After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 103

Chapter 103 Betting my hundred years

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Pei Jing’s emotions were strange as his heart slowly landed in his chest. The absurd, bizarre, yet genuine truth finally emerged, leaving him bewildered and at a loss. His mind and heart were empty. The distant and deranged laughter of the heavens echoed, while Pei Jing’s mind was in disarray, filled with chaotic thoughts. He remembered the first time he saw hell in Chu Junyu’s eyes and the first night at Yinghui Peak.

He said, “You are afraid of snakes… Only I am afraid of snakes.”

Suddenly, a cold sensation pierced his heart, followed by intense bitterness and pain, causing him to almost double over in agony.

The Heavenly Dao noticed his expression, and her smile grew wider.

However, in the end, he raised his sleeve, suppressing his madness and transforming back into a gentle and affectionate demeanor.

Her attire blended with the sun and moon, as she softly said, “Before Song Bilin died, she did one good thing—bringing you before me. I gave you a chance, but you remained stubborn.”

She said with a meaningful tone, “Resisting against the gods is destined to be met with punishment.”

She started to fade away, along with the Heavenly Ladder beneath her feet. The vast clouds and mist regathered, covering the world in pure white.

“You were Chu Junyu’s punishment, and Chu Junyu was yours as well. The power of the Execution Sword could only be awakened by utmost sincerity or destroyed by extreme hatred. But when he met you, hatred could never be genuine. If you learned about his past, how could you be without hatred?”

She smiled gently, like a calm breeze or a serene moon, embodying the tranquility of mountains, grass, and trees.

The long dress, woven with starry gauze, flowed across the horizon, exuding both beauty and coldness.

The vast abyss, originating from ancient primordial forces, stirred the air, tearing through space and time.

“It’s karma, and it’s also destiny,” she said with profound meaning.

The Heavenly Dao spoke slowly.

“Pei Yuzhi, do you really want to understand your lover? Then, I will fulfill your wish.”

Her true form remained asleep, while the projection on the Sea of Reincarnation was like a trapped mayfly in a jar. Even as a fraction of her divine soul, the power she displayed was beyond what the current Pei Jing could resist. As the mist thickened, Pei Jing stood frozen, looking up, only catching a glimpse of the girl’s untainted skirt, pure and immaculate. It resembled the image she showed to others—just, gentle, and merciful to all, hiding the already corrupt and twisted madness.

Pei Jing’s throat felt dry, and then a sensation, as if water entered his ears, followed. The surrounding sounds became distant, everything gradually fading away.

His body felt weightless, finally landing on the ground, providing a moment of genuine sensation.

The dense layer of clouds finally began to dissipate, revealing a clear view of the surroundings. Snowflakes, like ice crystals, floated gently in the early winter, and the sky appeared a bluish-gray color. Pei Jing’s eyes widened. He was standing on the suspension bridge in a soul-like form.

Looking ahead, the majestic Yunxiao with its one hundred and eight peaks came into view. The morning light cast upon the undulating ridges, resembling slumbering beasts.

He murmured softly, “This is Yunxiao.”

Stepping on the shallow snow, making a crunching sound, Pei Jing couldn’t identify the emotions swirling inside him. Where was he? Was he in Chu Junyu’s world? It was supposed to be a familiar place, where he knew every blade of grass and every tree. But at this moment, it felt so unfamiliar to him.

He continued walking forward, passing by Yinghui Peak. Today seemed like a significant day. Yinghui Peak was crowded with people, squeezing onto a single ship. Every young disciple was full of energy, dressed in blue and white robes, exuding an elegant and refined aura. They wore tall hats and carried long swords, chatting and laughing joyfully.

Leading the way for them was an Elder from Outer Peaks. It seemed that every three years, there would be such a guided journey. The Elder had a very amiable temperament, slightly overweight in stature, and a kind expression. He patiently said, “Quiet down, everyone, listen to me. Changtian Realm is the cave left behind by our Yunxiao ancestor, the Sword Sovereign, before his ascension. There are no ferocious beasts or evil spirits inside, so it’s very safe for all of you. Changtian Realm holds countless rare treasures and wonders, but you must not harbor any improper intentions—no touching, understood?”

The disciples contained their excitement, their eyes shining bright with some confusion as they asked, “Elder, what are we going inside for?”

The Elder stroked his beard and replied, “To comprehend the Dao.”

The crowd erupted in surprise, “Comprehend the Dao?”

The Elder patiently explained, “For most Yunxiao disciples, they can only enter Changtian Realm once in their lifetime. This opportunity left by our ancestor is intentionally arranged when you know nothing about Yunxiao, as innocence makes it easier to accept. In previous years, some achieved a moment of enlightenment, while others enhanced their sword intent. However, for the majority, they simply enjoyed the scenery inside. But even if you gain nothing, there’s no need to be disheartened. After all, you’ve just stepped into the cultivation world, and the road ahead is still long.”

The disciples on the spaceship had rosy cheeks and listened attentively.

The Elder chuckled and said, “Do you remember the first lesson I taught you when you entered Yunxiao? To face the matter of Qi Fortune with equanimity. Don’t envy others, don’t complain about yourselves. And speaking of Qi Fortune, you are not considered lacking in that aspect. You should know that today, when you enter Changtian Realm, many Senior Brothers and Senior Sisters from Outer Peaks and Inner Peaks are so jealous that their teeth ache.”

The disciples were a bit confused, scratching their heads, and asked, “Is it very special for us to enter Changtian Realm today?”

The Elder’s lips curled into a meaningful smile, “More than just special. Today, there is a Senior Brother from Inner Peaks who will accompany you inside.”

The young disciples opened their mouths wide, looked at each other, and saw the excitement in each other’s eyes.

“An Inner Peak Senior Brother?!” They had been in Yunxiao for a year already and naturally understood the rules. In their eyes, Inner Peaks was a sacred and revered place. With seventy-two peaks, a clear distinction between the top thirty-six peaks and the lower thirty-six, and a grand competition held once every ten years, where only the top one hundred among tens of thousands of participants had the qualification to be selected by the Inner Peak Elders. It was both demanding and exhilarating. Throughout their year on Yinghui Peak, they had never encountered an Inner Peak Senior Brother. Now, upon hearing this news, they felt both anticipation and nervousness. After all, those were the geniuses of the thirty-six peaks, individuals who were once among the top figures in Outer Peaks.

The young disciples started discussing excitedly.

“Why would the Senior Brother enter with us? Shouldn’t he have entered earlier?”

“I wonder what cultivation level the Senior Brother has reached now.”

“Ah, I wonder if I’ll be able to see him once I go inside. Just one glimpse would be enough. I’m really curious to see the style of an Inner Peak disciple.”

As the Elder listened to their discussion, he couldn’t help but shake his head with a smile. Just the mention of the Inner Peaks title made them so excited. If they knew the real name, their jaws would probably drop in shock. At the same time, a different feeling surged within him, a mixture of pride and complaint. The Sect Master, really, sending them into Changtian Realm at the age of sixteen without any preparation time. If he had known that Pei Yuzhi would also enter today, he would have properly disciplined this group of youngsters the previous year, so they wouldn’t embarrass themselves inside.

The young disciples couldn’t help but speculate and asked, “Elder, which Inner Peak does this Senior Brother come from?”

There were thirty-six Inner Peaks, and they knew the name of each peak clearly, as they had been longing for them for a long time. They mentally counted the names: Feihong Peak, Liuyan Peak, Duanluo Peak, Mingchang Peak…

Then they heard the Elder who was leading them laugh meaningfully and say, “Tianqian Peak.”

Tianqian Peak. The disciples who were mentally counting the names were a bit confused at first, as it was not within their guessing range.

But once they realized it, everyone immediately looked up, causing such a commotion that it seemed their necks would break. Their eyes widened, and some even bit their tongues in surprise.

The air became quiet in an instant, and then a collective exclamation of disbelief echoed from the depths of their souls, “Tianqian Peak?!!”

The Elder expected their reaction, but he still happily burst into laughter.

After all, he was in a very good mood today.

“Yes, Tianqian Peak. You are truly fortunate to have the opportunity to meet the Sect Master’s personally taught disciple. There are so many people in the Inner Peaks, and some have been waiting for over a decade without catching even a glimpse.”

The Elder said, “A genius who startled Canghua upon birth, a once-in-a-millennium prodigy in the cultivation world. Pei Yuzhi, your Senior Brother.”

Silence enveloped the air on the flying ship. But in an instant, the voices of the young disciples exploded, resounding through this corner of the world.

“Pei Yuzhi?!”

They could now see the pinnacle of Tianqian Peak, the leader among the one hundred and eight peaks, cold and steep. However, they always felt that it would be a sacred temple unreachable in their lifetime. Amidst the mist and radiant morning light, that peak stood between heaven and earth, distant and unattainable.

The disciples forgot about their composure and burst into delighted laughter. They laughed with such unrestrained joy that they almost fell off the flying ship. Their voices grew louder as they discussed, filled with excitement and soul-deep anticipation.

“No wonder the Elder said that the Senior Brothers and Senior Sisters from Outer Peaks and Inner Peaks were jealous. Hahaha, Foundation Establishment at the age of ten! My goodness, what if I catch a glimpse of Senior Brother Pei and have a sudden enlightenment, breaking through to the fifth level of Qi Gathering?”

“You’re dreaming!”

It was the time of transition between spring and winter, with the first snow yet to melt. The winter day was heavy, but it couldn’t suppress the vibrant vitality of Yunxiao.

The young disciples were like the scorching sun, like a raging fire, like the arrival of spring, bringing everlasting vigor to Yunxiao.

Pei Jing suddenly realized. It was when he was sixteen years old, the first time he entered Changtian Realm and encountered the Sword Sovereign.

He was still feeling perplexed. Hearing the name Pei Yuzhi from the mouths of these young disciples felt both familiar and distant.

Pei Yuzhi…

Pei Jing entered Changtian Realm with them. He was very familiar with this valley, surrounded by trees that obscured the sunlight, and the ground beneath his feet was thick and black. Inside the realm, the young disciples had a more urgent anticipation apart from seeking opportunities.

However, Pei Jing knew that in the end, none of them met the person they were eagerly anticipating.

Moving on from the Floating Pagoda, they reached a deep valley. The winding path in the deep valley led to a bridge. Walking across the bridge and skirting along the edge of the cliff, a magnificent peach blossom forest in shades of pink and white came into view.

The ground was adorned with a riot of colors.

He reached out his hand, wanting to catch a falling petal, but it lightly drifted through his palm.

He continued walking inward.

He first heard the slow and leisurely voice of an old man, accompanied by the elegant fragrance of peach blossoms and a cool spring breeze.

Deep within the peach blossom forest, there was a thatched hut, a stream, and a white table.

Two people were sitting beside the table. The elder was a trace of the Sword Sovereign’s divine soul, old and withered, but his gaze remained as sharp and icy as in his youth. However, he had inevitably acquired some habits of an old man over time, such as being long-winded.

He spoke intermittently, “Although you possess exceptional talent, cultivating the path of immortality is not solely reliant on talent. I have taught you everything I can in these few days, and the rest is beyond your current comprehension. As you journey ahead, it will depend on your own destiny. The Floating Pagoda outside was left behind by me before my ascension, filled with many secret manuals. By meeting me, you can consider it as my recognition. The Floating Pagoda poses no threat to you. Once you leave, remember to visit the Chamber of Inner Demons. While you’re still young, sever your inner demons.”

Sitting across from him was a sixteen-year-old youth who smiled lightly in response, “Ancestor, but I feel like I have no inner demons.”

The Sword Sovereign frowned, deliberately wearing a stern expression as he said, “Your disposition will surely give me some trouble sooner or later! You claim to have no inner demons, so you have none? If you truly have inner demons, you will experience their torment when breaking through the Golden Core stage! Moreover, stop treating cultivation with such a careless attitude. What’s this? Are you being lax and complacent just because of your talent?”

The youth laughed softly once again.

The infuriated Sword Sovereign’s white eyebrows trembled, “Pei Yuzhi—! How can I trust Yunxiao in your hands when you act like this?”

The youth interrupted the Elder’s words and said, “Ancestor, shall we make a bet?”

The Elder asked with displeasure, “What kind of bet?”

A peach blossom petal landed on the youth’s slender and fair finger. He curved his lips and blew it away.

With a refined and cool jade crown that complemented his eyes, the youth appeared nonchalant yet arrogant. His robes fluttered like flowing winds and drifting snow as he softly said, “I bet my next hundred years to become the number one on the Wentian Rankings.”

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