After approaching the ancient bronze palace, Song Shuhang felt a bone-piercing cold. However, it wasn't the weather, but the cold-type spiritual energy surrounding the place that caused this sensation.
The qi and blood energy inside Song Shuhang's apertures started to churn on its own to ward off the cold. Song Shuhang immediately felt a little more comfortable.
Nine Lanterns took a step forward and pushed the door of the palace open. Immediately after, a gust of cold mist blew against their faces. Shuhang felt as though he had stepped into a freezer.
Song Shuhang's entire body was shivering. He activated the qi and blood in his body and tried to resist the cold. "It's very cold in here."
Is the senior inside this ancient bronze palace specialized in ice-type techniques? The whole palace feels like a huge freezer...
"This place is always like this. If anything, you're lucky that it's warmer than usual today. The last time I came here, the entire area was already covered with a layer of ice." Nine Lanterns stepped on the golden lotuses and arrived in front of Song Shuhang. Afterward, she gently waved her hand and split the cold mist ahead of them in two. "Come, let's enter."
With Nine Lanterns in the front to ward off the cold, Song Shuhang felt much better.
The insides of the palace were full of cold mist, and the visibility was extremely low.
The cold mist contained a large amount of spiritual energy, and even someone like Song Shuhang who had opened his Eye Aperture couldn't see farther than three meters ahead. Therefore, he had no choice but to follow Nine Lanterns closely. Otherwise, if he were to get lost inside this palace, he would turn into a chunk of ice, freezing to death.
"We're here." Nine Lanterns' voice echoed from ahead.
At this time, she had stopped in front of a small platform.
"Achoo~ achoo~" Song Shuhang sneezed a few times and hugged himself to resist the cold.
"Open your mouth," Nine Lanterns said with a smile.
Song Shuhang opened his mouth obediently, and soon after, a medicine pill entered his mouth. After swallowing the pill, he felt his body become warmer and unknowingly let out a groan.
Afterward, he asked, "What kind of medicine pill was that?"
"It's the cold resisting pill. It's not really a medicine pill, but it can come in handy if you're exploring cold secret realms or immortal caves," Nine Lanterns said.
Song Shuhang couldn't help but shoot a resentful gaze at her. "Miss Nine Lanterns, if you had this incredible pill, why didn't you give it to me earlier? I almost froze to death!"
"Ahaha, I really like the expression 'froze to death'!" Nine Lanterns gave Song Shuhang thumbs up.
"Anyway, if I were to give you the pill earlier, you would regret it." Nine Lanterns pointed at the mass of cold mist and said, "Although this mist can indeed freeze you to death, it's also pretty good to temper your body. And the spiritual energy inside the mist has a great enhancing effect on your physique. Young man, only through hardships can you rise to the top!"
"Achoo~ achoo~" Song Shuhang didn't even have the time to reply as he sneezed another two times. Although he had taken that pill and his body had become warmer, he still had to face the bone-piercing cold.
Song Shuhang shot a glance toward the place the cold air was coming from—without him noticing, a figure wearing a white robe had appeared on the small platform three meters away from him.
The wide white robe completely covered the body of this person, while an exquisite metallic mask covered their face. Except for their two hands, nothing else was visible.
Song Shuhang unconsciously looked at the hands of this person. One hand was as white as jade, and the other crimson red.
"Little friend, I hope you'll excuse me for the low temperature of this place." The dignified voice of a man came from beneath the metallic mask. This person was the senior Nine Lanterns mentioned earlier.
At this time, a white rabbit with long fur drilled out from behind the figure of the man. The man squatted down and picked the white rabbit up, lightly caressing it with his white hand.
"Hello, Senior," Song Shuhang said while curiously looking at the metallic mask on the man's face. This mask had a great attraction to Shuhang, making him feel the urge to lift it and look at the senior's appearance.
The nearby Nine Lanterns gently patted Song Shuhang shoulder. "Youth, don't stare at that mask for too long. This senior has already peeked at the secret of immortality; if you stare at him for too long, you would be influenced by him even when he is wearing a mask. This might negatively impact your will as a cultivator."
This senior has already peeked at the secret of immortality? Song Shuhang knew from Nine Lanterns' explanation that the highest level a cultivator could reach was the Immortal Realm. After that, one could only carry the Will of the Heavens and become the eternal and everlasting Wielder of the Will!
Only one person at a time could become the Wielder of the Will, and unless the old wielder didn't disappear, a new one would not arise. Therefore, the Immortal Realm could be considered as highest realm an ordinary cultivator could reach.
This powerful senior before his eyes had already come in contact with the secret of immortality, and although he hadn't reached the Immortal Realm yet, one could still understand how terrifying his strength was.
Song Shuhang quickly averted his gaze and didn't look at the face of the senior anymore.
"Little friend Shuhang, forgive me for not showing you my face." The powerful senior's dignified voice echoed once more. Afterward, he tried his best to sound as gentle as possible and asked, "Is fellow daoist Scarlet Heaven doing well?"
"Senior, are an acquaintance of Daoist Priest Scarlet Heaven?" Song Shuhang looked at this powerful senior, somewhat surprised.
"Although there is a huge difference in age between fellow daoist Scarlet Heaven and me, we can still be considered good friends. I saw that you inherited his special Flaming Saber Technique. Is he still active in the mortal world?"
"He should be," Song Shuhang replied. He knew from Lady Onion and Li Tiansu's memories that he planted Lady Onion 300 years ago and took Li Tiansu as a disciple in an unknown ancient era.
The powerful senior nodded slightly and didn't ask further. As long as he knew that his old friend was still around and doing fine, it was all good.
Scarlet Heaven chose a completely different path for him, but there were myriads of paths that one could take while walking on the Great Way, and there was no telling which one was correct and which one wrong.
Afterward, the powerful senior sat cross-legged on the ground and placed the white rabbit on his lap, saying to Song Shuhang, "Little friend Shuhang, after coming here, you must have guessed that we're trying to rebuild the Heavenly City, right?"
Song Shuhang nodded.
"In that case, you must be also wondering why we're placing ourselves at risk and trying to rebuild the Heavenly City under the nose of the new Wielder of the Will, right?" the powerful senior asked.
After hearing this much, Song Shuhang shook his head fiercely—after all, curiosity killed the cat!
Therefore, he didn't want to know more about this story. He just wanted to have his memories sealed and get the hell out of this place, continuing to lead his happy life with Senior White, Doudou, and the small monk.
But just as he was shaking his head, two snow-white hands grabbed his head and started to move it up and down, making him nod a few times.
It was Nine Lanterns.
No! I don't want to listen! Sometimes, too much knowledge can be dangerous!
Song Shuhang struggled with all his might. However, the difference in strength between was too big, and in the end, he wasn't able to break free from Nine Lanterns' grip.
"It's a nod! Very good, I'll tell you in detail why we took such a large risk and decided to rebuild the Heavenly City!" The powerful senior sounded very pleased.
Hey, hey… powerful senior, have you gone blind? Can't you see that someone is holding my head and forcing me to nod?! Song Shuhang ridiculed in his heart—he didn't say it out loud because this senior would likely turn a deaf ear anyway, ignoring him. It seemed that he was hellbent on giving him a thorough course about the 'sneaky reconstruction of the Heavenly City'.
Moreover, he wanted to impart this knowledge by force.
"This part of your memory will be sealed in a while. Therefore, you might as well listen to the explanation of the powerful senior. Over the course of the year, he can explain things to visitors only a few times, and if they too refused to listen, he might really go insane." Nine Lanterns laughed and said to Song Shuhang via secret sound transmission, "Once you're done listening to his explanation, you might receive something good. And if you can throw away your dignity and chat with him on own initiative and clap a few times, you'll gain something even better."
After saying this much, Nine Lanterns released Song Shuhang's head and sat crossed-legged on her golden lotus, hovering on Shuhang's right side.
I'll receive some benefits if I coordinate with this senior? Song Shuhang thought to himself. These 'benefits' Nine Lanterns was talking about shouldn't be too bad, right? If he could really obtain some good benefits, he had no use whatsoever for something as useless as dignity!
Moreover, he would forget everything, and upon waking up, he would recover his dignity again.
"Cough, cough." At this time, the powerful senior on the platform cleared his throat.
This scene reminded Song Shuhang of those team leaders that would go on stage during school activities at the start of their performance. After coughing twice, they would say something like: I'm here to say a few words.
"I just want to say a few words." As expected, the powerful senior used a similar sentence.
"..." Song Shuhang.
"First, I would like to ask you a question—do you know why all cultivation techniques, regardless of their type, can only be practiced till the Ninth Stage Tribulation Transcender Realm and never to the Immortal Realm?" the powerful senior said in a grave tone while stroking the fur of the white rabbit.
"..." Song Shuhang remained silent.
After a short moment, he said, "Senior, you're asking this question to the wrong person. I'm just a small cultivator of the First Stage that has yet to learn techniques of the Second Stage… therefore, I've got no idea about how a technique of the Ninth Stage looks like."
After hearing this much, the powerful senior was stunned.
Soon after, he stretched his hand and started to flip... air? It seemed as though he was flipping the pages of an invisible book.
"Cough, cough. This is rather embarrassing. I actually read the text of the wrong page. I was supposed to ask this question to cultivators of the Sixth Stage or above." The powerful senior coughed and flipped several pages of the invisible book.
Song Shuhang opened his eyes wide—the wrong page?
Senior... you looked so profound and mysterious, but you were actually reading the text of a book? It is really so hard to use your own words?!
"Cough, cough. Anyway, how about guessing the answer of the previous question?" The powerful senior tried to save some face as he asked Shuhang.
"A guess?" Song Shuhang held his chin. Did all the people on the Heavenly Island like to make others guess things?
After pondering for a moment, Song Shuhang replied, "Alright. If I only have to guess—is it possible that you can't practice a technique to the Immortal Realm because you need to 'realize' something instead of just performing a series of fixed movements?"