|Pairing:||Nie Mingjue/Lan Xichen/Jin Guangyao (Meng Yao)|
|Alternative name(s):||3Zun, Venerated Triad, 三尊|
|Fandom:||Mo Dao Zu Shi, The Untamed|
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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).
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 (as well as the deaths of a number of other people), causing Lan Xichen to feel profound betrayal when he realised that the man he had defended and trusted had killed their sworn brother and constantly deceived him. After this was revealed, he withdrew into seclusion.
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 ultimately 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.
- 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)
- 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!!