PTTP Ch. 7.1: The First Taoist Priest

Translator: Dj22031

Editor: Dj22031

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Xie Lingya sincerely asked He Zun to bring his classmates to eat melon seeds and drink tea. He recently bought some tea and set up some tables and chairs in the front yard for people to rest and order tea and melon seeds, where they could chat while eating.

Alas, not many people were interested in offering incense, so he could only make some extra money like this.

Although there was a bit of a dark line, He Zun thought about it and realized that this was indeed easier to persuade than having people burn incense, so he decided to go back and recommend another method.


Because life in the Taoist temple was relatively tight, Xie Lingya had not asked his family for money since college, and now it was even less possible for his father to subsidize his living expenses. It was worse before, but now he could eat meat regularly and sell melon seeds to increase his income.

Xie Lingya thought about it and simply used the land in the backyard to grow some vegetables and save whatever he could. He still had to save the money he could save.

In the past, when this land was not wild, Wang Yuji used to take care of it. There were melons and vegetables planted here. Xie Lingya helped him with the work and knew something about it.

When there was nothing going on in the front yard, Xie Lingya would farm in the back, comforting himself that hard work and simplicity were the way to go.

Halfway through his work, an aunt came over and called him: “Xiao Xie, Xiao Xie, come quickly, your colleague is here.”

My colleague? Where do I have colleagues?

Xie Lingya was confused. He was watering the plants. He put down the kettle and wiped his hands. When he went out, he saw a Taoist priest in a Taoist robe standing in the front yard. He was about thirty years old. He had a mustache on his mouth and a few strands of beard on his chin, with sparse hair tied into a bun on top of his head, and a bag in his hand.

The Taoist priest with a mustache saw Xie Lingya follow the aunt out and walk up to him. Before he could recover, he said doubtfully: “Hello, I want to find the temple master here.”

“There is no temple master in the temple for the time being. Taoist priest, what do you want to do with me?” Xie Lingya looked the Taoist priest up and down, always feeling that his beard looked weird.

The Taoist priest with a mustache said hurriedly: “Excuse me, I want to place orders here.”

As long as you are a Taoist priest, you can live in the local Taoist temple when you go to other places. This was called placing orders. The rules varied from ancient times to the present. In modern society, regular Taoist priests who had obtained a Taoist priest certificate could generally live and eat in other Taoist temples for three days for free. If they stayed further, they had to pay money to the Taoist temple.

Xie Lingya also knew this rule. It was just the first time he encountered it. There was an extra room in the backyard, but it was just not tidied up. He said politely: “The Taoist leader, please come with me to put your luggage first, and I will prepare a room and come out.”

“Thank you, thank you, little brother.” The Taoist priest with a mustache thanked him.

Xie Lingya asked casually as he walked: “I don’t mean anything else, but in our local area, Taihe Temple is much more famous. Why didn’t you go to Taihe Temple to place an order?” Not only was it more famous, but the accommodation environment must also be better when you go there.

The mustachioed Taoist priest hesitated and said: “This… Taihe Temple is too biased…”

Xie Lingya suspiciously looked at the mustachioed Taoist priest twice more, and suddenly stopped and said: “Is it so? The conditions of our Taoist temple are like this, damn it, why are you cheating on me by eating and drinking for free?”

He lifted up the Taoist priest’s clothes with a mustache, and there were several vague words on the inside of the hem, which could be clearly identified as “Longhu Scenic Area”, and they were faintly visible when he walked around.

——Longhu Scenic Area was a tourist attraction in Qiyang City. There was no Taoist temple inside, only an antique market. The staff inside were all dressed in ancient costumes, and there were also actors such as scholars, beggars, and fortune tellers roaming the streets to increase the sense of reality.

Xie Lingya thought before that the material of his clothes seemed to be of poor quality, but now that he thought about it…of course the performance clothes were of poor quality!

“No, no, you misunderstood!” The mustachioed Taoist priest didn’t know whether to touch his clothes first or to take out his ID first. “I’m a real Taoist priest. I just worked there!”

Xie Lingya: “???”

What the hell, being a true Taoist priest, you work in Longhu Scenic Area?

Xie Lingya suspiciously checked the Taoist certificate of the mustachioed Taoist priest, and it turned out to be genuine. “What’s the matter? You are not an actor.”

The mustachioed Taoist priest said dejectedly: “But I am poor.”

Xie Lingya: “…”

Xie Lingya: “Really how can you be so poor? You don’t even have a place to live?”

The Taoist priest with a mustache raised his head and told a very sad story.

His real name was Zhang Daoting, and there was only one word difference between his name and Zhang Daoling, the legendary founder of Tianshi Dao, but his fate was very different.

He had neither a father nor a mother. He became a monk when he was eighteen years old. In less than a year, the number of incense offerings in Taoist temples became less and less, and he could not even eat. He was invited out by a friendly friend, and each of them tried to help him find a way out.

He never expected that he could be laid off at a Taoist Temple.

In the next eight years, he went to many places, but the Taoist temples where he officially took office usually declined due to various reasons, and he could not even afford to eat.

Last year, Mustache came to Qiyang. This time, instead of going to the Taoist temple, he simply went to work in a scenic spot. Because he had an advantage over those actors and he could memorize some classic Taoist mantras, he successfully applied for the job. Just sit in the scenic spot and take photos with tourists every day. Food and accommodation were included with the job.

However, the good times did not last long. A few days ago, he was complained against by tourists for sleeping during working hours. It happened to be the time of inspection by the senior leaders and he was fired.

Mustache had actually been to Taihe Temple. He had placed orders there for three days and stayed there for three days. But because he had no money to pay for room and board after that, he came out again, and then he saw Baoyang Temple.

After hearing this unfortunate story, Xie Lingya had a look of disbelief on his face: “You became a monk at the age of eighteen and lived for eight years, so you are only twenty-six now?”

But you look like thirty-six!

Mustache: “…”

Mustache touched his beard and said awkwardly: “This was required by the scenic spot… No, are you focusing on the wrong thing?”

Xie Lingya said sarcastically: “Why are you so unlucky?”

“I want to know too. My master told me that my life is too bad. Maybe my parents have been tricked by me and abandoned me.” Mustache said, “Well, little brother, I will live here for a few days. Will that do? Only until I find another job.”

Xie Lingya said curiously: “When you look for another job, aren’t you going to go to a Taoist temple?”

Mustache: “I’d better not harm others…”

Xie Lingya thought for a moment. His experience was bad enough, and he felt something was wrong, “Wait a minute, your unit provided food and accommodation, but you still haven’t saved any money? Can’t even pay the fee for a single day?” Living in a Taoist temple was already cheaper than staying in a hotel or renting an apartment.

“Oh…” Mustache scratched his head and said, “Basically all my salary is donated to the welfare home. I grew up without a father or a mother, so I know how difficult it is.”

Xie Lingya was stunned.

He took a closer look at Moustache and found that although the man had a wretched beard, he had a sincere and reliable face with upright eyes, a straight nose, and downward eyebrows.

Mustache turned his head and said: “You have planted vegetables. Hey, let me help you water them.”

Xie Lingya looked at him with a complicated expression, “Taoist Master Hu[1], in fact, we don’t have a Taoist priest in our Taoist temple now. If you don’t mind, you can stay.”

Mustache: “…my surname is Zhang.”

Xie Lingya: “…”

Xie Lingya: “I’m sorry I remembered it wrong. Well, the conditions here are not very good. If you are willing, I will pay you eight hundred yuan a month for food and accommodation, and the legal affairs will be taken into account separately. Is that okay?”

The single price was equivalent to the basic salary of a Taoist priest. Excluding the large temples with particularly good incense offering, the single price of ordinary Taoist temples actually started from a few hundred to one or two thousand. If you go out to do something, it would be calculated separately, just like commission.

Baoyang Temple was now so poor that Xie Lingya had to farm his own land to save money, but he still had some money left over from He Zun’s uncle’s commission and could survive for a while. He dared to pay this money because a Taoist temple must have Taoist priests, which was a necessary investment.

As for other questions…

Mustache: “Aren’t you afraid that I’m so unlucky?”

“I’m not afraid. An expert once told me that I was made to be a Taoist god, and I can lead people around me forward.” Xie Lingya said indifferently, “I don’t think your luck is bad enough to defeat me.”

Mustache: “…”

And to be honest, if Mustache hadn’t been so unlucky, he might not have been able to recruit Taoist priests as people always wanted to go to higher places, anyway Mustache still had a Taoist certificate, which could only be applied for after eight years of transmission.

Xie Lingya was not afraid anymore. What else was scary about the Mustache? He immediately said: “Then I will ask you to give me more advice from now on!”

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[1] Lit. Mustache LMAO…

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