Yang Ping curled his lips, “Your riches are really a waste on you. Let me tell you, it’s not one hundred a piece, but one hundred for half a kilogram!”
“What? A hundred yuan for half a kilogram? Heavens, our bamboo shoots are all so huge. Wouldn’t that mean that one of our bamboo shoots can be sold for several hundred yuan?” exclaimed someone.
Wang Yougui’s eyes lit up!
Yang Ping said, “That’s right! One piece of bamboo shoot is worth hundreds! Let’s put that aside for the moment. Even the ordinary Winter Bamboo that is delivered from the south has prices of eight or nine yuan for half a kilogram. The good ones can be sold for between ten to twenty. And our bamboo shoots are better than anywhere else. Therefore, it’s not a problem to sell it for tens of yuan for half a kilogram! And how much do we earn planting corn? Fifty cents? Sixty cents? If I remember correctly, it was just twenty to thirty cents for half a kilogram last year, wasn’t it? I won’t do the math for everyone. It’s obvious at a glance. And most importantly, the processed bamboo products are equally expensive! Dried bamboo, fermented bamboo, etc. After a year of maturing, the bamboo can be chopped down to be used as furniture, mats, all sorts of things. All of that is money! Our Frost Bamboo is much more beautiful than the ones sold outside. Hah! I can’t continue further. All I can imagine is money.”
Everyone’s eyes lit up when they listened to Yang Ping describe such a beautiful future.
Tan Juguo added, “In addition, there are no bamboo forests in the northeast. Our bamboo forest is considered rare. Abbot Fangzheng will permit us to dig a hundred mountaintop bamboo shoots a day, right? I think we can use that as a selling point! Those bamboo shoots can only be sold in limited quantities as a form of signature advertisement. If you want to eat the best bamboo shoots, come to One Finger Village. Eat bamboo shoots while viewing the bamboo forest! Our One Finger Village can develop into the tourism industry and use rural tourism as a model!”
Everyone began discussing and soon, an economic system that revolved around bamboo was proposed by everyone and implemented. However, it was quite a shortcoming that the village lacked money. Thankfully, Yang Hua was now rich. Chen Jin’s son was a little rich as well. If the entire village worked together, it did not seem like it would be a huge problem.
In the following days, they established a new direction. The villagers stopped selling mountaintop bamboo shoots. If you want to eat any? Sure, come to the village for them!
And as expected, it attracted a large number of tourists that came specially for the bamboo shoots. When some heard that the bamboo shoots were obtained from the mountaintop, they scaled the mountain out of curiosity. When they saw One Finger Monastery, they also went into to pay their respects
Instantly, the amount of incense offerings that Fangzheng’s One Finger Monastery received increased once again.
Fangzheng smiled happily when he saw people coming in and out of One Finger Monastery. “It’s indeed like for like. Being kind to others would mean being kind to oneself. Amitabha.”
As for what the people did at the foot of the mountain, Fangzheng did not care. He was not a businessman. All he needed to do was recite his scriptures with peace of mind and answer the questions of others. Of course the most number of questions he received was if they could dig some bamboo shoots or if they could give the dog a chain.
There were even some tourists that brought a large metal chain, as though afraid that Fangzheng did not have one
That night, Lone Wolf wailed loudly when he saw the metal chain after getting off ‘work.’ He swore that no one was to dig his bamboo shoots with him around!
Fangzheng only smiled in response to this. It was obviously for the best if Lone Wolf was so responsible towards his job.
But the next day, Fangzheng received a very special guest. The sky had just lit up and the other visitors had yet to arrive. Not long after Fangzheng opened his doors, someone stepped into One Finger Monastery and stood under the bodhi tree.
Fangzheng was instantly stunned, rooted to his spot when he came out of the temple hall. The person that had come was a Daoist!
He wore baggy clothes with long sleeves with a long frontal garment that reached his ankles. He was dressed in layers of coarse cloth, making him look rather awkward and heavy. He had a goatee on his handsome face that looked rather free and easy. He had his hand tipping his head up as he looked at the bodhi tree and marveled, “It’s indeed a miraculous tree. Born in the south to grow in the north. Is this courting death or letting oneself go free? Haha.”
Fangzheng pressed his palms together, “Amitabha. Patron, this tree is indeed quite extraordinary. You can consider it as courting death.”
The Daoist was taken aback. He never expected the monk to say such a thing. He chuckled, “Heavenly Lord of the Immeasurable. This Penniless Priest is Perfected Letian from Tongtian Daoist Temple. Venerable One, how should you be addressed?”
“This Penniless Monk is One Finger Monastery’s Fangzheng.” Fangzheng noticed that the priest did not mention what position he held, so he did not go into detail either, afraid that the priest would think he was using his position against him.
Perfected Letian smiled, “So it’s Venerable Fangzheng. This Penniless Priest has long since heard of your famous name and came to specially visit. You wouldn’t consider it rude, right?” Perfected Letian was speaking in all seriousness a moment earlier as though he was singing but in a blink of an eye, he revealed a character that resembled the playfulness of a child.
Upon seeing this scene, Fangzheng simmered with laugher. Daoism pursued an innocent nature, quite different from Buddhism. However, Fangzheng’s school of thought was also different from many Buddhist disciples. At the very least, Fangzheng was the kind that was unorthodox. There were few things about him that resembled traditional masters.
Fangzheng smiled, “Not at all.”
“That’s good. Do you have any water? This Penniless Priest came in a rush and is somewhat thirsty. Can you spare a bowl of water?” With that said, Perfected Letian shot a glance at the Skanda at the door. He knew that the monastery did not host traveling monks.
Fangzheng nodded and went to the kitchen to scoop him a bowl of water.
Perfected Letian received it and drank it clean. Then he exclaimed, “Ah! Delicious! Delicious! Truly delicious! Venerable Fangzheng’s monastery is truly exquisite. It’s a lot better than This Penniless Priest’s tiny Daoist temple. The water is also much better.”
Fangzheng smiled, “Perfected One, is there a reason why you came?”
“No. Since there is nothing to do, traveling around to watch the heavens and the earth does me good. It’s simply a stroll.” As Perfected Letian spoke, he looked at the golden glimmer that appeared in the distance. He happily smiled, “The sun is up. Hehe, it’s really pretty.”
“Oh? Perfected One, have you never seen a sunrise?” Fangzheng was perplexed. It was only a sunrise. It might be quite a sight to behold the first time, but it should not be anything impressive after multiple times, right?
Yet, Perfected Letian caught him by surprise by shaking his head, “This Penniless Priest sees it daily, but it’s not enough. Look at the flowers, the grass, the trees. Hehe, how beautiful they are.” As he spoke, Perfected Letian seemed to exude a carefree nature. His entire being seemed to possess a halo of happiness. He was happy with anything he saw as though every normal object had something interesting according to his eyes.
Fangzheng looked at Letian and fell into thought.
At that moment, Red Boy came out and saw Perfected Letian. He scoffed, “Where did this CowSnout1come from?”
Letian was taken aback as Fangzheng was stunned. He hurriedly said, “Jingxin, do not be rude. Come here and apologize!”
Red Boy was extremely unwilling as he fidgeted, not feeling like apologizing at all. Perfected Letian laughed out in response, “Venerable One, there’s no need to blame him. This Penniless Priest is really a Cow Snout. This little guy is speaking the truth. Since it’s not a lie, he isn’t to be blamed. Little guy, your getup is quite interesting. What’s your name?”
Fangzheng was surprised. He felt that the Daoist was very different the more he looked at him. Especially when he said: ‘since it’s not a lie, he isn’t to be blamed.’ If what one said came right from the heart and was the truth It appeared like there was indeed something blameless about that. However, this was ultimately still an insult. Was he not to pursue it? Fangzheng was a little puzzled about this apparent paradox.