Two Gold Gleam squads hurried out of the forest.
"Let's go. The whole plan got flipped upside down out there. Li Luo has cooked up some mummery—there are illusions flying everywhere. He can't be caught."
"Let's run far away right now, escape the revenge."
The two teams scurried away in fright.
But they scurried straight into Li Luo, Xin Fu, and Bai Mengmeng.
The two teams made noises of disgust.
"Damn, this must be the fourth or fifth set of illusions we've seen already."
"Yeah, you recall the first ones? We were begging on our knees for minutes, but then they vanished on us."
"We've been fooled!"
"Ignore them," one leader said irritably. "Let's get out."
They nodded and sped up, aiming to pass through.
Li Luo and his squadmates were a little shocked. Were Gold Gleam squads so brazen nowadays? Just going to walk straight past them?
This was a little humiliating, Li Luo felt.
So just as they walked right past him, he yelled, "GET 'EM!"
Sneaky Li Luo had already attacked by the time he shouted. Green resonant power burst forth from his palm. "Dendrical Intervention!"
The two Gold Gleam squad leaders were immediately mummified by vines.
Their teammates were sent flying.
The two leaders cussed in terror and disbelief. "Fuck, they're real?!" They would have continued hollering, but a few vines stuffed their mouths shut.
While Li Luo was dealing with the two leaders, Xin Fu's shadow resonant power scythed out, making deft work of the others.
Bai Mengmeng used her illusionary powers, and three Gold Gleam students stared at her fey lights in abject terror.
Xin Fu finished up his three Gold Gleam students as well.
In a short two minutes, the two Gold Gleam squads were down for the count.
Li Luo was pleased, holding up two medals.
"200 school points!" he cheered.
"Congratulations, you’re eliminated." Li Luo tossed them to the ground. Relieved of their gold badges, they were now forbidden from moving or interfering with the competition.
The two leaders scowled at him. "Li Luo, you're pathetic!"
"How so? You guys strolled right before me as if I didn't exist. I was about to chide you for not respecting yourself!" he said.
They wanted to cry, but no tears came. This was a classic case of "boy who cried wolf.” How were they supposed to know this time it would be real?
Li Luo pocketed their gold badges and ignored them, leaving quickly with Bai Mengmeng and Xin Fu.
After all, there were still other Gold Gleam squads waiting. They wouldn't let them get away so easily. That would waste their chase.
Their squad began to hunt down the others quickly.
Having lost their numerical advantage, the Gold Gleam squads tasted the pain of facing a Violet Vibrance squad first hand. If they did not have at least three teams grouped together, they withered before the trio's onslaught.
Not a single team escaped unscathed.
In a short 20 minutes, nine teams were eliminated.
900 school points in the bag.
Ye Hua cowered in the forest, hearing resonant power booming out all around him. His plan was theoretically perfect. Maintain the formation, don't let Li Luo's team break back out. Once they had the trio surrounded, there was no way they could take on a dozen Gold Gleam squads at once.
Even though many of them would be wiped, the ultimate victory would have been theirs.
Li Luo's cunning had thrown him off. The illusions had scattered them into chaos and thrown them off their rhythm.
He had tried his best to maintain order, but he had failed.
The plan was screwed.
He saw that they were the only team left now. The other Gold Gleam squads had either scarpered or been scuppered.
The temporary alliance was over.
"Forget it, let's go. We have to get out of here."
Ye Hua shook his head sadly. They were at the edge of the forest already, and were almost clear.
He increased the pace. Sunlight shone through ahead, at the treeline.
They were so close to the exit. But they froze dead in their tracks when they saw Li Luo leaning casually against a tree, grinning at them.
"Leaving?" he asked.
Behind him, Bai Mengmeng and Xin Fu were nowhere to be seen. They had to be lying in ambush.
"Stone boy, I underestimated you. You almost got me."
Ye Hua's jaw tightened. "Stop giving me weird names! I'm Ye Hua, not ‘stone boy!’"
Li Luo waved it away carelessly. "So, what's your plan now?"
Ye Hua sniffed. "I've lost. Nothing much to say. But I don't plan on handing over my badge lying down."
He stepped forward, his resonant power turning him ashy white as a stone skin formed.
His squadmates looked resigned to their fate, but they showed no signs of surrender. They too readied themselves.
Li Luo chuckled at their ready stances. "Hey, I'm just taking a badge, I’m not out for serial homicide."
His eyes twinkled at them. "Hey, stone boy," he suddenly said. "Want to not get eliminated?"
Ye Hua was so hopeful that he ignored the nickname. "What do you mean?" he ventured warily.
"I can let you go. I'll even give you two gold badges. But after that, you’ll have to complete a task for me. How's that?"
Ye Hua exchanged looks with his squad. They had no idea what he was talking about, but anything had to be better than elimination.
"Can we know what it is?" Ye Hua asked carefully.
"Nope. But it can't be worse than losing here, right? What am I going to ask for? Your lives?"
Ye Hua pondered. This made sense, but...
"How about four gold badges?" he asked tentatively.
Li Luo drew his shortswords with a menacing grin.
"Stone boy, if your head is harder than my blades, I'll give you four badges. How's that?"Previous Chapter Next Chapter