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Nov 25, 2020 6:14 AM
wwx dies and wakes up just in time for evil summer camp
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"Wen Qing came. How do you feel?"

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"I feel fine, Lan Zhan, don't worry about me.  I'd hardly been able to sleep like this anyway, a little nap was good for me."  Wei Wuxian is no less capable of lying about his health than Lan Zhan is.

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Intense disapproval.

At least Wei Ying sounds like himself. It is a relief to see him as awake and aware as he seems to be.

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No one returns to torture them for the rest of the night. Apparently the Wens are tired out.

In the morning, the approaching footsteps resolve into a clump of guards instead of anyone important. The guards step inside and begin unchaining the prisoners without much ceremony.

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"What, have you finally decided not to keep us as prisoners despite our obvious innocence?"

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Does Wei Wuxian need to start provoking their captors the instant some arrive?  Jiang Cheng is tired and hungry and in pain.  He doesn't want to have to start thinking up things to try and draw away the guards' attention just yet.  He doesn't want to have to see more of Wei Wuxian's blood.

"Shut up!"

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"You're prisoners with legs, anyway," says one of the guards, moving on to unchain Jin Zixuan. "Apparently all of you kiddos are going on a field trip."

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"A fieldtrip.  How exciting."

Probably they're going to go fight the Xuanwu of slaughter now.  Doing this while both he and Lan Zhan are severely injured is going to be a lot worse than last time, isn't it.

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A fieldtrip is NOT exciting and Wangji wishes that Wei Ying would STOP SAYING THINGS NOW.

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Luckily the guards are having a low-energy morning and do not feel inspired to beat the complete shit out of Wei Wuxian for being a brat. One of them cuffs him over the head a little.

The prisoners are dragged back out to the Indoctrination plaza, where the other disciples are already lined up. All of their sectmates (except Lan Wangji, who does not have any sectmates) react loudly with surprise and relief to see them approach. The reactions turn to alarm when they notice all the blood and bruises covering each prisoner.

The concerned disciples titter and cluster around them as they're shoved back into line, asking if they're alright. 

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"Ah, we're alright, no need to worry."  He stops himself here as saying negative things about the Wens, because he doesn't need to be any more injured when fight the Xuanwu.

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Wen Chao has an announcement. 

"Though none of you deserve such an honor, you will all be joining me on a night hunt.  There is a disturbance that I must investigate on Dusk Creek Mountain, and you are not trustworthy enough to be left unaccompanied here."  

With that, he orders his human shields / monster bait to begin marching.

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Wen Qing is with them. Wen Qing is intensely displeased. Force marching all of these unarmed, innocent prisoners to their possible deaths is obviously very evil; that part does not surprise her.  But force marching all of the political hostages to their possible deaths is even more offensively stupid than she's come to expect from Wen Chao. This is so stupid.

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The political hostages are also very bemused by this whole affair, but they don't have a wide range of options here. The disciples reluctantly shuffle out of the plaza in a disorganized line, bunched supportively around their more injured members.

About a dozen Wen soldiers accompany them. They disperse throughout the line to make sure that everyone is moving fast enough and no one is loudly conspiring treason, as the trek begins to Dust Creek Mountain.

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It takes two hours of walking for the broken leg to start slowing Wangji down. He tries as hard as he can to ignore the mounting pain, but falls to the back of the line.

His other injuries are not helping. The harder he exerts himself, the more the broken ribs constrict around his chest: like molten iron pain squeezing tight around his lungs. The more his ribs hurt, the more difficult it is to focus on keeping his leg intact and his feet moving. All of this would probably be easier to accomplish were it not for all the blood loss.

It's very important that he keep moving. If he makes himself an inconvenience, the Wens could take that as an excuse to lash out against Lan survivors. (If there are still survivors.) If he makes himself an inconvenience, Wei Ying might notice and get himself in trouble trying to help. Those are both unacceptable outcomes.

Permanent damage to his leg would also be an unpleasant outcome, but he tries not to think about it.

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Wei Wuxian, for once, is actually distracted enough by his own pain that he doesn't notice.  At first. 

Three hours into the hike to fight the Xuanwu of Slaughter, and Wei Wuxian is trying to decide if it's worth it to risk injuring himself worse before the coming fight in order to help Lan Zhan.  It takes about 2 minutes of noticing Lan Zhan's limp to decide that yes, it is.  He slows down until he's next to Lan Zhan.

"Lan Zhan.  Let me carry you.  Or at least lean on me! I can see you limping already, you don't need your leg injured even worse before fighting a monster!"

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That is the most offensive suggestion Wangji has ever heard. Does Wei Ying think Wangji has no regard for his wellbeing? Or does he think Wangji has forgotten how badly Wei Ying was injured?

"Ridiculous," he says through gritted teeth.

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"Do you think I am so weak I cannot carry you!?" Lan Zhan probably has a point but Lan Zhan also has a broken leg, so Wei Wuxian will still be offering to carry him.

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"Lan Zhaaaaaaaan.  At least lean on me! Your leg!"

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"You would attract notice."

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He didn't expect it to work but he still would have liked it to. 

"I will let you be, but only because Wen Chao might hit you again if I help you."

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Foolish.

They can walk beside each other, at least. Wangji tries to limp less visibly.

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After a few hours of miserable trudging the party comes across a very scenic riverfront, across which Wei Wuxian can observe a very familiar ridge of Dust Creek Mountain. A thin mist shrouds the river and the ridge both, sufficient to obscure the entrance to the Xuanwu's cave. 

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He's hardly going to get credit for finding it no matter what he does- he falls back, out of Wen Chao's line of sight, Lan Zhan between him and the nearest guard, knowing that with the increased scrutiny he's brought on them by killing Wen Zhuliu (entirely worth it, really), they won't let him get away with any kind of cultivation- and releases the wind talisman towards the fog, revealing the cave.

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