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17 Yin-Altered Ape

 Above the podium, a projector descended, gradually showing some images.

"Eh? It's starting so soon?" Some people barely had time to react. To think that it began so soon.

The visuals showed blue-green waves, rippling across a calm ocean surface that stretched out to as far as the eye could see. A gentle wind blew across and suddenly picked up a huge wave.

A creature with a snow-white back broke out of the ocean's surface for a brief moment, then vanished again.

The scene then followed the creature underwater. The figure of an enormous body could be roughly seen swimming around in the water.

The figure noticed the camera and began to circle the camera in curiosity.

While circling the camera, the appearance of this marine creature became clear. It looked somewhat like a dolphin. Because there was nothing in the water that could be used as a reference for its size, one could only guess how big it was. But from a glance, it looked to be easily ten to twenty meters long.

It made a frequent qiu~qiu~ sounds before finally poking its entire head towards the camera. It had a long, sharp bill, making this movement similar to a thrust from a long staff. With a pala sound, the screen went black...

The invigilator coughed and spoke. "Alright, that was the first video. All of you have fifteen minutes to think and write down your answers. Please write down all the characteristics and features of the monster that you have observed from the video."

The examinees below all had a dumbfounded look on their faces. What was this? Where did this monster come from? It had to be a new species right? What could we possibly observe from this little footage?!

For Gao Peng however, a whole different image was appearing before his eyes...

[Monster Name]: Windstorm Dolphin

[Monster's Likes]: 1. Enjoys soothing, light music 2. Likes sunbathing 3. Likes eating various types of squid and exploded shrimp

[Monster Weakness] 1. Fears dark-type attacks 1. Hates jarring soundwaves. Can cause serious disturbances to the monster.

The contents were different from normal conditions. It seemed that the information provided was affected by his subjective consciousness.

Gao Peng found no reason to feel bad about his advantage. After all, this was his very own ability and he naturally felt no guilt when writing down his answers. It may have seemed like a cheat, but since he was not actually relying on any outside help, he saw no reason to feel bad.

Following that, another four short clips were shown, all containing new species that no one there had seen before. These were all new species recently discovered by scientific research teams.

These examination questions seemed tough, but in fact, with a deep understanding of the habits and characteristics of monsters, it was entirely possible to deduce some of the characteristics from the behaviors of similar monsters.

For instance, ape-like monsters would all share certain characteristics. Even in different types of spiders, there would be similarities in their behaviors.

The written test that lasted an hour and a half was quickly over and the exam scripts were collected.

Marking all the scripts took up quite a bit of time. In half an hour, all 500 scripts were read and marked.

"Now, I shall announce the names of those who have successfully made it to the second round," the invigilator said, looking down at the list of names. "Chen Xueqin, Zhang Senlin... Gao Peng."

The full list of names were announced in no time at all. The fat guy sitting on Gao Peng's right, who was clamoring about how the exam was too tough and how he would surely not pass, heaved a sigh of relief. "Whew, somehow managed to pass," he turned to Gao Peng on his left and said. "Lil' bro, this test was really too difficult. I passed this first round by luck. Who knows, maybe I might get eliminated straightaway in the second round."

"Mm," nodded Gao Peng, "It was lucky that I managed to pass too."

"Huh?" the fatty was dumbfounded. This kid is pretty lucky, he thought to comfort himself as he bitterly withdrew all the words of comfort he intended to say.

While getting up and following the invigilator to the venue for the second round of examination, Gao Peng noticed that Mrs. Li had also passed the first round. Well, she was, after all, someone who had taken the test thrice. She must be an experienced veteran by now, Gao Peng figured after some thought.

Little did he know that Mrs. Li was even more shocked on the inside. This boy was the classmate of her daughter and only looked like he just come of age. The fact that someone like him could pass the first round as well, really made adults like her break out in a cold sweat.

Following the invigilator into the compound, they suddenly reached a bright and spacious area. Above them were rows of metal scaffolding like a large metal skeleton and below them crude, muddy ground. There were also various types of plants being grown around the four corners of the examination hall.

Right in the middle of the hall were many cages, each containing different types of monsters.

These were all relatively uncommon monsters. Most probably had low combat ability but were definitely not common. Some were even monsters that were native to the South. Chang'an was situated in Northern China.

The most sadistic part about the test was that these monsters were allocated to examinees randomly. No one had any idea what kind of monster they would get.

No wonder the internet said that a Monster Breeder certificate was one of the hardest to obtain. Gao Peng finally understood why. To be able to emerge at the top from this extremely difficult examination, one really must have certain capabilities.

"Gao Peng, number 50." The invigilator paused and passed the identification card to Gao Peng. He looked at Gao Peng hesitantly, and finally could not resist saying, "If you wish to request for a change, I can help you fill in the application for free. Then you can come back next month and enter the second round of examinations."

Gao Peng looked suspiciously at the invigilator.

The invigilator shrugged his shoulders and said, "The monsters used for the assessment are all raised by the Monster Breeder Association ourselves, so the monsters basically do not display aggressiveness. Number 50 was supposed to be eliminated, but right now, the association has no other monsters to spare for you to nurture."

At the back of all the rows of cages, one cage stood out. In it was a large, deformed looking creature that was quietly lying down. Its head lay on the ground, breathing feebly. It had thick, strong arms like two water tanks, but it was lying face-down and totally quiet, looking as though the entire world had given up on it.

"This is... a Red River Ape?" Gao Peng did not rely on his gift and deduced its identity just from observation.

"That's right," the invigilator nodded and sighed. He was looking at the Red River Ape with a complicated emotion in his eyes.

The invigilator was human after all. This Red River Ape had been experimented on ever since it was caught, and brought here by the association.

It was hard to say if this Red River Ape was lucky or not. It had an extremely resilient life force that allowed it to survive every experiment it underwent. But unfortunately for it, every examinee that managed to get this Red River Ape did not know what they were doing.

After a full six months, this Red River Ape had undergone six failed experiments. In that time, other monsters would have either successfully gone up in grade or become totally useless. Only this Hongshui Ape still hung on resiliently.

"Because it has been experimented on so many times, lots of unwanted and conflicting energies have accumulated in its body. This has far surpassed the usual difficulty level and the possibility of raising its grade is simply too low. It has only managed to survive until now based on its extremely strong willpower," the invigilator explained.

"Thank you for your consideration, but I have made up my mind to use this guy." Gao Peng turned around and met the Hongshui Ape's gaze through the rows of cages.

There was no way he could wait a month.

Getting a Monster Breeder certificate sooner meant being able to get a job sooner. Every minute and every second cost money. But most importantly, he had told Uncle Liu as well as his form teacher about his participation in this Monster Breeder assessment. Going back empty-handed was a result that Gao Peng found hard to accept.

"Alright." The invigilator was just doing his duty in informing Gao Peng. Seeing that this boy did not wish to accept his good intentions, he found no reason to press any further.

Around the hall were a number of rooms. Each person could choose a room and enter. Each room had things like beds and mattresses and all. The time limit for the test was one week. Increasing the monster's grade within that one week would mean a pass.

The monster cages came with wheels at the bottom and could be easily pushed into the rooms.

As its cage was being pushed, the Red River Ape looked at Gao Peng.

At such a close distance, Gao Peng finally began to observe the Hongshui Ape carefully.

Its body was twice the size of a normal Red River Ape. Red River Apes were usually between a meter and a half to two meters tall and were a type of smaller sized ape monster.

The one in the cage however looked to be at least two and a half meters tall.

Its swollen arms looked a little twisted and deformed and its body looked like a badly kneaded clay figurine. There were also signs of edema on its torso and its breathing was heavy, sounding like a worn out bellow.

[Monster Name]: Red River Ape (Pathologically altered by Yin-disease)

This was the first line of information that appeared before Gao Peng's eyes. Just from the look of it, one could tell that this Red River Ape was in a bad shape.