After shopping around the west side of Princeton, Locke and Angelina returned empty-handed. It wasn't that they couldn't find food that was suitable for Angie, it was just that they couldn't find their ideal type of food. The food they found was either too expensive or unsuitable for Angie's growth.
As a descendant of a high-ranked major monster with great potential, Angie only needed to grow till adolescence to be able to rival a high-level major monster. If it was already mature, it could have the strength of a base-ranked major monster. It was even possible for it to become a high-ranked major monster like its parents later on.
As an experienced caster, Angelina obviously had her methods to help Angie grow faster and reach adulthood in a shorter period of time. But she first had to feed it with ample food in order to make it happen.
Major monsters were different from casters and knights. Knights made progress through physical training and impetus cultivation, whereas casters reached higher ranks by condensing mental power. Major monsters, on the other hand, passively evolved throughout their lives. Their evolution depended on their lifespan and food intake. Basically, the longer the major monster lived, the stronger it would become.
Since Angie was a poison-type major monster, eating the meat of poisonous animals and major monsters could help facilitate its growth. Other than the scorpiondrake family, there were very few poisonous major monsters in Morphey Forest. It was probably because they had all been eaten by the scorpiondrake family.
The little scorpiondrake could also eat the meat of ordinary animals and other major monsters, but it could only fill its stomach and it wouldn't help in increasing its strength. Without the flesh and blood of poisonous major monsters, it would take about two hundred years for the little scorpiondrake to reach its elder brothers and sisters' rank, and it would take at least five hundred years for it to become a high-ranked major monster.
Locke didn't know if he would still be alive two hundred years later, let alone five hundred years. Hence, it was imperative to find the precious flesh and blood of poisonous major monsters.
In the evening, Locke and Angelina returned home with two kilograms of boar meat. After getting their food from the shadow guard, Locke accompanied Angelina to her courtyard. As they approached the courtyard, a noise that sounded like a saw cutting through something could be heard. They approached the noise and saw a large green scorpion lying next to a big tree in the courtyard while grinding the tree bark with its pincers. The trunk of the hundred-year-old tree was full of holes and there was sawdust scattered everywhere on the ground.
Angelina was a neat and tidy person, so she almost fainted when she saw the manifestation of chaos in front of her. This wasn't the first time it'd happened. Through telepathy, the green scorpion noticed that Angelina had returned. It stopped sawing the tree mindlessly and stared at Locke, who was carrying the boar meat, with its black, protruding eyes. Licking its lips with its grey tongue, it clamped its pincers, wagged its stinger, and rushed towards him.
"It seems like it hasn't learned its lesson yet," said Locke to Angelina helplessly. "Should I teach it another lesson?"
Angelina facepalmed and nodded in agreement.
Locke threw the boar meat upwards and the scorpiondrake's eyes followed the meat. It then jumped unnaturally, as if it wanted to bite a piece of the meat.
When Locke saw this, Falconim circulated through his arm. He then stomped his left foot and rushed towards the scorpiondrake that was in mid-air abruptly. Using all his force, he punched its lower abdomen. A loud bang was heard as it slammed against the wall of the courtyard, causing it to whimper. The little scorpiondrake couldn't howl like its parents, it only made hissing sounds like snakes.
Having been provoked, it shook the scales on its body and pranced towards him. The next half an hour saw it knocked to the ground and slammed against the wall over and over again. Of course, Locke made sure to hold back and didn't cause any substantial damage to it. There were no changes to its appearance other than its dirtied scales. But those who'd witnessed the whole process wouldn't think so, especially the experts.
At least two-thirds of its muscles were strained to varying degrees and there was haemorrhage in its scale armour. At the end, when Locke raised his fist, the little scorpiondrake lowered its head in fright while begging for mercy. Only then did he stop punishing it.
"Do you still want to cause trouble?" asked Locke as he glared at it. He knew that it could roughly understand what he meant as it wasn't just the run of a mill monster; it had the intelligence of a seven- or eight-year-old child.
When it saw that Locke still had the intention to punch it, it shook its head immediately. The one-month-old scorpiondrake was already able to communicate well enough.
At this moment, Angelina appeared and hugged its small head. She took her embroidered handkerchief out, wiped the dust and dirt off its forehead, and comforted it non-stop through mental power.
With someone as fierce as Locke and another as sweet as Angelina, they had the perfect carrot-and-stick routine. Angie wasn't afraid of the powerful jarls of the capital guards and shadow guards in the mansion, but it was afraid of Locke and would only listen to both of them.
Seeing that Angie was now well-behaved, Locke took the boar meat that had been thrown aside during the fight and threw it in front of the scorpiondrake. When it saw the food, it ignored the pain in its body and crawled towards the boar meat before chomping down on it with great fervour, as if it wasn't injured at all.
The body of a major monster -- especially scorpiondrakes' -- had really strong recovery. As long as they still breathed, they would eventually recover to their prime with enough food and energy.
Locke had beaten Angie a lot of times in the past few days because it'd caused too much trouble. Angelina had already moved into three different places within a week as they were all ruined by Angie. She would probably not stay in this place tonight since there were leaves and branches scattered everywhere.
"When will you learn your lesson, Angie?" Locke patted its head carelessly, causing it to tremble with fear.
Locke retracted his hand in embarrassment and returned to his room amid Angelina's laughter.
He punished Angie not only because he wanted it to learn its lesson, he also wanted to improve his combat abilities. He hadn't fought in more than a month, so he needed to loosen up his muscles, and this low-ranked major monster was just the right opponent for him.
Locke spent an entire month familiarising himself with Princeton. He'd already walked around one-third of the main city area and had been to a lot of places in the city. He would also like to visit the places that he'd never been to before in the future to broaden his horizons.
In early February, the classes in Imperial Academy officially started. Students from various parts of the empire were now on campus, and the campus that was once empty and quiet became crowded and lively.
The number of students in Locke's class had now increased from thirty to around seventy. More classmates meant more interaction and conflict in the class. Locke was relatively low-key; he only knew Henry and his small group of friends, so he didn't have any gripes with anyone so far.
Locke was more worried about his credits compared to getting along with his classmates.
In order to fulfil 120 credits, students had to sign up for the modules that they were interested in. Locke wasn't worried about the knight-training subjects, he was worried about the cultural courses. Knight Perseverance faculty required students to fulfil 20 credits in one semester.
'Poetic Works of Goethe, 'The Empire's Three Millennia', 'Equestrian Skills and Actual Combat', 'Proof of Roosevelt's Theorem'... Which one should he choose? Locke was stuck with a tough choice before a pile of books.
Angelina had already chosen 'The Aomarian Script' and 'Fundamentals of Mana and Impetus' for him. The former subject was worth 6 credits and the latter was worth 9 credits. He just needed to choose another subject which was worth more than 5 credits.
Locke had roughly studied one of the two subjects in Faustian and Angelina could teach him the other one, so he could easily pass in these two subjects.
"How about 'The Empire's Three Millennia'?" said a melodious female voice from behind him. Locke turned his head and saw Irene whom he'd met in the cafeteria that day.