Giorno Giovanna, Boss of the hug mafia

@tedkordisanasshole / tedkordisanasshole.tumblr.com

Something something Jiang Cheng horrible person for capturing demonic cultivators but to be honest you know what would be hilarious. If the Jiang sect disciples every week just went and paid someone to run around pretending to be a demonic cultivator for JC to capture and yell at for a few hours. Like sect leader enrichment. Throwing meat filled pumpkins into his cage to let him burn off some steam

By the way I also think something along these lines would happen with Bingqiu as well where every so often Binghe would negotiate with Xian Shu Peak / Shang Qinghua for them to write a harem novel with tons of plot holes and discontinued plot lines on purpose so Shen QingQiu could tear it apart and infodump all his complaints to a loving attentive Binghe

I dreamt at great length, having read your letter, about what it would have been like to bring you here… What would it be like to have you sitting in the room now? (x)

#i think about those moments of unreality a lot #i don’t see them dealt with enough #the surreality #the upheaval of his entire world #to have wwx here in front of him after all this time rearranging his life and his being around the huge barrier #of missing him #he’s lwj so he rolls with the punches. doesn’t let it ruffle his facade. #but we know how deep his feelings run. #it shakes his decade-old restructured foundations to have him back #even as it feels inherently right to be with him #i feel like he’s just constantly fighting dissociation #trying to stay present to not miss a moment of this new different still wonderful wwx he’s been gifted (via @jingyismom)

Avatar

Wei Wuxian & Lan Wangji | Episode 22

I have at this point in my sojourn in the fandom read a number of good translation metas (most recently this one) about the way people talk about Wei Wuxian’s cultivation, which made me wonder what the specific phrase used here is. Because the first time I watched this scene I was like, “wow, you’re really just lying right to his face, huh?”

(The Netflix subs did not help me out with “wicked tricks” and “crafty tricks” either.)

Important caveat: I do not speak Chinese; this should not be considered any kind of authoritative translation. I’m literally just looking at the subtitles and a bunch of dictionaries here.

So!

Wei Wuxian starts by thanking Lan Wangji for not telling Jiang Yanli what he saw in the Yiling Supervisory Office after Wei Wuxian, y'know… murdered and tortured a whole bunch of people.

Lan Wangji expresses his concern about what Wei Wuxian’s actions are doing to him—the ol’ “harms your body and your temperament” bit—so Wei Wuxian starts explaining how what he does is different than the “evil ways” (邪道 | xiédaò) of Xue Chonghai, who invented demonic cultivation in the universe of The Untamed.

By contrast, Wei Wuxian’s new cultivation, he says, is “诡道术法 | guǐdàoshùfǎ*” — something like “eerie way techniques;” this is what Netflix translates to “crafty tricks.” He also thanks him, saying the Lan Clan’s musical techniques were his inspiration to use musical cultivation. With his flute, everything is under control!

(*Interestingly, according to the captions I have, this is not the same guǐ as 鬼 = ghost. I’m curious if the use of a homonymn here is the writers being clever. 鬼道 guǐdaò, the phrase Wei Wuxian uses to describe his “ghostly path” cultivation in the book, does not seem to appear anywhere in the script, only 诡道.)

Lan Wangji is extremely not convinced everything is under control! His next bit of dialogue is real pointed, with a whole bunch of layers and three different chengyu in it:

诡道术法 靠的可是心神
Does (your) eerie way technique depend on (your) state of mind?
靠心神御使 如火中取栗
Relying on (your) state of mind for control is like pulling chestnuts out of the fire [implied: going to get you burned].
若稍有不慎 便会走火入魔
If (you are) even a little bit careless, these convenient means will become an obsession [lit. something like “catch fire and join demons,” can also mean qi deviation; this is a fascinating phrase].
后果不堪设想
The consequences are too horrible to consider [this one’s pretty literal].

I would be remiss if I did not at this point refer you to hunxi-guilai’s excellent post about linguistic register because my gosh does Lan Wangji pack a lot into a few words. He’s making statments rather than accusations, but there’s all these dire overtones here of “the powers/entities you are invoking will not hesitate to take advantage of you, and you’ll be the one to suffer most for it!”

(Which is, y'know. Exactly what happens.)

So this whole scene, right at the beginning of the war, is Wei Wuxian talking Lan Wangji through the knife’s edge he’s walking with his new cultivation, trying to reassure him that what he’s doing is not really evil, and Lan Wangji basically begging him to get off of this slippery slope before he finds himself in too deep, because that is how this works.

(All while sitting out on a literal slippery slope of a rooftop with him!)

And then there’s the bit in op’s gorgeous gifs which I have by now thoroughly hijacked:

我知道 蓝湛 我明白你的担心
I know, Lan Zhan, I understand your worries.
但是我魏婴向你保证 我绝对不会有堕入魔道的一天
Nevertheless, I, Wei Ying, promise to you that I will absolutely never lapse into demonic cultivation.

The personal pronouns here, unlike in Lan Wangji’s plea earlier, are all explicit. Wei Wuxian is not talking academically or theoretically about what can happen or might happen—he’s appealing directly to Lan Wangji on the basis of who Lan Wangji knows him to be. And here, he does say módaò (魔道, demonic cultivation) — as far as I can find the only time in the entire 50 episodes this phrase appears. This isn’t Wei Wuxian telling a bald-faced lie or even just being cheeky about semantics; this is Wei Wuxian saying, “I hear you, Lan Zhan, but I am still myself, and I know the line that I will not cross.”

And what kills me, what absolutely destroys me, is the fact that Lan Wangji can only answer his, “Do you believe me or not?” with THIS FUCKING LOOK and then:

让我帮你
Let me help you.
Avatar

uhm. bark i guess

[ID: An illustration of Yaretzi, from Hello From The Hallowoods. She is a short, muscular Nahua woman, with a strong nose and two scars on her face, one cutting through her right eyebrow, the other on her left cheek. Her hair is shaven on one side and bleached lighter towards the bottom. Her pose is very casual and relaxed, with her right arm propped up on her right knee and her left hand in her pocket. She’s holding a lit cigarette in her right hand, and she has a smug expression on her face, looking up and to her left. She’s wearing a slightly baggy gray suit, with a darker gray waistcoat and an off-white shirt underneath. She’s wearing dark gray socks with vertical peach striping and black leather shoes. Her tie is peach and gray, with thin yellow stripes separating the two colors. The tie sits over a gold collar pin, which matches her gold pocket watch chain on the left side of her waistcoat. She has a boutonniere on her right lapel, an orange flower with ten round petals. On the left side of her chest, she has a dusty orange pocket square with yellow trim, set in the suit pocket in a more casual style. There are visible cufflinks on her right arm, tiger’s eye stones set in gold. On her right hand, there are two rings: a plain gold band on her ring finger, and a tigers eye stone set in gold on her pinky finger. She has a gold nose ring, gold gauges, and two gold cartilage piercings on her right ear. She’s wearing thin, ovular sunglasses, with bright orange lenses and gold rims. /end ID]