After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 3

Chapter 3 Bridge Cut Off by Winter Storm

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Pei Jing was taken aback for a moment, but quickly composed himself and said, “I don’t think there’s a need for me to try. He definitely isn’t a good fit for Yunxiao.”

Chen Xu exclaimed, “You’re simply unreasonable.”

Pei Jing reassured, “Don’t worry, I understand him better than you do.”

Chen Xu angrily muttered, “You don’t understand a thing.”

Pei Jing stepped forward, his demeanor relaxed but serious. “Trust me, I have a knack for judging people accurately.”

Chen Xu’s expression turned serious as he remarked, “You’re dismissing his qualifications solely based on your own words. That’s unfair to him!”

Pei Jing’s smile faded. “What’s unfair? If he’s not suitable, then he’s not suitable! The disciples of Yunxiao have never followed an emotionless path. His exceptional talent is accompanied by an inherent coldness and cruelty.” Pei Jing’s voice grew softer. “Or to put it another way, it’s Yunxiao that isn’t suitable for him. If he stays in Yunxiao, the sword principles passed down by Yunxiao will only dampen his innate talent.”

“How can you be so sure he’s unsuitable?”

“Just watch and see.”

A hint of spiritual energy surged from his fingertips and entered the mystical water mirrors. In an instant, the world shifted, and a new illusion materialized upon the suspension bridge.

The sky twisted, and the air currents abruptly intensified.

Suddenly, the blood rain vanished, the snow-covered broken bridge and the surroundings transformed into an ordinary snowy day, spanning across the vast land.

The spot where Chu Junyu had stood on the suspension bridge changed into level ground, extending from the bridge’s entrance.

The cold wind howled, slicing through the air like sharp blades against people’s faces.

The entire field of view was painted in a monochromatic white hue.

Chu Junyu remained motionless.

After a long wait, he finally heard the voice of the person behind him.

The voice belonged to a young boy, jumpy and shivering, his speech quivering from the biting cold. “Heavens, what is this? Yunxiao’s selection process is completely weird. I was nearly frightened to tears by ghosts a moment ago, and now it seems intent on freezing me to death?”

Chu Junyu turned his body, peering through the vast expanse of swirling snow to catch a glimpse of the young boy.

The boy was dressed in thin, brown garments, his nose flushed red from the icy terrain. His hair was loosely tied with a simple grass rope, his face handsome with fair skin and large expressive eyes.

He hugged himself, hunching over in an attempt to shield from the biting cold.

His gaze darted around, and the instant his eyes met Chu Junyu’s, his face lit up as if reuniting with a long-lost kin. Eagerly, he rushed forward, exclaiming, “Wow! It’s you! What an extraordinary coincidence. We were just seated on the same white crane moments ago. Do you remember me?” A contented smile graced the boy’s face as he continued, “I never imagined that we would venture out together.”

Chu Junyu kept his gaze locked onto the boy’s face, studying it intently for a prolonged moment.

The wind and snow roared, and in a single moment, the entire world, including every heartbeat, stood still.

After a considerable time, he, too, let out a smile.

“What a fortunate coincidence.”

His voice was hushed, but each word resonated clearly.

The young boy paused, then his eyes sparkled even brighter. “Oh, you actually spoke! You were so silent when we were aboard the white crane. I thought you were deliberately ignoring me.”

Chu Junyu’s gaze fell upon him.  “Are you feeling terribly cold?”

The young boy responded, “In this frigid, snowy expanse, dressed so thinly, I’m certainly freezing. Sigh, forget it. Let’s devise a way to escape from here. I fear that if we linger longer, I’ll become frozen stiff.”

He spoke, reaching out to grab Chu Junyu’s hand. But at the moment of contact, he quickly withdrew, his eyes filled with shock. “Heavens, your hand is colder than mine!”

Chu Junyu extended his hand, accumulating snowflakes in his open palm. They remained intact, undissolved. Gradually, a crimson aura twirled within his grasp, forming once again into an umbrella. With the umbrella unfurled, shielding them from the wind and snow, Chu Junyu tapped gently on the young boy’s head. “Let’s find an exit first.”

Boundless astonishment surged in the young boy’s eyes. “This umbrella… you, you, you…” He stumbled over his words, unable to articulate his thoughts, eventually whispering, “You’re truly remarkable.”

Chu Junyu neither confirmed nor rejected the praise. Amidst the pristine whiteness enveloping them, he seemed to possess an innate sense of direction, his footsteps unwavering as they pressed onward.

Walking through the snow together, sheltered beneath a shared umbrella, their journey was accompanied only by the faint crunch of footsteps breaking through the thin layer of snow. The young boy unabashedly observed Chu Junyu, his dark eyes filled with admiration and astonishment, devoid of any other emotion.

After a lengthy wait, he summoned his courage and spoke, “My name is Zhang Yiming, from Jizhou. I embarked on this journey by myself to seek admission into Yunxiao. What about you?”

“Chu Junyu.” 

The youth in black raised the umbrella high, his voice calm.

Apart from that, there was nothing more to be said.

Zhang Yiming murmured Chu Junyu’s name a few times, remarking, “Sounds quite impressive.”

In the presence of peers displaying absolute strength, he felt no trace of envy. Instead, he became excited and spoke, “If you were to venture beyond this snowy realm, you would likely be directly accepted as a disciple of Inner Peaks.”

“What do you mean?” Chu Junyu asked, his gaze focused.

“It’s a rumor I heard. Yunxiao has allocated ten spots for Inner Peak disciples among us, reserved for those who demonstrate outstanding performance. Given your remarkable abilities, you must certainly be one of them.”

Chu Junyu cast a brief glance at him and replied, “Is that so?”

Zhang Yiming nodded firmly. “Absolutely. Just casually conjuring an umbrella like that, I haven’t seen anyone else with such an ability. It’s time for you to consider which Elder’s peak you want to join.”

Chu Junyu smiled and lowered his gaze.

Despite shivering from the cold, Zhang Yiming grinned widely. “Confidence is all that matters. I bet you’ll make it to the Inner Peaks for sure. If luck favors you, you might even become a direct disciple under Yunxiao’s Sect Master—imagine the prestige!”

He now regarded him as a brother.

Chu Junyu remarked, “Isn’t it a tradition in Yunxiao that the Sect Master only takes on a single disciple in their lifetime?”

Zhang Yiming responded, “Well, you could become a disciple under the Sect Master’s own disciple, which is practically being under the Sect Master. Do you know who the Sect Master’s current disciple is? Revealing their name might just startle you.”

Chu Junyu’s interest was piqued. “Tell me more about it.”

Zhang Yiming said, “It’s none other than Pei Yuzhi, renowned as the ‘Divinely Gifted Talent’.”

“He’s the one referred to as the ‘One Sword Soaring throught the Frost of Wuwang Peak’. He has passed the Trials of Challenging the Heavens and is being hailed as the leader of the younger generation in the cultivation realm. It is said that he’s on the cusp of breaking through to the Nascent Soul Stage.”

Chu Junyu’s smile, amidst the snowstorm, carried a touch of coldness and mystery. “Please, continue.”

Zhang Yiming was momentarily bewildered. “Continue with what?”

Chu Junyu replied, “Continue scaring me.”


Zhang Yiming was momentarily speechless, his smile frozen on his face. After grasping the meaning, his eyes widened. “Wait, Brother, you mean you didn’t know about Pei Yuzhi in Yunxiao? He’s the current foremost disciple of Yunxiao and the future Sect Master!”

Chu Junyu’s tone carried a hint of indifference. “Oh, I see.”

Zhang Yiming responded, “…Alright, got it.”

As their conversation continued, the landscape took a sudden turn. Emerging amidst the vast expanse of snow was a bridge, broken and mysterious. It stood before them, its far end hidden among the clouds, its destination unknown. 

Chu Junyu closed his umbrella, allowing the white snow to gently blanket his dark hair, as if turning it gray in a fleeting moment.

He gazed at the bridge ahead and said, “Crossing this bridge signifies passing the test. You go ahead.”

Zhang Yiming, wearing a puzzled expression, couldn’t help but question, “Huh? Why? Can’t we go together?”

Chu Junyu explained, “The road becomes slippery in snowy weather. It’s inconvenient to travel together.”

Zhang Yiming nodded. “Oh, I understand now.”

He had a feeling that Chu Junyu had grown tired of his presence and didn’t want to walk with him for the final stretch. It left him somewhat disgruntled and embarrassed. However, after burdening him for such a long time, he couldn’t find the right words to express himself. Zhang Yiming hugged his arms, braving the wind and snow. After trudging through the snowy terrain for what felt like an eternity, his legs grew stiff, and his hands lost their sensitivity. Anxious thoughts filled his mind as he accidentally stepped into thin air at the edge of the bridge.

The planks on the bridge had long lost their stability, concealed beneath a layer of snow. His foot landed directly on a broken plank, causing the bridge to tremble. In an instant, he felt weightless. 

Zhang Yiming let out a cry of alarm, but his quick reflexes allowed him to grab onto the snowy edge. However, with a rigid arm and an insecure grip, he slowly slid backward, teetering on the edge of the cliff.

In a state of panic, he turned to the sole figure in the vast snowy plain, pleading, “Please, save me—!”

Chu Junyu stood amidst the howling wind and swirling snow, his pale eyes shimmering with translucence against the white backdrop. Upon hearing the desperate plea, he paused briefly before gradually making his way over.

Zhang Yiming’s back was drenched in cold sweat. The fright he experienced brought him back to his senses, and as he witnessed Chu Junyu’s approach, his eyes welled up with tears. Summoning his courage, he cried out, risking everything, “Save me—!”

Chu Junyu half-crouched, seizing his wrist and pulling him away from the cliff’s edge, rescuing him.

Having survived the calamity, Zhang Yiming felt as if his soul had been frightened out of him. Seated in the snow for what seemed like an eternity, he couldn’t sense the cold, but his teeth were clenched, and he grimaced in discomfort. “Why am I cursed with such ill fortune? Has Yunxiao really fallen to such dire straits? Even the bridges are in ruins?”

Chu Junyu remained seated, engaging in a steady gaze with him. His excessively pale face, bathed in the snow’s ethereal light, emanated a subtle and mysterious radiance. With his flowing ebony hair and resplendent attire, he exuded an air of elegance. At this moment, his almost translucent eyes appeared to hold a glimmer of amusement, though their depths were icy cold.

“They always say the snowy roads are treacherous. How can you still be so careless?”

Zhang Yiming curled his lips, attempting a smile. “It’s not merely slippery. It’s a trap deliberately set by Yunxiao.”

Chu Junyu extended his hand towards him. “Can you continue walking?”

Zhang Yiming made an effort to move his hand but discovered that it had been pressed against the snow for too long, causing it to freeze together like ice. Frustrated and helpless, he tore through a layer of skin, leaving his palm a bloody mess. With Chu Junyu’s assistance, he managed to rise to his feet, though his balance was unsteady. His leg had collided with the cliff wall, resulting in an injury that rendered him immobile.

Zhang Yiming let out a sigh, feeling a sense of resignation. “…Perhaps I am not destined for Yunxiao. You should continue on, don’t worry about me. Be the first to come out of this illusion.”

Chu Junyu cast his gaze downward. “Giving up so easily doesn’t seem to align with your character.”

Zhang Yiming widened his eyes, caught between laughter and exasperation. “Why do you speak as if you understand me so well?”

Chu Junyu proposed, “Let me carry you across this bridge.”

Zhang Yiming was taken aback. “Huh?”

Chu Junyu’s smile exuded an inherent grace and elegance. He reached out his hand and supported Zhang Yiming’s arm, effortlessly lifting him onto his back.

Zhang Yiming couldn’t help but feel the proximity of Chu Junyu’s breath, cold like the snow. With a few grunts, he struggled and said, “Please, don’t go through so much trouble for me.”

“It’s not a big deal.”

Zhang Yiming felt a profound mixture of emotions.

A slight headache pulsed through his head, leaving him only able to hoarsely express, “Brother, you truly are a good person.”

Chu Junyu paused and remarked, “You seem unwell.”

Zhang Yiming felt a sense of lightheadedness and held back a sneeze in his throat. “Perhaps.”

A faint smile crossed Chu Junyu’s lips as he said, “You’ve really endured a lot.”

Zhang Yiming chuckled, his voice filled with a touch of exasperation. “What a strange situation. It should be you who have endured more.”

Amidst the wind and snow, a broken bridge stood between the two mountains. The silent expanse of snow belonged solely to the two of them.

After a while, Zhang Yiming appeared genuinely confused, saying nonsensical words. “What are your thoughts on Yunxiao?”

“It is the foremost immortal sect, a place where sword cultivators thrive…”

“However, their regulations are numerous, and their discipline is strict. It’s truly disheartening.”

After finishing his words, he asked another question.

“And what do you think of Pei Yuzhi?”

Chu Junyu’s lowered gaze revealed no hint of emotion.

“Not bad.”

Zhang Yiming chuckled and drifted into a deep slumber, murmuring, “Alright, I’ll keep an eye on you.”

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