After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 47 Part 2

Chapter 47.2 Bell

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After settling Ji Wuyou, Yu Qinglian immediately hurriedly followed the two demons. Her memory was excellent, and within a radius of a hundred miles, she was still familiar with Ji Wuyou’s aura. She went around in circles, not knowing how long she had been circling, east and west, in pursuit.

Finally, she found the room where Ji Wuyou was confined. It was the tallest building in the entire mansion, almost overlooking the great river. Crimson lanterns, delicate sheer curtains, and a dim light seeping through the western window illuminated the young monk sitting cross-legged on the bed, his eyes closed in meditation. Yu Qinglian breathed softly, carefully balancing on her tiptoes against the railing. In the shadows, she could see the scene inside, but the people inside couldn’t see her.

Wu Sheng sat there. Soon, the sound of footsteps climbing the stairs drew closer, creaking, and the door was pushed open. One of the two demons, a woman in purple attire, entered with a cup in her hand, moving in a seductive manner.

She poured the crimson blood into the cup, walked over to Wu Sheng, and slowly ran her fingernails across his robe, coquettishly saying, “Young Master, why don’t you open your eyes and look at me?”

Wu Sheng seemed to ignore her.

The woman in purple laughed playfully, “You won’t look at me, but I want to see you.”

“I fell in love with you at first sight, Young Master. Practicing as a demon in this place for four hundred years, I have never met anyone who suits my taste like you do. Serpents are naturally lascivious, and I am a sinner, so you must be my redemption.”

Wu Sheng remained silent.

Yu Qinglian didn’t dare to make a rash move either. Being at the Nascent Soul stage, she could clearly see that a layer of dark energy enveloped Ji Wuyou. This dark energy not only restricted his cultivation but also limited his movements. She had said it before, even if Wu Sheng was a kind-hearted person, the white blindfold could never be taken off.

However, what exactly was that dark energy?

Yu Qinglian was perplexed. She didn’t have it on her, and Ji Wuyou didn’t either, so why did Wu Sheng have this thing around him?

The woman in purple extended her tongue, a long and slender serpent’s tongue. Her eyes also transformed into a murky yellow vertical slit. Opening her mouth, her entire face instantly distorted, with features vanishing and scales emerging, turning her into a monstrous creature with a snake’s head and a human body.

She aimed to sink her teeth into Wu Sheng’s neck with a single bite. However, something peculiar happened. As soon as the demoness’s teeth touched Wu Sheng’s skin, her whole body shuddered, revealing an expression of extreme madness and agony. Sizzling sounds echoed as the dark energy surrounding Wu Sheng surged towards her face, corroding half of her cheek.

“Ah!” She screamed in pain, clutching her face, writhing on the ground. Transforming back into a human form, only half of her head remained, flesh and blood. The demoness looked terrified, her voice hoarse and desperate, “You… Ahhh!”

Wu Sheng still kept his eyes closed.

Once the white blindfold was removed from him, he would never open his eyes again.

The enraged demoness stood up from the ground, her hand covered in blood-made wine spilling all over. She spat angrily, “Fine! You’re safe, very safe. Since I can’t touch you, then there’s no need for your flesh and blood to exist. Today, I’ll steam you first.” She stormed down the stairs, shouting, “Bring me someone!”

Yu Qinglian was taken aback. That dark energy… It restricted Wu Sheng’s cultivation and actions, but it also prevented anyone in this world from getting close to him or harming him. So, it was another form of protection.

After making sure no one was around, Yu Qinglian walked in. Wu Sheng, who had remained motionless as if sleeping, finally sighed softly and then opened his eyes, saying, “You’ve come.”

The young monk’s eyes were a pale golden color, resembling the sacred light passed down for thousands of years in temples—pure and clear, capable of purifying all worldly delusions.

Yu Qinglian smiled and said, “Why didn’t you open your eyes earlier? Perhaps, with just one look from you, that demon would have transformed herself, renouncing evil and embracing goodness. Isn’t your wish to guide and transform all beings in this world?”

Wu Sheng’s lips twitched in rare amusement as he sighed helplessly. “You’ve been watching outside for so long, just waiting to see me embarrass myself?”

Yu Qinglian frowned and replied earnestly, “No, that’s not it.” She continued, “Someone has placed a curse on you. There’s a dark energy swirling around you.”

Wu Sheng fell silent for a moment and said, “My cultivation is restricted, my body is weak. And… I feel my life force slowly dissipating.”

Yu Qinglian was taken aback. “Life force dissipating?”

Wu Sheng nodded and explained, “Yes, when I arrived in this village and woke up from the coffin, I was in this condition. Initially, I was supposed to be executed, but those ghosts and monsters couldn’t get near me. They hadn’t encountered such a situation before and planned to seal me in a jar. It was these two demonesses who decided to keep me alive.”

Yu Qinglian furrowed her brow even more, extending her hand to cautiously touch Wu Sheng’s hand. Strangely, the dark energy did not attack her.

“I can touch you, but those ghosts and demons cannot?”

Ji Wuyou pursed his lips, intending to say something, but his expression suddenly changed, becoming as pale as paper.

Concerned, Yu Qinglian quickly asked, “How do you feel now?”

Beads of sweat formed on Wu Sheng’s forehead, and suddenly he doubled over, clutching his chest, spitting out a mouthful of blood.

Startled, Yu Qinglian immediately reached for his hand and said, “Should I infuse some spiritual energy into you right now?”

Wu Sheng said, “Lead me out of this house first.”

Without a second thought, Yu Qinglian supported him and guided him outside. In the instant she got close to Wu Sheng, she felt a chilling sensation, as if she were touching ice. His body temperature grew colder and colder, gradually decreasing, as if he were on the verge of dying.

“Is this Zhang Qingshu’s doing?” Wu Sheng sighed, his light golden eyes unfathomably profound. “Perhaps this is the mercy he bestowed upon me.”

Yu Qinglian chuckled in exasperation. “He’s a lunatic. If he deems someone good, they’re good.  If he deems someone evil, they’re evil. Quite an ability he has.”

“Zhang Qingshu’s way of living is bound by his own principles.”

Rolling her eyes, Yu Qinglian retorted, “Indeed. He’s meticulous even in killing. I reckon you’ve been a goody two-shoes for most of your life, being a disciple of Buddhism and untainted by the sins of killing. This might just be his mercy toward you, allowing you to die without being violated by the demons and ghosts of this underworld, to die painlessly and inconspicuously.”

Wu Sheng chuckled. “Makes sense. However, if this kind of death is considered mercy, it implies that the fate awaiting all of you will be even more gruesome.”

Angered to the point of speechlessness, Yu Qinglian muttered, “Let’s find Pei Yuzhi first. Together, we’ll make sure he pays for his deeds.”

Suddenly, Wu Sheng’s body stiffened again. At the moment they reached the doorstep, his fingers gripped Yu Qinglian’s arm, almost convulsively. Throughout his life, he had experienced minimal physical pain, free from suffering and worries. For Wu Sheng, the pain of flesh and skin hardly registered as true agony. This was the first time Yu Qinglian witnessed him in such distress.

Wu Sheng said, “We must leave this village.”

Yu Qinglian believed him. At the brink of death, one’s intuition about matters often surpassed imagination.

She didn’t bother with the stairs and instead leaped from the railing onto a lower roof, supporting Wu Sheng. By that time, the female demon had returned and discovered the empty room. She screamed hoarsely, “Where is he? Aaagghh! Find him! Find that monk for me!”

Yu Qinglian was also struggling as she supported Wu Sheng. After all, she couldn’t rely on her spiritual power and had to rely on her physical strength. As soon as the command was given, the commotion echoed from all the rooms, surrounding them from all directions.

They had to leave with Ji Wuyou without being noticed.

As Yu Qinglian prepared to leave, she thought of the chubby boy still hiding in the jar. She hesitated for a moment, realizing that the boy must be terrified being alone in that cramped space.

Pei Yuzhi was always causing trouble. Why did he have to bring along that Qi Gathering Stage disciple? The chubby boy said he would wait for her to find him, but perhaps he would have to wait a little longer.

Yu Qinglian stood on the edge of the wall and glanced toward the direction of the backyard. Gripping Wu Sheng’s arm, she leaped down. In that split second of leaping out of the house, jingle, jingle, jingle—the sound froze her in mid-air.

She heard the frantic ringing of bells. Each ring was more urgent, faster, conveying boundless despair and panic.

Jingle, jingle, jingle, coming from the direction of the backyard.

That chubby boy… was ringing the bell.

“Then I’ll cover you for now. Don’t make any sound if you hear anything. Wait for me to come.”

“You go hide inside first. I’ll come find you immediately, and if you encounter danger, ring the bell.”

Yu Qinglian’s emotions became overwhelmingly complex as she felt Wu Sheng’s breath fading, gradually diminishing to the point of almost being imperceptible. The hand that tightly grasped her arm also loosened inch by inch.

Yu Qinglian clenched her teeth, weighing her options in a matter of seconds. Finally, she took one last glance, her eyes filled with remorse and, above all, determination.

The sound of the bell itself had a purifying effect, warding off evil spirits.

Just hold on a little longer. I’ll be back soon.

I’m sorry, chubby boy.

Ji Wuyou huddled inside the jar, burying himself entirely. He regretted it, regretted getting into this jar. The darkness amplified his fear infinitely. He didn’t dare to move, and in his mind, he could only see the skinless thing hanging from the ceiling. It saw me. It saw me.

His chubby fingers tightly clutched the bell, his lifelong courage resting within it.

Time seemed to pass by at an excruciatingly slow pace.

He felt like he had been waiting for a long, long time, but Yu Qinglian still hadn’t returned. His mind was on edge, and suddenly he heard the faint sound of nails tapping against something from both sides. The sound was so close, transmitted clearly to his ears through the jar’s walls. Then came the sound of hands patting on wooden boards, one after another. The world fell into complete silence, and his mind went blank.

Left and right… On either side of him were the sealed jars.

Various images flashed through Ji Wuyou’s mind, scenes from his childhood when he attracted malevolent spirits. Hanging female ghosts, drowned children, and grotesque faces passed by. His entire body stiffened, and fear reached its zenith. Even a mere straw could crush him.

There were people in the other two jars.

No, there were ghosts. He held his breath with all his might. The jars were placed too close together. He even clutched the bell tightly, preventing it from making a sound.

All his hopes rested on Yu Qinglian, hoping she would return quickly.

He gritted his teeth, tears of fear streaming down his cheeks.

Ji Wuyou was afraid that the tears would make a sound as they fell to the bottom of the jar.

Frantically raising his hand to wipe away the tears, he accidentally touched something. It was long and coarse, human hair. Ji Wuyou’s mind went blank. Thud, thud, thud. The sound of nails scratching the jar’s walls echoed once again, but this time, he could hear it more clearly, distinguishing the proximity. It was on his left and right, not in the jars on the left and right sides, but right beside him, in this very jar.

There was another person in this jar!

Finally unable to bear it any longer, Ji Wuyou let out a loud scream and reached out to push the wooden board that was pressing against the jar.

However, despite exerting all his strength, he could only manage to open a small gap.

There was someone sitting on top.

His loud commotion naturally awakened the other person inside the jar. Illuminated by the light, that person slowly turned their head, their face no longer recognizable as a face. It was swollen from being soaked in water, with a thin layer of skin that seemed to have insects wriggling underneath. Water seeped slowly from the bottom of the jar, inch by inch, threatening to submerge him. The person’s hair was wildly growing in this environment.

Ji Wuyou pushed the door with all his might, and just when he was on the brink of despair, a glimpse of the scene outside the faint light filled him with ecstatic joy.

It was Yu Qinglian.

Yu Qinglian.

He saw Yu Qinglian standing on the other side of the wall.

She was frantically shaking that bell! Extending her hand, she shook it madly.

The resounding sound echoed through the night.

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