Fangzheng continued. Thats right. Today is the Great Cold. Its the day when the world is sealed in ice. The ancients used to say, The villages will be well fed when the three whites are seen during the Great Cold, Man and animals are uneasy when the Great Cold isnt cold, The snow-whiteness of the Great Cold determines the bumper harvest, and A lack of wind during the Great Cold implies dryness. If theres no cold wind and its not cold on this day, its a disaster.
But Master, I dont understand. With the winds blowing so heavily, freezing the entire land, how could there be a bumper harvest? I think that this is more like a disaster, Squirrel said.
Fangzheng smiled. Thats because you dont know yet. The colder the weather, the thicker the frozen soil beneath your feet will be. The coldness can kill the germs and worm eggs in the soil while leaving lots of snow on the surface. Once spring comes, the germs and harmful worms will be gone. And once the snow melts, the snow water will be mixed with all the nutrients when it gets absorbed by the soil. Instantly, all the soil will be filled with nutrients and pest-free! Isnt it natural that this would lead to a bumper harvest?
Everyone was enlightened after hearing Fangzhengs explanation. So that was the reason!
Having diverted their interest, their grumblings decreased, and they were now feeling more curious. They surrounded the stove and began discussing. The atmosphere in the entire monastery became a lot more jovial.
Fangzheng narrowed his eyes as he leaned back into his chair, thinking, This is the feeling I like.
With the day being one of the solar terms, Fangzheng wasnt petty. He gave everyone Crystal Rice to eat and even steamed some bean buns and made a pot of vegetable soup for the occasion. Everyone clamored in excitement, adding plenty of warmth to this cold winter day.
After a rowdy day, when the night turned still, Fangzheng asked the System while in bed, System Bro, I should be able to have a draw, right? I saved quite a number of people this time.
Fangzheng said, System Bro, thats not right. You used to immediately tell me in the past. Why dont you tell me unless I ask? Also, you were quite talkative in the past. Why are you becoming less so these days?
The System said languidly, Have you ever seen a father teach a son who has learned how to speak how to call him father? What needed to be said has been said. You should know when you can and cannot have a draw at the lottery by now. Why should I say so much? Its rare for me to be free, so I naturally have to take a break whenever I can.
Fangzheng was instantly peeved. This bastard was taking advantage of him by calling itself his father! He silently cursed the System before saying, Right, I cant curse you. Fine, I wont argue with you on this. Lets have the draw.
Are you sure you want to draw now? the System asked.
Fangzheng nodded. Yes.
Ding! Congratulations on obtaining an embroidered kasaya!
Fangzheng was taken aback. A kasaya? Then he cried out in delight, A kasaya? This Penniless Monk finally has a kasaya? Hahaha! And its an embroidered one? The one Tripiaka wore?
Fangzhengs cry was very loud, but he wasnt afraid of stirring his disciples. After all, he often produced new things from time to time, making his disciples already used to it. He was truly overjoyed because as a monk, it was embarrassing not to have a kasaya!
One Finger Monastery was a poor monastery. Even Zen Master One Finger used to have a tattered kasaya. And despite how tattered it was, Zen Master One Finger still treated it like a treasure.
With regards to this, Fangzheng had always had his sights on a kasaya. He was always thinking of different ways to get the kasaya out to take a look at it for himself. He wanted to know what was so great about it. Finally, after successfully obtaining it, he felt worked up when he realized it was only a huge piece of red cloth. However, the brat was still rather happy. He gathered his friends and mimicked storytellers by spreading open the kasaya and sitting on it. He even started having a picnic
In the end, not only did One Fingers kasaya end up dirty and tattered, it caused the monasterys only feather duster to be snapped. Zen Master One Finger felt the pinch just from seeing the feathers everywhere and the snapped feather duster.
As for Fangzheng, he couldnt sit on his bottoms for the next three days. All he could do was lie on his belly, crying in pain. From that day forth, he didnt dare touch the kasaya again.
After Zen Master One Finger passed away, Fangzheng planned on leaving the mountain and stopping being a monk. Therefore, Fangzheng had buried Zen Master One Fingers kasaya with his body.
It was also from that moment forth that One Finger Monastery only had monk robes and no kasayas until today. Fangzheng had also always been wearing just his single White Lunar Monk Robe to travel around.
People not in the know might have explained it away as Fangzheng being an oddity, but Fangzheng knew something very wellonly a monk could understand just how much a monk without a decent kasaya would dream of having one!
Having his wish finally fulfilled, and by getting the famous embroidered kasaya at that, how could Fangzheng not be happy?
However, he soon calmed down. The embroidered kasaya mentioned inJourney to the Westwasnt an ordinary item. It was a shocking treasure! He strongly doubted that a stingy fellow like the System would give him something genuine. What if it was just a fake? After all, most of the things he had were discounted goods or high-quality replicas.
Therefore, with the System silent, Fangzheng felt a little worried despite feeling happy.
Finally, he heard the System reply, Exactly, its the embroidered kasaya which Guan Yin Bodhisattva gave to Tripiaka inJourney to the West
Fangzheng instantly rejoiced as he laughed out loud. So its really that item! Haha!
How could Fangzheng not be happy? The embroidered kasaya which Guan Yin Bodhisattva gave Tripiaka was no ordinary item. In the original story, this was said aboutit1:
This kasaya was made of silk drawn from ice silkworm
And threads spun by skilled craftsmen. Immortal girls did the weaving;
Divine maidens helped at the loom.
Bit by bit, the parts were sewn and embroidered.
Stitch by stitch, it arosea brocade from the heddle,
Its pellucid weave finer than ornate blooms.
Its colors, brilliant, emit precious light.
Inlaid are layers of lotus from the West,
And hanging pearls shine like planets and stars.
On four corners are pearls that glow at night;
On top stays fastened an emerald.
On top are the ddhi pearl,
The mi pearl,
The dust-clearing pearl,
The wind-stopping pearl.
There are also the red cornelian,
The purple coral,
The luminescent pearl,
The rputra relic.
They rob the moon of its whiteness;
They match the sun in its redness.
Along its edges hang two chains of melted gold,
And joins the collars a ring of snow-white jade.
Up and down are set rows of shining pearls;
Back and front thread layers of golden cords.
Brocade gilds the robes edges all around,
With patterns embroidered most varied and rare.
Shaped like Eight Treasures are the thread-made frogs.
A gold ring joins the collars with velvet loops.
It shows on top and bottom Heavens ranks,
And stars, great and small, are placed left and right.
Although Fangzheng had never seen many of the described items or even heard of them, even an idiot knew that the advantages of the kasaya would be enough to deplete all the vocabulary an author had! Besides, even if he knew nothing, he should at least know about things like luminescent pearls, emerald, red cornelian, and rputra relics, right?
These things were excellent items which were all priceless. Compared to the invulnerable White Lunar Monk Robe which Fangzheng had, he wasnt too impressed.
But just as Fangzheng was fantasizing, the System slowly said