After teasing Squirrel, Fangzheng shouted, “Begin!”
He curled his arm and threw out with great force!
Ga! Squirrel, Monkey, and Lone Wolf were collectively dumbfounded!
With Fangzheng’s immense strength, he was able to throw it across the river even though the branch was light!
Monkey was indeed intelligent. He quickly jolted to his senses and began running!
Lone Wolf howled in response as he ran with all his might. Simultaneously, he shouted, “Darn monkey, I’ll let you know what speed is!”
As they were very close to the river, Monkey quickly arrived by the river. The moment his foot dipped into the water, he shuddered and retracted his foot. He cried inwardly, “It’s so cold! It’s colder than River Bai’s water!”
This moment of stupefaction allowed a white figure to charge forward. It leaped into the air and with a loud splash, plunged into the river. Then, the figure said, “This is what you call speed. Overtaking you in an instant. I… I… it’s so cold. Ah wooo! Cold…”
No one else could understand but Fangzheng. He burst out into uncontrollable laughter. The wolf was indeed silly. Monkey knew to test the waters but the silly wolf jumped right in… It would be ridiculous if it was not cold.
The river was not very wide or deep. A grit of the teeth, and a few strides would allow them to cross the river. Lone Wolf was willing to give his all for his food. He charged over and bit the stick. Immediately, he beamed happily. He jumped a few times in the air, clearly to flaunt in front of Monkey. He was reeling in delight as he thought, “Awesome! I’m the best indeed. There will be an additional serving tonight. Haha… I want two bowls! Yes, two big bowls! I’ll bankrupt Abbot with my appetite!”
Lone Wolf reveled in his thoughts as he trotted along before entering the river. He came to his senses due to the cold as he hurriedly crossed the river. Completing the mission was more important.
But in the end… a figure approached him.
“Screech…” Monkey stood by the bank and looked at him with a crafty smile!
“F**k, what are you doing? Get lost! Don’t you come over!” Lone Wolf lamented inwardly. He was going to be robbed!
Lone Wolf hurriedly swam downstream. He would rather die than let Monkey take advantage of him!
Monkey ran downstream as well. Helplessly, Lone Wolf swam upstream, hoping to avoid Monkey. Monkey ran faster on the ground than Lone Wolf swam in the water. Regardless of the direction, he would end up being caught.
Lone Wolf was close to tears as he yelled inwardly, “How shameless are you!? Don’t you dare think of stealing my stick. The extra helping is mine!”
Lone Wolf continued going in circles but did not leave the river. Monkey followed him the entire way.
Realizing that this couldn’t go on, Lone Wolf thought, “It’s just a monkey. Will he be able to block me? I’ll risk it. Onward, charge!”
Lone Wolf gritted his teeth and charged out of the deep waters and entered the region with shallow waters. He ran with his all! “Charge! There’s nothing to be afraid of once I’m on solid ground! What the heck… Why is there a hole?!”
Lone Wolf felt the ground beneath him open up as his majestic stance instantly evaporated, leaving only a tragedy…
Lone Wolf fell into a hole as his mouth lost its grip. The stick flew up and Monkey grabbed with a lunge forward. Then, he stood by the river, waiting.
By the time Lone Wolf poked his head out, Monkey very naturally turned around and handed the stick back to Fangzheng under Lone Wolf’s watchful eyes. Then he gave a disparaging look at Lone Wolf!
Lone Wolf felt like crying. He looked pitifully at Fangzheng. That was picked up by him! The darn monkey did nothing!
Fangzheng looked at the smug monkey and the bitter-looking lone wolf before laughing out loudly. “From the looks of it, Monkey is the winner of this round.”
Lone Wolf turned sullen.
Monkey gave a surreptitious wink as he grinned. Just as Fangzheng’s words faded, he raised his hand to give Monkey a slap, hitting him to the ground. He nearly vomited.
Monkey was perplexed, and so was Lone Wolf.
Fangzheng smiled, “This Penniless Monk does not mind if you took a shortcut but it is not right to harm others to benefit yourself. Tonight, Lone Wolf will have an additional helping. It will come from Monkey’s serving.”
Monkey was instantly dumbfounded. His smile turned into a grimace. He finally understood that the person who suffered at the expense of others should feel terrible!
Fangzheng departed. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This statement suits all sentient beings. Monkey, you have quite a wild nature. If you want to go down the Buddhist path, you still have a long way to go.”
Monkey was stunned. After hearing Fangzheng’s words, he scratched his ass as though he learned something. Most of his feelings of displeasure also dissipated as he quickly followed.
Lone Wolf happily followed. From his point of view, having his meal and an additional serving provided was enough.
Fangzheng regretted agreeing to give him another serving when he saw how much a good-for-nothing Lone Wolf was!
Fangzheng approved Monkey’s reaction. Monkey’s ability to learn was indeed high. However, Fangzheng was a little puzzled. Could a wild monkey become so clever after eating Crystal Rice?”
“The scriptures recited during the Lotus Flower Conveyance happened to give it sentience. That’s why he’s so clever. It’s said that one can attain Buddhahood from enlightenment. Although this monkey has yet to attain Buddhahood, he did gain immense benefits,” explained the System.
Only then did Fangzheng understand.
Bringing the three animals back to the monastery, realizing how small it was, and looking at his rice bucket, Fangzheng sighed. “I can’t steel my heart after all. Another mouth to feed. The coming days won’t be easy.”
With that said, Fangzheng returned to the temple hall. He opened the Merit Box and looked inside. There was some change in it, a few hundred-yuan bills. Money from the high incense. Fangzheng smiled wryly as he added them to his wallet. “It’s not even a thousand yuan. It’s just enough to buy a few Crystal Rice seeds. It looks like I need to consider the problem of our meals…”
“System, are there cheaper kinds of Crystal Rice? We are friends aren’t we? Can’t you give me a discount?” asked Fangzheng.
“There are, but the time it takes to be ready for harvest is long.”
“How long?” Fangzheng’s eyes lit up. As long as the production of the Crystal Rice did not take years, it was not a problem!
“It takes six months before it can be harvested. The Crystal Rice is very picky about its environment. With this crappy mountain of yours you might be able to harvest it in eight months if you tend to it well. However, if you shirk your duties they might freeze to death in the winter. Leaving you with nothing to harvest…”
Fangzheng was stunned. Eight months? Didn’t that mean that the rice would grow the entire year except for winter? “Then what do you mean by tending to it well?”
“Crystal Rice needs to be nurtured with a Buddha aura. It has to be nourished by scripture and consecration by incense. There is no risk of weeds or insects. Crystal Rice does not have any contaminants so there is no need for you to use pesticides. You just need to use Unrooted Clean Aqua to water. A guide with the exact steps you need will be provided when you buy the seeds.”
Fangzheng furrowed his brows, “Uh… It’s so troublesome? Isn’t this rice eaten by Buddhas? Does Buddha personally farm?”
The System answered languidly, “Doing farmwork is also a way to meditate over the Zen. Even Buddha himself would personally do farm work for a period of time every year. Of course, it’s done by the Buddhist devotees at the foot of the mountain most of the time. Alright, cut the crap. Are you buying or not?”