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There were several groups of palaces in this fragment of the Heavenly City known as 'Jade Lake'.

Venerable White and Su Clan's Sixteen had also found several palaces while exploring the place earlier, and Su Clan's Sixteen had even fought some resentful spirits in one of them.

Anyway, Demon Venerable Lushan Street showed the way to Venerable White, Song Shuhang, and Su Clan's Sixteen, directly heading toward the western side of this fragment of the Heavenly City.

Then, after arriving in front of a black-colored wasteland, Demon Venerable Lushan Street stopped and pointed his finger toward the ground. "Next, we can only proceed through the ground."

"You can keep showing the way. I'll keep up with you while bringing along the others," Venerable White said.

As soon as he heard the words 'proceed through the ground', Song Shuhang felt his belly becoming full... Luckily, Venerable White's Earth Crossing Technique was excellent, and it was unlikely that he would screw up halfway.

After traveling through the earth and reaching a depth of 200 meters, Song Shuhang and the others reached an underground palace.

They could vaguely tell that this place must have been rather prosperous back in the day.

But now, this place was in ruins, just like those palaces on the surface. Beyond that, the whole place was covered by a thick layer of dark-gray mist.

After Demon Venerable Lushan Street brought everyone there, a conflicted expression appeared on his face once more. He was struggling in his mind again.

Venerable White couldn't bear it anymore, and said, "I feel that this guy is becoming a little annoying!"

Had it happened only once or twice, he would have even praised Fellow Daoist Lushan Street for his strong will. But if it kept happening at intervals of a few minutes—with the guy continuously going through a mental struggle with a conflicted expression appearing on his face again and again—one would start to get a little annoyed!

But right at this time, Demon Venerable Lushan Street lost the battle of will again. Therefore, he sighed, and said, "Beware of that mist. That mist isn't normal—it's a mass of chaotic energy. Foul and evil beasts can condense and take shape from that mist, just like it happens in the Netherworld Realm. After all, this underground palace was once corroded and polluted with the energy of the Netherworld Realm."

Song Shuhang gazed the grayish mist below. As expected, it was the energy of the Netherworld Realm—or, to be more precise, the essence of the energy of the Netherworld Realm. During the past few days, he had had a lot of dealings with the Netherworld Realm. Therefore, he was rather familiar with this type of energy.

"As expected... the destruction of the Heavenly City in ancient times was probably related to the Netherworld Realm..." Song Shuhang muttered to himself.

Just as they were discussing, the turbid energy within the mist started to revolve, finally condensing into a huge black dragon that dashed toward Venerable White and the others.

However, the huge black dragon had yet to approach them that something flew out of Song Shuhang's body while emitting a dazzling golden light.

It was the ❮Writing of the Sage❯, a book that the super-amazing Sage of the scholarly faction had personally written while he was still alive. Song Shuhang hadn't researched the book too much after receiving it, and he had no idea how it worked.

Nevertheless, this classic book would automatically activate when facing things that were 'foul and evil'.

The ❮Writing of the Sage❯ projected in the air the picture of a ten-meter big golden book that immediately went to attack that huge black dragon made of turbid energy.


The huge turbid dragon was immediately crushed to pieces.

After the attack went well, the ❮Writing of the Sage❯ leisurely returned to Song Shuhang's body. While returning, it even brought along the chaotic energy the huge dragon had transformed into after getting smashed to pieces.

It was like a cat capturing a mouse and smugly bringing the trophy back to show it to its master, not caring in the least about its master potentially getting a scare after seeing the dead mouse.

"Don't bring back the energy of the Netherworld Realm. It's useless to us!" Song Shuhang called out.

However... his voice had hardly faded when his Heart Aperture shook.

It was again a familiar feeling!

In the next moment, the nucleus in his Heart Aperture emitted a golden light, projecting the picture of a lifelike lotus flower in the air.

The roots of the lotus flower spread out and took root in the mist.

In the next moment, Song Shuhang felt that the lotus flower had absorbed a stream of energy, and most of this energy entered the nucleus in his Heart Aperture.

Venerable White looked at the lotus flower and muttered, "Interesting... so aside from spirit stones, this thing can devour the energy of the Netherworld as well?"

Wasn't this ability the same as that of the Virtuous Golden Lotus of the scholarly faction?

The speed at which the lotus flower was absorbing energy was rather fast. When they were in Venerable White's treasure house, it managed to instantaneously absorb the energy of 600 spirit stones of the Fifth Stage. Then, in the time it took to say a few words, it had absorbed several thousand spirit stones.

But now, while facing the essence of the energy of the Netherworld Realm, which was even easier to absorb, the speed at which the lotus flower was operating was three times faster!

In the blink of an eye, a large portion of the thick mist shrouding the palace below them had disappeared. If things continued like this, all the mist covering the underground palace would be thoroughly absorbed by Song Shuhang within one hour.

Demon Venerable Lushan Street closely watched Song Shuhang. Just how many hardships had he gone through to get past this mist the first time he got here?

But now, all this mist that made him suffer so much back then had turned into the food of this small cultivator of the Third Stage.

Well, it seemed that everyone was different and had different strong points!

But right at this time... the mist below seemed to have sensed how scary Song Shuhang's lotus flower was.

The terrified cries of beasts were transmitted from within the mist. In the next moment, the mist curled up and retreated several thousand meters.

However, that lotus flower that had come out of Song Shuhang's chest was unforgiving. Its roots infinitely stretched and closely chased after the mist.

One was continuously retreating, and the other continuously advancing. Before long, the mist had already left the palace, retreating and shrinking toward the open space behind the palace.

But the more the mist was retreating and shrinking its size, the more the roots of the lotus were getting greedy. It seemed it liked very much to absorb the compressed energy of the mist.

At this time, a conflicted expression had once again appeared on Demon Venerable Lushan Street's face. This time, it wasn't because he was going through a mental struggle, but because he had no idea which expression he should make to express his inner turmoil after seeing this scene that was playing out before his eyes.


Since the mist had already retreated, Demon Venerable Lushan Street brought Venerable White and the others down, arriving at the entrance of the palace.

"There is an invisible formation here that touches upon the power of space. If one wants to reach the place where the core is, they mustn't go astray. Back then, I was able to find the correct path only after several years of trial and error. Just follow me," Demon Venerable Lushan Street said coldly.

As such, Demon Venerable Lushan Street took the lead and showed the way while Song Shuhang and the others were closely following behind.

After changing direction several times, the whole group unwittingly entered into a small independent dimension.

The roots of that lotus flower coming out of Song Shuhang's chest passed through this independent dimension and extended to the outside world, continuing to chase after the mist.

Song Shuhang turned his head back and gazed at the roots extending from his chest... his imagination started to run wild.

If he encountered some labyrinth-like ancient ruins in the future, he could perhaps use this ability of the lotus flower to solve the problem? It was the same as having a rope that could stretch infinitely, and that would allow him to find the exit to the labyrinth without fail.

Of course, it would be possible only if he managed to completely control the nucleus in his Heart Aperture.

The small independent dimension had an area of merely a hundred square meters. In other words, it was just a room.

Inside the room were three reclining chairs; aside from them, the whole room was empty.

"The core is here?" Su Clan's Sixteen asked.

Demon Venerable Lushan Street didn't reply, but started to take action. A chain of runes appeared in his soul. From the looks of it, it seemed a series of password-like runes.

The chain of runes engraved itself in the air.

After a short moment, some strange energy assembled in the air. It seemed a very complex type of energy. There was the spiritual energy of heaven and earth, mental energy, the power of faith, and even the chaotic energy of the Netherworld. All these different types of energy merged together and fell on the reclining chair in the middle.

Soon after, a figure appeared on the reclining chair.

It was a black-haired woman wearing a phoenix coronet on her head and an elegant golden-red dual-colored phoenix robe.

Back in the day, this dress must have been so elegant that words weren't enough to describe it, but now, the black-haired woman was lazily reclining against the chair as if she was on the verge of death.

After a while, the black-haired woman finally raised her head. She had a pale complexion and slit pupils. Beyond that, there was an eye-catching beauty mark around the corner of her right eye, which made her look lovely.

"Oh, you have come back!" The black-haired woman gazed at Demon Venerable Lushan Street, who was floating in the air.

After a while...

The black-haired woman suddenly tilted her head, and said, "You died? Dammit!"

"..." Song Shuhang.

He felt that this black-haired woman was taking a long time to react to the things happening around her.

In addition, for some unknown reason, Song Shuhang got nervous when he saw the black-haired woman raising her head.

To be more precise, he wasn't the one getting nervous... it was Ye Si inside his body who was getting nervous. Ye Si's mood affected Song Shuhang's and made him feel nervous as well.

Thereupon, Song Shuhang retreated a few steps and hid behind Venerable White and Su Clan's Sixteen.

[Ye Si, do you owe her money or something?] Song Shuhang asked out of curiosity.

Ye Si replied, [No, I don't owe anyone any money. In addition, I don't even know her.]

Just as they finished speaking, the face of the black-haired woman simultaneously resurfaced in the minds of Song Shuhang and Ye Si.

When the black-haired woman resurfaced in the minds of the duo, her facial features were somewhat indistinct, but the beauty mark around the corner of her eye was incredibly clear. Soon after, teardrops started to fall from the corner of the eyes of the black-haired woman in their minds. She looked truly heartbroken.

At the same time, Song Shuhang and Ye Si felt their hearts tightening, just as though someone had grabbed it and squeezed it.

[Ye Si, are you sure you don't owe her money?] Song Shuhang asked to be sure.

[I'm sure I don't owe her,] Ye Si said resolutely. But this time around, she was somewhat uncertain.

From what she remembered, she had never seen this woman with a beauty mark before.

However, there was still a chance that she had simply forgotten about her. Ye Si was aware that her memories were somewhat incomplete.

Perhaps what she owed to this woman with a beauty mark wasn't money, but something even more important?


At this time, after another short while...

The woman with the beauty mark said again, "Dammit. Since you died, you won't be able to help me support the Jade Lake Realm. Just when I had found with much difficulty a suitable Seventh Stage Venerable!"

Demon Venerable Lushan Street had a cold expression on his face.

After another short while...

The woman with the beauty mark turned her head around and saw Venerable White, Song Shuhang, and Su Clan's Sixteen. "Ah? There are other guests as well!"

Did you see us just now?! Song Shuhang couldn't help but ridicule in his heart.

"I'm sorry, but there is something wrong with my current state, and I'm rather slow to react to everything," the woman with the beauty mark said. After saying this much, she looked at Venerable White, and said happily, "You are also a Seventh Stage Venerable, and a living one on top of that!"

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