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29 Thunder Fig

 When Gao Peng got back home, he found that Dumby's soul flames seemed to be burning stronger after eating Yin cedar needles for the past two days.

He opened the drawer of the refrigerator. Eh?

Where are all the Yin cedar needles?

The refrigerator drawer that was originally stuffed full with Yin cedar needles was now empty.

Gao Peng turned the fridge drawer inside out to search for the Yin cedar needles. In the end, all he found was half a needle stuck to the side of the drawer.

What was going on?

Gao Peng frowned. Could there have been a thief? Was his first reaction.

Looking at the Skull Ghoul Ape innocently standing in a corner and the Purple-Backed Thunder Centipede quietly lying under the sofa, it did not seem like a thief had come in.

The only conclusion was that this was an inside job.

"Dumby, come over here."

Dumby turned its head and walked over stiffly.

"Did you eat all of these?" Gao Peng pointed at the empty drawer.

Dumby lowered its head, saw the half-needle stuck at the side of the drawer, walked over and put it in its mouth.

While chewing, it walked over to the dustbin and stuck out its head, positioning its jaw cavities right above the dustbin. The chewed dregs of the Yin cedar needles fell nicely in to the bin. After eating, it went back to staring at nothing dumbly, maintaining its position with its head stuck outwards.

Gao Peng went over to look. The dustbin was filled with Yin cedar dregs.

The culprit was caught. Dumby began to panic under Gao Peng's fierce glare. With stiff steps, it slowly retreated until it reached a wall and finally turned around to face the wall as though reflecting on its mistakes.

Da Zi saw an opportunity and crawled out from under the sofa. It climbed onto Gao Peng's leg and raised its head up high.

"He ate it! He ate it!" Da Zi's voice rang in Gao Peng's head.

"Yes, yes, I know that." Gao Peng patted Da Zi's head.

"He didn't let me eat!" Da Zi took the chance to tattle-tale.

"???"

You weren't upset because of this reason were you? Gao Peng thought.

Gao Peng was not actually angry with Dumby eating all the Yin cedar needles, since they were meant for it to eat anyway. It was just that eating without permission was a bad habit, so Gao Peng decided that he had to properly educate this guy.

"Next time you want to eat more, just tell me, do you understand?" Gao Peng said while patting Dumby's skull.

There was no indication that Dumby actually understood any of that. It just continued staring dumbly at the wall.

The sky was not dark yet, so Gao Peng decided to make a phone call. The boss of the store that sold him all the materials the last time had given him their number. He had promised that anything that Gao Peng bought from them would be delivered straight to his doorstep.

Over the phone, when the boss heard that Gao Peng wanted another 30 catties of Yin cedar needles and 10 catties of thunder fig, he immediately sent an employee to deliver the goods over to Gao Peng.

The delivery boy was a tall and skinny young man. Seeing that it would have been tough for him to make a specialized trip here, Gao Peng poured him a glass of water. After drinking the water, the delivery boy nodded in appreciation, "Thank you."

"It's nothing. It's been tough for you too," Gao Peng replied with a smile.

Gao Peng received the items, paid for them, then closed the door. He patted Dumby on the shoulders and said, "OK, this will be your food for the next two days."

Dumby smelled the aroma of the food and turned to look at the black plastic bag.

"Two days," Gao Peng stuck out two fingers, "Eat half each day, understand?"

Dumby nodded its head, the flames in its eyes burning brightly. Gao Peng had not established a Blood Contract with Dumby, so he could not communicate with it via the soul.

Gao Peng was not afraid that he could not afford to maintain Dumby's diet. He could still afford these Yin cedar needles that were priced at 1000 Alliance Dollars per catty. Dumby ate 15 catties a day, so that would only be 1.5 Alliance credits. Being able to eat more was a good thing anyway. The more nutritional materials it absorbed, the closer it would get to its next evolution.

From Dumby's attributes table, Gao Peng could see that it needed to take in roughly 600 catties of Yin cedar needle to meet the requirements for the first step of its evolution.

Evolving into epic grade was no easy task. Just the expenditure on the materials would amount to at least a few million Alliance Dollars. That was the amount needed for Dumby at elite tier. At higher tiers, the materials needed would be more precious, and naturally cost even more money. Some of these precious materials would probably also be in short supply.

No matter what grade a monster was at, as long as it advanced in any tier beyond the elite tier, its grade would drop by one.

For instance, a perfect grade, elite tier monster after advancing to commander tier would become an excellent grade, commander tier monster; an epic grade, elite tier monster after advancement to commander tier would become a perfect grade, commander tier monster.

This was because a monster's evolutionary process was one that expended its potential. It was only natural to lose something after gaining something.

But of course, as long as a Trainer put in the effort to raise the Familiar, there was no need to fear dropping in grade after advancing in tier. The grade could be slowly raised again through effort and cultivation.

After talking to Dumby, Gao Peng opened another red-colored plastic bag. In it was roughly ten catties of pale purple figs. Their outer appearance looked exactly like figs, except that the color was changed to purple. From the cracks on the fruit, deep purple seeds could roughly be seen.

Smelling the fruits, Da Zi was evidently excited, saying, "I wanna eat! I wanna eat!" To promote Da Zi to a perfect grade, it needed 200 catties of thunder fig to consolidate a strong foundation of internal energy. Thunder figs were cheaper than Yin cedar needles, and cost only 200 Alliance Dollars a catty. They had a crisp and numbing flavor and were often used in accompaniment with high-grade food ingredients.

Gao Peng poured the thunder figs in to a metal basin. Looking at the fresh thunder figs, Da Zi's eyes sparkled. But without its master's word, Da Zi did not dare to begin eating and just raised its head to look at its master. After Gao Peng gave it permission, Da Zi's two maxillae were propped on the edges of the metal basin as it chewed up the thunder figs in large mouthfuls. Da Zi ate up everything, even the skin and the seeds.

Da Zi only ate about a third of the amount in the basin before stopping, as though having eaten its fill. It lazily lay on the ground nearby and curled into ball.

Thunder figs had a long shelf life, so even leaving them out exposed to the air should have been no problem. Gao Peng picked up the food basin and placed it next to the sofa.

...

The next day, at the request of the new instructor, all the students that had established Blood Contracts had to bring their Familiars to school. Gao Peng put a leash on Da Zi before leading it out of the door.

As he entered the school, Da Zi almost thought it had entered some theme park for pets. All sorts of Familiars were standing or lying about the school. The entire school compound seemed to be filled with Familiars.

Monster roars and screeches combined together in a cacophony of monster sounds, making it extremely noisy.

There were really large and really small Familiars, but the most ridiculous of all was a fully white Familiar that had the appearance of a domesticated pig. It stood at a height of three meters, and was five meters long, looking like a large fleshy mountain. With each step it made, the fat on its body rippled like waves on the sea.

Next to it was a delicate and pretty young lady. Her face was red and burning with embarrassment.

Things were not like this when she bought her Familiar at first...

What she saw initially at the Familiar store was such a cute little white piglet, with a pink ribbon on its head. She fell in love with this cute piglet at first sight. Little did she know that it would become like this in just about a year. Its body size grew bigger and bigger each day, along with its appetite.

After a taking a glance at its master, the white giant pig lazily lied down in front of the school gate and began sunbathing. There was no pretense in its relaxed and satisfied expression. It acted as though it were relaxing in its own backyard.