After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 33

Chapter 33 Departure

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Pei Jing said goodbye to Ji Wuyou, and coincidentally, he saw someone pulling him aside, trying to hand him something in his arms, asking for his help to deliver it. Ji Wuyou was in a hurry and stuttered as he spoke, “Senior Brother, I have something urgent. I have a task to complete at the consulate building, and it’s almost time. I… I must go and submit the task.”

That Senior Brother instantly became unhappy and said, “You readily agree to others, but when it comes to me, you’re reluctant. Do you look down on me?”

Ji Wuyou got scared. He had always been marginalized and isolated, developing a subconscious habit of seeking approval. He felt anxious when refusing others, “No, it’s not like that…”

Seeing his nervousness, that Senior Brother intensified his tone and directly threw the object at Ji Wuyou’s head, grunting, “I left the item here. If you don’t deliver it before it gets dark, don’t blame me for being impolite.”

The box was made of wood, and the sharp corner hit Ji Wuyou’s head, leaving a bruise. It hurt, and he held the wound, grimacing in pain as he crouched down.

Pei Jing watched coldly. That so-called Senior Brother was merely at the fifth level of Qi Gathering. Ji Wuyou could easily defeat him with just a flick of his finger.

However, he was ignorant and timid, with a lowly disposition.

This was the protagonist’s original characterization in the book.

Therefore, he was naturally suited to be bullied.

Everything fell into place, pushing Ji Wuyou onto the path of corruption.

Ji Wuyou’s hands trembled. He was afraid of being beaten. But if he didn’t complete the task at the Consulate Hall this time, he wouldn’t be able to take on any more tasks for the next three months. He held the wooden box close to his chest, gazing at the horizon where the sun was about to set. There was no time to go in any direction. He sank into deep confusion.

His eyes felt a bit sore, and then he saw a corner of a fluttering white robe.

He looked up, and against the incoming light, stood a young man named Zhang Yiming.

The young man, who had been smiling all along, had an expressionless face at this moment.

When he didn’t smile, he gave off a very serious vibe.

Ji Wuyou dared not speak.

Pei Jing suddenly lowered her head and asked him, “Do you know that he actually can’t defeat you?” Ji Wuyou opened his eyes and shook his head.

A slight smile curved at the corner of Pei Jing’s lips as he reached out hiz hand to him. “Give me that box.”

Ji Wuyou placed great trust in Zhang Yiming, perhaps more than trust alone. Hidden beneath his admiration and respect was a deep-seated sense of inferiority and fear. He handed the box to Zhang Yiming, unsure of what he intended to do.

Pei Jing opened the wooden box, revealing a ginseng plant. Judging by its appearance, it had likely been growing for several hundred years—a precious ingredient for alchemy.

So what if it was precious? Pei Jing took hold of the ginseng plant and, in an instant, exerted pressure with his palm, reducing it to a powdery residue that gently scattered.

He tossed the box backward, producing a crisp sound.

In Ji Wuyou’s widened, incredulous eyes, Pei Jing spoke, “Go to the Consulate Hall and submit your task. Don’t worry about this matter anymore. If that person from earlier comes looking for you again, just fight back.”

Ji Wuyou, bewildered, stuttered, “I… I can’t defeat him.”

Pei Jing’s gaze was sharp as lightning. “Is it that you’re afraid to fight or that you can’t win?”

Ji Wuyou hesitated, lowering his head.

“Didn’t you say you wanted to become someone like me? It’s simple. For matters that can be resolved through fighting, just use less brainpower.”

Ji Wuyou remained stunned, lost in thought.

If Ji Wuyou’s master were to hear these words, it would surely lead to another round of punishment.

However, Zhang Yiming had run out of patience with Ji Wuyou. This kid seemed to require such extreme measures.

“There’s hardly anyone on Shangyang Peak who can defeat you.”

After all, those who could defeat him couldn’t be bothered to pay him any attention.

Ji Wuyou continued to keep his head lowered.

Pei Jing had a moment where he felt both annoyed and amused.

When reading a novel, one doesn’t initially dislike the protagonist. In the original story, Ji Wuyou started off as a rather amusing food-loving chubby character. The author only mentioned that his mind was undeveloped and that he was bullied by many, but the emphasis was minimal. What stood out more was the mismatched and coincidental success that befell the chubby protagonist.

Now, experiencing it firsthand, Pei Jing couldn’t help but show Ji Wuyou the bullying that wasn’t written in the book. He couldn’t help but feel that the protagonist, this chubby kid, was truly stifled.

“Here, you’re invincible. From now on, if anyone bothers you, you beat them up. If anyone makes you unhappy, you beat them up. Trust me, by then, you won’t need to please them. A group of people will be at your beck and call… do you understand the meaning of being at your beck and call?” He paused, realizing he probably wouldn’t understand and gave up on explaining, “You don’t need to know. Just know that it’s very impressive. You’ll be a hundred times happier than you are now. Do you understand? Speak up!”

From below, Ji Wuyou’s choked voice could be heard, sniffling as he replied, “Und-understood.”

Pei Jing: “…” Was he scaring him to tears or was he crying out of gratitude?

It wouldn’t do to leave him in Yunxiao. Who knew how much more resentment he might accumulate here.

Pei Jing: “Forget it, I can’t explain it to you. Pack your things and come with me on a trip in a few days.”

Ji Wuyou: “Ah?”

Pei Jing tugged at the corner of his mouth. “Wipe away your tears. In a few days, I’ll take you to see the outside world.”

Ji Wuyou couldn’t quite describe the emotions stirring inside him.

He felt a mix of being flattered and anxious about the unknown path ahead.

Pei Jing glanced at him, unsure of what kind of consequences his actions today would bring.

But he had made his decision and had no need for regrets.

Because he was taking Chu Junyu and Ji Wuyou along, he insisted that Yu Qinglian and Wu Sheng transform back into their youthful appearances.

As expected, Yu Qinglian showed no recognition of her original appearance.

Well, in his memory, Yu Qinglian was nothing more than a round ball at this time, not the graceful young girl standing before him. Gazing at her reflection in the pool, Yu Qinglian happily clapped her hands. “Alright, for the sake of your little friends, I’ll return to my youth.”

Pei Jing brutally exposed her, “Your youth wasn’t quite like that.”

Yu Qinglian smiled sinisterly, “Pei Yuzhi, did you think I can no longer wield the whip?”

Wu Sheng didn’t undergo much change, simply transforming from a young monk into a little monk.

The little monk continued to play the role of peacemaker.

“It’s time to go. Let’s save time. As the island master of Yingzhou and the Sect Master of Yunxiao, you both surely have many tasks ahead.”

Yu Qinglian: “Just temporary ones.”

Pei Jing shamelessly replied, “Well, we have Chen Xu here.”

Yu Qinglian tugged at the corner of her mouth and said, “Chen Xu has been oppressed by you since he was young.”

“What do you mean by oppressed? He’s quite happy managing Yunxiao.”

Yu Qinglian: “Yes, he’s happy. I saw him yesterday, and the happiness has aged him ten years.”

Pei Jing: “You haven’t seen him for a hundred years. If you say he aged ten years compared to last time, that means he actually became ninety years younger. Isn’t that a reason to be happy? If you want to prolong your life and rejuvenate, you can visit my Yunxiao and serve as the Sect Master.”

Yu Qinglian: “…You’re only acting so audaciously because your master and ancestors aren’t here.”

Pei Jing didn’t expect her to bring that up. “If they were here, would you go complain to them?”

Yu Qinglian laughed in anger. “Do you really think I can’t contact the Institute of Celestial Ascension?”

Pei Jing: “I’m waiting for my master to scold you from afar.”

Yu Qinglian: “Ha.”

When Pei Jing mentioned taking Ji Wuyou along to Chu Junyu, he expected to be met with sarcastic remarks. However, to his surprise, Chu Junyu only paused for a second, turned his head, and slowly curved his lips as he replied, “Sure, why not.”

Pei Jing couldn’t grasp the meaning behind his smile. He just found it inexplicable.

Yu Qinglian walked through Shangyang Peak like a picturesque vision. Dressed in a red skirt with golden bells, her black hair cascading like clouds, and her lips rosy and teeth white. Many female cultivators couldn’t help but cast jealous and amazed glances at her. In this world, there were many female cultivators who imitated the attire of the Fushang Fairy, but few could capture that enchanting elegance.

Concealed beneath her dazzling and flamboyant appearance was an air of nobility and aloofness.

She moved swiftly like the wind, with crimson silk and golden bells, traversing the ends of the earth.

Yu Qinglian completely ignored those gazes.

She had become accustomed to receiving both envy and admiration, as she garnered too much of it.

The only person in this world whom she wanted to astonish was probably Pei Yuzhi.

However, words of praise would never escape Pei Yuzhi’s mouth. He had firmly fixed her image from childhood in his mind, and she could never expect to hear a single compliment from him.

Now in her youthful appearance, under the clear sky, she smiled gently and said, “I am called Fushang.”

Her unblinking eyes fixed on Chu Junyu.

He was a disciple brought by Pei Yuzhi. Yet, inexplicably, she felt a fondness for him at first glance, as if they were old acquaintances upon their first meeting.

People call me Fushang Fairy, probably because Fushang flowers are red as fire, and I also enjoy wearing red.

Well, there are many red flowers in this world, such as peonies. Why aren’t you called the Peony Fairy, or the cockscomb flower, the Cockscomb Fairy?

Because they sound so earthy! Can you just shut your mouth?

Pei Jing tugged at the corner of his mouth, surprised that she had given herself the name Fushang.

Chu Junyu’s gaze briefly landed on her face, but in his mind, there echoed a howling snowstorm and a crimson figure.

A chilling white bone.

The final parting glance.

He had a moment of confusion, instinctively turning his head to look at Pei Jing, finding solace in the clear eyes of the young boy.

“Chu Junyu.”

Polite but distant, neither warm nor cold.

Yu Qinglian smiled at him, her eyes crinkling, then turned to the next person. “And you?”

Ji Wuyou, who had little interaction with female cultivators, found himself at a loss for words in the presence of the beautiful Senior Sister. “I-I am Ji Wuyou.”

Yu Qinglian applauded and exclaimed, “What a wonderful name, Ji Wuyou. ‘Wuyou’ means carefree. Your parents must have been very gentle. May you live a worry-free life.”

She was usually aloof towards unfamiliar people, but she was willing to invest some effort in getting to know the two junior disciples brought by Pei Yuzhi.

Wu Sheng, being a monk, did not lie and directly stated his Dharma name. After all, there were too many people in the world who called themselves Wu Sheng. Ji Wuyou was a little foolish and couldn’t even remember the Five Great Champions of the world. As for Chu Junyu, with his cold and distant attitude, it was clear he wouldn’t delve any further.

While flying towards Wuwang Peak, Yu Qinglian sat next to Pei Jing, her gaze constantly shifting towards Chu Junyu. “That young disciple is quite interesting and catches my eye. I feel a sense of familiarity.”

Pei Jing suddenly recalled that Chen Xu had said something similar. His protection and affection for Chu Junyu stemmed not only from recognizing his talent but also from an inexplicable fondness.

Turning back to observe Chu Junyu’s expression attentively, Pei Jing couldn’t find any trace of warmth. He asked Yu Qinglian, “Do you think anyone attractive automatically catches your eye?”

Yu Qinglian couldn’t continue the conversation with him and turned to Wu Sheng. “What do you think?”

Wu Sheng paused for a moment and smiled, “He’s a little bit familiar.”

Wu Sheng agreed as well.

Then there was no room for pretense.

Pei Jing could only say, “…Well, it seems you both aren’t very accurate in judging people.”

As the cloud crane soared through the sky, passing over the Yunlan Mountain Range, looking down, the dense blood aura was no longer visible. Thick mist shrouded the area, creating a vast expanse. Pei Jing thought of that old man.

The accumulated good fortune from years of doing good deeds had been completely squandered by a wicked person, leaving only one person to spend the remaining years in solitude. He must be very lonely now.

He turned his head and asked Wu Sheng, “A few years ago, did you enlighten a young boy?”

Wu Sheng’s expression slightly froze, then he pondered for a moment before nodding. “It seems like I did. At that time, I was returning on foot from Mount Zhongnan and encountered rain. I sought refuge in an abandoned temple nearby and began meditating. In the middle of my meditation, an elderly man and his grandson entered. The grandson was born with three missing spirits, yet his heart was remarkably pure. While I was in meditation, he sat beside me and imitated my posture, occasionally opening his eyes to observe me. It was quite adorable. Seeing the auspiciousness between the old man’s brows, I realized he must have accumulated considerable blessings through his everyday good deeds, so I felt compelled to assist.

“He had a connection with me, so I enlightened him, allowing him to restore his seven souls and six spirits and granting him the ability to ward off evil. Your sudden inquiry… does it mean you’ve encountered him? How is he now?”

Pei Jing’s gaze drifted downward, recalling the scene of the child’s soul bidding him farewell amidst the falling rain, evoking a myriad of emotions within his heart.

He said, “He’s dead. The second son of that old man had wicked intentions and became possessed by evil spirits, causing the entire family to perish, leaving only the old man behind.”

Wu Sheng was somewhat shocked and sighed before shaking his head. “Actually, when they left, I glanced at the old man and saw intertwining golden light and purple aura. It was evident that a great calamity was destined to befall his family, but he managed to survive, perhaps due to the accumulated blessings in the first half of his life.”

Pei Jing: “That old man was truly a good person. When I was investigating the matter, nameless and homeless, he was the only one willing to take me in on a dark night.” Pei Jing furrowed his brow. “Perhaps it’s the concept of good deeds reaping good rewards. It’s just that his luck was unfortunate, raising such a heartless and treacherous son.”

Wu Sheng shook his head in silence.

Yu Qinglian, listening attentively, also became puzzled. “How did they die?”

Pei Jing: “They were killed by evil spirits. Do you two know about the Thousand-Faced Woman?”

Yu Qinglian furrowed his willow-like eyebrows. “It sounds somewhat familiar.”

Pei Jing: “I learned about it from Ji Wuduan. The Thousand-Faced Woman is a mysterious spirit that appeared inexplicably in Tianyan City. Her power is unfathomable. Even several Nascent Soul stage seniors couldn’t defeat her. It was only with the intervention of the Tianyan City Lord that she was finally eradicated. However, she hasn’t been completely eliminated. Some of her faces scattered in various directions, and one of them ended up in the Yunlan Mountain Range, triggering a series of events.”

Pausing for a moment, Pei Jing added, “This journey might be somewhat dangerous. The person who wrote the Seventh Killing Song gives me a similar feeling to the Thousand-Faced Woman. They seem to originate from the same place. I received guidance in the Changtian Realm, and it’s called Shu Yan.”

Yu Qinglian: “Shu Yan? The King of Underworld?”

Pei Jing: “Well, just judging by the name, it doesn’t sound like something good.”

Shu Yan.

The wind brushed through Chu Junyu’s fingers as he lowered his gaze, his eyes bloodshot beneath his thick eyelashes.

Scholar Yanluo.

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