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Home > The Monk That Wanted To Renounce Asceticism

108 Bringing a Basin up the Mountain

 Wang Yougui was walking right in front with Tan Juguo and family behind. Yang Ping and his family were also present.

Despite his old age, Tan Juguo's pace was brisk.

"Grandpa, why are you walking so fast? I almost can't catch up!" a fat lad exclaimed.

Tan Juguo said with a boisterous laugh, "That's because you lack motivation! Look at that darn kid, Wang Yougui, and that Yang Ping. All of them are running like they were flying. If we aren't fast enough, we might not even get to drink the broth."

"Dad, why are you... It's just a bowl of Laba Congee. Is there a need to do this?" a middle-aged man said with a laugh.

A woman beside the man echoed, "That's right. Although you are strong for your age, you shouldn't be competing with youngsters. Tan Yong, why don't we do this. Since Dad wants to drink Laba Congee, why don't you walk faster and bring one back for him?"

Tan Yong was taken aback before he said with a wry smile, "Alright, alright. Hold on, I'll be going forward."

With that said, Tan Yong ran forward and chased after Wang Yougui.

Wang Yougui said with a laugh, "Tan Yong, did your father tell you to pick up the pace?"

Tan Yong said with a wry smile, "Brother Wang, what is up with all of you? You are all running like there's wind underneath your feet. All of you are running too fast."

Wang Yougui gave a mysterious smile and said, "Don't ask anymore. The temple is right in front of us. When you are there, take a look for yourself."

The moment the voice faded, Tan Yong caught a whiff of a thick aromatic fragrance from afar. His eyes immediately lit up. "What's that smell? Why is it so fragrant?"

"Heh! This kid is indeed capable. How fragrant!" Upon saying that, Wang Yougui carried his child and pulled his wife along as he sped up! Tan Yong was no fool either as he immediately followed.

From afar, Wang Yougui loudly shouted, "Kid- Abbot! We are here. What are you brewing? Why is it so fragrant?"

Fangzheng said with a smile, "Nothing much. Laba Congee."

"It's truly fragrant. Quick, quick, get me a bowl." Wang Yougui put down his child and took out three bowls before placing them in front of Fangzheng.

When Tan Yong saw this, he exclaimed, "Uncle Wang, what did you bring your face-washing basin for? Wait, no that's not right. This is a bathing basin, right?"

"Scram! Is your house's bathing basin so tiny? Is it for yourself?" Wang Yougui blushed as he retorted jovially.

Tan Yong chuckled at his joke.

Fangzheng was completely speechless when he took a look. Wang Yougui was truly clever. He knew that his Crystal Rice was delicious so the congee definitely could not be bad. He had brought three bowls that had a diameter about the length of a forearm! He said with a wry smile, "Patron Wang, this is... a soup basin, right?"

Wang Yougui laughed with embarrassment as he commented, "About that, who knows if you have some silly rule? So it's best to bring a bigger one."

Fangzheng was rendered speechless. He had really not asked the System. Hence, he immediately asked, "System, are they able to eat their fill with the Laba Congee?"

"One bowl a person. Not one more. Although Laba Congee is free, it cannot be flagrantly wasted or handing them out will be meaningless. It is just like how Buddhist scriptures cannot be given away. Everything needs a limit."

Fangzheng looked at Wang Yougui and suddenly realized that he was indeed worthy of being village chief. He was smart! He had even considered the rules of the System. Impressive!

Fangzheng asked, "Even such a large bowl would count?

"Opportunities are prepared for others. The saying that all are equal means that the opportunities provided are equal. It does not mean the outcome would be equal. Diligent people naturally will obtain more. The lazy will naturally obtain less."

Fangzheng was enlightened. Hence, he filled up Wang Yougui's bowl to the brim without any hesitation. Then, he said with a smile, "Patron Wang, you just need to bathe Buddha upon entry. Everything else is up to you. This temple is small, so there aren't many programs scheduled."

Wang Yougui looked at the three big bowls of Laba Congee and was about to thank him when he saw something in the bowl. He exclaimed in shock, "W-what is in here?"

Tan Yong had also seen it. He exclaimed as well, "There are engravings on the green beans! The dates look like Buddha?! Heavens, Fangzheng, was this done by you?"

Fangzheng held his palms together and smiled slightly. He did not say a thing for it was not something that could be easily answered. He decided to be ambiguous.

Wang Yougui looked at the lifelike Buddha, Vajra, arhats, lotus flowers, lions and mystical beasts in the congee and marveled, "In all my life, I've had Laba Congee from several temples, but this is the first time I'm seeing such intricate cooking! Abbot, ignoring everything else, just the smell and the skill are impressive!"

Wang Yougui's wife praised as well, "Why didn't I know that you have such skill? Sigh, it's such a pity to have such skill when you are a monk. If you were to go out and open a restaurant, you would be rich."

Wang Yougui glared at his wife and said, "What nonsense is that?"

His wife smiled embarrassedly and did not speak further.

Fangzheng held his palms together and said with a laugh, "It's fine."

When Wang Yougui's wife saw this, she glared back at Wang Yougui and said, "Look at him, look at yourself. See how shameful you are! Let's go and drink the congee! The congee really smells good."

Wang Yougui was pulled away by his wife. However, Tan Yong could not wait any longer as he hurriedly came forward with his bowl. "Fangzheng, quickly give me a bowl."

Fangzheng smiled and filled the bowl for him. Tan Yong immediately tried it and only wanted to sample its flavor, but he ended up gulping it down his stomach. All he could think of was to wolf it down and suck at it until the entire bowl was clean!

Bam! He put down the big bowl and felt his entire body turn warm. It was such a pleasant feeling, and there was a lingering fragrance in his mouth. The taste was excellent!

Tan Yong hurriedly said, "Give me another bowl!"

However, Fangzheng shook his head and said with a smile, "One person can only have one bowl. Patron, that is the rule."

"There are really rules?" Tan Yong was taken aback. He thought that Wang Yougui had just been joking, but he never expected that the food would truly be limited. However, Tan Yong was unwilling to give up. He went forward and tugged at Fangzheng and said, "Fangzheng, you never said this, but didn't we grow up together in the village? It's not like you haven't had food at my place. So, can't you give me another bowl?"

"Amitabha. Patron, it's the rule. It absolutely cannot be violated. One bowl a person, only less not more," Fangzheng shook his head decisively as he rejected him.

Tan Yong immediately felt unhappy. "Fangzheng, that's just so mean of you..."

"Tan Yong, you were supposed to get a bowl of congee for Dad, why did you end up drinking it all?" Tan Yong's wife had arrived.

Only then did Tan Yong recall that he was here not for himself. Hence, he said, "I won't drink the next bowl. It's for my Dad. That works, right?"

Fangzheng nodded and filled it up for him. Tan Yong looked at the various dried fruits in the bowl and licked his lips. He was truly hoping to have it! However, Tan Juguo was behind him. If he were to have it while his father did not, he would be in trouble.

Tan Yong took a deep breath and held his breath. It would work if he did not breathe or look at it, right?

Tan Yong carried the Laba Congee over and his wife, Liu Yuan took it. She blew at it, afraid that it would scald Tan Juguo. When Tan Yong saw this, he stopped breathing. Just as he was about to say something, he felt the fragrance assault his olfactory senses!

Tan Yong swallowed the words he was about to say and immediately turned and walked away. He could not watch any further! Any longer, and his face would be streaming in tears!