Jiang Qing'e looked at Li Luo's "stern" stance in amusement. She then looked back out at the still lake, Ye Qiuding already forgotten.
She knew he was kidding.
"Have you forgotten how the House settles disputes? Shall we adjourn to the sparring room?" she asked with a trace of relish.
Li Luo hurriedly pulled his accusing finger back. "I'm trying to have a civil conversation here. How barbaric of you. My mother really raised a bad girl."
She laughed. "That guy's reputation in the Two Star Hall is pretty good. He's probably ranked in the top three.
"We had a mission where we needed a new student. He was quite good, so we asked him. That's how I know him. That's all."
"Cai Wei and Lingqing told me that I would understand what unstoppable charm looked like when I got into the Astral Sage College. I guess this is it."
Jiang Qing'e shook her head. She couldn't be bothered answering that tired topic.
"All I want right now is to get to the Duke Stage as quickly as possible. To protect you, to protect House Luolan, and also investigate the death lottery for my mentors.
"Anything or anyone else...
"I would be happy if they fell off the edge of the world," she said indifferently.
She looked back at him and smiled, stretching out a hand to ruffle his head out of habit.
This time, he intercepted her, catching her little hand within his own.
She was surprised but didn't flinch, only looking at him in amusement.
"Look, Qing'e," Li Luo grumbled. "If you could be a bit more appropriately demure at a time like this, I think the mood would be great."
Jiang Qing'e thought about it. "Demure?"
Her amusement showed even more.
"I want to fulfill your wish, Li Luo, but it's impossible before you defeat me."
He was crying inside. Life was hard when your fiance was too outstanding.
Meanwhile, Ye Qiuding had walked back to his group, his bubbly demeanor all but gone.
"Brother Ye, is that kid the young lord of House Luolan? The one engaged to Senior Qing'e?" someone asked.
Ye Qiuding nodded tersely.
"’The lower floor of the tower gets the moonlight first, but only because it is closer to the pond,’" his friend quoted. "I heard that his parents agreed to it because she owes them everything."
Ye Qiuding waved him off. "Rumors like that can't be trusted. Those two are Duke experts. They might dote on their son, but they wouldn't do something like that."
Still, the thought lingered on his mind.
"Brother Ye, you're better than Li Luo in every way. You should press your suit. Someone of Senior Qing'e's caliber doesn't come around often."
"Yeah, Brother Ye. If you can get her... hehe. All the guys here at the Two Star Hall will be able to hold our heads high. Do you know how many suitors she has in the Three and Four Star Halls?"
"I think she quite likes your type, Brother Ye. Otherwise, why would she have invited you to that mission?"
Ye Qiuding scolded them in good humor. "Get back to training, you louts. Want to get in trouble again?"
As he herded them on, he turned back to take a look at the lake. He saw Li Luo and Jiang Qing'e laughing together. She was looking at him with a soft tenderness that he had never seen elsewhere.
His eyes hardened. Then he turned away and left.
After bidding Jiang Qing'e goodbye, Li Luo returned to the house.
The moment he entered, he saw Xin Fu sitting at the table, glumly choking down Bai Mengmeng's breakfast. From under his hood, his eyes betrayed nothing, but under his table, his legs were quaking badly.
Li Luo suppressed his smile and walked over.
"Breakfast, Leader?" She turned her large eyes on him.
He gestured to the half-eaten red glutinous cake in his hand. "Not today. Someone got me breakfast, and I couldn't refuse."
Xin Fu looked up angrily.
"Is that from Senior Qing'e?" Bai Mengmeng asked enviously. "I saw her just now. She's really beautiful."
Li Luo nodded and smiled.
Mentor Chi Chan walked in the door. "I'll take you to the Tree of Resonant Power after breakfast," she said.
All three perked up immediately.
She handed out three purple jade tablets to them. “There are four types of leaves on the Astral Sage College's Tree of Resonant Power. No change to the three types that you have seen before: bronze, silver, and gold leaves. The fourth type is unique to the Astral Sage College—we call them violet jade leaves.
"Violet jade leaves are only for Violet Vibrance students to use. Those are your plaques, and your violet jade leaf numbers are written on them."
The three took them carefully. Li Luo carefully looked at his. It was smooth to the touch, and there were words etched on it.
One Star Hall | North Zone | Branch 97 | Number 5.
"The Tree of Resonant Power is vast. Each hall is assigned a different zone. Generally, the higher the star hall, the greater the confluence of energies in the area assigned. As one grows stronger, more of the worldly natural energies' density can be utilized properly.
"Also, during your first visit to the Tree of Resonant Power, if you're lucky or talented, you might trigger a resonant luminescence. No need to panic. The Tree of Resonant Power is simply giving you an additional gift.”
"Resonant luminescence?" the three of them asked, puzzled.
"Put simply, when you visit a place with such dense worldly natural energy for the first time, your cultivation might resonate with the Tree of Resonant Power to fill your body with worldly natural energy.
"The filling process is a little like a baptism. Those who are blessed by it will feel their resonant power improve by a leap. Each year, it happens when the newcomers visit the tree for the first time. It is not too rare, and it’s definitely a good thing if you receive it.
"Violet jade leaves also increase the chances of resonant luminescence happening."
They tightly clutched their violet jade tablets in wonder. Just how far did the privileges of Violet Vibrance students extend? They had truly been given a wonderful head start.
"Resonant luminescence also varies in strength from person to person. It depends on the brightness and duration."
Chi Chan glanced at Li Luo with a half-smile. "In the last century, the strongest resonant luminescence was gifted to Jiang Qing'e. The brightness was said to have been spotted from some places in Xia City."
Xin Fu and Bai Mengmeng also stared at him. Senior Qing'e was truly a legend everywhere.
Li Luo kept his face neutral. So the plump swan had kept this one quiet from him too, huh...
Still, it seemed like he would have many people comparing themselves to him when he went to the tree. Nothing new…
Truly, the pressure of having such an excellent person as his fiance was quite heavy.
Could anyone understand his pain?Previous Chapter Next Chapter