Chapter 23: Mutation
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Su Ping shifted his focus back to the Little Skeleton. According to the process described in the Antiquity Pet Contract, he bit his finger and slowly painted the Little Skeleton’s forehead with his blood.
The Little Skeleton was still sitting there, absent-minded. It seemed to be oblivious of everything around it, but then the Little Skeleton reacted to the smell of blood on Su Ping’s finger; a faint scarlet color appeared in its hollowed eye sockets.
The Little Skeleton slowly lifted its arm to reach toward Su Ping’s hand, although the latter retracted his hand right after he finished painting the contract.
An intricate blood pattern was engraved on the Little Skeleton’s forehead.
As Su Ping lowered his hand, the blood pattern disappeared bit by bit as if the Little Skeleton had absorbed it.
In the next moment, Su Ping felt an additional line in his consciousness that was linked to an external consciousness.
The second was a quite feeble consciousness, like a flickering candlelight that could die out at any time.
From the weak consciousness, Su Ping felt some faint hints of fear and confusion.
“Is this the Little Skeleton’s consciousness?” Su Ping looked at the Little Skeleton. With the power granted to him by the contract, he could vividly sense the changes in the Little Skeleton’s emotions.
The Little Skeleton looked up, staring blankly at Su Ping. It was still puzzled about the recent changes it was going through.
Su Ping patted its little head. After all, the Little Skeleton had just come into being. There was no legacy nor memory in it. It was only natural that the Little Skeleton would be muddleheaded about everything.
Su Ping went to open the door. As the sunlight flooded the store, he abruptly sensed fear coming from the Little Skeleton’s mind.
He turned around, only to see the Little Skeleton who had fallen from the counter. The bones scattered around slowly moved into the shades at a corner by the counter. The Little Skeleton reassembled itself. It was hugging its knees, curled up, shivering from fear.
“Is it afraid of sunlight?”
Su Ping was surprised. He realized that he had been ignorant. The majority of pets of the demon family preferred a dark environment. A fraction of them were so afraid of sunlight that they could only stay in darkness.
Su Ping came back at once and carried the trembling Little Skeleton to the pet room at the back.
There was an empty nursing pen. Su Ping placed the Little Skeleton in the stalagmite array.
“System, this complimentary nursing pen costs 10 coins per hour. What can it do?” Su Ping asked out of curiosity.
It was not a cheap price to hire the pet boarding service at 10 coins per hour.
“The free nursing pens are built with scrap spirit stones. The remaining spirit energy and the complex and confusing radiations from the scrap minerals can be of aid in the pet’s growth. There is a high chance that the pets can mutate,” The system explained.
Su Ping was startled.
Apart from evolution, with the difference in the living environment, there was a small chance that pets could mutate.
As for mutation, it implied that the pet would become an entirely different species.
Maybe it could become a new and more powerful species, or it could degenerate into a failed species.
Some war zones with extremely harsh environments, filled with devastation and technological waste, were the most likely places to breed mutant beasts.
Most of the mutant beasts would carry agents with unknown diseases, which would very likely cause plagues or form a large-scale virus attack.
Such cases could be lethal to the general public. As such, in most cases, “mutated pets” were words that could instill panic.
At the same time, in scientific pet studies, people never stopped inducing mutations in pets. Many famous ninth rank pets in the Federation had been the result of mutations by scientific methods. Those pets were proficient in battles; they had also been successfully bred as new species!
“Are the pets mutated in the slots good or bad?” Su Ping consulted the system.
The system gave a brief answer, “Half and half. It is advisable for the host to upgrade the nursing pens into elementary nursing pens, to avoid damaging the store’s reputation.”
Su Ping curled his lips.
Fortunately, he thought of asking this question.
He already had a bad feeling when the system mentioned radiation of scrap minerals. The cheap buyer takes bad meat.
“Go ahead and upgrade it.”
Without hesitation, Su Ping made the decision.
First of all, after the upgrade, the rent would be 10 times higher and other benefits would ensue. Second, he couldn’t afford to face the possibilities of failed mutations.
Harming his customer’s pets and having a fall-out with them would be detrimental to the store’s reputation. The system was not giving him a free nursing pen. The system was planting a sinister bomb!
Lucky for him, he had just made some quick cash. Other than that, the business hadn’t been good in the past couple of days. Nothing had happened.
-20 points of energy.
Suddenly, a hazy white light glowed over the two aged stalagmite arrays. When the white light was dispersed, he found that the stalagmite arrays had a brand-new appearance. The arrays were practically the same; they used the same sharp stones but the color of each stalagmite was completely different from before.
Previously, it was as if the slots had been built with rough rocks in dim and dreary colors. But then, the stalagmites were like ivories, full of life.
“Now we are talking.”
Su Ping was satisfied.
His heart began to ache though, since he remembered that this elementary nursing pen would cost him one energy point for maintenance every day.
It was burning a hole in his pocket.
In a blink, less than 100 energy points remained from the original 315.
“I have to make the most of the time available to earn energy points. I still need to upgrade the Chaos Spirit Pool.”
Su Ping was filled with anticipation at the thought of the effects that a third rank Chaos Spirit Pool could bring. If he could breed a pet with a Beast King’s bloodline, the mere action of displaying the pet in the store could attract a large group of customers!
“Is anyone in?” someone was shouting from outside the store.
Su Ping found the voice familiar. He rushed out from the pet room in the back.
Two beautifully-dressed girls were standing by the door, looking around quite carefully.
Su Ping immediately recognized one of the girls when he laid eyes on her. It was the girl that came for the Lightning Rat.
“Is the owner here?” asked Su Yanying by the door. She looked into the store, confused.
“Yingying, are you sure this is the place?”
Lan Lele, who was wearing a gauzy skirt, had tagged along. After looking at such an obscure and disgraceful little store, Lan Lele found it hard to believe that this genius Lightning Rat had been trained here.
“This is the place!”
Su Yanying was certain. “This place must have something to do with the changes in my Lightning Rat!”
She gradually had a better understanding after the preliminary contests; there was indeed something way off about her Lightning Rat.
After being visited and questioned by her teachers and the class advisor, she realized to a large extent how freakishly strong her Lightning Rat was!
It could be regarded as a coincidence if the Lightning Rat only learned one advanced pet skill. But nobody would think this after seeing how the Lightning Rat could use two of such skills.
She threw her teachers off the scent; after all, she wasn’t really sure. And yet, she did know that this might have something to do with the pet store where she left her Lightning Rat for temporary boarding.
Before that, the Lightning Rat had been quite ordinary and it had never come into contact with anything else before the stay at the pet store. With such analysis, she believed the only variable in the equation was the pet store!