Yiling Patriarch, the 'fearsome' Yiling Laozu, whose name was Wei Wuxian - was the most cursed and hated man known in the entire cultivation world.
Wei Wuxian was currently sitting in the Demon Slaughtering cave, hunched over as if the weight of the world was bearing down upon his shoulders.
Wei Wuxian exhaled a shaky breath, sitting upon his stone bed covered with thin blankets. His face was buried in his hands as he cursed at himself not to cry. He did not have the right to feel sorry for himself, to feel such grief. He did not have the right to mourn someone who had never been his to mourn anyway. He could not undo the things that have already been done.
My fault...my fault.
This is all my fault.
How did it turn out like this?
Soon, Jiang Cheng and and the others would come, leading a siege upon his doorstep.
What a joke he had become… he wasn't even sure who he was anymore… he felt so lost and didn't know what to do..
Self-hatred, blame, and disgust churned in his gut. He loathed and found himself utterly despicable. So what if back then, because of giving his core away - that he turned to demonic cultivation? Sure, if he hadn't, he would not be here now.
He would be a dead rotting corpse left in Burial Mounds. Without his demonic cultivation, he would not have had the power to help Jiang Cheng or to help with the Sunshot Campaign. He would have been useless.
And yet... and yet….
This is what it has come to.
Everything was his fault in the end…
Wei Wuxian, trapped in his inner musings and self blame, held himself together, nails digging bloody crescents into his own flesh as he sobbed on the floor of the cave, tears falling from his eyes as he rocked himself back and forth.
If not for him, Shijie would still be alive. Jin ZiXuan would still be alive and Jin Ling would not have been orphaned. Wen Ning and Wen Qing… why was it that whenever he sought to help and protect others - it turned out like this?
Maybe, he should have never existed at all…
Maybe the world would have been better off…
Maybe…. Maybe...he could end it all right now…
Yes… that would be best… I'll just-
Wei Wuxian flinched back with a gasp and hurriedly wiped away his tears and clears his throat before placing a big smile upon his face.
"~Ahh, It's my little radish!~ Come, come~" Wei Wuxian calls the the small boy standing at the open mouth of the cave.
"Xian-gege was crying?" A-Yuan whispered coming up to grasp Wei Wuxian's black robe.
Wei Wuxian froze before laughing it off and tapping a finger on A-Yuan's nose. "No, A-Yuan's Xian-gege just had something in his eyes, that's all." He reassured gently once he had picked the boy up and cradled him in his arms.
Wei Wuxian nuzzled into A-Yuans neck, tickling the child. A-Yuan squealed and giggled but hugged his little arms around Wei Wuxian's neck. " My A-Yuan's such a good child." He kissed the boy on the forehead.
"Xian-gege?" A-Yuan asked.
"Mm? Yes, my little radish?"
Big clear eyes stared at him. "Can I sleep with you?"
Wei Wuxian chuckled, "alright, yes. A-Yuan can sleep with Xian-gege." Wei Wuxian carried him to his bed, taking off his outer robe and placing it on the two of them as they lay down.
Wei Wuxian laid with his back facing the mouth of the cave, shielding A-Yuan with his body and curling around him protectively as the child snuggled into his arms, hugging little arms around his waist.
"Xian-gege, don't be sad, A-Yuan will stay with you. A-Yuan is here." A-Yuan whispered into Wei Wuxian's chest.
Wei Wuxian's throat constricted and he hugged little Wen Yuan tighter. A few tears escaped his eyes when he closed them.
A-Yuan, Xian-gege is sorry, but soon...Xian-gege won't be able to be by your side anymore. Xian-gege is sorry for failing you.
"Just know that when the time comes, Xian-gege loves A-Yuan very much," Wei Wuxian whispered the last phrase into the sleeping child's ear before closing his eyes and falling into a restless slumber.
Two days later, Jiang Cheng came leading cultivators in the siege against him.
Wei Wuxian was urged by Granny, Uncle Four and the rest of the Wen remnants who all had decided to stay on Burial Mounds to take A-Yuan away and hide him.
Wei Wuxian cradled A-Yuan in his embrace after having reached a good spot, standing before a tree and placing A-Yuan deep inside.
"No matter who or what you hear, A-Yuan, do not come out. Do you hear me?" He breathed breathlessly, A-Yuan gazing up at him with big confused eyes. Scared.
"Xian-gege? Xian-gege, I want to stay with you!" A-Yuan teared up, his lips trembling. "Xian-gege don't go! Xian-gege don't leave me!" A-Yuan cried, trying to grip Wei Wuxian's robe.
Wei Wuxian have a sad smile. "Xian-gege has to go, A-Yuan, but Xian-gege will come back."
Tears streamed down A-Yuan's face as he looked up at Wei Wuxian, sniffling. "Xian-gege Promise?"
Wei Wuxian sighed heavily but nodded, unable to truly promise because...he would not be coming back.
He kissed A-Yuan on the forehead. "Don't worry, A-Yuan, everything is gonna be okay. Xian-gege will be back before you know it. And remember, no matter what you hear - Do not come out. "
He ruffled his little radishes hair, before turning and briskly walking away, to where the others were no doubt waiting for him.
A-Yuan kept desperately calling out for him, calling for his Xian-gege, feeling that he would not be able to his Xian-gege ever again.
Wei Wuxian grit his teeth as a tear slipped traitorously from his eye as he strode towards his end.
"Die, Wei Wuxian!" Jiang Cheng shouted and he pierced his sword through his brother's abdomen, cheers erupted around his from the other cultivators.
Flames and carnage surrounded him, but Wei Wuxian just smiled softly at his former dear shidi ignoring the other cultivators shouting for his death, and while his shidi may despise him - Wei Wuxian would never fault him for it, he never blamed Jiang Cheng for anything.
No, the only one he blamed was himself. And so… he would simply give Jiang Cheng what he wanted, giving his brother what he so desired.
Gasps echoed around him as he reached inside his black robes with a smile, his eyes never looking away from his dear brother - who even now- gazed at him with fury and hatred along with the gleam of another emotion Wei Wuxian could not give name to.
"Stop him! He's going to use the seal! Hurry! Don't let him use it!" Everyone shouted anxiously as they fought off the corpse army.
Wei Wuxian huffed a quiet laugh, the Stygian seal was already in his hands. He raised a hand slowly in the air while pushing Jiang Cheng away from him, forcing the other to pull his sword from.his body.
"Wei Wuxian! Don't you dare!" Jiang Cheng snapped, marching forward again but Wei Wuxian evaded his grasp, still smiling. Jiang Cheng's eyes went wide.
"Jiang Cheng, Jiang Wanyin…" Wei Wuxian's voice was somber and gentle eyes soft, he bowed as much as he could with a bleeding hole in his stomach, to the Sect Leader of Yunmeng Jiang.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry… forgive me...." Brother was left as Wei Wuxian whispered those final words.
He took the seal and broke it, snapping it in half and letting it fall to the ground.
He stood still with a smile as one by one, the corpses came at him, piling onto him - greedy, hungry, wanting…
It hurt, oh it hurt so much.. too much. It hurt it hurt it hurt…
Still Wei Wuxian smiled even as he wanted to cry, dying inside until he was overtaken and feasted upon, until he could no longer stare at his brother, and until he could no longer gaze upon a bleak sky.
Until he knew nothing more.
The other cultivators froze in confusion as the corpses they had been fighting suddenly abandoned them for someone else.
"Oh my..." some gasped horribly watching the horrible engrossing sight before them, they stated as the Yiling Patriarch stood with his arms wide open and a soft broken smile as his own undead army descended upon him, savagely tore at his flesh and sank their teeth into the meat and bone of the person who once controlled them. It was gruesomely riveting sight, making the youngest of cultivators unable to stomach such a sight.
" How terrible .." some whispered, yet thinking, Good riddance.
He smiled. Why did he smile? Why had he looked at him that way?
Jiang Cheng just stared in a bank daze, the one he come called brother had fallen prey to the mass of corpses and was buried under the frenzy of their feast.
Wait… no… stop… Stop!
Jiang Cheng snarled, whipping out Zidian and his sword and lashed out at the damn greedy corpses feasting on his brother. He stormed forward slashing, whipping and stabbing at any corpse near him to get to Wei Wuxian.
This bastard… he knew… he knew… and he had planned this.
After managing to break through the mound of frenzy corpses piled over his brother. Jiang Cheng froze up as he stared at the sight which greeted him. Wei Wuxian may pale and silent, unmoving. His flesh was riddled with deep bloody bite marks, some of the flesh had been torn away. His brother was still while and in one piece, save for a few very gruesome spots the corpses managed to get a hold of, and the wound through his stomach.
Jiang Cheng stared at the man lying pale and motionless, and a soft smile on his face. He had still been smiling even… even as he was…
Jiang Cheng clenched his fists, for some reason, when he thought he would feel pride and triumph… instead he felt a deep hollow ache in his chest. His heart wincing pain, pain that he chose to ignore. He didn't want to acknowledge that he… fact he still even dared to…
No. He refused. He refused to acknowledge the deep seated pain his heart and the hollowness seeping into his chest.
Jiang Cheng lifted the limp and lifeless figure of his former brother into his arms, his throat constricting and he ignored the stinging of his eyes as he showed the dead body of the Yiling Patriarch, Wei Wuxian.
"Wei WuXian is dead!”
The rest of the cultivators cheered estacitically.
After all, the "monster" was finally dead.
In the aftermath, after everyone had left Burial Mounds and after Young sect leader Jiang decided to carry the body of his dead brother to Lotus Pier, some time later a young man in white flowing robes, wearing a forehead ribbon with cloud motifs on it, his clothes stained with dirt from his journey stumbled into Burial Mounds after hearing the news that the one he kept in his heart has perished. That he was dead.
Lan Wangji desperately called out for that someone and searched high and low for him, searching every nook and crevice for the one who had stolen his heart from the moment they met years ago when they were young. The other in his black robes and a shining smile, so like the sun.
Wei Ying Wei Ying We Ying Wei Ying
Wei Ying Wei Ying !!!!
No matter how many times he desperately he called out the others name or how much he searched, the one he longed and yearned for would not answer his call and his body could not be found.
Lan Wangji paused in his search when he heard weak, muffled breathing. His heart leapt into his throat anxiously, his hopes rising. He rushed to the sound.
And froze. He was shocked. The young child, A-Yuan, the one his heart had looked after and adored laid weak from a fever inside a tree, barely clinging to life.
He was fearful. This was the last piece of the one he cherished in his heart. He pulled the thin sickly child into his arms, swearing that he would raise the child and protect him in place of Wei Ying, who was no more..
Jiang Cheng paced in a room, eyes constantly looking towards the unmoving figure on the bed.
He felt angry and hateful, bitter and yet his felt sadness and pain...hurt he didn't want to feel over a dead man that now lie in the room, the same man he once considered a brother. The same man he blamed for his family's death.
He had his healers use their spiritual energy to heal his brother's wounds, and sometimes using his own spiritual energy. It was also to keep his brothers body from breaking down and decaying.
Jiang Cheng should have left the body to rot, yet he couldn't. So here he was with his brothers dead body, his clothes replaced by clean ones, his wounds all closed up. It simply looked as if Wei Wuxian wasn't dead at all but sleepy with a smile on his face, as though he was dreaming.
He had some of his disciples discreetly look for books on preserving bodies, as crazy as it sounded. Jiang Cheng felt obsessed and off balance. He was so lost.
He looked around Wei Wuxian's old room, the very same room his brothers body laid in, the very same room Jiang Cheng was standing in now.
Jiang Cheng clenched his fists, closing his eyes to draw in a shaky breath.
He hated Wei Wuxian! He despised him!
And yet.. And yet…
Jiang Cheng glared at his brothers unmoving figure that just lay peacefully and marched out of the room that seemed to be stealing his oxygen.
As long as Wei Wuxian was not moved from his room, his body would not rot or decay - it would be like Wei Wuxian was only sleeping or in acoma, thanks to the spell Jiang Cheng found looking through some very ancient books. It's a spell forgotten and probably not used by many, luckily enough there were no serious requirements or backlashes.
Jiang Cheng took gave another glance towards his brothers room before turning to walk away.