Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
When the topic of the person called Scholar arose, Perfected Letian’s complaints about him could go on for three days and three nights. As he drank his tea, he criticized him relentlessly.
An hour later, Fangzheng began to drink the tea at an accelerated pace. Furthermore, he drank faster and at greater quantities. Letian’s tea brewing speed obviously could not keep up with Fangzheng’s consumption speed. He could not help but say, “Abbot, what did I say? Although this tea doesn’t appear very tasty, you will get accustomed to it as you drink it. You have gotten a liking for it.” With that said, Letian felt pleased.
Fangzheng smiled wryly, and just as he was about to say something—
Red Boy sneered. “Heh heh, you are overthinking things. The tea is still as nasty, but it’s mostly because… My master is hungry. After hearing you brag all day as you air your grievances, it has turned an hour after noon already. Anyways, are you providing for our meals?”
Letian was taken aback. When he looked at the time, he blushed. He exclaimed, “Aiyah, I forgot about lunch after all this chatting. Don’t worry. I’ll go prepare the food now.”
With that said, Letian ran out. There was a kitchen in the backyard. Letian busied himself there and finally took out a pot of steaming dishes.
There was white rice which appeared crystalline. The vegetables were fried wild vegetables. The meal was very simple. After the dishes were placed on the table, there were two more figures standing by the door.
Fan Qing and his master looked at Letian with pangs of hope. When they saw Letian look over, the two turned embarrassed and had thoughts of leaving.
Letian said, “Forget it. Let’s eat together.”
Fan Qing was overjoyed immediately. The elder bowed at Letian, after which Fan Qing quickly did the same when he saw it. He then helped the elder take a seat.
The dining area was also in the backyard. There was a huge stone table there. Hanging low over the table was a great willow tree. It rustled with the wind as it was extremely lush, but compared to Fangzheng’s bodhi tree, it was clearly much slimmer.
Everyone took their seats and without exchanging too much pointless pleasantries, they all ate the simple meal in quite a relaxed manner. Perhaps it was because they were starving, but everyone ate with their heads lowered. They finished their meals in less than twenty minutes.
After the meal, Fangzheng said, “Patron, This Penniless Monk still hasn’t gotten your name.”
“My surname is Jiang and my name is a single Zhou. This is my disciple, Fan Qing. Might I know your Dharma name?” asked Jiang Zhou.
Fangzheng said, “This Penniless Monk is Fangzheng. This is Perfected Letian. These are This Penniless Monk’s disciples—Jingfa, Jingkuan, Jingzhen, and Jingxin.”
When Jiang Zhou and Fan Qing realized that Fangzheng had taken three animals as his disciples, they were dumbfounded. Fan Qing even found it laughable. Could animals understand Buddhist scriptures? From his point of view, the answer was a definite no! Therefore, he felt that the monk was only acting mysterious and playing to the gallery. Or perhaps his monastery was so small that he could not recruit anyone, and he had ended up using animals to make up the count. It was quite ridiculous that the monk would stoop this low to make up the numbers.”
Jiang Zhou did not think lowly of Fangzheng. All he felt was curiosity. Why had the monk accepted three animals as his disciples instead of humans? Wasn’t this too odd?
However, at the next moment, Jiang Zhou and Fan Qing were dumbfounded. The three animals and Red Boy took notice of their names being introduced. Squirrel, Monkey, and Red Boy pressed their palms together in unison. Even the white wolf raised its paws and placed them by its chest. It looked like the bows delivered by martial monks! Although it wasn’t standard, it conveyed the same meaning. They actually could grasp and understand what was said!
Immediately, Jiang Zhou and Fan Qing felt as though they had seen a ghost. Could these animals have developed into spirits? But soon, they ruled out the possibilities themselves. They only believed that Fangzheng was good at training animals, making them have such instinctive responses.
Even so, the two treated Fangzheng and Letian as otherworldly experts.
Fangzheng naturally could tell what was on their minds, but he couldn’t be bothered to explain.
As for Letian, he couldn’t be bothered to tax his brain with the matter. After a few rounds of interaction, he felt that the animals were very intelligent and were even more like cultivators than the fake cultivators he had encountered in the past.
After a simple introduction and meal, Fangzheng noticed that it was no longer early. In consideration of how Jiang Zhou had just expelled the snake venom and was still weak, there was a need for him to recuperate. Letian’s place was ultimately deep in the mountains. Although he could produce some food, there was just too little.
As for the ginseng… Letian had said so himself. They were his pets. Fangzheng obviously could not bring himself to get Letian to dig up his pets to stew them for him, right?
Therefore, Fangzheng bade Letian farewell. Lone Wolf carried Jiang Zhou while Monkey helped him. Red Boy bitterly carried a water bucket as he headed out the mountain with a gloomy face.
“Jinxes! If not for them, we could have stayed in the mountain for a few days and enjoyed the coolness. I could also have had some fun. Sigh…” Red Boy grumbled inwardly, but he did not dare let Fangzheng hear him.
Jiang Zhou and Fan Qing were naturally extremely grateful for Fangzheng’s arrangements. This was especially the case for Fan Qing. What he had experienced that day had moved him greatly. All this while, he had always believed that few people in the world were altruistic. At least, he had not met many such people in his own circles. Most of them could be considered middle of the road. They would not impinge on you, but they would also not kick you while you were down. They were purely the kind that just watched idly.
Fan Qing did not have much of a good impression of monks and Daoists. He always felt that they were cheats who scammed people for money. He had also never met any monks or Daoists that did good before.
But today, he had met them.
This was the first time he saw someone help others in such a placid manner… There was no request in return. They helped for the sole sake of helping, and it was as though it was only natural that they helped.
The journey back was rather silent. Fangzheng and company had the intention to rapidly return, so they soon left the mountain and entered One Finger Village. Fangzheng immediately found Wang Yougui and explained the situation to him.
Wang Yougui looked at Jiang Zhou’s injuries and said, “Thankfully it was dealt with in time. Alright, you can stay at my place. You can leave after you recuperate.”
Jiang Zhou immediately thanked him. “Thank you, Village Chief.”
Wang Yougui shook his head and said, “It’s nothing. I’ll get my wife to tidy up the side room in the west. The both of you can stay there for the time being.”
Jiang Zhou and Fan Qing thanked him once again. Fangzheng bade them farewell. It was getting dark, and it would not be practical for him to enter the mountains to hide from the heat again, so he returned up the mountain for dinner.
Jiang Zhou and Fan Qing thanked Fangzheng profusely, but all Fangzheng did was smile and give a Buddhist proclamation before leaving with his disciples.
While Jiang Zhou rested, Fan Qing took out his cell phone and made a call.
The next morning, a car entered the village. A man and woman alighted and rushed into Wang Yougui’s house. They were Jiang Zhou’s two other students, Guan Xiangfeng and Qiu Xiaoye.
Guan Xiangfeng was a tall and muscular man. Qiu Xiaoye was what one would describe as an example of a classical city beauty. She had long legs, a thin waist, and very fair skin. She wore a baseball cap and sunglasses. They had come to bring Jiang Zhou back. However, with Jiang Zhou being exhausted from his experience inside the mountain, along with how his leg was fractured and how he had just expelled venom from his body, it would not be alright for him to make the travel all the way back to Black Mountain City immediately. Therefore the decision was immediately abandoned.