After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 90

Chapter 90 Insect

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Among the crowd, a man with an indeterminate appearance said, “Your husband is currently stuck on the bridge. Even if you wait here until it gets dark, he won’t show up.” A woman also spoke disdainfully, “Why are you acting like this now? It’s so hypocritical.”

Pei Jing gave them a cold glance, and instantly, both of them fell silent.

He turned to Hua Run and said, “It seems like something happened to my Brother Qiao Qiao. I had to go save him.”

Hua Run couldn’t let anyone who entered the palace leave. He thought this woman was a real troublemaker. If it were someone else, they would have already been killed by him. But now, everyone in Zhuihun Palace was in danger, and he couldn’t take any risks. So, he stepped forward and said, “You don’t have to trouble yourself, Miss. I’ll bring him here.”

Pei Jing glanced at him, then stepped back and nodded. “Thank you.”

Qiao Mucai was stuck on the bridge, hoarse from shouting, but it felt like he was completely alone. He received no attention. As a pampered young master, he had never endured such hardship. His eyes turned red, and he stopped struggling, hanging his body on the bridge and crying loudly. Amidst tears, he cursed, “Zhang Yiming, you unfaithful man! You ran away with random man, leaving me behind. I bought you back for a thousand pieces of top-grade spiritual stones, and you don’t even value me. Are you even human? A thousand pieces, damn it! Scoundrel!” He wiped his tears and nose, angrily berating the white-haired adulterer in his heart.

Hua Run stepped onto the bridge and immediately sensed that something was wrong.

The bridge appeared dormant. He reached out and touched the railing, observing that the normally slow-moving green liquid had solidified in mid-air.

Hua Run frowned and muttered to himself, “So, that’s why everyone was able to cross?”

With no more misleading illusions, the bridge appeared ordinary.

He wondered about this situation and decided to report it, along with the woman’s identity, to the Elders. Suppressing other thoughts, he glanced once more at Qiao Mucai, who was left crying and shouting on the bridge, and a strong sense of disdain filled his eyes: a freeloader.

When Qiao Mucai appeared in front of everyone, his eyes were still red like a rabbit’s. He walked over, wiping his nose with his sleeve and sniffling. His appearance, resembling a deeply wronged person, surprised everyone. It was hard to imagine a man being so helpless.

Pei Jing couldn’t help but laugh. She pretended to be concerned and walked forward, expressing worry, “Qiao Qiao, are you alright? Why are you crying?”

Qiao Mucai pushed his hand away and turned his head. “Hmph!”

Pei Jing smiled and said, “Qiao Qiao, are you hurt? Are you mad at me?” His fingers, without hesitation, pulled him closer while he raised one finger, his gaze coldly sweeping past.


A thousand pieces.

Qiao Mucai shrank his neck, feeling a mix of fear and reluctance. He glanced at him with resentment, then lowered his head and murmured, “No.”

Pei Jing nodded.

Everyone: “……” They felt a bit nauseated at the thought of this despicable woman and worthless man, who seemed to have been deliberately placed in their sight, making them uncomfortable.

With everyone gathered, the guide led them to their destination. At the entrance of a forest at the foot of Zhuihun Mountain, stood a palace.

Inside the palace, a woman with snow-white hair slowly emerged. One of her eyes was hollow, while the other had a smoky gray color. Her gaze, like a poisonous snake, felt icy when it met someone’s skin.

Hua Run respectfully bowed and said, “Bone Witch, these are the new arrivals for today.”

The woman exhaled slowly, her voice crackling like a split throat, and she hoarsely asked, “Why so many?”

Hua Run choked a bit and mumbled, “There was a problem at the Green Bridge.”

The woman’s gaze passed over the group as if looking at dead people. With a chilling tone, she said, “Never mind, more people will make it livelier.”

She took a step forward, her gown swaying, revealing her hands and feet, which were skeletal and devoid of skin.

Apart from her face, everything about her was white bones.

The Bone Witch said, “Split into two lines. Those who want to enter the inner city, stand on the right side. Those who simply want to enter my Zhuihun Palace, stand on the left side.”

Pei Jing was taken aback.

Enter the inner city? What was this about?

He had no such intention, so he remained still, observing the situation.

He noticed five individuals in the crowd who instinctively stood on the right side, remaining silent throughout.

One of them was the Blood Spider Mother. Half of her face was grim, her expression indifferent. Snakes coiled around her waist, and centipedes wriggled in her hair. The other four individuals were similar to her, carrying an indiscernible but malevolent presence.

The Bone Witch swept her gaze over them one by one, displaying a disdainful expression. “You should be grateful for the incident at the Green Bridge today. Otherwise, how could you possibly pass the trial?”

The five individuals remained silent, unmoved by her words.

The Bone Witch beckoned, and a half-human, half-serpent creature slowly emerged from the palace, crawling forward.

The Bone Witch said, “Take them to the Tower of Spiritual Refinement.”

The creature spat a snake-like tongue at the five individuals, then crawled on the ground and made its way outside the palace. The Blood Spider Mother was the first to follow, while the other four individuals remained silent and walked forward.

The onlookers watched in bewilderment as they witnessed their departure.

The Bone Witch leisurely said, “As for the rest of you, you’ve all come here to enter my Zhuihun Palace. Let me tell you a few things.”

“I don’t care about your identities outside. Once you’re here, you must abide by the rules within my palace. Tianyan City is known as the City of Villains, and naturally, my Zhuihun Palace won’t inquire about your past. In my eyes, there’s no distinction between good and evil. The first rule to follow is to consume the Gu in my hand.”

She extended her hand, and countless small green insects crawled out from her sleeve, making their way up her wrist and into the palm of her hand. These green insects were completely transparent, entwining with each other, and their tentacles seemed to secrete a white fluid continuously. At first glance, it was repulsive.

Unconsciously, Qiao Mucai took a step back.

The atmosphere instantly became stifling.

Everyone remained silent, no one daring to be the first to speak up.

The Bone Witch, accustomed to guiding so many people, spoke lightly, “Once you enter Zhuihun Palace, it’s either you consume it, or it consumes you.”

Her words caused many to freeze in their expressions.

Qiao Mucai felt like crying. He had truly sacrificed too much for this one thousand spiritual stones.

However, Pei Jing burst into laughter. The Bone Witch’s face instantly darkened upon hearing the laughter, and her piercing gaze locked onto Pei Jing.

Pei Jing stepped forward, his fingers as white as jade, and plucked a worm from the Bone Witch’s hand. “Is it such a big deal to eat a worm? You nearly scared my dear Qiao Qiao into tears. Don’t worry, everyone. I’ll taste it for you.” With that, he tossed it into his mouth.

The crowd perked up, their gaze fixed on his mouth. Between the closing of his teeth and lips, they could almost imagine the hair-raising sound of chewing.

A green liquid trickled from the corner of his mouth. Pei Jing raised his sleeve to wipe his mouth and swallowed it down. Then he turned back, looking particularly gentle at Qiao Mucai. “Qiao Qiao, don’t be afraid. It’s sweet.”

The Bone Witch regarded him as if he were insane. Qiao Mucai felt like he was being driven mad. Hearing the words “Qiao Qiao” now made his whole body ache!

One person took the first step, and after a moment of hesitation, the rest began to approach, one by one, taking the worms from the Bone Witch’s hand.

Everyone ate the worms right in front of the Bone Witch.

The Bone Witch slowly withdrew her hand and said, “Follow me.”

This time, she personally led the way.

Hua Run stood by, furrowing his brow. After some thought, he decided to step forward and whispered, “Bone Witch, it seems that the woman in the snow attire came in with the person inside the palace.” A hint of coldness flashed in the Bone Witch’s ashen eyes. “How do you know she’s not just making things up? No orders have been given within the palace. Everything should be done according to the rules.” Hua Run awkwardly replied, “Yes.”

After the Bone Witch finished speaking, she turned her head slightly and stared at Pei Jing.

Pei Jing, in response, lifted his head and gave her a particularly radiant smile.

The Bone Witch’s expression grew gloomy as she turned her head and walked deeper into the forest.

Qiao Mucai was still clutching his neck, feeling the lifeless body of the worm lodged in his throat, neither going up nor down, making him extremely uncomfortable. He tried to retch, tried to swallow, and even attempted to use his hand to remove it, but nothing worked. Seeing him struggling so pitifully, Pei Jing said, “If you’ve eaten it, you’ve eaten it. The poison won’t kill you.” Qiao Mucai whined, “This is not sweet at all. It tastes awful. I want to vomit.” Pei Jing replied, “Do you think you’re here to enjoy luxuries?”

Qiao Mucai asked, “What does she want us to do?”

Pei Jing’s gaze turned deep as he looked ahead at the old woman. “We’ll find out soon enough.”

The Bone Witch led them out of the forest, and the dim and secluded path suddenly opened up.

Ahead was a vast lake, its blue waters crowded with gently swaying lotus leaves. Several delicate and fragrant lotus flowers bloomed on the surface. It was nighttime now, and the moonlight illuminated the lotus pond like a graceful dream. In the center of the pond, a massive pillar supported a palace. The eaves of the palace extended into the night sky, dimly lit and appearing eerie.

The Bone Witch said, “Go up.”

Everyone tried to manipulate their qi and float in the air to ascend, but as they began to gather their energy, they suddenly realized something was wrong!

Their lower dantian couldn’t draw out any spiritual energy at all.

This realization drained the color from everyone’s faces.

They used their spiritual perception to look inside their lower dantian and were startled by what they saw—the worm they had bitten and forcibly swallowed was far from dead. Its body was regenerating and reassembling within their lower dantian. It coiled there, gradually absorbing their spiritual power.

“What does this mean?!” A cultivator couldn’t hold back and angrily confronted the Bone Witch.

The Bone Witch replied nonchalantly, “What’s the rush? I’ve already said it. This is just the first rule.”

With a wave of her sleeve, the vibrant green lotus leaves on the surface of the pond began to move. Stems extended and gradually formed a staircase leading to the floating loft.

“Follow me up.”

The cultivators gritted their teeth and held onto each other’s hands. At this point, they had no choice left.

However, among the crowd, there were those who rolled their eyes, smirked in satisfaction, and discreetly lowered their heads.

Qiao Mucai reluctantly made his way up, clutching his neck as if he were in misery. Stepping on the lotus leaf, he felt anxious, fearing that he might fall at any moment. Surprisingly, the lotus leaf was remarkably sturdy. He made his way up without much trouble. Pei Jing followed behind him, moving leisurely. One by one, the cultivators ascended the stairs with determined expressions, their progress going smoothly.

The unexpected occurred when there was only one person left.

He lowered his head, stepped onto the first lotus leaf, and suddenly found himself airborne.

Suddenly looking up, the man’s smug smile had yet to fade from his lips, but his gaze was filled with shock and terror. He hadn’t eaten the worm, and if he tried to break free using his spiritual power, it seemed as though there was a force dragging him downward. The lotus leaf tilted, and he fell directly into the pond.

The once serene emerald-green lake now revealed a ferocious face. With a soft splash, it stirred up small ripples and unleashed a swarm of countless insects. In an instant, they devoured him completely, leaving nothing behind.

It was either eat the worms or be eaten by them.

The Bone Witch at the front wore a cold expression and said, “There are always a few fools in this world who think they’re clever.”

A cold wind blew.

The cultivators’ previous anger and dissatisfaction vanished, leaving pale faces filled with fear and complexity.

The man at the forefront must have used a secret technique to deceive the test, but in the end, his cleverness backfired.

Qiao Mucai’s hand, holding his own neck, went stiff. Swallowing hard, his consciousness drifted. He couldn’t help but think if the worm really tasted a bit sweet.

Pei Jing lazily said, “Did you see that, Qiao Qiao? This is the consequence of disobedience.”

Qiao Mucai: “……”

They ascended the platform and entered the palace, where there were many rooms and spacious grounds.

The crowd gathered in one place.

However, the Bone Witch slowly explained, “In the future, this will be your cultivation place. Your current situation prevents you from undergoing fasting, no different from ordinary people. Someone will be responsible for providing your daily meals. I will give you my Zhuihun Palace’s ‘Soulchasing Technique.’ When you break through to the Cultivation Realm, only then will you be allowed to leave.”

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