The skies above Lotus Pier are streaked in orange with the coming sunset. It brings warm color to the winter landscape of browns and grays but does nothing to stop the chill of the wind. The eponymous lotus blossoms have been harvested for the year and have left the lakes as stretches of still water with thin ice forming along the shorelines.
Lotus Pier is rebuilding. The core buildings had been spared, as the Wen had wanted the best accommodations possible for their supervisory office, but over a thousand homes of the dead had still burned. Now, four years later, there is a ring of new wooden buildings and new piers around Lotus Pier's heart, glowing with lamps to banish the winter gloom. Beyond that is a ring of cleared land interspersed with the occasional towering pile of lumber.
Jiang Cheng, Sect Leader of the Jiang Sect, is walking off the restless energy of being stuck in his office for the entire day by making a quick circuit of the outer paths and lumber piles and inspecting them. He is too busy to be spared for a night hunt and this is the best he'll get.
It isn't helping his mood to be out alone. Not that it would be different to be in the Sect Leader's residence, which also has no one else around. Jiang Yanli, his older sister, has just gotten married and is in Lanling. Wei Wuxian, his...
Wei Wuxian is also gone. And everyone else is dead.