Chapter 132: The Contest Begins
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
What kind of title would he get?
Gao Peng was seriously giving this question some thought, but it was rather difficult to answer. After all, with his wide variety of familiars, there were too many titles that were suitable for him. Just thinking about it made him giddy with joy.
After the conference ended, Gao Peng went back to the room provided to him by the Monster Trainer League.
They were being housed in a mountain villa, and each participant had their own little courtyard for their familiars.
Returning to his courtyard, Gao Peng found Stripey trying to dig a hole. Its sharp spider claws slashed apart the ceramic tiles on the ground, only to reveal cement underneath. Stripey seemed rather puzzled. Shouldn’t there be soil underneath? Just two days ago, it had been digging up soil in master’s garden. Why was it digging up this hard, grey stuff here?
Stripey’s claws began to ache from trying to dig up the cement. Finally, it smashed the ground twice in frustration, making angry squeaking sounds.
“What’s wrong?” asked a puzzled Gao Peng.
Gao Peng turned to see Silly drifting over leisurely like a leaf in the wind. Then, just when Gao Peng was least expecting it, it attacked while his guard was down!
Silly plopped onto Gao Peng’s head and started to dance happily as if to say, “I managed to get on your head again! Yay!”
Ever since Silly found out that Gao Peng hated it when Silly plopped onto his head, doing so had become Silly’s new favorite hobby. Seeing its master feel so defeated by its behavior made Silly so happy.
“Alright, alright,” said Gao Peng, giving up. He went to ask Da Zi what was going on.
Gao Peng noticed that his familiars were gradually maturing. As they grew stronger, they also grew wiser. Take Da Zi for example. Initially, it often did cute and silly things, like an animal would do. But as time went on, just like a child growing up, Da Zi’s personality was gradually becoming steadier and more mature. Now it only did silly things occasionally, and that brought Gao Peng joy.
“It’s trying to bury itself,” Da Zi told him, waving its mandibles. The antennae on its head were swaying nonstop.
Gao Peng then realized what was going on. Because of Stripey’s attribute, it liked to partially bury itself in the ground to sleep at night. This was a new habit that it had developed since its evolution.
Because his villa’s back garden had nice, loose earth, Gao Peng had allowed Stripey to do whatever it wished. But it seemed he had forgotten to tell Stripey that they were not in their villa anymore. Even if it weren’t for the cement floor, to dig up another person’s place like this… It just wasn’t right.
“I want to sleep,” Stripey complained to Gao Peng.
“Alright, then go to sleep, but no digging.”
Gao Peng gently rubbed Stripey’s head. Stripey whimpered some more, but after a good deal of comforting, Stripey finally tucked in its limbs and lay on the ground. The light in its eyes slowly dimmed.
After coaxing Stripey to sleep, Gao Peng heaved a sigh of relief. Then he noticed Da Zi behind him, pitifully staring at him while lying on the ground. How long had Da Zi been in that position? Gao Peng didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. This petty little fella was unhappy again.
He quickly went over to comfort Da Zi, and only when Da Zi fell deep into sleep did he finally get up, massaging his sore arm. But as he got up, Silly, who had been resting on his head all along, made unhappy “puchi” sounds as though it had been disturbed from its sleep.
It took Gao Peng until midnight to comfort all his familiars. After waiting for them to fall asleep, Gao Peng was finally able to go to bed himself.
They had only just arrived in the Jiangnan district, so Gao Peng could understand why it was hard for them to get used to the new environment.
Dayang Mountain Forest was only a dozen miles away from the villa.
“Attention all candidates, attention all candidates.” The blaring sound from a loudspeaker reverberated across the entire mountain villa. The sound of a helicopter could also be heard, and from the helicopter white searchlights shone down, creating white pillars of light across the night sky.
All the candidates within the mountain villa were startled awake.
“The second round of the examination will now begin!” the loudspeaker continued. “Attention all candidates, please take note. You have twenty minutes to prepare. You will officially set off in twenty minutes. Head in the direction indicated by the searchlights of the helicopter and reach the target destination within the time limit.”
As the sound of the loudspeaker continued to reverberate above them in the night sky, the candidates rushed out of bed to put on the combat suits issued to them the day before.
Pushing open the door, Gao Peng saw that all the candidates were streaming out of their rooms like a school of fish.
After twenty minutes, the propellers of the helicopter hummed as they started to shift direction, and the helicopter flew northward.
It was 6:20 AM, and the sky was just beginning to brighten.
“Follow it.” Gao Peng’s instructions were short and concise as he walked towards his familiars.
Stripey was lying flat on the ground, ready for Gao Peng to mount up, but Gao Peng walked right past it and over to Dumby.
Dumby knelt down and reached out its hand. Gao Peng climbed up Dumby’s arm to sit securely on the middle of Dumby’s neck, which had an area of broad and sturdy bone that was just the right size for a person to sit on.
Chichichi? Stripey tilted its head in confusion.
“Your back has become too rough on my bottom…” Gao Peng said, trying to comfort Stripey. “If you run too fast, I’m afraid you’ll tear a hole in my pants!”
Gao Peng patted Dumby on the head and told him to follow the helicopter.
Dumby nodded and picked up Da Zi from the ground. With a whip-like swish, it coiled Da Zi around its waist just like a belt. Then it sprinted after the helicopter in large strides. Stripey followed after them.
On the helicopter, two cameramen, each holding a video recorder, were taking footage of the candidates from two different angles. The country had specially set up a temporary television channel for 24-hour footage of this part of the examination. Just in case of accidents with the candidates, the footage was not broadcast live. Instead, it was recorded first, and the broadcast of the footage was released two hours later to allow for editing.
Cruising through the dense forests, each step of Dumby’s legs landed firmly on the ground. The strong blood-thread heart within its body pumped with each stride, continually providing Dumby with energy.
Stripey was just as fast. When facing tall obstacles, it simply shot out a thread of spider silk at a thick branch overhead and swung in the air over the obstacles.
After ten minutes, the fastest candidates had already reached the destination, arriving the same time as the helicopter.
In the sky, a Volcanic Vulture was comfortably spreading its wings in the sky. Clambering on its back was a large, burly teenager, who was wearing a rather awkward expression on his face because the cameraman on the helicopter next to him kept zooming in on him. If he were sitting in a cool pose it would be fine, but he was clinging on to his Volcanic Vulture’s neck for dear life, his hair blown into an utter mess by the raging winds. It was so embarrassing!
After hesitating for a moment, the teen yelled out, “Could you stop recording me?!”
Sadly, the sound of the helicopter was just too loud, and the cameraman simply could not hear him.
Replying with an OK sign, the cameraman facing the teen turned to the other cameraman and said, “He wants us to take a few more shots of him.”