Before Squirrel could express his cockiness, Lone Wolf placed about six leaves into the basket with his mouth. Then, he swept Squirrel with a provocative look.
Squirrel was just about to say something when Fangzheng carried a huge stack of leaves and placed them into the basket. Then, he turned to leave. He gave the two adorable but innocent creatures a look at the back of his smooth and shiny head.
After some rowdiness, Fangzheng tidied up the basket of Frost Bamboo leaves and returned to One Finger Monastery. On the way back, many visitors asked Fangzheng if he was planning to organize a Dharma Assembly the next day. They were a little disappointed when they heard he wasn’t, but they also heaved a sigh of relief. Clearly, not everyone liked Dharma Assemblies.
After returning to the monastery, Fangzheng secretly asked the System, “System, how much incense offerings do we have now?”
“The Frost Bamboo has shown its effects. It brought a large batch of visitors and tourists. They entered your monastery and yuan by yuan, you gathered a lot. However, the money is all in your Merit Box. Shouldn’t you take it out?”
Fangzheng immediately put down the basket and ran into the temple hall. He opened the Merit Box and indeed, there were stacks of cash in it. There were hundred yuan bills, fifties, and many five and ten yuan bills.
Fangzheng took all of them out and carried them to his room before throwing them on the bed. He let his emotions loose as he laughed! Although he had been in possession of even more money in the past, and the money he had now was only for him to admire, Fangzheng was still very happy! At least the money was now in his hands!
“Does it look good?” asked the System.
Fangzheng nodded, “Yeah.”
“Then continue looking at it.”
Fangzheng was taken aback as he returned with a question, “What do you mean?”
“That money will be given to me anyway. I don’t mind you taking some time to look at it. For you to ask me how much incense offerings you have earned, you probably want to buy something, right?” the System asked with a nefarious tone.
Fangzheng was immediately rendered speechless. He really wanted to beat the rotten System to death! However, Fangzheng still said bitterly, “Alright. You are the smart one. You are right. Give me some Crystal Rice. I’ll buy some since there’s not enough.
As Fangzheng planted the Crystal Rice seeds, his heart bled. All of that was money! Squirrel jumped onto Fangzheng’s shoulder and looked at the seeds that were buried in the earth. He asked out of curiosity, “Master, why did you prepare so much Crystal Rice? Don’t we still have some?”
“In the past, the villagers handed me dumplings. This year, I plan on giving them dumplings. Although there is a lot of Crystal Rice here, I’m not sure if there’s actually enough.”
“I see. Then will I still get to eat?” Squirrel fell into a little dilemma. His pettiness had reared its head again.
Fangzheng tugged at his tail, whispering, “Little guy, you were told to be more generous. Why do you keep being so calculative? Don’t worry. There will be enough for you.”
Squirrel was overjoyed as he shouted while jumping, “I will guard them here today!”
Fangzheng laughed and allowed him to go.
Soon, the sun set as the moon rose, before the reverse happened as well. A brand new day began when the rooster at the foot of the mountain crowed.
“Fourth Junior Brother, that rooster shouts every morning. What is he exactly shouting about?” Squirrel sprawled on a tree and asked Red Boy who was beneath the tree.
Red Boy shook his head, “Are you sure you want to know?”
“Of course. I’ve been wondering about it for a very long time,” Squirrel asked very innocently.
An idea seemed to come to Red Boy’s mind as he chuckled, “Let me tell you a joke. If you understand it, you will know what he’s crowing about.”
Squirrel immediately turned interested, “That’s good. That’s good. Quick, tell me!”
Red Boy chuckled and rubbed his tiny hands, “There was once a rooster with immense sex drive. Not a single hen in the same pen was spared. They suffered day and night until the hens turned ever listless, unable to even lay an egg. Therefore the owner cooped the rooster in a duck pen. In the end, none of the ducks escaped unscathed. They were always listless and never left their nests. Helplessly, the owner threw the rooster into the wilderness. One day, the owner saw the rooster lying on the ground, motionless. Most of its feathers had dropped. He could not help but go over and ask, ‘What’s up with you?’ The rooster replied, ‘Scram. That eagle is almost baited! After a few times, it has turned clever!'”
With that said, Red Boy chuckled and asked Squirrel, “Do you understand?”
Squirrel shook his head and said, “Junior Brother, what are you talking about?”
Red Boy rolled his eyes, “You dimwit.”
“Just tell me what he’s crowing about.” Squirrel really did not understand the parable.
Red Boy sighed, “Start the engines!”
Squirrel scratched his heads, “Does this mean he’s about to start doing work?”
Red Boy could not stand continuing the conversation any longer and went to sweep the temple hall.
Meanwhile Fangzheng had heard all of it. He secretly made the decision to make Red Boy stay away from his cell phone and the Internet! The darn kid did not learn anything good, but he was only increasing his repertoire of dirty jokes.
Fangzheng did not start cooking early in the morning. Instead, he took out the Frost Bamboo leaves that he had soaked the entire night. He wrapped the mature Crystal Rice and then stuffed some bamboo shoots in. He folded them into a tetrahedron before he tied them up tightly with strands torn from Frost Bamboo leaves. Bamboo shoot-flavored dumplings were wrapped and placed into a huge pot.
Fangzheng did not have a stack for steaming. All he could do was split the bamboo and place it in a metal pot as support. It was barely usable.
After lighting a fire, the Frost Bamboo’s fragrance and the Crystal Rice’s sweetness filled the monastery due to the steaming. Thankfully, no one went up the mountain early in the morning.
At half past seven, Fangzheng had finished steaming two full pots of dumplings. He threw one at Monkey, Lone Wolf, Red Boy, and Squirrel.
As for Fangzheng, he sat in the yard. He took out a cold dumpling from a water bottle that had been chilled with Unrooted Clean Aqua. The dumplings was different from the ones he had eaten in the past. In the past, he had eaten ones with reed leaves but now it was with Frost Bamboo leaves. After being steamed at high temperatures, the Frost Bamboo leaves not only did not change color, they had become even greener. They had a crystalline look to them, making them look like emerald! Under the sky’s illumination, it appeared very beautiful.
“This isn’t a dumpling. It’s clearly a work of art!” Fangzheng could not help but sigh. However, his stomach was most important. He would eat any artwork once he was hungry!
After unwrapping the Frost Bamboo leaves, a crystalline clump of Crystal Rice was revealed. As he sniffed in the alluring fragrance, Fangzheng took a gentle bite and felt the dumpling’s fleshy and smooth texture. It tasted excellent!
Cooked Crystal Rice appeared grain by grain. The exterior was wrapped in a smooth bran layer and after biting into it, the starchy flesh within was squeezed out, making it taste extremely savory in the mouth. Now that it was placed inside the leaves, the Crystal Rice expanded under high temperatures but due to the limited space, it squeezed through its bran. The starchy Crystal Rice flesh escaped as it turned into a sticky mush, exuding all the fragrance within! Yet, it was all retained by the Frost Bamboo leaves. At the instant everything was released, Fangzheng ate and sniffed at it, feeling extremely delighted.