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76 Wild Evolution – Gray Armored Spider

 Ebony Night Hound!

That was the scientific name of the jet-black hound.

According to what was known, all dog-type monsters had the possibility of evolving into an Ebony Night Hound. The Ebony Night Hound was already established as a possible alternate evolutionary pathway for dog-type monsters.

This type of dog species had jet-black fur that perfectly blended in with the darkness of the night. The color of its fur was the perfect camouflage.

Its jet-black fur was also capable of absorbing most wavelengths of light, making it the perfect assassin under the cover of the night. This also made it an ideal watchdog. Many manor and garden owners made this their choice of Familiar.

"I am aware of the way you charge your fees. For commander tier Familiars, the price is determined by you," said Lu Xie. "Please feel free to state your price."

Gao Peng looked at the Ebony Night Hound and checked its various evolutionary pathways.

After some careful thought, Gao Peng quietly nodded his head. He had eliminated the two rarest and strongest paths for its evolution, leaving eighteen different possible pathways.

After identifying the pathways that required materials that were too rare or procedures that were too complex and time consuming, he eliminated another five more, leaving a total of thirteen pathways.

"Director Lu," said Gao Peng, looking towards Lu Xie.

Lu Xie jumped slightly. Director Lu?

He had never actually had someone address him that way...

But it was actually a rather novel feeling.

"Promoting the grade should be no problem at all. I even have quite a few evolutionary pathways for you to choose from. Of course, the prices for each of them are different and the strengths of the Familiar after the evolution will differ accordingly as well. As a businessman, you should understand that you get what you pay for..." Gao Peng gave Lu Xie a meaningful smile.

Lu Xie slapped his forehead and said without any hesitation, "I'll have the most expensive one!"

"Umm... 5,000. 5,000 Alliance Credits, and you will need to pay for the materials needed as well. It's the most expensive and the best." After a moment's pause, that was the price that Gao Peng offered.

Lu Xie was astounded. 5,000 Alliance Credits. This price was... a little too horrifying.

Even though he was mentally prepared, he was still shocked.

He was even expected to pay for the materials as well...

In total, no matter how he looked at it, he would need to pay at over 6,000 credits.

"Then... what is the price of the cheapest set?" Lu Xie asked, feeling conflicted.

"1,000 Alliance Credits." Gao Peng held up a single finger.

One thousand Alliance Credits meant that only the grade of the Ebony Night Hound would be raised, and nothing else.

"I'll take the most expensive one then!" Lu Xie gritted his teeth, slapped the table, and made his decision.

Before the cataclysm, Lu Xie was simply an attendant in charge of looking after the grounds. Since then, he had managed to become a big boss that owned half of the steel market in Chang'an City. All that was because of his guts!

He knew never to hesitate when it was the time to let go.

You can only win some after you lose some!

Before he had come to look for Gao Peng, he had sent people to look up Gao Peng. They found quickly that they could dig no deeper regarding Gao Peng's information, but what they found on the surface was enough.

No one had noticed yet, but ever since Gao Peng had started as a Monster Breeder, he had yet to fail; not even once!

That alone was amazing!

The notion that Gao Peng would not fail when he got down to work meant that he had a success rate of 100%.

"Alright, Mr Lu. I assure you that you will not be disappointed," Gao Peng smiled.

This business deal was the prime example of what people mean when they say "the stall may be closed for three years, but once open can feed the owner for three years".

Indeed, evolving commander tier monsters was where the big money was.

In actual fact, the fee that Gao Peng had charged was not high. Fees for promoting a commander tier Familiar could range from a few hundred Alliance Credits to tens of thousands of Alliance Credits. When converted to Alliance Dollars, that would mean millions or billions of Alliance dollars.

Gao Peng had only asked for 5,000 in order to prevent potential customers from being scared off by his fees. Running a small business was not easy, after all.

Gao Peng had made a serious loss from this deal, but Lu Xie had really profited big time!

The price difference for various commander tier monsters was rather high and determined by the difference in the monster's level and grade.

Even between commander tier Familiars, there were rather large differences in ability. Some people even came up with ways to divide commander tier into different ranks such as early-stage, middle-stage, late-stage, and pinnacle.

Such a fantasy-like ranking system left Gao Peng speechless.

He had no clue how what kinds of criteria were used to come up with such ranks.

To Gao Peng, commander tier monsters had a total of 20 levels. Levels 21 to 40 belonged to commander tier monsters.

...

Xun Quanquan was staring with her mouth wide open at Stripey, who was in the container. This giant spider had practically doubled in size and its large body was now covered in short gray fur.

Its two largest forelimbs looked as though they were heavy shields. It was as though two shields were attached to the limbs. The shields had an uneven surface riddled with gray grooves that ran both vertically and horizontally across the shields. There were even some light gray spurs that grew out from the sides.

Dong -

The two forelimbs swung out and smashed against the reinforced glass, giving off a dull sound. Cracks appeared in the place that was struck, like a spider web.

Stripey once again viciously swung its forearms against the glass!

The reinforced glass suddenly burst into pieces. Xun Quanquan hid behind a table and screamed as she watched the monster in the container struggle its way out.

The ruckus in the lab alarmed the people outside.

After opening the door, what they saw was a gray armored crab in the center of the lab, flaunting its majestic form, and looking insufferably arrogant.

No, that's not right.

That wasn't a crab.

It was more like a spider...

The group of people outside stared with their jaws hanging open at the spider in the middle of the room. It was a strange looking spider, over a meter long with armor-like scales all over its body.

A row of words flashed over Gao Peng's eyes.

[Wild Evolution] Success...

Successful evolution - Gray Armored Spider!

"Stripey," scolded Gao Peng. "How could you break the lab's equipment!"

Upon seeing that it was Gao Peng, Stripey seemed to deflate like a balloon. Its air of superiority suddenly vanished. It hurriedly used its two shield-like claws to cover its eyes and avoid looking at Gao Peng. Then it shifted sideways and started retreating.

Dong

It hit the leg of the table and stumbled.

What a silly fella. Gao Peng suddenly realized that all the Familiars under him seemed to be rather silly.

There is a saying that a man is known by the company he keeps...

Gao Peng suddenly felt a chill run down his spine. He quickly banished such random thoughts from this mind.

"Go to my office first, and don't break anything there. When you're there stay quiet, and don't touch anything," nagged Gao Peng at Stripey.

The rest of them were confused. Would the spider actually understand such complex words?

What they saw next almost made their eyes fall out of their sockets. Stripey actually nodded in a human-like manner and obediently crawled out of the lab. The only thing that was strange was the manner in which it crawled. It was crawling sideways.

Although Stripey's level was not high, its intelligence was not low. After being around Granny Chen for such a long time, it could understand some human speech.

The materials needed for the Ebony Night Hound's evolution were still not available right there and then. After all, it was a commander tier monster. The required materials were rather rare in the market, and a certain amount of time would be needed to prepare them. Hence, Lu Xie arranged a time to meet with Gao Peng. He would come back next week.

After everyone had left, Gao Peng bent over to pick up the glass debris and clean up the lab.

After cleaning up the bits of glass and drying up the floor with a mop, Gao Peng finally left the lab and went to speak to the finance department. "Order a new container for me, one larger than the previous one. Place the fees for this under my tab."

After work, Gao Peng left the studio with Stripey. In the elevator, he saw a young man in a suit. On his shoulder perched a Black Light Parrot.

The Black Light Parrot's eyes widened as it saw Gao Peng and it screeched, "B*stard!"

Its voice was filled with misery, as though it had just encountered its mortal enemy.