After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 61

Chapter 61 Eighth Rank Swordsmanship

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Feng Jin stood up abruptly, slamming his hand on the table. “Pei Yuzhi! Who are you calling someone with messed-up ideas about love?”

Wu Sheng, always the peacemaker, let out a sigh and pulled on Feng Jin’s sleeve. “Why don’t you sit down for a moment?”

Ji Wuduan chimed in coolly, “If you want to fight, take it outside. Don’t get the rest of us in trouble.”

It was said that when Feng Jin was born and opened his eyes, he had a fiery passion burning within him, reminiscent of the tale of the Three Thousand Tribulations. It was likely why the young Phoenix Emperor often had a fiery look in his eyes at the Institute of Celestial Ascension.

Pei Jing wasn’t specifically targeting him. It was always Feng Jin who started the trouble.

Fortunately, Wu Sheng’s good-natured presence prevented them from coming to blows in the end.

However, this topic inevitably led to discussions about human emotions and desires.

The young and admired Yu Qinglian, the sole woman among them, carried herself with grace. Resting her cheek on her hand and toying with a maple leaf, she said, “What’s the big deal? A cultivation partner is just a companion on the path of cultivation, no different from a friend or family. As for my expectations, their talent should be at least equal to mine, and their appearance shouldn’t be inferior. Otherwise, I’m afraid they might feel inadequate and create a rift between us.”

Feng Jin laughed, “Almost everyone with talent not inferior to yours is already in the Institute of Celestial Ascension.”

Yu Qinglian released her hand from her cheek and turned her head.

Feng Jin responded, “Not me. I prefer someone gentle. If you want to be the future Phoenix Empress, you’ll have to wait until your next life.”

Pei Jing found it amusing and leaned back lazily, adding, “Don’t fall in love with me. it won’t lead to anything.”

Yu Qinglian let out a soft laugh.

Wu Sheng shook his head with a smile. “Qinglian will become the future Island Lord of Yingzhou. She won’t leave Yingzhou for anyone.”

Yu Qinglian turned her head and said, “Wu Sheng, why remind them? Let them continue their daydreams. Am I crazy? Marry those talented youths outside? One is wastrel, and the other is a libertine.”

Feng Jin’s eyes turned dark and filled with anger as he spoke each word, “A wastrel?”

Yu Qinglian tilted her head, the golden autumn shining outside the window, her smile carrying a hint of mockery. “Do you have no sense of what it means to be a wastrel? Remember what you said that night while drunk? ‘As long as I have a beautiful woman. I don’t care about the kingdom. I can turn the world upside down with a smile.’ My my, I’ve never seen such a reckless emperor in the mortal realm. If I were to tell the Institute of Celestial Ascension about this, I wonder how many feathers would be left in your phoenix plumage.”

Feng Jin: “……”

He would forever despise alcohol in this lifetime.

Pei Jing expressed dissatisfaction, “I agree if you call him a wastrel. But explain why you label me a libertine.”

Yu Qinglian sneered, “On our first meeting, you were already using the Phoenix Clan divine beast to flirt with girls. Did you conveniently forget?”

The nominated Phoenix Clan divine beast trembled, recalling the fear of almost being devoured that day. Clutching its own feathers, its round eyes glared angrily at the instigator.

Pei Jing was genuinely aggrieved. Back then, he was merely showing off his charm to Chen Xu, yet he ended up bearing such a false accusation. He had never even held a girl’s hand until now, so how could he be called a libertine? He turned to Chen Xu and said, “It’s all your fault.”

Chen Xu: “…???” What does this have to do with me?

Ji Wuduan conjured a gray-blue butterfly in the palm of his hand, which fluttered around the young man. After listening to their argument for a while, he spoke in an indifferent tone, “A foolish ruler, a libertine, and a shrew. What’s the point of discussing love and romance? You should each focus on living your own lives.”

One sentence stirred up three individuals.

Yu Qinglian transformed the maple leaf in her hand into a blade, her jade-like fingers twirling it, and she launched it directly.

However, the wind blade was blocked by the gray-blue paper butterfly beside Ji Wuduan.

Ji Wuduan: “Shrew.”

Yu Qinglian: “May you spend your entire life with your skeleton corpse.”

Feng Jin smirked in a somewhat malicious manner, “Let me guess, with your languid appearance every day, is it because your health is deteriorating? You should switch names with Chen Xu. I can see right through your emptiness, to the extreme.”

Emptiness to the extreme. These four words carried profound implications, causing the young individuals present to share a knowing smile.

Ji Wuduan gritted his teeth in anger.

Wu Sheng found it slightly amusing yet awkward, raising his hand to his forehead. “We’re getting off track here.”

Yu Qinglian rolled her eyes. Although she didn’t understand fully, she didn’t bother to ask because the expressions on their faces indicated it wasn’t something pleasant.

Among the others’ counterattacks, Pei Jing’s response was rather unique. Propping his chin up, he pondered, and the white-clad youth’s smile dimmed the autumn colors that adorned the Institute of Celestial Ascension’s surroundings. “First, I deny being a libertine. But you know what? I think I can live quite well on my own. Your presence has dispelled my yearning for the Ghost Realm, Yingzhou, and the women of the Phoenix Palace. Besides, considering how exceptional I am, who in this world can match up to me? It seems I’ll have to tread the path of the Heavenly Dao alone.”

The others responded with a dismissive “Hmph.”

After class, they left the academy.

Maple leaves blanketed the mountains, shining with a golden brilliance.

The autumn breeze was dry and refreshing, cleansing the sky above the mountaintop with its clear azure hue.

A disciple from the Fengqiuu Mountain joined their conversation and began to speak, “Autumn in Fengqiuu Mountain is just the same. Maple leaves turn as red as fire, as described in poetry. ‘Fragrant maple, tranquil late flowers, picturesque water, and the shadows of the southern mountains.’ That’s roughly how it looks.”

Pei Jing asked curiously, “With so many people in your Phoenix Clan, do you all live only on one mountain?”

The young man from Fengqiu Mountain, with emerald green eyes, smiled and replied, “No, Fengqiu Mountain is named after the Phoenix Palace, but there are other mountains beyond it. The mountain range stretches on, with blooming flowers in abundance. During the Festival of Rising Phoenix, it gets even livelier. If you have the time, you can go and take a look.”

“Sounds beautiful. Yunxiao has 108 peaks, shrouded in various clouds and mist. The Tianqian Peak where I reside is especially frigid, freezing people like ice.”

Chen Xu nudged him. “Are you tired of living?” Pei Jing retorted, “Our master is at the Heavenly Ladder and doesn’t have the energy to supervise us. If I’m not afraid, what do I have to fear from you?”

The disciple from Fengqiu Mountain laughed. “I’m actually quite interested in visiting Yunxiao. Changji Peak is famous for its mist and splendor, and there’s even a suspended bridge in the snow.”

Pei Jing: “You’re welcome to come.”

The young man with jade-green eyes smiled shyly, “Sure, but once we leave the Institute of Celestial Ascension and return to the Phoenix Clan, I might not have the time.”

Pei Jing: “I think you, as the clan leader, will carry yourself better than the Phoenix Emperor.”

The young man with jade-green eyes already knew they had misunderstood, but he simply laughed, “No, no, no. The Phoenix Emperor is actually highly respected within the clan. As a true phoenix, the Elders, including my father, had very high expectations of him from the moment he was born. When we were young, he would sit on the imperial throne, always serious and cold. It was only after coming to the Institute of Celestial Ascension that he became less restrained and more relaxed.”

Chen Xu: “Did you hear that? Feng Jin at least puts on a facade. What about you?”

Pei Jing felt like Chen Xu was being overly argumentative today and pointed at himself. “Do you dare say that I’m not a highly admired senior brother in Yunxiao?”

“What are you talking about?”

At that moment, Yu Qinglian walked over from behind the corridor, accompanied by Ji Wuduan.

The young girl in her aqua blue dress brushed against the golden maple leaves, and the bells on her wrist tinkled softly in the wind. She adorned a maple leaf in her hair, nestled above a silver jade bead, exuding a subtle charm.

Chen Xu spoke first, “We’re listening to Pei Yuzhi boasting about himself.”

Pei Jing: “…But it’s the truth. Little Brother.”

Yu Qinglian smiled mischievously. “I can’t believe you’ve been listening to that for so many years. Your ears must be calloused by now.”

Pei Jing: “I’m not lying to you, I really am highly admired in Yunxiao.”

Ji Wuduan: “According to your logic, I’m equally adored in the Ghost Realm. Anyone can put on a pretense.”

Yu Qinglian clicked her tongue twice and said, “Alright, alright, you’re all amazing. As for me, in Yingzhou, my beauty keeps everyone at a distance.”

The female cultivators from Yingzhou couldn’t help but cover their smiles.

Pei Jing couldn’t continue the conversation and said, “A bunch of little brothers. 

“Initially, I thought it was a good thing, but now I see it might not be entirely so. Not encountering inner demons indicates that your seven emotions and six desires haven’t fully awakened. There is a stage in Yunxiao Swordsmanship called ‘Cangsheng’, which might pose a challenge for you.”

“What should I do then?”

“Return to basics.”

Myriad of beings. Seven emotions and six desires. In Yunxiao’s swordsmanship, there were nine stages, with the first stage being ‘Xingyun’ and the eighth stage being ‘Cangsheng.’ He remembered that the first stage, ‘Xingyun,’ involved abandoning all kinds of negative thoughts such as suffering, worry, fear, and resentment, akin to the path of indifference. The eighth stage, ‘Cangsheng,’ would require him to pick up these negative thoughts again. Or perhaps, only a portion of them?

The person at the Celestial Pavilion had said that wherever there were people in the myriad worlds, there would be the mortal realm.

Pei Jing returned to Tianqian Peak and first went to the Wuya Pavilion, but Chu Junyu was not there. He rummaged through boxes and cabinets, searching for a while, until he finally found the original copy of the Yunxiao Swordsmanship on his cluttered desk. He had memorized every word of the swordsmanship since the age of five but hadn’t delved deeply into it due to his focus on breaking through the Nascent Soul stage.

After the sixth stage of the swordsmanship, there were no further explanations, only names remained.

The seventh stage was Zhengdao. Breaking through it at the peak of Wuwang, he slaughtered the mountain with a single sword, and blood flowed like a river. It was the first time he had killed so many people. As the fine snow fell, in the moments of trance, his heart became even more resolute.

The eighth stage, Cangsheng.

He turned the page once again.

The ninth stage, Qianqiu.

“Cangsheng—to save the world, is that it? But what about Qianqiu? What am I supposed to do?” He sat cross-legged, a bit casual, resembling a wealthy young master of the mortal realm. Holding the book, his sleeve fell down, revealing a wrist as smooth as a jade river.

The silver-haired young man, returning under the moonlight, spoke coldly at the door.

“To grant you eternal glory.”

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