Chapter 0169: Encounter


Ye Hua grumbled as he pocketed the two gold badges and stomped off.

"Will they do as you say?" Xin Fu asked as they watched his squad go.

"That Ye Hua's a clever guy. He was enterprising enough to get a group together. No hard feelings—it's just part of the ranking battle system. He was good to get that many together, so I don't hold it against him.

"But now I've let him go and even made a deal with him. I paid him upfront as well. If he reneges, then he'll have really crossed us...

"So I think he'll make the right choice," Li Luo said cheerfully.

Xin Fu nodded. Li Luo was the leader. He had decided, and that was that. The Xin Fu brain could kick back and chill. Besides, if he were to suggest something and it went badly, wouldn't that mean he would have to bear the burden?

With the leader taking responsibility, he could sit back.

Li Luo ran the gold badges through his fingers. They had nine before, and he had paid Ye Hua two. Seven left. 700 school points.

"700 each is not a bad start," Li Luo said brightly. The chase had given them quite a rocky start, but these 700 points made up for everything.

Xin Fu was smiling in a pleased way as well. School points were all an Astral Sage College student could ask for. 700 was enough for two vials of energy liquid.

"Leader, you're awesome." Bai Mengmeng dimpled, happy as well.

"Well, the MVP this time was Mengmeng. Without her illusions running interference, we wouldn't have cracked them." He gave her a big thumbs up.

This was no empty praise. Her Nightmarish Water Butterfly resonance might be weaker offense-wise, but its utility was formidable. When used well, it could be just as strong as other powerful resonances.

Xin Fu nodded in agreement, and Bai Mengmeng blushed.

"Let's push on. The ranking battle has only just begun. There are still plenty of bunches of chives for us to harvest." Li Luo sprung up and led the way deeper into the battlefield.

...

As time wore on, the battles grew more and more intense.

Over 1,000 squads fought it out with any means they had. It made for quite a spectacle.

On a high dais outside of the battlefield.

The five Violet Vibrance mentors watched intently, no fight escaping their eyes.

"Mentor Chi Chan, what's the score looking like now?" Cao Sheng asked. She was tasked with recording the points.

She answered in a clear voice.

"Bai Doudou's Wind Rider squad is in the lead with 1,700 points.

“Second: Qin Zhulu's Clear Moon squad, 1,600 points.

“Third: Wang Hejiu's Golden Gate squad, 1,500 points.

“Fourth: Li Luo's Fairness & Justice squad, 1,480 points.

“Fifth: Yi Lisha's One Autumn Leaf squad, 1,400 points.

"There are some promising Gold Gleam squads, but none have broken the 1,000-point mark yet."

"The Wind Rider squad has three wind resonance users. They're best suited to quick mowing," Cao Sheng observed. "No Gold Gleam squad that crosses their path really stands a chance of getting away. Their point lead is to be expected."

Shen Jinxiao smiled calmly. "No need to worry. The big fish are busy feeding on small fish for now. It's about to be over though. When the big fish meet, that will be when things get interesting."

"I hope things get interesting," Chi Chan replied. "After all, Mentor Shen Jinxiao has very kindly forked out 3000 school points to get the 12 Step Weave as an extra prize. If things are boring, his money's wasted."

The other three Violet Vibrance mentors let their amusement show. Of course they could hear the sarcasm in her tone. They also knew the backstory.

Still, everything that Shen Jinxiao had done was within the rules, both taking the 12 Step Weave and making it an additional prize. It was why he had been allowed to proceed, even though his agenda was clear to everyone.

Shen Jinxiao remained unfazed. "Whatever spurs the students on. I'm perfectly willing to pay."

"I sure hope that stands when the battle is over," Chi Chan said.

He looked over with a drawling smile. "Is Mentor Chi Chan implying that I would not be willing to cough it up if Li Luo won?

"Let me put that fear to rest. A mere 3,000 points? If Li Luo can earn it, it speaks of his efforts in cultivation. I will be happy for him.

"However..."

His voice turned menacing. "I'm very afraid that Li Luo will not meet Mentor Chi Chan's expectations."

"We'll know at the end," she said with a frosty smile.

The two continued to fence with words, lexical stabs delivered between false smiles. The other mentors were more or less used to it.

...

"I say, Brother, are you guys the rabbit squad or something? I chased you guys for a full ten minutes for this badge!"

Li Luo panted, grumbling as he snatched the badge from a defeated Gold Gleam squad.

"It's not very polite to run from the moment we meet, right?"

The leader just stared at him. “Damn, we're a humble Gold Gleam squad plodding along. What are we supposed to do when demons like you appear? Find a silver platter and lie down on it?”

Li Luo stashed the gold badge away. "That makes 1,680 points now." He smiled at Bai Mengmeng.

He did some quick math. The 12 Step Weave was 3,000, the Royal Sap was 5,000... He was so far away.

"This sucks."

Li Luo sighed. As time wore on, the Gold Gleam squads were getting craftier and craftier. Some even ran the moment they were spotted, and chasing them down always took some time. It made him think back fondly to the squads that Ye Hua had delivered up to them.

Although their start had been a little shaky, the feast had been awesome.

Li Luo bent down next to the creek to wash his hands, preparing to continue his hunt.

A gust of wind blew in on the other side of the creek. Three figures walked out into view.

Li Luo looked up to see that they were looking at him.

Things got quiet.

Their leader was a young guy in thin clothing. His skin was sallow, while his eyes had an unusual gleam to them. He had a dull-yellow sash tied to his forehead and was clad in shorts and a pair of flip flops.

An unusual getup.

He had a guy and a girl with him. The guy was unfamiliar, but Li Luo recognized the girl immediately.

Si Qiuying!

Which made the identities of the other two clear.

Yi Lisha, Qian Ye.

Li Luo's eyes tightened. So this was the first Violet Vibrance squad he would face.

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