After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 5 Part 2

Chapter 5.2 Seeking Wise Counsel

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Pei Jing burst into laughter.

Amidst the laughter, he also took note of some news—like how Ji Wuduan could now refine corpses, Wu Sheng had broken through the initial Soul Transformation Stage, Yu Qinglian had encountered an extraordinary experience in Penglai Sect, and Feng Jin had awakened fragments of ancestral memories.

Among the realm’s Five Champions, the other four had made progress in recent years, while he remained trapped at the peak of the Golden Core Stage, unable to make any breakthroughs.

Nonetheless, Pei Jing retained his confidence, firmly believing he would secure the top position in the next Trial.

Chen Xu poured cold water on his aspirations. “Everyone is progressing, but you’re stagnant. What do you have to compete against them?”

Pei Jing remained unperturbed. “Even if I stayed in one place for a hundred years, they still wouldn’t catch up to me. Back in the Institute of Celestial Ascension, I alone surpassed the other four. Now, it’s even more evident.”

Chen Xu was reminded of the tumultuous days at the Institute of Celestial Ascension, and his face filled with frustration. “…You have the audacity to bring up those things.”

The Institute of Celestial Ascension was the gathering place for the cultivation world’s top powerhouses.

A thousand years ago, the Heavenly Ladder collapsed, cutting off all contact with the upper realm. Since then, no one has been able to ascend. The mighty Nascent Soul stage cultivators worked to repair the Heavenly Ladder and constructed the Institute of Celestial Ascension.

Led by Pei Jing’s master and the former Yunxiao’s Sect Master, it took several hundred years to painstakingly repair the ladder step by step, utilizing their spiritual energy.

However, the repair process became monotonous, and considering the lack of successors in the cultivation world after their ascension, the mighty cultivators decided to take exceptional successors in the disciples from their respective sects and provide guidance. As a result, the Institute of Celestial Ascension transformed into a place resembling a school.

Among the six individuals who had attended the Institute of Celestial Ascension, Pei Jing had arguably achieved the greatest success.

The world remained unaware that the Five Champions of the realm had actually known each other since childhood.

People would be even less aware that during Pei Jing’s childhood, he had managed to offend all four of the others. In the past, those who claimed the top spot in the Trial of Challenging the Heavens were adored by everyone, but someone like Pei Jing, who was despised by both people and dogs, was truly unusual.

Pei Jing gestured with his hand, and soon, the scrolls floating in the air began to rotate once again. These questionnaires had been left in the Celestial Pavilion by those who had asked their questions within the past two years but hadn’t yet received satisfactory answers. His gaze fell upon a specific scroll, and he raised an eyebrow, softly uttering, “Oh?”

The inquirer’s question was straightforward and direct.

One Sword Soaring through the Frost of Wuwang Peak, how does it feel like?

Pei Jing remarked, “In my previous visits to the Celestial Pavilion, I answered numerous questions, and I distinctly recall one of them being this exact question—remarkably, another identical one has now surfaced.”

Chen Xu furrowed his brow. “What does he mean by asking this?”

Pei Jing tapped the table with his finger, wearing a lazy smile. “I suppose he wants to know what it feels like to become the number one in the world.”

The question asked was baseless, and as a result, the subsequent answers were filled with playful banter.

Simple, wait for another hundred years, and then I’ll let you know.

Why not directly go to Yunxiao Sect and inquire about Pei Yuzhi?

It’s probably the feeling of single-handedly wiping out a peak with a sword, with the witness of the heavens’ delicate snowfall. Regarding strength, I truly admire Pei Yuzhi. However, fairness prevails in the heavens, as both he and I possess equal strength and appearance, leaving neither of us lacking.

The tone swiftly took a different direction.

So handsome, huh? A reward of ten spiritual stones is offered to anyone who reveals the sect and name of the esteemed individual mentioned above.

Tsk tsk, among the rankings of beautiful men in the cultivation world compiled by our female cultivators, Pei Yuzhi claims the first position. I ask the distinguished individual above, what is your name? Allow us to expand our horizons.

Hehe, quite interesting. Taoyuan Mountain on Fenghua Island in Yingzhou, Yao Qianqian. Fellow cultivators, do pay us a visit. Who knows, we might even become cultivation partners. But if you happen to be unattractive, don’t blame me for not sparing you.

Pei Jing couldn’t help but burst into laughter.

Yingzhou was known for having a larger population of female cultivators, renowned for their boldness in the cultivation world.

He thought of Yu Qinglian. When it came to boldness, she stood out among them.

However, a group of male cultivators who were unaware of her true nature still worshipped her as if she were a goddess.

In Pei Jing’s perception, she was simply an unrestrained and delusional chubby girl.

Even more conceited than him, during childhood, she hadn’t blossomed and instead became round and chubby. Yet she arrogantly claimed to be the most beautiful woman in the world. It was during that time when Yu Qinglian had tricked him once. She used underhanded tactics and complained to his master, leading to him being disciplined with ten days of introspection. How could Pei Jing pass up the opportunity to tease her? He immediately burst into laughter, saying, “Come on now, your legs are as thick as my waist. If I were to wear women’s clothing, your title as the most beautiful woman would undoubtedly change hands.”

That one sentence stuck in Yu Qinglian’s memory until the present.

He had to admit, it was true.

Chen Xu realized, “Were all the answers you gave back then about yourself?”

“Oh, you’re sharp. You noticed that, huh?”

Chen Xu sighed, “…You’re really boring sometimes.”

“If I weren’t boring, why would I bother coming to Celestial Pavilion?”

“So how did you respond to it back then?”

“‘One Sword Soaring through the Frost of Wuwang Peak’? I found it amusing at the time, so I just casually answered. I said that I didn’t feel much, just a slight chill in my head. It wasn’t a lie, it was true. I never expected it to snow. After finishing off an opponent and stepping outside, I was greeted by a snowy landscape, pure white all around, nearly blinding my eyes. I was wearing light clothes at the time, so if I hadn’t felt cold, it would’ve been strange.”

Chen Xu: “…”

Pei Jing’s ink was nearly prepared. He picked up the pen he had just set aside, dipped it into the ink, and began writing with smooth and graceful movements.

He suggested, “Since I answered the previous question, I might as well answer this one too.”

Chen Xu observed his actions and reminded him, “The Celestial Pavilion requires using divine consciousness to write. Did you forget again?”

Pei Jing chuckled and replied, “Who made that rule? Other sects use brushes. It’s only Elder Lao who’s so particular. I believe that using a brush allows my writing to showcase the elegance and freedom of my words.”

Chen Xu commented, “No wonder the Elder chased after you to teach you a lesson.”

Pei Jing firmly grasped the bottom of the scroll and pulled it down from the air. With one hand securing a corner of the paper, the other hand held the brush. His jet-black hair flowed like water beneath the jade crown, cascading onto the desk. His profile exuded a handsome and refined charm, reminiscent of a noble young gentleman. His brushstrokes were fluid and natural, embodying innate elegance.

Chen Xu leaned in closer and read the answer he had written, his face displaying a mixture of disbelief and reluctance. “I doubt anyone would believe that it was actually answered by the person in question.”

“That’s why people are so ignorant. They can’t discern the truth from falsehood.”

Chen Xu: “…”

The incredibly bored cultivator, who posed random questions, probably never imagined that the true self would personally step forward to answer. Although the true self’s response seemed rather foolish.

Thank you for the invitation. There’s nothing particularly noteworthy, just a slight chill. The snow was quite heavy, so I suggest those who try to imitate it to dress warmly.

……. Unexpectedly considerate.

Chen Xu thought to himself, “It’s not that your head is cold, it’s that it’s made of iron.”

Pei Jing had prepared an ample amount of ink and then remembered the purpose of his visit. He grabbed a sheet of rice paper and wrote down his own question.

Although there were numerous playful and jovial questions floating around in the Celestial Pavilion, everyone present was a cultivator at the Golden Core Stage. Each of them followed their own unique cultivation methods, leading to varied perspectives and conclusions.

Furthermore, there were several reclusive and highly esteemed experts who frequented this place, visiting whether they had a reason or not.

How does one return to basics?

After he finished writing and set the brush aside, Pei Jing infused the paper with spiritual energy, causing it to levitate in the air. It mingled with other questions, spinning together. Eventually, it would reach the Celestial Pavilions of various sects in the cultivation world, fostering a collective exchange of ideas.

“Let’s come back and check after a few days,” Pei Jing had just spoken these words when his gaze swept across the area, and he suddenly froze, blinking his eyes in disbelief. “No way, there’s already a response so quickly?”

Beneath his question, a layer of gray-colored text appeared.

The person’s response seemed to have been written using divine consciousness, gradually emerging bit by bit.

Let’s see how one can achieve a return to basics. If it’s due to encountering inner demons, then counter them with poison as a means to eliminate the root cause. If it’s because of insufficient experience and an inability to comprehend the Dao, then immersing oneself in the mundane world becomes the path back to basics.

Pei Jing was taken aback. He swiftly took down his own rolled-up paper, grasped the pen, and wrote hastily: “I seek guidance on how to immerse myself in the mundane world.”

That person was still present.

The gray-colored text was slowly being written.

It’s not necessary to wash away memories and enter the mortal realm. Amidst the countless worlds, wherever there are people, the mortal realm exists.

Pei Jing instantly felt a sense of reverence. This person had successfully caught him off guard. Judging by their manner, they could either be a Golden Core cultivator who spoke empty words or truly an esteemed expert detached from worldly affairs. Pei Jing was more inclined towards the latter possibility.

However, the words remained enigmatic and elusive, leaving his mind momentarily puzzled.

However, these words were filled with uncertainty, momentarily leaving his mind perplexed.

He still had the urge to inquire further.

Another line of subtle gray text appeared.

Young man, immersing oneself in the mundane world is something one must grasp on their own. Stop asking, I cannot assist you.

Well then.

Pei Jing silently withdrew his brush.

Chen Xu asked, “What does he mean by that?”

Pei Jing furrowed his brow and replied, “I don’t know. But when he mentioned immersing oneself in the mundane world, I gained a slight understanding.”

With some thoughts forming, Pei Jing felt content with his visit to the Celestial Pavilion. He stood up, no longer seated, and planned to leave. However, preoccupied with the idea of immersing himself in the mundane world, he inadvertently stepped on a piece of trailing parchment, causing it to slide beneath his feet. In the process, an inkstone placed on top of it toppled over and made a resounding noise. This scene seemed all too familiar—it was reminiscent of the time he spilled ink before, with almost identical actions.

Pei Jing quietly realized that trouble was on its way.

Chen Xu was also taken aback.

Pei Jing hastily said, “Quick, let’s tidy up this place.”

Unfortunately, time was against them. Elder Lao immediately noticed the sound of the shattered inkstone. The noise came from the Celestial Pavilion’s direction. Who dared to commit such a foolish act right under his nose? Besides Pei Yuzhi, who else could it be!

Instantly, anger ignited within the Elder. He forcefully closed the book, and his black robe swiftly soared into the air, flying straight up to the tower. He roared, “Pei Yuzhi!”

Damn it. Upon hearing the roar, Pei Jing said to Chen Xu, “I better slip away. Take care.”

Drawing from his extensive experience in escape, he swiftly climbed out of the window, just moments before the Elder sealed off the windows and doors.

Left alone, Chen Xu was infuriated to the point of spitting blood. His face twisted as he pounded the wall and shouted, “Pei Yuzhi, come back here!”

Meanwhile, Pei Yuzhi had already distanced himself from the commotion.

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