Lu Shuangshuang remained puzzled even as she was preparing to bring Xiaomi down the mountain.
She turned back to look at the tiny monastery amid the snow. She sighed wistfully, "Who would have imagined that such a tiny temple would have such an accomplished person like Venerable Fangzheng! It's no wonder Xiaoguo told me to seek him. It's no wonder Xiaoguo had such a life-changing experience. The world is so large that there is nothing to be surprised of. I have been short-sighted."
"Mommy, can I come again to play with Big White and Little Gray?" Xiaomi looked reluctantly in the direction of the monastery as she asked.
"Yes, whenever I'm free, Mommy will bring you here, okay?" replied Lu Shuangshuang. Xiaomi immediately beamed and said, "Mommy is the best! Mommy, don't worry. Once I grow up, I'll protect you just like Daddy!"
"Oh, my little Xiaomi is the most formidable!" Lu Shuangshuang carried Xiaomi down the mountain.
"Big White? Little Gray? Wahaha!" Fangzheng laughed crazily while holding his tummy.
Lone Wolf was sprawled on the ground with a depressed look all over his head. He was clearly silver in color, so how did he become Big White?
The squirrel was even more depressed. He had spots on his back, so how did he become Little Gray? The names didn't sound nice! They found it unacceptable!
Unfortunately, they did not understand the names Xiaomi had given them randomly. All they knew was that she was addressing them. They realized what their nicknames were after Fangzheng translated for them. Immediately, they felt upset in all sorts of ways.
Fangzheng could not afford to concern himself with them. After helping Lu Shuangshuang, he was so mentally exhausted that he felt like his brain was about to fry. He patted the two fellows on the head before rushing back to his room. He needed sleep to freshen his mind.
When he awoke, he realized that it was already evening. He had nearly slept the entire day away!
"System, why was it so tiring? It never felt like that in the past," said Fangzheng.
"The knot in Lu Shuangshuang's heart was worse than the people from the past. How can the pain of losing her husband be so easily treated? But it's because it's difficult that..." the System dragged out its tone.
Fangzheng's eyes lit up as he said with anticipation, "I can have another draw at the lottery?"
"No, just a verbal commendation. Keep up the good work. You did well," said the System.
Fangzheng replied, "You must be a fake system. How can you be so unserious!?"
"A verbal commendation can raise the score of your mission. Furthermore, gaining two of these commendations gives you one chance at the lottery. Are you sure you do not want it?" asked the System.
"You are actually quite serious." Fangzheng took back his words without even blinking.
He ate a bowl of Crystal Rice with some boiled green vegetables and carrots. The meal greatly refreshed him. He read some scripture, watched the moon and snow, and with that, a day passed.
There was another snowstorm the next day. The snow continued for the next few days, blocking the mountain path. One Finger Monastery once again returned to its undisturbed silence.
Fangzheng spent his days reading scripture and engaging in snowball fights. The days were spent in a rather enriching manner.
In the evening, the sun began setting in the west. Fangzheng had nothing to do, so he decided to crack some pine nuts while out on a walk with Lone Wolf and the enraged Squirrel.
Squirrel was standing angrily on Fangzheng's shoulders, and as he heard Fangzheng crack the pine nuts, he would occasionally tug Fangzheng's ears to alleviate his anger.
"Although it's quiet on the mountain, it's really boring..." Fangzheng stood by the cliff and peered into the distance. The snow had already stopped. It was one of the rare few days of good weather. There was no wind or snow, and there were a few iridescent clouds of different shapes in the sky.
After the sun shone its final glimmer, it vanished across the horizon and taking its place, a bright moon slowly rose in the east. The silver-white moonlight illuminated the entire land, making the mountain appear sacred. Standing by the cliff, Fangzheng could see the lights in the village at the foot of the mountain. He could also vaguely see figures walking but soon, he could not see them very clearly anymore.
"It's night again. Days pass by so fast. Say, will I wake up one day to find myself old?" Fangzheng muttered indifferently.
Squirrel scoffed and said, "It's best you can't move. It prevents you from always stealing my pine nuts. You are a baddie that only knows how to eat instead of work."
Lone Wolf whimpered and asked, "Will I still have rice to eat?"
Fangzheng looked at the two idiots that were answering randomly. He expressed his speechlessness. Indeed, there was a communication problem between humans and animals.
At that moment, a resounding bang was heard. Following that, a massive firework exploded in front of Fangzheng. The sky was immediately lit up!
"Ao wooo!" Lone Wolf scampered away in fear as he howled.
The squirrel instantly crawled into Fangzheng's clothes. He caused Fangzheng to cry out, "Hey, hey, hey! Come on out! Where are you crawling!? Pants- Pants- Balls!"
After spending all his strength and many hours, Fangzheng finally managed to pull the squirrel out from his clothes. However, the price he had paid was large. His balls ached...
They heard another whistling sound.
Fangzheng hurriedly grabbed Squirrel to prevent him from doing anything untoward again. He took a few steps back and turned back. He saw Lone Wolf hiding beside a snow pile. Lone Wolf had stuck his head in as his fat buttocks were exposed. All his strength was used to clench his tail in between his legs. It nearly squeezed into his butthole.
Pa! Another beautiful firework bloomed in the sky. It gave Squirrel such a fright that he hugged Fangzheng's hand and curled into a ball.
Fangzheng shook his head. He kicked Lone Wolf in the ass and said, "Silly wolf, what's there to be afraid of? They are called fireworks which are released into the sky. There's nothing dangerous about it. It's very beautiful too. Also, with that bit of guts of yours, how can I continue having you as guardian protector of my monastery? I'm wondering if I should fire you..."
With that said, Lone Wolf immediately pulled his head out of the snow. He raised his head and puffed up his chest, so as to give a valiant pose.
With another loud whistle, Lone Wolf's legs went limp. He wanted to run but under Fangzheng's threat of not feeding him if he ran, all he could do was bear with it.
Another colorful firework bloomed in the sky by the side of the cliff. At that instant, Lone Wolf's eyes stared straight... He opened his gaping jaw and hung his tongue out. Clearly, he was conquered by the beautiful spectacle.
This time, Squirrel also secretly took a glance. After ensuring that there was no danger and that it was indeed beautiful, the little fellow stood on Fangzheng's palm. Even the pine nut he was grabbing with his tiny paws had dropped. His tiny mouth was agape as he stared with widened eyes. He looked extremely adorable.
Fangzheng immediately took a group picture as a form of remembrance. This was their first expression from seeing fireworks. It was quite nice after all. Fangzheng considered posting the picture on the Internet and showcasing his pets.
"Oh! I nearly forgot the date. It's the fifteenth day of the new year," Fangzheng looked at the fireworks as he said wistfully.
One Finger Village released firecrackers during the new year and released fireworks on the fifteenth day of the new year. It was a tradition. Compared to the new year, the fifteenth was the liveliest day in One Finger Village. Lanterns were hung up and fireworks were set off. However, most fun of all was to light both sides of the road with fire lanterns!
Upon thinking of this, Fangzheng immediately ran to the cliff and looked down.
The fireworks were done. One Finger Village was not considered wealthy, so not many people could afford to release such fireworks. There were not many fireworks that could reach the mountaintop. Fangzheng guessed that it had to be a wealthy family that had released fireworks of that quality.
If he wanted to see more fireworks, he had to look further into the distance. Every village would release fireworks. The only thing was that the timing was uncertain.
Despite Lone Wolf and Squirrel having become fans of fireworks, the fireworks were not released in one spot. There were villages within a 200-plus degree panorama around Mt. One Finger. Behind that was the Mt. Changbai mountain range filled with primordial jungles that had no one staying inside.