Chapter 74.1 Kunlun
Pei Jing’s brow furrowed. “You don’t need to apologize. The Phoenix doesn’t blame you.”
The young girl remained silent for a long time.
The azure blood inside the jade bead slowly flowed like a tear, solidifying for a hundred years.
Pei Jing asked her, “Do you still remember what happened in the Western Kunlun Mountains back then?” Qingying’s voice was weak, wanting to speak but the wounds were too deep. She opened her mouth, but due to the pain, her breath was weak, unable to form a sentence.
Pei Jing sighed inwardly and gently said, “No need to rush. You should focus on resting inside the bead, and when your injuries are healed, I will ask you again. If you don’t want to see Feng Jin now, then don’t.”
A faint azure light flickered, seemingly expressing gratitude. She closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
Pei Jing placed the bead into his clothes and headed towards Xuanyun Peak. It was the Outer Peaks Grand competition, and today was the draw. When he hurried over, the spacious martial arts stage standing amidst the sea of clouds was already filled with people. First, there were the internal trials of each peak.
Everyone from Shangyang Peak gathered under one platform, and the fairy-robed Senior Sister distributed tokens to them. Pei Jing approached, and everyone silently made way for him. He had connections with Chen Xu, the Wenqing Peak Master, so better not provoke him.
Pei Jing was accustomed to such treatment and had gotten used to it. It appeared quite natural for him to leave for a while.
His presumptuous attention was even more apparent in the eyes of those who paid attention.
Walking up to Xu Jing, Pei Jing noticed that Xu Jing was looking at him with a complicated expression. He touched his face and asked, “Do I look better again?”
Xu Jing sighed and shook his head. “No, I’m just sighing over how you were treated unfairly during your time at Yinghui Peak.”
Pei Jing was puzzled and asked, “What?”
Xu Jing couldn’t hold back any longer and said, “You actually know the Peak Master of Wenqing Peak. Why didn’t you directly join the Inner Peaks? I remember when we entered, there were ten spots for the Inner Peaks, and you could have competed for one.”
Pei Jing finally understood. Chen Xu and Feng Jin’s arrival at the Purple Bamboo Forest had confirmed his backstage connections.
He turned his head towards the disciples who were secretly observing him and showed a friendly, radiant smile with rosy lips and white teeth.
The disciples thought to themselves, “Hmph! He’s just relying on backstage connections, a useless person.”
Pei Jing suppressed his smile and whispered to Xu Jing, “Are these people clueless? Even if I entered through the backdoor, my strength would easily surpass theirs. Making them cry is not a problem. They’re risking their lives and still dare to give me attitude?”
Upon hearing this, Xu Jing glanced towards the back. Many people perked up their ears, focusing intently on eavesdropping on their conversation, but they pretended not to care, with their eyes constantly wandering around.
Xu Jing turned his head and explained to him, “It’s different now. Before, you had connections, and it was the disciples of Yinghui Peak who felt resentful. But after a year, you’ve more or less managed to handle them, and no one has any bias against you. Now, these people are all Senior Brothers and Senior Sisters of Shangyang Peak.”
Pei Jing smiled and said, “Oh, I see.”
Xu Jing, being the know-it-all of Shangyang Peak, could talk about anything. He continued, “The evaluation of you is quite polarized at the moment. We’ve spent a year with you and know your strength. We admire your character even more now—having such excellent resources but not utilizing them and insisting on relying on your own abilities to enter the Inner Peaks. It’s worthy of admiration.”
Pei Jing pretended to be embarrassed and said, “No, no.”
Xu Jing furrowed his brow and gestured towards the back. “Then there’s another group—the Senior Brothers and Senior Sisters of Shangyang Peak who have been here longer. They think you’re just a useless person. Even with Peak Master Chen Xu as your backstage support, you couldn’t enter the Inner Peaks. They wonder how terrible your strength must be. Perhaps the trials of Yinghui Peak and the match against Xiao Chen were all arranged by Elder Chen Xu to give you some spotlight.”
Pei Jing spoke as if he wasn’t talking about himself, “Seems like I have quite a lot of spotlight.”
Unable to understand how he could still be smiling, Xu Jing said indignantly, “We disciples who entered Shangyang Peak together have put in a lot of effort and spread the word everywhere. We forcefully promoted you as one of the Four Champions of Outer Peaks. Please don’t disappoint us.”
Pei Jing couldn’t stop smiling, and Xu Jing was his source of amusement—being the leader of the Five Champions of the World, he had to rely on false publicity to enter the Four Champions of Yunxiao Outer Peaks. How decadent.
Xu Jing became angry and said, “Be serious!”
Pei Jing immediately nodded with integrity and said, “Alright, thank you all for your support. If I get first place, I’ll set up two tables at the entrance of the sect and invite you all for a drink.”
Xu Jing: “……” Drink your own wine.
The Senior Sister sequentially handed out the tokens, and when she noticed their cheerful conversation, she snorted coldly.
Pei Jing and Xu Jing promptly stood in proper posture.
Standing in front of them was a Senior Sister at the mid Foundation Establishment stage, who could be considered above average in appearance even in the world of cultivators filled with beauties. Her eyebrows were like paintings, dressed in the traditional attire of Outer Peaks, adorned with a jade hairpin, and her black hair was smooth. However, her expression was unpleasant, and her tone of speech was unfriendly. “Just now, I was explaining the rules. Did you listen?”
Xu Jing sensed trouble and cautiously spoke before Pei Jing, “Yes, we listened attentively. Thank you, Senior Sister Wuheng.”
Senior Sister Wuheng’s expression slightly improved, but she remained cold. “Once you receive the token, join the queue. Step forward when your name is called.”
Xu Jing: “Yes, yes, understood.”
When Senior Sister Wuheng was a bit further away, Pei Jing asked, “Who was that?”
Xu Jing rolled his eyes, thinking he was incredibly ignorant, “That was Senior Sister Wuheng. Don’t you recognize her? She’s the most beautiful woman of Shangyang Peak. I’ve even mentioned her to you before—she’s the Senior Sister who refused to enter the Inner Peaks because she was afraid of falling in love with Pei Yuzhi.”
Pei Jing: “……I see.”
Yes, according to rumors, he was the heartthrob of the Inner Peaks, a flirtatious playboy without emotions.
Xu Jing watched the graceful figure of the Senior Sister as she walked away and muttered, “Well, it seems the reputation of being the most beautiful woman of Shangyang Peak is not unfounded.”
Pei Jing displayed his elegance. After all, she was an admirer of his, so it was just appropriate to praise her. “Hmm, not bad. She has a good appearance.”
Of course, if Yu Qinglian were here, she would probably be infuriated.
Xu Jing looked down at his token and sighed. “Number forty-three. It’ll probably take a while before it’s my turn.”
Pei Jing also glanced at his token, number seventy-two, and suggested, “I’m even further behind. We can go grab something to eat now.”
The sun was shining brightly, and temporary tents had been set up near the martial arts platform of Xuanyun Peak. People crowded inside, sipping tea or watching the performances. The liveliest tent was the one closest to the arena. When Pei Jing and Xu Jing entered, a group of people were huddled together, placing bets.
From a distance, they could hear someone loudly saying, “It’s not interesting to bet on the outcome of this round. Let’s make a bigger wager and guess who will be the first this time.” Immediately, another person chimed in, “You’re right, let’s start the bidding at ten medium-grade spiritual stones.” Everyone laughed. “Sure, we agree! No backing out if you lose!”
The group of young people were eager. They rolled up their sleeves, dividing the table into several sections.
“Alright then! I bet on Chang Wu from Zhongnan Peak!”
“Chang Wu from Zhongnan Peak, huh? He’s considered a dark horse. His ranking in the previous Outer Peaks competition wasn’t low, if I recall correctly.”
“How could we forget Senior Brother Lin Feng, who took first place in the previous Outer Peaks competition?”
“Senior Brother Lin Feng only narrowly defeated Senior Sister Bu Heng. I bet on Senior Sister Bu Heng from Ziyang Peak. Ziyang Peak is on par with our Shangyang Peak as the top forces in the Outer Peaks, so their strength shouldn’t be underestimated.”
Speaking of this, the disciples of Shangyang Peak sighed with regret. “And there’s also Senior Sister Wu Heng. If only she would join the Inner Peaks. Otherwise, who knows who would take the first place.”
“While you’ve mentioned everyone, let me place a bet on a dark horse. Have you heard of Chu Junyu from Shangyang Peak? Maybe it’s not exactly a dark horse. I’ve heard that this kid had already reached the Foundation Establishment stage when he entered Yunxiao.”
The claim was met with disbelief by those present. They scoffed, “Are you brainwashed by his admirers? Who are you trying to deceive? Good looks are good, even false strength can be blown into something real. Besides, I don’t think he even registered. He’s elusive. We haven’t seen him once.”
As they laughed about this false strength, their smiles faded when they thought of a particular person.
They spat on the ground in disdain.
“I’ve heard that someone has labeled Senior Brother Chang Wu, Senior Brother Lin Feng, Senior Sister Bu Heng, and that kid Zhang Yiming as the Outer Peaks’ Four Champions. Have they lost their minds?”
“Zhang Yiming, just his name alone shows that he doesn’t belong to the same league as the others. There are rumors about his connection to Peak Master Chen from Wenqing Peak, but it’s nothing but a far-fetched claim with no evidence.”
“He only bullies the kids from Yinghui Peak. There’s always someone better. This time, he’ll have to come to terms with his true strength.”
Every word reached Pei Jing’s ears.
Xu Jing thought, “They are still too naive.” But Pei Jing smiled contentedly and said, “It’s actually good. Even though they know I have connections, I still stand tall and unyielding. That’s what being a disciple of Yunxiao is all about.”
Xu Jing pondered how he could phrase his words differently.
Pei Jing stood on the edge of the crowd and tapped the shoulder of a person. “Brother, excuse me.” The person in front was engrossed in a conversation and glared at him when he turned around. “What do you want?” The boy smiled brightly and replied, “I’m here to make a fortune.” The person in front didn’t recognize him, grumbled a bit, but still made way for him.
The table was in chaos, with piles of spiritual stones being heavily wagered. People rolled up their sleeves, engaging in heated debates and spitting words at each other.
“Senior Brother Chang Wu, trust me, Zongnan Peak relies on him!”
“Senior Sister Bu Heng is at the early stage of Foundation Establishment, about to break through to the mid-stage!”
Amidst the boiling excitement, a sudden and abrupt voice rang out, “I bet on Zhang Yiming, and I still have some room to spare.”
The crowd fell silent and noticed the appearance of a boy who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. He had a handsome and clean appearance, with a bright and cheerful smile. However, his words seemed a bit thoughtless.
The man serving as the banker thought the young man was a naive target. “Plenty of room, how much do you want to bet?”
Xu Jing had squeezed his way in from behind, worried that Zhang Yiming would cause trouble. He stood next to Zhang Yiming, panting for breath, and said, “Hey…” Before he could finish his sentence, he suddenly felt a void at his waist. Without even glancing, Pei Jing, who hadn’t brought any money himself, took the purse hanging from Xu Jing’s waist. In an imposing manner, he placed the money on a corner of the table and leaned forward, his gaze sharp as lightning. “Bet everything!”
The crowd: “…Oh my.”
Xu Jing: “……”
What the hell, why?
Xu Jing gritted his teeth in anger, “Zhang Yiming!!!”
Pei Jing smiled mischievously. “Don’t be angry, don’t be angry. Wait for me at the entrance. I’ll treat you to a feast.”
He quickened his pace, fearing that even someone as easy-going and good-natured as Xu Jing would become furious and hit him.
The area of Xuanyun Peak was quite spacious. It was located at a fault line of the mountain, with tall tents erected and a small hill nearby. Yellow and purple flowers bloomed abundantly, while dandelions swayed in between. Pei Jing jumped down from the hill, his robes sweeping the dandelions, causing white fluffy tufts to scatter in the air. One of them fell before Pei Jing’s eyes, and he blew it away with a contented smile. Then he looked up and saw Ji Wuyou standing under the shade of a tree, looking frail and pale.
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