The Cloud Recesses are a peaceful place, but in recent days, Xichen has learned that things are never peaceful when the Yunmeng Jiang Sect's eldest disciple is around.
Several minutes before class starts, beneath the morning light softened by cloud cover, Wei Wuxian runs circles around Wangji like an excited rabbit while Wangji stands there helplessly. He throws a pleading look Xichen's way, but Xichen just smiles back and leaves him to it.
Another thing Xichen has learned: Those two need to figure out a few things for themselves.
Several paces away Jiang Wanyin and Nie Huaisang are watching them, the former with a frown, the latter with amusement.
"It's Lan Wangji I pity. He seems so calm but he must be so angry."
Xichen walks up to join them, then slightly regrets it when the atmosphere tenses. Despite Xichen's efforts at presenting an approachable demeanor, his seniority still seems to draw a gap between himself and the visiting students.
Jiang Wanyin holds himself ramrod straight, hands curled slightly at his sides as he greets Xichen, "Zewu-jun." Next to him, Nie Huaisang echoes the greeting.
Jiang Wanyin adds, "I apologise on behalf of Yunmeng for Wei Ying's conduct."
After several weeks of observation, this is Xichen's impression of the Yunmeng Jiang Sect's second disciple: a little high-strung, and hard on himself, as if he has a lot to prove.
Xichen, who is also a prospective future sect leader, can understand that.
Besides, it must be tough constantly picking up after a shixiong who runs amok like that.
Xichen opens his mouth to reassure, but before he can get the words out, Jiang Wanyin abruptly adds, "He's adopted."
Now that, Xichen did not expect. "I see," he says.
He watches with growing interest as an impressive array of expressions cross Jiang Wanyin's face, ending in mortification. "Sorry," Jiang Wanyin continues. "That was not at all what I meant to say..."
Next to him, Nie Huaisang stifles a chortle.
"It's really all right. Wei Wuxian is the only one responsible for what Wei Wuxian does here," Xichen says as kindly as he can, then drops a little explosive of his own. "Besides, I have never seen Wangji so happy before."
The gong signaling the start of class rings through the air, and the visiting students all rush for the classroom before any of them can say any more.
But looking at their departing backs, Xichen thinks: The tension, at least, seems to have faded.