Chapter 0018: Revealing Talent


The news of the First School competing against the Second School for their Gold Leaves spread. In the blink of an eye, the entire Southwind Academy had congregated amongst the upper levels of the Tree of Resonant Power, all to participate in the excitement. 

Southwind Academy had four schools. The First School was the most illustrious, the Second School could be seen as the reserves. When it came to the Third and Fourth Schools, saying that they existed to make up the numbers would be a slight exaggeration, but the truth was that they were of a lower standard.

To those students, the Gold Leaves of the Tree of Resonant Power were something that they could only see but not touch. Just watching the First and Second Schools duking it would be good enough.

Almost no one believed that the Second School could win.

On the eastern side of the Tree of Resonant Power was a flat area that consisted of numerous massive and sturdy branches coiled together. These tightly weaved branches formed a vast, wooden platform tens of meters long. It often served as an area for students to exchange pointers after cultivation and to compete against each other.

Right at this moment, the four sides were squeezed full of people eager to watch the oncoming fight.

The First School and the Second School naturally found their respective places on the east and west of the platform. The mood differed significantly on each. The students on the side of the First School were full of raucous smiles and laughter. It was clear that they weren't really treating this battle as anything important. This was to be expected considering that there were limitations to the resonant power stage for this competition. When it came to talent, Sixth Seal resonant masters could not even place within the top ten.

This meant that the true experts of First School would not even have a hand in this.

In comparison to the First School, the atmosphere in the Second School was full of unease and anger. They were all from the same academy and had a good understanding of their standing within it. Even the thought of victory was something they did not believe in. Crucially, they were only hoping to not lose in a humiliating fashion…

"This is meaningless. What's the point of such a battle?" Difa Qing lazily stretched, her beautiful curves accentuated by the school uniform. Even her fellow female schoolmates could only stare at her in envy, while some hot-blooded guys were boiling with emotion at this sight.

The fact that Difa Qing was considered one of the golden flowers within Southwind Academy was not a title in jest.

"Well, this can definitely kill some time." A gentle voice wafted over. Turning her head to look over, she saw another lady walking over. She had a head of long, black hair, elegant features, and an icy, jade-like complexion. This new entrant was known as Lu Qing'er

"Elder Sister Qing'er." Difa Qing's eyes brightened up at this sight, immediately waving at her. Lu Qing'er was even more famous than her and more importantly, she was someone who did not rely on appearances, but on her strength. She easily suppressed numerous geniuses within the First School.

She was the poster child for First School with her looks and abilities.

Many felt that Lu Qing'er would have become a legend within Southwind Academy if not for the fact that she had been overshadowed by Jiang Qing'e's radiance.

Hence, if Difa Qing's number one idol was Jiang Qing'e, Lu Qing'er was second.

These two goddesses were Southwind Academy's most exceptional beauties. Now that they were sitting together, they created a soul-stirring scene for all those who glanced at them. Gradually, people started to gather around them.

"Doesn't Elder Sister Qing'er deign to participate in such affairs normally?" Difa Qing asked curiously.

With a slight smile, she replied, "I'm just here to have a casual look."

Her beautiful eyes were focused in the direction of the Second School before she continued, "You mentioned that the Second School will dispatch three fighters?" 

Difa Qing replied, unperturbed, "The Second School only has Zhao Kuo and Yuan Qiu who have reached the Sixth Seal Stage. Plus, they’ve only just reached that point."

"Who is the third one, then?" Lu Qing'er asked.

Difa Qing paused for a bit, unsure of how to reply. Instead, someone in the crowd spoke up. "It's most likely going to be Li Luo. He may have a blank palace, but his resonance arts are the best. If one were to stretch it, he could barely compete against Fifth Seal Stage cultivators." 

With Lu Qing'er's appearance, some of the most elite students of the First School who were previously uninterested in the competition had muddled over. The one who spoke was a heroic-looking and tall youth.

Difa Qing batted him an eye and ridiculed him. "So it's you, Song Yunfeng. Seems like you've decided to participate in the festivities. What sort of ulterior motives do you have?" Song Yunfeng was also exceptionally famous within Southwind Academy. In terms of strength, he was on par with Lu Qing'er. Furthermore, he came from the Song Family, one of the three largest families in the Tianshu Province.

Him liking Lu Qing'er was not a secret, and he had never tried to hide it. 

Facing Difa Qing's inquisitive questions, he gave a warm smile and did not retort. Instead, his gaze fell upon Lu Qing'er's beautiful and elegant face.

Even in the face of his passionate gaze, Lu Qing'er's expression was unchanging. She merely politely returned it with a greeting smile.

Seeing Lu Qing'er's passive response, Difa Qing immediately steered the conversation back to where it was originally. "If the Second School dispatches Li Luo, it's just courting humiliation. The three Sixth Seal cultivators our First School has picked are well renowned."

Song Yunfeng smiled and got straight to the point. "Do you still think the Second School bears any hope of winning? They are just here to parade around." 

"You're probably right." Difa Qing laughed lightly.

Lu Qing'er, on the other hand, was looking towards the field, staring at Li Luo's silhouette. For some reason, she could feel that the Li Luo here today didn't seem the same as before.

Suddenly, she interjected with a little smile. "I feel that... that may not be the case."

Once she spoke, Difa Qing, Song Yunfeng, and all the other students of the First School were a little taken aback.

Song Yunfeng followed Lu Qing'er's gaze and also noticed Li Luo. Seeing her faintly smiling at Li Luo brought a sense of unease to his heart. 

"Qing'er, this is no longer the past," Song Yunfeng pointed out with good intentions.

Yet she did not reply, a non-committal smile on her face. On the other hand, Song Yunfeng felt absolutely furious deep down upon seeing that smile, similarly hatefully glancing towards Li Luo with a cold expression on his face.

This scumbag had already fallen into the dumps; why did his influence still linger on like some sort of undeparted spirit?

Amidst the rising fervor of the audience, the three contestants from the Second School walked up. Unsurprisingly, they were Li Luo, Zhao Kuo, and Yuan Qiu.

Three from the First School also made their way forward.

One of them was the recently-met Bei Kun. The other two were also particularly famous individuals at the Sixth Seal Stage.

"So what do you plan to do now, Li Luo? Will you just continue to spout threats?" Bei Kun stared daggers at Li Luo, a sarcastic grin hanging on his face. 

He had first brought people to find trouble for Li Luo, only to be repelled by Li Luo's shameless tactics. At least right now, Li Luo could no longer do so. This was a true competition of might. If he dared to bring up the threats he had previously made, he would only bring scorn and humiliation upon himself. Even the academy would punish him in the spirit of fairness.

Li Luo did not bother with him but instead waved to Zhao Kuo and Yuan Qiu. "Well, I will head up first."

Zhao Kuo hurriedly said, "Be careful! If you can't take it, just give up. It would be too great a loss if your handsome face were ruined."

Li Luo replied with a thumbs up. "Brother has foresight!"

Yuan Qiu could only lightly sigh, a listless expression on her face. It was clear that she did not have the confidence her fellow teammates had.

Under the scrutiny of the crowd, Li Luo entered the stage before picking a metal staff from the weapons rack, dragging it along the floor. This action caused the staff to scratch against the platform, causing ear-grating and piercing sounds.

On the other hand, the audience, seeing that Li Luo had taken the initiative to go up first, erupted into an uproar. 

"The Second School intends for Li Luo to be the vanguard..."

"They want him to be cannon fodder."

"Haha, this is interesting. Li Luo was kicked out of the First School and now he's going to fight them... If he manages to win, that would make for an interesting sight!"

"What are you dreaming about... He's a natural blank palace. Even if he has amazing resonance arts, how can he possibly beat someone at the Sixth Seal?"

"Haha, I'm just joking. I'm trying to liven up the atmosphere."

"..."

Li Luo's appearance had incited a lot of interest and discussion amongst the audience. He was also somewhat of a legend within Southwind Academy...

Most importantly, it was rumored that Jiang Qing'e had returned to the City of Southwind last week, even picking him up from school. This very action incited both envy and massive hatred from everyone around.

With this in mind, everyone was hoping that Li Luo would receive a walloping...

Bei Kun's arms were crossed, a playful look in his eye as he looked at Li Luo. Following which, he turned and spoke to the other two behind him. "Toy with him a bit, Liu Yang." Although he truly wanted to have a bout with Li Luo, he felt that this stage wasn't grand enough. Hence, he wanted to let the others build up the excitement.

The youth known as Liu Yang was tall and large. He felt a little dissatisfied at Bei Kun's words. The audience here was large and he wanted to properly showcase his talents. Instead, he was being dispatched to handle the cannon fodder... truly a loss of face. 

Bei Kun, noticing his dissatisfaction, said dryly, "If you take him out in a move or two, can't you just continue to take on the next opponent? If you're hardy enough, you might even be able to sweep all three of them."  

"True..." Liu Yang nodded. He similarly casually walked up the stage, picking up a metal spear along the way. "Li Luo. Please have mercy on me," he joked.

Li Luo grasped his metal staff, his expression unchanging as he faced him.

At this moment, at a point high above the stage, the old dean nodded. Xu Shanyue and Lin Feng saw the signal and both exclaimed, "Begin!" 

Once the words resounded, Liu Yang and Li Luo shot towards each other.

Whilst they approached each other, Liu Yang stared at that opposing shadow and couldn't help but to give a large guffaw. "Your speed is a little..."

Peng!

Just as he was about to speak, Li Luo, who was in front of him, executed a quick footwork.His toes suddenly pushed off against the ground, sending his entire body soaring forth like an eagle. In the blink of an eye, a cloud of dust was created behind him.

Liu Yang's laughter could barely escape his mouth before Li Luo executed a quick maneuver, appearing directly in front of him. 

But it wasn't just Li Luo that appeared in front of him, there was a metal staff splitting the air, screaming towards him with utmost speed. Liu Yang had virtually no time to react, but through his own conditioned reflexes, managed to summon some resonant power to protect his chest. 

Li Luo's sudden increase in speed had frightened everyone. He did not have resonant power and limited strength as a result, but so long as Li Liu Yang circulated his resonant power to defend against his move, he would be able to counter attack and make Li Luo pay a price for his actions.

As Liu Yang was thinking of that, the metal staff, akin to a black python, smashed downwards onto his chest.

Peng!

When that dull thud resonated, grievous pain flooded through Liu Yang's chest. Horror surged through him at this moment as the resonant power circulating through his chest was smashed apart by Li Luo's blow!

After which, he was sent flying, heavily crashing out of the stage, leaving behind a trail on the ground.

The crowd turned silent as everyone attempted to register what had just happened. Immediately after, exhilarated cheers could be heard from everyone!

The students of the First School were blankly staring at the pain-wracked Liu Yang, who had been batted out of the stage like a pinball, all at a complete loss.

Just what had happened?

Why was the one sent flying not Li Luo?

Some of them even doubted their eyes, looking towards the stage. Li Luo, on the other hand, was still in the same stance which he had struck Liu Yang in, gracefully looking at Liu Yang below. He seemed so cool at this moment that even his ashamed opponents had a look of idolatry on their faces.

"What were you going to say? My speed is a little what?"

Previous Chapter Next Chapter