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 15, 2024 3 Comments
Table of Contents
Previous: Chapter 6
Next: Chapter 8

Chapter 7

To Xu Nian’s surprise, Ji Yuebai’s lips were unexpectedly soft and welcoming, which was a striking contrast to her usual cold and aloof manner. Even unconscious, Ji Yuebai seemed fragile and delicate, giving off an allure that was unintentional yet captivating.

Xu Nian thought she might be losing her mind. Shaking off these distracting thoughts, she gently pried open Ji Yuebai’s soft lips with her tongue to pass air, transferring her stored oxygen to the other.

Thanks to her efforts, Ji Yuebai’s furrowed brows finally relaxed, indicating an improvement in her oxygen deprivation.

Seeing this, Xu Nian continued to transfer breath and at the same time wrapped her body around Ji Yuebai’s waist, pulling them both upward towards the surface.

Out of the corner of her eye, Xu Nian kept an eye on Ji Yuebai and saw her eyelashes flutter, a sign she was waking up. Xu Nian quickly moved away, pretending as if nothing had happened.

She was terrified of Ji Yuebai’s reaction upon discovering their unintended intimacy, worried she might be met with a swift slash of her sword.

Fortunately, Xu Nian, still dragging Ji Yuebai, was now close to breaking the water’s surface, with the light of victory almost within reach.

After ensuring no signs of danger nearby, she finally surfaced. The scenery around them was drastically different from the previous lakeside; they were in an underwater cavern, surrounded by bizarre rocks, resembling the karst caves Xu Nian had seen in documentaries.

First, Xu Nian swam to the shore and then helped Ji Yuebai out of the water by grabbing her waistband.

While Xu Nian was pulling her up, Ji Yuebai began to wake up. Turning back, Xu Nian saw her covering her mouth, coughing gently.

Ji Yuebai’s appearance was a bit messy. Her wet hair stuck to her face and body, highlighting her graceful figure. Her soaked robe hugged her closely, showing off her enticing curves and the skin underneath the soaked fabric.

Unaware of her own charm, she pursed her lips and fixed her wet sleeves, exposing her pale, jade-like wrists before holding the sword at her waist.

Xu Nian, secretly observing Ji Yuebai, was caught off guard by her actions. She moved aside, worried that Ji Yuebai might bring up the incident of artificial respiration. Pretending to be on guard, Xu Nian cast stealthy glances at her.

She saw Ji Yuebai furrow her brows, seemingly deep in thought, and then unexpectedly touch her own lips.

Fear nearly sent Xu Nian’s spirit flying out of her body, terrified that Ji Yuebai would demand an explanation.

She noticed a tiny mark on Ji Yuebai’s lips, possibly from her sharp fangs.

Unable to sit still, Xu Nian attempted to divert Ji Yuebai’s attention. She immediately began to flatter, “Ji Shishu, are you hurt? I owe you my life for saving me; without your brave actions, I would be a mere spirit at the bottom of Yujing Lake. I am forever indebted and, if you agree, I am willing to serve you, to repay this kindness.”

Ji Yuebai looked up, a drop of water falling from her eyelash onto her cheek, making her pale complexion even more delicate. It seemed to be the first time she encountered a flatteringly eloquent demon snake like Xu Nian, which successfully divreted her attention.

With a hint of disdain, Ji Yuebai dismissed Xu Nian’s offer: “There’s no need.”

Seeing this, Xu Nian quietly breathed a sigh of relief but maintained a sad tone as she said, “Ji Shishu, if you ever need anything in the future, I’ll do whatever it takes to repay my debt to you.”

Ji Yuebai intended to decline again, but something in the snake’s voice, a mix of humility and hope, inexplicably stirred a hint of sympathy in her. Almost as if possessed, she found herself uttering a soft “Alright.”

She felt as though she must be under some spell.

Xu Nian was momentarily stunned, hardly believing Ji Yuebai had agreed. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to express gratitude; it was just that other cultivators she had met typically viewed her kind with disdain, if not outright disgust.

Of course, most of those cultivators had met their end at her hands.

Blinking in surprise, Xu Nian responded with a cheerful, “Thank you, Ji Shishu.”

Finally, Ji Yuebai couldn’t take it anymore: “Stop calling me Ji Shishu.”

Xu Nian’s excitement deflated, and she mumbled, “Oh, sorry,” her spirits dampened.

Ji Yuebai found herself momentarily speechless. In her many years of wandering, she had never encountered such a unique and even polite demon beast.

The green snake was already sneaking glances at her for the seventh time, its round eyes seemingly hiding something it wanted to say.

Ji Yuebai sighed, “Is there anything else?”

Xu Nian replied, somewhat crestfallen, “Then how should I address you? My name is Xu Nian, ‘Xu’ as in Xu Xian, ‘Nian’ as in unforgettable.”

It was surprising, a demon beast adopting a human-like name.

Ji Yuebai had always taken it upon herself to eradicate demons and protect the way. She usually cut down the demons she encountered without wasting words. However, she hadn’t expected to meet such a unique snake demon due to a strange twist of fate.

On Xiao Cang Mountain, after she had healed, she had intended to kill Xu Nian but couldn’t bring herself to do it. Her duty was to eliminate demons that brought harm to the world, but what of those that did no evil and instead did good?

The green snake was still in the middle of cultivation, utterly defenseless.

Her sword rose and fell, but she couldn’t overcome the conflict within her heart.

Later, when Xu Nian awoke, Ji Yuebai asked if she would swear never to harm humans again.

Brushing away these memories, Ji Yuebai saw Xu Nian still looking at her innocently, waiting for her to reveal her name.

Ji Yuebai looked down, “If I tell you, it might lead people to believe I’m in collusion with a demon.”

Her voice was clear, devoid of emotion or accusation.

Xu Nian became anxious, feeling guilty: “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it that way. I just don’t know how to address you.”

Ji Yuebai didn’t continue the conversation but instead asked, “Why did you follow me into the lake?”

Xu Nian responded sheepishly, “After you left, a group of cultivators also rushed to the lake. I was afraid they would discover me, so I hid in the water. When they arrived and jumped into the lake, I guessed they were after the same thing as you and wanted to warn you.”

Ji Yuebai nodded, acknowledging her statement. “I understand.”

By now, Ji Yuebai’s spiritual energy had mostly recovered. With a casual flick of her wrist, she performed a cleansing spell that not only dried her clothes but also her hair in an instant.

In that moment, she transformed back into the ethereal, detached cultivator, her powerful presence undiminished.

Xu Nian’s eyes shone with admiration. “Your cultivation techniques are so convenient.”

Ji Yuebai, sword in hand, began walking deeper into the cave. Xu Nian, not wanting to be left behind, hurriedly followed, staying close behind her.

Ji Yuebai glanced back at her, the cool detachment from their first encounter returning to her face. “It’s safe now. You don’t have to follow me anymore.”

Xu Nian halted, stuttering, “But… I haven’t repaid you yet.”

“You saved me too. We’re even now,” Ji Yuebai said, and without another look, her spiritual energy surged, and she vanished into the depths of the cave, her white robe fluttering behind her.

Xu Nian, left alone, felt a wave of loneliness. She hadn’t spoken to anyone in so long before meeting Ji Yuebai, the first person who hadn’t harmed her and had even risked her life to save hers.

Sitting there, Xu Nian consoled herself. If she could endure fifty years of solitude, this was nothing. She was determined to cultivate successfully and transform. Once she did, no one would look down on her again.

Back when times were good, a county official passing through Xiao Cang Mountain happened to enter the white tiger’s territory. The White Tiger flipped the official’s palanquin as if opening a can, only to be distracted by the fragrant roasted pig nearby. The White Tiger, having never tasted such delicious food in its life, craved more after one pig. Unsatisfied even after devouring it, the White Tiger considered the county official, albeit skinny, a potential light snack.

However, the official begged for his life, claiming he could provide endless roasted pigs if spared. The tiger believed him. Who knew that the county official would drug the roasted suckling pig he fed to the tiger and even invited a cultivator to kill it?  The tiger barely escaped back to Xiao Cang Mountain, still remembering the delicious pig, thinking that if it could transform into a human, it could eat freely without fear.

Xu Nian passed through the cave and unexpectedly found herself in a paradise of peach blossoms, the serene and pleasing scenery just like the descriptions from books, with spiritually rich grass and even the rocks in the small streams filled with spiritual energy.

She had never seen such a world. Even a single stone here contained more spiritual energy than the entire spiritual spring in Xiao Cang Mountain. Opening her storage bag, she greedily swept the spiritual stones into it with her tail. Anything she saw was hers now, and she wouldn’t let anyone take it away.

Xu Nian meticulously gathered only the spiritual stones rich in spiritual energy, scouring the entire stream until she had amassed over ten thousand spirit stones. Her storage bag was so stuffed it couldn’t hold another pebble.

Towards the end, her greed unabated, Xu Nian stuffed her cheeks with two more stones, comically resembling a hoarding hamster.

Initially, Xu Nian had been wary of other cultivators potentially vying for the stones. But after her hoarding spree, she realized there were no such threats around. This reassurance allowed her to comfortably curl up in the middle of her hoard and commence her cultivation.

The concentration of spiritual energy here, though not as immense as the once-in-sixty-years Imperial Essence, was many times more potent and purer than her previous cultivation spot.

Immersed in absorption, Xu Nian hungrily drew in the spiritual energy, revitalizing her bones and marrow. The abundant power surged through her dantian and sea of consciousness. The bottleneck in her cultivation that had long plagued her began to gradually loosen, and she sensed herself on the cusp of reaching the seventh rank.

Advancement for demon beasts differed greatly from humans. Humans, inherently possessing a degree of intellect and wisdom, focused on physical strengthening in the initial stages. In contrast, physically robust demon beasts, often lacking in cognitive abilities, emphasized more on mental cultivation.

For demon beasts, advancement was also an elevation of consciousness. Many failed at crucial stages despite rapid progress in energy absorption, precisely because their cultivation of the heart has not reached the required stage.

As for Xu Nian, who had transmigrated into the body of a snake, she didn’t need to cultivate her mind as humans do. She just needed to continuously absorb and convert spiritual energy to practice as swiftly as demon beasts, without worrying about the risk of losing her spiritual intelligence due to failure in advancement.

As the spiritual energy converged above her, the barrier to advancement seemed ready to break. A small patch of dark clouds, heralding tribulation, floated above her, rumbling with thunder. Chaotic flashes of lightning brewed within, ready to strike.

Observing the terrifying thunder in the sky, Xu Nian trembled in fear. What was happening? She had never heard about needing to withstand lightning when advancing from the sixth to the seventh rank.

She was doomed. In the novels, the protagonists either had protective formations or a bunch of random treasures to resist damage. Here she was, expected to resist with her bare body; she feared she’d be turned into a charred snake at the first strike.

In a very short time, the thunder and lightning in the sky had reached a frightening level. The occasional flashes of silver lightning seemed potent enough to reduce Xu Nian to ashes.

What Xu Nian didn’t realize was that she wasn’t supposed to endure this level of thunder tribulation, which was beyond her level. However, during her cultivation and absorption process, she had amassed an excessive amount of spiritual energy. This energy, not fully absorbed, lingered around her, continuously attracting and gathering the surrounding tribulation clouds.

This was the same principle as when a divine artifact is born, it would attract tribulation clouds.

In her frantic state, Xu Nian desperately sought something non-conductive to shield herself from the lightning. “If only I had a lightning rod,” she cursed, wondering how modern technology would fare against such mystical forces.

In this moment of crisis, Xu Nian raced towards the cave with all her might. The cave was tantalizingly close, yet she couldn’t reach it in time. A terrifying thunderbolt, about three meters in diameter, hurtled towards her with incredible speed. How could she possibly outrun lightning?

For the first time, Xu Nian felt the chilling proximity of death.

In her final moments, all she could do was coil up, hide her head under her body, and shut her eyes in fear. Feeling helpless, she silently prayed, calling on every God she knew for protection.

After a tense wait, the thunderbolt hovering overhead did not strike. Puzzled, Xu Nian cautiously opened her eyes to peek outside.

She saw the massive lightning bolt change course mid-way, heading straight for a location a few kilometers away, where there was a significant burst of light, a divine treasure spot.

The residual lightning that fell upon Xu Nian was no more than sparkler-sized sparks, harmlessly fizzling against her scales, unable to breach her defenses.

Xu Nian tilted her head in wonder: Could her prayers have actually worked?

Table of Contents
Previous: Chapter 6
Next: Chapter 8


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5 months ago

Thanks for the chapter…

5 months ago

Thank you for the chapter!

5 months ago

haha i wonder if it struck yue bai instead