In the tree hollow, Lu Qing'er was still reeling from Li Luo's change. Her pouty, little mouth was now hanging open, a marked contrast to her usually cool demeanor. It was a cute side of her that was rarely seen.
Li Luo was tickled by her expression too. "Haha, I'm kidding. I prepared a lot before these exams, and was already on the verge of a breakthrough. Thanks to the stimulation from Shi Huang and Song Yunfeng, I cultivated a little and managed to break through."
Lu Qing'er seemed convinced, but she shot him a dirty look nonetheless. For a moment, he had her believing that he could really break through at will. One, two, three, silly me.
"But your cultivation speed is quite frightening. I feel like it's above average for a seventh-grade," Lu Qing'er continued suspiciously.
Li Luo nodded. "I used spirit liquids and purifying lights to increase my quality."
Lu Qing'er accepted this with a slight nod and did not pursue the topic further. She returned to the main question. "But even if you're an Eighth Seal now, you've only closed the distance to Shi Huang halfway. Your chances of winning are still slim."
Shi Huang was a Ninth Seal, and with a high seventh-grade lightning resonance. It was, by nature, an offensive and speedy element that was hard to deal with, and ferocious in battle.
In comparison, Li Luo was a fresh Eighth Seal, and a passable sixth-grade-or-so water resonance... The gap felt drastic.
"Let's just go with this first," Li Luo said.
Seeing his determination, Lu Qing'er complied. If she could finish off her opponents speedily, she could go and help Li Luo.
While the two were talking, a head suddenly popped into the tree hollow. He was agog with surprise at seeing the two, then yelled out happily, "HERE!"
He had just shouted when a blast of ice resonant power landed on his face, freezing it solid.
He had been culled before he could even yelp.
Still, his call had attracted the attention of those nearby, and many were flocking over now.
But as they neared, they saw Li Luo and Lu Qing'er walk out.
"Lu Qing'er's fine? Were we had by Shi Huang?" Seeing a recovered Lu Qing'er and a frozen unfortunate beside her changed their minds quickly enough.
Lu Qing'er had already put her ice-silk gloves back on, and she glared at the vultures. "Get lost. Our goal is Shi Huang."
Her icy voice was backed by icy power at the ready. The gravel beneath her feet was already icing over.
The other students turned pale and quickly ran away, inwardly cursing Shi Huang for being a sneaky liar. Lu Qing'er wasn't hurt badly at all!
After chasing the others away, the pair remained where they were. They knew that Shi Huang and the others would arrive soon enough.
Indeed, they were not kept waiting long. A few minutes later, a few people could be seen rushing over from the west, leaping agilely over the terrain.
Shi Huang, Song Yunfeng, and company.
They paused in front of Li Luo and Lu Qing'er, staring with alarm at her vastly improved condition.
"Qing'er, your injuries are healed?" Shi Huang asked, his face full of concern.
She ignored his oily concern, instead turning to Song Yunfeng. "Song Yunfeng, you're an ingratiate."
She had been ambushed by Shi Huang and the others previously precisely because Difa Qing had left markings as Song Yunfeng had instructed her. He was the one who had enabled this.
Song Yunfeng quailed a little under her ice-cold stare. "Qing'er, I have my own troubles!" he stuttered shamefully.
Her stare continued to bore into him, her chill working deeper into his psyche.
Cracking under her fury, Song Yunfeng snapped back with his deepest feelings, "You pretentious girl! I've wooed you for so long, and you didn't even respond! Let's see how high and mighty you'll be after you get eliminated!"
His anger was directed at both of them. Li Luo must have played a part in Lu Qing'er's quick recovery.
He did not know what they had been up to during this time. Besides, Li Luo was the white knight who had rescued Lu Qing'er. Recalling her attitude towards him, the fires of jealousy were lit in Song Yunfeng’s heart now.
"Li Luo, you must have been born in the year of the dog, since you like to poke your nose everywhere," Song Yunfeng lashed out.
Li Luo cocked an eye at him. "Says the filthy traitor who sabotaged Zhao Kuo and Yu Lang."
Song Yunfeng sneered. "Even if I hadn't done it, they would have been eliminated sooner or later."
Li Luo smiled. A very unsettling smile that had doubt seeping into Song Yunfeng’s bones.
Shi Huang's eyes were darting back and forth between Lu Qing'er and Li Luo. "Hey, Li Luo, this matter has nothing to do with you," he pointed out with a smile. "I'll let you leave, how about that? Then you'll still have a chance of making it to the top 10, hmm?"
Li Luo turned his smile on him. "But now I am very angry. I don't want you to enter the top 10."
Shi Huang choked on his laughter, pointing at his head. "Has your anger made you lose your mind? Seems like your brain is affected by the turn of events.
"Yes, Qing'er might be better, but you're naive to think that she can beat me."
Li Luo shook his head. "I have no intention of letting her defeat you. I was planning to do it myself," he said with full conviction.
Shi Huang did not even bother to laugh at that one. Beside him, Song Yunfeng and the others also stared at Li Luo as if he were an alien, lost for words at the sheer ridiculousness of his declaration.
Had Li Luo lost his mind?
While they were still speechless, Lu Qing'er turned to Li Luo. "So I'll deal with Xiang Liang, Chi Su, and Zong Fu? What about Song Yunfeng? Shall I deal with him as well?"
Li Luo scratched his chin. "Before the main course, I think I need an appetizer. Song Yunfeng will do just fine."
Nodding prettily, Lu Qing'er turned to her targets.
They were all flustered now. Lu Qing'er was actually intending to let Li Luo take Shi Huang down?
"What should we do?" Xiang Liang and the others turned apprehensively to Shi Huang.
Shi Huang's eyes narrowed. "Lu Qing'er's Hands of Ice Jade cannot be used. Go keep her occupied. I'll be there to help you once I deal with this," he said flatly.
The three hesitated, then they finally nodded. They cautiously turned to face Lu Qing'er.
And as they spread out, now it was Li Luo alone, facing Shi Huang and Song Yunfeng.
All of this was fed back to the foot of Whitespirit Mountain, raising a loud clamor. This was even more outrageous than the ambush on Lu Qing'er.Previous Chapter Next Chapter