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80 Aesthetics of Violence

 Perhaps it was because a lot of people moved in and out of the forest, or because the area surrounding the forest did not have a lot of monsters, but the forest seemed very serene.

Upon entering the forest, visibility instantly decreased. The giant trees and lush greenery blocked out the sunlight.

The wind blew past. Leaves and branches weaved along. Gao Peng felt soft dried leaves and mud beneath his feet in every step.

It would be best if he gathered all the materials today because there were only three days of holiday left, today being the last.

If he failed to gather all the Wood Space Heart he needed, he would have to wait until the next Monday before he had time to go out again. That would delay things too much, and Gao Peng did not want to waste time.

A short while after entering the forest, Gao Peng heard the rustling of leaves from the branches above his head. Through the branches, he vaguely identified a grayish brown figure creeping and hiding in the treetop above him.

[Monster Name]: Gray Sand Bobcat

[Monster Level]: Level 13

[Monster Grade]: Normal

[Monster Attribute]: Wood

It was an elite-tier Gray Sand Bobcat. The first monster he encountered in the periphery of the forest was already an elite-tier monster, enough to show the danger of the forest.

Meow... The deep and husky voice of the cat reverberated within the forest. In the next moment, the Gray Sand Bobcat suddenly disappeared from its original position.

Wait. The Bobcat did not disappear from its position; it just naturally blended into its surroundings!

The Bobcat that had successfully camouflaged itself moved and leaped through branches swiftly. It made a couple direction-shifting jumps on tree branches before exploding into its final move.

The attack was accompanied by a strong sense of killing intent. Gao Peng's pupils contracted as he realized he was the target of the Gray Sand Bobcat.

Suddenly, a fist appeared from his side.

Dumby threw a punch just in time to force the Gray Sand Bobcat into retreat.

The Gray Sand Bobcat somersaulted in midair and immediately hid inside a thicket nearby, demonstrating its feline agility.

It was as if the sneak attack had angered Dumby. Dumby silently placed Da Zi on the ground and then turned around to face the Gray Sand Bobcat. It took one giant step to the left and silently put its body between its master and the Gray Sand Bobcat as if to say, "I am your enemy."

It was only after Dumby struck that Gao Peng understood what could be described as the aesthetics of violence.

Thick, strong thighs stomped on the ground with great force. The mud beneath Dumby's feet splattered everywhere, and the black robe fluttered as the sound of the wind accompanied Dumby's actions.

Dumby transformed into a dark shadow and hurled itself towards the Gray Sand Bobcat. Although the black robe covered the shadowy figure, Gao Peng could still feel the violent strength beneath the black robe. It burned crazily, like an uncontrollable generator. It was the Blood-Thread Heart. A Blood-Thread Heart used during a battle could provide explosive strength for Dumby!

Ba-bump! Ba-bump! Ba-bump!

The sound of a rapid heartbeat reverberated throughout the forest.

The Gray Sand Bobcat growled silently and leaped forward. However, the moment it leaped into the air, a fist descended from the sky and violently sent it back to the ground.

The punch struck the body of the Bobcat variant and an explosive sound echoed from the blow as if a steel hammer were striking an empty bottle. It exploded instantly.

Boom!

All the bones in the body broke, and the blood vessels exploded. Multiple cracks appeared as the taupe-colored skin split open. Blood splattered everywhere including on the black robe, dying it a crimson red.

The punch sent the Bobcat to the ground as if it were a tattered doll discarded casually in the wild. Its body, irregular and twisted, no longer resembled a feline. Blood splattered on the fur and coagulated, bare and white bones protruded from joints, and blood mixed with body fluids flowed out before seeping into the ground.

A gust of warm wind blew onto Gao Peng's face as his hair fluttered with the wind.

Gao Peng fixed his sight on Dumby's burly figure from behind. He always knew that Dumby would be strong, but he never imagined that it would be that strong.

Dumby had defeated the enemy, but it still looked confused. It was not used to possessing such great strength so suddenly. It had used a battle skill that it was familiar with, but the result was a completely one-sided victory.

The thing that had changed was not its skill; it was its strength. Dumby's strength had increased since its days as a Skull Ghoul Ape.

"Let's go," Gao Peng shouted to Dumby.

It was only then that Dumby returned to its senses. It turned around and followed its master.

They encountered several other monsters along the way. After all, it was the forest. Because it was daytime it was not peak activity period for most monsters, but even then, it was easy to encounter one.

Those monsters were normal-tiered below level 10, so it was easy to deal with them. To train Dumby's battle strength, Gao Peng let Dumby fight every time and Dumby improved its body control in the few battles.

...

"I've found it! Bottle Trees grow abundantly in this area," Gao Peng said and breathed a sigh of relief. He had searched for three full hours, going through several areas well-suited for the growth of Bottle Trees.

There were several hundred Bottle Trees in the area, so collecting three pounds of Wood Space Heart would not be a problem.

Sssssst! A Green Tree Snake bounding between tree branches hissed at Gao Peng. Then a white hand wholly composed of bones appeared from the side and grabbed the Green Tree Snake. It squished it into mincemeat before throwing it casually to the side.

"We can't be wasteful. After all, the core crystal can still fetch us some money. Even the legs of mosquitos have meat. It sure isn't easy to take care of you bunch of big-eaters," Gao Peng said. He crouched down and dug out a gray-green colored core crystal the size of a yellow bean from the carcass with a pair of gloves.

Dumby followed closely behind Gao Peng. As long as any living being was brave enough to display even the tiniest bit of aggression towards Gao Peng, it would not show any mercy.

No one knew just how despairing it was when it was a diseased Skull Ghoul Ape. It almost fell into an eternal hell, put inside an ice-cold steel cage, left to count down to its meeting with the Grim Reaper.

Just as it faced complete despair, a master reached out a hand from heaven to save it from hell and give it redemption.

It would never forget that day. The somewhat inexperienced youngster put his hand on its forehead in a naive kind of way and said something it did not understand.

Yes. It certainly could not understand. However, it knew that the boy was everything to it, and that was enough.