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65 Locust Swarm

 Gao Peng casually walked over, then looked left and right cautiously. He confirmed that Mu Tieying was not paying attention to him.

He stuck out his right leg, stepped on that piece of shiny white crystal, and casually bent down and pretended to tie his shoelaces.

[Material Name]: Wood Space Heart (Space-attribute material)

Gao Peng felt that it was a pity that only the material's attribute and name was shown. There was no indication of how he could obtain this material.

However, Gao Peng was thankful because, out of the many possible routes of evolution for his Levitating Jellyfish Silly, one of them required the Wood Space Heart as a key ingredient. A total of three pounds were needed for the evolution.

Gao Peng weighed the piece of Wood Space Heart in his hand. He estimated it to be around 0.05 pounds.

This would mean that he needed a total of 60 of such pieces.

All monsters had more than one route of evolution. Naturally, there was also more than one formula of materials needed, and more than one method of using the materials.

In the data tables that Gao Peng could see, usually the first method shown was the one that gave the most value for his money. If he expanded the methods of promotion and looked closely at the information on the evolution pathway, he would actually be able to see many different types of possible evolution routes.

Some methods shown were just showy. It would require large amounts of equipment and wares, and delicate procedures similar to that of a complicated scientific experiment that could easily take up half a day to complete. It may have looked extremely sophisticated and cool, but it was all about appearances. Such methods were only useful for showing off.

The other methods available were the actually highly sophisticated ones. These required the help of the Familiar to refine all the materials used, by controlling fire, electricity, ice, etc. Even the temperatures and time taken for the procedures had to be accurate to the exact millisecond. Each material would also have to go through at least ten procedures. Such a method required near perfect synchronization of the soul between Trainer and Familiar, and could only be achieved when a certain level of rapport was reached. It would take many years of training to achieve such a standard.

Gao Peng was still unable to learn any such techniques. They belonged to the "do you think I can understand this just by looking?!" level of difficulty.

In order to learn these high-level techniques he would definitely need to spend a lot on materials to practice. His cheat ability only provided him an instruction manual. When it came to the materials and the actual procedures, he had to do it all on his own.

Gao Peng was not empowered by mysterious powers, nor was he capable of something crazy like causing the system of the world to freeze. Learning such techniques on his own without a teacher was simply impossible, even in his wildest dreams.

Which was why, for now, Gao Peng could only use a poor man's methods, which was pretty much just cooking a large pot of medicine to achieve evolution. It looked like a cheap method of doing things, but it was actually really embarrassing as well.

But there was no other choice. It was the most cost efficient method. The rich had their way of living and the poor had their own way of nourishing themselves.

Naturally, such simple methods were only applicable at the start. As a monster's tier and grade increased, Gao Peng noticed that the steps taken to promote a monster's grade became more complicated and sophisticated as well. He would eventually reach a state where could no longer rely on such crude methods any more.

I'll focus on raising the standards of my own abilities when the time comes I guess. Maybe I can start by looking for some low-level Familiars to practice on, Gao Peng thought to himself.

Gao Peng searched around the spot for a bit more. In the end, he found two more pieces of Wood Space Heart next to two broken tree trunks.

Including the first one that he found, all three were found in the center of a type of tree called Bottle Tree.

The three trees were also very old trees, and were a lot thicker than the other Bottle Trees around them.

Bottle Trees got their name from their appearance, which looked like an upright beer bottle. These trees had a dense crown.

Gao Peng did not know if anyone else had already discovered the secret behind the hearts of these Bottle Trees. But so far, he had never heard of Wood Space Heart being sold in any of the markets and had never seen it being advertised in any magazines or commercials. He had never even heard of anything remotely similar to this kind of material.

What made him even more curious was that, if no one had discovered Wood Space Hearts before, where did the name come from in the first place?

Bottle Trees were not exclusive to this valley, and were relatively common outside as well. Gao Peng planned to explore the wilderness for a bit after he left the valley, so that he could collect more Wood Space Hearts.

After a while, Gao Peng regained his good spirits and continued with Mu Tieying to explore deeper into the valley. At a rather secluded spot, they managed to find a brand new safehouse.

With the safehouse as their new base, they continued exploring the area.

In the next few days, they explored plenty of the surroundings and managed to learn about many more types of monsters.

Most monsters they encountered were of a low level, and hardly posed a threat. But it was a rewarding experience all the same as it was the first time they saw the monsters in the flesh. Previously, these monsters only existed in textbooks or on television.

Having such firsthand experience was a very novel experience for them and was something they found extremely interesting.

They encountered monsters such as the timid Earth-Hide Boar. Relying on its tough hide and thick flesh, it hid amongst thorny Black Brambles and ate Yellow-Striped Sweet Potatoes from the ground. The moment it heard any sound, it would hide deep within the brambles and quietly observe its surroundings.

There was also a violent Golden Swallowtail Butterfly that would constantly knock itself against trees in order to train its body. With a stronger body it could then go beat up its neighbor, the Green-Furred Lizard.

Then, there was also a Black Raging Kong that dreamt that it could fly. It would climb up to the treetops and fall down from there again and again. No matter how many times it fell, it would still continue climbing up the tree, yelping the whole time.

Living things come in all forms, and this was a perfect example to illustrate that.

Every monster had its own story, enough to write a book about. There were no two humans that are totally identical, and the same went for these creatures Each monster was an independent individual that possessed its own personality and its own unique characteristics.

The seven days in the valley passed by quickly. Gao Peng's skin was darker than when he first came, and his clothes had inevitably developed a stench.

Mu Tieying's armor that she wore had also suffered evident wear and tear. From the way her brows knitted, it was clear that she was a little fatigued as well.

As they exited the valley, fellow students that were making their way out also surrounded them. Gao Peng naturally lightened up at the sight.

Although Da Zi's level had not risen, it had gained plenty of valuable combat experience within the week. It had also gained many more wounds. Some were fully healed by now, but others were still in the process of recovery, with visible scabs.

Right now, Gao Peng's main focus during battles was to train Da Zi's agility and explosive strength. Because Da Zi's venom was strong, all it needed was to gain the ability to get close to the foe and to avoid its attacks. Da Zi's venom would do the rest by slowly wearing the enemy down. Relying on venom, it would be able to take out most foes that were within the same tier.

As Gao Peng left the valley, he suddenly thought of the people he locked up in the safehouse on the first night. Could they have been let out already?

Let's hope they managed to be found by some kind-hearted people then.

"The training has now come to an end, I hope that all of you have learnt plenty from it," said Chief Instructor Chen to the crowd that just made its way out of the valley's outfield training base. Over the past seven days, Chief Instructor Chen had somehow gained an extra scar on his face, adding on to his fierce image. "The tentative date for the next combined training at the valley has been set three weeks from now. Students that have attended this one will be able to attend the next one for free."

After being in the valley for a week, many people were both physically and mentally drained, and simply showed a look of fatigue.

The instructor very generously gave everyone a three-day holiday. They were instructed to go back to class only after three days.

After reaching home, Silly, who was floating around the living room sped towards Gao Peng, and then with a 'flop' sound, landed on Gao Peng's head.

Gao Peng sighed. For some unknown reason Silly had made his head a permanent target and would rest on his head whenever it had the time.

At night, Gao Peng turned on the television. Only then did he find out that something big had happened in the few days where he was away. A locust swarm was making its way over from the north, triggering a city-wide four-star warning alert! Currently, 15km away from the north of the city, a battlefront had been set up to keep the locust swarm out. A fierce battle was currently going on at the front lines!