Chapter 0544: A Special Signal
The frenzied battle on Thunderpeal Mountain raged on.
Mighty blasts of resonant power sheared through electric vines that came at the students from all sides. Even when the vines were repelled, the electricity caused them to explode, keeping the students on their toes.
Most of them were being defended against by the First Princess and the other Heavenly Pearl Stage cultivators.
They were tanking most of the damage.
Jiang Qing'e and the other two Three Star Hall students were helping them out. They were also in charge of sweeping away the electric vines that came at them from below. The entire situation was very disorderly.
Li Luo, Lu Ming, and Ao Bai were gathered in a small circle of their own, trying to ward off any attacks that came their way. Li Luo was recovering at good speed, and he felt the tingling numbness begin to fade away from his body. His resonant powers were kicking in with good effect, and he sighed in relief.
"Are you better?" Lu Ming asked.
Li Luo looked over at the aloof girl with a hint of concern in her eyes.
He smiled and nodded.
His blackened face and frazzled hair were both comical and pitiful to look upon, but he was only this way because he had saved her. "Watch yourself, then. The electric vines sprouting up from the ground are only getting more numerous."
Li Luo nodded, keeping his eyes low.
That special signal... had he imagined it?
What could it possibly mean?
Li Luo was quite curious. He felt that it could be an important message.
If it were real, why was he the only one who had sensed it?
The First Princess, Jiang Qing'e, and the others were in the thick of battle, and each had cut down dozens of vines. And yet none of them had shown the slightest awareness that any message was being sent.
Li Luo desperately wanted time to think. He stared hard at the other combatants, turning his thoughts inwards as he watched the colorful blasts of resonant power fly past without thinking too much... “Color!
No one else here had a wood resonance!
Wood resonant power lent him a unique sensitivity with the plants of the world, and even those that were strangely otherworldly... like the Thunderpeal Tree. Perhaps this was a reasonable explanation for why he had sensed something that the others had not.
If that was so, had the cry for help come from the Thunderpeal Tree before them?
He thought it a plausible notion. The Thunderpeal Tree was a wonder of the world. It had a tremendous reservoir of energy that it filled constantly. Perhaps it had some degree of sentience.
Was it asking him for help?
"Li Luo, what are you daydreaming about? Did your injuries worsen?" Lu Ming saw that there was a vague, dreamy expression on Li Luo's face, and quickly poked him with her sword hilt out of concern.
Li Luo shook his head. "I'm fine... Lu Ming, can you help me?"
She looked at him strangely. "What sort of help, at this time?"
Li Luo hesitated, then he said, "I need to lure an electric vine to attack me, but the electricity is too strong for me to tank alone. I need you to help me relieve some of the attack."
Lu Ming stared at him uncomprehendingly. "Get an electric vine to attack you? Have you lost your mind? The first one almost killed you. Are you a masochist or something?" she blurted out embarrassedly. Lu Ming herself had the dual resonances of illusion and lightning, so she was familiar with the unique experience of pain and disorientation that her opponents were often subject to. Sometimes, there were odd ones who enjoyed the pain... was Li Luo one of those? He scowled at her. "I do NOT like being struck by lightning!
"I just have some insights that could change our situation!"
"Suuuuure......" Lu Ming said doubtfully. But in the end, she agreed to cooperate. Surely not even a mad masochist would indulge in his fetishes at a time like this.
"You don't even believe me..." Li Luo muttered, half to himself. He looked over to Jiang Qing'e, who was scything through the electric vines like a wheat field. She had attracted the bulk of the vines to her already.
"Qing'e, send one of the weak vines my way!"
The trust between the two was deep enough that she would not question his strange request.
Hearing his shout, Jiang Qing'e pulled a face, but she removed the light resonant energy from her blade for a second and twisted it expertly so the flat side faced one of the vines. With a tremendous swing, she batted it expertly over to Li Luo's position.
The electric vine flailed around in a frenzy, uncaring of where it was. The crackling and popping electricity was soon in Li Luo's face.
It hissed and crackled like a dragon, burning even the air around it.
Lu Ming screamed inwardly when Jiang Qing'e batted the vine their way. The Three Star Hall girl might be able to deal with it easily, but the two of them were different—she was only a Resonant Master.
She did not dare to slack off. Her slim hands gripped her sword and channeled the full extent of her dual resonant powers, holding nothing back.
The thin sword formed its own lightning veil that shot out towards the vine and wrapped around it. Unlike other powers, her lightning was able to land on the electric vine without causing an explosion. Rather, she could mute some of its power.
The ground beneath the vine turned black from the reverse flow of electricity.
Lu Ming's move soon fizzled as her sword's energy ran out. She was sent stumbling backwards a dozen steps, her sword now glowing hot from the attack.
"Li Luo, watch out!" she cried.
Even with her full strength, she had only been able to weaken the electric vine a little.
Li Luo nodded grimly. He watched the vine approach, and he took a deep breath. He channeled his own dual resonances and then stepped out with both palms towards his opponent.
He grabbed it with both hands.
The electrical energy flooded through Li Luo like a raging river. He again felt the numbing energy take him, and he gritted his teeth and held on grimly. More. He needed more information.
The electric vine thrashed in his hands like a python struggling to get free, unleashing violent bursts of energy that cooked the flesh on Li Luo's palms.
But there was no repeat of the special message.
Li Luo's heart sank. Had he really imagined it?
He continued to hold on, even though the skin on his hands was starting to char.
Just as Li Luo felt like he could hold on no longer, a pair of cool hands pressed onto the sides of his own, and the relief was immense as the electrical flow was partially diverted.
"Li Luo, are you mad?!" Lu Ming screamed in his ear. "Do you not like having hands?!"
He saw that she had rushed over to help him hold the vine and divert some of the energy flow and heat to her own hands.
"Tha… nks," Li Luo choked out. "A little more...!"
Lu Ming gritted her teeth and nodded.
With the two of them holding on, the electric vine started to die away. And the moment the vine's power ran out, Li Luo again sensed the message.
This time, it filled his head with a strange image.
A vision of darkness, dripping with sludgy corruption.
There were silver tree roots coated in the thick, purplish sludge that seemed to be sucking away at the tree's life. It crawled up the roots, was absorbed, and then finally turned the silver to black...
Li Luo heard the moan of the tree come to him from below.
His eyes flew open, regaining normal sight.
No wonder they could not see a single Other here at Thunderpeal Mountain. They had all burrowed down to the base of the tree and to work their corruptive magic from the roots instead.