“He has been chased away,” said Fangzheng.
At that moment a disciple ran over. Zen Master Sunglow asked, “Huixin, what happened?”
Huixin replied respectfully, “Abbot, for some unknown reason, a deaf and mute patron started hurriedly stuffing pamphlets into the hands of others as soon as he came in. When we went forward to stop him, he ran away. It was not easy for us to surround him and bring him out. Before he left, he went so far as to throw the huge stack of pamphlets into the sky.”
“Master, Sunglow Monastery’s Dharma Assembly attracts numerous people every year. This is a rare opportunity for many businessmen. Not far from the foot of the mountain, some businessmen organize a market autonomously where they sell incense sticks, protection talismans, Buddha beads, etc. There will also be people who take the opportunity to advertise and promote their services. Perhaps this is the act of one of those vile businessmen. If he causes a stir, he might manage to bring attention to what he peddles, while if he fails, he doesn’t suffer any losses either,” said Zen Master Sunglow’s disciple, Fumeng.
“Abbot, this is the pamphlet the man was handing out. Please take a look.” The monk handed a pamphlet over.
Everyone subconsciously took a look and was collectively dumbfounded!
On the pamphlet was a young girl. She had very long hair and huge eyes. Most importantly, she was drawn very lifelike! Beneath the portrait of the girl was a river. A man was standing there looking around with huge question marks drawn.
Everyone was stunned. What was this?
Due to his disciples, Zen Master Southwind, who hadn’t been in a good mood, could not help but ask, “What’s this about?”
Zen Master Baiyun shook his head. “Not sure either. It doesn’t look like an advertisement. It looks more like a missing person notice.”
“Could it be that he has lost his child and is looking for her? But, why didn’t he write in words? Many people would not understand it if it’s just pictures without words,” interjected Ouyang Fenghua.
Yi Xing added, “He was deaf and mute. He probably never studied. Drawing is relatively easier.”
“Fumeng, go find that patron,” said Zen Master Sunglow.
Fumeng immediately replied, “Yes, Master.”
Fangzheng ran off when Ouyang Fenghua suddenly asked, “Eh? Where’s Venerable Fangzheng? Did anyone see him?”
It was only then that everyone discovered that Fangzheng was gone! They failed to find him after searching for him.
A disciple said, “Venerable Ones, that young Venerable One and his disciple were seen leaving the mountain gates. They looked in a rush.”
Everyone was taken aback, while Ouyang Fenghua fumed. They had come together, but why did Fangzheng leave without a word? She ran out the mountain gates and took a look, but she failed to find any inkling of Fangzheng and Red Boy. Helplessly, she could only enter the monastery to wait. As she was with Fangzheng, Ouyang Fenghua naturally did not stay at the foot of the mountain as someone tended to her.
And at that moment, what was Fangzheng doing?
“Master, where are we going?” Red Boy also held a pamphlet in his hand as he asked out of curiosity.
“To find that man from before.”
“Why? This drawing looks pretty good. It’s just a little baffling. What does he want?” Red Boy was filled with questions.
Fangzheng rolled his eyes. “Can’t you tell? It’s clearly a missing person notice. That patron is likely searching for the girl depicted on the pamphlet.”
“Then, are we going to help find her? Master, pardon me, but the hardest thing in the world is to find someone. There’s so many people in the world. How can it be easy to find someone?”
“Can you find her if you regain your divine powers?”
“There’s no problems with things like Calling the Wind and Summoning the Rain, or burning mountains by spitting fire. They are good against boars or feral dogs, but I’m not equipped with the divine powers this requires. It’s mainly because my Mom didn’t teach me. My Dad said that I just need to be good at fighting. He said it was useless learning all the other unorthodox arts, so I never learned the rest.” Red Boy was rather frank in his answer.
Fangzheng was rendered speechless. It was no wonder the brat was so brattish. It was because his parents were extreme works of art!
Since Red Boy was incapable of helping, Fangzheng could only rely on himself. He touched the Buddha Beads in his hand, but felt the pinch. He could only use the beads a total of eighteen times. Every use depleted them a bit more, so he was unwilling to use them unless absolutely necessary. As for his Divine State, it was not reliable. At the worst, he would clench his teeth and use his pittance of merit to try his luck. Fangzheng also had other means, but they were worldly means which were slow in effect. It was also unknown if they would be useful.
“Master, there’s too many people in this world that are suffering. Is there any end to helping them one by one? Look at this world. So many people get into trouble daily. The speed at which you save people will never catch up to the production of misery.”
“This Penniless Monk obviously can’t do it alone. Even if Buddhahood is attained, what can be done by oneself is limited. The one that can really save humanity is humanity itself.”
“In that case, why work so hard? It’s not like you can be the savior of the world.”
Fangzheng laughed. “Love can be transmitted. This Penniless Monk is only spreading the seeds of love and goodness. There’s no desire that all these seeds would bear fruit, but every seed that bears fruit will scatter even more seeds out. Finally, it will form a forest.”
Red Boy scratched his head. “But I discovered that helping others doesn’t bring any benefits apart from spending time and effort. What’s the point of doing it?”
Fangzheng suddenly stopped and looked down at Red Boy. “The point? That’s a very good question. That will be homework for you. Whenever you figure out the reason, a pleasant surprise will be given to you.”
“A pleasant surprise? What pleasant surprise?” Red Boy was indeed more interested in the pleasant surprise. As for the point? He was too lazy to waste his brain juices
Fangzheng could not be bothered with the sluggard as he sped up again. Although Fangzheng did not know where the man had gone, there was only one path that led to Sunglow Monastery. There was definitely no way to miss him by following it. Furthermore there was a river drawn on the picture, which also implied that the man’s home was near to the river. There was bound to be something if he searched along the river. If he really failed to find the man, he could return to Sunglow Monastery to wait for the man to come again. Fangzheng believed that the man would appear again.
Meanwhile, more than ten kilometers away from Sunglow Monastery, a motorcycle was whizzing ahead. It made a turn and came before a ruins site. In front of the ruins was a vast river which had a calm surface, making it resemble a mirror. The sunglow from the sunset scattered across the river’s surface, dyeing it golden. It was resplendent and dazzling
The man took off his helmet, revealing a face that had seen the vicissitudes of life. His skin was black, and he was filled with wrinkles. However deep in his eyes was persistence! The river that reflected in his eyes was blood-red in color
The man stopped his motorcycle and took out a heavy bag from his motorcycle’s compartment box. He unwrapped layers of cloth and revealed a snorkeling mask. The band on the mask appeared old, but the lens was very clear. It was evident that it was a result of the man’s great cherishing of it.