Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
The first half of autumn had passed by without Fangzheng really taking note of it. He was indifferent about it anyway. All he had felt was that the weather was hot. Now that the autumnal equinox had arrived, he finally realized it was autumn.
As the autumnal winds blew, they brought with them the coolness of autumn. It was different from the coolness that an air conditioner provided. Instead, it was a chill that went right to your heart. When Fangzheng looked up into the sky, the sky seemed to be higher and bluer than before. The light amid the blueness gave one a wider perspective, making one’s mood better. As he took in a deep breath, it felt like every cell in his body was jumping for joy. It was absolutely comfortable!
The saying “The autumn air is invigorating” perfectly described the present situation.
After gathering his disciples, Fangzheng led them down the mountain.
The villagers enjoyed planting all sorts of vegetables they liked in their back and front yards. Typically, there would be two fruit trees in everyone’s backyards. ( Box novel.c om )
The moment Fangzheng came down, everyone knew what he was there for. This was because Fangzheng had loved sweeping through the village the moment the weather turned cool since a young age…
“Abbot Fangzheng, come to my place. The cucumbers have ripened and are delicious.” A middle-aged woman stood in her vegetable garden. She looked like she was ridding the weeds, but she immediately got up when she saw Fangzheng, waving her hands and calling out to him.
Fangzheng did not stand on ceremony. He immediately answered her and entered with his disciples. The moment he entered the vegetable garden, Fangzheng’s eyes were locked onto a cucumber with a tiny yellow flower growing above it. The cucumber wasn’t huge, and it was covered in bristles, but it looked extremely juicy. Fangzheng immediately plucked it off…
Red Boy did the same, but Fangzheng rapped him on the head. “Go to the well and get some cool water.”
Red Boy pouted his lips. Although he was unhappy that Fangzheng had robbed him of the right to pluck delicious food for himself, he still did as he was told.
Fangzheng continued plucking a few cucumbers and got Monkey to carry them.
At that moment, the middle-aged woman came with several huge tomatoes in her arms. They were varied in size and color. One was large and red, perhaps a result of being overly ripe. There were even some ruptures on its skin, revealing the pink flesh within! Although it had ruptured, none of the juices flowed out. The ample juices appeared especially beautiful under the sunlight.
There was another type of tomato which was yellow. In fact, it was the same breed as the red one. Only their colors were different. It was a yellow color just like that of an egg yolk. Its surface was not as plump as the red one’s, but it looked more translucent, making it look extremely beautiful.
Fangzheng received the tomatoes and hurriedly thanked her. “Thank you, Auntie.”
“Oh, come on. It’s me who should be thanking you. Kid, you are getting more polite as you grow up. In the past, you would steal my tomatoes and cucumbers when I didn’t give them to you. You wreaked havoc on them quite well. Furthermore, you always chose the cucumbers that had just grown. Tell me, could you have been any more prodigal?” The woman chuckled as she stuffed the tomatoes into Fangzheng’s hands while denouncing Fangzheng’s past misdeeds.
Back when Fangzheng heard these kinds of reprimands when he was young, he only felt unhappy, thinking that people were criticizing him.
But now, listening to such words made him feel the love the villagers had for him. Therefore, all Fangzheng did was listen with a silly smile. Then, he took two more tomatoes. He did not take the big and sweet ones from the woman’s hands but only the smaller ones.
These tomatoes were about the size of table tennis balls. They were neither pure red or yellow in color. Instead, they were a mixture of red, green, and yellow, but some had more red, others more yellow. Green and other colors were just auxiliary colors. The myriad of colors made them beautiful. The locals called such tomatoes “little rubber balls.” They weren’t large in size, but they were delicious when popped into one’s mouth. They were also different from the cherry tomatoes and baby tomatoes which were sold outside. They were not as sweet, but had a sourish sweetness to them. They tasted refreshing and were Fangzheng’s favorite kind!
( Box novel.c om ) Fangzheng had no idea why he liked the smaller ones when others preferred the big ones ever since he was a child. He enjoyed picking the small cucumbers and loved the “little rubber ball” tomatoes.
When the woman saw this, she laughed. “I knew you liked these. There are quite a lot this year. If you like them, take more.”
Fangzheng did not stand on ceremony, and he immediately nodded before carrying them away with his monk robes.
Outside the vegetable garden, he saw that Red Boy had prepared a huge bucket of well water. The well water effused an ice-cold feeling due to it coming from underground. This had been nature’s refrigerator in the northeast since times immemorial. Fangzheng impatiently dunked the cucumbers and tomatoes into the bucket.
The cucumbers and tomatoes were extremely juicy to begin with. With them being thrown into the water, their colors were further accentuated. It made the colors stand out beautifully and whetted one’s appetite.
Squirrel could not help but climb up the bucket and reach his hand in, hoping to snag one.
When Fangzheng saw this, he pricked up his brows and kicked the little guy’s ass in what seemed like an accident. Squirrel splashed straight into the bucket.
Fangzheng walked away. “We’ll keep them cool in the water. Let’s go get more.” Then, Fangzheng bade the woman farewell and quickly ran away.
Monkey shook his head and followed after seeing this.
Red Boy leaned over the bucket and looked at the drenched Squirrel. He said with a look of pity, “Greedy guy, how dare you snatch food before Master? Look at you now. Hehe…”
With that said, Red Boy walked off as well.
Lone Wolf came over.
Squirrel said with an aggrieved look, “I wasn’t trying to eat them. I just wanted to take a look.”
“Taking a look requires you to reach out with your hands?” asked Lone Wolf.
“I couldn’t help it…”
After leaving the first house, Fangzheng went straight to the house of the village secretary, Tan Juguo. He was advanced in age and seldom moved about unless something major was happening. In general, everything was left to Village Chief Wang Yougui, who ran around to handle all matters. In addition, Tan Juguo was well-respected in the village and had a sense of authority. Therefore, the typical person did not dare visit his home unnecessarily.
However, Fangzheng was an exception. He had always gone to Tan Juguo’s house from a young age. It was not for any reason other than the food his house had which Fangzheng enjoyed!
This situation could be described by the saying “Birds die in pursuit of food”. The gluttonous monk could be said to be unafraid of death when it came to food. He ultimately discovered that other than being shockingly stern when dealing with proper matters, Tan Juguo was quite a nice guy usually. Gradually, he became unafraid of him.
“Fangzheng, what brought you here?” Tan Juguo greeted Fangzheng when he saw him as he sat on his porch while smoking from a huge smoke pipe.
Fangzheng smiled. “Amitabha. Hunger.”
Fangzheng could not lie, and Tan Juguo knew him very well anyway. How could Tan Juguo not know his thoughts already?
As expected, Tan Juguo rebuked him jokingly. “I knew it. Either you don’t come, or you wipe out the place when you do come.”
Fangzheng chortled before opening the door to the garden without holding back.
When Tan Juguo saw this, he tapped his pipe and rebuked jokingly. “Those furry guys of yours better watch out. Be careful where you place your feet. Don’t trample my vegetable garden! Fangzheng, there’s something good in the northwestern corner. Search for it yourself, but don’t wander around randomly.”