Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Lone Wolf lay on the ground when he heard that. “Junior Brother, go ahead. I’ll just stay behind to watch the monastery. I’m the number one Guardian Protector after all, and I’m the senior brother. Master said that I should give you guys some leeway.”
“Why don’t all of you go while I stay behind?” Squirrel felt a little embarrassed as he spoke up.
In return, Lone Wolf, Monkey, and Red Boy rolled their eyes at him in unison.
Squirrel was instantly infuriated as he exclaimed, “Why are you looking at me like that? Do you think lowly of me? The only thing about me… Is that I’m a little lacking in strength! And a little tiny! My claws aren’t… that sharp… But my teeth are very… Alright. Boohoo! I’m being despised!”
The more Squirrel spoke, the less confident he felt, causing him to eventually burst out crying.
The others shook their heads in resignation. Lone Wolf said, “Enough, Junior Brother Jingkuan, if you want to play, go ahead.”
Monkey said, “Amitabha. Master said that everyone specializes in something, and everyone has their own place in the grand scheme of things. When it comes to protecting the monastery, Senior Brother Jingfa is the best. This Penniless Monk is still alright when it comes to cleaning the place. As for seeing what you are lacking, that depends on yourself to realize.”
The moment Monkey said that, Squirrel felt a lot better and stopped crying.
Red Boy jumped off the roof and said, “Alright, cut the chatter. We are only going to fly for a moment. What’s there to be afraid of? Now that I have my Dharmic powers, which idiot will dare steal from our monastery? Just a thought from me, and everything in a hundred kilometers will appear in my head. Even if a thief comes, they won’t be able to escape my eyes. With a wave of my hand, I can capture them even if they escape to the corners of the world. So there’s no need to worry.”
“Really?” Squirrel was the easiest to be fooled and the most naive. He immediately widened his eyes in excitement as he asked hopefully.
Red Boy blushed. He had been bragging, after all, but after being looked at by the little guy with such reverence, his pride made him nod affirmatively as he patted his chest. “Of course!”
“I want to fly!” yelped Squirrel.
Red Boy looked at Lone Wolf and Monkey.
Both of them shook their heads. Helpless, Red Boy could only fly into the sky with Squirrel and have fun.
Monkey looked at Lone Wolf and asked, “Do you regret not going?”
Lone Wolf nodded with tears welling in his eyes. “What about you?”
“If you had not been stupid, I would have gone into the heavens together with all of you… Don’t you know that I was only posturing?” Monkey rolled his eyes at Lone Wolf as he went to the backyard in a peeved mood.
He left Lone Wolf in the wind too deep for tears…
Lone Wolf drooped his head. Since he had stayed behind, he had to get to work. Therefore Lone Wolf began patrolling the monastery’s perimeter to begin his observations.
Just as Lone Wolf was circling the monastery and letting his mind wander with thoughts about what to eat for tomorrow’s breakfast, he heard a series of footsteps.
“Is Master back already? That can’t be. There are so many footsteps. There are quite a number people. Are the villagers coming up the mountain in a collective attempt to dig the bamboo shoots?” Lone Wolf peeped his head out and looked into the darkness. A wolf’s night vision was far superior to an ordinary person’s. He saw a bunch of people come up the mountain from afar. They were carrying a lot of things on their shoulders, and they acted quite suspiciously.
“It’s so late at night. They came up the mountain in a group for no reason. This perfectly matches the characteristics of thieves the way Junior Brother described them!” With this in mind, Lone Wolf hid in between some grass and stealthily approached. He wanted to know what the people were there for. They were not Uncle Da and company, so Lone Wolf was unable to ascertain if they were thieves or not.
“Boss Xiong, don’t tell me the bell you mentioned is that one? Isn’t that too big?” A person pointed at the bell tower’s bell and was so alarmed he turned slack-jawed.
Boss Xiong was equally dumbfounded as he cursed. “F**k, That idiot Da only said it was a huge bell, but he didn’t say it was this huge! F**k me. Thankfully I took the necessary precautions. Let’s go and take a look.”
With that said, Boss Xiong led more than forty people to the bottom of the bell tower. He went up the bell tower alone and when his eye met the Yongle Bell, his eyes widened! He was an antique’s expert. As the saying went—while the connoisseur recognizes the craftsmanship, the layman simply enjoys the show—he could tell at a glance that the bell was extraordinary! He exclaimed, “This is good stuff! It’s no wonder that Da, a tomb raider, was willing to cross over to directly stealing just like that! Even I want to snatch this away! No one can stop me today. I’ll kill anything or anyone that comes in my way! This bell will have the surname Xiong from today forth!”
“Boss, the problem is that this bell is too big. We have quite a number of people as well as tools, but to bring it down intact will probably be difficult…” said a person.
“Difficult? It would indeed be difficult to take it down intact. But who said we would be taking it down intact?” sneered Boss Xiong.
“Boss Xiong, if it’s not intact, do you intend to dismantle it? But wouldn’t that cause a drastic drop in price!?” an elder exclaimed. The elder had a beard and wore a huge top hat. He wore his hat low as though he was afraid of being recognized.
“Drastic drop in price? Earning even one cent is still earning. It’s worthless if it just stays here! After we dismantle it, Da will find the best restoration master. Although it won’t be perfectly restored, there will still be buyers willing to buy it at half the price. There is no lack of idiots with money in this world,” chuckled Boss Xiong coldly.
“This…” The elder felt his heart wince.
“Elder Li, I invited you here to help me dismantle it, not to listen to your nonsense. Take a look at the bell and decide how it should be dismantled to keep the damage at a minimum, so that its value can be preserved to its fullest. Draw a line, and Boor and the rest will unsolder it.”
“Unsolder? Sigh… Even if it’s unsoldered, this thing weighs more than a hundred tons. Just the few of us will not be able to bring it down,” said Elder Li.
“No one said anything about bringing it down. I brought a pulley team here. The bell fragments will be brought to the end of the cliff and thrown down. There are cranes at the foot of the mountain. By hoisting the parts up lorries and driving off, won’t that be the end of it?” said Boss Xiong matter-of-factly.
“What a reckless waste of a treasure! This is a priceless rare treasure. To destroy it like that… Sigh! What a pity.” Elder Li struck his breast and stamped his foot.
“Reckless waste of a treasure? You are wrong. I’ve said it before. Placed here, it’s only a bell. Worthless. In my hands, even if it’s in fragments and damaged, just its weight and the text on it alone will make the bell deserve a good price. Even if it won’t be priceless, it will still be enough for us to make a fortune. Cut the crap and begin working. Don’t forget that if you do not do this, I won’t be helping your wife. Sigh, leukemia sure is an expensive disease…” said Boss Xiong eccentrically.
Elder Li finally sighed as he went forward to carefully observe the Yongle Bell. As he observed it, he cried. He was moved, but the strongest feeling he felt was hate! He did not hate Boss Xiong. Instead, he hated himself! For his own selfish reason, he was going to destroy a rare treasure.
Although he felt hate, Elder Li used chalk to draw lines on the bell. He knew that this matter was set in stone. Clearly, no one was inside the monastery. The people down the mountain had also been fooled by Boss Xiong. With the high mountain, the police would not arrive in time even if someone called them. Hence he drew the separation lines such that the bell’s textual value would be preserved as well as possible. If Boss Xiong were to do it himself, the bell would truly be ruined. Besides, he was really in need of money. Therefore, under Boss Xiong’s urging, Elder Li quickly divided up the bell into more than a hundred regions. Then he retreated and sat down on the ground, feeling completely dispirited.