It was as if he attempted to reach the moon without a spaceship, he was a computer without electricity, a car without gas!
Red Boy descended into misery. Without his Dharmic powers, how was he to summon the rice?
Monkey, Lone Wolf, and Squirrel kept watching. Although they did not understand some things, they could understand the conversation between Red Boy and Fangzheng and had a general understanding of the situation. And it appeared that the silly child had been outmaneuvered by the abbot! Lone Wolf still held a grudge about the slap he had received from Red Boy. He shouted, “Jingxin, why isn’t the so very awesome you showing us what you are capable of? Where is that sleight of hand of yours? Don’t tell me you broke your hand…”
Red Boy glared at Lone Wolf to which Lone Wolf immediately yelled loudly, “Abbot, that kid is glaring at me once again! If I get beaten, it’s definitely because of him!”
Red Boy was so incensed he rolled his eyes. He turned around and continued trying to casting his spell.
Monkey and Squirrel had spent quite a long period of time with Lone Wolf after all. They had a close relationship as they immediately kicked Red Boy while he was down. “Jingxin, you can do it! You’ve already bragged about it. It would be very embarrassing if you fail to do anything amazing now!”
Squirrel said matter-of-factly, “If I were Jingxin, I’d be too embarrassed to even show myself.”
Red Boy regretted knowing how to understand animal speak. Wasn’t this just adding to his troubles?
However, Red Boy was truly in an awkward situation. What could he do now that he had lost his Dharmic powers? After delaying for a moment, in the end he could not delay it any further. He bit his lips, face flushed as he shouted, “Watch me conjure the spell of filling a bowl with rice!” With that said, he scooped a bowl of rice and sat on the stove. He did not even come down and began eating there.
Lone Wolf exclaimed, “Wow! What an amazing divine power! I have no idea how he did it! Monkey, do you?”
Unfortunately, due to them being different species, Monkey had no idea what Lone Wolf was saying. But at the very least, Monkey knew what Lone Wolf meant from spending so much time with him. He reacted with. “What a challenging divine power! I think I know how to do this one as well…”
Squirrel shouted, “I know how to too!”
Red Boy blushed red, so red that he resembled a red radish.
Fangzheng did not mind their jeers and sat there, watching with a chuckle. He did not have tea leaves but he threw some tiny bits of bamboo shoots into the bowl and mixed it with Unrooted Clean Aqua. It was still quite a unique taste. As he tasted the ‘tea’ and watched the ‘show,’ it was truly quite a leisurely and carefree day…
After Red Boy finished a bowl, he immediately realized something amiss. With his Dharmic powers dissipated, his stomach no longer contained the True Samadhi Fire. How was he to refine the Crystal Rice in his stomach? If he could not refine the rice, he suddenly realized after seeing the size of the pot of Crystal Rice that the mission was a little difficult…
“Jingxin, you can do it. Your master will not treat your stomach shabbily. Another pot will be made once you finish it! Of course, make sure not to waste any. If not, hmph! This Penniless Monk has the urge to recite the scriptures tonight. That urge might not be repressed…” Fangzheng dragged out his sentence as he thought to himself, “A brat? Is there a child more brattish than when I was young? One needs to use brattish means to teach brats! Without your divine powers, I want to see who’s afraid of who!”
Back then, Fangzheng was the king of the children. As people disregarded one’s wealth status, he was infamous across a few villages because of his mischievousness. But later, when he attended school, students were streamed into classes with different learning aptitudes. Fangzheng’s problems also began to show, causing him to not live as well. However, there were no lack of instances of him cursing loudly, smacking people who crossed him with bricks or striking others with poles.
Fangzheng could not help but shake his head when he thought of the ridiculous things he did in his youth. At times, he felt rather thankful to the System. If not for the System’s lightning bolts to scare and fool him, he might very well be living a life where he kept spouting vulgarities.
Although his heart had turned for the better, there were certain intrinsic aspects that could not easily be changed.
But now… Fangzheng was very pleased with the tiny changes he had experienced. With his current qualifications, if he ever renounced asceticism, he would at the very least be a refined and polite man… Just thinking of that made Fangzheng burst out into laughter.
Red Boy was struggling to eat and when he stole a glance at Fangzheng. He was infuriated. It was definitely the work of the darn baldy that made him lose his Dharmic powers, causing him to embarrass himself!
Alas, without his Dharmic powers, Red Boy was even more afraid of defying Fangzheng. He could only eat in misery. There was still a big pot of rice after finishing two bowls. How was he to finish it!?
“Jingxin, you have to eat faster,” advised Fangzheng.
Red Boy’s eyes darted around as an idea came to his head. He looked at the three animals and with a stroke of genius, shouted, “Aren’t the three of you hungry? If you are hungry, a king like me… Ahem, a senior brother like me does not mind sharing some with you. Since we are fellow disciples, it’s only right to take care of one another. Don’t stand on ceremony. Come and dig in.”
The three animals exchanged looks and without even looking at Fangzheng, they shook their heads collectively! What a joke? The moment the asshole came to One Finger Monastery, he spewed fire and beat the wolf. And without any rhyme or reason, he wanted to eat a pot of rice! Now that they had a rare chance of teaching him a lesson, they definitely wanted him to finish the pot of rice even at the cost of starving!
Lone Wolf grinned a wolfy grin. “I’m not hungry. As for you, you should eat more. If you were to suffer from an empty stomach, you’d blame Abbot for not feeding you and that it’s child abuse. However, I have to remind you that I entered the monastery before you. You should call me senior brother!”
Red Boy roared, “Pui! You darn…”
“Amitabha!” Fangzheng immediately gave a Buddhist proclamation when he heard Red Boy about to curse.
Red Boy gritted his teeth and swallowed back the words he was about to deliver. He grunted, “Master, don’t tell me you took three beasts… uh, animals in as your disciples?”
Fangzheng smiled and countered, “What’s wrong with that? All beings are inclined to doing good. If they have the heart to seek enlightenment, why can’t they be taken in?”
Without willing to back then, Red Boy asked, “Then what’s their Dharma names?”
The three animals looked at Fangzheng longingly. A Dharma name was like an imprint to a monk. Once they were given one, they would truly be a part of One Finger Monastery.
Fangzheng could read the thoughts of the three animals. He said with a smile, “Although the three of them had entered One Finger Monastery early, This Penniless Monk has never given you any Dharma names. It was to monitor all of you. But from the looks of it, This Penniless Monk is very satisfied with your performance. Lone Wolf, you were the first to join One Finger Monastery. You were savage originally but now, you enjoy playing around. That is your intrinsic character. Seeking Buddhist enlightenment does not mean to abandon every character. Such a Buddha is only a embodiment of Buddha and will forever not be your true self. Remember, think first before you act in anything you do in the future. Do not be rash and do everything with people’s best interest in mind.”
“Squirrel, you are intelligent but you’re a little petty. You aren’t generous when handling matters. You might be small in size, but your heart should be big enough to accept others.”
“Monkey, This Penniless Monk gave you monk clothes and gave you a Dharma name but that was only temporarily. In the past you did not obey the rules. You took anything you saw and did not weigh the consequences. In the future, remember that there are rules for everything. They are not there to restrict you but as a guideline to respect others. It allows everyone to live harmoniously.”
“Today, This Penniless Monk will officially give all of you Dharma names! Lone Wolf, come over here!”