Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Fangzheng immediately acknowledged the command. Squirrel, Monkey, Red Boy, and Lone Wolf did the same, but they sounded a little odder.
After entering the vegetable garden, Fangzheng went straight for the northwestern corner. From afar, he saw a few unique shoots growing extremely well. Hanging above them were golden-yellow objects like tiny hanging lanterns. The lanterns swayed with the wind, forming a beautiful scene. Fangzheng immediately ran over, plucked one of the fruits and tore off its skin, revealing the golden-yellow ball of flesh that was slightly bigger than a button. Under the sunlight, it shimmered beautifully. He popped it into his mouth and took a slight bite. At that moment, the skin ruptured, and a unique sweetness filled his mouth. Fangzheng unconsciously narrowed his eyes. It was one of his most favorite snacks.
In northeastern China, such plants were called winter cherries. Fangzheng did not know their nutritional value, but he heard that these fruits had more Vitamin B than tomatoes. They supposedly also contained all sorts of other microelements that were very beneficial to humans. However, that mattered little to Fangzheng. All he cared about was that the cherries were delicious.
Fangzheng did not stand on ceremony as he plucked a huge bunch and stuffed them into Monkey’s pocket.
Squirrel mimicked him and plucked a golden winter cherry. He peeled off its golden skin and popped it into his mouth in an attempt to taste it. His tiny eyes lit up the next moment as he grabbed one after another in excitement. He had a blast eating until his belly grew in size. Yet, he continued grabbing and stuffing them into his mouth.
Fangzheng knew that the little guy was up to his bad habits again. He was beginning to store up food once more. He still had food in his mouth he had not chewed.
Fangzheng struck him on the head. “Greedy little guy. You are not to hoard the food for yourself.”
Squirrel opened his mouth, aggrieved. He was about to spit it out.
Fangzheng, Red Boy, Lone Wolf, and Monkey immediately said in unison, “Don’t! Keep it in your mouth.”
Squirrel looked at Fangzheng with an even more aggrieved look as though he was saying: “What do you want me to do?”
Fangzheng wore a look of exasperation. It’s already in your mouth, so who would eat it if you spat it out? Idiot!
After taking the winter cherries, Fangzheng bade Tan Juguo farewell with his disciples before heading for Wang Yougui’s house.
“Master, what does Patron Wang have? Why do I feel like my saliva is almost dripping out. Will there be even better things than the winter cherries?” Red Boy peeled a winter cherry and popped it into his mouth. It was delicious!
“Of course!” Fangzheng’s eyes glimmered. Although winter cherries were delicious, they still weren’t what he liked the most. There was something else that was even better, but it was not easily found. That was because no one planted it in the village. It could only be found in the wild. The reason why Fangzheng headed for Wang Yougui’s house was because he had found it in his backyard before. He was only trying his luck.
Jiang Zhou and his disciples had not left either as they continued staying at Wang Yougui’s place. Jiang Zhou’s daily routine involved playing chess with Wang Yougui, chatting, and making carvings. Jiang Zhou’s days were extremely comfortable, so much so that he was unwilling to leave. However, this was none of Fangzheng’s business, and he didn’t care.
When Wang Yougui saw Fangzheng’s arrival with a bag, he immediately knew what he was up to. He said with a rueful smile, “You are late. They were plucked clean by those bastards. If you want to continue searching, do it quick. There will really be nothing left if you’re slow.”
Fangzheng immediately turned anxious when he heard that. He hurriedly led his disciples into a carpet search.
“Master, what are you looking for?” His disciples wore looks of curiousness.
“You won’t know even if I tell you. Sigh. Where should I begin the search?”
After circling the entire village, Fangzheng failed to find what he wanted. Finally, he returned helplessly to the middle-aged woman’s house and took out the tomatoes and cucumbers he had kept cool in the bucket. He placed one in his mouth and bit down.
The cucumber was refreshing, and its fresh fragrance could be detected from a distance away. It had a natural cooling effect.
The tomatoes were different. The large ones had thick flesh, and the pulp made them plump. It made for quite a bite, and the juice within had to be sucked out with force. The feeling of having a mouthful of tomato juice was exhilarating.
After popping a little rubber ball into his and his disciples’ mouths, the sourness amid the sweetness was enjoyed by all of them to the extremes.
As such, the few of them sat in the woman’s yard and had a feast.
However, Fangzheng was still a little unhappy about not having found what he wanted…
At that moment, a series of footsteps sounded before he heard Mengmeng. “Brother Fangzheng, I brought you some good food.”
Fangzheng turned his head and saw Sun Qiancheng’s daughter, Mengmeng, stumble over. The little lass had a huge pocket that lined the front of her clothes. She had used it to store firecrackers in the winter and snacks in the summer. It was very convenient.
Mengmeng came in front of Fangzheng and said adorably, “Brother Fangzheng, guess whether I brought you Black Stars?”
The moment that was said, Red Boy, Lone Wolf, Monkey, and Squirrel rolled their eyes collectively. Such a question sure was good. Anyone who wasn’t a retard would know what she meant.
Fangzheng did not nod or shake his head. He could not lie, nor could he expose her, lest he hurt the little girl’s feelings. Besides, Fangzheng was nearly jumping for joy. Black Stars? He had searched the entire village to no avail, but this little girl had found some? He looked at the girl’s clothes and noticed the seeds and purple juice that seeped out when Black Stars ruptured.
Fangzheng gulped his saliva and said, “Did Mengmeng bring me Black Stars?”
“Yes!” The little girl was indeed easily fooled. She jumped up in joy and grabbed a fistful of purplish-black fruits that were each smaller than a fingernail! She pulled over Fangzheng’s hand and placed them in his palm. She cocked her head and laughed. “Daddy said that Brother Fangzheng enjoys eating this. I plucked many today! I plucked everything from the village chief’s house. Hehe.”
Fangzheng was rendered speechless when he heard that. To think that the one who had swept through the village chief’s house first was this little girl. There was no way Fangzheng could get mad at Mengmeng, since she was just too cute.
“Brother Fangzheng, quickly eat them. I plucked a lot. There’s still a lot in my pocket.” With that said, Mengmeng gestured at her pocket. Indeed, there were still some in there.
However, Black Stars were not fruits that grew en masse, nor could they be grown artificially. Ignoring the conditions of the fruit, the production numbers were just too varied. Some would bear many fruits, while others had a miserable few. To gather a pocketful of them was no easy task.
Black Stars had another name—Black Nightshades. Fangzheng was unsure if they were considered fruits or vegetables. Anyways, they had an extremely unique taste. Although they were small in size, they had a unique sweetness to them when popped into the mouth. Their taste was enough to conquer anyone, and they were considered the most delicious snack by every child in One Finger Village!