Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Fangzheng said helplessly, “There will definitely be food, but the taste probably won’t be that great.”
“As long as there’s food! I’m not picky!” Squirrel turned excited once again.
Fangzheng slapped him immediately. “Chant the scriptures!”
This disciple of his was too embarrassing.
Meanwhile, Zhao Baolin had reached the foot of the mountain. He went to the other villages to deliver the wedding sweets and gathered his relatives and friends. He was uplifted when he saw the astonished looks of his friends and family. All these years, he had been worried for his son’s marriage. Today, he could finally hold his head high in elation!
When he returned home, Zhao Baolin saw his equally happy son sitting with his soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Han Xiaoran, in front of the television. The festive mood he was in made him feel as though all the joy in the world had suddenly descended upon his family. He was simply overjoyed.
Zhao Baolin’s wife, Chai Hong, who was busy in the back kitchen, peeked her head out when she heard the commotion. When she saw Zhao Baolin, she immediately laughed. “You’re back. Get the huge rooster in our yard and stew it. We need to nourish our daughter-in-law.”
“Alright.” Zhao Baolin went out to get the rooster without any hesitation.
Although everyone reared chickens and ducks in a farming village, they were seldom killed unless it was during the festive season. After all, eggs were useful. Furthermore, most families only reared a few animals in an entire year. They would be gone once eaten, and new ones would need to be bought. To eat it for themselves for no good reason? Few people could bear to do so.
Furthermore, Hongtang Village was not like One Finger Village. One Finger Village now relied on the bamboo shoots and bamboo forest to make a profit. As the villagers’ conditions got better, it was becoming common for them to have chicken and duck on the dinner table. The villagers of Hongtang Village still had to rely on the farming of their own lands to pass the days and make a living. Life was still tough for them. Thankfully, One Finger Village was recruiting carvers en masse. As long as one was willing to take on hardship, they could get a job in One Finger Village and earn quite a fair bit. This was the economic benefit One Finger Village brought to the area.
Inside the house, although Zhao Yuhe was deaf-mute, he was not silly. He diligently handed an apple to the girl who received it and skinned the apple. Then she halved it and gave one half to Zhao Yuhe, who immediately beamed with joy.
When his mother saw this scene through the window in the kitchen, she could not help but grin. For parents, what could be happier than seeing their own children be happy?
Time passed quickly, and in the blink of an eye, a day passed.
The next day, the Zhao family began busying itself. This was because the in-laws—Zhao Yuhe’s fiancée’s father, Han Kunyan, had brought his wife, Zhou Shaoxia, and a large group of relatives—were there. Upon seeing so many people, Zhao Baolin was delighted.
Although his son was getting married, and the villagers congratulated him verbally, there was talk that his son was caught in a marriage scam.
Such words were harsh on his ears. In order to prove that his son was a good lad despite being deaf-mute, capable of finding a girlfriend through his own capabilities, and to eliminate the possibility of a con, Zhao Baolin made the couple date for more than a month. Zhao Baolin even visited the girl’s family, met her relatives, and took a look at their house.
He had seen cases of marriage scams, but which cheat would have so many relatives? It would not be bad if a conman could gather a handful of people.
His in-laws had everything, including relatives. It did not seem like a scam in any way.
Today, with Han Xiaoran’s family there, he felt even prouder. This was concrete proof which could make everyone shut up and congratulate him sincerely. By gaining the recognition of the villagers, it would also make his son look good. He felt good!
When the two families met, there were smiles on both sides.
“In-law, come in and have a seat.” Zhao Baolin warmly invited Han Xiaoran’s family in. They sat on a stove bed, and he served fruits he had long prepared.
The group did not stand on ceremony. They ate and drank and had a good time. The bustle inside and outside the house accentuated the joyous occasion.
Although Zhao Baolin was happy, his brows were still a little creased. As for the reason… At that moment, Zhao Baolin suddenly received a phone call, and he went outside to pick it up.
“Brother, you have to help me with the money. I only have this son of mine. Whether the wedding happens will all depend on this. Don’t say anymore. Even if I have to sell everything I have, I’ll make sure that Yuhe gets married!” Zhao Baolin said.
It was unknown what the other party said.
Zhao Baolin said, “Don’t worry. If my son can get married, you can chop up my bones and sell them! Isn’t it just that bit? I’m willing to spend it!”
“Alright, I’ll send you the money tomorrow,” said the other party.
Zhao Baolin immediately heaved a sigh of relief. “Alright, as long as you help me with the money, everything else is negotiable. Give me half first and let me settle the situation. You can hand me the remaining half once it’s done.”
“Brother Zhao, I’m helping you because we are brothers. But you have to remember what you promised. I’ll be coming to get you tomorrow night,” said the other party.
“Sure,” Zhao Baolin answered without hesitation.
After Zhao Baolin hung up, he heard the happy laughter in his house. Immediately, he forced a smile and walked back in.
A day passed.
The next day, Fangzheng woke up early in the morning and especially chose a few good bamboo shoots before storing them properly. Fangzheng was going to use them for the gift-giving custom.
Ever since One Finger Village stopped accepting cash as obligatory gifts, the surrounding villages also stopped doing so. Now everyone simply brought items over. How much they invested depended on the person. Of course, if one brought too little, one could forget about others bringing a lot when one held a celebration. The benefit had to be obvious as well. Without any benefits to speak off, no one randomly held celebrations. To go through the hassle of preparing a celebration with little in return, what was the point? Therefore, unless there was an elder’s celebration, a wedding, a graduation, or a child’s birth in the village, no one would celebrate trivial matters.
Having shaken off the yoke of such matters that affected the cash flow of people, the lives of the villagers also improved.
Zhao Baolin had quite a huge circle of friends. People were naturally generous for his son’s wedding. Dog Song had half a pig in the pickup truck he bought. Yang Hua got a lamb, and the others brought chicken and duck. When everyone saw Fangzheng, they immediately turned embarrassed. They were dragging a bunch of animals to the slaughter right in front of a monk…
Fangzheng kept chanting ‘Amitabha’ as he walked off. It was really not something he could interfere in.
A rabbit was vegetarian, but did it have the right to blame a wolf for eating its meat?
Outside the village, Fangzheng saw Tan Juguo walking towards Hongtang Village with a smoke pipe in his mouth. Fangzheng immediately went up to him and walked alongside him. Red Boy followed, while the rest had remained on the mountain.
“Abbot Fangzheng, why aren’t you taking a car?” When outside, with people around, Tan Juguo still addressed Fangzheng as abbot.
Fangzheng said with a smile, “Amitabha, it’s not far anyway. Why go by car when walking will do? Anyway, it’s Patron Zhao’s wedding today, so why do you look worried?”