3Zun

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Moresome · Ship · Pairing
Relationship: Nie Mingjue/Lan Xichen/Jin Guangyao (Meng Yao)
Alternative name(s): 3Zun, Venerated Triad, 三尊
Gender category: Slash
Fandom: Mo Dao Zu Shi, The Untamed
Canonical?: Non-canon
Prevalence: low
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3Zun refers to the romantic and/or sexual threesome ship of sworn brothers Nie Mingjue, Lan Xichen and Jin Guangyao (Meng Yao) in Mo Dao Zu Shi and related fandoms. While the ship is not explicitly canonical, the three sworn brothers (also known as the Venerated Triad) have close relationships to each other in canon, making it easy for fans to headcanon a romantic relationship forming between them.

The ship name "3Zun" refers to the Venerated Triad, which is written in Chinese as 三 (3) 尊 (Zun).

Canon

Each of the sworn brothers has close relationships and a history with one another. Jin Guangyao, then Meng Yao, served under Nie Mingjue as part of the Nie sect until his banishment, and was appointed Nie Mingjue's second-in-command due to his skills and intelligence.

Lan Xichen always respected Jin Guangyao and never looked down on him for his origins as the son of a prostitute; the two maintained a close friendship even after the Sunshot Campaign as the relationship between Nie Mingjue and Jin Guangyao began to fracture.

Lan Xichen and Nie Mingjue also have a bond formed from mutual trust and respect, and were respected young leaders during the Sunshot Campaign. Lan Xichen persuaded Nie Mingjue to take a vow of brotherhood with himself and Jin Guangyao, and would mediate between the two in an attempt to mend their relationship.

However, the relationship between Jin Guangyao and Nie Mingjue deteriorated further, culminating in Nie Mingjue kicking Jin Guangyao down the stairs of Carp Tower and calling him the "son of a prostitute"; this may have been the turning point in which Jin Guangyao decided to kill Nie Mingjue. He secretly played music that caused Nie Mingjue to qi deviate, turning him into a fierce corpse. In the original novel, he divided up Nie Mingjue's body when his corpse became too strong, scattering it across the cultivation world; in the TV drama The Untamed, Jin Guangyao cut off Nie Mingjue's head, but his corpse otherwise remained intact.

Jin Guangyao then proceeded to conceal the fact that he had caused Nie Mingjue's death, but this secret was eventually revealed in a confrontation, involving the fierce corpse of Nie Mingjue, who was still determined to kill Jin Guangyao. While Lan Xichen felt despair at the revelations, he was willing to listen to Jin Guangyao's reasons, and did not give up on him, even tending his wounds in the aftermath.

However, Nie Mingjue's younger brother had sought revenge against Jin Guangyao for Nie Mingjue's death, and tricked Lan Xichen into stabbing him. Jin Guangyao confessed that for all his myriad of sins, the one thing he could never do is hurt Lan Xichen. Shortly after, Nie Mingjue (as a fierce corpse) grabbed Jin Guangyao, and Jin Guangyao's dying act was to push Lan Xichen to safety.

In the TV drama The Untamed, Nie Mingjue does not return as a fierce corpse, though his body is physically present for the confrontation, and the danger is instead a manifestation of resentful energy from his saber. Additionally, Jin Guangyao asks Lan Xichen to stay and die with him, which Lan Xichen agrees to. However, Jin Guangyao pushes Lan Xichen to safety, still unable to see him hurt.

The story concludes with Lan Xichen retreating into seclusion out of grief over Jin Guangyao's death. In follow-up extra chapters, glimpses of Lan Xichen as much as three years later note that he is noticeably frail and absent-minded, and that he is still not coping well.

Fanon

Many fans of the 3Zun ship lean into the dark and tragic elements of the relationship between the three, creating darkfic and other fanworks that explore the conflict, mistrust and betrayal between Nie Mingjue and Jin Guangyao, and the later despair between Lan Xichen and Jin Guangyao. However, their relationships are also frequently the subject of fix-its in which fans imagine a happier outcome, usually by improving the relationship between Jin Guangyao and Nie Mingjue and having Jin Guangyao stay on a righteous path, using his powers of cunning and manipulation for good rather than evil.

In modern AUs, Jin Guangyao and Nie Mingjue are sometimes depicted as having been past lovers or close friends who had a falling-out. Even in scenarios where the three maintain a good relationship, Jin Guangyao and Nie Mingjue are characterised as having clashing personalities and contrasting approaches, one favouring underhanded subterfuge and the other being direct and blunt to a fault. They are depicted as frequently bickering, with Lan Xichen acting as the mediator or the lynchpin of the relationship, mirroring their relationship in canon.

Fanworks

Fanfiction

  • three cups of wine by hyunghoney. If Lan Xichen drinks the wine with closed eyes, he can imagine a brighter scene – Jin Guangyao on his left, smiling his wicked smile as he told him some gossip, Nie Mingjue on his right, a hand on his own, telling him they should go outside to train soon. (Lan Xichen mourns his sworn brothers, because it is all he can do.)
  • never as alive as we are right now by ThirtySixSaveFiles. Three perspectives on three sworn brothers, at three different times in their relationship. (Or, three times 3zun got it on and some of the feelings they had along the way.)
  • cure for headaches by rosehoney. Meng Yao has a headache, and his loving partners are more than happy to help him work out all that tension (Modern AU)
  • Kept Man, Kept Men by thunderwear. Not to sound too arrogant, but Lan Xichen was completely confident in his ability to seduce his roommates. In fact, he’d done it before. The only problem was, he didn’t want to seduce one of them, he wanted both of them, together, with each other. And being quarantined together seemed like just the opportunity. (Modern AU)

Fanart

  • Untitled by littlesmartart. instead of playing music to help with mingjue’s qi deviation 3zun hang out and cuddle in their jammies and do each other’s hair and no one commits murder THE END!!

References