Sis Liu’s heart felt heavy. She was unsure how to answer the children. She could only stroke the two children’s heads, “Good children. Good children”
Upon seeing this scene, Red Boy stood straight up and came in front of Fangzheng. He wiped his nose as his eyes turned a little red. He said somewhat unhappily, “Master, when can we return? These peopke are a bunch of idiots. They keep making me want to cry.”
Fangzheng chuckled, “Jingxin, a monk doesn’t lie. What do you want to do?”
“Master, I think I recalled how to Call the Wind and Summon the Rain,” said Red Boy with his face flushed red. He usually thought very lowly of mortals, thinking he was high above them. Even though he had been repressed by Fangzheng numerous times, he did not change his true nature. When he saw someone in trouble, he felt that it was the result of being too weak. Just like Mt. One Finger’s drought, he did not feel that he had the obligation to help anyone. Instead, he tried to reap benefits for himself by taking advantage of the troubled situation.
Fangzheng smiled immediately when he heard that. He patted Red Boy on the head, “In that case, go on.”
Red Boy felt Dharmic powers surge in him and instantly, he smiled.
“Alright. Don’t be too smug about it. Go do whatever you need to do in a place without people.”
“Don’t worry, Master.” After Red Boy said that, he ran off. It was unknown what he did, but a huge gale the likes of which had not been seen in a long time soon blew in the sky. The gale was a little moist and cool.
Village Chief Lei looked up into the sky, “This wind Is it going to rain?”
“It hasn’t rained in ages. Are the Heavens showing mercy on us?” a villager mumbled.
Dachen tiptoed as he looked far into the distance, hoping to see a cloud. After what felt like hours, a dark cloud floated over.
“There’s a cloud! A cloud! Village Chief, there’s a cloud! Teacher, there’s a cloud!” Dachen shouted in excitement as he pointed into the distance.
Village Chief Lei grinned from ear to ear as he smacked Dachen in the back of his head. He jokingly said, “Damn rascal, it’s not like I’m blind. I see the cloud. It’s such a huge cloud.”
“Is it going to rain? That’s not right. It’s not the raining season yet,” mumbled someone.
“Who cares if it’s the raining season or not. It’s a good thing if it rains.”
The huge group of people did not do a thing, be they the elderly or children, teacher or student, village chief or villager. All of them stretched out their necks as they looked into the distance. There was even someone who climbed onto a roof, as though he hoped to be the first to touch the cloud.
Fangzheng smiled when he saw this, “Red Boy indeed has potent divine powers. He is able to gather a rain cloud over.”
However, Red Boy came over looking awkward at that moment.
“Why are you back? Is your Call the Wind and Summon the Rain automatic?”
Red Boy said wryly, “Master, it came floating over without me casting the spell. It has nothing to do with me.”
Fangzheng was taken aback as he looked at the dark cloud in the distance. He got up, pressed his palms together, and silently said, “Amitabha. Buddha has blessed the common people.”
Not long after the dark cloud floated over, there was rumbling thunder. Soon, large droplets of rain pelted down! At that instant, all the villagers and volunteers danced in excitement. No one hid in their homes. All of them came out to jump and skip around. It was as though it was not a thunderstorm but a joyous banquet!
Of course, the elders did not have the energy to act that way. They quickly ran back to get all sorts of containers to collect the water!
The huge downpour lasted for two hours before it ended. When the rain cloud floated away, the villagers looked longingly at the departing cloud. They wished that the rain would continue.
On the way back, Village Chief Lei sighed, “Sigh. Teacher Sun is getting older. She will be leaving next month. The new teacher hasn’t been decided yet. It’s bad for the children.”
When He Ming heard that, he furrowed his brows tightly, “Is there no other teacher?”
“Our poor village is remote. It’s still possible for outsiders to stay here a few days. But who would wish to stay here for long?” said Village Chief Lei helplessly.
He Ming nodded and did not continue.
Fangzheng also fell into thought. Although there was a school, what use was it if there was no teacher?
At noon, He Ming, Yao Yuxin, and company ate lunch at Village Chief Lei’s home. Two large tables were set up as everyone took their seats. The dishes served were some of the locally-sourced vegetables. There was no fish or meat, but there was quite a variety of vegetables. It was quite a sumptuous-looking meal.
At that moment, Village Chief Lei walked in from outside. He carried a mud-sealed alcohol jar. He chuckled and said, “Everyone, your luck is not bad. That stubborn old guy in the village has finally thought things through. He has offered this exquisite wine he has been stashing for a long time. It has been aged for ten years. Haha!” As he spoke, Village Chief Lei placed the wine on the table and tore open the mud seal. Immediately the fragrance of alcohol spread.
When He Ming took a whiff, he exclaimed, “This smells great! Haha! We are really in for a feast!”
Yao Yuxin came over and took a whiff as well. She said with eyes narrowed, “It’s really good wine. I must have a big bowl of it!”
“You drink too?” Ma Haomiao was surprised.
“I recently began. Why? Can’t I?”
Ma Haomiao laughed dryly and did not dare retort.
Fangzheng was also very curious when he caught a whiff of the smell. He was naturally no stranger to alcohol. There were quite a number of alcoholics in One Finger Village such as Tan Juguo, Wang Yougui, Yang Hua, Dog Song, and company. It could be said that northeastern men felt proud of their drinking and their alcohol tolerance. Some families even gave alcohol to their children from a young age. After the children grew up, all of them would be little drunkards. However, things had turned strict in the past two years. After all, drinking at a young age was harmful. It was even speculated to affect one’s mental growth.
In an era where studying was of utmost importance, the villagers had no choice but to change their habits.
Fangzheng was no stranger to alcohol, but at the same time he was not personally familiar with it since he had never drunk before. Although he was a naughty boy in his youth, he never touched pungent things like alcohol. Now that he caught a whiff of the alcohol fragrance, he was a little curious. What was different about a wine that had been aged for ten years?
Red Boy stretched his neck and looked in the direction as though he was soon becoming a giraffe.
Fangzheng smacked him, “Forget it. You are not to mess around.”
Red Boy curled his lips and said bitterly, “Can’t I even take a look?”
Fangzheng asked out of curiosity, “Do you know how to drink?”
“What do you mean know? Thinking back to those days, I was Boy Sage King. What good wine had I not tasted? I have even drunk ambrosia from the heavens,” said Red Boy smugly.
Fangzheng nodded, “That’s right. Since you have drunk before, it’s not a loss if you abstain from drinking.”
“Can I really not drink? Master, you have never drunk. Alcohol is good stuff-”
Before Red Boy finished his sentence, Fangzheng suddenly stood up,
“This Penniless Monk needs to relieve himself. My dear disciple, stay here obediently.”