When the crowd suddenly hushed, they looked back and forth between Li Luo and Duze Honglian, unsure of what to make of what they had just heard.
Even Duze Honglian liked Li Luo?
Willing to be his mistress?
That was insane!
Ordinarily, such a claim would be laughed at. But Li Luo was as handsome as they came. It made them rethink if Duze Honglian really had a soft spot for him.
"Damned pretty boy young lord!" Some of the male students were getting wild-eyed and looked ready to swallow Li Luo whole. Although Duze Honglian was constantly being outdone by Jiang Qing'e, she was still a Three Star Hall student and excellent in her own right.
She had her fair share of admirers as well.
Had even Duze Honglian fallen to Li Luo's damned good looks?
That bastard! Not only does he have Jiang Qing'e on the marriage table, he snagged Duze Honglian's modesty too?!
The covetous glances that came their way was enough to freeze the smile on Duze Honglian's face. Hot anger flushed through her at his impudence. How dare he besmirch her reputation!
Like you?! Be your mistress?!
Who do you think you are!?
"Li Luo, I'll kill you!" Her voice was shaking from the barely suppressed rage.
Li Luo took two more hurried steps back. "Honglian," he pleaded plaintively, "forcing it won't make it work. Let me go."
There was amusement in his look, just for her. Weren't you trying to sling mud at me? Well, here's some right back! It was a pyrrhic victory at best, but he wasn't going to back down from this.
"Li Luo, what nonsense are you on about?!" Duze Beixuan shouted. Li Luo's vicious reply would be dismissed as nonsense by anyone with half a brain, but rumors rarely went north of the mouth to that cerebral filter. If word got out that his elder sister and Jiang Qing'e were fighting over the same guy, many heads in the Duze family would explode out of sheer anger.
"Beixuan, we both need to seriously think about this as well. Will I end up as your brother-in-law? Married to your elder sister?" Li Luo sighed in brotherly commiseration.
As he spoke, a terrifying blast of resonant power exploded from Duze Honglian, wreathing her in maroon flames.
"Li Luo, I'll kill you!"
There was killing intent in her hot eyes. She sent forth a terrible blast of maroon fire at Li Luo.
"Duze Honglian, how dare you!"
Yan Lingqing shouted, leaping forth to shield Li Luo with her body. Water resonance power welled out of her to quench Duze Honglian's attack.
The two resonant powers clashed together, but it was obvious that Duze Honglian held the advantage. Yan Lingqing winced, forced back under the weight of the attack.
She was only a third-tier Resonant Master, far below Duze Honglian. 
"Yan Lingqing, fuck off, you weakling," Duze Honglian screamed.
"I'm going to seal that yapping trap of his!"
She was moving almost as soon as she had finished speaking, another scorching palm attack burying Li Luo and Yan Lingqing in flames.
A column of light descended from above like the sword of god. It was aimed directly at Duze Honglian.
She could clearly sense the immensity of the power behind the impending attack. Her eyes narrowed.
Not an unfamiliar power... She had fought its user one too many times.
She rolled her eyes in frustration, but she did not dare to take Jiang Qing'e's attack. With a clap of her hands, the maroon power blossomed mid-flight into a flaming, red lotus that rescinded back into her body.
The tremendous power of the light column blasted the red lotus into smithereens, creating an aftershock powerful enough to send the nearby students flying.
Duze Honglian herself was forced back many steps, her maroon fire sparking weakly before fizzling out.
Anger and embarrassment swamped her, but she finally forced down her resonant power.
"She's too weak? What about me?"
An unfriendly voice came from above. The light parted above Li Luo and Yan Lingqing, and Jiang Qing'e appeared.
She had a huge sword in hand and a menacing look in her golden eyes as she challenged Duze Honglian.
"Duze Honglian, after losing so many times to me, are you too scared to challenge me anymore? Decided to switch to easier targets like freshmans?" she said mildly.
"If you want to fight, I'll see you on the battleground. I'll beat you until you can't walk out on your own." She was riled up by Duze Honglian picking on Li Luo.
"Just go ahead and try!" Duze Honglian spat.
The rivalry between the two girls was apparent to all.
This only further confirmed things for the other students. Jiang Qing'e was fighting Duze Honglian? Over Li Luo!?
Sensational news in the Astral Sage College!
But at this time, a bunch of people clad in gold and silver leaf-patterned robes ran out. The older students backed away when they arrived. This was the law enforcement squad of the Astral Sage College. They were usually Three and Four Star Hall students, and they maintained order in the school.
A handsome youth with bright, green hair stood in front of the squad. He looked at the two girls impatiently. "Jiang Qing'e, Duze Honglian, today is enrollment day for the newcomers. Fighting is bad for the Astral Sage College's reputation."
This was Si Qiuying's elder brother, Si Tianming.
Jiang Qing'e stared at him. Now that the enforcement squad was here, fighting was no longer an option. Reluctantly, she let her light resonant power fade away.
Duze Honglian was still chomping at the bit. "Li Luo besmirched my reputation! He must be punished!" she snarled at Si Tianming.
Li Luo sai in a martyred tone, "Honglian, if you must be unreasonable, I'm willing to be punished for your sake."
He made it seem like he was willing to take on all the blame on her behalf.
But this only made her angrier than ever. Li Luo was only making her sink deeper and deeper.
Si Tianming felt a headache incoming. He actually already knew the truth of the matter. The Duze siblings had come to aggravate Li Luo and cause him trouble. But Li Luo was not about to lie down and take it, biting back as good as he got. Duze Honglian then flew into a rage.
"Alright, that's enough. Leave," Si Tianming said to Duze Honglian and Duze Beixuan.
He turned to Li Luo. "You should know when to stop as well," he warned him.
Li Luo merely smiled. If Duze Honglian hadn't come to cause trouble, he wouldn't have started any. But he was going to fire back if he did.
Duze Honglian looked like she was ready to incinerate Li Luo to ashes where he stood, but she knew it was not possible now. "Little brat, I'll remember this! I won't let you get away with this!"
Li Luo opened his mouth for another retort, but Si Tianming quickly stepped between them.
"Alright, alright. Go on now."
He was almost positive that Duze Honglian would lose her mind if Li Luo spoke any more.
Duze Honglian whirled and stormed off. Li Luo was evidently more than she could handle.
Duze Beixuan looked darkly at Li Luo. His intentions were clear, although he said nothing.
After the Duze siblings left, things gradually returned to normal, although odd looks were still occasionally thrown Li Luo's way.
Jiang Qing'e cocked her head at Li Luo. "Now you've opened hell on earth for yourself, haven't you?"
He shrugged. "I was forced."
How was he to know that Duze Honglian would come looking for trouble. Since he couldn't beat her, he could only ensure that her reputation was tarnished as black as his own.
"That was a sick move, Li Luo. Hahaha! She must be seething." Yan Lingqing shook with laughter, looking at Li Luo with respect.
She turned to Jiang Qing'e. "So... willing to accept Duze Honglian as the mistress?" she teased.
Jiang Qing'e gave her a sweet smile. "No. But I'll accept you as a mistress," she countered.
Yan Lingqing blushed and stammered, "You wish."
Si Tianming had come up to them. He shot the girls a look, then he directed his comments to Li Luo. "Junior Li Luo, in trouble from the moment you stepped into the Astral Sage College.
"Oh, let me introduce myself. I'm Si Tianming, Si Qiuying's elder brother."
Li Luo took one look at his bright, green hair. "Funnily enough, I guessed that."
Si Tianming was a little taken aback. He seemed a little snippy from the get-go.
He shook his head, looking past it. "Although Duze Honglian started it, your insults were quite cutting. She has her own admirers in the Astral Sage College. There's going to be trouble for you from now on."
Li Luo smiled back a little more warmly. Si Tianming had a cooler head than his younger sister.
"I didn't want to anger her either. But it seemed inevitable," he replied.
"Then be ready for the trouble that's in your future," Si Tianming stated.
Li Luo sighed, then stood dramatically behind Jiang Qing'e. "I have friends in high places."
Si Tianming goggled at him, then barked a wry laugh.
"Your House Luolan young lord is a special one."
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