Shi Dazhu had deliberately concealed his identity on the mountain. He was afraid Fangzheng was a fake monk that would scheme for his wealth. He ultimately realized that Fangzheng truly deserved the caliber of master. He did not mention money at all during the entire process. Once Fangzheng resolved his problems, he did not ask him to stay. He treated people with respect and showed no arrogance despite being capable. He was gentle like the water and his smile was radiant… He liked a young man such as him, wishing Fangzheng was his own son. When he thought of his own son, he felt like cursing. “That rascal has no ambition in life and is so lazy. How is he to forge a path out of the more than a billion people in China? Is he going to be a worthless wimp? If I had known this would happen, I would have thrown him against the wall… At least, I won’t need to worry now.”
Shi Dazhu returned to the village and with a spark of ingenuity, he went to his neighbor. Not much later, he left and returned home. Indeed, he saw his son sitting on the sofa the moment he pushed open the door. His son was snacking while watching television. It was unknown what he was thinking.
That lit up the fumes in Shi Dazhu’s heart, he repressed his anger. It remained a critical period. He took a deep breath and sat beside Shi Xiaozhu. “Son, Uncle Lin next door wants you to go over and help out.”
“Okay, sure.” Shi Xiaozhu stood up and headed out.
Shi Xiaozhu was not really lazy. He just felt that there was nothing in the world his family could not buy. Other children liked toy planes or tanks and he just needed to ask for anything he wanted when he was a child and his father would bring a bunch of it home for him. It was the same when he grew up. Others worked hard to earn money but all he needed to do was reach out his hand… Others worked hard to buy a house but all he needed to do was pick one. Gradually, he felt that there was no meaning to life. Everything came easy to him, making it meaningless. Without meaning, there was nothing to look forward to. He lost most of his driving spirit.
He left the house and went next door. He saw Uncle Lin moving a flower pot the moment he entered. Uncle Lin called out to him. “Little Zhu, come! Help me move these. I’m the only one at home today. It’s really hard to move so many of these.”
“Alright. I’ll help.”
The duo busied themselves for half an hour before arranging the flower pots. “Uncle Lin, I’ll be leaving.”
“Wait! Wait!” Uncle Lin shouted. Then he pulled out Shi Xiaozhu’s hand and stuffed two hundred yuan into his hand. “This is money for your work. Can’t have you working for free, hard work deserves pay!”
“Ah?” Shi Xiaozhu was rooted to the spot. He had plenty of money, cars and houses his entire life but he had never earned money before. The sudden two hundred yuan was not a lot but it stirred a ripple in his calm heart. So this was what it felt like to earn money! He actually could earn money for himself! Shi Xiaozhu felt his heart open up at that instant. It was a joy that rose from deep in his heart!
“What’s the fuss? It’s what you deserve. Take it,” said Uncle Lin.
Shi Xiaozhu scratched his head. “Uncle, I can’t take this money.”
“What do you mean you can’t take it? Did you use your labor to help me? Do you pay your workers to use their strength to mine stone for your company? You do, don’t you? It’s the same. I’m poor and can’t give you much. It’s only a token of appreciation.”
When Shi Xiaozhu left Uncle Lin’s house, his brain was still in a daze. He had earned money just like that! His first salary in lifetwo hundred yuan!
As for Uncle Lin, he was grumbling incessantly at home. “Is that Shi Dazhu sick? He came to my place and went to all the trouble to move the flower pots. Then he got his son to move them back. He even gave me ten thousand yuan for the labor… This idiot… he doesn’t know how to properly spend his money.”
Shi Dazhu was sitting at home feeling nervous. He understood his son the best. It would be a joke if he did not understand his own son. But it was because he knew him too well that he could not see things clearly, he was too closely involved. With his authority as father, he could force Shi Xiaozhu to do things and become whatever he demanded… However, he had never thought of what Shi Xiaozhu wanted to become.
Now that he thought things through, he decided on this particular ploy. However, he was unsure if his method was the right one. Therefore, he was feeling uneasy.
Shi Xiaozhu entered with two hundred yuan in hand. He threw the money at Shi Dazhu.
“What’s this?” Shi Dazhu asked despite knowing the answer
“Money Uncle Lin gave me, calling it my wage.” Shi Xiaozhu had an odd expression on his face. He gave the money a little unnaturally.
“Wow? You earned money?! Is this what you call talent? Hehe… Back when I was your age, I still needed to ask for money. Kid, you actually started earning money. Impressive!” said Shi Dazhu.
Shi Xiaozhu was stunned. “Impressive?”
“Obviously. I’ll be keeping this two hundred yuan. Treat it as a form of filial piety. I always gave you in the past and now, you are giving me. I’ll use it to buy some drinks. Haha…” Shi Dazhu waved the two hundred yuan as he stood up happily, in preparation to leave the house. However, he was lamenting in his heart. “Am I an idiot? I used ten thousand yuan only to get back two hundred. I even have to act happy! What drinks can two hundred yuan buy? What can I drink?”
Shi Xiaozhu could not help but feel happy seeing his father in such high spirits. Filial piety? Is this being filial? Earning money himself to give to his father? This… seemed rather interesting! It was challenging!
The moment Shi Dazhu walked out the house, Shi Xiaozhu called out, “Dad, I want to start a business!”
Shi Dazhu jolted when he heard that, nearly bursting into tears! Shi Xiaozhu’s mother had passed away early. He had brought up Shi Xiaozhu as both a father and mother. He cared for him and thought that he could groom him to be an elite of society but Shi Xiaozhu only ended up as the scum of society. Only now did he see the hope of that very scum transforming into an elite!
Shi Dazhu ran in and sat in front of Shi Xiaozhu. He sat cross-legged and chuckled, “Son! You want to start a business?”
“What business?” asked Shi Dazhu.
“I want to earn my own keep and be filial to you. I think that’s rather interesting.”
Shi Dazhu laughed. “That’s quite interesting indeed. But Son, you talk about starting a business. But what sort of business are you planning? What do you want to do? Don’t tell me you want to follow in my footsteps and sink your head into the quarries and become a merchant of the land. That’s too boring. You do have some ambition, right?”
“That’s true… But I do not know how to do anything else.”
“You don’t? That’s simple. Go out and venture. Learn whatever that catches your eye. Once you master it, we can work on it! When that happens, I’ll give you the money… No! It’s an investment! You produce the technology and I produce the money. The both of us can be partners in business. How about it?”