Everyone kicks a man who is down. Zhiyun and Zhineng had committed too many atrocities in the past. The truth had been repressed in the past, but now, with both of them in trouble, all the atrocities they had committed hit right back at them! The torrential truth pressed down on them like a tsunami. They could not see a thing and only saw darkness in front of them. Their ears buzzed as their minds went blank. They were completely dumbfounded!
Upon hearing this, Zen Master Southwind sighed. He had long heard of Zhiyun’s and Zhineng’s deeds, but Zhineng was great at hiding the truth and acting. In addition, Zen Master Southwind seldom left the mountain, so all he heard were rumors. Investigations ended fruitless, so he let the matter pass. He never expected that such a mistake he made in the past and giving them free reign would result in such huge trouble today! How uncomfortable was it to have people blaming him right in front of so many monks? Although everyone was denouncing Zhiyun and Zhineng, Southwind felt like the accusations were directed at him!
Zen Master Southwind pressed his palms together. As long as someone stood forward, he would bow and apologize!
One apology after another was given!
Upon seeing this, the people who were peeved, airing their grievances or displeasure shut up.
Everyone subconsciously stopped scolding when they saw an aged monk give ninety-degree bows and apologizing. There was only more respect for him.
Upon seeing this scene, Fangzheng pressed his palms together and said silently, “Amitabha, this is what an accomplished monk will do. He will not care about his reputation, only whether one was right or wrong. If one is right, they are right. If they are wrong, they should apologize.” Fangzheng could not help but recall the incident when Monkey and company stole underwear. Back then, he was too inexperienced. He had chosen to hide the matter, and not bravely step forward to apologize and admit his fault immediately! Upon coming to this realization, Fangzheng shook his head inwardly. He knew that he still had a long way to go and that there was much for him to learn. It had nothing to do with him becoming Buddha, but with the principles of being a proper human being.
“Zen Master Southwind, this was not your fault. There’s no need to do that,” someone finally said.
With someone saying that, the others immediately echoed, “Zen Master Southwind, we know your character. There are so many people in Southwind Monastery. It’s inevitable to have a few black sheep.”
“You just need to be more strict and mindful in the future.”
“Zen Master Southwind, we were just speaking in passing.”
Everyone spoke up and retreated to avoid Zen Master Southwind’s bows.
As for Zhiyun and Zhineng, they were dumbfounded. Their impression of Zen Master Southwind was that of an important figure! He was in control of a huge monastery. People who visited were famous people who would act reservedly! Such a person was apologizing to monks from small monasteries? They couldn’t understand why, nor did they wish to know why! Why should that happen? Aren’t one’s good cultivation and arduous efforts to achieve greater heights to benefit oneself? If one was powerful, so what if they bullied others? They weren’t beating or robbing others.
Upon seeing Zhiyun and Zhineng’s expressions, Fangzheng, Zen Master Baiyun, Zen Master Sunglow, Zen Master Hongyan, and company shook their heads. Zen Master Southwind had apologized in such a manner as a way of admitting that he had failed as a master and was at fault. Secondly, he was helping them bear the burden of karma by reducing the anger of these monks. Thirdly, it was also to show the duo, wishing that they would learn something or be enlightened.
However, to wash a pig is to waste both water and soap. Both of them failed to understand the principle behind the matter.
At that moment, Zen Master Southwind finally finished apologizing to everyone. He then looked up towards Zhiyun and Zhineng. “Both of you Sigh Go back and pack your things. Go home.”
Zhineng knelt down to the ground with a plop. He knew that there was no way he could return! If not, it was not returning home, but
Zhiyun was a little dazed as he exclaimed, “Master, isn’t it just us having a conflict with him? Must you go so far as to chase us away? Can’t we just admit our faults?”
Upon hearing Zhiyun say so, everyone shook their heads collectively. This fool still did not know what mistakes he had committed up to this point. Targeting Fangzheng was only a catalyst! Instead, it was the build up of all the sins that they had committed over the years which exploded in their face! Even without Fangzheng, they would face this calamity sooner or later!
Zhineng pleaded, “Master, please, give me another chance. I’m willing to start from an ordinary acolyte and take cultivation one step at a time with you!”
Zen Master Southwind shook his head. “Zhineng, do you think no one knows about your misappropriation of funds?”
Zhineng was stunned. He believed that he had done things in a water-tight way. At the very least, no one had any evidence. However, for Southwind to say so
Zhiyun exclaimed, “Master, you must have heard the rumors of despicable people. Those people wish ill on us!”
Zen Master Southwind looked at Zhiyun. “Zhiyun, you leave the mountain thrice a week, seeking out women each time. Do you think your drinking and eating of meat is unknown to me? You are no stranger to Flying Cloud Bar, right?”
The color in Zhiyun’s face drained immediately as he subconsciously said, “Master, since you know that, why” He regretted it the moment he said that.
Zhineng slapped him immediately as he cursed angrily, “You good-for-nothing! I told you long ago to control yourself. You finally know your faults?”
Zhiyun was quick to react as he immediately wailed. “Master, I was at fault. Give me another chance”
Upon seeing this, Fangzheng could not be bothered to stay longer. Zhineng was a little clever, but he had committed too many sins. There was no concealing the truth, and with the truth revealed today, no amount of his sophistry would help. Zhiyun was completely brainless. Such a person would have long been expelled from the monastery if not for Zhineng.
After shaking his head, Fangzheng prepared to leave.
At that moment, Zen Master Southwind said, “You were not exposed because Buddhist cultivation is not to be forced. Only when one’s heart is right will cultivation be possible. Back when Zhineng came to the monastery, he was hardworking, sincere, and clever. Him being an accountant in the past gave him his present-day position. Unfortunately, his wits got the better of him. He failed to withstand the enticement of mortal riches, slowly distancing himself from Buddhism. It was always my belief that Zhineng would one day repent. Having waited all this while, it’s a pity”
“Zhiyun was never meant for Buddhist cultivation, but you were still retained. Do you know why you have been an acolyte all this while? There is no Buddha in your heart, so how are you to become a real monk? As your master, I’m aware of all that you have done, but I have been waiting for the day for the both of you to repent. From the looks of it, it was wishful thinking on my part. Without Buddha in your hearts, how are you to engage in Buddhist cultivation? Amitabha. Leave.”
“Master!” Zhineng cried out.
Zen Master Southwind said, “On account of our relationship as master and disciple, return the money you took to the monastery and the matter shall be forgiven. Leave.”
Zen Master Southwind seemed to have aged several years after he finished his sentence. He flicked his sleeve and headed towards the meditation room he was staying in.
Zen Master Sunglow, Zen Master Baiyun, Zen Master Hongyan, and company exchanged looks before calling out to Fangzheng to leave together.
With the main character gone, the rest naturally dispersed.
Zhineng and Zhiyun slumped to the ground looking dazed. They had worked so hard all these years all for naught. They had lost everything They had to start from zero. They exchanged looks as Zhiyun said fiercely, “Bro, it’s all that young monk’s fault for severing our path to riches. I”