Zhiyun looked coldly at Fangzheng, his eyes narrowing into tiny slits. From time to time, his eyes would secretly dart towards Ouyang Fenghua. Zhiyun was disgruntled at the fact that a young monk from a tiny monastery would be able to hook up with such a beautiful babe. The monk even provoked him? He would not be Zhiyun if he did not teach the monk a good lesson!
As for Zhineng, he naturally sided with his younger brother, but he was more clever than Zhiyun. He would not openly offend Fangzheng until he knew who he actually was. It was also the reason why he greeted him with a smile and asked for his background. Only after confirming that Fangzheng came from a tiny monastery, the two brothers thought nothing of him.
Although abbots from large and small monasteries were on the same level in theory, they did not agree with that. A large monastery was large, while a small monastery was small. It was not something bridgeable! After all, were presidents of huge nations equal to presidents of small nations? Obviously not!
Besides, this was not the first time the duo bullied monks from small monasteries. Typically, monks from small monasteries could only swallow the insult when they heard of the brothers’ background since they did not dare escalate the matter. Therefore the brothers were completely unafraid when they determined Fangzheng’s identity. When had they been afraid of stirring up trouble?
Ouyang Fenghua turned anxious when she heard that. Just as she was about to say something, she heard Fangzheng say indifferently with a smile. “This Penniless Monk comes from a tiny rural monastery, so he is lacking in knowledge. This Penniless Monk doesn’t know much since he has read few Buddhist scriptures. So yes, this can be considered as seeking advice.”
“If you are seeking advice, then you are Being quite insincere,” said Zhiyun eccentrically.
Zhineng smiled. “Junior Brother, don’t do that. Since he intends to seek advice, This Penniless Monk will naturally agree to it.” He had deliberately emphasized the words ‘seek advice.’
There were more and more people gathering around as they broke out into discussion.
“These two fat monks are going a little overboard.”
“They are indeed going overboard. This is clear bullying.”
“However, that young monk sure is a wuss. He even asks for advice after being bullied. What a wuss”
“That’s right. If it were me, I would have cursed right back. Since they aren’t from the same monastery, what’s there to be afraid of?”
“No surprise, those from small monasteries are inexperienced with how the world works.”
“This young monk even came to get a room with a girl. Could he be a fake monk?”
“I’ve heard of that too. Every year, there would be several fake monks coming to participate in the Sunglow Monastery’s Dharma Assembly. Some won’t even enter Sunglow Monastery and just loiter outside to scam others. Not only would they scam for food and drink, some will even scam for sex.”
“Could this monk be that kind of cheat?”
There were all sorts of discussions, so Fangzheng and company heard them clearly. However, Fangzheng thought nothing of it. He would naturally be angry if they targeted him personally, but he couldn’t be bothered since they were only speculating. Instead, it was Ouyang Fenghua who was blushing red from all the talk. Her nostrils flared, as she wished to chase away all the randomly guessing assh*les.
Zhineng and Zhiyun were feeling pleased with themselves. What the crowd was saying was advantageous to them. They had also thought of how to malign Fangzheng later. How dare he pick a quarrel with them? Regardless if Fangzheng was a real or fake monk, they were bent on making him utterly lose face!
Zhineng continued, “Large monasteries naturally have to be located in a huge, famous mountain. A large monastery should occupy a huge area and have an accomplished monk presiding over it. There should also be hundreds of monks in it. The incense offerings it receives in a day should be in the hundreds, or even above a thousand. A small monastery is minuscule in comparison, with one monk and one Buddha statue.”
Zhiyun immediately echoed Zhineng once he was done. “Well said, Senior Brother!”
Fangzheng looked at Zhiyun and Zhineng like they were retards. Then he called out to Ouyang Fenghua and Red Boy. “Patron Ouyang Fenghua, Disciple, let’s go.”
“Eh? Why are you leaving? As a monk, don’t you know to thank others after seeking advice?” Zhiyun immediately shouted out when he saw Fangzheng about to leave.
Fangzheng shook his head and did not say a word.
Zhiyun was just about to say something when Red Boy scoffed. “Fatty, fatties like you don’t know anything about the Buddhist Dharma. What’s there left to say? I spit on your large and small monastery!”
“Hehe! Little guy, is this how you speak?” Zhiyun was a little infuriated, but unfortunately, there were people around. It would be embarrassing to curse, much less to beat up the child.
Zhineng knew his younger brother was incompetent, so he immediately gave a Buddhist proclamation. “Oh? Venerable One, did you just say that This Penniless Monk doesn’t know the Buddhist Dharma? Then why don’t you share what a large and small monastery is?”
Fangzheng did not turn back, but Red Boy looked up and countered, “Are you seeking advice from my master?”
With that said, Zhiyun and Zhineng felt as uncomfortable as if they had eaten a dead fly. Those words were the same as what one of them had just said! He never expected his words would be used against him so quickly.
Zhiyun said immediately, “Tch. If you know, say it. If not, stop acting all mysterious.”
Red Boy wore an expression as if he was looking at a retard when he looked at Zhiyun. “My master isn’t ashamed of asking when he doesn’t know. But when it comes to you, you do not ask when you do not know. With that mindset of yours, how can you be a monk? You might as well be a farmer back in your hometown.”
“Kid, what did you say?!” shouted Zhiyun.
Ouyang Fenghua held back Red Boy and smiled. “Why is an adult like you raising his voice at a child? Don’t you know that one shouldn’t take offense at a child’s babble? Kids naturally say whatever they wish to say. It’s not like they are scheming.”
This was equivalent to admitting that Red Boy was right, but Zhiyun had no means of retorting. It was indeed embarrassing for him to argue with a child in front of so many people.
The surrounding monks and Buddhist practitioners were also discussing.
“The two fatties are really mediocre in this comparison.”
“Indeed From the looks of it, this young monk has some skill.”
“At least he is able to go with the flow and not be obsessed with being right.”
Zhineng’s face turned ashen when he heard that. He clenched his teeth and asked, “Venerable One, why don’t you share what a large and small monastery are?” He thought to himself, “If your answer misses the mark in any way, it won’t be too late to humiliate you.”
Fangzheng turned around, pressed his palms together, and countered. “Is there a need to distinguish monasteries by size?”
With that said, Fangzheng turned and left.
Ouyang Fenghua and Red Boy were taken aback before they snapped out of their reverie. Red Boy even laughed out blatantly. “That’s right, why should monasteries be distinguished by size? What do you treat a monastery as? A fortress? A demon king’s cave abode? Haha! To think you determine it by the number of people and the area it covers. Haha!”
Ouyang Fenghua added, “Large is small, and small is large. Be they big or small, they are places to consecrate Buddha. Efficacy depends on sincerity. It is not efficacious just because it covers a huge area. A monk like you has cultivated for nothing.”
The trio swaggered off, leaving Zhiyun and Zhineng standing in their spots with ashen expressions. They knew that they had been fooled!
The crowd did not understand Fangzheng in the beginning, but they immediately understood after Ouyang Fenghua’s explanation.
A monk pressed his palms together and proclaimed in the direction of Fangzheng. “Amitabha.”