Fangzheng felt increasingly comfortable the more he recited. It was addictive striking the wooden fish. It made him forget time as he immersed himself in the sutra. In addition, he was enlightened about the parts that had stumped him previously. That feeling was not something ‘feels great’ could describe.
At the same time, at the foot of the mountain.
“Feifei, is this the Mt. One Finger you mentioned? Is there really a monastery up there?” A man and woman stood at the foot of the mountain. They were dressed simply and exuded a youthful exuberance.
“That’s right. I heard that this monastery is extremely efficacious. Anyway, my relatives have mentioned it more than once. Besides, I also heard that the monk in it is very powerful. Aiyah, since there’s nothing for us to do, let’s go up and take a look.” With that said, the girl went up the mountain with happy anticipation.
The youth scratched his head as he looked at the woman ahead of him. He gave a silly chuckle and followed her while carrying her huge backpack. He took great care of her, afraid that she would hurt herself. He was a perfect white knight. He failed to notice that the girl’s eyes appeared to be dodging his…
When they reached the mountaintop, the girl smiled, “There’s really a monastery.”
The youth was taken aback as he scratched his head. He felt that something seemed amiss. He thought He Feifei was certain that there was a monastery on the mountain. She had lauded it previously so why would she say such a thing at the entrance? The youth frowned and asked, “Feifei, didn’t you say…”
“Say what? Let’s go inside to take a look.” Feifei ran in.
The youth gave a wry smile before following her. The youth’s name was Chen Bin. He had grown up with the girl since they were young. They could be considered as childhood sweethearts. As they grew older, Chen Bin realized he liked He Feifei. He did not hold hopes of them being together. All he wanted was to see her every day.
He noticed that Feifei would always think of ways to maintain a distance. She continued being friendly but was unwilling to close the gap. This left Chen Bin vexed.
Chen Bin followed He Feifei when she entered.
Chen Bin was stunned the moment he entered.
Dong! Dong! Dong…
“At that time, Master sat here, gaining perfect enlightenment with all Dharma…” The knocking of the wooden fish and sutra recital entered Chen Bin’s ears. He felt the fetters in his heart shatter as he looked at He Feifei in front of him. She was equally rooted to her spot in a daze. He smiled and thought, “Regardless what happens in the future, I’ll protect you your entire life.”
He Feifei did not know what was on Chen Bin’s mind. Two figures surfaced in her mind when she heard the sutra recital and the knocking of the wooden fish. One was very clear, someone who she thought of meeting every day. There was another blur figure that she tried to hide away and forget. She never managed to forget that figure. He was like air or water. She could ignore it but could never separate from it.
At that instant, He Feifei felt distressed.
The two stood in their spots motionless as many things came to their head.
Fangzheng had also discovered the visitors but did not attend to them. He continued reciting the scriptures.
At that moment, He Feifei took a deep breath and walked into the hall. She knelt on a mat and held her palms together and silently prayed.
Fangzheng was curious as he probed with his perception.
“Buddha, you are kind and merciful. Bodhisattva, I wish you would bless me and give me a chance at love. I wish to meet him once no matter what…” He Feifei imagined a man who appeared in Fangzheng’s heart as well. It was a handsome man who looked somewhat mature. He wore jeans and a flowery shirt. He seemed like he led an unrestrained and licentious life but he did not appeared impulsive. Even Fangzheng had a very good impression of the man, much less the girl. Unfortunately, the man was only the owner of a small bar situated near their school. Back then, He Feifei visited the bar with nothing better to do. She had only gone there to take a look. The girl was still immature in matters of love. She found it impossible to grit her teeth and acquaint herself with the man. All she did was simply look at him. She only knew that the man’s name was Meng Yuan.
Unfortunately, the bar that Meng Yuan ran closed down suddenly a year later. Meng Yuan was gone. Just as suddenly as he appeared, he disappeared.
He Feifei felt like she had lost something important in her life. She felt down and despite trying to find out where Meng Yuan had gone, no one knew. He did not even leave behind a way to contact him.
He Feifei felt extremely unhappy back then.
Whenever she thought of these matters, she would feel sour and helpless.
Fangzheng was also rather helpless. He truly could not help her on the matter. Although the Thousand-arm Guan Yin was powerful, she was more about granting a blessing of peace to someone. Fangzheng was unsure if he should or even could, help on matters regarding love. The girl’s story gave Fangzheng a lot to think about. Having never fallen in love before, he hadn’t imagined that a girl’s heart could be that complicated. Suddenly, he pondered if there were others who were secretly in love with him back when he was in middle-school. But he quickly rejected that thought. Back then, he was so poor that he almost had to beg for food. He did not have many friends. He truly lacked qualities that would win the attention of girls.
After withdrawing his perception, Fangzheng stopped reciting the sutra. Instead, he quietly struck the wooden fish. Fangzheng discovered that not only did striking it keep him awake and alert, his mind became a lot faster. It felt like… like the feeling of squatting above a latrine. One tends to have thoughts racing through their mind while at the loo. Allowing one’s thoughts to run wild might make one figure out things that previously stumped them. Of course, the effects of striking the wooden fish was a huge improvement over squatting above a latrine.
Chen Bin walked in. After stealing a glance at He Feifei, he quietly knelt on another mat and began praying silently.
Fangzheng’s perception approached him and as a result…
“Bodhisattva, please bless Feifei a life of peace. If possible, I wish to spend my entire life with her. Even if we will not walk down the aisle together in matrimonial harmony, it’s good enough for me to see her daily…” Chen Bin’s prayers reached Fangzheng’s heart.
Fangzheng was rendered speechless. So it was actually a love triangle! Fangzheng could feel that Chen Bin was a man that truly loved He Feifei. He did not pray for anything else. He only wanted to protect her. Only pure love could do that. As for He Feifei’s love, it was somewhat insubstantial. Was it really okay to love a person she did not know?
Upon understanding the situation, Fangzheng wished to help Chen Bin. Or more precisely, he wanted to give them a chance and allow them to make a decision.
Fangzheng softly made a Buddhist proclamation. “Amitabha!”
Once the Buddhist proclamation sounded, He Feifei felt a golden light flash in front of her eyes. Following that, the people in the hall disappeared!
“Oh?!” He Feifei felt a little flustered.
At that moment, the Guan Yin Bodhisattva suddenly walked over from the Ten Thousand Buddha plaque. She sat cross-legged on a lotus flower platform as she looked benevolently at her.
Upon seeing Guan Yin Bodhisattva, He Feifei covered her mouth in disbelief. “Guan Yin Bodhisattva?!”
“Amitabha, it is This Penniless Monk. He Feifei, This Penniless Monk saw the wish you just made. Patron, your worries are like a fleeting dream. Just as recorded in the Diamond Sutra: Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream; Like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, Or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom or a dream. So is all conditioned existence to be seen.”