Having been struck in the chest by the carriage, He Ming bore with the pain. He squatted down and caressed the old horse, “Old pal, it’s been hard on you all this while. I want to thank you. I hope that Heaven does not need you to lug water anymore and that you can freely run on a large grass plain.” With that said, He Ming’s tears rolled down his cheeks involuntarily. Although there were a few water-delivery teams, there were only two horses that could be used to deliver water. They were reared permanently at some kind-hearted person’s place. The people had time to rest, but the horses had to lug water every other day. Compared to the humans, it was more tiring for the horses. Having traveled so much, He Ming had feelings for the horse. Now, he felt sorrow rise up within him seeing an old friend depart. Large teardrops dripped down his face.
Men only weep when deeply hurt.
When everyone saw this scene, they felt a little sour in the chest. Fangzheng went forward to caress the horse’s head. He leaned close to the horse’s ear and whispered whatever He Ming had said to the horse.
The old horse looked at He Ming as his tears flowed too like a farewell look. Then, it closed its eyes slowly and stopped breathing.
Fangzheng pressed his palms together and began reciting some funeral chants.
At that moment, everyone fell silent. They surrounded the horse and quietly listened to the chanting and silently wished the horse the best.
Fangzheng was rather helpless on this matter. Although he had seen He Ming’s future, there were no landmarks on the mountain trail. Many places looked similar. Therefore, to ensure their safety, he had no choice but to return Red Boy his Dharmic powers, allowing him to monitor the surroundings. In the end, the brat ended up daydreaming. By the time they discovered it, it was a little too late. Thankfully, he had saved He Ming. However, the horse ended up a victim.
At that moment, Red Boy walked over from the other side of the carriage. Everything had happened too suddenly. Fangzheng wished to save He Ming as well as stop the carriage. How could it be that easy? When he kicked the carriage, he was nearly thrown backwards as well. Thankfully, Red Boy reacted quickly by coming over to stop the carriage. However, Red Boy was just too small in size and everything had happened too quickly. Everyone’s attention was placed on Fangzheng, and they failed to notice this detail. They only believed that Fangzheng had stopped the carriage and saved He Ming.
After finishing the chanting, the mustached man and company fell into a worry. Now that the horse was gone, what were they to do with the water on the carriage? Deliver them with sheer human strength? It was practically an impossible mission! Furthermore, the horse’s carcass could not be thrown here. He Ming wished to bring the horse back to Daili Village to give it a proper burial.
Just as everyone was discussing the matter noisily, Fangzheng said, “Amitabha. Patrons. Let everyone carry one box. Place the horse on the carriage. Leave the water that cannot be taken away on the carriage as well. For the items that can’t fit, we shall leave them here. We can retrieve them again next time.”
“Venerable One, that’s not a problem. The problem is that we won’t be able to pull the carriage,” said the mustached man with a bitter smile.
Fangzheng smiled. “This Penniless Monk still has the strength to pull the carriage. However, all of you will need to help a little too.”
Fangzheng had burdened himself with the most difficult task. They naturally had no reason to reject him. Therefore, everyone immediately took action. They righted the carriage and placed the horse on it. Finally, they placed as much water as they could onto the carriage and carried the remaining boxes. It happened to be perfect!
While they were busying themselves, Fangzheng pulled Red Boy to the side.
“Master, isn’t this a little too unscrupulous? You gain all the fame and credit, but I’m the one doing the work,” Red Boy said with an aggrieved and indignant look.
Fangzheng’s idea was very simple. He obviously was not able to lug so many things. Although the Great Strength Vajra Palm had raised his strength greatly, it did not make him an extraordinary superhuman. Such a heavy carriage with the water and horse was definitely not something Fangzheng could pull alone. But Red Boy was different. The little rascal looked tiny in size, but he had a lot of strength! Therefore, Fangzheng decided to feign pulling the carriage while Red Boy would help push from the back. The one really delivering the strength was Red Boy
Fangzheng knew that he was being a little overboard on the matter. Hence, he asked, “My dear disciple, what do you propose?”
Red Boy stroked his chin and after some thought, “I can push the carriage, but you have to return me my Dharmic powers! If not, I’m not doing it. Furthermore, you can’t take them back.”
Fangzheng shook his head decisively. Although Red Boy had toned down a lot compared to when he first came, he was still a demon king. After so many years of being taught the survival of the fittest, how could he be changed in a matter of days? Fangzheng also understood why he was acting this way. He was like a magnate that had fallen. When he was rich, he was forever someone that stood atop the world against the poor. Furthermore, he had believed he was different from the poor and that they lived in different worlds. But one day, the magnate lost all his money. When that time came, he had to learn to view problems from the perspective of the poor. As the saying goes, one’s position determines one’s views and behavior. Strength determined one’s position!
Red Boy was now obediently cultivating with Fangzheng and understanding the way the world worked. It was mostly because he lacked strength and as a result, began learning to view the world from the perspective of an ordinary mortal and understanding the kindness in the world. He was no longer using the perspective of a demon king, looking coldly at the life and death of others!
If his Dharmic powers were returned, the rascal might one day flare up and wipe out a city or village. That would be a heinous sin! Fangzheng would not be able to forgive himself for that!
“Master, can’t you satisfy my tiny request?” Red Boy looked adorably at Fangzheng.
“My dear disciple, it’s not impossible to return you your Dharmic powers.”
“Really?” Red Boy’s eyes lit up.
“Become a monk. Cut a hairstyle just like mine. In the future, you are not to leave One Finger Monastery. Everything else is negotiable.”
Red Boy rolled his eyes, “Master, you are being too insincere.”
“Alright, cut the crap. Now that your master is begging you, aren’t you going to do a thing? Don’t you feel ashamed?”
Red Boy looked up, “Master, then I’ll make another request. Can you lend me your cell phone in the future? I would like to play with it.”
Fangzheng thought for a moment and felt that it was not a difficult request. He agreed to it readily.
With Red Boy’s help, what seemed like a very difficult task became simple. However, Fangzheng controlled the strength and made everyone feel like they had completed the task through their collective efforts. Even so, everyone marveled at Fangzheng for being a man of god.
The mustached man mumbled, “He’s even more powerful than a horse!”
A girl subconsciously followed up, “A mule?”
A dark cloud immediately hung over Fangzheng’s head. He could not be bothered to say a word.
Village Chief Lei cried the moment he saw the dead horse. Following that, they dug up a grave for the horse in front of the village. From that spot, one could see the mountain trail. After burying the horse, they set up a wooden tombstone on which they wrote the words: Grave of the Benefactor Horse.
With the water delivered, this batch of volunteers did not stay much longer. Instead, they immediately set off. After all, it was Monday. They still had many things to do.
He Ming wanted to stay behind while Village Chief Lei persuaded him to return. However, He Ming steeled his heart and stayed behind. Village Chief Lei could not do anything about it and could only arrange for an already empty house in the village to be allocated to He Ming. The entire village worked together to clean up his house and yard. Then, people sent their blankets, woks, bowls, plates, and other accessories which they could not bear to use over. Instantly, everything was neat and tidy.