Chapter 93: Cowardly Squeal
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Stripey grew to level 10 during this period. In terms of level and grade, there was not much between it and that Dead Leaf Locust. It was just the right opponent for training.
Locusts were originally the prey of spiders. As such, there was no weakness due to species in this situation. On the contrary: Stripey had the upper hand.
However, the result was the complete opposite of what was expected.
After Gao Peng pushed Stripey into the cage, Stripey looked up and saw the gigantic being hanging on the iron cage’s wires. It was so frightened it immediately hid in the corner of the cage and held up two of its shield-like limbs to protect its head.
After that, it snuck a few glances through its limbs to observe the Dead Leaf Locust.
The Dead Leaf Locust also detected the existence of Stripey. Its compound eyes moved and fixated on the large spider beneath it.
The aura emanating from Stripey’s body made it uncomfortable. It moved its mouthpart and adjusted itself. Its head went from facing upwards to facing downwards and it stared intently at Stripey. The wings on its back continued to flutter like two blades vibrating at high frequency.
Stripey, who hid in the corner, wanted to retreat. But it had nowhere to go. It could only move its forelimbs around in an attempt to scare the Dead Leaf Locust.
The Dead Leaf Locust remained calm and did not let its guard down due to the odd behavior of the spider beneath it. When it was caught, it was held captive in a tiny cage and had not had anything to eat until this afternoon, when it had a delicious meal.
Of course, the Dead Leaf Locust could not have understood the concept of a “Last Meal.”
Outside the cage, Gao Peng watched the scene unfold quietly. Although he was mentally prepared, he still could not help but worry for Stripey. It was something that it needed to experience. If it wanted to grow, it needed to experience combat.
At that moment, Gao Peng finally understood what Mr. Zhang meant when he called it a mild and brutal personality.
In the same first battle, Da Zi and Stripey were completely different.
Da Zi was aggressive. It even took the initiative to attack its prey; Stripey, on the other hand, chose to defend itself. It wanted desperately to run away. If it the floor weren’t cement, he suspected that Stripey might have dug a hole in the ground to attempt escape.
That was the difference between the two.
Zhi Zhi, Zhi Zhi. Stripey cried softly and tried hard to straighten its body, squeaking to ingratiate itself to the Dead Leaf Locust.
In Gao Peng’s mind, he heard Stripey’s voice. Don’t… Don’t hit me.
This idiot, Gao Peng thought to himself.
Gao Peng knew that even if the Dead Leaf Locust could understand it, it would not show any mercy. Stripey’s personality would only make it a target for bullying.
There was a saying that claimed that in the forest, the boar is number one, the bear is number two, and the tiger is number three.
It’s because when going crazy, the wild boar is the one that would completely disregard its life. In essence, it’s stupid! The bear is similar in that when it goes crazy, it doesn’t care who you are. It doesn’t stop until the opponent is dead. The tiger is a smarter and more qualified hunter. It knows when to advance and when to retreat, and wouldn’t simply advance without any regards to the situation. That was why the tiger is ranked third.
As expected, Gao Peng saw the Dead Leaf Locust twitch its head a little before plunging down from high above.
Two of its hind limbs were like springs, propelling it forward with explosive force, rattling the iron cage in reverberation.
Bearing down with the weight of Mount Taishan, the locust’s forelimbs slashed downward violently like slender saws. Although Stripey was cowardly, when it came to self-preservation, its reaction was anything but slow.
It immediately raised both of its shield-like forelimbs to protect its head.
A low and muffled sound reverberated.
The Dead Leaf Locust jumped up swiftly. The wings on its back vibrated to reduce the impact and it returned to hang on the iron cage. Its compound eyes moved and continued to be fixed upon Stripey.
Clearly, it had not gained any advantage.
Stripey relaxed its claws and moved, crab-like, in the other direction. It followed the side of the iron cage.
The Dead Leaf Locust was cautious and did not make a move. Was it another new form of strategy?
One was suspicious while the other was cowardly. After the quick fight between the two monsters, the cage went into an eerie silence.
However, it was only the quiet before the storm. The size of the cage made it impossible for the two monsters to coexist inside.
After a momentary pause, the Dead Leaf Locust attacked again. It was as if it had detected that Stripey was not very brave. The Dead Leaf Locust used its sharp claws to claw unto Stripey’s forelimb, while both its wings continued to vibrate.
Before the Cataclysm, a locust could flap its wings 18 times per second. After the Cataclysm, the Dead Leaf Locust could flap its wings 36 times per second.
The wild fluttering its wings helped the Dead Leaf Locust lift Stripey into the air. Stripey panicked and began to shriek.
The Dead Leaf Locust worked hard and continued to move its wings, bringing Stripey to a height of around 100 feet.
The crab was too heavy. The Locust had almost exhausted all of its energy. A vein was visibly popping out in the corner of the Dead Leaf Locust’s eye, while its mouthpart clenched tight. Finally, finally, it lifted it up!
It then loosened its grip to throw Stripey high up in the air.
Stripey! Gao Peng’s heart tightened.
Stripey panicked. Due to its slightly fat body, it struggled a little while turning. It then spat out a massive amount of white liquid. The liquid immediately dried up upon contact with the air and transformed into something extremely resilient. It covered the Dead Leaf Locust, who failed to avoid it.
The white liquid turned into spider silk as thick as an arm, and under the effect of gravity, trapped the Dead Leaf Locust as the web silk stuck to it along with both its wings. Stripey’s fall stopped instantaneously.
The Dead Leaf Locust above it shrieked in agony as it was pulled downward by the fat spider beneath it.
It was a good thing the Dead Leaf Locust kept its wings moving desperately, as it was the only thing that decreased the speed of their fall.
Plop! The two monsters fell on the ground and rolled together.
Under normal circumstance, it would have been the best time for Stripey to attack. But Stripey fell to the ground and ran away in a panic, allowing the Dead Leaf Locust to clear away the spider silk and fly off the ground.
“Stripey, attack it. Don’t be afraid,” Gao Peng kept consoling Stripey softly. He knew that one could not force these things quickly and it needed more time to adapt.
Monster training was never something one could accomplish instantaneously. Gao Peng reminded himself to be patient.
He suddenly thought about Lotus Seed. Lotus Seed was also very shy initially. However, under the guidance and training of Mu Tieying, it became tougher and stronger. With a good example before him, Gao Peng was very motivated.
Under the consolation of Gao Peng, Stripey began to stop running away; however, making it initiate an attack was as difficult as trying to go to heaven. No matter what Gao Peng said, it passively defended itself.
Gao Peng felt a little helpless. It was a good thing Stripey was a defense-type familiar that did not rely on attacks. Since it was unwilling to attack, it was okay to just train its defense.
Perhaps Stripey was very talented in the path of defense because it feared death.
The shield-shaped pair of forelimbs seemed rough and weak in the beginning. But by the latter part of the battle, it was already waving them around skillfully to defend against attacks.
However, its actions still seemed peculiar no matter how one looked at it. It was still a large spider crawling on the ground, waving two shield-like forelimbs left and right to parry and block attacks from the Dead Leaf Locust coming from all directions.
The last battle lasted an entire half hour. The Dead Leaf Locust was completely exhausted and flew back to rest atop the iron cage, and no matter how much Stripey provoked it, it would not come back down again.