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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 5 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 30

Chapter 31

While waiting, Xu Nian dived back into the black box to diligently continue her cultivation. After what felt like two days inside the box, she emerged to find that only a little over two hours had passed outside. It was getting dark, and she sensed that the protective formation outside the cave had been activated, indicating Ji Yuebai’s return.

Excited, Xu Nian swam out to see, only to find a young boy holding a food box waiting at the entrance of the cave.

The boy’s eyes widened in surprise upon seeing Xu Nian. He had heard that Ji Shishu, known for her mission to eradicate all demon beasts, had brought a snake demon back. It was one thing to hear about it, but quite another to see it was true. Hesitantly, he placed the food box before Xu Nian, explaining, “This is a spiritual meal prepared by the dining hall as instructed by Ji Shishu. It will be delivered every three days.”

As a snake demon, Xu Nian didn’t need to eat daily. A meal every three days suited her perfectly, not interfering with her cultivation and also satisfying her occasional cravings.

The servant boy watched in amazement as Xu Nian used her tail to pick up the food box and even thanked him cheerfully, “Thank you. You are so young and yet working so hard.”

Her voice was soft and girlish, and she seemed quite polite. The boy coughed and said, “I should be going now.”

Xu Nian waved her tail to bid him farewell, “Okay, take care on your way.”

Watching the boy leave, Xu Nian felt a bit guilty, thinking about Tian Yuan Sect employing child labor. She took the food box back into her room, and as soon as she opened the lid, the delicious smell filled the air. There were slices of roasted suckling pig, crispy duck dripping with red oil, and tantalizingly colored braised pork belly… Just looking at it made her drool. Wiping her tail, she grabbed a piece of the meat and tossed it into her mouth. Her eyes lit up instantly.

The meat was sweet but not greasy, infused with a delicious sauce, and most importantly, it contained a sweet spiritual energy. No wonder the boy referred to it as a spiritual meal.

In no time, Xu Nian had devoured everything in the box. Patting her full belly with her tail, still, she wanted more. That’s when she noticed another layer at the bottom of the box. Inside were eight different, exquisitely made small pastries.

After trying one, Xu Nian couldn’t help but praise how delicious it was. The floral filling was fresh, with just the right amount of sweetness, making it hard to stop eating. She tasted all eight flavors, each unique and delightful. She couldn’t wait for her next meal in three days.

After eating, Xu Nian resumed her cultivation. When she came to her senses again, she realized a whole day had passed outside, and Ji Yuebai had not returned. She was a bit worried but reassured herself that Ji Yuebai, with her high status in the sect, was unlikely to encounter any difficulties and was probably just delayed.

Three days passed, and although Ji Yuebai did not return, the servant boy did, bringing another food box.

As he was about to leave after placing down the box, Xu Nian stopped him.

“Wait a moment, young man. Do you know where Ji Yuebai has gone?”

The boy hesitated, then replied, “Ji Shishu told me not to tell you. You should ask Ji Shishu yourself when she returns.”

Xu Nian had no choice but to respond, “Okay, thank you.”

She watched the servant boy leave, feeling a bit downcast. Just as she was about to take the food box back inside, she heard the voice of her nemesis.

“So, Ji Shishu really brought you, a snake demon, back,” said Qi Shaochen, standing before the cave’s protective formation, clicking his tongue in disbelief.

Turning around, Xu Nian asked, “Are you here to seek revenge?”

Qi Shaochen replied, “Of course not. I would be foolish to seek revenge on you, knowing that Ji Shishu brought you here.”

Xu Nian couldn’t figure out his motive, “So, you want to make peace with me?”

Hearing this, Qi Shaochen burst into laughter, then stared sharply at her, “Demons and humans have always been at odds. As a disciple of Tian Yuan Sect, it’s my duty to eradicate evil like you. However, if you hand over the Pocket Dimension, I’ll overlook our past grievances.”

Inside the protective formation, Xu Nian rolled her eyes dismissively and turned to leave with her food box, her appetite slightly dampened by Qi Shaochen’s presence. She might even eat less tonight.

Qi Shaochen, infuriated by her reaction, raised his voice, “Don’t you want to know why Ji Shishu hasn’t returned these past few days?”

Xu Nian indeed halted, unsure whether to believe him, “Do you know?”

Seeing her hesitation, Qi Shaochen said with a cutting tone, “Ji Shishu has been punished with contemplation in the cold pond because she brought you, this demon, back.”

Xu Nian fell silent for a moment, remembering what the boy had said, and somewhat believed him. However, she didn’t want Qi Shaochen, this nasty piece of work, to exploit her, so she pretended not to care, turned around, grabbed the food box, and headed back to her cave.

Qi Shaochen, seeing she wasn’t fooled, was frustrated, “You really are a cold-blooded demon. Don’t you know the cold pond under the Cliff of Reflection? Ji Shishu risked her life to save you, and you are so heartless and ungrateful. If I were you, I would rather die to absolve myself from implicating her.”

Xu Nian hesitated for a moment, then hurried away with the food box.

Back on her comfortable bed, Xu Nian couldn’t stop thinking about Qi Shaochen’s words. The food in the box lost its appeal. Qi Shaochen had a grudge against her and likely wasn’t telling the truth, but she couldn’t stop worrying about Ji Yuebai, pacing back and forth on the carpet, too anxious to focus on cultivation. She wanted to check on Ji Yuebai, but knew it would be futile. Going out would risk her capture, and Tian Yuan Sect wouldn’t hesitate to kill her, regardless of Ji Yuebai’s status. They might even claim ignorance about her being Ji Yuebai’s responsibility.

As long as she stayed in this cave with restrictions, neither Qi Shaochen nor any other so-called righteous warriors could do anything to her. Qi Shaochen might desire the divine artifact, but he wasn’t foolish. If others discovered the artifact was with a snake demon, there’d be nothing left for him.

As Xu Nian had suspected, Qi Shaochen was indeed spreading rumors about Ji Yuebai harboring a snake demon, hoping to turn the sect against her and secretly swap her storage bag for his own. But Xu Nian wasn’t falling for it, hardly ever leaving the cave except to collect food every three days.

Qi Shaochen even set up ambushes nearby, only to find that Xu Nian rarely showed herself. He cursed her cunning and deceitful nature endlessly in his mind.

Despite his efforts, Xu Nian was equally troubled. Ji Yuebai, whom she had painstakingly nurtured into a beautiful human-like doll for months, held a special place in her heart. She knew Ji Yuebai was safe, as no sect would jeopardize such a valuable member. Still, she couldn’t help but worry – was Ji Yuebai cold in the Cold Pond? Did she have enough to eat?

Xu Nian even lost her appetite for several roast ducks and pork knuckles during these days of worry.

After about half a month of anxious waiting, Xu Nian suddenly heard someone breaking through the protective formation. She quickly dashed out, and this time, it truly was Ji Yuebai who had returned.

Ji Yuebai appeared thinner than before, but her beauty was undiminished. Her features seemed even more refined, and her slightly pale complexion only made her dark eyes seem deeper.

Xu Nian approached her, cautiously hooking her tail around Ji Yuebai’s finger, “Yuebai, you’re finally back. Where have you been? I’ve been following your instructions, staying inside the cave the whole time, I didn’t step out even once.”

Ji Yuebai gently patted her head, “Good girl, Ah Nian. I’ve brought you the records of demon beast transformation from the library.” But she didn’t answer where she had been.

Since she didn’t say, Xu Nian didn’t ask further. She took the ancient book from Ji Yuebai, pretending to be thrilled. “That’s great, thank you, Yuebai. I’ll read it carefully.”

Ji Yuebai’s lips curved slightly, “Can you understand the characters in this book?”

“How could I not…” Xu Nian, considering herself educated with modern schooling, confidently flipped open the ancient text. The next second, she froze completely.

Oh, she had forgotten this was the world of cultivation with its unique script. The unfamiliar characters floated mockingly, reminding Xu Nian that she was now illiterate in this world.

Embarrassed, she tugged at Ji Yuebai’s hem with her tail, “Actually, I can’t read. Could you spare some time to explain it to me?”

Ji Yuebai didn’t laugh at her again. Taking the ancient book, she sat on the luxurious couch and spread the book on the table, signaling Xu Nian to join her.

Excited, Xu Nian slithered onto the couch. Instead of going to the other side of the small table, she wound around Ji Yuebai’s slender waist and affectionately rested her head on her wrist, her round, unblinking eyes fixated on the opened book.

The cool, soft snake body pressing against her through the thin fabric created a peculiar sensation, causing Ji Yuebai to pause momentarily.

The sharp, little snake tail gently tickled her palm as Xu Nian cooed softly, “Yuebai, I’m ready.”

Her earnest gaze remained unwaveringly on the book, like a diligent student eager to learn.

Ji Yuebai, ignoring the unusual feeling around her waist, began to trace the characters with her finger, softly explaining the contents to Xu Nian.

“To transform into a human form, a demon beast must endure three tribulations of increasing intensity. The first tribulation, ‘Purifying the Heart,’ consists of three strikes, signifying the cleansing of the demon nature. The second, ‘Cleansing the Bones,’ has six strikes, transforming the beastly bone structure. The third, ‘Refining the Body,’ involves nine strikes, truly tempering the body and shaping the human form…” Ji Yuebai’s voice, though cool, was incredibly pleasant to listen to, leaving Xu Nian almost spellbound, wishing she would go on.

Seeing Ji Yuebai looking at her, Xu Nian nodded earnestly, showing she was listening attentively.

Ji Yuebai explained further that failure in these tribulations could result in total obliteration or, worse, a malformed transformation, leaving one in a limbo between human and beast. Many such cases existed, each with various causes – consuming unknown herbs before the tribulation, dual cultivation with a human cultivator leading to unbalanced spiritual energy, or simply bad luck.

Xu Nian was astounded by the high risk, recalling Qingyi from Qingshui County, a prime example of a failed transformation.

However, there were ways to increase the success rate of transformation. Far away in the Eastern Sea Islands, there was a spiritual fruit called the Transformation Fruit by demon beasts. It could increase the success rate of their transformation to over ninety percent. Moreover, this fruit was also a primary ingredient in crafting high-level, Youth-Preserving Pills, making it a rare and invaluable resource in the cultivation world. Upon hearing this, Xu Nian’s initial hope faded.

Ji Yuebai thought for a moment, “In two months, the grand competition of the Eight Great Sects will take place. The top disciple can choose any reward, and one of the offerings is the Transformation Fruit. I will win it for you.”

Xu Nian’s eyes lit up, but then she hesitated, “You’ll be competing against so many disciples from the Eight Great Sects. It would be a shame if you won and gave your only reward to me.”

Ji Yuebai, unfazed, said, “The same rewards have been circulating for years, and I have no need for them. Using it for your transformation would be perfect.”

Her words sounded casual, but other disciples would be furious if they heard her. They trained day and night for three years, hoping to stand out in the sect competition and make a name for themselves in the cultivator community. Yet, they’d become nothing but stepping stones for Ji Yuebai, who continued to take the top spot, admired and envied by all.

Xu Nian wrapped her tail tighter around Ji Yuebai’s waist, as if embracing her. She sincerely said, “I can never repay your great kindness. From now on, I am at your service, ready to do anything for you, whether it’s in the heavens above or the underworld below.”

With her scaly belly continuously rubbing against her skin, Ji Yuebai’s face flushed slightly, “Please loosen your coils first.”

Realizing her mistake, Xu Nian had inadvertently tightened her grip on Ji Yuebai. She quickly relaxed her coils, catching a glimpse of Ji Yuebai’s reddened face and feeling immensely guilty.

At that moment, however, they heard a commotion outside the cave, followed by a loud voice.

“Junior Sister Ji, not only have you failed to set an example as the leading disciple of the righteous path, but you’ve also dared to harbor such a filthy demon. If word gets out, it could tarnish the thousand-old reputation of our Tian Yuan Sect. Please hand over the snake demon. If you’re reluctant to act, I, your senior brother, can do it for you.”

The speaker was Pang Tianlong, a direct disciple of Elder Xuanjun of Shanjun Peak and, like Ji Yuebai, a sword cultivator. Ji Yuebai, a direct disciple of Elder Bodhi, shared equal status and similar talents with Pang Tianlong in the sect. Having joined earlier and being a year or two older, he called her ‘Junior Sister.’ Beyond that, he had no authority over her.

In their generation, comparisons were inevitable, and Pang Tianlong had always been overshadowed by Ji Yuebai, remaining the eternal second-best. He was praised as a prodigy among his peers, his life seemingly destined for greatness, but then he met Ji Yuebai. When he reached the peak of Qi-Training, she was already at the Foundation Establishment stage. He could use the Four Symbols Sword Formation—a feat only expected at the early stages of the Golden Core—she effortlessly called forth the even higher-level Seven Stars Sword Formation.

Through tireless cultivation, he eventually caught up to Ji Yuebai at the peak of Foundation Establishment, thinking he could finally surpass her. But upon her return from a journey, not only had she retrieved the long-lost Xian Yuan Sword but also advanced to the Golden Core stage, leaving him struggling to accept this reality.

However, he found some satisfaction in knowing that even someone like Ji Yuebai could be punished. Rumor had it that she accidentally killed many controlled humans while exorcising demons in Qingshui County and even brought back a filthy snake demon. Although the sect leader stated that her retrieval of the Xian Yuan Sword could offset her faults, she still voluntarily went to the cold pond under the Cliff of Reflection for half a month of penance.

This only fueled Pang Tianlong’s resentment. Why should Ji Yuebai hog all the glory and reputation? Was she putting on a show for someone? Trying to curry favor with the Elders? He found her hypocrisy nauseating.

But the existence of the snake demon finally gave him a legitimate reason to criticize and challenge Ji Yuebai.

He gathered a large group of sect disciples under the pretext of exorcising demons and went to Ji Yuebai’s cave to confront the snake demon. Imagining her in pain and unable to defend herself brought him a sense of satisfaction.

However, Ji Yuebai didn’t show up, and the disciples who came with him didn’t dare to make a scene, given her status as a Golden Core cultivator and a direct disciple of Elder Bodhi.

Whispers started among them, “Did Ji Shishu really keep a demon beast?”

“I don’t know, everyone’s saying that, so we came to see.”

“Have you seen it?”

“No, I haven’t.”

“Hey, but if Ji Shishu really did keep a demon beast, would you dare to confront her?”

“Though I firmly believe that demons and heretics deserve universal condemnation, and demon beasts should be slain on sight, given Ji Shishu’s power, perhaps it’s prudent to delay this matter for now.”

Many, of course, speculated that Ji Shishu must have lost her mind or been ensnared by the demon beast’s trickery. They were ready to stake their lives to clear her mind of delusions and return her to her righteous path of slaying demons and banishing evil.

These individuals were some of the loudest supporters rallying behind Pang Tianlong.

Pang Tianlong, steadying his energy at his core, loudly called out again, “Junior Sister Ji, I implore you to cease your obstinacy. You have a promising future ahead; it’s a shame to squander it on a snake demon.”

The so-called righteous supporters behind him joined in with their cries, “Yes, Ji Shishu.”

“Shishu, quickly eliminate that snake demon and don’t let it muddle your Daoist heart. We are doing this for your own good.”

“Ji Shishu, please come out, don’t let yourself be deceived by that snake demon any longer.”

At that moment, a bone-chilling cold swept through the area, suddenly immersing everyone in a frigid ice world. The clamorous voices abruptly ceased.

They saw a tall woman in white robes approaching them, each step deliberate and poised. On her shoulder was a vibrant green snake, the very subject of their outcry – the snake demon.

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Previous: Chapter 30

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Shakthivel
Shakthivel
4 months ago

Thanks for the chapter

Katerine
Katerine
4 months ago

Thank you very much for your work

TheHellhound
TheHellhound
4 months ago

Little bastard. clouded mind. Consumed by envy. Will die under the sword of snow

JustCallMeDaBoss
JustCallMeDaBoss
2 months ago

Sheeple bro, they’re everywhere.

Welp finding a long lost sword that’s invaluable and a divine treasure ? Yeah no punish her anyway ….

I swear bro this xianxia retarded elders lol.

Welp I’m glad Yuebai doesn’t give a fuck and just wants to flirt with her sneick

Hatimo
Hatimo
13 days ago

Just leave my girls and snek alone