Silence fell on the Violet Vibrance mentors' platform along with the sun.
They had each witnessed the same thrilling battles all across the field.
But their reactions were all very different.
Shen Jinxiao looked like he had just been force fed poison. His squad had lost, and to Li Luo's squad no less...
Chi Chan was not about to pass up the opportunity to rub salt in. She sipped from her cup, and the water tasted like sweet, sweet victory. "My thanks to Mentor Shen Jinxiao for your investment."
Shen Jinxiao's own wine was tasteless in his mouth, but he downed it regardless. "It is no shame to lose to the power of dual resonances."
He showed no outward anger. Duke experts all had experienced their fair share of wins and losses. Plus, it’s not like there was anything he could do now. Run in and clobber Li Luo over the head and take back the 12 Step Weave? He could, if he wanted to utterly destroy his own reputation.
"Li Luo is a real gem. His dual resonances are not stable enough to beat Wang Hejiu's squad, but that Warrior Cultivar... truly inspired," Cao Sheng praised.
Mi Er nodded in agreement. "Water along with wood resonant power, to encourage its growth. Warrior Cultivar is not the most offensive move in the book, but a stable one for sure. He combined his powers in the heart of the tree and stabilized his dual resonances... impressive."
"But this technique requires someone with wood and water resonances. Without the nourishing flow of water resonant power, the wood would take too long to grow."
"And then to shape the wood into an arrow and fire it out with resonant power... All of these steps combined were what allowed Li Luo to overcome Wang Hejiu's squad."
"It was a close one, but to have come this far was no easy task at all."
The other Violet Vibrance mentors were all in agreement. Li Luo's dual resonance attacks might be chicken feet to them, but he was a mere Resonant Master... "I think Li Luo might be in second place now when it comes to individual rankings. I wonder if he could take on Qin Zhulu? That boy took on Yi Lisha and Qian Ye at once. He's a freaking tiger in battle," Chu Zi said.
"Li Luo's wooden arrow might be powerful, but it might not be deadly enough against Qin Zhulu. If that arrow were stopped, Li Luo would have nothing left in the bag. His arsenal is still quite limited," Chi Chan said.
These were no humble words, but mere facts. Li Luo's arrow was perfectly suited to the attack against Wang Hejiu's squad. But against Qin Zhulu, he might well tank the attack once, and then Li Luo would be left defenseless.
After all, Qin Zhulu's Second Pattern strength and upper eighth-grade resonance made for a strong combination.
While the mentors were speaking, the exit to the arena had opened, and the students were filtering out.
Some teams were all smiles, others looking regretful or bitter. On the whole, the mood was still good. This had been the first experience of squad battles for many, and the novelty of it was exciting.
Several minutes later, basically all the squads were out.
They now looked at the high platform, where the final results and rankings would be announced.
Mentor Chi Chan stood up, her black veil landing an extra air of mystery.
"The newcomers' first ranking battles are officially over." She raised a hand, and a light screen appeared accordingly. The hundreds of teams were all displayed.
A loud muttering broke out as everyone searched for their squad names.
Li Luo, Bai Mengmeng, and Xin Fu stood together, looking. They realized that the rankings started from sixth place, with the top five still hidden.
Not a single Violet Vibrance squad was on the list, which meant that they had swept the top five slots.
"It’s amazing that Wang Hejiu's squad still stayed in the top five. They must be really good..." Li Luo remarked.
Xin Fu and Bai Mengmeng stared at him. No shit...
"You think we can get first place?" Li Luo asked them.
They might have beaten Wang Hejiu's squad, but he had heard that Qin Zhulu had beaten Yi Lisha's squad as well. They might well be their greatest competition.
In truth, Li Luo was already satisfied with the points they had. He wasn't that interested in first place... Although the additional reward of the 12 Step Weave would be pretty sweet!
It would be important for his subsequent cultivation.
After all, the weight of his five-year lifespan still hung heavily over his head. He had to carefully set out goals and make good use of the time he had. No boost could be overlooked.
Xin Fu and Bai Mengmeng looked at each other doubtfully. Every single person among the newcomers feared Qin Zhulu.
Luckily, Li Luo had been on fire, and they had defeated Wang Hejiu's squad. Otherwise, Qin Zhulu would definitely be in first place.
Chi Chan began to announce the top five.
One Autumn Leaf Squad, 2,200 points, ranked fifth.
Golden Gate Squad, 2,300 points, ranked fourth.
Wind Rider Squad, 3,900 points, ranked third.
The crowd chattered excitedly. It had been a close fight, although the One Autumn Leaf Squad and the Golden Gate Squad had clearly lost.
Which meant that the Fairness & Justice Squad and the Clear Moon Squad had both beaten one Violet Vibrance squad each.
No one was surprised by the Clear Moon Squad's result, thanks to Qin Zhulu's presence. But Li Luo's squad beating a Violet Vibrance squad was something fresh indeed.
Ability-wise, Li Luo's squad appeared to be one of the weaker ones. If he hadn't beaten Duze Beixuan before, many would even consider them weaker than some Gold Gleam squads.
They looked at Chi Chan with eyes filled with expectation for the most important results.
A glimmer of a smile clearly showed under her veil. "Second place, Clear Moon Squad, 5,200 points."
"First place, Fairness & Justice Squad, 5,300 points."
The crowd let out a roar of excitement in response, and all heads turned towards Li Luo's direction. Fairness & Justice, eclipsing the Clear Moon...
It was a mere 100 points that separated first from second place.
Bai Mengmeng stood rooted in shock, and even Xin Fu smiled happily from under his hood.
An unexpected result.
Li Luo was stunned for a few moments, then he recovered.
Well, it was close, but they had won...
Qin Zhulu was staring at Li Luo too, his gaze fiery. "This Li Luo… makes my mouth water."
Lu Qing'er and Yin Yue's jaws hit the ground at almost the same time.
Lu Qing'er stared at him with an unfriendly expression.
"I meant that his dual resonances are very special. I want to fight him," Qin Zhulu hurriedly explained, seeing their looks.
Lu Qing'er breathed a sigh of relief to herself, then she resumed ignoring him.
“I'm already tired from fighting the swan. Now you come out of left field?
“The huge swan might be too powerful to tackle head on, but clobbering a deer like you? There are too many ways! For example, I could just find pictures with hundreds of women and scatter them all around the Astral Sage College…”