After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Back to basics

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As he stepped off the broken bridge, the wind and snow disappeared. The cold and damp atmosphere also vanished. The sky brightened, with golden clouds and green mountains in every direction.

Finally, only Chu Junyu stood in front of the green stone.

The snowy wilderness just moments ago felt like a dream. But he had expected it and didn’t even look back to search for the person who had disappeared.

His gaze remained fixed ahead.

The green stone had stood silently here for centuries, bearing three confident sword marks that depicted the spirited nature of a person.

Chu Junyu stooped down, his pale fingers lightly touching the blue stone, sliding gently.

His black hair fell, covering his expression.

His fingers traced the words as if wiping away the dust from a tombstone.

Pei Jing wore a disgruntled expression as he withdrew his awareness.

Chen Xu couldn’t help but burst into laughter beside him. It was rare to see Pei Jing back down. “I think he’s a good candidate for the Inner Peak. I’ve decided.”

Pei Jing retorted, “Who do you think you are?”

“Are you getting angry because of embarrassment? You’ve boasted so much about yourself, and it serves you right to stumble.”

Pei Jing slightly tugged at the corner of his lips and said, “Hmm.”

Chen Xu shook his head and said, “Do you still think he would want to be your disciple? He doesn’t even respect you.”

Pei Jing gave him a stern glance and said, “Go away.”

Laughter was stifled among the people in the grand hall, but no one dared to be as bold as Chen Xu. A responsible female disciple approached and handed Pei Jing a roster, speaking gently, “Senior Brother Pei, we have chosen the ten disciples for the Inner Peaks. Please review it.”

Pei Jing disregarded Chen Xu’s taunts and took the roster from the female disciple. Holding a pen, his expression paused for a moment when he saw the name circled at the top, and he fell into deep thought.

Chen Xu noticed his expression and furrowed his brow, saying, “He should be considered to have passed your assessment. Stop playing tricks.”

Pei Jing’s tone remained calm, “You make it sound as if I’m intentionally causing him trouble.”

Chen Xu responded, “Aren’t you?”

“If you say so,” Pei Jing accepted the accusation, not bothering to explain.

Raising the pen, he hesitated briefly before swiftly and neatly crossing out Chu Junyu’s name.


Pei Jing spoke to Chen Xu, who looked shocked and angry, “I still think he’s not the right fit. But giving up on him feels regrettable. Let him stay on the Outer Peaks for now, and we’ll reassess later.”

Being around Chen Xu every day pushed Pei Jing to the brink of irritability, frustrating him to the point of grinding his teeth. “Aren’t you afraid the Sect Master will return and punish you severely?”

Pei Jing pondered for a moment and smiled lazily. “No, I’m not.” After a brief silence, he turned to Chen Xu and said, “Honestly, I feel like I understand him better than anyone else here.”

He sincerely meant those words, but Chen Xu dismissed them as nonsense, leaving in anger.

Pei Jing handed the roster back to the female disciple, losing interest in the upcoming selection process. He could empathize with Chen Xu’s sentiment—perhaps he thought a talented individual had been wasted. A single Spiritual Root Foundation Establishment cultivator at such a young age, he seemed destined for fame and renown.

However, this young man named Chu Junyu was undoubtedly more complex than he appeared.

Putting everything else aside, it was clear that… In the story of “Executioner’s Sword”, there was no such exceptional genius character.

This fact alone made Pei Jing suspicious.

He had been inside the world of the book for several decades now.

Ever since the Yunxiao’s Sect Master took him as a disciple, everything had followed the book’s predetermined path, except for Chu Junyu. Pei Jing couldn’t ignore this.

It was a world from a book, but Pei Jing didn’t choose to be here. After all, in this book, he wasn’t the main character but a hypocritical antagonist who brought trouble upon himself.

Thinking about the tragic fate of the original character in the book gave Pei Jing a headache.

In the original plot of the book titled “Executioner’s Sword”, Pei Yuzhi appeared virtuous and refined on the surface but was actually a highly selfish and malicious person in private. He committed numerous immoral deeds in pursuit of breakthroughs in cultivation. The most audacious act was his intention to take the protagonist as his disciple, with the sinister motive of seizing the protagonist’s dantian as an elixir ingredient.

However, it was impossible for the protagonist to die. In the end, it was only Pei Yuzhi who met his demise.

After the protagonist escaped from Canghua, he awakened his dormant abilities and obtained various hidden legacies. Soon, he became the top cultivator in the realm. When he returned, his first act was to cripple Pei Yuzhi’s cultivation, subjecting him to public humiliation and stripping away his dignity. After being abandoned in the Abyss of Ten Thousand Ghosts, Pei Yuzhi suffered through a night of agonizing cries until his soul scattered, his body shattered, and he met an undignified death.

As he now embodied the role of Pei Yuzhi, he had no intention of repeating the same tragic fate again.

Throughout his time within the book, he had attempted to alter certain aspects. However, the order of the universe, like an unyielding sentinel, silently restored everything to its original state, especially concerning the protagonist.

If it was a stroke of luck meant for the protagonist, he wouldn’t attain it. If it was the protagonist’s romantic interest, he wouldn’t have the chance to encounter her.

Pei Jing came to a profound realization of the irreversible nature of the plot.

Was he simply meant to await his own demise like this?

How could that be possible?

He had transmigrated into this world, beyond anyone’s expectations.

While he couldn’t alter the protagonist’s extraordinarily fortunate life, he could certainly change himself.

The formulaic arrangements in web novels were crystal clear: those who supported the male protagonist thrived, while those who opposed him perished. In the future, when he encountered the male protagonist, he would avoid causing trouble, firmly hugging the protagonist’s thighs. This way, he could prevent the protagonist from turning into a villain. Wouldn’t that resolve everything?

It should be noted that the male protagonist, Ji Wuyou, was once a kind-hearted child. He would shed tears at the sight of a deceased rabbit.

The transformation into a twisted and callous individual was solely due to the relentless pressure from a group of expendable pawns, with Pei Yuzhi at the forefront.

These pawns exhausted their intellects to insult, trample upon, and deceive the male protagonist, as if their sole purpose in life was to provoke him. It became challenging for the male protagonist to maintain his initial intentions in such an environment. It was no wonder he eventually became the cunning and vindictive person, tormenting those who had previously held him in contempt.

As one of the cannon fodders who ended up being tormented later, Pei Jing thought, “Maybe I can still make things right.”

After three years of seclusion, he returned to Yunxiao, appreciating every blade of grass and every tree with tenderness.

The winding mountain path in front of the grand hall was adorned with lush greenery. A few graceful pink oleander flowers swayed amidst the misty clouds and the gentle flow of sunlight.

This peak, only accessible to a select few in the world, teemed with vibrant life.

Pei Jing walked towards the center of the palace. In the middle of the hall lay a tranquil pond, graced by a jade sculpture of a hand cradling a pearl. He carefully placed his Cloud Slayer Sword aside and traced a simple symbol along the pearl’s contours with his fingertip.

Soon, a gentle blue smoke swirled above the pearl, casting a soft white light that illuminated the solemn depths of the Tianqian Palace.

The face of Yunxiao’s Sect Master emerged on the water’s surface. Tianya Daoren (Roaming Sage/Wandering Daoist) was dressed in a dark blue silk robe, his eyebrows adorned with strands of white hair. In moments of calmness, when he didn’t display anger or a piercing gaze, he exuded the aura of a benevolent and refined hermit sage.

Pei Jing straightened himself, trying to appear more serious, and politely greeted, “Master.”

Tianya Daoren found his behavior amusing and nodded. “Have you achieved anything during this seclusion?”

When asked this question, Pei Jing hesitated slightly. This seclusion had brought both good and bad outcomes. He successfully reached the peak of Golden Core Stage, but he couldn’t break through the barrier of the Nascent Soul Stage. Every time he tried to advance, a chilling sensation disrupted the flow of his spiritual energy.

Noticing his hesitation, Tianya Daoren furrowed his brow and inquired, “Encountered any inner demon?”

Pei Jing shook his head and explained, “No inner demon, but I’m stuck at the peak of Golden Core Stage. I can’t find the breakthrough point.” He shared the specific challenges he faced with his master, expressing his confusion, “I’m unsure where this chilling sensation originates, but I believe that unless I expel it from my body, reaching the Nascent Soul Stage will remain difficult.”

Tianya Daoren’s brow furrowed even deeper, his expression turning serious as he spoke in a grave tone, “Reaching the Nascent Soul Stage should not be rushed.”

Pei Jing obediently nodded and said, “Understood.”

After securing his assurance, Tianya Daoren spoke slowly, “I haven’t heard of the situation you encountered. I will inquire with the members of the Institute of Celestial Ascension later. For now, you need to focus on maintaining a stable mindset and avoid impatience. Do you understand?”

Pei Jing replied, “Yes.”

Tianya Daoren nodded with satisfaction and inquired, “Have you met the disciples who recently joined the sect?”

“Yes, I have.”

“How are they?”

Pei Jing honestly answered, “They are doing well, and their talents are exceptional. One of the young boys, around ten to fifteen years old, can already condense qi and is likely to reach the Foundation Establishment stage soon. I’ve heard that he possesses a single Spiritual Root.”

“Oh? That’s a promising talent.”

“However, I assigned him to the Outer Peaks.”

Tianya Daoren paused and asked, “…Why?”

“He has a strong aura of violence, and I didn’t dare to hastily accept him as a disciple. After all, Yunxiao cultivates the path of emotions and swords. Keeping him here might not be beneficial for either side.” Pei Jing pressed his lips together and continued, “But later on, I set up an additional test for him, and he performed quite normally. I couldn’t make a clear judgment, so I decided to assign him to the Outer Peaks and observe him further.”

Tianya Daoren neither agreed nor disagreed with his decision. Considering his current position, he had long stopped caring about innate talent. “Hmm, I appoint you as the Sect Master. You can handle these matters on your own.”

Hearing this, Pei Jing realized belatedly that he was the temporary Sect Master. For a moment, he couldn’t maintain his obedient and well-behaved disciple image and struggled. “Please, Master, I believe there are many others in Yunxiao who are more suitable for the temporary Sect Master position, like Junior Brother Chen Xu. He has a refined appearance and is quite capable.”

Tianya Daoren glared at him. “What are you afraid of? You will eventually become the Sect Master of Yunxiao!”

Pei Jing truly didn’t want to assume that position now. “That’s something for the distant future.”

Disregarding his objections, Tianya Daoren stated, “What burden can a Sect Master impose on you? It’s just a title.”

Pei Jing responded hesitantly, “…Alright then.”

Before severing their mental connection, Tianya Daoren seemed to recall something and asked Pei Jing, “If I remember correctly, you haven’t faced any inner demon since you began Qi Refining Stage, have you?”

“Seems like I haven’t.”

Pei Jing was also puzzled, unsure why the master brought up this matter.

Tianya Daoren’s expression became serious. “Initially, I thought it was a good thing, but now I see it might not be entirely so. Not encountering inner demons indicates that your seven emotions and six desires haven’t fully awakened. There is a stage in Yunxiao Swordsmanship called ‘Cangsheng’, which might pose a challenge for you.”

Pei Jing was taken aback. “What should I do then?”

Tianya Daoren left him with only three words: “Back to basics.”

After saying that, he disappeared into the pool.

Pei Jing wanted to stop him, leaning over the pool’s edge and nearly losing his balance. He felt helpless, unable to shed tears.

“Master, please explain clearly! What does ‘back to basics’ mean?”

But Tianya Daoren paid no attention to him.

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