The burial mounds remained unchanged, the same dark skies laid above and the same winds went through the dead trees, but these winds now carried whispers and screams of pain and despair.
Lan Wangji never heard something like that ever in his life, it was as if the winds could feel the pain in his chest and the desperation in his head.
The wind blew stronger and the voices got louder with every step he took but nothing could stop him, not even if he stumbled and fell to his knees, he got up every time, even if it got more difficult and it felt like he was carrying a stone of the size of an elephant, Lan Wangji carried on with his beating heart going through every corner a thousand times, he wouldn’t give up, even if it took him ten years, no one was stopping him.
It has been three weeks since the battle in the nightless city, three weeks since Lan Wangji watched with horror as Wei Wuxian fell to his death. his brother had insisted in taking him back to gusu but he wouldn’t budge, he knew he wasn’t in conditions to keep fighting but he wouldn’t rest until he found him, so despite his brother’s and his uncle’s protest lan wangji went down to the burial mounds, searching every corner for the body of who he had once considered his soul mate.
Call it persistence, call it dedication, but it was guilt that was driving him to look at every tree and every hole, guilt that was consuming his whole being, he wasn’t there like he promised, he promised he would help him and he failed.
Lan Wangji fell to his knees once again, this time it took him longer to stand back up, his head was clouded with guilt and the emotional pain he was feeling was starting to slip to his body, his bones feeling weaker and his body feeling heavier, the air around him was making it hard to breath making it seem as if he was breathing toxic waste that felt like poison in his throat, there was no water or food around so the dehydration and his starving body made things more difficult but despite everything he stood up, using bichen as a walking stick.
The exhaustion was getting to him, after searching for twenty-one days and twenty-two nights Lan Wangji was close to giving up, he would have to go back to Yiling and find a way to communicate with his brother so he could come to take him back to Cloud Recess, he was too tired to ride bichen and there was no way he would get out of there on foot, he would have to deal with Xichen's look of pity hoping he would open up even though the both of them knew that he wouldn’t, but he would have to deal with that if he wanted to get out of the burial mounds alive.
But before he started to lose hope of ever finding his soul mate he caught something moving to his side, when he turned he saw a small crow posed on what it looked like a foot and Lan Wangji’s heart dropped, with all the energy that was left in him he ran while using his sword to scare the crows away so they would leav the body in peace.
It could be anyone he thought, the burial mounds were extensive and people tended to get lost in them, it could be a stranger that has met their demise in the dead land but he still dropped to his knees and cleared the body of the dirt and the dead leaves and that’s when he saw the distinctive red under robes and the leather belt.
His hands started to work faster than before, ignoring the pulsating muscles in his arms, Lan Wangji did everything he could to clean the uncovered skin and when he was done he just kneeled there, staring at the body on his knees, it was him, he finally found him.
At this point, his body was on autopilot mode and his mind has gone completely still, it was as if timed stopped, the wind stopped blowing and the voices stopped crying and screaming inside his head, his arms went around Wei Wuxian’s waist as he brought the body closer to him and when he was finally secured in his arms Lan Wangji let himself look at his face, his eyes were open, the beautiful light grey he has gotten used to seeing was all hidden behind his blown-out pupils, and the sparkle of life he had fallen in love with had left, leaving behind a dull tone over them, his once beautiful glowing skin was now turned into an almost ashy tone, his once full pink lips that Lan Wangji dreamt of kissing were now thin and dry, there was no sign of life in the angelic face he used to dream about.
Lan Wangji held the body closer to him and placed his forehead on Wei Wuxian’s chest, and after three grueling weeks Lan Wangji let himself go, he cried like he hadn’t cried before, he screamed as if it was the first time he did that, Lan Wangji let himself feel the pain he had been holding back.
Hours passed inside his bubble a voice was calling his name, he needed to get out of there, he needed to move to look for food and water before his body gave up, he couldn’t let himself lay there and die with the body of his soulmate in his arms, even if that’s all he wanted to do he could still hear the voice of reason, but he couldn’t let Wuxian’s body lay in the middle of nowhere.
So he stood up with the weightless body in his arms, he tried to ignore the pain in his chest and the voice in his head telling him that this was the first time he held Wei Wuxian like this, he closed his eyes and he let a silent tear roll down his cheek before he started to walk.
He didn’t know how he found it if they asked him he would not know how to answer, but he suddenly found himself walking in the place Wei Wuxian had kept the remains of the Wen clan, Wangji looked around the unfinished houses and the small lake of lotus seeds, the place had obviously been torn apart by the other clans, he sighed as he walked into the cave.
He took his time in preparing Wuxian, as respectful as he was he did his best in leaving the body in a way that it didn’t look like it had been layin on the dirt for three full weeks, Lan Wangji took his time brushing Wuxian’s messy and dirty hair, and when his job was finally done he wrapped it up in some white blanket that he found lying around and with the help of bichen he dug a hole big enough to cover Wei Wuxian lifeless body.
But before he let him go Wangji let himself hold him close to his heart one last time, he sighed as he dreamt of all the scenarios he could have lived by his side he also thought of all the things he could have done to help him, how he could have saved him, he cried as he asked for forgiveness. He knew Wei Wuxian’s selfless heart wouldn’t blame him for anything that had happened, he knew he would say it was all his wrongdoing but Lan Wangji still needed to apologize and in a moment of weakness he also begged, begged the gods to bring Wei Wuxian back to him, they would never listen to him but he still prayed he still hoped that there was a way to wake up from the nightmare he was living in, he hoped he could open his eyes and see his soulmate staring back at him with those beautiful eyes and a smile that could rival the sun, the smile that made Lan Wangji’s heart beat a little faster than normal.
But there was no nightmare, he wasn’t sleeping and Wei Wuxian wasn’t smiling at him, he only saw a head covered by an old blanket that hadn’t been washed in a really long time. Lan Wangji sighed and let the body lay in the pathetic hole he had dug and after one last look, he started to fill the hole with the dirt surrounding him.
And when everything was done, when his mission was finally over his body gave up, everything went black, the next time he would open his eyes he would be in the Jingshi and his brother would be looking at him with a sorrowful look in his eyes.
Lan Wangji really hoped he could wake up from the nightmare.