Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
“You are not to speak to anyone about what happened today!” said Guan Xiangfeng solemnly.
Dog Song replied, “Watch your mouth. If you dare speak any more nonsense, I’ll break your legs!”
“Why are you breaking my legs when it’s the mouth’s fault?”
“Then I’ll smack your mouth rotten!”
Finally, both parties calmed down.
“Tell me, why was a man like you following me?” Guan Xiangfeng said, peeved.
“Tell me, why does a mustached man like you keep loitering around the village? Who else should I watch if not you? What if you start stealing things?” Dog Song lied in a self-righteous manner.
“Stealing things… Me!?” Guan Xiangfeng pointed at his bushy mustache, clearly infuriated by the accusation! Then he pointed at a distant Mercedes and said, “Do you know how much that car is worth? A million yuan! There are few cars in your entire county city that cost that much! Why would I steal your village’s stuff when I can buy a million yuan car!?”
Dog Song was displeased when he heard that. He suddenly turned back and pointed at a passing chicken. “Do you know how much that chicken costs? Ten million yuan! You won’t be able to find a second chicken like that anywhere in the world!”
“Bull-f**king-sh*t!” Guan Xiangfeng knew that he was facing a scoundrel when he heard that. He immediately began cursing.
Dog Song went tit for tat as they wiped their faces, turned around and dry-heaved again…
After arguing all day, they finally stopped. After all, they both had requests for the other party.
Dog Song said, “Can you not be that petty? Your master is injured and is staying in this village. Since you have nothing to do, why can’t you teach Lame Ma some carving? How hard can that be?”
“He’s not some beautiful chick. If I have the time, I might as well hit on chicks. No, I’m not teaching!” Guan Xiangfeng categorically rejected the notion before asking, “By the way, where’s the best bamboo you have around here?”
“I’m not telling you! Even if I told you, you would not be allowed to pluck it! This is our village’s bamboo. If you dare pluck it, that’s theft! According to our village rules, any discovered thief shall be beaten to death on the streets!” Although Dog Song said so, his eyes had a glint flash past them. He was not afraid of Guan Xiangfeng desiring something of theirs, rather he was afraid he wouldn’t! As long as he desired something, that would mean there was a solution for Dog Song.
Guan Xiangfeng was really frightened as he frowned. “Can’t you give me one segment?”
“Dream on!” Dog Song said affirmatively.
“Why did I even bother asking you. How silly of me. I’ll find your village chief.” With that said, he got up to leave.
Dog Song sneered. “The village chief and secretary are powerless on this matter! There is only one person in this village that has authority on this matter!”
“Who is it?” Guan Xiangfeng was puzzled. Even the village chief and secretary were powerless in such a large village? How was that possible? Did the village hide some secret society or descendant of some government official?
Dog Song pointed to the mountain peak and said, “All the Frost Bamboo belongs to One Finger Monastery’s Abbot Fangzheng. If he doesn’t give the go-ahead, no bamboo. And you even want the best bamboo? Hmph! Don’t even dream about it. As for me, I happen to have quite a good relationship with Abbot Fangzheng… Hey! Why are you looking at me like that? If you don’t believe me, I have a model example plaque hanging on my door! Go ask around in the village. Who doesn’t know what kind of person I was in the past… Pui! I was an ignorant loafer, and it was Abbot Fangzheng who enlightened me. He molded me into my present self.” When Dog Song said that, he was filled with gratitude. Although he had been tricked, his life had indeed changed tremendously.
Guan Xiangfeng sneered. “Heh heh, he enlightened you?”
Dog Song nodded.
“You were enlightened, and your current moral conduct is all that you have to show for it? Forget it. I can tell what kind of morals that monk has just by looking at you.” Guan Xiangfeng shook his head and walked away.
Dog Song chased up to him. “Don’t you not believe me! If you don’t believe me, ask around. If anything I said was false, may I be struck by lightning!”
“As if I’ll believe you.” Guan Xiangfeng ignored Dog Song and headed backed to Wang Yougui’s home.
With a patient at home, especially one that had been brought there by Fangzheng, Wang Yougui was in no way pitty. He killed an old hen and got a kilogram of fish from the river. He got a liter of sorghum wine, cooked a plate of honey fungus, mushroom chicken stew, red-braised carp, cucumbers, and fried pig’s ear, and a plate of seasonal garden greens with dipping sauce. With all of that, he finished preparing a sumptuous lunch.
Everyone took their seats and exchanged pleasantries. The guests were very grateful towards Wang Yougui. Guan Xiangfeng also poured Wang Yougui some wine and heaped praises on him. Fan Qing and Qiu Xiaoye were puzzled. Guan Xiangfeng was always quite an arrogant person, so why was was he so solicitous today? There had to be a reason for that.
Jiang Zhou was also puzzled, but Guan Xiangfeng had remained mum at the dining table. It was as though he had no ulterior motives, so he did not think deeper about the matter. Since he was still not feeling well, he went to bed after the meal.
Wang Yougui went into the yard and prepared to rid the vegetable garden of its weeds when Guan Xiangfeng immediately came over and whispered, “Village Chief Wang, I have a question.”
“What is it?” Wang Yougui was sharp. He knew that there had to be a reason why Guan Xiangfeng was offering him wine the entire time. Furthermore, it had to be related to something he could not say in front of the rest.
“Hehe. Village Chief, it’s this. My master is a carving master. To us, an excellent carving material is very important. I heard that your village has top-grade bamboo. I’m wondering if you can give us some. I wish to honor my master with it.” This was the first time Guan Xiangfeng was speaking in such an obsequious tone. He blushed in embarrassment as he fumbled with his words; however, he eventually managed to express his intent.
Wang Yougui was immediately taken aback. He knew that Jiang Zhou was a master, but he had no idea what kind of master he was. He never expected Jiang Zhou to be a wood carving master! Wang Yougui had an idea come to him as he immediately thought of something. The village had not had much progress when it came to its bamboo carvings. The masters they had tried inviting had requested raises and had made all sorts of requests when they saw how lucrative the bamboo carvings were. They had even colluded to quit and leave, so as to force the village’s hand. Wang Yougui had been lacking a solution while he kept appeasing the masters…
With his experience of hiring those masters, Wang Yougui became acutely aware of a rationale. One needed to be independent, so he was very supportive of Lame Ma teaching everyone. Unfortunately, Lame Ma’s skills were lacking, and he could not teach anything good. He and Tan Juguo had nearly pulled out their hair over this matter.
Now that a carving master was there, he immediately had ideas.
Therefore Wang Yougui nodded and said, “Personally, I don’t have a problem with giving you the top-grade Frost Bamboo, but I have no say in the matter.”
“Oh?” Guan Xiangfeng was taken aback. Even the Village Chief had no say? Was what Dog Song had said true?
“Don’t be alarmed. If it were ordinary Frost Bamboo, I could give you some, but if it’s top-grade Frost Bamboo, it’s only available on Mt. One Finger’s summit, which belongs to Mt. One Finger’s Abbot, Abbot Fangzheng. If he doesn’t agree, no one else can give it to you.”
Guan Xiangfeng was shaken. He never expected Dog Song would have said the truth. However, he refused to give up. “Village Chief, you must help me. Please.”