Meng Yao is just a little less reticent, and Lan Xichen, very taken with him, offers to arrange for him to stay the summer. Drama with a hint of Romance, I-2
It was fine to take this stolen moment of formal farewell to bask in that warmth, but he shouldn’t mistake it for something personal. No matter how he might wish it were, or how it had seemed it might be, for that one moment during the presentation of gifts when their hands had touched. He couldn’t lower his guard just for that.
Lan Xichen continues tutoring Meng Yao, who eventually does realize that Lan Xichen is actually interested in him. Eventually. Drama with quite obvious Romance, I-2
Meng Yao hadn’t directly answered, when Lan Xichen had asked him if he enjoyed scholarship, largely because at the time, the answer would have been no. As the summer progressed, though, he thought his answer was changing. Or more precisely, that he was learning what scholarship actually was.
Meng Yao and Lan Xichen are courting. Nie Huaisang is very entertained. Lan Wangji is more dubious about the whole matter. Romance, Drama with a dash of politics, I-2
After Chang Yun was ejected in disgrace from the Lan summer lectures, whispers about Meng Yao had hushed, for the first time in his entire life. It was a little stunning, to be able to walk abroad without careful calculation of dangers and politics and how deferential he had to be to whom.
Political violence erupts, and Meng Yao and Lan Xichen find each other through it. Drama with politics, Romance, Porn, I-4
There was a strain of extremism, in Lan. Lan cultivators, especially the ones of Lan clan blood, were rarely capable of half-measures. When they chose a path, they chose with their whole hearts and never looked back. Mingjue had seen it in Xichen’s father’s choice of wife. He’d seen it in Lan Qiren’s choice of the Lan Discipline above all else. He’d seen it in Xichen’s own choice to follow the path of compassion, from which he would not budge for all his uncle’s strictness or Mingjue’s own efforts to get him to consider practicalities now and then.
He’d seen the very same thing surface in Meng Yao’s eyes, like a dragon rising from the still surface of the sea, when he’d heard Xichen might have been harmed.
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.
War is on. Meng Yao deals with Jin Zixun and tries to take care of Lan Wangji and Lan Xichen. When Wei Wuxian returns, Meng Yao discovers a certain fellow-feeling, and they make a slightly bloodthirsty deal. Drama with a touch of angst, Porn, I-4
Meng Yao was glad that Jin Guangshan had declined to remain in the Unclean Realm or, indeed, to take the field himself. He was very glad he didn’t have to deal the man’s cold avarice while they were all fighting Wen for their lives, one way or another.
He just really wished that Jin Zixun hadn’t been the one left behind as deputy.
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.
More political maneuvering sees Meng Yao trying to take care of Jiang as well as Lan, and very grateful for Jiang Yanli’s accumen. With the campaign over at last, he and Lan Xichen finally have time for ceremonies to formalize their marriage. Nie Huaisang takes a certain glee in assisting. Drama with even more politics, Romance, Fluff, I-3
When Xichen told him that there was to be a victory banquet, of all things, organized by Jin Guangshan of course, Meng Yao buried his head in Xichen’s chest and positively whimpered.
“Does there have to be a banquet?” he groaned, indulging in the luxury of complaining while he could. He could clearly forsee an evening-long political siege, in this.
Lan Xichen agrees to bear his (grounded) brother’s invitation to Wei Wuxian. In the course of this, he and Meng Yao figure out at least some of what happened to Wei Wuxian. Drama, also a dash of Porn, I-3
“I would like to send an… invitation.”
Meng Yao didn’t even need the hesitation over the right term to know who this was about, though he did very privately think that ‘demand’ or possibly ‘kidnapping’ might be closer to what Wangji actually wanted to do. He had not been taking well to the slow pace of Wei Wuxian’s recovery, in Wen Qing’s hands, nor to his own restriction to the Cloud Recesses after his first visit to Lotus Pier had managed to last over two weeks.
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.
In the wake of Phoenix Mountain, everyone starts to settle into the futures they’ve found for themselves. Drama, Romance, Porn, I-4
“You were right.” His husband smiled at him, soft and rueful. “Mingjue-xiong agrees that it should be me.” And then his smile quirked a little. “So does Pan-guniang, apparently.”
“I’m not surprised. She had the very closest of views, of you bringing half the cultivation world to a halt simply by standing and taking no action. Even if she were shaky on her philosophy, that would have been a bit hard to miss.” He laid aside his own papers and reports and crossed the room to kneel by Xichen’s writing table. “Would it make you unhappy, to do this?” If the answer was yes, then he’d find someone else.