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14 The First Familiar

 "Uh?" Gao Peng froze, then shook his head. "Thank you for your kindness, but Da Zi is all I have left of my parents, and he has been by my side for three years. I have already decided it will be my first Familiar."

Uncle Liu seemed dazed. Da Zi, who stood by Gao Peng's feet, seemed to understand Uncle Liu's words. It hissed at Uncle Liu with annoyance, showing its claws to Uncle Liu.

"Alright, enough," Gao Peng snapped. Da Zi glanced at its owner, feeling aggrieved. It lay down next to Gao Peng unwillingly with its back towards Uncle Liu.

After talking to Uncle Liu, Gao Peng took Da Zi back home upstairs. He swiped his access card at the front door on first floor. The door opened after the beep.

Looking at Gao Peng's back, then looking at Da Zi, Uncle Liu sighed. He smacked his lips. Purple-Backed Yellow-Clawed Centipede... So be it. After all, it won't occupy much soul room. Um... Should I tell Old Jiang now?

Hesitating for a long while, finally Uncle Liu sighed again. Well, that fuddy-duddy is as stubborn as a bull in some ways. Let me wait until Peng signs the contract.

When passing he second floor, Gao Peng heard something rubbing the wall. Then he saw a gray shadow poke its head out of the staircase window, observing him secretly. Da Zi hissed impatiently, and the gray shadow vanished at once, as if its butt was on fire.

After entering home, Gao Peng closed the door, put down his school bag, and walked into the kitchen.

When signing a Blood Contract, newbies needed to use a drop of blood from the left-hand ring finger as a medium. If that person didn't have a ring finger, than heart blood would have the same effect.

Gao Peng held a bottle of medical alcohol in his left hand, which he bought on his way back home. He poured all the alcohol into a bowl, dipped a cotton ball into the alcohol, then wiped a boning knife back and forth.

Gao Peng didn't stop until the edge of the boning knife became a silver arc.

As he sharpened the knife on a whetstone, the knife clinked. He poured some water, and the knife emitted cold light, as if a crescent were polished. He could even see his face clearly on the knife.

Gao Peng sighed with relief. The reason he took such a long time for preparation was because he was afraid of pain, as well as tetanus. The boning knife was used to cut pig legs, and unavoidably contaminated with bacteria.

He clenched his teeth, then lightly swept his ring finger over the cutting edge.

A wound finer than a hair gradually emerged, a dark red blood drop oozing from the wound with gravity.

"Da Zi, come here!" Gao Peng shouted out at once.

Sharp tunk tunk tunk noises came from the living room, like numerous fingers drumming a steel plate.

Gao Peng closed his eyes and recited the contract, while putting his ring finger on Da Zi's head. When he closed eyes, it was dark all around. But when he put his finger on Da Zi, a cold touch rippled through his heart.

In the unseen world, Gao Peng heard some noise. It was clear but messy, as if thousands of people were murmuring next to him.

"So hungry...

"Why is it not time for dinner yet...

"Stupid master, is he planning to starve me?

"I'm hungry..."

These were all the thoughts he could hear, plain and simple.

Are these-are these Da Zi's thoughts? Am I connected to Da Zi's mental space?

Da Zi? Gao Peng tried to send his thought.

Um? All noisy ideas were gone immediately, and only a unified thought was left. Who are you?

No wonder Monster Trainers and their Familiars could connect their minds, with the trainer being able to instruct Familiars to do complex actions. This was the reason.

But it was not time for chatting. Gao Peng asked Da Zi hurriedly, I want to sign a blood contact with you; are you willing to be my partner?

In the black mind space, a blood red parchment scroll rose, going up in golden flames.

Even the most stupid creature could understand the contract at once.

Then Gao Peng saw the contract burn, moving slowly toward the deep void. It indicated they had signed the contract successfully.

Without hesitation, Da Zi totally trusted Gao Peng. It signed the contract directly.

A sense of warmth rose from the bottom of Gao Peng's heart.

He moved his finger and opened his eyes. Soon he heard Da Zi's voice again in his head: Hungry! Hungry!

Da Zi bared its teeth and showed claws, glaring at Gao Peng. Its two antennae kept waving in the air.

A warm smile emerged on Gao Peng's cold face. "Alright, let's have dinner."

Then he turned around, and took out Daiko, apples, and frozen pork from the refrigerator.

He washed the vegetables and fruit while boiling water on the oven. He was quite busy in the kitchen.

After a short while, a hotchpotch was ready. It was served in a steel plate, giving off a pleasant smell.

Completely boiling a piece of frozen pork needed much time; hence the reason the pork in the steel plate was medium rare. Gao Peng only heated it up a little bit, just in case the frozen pork made Da Zi sick. Food at room temperature would be fine.

Yummy, Yummy! Da Zi was enjoying its food. Sometimes it raised its head, secretly observing Gao Peng.

Gao Peng made some noodle soup for himself. As he sprinkled some chopped scallion, a delightful smell wafted up from the kitchen.

Suddenly, Da Zi stopped eating. It stared at Gao Peng's noodle soup surprisingly.

Gao Peng curled his lips, turning around speechlessly, preparing to eat his noodles. He heard feet crawling on the floor.

Then he saw a purple figure lying in front of him, eagerly looking up.

"Hey, you are a centipede." Gao Peng found it ironi.

Hiss! Da Zi was full of bravado. It waved its claws and bared its teeth, and kept threatening Gao Peng. Gao Peng's rejection didn't work at all.

"Alright, alright, here you go. Don't annoy me when you feel sick," Gao Peng sulked. He put the bowl on the floor.

Da Zi didn't reply at all. It pounced on the noodles and devoured them like a wolf. Gao Peng felt happiness passed through his body continuously.

After making another noodle soup for himself, Gao Peng hesitated for a while, and began to consider improving Da Zi's grade.

To upgrade from Da Zi's current level to Elite, it required 500g of Hundred-year lightning-struck wood, Electric Monster core crystal of above Level 10, and 10 stalks of Shade Grass.

The most expensive of these was the Monster Core Crystal. Level 1 to 10 were normal monsters, while Level 11-20 were Elite monsters.

Besides, the monster needed to be Electric. The most common attributes were Gold, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth, for these were the five elements were the most essential and commonly seen. But Electric monsters were hardly found, even in rarer attributes.

The lowest price to buy it was 10 credit points, which was enough to buy a living Familiar.

Shade Grass was a special herb growing in the area where Yinqi gathered with great evil. Usually such evil area attracted strong monsters who preferred shadowy places; hence it was quite challenging to pick Shade Grass.

Gao Peng inquired about its price; 200 Alliance dollars for one stalk of grass, and ten stalks for 2000 Alliance dollars. But this price was obviously too high. Since Shade Grass could be of no use except serving as a high-value food for Yin, Dark, and Corpse monsters, he could bargain for the price if he bought ten Shade Grass stalks at a time.

The cheapest ingredient was the Hundred-year lightning-struck wood. It didn't require a tree to live for at least a hundred years, but something that provided similar medical effect as a ginseng, which had been growing in a normal environment for a hundred years.