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2 Purple-Backed Yellow-Clawed Centipede

 "Da Zi! Come out quickly! Was it you just now?" Gao Peng shouted excitedly as he returned to his bedroom.

Hearing its master's voice, "Da Zi," who Gao Peng was calling out to, simply remained sprawled lazily on the ground for a while. Only after being urged on by Gao Peng a few more times did Da Zi crawl out wearily from under the sofa.

A deep purple carapace was revealed which, under the lamplight, gave off a dark and blurry color. Pale yellow limbs with claws gave off a crisp sound as they moved across the floor, akin to the sound of fingers drumming on a table.

This Purple-Backed Yellow-Clawed Centipede was what Gao Peng affectionately called "Da Zi" because its body was big, and also because it had the appearance of a purple coloured centipede... Alright, it actually was just a giant, blown-up version of a centipede.

But this Purple-Backed Yellow-Clawed Centipede was the only pet left behind for him by his parents.

Gao Peng still remembered when his parents brought Da Zi home three days after the Earth changed. Back then, Da Zi was nowhere near its current size; it was merely the length of a chopstick. Back then, Da Zi's carapace was still a light purple, with a little tinge of pink, making it rather cute to look at.

Gao Peng shook his head and expelled the weird thoughts from his mind. He bent his head down to look at the current Da Zi.

With a body length of around two meters, the width of a palm, and fierce mandibles at its head that were constantly snapping, Da Zi looked anything but cute. Even bringing it out for a walk in broad daylight could scare an old granny to tears.

Da Zi's jet black eyeballs were pretty much for show, as Gao Peng knew that its vision was poor. When moving, Da Zi relied on the constantly swaying pair of purple antennae on its head to make sense of its surroundings. This pair of antennae allow Da Zi to smell, detect vibrations, and even differentiate between sounds.

Although Da Zi had a ferocious appearance, Gao Peng was not afraid of it in the least. After all, this guy had grown up under his care, and was his sole companion in this house for three whole years. Most importantly, it was the last pet that his parents gave him before they died.

"Da Zi, was it you that scared away that spider earlier on?" Gao Peng said, as he squatted down and curiously stroked Da Zi's cold head carapace.

It was icy-cool to the touch, like a cold piece of metal.

Da Zi did not reply to him; the antennae on its head simply swayed gently. Gao Peng did not mind the lack of reply. Da Zi's intelligence was not high; it probably only had the thinking ability of a three-year-old.

Da Zi could not understand more complicated phrases or sentences, but could understand some simple commands. For instance, "bite,""play dead," or "twirl three times."

Although Da Zi did not answer him, Gao Peng knew that the furious hissing sound that he heard earlier was made by Da Zi. After living with Da Zi for so many years, he was familiar with the sounds it could make.

Monsters were extremely territorial. Da Zi may have seemed mild, but according to what was taught by Gao Peng's teachers, Purple-Backed Yellow-Clawed Centipedes were extremely fierce and vicious monsters.

At the thought of this, Gao Peng tapped his head. Mr. Zhang couldn't have been lying to me again, right? Gao Peng thought suspiciously.

But Da Zi looked so mild and gentle! Peering down at Da Zi, Gao Peng gently pulled its purple antennae. They felt elastic, like two long rubber springs.

Da Zi rolled its jet black eyes upwards to glance at Gao Peng, then continued to wearily sprawl on the ground, as if saying, "This master really has nothing better to do."

Looking at how much of a lazy fella Da Zi was, Gao Peng found it hard to believe that it was a fierce and vicious monster.

Gao Peng hesitated a bit while looking at Da Zi who was by his feet, then he focused his concentration on Da Zi.

As Gao Peng stared at Da Zi, rows of information than only he could see appeared before his eyes.

[Monster Name]: Purple-Backed Yellow-Clawed Centipede

[Monster Level]: Level 5

[Monster Grade]: Normal

[Monster Attribute]: Yin/Poison

[Monster Condition]: Healthy (Happy)

[Monster Weakness]: Electric

[Requirements for Promotion to Excellent Grade]: Electric type monster core crystal of above level 10 (not including level 10), 600g of hundred-year lightning-struck wood, 10 stalks of shade grass (Directions for use:...)

Gao Peng was slightly stunned. In the time since his eighteenth birthday, he realized that he had mysteriously gained this ability to see the stats of monsters; for instance, in the form of the table that appeared in front of his eyes.

Every monster had a different stats table. For instance Granny Chen's little spider's stats were as such:

[Monster Name]: Striped Grey Plate Spider

[Monster Level]: Level 3

[Monster Grade]: Normal

[Monster Attribute]: Wood

[Monster Condition]: Healthy (Happy)

[Monster Weakness]: Fire

[Requirements for Promotion to Excellent Grade]: ...

Gao Peng almost died earlier because it dawned on him that a burning paper ball should count as a fire-type attack, and therefore went on to test if his newfound ability gave him accurate information. He took a risk, for no other reason than he could not hold back his curiosity...

Wait, monster condition: happy? So that little spider was really playing tag with me? Looks like it really enjoyed itself, ha! Gao Peng thought as his face darkened.

As to why Gao Peng did not test his ability on his very own Da Zi: firstly, he could not bear to do so. Secondly, it was hard to find anything that could be used as an electric type attack. He could, of course, break a few electric cables to try it out, but with some consideration, he realized that even if Da Zi were not weak against electricity, those cables would still easily burn it to a crisp...

"Promotion to excellent grade..." muttered Gao Peng to himself, as his eyes shone with anticipation.

Excellent grade monsters were extremely rare. Even in a group of a hundred of the same monster, one might not find a single monster of excellent grade. Excellent grade and normal grade monsters did not differ in terms of mere strength; even if the monsters were of the same tier and species, an excellent grade monster could easily take on two normal grade monsters at the same time without being disadvantaged.

After promotion to excellent grade, would it still be possible for a promotion to perfect grade? The promotion to perfect grade was of utmost importance, as only perfect grade monsters could break through the limits to become commander tier monsters!

Gao Peng had only seen monsters of such tiers on the web or on television. The terrifying might of these monsters was etched in his mind.

Unable to hold back his excitement, Gao Peng pet Da Zi's cool head carapace and said with determination, "Da Zi, I will definitely let you promote to be an excellent grade monster!"

In Gao Peng's eyes, Da Zi was more than just a friend; he was a partner. A partner that had accompanied him for the past three lonely years of his life, and the sole partner left behind for him by his parents.

Gao Peng secretly clenched his fist. Then he released it as he got up to go to the kitchen. He opened the freezer and took out a piece of frozen meat. The frozen meat was hard and had bits of ice on it. He took out a mini metal axe from a cupboard and secured the frozen meat on a specially made wooden chopping board.

Dong, Dong!

Forceful chops from the metal axe sent bits of ice flying all around.

After chopping the meat into six smaller pieces, Gao Peng took out a large stainless steel bowl. With a gentle sweep of the axe, the pieces of meat were all swept into the bowl.

Then he took a few carrots from the fridge, washed them, and chopped them into large chunks before tossing them into the stainless steel bowl as well.

This was Da Zi's dinner for today. He ate two meals a day, one in the morning and another in the night.

Da Zi's food was simple and crude, consisting of chunks of raw meat and carrots, or cooked meat and potatoes, for every meal. Its diet was greatly varied. Initially, when raising Da Zi, Gao Peng was highly cautious when deciding what food to give it. After all, before this, no one had experience in raising monster centipedes.

Through searching the internet for information, Gao Peng later found out that centipedes are animals that can feed on a wide variety of things. They typically like to feed on bugs such as mealworms, crickets, beetles, termites, cicadas, dragonflies, spiders, flies, and bees, as well as their eggs, larvae, young, etc. At the same time they can also eat worms, earthworms, snails, and the meat, innards, blood and cartilage of fish, poultry and livestock. They even eat food of plant origin like fruit peels, potatoes, carrots, vegetables, etc. or even milk and bread.

But Gao Peng was a little lazy by nature. Feeding Da Zi with fresh meat and innards were out, as they came with a bad smell and were hard to clean up.

Bugs were an area that Gao Peng explored at first. He used to catch bugs in the nearby gardens and green spaces within the city to feed Da Zi. But as Da Zi grew bigger and bigger, he found that this method would not work out at all. After tiring himself out for half a day catching bugs, he still would not have caught enough to give Da Zi a snack. Meat was easier and simpler. Furthermore, it could be bought in large quantities from the market.

As for buying insects from the market, Gao Peng had to admit that if he were to buy insects for each of Da Zi's meals, there was no way he could continue to keep Da Zi as a pet: it was too expensive!

After Gao Peng's parents passed away, he managed to collect a hefty sum of money from the government as pension. In addition to the savings that his parents accumulated, Gao Peng had enough money to securely live a simple life until the end of his years.

But this was only enough to live an ordinary life, being an absolutely ordinary person.

However, after the death of his parents, Gao Peng could no longer rest at ease with the identity of an ordinary person while he was living in an unpredictable world.

Being ordinary meant being mediocre, which meant being powerless when disaster struck.