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However, Gao Peng didn't share their opinions. There was someone else who he reckoned had just as much of a chance to win the tournament as Zhang Yi.
Gao Peng flipped through the list of names in his hand to the profile picture of the person he had in mind.
The girl in the picture had blonde hair and emerald eyes. Her freckled cheeks and modest white dress gave him the impression of a homely girl next door.
[Contestant's Name]: Daisy
[Region of Origin]: Great Britain region
[Contestant's Ranking]: Second place in the Great Britain preliminaries
[Name of Familiar]: Sea Dragon
The Sea Dragon was an amphibious monster whose long neck and slender limbs were reminiscent of the long-extinct plesiosaur.
However, the Sea Dragon had its weaknesses. It could only bring out its full potential in shallow waters. This was the reason why the other contestants didn't think that it would pose much of a threat to them in the tournament.
The tournament was held on dry land, where the Sea Dragon's mobility was severely impeded.
Beside Daisy's picture was a picture of her Sea Dragon. It was ma.s.sive, more than 70 feet long. Its thick streamlined neck was covered with blue-green scales. On its head were a pair of yellow piercing eyes with a pair of slit-like pupils in each of them.
[Monster Name]: Sea Dragon (Diplocoric variant)
[Monster Grade]: Epic
[Monster Level]: Level 34
[Monster Ability]: Hardened Scales Level 2, Dynamic Visual Acuity Level 2, Water Elemental Mastery Level 2
[Special Characteristics]: Diplocoria (Pa.s.sive Effect 1: Improves overall visual sharpness. Effect 2: ??? (Unactivated) Effect 3: ??? (Unactivated))
Heart of the Beast (Pa.s.sive Effect 1: Improves overall physical strength. Active Effect 2: Gives itself a burst of power for a short period of time.)
[Monster Attribute]: Water
[Monster Weakness]: Electricity
[Requirements for Promotion to Legendary]: ...
I've never seen a monster with double pupils, Gao Peng thought. He had always a.s.sumed that this was a purely human condition.
Like Dumby's Blood-Thread Heart, the Sea Dragon's diplocoria had endowed it with extraordinary visual keenness.
However, the Sea Dragon's abilities seemed to tend more toward muscle enhancement.
Gao Peng had noticed a strange trend in the evolution of monsters. He had observed that monsters native to this planet usually followed combat-focused evolutionary routes. He had wondered if it was due to the fact that the planet had only undergone an elemental awakening not long before.
On the other hand, monsters that weren't of this world tended to develop their elemental abilities as they evolved.
I guess we're all products of our own environments, thought Gao Peng.
Despite its unwieldy size, one couldn't say for certain that the Sea Dragon wouldn't be able to beat Zhang Yi's Skyfire Hound on dry land.
If their match was to have been held in a large body of water, Gao Peng would have been able to instantly tell who the victor would be.
Daisy had only sent the Sea Dragon out on the field a few times in order to hide its weakness from the other contestants.
Even though Gao Peng wasn't a contestant, he could still see everything clearly.
Just as Gao Peng had predicted, Daisy was inexorably climbing up the ranks.
In order to excite the audience, she had enthusiastically taken on the role of underdog, making a show of eking out a win in every match.
Huaxia's contestants had also performed quite well, with Jun Moyi in fifth place, Long Binyu in seventh place, and Gao Leshi in eleventh place.
Zhang Yi had made it to the top four.
The contestants in the top four each had their own Epic-grade familiars.
All four of them were the best trainers their regions had to offer.
Right now, these trainers' main priorities were to raise their own familiars' tiers. As long as they were above Perfect-grade, their promotion to subsequent tiers wouldn't be affected. These trainers would probably first focus on raising their familiars' tiers before concentrating on their grades, since increasing a familiar's tier was much easier than the latter.
A 16-foot-long, ten-foot-tall monstrous dog with blazing red fur howled at the sky from atop a stone pillar on the field. Beneath it lay a heavily injured cheetah that was barely breathing.
The Skyfire Hound had sealed up its wounds with the extreme heat it was giving off.
"That Skyfire Hound is so strong, it didn't even shed a drop of blood after its fight with the Stormshadow Cheetah," exclaimed some of the spectators.
"That Skyfire Hound is definitely the strongest familiar in the tournament!" others shouted in agreement.
Unable to stand all this bootlicking, someone shouted back from the crowd, "Are y'all blind? Can't you see that the Skyfire Hound simply sealed up its wounds with its body heat? It's still badly injured from its fight."
"Well, it's not bleeding as much as the cheetah..."
Daisy and Zhang Yi would be facing off against each other in the final match to decide once and for all who the strongest trainer in the tournament was.
As their familiars were all spent and injured, they were allowed a night's rest. Their match was scheduled for the next day.
When Gao Peng came back home, he saw, to his surprise, that Goldie was still working out on the training grounds. It had thrown its yellow feather coat to the ground, and its supple muscles undulated as it lifted a 200-pound dumbbell with its left wing.
"Silly," said Gao Peng, gently stroking Silly's head. "What's wrong with Goldie?"
"Dunno..." said Silly in a singsong voice. It took a sip of its fruit juice and continued, "It's been working out since lunchtime."
Looks like recent events have changed you, Goldie, thought Gao Peng.
Maybe this was a good thing.
"Train well. At this rate, you'll be able to gain seven levels in a month, and I'll give you 300,000 Alliance dollars for your effort. For each level you gain, I'll up your reward," said Gao Peng. "You'll earn way more this way than by gambling."
Goldie paused, then waddled over to the training equipment area and picked up a heavier dumbbell with its wing.
"Gao Peng, I don't want money. I just want to know... Who defeated Zheng Xiao?"