As Red Boy saw Fangzheng get ready to leave, he immediately chased after him, “Master, it’s fine if you do not permit me to go out alone, but can’t you bring me along with you? Perhaps I’ll recall once I’m in a good mood.”
Fangzheng thought about it and indeed, with nothing important to do, it was better to go out than to stay on the mountain. There was no way of anything happening on the mountain anyway.
He opened the Formless Door once again.
At that instant, Fangzheng felt a heat wave inundate him. It brought with it a scorching heat that seemed to lack even the tiniest bit of water vapor! At the same time, he heard the neighing of horses and people shouting. Amid the chaos, he seemed to hear children crying, “Thirsty”
Fangzheng watched carefully and listened to everything that could be of use. He wanted to prevent the awkward situation of not being able to find his mission goal and have to walk all the way back to Mt. One Finger.
The darkness in front of him vanished as Fangzheng realized that he had appeared on a desolate mountain. Calling it ‘desolate’ was truly the perfect description for it. There were no tall trees on the mountain, at best some shrubs. Almost everything was smooth sand and rock with an earthy yellow color. When the wind blew, it stirred sand into the sky.
The sun was burning high in the sky, baking the land. The entire world seemed like a furnace, and there was nothing apart from heat! Fangzheng was standing on a mud road on a col. The mountain trail was in terrible shape. It was fine if there were no handrails, but as there was a lot of sand, it was easy for someone to slip.
Fangzheng looked down and saw what appeared to be a bottomless ravine. If he fell down, he would likely die if not for his White Lunar Monk Robe.
At that moment, a gust of wind blew at him. Fangzheng subconsciously narrowed his eyes to prevent the sand from getting in.
However, Red Boy, who was about to speak, ended up suffering.
Pui! Pui! Pui!
The moment Red Boy opened his mouth, a mouthful of sand entered his mouth. He kept spitting the sand out as he grumbled, “What sort of godforsaken place is this? Don’t tell me it’s Flaming Mountain?”
“Perhaps. But we don’t have your mother’s Banana Fan.”
Red Boy curled his mouth, “Master, this place isn’t fun at all. Let’s return.”
“Do you think it’s that easy to return? Having entered the Formless Door, we can only search our surroundings.” Fangzheng was also very unsatisfied with his environment. He was traveling to escape the heat, but he ended up coming to an even hotter place. It was practically coming out of the firing pan and into the fire! Thankfully, he had the White Lunar Monk Robe. It regulated the temperatures for him, allowing him to remain comfortable. However, the scenery in front of him made one word arise in his mindthirsty!
Both his mind and body were thirsty, but there was nothing to be drunk. That feeling left him uncomfortable.
Red Boy pouted, “Master, why don’t you return me my Dharmic powers? Wouldn’t all of this be resolved with me flying you back?”
Fangzheng was somewhat tempted when he heard that
“Let me remind you that if this mission isn’t completed, you will not be able to use the Formless Door even if you return to One Finger Monastery. Once used, it will still send you back here. If the mission’s target is gone, all the functions of the Formless Door will disappear, returning it to an ordinary door,” the System warned immediately.
This wake-up call wiped away any thoughts Fangzheng had of returning. He berated Red Boy in all seriousness, “Jingxin, what’s most important as a human is to do things with a beginning and an end. Since we are here, how can we just return? Let’s go and see what’s up ahead. It won’t be too late to return once we do what we need to do.”
Red Boy rolled his eyes. He swore that he could tell that the darn baldy had been tempted, yet he suddenly unleashed a tirade on him Red Boy really wanted to give Fangzheng a slap but unfortunately, he was no match for Fangzheng and could only obediently follow.
The description of how mountain trails were windy was probably a result of the terrain they were facing. Both of them circled around the winding trail for more than an hour before finally arriving behind the mountain. When they looked far into the distance, they saw a village with smoke arising from it.
At that instant, Fangzheng and Red Boy felt their stomachs groan and their throats be hoarse!
“Master, I’m dying of thirst. Return me my divine power, and I’ll get some water for us to drink. I can bring you flying too.”
Fangzheng was again tempted but on second thought, he shook his head, “How can you know the sufferings of the mortal world without experiencing it? How can our cultivation be filled with enjoyment? Let’s go down the mountain. The village should have water for us.”
Red Boy rolled his eyes. He could not understand the rationale. The darn baldy could clearly suffer less. Why did he have to insist on suffering? Wasn’t this just inviting trouble for himself? He followed behind Fangzheng, trying his best to be within Fangzheng’s shadow in a bid to seek for that bit of coolness Despite the coolness being useless to him. As a demon king, he could easily withstand this bit of heat but mental fatigue was truly unbearable! That was the true torture!
Two boys were squatting on a mud heap at the village entrance. They constantly licked their cracking parched lips and looked into the distance
“Brother Dachen. When will the water-delivery team come?” One of the boys was playing with the mud in his hand, not concerned that it was dirty.
A taller boy squinted his eyes as he tried his best to avoid the glaring sunlight. He looked into the distance and tipped his toes up, but all he saw was endless mountains. He could not see anything else as he shook his head and said, “I don’t know. They should be here soon.”
“Will they not come today?” asked the boy.
“I don’t think they won’t They come every day,” the older boy said without much confidence.
“Brother Dacheng, do you think those elder brothers and sisters will bring us sweets? An elder sister gave me a lollipop last time. It was really sweet. After finishing the sweet, there’s a tiny stick. I’ve kept it until now. Also, the wrapping paper on it is very pretty,” said the boy like he was flaunting a treasure.
“Look at how smug you are. I had that too. A few in fact. Eh? Someone is here!” The elder boy suddenly exclaimed amidst his reply.
The younger boy immediately stood up and tiptoed to look into the distance. Indeed, behind a distant mound, two people were walking over. One of them was dressed in white, and his head was smooth and barren. The other was wearing a red dudou, with his ass bare for all to see. From his size and appearance, he was about the age of the young boy in the mud heap.
“It’s not the water-delivery team,” said the young boy in disappointment.
“These two people are really odd. That man is wearing something like the ancient costumes our teacher spoke of. And that child is wearing a dudou. How odd,” Dachen said.
“Brother Dachen, they can’t be ghosts, right? Didn’t Grandpa say that hopping vampires wear ancient costumes?”
“Silly. Grandpa also said that those vampires are afraid of the sun. Since these people aren’t, it means they aren’t vampires. They are probably probably lost?” This was the first time Dachen was meeting such people.
As they conversed, the monk had already come in front of them.
Fangzheng looked at the two children that looked like they had been dug out of a mud heap and then looked at the fair and plump Red Boy. He whispered, “Look, they look like energetic children, yet you look like a scion that has indulged in a comfortable life. When we return, you have to do more farming chores.”