Wei WuXian had asked him to come to YiLing. Lan WangJi had been surprised when he received the letter. Now they sat small table in the back corner of a restaurant that was mostly empty. Wei WuXian sat staring at his food, moving it around with his chopsticks, not committing to eat any of it. Lan WangJi’s eyes narrowed at him in the uncomfortable silence, “Wei Ying.”
“Oh,” he looked up, his lips smiled, but his eyes looked tired. “I asked you here, to ask a favor of you. Would you take A-Yuan back to Gusu with you?”
Lan WangJi’s eyes grew wide, so many thoughts raced through his head, but all that escaped his lips was a whisper, “Wei Ying.”
Wei WuXian’s laugh was hollow, “I have been thinking about this for awhile. Burial Mounds is no place for a child. He needs a stable place to grow up. Where he can get plenty of food, and have toys…” Wei WuXian’s voice cracked, “Where he’s not being hunted. Those are things I can’t give him, no matter how I try…” his head was cradled in his hands. “If he goes now he will be… able to forget, to move on, and live without remembering.
“I can’t deny that it would be better for him to have that chance. Wen Qing and Granny agree. It wouldn’t be that hard to smuggle a child, there are plenty everywhere,” he looked up, just enough for Lan WangJi to see those grey eyes, full of strife. Wei WuXian, YiLing Patriarch, looked broken to Lan WangJi. Wei WuXian was caught in turbulent sea, clinging to a small plank of wood, and the weight of the world around his ankles. If he wavered, he would be pulled under.
“Lan Zhan?” he asked, “Would you take him? Please?”
Lan WangJi wanted to take some of the weight that threatened to drown him, “Hm.”
The tension in Wei WuXian body uncurled, his smile almost reached his eyes, “Thank you… Lan Zhan.”
Lan WangJi noticed a flush on Wei WuXian’s cheeks. An instant later, those grey irises disappeared behind eyelids, and his head slipped to the table with a soft thud. “Wei Ying?!” He rushed to his side, examining him, the first thing he noticed was, his brow was on fire. A close second was, how low his spirit energy was. It shouldn’t be this low, they had done nothing but walk around. He gave him a slight shake, his eyelids fluttered, but quickly fell closed.
Lan WangJi placed money on the table, before gathering Wei WuXian into his arms. He was lighter than before, even if he had been carrying Wei WuXian and Wen Yuan the last time, Wei Wuxian should not have been this light.
Outside, Lan WangJi stepped onto BiChen, flying as fast as he could to Burial Mounds. He landed outside the Demon Slaughtering Cave, carrying him to the rocky outcropping Wei WuXian called a bed. After a moment to arrange him in the bed, he turned to find Wen Qing.
“What happened?” asked a voice at the mouth of the cave. “I saw you come, Wei WuXian would not have been carried if he was ok.”
“Collapsed with a fever,” he said bluntly, stepping away to give her access to the so called dark lord.
“Fever?” she asked, of all the answers she thought she get, that was not the one. “He passed out?” she walked over and felt his brow. “Damn it, Wei WuXian. What were you doing running around with a fever? A-Ning, we need to get his fever down. Bring fever reducers and cool water. He’s probably dehydrated as well.” They set to work and Lan WangJi watched helplessly as they tended to Wei WuXian.