Wei Ying & Lan Zhan: Untold Stories - Chapter 5 "Gusu Part 3"
Midday, on the far side of Cloud Recesses, a bunny and his friends hid behind the greeneries and white stones as they made the final preparations. Their target will appear soon, an impromptu arrangement for the Senior Rabbit to meet the youngster for talisman training. As a good excuse as any, because if their Elder Lan Qiren were to find out they are training under Yiling Laozu, the consequences would be dire. Far worse than transcribing Gusu Sect's four thousand rules with ink on paper alone.
And speaking of punishment, what kind of penalty would HanGuang Jun impose on them if they were caught this time, Lan SiZhui debated. His brows furrowed, already having second thoughts.
“Let’s not do this now,” Lan SiZhui said after much internal deliberation.
“Why not? This would certainly get them to talk,” Lan Jingyi argued. “Those two have stopped communicating since Wei Wuxian woke up. If we don’t do something, they will probably go their separate ways again.”
“Lan Jingyi, what I meant was, we can still complete our task, but let’s wait until after HanGuang Jun finishes…”
“No!” the rivaling pair rejected.
“Why?” Lan SiZhui resists the urge to groan in frustration. It’s always worse when these two are in agreement.
“Because at this moment HanGuang Jun is in his vulnerable state, which is the best time to deliver his person to him. Always attack when the target is too preoccupied to take notice. That’s how hunting works,’” Lan Jingyi explained.
“I agree,” Jin Ling corresponded. “If my trap worked on them, we could have used it, but that is not possible considering those two are invincible together. Our plan was a success at the inn, why can’t we try the same trick? There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of the situation.”
“I have to ask, where do you two learn these underhanded tactics?” Lan SiZhui questioned, then suddenly realized. “Wait, don’t tell me. I should’ve known. Still, may I remind you, we were lucky HanGuang Jun didn’t punish us from the previous incident.”
“Correct, he didn’t punish us. Which means he doesn’t mind our meddling,” Jin Ling, the young Jin Sect Leader reminded. “Besides, you’re the one who told us the trick to get them together. If you didn’t want this to happen, why invite me to Gusu?”
Lan Jingyi rolled his eyes. “We didn’t invite you. You showed up at the gate with Fairy.”
“And you let me in, which means you needed my assistance,” Jin Ling argued.
“We had to, or you would make a scene and ruin everything,” Lan Jingyi scoffed.
“Jin Ling…” Lan SiZhui interceded, not wanting this to escalate into another juvenile fight, “I think what Lan Jingyi was trying to say is, Senior Wei might use you as an excuse to leave Gusu.”
Of course, his good intention was again shattered by Lan Jingyi who couldn’t help himself from provoking Jin Ling further. “And we don’t need you, nor Fairy this time. Lan SiZhui was the one who noticed the pattern from those incidents. All we have to do is have him touch the shield. You’re only here as an observer...wait, an interference.”
“Why are you suggesting I would ruin your plans?” Jin Ling snapped back. “How am I an interference when I’ve been helping you since day one. Without Fairy and I, HanGuang Jun wouldn’t have brought Wei Wuxian back here.”
“Yes yes, it’s all your work,” Lan Jingyi agreed sarcastically. “Wait, wasn’t it Fairy who should take credit for that?”
“She’s still mine, stupid…” Jin Ling growled.
“How dare you call me stupid!” Lan Jingyi shouted back.
“But you are,” Jin Ling snarled, attacking where it hurts. “Despite being the same age as Lan SiZhui, in terms of cultivation, he’s still far superior than you.”
“He’s stronger than the both of us!”
“Yeah, but I am not his Senior here.”
“That’s it! Let’s fight right now, and see who is better!”
“Fine! I will show you what the Leader of Jin Sect is made of.”
“Can both of you stop! Why are you always like this during the most crucial moment?” Lan SiZhui pleaded, but his words fell on deaf ears as usual.
“Good! I will show you what the future Leader of Gusu Sect could do!” Lan Jingyi unsheathed his sword, as did Jin Ling.
“Really?” Jin Ling asked with an expression of disbelief. “Did Lan SiZhui have to step down for that to happen? Or all your Juniors?”
“Come at me!”
Crying internally, Lan SiZhui gawked at the baffling scene of the two raising their blades at each other and tried again. “Senior Wei could be here any minute...think of our plan....”
“Who gives a damn about Wei Wuxian?!” the angry boys roared before their blades collided. Their internal force caused the air to vibrate, shifting away from their bodies. The leaves started to take flight, as the birds made their appearance known, while the mammals fled. Even critters know blades do not have eyes.
“What about me?” A familiar voice emerged.
Blanched, Lan SiZhui stammered, “Aaaahh....S-Senior Wei…Uuhh, you see...Jin Ling and Lan Jingyi are fighting again.”
However, the two hot headed youngsters were too busy countering the other’s attack to take notice, the catalyst of their initial argument had suddenly appeared right next to Lan SiZhui.
Wei Wuxian folded his arms as he observed their battle with mild interest, his mouth pulled slightly at the corner. “Huh...and here I thought private duels are forbidden. I guess they have not learned all the rules of Gusu Sect yet. Jin Ling I understand, but Lan Jingyi should know better.”
Although nervous, Lan SiZhui's serene face returned, then quickly apologized, “I’m sorry we asked you to help us train today. I tried my best to stop them, but...”
“No one can control these brats when they’re like this. Which begs the question, how did old man Lan Qiren tolerate this special ‘Lan’ for so long? The kid must have some ancestral Lan’s blood in him for him not to be kicked out,” Senior Wei took an educated guess. Of course, Yiling Laozu was always on his mark.
Lan SiZhui nodded in confirmation as they both watched the pair who had taken their fight among the tall trees. This ‘Lan’ is indeed special. Although many disciples of Gusu were orphans from unknown lands, just like Lan SiZhui himself, Lan Jingyi was born here. His bloodline may not be as strong as the two Jades of Gusu, but his late father was one of the Senior of Gusu, rumored to have lost his life protecting Lan Qiren during the siege by the Wen Sect.
Wei Wuxian chuckled softly from the story. “Aaahh, this explains it then. Not once did anyone here tell this kid to shut up. His father must be an exceptional man,” he concluded with respect in his tone.
The small talk was necessary while the boys continued their fight from above. From experience, Yiling Laozu is not someone who could be easily deceived, and Lan SiZhui is not accustomed to telling lies either. Thus why he always needed the other two to mislead others on his behalf. However, at the moment, due to their volatile nature, they’re both too preoccupied to be of use. Lan SiZhui should’ve knocked those two out when he had the chance.
Hold on, on second thought, he didn’t want their trap to come this early. Without them, he could delay the plan.
“Let them fight then,” Wei Wuxian sighed at the angry youths, who still hadn’t acknowledged his existence. He turned to Lan SiZhui. “Do you still want to train in talisman modification?”
“I do!” Lan SiZhui eagerly agreed and pointed to his right. “Let’s head over that hillside. We’ll have more privacy.”
“Good idea. Those young misses will only drag you behind anyway,” Wei Wuxian shrugged dismissively. They began to leisurely stroll away from the battle. Senior Wei said, “Lan SiZhui, out of the three, you’re still my favorite pupil. Do you know why?”
The warmth in Lan SiZhui’s heart grew, despite knowing having such a thought is selfish. Still, he shyly smiled and shook his head.
Senior Wei returned the smile, “You remind me so much of my Shijie, who also had a hard time keeping Cheng Jiang and I in line. I can’t count the number of times she watched us chase each other around Lotus Pier over the most stupid arguments. In fact, at times like this, I remembered...”
All was well, as the two engrossed men conversed over Wei Wuxian’s childhood tales. Little did they know of the changing vibe behind them when a sudden double wave of energy force sent Wei Wuxian flying to the left. His body flew until it struck the makeshift Gusu Shield they had resurrected from earlier. Lan SiZhui’s deduction was correct, a vibrant blue string appeared on the wrist of Yiling Laozu, who started throwing curses at the youngsters as it dragged him away.
Dumbfounded, the opened mouth Lan SiZhui turned to gape at his peers who were fighting earlier, but now seemed to have made up within a flash at the most inconvenient time to send Yiling Laozu on his way.
“What did you two do?” he asked incredulously.
It was certainly their original plan, but they were surely not meant to be caught. By Wei Wuxian’s expression, and the profanity that followed, they could not get themselves out of this mess no matter how much they tried to spin the tale.
“That’s for saying we dragged you behind!” the two impulsive, thin skin youth, who may someday become powerful leaders of the Cultivation World answered in unison.