Everyone subconsciously looked over when they heard this.
A young monk walked out of the Heavenly Kings Hall. He was dressed in ordinary monk robes, and his eyes looked as resplendent as the stars. His chin was slightly lifted, and he had the ardor and drive of a youth. Following that, a middle-aged monk walked out of the Heavenly Kings Hall. His brows were slightly knitted together, but he did not say a word.
Fangzheng was stunned when he looked over. He never expected the ones to speak up for him to be these two!
Back when Fangzheng visited Baiyun Monastery, he had crossed the river on a reed. There were people who were disgruntled about his actions and even debated him back then. The young monk in front of him was none other than Golden Bamboo Convent’s Yi Xing! And following behind him was Yi Xing’s master, Venerable Hong Jin who had been the first to find fault with Fangzheng.
However, after Fangzheng’s Lotus Flower Conveyance, he had run off and did not know what happened. From the present situation, it seemed they were at least friends and not enemies.
Tongguang, Zhineng, and Zhiyun exchanged looks and saw the shock in each other’s eyes. To think that a young monk had people supporting him? Furthermore, it was unbelievable for such a powerful description to be used on Fangzheng!
Zhiyun had a short temper. The moment he heard Yi Xing, he immediately said displeased, “Young monk, where are you from then? Aren’t you afraid that such a grand description will give your tongue cramps? With accomplished monks gathered here today at Sunglow Monastery, how dare you say something like that?”
Yi Xing was a person with a lot of drive. He had even dared to speak against Zen Master Baiyun back then, much less this Zhiyun. Yi Xing held his head up and said proudly, “This Penniless Monk is Yi Xing from Black Mountain City’s Golden Bamboo Convent. This is This Penniless Monk’s master, Zen Master Baiyun. He is also the abbot of Golden Bamboo Convent! Who are you then?”
Zhiyun had asked boldly and straightforwardly, but he immediately turned a little apprehensive when questioned. Although he came from a large monastery, he was merely an acolyte monk in terms of standing! He was inferior to even Bhikkhu monks. It would be embarrassing if he answered! After all, the monks that came were all Bhikkhu. They were real monks, while he and Zhineng were considered faked monks. Zhineng had managed to fake his way up, while he had come only because of his connections with Zhineng.
Zhiyun did not say a word, but Zhineng spoke up fist. “This Penniless Monk hails from Tanzhong City’s Southwind Monastery and is its Monastic Manager, with my master being Venerable Yuanling. Venerable Yi Xing, is there some advice you would like to share?”
Monastic Managers were one of the eight deacons of a monastery. They were in charge of all the logistics and finances of a monastery. It could be said that they had absolute power. When Zhineng mentioned his position, his head raised up as well. From his point of view, the eight deacons of the Southwind Monastery were in no way inferior to abbots from other mid-sized monasteries.
However, Yi Xing was only slightly surprised before he shook his head. “This Penniless Monk definitely doesn’t have advice to share. However This Penniless Monk was only speaking fairly after hearing someone make the ridiculous claim that Venerable Fangzheng is a fake monk.”
With that said, Yi Xing came in front of Fangzheng and pressed his palms together. He no longer had his proud demeanor. Instead, he humbly bowed. “Greetings Venerable Fangzheng. This Penniless Monk benefited greatly from the scripture recital you delivered back at Baiyun Monastery. This Penniless Monk had planned on visiting you at Mt. One Finger all this while but was unable to do so due to various matters. It’s truly a pity.”
Hong Jin went forward and humbly bowed. “Venerable Fangzheng, we meet again. Please do not be offended by This Penniless Monk’s impropriety back then.”
When they saw the arrogant young monk and his master greet Fangzheng so humbly, both Zhineng and Tongguang frowned. Zhineng thought, “Could this monk really have some huge background? But One Finger Monastery is such a small monastery. How can it be anything important?”
Zhineng had investigated the situation regarding One Finger Monastery the previous night. He found that it was a small monastery, and a monastery at that scale did not appear to be one that had anything remarkable about it. Tongguang also saw Zhineng’s information before agreeing to help. He naturally felt no pressure bullying a monk from a small monastery, but now, he could tell that the situation was not right.
Tongguang immediately flipped through the registration records and found Golden Bamboo Convent’s Yi Xing and Hong Jin. He knew that their identities were genuine, and for them to greet Fangzheng so humbly, it likely meant that there was something amiss. Furthermore, Yi Xing had mentioned that Fangzheng had preached the scriptures at Baiyun Monastery. If that was true, it was frightening!
Although Baiyun Monastery was inferior to Sunglow Monastery, it was not smaller than Southwind Monastery. In terms of influence, it was greater than Sunglow Monastery’s in Black Mountain City! Zen Master Baiyun was also an honored guest at Sunglow Monastery. Zen Master Sunglow would always walk out to welcome him! Such a monastery had let an external young monk to preach the scriptures
Tongguang felt an ominous foreboding.
At that moment, Fangzheng pressed his palms together and smiled. “Amitabha. Greetings Abbot Hong Jin, Venerable Yi Xing. Venerable Ones, you are being polite. It was Zen Master Baiyun who showed favor and guided This Penniless Monk which resulted in This Penniless Monk being able to get on the podium to say a few words to represent the younger generation of monks. It was really nothing much.”
Fangzheng did not wish everyone to know about his Lotus Flower Conveyance. It was best if fewer people knew of it. Although it was good to have reputation in abundance, there were certain things that were best kept hidden. Especially something like that which no one would believe. Even if there was a video, people would think of it as a doctored one with computer graphics. He would then be criticized as a fake monk aiming for fame.
Fangzheng wished to become famous, but he was afraid of trouble, so he decisively did not mention it.
Upon hearing Fangzheng say so, Tongguang, Zhiyun, and Zhineng heaved a simultaneous sigh of relief. They thought to themselves, “So he was only representing the younger monks. That gave me a fright. I thought he was some important person!”
After confirming that Fangzheng was no one important, Zhineng immediately said, “Venerable One, This Penniless Monk is not familiar with Venerable Fangzheng, but he brings a female around with him. Besides, both This Penniless Monk and my Junior Brother saw him and the female patron enter a hotel to get a room. How can monks indulge in such degenerate affairs? This Penniless Monk’s junior brother was just rash with his words and direct. He says things without thought. Please pardon him if he said anything wrong. However, One Finger Monastery was not invited to the inner mountain’s Dharma Assembly. Senior Brother Tongguang is only acting in accordance with the monastery’s rules. He was told to seek residence at the foot of the mountain. Is there anything wrong with that? But he refused and even caused a stir. Should we condone such actions for a monk? Therefore there was nothing wrong with This Penniless Monk’s junior brother saying that he was a fake monk, isn’t that so? Of course, if there has been a misunderstanding, This Penniless Monk can apologize to Venerable Fangzheng on behalf of his junior brother.”
He had spoken very tactfully. Basically, it did not matter if their doubts about Fangzheng were right or wrong because he was standing on the side of righteousness. He pushed all the blame to Fangzheng. If people who were unclear about the situation heard his spiel, they would basically write off Fangzheng as a bad guy.
Yi Xing did not know what had happened. But he had the pure belief that Fangzheng was a capable person with great abilities. Furthermore he was deeply accomplished in scriptures. For someone with such great insights, he was definitely someone skilled in the Buddhist Dharma. Yi Xing naturally did not permit anyone to insult someone he respected! Having heard Zhineng’s words, as well as seeing Tongguang standing on Zhineng’s side with his fellow disciples and Zhiyun, together with the beautiful girl beside Fangzheng, he was a little at a loss as to how to help Fangzheng. He could only look towards Fangzheng to inquire about the reason for all that had happened.