heir, took a blow for him, which has currently corroded his core."
Shock filled silence ensued her speech. This was news to everyone present in the hall.
"Well if you are so certain, Yu Ziyuan, what proof do you have to confirm this? You cannot accuse the head disciple of our sect without proper reason, no matter your hate towards him.", said an Elder.
" Of course, respected Elder. Even if I do hate him, he is our Sect's head disciple and my Sect's honour always comes before my personal feelings. Two days ago, I found my ancestral jewels as well as my ancestral weapons missing."
"But that does not mean he took it San-Niang!" said Jiang Fengmian in an unexpected fury.
" I request Lord Jiang to kindly hear me out", replied Yu Ziyuan with anger flashing in her eyes.
"Two days ago, I had sent Wei Wuxian to my quarters to ask Jinzhu, my other companion, to meet me in the training grounds right after his training. Jinzhu was helping me with the paperwork when Wei Wuxian had called her to report to me. No body else was seen to enter my quarters later that day according to the guarding disciples. Hence I can only assume that he took my ancestral belongings."
"What!", burst out Wei Wuxian. It was incredulous, the way Madam Yu accused him of such crimes! And the fact that Jiang Cheng had lost his core kept running his mind, that he had lost it because he took the attack meant for him? He was quite confused as his memory failed to recall anything after he went stiff. " I promise that I have not even touched anything of Madam Yu's. I would never do such a thing to those who I am forever grateful and loyal to. I am bound to serve the Jiang Sect and I have not done such a thing as thievery."
"Then I believe it must be alright to search his quarters right?" suggested Yu Ziyuan.
The Elders agreed on this and they all went to Wei Wuxian's room.
Two disciples thoroughly searched his room, almost sure of finding nothing, when one of them gave a startled cry. Inside a box that held the only bracelet that Wei Ying had as a remembrance of his parents, were Yu Ziyuan's ancestral jewels and weapons.
Everyone was once again dumbstruck.
Returning to the ancestral hall, Jiang Fengmian was the first to speak out. "How do I believe that you had not planned this all Yu Ziyuan?"
This fuelled her anger, and she snapped, " You are still ready to defend that son of a servant but do not believe your wife!"
To resolve this, one of the Elders said, " Let us determine whether Wei Wuxian is the true culprit or not by using the Sacred Hibiscus, shall we?"
In this ancient and divine method, two hibiscus flowers that were grown with the seeds infused with spiritual energy, were used. Specific plants used as poisons or herbs were grown in this manner.
However, the speciality of the hibiscus was that it gives exactly two flowers of two different colors. One colour would be chosen to represent 'Yes' and the other 'No'. They were kept in two identical bags and an Elder, using his hightened spiritual powers, invoking the gods and ancestors would scatter some ash above the bags. The ash would gather only on one bag, deciding the result of the matter in question.
Who would've thought that Yu Ziyuan was able to set this up in a manner that favoured her! Expecting the use of the Sacred Hibiscus, she had cast spells on them last night using Jinzhu.
This was Wei Wuxian's only bet to get out of the accusations. He believed that the spiritual powers could not be wrong as he was sure of his innocence.
When the result declared that "Wei Wuxian was guilty", seeing Uncle Jiang's and shijie's eyes, all his hopes crashed.
Uncle Jiang no longer believed in him. Shijie no longer believed him. He made Jiang Cheng lose his core. "Uncle" Jiang Fengmian had chosen to trust the divine answers. "Shijie" did not bother to even glance at him. Jiang Cheng lay unconscious because of him. Him. Him. Him. He caused all this, even when he did not.
Who wants family, hope, trust and faith, when all they did was forget everything they knew of you?
Wei Ying was shattered.
Yu Ziyuan was smug. But she was not done. Not yet.
The explanation regarding the 'Sacred Flower' might seem nonsensical. It is meant to be so, as I wanted to correlate it to the way Silas Marner was accused of theft by using draw of lots, which is completely chance and not an ounce of common sense.
Can prayers even be heard without faith? Wei Ying could no longer discern what was happenning. His senses failed him. His mouth stuck together like it was sewed shut. Afterall, what was the point of opening it if any sound he made mattered no more.
His eyes saw everything, while being blind to the world. His ears only heard the cacophony of his heart surrounding him while blanketing his mind in silence. Surely he must be sensitive to touch? What a joke. A sword could pierce him and he wouldn't have been capable of feeling it. His nose, which mechanically inhaled and exhaled air, was the one organ that signified the life within him.
By the time the meeting with the Elders had adjourned, his mind ran in a loop. Jiang Cheng. My shidi. I rendered him coreless. My sworn brother. I hurt him. I broke my promise. Me. Me. Me. Me. My mistake. Mine. A-Cheng, my brother in all but blood.
The Elders thought that evicting Wei Wuxian from the Jiang Sect and declaring him traitor to the cultivation world would be enough. But Yu Ziyuan had a better idea. Why not use him, to compensate for the irreparable loss that he brought to the Jiang Sect by damaging the Sect Heir's cultivation. What better way was there, than a core transplant!
Jiang Fengmian now truly believed Wei Wuxian traitor and Jiang Yanli just could not stop the flow of tears from her eyes.
With no one refuting her, Yu Ziyuan enjoyed her unanimous victory.
However, the only physician skilled enough in the cultivation world, the only one who has compounded theories on core transplant was the infamous Wen Qing. Since this was her son's future, Yu Ziyuan would throw away her pride until he was "alright".
Wen Qing was immensely perplexed as to the reason behind her secretive, urgent summon to the Lotus Pier. It only became worse when she saw that she was to perform the core transplant, from a boy whose eyes were lifeless.
"I will not operate on an unwilling patient.", said Wen Qing when she saw Wei Ying. Wei Ying, who was kneeling, snapped up his head to look at Wen Qing and suddenly kowtowed! "Please save my brother. I am willing to give even my life if that means he can live well. Please."
Yu Ziyuan smirked in the distance. Her reiterating to Wei Wuxian that he had to keep up his vow as Jiang Cheng's sworn brother did not go waste.
Wen Qing sighed and informed that the chances were only 50 percent. Before anyone could speak up, Wei Ying said, " That is fifty percent chance Jiang Cheng can have a better future. Let us not waste anymore time."
Two days later, Wen Qing left Lotus Pier, mind filled with finalising her theories, but heart strangely heavy with worry for that boy Wei Wuxian.
Wei Ying with his bag of little belongings went to have one last glimpse of Jiang Cheng. Jiang Cheng rested peacefully. Walking forward to the bed, he soflty pressed his lips against Jiang Cheng's forehead, a few tears finally escaping his eyes. "I am sorry A-Cheng, I cannot serve by your side. But my core might serve atleast a little of what I could not. Thank you for everything. Take care.", he whispered. Walking away from Lotus Pier, a place that he once proudly called home, his heart numbed to any emotions, despite the immense pain from the operation.
Operation success, but patient dead.
More characters will begin to appear henceforth.. The knives are killing me AAAAH!!! Hopefully we get to see A-Yuan next chapter😉
Also I think this chapter is short, almost like a filler... But I couldn't draw out Wei Ying's pain any longer😭
Chapter 5: Bait
New (original) characters appear! Also.. Please be a little merciful towards their names... I have only read translated Chinese novels of MXTX and have null true knowledge of Chinese... Also, do let me know if I have to change something regarding their names.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
In the dark and humid night of the Nightless City of Qishan Wen, a cry was heard in the air.
The cry of a newborn. A baby boy.
Inside the small nursing home that was in a remote corner of the city, away from prying eyes, Wang Lingjiao panted from the exertion of having gone through labour, giving birth to the world's most adorable baby.
Hiding her pregnancy was difficult, what with her needing to be sticky with Wen Chao for the sake of getting money from him. The excuse of a 'long period, need-to-be quarantined, communicable sickness' bought her both enough time and some good gold though, as Wen Chao wouldn't want to lose his 'prized possession' to death because of some sickness.
What Wen Chao did not know was that he had knocked down the last packet of contraceptive tea that Wang Lingjiao had, in his lust induced frenzy and had knocked her up by the time she could re-stock.
Wang Lingjiao knew that news of a heir, that too from a servant whose job was to only provide pleasure would mean death for both her and her unborn child, if it reached the ears of Wen Ruohan.
Self preservation is a meek- looking beast that makes you do anything, empowers you to take any risk, just to hold on to that fragile, puny little thing called life.
For the first time in her life, tears of joy escaped her eyes, that despite all the scum she knows that she is, she brought into this world someyhing incomparably beautiful. Beautiful. She created something pure.
A few moments later reality hit her hard. I can never be a mother to this baby. Forget being a loving one, I cannot even be a sub-par mother. Wang Lingjiao could not fathom leaving behind the luxury of Qishan Wen that she could only enjoy through Wen Chao, nor could she throw away the child she took so much pain to give birth to.
A very small house was rented and maid was employed.
Wang Lingjiao's savings had not gone to waste.
Two towns away from Nightless City, the heart wrenching cry of a woman filled the air of the small, rented- for- emergency cottage. Wen Qing could do nothing to console Wen XiuMei, whose stillborn child lay blue and limp in her arms. Lifeless.
Wen Feng, Wen Qing's cousin was away on a night hunt and Wen Qing had taken care of his wife when she went into labour.
When he returned, Wen Qing left the couple alone for some time to grieve, while she arranged for Wen XiuMei's request - to stay in a cottage away from questioning glances for a while, in a less populated area of the Nightless City.
In the temporary safe haven of isolation where Wen Feng and Wen XiuMei take refuge, they set up a small tablet for who might have been their son, their A-Yuan.
Unable to sleep from the anxiety of fearing what she might see in her dreams, Wen XiuMei stares at the ceiling of the cottage, thinking about those incredibly tiny, blue hands that she couldn't help but kiss before she turned her back to them and wept.
Weeping. A baby's uncontrollable, whimpering weeping is heard.
Startled, Wen XiuMei sits up in her bed and it crosses her mind that it is a figment of her imagination. But the sound ceaselessly continues and making sure not to wake her husband, Wen XiuMei walks out of the cottage to see what was happening.
A dim light glows from the small, neighbouring house. As she gets closer to it, she hears the voice of a woman crooning to the crying child. " Don't worry baby... I have not yet chosen a name for you, but you shouldn't worry about that." Why does it sound familiar? Wen XiuMei is shocked still into further confusion when she gets a peek at who it is through the window. Wang Lingjiao?! Wen Chao's sticky- as- leech servant?!
"Mamma has run out of money, so she had to dismiss the maid. Now who can take care of you, my baby? So I will show you to your Papa and threaten him to give us some gold okay? Calm down. Calm down. Don't cry baby. Don't cry."
Is she honestly out of her mind? Why would she use a baby of all things to extract money from Wen Chao?! A baby?! A baby that did nothing but being one.
The baby had quited down and had probably gone to sleep. Then what was the other sniffling sound?
"I am sorry, my baby, I am sorry. I probably have to leave you in the orphanage once I get the money. Who knows what that fellow who 'owns' me might do to you? I cannot be any good of a mother to you. Sorry baby. Sorry." Hugging the baby to her bosom, she too fell asleep, tear tracks still visible on her face.
Wei XiuMei was having some difficulty processing what she had just seen. Wang Lingjiao really seemed to be concerned for the child's future. Falling into the hands of scum like Wen Chao really is a despicable thought. But most of Wen XiuMei's worry was for the child. The thought of Wang Lingjiao still planning to use the baby as bait made her blood boil, making her motherly instincts go in overdrive. Going back to her cottage, she woke Wen Feng to come to some life altering conclusions.
A baby is never to be blamed for its parents.
This baby, Wen XiuMei swore, will have a better future if I have anything to say.
One door closes. But another opens.
Hi guys... Sorry that I have updated so late and in an irregular manner... I am having a difficult time at home. Things are a bit restrictive at home and my emotions are taking a toll and it is taking a while to console myself... If people at home come to know that I am writing fanfic... They would probably never let me do it freely, without saying that it is just a waste.
Rest assured that I will keep updating, but kinda irregularly as I am just having a little bit of a hard time here... Especially mentally and emotionally.. However I will not abandon this as my overworking brain and guilty conscience would never allow me to do that😂
I am just a newbie when it comes to writing fanfic... So my chapters may progressively get longer with experience.
Another thing... Wang Lingjiao calling herself 'Mamma'.... I used this word with 2 m's cuz 'mama' in my language means uncle and I found that slightly off while writing. Do let me know if I should change the spelling if it irks you guys.
Sorry for the rant..😅
Thank you for all the kudos and comments and see you soon in the next chapter😘
Wen XiuMei kept her senses open to any sort of disturbance from the neighbouring house. The couple also stayed inside to avoid being seen by Wang Lingjiao, at least at the moment. Observing through their window, they watch Wang Lingjiao walk out, a veil covering her face to keep her identity confidential. No child was seen with her. She left the child- no, a newborn- all by itself?! A short while after she disappeared, they sneaked to her house, partly worried and partly curious as to how the baby has kept quiet for so long.
The baby seemed to be soundly sleeping. Wen Feng and Wen XiuMei wrinkled their noses at the strange fragrance wafting out of the slit in the window. Wen Feng pushed open the slightly ajar window to take a good look at the inside. A ledge on the far end of the room held an incense burner from which the smell seemed to originate. A small sachet lay beside the incense burner. Something within Wen XiuMei snapped. How dare that woman drug her baby with sedatives!
Jumping into the now open window, she knocks down the incense burner, snuffing it out. Turning, she took one look at the baby, and burst into tears. Holding on to the robes of Wen Feng, she sobs. Cries, for Fate has the best ideas of playing dirty tricks on the kind- hearted. Wen Feng wordlessly weeps along, for all that they have lost and gained. For gaining insecurities, self-doubt and pain. They cry, for the wounds are still bleeding and raw. This baby's plight and their inability to get a solution that doesn't hurt another human being is like acid on the wounds. Together, they are yanked back to the present when they hear the baby crying. How much time has passed, that the baby has recovered from the effects of the sedatives?
Wen XiuMei slowly walks towards the baby. Swallowing her grief, she reaches a hand to touch the still wailing infant. Fingertips touched tender, soft, pink skin. A piece of Wen XiuMei's heart broke. Unaware and uncaring of the rivulets of tears pouring down her cheeks, she carefully gathers the tiny bundle of life into her arms. Wen Feng cradles her face in his hands and swipes his thumbs across her cheeks. An incredulous thought pops up in her head: How am I able to produce such a steady flow of tears even when my tear ducts have been busy for the past few days!
Turning back to the baby, she realises that he has stopped wailing and is now watching her face with rapt, brown eyes. Suddenly, he breaks out into a toothless grin and the couple couldn't help but aww and smile back at him. *“When there is a baby, a crore worries disappear.”* But soon, the baby started becoming fussy and his face scrunched up as if he was about to break out into sobs at any moment. “Oh! He must have been getting hungry, what with not having had anything while under the drugs. Quick, fetch the milk from our cottage”. Wen Feng quickly scurried back to their cottage to bring back what his wife asked.
A veiled figure enters the small residence, speaking to themself.”..... good actress. I bought two hours of time fromWen Chao. ‘ Something special to show him in secret - all alone'. Ha ha!” Moving to the bed, she coos at the baby, who is happily sucking and drooling on his fist. Suddenly, she stops and sighs. “What can I do, though? Today may be the last day I have with you. I need money and once I get that, I have to send you to an orphanage. When I asked the maids in the palace, they exasperatedly say that babies require too much maintenance.”
Wang Lingjiao swivels around as she hears footsteps from within the house. “Who is there?” She gasps as two people step out. “You! Why are you here?”
“We were in the neighbouring cottage. We heard the cries of a baby and came here to inspect.”, Wen Feng calmly stated. “And we also noticed some heavy sedatives here.”
Wang Lingjiao gulped as she saw the molten lava in Wen XiuMei's eyes. However, her tone was soft as she said, “Is there some problem? We could help you out. The baby could have sustained irreparable damage from the effect of drugs, had it been under it any longer.”
“What could you possibly do?” Wang Lingjiao burst out. “Safekeep my baby? Adopt it because I am unworthy of being a mother?” “Yes.”
Wang Lingjiao was stumped. “What?”, she whispers incredulously.
She was further astounded to see tears welling up in her eyes. “We lost our baby. I am not willing to let such a precious life suffer alone in the world due to some circumstances.” “Get out.”
“But I jus-” “I know what you said. Now get out. Meet me in another half an hour.”
“Alright.” sighed Wen Feng.
Wang Lingjiao's brain was running on overdrive. She knew she was discovered, cornered and trapped. Her life could be on the line. Giving the baby to this Wen couple might be good for the baby. But....
But what about getting the money? The vicious part of her mind wanted to enjoy the sick satisfaction of seeing Wen Chao's reaction to being the father of a child. Feeling in power, submissively threatening her master.
Think JiaoJiao, think!
Schemes plotted and act in place, she opens the door, allowing two figures in the robes embellished with the Sun and Flames to enter.
“You may adopt the baby, and for that I am grateful, but,” said Wang Lingjiao, with the air and appearance of a woman laden with grief, “What can you give me in return?”
Having known that this was inevitable, Wen Feng replied, “Apart from where we have residence in the Nightless City, we have a couple of estates in Qishan as well as some gold. We know that money may not be enough to compense life, but that is all we have. We assure you that we will take good care of the baby.”
“Well, I could definitely get more from Wen Chao, you know-” “Stop right there. How can you stoop so low as to use an infant of all things to earn your money?!” exclaimed Wen XiuMei. Realising that things were not going to happen this way, Wang Lingjiao secured the deal, agreeing takeover what they offered. She needed to get back to Wen Chao for his special treat- oh no! Gathering her belongings and handing over the baby's to the Wen couple, she knelt beside the bed, where the baby lay, smiling up at her. She kissed the baby's forehead, her motherly instinct warming up and urging tears from her eyes. Goodbye baby.
Still unable to completely process what just took place, Wen XiuMei and Wen Feng stare at the door. This is our baby. Wen Feng holds the baby in his arms lovingly, laughing as the baby drools on his robes. With cheeks once again graced with salty wetness matching his and head resting in relief on his shoulder, Wen XiuMei whispers into the night, “Our A-Yuan.”
Having bought an outrageous article of clothing, an item that is obviously an aid to pleasure from the advance she asked, Wang Lingjiao saunters to the private quarters of her master. As Wen Chao grabs her roughly and expresses his happiness in the only way he knows; hooded eyes and lusting body; she concludes to herself to set things into motion.
What is some measly estate of a relation of the emperor compared to the luxury that belongs to his heir? Moreover, you barred my enjoyment. You left me with having to resort to my last option.
Everyone has a despicable part within them.
Sometimes it occupies a lot of space. Sometimes it recedes into the shadows.
Sometimes, this nasty part shakes hands with a devilishly-grinning Fate to ruin lives.
According to me, Wang Lingjiao has been the smarter one in the series compared to Wen Chao, what with coming up with elaborate excuses to take Wei Ying's hand from Lotus Pier... And she also had better instincts when the Yiling Patriarch was on the hunt for them.
Regardless, that does not warrant that her mind doesn't go whacky and ends up giving a majorly scummy outlook.
The quote within ** is a saying in my mother tongue, which basically means to say that a baby's laughter will make one forget their miseries.
(On a side note, the only things capable of being adorable without teeth are happy babies, Toothless and my grandma from my mom's side 😂)
Also, compleletely irrelevant to the current situation in this fic... Try listening to "Remind Me to Forget" by Kygo ft. Miguel, in the context of Wangxian.
Thank you for waiting patiently and for the support and kudos. See you soon in the next chapter :)