“This is a perk for you. After officially designating you as host, you will receive a hundred merit points every month. To be precise, it’s a top-up of a hundred points. If you earn more than a hundred points in merit in a month, the System will reward you with an additional hundred points. If you obtain more than a thousand merit points, the System will reward you with an additional thousand merit points. And so on and so forth…”
“That’s awesome!” Fangzheng was delighted. He realized something. “That’s not right. Shouldn’t my merit points be higher if that’s the case?”
“That’s why it’s best you don’t shoot off your mouth when I’m speaking,” said the System extremely sternly.
Fangzheng could not help but recall a joke message he chanced upon while reading the news. Shoot off… mouth… heh heh…
A bolt of lightning landed in front of Fangzheng.
Fangzheng, who had not been struck by lightning for quite a while, jumped up in fright. He subconsciously blurted, “Oh, w…”
Almost at the same time, lightning bolts gathered above his head as though they would strike him.
Fangzheng immediately changed his words, “Water time!”
The lightning dissipated as Fangzheng wiped the sweat off his brows. He still said unhappily, “System, can you be a bit more reasonable? I didn’t say anything or do anything. Why did you strike me? Even if I did curse, it would be my first time today. You shouldn’t be striking me!”
“I want to nurture you into the most accomplished monk of a generation. The thoughts you had were too unclean. Also, I can sense conscious thoughts against me and could not tolerate it.”
“Even…even if you can’t tolerate it, you can’t just do as you please,” said a depressed Fangzheng.
“Alright, count it as an oversight of mine. I will not pay attention to the stopping of any lightning.”
Fangzheng was rendered completely speechless. Indeed, the System must have been one of those counterfeit goods from peddlers. It resembled nothing like a Buddha system. It was more like a Scoundrel system. It refused to leave after binding him and from time to time, it would act scoundrelly. Fangzheng could do nothing about the System and could only mind his own attitude. If he thought of anything in the future, all he needed to do was not direct it at the System. That way, the System could not sense it, allowing him to curse as he wished…
Fangzheng sighed, “You sure are ruthless. Continue, what did you want to say?”
The System continued, “If you do not earn more than a hundred points in a month, the System will only top-up your merit points to a hundred points and not give you an additional hundred points. Got it? Therefore, if you really wish to renounce asceticism, accumulate more merit. The System is very generous. No matter how much you earn, you get an additional bonuses, point-for-point. How about that? Do you feel a little excited?”
Fangzheng replied, “Heh heh…”
What a joke. How many merit points did he earn from saving a few people? To earn a hundred points, he needed to save dozens of people every month. Where was he to find so many people?
Upon realizing this, Fangzheng stretched his back languidly. Regardless of his wishes, he still needed to continue being a master. Most importantly, he was actually living quite a good life other than being a little poor…
Days passed and as the sun went higher into the sky, the hotter it became. It was finally summer as flowers bloomed everywhere.
That day, Wang Yougui called him.
“Venerable Fangzheng, haha… Great news!” Fangzheng heard Wang Yougui laughing the moment he picked up the phone.
Fangzheng raised an eyebrow, “Patron Wang, what’s the good news?”
“Hehe, for some reason, that guy Yang Hua lucked out and hit the lottery not long ago. Hehe, he earned a total of five million yuan. After taxes, that’s four million. The guy is rich now. The rascal sure knows how to hide it. He has been silent about it because he was afraid that his wife would risk a miscarriage due to the excitement. He blurted it out today in his drunken stupor while having drinks with Dog Song. Now he has a bunch of confidence, his confidence even surpasses that of yours truly, the village chief!” Wang Yougui laughed out loud.
Only then did Fangzheng recall that back when he borrowed the hoe from Yang Hua, he had seen him looking radiant with auspiciousness descending upon him. Through his Heavenly Eye, he saw him win the lottery. Back then, Fangzheng had even told the man he was going to be rich… He had been wondering why there had been no news after so much time had passed. The reason was that Yang Hua had been keeping it a secret and it was not a failure of his Heavenly Eye.
Fangzheng smiled. “That’s good news.”
“Of course it’s good news. However, the good news is Yang Hua’s and has nothing to do with you. As for the good news concerning you… That punk actually has a conscience. He came to me today. He heard that the county government is planning to direct funds to repair our roads. He plans on donating five hundred thousand yuan to our village. And he emphasized that he wants to mend the mountain path of Mt. One Finger. So, do you think this is good news or not?” asked Wang Yougui with a smile.
When Fangzheng heard that, he immediately lit up. What was the reason that One Finger Monastery always appeared subdued in popularity? It had a lot to do with the path up the mountain. Although the Every Village engineers, the government group dedicated to maintaining and building roads for the villages, had paved the roads with cement, they were not Every Mountain engineers, their job was aimed at the villages and not the mountains. A difference in technical skill would be needed to create a proper mountain path.. His mountain path had always been in bad shape. There were holes here and there, and no railings. If one accidentally fell off, even god could not save them. Back then, Zhao Datong nearly fell to his death. The mountain path was even more difficult to traverse especially during rainy or snowy days.
As the saying goes, mend the road to achieve riches. Roads were crucial. Fangzheng previously pondered about fixing the mountain path but unfortunately, he lacked the money. Now, having suddenly realized that there were funds, he smiled. After all, he was only a master on the surface. His heart stilled belonged to a radiant youth’s. There was no reason for him to not be happy with benefits at his door.
Hence, Fangzheng asked, “For real? That’s great. Heh heh…”
“But here comes the problem. Five hundred thousand is a bit difficult to mend the mountain path. It’s probably insufficient for the labor and materials. Don’t you still have five hundred thousand with you? Hehe…” Wang Yougui laughed dryly. It was clear what he meant.
When Fangzheng heard that, his eyes welled in tears. That five hundred thousand? He also wished to use it to mend the mountain path. But the problem was that… he had spent it! Furthermore, there was no way to explain how he had spent it. Was he going to tell Wang Yougui that he had spent five hundred thousand to upgrade his Buddhist divine power? Wang Yougui would probably smack him to his death.
“Fangzheng? Why did you stop talking?” asked Wang Yougui when he noticed Fangzheng’s silence.
Fangzheng smiled wryly. “Patron Wang, that won’t do. That money of mine has been used to save someone.
“Save someone? Who… who did you save?” Wang Yougui was appalled as his voice instantly turned serious.
“A person whose life was in danger. The soft-hearted me spent it.”
“Man, look at you. You don’t leave the mountain much. Do you think people outside are as simple as the villagers? I even suspect you were scammed… Sigh, forget it. The money is yours so I won’t say much. But in the future, if such things happen, it’s best you discuss it with me. I can give you advice. This world does not only have good people residing in it.” Wang Yougui felt his heart ache when he heard Fangzheng’s reply. Five hundred thousand! Fangzheng had given it just like that. Since when has he been so generous?
Wang Yougui knew that it was likely true from the way Fangzheng said it. Furthermore, Fangzheng had donated out of kindness. He was unsure if it was something genuine or not. He could not judge Fangzheng based on conjectures.