After lunch, everyone returned to their rooms to have an afternoon nap. However Fangzheng and Red Boy could not fall asleep.
“Master, must everyone who does good sacrifice himself fully?” Red Boy turned around and looked at Fangzheng before asking.
Fangzheng shook his head, “Doing good does not need you to fully sacrifice yourself. In this world, simply not harming or scamming others is a way of doing good. If no one in the world commits evil, this world will be at peace. Helping others as one’s capacities allow is already minor good. Sacrificing yourself for others is major good. For Patron He to go that far, it’s truly rare.”
Red Boy looked up into the sky, “Master, I really can’t understand what the joy is of doing such good deeds. It’s not as carefree as when I was king of a mountain, doing anything I wanted to do.”
“When you were demon king, everyone held you in great respect, so you felt carefree. But when you were in distress, did anyone help you?”
Red Boy thought back to the past and indeed, it had felt like rats leaving a sinking ship. The lesser demons that fawned and worshiped him fled. Who remembered a king like him?
After the afternoon nap, the volunteers strapped the horse carriage and left after bidding farewell. Before Yao Yuxin left, she hugged Red Boy and whispered a bunch of things to him. Clearly, she would be missing the slightly mischievous rascal. As they watched the team leave, Fangzheng pressed his palms together and silently proclaimed, “Amitabha. My dear disciple, let’s leave.”
“Master, where are we going?” Red Boy asked out of curiosity.
“Let’s just walk around. Patron Lei, This Penniless Monk shall bid you farewell.”
“Venerable One, can you not stay a few more days?” Village Chief Lei tried to persuade him to stay.
Fangzheng shook his head and said, “If we are fated, we will definitely meet again. Thank you for your hospitality.”
After exchanging a few pleasantries, Fangzheng left Daili Village with Red Boy.
“Master, where should we go next?”
“Let’s go up the mountain. We shall spend the night there.”
Fangzheng smiled without a word, but a look of enlightenment flashed in his eyes.
The next day, the water-delivery team slowly proceeded forward. This time, there was only one horse carriage. The old horse was tottering with great difficulty. There were five people behind it and other than the one driving the carriage, the rest were pushing the carriage that was filled with water. He Ming was highly conspicuous as he shouted while pushing, “Everyone, give it a little bit more. After this uphill part, it’s all downhill. We will be able to save some strength.”
“He Ming, are you certain you will be staying in Daili Village?” a stocky, mustached man asked.
“Yes. The village needs me,” said He Ming with a sigh.
“Are you really willing to give up Beauty Liu?” chuckled the man.
He Ming rolled his eyes at him, “Even if I do, it’s not like she has any interest in me. Besides, by being with me, I’m holding her back. It’s better for her to find someone else to marry and lead a blissful life.”
“Haha, I knew you liked Beauty Liu! But speaking of which, she’s really quite pretty. If I were you, I would definitely cling on tightly and try to win her hand. I’m nothing like you, being so cautious and indecisive.”
He Ming shook his head with a wry smile but did not speak further.
At that moment, the carriage had finally reached the tipping point of the upslope. He Ming immediately said, “Everyone, watch out. We are going downhill now. Hold onto the carriage. This horse is old and might not be able to stop in time.”
Just as he finished his sentence, the carriage suddenly charged downwards. The old horse was unable to hold back the carriage as it began galloping downwards too.
Everyone exclaimed as they tried to pull the carriage. However, the carriage’s momentum and the horse’s pull prevented them from doing so!
The mustached man exclaimed, “Oh no! There’s a sharp bend up ahead! Quickly stop the carriage! Rein in the horse! If not it’s over!
He Ming had sped up as he pulled at the horse’s ropes, shouting, “Yu! Yu! Yu!”
However, how could mere human strength beat a horse’s? Although the horse wished to stop, the carriage was pushing them forward. Instantly, the human, the horse, and carriage charged straight ahead. The people behind tried their best to pull at the carriage but to no avail. Just as they were about to fly off the cliff, the old horse’s eyes flashed. It seemed to instantly turn a lot younger as though it could understand the despair He Ming was feeling. At that moment, it seemed to understand the mission it shouldered. With a neigh, it suddenly flipped its body and lied down. The carriage overturned due to the sudden impulse but the momentum pushed the old horse, sliding it forward. The lasso tore as the overturned carriage ran over the old horse and continued. Lots of water scattered onto the ground as the carriage nearly flew off the cliff!
As for He Ming, he had been thrown out by the horse’s tumbling. He rolled along the ground and was pushed by the carriage as he was sent flying forward. There were numerous exclamations but at the same time, he felt himself fly through the air. He thought to himself, “I’m doomed!” At that instant, his mind went blank, leaving behind a clear imagethe quiet and gentle Liu Yuan with her long hair cascading onto her shoulders.
As He Ming reeled in despair, a hand suddenly stretched out from above him, grabbing him by the wrist. He felt his body turn light as though he found his center of gravity as he was thrown up with the momentum. At that moment, he identified his rescuer to be the white-robed Fangzheng who smiled like the radiant sun!
He Ming looked at Fangzheng in a daze as he stood there, “Venerable One, why are you here?”
Fangzheng smiled and pressed his palms together, “Amitabha. This Penniless Monk happened to be passing by and saved you in passing.”
“He Ming, are you alright?” The mustached man and the rest ran over. The incident had been too sudden. Everyone had been in a daze and was unable to react in time, nor did they know what they should have done. Now that they had jolted to their senses, they were breaking out into cold sweat! If not for the monk’s appearance, He Ming would have been dead for sure!
He Ming was fine, but everyone looked at Fangzheng like he was a monster. The carriage had such immense momentum that it had launched He Ming flying forward. It spelled inevitable doom! However, the monk had appeared out of nowhere. He had one foot on the carriage and stopped it with sheer force! He had swung his hand backward, and like grabbing chicks, he caught He Ming. All of this was like a Hollywood film, harrowing and exciting, but it was filled with brute force! Shocking!
He Ming did not see the scene. His mind was not working during the harrowing experience. He also did not know that Fangzheng was that strong and did not think much about it. He did not answer the mustached man’s question and instead looked at the toppled carriage and the water all over the ground. He said with his heart wincing, “None of the water fell off the cliff, right?”
The mustached man said with a wry smile, “Why are you bothered about such things considering what just happened? I don’t think much fell off. Most of them are here. As for the horse”
Everyone looked over and saw the old horse lying on the ground. The foam at its mouth was stained with blood. It was trying hard to open its eyes as its breathing turned heavy. Clearly, it could not live much longer.