After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 41

Chapter 41 Prayer for blessings

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Yu Qinglian observed Pei Jing’s expression closely and immediately smiled. “Don’t be shy, tell me who that unlucky person is.”

“Go away, it’s none of your business.”

Pei Jing ignored her.

Yu Qinglian: “Hmm, that’s surprising. I thought you, with your dislike for everyone, would live a solitary life.”

Pei Jing couldn’t continue the conversation and said, “Goodbye.”

Yu Qinglian laughed and stopped him. “Don’t go, let’s talk a little more.”

The young man in brown clothes took a couple of steps, reconsidered something, and reluctantly came back. He probably still had a lingering curiosity to hear her opinion. However, Yu Qinglian’s next sentence made him decide never to talk to this woman again.

“Actually, even if you didn’t say it, I already knew who that person was.”

Pei Jing: “…How did you know?”

Yu Qinglian looked down, playing with a flower petal, her smile carrying hidden meaning. “We’ve known each other for hundreds of years, haven’t we? Did you notice that you never divert the topic? Your thoughts are focused on certain things, without much flexibility. When we talk about something, you keep going back to it. Like just now, we were discussing Chu Junyu, and before we reached any conclusion, you suddenly threw this question at me. Do you think I can’t guess?”

Pei Jing: “…”

Yu Qinglian smiled and said, “Don’t deny it, Chu Junyu is definitely the main character.”

Pei Jing: “……” He really made a mistake talking to her.

Yu Qinglian found it interesting to see him go from being petty to defeated, and she enjoyed observing him.

Finally, she concluded, “Alright then, let it be. After all, when it comes to looks and temperament, Chu Junyu surpasses you by a long shot. And in terms of cultivation, he’s probably even higher than you. I don’t think you compare.”

Pei Jing: “…It seems like you’re trying to make me laugh.”

Yu Qinglian burst into laughter.

Pei Jing didn’t laugh. She laughed first.

That day, they couldn’t continue the conversation anymore.

Pei Jing escaped by riding his sword and fleeing.

Instead of returning to the village chief’s house, he went to the home where Wu Sheng was staying in the middle of the night. He jumped directly through the second-floor window. Wu Sheng had just finished his meditation and was puzzled to see Pei Jing in such a rush. He couldn’t help but laugh and ask, “What happened to you?”

Pei Jing was still immersed in the awkward atmosphere from earlier and said, “Yu Qinglian, that woman, is too terrifying.”

Wu Sheng was taken aback, as it had always been the three of them being teased by Pei Jing. It was rare to see it the other way around, and he chuckled, “What did she do to you?”

Pei Jing: “She’s poisonous, making me lose face.”

Wu Sheng: “…”

Pei Jing shook his head, trying to forget what just happened, and discussed with Wu Sheng about the upcoming prayer for blessings tomorrow.

Wu Sheng had already accomplished his purpose for this trip, and now it was just about accompanying them. He furrowed his brows and said, “Actually, I’m more worried about the villagers.”

Pei Jing reassured him, “No need to worry, I have a solution.”

Wu Sheng knew him too well and asked, “Killing their God, destroying their Temple, and then running away?”

Pei Jing had nothing to say.

On the Day of the Prayer for blessings, every household in the village woke up early. Before dawn, Pei Jing heard footsteps downstairs at the village chief’s house. Since he didn’t need much sleep, he got up too and saw the village chief burning incense. On the table, there was a plate of dough, a plate of peanuts, and three incense sticks. A’ru was kneeling on a cushion, bowing one after another until her forehead turned blue, while her grandfather stood beside her, expressionless. With a weary voice, he said, “Continue.”

A’ru’s brother sat in a chair beside them, dabbling in water and drawing on the table.

Pei Jing asked, “What are they doing?”

The candlelight flickered in the still-dark sky, casting shadows on the village chief’s face, marked with the lines of a life well-lived. He seemed numb to the world. “Prayer for blessings happens on the day when the God of Literature appears. We ask her to pay respects first. If we anger the God, we’ll face even worse consequences.”

Pei Jing carefully observed the village chief’s expression and looked at A’ru, who appeared obedient and didn’t cry out in pain. He wondered how long she had been kneeling.

“The God accumulate merit as well. Punishing them once should be enough. There’s no need for this.”

The village chief said, “Since you wanted to see how the prayer for blessings is done, I’ve prepared a mask for you. Come with me, let her continue kneeling here.”

Pei Jing: “???”

Before leaving, Pei Jing glanced back. A’ru was still kneeling and bowing, while her brother drew with water beside her, resembling a child. Their expressions were vacant, lips tightly pressed, and amidst the smoke, a sense of indifference and cruelty emerged.

The first light of dawn approached, and the fog grew thick in the depths of the mountains.

The village chief, relying on his cane, walked ahead, occasionally glancing back. Pei Jing followed, carefully examining the mask—a green face with protruding teeth, resembling a malevolent spirit. It felt cold and rough in his hand.

“You’re going to infiltrate like this.”

Pei Jing: “I remember on the first day you were thinking about expelling us.”

The village chief: “It’s just for show. Aren’t you planning to use the power of the God of Literature to cure A’ru’s eyes?”

Pei Jing paused for a moment, then smiled and said, “That’s right. Although I’ve delayed it for so long, you have to believe in me.”

The village chief glanced back at him and then turned around, saying in a deep voice, “I hope you won’t disappoint me.” His words struck at the hearts of those who heard them.

Walking through the fields, the village chief’s cane created holes as it struck the muddy ground.

Pei Jing chuckled and said, “Village chief, just tell me anything you need, even though I may not be able to fulfill it. But speaking it out gives us something to rely on.”

The village chief’s smile was strained. “Is that so?”

He had no intention of hiding anything.

In a hoarse voice, he said, “Ever since A’ru had the accident, I haven’t slept well. I’ve been lost in my thoughts. Others may not know, but as A’ru’s grandfather, I can’t be unaware. The relationship between her and her brother has always been close, even telepathic at times. The only person who could make her disobey and run out to meet someone in the middle of the night… can only be her brother. Something must have happened.”

Pei Jing listened attentively.

“I’ve lived in this village for several decades, and my ancestors had two or three uncles chosen by the God of Literature. Once they were chosen, they disappeared without a trace. They only returned shortly before their deaths, at the age of thirty or forty. The villagers considered it normal because the God of Literature in Zhuangyuan Temple appeared weak and frail. Scholars might enjoy fame and fortune, but what did it matter if their lives were cut short? It was the elderly who become more enlightened… Who knew if those scholars truly experienced the glory and wealth they pursued.”

Pei Jing couldn’t help but recall the shopkeeper in Yunzhong City who introduced them to Zhuangyuan Village. He also mentioned how strange the God of Literature looked. When it came to matters of evil spirits, often children and the elderly had clearer perception. Perhaps it was a kind of returning to simplicity, stepping closer to the earth, dust to dust, and ashes to ashes. How one came and how one went.

The village chief spoke slowly, “I kept you here not only because of A’ru. You might be able to cure A’ru’s illness and you haven’t caused trouble in Zhuangyuan Village. You must be a cultivator, right?”

Pei Jing replied, “You have a keen eye, old man.”

The village chief didn’t accept his insincere praise.

In the distance, firecrackers started to go off, crackling and popping. Red smoke wafted over as the villagers began to gather, preparing to go to Zhuangyuan Temple.

The village chief gazed ahead with cloudy, small eyes.

“Although I’m the village chief, I also want this nightmare to end as soon as possible.”

The area in front of Zhuangyuan Temple was packed with people. The shaman performed various dances and recited incomprehensible words, then shouted in a hoarse voice, “Begin.” Pei Jing spotted Chu Junyu among the crowd. He had arrived quite early, dressed in white with an icy demeanor that kept others at a distance. Pei Jing felt that Chu Junyu’s expression was somewhat strange today, but before he could examine it closely, a hand was placed on his shoulder.

The sound of jingling bells resonated, and red veils fluttered in the air.

The young girl smiled playfully and said, “Why are you staring at people like that?”

Pei Jing had endured the frustration all night, and now he couldn’t take it anymore. “Just shut up, will you?”

Yu Qinglian: “You dare to do it but can’t handle others talking about it?”

Pei Jing:“……”

If you enjoy this novel, support the Translator ginevre on her ko-fi account :))

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Leave a comment