Been thinking a lot today about a dark Baoshan Sanren. Which... the more I think about it the darker canon BSS (what is her abbreviation?!) gets. #MDZS

A thread :
So based solely off the show and the book (I’m working on the rest) what I gather is Baoshan Sanren is super powerful, immortal, and has retreated to a mountain somewhere.
And she takes in promising orphans and raises them, trains them. The deal is they can stay with her forever, but if they leave they can never come back.
When I first read about it I was like, ok so it’s kind of cool right? But... the more I think about XXC the less cool it is.

XXC was WOEFULLY unprepared for the real world. Incredibly trusting, smart but foolish (BOTH eyes? Really?)
If you want the best for a child you’re raising then the ultimate goal is for them to be able to stand in the world without you. To be able to make their own choices, to be JUST worldly enough to understand subtext and see red flags but hopefully to retain a sense of wonder.
You want them to explore, to see how beautiful the world is. To find things THEY are passionate about, and to be strong enough to fight for them.

You want them to make friends, to find people to love and be loved by.

But mostly -
You want them to be capable of living and being safe if something happens to you. Which, as an immortal BSSR probably doesn’t think about but the fact that she’s immortal would somehow indicate some type of wisdom there. And wise people know to plan for worst case scenarios.
So that’s what you want for a child you’re raising that you care about.

Now look at XXC....
XXC’s strong in skills and cultivation yes. But everything else?

He left BSSR’s mountain but I have to wonder if that’s maybe the first real decision he ever made for himself. Idk how soon after that he hooked up with SL but when they were together it felt like...
...they made decisions together right? Which sounds healthy but I don’t think it was. XXC’s views on himself, others, and his decision making skills led him to blind himself for SL and then LEAVE. Idk how long after that he meets AQ and XY but his eyes were still bleeding so...
This reflects on BSSR VERY badly. XXC doesn’t read to me as neurodiverse. He reads to me like he’s been hobbled by his upbringing and it left him so vulnerable it’s surprising he wasn’t victimized before XY got to him.
He was raised in a way that made him emotionally/mentally/physically dependent on others. BSSR was out in the world before she went into seclusion (or whatever), so she has to know this isn’t normal.

That combined with her “you can never come back” rule and it’s cult territory.
1. Keeping people ignorant of the world
2. A very strong moral framework in basically a vacuum
3. Raising them from early childhood so you control what inputs they have
4. A harsh no-returning policy which does 2 things a) deters most from leaving and b) controls info coming in
Add the sort of mystique of BSSR as an immortal being and she’s set herself up a cult centered on herself.

But you could argue that’s not DARK right? I mean she’s an immortal. Some kind of hero worship or teacher admiration is normal.

Except then you get to Cangse Sanren.
(Side note I’m REALLY confused on the naming conventions here. I’ve tried to research it but yeah... both BSSR and CSR share a courtesy name? But different surnames? If someone can clarify I’d appreciate it).
So Cangse Sanren was presumably an orphan or street urchin right? And BSSR found her and raised her.

All of her students promise to devote their whole lives to BSSR, and if they leave then the most important person in their lives since they were small will shun them forever.
Whoops - back to XXC for a second. He breaks his promise to never return when he takes SL to BSSR for the whole “give my platonic bro my eyes” thing.

And BSSR, this woman who took him in, raised him, and presumably had some kind of feelings for him (if only as a disciple)
... is like “yep. Completely blinding you is the only option.”

She’s HUNDREDS of years old. No WAY was that the only option she could think of.

But he broke his promise and came back. You can’t tell me that the extremely not cool double eye transplant wasn’t retaliation.
Furthermore - BSSR is legit capable of an eye transplant (nerves, etc), she has the power to do that. But she leaves XXC’s eye sockets raw and open enough he cries tears. He doesn’t just wear bandages to hide his empty sockets, he legit needs them.

But she didn’t heal him.
What reason could there possibly be for BSSR not to heal his sockets unless it’s some kind of punishment? I don’t remember SL having issues with his eyes afterwards, correct me if I’m wrong.

She wouldn’t want to punish SL. But if she’s dark then she would retaliate against XXC.
And then BSSR’s basically like “ok now get the hell out, good luck with the whole being blind in a world full of war and fierce corpses.”

That’s messed up.
Ok back to CSR.

From what little we know about her she’s a beautiful gremlin. A rule breaker like WWX. She hung around JFM for a while but married Wei Changze and became a rogue cultivator.
Frankly I could totally see CSR leaving the sacred mountain and going a bit wild. Of COURSE she didn’t marry JFM (love aside). She’d been cooped up on a mountain in the middle of nowhere her whole life. Being a rogue cultivator and traveling makes sense.
The gremlin part - hypothetically here. WWX is a gremlin for a lot of reasons but a HUGE one is the innate need for attention. Frankly an unhealthy need for it, so much so that it didn’t matter if it was good or bad.

Looking at CSR’s reputation there are echoes of that.
We have no idea how big BSSR’s group is, but only 3 disciples have ever left (that we know of) which makes it feel like it’s not huge. But in a close knit, insular group why would CSR be starved for attention like that? What was her upbringing like?

From the few quotes -
...”remember the things others do for you, not the things you do for others. Only when people don’t hold so much in their hearts would they finally feel free.” Which she told WWX, and also the fact that (I think?) she’s described as smiling/laughing...
I feel like CSR’s got that SAME outlook and coping mechanism WWX has. Where he feels like he’s not as important as others, and he’s gotta keep the focus on serving them versus a healthier reciprocity.

Maybe even where she smiles to cover up pain etc.
Now we KNOW where WWX got a lot of that. Growing up with the Jaings he had it drilled into his head. But from that quote I don’t think it started there.

Where did CSR get that outlook? Why did she sort of have a huge rebellion phase (peak gremlin) after leaving the mountain?
I don’t think the way CSR was raised was any better than XXC.

And BSSR’s 3rd disciple Yanling Daoren... like he went bad right? Now granted we don’t know anything about that other than the hearsay he was admired and then became a murderous villain. But that’s not promising.
Ok next thing -

BSSR is apparently immensely powerful, but does NOTHING while the world burns around her. Genocide, the yin iron, WWX coming apart at the seams... she doesn’t intervene and as far as I can tell she doesn’t even give advice or shelter extra people or...
I’m not saying BSSR *has* to do anything. But if someone has the power to step in and stop atrocities and they don’t, that’s a choice. She obviously comes down off the mountain periodically to stock up on orphan children, so she’s not stuck.

I don’t know her reasons but still.
That feels like something a dark BSSR would do, or at least more gray than white.

What else - CSR and WCZ die and BSSR doesn’t go find WWX.
This means one of a number of things -

1) BSSR didn’t know about WWX. Which means CSR was truly cut off and dead to her when she left. She didn’t even keep tabs on her, because WWX was a few years old when his parents died.
Or

2) She knew about WWX but decided to abandon him in some kind of continuing punishment for CSR. BSSR takes in orphans. WWX was a promising orphan, son of 2 cultivators and BSSR would know his potential from raising CSR.

But she left him to starve.
3) She left him to fend for himself a while to see if he’d survive. Let’s face it, she took in orphans but not ALL orphans. The 3 disciples we know about were ALL very promising and strong. So you COULD look at it as her using the streets to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Only JFM found WWX first. But you can’t tell me that BSSR wouldn’t have been able to find WWX whenever she wanted to if JFM could find him.
All of that points to canon BSSR being MUCH darker than I thought at first glance.
Which leads me to wonder - what IS her mountain like? XY was LEGITIMATELY creepy and mean to XXC but XXC somehow found that... comforting? Attractive? Somehow a home environment he wanted to keep and live in?
All of that leaves so many questions. WHY is she collecting promising children to brainwash them and keep them trapped on the mountain? She doesn’t feel maternal, what with the whole banishment, being cool with blinding XXC completely and not healing him etc thing.
It doesn’t seem to be to build power/an army in the cultivation world. Because if it was then why wouldn’t she step forward in the aftermath of the Sunshot Campaign or idk what other chaos and take power?
She’s already immortal. But here’s where I’m probably going off the rails so y’all correct me if I’m wrong. There’s immortal, and then there’s IMMORTAL right? But it takes sooo much time and effort to become immortal. People go into seclusion for this.
From what I understand - the concept of dual cultivation is canon, correct?

So, keeping that in mind why would an immortal being want to create a brainwashed group of cultivators who can’t ever leave and are solely devoted to her? ...
My brain is stuck on this. Strong cultivators who have no experience at all with “normal” society, raised to basically worship BSSR.

BSSR who does not have interest in earthy power, but who has secluded herself from the world (traditionally to increase cultivation powers).
BSSR who seemingly doesn’t have an actual emotional attachment to her disciples, who only rescues promising children (who might be of use to her) and leaves the rest on the streets.

Is it a HUGE leap here to go to dual cultivation if BSSR is dark side? Idk.
Is it canon that if you cultivate until you’re strong enough you can ascend to be a god? I may be mixing that with #TGCF, along with idk how many different fics so don’t come after me with pitchforks if I’m wrong please.
Did I just tweet a dissertation just so I can say I think maybe Baoshan Sanren is darkside and has a harem of super strong, brainwashed cultivators who worship her as their rescuer/teacher and she’s possibly dual cultivating her brains out to attain godhood?

Yes. Yes I did.

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More from @DragonTacoLime

13 Sep
@deadbeatrefrain XY would start with hair stroking. Whispering cruel things to him with his lips brushing XXC’s ear. Confessing what he’s doing and who he is, how blind and foolish XXC is (using that word on purpose). All while petting his hair so softly.
@deadbeatrefrain Pressing himself up against XXC’s side XY cradles his cheek in his hand. Whispers that he watches him, how he imagines taking him in the courtyard. Out under the sun where anyone could see. Tasting him, making him beg.

XY takes his earlobe between his teeth. Gentle, so gentle.
@deadbeatrefrain XY removes XXC’s blindfold, gently lifting his head to untie it. Pulls it away from XXC’s ruined eyes. He knows XXC’s pride won’t let him allow anyone else to see, the sunken lids that mar his beauty.

XY whispers he is more beautiful like this, runs his tongue across his scars.
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21 Aug
#WangXian Modern-AU based on this song -

Where WWX and LWJ meet in college, and lab partners turns into library studying, turns into lunches...

2/?
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LWJ must be half asleep when he packs his lunches. He keeps making too much, so WWX has to help him eat it. Can’t just waste it.

3/
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