However, Fangzheng had a strong suspicion that the young lass's parents were up to no good. How afraid were they of other people bullying their daughter? She was practically carrying ordnance on her!
It was common for children to throw firecrackers at each other to scare each other in the village. However, this lass had weapons of mass destruction!
"Mengmeng, thank you. I'll be taking these two boxes. Here, I'll be giving you a hundred yuan. Go buy some nice snacks for yourself. Also, buy a few more of these bang snaps for me." Fangzheng would not take the items from the young girl for nothing. He tugged at the little lass's braided hair and gave Mengmeng a hundred yuan.
After he did so, Fangzheng heard the System alert him: "Ding! A friendly reminder, most of the money you possess is incense money. Incense money cannot be used to buy any mortal items, including the purchase of items through proxies. However, you still have a little of your savings. It happens to be two hundred and thirty-six yuan and fifty cents! You have given Mengmeng a hundred yuan. Thus, the remaining balance which you can use to spend on mortal goods is a hundred and thirty-six yuan and fifty cents!"
When Fangzheng heard that, he was instantly dumbfounded. He looked at the hundred-yuan bill in Mengmeng's hand and felt the pinch! He had forgotten the rules he was bound to while reveling in his joy. Great, he had nearly halved his net worth.
However, what could he say now that he had given it away? In any case, he did not have any expenditures anyway. So be it. It was not like he could ask for the money back, right? He still had some shame.
Mengmeng immediately beamed as she said, "Thank you, Brother Fangzheng. Hold on."
After Mengmeng said that, she ran off.
Fangzheng looked at the happy girl's back and smiled inwardly. This was the festive new year mood of a village!
Fangzheng continued with the Sown Street Fires and Mengmeng returned shortly after. She carried with her a red cloth bag as she lifted it high. She exclaimed, "Brother, look. I bought a lot! Is this enough?"
Fangzheng took a look. Holy shit, it was really a bag! Although his heart was wincing in pain, Fangzheng continued acting in line with his posturing. He had to see it through even if he had to hold back his tears. He would rather die than reveal the pain in his heart! Therefore, he said with a smile, "That's enough. There's enough firepower for me to use now. Thank you, Mengmeng. The remaining money is yours."
"Thank you, Brother Fangzheng!" Mengmeng happily waved the remaining fifty yuan in her hand as she pranced away. Fangzheng watched the green-dressed girl depart and felt mixed emotions.
The squirrel came over and looked suspiciously at Fangzheng.
Fangzheng picked up a bang snapper and threw it to the ground, causing a bang. Then, he asked, "See that? When this thing is thrown on a hard ground, it will give a bang. In a while... #¥%¥#&!"
In an instant, Fangzheng turned from a monk to a super demon king.
As for the distant young demon kings, they did not realize that the great demon king was about to finish them.
"All you darn brats, stop there for me!" Wang Yougui cursed incessantly from a distance away.
The bunch of children shrieked as they immediately ran off.
Wang Yougui felt helpless with the state of affairs. He quickly attempted to calm down the old sow that had been given a fright. Just as he was about to settle things with the brats, he saw them running back!
"Uncle Wang, save us! A squirrel is chasing us! It's really fierce!" Liu Rui yelled as he ran. The other children were also running towards him.
Wang Yougui was baffled as he asked, "A squirrel is chasing you? And it's really fierce? Darn brats, can they say anything trustworthy?"
Pa! Pa! Pa! Pa!
As he spoke, a series of tumultuous bangs were heard. Wang Yougui jumped in fright and just as he was about to launch a tirade, he was dumbfounded!
He saw a white wolf chasing after the children. A cloth bag was hung over him and standing on his neck was a squirrel. The squirrel would scoop out a bang snapper and throw it out. As they engaged in the pursuit, the squirrel would throw the bang snappers, bombarding the children while they yelled out loud and ran all around.
"Aren't... Aren't they Fangzheng's wolf and squirrel? Have these two animals transformed into demon spirits?" Wang Yougui always knew that Lone Wolf was intelligent. However, he did not realize that the squirrel was this intelligent as well. It was even riding the wolf and bombarding the children...
Thankfully, the squirrel was using bang snappers and he was throwing them to the ground. It would not hurt anyone. Since it appeared to be just merry-making, he did not bother with them.
At that moment, Fangzheng came with his cart. He had left behind a trail of flames along the way, lighting up the village.
"Patron Wang, how are you?" asked Fangzheng with a chuckle. Without the brats causing trouble, it made it easier to sow the streets with fire.
"I'm fine. I'm just out on a stroll. But Fangzheng, why are you doing the Sown Street Fires? Isn't Dog Song the one responsible for it this year?" said Wang Yougui.
Fangzheng said with a smile, "I took it over since it looked fun."
Wang Yougui nodded and said, "You have to be quick then. We will be setting up the fire heap soon. Also, our village must not lose this year. Don't let the other villages sow their fires into our village. It will be embarrassing."
Only then did Fangzheng recall that Sown Street Fires was not about simply lighting up one's own village. There was a competitive aspect to it. The surrounding villages would sow the streets with fire and eventually, they would all be connected.
And in this entire process, if their village was the slowest, the neighboring villages would spread their fire over. There was an old adage that this would result in all the village's luck to be transferred to the other village. Although there was some superstition to this matter, it was mainly to motivate the person sowing the street fires as well as to encourage everyone's enthusiasm. Therefore, it became an unwritten competition.
Of course, the competition had a limit to the numbers. If there were too many people, it could easily devolve into chaos. It would also be easy to cause security problems. One village was limited to one fire sower.
Fangzheng immediately said, "Patron Wang, rest assured. The mission will definitely be completed."
Fangzheng chuckled as he left with the cart. Fangzheng was skilled in martial arts, and his stamina was astonishing. His hands were extremely stable. He was able to push the cart and sow the fire at extremely fast speeds! Soon, the entire village was done as he began 'attacking' the roads that connected to the other villages. From a distance, he could vaguely see that the fire from the neighboring village was beginning to extend towards the other village's entrance.
Fangzheng sped up and sowed the fire over. Fangzheng was already midway when the other party reached his village entrance. The other party was clearly unhappy as he grumbled loudly but what he mumbled was indistinct.
Fangzheng chuckled as he returned. It was all in the name of fun. It was meaningless to truly overrun them.
When the other party saw Fangzheng turn around, he shouted something. It vaguely sounded like a treat with alcohol or something...
The villagers of the few villages were busying themselves. The street fires connected with one another, and the flames brought warmth and light to the villagers in winter. At that moment, the adults were also done with their work. They ran out and began heaping a large fire at a crossroad. They warmed themselves from the fire, chatted, and released fireworks. With that, the bustling atmosphere of the fifteenth day of the new year passed just like that.
The next day, Fangzheng woke up in his quiet monastery. It felt like a dream when he recollected the bustling scene from the previous night.
He shook his head slightly. He washed his face, swept the temple hall, made breakfast... It was another day of silence.
However, at that moment, Fangzheng heard a somewhat familiar voice, "Master, are you in?"
Fangzheng walked out and smiled. He held his palms together and said, "Amitabha. Patron, you have come again? Is there a delivery for This Penniless Monk again?"
Fangzheng was puzzled too. Who could have sent him another delivery? Could it be Zhao Datong and the gang? That was unlikely.
The person who had arrived was none other than Hu Tan of Speedy Delivery. One Finger Monastery was just too remote, and no one from Speedy Delivery was willing to come. However, Hu Tan knew how impressive Fangzheng was. It was possible for him to escape danger if he allowed the master to take a look at him during each visit. Therefore, he had long proclaimed to take on the job of sending deliveries to One Finger Monastery.
However, it was a long wait. There were no deliveries even until the end of the year. When he suddenly realized that there was a letter today, he immediately rushed to send it over.
Fangzheng was stunned when he looked at the envelope. "Baiyun Monastery? Baiyun Monastery sent a letter to This Penniless Monk?"
"Uh, yeah. The address written on it is very clear. There shouldn't be any problem," replied Hu Tan.
Fangzheng nodded, signed for it, and said, "Thank you, Patron."