Li Luo felt like his heart had stopped beating for a moment when he heard Ox Biaobiao. "Uncle Biao," he forced a smile. "Whatever are you talking about?"
Beside him, Jiang Qing'e's own hands were clenched anxiously as they waited for his answer.
"Young lord, do you feel a strange sense of hollowness?"
"It's no misperception. Young lord, you've indeed lost something very important this time round."
Li Luo frowned. It was as Ox Biaobiao had said, and yet there had been no change to his lifespan. Had he lost something else?
"What you've lost is your foundation, the basis of what gives you potential." Ox Biaobiao explained patiently.
"Young lord, given your current physical state, it's almost impossible for you to improve no matter how hard you cultivate." This was akin to a death sentence, and Li Luo paled. Instead of his lifespan, he had paid for his second acquired resonance with his potential?.
With his foundation sundered, did it mean he could not reach the next breakthrough?
In that case, then all he had was 5 years of life! If he could not reach the Duke stage in 5 years, all his efforts would be for naught.
Li Luo would not believe it. He could not believe it. Ox Biaobiao might think it was true, but it could not be that bad. Li Luo still had his waterlight resonance and his woodearth resonance. Both specialized in recovery. With time, surely he could make up for the lost foundation.
Perhaps this was why Li Taixuan and Tan Tailan had urged him to choose a waterlight, followed by a wood resonance.
These two acquired resonances together would give him the best mitigation to the debilitating aftereffects.
But this was still terrible news to Li Luo. He was racing against time to cultivate. This impediment would further hold him back. He would end up paying the price in time.
"Uncle Biao, is there any solution?" Jiang Qing'e broke the silence.
Ox Biaobiao rubbed his bald head. "Perhaps not for others, but maybe I can do something."
Li Luo looked at Ox Biaobiao with delighted surprise.
"I know a way to nourish one's foundation. It's called the When The World Shatters Miracle Paste. It is made of many rare materials, and it can heal one's core. It's only useful for those below the General Stage," Ox Biaobiao said.
Almost as though it was made especially for him! Although, the Miracle Paste name sounded a little dodgy…
Li Luo thought about it. "Uncle Biao," he said with deep feeling, "my future depends on you now."
"Say no more," Ox Biaobiao replied heartily. "This old ox here will do everything in my power to help you."
"When will you start refining it?" Jiang Qing'e asked.
Ox Biaobiao scratched his rough cheek. "The miracle paste needs many rare ingredients. They will take some time to gather."
"Uncle Biao, just leave them up to me. I will summon all of House Luolan to hunt them down at once," Jiang Qing'e said.
He nodded. "But there is one main ingredient that is impossible to search for."
"What is it?" Li Luo asked quickly.
"Royal Sap is a very rare treasure indeed. It only appears at energy confluences. If ingested, it's as powerful as an eighth-grade spirit liquid. It's also a necessary ingredient for refining ninth-grade spirit liquids and purifying lights," Ox Biaobiao explained.
Li Luo was amazed. He had never heard of this amazing thing before, but he instantly knew it would be extremely rare and expensive. Could it really be found?
"Haha, Royal Sap is hard to find for anyone else, but not for the Young Lord and Mistress. You should have a chance to get it," Ox Biaobiao said.
"And why's that?" Li Luo asked curiously.
It was Jiang Qing'e who answered softly. "Because Royal Sap is produced by the Astral Sage College. I received some before, but I've already used it all."
Li Luo swallowed. The Astral Sage College was truly something special. They even had such rare resources?
Jiang Qing'e looked at him. "You're familiar with Trees of Resonant Power, I trust? There was one at Southwind Academy as well. But compared to the Tree of Resonant Power at the Astral Sage College, Southwind Academy's looks like a tiny sprout.
"The Tree of Resonant Power at the Astral Sage College will surpass your imagination. Its canopy extends over much of the sky above the school. It is possibly where the worldly natural energy is densest in the entire Xia Kingdom. That is why it produces Royal Sap on a frequent basis.
"Important missions and competitions at the Astral Sage College often offer Royal Sap as a reward.
"When you enter the Astral Sage College, those chances will be open to you as well. You cannot pass them up.
"I will be trying to win some for you too, so we can brew the Miracle Paste."
Li Luo sighed. "Sister Qing'e, you treat me too well. I would dedicate my life to you, but I guess we're already engaged."
She clobbered him over the head with her fist. "Less of the buttering up."
Ox Biaobiao smiled at their banter, then he turned to leave, taking Li Luo's empty bowl and chopsticks with him.
Li Luo watched him go. "Our Uncle Biao really knows a lot."
Ox Biaobiao had instantly told him about a miracle paste the moment his hollow being had been identified. It was a coincidence too good to be true.
Jiang Qing'e nodded slightly. "A hidden flag that the House Lords left behind. But he has never asked a word about House Luolan's matters before."
Li Luo started to wonder if he was wrong about his parents not knowing about the aftereffects of the second acquired resonance...
"Don't worry too much about Uncle Biao. Not even I know if he truly has power, or if he is just a slightly more knowledgeable chef," Jiang Qing'e said.
"Why worry about those things when I can worry about myself? I would rather depend on myself than anyone else to protect House Luolan." Li Luo agreed with a smile.
"Rest well, then. School opens in a few days. Remember my warning, and acquit yourself well," she said with a warm smile
Li Luo breathed out. "Finally, the Astral Sage College."
He had been looking forward to entering the most elite institution in the Xia Kingdom for a while now.
"Oh yes, I heard that you're super popular everywhere in the Astral Sage College. Will I be treated unfairly?" Li Luo mused glumly.
Jiang Qing'e's lips twitched slightly. "He who wears the crown must bear the weight. You're engaged to me. Of course you have to endure your trials."
"I already offered to annul the engagement," Li Luo said very sincerely.
"You're still a long way away from that," she said, amused, reaching out to tussle his hair.
"If anyone bullies you in school...
"I'll beat him up."
A ray of sunlight found its way through the window, lighting up her face. Li Luo's heart skipped a beat. Oh Qing'e, you're a cruel one.
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