Chapter 0551: Li Luo Breaks the Stalemate
Thunderpeal Mountain rumbled ominously, electric vines sweeping out in relentless waves towards the three fighters.
The lashes cracked out again and again, and the First Princess, Qin Yue, and Zhao Beili held out grimly. Their faces were pale from fatigue. The vines were no real threat to their lives, but neither could they be ignored with impunity. They were worn out by the sheer length of the battle.
Stuck on the defense, they had been worn down to the point that none of them could even think about counterattacking.
"You two, Qing'e just sent me a message saying that Li Luo's found a lead to break this stalemate. Let's hold out a while more." The First Princess's jade scepter lifted tiredly again, bringing forth the power of her seven heavenly pearls.
"Li Luo?" Both Qin Yue and Zhao Beili were skeptical. "The One Star Hall guy?"
Their spirits only fell further. Three Heavenly Pearl stage cultivators were worn out. What could a mere Resonant Master do about the situation?
The First Princess felt a little sheepish about it. She had her own doubts when Jiang Qing'e had contacted her. She respected Li Luo's outstanding skills, but he was ultimately still a Resonant Master, and she saw no way for his abilities to ever come in clutch.
Still, the boy had a track record of working miracles, and so she still held out a sliver of hope.
Perhaps he had really found something special.
So she stood firm against the skepticism of Qin Yue and Zhao Beili. "Li Luo is not a reckless person. If he has chosen to take a risk, I would back his call and assume that it is a calculated one. He must have his reasons. Besides... we've no other way forward."
This didn’t convince Qin Yue nor Zhao Beili in the slightest, but they held on out of respect for the First Princess.
"Alright, we'll try to hold out for a while more, but the Thunderpeal Tree is not growing any weaker. If we don't make any decisive moves soon, the situation will only slip further and further away from us with every passing moment. We should gather our strength while it lasts and punch our way out of this.”
They no longer cared about fulfilling the mission.
They just wanted to survive with their squads.
The First Princess nodded. The worst case would be giving up on the mission. They had all underestimated the danger of Thunderpeal Mountain.
This was many levels more perilous compared to Riverguard City.
Nearby, Jiang Qing'e was meticulously sweeping away the vines as they grew out of the ground, her eyes frequently darting to the Thunderpeal Tree.
"Isn't it over yet?
"How are things?"
These thoughts ran through her mind constantly. She had absolute trust in Li Luo, so much that she would let him run off to the heart of Thunderpeal Mountain without asking too much. But she could not help worrying.
Not like worrying was helping. He was in the middle of the mountain, and the only thing that could help him out of deep trouble was his spirit mirror.
"Hmm?" Jiang Qing'e suddenly noticed that the electrical energy on the vines seemed to be becoming weaker.
Some of them even drooped limply back to the ground after growing out, sagging towards the side listlessly as they emitted the odd spark.
The other Three Star Hall students had noticed this sudden change as well.
"The prison's opening!" the Two Star Hall Ao Bai exclaimed.
To their delight, they saw the entire crown of the tree straightening back up, opening a gap of freedom underneath. The malevolent lightning energy had also ebbed away.
"What's going on?!" It seemed too good to be true that the battle was suddenly over.
Jiang Qing'e smiled happily towards the tree. “Li Luo must have succeeded!”
She looked up to see the First Princess and the other Four Star Hall students lower their weapons as well, as the Thunderpeal Tree was no longer attacking them.
The three strongest students cautiously regrouped back on the ground.
"Qing'e, what happened?" the First Princess asked.
"Li Luo must have succeeded. He said that the Thunderpeal Tree was attacking us because it had been corrupted and lost its reason. Now that some of the corruption seems to have faded away, the tree must have regained its will."
"He... really did it?" The First Princess was astounded. This was her first time experiencing a miracle worked by Li Luo firsthand.
Qin Yue and Zhao Beili looked at each other in confusion as well.
They could imagine how deep the corruption had to be to affect an entity as strong as the Thunderpeal Tree. A mere Resonant Master had actually managed to remove that corruption by himself?
That was something that not even they could do.
How had he pulled it off?!
Then again, the silent tree before them was proof enough. They had to believe the reality that was before them.
"Heh. Hehe. Junior Li Luo is really something special, eh?" Qin Yue chuckled.
The three Heavenly Pearl Stage experts were feeling a little chagrined. They were the strongest members present, and yet their weakest member was the one who had gotten them out of danger.
It was, frankly, embarrassing.
The First Princess recovered very quickly. "This is good news. No matter how, we've overcome the problem of the Thunderpeal Tree."
Qin Yue and Zhao Beili nodded fervently. The mission was complete, thankfully.
"Has the Thunderpeal Tree regained its sentience?" Lu Ming exclaimed.
Li Luo looked at the silver tree core. It was shooting bunches of silver energy at each spike in turn, tearing away the rot from its trunk.
"Almost completely free now. The poison formation seems to be broken, and now it's picking away at the remaining parts like individual domino pieces. With a bit more time, it'll be completely cleansed again," Li Luo explained.
"The Others eating their way in might be a bit more troublesome, but it’s probably manageable for the Thunderpeal Tree. With that level of energy, it could sweep them all out quickly enough."
"So it's settled, then," Lu Ming said with great relief.
Li Luo smiled and nodded. Actually, all they had done was tip the balance slightly in the tree's favor, and it had done the rest.
Still, that little push was crucial, and there was no doubt that they had rescued the Thunderpeal Tree.
As the two slumped in relief, they saw a wall open in the root chamber, and a wooden staircase unfurl for them, leading to an unknown area.
The two first years looked at each other gleefully. Perhaps the Thunderpeal Tree's rewards were here.
Both walked forward eagerly.