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 26, 2024 3 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 25

Chapter 26

The figure, holding an oil-paper umbrella and dressed in blue, emerged from the drizzling rain with an ethereal grace. The ruins concealed the lower half of their body until they drew closer, revealing a thick, bluish-black snake tail beneath their flowing robes.

Xu Nian shook her head, trying to shake off a strange dizziness. She stood alert, eyeing this snake-person warily. The individual was strikingly beautiful, with seductive eyes and cherry-red lips. Their silky black hair was loosely tied up, adding to their allure. However, looking further down, Xu Nian noticed a bulge on their slender neck.

Man, or… a demon?

Xu Nian was dumbstruck, recalling the earlier “my dear sister” remark, she felt a chill run down her spine.

Mu Yanyu whispered from behind, “Is this your brother or sister? Why do they look so strange, neither fully human nor demon, neither male nor female?”

Xu Nian shivered, leaning back involuntarily, “I don’t know, I don’t recognize them.”

This demon’s appearance alone screamed danger. Any beast capable of taking human form was undoubtedly at least a ninth-rank demon beast, far surpassing Xu Nian’s cultivation level. She was considering ways to defuse the situation, wondering whether she should call the creature ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ if she rushed over to hug their leg.

But it was too late. The snake-person seemed to have heard their conversation, and the faint murderous aura around them suddenly intensified, unleashing a terrifying pressure. Their thick, dark tail lashed towards Xu Nian aggressively.

“My sister, after all these years, you still haven’t learned,” the figure remarked.

Xu Nian had just enough time to push Mu Yanyu away, yelling for her to run, before the tail struck her fiercely into the ground.

The gap between their cultivation was vast, and Xu Nian, having depleted her spiritual energy in the previous monster attack, couldn’t evade. She only felt pain reverberate through her body.

The delicate figure of the snake-person, Qingyi, lightly covered their lips with a finger, feigning surprise, “Oh dear, you’re quite tough. I should have killed you long ago.”

Pausing, they added nonchalantly, “But killing you now isn’t too late, either.”

Internally cursing this treacherous demon, Xu Nian feigned a pitiful demeanor to buy time to recover her energy, “We are flesh and blood, kin with no past grudges. Why do you seek my life?”

Qingyi clearly had no interest in answering her question, disdainfully replying, “Who would be siblings with an untransformed beast like you?”

Damn, this fickle monster. Just called her ‘little sister’ moments ago.

Xu Nian gritted her teeth, “Even if you say that, you still have a snake tail yourself. What’s the difference between you and an untransformed beast like me?”

Her words evidently struck a nerve with Qingyi, as murderous intent instantly flared in his eyes. His tail rose menacingly, poised to strike at Xu Nian’s vital spot, aiming to extract her demon core with a swift, lethal jab.

Using the few moments she had bought, Xu Nian channeled her accumulated spiritual energy to roll away, narrowly escaping the deadly attack. She then dashed towards the city outskirts, hoping to join forces with Ji Yuebai and confront this vicious half-human, half-snake creature.

Qingyi, however, saw through her intentions and swiftly blocked her path. In a sarcastic tone, he said, “Quite the tactician, aren’t you? Using that grotesque snake form to ensnare the sword cultivator, compelling her to risk her life for your sake.”

Xu Nian paused, then countered sarcastically, “Could it be that despite all your efforts to transformation, that person won’t even give you a glance? Tsk, tsk, how utterly pitiful.”

“You! How did you know!” Qingyi’s disguised voice finally broke in their agitation.

Seeing her suspicions confirmed, Xu Nian carefully edged backward, masking her thoughts. “So, the one you’re into is a man, right? He saved you after your catastrophic attempt at ascension, and you fell in love with him. Are you dressed as a woman because he’s into women? But even with all your schemes, he still rejects you… Do you know why?”

Qingyi seemed captivated by her words, his voice dropping several notches, “Let’s hear your theory.”

Xu Nian took a few more cautious steps backward, “Stay where you are, don’t chase me, and I’ll tell you.”

Realizing Xu Nian had already distanced herself by hundreds of meters, Qingyi’s slender eyes narrowed, his tone laced with a subtle threat. “I’d advise you not to overstep.”

Left with no choice, Xu Nian hesitantly began, “Because…”

Qingyi watched her intently.

Unable to hold it in, Xu Nian burst into breathless laughter, “Because… you’re half-snake down there! How do you expect him to overcome his fear and convince himself to sleep with a terrifying snake?”

At her words, Qingyi flew into a rage, appearing in front of Xu Nian in an instant, eyes ablaze with fury, as if ready to tear her apart.

At that moment, the detestable green snake vanished from his sight. Simultaneously, a pitch-black octahedral box with inscriptions fell from the sky.

Xu Nian had waited until Mu Yanyu was far enough away and her presence undetectable before finally retreating into the black box, a divine artifact.

Despite her concerns about revealing the artifact, her life was at stake, and priorities shifted. As a seventh-rank high-level demon, she could survive on spiritual energy alone. With the artifact’s acceleration, her cultivation would still surpass the outside world. She could stay in the box for five hundred years, emerge transformed, and then return to defeat Qingyi – what could he possibly do to her?

These thoughts flashed through her mind in an instant. As soon as Xu Nian entered the black box, she submerged herself in a pre-arranged spirit-gathering formation, immediately sitting down to meditate and replenish her spiritual energy.

Realizing Xu Nian had disappeared, leaving only the black box behind, Qingyi understood she had taken refuge within it. Frustrated and enraged, he sneered, “Do you think hiding in this iron coffin will save you?”

After finishing his rant, Qingyi wrapped his tail around the black box and violently smashed it against the ground. Despite several forceful impacts that shattered the cobblestones beneath, the black box remained unscathed. Qingyi realized this was no ordinary object, even among the artifacts crafted by cultivators.

Softening his tone, he spoke to Xu Nian inside the box, “If you come out now, I’ll spare your life. Don’t be foolish and stubborn. If I have to open this box myself, mere skinning and breaking your bones won’t be enough.”

Xu Nian, who had discovered a one-way glass-like component in a corner of the black box, enabling her to observe and hear what was happening outside, ignored Qingyi’s threats and focused on recovering her spiritual energy.

Having tested the box’s durability previously, even against Ji Yuebai’s sword, she knew it was impervious to damage. She had even planned to use it as a shield against heavenly tribulations. Now, it was shielding her from Qingyi.

Outside, Qingyi tried everything to break open the box – from burning it with real fire, freezing it with ice, to dropping it from great heights. Despite creating massive craters in the ground, he failed to inflict even the slightest damage on the box.

Frustrated, Qingyi regretted not killing the talkative green snake immediately. He and Xu Nian came from the same batch of snake demon eggs. Due to a lack of food after hatching, he devoured his siblings, absorbing them to gain intelligence and a smooth path in cultivation. The transformation that normal beasts took centuries to achieve took him only decades, but it almost killed him, leaving an irremovable snake tail. The man’s horror and disgust at seeing his tail deeply wounded him.

He started hunting cultivators in search of a method to remove his tail and complete his transformation. Eventually, he discovered from a demonic cultivator that his cultivation method—gaining intelligence and power by consuming the flesh and blood of his relatives—went against the natural order. Demon beasts like him, who obtained intelligence and power this way, were uncommon. Once he chose this path, there was no going back. To fully transform, he needed to find and consume his last remaining sibling.

In a world filled with numerous demons, locating one specific green snake was as challenging as finding a needle in a haystack; it might even be dead. After years of searching without success, on the verge of giving up, he went back to where it all began, Xiao Cang Mountain. There, to his surprise, he overheard villagers talking about the “Snake Goddess” at the temple.

Just as he was about to seize the opportunity, he detected the aura of a human cultivator, a Golden Core sword cultivator from Tian Yuan Sect. Her spiritual energy was pure and refined. Since the Eight Great Sects had agreed a century ago to jointly exterminate all demon beasts, any cultivator would kill a demon beast on sight, no questions asked. Although he had reached the mid-phase of the tenth-rank, matching a human Golden Core cultivator in strength, he doubted his chances of winning against this woman.

He weighed his options, calculating the likelihood of success if he waited for the Golden Core sword cultivator to kill the green snake, then swooped in to seize her body and demon core. He estimated his odds at about seventy percent.

However, he watched in shock as the sword cultivator followed the green snake into a residence. The next day, the snake emerged unscathed. He was stunned. How could a Tian Yuan Sect cultivator, sworn to eradicate demon beasts, be fraternizing with one? How was this possible?

After reluctantly accepting this reality, he knew he couldn’t kill the green snake under the protection of this Golden Core practitioner. So, he sought the help of a peak Golden Core cultivator, Soul Devourer Daoist, promising a city’s worth of souls for him to refine in exchange for his help in dealing with the Golden Core sword cultivator.

Everything had gone smoothly for Qingyi until this point. He had personally witnessed the Golden Core sword cultivator being lured into the pre-arranged Blood-Soul Locking Formation by the Soul Devourer Daoist. Only then did he confront Xu Nian.

To his surprise, Xu Nian, who had not resorted to forbidden methods in her cultivation, had achieved a mid-stage of the seventh rank. He had failed to kill her with his initial attack, allowing her to escape. Given his cultivation level, he thought she had no chance of fleeing, so he humored her for a bit, indulging in the perverse pleasure of toying with his doomed prey.

However, this green snake seemed to have an uncanny insight into his heart, hitting precisely on the matters he cared about most. She even used these truths to mock him, pushing him to a point where he could no longer allow her to live.

Yet, to his utter frustration, the green snake possessed some kind of heaven-defying artifact that saved her life, foiling his plans completely.

Just as he was out of options, there was a slight movement in the bricks and tiles not far away. His eyes narrowed, a cruel light flashing in his vertical pupils as he suddenly came up with a brilliant idea.

On the outskirts of the city.

The crescent moon hung low, with a dense chill permeating the night.

Inside the Blood-Soul Locking Formation, countless vengeful spirits and wailing ghosts attacked Ji Yuebai from all directions. Her sword, swift and precise, slashed through them in an instant. However, the same tormented souls twisted and crawled out from the ground, attacking her incessantly in a seemingly endless cycle of death and rebirth.

Ji Yuebai’s dark eyes shifted to the Soul Devourer Daoist outside the crimson cage, who was continuously changing hand signs to manipulate the formation. In a flash of thought, her sword was already enveloped in a fierce aura, and several forceful sword energies shot towards the Soul Devourer Daoist controlling the formation.

The ferocity of that sword energy was sharp and fierce, with a momentum that was vast and mighty. Even the Soul Devouring Daoist outside the Blood-Soul Locking Formation was shocked, involuntarily leaning back. As the sword energy struck the Blood-Soul Locking Formation, the entire crimson cage shook violently, and the ghosts inside that were swept by the sword energy screamed as they were annihilated.

Suddenly, the slightly damaged prison healed itself, and the Soul Devouring Daoist, safe outside the formation, released a triumphant, ominous laugh. “That was close! If I hadn’t cautiously set up this Blood-Soul Locking Formation three days in advance, I might have actually fallen for your trick, little girl. I didn’t expect someone so young to be so powerful. If those strikes had hit me outside the formation, even I might not have been able to withstand them.”

“Being in the Golden Core stage and pushing yourself to use the Boundless Sword formation, which is meant for those at the Nascent Soul stage, must be hard, right? You’re not just fighting off those relentless evil spirits, but you’re also using your spiritual energy to protect yourself from getting poisoned. Your spiritual energy must be nearly depleted by now, right? Hahaha…”

He had hoped to see this proud and indifferent genius abandon her dignity and kneel in abject submission, only to mercilessly crush this much-anticipated child of the heavens under his foot, making her taste a life worse than death.

Unexpectedly, she did not panic as he had imagined. There was not a trace of fear in her eyes, only an increasingly intense murderous intent, which made even the Soul Devourer Daoist feel a chill in his spine.

He had been manipulating the evil spirits to deplete her energy for a long time, yet she showed no signs of depleting her spiritual energy. Instead, her swordsmanship became even more ferocious. The Soul Devourer Daoist, having maintained the Blood-Soul Locking Formation for an extended period, found his energy faltering. He hastily consumed several Soul-Returning Pills to replenish his spirit energy, converting it into vital energy in his dantian.

The Blood-Soul Locking Formation, an insidious secret technique of the Lian Hun Sect, capable of trapping cultivators one major level higher than oneself, cutting off the influx the world’s spiritual energy. It could endlessly summon the refined ghostly spirits to deplete the opponent’s spiritual energy. When the opponent’s energy was exhausted and unable to use any skills, he would strike, harvesting them. The souls of cultivators who died in the formation were trapped, unable to escape or reincarnate, and could not return to their soul lamps to seek revenge on their masters. Instead, they were refined into enslaved ghosts, doomed to never be reborn.

Though the formation consumed his spiritual energy, it only used a tenth of what it drained from the cultivators inside. He couldn’t believe that the early-stage Golden Core cultivator inside had more than ten times his own spiritual energy reserves.

The Soul Devourer Daoist summoned a transparent blade he had refined over many years. Nourished by his spiritual energy, it could kill silently and invisibly. He had used this invisible, life-stealing blade to assassinate many. With a slight gesture, he maneuvered the blade along the edge of the cage, circling to her back, and struck at an extremely tricky angle in an instant.

He sneered inwardly, confident that no one below the Nascent Soul stage could escape this sneak attack. If she was hit, she would be gravely injured, if not dead.

While he was deep in thought, a sudden flash of cold sword light came at him. The Soul Devourer Daoist, unable to move out of the way quickly enough, managed to dodge a deadly strike but not without injury. His shoulder was slashed open by the sword’s energy, leaving his flesh torn and blood gushing out. He quickly shut the cage, losing control of the water blade, which dropped into the formation. Shocked and disbelieving, he cried out, “This is impossible, how did you find it!”

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Previous: Chapter 25


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4 months ago

thanks for tl! yue bai is badass!

4 months ago

Thanks for the chapter

4 months ago

Imma be honest, going for a lover’s heart is kind of a low blow