Lone Wolf placed the old hen down and, before it could say a word, the old hen began frantically clucking. Fangzheng understood it, as well.
The old hen was saying, "Master, save me! I'm a good chicken from the village at the foot of the mountain! I have an owner! This darn wolf grabbed me out of my pen when I wasn't paying attention! Save me! I don't want to die! Cluck! Cluck!"
Fangzheng was rendered utterly speechless. Seeing how troubled the old hen was, he thought that even if he wasn't a monk, he couldn't bring himself to slaughter the chicken and eat its meat. He began to suspect that the system had a motive behind giving him this ability, and it was definitely not a good one.
"Fine, stop shouting. To shout so loudly so early in the morning. Those who don't know the situation might think I'm pushing you down on the ground and doing something to you." As Fangzheng said that, a strange scene flashed in his mind. Immediately, he felt disgusted and hurriedly waved his hands and said, "Lone Wolf, put it back. In the future, don't steal any chickens. We will find meals on our own."
Although Lone Wolf was reluctant, it nodded and brought the plump chicken down the mountain in its jaws.
From afar, Fangzheng could hear the plump chicken clucking away, "Thank you, Master! Thank you for not killing me, Master! Darn dog, how dare you act so fierce? Are you glaring at me? I'll glare back at you! Do you think I'm afraid of you? Do you dare to eat me? Aren't you afraid the Master will...$#%#"
Hearing the garrulous speech, he finally understood why the ancients described talkative people as old hens! She was more talkative than a duck... At the same time, Fangzheng pitied Lone Wolf. It was probably going to suffer an earful while descending the mountain.
After Lone Wolf left, Fangzheng's stomach began to growl. He was hungry once again!
Fangzheng immediately went to the flower pot where the Crystal Rice was planted. Before he even came close, he could smell a refreshing fragrance! It was the fragrance of rice. It had an alluring essence that made him hungry simply from its elegant and plain fragrance!
Fangzheng took a careful look, and saw a two-meter-tall paddy growing out of the flower pot. The paddy was covered in rice husks. Each of them had golden husks that could not completely conceal the white and crystalline grain in them. Some of them had been completely exposed, revealing their full glory.
The fragrance had come from the Crystal Rice. Although it did not extend past a distance of twenty meters, it was better than any rice Fangzheng had ever seen! Fangzheng didn't even need to cook it, the smell alone was enough to make him treat it as a treasure. The life-saving, normal rice grains in his rice bucket were now complete trash and inedible.
Just as Fangzheng was lost in his reverie, a sound brought him back to reality. A grain of Crystal Rice had dropped off its husk! Following that, like a chain reaction, all the Crystal Rice grains fell off.
Fangzheng hurriedly ran over and collected the rice. However, he was given a shock as he did. The single paddy contained a catty of Crystal Rice! The quantity produced was astounding!
Typically, a single paddy would produce an amount measured in grams, but this was in catties! Fangzheng's first thought was to mass produce these paddy seeds. It would be hard for him not to become rich! Not to mention, saving people in less-fortunate countries from abject poverty was truly an act of great merit!
Just thinking of the countless number of people he would save, and the countless chances at the draw, Fangzheng nearly salivated. However, when he thought of the cost, Fangzheng's thoughts were immediately snuffed out.
A seed cost three hundred bucks. If he tried to charge other people that astronomical price, he'd probably drown to death in the saliva people sprayed at him from their cursing! Even if one seed did produce a whole catty, it didn't make a difference. Three hundred bucks a catty was still an astronomical price!
More importantly, Fangzheng was really lacking in money! Purchasing the System's items required money earned from merit or offerings. Such incense offerings could only be accepted from the wholehearted donations of pious believers. However, with the amount of offerings One Finger Temple normally received, Fangzheng estimated that he would not be able to buy many seeds in his lifetime. It would already be a miracle if he did not starve to death. As for being showered in offerings? In his dreams!
"I only wish that the incense offerings in the future will be sufficient. To become the world's greatest temple, it is without question that money from incense offerings will be needed. When that time comes, things hopefully won't be at the point where I can't afford seeds..." Fangzheng muttered to himself before asking, "System Bro, if these seeds were given to scientists, would they be able to crack the genetic code with present-day technology? Or maybe even modify, or enhance it?"
"How can ants know true profoundness? That is the question," the System answered in a terse and humorous manner.
Fangzheng decisively abandoned that thought. The existence of the System was basically unscientific and unexplainable. The Crystal Rice was likely similar.
Fangzheng asked again, "Can the Crystal Rice that I have be planted again as seeds?"
"No, these rice grains can only be used for eating. Nothing else," the System said.
Fangzheng shook his head helplessly. Since they could only be used for eating, it was time to eat! He set the rice in his rice bucket aside. Having spent three hundred bucks on rice, he had to immediately have a taste of it!
Therefore, Fangzheng ran out to boil water and cook the rice. There was only Fangzheng so a handful of rice grains was sufficient. He could use the catty of rice sparingly, giving him one or two day's worth of meals.
The rice was crystalline and did not need to be washed. After throwing the rice into the pot, he added water and started a fire with timber. The only thing left for him was to wait.
A few minutes later, a refreshing fragrance emanated from the pot. Fangzheng was unsure if it was because he was hungry, but just a whiff of the fragrant rice left him in an ethereal state. He exclaimed, "I have never smelled such fragrant rice before! If the old man were still around, he would definitely be reciting Amitabha with a smile before taking a bite of this rice."
Upon thinking of the monk, One Finger, Fangzheng's craving was repressed by the insipid remembrance.
At the same time, three people had come up the mountain.
"Village Chief, isn't this whole thing a little too bizarre? Isn't One Finger Temple on the verge of collapse? We came here not long ago. I was the one that delivered the government's documents. Why did those college students say that we lied to them? Also, they said that One Finger Temple is extremely new...That's such hogwash." A man dressed in dark blue clothes and a flat hat grumbled.
"Enough, you have been grumbling the whole journey. What's the point of saying all this nonsense? Won't we know once we take a look?" said the village chief, Wang Yougui, who was dressed in a yellow-white shirt with a light green jacket. The person who had spoken previously was the village treasurer, Yang Ping. The other, quieter old man was the village's secretary, Tan Juguo.
The trio had no intention to go up Mt. One Finger ever again. After all, the mountain was rather steep. The steps up the mountain were covered in moss and it was very easy to have a fatal slip. Now, only a few old hunters and occasional outdoor lovers would scale Mt. One Finger.
As for going up the mountain to pay their respects to Buddha, that was only limited to the nostalgic elders. Then the monk, One Finger, passed away. Those elders stopped having such thoughts, and never went up again.
As the trio spoke, they came to the peak of the mountain. When they looked up, they were shocked.
"Yang Ping, is this the One Finger Temple that you described as having crumbling walls and broken tiles? If this is crumbling walls and broken tiles, then your house is worse than a pig pen!" Before the village head did any reprimanding, an incensed Tan Juguo had begun glaring angrily.