Lan Xichen and Nie Mingjue prepare for war, Meng Yao builds his spy network, and Nie Huaisang demonstrates his skills. When Lotus Pier falls, Jiang Yanli joins them and, in face of Jin Guangshan, gives Meng Yao his first lesson in poise. Drama, Angst, but also Romance, I-3
Meng Yao laid his brush aside and sat back from his writing table, scrubbing his hands over his face. Plans to get the hostages out of Wen hands were going slowly. He was developing a remarkable information network among the lower servants; apparently the Wen were nearly as brutal to their own menials as they were to the other sects. But the very brutality that made people so willing to pass on information also made people fear taking action to cross their masters.
The war reaches its climax. Meng Yao refuses to stay back for the final battle, which turns out to be a very good thing, especially when Jin Guangshan tries to grab whatever power he can in the aftermath. Wen Qing calls on Jiang Wanyin to honor his word to her, and ends up in Lan custody while Jiang protects the rest of her clan. Drama with all the politics, Action with some violence, I-4
Coordinating an aggressive campaign was extremely wearing. Time to prepare or double check decreased, the Wen commanders became more close-mouthed the worse things went for them, and Wen Ruohan was becoming both less predictable and more isolated, neither of which were conducive to getting information on his plans. On top of that, no one could predict when the appalling new corpse puppets might appear. Meng Yao might be the only one who took the uncertainty as a personal affront, but it was wearing on everyone.
When Jiang Yanli, of all people, arrived at his tent to go over his projected numbers and her supply lists looking downright frazzled, Meng Yao tied his tent doors firmly shut and made them tea. He was absolutely not letting one of the campaign’s pillars of calm snap.
Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian are courting, to everyone’s amusement and/or exasperation. Jin Guangshan is still maneuvering for power, and Meng Yao and Lan Xichen work to stymie him at the Phoenix Mountain night-hunt. In the background, Nie Huaisang plays matchmaker a bit for Jiang Yanli and Jin Zixuan (who needs all the help he can get), and Wei Wuxian has a long-overdue discussion with his brother. Romance, Drama, Action with some violence, I-4
Meng Yao was almost, a little bit, starting to sympathize with Lan Qiren on the subject of Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian.