“To meet and to part, happiness and sorrow are all fated?” He Feifei was stunned.
Fangzheng said, “Patron, are you certain you do not wish to meet Meng Yuan again?”
“No thanks. Since it is fated for one to meet and part, why should I keep chasing after a mirage?” replied He Feifei.
Fangzheng heaved a sigh of relief when he was certain that He Feifei had cast off her misgivings.
“Bodhisattva, why are you relieved?” asked He Feifei perplexed.
“It’s because someone has waited fifteen hundred years to meet you,” said Fangzheng with a sigh. He did not expect that with the wooden fish and Buddha plaque’s augmentation, he was able to simultaneously guide two individuals into a dream. He was multitasking! On one side, he was guiding He Feifei in a dream and elsewhere, he was also guiding Chen Bin into a dream. Chen Bin’s dream was different from He Feifei’s. In his dream, he had separated from her but he was even more passionate. In order to wait for He Feifei, he had already waited for fifteen hundred years. What’s more, he was willing to continue waiting.
“Who?!” He Feifei was surprised.
“Patron, why do you ask when you already know?” returned Fangzheng with a question.
“Bodhisattva, can I… can I take a look? I want to know the place where he is waiting for me,” asked He Feifei.
Fangzheng nodded as he waved his hand. The world changed and they appeared at a foot of a lofty mountain. There were glaciers on the mountain and they melted, dripping biting cold ice water that formed a stream. A boulder stood in the middle of a stream and it was none other than Chen Bin!
He Feifei had been a rock and suffered the elements before. She covered her mouth and had a look of disbelief. She could hardly bear the cold but Chen Bin stood in the icy water, experiencing the ice-water surges perennially. How painful was it? How much perseverance did he have? How much did he love her to be able to persevere for fifteen hundred years?
Upon seeing the boulder, He Feifei felt something in her heart shatter as her eyes moistened.
Fangzheng, in the form of Guan Yin Bodhisattva, went forward “Chen Bin, it’s been fifteen hundred years. Do you still want to wait?”
“B… Bodhisattva. Don’t… don’t even mention fifteen hundred years. Even… Even if it were fifteen thousand years, I’ll be willing to wait,” said Chen Bin trembling. However, one could hear the grit in his voice. He could not see He Feifei and was only able to see Guan Yin Bodhisattva.
Fangzheng nodded. “In that case, continue waiting.”
“Don’t… Don’t wait any longer! I want to meet him!” At that moment, He Feifei suddenly shouted. She rushed forward and said agitatedly.
Fangzheng asked perplexed, “Why? You love Meng Yuan. Why would you want to meet him? Do you know what it means to meet him at this moment in time?”
“Bodhisattva, Meng Yuan is just a fantasy in my heart. But Chen Bin is my true love. I know what I’m doing. I was foolish in the past but I now understand…”
Fangzheng nodded. “As you wish. Go forward and meet him.”
With that said, Fangzheng waved his hand, changing the world.
The wooden fish’s sounds was still resounding in their ears. The sutra recital continued as though nothing had happened at all.
He Feifei and Chen Bin opened their eyes simultaneously. They exchanged looks and smiled. They stood up, bowed towards the hall and at Fangzheng before leaving the hall. They left the monastery and descended the mountain while holding hands.
Fangzheng grinned as he watched the couple’s backs. “As a single, I should have separated them… Amitabha. This Penniless Monk truly was asking for a rebuff and to seeking out dog food for myself as a bachelor dog. Sigh.”
“Where did the dog food come from?” Fangzheng heard a voice beside him. He knew without turning his head to know that the only person interested in dog food was Lone Wolf.
“This Penniless Monk just ate it. If you want it, get it another day. Bachelor dog!” Fangzheng said the two words tersely. It was unknown if he was referring to Lone Wolf or making a self-deprecatory remark. He strode to the backyard. He no longer had any mood for reciting the scriptures after having a mouthful of dog food. Taking a look at the time, it was still early and it was spring. Shouldn’t he have some fun outside?
“Abbot, I can ignore you eating my dog food, but you even criticized me as a bachelor dog?! I want compensation. I want more for dinner!” Lone Wolf’s head leaned over. He looked like he wanted the dog food returned if his dinner did not have an increase in serving size.
“You want more for dinner? Sure, fill up the Buddha Vat with water first!” The moment Fangzheng said that, he suddenly laughed “Hmm, I actually can give you more for dinner. Let’s go down the mountain!”
“What are we going to do?” Lone Wolf followed.
“Dig up wild vegetables. I’ll cook something delicious for dinner!” exclaimed Fangzheng.
“What? What? What? What’s going to be delicious?!” Squirrel that just returned instantly brightened up once he heard something about food.
But all he saw was a baldie and a wolf with a fat ass running down the mountain. Lone Wolf held a basket in his mouth, unsure about what his job was. The curious squirrel followed them.
As they took brisk steps, they listened to the cheerful twittering of birds as the trio descended the mountain.
There was a river named One. The name was given by Zen Master One Finger a long time ago. Instead of a river, it was more of a seasonal stream. It froze in winter and turned into a river in warm spring. The River was originally called River One but it sounded jarring on the ears and difficult to pronounce; therefore, the villagers began calling it One. One’s source was not on Mt. One Finger but in the Changbai mountain range. Some people claimed that the end of the river was a hot spring. Unfortunately, the hot water would turn cold by the time it reached the village. This was something that old hunters spoke about years ago. No one verified their claims. After all, the source of One was amid steep cliffs. Furthermore, there was a lack of vegetation there. Without anything to pluck, no one went there.
After reaching the foot of the mountain, Fangzheng saw Yang Hua come out of his house in high spirits. He smiled the moment he saw Fangzheng, “Venerable Fangzheng, what brings you here?”
Fangzheng greeted with a bow, “Patron, you look to be in high spirits…” Just as his voice faded, Fangzheng said solemnly, “Patron, This Penniless Monk has something to say.”
Yang Hua was in a good mood so he was stunned when he saw Fangzheng’s solemn expression. Was something wrong? Yang Hua asked, “What about?”
“Patron, in the next few days…” Fangzheng paused.
This pause made Yang Hua turn anxious. Everyone in the village knew how capable Fangzheng was. And almost any monk or Daoist priest could tell fortunes, divine the future, or tell if peril lied ahead. He would think of others as cheats but if it was Fangzheng, he was very likely to believe it. His child was a result of his prayers. There was nothing holding him back from believing. Therefore, Yang Hua was a little afraid.
Fangzheng said extremely solemn, “You are going to be rich.”
“Uh… What did that mean?” Yang Hua had already been mentally prepared for any dire portents but was dumbfounded with Fangzheng’s answer.
Fangzheng laughed, “You will know about it in the future. In short, good things await you. By the way, might This Penniless Monk borrow your shovel?”
Yang Hua jolted back to his senses and smiled, “Were you pulling my leg? But I liked it. What do you need a shovel for?” Yang Hua only shrugged off Fangzheng’s words as a nicety. Although he felt a little anticipation, he did not think too much of it. He did not know that after Fangzheng raised his Heavenly Eye to the second level, he could see the good and bad, disaster and fortune of a person in the coming week.