Chapter 0020: Clean Sweep


Azure-blue resonant power continued to emit from Li Luo's body, wafting into the skies. These few brief moments had demonstrated that he was far superior to Lu Tai, quickly bringing about his defeat. Everyone stared in shock at the scene before them, their hearts tumbling with massive unrest, the very sight before them leading them to tremble.  

"He... how did he suddenly get a water resonance out of nowhere?" Difa Qing asked softly.

She stared at the tall and exceptionally handsome youth standing in the middle of the platform, victoriously holding onto his weapon. For a brief moment, she slipped into her memories and remembered the Li Luo of the past who had just entered Southwind Academy. At that point, he was the undefeated and influential champion of the academy, his time in the limelight even on par with Jiang Qing'e's.

However, with the manifestation of his blank palace, he had fallen from grace, eventually even being relegated to the Second School.

The youth who now heroically stood in front of the audience with blue resonant power swirling from him seemed to look exactly how he did in the past, the two images in her mind overlapping, gradually becoming more and more dazzling.  

Song Yunfeng's change in expression was most wondrous. He was absolutely fixated upon the Li Luo before him, as though he wanted to see through every aspect of him.

There was no one else who dreaded seeing such a scene as much as Song Yunfeng did.

He bore witness to the radiance and might of Li Luo at his prime and had no intentions of seeing Li Luo ascend again.

Quietly, he tilted his head to see how Lu Qing'er would react. She was absolutely starstruck and enthralled by the youth's blooming splendor. The very sight caused him to furiously clench his fist, a deep look in his eyes full of gloominess.

Whilst her two companions were feeling complete turmoil, Lu Qing'er was on the other hand very calm, her crystal-clear gaze focusing on Li Luo.

"Could it be..."

"Southwind Academy is becoming interesting."

"Are you going to come back, Li Luo?"

"What is going on? How did Li Luo suddenly gain a water resonance?" Lin Feng uttered accidentally. He was absolutely flabbergasted as he looked down from above the stage.

"Did he utilize some sort of corrupt forbidden art?" 

Xu Shanyue was equally shocked, but when he heard Lin Feng's rude statements, he retorted, "What sort of crap are you spouting? Just because Li Luo had a blank palace, that doesn't necessarily mean that will always be the case."

Lin Feng sluggishly replied with a frown, "That was not my intention. However, I've always understood that blank palaces were naturally endowed. How could one obtain a resonance after that?" 

Xu Shanyue coldly snorted. "Obviously, we think it's unbelievable because we haven't experienced enough."

Lin Feng was about to rebut when the old dean spoke out. "Acquired resonances that are not manifested at birth may be rare, but they are not impossible to come by. It is said in legends that there are certain natural treasures that possess such miraculous effects." 

"Li Luo's parents must have left behind something like that to allow him to manifest a water resonance."

"There's no rush in discussing this matter. Once the competition is over, we can ask him ourselves. We are an academy, we exist to guide and teach. Everything else is not our responsibility." Hearing the old dean's words, Lin Feng was left absolutely speechless. He continued to stare at Li Luo, a glint within his eyes, his thoughts unknown. 

Under the stunned looks of the audience, Bei Kun walked up the stage with a spear and an ugly scowl.

"Li Luo, I never thought you would be hiding your strength so deeply. Are you trying to beat all three of us consecutively to prove yourself? I won't let things go your way," Bei Kun said coldly. 

Li Luo laughed. "Your words sound like something only an extremely mentally deficient actor would say. Are you trying to put on a show for everyone?" Bei Kun's face turned beet-red at the insult before he furiously shouted back, "Let's see how long you will continue to laugh!"

He stepped outwards, and the resonant power within him started to surge out of him into the skies. A faint tiger roar could be heard and a sense of suppression could be felt by those who were in his presence.

This was Bei Kun, owner of the Cruel Mountain-Splitting Tiger Resonance, a sixth-grade resonance. The creature itself lived up to its namesake of being a strong and violent fiend, and hence the resonance provided the user with matchless strength that could even split a mountain!

Li Luo could faintly feel the baleful aura emitting from Bei Kun, and he instantly focused himself. Bei Kun was a whole level stronger than the previous two as he was supported by the sixth-grade Cruel Mountain-Splitting Tiger Resonance. Looking at things from a whole, Bei Kun would clearly be considered a peak stage Sixth Seal cultivator.  

Compared to him, Li Luo only possessed Fifth Seal resonant power, and his waterlight resonance was only fifth-grade. On paper, it looked as though he was at a disadvantage in every way.

However, victory and defeat did not depend solely on these factors!

Dong!

Bei Kun roused his entire body and the resonance projection. Without hesitation, he shot out like a bullet, like a ferocious tiger protecting its territory. The spear in his hands possessed violent and vigorous energy as it lanced towards Li Luo.

Li Luo's metal staff was once again wreathed with blue resonant power which looked like endless waves circulating around it, directly colliding with Bei Kun's blow.

Dang!

When the two metal weapons clashed, shockwaves blasted out from the point of impact, and Li Luo's silhouette could be seen shooting outwards like a cannonball. However, with his quick steps akin to a slippery eel, he was quickly able to regain a sense of balance and managed to mitigate that ridiculously berserk blow.  

"Hmph. Just Fifth Seal resonant power!" In that single clash, Bei Kun had been able to determine the difference in quality of resonant power. "I thought you had encountered a reversal of fortunes, but it wasn’t that great at all." He coldly snorted. As he spoke, he continued to attack like a tiger pouncing on its prey. His spear was once again endowed with mighty strength as it pierced the air relentlessly, creating countless spear shadows that swooped towards Li Luo. 

It was clear he wanted to take advantage of Li Luo's momentary weakness and to deliver a vicious finishing blow to end it all.

Facing Bei Kun's pursuit, Li Luo did not choose to retreat. He remained calm and stood his ground as the spear and rod exchanged countless strikes, letting out resonating sounds through the arena with every clash.

The two were entangled closely together, their resonant power constantly fluctuating and creating a rather intense sight for all the viewers.

However, as the struggle continued, Bei Kun's expression gradually became uglier and uglier. He was gradually discovering that the resonant power that surged forth from his opponent’s metal staff was continuously getting stronger over time. 

Even the geniuses of the First School were unable to see what was happening.

"Li Luo is actually able to block Bei Kun's explosive display of strength. That's strange... he clearly only has Fifth Seal resonant power."

"Why is Li Luo's water resonant power getting progressively stronger? What's going on?"

"That is a high-grade resonance art, the Nine Layered Jade Waves. It is extremely appropriate for water resonance users. It's a move that starts weak but grows stronger over time. The user's strength is like the waves of a sea, gradually accumulating energy over time. This coupled with the water resonance power being extremely enduring is a ridiculously strong combination. As the fight drags on, the stronger the user will become, unless absolute strength is used to break the move completely! It allows one to grind any opponent down."

"If Bei Kun is unable to break through this defense, his defeat is certain."

The geniuses of the First School had their faces turn grave at this explanation. Even amongst the First School, there were few students that were able to utilize high-grade resonance arts like the Nine Layered Jade Waves. Li Luo being able to effortlessly utilize this art demonstrated his sheer skill.

"Li Luo is clearly Southwind Academy's number one expert in terms of resonance arts," said someone amongst the group, causing the rest to sigh. Li Luo did not possess significant amounts of resonant power in the past and so they never felt concerned. The fact now was that he had manifested his own resonance, and they could see for themselves what sort of thorny problems an opponent with a combination of excellent resonance arts and the power to back it up could create. 

Dong!

Just as they were speaking, Bei Kun bellowed with fury. He was aware that his situation was not good and that Li Luo clearly did not have strong resonant power. Yet it was like he was trapped in a whirlpool, gradually having his might siphoned away.

Additionally, he wasn't able to explain why Li Luo's resonant power seemed to also possess a certain purity to it.

Regardless, Bei Kun knew that the battle could not proceed this way.

An ominous glint flashed through his eyes, and with just both palms, he unexpectedly grasped the metal spear tightly. From that stance, shadows of tiger paws could be seen on his hands, resonant power explosively emanating outwards.  

"High-grade resonance art! Piercing Fang!"

Bei Kun took a single step forward with the spear in his hands, akin to a fearsome tiger leaping out of its den, stabbing outwards. This savage blow directly tore apart the countless waves of water resonance power, attempting to impale Li Luo.

Li Luo stared at the sudden spear strike that truly resembled a penetrating fang, quickly summoning up all of his water resonance power in response. Resonant power like a massive tide rushed out and infused into his metal staff.

The two weapons did not directly clash, but rather crisscrossed and went at each other directly.

"You're courting death!" Bei Kun's expression was sinister as his eyes glinted with feral intent. Without the slightest hint of hesitation, he continued to stab forward at Li Luo. At this crucial moment, he suddenly noticed the blue light on the staff flash dazzlingly, his eyes directly struck by this brightness, temporarily blinding him.

It was at the very moment that Bei Kun squinted in an attempt to restore his vision that he realized that his spear had struck mid air, striking the space above Li Luo's shoulder instead.

"I'm doomed." Bei Kun's heart turned cold. He did not understand what had just happened, as his spear was originally lunging towards Li Luo's shoulder.

There was not enough time to react before Li Luo struck back with his heavy staff, directly smashing Bei Kun's face.

Pu! Chi!

A mouth of fresh blood and shattered teeth were spat out along with a pitiful cry. Bei Kun was also sent flying, landing outside of the platform with a heavy thud.

That pathetic cry echoed around the entire area.

Li Luo casually put away the staff and exhaled deeply. The blue resonant power that was being emitted also gradually disappeared.

The entire audience was so silent, one could hear a pin drop. The only noise was being made by a crying Bei Kun.

But the silence did not last long—it was interrupted by ear-rending screams and cheers an instant later. Other than the First School, who had lost, every school was cheering like there was no tomorrow!

They could hardly believe what had just transpired...

They had witnessed the once-influential individual of Southwind Academy rising from the ashes with an unbelievable radiance.

They had seen the one who had once been mocked for having a blank palace and even relegated to the Second School perform a clean sweep of one against three!

Zhao Kuo was so excited and emotional that his entire face had turned red. At the same time, he even performed several gestures of contempt at his fellow academy students from the First School, arrogantly cheering...  

"CAN YOU SEE THIS?!

"THE MAN IS BACK!" 

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Midasthefloof's Thoughts

 A secretive drop to cap off your Sunday! ( Or early Monday :) )

Enjoy!