Fangzheng typically was the only one who used his room. Lone Wolf would occasionally run in to sleep in his room. Monkey lived in the kitchen where Fangzheng had laid out blankets for him. Squirrel had his own home so now, Fangzheng and Lone Wolf were the only ones sprawled near the window.
Fangzheng peeked carefully and managed to see something moving on the Crystal Rice paddy.
“Could it be a thief trying to steal This Penniless Monk’s Crystal Rice?” Fangzheng mumbled. Lone Wolf’s ears stood up immediately when he heard that! Steal the Crystal Rice? How could he allow that? That was food for him, Lord Wolf! Who dared provoke the almighty Lord Wolf!? Were they sick of living?
Lone Wolf rushed out. Fangzheng followed out of concern. His feet wore Savior Sandals and he was dressed in the White Lunar Monk Robe. He was completely unbothered by the terribly weather. After he went out the backdoor, he rushed straight for the Crystal Rice paddy. From afar, he saw Lone Wolf standing dazed in the storm, as though something was in front of him.
Fangzheng approached as a bolt of lightning streaked across the sky, illuminating the entire mountaintop. Fangzheng finally saw what it was! It was emerald green and under the illumination of the lightning, it effused a sparkling green glow! It was a piece of bamboo!
“Oh my Buddha! How long has it been? It’s already a meter tall after a single day?” Fangzheng had read through the information and knew that bamboos grew rapidly in the spring. Typically, growing to thirty centimeters was common and it was not impossible for the best strains to grow more than a meter in one shot! But who had heard of one that grew to more than a meter in less than a day? Furthermore, the thing was growing at a visible pace!
“System, are you sure this is bamboo and not some bamboo demon spirit?”
The System ignored him.
The speed at which Frost Bamboo grew far exceeded Fangzheng’s imagination. That night, he squatted beside the Frost Bamboo and watched it grow taller and thicker. Finally, Fangzheng realized that the bamboo was as thick as a person’s thigh and more than ten meters tall!
“It matured in a night?” Fangzheng watched with mouth agape. Although he was astonished, he could still accept it. After all, bamboo grew fast to begin with. Ordinary bamboo matured in thirty to forty days. What’s more, it was an item from the System. Crystal Rice could also mature in one night. It was not inconceivable that the Frost Bamboo would be the same.
As for why the bamboo was so thick, that did leave Fangzheng a little surprised. After all, there was a kind of bamboo called Dendrocalamus sinicus in China’s southwestern regions. It could easily grow to thirty centimeters in diameter. But compared to the Frost Bamboo, Dendrocalamus sinicus appeared slim…
Just as Fangzheng remained in a daze, he suddenly felt something tear out of the ground. Fangzheng quickly made way and saw another bamboo sprout out of the ground.
At the same time, Lone Wolf suddenly leaped. He turned to look at where his ass had been in rage! He was outraged that something had the nerve to secretly touch his asshole!
Bamboo poked out of the ground where his ass had been a second ago.
Fangzheng surveyed his surroundings, it looked like groundhogs poking their heads out collectively around him!
Fangzheng subconsciously took a step back and leaned against the matured bamboo. Nearly simultaneously, Fangzheng felt something subtle. He could sense where the Frost Bamboo’s roots had grown to. At the same time, he could also sense where the new Frost Bamboo would be growing. Furthermore, he had a feeling that he could control location of where the Frost Bamboo grew!
With a thought, the roots that had bored towards the Crystal Rice paddy retracted. Then, it circled around the Crystal Rice paddy. Fangzheng planned to use the Frost Bamboo to hide the Crystal Rice paddy. That way, outsiders would not be able to see and thus disturb the rice paddy. Fangzheng controlled the Frost Bamboo to grow towards the monastery. He decided to allow it to encircle the monastery and leave a few roots in the corners. He planned on having the bamboo adorn the area, they could simultaneously ward off bugs.
Finally, Fangzheng left a command on the main bamboo. The Frost Bamboo was not to grow beyond Mt. One Finger. It would die once it left the surrounding area. With this command, the Frost Bamboo would not grow wantonly otherwise with its terrifying growth rate it would soon conquer the entire earth… Which was bad, yup, it would definitely be hard to explain that.
Fangzheng stared at a tiny bamboo that had just protruded out. Then, he smacked his bald head and exclaimed, “Aiyah! I nearly forgot! Monkey, go down the mountain! Go To Dog Song’s house to borrow a pickaxe! Quickly! The slower you are the less dinner you’ll get! Lone Wolf, join him!”
Although Lone Wolf did not know what Fangzheng was doing, he did not dare cause delay when he saw how serious Fangzheng was. He immediately ran off.
This was the first time Fangzheng saw Lone Wolf run at full speed. The speed was like a silver flash of lightning that charged off! Fangzheng shook his head “He is the Usain Bolt of wolves!” He pondered nefariously. “I wonder what would it be like if I add a saddle and ride him…”
Fangzheng was only playing around with his thoughts. Although the wolf had eaten Crystal Rice and drank Unrooted Clean Aqua, allowing him to constantly improve his body, he was still a wolf. Lone Wolf had a strong body but a weak back. If Fangzheng were to actually sit on his back, he doubted Lone Wolf could withstand his weight.
Monkey, who had woken up at daybreak to sweep the yard, heard Fangzheng’s shouts. Then, he saw Lone Wolf frisking down the mountain. Although he did not understand the situation, he followed.
Fangzheng gave Dog Song a call.
“Borrow a hoe? Sure! Let them come. The hoe will be placed in the yard. Abbot Fangzheng, if you are worried, why don’t I deliver it to you?” offered Dog Song.
“There’s no need. Let them take it.” Fangzheng rejected his offer. It was now the beginning of spring and the farms needed their people to tend to them.
One Finger Village was different from other villages. Many of the villages had answered the country’s call to change from paddy fields to dry farmlands. Paddy rice was no longer farmed as much, switching mostly to corn. The villagers of One Finger Village, however, chose to continue farming paddy rice. One Finger Village had its own difficulties. Its land had a lot of sand. No matter how heavy the rain, it would seep into the ground, making it difficult to create the ponds necessary for growing rice.
Thus, One Finger Village could not rely on natural rain to farm paddy rice. They needed locals to do manual irrigation.
Similarly, as the village was remote, motor-pumped wells had not reached One Finger Village. People fetched water from different sources, mostly from their own homes. Every household’s field had a well. They came equipped with a water pump where water could be drained through a walking tractor.
The method appeared modern but the problems stemmed from the machines stalling or breaking down. The machines needed diesel or water. Therefore, to ensure that water was constantly drawn, the villagers had to watch by the side 24/7. This job was the duty of every household’s men. They would set up a tiny tent beside the paddy, where they eat and live. At night, they fought off mosquitoes and during the daytime they burned under the unyielding sun. They suffered considerably from the elements.
The women did not have it much better. They had to do all the household chores such as taking care of the children, cooking and sending food to their men. When they had time, they also needed to help with the farm work.