For the next two days, Li Luo was left alone, although he had to bear odd looks whenever he went out.
Did he care? Of course not.
It was nothing compared to what he had experienced over the last two years.
Whitespirit Garden, Wind Restaurant.
Li Luo and Zhao Kuo had come for a meal, but when they went up the stairs, they saw the hall packed to the brim with boisterous young men and women, and the roaring wave of chaos and laughter put them off.
"That's too many people," Zhao Kuo murmured.
Li Luo agreed. He had just turned to leave when he spotted someone in the distance waving to him, from a seat near the window.
He looked more closely. Lu Qing'er.
"Let's go get a free meal out of her."
Li Luo did not hesitate, making a beeline for the table with Zhao Kuo behind. But as he neared, he saw that Lu Qing'er's table was already seated with Difa Qing and Song Yunfeng.
"Feel free to join, if you wish. There's space," Lu Qing'er said, gesturing at the empty seats with her delicately-manicured finger.
Difa Qing shot Li Luo a look, but this time it was not followed with her previous sneering. She sat in silence, drinking her water.
It was Song Yunfeng who felt more up to his usual belligerence. He felt that they should know better.
Instead, Li Luo planted his ass right beside him with a grateful cheer. "All my dear schoolmates, what a sight for tired eyes." Zhao Kuo joined him.
Song Yunfeng's expression turned grim. He said sourly, "Li Luo, I heard you got into trouble again. There are so many other schools here at the Whitespirit Garden now, can you not ruin Southwind Academy's reputation? You're making things difficult for the other Southwind students."
Li Luo matched his grim tone. "If you feel ashamed about any of my actions so far, I suggest you quit school as soon as possible."
This elicited a new wave of anger from Song Yunfeng, and also a slightly upward twitch of Lu Qing'er's lips.
Song Yunfeng scoffed. "Who are you to tell me to leave school, Li Luo? I'm saying this for your own good. Don't think you can go around causing offense to other schools just because of that one draw. You clearly know best how meaningless that was."
However, Li Luo seemed not to hear him, instead turning to Lu Qing'er, who was hailing over a waiter. "Help us order a meal, thanks."
Lu Qing'er did not reply, but she added two decent meals to the order when the waiter came.
This infuriated Song Yunfeng even more, the flames of jealousy burning strongly within him. He had never dared to speak to Lu Qing'er in such a casual fashion before, but this bastard Li Luo had done so while ignoring him?
"The examinations start tomorrow. Are you all prepared?" Lu Qing'er asked, not intending to listen to them sniping at each other anymore.
They all nodded, then the topic was smoothly changed.
Li Luo did not participate much, concentrating on his meal.
But halfway through their meal, he sensed the atmosphere change drastically. He looked in the direction of the change. Someone was approaching.
It was a nondescript-looking youth, but the aura he gave off was tyrannic, a cold, cruel air that juxtaposed jarringly against the warm smile on his face. Everyone took him seriously.
Eastpool Academy, Shi Huang, son of Governor Shi Qing.
After Shi Huang made his way up the stairs, he headed straight for their position, and asked with a smile, "Excuse me, may I draw up a chair?"
Lu Qing'er's eyes flicked up briefly, then she replied coolly, "Sorry, we're full."
Still smiling, Shi Huang took a chair from the adjacent table, who did not dare to object. They recognized him.
Shi Huang sat on the other side of Song Yunfeng. "Qing'er, our fathers are acquaintances. Surely there's no need to be so frosty."
"And we are rivals. Surely there's no need to fake any amiability. Tiring, isn't it?" Lu Qing'er countered.
Shi Huang gave a tight smile. "Both of us are destined to meet in the Astral Sage College. We'll be peers there. Why the animosity?
"Isn't that right, Yunfeng?" He directed the question sideways.
Song Yunfeng nodded quietly.
Li Luo was happy with his meal. He put down his bowl and chopsticks, turning to Lu Qing'er. "Done eating? How about a walk for digestion?"
The tension in Lu Qing'er's neck eased slightly. She knew that Li Luo was helping her defuse the situation. She didn't want to hang around fencing with Shi Huang either.
Shi Huang's eyes narrowed. He picked up a broad bean and flicked it with his fingers with a loud crack. It shot forth like lightning, a silver streak aimed straight for Li Luo's face.
But just before it landed, an ice-infused chopstick crashed into the lightning-charged broad bean, sending it flying and burying itself deep within a pillar. A small ring of frost covered it.
Lu Qing'er looked at Shi Huang coldly, and her frosty aura seemed to swell. "Shi Huang, stop picking fights."
The commotion here had stirred up the hall as well. Furtive glances were being thrown their way. When the crowd saw that it was Lu Qing'er and Shi Huang, they were immediately excited. Could it be that the first place hot favorites were going to duke it out here?
Sensing the crowd's attention, Shi Huang smiled. "A slip of the hand... I hope you don't take offense, Young Lord."
Li Luo shook his head, saying exasperatedly, "I'm not angry, but you're wasting food. It seems like you haven't been taught well at home. Has Governor Shi not been teaching you properly? If your house is lacking whips, I can send two over."
Shi Huang's smile did not falter. "The Young Lord is exactly right. I will be more careful next time."
"Recognize your mistakes and change. That's a good boy."
Li Luo nodded approvingly, then left with Zhao Kuo.
Lu Qing'er shot one more frosty look at Shi Huang and then left as well, Difa Qing scurrying in her wake. Song Yunfeng gave Shi Huang a long look and followed.
Shi Huang sat down, unperturbed. He scooped up the few remaining broad beans on the table and threw them into his mouth with quick movements, his eyes cold and calculating.
"This Li Luo. Is he hiding his power? Or is he truly powerless? I really want to find out," He mused to himself, shaking his head with a wry smile.
Forget it. A crippled young lord should pose little threat to him. Lu Qing'er was the key to toppling Southwind Academy from their first place title.
Still, Li Luo was quite a detestable guy indeed.
Seemed like he would have to make some arrangements for his early elimination.Previous Chapter Next Chapter