After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 120

Chapter 120.1 Grand Finale

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Qin Qianhuan knelt halfway on the ground.

The red-clad monster beside her collapsed, its mask falling off and breaking into pieces like raindrops.

Countless faces merged into the blood, forming a pool of red on the ground.

She propped herself up with her hands on the ground. She saw fragments of red, blue, and powdery substance floating on the soil, untouched by rain or mud—it was the relics she had crushed herself.

Wu Sheng walked slowly, wearing a golden-white monk’s robe that illuminated the dark surroundings. He tapped his staff on the ground, and the fragments of relics on the floor emitted a faint light, resembling scattered stars.

Circles of golden Buddhist scriptures hovered in the air.

Qin Qianhuan lifted her head, her neck strained, her thin body straight as a line.

Her gaze was filled with pain and confusion, resembling a dying butterfly on a withering leaf.

“You have done so much wrong that even hell cannot contain you,” said the young monk calmly. His eyes were a pale golden color, like a river of stars flowing for millions of years. “You were once a Buddha, but once a Buddha falls into darkness, there is no turning back.”

Her understanding of Zen crumbled, and the relics shattered. She destroyed every trace of her own Buddha nature.

Qin Qianhuan felt a force pulling her soul away, but she had never been afraid of death. She knelt halfway before the true Buddha and let out a short laugh. “You’d better let my soul scatter today, or else in the future, it will be you kneeling before me as I take your Buddha heart and sever your wisdom root.”

Wu Sheng looked at her with sadness. “You still have hatred in your heart.”

Qin Qianhuan spoke with a murmured voice tinged with the taste of bloody sweetness. “Yes, I hate.”

Her fingers curled, but she only grasped empty air.

“All along, it was you who forced me to become a Buddha… but I never wanted to become a Buddha or a demon. When Zen consciousness fell upon me, was I destined to save the world? I never wanted to take on this responsibility. Let me stay in the mortal world, living as a carefree, arrogant, and wealthy young lady… That would be so much better.”

Wu Sheng said, “My master never forced you.”

Qin Qianhuan smiled slightly, her apricot-yellow dress stained with blood turning darker. “Yes, you’re right. It was my stubbornness, my love for mischief, and my disregard for my parents’ advice that led me to Shijia Temple. But with this incident, could it serve as a warning to your master as well?”

She mocked, “It’s not true that being a saint in a past life means doing good for nine lifetimes. When he was first driven out of the manor by me, he should have known that I could never become a Buddha! Did he see the consequences of forcing someone to become a Buddha?”

Wu Sheng remained silent. At the top of his staff, a faint flame flickered, illuminating the eternal darkness of the night.

The three clusters of red fire at Qin Qianhuan’s brow were seared, turning into a nearly transparent white.

From her soul to her **, every inch of Qin Qianhuan’s body gradually weakened. The pain diminished her breath, but she still managed to sneer intermittently. “Just like how you foolishly attempted to make Ji Wuyou a good person, how laughable. How could he possibly be good… He is nothing more than a puppet under the Heavenly Dao, destined and tainted by evil. His very existence is… to commit evil.”

Qin Qianhuan whispered softly, “Devoid of emotions and desires, he is not human at all. The Heavenly Dao nurtured him in the pool of evil, granting him a character of jealousy, arrogance, and brutality alone.”

Wu Sheng lowered his gaze and said, “Ji Wuyou will receive the ending he deserves.”

Qin Qianhuan sneered coldly. “I fear that, in the end, he will make all of you repeat the same fate as thousands of years ago.”

Wu Sheng remained expressionless. “His karma extends far beyond a mere thousand years.”

The monk leaned forward, pointing his finger towards Qin Qianhuan’s brow without touching it.

His finger was as pure and white as a lotus. From the center of the fiery mark on Qin Qianhuan’s brow, a thin blood-red thread of Zen consciousness overflowed.

As her Zen consciousness detached, she became a mere mortal. Qin Qianhuan closed her eyes, as if embracing her final destination. Her skin instantly aged, wrinkling and covered in brown spots. Her once lustrous black hair turned gray-white.

Then, the gray hair fell away, the flesh dissolved, leaving only white bones behind.

Amidst the vast expanse of the heavens and earth, only a kneeling skeleton remained. Its hand bones supported its weight, but with a single strike of rain, it crumbled into pieces on the ground.

Yu Qinglian took a step forward and approached the middle-aged man who had been frightened into unconsciousness amidst the ruins. She gently brushed her fingers across his face, stabilizing his senses.

Next to him lay the corpses of his wife and son. Upon awakening, he would undoubtedly face a nightmare.

The golden bells chimed softly. In the misty rain, two ethereal spirits slowly emerged from the ruins—a woman leading a child. The wife’s expression was blank and filled with pain, while the child remained innocent and ignorant. At such a tender age, life and death were still unfamiliar concepts to him. They had fallen victim to a Celestial Demon, and their souls lingered in this desolate ruin, unable to find release.

Yu Qinglian released their bonds, whether speaking to them or to herself, she said, “Rest in peace. Those who caused your demise will face retribution.”

Guided by the Execution Sword, Pei Jing passed through the chaotic and pitch-black void. He stepped onto a bizzare staircase, spiraling in an intertwining manner.

Walking upon it felt strangely unreal, fearing that the next step might lead to emptiness.

Peering downward, he saw the lifeless grand hall. Four stone pillars bore bloody and chilling reliefs. As he ascended the staircase, expecting to reach the second floor, he unexpectedly found himself outside.

Behind the palace, shrouded in darkness at the time, he now discovered a majestic mountain.

This staircase, winding up from behind the palace’s throne, led directly to the summit of the palace and extended further into the mountain’s cliffs.

The Execution Sword buzzed as it reached its destination and landed once again in Pei Jing’s palm.

Pei Jing leaped from the eaves onto the cliff, gripping a protruding rock with his hand. “Why have you brought me here? What do you want me to do? Just so we’re clear, I can’t currently defeat the Celestial Demin Clan. Don’t put me in harm’s way.”

He had a nagging feeling that the Execution Sword was playing tricks on him, but he reluctantly pressed forward. The madwoman of the Celestial Demon Realm seemed to still be in a state of slumber and recuperation, so his luck shouldn’t be that terrible. For a cultivator, traversing rooftops and walls was no difficult task. Pei Jing circled around for a while, not finding an end, so he decided to go upward instead. He could feel a rising heat becoming more intense, almost scorching to the touch.

It wasn’t until he stood at the mountaintop that he could see clearly. The summit of this mountain was hollow, and looking down, he saw an abyss of immeasurable depth. The surroundings were already pitch black, and any light that entered was absorbed without a trace.

The Execution Sword stirred again. Alhough Pei Jing understood its intentions, he couldn’t help but feel a mix of emotions.

Pei Jing’s expression was hard to describe in words. “You want me to jump down… you’re not trying to harm me, are you?”

A faint, chilly blue radiance flowed along the blade, as if weathered by countless years of wind and frost, silently giving a resolute response.

“Fine then.”

Pei Jing sheathed the sword and leaped into the void.

During the descent, the wind next to Pei Jing roared violently, tearing through all things. The Transient Jade Lotus formed a translucent white halo around him, shielding him from disturbance.

As he landed, darkness surrounded him, with only a faint red glow stretching and twisting along the ground, probing deeper into the unknown.

“Is this where the Demon Pool is located?”

He followed the red line and ventured further inside.

The path was narrow, covered in slippery moss, with red blood flowing over the green moss.

At the intersection of light and darkness, Pei Jing halted. The Execution Sword chilled him to the bone as he gazed up in a daze.

His gaze fixed upon a blood-red altar standing suspended in the center of the mountain, serving as the hub of the night.

The elevated altar hung in mid-air, with only two jade steps on either side connecting it to the ground. Thick iron chains extended from the base of the platform, hanging from the stone walls in all directions. Each chain link was crafted into the likeness of a ferocious beast’s head, jaws clamping down on the chains

The edges of the platform continuously dripped with blood, cascading down a three-thousand-foot drop. Below was an abyss, empty and desolate, as if shrouded in swirling mist and clouds.

Azure-blue mist surged, swirling and mingling with the crimson river flowing in reverse.

In the profound silence of the night, the illumination revealed the vivid details of the five beast mouths and ears, the alluring richness of the blood pool, and the pure transparency of the central blood-stained skeleton.

At first glance, an overwhelming sense of bloodiness and solemnity pervaded the scene, especially emanating from the demonic bones—a convergence of wickedness with a paradoxical aura of purity and clarity.

Pei Jing dared not speak a word, for on the steps to the left and right of the elevated altar, kneeling upon each tier were members of the Demon Clan.

They were dressed uniformly in black, their skin pale and tinged with a bluish hue. Untethered from the mortal realm, buried deep within the abyss, they were like ghosts, seemingly frail and pallid. However beneath their appearance lay sharp fangs, claws, and eyes harboring a long-suppressed ferocity of slaughter.

In front of the crowd stood a man with the head of a bird and the body of a human. He opened his mouth and softly chanted ancient words.

Judging by his appearance, he appeared to be an Elder of the clan. Wearing a tall black hat and a solemn expression, his gaze fixed devoutly on a specific point in the sky.

Pei Jing took a step back, thinking to himself, “What is this bird-man up to?” Though confident, he had no intention of rashly taking on a multitude of powerful foes. He decided to wait until they finished whatever they were doing and left before contemplating his next move.

As time passed, an unexpected phenomenon occurred—the demonic bones underwent a transformation. The originally transparent bones were suddenly infused with strands of dark energy. The source of this energy was directly above, where a small rift appeared in the air, growing larger and larger.

The bird-like Elder’s face lit up with joy. He closed his mouth and, along with the others behind him, half-knelt down, pressing their foreheads against the steps. Their voluminous robes billowed in the air, resembling a large bird in flight.

The water in the pool was stirred, roiling and surging upward, forming a staircase. It seemed as if through that rift in the void, a divine being would descend.

Pei Jing had a vague sense that something was amiss. He lowered his head and looked at the restless Execution Sword, whispering softly, “Are you trying to deceive me?”

The radiance emanating from the Execution Sword flickered momentarily.

Then, through its actions, the Execution Sword revealed to him what it truly meant to deceive its master.

A resonating hum reverberated, similar to the clash of dragons on the battlefield and the cry of a phoenix in the empty mountains.

The sword’s pristine radiance swept across the towering precipice.

Suddenly, the Execution Sword broke free from his control and shot upwards. As its light burst forth, silence fell upon the entire world.

The members of the Demon Clan looked up in astonishment, their faces filled with anger and fear.

However, disbelief clouded their eyes as they witnessed the demonic bones in the pool seemingly stiffly and slowly raising their heads.

“Who?!” The bird-like Elder was the first to react. He sprouted two pairs of eagle-like wings from his back, taking to the sky with razor-sharp claws, attempting to intercept the Execution Sword.

Pei Jing was so infuriated that he wished he could exhibit a bare-handed feat with the sword. Nevertheless, he suppressed his emotions and spoke with a chilly tone, “Come back!”

As the current master of the Execution Sword, Pei Jing had absolute control over his sword as a sword cultivator should. The Execution Sword had a profound connection to that blood pool, but Pei Jing’s will pulled at it from behind.

Sensing that something was amiss, the sword abruptly changed direction in mid-air, evading the bird-like Elder’s attempt, and returned to Pei Jing’s palm.

Now, all the members of the Demon Clan who were kneeling on the steps stood up with darkened expressions. Their pairs of malevolent eyes glued on the front.

They gazed at the entrance of the mountain cave, where the faint light cast ambiguous shadows, revealing a white-clad youth with the sword slung over his back.

The bird-like Elder’s eyes narrowed as he paused. “Who are you?!”

Pei Jing decided to play along with the charade, hypnotizing himself into believing that he had come here willingly to challenge the depths of the Demon Realm with his sword, rather than being betrayed by the Execution Sword and ending up in this predicament.

After calming his heart and maintaining composure, the youth in white smiled faintly, calmly pointing his sword towards the blood altar, its blade as cold and sharp as his gaze.

“The dead do not need to know my name.” There was no need to leave a name behind when one couldn’t win and had to escape.

The bird-like Elder could discern his cultivation level with a single glance. “Ignorant child! Entering our forbidden territory of the Demon Clan, you can forget about leaving alive.”

Deep down, he still felt wary of this young man. To be able to silently find his way here meant he couldn’t be an ordinary person.

There was no room for leniency.

Killing intent flashed in the Elder’s eyes. With a wave of his sleeve, the earth trembled and the sound of flapping wings reverberated from the depths of the abyss. Below the blood-colored altar, countless bats hung upside down, all agitated by the disturbance. Breaking through the waterfall, they swarmed towards Pei Jing, ready to tear him apart. At the same time, as the Elder made his move, the members of the Demon Clan who were kneeling on the steps didn’t hesitate. They leaped down one by one, drawing their weapons—swords, knives, and whips—interweaving beams of light suffused with the sinister aura of the Demon Clan. They all attacked Pei Jing in unison. Meanwhile, the formation behind Pei Jing activated, sealing off the path with golden sand.

It was like a net of heaven and earth. The threat surrounded him from all directions.

The Celestial Demon Clan cultivated the power of the demonic aura, which was inherently stronger than the spiritual energy of the mortal realm. The strength of their Golden Core cultivators was on par with the Nascent Soul cultivators in the mortal realm. Moreover, standing before Pei Jing at this moment, not a single person had a cultivation level lower than Golden Core.

By all logical reasoning, as a mere early-stage Nascent Soul cultivator, he should have been annihilated in the next second.

The Elder of the Demon Clan shared the same belief. He folded his wings and stood high on the steps, his gaze icy and awaiting Pei Jing’s demise without a burial ground.

However, to their surprise, with a flick of his sleeve, the youth’s sword swept through the air, and under his feet, an icy sword formation emerged, releasing a profound and ancient energy that formed a barrier.

It seemed that the power of the heavens could conquer the demonic aura. The frost barrier blocked all attacks, even retaliating and shaking off the bats. The clan members who had attacked ended up spitting blood and retreating one after another.

“You!” A clan member’s eyes widened in a mix of fear and shock.

Pei Jing himself was also astonished for a fraction of a second.

It dawned on him a bit late. Initially, he believed he couldn’t win because the demonic aura had trapped him for over four hundred years, even his master couldn’t handle it, which left a deep shadow on him. It made him hesitate when facing these people who cultivated by absorbing the demonic aura. But… now it seemed that his cultivation wasn’t solely based on the spiritual energy of the mortal realm. The lake’s depths, the Goddess of Yingzhou, had given him enlightenment…

“Primordial chaos,” the Elder of the Demon Clan muttered, his face filled with astonishment, anger, and profound shock. The killing intent in his heart was on the verge of solidifying into blood in his eyes.

“How long has it been, how long since I felt this kind of power? In the primordial chaos, the power of creation.”

His grayish-brown wings spread wide behind him, every feather taut. The power of the late-stage Nascent Soul cultivation pressured Pei Jing, forcing him to take two steps back.

The brief period of time spent at the bottom of the lake was not enough for him to fully grasp the power of primordial chaos. It was sufficient to deal with cultivators at the Golden Core stage of the Demon Clan, but facing a late-stage Nascent Soul cultivator proved to be extremely challenging.

“Indeed, I won’t let you escape!” The Elder’s eyes filled with murderous intent, his words chillingly cold. “Now that you’ve willingly come to us, it’s a good thing for us.”

Pei Jing held the Execution Sword, but there was a burning fire in his eyes.

He seemed to have never truly understood his own power, unaware of how strong he truly was.

Although it was challenging, it was difficult to say who would come out victorious in the end.

He smiled. “I’ve willingly come to you, are you sure it’s a good thing?”

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