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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 Mar 04, 2024 6 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 38

Chapter 39

This whole situation was really Gong Lian’s fault. Sword cultivators are typically loners, and he just assumed that the puppet was for Ji Yuebai’s daily training and cultivation. To showcase his skills and facilitate her display of technique, Gong Lian invested almost all his knowledge into this creation, achieving the utmost precision and fluidity, hoping to retain this valuable customer.

He never seriously considered the snake demon Ji Yuebai had brought back. Who would, after all, spend a whopping 300,000 spirit stones on a high-grade puppet for a mere pet snake? It sounded crazy to him, and he definitely didn’t believe it if anyone said it out loud.

He rather liked to think that Ji Yuebai, bored of her swordplay, was looking for some new excitement.

Xu Nian, seizing this rare outing, wasn’t content with merely testing the puppet’s attack capabilities; she also pushed its defensive limits. From basic strikes to advanced slicing techniques, she tested the puppets Liu Liu and Yi Yi to the point where they trembled in fear.

“Hey, aren’t you just puppets? Stand up straight!”

“I’m not some devil, you know. Why are you so scared?”

Xu Nian, despite her internal gripes, decided to stop, her remaining conscience not allowing her to push further.

As she leisurely swam back, her mind wandered. Could a demon beast become a sword cultivator? If she learned the sword, she might even get guidance from a powerful cultivator like Ji Yuebai. She imagined practicing swordplay amid a shower of petals with Ji Yuebai, grinning so wide that her fangs were unconsciously bared.

Meanwhile, Qi Shaochen lay hidden in the bushes nearby, his face etched with terror. He watched Xu Nian, wondering what mischief she was planning. Sure enough, since her arrival at Tian Yuan Sect, she had been nothing but trouble. Now, she might be planning some new scheme.

Qi Shaochen had just completed a demon-extermination task and was on his way back to Tian Yuan Sect. As he neared the foot of the mountain, he sensed the pressure of an eighth-rank beast demon. Surprised that such a creature dared to lurk near Tian Yuan Sect, he stealthily landed his flying sword and hid nearby, only to discover that the source of the pressure was Xu Nian.

“Enemies are bound to meet,” he thought, grinding his teeth.

Encountering the snake demon outside Tian Yuan Sect seemed like an excellent opportunity to eliminate her and reclaim the divine artifact. However, bolstered by the artifact, Xu Nian’s cultivation had advanced leaps and bounds, now far surpassing his. Alone, he stood no chance against her. The more he thought about it, the angrier he became. The grand opportunity that was rightfully his was now in the clutches of this despicable snake demon, who even had the audacity to flaunt her power before him.

Unbeknownst to Qi Shaochen, Xu Nian’s current high level of cultivation was not solely due to the divine artifact. Much of her improvement came from devouring the essence provided by Qingyi, the patricide perpetrator.

Fuming, Qi Shaochen glared at Xu Nian. He knew he was no match for her, but he couldn’t let go of this rare chance, calculating the odds of a successful ambush.

After repeatedly going over the scenario in his mind, he despaired, realizing he stood no chance against the snake demon, especially after witnessing the surprising attack power of the two puppets. “Where did this damned snake demon get all these treasures?” he thought bitterly. “When will her luck run out?”

Just as he harbored this thought, the sky darkened ominously, and massive clouds of tribulation formed overhead. The forest was suddenly swept by a fierce wind, sending birds and beasts scattering in fear.

Qi Shaochen’s eyes widened in both shock and delight as he looked towards Xu Nian: “Is she about to undergo a tribulation?”

Just as Xu Nian was about to return to the sect, she found herself in a dire situation. When misfortune strikes a snake, it seems to get as bad as getting a tooth stuck while drinking cold water.

She had painstakingly suppressed her cultivation, carefully ensuring it didn’t continue to rise. She had thought she was completely safe with all her precautions, but she never anticipated the possibility of a sudden enlightenment, which inadvertently triggered her transformation tribulation.

“Curses,” she thought, “why did I have to have a breakthrough now? Of all times!” As the tribulation clouds thickened above her, she felt as if she were splitting apart.

In this emergency, she quickly activated Ji Yuebai’s protective shield and injected a wisp of spiritual energy into the golden bell. Although she knew Ji Yuebai might not arrive in time, she had to try every method available – this was her doing everything humanly possible and leaving the rest to fate.

As the embryonic form of the tribulation lightning began to show in the dark clouds, its purple-gold radiance seemed to carry heat. The intensity of this tribulation was far more ferocious than any Xu Nian had experienced before. The purple-gold color, as if refined by celestial fire, flickered with terrifying lightning. She thought wryly that it might be simpler to just connect herself to a high-voltage power line at this rate.

Originally, Xu Nian intended to keep a trick up her sleeve for emergencies, to prevent enemies from fully understanding her capabilities. Like the time she left Qingshui County and was ambushed by cultivators with the Immortal Binding Rope, unable to hide in her black box. If it weren’t for Ji Yuebai’s golden bell, she would have been doomed then.

Since then, Xu Nian had been more cautious, secretly cultivating her own moves within the black box. After advancing to the eighth rank, she developed a summoning skill. Much like Qingyi, who could command demon beasts to besiege cities, she could summon snake-type demon beasts to fight for her, and she could also use her spiritual energy to create and control her own kin.

Her control skill wasn’t very proficient at first, and her manipulation was somewhat lacking. But with the help of Liu Liu and Yi Yi, two puppet dolls with simpler controls, she practiced daily, which also improved her proficiency in controlling and creating kin.

As the fearsome tribulation lightning loomed, Xu Nian shrank her size to the minimum and used a substantial amount of spiritual energy to create and summon a multitude of defensively robust Titan Pythons. They formed a thick, semi-circular fortress above her protective shield. She also quickly set up a spiritual-gathering formation around her to avoid a shortage of spiritual energy during the tribulation, with the puppets Liu Liu and Yi Yi guarding her on each side.

Determined to survive this transformation tribulation, Xu Nian employed every method she could think of. Huddled within her small protective shield, she plastered all the swift wind talismans she had left on her body. She prepared for the worst, ready to flee desperately if all her defenses were breached. She even held various useful and useless talismans in her mouth for psychological comfort.

If not for the urgency of the situation, Xu Nian would have liked to dig a deep hole with her sword to somewhat mitigate the tribulation’s force. But the tribulation was upon her too quickly and too fiercely for any further preparations, so she did the best she could under the circumstances.

In an instant, a tremendous sound of thunder struck, its formidable force aimed directly at Xu Nian. The shocking roar startled Qi Shaochen, who was hiding in the bushes. He hadn’t expected the beast’s transformation tribulation to be so immense. He had planned to ambush her and disrupt her tribulation, but the power of the tribulation fire was almost as intense as prime earth fire, making him reconsider his plan, fearing he might get caught in it too.

Xu Nian, at the center of the tribulation, faced even greater challenges. After enduring the first round of three lightning strikes, the python fortress she had created, consuming much of her spiritual energy, was devoured by the tribulation fire, leaving her exposed to the scorching heat of the burning corpses.

She hastily leaped out of the mountain of corpses and sea of fire, but before she could make any other preparations, the second round of tribulation lightning, even more fierce, struck down at her. Despite her best efforts, darting around under the effect of the swift wind talismans, she couldn’t evade the relentless purple-gold lightning. Just two strikes were enough to deeply crack her supposedly Nascent Soul cultivator-resistant protective shield. She estimated that the shield wouldn’t last much longer.

While regaining a bit of her strength, she summoned more Titan Pythons as backups, not too far from the tribulation area. Sure enough, after six strikes from the second round, her protective shield completely shattered into ashes, rendering it useless.

However, the most challenging third round, with nine strikes of tribulation lightning, was just beginning. Xu Nian was out of options. She positioned a dozen newly summoned Titan Pythons above her, but considering that the massive fortress made of hundreds of them had been obliterated by just three strikes earlier, using these few as mere meat shields was barely better than nothing. She guessed that her end would likely be like stringing candied hawthorns – pierced through by the thunder tribulation in one go.

Xu Nian contemplated hiding inside the black box, but then she thought, despite its sturdiness, it wasn’t guaranteed to withstand the tribulation. She remembered the black box had already been struck by lightning when it first appeared. If the heavens had intended to destroy it with thunder at that time, it meant it could potentially be damaged by the tribulation. If it had withstood the tribulation at its birth but could not withstand Xu Nian’s, it would be more than just a regret; she might as well pack up and join it in its fate.

Xu Nian couldn’t bear to take that gamble, nor did she dare to. She would rather use her own body to withstand the strikes and only if there was absolutely no other way out, would she consider taking shelter inside the black box.

The intense and searing lightning strikes pierced through the Titan Pythons and hit Xu Nian directly, the intense heat and powerful force immediately charring her scales, scalding her skin, and causing flesh to split and crack.

Before the next strike could reach her, Xu Nian desperately moved to a new location, gritting her teeth. With her dwindling spiritual energy, she summoned some lower-ranked Red Jade Snakes to shield her vital areas and wrapped her heart and head with concentrated spiritual energy, bracing herself for the next strike.

As the thick purple-gold lightning struck again, a deafening boom filled the air, but the anticipated pain didn’t come.

Looking up towards the tribulation clouds, Xu Nian saw that Yi Yi, the puppet that had been trembling beside her, had leaped up to intercept the lightning. The puppet’s body was torn apart by the fierce strike, with its parts and blades clattering to the ground, resembling a broken doll.

Xu Nian was momentarily stunned. She had considered using the puppets to block the lightning, but couldn’t bring herself to do it, as they were gifts from Ji Yuebai. Despite knowing they were just artificially programmed puppets, she had grown fond of them over time. Seeing them tremble had tugged at her heartstrings. She knew from her tests that their intricate bodies were more suited for combat than enduring massive damage.

Xu Nian thought that perhaps the puppets could be repaired if they broke, but she wasn’t sure if they would still be the same after repairs. Thus, she hesitated to use them. But then, to her surprise, Yi Yi directly shielded her, taking the brunt of the lightning strike.

Perhaps, protecting their master was the puppets’ sole mission.

After Yi Yi shattered into pieces, Liu Liu, the other puppet, fearlessly charged towards the tribulation lightning, positioning herself in front of Xu Nian. Unlike before, Liu Liu didn’t retreat or show fear. She knew it was a futile effort, like a moth to a flame, but still courageously faced the tribulation head-on.

Xu Nian watched helplessly as Liu Liu was obliterated by the lightning, leaving behind nothing but fragments on the ground.

She suddenly felt a sting in her eyes, and unconsciously rubbed them with her tail. In this final moment, she straightened her spine, ready to face the last three strikes of the tribulation.

The first strike.

Her green scales turned black, her flesh split open, and thick blood oozed from her charred and cracked body.

The second strike.

Her bones shattered, and she lost her serpentine form. Xu Nian completely lost the strength to flee. Her mind screamed in agony, ‘It hurts, it hurts so much,’ but her mouth could only weakly open, unable to make a sound.

The third strike.

Xu Nian’s consciousness blurred, numbness and uncontrollable trembling following the intense pain. She tried to move her tail to look at her reflection, to see the extent of her injuries, only to realize she could no longer feel anything in the lower part of her body.

Her tail was gone.

Xu Nian felt she might not make it to the moment of transformation. Even if she could transform, her tail was gone. How would she grow legs? She would not only be a useless snake but also a disabled human. How would she continue her cultivation for ascension?

Her mind was flooded with images – Ji Yuebai, Mu Yanyu, and the puppets Liu Liu and Yi Yi.

She hadn’t had enough of her good days; she wasn’t ready to die. Even if she failed to transform and remained an ugly, mutated snake demon, she wanted to survive. Only by living could she have a chance to change her future.

If she died, everything would be gone.

As if the heavens had sensed her determination not to give up, the dark thunderclouds gradually dispersed. The sunlight broke through the clouds, casting down golden beams that brought a touch of warmth to the land.

The soft golden sunlight fell on Xu Nian’s face, making her squint slightly in discomfort. Following this was an expansion and healing in her dantian, the aftermath of surviving the tribulation. A whirlwind of immense spiritual energy surged into her body, rapidly repairing the veins and flesh damaged by the lightning strikes. She could feel her fine veins becoming stronger after being mended by this energy, and her flesh slowly regenerating, imbued with even greater strength. Xu Nian realized that this must be the body tempering effect following the third round of the tribulation.

Everything was happening slowly. Xu Nian felt her tail, which had been obliterated by the lightning, was also quietly regrowing. The transformation truly was like a second rebirth for a demon beast, with markedly potent effects.

However, at her most vulnerable moment, an unwelcome visitor approached from not too far away.

Qi Shaochen walked towards her with a confident stride, taunting her, “Do you know how long I’ve waited for this day?”

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Previous: Chapter 38

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Shakthivel
Shakthivel
4 months ago

Thanks for the chapter..

Jules
Jules
4 months ago

I want Qi Shaochen to leave our adorable snake alone, hopefully the puppets live too!!!

anazu
anazu
4 months ago

This time finish him off completely, you can do it 😊

SandWhale
SandWhale
4 months ago

Aw , felt bad for the puppets

Hatimo
Hatimo
20 days ago

Is this the transformation? It seems like xu nian still has her tail

flamewolf
flamewolf
13 days ago

good thing she rang that bell