After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 57

Chapter 57 Zhongnan Peak

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Pei Jing reached Shangyang Peak. As soon as he stepped into the mountain’s embrace, the Master of Shangyang Peak immediately sensed his presence. Adjusting his garments, he personally emerged to greet him. Elder Qidan, the Peak Master of Shangyang Peak, was among the senior members of the seventy-two Outer Peak Masters.

Being at the mid-stage of Golden Core, he dedicated himself to honing both swordsmanship and alchemy. Clad in a simple yellow robe, an aroma of medicinal herbs always lingered around him.

Pei Jing assigned Ji Wuyou to stay in this place, primarily because it was his rightful home in Shangyang Peak, and secondly, to avail the healing prowess of Elder Qidan.

“How is the young disciple faring?”

Descending gracefully from his sword, Pei Jing inquired directly.

“Senior Brother Pei,” despite the Elder’s several hundred years of seniority, etiquette demanded that he still address him as Senior Brother. Upon hearing Pei Jing’s inquiry, Elder Qidan wrinkled his brow slightly and replied, “The situation is rather delicate. I performed an extensive purification process on him and administered some incense to ensure temporary slumber.”

Pei Jing’s face contorted. “Is it a grave matter then?”

He believed that according to Yu Qinglian’s explanation, Ji Wuyou might have some minor psychological issues. However, he never anticipated that his physical condition would also be affected.

Elder Qidan let out a sigh, a deep seriousness etched on his face. “His internal true essence is in disarray, teetering on the edge of explosion. It’s highly perilous. Despite my extensive investigation, I haven’t been able to identify the root cause.”

Pei Jing furrowed his brow even more deeply. Ji Wuyou possessed the blood of a Demon Lord, and his true essence was inherently different from that of ordinary individuals. However, was it too early for such signs to manifest? He distinctly recalled that in the novel, Ji Wuyou’s awakening occurred after enduring nine hundred and eighty-one days of merciless torment at the hands of Pei Yuzhi.

An unsettling feeling surged. “First, take me to see him.”

“Certainly.” Elder Qidan led him towards the main hall, providing details along the way. “When the disciple fell unconscious, a strange phenomenon occurred. His body would emanate intense heat, a searing sensation similar to being subjected to scorching flames.”

“How intense was the heat?”

“It reached temperatures similar to the forging and alchemical processes. Numerous times, I feared for his life.”

Pei Jing nodded solemnly. “I understand.”

Deep within the recesses of Shangyang Peak’s main hall, Pei Jing finally laid eyes on Ji Wuyou once more. The chubby boy had endured considerable suffering, his face now displaying signs of emaciation. Lying on the bed, he remained curled up, drenched in perspiration. Even in his dreams, it seemed as if he were undergoing excruciating and despairing trials. Teeth clenched, quivering breaths, his feeble hands tightly clenched.

“Has he regained consciousness once again?”

Elder Qidan furrowed his brow, turning around to ignite several sticks of soul-soothing incense within the chamber. The fragrance carried a subtle tinge of bitterness.

Pei Jing approached the bedside, his finger gently touching the boy’s scorching forehead. His body had become a battleground, with various spiritual forces tearing and devouring each other, ravaging his consciousness. Having reached the half-step Nascent Soul stage and gained some insights into the Five Elements of the Heavenly Dao, Pei Jing could perceive three distinct forces. The first was the ordinary human spiritual energy, the second was a belligerent aura hidden within his blood, likely the power of a Demon Lord. The third was a searing heat like that of the molten lava. It was probably this force that had led to Ji Wuyou’s current condition.

This molten-like scorching power definitely didn’t originate from Zhonglian Village or Shu Yan. It seemed to have been dormant within his body for some time, and now it had finally found an opportunity to roar.

Pei Jing didn’t dare to treat him, fearing that it would worsen the situation. The incense quickly took effect, gradually calming Ji Wuyou’s breath. Pei Jing released his finger, his brow furrowed in anguish as the boy fell into a troubled sleep.

Pei Jing glanced at him once and then walked out of the palace with Elder Qidan.

Elder Qidan finally asked the question he had kept hidden in his heart for a long time, “Senior Brother Pei, when you ordered me to take him in and now you’re taking such good care of him, is it because you see potential in this boy and intend to take him as your disciple?”

Else, he couldn’t fathom why Pei Yuzhi would care for this outsider junior disciple so much.

Shangyang Peak was immersed in lush greenery, with golden rays scattering over half of the mountain. Compared to Tianqian Peak, which was shrouded in perennial cold mist and fog, this place was more vibrant and warm. Pei Jing grasped his sword, smiling softly as he lowered his head. “I do entertain such thoughts, but I’m not entirely certain.”

Elder Qidan furrowed his brow, feeling somewhat uneasy about this young Senior Brother who had gained fame. “Taking on a disciple carries the weight of Yunxiao’s future successor, Senior Brother Pei. I advise careful consideration.”

“Do you believe he’s not suitable?”

Elder Qidan hesitated for a moment and truthfully replied, “In terms of talent, he doesn’t rank among the top, and in terms of effort, he’s not outstanding either. Among the numerous disciples of Yunxiao, he goes unnoticed on Shangyang Peak, let alone among the seventy-two Outer Peaks, not to mention the thirty-six Inner Peaks’ disciples. In my opinion, he is not currently fit for such a position.”

Pei Jing pondered for a moment, then smiled and said, “That makes sense. I also think that if I were to rashly take him as my disciple, there would surely be a lot of opposition. Passing the test of our Master would be an even greater challenge. However, Ji Wuyou always possesses a certain uniqueness.”

What defined a qualified male protagonist in cultivation novels?

The fact that he could endure reading “Executioner’s Sword” from beginning to end suggested that he was unlikely to dislike the protagonist on a fundamental level.

In his childhood, he was a chubby little boy who could get by with a full stomach and was bewildered when bullied. He had a somewhat naive and foolish but kind nature. After awakening, he became a formidable Demon Lord, displaying another kind of quality that appealed to readers of cultivation novels—a decisive attitude, the rise of a waste, and slapping face after face. Who wouldn’t want to see that?

Regarding Ji Wuyou’s personality, Pei Jing had only witnessed his cowardice and timidity at present. However, Pei Jing recalled that after his awakening, Ji Wuyou’s most prominent traits in cultivation were being ruthless and stubborn. He was ruthless to others and even more ruthless to himself. He was stubborn when seeking revenge, stubborn to the point of madness.

Pei Jing shared a meaningful glance with Elder Qidan and said, “If he is stubborn in his cultivation, then he will surpass me.”

Elder Qidan’s jaw dropped, his eyes widening. Though he was not familiar with Pei Yuzhi, he had heard of the world-renowned Chief Disciple—one who was inherently arrogant. To hear Pei Yuzhi himself admit that someone could surpass him was astonishing.

Did he truly trust that disciple so much?

Was Ji Wuyou truly as full of limitless potential as he believed?

Pei Jing paid no attention to Elder Qidan’s expression and left first. He had many matters to attend to. Exiting the main hall, Chen Xu had been waiting outside for him for a while. It was dusk, with the moon shining faintly and gentle light flowing over the towering mountains.

Chen Xu: “Do you want to personally go to Zhongnan Peak to inquire, or should I bring the person here directly?”

Pei Jing: “Let’s go to Zhongnan Peak and have a look. There might be some gains.”

Thin clouds drifted across the night sky.

Chen Xu turned his head and asked, “So, after all this time, how has your experience in the mundane world been? Have you experienced the seven emotions and six desires?”

Pei Jing: “Not much.”

Chen Xu: “Then let me rephrase it. How does it feel to cultivate in Yunxiao as an ordinary disciple?”

Pei Jing glanced at him and asked, “Do you really want to know?”

Chen Xu laughed. “Are you feeling uncomfortable? You’ve been pampered and spoiled. I’m sure you’ve caused quite a stir.”

“I don’t know if I’ve stirred up trouble, but as I walk on the road, I constantly hear people praising me. It’s a bit embarrassing, to be honest.”

“……You deserved to gain nothing from your mundane experience.”

Pei Jing smiled, turning his head to admire the moonlight and mist. His eyes were clear and serene as he said, “What does it mean to gain nothing? I still had some gains—I’ve grown up all these years, yet it’s the first time someone has saved me, protected me, and made promises to me.”

Chen Xu: “???”

Pei Jing: “Does this feeling count as being in the mundane world?”

Chen Xu was startled, frozen in place. “Who?”

Pei Jing gazed ahead, his eyes fixed on the approaching Zhongnan Peak, lost in thought.

The youth in white clothes curled his lips into a lazy smile.

“I won’t say for now.”

Chen Xu was greatly shocked. He caught up to Pei Jing, wondering about the expression Pei Yuzhi had just shown.

Just after meeting the Master of Shangyang Peak, Pei Jing now came to meet the Master of Zhongnan Peak. He felt that he was quite diligent and responsible today.

Zhongnan Peak was located on the outskirts of Yunxiao and appeared somewhat eerie at night.

Chen Xu: “That disciple is the only person who survived after coming into contact with that demon. His spiritual roots were completely destroyed, and he lost his sanity. If we want to obtain information from him, we can only resort to Soul Probing Formation.”

Soul Probing was a method of observing and extracting memories from someone’s mind. It didn’t capture the soul and didn’t harm the person’s physical body. Therefore, the information obtained through soul probing may not be extensive or even relevant.

Pei Jing: “So, is he currently in the formation?”

The Master of Zhongnan Peak was a woman dressed in Daoist robes, wearing a hat that concealed her gender. Upon hearing the question, she answered, “Yes, I have prepared the formation in advance, waiting for Senior Brother Pei to return.”

They descended into the underground of the palace. Dim candlelight illuminated the surroundings, revealing a raised platform suspended in mid-air above a flowing black river. Eight glowing eyes surrounded the platform, where a man sat cross-legged. He appeared ordinary, dressed in the attire of an Outer Peak disciple.

His hands were bound together with chains. Despite having his eyes closed, his expression was serene, as if he were peacefully asleep.

The Master of Zhongnan Peak explained, “When he awakened, he was in a state of madness, biting and injuring himself. So, I decided to put him into a deep sleep.”

Pei Jing: “When did he encounter this incident?”

“On that day when I was giving a lecture to my disciples, he suddenly burst in, his eyes bloodshot and his clothes covered in blood. He went berserk, biting anyone he encountered. Several of my direct disciples were injured by him. My second disciple, in particular, nearly had his hand bitten off.”

“How are those disciples who were bitten doing now?”

“Most of them suffered minor injuries, but Chang Wu’s injuries are a bit more severe.”

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