Chapter 45 – A Viper’s Fangs, a Wasp’s Sting

Ni Hao.

He was no stranger to Su Yi either.
During his time as the Sword Chief of the Blueriver Sword Manor’s outer sect, Ni Hao was already an influential figure of the inner sect’s East Court. 

They were acquainted, but they hadn’t interacted much. 

As for the hint of cold disdain Ni Hao had let slip earlier? Su Yi didn’t mind in the least.

“Well, now you’ve seen me.
If there’s nothing else, you and Ni Hao can leave,” said Su Yi flatly; he was clearly kicking them out! 

Nan Ying was surprised.
It seemed she dared not believe such impolite words had come out of Su Yi’s mouth. 

After a moment’s silence, she turned apologetically to Ni Hao.
“Senior Apprentice Brother Ni, can Senior Apprentice Brother Su and I have a quick private chat?”

“Okay, but don’t take too long.
Uncle Master Zhou is waiting for us at the Li Family estate.” Ni Hao nodded, ignoring Su Yi completely.
He turned and left the courtyard.

Su Yi furrowed his brow, but in the end, he decided to hear what Nan Ying had to say.

“Lingxue, go inside and wait for me,” he said softly.

Wen Lingxue sensed that the atmosphere was a bit off.
She grunted her acknowledgement, then turned and entered Su Yi’s room.

Soon, only Su Yi and Nan Ying remained beneath the locust tree.

For a moment, Nan Ying stared at him from up close.
Then, her lips rose into a faint, playful arc, and she stuck out her jaw.
“If I hadn’t come, I would never have learned that you’d sunk so low.”

She now seemed like an entirely different person.
She was no longer modest, gentle, or elegant.
Her beautiful features were contorted with undisguised pride and disdain.

“How glorious was the former Sword Chief of Blueriver Sword Manor’s outer sect? Who would have dared believe that you’d wind up as nothing but a disgraced live-in son-in-law, the butt of Guangling City’s jokes?” Nan Ying giggled.
“Well? How does it feel? Awful, right?”

“So, you came here to bear witness to my shame?” Su Yi’s eyebrows shot up.
He couldn’t help but mock himself. Three years! How could I have fancied a fickle, untrustworthy woman like her for so long?

“That’s right! I came here to laugh at you!” Nan Ying didn’t even try to deny it.
She jeered, “You were once the outer sect’s Sword Chief.
I did everything I could to flatter you and win you over.
Every time I saw you, I had to pretend to worship and revere you.

“I thought that so long as I stuck with it, you’d smoothly enter the inner sect, and that once you did, you could lend me a hand and get me in too.
Who’d have thought that before becoming an inner sect disciple….
You’d lose your cultivation and become nothing but trash?!” 

Her chest heaved, her pretty face contorted with hatred.
“I poured three years of hard work into you, all for nothing!”

Su Yi’s furrowed brow gradually relaxed, and he said flatly, “So, you’re saying that when you were by my side, you never had any real feelings for me?”

“Obviously!” Nan Ying didn’t even hesitate.
She was looking forward to seeing the hurt look in his eyes and watching him lose his temper.

But she soon discovered that Su Yi was still perfectly calm.

His indifferent bearing made her immensely uncomfortable.

Finally, she recovered her usual composure and smiled radiantly, “But it’s fine.
After you were reduced to nothing but trash, I found someone else.
Senior Apprentice Brother Ni Hao and I are together now.

“He’s a disciple of the Inner Sect’s East Court, an incomparably dazzling figure at Blueriver Sword Manor, the man of the hour.
Even before your accident, you wouldn’t even have been worthy of carrying his shoes!

“And with his help, I entered the inner sect half a year ago.
My current position is far beyond a crippled live-in son-in-law like you!”

The more she spoke, the more self-satisfied she seemed; it was obvious that she was deliberately trying to provoke and humiliate Su Yi. 

But to her surprise, Su Yi’s expression didn’t so much as ripple. 

“Don’t you have anything to say?” Nan Ying couldn’t help but ask.

“I just feel a bit sorry for Ni Hao,” said Su Yi casually.
“He’s nothing but a tool to you.
You’re sure to kick him right out the door the second you find someone better to cling to.”

Nan Ying froze, then smiled faintly.
“Su Yi, oh, Su Yi.
I’m surprised; it seems you’ve gotten much smarter since we last met. You’re right, but there’s no way I’ll admit it to anyone now.”

Su Yi nodded.
“I can understand that.”

“You understand nothing!” Nan Ying laughed coldly.
“I only became an inner sect disciple half a year ago.
If you hadn’t wasted three years of my life, I could have done it much faster!”

Su Yi sighed to himself. Those three years, I sure was blind. 

This woman isn’t just fickle; she’s nothing but a whore who’d resort to any means necessary to climb higher up the ranks!

Su Yi thought about it, then said seriously, “Your methods and shrewdness are still lacking.
Someone truly capable wouldn’t reveal their true ugly nature just to vent a bit of resentment.
Even the phoniest, most black-hearted hooker has to maintain a beautiful exterior.”

In response, Nan Ying only grinned, baring her teeth.
“So, you finally blew your top and resorted to insults? Let me tell you: in other people’s eyes, I’m gentle, modest, pure, and considerate.
Even quite a few members of the sect’s prior generation have developed feelings for me!

“Even if a crippled live-in son-in-law like you says I’m a whore, who’ll believe you?” She laughed with incomparable glee.

“Junior Apprentice Sister, it’s getting late.” Ni Hao’s voice transmitted from beyond the courtyard. 

Suddenly, Nan Ying’s smile faded, as did her viciousness, hatred, and resentment.
A look of faint concern and vulnerable beauty took their place.

Her bearing was modest, and she was stunningly beautiful, graceful and elegant. 

Su Yi shook his head.
Who would have guessed all of this was an act?

“Su Yi, you and I already belong to two different worlds.
It doesn’t matter how bitter or unwilling you feel; all you can do is lodge under another’s roof like an ant and live on in degradation.
In the future, I’ll inevitably soar to prominence, reaching heights you can only look up to but never reach!”

Nan Ying drew closer, her gaze heartless and indifferent.

“Remember,” she whispered, “Tell no one about what happened today, or else who knows what I might do?

She smiled faintly, then turned to leave.
“Of course, even if you do tell people, no one would believe a crippled live-in son-in-law like you!”

Su Yi watched her departure.
He couldn’t help but rub his nose and laugh.

This was for the best; if nothing else, he’d untied one of his mental knots.
There was no need to pine over a debased woman like her.

It was just like they said: “A viper’s fangs, a wasp’s sting, neither is poisonous as the heart of a whore.”

“Brother-in-law.” The door silently opened, and Wen Lingxue walked inside.
However, her expression was unsightly, and when she looked at Su Yi, her gaze carried a hint of concern.

“You heard that?” asked Su Yi.

“Not clearly, but I heard part of it,” said Wen Lingxue indignantly.
“That woman is simply vile! I’ve never seen anyone so shameless in my life! If I’d known she’d come with ill intentions, I wouldn’t have brought her here.”

“There’s no shortage of people like her out there,” said Su Yi, smiling and tousling Wen Lingxue’s hair.
“There’s no need to concern yourself with her.” 

Suddenly, he noticed that although it had only been a week since they’d last seen each other, the girl’s aura had undergone a subtle transformation.

“Did you start Refining Sinew?” asked Su Yi in surprise.

Wen Lingxue immediately flashed him a radiant smile.

“It’s because that technique you taught me is amazing,” she said, beaming.
“It’s only been seven days, but it’s like I’ve been reborn.”

Su Yi smiled too, then instructed, “When cultivating, there is no greater taboo than haste.
Remember to stabilize your foundations and temper yourself.
You mustn’t be greedy for faster progress.”

Wen Lingxue nodded firmly.
“I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Right, are you planning to participate in the Dragon’s Gate Banquet?” asked Su Yi.

She shook her head, then lowered it, as if avoiding his gaze.
“Brother-in-law, I came here today in part because there’s something I have to tell you.”

Su Yi was stunned.
“What is it?”

She whispered, “Tomorrow morning, Uncle Wen Changjing is taking me and my father out of the city.
We’re going to Heaven’s Origin Academy to visit my sister.
We’ll be gone for at least half a month, and Uncle said… that you couldn’t come with us….” 

She sounded dejected and helpless.

“Are you afraid I’ll be upset? Haha, no need to worry.” Su Yi couldn’t help but laugh and comfort her.

It was clear she was concerned about him; there was no other reason she’d be so worried over something so minor. 

“Then, Brother-in-law… Do you have anything you’d like to tell my sister? A letter would work too; I can deliver it to her for you,” said Wen Lingxue crisply. 

Su Yi planned to say “no, I don’t”, but when he saw the young woman’s expectant gaze, his heart softened.

He was well aware that she still hoped he and her sister could reconcile and repair their relationship.

Alas, although she didn’t know it, he and Wen Lingzhao thought of each other as strangers.
There was no rift between them, nor any “relationship” to repair.

The reason they were estranged, the reason they couldn’t stand each other, was their marriage itself. 

The Jade Capital’s Su Family had forcefully intervened from the shadows, and the Wen Family matriarch cooperated, leaving Wen Lingzhao no choice but to marry, unjust as it was. 

But it wasn’t like he wanted to marry into the Wen Family, either!

“How about this? You can deliver a letter for me.” Su Yi thought about it, then walked into his room and hurriedly scrawled out a line of text.

When he returned, he carried a sealed envelope, which he passed to Wen Lingxue.

“You ought to feel more assured now, right?” he said with a smile.

Wen Lingxue accepted the envelope and carefully put it away.

Just as she was about to leave, Su Yi gave her one final instruction.
“Remember, you are not to teach your sister the secret art I gave you.”

“Don’t worry, Brother-in-law.
That secret stays between us; there’s no way I’d tell anyone else.” Wen Lingxue waved, then skipped off in delight. 

Wen Changjing is going to visit Wen Lingzhao at Heaven’s Origin Academy; he probably doesn’t plan to participate in the Dragon’s Gate Banquet at all.
It seems that Wen Lingzhao and her status as a Grandmaster’s disciple is more important…. Su Yi stood in the courtyard, his arms behind his back. But that’s to be expected.
A Grandmaster’s disciple is enough to intimidate every major power within Guangling City.
So long as the Wen Family holds this ‘trump card’, they’ll have no need to fear any changes in Guangling City’s situation. 

He shook his head. 

He could roughly discern what the woman who was nominally his wife was thinking.

She’d undoubtedly resented and opposed this marriage right from the start, which spurred her to grow stronger and stronger, all for the sake of seizing an opportunity to annul their marriage.

Did her hatred extend to him or not? Su Yi didn’t know, and he didn’t care. 

He was actually eager for her to dissolve their marriage; it would save him the trouble of doing it himself.

Suddenly, Steward Hu Quan’s voice rang out from beyond the courtyard gates.
“Sir, there’s a guest here to see you.”

Seth's Thoughts

I did a little digging regarding the title and the two lines of poetry in this chapter.
I’m seeing multiple sources, but I think the earliest source is the 16th century novel “Investiture of the Gods.” Don’t take my word for it, though. 

This is a known (but not necessarily common) phrase.
It’s almost the same here as in the original, but not quite.
It’s either a modernized version or a deliberate edit on the author’s part, not sure.
It could also just be a mistake, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt, shall we?

Also, he clearly uses the word “whore”, while the original just says “woman.” I suspect that was deliberate. 

Original: 青竹蛇儿口,黄蜂尾上针;两般犹未毒,最毒妇人心 

Novel: 青蛇竹儿口,黄蜂尾后针。 两者皆不毒,最毒婊心深。

A more literal translation of the original would be “The mouth of a green bamboo snake, the needle at the end of a wasp’s tail, it’s as if neither is poisonous, a woman’s heart is the most poisonous of all.” 

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