And at that moment, what was Fangzheng doing?
“Wuu…” Lone Wolf was whimpering by the side of the bed. He poked his head out and looked around. It was nearly dark but Fangzheng still wasn’t waking up to prepare dinner! How was he to continue his life like this?!
Only once the moon was high in the sky did Fangzheng wake up. He stretched his back and laughed. “That felt great! Indeed, sleep is refreshing!”
“Oh, I’m hungry.” Fangzheng rubbed his stomach and frowned. “That’s odd. It’s not my stomach that’s groaning. It’s… hey, what are the two of you doing?”
Lone Wolf was sitting beside the bed looking bitter. He was holding his dog bowl in its mouth. Squirrel was sitting on his head, angrily staring at him while holding his tiny bowl in his hands. Their eyes looked bitter…
Fangzheng gave an embarrassed cough. “Give me a minute, food will soon be ready.”
After saying that, Fangzheng got out of bed, prepared the fire and boiled water to cook rice.
The two pairs of eyes stared intently at the pot and could not stop salivating.
Half an hour later, a faint rice fragrance spread in One Finger Monastery. There were also loud chewing noises.
After the meal, Fangzheng went to the front yard feeling extremely comfortable. He sat under the bodhi tree and took out his cell phone to continue reading the Avatasaka Stra he recently found. He saw numerous message notifications the moment he unlocked his phone.
Zhao Datong: “Master, you were awesome! Yunjing is fine. Haha… Thanks a lot. We will visit you again during the holidays.”
Fangzheng smiled. “You’re welcome. Heh heh.”
Ma Juan: “Master, I love you! You were just too awesome! You might not be aware of it but you took down an expert psychiatrist from Beijing! So cool!”
Fangzheng rolled his eyes, “Amitabha. Female Patron, This Penniless Monk has to uphold the precepts. Experts are capable people too. This Penniless Monk just got lucky.”
Hu Han: “Master, are you accepting disciples? Do you think I have what it takes? Don’t worry. As long as you agree to it and my mother doesn’t kill me, I’ll be joining you.”
Fangzheng: “Amitabha. This Penniless Monk does not wish to be the one identifying you at the morgue. You should forget about it.”
Fangzheng’s curiosity was triggered by Hu Han’s question. “System, does our monastery accept disciples?”
“Ding! What do you think?”
Fangzheng looked at the bodhi tree above him and then looked at the Ten Thousand Buddha Hall. He smiled wryly, “Forget it. If someone were to really come, This Penniless Monk would not be able to explain how so many things appear out of thin air. Man… Not only does This Penniless Monk have to go solo, it’s also impossible to find someone to talk to. There are only animals to accompany me. Sigh.”
“That might not be true.”
Fangzheng was stunned and quickly pressed, “Can you explain that?”
“The secrets of the heavens are not to be leaked.”
Fangzheng rolled his eyes, “You can’t do that. I already have my pants down, don’t give me blue balls! Why don’t you tell me? Uh… that’s not considered vulgarity, right?”
“Boom!” A black crater appeared in front of Fangzheng.
“Thankfully, there’s still one more chance.” Fangzheng secretly heaved a sigh of relief.
“System, are you truly not going to tell me?”
“The world’s kindest and best system, why don’t you tell me?”
“I’ll accept your compliments but you will not be given an answer.”
“What thick skin you have,” grumbled Fangzheng. He did not continue asking as he unlocked his cell phone and began reading the Avatasaka Stra. A short while later, a monk’s sutra recital resounded through the monastery.
The next day, Fangzheng got up at dawn. He recalled something before exclaiming, “System, shouldn’t I get a chance at the draw? I saved someone after all. Why didn’t you remind me?”
“You were reminded but you were knocked out.” The system assured him.
Fangzheng realized that the System was becoming increasingly shameless. Couldn’t it wake him up even while he was asleep? Without wrangling any further, he asked, “Really?”
“Yes, do you want to do the draw?”
“Ding! Congratulations, you have obtained a wooden fish.”
“Uh? A wooden fish?” Fangzheng asked in a daze as he looked at a dark-red wooden fish that suddenly appeared in front of him. It was some kind of fat fish.
“This is no ordinary wooden fish. It’s a Mind Refreshing Wooden Fish. Wooden fishes originated from Chinese Daoists. It is not to be, those that do not maintain a vegetarian diet or are not reciting the sutras are not to strike it. Later, Buddhists realized its excellent effects and added it into Buddhism. When the Mind Refreshing Wooden Fish is struck, it will release a refreshing sound, clearing your mind and calming the soul. Even if you suffer from insomnia, striking the wooden fish will result in you entering deep sleep. In addition, it does not affect your reading of sutras and the contemplation of problems. Also when striking the Mind Refreshing Wooden Fish, it will create a mental connection between you and the Buddha plaque. If you wish it so, you can know every wish that has been made. Furthermore, you can act on them. If the devotee makes a huge wish despite having insufficient merit, it is impossible for it to be granted. It will only happen if the person gives up his great aspirations. One can’t be rewarded before making up for the requisite merit. If one makes up for it, the merit becomes harmonious. If one accrues a merit debt, they will be plagued by negative karma. Therefore, it’s best you do not easily grant the wishes of others. In addition, there are many other fascinating functionalities. Figure them out yourself.”
Fangzheng was enlightened. Zen Master One Finger had once said something similar to him. Back then Fangzheng had asked: “Is Bodhisattva really efficacious? If she is really efficacious, wouldn’t everything turn to chaos if people made wishes without regard such as becoming a country’s president?”
Zen Master One Finger replied with a laugh. “How much merit one has implies the amount of karma. Even Buddha would not pay attention to you if you exceed it, not all wishes will simply be granted.”
Back then, Fangzheng was baffled. Now, through the System’s explanation he finally understood.
At the same time, Fangzheng knew that the wooden fish was worth the draw! At the very least, he could use it to study the Buddhist scriptures all day. A day was equivalent to two! And based on the time, it was equivalent to him having twice his conscious hours. It was akin to doubling his lifespan. There were apparently even other ways to use it!
Fangzheng looked at the ninety-centimeter-long wooden fish and his liking for it grew the more he looked at it. He took out a wooden hammer from the wooden fish’s stomach and gently struck it.
The sound was deep and heavy, as though he was striking a person’s heart. He felt a jolt as most of his chaotic thoughts cleared. He felt instantly refreshed.
“Man, this is good stuff!” He rolled his shoulders in appreciation. Although Fangzheng had not seen many wooden fishes, now he had experienced its effects for himself. He had to admit it was awesome!
Without saying another word, Fangzheng moved the wooden fish and placed it in the main hall. Such a large wooden fish could not be brought around and struck wantonly. Placing it in the hall as a way to consecrate Buddha while reciting the sutras made for an excellent combination. It was also greatly pleasurable to him.
Fangzheng sat inside the hall and began striking the wooden fish. He recited the Avatasaka Stra. The things he misunderstood of the Avatasaka Stra, which caused him to lose some interest, seemed to clear up as he struck the wooden fish. His tongue that always failed at reciting the sutra properly could now easily pronounce the accurate tones. In addition, his voice changed. It had a magnetic texture unique to men and it made him sound a little ethereal. His recital of the sutra resembled singing. It calmed one’s mind and allowed one to introspect.