Written for the prompt "Nie Huaisang and grief"
Grief comes in many stages- for Nie Huaisang, it's touched every aspect of his life since his lonely childhood without parents, the war that tore at his friends until they became strangers, and the guttural wrench of betrayal stealing his brother and a trusted companion away in one night. But he knows how to grieve, how to plan, and how to honor his brother's memory in his heart while tearing down Jin Guangyao's.
He'd accepted Nie Mingjue's passing by the time he released his arm in Mo Village but the anger hadn't faded, only become an ever present fuel to the hidden fire of vengeance in his heart. Every piece of the plan that falls into place only stokes it more, pooling deep in him as he hides behind the mask of ignorance, until the players take the final stage and foolish, trusting Lan Xichen runs Jin Guangyao through.
There's more to grief than anger; Nie Huaisang knows that well. But anger can be part of something more than vengeance, and the loss he feels as he leaves Yunping wasn't part of his plans.