"For a month? Wouldnt I starve to death then!?" Squirrel screamed, but he smiled immediately after. "Thankfully, I dont gamble. Neither do I know how to, nor is there anyone for me to gamble with."
"I dont believe you. You must have gambled before. Also, I didnt gamble either, yet no one believes me!" Salted Fish was already in a terrible mood, so he felt even unhappier when he heard Squirrels words. Had he gambled? He hadnt! A nice research project had somehow turned into gambling More importantly, he felt pissed when he thought about what Fangzheng had said to him on their way back.
"Salted Fish, do you know what you should do having watched such videos and having made This Penniless Monk watch them?"
Back then, Salted Fish had looked up at Fangzheng and subconsciously shaken his head. Nearly at the same instant, hed seen a cold glint flash in Fangzhengs eyes, a figure seemingly lurking in the depths of that glint! On careful look, the figure turned out to be the image of a dishspicy fish head!
At that instant, Salted Fish subconsciously nodded his head up and down.
"Very good. Do not learn about gambling in the future. This thing is bad for both mind and body. In addition, as a punishment, you will have your food halved for a month. But after a month, your servings will be doubled."
Salted Fish nearly blew up when he heard the first half of the sentence! He was helping Fangzheng hide the truth, and even suffering the blame; yet he had to suffer punishment? How could he accept that? But after he heard that his servings would be doubled after a month, he immediately shut up.
But at this moment in time, Salted Fish still couldnt resist a thought that flashed through his mind. "In the future, when people say human beings die in the pursuit of wealth and birds die in the pursuit of food, they can add on that salted fish take the hit in the pursuit of rice"
Although he was unwilling to take the hit, he had no choice but to bow his head to prevent the outcome of being thrown into the wok. All he could do was stand firm and take the hit. At least like that, he would still have some food to eat.
Upon hearing Salted Fish, Squirrel became unhappy and shouted back. "No, I havent! I never gamble!"
"Never? Impossible, right? Why dont we make a bet? If it turns out you have gambled in your life, your dinner is mine. Otherwise, my dinner is yours. How about that?" Salted Fishs eyes shifted as he grunted.
Squirrel was delighted upon hearing that. His brain wasnt thinking about the bet itself and only remembered the fact that Salted Fishs serving was a lot bigger than his. After all, their sizes were different. All he would lose was a tiny rice ball, while Salted Fish would lose a bowl. Besides, he was certain that he had never gambled before. This way, it was a sure win.
Hence, Squirrel nodded and shouted. "Come on! Whos afraid of who!"
Salted Fish chuckled. "Little guy, you must think it through carefully. If you really make the bet, you cant go back on it."
"No way! The one who goes back on his words is a puppy!" Squirrel shouted.
Upon hearing that, Fangzheng shook his head. Monkey facepalmed, Lone Wolf sighed, and Red Boy just looked straight up into the sky. It was as though they didnt know the idiot.
Indeed, just as Squirrel said that, Salted Fish roared with laughter. "Great! Thanks for your dinner!"
Squirrel was taken aback. He subconsciously cried out. "What do you mean? I have never taken any bets in my life! Bet Bet? Bet!!!"
Squirrel suddenly came to a realization and wailed out. "Master, he tricked me!"
Fangzheng shook his head and said, "Since you fell for it yourself, bear it even if its painful. Once bitten twice shy. Be careful in the future."
With that said, Fangzheng shook his head and left, ignoring his disciples.
Time quickly passed. In the evening, Squirrel watched pitifully as his rice ball was taken away by Salted Fish who didnt stand on ceremony. Squirrel looked at the rice ball with watery eyes until Salted Fish swallowed it. Only then did he sit on the ground, dejected. He rubbed his belly as tears welled in his eyes.
When Salted Fish saw this, he smacked his lips and said, "An ancestor like me suddenly realized Im not so hungry today. Ill give you a bite."
Squirrel immediately brightened up and jumped up. "For real!?"
Salted Fish said solemnly, "Of course not!"
Then, this old trickster didnt rush to eat. Instead, he dug out each rice grain and ate them one grain at a time in front of Squirrel. As he ate, he smacked his lips.
Squirrels eyes turned red from seeing this. If it wasnt because he was no match for Salted Fish, the little guy would have lunged forward to beat him.
Squirrel realized that being teased with the food was the only outcome there would be that night. This couldnt continue. Hence, his eyes darted around as he thought, "Cant I just not watch or listen?"
Squirrel closed his eyes and covered his ears, taking on a stance of not seeing or hearing.
When everyone saw this, Red Boy, Monkey, and Salted Fish secretly placed their food before Squirrels nose, letting the fragrance waft over. The corner of the little guys mouth began dripping with crystalline drool After a few seconds, he couldnt take the temptation as he suddenly opened his eyes. Monkey, Red Boy, and Salted Fish hurriedly pulled back their bowls as they looked like they were busy eating.
Squirrel immediately felt wronged as he shouted. "Master, theyre bullying me!"
He only ended up seeing Fangzheng smacking his lips. The moment he turned his head, he saw Fangzheng blowing the bowls fragrance over. Instantly, Squirrels tummy grumbled.
When Squirrel realized that Fangzheng was the one leading the tease, he immediately felt as though he had suffered an injustice to the point of crying.
Having gone this far, Fangzheng put down his bowl and said, "Jingkuan."
"Yes, Master?" Squirrel said bitterly.
"Tell me why you agreed to betting with Salted Fish. What were you thinking?"
Squirrel was taken aback, never expecting Fangzheng to ask about this. He subconsciously said, "I was thinking that his serving was such a big bowl, while my serving was so small. Furthermore, I had never gambled before, so I thought I would definitely win I forgot that I was betting at that very moment" With that said, Squirrel pulled at his ears. Although he had fur covering his face, everyone knew that the little guy was blushing.
Fangzheng nodded and said, "That was greed. Greed makes you lose yourself. It makes you get caught up in it and forget to think, and then you make fatal mistakes. Jingkuan, I gave you the Dharma name, Jingkuan, hoping that your mind would be broader, broad enough to contain the world. I want you to not only stare at that tiny personal fief you have, but to encompass more of your surroundings. Remember, theres no free lunch in this world. If it looks like there is, there must be a trap in it. Delightful happenings take time, and only doing the mundane things promptly can make your life more interesting without you falling for traps everywhere."
When Fangzheng said that, it wasnt only Squirrel who listened attentively. Monkey, Red Boy, and Salted Fish also benefited from it as they fell into deep thought.
Only Lone Wolf raised his huge ass, his head stuffed into the rice basin as he enjoyed his meal. His noisy eating sounds drowned everything. Fangzheng looked at the disgraceful guy and kicked Lone Wolf in the ass; yet, the fellow didnt react as he just continued eating!