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What's wrong with a snake that just wants to cultivate and transform?

What’s wrong with a snake that just wants to cultivate and transform? By Feb 21, 2024 5 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Xu Nian made up her mind: seize the artifact and flee without delay.

As Qi Shaochen’s hand was about to touch the artifact, he suddenly saw a green snake shadow rushing towards him like a bolt of lightning. Having been through numerous battles, he immediately realized that this creature was after the artifact.

His body reacted faster than his brain; knowing he might not be quick enough to snatch the artifact before the creature, he swiftly kicked the item, sending it flying far away, showing no signs of his severe injuries.

Xu Nian, thwarted in her initial attempt, hastily retreated, fearful of exposing any weakness and instantly became more vigilant.

She descended from the tree, shifting her view to ground level, and for the first time got a clear look at Qi Shaochen’s face. He had a gentle and refined appearance, his white robe giving him the air of an elegant young master. His looks belied the ruthlessness of his actions.

Without time to think, Xu Nian quickly changed direction following the trajectory of the flying artifact. She wanted a swift resolution, but her lack of combat experience with humans became evident. In her haste, she left her back unguarded.

Seizing the opportunity, Qi Shaochen channeled his spiritual energy into his sword, unleashing a fierce sword energy that swiftly struck towards the green snake.

Xu Nian felt an eerie chill on her back and instinctively dodged. The formidable sword energy narrowly missed her, blasting her sideways. The path she had been on was now cleaved into a deep trench, with the fallen leaves in the forest scattering in all directions, demonstrating lethal power comparable to an explosion.

Witnessing the terrifying power of the sword energy, Xu Nian was filled with dread. Had she not evaded, she would have been gravely wounded, if not killed. Although her demon beast body was tough, it couldn’t withstand such a fierce attack.

Hiding in the tree earlier, she had thought these techniques flashy but harmless. Only now did she realize their terrifying power.

Suddenly, she felt a searing pain in her tail. Looking back, she saw that most of the scales at the base of her tail were sheared off by the sword energy, leaving a gaping, bloody wound.

Xu Nian gasped in pain. Turning, she saw Qi Shaochen smiling as he approached with his sword. The mere graze of his sword energy had caused such horror; a direct hit would surely be fatal.

She looked at the artifact, still far off in the distance. Trying to get closer would probably trigger another sword attack. Given the short distance, Qi Shaochen could easily anticipate and block her moves, possibly inflicting more than just a minor injury.

What to do? Should she flee?

No, she couldn’t escape.

Running would expose her back, making her vulnerable to his sword energy. If she couldn’t dodge in time, she would be seriously injured or worse. She couldn’t gamble her life on the hope that he wouldn’t attack her, or that his sword energy wouldn’t reach her.

In a fleeting moment, several thoughts raced through Xu Nian’s mind.

If she couldn’t flee, then she must fight!

Her determination solidified, and her round eyes grew more resolute.

Qi Shaochen saw the green snake pause, then resume its dash towards the artifact. He sneered at the snake’s apparent ignorance of its own mortality. “Truly a creature oblivious to death,” he mocked.

Qi Shaochen, ever vigilant, positioned his sword to intercept the inevitable path towards the divine artifact. If the green snake dared to proceed, it would surely be sliced in half by his sword energy, a certain death.

He had already concluded the snake’s demise in his mind and was ready to claim the artifact for himself.

Unexpectedly, the green snake seemed to anticipate his move. Just meters from the artifact, it twisted and surged in a bizarre motion, not only evading his sword energy but also launching a direct attack on him.

The snake demon, which appeared weak and could be killed with just one sword hit, had actually become far more dangerous through its cultivation. Its venom had turned extremely toxic, strong enough to dissolve lower-grade magical artifacts. If this venom came into contact with the skin, it would penetrate the bloodstream and meridians. Without quick treatment, it could obstruct meridians, disrupt cultivation, or even lead to instant death.

Qi Shaochen swiftly raised his sword in defense, adopting an offensive stance, but he hadn’t expected that the snake’s target was not his body but his sword-wielding right hand.

Xu Nian’s plan was simple: disarm him of his sword, and he would likely be unable to unleash those terrifying long-range sword attacks.

However, things always happen unexpectedly. In those brief, intense moments, she saw Qi Shaochen’s face break into an enigmatic smile.

A sense of dread hit Xu Nian. She knew she was in trouble but it was too late to turn back now, especially since she was mid-air with no foothold.

As expected, Qi Shaochen quickly switched his sword to his left hand and sidestepped her attack. His now-free right hand shot out like lightning, grabbing Xu Nian’s tail.

Poor Xu Nian, missing her strike, had hoped to at least escape with the momentum, but Qi Shaochen’s grip on her tail added insult to injury, sending her reeling and dizzy on the spot.

Qi Shaochen was also struggling. While he had managed to catch Xu Nian’s tail, thinking he could easily defeat the clever snake, he was taken aback by a sudden burning feeling in his hand. Surprised, he let go and noticed his palm turning black and purple, obvious signs of poisoning. The venom was gradually spreading up his arm through his veins.

Qi Shaochen’s usually unflappable demeanor finally began to crumble.

He hadn’t noticed when the snake demon had applied venom to her scales. He’d inadvertently grabbed her with his bare hand and got a full dose of the poison.

Having lived for many years, he thought of himself as the cleverest among his peers. However, he never imagined that a simple mistake would allow a mere demon snake to outsmart him.

Xu Nian was thrown harshly to the ground, dazed and disoriented for several seconds. Fortunately for her, Qi Shaochen was preoccupied with hastily consuming an antidote and paid her no further attention.

Xu Nian once discovered through experimentation that she could avoid breaking her oath as long as she didn’t directly attack or harm anyone. She reasoned that it wasn’t fair to be blamed if someone accidentally came into contact with her venom and faced deadly effects. So, she covered her scales with her venom as a means of protection. This way, if someone touched her and got poisoned, it wouldn’t be considered her actively causing harm. She cleverly found a loophole in her oath to use to her advantage.

Taking advantage of his brief antidote-taking moment, Xu Nian made another dash for the glittering artifact. She had suffered heavy losses; she needed some form of compensation to settle her heart.

But clearly, Qi Shaochen had the same idea. Having paid such a high price, he couldn’t simply watch this demon claim his victory. Ignoring the half-neutralized poison in his system, he wielded his sword in his left hand and struck towards Xu Nian once more.

In a nimble flip, Xu Nian scooped the artifact into her storage bag, and, enduring the pain, she leaped up, narrowly evading the incoming sword energy.

Qi Shaochen, still affected by the poison in his right hand and wary of accelerating its spread, was forced to rely on his left hand, resulting in slower and less powerful attacks. The serpent deftly avoided several successive strikes, frustrating Qi Shaochen to the point of losing his usual composure. He furiously unleashed several ice-sealing talismans from his storage bag, in an attempt to block Xu Nian’s escape.

Xu Nian, unable to dodge in time, was hit by one of the talismans, feeling her body stiffen and slow down. Sensing Qi Shaochen was brewing some powerful technique, she instinctively felt an extremely dangerous aura emanating from him.

His ice-sealing technique was clearly a ploy to immobilize her, and his current actions suggested he was charging up for a powerful distant strike. Xu Nian sensed that if he managed to fully charge his attack, it could spell her doom. Knowing he was still cautious about her venom and unable to move aggressively, she deduced that he was likely preparing a ranged attack. She resolved that she couldn’t let his plan succeed.

With this in mind, Xu Nian didn’t hesitate. Determined to succeed or die trying, she lunged at Qi Shaochen.

Qi Shaochen was surprised. The demon snake was unexpectedly smart. He had intended to trap her and then employ a tracking sword formation for a kill from afar. Once activated, dozens of swords would have been unleashed at once, giving the snake no chance to escape. Yet, it appeared she had anticipated his strategy, attacking him directly to take advantage of the slow setup of his sword formation.

Caught off guard and unable to retract the formation in time, Qi Shaochen defensively raised his sword with his left hand while guarding against any attack on his sword arm.

Xu Nian knew full well that attacking Qi Shaochen head-on would be a mistake. He’d be ready for her, and she wouldn’t come out on top. So, she feinted, swooping past him without striking, just disrupting the build-up of his sword formation.

Qi Shaochen’s shock grew as he watched the green snake weave and leap through the forest, evading his sword energy with increasing finesse. She had progressed from exposing obvious flaws to creating deceptive maneuvers and even exploiting his vulnerabilities. Her innate talent as a demon beast was nothing short of terrifying.

Despite having taken an antidote and using his spiritual energy to suppress the poison, it was still spreading through his veins. Continuing this way could damage his cultivation, or worse, his life. He needed to find an opportunity for a decisive strike.

While dodging, Xu Nian clearly noticed her opponent’s energy becoming unstable. She made sure to closely watch his movements and condition. Then, she spotted a weakness in his defense.

Now was her chance!

She launched herself at him.

Qi Shaochen, however, subtly curled his lips into a smirk. “Hmm, no matter how talented, it’s still just a beast. Just one small mistake, and it fell right into the trap.”

He lifted his sword, his movements swift as lightning, chopping down in the direction of the onrushing serpent.

It was over.

But in the next second, Qi Shaochen’s expression changed abruptly. The snake demon had ducked in the blink of an eye, evading his strike.

All he saw was the snake demon attacking from an impossible angle, its fangs aimed right at him.

It had seen through his feint, anticipated his anticipation!

Clutching his eyes and writhing in agony on the forest floor, Qi Shaochen screamed, “Ah, my eyes, my eyes!”

Indeed, Xu Nian had sprayed her venom directly into Qi Shaochen’s eyes, thwarting his next move. However, because she had attacked him, she experienced the negative consequences of her soul-binding oath. Struggling to maintain her balance, she fell from the air onto the ground, curling up in pain and wailing miserably.

I’m going to die, I’m going to die. It feels like my heart is about to burst, I can’t breathe.

As Xu Nian rolled in pain, she glanced at Qi Shaochen, who was similarly rolling in agony. This sight brought her a bit of solace. Once the excruciating pain began to subside, she laboriously bent her body to apply the last of her herbs to her tail wound, then moved, albeit painfully, to leave the scene.

She noticed, out of the corner of her eye, Qi Shaochen lying motionless as if dead, possibly having passed out from the pain. A twinge of fear gripped her – if she had accidentally killed him, would her soul-binding oath kill her on the spot?

After a moment of hesitation, Xu Nian cautiously slithered over and, using her tail, hooked his storage bag. She rummaged through it and found the antidote pills she had seen him take earlier. Without a second thought, she stuffed them into his mouth and forcefully ensured he swallowed them.

Soon after, presumably as the antidote took effect, Xu Nian felt her own heart pain begin to alleviate.

Relieved, she swiftly pocketed Qi Shaochen’s storage bag into her own and, taking advantage of the dark, windy night, quietly retraced her steps back to Qingshui County.

Shortly after she left, several streaks of light cut through the dark sky, heading towards the site where the divine artifact had appeared.

When Xu Nian had left, the night was deep and quiet. But upon her return, in the dead of night, the streets were unusually bustling. Many households had their lights on, and the noises of commotion filled the air. A team of patrolling guards, carrying lanterns, indicated that something significant had occurred.

She was a bit panicked for a moment, suspecting that it was because she had stolen the divine artifact, and somehow other cultivators had found out and were now on their way to kill her and take the treasure.

Xu Nian shrank into a small size and hid in the shadows, only listening to the surrounding people chattering:

“Any news? Have they caught the person?”

“Judging by the patrols, they probably haven’t.”

“This flower thief is audacious, sneaking into the home of the Baibao Pavilion’s owner.”

“Wow, that’s the niece of our county magistrate!”

Thinking her life was at stake, Xu Nian listened intently.

The owner of Baibao Pavilion? Wasn’t that Mu Yanyu?

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Previous: Chapter 15

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Shakthivel
Shakthivel
5 months ago

Thanks for the chapter…

cyberstingray
cyberstingray
5 months ago

thank you! you work so fast!!!

dadin
dadin
3 months ago

that was a very interesting battle fight

No.1 Yuri Lover
No.1 Yuri Lover
28 days ago

damn, that fight scene was intense
Go little snake, go!

Hatimo
Hatimo
21 days ago

This snake is smart, but oath is really bothersome