Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Each of them was given a rap on the head as Fangzheng flicked his sleeves and walked off. “The both of you are still not perceptive enough. When you are back, recite the Diamond Sutra 108 times with Jingzhen. There will not be food for you as long as you do not finish chanting!”
The next moment, the tragic wails of Red Boy and Squirrel could be heard on the mountain trail. “These days are unlivable!”
Fangzheng was unaffected when he heard his two disciples wail. Both of them were just loud, something he was already accustomed to.
When he reached the entrance to the monastery, Fangzheng was immediately stunned!
He saw two half-meter tall sprouts growing at the left and right of the entrance!
“Eh?” Fangzheng exclaimed in surprise. He immediately ran over and observed the sprouts carefully. He took out his cell phone to search for information as he matched it with the scene before his eyes. Finally, he determined that the two sprouts were Luohan Tree sprouts—gingko trees!
“How… How is this possible? This thing is well known for its slow growth. This is growing way too fast.” Fangzheng wore an incredulous look.
“Ding! What’s so surprising? The bodhi tree can absorb the Buddhistic aura to resist the cold and remain luxuriant all four seasons. Similarly, why should you be astonished that a Luohan Tree from Mount Numinous can grow quickly? The Luohan Tree has absorbed the Buddhistic aura from the monastery and the wishes and incense offerings of the masses, speeding up its growth. Your tiny monastery still receives too little incense. If it were in a place like Mount Numinous, a sacred land which millions revere, it could grow to maturity in a day. It wouldn’t be impossible for it to grow some fruits as well.” The System viewed Fangzheng in contempt as it explained in a matter of fact manner.
Fangzheng was already accustomed to being viewed in contempt. Since he could not curse or beat the System, he couldn’t be bothered to hold it against it.
As he caressed the Luohan Tree, he marveled. “As expected of a product from Mount Numinous. They all court death in similar ways. The fool in the yard sprouts in winter. As for you, not bad. You survived the beginning of autumn and now that it’s almost the middle of autumn, you have grown. Are you trying to flaunt your ability to resist the cold?”
However, the Luohan Tree was ultimately not an animal. It did not respond at all, standing there silently as it ignored Fangzheng’s nonsense.
Fangzheng chuckled and ignored the two trees. It was good that the both of them were growing quickly. With the experience of the Frost Bamboo and the bodhi tree, Fangzheng was intrigued by any item from Mount Numinous. The bodhi tree served to give the monastery vitality and a Buddhistic vibe. The Frost Bamboo turned the desolate Mt. One Finger into a tiny paradise and brought with it additional food. Then, what could the Luohan Tree bring to One Finger Monastery and Mt. One Finger? Fangzheng was looking forward to it.
Upon hearing Fangzheng’s voice, Monkey and Lone Wolf immediately ran out. Fangzheng had two pastries for each of them as a reward for having guarded the monastery.
Now that he had money, he no longer needed to be too petty.
The day passed by easily and in the evening, Fangzheng lay on the grass patch outside the monastery. He watched the sun set as the sky turned pitch black. There was some lightning flashing in the background like a movie blockbuster’s special effects. It was astounding, but very beautiful.
“Ding! Do you want to have a draw at the lottery?” asked the System.
“No, I’ll store it up. Either I don’t draw, or I draw a big one.”
“Up to you.”
Late into the night, lightning flashed, and thunder rumbled outside the monastery. The wind howled as it struck the bodhi tree. The bamboo rustled noisily as a downpour happened. It struck the ground so loudly that it sounded like firecrackers set off during the festivals.
Fangzheng, Red Boy, Squirrel, Monkey, and Lone Wolf moved tiny stools under the eaves and watched the thunderstorm.
“Master, this wind is a little chilly.” Monkey tugged at his clothes.
Squirrel said, “The cold wind is coming. My fine hair is about to grow.”
Fangzheng nodded. “It will be the autumnal equinox tomorrow. After the equinox, the rain will get especially cold.”
“Master, what is the autumnal equinox?” Squirrel asked out of curiosity.
“The autumnal equinox has two meanings. On the one hand, it is a marking just like night and day. It splits a period into two. On the other hand, it implies that from the beginning of autumn to the beginning of winter, everything in between is autumn. The autumnal equinox happens right in the middle of autumn, splitting autumn into two. In short, from today, the hot weather will be over. The land will also usher in a change of clothes.”
After saying that, Fangzheng stretched his back and said, “Go to sleep early. We shall go down the mountain to have some good food tomorrow.”
“Good food? Master, what good food?” Squirrel immediately turned alert as his eyes widened when he heard there would be food to eat.
Lone Wolf, who was slumped languidly on the ground, raised his head as well. Although he did not say a word, his expression said everything. Monkey shot a glance to the side and saw Red Boy licking his lips. Clearly, these guys were all gluttons!
Fangzheng laughed in exasperation. “Autumn is the season for the autumn harvest. The fruits everyone planted will be in season, so it will be time to eat them. We can go down the mountain tomorrow to pluck some.”
When Fangzheng said pluck, he basically had no intention of spending money. In fact, even if Fangzheng went down the mountain now and wished to buy something, there was nothing he could buy. Whatever he wanted was given to him by the villagers. For him to pay for things? Sorry, but no one accepted it!
Fangzheng was quite thick-skinned to begin with. He grew up under everyone’s care and did not stand on ceremony when it came to the villagers. Since it was free, why not? He just needed to pray for the villagers when he had the time. Besides, there was no lack of things Fangzheng did for One Finger Village—Frost Bamboo, bringing rain during the drought, passing down his carving techniques… With all of this, it was only normal for him to get some fruits and vegetables in exchange.
Of course, Fangzheng had also attempted to plant some vegetables beside the Crystal Rice plantation himself. However, even with the Unrooted Clean Aqua irrigating the fields, the crops Fangzheng grew were deformed. Farming looked simple, but only those who tried it would realize the difficulty involved. Therefore, Fangzheng’s tiny vegetable garden had been left to the weeds…
Ignoring his salivating disciples, Fangzheng returned to his meditation room.
In bed, Fangzheng swore secretly to learn how to plant vegetables properly next year! Regardless, settling his stomach was key.
“If you wish to plant vegetables, it’s best you do it down the mountain,” said the System suddenly.
Fangzheng was taken aback. “Why?” Then Fangzheng’s eyes lit up. “Are you implying that there’s another reason why the vegetables I plant turn out terrible?”
“You placed mortal vegetables beside the Crystal Rice plantation. Do you think those vegetables can compete for nutrients with the Crystal Rice and Frost Bamboo? They naturally won’t grow well when malnourished,” explained the System.
Fangzheng smacked his head. He had overlooked such a possibility. However Fangzheng asked curiously, “If that is the case, then why do the grass and flowers grow so beautifully?”
“Children of poverty are long used to it. They naturally can survive in tougher environments compared to those who lived in privileged conditions. As for your vegetables, they are akin to pampered ladies of rich families. What do you think?”
Fangzheng was rendered speechless.
The next day, Fangzheng walked out his room and felt a gust of wind blow at him. Having just woken up, he could not help but shiver. A yellow leaf fluttered down and landed in his hand.
Fangzheng could not help but sigh. “It’s autumn.”