Chapter 15 Refinement—Part Five
Wei WuXian was someone who was skilled at finding fun for himself, especially talented in the area of seeking joy amid dull circumstances. Since there wasn’t anything else to play with, he could only play with Lan WangJi. He called, “WangJi-xiong.”
Lan WangJi remained motionless.
Wei WuXian, “WangJi.”
He appeared as if he didn’t hear anything.
Wei WuXian, “Lan WangJi.”
Wei WuXian, “Lan Zhan!”
Lan WangJi finally stopped writing, and looked up at him with a cold gaze. Wei WuXian shifted backward, raising his hands as if he was defending himself, “Don’t look at me like this. I only called your name because you didn’t answer when I called you WangJi. If you’re upset, you can also call me back with my name.”
Lan WangJi spoke, “Put your legs down.”
Wei WuXian’s sitting posture was extremely improper, with a slanted body and legs propped up. Seeing that he finally teased Lan WangJi to the point that he started to talk, the former silently chuckled to himself, as if he finally saw the clouds disperse and the moon appear. Listening to Lan WangJi’s words, he put his legs down, but his upper body inched unnoticeably closer, and he pressed his arms onto the desk. It was still an unacceptable sitting posture. He asked in a serious tone, “Lan Zhan. Let me ask you a question. Do you… really hate me that much?”
Lan WangJi looked down, his lashes casting light shadows onto his jade-like cheeks. Wei WuXian hurriedly added, “Hey, don’t be like this, ignoring me again after saying so few words. I want to admit my fault and apologize to you. Look at me.”
After a pause, he spoke again, “You don’t want to look at me? Sure, then. I’ll just start talking. It was my fault during that night. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have climbed the wall, I shouldn’t have drank alcohol, and I shouldn’t have fought with you. But, I swear! It wasn’t that I provoked you on purpose—I really didn’t look at the sect rules. The sect rules in the Jiang Sect are all told verbally; none of them are written down. Or else, I definitely wouldn’t have done that.” I definitely wouldn’t have finished the jar of Emperor’s Smile in front of you. I would have tucked it away and carried it back into my room, secretly drinking it every day and sharing it with everyone until we all had enough.
Wei WuXian continued, “And, let’s be reasonable—which of us attacked first? It was you. If you didn’t attack, we could’ve communicated nicely and cleared everything up. However, if someone hits me, I’d have to hit them back. This isn’t all my fault. Lan Zhan, are you listening? Look at me. Young Master Lan?” He snapped his fingers, “Second Brother Lan, why don’t you do me a favor and look at me?”
Lan WangJi didn’t even lift his eyes, “Copy it one additional time.”
Wei WuXian’s body immediately slanted, “Don’t be like this. It’s my fault, alright?”
Lan WangJi exposed his lie mercilessly, “You do not feel any remorse.”
Wei WuXian spoke as if he didn’t have any dignity, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I can repeat it however many times you want me to. I can even say it while kneeling down.”
Lan WangJi put his brush down. Wei WuXian thought that the other couldn’t endure it any longer and finally wanted to beat him up. Just as he got ready to put on a goofy grin, he discovered that his upper and lower lips seemed like they were glued together, so he couldn’t laugh.
His face quickly changed. He struggled to talk, “Mmph? Mmph mmph mmph!”
Lan WangJi closed his eyes and let out a faint breath of air. When he opened his eyes, the calm expression returned again. He picked up the brush again, as if nothing had happened. Wei WuXian had been aware of the hated silencing spell of the Lan Sect since long ago, and he refused to believe it. Yet, after making every effort, scratching the corners of his lips red, he still couldn’t open his mouth no matter what. And so, he grabbed a piece of paper, wrote as if his brush was flying, and threw the paper over. Lan WangJi glanced at it. “Pathetic,” he responded, crumpling it into a ball and tossing it away.
Wei WuXian was so angry that he rolled around on the mat, climbed up, and wrote another one, slamming it in front of Lan WangJi. Again, it was crumpled into a ball and tossed away.
The silencing spell was only removed after he finished copying. The second day, when he came to the Library Pavilion again, the balls of paper which landed everywhere were all taken out.
Wei WuXian had always forgot about the pain after the cut healed. Although, on the first day, he suffered greatly from the silencing spell, after a few moments, his mouth started to itch again. After recklessly speaking a few times, he was silenced once more. He couldn’t open his mouth, so he scribbled on paper and pushed them to Lan WangJi, who crumpled it and threw it onto the ground. The same thing happened on the third day.
He was silenced time after time. However, on the last day of him having to “face the wall and reflect,” Lan WangJi noticed that Wei WuXian seemed somewhat different.
During his stay at Gusu, he left his sword all around the place, and was never seen carrying it properly. Yet, he took it with him today, loudly slamming it onto the desk. He even went as far as to start writing without a word, contrasting his usual behavior of relentlessly harassing Lan WangJi in every way possible. He was so obedient that it was strange.
Lan WangJi didn’t have a reason to silence him, so he took a few more glances at him, as if he didn’t believe that Wei WuXian was finally willing to behave himself. As he had expected, after a short while of sitting down, Wei WuXian repeated his past conduct again, giving Lan WangJi a piece of paper for him to see.
Lan WangJi originally thought that it was going to be a mess of lame phrases again, but after a coincidental glimpse, he was surprised to find the drawing of a person, sitting upright and reading by the window, with a vividly realistic expression on his face. It was himself.
Seeing that he didn’t avert his gaze at once, Wei WuXian curled his lips, and raised his eyebrow with a wink. No words were needed, since the meaning was plain to see—Does it look like you? Is it good?
Lan WangJi slowly spoke, “You have spare time, yet you scribble instead of copy the text. In my opinion, the day of your release from this punishment will never come.”
Wei WuXian blew on the ink which hadn’t dried yet and spoke nonchalantly, “I already finished copying, so I won’t be coming tomorrow!”
Lan WangJi’s slender fingers seemed to have paused before flipping over the next yellow-tinted page. Surprisingly, Wei WuXian wasn’t silenced. As he didn’t provoke any reaction, Wei WuXian lightly threw the drawing, “It’s yours.”
The drawing was thrown onto the mat, but Lan WangJi didn’t have any intention of picking it up. During these days, the paper which Wei WuXian wrote on to curse him, cajole him, apologize to him, beg him, and other messy scribbles all ended up this way. He was used to it and didn’t mind. He suddenly added, “I forgot. I need to add something else.”
After his words, he picked up the paper and his brush, and added a few strokes. He glanced at the drawing, then, the actual person, and fell toward the ground in laughter. Lan WangJi put down the book, and saw that Wei WuXian added a flower onto the drawing, where the side of his head was.
The corners of his lip seemed to have twitched. Wei WuXian crawled up and spoke before him, “‘Pathetic’, right? I just know that you’re gonna say pathetic. Can’t you switch to something else? Or add another word to it?”
Lan WangJi replied coldly, “Extremely pathetic.”
Wei WuXian clapped his hands, “So you really added another word to it. Thank you!”
Lan WangJi turned his gaze away, picked up the book which he put on the desk, and opened it again. He only took one look at before he hurled the book away, as if he was burnt by fire.
He was initially reading a Buddhist text, but when he had looked at the page flipped open, he was presented with naked, intertwining figures, intolerable to his eye. The book that he was reading was substituted with a pornographic book, its cover disguised as a Buddhist text.
Even someone without a brain would have guessed who had done the deed. It must have been done when when somebody took the opportunity that opened up when his attention turned to the drawing, let alone the fact that Wei WuXian didn’t even bother to cover it up, slapping the table as he laughed hysterically, “Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!”
As the book was thrown on the ground, Lan WangJi seemed as if he was escaping from snakes or scorpions, falling back to the corner of the Library Pavilion in less than a second. He roared with rage, “Wei Ying——!”
Wei WuXian almost rolled under the desk from laughter, raising a hand with much difficulty, “Here! I’m here!”
Lan WangJi swiftly drew his sword, Bichen. Ever since they had met, Wei WuXian had never seen him appear so discomposed. He hastily grabbed his own sword. Drawing his sword so that a third of the blade was out, he reminded Lan WangJi, “Manners! Second Master Lan! Watch your manners! I brought my sword today as well. If we start fighting, would your Library Pavilion be fine?” He knew that Lan WangJi would be shamed into anger, so he went out of his way to carry his sword for self-defence, so that he wouldn’t be accidentally stabbed to death. The blade of Lan WangJi’s sword pointed at him. Fire could almost be seen sprouting from his pair of light-colored eyes, “What sort of person are you?!”
Wei WuXian responded, “What sort of person could I be? A man!”
Lan WangJi lashed out “You have no shame!”
Wei WuXian, “Do I need to be ashamed about this? Don’t tell me you’ve never seen something like this before. I don’t believe you.”
Lan WangJi’s weak point was that he didn’t know how to argue. After a moment of silently holding back, he pointed his sword at Wei WuXian. He spoke with a frigid face, “You, go outside. We have fought before.”
Wei WuXian shook his head a couple of times, pretending to be docile, “Nope, nope. Didn’t you know, Young Master Lan? Fighting without permission is prohibited in the Cloud Recesses.” He proceeded to pick up the book which was thrown away, but Lan WangJi went before him, snatching it in his hand. Wei WuXian quickly guessed that he was going to use this as evidence to report him. He deliberately spoke, “Why are you grabbing it? I thought that you didn’t want to read it. Now you do? Actually, even if you want to read it, you don’t have to fight for it. I borrowed it exclusively for you, anyways. Now that you’ve seen my porn, you’ve become my friend. We can continue to exchange opinions, and…”
Lan WangJi’s whole face turned white. He spoke one word at a time, “I. Will. Not. Read. It.”
Wei WuXian continued to distort the facts, “If you won’t read it, why did you grab it? Secretly keeping it? You can’t do that. I borrowed this from someone else, so I’d have to return it after you read it… Hey, hey, hey, don’t come here. You’re too close; I feel nervous. Let’s talk nicely. You’re not gonna hand this in, are you? Hand it in to whom? Old… Your uncle? Second Young Master Lan, do you think that you can let the elders see this? He’d definitely think that you already read it. With a face as thin as yours, you’d be so ashamed that you’d die…”
Lan WangJi filled his right hand with spiritual energy, and the book broke into thousands of millions of pieces, fluttering downward. As Wei WuXian saw that he successfully provoked Lan WangJi to the point that the evidence was destroyed, he finally felt relieved, and spoke with fake regret, “What a waste!” Then, he picked up a piece of paper which had fallen on his hair, raising it up to show the fuming, pale-faced Lan WangJi, “Lan Zhan, everything about you is great, except that you like to throw things everywhere. Tell me, how many wads of paper have you thrown onto the ground, in these past few days? Today, you aren’t even satisfied with throwing paper wads anymore, and instead ripped paper. You ripped it, so you clean it up yourself. I’m not gonna help.” Of course, he had never helped anyway.
Lan WangJi tried again and again to put up with him, but he couldn’t do it any more. He thundered, “Get lost!”
Wei WuXian spoke, “Well, well, look at you, Lan Zhan. Everyone says that you’re a gentleman of excellence, a bright pearl in the world, carrying yourself with incomparable courtesy, so it seems that this is all there is. Didn’t you know that causing noise is prohibited in the Cloud Recesses? And, you actually told me to “get lost.” Is this the first time that you used this phrase on somebody…” Lan WangJi drew his sword and went at him. Wei WuXian hurriedly hopped onto the windowsill, “Get lost it is, then. Getting lost is my best skill. It’s not necessary for you to see me out!”
He jumped down the Library Pavilion, laughing like a maniac as he barged into the forest. There was already a group of people waiting for him. Nie HuaiSang asked, “How did it go? Did he read it? What was he like?”
Wei WuXian replied, “What was he like? Ha! Didn’t you guys hear that loud shout he gave?”
Nie HuaiSang was full of admiration, “I heard it—he told you to get lost! Wei-xiong, it was my first time hearing Lan WangJi tell someone to ‘get lost’! How did you do it?”
Satisfaction was plastered all over Wei WuXian’s face, “Good thing that I helped him achieve this ‘first’. You all saw it, didn’t you? The self-restraint and etiquette that Second Young Master Lan was praised so strongly for were all weak and useless against me.”
Jiang Cheng scolded with a darkened expression, “What are you proud of?! What is there to be proud of with this?! Do you think that it’s a glorious thing to be told by someone to get lost? You bring so much shame upon our sect!”
Wei WuXian spoke, “I really wanted to apologize to him, but he never paid attention to me. He silenced me for so many days, so what’s wrong with me having a little fun with him? I presented him the book with a nice intention. HuaiSang-xiong, what happened to your treasured porn was really a pity. I didn’t even get to finish it; it was so good! Lan Zhan definitely doesn’t understand proper relationships. I gave it to him, yet he was still unhappy. It’s such a waste of that face of his.”
Nie HuaiSang blurted, “It’s not a pity at all! You can have as many as you want.”
Jiang Cheng sneered, “You’ve seriously offended both Lan WangJi and Lan QiRen. Just wait for your death tomorrow! Nobody’s gonna bury your corpse.”
Wei WuXian waved his hands, putting his arm around Jiang Cheng’s shoulders, “Who cares, as long as I tease him first? You’ve already buried my corpse so many times, so what’s wrong with once more?”
Jiang Cheng responded with a kick, “Shoo, shoo, shoo! Next time, if you do such a thing, don’t let me know! Don’t ask me to watch, either!”
- To see the clouds disperse and the moon appear means to finally see results after being patient and waiting for a long time.
- The nickname “Second Brother Lan” will appear quite a lot of times in the future. The literal translation is “Second Older Brother Lan”, and is meant to be said in a jokingly way. In China, calling someone an older brother, especially for girls towards guys, is usually meant to be flirtatious. The word meaning “older brother” in Chinese is gege, and people (specifically readers of Heavenly Blessings) often describe it as having a soft, dough-like undertone to it, sounding like a little girl as one speaks. The end of the phrase swishes upwards, as if it’s a smooth, flowing ribbon tugging at one’s heartstrings. In simpler terms, this sounds like oppa in Korean or onii-san in Japanese.
- To forget about the pain after the cut heals means that one quickly forgets about the things they should’ve learnt from a punishment.