The Monk That Wanted To Renounce Asceticism Chapter 5

Chapter 5: A Shoe

In all honesty, the provocation worked. The Systems repeated warnings that committing a sin would either result in the deduction of points or him ending up impotent made sure that he reined in his anger. If not for that, he would have made sure to give the arrogant kid a beatdown.

At that moment, a tranquil voice interrupted before raging emotions spread any further. "Enough. Ma Juan, Zhao Datong. Quit your rudeness. He only warned you, he did not ask for money as you said. Try to forgive others whenever possible."

Fangzheng felt his heart turn warm upon hearing her words. He thought to himself, Indeed, there are still fair people in this world. No wonder this lady is so pretty. She's kind and lovely!

Moments later Fangzheng regretted having such thoughts.

He heard her continue, "Yet it is a shame that such a handsome monk has inherited the temple and only uses it to scam others instead of studying the Buddhist Dharma..."

Fangzheng had to restrain the tears of frustration from flowing down his face as he thought to himself, Woe is me! Who did I scam? F**k, all I did was give a word of warning. That's it. Do you people need to go that far?

"Ding! This is the reason why Tripitaka had to pay when he journeyed to the West to seek the Buddhist scriptures. Why should Buddha's words be so easily imparted? If they were spread with ease they would not be worth their weight. People would lose their sense of gratitude."

System, my dear brother, you have finally said something reasonable! Fine, I will not reveal the secrets of Heaven so easily. Some people do not deserve it , Fangzheng thought.

"Ding! Friendly reminder. Saving a life is better than building a seven-storied pagoda. It is an act of great merit! It can add quite a sizable number of points."

"What? She will die?" Fangzheng faltered.

"Ding! The mountain trail of Mt. One Finger is a tough trek. If she is severely injured, it will be difficult for her to reach the foot of the mountain alive without external help."

"That... oh f**k me. I will not harbor my past resentment. After all, the temple just finished renovations. If someone died here, I can forget about receiving incense money or having any further visitors..." Fangzheng sighed and turned around, heading back to the young hikers.

Once he returned, Zhao Datong was standing beneath the bodhi tree and was running his hands down its trunk. He muttered to himself, "How strange. It's a real bodhi tree. To sprout in late autumn, does this tree court death? It's indeed from the south. It's unfamiliar with the northern weather and by sprouting now it will most likely perish..."

Seeing Fangzheng return, Zhao Datong immediately glared. He bellowed, "Little monk, what are you back here for? I'm telling you, we don't need our fortunes told. We are not going to burn any incense. We are just here to take a look!"

Fangzheng smiled his monkly smile. "I'm not able to tell your fortunes even should you decide to ask. If you want to burn incense, they are found on the offering table. Ordinary incense sticks are free while high incense costs two hundred a stick. Whether you burn it or not is up to you." With that said, he ignored the surprised Zhao Datong. Fangzheng stood on the ledge where Ma Juan was supposed to hit her head. After some thought, he took off his shoe and placed it where she would trip.

Winter was coming and Fangzheng's shoe was made of cotton. It was rather warm wearing it but he felt somewhat could without. Fangzheng thought about taking off his robe to block the edge but he soon realized that doing so would only label him a pervert. He might even be beaten up by the hot-tempered youngling. It wasn't worth it. He then thought of returning to the backyard to bring something over but was too lazy to do so...

"Little monk, what are you doing?" Zhao Datong looked at Fangzheng, baffled.

Fangzheng said, "The secrets of Heaven cannot be leaked. This is my temple so I naturally have my own reasons. Do not touch my things..."

After Fangzheng spoke he suddenly froze. The scene in front of him flickered, he saw Zhao Datong slip and fall straight down the mountain path. Thankfully, the fellow was as strong as an ox. He nimbly caught hold of a tree branch, preventing a direct plummet to his death. Yet he was still stuck on the mountainside without an avenue of escape.

"Little monk, why are you looking at me like that? I'm warning you, I'm not into men!" Zhao Datong felt shivers down his back when he saw Fangzheng staring at him intently.

Fangzheng smiled faintly after taking another glance at Zhao Datong, he shook his head and left. Zhao Datong shuddered from the 'passionate' look the monk had given him.

Fangzheng walked away and called over his shoulder, "My shoe is not to be touched or a fine of five hundred bucks will be imposed!"

"Why don't you go rob a bank?!" Zhao Datong roared. Fangzheng was right about one thing. It was his temple and he was the one who set the rules. No matter how obstinate Zhao Datong was, he could not do a thing about that. Zhao Datong had a realization and muttered with a sneer, "You are deliberately putting it there and when Yunjing and the others kick it, you'll cheat them out of their money! Don't even think about it while I'm here! I'll be watching. Just try to come up with a trick while I'm watching you!"

At that moment, Ma Juan, Fang Yunjing, and Hu Han were done viewing the Bodhisattva and came out. Ma Juan was in front as she said disparagingly, "It's actually a child-giving Guan Yin. Meh, I don't even have a boyfriend, so why would I pray for a child? Seriously..."

As she spoke, Ma Juan lifted her foot. However, her back foot failed to keep up with her, and as her body slanted to one side she screamed. "Ah!"

"Careful!" Zhao Datong was given a fright as well, but it was already too late when he shouted.


Ma Juan slammed her head onto a ledge before rolling over onto the ground. As she cupped her head, she yelled, "Ouch, it's so painful! Hey,... what's that smell? It stinks..." Amid her grumbling, Ma Juan grabbed the thing she had slammed into. Upon seeing that it was a shoe, she was immediately incensed. "Who has such poor civic-mindedness? How can a shoe be strewn around so haphazardly?"

"It's The Penniless Monk's." At that moment, a bald man appeared in front of Ma Juan and retrieved his shoe. When she finally came round, she crawled back up and was about to unleash a barrage of incentives. Fangzheng had already left and was walking down the hall ignoring the youngsters behind him.

Ma Juan looked pissed as she grumbled about the temple and its monk.

Simultaneously, Zhao Datong stared in astonishment at the monk's departing back. His mind constantly replayed the scene of Ma Juan's fall. Fangzheng had taken off his shoe and placed it carefully and precisely. Then, Ma Juan had slammed her head but the blow was caught by the shoe the monk had placed... Was it merely a coincidence? Zhao Datong wanted to believe it was only coincidence, yet Fangzheng had previously mentioned that Ma Juan would have misfortune in her imminent future. Considering the edge of the ledge, were it not for Fangzheng's shoe, Ma Juan would probably be bleeding profusely. Wouldn't that qualify as the bloody misfortune he spoke of?

Zhao Datong was not the only one thinking about that fact. Fang Yunjing was stupefied as well. She looked at the ledge and then back at Ma Juan's forehead, before gazing in the direction of Fangzheng. She asked, "Zhao Datong, I didn't see a shoe here when we entered. Where did the shoe come from?"

Zhao Datong smiled bitterly. "You might not believe me. That little... Ahem, that abbot specifically took off his shoe to place it on the ledge."

"Did he do it deliberately to smother me with its stench? Or is he just trying to disgust me?" Ma Juan yelled angrily.

As for Fangzheng, he was reeling in delight. At the instant Ma Juan struck his shoe, he received an alert from the System.

"Ding! Saving a life is better than building a seven-storied pagoda. The System rewards you with one free chance at the draw as a form of encouragement!"

Fangzheng immediately said with a smile, "Such benefits exist? Why didn't you say so earlier? Oh, don't do the draw yet. There's still another chance at the draw waiting for me... Ahem, that's not right. There's still someone waiting for my rescue. Saving a person is of utmost importance. So I'll cut the chatter. Where's my rope?"