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“No need to trouble yourself, really. I’ll need to help promote one of my familiars first.” Gao Peng didn’t immediately accept the high priestess’ offer. The White Dragon tribe’s ingredient stockpile had been maintained by their ancestors for thousands of years. Also, the White Dragon tribe had done nothing to offend him. If anything, it was thanks to the high priestess and Bai Yin that he had been able to obtain the Divine Adamantine Tablet. Some of the tribespeople also seemed to bear no ill will against him.
Gao Peng was ready to use the prestige of promoting Goldie to Mythical grade to make a deal with the White Dragon tribe. He believed that most human connections were made on an as-needed basis. Unlike one’s familial relations, these connections were more often than not skin-deep.
Producing a couple of materials from Silly’s portable space, Gao Peng began making the necessary preparations for Goldie’s promotion. “Goldie, your power-up… that’s not what I meant. Promotion, I’ve prepared the ingredients for your promotion,” said Gao Peng.
Goldie’s eyes shone brightly, its bald head shining even brighter. “Looks like the early duck gets the worm.” Gao Peng raised an eyebrow at this.
“I should tell my fiancee about this,” continued Goldie. “Gao Peng, summon Flamy here, quick. She needs to know about this.”
“Enough. No need to drag Flamy out here.” Gao Peng gave the duck’s bald head a sharp rap.
“The promotion process can be a bit bloody and excruciating, so you’d better brace yourself for what’s to come,” he said, his voice dropping to a severe tone.
“I know. No pain, no gain,” said Goldie, clenching its fists. “I just did 5,000 one-fingered push-ups. I’ve never felt more prepared for this moment!”
Gao Peng took out a workstation from Silly’s portable space. A row of complicated-looking instruments was placed on it. He then concocted a mixture in a large beaker using the ingredients that he had carefully measured before using a brush to smear the mixture across the Divine Adamantine Tablet’s surface. Once the tablet was covered with a layer of oil, he proceeded to heat it up over a small fire.
A change gradually came over the Divine Adamantine Tablet, which had resisted all attempts to deform it in the past via heat or electricity; the tablet was now glowing with a golden light above the fire.
Goldie’s eyes widened at the sight of the glowing tablet. Does Gao Peng plan to have me eat this thing while it’s still scalding hot?
“Come here, Goldie,” said Gao Peng, beckoning it over.
Goldie quickly walked over to Gao Peng’s side. It didn’t think that swallowing a piece of rock would be a painful ordeal. Back when it had still been an ordinary duck, it had always eaten stones for breakfast, which had greatly benefited its digestion. This rock is a bit large though…
Gao Peng then summoned Flowing Light, then drew a vertical line across Goldie’s chest with a marker pen. Goldie didn’t know how to react to this.
Goldie’s stomach was then cut open by Flowing Light. This had the effect of triggering the duck’s passive effect. Goldie’s body expanded considerably, forcing Flowing Light to exert itself even more as its claws went through the duck’s skin.
“Perfect,” muttered Gao Peng, satisfied with Flowing Light’s work. He inserted the Divine Adamantine Tablet inside Goldie’s belly.
Goldie stood there, staring into the distance with a dumbfounded look on its face. It didn’t seem to notice the sudden weight that was introduced into its stomach.
Ten minutes passed. Goldie touched its stomach. The incision that Flowing Light had made on it was healing fast, thanks to its high regenerative ability, leaving only a faint red line across Goldie’s stomach.
The high priestess was unsure what to make of all this as she watched Gao Peng go about his business from the top of a mountain.
“Earthbreaker, do you have any idea what’s going on?”
The Earthbreaker Dragon Ape said in a low voice, “No. The duck looks frail, but I’m sure it can digest a piece of rock like that without any problem.”
Goldie closed its eyes. It was beginning to feel tired.
“Lie down if you’re feeling sleepy. Make sure you don’t do anything to reopen the wound on your stomach,” said Gao Peng.
Goldie did as it was told and laid down on the ground. “Got it,” it muttered. Its stomach felt bloated. Goldie was somewhat troubled by this. It felt like it was giving birth to a stone. My reputation as a manly duck is ruined. If Flamy hears about this, she’ll never let me hear the end of it.
“Gao Peng, don’t summon Flamy here,” said Goldie weakly. Gao Peng nodded. He knew what was going on in its mind right now.
At night, the temperature near the beach fell. Gao Peng covered Goldie’s body with a couple of leaves he had collected from the trees in the forest, then made a fire not too far away from the duck. He rubbed his hands together while occasionally looking at Goldie over his shoulder.
Goldie’s steady breathing could be heard from beneath the leaves. Then, it began to wheeze… Its breathing was now ragged.
At midnight, Gao Peng, who had dozed off, was suddenly woken up by Goldie.
Goldie had let out a low roar through its nostrils. It was clutching the earth in its hands, its shoulders buried deep in the ground. Veins were popping out across its forehead. There was a strangled noise coming from its throat. It sounded as if it was trying very hard not to wake Gao Peng up.
Gao Peng quickly looked at Goldie’s status.
[Monster Name]: Forbidden Adamantine Duck (Evolving)
[Monster Status]: Slightly injured
Goldie’s status seemed just fine. Gao Peng let out a sigh of relief.
Goldie continued letting out muffled roars of anguish. When it noticed that Gao Peng was now awake, it decided not to hold them in any longer and stamped its feet on the ground. The whole island shook. Gao Peng thought that Goldie had punctured a hole in the island itself.
“It’s about to transform,” said the Earthbreaker Dragon Ape solemnly as it watched Goldie agonize on the beach.
It was curious as to which grade this duck was about to reach. Are youngsters these days capable of making an entire island quake when they’re about to reach the Legendary tier?
No longer able to contain the pain inside itself, Goldie let out a deafening roar. “Quaaaarck!”
Goldie’s fists were clenched tight. The wings on its back were trembling violently, and their bones were growing thicker until they tore through Goldie’s skin. Its wings, now stained red, seemed to glisten with metallic light.
In just a short period of time, Goldie’s wings had doubled in size.
Gao Peng was closest to Goldie. He could see its stomach glowing, where light was emanating ceaselessly from the tablet. It was as if Goldie had swallowed a whole sun. The golden silhouette could be seen through its skin.
The golden tablet seemed to be changing shapes. At first a mere tablet, it then took on the form of a human, then a dragon, then a phoenix… followed by a couple more shapes Gao Peng couldn’t put his finger on. However, all of them looked incredibly ferocious.
Finally, the golden light from the tablet began to solidify into a golden human-like creature with a pair of wings on its back and a pair of arms on both sides. It looked like an angel as described in western mythology. However, there was nothing dainty about it. Muscles rippled across its body as it sat cross-legged on Goldie’s chest.
Then, the golden light dispersed into a shower of light that rained down on Goldie’s body.
“Yeeeooow!” Goldie’s body shook. Its back straightened suddenly. It was now looking straight at the sky. Suddenly, two beams of light shot out from its eyes and into the heavens. Upon touching the clouds, the beams of light spread out across the sky in a dense, almost electrical pattern.
This drew the attention of everyone from the other islands in the Dragon Archipelago. The entire archipelago, which had been silent not long before, was now abuzz with excitement.
“It came from the high priestess’s island.”
“What was that? Did the high priestess’ Earthbreaker Dragon Ape finally reach Saint-tier?”
A couple of secondary dragons and Dragon-type monsters were flying across the dark sky with their trainers on their backs. Many White Dragon tribespeople were now looking curiously at the high priestess’s island in the distance.
The curious event that Goldie triggered made the duck the focus of everyone’s attention in the Dragon Archipelago at that moment.
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