Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
“That’s a wolf? How is that big!?” Zhang Zi exclaimed.
“It’s indeed a wolf. The breed is likely that of a northeastern wolf. But this guy is a little different from a northeastern wolf,” said Uncle Da.
“How can it not be different? Even the world’s biggest North American wolf isn’t as big as this one!” exclaimed Ying Zi.
“Urgh… Urgh,” said Mute.
Uncle Da said, “Mute said that the wolf was previously lying on the drum tower’s side. But suddenly, it appeared in front of us. This wolf is lightning fast.”
“Uncle Da, Uncle Mute only made a few sounds. How did you figure out that much?” asked Ying Zi curiously.
“Actually, he didn’t say anything. He makes sounds to remind me to express his thoughts. After spending decades with him, I can tell what’s on his mind with a glance. There’s nothing strange about that. Anyway, this guy in front of us doesn’t look like he will let us up,” said Uncle Da nonchalantly.
“No way. How can visitors be barred from entering a monastery’s bell tower? This monastery can’t be that low-class, right? Other monasteries allow visitors to go up the bell tower and strike the bell as a way of praying for blessings,” said Zhang Zi.
“Uncle Da, what do we do now?” asked Ying Zi.
Uncle Da shook his head. “Let’s go and take a look inside the monastery.”
Although Ying Zi and Zhang Zi were unwilling to leave, they had no choice but to follow with Uncle Da and Mute walking off. Zhang Zi even glared fiercely at Lone Wolf, but was met with a counter glare. Lone Wolf grinned as he bared his fangs. It left Zhang Zi running away in fear as he mumbled to himself, “This wolf is odd. He seems to be able to read my mind.”
“Wolves are very intelligent. Don’t provoke him. We don’t have any weapons. If we were to provoke such a large wolf, we might just get done in right there and then. It’s a beast after all. It doesn’t know how the human world works. The owner would not be punished by law either,” said Uncle Da.
Zhang Zi nodded immediately, no longer daring to provoke Lone Wolf.
Behind, Lone Wolf lay on the ground in Zhang Zi’s direction. His limbs were retracted as his tail stood straight up.
Zhang Zi was surprised. Why did this pose look so odd? There were two legs to the left, and two to the right, and in the middle… F**k!
Zhang Zi immediately understood what Lone Wolf meant and cursed. After all these years traveling the world, this was the first time he was being despised by a wolf!
“Zhang Zi, what’s wrong?” asked Ying Zi when she heard him curse.
Zhang Zi said, “The darn wolf cursed me!”
Ying Zi looked over as she heard that, but Lone Wolf had already flipped around, sprawling there languidly. He looked innocent and casual.
Ying Zi smiled bitterly. “Zhang Zi, are you dumb? How can a wolf curse you? Do you think it can speak human?”
“He gave me the middle finger!”
“Eh… It looks like you have a screw loose. Tell me, how does it give you the middle finger with its claws?” Ying Zi was amused.
“Hey, if you want to hit on chicks, try something different. Try using your brain. If all you can amount to are such pointless tricks, you deserve being single forever,” reprimanded Uncle Da.
Zhang Zi instantly wore an aggrieved look. He yearned to say, ‘It really cursed me!’ Unfortunately, he did not dare say anything else. He could not explain it well, so if he gave more explanations, he would be treated as crazy. In fact, Zhang Zi already felt like he must have been seeing things.
Ying Zi rolled her eyes, clearly unhappy with what Uncle Da said.
The few of them stepped into the monastery when Mute suddenly tugged at Uncle Da and pointed in the direction of the bodhi tree. He had a look of incredulity.
Uncle Da looked over carefully and exclaimed, “Holy sh*t. A bodhi tree is growing on the mountaintop in the northeast? Why… Why hasn’t it frozen to death!?”
“Uncle Da, is that really a bodhi tree?” Ying Zi and Zhang Zi were dumbfounded as well.
Uncle Da said, “I have traveled the entire country, so what haven’t I seen? But I’ve really never seen a bodhi tree that can grow in the north. The soil here is all old soil, aged. There’s no additional processing, nor was it churned beforehand. It must have been planted for quite some time too. It’s clearly not newly planted. This is really incredible. Were bodhi trees that resistant against the cold?”
“Perhaps this monastery puts some clothes on it to keep it warm during winter?” suggested Zhang Zi.
“Idiot! That might protect the trunk, but the roots wouldn’t enjoy any protection at all. In winter, the roots would still all freeze and rot. How could the tree survive when that happens? A priceless bell and a bodhi tree that grows in the northeast. Although this monastery is small, there are quite a lot of pleasant surprises to it,” said Uncle Da with a sigh.
“Amitabha. Patrons, you aren’t locals, right?” At that moment, a Buddhist proclamation sounded.
Only then did Uncle Da notice a monk standing under the bodhi tree. The monk looked handsome with big, bright eyes that shimmered like stars. With him standing there, he exuded a bright feeling as though the monk himself was glowing!
“Venerable One, you sure have a keen eye. We are not locals. We hail from the south. We heard the bell and drum and came in search of it. Sorry for disturbing you.” Uncle Da did not choose to pick a fight when he saw Fangzheng. Instead, he appeared very polite. However, the pride he had in him was not like that of most other people. It was impossible for him to be truly humble towards Fangzheng.
Fangzheng thought nothing of it. He treated all life as equal, and so he didn’t think of himself as superior either. He smiled and said, “There’s no disturbance done. Since the monastery’s doors are open, welcoming visitors is only right.”
“Venerable One, I have a matter I don’t understand, though. Could I ask?” asked Uncle Da.
“Patron, feel free to ask.”
“I have been to many monasteries in the past. Other monasteries had bells and drums too. But they would first strike the bell before hitting the drums in the morning before attending their morning classes. And in the evening, they would hit the drum before striking the bell. Then they would strike the wooden fish before going to bed. Why does your monastery strike the bell and drum together? According to what I know, doing it in this manner represents that something urgent has cropped up in the monastery. But when I came, the monastery was completely peaceful. It doesn’t seem like anything happened, right?” asked Uncle Da.
Fangzheng was taken aback. What could he say? He could say that the first time he hit the drum, he had indeed planned on hitting the drum first before striking the bell, but that wouldn’t work! If the drum were to be struck 108 times first, everyone would probably die from disgust! Those at the monastery would be alright, but what about the people down the mountain? Although the System said that the drum was less effective towards them, that was based on the System’s standards. Fangzheng had made Squirrel listen from down the mountain. Although the effects were lighter, 108 continuous hits would still make the average person uncomfortable… It was alright for short periods of time, but if it happened over longer periods of time, it was likely that people would rush up to the drum tower to tear it down.
In addition, Fangzheng himself did not have it easy hitting the drum either. The devilish nature that overwhelmed him was not so easily resisted. Without the bell’s help, Fangzheng knew that he probably would vomit from the discomfort if he truly had to hit it 108 times at once.
Therefore striking the bell and hitting the drum together was how One Finger Monastery did things.
However, he could not say that…
“Uncle Da, tiny rural monasteries probably do not know the meaning behind the morning bell and evening drum. They are just joining the fray to randomly strike them.” Zhang Zi could not help but say when he saw Fangzheng’s silence.
Uncle Da glared at Zhang Zi, who immediately shut up.
Fangzheng smiled and pressed his palms together. “Amitabha.”
As Uncle Da saw this, he believed that this result was indeed because Fangzheng had no clue. A look of contempt flashed in his eyes. According to him, any orthodox monastery would have some heritage. These were the basics, so how could he not know? Not knowing that was equivalent to the monk not having read the most basic scriptures. It meant that he was a layman among laymen!
“From the looks of it, this isn’t an orthodox monastery. There’s no heritage behind it. That’s actually good…” Uncle Da began making plans. He had not asked those questions at random. Those questions had given him an answer to the things he wanted to know.