Foot of Whitespirit Mountain.
The chatter had swelled to a loud bustle now.
On the crystal wall, names shimmied up and down, and the screens beside it showed off the highlights of particularly intense fights, drawing the occasional gasp from the spectators.
The scene changed. A clip of two people facing off in a forest.
In a pavilion, a bored Cai Wei was carefully peeling a grape. She was just about to pop it into her dainty mouth when her eyes fell on the crystal wall.
"That person looks like the Young Lord." Cai Wei started.
Yan Lingqing perked up as well, looking over at the two figures facing off.
Cai Wei sat up straight, the grape forgotten. "Who is he fighting?"
Yan Lingqing did not know either, but she quickly gleaned the news from the whispers all around that were quickly growing louder. "Second place in Eastpool Academy, Lian Zhong. Sixth-grade earth resonance, Eighth Seal."
"Why would Li Luo cross such a strong enemy?"
"It's inevitable in the elimination match. Even if he avoids trouble, trouble will come looking for him." Cai Wei's perfect brows creased slightly. Under them, her beautiful eyes were fixed on the scene unblinkingly.
Yan Lingqing gave it her full attention now as well. Both knew that it would be a tough fight.
As they watched intently, Li Luo and Lian Zhong began their fight. Each thrilling clash drew small, anxious facial twitches from the two women.
But as the battle drew on, their astonishment grew more and more apparent. They saw that Li Luo was not at all at a disadvantage.
He was clearly only a Seventh Seal, but he had an Eighth Seal firmly in hand.
Especially with his final Water Edge skill. When his Ripple Blade sliced through Lian Zhong's light armor, Cai Wei was so excited, she slapped the table.
"The Young Lord is awesome!"
Yan Lingqing was staring too, cherry lips parted slightly in surprise, a look of stunned disbelief all over her face.
She did not think that Li Luo would be able to handle a strong Eighth Seal opponent so handily.
It was a perfect fight, and he played it out flawlessly.
As Li Luo calmly sheathed his sword, she was struck by the contrast to the diligent youth who quietly crafted spirit liquids and purifying lights at her workshop.
He was now brilliance incarnate.
Perhaps this was the real Li Luo. Using warmth and cheek to hide his light...
"Seeing this, I'm starting to believe that he can make it to the top 10," Yan Lingqing said in delight, a spark returning to her clear eyes.
Outside the pavilion, there were also other exclamations. Clearly, they were not the only ones surprised by the outcome.
In the main tent, the dean, Governor Shi, and Mentor Anlie were watching the same fight.
The old dean was all smiles now, unable to hide the grin that was creeping across his face. "The second-placed student at Eastpool Academy was defeated by Southwind's rank 15, Li Luo? Haha, interesting."
"Isn't it very interesting indeed, Governor Shi?"
Governor Shi was shaking slightly as he forced the corners of his mouth up. "He lives up to the title of the Young Lord of House Luolan. Extremely unexpected."
"This is Young Lord Li Luo from House Luolan? The one with a marriage agreement with Jiang Qing'e?" Mentor Anlie suddenly asked.
The old dean nodded, beaming.
"Indeed, he has good looks... Keke, this Li Luo hasn't entered the Astral Sage College yet, but his name is already famous in our school," Mentor Anlie said with a strange laugh.
"Defeating an Eighth Seal doesn't mean his entry is guaranteed now, does it?" Governor Shi said thinly.
"Well, I think you're in for a good show," the old dean said in an unwavering voice as he looked up.
Of course, Li Luo himself was oblivious to the sensation his battle was stirring. He was busy dragging a fainted Lian Zhong somewhere else.
As he cautiously parted a bush, he could see that the fight ahead was intense. He was surprised to see that Zhao Kuo and Yu Lang had the battle well in hand, despite the numbers advantage from Eastpool.
Zhao Kuo was faring well as a meat shield, his huge axe swishing through the air as he tanked much of the offense. Around him, Yu Lang zipped back and forth, swift as the wind. His hit and run tactics had three of their opponents down on the ropes.
If things continued this way, it seemed like the hurting would begin in earnest soon enough.
Smiling, Li Luo walked out.
All the fighters froze—not just Zhao Kuo and Yu Lang, but even the Eastpool students stared at him, fear in their eyes.
Their fear only doubled when they saw him dragging an unconscious Lian Zhong with him.
"Damn, Li Luo, you're sick. You actually beat Lian Zhong?" Yu Lang said, mouth agape.
Li Luo nodded, smiling. He threw him to the ground before him, then turned to the three Eastpool students. "Still gonna resist?"
The three of them had lost all will to fight. They turned, preparing to scatter.
But Li Luo was ready. With a flick of his finger, Waterlight Bullet flew out and exploded, rewarding him with three identical, pained howls.
Zhao Kuo and Yu Lang took the chance to redouble their attack.
In short order, the three were also on the ground.
"Let's split their points," Li Luo said.
"Woah, this is a real big fish." Yu Lang's eyes were gleaming now. The four of them all had a generous amount of points, especially Lian Zhong, with a whopping 2,400.
As tempting as the prize was, Yu Lang did not seem inclined to take Lian Zhong's points. Instead, he said, "Li Luo, you keep Lian Zhong's points for yourself. Zhao Kuo and I will split theirs."
The others added up to slightly over 1,000 points. Although it was not as juicy as Lian Zhong's stash, it was a considerable sum nevertheless.
Li Luo was about to say something, when Zhao Kuo chimed in as well. "Brother Luo, you beat Lian Zhong alone. We can't be ripping you off like that. Besides, you have the potential to make it into the top 10. No need to be dragged down by the likes of us."
Li Luo relented under their insistence. Taking off his crystal medallion, he cleaned out Lian Zhong's points.
With smiles that resembled shark grins, Yu Lang and Zhao Kuo did the same to the other three from Eastpool Academy.
"Our boss won't let you get away with it!" they howled in desperation, tears of frustration streaming down their faces.
With this, Li Luo's points reached 3,900, while Yu Lang and Zhao Kuo had passed the 2,000 mark.
Although they could not see the leaderboard, Li Luo reckoned that he would be in the top 30 now, while Yu Lang and Zhao Kuo should be in the top 100.
He grinned. Although the top 10 might still be a ways away, he was closing in.
"Our brothers over at Eastpool Academy are really generous."
"I wonder if any more generosity is headed our way."
Towards the end of the elimination round, the survivors would be tough. Taking points from them would not be at all easy. Therefore, Lian Zhong delivering himself up on a silver plate was highly welcome.
"Let's go. We're probably not far from Whitespirit Ruins," Li Luo said. With him leading the way, the three left.
At Whitespirit Ruins, this elimination round would reach a white-hot climax.Previous Chapter Next Chapter