Li Luo zipped through the trees, his hands never straying far from the shortswords on his waist. His entire body was tense, ready to fight at any moment.
He had no idea how many students were in the vicinity, nor how many powerful fighters there were. He could not drop his guard.
He looked up to see that his light column was indeed being partially filtered by the trees. Still, anyone close enough would be able to see it.
"The light pillar should run out eventually. I just have to survive until it does. Then the gank will be over," Li Luo thought quickly.
Still, he had to think about how to deal with the gank first.
Besides the top three, he wasn't afraid of anyone in a one-on-one fight. But two fists seldom won against four. Once surrounded, he would be screwed.
They could even tire him to death.
What to do?
He scanned his surroundings. There was nothing of use here. He could go deeper into the forest, where the spirit beasts were aplenty. Anyone trying to gank him would have to watch their own backs then. The spirit beasts would be his best bodyguards.
Before the gank materialized, he would head deeper.
Increasing his speed, he broke out of the treeline ahead and spotted three figures hurtling his way. Both parties called out.
Li Luo's identity had yet to register in their minds.
Seeing their lack of response, Li Luo thought quickly. "Have you seen the shining guy yet?!" he hollered. He was taking the initiative.
The three shook their heads.
"Y'all go left! I'll go right! Don't let him get away!" he cried, then he turned and charged into another patch of jungle.
The three students were a little confused. Who was that? Why was he ordering them around?
"He's looking for someone who’s lit up?" one of them asked.
"But... he was lit up too!" another exclaimed.
"Could it be that others are also lit up?"
There was a moment of quiet confusion as they worked it out. Finally, they saw the light. "Fuck! That WAS Li Luo!"
"Get him! How dare he toy with us!" The three turned red from embarrassment. Li Luo had taken advantage of them and tricked them. Who knew that the hunted could pretend to be the hunter.
The three turned and charged in the direction that Li Luo had gone.
While they were running full speed, a few light balls suddenly burst before their eyes, the strong flash blinding them. They fell to the floor, clutching their faces in agony.
A figure streaked out of the woods, blue resonant power cloaking it in a veil of water. He moved extremely quickly, his blades flashing out across their legs and drawing blood.
All three cried out in pain. Li Luo was making sure they wouldn't be able to walk for a while.
By the time they recovered their vision, all they saw was a figure bearing two shortswords disappearing in the distance.
They felt a chill of fear. This was a ruthless opponent.
Meanwhile, Ruthless Li had already pushed them out of his mind. After dispatching them, he continued heading deeper into the jungle.
He did not dare let up. The three he had just met indicated that many more students would be swarming the area soon.
Hopefully, he had beaten the crowd.
A few miles away.
Puffs of smoke were rising in a rhythmic pattern as a signal from another part of the forest.
Yu Lang was perched high up on a tree branch, squinting as he tried to make out a light pillar far away in the distance.
He leaped down to Zhao Kuo, who was busy sending out the signals. The two had met by coincidence and were also in Li Luo’s vicinity. They had also received the mission to hunt Li Luo.
"Li Luo is really a magnet for trouble. I wonder what he did to incur this mission," Yu Lang grumbled to Zhao Kuo.
"I told you. Handsomeness is expensive. You have to pay the price eventually."
Zhao Kuo scowled. "This is strange as hell. Which Violet Vibrance mentor is testing Brother Luo?"
"Test, your ass. This is a witch hunt!" Yu Lang snorted. "A gank of this scale, not even the first-place Qin Zhulu could get out with certainty, let alone Li Luo. They can squash him to death with sheer numbers."
"Well, the signal's sent. If Zong Fu, Chi Su, and Xiang Liang see it, they should hurry over," Zhao Kuo said.
"I don't care. I don’t have high hopes for them," Yu Lang said.
"Yu Lang, stop talking about people behind their backs. You're like a woman." A shout came from behind, then three people burst out of the woods, panting heavily.
"Oh look, the circus is complete!" Yu Lang said cheerfully.
"Out with it! What's the plan?" Zong Fu said moodily.
"I'll get right to it since we're all here. Li Luo is in trouble again. Big trouble. I intend to help him," Yu Lang said.
"Look, I’m not trying to be a wet blanket here," Zong Fu said, "but a gank of this scale? We'll just end up as food."
"Do you remember what Vice Principal Su Xin said? This Choosing of the Mentors is not just about beating spirit beasts for gold and silver talismans. Our performances will determine the end result." Yu Lang smiled. He gestured at the light pillar in the distance. "A lot of people are closing in for the gank. If we go there, we'll not be of much help. Let's think a little more creatively. This position is perfect for ambushing any students that come from the southwest direction. We'll set a trap here, finish off some straggler students. By doing this, we'll take some heat off Li Luo and perhaps net ourselves some bonus points in the bargain.
"I'm sure that the Violet Vibrance mentors are all watching closely. Maybe they'll appreciate us using our brains."
The others looked around, surprised by his suggestion.
"I agree." Zhao Kuo nodded. Helping Li Luo, plus bonus points. No objections from him.
Zong Fu and the others hesitated for a long while. Finally, Zong Fu gritted his teeth. "I'll do it. But you have to tell Li Luo that the one I really want to follow is Senior Qing'e!"
Xiang Liang and Chi Su were happy enough to follow Zong Fu's lead. Given their strength, they could get gold talismans at best. Perhaps following Yu Lang's lead was a shot at a better score. It was enough to risk for.
"What do we do next?" they asked.
"Next, we put our acting skills to the test."
Right on cue, Zhao Kuo showed them a convincing idiot's stutter that impressed them all greatly.
Damn, this giant of a man was a god of acting. How had the puny Southwind Academy raised a pair of geniuses like these two?Previous Chapter Next Chapter