Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Fangzheng never expected Shen Aijia to smack her child because of that one sentence. He didn’t even manage to stop her in time.
Before Fangzheng could say a word, Shen Aijia pulled the little girl to her side and reprimanded her. “Children shouldn’t interject when adults are speaking! If you are tired, sleep. If you are thirsty, drink water. If you are hungry, there are sandwiches!”
After a round of reprimanding, the little girl was so frightened that she immediately shut up. She covered her burning face, lowered her head, and went back into the tent. The young boy who wanted to say something also went back into the tent in fright. He huddled into a bunch and didn’t dare come out.
Fangzheng looked at the pitiful children and felt his heart ache for them. Just as he was about to say something, Shen Aijia forced a smile at Fangzheng. “Venerable One, there’s really no need. We are used to living in the wilderness, so there’s no need for us to trouble everyone else. We are already very satisfied that you are able to give us work.”
Fangzheng opened his mouth again and was just about to finally say something when…
At that moment, a sputtering sound could be heard in the distance. It was a rather unfamiliar sound to Fangzheng, but it was like a beast’s roar to Shen Aijia, Ma Jingru, Zhou Zishan, Zhou Ziheng, and Zhou Ziyuan. All of them looked warily in the direction of the sound. Even the two children that were hidden inside the tent popped their heads out. Then, the little boy waved his fists and said angrily, “It’s that behemoth again!”
However, whatever he wanted to say was swallowed after he was glared at by Ma Jingru.
The fields in the old riverbed were quite far from the village, but because of the flat land, one could see a good distance away. The wind-breaking woods usually lined the sides of a path, so everyone could see the brand new combined harvester. It had a red banner over it and sputtered as it moved forward. Fangzheng even saw Yang Ping standing in the vehicle, shouting as it drove on. Dog Song, Sun Qiancheng, and company had already gone forward.
One Finger Village only became rich in the past year. A combined harvester cost 200,000 yuan. Including the rebates the country’s policies gave, the total came up to more than a hundred thousand yuan. This was an unimaginable price to the One Finger villagers in the past. Back when Hongyan Village pooled together its funds to buy a combined harvester, they flaunted it as well. Many villages were envious of it, and even Wang Yougui wanted one ever since. Now that One Finger Village was rich, it naturally bought one. The way the villagers happily welcomed the machine stood in stark contrast with the entrance of the few wheat hands into the village…
Fangzheng clearly sensed the gloominess in Zhou Zishan and company’s eyes. However, they persevered, bent their backs, and continued brandishing the sickles at faster speeds.
The children didn’t make a fuss any further. Shen Aijia and Ma Jingru then joined in helping clear the paddy.
Fangzheng watched by the side as Red Boy, Lone Wolf, Monkey, and Squirrel also looked at the bent backs and brandishing sickles in the paddy fields. Fangzheng semed to see the tears welling by the corners of Shen Aijia’s eyes. Clearly, that slap on the little girl’s face had pained her heart too. Which parent in the world wouldn’t love their children? She couldn’t bear to hit her precious child, but discipline was required. However, how one was to discipline a child and be educated was a different story. It was obvious that Shen Aijia had never been schooled and lacked culture. The only education she could afford her children was slapping. By slapping, she was telling her children that they needed to watch what they said.
Fangzheng could tell that Shen Aijia also wished to rest in a house, but she didn’t dare to say so. She was afraid that if she made such a request, others would think of them as being too fussy, which might cause them to lose this rare work. Work was just too rare for her, and she cherished it greatly. It was also why she didn’t even dare mention a completely reasonable request
Similarly, it was because Shen Aijia and company placed so much weight on work that they were extremely diligent and serious. By living by the side of the field, they could work to sunset and continue work at daybreak. They were using actions to prove their worth to others. They were proving that they were not useless bumps, and in no way inferior to machines. Machines were fast, but they were even more hardworking! Machines were good, but they were more serious! They were more responsible!
Red Boy could not help but ask, “Master… Why are they so poor despite working so hard? This doesn’t make sense. Doesn’t Buddhism teach about karma? Since they work hard, shouldn’t they be met with good outcomes?”
Fangzheng rubbed Red Boy in the head. “At times, diligence will definitely give returns. That is karma, but the direction in one’s diligence is different, resulting in different karmic outcomes. Just as how 1+1 is never 3, blindly working hard might lead one astray. Perhaps it was right in the beginning, but the path towards the end became narrower. No matter how hard you work to widen such a path, it will still be limited. On the contrary, some paths are narrow in the beginning but wide later. When one puts in the same amount of diligence on such a path, things fall into place. At times, choices are more important than hard work, but choices with no hard work are equally fruitless. Choosing a correct path and then seizing the opportunity and working hard at it will result in a greater chance of success.”
“Greater… Which means to say that even if work is put in, one might not necessarily see success? Then…” Red Boy found it quite unacceptable.
Fangzheng smiled. “Failure is the mother of success. The goal of hard work is success. And failure is also a part of working hard. If one cannot endure failure, how can you say that you have worked hard?”
Red Boy stroked his chin and said, “I think I get it a little. But Master, are we just going to watch?”
Fangzheng patted Red Boy on the head and said, “Do you still remember what I said when we went down the mountain?”
“Work! Whoever does the most has an extra serving for dinner!” Squirrel was the first to shout. Then he roared. “I’ll be helping. Watch me!”
With that said, Squirrel charged forward, did a somersault in midair and landed right into the paddy!
“Master, Jingkuan is gone…” Monkey looked up and saw a hole in the mud where Squirrel had landed.
The next moment, a head popped out from the hole. The tiny head bobbed up and down as a cry sounded. “Master… Help… I’m drowning…”
Fangzheng shook his head helplessly and pulled Squirrel out of the mud hole. The little guy was originally gray with white specks. Although he wasn’t gorgeous, he still looked quite good. Especially when his fur fluffed up, he looked like a ball and was extremely adorable. But now, having fallen into the mud, his body was all wet, and his fur stuck to his body. He was black and as ugly as could be.
“Master…” Squirrel looked pitifully at Fangzheng, hoping to win some pity for himself.
Fangzheng nodded and said, “Can you think before you act the next time you are agitated? Don’t mess things up with good intentions. Get it?”
Squirrel nodded immediately.
At that moment, a tiny head popped out of the tent. When the little girl saw Squirrel’s state, she immediately ran over with a bottle of water. “Venerable One, this little squirrel is so pitiful. Can I bathe him?”