Chapter 0252: With Flying Colors


The fight in the forest was over sooner than expected.

Two weakened white eroders stood no chance at all against the combined power of the three. They were cleaned out before the purification tower was even fully up and running.

Still, they were thoroughly worn out, and they sank down to the ground, not wanting to move another inch.

The battle with the eight-limbed Other had been the most harrowing. If it hadn't landed in the pit, their plan would have been screwed.

Flowing Shear required some environmental support in order to be effective.

Hummm!

The light pulsing from the purification tower began to grow in strength, and soon the entire forest was lit up, and then some.

The black mist faded and eventually disappeared under the light.

The air was clear once again.

The oppressive feeling lifted from them.

They had done it! One level one purification tower reactivated!

"Not bad. Congratulations on your first successful solo mission."

The senior squad appeared, and Jiang Qing'e had a glowing smile on her face.

Li Luo looked up at the lovely legs standing over him, but he couldn't summon the energy to budge an inch.

She stretched out a hand to him, and he took it with some surprise. Her hand was warm and comforting. He didn't want to let go.

He stood up with her help, then reversed his grip to hold her hand. "Is this a reward?" He grinned.

"Have some ambition, do you? I'll leave you the next level two purification tower, and if you can do it solo, the reward will be ample. How's that?"

Li Luo pulled his hand away quickly. "No thanks, I choose life."

No way. They had already been forced to pull some 200 IQ moves out of their asses to deal with that eight-limbed monstrosity. In a straight fight, their odds of winning were probably 40 percent at best.

And if that was the level of a level one purification tower, how strong would a level two be? There would at least be red eroders, and perhaps even some Disaster Class Others.

Their newcomer team would be food for sure.

Jiang Qing'e's reward might be very tempting, but a level two purification tower... dream on! Only an idiot would take it!

Bai Mengmeng and Xin Fu were impressed by his rationality. Only their leader could admit his shortcomings so righteously.

"Being able to reactivate a level one purification tower is a good achievement already. And the cannibalizing Other was a rare sight—those don't show up often at level one towers."

When faced with an enemy close to a Fifth Pattern in strength, even Two Star squads would keep their distance, let alone a One Star squad like theirs.

Of course, they hadn't beaten it with strength alone—they had used brains to augment their strategy.

Then again, all was fair in war.

"Well, in any case, we finished that job," Li Luo said, pleased with himself.

It was a valuable experience. Now he had a better understanding of the dangers in Umbra Cave and the scope of the purification tower tasks. And if even the number one newcomer team was having such difficulties, their peers were probably struggling as well.

"When you saw the human skin Other eat the flesh Other, you chose not to attack. Did you already plan to use Flowing Shear then?" Jiang Qing'e asked.

It had seemed like nothing at the time, but in truth, it was an impressive decision. It showed confidence in his own abilities, foresight, and an intuitive understanding of the Others.

Li Luo shrugged. "I just felt like the eating wasn't going down too smoothly. Both were quite evenly matched. If we attacked when the consumption had just begun, they would probably be separated easily, and not weakened as much. They'd probably team up against us before turning to fight each other again."

Calculating, foresighted, decisive.

"Weren't you afraid of the worst case?" Tian Tian asked.

"Yeah, if the eight-limbed Other finished consuming, it would definitely become a red eroder. A third-tier Resonant Master, more than you could handle for sure." Qiu Bai agreed.

"Well, what other choice did I have?" Li Luo asked impatiently. "No other chance at it. Besides..." He turned to smile impishly at Jiang Qing'e. "Why worry with a guardian angel around? Otherwise, I might have made more contingency plans."

Jiang Qing'e inclined her head. "It was a good choice. The Umbra Cave is fraught with dangers, and there is no definite guarantee of safety. Sometimes, following through with a decision can lead to victory."

She was delighted with how well Li Luo was doing in the Umbra Cave. He had shown both grit and sensitivity, valuable qualities in this place.

All in all, he had passed her test with flying colors.

Qiu Bai and Tian Tian didn't comment, but their impression of the newcomers rose significantly. This dual resonance-wielding young lord was a spicier piece of ginger than they had expected.

Jiang Qing'e unrolled the map, and they saw that the purification tower was now glowing with white light.

Jiang Qing'e prodded it with a finger, and two faint lines of script appeared.

Black Swan squad.

Fairness & Justice Squad.

Li Luo was astonished. "Even names? Is it reflected on the maps of other squads too?" 

Jiang Qing'e nodded. "Even the maps are made from wood pulp from the Tree of Resonant Power. They are linked on a deeper level with the wood of the purification towers. It's actually important as seeing the progress of others helps stave off the feeling of isolation and encourages the squads."

Li Luo shook his head in admiration. The school would stop at nothing to get them to kill Others.

"We're making good time. Let's keep heading on. But this time we'll move with speed. Best keep up, you three," Jiang Qing'e said, rolling up the map.

They nodded humbly.

"Let's go. I want us to be outside the forbidden zone in three days' time."

She pushed on, not giving them too much time to rest, striding off in the direction of the next purification tower.

They groaned, feeling the lactic acid burning in their legs. There would be little time for recovery in the next few days.

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