Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
With this in mind, Salted Fish scoffed. He refused to believe that someone could beat him at shamelessness! Therefore he laughed out loud. “Hey, how is everybody! Having dinner?”
With that said, Salted Fish walked into the backyard like it was his home.
With such a loud voice and with him making a commotion, Fangzheng and company naturally couldn’t keep feigning ignorance. However, Fangzheng had no intention to put down his bowl to chat. As he continued eating, he asked, “Salted Fish, what are you doing here?”
“What salted fish? I’m a carp! A carp! Remember that, a carp!” Salted Fish unhappily corrected Fangzheng’s wrong choice of words, then he shot a glance at the rice pot on the table. His heart instantly winced as he cursed inwardly. “Are these bunch of grandsons rice buckets? How are they almost done with such a huge pot?”
“Carp just doesn’t sound right. We’ll just call you Salted Fish. Salted Fish, what are you doing here? Weren’t you swimming in the Heavenly Dragon Pond?” Fangzheng ate as he spoke.
When Salted Fish took in the fragrance, he gulped down his saliva and glared at the rice in the rice pot diagonally. “I… I… Well…” Salted Fish was truly at a loss of what to say, but he was turning anxious seeing that the rice was almost gone! This was especially so when he saw Squirrel who was close to bursting at the seams from eating; yet, he kept stuffing food into his mouth. Clearly, he wanted to finish the food and lick it clean, so that there would be none for him!
Salted Fish’s heart skipped a beat as he cursed inwardly. “Hey, little guy, you are clearly trying to compete in shamelessness with me! I’ve already thickened my skin to ask for food, but you are thickening your skin to act ignorant? Fine, let’s see who’s worse!”
With this in mind, Salted Fish grinned and came to the table-side. He jumped onto the table and, like a human, placed his fin over the side of the rice pot. His series of actions were extremely natural, as though he was an ordinary person leaning onto a railing. It was as though he had zero motives and was simply leaning there. Salted Fish thought to himself, “With me being so obvious, are you still going to feign ignorance?”
However, Salted Fish had underestimated how thick-skinned the people of One Finger Monastery were. Fangzheng smiled and asked, “Oh? Is there something?”
Salted Fish gulped his saliva and said, “Oh it’s dinner time, so I came to take a look.”
“Yes, it’s dinner time. We are all having our meal. Aren’t you returning to have dinner?” Squirrel looked up. But as he had eaten too much, he subconsciously burped.
Salted Fish rolled his eyes, thinking, “Have dinner? Where?”
“I’m still not full. I’ll get a little more.” At that moment, Red Boy began his attempt to get more rice.
Salted Fish turned anxious as he pressed down on the rice pot. “You’ve eaten quite a lot. Have some rest.”
“I still can eat. Don’t worry.” Red Boy pulled away Salted Fish’s fin and continued scooping the rice.
Salted Fish looked at Fangzheng who was sitting there calm and composed while eating. Salted Fish shouted. “Master, don’t I get fed by being your monastery’s Guardian Protector?”
The moment that was said, Fangzheng finally reacted. He looked up and said, “Guardian Protector?”
“That’s right!” Salted Fish nodded.
Fangzheng shook his head and said, “This Penniless Monk hasn’t fully agreed on this matter.”
“Uh, what do you mean? Didn’t you agree on it previously?” Salted Fish had an ominous feeling.
Fangzheng said, “Let’s put it this way. The present situation is that This Penniless Monk is One Finger Monastery’s abbot. Whether One Finger Monastery hires people or not and who it hires depends on This Penniless Monk. By coming here to be Guardian Protector, you are basically applying for a job. Whether This Penniless Monk hires you depends on his mood.”
“No… That’s not… About that… Eh, that’s not right! If you don’t need a Guardian Protector, why did you bring me here?” Salted Fish was initially a little dumbfounded, but when he finally realized what was happening, he immediately retorted.
Fangzheng spread his hands and said, “This Penniless Monk is hiring, but the final candidate hasn’t been decided on yet. As for you, letting you live in the Heavenly Dragon Pond is an act of kindness so that you have a temporary place to stay. As for meals… You will have to settle them yourself. This Penniless Monk’s monastery is small, and it doesn’t host traveling monks for board and lodging. Now then, this is the monks’ residential area. Patron, it’s best you leave.”
Red Boy chuckled. “If you are really hungry, you can stand at the northwestern edge and open your mouth wide. The northwestern winds will really fill you up 1 .”
Salted Fish nearly jumped up in anger. He smacked the table and shouted. “You aren’t providing me meals and are still asking me to take a walk? No way! I’m not leaving if you aren’t giving me food! No—I’m definitely eating this meal!”
With that said, the carp jumped into the rice pot, planning to ignore the consequences. All that mattered was that he got to eat! Anything he managed to put in his mouth would be a win!
The carp knew that there were quite a few people there, but his actions were very sudden and swift. He didn’t pull any other tricks. Besides, when throwing himself into the pot, he did so with his mouth open. With the thought of eating anything he could, he jumped in headfirst!
“Aiyah…” Salted Fish held his mouth and stared at the stainless steel bottom of the pot which looked like it had been scrubbed clean. He bellowed furiously. “That’s too much! There was still rice a moment ago! In just the time it took to say a few words, how did the pot end up being the only thing left? Were all of you born in the year of the dog? Why is it licked so clean? It’s even shiny!”
The moment he said that, Salted Fish looked to the side at the slightly dazed Lone Wolf. He facepalmed and mumbled. “F**k! There’s really a dog.”
Lone Wolf’s expression changed. What the heck was this darn fish saying? He was a wolf, not a dog, alright? However, seeing how miserable Salted Fish looked and considering how it affected his rations, he didn’t say a word.
At that moment, Salted Fish’s voice was trembling and choking. He was new, and he suffered a beating before being starved. What bullies! How could they treat an old fish like that?
Seeing Salted Fish look furious, Fangzheng actually felt his heart pain for him and was a little regretful. However, he quickly noticed a wily glint in Salted Fish’s huge eyes. Clearly, this fellow was acting again!
Fangzheng gave up on the idea of letting Salted Fish eat. He rapped the table and said, “That’s not the point. The point is you aren’t a member of the monastery, so you can’t eat the monastery’s food.”
“I want to join the monastery!” Salted Fish shouted immediately.
Fangzheng nodded and said, “That’s not up to you. To be able to join One Finger Monastery, it depends on fate as well as merit. If you do well, you will naturally be taken in. If you do badly, This Penniless Monk will really not want you.”
Salted Fish grinned. “Mount Numinous has a lot more rules than you. I was admitted even there, so what about a small monastery like yours.”
Fangzheng smiled in satisfaction. He had been waiting for Salted Fish to say that. Hence he said, “This Penniless Monk can hire you, but not as a disciple, nor as an official employee. Consider it temporary work. If you do well, you will be promoted to a formal employee. As a temporary worker, the food you eat will be limited for now. After you become a formal employee, you will be promoted and have your rations increased based on your performance.”
“Oh? You plan on playing such a game?” Salted Fish was a wily old fox, so his mind was sharp. He could tell that there were underlying trickery and loopholes in the sentence.
Fangzheng chuckled. “That’s the way it is. It’s up to you to accept it.”
“If I don’t accept, can I leave the mountain?” Salted Fish asked.
Fangzheng chuckled. “Feel free.”
Salted Fish was instantly delighted. He said with a smile, “With all the capabilities I have at my age, do you think I’ll starve to death because of you? I’m heading down the mountain!”