Chapter 12: Staying Alive
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
The villagers’ eyes instantly widened, each of their faces flushed bright red. What could excite one more than this precious gold?
A gold ingot in exchange for a Fire Plume Chicken? This is a gift from heaven!
To these villagers, even tiny pieces of broken silver were sufficient to cover a household’s monthly expenses.
This was an ingot of gold!
They could live off this for dozens of years! The eyes of each villager glimmered with greed.
Fang Zhengzhi was no exception.
"Gold!" Fang Zhengzhi instinctively shouted out loud. If not for the shouts of excitements of other villagers, he would have been exposed instantly.
Fang Zhengzhi was brimming with excitement, what kind of Fire Plume Chicken does Lolita like to eat?
This was too easy, wasn’t it the one he roasted?
Ha ha ha… I am going to earn a gold ingot!
Fang Zhengzhi grinned with delight.
Yet, after some consideration, he realised something was amiss…
Roasting a Fire Plume Chicken by himself was no problem, indeed, the ingredients were part of his family’s secret recipe. But what method should he use to pass the chicken to her?
"Hey, this is the Fire Plume Chicken I roasted. Let’s have a fair exchange of money and goods. Now pass me the gold!"
Fang Zhengzhi wasn’t stupid. If he proceeded as such, it was akin to suicide!
Enlisting the help of others?
Fang Zhengzhi quickly rejected this thought.
Firstly, if others were to carry out the exchange for him, getting the gold back from them would be a huge problem. Moreover, no matter how many people were involved in the exchange process, the Southern Mountain Village only consisted of over a hundred households. Given Lolita’s abilities, discovering the source of the chicken would be easy.
Sigh, I still can’t stay alive…
What to do, what to do?
Fang Zhengzhi hopped about in anxiety, but he couldn’t think of a suitable solution. Wait a minute, how about waiting till Lolita leaves the village, then stealthily leaving the chicken on the path towards the village entrance?
What if Lolita plays cheat?
Even though this idea was indeed feasible, but it definitely wasn’t the safest. I have to get my hands on this gold ingot. She had already taken it out, it would be risky to allow her to take it back.
Fang Zhengzhi cried out silently. Lolita was definitely doing this on purpose, using gold to lure him into her trap. Yes, this was definitely the case.
But, the gold!
Fang Zhengzhi’s eyes were glimmering with greed. Even though he knew this was Lolita’s trap, but not claiming this gold ingot he was entitled to was unthinkable!
"Who cares, this might be Lolita’s trap, but I must get my hands on this gold!" As Fang Zhengzhi thought to himself, the excited villagers couldn't control themselves anymore and started to call out.
"I can roast! I can roast!"
"Missus please wait, I have a Fire Plume Chicken at home, I will go roast it immediately!"
Undeniably, the power of a single gold ingot was colossal. In a matter of seconds, the villagers quickly dispersed towards their individual households.
Even Li Zhuangshi who passed the round didn’t hesitate, failing to qualify for the Divine Constabulary, he might as well take advantage of this opportunity to earn some gold!
The scuttling of the villagers left Fang Zhengzhi no choice but to run as fast as his stumpy legs could carry him, blending in with the frenzied crowd. Naturally, he didn’t wish to be left alone in the middle of the village square, waiting to be caught by Lolita…
The entire village square became desolate.
However, just as quickly, the square started to fill up again. The villagers from each household began to prepare their stoves, roasting the Fire Plume Chickens with unprecedented intensity.
Dozens of households filled the village square, their numbers limited only by the shortage of Fire Plume Chickens in the village.
On the other hand, Village Chief Meng Bai led a team of villagers armed with water buckets, standing on alert for any mishaps that may set the village on fire.
"Mum, don’t go!" Fang Zhengzhi, his face speechless, cried out at Qin Xuelian, who somehow got her hands on a Fire Plume Chicken. Yet, looking at her restless expression, Fang Zhengzhi knew her mind was set.
"Zhengzhi you are still young, you won’t understand. This is gold, a large ingot of gold. If luck is on our side, we wouldn’t have to worry about our finances for dozens of years!" Qin Xuelian didn’t even bother to pay any attention to Fang Zhengzhi, snatching up the furnace with one hand and sprinting out of the house. Fang Zhengzhi had no chance to stop her at all.
As she ran she screamed at Fang Zhengzhi’s dad, "Quick! Hurry up!"
"Alright, alright… I’m coming, I’m coming!" A man with big eyes and bushy eyebrows ran out from somewhere within the house, carrying a pile of charcoal. His face seemed sincere and honest, wearing a tattered piece of leather, carrying the same restless and excited expression. However, his right arm was nowhere to be seen.
Fang Zhengzhi didn’t even have any time to react before his dad disappeared without any trace.
"After being married for years, their personalities indeed influenced each other…" Fang Zhengzhi stared blankly at the now deserted hut. I know that children of poor households have to assume the family head role early, but I’m only six! How can they leave me alone at home just like this?
Ultimately, a child has no say over the adults. At his young age, he had no choice but to stand guard at home and assume the role of a good boy. It would be wishful thinking to hope that the adults would listen to his opinions.
Shiny ingots of gold, who dare say kids won’t understand? I want it even more than you adults!
How can I safely, yet successfully, claim that gold? Fang Zhengzhi looked up at the azure blue skies, his large black eyes shifting around in their sockets. I have to present the Fire Plume Chicken in front of the entire village, else she might go back on her words. But, I bet she will capture me on the spot.
Even if my punishment is light, I’ll still be spanked. If the punishment is heavy, I might not even be able to keep my life!
What to do?
I must think of a way that will allow me to retreat in one piece! And there’s another problem, where do I even find a Fire Plume Chicken? As he pondered, his gaze drifted towards his neighbour’s courtyard.
The Fire Plume Chicken…
This problem can definitely be solved!
Only by increasing our interactions can we truly capitalise on our neighbourly spirits! As he thought of his neighbour, Fang Zhengzhi suddenly remembered Li Zhuangshi’s feat of lifting the two hundred and fifty kilograms of black cauldron. At the same time, memories of the preliminary examination and Lolita’s incessant questions on stage, asking who knew how to read, flowed through his mind.
"Aha!" Fang Zhengzhi’s eyes instantly lit up.
The army of chefs on the village square finally begin to disperse, their hands carrying a single roasted Fire Plume Chicken, forming a snaking queue waiting for Lolita to sample their masterpieces.