Chapter 134: Day One
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Many people were already waiting in front of their TVs, mobile phones and computers when the coverage of the event finally began.
Red dots of light flashed across their pitch-black screens, becoming brighter and denser until they finally formed rows of bright-red flames. The flames then transformed into large words: Dayang Mountain Forest.
Over the sound of a helicopter, the narration began. “Welcome, everyone, to this special presentation. This group of cute monster trainer cadets is about to participate in day one of the Dayang Mountain competition…”
The audience in front of their screens was stunned. The program’s style felt really familiar… Was this supposed to feel like a documentary?
“On the first day, our energetic and cute cadets got up from their beds…” The sound of the footage gradually softened, and then, from the background, came a loud, blaring voice, “Attention all candidates, attention all candidates.”
Just like people rushing out to their clotheslines when there is thunder and rain, from the high vantage point of the camera, the audience could clearly see doors opening one by one and cadets rushing out.
Following this, the sounds from the footage faded away and a vigorous drum beat began, invoking excitement in the audience.
A white pillar of light shone in the forest like an eye-catching streetlamp, guiding the way ahead for the cadets. By either riding their familiars or having their familiars carry them, the cadets were making a beeline through the forest, showcasing a wide variety of talents.
However, the footage that stole the show was of a lone giant familiar flying through the night sky alongside the helicopter. The searchlights revealed it to be a Volcanic Vulture, and sprawled across its back was a snot-nosed boy looking as pathetic as can be. The boy shouted something inaudible at the camera, and afterward, the cameramen focused even more on him and captured photos of him from all angles.
Following right after the Volcanic Vulture, the footage cut to the three fastest familiars as they broke through the forest into the clearing.
At the same time, far away in a small villa along the outskirts of Chang’an City, a plump one-legged red-crowned crane hopped up on its foot, almost losing its balance in the process. It made some unintelligible sounds while waving its wings, as though speaking to the old man beside it. It was clearly excited and was pointing to a certain person on the television screen.
The old man chuckled and nodded. He handed the crane a plate containing a fat squid that had a fiery red color. “Quick, eat up. Eat more so you can become stronger. Then you can follow in the footsteps of your master.”
The one-legged crane was conflicted. It was already really full, but the plate of food looked super delicious.
After hesitating for a long while, it closed its eyes in determination and gobbled up the food!
This was Gao Peng’s first day on Dayang Mountain. The sun was just beginning to set, and the sky turned a beautiful sunset-yellow.
This was indeed a forest in the wilderness. It was nothing like the training-valley forests. Looking around, Gao Peng found plenty of medicinal herbs. At first, Gao Peng’s money-minded personality drove him to pick up every single herb he saw along the way and store them in his backpack. And after his backpack was full, he stored them in Silly’s personal space dimension. But in the end, Gao Peng realized that there was no way to carry them all, and he had to regrettably discard those of lesser value.
This forest is truly a treasure trove waiting to be excavated! Gao Peng thought.
And it was not just in that particular part of the forest. Practically every patch of forest was a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. The less human activity there was in an area, the greater the chance of discovering something remarkable.
As for the point pillars that the bald man had mentioned, Gao Peng had not seen a single one yet. This was probably because he had not yet ventured deep enough into the forest. This was a foreign place to Gao Peng, and he was not the kind to rashly charge right in. He chose to explore the outer areas before making his next move.
After a day of exploration, Gao Peng hadn’t encountered a single Commander tier monster. He saw plenty of Elite tier monsters, but they were all rather intelligent. The moment they sensed the Commander tier auras coming from Dumby and Da Zi, they fled far away. None of them wanted to rush to their deaths by attacking Gao Peng.
These monsters are a bit too clever… In stories, don’t they usually just charge at people without any care?
Seeing that the sky was getting dark, Gao Peng decided to find a place to spend the night. He remembered a cave he had seen along the way, and when he had gone inside to check, it had been empty.
Riding on Dumby’s neck, Gao Peng found the cave after less than ten minutes of backtracking. A dense curtain of vines draped over the cave entrance, covering half of it.
Gao Peng told Dumby to go in, but Dumby suddenly stopped and let out a low, threatening growl.
Da Zi, who had been lying quietly by their side, suddenly became alert. The two antennae on its head waved around and its eyes sparkled. Without warning, it scuttled into the cave with its thousand claws.
“Wait–” Gao Peng tried to stop Da Zi, but it was too late. It was already inside.
A loud roar came from inside the cave.
A bear, thought Gao Peng, squinting. A bear’s sound was easily recognizable. It was low, raspy, powerful and very distinct.
Sounds of battle came from the cave, accompanied by the angry roars of a bear.
Gao Peng didn’t waste any time. He quickly jumped off Dumby and sent him rushing in to assist Da Zi. After Dumby went in, the bear’s sounds became irritable. Finally, it made a few dismal whimpers before falling silent.
“Dead,” Dumby’s voice rang in Gao Peng’s mind.
Gao Peng pushed aside the vines in front of the cave and entered. The cave was not deep, but it was bottle-shaped, with an interior that was much wider than the entrance.
There was a bloodied black figure lying in the middle of the cave floor.
[Monster Name]: Black Wind Bear
[Monster Level]: 16
[Monster Grade]: Excellent
[Monster Condition]: Deceased
The word in gray in the last row made it clear that the Black Wind Bear had breathed its last.
On the body of the Black Wind Bear was one fatal wound: a gaping hole in its head. It looked as though it had been smashed by a heavy object, and a large amount of brain fluid was flowing from the wound. The cave was filled with the pungent stench of the metallic smell of blood.
Gao Peng frowned. He had Da Zi remove the Black Wind Bear’s paws before taking the carcass outside the cave. Although Da Zi and Stripey usually ate cooked food, it did not mean they couldn’t eat fresh, raw meat.
Smelling the scent of blood, his familiars displayed various changes in their moods. Among the two, Da Zi’s behavior was the most evident. Its antennae kept waving about and it was scuttling all around the cave. As Da Zi was exposed to battle more frequently, Gao Peng noticed that its personality had begun to change quite a bit. It had become far more aggressive and eager to do battle.
He remembered that Mr. Zhang had mentioned the Purple-Backed Yellow-Clawed Centipede was a more ferocious type of centipede. Although Da Zi had already evolved into a Purple-Backed Thunder Centipede, its ferocious nature was still evident.
Gao Peng sensed that there was something not quite right with Da Zi’s temperament. Before he had even given the order to attack, Da Zi had taken the initiative to head into battle.
Gao Peng found a cleaner spot in the cave to sit down and waved Da Zi over. “Da Zi, come here.”
Da Zi crawled over earnestly and quietly looked up at Gao Peng with a slightly depressed and lost look.