When the three walked out of the tree-covered hall, the scenery before them changed drastically. It was a sinister, gloomy forest with huge trees that stood tall. The dark branches were dense enough to hide the sky and gave one a foreboding feeling.
Li Luo and the others looked around them and very quickly spotted a crystal wall before them. This was clearly new.
Faintly glowing words flowed across the crystal wall.
When they read it, their faces turned serious.
"This stage is about harvesting Spectral Face Fruits."
A special type of plant known as the Spectral Face Demon Ivy grew in the dark forest. It had an aggressive, violent nature and loved to strangle any life form that drew near to it. It would bury the corpse in its roots and feed on the meat to nourish itself.
After a Spectral Face Demon Ivy matured, it would bear a Spectral Face Fruit. The goal of the second round was to gain a Spectral Face Fruit. Those who obtained one would be awarded with foundational points.
"The Spectral Face Demon Ivy is not easy to deal with. The demon ivy is covered with poisonous thorns and is a vicious foe. Realistically speaking, even an eighth-grade resonance user would be hard-pressed to take a Spectral Face Fruit alone," Zhao Kuo said worriedly.
On the verge of slipping away, Yu Lang froze mid-step. "I suggest the three of us join hands and get Spectral Face Fruits. What do you say?"
"You looked on the verge of taking off. Don't let us stop you," Li Luo snorted.
A little embarrassed, Yu Lang denied it. "Impossible. We have just been through life and death together."
Li Luo shook his head. This weasel was hard to trust. However, he did not reject Yu Lang's suggestion. Although he might not be able to get a Spectral Face Fruit himself, having more people might help.
If many hands made lighter work, why not?
"Let's go," Li Luo said. He led the way deeper into the dark forest, with Yu Lang and Zhao Kuo following close behind.
The three walked on deeper into the forest. Several dozen minutes later, they heard a disturbance far away to the right.
The three looked around at each other and then headed forward with tacit understanding. Parting the shrubbery, they saw that there was a large, black tree in a muddy patch just ahead. A black vine was coiled around the tree, bristling with black thorns. It thrashed and whipped around like a shadowy python, with enough force to produce a whistling sound.
The visage of a sinister face could be vaguely made out on the rough bark of the coarse trunk. It made them uneasy.
A Spectral Face Demon Ivy.
However, there were already about six or seven figures around it. Clearly, they had joined forces against it. Jets of resonant power flew through the air as they battled the Spectral Face Demon Ivy.
The demon ivy was giving as good as it was getting. The poisonous vines whipped out again and again with terrifying strength, and they were frequently rewarded with miserable yelps.
"A sorry sight."
Yu Lang stared at them. These people were only around the Sixth Seal Stage. Even with numbers, they were still outclassed by the demon ivy.
Each time the tendrils hit them, the sickening, whip-like cracks sent prickles of fear down their scalps just from listening. This sound brought back memories of the stick their parents used to beat them with.
In just a short amount of time, the group was badly wounded and fled in a wretched state. Luckily, the attack range of the demon ivy was limited; otherwise, they would have been screwed.
The trio shook their heads after witnessing the bad trumping.
"Quite a thorny problem, eh," Zhao Kuo said worriedly. Although they were stronger than the previous group, it was still not going to be easy to bypass the frenzied and spiky defense to get the Spectral Face Fruit.
"Yu Lang, you go test it out," Li Luo said after a moment's thought.
Yu Lang pulled a long face. "What? Why me?"
"You're a wind resonance user. You're the fastest. Who else?" Li Luo snorted.
Lacking a good response, Yu Lang grumbled and trudged forth. His green resonant power surging forth to bathe his body, he shot forth like a blur, blowing gusts out behind him.
"Oof. Truly the fastest man in Southwind Academy," Zhao Kuo hooted with surprise.
Li Luo stared at the figure ahead, blurry from his speed. The guy was indeed fast. And it was clear that he had devoted much effort to cultivating speed—a shrewd decision.
As Yu Lang rapidly approached, the demon ivy sensed an incoming presence, and the serpent-like vines began to respond.
He dodged adroitly, but the closer he got, the more vines were turned on him, as though the demon ivy sensed the threat growing larger. Yu Lang's speed slowed in the face of the harassment, his swagger disappearing.
Finally, he chose to retreat. With a flash, he was safely out of its attack radius, back beside Li Luo and Zhao Kuo.
"It's hopeless. I can't even get close, let alone get the Spectral Face Fruit." Yu Lang was panting and wiping the sweat pouring from his face.
"On the contrary, I think it's pretty achievable."
Li Luo smiled smugly. Yu Lang's speed had already pushed the Spectral Face Demon Ivy to the limits of its attack rate. "Next, we will attack together. Zhao Kuo, up front to tank. I'll support him to suppress the frontal attack of the demon ivy. You go in from the flank to get the fruit."
"This means that Zhao Kuo is going to get it real bad."
Zhao Kuo gave a wry smile. "Don't worry. I'm all tough skin and hard bones."
Li Luo nodded in appreciative acknowledgment. Since they were working together, they had to each bring their individual strengths to bear. He was not going to let Zhao Kuo get by without pulling his weight just because he was a friend. Neither would Zhao Kuo accept that sort of favoritism.
"Alright." Yu Lang had even less of an opinion.
Their simple battle plan laid out, the three did not waste any more time. Li Luo pulled out his two shortswords, and Zhao Kuo loosened the axe off his back.
At Li Luo's whispered command, Zhao Kuo roared and charged, his powerful frame rampaging towards the demon ivy.
A faint glimmer of silver resonant power covered him. When activated, his Silver Bear Resonance made his body even more durable and expanded it by a significant margin.
The demon ivy responded promptly, its tendrils snaking out lightning quick, whistling through the air with their speed.
Zhao Kuo's giant axe swept in beautiful arcs, a whirling storm that cut down all the vines hurtling towards him. Jade-green liquid spurted everywhere after each swing.
Suddenly, the mud below him exploded and vines burst from the ground, binding Zhao Kuo's lower torso.
Almost immediately, a slash of blue light cut them apart.
Close behind Zhao Kuo's muscular frame was Li Luo, wreathed in his own blue resonant power. His two swords never paused, constantly seeking out the next vine trying to tie down Zhao Kuo.
The two steadily drew closer to the demon ivy.
But the closer they got, the more violent the demon ivy became. More and more vines stretched towards them, each one whipped up into a desperate frenzy. Li Luo tried his best to cut them down, but some of the vines still managed to lash themselves around Zhao Kuo. He gritted his teeth, uttering not a single sound as deep and bloody streaks appeared on his flesh. He pushed forward. Another step. And another.
"Yu Lang, go!"
Judging the moment, Li Luo yelled out to their flank.
Already waiting on the sidelines, Yu Lang shot forth upon hearing the command. His speed pushed to its maximum, he pounced toward the Spectral Face Fruit in a flash while the demon ivy was preoccupied with the pair's attacks.
Yu Lang was extremely fast. He was close to the Spectral Face Fruit in the blink of an eye. But just as he stretched out a hand to grab it, the soil at his feet exploded. A mysterious stranger shot forth, intent on beating Yu Lang to the fruit.
Yu Lang's face tightened as he swore. Someone had been waiting to swoop in!
Yu Lang stared, eyes wide, as his prize was on the verge of being stolen from right under his nose. Nearby, Li Luo bellowed, "Yu Lang, shut your eyes!"
He lifted his hand, his face grim. A blue ball of light formed on his fingertip and shot forth.
The blue light ball exploded near Yu Lang and the intruder, shrouding them in an explosion of dazzling light.Previous Chapter Next Chapter