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82 Mithril Cockroach

 "Ugh, Captain..." The scarred youth was about to say something when the captain put an index finger on his lips.

"Shh."

Silence.

He saw the seemingly young man below them fumbling and looking around for something between the fallen tree trunks before putting something into his bags.

The captain narrowed his eyes and fixed his gaze on Gao Peng.

"Deng Sen, later you'll use your familiar to control that guy. Leave the big one to me," the captain ordered.

Deng Sen was a tan, skinny youth. He nodded as he heard his boss's command. He then took his familiar and tiptoed to the side.

Deng Sen and Yao Huan both fought in black boxing, also known as underground boxing back in the day, and the captain was their agent.

After the cataclysm the black boxing industry basically collapsed. When humanity regained its stability after the initial panic, humans found that it was more exciting to watch monsters fight against each other in gladiatorial fights than to watch boxing matches.

That was why both of them lost their jobs. Later, they spent the last of their savings to purchase a familiar before joining the "Gold Rush" army. After the initial chaos, life was more or less stable.

They headed to the Dark Ember Forest every other week, earned some money, trained and groomed their familiars, and spent any extra earnings on entertainment. Life was pretty good.

They never dared enter the deeper parts of the Dark Ember Forest. It was too dangerous inside, filled with unknown terrors. They only moved around the periphery of the forest, picking plants and catching low-level monsters. Sometimes they would get lucky and pick up some dead bodies, using that to get by.

They were content with their current lifestyles. Competing for the world's number one spot was too far-fetched for them to imagine.

There had to be something wrong with this fellow. He'd never believe a monster trainer would create such a big ruckus in the forest simply to measure the width of the tree trunks.

The captain pondered. If only he knew what kind of valuables were hidden inside the tree. After all, what did the forest have in abundance? Trees!

Wouldn't that mean he had hit the jackpot? At that thought, a fire lit up within his heart. Perhaps they wouldn't need to work hard ever again.

Dumby suddenly stopped moving and looked cautiously to the East. It stomped and a quiet growl came from its mouth. It punched its fists together, creating a short and crisp sound.

The sound startled Gao Peng, so he looked toward the direction of Dumby's gaze. Because he had not yet made a blood contract with Dumby, he could not communicate through soul perception. Even so, Dumby's aberrant behavior alerted him to the abnormality of his surroundings.

They'd been found out.

The captain was caught off-guard. He was prepared to mount a sneak attack, but definitely did not expect Dumby to be so perceptive. Dumby had noticed their existences through the Blood-Thread Heart, which resonated with other hearts. As soon as they approached, their restless heartbeats were like fireflies in the dead of night to Dumby, and extraordinarily eye-catching.

Gao Peng communicated with Da Zi through the soul contract. He told Da Zi not to move and remain hidden beneath the thick layer of dried leaves and await his instructions.

Silly, on the other hand, flew out casually and landed on Gao Peng's head with a light thud. It was as if he were wearing a rainbow-colored hat.

Deng Sen, who was hiding on the side, suddenly froze. Was this some new support-type familiar?

He suddenly remembered a movie he watched before. A character from the movie wore a helmet, and then became extremely dangerous.

"Hey there, pal." A laugh was heard as the Captain walked out of the forest with a smile. A scarred youth and two familiars followed behind.

The familiar on the left looked like a bee. It was around five feet long with sharp feelers on top of its head and wings buzzing at a high frequency, flashing with a silver radiance. The most conspicuous feature was its tail needles, occupying around one-third of its entire length. On the right was a giant black butterfly. If one included its wings, it would be around 10 feet long. There were asymmetrical skulls on both sides of the wings. Its feelers made it look like two giant black lanterns were hanging from its head.

In the group, insect-class familiars occupied a large percentage.

Gao Peng stood up and recognized the two familiars. They were the Armor-Piercing Cone Bee and the Skull Butterfly.

The Skull Butterfly was a Dark familiar and one of the most common low-class dark monsters around. Of course, fundamentally, there was no such thing as a low-class or high-class monster. As long as the potential was strong enough, any monster had an unlimited possibility.

Perhaps these people had discovered something. After all, his actions earlier would have undoubtedly seemed odd.

"To meet like this is fate. Do you need help with anything?" the captain asked as he put up both his arms to indicate that he had no ill intentions. However, he continued to close in.

Bam!

The sudden sound startled everyone.

Dumby threw a punch at a tree trunk, Soul Flames burning fiercely in its eyes as it roared angrily at the new arrivals. It could not generate a loud voice with its empty chest made of bone, but the deep, low roar sounded like a dignified warhorn.

Gao Peng tightened his body. There was someone else! Someone was still hidden, and Gao Peng thought that couldn't be a good sign. If they had good intentions, why would they hide in the forest while spying on him?

Anyone who discovered that they were being spied on would feel disgusted. "I don't think I need help." Gao Peng rejected them flatly, without emotion.

Although these people were in the dark and he was in the light, he still had his trump card. It was the familiar secret technique that he signed with Da Zi, Shifting Constellations.

He did not know if these people also had such a technique. But it was unlikely they did. If any person could possess such a secret technique, Uncle Liu wouldn't have been that cautious back then. Moreover, as he had continued poking and asking around, he found most people had never even heard of such a technique.

"That's just my brother. Relax, we have no ill intentions."

The smile on the face of the captain sparkled, but in his mind, he was silently cursing Dumby.

What kind of crazy thing is that? How is it so perceptive? he thought.

Deng Sen walked out of the forest in resignation, a grayish silver cockroach following him.

The mouthparts of the cockroach were gigantic and its body was very smooth. The grayish silver was extremely pleasing. Gao Peng had never seen such a cockroach before, so he couldn't help but take another glance at it.

[Monster Name]: Mithril Cockroach

[Monster Level]: Level 18 (Elite)

[Monster Grade]: Excellent

[Monster Attribute]: Gold

[Monster Weakness]: Electric

The Mithril Cockroach. Gao Peng had never seen such a monster in books. Perhaps it was a rare kind of variant. This was common, as many monsters were still unknown and humanity was still in the process of exploration.

"Since little brother doesn't like our disturbance, forget it," the captain said as he laughed. He then turned around to leave.