However, Fangzheng still asked the System first, "How about it?"
"Labor in exchange for remuneration. Reasonable."
Hence, Fangzheng, who was in the terminal stages of sloth, nodded and said, "Yes."
"Bucket. Bucket. Bucket. Master, where's the bucket? I want a big one!" Fatty was overjoyed at the answer. It didn't matter if he was hungry. All he wanted now was to drink that water!
Fangzheng took out the large buckets he used to fetch water from the kitchen. The metallic buckets were 1.2 meters tall and half a meter wide as they stood in front of Fatty.
Fatty, who was shouting euphorically a moment ago, was immediately dumbfounded. He pointed at the water bucket and asked, "Master, did you take out the wrong ones? Are you sure these aren't your house's water vats?"
Fangzheng pointed to the massive water vat in the kitchen and asked, "That is a water vat. Do you want to have a go at it?"
Fatty glanced at the water vat and immediately, his face turned wry. He cursed inwardly, "Holy sh*t! Is that a water vat? That's your house's water vat? That's a reservoir, alright? Even a fat guy like me can swim in it!"
Fangzheng naturally understood Fatty's hardship, but he continued being crafty. He added, "This bucket is already my biggest one. If you find it too small, you can try carrying the water vat down."
"No, no. It's not small at all!" Fatty immediately shouted. Then, he attempted to carry the water bucket. It was made of metal and wasn't too heavy, but neither was it too light. It was still possible to carry it alone now, however, if it were filled with water...Fatty's expression immediately sank. He stole a glance at Monkey, who had his hands in his pockets. Monkey was looking into the sky, whistling, pretending like he had not seen a thing or that this matter had nothing to do with him.
Fatty went forward and kicked Monkey's buttocks as he said, "Do you still want to drink the water? If you want to, get working. If not, don't you even think of drinking any of the water I fetch!"
At that moment, Monkey said, "Master, I wonder how much water needs to be fetched before we are allowed to drink it?"
Fangzheng pointed at the Buddha Vat and said, "Fill it up and you can have your fill."
The five looked over and into the vat. Immediately, they were dumbfounded. The water vat looked huge to begin with, but it was even bigger when looking inside.
Monkey gulped a mouthful of saliva, "How many buckets will it take to fill this?"
Fangzheng said, "About ten buckets would do."
"Master, how did you manage to fetch the water up?" Fatty was insistent on finding a shortcut. He did not believe that a weak-looking monk could carry the water up the mountain. As for the wolf, although it was physically strong, it was a wolf after all and not an ox or horse. Its hips were naturally soft, so it definitely lacked the strength to fill the water vat completely all by itself.
Fangzheng said, "Manually, how else?"
"You? Alone?" Everyone was astonished.
Fangzheng nodded and said, "Also, Lone Wolf would sometimes help me a little."
The group remained dumbfounded when they thought of such large buckets being carried by such a frail monk. From looking at each individual thing, they both seemed rather normal. However, when placed together, it seemed rather discordant.
"Patrons, do you still want to fetch the water? If so, it's best you do so early. It's not easy climbing up and down the mountain," said Fangzheng.
"How about it?" Fatty asked Monkey, "Are we doing it or not?"
"Yes," said Monkey through gritted teeth, "You carry the large one, and I'll carry the small one!"
"Darn you, we carry the large one together! It's already tiring to climb up and down the mountain. We should do a large one each trip. How about it?" admonished Fatty in a teasing tone.
Monkey felt hesitant, but when he saw Lu Xiaoya's hopeful eyes, he obviously could not let her down. Hence, he agreed, and they even decided not to fetch the water by teaming up. Instead, they carried a large bucket each down the mountain.
When Jiang Ting, Lu Xiaoya, and Ruan Ying saw this, they also each carried all kinds of small basins down. Lu Xiaoya chuckled and only carried a water cup, though.
On noticing this, Fangzheng was rendered speechless. Indeed, some people were extremely crafty.
Fangzheng did not care how long they would take on their trip back. His rice was still cooking. Simmering rice in a large pot over a slow fire took a long time. Furthermore, Fangzheng was good at it. He knew when to use a strong or weak fire. Only by alternating the strength of the fire would the best rice be produced. This was a skill he had learned from One Finger. As they were poor, One Finger had no means of producing a sumptuous meal to satisfy the voracious Fangzheng. Therefore, he had mastered pretty impressive culinary skills.
Of course, it was only evident from a few simple dishes like rice and vegetables. As for the rest, even if he wanted to experiment, he was unable to afford the ingredients to do so.
Fangzheng adjusted the fire to be a bit weaker before going up to the bodhi tree in the courtyard and beginning reading a Buddhist scripture quietly.
The Buddhist scripture he had wasn't complete. Fangzheng didn't even know what the complete version was called. As the book had parts of it missing from a long time ago, he could not make heads or tails out of it. However, the passages in it were rather pleasant to the ears when he recited it in his morning classes. Furthermore, he indeed felt his mind turn tranquil and body turn comfortable when he recited it.
In addition to him having nothing to do, he decided to read the books again to review what he had learned for new insights.
Down the mountain, Fatty, Monkey, and company finally came to the mountain spring's location. Fatty suddenly smacked his head as he exclaimed, "Hey, are we dumb or what? That monk's water was taken from here, so why would we need his water for? There's tons of it here. All we need to do is lie here and drink as much as we want! Why would we even need to fetch the water!?"
Monkey and company immediately came to a realization, "That's right! Why would we need to carry any water? What's the point in tiring ourselves out? We can just drink from the source!"
Therefore, the five charged towards the spring water in cheers. They ignored their water buckets and rushed forward like free horses that had escaped their reins.
Fatty was laughing out loud as he said, "Monkey, what if we were to use this to produce mineral water for sale? Would it sell well?"
"Definitely!" Monkey's eyes lit up.
"Let's go back and pool some money to do it! We are going to strike it rich. Haha, that darn monk, he doesn't even know how to make use of a treasure. He deserves being poor! He doesn't even want to give me a bowl for a thousand bucks. Now, I'll be able to drink my fill without giving him a single cent. When I gain the exclusive rights to this spring water, I'll make him spend money to drink it, a thousand bucks a bowl!"
"Fatty, don't be so evil. I think fifteen hundred would be perfect," said Monkey with a laugh.
The duo was immediately amused. The three girls laughed as well. Jiang Ting said, "That master really is a little detestable."
Lu Xiaoya said with a cackling laugh, "However, his brain isn't sharp. To think he told us the location of this treasure land. We are going to strike it rich, while he's going to be poor."
The group laughed once again as they ran to the side of the spring water. They all had basins or cups. Fatty directly leaned in front of the spring source and leaned his head in to drink from it. Monkey squatted there and scooped up water with both his hands, and-
Seconds later, all their smiles froze.
Then, they stood up spontaneously and began spitting.
"What is going on? Why is this water so nasty?" Fatty roared the most ferociously.
"Fatty, don't speak nonsense. It's not as bad as you describe it to be. It's much better than the mineral water we drink usually. However, compared to the master's water, the difference is like night and day," Jiang Ting said bitterly.
"Damn it, to think we said he was dumb. Now from the looks of it, he's not dumb at all! He informed us of a place he does not draw his water from," Lu Xiaoya lamented.
Ruan Ying said, "Then, what are we to do? Are we still fetching the water?"
"Since we are already here, I won't be able to accept it if I do not drink another bit of that water! And when we go up, we have to ask the monk about the water. Why is it so tasty? There has to be something amiss in this matter. If he could fetch the water himself, there would be no need for us to fetch the water at this darn spring," Fatty said indignantly.