At noon, Fangzheng sat in front of the meal table once again. He glanced at his cell phone and saw about five missed calls. They were the unknown number from the child. Fangzheng shook his head and ignored it. It was a wrong number anyway.
At night, the cell phone rang again just as Fangzheng was about to sleep.
Fangzheng got up and indeed, it was the child. He helplessly picked up the call.
As expected, the other party shouted in excitement before he could even speak, “Hello? Is that daddy?”
Fangzheng sighed bitterly. Just as he was about to deny it, he held back. After some thought, he finally decided against lying to the child. The child had a cell phone which clearly meant that an adult was taking care of him. It was not right for him to impersonate his father. “Amitabha. Young Patron, This Penniless Monk is not your father. You dialed the wrong number.”
“Is that so Sorry,” the child’s depressed voice sounded once again before he hung up.
Fangzheng felt upset hearing the child’s dejected voice. Fangzheng had insomnia that night and ended up sitting in the temple hall, striking the wooden fish the entire night.
Similarly, someone else was suffering from insomnia too.
“Master, can you stop striking that sucky wooden fish? It’s irritating,” Red Boy sat at the temple hall’s entrance, asking in a pissed-off voice.
Red Boy received a response in the form of the wooden fish’s sounds.
“Master, when will you return me my Dharmic powers. It really sucks being a mortal.”
“Master, can you speak?”
“Master? Have you fallen asleep?”
“Master, say something.”
Red Boy felt his heart tremble when he saw Fangzheng stay motionless all this while. He secretly grabbed a rock and circled behind Fangzheng as he raised his hand high!
“Jingxin, what are you doing here?” Fangzheng said suddenly.
Red Boy instantly retracted the rock he had raised high and hid it behind his body. He smiled awkwardly, “Nothing. Master, your striking of the wooden fish perturbs me. Master, do you have something that’s vexing you?”
Fangzheng shot a glance at Red Boy. Although Fangzheng had not opened his eyes, by being in the temple hall, the two Bodhisattva Dharmic representations were his eyes. He was able to monitor from every angle, and nothing in the temple hall could escape Fangzheng’s senses. How could he not know that Red Boy was tempted to kill him?
However, Fangzheng did not expose him. He knew that Red Boy would definitely not be so easily tamed or Bodhisattva would not have thrown Red Boy to him. Fangzheng did not have any hopes of instantly making Red Boy turn obedient and sensible. That was something that needed time. He could only do so slowly, slowly influencing and guiding him along.
But even so, if he did not teach the rascal a lesson for having thoughts of murder, the rascal would turn worse in the future. It would only make it more difficult to teach him a lesson. Fangzheng smiled and said, “This Penniless Monk is indeed vexed. My dear disciple, what’s that you are holding in your hand?”
“Nothing, nothing!” Red Boy was given a fright. If it was seen by Fangzheng, he would probably be the one being vexed the entire night.
Fangzheng chuckled, “Take it out and show it to your master.”
Red Boy shook his head immediately, “Master, it’s best you do not look at it. It’s a little” Red Boy had not thought of a good lie yet.
Fangzheng sighed and looked outside. “Being vexed today, unable to calm down at all, it causes the emotions produced by the striking of the wooden fish to be vexing as well. My dear disciple, if you have something good, you should offer it and share it. We can all sleep early if my mood turns for the better. You will also be able to sleep well.”
“It’s nothing good. I find it irritating to look at actually,” said Red Boy.
“That’s good too. Share with This Penniless Monk what troubles you. That will cheer me up too.”
Red Boy: “$#%&”
“Alright, my dear disciple. Don’t be petty. Come on, stretch out your hand.”
Red Boy’s heart tightened when he heard that. “Could it be that this darn baldy knows what I was trying to do? That would be bad. When the crime of deceiving and betraying one’s master and ancestors is discovered, it results in a horrible death where I come from. If this darn baldy steels his mind and recites the scriptures the entire night to vent his frustrations on me, won’t I be suffering a life worse than death?”
Red Boy turned anxious and in the heatof the moment, he suddenly came up with an idea. He immediately said, “Master, it’s really nothing good. It’s a snack.”
“Snack? You are hiding snacks? Let me see it!” Fangzheng beamed even brighter.
Realizing that he could no longer evade discovery, he bit the bullet and took out the stone. He said with some awkwardness, “Master, you see”
He thought that Fangzheng would immediately see through his lies and be infuriated before teaching him a lesson with the scripture recitals, but what surprised Red Boy was that Fangzheng actually looked taken aback. He laughed out loud. “Aiyo, my dear disciple, this snack of yours is rather unique. You must have tough teeth. Come, take a bite or two for me to see. Hehe, as expected of a deity.”
Fangzheng smiled with narrowed eyes at the black, fist-sized rock in Red Boy’s hand.
Red Boy’s heart jolted. What was the meaning of this? Would he really have to eat it?! Was this darn baldy dumb? That was a f**king rock. Can that be eaten? But when he saw the curious look in Fangzheng’s eyes, Red Boy felt infinitely miserable. He was really being requested to eat the rock! If he didn’t? It was most likely that his plan to kill his master would be exposed.
With that thought in mind, Red Boy gritted his teeth, closed his eyes, and directly pushed the rock in between his teeth and bit down hard!
A huge portion of the rock was actually separated by Red Boy’s bite. Then, he began chewing
Fangzheng was taken aback seeing this. He had indeed planned on conning Red Boy to teach him a lesson. It was only to place him in a difficult situation, reminding him of the consequences of his actions and lies. He never expected the honest child to actually eat the rock. And his teeth looked pretty tough as he seemed to enjoy eating it. He secretly sighed, “As expected of Bull Demon King’s son. He’s indeed a great demon. He cannot be treated as an ordinary human. Even without his Dharmic powers, his body is still terrifying.”
“Master, would that do?” The aggrieved Red Boy was close to tears. What the heck was this? He had been cultivating for so many years, yet this was the first time he was being humiliated so badly! He realized that ever since he came to One Finger Monastery, every time he wanted to con the darn baldy, it would only end up backfiring! He refused to have his beliefs shaken. He was the Boy Sage King, yet he could not put the darn baldy in his place!
“My dear disciple, it looks like you are really hungry. It’s not appropriate to eat things in the temple hall.”
Red Boy immediately heaved a sigh of relief. “Master, stay here then. I’ll go out to eat it.”
With that said, Red Boy ran out, but he heard footsteps behind him. When he turned around, Red Boy nearly burst into tears. Fangzheng had followed him.
“My dear disciple, what’s the rush? This Penniless Monk hasn’t seen others eat rocks before. Come, let’s sit under the bodhi tree to have a chat. This Penniless Monk will drink tea while you can have your supper. It’s also a way to inculcate our relationship as master and disciple. How heartwarming it will be, don’t you agree?”