NOW HOLD ON A SECOND
what does it mean, what does it all mean
Okay the three sentences in Chinese are not similar at all. The three “delicate”s used are all different. They are, respectively from JFM to WWX to JC: 脆弱，娇气，金贵. They’re synonyms to a degree but are not necessarily interchangeable.
More explanation to come in 6-8 hours after I sleep a lil.
JFM: the context of this scene is Jiang Yanli stuffing a bunch of packed food and things for her brothers to take on their trip to Qishan. JFM eventually told her to stop and said the disciples of Yunmengs are not so “cuiruo” 脆弱 that they can’t withstand a little “fenglang” 风浪 from the outside. First, “feng’lang” literally means wind and wave, and it is used to describe hardship, trouble, danger etc. “Cui’ruo” 脆弱 means fragile, as “cui” means brittle and “ruo” means weak. Of the three “delicates” it carries the least negative connotation. A personal can be emotionally “cuiruo” fragile and/or physically “cuiruo” fragile. Of the three, “cuiruo” is probably the most matter-of-fact term. It’s a quality of a person, kind of like… well I’m good at music and he’s good at sports.
What JFM is trying to say, if I were to translate that scene, is: “The disciples of Yunmeng Jiang are not so weak that we cannot withstand pressure from external forces.”
WWX: now, the term wwx uses is “jiaoqi” 娇气. The closest thing in English that I can think of that would both fit the definition and the context of his use of this word is “prissy”. So in the scene, LWJ is saying to WWX because of WWX’s wounds, he shouldn’t get into the water (probably for infection control purposes). And WWX makes a face and replies “I’m not so ‘jiaoqi’. Rather, it’s you - the medication Wen Ning gave you, how is it?” The term ‘jiaoqi’ is most of the time used for girls who are kind of…princess-y, the kind that is very proper, won’t ever get messy, and who doesn’t like to do anything physical. It can however, also be used for boys. Nie Huaisang’s behaviour during their night hunt in the early episodes could be described as a little “jiaoqi”. He’s certainly “jiaoqi”-er than his brother NMJ. A classic display of “jiaoqi” is like… some kid trips and scrapes their knee a little bit and makes a huuuge fuss over nothing.
JC: So the last “delicate”, “jingui” 金贵 is the word that can be used positively or negatively. It’s literal meaning is “precious” or “expensive”. jin = gold, gui = expensive. When used to describe items, it typically takes on it’s normal surface level meaning, that being precious, expensive, rare etc. When used to describe people, that’s when the meaning can get murky. Sometimes, “jingui” is used positively/unironically to talk about someone of prestige and importance. For example, a servant, upon hearing their beloved young master had to spend a week out roughing it in the woods could probably say something like, “ ‘Jingui’ as our young master, how horrible to think he had to spend a week alone in the woods! That’s ghastly!” In this case, the servants do mean well: their young master is someone who is important and also probably someone who’s never had to endure much discomfort because of his noble birth. People who are unironically called “jingui” are probably nobility, royalty etc, and are typically given more respect in society. Sometimes, ‘jingui’ can used as an insult. For example, one maid might complain that the rice was cooked too hard or that her chores are too difficult, and another maid might say to her, “Wow, you’re so ‘jingui’.” (Like: wow, fucking get over yourself.)
For Jiang Cheng, it’s probably the most heartbreaking of the three “delicates”. Because he had said, “You promised me when I become head of the family, you’d be my subordinate.” And WWX replied, “I’m sorry, I broke my word.” And Jiang Cheng chuckles a little bitterly and says, “Things being as they are, how ‘jingui’ a person must I be, to still need you to apologize to me?” Meaning: I’m not so “jingui” that I still need you apologize. He’s almost saying that he’s not so important that he has to actually hear WWX’s apology, especially since WWX already gave him his core.
So that’s the difference between the three scenes. I honestly don’t think it’s connected, but to each their own.