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37 Horrifying Savage Spiders

 The clanging sound of chopsticks made Da Zi raise its head. After finding the direction of the noise it began to crawl over. Da Zi looked at the black goo within the pot. Its antennae swayed around a bit but it did not begin eating.

It sniffed the goo a bit then stealthily removed its maxillae from the edges of the pot. It turned away with a look of disgust. "It's poisonous, it's poisonous..."

Gao Peng did not know what to say. He thought to himself, This whole pot of stuff was made with poisonous materials. Of course it is poisonous. But you're telling me that you're afraid of poison? You must be a disgrace to all poison-type Familiars.

"Come back and eat it all. You have to eat it in order to evolve. If you don't eat, how will you get stronger?" said Gao Peng in a strict tone.

After Da Zi ate everything without leaving a single drop, Gao Peng gave a relieved smile. Da Zi seemed a bit sluggish. It quietly found a corner to lie down in, curling into a ball.

...

Beside the Dark Ember Forest was a quiet valley. There, in a dark cave, a few gray-colored giant spiders slowly crept from the depths of the cave. Their eyes were a shimmering blood red, and they sniffed the surrounding air.

Nearby in a dense thicket emerged a Golden Pangolin, its scales glittering under the sunlight. A spider opened up its mouth and shot large amounts of greyish-white viscous liquid. The viscous liquid sprayed everywhere on the leaves, branches, and grass.

Upon contact with the air, the greyish white substance quickly solidified, losing its stickiness but becoming resilient and tough instead. The Golden Pangolin struggled to break away from the substance forming long sticky white threads, like damp chewing gum being stretched apart.

The Golden Pangolin made a low growl and raised its golden scales, transforming them into countless sharp blades. It curled its body, transforming into ball form.

By curling up, hugging itself and rotating, its sharp scales became a formation of whirling blades.

The spider silk could withstand blunt force, but against a sharp edge, it offered little resistance. As the threads of spider silk were cut, the Golden Pangolin thought it could finally escape. However, another wave of greyish-white, viscous fluid came raining from the sky again.

The sticky fluid kept increasing, gradually covering up the Golden Pangolin. The group of spiders surrounded the Golden Pangolin like a bunch of rogues, continually spitting white spider silk at it.

Finally, a large white cocoon began to form.

No matter how the Golden Pangolin struggled, it could not break free of the unending amounts of spider silk. Its whole body was secured firmly to the ground. It finally lay unmoving on the ground after expending all its energy, looking in despair at the group of slowly approaching spiders.

From that cave, an endless number of spiders poured out. It must have been their nest.

...

"Old Chen, give me the usual. 30 pounds of Yin cedar needles," Gao Peng said as he walked into the shop. It was Saturday, and he had just left his studio. He was too lazy to trouble others to deliver to his door, so he decided to pass by the store and buy what he needed.

"30 pounds?" the man Gao Peng called Old Chen replied. He was a tall, thin, and tanned youth, but he had the look of a matured older man. Many of the regular customers were used to addressing him as Old Chen.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Gao, we only have ten pounds of Yin cedar needles left in our store today," Lao Chen said apologetically. "As you can see here..."

Gao Peng was surprised, but he waved his hand and said, "If ten pounds is all there is I'll have all ten. Pack them all up for me."

Gao Peng went to a number of stores nearby, only to find that Yin cedar needles had been out of stock for a few days already. From what he remembered, Yin cedar needles were not extremely common, but they were not rare either.

If these stores were all out of stock it probably meant that there were hardly any Yin cedar needles left in Chang'an, as the stores in the city center had the most variety of wares.

Because Gao Peng's studio was nearby, the stores were quite familiar with him.

One of the store owners kindly told him, "It's not just Yin cedar needles; quite a few materials have been out of stock recently."

"Oh? What happened?" Gao Peng was curious.

Although there was more than one method of promoting Dumby to epic grade, it had already eaten over 200 pounds of Yin cedar needles. Changing to an alternate method would be troublesome.

"Our store gets Yin cedar needles and a whole bunch of other materials from privately-owned grounds near the outskirts of Chang'an city. Because the goods are cheap and plentiful, many of Chang'an City's shops get their materials from that patch of land."

The store owner paused to take a breath of smoke before continuing to share his troubles. "Maybe news of the area being sealed off has not spread yet, but that patch of land is located near the Dark Ember Forest. About a week ago, a bunch of Scoundrel Spiders came out of nowhere and not only ate up most of the Yin attribute plants in the patch of land but also the other monsters in the surrounding forests. According to the owner, if they hadn't escaped his whole family would have become food for the Scoundrel Spiders. The whole area around that patch of land has been sealed off by the military. I'm afraid you won't be able to purchase any Yin cedar needles for the time being."

"Scoundrel Spiders..." Gao Peng wracked his brains to think if he could recall any monsters called Scoundrel Spiders.

"Scoundrel Spiders are just a nickname we use. The authorities have given them their own scientific name. They're called Brutal Grey Devil Spiders or something." The store owner took a deep puff and finished the cigarette in his hand before stepping on the cigarette butt. A few new customers entered the store and the store owner smiled apologetically before going to entertain them. "If there's anything else you need you can simply take a look around the store."

Gao Peng looked at the store owner who was introducing ingredients to the customers and then turned towards the crowded streets. It was the off-work peak hour. Traffic was jammed and he could see drivers playing with their Familiars while waiting to move.

Cheerful sounds came from the car windows. In this concrete jungle, man and Familiar came together and painted a picture of harmony.

Gao Peng exhaled and left the shop carrying his shopping bag. He needed to hurry up and finish his business he could go home and check if Da Zi had finished its evolution.

Yin cedar needles were in rather high demand because they were high-grade feed for Yin-attributed monsters. Gao Peng did not dare to relax once he heard the news and hurriedly went around the various stores in the city where there was still time in order to buy up all the remaining Yin cedar needles. In the end, he managed to purchase over 100 pounds of Yin cedar needles. But that meant there would hardly be any left within the city.

After that, he went to the Monster Hunting Association to put up a short-term assignment request for 300 pounds of Yin cedar needles which he would pay for at 1,100 Alliance Dollars per pound.

There were also Yin cedar needles in the wilderness, but they were unevenly distributed and rare. To gather them would take up a lot of time and energy.

But if he could accomplish such a task with money then there was no need to make the risky trip to the wilderness.

Back home, Gao Peng went online to search the news for "Brutal Grey Devil Spiders."

Entering these four keywords gave a whole row of news articles.

"Shocking! Extremely brutal, horrifying giant spiders are actually..."

"City resident Mr. Zhang recounts: The most horrifying night I almost became food for the spiders."

"A new species of spider monsters have appeared in Chang'an City's Dark Ember Forest which is now completely off-limits! Government issues strict warning to citizens against entering the Dark Ember Forest."