"What madness are these bastards up to? Can't they let me sleep?!" Chen Jin pulled away his blanket and sat up, and he yelled with his eyes red. It had been difficult for him to fall asleep. He had hoped to return to sleep after waking up, but with the din from the animals, the crying from the children, and the laughter from the adults, how could he sleep again?
Chen Jin touched his side. It was empty! He took a look and realized that his wife was no longer there! He could make out a conversation between this wife and others outside.
"Why is she joining in the buzz so early in the morning?" Chen Jin grumbled unhappily.
Chen Jin could not hold back his curiosity when he heard the excited cheers outside. He wore his shoes and went out to survey the situation.
The courtyards of northeastern farming villagers were typically very wide. Their walls were not tall either, measuring about a meter or so. Therefore, Chen Jin was able to see the situation outside while standing in the courtyard. He saw a group of people beaming as if they had struck the lottery.
"Chen Jin, you lost out greatly for not going up the mountain yesterday! Hahaha!" a woman said with a loud laugh.
"Isn't it just a mouthful or two of Laba Congee? So what if it's delicious? A fragrant mouth followed by a smelly ass! What's so impressive about that?" When Chen Jin said that, he was already suffering from sour grapes. When one or two people who went up the mountain said that the Laba Congee was delicious, he had already started wavering in his beliefs. However, when everyone claimed how delicious the Laba Congee was, he was completely convinced. However, he remained stubborn and refused to admit because of his dignity.
"Hehe, it's really not as simple as having a fragrant mouth and smelly ass. Let me tell you. The rheumatism in my legs is gone!" the woman kicked her feet excitedly and exclaimed.
"Bullsh*t! How can drinking congee treat illnesses?" Chen Jin refused to believe it at all. When he came out of the courtyard, he saw Tan Yong and company coming over.
Tan Yong asked, "Does everyone have any special feelings?"
"Yes. The rheumatism in my legs is gone!"
"My inflamed shoulders no longer hurt!"
"My lungs feel extremely clear and comfortable. I no longer cough."
"My back doesn't hurt anymore, and my legs aren't sore. I even have the strength to carry my grandchildren!" an old granny with a head of white hair laughed loudly.
Everyone laughed as well. At that moment, Dog Song came over as well. From afar, he shouted, "Hey, I thought I was the only one who received some benefit, but it looks like everyone did. Hehe, how miraculous. That Laba Congee was great. Haha! Tan Yong, what about you? What happened to you?"
Tan Yong blushed and said, "I benefited as well but don't ask further."
"Don't tell me it's that problem?" Dog Song gave Tan Yong a look that everyone could understand.
Tan Yong immediately flared up, "What? What is it already?! Okay, so I no longer have piles, alright? Seriously, nine out of ten people have piles. Don't tell me none of you are the same?"
"Hehe, that's true. Mine are gone as well..." Dog Song chuckled a reply.
The others laughed as well. Clearly, everyone had been healed of it.
Upon seeing this scene, Chen Jin suddenly realized that he had really missed something.
At that moment, Tan Juguo and Wang Yougui came.
Chen Jin immediately shouted, "Village Chief, Secretary, you guys finally came. These people are disgusting me early in the morning! What's this about being healed after drinking congee. Each one of them has clearly colluded to fool me! You be the judge on this matter."
Wang Yougui laughed out loud and said, "Chen Jin, on this matter, there's really nothing that can be said against it. Perhaps it's the effects of the Laba Congee and perhaps it isn't. Regardless, it is indeed true that many people have recovered from their various ailments. Those who are ill have healed while those who aren't feel fitter. Look at your Uncle Tan, he's walking even faster than me."
Tan Juguo laughed and said, "Chen Jin, I already told you to follow us up the mountain, but you refused to listen. Sigh, you missed out."
Chen Jin might not believe anyone else, but he believed Tan Juguo. Tan Juguo had never lied his entire life! Upon thinking of this, Chen Jin was dumbfounded. A bowl of Laba Congee had such miraculous effects? How... was that possible?
Before Chen Jin could react, his wife, Su Hong, turned angry. She smacked Chen Jin in the head and said, "Look at you! You and your corrupted thoughts. I wanted you to go up the mountain, but you refused. I wanted to go, but you prohibited me. Look at you- Forget it!"
With that, Su Hong left.
Chen Jin chased after her and asked, "Where are you going?
"Up the mountain! I want to see if Fangzheng still has any Laba Congee left. This won't do. I must have a mouth of it! Or I'll never take this lying down!" as Su Hong spoke, she sped up.
When Chen Jin saw this, he shouted loudly, "Come back right here! What do you mean you are going? We didn't go yesterday and you want to go today to shame yourself?"
"Chen Jin, you are suffering because you value your dignity too much. However, there's really no hope going up the mountain today. Fangzheng already said that the Laba Congee is only given out for that one day. There will be none the second day. That kid hasn't learned much about the Dharma, but he has almost mastered Zen Master One Finger's stubbornness. If he says none will be given, then none will be given. Rules are rules. It's useless even if you go up," said Wang Yougui.
Chen Jin said with a wry smile, "I know, but I have to get Su Hong back, right?"
With that said, Chen Jin chased after her.
At that moment in time, Fangzheng had finished cleaning the temple and was having a leisurely time on the mountaintop. He was also considering plans for the temple. Although One Finger was steep, the mountaintop had quite a bit of space. He just wasn't exactly sure how big it was. However, he knew that it was really big up there! Mt. One Finger's front half was a flat plain. There were grasslands, trees and the temple there.
Going further behind was the mountain peak that protruded out like a fingernail. There, the trees were tall and dense. The pine trees were like upright spears. After the snowfall, the entire area was snow-white. However, the woods were a black patch. Other than picking up timber from there, Fangzheng would rarely go there.
Looking at that area of space, Fangzheng stroked his chin and said, "I wonder how big Baiyun Monastery is. Building a big monastery temple on this mountaintop shouldn't be a problem, right? Well, the only thing lacking is money. As long as there's enough money, it shouldn't be a problem with a little hard work. I have quite a tidy sum gathered, but it's not enough to spend yet."
Fangzheng shook his head and after circling the area once with Lone Wolf and Squirrel, he returned to the temple.
At the entrance, he saw someone waiting. When he approached, Fangzheng smiled, "Amitabha. Patrons, what are you doing sitting by the door? If you want to offer incense, just enter the temple hall."
"Fangzheng, you finally returned. Let me ask you. Do you still have any congee left?" Su Hong felt spirited the moment she saw Fangzheng. She immediately asked while disregarding Chen Jin's tugging.
Fangzheng was surprised and looked at Su Hong before looking at the blushing and silent Chen Jin, who had his head down. He said with a wry smile, "Patrons, This Penniless Monk's Laba Congee was fully distributed yesterday."
"There's not one bit left?" Su Hong refused to give up.
Fangzheng smiled bitterly inwardly. Any left? He sure hoped so. The problem was that the System did not even leave him a single grain of rice! Therefore, Fangzheng said, "There's truly none. If both of you want to try it, come again next year. Why didn't the two of you come yesterday?"
Su Hong was just about to say something when Chen Jin got up and pulled her away. He said, "Let's go, let's go! He isn't giving any, so what's the point in staying here? What a disgrace! Let's go!"