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ABSOLUTE RESONANCE Chapter 1.1 : I Have Three Blank Palaces

Chapter 1: I Have Three Blank Palaces

Chapter 1: I Have Three Blank Palaces

The Xia Kingdom. Tianshu Province.

The June sun was blazing, scorching the city of Southwind with its heat.

Many youthful faces could be seen within a bright, s.p.a.cious training area of the Southwind Academy. The young boys and girls were all dressed in training gear and were seated in the lotus position. They were arranged in a circle, and their gazes were directed towards the center, where two figures were engaged in a rapid-fire duel. Clear ringing sounds could be heard echoing throughout the training area each time their wooden swords clashed.

Both of the duelists were young, roughly fifteen or sixteen years of age. The youth to the right was quite slender and handsome, with a pair of lively eyes and an elegant demeanor. His spectacular leather clothes alone drew the rapt, bashful gazes of quite a few of the maidens present.

“Go, Li Luo!” A particularly brave maiden let out a cheer of support.

Li Luo’s opponent was another youth, but a much more muscular one. His face looked significantly more brutish, and his skin was swarthy and dark. The duel between him and Li Luo almost looked like a battle between a man and a black bear.

When he heard the maiden cheer for Li Luo, he grimaced in a rather jealous manner, then roared out, “Li Luo, I’m not going to hold back any longer!” He took a step forward, causing the floorboard to tremble, then chopped out with his wooden sword towards Li Luo. The sword seemed to screech as it sliced through the air.

Li Luo’s gaze flickered as he saw the shadow of the sword reaching towards him. He suddenly leapt forwards, moving as agilely as a swallow as he sidestepped this fierce, ponderous strike.

“The Windsparrow Step!” someone cried out with a hint of praise. The Windsparrow Step was just a basic resonance art which quite a few of the people present knew, but not many were able to execute it with Li Luo’s level of skill.

Li Luo shot towards the muscular youth like a flying sparrow, then suddenly struck out in a move akin to drawing the sword. A ray of light seemed to flash with incredible speed as his sword pierced towards his opponent’s chest.

“The Lesser Nimblelight Sword!” another called out in surprise. Li Luo’s strike had flashed forward like the curved horns of an antelope, an attack that was both fast and vicious. The onlookers couldn’t help but sigh in praise. The most talented student of the Southwind Academy truly lives up to his reputation!

The look on the muscular youth’s face changed when he saw Li Luo strike at him. However, he was no pushover himself. At this critical moment, he forcefully stabilized himself and then rapidly leapt several steps backwards.

Right at this moment, a faint silvery glow exuded from his hand, seeming to take the form of a blurry silver bear’s palm as he grasped the wooden sword. Accompanying the glow was a faint, deep, bearlike growl that seemed to emanate from somewhere within the muscular youth’s body.

One of the many watching students let out a surprised cry. “That’s Zhao Kuo’s fifth-grade Silver Bear Resonance. It seems he’s really taking this seriously!”

Accompanied by many amazed cries, Zhao Kuo took a step forwards, causing cracks to appear in the floorboards beneath him as he delivered a chopping blow towards Li Luo. His heavy wooden sword was filled with an aura of dominating power and accompanied by an ear-piercing gust of wind, and a rapid silver glow was quickly coalescing atop the sword as well.

“Brutal Chop!” the muscular youth roared out, delivering a brilliant blow directly against the incoming piercing sword-shadow.

Boom! The two swords slammed into each other with such tremendous force that Li Luo’s wooden sword started to crumble into pieces. In the end, the entire wooden sword was blown apart by the forceful, dominating, grizzly-like strike. Faced with this tremendous power, Li Luo was knocked dozens of steps backwards.

After stabilizing himself, Li Luo lowered his head to glance at the remnants of his wooden sword, then let out a helpless chuckle. “Fine, Zhao Kuo. You win.”

“Aww.” This regretful sound simultaneously came from the mouths of multiple maidens as they heard his p.r.o.nouncement. However, many of the young men watching let out little sn.i.g.g.e.rs of joy. As l.u.s.ty young men in the prime of their health, they naturally felt quite a bit of jealousy towards Li Luo, due to the amount of affection the young maidens present bore him.

“What a pity! Li Luo’s attack was clearly deadlier. He’s considerably superior to Zhao Kuo when it comes to applying resonance arts. If it wasn’t for the fact that he has yet to awaken a resonance, he definitely would’ve won this duel,” an onlooker evaluated.

“Agreed. Zhao Kuo has a fifth-grade Silver Bear Resonance that grants him astonis.h.i.+ng power. In addition, I suspect his resonant power has reached the fifth seal as well. He lives up to his reputation as the strongest member of the Second School.”

“Li Luo is definitely incredibly talented in learning and using resonance arts, but he was born without a resonance of his own. This is an incurable weakness. No matter how skilled you are in applying and using a resonance art, your attacks won’t be of much use if you don’t have sufficiently powerful base of resonant power supporting it.”

“Hah! No need for you to pity him. Think about who Li Luo is! He’s the young lord of House Luolan, one of the four great houses of the Xia Kingdom. His parents, in turn, were the youngest Dukes in the kingdom. In ten short years, their newly established House Luolan quickly ascended to become one of the four great houses. Not only are they famous in the Xia Kingdom, they’ve even earned a reputation beyond our borders!”

“Ugh, all that is ancient history. Three years ago, his parents went missing during the n.o.ble’s War, and ever since then House Luolan has grown much weaker. And, from what I’ve heard, there’s currently a lot of dissent within House Luolan itself. In the future, it might even break apart. I doubt he’ll be the young lord for much longer.”

“Oh? Is that really true? The current leader of House Luolan is Jiang Qing’e, right? One of our senior cla.s.smates.”

When this name came out, ardent looks appeared in the eyes of all the young men present. This was because the name Jiang Qing’e had reached mythical status in the annals of the Southwind Academy. Still – when they remembered the special relations.h.i.+p she had with Li Luo, the ardent looks transformed into gazes aimed at Li Luo that were rather odd.

As the young men and women present all whispered and gossiped with each other, Zhao Kuo walked towards Li Luo, then patted him on the shoulder. Smiling, he said, “You alright? Don’t blame me for seizing an unfair advantage.”

Li Luo chuckled. Zhao Kuo was the straightforward sort, and the two of them were usually on quite good terms. The man hadn’t broken any rules either. The fact that he was born with a blank resonance was his greatest weakness; he couldn’t blame Zhao Kuo for that.

A middle-aged man had been watching the two of them from the sidelines for quite some time. Finally, he turned his gaze away. This man’s name was Xu Shanyue, and he was the teacher of the Second School.

Xu Shanyue’s eyes were also filled with a lot of regret. Li Luo truly was an incredibly talented figure, and he was able to learn any resonance art faster than an average person. In this, he had clearly taken after his two incredible parents, and in fact he actually surpa.s.sed them. Unfortunately, the fact that he was born with a blank resonance would prove quite problematic for him when it came to improving his resonant power.

When humans trained, they had to rely upon their own resonance and use it as their foundations. They would use their resonances to draw upon the natural energy of the world, then convert it into the force known as power.

There were countless different types of resonances, but most could be roughly divided into one of two camps; elemental resonances and beast resonances.

Elemental resonances referred to the various elements that filled heaven and earth, such as water, fire, wind, or thunder. As for the beast resonances? According to the legends, during the earliest dawn of human civilization, there was an almighty figure that attempted to strengthen humanity by extracting the spirits of countless beasts, then infusing these spirits into the various human bloodlines, giving birth to what was now called ‘beast resonances’. In general, both elemental resonances and beast resonances could be roughly divided into nine different grades. 

Normally, when a human child reached his teens, a cavity known as the ‘resonant palace’ would appear within that child’s body. Once it manifested, it would naturally give birth to that child’s resonance.

Zhao Kuo, for example, had awakened a fifth-grade Silver Bear Resonance within his resonant palace. This obviously was one of the many beast resonances. This resonance specialized in granting tremendous strength, and when combined with his own formidable resonant power, it was capable of unleas.h.i.+ng truly destructive levels of power.

And this was where Li Luo’s problem lay. Even though his resonant palace had appeared, no resonance had manifested within the palace. It was completely empty. Cases like this were incredibly rare, and were generally referred to as having a ‘blank resonance’. Since he had no resonance to serve as a foundation for drawing and refining energy from the natural world, it was very difficult for him to gain a high level of resonant power. This was the fundamental reason why he had just been defeated by Zhao Kuo.

He had no resonance within his palace!

The Academy had already performed many different tests to understand why this was the case. His parents were both outstanding figures, after all, and the high-level members of the Academy had very high hopes for him.