At the foot of Whitespirit Mountain, the light arrow had stunned the entire crowd into silence.
They stared at the screen agog, fear and disbelief plain on their faces.
What had they just seen...
The undisputedly dominant Shi Huang had been shot down by a bow that Li Luo had pulled out of God knows where...
It was like a dream.
Cai Wei and Yan Lingqing's rosy lips were parted in surprise as well. They closed their eyes, then opened them again. The screen was still the same—Shi Huang had been shot down.
"What's happening?" Cai Wei asked a little blankly.
An instant ago, she was worrying about Li Luo's elimination, and now Shi Huang was the one squawking on the ground.
It was too much for Cai Wei's ample chest to take.
Yan Lingqing bit her lip. "I think Li Luo has beaten Shi Huang."
Cai Wei slowly leaned back on her chair, a small smile spreading across her lovely features. "From now on, who will dare to call the Young Lord a mere mascot?"
Although only for a month, Cai Wei had been looking after Li Luo, and she was quite fond of him. She treated him like her own brother.
And as the overseer of House Luolan's affairs in the Tianshu Province, Cai Wei knew very well how much Li Luo had struggled with his cultivation.
Besides his endless capacity for spirit liquids and purifying lights, Cai Wei found the Young Lord very likeable despite his shenanigans.
She was filled with joy and relief at his miraculous win.
From now on, those within House Luolan would not disdain him anymore.
Yan Lingqing nodded. Li Luo's performance today was sensational. He must have been hiding it before.
"The Young Lord is so different from his parents," Yan Lingqing remarked.
Those two had dominated their entire generation in the Xia Kingdom. They were stellar, whereas Li Luo was much more restrained. Those that did not know better might even think that Jiang Qing'e was more like their child, and perhaps Li Luo was adopted...
"The issue with the blank palaces affected the Young Lord greatly. Even after he solved it, he opted to stay out of the spotlight. He keeps his secrets up his sleeve, it makes him feel safe. He grows quietly, with less frivolity," Cai Wei observed.
"I think that if not for Song Yunfeng and Shi Huang forcing his hand, the Young Lord would probably have settled for a peaceful top 10," Yan Lingqing said wryly. It was entirely possible, given Li Luo's personality. His goal was to enter the Astral Sage College. First or not, he didn't care.
"I don't think it's a bad thing though," Cai Wei said with a gentle smile.
Yan Lingqing rolled her eyes at her. "You're too soft on him."
"But he's so handsome." Cai Wei smiled.
As the two women were enjoying a quiet moment of happy relief, the old dean in the main pavilion was laughing uproariously. He shook the entire tent with his laughter, until even those outside were looking over.
"Oh my, truly the son of Li Taixuan and Tan Tailan. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!"
His face was flushed with energy, all traces of fatigue and worry gone. He slapped the table hard. "See that?" he demanded of Governor Shi. "The power of my Southwind Academy?"
Governor Shi seemed preoccupied with his tea, although the eyes reflected on the surface of the cup were furious.
A completely unexpected turn of events.
Li Luo had been on the verge of losing. And then a miraculous arrow.
All these years of planning, shot down by one arrow. Governor Shi tried his best to suppress his rage. And failed. "Can you be QUIET!”
"QUIET, you old plank!"
The dean's temper matched his. "You shriveled-up onion, you think you've the right to decide when I talk?" Governor Shi's face was terrible to behold. His terrifying resonant power began to radiate from his body, a large, green python rearing and hissing.
A lower seventh-grade green python resonance!
"Oh, you want to fight? Come on, then, I've had enough too!" the old dean said with a humorless laugh. His own crimson resonant power flared up, a flaming beast with its hooves in magma.
Lower seventh-grade, the Fire Eating Ape.
These two Heavenly Dipper General experts readied themselves. Even though the room was made of stone, it began to crack under the mighty surges of energy.
Mentor Anlie shouted out to them urgently, "Gentlemen! We're in the middle of the examinations. If you cause a fuss here, the Astral Sage College might just reduce the number of entrance slots to the whole Tianshu Province next year!"
These words brought the bickering pair up short. The dean sniffed, retracting his resonant power.
With a dark face, Governor Shi did likewise.
Mentor Anlie shook his head, turning back to the screen. Shi Huang's left arm had been skewered by the arrow, left heavily wounded. He would be severely compromised in battle.
It was more or less wrapped up.
Albeit wrapped up in a way that no one had predicted.
"Word has always been that the Young Lord of House Luolan was useless. It seems that they were false whispers."
In the ruins.
Shi Huang was still moaning on the ground, blood spurting from his arm. He could sense many pairs of eyes watching, intimidated now by his downfall.
They were dismayed by this outcome too.
Not far away was Song Yunfeng, still dangling from the spear pinned to the wall. He was stammering to himself, “Impossible. Impossible…”
He could not believe that Li Luo had beaten Shi Huang!
This was completely illogical. Shi Huang was a Ninth Seal with an upper seventh-grade lightning resonance! He was a beast in battle, and Lu Qing'er was the only one in the Tianshu Province who could pose a threat to him.
But now Li Luo had shot him down.
Song Yunfeng felt bitterness rise within. If not for Shi Huang's status, he would have screamed abuse at him and accused him of rigging the fight.
He had not experienced it for himself, so he could not fathom why a simple arrow had undone Shi Huang so easily.
Still, his understanding did not affect reality one way or another.
Li Luo was standing on the vine-covered stone, looking at the bleeding Shi Huang with a neutral expression. He did not move, seemingly luxuriating in Shi Huang's predicament.
He even sprawled in a sitting position, one hand on the bow, the other hanging loose.
He looked like a demon king, and the other students watching from the shadows were petrified. They did not dare to make a sound, for fear of attracting Li Luo's attention.
They all held their breath.
After a few minutes, someone flew in. It was Lu Qing'er speeding over. She was holding a rope in one hand, towing three people who were tied up. Xiang Liang, Zong Fu, Chi Su.
Evidently, she had beaten them.
The first thing she saw was Song Yunfeng nailed to the wall.
Surprised, she continued on past the ruined hamlet, then her footsteps slowed.
Before her, there was a pool of blood, within which Shi Huang lay. He looked barely conscious, pale as a ghost.
Lu Qing'er was truly astonished.
Behind her, her three captives were even more shocked.
She looked up to Li Luo, his face composed. She shuddered at the power he commanded.
She approached him now, feeling as though they were back in their first year, when Li Luo was a giant.
"Are you alright?" she asked softly.
Li Luo looked down at her and then the tension whooshed out of his body, as though a heavy burden had been lifted from him.
"You're finally here...
"Quick, help me get down. I've run out of resonant power, I'm afraid of jumping down. What if I hurt myself?"
Lu Qing'er stared at him.
It was both exasperating and hilarious. He had posed up there for so long, only because he had run out of resonant power?Previous Chapter Next Chapter