Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Fangzheng smiled. “I told you a long time ago already. What we cultivate is the Buddha in our hearts. The Buddha in your heart should be yours, not that of others. If there is good in your heart, why would you care about anything external? Now you have Buddha in your heart, but your heart is lacking you. If you continue cultivating in such a manner, won’t you end up becoming me? You are not cultivating Buddhism if you lose yourself in the process. Instead, that is cultivating evil.”
Monkey listened to Fangzheng attentively, memorizing every single word he said, even though he remained confused and unsure of what Fangzheng meant. Cultivate himself? Cultivate himself to become Buddha? Then wasn’t he Buddha already in the past? But… He could not figure it out or wrap his head around it.
Fangzheng suggested the following. “Slowly think about it. When you truly understand it, you will be a real monk.”
Monkey stood up and pressed his palms together. “Amitabha. Although I’m dumb, I will work hard.”
“Go on. If there’s not much to do in the monastery, go into the mountains and have a walk. Look at the other monkeys and observe all the life in the world. Then, think about your own path.” Fangzheng waved his hand.
Monkey obeyed his master and left. Although his mind was filled with Fangzheng’s words, he failed to understand.
Fangzheng was also at a loss as to how he could teach Monkey when he was in such a state. He was probably the only person in the world teaching a monkey to become a proper monk.
After Monkey’s matters were settled, Fangzheng continued reading the scriptures.
Days passed one after another. And soon, July was over, and the hottest month of the year was ushered in—August.
The sun became hotter as it baked the ground, causing it to sizzle. It was so hot an egg could be fried if thrown on the ground.
“Master, it’s getting hotter and hotter.” Lone Wolf sprawled on the ground feeling dispirited. He hung out his tongue and panted in a bid to lower his temperature.
Fangzheng nodded. With the rise in temperature, fewer devotees came. After all, his devotees were usually ordinary people. They had yet to reach a stage of piousness which would make them torment themselves. Nearly no one came up the mountain during this period. At best, some people would come up early in the morning, leaving the monastery void of visitors for the rest of the day.
Fangzheng was a little unaccustomed to seeing an empty monastery.
At that moment, Squirrel ran back. The moment he returned, he hid under the tree’s shade, sprawling his limbs out on the ground. He hung out his tongue like Lone Wolf and grumbled. “Aiyah, the monastery is too hot. It’s indeed more comfortable in the mountains.”
Fangzheng’s eyes lit up. “The mountains are more cooling?”
Squirrel turned spirited when he saw how his seemingly omniscient master was asking him a question. He sat up and hugged his arms, looking like an old scholar. He said in a deep voice, “They’re comfortable, refreshingly comfortable! The breeze makes you feel cool, especially in the caves. It’s especially refreshing there.”
Fangzheng’s eyes brightened as he smacked his bald head before getting up. “Jingkuan, close the door and pack your things!”
Monkey was taken aback. “Master, what are you doing? Are we moving?”
“Why would we move? Let’s just hide from the heat in Mt. Tongtian,” said Fangzheng with a smile. Since no one came, he might as well hide from the heat.
Monkey was immediately delighted when he heard that. He hurriedly packed the necessary items.
Red Boy, who had been sticking his buttocks up and hiding under the shade, had been hollering for his Dharmic powers to be returned so that he could manually lower everyone’s body temperature. However, his proposal was not approved. Now upon hearing what was said, he was enlivened as well. He ran over and exclaimed, “Senior Brother, bring more Unrooted Clean Aqua. I’m used to drinking it. It’s not as nice to drink water from elsewhere.”
“Bringing too much makes it difficult to scale the mountain,” said Monkey.
“I’ll carry it!” Lone Wolf was pumped as he immediately ran over.
Squirrel shouted as well, “Let me do it too!”
Everyone subconsciously looked at him. He was planning on fetching water with that tiny body of his?
Squirrel blushed as he hurriedly said, “I said let me cheer all of you on!”
Everyone rolled their eyes, and they could not be bothered with him.
Hence Squirrel took point, while Fangzheng walked in the middle. Lone Wolf carried two buckets of water, while Monkey was swinging around in the trees. As for Red Boy… No one knew where he was. In any case the group entered the mountain together.
On the way, Fangzheng hummed a tune as he mumbled, “System, I must have accrued some merit with the apprehension of the tomb raiders, right? Aren’t you going to offer something?”
“Ding! I thought you forget about the matter. You asked only after this long,” said the System languidly.
“Isn’t that because I trust you? I believed you would remind me. But look at you, you just stayed silent. Also, can your voice not sound so lazy?”
“Do you think you are the only one feeling hot? I’m hot as well! It would be a joke if I was energetic.” The System found an excuse for itself, acting as though it was a very good reason.
Fangzheng obviously did not believe it. How could the powerful System be afraid of the heat? No way he was believing that!
The System continued. “Apprehending the tomb raiders was indeed a matter of great merit. There’s no problem if you want to draw for a prize. How about it, do you want to add all your previous merit too and try your hand?”
Fangzheng turned a little excited when he heard that, but he held back. “Temporarily not. I’ll just draw with the merit I gained from the tomb raiders. Don’t touch the rest of my merit. I want to accumulate ten thousand merit points and try for a big one!”
“Aiyah, nice ambition. Why don’t you not draw this time and save it up then?” teased the System.
Fangzheng rolled his eyes. “I’m feeling the itch. I don’t feel comfortable not drawing.”
“Do you want to draw now?” asked the System.
“Yes!” Fangzheng gritted his teeth and said.
“Alright, starting draw! Ding, congratulations on obtaining a skill—Zen Carpentry.”
“Zen Carpentry? What’s that?” Fangzheng was dumbfounded. This was the first time he was hearing of such a thing.
“Zen Carpentry is not an item, but a skill. It’s one of the prerequisite skills needed before learning how to refine artifacts. It also represents the paramount skill an ordinary person can have in carpentry. To put it simply, you will be the best manual laborer under Mount Numinous once you learn this. How about it? Are you agitated? Excited? Happy?” said the System with a chuckle.
Fangzheng rolled his eyes, wishing to curse. However he was able to repress it with the manners he had instilled in himself by now. Since cursing was of no use, he decided not to.
“Don’t be agitated. This is a skill-related ability. Skills don’t have high requirements, but the chances of obtaining them are very low. Think about it. After drawing so many times, the only other skill you obtained was the Dragon Buddha Epithet.”
“But, it’s useless.” Fangzheng smiled bitterly.
“Useless? Hmph. That’s because you have no idea how to use it! None of these skills are useless. In fact, they can help you gain boundless merit. Unfortunately you are still too short-sighted, pretty much blind. Your understanding of merit accumulation is still too narrow… But I won’t continue in detail. Think about it yourself.” The System no longer spoke after saying so.
Fangzheng wished to curse when he heard the former half of the statement. He believed he had been doing a good job, but he was still met with belittlement by the System. However, when the System mentioned the latter half of the statement… Narrow? His understanding was too narrow? Fangzheng could not help but lose himself to thought.