After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Return


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The world was shrouded in an ethereal shade of blue as the winter season cast its icy grip upon the land.

High above the clouds, a lofty peak emerged, its grandeur heightened by the delicate veil of frost and snow that adorned the suspension bridge.

On the bridge, a group of cultivators from different parts of the world had gathered. They glanced around, taking in the sight of the seventy-two majestic peaks that now stood proudly in the sky after the snowstorm.

“I have long heard that Yunxiao in Canghua is a holy land for sword cultivators. And now, seeing these seventy-two outer peaks brimming with spiritual energy, I am convinced of its reputation. I can only imagine how the remaining thirty-six inner peaks must be even more blessed.”

“I still remember when they were selecting disciples in Yunxiao. It was an incredibly strict process, with only one in a thousand being chosen. Despite the demanding criteria, countless individuals took the risk and competed for a chance.”

Someone chuckled and pointed to the suspension bridge beneath their feet. “But what you may not know is that during the disciple selection in Yunxiao, this very bridge served as one of the checkpoints. A group of teenagers, not yet in the Foundation Establishment Stage, had to carefully make their way from one end of the bridge to the other. Malevolent spirits and evil creatures would appear to hinder them. If the journey became arduous and their resolve wavered, they would fall off. And with that single misstep, their opportunity to participate in the selection would be lost forever.”

Everyone had a brief moment of confusion.

The suspension bridge was famously perilous, stretching between two peaks. It hung high amidst the drifting clouds, with a vast abyss below.

They dared not cast their gaze downwards as they treaded carefully on the bridge, feeling as if they were walking on thin ice. It was difficult to fathom how a group of teenagers had managed to cross it in the past.

The crowd sighed. “No wonder. It seems that most of the well-known sword cultivators in the world originated from Yunxiao.”

The cultivator in the blue robe who was speaking let out a soft laugh. “Indeed. There were the Azure Cloud Sword, the Rosy Dawn Sword, Liaoyi Zhenren (Liaoyi True Immortal), and the Traceless Fairy. During Yunxiao’s prime, an entire generation possessed exceptional talents. Among them, the most celebrated figure was Pei Yuzhi, who served as the Chief Disciple and went through the Trial of Challenging the Heavens.”

The crowd paused, wearing somewhat strange expressions upon hearing that name. “Pei Yuzhi?”

The blue-robed cultivator walked calmly through the wind and snow, a hint of a smile on his face. “Yes. However, the stories that circulate nowadays mostly revolve around his betrayal of his teachers and sect.”

Among the crowd, a young man’s face showed deep disdain. “He was no better than a beast, unworthy of being called human. In his pursuit of breaking through the Nascent Soul Stage, he shamelessly used his own disciples as baits. Ziyang Zhenren had to sacrifice his own cultivation to escape his clutches.”

Another person chimed in, “What’s even more contemptible is that Pei Yuzhi, driven by fear of tarnishing his reputation, went as far as killing his own master, the Sect Master of Yuanxiao himself. He then ascended to the position of Sect Master, falsely accusing Ziyang Zhenren and leading the entire world to pursue him. His intentions were malicious, deserving of punishment.”

“Thankfully, Ziyang Zhenren possessed extraordinary talent and received the Heavens’ favor, becoming the first cultivator in the half-step Nascent Soul Stage in Canghua. He made a comeback and exposed Pei Yuzhi’s schemes to the public. At that time, Pei Yuzhi cowered behind Yunxiao Sect, too afraid to show his face.”

As they spoke, anger flashed across the person’s face. “Because of him, countless individuals in Yunxiao met a tragic end, with blood staining the 108 peaks. The once majestic sect suffered a devastating blow, its vitality greatly diminished.

“Evil deeds come with their own consequences. Eventually, Pei Yuzhi was exposed, and Ziyang Zhenren crippled his cultivation, breaking his bones and tendons before casting him into the Abyss of Ten Thousand Ghosts to endure torturous death. Serves him right!”

The words “serves him right” were uttered with conviction.

The cultivators on the bridge nodded in agreement, finding Pei Yuzhi’s wicked deeds too numerous to count. Death was a merciful end for him. They believed that such an evil person deserved severe punishment.

After the young man finished speaking, the middle-aged cultivator in the blue robe maintained his calm smile and said, “Indeed, it brings satisfaction to everyone. However, you may not know that before Pei Yuzhi’s descent into madness, he was a celebrated figure in his time.”

He walked with a steady pace, his robe brushing over the snow that had gathered on the suspended bridge. “In my opinion, regardless of his crimes and malice, the era in which Pei Yuzhi lived was one of the most prosperous periods in the cultivation world, filled with talented young heroes.

“A hundred years ago, there was a saying known to all in Canghua—’Blooming Green Flowers in a Pool of Blood, Blue Butterflies born from Ivory Bones, Relic Buddha’s Heart, Phoenix Eyes, and One Sword Soaring through the Frost of Wuwang Peak.’ Each name held a veiled meaning, intertwining with the legend of the Five Champions who emerged triumphant from the Trial of Challenging the Heavens, a momentous event a century ago.

“Among them, the last name referred to Pei Yuzhi. When demons wreaked havoc on the Wuwang Peak, sorrow echoed within a hundred-mile radius. According to rumors, Pei Yuzhi alone, with a single sword, decimated the evil sect overnight. The mountain ran red with blood, and bones were scattered everywhere. As he stepped out of the mountain gate at sunrise, snowflakes fell, covering the Wuwang Peak and erasing the remnants of the slain corpses. The name ‘One Sword Soaring through the Frost of Wuwang Peak’ spread far and wide.”

The crowd stayed silent.

A sword covered in frost traveled across ten miles of boundless expanse.

Even without living in that era, one could speculate about the elegance and spirit of the legendary young sword cultivator who had once claimed the top position in the Trial of Challenging the Heavens.

However, no one could have predicted that such a talent would eventually deteriorate from the depths of their being.

The blue-robed cultivator spoke slowly, “I grew up listening to stories about Pei Yuzhi. Never did I imagine that upon my return, everything would be so different. The Yunxiao Sect, once the most prestigious sect, has fallen to such depths.”

He sighed, and a tinge of sadness echoed within the hearts of those present.

Fine snowflakes gently descended, painting the sky in shades of gray, while silence engulfed the encompassing mountains.

The one hundred and eight peaks of Yunxiao, covered in a blanket of snow, concealed the somber remnants of the past’s ⓑⓛⓞⓞⓓshed.

The suspension bridge stretched out, gradually reaching its end.

The clouds dispersed, revealing a green stone at the exit. Three sword marks adorned its surface, and an inscription read: “With unwavering dignity, verified by the sword.”

Each stroke carried a profound sense of swordsmanship, evoking reverence and complex emotions in the wandering cultivators.

This ageless stone had stood at the bridge’s entrance for a millennium, enduring the harsh winds and snow, faintly reminiscent of Yunxiao’s former splendor.

Amidst the crowd, a tall and slender young man emerged, donning a black robe. He was shrouded in a misty darkness, obscuring his features from clear sight.

An air of cold isolation emanated from him, similar to that of a rigid corpse.

The onlookers had always found him strange, but an unexplained fear held them back from approaching or inquiring. Now, as he unexpectedly stepped forward, they were taken aback and fell into a silent contemplation.

The young man partially squatted down, his fingers pale as he gently touched the green stone.

Concerned voices arose among the others as they cautioned him, “This green stone was erected by Yunxiao Zhenren, the founding ancestor of Yunxiao Sect. Your actions may be seen as disrespectful.”

Ignoring their words, the young man in the black robe had hands that were pale and thin, with skin tightly stretched over his bones. His slender fingertips slowly traced the inscriptions on the stone, causing the snow and wind to freeze in that moment.

The frost and snow melted away on the welcoming stone as he touched it, as if a deep-rooted intimacy had passed through the ages.

As the young man lowered his head, his hat revealed long, pale hair that gracefully blended with the whiteness of the snow.

Once again, the onlookers stood in bewilderment.

This man, resembling a lifeless figure, meticulously traced over each of the seven words on the green stone. Within the gray and white world, an unexplained sense of sorrow emerged. After some time, he seemed to speak a few words. His voice was soft and husky, the pronunciation strange, dissipating into the wind and snow.

No one could make out the words clearly.

The wandering cultivators were perplexed and filled with confusion.

However, someone managed to catch the words distinctly.

Inside the cave, located at the summit of Yunxiao Sect’s highest peak, the focal point of today’s grand ascension ceremony, the renowned Ziyang Zhenren, slowly opened his eyes.

Tick.

Tick.

People from across the realm, who had arrived with great anticipation, never imagined that Ziyang Zhenren’s ascension ceremony would transform into the bloodshed that now engulfed them.

The mysterious figure finally unveiled his true identity.

Beneath the black robe lay a somber attire of deep green, resembling moss that thrived in the shadowy recesses of rocks, exuding an icy and formidable presence.

Now, the green robe was drenched in ⓑⓛⓞⓞⓓ, while three thousand strands of snowy-white hair cascaded down his back.

The sword in his hand dripped ⓑⓛⓞⓞⓓ, as he steadily advanced step by step.

Bodies lay strewn across the ground, severed limbs scattered about, while those clinging to life trembled and recoiled, their voices silenced by fear.

Ji Wuyou pressed a hand against his chest, cornered in the depths of the hall, his eyes red with paranoia, hatred, and a faint mix of disbelief and dread toward death.

“How could you still be alive! How could you possibly return alive!”

Coughing sporadically, he leaned on trembling fingers, his bones growing pallid.

His roar of anguish tore through the air.

The young man, his garments stained with ⓑⓛⓞⓞⓓ, exuded an apathetic demeanor. His pallid skin resembled that of a lifeless corpse, exhibiting coldness, seclusion, and gloom. He remained silent, until the moment he took lives, awakening the inherent brutality and bloodlust within, casting a crimson tint upon his entire being.

He returned from hell, destined to become a nightmare in this world.

Pei Yuzhi appeared to smile, effortlessly swinging his sword, swiftly incapacitating Ji Wuyou’s legs.

“Uhhhhhhhhh—!”

Ji Wuyou cried out in agonizing pain, feeling as if his eyes were about to burst from their sockets.

Fear flashed in his eyes as he looked at the man before him, emanating an aura as menacing and cold-hearted as a demon. He couldn’t fathom how this person, exuding bloodlust and icy malice, could be linked to the once gentle and patient mentor he knew.

A few drops of ⓑⓛⓞⓞⓓ splattered onto his white hair, creating a stark contrast. Pei Yuzhi’s eyes, as dark as an abyss, contained suppressed madness and resentment capable of wreaking havoc. In a hoarse and strange voice, he asked, “For ruining my cultivation, disabling my body, killing my mentor, destroying my sect, and falsely accusing me in front of the world, Ji Wuyou, how shall we settle these accounts?”

Ji Wuyou’s inner fear finally overflowed, his scalp tingling as his pale face displayed a mix of struggle and resistance.

His words stumbled, “No, you can’t kill me. I am a descendant of the Demon Lord. How could you possibly succeed in taking my life?”

Pei Yuzhi remained silent, swiftly cutting the tendons in his hand with his sword once more.

In his current state, he became a bloodthirsty maniac. The ⓑⓛⓐⓓⓔ traced a path across Ji Wuyou’s face, drenching the entire world in crimson hues.

Strike after strike, inflicting numerous wounds.

Ji Wuyou fought desperately in his dying moments, his voice breaking as he cursed, “Pei Yuzhi—!”

With his final strike, Pei Yuzhi pierced through Ji Wuyou’s ⓣⓗⓡⓞⓐⓣ.

All sounds abruptly ceased.

Ji Wuyou’s wide-eyed gaze remained fixed on Pei Yuzhi, filled with resentment, hatred, and a desire for vengeance. Beneath a veil of blood mist, his consciousness slowly dissipated, transforming into something deeper and more intricate.

Pei Yuzhi reached out with his pale, bluish fingers and proceeded to ⓖⓞⓤⓖⓔ out one of his ⓔⓨⓔⓢ.

Ji Wuyou was unable to utter a scream!

Only empty eye socket remained, facing upwards.

Pei Yuzhi stood up, drenched in ⓑⓛⓞⓞⓓ—his hair, clothes, and hands stained red. He had a cold and cruel expression, with eyes that reflected a sense of violence.

He turned around and departed.

Stepping outside, he observed the expansive snowfall in the Yunxiao Sect.

Ji Wuyou had finally met his end.

His spirit completely dispersed.

There was no chance of survival.

Standing beneath the grayish-blue sky, he slowly raised his gaze. It was another year of snow, reminiscent of a distant memory when he looked out of a window in a different world. Perhaps it was just moments ago, in front of the Wuwang Peak, where the snow remained undisturbed.

Once renowned for his Floating Frost Sword, he gained great fame in his time.

Merely a hundred years passed.

Bearing deep gratitude and the weight of life and death, he cherished his teachers and friends.

Ji Wuyou was dead.

With the protagonist gone, what would happen to this world?

Shortly after, both the heavens and this world provided him with an answer.

In an instant, the world underwent a dramatic transformation. The wind and snow twisted, gusts of wind arose, and even heavy rain poured down. The daylight disappeared, leaving behind a vast darkness. Golden and violet lights turned into thunderous storms. The raging wind howled, tearing through the fabric of space and time.

Pei Yuzhi couldn’t help but laugh, consumed by silent madness.

Within the distorted world, the rain turned into a curtain, and the suspended water droplets formed a mirror in the air.

Through the dense mist and the darkened mirror’s surface, a figure gradually appeared. 

Pei Yuzhi’s smile abruptly froze on his face.

In the mirror, there appeared a young man dressed in a white shirt. His face was handsome. From a great distance away, he smiled at Pei Yuzhi.

His eyes were clear and bright, shining with clarity.

Unfathomable pain and anger immediately consumed his rationality.

Pei Yuzhi spat out a mouthful of ⓑⓛⓞⓞⓓ.

With a single sword strike, the young man’s face shattered into pieces. He stumbled forward, rainwater mixing with ⓑⓛⓞⓞⓓ on his face, and his white hair, resembling snow, appeared chilling.

He walked in this world of crumbling order, whispering to himself in the dark cracks, “Even if the heavens crumble and the earth overturns, I will exist alongside this universe and this timeline, forever, never dying.”

Never dying.

___

[A/N]

1. Gong and shou are the same person! (Emphasizing this!! PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!!)

2. Very sweet and full of fluff~

3. Please refrain from personal attacks, babies.


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