alasen

tenniel's alice, adjusting her crown



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  1. Rec *

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    “I’m not here to help you with your work,” said Lan Zhan, injecting frost into his voice to deter any further attempts at charm. “I’ll be focusing on my research.”

    Wei Ying cocked his head. “Research?” he said.

    “Mm. I’m a cultivation researcher, not a department employee. I’m reconstructing the ancient musical cultivation techniques of the Lan clan.”

    ___

    Lan Zhan’s new liaison at the Caiyi Municipal Cultivation Department is an enigma – ridiculously talented, yet somehow content with mopping up spiritual pests for barely above minimum wage. Wei Ying is slapdash and irresponsible, and Lan Zhan doesn’t like him at all… but then he meets A-Yuan, who loves music and longs for a piano his father can’t afford.

    Forced into cautious friendship by a four-year-old's music lessons, Lan Zhan soon realises Wei Ying is more than he seems. The single father is a man of many secrets – including, perhaps, the key to Lan Zhan's life's work. And in the meantime, the background resentment in Caiyi Town is rising to dangerous levels…

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    04 Sep 2022

  2. Rec *

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    In the end, the decision was easy.

    "I've come to tell you I have accepted a position at Yiling University."

    Qingheng-jun's attention drifted back to his phone. "Not very prestigious is it?”

    "I am taking the professorship. I am also taking the boys."

     

    After the death of their mother, Lan Qiren removes his nephews from Cloud Recesses to Yiling.

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    25 Jul 2022

  3. Rec 16

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    "Sometimes,” Bel said, “I think that only I know what a wicked creature you truly are, Sophy."

    Christmas Eve, 1812: the Annual West Wycombe Soirée. The rooms are hot, the games tiresome, and the men utterly objectionable. Any discerning young lady would prefer the company of a friend to such a crowd, particularly when said friend is the most striking and spirited girl in the entire county. There is nothing so remarkable about that. Right? Right?!

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    19 Jun 2022

  4. Rec *

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    Wei Ying tips his head to indicate the roped-off room. “What’s going on over there?”
    “Oh!” Mo Xuanyu brightens. “We’re hosting a performance artist, one day only. His name’s Hanguang-Jun.”

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    05 May 2021

  5. Rec *

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    “It’s okay that you miss him,” said Lan Wangji, a familiar litany to them both by now. “Do you feel sad?”

    “I feel sad,” A-Yuan repeated, shoulders hitching with tiny hiccuping sniffs. “When is he coming back?”

    “I don’t know. I am not sure where he is.”

    But this seemed to frustrate A-Yuan. “Xian-gege! I miss him! Please, baba?” He looked up at him with wet cheeks and a wide, quivering frown. “Please baba can you ask him? I really miss him!” He sobbed again, heartbreakingly.

    It stabbed straight through him, cracking open the reservoir of loss and helplessness that was all his own. His child’s grief did that, sometimes. It always took him by surprise. He caught his breath sharply and gathered A-Yuan into his arms, holding him tight until the pain ebbed.

    “I will try,” he said softly into A-Yuan’s hair, when he could speak again. He never made uncertain promises and tried not even to raise uncertain hopes, but his son was hurting. His son believed he could make it better. He couldn’t not try.

    Wen Qing might at least know who this “Xian-gege” was. He would text her in the morning. It would be a start.

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    23 Jan 2021