Everything piqued Monkey’s curiosity. As he grew braver, he hesitated less. He jumped up and imitated Fangzheng to take his seat. He wrapped his arms around Fangzheng’s waist and looked around, unsure what he was sitting on.
But at the next instant, with the engine roaring to live, Monkey nearly released his arms to jump off the motorbike.
Thankfully, Fangzheng had grabbed his arms, preventing him from running off. Fangzheng gave a Buddhist proclamation. “Amitabha.”
Only then did Monkey’s heart calm down. He remained worried, his heart a jitter. He no longer looked around and hugged Fangzheng tightly, afraid of falling off.
“Sit well. We’re leaving.” Wang Yougui floored the accelerator as the motorbike sped forward.
Monkey’s expression turned abnormal from fright. He was still a monkey in the endl. After a while, he realized that there was no danger and he regained his courage, allowing him to look around. As time went on, Monkey even wanted to release his arms and dance around.
Fangzheng quickly reined him in. Fooling around on the road was no trifling matter. Just a tiny bump could threaten lives.
One Finger Village was not considered close to Hongyan Village and since Wang Yougui was in a rush, he did not drive slowly. He did not speed either. Soon, he left the area of One Finger Village and arrived on a huge bridge half an hour later. Just as they were about to cross the river, they suddenly saw a woman jump off the bridge!
Fangzheng and Wang Yougui saw it. Wang Yougui hurriedly hit the brakes, jumped off his motorbike, and ran over! It would have been different if they had not seen it but with a life at stake, how could they ignore her?
Before they could reach the river two figures rushed into the river a step ahead of Fangzheng. They splashed into the river.
Almost at the same instant, they heard metal hitting ground. Two bicycles had fallen to the ground. Clearly, the duo had jumped off their bicycles before stopping them.
Those fishing by the riverbank saw the scene. They immediately shouted for help. Some called the police while others searched for ropes to provide any assistance that might be needed.
Fangzheng felt relieved seeing this play out before his eyes. Although he could have a go at the lottery by saving people, others would earn merit from saving people. He could not take all the benefits for himself. The good in the world could not depend on the good that one person did. It would only be an exemplary role. What mattered was the actions people took as a whole. Seeing the two men jump into the water, Fangzheng followed everyone to the bank to watch. Once the ropes came, they threw ropes to aid them.
Down in the river, the waters were turbulent. The two men tried their best swimming, dragging the woman while trying their best not to downed. Something was amiss. Regardless of how the duo tried to pull her up, she remained submerged.
“Oh no, she’s probably entangled by the river weeds,” said an old fisherman while wringing his hands.
“That won’t do. The two of them can’t last much longer. This is River Top, and it is prone to forming all sorts of whirlpools. Once those form, the three of them are doomed! Find a boat quickly!” yelled Wang Yougui when he assessed the situation.
An old man to the side answered, “We’ve already called for one but we are too far from the village. It’s even difficult for the nearest fishermen to rush here on a boat.” The old man was anxious but there was nothing he could do.
Fangzheng recalled something when he heard the conversation. The river in front of him was no ordinary river. Nor was it as calm as the River Bai in front of Baiyun Monastery. This was a tributary of the Songhua River, named River Top. Due to the topographical features under the river, the river’s surface often formed whirlpools giving it its name.
After recalling this tidbit, Fangzheng knew that he couldn’t wait any longer. While everyone looked down at the river, Fangzheng took the opportunity to leave the bridge. He ran to the other side of the bridge where no one could see him. He took of his Savior shoes and stuffed them into his clothes. Taking a deep breath, he plunged straight into the River Top.
Those that have never tried saving people would never know how hard it is to do. The river at the beginning of spring was especially ice-cold. The river water was biting cold but with the White Lunar Monk Robe protecting his body while attenuating the temperatures, Fangzheng was fine despite feeling cold. He could easily imagine how the two brave men were now experiencing an extreme sense of cold. Fangzheng could not help but praise them. They were true heroes! As for him, he was only a fake hero. Without the White Lunar Monk Robe, a landlubber like him would not dare enter the water.
That’s right. Fangzheng did not know how to swim at all. The moment he entered the water, he would sink straight down. However, humans had buoyancy. This mixture of not being able to surface or sink left Fangzheng depressed. Helplessly, he flailed his arms around and managed to pick up a heavy stone. He hugged it to his chest and sank.
Fangzheng found his bearings and went straight to the other side of the bridge.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the bridge.
“Brother, hold up her head. She has to breathe or she will suffocate!” Hong Qianjie shouted.
Hong Qianjie and his elder brother, Hong Qianxi, were attending the Dharma Assembly at Hongyan Monastery today to join in the buzz. Both of them did not believe in the supernatural. They were only out to enjoy nature and enjoy the bustle at the monastery.
They never expected to encounter a woman committing suicide on the way there. In a heated moment, all they thought of was rescuing her. They jumped off the bicycles they were riding and simultaneously jumped into the river. Thankfully, both of them knew how to swim and were rather good swimmers. Furthermore, they were quick to react, so the woman had not been swept away by the river waters. They grabbed the woman in a timely fashion and managed to hold her up. But there was a problem. The woman’s body appeared to be entangled by something. They had no way of fully pulling her out of the water. Her face remained underwater, preventing her from breathing.
Hong Qianxi yelled, “Hold her up. I’ll dive down to take a look. She is likely entangled by river weeds.”
“Alright. Be quick. I can’t last much longer,” huffed his brother.
Hong Qianxi grunted in acknowledgment and dived underwater.
Now that it was the beginning of spring, the snow on the mountains were melting. All the water would gather into the river, making it flow much faster than usual. The surging forces were strong and Hong Qianxi found out how tiring it actually was once he entered the water. When he looked down, it was indeed water reeds that entangled the woman’s ankles. Hong Qianxi attempted to untangle the water reeds but were wrapped around her too tightly. It was impossible to tear apart with his fingers. Furthermore, there was too many water reeds underwater. If he and Hong Qianjie were a little careless, they might be entangled too!
After trying his best and seeing that they couldn’t be torn apart, Hong Qianjie floated up and yelled, “It doesn’t work. I can’t tear it apart with my hands. I need to use a knife!”
“Give her CPR. If we don’t she’s gonna die!” yelled Hong Qianjie.
Hong Qianxi took a deep breath before giving CPR to the the woman. Hong Qianjie pinched the woman’s nose and tried his best to prevent her from imbibing any of the water. However, it was not a lasting solution, they needed to hurry. The only thing that eased Hong Qianjie’s heart was that although the woman had committed suicide, she had already fainted. If she awoke and struggled, that would truly be troublesome.
At that moment, an unknown person screamed, “No good. The vortex is beginning!”
Almost at the same instant, Hong Qianxi and Hong Qianjie felt a strange change in the surrounding waters. Suddenly they felt their ankles tighten. They had been trapped by the sea reeds. The two blanched.
Hong Qianxi’s head emerged as he shouted, “Brother, I’ve been trapped by the water reeds. Leave, quick!”
Hong Qianjie cursed, “I can’t leave either. I’m entangled myself!”
Without even a thought, Hong Qianxi took a deep breath, “Soon, someone will save you. Regardless, you have to hold on!”