Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
As for Fangzheng, he was the nearest to the Yongle Bell, and he was also the one who had struck it. All the effects that acted on him were even more obvious. Enlightenment flashed in his mind as his future and the things he sought became clearer. He pulled the hammer once more and struck it again!
The gong resounded as the birds in the sky, the fish in the waters, and the animals running on the ground came to a halt. All of them looked up into the sky as though they were listening or thinking about something.
Meanwhile in One Finger Village at the foot of the mountain.
The pregnant Du Mei was sitting on the brick bed as she stroked her tummy in exasperation. “Be good. Don’t kick any further. What will happen if you tire yourself out?”
However Du Mei was helpless. The fetus was very active and constantly kicked. This wasn’t much, but most importantly…
Du Mei picked up the colored ultrasound scan and said depressed, “Why is the placenta wrapped around the neck? I don’t want to go to the gynecologist… I’m afraid of pain as well!”
Du Mei, who had always been known to be fierce, was brought close to tears when she saw the scan. Things had not improved in the preceding days. She did not wish for her tummy to have any additional scars. It looked painful and ugly. Most importantly, she believed that a Caesarean section was not good and that it would weaken her constitution. It was also not good for both the fetus and mother. It was best if she could have a normal delivery, but to have a placenta wrapped around three times was equivalent to a judgment from the courts. It was almost decided that she had to be cut open.
“Silly child. You have your neck wrapped around. Don’t you know how to wind back in the other direction?” Du Mei sighed. She was truly panicking, and the more she had such thoughts, the more stressed she felt. She ended up torturing Yang Hua, causing him to turn mentally frail. She would often say that the food she ate was either too salty or too bland, while Yang Hua had to help her to the bathroom in the middle of the night. At times, Yang Hua might go too far, and be worried about anything happening to his pregnant wife. All he could do was endure the torment with his eye bags worsening by the day. Du Mei had no choice either. She was truly vexed, and if she didn’t vent her frustrations, she felt she would really go mad…
At that moment, the fetus in Du Mei’s womb kicked again. Clearly the little guy wasn’t being obedient, unlike his twin sister.
Suddenly, the loud gong was heard from Mt. One Finger. Instantly Du Mei felt all her frustrations and worries wiped clean! She had already forgotten when she had last felt that way. Her body and mind felt ethereal and carefree! It was as though the weight that weighed down on her heart had instantly been moved away!
However Du Mei turned bitter again when the gong diminished. The thought of how her child had its placenta around its neck pained her heart.
It was only then that Du Mei recalled that the drum tower would be done today. The sound had come from Mt. One Finger, so it was likely that a bell had been hung on the bell tower and was struck. Du Mei was happy for Fangzheng, but when she thought about herself, she could only wallow in misery.
Another gong sounded. Du Mei was already mentally prepared, so it did not affect her too drastically. Although the pressure she felt alleviated and she felt a lot better, she still felt down and worried. However, at that moment Du Mei noticed that the fetus appeared to be turning around!
“The doctor mentioned that I should massage in this direction when I’m free. It will help the child in turning around to release the placenta. I’ve massaged for so long that Yang Hua is close to despair, but nothing appeared to be of use. Why did you react with just a gong?” After Du Mei’s initial surprise, she was delighted with joy. She hurriedly looked for a phone to give Yang Hua a call. She wished to tell Yang Hua to tell Fangzheng to keep striking the bell!
However before she picked up the phone, the third gong sounded.
“Motion! Motion! My child has turned around! Hahaha!” Du Mei cried out in excitement. It stirred her mother who was working outside. She ran in to check on Du Mei, and after hearing Du Mei’s explanation, she was extremely excited as well. She knelt in the direction of Mt. One Finger, kowtowed and chanted Amitabha, so as to seek blessing for Du Mei and her child.
Another gong sounded. Du Mei felt the fetus in her womb turn. At this rate, the fetus would quickly free itself from the troubles of having the placenta around its neck. She was happy and excited! Amid the gongs, she seemed to see hope.
Meanwhile in the fields of Backriver Village, Zheng Huo was chasing after Zheng Jiaxing with a fire-stirring stick. As he struck, he shouted, “You darn kid. I told you to buy a turtle for your wife to nourish her body, but you ended up buying an old hen? Are you that stingy? Are we that poor? What happened to your ability to gamble?”
“Dad, stop hitting me! Do you think a turtle is something you can buy that easily? Even if I ran until my legs broke, it wouldn’t be possible for me to buy one! I didn’t buy any ordinary old hen. It’s a wild chicken!” shouted Zheng Jiaxing.
“You retard! Wild chicken my ass! Do you think I don’t know what a wild chicken is? The number of wild chickens I caught when I was young is more than the amount of hair on your head! This is a reared wild chicken. It’s not the kind that runs on the mountains! What use is this? It’s inferior to our old hen at home!” roared Zheng Huo.
“Aiyah, Old Man, why don’t you stop? He made a mistake with the purchase. Wouldn’t it be fine if you just teach him so that he doesn’t commit the same mistake again in the future?” Zheng Jiaxing’s mother could not stand to watch anymore as she held back Zheng Huo.
Zheng Huo burned with anger instantly and just as he was about to shout, he heard the distant gong. It sounded like heavenly music which immediately snuffed out his fury. However due to his pride, he stared at Zheng Jiaxing and snorted before returning home.
“Hehe! That gong was really pleasant to the ears. It’s like someone is chanting by my ear. It really feels comforting. Where did it come from?” Zheng Jiaxing’s mother asked out of curiosity.
The moment Zheng Jiaxing heard the question, he hurriedly answered, “I know! One Finger Monastery! It’s definitely from One Finger Monastery! Didn’t One Finger Monastery just finish building the bell tower? It’s likely being used now! Man, I missed it! Sigh… Hongyan Monastery is tens of kilometers away from us, and its gong can’t reach us… That’s not right! One Finger Monastery is more than fifty kilometers away from us. Why are we able to hear it?”
“What are you mumbling about? If you aren’t sure, go over and take a look. If not, make a phone call and ask. This gong sure is nice to hear. It would be great if it sounded daily,” said the elderly woman.
Zheng Jiaxing immediately made a phone call. He had to make the phone call for the gong had saved him a beating…
Amid the Mt. Tongtian mountain range, there was a wattled fence surrounding a mud-bricked thatched cottage. Many Chinese herbs and flowers were planted in the yard. There was a huge boulder as well. On it was a tea set, and beside it were a few tiny pebbles. A Daoist was sitting there. He picked up his tea cup and blew at it. After he sipped it, he said with a carefree smile, “What good tea… Hehe.”
Upon a careful look, what was in the cup was no tea. A few leaves of unknown origin had been thrown into the cup. However Perfected Letian was drinking with his head bobbing sideways. He appeared extremely happy. There was also a tiny table placed outside the fence. There were also a tea pot and a few teacups on it. Two boulders acted as benches.
At the entrance to the wattled yard hung a plaque: One Letian Daoist temple. By the side was an abandoned plaque. On it were the words: Tongtian Daoist Temple…