The sudden sound by her ear made Lu Qing'er jump. She turned to face Li Luo with a happy gleam in her eye.
Her girlish smile was a stark contrast to the stony expression from before.
"Your flyswatter's too expensive. Trying to rip me off?" Lu Qing'er laughed.
"Can't be helped. Your fly's too big. I suspect it's perverted," Li Luo said with full seriousness.
The corners of her mouth twitched.
Mo Ling's face darkened. "Li Luo, trying to start something?"
"I'm just talking with a schoolmate. None of your business." Li Luo smiled.
"Well, I'm your senior. You're being rude," Mo Ling said coolly. "That attitude is going to make you pay when you're in the Astral Sage College."
"Then I guess I'll bring a few more bodyguards with me," Li Luo replied.
Mo Ling's eyes flashed. He knew that Li Luo was reminding him of the Tower Qingfeng incident. Still, he knew that there was no point in kicking up a fuss now. He swallowed his anger. "Laugh while you can, Li Luo. After today, the Inkwater Villa's spirit liquids and purifying lights will dominate the Tianshu Province, and your Suncreek Villa will be screwed."
He stomped off.
Li Luo shook his head. "How did you attract such a wasp?" he asked, turning to Lu Qing'er.
She glared at him. "Nonsense. I was just wandering around. No idea why he would come over."
She was annoyed that Li Luo had implied that she had invited him.
Li Luo hurriedly pacified her. "My bad, my bad. Sister Qing'er is as pretty as a floating lotus. You were unlucky to float into a pile of cow turd."
She rolled her eyes at him, slightly mollified. "The Inkwater Villa has established an alliance with the Song family. They will definitely make their move during the festival," she said with a hint of worry.
"Don't worry. I'm prepared," Li Luo said indifferently, waving it off.
Lu Qing'er was a little curious, but she did not press further. Instead, she stared closely at Li Luo. "You're a Ninth Seal already?"
"You're a Tenth Seal already?" Li Luo countered. Their physical closeness allowed him to detect the faint frost energy she was emitting. It was much colder than before.
Clearly, her resonant power had gotten even more robust.
She was a Ninth Seal before, and reaching the Tenth Seal by this month was normal.
She nodded slightly. She was holding a parasol due to the hot weather, and now she inclined it slightly to shade Li Luo as well. "I can probably reach the first tier of the Resonant Master Stage before I enter the Astral Sage College."
"Impressive." Li Luo whistled, giving her a big thumbs up.
"You should buck up too. Don't think we'll be anything special in the Astral Sage College just because we ranked first and second in the Tianshu Province. The other newcomers from stronger provinces will be really intense."
"I heard that there's a streaming competition when we get in, that decides what class we go to. It will be far harder than the College Final Examinations," Lu Qing'er told him severely.
Li Luo nodded. Of course he would not underestimate the other newcomers. He wasn't qualified to do so. The Tianshu Province was only mid-tier in Xia Kingdom. If he really thought first place in the Tianshu Province meant anything, then he would truly be a fool.
As the two chatted pleasantly, Mo Ling had stalked off angrily to the Pine Nut Villa. He spotted Song Qiuyu watching the crowd.
"Who's pissed you off now?" She snickered at him.
"Met that Li Luo again. Grr," Mo Ling said, grinding his teeth.
"No worries. After today, I think he'll regret the way he's treated you," Song Qiuyu said uncaringly.
Mo Ling nodded, his expression softening. "Are you ready?"
"I'm roughly as strong as Yan Lingqing, but with your Mo family's secret recipe, I will definitely beat her. Hehe, I can't wait. That little squirt was really stuck up. I'm going to enjoy the look on her face when I beat her,” Song Qiuyu said gleefully.
Hearing her coquettish laugh while he enjoyed the view of her hourglass figure, Mo Ling was starting to feel an itch in his heart. He reached out towards her waist.
She twisted away, teasing him. "If my father sees you, you had better be ready to propose marriage or leave Tianshu."
Mo Ling hurriedly replied, "I don't mind getting engaged immediately, as long as you are willing."
"Let's wait for a good time." She smiled.
He could only nod.
She again turned to the arena below, her eyes losing their warmth. Of course she had seen Mo Ling flirting with Lu Qing'er. The guy did his thinking with his lower half. If he wasn't still useful to her, she would have ignored him.
However, they still needed the Inkwater Villa's help to deal with the Suncreek Villa. For now, she would have to endure him. She could kick him away once her mission was accomplished.
A gong interrupted her thoughts, and there was a pronounced increase in the crowd's chatter.
Song Qiuyu looked eagerly. Finally, the tempering contest was here.
When the gong sounded, Li Luo and Lu Qing'er also followed the crowd towards the center of the arena.
Li Luo could see that Yan Lingqing had already made her way there. Her willowy figure, silver-rimmed spectacles, and long, flowing hair had caught the eye of many men.
"Does House Luolan hire based on looks? That majordomo Cai Wei is a real looker, and this president of the Suncreek Villa is an ice queen too." Lu Qing'er teased him as she checked out Yan Lingqing.
Li Luo had no immediate rejoinder to that. After all, both women were indeed great beauties. If others did not know that Jiang Qing'e was the one who had arranged for them to come here, he would indeed be slandered as a playboy.
"I'm heading over to Second Uncle's side. Want to come with?" She crooked a finger towards the Golden Dragon Bank's seats on the spectator platform. Although the Golden Dragon Bank was not a villa, their deep business connections made them interested in the proceedings as well.
Li Luo shook his head and smiled. "I'm going up." He indicated to the arena.
Lu Qing'er's surprise showed. "You're competing in the tempering arts?"
"I'm just going to assist Sister Lingqing. And gain some exposure. After all, I'm a resonance artificer too." Li Luo grinned.
"I'll be rooting for you."
Lu Qing'er laughed. Batting her luscious lashes at him with interest, she waved him off with a dainty hand before turning away with her white parasol.
Li Luo headed for the stage, where Yan Lingqing currently was.Previous Chapter Next Chapter