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20 Overnutrition

 With an Intermediate Monster Breeder Certificate in his bag, Gao Peng felt his heart warm.

People say this certificate means an extra 30 points for my College Entrance Exam, he thought.

The square was cold and cheerless. No one was waiting there. Friends and family had gone home. After all, the practical test lasted a whole week.

At the bus station, the Skull Ghoul Ape stood beside Gao Peng. It was quiet as long as no one talked to it. It could stand still for a whole day without moving and felt no pain or tactile sensation.

A bus came from afar, braking at the station. The driver turned around and glanced at Gao Peng, calmly turning his head back to the front. Then he immediately turned his head again with his eyes wide open. A Skull Ghoul Ape! he thought.

Something was wrong.

The old driver turned around again and goggled at the Skull Ghoul Ape.

"Sir, this monster has an identity. Look, here is its ID card." Gao Peng showed the ID to the driver. The card was made with President Chen's help.

The driver took the card and checked, then looked at the Skull Ghoul Ape. On the card the Skull Ghoul Ape was staring at the camera with a stupid face.

"That's going to be three peoples' fare," the driver told Gao Peng.

Monsters also needed to pay a bus fare. According to monsters' figures, fares varied.

After getting off the bus and walking on the street the Skull Ghoul Ape followed Gao Peng. Its unique appearance attracted everyone's attention.

"Hey man, where did you get this Familiar, it's f**king cool!" a young man with dyed yellow hair asked excitedly.

Gao Peng glanced at him but didn't answer. What could he say? That he created it through experimentation?

Seeing that Gao Peng ignored him, the yellow-hair was unhappy. He had a ferocious face.

The extremely quiet Skull Ghoul Ape suddenly stepped forward, fire blazing in its empty sockets. It roared deeply.

The yellow-haired boy shuddered, jumping two steps backward and squeezing out a smile. "Hey dude, calm down. I meant no harm, I just think this Familiar is cool and want to buy the same one. If you are unwilling to tell me, it's no big deal. We are civilized, let's not get into a fight. Please."

"Dumby," Gao Peng said and looked over to scold the Skull Ghoul Ape.

Dumby: this was the name Gao Peng gave it, for it always looked dumb when it was alone.

The Skull Ghoul Ape turned around and looked at its owner. Dumby lowered its head, stepped backward and stood behind Gao Peng again.

After returning to the community, Gao Peng became a star again. wherever he went, he caught people's attention. A big group of naughty kids followed Gao Peng, looking at the Skull Ghoul Ape up and down cautiously. Some brave kid even threw stones at the ape. "Hey, let's hit this evil monster!"

Gao Peng felt helpless. I'd better make a black gown for Dumby, he thought. Otherwise it is too eye-catching.

Ghoul Familiars were rare in the Chang'an area. There were also no suitable habitats for them, so few people had ever met a Ghoul Familiar. That was the reason for the phenomenon.

But people said that in Xiangxi, Ghoul and Undead Familiars gathered.

Walking upstairs, all was quiet. Those little annoying neighborhood monsters were mute today. Gao Peng found it interesting and glanced at Dumby behind him.

"Uncle Liu, I'm back." Gao Peng knocked at Uncle Liu's door.

Before the door opened, Da Zi hissed with excitement. Uncle Liu's exasperated voice followed. "You ungrateful brat, I have served you for days, I gave you good food and drink, and see how you repay me! Your owner just came back for a second, and look how excited you are!"

After Da Zi's continuous requests Gao Peng finally saw a fat purple figure struggling to squeeze itself through the door crack.

Gao Peng lowered his head to look at Da Zi, who was stuck in the crack, dumbfounded.

What the hell is this three-sizes-too-big thing! Gao Peng thought.

If the Status Bar didn't show Da Zi was in healthy condition, Gao Peng would have suspected that his Da Zi had received crueler torture than Dumby!

Its glowing dark-purple exoskeleton was shimmering with oil; even its long sharp yellow feet had turned into stubby yellow triangular pyramids.

If Da Zi's previous figure was a long chopstick, now it was a clumsy purple skateboard.

The corner of Gao Peng's mouth twitched into a smile. "Uncle Liu, be honest. What did you feed it?"

Uncle Liu pushed back his presbyopic glasses and explained slowly, "Your Da Zi ate too little, that was why it looked skinny. I gave it something nutritious. The more food it has, the stronger it will grow. A strong figure means power."

Strong?

Uncle Liu's words made sense but no matter how hard he tried to convince himself, Gao Peng still couldn't build any connection from Da Zi's current condition to a strong monster's.

"It needs to gain weight first so it can develop muscle and be stronger! Without fat, how can it be strong! No fat means no power!" As Uncle Liu finished his speech, he happened to see Dumby, who stood quietly behind Gao Peng.

Uncle Liu cleared his throat and shifted his sight elsewhere, pretending that he didn't see Dumby at all.

In Gao Peng's database, Da Zi's status bar was revised with an extra two words: Extreme Overnutrition.

Alright, Uncle Liu meant well. But he believed that Uncle Liu definitely fed it more than "something nutritious."

"Sorry to bother you these days. Thank you so much for your kindness," Gao Peng said and paused to smile. "I got my Monster Breeder Certificate."

"Really?" Uncle Liu was surprised but happy.

"Excellent; that's a good job, my boy!" Uncle Liu nodded, gratified. "You are just 18, aren't you? It's really cool to get a Monster Breeder Certificate at your age."

Gao Peng was just about to tell Uncle Liu that what he really got was an intermediate certificate when he heard Da Zi's angry cry from behind.

He looked back and saw Da Zi lying between him and Dumby, making a semi-circle around his legs to protect him. Da Zi was glaring and roaring while Dumby stared at Da Zi but didn't budge.

"Well well, what is this?" Uncle Liu pretended to notice Dumby for the first time and was surprised.

"This is Dumby." Gao Peng briefly explained the whole story at the Monster Breeder Association to Uncle Liu.

Uncle Liu looked at Gao Peng differently.

He used to think that Gao Peng just had some talent for breeding monsters, but now it looked like things would not so simple

Old Ji would be satisfied.

But it was not good to expose talent so early. The tallest tree in a forest would be destroyed earliest by the wind. Especially when new world orders were being built dirty deals happened a lot, without a doubt.

Remaining silent for a while, Uncle Liu said: "Peng, do you know why Monster Trainers have such high status? You know no matter how strong our Familiars are, they are nonego. A sniper, a bullet, can easily threaten us."