Hearing Li Luo's shout startled Yu Lang. Closing his eyes would put him in an even more vulnerable state than he already was, with the intruder in his face. But given his understanding of Li Luo, he set his jaw and shut his eyes.
As the dazzling light burst out, Yu Lang avoided the blinding effect. Based on his last mental picture, he reached out a hand for the Spectral Face Fruit.
However, the intruder caught the flash full on. Their eyes burned, and they could not help but recoil away.
The bright light vanished in an instant.
The Spectral Face Fruit was in Yu Lang's hand. His face hard, he pulled out a stiletto from his sleeve and charged it with green resonant power before giving it a merciless flick towards the scrabbling figure.
Understanding that they had lost, the intruder scoffed and punched out. Yellow resonant power boomed out, clashing fiercely against Yu Lang's attack.
The resonant powers exploded against each other. The intruder was only slightly shaken, whereas Yu Lang was sent flying back, sprawling on the ground nearby.
The moment Yu Lang grabbed it, Li Luo and Zhao Kuo fled from the demon ivy's attack radius. They barreled over to Yu Lang's side, staring down the shadow ahead.
"Keke, quick movements. Can't believe I didn't snatch that." The stranger laughed casually.
They could make out that it was a tall, broad-shouldered youth, with a head of short hair. His well-sculpted body announced his barbaric strength. It was an intimidating physique.
"Eastpool Academy?" Zhao Kuo spotted the crystal medallion on their adversary's chest. The school logo was Eastpool's.
"Eastpool Academy's Lian Zhong. He's second in Eastpool, sixth-grade earth resonance, Eighth Seal," Yu Lang immediately recited. Thanks to his compilation and research, he was very familiar with the elite students from the major schools.
Li Luo's face was rather neutral. "Eastpool kids just love to steal stuff, huh? Sounds like a problematic teaching philosophy, if you ask me."
"The rules don’t say anything about stealing," Lian Zhong replied with a cheeky grin.
"Indeed. A hit to your pride though, for sure. You were burrowed for such a long time like a little mole, but you still ended up empty-pawed. Frustrated?" Li Luo mocked.
The cheekiness on Lian Zhong's face evaporated. He had indeed laid in ambush for a long time. He was so sure that he had it in the bag, and had even prepared a few choice taunts. But Li Luo had reacted very quickly to turn the tables on him.
"Li Luo, I've underestimated you."
Lian Zhong's eyes were on him now. He laughed it off. "But this is nothing. No need to get all cocky."
"You mean you have your eye on me now?"
"Can't be helped. Boss sent the word out that he's too busy to deal with you, so he asked us to amuse you," Lian Zhong said with a sardonic smile.
"Shi Huang?" Li Luo probed.
"Not much point in fighting here. There's no points to gain from it. After this stage though, I'll come find you when the eliminations start," Lian Zhong said.
His eyes swept across Zhao Kuo and Yu Lang. "If you two know which way the wind's blowing, stay away from him. Boss has ordered all Eastpool students to target him. There's nothing but trouble by his side."
"Your mom's ass."
Zhao Kuo glared back at him. "Can't wait for you Eastpool mongrels to come and deliver us free points on a plate."
Yu Lang waggled the stiletto in his hand and said in a serious tone "Li Luo and I are bonded in life and death, we go as deep as the sea. I'll never leave him... unless you have money."
"Boring. As you wish." Lian Zhong shook his head and left, vanishing into the dark forest.
"Hey, at least give me a sum to work with! We can negotiate!" Yu Lang called out hurriedly.
He was on the verge of chasing, but Li Luo held him back. "No point tangling with him here. Can't get his points either."
"Damn, that was unreasonable," Yu Lang fumed. They were unsure if he was angry about the ambush, or the lack of an asking price.
Zhao Kuo turned to Li Luo with a worried expression. "Brother Luo, if the Eastpool kids are really after you, let's go assemble a team of our own."
If they did not bring their own forces, they would be overwhelmed.
"No rush. Let's see how it goes."
Li Luo still looked composed. Clearly, Shi Huang was still not taking him seriously, sending lackeys like Lian Zhong. But if that's how he wanted it, it was going to be like attacking dogs with meat buns, all give and no take.
Wait, that wasn't right. He wasn't a dog.
"Well, our spoils." Yu Lang held out the Spectral Face Fruit.
"Give it to Zhao Kuo first. He tanked the most." Li Luo laughed.
Zhao Kuo was still covered in bloody lacerations, a woeful sight. But the wounds were all physical, and his sturdy constitution would soon put those to right.
Zhao Kuo did not comment, reaching out a hand to take the Spectral Face Fruit. Anyway, he was going to help Li Luo and Yu Lang get their own Spectral Face Fruits.
He tore the Spectral Face Fruit apart with his hands, taking out the core within. He squeezed it until a drop of green liquid fell onto the crystal medallion on his chest and was absorbed.
The points on his crystal medallion immediately jumped to 100.
"Let's go. Second fruit," Li Luo said. The two continued on.
In the next hour, the three managed to find two more demon ivies. Repeating their tactic, they were able to get two more Spectral Face Fruits unmolested. Both Li Luo and Yu Lang reached 100 points as well.
Now that they were all done with the task, there was no point in getting any more fruits. The three immediately headed for the third elimination round without delay.
Foot of Whitespirit Mountain.
The crystal wall was constantly shimmering with updates.
Many were watching the clips with great interest.
The top of the board was filled with full-mark rankers, a whopping 200 points. Of course, it included the likes of Lu Qing'er and Shi Huang.
There had been two particularly sensational clips featured on the crystal wall.
First was Lu Qing'er. She was standing casually on top of a Spectral Face Demon Ivy, the frustrating vines completely encased in ice. Her long hair flying free, that lithe body and alluring face—the scene was a declaration of the Southwind valedictorian's charms.
The second scene was Shi Huang, a smile on his face and a fruit in hand. Behind him, the demon ivy was black and smoking, still sizzling with electricity.
These two had beaten their respective demon ivies with pure strength to take their Spectral Face Fruits.
A worthy score, and support for them increased. Everyone understood that the first place title was probably between these two now.
Cai Wei and Yan Lingqing were not too interested in these two. Their eyes were fixed on the lower half of the board. When they saw Li Luo's points jump to 100, they finally sighed with relief.
Although this was just for a foundational score, two zeros for Li Luo would have been a fiasco.
As more students got their Spectral Face Fruits in their own ways, the mood was starting to pick up here. Everyone knew that these preliminaries were just an appetizer. These foundational scores were for the elimination match.
Therefore, the exam would only truly be underway when the eliminations started.
Inside Whitespirit Mountain.
Li Luo, Yu Lang, and Zhao Kuo walked out of the gloomy forest. A river appeared before them, and on the opposite bank, there was a complicated terrain of hills and valleys, well furnished with large forests and rocks.
They shared a look. Across the river, the elimination arena.
They did not hesitate, using their resonant powers to cross the broad expanse of the river. They touched down on the other side, signaling the beginning of the elimination.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Ah the lackeys have arrived!