Red Boy whispered, “I knew it! They have plenty of water but gave us that crappy water. Hmph, they really are assholes.”
“My dear disciple, they are completely unrelated to you. Giving you water to drink is an act of kindness. If they don’t give you any, it’s only normal. How can you be filled with so much disgruntlement?” berated Fangzheng softly.
Red Boy curled his lips in disapproval, “No, I’m dying of thirst. Since he’s not giving it to me, I’ll seek it out myself.” With that said, he turned around and ran towards the well room.
Fangzheng had been eavesdropping outside his host’s room, so it was not appropriate for him to raise his voice. He could only follow and attempt to stop Red Boy.
Red Boy ran quickly into the well room.
The well room was an independent room. Its walls were very thick, clearly to prevent the sun’s heat from entering to evaporate the water.
Fangzheng pushed open the door and entered to see Red Boy stand there in a daze.
Fangzheng traced Red Boy’s gaze and saw there was something special about the well room. It was empty in the middle, and the room’s roof was slanted. The water reservoir in the middle had a huge lid over it. The lid had already been pulled away, revealing the water beneath. To be precise, it was nothing but a muddy pond that was slightly moist!
Red Boy turned his head over and looked at Fangzheng perplexed, “Master, where did they hide the water?”
Fangzheng sighed, “It’s all here”
Upon seeing this, Fangzheng basically understood that the village was not simply low on water. It was severely lacking water! Their water mainly came from rain, but how often would such a godforsaken place have rain? It was clearly a problem. The room was used to gather water and store it.
There was a bag beside filled with disinfecting powder. The strange taste from before likely came from the powder.
Red Boy curled his mouth and fell silent. Their host did not have water but still offered him a huge bowl of water. He had spat it out and grumbled but now
Fangzheng patted Red Boy on the head and walked out the well room before returning to his room.
Not long later, Village Chief Lei invited them for dinner. Dinner consisted of potatoes and carrots. The dishes had the clear taste of disinfectant in them, and they tasted terrible. The rice was far inferior to One Finger Monastery’s Crystal Rice too. But, Fangzheng still ate two big bowls of it.
After returning to his room, Red Boy looked contemptuously at Fangzheng, “Aren’t you embarrassed eating so much when they are lacking water?”
Fangzheng smiled. “They were warmly entertaining us. If we did not eat at all, wouldn’t that imply that their food is unpalatable? That would be impolite.”
Red Boy turned his head away, “You always have your reasons.”
Just as the duo was about to continue bickering, they heard a commotion outside. Many people were laughing as though it was the new year festival. Village Chief Lei had rushed out with a beaming smile.
Fangzheng and Red Boy exchanged looks and followed behind immediately.
They saw two horse-drawn carriages by the village entrance. The carriages had many boxes on them, all covered by thick cloth. One of the carriages had the cloth pulled away, revealing mineral water.
A group of men and women dressed in much more gorgeous clothes were standing by the village entrance chatting happily with the villagers. A woman dressed in jeans and a huge scarf on her head was taking selfies with Erhu. Erhu had a nervous expression, but he smiled very happily. Clearly, a cell phone was something new to him, and he enjoyed taking photos.
A stocky man was wiping his sweat with a towel. When Village Chief Lei came over, they immediately gave each other a warm embrace and chatted amid laughs.
Fangzheng and Red Boy went over and when they saw Dachen, Fangzheng immediately inquired.
Dachen smiled. “These Uncles and Sisters brought us water. Heh heh, we can drink clean water again! Hahaha!”
Fangzheng was taken aback. He never expected that the joy that these villagers showcased in a festive mood was simply because they could drink clean water! Thinking back to his life and comparing himself to them, he was practically living on Mount Numinous in paradise. What could he possibly grumble about?
After a few more inquiries, Fangzheng learned that Daili Village had been suffering from a severe drought in recent years, with water turning more and more scarce. Due to the lack of water, the young adults would leave the village for work, leaving behind a ground of elders and children to survive the tough days. These elders had no ability to move or to make a living elsewhere. Furthermore, with their deep ties to the land, it was practically impossible for them to abandon their homeland for anywhere else.
Without water, people continued living arduously as they prayed that it would rain. It was still alright in the past but in recent years, the amount of rain decreased year by year. This year, there were even elders in the village who nearly died of thirst. Village Chief Lei sought help everywhere, and the government sent experts to seek for underground water in a bid to open up wells. However, the water table had already dried up, making it impossible to draw water from it. The government organized for people to bring water to them, but vehicles could not enter due to the mountain trails. They could only rely on horses and human strength. However, this was not a permanent solution. Therefore, he began seeking help from the public.
When the public learned of Daili Village’s situation, many kind-hearted organizations formed tiny teams. People would bring water to the village across mountains on horseback daily.
And this team was only one of the many teams. It was also the only team that had endured to this day. They had already been delivering water for half a year, sending a carriage of water every day or every other day. On weekends, they had enough manpower to send two carriages. They also gave sweets, bags, and new clothes to the children. It could be said that they were the guests most welcomed by the villagers as well as their best friends.
Upon seeing these people, Fangzheng turned solemn with respect. There were always people who did good out of their kind hearts, not for any gain or profit. They silently contributed, asking nothing in return. There were many such people in the world, but few would steal the headlines. But it was because of such people that the world became more beautiful.
However, Red Boy rolled his eyes, “Master, there are really a lot of fools in the world.”
Fangzheng smacked Red Boy in the head. Before he berated him, he heard a sharp yell, “Stop, how can you hit a child?”
As that was said, a woman dressed in a pink blouse and long earth-yellow pants ran over. She hugged Red Boy away as she glared at Fangzheng with eyes like lightbulbs. Fangzheng mused that if he found a switch, they would definitely be like eighty watt incandescent bulbs! Her eyes were really bright!
Her skin was slightly sallow. Despite being fatigued by the journey, she still appeared quite spirited. She was not very beautiful, but she was someone whose looks one would never get tired of.
When she roared, all the people by the carriages looked over. They were stunned to see a clean-looking monk in this village that was ravaged by yellow sand. He was too striking. The woman hugging Red Boy was looking at Fangzheng like she had seen a monster. The monk’s skin was even better than hers! At that instant, the woman immediately filled her mind with speculation. For a monk to be able to dress so cleanly and maintain his skin so well, he was definitely not a proper monk! He was definitely not an ascetic, one that was particular about things. He had even beaten a child and was rather fierce. Even if he was not a fake monk, he could not be anything better. At the very least, he was definitely not an esteemed monk who went through suffering!