Chapter 115: Extra—Banquet (Part Two)
Translated by K of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Despite everything, that night, the two didn’t immediately get the chance to ‘try’. Lan WangJi first had to see and and talk to Lan XiChen, who had been in secluded meditation for a while.
These days, Wei WuXian adopted a strange habit. He liked to sleep on top of Lan WangJi’s body, no matter lying on him or clinging to his chest face-to-face. Anyhow, without this human pillow, he wasn’t able to sleep. Shamelessly, he turned the jingshi upside-down, and did indeed manage to dig out some things.
Lan WangJi had been prim and proper with everything he did, ever since he was young. His calligraphy, paintings, and essays were all extremely organized, ordered by year. Wei WuXian started from the handwriting practice he did when he was young, laughing as he flipped through them with relish. He’d feel his teeth ache every time he saw Lan QiRen’s red comments. But, even after thousands of pages, he only found one piece of paper with a mistake on it. Afterwards, Lan WangJi used another piece of paper to copy with all seriousness the mistaken character a hundred times. Wei WuXian clicked his tongue, Poor kid. He probably didn’t even recognize the character after so much copying.
He was going to continue flipping through these old, yellowing pages when a faint light lit up amid the darkness outside the Jingshi.
He didn’t hear footsteps, but Wei WuXian skilfully rolled onto Lan WangJi’s bed, hauling the blanket from his feet up to his head. When Lan WangJi gently pushed the door open and entered, what he saw was the illusion that the person inside the room was sleeping soundly.
Lan WangJi’s motions were absolutely noiseless in the first place. Seeing that someone was already ‘asleep’, he held back his breathing and slowly shut the Jingshi’s door. After a moment of silence, he finally approached the bed.
Before he even got near, his entire upper body was wrapped into a flying blanket.
Lan WangJi, “…”
Wei WuXian leaped down, tightly hugging Lan WangJi whose entire head was covered, and pushed him onto the bed, “Rape!”
Lan WangJi, “…”
Wei WuXian’s hands vulgarly touched and fumbled around his body, yet Lan WangJi still lay as quiet as dead, letting him do whatever he pleased. Wei WuXian lost interest just a while later, “HanGuang-Jun, why don’t you even resist a bit? If you’re just lying there not even moving, what’s the fun of me raping you?”
Lan WangJi’s muffled voice came through the blanket, “What do you want me to do?”
Wei WuXian advised, “When I hold you down, you’re gonna push me and not let me get on top of you, and squeeze your legs together and struggle as hard as you can, at the same time scream for help…”
Lan WangJi, “Making noise is forbidden in the Cloud Recesses.”
Wei WuXian, “Then you can call for help lightly. And also, when I rip your clothes apart, you should try your best to resist and protect your chest.”
The blanket was silent for a while.
A moment later, Lan WangJi replied, “It sounds rather difficult.”
Wei WuXian, “Really?!”
Lan WangJi, “Mn.”
Wei WuXian, “I’m out of ideas, then. How about we change things up and you rape me instead…”
Before he finished, his view spun and the blankets flew off. Lan WangJi had already pushed him onto the bed.
Because he was smothered inside the blanket by Wei WuXian for quite a while, even his eternally-neat hair tie and forehead ribbon were somewhat crooked. His hair was somewhat disheveled, a few strands dangling down, and his originally jade-white cheeks shone through with soft pink. Under the candlelight, he was quite the bashful beauty. Unfortunately, though, the beauty’s arm strength was absurdly great, firmly locked around Wei WuXian like clamps of iron as he begged, “HanGuang-Jun, HanGuang-Jun, to forgive is a virtue.”
Lan WangJi’s eyes didn’t waver, while the two bright flames of the candle trembled in their reflection. His expression was calm, “Yes.”
Wei WuXian, “Yes what? Handstand? Rape? Hey! My clothes.”
Lan WangJi, “You said so yourself.”
As he spoke, he set his body between Wei WuXian’s legs and stayed for a while. Wei WuXian waited for a while, but nothing came, “What!”
Lan WangJi straightened up slightly, “Why do you not resist?”
Wei WuXian squeezed his waist with his legs, rubbing slowly and refusing to let him leave. He grinned, “Well what can I do? When you push me down, my legs open themselves involuntarily. I can’t close them at all, so how do I have the strength to resist? It’s hard for you, but it’s hard for me too… Stop, stop, come here, let me show you something first.” He fished out a piece of paper from his lapels, “Lan Zhan, let me ask you—how could you make a mistake on such an easy character? Not studying properly? What was going on in that head of yours?”
Lan WangJi glanced at the paper and said nothing, but the meaning of his gaze was more than clear—how faceless that someone like Wei WuXian, who used a wild cursive when copying scriptures and made so many mistakes in the process of slacking off, would berate him for making a mistake on one character.
Wei WuXian pretended to not understand those eyes as he continued, “Look at the date you wrote at the bottom. Let me see… You were already fifteen or sixteen at that time, weren’t you? To make a mistake like this at such an age, you…”
But when he thought about the date at the bottom more carefully, he found that it just so happened to match up with the three months he spent studying at the Cloud Recesses.
Wei WuXian was immediately overjoyed, speaking on purpose, “Could it be that when Lan Er-gege was young, he didn’t pay attention to reading and writing because I was the only thing he could think about?”
Back when Wei WuXian was grounded at the Library Pavilion, he threw tantrums and lounged around every day in front of Lan WangJi, harassing him in a hundred ways. He stirred up Lan WangJi’s peace and quiet so much that it was difficult for Lan WangJi not to ‘think about’ him, but just not that sort of ‘think about’. Under such circumstances, it was extremely admirable that Lan WangJi managed to pull through, supervising Wei WuXian’s scripture-copying as he himself kept on doing his own things, making only one mistake.
Wei WuXian, “Huh, why is it my fault again? You’re gonna blame it on me again.”
“…” Lan WangJi’s voice was low, “Your fault!”
His breaths hitched as he tried to grab the piece of paper that was a stain in his otherwise-perfect life. Wei WuXian loved it when Lan WangJi was forced into a corner. He immediately stuffed the paper inside his clothes and hid it near his flesh, “Come at me if you’re so good.”
Lan WangJi didn’t hesitate at all as he reached inside. And he didn’t take his hands out.
Wei WuXian, “You’re incredible indeed!”
The two messed around for over half of the night. Only in the second half were they able to hold a serious conversation.
Wei WuXian still clung to Lan WangJi’s chest, face buried at his neck as he felt the sandalwood aroma on Lan WangJi’s body grow even richer. He felt lazy all over, eyes closed, “Is your brother alright?”
Lan WangJi embraced his naked back, stroking again and again. After a while of a silence, he answered, “Not really.”
Both of the two were sticky with sweat. Wei WuXian felt an itch crawl from his skin all the way to the bottom of his heart as Lan WangJi stroked him. He twisted somewhat uncomfortably, swallowing Lan WangJi even deeper.
Lan WangJi lowered his voice, “In the years when I was in secluded meditation, Brother had always been the one to comfort me.”
Yet now the situation was the exact opposite.
Wei WuXian didn’t need to ask what Lan WangJi did during the years he was in secluded meditation. He kissed Lan WangJi’s fair earlobe and pulled up the blanket at the side, covering the two under it.
The second morning, Lan WangJi got up at five as usual.
In the few months he and Wei WuXian begun living together, he’d tried to set Wei WuXian’s sleeping habits right, but it was always in vain. After a disciple brought over the warm water used for bathing, Lan WangJi, who’d long since dressed himself, peeled the stark-naked Wei WuXian out of the thin blanket and carried him into the wooden tub. Somehow, Wei WuXian could continue to sleep even as he was steeped in water. Lan WangJi pushed him gently, and he’d catch Lan WangJi’s hand, kissing it both on its palm and its back, rubbing it on his cheek before he went back to sleep. When the pushing really began to annoy him, he’d whine a couple of times and pull Lan WangJi down, eyes still shut, cupping Lan WangJi’s face as he kissed a few more times, murmuring, “Good boy, stop messing with me. Pretty please? I’ll get up in just a bit. Yeah.”
And with a yawn, he’d fall back asleep, clinging to the edge of the tub.
Although he knew, even if the room burned down, Wei WuXian would probably find some other place and sleep, Lan WangJi still persevered in waking him up starting at five, then endure dozens of pecks expressionlessly.
He brought breakfast to the Jingshi and laid it on the desk that in the past only held ink, paper, and brush, then fished the dead-asleep Wei WuXian out of the tub to wipe him clean, dress him, and tie his sashes. Only then did Lan WangJi finally take a book from the shelves and flip open to the page with the dried flower bookmark, sitting by the desk and slowly beginning to read.
As expected, at almost eleven, Wei WuXian jerked up from the bed with extreme punctuality before feeling his way down the bed almost as though he was sleep-walking. He first felt Lan WangJi, hauling him into his arms for a few rubs, then squeezed his thigh out of habit. After a lightning round of washing his face and brushing his teeth, he was finally a bit more awake, floating towards the desk. Wei WuXian first finished an apple in just a couple of bites. When he saw the amount of food piled in the meal box, a corner of his lips twitched, “Don’t you have a banquet today? Is it alright to eat so much beforehand?”
Calmly, Lan WangJi fixed the hair tie and forehead ribbon that Wei WuXian messed up while rubbing, “Fill your stomach first.”
The food of the Cloud Recesses was something that Wei WuXian had once encountered. With watery broth and vegetables as the main dish, it was green and only green across the table, full of medicinal herbs ranging from root to bark. Every single dish emitted a pungent bitterness, and amid that bitterness was an odd tinge of sweet. If it weren’t for this, back then Wei WuXian wouldn’t have gotten the idea to barbeque the two rabbits either. A banquet at their sect probably wouldn’t do much to satisfy one’s hunger.
Wei WuXian knew that the GusuLan Sect valued this aspect of things quite heavily. Whether or not they let him attend the sect banquet was basically whether or not they acknowledged his status as Lan WangJi’s partner in cultivation. Lan WangJi definitely pressed Lan QiRen over and over again to gain him such a right. He let out a breath and grinned, “Don’t worry. I’ll definitely do my best and not lose face for you.”
It was called a sect banquet, but the Cloud Recesses’ sect banquet was completely different from what Wei WuXian thought sect banquets were.
The sect banquet of the YunmengJiang Sect involved setting up a dozen big, square tables at Lotus Pier’s outdoors training field. Everyone sat wherever they wanted and called one another whatever they wanted. The kitchen was brought outside as well. The fire and the smell shot up high in the air from an entire row of pots and stoves. One had to go over and take whatever they wanted to eat. More would be cooked if there wasn’t enough. Although he’d never gone to the LanlingJin Sect’s banquet, their sect never spared spreading the extravagant details everywhere, like famous sword-dancing acts as entertainment, trees of coral and pools of wine, or miles and miles of red brocade carpets. It was an astonishing scene.
In comparison, the sect banquet of the Cloud Recesses was neither lively nor lavish.
The GusuLan Sect’s discipline had always been terrifyingly strict, allowing no speaking when eating or sleeping. Even though the banquet hadn’t begun yet, nobody amongst the seats said anything. Apart from those who just entered the hall, who’d whisper as they saluted at their seniors, almost nobody talked, and laughter was nonexistent. They wore the same white clothes, the same white forehead ribbons adorned with patterns of flowing clouds, the same solemn, almost numb expressions—almost as if they were carved from the same template.
Looking at the entire hall of ‘mourning clothes’, Wei WuXian pretended like he couldn’t see the looks of surprise or even hostility from the others, commenting in silence, Is this a sect banquet? It’s even graver than a funeral.
At this point, Lan XiChen and Lan QiRen entered the banquet hall. Lan WangJi, who’d been sitting quietly beside Wei WuXian, finally moved slightly.
Likely because Lan QiRen got a heart attack whenever he saw Wei WuXian, he simply decided not to look at him, staring straight forward. Lan XiChen was pleasant as always, holding the hint of a smile at his lips that always seemed like spring wind. Yet, perhaps because of the secluded meditation, Wei WuXian felt that ZeWu-Jun looked a bit frail.
After the sect leader was seated, Lan XiChen began with a few simple words of courtesy, and the banquet began.
The first course was a soup.
To drink soup before the meal was a habit of the GusuLan Sect’s. The dish was held in a plain bowl made of black, smooth porcelain, small enough to be held in one’s palm. Under the dainty lid was, as expected, a whole lot of green and yellow leaves, roots, and bark.
Just looking at it made Wei WuXian’s brows twitch. After he brought a spoonful into his mouth, even though he prepared himself for it, he couldn’t help but closed his eyes and buried his forehead in his hand.
Only a while later did he return from the daze to which his heavily-attacked tastebuds sent him. He managed to prop up his body with his elbow, thinking, If the Lan Sect’s founder was a monk, he was definitely an ascetic.
Wei WuXian couldn’t control himself from reminiscing the big pot filled to the brim with lotus root and pork rib soup on the training field when Lotus Pier held sect banquets. The aroma wafted miles and miles, luring all of the nearby children over as they clung to Lotus Pier’s outer walls and peeked inside, saliva drooling down their mouths. When they went home, they all sobbed and begged to be disciples at the YunmengJiang Sect. In comparison, at this moment, he didn’t know whether to pity himself, who was so full of the strange bittersweet taste, or Lan WangJi, who grew up on this since birth.
But as he watched all of the other Lan Sect members finish the medicinal soup without a change of face, their motions and expressions a mixture of calm, elegant, and natural, Wei WuXian didn’t have the face to leave so much in his bowl either. On top of that, in the four thousand—no, he didn’t know how many thousands there were now—sect rules, he recalled there were regulations to dining courtesy either, such as no picking, no wasting, and no eating more than three bowls. Although he felt these rules were absolutely ridiculous, he didn’t want to be spurned by Lan QiRen just yet.
However, just as he was about to brave up and down the entire bowl of the weird medicinal soup all in one gulp, he suddenly realized that the bowl in front of him was already empty.
Wei WuXian, “???”
He couldn’t help but picked up the delicate little bowl, thinking, I did just drink one tiny sip, didn’t I? Is there a hole on the bottom and everything leaked out?
But the table was spick and span, without a single trace of soup.
Wei WuXian looked to the side. At the same time, Lan WangJi had his last sip of the soup as though nothing happened. After he closed the porcelain lid, he looked down, and was currently using a snowy handkerchief to wipe the corner of his mouth.
But Wei WuXian clearly remembered that Lan WangJi had long since finished his bowl.
He also discovered that Lan WangJi’s table seemed to be a lot nearer to his than before the banquet started. It was like it’d been shifted stealthily.
Wei WuXian, “…”
He raised a brow, mouthing towards Lan WangJi—HanGuang-Jun, your moves are pretty fast, huh?
Lan WangJi laid down the handkerchief. He looked over here for a moment before he calmly averted his gaze.
*Heights (attached by author at the end of this particular chapter):
Nie MingJue 191 (6’3)
Lan XiChen 188 (6’2)
Lan WangJi 188 (6’2)
Wei WuXian 186 (6’1)
Jin ZiXuan 185 (6’1)
Jiang WanYin 185 (6’1)
Xiao XingChen 185 (6’1)
Wen QiongLin 183 (6’0)
Mo XuanYu 180 (5’11)
Nie HuaiSang 172 (5’8)
Jin GuangYao 170 (5’7) (without cap, but it’s dubious whether or not there are height-increasing wedges in his shoes)