"Lottery?" Zian Zhang asked.
[Navigation Elf]: Yes. This is your only chance in the game, and it is only offered to those players who have finished the tutorial. Please be serious, as this is the only chance you have. The only one.
"Does that mean… there won’t be a bonus if I capture any pets in the future?"
[Navigation Elf]: The pet itself is the bonus. Special pets have special abilities that are beyond your imagination.
"Okay… when could we start? Now?"
[Navigation Elf]: Anytime you like.
"Eh… Maybe later."
[Navigation Elf]: After the lottery, we won’t give any specific tasks, only providing information on the appearance of rare pets or mythical creatures. Capture or not? It is completely up to you.
"By the way, the lottery. What can I get from that?"
[Navigation Elf]: Any pet in the database, even those extremely rare mythical creatures.
Zian stared at the blinking light for a while and asked "By the way… Are you the so-called 24-hour customer service? "
[Navigation Elf]: I am your navigation elf.
He knew that he would not get an answer from the elf, and the conversation would come to an end, so he turned off the game.
The reason he didn’t decide to go through with the lottery immediately was because he was never a "lucky" guy. He never won anything like this, not even the lucky draw for a popsicle or a can of soda. Lucky draws always gave him a headache. Since this would be his only chance, he decided to pray for victory this time in a traditional way—by taking a shower, changing into clean clothes, burning some incense, and having a good dream in the hopes of obtaining better luck.
The next morning, he work up exhausted and felt sore all over his body.
"I haven’t exercised in a while. I need to get back on track."
Why did he feel like this after only chasing that stray cat for a while yesterday?
In fact, he didn’t sleep well last night, instead having lots of weird dreams. Various pets played with each other in his dream and disappeared after a while.
After cleaning himself up, he said good morning to his parents’ portrait. Then he went downstairs to the shop.
He planned to buy some pets from the breeding base after the lottery.
"Eh… Lucky draw now?" he asked.
[Navigation Elf]: Any time you like.
An extra large block appeared on his phone, divided into innumerable smaller blocks, like a chessboard. He could vaguely see a pet’s headshot in each block.
[Navigation Elf]: You only need to say "start," and the game will traverse the entire database. When you say "stop," the cursor will be in the position of your pet.
Zhang Zian looked at the watch and said, "Start!"
The cursor swung around the blocks randomly, left and right, up and down at a very fast speed. He saw the time reach 08:08:08 and said, "Stop!"
The cursor stopped.
"What did I get?"
The block was too tiny to distinguish what was in it.
[Navigation Elf]: Congratulations! "Lucky Cat"!
[Game hints]: Pet "Lucky Cat" has been added to your Pet Bar, where you can always review it.
"Lucky Cat...?" Zhang Zian didn’t know what to say; hopefully, this was not specifically making fun of him.
Anyway, he wanted to take a look at the cat first, so he entered the Pet Bar.
A black and white kitten was in the first position on the Pet Bar.
He clicked the kitten…
"Meow… Don’t touch me...!"
It could actually talk!
The kitten looked scared, with its body curled up into a ball, its forepaws covering its head, and its long tail covering its nose. It peeked at Zhang Zian through the cracks between its paws and tail on the screen.
[Game Hints]: Pet property
[Common Name]: Lucky Cat
[Features]: Able to turn bad luck into good luck
Tons of questions came to Zhang Zian’s mind, but he had to solve them one by one.
"First of all… how can this kitten… talk?"
[Navigation Elf]: The Lucky Cat you got is a mythical creature that has the ability to talk.
"Secondly… what does it mean by locked?"
[Navigation Elf]: That is because the favorability level between you and your pet is too low. Please try to improve that.
"How can I check the favorability level?"
[Navigation Elf]: The favorability level cannot be quantified and is thus uncheckable. It is exactly like how you cannot measure how much you love your parents. There is no measurement for this. However, please try your best to improve the level until quantity converts into quality.
"Alright, whatever. The next question will be… how?"
[Navigation Elf]: Different pets have varied approaches. The player needs to figure it out himself.
Zhang Zian was completely confused, as it had said nothing! It really was a challenging game.
"True name, what does that mean?"
[Navigation Elf]: Every special pet has its own, unique, true name. Please keep it a secret, otherwise anyone can freeze the pet’s actions.
[Navigation Elf]: A true name confers true power. Knowing a creature’s true name means having total authority to control the elf, even if releasing or imprisoning it.
That actually reminded Zhang Zian that in western legends, there was a certain term called "true name." Maybe this game was using that term?
Checking the time, Zhang Zian remembered that there were still a lot of things that needed to be done. He could not spend the whole day on the game.
He tried to use the cell phone to search for "pet breeding base" on a map app.
In order to sell the pets, he would need to have pets first. No pets would come from nowhere.
There were two nearby breeding bases among those around Binhai City. One was located to the north, called "Love Lovely Pet," and another, called "Pet’s Home," was to the south.
When talking about "pets" here, they were mostly referring to dogs and cats, while birds and fish were in another group.
Zhang Zian just wanted to focus on dogs and cats for now.
Based on the data from the Chinese Bureau of Statistics, China had the third largest amount of dog owners in the world after the USA and Brazil, with 27,400,000 dogs as pets, and the second largest amount of cat owners after the USA, with 58,100,000 pet cats.
The market had grown 12% annually, which was even faster the GDP.
Cats and dogs occupied 90% of the pet market. In other words: whoever owned dogs and cats, owned the market.
Until 2014, 7% of families nationwide had dogs, about 30,000,000 families. The percentage of families owning cats was 2%. It was easy to come to the conclusion that people usually kept one dog or a herd of cats.
Therefore, if one needed to make a priority, then: whoever owned cats, owned the world.