Generally feeling safe, the two-headed Enchanting Serpent led a group of smaller Enchanting Serpents and stopped not far from Si Lan and the others. It vomited a mouthful of blood and lay gasping for breath on the ground. The other smaller serpents gathered around it, hissing and chattering.
Xuyi drew his longsword, roaring as he lunged towards the two-headed Enchanting Serpent in the middle, “Serpent demon, pay for my master and mistress’s lives!” Until this moment, he believed that his master and mistress had perished, and that the main culprits responsible for the state of Xuanling Mountain were the Enchanting Serpent clan.
Si Lan grabbed Xuyi’s elbow, “Xuyi, they are innocent too.”
“How can they be innocent? I’ve seen them attack Xuanling Mountain repeatedly with my own eyes!”
Si Lan had no choice but to explain truthfully, “Xuyi, in reality, your master and mistress passed away more than a month ago. The person you see now is just a puppet controlled by someone else. The mastermind is holding the Serpent Mother captive deep within Xuanling Mountain, which forced the Enchanting Serpent clan to attack Xuanling Mountain repeatedly.”
Xuyi found it difficult to accept these words, his eyes widened, and his lips moved but no sound came out.
Other disciples of Xuanling Mountain gathered around upon hearing this, unable to accept the revelation.
“Is this true? Master truly passed away a month ago?”
“So, the master who spoke to me over this past month… was a puppet?”
Si Lan’s gaze was heavy, and he nodded.
Xuyi, struggling to contain his grief, asked in a measured tone, “Elder Sī, you’re not lying to me, are you?” He still didn’t want to believe Si Lan’s words, but his instincts told him that Si Lan wasn’t lying.
After hearing this “No,” Xuyi couldn’t hold back his tears any longer. He angrily dropped his longsword and began punching a nearby tree in a fit of rage.
A month ago, Xuyi remembered that his master returned from the Yao Valley not long before announcing he was going into seclusion for cultivation. He had only cultivated for a few days before inexplicably leaving again.
When he returned, his behavior was unusual. However, his master had always been aloof, and Xuanling Mountain’s disciples rarely saw him, so they didn’t think much of it at the time.
If he had been more observant back then, perhaps he would have noticed something was wrong with his master and prevented his body from being controlled by that creature for over a month.
The more Xuyi thought about it, the more he regretted it. His knuckles were bleeding, but he couldn’t feel the pain as he continued to punch the tree.
Seeing this, his fellow disciples quickly intervened, trying to calm him down.
Si Lan also tried to soothe his emotions, “Xuyi, I believe that Lóu Yù in the realm of spirits wouldn’t want you all to grieve excessively. For now, you need to heal your injuries, recover your strength, and rebuild Xuanling Mountain with your fellow disciples.”
Perhaps the mention of rebuilding Xuanling Mountain brought Xuyi back to his senses. He panted and asked, “Elder Sī, do you know who killed my master?”
Si Lan shook his head, “I have no clue, but that person seems to have some connection with the Enchanting Serpent clan.” Téng Yīng Huā was that person’s backbone, cultivated with the blood of the Enchanting Serpent. The mastermind behind all this was either a member of the Enchanting Serpent clan or had blood ties with them.
“Cough…,” the two-headed Enchanting Serpent suddenly coughed and continued, “Within the Enchanting Serpent clan, there is a rumor, though I can’t confirm its authenticity. The ancestors of the Enchanting Serpent clan were the Nine-Headed Snake Deities from ancient times. It’s said that when Heaven’s judgment fell upon the Nine-Headed Snake clan, the members of the clan, in an attempt to appease Heaven, captured the Nine-Headed Snake that had brought calamity upon them. They skinned and dismembered it, cutting off its nine heads and sealed it using secret techniques, thus ending Heaven’s wrath.”
The Nine-Headed Snake clan was one of the Four Great Ancient Demonic Clans, and the large serpents within the clan had nine heads. The Nine-Headed Snake that caused trouble was the most notorious one, known as the Nine Infants.
It killed Biān Ràng, one of the Three Sons of Heaven, which provoked Heaven’s judgment and nearly led to the extinction of the Nine-Headed Snake clan.
Although Heaven’s judgment was later revoked, since then, the young serpents born in the clan had fewer heads, and their magical abilities became weaker. As of now, there hasn’t been a Nine-Headed Snake for tens of thousands of years.
“Do you suspect that the person behind all this is the ancient Nine-Headed Snake?” Si Lan asked.
The two-headed Enchanting Serpent nodded, “Because only the Nine Infants would hate us so much… to the extent of using the blood of our clan to resurrect itself.”
After speaking, the two-headed Enchanting Serpent coughed up more blood and collapsed on the ground.
Si Lan finally noticed that one of the two heads of the Two-Headed Enchanting Serpent had been severed, and the wound on its neck was still bleeding profusely, with the lower half of its body covered in blood. It had lost a significant amount of blood and was on the brink of collapse.
The group of smaller Enchanting Serpents anxiously surrounded it, trying to save it, but they were helpless.
Si Lan knelt down, and as the Two-Headed Enchanting Serpent saw him approach, it instinctively recoiled slightly but relaxed when it realized that Si Lan was there to help.
Si Lan used his magic to tend to the Two-Headed Enchanting Serpent’s neck, quickly stopping the bleeding and aiding in the healing of the wound where one of the heads had been severed. Although the injury wasn’t completely healed, it was enough to keep the Two-Headed Enchanting Serpent alive for the time being.
The Two-Headed Serpent felt guilty and said in a hoarse voice, “I should have listened to you.”
“Listened to which part?” Si Lan had said so much earlier, and the Two-Headed Serpent didn’t seem to pay much attention.
The Two-Headed Serpent looked embarrassed and lowered its head.
“Si Lan asked, “Has the Serpent Mother been found since Xuanling Mountain was split in half?”
“That mountain was split by Téng Yīng Huā, and the Serpent Mother… has not been found,” the Two-Headed Enchanting Serpent replied, feeling even more embarrassed.
“Is the Serpent Mother’s aura still present?”
Si Lan remembered that Song Guang had mentioned capturing the Serpent Mother to unlock the Golden Jade Immortal Box. Therefore, finding the location of the Golden Jade Immortal Box would also lead to the Serpent Mother.
However, Si Lan had never heard Lóu Yù mention such a treasure in Xuanling Mountain, and he couldn’t understand why Jiǔ Yīng wanted to unlock the Golden Jade Immortal Box.
“Do the Enchanting Serpent clan have any detailed records about Jiǔ Yīng?” Si Lan inquired.
The Two-Headed Enchanting Serpent shook its head, “Perhaps Jiǔ Yīng’s sins were so great that there are no detailed records about him within the clan. We have only heard about Jiǔ Yīng through oral tradition passed down from generation to generation. Over the past tens of thousands of years, these oral traditions have turned into rumors, and it’s unclear which parts are true and which are false.”
Si Lan frowned and asked, “Do you know what the Golden Jade Immortal Box is?”
“I don’t know. The Serpent Mother only mentioned that the person wants to unlock the Golden Jade Immortal Box, and even the Serpent Mother herself may not know what’s inside the box.” After a pause, the Two-Headed Enchanting Serpent glanced at the Xuanling Mountain disciples, “But the people of Xuanling Mountain should be aware of this.”
Upon hearing this, Xuyi clenched his teeth and stared at the Two-Headed Enchanting Serpent with a fierce expression. “Don’t spread rumors here. How could we possibly know what the Golden Jade Immortal Box is? Moreover, the successive leaders of Xuanling Mountain have never coveted rare treasures and wouldn’t keep such things hidden!”
The surrounding Enchanting Serpent disciples, in response to Xuyi’s harsh tone, extended their serpentine tongues, hissing and making threatening gestures.
Xuanling Mountain disciples drew their swords, ready to confront the Enchanting Serpents.
Observing this situation, Si Lan couldn’t help but touch his forehead. “Enough for today. Let’s take a rest.”
If they continued, both sides would suffer casualties. Si Lan had expended a significant amount of his internal energy and knew that a tough battle was ahead.
Si Lan sat under a tree and began to meditate, with his two young disciples sitting obediently beside him, following his example.
The disciples of Xuanling Mountain and the Enchanting Serpent clan, realizing that Si Lan had spoken, decided to disengage and rest. Both sides had casualties, and a fight wouldn’t benefit anyone.
Late into the night, Si Lan suddenly felt hungry. He opened his eyes and saw that everyone was asleep. Si Lan rubbed his belly and quietly left, planning to find some wild fruits to satiate his hunger in the forest.
“Little White Dragon, are you hungry?”
Si Lan noticed that the usually talkative Little White Dragon in his pocket was unusually quiet today. He couldn’t resist taking the dragon out of his pocket.
Under the moonlight, Little White Dragon’s silver scales glistened. Its pink horns were particularly adorable, and it was sleeping soundly with its eyes closed.
Si Lan smiled and put Little White Dragon back into his pocket.
This little creature was quite composed, considering all it had been through today. Truly the child of a real dragon.
Si Lan searched in the forest for a while but couldn’t find any edible wild fruits. However, there was a small stream nearby. He crouched by the stream, cupped his hands to collect some clear water, and splashed it on his face.
The continuous pressure of the past few days had left him mentally and physically exhausted. His face seemed a bit haggard.
Staring at his reflection in the stream, he let out a sigh.
The moonlight illuminated the pebbles on the streambed, making them visible, and even the fish resting on the riverbed could be seen.
It had been centuries since he last had grilled fish. Now in the mortal realm, without anyone from the demon world watching him, he thought it should be safe to catch a fish.
Thinking about this, he used his magic to catch two fish. He was about to start a small fire when he heard voices up ahead.
“Senior Brother, do you really believe what that demon said?”
“He was a good friend of our master. He wouldn’t deceive us.”
“But he’s ultimately a person from the demon world. We can’t be sure he won’t harm Xuanling Mountain.”
“Young Junior Sister, I understand your concerns, but what does Xuanling Mountain have that would make Si Lan think about it?”
“Well, you didn’t see how he was healing that demon earlier, right? They looked like they’ve known each other for a long time. And it was from him that we first heard about our master’s death. What if he’s deceiving us? That would be terrifying.”
Xuyi stayed silent, not saying a word.
“Yes, Senior Brother, you can’t lose your judgment just because that demon looks good.”
Xuyi blushed slightly and said, “I’m not saying this because of his appearance. I just feel that people have deep biases against the demon world and have spread many malicious rumors about him.”
“All those things about him are not just rumors; they are real events that happened
in the past. Have you seen the little demon in the green robe by his side? They say that’s his son.”
“Is it true?”
“Yes, it’s true, but there are two different claims about the mother of that little rascal. One is that the mother is a red blood jade spirit, and the other is that the little rascal was born from the big demon himself.”
“…,” Si Lan almost choked.
In his arms, the little white dragon moved, opening his robe and revealing a pair of cold, golden eyes, glaring at Si Lan.
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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