The Untamed Episodes 31 – 40 Synopsis
Despite Wei Wuxian trying his hardest to avoid inciting trouble by laying low and in seclusion on the Burial Mounds in Yiling, trouble still manages to find him. An ambush on Qiongqi Path led by Jin Zixun sees Wei Wuxian implicated in the killings of Jin Zixuan, Jin Zixun and many disciples from Lanling Jin Clan as well as some Gusu Lan Clan as he unexpectedly loses his command of Wen Ning who Wei Wuxian had fend off attacks. During an appeal to all immortal clans made by Jin Guangshan to rein in and defeat Yiling Patriarch Wei Wuxian at Buyetian, Wei Wuxian’s attempt to defend himself against their criticisms, condemnation and hypocrisy sees things go wrong yet again as Wei Wuxian loses command of his Yin Tiger Seal’s resentment energy, resulting in many lives to fall including the life of Wei Wuxian’s beloved shijie, Jiang Yanli.
No longer able continue on this difficult path following the loss of Jiang Yanli as well as each and every remaining Wen Clan member who was killed because of the Qiongqi Path incident, Wei Wuxian ends it all with his own death.
Wei Wuxian leaves behind a hidden, long scheme of slander and misplaced blame for the purpose of another’s ambitions, a scheme which Wei Wuxian doesn’t return to start uncovering 16-years later through his revival.
Jiang Cheng had warned trouble can come looking for Wei Wuxian even if he didn’t make a move first to cause it (Episode 30). For a whole year he’s been laying low, careful not to incite a single evil deed to his name; and life at the Yiling Burial Mounds appears to have reached a new level with Wei Wuxian now growing a good-sized area of Lotus Flowers on land which previously could only grow radish (and apparently not potatoes). However, as Jiang Cheng had warned, trouble found Wei Wuxian following an invitation to Jin Ling’s One-Month Celebrations come through.
The invitation appeared genuine enough with it being signed off by Lan Wangji (but delivered by a Lanling Jin Clan member). However, as Wei Wuxian and Wen Ning make their journey towards Jinling Tai, they are ambushed on Qiongqi Path by Jin Zixun and a group of disciples from not only his clan but other clans including some from Gusu Lan Clan.
Last episode, right at the end, Jin Zixun was seen clutching his chest in pain. This episode he reveals this pain is because of Qianchuang Baikong, an evil curse that has his chest covered in little circle hole-like wounds. Jin Zixun believes Wei Wuxian is behind it. Because of this, Jin Zixun threatens to kill Wei Wuxian on the spot.
With Wen Ning at Wei Wuxian’s command, the large group of disciples under Jin Zixun’s command don’t land one arrow on Wei Wuxian. Before Wen Ning had gone to face the disciples himself, the Ghost General has lifted a tall boulder to place it in front of Wei Wuxian, blocking the flying arrows from the cliff where the disciples were shooting their arrows from.
Jin Zixun, who moves to try attack Wei Wuxian personally, don’t land any attacks on Wei Wuxian either with Wei Wuxian blocking well and avoiding Jin Zixun’s strikes with high aerial spins.
However, these aerial spins result in Wei Wuxian to lose the gift he spent half a month creating for his nephew. It’s a bracelet with powers to keep low level elementals, demons, ghosts and monsters away from Jin Ling. It’s so powerful Wei Wuxian had to warn Wen Ning not to touch it as the effects would be unbearable even for the Ghost General. In a fit of anger, Jin Zixun crushes the bracelet when Jin Zixuan unexpectedly shows up and rejects Jin Zixun’s accusations Wei Wuxian is responsible for the curse.
The sight of his hard work on the bracelet turning into powder has Wei Wuxian launch at Jin Zixun only to be blocked by Jin Zixuan who tries to get him to stop Wen Ning’s attacks and return with him to Jinling Tai to explain himself. But Wei Wuxian wasn’t about to do that as he believes those countless arrows will immediately fly at him the moment he orders Wen Ning cease his attacks.
The confrontation reaches critical point. Not believing Jin Zixuan had no knowledge of the ambush, Wei Wuxian picks up his flute to intensify his attacks, not expecting this action of his would be the end of Jin Zixuan. Unlike what’s happened in the past, Wen Ning develops double golden irises in his eyes never before seen on any ghost puppets (normally their eyes are fully white or black), and before anyone saw the Ghost General thrust his fist through the back, Jin Zixuan had been killed. He only manages to finish off telling Wei Wuxian Jiang Yanli was still waiting for him to attend Jin Ling’s one-month celebrations. Shortly after, Jin Zixun is strangled and killed, too, by Wen Ning.
Wei Wuxian has only tried to follow the path of chivalry, albeit through means of demonic cultivation, and tried hard to stay low and limit causing trouble, but still he managed to get into such a situation which saw him not only be responsible for killing a whole lot of people, but his Shijie’s husband, his nephew’s father.
The incident leaves Wei Wuxian taunted by the voices of resentment energy, tossing and turning when he is seen back at his Fumo Cave. He wakes to blame Wen Ning for Jin Zixuan’s death. Kicking Wen Ning, the Ghost General is sent flying. Wei Wuxian moves to grab Wen Ning by the collar to scream at him for killing Jin Zixuan of all people, but as he thinks back on who turned him into a ghost puppet, he sees the blame really ends with him.
It has Wei Wuxian at a wit’s end on what he should do, asking why he had to lock himself up in the Burial Mounds all this time, why he had to follow this path, appearing to be truly defeated by the latest developments. He pleads for someone to appear and tell him what he should be doing.
Wen Qing provides that answer. She and her clan must atone for Wen Ning’s actions by handing themselves in to the Lanling Jin Clan. It was the only way those after him won’t be able to use Wen Ning as an excuse to go after Wei Wuxian.
Wei Wuxian begs her not do it. He sees that Wen Ning is just the knife. The murderer is himself, so it should be he who goes to Lanling Jin Clan. But with Wei Wuxian immobilised by one of Wen Qing’s needles, he could only lie there telling her repeatedly not to go, listen to her apologise to him and thank him for the extra time she and her clan got because of him. In her eyes, she and the others should have died a long time ago. Before Wen Qing leads her people to Lanling Jin Clan to face their charges of having killed Jin Zixuan and the disciples of other sects, Wen Qing sedates him to sleep.
Wei Wuxian wakes again only after Wen Qing, Wen Ning and the others had already made their journey to Lanling to stand before the Lanling Jin Clan. With great effort, Wei Wuxian manages to get up on his feet to run out and follow where Wen Qing, Wen Ning and the others travelled with stumbling steps and fuzzy mind as the effects of Wen Qing’s sedation wore off.
The remaining group of Wen Clan which Wei Wuxian reached have been killed, hung at the gates of Buyetian. According to Jin Guangshan, Wen Qing have been burned to ashes and is set to have her ashes scattered. Wen Ning is said to have suffered the same punishment, but as Episode 2 shows, this clearly isn’t the case. But, with the belief all Wen Clan members have been dealt with and has suffered death, Jin Guangshan moves to appeal to the clans to rein in Wei Wuxian and defeat him at a Pledge Conference held between the four great clans plus some of the smaller ones.
It’s a conference with sees Wei Wuxian show up to argue against the charges of having provoked Jin Zixun into ambushing Wei Wuxian leading to the killing of Jin Zixuan, Jin Zixun and 100 innocent lives at Qiongqi Path. When asked who was doing the targeting, who was the targeted, who was the schemer and who was the victim, they all don’t seem to deny that it was Jin Zixun who initiated the attack: Jin Zixun was doing the targeting and the scheming; Wei Wuxian was the targeted and the victim. However, as one cultivator accuses, Jin Zixun only did what he did because Wei Wuxian had cast a curse on Jin Zixun. As Wei Wuxian suggests with his demand for evidence, it’s a baseless accusation which no one can prove.
Proof is not something anyone seems to care to obtain, though. According to a cultivator, the fact that Wei Wuxian had animosities towards Jin Zixun was all they need to make Wei Wuxian guilty of casting such a curse on Jin Zixun.
A second charge against Wei Wuxian is killing at Qiongqi Path without considering the innocence of those he attacked which is hypocritical as they had all called for the execution of the remaining Wen Clan who were all innocent as well. Wei Wuxian had pointed this exact point out when Clan Leader Yao brought it up, saying Wei Wuxian was too heartless killing so many innocent lives. This point of Wei Wuxian’s actually had Clan Leader Yao and everyone silent, unable to argue against it.
On the subject of attacking and killing without consideration, Wei Wuxian also points out how freely others can attack him, kill him, and should be die, then it’s Wei Wuxian’s bad luck. However, should he retaliate out of self-defence, harmed anyone then it’s not okay. It seems to be precisely the way it works, as this is how the talk ends and the battle against Wei Wuxian begins. A cultivator dares to shoot an arrow at Wei Wuxian and manages to have it hit Wei Wuxian’s chest. The cultivator is given praise from Clan Leader Yao. However, when Wei Wuxian throws the arrow back at force, killing the cultivator, the cultivator’s brother calls Wei Wuxian cruel.
Jin Guangshan orders everyone to attack and kill Wei Wuxian. None of them get near him as Wei Wuxian takes Chenqing and begin commanding the resentment energy from his Yin Tiger Seal to attack in a sweeping force.
Only Jiang Cheng and his disciples are left out of the attacks. The dark force had approached them but turned away. Wei Wuxian was selectively attacking, choosing to attack everyone but his former clan.
Lan Wangji who shows up in the middle of the battle on the rooftop where Wei Wuxian was commanding his attacks from isn’t spared either. A one-on-one battle sees Lan Wangji struggle to break through Wei Wuxian’s demonic powers with his sword. Both times Lan Wangji tried, he was repelled back.
Lan Wangji had come to stop Wei Wuxian, but the main reason he wanted to do so appears to be because of some new information he’s found out. He doesn’t make himself clear what he means, but after Wei Wuxian asks whether Lan Wangji still believes he could take a different path (based on how things turned out), Lan Wangji cryptically answers that the situation has changed and he wants Wei Wuxian to trust him as the situation isn’t as simple as it seems.
How this situation has changed isn’t expanded on as Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji are interrupted by the unexpected appearance of Jiang Yanli on the battlefield, calling out for Wei Wuxian. However, with Wei Wuxian on the battlefield, a dark figure in the shadows appear with a second flute to take control away from Wei Wuxian hint at Lan Wangji’s meaning.
No longer are Jiang Cheng’s disciples safe from attacks as they’re seen swept off their feet by the dark force of resentment. Those attacked are also turning into ghost puppets with one heading straight for Jiang Yanli. Wei Wuxian had tried desperately to command the ghost puppet to not touch Jiang Yanli. He tried to command it to stop with his flute only to see the ghost puppet halted momentarily before the ghost puppet slash his sword across her back, sending her to the ground.
Although the wound looks serious, Jiang Cheng (who had finally reached her) believe she could survive it. However, as she lay supported in Jiang Cheng’s arms, with Wei Wuxian close in front of her, crying and listening to the words she wanted to tell him, a cultivator was approaching from behind. Neither Jiang Cheng nor Wei Wuxian saw or sensed this cultivator’s approach, leaving Jiang Yanli the only one who could save Wei Wuxian from being stabbed from behind. Shoving Wei Wuxian aside, she takes the sword in the heart, ending all hope of saving Jiang Yanli.
The deaths of dozens of disciples at Qiongqi path were blamed on Wei Wuxian despite the deaths occurring only because he was ambushed. Now, Jiang Yanli’s death is also somehow his fault, too. It would seem it didn’t matter what the truth was, who welded and stabbed the sword, everything is always Wei Wuxian’s fault. It’s a fight which Wei Wuxian no longer has the will to continue with after watching Jiang Yanli die before his eyes.
In Wei Wuxian’s final fight, he picks up his flute to expend the last of his resentment energy on them all, playing till the point of vomiting blood and revealing to those near he was suffering internal injuries. The sight has Clan Leader Yao instruct his men to take the Yin Tiger Seal away from Wei Wuxian for him.
Just earlier they banded together in judging Wei Wuxian for abandoning the correct path to go down the wrong path. They had accused him of being cruel and vicious because of the supposed attacks he committed with his Yin Tiger Seal, killing so many innocent disciples and had declared they will kill him because of it. But the moment they’re given the opportunity to possess the Yin Tiger Seal, they’re all lusting after it. When given the chance, they’d happily go down the road of demonic cultivation if it could give them power over everyone.
Wei Wuxian wasn’t going to let the Yin Tiger Seal fall into the hands of anyone. Flying off to the top of Buyetian’s entrance, Wei Wuxian thrusts the Yin Tiger Seal into the air, challenging them all to try their best to snatch it with their own ability since they want it so much before he explodes the Yin Tiger Seal into fragments.
Wei Wuxian later reveals it becomes useless after its been broken up, but with them all not knowing this, hands all over the battlefield fight to capture the Yin Tiger Seal with many seeing their hands cut off, stabbed or killed. He laughs a bitter and sad laugh, watching them all kill and sever hands because of the Yin Tiger Seal’s powers they condemned but clearly coveted so much.
It’s to be the last of Wei Wuxian for the next 16 years as after destroying the Yin Tiger Seal, Wei Wuxian takes himself to the edge of a precipice where he would end his persistence in continuing the difficult path with falling over the cliff’s edge.
Lan Wangji had desperately tried to hold onto Wei Wuxian. Even as Wei Wuxian had told him to let him go, had tugged at Lan Wangji’s grip to try free himself from it, and despite bleeding heavily from a slash across the arm to the hand he used to hold onto Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji never lets go. It’s only after Jiang Cheng shows up telling Wei Wuxian to die with his sword swinging does Lan Wangji lose Wei Wuxian over the edge.
Unlike what Episode 2 led us to believe, and contrary to what appears to be the story told to everyone, Jiang Cheng didn’t kill Wei Wuxian. This episode reveals that Jiang Cheng swung his sword at Wei Wuxian, but he didn’t strike him. He struck the cliff face inches from Wei Wuxian’s wrist. Wei Wuxian had tugged free from Lan Wangji’s grip at this point to fall to what looked to be Wei Wuxian’s death at the bottom of the deep valley, leaving Lan Wangji helplessly calling after him as he fell.
Jiang Cheng was seen walking away from the scene, appearing to be fine with Wei Wuxian’s end, but as the episode takes us back to 16 years later to a scene after where Episode 2 left off, Lan Wangji’s account reveals Jiang Cheng had gone down to the valley to look for him three days later to come up with nothing. He only found piles of bones.
Lying in a bed at Yunshen Buzhichu, Wei Wuxian wakes from what he voices aloud as being like a dream. If you recall the last scene in Episode 2 was Wei Wuxian falling after lose consciousness a short time after Jiang Cheng struck him with his Zidian whip in an attempt to verify the one behind the mask was Wei Wuxian. Following this, it looks like Lan Wangji had brought Wei Wuxian back to Yunshen Buzhichu to recover.
The mention of Jiang Cheng and how it took three days before he decided to go look for Wei Wuxian has Wei Wuxian curious to how long Lan Wangji took to look for him. Three years, Lan Wangji answers.
The answer has Wei Wuxian wondering why it took him three years. Wei Wuxian is looking to find out whether the time it took so long is because Lan Wangji didn’t believe his words when he said he could control his demonic powers 16 years ago. Lan Wangji chooses to avoid the question with asking where Wei Wuxian’s been the last 16 years. Lan Wangji only gets as far as “These 16 years…” before Wei Wuxian interrupts with the answer, but based Wei Wuxian’s answer of having no idea where he’s been, this was how Lan Wangji was going to avoid answering a question he appears to not want to answer.
Trying the question again, this time being very direct, Wei Wuxian gets silence. It gives the suggestion that maybe Lan Wangji didn’t fully believe him. But the scars Wei Wuxian discovers on Lan Wangji at the Cold Spring following a stroll through Yunshen Buzhichu is meant to hint at Lan Wangji’s answer (an answer which doesn’t get answered until Episode 43). Whilst taking a sort of trip-down-memory-lane kind of stroll through Yunshen Buzhichu (remembering many of the carefree, happier times he spent with Jiang Cheng, Jiang Yanli, Jiang Fengmian and Lan Wangji as well as the last time he was a Yunmeng Jiang Clan disciple full of potential to becoming one powerful Immortal Cultivator), Wei Wuxian ends up at the Cold Spring healing his back full of scars as well as an iron burn on his chest.
Wei Wuxian had moved to ask Lan Wangji what he had done to deserve such severe punishment and was met with the same refusal to answer. Wei Wuxian isn’t willing to let go of the matter and demands Lan Wangji answer him. Wei Wuxian doesn’t get a chance to see if Lan Wangji will submit and answer him as they are interrupted by Lan disciples who come with an urgent request for them to head to Mingshi where Lan Qiren lay not in a very good state.
In an attempt to speak to the spirit in the sword contaminated by the dark energy of the Yin Tiger Seal, Lan Qiren found himself before a spirit which became agitated and extremely powerful.
(Just to recap a little, this sword is the one Lan Wangji had picked up at the end of Episode 1 after the Lan disciples sent out an emergency request for his help at the Mo Family Manor during an attempt to attract and rid evil spirits at the manor. It’s the sword which Lan Wangji noted as having traces of the dark energy of the Yin Tiger Seal leading him to wonder whether Wei Wuxian had returned.)
Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji work together to calm the spirit in the sword—with Wei Wuxian playing the bamboo flute he made in Episode 2 and Lan Wangji his zither. Wei Wuxian had already felt the dark energy in the sword to be that of the Yin Tiger Seal, but it is confirmed further when Wei Wuxian manages to weld it in his hands after the sword fell from its floating state to the ground. That familiar shrill screams hit his ears, overwhelming his senses just like the time he gripped the Yin Metal Sword in the Black Tortoise of Slaughter (Episode 14).
The reappearance of the Yin Tiger Seal has them wondering how it’s possible considering Wei Wuxian had destroyed the Yin Tiger Seal into pieces 16 years ago. According to Wei Wuxian, it’s recreation isn’t impossible. Wei Wuxian explains that if the fourth Yin Metal does exist, it could recreate the Yin Tiger Seal, but it must be done together with the pieces of his Yin Tiger Seal.
The interesting question is who is behind the sword. Wei Wuxian has this feeling his reappearance, the Yin Tiger Seal’s reappearance and the incident on Dafan Mountain are too much of a coincidence to just be a coincidence; and it all comes back to Wei Wuxian being this person’s target. The difficulty in locating Wei Wuxian’s body 16 years ago is used to suggest a scheme of some kind. Wei Wuxian mentions how Jiang Cheng’s efforts (which apparently is no small effort) saw him fail to find him; Wei Wuxian himself didn’t even know where he was; yet, somehow this Mo Xuanyu supposedly found him.
A talk with Lan Sizhui, one of the Lan disciples who was attracting and attempting to rid evil spirits at the Mo Manor, reveals the Yin Tiger Seal had been deliberately put within the range of five Chinese miles their Spirit Attraction Flags had so they would attract the sword spirit laced with the Yin Tiger Seal’s dark energy. Through the guilt Lan Sizhui expresses over the happenings at the Mo Manor, he reveals a suspicion of being a target. Based on how powerful the resentment energy is in the sword, he doubted the sword spirit was there before he and the other Lan disciples showed up. Had this sword spirit been at the Mo Manor all along, he imagined the Mo Manor would be flowing with blood. This is what had Lan Sizhui think he and the others were the target.
Lan Sizhui and the other Lan disciples are just middle targets, though. Wei Wuxian believes he’s actually the intended target based on his own revival occurring at the exact time the sword spirit contaminated by Yin Tiger Seal appeared. Wei Wuxian has no clear idea who it could be, they do have an idea of how they could find out. That idea is to trace the source through the sword. Back floating in mid-air, and seemingly neutralised of the resentment energy, the sword points northwest. Heading in this direction will either (as Wei Wuxian says) find the place the sword came from or the person who ordered it to commit the crimes.
Heading northwest sees Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji in Qinghe. The resentment energy is strong, which gives them indication they are near and in the right place to begin finding out answers to who is behind the spirit sword. Through a rumor told by one of the vendors at the street markets Wei Wuxian approaches, Wei Wuxian learns about a stone fortress on Xinglu Ridge five to six kilometres further. Also nicknamed Man-eating Ridge, the place is rumoured to feed on humans who intrude and leaves no traces afterwards. It strikes Wei Wuxian as strange when he hears this as if this is the case, who survived to tell the tale? The vendor isn’t able to answer that, but it is what rumours say.
Just before heading towards Xinglu Ridge, Wei Wuxian also learns from the vendor (as well as Lan Wangji) that the valiant Nie Clan Leader Nie Mingjue had since died in public from having gone mad during cultivation. Replacing him is Nie Huaisang who has been dubbed a clan leader who knows nothing. Whenever anyone asks Nie Huaisang anything they get the reply: “I don’t know”, “Don’t ask me” and “I really don’t know anything”.
At Xinglu Ridge, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji encounter a man-created maze thick with fog and an energy barrier which, to Wei Wuxian’s relief, keeps spiritual dogs out. As they walked, the sound of a dog’s bark is heard. It’s the bark of his nephew’s dog who Lan Wangji suspects is barking because Jin Ling (Qi Pei Xin) is inside the maze while the dog is trapped outside it, unable to be where Jin Ling is.
Unlike the black, ferocious canine Wen Chao put Wei Wuxian in a dungeon with back in Qishan (Episode 12), Jin Ling’s dog, Fairy, is a harmless, pet dog which doesn’t bite. Lan Wangji’s curiosity into why Wei Wuxian is so afraid of dogs has Wei Wuxian reveal one of the very few childhood memories he has of needing to fight fierce dogs for food and that’s where his fear of dogs started. The memory has Wei Wuxian think of how similar Jin Ling and Jiang Cheng are, not only in how they both love dogs, but how much they both hate him.
Arriving at the stone fortress, signs of Jin Ling having encountered a mishap is discovered from an opening he created on the fortress’ stone wall. Going inside, eerie screeching sounds attack Wei Wuxian’s aural senses, causing him to struggle to stand upright a few times. A spirit is sensed as well, one which Wei Wuxian tracks with an authentic Compass of Evil of his (looks like Wei Wuxian did manage to successfully invent one!) to a room known as Jindao Hall.
With Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji getting confirmation from the spirit via Lan Wangji’s zither communication technique, Wenling, Jin Ling should be in Jindao Hall, right in front of them, but all they saw were a room full of concrete coffins housing blades.
The reason for the lack of Jin Ling is he’s been sealed inside a southwest wall, which Wei Wuxian only discovers when Lan Wangji relays the spirit’s instructions through the zither to keep walking until the strings stop making sound. It now seems to explain the rumours the vendor at the market told Wei Wuxian about the ridge being a man-eating ridge. People get to the fortress and appear to be led in and sealed inside the wall.
After Lan Wangji breaks open the wall with his sword, Wei Wuxian works to dig Jin Ling out of the wall which contained skeletons of other bodies. Jin Ling appear to wake following an injection of spiritual energy from Lan Wangji. However, Jin Ling is more possessed than back to himself as he makes his way back towards the wall he was dug out from.
The place gives off a strange and mysterious feel, made more mysterious with Wei Wuxian muttering cryptically about whatever it is he is referring to as being above them, under them, standing, sitting, reclining, crouching, and apparently in every direction. Add to that the screeching sounds he continues to hear.
Finding it best to get out of there quickly, Wei Wuxian takes Jin Ling out of the fortress to recover at the inn while Lan Wangji gives chase to a mysterious person seen dashing away in the distance. Lan Wangji isn’t seen catching up to this person at this point, but does catch a corner of the person’s clothing with his sword. This corner of clothing has a grey silk trim, black underside with a xiangyun cloud pattern. It’s meant to be a clue, but isn’t much of one as the pattern and colour isn’t all that distinctive. (It’s more to throw you off than point out the person in our opinion.)
Back at the inn, Wei Wuxian discovers Jin Ling’s been subjected to a curse that’s visible through a black mark up to his ankles. Checking Jin Ling’s chest, Wei Wuxian is relieved it hasn’t reached that far. With Jin Ling waking and taking off, Wei Wuxian isn’t able to do anything to rid the curse then and there.
Giving chase, Wei Wuxian loses Jin Ling.
Jin Ling isn’t far. He’s just a short distance away, brought back towards Wei Wuxian’s direction by Jiang Cheng who can be heard scolding Jin Ling for running off earlier in the day and returning looking so dirty. With Wei Wuxian not wanting to run into Jiang Cheng and risk exposing his identity to him, Wei Wuxian tries to hide behind a store sign till Jiang Cheng and his disciples pass.
He successfully avoid Jiang Cheng as he and his disciples all pass Wei Wuxian by, until Fairy appears before Wei Wuxian. Sometime between the time Wei Wuxian went to hide and the time Jiang Cheng and his group passed, Fairy found Wei Wuxian and had sat itself quietly in front of him. The sight of Fairy sends Wei Wuxian running out to appear right in front of Jiang Cheng and being told to remove his mask, revealing that behind the mask is as Jiang Cheng had suspected back on Dafan Mountain: Mo Xuanyu is actually Wei Wuxian.
Jiang Cheng has Wei Wuxian back to the inn and watched by Fairy, seemingly to hear some words from Wei Wuxian. Exactly what Jiang Cheng wanted Wei Wuxian to say seems to stump Wei Wuxian. The lack of repentance (as Jiang Cheng had accused Wei Wuxian after Wei Wuxian told Jiang Cheng he really didn’t know what he wanted him to say) has Wei Wuxian come off as being remorseless. In all fairness, with Wei Wuxian’s attention all on Fairy, and his fear no doubt in overdrive, it probably made it hard for Wei Wuxian to think of anything to say.
Jiang Cheng’s demand Wei Wuxian repent whilst having his biggest and only fear right in front of him seems to be what had Wei Wuxian accuse Jiang Cheng of having made no progress in controlling his temper. That had Jiang Cheng show Wei Wuxian how the same could be said about him with having Fairy approach closer. The action sees Wei Wuxian remember another incident where he was chased by a dog. Without realising, he calls out for his Shijie right in front of Jiang Cheng as he remembers jumping into Jiang Yanli’s arms.
The mention of Jiang Yanli sets Jiang Cheng off into criticising Wei Wuxian’s tendency to not refrain or avoid what shouldn’t be said or done, like associating with the Gusu Lan Clan. Jiang Cheng actually just mentions “associating with those righteous clans” but the reference seems to be the one with Jiang Cheng bringing up Lan Wangji right after, saying how even after 16 years, the Hanguang-zun still hasn’t forgotten to protect Wei Wuxian.
The scene seems to be working towards getting Wei Wuxian to recalling and then apologising for the thoughtless words he said to Jin Ling about having a mother but lacks the nurture of a mother when they first met in Episode 2.
Before this happens, though, Jiang Cheng shows a very subtle possibility he might be feeling a bit bitterness towards the tight bond Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian have. After expressing his surprise at how Lan Wangji continues to protect Wei Wuxian even after 16 years, Jiang Cheng tries to suggest Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji‘s relationship won’t last. Lan Wangji being a righteous man who’s praised over and over, he can’t possibly accommodate someone like Wei Wuxian who’s got such a notorious reputation. Jiang Cheng then moves to not only attack their bond but Lan Wangji himself: maybe Lan Wangji wasn’t actually protecting Wei Wuxian, but his association with Wei Wuxian could be some kind of underground deal between him and the person who saved him.
This has Wei Wuxian tells Jiang Cheng to watch his words, and it’s where Jiang Cheng suggests Wei Wuxian watch his words, reminding him of the thoughtless words he said to Jin Ling on Dafan Mountain. Jiang Cheng tells Wei Wuxian that he may have forgotten many things, forgotten the things he’s said and all the promises he’s made (somehow when he says this we can’t help think he’s referring to Wei Wuxian’s promise to be his right-hand man), but he can’t forget how Jin Ling’s parents died.
Wei Wuxian isn’t able to say a word in defense, recognising his mistake. They are words which Wei Wuxian does apologising for after Jin Ling, of all people, helps Wei Wuxian escape the inn after Jiang Cheng instructs Jin Ling and the guards to keep watch of Wei Wuxian.
Returning the favour for digging him out of the wall in the fortress on Xinglu Ridge, Jin Ling had gone in to remove Jiang Cheng’s Zidian whip that he had Wei Wuxian bounded in before helping the Yiling Patriarch escape to the forest.
With Wei Wuxian being said to be responsible for the death of his parents, Jin Ling helping Wei Wuxian is a very forgiving act of his especially when Jin Lin showed great hatred of him. At the end of Episode 33, the mention of Wei Wuxian’s name by one of the market vendors had Jin Ling send the vendor flying with a strong kick, and telling the vendor selling talismans bearing the Yiling Patriarch name to count himself lucky he didn’t kill him for speaking of Wei Wuxian.
The reason Jin Ling appears to have done a U-turn with Wei Wuxian is not because of he was rescued by him, but because Jin Ling believes he isn’t Wei Wuxian. The fact that Jiang Cheng’s Zidian whip showed no reaction when it was used on Wei Wuxian is enough proof for Jin Ling that Wei Wuxian isn’t Wei Wuxian, despite Jiang Cheng believing he is Wei Wuxian.
Wei Wuxian takes this opportunity to apologise to Jin Ling for his words to him. It comes after Wei Wuxian teaches Jin Ling good manners, mentioning two cringeworthy words that must be said no matter what, these being, “thank you” and “sorry”. Jin Ling thinks this whole talk about good manners is about him with how bad his manners are, but he’s surprised to hear Wei Wuxian apologise to him. It’s an apology Jin Ling accepts. Jin Ling also shows his strength, confidence and optimism. Firstly, Wei Wuxian’s words at Dafan Mountain were nothing new to him Jin Ling tells Wei Wuxian. Secondly, although he doesn’t have a mother, he’s not lesser than anyone, and it will only make him work to have those who look down on him see he is stronger than them all. This kind of attitude has Wei Wuxian approve.
(Jin Ling is actually not so different from Wei Wuxian with how they both lost their parents at a young age and having people look down on them, calling them names. It’s a very likable uncle-nephew relationship going on here!)
With the apology said, Wei Wuxian finally get to see to Jin Ling’s curse which, after knocking the 16-year-old unconscious, reveals to have gone up to his knee caps. He expresses in his thoughts he may not be able to remove all traces of the evil curse, but at least most of it; and does so by transferring it to his own body.
Curse transferred, Wei Wuxian heads back to meet Lan Wangji as they had agreed before leaving Xinglu Ridge. Seeing Lan Wangji waiting on a bridge for him has Wei Wuxian think sadly how he never thought it’d be Lan Wangji who would end up being on the same side as him. He had thought it’d always be Jiang Cheng and him on the same side.
The scene makes a subtle reference back to Episode 18 when Wei Wuxian were supposed to meet Jiang Cheng at Yiling Teahouse only to never end up meeting him because Wen Chao had caught up with him and thrown him into the Yiling Burial Mounds. This time round, though, Wei Wuxian keeps his promise and makes it back to meet Lan Wangji.
However, Wei Wuxian returns with a leg containing the evil curse which look to have reached up to his knees. He also returns with a slow, heavy walk caused by Jiang Cheng’s Zidian Whip when Wei Wuxian had tried to escape him but failed.
The sight has Lan Wangji end up carrying Wei Wuxian on his back against Wei Wuxian’s wishes. Just like how Lan Wangji responded back in Episode 12 when Wei Wuxian offered to carry Lan Wangji on his back, Wei Wuxian found the suggestion unsightly. Wei Wuxian backed down then, but Lan Wangji didn’t back down here. Without gaining Wei Wuxian’s approval, Lan Wangji pulls Wei Wuxian’s arm over him before pulling his entire body onto his back, carrying Wei Wuxian all the way back to Qiting Inn. It’s where Wei Wuxian would learn the fleeing person Lan Wangji was chasing back on Xinglu Ridge is Nie Huaisang. The story behind the Man-eating ridge nickname, Jin Ling’s enchantment, and eventually why the sword spirit found at Mo Manor had led them to Qinghe—specifically, Xinglu Ridge—are also revealed.
Nie Huaisang originally denies knowing anything or being the one Lan Wangji saw running away from him, but is made to admit and divulge information after a bit of encouragement from Wei Wuxian (who had put on his mask under Lan Wangji’s instructions so Nie Huaisang doesn’t recognise him). Already, Wei Wuxian’s figured out the three lines of defense—the Man-eating Ridge rumour (first line of defense), the supernatural beings (second line of defense) and the magical man-created maze near the stone fortress (third line of defense)—all exist to keep normal people and cultivators away from the fortress on Xinglu Mountain. As for who could have possibly set up these lines of defense on what is Qinghe Nie Clan territory, Wei Wuxian points out it could only be the Qinghe Nie Clan. There was also that corner of clothing which turned out to being to Nie Huaisang. Nie Huaisang knew things. There was no doubt about it.
Unable to deny anything after this, Nie Huaisang explains the situation as a case of trying to keep people away from a hall of blades belonging to his ancestors which would otherwise be extremely restless, causing all kinds of problems, were it not for this idea of building a fortress and giving the blades burial sacrifices in the form of evil spirits to keep the peace in the clan.
Nie Huaisang explains that after the blade’s master die, the blade spirit needs something to fight non-stop: this is because of the violent and killing aura they have. When their masters are alive, this aura is controlled by them. But without their masters, the blade spirit just become restless and cause unrest for the clan. It is through the idea of the sixth Qinghe Nie Clan that this fortress be built and have the blades of each ancestor be buried along with the evil spirits, demons and ghosts to keep the blade spirits at rest. (The evil spirits, demons and ghosts must have been what Wei Wuxian was referring to when he was muttering about something being all around them as well as what had attacked Wei Wuxian’s aural senses back in Episode 34).
How the Xinglu Ridge got its alias of Man-eating Ridge is explained by Nie Huaisang of relating to a past incident which saw tomb raiders raid the Jindao Hall, thinking the place contained gold and jewels. In doing so, as Wei Wuxian is heard figuring it all out, they ended up disturbing the suppressed spirits inside the blades which caused evil spirits to break out, causing insufficient sacrifice offered. To make up for the escape of evil spirits, the tomb raiders became the sacrificial offerings. With the tomb raiders said to have entered but was never seen exiting, plus the lack of corpse or bones, the rumour began and the Man-eating Ridge nickname given. There was never an attempt to clear up the rumour since it helped keep normal people away.
What these rumours, the supernatural beings and magical maze don’t keep away are higher level cultivators like Lan Wangji and Jin Ling. Jin Ling’s enchantment was the result of him breaking through the fortress and destroying the remaining corpse of the tomb raider, causing the enchantment for Jin Ling to become a burial sacrifice to activate and be buried inside the wall.
Being led to Qinghe, to Xinglu Ridge and the fortress containing the blades of past Qinghe Nie Clan family members were all the intention of the sword spirit that was found at the Mo Manor to have Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji learn that it’s not a sword spirit, but a blade spirit belonging to Nie Mingjue’s blade, Baxia.
This discovery is made when Wei Wuxian thinks to head back to Jindao Hall to have Nie Huaisang bring out all the weapons in the hall in hopes of finding one which either had traces of the Yin Tiger Seal on it or one which was without its sword spirit, only to come up with nothing, because firstly the Nie Clan don’t start cultivating with swords, but blades. He and Lan Wangji are were never going to discover a sword in Jindao Hall.
This leads Lan Wangji to ask about Baxia upon noticing its absence. A flashback to the time Nie Mingjue went mad during cultivation explains why Nie Mingjue’s blade wasn’t in Jindao Hall. After Nie Mingjue had all his veins broken during this incident, he had gone missing and no one has since him dead it alive. Whether Nie Mingjue is dead or not doesn’t appear to be questioned. What is questioned is the way which Nie Mingjue had died.
To Wei Wuxian, Nie Mingjue’s death is suspicious and believes it to be of unnatural causes. What baffles Wei Wuxian is what all this have to do with him and his Yin Tiger Seal. It has Wei Wuxian wonder whether someone is trying to push the blame on him again.
Having discovered what the blade spirit wanted Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji to discover, the blade spirit points them west to Yueyang where they make a stop at Qiting Wineshop, the place they had visited 16 years ago while chasing the fourth Yin Metal piece before running into Xue Yang at the Chang Manor (Episode 9/Episode 10).
At the wineshop, talk from patrons reveal the Chang Clan having been massacred. This leads to Wei Wuxian learning the current situation at the Lanling Jin Clan and with Xue Yang. There’s been significant changes in the last 16 years. Xue Yang, who was caught and was facing punishment for the Chang Clan massacre escaped punishment after the only survivor, Chang Ping, withdrew his testimony of Xue Yang being the killer.
Whilst deliberating on whether Xue Yang should receive punishment, Jin Guangshan had been against punishing Xue Yang for a reason not revealed (the suggestion is because of advice from someone working under him). Whilst he wanted to protect Xue Yang, everyone in the Jin Family called Xue Yang to be punished. It was only after Jin Guangshan’s death (how he dies isn’t revealed till Episode 46), Xue Yang was dealt with by Jin Guangyao (who is the current Lanling Jin Clan Leader). The patrons think Xue Yang should be dead now, but whether he is actually dead is to be seen.
From the looks of things more injustices have taken place. The Chang Clan were massacred with its only surviving clan member ending up losing both his eyes before dying by a thousand cuts (dismemberment). Xiao Xingchen, who had expressed having no interest getting involved in the fighting between the great Immortal Clans (Episode 10), appears to have gotten himself involved with being charged with Chang Ping’s death and is said to be missing with no news of him all these years. Song Lan’s been mentioned as having travelled far, but no news of him have been heard for years as well (which is meant to come off as suspicious).
The way things have turned out has Wei Wuxian frown and downing liquor, obviously finding things hard to accept. Even Lan Wangji who never drinks is seen downing a cup. He, too, is finding things too much to take now.
Lan Wangji’s passes out again after the one cup of wine he drank. With Wei Wuxian lugging the Hanguang-zun back to the inn and sleeping (sort of—he still appears to be awake, but shows no signs of going anywhere), Wei Wuxian takes this opportunity to call out Wen Ning after seeing him on Dafan Mountain (Episode 2).
Standing in the middle of the Yueyang street in the darkness, Wei Wuxian plays Wuji (the drama’s end credits theme) on his flute to try get Wen Ning to come to him. Sure enough, Wen Ning shows up. Despite coming on command, Wen Ning is not fully himself. He’s been controlled by a couple large skull-penetrating screws which stop Wen Ning from having any thoughts of his own. The large chains around his body, hands and feet control him, too.
Wei Wuxian doesn’t immediately notice Wen Ning’s state immediately, thinking his non-response was because Wen Ning doesn’t recognise him after all these years. However, Wei Wuxian is quick to see the situation and move to feel for the large screws in his head before pulling them out to return Wen Ning to himself.
The hope that maybe Wen Ning might shed some light on everything that’s going on sees little revealed. When asked who had imprisoned him and when he came under the control of the Skull-piercing Nail, Wen Ning tells Wei Wuxian he doesn’t know. He only can tell him that after being taken in 16 years ago, Jin Guangshan had him locked up in a dark place with someone coming in to check on him until he heard Wei Wuxian’s flute. (The way Wen Ning tells it, it feels like he’d only woken up recently like Wei Wuxian had only been revived recently.) His memory was fuzzy and became fuzzier and fuzzier as time went, which is possibly the result of the nails being hit into his skull.
Sixteen years on, Wen Ning hasn’t forgotten the incident at Qiongqi Path which killed Jin Zixuan and implicated Wei Wuxian. For that, he goes down on his knees to apologise. It has Wei Wuxian down on his knees, too. Wei Wuxian seems to disagree with the need for Wen Ning to be this way, especially when Wei Wuxian didn’t see Wen Ning as the one to blame to begin with.
If you remember, Wei Wuxian was initially angry at Wen Ning, but quickly saw that Wen Ning was just the knife he controlled—or believes he controlled during the ambush. Besides this, everything that happened at Qiongqi Path and at Buyetian is looking to be the work of forces neither had any control over. Wei Wuxian knows this and appears to have accepted, and for a lack of a better word, made peace with what happened, despite feeling some pain which can be seen on him when thinking about these incidents which led to the deaths of Jin Zixuan and his Shijie. Wei Wuxian saw no need for Wen Ning to kneel, but since he was kneeling, Wei Wuxian would, too.
After Wei Wuxian sees Wen Ning return to his feet, Wei Wuxian look to head back to the inn to borrow Lan Wangji’s sword, Bichen, to cut Wen Ning’s chains off him. Wei Wuxian never gets the chance as Lan Wangji unexpectedly shows up before them, still drunk on the one cup of wine.
Wei Wuxian is left trying to keep Lan Wangji from causing trouble as Lan Wangji suddenly has this urge to go into a stranger’s property to steal a couple chickens to give to Wei Wuxian on their way back to the inn. He also goes and defaces a wooden post with a declaration that he had been by the place. As if to save Lan Wangji from being responsible for the defacing, Wei Wuxian adds his message, too, saying he had been by as well. (With Wei Wuxian supposedly dead, maybe the owners will take it as a prank and not think Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian really defaced their wooden post. That or they’d just blame it all on the Yiling Patriarch as people normally do.)
Lan Wangji is brought back to the inn where they have a run-in with a masked man (who is referred to as Gui Mian Ren/Ghost-face Man) with high spiritual energy looking to steal Lan Wangji’s Qiankun Pouch containing the blade spirit. Despite Lan Wangji’s drunk state, he keeps the Ghost-face Man from escaping, providing Wei Wuxian the opportunity to observe and pick up how familiar the Ghost-face Man was with Lan Wangji’s sword technique and the odd act of concealing the identity of his sword. It suggests to Wei Wuxian that this person is well-known amongst cultivators and recognisable just by the sword hence the sword-masking. It has Wei Wuxian wonder if it was someone around Lan Wangji or from the Gusu Lan Clan. When Wei Wuxian brings this observation up with Lan Wangji the next morning, Lan Wangji denies knowing anyone, unable to think of anyone in the Gusu Lan Clan who might be acting against them.
The Ghost-face Man ends up leaving with nothing as Wei Wuxian moves to force Ghost-face Man to release his grip on the Qiankun Pouch during the Ghost-face Man’s move to break free from a tight rope bound created from one of Wei Wuxian’s talismans. The action had caused the Ghost-face man to unintentionally fling the Qiankun Pouch into Wei Wuxian hand.
Ghost-face man escaping through the use of a Chuansong Talisman (a teleporting talisman), Lan Wangji’s drunk state lets Wei Wuxian hear the regret he had over the incident at Buyetian 16 years ago. Wei Wuxian had started Lan Wangji on answering a few fun questions first (to test Lan Wangji’s truthfulness we’re guessing) before going onto asking Lan Wangji a serious question—“Why are you helping me?”—and was surprised and seemingly pained to hear it was because Lan Wangji continues to have regrets over not having stood alongside Wei Wuxian at Buyetian 16 years ago.
Wanting Lan Wangji not to feel this way, that Lan Wangji didn’t need to do anything, Wei Wuxian tries to get him to understand and remember that he chose to defect and it was he who chose Gui Dao Shu Fa. Whether it’s because he still feels bad or it’s because he’s drunk, Lan Wangji seems to be not hearing him and doesn’t give Wei Wuxian any assurances about not feeling bad about what Lan Wangji did or didn’t do before heading straight for his bed. Lan Wangji, even when drunk, doesn’t fail to remember to go to bed at the prescribed time.
Come morning, Lan Wangji doesn’t appear to remember much of what happened the night before. He only seems to recall the Ghost-face Man who attacked him, but his memory of his chicken catching adventure and Wei Wuxian’s words seems to have been forgotten.
Taking out Lan Wangji’s Qiankun Pouch for their next heading, the blade spirit inside points them east to Yi City, a desolate city said to be full of coffins because of the short life expectancy of the villagers who die awful deaths according to an elderly man outside the city. Entering the city, thick fog obscure their sight, and it appears that once in the city, it’s hard to get out.
Unexpectedly running into Lan Sizhui, Jin Ling as well as other disciples from the Lan, Jin and Ouyang clans who had entered the city during a monster hunt, Wei Wuxian (who had separated from Lan Wangji to chase separate figures in the distance) is told they had tried to find their way out, not changing direction even once and discovered they couldn’t find their way out. Flying on the sword to try see over the city, Lan Sizhui tells of having encountered fuzzy shadows roaming in the air which forced him to return to the ground, afraid he couldn’t take it on.
Not long after getting this report from Lan Sizhui, they encounter a group of villagers under the control of the Yin Tiger Seal. Wei Wuxian’s suspicions about a second Yin Tiger Seal being created is confirmed with the ghost puppets’ appearance. They’re easily taken care of with Lan Wangji’s Xiansha Technique which has Wei Wuxian note this Yin Tiger Seal is not as powerful as his Yin Tiger Seal, and is only half a piece.
Discovering some of the disciples have been poisoned by dust that had mixed with the thick fog, Wei Wuxian look to get the disciples into one of the villager’s stores to discover the shop owner is under the control of the Yin Tiger Seal. She was strange, reclusive but otherwise normal. However, upon closer observation, the woman revealed the characteristic black vein marks at the bottom of her neck which Wei Wuxian caught on to when he went to ask the woman about borrowing her kitchen.
The thought to be dead (or disposed of) Xue Yang is revealed to be the person behind Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji’s travels to Yi City. Jin Ling, Lan Sizhui and the other disciples were all led to Yi City through mysterious incidents involving the appearance of dead cats in the middle of the night. After being directed east by the blade spirit, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji themselves were led to Yi City by Xue Yang by an unassuming farmer who is suggested to be Xue Yang under disguise.
Xue Yang doesn’t let Wei Wuxian discover him immediately, choosing to put on a show involving getting Wei Wuxian thinking he had come across his Shishu, Xiao Xingchen, when in fact it’s just Xue Yang behind a face mask that looks exactly like Xiao Xingchen. Fooling Wei Wuxian into rescuing him from the attacks of the ghost puppets, Xue Yang (under the disguise of Xiao Xingchen) is brought in appearing exhausted from fending off the ghost puppets and having been poisoned by the dust in the fog. There was never any threat to Xue Yang as these ghost puppets were all under his control. As for the poison in the fog, Xue Yang had an antidote for.
Xue Yang seemed to want to create a bit more drama with having Song Lan crashing through the roof as a ghost puppet to continue the attacks. As a battle between Song Lan and Wen Ning which occurs later seem to indicate, Song Lan is strong. With one command from Xue Yang, Song Lan could have broken free of the rope bound the disciples put on him after Wei Wuxian subdued him with his flute, but Xue Yang appeared to want to keep the show going (maybe play with Wei Wuxian and the disciples a little longer) by having Song Lan (who’s had his tongue cut off) reveal through Lan Sizhui’s Wenling technique that Xue Yang—the supposed Xiao Xingchen—is the one who harmed Song Lan and is the one controlling him.
Xue Yang ends the show here, commanding his ghost puppet, Song Lan, to break free and hold a sword against Wei Wuxian’s neck. All the disciples come to Wei Wuxian’s aid, but they’re told by Wei Wuxian to head outside: put together, they’re no match against Song Lan’s swordsmanship.
Xue Yang gets to telling Wei Wuxian the reason he put on this show. It was to catch Wei Wuxian’s attention as well as do a bit of testing to make sure he was Wei Wuxian. Seemingly satisfied with the result, Xue Yang tells Wei Wuxian the goal for wanting to catch Wei Wuxian’s attention and leading him into this place. Xue Yang had a person he wanted to resurrect.
From the amount of spiritual consciousness stored in a small pouch, it’s someone Xue Yang desperately wants to save. To Xue Yang’s dissatisfaction, though, Wei Wuxian tells him that he can’t do it. For one, there’s too little spiritual consciousness for him to help. Second, if the spiritual consciousness doesn’t have the will to survive, there a 90% chance of failure. Third, Wei Wuxian can’t save a person who’s dead.
Xue Yang gets angry hearing this as he seems to think that even if odds are against him and the fact that this person is dead, he had hoped Wei Wuxian could help him think of a way to resurrect this person. Wei Wuxian is, after all, the original creator of the Yin Tiger Seal. To create the Yin Tiger Seal, Xue Yang used his Yin Metal piece (the fourth piece everyone thought Wei Wuxian took from Xue Yang) and based it on Wei Wuxian’s Yin Tiger Seal. Xue Yang seem to believe that with Wei Wuxian’s abilities plus the fact Wei Wuxian was able to save Wen Ning from what Xue Yang and the rest of the world believe to be the dead, Wei Wuxian would be able to resurrect this person.
Wei Wuxian has Xue Yang understand that contrary to the rumours Xue Yang may have heard, Wen Ning was never dead when he brought Wen Ning back. He only lost his spiritual consciousness because of the Dancing Goddess incident.
Xue Yang won’t accept this answer and moves to try strike Wei Wuxian into submission after a short interruption from Wen Ning and Song Lan who looks to have somehow met and started battling each other outside. With Wei Wuxian’s low spiritual energy (which Wei Wuxian, yet again, attributes to having recently recovered), Wei Wuxian calls out Xue Yang for bullying him and requests a substitute to take his place. Xue Yang doesn’t let up as he must make Wei Wuxian return with him to save this apparently dead person, leaving Wei Wuxian no choice but continue to block and evade Xue Yang’s sword. That is, until Lan Wangji enters the scene just at the right time to take on Xue Yang for Wei Wuxian. (Before coming to Wei Wuxian’s, Lan Wangji had been kept busy by the same Ghost-face Man who showed up at Qiting Inn, and had showed up again at Yi City.)
With Lan Wangji advising Wei Wuxian to fall back whilst the Hanguang-zun handled Xue Yang and Wen Ning handling Song Lan, Wei Wuxian finds himself looking for somewhere he’s needed; and is presented it with the sight of Lan Jingyi, Lan Sizhui, Jin Ling and the other disciples sheltering inside a place where they have a good view of the fight between Wen Ning and Song Lan. It would seem that even Wei Wuxian’s ghost puppet is stronger than Xue Yang’s as Wen Ning appears to have the upper hand.
Deciding to take the disciples out of Yi City first, Wei Wuxian follows the sound of a bamboo cane made by a blind and mute woman who goes by the name of Ah Qing. Based on how the disciples was being led by the tapping sound towards the entrance where Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji was entering when they first arrived, it occurred to him Ah Qing had been trying to chase the disciples out of the place.
Following Ah Qing now, Wei Wuxian is led to Yi Zhuang, a place where corpse which aren’t claimed are stored, and discovers the real Xiao Xingchen lying in a coffin. The discovery has Lan Sizhui wonder if Wei Wuxian wanted to use his Wenling technique to find out from Ah Qing what had happened to have caused Xiao Xingchen to lay before them dead. The last news of Xiao Xingchen was that he had gone missing after he was accused of killing Yueyang Chang Clan’s Chang Ping. No news of Xiao Xingchen had been heard since. It’s now clear why that is.
Wei Wuxian rejects Lan Sizhui’s offer, explaining that they may not be able to ask questions Ah Qing wants them to ask to discover the answers. Her reply will probably be complex and hard to interpret. Wei Wuxian suggests the use of Gong Qing, a method which involves entering into the mind to learn what had happened. It has Jin Ling against Wei Wuxian using such a method, saying it’s too dangerous: if Wei Wuxian isn’t careful, he may not return from it. Wei Wuxian insists on using the method, saying there isn’t much time before needing to meet up with Lan Wangji when they’re done.
Wei Wuxian enters Ah Qing’s mind to go back to 10 years ago where, as a wanderer who gets her food and money from pretending to be blind, meets Xiao Xingchen. He’s seen having lost his sight after having given his eyes to Song Lan (a fact which isn’t revealed till the end of the episode). Using Xiao Xingchen’s blindness against him, Ah Qing lies about not being able to see, causing her to bump into him. The reason she bumped into him is the same reason she pretends to be blind, to take money/food or be given money/food.
Xiao Xingchen may be blind, but his senses are still very good as he knows she’s taken his money from him. He doesn’t reveal this, though, at least not until taking her to a quieter street where she can walk safely and not bump into people. Xiao Xingchen being blind isn’t able to see Ah Qing isn’t really blind.
Ah Qing ends up following Xiao Xingchen in his journeys after he saves her from one of pickpocketing victims who angrily confronts her about taking his money. Appealing to his sensibilities, she convinces Xiao Xingchen to let her join him: if Xiao Xingchen doesn’t let her follow him, he could be leaving her on her own to face confrontations she might not be able to get out of, she says.
Taking the road towards Yi City, Xiao Xingchen and Ah Qing run into a badly injured Xue Yang on the side road. Ah Qing had wanted to ignore the discovery, but her lie about hurting her ankle to cover the sight of Xue Yang led Xiao Xingchen to discover Xue Yang. Crouching down to offer to carry Ah Qing on his back had caused Xiao Xingchen to smell blood and discover Xue Yang’s presence.
Without asking any questions or caring that the person he saved was responsible for the massacre at Baixue Pavillion, Xiao Xingchen treats Xue Yang and helps him recover from his internal and external injuries. The three would stay together at Yi City for what look like the next seven years with Xue Yang appearing to live together well with Xiao Xingchen never catching onto the bad things he did in front of him and behind his back, things like threatening a market stall owner to load Xiao Xingchen’s basket with potatoes and using the dangerous method of having Ah Qing walk towards Xue Yang’s sword to test Ah Qing’s sight.
The worse thing Xue Yang does, though, is cultivating and turning villagers into ghost puppets during this time, and having Xiao Xingchen kill them. With Xiao Xingchen being blind and his sword’s ability to naturally direct towards resentment energy, Xiao Xingchen kills without ever distinguishing living people from evil things. It is used to Xue Yang’s advantage to have Xiao Xingchen kill Song Lan during a showdown between Xue Yang and Song Lan three years before the present time. It sees Song Lan poisoned, tongue cut off and emitting the resentment energy of Xue Yang’s Yin Tiger Seal that was needed for Xiao Xingchen to swoop in and kill his friend. So it was true when Song Lan revealed Xiao Xingchen had killed him, but it was through Xue Yang’s deception.
Back to the present, things are looking dangerous for Wei Wuxian and Ah Qing as they immerse further into Ah Qing’s memories. The disciples call for Jin Ling to ring the Jiang Clan silver bell to bring Wei Wuxian out. Jin Ling holds off doing so for a brief time, but very soon moves to ring it seemingly recognising the need.
For a long time, Wei Wuxian stays in Ah Qing’s memories and look to be gone as he appears to have come out from it, but remains still, eyes open, and just staring directly ahead. It had the disciples worry, with Lan Sizhui repeatedly calling to Wei Wuxian, and Jin Ling continuing to ring the Jiang Clan silver bell. Wei Wuxian’s fine, but his return to the present sees him wanting quiet to settle his dizziness down.
The disciples are curious to what Wei Wuxian had found out, but not with the story too long to tell, Wei Wuxian leaves them back at Yi Zhuang (where they should be safe from ghost puppets) to see Xue Yang gets what he deserves for his deception which harmed Song Lan and Ah Qing, and led Xiao Xingchen to die. What Wei Wuxian believes Xue Yang deserves is death.
With just the call of Lan Wangji’s name, the Hanguang-zun goes straight to getting the pouch containing (what is now revealed to be) the spiritual consciousness of Xiao Xingchen’s sword from Xue Yang for Wei Wuxian. Lan Wangji makes pretty quick work of it as it takes only the time Wei Wuxian takes to get Wen Ning to hold down Song Lan to remove the remaining nail from Song Lan’s head, releasing him from Xue Yang’s control.
Xue Yang screams for it back, but there was no way Wei Wuxian was going to give the pouch that is now in his hands. The callousness Xue Yang had treated Xiao Xingchen despite the kindness Xiao Xingchen has shown him, Wei Wuxian wasn’t going to (as Wei Wuxian puts it) let Xue Yang continue playing this rotten game of his.
Xue Yang’s end is near, but before that happens, Wei Wuxian tries to get Xue Yang into revealing who he works for because based on Xue Yang’s delay in seeking revenge isn’t Xue Yang’s style. Waiting years to kill Chang Ping, dismemberment using Xiao Xingchen’s sword instead of Xue Yang’s own sword to kill Chang Ping and digging out the eyes to make Chang Ping look like Xiao Xingchen, all this suggests to Wei Wuxian that Xue Yang isn’t carrying out his own revenge but someone else’s.
Xue Yang avoids the question, choosing to simply answer that revenge is not supposed to be a comfortable death. Wei Wuxian doesn’t argue with Xue Yang on that. However, it doesn’t answer his question. So, Wei Wuxian continues to press Xue Yang on the matter, repeating his question before suggesting Xue Yang should be the one dismembered for all his evil deeds to keep him talking in hopes it would get something out of him eventually.
Wei Wuxian’s provocation only lead to anger and Xue Yang’s attempt to silence Wei Wuxian with a couple of his Skull-piercing nails which sees Wei Wuxian caught of guard by the attack. All he could do was watch the screws fly towards him. Fortunately, the nails are caught by Wen Ning. Lan Wangji was right next to Wei Wuxian and could have tried to stop the screws, but seemingly the attack was so sudden and quick Lan Wangji was unable to react. So, thanks to Wen Ning, Wei Wuxian avoided being turned into a ghost puppet by Xue Yang.
Wei Wuxian never ends up getting his answer as Xue Yang stays tight-lipped till his death. With the help of Ah Qing and her taps of her bamboo cane, Xue Yang who had been appearing and disappearing during the whole exchange, is located and stabbed in the back before his right arm is severed by Lan Wangji’s flying sword after Xue Yang attempted his final failed attack on Wei Wuxian (who was distracted by the sight of Ah Qing dead in his arms, stabbed in the heart by Xue Yang as Xue Yang was stabbed in the back by Lan Wangji’s sword). A rescue attempt from the Ghost-faced man fails, leaving Xue Yang to receive the final attack, a stab to the heart, from Song Lan (who’s returned to normal and regained his spiritual consciousness following the removal of the screws in his skull).
Although Wei Wuxian doesn’t get the answer from Xue Yang’s mouth, a lot of clues were left during their investigation which began in Qinghe. The Ghost-face Man’s appearance to try extract Xue Yang from the scene as well as recover Xue Yang’s Yin Tiger Seal reveal Xue Yang and Ghost-face Man are associated with each other and the mastermind as having links to not only to the Gusu Lan Clan but also the Lanling Jin Clan and is suspected to have possible connections to the Qinghe Nie Clan.
Adding to Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji’s first encounter with the Ghost-face Man back Yueyang (Episode 36), the encounters with the Ghost-face Man in Yi City saw Lan Wangji discover the Ghost-face Man’s sword technique originated from the Gusu Lan Clan but hides special moves from the Lanling Jin Clan.
As for the possible connection to the Qinghe Nie Clan, this is illustrated by the Ghost-face Man’s attempt to steal the blade spirit back in Yueyang over fears Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji would discover Nie Mingjue’s headless corpse which they found in Yi Zhuang under Xiao Xingchen’s coffin, protected by a Zhenya Fa Zhen Suppressing Magical Formation.
One person who has this kind of connection to all three clans comes to the minds of Wei Wuxian and Lan Xichen when this is reported back to the Zewu-zun (Lan Xichen’s title), but what doesn’t fit is Lan Xichen’s impression of this person. Even though Lan Xichen admits that this person is the biggest suspect, he refuses to believe it could be him because this person just doesn’t come off as this kind of person. The second reason Lan Xichen refuses to believe this person could be him is that this person has been spending every day having late night talks with him and just a few days ago, they were planning the Lanling Jin Clan Discussion Conference together.
In short, this person has been with Lan Wangji over the time Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji has been investigating the blade spirit and the Ghost-face Man. This person can’t possibly be at two places at once. But as Lan Wangji points out, this person doesn’t have to go personally. He can have someone carry out tasks on his behalf.
As for Lan Xichen’s refusal to believe this person is the mastermind because this person doesn’t come off as the kind of person who could be capable of masterminding all the things Xue Yang and the Ghost-face Man is doing, Xue Yang had provided a clue earlier back in Episode 37 that he had a friend who was better at acting than he was when he pretended to be Xiao Xingchen. This friend Xue Yang was referring to looks to be the mastermind. Based on this, what Lan Xichen sees/believes this person to be could very well be/is a front for Lan Xichen to see.
Ending off the episode, an argument between Jin Ling and Lan Sizhui over Wei Wuxian, demonic cultivation and how not all demonic cultivators are like Xue Yang leads to Wei Wuxian exposing his true identity to Lan Xichen. Not knowing Lan Xichen was going on a hunch when he tells Wei Wuxian not to take to heart the negative things Jin Ling was saying about him, Wei Wuxian removes his mask thinking Lan Xichen had long known he was Wei Wuxian only to discover Lan Xichen didn’t know and only knew when he took off his mask, confirming Wei Wuxian’s identity.
Wei Wuxian brushes his error off to move to advise Lan Xichen to think the matter concerning this person they suspect carefully as the blade spirit showing up at the Mo Manor is not a coincidence.
The indisputable facts of Qionqi Path and Buyetian where Wei Wuxian has been held responsible for the deaths of Jiang Yanli, Jin Jixuan, and the many lives that fell in these incidents are set to be investigated. To begin investigating their biggest suspect (which is now revealed to be Jin Guangyao), Lan Wangji suggests Wei Wuxian join him at Jinling Tai for the Discussion Conference.
The visit sees curious recognition from everyone at the Lanling Jin Clan as Wei Wuxian enters Jinling Tai as part of the Gusu Lan Clan entourage headed by Lan Xichen. He had agreed with Lan Wangji that even if his belief is that it couldn’t possibly be Jin Guangyao behind Xue Yang and the Ghost-face Man, it needed to be investigated. If evidence revealed Jin Guangyao to be the mastermind, he will handle it in a just manner.
Wei Wuxian wearing his mask, presenting himself as Mo Xuanyu, many people from the maids to Jin Guangyao’s wife, Qin Su (Jin Lu Ying), give Wei Wuxian curious looks with some muttering under their breaths about Mo Xuanyu’s shamelessness in showing up back at Jinling Tai.
A confrontation in the courtyard which Wei Wuxian ends up witnessing between Jin Ling and a Lanling Jin Clan family member, Jin Chan (Liu Yin Jun), reveals Mo Xuanyu was a past disciple who was kicked out of the Lanling Jin Clan. Going after Jin Guangyao’s wife seemed to be why Jin Ling hated Mo Xuanyu. However, with Wei Wuxian having saved his life back in Qinghe at Xinglu, that seems to have changed Jin Ling’s view of Mo Xuanyu as he goes to block Jin Chan from harassing Wei Wuxian/Mo Xuanyu.
Wei Wuxian probably got more points for helping Jin Ling beat Jin Chan and his followers. In a one-on-one fight, as Jin Ling expresses, he had no trouble taking on Jin Chan. However, in a one-on-three fight, Jin Ling admits he couldn’t handle. With Wei Wuxian there, though, Jin Ling was able to make it look like he took down three people on his own. In reality, Wei Wuxian was standing behind making Jin Ling hit and kick out of reflex. Jin Ling thought Wei Wuxian was restraining him when he stumbled back into Wei Wuxian but what Wei Wuxian was actually doing was helping him strike with power by keeping his stance stable. Showing Jin Ling a move on one of Jin Chan’s followers, Jin Ling was also able to imitate Wei Wuxian’s move and send Jin Chan and his followers running.
Wei Wuxian is sent running shortly after Jin Ling threatens him with Fairy for sticking around the courtyard when he shouldn’t be. Asked what Wei Wuxian was doing in the courtyard previous to that, Wei Wuxian makes up a story about his heart having moved to someone else and wanting to apologise to Qin Su instead of telling the truth. It’s a lie of course. Wei Wuxian was there to see if he could find out anything relating to his investigation on Jin Guangyao.
Chased out, Wei Wuxian returns to his room where he agreed to meet Lan Wangji to investigate matters through a yellow paper-man-shaped talisman. Entering Fengfei Hall through the use of his yellow paper man, Wei Wuxian witnesses a suspiciously unwell Qin Su and Jin Guangyao arguing over a letter sent to Qin Su by an unnamed informant. The exact contents remain a secret with neither mentioning any names or specific incidents to clue Wei Wuxian in on why Qin Su was so upset or disgusted by what she discovered from reading the letter. All that is seen is Qin Su gagging and Qin Su asking Jin Guangyao why he just not kill her.
Their child, Ah Song, looks to have been killed under Jin Guangyao’s orders. He denies this as he sticks to Ah Song’s death as being under someone else’s hands—a story he seems to have maintained in front of Qin Su and presumably everyone else; but, Jin Guangyao reveals that even if Ah Song didn’t die by this person’s hands—a person he’s already killed and gotten revenge—Ah Song had to die. Why Ah Song had to die isn’t revealed at this point.
For what reason has Jin Guangyao done all of this for? For the clan leader position he now holds. In order to keep everything he has now, Jin Guangyao persists with trying to persuade Qin Su to expose the identity of her informant with the suspected intention to dispose of the person. Qin Su is unwilling and uncooperative which gets her hit with a spell which seals her veins, paralysing all movement and speech, and brought to another room through a mirror to keep her locked up till (presumably) the three-day Discussion Conference concludes.
Wei Wuxian flies through the mirror, following them in, still undetected. A curious red scratch on a black table catches Wei Wuxian’s attention before spotting a box with white talismans on it and a land deed to Yunmeng Yunping City. The box with the white talismans seems to be Wei Wuxian’s main focus.
As Wei Wuxian makes the leap across to land on some shelves a short distance from the box, Jin Guangyao appear to sense it. However, Jin Guangyao doesn’t seem to suspect an intruder when he makes his way towards the box as he puts it down to Nie Mingjue—or rather the head of Nie Mingjue—watching him.
Wei Wuxian’s leap across to the shelves, whether intentional or not, had him finally confirm his and Lan Wangji’s suspicions that Jin Guangyao would keep Nie Mingjue’s head near him. Now, to find out what happened to Nie Mingjue, Wei Wuxian jumps inside the box after Jin Guangyao leaves the box. Wei Wuxian respectfully greets the former Qinghe Nie Clan Leader before attaching himself (rather his paper counterpart) to Nie Mingjue’s head and begins using the dangerous Gong Qing method to try get into Nie Mingjue’s mind and learn the events that led to Nie Mingjue’s death all the way from his room through his paper counterpart.
Favourite / Notable Moments in Pictures
EPISODE 31: Wei Wuxian loses control of Wen Ning during an ambush on Qiongqi Path, resulting in the death of Jin Zixuan and Jin Zixun.
EPISODE 31: Wen Qing sedates Wei Wuxian with her needles to prevent him from stopping her and her clansmen from handing themselves into the Lanling Jin Clan to take responsibility over the deaths of Jin Zixuan and Jin Zixun.
EPISODE 32: Wei Wuxian harbours a stronger aura of resentment with the never ending slandering, accusations and seeing the death of the group of the Wen Clan who never bloodied their hands.
EPISODE 32: Wei Wuxian’s been accused of killing indiscriminately. That’s not true. In the battle at Buyetian, Wei Wuxian attacks all clans except the Yunmeng Jiang Clan.
EPISODE 32: Wei Wuxian had said there may be a time they might have to duel one another for real. That time has come at the Battle of Buyetian as Lan Wangji is forced to launched into an attack as even he isn’t spared from Wei Wuxian’s attacks.
EPISODE 32: Jiang Yanli suffers a survivable slash across the back in her desperate search for Wei Wuxian, but all hope is lost when Jiang Yanli takes a sword to the heart in order to save Wei Wuxian.
EPISODE 33: Wei Wuxian plays his flute till he vomits blood as a final effort in this fight before he flies up to end it all.
EPISODE 33: They all want the Yin Tiger Seal so much, Wei Wuxian gives it up, breaking it up in pieces. As the pieces fall, they all try to claim it for themselves only to see their hands cut, body stabbed, necks slit.
EPISODE 33: Wei Wuxian gives up, no longer wanting to continue this fight. Lan Wangji tries desperately to hold onto Wei Wuxian as he hangs over the cliff face. In the end, Lan Wangji loses Wei Wuxian over the cliff.
EPISODE 34: Investigations into what was presumed to be a sword spirit found at the Mo Manor 16 years later leads Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji to discover a possessed and cursed Jin Ling buried in the wall of a fortress on Qinghe Nie Clan territory.
EPISODE 35: Seeing Wei Wuxian’s leg injured by Jiang Cheng’s Zidian Whip and struggling to walk, the dignified Lan Wangji who one would think would never be seen carrying someone on his back moves to do exactly that for Wei Wuxian, against Wei Wuxian’s wishes.
EPISODE 36: Wen Ning is supposed to have been burned to ashes 16 years ago when Jin Guangshan announced the news at the Pledge Conference held just before the Battle of Buyetian, but here he is before Wei Wuxian 16 years later. Despite being under someone else’s control, Wen Ning still comes at Wei Wuxian’s command.
EPISODE 36: Wei Wuxian kneels before Wen Ning after Wen Ning goes down on his knees for his part in Jiang Yanli and Jin Zixuan’s death as well as having implicated Wei Wuxian in their deaths. But as Wei Wuxian had revealed in his thoughts, he was the one who made Wen Ning became this way at Qiongqi Path during the rescue of him; so, if Wen Ning thought he needs to apologise, then, as Wei Wuxian seems to believe, he should be on his knees, too. Wei Wuxian seems to think there was no need for all this kneeling between them when the situation was out of either’s control.
EPISODE 36: Lan Wangji steals chicken for Wei Wuxian from a property they pass by as Wei Wuxian takes a drunk Lan Wangji back to the inn they’re staying at.
EPISODE 36: Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian is greeted by an intruder at the inn in Yueyang when they return. The Ghost-face Man tries to make away with the blade spirit, but fails as he is outfought by Lan Wangji and outsmarted by Wei Wuxian.
EPISODE 36: Led to Yi City by the blade spirit, Wei Wuxian discover the woman he requested shelter is a ghost puppet under the control of the second Yin Tiger Seal.
EPISODE 37: Wei Wuxian back playing his flute to control Song Lan who’s been turned into a ghost puppet by a less powerful, second Yin Tiger Seal created by someone else, later revealed to be Xue Yang.
EPISODE 37: Lan Sizhui compares Wei Wuxian to Lan Wangji. As long as one of them around, he feels he doesn’t have to worry and things will be fine. Lan Sizhui and Wei Wuxian know each other. They just haven’t found out, yet.
EPISODE 37: The thought to be Xiao Xingchen who Wei Wuxian rescued is Xue Yang in disguise. He has a desperate favour to demand from Wei Wuxian,
EPISODE 37: The real Xiao Xingchen is discovered to be in a coffin at Yi Zhuang, dead.
EPISODE 38: Xue Yang befriends Xiao Xingchen and takes advantage of his kindness and his blindness to kill villagers which have become ghost puppets. Xue Yang’s most sadistic, revengeful act is have Xiao Xingchen unwittingly kill his good friend Song Lan.
EPISODE 39: Xue Yang hates Xiao Xingchen, but can’t let him go either. He is shocked Xiao Xingchen took his own life and tries to save him. He gives a mad scream realising what he’s done.
EPISODE 39: Lan Wangji says “how fortunate” whilst meeting Wei Wuxian’s gaze after they bury Ah Qing. It’s one cryptic remark when Wei Wuxian walks up to him to see what he’s thinking. It makes us wonder so much. Is Lan Wangji saying it’s fortunate Wei Wuxian didn’t turn out like Xue Yang or is it that Wei Wuxian came out unharmed during his encounter with Xue Yang, that he and Wei Wuxian are able to meet again unlike Song Lan and Xiao Xingchen? How we would love to know!
EPISODE 39: Lan Sizhui is Ah Yuan / Wen Yuan. A butterfly toy attracts Lan Sizhui. He seems not to remember his childhood, but seeing the toy in the market has him remember the toy spinning.
EPISODE 39: Wei Wuxian is thinking of Ah Yuan. Seeing a young boy at the market sees him reminded of Ah Yuan. Meanwhile, Lan Wangji watches from behind. He’s keeping a secret from Wei Wuxian. That secret being he’d saved Ah Yuan and raised him as Lan Sizhui.
EPISODE 40: Wei Wuxian shows Jin Ling some moves to take down Jin Chan and his followers. It makes Jin Ling feel pretty proud.
EPISODE 40: Just before Wei Wuxian sends himself to investigate the residence of Qin Su and Jin Guangyao, Wei Wuxian, through his man-shaped talisman, plays around with Lan Wangji and his forehead band, and Lan Wangji lets him. Remember how in Episode 6, Lan Wangji said only a wife or child can touch it? Yes. Wei Wuxian’s definitely someone important to Lan Wangji when he doesn’t scold Wei Wuxian for messing with the forehead band.
EPISODE 40: The secret Jin Guangyao has been keeping from Qin Su is so shocking and disgusting, it has Qin Su want to vomit.
EPISODE 40: Wei Wuxian uses the dangerous Gong Qing method via his paper counterpart to learn what happened to former Nie Clan Leader, Nie Mingjue.
Thanks for reading The Untamed (2019) Series Recap, Episodes 31 – 40. Makes sure to come back for the final part to our The Untamed recaps, The Untamed (2019) Series Recap, Episodes 41 – 50!