Oct 28, 2021 11:34 AM
witch queen hua cheng
« Previous Post
+ Show First Post
Total: 61
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

 

"Take my gem and my sword to Feng Xin or Mu Qing."

And dianxia picks up her sword and thrusts it through her own heart.

Permalink

"DIANXIA!"

Permalink

Permalink

 

Well, she said 'anything', so. She picks up the gem, a beautiful white pearly earring, and the sword, in her umbrella hand, and she fights her way out of the witch and brings the precious items to dianxia's friends.

Permalink

"What happened to her? - don't answer that. Get out."

Permalink

Permalink

Xie Lian is commanding the army again the next day.

Permalink

Hong'er should never have doubted her.

Permalink

The war gets uglier, and uglier, and uglier, and dianxia is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful through it all, and somewhere in there a teenage girl gets injured -

Permalink

- and pops up again -

Permalink

- but it's too late. Xianle has fallen, the capital is overwhelmed, the royal family is missing.

Permalink

People are looking for them. Not friendly people, either.

She looks too. If she can't find them, that's good: it means they are hard to find. If she can find them, that's good: it means she can protect them.

Permalink

 

That was the plan, anyway.

She failed, she failed, she failed, it is worse than she could possibly have imagined, she isn't the one being hurt and she still feels like she's dying, her gem goes as dark as a mundane cabochon, she should be dead, she should be dead rather than endure this failure.

Permalink

But that was not what she wished for.

Permalink

So she's still there, when Bai Wuxiang leaves well-fed. She's still alive and still seething.

No one survives the fire.

Permalink

She has no magic left. She can't heal her beloved, can't put more magic back into her. She can go hunt, with dianxia's sword, because her own scimitar needs more magic than the none she has. (Why isn't she dead?) She kills a witch and it feels like cutting through butter, after the way Bai Wuxiang cut her down. She takes its seed to dianxia. She goes out looking for another one.

The witches feel different. She thinks at first it's something about not having magic, or borrowing dianxia's sword - she gives it back, where dianxia's lying asleep with her half-restored gem, once she has enough brightness to summon her scimitar again - but it isn't either, it's something else. Something about how the air inside them sits on her skin has changed, something about the way she finds their barriers is new. She didn't even notice, when she hunted down the first few, that she wasn't dowsing - you can't dowse, with a night-dark gem; there's no light to flicker. They just drew her in, like the sea draws rain.

Permalink

She can kill them the normal way. She can use their seeds the normal way.

She can also -

- she's not sure what else she can do, but there's something.

She sits by herself, meditating on the subtle changes in how she orients to the world, to her body, to her gem.

Permalink

The gem, not the body, is the girl.

Her gem can go all dark and she can still operate. Is her gem still where she lives?

She - throws it, straight up, high enough that she ought to lose connection with her senses for a moment while it stalls and begins to drop again toward her.

Permalink

She does lose contact with her body, but only for a second, and then, before the gem has turned in the air and begun to fall, she feels -

- it's sort like dissociating. She is not quite in her body, which she knew but now feels, and instead she's

not the gem, the gem is not her any longer,

instead she's somewhere outside of space entirely.

When she can see again, her body has collapsed onto a carpet of flowers, lit with sourceless silver radiance, surrounded by walls glistening with blood. The gem falls onto her chest, bounces off, lands on a chrysanthemum. She collects it and puts it back where it belongs on her hair.

The flower-place feels unlike a witch. She can't quite put her finger on it, but witches have begun to feel different to her, and this is different still. Also, there are no familiars in it, which could just mean that a brand new baby witch hatched right under her while she was conducting her experiment but -

Permalink

- what has become of her? Is she, somehow, a witch? Is she dangerous? Should she go jump in a volcano, lest she somehow harm dianxia?

What is she?

Permalink

She puzzles over this for a pretty long time. Keeps track of dianxia from a safe distance, while she figures out what she can do and if she's liable to lose control of any of it.

Maybe she's like Bai Wuxiang. A witch who can speak. But Bai Wuxiang doesn't have a gem, and doesn't use a barrier; if she and Hong'er are both partway between the two, it's in different ways.

She is sure enough that she won't hurt dianxia, at least sure enough that it's not better to leave her alone, and so lonely, abandoned by everyone who should have worshipped her and stood by her side.

When dianxia needs someone, no matter what for, she'll be there.

Permalink

She catches up to dianxia. She puts on a mask - not half-laughing-half-crying like the one on Bai Wuxiang, she never wants to resemble Bai Wuxiang, but a plain, simple smile.

Permalink

"- what's your name?"

Permalink

"I don't have one."

Permalink

"All right. Wuming. If you want to help, fine."

Total: 61
Posts Per Page: