Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
“Master, you were bitten by a snake. We still aren’t sure if the venom has been completely purged. I think it’s best we go to one of the big hospitals for a check-up. I won’t be able to feel at peace otherwise,” said Guan Xiangfeng.
Qiu Xiaoye voiced her agreement. “Master, I agree with Guan Xiangfeng. Besides, you fractured your leg too. You really should pay the hospital a visit.”
“Alright, there’s no need for the two of you to continue. I am aware of my leg’s situation. As for the venom, I trust that Daoist. Besides, I enjoy the feeling this village gives me. Its peaceful and tranquil. If I went to a hospital now, there’d so many troublesome matters. Anyway, if you will be staying here, remember to pay our hosts for your board and lodging. We cannot be scornful freeloaders,” said Jiang Zhou.
“Aiyah, Master. Look at what you are saying. Are we that kind of people?” said Qiu Xiaoye with a bitter smile.
Guan Xiangfeng said, “That’s right. Master, don’t worry. We won’t be freeloaders.”
“Alright, take your leave. I need some rest.” Jiang Zhou began to chase them out.
Guan Xiangfeng, Qiu Xiaoye, and Fan Qing left the room.
“Wow, this village really is nice. The air is fresh, and look at the distant mountains. Don’t they look unique? Fan Qing, you must have had quite a great time, right?” Guan Xiangfeng stretched his back and pointed at the distant Tongtian mountain range.
“Great time? Great time my *ss. We nearly died in the mountains. Alright, let’s cut the chatter. I need to prepare the hot water to soak Master’s feet.” With that said, Fan Qing left.
“Bootlicker! Tch.” Guan Xiangfeng looked at Fan Qing’s back and cursed softly.
“At least he knows how to bootlick. He even managed to bootlick himself into becoming Master’s personal disciple,” said Qiu Xiaoye with a little jealousy.
“Let’s not talk about this. It’s frustrating. Let’s walk around.” Guan Xiangfeng headed out of the house after saying so.
Qiu Xiaoye thought about it and shook her head. “Forget it. Master is still unwell and requires care. Fan Qing is clumsy, so he won’t do. You go alone.”
“Up to you.” Guan Xiangfeng waved his hand and went out into the yard.
Guan Xiangfeng was very displeased. He believed that he was the bookworm Fan Qing’s equal in every way. However, Jiang Zhou had only taken Fan Qing as his personal disciple, and he taught Fan Qing his various skills step by step. This was not the first time he was bringing Fan Qing into the mountains to choose materials; yet, Guan Xiangfeng had never been brought on such trips.
“F**k. Is that weakling any good? He’s not rich and has nothing to offer. He’s useless!” Guan Xiangfeng grumbled and cursed inwardly.
At that moment, there was the sound of an electric saw from afar. He then heard someone scold angrily. “Dog Song, you good-for-nothing! I got you to slowly buff apart the bamboo, but you actually want to use an electric saw!? Scram!” The voice was as loud and bright as a bell.
Following that, there was an aggrieved voice. “You only said to break it, not buff it apart…”
“You are even talking back? Are you still interested in learning? If not, scram!” The loud voice sounded again.
Guan Xiangfeng was curious as he went over.
Walls of northeastern families were typically not very tall. Guan Xiangfeng could see into the yard from the streets. He saw the villagers sitting in the yard with segments of bamboo in their hands. They were using engraving knives to carve pictures on the bamboo. By the side, an elder was chasing after a man with a stick. As everyone watched, they cheered and jeered. Some even shouted for the man in the baseball cap to run faster…
“Shut up! Whoever makes a fuss again will be sent home!” The elder was infuriated. His angry bellow made everyone shut up.
Guan Xiangfeng was intrigued seeing this. He leaned over the wall and watched from afar.
Dog Song had been grabbed by the elder. The elder raised his hand and smacked down twice on his ass, causing Dog Song to cry. “Ouch! Lame Ma, that’s too much… Ouch… It hurts!”
Although Lame Ma was called lame, he actually wasn’t. He was just used to pausing midstep, making it seem like there was something wrong with his legs. This had given him his nickname.
Lame Ma glared at Dog Song and said, “Dog Song, scram aside. If you continue your bullsh*t, I’ll break your legs. Don’t even think about learning from me in the future.”
Dog Song immediately acted obediently. What was the most valuable thing in the village at present? Of course it was the bamboo!
Although it was nice to engage in rural tourism by relying on the bamboo, Mt. One Finger was still not famous enough. The people who came were mostly regulars from the county city. Very few people came from Black Mountain City, and if every family in the village engaged in rural tourism, there would not be much to earn when everyone was providing the same services. Instead, it was Lame Ma’s listing of some bamboo mats and other intricate bamboo products that sold well.
Therefore, everyone rushed over to learn his skills. Money was money after all. They would definitely profit from learning these skills.
Lame Ma did not keep his skills a secret. He was a bachelor without a wife or children. All his skills could not be brought with him in death. Besides, he had no grand wishes for wealth. All he wanted was a little money to pass his days comfortably. Of course, the villagers paid their dues. Although Lame Ma did not accept money, he did accept timber, rice, oil, and salt. Good meat and alcohol were welcomed too. Like this he had no need to worry about his meals.
The village had also hired some carving masters other than Lame Ma. Unfortunately, these people cherished their craft and were unwilling to teach it to anyone. Therefore even though Lame Ma’s skills weren’t the best, he became the only venue for people who wanted to study bamboo crafting skills. Lame Ma’s standing in the village also rose as a result of his craft. He was treated to drinks wherever he went, so he led quite comfortable days.
After settling Dog Song, Lame Ma took out a bamboo tube. “Alright, I’ll broaden your horizons today. Today, I’ll carve a bamboo tube in front of everyone. When it comes to engraving, I might know a little, but bamboo isn’t something we had in the past. I only figured it out through trial and error, so don’t count on me to give you a detailed lesson. I can only demonstrate it to you. How much you learn will depend on your own perceptivity.”
“Lame Ma, don’t say that. It’s already good that you are teaching all of us. We aren’t picky with food. Besides, two heads are better than one. Those engraving masters often keep their skills privy. Let’s gather together and study it. Perhaps, our skills will end up exceeding theirs.”
“That’s right. There is strength in numbers. That’s what we call having collective wisdom and efforts!”
“That’s right, that’s right…”
Everyone echoed him.
Lame Ma nodded and began carving. As he did so, he said, “In fact, carving Frost Bamboo is very simple. It’s actually even easier than carving ordinary wood. Go up the mountain and cut off a fresh piece of bamboo. Then, use a sharp point to carve out what you want. The rest is all a matter of patience. Carve it slowly, even if it takes time and patience. Don’t be a in a hurry, and just take your time…”
When that was said, there was a sudden scoffing laughter.
Although no words were said, the mockery in the laughter was evident. Lame Ma and everyone immediately turned displeased. Lame Ma believed that one of the men was mocking him, and just as he was about to deliver a tirade, he realized the laughter had come from an unfamiliar face. The person loomed tall and was dressed fashionably. He wore a black t-shirt with a gaping tiger on it. The man had a tiny mustache, and his hair was tied back into a ponytail. He might be considered artistic if he looked like that in the city, but in the village—
“Which lady is this? You are even growing a mustache after consuming too much hormones?” said Dog Song.