Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
“As long as he’s here, the money won’t run.” Bai Wenshui laughed.
Ghosthead laughed as well.
“Let’s go wait at the bank!” Bai Wenshui said.
Ghosthead turned around and signaled to the other fishing boat, after which the two boats approached the bank. However, they did not dock and continued maintaining a certain distance.
Meanwhile, Fangzheng approached and saw the two boats above him. He also found a spot nearby to go ashore. The moment he did that, Squirrel ran over. “Master, where did you go?”
“To do something necessary.”
“Saving someone?” Squirrel knew Fangzheng very well.
Fangzheng nodded and in response, Squirrel immediately gave Fangzheng an inquisitive look. Fangzheng gave Squirrel an affirmative look as Squirrel jumped in joy and somersaulted a few times. Then, he sat on Fangzheng’s shoulders in delight, smiling. “Master, I knew you were the best! Hahaha!”
Fangzheng was gladdened to see Squirrel happy at the rescue being a success.
“Eh? Master, if the victim has already been rescued, why are they still here?” Squirrel asked, puzzled.
“Watch,” Fangzheng said plainly. However, his expression looked serious. Even someone as simple and adorable as Squirrel could tell the rage in his eyes! He could not help but mumble. “Master is angry. The consequences will be severe! I wonder who is in for a bad time.”
“Amitabha. Patrons, wasn’t someone drowning? Why don’t we see the victim?” Fangzheng came to the crowd who was eager to help but powerless to do so and asked.
An elder sighed. “It’s too late. The person was struggling in the water previously and peeked his head out. By the time those who can swim arrived, he had already drowned. It’s likely he’s gone. Sigh. He was a perfectly fine living soul. Sigh…”
“Patron, This Penniless Monk saw two fishing boats on the river all this time. Why didn’t they help rescue the victim?” asked Fangzheng.
“Rescue? It’s not bad if they don’t murder!” The elder’s face was filled with fury when the topic steered to the fishing boats.
“Oh? Why is that so?”
The elder grunted coldly. “Those blood-sucking bastards can’t help but wish…”
“Old Li!” At that moment, someone tugged at the elder. A few people happened to walk over, and Old Li appeared somewhat afraid.
Old Li immediately shut up before whispering to Fangzheng, “Venerable One, you don’t look familiar. You aren’t a local, are you?”
Fangzheng nodded. “Not at all. This Penniless Monk comes from the northeast and is traveling the country. This Penniless Monk happened to pass by here and saw the situation. Amitabha.”
“This is quite rare elsewhere, but it’s nothing new here. This long river spans from the west to the east, covering nearly half of China. No one knows when a body might be swept over from upstream. Furthermore, the water flow here is erratic. When it’s slow, there are always people who aren’t tenable to advice. They will swim in the river, especially during festive seasons, and durind the winter or summer breaks. Sigh, quite a number of people lose their lives every year.” Old Li let out a long sigh as he felt exasperated.
Fangzheng said, “There are so many people here. Doesn’t anyone try to rescue any drowning victims?”
“Rescue? Of course!” Old Lu said as his eyes turned spirited. He said with immense pride, “I’m not bragging, but when it comes to good people in this world, I’m certain we have the most! Elsewhere, people who jump into the water to save others would make the news, but it’s nothing but ordinary here! Nearly every few days, there will be people jumping into the water to save others. There’s too many to count. Most people have grown numb to this. In the beginning, there were some reports of it, but later on, there was zero coverage. People just got used to it. As you saw previously, a few young lads entered the water to save the victim. The people on the river banks did not stand idle either. They tried to get a few safety ropes…”
Although Old Li said that people were used to it, his smugness and pride could not be suppressed.
When Fangzheng heard that, he felt a lot better. Indeed, there were still many good people in this world.
“Since there are so many good people around, why didn’t the fishing boats save the victim?” Fangzheng asked the question that kept plaguing him.
“Why do you think?” Old Li appeared to have something to say, but the few people walked over again. He did not elaborate as he patted Fangzheng on the shoulder. “Master, certain things are best not asked. It’s pointless even if you find out. It will just infuriate you for no reason.”
After saying that, Old Li shook his head and walked off.
Fangzheng refused to give up. He chased after Old Li and pressed him for more information. “Patron, are you leaving already? Aren’t you going to watch the outcome?”
“Outcome? How can there be any outcome? Watch a heart-wrenching scene? I’m old, and I can’t take it, so I’m not staying.” After Old Li said that, he waved his hand, his body a little hunched. As he walked, he muttered. “To think that we were a city of heroes years ago. Now, even heroes are being pulled into the water. Sigh. What has the world come to…”
“Master, he clearly knows, but he’s not telling,” Squirrel said unhappily.
Fangzheng said, “Amitabha. Everyone has their difficulties. He has his apprehensions as well, so it’s normal for him not to speak. Besides, it’s fine even if he doesn’t tell us. We can see for ourselves.”
“Okay.” Squirrel nodded, feeling somewhat confused.
At that moment, Fangzheng saw a not-so-tall man carrying a bag walk over. He looked at Fangzheng warily. Although the monk was ridiculously fair, he did not think further. He circled once and after making sure that everything was fine, he returned to sit at the riverside.
There were three other men sitting there already. In front of the men sat two black-dressed men on the ground. One of them had a crew cut, looking honest and simple. The other braided his hair and kept a mustache, as though he was a man of the arts. The man took out cigarettes and handed them out to the other three. The four then sat by the riverside, waiting for something as they smoked.
When Fangzheng saw this, he walked over.
“Amitabha. Patrons, are there any monasteries nearby?” Fangzheng came in front of the group and pressed his palms together.
The short man gave Fangzheng an impatient glance and waved his hand. “Monk, we don’t have time for you. Return to wherever you came from.”
Fangzheng shot a glance at the fishing boats behind the four and the net was still left out in the river. The expressions of the four appeared relaxed; they did not appear vexed at all.
Fangzheng did not continue soliciting their help. Instead, he brought Squirrel to the side to wait.
At that moment, wails sounded from afar. Following that, someone shouted, “Where? Where?”
When Fangzheng heard that, he looked over to see a group of people run over. One of them was a woman whose legs were going limp from her crying. She was nearly carried over. The moment she appeared by the side of the reservoir, she slumped to the ground and wailed, “Lin Zhixian, you bastard! I told you not to swim, but you refused to listen to me… Boohoo! What are we to do when you leave us women behind? Boohoo…”
“Sis Hui, don’t cry. Let’s think of a way to fish him out,” a young man helped the woman up as he whispered.
“Fish… Fish him up! We must!” Jie Hui immediately jolted to her senses as she said trembling.
Upon hearing that, the four who were sitting there immediately got up and walked over. The short one yelled, “Are you trying to fish someone out?”