"We are far away!" yelled Chen Long.
Almost in an instant, the door was blasted open violently. Air spewed in as the flames surged. The fire became even stronger!
The person outside could not enter with such a large fire, right? We're doomed.
Chen Long, Su Hong, and company had such a thought flash through their minds.
However, a figure actually appeared amid the flames. Following that, the figure directly walked through the sea of flames. He punched and kicked, hurtling the burning items at the door away. One of the roof beams that was completely in flames was lifted up by that person and thrown out!
"Is he Superman? That wooden beam should be unmovable even if there were three or four people." Chen Long was dumbfounded.
Su Hong snapped out of her daze and identified Fangzheng. She shouted, "Fangzheng?! Is that you?"
"Amitabha. Patron, it is This Penniless Monk. Don't say anything else. Quickly leave. The house is about to collapse," Fangzheng entered as he spoke. He cleared the path of fire debris and lifted a water vat, pulled a blanket to cover the group of people, and drenched them with the vat of water.
The group was wrapped in the blanket as they lowered their bodies and charged out.
Only then did Fangzheng put down the water vat. Just as the group ran out the door, the final character on the couplet reduced to ash. With a loud boom, the house collapsed!
Su Hong turned to look back. Fangzheng was still not out! She screamed in horror, "Fangzheng? Fangzheng?! Are you okay? Boohoo! I harmed you! Boohoo..."
The eyes of Chen Long and his wife turned red. If not for Fangzheng's sudden appearance, they would have been the ones buried in there! They should have been the ones dead! They felt sad that their savior met with catastrophe. They began weeping.
Yet at that moment, a figure had fled from the backyard.
Although the collapse of the house was terrifying, Fangzheng was quite strong. With the White Lunar Monk Robe protecting him, how could he die? The fellow escaped in the chaos when he was certain that Su Hong and company were safe. Saving them was a good deed, but there were too many inexplicable things that had happened together. They would be difficult to explain.
Fangzheng had decided that he would say nothing no matter who asked! They could let their imaginations run wild if they wanted.
When Fangzheng left the Chen family, the fire engines came blaring over. There was nothing Fangzheng could do about the fire. He went to a few neighboring homes to take a look to confirm that there was no one in danger.
Fangzheng immediately ran towards the mountain and hid amid the snow piles at the mountain entrance. After everyone left the mountain, he stealthily ran back up the mountain.
After returning to the mountain, Fangzheng closed the door and walked into the temple hall where the candles were still burning. He sat down cross-legged and began reciting the sutras. He prayed for the new year and the villagers, in hopes that everyone would be lucky, safe, and sound.
Meanwhile, there was quite a bustle at the foot of the mountain. The firefighters were the first to arrive. They heard that someone was buried inside! A group of firefighters charged into the sea of fire and after much firefighting, the fire was extinguished. Despite digging three feet into the ground, they did not see any human remains!
"Could he be burnt to a crisp?" Su Hong was sobbing.
"Sister, don't cry. There's no monk. There's no one. Look in there. Other than the furniture, there isn't even a bone," a firefighter rummaged through the ruins as he said.
Su Hong went over to take a look. Indeed, there were no bones or corpse. When she saw this, Su Hong was perplexed. She was certain that she did not see Fangzheng leave the house when it collapsed.
The firefighter patted Su Hong on the shoulder and said, "Sister, you must have hallucinated in your horror."
"All of us saw it!" Chen Long's wife screamed.
"It must have been a mass hallucination," replied the firefighter.
Su Hong was about to say something when Chen Long suddenly held back Su Hong and whispered, "Mom, just pretend that we hallucinated. This matter was very strange. Think about the couplets. Recall how he pushed the roof beam with his bare hands and how he walked through the sea of fire. Is that something humanly possible? This matter is a mystery and cannot be explained. It will only be more problematic if we insist on it. In my opinion, Master is afraid of trouble, so he left immediately. Although the fire was fierce, Master is no ordinary person. He must be safe. At dawn, we can go up the mountain to take a look. We will naturally know what happened."
When Su Hong heard that, she felt enlightened and nodded. She no longer insisted that she had been saved by Fangzheng. She began claiming that she had hallucinated and did not seem to recall what she had seen.
With Su Hong putting the matter to rest, things became simpler.
By then, the villagers had rushed back. When Chen Jin saw Su Hong, Chen Long, Chen Long's wife and son, he rushed over to hug them amid tears. He had been worried to death on the way. He had been terrified!
Su Hong was originally still feeling disgruntled, but when she saw Chen Jin's pathetic state and his look of concern and worry, all her anger dissipated immediately. The entire family was alive and reunited. As for their home, they could build a new one even with it burnt down! As long as people were alive, anything could be recouped!
The firefighters left after they resolved the situation.
Wang Yougui organized the people to help clear the Chen household's debris. They looked around to see if there was anything that could still be salvaged.
Chen Jin's family helped as well. They busied themselves into the afternoon before sending away the warm-hearted villagers.
Chen Jin's family looked at the ruins and sighed.
Chen Jin cursed softly, "It's all that Fangzheng's fault. What's up with the first incense offering during the new year-"
Chen Jin was given a slap!
Chen Jin cried out angrily, "Su Hong, what are you doing?"
"What am I doing?! I'm beating the shit out of you! I'm slapping you! Do you not understand? Why don't you try scolding Fangzheng again? Chen Jin, I'm telling you. From this day forth, if I hear you scold Fangzheng ever again, I will not only slap you, I will even hit you with a shoe!" Su Hong stood akimbo like a fierce hag.
Chen Jin was immediately stunned by the stance she displayed. They had been living together for decades. This was the first time he saw her this fierce! Was this still his wife? Didn't he always have the final say in the past? Why was there a revolt today?
Chen Jin hurriedly looked at his son, Chen Long and asked, "Son, are you interfering in this matter? Your mother is standing on the side of outsiders!"
Chen Long patted Chen Jin on the shoulder and said, "Dad, don't be angry."
Chen Jin felt his mind soothed as he thought, "As expected, my son understands me and is concerned about me-"
"What Mom said is right! Mom, if you do not have enough shoes, I'll sponsor them!" said Chen Long immediately as he stood behind Su Hong.
Chen Jin was instantly dumbfounded. What was going on? Why did a fire cause a mass revolt?
Chen Jin looked at Chen Long's wife. It turned out that the woman was already standing behind Su Hong as she said awkwardly, "Dad, what Mom said was right."
"Are... Are all of you... rebelling? Aiyah, I can't live my days any longer!" Chen Jin was stamping his feet. At that moment, he felt his leg trousers tighten. He looked down and saw his grandson tugging at him.
The grandson said, "Grandpa, don't be angry..."
Chen Jin carried his grandson and said, "My grandson is the best. You know how to show Grandpa concern."