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Home > The Monk That Wanted To Renounce Asceticism

11 Having Money!

 "In a Buddhist hall, no standing on one leg, leaning against the wall or tables, resting your chin or standing akimbo, no leaning against the pillars or fouling the place with one's words. When sitting, one cannot have their feet stretched out."

"When standing straight, one has to have their hands cupped together or placed together as a form of respect."

"In the hall, one is not to yawn, spit or fart. If it cannot be helped, one should remove themselves from the area first."

"When yawning, one has to use their sleeve to cover their mouth. When spitting, one has to use tissues to wrap it properly and then place it in one's pocket. One is prohibited from constantly entering and exiting in a way that disturbs others."

"Of course, One Finger Temple does not have many people offering incense so there is little chance of disturbing others."

Fangzheng sighed, revealing a look of melancholic worry. For as the words left his mouth he was reminded of the incomplete mission handed to him by the System. To obtain ten incense offerings in thirty days. It sounded simple but would be extremely difficult for him to accomplish.

Fang Yunjing noticed his distress. "Master, are you worried about the incense offerings?"

Fangzheng nodded slightly. "Indeed I am."

"Master, you are so amazing. You can foretell dangers others will face and you can even tame wild beasts. You are an esteemed monk with true ability. So why are you afraid of having a lack of incense offerings? When we return home, we will help you promote this place. In time, I promise you that there will be lots of incense offerings in your temple!" Ma Juan said immediately.

Zhao Datong and Hu Han nodded their heads vigorously. Then the group began brainstorming different promotional tactics. They discussed things like posting pictures on a site, writing thoughts on social media, using messaging groups and organizing tours.

Fangzheng was perplexed when he heard this but did not take it seriously. What could a few students do? Back when he was in school, all he did was play truant.

In the midst of all this, the group also consulted him on Buddhist teachings, some of which Fangzheng was able to answer. When he was unable to answer, he simply smiled and remained silent, leaving an air of religious mystery.

"One only regrets not acquiring enough knowledge when the time comes to use it. I'm able to use the knowledge I have acquired yet am unable to answer anything complex. If this continues I won't be able to cope at all. It looks like being a master won't be easy for me even with the system as an aid. I should start reading more to build up my range of knowledge." Fangzheng sighed to himself as he watched the young hikers fall asleep.

Once the night ended without any peculiarities Fangzheng returned to the temple at the break of dawn.

He was the only one in the temple, so there were many daily duties and chores he would have to perform. He couldn't skip out on his morning study nor could he skip sweeping the hall. He also needed to make breakfast, a sole monk was a busy one.

Breakfast was a bowl of porridge and a plate of salted vegetables. Although it was a poor and plain meal, given the lack of funds he had there was no other choice.

As for Lone Wolf, Fangzheng let it hunt for its own meal. He was unable to provide for a big eater like the wolf. Wolves had huge appetites... Fangzheng had convinced Lone Wolf to not attack humans. It was also prohibited from eyeing the poultry at the foot of the mountain. Meaning it could only hunt on the mountain.

After drinking three bowls of porridge, the amount being so much that Fangzheng felt that he was being extravagant, he walked out while rubbing his half-filled stomach. Just as he was about to pay his respects to Buddha, he smelled a fragrance. Having grown up in the temple, he was more than familiar with this smell! It was clearly the fragrance of recently-burnt Buddhist incense!

"This isn't any ordinary incense. It's high incense!" Fangzheng determined the circumstances and shouted excitedly, "High incense? I can't bear using high incense. Did someone come to offer incense? There are incense offerings?"

Fangzheng ran to the hall almost bouncing from overflowing energy. He saw four sticks of high incense stuck in the incense cauldron. Wisps of smoke were rising into the air. He swore that it was the most beautiful site that he had ever laid eyes upon!

However, there were no incense-offerers in the hall. After looking around and determining that there wasn't anyone, Fangzheng suddenly came to a realization. He smiled. "Kindness does beget kindness. These must be the incense offerings of Fang Yunjing and company."

After Fangzheng said that, he walked into the hall and prepared to clean the floor. But when he got closer, he was shocked to realize that there was money in front of the incense cauldron!

Fangzheng hurriedly took it and looked at it carefully. There were red-colored bills! There was a total of eight bills, which meant eight hundred bucks!

"Nice. People say that college students these days are rich. They are indeed! The incense they offered is high incense. One stick of high incense is two hundred bucks! Wait a moment. I seem to have forgotten something." After a wistful moment, Fangzheng hurriedly looked around the hall and then smacked his head. "System Bro, I remember that there was a Merit Box in this hall. Where did you put the Merit Box?"

"It is tainted and has been discarded. If the Host wants one, a System Merit Box can be purchased," said the System.

"Dude, that's something that provides for my meals! If you throw it away, how do I collect money? Will you stand by and watch me eat dirt?" Fangzheng turned anxious. The incense offerings were far and few between. It was not simple for him to get even a few people, but now there was no Merit Box. If it were anyone else they would have refrained from donating. After all not everyone was like the four college students.

"Mt. One Finger has fertile land. The Host can farm for food," the System answered matter-of-factly.

Fangzheng replied, "What the f**k, are you mad?! It's already autumn. You want me to farm? I'll turn into a pile of bones before the crop is ready! And even if I wanted to plant crops, I don't have the money to buy any seeds!"

Boom!

A bolt of lightning flashed, striking right in front of Fangzheng.

"Cursing the System will result in lightning strikes. Each day, you will get three warnings. If the violation continues past the third time, the one being struck will be you," said the System.

Fangzheng pointed his middle finger toward the sky.

Boom!

Another bolt of lightning struck the spot in front of Fangzheng. The thunder left his ears buzzing and his eyes felt like they were blacking out.

"Obscene hand gestures are equivalent to cursing with the mouth. In addition, the lightning's power will only increase." the System warned once again.

Fangzheng repressed his anger and went on a mental tirade stringing curse after curse together before he calmed himself down enough to continue, "You sure are ruthless! Let's talk about food. Without seeds how am I to farm?"

The System said, "The Host can buy seeds from the System. They can be planted all year round and can be harvested in a day. The quantity and quality harvested are high tier. There will not be any impurities and the food can enhance bodily functions. There is zero chance of disease upon consumption. As for money to buy the seeds, don't you have money in your hand?"

Fangzheng looked down at the eight hundred bucks in his hand and yelled, "Don't you covet this! I'll go down the mountain and buy seeds myself!"

"Friendly reminder. As the abbot of the temple, you cannot be too far from the temple. The range of movement will be expanded as the temple levels up. Currently, you are unable to leave Mt. One Finger."

"I can't leave? What does that mean? Am I a hostage, a kidnapee!? What happens if I leave? Will you immediately disqualify me?" Fangzheng probed with a question. He was feeling a little excited. If he could truly escape from the System, he would flee! He didn't have many wishes in life, and all he wanted to do was return to the secular world. He wanted to marry and have children so that he could lead a peaceful and quiet life!

"You can try."

"Try? Sure!" Fangzheng rushed out as he said that. In one fell swoop, he ran to the foot of the mountain. When he saw the stone tablet with the words 'Mt. One Finger' that had been severely corroded by the elements, Fangzheng skidded to a stop. Although he did not know what the System meant by "You can try," Fangzheng was still somewhat worried. The unknown has always been mankind's greatest fear.

After a great deal of thinking, Fangzheng cursed, "You sure are ruthless!"

Fangzheng returned up the mountain dragging his feet, regretting his choice to accept the System.