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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 25, 2024 5 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 23

Chapter 24

For Xu Nian, who had reached the mid-level of the seventh rank, dealing with these fourth and fifth-rank demon beasts was as simple as slicing through vegetables – it was all done in a matter of minutes.

Even the leading sixth-rank demons were no match for her. She batted them around like rubber balls, eventually smashing one deeply into the ground with her tail, turning it into a flat, mangled mass of flesh and bone, dead beyond doubt.

The onlookers were almost agape with shock at the ferocity of the giant snake. Any thoughts of escaping while the beasts fought amongst themselves were completely abandoned.

Unsure whether the snake was friend or foe, merely watching it evoked an indescribable terror in their hearts.

In less than the time it takes to drink half a cup of tea, the snake had slaughtered the entire dense swarm of demon beasts.

Now, the gigantic head turned towards them, its sharp black eyes piercing as they focused on the people.

Faced with such a terrifying sight, they instinctively swallowed hard, trembling with fear as they awaited their fate.

The giant snake opened its enormous mouth, revealing sharp, venomous fangs.

Many faint-hearted individuals, terrified by this horrifying scene, had their legs give out and collapsed to their knees, some even wetting themselves in fear.

“Where are your parents?” the giant snake suddenly spoke in a surprisingly pleasant female voice.

Behind its massive body, a timid little girl emerged, rushing anxiously towards the crowd, “Mom, Dad, where are you?”

A stir went through the crowd, and after a moment, a couple stepped forward, their faces a mixture of disbelief and relief. Overcoming their fear of the giant snake, they rushed to embrace the girl, sobbing uncontrollably.

“My Zhu Zhu, my dear Zhu Zhu, I thought… I thought I’d never see you again,” the mother cried, holding her daughter tightly.

Lying in the familiar and warm hug, Zhu Zhu clung to her mother, crying loudly as well.

The girl’s father, wiping away tears, still fearful, approached Xu Nian, “Did you save Zhu Zhu?”

Before Xu Nian could respond, Zhu Zhu wriggled out of her mother’s arms, excitedly gesturing to the others:

“I was about to be eaten by a scary wolf, and the snake suddenly appeared and saved me.”

“The snake is so kind, it even brought me here to find you.”

Hearing this, the rescued people looked at each other in astonishment and began to quietly discuss among themselves.

Zhu Zhu’s father immediately knelt down and kowtowed three times to Xu Nian: “Snake Goddess, you saved our family of three, we owe you a debt of gratitude that we can never repay. If there is anything you command, I am willing to lay down my life to assist you.”

The people behind him also knelt and kowtowed in gratitude, “Thank you, Snake Goddess, for saving us.”

After a brief discussion, a leader emerged from the crowd and approached Xu Nian with a facade of calm. “Snake Goddess, we commoners have little to offer in return for your kindness. If you don’t mind, we would like to build a temple for you and worship you with incense.”

Xu Nian blinked, taken aback. She had come here to offer incense, and now, unexpectedly, she was the one to be worshipped. This sudden change left her unsure of how to respond.

This was the first time she had appeared in front of humans without being scorned or hated. She felt content with just coexisting peacefully and didn’t seek any repayment.

She was about to shake her head in refusal.

But then Mu Yanyu, uncovering her cloak, stepped forward and loudly declared, “It’s a great blessing for our small Qingshui County to have the protection of the Snake Goddess. To continue the prosperity of our county, my family is willing to contribute significantly to the construction of the Snake Goddess Temple, to express our gratitude!”

By now, those around recognized her, and they all praised, “As expected of the head of the Mu family, so bold and generous.”

Encouraged by Mu Yanyu’s example, others began to join in:

“We have a piece of ancestral land, perfect for the Snake Goddess Temple.”

“I have an old piece of red sandalwood, ideal for carving a plaque in honor of the Snake Goddess.”

“What’s red sandalwood? I’ll donate my treasured agarwood for the construction of the Snake Goddess Temple.”

The discussion turned into a debate over whose offering was better.

Xu Nian opened her mouth, her gaze subconsciously turning towards Ji Yuebai, wanting to say something.

Then someone, noticing something, approached Ji Yuebai and said flatteringly, “Could it be that the immortal lady and the Snake Goddess…”

Ji Yuebai smiled gently and sincerely replied, “The Snake Goddess has also saved me.”

Her smile, like the thawing of ice and snow, and her stunning beauty momentarily captivated everyone around her, leaving them dazed for a long time before they came back to their senses.

Not long after the spring outing incident, the tales of the Snake Goddess’s heroic deeds began to spread widely among the lucky survivors in Qingshui County. With Mu Yanyu’s substantial investment and contributions from those who were saved, the construction of the Snake Goddess Temple began in earnest.

Even the storytellers in the teahouses and taverns began to recount the stories of the Snake Goddess.

“People were surrounded by a horde of vicious demon beasts, on the brink of being devoured, when suddenly the skies changed, and a rainbow light appeared in the distance. Our Snake Goddess, riding on golden clouds, appeared and unleashed a powerful ‘Dragon Tail Whip’. In an instant, the ground shook, and the demon beasts were shattered from the inside out, dying instantly from what seemed like a simple strike…”

Xu Nian, now in her small form and coiled in a teacup, listened with a mix of pride and embarrassment.

“They’re really exaggerating.” Her quiet muttering stood out during an exciting pause in the tale.

Someone in the teahouse, one of those saved by Xu Nian that day, overheard her comment and passionately retorted, “I witnessed it myself! The Snake Goddess was as majestic as described, saving us by slaying the demons. The storyteller hasn’t even captured a fraction of the Snake Goddess’s elegance!”

He passionately praised the Snake Goddess and, turning around, found himself eye to eye with Ji Yuebai and Xu Nian.

His speech halted abruptly, and he awkwardly approached, “Oh, it’s the immortal lady! Are you here to listen to the stories too? Your heroic image is also engraved in all of our hearts.”

“But this green snake looks like the Snake Goddess.”

Many were drawn by his words, crowding around them. Those who had seen them before excitedly came forward to express their gratitude, while others who hadn’t seen them were curious onlookers.

Ji Yuebai, who had initially come incognito with a veil, was soon recognized and surrounded. Some offered fruits and gifts, others were curious to see the face of the immortal lady, and many wanted to see what the legendary Snake Goddess looked like.

Ji Yuebai, not used to such situations and usually commanding an aura that kept people at bay, almost had her veil pulled off by the crowd. The fans, somewhat crazed, even tried to touch Xu Nian, who appeared to be a venomous snake…

As the situation nearly spiraled out of control, Xu Nian, thinking quickly, took out a swift wind talisman, slapped it onto herself, and enlarged to her normal size. Wrapping her tail around Ji Yuebai’s waist, they vanished from the crowd like a gust of wind.

The remaining people in the teahouse were left wide-eyed and exchanging looks of astonishment.

After a while, someone said, “That must have been the Snake Goddess just now!”

Agreement followed immediately.

“That lithe and beautiful form was exactly what I saw that day.”

“The Snake Goddess has immense powers; changing size must be a simple task for her.”

“Truly, she is worthy of being the Snake Goddess!”

As these enthusiastic fans spread their adoration, the legend of the Snake Goddess swept through every corner of Qingshui County. Portraits, statues, sugar figures, protective amulets of the Snake Goddess started being sold everywhere. The Snake Goddess Temple, once built, became a hot pilgrimage site. Rumored to bring safety and even fertility, it drew crowds from neighboring counties, causing a shortage of incense, candles, and joss paper in the surrounding area.

The Snake Goddess economy flourished, and its popularity remained high. Mu Yanyu, with her sharp business acumen, profited immensely from this trend and was now ready to share the earnings with Xu Nian.

Meanwhile, Xu Nian lay sadly on her couch, counting her money. She loved money, yes, but she cherished the joy of spending it even more. The feeling of having money but not being able to enjoy it tormented her.

Recently, any outing with Ji Yuebai led to being mobbed by fervent fans, preventing her from enjoying her usual playful escapades. Even disguised as an inanimate snake-shaped object was no longer an option. In the height of the Snake Goddess’s popularity, she couldn’t step out without being excitedly recognized by people.

In the past, all Xu Nian ever dreamt of was being accepted by others, not having to worry about hatred or being hunted for her snake identity, and being able to communicate properly with people. However, when this unreliable dream was not just realized but exceeded, turning into a frenzied adoration from everyone, she suddenly found that being universally loved could also be a source of distress.

So, Xu Nian completely calmed her restless heart, sinking into her black box to focus wholeheartedly on her cultivation.

But this round of cultivation was different from before. Apart from the energy provided by the spirit stones and the spirit-gathering formation, a faint golden aura that she had never seen before lingered around her. When she tried to absorb this aura, she discovered, to her delight, that this spiritual energy was exceptionally easy to assimilate and convert. It was like an essence-enhanced version of the regular spiritual energy, not only a hundred times more potent but also more conducive to her advancement in cultivation, as if custom-made for her.

As Xu Nian was about to absorb the last of the light golden energy, she discovered it was being replenished slowly from the heavens, wrapping around her. Curious, she emerged from her box and traced its source, leading her to the newly constructed Snake Goddess Temple.

In the silent and cold night, within the small temple, a woman knelt on a mat, clutching a frail, dying child in her arms, praying desperately: “Oh Great Snake Goddess, they say you are mighty and powerful. Please, save my child, restore his health. I’m willing to devote my life to worshipping you, please show your divine power.”

The child appeared to be seriously sick, his energy nearly gone, and it seemed he might not survive more than a few days. Xu Nian, merely a demon snake from the forest, had a limited understanding of medicine before her reincarnation, knowing only about cold medicines, painkillers, and a bit of first aid knowledge. She has no knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine. She wished to help but didn’t know what to do.

Although she had medicinal herbs, they were effective mainly for external injuries and of little use for internal diseases.

Watching the mother’s desperate, tearful pleas, Xu Nian couldn’t bear it. Hesitating, she took out a pill she had obtained from Qi Shaochen, smelled them with her tail, and chose one with rich spiritual energy. She placed it in a new porcelain bottle, quietly dropped it in front of the woman while she was distracted, and swiftly left.

The woman, engulfed in sorrow, heard a clear sound and saw a smooth porcelain bottle roll into view. Trembling, she picked it up, opened it, and found a dark green pill with a faint, pleasant fragrance.

“Is it you, Great Snake Goddess? Is this a divine pill you’ve bestowed?”

She looked around the empty temple, no one answered.

Trembling, she took out the round pill and placed it in her child’s mouth. The pill melted instantly and soon dissolved.

Xu Nian watched intently from the rafters, mainly because the pills were few and contained a faint trace of spiritual energy. She didn’t know their use but felt they could fetch a good price if she ever ran out of spirit stones. Thus, she hadn’t experimented with them and didn’t know their efficacy. Although unsure of their usefulness, she believed they wouldn’t be harmful.

After some time, the child’s complexion visibly shifted from ashen to rosy, even his purple lips regained color. His eyelids fluttered, and he opened his eyes.

“…Mommy.”

The woman, in disbelief, then hugged her child, crying tears of joy: “My son, you’re awake. It’s all thanks to the Great Snake Goddess. We must repay the Snake Goddess, worship her for the rest of our lives.”

As soon as the woman finished speaking, Xu Nian saw a stream of light golden spiritual energy rise from her body and head straight towards her. This energy then swirled around Xu Nian, identical to the refined spiritual energy she had absorbed earlier.

With her extensive reading experience from her past life, Xu Nian surmised that this was likely the legendary power of faith.

After the woman left with her child, showering endless thanks, an idea struck Xu Nian. This Snake Goddess Temple, which could both help others and enhance her own cultivation, was actually quite a good arrangement.

From then on, Xu Nian’s daily routine, apart from cultivation, eating, and sleeping, included a new part-time job: granting wishes as a Snake Goddess.

She diligently cultivated for eight hours every day in her black box and then devoted an hour to the Snake Goddess Temple to listen to prayers and address them.

The woman who had come from the village a few days earlier was there out of desperation. The local doctor had already advised her to prepare for the worst. After praying to every deity she knew, and as a last resort, she came to the Snake Goddess Temple with a sliver of hope…

Now, her child was incredibly healthy, going from bedridden to energetic overnight. He had become a strong lad, capable of carrying water, chopping wood, and even strong enough to take down a calf.

As word spread, the Snake Goddess Temple’s threshold was worn down by the throngs of visitors, and the incense offerings grew even more abundant.

Xu Nian, who attended the temple at irregular intervals, began hearing more and more peculiar prayers.

“Snake Goddess, please appear and bless me with eight beautiful wives.”

“Please, Snake Goddess, ensure that I am strong and potent tonight.”

“Snake Goddess, I pray for a promotion, wealth, and the demise of my wife.”

Xu Nian was so irritated by these requests that she almost put up a sign at the temple entrance: “No Men or Dogs Allowed.”

However, for those who prayed sincerely, Xu Nian still generously offered her help.

Since she couldn’t make pills and her supply of spiritual medicines wasn’t infinite, she devised a method. She mixed a large vat of mountain spring water with a quarter of her spiritual pills, then divided this mixture into small porcelain bottles for use.

The diluted spiritual pill water proved to be miraculously effective for minor ailments and misfortunes, without being so potent as to instantly cure diseases or grant superhuman strength upon consumption.

For more complex and difficult cases, Xu Nian would distribute water mixed with a higher concentration of a single spiritual pill per large vat.

Thanks to Xu Nian’s relentless efforts, a steady stream of light golden faith energy flowed to her each day, so much that even speeding up her cultivation in the black box wasn’t enough to use it all. Reluctantly, she increased her daily cultivation time from eight to nine hours.

As a result, Mu Yanyu, now with some free time, often finds herself turned away when she wants to hang out.

Frustrated, she sought out Ji Yuebai, “Your snake is so busy cultivating every day she doesn’t even have time for you. Don’t you feel neglected?”

Ji Yuebai pondered over the words “your snake” and replied with utmost kindness, “Ah Nian is cultivating to transform. I can’t hinder her progress for my own desires.”

“Indeed… you’re right. I shouldn’t be so selfish, constantly wanting her to spend time with me and thus delaying her cultivation.”Reflecting on her own behavior, Mu Yanyu left dejectedly.

Despite losing most of her private time with her snake, Xu Nian’s progress in cultivation was phenomenal.

To put it into perspective, with the black box, her cultivation speed was already rocket-like. Now, with the support of the faith energy, it was as if she was traveling at the speed of light. Although this might sound exaggerated, within the cultivation world, very few could match her pace, likely only those like her who possessed secret methods or divine artifacts.

If this trend continued, Xu Nian conservatively estimated she could advance to the next level in at most two years. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, she would be able to reach the threshold of transformation within a decade.

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Previous: Chapter 23

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cyberstingray
cyberstingray
4 months ago

Mu Yanyu grew on me her having a mortal lifespan is gonna be sad…

Shakthivel
Shakthivel
4 months ago

Thanks for the chapter..

Kat
Kat
1 month ago

She originally has 250 more years to transform. 25 years inside the box. So the golden light removed 15 years too? That’s awesome :>

Hatimo
Hatimo
14 days ago

Can’t wait for the snek to transform

flamewolf
flamewolf
6 days ago

the whole sequence of events was sweet but also a little funny in a be-careful-what-you-wish-for way. Gotta say the amnesia arc is lasting a lot longer than I expected, but I’m also enjoying it a lot more than I expected, so I guess that’s a wash.