Fangzheng hurriedly recited Buddhist scriptures in an attempt to suppress his breakfast cravings but to no avail. Helpless, he could only console himself by saying, "The rice has already been cooked. It can't be wasted. Tonight. We can be a little extravagant tonight..."
When this was said, Lone Wolf jumped around in the house and Fangzheng immediately smacked him with a palm. "Why are you jumping around? You're getting dust everywhere! Quickly get more timber or there won't be any dinner for you!"
When Lone Wolf heard this, he immediately ran off. He seemed to run several times faster than before.
Fangzheng rolled his eyes. This darn wolf must have been reincarnated from a hungry ghost...
Soon, the rice was done. It was extremely fragrant and was in no way worse than rice cooked from Crystal Rice. Furthermore, he had added about 70-80% ordinary rice, so there was a sufficient amount. Fangzheng and Lone Wolf scarfed down the food until they were so full that they could not move. As for the pot, there was not a single grain of rice left. Their bowls were licked so clean that they were even more spotless than if they had been washed!
"Nice!" Fangzheng exclaimed as he sat on the ground while leaning against the wall.
"Wu..." Lone Wolf copied Fangzheng and leaned against the wall. It stretched out its legs and looked satisfied.
Looking at Lone Wolf, Fangzheng noticed that he was seeming more and more humanlike. He could not help but ask inwardly, "System, although this lone wolf is an alpha wolf and has high intelligence, isn't he a little too smart? He's tricky and he also has so many expressions..."
"Ding! Crystal Rice and Unrooted Clean Aqua have the ability to open the gates of intelligence for living creatures. The more Crystal Rice and Unrooted Clean Aqua consumed, the more intelligence is opened up, resulting in them becoming more clever."
"Will this fellow become a spirit?" Fangzheng jumped in shock. If it turned into a spirit, wouldn't it be a monster? His idea of monsters were cannibals that ate people whole.
"In theory, with enough cultivation, all creatures can become spirits. However, it's very, very, very difficult in your world."
Upon hearing the System repeat the word 'very' thrice, Fangzheng was relieved. Important things were repeated thrice so he knew the scenario was unlikely.
After patting Lone Wolf's big head, Fangzheng cleaned the kitchen until it was spotless. Then, as he watered the bodhi tree with Unrooted Clean Aqua, he mumbled, "This water is miraculous. I hope it will do you some good. At least, try to survive through the winter. Next year, you should be able to show off for a period of time."
With that said, Fangzheng returned to his chambers.
Suddenly, the System spoke, "Sending out Mission Three. Incense offerings continued: Accumulate a hundred sticks of incense. No time limitation. Upon completion of the mission, you will be rewarded with a Merit Box!"
"System, isn't that too much? You threw away my Merit Box, and now you want me to work to earn one?" Fangzheng let out a bitter laugh, but he was helpless. The System was all-powerful, so all he could do was tolerate it! Besides, his goal was to become Buddha as soon as possible so that he could return to the secular world. As for the hundred sticks of incense, he wasn't worried since there was no time limit. Furthermore, considering current events, his incense offerings would only improve in the future. At least, Wang Yougui and company would work hard for the Crystal Rice.
Without anything to do, Fangzheng took out his cell phone and connected to the WiFi network to go onto the Internet.
"So, a hundred incense sticks. That's no small figure. Speaking of which, if I really did amass a hundred sticks, the incense money would be more than enough for my meals. I have to work hard on this..." Fangzheng muttered as he checked the operating procedures of other temples on the Internet. However, all he got was inconclusive reports. He was unable to glean any useful lessons.
Just as Fangzheng was feeling depressed, his WeChat, a messaging application, that he had not been on for several days flashed.
Fangzheng was curious. He had not been on WeChat for quite a long time. Most of his friends on it were classmates from his school days or peers at the foot of the mountain. However, when Fangzheng dropped out of school, these people gradually faded out of his world. He didn't even see much activity in the group chats he was in. It was as if they were people from two different worlds.
Although Fangzheng felt a little disheartened regarding this, he did not mind it.
Now, seeing the notification, he was somewhat astonished.
When he opened the application, he was dumbfounded. It was a friend request!
The person's nickname was Tranquil Sea of Clouds and it had a note: "I'm Fang Yunjing. Sorry for disturbing you, Master. Please add me as a friend."
Fangzheng was surprised. He never expected it to be Fang Yunjing! However, how did she know of his WeChat account number?
An intellectual beauty like Fang Yunjing left a deep impression on Fangzheng. After all, she was the only beauty to ever visit the mountain since Fangzheng took over. It was impossible for him to not remember her. Not to mention, he was through and through a fake monk that was insistent on returning to the secular world.
He clicked 'accept'!
"Master, you finally accepted my request. I've been waiting for so long." Fang Yunjing was actually online!
Fangzheng said with a wry smile. "This Penniless Monk is a monk, after all, and seldom goes on the Internet. Female Patron, is there something you need?"
"Master, it's this. Remember how we previously mentioned that we would try to promote One Finger Temple for you? However, we're lacking in information. I was wondering if you can snap a few nice pictures and send them to us? It's so that we can display it in school. In addition, Zhao Datong plans on organizing tours among the students to visit your temple once spring comes," said Fang Yunjing.
Fangzheng was elated from the good news! He did not place too much hope on the students but he never expected that they were truly working hard to help him! Immediately, he thought to himself, "Indeed, it wasn't for nothing. They were not saved for nothing!"
Hence, Fangzheng replied: "That is simple. In a while, This Penniless Monk will take a few photos. However, the camera's quality on This Penniless Monk's cell phone is rather bad. So the outcome might not be very good."
"A normal picture would do. Leave everything to me. I guarantee you that we'll make it nice!" Fang Yunjing sent a confident emoticon.
A confident girl's expression appeared in Fangzheng's mind as he chuckled and replied: "Then, thank you, Female Patron."
"You are being too polite, Master. You a person with true ability. You should not be trapped there all alone. We will help you," said Fang Yunjing.
After exchanging a few pleasantries with Fangzheng, Fang Yunjing had to go for her classes, so she went offline.
After some thought, Fangzheng took his phone and snapped a picture of One Finger Temple in its entirety before taking several close-ups of particular parts of it, including the bodhi tree that seemed bent on seeking death. Lone Wolf had even photo-bombed the shots a few times, earning him a beating...
"You silly dog. If you want to pee, go somewhere else. Don't pee at the entrance! I was wondering why there was an odd smell all this time. So it was you." Fangzheng raised a pole and chased after Lone Wolf...
At night, Fangzheng cooked another pot of rice and had a sumptuous meal with Lone Wolf. He picked up his cell phone and logged onto the Internet.
This time, he received a series of friend requests. They were from Zhao Datong, Hu Han, and Ma Juan.
Fangzheng smacked his head and sent Fang Yunjing a message, "Patron, how did you obtain This Penniless Monk's WeChat account number?"
Fang Yunjing returned with a playful emoticon and said, "Sorry, Master. I searched for nearby people while in your temple. It's a new feature of WeChat. It can find people even when they are offline...You were the only one in the entire temple, so the person I found had to be you. Master, you looked so adorable when you were young."