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The trio separated—everyone went to look for the core of the 'illusory reality'. Before separating, Venerable White gave Song Shuhang and Su Clan's Sixteen a 'thousand mile sound transmitter talisman' so that they could easily contact each other. In this dimension, which they thought to be a fragment of the ancient Heavenly City, mobile phones were unable to get a signal. Excluding Venerable White's super-magically modified mobile phone, not even Song Shuhang's normally magically modified phone could get a signal here.

Aside from that, Song Shuhang and Sixteen also had a disposable flying sword with them, and they could promptly activate it if they were to meet danger to either defend themselves or flee for their life.

In addition, Venerable White wasn't too far from them. As such, their safety was guaranteed.

After Venerable White and Sixteen left, Song Shuhang didn't leave, and stood on the edge of the dried up lake. Then, he stretched out his hand and took a certain thing out of his size-reducing purse—it was a scouting-type puppet.

Back then, he had asked Northern River's Loose Cultivator to fix this puppet for him so that he could use it as a substitute. His plan was to make the puppet perform in his stead in that scene where Senior Brother Gao Sheng had to cruelly beat up Ling Ye. It was unknown what had happened afterward, but in a moment of confusion, Song Shuhang ended up playing that scene with his real body... while the scouting-type puppet stayed off the arena, quietly standing in its original place like a wooden figurine.

After thinking about the scene, Song Shuhang wondered if he had been possessed back then.

Anyway, after taking out the scouting-type puppet, Song Shuhang made a hand seal and poured his true qi inside the puppet. In the next moment, the puppet assumed Song Shuhang's appearance.

Song Shuhang nodded, satisfied, and controlled the puppet, making it scout the world of the 'illusory reality' in his stead.

In the meantime, his real body kept standing on the edge of the dried up Jade Lake.

Before him, the various female guards wearing full body armor kept staring at him, not moving in the slightest and firmly protecting the Jade Lake.

Speaking of which, Venerable White was initially planning to kidnap one of the female guards of the Jade Lake so that he could study them.

But later, he changed his mind and decided to take away the whole fragment of the Heavenly City. Therefore, he chose to temporarily let off the guards of the Jade Lake so as to avoid complicating the situation further. After all, if he damaged these female guards, there was a chance that the self-defense mechanism of the 'illusory reality' might activate, causing them unnecessary trouble.

These female guards had really dodged a calamity. After all, it was really rare for Venerable White to give up on something that had piqued his interest.


Song Shuhang and the female guards of the Jade Lake kept looking at each other.

Song Shuhang asked once again, "May I ask if this is the ancient Heavenly City?"

The guards of the Jade Lake kept silent.

Song Shuhang asked again, "Is the master of the Jade Lake home?"

...Now then, was the master of the Jade Lake that very same 'Queen Mother of the West' mentioned in legends?

The guards of the Jade Lake kept silent as before, just as though they were statues.

Song Shuhang said, "Have you lot been living in this place since the era of the ancient Heavenly City?"

As before, the guards of the Jade Lake didn't reply.

No matter what Song Shuhang was asking or talking about, they just wouldn't reply.

However... if Song Shuhang slightly raised his leg to take a step forward, the silver-armored female guard would immediately point the long sword in her hand toward Song Shuhang and assume an offensive position.

Then, just as Song Shuhang took his leg back, the silver-armored female guard would take her sword back and return to a defensive position.

Song Shuhang repeated the action several times, and the silver-armored female guard reacted the same way each time. If he raised his leg to step forward, the female guard would assume an offensive position. If he took it back, she would return to a defensive position.

They are the same as those NPCs found in games...

Anyway, do these female guards have a certain degree of intelligence? Or have they thoroughly turned into NPCs?

After all, they had recognized his status earlier and treated him as the 'Great Master of the Divine Beast Department'... or was it possible that even the action of recognizing his status was the same as those NPCs in games, which had a fixed number of actions they could perform?

Song Shuhang lowered his head and gazed at Swordsman Wooden Ox's glove of passion. Should he try to appraise the female guards of the Jade Lake?

Although the opposite party seemed to be very old, Song Shuhang's comprehension of the 'secret appraisal technique' was getting better and better. According to his estimations, the price he would have to pay to appraise these female guards should be within a range that his body could withstand.

Still, if he wanted to use the secret appraisal technique of his own volition, he would first have to get close to the female guards.

And if he were to get close to them... the guards would surely attack him.

"I have no idea from where to start," Song Shuhang said in a soft voice.

After pondering for a moment, he started to circle around the shore of the Jade Lake in the hope of discovering some other way to get into the Jade Lake.

When he started moving, the silver-armored female guards, as well as the other guards, likewise started to move. Their bodies stepped out of the soil and closely followed Song Shuhang.

Wherever Song Shuhang went, they followed.


Song Shuhang kept walking alongside the shore. Then, while walking and walking... the connection between him and the scouting puppet was suddenly cut off!

The puppet was scouting the nearby area when it discovered a mountain valley, deciding to go inside it.

But as soon as it got inside the mountain valley, the connection between it and Song Shuhang was cut off.

There was definitely something wrong with that mountain valley. Song Shuhang took out his 'thousand mile sound transmitter talisman' and got in contact with Senior White and Su Clan's Sixteen.

But just as Song Shuhang activated the 'thousand mile sound transmitter talisman', the connection between him and the scouting puppet was restored.

The reason was that the puppet had been thrown out of the mountain valley... after getting cut into five pieces, truly tragic!

This scouting puppet was a rather cheap magical treasure, and if it had a defect, it was precisely that it would share everything it was experiencing with its master. The things it was seeing, the things it was hearing, the things it was sensing... as well as pain.

"Aaaah~" Song Shuhang screamed in pain.

He experienced firsthand the pain of having his body cut into five pieces. This type of pain wasn't something one could easily endure.

This pain of having his body dismembered came too suddenly, and Song Shuhang's foot slipped while he was in pain, causing him to fall to the ground. Then, after rolling several times, he entered the range of the Jade Lake.

He was in a horrible situation now!

Song Shuhang used the corner of his eyes to gaze at the female guards of the Jade Lake.

As expected, as soon as he rolled inside the boundaries of the Jade Lake, the female guards instantly moved, launching an attack against him.

The silver-armored female guard was the fastest one, and a dazzling white light exploded from her body as she attacked. Afterward, white flames started to burn all over her body, and she arrived next to Song Shuhang just as if she had teleported.

She wielded her sword and instantly launched up to a hundred sword lights toward Song Shuhang.

But right at this time, a transparent barrier appeared around Song Shuhang's body, firmly protecting him. It was precisely that powerful barrier that the seniors of the Nine Provinces Number One Group used during the movie to feign death.

Song Shuhang had two of these talismans in total. They were something Fairy Lychee had gifted him on their first meeting. But now, both the talismans had been used up.

"Ding, ding, ding!"

The sword of the silver-armored female guard continuously bumped into the defensive barrier. Sparks flew in all directions, but the barrier wasn't breached.

Inside the defensive barrier, Song Shuhang secretly heaved a sigh of relief and said, "Thank you, Lady Onion. You've saved my life once again."

At the critical moment, it was Lady Onion that, once again, activated the talisman, saving his Song Shuhang's life.

"You really have a lot of bad luck as of late." Lady Onion taunted him.

"I know... after all, I have a black glow shining between my eyebrows." Song Shuhang clenched his teeth and endured the pain as he stopped rolling, quickly returning to the edge of the Jade Lake.

"Ding, ding, ding~"

Behind him, the swords of the female guards continuously bumped into his defensive barrier.

At this time, cracks had started to appear on the surface of this powerful defensive barrier that the seniors had used to feign death.

The strength of the female guards of the Jade Lake was around the Fifth Stage Realm, but the weapons in their hands weren't ordinary ones. Moreover, the speed of their attacks was too fast, and the number too high.

Under these circumstances, the powerful defensive barrier couldn't resist for long.


Around three breaths later.

Song Shuhang returned to the shore of the Jade Lake and gasped for breath. At this time, there were six deep sword wounds on his body. The wounds were so deep that even his bones were visible.

Under this barrage of attacks of the Fifth Stage rank, his body tempering cultivation techniques and defensive daoist robe turned out to be quite useless. The daoist robe also had six holes in it right now.

Had he been a step slower, the ten or so female guards would have likely killed him with their sword attacks. Of course, if he was really going to die, Senior White's disposable flying sword would have activated, 'pewing~' him away.

Luckily, the female guards of the Jade Lake stopped attacking him after he'd reached the shore of the lake, assuming a defensive stance once again.

The two parties returned to stare at each other.

Song Shuhang took out some medicine to treat his wounds, taking some orally and applying the rest externally. Afterward, he activated the healing technique on his ancient bronze ring to heal his wounds.

The silver-armored female guard raised her head and said in a grave tone, "Great Master of the Divine Beast Department, don't challenge our authority again. The next time, we won't let you off."

From her tone, it seemed that they were still showing mercy with that barrage of attacks from before...

"As I expected, you aren't lifeless NPCs." Song Shuhang laughed.

After saying this much, Song Shuhang thought of another problem.

He could hear and understand the words of the silver-armored female guard... after all, what the opposite party was using wasn't an ancient language but Mandarin, the modern language of China. The first time he'd heard her words, he hadn't thought of this problem.

In that case, was the language he was hearing 'Mandarin' due to some 'translating' magical technique these female guards were using?

Alternatively, had these female guards kept in touch with the external world? Or perhaps they had gained knowledge about the external world through some other method?

"Great Master of the Divine Beast Department, leave this land. This is not a place you should set foot in." The voice of the silver-armored female guard echoed again.

Song Shuhang laughed and sat cross-legged on the edge of the shore. Of course, he had moved back a little so as to avoid rolling down again.

At the same time, he said in the 'thousand mile sound transmitter talisman', "Senior White, Sixteen... I've discovered a rather suspicious mountain valley. Anyway, I'm still at the edge of that dried up Jade Lake at this time."

"Are you alright? I heard you screaming earlier," Su Clan's Sixteen asked, somewhat worried.

Song Shuhang said, "Something unexpected happened, but I'm not in danger."

"Wait a moment. I'm immediately heading over," Venerable White said.

After sending the message, Song Shuhang looked again toward the female guards below. "Do you know that the Great Ming Dynasty has fallen already?"

"..." The silver-armored female guard.

"My meaning is... do you know that the ancient Heavenly City has fallen already?" Song Shuhang said. "Since the ancient Heavenly City was already destroyed, what's the point in still guarding the Jade Lake?"


In the meantime.

Elder Lushan Street of the Limitless Demon Sect stood up, his face dark.

"Dammit, someone barged into this place," Elder Lushan Street said as he clenched his teeth. At this time, a stupid puppet had just stepped into the mountain valley he was closing in!

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