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 Mar 02, 2024 6 Comments
Table of Contents
Previous: Chapter 33

Chapter 34

With a heart full of embarrassment, Xu Nian hid in the black box to focus on her cultivation. Every time she thought of coming out, she felt too ashamed to face Ji Yuebai. Before she knew it, several months had passed inside the box, which equated to about ten days in the outside world. Finally, she cautiously crawled out of the black box.

She peeked around carefully, pondering how to greet Ji Yuebai. Fortunately, Ji Yuebai wasn’t in the cave at that moment, allowing Xu Nian to breathe a sigh of relief. It made sense; a cultivator like Ji Yuebai, with her status, probably had many responsibilities besides cultivation and couldn’t always stay in the cave.

Although only ten days had passed outside, Xu Nian had genuinely cultivated for over three months in the black box. Driven by extreme boredom, she sought some amusement. Recalling the recent Life and Death Stage duel, she figured that no one would likely try to kill her again soon, so her desire to join the excitement stirred again.

She transformed into her smallest form, about as thick as a little finger and less than a foot long. She applied a talisman to conceal her aura and curiously swam out of the cave towards the bustling outside world.

Without Ji Yuebai around, Xu Nian, even as a snake, didn’t dare to be too conspicuous. She tried to stay hidden in the grass and close to the edges of the paths to avoid detection. Thankfully, the talisman worked well, and the passing disciples didn’t notice the snake demon lying nearby.

As she was moving through a secluded area, she suddenly overheard a female cultivator speaking in a secretive tone.

“Did you hear about Pang Shishu, who was defeated by Ji Shishu on the Life and Death Stage the other day? Do you know how he is doing now?”

It smelled like gossip, especially about the Life and Death Stage matter. Xu Nian stopped and perked up her ears to listen.

The person beside her was equally curious: “Don’t keep me in suspense, tell me.”

“It’s said that his severed arm was reattached by the Elder. Apparently, spurred by the defeat from Ji Shishu, he’s been recklessly trying to break through to the Golden Core stage, even though his foundation at the peak of the Foundation Establishment stage isn’t stable yet.”

Xu Nian listened with bated breath, worried about the implications. If Pang Tianlong succeeded in advancing to the Golden Core stage under pressure and sought trouble with Ji Yuebai and herself again, what then?

“…Did he succeed?” the person asked, echoing Xu Nian’s thoughts.

“If he had, wouldn’t there have been a huge celebration at Danjun Peak these past few days instead of this strange atmosphere?”

“True, what happened next?”

“I heard that Elder Xuanjun gave him several pills to aid his attempt at reaching the Golden Core stage. Not only did he fail, but he also couldn’t overcome his mental block, leading to a collapse in his Dao heart. Now, he’s fallen back to the mid-stage of Foundation Building.”

“So, it’s going to be even harder for him to advance now, right?”

“I heard Elder Xuanjun is very disappointed in him and has thought about giving up on him and choosing another disciple to cultivate.”

Relieved by this information, Xu Nian let go of her worries. Now that Pang Tianlong was like a clay Bodhisattva crossing a river, barely able to save himself, it seemed unlikely he would have the energy to cause more trouble. As for Qi Shaochen, the initial instigator, she was even less concerned. He couldn’t defeat her now, and as long as she didn’t push him too hard, making him believe that with some effort he could obtain a divine artifact from her, he wouldn’t want to burn bridges with her.

If necessary, she thought, once she left Tian Yuan Sect, she could find an opportunity to deal with Qi Shaochen. This thought lingered darkly in her mind.

Meanwhile, hundreds of kilometers away, Qi Shaochen suddenly shivered and sneezed violently.

Wandering aimlessly, Xu Nian noticed the disciples hurrying around, seemingly busy with something. She came across a large courtyard, which she only dared to circle from the outside, not venturing in to avoid provoking anyone potentially dangerous.

She thought to herself, “So even these cultivation disciples lead such boring lives with no fun activities?” Just then, she remembered Mu Yanyu and wondered how she was doing now, whether she had left Qingshui County. She had no idea when she’d be able to go back to her after her transformation.

Just then, a robust voice echoed from a nearby courtyard: “Our Tian Yuan Sect is one of the top eight sects in the cultivation world. Being able to enter Tian Yuan Sect is a great honor. Now, you are the outer disciples of Tian Yuan Sect…”

Hearing this, Xu Nian found it oddly familiar. It sounded somewhat like… the orientation at the start of a new school year in her past life?

Was Tian Yuan Sect recruiting new disciples? Curious, Xu Nian climbed up to the top of the wall and peeked over. She saw a middle-aged man with a whisk standing on a high platform in the courtyard, the same person who had just spoken.

Below him, a dense crowd of new disciples in plain white robes stood attentively. They were mostly children, the youngest around five or six years old, and the oldest appearing to be about eleven or twelve. Among this group, however, one person stood out as distinctly different.

Describing her as standing out like a crane among chickens might be an exaggeration, but with her height, she was indeed easily noticeable among the group of young children. Xu Nian scratched her head with her tail, wondering which child had grown so tall from eating fertilizers.

Xu Nian stared at the back of the woman’s head for a long time until, seemingly sensing her intense gaze, the woman turned around.

Upon seeing her face, Xu Nian’s eyes widened in surprise. Speaking of the devil, there she was – if it wasn’t Mu Yanyu, then who could it be? Normally, Mu Yanyu wore brightly colored and eye-catching dresses, but now she was suddenly dressed in the plain white robes of a Tian Yuan Sect disciple, which was why Xu Nian found her back vaguely familiar but couldn’t recognize her immediately.

Moreover, whether in cultivation novels or reality, cultivation sects usually don’t accept new disciples over twelve years old. The fact that Mu Yanyu stood out among the young disciples confirmed this, and Xu Nian hadn’t expected that Mu Yanyu could blend into Tian Yuan Sect as a new disciple.

Seeing Mu Yanyu turn around, Xu Nian happily wagged her tail at her.

However, her form was too small and hidden between the bricks at the top of the wall; Mu Yanyu didn’t notice her when she looked back.

Xu Nian wasn’t discouraged, as they had both managed to get into the Tian Yuan Sect, and there would be plenty of opportunities. She lay on the wall and waited for two hours, almost falling asleep before they finally had a break. The crowd hurried toward the dining hall, as they were outer disciples yet to build their foundation, they still needed to eat.

Mu Yanyu seemed especially eager, but as she walked, her clothing was suddenly tugged by a force. She looked down instinctively, and her amber eyes filled with surprise, “Xu Nian, what are you doing here?”

She picked up Xu Nian discreetly and held her in her arms, grateful that no one paid attention amidst the children rushing to eat.

Xu Nian chuckled, “Just a coincidence. I was out and about, and then I found you here.”

Mu Yanyu was curious, “Didn’t you say you wouldn’t follow Ji Yuebai? How come you’re still at Tian Yuan Sect? Aren’t you afraid of the cultivators here since you’re a demon?”

Xu Nian felt a bit awkward but recounted her ordeal of being ambushed just after leaving Qingshui County and then being saved by Ji Yuebai. She also briefly mentioned the subsequent events, including the fight against the mob and the duel on the Life and Death Stage.

Mu Yanyu listened with sighs of emotion, at times exclaiming, “Xu Nian, you’ve really had it tough,” and then excitedly, “So Ji Yuebai is that impressive,” followed by, “Well, following her doesn’t seem too bad for you.”

This left Xu Nian not knowing whether to laugh or cry, uncertain of how to respond.

Xu Nian and Mu Yanyu found a quiet place to sit down, and Xu Nian took out the food box brought by the attendant earlier that morning to offer her something to eat.

“You must be starving after training for so long. These dishes contain spiritual energy. Eat up and replenish yourself.”

Mu Yanyu picked a piece of green bamboo shoot from the box and put it in her mouth. The next second, she was so moved that tears almost fell. She sobbed, “Where did you get this? It’s delicious! I’ve been at Tian Yuan Sect for several days, and the food in the dining hall can’t even be called cooking; it’s practically pig feed.”

Xu Nian exclaimed, “You do look like you’ve lost some weight.”

Mu Yanyu gazed at her expectantly, “You haven’t told me where you got this food.”

Xu Nian replied, “I don’t know exactly how it’s made. I’ll ask Ji Yuebai later and see if I can get some for you too.”

At that, Mu Yanyu sighed deeply, “No need, I can’t afford that kind of blessing.” After all, she had tried to poach someone else’s disciple before.

Xu Nian patted her with her tail, “Don’t worry, I’ll sneak out some takeout to feed you… By the way, how did you end up at Tian Yuan Sect?”

Mu Yanyu looked towards the sky, “Well, it’s a long story…”

After the demon beast attack on the city, the aftermath revealed many orphans who had lost both parents. This was reported to the sect, and the Tian Yuan Sect recruitment office sent two people to test the orphans’ aptitude. Those with average aptitude were recruited into the outer sect for training, those with exceptional aptitude went to the inner sect, and those without aptitude were taken in to be educated and to later handle worldly affairs for the sect.

At that time, Mu Yanyu saw Tian Yuan Sect recruiting disciples and shamelessly queued up among the children. The disciple testing the aptitude looked at her with disbelief, telling her to go back where she came from and not cause trouble. But Mu Yanyu insisted she was only twelve and just looked older, so she managed to get her aptitude tested.

To everyone’s surprise, the device used for testing also measured bone age, revealing her to be nineteen with exceptional aptitude. This posed a big dilemma for the recruiters. Not admitting her would be a waste of such good potential, but accepting her was problematic too, as her physical foundation was already set and difficult to develop.

The recruiters then sent a paper crane to report to the higher authorities of the sect, and the decision was to initially admit Mu Yanyu into the outer sect for observation. That’s how she managed to enter Tian Yuan Sect as she wished.

Xu Nian marveled, “Though the process was a bit complicated, the outcome is good. But with such great aptitude, why didn’t you start cultivating earlier?”

Speaking of this, Mu Yanyu sighed, “Before, when my dad took me out, there was this bull-nosed Daoist who insisted I was a great cultivator seedling and wanted to take me away. My dad thought he was a scam artist at the time and scolded him thoroughly.”

Xu Nian asked, “And then?”

Mu Yanyu replied, “Then I met you and Ji Yuebai.”

Just then, a bell rang, prompting Mu Yanyu to jump up from the ground, “I can’t talk more now, it’s time for cultivation practice. This Zhou Shishu is quite strict; if I’m late, I’ll be in big trouble.”

Xu Nian, still eager to chat, said goodbye and arranged the next time to meet.

She returned happily from meeting Mu Yanyu and coincidentally ran into Ji Yuebai, whom she hadn’t seen for a long time since she had been outside.

Xu Nian hadn’t figured out how to face Ji Yuebai yet when Ji Yuebai scooped her up in her hand and cast a cleansing spell on her.

“Where have you been playing, covered in dirt?” Ji Yuebai spoke familiarly, as if she had forgotten what happened that night.

Relieved, Xu Nian happily said, “I just saw Mu Yanyu; she has also joined Tian Yuan Sect.”

Table of Contents
Previous: Chapter 33


5 3 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 months ago

Thanks for the chapter..

4 months ago

I love how Yuebai takes care of Xu Nian. Cleaning her …. So cute

4 months ago

Thanks for the chapters.

4 months ago

lol. here comes yuebai’s rival!

1 month ago

Awww I hope Manyu can find someone inside the sect 🥹 I like her too!!

13 days ago

I thought Yanyu was out of the story as a mortal, except for a cameo maybe, so pleased she’s back! although little snek, maybe not the best idea to mention her as the first thing you say to Yuebai after avoiding her for ten days lol