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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 29, 2024 10 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Cultivators possess incredibly acute senses, so Xu Nian was uncertain how much Ji Yuebai had overheard upon arriving. Had she heard everything or just walked in on the last part of their conversation? Anxious and unsure of how to explain, Xu Nian regretted that she had spoken too much.

Ji Yuebai’s gaze fell upon the snake tail wrapped around Mu Yanyu’s waist. She lowered her long lashes, saying nothing for a moment.

Caught trying to sway her friend’s affections and now feeling guilty, Mu Yanyu awkwardly avoided Ji Yuebai’s gaze.

Xu Nian attempted an explanation, “I was just trying to comfort Mu Yanyu, haha, haha…”

Mu Yanyu, mortified by Xu Nian’s awkward laughter, wished she could disappear.

Ji Yuebai’s eyes shifted from Xu Nian and addressed Mu Yanyu, “You shouldn’t let others’ ugliness affect your heart, especially since they’ve already received their due punishment.”

Xu Nian quickly agreed, “Exactly, don’t let this bind you. Life is long.”

Moved, Mu Yanyu embraced Xu Nian again, “I’m so lucky to have you both.”

Xu Nian pushed her gently, half-resisting, half-accepting the embrace.

She felt Ji Yuebai’s cool gaze on her again and inwardly mourned the loss of their budding rapport.

Ji Yuebai planned to stay until the repairs in Qingshui County were completed before returning to her sect. During these days, emotions naturally developed, and Xu Nian, reluctant to leave first, decided to wait until the day Ji Yuebai left to leave together.

They spent several ordinary days in Mu Yanyu’s residence, as if things were like before, but everyone’s feelings had drastically changed.

Mu Yanyu was no longer as lively as she used to be, and Ji Yuebai, without directly mentioning her regained memory, showed a deep transformation, reminding one of their initial meeting in Xiao Cang Mountain years earlier.

Ji Yuebai’s powerful and indifferent aura made Xu Nian hesitant to approach, so she stuck closer to Mu Yanyu instead.

However, she always felt the other’s gaze on her, which made her more cautious and reluctant to overstep.

As the day of departure arrived, Mu Yanyu presented Xu Nian with numerous parting gifts. “I had these headpieces crafted by the best artisans in town. They might not be magical artifacts, but they are stylish and timeless. They will suit you perfectly once you transform,” she said, offering a collection of exquisite jewelry that perfectly matched Xu Nian’s tastes.

Touched, Xu Nian held Mu Yanyu’s hand tightly, “Yanyu, you’ve been so good to me.”

Then, Mu Yanyu waved over some servants, who brought several large food boxes. “I know you love these dishes. I had them prepared especially for you, along with cured meats and snacks easy to store, so you can take them with you.”

Xu Nian, reluctant to leave, cried with Mu Yanyu and shared some of her own treasures in return, ensuring they’d meet again.

Subsequently, Mu Yanyu presented Ji Yuebai with an elegantly simple and finely crafted white jade hairpin as a parting gift. Though this jade hairpin was considered a rare treasure in the mortal world, it was rather ordinary in the realm of cultivation.

Ji Yuebai, however, didn’t mind. She reciprocated with a low-grade magical treasure, briefly explaining, “Press here, and it will create a protective shield, strong enough to withstand my full-strength strike.”

Such a powerful treasure made even Xu Nian a bit envious.

As Xu Nian and Ji Yuebai traveled together for a while, they watched Qingshui County grow distant, eventually shrinking to a mere dot.

“Xu Nian.” Suddenly, Ji Yuebai called out to her.

Xu Nian looked up to see Ji Yuebai extending a small, exquisitely crafted golden bell in the palm of her hand.

Tentatively, Xu Nian took the round golden bell. To her surprise, it made no sound when shaken. Confused, she asked, “What is this…?”

Ji Yuebai instructed, “Try infusing it with your spiritual energy.”

Following her instructions, Xu Nian watched as another golden bell in Ji Yuebai’s possession began to ring. She blinked in realization, “This is nice. When I miss you, I can just infuse it with spiritual energy to let you know.”

Ji Yuebai coughed lightly and added, “You can use it to call me if you’re in danger.”

Xu Nian’s eyes sparkled; her efforts to gain favor had not been in vain. She had successfully secured a powerful ally.

“Thank you, I will treasure it,” Xu Nian said, before expressing a bit of regret and apology, “I’ve thought long and hard, but I couldn’t find anything worthy to give you as a keepsake. Everything I have is either scavenged from other cultivators or made from low-grade demon beast materials… none of it is worthy of you…” She trailed off.

But Ji Yuebai interrupted, “I’ve been very happy during this time with you.”

Xu Nian lifted her head to look at her, “Me too.”

Ji Yuebai averted her gaze, her black hair fluttering in the wind, “That’s enough for me.”

Xu Nian blinked in surprise, “Huh?”

She watched as Ji Yuebai soared into the sky on her sword, her snow-white clothes vanishing into the clouds. This sight bolstered Xu Nian’s spirits. Now a powerful eighth-rank mid-level demon beast, she resolved to reclaim her territory around the spiritual spring when she returned to Xiao Cang Mountain. With the support of the spiritual spring and the divine artifact, the black box, transforming into her human form seemed to be just around the corner.

Quickly shaking off the melancholy of parting, Xu Nian hummed a cheerful tune as she made her way towards Xiao Cang Mountain.

The forest was unusually quiet; the demon beasts seemed to have all hidden away. Xu Nian didn’t encounter a single one on her way up the mountain. She thought it was due to the pressure of her eighth-rank presence scaring off the beasts and felt a bit proud.

However, by the time she realized it was a trap, it was too late.

She hadn’t even reached the spiritual spring when she was suddenly bound from head to toe by a Silvery Immortal Binding Rope, hidden beneath rotting leaves. The rope transformed her from a gracefully curving snake to a rigid, immovable stick.

Worse still, her captor seemed to have prepared specifically for her possible escape. The rope was laced with numerous high-grade spirit-sealing talismans, indicating no expense was spared.

Without her spiritual energy, Xu Nian couldn’t retreat into the black box or even ring the golden bell Ji Yuebai had given her. Filled with regret, she recognized that she had become too comfortable in Qingshui County, letting her guard down and walking into an ambush.

“Just when I thought all was lost, it’s surprising that the Golden Core sword cultivator abandoned you, a serpent demon carrying a divine artifact. What a waste,” a voice commented, accompanied by approaching footsteps. Xu Nian recognized the speaker as a blue-robed Daoist cultivator she had seen before, one she had fought alongside during the demon beast attack on the city.

Struggling for breath, Xu Nian gasped, “Why do this? Haven’t I helped you before?”

The Daoist scoffed, “What right does a mere demon beast have to talk about morality and gratitude?”

“Where did you hide the divine artifact, the Pocket Dimension? Hand it over, and I’ll grant you a quick death.”

Xu Nian was confused, “Pocket Dimension? What’s that?”

She didn’t realize he was referring to the very black box she had always possessed. During her battle with Qingyi, she had hidden inside the Pocket Dimension, which Qingyi had studied in his hands. This had not gone unnoticed by other cultivators, who wanted the artifact but couldn’t act due to the powerful Golden Core sword cultivator always by her side. They never expected her to leave so easily.

Seizing this rare opportunity, the blue-robed Daoist made his move.

“You sly demon, without the Pocket Dimension, how could you have advanced from the seventh to the eighth rank so quickly?”

Realization dawned on Xu Nian; he was after the black box.

“If you untie this rope, I’ll give you the black box… the Pocket Dimension.”

But the Daoist wasn’t fooled, “Do you think I’m an idiot? If I untie you, you’ll just retreat into the Pocket Dimension, and I’ll have no way to catch you. It’s better to kill you now and search your storage bag.”

Initially, he had intended to kill her outright but feared triggering any hidden protections that might attract the powerful Golden Core sword cultivator. He weighed his options cautiously.

Seeing that deception wouldn’t work, Xu Nian earnestly pleaded, “You can see that I’m a good serpent demon. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have fought alongside you to save the people. If you don’t trust me, I can swear a soul-binding oath. If I don’t give you the Pocket Dimension after you release me, I’ll die on the spot and be damned forever.”

The blue-robed Daoist thought for a moment and, finding Xu Nian’s proposal reasonable, watched her swear a thorough and foolproof oath bound by the soul-binding oath. Only then did he cautiously untie the rope, still wary of any tricks the green snake might play.

To his surprise, the snake obediently retrieved a black box, inscribed with intricate runes, from her storage bag and calmly handed it over to him.

The Daoist, brimming with excitement, thoroughly examined the black box. Convinced it was indeed the real Pocket Dimension, he was overjoyed. He immediately began to expel Xu Nian’s spiritual consciousness from the artifact, intent on making it his own.

Thus, he failed to notice Xu Nian stealthily extending her tail into her storage bag, infusing a tiny wisp of spiritual energy into the delicate golden bell. The energy’s fluctuation was almost imperceptible.

After successfully removing Xu Nian’s spiritual imprint from the artifact and preparing to imprint his own, the Daoist was caught off guard by a powerful presence behind him. Before he could react, a sword, cold as ice, pierced his heart.

As the sword was withdrawn, blood darkened his blue robes. His eyes widened in disbelief, collapsing with his final gaze fixed on the black box, now rolling away.

Upon seeing Ji Yuebai, Xu Nian rushed to her, clinging to her sleeves and sobbing dramatically, “Wuu wuu, if it weren’t for the golden bell you gave me, I might be on my way to the underworld by now.”

Ji Yuebai crouched down to pick up the Pocket Universe, returning it to Xu Nian, “It’s my oversight for not considering the trouble the artifact could bring. Keep it hidden from now on.”

Her jade-like fingers deftly handled the divine artifact, showing no attachment as she handed it back to Xu Nian.

She knew the Pocket Dimension was a coveted artifact, yet she never asked Xu Nian about it, free from any greed.

Collecting herself, Xu Nian stored the Pocket Universe back into her bag, reflecting on the cultivators in Qingshui County. How many had seen her use it? How many harbored greed for the artifact, waiting in the shadows to snatch it from her? She shivered at the thought.

After a while, Xu Nian spoke with determination, “About your earlier offer, to return to your sect with you, does it still stand?”

Ji Yuebai looked up, “Of course, it still stands.”

Though joining Tian Yuan Sect felt like a mouse entering a cat’s lair, Xu Nian felt reassured under Ji Yuebai’s protection.

Xu Nian whispered, “I’ll be a well-behaved snake and try not to cause you any trouble.”

The cold sword returned to its sheath with a crisp sound.

Ji Yuebai’s lips parted slightly, “No need. I will protect you.”

Hearing this, Xu Nian stared at her with wide, unblinking eyes, “Yuebai, you’re really kind.”

Ji Yuebai paused, then suddenly asked, “Am I better than Mu Yanyu?”

Xu Nian was taken aback, as this didn’t seem like something the memory-restored Ji Yuebai would ask.

Ji Yuebai withdrew her gaze, “It’s okay, you don’t have to answer if it’s difficult.”

Xu Nian, realizing what she had missed, mentally kicked herself. It had been a golden opportunity to demonstrate her loyalty and improve her standing, and she had squandered it. Even if she had clung to Ji Yuebai’s leg and earnestly proclaimed her to be a thousand, ten thousand times better than Mu Yanyu, it wouldn’t have mattered since Mu Yanyu wasn’t there to hear it. Missing that moment, trying to curry favor now seemed futile; Ji Yuebai would surely think she was just paying lip service, lacking sincerity.

Dejected, Xu Nian curled up against Ji Yuebai’s chest. By the time she came to her senses, the speeding flying sword had already reached the territory of the Tian Yuan Sect.

Surrounded by misty peaks, several exquisite fairy palaces peeked through the lush greenery. Cranes soared through the clouds, and as they approached the main peak, a giant stone inscribed with the dignified, yet mystical, characters for ‘Tian Yuan Sect’ came into view.

Approaching the main peak, they encountered groups of disciples on flying swords. Xu Nian, both curious and envious, watched quietly as each disciple they met bowed respectfully.

Ah, she didn’t want to be a snake anymore; she wanted to be human.

Upon reaching Ji Yuebai’s residence, Xu Nian was again surprised. The palaces she had seen from the flying sword weren’t living quarters but halls used for discussions and major ceremonies.

The actual living quarters were caverns carved into areas rich in spiritual energy. These spacious caves had walls embedded with bright jade, illuminating the interiors and making them lively. The aura inside was abundant, and one could even feel the continuous flow of spiritual energy – truly a treasure trove for cultivation.

The only downside was that the style of the cave mirrored Ji Yuebai’s own austere and simple taste, furnished only with essentials like a table, chairs, bed, and screen, devoid of other decorations. Xu Nian could see where Ji Yuebai’s unadorned and ascetic temperament came from.

Xu Nian also noticed that the cave was surrounded by some kind of formation, probably the protective barriers often mentioned in stories. Indeed, Ji Yuebai’s cave was a perfect place for Xu Nian to attempt her transformation, offering maximum safety and minimizing distractions like worldly pleasures. Not transforming here would be a disservice to Ji Yuebai’s kindness.

“Wait here for a moment,” Ji Yuebai said, placing her on a stone bed before leaving the cave.

Xu Nian obediently coiled herself on the bed, surrounded by rich natural spiritual energy, eager to begin her cultivation.

However, Ji Yuebai returned quickly, accompanied by a female cultivator carrying a bunch of scrolls. The cultivator looked at Xu Nian with surprise and curiosity, but seemed too intimidated by Ji Yuebai’s presence to stare.

Xu Nian was naturally curious about what they were going to do.

The female cultivator respectfully addressed Ji Yuebai, “Ji Shishu, all the scrolls you requested are here. Which one would you like to replace now?”

Xu Nian didn’t understand. What were these scrolls for?

Ji Yuebai turned towards Xu Nian, “Let her choose.”

The female cultivator hadn’t expected this. Ji Yuebai, known for her solitary cultivation, was changing her cave’s decor for the first time and allowing a snake to make the choice. Was this a spiritual pet she had brought back from her travels?

The green snake blinked her glossy eyes at her, her cute little tail wagging curiously. Surprisingly, the snake spoke with a human voice, though it sounded slightly playful, “Sister, what are these for?”

The female cultivator was startled, her eyes wide in disbelief. She remembered clearly that no demon beast had ever left Ji Yuebai’s presence alive, and now here was a living snake demon.

Still in shock, her professional instincts kicked in, and she began to explain to Xu Nian while unrolling the scrolls, “These are cultivation scrolls. They contain various furniture and decorations sealed within. When they’re needed, you simply infuse them with raw spiritual power, like this.”

As she waved the scroll in the air, the empty stone chamber instantly transformed into a new style. The ceiling took on the appearance of the sky, and a scene with a small bridge over flowing water and a bamboo house materialized. The bamboo curtain was half-lowered, and a wooden table was appropriately set with paper, an inkstone, and a brush, creating an ambiance akin to a secluded hermit’s leisurely abode.

“Picking chrysanthemums under the eastern fence; leisurely gazing at the southern mountains; this kind of dwelling is more than suitable for cultivation,” the female cultivator introduced with a smile.

Once presented with options, Xu Nian no longer found the simplicity of the cave satisfying. She asked, “Can I see other cultivation scrolls?”

The female cultivator retracted the bamboo forest back into the scroll and then unrolled another depicting a wooden house under a starry sky atop snow mountains, passionately recommending, “You can enjoy the majestic view of snow mountains without enduring the harsh cold – a supreme choice for cultivating both body and mind.”

Xu Nian shook her head and tail, trying to gesture with her tail, “I mean, is there anything that looks a bit more luxurious and comfortable?”

After searching through the scrolls for a while, the female cultivator presented, “This one, the ‘Cold Palace Night Banquet’, is elegant and grand. Being inside feels like being in a fairyland, and it even comes with a special effect of surrounding clouds and mist.”

Xu Nian shook her head. “It’s too open and desolate, feels cold.”

Undeterred, the female cultivator suggested seven or eight more options.

“How about this one?”

“Too bleak, it’s unlucky.”

“And this?”

“It feels eerily ghostly, as if it’s about to be haunted.”

“This one?”

“It doesn’t have the feel I’m looking for.”

By the end, the female cultivator was visibly frustrated. It was beyond her comprehension how a snake demon could be so particular about her living space, deeming it too desolate, unlucky, or ghostly.

Ji Shishu, renowned for her stunning beauty and formidable strength, was widely admired by many cultivators. Additionally, known for her generosity, this sales opportunity was something the female cultivator had worked hard to secure. Yet, she found herself dealing with a particularly difficult snake demon.

Xu Nian, after viewing all the options, was puzzled about the aesthetic tastes of the cultivation world. The uniformly morose and lifeless styles left her wondering if these cultivators, detached from worldly pleasures, preferred such decor.

When the female cultivator had shown all the scrolls, Xu Nian was hesitating over choosing from these chilling decorations. That’s when she spotted an unopened scroll in the corner.

Sneakily, she hooked it over with her tail, ready to give it a look.

The female cultivator hadn’t had the chance to stop her when Xu Nian placed the tip of her tail on the scroll that was spread out and gently infused it with spiritual power.

The stone chamber underwent a dramatic transformation. An opulent mansion with golden bricks and glazed tiles appeared, the beams adorned with various gems, and the floor covered with thick plush carpets. Luxurious drapes of silk and satin hung around, and expensive dragon’s spit incense burned in the censer. Comfortable cushions were strewn everywhere. Xu Nian coiled herself on a beloved chaise lounge, leaning against the backrest, feeling as if her entire serpentine body was sinking into soft cotton, utterly content.

Finally satisfied, Xu Nian’s round eyes sparkled with delight, “This one’s perfect, I’ll take this.”

The female cultivator holding the scroll was completely dumbfounded. She couldn’t grasp the snake demon’s taste. How could such a vulgar, worldly setting befit the moon-like elegance of Ji Shishu?

Incredulously, she showed the chosen scroll to Ji Yuebai, who was waiting nearby, with a hint of frustration, “Shishu, she actually chose this set.”

To her surprise, Ji Shishu, usually as solemn as a snowy mountain, curved her lips in a rare smile, “Let it be this one then.”

Exiting the cave with the scrolls and a bag full of spirit stones, the female cultivator was still in a daze, unable to shake off the image of Ji Shishu’s smile. Pinching herself, she realized this wasn’t a dream.

Xu Nian joyfully rolled around on the carpet, overjoyed by the living environment that matched her desires so perfectly. From now on, when tired from cultivation, she could roll around on the carpet to decompress, sink into the chaise lounge, or collapse onto the soft bed. It was truly a divine lifestyle, and she should have joined Ji Yuebai much earlier.

Thinking this, she affectionately wrapped her tail around Ji Yuebai’s arm, “Yuebai is the best.”

Yet Ji Yuebai said, “There are records in the library about demon beasts transforming into human forms. You focus on your cultivation, and I’ll go get them for you.”

Xu Nian’s tail wagged excitedly. This was invaluable wisdom from a predecessor, something she had never dared dream of accessing before. Such secrets were rarely shared selflessly by demon beasts; even when disclosed, they were often traps. The records in the library, rigorously researched, were highly valuable for reference.

She nodded eagerly, “Don’t worry, I’ll wait here for you, and won’t wander off anywhere.”

Watching Ji Yuebai’s departing figure, Xu Nian suddenly felt as if their roles had reversed, and wondered if the amnesiac Ji Yuebai had also waited with such anticipation for her return.

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Previous: Chapter 29

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YuriLover159
YuriLover159
4 months ago

So cute! Thanks for the chapter!

mika
mika
4 months ago

Thanks for the translation!
I love how cute Xu Nian is XD

cyberstingray
cyberstingray
4 months ago

ill miss mu yanyu! ty for tl!

Rikka-chan
Rikka-chan
4 months ago

Thanks for the chapter

Shakthivel
Shakthivel
4 months ago

Thanks for the chapter ☺️☺️..

anazu
anazu
4 months ago

so sweet

JustCallMeDaBoss
JustCallMeDaBoss
2 months ago

Cute.

I’m real glad things took this turn haha, I hate it when characters are separated for years and such.

Kat
Kat
1 month ago

I love loveeeee Xu Nian’s personality. She’s witty & unintentionally funny with her inner monologue. She’s realistic too with her decisions. Yuebai’s coldness isn’t over the top as well. Not too tight lipped and has a touch of humanity. I love how she dotes on Xu Nian :>

Hatimo
Hatimo
20 days ago

Can’t wait seeing xu nian’s transfotm

flamewolf
flamewolf
13 days ago

I can only imagine how terribly the new blinged-out cave clashes with all the other natural/ascetic caves in the sect. Happy for snek, though, and glad they can stick together

Last edited 13 days ago by flamewolf