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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 19, 2024 2 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 65

Chapter 66

Xu Nian released Ji Yuebai’s sleeve and stepped in front of her, opening her fingers to reveal the jade earrings, her charming eyes fixed unwaveringly on Ji Yuebai. “Yuebai, you haven’t helped me put these on today.”

Ji Yuebai’s gaze settled on the jade earrings resting in Xu Nian’s delicate palm. After a moment of silence, she finally picked them up and gently placed them on Xu Nian’s tender and small earlobes. Under the effect of illusion and spiritual power, the jade earrings, set against her cascading black hair, appeared even more vibrant and lively.

Withdrawing her hand back into her sleeve, Ji Yuebai remarked, “It’s done.”

Xu Nian touched the earrings on her earlobes, her lips curving into a smile. Yuebai still cared for her.

She wanted to wrap her arm around Ji Yuebai as usual, but she was rejected.

“There are Elders and disciples from all Eight Great Sects gathered here. Too many people, too many opinions.”

Xu Nian reflected on Ji Yuebai’s words and realized the logic in them. She had been living undetected in the Fanyin Pavilion for so long that she had grown a bit reckless. Indeed, it wasn’t proper to display such intimacy with Yuebai in public.

Thus, Xu Nian took a step back and, mimicking the etiquette of other disciples from Tian Yuan Sect, bowed respectfully.

“Farewell, Ji Shishu.”

As she bid her goodbye, Ji Yuebai, with her dignified and elegant demeanor, drifted away.

Xu Nian couldn’t help but feel that Ji Yuebai seemed different today, much colder towards her than usual.

She had wanted to clarify things with Ji Yuebai, but considering the imminent start of the performance competition and the increasing number of disciples passing by, it didn’t seem appropriate to engage in a lengthy conversation with Ji Yuebai under such public scrutiny. So, she remained silent.

Feeling inexplicably upset, Xu Nian walked towards her seat in the stands, her head bowed, eyes fixed on her swaying dress. Ji Yuebai hadn’t touched her head today, nor had she complimented her appearance.

As she made her way through the corridor, several disciples from other sects stood up and blocked Xu Nian’s path.

Xu Nian’s heart skipped a beat, immediately recalling Ji Yuebai’s earlier warning. Could it be that her identity as a demon beast had been discovered? She glanced at the jade ring on her finger, which was supposed to conceal her aura from anyone below the Nascent Soul stage, and inwardly cursed, wondering if it had suddenly malfunctioned.

The disciples blocking her way all possessed Golden Core cultivation, the weakest among them at the mid-Golden Core stage. This set off alarm bells in Xu Nian’s mind. She instinctively began searching for weaknesses and escape routes among them, quickly calculating whether she could break through in case of an attack.

In her moment of panic, Xu Nian forced a nervous smile and asked, “Fellow disciples, may I help you with something?”

The leading disciple, momentarily mesmerized by her smile, seemed to float on air. Following her lead, he said, “I am a disciple of Master Changfeng of the Wuji Sect, and I would like to inquire about your esteemed name and lineage.”

Realizing it was merely a flirtatious approach, Xu Nian felt a wave of relief wash over her, and her body relaxed.

With a charming smile, she replied, “My surname is Xu, just an insignificant cultivator within Tian Yuan Sect. As for my lineage, I prefer to keep it private, but destiny will reveal it if we’re meant to know.”

The few disciples were utterly mesmerized by her, and one, a junior in the Golden Core stage, blushed as he asked her, “May I know if fellow Daoist Xu has a cultivation partner for dual cultivation?”

Xu Nian covered her mouth in feigned surprise, “I am devoted to the path of cultivation, longing for the day when the heavens will grace me with enlightenment and ascension. I have never entertained the thought of seeking a cultivation partner. Don’t fellow Daoists share this aspiration?”

The Wuji Sect disciples were slightly embarrassed by her counter-question, secretly admiring her. Even such a stunningly beautiful disciple from Tian Yuan Sect had such a high level of cultivation awareness. No wonder Tian Yuan Sect was indisputably the leading sect among hundreds in the cultivation world.

Seeing Xu Nian walk away gracefully, those disciples looked at her with a mix of longing and admiration.

As for Xu Nian, her heart was racing with excitement: “Running away after showing off is really thrilling.”

With her limited knowledge of the cultivation world, she knew she might give herself away if she spoke any more.

Perhaps it was because the grand competition was drawing to a close, and disciples from various sects all over the world were preparing to return to their own sects, leaving no room for regrets. They took the opportunity to approach Xu Nian, who was passing by.

However, most of them were rebuffed by the same polite but firm response she had given earlier.

Why most of them? Because among those who approached her, not only were there annoying male disciples, but also a few charming and graceful female disciples.

Almost everyone who embarked on the path of cultivation was good-looking. Cultivating with spiritual energy could purify the body, reshape bones, and enhance one’s physique and complexion, making the eyes bright and expressive. Even those who were not naturally attractive could become decent-looking with these enhancements.

Of course, reaching the level of beauty like Ji Yuebai and Xu Nian was rare.

One of the female disciples, seemingly from Taiyi Sect, looked quite young. She softly called Xu Nian “sister” and then said, “Sister, why didn’t you participate in the competition this time? With your cultivation and grace, it’s a pity not to compete. Can you leave your spiritual contact so we can keep in touch? The grand competition is held every three years; who knows when I’ll see you again?”

Her repeated use of “sister” was sweet as honey, almost winning Xu Nian over.

Xu Nian nearly gave in to the temptation to leave her spiritual imprint with the girl.

However, being a snake demon, Xu Nian knew better than to casually share something as intimate as a spiritual imprint. Such a mark, except with those closest to her, should not be given away lightly. If it fell into the hands of a powerful cultivator skilled in obscure and unorthodox methods, they could easily trace her whereabouts through the faint spiritual connection. It would be dangerous if exploited by someone with ulterior motives.

Besides, Xu Nian hadn’t even exchanged spiritual imprints with Ji Yuebai yet. It wouldn’t be prudent to start with someone else, especially under these circumstances.

Xu Nian had always been by Ji Yuebai’s side and had never felt the need to leave a spiritual imprint for communication. Moreover, she only knew modern Mandarin and a smattering of English from her past life, while Ji Yuebai wrote in the unique script of the cultivation world. Even if they had exchanged messages, they wouldn’t have understood each other.

Of course, she couldn’t openly admit this to the young female disciple before her and reveal her own illiteracy.

After all, even as a snake demon, Xu Nian had her pride.

So, she adopted an Elder’s demeanor, gently touched the young disciple’s head, and said with a meaningful tone, “The path of cultivation is long, and three years pass in the blink of an eye. Destiny shouldn’t be rushed. If you still remember me at the next disciples’ competition, I will exchange spiritual imprints with you then.”

The female disciple looked at Xu Nian with admiration, as if she had understood something profound. “I get it now. I will focus on my cultivation and aim for a good ranking in the next competition, so you will remember me, Sister.”

Xu Nian nodded with a smile, “Good.”

Anyway, she wouldn’t need the Transformation Fruit next time, and Ji Yuebai wouldn’t have to lower her status to participate in such an easily dominated competition. Xu Nian figured she probably wouldn’t meet these disciples again.

After searching for a while, Xu Nian finally saw Mu Yanyu waving at her from the crowd. She quickly made her way over and took her seat.

As soon as she sat down, she remarked to Mu Yanyu, “There are so many people at this competition. I almost couldn’t find you.”

Mu Yanyu glanced at her and joked, “I saw you from afar, surrounded by admirers, so cheerful. It’s true that new faces bring smile, while the old ones bring tears…’

Xu Nian covered her face with her hand, “You’re overthinking it. I wouldn’t dare.”

Her intention was to convey that, as a demon beast, she dared not get too close to human cultivators she didn’t fully understand, to avoid potential dangers.

But Mu Yanyu misunderstood, thinking Xu Nian was referring to Ji Yuebai’s presence, which made her hesitant to flirt with others.

So Mu Yanyu pointed towards the stage and said, “But look there, Ji Yuebai dares to.”

Confused, Xu Nian followed Mu Yanyu’s direction and saw a female cultivator with an unfamiliar face talking to Ji Yuebai in the waiting area of the stands.

They were too far apart for Xu Nian to guess what they were saying from their lip movements, but it was obvious that Ji Yuebai’s demeanor was much softer when facing this woman.

They seemed to be talking about something interesting, as the woman covered her mouth with her hand and laughed charmingly.

Xu Nian watched as the woman playfully tugged at Ji Yuebai’s sleeve, and Ji Yuebai did not shake her off.

Just moments ago, Ji Yuebai had been cold as ice towards Xu Nian.

But in an instant, she was now chatting amiably with someone else.

Xu Nian’s long eyelashes quivered as she suddenly realized something.

No wonder, it turns out Ji Yuebai had someone else on the outside.

However, Xu Nian understood this could be a natural progression of things. After all, with time, even the most adored pets could become monotonous, leading to a search for something new and exciting. Just like in her previous life, many people who had cats and dogs at home would still visit cat cafes and dog cafes for a change.

Despite understanding this logic, Xu Nian couldn’t help but feel a pang of sadness. She had promised to stay by Ji Yuebai’s side, diligently cultivating to keep up with her and ascend together.

She had resisted all external temptations, including those from Mu Yanyu, Xue Ling, and potential others.

Wholeheartedly and obediently, she had followed Ji Yuebai, restraining her own desires and never daring to want more than what was offered.

She had hoped to remain as a companion by Ji Yuebai’s side for a long time.

But it hadn’t even been a year, and it seemed Ji Yuebai was already growing tired of her.

Sitting beside her, Mu Yanyu pulled out a cultivation world equivalent of a telescope from her storage bag and peered through it. “Why do I feel that the female cultivator talking to Ji Yuebai looks a bit like you?”

Taking the telescope from Mu Yanyu, Xu Nian looked through it, and the image before her eyes became clear. She could now see the features of the female cultivator speaking with Ji Yuebai.

If Mu Yanyu hadn’t mentioned it, she might not have noticed, but with the comparison made, Xu Nian instinctively compared herself to the other woman and concluded that indeed, there was a resemblance.

A thought suddenly crossed her mind, sparking a myriad of melodramatic literary scenarios. Could it be that Ji Yuebai kept her close because she resembled someone dear to Ji Yuebai, a lost love perhaps?

But thinking about it, that didn’t seem likely. When Ji Yuebai took her in, she hadn’t yet transformed into her human form.

Seeing Xu Nian in turmoil, Mu Yanyu glanced between her and the distant Ji Yuebai, then volunteered, “Don’t overthink it. After the performance competition, I’ll ask her for you.”

Xu Nian shook her head, “I should ask her myself.”

After all, some things might get lost in translation.

Fortunately, the performance competition began smoothly, and the female cultivator bid a reluctant farewell to Ji Yuebai.

As Tian Yuan Sect, the premier sect in the cultivation world, their performance was the grand finale.

In terms of entertainment, the performance competition was far more spectacular than the previous days’ disciples’ competition, particularly friendly to those disciples whose cultivation and comprehension couldn’t keep up.

The opening act was from the host sect, Fanyin Pavilion, known for their music cultivation.

The celestial music was heard before the performers were seen, captivating the audience. Then, red silks descended from nowhere, and a fragrant breeze stirred up a flurry of pink petals. Several beautiful female cultivators in colorful clothes, either holding a guzheng or a pipa, gracefully descended from the unsupported red silks, offering a stunning visual experience.

Xu Nian, too, found herself captivated by the performance. Her earlier troubled thoughts momentarily receded to the back of her mind.

If the performance of the Fanyin Pavilion cultivators was like a high mountain stream or a serenade of ethereal elegance, then the presentation of the Bailian Sect was like a collision between icebergs and black iron.

The Bailian Sect specialized in tool cultivation. Many exquisite magical artifacts and weapons auctioned previously were crafted by the hands of the Bailian Sect’s tool cultivators. While their individual combat capabilities weren’t particularly strong, they still ranked fifth among the Eight Great Sects due to their comprehensive strength.

The ensuing part of the competition showcased a display of unique skills by various sects, epitomizing their cultivation philosophies and flamboyantly showcasing their sect’s dazzling abilities.

The audience was left in awe, marveling at the performances from their seats.

While the performances from the other sects were impressive, Xu Nian’s anticipation grew for Ji Yuebai’s appearance. She naturally believed that the performance led and guided by Ji Yuebai would undoubtedly surpass those of the other sects.

Finally, under the eager and expectant gaze of the Tian Yuan Sect disciples in the stands, it was time for their performance.

The air in the arena seemed to grow colder as snow began to fall from the sky, spreading a frosty chill.

An endless icy plain materialized before everyone’s eyes, enveloped by a blizzard and a sky blanketed in white.

A group of cultivators in snow-colored robes stood amidst this expanse, their swords radiating a fearless and resolute aura.

As the sword energy surged, it seemed as if the heavens and earth changed color. A giant ice dragon, rose from the ground, emanating a bone-chilling coldness. It circled the arena as if to intimidate, and then collided with each other during their fight, creating a thunderous noise, and dissipated into ice crystals and powder between heaven and earth.

A hush fell over the crowd, everyone awestruck by the spectacle.

At this moment, the falling snowflakes gradually condensed into beautiful icy flowers, slowly landing in front of everyone.

A curious cultivator cautiously extended a finger to catch one of these beautiful icy flowers, only for it to melt upon touch, transforming into a surge of sword energy and dissipating.

“This ice contains sword energy,” someone exclaimed.

Hearing this, many reached out to catch the icy flowers, eager to feel the sword intent within them.

An Elder from Wuji Sect caught an icy flower and, sensing the sword energy, remarked with admiration, “Such a young age, and yet she possesses such profound understanding of the sword. The future is limitless for her. Lingxiao, it’s not a shame to lose to her.”

His disciple, Song Lingxiao, sitting beside him, nodded somberly, “Yes, Shishu.”

Xu Nian watched intently from the stands, captivated by a scene that seemed like it belonged in a blockbuster movie from her previous life.

Yuebai was truly incredible.

If she could become as powerful, would she then be worthy to stand shoulder to shoulder with Yuebai?

She raised her hand and caught a frost flower, watching it melt away, revealing its sword energy.

A complex and indescribable emotion rose in Xu Nian’s heart.

Yet, she dared not think too deeply about it.

At this moment, Ji Yuebai sheathed her sword and led the Tian Yuan Sect disciples off the stage.

The Elders of the Eight Great Sects took turns to come up to the stage to deliver their summaries and closing speeches for the competition. Despite being the dullest part of the event, not a single disciple dared to sneak away.

The life of a disciple in the cultivation world was vastly different from that of a student in her previous life. Once they entered a sect, they renounced their mortal past and became utterly isolated. In a world where the strong rule, only through striving could one acquire resources, status, and ensure survival in the increasingly harsh environment.

If one’s cultivation was weak, gaining the favor of a master could still ensure a tolerable existence.

But losing the master’s favor, even with decent talent, could mean dire consequences.

Of course, geniuses like Ji Yuebai were exceptions.

Xu Nian initially wanted to slip away with Mu Yanyu, but noticing that the surrounding disciples were as attentive as kindergarten children during a lesson, she realized that leaving now would be too conspicuous. Reluctantly, she stayed to listen to the speeches filled with grandiose phrases like “strive for further success” and “create a glorious future for the cultivation world.”

Finally, as the event was drawing to a close, Xu Nian prepared to rise from her seat.

But at that moment, an unexpected change occurred.

Suddenly, the ground beneath them began to shake violently.

Was it an earthquake? Given the geographical location of the Fanyin Pavilion, it wasn’t impossible for it to be situated on a seismic zone.

Xu Nian steadied herself, scanning her surroundings. A strange whooshing sound overhead caught her attention, and she looked up, only to be shocked.

Countless thunder explosion talismans, the highest quality and most potent kind, were raining down from the sky.

These talismans were hurtling towards the cultivators in the arena at an alarming rate, descending like a relentless barrage with seemingly no regard for cost.

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Shakthivel
Shakthivel
4 months ago

Thanks for the chapter..

Hatimo
Hatimo
18 days ago

Oh oh is it demonic sect or demon beast?
Jealous ah nian is so sad 😭