“This Penniless Monk will probably return only in a few days. There’s no need to wait for me today.”
“Alright. This is my name card. If you want to return, just let me know ahead of time. The latest I can wait until is 3:30. Any later and it would be too late for our return. It’s not safe to drive late at night.”
Fangzheng took the name card and after thanking the driver, he left with Ouyang Fenghua and Red Boy.
“Master, where do we go now?” asked Ouyang Fenghua out of curiosity.
Fangzheng was taken aback. “Patron, you do not know the way?”
“Should I know?” Ouyang Fenghua blushed when she said that.
Fangzheng said in resignation, “Patron, you sounded impressive a few days ago. This Penniless Monk thought you knew the way. Let’s check a map”
Fangzheng took out his cell phone and searched for directions to Sunglow Monastery. Indeed, most instructions involved taking an ordinary truck from Black Mountain City to Gulin City. Then one had to take the high-speed rail to reach Tanzhong City. It would then take another one hour by car to reach Sunglow Monastery. Fangzheng and Ouyang Fenghua discussed and agreed that time was too precious. There was no reason for them to spend so much time on the road. Furthermore Ouyang Fenghua did not lack money. Therefore they immediately took a bus and headed for Black Mountain City.
The journey was a lot smoother and more standard this time. They were in an air-conditioned bus. The passengers did not exceed the capacity, and no one smoked or talked loudly on the bus. However Ouyang Fenghua had the feeling that the bus was lacking in something.
“Master, why do I think that something is lacking on this bus?” Ouyang Fenghua could not help but ask after some time on the bus.
“What should there be?”
“I’m not sure either. After getting off the previous bus and sitting on this bus, it feels like something is missing.” Ouyang Fenghua was a little lost. She knew something was missing, but she had no idea what.
Red Boy mumbled, “There’s a lack of smoke and noise. This place is like an enigma that doesn’t speak.”
Ouyang Fenghua nodded incessantly. “That’s it!”
Fangzheng smiled. “Comparing this bus to a village bus is like comparing a city’s skyscraper to a village’s flat houses. In the former, the neighbors do not know each other, and in the latter, the entire village knows each other. What you are referring to is the lack of that human touch.”
Ouyang Fenghua’s and Red Boy’s eyes lit up as they nodded in agreement. Ouyang Fenghua said, “That’s right. It’s lacking the human touch. It feels more robotic.”
Red Boy slumped on the window sill and looked out. “Although it’s comfortable in here, I still prefer the crappy bus. Hearing them brag is much more interesting than watching television.”
Fangzheng and Ouyang Fenghua exchanged a knowing smile. Although what Red Boy said sounded inelegant, the principle was right. They also liked listening to the middle-aged men brag.
Soon, they arrived in Black Mountain City. They got off to find themselves across the train station. They ran across the road, but Fangzheng and Red Boy were a little unfamiliar with the administrative procedures. Therefore they could only trouble Ouyang Fenghua. She bought the tickets online and brought Fangzheng’s identification card to the machine to obtain his ticket. Finally, everything was settled with her buying a child ticket.
After entering the train station, Red Boy’s eyes were dazzled by the sight. Although he had seen train stations on the Internet, this was the first time he was experiencing one in close proximity. Even though he had seen Dharma treasures and infinitely tall temples, the architecture here was completely different. He found it especially fresh.
As for Fangzheng, he was able to curb his curiosity. He felt that it would be a little embarrassing if he looked around wide-eyed.
“Master, something isn’t right,” Red Boy suddenly said in a hushed tone.
Fangzheng looked around him. Nothing seemed amiss, so he gave an inquisitive look.
Red Boy whispered, “I saw on the Internet that the high-speed rail customer service officers are all beauties. They don stockings on their long legs and have alluring uniforms, but I’ve been searching all day. None of the women here are pretty. Look at that one. Her arms are thicker than my thighs. None of them can even compare to Sister Fenghua.”
Although he spoke softly, Ouyang Fenghua still heard him. She found the former half of his comment somewhat odd, but her face turned ashen when she heard the latter half.
Fangzheng’s expression turned grim as well as he struck Red Boy. He said strictly, “You are not to use the cell phone from today forth!”
“Then, I” Red Boy was just about to threaten about not making rain when Fangzheng said immediately, “If it doesn’t rain at night, This Penniless Monk will recite the scriptures to pray for rain.”
Red Boy capitulated instantly.
Ouyang Fenghua also understood what had happened. “Master, the child is still young. It’s best he doesn’t touch cell phones. It’s easy to go astray with cell phones.”
Fangzheng shared the same sentiments, but Red Boy rolled his eyes. “Who’s the child?”
When Ouyang Fenghua saw Red Boy turn anxious, she chuckled. “Jingxin, do you want me to buy you something delicious?”
“Yes!” exclaimed Red Boy immediately.
“Call me Sister, and we will go get some food.”
“Sister,” Red Boy called out without any pressure.
Fangzheng turned around. He really did not want to be associated with this shameless and embarrassing fellow!
Ouyang Fenghua happily walked off with Red Boy to get some food. Shortly after, Red Boy came back carrying cooked corn and a vegetarian sausage in his hand. He was enjoying himself.
It did not take long before the bus came as they boarded.
Although Fangzheng had never taken a train before, he had read up on it before coming to ensure that he did not embarrass himself. Therefore he was able to appear composed. Since he was out on a trip, he naturally could not let Ouyang Fenghua take the lead all the time. This time, Fangzheng took the initiative to lead the way. While walking, he matched his number to the number plate by the windows. Finally, he came to a seat which had clothes hanging by the window. The number plate was blocked, but from the numbers on both sides, there was no doubt that he was at the right place.
However, a man was already sitting there. He had his arms crossed as he napped.
Fangzheng pulled away the clothes and saw that he was at the correct seat. Hence he pressed his palms together and said to the man. “Patron, this is This Penniless Monk’s seat. You appear to be in the wrong seat.”
However the man ignored Fangzheng.
Fangzheng was stumped. Was he sleeping? Or?
At that moment, Red Boy raised his hand and slapped the man on his thigh as he shouted, “Hey, Bro! You are sitting in the wrong seat. This is ours!”
The man jolted away from the slap as he shot an angry glance at Red Boy. “Whose child is this? What are you shouting at?”
Fangzheng hurriedly pulled Red Boy behind him. He was not afraid that the man would harm Red Boy. He was mostly afraid that Red Boy would beat up the man. Fangzheng pressed his palms together. “Amitabha. Patron, this seat is This Penniless Monk. Do you think”
The man was even more peeved when he heard that. He shouted angrily, “Are you blind? This is 9B! 9B! This is my seat. Get it?” As he spoke, he took out his ticket and shouted again. “Look properly. This is my seat! F**king blind monk, get the f**k off!”
Fangzheng glanced at the man’s ticket. It was really 9B, identical to his! Something was wrong. It felt like there was something odd. Hence, Fangzheng looked outside the carriage and saw another train on the opposite side