Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
After waiting for three more minutes, Song Keling finally saw Fangzheng hand her her phone back. Just as she was about to say something, Fangzheng said, “Patron—”
“Venerable One, stop!” Song Keling was truly afraid of the talkative monk as she quickly stopped him.
However Fangzheng looked like he was not done, and he opened his mouth again. Song Keling hurriedly yelled, “Don’t speak!”
Then Song Keling typed: “Venerable One, CEO Liu is waiting. Let’s talk in the car.”
Fangzheng wished to take the cell phone, but Song Keling refused to give it to him. This darn baldy was too slow at typing! Therefore Song Keling typed: “Venerable One, go ahead and speak.” While doing so, Song Keling opened up a gap from Fangzheng.
Fangzheng said with a bitter smile, “This Penniless Monk’s ears aren’t buzzing anymore. This Penniless Monk wishes to say that your colleague seems to be ill. He’s sprawled on the ground.”
Song Keling was taken aback as she turned to look back. She saw Xu Yin lying on the ground motionlessly. His eyes were almost rolled back.
Shocked, Song Keling ran over quickly and yelled, “Someone, help! Xu Yin has fainted from a heatstroke!”
The driver quickly came out while Fangzheng went over to help. The few of them carried Xu Yin into the car, laid him flat, cranked up the aircon, and fed him water. It took some time before Xu Yin opened his eyes. He asked groggily, “Are we home yet?”
“What did you say? We haven’t set off yet,” the driver said.
Xu Yin nearly blacked out when he heard that. They still weren’t home? He did not wish to wear such clothes ever again. They could kill! He fainted right there and then when he happened to see Fangzheng lean in as though he was about to say something.
Fangzheng looked innocently at Song Keling, but she wore a bitter expression. “Driver, start the engine.”
The car set off and midway the trip, Xu Yin sat back up. However he refused to exchange a word with Fangzheng. Fangzheng looked innocently at Song Keling, who also felt somewhat helpless. As such she said, “The venerable one’s ears were ringing when he got off the train, so he became a little hard of hearing. But he’s fine now. Venerable One, from the way you were typing just now, you don’t seem to use cell phones much.”
Fangzheng smiled genially. “That’s right. This Penniless Monk seldom uses a cell phone. The smartphones these days are too smart. This Penniless Monk doesn’t know how to use them.”
“Is that so? Venerable One, what brand is yours? Let me take a look,” said Song Keling.
When that was said, the mood in the car seemed to instantly tense up. Xu Yin and Song Keling were clearly a little nervous, but that only lasted an instant. Following their moment of nervousness, they became a lot more natural. If one didn’t pay attention, there would be no way of telling their distress. However Fangzheng saw it clearly. He lowered his head and smiled.
Fangzheng said, “Of course, have a look.”
With that said, Fangzheng handed his cell phone to Song Keling. She immediately smiled when she took it. Fangzheng smiled back, but both of them were smiling for different reasons.
Song Keling played with Fangzheng’s cell phone after taking it over, but she didn’t mention anything about returning it to him.
After confirming that Fangzheng would not shout wantonly, Xu Yin began chatting with Fangzheng. He basically questioned Fangzheng about his recent situation, which monastery he hailed from, and what family he had. Fangzheng did not need to lie about this, so he generously offered answers.
When Xu Yin matched Fangzheng’s replies to the information which Liu Dacheng had provided, he knew Fangzheng was not lying. Simultaneously, he also felt a little more confident about handling Fangzheng.
Xu Yin smiled. “Venerable One, how many monks does your monastery have?”
Fangzheng smiled. “One Finger Monastery is a small monastery. Apart from This Penniless Monk, there’s also a monkey, a squirrel, a wolf, stuff like that.”
He had no idea how to describe Red Boy. He couldn’t call him human or Buddha, since he was a demon. If he called him a demon, that was a problem as he was in the form of a child. Not saying that he was human would be an insult towards him, but from Red Boy’s point of view, describing him as a human would be an insult too! Humans to him were on the same level as poultry was to humans. Therefore Fangzheng simply used ‘stuff like that’ to describe him. He couldn’t be bothered explaining.
Xu Yin and Song Keling exchanged looks when they heard that. They rejoiced while secretly heaving a sigh of relief. It was best that he had no family. They simply ignored the few animals.
It was unknown if it was a coincidence or not. The car arrived at their destination after Xu Yin was done with his questioning.
Only then did Fangzheng realize that they were in the outskirts of the city. There were villages lining the sides, and all the buildings had three or four storeys. They were all large with two to three meter compound walls that made them resemble castles.
“Venerable One, this is a temporary dormitory. The one we used to stay in is old and has been demolished. CEO Liu mentioned that he wants to build a luxurious district in the same spot, so we will make do and stay here for now. Once the district is built, everyone will be able to buy a house they can call their own at a very low price. This is also one of our employee perks,” said Song Keling immediately when she noticed Fangzheng looking suspicious.
Xu Yin added something too. “That’s right. Our company is great. CEO Liu doesn’t have it easy either. In order to show his consideration for everyone’s feelings, he doesn’t go home himself. He lives and eats with us. He doesn’t put on any airs. With time, everyone here has become like family. There aren’t any rules.”
Fangzheng nodded. He simply treated their excuses as bullshit. However he still cooperated by smiling. “So that’s the reason.”
“Let’s go. We’ll put away your stuff and introduce you to everyone. Tomorrow, you can head to the company to take a look.” With that said, Xu Yin led Fangzheng into the compound. There was no other choice. It was just too hot, and he didn’t wish to faint from the heat again. He only wished to finish his mission and hand Fangzheng over to the others. He could then change into something more refreshing.
After entering the compound, Fangzheng saw a group of people enjoying the cool shade under the roof. There were both men and women. They were in groups playing cards. There were people by the side using newspapers as fans.
The moment they saw Fangzheng enter, they greeted him.
Fangzheng responded with smiles. All of them looked frail, which implied something. Food here was probably scarce and insufficient…
Xu Yin said, “These are our brothers and sisters. We are all one big family. You don’t have to stand on ceremony. Venerable One, why don’t you have a rest after your long trip?”
Fangzheng shook his head. “This Penniless Monk isn’t tired. Where’s Liu Dacheng?”
“CEO Liu? He’s out and hasn’t come back yet. Why don’t we play a few rounds of cards?” offered Xu Yin.
Fangzheng’s eyes lit up when he heard cards! The gambling from back then was still fresh on his mind. He never expected someone to play cards with him again. This was good! “I’m not very good at playing cards. There’s no money involved, right?”
“What’s there to be afraid of? We will bet small. Just treat it as a form of entertainment, not gambling. You won’t lose more than a hundred even if we play the entire day.”
“Aiyah, this Venerable One wants to play? Come join us!” shouted a man immediately. He slapped an unfolded piece of cardboard, indicating that Fangzheng could take a seat there.
Fangzheng looked over and apparently, everyone was sitting on unfolded cardboard or news papers. Compared to the thin newspapers, the cardboard was like receiving the treatment of a genuine leather sofa. Fangzheng did not stand on ceremony as he sat cross-legged. “This Penniless Monk isn’t very good at cards.”