"You don't know sh*t! I've never heard of any monastery or temple insulting others for forming groups to scale the mountain. If I were to say anything to Master Hongyan of this matter, hmph! That's when you would know how disgraceful you are," said the woman.
"Su Hong!" Chen Jin was infuriated as well. "Watch your mouth! Master Wu Ming is not a bad person!"
"Heh heh," Su Hong laughed dryly. Noticing that Chen Jin's expression was turning increasingly ugly, she sighed and said, "Fine, fine. I'm not going, alright? Sigh, I wonder how the Dharma Assembly of Bathing the Buddha will turn out under Fangzheng's hands."
With Su Hong compromising, Chen Jin's anger dissipated. He said coldly, "It's already questionable whether there will be rice. Or there might not even be clear soup or water, making it hard to swallow the rice."
Up in the mountain, Wang Yougui was leading the pack. The children on the sides ran quickly. However, Wang Yougui was not one to admit defeat. He would always chase after them to be right in front of them.
There were some people that were quite different from the group. They were mostly young people. They dressed colorfully and as they walked, they held their cell phones. They kept taking pictures of themselves or messaging on WeChat while engaging in idle conversation.
"Ma Yuan, I heard your child came as a result of you praying on this mountain?" a young man of adequate height with a sexy mustache who was dressed in a black down jacket asked as he adjusted his black-rimmed glasses.
"That's right, Tan Ming. I'm telling you, One Finger Temple is really efficacious. I believe that everyone who went up to pray for children didn't return empty handed. This is something all the villages in the vicinity know about," Ma Yuan said with a laugh.
"Heh heh, really?" Tan Ming asked in surprise.
"Of course. You know about Uncle Yang Hua's family, right? That couple was given the death sentence by numerous hospitals but after praying on the mountain, they conceived boy-and-girl twins!" Ma Yuan said.
Tan Ming said, "That's impossible! Could it be that it was an earlier misdiagnose?"
Beside Tan Ming was a woman dressed in a leopard-print coat. She held Tan Ming's hand and said with a laugh, "I think so too. Didn't the experts already give the verdict? Under ordinary circumstances, everyone can conceive. Those who can't are the abnormal ones. To pray to Buddha on the mountain and to finally conceive doesn't explain anything. After all, most people can conceive. However, the matter about Uncle Yang's family is truly curious."
Ma Yuan said with a laugh, "What you said makes sense. But it's a farming village. People here believe in such things. Furthermore, we prayed for it and really got a baby. There's no reason to not believe in it. Thanking Buddha will not lead to his anger getting directed at us, right? This is what it means to rather believe than question its existence."
Tan Ming shook his head and said, "That only works in the village. I'm telling you that in a big city, there are many who burn incense and pray to Buddha, but few actually believe in it. This world only believes in one thing! Money! With money, you can have everything."
"Enough, enough. Cut it with that theory of yours. If the villagers are brought astray by you, that would be a grave sin." Tan Ming's wife, Liang Yu hurriedly got Tan Ming to shut up.
Tan Ming said unhappily, "We aren't near the temple yet. Can't I speak some truth? Also, how am I leading people astray? I'm only giving them the correct human values in life! In this day and age, without earning money, nothing can be done."
Liang Yu said, "Money, money, money. All you see is money. Let's change topics. Ma Yuan, I heard that One Finger Temple has been renovated, but I recall that the temple should be very poor, right? Furthermore, according to Auntie and company, the temple only has one young monk as abbot. Is he running a Dharma Assembly of Bathing the Buddha alone? Can he run it successfully?"
Ma Yuan also understood the situation One Finger Temple was in. She said with a wry smile, "To be honest, I don't think it will end well either. One Finger Temple is really poor. It's so poor that food has to be provided by the village. As for this Dharma Assembly of Bathing the Buddha... I think we can forget about having any congee. Everyone is here just to join in the fun. Also, didn't the village chief say that our visit to One Finger Temple is mainly to support One Finger Temple and not for the consumption of congee?"
"That's why, the clever me didn't bring that burdensome bowl. When I'm up the mountain, I will offer incense and pay my respects to Buddha as I should. The main point is to climb the mountain to have some fun and join in on the buzz," Tan Ming said.
Liang Yu asked, "Then... What happens if there's really congee? I've heard that Fangzheng beat a calligrapher from the city in a calligraphy competition. Perhaps he caught the eye of some rich boss who handed out some of his money, allowing him to run a Dharma Assembly of Bathing the Buddha."
"So what if there is. It's not like I have never eaten that before. Ma Yuan, I'm telling you. If I were to talk about Laba Congee, the one from Baiyun Monastery is the most orthodox one! Heh, that Laba Congee is made from eighteen genuine ingredients! What do the Buddhists call it? Right, the congee of seven treasures and five tastes. Heh, that taste was absolutely delicious! If not for my father insisting I come back today, I would have gone to Baiyun Monastery today." Tan Ming pulled Ma Yuan and walked up the mountain.
Ma Yuan said, "Baiyun Monastery? That's too far. I've never been there before. From what you said, I really want to go take a look if I have the chance. But if we are talking about Laba Congee, Hongyan Monastery's Laba Congee is not bad either. It's just a little too watery, but it is still delicious. The number of people that go to eat Laba Congee there is more than a thousand every year. The monastery doesn't have much income, so it can't really afford to ensure that everyone has a satisfying meal."
Tan Ming said with a laugh, "That's the tragedy of being a tiny temple. Baiyun Monastery is a huge monastery! How can the number of people going to a Dharma Assembly of Bathing the Buddha be limited to a thousand or so people? It numbers more than ten thousand! That's what a true assembly is!"
Ma Yuan began looking forward to it when she heard Tan Ming's words.
By the side, Liang Yu shook her head slightly. She could not be bothered to respond to Tan Ming. She went in front to chat with other relatives.
And at that moment in time, Fangzheng was looking at a huge plate the size of a face-washing basin in a daze. In the middle of the plate was a Buddha statue. He did not know what the statue was made out of. It was sparkling and appeared extremely dazzling under the sunlight. Around the statue were lifelike carved lotus flowers. There was an exquisite water cup beside the plate. And next to it was a tiny basin. The basin's interior exuded a light flowery scent. Its aroma gladdened the heart and refreshed the mind. It was very comfortable taking a whiff of it.
"System, is this complementary as well?" Fangzheng asked as he looked at the things in front of him.
"A Dharma Assembly of Bathing the Buddha naturally has a Buddha to be bathed. By using scented water to bathe Buddha, it is firstly a form of respect to Buddha, and secondly it is also a baptism of oneself."
Fangzheng nodded and indicated that he understood. However, despite understanding what he was supposed to do, he had never organized a Dharma Assembly of Bathing the Buddha ever before, nor had he ever seen one. He was really slightly at a loss when he needed to put it into practice. However, looking at it from another point of view, the people that were coming were from the village. That greatly relieved him.
He placed the Buddha statue properly and placed Squirrel beside it. He said, "Look after these things. Once the congee is done, you'll get a big bowl! You will be able to eat to your fill then. If you don't do your job, starve."
The squirrel held up a tiny scoop meant for scooping up water as if he were a soldier. He patted his chest and squeaked. It somewhat resembled a soldier assuring his commander.
Fangzheng could not help but laugh before he rapped the squirrel on the head. He got Lone Wolf to gather some timber before taking out his cell phone to take a few photos of himself as a memento.
At that moment, Fangzheng heard voices from afar. Following that, a group of people appeared. When Fangzheng saw this, he took a deep breath and repressed the excitement in him. He held his palms together and whispered, "Old Dad One Finger, your wish has been fulfilled. However, this is only the beginning. In the future, I will definitely run a real and massive Dharma Assembly of Bathing the Buddha! I'll let you be able to lift your head up proudly!"