Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
In the spring of the next year, when the weather turned warm.
Xia Jili held Xia Ke’s hand as she got off the public bus. He watched his daughter walk into school with eyes filled with warmth and a smile. At that moment, his cell phone rang.
“Hello? Hi, I’m Xia Jili,” said Xia Jili.
“Boss Xia? I’m Old Xu! Our company’s project is done. The funds have returned. I can return you the money I owe you. Sniff, yes, there’s also interest. Everything will be paid together. Hehe!” On the other end of the call, a fatty with bruises all over his face was speaking as he wiped his snot. And sitting across from him was a young man. If Fangzheng were present, he would definitely recognize the young man to be the domineering scion, Jing Yulong!
“Ah?” Xia Jili was taken aback. This tightwad that had owed him money for five years was returning him his money? He felt like he was dreaming!
Old Xu hung up before making a few more phone calls. He was planning to repay all the money he owed. After Xia Jili did the accounts, he realized that everything would turn for the better again if he had the money! Xia Jili could not help but look up and shout. Which man wouldn’t wish to be successful? Who would wish to remain ordinary? Now, with money and the ability to do something with it, he was determined to do something big! He wanted to return whatever he owed his daughter by ten times!
Following that, Xia Jili received another phone call. It was a phone call from the city!
“What? Are you for real, Secretary Sun? This project will be given to my company? Alright, alright! I’ll take it! I’ll definitely take it. Hahaha! Aiyah, maybe not. I don’t have any workers on hand right now.” Xia Jili came to a sudden realization after a loud laugh. After a few months of no work being available, all of his workers had left. If the works were to begin any time soon, he wouldn’t have the necessary manpower. And if he randomly got people, he was afraid the quality wouldn’t be up to standards.
However, Secretary Sun said that it wasn’t urgent. He gave him time to think it over before responding.
Unfortunately, after making some calls, Xia Jili realized that as it was spring, a peak period for construction work, all the foremen he knew had already started work elsewhere, so they weren’t available. Xia Jili was left in a sorry plight. All he could do was get someone to put a recruitment notice on his company’s entrance to try his best to get the personnel matters in order.
The next day, after Xia Jili sent Xia Ke to school, he rushed to his company and was left dumbfounded when he arrived. He saw a huge group of people sitting there, all of them eating some pastry or drinking water, chatting happily among themselves.
When these people saw Xia Jili, they immediately ran over. When they came close, Xia Jili realized that their leader was Wang Dayou!
“Boss Xia, I heard that you have work, so we came. Are you hiring?” Wang Dayou asked happily.
Xia Jili was dumbfounded seeing the people before him! They were the batch of workers whom he had owed their salaries! Seeing their smiling faces, Xia Jili cried. He bowed and said, “Thank you, everyone!”
He wasn’t a fool. He knew them very well. They were all experienced workers, and they all had plenty of work to do. They had job-hopped for him!
“Boss Xia, you are being polite. We got to know you as a person from the previous matter. We feel assured working with you! However, if you owe us our salary again, you will have to sell your company. Hehe,” a stout man said with a laugh.
This only resulted in a series of curses. “Don’t jinx things! We want to get rich!”
Xia Jili clenched his teeth and said, “Yes! Get rich! All workers will have their salaries doubled! Let’s get rich together!”
“Yeah!” Cheers reverberated.
A distance away, Jing Yan saw this scene and sent Fangzheng a message: “Good people deserve kindness. How nice.”
However, that was an epilogue to the matter that took place months later.
At the moment right after the original happenings, Fangzheng was on his way up the mountain after treating Wang Dayou’s son of his illness. He was berating Salted Fish. “Didn’t you say that your salty smell wouldn’t spread? Then what was it with the room of Wang Dayou’s son?”
Salted Fish said without much thought, “Reverend, what I said was that my salty smell wouldn’t be passed to others, but I didn’t say it wouldn’t spread. But don’t worry, our mountain has strong winds. That bit of smell will be dispersed with one gust of wind.”
“Reverend, I just can’t figure it out. You were the one who helped Wang Dayou get out of his troubles. If you hadn’t revived Qiu Yu, he would have been imprisoned. If it hadn’t been for you using your social connections, even with Patron Jing having the ability to reverse the situation, it would have been a lot more troublesome. At least half the work was done by you. Same with the kid. If you hadn’t taken action, even with people donating to help, he wouldn’t have recovered that quickly, right? Furthermore, I doubt they could have even saved him. Yet after you did all these good deeds, you actually ran when it was time to be rewarded! Especially when saving that kid. You didn’t even show your face. You did it while completely invisible! You didn’t even try to fight for such great merit. What were you doing all of that for?” Salted Fish asked all the questions on his mind.
Fangzheng patted the fish on his head and said, “First, there are certain things that This Penniless Monk shouldn’t fight for. Second, there’s something wrong with what you said. Although This Penniless Monk did his best on this matter, the others weren’t idle either. This Penniless Monk cheated with his divine powers, but the rest helped by putting in their own effort. On this point, This Penniless Monk is inferior to them.
“As for saving Wang Dayou’s son… What kind of explanation do you think This Penniless Monk will have to give once it is discovered that This Penniless Monk appeared and saved him? Explain medicine to them? Even if This Penniless Monk can win a debate against everyone, how is he to explain where his medical skills come from? The medical skills This Penniless Monk possesses far exceed what this world has. This is something that cannot see the light.”
“You could refer it to a divine power, that Buddha descended, or Bodhisattva possessed you!”
Fangzheng said, “Then in the end, wouldn’t everyone thank Buddha and Bodhisattva? Do you think they would find it nice to accept such gratitude? Salted Fish, our world isn’t the immortal world you lived in. No one except This Penniless Monk has divine powers in this world. This Penniless Monk is limited in capability, limited in what he can do. The ones who are really saving people everyday are the doctors on the front lines. This Penniless Monk can use divine powers to beat all doctors and become famous, raising Buddhism’s standing in this world to an unprecedented state!
“But have you thought of the consequences? It would be the uplifting of Buddhism, but the diminishing of medicine. People would only believe in deities and Buddha and not science! In our world, deities and Buddha are both a crutch for the mind and a form of liberation. It is a pursuit of insight into the soul and the source for why all life pursues goodness.
“However, this world’s people cannot leave the material and live solely on their beliefs alone. Too much belief in deities or Buddha would result in the stagnation of mundane progress. Production would fall, as well as other businesses. Thousands of years of hard work put in by humanity would be undone! That’s not merit but a heinous sin!”
Salted Fish was stunned. He was not a person of this world. When considering problems, he would subconsciously use his world view from the other world. Now, with Fangzheng telling him this, he fell into deep thought. Only after a while did he smack his lips and say, “It seems that would be the case… But, based on what you said, wouldn’t believing in Buddha be a sin?”
Fangzheng shook his head. “Exactly the opposite. As the ancients say, inadequate merit results in trouble. Material development has to have a corresponding mental realm as a foundation; otherwise, there will be a situation of inadequate merit.
“Rapid material development which lacks a mental crutch and belief results in the loss of morals. Then, money is seen as the be all and end all, with interests being all that matters. That is evil. Such an outcome is similarly terrifying! The loss of what is material is the death of a human, but the loss of mental beliefs would be the loss of humanity. Humans would no longer be humans as they would plunder everything. This would lead to the death of everything, including humanity itself! This is the evil of our world.
“Therefore, be it Buddhists, Daoists, or all the other saints from the various schools of thought—Eastern or Western—everyone has morals as a yardstick. What is preached is always to lead people to do good. It’s all about subduing evil. Hence, there’s no talk about which is more important. Progressing forward in a balanced manner is what matters.”
As they spoke, the man and salted fish arrived on the mountaintop. Before they even stepped into the monastery, Fangzheng realized that the atmosphere wasn’t right!