After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 58

Chapter 58.1 Azure fire, azure bird

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Pei Jing asked, “Is he alright now?”

The Master of Zhongnan Peak replied, “Chang Wu has been in seclusion for a while now, and I haven’t seen much of him.”

Pei Jing nodded.

The Master of Zhongnan Peak said, “Since Senior Brother is here, let’s activate the formation.”


As the Soul Probing Formation started, the chains that had fallen into the water from the high platform vibrated clearly. The man sitting at the center of the formation, deep in slumber with closed eyes, suddenly jerked, and his body rapidly turned red, noticeable even to the naked eye.

Pei Jing looked up from below.

The Soul Probing Formation had the power to unearth a person’s most vivid memories. Pei Jing witnessed the disciple’s furrowed brow, trembling teeth, and quivering limbs—an intense state of both cold and heat. Soon after, an azure fire ignited on the high platform, surrounding the disciple and chilling his features.

Because his arms were locked and trapped, he couldn’t move his body and huddled, his face covered in cold sweat. Despite the distance, they could still make out the faint murmurs from the boy’s troubled slumber. “Fire… such a big fire… it hurts so much…”

He repeated the words “fire” and “hurt” incessantly.

Chen Xu: “I haven’t seen this kind of fire very often.”

Pei Jing: “Unusual fire, blue or maybe grayish-white, perhaps similar to ghostly flames. But as for the azure color… it’s quite uncommon.”

The fire scorched the boy’s soul and **, causing him to twist his entire body into a contorted posture in his dream.

Just as the fire grew stronger, raging with increasing intensity, the flames suddenly converged from bottom to top, transforming into a colossal eye.

Everyone stood there, momentarily stunned.

The eye had a semi-circular shape, with clear whites and pupils that matched the azure color of the flames. The eye lacked vitality. Suddenly, it turned towards them, emanating an icy sharpness that pierced their hearts.

Above the sea of fire, the azure eye appeared—and at that moment, the disciple let out a shrill scream! “Aaaaaaah—!” He clutched his head, burying his fingers deep into his hair and drawing blood.

Just the mere glimpse into Spirit Realm had already caused him to break down like this. What could this disciple have possibly witnessed during his lifetime?

The Master of Zhongnan Peak activated the mechanisms of the formation, and the chains slowly moved while the azure phantom fire dissipated along the edges of the high platform. As for that disciple, once the nightmares dispersed, he gradually released his fingers and fell back into a prolonged slumber.

They exited the dark room.

Chen Xu: “That eye is quite strange. I can’t shake the feeling that it’s not a human eye. Human eyes shouldn’t grow in such a manner.”

Pei Jing: “Well, aren’t you clever? You’ve noticed that.”

Chen Xu ignored him and continued with his speculation, “It doesn’t resemble a human eye, but rather… the eye of a bird or a fowl.”

Unable to hold back, Pei Jing laughed softly. “Don’t you find it familiar? I suspect the owner of that eye and the timid creature on Tianqian Peak are distant relatives.”

As soon as Pei Jing brought it up, Chen Xu spun around. “Yes! It’s the eye of a bird or fowl! Could this monster be a bird demon that preys on humans?!”

Pei Jing pondered for a moment and replied, “It’s possible.”

After leaving the dark room, Pei Jing engaged in a conversation with the Master of Zhongnan Peak.

“Has there ever been a fire on Zhongnan Peak?”

The Master shook her head and replied, “No, I’ve been in the peak these past few months, and if there were a fire, it would be impossible not to notice.”

Pei Jing paused for a moment and asked, “What was the identity of this disciple?”

The Peak Master pondered for a moment before slowly speaking, “After the incident, I conducted an investigation into his identity. This disciple’s name is Yuming. Before entering the Immortal Realm, he was a young master from a wealthy mortal family. However, those past events are no longer significant after so many years. Two hundred years ago, he joined Yunxiao and later became a member of our Zhongnan Peak. He remained obscure and unnoticed all along.”

Pei Jing: “That’s interesting. You were giving a lecture to the disciples in the main hall of Zhongnan Peak. How did this inconspicuous little disciple manage to enter?”

The Peak Master was taken aback, his brow furrowing. “I don’t know about that. I inquired with the Consulate Hall, and logically speaking, during that period, he should have been carrying out tasks on the mountainside, not inside the sect.”

Pei Jing stood between the halls, illuminated by the radiant moonlight, and said, “Investigate the main hall thoroughly these days.”

The Peak Master acknowledged, “Understood.”

When Pei Jing witnessed the disciple named Yuming’s body turning red, a strange suspicion arose in his heart. It reminded him of what he had witnessed on Shangyang Peak. Ji Wuyou. Their movements were surprisingly similar, curling up and convulsing.

Azure phantom fire, azure bird eye.

“Azure fire, azure bird.” Pei Jing tilted his head and asked Chen Xu, “Do you know what I’m thinking?”

Chen Xu met his gaze, the two of them having grown up together since childhood, traversing from Yunxiao to the Institute of Celestial Ascension, encountering overlapping individuals.

Chen Xu responded almost instinctively, “The Phoenix Clan.”

“Since the beginning of spiritual awakening, the Phoenix Clan has always been associated with fire. Apart from Feng Jin, there were also a few little noble birds from the Phoenix Clan attending the Institute of Celestial Ascension. Those flamboyant, colorful fires were their favorites.”

Chen Xu sneered, “Can you be a bit more respectful?”

Ignoring him, Pei Jing continued, “But it doesn’t make sense. Although the ancient Phoenix Clan had a cannibalistic nature, Fengqui Mountain is too far from Canghua. They were mostly spoiled and pampered. It’s unlikely for them to travel miles to prey on humans.”

“Could it be a fugitive from the Phoenix Clan?”

Pei Jing gave him a curious look and nodded. “But it could also be a refugee seeking sanctuary.”

Chen Xu: “???”

Pei Jing: “With Feng Jin becoming the new emperor, isn’t it just normal for the members of Phoenix Clan to live amidst conflicts?”

Chen Xu sighed. “Well, you two seem oddly in agreement. Feng Jin becomes the emperor, and you think the Phoenix Clan will not thrive. You become the Sect Master, and Feng Jin believes Yunxiao will decline.”

Pei Jing: “Whether it will decline or not, let him come and see for himself.”

Chen Xu: “He’s the emperor of a clan now, not someone with so much free time.”

“Feng Jin is barely a thousand years old. The Elders in the clan won’t burden him with important matters. He’s just a figurehead—besides, rest assured, he’s particularly interested in visiting Yunxiao. He will definitely agree.”

Chen Xu couldn’t figure it out. “Why does he want to come to Yunxiao?”

Pei Jing plucked at a flower and smirked, pretending to be profound. “Because of me.”

Chen Xu nearly gagged. “Do you really think you and Feng Jin have the love-hate relationship depicted in novels? Are you out of your mind?”

Pei Jing continued to smile, patting Chen Xu’s shoulder and wiping his hand clean. “These novels can make you foolish if you read them too much. You should read less. After I emerged from seclusion, whether I’ve broken through to the Nascent Soul stage and how far my cultivation has progressed, he wants to know more than anyone else. Just prepare to welcome our beloved Little Brother Feng.”

Surprisingly, Chen Xu found some sense in what he said and followed behind him. “Prepare what?”

“Roast pigeon, fried sparrows, stewed mountain chicken. Make some arrangements.”

Chen Xu: “…”

Adjacent to the Zhongnan Peak, there was a small forest where starlight and moonlight appeared dim. Tree branches swayed, casting a chilling atmosphere.

Pei Jing surveyed his surroundings. “When I passed by Zhongnan Peak before, it didn’t have this atmosphere. Something must have happened here.” His expression grew serious. If something went wrong within the peaks, it wouldn’t be that simple.

Chen Xu: “I have a feeling that although this incident seems to have occurred at the foot of Yunxiao Mountain, it’s actually aimed at Yunxiao.”

Pei Jing remained silent.

The bird’s eye alone couldn’t prove the connection with the Phoenix Clan, but Pei Jing decided to write a letter to Feng Jin. He asked him to come to Yunxiao, after all, as a reincarnation of an ancient divine beast, Feng Jin…

At the moment when the azure fire ignited, that scorching sensation and familiar aura reminded him of many things. The Thousand-Faced Woman, Shu Yan, and even the current azure bird all appeared around him simultaneously.

In the ancient Changtian Realm, he heard from Shu Yan or his subordinates that they had come to kill him. Did that mean everyone was out to kill him? No, Shu Yan’s murderous intent stemmed only from his twisted loyalty. The people he was loyal to hated him, so he wanted to kill them. The murderous intent wasn’t strong. Only a trace of his divine consciousness was released in Changtian Realm. He even couldn’t be bothered to make a move in Zhonglian Village.

Tianqian Hall. Pei Jing held a pen, making connections on the paper.

“Shu Yan has someone behind him, someone who hates me, but hasn’t given the order to kill me. Have I offended anyone in the past?”

He once heard Ji Wuduan say that the appearance of the Thousand-Faced Woman in Tianyan City was inexplicable, with no known origin. The novel “Executioner’s Sword” spanned millions of words, and he only saw Ji Wuyou returning for revenge. However, the author had laid numerous scattered clues in the early parts, including the unexplained Demon Lord bloodline. So, when talking with Yu Qinglian, Pei Jing made the hypothesis that the Thousand-Faced Woman came from another aspect of this world, deep underground or in a place even more distant and mysterious than Biying Island, and had a connection with the Demon Lord.

The reason he had investigated Shu Yan back then was also significant. Shu Yan gave him a similar chilling feeling to the Thousand-Faced Woman, leading Pei Jing to believe that they might come from the same place.

However, Shu Yan turned out to be a citizen of Liguo? A well-known scholar named Zhang Qingshu? Just because of a mouthful of a jar, he possessed such immense power.

Therefore, the hypothesis was overturned.

“They turned from humans into demons. Shu Yan was Zhang Qingshu in his previous life, but who was the Thousand-Faced Woman in her previous life? With a thousand faces on her body, what did she do when she was alive? Did she undergo cosmetic surgery? The cultivation world also had that. No, no, no—female cultivators could simply use a technique for disguises and face-swapping.”

“Perhaps she was a mortal in her previous life.”

Pei Jing’s expression suddenly became a bit strange as he formed a conjecture.

“Could it be that in her previous life, she was a lunatic who tore off others’ beautiful faces and stuck them on her own? And not only did she love beauty, but she was also fickle, changing her face every day…”

His imagination already conjured up an image of a pathological socialite.

Sitting in the room, with the fragrance of incense wafting from the jade tripod censer, she pressed the edges of her face with a hairpin while facing the yellowed bronze mirror.

The bronze mirror reflected the lifeless features of the beautiful woman, along with fresh bloodstains that hadn’t dried yet.

Pei Jing pondered and said, “A true, beautiful woman with a thousand faces.”

“If this conjecture is correct, Zhang Qingshu underwent demonic transformation after being sealed in the jar. But what about the Thousand-Faced Woman?”

After thinking for a long time, Pei Jing couldn’t come up with the crucial point.

The Thousand-Faced Woman had countless possible causes of death. Being such a malicious woman, she had enemies everywhere, and there were a thousand ways for her to die.

The simplest point was that the girls she had killed died in excruciating pain, having their skin peeled off while still alive. According to reason, they should have turned into vengeful ghosts haunting her.

However, the fact that the Thousand-Faced Woman managed to collect a thousand faces indicated that there must be a method of suppression.

“Forget it. Perhaps Shu Yan and the Thousand-Faced Woman didn’t come from the same place. Maybe she’s just someone who sells masks… Besides, she possesses faces of all genders and ages. When she devours someone, a corresponding face appears on her body. She might be nothing more than a man-eating demon. Let’s investigate the matter of the azure-eyed bird first.”

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