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75 Stripey

 Gao Peng was wearing a mask. His entire body was covered up properly, and a pair of white rubber gloves protected even his hands. He was hurrying about the lab preparing various concoctions.

There was a timer placed on top of the table. At fixed intervals it would set off an alarm.

Then Gao Peng would add in the ingredients at the correct times.

At the side of the laboratory bench was a large container. Attached to the container was a white oxygen tube that continually pumped oxygen into the liquid within the container.

Gao Peng added a few drops of a dark green liquid into a test tube containing a blue liquid. Small dense bubbles began to emerge from the mixture.

Gao Peng stared deeply into the test tube and gently swirled the blue liquid in it. At the bottom of the test tube, a golden-red precipitate was slowly forming.

All right, the solvent was successfully made.

Gao Peng walked over to the side of the container, then poured all of the liquid from the test tube into the container.

At the bottom of the container, there was a spider the size of a millstone frantically struggling and twitching. Its slender limbs were festering and had swollen considerably. Lumps of highly distorted flesh were clumped together, like many tumors growing along its limbs.

Its limbs looked abnormally thick; at least five times the normal thickness, making it look almost like a mutated crab.

"Your body color is gray, and you're a Striped Gray Plate Spider. After evolution you will become a Gray Armored Spider.

"Since Silly and Dumby all end with an -y," muttered Gao Peng to himself, "I shall call you Stripey, then."

The name reminded Gao Peng of a certain anime character. This might be one of the worst insults that character has ever faced.

Waves of numbing pain were passed on to Gao Peng through the connection to Stripey's soul. Gao Peng's heart felt heavy.

But this was unavoidable. In order to evolve from a Striped Gray Plate Spider to Gray Armored Spider, this was the only path they could take.

This evolution process was different from Da Zi's and the others. This time, the materials needed for Stripey's evolution were easy to obtain, but the procedure was difficult.

Just take certain rare, precious breeds of goldfish for example. Such goldfish could be sold for an exorbitant price of over a million dollars, but a few normal goldfish could be bought just for a few dollars. The only differences between them were the color, size and body proportions.

Which was why, for a simple evolutionary route, there would be fewer changes required in the monster.

But for a goldfish to evolve into a carp, the process would be a little more complicated. For a goldfish to evolve into a grass carp, the difficulty would be a little higher. For it to evolve into something like a shark or a whale, the difficulty would be much higher.

Of course, the use the goldfish is just an example to illustrate a point. The actual situation was not like that.

The evolution of a Striped Gray Plate Spider into a Gray Armored Spider belonged to a rather high difficulty level, which was why the procedure was rather cumbersome and required many complicated steps.

Gao Peng had specially made the trip to his studio in order to make use of the equipment there.

"Little Boss, there's a customer here," Xun Quanquan's voice came from outside.

Gao Peng, who was in the middle of monitoring Stripey's evolution process, heard her. He took a look outside, then back at Stripey who was immersed in the solvent. Stripey was not far from completing its evolution.

Right now, all the ingredients that were needed for Stripey's evolution had been properly added. All that was left was the painstaking process of developing Stripey's defensive capabilities.

Immersed in the liquid, Stripey would continually grow. A hard outer shell would form, which would gradually become brittle and fall off, allowing new body tissues to form. Its body would be bigger than before it shed its outer layer. Then it would repeat the cycle of the outer shell hardening, becoming brittle and falling off...

Such a process would consume a large amount of energy.

Gao Peng called Xun Quanquan into the lab.

"Little Boss," said Xun Quanquan as she stepped gingerly inside. Everything in the lab was extremely mysterious to her. It looked absolutely mystical!

All the lab apparatuses and equipment gave her a feeling of something very high-end.

Without permission, she was not allowed to come in.

"Mm. Later on, the moment you see that the liquid in the container turning into a lighter color, just pour the contents of this test tube on the table into the container," said Gao Peng, pointing to the high-energy solution that was prepared on the table.

Xun Quanquan looked towards the silvery-gray workbench and saw five test tubes on the test tube rack, each containing a milky white liquid.

"Ah? Oh, understood." Xun Quanquan nodded her head.

Gao Peng had already cleared away all the other materials in the laboratory, leaving only the high-energy solutions in the test tubes.

This task was not difficult. He believed that anyone with a bit of intelligence would be able to do it without any problems.

Right now, Stripey had safely entered into a benign evolutionary process. All that it needed was time.

"Mr. Gao," greeted the man who was seated in the waiting room. He wore silver-rimmed spectacles. There was even a bodyguard in a suit standing right next to him.

The man was extremely enthusiastic. He got up to shake Gao Peng's hand the moment he saw him enter.

"Hello." Gao Peng was a little perplexed. This person seemed a bit too enthusiastic.

"I have long heard of your good name, Mr. Gao. It is my pleasure to finally meet you in the flesh," said the man in silver-rimmed glasses with a smile. "Let me introduce myself. I am Lu Xie. I am currently a freelancer. Previously I owned a small herb garden, which was sadly destroyed by Brutal Gray Devil Spiders. My garden is still under repair now."

"City east's herb garden?" Gao Peng ears pricked up after hearing the man's words. He looked at Lu Xie.

He laughed heartily. "That's right. I did not think that Mr. Gao would know of my little garden as well. I am honored.

"Mr. Gao should be aware of what happened a while back then. To be honest, that night still gives me nightmares." Lu Xie smiled while shaking his head. But from the look of his expression, it seemed as though he did not receive too much of a scare.

"This is the Familiar I have brought for you to strengthen. Please take a look, Mr. Gao. Any price is alright, I am aware of the fees that Mr. Gao charges," said Lu Xie very directly.

This was... really too zealous. Gao Peng was slightly suspicious. He did not think he was that well known, and this was the first time the two of them had met.

Lu Xie waved at his bodyguard to stand back, and then stepped forward and spoke softly. "Mr. Gao, from your expression, it seems that you are unaware. Just a while back, the Magma Fire Toads developed by the military contributed greatly in the frontlines up in the north of the city. The ones responsible for developing the new Magma Fire Toads were you and Director Chen. During the banquet, Director Chen had said himself that you had definitely been the key contributor to the research process." Gao Peng finally understood.

Just a while ago, Director Chen had invited him to attend some banquet. But after finding out that those attending were all the social celebrities and influential decision makers within Chang'an city, Gao Peng had lost interest in attending.

In fact, Gao Peng really had zero interest in attending any such events, especially after the event that happened to him when he was young... Gao Peng had become rather averse to any such occasions.

Lu Xie brought in a black hound. But what was different about this hound was that it was a whole nine feet tall. A ring of vicious looking bone spurs grew out of its neck, making it look as though it were wearing a necklace. Its eyes were pitch black, its fangs were as sharp as knives, and a blood-red tongue was lolling out form the side of its mouth.

It looked fierce, evil and absolutely imposing.

Its presence gave an aura of horror that felt pressurizing to anyone around it.

Gao Peng squinted his eyes at the hound.

This was a commander tier Familiar.