Sunlight glinted merrily off the ripples on the lake’s surface.
The Violet Vibrance mentor called Shen Jinxiao stood by the lake, looking down at his own reflection. He looked friendly enough, but a chill ran down Li Luo's spine when he saw him.
This... Was he the Shen Jinxiao that Qing'e had mentioned?
Li Luo looked at him closely. He was a handsome man, and the Violet Vibrance robes added prestige to his charm. There were golden runic patterns extending out from both his temples, ending in a pale-gold rune on his brow.
Even without exuding any resonant power, his very person screamed danger.
Li Luo was sizing him up cautiously when the latter smiled at him. "I was once Jiang Qing'e's mentor. I wonder, has she mentioned me to you before?"
Li Luo ignored his question. "What is Mentor Shen doing here?"
Although he was very cautious of this person, there was nothing he really feared. This was the Choosing of the Mentors, an event that countless people were watching. Even though he was a Violet Vibrance mentor, there was nothing he could do to him openly.
Shen Jinxiao walked forwards. "Li Luo, I've taken a liking to you. I intend to take you under my wing," he said cheerfully, handing over an item he had pulled out.
Li Luo looked at it. A violet talisman shining with a curious light. This was a Violet Vibrance mentor's talisman. With it, one would become their student.
Exactly what Li Luo needed, except not this man's.
"Li Luo, take it, and you will have completed your goal," Shen Jinxiao said with an encouraging smile.
Li Luo looked up slowly from the violet talisman. He took a step back. "This doesn't seem in line with the rules, does it, Mentor Shen?
"Violet talismans should be earned after rigorous trials. Giving it to be like this puts me in a difficult spot."
Shen Jinxiao waved it away lightly. "I know your potential. So we can skip the rigorous trials part."
Li Luo shook his head. "Mentor Shen, we seldom treasure things that come to us too easily," he said formally. "I wish to go through difficult trials and come to a final decision.
"If Mentor Shen is free, perhaps you could stick around. I'll go prove myself, then I'll come back and find you."
He continued to back away.
But he immediately felt a surging of worldly natural energy from all around him. It felt like his feet were glued to the ground.
"Mentor Shen, you won't let me go?"
Shen Jinxiao regarded him with his smile still in place. "Why won't you accept my good will? Any other student would be dying for this chance."
Li Luo hesitated. "Because...
"I want a female mentor!" he declared righteously.
Shen Jinxiao's smile looked more like a dangerous leer now. "Li Luo, will you really not reconsider? There are only five Violet Vibrance mentors in this Choosing. If you reject me, the other four might not take you, out of respect for me. After all, you are no Jiang Qing'e. You do not have her potential to appeal with.
"They will probably not risk offending me for a passably good student like yourself."
Li Luo frowned. "Is Mentor Shen threatening me?"
"You can say that."
Li Luo laughed. "Since you think I'm only passably good, and there are so many better candidates out there, why would you only invite me?"
"Make good use of your last chance, Li Luo."
"Mentor Shen, you seem a little overeager," Li Luo said warily. "I don't know what you're up to, but nothing in this world comes for free."
Shen Jinxiao regarded him for a few seconds, then he stowed the violet talisman back in his robes. "You've lost your last chance, Li Luo.
"It seems like you have to taste pain before you will treasure a violet talisman." He raised two fingers and spoke through them.
His voice echoed around the entire area. In a radius of dozens of miles, all students suddenly heard his voice in their ears, Li Luo included.
"Violet Vibrance mission: take down Li Luo. Whoever defeats him will be awarded one violet talisman."
This put a real damper on Li Luo's plans. This was low. The moment Li Luo didn't take his carrot, he whipped out his stick.
"Don't worry about whether my actions are against the rules or not. Here at the Astral Sage College, Violet Vibrance mentors have far greater power than you can imagine. As long as your life is not threatened, there's just about nothing I can't do," Shen Jinxiao said mildly.
He reached out with one finger and poked Li Luo lightly on the head. Suddenly, a column of light surrounded him, extending up towards the sky. It could be seen clearly for many miles around.
"This pillar of light will linger for a while. All the other students will be able to find you thanks to it. You want the favor of other Violet Vibrance mentors? Here's your chance to acquit yourself. If you can get yourself out of this one, perhaps other Violet Vibrance mentors will notice you."
Shen Jinxiao snickered to himself. "Well... begin your performance. I'm very much looking forward to it."
He dissolved into a speck of light, vanishing on the spot.
Li Luo watched him disappear with a dark look. “Shen Jinxiao, was it? You dog, I'll remember you.”
Looking up, he tried everything he could think of to get rid of the pillar of light, but he failed. Finally, he gave it up. Something a Duke expert had pulled off was not something a puny Resonant Master like himself could dispel.
He drew his shortswords and charged back into the forest, hoping the trees would at least dim the light somewhat.
Time to see the extent of the incoming gank.
Hopefully, there wasn't anyone too strong. Otherwise, he would be screwed.
When Li Luo rushed into the forest and the hunt began, the announcement of the Violet Vibrance mission appeared for those on the spectator stands as well.
Its appearance was greeted by a collective gasp of surprise.Previous Chapter Next Chapter