Li Luo was on a particularly tall stone pillar, and there were plenty of jagged rocks below. His arrow had taken up all of his strength. Given how many people were watching him, if he jumped down helplessly, they would pounce on his weakness. He was worth too many points to pass up on.
And so Li Luo had casually sprawled on top, his air of casual confidence holding them back.
Lu Qing'er leaped up beside him with a waft of perfume. She stretched out a small hand to him.
"Gloves on?" Li Luo checked. Yes, they were. Otherwise, they might both be screwed.
Lu Qing'er shot him a look. She cut an impressive figure herself, a heroine straight out of a tale. She took hold of Li Luo's hand, then leaped down from the stone pillar.
With both feet firmly on the ground again, Li Luo felt much better. He looked over at the three captives. "Slaughter these three too?"
They looked at him with trepidation, even more so than when they regarded Lu Qing'er.
After all, it was a nightmarish scene that lay before them.
It was Zong Fu who sighed and said, "I said before that you, Li Luo, might well be the greatest unknown factor in these examinations. Guess I was right."
Xiang Liang and Chi Su were silent. They had scoffed at Zong Fu's prediction, and never once had they taken Li Luo seriously as a threat. But now they could see that Zong Fu's prudence was well-founded. If they had planned more carefully and saw his strength properly, they might not be in as bad a state as they currently were.
Li Luo waved it off. He went to drag Song Yunfeng down from the wall, throwing him beside Shi Huang.
At the same time, he charitably helped Shi Huang stop the bleeding, so he would not die from blood loss. That would be a troublesome ending.
Shi Huang opened his eyes weakly. "Li Luo, you hid it well," he said resentfully.
Li Luo grinned and then feigned a tortured expression. "Ah, why must you force me so? I just wanted to be in the top 10. Why did you all force me to go this far?"
Behind him, Zong Fu and the others swallowed. This was a little too much.
Indeed, Shi Huang was so worked up that he was quaking. He retched another mouthful of blood.
"Hey, don't be so anxious, you’re going to vomit blood."
Li Luo hurriedly calmed him down, then used his crystal medallion to check the scoreboard. He saw that there were only thirteen people left—no, twelve now. There were twelve.
"Phew, all's good. I almost missed it." He smiled with relief.
"Know what I'm going to do next?" Li Luo said, beaming at Shi Huang and Song Yunfeng. There was something chilling about his smile.
"I said that I would ensure you two were eliminated from the top 10."
Shi Huang's face was pale now, and his fear showed. "Li Luo, you're cruel!"
Being eliminated from the top 10 would mean a loss of entrance slots. He might not even be able to go to the Astral Sage College. That would be absolutely devastating to Shi Huang.
Beside him, Song Yunfeng was yelling as well. "Li Luo, you can't do this! You'll incur the wrath of the entire Song family and the Governor's house!"
Li Luo shook his head and said peaceably, "When you do something wrong, you have to pay the price. It's time for you to pay."
He took down their crystal medallions, clearing out Shi Huang's points immediately. He erased Song Yunfeng's points as well, although students from the same school could not obtain each other's points.
Shi Huang and Song Yunfeng’s scores were reduced to zero.
Li Luo clapped loudly. "A big hand for Shi Huang and Song Yunfeng, for their achievement of eleventh and twelfth place!"
Their faces were ugly to behold.
Xiang Liang and the others were quaking in their boots. This Li Luo was a real terror.
Lu Qing'er was looking at Li Luo quietly. For some reason, she felt a tinge of fondness grow in her at seeing him like this.
Li Luo had been too unobtrusive for the past few years, an unremarkable, harmless thing. But Lu Qing'er liked to see him in the spotlight, like how he was back when they first entered Southwind Academy. He had scolded her unreservedly while teaching her resonance arts.
"The exams should enter the countdown to the end now," she said happily.
Li Luo turned to the other three with a frown. "You three got off easy."
Since he could only eliminate two from the top 10, he had chosen Shi Huang and Song Yunfeng, who were higher up on the hate list.
Which meant that these three were in the top 10. Even if their points were cleared out, they would simply be at the bottom of the top 10.
Hearing this, the three broke into ingratiating smiles. "Brother Luo, we were forced. The higher-ups in our schools directed us to do what we did. We took so many resources from our schools—we had to obey."
"But don't worry, once we get into the Astral Sage College, you'll be our leader. Your wish, our command!"
Li Luo ignored them, turning to Lu Qing'er. "Clear their points. It irritates me."
Lu Qing'er smiled slightly. "No."
Li Luo started, unsure of how to react.
From the side, Zong Fu helpfully reminded him, "Brother Luo, she means that if she takes our points, she will overtake you and steal first place in the exams."
Xiang Liang and Chi Su's eyes widened, looking between the two. Lu Qing'er had defeated them, so naturally their points belonged to her. She could take first place, fair and square, but she had purposely chosen to place behind Li Luo. What was going on between these two?
What was their relationship?
Even Zong Fu looked at Li Luo in admiration. He was so cool. He was already engaged to a godly beauty like Jiang Qing'e, and he could still play around?
Hearing Zong Fu's reminder, Li Luo belatedly realized that by clearing out Shi Huang's points, he was in first place. He panicked now. "Qing'er, quickly now. I have a bit of a firstplaceophobia, you know?"
"You'll get used to it." A wide smile filled Lu Qing'er’s face.
"Lu Qing'er!" Li Luo cried. "Don't do this!! How did I wrong you, why must you hurt me so?
"Quick, please, I don't want to be first. I'm begging you. PLEEEEEEASE!"
Lu Qing'er sat down on the gravel. The setting sun bathed her in rosy golds and reds, and she propped her chin on her slim hands, smiling happily at the fuming Li Luo, still wringing his hands.
And then a gong echoed across Whitespirit Mountain.
Within Whitespirit Ruins, the survivors heaved sighs of relief, filled with a wild joy.
But not Li Luo, who was looking glum at the ending gong.
Unfortunately, he was in first place.Previous Chapter Next Chapter