Chief Zhang nodded and said, "Although your esteemed temple is small, it is very exquisite. Sorry for disturbing you, Master. We shall be leaving now. If you encounter the person I mentioned, do not make any contact with him. Call the police first, and we will try our best to rush here as soon as possible."
Fangzheng nodded slightly and said calmly, "This Penniless Monk understands. Patrons, please take care."
Chief Zhang immediately led his men away. As for offering incense? They were not Buddhists, so why would they offer any?
The moment these people left, Wang Yougui came running over and asked Fangzheng, "Kid, are you sure there's no one in your temple?"
Fangzheng said with a wry smile, "Uncle Wang, do I look like a person that lies? There's really no one. If you don't believe, go ahead and search it."
Wang Yougui looked suspiciously at Fangzheng before shaking his head. He said, "It's good that there's no one. You might not understand, but the fellow is a wicked and fierce repeat offender. He used to be a mercenary soldier in Africa, and no one knows how many he has killed! After he returned to the country, he beat up a person so badly that he was imprisoned for three years before he was released. But he immediately robbed the cash carrier and even killed the carrier personnel afterwards. Sigh, I'm worried for your safety. Why don't you follow me down the mountain? You can return when the criminal has been caught."
Fangzheng said, "Uncle Wang, thank you for your concern. But as you can tell, my temple is extremely poor. There's nothing of value. What can he snatch from This Penniless Monk even if he were to come here? Also, there's only one path up and down the mountain. Unless he's dumb, there is no way he will come up the mountain. He might as well run into the surrounding mountains behind instead of coming up to Mt. One Finger."
"That's right... Alright, I was just mentioning it in passing. If you are afraid, come down the mountain," Wang Yougui exhorted. Finally, he suddenly said with a smile, "Also, you did well on Dog Song's matter. That fellow is a lot more obedient now. Heh heh!"
With that said, Wang Yougui left.
"Chief, according to the clues, Han Xiaoguo went up the mountain. Why weren't there any traces of him? I think we need to do a thorough search instead," the young policeman said disgruntledly.
Chief Zhang shook his head and said, "Little Wu, you have to understand certain things. Although we do not believe in Buddhism, that is a Buddhist land of worship that enjoys tranquility. The country has laws that prevent others from entering wantonly to cause trouble. We can search, but we need to wait for a search warrant. During this period of time, lead the men to seal off the mountain. In addition, Han Xiaoguo was a mercenary soldier and has fought battles in Africa over many years. He is extremely proficient at fighting in the woods and on the mountain. He is crafty like a fox. It's impossible that he doesn't know that Mt. One Finger is a lone mountain. He would only be courting death if he were to go up! I suspect that he faked his tracks, circled around Mt. One Finger, and entered the Mt. Changbai mountain range. Our mission is to protect the scene and wait for the police hounds before we decide."
"Alright," Wu Hai nodded.
The complications left Fangzheng speechless as he watched the sky. The moon had already risen high up into the sky, and he was completely famished. When he went into the back kitchen, the fire had extinguished! It was no wonder there wasn't any rice fragrance despite such a long period of cooking.
"Sigh, I wonder who I offended. Why is it so hard to have a simple meal?" Fangzheng hurriedly reignited the fire.
With everything readied, Fangzheng looked outside. Lone Wolf had yet to return...
In his boredom, he waited under the bodhi tree. Over the past few days, the bodhi tree did not turn clever and shed its leaves to tide through the winter. Instead, it grew lush green leaves, making it luxuriantly green in abundance!
Fangzheng looked up and muttered at the bodhi tree, "Bodhi tree, oh bodhi tree. Are you a bodhi tree or a grape tree? Why are you so silly? There's no need to be so serious while trying to court death, isn't it? Well, the moon today is pretty. The only thing is that This Penniless Monk hasn't eaten. This Penniless Monk is dying of hunger."
A huge silvery moon hung above the bodhi tree while a handsome monk, muttering to himself, stood under it with robes as white as snow. The scene looked extremely harmonious and beautiful, as though it was an absolutely beautiful portrait.
"Don't move!" at that moment, a deep and hoarse voice sounded from behind. A person with a squarish face, thick brows, small eyes and thick lips had come. It was Han Xiaoguo, the murderer that Chief Zhang had mentioned previously!
Han Xiaoguo was somewhat nervous. He held his gun tightly, and there were signs of ruptured blood vessels in his eyes. Clearly, he was exhausted and extremely tense.
"Amitabha. Patron, the sea of bitterness has no bounds, turn back to the shore before it's too late." Fangzheng did not turn back and could tell how tense the other person was just from his breathing. However, Fangzheng wasn't nervous at all. He stood there quietly, with his back facing the other man.
"Little Monk, cut the crap! Answer me. Do you have food and water here?" Han Xiaoguo had been on the run an entire day. Under his hunger pangs, he was forced to seek food in the temple. He happened to encounter Fangzheng dazing under the bodhi tree before he made his move.
Fangzheng said with a smile, "Patron, so you are hungry. This Penniless Monk naturally has food. However, why are you asking about it?" Fangzheng was feigning ignorance and asked deliberately.
At the same time, Fangzheng was pondering if he should find an opportunity to knock the fellow unconscious and send him to the police.
"Ding! Friendly Reminder: Persuading a person toward the path of goodness is a meritorious act. If you can make him repent, it would be an act of great merit!"
Great merit? Fangzheng faltered slightly. Previously, saving a life was better than building a seven-storied pagoda. It had given him a chance at the draw. Then, what was the so-called great merit of making a person repent? Therefore, Fangzheng asked, "System, what is merit used for?"
"Merit determines the level of your draw. The greater the merit in your actions, the more your chances of drawing something good increase. Every draw has a list of possible items, and these items have their levels too. Your plaque was a reward given to you for sweeping the temple hall. The merit earned was the lowest, so it was an ordinary Buddhist door plaque without any powers."
"You saved a person and obtained a White Lunar Monk Robe. That is a treasure only esteemed Buddhist monks possess."
"Therefore, the higher the merit, the higher the quality of the prizes drawn. Saving a person is easy, but persuading a person to do good is hard. That is merit. Similarly, killing a person is easy, while saving a person is hard, so the merit from saving a person is higher. Persuading a person to do good is easy, but to make a wicked person repent is hard. Therefore, it is of great merit."
When Fangzheng heard that, his eyes immediately lit up! How could he not receive the merit that was already at his doorstep? He was very curious what sort of treasure he would obtain under such great merit! At the same time, Fangzheng's brain whizzed. He constantly recalled how masters would reform evil people in television dramas or novels to lead a Buddhist life. Then, he thought of a plan. Although he wasn't sure if it would be effective, he could attempt it.
Han Xiaoguo was so infuriated by Fangzheng's tone that he wanted to smack him in the face. He cursed, "Little Monk, you look all clean and dandy, but is your brain full of shit? I'm asking about food obviously because I want to eat!"
"Then, why should This Penniless Monk give you food? Patron, if you are hungry, you can go down the mountain and have a meal. The weather today is rather okay. If you are quick, there will still be food down the mountain." Fangzheng's first trick was to pretend to be an esteemed master! He wanted to convince the other party before teaching him a lesson.
"Are- Are you dumb?" Han Xiaoguo said angrily.