Meanwhile Lone Wolf did not have hands, and his paws were not the most adequate tool for the task at hand. People found it disgusting if he used his mouth, so this fellow who usually carried a basket was no longer required. Since he had nothing better to do, he ran around to search for mushrooms before getting Monkey or Red Boy to pluck them. Of course, he could get Squirrel to help when he found smaller ones, and as for bigger ones
“Master, it’s odd. There are many mushrooms that seem like they aren’t growing in the ground behind us. Each is prettier than the other,” Lone Wolf suddenly popped up and said.
Fangzheng blushed. He couldn’t tell him that he was the one who had thrown those away, right? But who was to eat them after they were picked up? He did not wish to waste the power of another meditation bead!
At that moment Red Boy shouted, “Senior Brother Jingfa, those mushrooms aren’t delicious. Anyway, I don’t like them. I suffer from allergies if I eat too many of them. This is something Master knows about, so we can only throw them away.”
Squirrel immediately ran over when he heard the word ‘throw.’ He grabbed Fangzheng’s leg and climbed into the basket. He burrowed his head into the pile of mushrooms and rummaged all day before popping his tiny head out. He lamented. “Was my super huge mushroom thrown too!? Master, if the both of you aren’t eating them, can’t I eat them?”
Monkey ran over as well and found that a few of the mushrooms he had picked were gone. He added. “My beautiful mushrooms are gone too. Master, you can leave those for me if you don’t eat them.”
Upon hearing this, Fangzheng really regretted having to continue plucking the mushrooms. Wasn’t this just giving himself more trouble!? At the same time, he secretly cursed Red Boy for being the worst kind of teammate. Lone Wolf, Squirrel, and Monkey did not understand each other. Even if Lone Wolf discovered something, Squirrel and Monkey would not understand what he said. It should have been easy to sweep the matter under the rug.
But with Red Boy speaking without a thought, his words were understandable to Squirrel and Monkey! Wasn’t this just piling on more trouble for no reason? Since it was Red Boy’s fault, Fangzheng scoundrelly relegated the entire problem to Red Boy. He put down the basket and said, “Jingxin, I’ll leave the matters here to you. Pick the things you want to eat. This Penniless Monk just recalled that something needs to be done. Bye for now.”
With that said, Fangzheng immediately took wide strides and escaped.
The naive Monkey and Squirrel immediately turned their fiery sights on Red Boy. Red Boy was dumbfounded. He had just felt deeply grateful for Fangzheng’s kindness, but in a blink of an eye, he was being betrayed? This master he got for nothing was just too good at betrayal, wasn’t he?
At night, Fangzheng sighed together with Red Boy as they looked at the basket of colorful mushrooms.
Squirrel and Monkey were afraid their mushrooms would be thrown out again, so they refused to leave the kitchen!
Helplessly Fangzheng could only boil two pots of mushroom soup. One pot was filled with ordinary mushrooms, and the other pot was filled with water. However he later used A Golden Millet Dream to make Squirrel and Monkey hallucinate, making them believe that their mushrooms were done. When they drank the soup, they found it tasteless. They cursed at how the mushrooms only looked pretty but tasted horrendous. They swore never to eat them again.
Lone Wolf did not care about them and drank the soup in his bowl. His head was stuffed right inside the bowl, having the time of his life drinking.
When Squirrel and Monkey saw this, they immediately tried the real mushroom soup and could not help themselves from gulping the soup down. Unfortunately Squirrel was only so large. After he desperately drank two ladles, he lay on the ground clasping his stomach, unable to move again. He mumbled, “It’s so delicious.”
Fangzheng and Red Boy exchanged a smile and did not say a word. They were secretly amused.
Days passed and soon, May was almost over.
One day, Lone Wolf suddenly ran in and sat right in front of Fangzheng. He stared intently at Fangzheng, motionless.
Fangzheng was perplexed. “Jingfa, what’s the matter with you?”
“Master, it’s been a while since you went down the mountain.”
Fangzheng was taken aback before he realized what Lone Wolf meant. According to Mt. One Finger’s rules, Fangzheng would bring one of them down the mountain each time. The disciples would take turns. Fangzheng had been busy everywhere some time ago, such as making it rain in Daili Village and dealing with the poachers. Those events exhausted Fangzheng, so he planned on resting on the mountain in peace.
But after experiencing so much, he happened to gain new insights when reading the Diamond Sutra in the temple hall. His epiphany lasted for several days, and he nearly forgot about the rule.
It was obvious that Lone Wolf wanted to go down the mountain.
It would have been fine if Lone Wolf had not mentioned it, but the moment he raised the issue, Fangzheng became active after a prolonged rest. He decided that it was time to descend the mountain. The more he experienced, the more he would be enlightened. He could also earn more merit, allowing him to become Buddha earlier, so that he could renounce asceticism earlier! And since he had digested most of the epiphanies he had, it was time to recharge his stores.
Upon thinking of this, Fangzheng smiled. “It’s indeed time to descend the mountain. Jingfa, why don’t you go with This Penniless Monk this time?”
Lone Wolf had only run over to grumble. He had no hopes of Fangzheng really agreeing to letting him down the mountain. Yet he succeeded! He was first stunned before he yelped, “Okay! Okay Okay Master, anything you say!”
“In that case, stay behind on the mountain. Let Jingzhen follow me,” said Fangzheng with a squinted smile.
Lone Wolf immediately cried, “Master, you can’t do that Woo-woo!”
Fangzheng immediately laughed when he saw this. He rapped Lone Wolf on the head. “Alright, cut the crying. I don’t see you drop even a tear when the thunder is so loud. Let’s go.”
Lone Wolf immediately followed Fangzheng when he heard that. On the way out, he called out to anyone he saw, “Junior Brother, I’ll be going out with Master.”
And in exchange, he received rolling eyes
Once again, they stepped through the Formless Door. Fangzheng was already sufficiently prepared. He focused and waited for the changes around him. He did not plan to miss out on a single sound or image.
At that moment, there was a sound. Bam! Bam! Bam
As if something had landed on the ground, it produced loud thuds. Following that, a shattered scene appeared. it was a wheel and a loud bang and tragic cry.
“No way. Isn’t this too much? There’s not a single conversation this time?” Fangzheng lamented, but he could do nothing. The darkness disappeared, and he found himself at the entrance to a small compound.
Just like before, his sudden appearance did not garner the notice of others. This was an ordinary compound. The walls that lined the houses were somewhat old. They looked like old houses from more than ten years ago. Back then, high-rise buildings were not in style. They were all standard seven-storey buildings. The compound only had an ordinary door and did not have any guards. Anyone could enter and exit as they pleased.
“Wow! Master, this is so fascinating! With a whoosh, we appeared here. How unbelievable!” Lone Wolf did not know that Fangzheng had a mission. He widened his eyes as he looked around. He looked at everything curiously. Lone Wolf was less knowledgeable than Red Boy. At the very least, Red Boy could fly and burrow into the ground. He was only astonished at the technological prowess of ordinary mortals.