Fangzheng settled into the meditation room that Hong Xiang had led him to. Monkey finally could not help but ask, “Abbot Fangzheng, what were you talking about? That young monk babbled on and on but I didn’t understand a word he said.”
“If you can’t understand from listening, watch. If you don’t understand from watching, think.”
Monkey furrowed his brows. “What if I can’t understand from watching or thinking?”
“Then what use are you?” countered Fangzheng.
Monkey was stunned.
Fangzheng laughed out loud when he saw Monkey’s confounded look. “You silly monkey. You truly have an inquisitive mind. But what I just said isn’t a joke. If you can’t understand from listening, keep watching, thinking. If you can’t figure it out, try remembering. If you were to encounter something similar in the future, you will know what to do. In addition, This Penniless Monk gave you monk robes to wear so you should exude the bearing of a monk. If you have nothing to do, don’t scratch your ass. It’s unsightly.”
“Oh, I understand.” Monkey subconsciously wanted to scratch his ass but held back.
Fangzheng nodded in satisfaction. “Alright, rest. We’ll be having a vegetarian meal tonight and there will be work for us tomorrow.”
Monkey nodded once again and imitated Fangzheng. He got onto the bed and sat cross-legged, looking like an elderly monk in meditation.
The day passed by quickly and at dawn the second day, it was already lively outside. The monks got up and began decorating the Buddha hall. When the doors opened, devotees swarmed in and incense smoke soared to the sky, the monastery was set abuzz.
Fangzheng was envious as he gazed upon the scene. The day One Finger Monastery had such a turnout was the day it would truly flourish.
Fangzheng saw the Hong brothers once again. Fangzheng could not help but recall the System’s words. Take a good look? What did it mean to take a good look?
Fangzheng suddenly thought of something as he smiled wryly. “I’m really stupid! Heavenly Eye, open!”
Fangzheng opened his Heavenly Eye and took another look at the brothers. He was once again dumbfounded. He saw a blob of afterimages and nothing was clear. It was as though their figures were being stacked haphazardly.
Fangzheng was stunned. “System, is there something wrong with my Heavenly Eye? Why do I seem to see multiple images? Has it glitched?”
“The future is filled with variability. Some have little variability and others have a lot. The further the matter, the more variability. The more unstable a person’s negative karma and merit is, the more variability. Once the amount of variability increases, the Heavenly Eye will not be able to see a sole outcome. There will be many outcomes and these outcomes will be shown at the same time. What you see are multiple outcomes,” said the System.
“How do I crack this? Am I going to see this kind of effect in the future?”
“Upgrading the level of your Heavenly Eye is the easiest method. But for an impoverished monk like you, it’s the most difficult method.” The System said matter-of-factly, hitting Fangzheng where it hurt.
Fangzheng rolled his eyes with a miserable look. “Is there an easier method?”
“Think of it yourself.” The System fell silent once again.
Fangzheng was rendered speechless. The service was just terrible. If there was a place for him to lodge complaints, he would definitely have lodged one!
Since his Heavenly Eye did not work, he decided to open his Wisdom Eye! Fangzheng activated it.
The moment the Wisdom Eye opened, Fangzheng laughed! Fangzheng saw golden merit lotus flowers above the brothers’ heads. Although the lotus flowers were not large and they appeared rather faint, they were indeed lotus flowers. To be precise, they were lotus flower buds! Just as Fangzheng watched, the lotus flower bloomed. Only a single petal opened up. It pointed to a middle-aged man who was a distance from them in Hongyan Monastery. The man’s looks were nothing to speak off and he wore casual clothing. He had a bag slung diagonally across as he sat there. He looked unperturbed as though he was waiting for others to do their praying before he did his. He did not look anxious in the least.
As the brothers moved, the lotus flower would also spin as the petal would keep pointing at that man. At the same time, Fangzheng saw that negative karma were gathering beneath the lotus flower like a plume of fire. The fire plume was pointing in another direction and was wavering as it kept changing directions. Clearly, it did not know where it was pointing towards. It felt like it existed only to confuse Fangzheng. Fangzheng thought carefully to understand the logic behind it.
Just as the System mentioned, the secular world was a big dyeing tub, which was nothing but hell. The people here would more or less be stained by negative karma. Even good people had negative karma but it was negligible. It was unlikely it could cause good people to experience misfortune. But they could influence people like Fangzheng who wanted to help them change their luck. Therefore, there were many possibilities. The futures with low possibilities are confusing to both eye and ear.
Under the Wisdom Eye, the little tricks appeared amusing.
As for the lotus flower, it was likely pointing in the direction of good luck. The greater the merit, the more realistic the lotus flower would look and the brighter the golden glow. More petals would bloom and the good luck it pointed in would be greater in scale! Then if Fangzheng gave advice, the benefits the receiver would receive would clearly be more!
Upon coming to this realization, Fangzheng burst out laughing. He strode forward towards the brothers as Monkey followed. Fangzheng shook his head. “Monkey, your mission today is to walk among the crowd. Interact more with humans. Don’t think of yourself as a monkey but a human. Experience the feeling of a human. You are a monk of One Finger Monastery. Your every action does not represent just you but One Finger Monastery. Do you understand?”
Monkey scratched his head in rumination before pressing his palms together. “This Penniless Monk understands.”
Fangzheng gave a satisfied smile before he took wide strides towards the Hong brothers.
The two brothers were in line to offer incense. Hong Qianjie was looking around aimlessly when he suddenly saw Fangzheng walking towards them. He shuddered and tugged at Hong Qianxi. “Bro, Brother Water Ghost is here.”
Hong Qianxi looked at Fangzheng and then his shadow before heaving a sigh of relief. “He’s not a ghost but a person. He has a shadow.”
Hong Qianjie heaved a sigh of relief as well and smiled bitterly. “Why does it feel like the both of us are letting our imaginations run wild?”
Hong Qianxi was just about to answer when the monk stood in front of them. He pressed his palms together and gave a Buddhist proclamation. “Amitabha, Patrons, good day.”
“Venerable One, may we help you?” Hong Qianxi looked warily at Fangzheng. The monk had come to them despite there being so many people around. It felt odd. More importantly, the monks of Hongyan Monastery wore gray monk robes but the monk in front of them wore white. He looked stood out and therefore the brothers thought he might be unreliable. But when they saw Fangzheng’s face with its warm, radiant, and limpid eyes, they lowered their guard.
Fangzheng smiled. “Patrons, did you recently save someone?”
The brothers nodded subconsciously. The matter had already been made public. Back when they lived at the foot of the mountain, many people had recognized them. The board and lodging was comped by the boss of the hotel they stayed at. The villagers took turns to treat them to meals. The two were truly overwhelmed by the flattery. This was also the first time they discovered that being a good person or a hero was so thrilling! It felt like they were celebrities! Yet, they could felt prouder than celebrities because these people really liked and admired them. It made the brothers even believe that they had truly become great heroes.