After Failing to Influence the Protagonist Chapter 98

Chapter 98 Mirror of Sin Hell

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Just like Chu Junyu had said, the Tower of Spiritual Refinement was nothing but an illusion. It covered the entire land, including the sky above.

The world flipped upside down and descended in a straight line.

As they set foot on the ground again, a slight sinking sensation greeted them. Looking down, they found red soil beneath their feet. The soil was loose and could produce red-colored water when pressed upon. Close by, a scorching heatwave licked at their skin.

Pei Jing regained his composure and glanced to the side. What caught his eye were two enormous mountains, more like black rocks. From the top of these rocks, a slow stream of golden-red liquid trickled down, seeping into the ground. The liquid was purer than magma but even more searing.

It felt as if heaven and earth had transformed into a blazing furnace. They found themselves amidst these rocky formations.

Chu Junyu appeared unfazed by the surroundings, showing no signs of surprise. He gazed at the clear footprints left on the ground ahead and simply said, “Let’s move forward. We might encounter someone along the way.”

Pei Jing furrowed his brow, expressing concern. “After I entered Zhuihun Palace, one of the palace’s elders took aside those who wished to enter the inner city. They led us to the Tower of Spiritual Refinement. The people we might come across could be those who went there as well.”

Chu Junyu responded nonchalantly, “Probably.”

It was clear that he didn’t concern himself with what they were about to encounter.

Pei Jing pondered for a moment and agreed. To Chu Junyu, it didn’t really matter who they met.

However, Pei Jing couldn’t help but feel curious. “What was the inner city like, exactly?”

After all, Tianyan City had already earned a fearsome reputation among outsiders.

The inner city, the subject everyone avoided discussing in the outer city, must have been truly terrifying.

Chu Junyu replied indifferently, “It’s a rather dull place.”

“How dull is it?”

Chu Junyu glanced at him, hesitated for a moment, and finally said, “The spiritual power is chaotic, and the void is torn apart. You wouldn’t last a day there.”

Pei Jing mumbled, “Is it that frightening?” And what did Chu Junyu mean by saying he wouldn’t last a day? It seemed like Chu Junyu held him in low regard.

Chu Junyu explained, “The realm of the living sea separates the outer city from the inner city. Beneath the realm of the living sea lies the Nine Hidden Demon Realm. Although the Transient Jade Lotus remains intact, the ancient power that keeps it suppressed still lingers. If you were to disturb it, there would be consequences. Furthermore, the Demon Clan is stirring. From now on, you mustn’t do anything without my permission.”

After expressing his feelings, Pei Jing noticed a change in Chu Junyu’s attitude towards him. It was evident that Chu Junyu became more indulgent. Previously, when Pei Jing asked Chu Junyu ten questions, nine of them were ignored, and for one, Pei Jing had to answer himself while facing Chu Junyu’s cold and indifferent gaze. Along with this indulgence, a more assertive side also emerged. For instance, Chu Junyu had never commanded him as he did now.

Surprisingly, Pei Jing felt quite pleased and smiled brightly and obediently. He wondered what expression Chu Junyu would make if he replied, “Sure thing, Big Brother.” But he had a strong premonition that it would only bring disaster upon himself, so he dismissed the thought. Although calling Chu Junyu “big brother” had a certain effect, he couldn’t truly see himself as a little brother. What if it spread around and tarnished his reputation as Pei Yuzhi?

“Alright, I’ll follow your lead,” Pei Jing responded.

As they continued forward, they indeed spotted another group of people, consisting of four individuals. Among them, Pei Jing recognized three. There was the Blood Spider Mother with half of her face disfigured, the boy with a head twice the size of an ordinary person’s, and the middle-aged man whose robe was drenched in blood, proving his path to enlightenment through killing his wife. Pei Jing furrowed his brow and thought, What a coincidence, they all entered the city at the same time.

Among the four, only one little girl was unfamiliar to Pei Jing.

The little girl had two large braids neatly tied behind her, fair skin, and big eyes. She wore a simple and elegant green dress that accentuated her sweet and charming smile.

She stood out from the people beside her and even from this world.

When the four noticed Pei Jing and Chu Junyu, the first to react was the girl.

With a joyful smile, she stepped forward and asked, “Are you also heading to the inner city?”

Pei Jing’s eyes also carried a hint of a smile as he glanced at her.

The young man in white sheathed his sword, and his wide sleeves fluttered in the wind as he replied, “Yes, we came in later.”

The girl in the green dress blinked, gazing at his face with a momentary pause.

After a while, her dimples deepened on her cheeks. “Junior Master, would you like to join us? The path to the inner city is said to be treacherous, with trials like the Mountain of Blades and the Purgatory of Asura. We are fellow cultivators, so why not travel together? It would provide mutual support.”

Pei Jing had plenty of experience dealing with such inconsistent girls. His voice turned gentle, but each word carried a subtle sting. “Fellow cultivators? Miss, which cultivation path do you follow?”

The girl in the green dress smiled and playfully countered, “And which path do you follow, Junior Master?”

The Blood Spider Mother clearly recognized him. Resentment and malice lingered in her eyes. Her voice, hoarse yet filled with disdain, was directed at the girl. “He obviously looks down on you. It’s better to move on and not waste time.”

The girl in the green dress tilted her head and spoke softly, her voice tinged with a hint of petulance. “No way.” While her words sounded coquettish to everyone else, they carried a chilling warning.

The Blood Spider Mother suppressed her profound gloominess, gritted her teeth, but remained silent.

Pei Jing wanted to say something but suddenly felt his wrist being gripped.

He turned his head and looked at Chu Junyu, whose silver hair partially concealed his cold and frosty profile. Suddenly, Pei Jing sensed his anger. His wrist throbbed in pain from the firm grip, and Pei Jing sheepishly remembered his earlier promise not to act recklessly. Yet here he was, about to engage in a confrontation with the young girl. He quickly cleared his throat and dropped his nonchalant and flirtatious demeanor, speaking to the girl in a serious and composed tone. “Our paths diverge, and we shall not conspire together. It’s best if we don’t travel together.”

The girl in the green dress lowered her gaze and fixated directly on their hands. After a long pause, she innocently and perplexedly remarked, “But Junior Master, there is only one path to the inner city. No matter what, you will eventually encounter me.”

Pei Jing wanted to say, “My beloved doesn’t like you. Could you please leave?”

However, before he could speak up.

Chu Junyu intervened, “There’s only one path, so it’s safer to travel together.”

When he remained silent, his imposing presence made the other three hesitant to speak. Now that he had spoken, an unpredictable aura of authority weighed heavily on everyone’s hearts.

Only the girl in the green dress looked back at him and smiled. “Yes, indeed. With six people, we have nothing to fear.”

Pei Jing, disregarding the pain in his wrist, looked at Chu Junyu in astonishment.

Deep sympathy surged within him for these four individuals.

However, since Chu Junyu had already spoken, he couldn’t lose face. He said, “Since we’re traveling together, we should also choose a leader. It seems that you, Miss, have a better understanding of this place than any of us. So, please lead the way.”

The girl in the green dress showed more interest in him and smiled slightly. “Junior Master, it’s wonderful that you’re willing to trust me.”

She extended her slender, pale fingers and pointed to the east. “We need to head in that direction, cross the mountains and forests, and we’ll reach the Sea of Reincarnation.”

Before setting off, the twins’ gaze shifted back and forth between them. Their voices sounded strange, with a mix of childish innocence and adult coldness.

“What is your relationship?”

The Blood Spider Mother and the young man also looked over.

The girl in the green dress had clear, excessively clear eyes, devoid of any discernible emotions.

This question struck right at the heart of Pei Jing. After finally forcing Chu Junyu to confess his feelings, it ended up being such a messed-up outcome. He hadn’t even finished being happy yet.

It was widely known that they had confessed their love back then, and now that their feelings were finally mutual, how could there be no witnesses?

So he made a subtle move, maneuvering his hand to free his wrist from Chu Junyu’s grasp, but instead, he turned it around and voluntarily intertwined their fingers.

Facing everyone, he smiled gently, like a refreshing breeze under the moonlight. “Oh, he is my beloved.”

Blood Spider Mother: “……”

Twins: “……”

Young cultivator: “……”

Only the girl in the green dress said, “But I don’t think so, Junior Master.”

Pei Jing replied, “Well, then your eyesight must not be very good.”

The girl in the green dress struggled to maintain her smile.

Chu Junyu silently glanced at him but didn’t break free. His gaze returned to the girl, cold enough to peel a layer of skin off a person, and his tone became indifferent. “We should leave now.”

Pei Jing: “Exactly, how much time have we wasted here?”

The girl in the green dress paused for a moment, composed herself, and smiled faintly. “Then follow me, Junior Master.”

Throughout the journey, she only addressed Pei Jing as Junior Master.

The other three remained silent because nobody knew each other’s true intentions.

They walked towards the eastern side, through the crimson soil, into a forest. The forest appeared as a dark mist from afar, and amidst the lurking monsters and evil spirits, even from a distance, they could hear heart-wrenching roars.

The girl said, “We’re about to enter hell.”

The three of them remained expressionless, as each person had a dark past. As the girl had said, entering the forest was like stepping into hell. The trees in the forest were twisted and had a ghastly dark hue, resembling inverted figures. A turbulent river flowed through the forest, and there was a wooden boat on it. The girl stepped onto the boat and called for them to follow. The boat moved forward, and as the tree shadows dispersed, they entered a cave. Inside the cave, there were agonizing cries. People knelt on the shore, their hair disheveled, ɴᴀᴋᴇᴅ ʙᴏᴅɪᴇꜱ, ᴍᴏᴜᴛʜꜱ ᴡɪᴅᴇ ᴏᴘᴇɴ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴛᴏɴɢᴜᴇꜱ ᴇʟᴏɴɢᴀᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴜɴɪᴍᴀɢɪɴᴀʙʟᴇ ʟᴇɴɢᴛʜꜱ, ᴏɴʟʏ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ɢʀᴜᴇꜱᴏᴍᴇʟʏ ꜱᴇᴠᴇʀᴇᴅ. The moment of severance was a horrifying sight that chilled one to the bone. Hands and feet were bound to wooden stakes, and every person exhibited extreme pain, wishing for death, with bulging veins.

The girl stood at the head of the bridge and said, “This is the Tongue Removal Hell, a place specifically designed to punish those who were smooth-tongued, spreading lies and slandering others in their lifetime. However, throughout a person’s life, how can they possibly avoid concealment, deception, or telling a single lie? I suppose this is the judgment that every person must undergo after death.”

She spoke passionately, but no one paid her any attention.

The eyes of the girl in green dress showed deep disgust. The boat continued to move forward, passing through the Scissor Hell, where the fingers of sinners ᴡᴇʀᴇ ɢʀᴜᴇꜱᴏᴍᴇʟʏ ꜱᴇᴠᴇʀᴇᴅ ʙʏ ꜱᴄɪꜱꜱᴏʀꜱ, ᴀᴄᴄᴏᴍᴘᴀɴɪᴇᴅ ʙʏ ᴀɢᴏɴɪᴢɪɴɢ ꜱᴄʀᴇᴀᴍꜱ. ᴛʜᴇɴ ᴛʜᴇʏ ʀᴇᴀᴄʜᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴛʜɪʀᴅ ʟᴇᴠᴇʟ ᴏꜰ ʜᴇʟʟ, ᴡʜᴇʀᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ɪʀᴏɴ ᴛʀᴇᴇ ɢʀᴇᴡ ᴛʜᴏʀɴꜱ. ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴡᴇʀᴇ ʜᴜɴɢ ᴜᴘꜱɪᴅᴇ ᴅᴏᴡɴ, ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ꜱᴋɪɴ ᴘᴇᴇʟᴇᴅ ᴏꜰꜰ ᴀɴᴅ ʙᴏɴᴇꜱ ᴛᴏʀɴ ᴀᴘᴀʀᴛ, ᴡɪᴛʜ ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ ꜰʟᴏᴡɪɴɢ ɪɴᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ʀɪᴠᴇʀ.

The girl in the green dress said, “If only there were such eighteen levels of hell. Why give the wicked a cycle of reincarnation?”

Pei Jing found it amusing to encounter someone who despised evil in this place. This girl had some interesting qualities.

Behind her, the young twin seemed to laughed with an ambiguous tone. “You’re scheming from the start, trying to win us over. It’s just that you seem knowledgeable about this place, which is why we’re following you. Don’t think too highly of yourself. Tianyan City is a city of sin to begin with. If you can enter, what kind of person would you be? Who are you saying these things to?” A breeze rustled his hair, and the large lump at the back of his head was exposed—pitch black and vaguely revealing facial features, eerie and sinister.

The other two remained silent. They had entered this realm with the girl, and none of them could have predicted the drastic change in her temperament. In the Tower of Spiritual Refinement, she appeared fragile, but once immersed in the Demon Realm, her aura underwent a tremendous transformation.

They relied on her to find the way, but they were not afraid of her. After all, they were fugitives who didn’t even care about death.

The girl in the green dress remained unperturbed as she spoke softly, “You’ll see what sins and wickedness mean when we descend to the next level. Don’t rush. The next level is the Mirror of Sin Hell. It reflects all the sins committed during one’s lifetime, revealing their true nature.” Her eyes wandered as she continued, “Just like all of you, I also want to enter the inner city and exchange something. However, not just anyone can enter the inner city. In the Mirror of Sin Hell, the deeper the sins, the easier it is to lose oneself.”

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