Chapter 0021: Eve of the Examination

Endless cheers could be heard from the wooden platform on the Tree of Resonant Power. With the exception of those from First School, everyone was celebrating jubilantly.

No one had expected such a result.

Everyone had assumed that the competition today would have a foregone conclusion, it was just a formality for the Second School to lose five Gold Leaves. But the tables were turned when the three Sixth Seal Stage cultivators of the First School were singlehandedly wrecked by Li Luo.

This was truly an exciting show from start to finish.

Most importantly, this entire brouhaha had been preceded by numerous dramatic events. Li Luo was a student of the First School who had been demoted to the Second School, and he had a natural blank palace and apparently limited potential as well...

But now Li Luo was standing right in front of everyone with a mysteriously obtained resonance, demonstrating overwhelming strength. Just how complicated would Lin Feng's heart be right now, seeing that the very person he had shunned had come back to haunt him? 

The students were all amazed at this sight, inevitably focusing on the youth of the hour, reexamining their own thoughts. Could it be that this youth who had once fallen from grace would rise from the ashes? However, wasn't it a little too late...?

As the noise continued unabated, the students of the First School were looking at each other in silence and with complicated expressions on their faces. 

Difa Qing stared blankly at Li Luo. And at this moment, someone behind asked, "Was he not supposed to have a blank palace? How could he suddenly have manifested a resonance?" Song Yunfeng was expressionless as he was unable to fathom how this was possible.

"Being able to manifest a resonance artificially may be rare but not impossible. There are numerous heavenly treasures that allow one to obtain an acquired resonance. Unfortunately, these items are so uncommon that one might only be seen within the Xia Kingdom every few hundred years. However, Li Luo's parents are unimaginably mighty, and this might not be something out of their reach," Lu Qing'er piped in.

Lu Qing'er's Second Uncle was the president of a branch of the Golden Dragon Bank, which also had branches spanning across the continent. As a result of being so widespread, it naturally possessed knowledge that was not common information. 

"If he did possess such a treasure, why did he wait till now to use it?" Difa Qing asked.

"Perhaps there are some specific conditions for it. I don't know the details." Lu Qing'er gave a wry smile.

Difa Qing fell into silence before finally replying, "Is this brat finally experiencing a change of fortune?"

The tone was complex as she hailed from the Difa family, one that was in constant struggle against House Luolan. It was significantly smaller than the Song family and hence never directly clashed against House Luolan. As a result, she and Li Luo did not possess significant enmity, except for the fact that Li Luo had stolen Jiang Qing'e from her…

"How could it be so easy?" Song Yunfeng sad inspidly. "Li Luo's resonance should be a water resonance. Judging by the way he clashed against Bei Kun, you can roughly tell that his is only a fifth or sixth-grade resonance. Such a mediocre resonance may not be bad, but it's definitely not exceptional.

"His resonance power should only be that at the Fifth Seal. Can a mere fifth or sixth-grade resonance coupled with Fifth Seal resonant power be considered impressive?" 

Difa Qing nodded in agreement. If this was the case, then Li Luo wouldn't even be strong enough to rank in the top 10 of the First School. Even though he had heaven-defying talent when it came to the application of resonance arts, it would still be an arduous task to become someone truly outstanding within the First School.

Most importantly, the final examination was barely a month away. Just how could Li Luo bridge the gap in such a short period of time?

Thus, Difa Qing could only conclude that this was impossible.

At this point, Difa Qing could feel the worry within her heart dissipate and heaved a sigh of relief. Even she did not notice that watching Li Luo’s performance had caused her to feel pressure. She was clearly unwilling to see Li Luo ascend to greatness.

Lu Qing'er did not participate in their conversation, merely focusing her gaze upon Li Luo.

“You've finally resolved the issue with your blank palace.... Now, will you be able to catch up during the final segment of the race?”

Whilst the cacophony continued around the platform, the area above the platform was filled with deafening silence as the teachers and dean were speechless.

Even Xu Shanyue was astonished at this turn of events.

Lin Feng, on the other hand, had not spoken from start to end, expressionless like a wooden block.

The rest of the teachers, on the other hand, turned to look at Lin Feng, smiles of mockery on their faces.

In the end, it was the old dean who ended the deadlock with a clap. "It looks like he truly is the son of those two. I suppose he counts as a late bloomer?"

Lin Feng insipidly replied, "Dean, you need to watch your words. Fifth Seal resonant power with a mere fifth or sixth-grade water resonance doesn't mean much."

The old dean shook his head. He knew that Lin Feng was feeling extremely dissatisfied at this point, but he continued to smile. "You are simply just too prideful. It's just a matter of time before you suffer because of it."

Lin Feng did not reply to that and instead turned to Xu Shanyue. "My First School was simply not up to par. As agreed upon, ten Gold Leaves are yours. These kids have no ability to call their own, and teaching them a lesson is not a bad thing."

Xu Shanyue mocked, "I thought you would want to raise the notion of Li Luo re-entering First School."

"You're thinking too much. I will let you know right now that he is not that amazing. My First School does not lack such an ordinary student. More importantly, he should be focusing on catching up within this short period of one month. After all, being able to enter Astral Sage College is what truly matters." Lin Feng smirked. 

He had definitely been caught on the backfoot when Li Luo suddenly appeared with his water resonance. However, it wasn't to the point where he felt a sense of pity for kicking Li Luo out.

Furthermore, this water resonance had appeared too late. Li Luo was only at the Fifth Seal Stage, and the grade of his water resonance was not particularly high. Hence, from Lin Feng's perspective, Li Luo had only managed to extricate half of his body from the quagmire he was in. Did Li Luo truly think that the elites of First School were merely decorative objects on his path to the pinnacle? No!

As he had mentioned, the most important fact was that the final examinations were about to arrive and Li Luo had very limited time to catch up. After this point, everyone would leave Southwind Academy, so there was no need for him to care about how Li Luo would develop in the future.

Missing the opportunity to enter the Astral Sage College would be Li Luo's loss. This would not change even with his status as the young lord of House Luolan.

After consoling himself, Lin Feng's expression became more relaxed as well.

At this point, the old dean proceeded to the platform and waved at Li Luo. Seeing this, Li Luo paused for a moment before finally walking towards the dean.

"Good day, Dean." Li Luo greeted him with a smile. 

The old dean smiled happily as he examined Li Luo. "Have you solved the problem of your blank palace?"

Li Luo nodded. "Yes. It's a fifth-grade water resonance."

When Lin Feng heard Li Luo speak, he couldn't help but smile. "Li Luo, your water resonance is considered mid-grade. But don't worry, if you work hard, you will definitely achieve something."

"Teacher Lin Feng, you don't have to worry too much about this. Although the resonance's grade can affect one's cultivation speed, it's still possible to reach the Duke or even the King Stage with a fifth-grade resonance," Li Luo patiently explained.

Lin Feng replied almost mockingly. "Reaching the Duke or King Stage with a mere fifth-grade resonance? These are just childish fantasies. Do you truly believe in them?" The old dean waved his hand, indicating for Lin Feng to stop, before saying to Li Luo, "Your confidence is what's most important. However, there's only a month left before the final examination. If you want to catch up, you will have to put in untold times more effort than others."

Li Luo nodded in agreement. "I understand."

After a few more perfunctory sentences, he let Li Luo leave and at the same time turned to face the audience. "There is barely a month's time left before the final examination. In two weeks’ time, we will hold our preliminary examinations. Additionally, the Astral Sage College has published their basic requirements for the year. You will have to be at least at the Seventh Seal Stage." This proclamation came down like a sledgehammer on numerous students' hearts. The Seventh Seal Stage was an insurmountable barrier for many, and everyone felt frustrated and dejected upon hearing this news. 

Only some of the most elite students within the First School were smiling.

Being the best college of the Xia Kingdom, even when considering its peers in the surrounding kingdoms, the Astral Sage College was not a place where people could enter as they pleased. 

"No one below the Seventh Seal Stage..." Li Luo smacked his lips in response. He did not feel that there was anything strange with that request. He was currently at the Fifth Seal, so there were two more stages to go. It looked as though he would have to train feverishly if he wanted to succeed.

Furthermore, this was just the most basic requirement. One still had to engage in battle as well. Thus, if Li Luo required more insurance, he would clearly have to temper his waterlight resonance again.

The only problem was that the gap between a fifth-grade resonance and a sixth-grade resonance was not tiny. After doing some quick calculations, it truly seemed like a coincidence that the entire Tianshu Province's income for House Luolan would just barely be enough. He would wipe it clean. 

As he was deep in thought, the students who were in the vicinity gradually started to scatter. At this point, he suddenly noticed someone approaching him.

When he turned to look, he noticed that it was Lu Qing'er calmly looking at him.

"Congratulations, Young Lord."

When he saw her, his instincts kicked in and he reflexively wanted to avoid her. However, just as he took a step away, he awkwardly stopped himself.

"Hello hello. How are you doing?" Li Luo replied with the most perfunctory of greetings.

"You're not planning to hide?" Lu Qing'er probed.

An embarrassed Li Luo quickly replied, "Hide? What do you mean? No such thing has ever happened!" 

Lu Qing'er did not bother to follow up on that and continued, "Li Luo, I have always been very thankful for your guidance in the resonance arts. It's just unfortunate that you've chosen to actively distance and hide yourself from me. I have never coveted your position, and you should know that that isn't something that is given but must be earned with strength.

"Li Luo, I am now the strongest within Southwind Academy. If you want to reclaim this throne, then you will have to beat me. I used to worry about hurting your feelings and never wanted to say this to you, considering your situation. However, things are different now since you have solved the issue of your blank palace. If you truly are a man, then you will reclaim what is rightfully yours."

At this sudden declaration, Li Luo could only bitterly smile. "Then it looks like I need to work hard."

Lu Qing'er smiled in response, but Li Luo could sense a cold and slightly annoyed glint leaking out of her eyes... 

"I am waiting for you. Let me tell you now. Your actions these past few years have caused me to appreciate you a lot less. If I have the chance..." At this point, she stopped, the cold glare in her eyes evident of her stance.

After speaking, she turned and left.

Li Luo was left speechless as he watched her gradually disappear into the distance, only able to shake his head helplessly. It seemed as though he had offended her. It seemed that the prettier the lady, the more petty they were! 

In the midst of his sigh, he could feel that yet another individual was focused upon him, so he turned his head to look.

Right atop the wooden platform was a frosty-looking youth absolutely glowering at him, his expression seeming to be a warning.

This was the second strongest student in the First School, Song Yunfeng.

Their two gazes intersected and clashed. Song Yunfeng continued to scowl at him with a sharp and combative glint in his eyes. He then lightly shook his head and coldly mouthed some words.

"Li Luo, don't stick your nose where it's not supposed to. Stay away from Lu Qing'er." He believed that Li Luo would understand what he was trying to say, as this was something quite obvious.

On the other hand, Li Luo, who was not too far away, was frowning, muttering to himself, "What the hell is that fool trying to do? Why doesn't he just shout out what he wants to say? Why is he making things so difficult?? Moving his lips like that makes him look like a mouse who is sneakily eating scraps. Sigh...what is he trying to get at?"

As he could not decipher what Song Yunfeng was trying to say, he simply shook his head and couldn't be bothered anymore, turning to leave.

On the other hand, Song Yunfeng was still completely focused on Li Luo's silhouette. His eyes seemed to ooze gloominess as he squinted at him.

Li Luo's previous gaze had reminded him of what Li Luo was like at his most glorious period in Southwind Academy. The Li Luo then radiated brilliance and was unmatched.

However, things were no longer the same... Song Yunfeng was so furious at this response that the wooden railing he was grasping cracked.

“Li Luo, what exactly are you trying to do?

“Do you truly believe that a 5th-grade resonance will allow you to do as you please?”

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