far from home

21 Nov 2020
Part of MDZS Modern AU Collection

Snapshots of Lan Wangji’s year-long stay in Yunmeng

Chapters: 6
Words: 13,636

far from home

Chapter 2

Chapter Notes:

the other Lans are OCs who i named once again using the power of Google

Lan Wangji braces himself for his first day in Yunmeng High, but it turns out to be… fine.

He settles easily in the class, listens to the teachers, dutifully takes notes, observes that Jiang Wanyin is also very serious about taking notes, and then notices that Wei Ying is taking too many notes too vigorously for those said notes to be about the relatively slow-paced lesson. He doesn’t want to know what the furious scribbling could be about.

For lunch, Wangji barely had time to think about how his two juniors were faring when he caught sight of them walking with students from their class. Lan Ming, who is Wangji’s cousin, and Xin Chun, whose parents are also Lan disciples, have always been two of the more social and easygoing disciples of their batch, so Wangji is not really surprised to find them already a part of a new friend group.

Deciding the two were settled, Wangji had little choice but to let Wei Ying drag him to eat together with Jiang Wanyin and a few others in their class. Wangji recognizes some of them as Jiang disciples from the Gusu lectures a few months ago, while the others looked like non-cultivators, if the lack of a clarity bell on their person is anything to go by.

Wei Ying talks his ears off as usual, packed with stories from their summer attending the lectures in Gusu, and then that one night hunt just a few weeks ago when he and Lan Wangji helped some disciples from a minor sect in a town just outside Yunmeng.

“-the poor kids were really struggling back there! They really should’ve been accompanied by a senior. Right, Lan Zhan?”

All eyes turn to him, and Wangji takes a second to nod. “They did not have enough experience.”

He is met with sounds of agreement.

“I’ve met their sect leader before, when father came to visit them.” Jiang Wanyin says. “He’s very lenient on his disciples. He should train them properly, it’s for their own good.”

Wei Ying sniggers. “Yeah, those kids would cry if they were subjected to Madame Yu’s training.”

“Who doesn’t cry while being trained by Madame Yu?” one of the Jiang disciples say, prompting a round of laughter. Even Jiang Wanyin is suppressing a smile.

One of the non-cultivators then perk up. “Jiang-gongzi, Wei-gongzi, will you be on the lacrosse team this year again?”

“Yeah.” Jiang Wanyin answers, shrugging. “As usual.”

“We’ll be busier this year with sect work, though. We’re being assigned more stuff to do.” Wei Ying adds. “So we might miss some practice hours. But we’re good!”

“You do so much! And you’re still volunteering at the animal shelter too?”

Jiang Wanyin nods. “Only on weekends, but I skip sometimes when there’s a night hunt to prepare for.”

Wei Wuxian grins, nudging his brother. “Jiang Cheng just doesn’t want to miss spending time cuddling dogs and his boyfriend .”

What follows, in Lan Wangji’s opinion, is chaos.

“Shut up, Wei Wuxian, it’s an advocacy to care for and rescue-”

“Wait- Jiang-gongzi and Nie-er-gongzi are dating now?!”

“Yes, they are!”

“You- How did you know it’s him?!”

“Ohhhhhh- yeah, that reminds me! Pay up!”

“You bet on this?!”

“We’re sorry, Jiang-gongzi, we were really bored at Gusu!”

“Wait, who won? When did it happen?”

“After Gusu, but before classes.”

“Wei Wuxian, I swear-”

“How did it happen, Wei-gongzi?!”

“Oh, you are all going to pay , alright. This weekend. At training.”

“Ah, Jiang Cheng, don’t be a hardass, they were bored at Gusu!”

Lan Wangji is torn between tuning everything out or texting Nie Huaisang – because he knows his friend will love this – but before he could decide, one of the non-cultivators in the group turns to him with a pleasant smile.

“What about Lan-er-gongzi? Are you joining a club while you’re here?”

Wangji is surprised at the sudden and familiar address – it seems Huaisang is right, Yunmeng people were very casual with cultivators, even those not from their home sect. Nevertheless, he recovers quickly.

“I have not yet decided.” he says, then also remembers Huaisang’s advice to not hesitate to ask questions. “Is it a requirement?”

“Oh, not really!” his classmate replies, laughing slightly. “Well, kind of, unofficially, specially with us non-cultivators. It’s just parents sometimes, they’ll go ‘You don’t have any extra activities while some of your classmates train every day and go out at night to protect our city? Lazy!’ – you know, something like that, haha… But you’re a cultivator, so I guess you don’t have to worry about it!”

He nods, thinking about it. He looks towards where Jiang Wanyin is fuming while Wei Ying and the other Jiang disciples are teasing him. “Wei Ying and Jiang Wanyin are in a club, even while practicing cultivation.”

“Hm, yeah… A few of the Jiang disciples, but they’re mostly on the sports ones. I think it’s because they’re all quite fit so they can afford to miss practice time and balance that with their cultivation, you know? And I guess it’s just good for college applications too.”

It isn’t uncommon. He knows Nie Mingjue did the same when he was in high school, as did his own big brother. Jin Zixuan, as well, if he recalls correctly. Jin Guangyao wasn’t an athlete, but he managed teams. Nie Huaisang is also very active in his school’s art club.

Lan Wangji never was one for joining a club himself, though, but that’s only because he is focused on cultivation training during his spare time.

Still, his brother told him to use this opportunity to try new things.

“I see.” he says, and keeps the information as something to consider.



During dinner, Lan Ming and Xin Chun bring up that they’re looking into joining the literature club.

“A few of our friends took us to meet the seniors in the club, and they’re interested in how our research is about new literature in Yunmeng. They said it’ll be a good project for the club to help us.” Lan Ming explains. “So I figured A-Chun and I can join them, use our time for club activities to do our part in our research.”

“That way we also have plenty of time for night hunts afterwards.” Xin Chun adds.

“Hm, that is indeed a good idea.” Lan Fei, one of their senior disciples, tells them. “If you two really are interested, you should join.”

“Wangji-ge, they said we should also invite you.” Lan Ming says. “You could come with us tomorrow, if you want to.”

Wangji nods at his cousin. “I will consider it.”



Wangji does consider it. That is why the next morning, he stands in front of a school-wide bulletin board eyeing the various posters and flyers of the different school clubs.

This is how the Jiang brothers find him. Wei Ying, as usual, is the first one to greet him good morning before looking up at the board as well, “What’s up? Are you joining a club? They’re really fun.”

“A-Ming and A-Chun are joining the literature club.” He explains. “I told them I would consider.”

“Ah, but you’re not much into literature, yeah?” Wei Ying asks.

Wangji likes reading. But they were mostly… educational material. He has read classic literature, of course, all required reading from school and lessons, but for leisure… well .

“Three of us covering the same base will be wasteful, when there are other topics we need to look into for our research as well.”

“Hm, yeah. Sure. Makes sense.” Wei Ying nods. “Also, the literature club, like… they talk. They talk so much. You don’t like talking.”

“I’m… fine. With talking.”

Wei Ying makes a sound that sounds a lot like ‘are you really?’ , then he perks up when he catches sight of something in the board. “Oh! What about art? You’re good at calligraphy!”

Wangji is good at calligraphy, but, like literature, it’s not a particular subject of interest.

Before he can turn down the suggestion, Jiang Wanyin speaks up.

“You could join the band.”

“The-… The band?” Wei Ying blinks. “What?”

Jiang Wanyin rolls his eyes. “Not the band band. I mean the traditional music band.” Lan Wangji turns to look at him, and he just shrugs. “What? You play the guqin, right? They do traditional music, Yunmeng folk songs and all that. You’re supposed to research local culture. Music is part of local culture.”

“Jiang Cheng, you nerd.” Wei Ying grins, elbowing his brother. “You’re helping Lan Zhan~”

Jiang Wanyin brushes off his brother’s ribbing. “I’m just stating facts!”

Wei Ying laughs, then turns back to Wangji. “Their guqin graduated last year, too! Lan Zhan, you can totally join them!”

Lan Wangji’s eyes scan the board to find the understated, elegant poster for the traditional music band. They are indeed looking for a guqin player, among some others. He lifts his phone to snap a photo of the details.

“Ah, they’re so lucky to get you!” Wei Ying says, bouncing. “And I don’t think they’ve ever had someone who practices musical cultivation either. They’ll be so impressed.”

And, because Lan Wangji believes in giving credit where credit is due, he turns towards Jiang Wanyin and nods. “Thank you.”

The other just shrugs again and turns to walk towards their classroom. “Whatever. You two are loitering in the hallway.”

“He means you’re welcome.” Wei Ying tells Wangji, draping an arm around his shoulders and pulling him along.

And Wangji… well, he lets himself be pulled.



The traditional music band is happy to have Wangji join them.

When he tells them about the Lan sect’s research project, they happily tell him that they not only study how to play their chosen pieces, but they often discuss the background and origin behind the songs, so perhaps he will find those helpful.

It’s promising, so he bows to them and says, “I look forward to working with you.”





> It’s been one day.


STILL!!!! 😭😭😭😭😭

> Who told you?



> Huaisang


also a-cheng 💜
and er-ge told da-ge who told me
dw i’m not mad
i’m happy for you!!!

> Thank you.



Lan Wangji had always practiced his guqin alone, or sometimes with his big brother.

It’s an adjustment, playing in a group, but he didn’t find it unpleasant. In fact, it felt kind of familiar, in a way. It is a lot like cultivation training with his peers. They are focused on working together to learn one skill. When one messes up, the others lend a hand until they all get it right. They are not afraid to laugh little mistakes off, but they are quick to focus back on the task at hand.

When they’re not playing, they are listening to different folk music and learning the stories behind them.

His first month in Yunmeng is spent between classes, lunch with Wei Ying and their classmates, his new club activities, weekends in the library helping his seniors with their research, and cultivation training by himself in the free time he had left.

Night hunting has been on hold for the juniors. The Lans had agreed to leave the night hunting to the senior disciples for the first month, so the juniors can focus on adjusting to their new school. Anyway, the Jiang sect already had the general vicinity covered, so they really didn’t have reason to worry about the responsibility to deal with spirits or fierce corpses.

His peers in class and in the band quickly learn that he is a person of few words, and even though they are very friendly and familiar people, they respect his boundaries.

Slowly but surely, Lan Wangji gets used to his new routine and surroundings.



Until, of course, one Monday when Wei Ying walks into school leaning on a crutch, one leg in a bright red cast.

Lan Wangji’s eyes widen as he rushes towards the other boy. “Wei Ying. What happened?”

Wei Ying, despite the very visible injury, just gives him an awkward laugh. “Ah… Lan Zhan… Good morning!”

“It was stupid.” Jiang Wanyin says. He is carrying both his own and his brother’s backpack. “He was so stupid. Very stupid. And he made A-jie cry! Stupid.”

“Hey! I already said sorry!”

“It was stupid!”

And then they launch into an argument about how stupid it really was and from the little that Lan Wangji could gather, the incident involved a group chat, a dare, a bet, lacrosse sticks, a tree, radishes, a boat, and the unexpected appearance of a wild-untamed-beast-actually-no-it-was-a-harmless-puppy-it-was-not-harmless-it-was-a-monster-it-was-a-fucking-mini-chow-chow-wei-wuxian-well-it-had-a-not-mini-bark-jiang-cheng.

“…so yeah, my leg is broken! Don’t worry, it’ll heal soon!” Wei Ying concludes with a dazzling smile.

Lan Wangji could do nothing but nod. “I wish for Wei Ying’s quick recovery.”

“Aw, thank you, Lan Zhan! Let’s just get to class now, yeah? We don’t wanna be late…”

Lan Wangji observes as Wei Ying hobbles around, clearly still not used to the crutch and cast. He steps forward and rests a hand on the other’s back to steady him. “Do you need help?”

“Thank you, but I’ll be fine, Lan Zhan.” Wei Ying reassures him. “I mean, what can we do? Can you carry me? Haha-”

In one smooth motion, Wangji scoops Wei Ying up in his arms.

“What.” Wei Ying says.

“What.” Jiang Wanyin says.

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying shrieks, squirming. “It’s fine! I’m fine! You don’t have to carry me, I was kidding!”

Wangji frowns. “Is Wei Ying uncomfortable?”

“I-…? Well… no, but-”

“Yeah. No. I can’t.” Jiang Wanyin says, shaking his head. “I refuse to be around… this.” he gestures towards their general direction before turning around. “I’m going ahead. Goodbye.” Then, he leaves them.

What a rude brother, Lan Wangji thinks. At least he’s still carrying Wei Ying’s backpack.

“Jiang Cheng! You-!” Wei Ying cries, but his brother doesn’t even acknowledge him. “Um… L-Lan Zhan, really, you don’t have to do this, I’m sure I’m heavy-”

Wangji shakes his head. “Wei Ying is not heavy.”

“O-okay…” Wei Ying says, in a manner that could only be described as a squeak .

So Lan Wangji carries him to their classroom, then carefully sets him down on his chair.

“T-Thanks?” Wei Ying says, face as red as his cast. “Lan Zhan, Hanguang Jun, you really are a gentleman, you know?”

Wangji shakes his head, and then goes to sit on his own chair.

Then, what he just did catches up to him, and he is too busy processing what just happened to notice all the flabbergasted looks from their classmates.



Two days later, Wei Ying turns up at the traditional music band’s club room.

“It’s so boring.” he declares. “It’s so boring to watch the team practice without me!”

“W-Wei-gongzi?” the band leader asks, uncertain. “Can… Can we help you?”

Wei Ying grins, then produces a familiar item from his back pocket.

“Do you need another dizi?”



The traditional music band is happy to have their home sect’s famous Young Master Wei join them.

Wei Ying happily plops himself on a chair across from Lan Wangji, accepts the sheet music, and takes a few minutes to scan it before telling them to go play as usual and he’ll try to keep up. He claims he is familiar with the song – he grew up in Yunmeng, after all.

The band plays as usual, Wei Ying keeps up, and when Lan Wangji risks a glance at him, their eyes meet. After one surprised beat, Wei Ying winks.

For the first time since joining the club, Lan Wangji misses a note.




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