As they rolled up to the gates of the Astral Sage College, Jiang Qing'e disembarked first, flitting up the endless flights of stairs towards the campus.
Li Luo and Yan Lingqing left a little later.
He could clearly see that there were many older students who gave way to Jiang Qing'e as she passed, nodding in greeting, while trying (and failing) to hide their feelings for her.
The new students looked at her with a mixture of surprise and respect as she passed.
This was Jiang Qing'e, the legendary ninth-grade resonance user.
She was famous both in the Astral Sage College and throughout the Xia Kingdom.
They could not help feeling excited, looking forward to cultivating in the same school as such a legend.
"Weeew," Li Luo whistled. "That's some reputation indeed."
"This is nothing... Soon you'll know the true extent of your fiance's star power here in the Astral Sage College," Yan Lingqing said.
Li Luo sighed. No need for soon, he already knew—if even Duke Stage Violet Vibrance mentors were chasing her, what more did he need to know?
Wrestling with his complex feelings, Li Luo followed Yan Lingqing up the stairs. The view changed dramatically when they passed through the white jade doors.
Firstly, they saw an endless buildup of school buildings—tall, towering architecture that sprawled in every direction.
There was a dignity to the campus, built up over thousands of years of history. A wealth of years that demanded respect from the visitors within its halls.
The buildings were just a small part of it. Even more impactful was the enormous tree whose canopy nearly blocked out the sky.
The Tree of Resonant Power looked like an embodiment of eternity itself. It made one feel small and insignificant.
Its branches covered most of the sky above the Astral Sage College, and gathered worldly natural energy to it. Even from a distance, Li Luo could sense the terrific speed at which it was gathering energy from all around.
No wonder it could produce a treasure like the Royal Sap.
Truly, the Tree of Resonant Power at Southwind Academy was like a tiny seedling compared to this...
Still lost in awe at his surroundings, Li Luo let himself be dragged to the newcomers' reporting place by Yan Lingqing.
After a simple registration process, Li Luo was given a newcomer’s jade tablet, which he would need for the Choosing of the Mentors.
The one handling registration was a Two Star Hall student. He stared at Li Luo's information for a long time, as if trying to remember something. Seeing the situation, Yan Lingqing quickly ushered him away.
As he was leaving, Li Luo heard a small commotion behind him and turned to see two figures walking together.
One of them was leggy, hair neatly cropped around her ears. She had fresh features and a smattering of freckles. Her cool expression was a subtle warning of danger to those around her.
Li Luo recognized her immediately. Third place on Yu Lang's ranking—Bai Doudou.
Behind Bai Doudou was another young woman who resembled her. She was more than a class ahead of her. Her perfect features were almost doll-like—porcelain skin and wide, sparkling eyes that were like jeweled pools come to life.
Compared to Bai Doudou's taller and slimmer figure, she was slightly shorter, but that only made her even more appealing and huggable.
The commotion was a horde of admirers gawking at the young lady.
Li Luo recognized her as well. The sister belles among the newcomers.
Bai Mengmeng was indeed very pretty. She had the potential to compete against Lu Qing'er. No wonder Yu Lang had risked life and limb to rank her first.
"Worthless flies, shoo."
Bai Doudou gave an icy glare to the hot, passionate looks being thrown their way.
The fan club scattered, ashamed and not expecting such vehemence from Bai Doudou.
Bai Doudou sniffed, leading Bai Mengmeng on to register.
Li Luo kept his eyes to himself, preparing to leave with Yan Lingqing.
But just as he turned around, he took an inadvertent step back as he found himself face to face with two people staring at him.
One was a face familiar to Li Luo. Duze Beixuan was staring at him with a toying look.
And beside Duze Beixuan was a tall girl with a head of flaming red hair and lips. She was a beauty in her own right, but there was a meanness in her eyes.
"Are you Li Luo?" she asked coolly.
He frowned, trying to place her. Since she appeared so close to Duze Beixuan, she was the friend of his enemy. "Yes?"
Yan Lingqing was looking unfriendly. "Duze Honglian, what are you up to?"
Li Luo took in this information. Duze Honglian... She was a member of House Duze as well.
"Yan Lingqing. I'm just here to see Jiang Qing'e's future husband. Why so protective?" She smirked.
Her voice was just high enough to carry to those nearby, sparking a small commotion.
The murmurs spread quickly, and astonished looks were soon trained on Li Luo.
"That's Jiang Qing'e's future husband?!"
"Yeah, he's called Li Luo. The young lord of House Luolan, and he does have a marriage commitment with Jiang Qing'e. She's even said so herself!"
"Disgusting. What does this kid have that makes him think he stands a chance with Senior Qing'e?! Besides those pretty boy looks, he's got nothing."
"Well... honestly, he's more than just a little handsome though..."
"Tsk, shallow. So what if he's handsome? Handsome guys are aplenty in the Astral Sage College! Plus, we're talking about talent and potential here!"
An undercurrent of jealousy and resentment ran through the crowd around Li Luo, and there was definitely a belligerent mood in the air.
Li Luo was again tasting the star power of Jiang Qing'e at the Astral Sage College. He had thought it would be enough to keep his mouth shut, but still this conundrum was going to rear its head at the first instance.
"Duze Honglian, what mischief are you up to now? Just because Qing'e has always thrashed you, that doesn't mean you should take it out on Li Luo," Yan Lingqing retorted angrily. She could see that Duze Honglian was painting Li Luo red for the angry bulls all around.
"Just speaking the truth. Or are you saying your darling junior here doesn't have the guts to acknowledge it?" As sexy as her flaming red appearance was, her words reminded one of a devilish snake spitting venom.
"You!" Yan Lingqing glared at her. She had masterfully maneuvered Li Luo into a dilemma. If he acknowledged it, it would be an open invitation for resentment. If he denied it, he would be seen as lacking a backbone. That was not going to help his cultivation at the Astral Sage College one bit.
Li Luo looked at her for a moment, then he smiled and took two steps towards her.
She continued staring at him coolly, with no intention of backing away. Why should she be afraid of some kid?
His eyes met hers. "Duze Honglian..." he said softly.
She snickered. "Well? No answer?"
Li Luo shouted angrily at her, the impatience and anger in his voice carrying far.
He took two steps back, still shouting. "Stop trying to force yourself on me! Stop confessing! I already said that it's impossible between us! I'm an engaged man! Even if you degrade yourself to a mistress, Qing'e would never agree to that! Just let me go, please!"
His pained plea hushed up the whispers all around them, turning them to shock at the sudden development.
Even the disdain on Duze Honglian's face froze in an instant.Previous Chapter Next Chapter