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After landing, Venerable White waved his hand at the people present, and said, "Oh! Shuhang, Little Sixteen, Fellow Daoist Lychee, I've made you wait for a long time."

Next, he took out his mobile phone, and said to Song Shuhang and Sixteen, "Shuhang, Little Sixteen, that important matter you were talking about earlier, is it related to this matter that is now being discussed in the Nine Provinces Number One Group?"

"Yes, it's precisely that matter," Song Shuhang said with a nod.

Since Venerable White had already read the conversation in the Nine Provinces Number One Group, there was no need to repeat everything from the start.

Then, Song Shuhang glanced at the person behind Venerable White—True Monarch Eternal Fire. Since this scholar of the True Monarch rank had come here together with Senior White, he should also know what was going on, right?

Venerable White said, "Since this news was related to the White Cloud Academy, I told Fellow Daoist Eternal Fire about it."

True Monarch Eternal Fire greeted Song Shuhang and said, "Fellow Daoist Shuhang, I must thank you for this news."

Song Shuhang likewise greeted him. From his face, True Monarch Eternal Fire didn't really look surprised after knowing that the army of the Netherworld Realm was approaching, ready to attack... was it possible that the scholars already knew that the demons of the Netherworld were coming and had prepared in advance? Or perhaps, just like True Monarch Yellow Mountain had said, the White Cloud Academy was no pushover?

Right at this time, the nearby Fairy Lychee used the AOE secret sound transmission to ask, "Fellow Daoist Eternal Fire, from your look, it seemed you already knew about this attack coming from the Netherworld Realm, is that right?"

True Monarch Eternal Fire shook his head, and likewise replied via secret sound transmission, "I also just learned this information from Fellow Daoist White. However, our White Cloud Academy—or rather our whole scholarly faction—has been guarding against a possible surprise attack of the Netherworld Realm for the past several hundred years. After all, the Netherworld Realm has given us a lot of 'attention' since a long time ago. Whenever our scholarly faction shows any sign of recovery, the demons of the Netherworld Realm promptly make their appearance to attack us."

Fairy Lychee light nodded her head. She was also aware of the history of the scholarly faction. Since the past several thousand years... no, even before that, the demons of the Netherworld Realm had been continuously suppressing the scholars, pushing them on the brink of destruction several times.

Although the demons of the Netherworld Realm were the enemies of all cultivators and other people with similar practice systems, their relationship with scholars was particularly extreme.

The two sides wouldn't stop battling until one was dead.


Afterward, True Monarch Eternal Fire invited everyone to his dwelling. After all, the public square wasn't the right place to discuss a delicate matter such as this one.

Along the way, True Monarch Eternal Fire calmly explained, "Actually, every time we scholars hold this 'grand ceremony', we make preparations to intercept an eventual surprise attack of the Netherworld Realm. During each grand ceremony, we are ready to welcome the attack of the demons of the Netherworld Realm. Fellow Daoist White should have also realized this point."

Song Shuhang curiously looked at Venerable White. The White Cloud City was full of people, and he didn't see any sign of scholars preparing to wage war...

"Yes, I discovered a bunch of interesting things while I was speeding around the city earlier." Venerable White stroked the hair behind his ear, and explained, "This time, I sped around on my flying sword for one hour. During this period of time, I discovered that more than three-quarters of the scholars flying in the sky weren't rushing to their destinations, but patrolling and keeping an eye on the surrounding area. In addition... around one-third of the 'fellow daoist' from other sects flying in the sky were battle puppets of the Jet-Black Sect. They have a very good 'illusory technique' engraved on their bodies. Even I had to repeatedly get in close contact with them in that hour to notice the difference. That illusory technique makes them feel very lifelike. It should be the method of someone at the peak of the Seventh Stage Spiritual Venerable Realm... or perhaps even at the Eighth Stage Profound Sage Realm?"

"Fellow Daoist White's guess isn't wrong. That formation is something an old senior scholar of the Eighth Stage Profound Sage Realm left behind before their death. Unfortunately, we of the later generation are unable to perfectly control the formation they left behind," True Monarch Eternal Fire said with regret.

Song Shuhang was dumbfounded, and didn't dare to believe what he was hearing.

In turned out that the cultivators brushing past them with their flying swords, flying sabers, and other flight-type magical treasures were mostly scholars on patrol? And one-third of the other fellow daoists were battle puppets of the Jet-Black Sect?

These scholars on patrol had acting skill worth that of a superstar. It was very difficult to believe that they were patrolling.

But, in hindsight, it sounded reasonable. Scholars held this grand ceremony once every three years, and they had prepared for an eventual attack for several hundred years... no, perhaps even thousands of years or even longer.

"No wonder the White Cloud City restricted the number of flying swords allowed to circulate. It was in order to reduce as much as possible the number of foreign cultivators flying in the sky, right?" Song Shuhang said.

True Monarch Eternal Fire forced a smile and nodded, an enigmatic expression on his face.

Song Shuhang sighed with emotion, and said, "As you would expect from scholars... this is simply like a real-life chess game!" They weren't scholars for nothing; their thinking was simply too deep! He immediately felt like praising their ideas from the bottom of his heart.

True Monarch Eternal Fire wore a smile on his face and maintained his enigmatic expression.

Fairy Lychee pondered for a short moment, and asked, "What will happen to all the fellow daoists that have come to see the grand ceremony if a war between the scholars and the demons of the Netherworld Realm breaks out? If things aren't managed properly, the White Cloud Academy might face several internal disorders."

"Actually, most of the fellow daoists that have come to see the grand ceremony are allies of our White Cloud Academy. In addition, we have prepared a lot of secret passages in the White Cloud City to evacuate people, and we can use them in case of emergency. If there are fellow daoists that want to leave as the battle begins, we can lead them to the secret passages and have them leave from there," True Monarch Eternal Fire explained with a smile.

Scholars had been preparing these plans for thousands of years—perhaps even before that. As such, they had already taken care of all the problems that one could think of.

Fairy Lychee narrowed her eyes, and said, "Have them leave from there? That's rather unfortunate. If you could convince them to stay behind, these fellow daoists that have come to attend the ceremony might turn into a force to be reckoned with."

Fairy Lychee's words had an implied meaning.

"Ahaha, what Fellow Daoist Lychee said is correct." True Monarch Eternal Fire smiled, and continued, "Actually, our White Cloud Academy has some plans for those fellow daoists that want to stay behind and lend a hand, or an event if we want to call it like that."

Just as they were speaking, they arrived at True Monarch Eternal Fire's immortal cave.

True Monarch Eternal Fire made everyone enter the immortal cave and continued with his explanation. "Fellow Daoists, have you heard of the seeds of the Virtuous Golden Lotus?"

Venerable White held his chin, and said, "I have an impression, but I can't recall the specific details." Venerable White had found simply too many treasures during the course of his life, to the point that not even he could remember how many treasures he had stored in his secret storehouse.

Fairy Lychee pondered for a moment, and said, "Are you talking about that golden lotus seed that can allow whomever eats it to awaken a 'special skill', in addition to increasing their lifespan by fifty years?"

There were all kinds of strange things and treasures in the world of cultivators.

Fairy Lychee had once heard about this 'golden lotus seed' treasure that could allow whoever ate it to obtain a 'special skill'.

One would surely awaken a special skill after eating it. As for what type of skill they would awaken, it was up to that person's luck.

There were people that would obtain skills with extremely high offensive power that were comparable to first-class magical techniques. There were people that could obtain enviable supplementary skills like the ability to regrow one's severed limbs or quickly heal one's wounds. Others would obtain the ability to fly, fulfilling their dream to fly in the sky before reaching the Fourth Stage Realm.

However, the majority of the people would obtain crappy special skills like the ability to regrow one's teeth, increase the length of their tongue at will, change the colors of their nails, or control the length of their hair...

It the end, it was completely up to the person's luck what kind of skill they would obtain.

In addition, one could continually strengthen this special skill through training or by eating other 'golden lotus seeds'.

For example, if someone awakened an ordinary fire-type magical technique as a special skill, they could slowly increase its power if they kept practicing it.

At the same time, if this person had a lot of 'golden lotus seeds' at their disposal, they could obtain a fire-type magical technique that had the offensive power of a technique of the Third or even Fourth Stage rank while still in the Second Stage Realm.

Moreover, the golden lotus seed could prolong one's life by fifty years, and was a valuable lifespan increasing medicine. However, one's lifespan would be prolonged only the first time the seed was eaten.

"It's precisely that seed. The seed is actually the seed of the Virtuous Golden Lotus," True Monarch Eternal Fire said calmly.

"Oh, I remember now. I indeed obtained this type of seed in the past." Venerable White's eyes suddenly lit up.

Senior White had obtained this type of seed in the past? What kind of terrifying special skill did he awaken with his incredible luck?

Song Shuhang asked out of curiosity, "Senior White, what kind of special skill did you obtain?"

"Oh, I didn't eat it." Venerable White recalled, and said, "At that time, I felt that I already had a sufficient number of magical techniques and innate skills, and that there was no need for me to awaken another special skill. As such, I fed it to a cute little bird that I was raising back then."

"..." Song Shuhang.

"..." Fairy Lychee.

"..." Su Clan's Sixteen.

True Monarch Eternal Fire felt like crying.

Venerable White said, "Ahaha, that lotus seed was pretty good. That little bird I was raising obtained the ability to speak in human language. Although it was just an ordinary little bird, it could actually open its mouth and speak."

"What happened afterward?" Song Shuhang asked out of curiosity. There wasn't any little bird with Venerable White when he came out of secluded meditation this time!

"Afterward... it died. Since it was just an ordinary little bird, even with its lifespan increased by the lotus seed, it still died after fifty or so years," Venerable White said.

"..." Song Shuhang.

What a waste! Senior White was too much of spendthrift!

"Cough, cough." True Monarch Eternal Fire felt that his throat had become itchy, and couldn't help but cough.

Fairy Lychee heaved a sigh, and asked, "Fellow Daoist Eternal Fire, is this interesting event that your White Cloud Academy wants to hold related to the seeds of the Virtuous Golden Lotus?"

"Yes," True Monarch Eternal Fire replied. "The event consists in exchanging the corpses of the demons of the Netherworld for seeds of the Virtuous Golden Lotus."

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