Chapter 16: Monster Breeder Assessment
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
After having a day off, early the next morning, Gao Peng washed up, then knocked out Uncle Liu’s door.
The iron door opened. Seeing Gao Peng, Uncle Liu showed a big smile. “Morning Peng, you are quite early today.”
“Sorry to bother you Uncle Liu,” Gao Peng said, embarrassed.
“I’m going to have the Monster Breeder Assessment, but I’m not sure how long will it last. Would it be possible to let Da Zi live with you for a few days? Don’t worry, Uncle Liu, I promise that Da Zi will be a good boy. It won’t run about, or hiss around. If you think it annoying, I can lock it at home and give you the key. The only thing you need to do is to feed it once a day.”
“No worries. I will take care of it. It won’t be starve,” Uncle Liu promised.
Gao Peng trusted Uncle Liu. He nodded with appreciation, then went down and left.
He didn’t notice that after Da Zi entered into Uncle Liu’s room, it remained in silence, being unnaturally quiet.
After Gao Peng left, Uncle Liu hesitated for a while, and finally dialed a number. “Old Jiang? Yes, it’s me. Calm down, calm down, he is alright. Your grandson has signed a Familiar. It’s a Purple-Backed Yellow-Clawed Centipede. Looks like a normal grade.
“Persuade him how? Your grandson and you are exactly alike; you two look like you don’t care about anything, but actually you are as stubborn as bulls. Nothing can change your decisions. Plus, this Purple-Backed Yellow-Clawed Centipede is what your daughter and son-in-law left for him.
“Things haven’t been handled yet? I say that you kill those who don’t listen, and find some good boys. This world never lacks talent.” Uncle Liu was chatting casually like he was talking about small family affairs, but his words were terrifying.
“Well, alright, you have your plans… Don’t worry about Peng. He won’t be in any trouble with me here.”
On the other side of the call, the phone hung up, a curtain opened, and light came into a dark office, showing a robust figure facing the window.
Silver cropped hair made the man seem experienced. He was in a loose black Hanfu (Traditional Chinese kimono) rimmed with gold. Although the man looked old, his figure conveyed a terrifying determent, like a dormant volcano which could fire up at any time.
The old man pressed a red button. A slim fairy-like figure came in, bowing respectfully. “President.”
The old man looked out the window calmly, “Give Experimental Department the ultimatum; I forgive their caprices because I appreciate their talents, but it doesn’t mean that they can challenge my patience. Work for me, or die. I only give them five months. Don’t disappoint me. As for issues in Qinghai, I want them to be handled and clean within seven months. Bring my original words to Li Ye. If they can’t make it, I will deal with it. And they know what will happen then. Don’t waste my time.”
Then the old man waved his hand to let the secretary leave.
Turning to the window, the old man showed a poker face: no happiness nor sorrow. Only in the depth of his eyes could one see a flash of love.
One year: everything should be cleaned up within a year. He hadn’t seen his only relative in the world for too long.
Before everything settled, he dared not to go for his grandson, for the boy would not have any self-protection without signing the blood contract. He didn’t want to risk the boy’s life, nor even chance it.
Monster Breeder Assessments were held in Chang’an City Monster Breeder branch, which was located in the suburbs.
It took several hours to drive there.
When Gao Peng finally reached the destination, it was about noon. The assessment time was 2 p.m., in order to leave enough time for candidates to travel.
Once he got off the car, he saw a huge black and white building standing on the square. Alongside the square were huge trees. Sunlight was blocked by the crowns of trees, leaving shadows on the ground.
Until he exited the car, he didn’t see how enormous the building was. It looked like a hill, with ash-colored, ragged bars on the sides, exposed in the air. Wide steps extended all the way to the gate.
Quite a few people had arrived, crowding the square. People were everywhere. Shade under trees had already been taken; some people sat on newspapers or a plastic bags.
Doesn’t the assessment begin at 2 p.m.? How early did they arrive? Gao Peng wiped sweat off his forehead, looking around, but failed to find any space to sit.
Whatever. Gao Peng shook his head, and checked the time on his watch. It was half past twelve. He turned around, and was about to find a cafe to eat, when suddenly someone called out, “Gao Peng.”
Sounds like someone’s calling me.
Normally, when being called, many people habitually turned around to check who was there. Gao Peng didn’t. he was not a normal person.
He had few friends; his parents passed in the accident. His grandpa on his mother’s side disappeared, and his two grandmas and grandpa on his father’s side died from illness before the cataclysm happened.
Therefore, the guy behind could not be calling him, but someone else. There were too many people named the same.
“Gao Peng! Hey, curve wrecker.” Callings came again.
This time Gao Peng paused, turning around with confusion. Is he calling me?
Because only one person called Gao Peng curve wrecker.
Not far away under a tree, a group of people gathered together. Among them was a medium-height, heavy boy waving his hand excitedly towards him. Standing beside him was a girl wearing a red dress. The two looked familiar. He thought for a while, and finally recalled their names: Li Hongdou, Li Zigong.
Oh, my classmates.
These two were Gao Peng’s classmates, and they were sister and brother. The elder sister Li Hongdou was polite and kind, while the young brother Li Zigong was a chatterbox.
“Hello, Mr. And Mrs. Li.” Gao Peng nodded in greeting, then nodded to Li Hongdou and Li Zigong.
“Kid, are you here alone?” Mr. Li looked like he was in his thirties, dressed in suit and tie. He greeted Gao Peng with a smile.
“Yes,” Gao Peng nodded.
“Are you here to watch the Monster Breeder Assessments, too? Ha-ha, we are here with mom, she is a candidate in today’s assessment. Although she has failed three times, I believe that she will pass this time!” Li Zigong said without consideration. By his side, Li Hongdou’s face was clouded with anger; she slapped Li Zigong in the back of his head.
Li Zigong turned around glaring at his sister, “How many times have I told you, don’t slap my head, I suspect my IQ decreases because…”
“It’s not my problem,” Li Hongdou replied coldly.
“No, I’m here for the Monster Breeder Assessment,” Gao Peng finally said, hesitating.
“What?” Li Zigong was dazed.
By his side, Li Hongdou also stunned. Mr. And Mrs. Li couldn’t help looking Gao Peng up and down.
Mr. Li paused, then burst out in laughter. He patted Gao Peng’s shoulder and said, “Good job! Young men should have clear purposes like you do! My boy knows nothing but ‘eat;’ he is as lazy as a pig.”
Mrs. Li smiled. “You might be one of the youngest candidates for the Monster Breeder Assessment. Maybe soon we will have the youngest Monster Breeder in Chang’an today.”
“Thank you Mrs. Li. I will try my best, but I’m not 100% sure about my competence. I’m here to chance my luck,” Gao Peng said sincerely.
They chatted for a while. It was half past one. The Monster Breeder branch’s door used to be tightly closed, but it opened innocuously.
Several fully armed security guards holding riot shields in their left hands, and long black sticks in their right hands, came out to maintain order.
Candidates entered from the front gate. At this time, Gao Peng realized that there were not many candidates. Most people remained outside; they were probably friends and relatives.
“Your ID,” a woman dressed in gray suit said without raising her head.
Gao Peng handed his ID card through the window. The woman swiped the card on a detector, and a green light went on.
She raised her head to give the card back to Gao Peng. When she saw Gao Peng was so young, she was stunned for a second; then her good professional quality calmed her down, and she said, “Next.”
Gao Peg followed the crowd walking along a corridor, and they entered a lobby. There were rows of tables, with white paper neatly placed on top. Gao Peng was nervous, for it was likely to be a written examination.
He found his seat and sat down. Soon the examiner walked in the lobby, put a thermos on the lectern, and cleared his throat. “This assessment is different from previous ones. This time, the Chang’an branch decided to use both a paper and practical test.
“The Traditional Chinese Medical System has four ways of diagnosis: Observing, Listening, Questioning and Feeling the Pulse. Your paper test requires you to observe a video record first, then write down the monster’s attribute, hobbies, and weakness in detail. A good Monster Breeder must be able to find out a monster’s habits and characteristics.
“In the first test, we will eliminate 90% of candidates, which means only 50 people will be permitted for the practical part.
“The practical test is easy; I believe you have heard about it before. Our Monster Breeder branch will offer practical test participants 50 normal Familiars, as well as all the materials you will need for the test.” As he said this, the examiner gave a big smile.
“As long as you can upgrade your Familiar within the given time, the materials you consume will be paid for by our association. However, if you can’t upgrade your Familiar; sorry, you have to compensate for your materials. Of course, there is a standard for your cost. If you spend too much, you will fail as well.”
“That’s so difficult,” A fat man who sat next to Gao Peng wiped his sweat and murmured. “I have been here four times; this time is the hardest one.”
He turned around and glanced at Gao Peng. “Don’t worry, dude. The registration fee doesn’t cost much. You can always come back for another try.”