With that said, Fangzheng left quickly. Red Boy was stunned. What was the meaning of this? Following that a scented gust of wind blew over. Yao Yuxin sat in front of him and said with great solemnity, “Little guy, you actually gave your master a lesson? Why? Have you secretly drunk before? I’m telling you. Children %$#$&”
Red Boy was immediately left too deep for tears. He immediately leaped up and exclaimed, “Amitabha. Female Patron, I need to relieve myself too. Master, wait for me!”
Red Boy scampered off to chase up to Fangzheng.
At the latrine, Red Boy said with sorrow, “Master, you have betrayed me every time. How can you be this disloyal?”
“We are master and disciple. When a master is in danger, a disciple naturally has to help in warding off the danger. Besides, you are a demon king, and you are now the Child of Wealth. You are a deity! This Penniless Monk is only an ordinary monk. If anything happens, you should bear the brunt of it.”
“But you are the senior!”
“Your age is enough to be This Penniless Monk’s ancestor. This Penniless Monk cannot be your senior.”
“But your generation status is higher!”
“That’s why, as someone with a lower generation status, you ought to help your master ward off any calamities.”
Red Boy: “”
After some banter, the two returned to their table. Everyone was waiting for Fangzheng. They had specially prepared vegetarian meals for him, and he drank water instead of wine. Everyone toasted each other and after some drinking, people began to open up. However, what left Fangzheng surprised was that the loquacious Yao Yuxin did not say a word. She was silently eating, drinking, drinking, drinking
As everyone chatted, they began to notice something amiss. Sis Liu began to stop Yao Yuxin from drinking.
Yao Yuxin looked at Sis Liu with her eyes in a haze. She chuckled foolishly, “Sis, tell me, what is the point of life? I once had a dream of becoming a teacher with numerous pupils. I have worked hard and diligently but in the end, I didn’t get to take one final look at the granny who loved me the most. Sob. Tell me, what was I doing? Sob I let down my granny. I should have accompanied her all the time. Sob”
Yao Yuxin turned more upset the more she cried. Her tears flowed incessantly.
Sis Liu was not someone who was good with words. All she could do was pat Yao Yuxin on the back as she said with a soothing voice, “Alright. Let it out. You will feel better once you let it out. You have already done enough.”
Yao Yuxin continued crying.
Fangzheng was helpless regarding this matter. Pull her into a dream? Clearly, Yao Yuxin was not a weak person. She was taking action to mend the wound in her heart. She had been engaging in self-therapy and was only having an outburst of emotions. Her heart was fine and, in fact, it was filled with radiance and hope. Pulling such a person in a dream was unnecessary and of not much use.
Yao Yuxin fell asleep after crying nonstop. She was indeed tired out after the day. Sis Liu brought her back to her room for rest.
After Yao Yuxin left, the mood turned warm again. After some chatter, He Ming announced, “Everyone, I would like to take this opportunity to tell everyone something that has been on my mind.”
“Team Leader, what is it? Are you going to start a family? Did Sis Liu catch your eye?” joked someone.
He Ming quickly gestured for them to hush, as though he was afraid that Sis Liu would hear it. He then glared fiercely at the person. Clearly, he did fancy Sis Liu
“Alright, don’t speak nonsense. Liu Yuan graduated from a famous university after all. She wouldn’t fancy a bumpkin like me. It’s fine if you poke fun at me, but you cannot tarnish her innocence!”
“You haven’t even courted her and you are already thinking about protecting her. Team Leader He, I think you have fallen deep,” Ma Haomiao had drank a little too much. His face was flushed, and he spoke more than usual. He was a lot more active as he began teasing He Ming.
“Go and drink your wine elsewhere! You and your nonsense.”
Village Chief Lei said, “Team Leader He, if it’s not this, what do you plan on talking about?”
“The matter I want to talk about is something serious.” When He Ming said that, he stood straight up and enunciated his words one by one, “As everyone knows, I was always busy with matters in the past. I couldn’t come with everyone. After coming this time, something happened that touched me greatly. Firstly, the stairway to heaven is problematic. If we do not think of a solution, it will take the life of someone. It has taken the life of someone before and it will continue doing so in the future! Secondly, the school has no teacher”
Upon hearing He Ming speak about serious matters, everyone stopped teasing him as their expressions turned serious.
A middle-aged man took off his spectacles and wiped them, “The wooden stairway to heaven definitely won’t do. I can get some metal to get someone to make metal stairs. But even metal stairs are not safe. Someone has to fence it up. However, no one in Back Leg Mountain has the ability to fence up the stairs.”
Village Chief Lei said, “If it’s not difficult, I can give it a try.”
“Old Lei, I know your situation very well. You injured your leg several years ago. It hurts when you walk too much. When you joined us this time, I could see your leg shaking. You are already suffering, so I don’t think you can do the fencing,” said He Ming.
Village Chief Lei fell silent. He was still young and able but if not for the ailment that plagued him, he would have long left the village for better paying work. Who would wish to be trapped in a godforsaken place their entire life?
The bespectacled man said, “That’s why this problem is difficult to resolve. Among the volunteers I know, there might be some who know. However, the maintenance of the stairway to heaven would require daily inspections. The person would need to stay here for a prolonged period of time.”
Everyone fell silent once again. The ones with some ideas no longer spoke. Coming once a week was the limit for many of them. If they were to stay for a prolonged period of time, not only would their families disagree, even they themselves might not be able to withstand the hardship.
When He Ming saw this, he chuckled, “This is also something I wish to talk about. I have been thinking all day about it. I’m single and I’m neither close to my grandmother or father. I have no familial concerns and have no wife or children. That’s why, I have decided to stay behind and do the maintenance work. Years ago, I learned to do car repair. So I know stuff like electric soldering. Fixing the stairway to heaven shouldn’t be a problem.”
“Team Leader He, you want to stay behind?” exclaimed everyone.
Village Chief Lei was taken aback as well as he exclaimed, “Team Leader He, what What do you want to do?”
He Ming smiled. “Alright, there’s no need for you guys to continue. I have already decided. It’s settled. Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll send everyone back. I’ll pack my things and handle my family matters. Following that, I’ll come with the water-delivery team the following day.”
Everyone exchanged looks, lost as to what to say. Everyone was a volunteer and felt that they might as well help if they were capable of doing so. They were just offering some of their good intentions and labor. But no one had thought of fully dedicating themselves to it.
“Team Leader He, I wasn’t very convinced about you in the past. I always wondered what gave you the right to be team leader and that we had to follow you. But now, I’m convinced! Don’t worry. Leave the problem with the stairway to heaven to me. I’ll sponsor it fully!” the middle-aged man smacked himself in the chest as he raised his wine cup, “Let me toast you!”
Everyone raised their cups as Fangzheng drank water in place of alcohol.