“The road to happiness is usually preceded by rough goings. Good things are definitely not easily found. I suggest that all of us go up the mountain to take a look! Perhaps the Venerable One has already returned up the mountain,” the man in the flowery shirt clamored. His name was Hua Luo. Despite literally meaning ‘falling flowers,’ a rather elegant name, he was in no way elegant in character.
The crowd immediately echoed him when they heard his suggestion. After all the hubbub, the guests who came from the city had gradually made the search for dumplings their tiny mission. It also added to the buzz. After all, to get so many people in the city to have a common will to do something, gathering in a bustling crowd in the process, was not easy. Now, with a rare opportunity presenting itself, all of them were in high spirits.
It was even more apparent for the children. At home, they were the only child, and now, seeing so many children, they had the time of their lives playing together. Of course they would love to join in the buzz.
Therefore, with Hua Luo’s shout, the crowd went up the mountain noisily.
However, they were dumbfounded when they saw the tightly shut monastery door two hours later!
“Did he deliberately close the door or is there no one inside?” Hua Luo’s wife asked suspiciously.
“Isn’t that easy to find out? We can just enter and we’ll know,” said Hua Luo.
“You can’t!” at that moment, there was a shout. A few villagers ran over and blocked the crowd. Leading them was Wang Yougui who had heard of the commotion.
“Village Chief, what are you doing?” asked Hua Luo perplexed.
“You are not to enter if the monastery doesn’t have its doors open. Abbot Fangzheng isn’t in. Everyone, please return.”
When the crowd heard that they could not enter, what did they do? They decided to loiter outside. When they saw the distant bamboo forest and its lush emerald hues, they had a thought, but Wang Yougui stopped them once more. They could forget about it. That was the signature highlight of their village. They would absolutely not allow for so many people to run into it.
Everyone could only watch from afar as they sat on the mountain, refusing to leave. They were adamant about waiting for Fangzheng to return, so that they could get at least one dumpling. There were a number of them who had not eaten the dumplings, but among those who did, the fragrant taste in their mouths left them intoxicated. More importantly, it had been said that the dumplings were only available today. After today, they would have to wait for the following year. Therefore, all the gluttons decided to wait for that gastronomical bliss! Those who had not eaten any were even more curious. Since there were people waiting, they decided to wait together. If not, wouldn’t they be losing out if they ended up not eating any while others did?
An entire morning passed
Fangzheng did not return.
An afternoon passed, but Fangzheng still did not return.
The excited crowd’s high spirits finally dampened like a bruised eggplant. They considered giving up and descending the mountain.
Meanwhile at that moment, what was Fangzheng doing?
He was out watching the dragon boat race. After having fun on their stroll the entire day, the One Finger Monastery entourage finally walked back slowly and leisurely.
Fangzheng was very curious about what sort of world Red Boy’s world was. Hence he asked on the way, “Jingxin, how does your homeworld educate children?”
“Educate? What’s there to educate? Over there, the fist reigns supreme. The strong are kings! On that mountain, I wouldn’t brag, but just a word of mine could cause all the lesser demons on the mountain to fluster and busy themselves. Aiyah That was the life, nothing like this place. Filled with rules and limitations.” Red Boy still missed his past life.
Squirrel asked out of curiosity, “Junior Brother, I didn’t know you were that powerful. But what if you meet someone even more powerful?”
“Someone more powerful? That’d be fine. My parents are even more powerful. My mom has this fan. If anyone dares defy her, a flap of the fan and hehthat person flies off to an unknown distance! My dad is even more formidable with his great strength. No one dares to offend me!”
“Then, who is stronger when your dad fights with your mom?” asked Squirrel adorably.
Red Boy was instantly left at a loss for words.
Fangzheng burst out in laugher. Squirrel truly had quite a unique way of thinking!
Red Boy scrunched up his nose when he saw Fangzheng laughing. With his character, how could he not reply when he was being made fun of? “This I’m not sure either.”
“Have they never fought before?” asked Lone Wolf out of curiosity as well.
Red Boy shook his head and said, “They have, and quite a number of times at that.” When he said that, Red Boy’s expression had one that looked like it had faced the great vicissitudes of life. “But let’s not talk about it. It’s only saddening.”
“Since they have fought, there must be someone who’s stronger. I guess that Jingxin’s mother is stronger. after all, she has that that powerful fan,” said Squirrel.
Lone Wolf said, “Your father is definitely stronger. He has great strength. Isn’t he like a bear? Standing there, even the wind shouldn’t be able to blow him away, right?”
Lone Wolf and Squirrel had no means of mutual communication. They were just speaking their minds.
Red Boy said, “I don’t know. Every time they fight, I find it particularly fun. I’ll stand by the side cheering them on, hoping that their battle will become even more intense. But in the end, I always ended up being duo ganked by them. Sigh, my childhood years were really an agonizing sight”
Fangzheng could not help but laugh out loud again when he heard that. It was no wonder Red Boy was such a brat. His parents were also brattish!
As they conversed, they returned to the mountaintop. Before they reached the top, they saw countless pairs of eyes looking at them. They even seemed like they were emitting green light!
Red Boy stood in front of Fangzheng and yelled, “Master, be careful!” Red Boy regretted the moment he shouted. What did the death of the darn baldy have to do with him? He would be freed if Fangzheng was dead!
Fangzheng chuckled and pressed his palms together. He said to the crowd, “Amitabha. Patrons, what are all of you doing here?”
“Abbot Fangzheng, you are finally back. What else can they be doing? They are waiting for you. It has all to do with those dumplings of yours. They are all here to ask for dumplings.” Wang Yougui came over first and explained the situation.
Fangzheng felt helpless when he heard that. He knew that the village was dabbling in rural tourism, but he never imagined that a few dumplings would cause such a huge reaction. As he looked at the crowd’s covetous eyes, it appeared as though they would explode if they were not given dumplings to eat today.
Fangzheng smiled, “Patrons, all of you will probably be disappointed. This Penniless Monk has already handed out all the dumplings. There’s none left.”
What a joke. How much savings did Fangzheng have? The dumplings cost money! Real money at that. After gifting the villagers, he was nearly bankrupt. If he had to give these outsiders some too Did they think Fangzheng was some magnate?
“Abbot Fangzheng, you can’t do that. We have been waiting here all day. Look, we haven’t eaten lunch. We’ve been waiting for your dumplings,” Hua Luo turned anxious, so he even lied. They had eaten lunch. However, they had not gone down the mountain, instead having someone deliver the food.
Fangzheng shook his head nonetheless, “Sorry, Patrons. This Penniless Monk really doesn’t have any more dumplings. The dumplings that were prepared yesterday have all been given out today.”
Fangzheng did not dare be generous. Crystal Rice dumplings were definitely delicious. If these people got addicted to it and came daily Would he be a monk or a businessman? He had gifted the villagers the dumplings due to the debt of gratitude he had with them. As for these people? Fangzheng had no relationship with them. Just like how scriptures were not something readily instructed, dumplings were the same!
With that said, Fangzheng led his disciples back into One Finger Monastery. He opened the door and closed it. He was in no way indecisive.