Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
With this in mind, Fangzheng, who had planned on going down the mountain to welcome the guests, decisively struck off that idea.
After exchanging his greetings with the few visitors, he pushed Red Boy forward and said, “This is This Penniless Monk’s disciple, Jingxin. Patrons, if you have anything you would like to know, ask him. This Penniless Monk suddenly feels an epiphany and needs to meditate. Goodbye.”
With that said, Fangzheng quickly left.
He originally believed that he would receive snide remarks by snubbing them.
“Wow! As expected of a master. He’s always thinking of meditating!”
“Yeah! He’s nothing like those monks from other monasteries who don’t read the scriptures. They just loiter outside to receive guests. How is that anything like a monk?”
“That’s right. That’s right…”
Fangzheng immediately felt tears streaming down his face when he heard that. He suddenly had the urge to turn around and have a good chat with the visitors, but upon recalling how passionate they were, he immediately didn’t dare. Escape!
The moment Fangzheng left, Red Boy was surrounded. However, everyone’s enthusiasm towards him was limited to how cute he was. It wasn’t like their enthusiasm for Fangzheng which bordered on fervor.
Fangzheng was puzzled. He had been popular in the past, and many people had come to the mountain to take pictures with him. It was the same with Monkey as well. Yet, he had never seen such enthusiastic visitors.
After some careful thought, he guessed that it was a result of his recent exposure on CCTV News and the reports by the media.
Fangzheng hurriedly took out his phone to check the major news websites. However, there wasn’t any news about him. When he searched the local sites, he found a story about himself in a series of articles about the cracking of Ganfanpen’s mystery. Although it mentioned him saving people, the focus was placed on Elder Wang, Sun Caifeng, and company. Even Bao Yuluo received more coverage. Clearly, that was the right of a beauty…
“That’s not right. With such a trivial matter, it shouldn’t lead to the county’s leaders to visit me. It also shouldn’t be to the point of visitors treating me as though I’m Tripiṭaka,” Fangzheng mumbled.
Fangzheng began narrowing his search and read Black Mountain City’s news. This stunned him!
All the major news outlets in Black Mountain City were talking about him!
And the biggest media report in Black Mountain City about him had been edited by Jing Yan!
Upon seeing this, Fangzheng was enlightened. Although CCTV was influential, all it did was mention him without any deeper introductions.
However, Jing Yan had put in a lot of effort into this matter. She had gotten a group of people to laud praises unto him. Furthermore, she reported on Ganfanpen in more detail. Fangzheng was no longer just a passing remark, but was written about from a first-person view. The article was about how he had saved everyone like a savior of mankind. After reading it, even Fangzheng found himself worthy of worship. Was he that cool back then?
Although there were certain things that weren’t written because of his lack of disclosure, the way he was depicted was still brilliant and heroic. It was just way too cool. Fangzheng guessed that this was the key reason why he became famous in Black Mountain City. This led to the leadership’s arrival. It was to show him some concern, nothing else.
After figuring out everything, Fangzheng felt at ease. He stayed in the backyard in peace as he drank his Frost Bamboo tea and read scriptures in a carefree manner.
While Fangzheng was relaxing, some other people were going mad. Those were Village Chief Wang Yougui, Village Secretary Tan Juguo, and Accountant Yang Ping!
“Why are there so many people? Wasn’t it just going to be three buses? Why are there so many people before the buses have even arrived?” Wang Yougui looked at the dense crowd and was at a loss. Back when he received the news from the county as well as the phone call from the city’s travel agency, he had found the number of people a little excessive. He’d been afraid his village wouldn’t be able to accommodate them, but he thought it should still barely be possible…
But he never expected there would be so many unannounced people who came!
At this moment, from one end of One Finger Village to the other, including on the corn field outside the village where the villagers even busily started digging up corn, everyone was working hard to accommodate the visitors. They flattened the ground and used it as a parking lot. Even so, that still wasn’t enough. This led to Dog Song and company begin to prepare their other fields in a bid to make more room for parking lots. This was truly a last resort they were using…
Aside from Dog Song and company who were doing manual labor, Wang Yougui, Tan Juguo, Yang Hua, Yang Ping, Chen Jin, and the other villagers were going mad too. There were just too many people! There were outsiders everywhere in the village. Although it wasn’t bad to the point where you could say they were wreaking havoc, just a random question every now and then or a secret peak was enough to drive the villagers crazy.
This was especially the case for Wang Yougui. He led Sun Qiancheng and a few villagers to guard the entrance to Mt. One Finger. It wasn’t to collect entry fees, but…
“Village Chief, so many people are here to see One Finger Monastery and Fangzheng. Is it okay for us to barricade the path up the mountain?” Lame Ma asked.
“We can only do this for now. The mountain path is narrow. With so many people going up, who can bear the repercussions if an accident happens? Besides, how big is One Finger Monastery? With so many people rushing up, One Finger Monastery might be flattened!” Wang Yougui said worriedly, but he still had a smile.
He had always cherished his life goal of developing One Finger Village. Yet he had failed to succeed fulfil his dreams despite living for more than forty years. At best, he managed to let the villagers lead slightly better lives over the years. But ultimately, they were still poor. Yet something that was beyond his wildest dreams happened when he was close to despair. Fangzheng had caused phenomenal changes to One Finger Village in just a year. Even if they weren’t filthy rich now, all of them had become fairly well off. He never would have dared hope One Finger Village would become this famous! Seeing this group of people in front of him, he felt like they were running wads of cash.
However Wang Yougui knew that to earn money, service and safety had to be ensured. And most importantly, he needed to protect whatever resources they already had. He could not flatten their resources for temporary profit. Ensuring the safety of the tourists and protecting Mt. One Finger and One Finger Monastery’s original state were the most important things on his mind.
He shared his thoughts with Tan Juguo who immediately agreed. Only then did they commit to the operation to block the mountain path.
At the same time, they arranged for villagers to have the visitors line up. Lame Ma’s students made temporary barricades with the Frost Bamboo other people brought to them.
Upon seeing the barricades set up, many people who were stopped by the villagers from going up the mountain were incensed.
“As expected of hecklers of a poor, remote village! They are here to collect entry fees from us when they see us wishing to go up Mt. One Finger!” someone grumbled.
“That’s way too much. I checked before coming. This isn’t a tourist attraction. We are free to enter and exit as we please. How can they barricade the path?”
“That’s right! That’s right. It’s said that One Finger Monastery has an accomplished monk, so how can the villagers at the foot of the mountain be so extortionate?”
“It’s like the saying goes, Yama 1 is easy to meet, but his ghosts are a handful. These villagers are blinded by greed.”
As everyone wagged their tongues, wondering if they should leave, charge the barricades, or call the police, a person raised a signboard high up and ran over. As he ran, he shouted, “Make way! Make way!”