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May 18, 2021 5:16 AM
The Untamed bodyswap time travel
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"That's good.  Can you tell me what you remember?"

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"I was in Qishan leading a night hunt.  A-Yuan was there, and the other juniors."

To Mo Village, specifically.  The Wen had fallen years ago and there wasn't a proper great sect in the region any longer.  A number of lesser cultivation sects had moved into the vacuum, but they didn't have the learning to properly handle some of the more esoteric hauntings.  He isn't sure whether the Mo family had called upon the Lan because previous attempts had failed or if they merely wanted the honor of having a great sect handle their problem.  He hadn't bothered asking.

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He is back to panicking.

"Where is my son?"

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His brother has a son?!  His brother, who has never even looked at a woman with anything but indifference.  His unmarried teenage brother. 

And he takes the child on night hunts?  Which he is for some reason leading, despite only being a junior?  Night hunts to Qishan?  Lan Xichen hasn't authorized any of those.  That's Wen territory.

This is obviously false.

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He needs to get up and find A-Yuan. 

They're in the Cloud Recesses right now.  How did he get here?  He can feel his qi reserves - they're far higher than if he'd flown all the way here.

No matter.  He'll just retrieve his sword and-

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"Sit down," he says.  Unnecessarily, because Lan Wangji is still... sick? ...enough that he loses his balance and has to grip the wall to stop from falling. 

"As far as I'm aware, you've never had a son.  I don't even remember you having a... being closely acquainted with any women."

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"Why is Jiang Wanyin here?"

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He is hoping that this is going to help Wangji answer his questions, and isn't a diversion to try and distract him.  He wouldn't have thought his brother would do that, but he's concerned that perhaps he doesn't know his brother as well as he'd thought. 

"Jiang-gongzi is here as a guest disciple this year."

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That doesn't sound right.  It's getting harder to think again, and he's regretting having sat up, with the way his head is starting to spin.  He's not getting the feeling that this would be easy to understand even if he was fully awake. 

"Jiang-guniang is alive?"  His voice is fragile.

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"She is fine.  It was only a small cut.  Our healers are seeing to it now.

"Though we will have a discussion on just why you chose to attack young master Jiang before you receive punishment.  I also expect you to make a formal apology to the Jiang students in general and Miss Jiang in particular.  Wangji, that was most unlike you."

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He slumps backwards, and is embarrassed at how he needs assistance to get back into the cot without his head bumping against the wall.  He's not feeling as bad this time.  He just... needs to think, and sitting up and thinking are mutually exclusive right now.

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Xichen leaves.  He needs to make his own apology to the Jiang, and show them the way to their sleeping quarters himself now.

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Jiang Cheng continues to be furious.  The apology is accepted with clipped tones that indicate he would really rather keep shouting if Zewu-jun weren't a sect leader.

He is sent to bed.

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In the silence, Lan Wangji puts everything together. 

Jiang Yanli is alive.  Jiang Wanyin isn't the sect leader yet.  He's attending classes. 

Hope flares in him.  This might just be a dream.  But if it isn't-

Wei Ying?

The pain is nothing.  The pain is ignored.  He steps out of bed, walking along the wall so he doesn't fall, holding himself upright more with magic than with muscle.  Somehow, he manages to make it to the rooftop where Wei Ying should be.

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The moon is high and nearly full, illuminating the mountains surrounding Cloud Recesses.  Chirps and calls of night creatures echo their way through stately trees which hide the buildings from each other, oddly muted.  No other humans are here and awake.

This continues to be true as the moon makes its way further across the sky.

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Lan Wangji isn't watching the moon.  He is watching the ground below for signs of movement. 

This feels familiar.  If he were to close his eyes, he would almost be able to smell the gentians of his mother's house.  Back then, he had been too young to understand that death was permanent.  Apparently he hadn't learned his lesson.

His head clears as he waits.  He becomes more stably here in this time and this unscarred body. This time, which so closely resembles the past except for the one feature which would make it matter.

The sky begins to lighten above him.

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One of the Lan disciples scurrying around and preparing for the upcoming ceremony spots Lan Wangji on the roof.  There is a Rule against that.  Not one to miss an opportunity to tattle about the Second Jade of Lan doing something inappropriate, Su She heads to the hall where Lan Qiren and Lan Xichen are speaking.

"Grand Master Lan, Zewu-jun," he addresses them, bowing deeply.  "Lan Wangji is sitting on a roof."

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Lan Xichen had been in the middle of telling his uncle about Lan Wangji's... fit.  Now that he's had a few hours to think on it, he is more confident that it had been entirely delusion.  His little brother is an accomplished cultivator for his age, but not even he could make it to Qishan and back in only a few hours.  Lan Xichen had seen him earlier that very day. 

He listens to the report, then shuts his eyes. 

Of course he is on the roof.  Why wouldn't he be out of the hospital and up to something unusual.  Perhaps he ought to be glad that Wangji isn't halfway to Qishan.

"Thank you for your report."

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Lan Wangji is still on the roof when they get there, staring off into the trees opposite the courtyard.  There's no expression on his face, and he doesn't react until they get very close.  His back is straight as he kneels on the uneven surface, but to Lan Xichen, who knows him, he looks devastated.

"Brother.  Uncle," he greets with a stiff bow once he notices them.

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Lan Qiren does not understand why his youngest nephew has decided to suddenly start doing this. 

"When you were taken to the healer's building, it was with the understanding that you would stay there until discharged," he begins, then starts quoting the various rules about how one must prioritize one's health, and obey authority, and be in the location where one is assigned to be, and not wander outside after curfew.  And, yes, also the one specifically about sitting in places that were not designed for that purpose such as rooftops.

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"Wangji, please.  Tell me what's on your mind."

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Lan Wangji is busy trying to figure out what he's supposed to do next. 

This seems like some kind of nightmare.  If it is, it's a longer and more detailed one than his usual nightmares.  He can't will himself awake, so he might as well treat it as real until he can wake up or until that no longer seems like the best option.  That means behaving properly, so that he can make whatever changes need to happen happen without getting obstructed.  Wei Ying is... missing?  Lan Wangji can't trust that Wen Ruohan will also be missing.  He needs information.  What changes are there from what he remembers?  Most importantly: Where is Wei Ying?

Voice still flat, "The punishment for attacking without provocation, plus my other transgressions this last night, should come to 350 strikes.  You are both needed to attend the Salutation Ceremony later today.  Please arrange for a suitable replacement to oversee my punishment in your place."

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"If you are well enough for that, you are well enough to attend the Salutation Ceremony.  As one of the students attending the lectures this year, it is your duty to join us there and be seen among the other disciples.  I will oversee the required punishment myself once it is over."

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"Perhaps it would be better to allow him to rest?"

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