After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 38 Part 2

Chapter 38.2 Mountain road

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The toxic mist in the hidden passage was left behind by Shu Yan. The Academy was accustomed to creating the most unforgettable illusions in the depths of people’s hearts—ones that were painful, fearful, and disturbing to their memories, eroding their divine senses. If one had a strong mind, they should not be affected. However, just now, Pei Jing had been confronted by the Nascent Soul’s oppressive aura during the battle with the Sect Master of Shisi Province.

The brown-robed youth grasped the Cloud Slayer Sword, making his way through the darkness with difficulty. His expression was filled with sorrow, melancholy, and a hint of restrain.

Every subtle expression on Pei Jing’s face was captured in Chu Junyu’s eyes.

The crimson hue in Chu Junyu’s eyes slowly faded, leaving behind a gaze as clear as glass, reflecting the myriad of things in the mortal world.

…Perhaps he knew what Pei Jing was seeing.

The young man smiled briefly, “Why not make it more convincing?”

With a flick of his finger, instantly, the entire layout of the corridor changed.

The brick walls transformed into rocky cliffs covered in moss. A row of bats hung upside down, and the path beneath their feet became muddy.

The red mist dispersed, but a deeper divine sense enveloped the surroundings, suppressing Pei Jing’s cultivation.

Moonlight still seeped into the illusion, casting a hazy desolation ahead.

“What am I thinking? This place doesn’t resemble that road from my childhood anymore, with no venomous snakes or human traffickers. Besides, even if they were here, they couldn’t defeat me now.”

Pei Jing muttered to himself, shaking his head, but the fear and dread in his mind lingered. “What am I really afraid of?”

He didn’t know what he was afraid of himself. However, a fear without a root… that should be all the more reason to overcome it.

When he entered Wuwang Peak, he never expected to leave himself stranded here.

“…There’s nothing to fear.”

Just as he finished speaking to himself, he suddenly noticed that the scenery around him was constantly changing. Pei Jing raised his head in surprise, only to collide with something unknown. Soon after, a swarm of bats scattered, flapping their wings.

Pei Jing’s widened eyes reflected the scene ahead—a winding mountain path that disappeared into darkness under the dim moonlight, so familiar that it made his scalp tingle.

He turned around and saw an entrance blocked by a massive boulder, with slivers of pale light seeping through the cracks.

Time and space became entangled, memories overlapping.

Pei Jing’s entire body, even his blood, felt icy cold.

He had encountered many illusions in his life and knew that they were all crafted to evoke primal fears—however, this time, even his own memories were not as clear!

Cursing under his breath, Pei Jing pressed forward. The further he walked, the more familiar it became. He remembered that halfway through, he heard the sound of flowing water, which frightened him greatly. This time, he heard it again. The gentle sound of trickling water, stirring a shiver of fear within him during this midnight escape.

Pei Jing was genuinely angry. He stopped and grinned. “Alright then, let’s bring on the human traffickers.”

And then, he truly heard voices outside the rocks—the conversation of several men.

“Hurry up! The police are about to arrive! What’s wrong with you, locking people up in a cave?”

“What else can we do? There’s nowhere else to put him.”

“Hold this stick for me and pry it open. It’s not working well, push from that side.”

Pei Jing: “…”

Just as he was planning to continue with his tough talk, he suddenly felt a sharp pain in his head, as if a knife was forcefully piercing through. He clutched his head, waves of agony surging through his mind, and he squatted down in pain. Rationality shattered, tearing apart the facade of false calmness, returning to the initial fear and panic. In truth, he had never truly let go of this nightmare.

“Escaped? You let that little brat escape! Hurry up and chase after him!”

They gave chase.

Two different timelines, different ages, yet instinctively making the same movements.

Despite his fame and glory over the years, when facing a life-or-death situation, he was still as disheveled and reckless. The other direction of the cave was the only way out.

Running, amidst the chaotic images in his mind, his consciousness shattered, filling him with pain and despair.

Halfway through his escape, he almost stumbled just like when he was a child. So familiar. So real. Real to the point that it seemed like several hundred years of time were nothing but a dream, flickering past hastily during his escape. Now, this was the present.

Leaning against the cave wall, he looked ahead, and the exit lay before his eyes.

At the mouth of the cave, a venomous snake coiled.

Pei Jing was genuinely furious, anxious, and indignant.

His mind was twisted and manipulated by a force, contorted until only his youthful self remained. He stared blankly at the venomous snake ahead, tears slowly streaming down his face.

Everything was as it was before. He ran over, stepping on the snake, its fangs sinking into his flesh.

Tumbling down, he emerged from the cave and saw the bright starlight in the sky.

The nightmare from years ago replayed once again.

…Entering Wuwang Peak today would be the greatest regret of his life.

Rolling down the hill, what he should have seen upon reaching the bottom would be the police. But here, the illusion faded, and what he saw was still a haze of blood-red mist. Pei Jing’s blood remained cold, but the pain in his head slowly subsided. He lowered his head, staring blankly at his own calf, with no coiling snake in sight.

An illusion within an illusion?

Pei Jing’s legs were still weak, unable to stand up at all.

After a long pause, he leaned against the wall and stood up, gritting his teeth. He continued to move forward in a particularly sour mood.

In a dark room, Chu Junyu waved his sleeve, illuminating all the lights, and the painted murals embedded in the walls lost their colors. As he stepped out, the texture on his snow-white garments turned ice-blue, exuding a cold and indifferent aura.

Pei Jing wasn’t worried about being unable to escape, as he still had the life-saving treasure left behind by his master. However, after the recent ordeal, his mind was muddled, and his thoughts were in disarray. He shook his head, trying to calm himself down, but his hand, gripping the wall, still trembled slightly.

Just as he thought he was about to fall, a cold hand grabbed his collar and pulled him back.

A voice sounded from behind him, cold and mocking. “Knowing the fate that awaited you, would you still come in?”

Pei Jing turned around in a daze.

The mermaid candles on both ends of the wall had been lit, though he didn’t know when. As he turned around, he saw the delicate and elegant face of the young man.

The way he spoke was still annoying, but in this moment, Pei Jing felt that he was a ray of light, dispelling the distorted spacetime within the illusion, telling him that this was real. Like meeting an old friend in a foreign land, a deep sense of familiarity welled up from his heart, warming him to the point of tears.

Overwhelmed with excitement, Pei Jing couldn’t help but reach out and embrace the young man standing in front of him, bursting with genuine emotions. “Chu Junyu!”

Caught off guard by the sudden hug, Chu Junyu: “…”

Had his past glory really gone down the drain?

When Pei Jing transformed into Zhang Yiming beside him, the persona he had created for himself was shameless and audacious. Now, with no burden to bear, he sobbed with heartfelt emotions. “I’m so happy to see you here! I almost thought I would be trapped here forever. This house is haunted!”

Chu Junyu pushed him away disdainfully. “Are you still afraid of ghosts?”

Pei Jing exaggeratedly expressed his excitement. He felt deceived by the manipulation of the illusion earlier and now relied on Chu Junyu to find a sense of reality.

Pei Jing obediently released his grip and truthfully replied, “It’s something scarier than ghosts. The owner of this place can manipulate people’s consciousness and create illusions. It’s terrifying. Nothing can escape his awareness. He even knows about the bedwetting incidents from my childhood.”

Chu Junyu: “…. You didn’t.”

Pei Jing: “Thank you, but we don’t need to worry about saving face between us.”

Chu Junyu: “….”

He truly deserved a lesson.

Pei Jing tried to stand up but stumbled, injuring his foot in the process. Unable to continue his happiness, he squatted down with a troubled expression.

Although Chu Junyu didn’t understand why Pei Jing was pretending to be foolish, when he saw the genuine distress on the young man’s face, he lowered his gaze and extended his hand. “Lean on me.”

Pei Jing clicked his tongue and unceremoniously leaned his whole body against Chu Junyu and sighed. “We truly are fated brothers.”

Chu Junyu turned his head, his gaze icy and intimidating, as he said, “Did you not hear what I just said?”


Chu Junyu: “Do you regret coming in here or not?”

Pei Jing curled his lips in a place Chu Junyu couldn’t see and smiled, “I do have some regrets, but they’re not strong enough to be considered regrets.”

Chu Junyu also chuckled at the words, a hint of redness in his eyes. “Sure.”

The two young men supported each other as they exited the secret passage.

“How did you get in? Before or after me?”

Chu Junyu didn’t hide anything. “Before you.”

“Have you been investigating the matter of Yunzhong?”


“When I came here, I was frightened and didn’t see anything. What about you? Have you found out anything through your investigation?”

Chu Junyu paused briefly and spoke slowly, “Let’s talk about it when we get back.”

With someone accompanying him, this path surprisingly came to an end rather quickly.

Pei Jing said, “I’ll close my eyes first, and you tell me what’s at the end. Then I’ll open my eyes.”

Chu Junyu lowered his gaze, understanding what Pei Jing wanted, and he had no intention of hiding anything from the beginning to the end.

“It’s not snakes.”

Pei Jing realized that he had been mistaken all along. From the moment he saw the depths of hell in Chu Junyu’s eyes, he knew he was not an ordinary person. Subconsciously, he thought that Chu Junyu had become this way due to a tragic childhood, so he wanted to get close to him, enlighten him, and even… protect him. However, it seemed that the one who needed protection was not him.

In the darkness, he turned his head and looked at the youth’s elegant and cold profile.

He thought about their year of being together day and night, about the many times he had been indulgent and supportive, and he thought about the oath sealed under the stars.

Pei Jing suddenly leaned closer and whispered, “Are you unwilling to treat me as a Brother?”

Chu Junyu glanced at him coldly, his meaning clear.

Pei Jing continued, “Not as a Brother, but we can develop some other kind of relationship.”
His voice grew softer, and he struggled for words, “Like a father and son relationship?” Let me repay your emotions with a father’s love and so on…

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