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21 Pie in the Sky

 "I've heard that when Monster Trainers reach a certain level, they are able to develop certain techniques that can ensure their survival," said Gao Peng after furrowing his brows in thought for a moment.

"That's right, but a Trainer's survival isn't just limited to one type of technique. It is also not necessarily true that one must attain a certain level before being able to use such a technique," Uncle Liu said, evidently hinting at something.

After saying that, Uncle Liu simply stood where he was, as though he had some reservation in continuing on with the topic.

C'mon and ask, ask me how to obtain such a technique.

"Mm, thank you for enlightening me." With that, Gao Peng gave a slight nod and turned to leave.

"..."

Uncle Liu cleared his throat and said, "Wait. Actually, I have a Monster Trainer survival technique that is suitable for you right now."

Gao Peng gave Uncle Liu a careful look. If he still had not realised by now that there was more to Uncle Liu than met the eye, he might as well have bashed his head into a wall. But since Uncle Liu did not seem to have any intention of explicitly revealing his identity, Gao Peng found no reason to purposely expose him either.

Everyone had some secrets of their own. If he were to try to get to the bottom of everything, he might just lose a friend.

Uncle Liu looked at his surroundings then nodded his head. Gao Peng suddenly felt a change in the space around him, but he could not be sure if he simply imagined it.

Uncle Liu spoke in a serious tone. "The secret technique I am about to tell you must never be revealed to anyone, or else it will bring you a lot of trouble."

"I understand," Gao Peng nodded.

In Gao Peng's mind, he imagined that Uncle Liu would place a finger on his forehead and the knowledge would flood into his mind.

But in reality, Uncle Liu simply took out a piece of paper and began scribbling on it with a pen.

After he was done writing, he passed it to Gao Peng. "Memorize this, then burn the paper."

Gao Peng took the note in his hands and began to read carefully. His memory had always been rather good, otherwise he would not have been able to get such good grades. After all, a lot of knowledge had to be memorized.

After a moment, Gao Peng nodded his head. He found some matches in Uncle Liu's home and burned the note to ashes.

Uncle Liu did not ask if Gao Peng had memorized it all properly but reminded him once again to never reveal what he learned today. At least not before he had become powerful enough to protect himself.

After seeing Gao Peng go back home, Uncle Liu secretly took out his phone to call Old Ji. That old fogey. He's clearly misses his grandson to bits but he still refuses to visit him. But Old Ji does indeed have his own reasons. The old fogey should be delighted to hear that Peng has become an intermediate level Monster Breeder.

Uncle Liu leaned back and out of nowhere, a six-meter long chameleon slowly became visible behind him. It was lying on the ground lazily. He unreservedly planted his bottom on the chameleon's body. Its back was soft and fluffy, just like a sofa.

...

Familiar Secret Technique - Shifting Constellations. Gao Peng was thinking about the contents of the piece of paper.

He let out a deep breath. This is evidently a method of transferring damage. It allows all the damage taken to be transferred to the body of one's Familiar.

But it has a flaw. Although it is able to transfer every bit of damage sustained to one's Familiar, it is only effective within a limited range. Beyond a certain distance apart from the Familiar the damage cannot be transferred. Also, this effect cannot be triggered by the Trainer alone and requires the Familiar to consciously initiate the technique.

Even if that were the case, a Familiar's defensive power was way beyond a human's. Furthermore, as a Familiar got stronger, its defensive power and life force would only grow stronger.

Gao Peng shut his eyes and quietly recited the secret technique and communicated with the Blood Contract in his consciousness. In his mental sea, a black and gold contract appeared, before slowly disappearing again.

Suddenly, Gao Peng felt the existence of a new special connection being established between him and Da Zi.

Gao Peng looked over at Da Zi who was crawling by his feet. It had a thick expression on its face. Gao Peng jokingly scolded, "Look at how fat you've become! You're like a little purple fat pig."

"Hiss!" Da Zi made an unhappy noise.

"Oho, talking back now, are you? You don't have any self-awareness do you? Have you any idea how fat you are?"

"Hiss!" Da Zi was furious.

"Come, come, come. Dumby, come carry Da Zi over here."

At first, Da Zi seemed to be struggling for dear life. But after Dumby managed to bring it in front of the mirror, it stiffened up in alarm after taking a good look at the fat centipede in the mirror.

After that, Da Zi stopped struggling.

It just lay still in Dumby's arms as though it had given up on life, staring blankly at itself in the mirror.

"Hey," Gao Peng said while patting Da Zi's head.

Da Zi did not move, maintaining its blank look.

"Stop playing dead and get up quickly. Get plenty of exercise in these next few days to lose that flab. Once you've lost weight, I'll increase your grade," said Gao Peng snappily. With how fat Da Zi was currently, he did not dare to simply raise its grade. If Da Zi evolved and got stuck in that fat state, he would not know what to do.

A flying fat centipede?

Just the thought of it hurt his eyes.

...

Right now it was noon. There was no need for Gao Peng to rush back to school today. He could work on finding a part-time job first.

There were two simple ways to find part-time work as a Monster Breeder. The first was to open his own office or shop front. After making a name for himself, customers would naturally keep coming to find out more. Unfortunately, such a method was draining and would take up a lot of time. Gao Peng did not plan to become a top Monster Breeder in the future. This was just a means to support his expenses and would at the most be just a part-time job.

The other method was to join a large corporation or powerful organization. With his abilities, he should have been able to come to the fore in no time at all.

But this was something that Gao Peng did not like to do.

Joining a large corporation would involve dealing with politics and human relations in order to climb the corporate ladder. This was too tiring to Gao Peng.

So he decided to choose a method that was a compromise between both of the above methods: to join some small Monster Breeder agency or store. He would not have to worry much about getting customers as that job would naturally fall to the boss. He also would not have to worry about fighting hard for benefits or recognition since there will not be many employees in a small store. If the work did not suit him, he could simply leave.

Furthermore, these small Monster Breeder agencies and stores employed people easily. All that was needed was a Monster Breeder certificate. Resignation would also be convenient and fast.

Once he put his mind to it, he would go ahead and do it. As Gao Peng was putting on his clothes to prepare to go out to look for work, he suddenly remembered about Uncle Liu next door.

Uncle Liu knew a lot and had good connections...

Gao Peng was a little hesitant in troubling Uncle Liu for such a small matter, but he thought of how he had been spending every day in school for the past few years. Although he was well-acquainted with all the changes to everyday life that had occurred in recent years, he still had very little idea about where and what kinds of Monster Breeder agencies can be found in Chang'an City. He naturally had even less of an idea of which agencies were well acclaimed and which were not.

With this thought in mind, Gao Peng decided to knock on Uncle Liu's door in the end.

The door opened almost immediately the moment he knocked. Uncle Liu saw him and smiled. He hurriedly pulled Gao Peng by his elbows into the house. "Peng, I have something I have to trouble you with."

Gao Peng very politely replied, "If there's anything at all, just give the word. I still feel bad for leaving Da Zi in your house under your care for so long. Please do not hesitate if you need anything of me."

Uncle Liu heaved a sigh of relief. "I'll get straight to the point then. Previously, I had worked together with a partner to open a small Monster Breeder Agency. I even put quite some money into it. But just a while ago, that partner of mine up and left, taking all the money and even all the Monster Breeders in the agency with him. Well, seeing that you've got an intermediate Monster Breeder certificate now, I was hoping you could help out uncle here. Do you mind helping out in the agency for a bit? Don't worry, regarding the pay, I will give you the best prices within the trade, and also 20% of the company free shares. This will not affect your studies either. You only need to go down to the agency every weekend. The job of a Monster Breeder is actually quite relaxed."

The more Gao Peng listened, the more he felt that something fishy was going on. He had a strange expression on his face. This was akin to someone gifting him a pillow the moment he felt like sleeping. It was as though the pie in the sky had fallen down.