Jiang Ting wasn't afraid of Fangzheng and instead stepped forward to say, "Master, sorry. My friend had been loose with his words. He was just worried for his friends' safety and shouted in his anxiousness, but please don't take it to heart."
Fangzheng smiled wryly inwardly, "Even if I wanted to take it to heart, the System would have to agree to it! Since I cannot seek revenge for trivial matters, I have to be a magnanimous master."
Hence, he maintained his smile and said, "Amitabha, kind words that are fierce are still kind words. So why would This Penniless Monk be angry? Patrons, it's no longer early. This Penniless Monk's temple is only a small temple. It doesn't provide food or lodging. If you did not bring any food, it's best you make haste and descend the mountain. If not, you will be starving by noon."
Fangzheng had been feeling uncomfortable since the moment they reached the mountaintop. Furthermore, the scene of Monkey and Lu Xiaoya's accident happened at dusk. Now, it was not even noon. If they left early, they might be able to avoid the accident. Hence, he decided to chase them away. Since he could not get any incense offerings from them, he might as well gain merit for saving them.
Fatty felt a little guilt-ridden as he hurriedly said, "That's right. We didn't bring any food, so let's leave now."
"Master, pardon me for my rudeness, but is this palm imprint your work?" Monkey suddenly asked. His eyes were flickering brightly.
Fangzheng looked at the palm imprint. He could not lie, so he was definitely unable to deny it. However, if he were to admit it? It would appear too fantastic. A human could only have so much strength. He did not want to be dragged away to be dissected for research for doing something too incredulous. Hence, he smiled slightly and said a Buddhist proclamation, "Amitabha." However, he did not continue explaining.
As such, Monkey and company were left baffled, unsure of what he meant.
Fangzheng said, "Patrons, it's no longer early."
"Monkey, forget it," said Fatty. "I'm also hungry, so let's go." He did not wish to stay so much as a moment longer.
Monkey looked thoughtfully at Fangzheng before nodding as a signal for everyone to leave. Before leaving, Jiang Ting took a look at Fangzheng. He appeared to have something to say, but he was only smiling at her, without taking the initiative to come forward to speak to her.
Seeing the five leave the temple, Fangzheng heaved a sigh of relief. He muttered, "By descending the mountain so early and with the village being so poor and backward, it's unlikely they will stay behind. Yes, go back early and you should be able to avoid the calamity. System, is this also considered an act of great merit? Do two lives mean I can have two chances at the draw?"
"Ding! It is only counted when they have avoided the calamity."
"Whatever then. I'll just wait for the chance to draw. Heh heh." Fangzheng was overjoyed as he glanced at the imprint on the door. He shook his head and said, "This looks too ugly!"
With that said, Fangzheng pressed his palm on the other side of the door and exerted strength! The sound of metal deforming was heard and soon, the imprint was flattened. However, it still wasn't completely flat. Fangzheng was left helpless regarding this. He wasn't a blacksmith and lacked skill. He could only hope for a future opportunity to get someone to repair it.
After fixing the door, Fangzheng went to the backyard and prepared a fire, washed the rice, and made lunch. However, Fangzheng discovered a problem. There were two water buckets missing from the kitchen! They were the two water buckets used mostly by Lone Wolf.
When Monkey, Fatty, Lu Xiaoya, Ruan Ying, and Jiang Ting left the temple, Fatty immediately heaved a sigh of relief as he muttered, "We have finally left. That temple made me feel stifled."
"You were just down because of your guilty conscience and afraid that the master would beat you, right?" Ruan Ying said with a smile.
Fatty did not dare show his anger when teased by his fiance. All he could do was chuckle foolishly.
Monkey would look back at the temple from time to time. Unfortunately, there were many trees and bends on the mountain. All he could see was the tiles on the temple's roof but not its door.
Lu Xiaoya whispered, "Why are you looking? Are you still curious?"
Monkey said with a wry smile, "I don't have many hobbies in my life, but martial arts is one of them. That imprint was too shocking. If it was really produced by a person, that person was definitely an expert."
"Forget it, he's just a young monk. Besides, what you are talking about are scenes from wuxia novels. In reality, how can there be anyone with such abilities? Even if it exists, how can a young monk our age accomplish it? It's too exaggerated," Fatty denied it categorically.
Lu Xiaoya tried persuading as well, "Fatty is right. You're just too engrossed reading novels that you imagine things all day. If there's anything odd about the temple, I find that old tree extremely odd. It looks like a bodhi tree to me. However, bodhi trees are southern trees, so why would it be here in the north? Also, it's almost winter, yet it is sprouting. It's really extremely odd."
Jiang Ting added, "I also noticed it. I just wasn't certain of the tree's species. Now that Xiaoya has mentioned it, it's really odd. For a southern bodhi tree to grow leaves in early winter is too strange. And from the looks of that tree, it looks like a withered tree, yet it is sprouting."
"Enough, enough. Cut it out. I'm getting shivers all over from this talk. Anyway, that temple is strange in every manner. There's nothing normal about it. It's best we leave as soon as possible," said Fatty.
Just as he said that, Ruan Ying, who was walking in front, screamed, "Ah, a wolf!"
"Wolf? Are you kidding me? How can there be a wolf in present day society? Holy sh*t, there's really a wolf!" Fatty didn't think seriously of it at first, but a moment later, he nearly peed his pants!
Monkey looked over and saw a huge wolf the size of a calf walking up the mountain. Its tail was hanging low, and its eyes were slender and fierce. Its teeth were extremely sharp! However, something was wrong with the wolf.
"Is this really a wolf? Why is it carrying water buckets? Also, its fur is all wet," Jiang Ting could not help but say.
"Now that you mention it, it's really odd. Is this a husky pretending to be a wolf?" commented Fatty.
"Don't move. It's really a wolf! Look at its build. It's definitely an alpha wolf," Monkey whispered.
Fatty, Ruan Ying, Lu Xiaoya, and Jiang Ting were immediately frightened out of their wits. Lu Xiaoya even spoke with a sobbing tone, "I said we shouldn't come all along, but all of you insisted. And now we're doomed. We will be food for the wolf."
"This wolf seems to be tamed by people. It shouldn't hurt us. Look at its eyes. There's no killing intent. It isn't baring its fangs or claws either. It's carrying water buckets and fetching water. It should be fine. Everyone, just don't provoke it and make way for it," said Jiang Ting.
Monkey nodded and the five formed a single file as they leaned close to the wall. There was no other way. Attempt to run? How could a fatty and three women escape from a wolf?
As the wolf approached, the group held their breaths. No one dared to make a sound. Lu Xiaoya and Ruan Ying were already so frightened that they closed their eyes, as if they were leaving it all up to fate. Jiang Ting wasn't much better. However, she was rather bold and did not close her eyes.
Soon, she was astonished to realize that the wolf truly had no intention to harm them. It simply carried the two buckets of water and quickly climbed up the mountain.
Seeing the wolf's back, the five heaved a sigh of relief and exchanged looks. They were somewhat dumbfounded, unsure of what had just happened.