After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 48

Chapter 48 The Final Eternal Life

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Yu Qinglian.

Yu Qinglian.

Ji Wuyou’s nose and mouth got tangled in a thick mass of hair, penetrating his skin and drawing blood. He strained his arm, using all his might to make the bell’s sound audible.

Ding-a-ling, ding-a-ling.

From a slender thread that unraveled the container’s opening, he fixed his gaze with fiery red eyes on the fading silhouette.

The light was bright, and on the wall, she finally turned around. In her last glance, she looked at this reverse side, her expression concealed in the shadows.

Ji Wuyou’s heart was filled with hope, but before it could surge, a cold splash of water ruthlessly extinguished it.

She leaped off the wall.

Leaped out.

Never returned.


Finally, his arm grew weak, and his fingers loosened, dropping the bell to the ground.

Ji Wuyou’s face lifted, stiff and pale. He stared blankly outside, his eyes bloodshot, devoid of tears. The person inside the container twisted, filling the space and consuming him. Fear had occupied his mind, leaving it blank. He was going to die, to die on this night, inside this container, in the cold grip of despair. He had faced many life-or-death moments as a child, but none had frightened him like this. Maybe it wasn’t fear. It was confusion and dread.

Because… there had been hope once.


Hot tears streamed down. From within the container, he emitted a whimper like a young child. The feeling of suffocation intensified. He and the person inside were skin to skin. Just as he thought he was about to die, suddenly, someone pushed open the wooden lid of the container.

Creaking. The person inside the container trembled, as if encountering something terrifying. The hair retracted, rapidly transforming into a pool of blood. Ji Wuyou survived the ordeal and coughed vigorously, expelling a few long strands of hair that turned into bloodstains on the ground.

Something struck him, bit by bit. He lifted his head in a daze and saw a mass of dark clouds, unleashing rain.

A downpour of black rain, staining the world. He heard distant cries of pain and the frantic movements of countless spirits. The large raindrops pelted his body, causing discomfort, but now he couldn’t feel the pain. The boy slowly rose from the container, his body covered in blood and wounds.

The vast expanse of the sky and earth mirrored the emptiness in his gaze.

In that fleeting moment, so short yet seemingly spanning a lifetime, it granted him transformative memories.

He walked forward aimlessly, lost in thought. At that moment, he heard the voice of that person again.

“So, what is your desire now?”

Emerging from the temple, the jaded youth stepped slowly into the rainy night. Holding a black umbrella, dressed in a plain blue robe, he seemed to blend into the rain, his footsteps treading upon the grass. Blood and rain streamed down Ji Wuyou’s face, his eyes still red, gazing fiercely at him.

Zhang Qingshu chuckled, a scornful glimmer in his eyes. “Is it still the same laughable answer now?”

My wish… now, it’s probably to surpass Zhang Yiming.

To surpass you.

One day, to stand proudly by your side, either as a rival or as a friend. No longer in this pitiful state that I despise about myself. On that day, would any of you truly look at me with sincerity?

Look at me with sincerity.

Ji Wuyou remained silent, bowing his head, clenching his fists, and pressing forward. With each step he took, the muddy ground left behind deep and shallow red imprints. His clothes were drenched, his hair soaked as well.

Zhang Qingshu: “You can’t escape from here. This is the underworld, teeming with monsters and demons. Once they capture you, your fate is sealed.”

Ji Wuyou halted his steps, raising his head as rainwater streamed down the boy’s pale profile.

Zhang Qingshu spoke calmly, “Do you see it now? In life-or-death situations, the only one who can save you in the end is yourself.”

Ji Wuyou tilted his head, his eyes filled with numbness, his voice hoarse as he asked, “Then what should I do?”

Zhang Qingshu had been waiting for him to ask that question for a long time. With a weary expression, he folded the umbrella and transformed it into a pen in his hand, pointing towards the southern sky. “The existence of this village is inherently sinful. If it’s sinful, it doesn’t deserve to exist. It’s simple to get out of here, just destroy it.”

“In the southern part of the village, there is a jar, the source of all evil. Smash it, and everything will come to an end.”

Ji Wuyou slowly loosened his grip, his eyes that had always been clear and fearful now carried a hint of restrained struggle.

Zhang Qingshu said wearily, “I know what you’re thinking. By destroying this place, the few people who came in with you will be forever buried with the evil spirits. You can’t bring yourself to do it. However, now there are only two paths before you. Either you destroy this village, or this village destroys you. Can’t you understand what just happened? They chose to abandon you because you’re not that important.”

“You were never loved from the moment you were born, always discarded. So why do you still seek the love of others? Why give them the opportunity to abandon you? To surpass Zhang Yiming—do you know who your Senior Brother Zhang Yiming is?”

Ji Wuyou clenched his teeth. Each word spoken by Zhang Qingshu felt like a blade, slicing through his already deeply wounded soul.

It seemed like it was the first time Zhang Qingshu had spoken so much. The more he spoke, the more irritable he became. He had always carried an unpredictable demeanor, filled with world-weariness and indifference. He didn’t resemble a villain but rather a fallen and defiant scholar. However, when it came to Zhang Yiming, he suddenly grew calm, his gaze shifting towards Ji Wuyou, a smile playing on his lips. “Yunxiao’s Chief Disciple, the Number One Champion in the Trial of Challenging the Heavens, Pei Yuzhi. With your lowly status, how could you ever surpass him?”

Boom! It felt like a thunderous explosion in Ji Wuyou’s mind.

Ji Wuyou abruptly raised his head, his eyes red as if blood could seep from them, his voice sounding unlike his own, each word bursting out. “What… did… you… say?”

A deluge of black rain, an eternal night approaching.

Zhang Qingshu chuckled, “He is Pei Yuzhi, a name I have heard of before. As a disciple of Yunxiao, how could you not have heard of him?

“So now, do you still think he genuinely treats you well? You were merely a pitiful creature he encountered during his training. If he truly wanted to help you, with his supreme status in Yunxiao, he could have arranged the best Peak, the finest mentor, the most esteemed peers for you. But none of that happened. He simply watched as you were bullied and mocked, finding it amusing, and then casually lent a hand.

“You are nothing more than an insignificant ant he saved out of boredom. In the face of life and death, you are just like an ant. He brought you out but didn’t protect you. He didn’t care about your life or death, so why should you care about his?”

Ji Wuyou felt as if he had fallen into an icy abyss, chilled to the core.

Zhang Qingshu’s voice remained hoarse, as if he were unwell.

“Pei Yuzhi did nothing wrong, so how can you consider it a mistake?”

“Grudges and grievances are too trivial in the face of life and death. If one doesn’t act for oneself, heaven and earth will annihilate them. Surviving and becoming stronger should be your most primal and essential desires upon entering the world of cultivation.”

Zhang Qingshu’s figure appeared nearly translucent in the rain. Finally, he let out a faint smile, speaking in a voice only he could hear. “Moreover, she is here. That’s why they are so passive. Once you leave this underworld, how could you possibly kill Pei Yuzhi?”

Ji Wuyou’s mind felt muddled, but something inside him began to awaken. Amidst the raging storm and wailing spirits, this world seemed to crumble into a bloody darkness. Yet, someone pointed out a path for him.

Pei Jing waited for the rain to stop. This Rain of Punishment had lasted quite a while. Who knew which lunatic deity was imposing this punishment?

When the rain finally ceased, Pei Jing planned to set off. Just before departing, Zhao Youqing suddenly changed her mind and emerged from the cave. She said to Pei Jing, “Shall I accompany you?”

Her sudden change of heart puzzled him, so Pei Jing asked, “Why?”

Zhao Youqing gazed outside, her thoughts unclear. She simply said, “Nothing in particular. I’m just curious to see what the forbidden place, always rumored in the village, looks like.”

Pei Jing pondered for a moment, wearing a particularly bright smile. “Ah, I see. That works too. It’ll be more convenient with you as my guide.”

Zhao Youqing smiled faintly, her face a touch pale. “In this place, I won’t address you by your name. I’ll call you Junior Master.”

Pei Jing found it amusing, the title of Junior Master—it was strangely endearing. Having Zhao Youqing as a guide made things much more convenient. He didn’t have to worry about getting lost or encountering any terrifying spirits along the way.

They headed towards South Village, where day and night seemed indistinguishable. At a certain point, it would be pitch black.

After a rain shower, the ghosts remained indoors, unwilling to come out. The paper money on the ground became soggy and formed thick clusters of white. After passing the village entrance, they continued on a mountain path to the other side of the village.

The mountain path, just like when Pei Jing arrived, was lined with stacked coffins, each step revealing white bones beneath the mud.

Zhao Youqing had long grown accustomed to these sights and seemed absent-minded, lost in her own thoughts.

As they ventured through the forest, Pei Jing discovered various twisted and grotesque corpses: gouged-out eyes, gnawed limbs, disemboweled bodies, and even conjoined twins sewn together with needles and thread. It crossed his mind that the people in this village were truly pitiful in death.

An arm dangled from a tree branch, and Zhao Youqing failed to notice it, receiving a bump on her forehead.

She looked up and noticed that the arm had long rotted, emitting a foul stench, but the clothing remained intact. Its style was familiar to her, considering it was the unchanging embroidery of the imperial palace for centuries.

After pondering for a while, Zhao Youqing recalled who it belonged to, her expression becoming complex.

Pei Jing also took notice and observed that the fingers on the severed arm had been forcefully snapped before death. “This person suffered a dreadful fate.”

Zhao Youqing’s mood soured as she said, “This was a palace maid. I tried to save her once, but it was futile. In this place, death might be a somewhat easier fate.”

Pei Jing: “Yeah, staying in this godforsaken place for too long can drive a person insane.”

Zhao Youqing glanced at him but remained silent.

Pei Jing pondered for a moment and said earnestly, “You have such a positive mindset.”

Zhao Youqing: “I don’t think you’re complimenting me, though.”

Pei Jing: “No, I am complimenting you. But I have a question. You’re unhappy staying in the village, unwilling to return to the surface, and don’t want to be reincarnated because of lingering attachments… Is it because there are people you haven’t avenged yet?”

Zhao Youqing smiled, her eyes curved with amusement. “Your thinking is quite typical of a young person. Lingering attachments usually refer to a great vendetta that remains unresolved, the joy of seeking revenge. How splendid.” But soon her smile faded. “Sadly, a woman’s lingering attachments are usually not about vengeance.”

Pei Jing knew it was time for him to keep quiet.

Zhao Youqing only glanced at him. After living for four hundred years, she had long lost the inclination to confide her emotions to others.

The more Pei Jing interacted with Zhao Youqing, the more familiar she felt. Weary, apathetic, disinterested in everything, and disillusioned…

Just like Zhang Qingshu.

In a certain sense, they were quite similar.

Zhao Youqing mentioned that there was a ruin ahead of Zhang’s residence, and Pei Jing could easily guess that those ruins must be remnants of the original Zhonglian Village, which was nestled deep in the valley amidst the dense forest.

As they passed through the South Village, Pei Jing noticed a river stretching ahead of them. The water was a vibrant shade of green, boiling and churning, occasionally carrying pieces of bones downstream.

Zhao Youqing saw the river and paused for a moment. “It’s a good thing I’m here with you. It has been so long that I almost forgot about this river. Without me, you might have searched for ages without finding the place.”

Zhao Youqing took a step forward, biting her finger to draw blood. A droplet of blood trickled from her fingertip and fell into the green river. Her blood mixed with the scorching water, appearing as if trapped in icy restraints. Crackling sounds filled the air as a path of blood-red frozen ice formed, extending from one end of the river to the other.

“Cross over now, but be focused and don’t listen or look at anything. There are demons in the river who excel at peering into people’s hearts. They will bewilder you and drag you into the river,” Zhao Youqing warned.

Pei Jing nodded, “Understood.”

He didn’t have any inner demons, so navigating through these perplexing illusions was quite effortless for him. Pei Jing walked across the bridge, occasionally glancing down at the ghostly creature lurking beneath the green surface of the water, its head resembling that of a turtle.

The creature blew a bubble, filled with a sense of desolation.

So, Pei Jing engaged in a brief conversation with it while continuing to walk.

“Big Brother, isn’t it inappropriate for you to eavesdrop on people’s thoughts here every day?”

The creature blew another bubble.

“Big Brother, do you have any idea how despising your behavior is among us humans?”

The creature remained silent.

Pei Jing chuckled softly, “But it’s alright. Soon, this village, this river, and even you, will cease to exist. Take your time and blow a few more bubbles.”

The creature: “……”

The bubble burst, and it grew angry.

As Pei Jing continued walking, various voices filled his ears, mostly those of his masters and ancestors.

“Pei Yuzhi, are you tired of living? Go to the suspension bridge and face the wall for three months!”

“Recite the sutras ten times. If you dare to defy, make it twenty times!”

“If you dare to bully anyone at the Institute of Celestial Ascension again, I’ll break your legs!”

At first, Pei Jing was taken aback, but then he reacted and nearly burst out laughing. Was this truly a creature skilled at bewitching the hearts? It seemed more like a cute little being trying to sell itself, or rather, to appear foolish. Perhaps those scoldings from the elders were too childish, and even the bubble creature couldn’t bear to listen anymore. The scene suddenly shifted, becoming alluring and ambiguous.

“Young Master Pei, I like you,” said an unknown female cultivator.

“Would the Young Master be willing to accompany me on this journey?” a young lady they encountered during their travels asked.

“Young Master… mmm…” a seductive female demon tried to tempt him.

The voice even imitated Yu Qinglian’s.

“Yuzhi, I have long admired you.”

Pei Jing offered some advice to the bubble creature, “Don’t you know that I lead a pure and chaste life, untouched by romance?”

And let’s not even mention Yu Qinglian. If she developed feelings for him, it wouldn’t be just ambiguous—it would be terrifying.

Zhao Youqing, for the first time, witnessed someone engaging in conversation with the creature beneath the river. She looked helpless as she pushed Pei Jing forward. Being a ghost, she faced no obstacles in this realm.

Frustrated, she vented her anger towards the creature below the river. “You’re trying to confuse him with the person he wants to save, aren’t you? That’s the one who holds his heart.”

Holy crap. Pei Jing was startled.

“Don’t harm me.”

Already feeling confused by Chu Junyu’s situation, being confessed to, even if it was an illusion, was overwhelming for him.

Pei Jing quickly lowered his head and apologized to the creature beneath the river, “Brother Bubble, don’t listen to her. I’m just passing through here, nothing to say. I wish you a long life.”

Zhao Youqing couldn’t stop laughing and said, “Young Master, are you scared?”

Pei Jing felt a headache coming on. “I beg you, please be quiet.”

Why did everyone keep repeating and insinuating that he liked Chu Junyu? It was toxic!

Who actually liked whom in the end?

They crossed that river, reached the ground, and ahead of them lay a desolate mountain forest, covered in grey. Each leaf on every tree was still coated in mud. A crack snaked like a serpent from deep within the woods to their feet. The mountain crumbled, the ground split open. The forest loomed ominously, stained crimson throughout the years.

Zhao Youqing’s smile gradually faded, her eyes gazing ahead.

It felt as if they had traveled through time and returned to that night.

Torrential rain poured from the sky, the earth trembled, and the air was filled with a mixture of blood and smoke. The sight was tumultuous, suffocating the senses with the scent of damp soil. The desperate screams of those struggling between life and death echoed in their ears.

In the midst of extreme chaos and terror, she instinctively shouted his name.

In the blink of an eye, the four corners of the world converged, and the entire world collapsed.

They descended into the ground.

Her fingers grasped onto a nearby tree, but the tree slowly sank as well. She thought she would fall and experience pain, but she didn’t. In the sky, there was a young man, his clothes blending with the rainy night, his face pale and weary, his gaze tired yet silently looking down.

At the moment of plunging into eternal darkness, someone bestowed upon her an existence without pain.

It was his final act of kindness.

Pei Jing observed her expression and said, “Do you want us to take it slow before going in?”

Zhao Youqing shook her head, her fingers trembling, but the smile on her lips remained cold as usual. “No need. When I was alive, I wasn’t afraid of this place. Now that I’m a ghost, why should I be afraid?” Her gaze fell upon the ground, this place being too horrifying for her, where even the slightest movement couldn’t escape her eyes.

Zhao Youqing: “Someone arrived before us. Guess who it might be.”

Pei Jing: “Are you talking about the Zhang family?”

Zhao Youqing smiled briefly. Her fingers stiffened inch by inch, her voice trembling as she softly said, “Young Master, please make sure to stop him.”

Pei Jing tilted his head. “What do you mean?”

However, they hadn’t stayed in front of the mountain for long when suddenly, from the river, came the sound of cracking.

The ghostly blood froze, forming winding paths on the surface of the turquoise river.

On the other bank, grotesque and ferocious ghosts crawled on all fours, their faces ghastly and their teeth bared, crimson eyes fixed on them as they approached.

In the distance, there was the enraged roar of an old man.

“Do you think the Forbidden Land is a place where you can come and go as you please?” 

Pei Jing reacted swiftly, immediately grabbing Zhao Youqing’s hand and running up the mountain.

“Hurry, let’s go!”


I don’t like Ji Wuyou but Pei Jing really should have checked on him first. Man, you took him out of Yunxiao so the other disciples won’t be able to bully him but…


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3 thoughts on “After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 48”

  1. Ji Wuyou is such a entitled narcissist. No one owes you anything. Just because someone was was nice to you doesn’t mean they are obligated to fix your life. Literally there’s a saying that God helps those who helps themselves. As someone who never even stood up for himself against bullies where tf does he get the idea that the only person who has shown him kindness deserves any sort of hate from him. I know this kid is supposed to be stupid but damn, he’s stupid.
    I hope this ghost girl gets a happy ending here cuz she’s really the MVP of this arc.


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