"..." Song Shuhang.
Hero, please save me!
Anyway, can't we die in a more direct manner?
In this age where efficiency is everything, it's a great virtue to economize. Isn't killing us with a single slash way more efficient? In addition, the consumption of energy would also be lower!
Unfortunately, the owner of the metallic finger wasn't someone that liked to economize.
Song Shuhang faintly sighed.
In hindsight, he should have left this place as soon as True Monarch Eternal Fire finished the 'marking dance' and became the master of the world of the golden lotus.
Still, there was no point in crying over spilled milk.
Now that he had chosen this path, he would have to go through it even if it was full of thorns.
Since the beginning, Song Shuhang had a strange feeling... and he felt as though the 'world of the golden lotus' was trying to draw him in.
What an absurd feeling!
Afterward, they entered a vicious cycle.
The people inside the world of the golden lotus kept getting shredded to pieces by that storm generated from the metallic finger. Afterward, True Monarch Eternal Fire would grit his teeth and make use of the power of the world of the golden lotus to bring everyone back to life.
One time, two times, three times...
During the first few times, the cultivators of the scholarly faction, as well as Song Shuhang, tried to put up a fight in front of the storm.
Even an ant would try to cling to its life... as such, how could humans not do the same?
While faced with death, it was normal for human beings to fight back with all their might.
However, the vicious cycle kept repeating itself again and again, and the majority of the cultivators of the scholarly faction became numb to what was happening after a while. What was the point of struggling if they would be just shredded to pieces in the end?
Only a small fraction of the scholarly faction was still trying to find a way to break out of this endless cycle.
However, it was no easy task to get out of this situation.
The master of the world of the golden lotus, True Monarch Eternal Fire, could at most bring everyone back to life, and he did not have the strength to change the outcome of the battle.
Therefore, it was up to Song Shuhang and the disciples of the scholarly faction to find a way to break out of this endless cycle of death and rebirth... or, alternatively, hope that a third party would meddle in this battle from outside the world of the golden lotus and give the people trapped there an opportunity to escape.
Otherwise, they would have no choice but to keep getting killed and coming back to life until the world of the golden lotus had no strength left, finally becoming unable to resurrect them.
At that time, they would die for real.
Time slowly passed by.
"How many times have we come back to life already?" Song Shuhang muttered to himself. All the blood he had lost from beginning to end would probably be enough to form an ocean. His blood had basically stained every single corner of the world of the golden lotus!
Of course, Song Shuhang had no intention of giving up just yet.
At this time, his consciousness was already focused on a certain item in his size-reducing purse. It was a bamboo leaf, that very same 'light of life' that appeared within his consciousness the first time he was shredded to pieces.
This bamboo leaf was something he'd got from Senior Palace Master Seven Lives Talisman in exchange for his Blood God Crystal after the hand-guided tractor competition.
Back then, Palace Master Seven Lives Talisman had brought Shuhang to his personal treasure house. There, Song Shuhang had seen a mysterious bamboo shoot with a natural predisposition to become a sentient weapon.
As such, Song Shuhang had got curious, and decided to stretch out his hand to touch the bamboo shoot... but right at that time, an illusion suddenly appeared before his eyes. The bamboo shoot had transformed into a giant bamboo stick that could pierce through the heavens, and hit him.
He'd got hit until becoming muddleheaded.
Afterward, that bamboo shoot naturally predisposed to become a sentient weapon had repeatedly apologized to Song Shuhang, and offered him this bamboo leaf as an apology.
From what he'd been told, the bamboo leaf could save Song Shuhang's life at a critical moment.
Just now—when he was killed the first time—if True Monarch Eternal Fire hadn't brought everyone back to life, the bamboo leaf would have still given Song Shuhang a chance to resurrect himself.
Of course, the effects of the resurrection through the bamboo leaf would be no match for the bug-like ability of the 'world of the golden lotus' that could directly rewind time and bring everyone back to life.
The bamboo leaf was Song Shuhang's final trump card to maintain his life, and he couldn't use it right away in the hope of breaking through this impasse.
As such, he took a deep breath and recalled the content of those 88,888 voices. Afterward, he quickly took off the 'glove of passion' of Swordsman Wooden Ox and placed his palm on the ground.
He had decided to activate the secret appraisal technique.
Under normal circumstances, he would have to pay a terrifying price to appraise something like this mysterious 'world of the golden lotus'.
Not only that—there was even a chance that he might end up paying with his life to get any useful information about it.
But now, he was stuck in this bug-like situation.
As long as True Monarch Eternal Fire brought everyone back to life, it didn't matter what kind of price he would have to pay; even if he had to pay with his life, it would be fine.
After all, even if he died while appraising the world of the golden lotus, he would simply come back to life in the next round with True Monarch Eternal Fire's help, effectively evading the aftereffects of the appraisal technique.
"It worked." Song Shuhang beamed with joy.
He had successfully activated the secret appraisal technique!
Golden runes flowed out of his eyes and engraved themselves onto the ground of the 'world of the golden lotus'. Song Shuhang was the only person that could see these runes that formed the picture of a golden clock on the ground, with the hands of the clock turning counterclockwise.
But right at this time, the metallic finger in the sky unleashed again that wind-type magical technique. That thing wasn't planning to rest until everyone was dead.
The storm instantly swept over to his position, with the wind cutting Song Shuhang's back like a blade.
Song Shuhang's body immediately spurted out blood like crazy, but it was unknown if he was bleeding due to the storm generated by the metallic finger or due to the price of the secret appraisal technique.
Anyway, it didn't really matter at this time, since the final outcome would be the same.
"Quick, quick!" Song Shuhang muttered to himself.
He had to get the information back from the secret appraisal technique before dying and losing consciousness.
In a flash, those golden runes that only Song Shuhang could see left the ground of the 'world of the golden lotus' and returned to his eyes.
At the same time, the information that the secret appraisal technique had gathered was transmitted back to his mind.
The World of the Virtuous Golden Lotus: It's a rare treasure the scholarly faction has obtained. Once the Virtuous Golden Lotus grows and matures, it will gain the ability to create a small world. The small world would be located amidst the 'main world', but also separated from it, becoming a mysterious and abstruse 'world within a world'. Note: It's possible to continually nourish the lotus flower through the evil and foul energy of the Netherworld Realm, allowing the world of the golden lotus to expand incessantly.
The information ended here.
"Where is the rest of the information? I don't want just this piece of information! I knew about it even without the need of using the appraisal technique!" Song Shuhang started to get somewhat anxious.
The situation was critical.
What he wanted to find out through the appraisal technique was a way to break through this impasse and get out of this endless cycle where he was getting killed and returning to life over and over again! The information he'd obtained so far was far from enough!
Just as he was in deep thought, another piece of information was transmitted to his mind.
This 'World of the Virtuous Golden Lotus' and the 'World of the Sinful Black Lotus' in the Netherworld Realm are like two sides of the same coin. As such, it's possible to get into the world of the golden lotus through the world of the black lotus, and vice versa. Both the Virtuous Golden Lotus and the Sinful Black Lotus are the work of a Wielder of the Will from ancient times that tried to use them to free itself.
A Wielder of the Will? Even the Will of the Heavens was involved in this matter!
From the looks of it, a Wielder of the Will created both the Virtuous Golden Lotus and the Sinful Black Lotus. This Wielder of the Will seemed to be from a very ancient era... but which one of the many was it?
In addition, what was the meaning of that 'to free itself'? What could the Wielder of the Will possibly need to free itself from?
Song Shuhang had obtained a very important piece of information this time around...
But, unfortunately for him, he still got nothing that he could use to break through this impasse.
"Is there nothing else? Is it possible to get more information through the appraisal?" In the hope of obtaining more information through the secret appraisal technique, Song Shuhang endured the pain and tried to sustain for a little longer those 88,888 voices echoing in his mind.
But right at the critical time, everything before his eyes went black, and his consciousness started to fade away.
Dammit, I'm about to die again!
Right when I was about to succeed!
Song Shuhang sighed inwardly.
Since he didn't make it in time, he could do nothing but to wait for the next time he returned back to life and continue from there.
However, he didn't have many opportunities left.
He could feel that the world of the golden lotus was continuously consuming its energy, and its size had reduced by half.
It wasn't only him... the scholarly disciples could feel it as well. After the world of the golden lotus had shrunk to a certain size, all the people inside would lose the possibility of being resurrected.
Therefore, he had to seize the opportunity and immediately use the secret appraisal technique the next time he came back to life so that he could obtain the information necessary to break out of this situation.
Just as this thought flashed through his mind, Song Shuhang's consciousness dissipated.
The world before Song Shuhang's eyes became bright once again.
Have I returned to life again?
Song Shuhang didn't waste time, and immediately recalled those 88,888 voices and stretched out his hand, ready to take off the glove on his hand and activate the secret appraisal technique.
But in the next moment, he was dumbfounded.
He discovered that he was unable to feel his 'hand'. Or rather, it felt as though he didn't have a hand at all...
Was it possible that True Monarch Eternal Fire couldn't hold it anymore and gave up on bringing everyone back to life?
In that case, had he relied on the bamboo leaf to come back to life this time around?
The effects of the bamboo leaf were far inferior to the heaven-defying time rewind skill of the world of the golden lotus. Therefore, it was not too surprising that Song Shuhang might have a missing arm or leg after resurrecting with the bamboo leaf.
Am I still inside the world of the golden lotus? If I'm still there, I can't escape death all the same!
Song Shuhang made an effort to open his eyes and look all around...
...and it was right then that he discovered that he was currently planted in a small vase. In front of him was another small vase, with a black lotus flower growing inside.
"..." Song Shuhang.
This feeling was very familiar.
This feeling of not having arms or legs and being unable to move was the same as the one he'd felt when he dreamt of Lady Onion's life... that awful feeling of having no control over his actions.
Song Shuhang quickly understood what was going on.
He had entered the 'dreamland', dreaming of someone's life, and the target of the dream this time just happened to be the Virtuous Golden Lotus of the scholarly faction.
What triggered his dreamland innate skill and allowed Song Shuhang to have this dream was that sea of blood he'd left all over the world of the golden lotus...