from a twitter request by molingsoup: "Do you think you could teach me that?" | Su She


Studying in the Cloud Recesses taught him the minutiae of family history and tradition, swordplay skills rivaled by few, and the ability to channel countless complex techniques into the simplest of songs, but none of the social skills to not act like a stuck up prick— though that might be because that kind of personality is their specialty. Su Minshan strives for even the barest hint of respect and is driven from the sect he'd called home for the better part of his life instead. Every pretty face is a mask to hide harsh judgment, but what can a nobody disciple say?

He fights to form his own sect in the vain hope that he'll gain any individuality or recognition for the work it takes and instead— Instead, he wishes he was deaf to the whispers about how MolingSu is nothing more than a pale knockoff of GusuLan, founded by a disciple who couldn't cut it. Su Minshan lashes out at the insults and is met with more condescension, more judgmental appraisal, and he's more bitter than ever.

But he sees Jin Guangyao shoulder disrespect and insults with a polite smile and make connections with those who'd rather see him fail, and Su Minshan can't help but want to understand how he's still pushing forward despite everyone pushing him down.

So—

"Do you think you could teach me that?" he asks Jin Guangyao in the dying lights of a party at Koi Tower, after watching him speak to drunken cultivator as though he hadn't just heard the man insult his birth and station.

"Ah, Sect Leader Su," Jin Guangyao says, bowing politely. "What is it you were trying to learn?"

And a whole new world opens, one brought about by learning new ways to interact with people and the more covert ways to advance his goals. And even if he's never going to master socializing the way that Jin Guangyao has, Su Minshan gains something even more important— someone who respects him, supports him in a way that doesn't falter because of who he is or isn't, and he takes joy in helping Jin Guangyao reach higher, further, beyond any expectations the world had for him.