Mo Xuanyu (莫玄羽, Mò Xuányǔ) was one of Jin Guangshan's illegitimate sons and a former disciple of the Lanling Jin Clan. He sacrifices his soul to summon an evil spirit, Wei Wuxian, to exact revenge on the Mo family on his behalf.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 History
- 4 Abilities & Weapons
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Animation Divergence
- 7 Manhua Divergence
- 8 Web Series Divergence
- 9 References
Mo Xuanyu is noted by Wei Wuxian to have an attractive, graceful face with upturned lips, though his body stands a few centimeters shorter than Wei Wuxian did in his original body. He often painted his face white and rouged his cheeks, giving him the appearance of a "hanged ghost."
Mo Xuanyu is described as a lunatic by everyone who knew him, due to a combination of factors including his homosexuality and the eventual mental break he suffered at the hands of his abusive family following his expulsion from the Lanling Jin Clan.
Mo Xuanyu was born to the Second Lady of Mo, the daughter of a servant, and Jin Guangshan, the lecherous leader of the Lanling Jin Clan. His father broke off the affair when Mo Xuanyu was four years old, but returned about ten years later to bring Mo Xuanyu to Lanling to learn cultivation. This earned the Second Lady of Mo praise and jealousy in Mo Village.
Although Mo Xuanyu was not a talented cultivator, he became close with his half-brother Jin Guangyao, who was himself a bastard of Jin Guangshan. Unfortunately, Mo Xuanyu's feelings for Jin Guangyao eventually turned romantic. As an unremarkable cultivator and a homosexual interested in his own brother, Mo Xuanyu was driven out of the Lanling Jin Clan in disgrace.
Mo Xuanyu seemed to have suffered a nervous breakdown upon his return to Mo Village, behaving as if "the life had been scared out of him." Unable to bear the shame, his mother died soon after his return.
Mo Xuanyu was thus left in the care of his abusive aunt Madam Mo, her husband, and her son, Mo Ziyuan. Both were jealous and resentful of his wasted opportunity at becoming a cultivator from prolific clan. Mo Ziyuan took to stealing Mo Xuanyu's artifacts and talismans, physically beating and verbally abusing him until Mo Xuanyu fell into madness.
In his distress, Mo Xuanyu was visited by Nie Huaisang, who reminded him of the Sacrificial Ritual he had once read upon Jin Guangyao's treasures. Mo Xuanyu thus sacrifices his soul to summon the Yiling Patriarch, Wei Wuxian, into his body to take revenge on the Mo family for their abuse.
Abilities & Weapons
Mo Xuanyu is noted to have a much lower level of cultivation than Wei Wuxian did at the time of his death, as he had not even developed his Golden Core. Moreover, his body is not as sturdy as Wei Wuxian's original body.
Mo Xuanyu has some knowledge of Demonic Cultivation from the manuscripts he read in Jin Guanyao's treasure vault. As all of his cultivation tools and weapons had been stolen by his cousin, he uses his own blood to draw the array that summons Wei Wuxian.
Mo Xuanyu's mother was exceedingly proud of her son for gaining the opportunity to cultivate. She was devastated after his disgrace, "choking to death" shortly after his return.
Jin Guangshan showed unusual favoritism to Mo Xuanyu's mother and therefore his son, as he actually remembered Mo Xuanyu and brought him back to the Lanling Jin Clan to learn cultivation. However, Jin Guangyao indicates that Jin Guangshan had ulterior motives: to use Mo Xuanyu's presence to remind Jin Guangyao that he was replaceable.
Mo Xuanyu viewed his elder half-brother as a near-deity, and they were close enough that Jin Guangyao allowed him inside his secret treasure room, where Mo Xuanyu encountered Wei Wuxian's manuscript detailing the soul-sacrificing ritual.
Eventually, however, Mo Xuanyu's feelings for his brother grew romantic, and after unspecified harassment, he was removed from the Lanling Jin Clan in disgrace. Even after learning Jin Guangyao's shadier secrets, Wei Wuxian speculates that the charges were likely true, and Mo Xuanyu's disgrace was "precisely his own doing."
Madam Mo resented both her younger sister, who was the daughter of a servant, and her sister's son. She grew jealous when Mo Xuanyu was taken away by his father, Clan Leader Jin Guangshan to cultivate, but her son was refused. When Mo Xuanyu was driven out of Lanling Jin Clan in disgrace, her animosity towards her nephew only increased, as she blamed him for ruining her son's chances to learn cultivation.
Ultimately, the largest and deepest cut on Mo Xuanyu's arm is meant for his aunt, indicating that he blames her the most for his abuse.
Although Madam Mo's husband displays a much more timid demeanor than his wife, he is still among those who Mo Xuanyu wants dead for their abuse.
Madam Mo frequently stokes her son's resentment of his cousin by insisting that Mo Xuanyu was to blame for his inability to become a cultivator. As a result, Mo Ziyuan would often steal Mo Xuanyu's talismans and cultivation items, as well as physically and verbally abuse him. He is therefore one of the targets for Mo Xuanyu's revenge.
Mo Xuanyu believes Wei Wuxian to be an evil spirit capable of taking revenge on the Mo family and sacrifices his soul to summon him.
Jin Ling is Mo Xuanyu's nephew, but he despises Mo Xuanyu for his harassment of Jin Guangyao.  Furthermore, Jin Ling refers to Jin Guangyao as his youngest uncle, indicating he does not see the younger Mo Xuanyu as his uncle. Over time, he begins to grow fond of Wei Wuxian in Mo Xuanyu's body, defending him from Jin Chan and other bullies in the Lanling Jin Clan.
Wei Wuxian speculates that Nie Huaisang originally met Mo Xuanyu while the latter was a disciple of the Lanling Jin Clan and that Nie Huaisang eventually convinced the abused Mo Xuanyu to sacrifice his soul and offer his body to summon Wei Wuxian's spirit for revenge.
Due to censorship, in the animation Mo Xuanyu is said to pursue both men and beasts in his lunacy, rather than merely being homosexual.
Web Series Divergence
In the Web Series, Mo Xuanyu is accused of harassing his half-sister Qin Su instead of his half-brother, likely due to censorship. However, in contrast to the indications in the Novel, these charges were absolutely false, as he merely wanted to tell Qin Su that Jin Guangyao was her half-brother. Mo Xuanyu therefore places a fifth cut on his arm, indicating that he wanted Wei Wuxian to kill Jin Guangyao in revenge along with the Mo family.