It was deep into the night, the moon hung high in the sky as the night passed by in tranquility.
The next day came, the sky began to light up as the sun rose from the east, coloring the sky with a purple hue. A cold wind blew.
Fangzheng jolted awake as he opened his eyes. He happened to see the instant the sun rose across the horizon as it emitted golden rays! Fangzheng felt something in his heart light up. He felt that his body and soul had experienced epiphany. Joy! He was extremely happy!
He looked down and was shocked. What was going on? Why were there so many people?
Li Xueying and company had not woken. Some of them were asleep while others remained entranced.
Fangzheng scratched his head and looked around. Thankfully, there were no lotus flowers or any such major changes. He quickly pulled Lone Wolf’s ear and ran off with the three animals.
After returning to the monastery, Fangzheng first swept the temple hall before cooking a pot of Crystal Rice. He read the news as he waited for the rice.
After Fangzheng left, Li Xueying awoke as well. She took a deep breath as her eyes filled with relief. The state of her mind and body had reached its pinnacle. She stretched her back and the sunlight’s illumination brought out her lithe and graceful figure. “It felt so good. Much better than deep sleep! I feel great!”
She turned her head and was given a shock! She had been alone and she knew about Xiaoliu coming to her. But when did so many other people join?
“Phew… That felt great!”
“Aiyah… That really felt refreshing! This is the first time I’ve slept dreamlessly. How relaxing…”
“Was I sleeping or listening to scripture? It felt like I was listening the entire time but I felt like I fell asleep…”
“Eh? Where’s the monk?”
“Where’s Venerable Fangzheng?”
Everyone came to their senses as they stood up to search for him. The monk sitting in front of them was gone.
“He must have returned to the monastery. I have to ask him. What scripture was he reading that sounds so pleasant to the ears,” someone exclaimed.
Lin Dongshi echoed, “I want to go to.”
“All of you come back! What do you mean you are going? A Buddhist place of worship is about peace and quiet. Think of the fuss you’ll make if all of you enter! Do your jobs!!” Director Yu berated them angrily. He kicked them and chased them back before adjusting his hat. “I’ll be the one going!”
Everyone grinned at his words.
“Xueying, do you want to go with me?”
She shook her head, “No. I’ve already been blessed to have heard the scripture. It would be wrong to request more of him. Director, the scene is almost done. Shouldn’t we begin filming?”
“Eh… what you say makes sense. Guess I won’t go. Let’s get down to business…”
Li Xueying turned to glance at the nearby monastery and looked at the grass on the ground. She was certain that the grass was taller than yesterday! She took out her cell phone but her cell phone’s memory card was already filled. It had stopped recording. When she clicked to replay the video she recorded to watch it in detail, she saw a miraculous scene when she fast forwarded it, the grass truly was growing because of the Buddhist scripture!
She covered her mouth and stared in disbelief! She squatted down and looked at the paddy field. She realized that there were tender sprouts! It implied that not only did the seeds sowed not freeze to death, they had grown, thrived! Even stranger, the water elsewhere had frozen but the paddy field’s water remained liquid! When she scooped up the water, it felt slightly cold to the touch, not the biting cold she expected from water near the freezing point.
Li Xueying’s eyes filled with fascination. With a head full of questions, she returned to the film crew. She had many things to prepare as the filming would commence today. Although she had countless questions, she could only keep them to herself.
It was already noon by the time the film crew was done with their preparations. They did a test run in the afternoon. By the time they were done, it was evening.
A large group of people gathered and looked at the paddy field. They looked with burning desire.
“Why isn’t the young monk coming to recite the scriptures?”
“No idea. He might have forgotten.”
“I guess that the seeds must have frozen to death. He must have given up,” mumbled Luo Li.
“Froze to death? Hehe, I nearly forgot about this if you did not mention it. In the morning, all the water puddles had frozen but why did the paddy field not freeze? Is there a hot spring underneath?” asked Lin Dongshi.
“Impossible. If there’s a hot spring, we would have felt it. The morning fog would not be able to hide it,” said Old Tao.
“There’s no hot spring and the weather is crappy weather. The seeds must have frozen to death,” said Luo Li.
“Won’t you know if you take a look?” Lin Dongshi got up and ran to the paddy field. When lowered his head to take a look, he instantly returned with an expression as though he had seen a ghost.
“How is it?” asked Old Tao.
“Is it a corpse of a paddy field?” asked Luo Li.
“Pui! Can’t you use a better adjective? To even use corpse…” Old Tao shuddered as he scolded him jokingly.
Lin Dongshi smiled wryly. “Luo Li, I think you can change your name to Li Luo in the future.”
“What do you mean… F**k! They aren’t dead?” Luo Li suddenly realized something as he ran over, unwilling to believe his ears. He came back with a confounded look as he mumbled, “How is this possible? It was so cold last night. Not only did they not die, they even sprouted…”
Everyone exchanged looks and ran to take a look. Then, they looked at each other as though they had seen a ghost.
Finally, everyone looked at Luo Li and greeted simultaneously, “Greetings, Mr. Li Luo.”
Luo Li rolled his eyes in anger… Everyone was surprised about the matter but they eventually shrugged it off, thinking that the seeds were resistant to the cold. After a rowdy evening, they returned melancholically when they didn’t see Fangzheng do his scripture recital. Mt. One Finger regained its peacefulness once again.
An uneventful night passed.
The next day, Fangzheng finished his chores in the monastery and heard a commotion outside. He stood at the door and looked out and noticed that a large bunch of villagers had come up the mountain. Furthermore, all of them were in ancient military costumes. However, from the way they stood around, looking undisciplined and in joy, they did not look anything like real soldiers.
Fangzheng noticed Dog Song from the crowd immediately. He beckoned for him and Dog Song ran over. “Abbot Fangzheng, is there something you need?” By now, Dog Song knew that he had been tricked by Fangzheng. Yet he knew that it was done with his interests at heart. If he had not been fooled, he would still be a shady character leading an aimless life. He would not be enjoying such a good life now. Therefore, not only did he not feel any animosity for Fangzheng, he was grateful. He would always address him as abbot.
Fangzheng pressed his palms together. “Amitabha. Patron, what are all of you doing?”
“We are acting en masse.” Dog Song noticed that Fangzheng was unaware and grew excited, he puffed out his chest. His urge to brag rose.
Fangzheng asked, “Acting en masse? All of you are acting?”