Chapter 71 Return to the peak
When Feng Jin arrived at Tianqian Peak, Pei Jing was handling preparations for the competition that would take place in a week.
He looked at the letters, frowning with concern.
The Masters of Outer Peaks were doing fine, but those experienced individuals from Inner Peaks were unreasonable. They kept suggesting ways to benefit their own disciples, praising them endlessly for their accomplishments in fighting evil spirits. It took them three whole pages to write it all down.
They probably wanted to impress him.
Pei Jing patiently read through all of them and whispered, “Who cares about how good your disciples are? Even if they’re excellent, can they be as excellent as me?”
He said it casually, but someone still overheard.
Feng Jin’s relaxed voice could be heard from outside the hall, “Yeah, they are impressive indeed, but after all, I am the First Sword of the Institute of Celestial Ascension.”
Pei Jing had already been told by Chen Xu that this “sword” was different. But now, he was in a really good mood and couldn’t get angry at anything. He liked his Little Brother Feng Jin and replied, “Indeed, a hundred years old, reaching Foundation Establishment, and ranked first on the Wentian Rankings. I’m just joking with you, right?”
Feng Jin: “…Are you crazy? Can’t you hear that I’m insulting you?”
Pei Jing put down the paper he was holding and asked straightforwardly, “Did Chen Xu kick you out?”
Feng Jin finally had a chance to retaliate and smiled gently. “No, I just wanted to come and see this Big Brother of yours.”
Pei Jing: “……”
Feng Jin: “Come on, take me to see him.”
Pei Jing: “Why would you like to see my Big Brother?”
Feng Jin made up his mind to meet that extraordinary person. He shook his fancy sleeve and shamelessly said, “You’ve been calling me Little Brother for hundreds of years. Your Big Brother is also mine. What’s wrong with me meeting my own Big Brother?”
Pei Jing: “…Go away.”
Even though he said that, Pei Jing still took Feng Jin to Wuya Pavilion.
The reason was simple. He wanted to confirm something.
Throughout his encounters with Chen Xu, Wu Sheng, Yu Qinglian, and everyone else he knew, they all felt an indescribable sense of familiarity and fondness towards Chu Junyu. At first sight, they felt like they knew him.
This indicated something. Pei Jing felt delighted, as it showed that he and Chu Junyu were meant to be, there was a sense of destiny between them.
Despite frequently fighting with Feng Jin, they could still be considered friends after spending many years together.
Pei Jing wanted Feng Jin to catch a glimpse of Chu Junyu. At the same time, he felt a sense of pride. The future Yunxiao Sect Master’s Madam was so beautiful and formidable.
Walking on the cloud-covered bridge, Feng Jin felt curious, “Is he really impressive?” Pei Jing didn’t hesitate to praise, “He’s more impressive than me.” Feng Jin’s dark golden eyes instantly lit up, and he became alert. “Really? How did you know him?” Pei Jing waved his hand, concealing his amusement. “Who said anything about knowing or not knowing? He specifically came to Yunxiao for me, and I specifically sought him out in Outer Peaks. Fate works in mysterious ways.”
Feng Jin: “???”
Why did something feel off when he heard those words?
He probably didn’t know that today, the esteemed Yunxiao Sect Master of Tianqian Peak had been swept away by love.
In front of Wuya Pavilion, there was a peach tree with lush branches, stretching diagonally through the clouds, blossoming above the bridge corridor. Among the clustered flowers, a little yellow bird was sound asleep, its head buried in the petals. As Feng Jin approached, the bird sensed something odd among its kin, woke up, and opened its round eyes. Sleepily, it lifted its head and saw a figure dressed in shimmering golden red.
Standing before it was the esteemed emperor from the distant and prestigious Fenqiu Mountain.
“…Huh?” Was it dreaming?
Pei Jing, upon seeing it awake, reached out, grabbed it, and handed it to Feng Jin. “I found a companion for Little Red. What do you think? Let them nurture a relationship, have a little phoenix together. It would be a good bond between Yunxiao and Fengqiu Mountain.”
Little Yellow Bird: Fully awake now!
On Feng Jin’s shoulder, Crimson Iris, spectating and munching on melon seeds, thought, “I can’t eat the melon anymore!”
The two birds glanced at each other.
Then, simultaneously, they turned their heads away.
And in their hearts, they felt equally disgusted.
This yellow bird was genuinely ugly.
This red bird was genuinely chubby.
Feng Jin’s gaze fell upon the trembling bird in Pei Jing’s hand, and he smiled with profound meaning. “Well, let’s not rely on them for the everlasting bond between Yunxiao and Fengqiu Mountain, shall we?”
Pei Jing raised an eyebrow.
It was only then that Feng Jin remembered the other purpose of coming to Tianqian Peak. In disdain for Pei Yuzhi, he took out the book from his sleeve, leaned against the peach tree branch, and smiled charmingly. “Yuzhi, come and see our past of love and enmity on the Wentian Rankings.”
Pei Jing: “……”
He had heard of this boring play before, but he never expected to come across the actual book now. In the past, if it were Feng Jin teasing him like this, he would have retaliated directly. But now he had someone in his heart, considered himself a committed man, and had no interest in such messy affairs. He declined straightforwardly, “No, keep it for yourself.”
Feng Jin clicked his tongue, thinking that Pei Yuzhi was just being coy. Such a rare opportunity to provoke him should be not be slipped by. So he stepped forward, pushed aside the peach tree branches, and smiled gracefully, “Why not? I think we’re quite compatible.”
The peach blossom eyes were tender and watery, giving the appearance of a flirtatious character straight out of a book.
He tugged at the branch with his fingers, leaning in, putting almost half of his body weight on the peach branch.
Suddenly, a chilling breeze swept in from the end of the cloud corridor. Crack! A crisp sound echoed as the peach tree growing beside Wuya Ge was snapped in half. It broke halfway, and the tree fell down. Feng Jin, engrossed in his thoughts about provoking Pei Yuzhi, didn’t notice and was struck on the head by the falling tree. He even leaned forward, narrowly avoiding hitting a pillar.
“Chirp chirp.” Crimson Iris was startled.
Pei Jing was quite interested, curious to see how far Feng Jin could push him. Feng Jin’s attempt to provoke him was actually a case of harming oneself to harm the enemy, but he didn’t expect it to backfire like this.
Feng Jin stood up, holding his forehead, infuriated and feeling itchy. He pushed aside the peach blossoms and looked ahead, asking with anger, “Who’s there?”
Not far away, at the window of Wuya Pavilion, there was a misty haze, like flowing wind and drifting snow.
Chu Junyu’s fingertips traced through the air, leaving behind a trail of bloody blades.
Pei Jing chuckled, thinking that Feng Jin’s explosive temper hadn’t changed in ten thousand years. But then he wondered if Chu Junyu had broken the peach tree. And then it dawned on him, Feng Jin was teasing him earlier, so… Chu Junyu was angry?!! Was this jealousy?!! He couldn’t help but feel delighted once again—HAHAHAHA, Feng Jin finally acted less like a Little Brother. He cleared his throat and concealed his excitement, naturally siding with his own people as he scolded, “You’re the one who weighed down and broke the tree in my Yunxiao. Who else should you blame?”
However, when Feng Jin laid eyes on Chu Junyu, he lost all interest in listening to Pei Jing.
Across the clouds, amidst the heavenly light, a black-clad figure with silver hair stood by the attic window. The icy, blood-colored eyes gazed at him without any emotion. However, within Feng Jin’s hazy consciousness, a sense of familiarity arose, even a desire to confront this person in battle.
The fiery temper that easily flared up and easily subsided in the Phoenix Emperor instantly disappeared. His eyes radiated a bright light as he took a step forward and exclaimed loudly, “You’re the Big Brother hidden by Pei Yuzhi, aren’t you?”
What did he mean by “hidden Big Brother”?
Could he please stop mentioning the word “Big Brother”?! Pei Jing gritted his teeth, silently cursing that Feng Jin was indeed still a Little Brother.
Feng Jin was extremely interested in the black-clad person over there. “I admire you. How about we go outside and have a fight?”
Pei Jing confirmed his suspicions. The people around him seemed to have a favorable impression of Chu Junyu, but right now, he just wanted to drag Feng Jin away!
“If you want to fight, fight with me!” This incompetent Little Brother, don’t bother my Madam.
Feng Jin: “No, I’ve fought with you for hundreds of years. I’m more interested in your Big Brother.”
In Pei Jing’s mind, the term “Big Brother” had automatically been replaced with “Madam.” Interested?!! Interested in my Madam? Pei Jing wished he could strangle him. Tonight, he would stew the phoenix and have a grand feast of a hundred birds. “Are you done yet?”
Feng Jin leaned forward, his dark golden eyes shimmering with light, filled with a fighting spirit. His robe fluttered without wind, and the embroidered phoenix with golden threads seemed ready to take flight. “How about it?”
Chu Junyu didn’t look at him. His gaze was fixed on Pei Jing, who was rare to see so frustrated behind Feng Jin. Seeing Pei Jing step forward and forcefully tug at Feng Jin’s hair, the handsome face of the youth in the snow-white attire turned pitch black. From a distance, there seemed to be an intimate understanding between them. Did their relationship in the previous life reach such an intimate level?
Feng Jin raised his hand and snatched his hair back from Pei Yuzhi’s hand. Without looking back, his mind and eyes were filled with Chu Junyu. “If you agree, we can have a fight at Tianqian Peak.” Pei Jing scoffed in anger, “You’re dreaming!”
Tired of their squabble, he had seen enough.
Chu Junyu twirled a blade of wind between his fingers, smiling ambiguously. “If you can come over, I’ll compete with you.”
Crimson Eyes felt hopeless and raised his wings to cover his face. He didn’t want to admit that his master was behaving so embarrassingly.
The light in Feng Jin’s eyes grew brighter, shedding his arrogance and laziness, resembling a spirited young boy ready for battle. “Great!”
Pei Jing’s eyes narrowed slightly. “No, you’re not.”
The distance from the cloud corridor to the window was merely ten meters in the air. For the second-ranked person on the Wentian Rankings, it was naturally effortless. Feng Jin flicked his sleeve and was about to leave, but in mid-air, he was suddenly blocked by two inexplicable forces—icy blue and black-purple, mingling with a sudden gust of wind. Feng Jin’s lips curled into a smile, feeling this test was easily surmountable. He waved his palm, and instantly, a blazing crimson phoenix fire ignited.
Pei Jing witnessed a scene that felt familiar.
Back in the Institute of Celestial Ascension, he had played a trick on Feng Jin. He made up a technique that involved blending different elemental powers—water, fire, and lightning—to generate tremendous strength. And Feng Jin actually believed it, causing himself to explode into a scorched phoenix. The bewildered expression on the young Phoenix Emperor’s face at that time remained in the memories of everyone at the Institute of Celestial Ascension.
Now, it seemed like history was repeating itself.
Feng Jin sensed something was amiss as he made his move, but it was too late. When water, fire, and lightning collided, there was an instant explosion, resonating with a loud roar. Feng Jin’s phoenix fire could incinerate everything, but Chu Junyu’s lightning and water existed beyond the Six Realms.
On the cloud corridor, Pei Jing, Crimson Eyes, and Little Yellow Bird saw the dazzling sparks and bright white light in the air. Feng Jin became unstable and plummeted down, landing in the peach blossom forest below.
Pei Jing was stunned. The two birds and himself stood by the railing, looking down.
Feng Jin’s slender fingers brushed aside the tangled branches. His hairpiece fell off, and his black hair appeared disheveled, devoid of the usual elegance and grace of a noble.
Chu Junyu withdrew his hand into his sleeve, lowered his gaze, and said, “It seems you won’t have this opportunity.”
Feng Jin: “…”
He was too furious to speak.
Pei Jing shook his head, touching the tail of the Little Yellow Bird, murmuring, “What a mess.”
The return of Senior Brother Chang Wu, who had been traveling abroad, was a great joy for the people of Zongnan Peak. After all, the Outer Peaks Grand Competition was a matter of special concern for disciples within the Sect. Each year, how many disciples from their peak could make it to the top one hundred was a subject of keen interest.
Senior Brother Chang Wu was currently in the mid-stage of Foundation Establishment, and even among the Inner Peaks, there were hardly any opponents of the same age who could match his prowess.
He was the role model in the hearts of their generation.
“Senior Brother, the Peak Master is calling for you in the main hall,” whispered the junior sister who had long held affection for him, her face blushing.
Chang Wu nodded indifferently. Having just returned from outside, he hadn’t changed into his sect attire yet, still wearing a plain brown robe. His neatly tied hair and ordinary appearance belied his resolute gaze, revealing a person of steadfast character.
The junior sister playfully stuck out her tongue and said in a soft voice, “It must be about the Outer Peaks Grand Competition. Senior Brother, you must perform well. Although we all hate to part with you, the Inner Peaks is truly where you should be.”
Chang Wu nodded again.
As he turned away and walked toward the main hall, a faintly sinister smile, like that of a venomous snake, curved upon his ordinarily resolute face.
The waterfall in the main hall of Zongnan Peak cascaded down, crashing onto the rocks, producing a deafening sound.
Beneath the waterfall lay countless bleached bones, though no one would ever know.
In fact, even if anyone found out now, it wouldn’t matter.
He was no longer the person who had no talent and had to rely solely on hard work.
He would no longer allow himself to be at the mercy of others.
The main hall.
Seated upon the Peak Master’s throne, the Zongnan Peak Master maintained a calm expression. Her austere cultivation had enabled her to control her emotions completely, even if her heart was filled with desolation and anger. Her voice remained calm as she spoke, “Do you have confidence in the upcoming Outer Peaks Grand Competition, five days from now?”
Chang Wu replied, “Rest assured, Master. This time, your disciple vows to seize the first place.”
A trace of darkness flickered in his eyes. It wasn’t just about claiming the first position in the Outer Peaks. He even aimed to secure the first place in the Inner Peaks, to thoroughly humiliate those disciples from the Inner Peaks.
He wanted to make the previous Inner Peak Masters, who had looked down on his talent and rejected him, regret their decision, infuriate them, and force them to come and plead with him.
The Zongnan Peak Master sighed inwardly and no longer looked at him. “That’s good then. You may go and make your preparations. This time, even the Sect Master attaches great importance to it.”
Chang Wu: “Yes.”
He had a room in the main hall, situated near the waterfall.
Upon returning to his room, the young man who appeared solid and ordinary in the eyes of others underwent an instant transformation. His entire being exuded an eerie and ominous aura. He closed the door, stood in the room, and remained silent for a long time. Suddenly, he tilted his head back and burst into loud laughter.
After laughing to his heart’s content, he moved forward, gently touching the vivid blue jade ring on his finger. The ring was adorned with an intricate pattern of a circling azure bird, exuding a sense of grandeur and nobility.
Click, click, click. A hidden passage appeared on the floor of the room, leading downwards.
The stairs descended step by step into the depths.
This hidden passage led to a tightly enclosed room behind the waterfall.
The chains extending from the four corners were now abandoned, and scattered azure feathers and faded bloodstains littered the floor.
Chang Wu’s laughter took on a nervous tone as he whispered, “How interesting. The master and servant slaughtering each other has unexpectedly benefited me. Hahaha, after devouring the flesh of the azure bird and absorbing the power of that woman, I wonder who in Yunxiao will dare to oppose me!”
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