Song Shuhang had practiced the ❮Scholarly Indestructible Body of the Buddha❯ only until the beginner level, and his facial skin wasn't thick enough. Therefore, he felt some pain when Jiaojiao poked his face with her claws.
"Jiaojiao, don't poke my face with your claws, it's very painful!" Song Shuhang said in a hurry.
"Ahaha, you've finally regained consciousness," Yu Jiaojiao said with a smile.
On one side, Su Clan's Sixteen was leaning against the wall and holding Venerable White's Meteor Sword in her hands, seemingly studying something.
After seeing that Song Shuhang had woken up, the corner of her mouth rose, and, with a smile, she said, "Were you dragged into that strange 'infinite make-up test dimension' again?"
In the past few days, Song Shuhang had been dragged into that infinite make-up test dimension quite a few times already. Therefore, Su Clan's Sixteen had gotten used to it.
Song Shuhang shook his head, and said, "This time, I wasn't dragged to the infinite make-up test dimension, but to an even scarier place!"
While speaking, he noticed that he could still smell that foul odor that permeated the 'unholy pond'.
Obviously, it was only his consciousness that entered into that 'rune' and visited the unholy pond through a dream-like experience... but little did he expect that that foul odor would cling to his very soul and return back to his body alongside him!
After smelling this foul odor, he really felt like throwing up. However, at this moment, there was nothing inside his belly that he could throw up; what he felt right now was difficult to describe with words alone.
"What did you encounter this time?" Su Clan's Sixteen lifted Meteor Sword, and placed it next to Song Shuhang.
"What I saw this time made me feel somewhat restless." Song Shuhang pondered for a moment, and said, "Let's communicate via secret sound transmission. What I saw this time is supposed to be a secret, and it's better if other people don't know about it."
After saying this much, Song Shuhang pinched his nose and used the 'Turtle Breathing Technique' in an attempt to get rid of that foul odor by holding his breath.
However, this was all useless. That foul odor had directly pervaded his consciousness, and it didn't matter whether he was breathing or not. Even if he wasn't breathing, he felt as though that odor was flooding all his five senses.
It was really a terrible situation.
"Shuhang, do you want me to use a purifying technique on your body? It seems as though you are in great pain at this time," Yu Jiaojiao asked, somewhat confused.
Song Shuhang gave the thumbs up and repeatedly nodded his head.
Yu Jiaojiao condensed a water ball-shaped magical technique and patted it on Song Shuhang's head.
The water ball completely soaked Song Shuhang's body.
"Was it effective?" Yu Jiaojiao asked.
Song Shuhang shook his head and faintly sighed. "Forget it. Perhaps things will turn for the better in a while. Come, I'll tell you what I saw just now."
As such, Song Shuhang used the secret sound transmission method to tell Su Clan's Sixteen and Yu Jiaojiao what he saw when his consciousness took possession of that rune.
He told them how the scholarly disciples carried the corpses of the demons of the Netherworld on their shoulders and arrived in front of that 'unholy pond', using the corpses of the demons to feed a gigantic golden lotus and making it produce lotus seeds.
Afterward, he also told them about that matter related to the old scholar. However, when the 'Virtuous Golden Lotus' and the old scholar were discussing, Song Shuhang could only hear the words of the old scholar. As such, he had no choice but to use his imagination to guess what the golden lotus might have said. Therefore, the story sounded somewhat confusing when he narrated it to Su Clan's Sixteen and Yu Jiaojiao.
At the same time, Song Shuhang recalled the 'autonomous world' that the old scholar mentioned during the discussion with the golden lotus... From the looks of it, it wasn't something as simple as a mini-dimension, but it seemed more similar to the Netherworld Realm, an independent world where the scholars could safely retreat and recover their energy.
Anyway, that golden lotus really had the ability to create a world...? Was this like the buddhist saying, 'one flower, one world; one tree, one enlightenment'?
After hearing the story, Yu Jiaojiao lightly nodded her head, and replied via secret sound transmission, "So that's how it is... no wonder the White Cloud Academy was willing to exchange the valuable seeds of the 'Virtuous Golden Lotus' for the corpses of the demons of the Netherworld Realm. They basically aren't suffering any loss through this exchange."
Su Clan's Sixteen pondered for a moment, and asked via secret sound transmission, "Shuhang, why did you say that you felt restless after knowing this matter?"
In hindsight, the fact that the scholarly faction was using the corpses of the demons of the Netherworld to feed the Virtuous Golden Lotus wasn't really that surprising. The scholarly faction and the demons of the Netherworld were archenemies, and it was quite normal that the former had researched and created something like the Virtuous Golden Lotus.
Song Shuhang replied, "If it was only this, I wouldn't really feel restless. The problem is that I saw something similar happening in the Netherworld Realm too."
After saying this much, he used the secret sound transmission method once more and told Su Clan's Sixteen and Yu Jiaojiao about the time he'd dreamt about Cave Lord Dragon's life and saw the holy pond, the Sinful Black Lotus, and its black seeds in the Netherworld Realm.
After listening to the second part of the story, Yu Jiaojiao and Su Clan's Sixteen also felt their hair stand on ends. If one were to assume that this matter was just a coincidence... well, it was simply too much of a coincidence!
If there was really someone pulling the strings from behind the scenes... what was the objective of that person? Yu Jiaojiao and Su Clan's Sixteen couldn't help but shudder at the thought that there might be someone making the scholarly faction and the Netherworld Realm dance in the palm of their hand.
Yu Jiaojiao pondered for a moment, and said, "According to the info Shuhang gathered, the golden lotus of the scholarly faction is about to mature, right? If there is really someone pulling the strings from behind the scenes... their goal would be complete once the golden lotus matures, right?"
Su Clan's Sixteen added, "In addition, the scholarly faction seems intent on taking down those ten demonic hives outside the filtering nets to speed up the growth of the golden lotus..."
Song Shuhang nodded, and looked at the sky outside.
Amidst the filtering nets in the sky, the cultivators of the scholarly faction, the seniors of the Nine Provinces Number One Group, as well as the other cultivators that had stayed behind to lend a hand to the White Cloud Academy, were still engaged in battle with the demons of the Netherworld Realm.
Above the filtering nets, only five of the original ten demonic hives were left. At this time, demons were still endlessly coming out of their bodies.
Of course, there was a limit to the number of demons that could be stored inside the demonic hives, but this time, the Netherworld Realm had opened a temporary space passage not too far away from the White Cloud Academy. This temporary space passage was different from those other space cracks that led to the Netherworld, and ordinary demons were unable to pass through this temporary space passage.
However, these demonic hives of the Eighth Stage rank could freely shuttle back and forth through this temporary space passage.
As such... these ten demonic hives of the Eighth Stage formed two groups and took turns to transport over the demons of the Netherworld Realm.
If they didn't take care of these demonic hives of the Eighth Stage, the Netherworld Realm would have an endless number of reinforcements at its disposal during the course of this war.
Their numbers would keep increasing, while those of the other party were decreasing without a stop. If the White Cloud Academy didn't quickly find a way to deal with this situation, they would inevitably fall into a hopeless situation.
After overseeing the scene, Song Shuhang said, "From the strategic point of view, it's better to take care of those ten demonic hives of the Eighth Stage as soon as possible."
However, did the current White Cloud Academy have the strength to deal with those ten demonic hives of the Eighth Stage?
Even if these demonic hives of the Eighth Stage weren't combat-type demons, they were still entities of the Eighth Stage Realm!
Venerable Tornado—who was wielding a godly weapon of the Tribulation Transcender-rank—was only able to teleport to a distant place one of the ten demonic hives through the power of space... but in just half an hour, that demonic hive had already traveled back to the airspace of the White Cloud Academy.
Even Venerable White was only able to send flying that demonic hive to an altitude of a thousand meters after hitting it with his jade green ball, but was unable to cause any substantial injury to the demonic hive.
"In that case, should we continue helping the White Cloud Academy to defend the place?" Yu Jiaojiao also raised her head and looked toward the filtering nets. This battle between the scholarly faction and the Netherworld Realm wasn't as simple as it seemed.
She was somewhat worried at this time. Her father, True Monarch Tyrant Flood Dragon, was a close friend of True Monarch Eternal Fire. Therefore, it was very likely that he would keep defending this place until the very end...
Song Shuhang pondered for a moment, and said, "I feel that there is no point in mulling over this matter. We should take advantage of the fact that Venerable White hasn't recalled Meteor Sword yet to kill another wave of demons of the Fourth Stage. Then, while fighting against the demons, we should transmit these two pieces of information that I told you to the various seniors of the Nine Provinces Number One Group. At that time, it will be up to the seniors to decide whether we should stay here and defend the place or evacuate. It's pointless for us to keep worrying about it."
After all, the strength of the trio was nowhere high enough, and it would be very difficult for them to retreat unharmed from his battle between the White Cloud Academy and the Netherworld Realm by relying on their own strength.
Even if they wanted to run, they could only wait for the seniors of the Nine Provinces Number One Group and leave together with them.
Therefore, it was pointless to worry about this matter, and they should just let the seniors decide what to do!
"Ah~ Shuhang, what you said makes sense," Yu Jiaojiao said with a smile. "In that case, let's go kill another wave of demons and get our hands on as many seeds of the Virtuous Golden Lotus as possible... After all, this might be our last opportunity to obtain the seeds of the Virtuous Golden Lotus!"
No one knew if the golden lotus of the scholarly faction would still produce seeds after maturing.
"Right, speaking of lotus seeds... did you two eat your seeds? What kind of special skill did you obtain?" Song Shuhang asked out of curiosity.
"We already ate them, and we got our special skills as well. The skill I've obtained is somewhat similar to yours, Shuhang." Su Clan's Sixteen faintly raised her head, and a happy expression flashed through her eyes.
"Did you also gain the ability to spit out flowers?" Song Shuhang asked in puzzlement.
Su Clan's Sixteen shook her head, and gently opened her red lips, exhaling a mouthful of air. Afterward, a small streak of saber qi shot out of her mouth and cut the teacup on the table.
"Ding~" The teacup was neatly cut into two halves; the cut was incredibly smooth. Although small, that streak of saber qi was incredibly sharp!
Song Shuhang: 😫
Song Shuhang was speechless.
How was this skill 'similar' to his? The extraordinary skill Sixteen obtained was the one he longed for even in his dreams!
The corner of Su Clan's Sixteen's mouth rose.
Song Shuhang turned his head toward Yu Jiaojiao, and asked, "Jiaojiao, what about you? What kind of skill did you obtain?"
"The skill I've obtained is very useful and ultrcool," Yu Jiaojiao said as she demonstrated the extraordinary skill she'd obtained to Song Shuhang.
She stretched out her claws, and her fingernails increased in length while assuming a metallic color and luster.
No wonder Song Shuhang felt so much pain when Yu Jiaojiao poked his face earlier... it wasn't that she hadn't trimmed her nails, but that her nails had undergone a mutation!