At that instant, a few large words appeared in Fangzheng’s mind.
Fangzheng nearly cried. “My merit points!”
However Fangzheng stopped feeling sad after he discerned the few words, and instead he smiled. His eyes rolled and landed on Lin Zi and Old Liang.
Fangzheng quickly formed a seal with his hands as he pointed at Lin Zi. With a silent incantation and a command in his mind, Lin Zi, who was about to release the arrow, suddenly looked up into the sky and shot at the air. The arrow seemed like a divine arrow passing through the clouds like in the legends. There was nothing to be seen!
“Master, those two dogs!” exclaimed Squirrel.
Fangzheng waved his hand. “Jingxin, chase the two dogs away.”
Red Boy felt Dharmic powers stir in him. With a grin, a fierce glint flashed in his eyes. No one saw what he did, but with two slapping sounds, the two dogs whimpered back. Their mouths were bleeding from the slaps. The doe took the opportunity to escape.
“Jingxin, treat the doe of her injuries.”
“Master, what about you?” Red Boy looked at the furious group of people in the distance.
Fangzheng whispered, “They will naturally be dealt with.”
Red Boy nodded as he left.
“Master, what are we going to do now?” asked Squirrel.
Fangzheng smiled. “Let’s run before they notice us.” With that said, Fangzheng turned and ran, leaving Squirrel dumbfounded. When did Master become such a coward? This was not in line with his character!
Others might think of Fangzheng as a radiant master, genial and easily bullied, but Squirrel knew otherwise. Fangzheng was not a wise and benevolent master, but more of a hot-blooded youth. He only draped the skin of a kind master. However, Squirrel liked such a Fangzheng. He did not change himself regardless of the person or situation. He always knew what he was doing. He did whatever he wanted.
Monkey had once asked Fangzheng something, to which Red Boy had acted as a translator, and therefore Squirrel had understood the conversation as well.
Monkey had asked, “Master, why do a hundred monks of Baiyun Monastery all look the same? Either they look innocuous, or they look cold and unapproachable. Why do you look more like a villager at the foot of the mountain?”
Back then, Fangzheng was munching on Squirrel’s pine nuts. As he ate, he said, “They study the Buddhist scriptures day in and day out, using Zen Master Baiyun as their role model or becoming a martial monk as their goal. Therefore the Buddhist Dharma they cultivate in results in them changing accordingly. As for me, as well as my master, we are considered different. Your grandmaster once said that the Buddhist Dharma can contain all rivers, that Buddhas have a thousand sides to them, as well as there being thousands of Buddhas. It is the same with humans. Buddhist scriptures can only let you see the true you and understand your true self, allowing you to be true to yourself. It’s not to make you into another person, or the Buddha you imagine.
This Penniless Monk believes so as well. Therefore, although This Penniless Monk reads the scriptures, he isn’t thinking about what Buddha’s belief is on how things should be done, but as to how I should deal with things so that it suits my true nature, and not how Buddha would act. What This Penniless Monk cultivates is himself, but what they cultivate is Buddhism.
To put it simply, they are emulating Buddha, as for This Penniless Monk He will probably never even come close to Buddha in his life,” said Fangzheng bitterly when he thought of the massive number of merit points he needed.
Squirrel had looked up at Fangzheng with eyes shimmering while he mumbled inwardly to himself, “Be yourself, be yourself Then will I also become Buddha?” At that instant, many thoughts had flashed past Squirrel’s mind
Fangzheng was unaware that a single trip out would result in generating so many thoughts in Squirrel. To him, Squirrel only knew the cycle of eating, sleeping, seeking food, eating, sleeping, seeking food, eating, sleeping having his pine nuts stolen, being angered and so on. Fangzheng thought it was impossible for him to ponder over the Buddhist Dharma.
Behind him, Old Liang saw Lin Zi shoot the arrow into the sky and said mockingly, “Lin Zi, I got you to shoot the deer. Why did you shoot towards the sky?”
Lin Zi blushed slightly. “I don’t know either. I probably used the wrong strength. Where’s the deer?”
“It ran off.” Old Liang was perplexed. There was silence after the two dogs ran over. What had happened?
“It ran off? Where are your dogs?” Lin Zi knew very well that although Old Liang had a self-made firearm, the true treasures he possessed were his experience, his traps, and his dogs! The rifle was more for defense and to shoot at birds. When it came to hunting, the rifle could only injure the prey. Next, the dogs would pursue the prey, either by enervating the prey or by injuring its legs. Unable to run fast, the prey would usually be bitten to death by the dogs or be killed by Old Liang at point-blank range due to sheer fatigue.
Old Liang had always claimed that no prey could escape from his dogs’ mouths. The result
Just as Lin Zi was feeling puzzled, the two huge dogs ran back. Half their faces were swollen as they had their heads drooping down. They whimpered as though they were seeking redress.
Old Liang’s heart winced for them as his expression darkened. He bellowed angrily, “What exactly happened?”
Due to their angle and their attention being focused on something else, they did not see Fangzheng or Red Boy. He had never encountered such a strange situation after hunting for so many years. The two dogs had their faces beaten swollen for some baffling reason!
“Could it be a result of the deer’s kicking?” mumbled Lin Lei.
“Impossible. Ignoring the fact that the deer can’t even kick them, they shouldn’t have suffered such injuries even if they did get kicked,” said Old Liang firmly.
“Old Liang, then what happened?” asked Lin Zi.
“We’ll know once we proceed forward. I’ll take the life of whoever dares touch my dogs!” Old Liang growled furiously. The dogs were his life. He would truly dare to kill anyone who hurt them!
As he spoke, Old Liang began running forward swiftly! With their owner backing them, the two dogs immediately turned ferocious. They barked fiercely as they charged forward.
Xia Meng whispered into Lin Zi’s ear, “Boss, the dogs don’t look like they were kicked by the dogs. It’s more like they were beaten by a human.”
“How is that possible?” said Lin Zi incredulously.
Lin Lei added, “Brother Meng, that can’t be, right? I was watching the entire time. I saw the two dogs jump into the shrubs before they were thrown back out. What person is so powerful as to send the dogs flying back out with one slap?”
Xia Meng said, “I don’t know, but according to my experience, those injuries are definitely man-made.”
“Brother Meng, you haven’t been a mercenary soldier for quite some time. Did you make a mistake? Human? Did you even see a shadow? Who else is there besides us? It can’t be a ghost, right?” Upon saying the word ‘ghost,’ Lin Lei trembled.
Lin Ying berated him. “What nonsense are you speaking about?”
Xia Meng looked at Lin Zi who patted him on the shoulder in return. “Alright, let’s not bother about the culprit. We will know once we go forward.”
Xia Meng did not say another word. All he did was give a warning. He could not be bothered to debate on the matter if his employer did not believe him. He could also tell that Lin Zi trusted Old Liang more than him when in the forest. In that case, all he needed to do was to ensure the safety of Lin Zi and the rest. He could not be bothered with anything else.
The group chased after Old Liang after finishing their conversation.
However, this little bit of time caused the distance between Old Liang and them to increase. They could only chase in the direction in which Old Liang had headed.