Chapter 0550: Huang Lou
The arrow buried itself deep in the hip of the black knight's armor, which exploded with a cloud of black light around the opening, fighting against the attack.
But the damage was too great.
Along with the emotional shock, the black knight had totally been caught off guard by Li Luo.
The black light began to fade away, until the lightning finally won out over it. The armor cracked.
With enough cracks spreading across the armor, it finally shattered, and the person inside was smashed heavily against the tree from the explosion.
The black knight coughed up a heavy amount of blood, disbelief in his eyes.
He had never imagined that he would crumble here.
He was an Earth Fiend expert... beaten by a Resonant Master!
Mustering his last ounce of strength, he tried to flee.
A tree branch caught him heavily across the chest, bringing his scurried escape to a halt.
His body slowly keeled over, the strength leaching out of him.
Suddenly, the tree root chamber was empty.
Li Luo lowered the Lambent Hawkeye, his arms throbbing painfully. His eyes never left the black knight, watching for any signs of sudden movement.
Lu Ming's lips were tightly pursed as well, watching tensely.
She could not believe it... Li Luo had taken down an Earth Fiend expert.
Of course, much of the credit had to go to the arrow from the Thunderpeal Tree, but ultimately, Li Luo was the guy who had made it happen.
This guy was truly something else.
She looked at his badly bleeding arms and felt respect well within her. This guy had become the strongest student not by luck. A cool head, split-second decision-making—he was better than Jing Taixu by far.
Li Luo himself was looking rather calm. From the way his opponent's chest rose weakly and his ragged breathing, he could tell that he was still alive, although the complete lack of resonant power aura meant that he might not live for long.
Satisfied that it was safe, he took a step forward and sliced away the mask with his Onyx-Elephant Blade.
The familiar face of a middle-aged man was revealed to him. Huang Lou, who Li Luo and the others had met back at the village.
Blood poured down his face, his eyes hazy with death.
"Commander Huang Lou, I didn't expect to meet you here," Li Luo said mildly.
Huang Lou's lips moved, gray eyes on Li Luo. "How... did you know it was me?"
"I guessed at Riverguard City. The black armor hid your resonant power affinity, but not the way you used it. I only had a hint of suspicion then, until I saw you at Thunderpeal Mountain.
"I remembered that you were the one who gave us information on the Thunderpeal Tree. Perhaps it was a coincidence, but I also suspected... that you were trying to lure us here to finish us off?
"Of course, all of that was speculation. I did not dare to confirm it. It was a risk when I shouted. If you had not reacted then, it might have confirmed a negative for me. It was a lucky break." Li Luo grinned.
Huang Lou grimaced. So he had given himself away after all.
He had tripped himself up over Li Luo's wild guess, and suffered a grievous wound for it.
Huang Lou's eyes went calm again. "My little friend Li Luo, I have no other request but that you do not tell this to my brothers and mother back at the village."
"You know that the Others destroyed the Blackwind Empire," Li Luo said sternly. "And that they were let out by these unknown powers. Why did you help them?"
"Do you think I could defend my village for long otherwise?" Huang Lou choked out.
"What about the people farmed like pigs at Riverguard City?" Li Luo demanded coldly. "Were they not deserving of your protection? Were you not the commander of their city's defense?" Huang Lou only replied with a bitter smile.
Li Luo watched the life fade from the befallen man's eyes. "I can choose to honor your final wish, but what will you give me for it?"
Huang Lou was silent for a while, and then he closed his eyes. "Li Luo, there is a crimson knight-general overseeing Russet Rock City. Only death awaits you there. Thunderpeal Mountain fell to his machinations as well. I advise you to give it up. The Blackwind Empire is not a place that youngsters like you can mend."
His head drooped now, the final breath of life gone.
Li Luo looked at the lifeless Huang Lou one more time and then sighed.
"Did he say crimson knight-general? Is that his superior?" Lu Ming asked.
"Probably. I wonder how strong a crimson knight-general is, to be able to sabotage the Thunderpeal Tree... he might well be a Heavenly Resonance Stage expert," Li Luo said gravely.
Heavenly Dipper Generals were divided into the Heavenly Pearl stage and Heavenly Resonance stage.
Even the strongest Four Star Hall students like Lan Lan were only at the Heavenly Pearl Stage. If the crimson knight-general had Heavenly Resonance power, then they were in deep trouble indeed.
It might seem like only a single sub-stage difference, but the disparity in power was like heaven and earth. Besides, who knew if the crimson knight-general had other greater Heavenly Disaster-class Others serving him?
It was a level of power that made him shiver.
This mixed-level competition was getting way beyond their pay grade.
Li Luo put those thoughts aside. This was no time to be thinking of that. He turned to the silver tree core again. Now that the interruption had been taken care of, he had to continue helping it remove the thorns and complete his mission.
Perhaps the Thunderpeal Tree would give him some juicy rewards for his troubles?
After all, he had risked his life to save it. Surely the rewards would be very juicy, right? Full of juice?
Li Luo's eyes shone with greedy anticipation.