Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
“System, can anyone give their blessings?” Fangzheng thought about it and recalled several scenes of monks blessing or augmenting things. Therefore he asked such a question inwardly.
“Of course not. To put it simply, blessings are a form of merit transference. With a lot of merit, things will be smooth. Without great merit, how is one to give their blessings to others? Besides, blessings have to be clean and pure, ones that wish for nothing in return. If you give blessings out of greed, it’s useless. Furthermore, this is something beyond divine powers. No one else in this world except for you is capable of doing so.”
Fangzheng frowned. “But some people do not think so.”
Fangzheng recalled that he had once asked Zen Master One Finger if blessings were a form of perpetuating superstitions, an act of cheats.
Zen Master One Finger had then replied with a shake of his head. “The Buddhist Dharma, the Daoist Spells, and divine powers actually exist, but also do not exist. It exists if you believe in it. For instance, giving blessings. If you believe in me, you will believe what I say. If I say you will be able to get through the difficulties you encounter, you will also have the tenacity to get through any difficulties when you really encounter them, because I said you could! You will have an unwavering belief! You will work hard and you give it your all. That way, nothing in this world can set you back. This is what divine powers, Buddhist Dharma, and Daoist Spells are about. On the contrary, if you don’t believe me, and you don’t trust what I have to say, I will be of no help when you encounter trouble. You will give up on yourself and failing to overcome the difficulty, you will feel miserable. So you will think I was cheating you, that it was useless, and that it was all superstition.”
With this in mind, Fangzheng said, “Mortals have their own divine powers…” Fangzheng repeated Zen Master One Finger’s words.
The System smiled and said, “That is a divine power in the true sense of the word. To cultivate such divine powers is a hundred or a thousand times more difficult than cultivating actual divine powers. To get people to believe you, you have to have what it takes to make them believe you. Becoming esteemed is not an easy thing to do.”
Fangzheng seemed to have learned something.
At that moment, Du Mei came over. When she saw the little guy’s smile, she said with a little jealousy, “This little guy likes you. Even I haven’t seen him smile.”
Fangzheng jolted back to his senses and smiled. “Perhaps we are fated.”
“Scram! What fate? There’s none!” Du Mei shouted immediately. To be fated with a monk? Wouldn’t that make her child become a monk too? No way in hell she would permit that!
Fangzheng was pushed out by Du Mei as he smiled wryly. What had he said wrong? Did being fated with him mean that the child had to become a monk?
Sigh… Don’t you know that being a monk these days is quite a good job?
Fangzheng shook his head when he heard shouts coming from nearby. He looked over and saw a large bunch of chefs in white being reprimanded. Du Mei said, “They are top chefs hired from the county city by Yang Hua. How is it? Isn’t it grand?”
Fangzheng nodded. “Yes.”
The moment he said that, he heard shouts from another end. Fangzheng looked over, and again, he saw a group of people in white shouting.
Du Mei explained. “That’s Old Li. The village usually gets him to help make the food whenever there’s a banquet. He is in charge of making the local specialties of our village. As for those chefs, they are responsible for making food we seldom ate in the past, things Old Li doesn’t know how to make. You can think of it as a division of responsibilities…”
“Why hire them when you are hiring chefs? Do the chefs not know how to make village specialties?” Red Boy asked perplexed.
“Village specialties are obviously better made by villagers,” said Du Mei matter-of-factly.
Red Boy remained puzzled when he left the yard.
Fangzheng stroked his head when he saw this. “This is a village custom and culture, a culture of relationships. Old Li is a famous chef in the area. He has never worked at a big restaurant, but he is in charge of making the food whenever there’s a banquet. His culinary skills are quite impressive. However those chefs would indeed likely be able to do the same. The reason why Old Li was hired is because of interpersonal relationships. In a village where we see each other all the time, aren’t you looking down on him if you do not hire him for the banquet you are holding? Even if he wouldn’t think so, there would be the feeling that someone is after his rice bowl. He might not say it out loud, but he would feel upset. It would strain ties as a result.”
“How troublesome. If this were where I come from, since I’m the employer, I have the final say. I hire whoever I want to hire. If you aren’t happy about it? I’ll beat you until you are happy.”
Fangzheng shook his head. “China is a society of interpersonal relationships. Relations are as important to us as the heavens. The benefit is that when someone is in trouble, there will always be someone to help you. During the festivities, your house will be bustling with activity and not silent and cold. With the lively festivities, everyone will be happy too.”
“Aren’t there disadvantages too?” asked Lone Wolf subconsciously. He did not trust interpersonal relationships, because he had once been chased out by those wolf bastards.
Squirrel immediately answered, “Of course! With so many people, how much will they be eating? If it were me… I definitely wouldn’t be willing to…”
Red Boy rolled his eyes. “Idiots. These people aren’t eating for nothing. They have to give gifts in return.”
“Oh, is that the case?” Squirrel calmed down a little.
At that moment, a man and woman walked over, clearly having a tiff. The woman’s face was ashen as she said angrily, “Chen Daming, I’m telling you. This is the last time! If this happens again in the future, we will be getting a divorce!”
“Enough, cut it out. Our relatives…” The man turned red in embarrassment.
“Screw relatives! What sort of relatives of these are yours? We have to give gifts when they have children. We have to give gifts when they get married. Same for the child’s one-month-anniversary, birthdays, first day of school, etc. Even the birthdays of the elderly require obligatory gifts! In the past, you said that it would be better once the children grow up. But in the end, the children end up getting married and have housewarmings at their new house. All of that needs gifts! Great, now even the birth of piglets by a sow needs obligatory gift-giving. Why? Will we need to give gifts when a hen lays an egg tomorrow too?” roared the woman angrily.
“Today’s different. Our cousin has a newborn, and it’s rare for him to be able to have one at his age,” said Chen Daming.
“That’s why I came today. I’m saying in the future! The future! I’m almost going mad. I really shouldn’t have married you. We have been married for twenty years, and we have to work hard earning money every year, but all it takes is a phone call from them, and we have to go. I can’t stand it!” the woman continued howling.
“Alright, alright. Cut it out. Do this back home,” said Chen Daming.
“Why? Are you afraid that it’ll be known by all? I’m not afraid! I’ve tolerated this for twenty years! I can’t take it any longer! Give me a reason! Give me a reason why I have to open my wallet for every trivial matter. Money I lent out for years has not returned. When I ask it back from you, you say we are relatives and we shouldn’t harp on such matters. But do others do the same to you in return? If relationships matter, why do they not repay you when they have the money to buy a house? I’m telling you that I’d rather not have such relatives,” continued the woman.
“Wang Yunfeng, alright. Enough! Can’t we take this back home?” Chen Daming lost his temper as well.
“You even dare shout at me?” Wang Yunfeng was infuriated now.
“Go by yourself!” After saying that, Wang Yunfeng turned and left.