"The Palace of the Sun and the Flames was quite a magnificent palace."
Wen Qing woke up with her right hand to her mouth, trying to contain her scream, and with tears falling from her eyes.
The doctor was in shock. Still crying for the death of her Sect, of her beloved brother. Of her dear Wen Yuan. For her own death.
For Wei Wuxian.
"I rarely say this to you. But today, there's some things that should be said. There might not be an opportunity later."
Wen Qing broke down in tears. She hoped Wei Wuxian didn't do something crazy. She hoped it would all end well. Her mind kept telling her that everything would be fine.
So why did her heart told her otherwise?
The wind rises, the fire released.
Wen Qing hugged herself. Trying to comfort herself.
Unspeakable pain of corroding bones and flesh.
Trying to forget the pain of the fire on her skin. Trying to forget the smell of burned meat. Trying to silence her own screams at the immense pain of the fire while watching the Jin smile at her pain of being burned alive.
Standing alone, looking up. Despair within bruises and thorns.
Wen Qing, then, in the midst of her pain, was attacked by more memories that only brought more pain and hatred to her heart.
She-He was Shen Jiu.
She clutched her head at the pain of her memories and of both lives that were only tragic.
The fierce flag of sun, filled with grief.
He killed the Qiu with fire and she was burned alive.
Shen Jiu looked at the moon, longing for the sun.
A sun that has already fallen.
The mighty towers, now in ruins.
Her eyes, now green, filled with pain. Her memories were just littered with rubble. The rubble of the Qiu mansion. The rubble of Nightless City.
Towards the curses, how to bear, life and death within my home.
Shen Jiu hugged himself while crying.
Nothing was enough. He killed the Qiu, and continued to suffer.
They killed the Wen guilty of everything, and still hunted them down like animals.
QishanWen's destruction did not stop pain or injustice.
Now the only thing on his mind was not those beautiful towers. Now he only saw its rubble. Rubble on rubble, hiding the flag of the sun between them. The one that used to play with the wind proudly.
Oh, his beloved Sect.
The Wen who were innocent.
Condemned for being Wen.
Arrogant bones ground to dust, undone.
He was a slave in both lives.
With the Jin.
And with the Qiu.
Both beat him and destroyed his pride.
They just left him wanting to run away and take revenge.
He was apparently doomed to suffer at the hands of others.
Broken case with the soul, in the wind.
The memories of both lives were mixed together.
And from the ashes, a bitter and melancholic Shen Jiu was born. With great sadness kept in his being and a longing for his loved ones. But a hatred for those who enslaved him and an anger at Yue Qingyuan for not saving him. For failing where Wei Wuxian triumphed.
Still, Shen Jiu did not want more. He wanted to live in peace.
He felt that he was not going to be able to survive. He did not have that will.
Helpless against wind and rain, scattering the red. Becoming mud and dust to churn.
Shen Jiu watched all the children ready to be accepted as disciples. But his mind was elsewhere. Still thinking about his Sect. Because Shen Jiu and Wen Qing loved their Sect. They were proud to belong to such a large Sect. A Sect that once dominated the world of cultivation.
Now only corpses remained on the ground and the blood was swallowed up by the earth to bathe the rivers.
Shen Jiu swallowed his sob.
Why did things ended like this?
Healing became a weapon.
His nightmares did not leave him alone and the only thing that seemed to reassure him was medicine. Something that always made her valuable among the Wen. Something that became her weapon and shield.
Weapons unlowered, how do we weigh the right and wrong?
Shen Jiu ignored the gazes of the other Peak Lords.
But that weapon was not enough.
Where to find spiritual herbs, to cure the heart.
He wish he could go back to those times. Teaching his brother medicine and healing everyone, including many in the Sunshot Campaign. Many who were enemies of the Wen.
To work without recognition.
And even so, not a single thank you was given.
And still, they didn't raise their voices to save her.
And even then, they didn't give her justice.
"Wen Ning, go brew the medicine for that brat. "
Among the children, he saw one laughing loudly despite being hit on the head, and for a moment, reminded him of Wei Wuxian.
That silly young man who he considers a brother too.
“Think clearly, even I am only half confident about extracting the golden core, the risks are huge!”
A rebellious brother without cause and with a heart too noble.
"From now on, we have nothing to do with one another."
Even when it was she herself who said that they were not going to talk to each other anymore.
When she begged for help, Wei Wuxian did not hesitate.
Towards the moon, once in contemplation. The silent turning of lingering love.
"That boy looks powerful." Spoke Liu Qingge. Shen Jiu directed his gaze towards it, only to notice how the boy was watching him. There was something in his eyes, but Shen Jiu was not interested to know. Even when he could see that the boy apparently recognized him, from where? He didn't know.
So he just nodded to what the God of War said and was then surrounded by a cloud of melancholy.
He ignore the gazes of the others, especially Yue Qingyuan's, still full of affection for his Xiao Jiu.
Upon brows and long locks.
"I will take that child." Said Liu Qingge.
Shen Jiu just parted his hair and pulled it back. He should have tied it, but he didn't want to do anything. He did not have the will.
His long locks remind him of his brother, when he combed his hair and made different hairstyles for him.
Silently saving lives by my passing.
Those memories led him to the war. His beloved brother always kind and ready to help. They were both saving lives as much as they could, regardless of whether they were a Wen or not.
Clearly, the others could not be as open-minded as the Wen siblings.
Yiling’s chance meeting, filled with caution.
His charming green eyes followed his path until he noticed someone he hadn't seen before.
"A-Ning." He thought in shock while looking at his brother when he was little.
He was identical. The same hair color and style. The same lovely blue-green eyes, big and full of shyness.
Shen Jiu felt like he was going to cry.
Not caring about the glances, he walked towards the boy and when he was in front, he did something that Shen Qingqiu would never have done.
He fell to his knees.
"A-Ning." He whispered, but this caught the child's attention.
"Y-You know my name." He said shyly. Shen Jiu felt some hope, although he knew that he shouldn't. But perhaps, the heavens were giving him a chance.
"What is your name?" He asked in a soft voice that never have been heard before leaving his mouth, so the Peak Lords and Liu Qingge's new disciple looked at him with their mouths and eyes open.
"M-My name is Ya-Yan Ning." The boy replied shyly.
"Yan Ning, I want you to be my disciple."
The boy looked at him with wide eyes and nodded quickly, his eyes shining.
Shen Jiu got up and offered his hand. With soft eyes he spoke to him:
"Let's go home, A-Ning."
The younger brother’s repayment, courageous.
Shen Jiu swore to protect Yan Ning.
That boy was the copy of his brother. It was as if his A-Ning was with him.
He was going to do everything to protect him. If he has to kill, he would. For his younger brother, he was capable of everything.
Now he was full of courage to face the world.
Yan Ning would stay with him.
Blood or righteousness before those eyes. The prescription not understood.
He vowed to protect him as Wei Wuxian protected them. Things may not have turned out as he would have wanted in the end, but Wei Wuxian faced the world for them. By the Wen Dogs. He was going to do the same for Yan Ning. He was determined to take care of him.
"Wei Wuxian. Wei Wuxian. Young master Wei. Please help me. I really can't find anyone else that can help. You have to help me save A-Ning. I have no choice but to come find you!"
He didn't want to lose him, because this time there would be no Wei Wuxian, who could defend them with his demonic cultivation.
Here he was not well liked for his very rough and cruel attitude.
Here there was not going to be a single option, because he was not willing to involve Yue Qingyuan in his problems. He does not have the heart to see another important person die, despite the fact that such person abandoned him.
He closed his eyes tightly, trying to silence his own cries of plea to Wei Wuxian to save his brother.
Things were going to be different.
There was no other Wen Sect.
There were no more people from LanlingJin.
There was no Wei Wuxian sacrificing everything for them.
And he wasn't going to see a Yue Qingyuan taking on the role of Wei Wuxian.
But that life already ceased.
And he was not going to see the body of his lifeless brother.
Brows furrowed in endurance.
He did not want to hope again that the others were wrong and that A-Ning was alive. That it was just a mistake.
He did not want to blind himself to the truth.
The pain of my useless medicine stone.
She did not want to feel that horror and that pain to see that despite being known as the best doctor, she could not save her little brother.
He didn't want to feel such helplessness. He didn't want his medicine to fail him like that time.
Jindan once ripped out, today embracing a corpse.
Or like when she had to pluck a warm golden core without being able to take the pain away from her other younger brother.
And when she then had to hug Wen Ning's cold and lifeless body.
Each protector now gone.
No, things were going to be different.
"They had to be different."
Shen Jiu asked in the dead of night.
Where to find thankfulness, the flute. The toll of heavy heart and weeping, surrounding brother.
Shen Jiu was caught by his memories and closed his eyes, trying to flee from the horror of his life.
His ears were flooded with that beautiful but unknown melody that came from that flute that Wei Wuxian always carried.
But still, he cried when he remembered that his brother was in his arms.
Oh, his innocent brother. Who was not to blame.
Not even the music of his other younger brother could make him forget.
The safety of Burial Mound, wading within the creek, old and young playing games before the house.
His memory took him to moments of peace. When he saw what was left of the Wen to play in peace. Simply enjoying being free despite living in poverty.
And Wei Wuxian.
Oh, Wei Wuxian was always there, laughing and causing mayhem.
It was a beautiful sight.
But the banquet must end, departing.
And it was that view that Wen Qing wanted to protect.
This gifted time unfettered.
It was to maintain that view in the world of the living that she decided her time had come.
Determinately, courageously going, entering Lanling.
So he braced himself with Wen Ning.
And both, with their heads held high and bravely, marched to LanlingJin and entered.
Repaying the benefactor within the chaos.
Willing to save the Wen.
Especially willing, to keep Wei Wuxian alive.
To keep that light shining.
To keep that huge smile on that beautiful face.
To never let the flame of Wei Wuxian go out.
They simply wanted to return the favor and save their savior.
"I'm sorry. And, thank you."
"Thank you, Wei Wuxian." He whispered into the night as tears fell from his closed eyes.
Flowing petals, within dreams.
Shen Jiu smiled as he saw the leaves fall in the middle of the night.
The withered plants of empty glory.
In the end, the Sunshot Campaign only brought misfortunes. Not even the 'winners' came out intact.
And Wei Wuxian, especially, paid a heavy price.
Light steps, upon the boat.
Shen Jiu swore he heard footsteps among the fallen leaves, so he quickly opened his eyes and looked outside his window.
Heroic shadows became hazy and lost.
He saw a red ribbon tied to a head he knew.
"Wei Wuxian." He whispered.
But the silhouette disappeared.
Shen Jiu laughed bitterly.
Now he was seeing things.
Three pleads to turn away from the sun.
Shen Jiu did not want another chance to live.
He just wanted to have peace, forever.
He pray to heaven that this life is the last one.
He hoped that this time they would listen to him and not ignore him like when he pleaded for his brother to be okay.
But his brother was already dead.
He didn't want another chance.
The fear of the road, without end.
He was afraid that this was his punishment.
Taking different bodies without staying dead and without going beyond.
Living an endless life.
Without ever being able to find peace in death.
The last shadow of the fading sun hoping that the living lives well.
The rays of the sun began to enter and beautiful green eyes opened.
And the first thing that came to mind was the QishanWen flag.
And as with her death, one more sun was defeated.
Just like in the legend of Huo Yi.
"The lamps have been hung on the mountain, don't rush around in the dark, be careful while walking."
Shen Jiu smiled happily for the first time since entering this new body, merging with the previous soul, creating a new soul.
~ They all said they wanted to destroy and grind the Wen Clan into dust. But in the end, the one truly ground to dust, was him alone. ~
"Wei Wuxian, thank you for everything. Thank you for defending us despite all that my Sect did to you. Thank you for not turning your back on us. Please do not die while I live this new life. I want you to take your time until we meet again in the afterlife, just as I will take mine." Shen Jiu thought with a soft smile.
Although they wanted to destroy and turn the Wen Sect into nothing, he, Wen Qing, now Shen Jiu, was still alive.
And with the great legacy of the sun behind him.