That group of celestial women that was merrily laughing earlier hadin the next momentturned into spooky skeletons with snow-white bones, and each of their bones was refracting dazzling rays of light. This scene really made the hearts of the onlookers ache.
“If the western monk were here, his comprehension toward buddhist teachings would have surely increased after witnessing this scene,” Song Shuhang muttered to himself.
Oh, wait a moment… that western monk actually belongs to the daoist faction. No matter how good his comprehension in regards to buddhist teachings gets, it’s still completely useless.
Su Clan’s Sixteen asked, “Senior White, are those things monster skeletons or something similar?”
“Not even I have seen such marvelous monster skeletons before!” Venerable White said.
Song Shuhang said, “This is, after all, an illusory reality, and it’s difficult to distinguish between illusion and reality in this place.”
Venerable White said, “Moreover, there is something wrong with this ‘illusory reality’. This is not something an ordinary Seventh Stage Venerable can create. Even if it was I who created the illusory reality, there was no way the spiritual qi inside would be so rich and dense! Rather than an ‘illusory reality’, this is more like a ‘small world’!”
“But isn’t that the same ability as the nucleus inside Song Shuhang’s Heart Aperture has?” Sixteen asked.
Venerable White said, “To be more accurate, it should be a low-quality version of the ability of the nucleus in Song Shuhang’s Heart Aperture. Compared to a real world, this illusory reality has a lot of deficiencies. From what I remember, when the scholarly faction created their small world, the small world could be already considered a complete world, and the nucleus in Song Shuhang’s Heart Aperture is something of the same rank as the golden lotus of the scholarly faction.”
While they were discussing, the multicolored light in the distance slowly faded. Those female cultivators that had suddenly turned into skeletons had disappeared as well.
Song Shuhang said, “They all disappeared… was it just an illusion?”
“Let’s go take a look at that place. Perhaps we can find some clues.” Venerable White dashed forward, quickly heading toward that place where the multicolored light had disappeared.
Song Shuhang and Su Clan’s Sixteen closely followed after Senior White, likewise dashing toward that place where the multicolored light had vanished.
“We have arrived. It was precisely here.” Venerable White stopped, and what appeared before their eyes was a big and dried up lake.
Without the moistening of the water, the bottom of the lake was already full of cracks.
At this time, only bones and skeletons were left of the creatures that had originally inhabited the lake. The remains of fishes, shellfishes, and other similar creatures were scattered all over. There were also traces of withered vegetation.
However, they didn’t see the skeletons of those ten or so celestial women that had appeared amidst the multicolored light.
“It seems that this lake has dried up since a long time ago.” Song Shuhang pondered for a moment, and then said to Su Clan’s Sixteen, “Do you still have some of those fried beans? Can you throw them in the center of the lake to see if there any dangers there?”
“I don’t have any more fried beans, but I have some melon seeds.” Su Clan’s Sixteen slightly raised her small face and stretched out her hand, scattering around a handful of melon seeds.
“Thud, thud, thud.”
The melon seeds fell to the bottom of the dried up lake.
Anyway, it seemed that Sixteen was carrying with her a lot of snacks, and of several different types at that.
Around ten seconds later…
Song Shuhang said, “From the looks of it, there is no danger.”
However, his voice had yet to fade that he was immediately slapped in the face.
Mounds of earth emerged from the bottom of the dried up lake one after another. From the looks of it, something was about to drill out of the ground of the lake.
“Something is coming out… are they the skeletons of those celestial women from before?” Su Clan’s Sixteen looked at the mounds of earth with a curious expression.
“Clang, clang, clang~”
A grating, metallic sound echoed all around.
In the next moment, several figures wearing armor all over their bodies drilled out of each mound. What they were wearing were sets of full body armor, exquisite and pleasing to the eye. Even if they had just drilled out of the ground, the armor was still glistening and shining.
Although these figures were wearing full body armor, they didn’t appear cumbersome. On the other hand, they looked graceful and curvaceous. From the model, it seemed a set of armor that women would wear.
Each of their actions was issuing a sharp and clear sound of friction.
It seemed that whoever made these set of armor was definitely someone very bored.
Venerable White gently raised his finger, and Meteor Sword started to hover next to Song Shuhang and Su Clan’s Sixteen, getting ready for all eventualities.
At this time, the silver-armored figure standing in the forefront position took a step forward, and said, “Great Master of the Divine Beast Department, stop immediately and leave this place. What lies ahead is the forbidden area known as ‘Jade Lake’, you are not allowed to enter this place.”
The voice was that of a woman, but after passing through the armor, it became somewhat strange.
After saying this much, the figures wearing steel armor didn’t attack the trio, but assumed a defensive formation instead. From the looks of it, they weren’t planning to attack Song Shuhang and the others as long as they didn’t advance any further.
Venerable White, Song Shuhang, and Su Clan’s Sixteen looked at each other.
The Great Master of the Divine Beast Department? The forbidden area known as ‘Jade Lake’?
“Who is this Great Master of the Divine Beast Department?” Su Clan’s Sixteen looked at Venerable White and Song Shuhang. After all, it surely wasn’t her. She was a saberswoman, and didn’t have any talent in raising pet animals.
Venerable White turned his head around and looked at Song Shuhang. “Shuhang, when did you become a Great Master of the Divine Beast Department?”
“I never became the Great Master of the Divine Beast Department! Oh, wait a moment… perhaps it’s related to this.” Song Shuhang suddenly thought of something. Therefore, he stretched out his hand and took out two thick golden chains from his size-reducing purse.
It was precisely that golden chain connected to the Thirty-Three Divine Beasts’ Sect; it was a treasure used to pass down the legacy of the sect.
Song Shuhang had once used the ‘secret appraisal technique’ to appraise that golden chain, and he had obtained the following result[The Spirit Beast Chain, an item forged with pure gold. It’s the status symbol of the disciples of the 88th department of the ancient Heavenly City, the ‘Divine Beast Department’. Spirit Beast Chains are conferred only to ‘Master Spirit Beast Tamers’ that have received the official recognition of the ancient Heavenly City. It’s a symbol that shows one’s social status.]
The Divine Beast Department was the name used in the Heavenly City to refer to the ‘Thirty-Three Divine Beasts’ Sect’. The ‘Divine Beast Department’ of the Heavenly City was none other than the predecessor of the Thirty-Three Divine Beasts’ Sect.
After linking the words of this silver-armored figure standing before their eyes together with the words ‘Divine Beast Department’ and ‘Jade Lake forbidden area’, one would immediately think of a certain place.
Song Shuhang looked toward that figure wearing bright silver armor, and asked, “Is this place the ancient Heavenly City?”
Or perhaps it was actually a fragment of the ancient Heavenly City?
After the ancient Heavenly City got destroyed, the whole thing was torn into several pieces.
Then, just as he thought of the ancient Heavenly City, the picture of a huge gate suddenly appeared in Song Shuhang’s mind as he was looking at the dried up lake.
This gate was covered in magical mist, with a myriad of glittering golden rays radiating from it. It was deep-green in color and seemed as though it was made of glass. In addition, it was shining very brightly, just as if it had been adorned with precious stones!
It was the Southern Heavenly Gate!
However, in the picture in Song Shuhang’s mind, the Southern Heavenly Gate was damaged in many spots, and someone seemed to have forcefully patched it up…
Where had he seen this picture? Why couldn’t he remember anything about it?
Song Shuhang thought for a moment, and then quickly remembered the reason.
It was something he had once seen firsthand… it was a memory from the ‘mysterious island’.
For some unknown reason, that portion of his memories had been sealed.
However, now that he came in contact with the ‘Jade Lake’, part of his sealed memories was unexpectedly unsealed.
When I was on the mysterious island, did I come in contact with the ‘Heavenly City’? Song Shuhang thought to himself.
When faced with Song Shuhang’s question, the silver-armored figure didn’t reply.
She calmly stood at the bottom of the dried up lake and gazed at Song Shuhang and the others without saying a word. They were worried about them trespassing the boundaries of the so-called ‘Jade Lake’, and were fulfilling their duty as ‘guards’.
Su Clan’s Sixteen said, “Are the women inside these suits of armor the same celestial women we’ve spotted within the multicolored radiance earlier?”
“Are they the guardians of the Jade Lake? It seems as if they aren’t human beings, but at the same time, they are different from puppets too. Is it possible that they are something that was materialized through this illusory reality?” Song Shuhang said in a soft voice.
The illusory reality was a mixture of truth and deceit, and one couldn’t distinguish what was real and what wasn’t.
“Ancient Heavenly City? In other words, this illusory reality is the ancient Heavenly City or a portion of it?” Venerable White’s eyes immediately lit up.
“Yes, that should be the case,” Song Shuhang said.
“That’s it!” Venerable White clenched his fists, and said, “So this is what the treasure was… Shuhang, let’s take away this piece of the ancient Heavenly City!”
“Ah?” Song Shuhang gazed at the huge lake before his eyes. “Can this portion of the ancient Heavenly City even be taken away?”
“Of course it can. As long as we manage to find its core, I’m pretty confident I can take away everything. In the end, this thing is still an ‘illusory reality’!” Venerable White said.
Song Shuhang said, “But how can we find the core?”
“Generally speaking, the core is the most important place of the illusory reality. If this place consists of only the ‘Jade Lake’, the dried up lake before our eyes is the core. But if the range of this illusory reality is bigger than this, and there is an even more important place, that place will be the ‘core’. After all, the illusory reality is originally centered in one point and then spread outward. In short, let’s look for the core first,” Venerable White explained.
At this moment, somewhere inside the illusory reality.
Elder Lushan Street of the Limitless Demon Sect was sitting cross-legged in a state of deep meditation, attempting to break through to the Eighth Stage Profound Sage Realm.
Demon Monarch Lushan Street was a highly experienced Venerable, and his age was very advanced.
Along with the passage of time, he did not have many years left to live.
As such, he’d decided to return to this ancestral land of the Limitless Demon Sect and enter into a state of deep meditation in hope of breaking through.
Actually, several disciples of the Limitless Demon Sect were wondering as to why Demon Monarch Lushan Street had decided to return to this ancestral land with low spiritual qi to enter into a state of deep meditation and try to break through.
After all, wouldn’t his chances of breaking through be much higher if he were to enter into a state of deep meditation in the head altar, where the concentration of spiritual qi was much higher?
Was it really for the sake of old times? According to the rumors, when Demon Monarch Lushan Street was young, the head altar of the Limitless Demon Sect was still located in this ancestral land.
However, the real reason Demon Monarch Lushan Street had decided to enter into a state of deep meditation in this ancestral land was that a huge secret was concealed here.
This secret involved a fragment of the Heavenly City, the Jade Lake forbidden area.
This fragment of the Heavenly City had been below this ancestral land of the Limitless Demon Sect all along while concealed. But, forty or so years ago, the fragment of the Heavenly City came out of its concealment.
At the time, Demon Monarch Lushan Street was lucky to be the first person to come in contact with this fragment of the Heavenly City.
After all, this place was the turning point that would allow him to advance to the Eighth Stage Profound Sage Realm, as well the turning point that would allow him to advance to the Ninth Stage Tribulation Transcender Realm in the future!