After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 60

Chapter 60 The masses

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There was a road from the Purple Bamboo Forest to Shangyang Peak’s cave residence.

Xu Jing asked, “Don’t lie to me. When did you find time to go to the Consulate Hall and get a mission as soon as you came back? What’s the benefit of delaying for three days? It’s better to agree now because fewer people will see if you lose. You know Xiao Chen well, he’ll make it widely known within three days.”

Pei Jing wasn’t scared of a junior disciple. “Let him spread it. If he wants to make a big deal about recognizing his father, I’ll go along with it.”

Xu Jing’s eye twitched. “Fine, I’ll wait.”

Zhang Yiming had a kind of confidence that puzzled and fascinated him.

This youth always stood out in Yinghui Peak.

Compared to Chu Junyu’s cold indifference, he made a more vivid and genuine impression. Like a shining light. A powerful light, used to people’s expectations and stares.

Xu Jing was curious. “Your name is Zhang Yiming, but I’ve never heard of a Zhang family in the cultivation world of Canghua Continent.”

“Well, it’s just a small family, no wonder you haven’t heard of it.”

The Pei family of Canghua, a small and insignificant aristocratic family. It would probably go unnoticed by the people of the whole continent.

Xu Jing asked with doubt, “Is that so?”

Pei Jing changed the subject and looked at the bundle of purple shoots in his arms. He laughed and said, “Forget about me, just look at yourself. Is this all you’re capable of? Xiao Chen is so arrogant that he openly disdains all of you. Don’t you want to work harder in your cultivation and teach him a lesson?”

Xu Jing held the bundle of purple shoots, touched his nose, and smiled shyly but with a refreshing demeanor. “What’s the point of teaching him a lesson? Others have opportunities that we can’t compare to.”

As he said this, he furrowed his brow and started sighing lightly and deeply.

“During my time on Shangyang Peak, I actually learned a lot. For example, many decisions have to be made by yourself. On Shangyang Peak, I saw too many people who couldn’t make progress and remained stuck until they died. Immortality is distant, and Foundation Establishment is beyond our reach. Since we all have to die and life is short and full of suffering, we might as well enjoy it while we can.”

“Did you join Yunxiao just to enjoy life?”

Xu Jing’s eyes widened, looked at him slowly, and then spoke slowly, “No, actually, I was forced into it.”

Pei Jing raised an eyebrow.

“My family can be considered a moderate-sized cultivation family, with strict rules and a hierarchy where the strong are respected and the weak are enslaved. If I want to ensure a better life for my mother in the family, I have to come to Yunxiao.”

Xu Jing’s expression showed a hint of nostalgia and sadness. “At that time, I thought that by becoming a disciple of Yunxiao, there wouldn’t be any cunning servants at home bullying her.”

The clouds gradually obscured the sun, and the path ahead took unexpected turns, with grass and trees separating along the way.

The light cast a somewhat melancholic shadow on the young boy’s face.

“You can’t continue like this,” Pei Jing said, shaking his head.

Xu Jing never imagined that one day he would be discussing these things with Zhang Yiming. He stared blankly at the elegant and noble young man beside him, listening to his words of guidance.

“After cultivating Qi, a cultivator gains an additional two hundred years of lifespan, one thousand years for Foundation Establishment, and ten thousand years for Golden Core. Compared to immortals, mortals are like ephemeral creatures, born in the morning and dead by evening, reduced to mere bones and dust. It would be better for you to forget about worldly matters as soon as you enter Yunxiao, or else you’ll only be inviting unnecessary suffering.”

There was a long silence.

Xu Jing’s eyes were filled with astonishment. “Are these words not something you learned from the writings of some immortal?”

“I came up with them myself.”

Xu Jing laughed, his eyes forming a crescent shape. “I have to admit, you almost had me fooled.”

His finger moved slightly, his voice filled with laughter, and his words carried a profound understanding of many things.

“But you know, it’s not easy to let go. I didn’t willingly enter the immortal sect, and immortality wasn’t my original aspiration. All along, I only wanted to prove myself to my mother.”

“Why did you stop trying to prove yourself?”

Xu Jing grinned and said, “She sent me a letter a few days ago.”

Pei Jing raised an eyebrow and said, “Oh?”

Xu Jing’s voice was gentle. “She said she’s living a very good life now. The family takes pride in me, and she basks in the glory and wealth. As one grows older, there are more worries. She told me that if I can’t endure hardships, then I shouldn’t push myself too hard and just focus on living happily.”

He counted on his fingers.

“I believe that’s the truth.” With a slightly amused expression, he tilted his head and said, “Isn’t it unbelievable? There’s someone like me in Yunxiao who has no ambition?”

Pei Jing was taken aback, earnestly looking at Xu Jing and nodding.

The little boy who once ran frantically from a chasing snake now smiled like a lazy cat. Holding the food he had dug up, he felt a sense of contentment.

Xu Jing said, “Although lacking ambition is a common human trait. The path to greatness is arduous. Look at how few Nascent Soul stage experts there are in this world. In Yunxiao, including the Sect Master and a few Inner Peaks Elders, they don’t exceed ten individuals. Those who can reach the end are either resolute in their minds, exceptionally talented, or blessed with extraordinary luck. As for the latter two, we need not dwell on them. But the former… it’s extremely difficult.”

It was extremely difficult. A journey filled with stumbling and falling, with bloodshed along the way. Three to five years in the blink of an eye, centuries, millennia, eons pass, the world changed, and youth withered. Why did so many people tread the path of merciless cultivation?

Because life and death parted unpredictably.

“Don’t you find it terrifying? Eventually, you’ll be the only one left in this world, with no family or friends. It’s better to die at the happiest moment.”

He finally wiped clean a piece of purple bamboo shoot, took a bite, and savored it.

Pei Jing pondered for a long time, pursed his lips, but remained silent.

Xu Jing was different from everyone else he had encountered.

From birth, he had encountered nothing but the world’s prodigies. The Foundation Establishment or Golden Core stages, which seemed unattainable to Xu Jing, they achieved at an unimaginable age.

Consequently, each person was born with immense glory and corresponding responsibilities from a young age.

However, they were still young, able to indulge and frolic in the mortal realm.

Xu Jing, perhaps having spoken too much, felt a tinge of melancholy. The sweetness of the purple bamboo shoot couldn’t silence his thoughts. He gazed pensively at the road ahead and said, “Amidst the countless sentient beings, I am merely one of them.”

Countless sentient beings.

The seven emotions and six desires.

Pei Jing recalled a particular autumn at the Institute of Celestial Ascension. The golden sunlight bathed the ground in the afternoon.

It was during a break after a lecture on enlightenment and the seven emotions and six desires.

They were gathered in a corner of the academy, far away from others. After all, whenever they clashed even slightly, it would escalate into a fierce brawl, turning the academy into a chaotic place, already designated as a dangerous zone by their masters.

Each person was engrossed in their own activities.

Feng Jin was leaning on the table, amusing himself with a bird, a divine creature from the Phoenix Clan, chirping incessantly.

Wu Sheng calmly traced the braille scripture with his hands, silently reading.

Ji Wuduan appeared sly, engrossed in some form of spellcasting.

Meanwhile, Yu Qinglian extended her hand by the window, her fingertips gliding across the delicate strands of light, catching a maple leaf that had fallen from the sky. She carefully pinned it onto her hair, near the glow of a small bell.

Bored and idle.

Pei Jing went to bother Chen Xu ahead. “What do you think about breaking off relationships and cutting off love?”

Chen Xu turned around fiercely, giving him a stern glare. “Can’t you ask something serious?”

Pei Jing: “Alright, let’s be serious. What kind of person do you like?”

Chen Xu: “……”

After getting frustrated, Chen Xu’s face strangely turned red. It was a bit embarrassing to talk about such matters in front of so many people, but as a young boy at the time, he was indeed tricked into speaking by Pei Jing.

“I don’t ask for much. Just someone who is gentle but not weak, indulgent but not impulsive, with cultivation that leaves a mark on the Wentian Rankings but doesn’t surpass mine, resilient in character but also in need of me. Oh, and they shouldn’t be overly good-looking.”

Pei Jing tilted his head and said, “Hey, Chubby, should you consider it?”

Yu Qinglian remained expressionless as she crushed the maple leaf between her fingertips above her head.

Pei Jing couldn’t stop laughing. “You have quite a list of requirements.”

Chen Xu was a bit embarrassed and annoyed. “Why are you shouting it out so loudly?”

Chirp chirp.

The little red bird, teased by Feng Jin, emitted cheerful sounds. Its round eyes looked in their direction, wings fluttering against the table as if mocking them.

Chen Xu heard it and immediately turned his head to shout at the little bird, “Laugh again, and I’ll pluck all your feathers off.”

Little Phoenix: Chirp. Cut it out.

Feng Jin chuckled, turned his head, and asked, “What’s the matter? You’ve said it out loud, so why can’t people listen?”

Chen Xu: “Hmph.”

Pei Jing wouldn’t let Chen Xu be bullied. He spoke to the little red bird, “Why are you laughing? I heard that your bird clan has more males than females, and having multiple mates is common. Well, little birdie, you should worry about whether anyone wants you. My Little Brother Chen Xu has thirty thousand suitors in Yunxiao, you know.”

The divine beast fluffed up its feathers and squawked, “Chirp chirp!”

The revered divine beast, who was highly respected in Fengqiu Mountain, had become a punching bag since coming to the Institute of Celestial Ascension with its master. It couldn’t resist that treatment.

Chen Xu whispered, “Where did the thirty thousand come from?”

Pei Jing: “I’ll split them with you.”

The pitiful little red bird looked at its owner with pleading eyes.

The young emperor of the Phoenix Clan toyed with the bird’s feathers with his fingers and continued to sneer, “Him?”

Chen Xu was so infuriated that he almost stood up.

Pei Jing pulled him back, feeling the need to vent their frustration together as disciples. He turned his head and said, “Little Brother, don’t speak too soon. I remember during that drunken episode, you said something about finding a Phoenix Empress, unwavering in your devotion, a lifetime commitment together — preferring a beautiful woman over the entire kingdom. If someone can want your romantic views, which are so messed-up, why can’t Chen Xu have thirty thousand suitors?”

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