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49 Mint Ca

 "Mr. Gao, are you free today?" Gao Peng received a call from Liu Senlin right after he left school.

"What is it?" Gao Peng stopped.

"I would like to invite you to a meal. I have a few other friends who will be attending as well. I hope you can grace us with your presence and allow me to introduce them to you." A hint of flattery could be heard from Liu Senlin's end of the line.

But it was hard to blame him for that. After all, the survival of his company rested largely in the hands of Gao Peng.

Gao Peng thought for a bit. There was still quite a bit of food in the refrigerator, so he did not need to worry about Dumby starving at home.

"Alright, I am free today, I'll be there-" before Gao Peng could finish, a black sedan in front of the school gate slowly drove over and stopped in front of him.

The car windows wound down. Liu Senlin was sitting inside, all smiles.

"Sorry for troubling you." Gao Peng put Da Zi in the trunk then took a seat in front. It was only then that he noticed that there was a 17-18 year old girl sitting in the back seat. She had neat, shoulder-length hair.

"It's no trouble at all. It's on the way, actually," replied Liu Senlin with a laugh. "My daughter coincidentally also studies at your school. I'm here to fetch her today."

"This is the second time you've been to my school this year. The first time was on the first day of school," muttered Liu Zhaoyu from the backseat quietly.

Liu Senlin kept silent.

Mao. At this moment, the sound of a cat's meow came from the back.

This cat's meowing was a little unorthodox. Instead of the usual "meow," it went "mao."

Liu Zhaoyu gently stroked the chin of a white, long-tailed cat sitting in her lap. The cat's eyes squinted happily and it lazily lied on its owner's lap without moving at all. She looked curiously at Gao Peng, who was sitting in front.

This person was from the same school and looked around her age, but he could actually make her father personally drive over to their school.

Gao Peng leaned back on his seat and began to nod off, but Liu Senlin suddenly spoke from the driver's seat. "Mr. Gao, if you have the time, do you think you could help Zhaoyu and take a look at her Familiar?"

Liu Zhaoyu was surprised. How did she get suddenly involved in this?

"I'll be in my studio this Saturday and Sunday. She can come find me at my studio this weekend," replied Gao Peng.

"Mm." Liu Senlin kept quiet afterwards, concentrating on his driving. The atmosphere in the car turned silent.

After a short while, the sedan stopped at the entrance of a neighborhood. Liu Senlin turned around and spoke to Liu Zhaoyu. "Go home first, ok? I still have some stuff to do with Uncle Gao."

Through the car windows, Gao Peng managed to see the Familiar that Liu Zhaoyu was carrying in her arms. It was a large, long-tailed white cat that was around a foot and a half long. Its eyes were squinting as it lay in Liu Zhaoyu's arms, but they were crystal clear, like green-colored amber.

[Monster Name]: Mint Cat

[Monster Level]: 12

[Monster Grade]: Normal

[Monster Attribute]: Wood

[Monster Weakness]: Water

[Requirements for Promotion to Excellent Grade]: ...

A cat Familiar. That was a rare sight.

After the cataclysm, many cat species underwent mutations, but almost all of them became uncontrollable.

It should be known that cats are said to be insane animals, and that it is not possible to know what goes on in their minds. Especially after they went through mutations and gained greater intelligence; they simply became more insane.

After the cataclysm, many cat monsters fled the human-inhabited cities, making cat Familiars a rare sight.

The sedan left the neighborhood and headed towards the outskirts of the city.

"Who are these friends of yours?" Gao Peng asked curiously.

"You will find out when you arrive, Mr. Gao," replied Liu Senlin with a nod.

Finally, they stopped in front of an antique-looking traditional Chinese mansion.

They alighted and went into the mansion. Only then did Gao Peng realize that this was a mountain villa transformed into a high-class restaurant. It had been refurbished to include a landscape garden. There was even a small footbridge and flowing waters that gave a Jiangnan feel.

This would be the work of a master designer that was proficient in both Northern and Southern classical Chinese garden designs.

Walking through the courtyard, they entered a first grade patio. There were already around a dozen people seated inside, both male and female. When they saw Gao Peng, they all looked at him as though they were sizing him up. Although they did not seem to be looking down on him, there was still a look of scrutiny in their eyes.

Gao Peng knit his brows. Being stared at with this kind of look made him feel very uncomfortable. If not for Liu Senlin, he would have simply turned around and left.

Before Gao Peng could ask anything, Liu Senlin enthusiastically introduced them to him. "This is Captain Song Si of the Firefly Hunter Team, this is Captain Jiang Gu of the Heavenly Star Hunter Team..."

In one breath, he introduced everyone seated there to Gao Peng.

Hunter Team was short for Monster Hunter Alliance Team.

Gao Peng's eyes narrowed. When Liu Senlin talked about meeting his friends, he thought he would simply be meeting with Liu Senlin's close friends in his everyday life. But right now, every single one of them seated here were representatives of Monster Hunter Teams. This was definitely no mere coincidence.

If they wanted him to raise some of their Familiars, Gao Peng would definitely not reject them. After all, no matter which of them chose to work with him, it would mean having more business.

But if they went through Liu Senlin to get his services, that would be unethical. Liu Senlin could very well have used his connection with Gao Peng to get some benefits from them, and the thought of that made Gao Peng very unhappy.

Gao Peng did not like to involve business and other complicated matters in his friendships with others.

Furthermore, if he really wanted to be calculative about things, he and Liu Senlin's relationship was purely that of a work partnership. In this relationship, it was Liu Senlin that owed him, instead of the other way around. The number of commander tier Familiars that he had raised for Liu Senlin was definitely worth much more than the pay that he received.

Gao Peng simply nodded in response to Liu Senlin and sat down with a neutral expression on his face.

At the center of the patio was a small fountain. Surrounding it was a stone table that was shaped like a ring. The ring-shaped stone table even had some delicate pulley mechanism that allowed the table to rotate.

Waiters came forward and placed various delicacies on the stone table. The dishes had everything: color, fragrance, taste. They were extremely appetizing.

While they were eating, Gao Peng would often be asked about Monster Breeding. From their tone of voice, Gao Peng could easily tell that they were testing him, or insinuating what they thought of his abilities.

One of the captains was even downright aggressive in his manner of speech. "How are you so sure that this must be the right method of training? I consulted Mr. Zhang before, and Mr. Zhang is an experienced intermediate level Monster Breeder. He said that my Familiar can't eat pumpkins and durians." This was an example of the kind of questioning Gao Peng received.

Gao Peng restrained himself and replied all these questions politely. The moment something else was mentioned, he would take the opportunity and attempt to change the topic.

He did not behave like the typical overpowered web novel protagonist, flying into rage and flipping the table the moment he felt unhappy. Doing so would definitely feel good, but only for a moment. There would definitely be many repercussions for such behavior.

In the real world, no one would give you 30 years to get stronger. They would simply nip any potential threats in the bud.

Gao Peng definitely wished that he had what it took to simply tell all these people he did not wish to talk to to get lost. But he did not have the ability to do so yet. For now, he could only obediently play by their rules.

After eating, Gao Peng let out a sigh and said, "My apologies, I am new to this field and my skills are mediocre. Besides, you all here are representatives of the top teams amongst Monster Hunters; such an important role is too heavy a burden for a high schooler such as myself to bear. I would not know how to bear the responsibility, should any accidents happen." With that, Gao Peng refused Liu Senlin's offer to drive him home with thanks, and headed home after calling for a taxi.

"This kid doesn't know what's good for him. Hmph," said Heavenly Star Hunter Team's Captain Jiang Gu coldly. He was a little annoyed. In his eyes, Gao Peng should have felt honored to be allowed to raise his Familiars. He was, after all, a big name in Chang'an. Working with him, Gao Peng could easily receive a lot of benefits, and gain a good deal of fame as well.

All the captains present had multiple decades of experience in their fields. They could easily tell that Gao Peng was unhappy and uninterested.

In their eyes, this was just the stubbornness of a child.

"Forget it, he's just a child. Captain Jiang, you surely won't hold it against a little boy, right?" Song Si smiled gently. She did not take Gao Peng's childishness to heart at all.

"Hmph, of course I won't be so calculative with a child," said Jiang Gu as he picked up a piece of sliced beef with his chopsticks.

"Alright, alright, let's continue eating then. It's nothing much, just a small matter. Manager Liu meant well by inviting us all here anyway," said one of the captains to lighten the mood.

The little conflict during the meal ended like this.

The various Hunter Team captains did not think too much of the matter. Although Gao Peng did leave them with a bad impression, no one did anything like going out of the way to make trouble for him. After all, everyone there was an adult and they were busy with their own lives.

As everyone left, Liu Senlin sighed. This time he had failed to get into the good books of both parties, and offended both sides instead.