Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
“Fangzheng is not the same. He came here to be an abbot. Can you do that?” said Liu Hongyun awkwardly.
Liu Beijun curled his lips and said, “It’s useless no matter what you say. I’m not going to school. It’s meaningless.”
“You!” Liu Hongyun was infuriated again as he raised his hand once more.
Fangzheng hurriedly stopped him. “Patron, since Patron Liu doesn’t wish to study, why don’t you let him do as he wish? You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
“Yea- Huh!?” Liu Hongyun nodded first before realizing what had been said. He looked at Fangzheng in disbelief, unable to believe that those words had come out of Fangzheng’s mouth.
On the other hand, Liu Beijun’s eyes lit up. He nearly burst out laughing as he looked at Fangzheng in a different light. He was like the father of his new life, a savior! Liu Beijun felt nothing but gratitude! He hurriedly said, “Dad, see? Abbot has already said so. Why do you need to say anything else? Abbot Fangzheng’s words are akin to Buddha’s words. How can you disobey him?”
Fangzheng felt somewhat embarrassed by Liu Beijun’s praising. When did his words become akin to Buddha’s words? They were completely different, alright? However, what surprised Fangzheng was that Liu Hongyun did not have any intention of retorting that point.
Instead, he glared at Liu Beijun and said, “Then I’ll just not listen to Buddha. Regardless of whatever, you have to attend school!”
Fangzheng did not know that the news about the efficacy of getting children from One Finger Monastery had spread far. It was known even in Songwu County and Black Mountain City. Of course, the villagers were more susceptible to believing in such things. They believed that One Finger Monastery was a manifestation of Buddha. Therefore, people treated Fangzheng as Buddha’s spokesperson in the mortal word. What he said was equivalent to what Buddha was conveying.
Of course, this was only what people said to each other. How much they believed it in their hearts was up to them.
Although Liu Hongyun did not fully believe it, he did not retort his son on this point. It could lead to terrible consequences if news of him doing that spread out.
“Now shut up!” After Liu Hongyun said that, he planned on pulling Liu Beijun away. Since Fangzheng was unable to tame the brat, he had to use different means.
“Amitabha.” At that moment, Fangzheng spoke out.
“Abbot Fangzheng, since you do not intend to help me educate my child, can’t I take him away?” Liu Hongyun did not dare rage against Fangzheng, but his aggrievement and resentment were obvious.
Fangzheng smiled. “Patron, if you trust This Penniless Monk, you can leave Little Patron Liu in this monastery. He can cultivate with This Penniless Monk for some time.”
The moment Fangzheng said that, Liu Beijun’s heart palpitated. He had still been wondering about how to escape Liu Hongyun’s control, and now there was a way out right in front of him! No matter what it was, as long as he did not have to face Liu Hongyun or attend school, he was willing to go anywhere! He believed that as long as he could prove himself somewhere other than in school, there would be no way Liu Hongyun could make him go back even if he chose not to be a monk in the future.
With this in mind, Liu Beijun hurriedly said, “Dad, since I do not wish to attend school, whatever you say will be useless. Even if you send me to school, I’ll play truant and run off. On the contrary, I find this mountaintop quite nice, and I would love to stay here to learn something practical instead of all that crappy stuff they teach in school.”
Liu Hongyun was about to say something when he saw Liu Beijun’s stubborn expression. He knew his son best and sending him in his present state to school would really only lead him to play truant.
When he saw Fangzheng smiling amiably, Liu Hongyun ruminated over it. There was nothing he could do to Liu Beijun. Bringing him back would only lead to unending quarrels, which was pointless. He had to farm, so he had no time to watch his son. Although he was displeased that Fangzheng supported the idea of Liu Beijun dropping out of school, he was still very assured when it came to Fangzheng’s character.
Perhaps leaving Beijun with Fangzheng would be better than sending him to school or taking him home. At the very least, he would not be left to his own devices.
With this in mind, Liu Hongyun nodded and said, “Then I’ll be troubling you, Abbot Fangzheng.”
When that was said, Liu Beijun cheered instantly, only to be glared at by Liu Hongyun. He berated him. “You darn bastard, you may be staying here, but listen well! You are to listen to Abbot Fangzheng. If you dare cause trouble, I’ll break your leg!”
Liu Beijun instantly stopped shouting from fright.
Fangzheng was just about to say something when Liu Hongyun spoke first. “Abbot Fangzheng, Beijun is a playful kid. He’s disobedient. If he causes you problems, feel free to hit him. Just don’t beat him to death or cripple him! Other than that, be my guest.”
Fangzheng was instantly rendered speechless. How could a monk like him beat Liu Beijun for no reason? However, the words did make him think of something. Why did they sound so familiar? It was because that was precisely what Wang Yougui had said to the form teacher when he’d sent Fangzheng to school years ago. It had resulted in him being beaten quite a number of times back then.
But thinking back to those days, if not for the punishment by his teachers, he would absolutely not be the same today. He would likely have become a hooligan who causes trouble everywhere.
Therefore, although Fangzheng felt somewhat speechless hearing the words at that moment, he seemed to understand something at the same time. It were Liu Hongyun’s wish for his son to have a bright future and the love he had for Liu Beijun which made him act that way.
Unfortunately, Liu Beijun did not think so. Upon hearing that, he immediately said, “Am I really your flesh and blood?”
“I picked you up from the trash,” said Liu Hongyun casually.
Noticing that the two were about to quarrel again, Fangzheng hurriedly said, “Amitabha. Patron rest assured.”
Liu Hongyun was about to keep going, but he stopped after being interrupted by Fangzheng. He nodded and turned to leave. Fangzheng realized that at the moment Liu Hongyun turned his body, it felt like a mountain was pressing down on his shoulders. Even his back was a little bent.
“Seriously, can you stop your pointless worries all day?” Liu Beijun grumbled. But he did not realize that the moment he said that, it was detected by the monk beside him. The monk pricked up his brows, and his smile had a hint of mischief to it.
People who knew Fangzheng well would know that someone was about to be unlucky seeing that this fellow had a mischievous idea.
“Patron Liu, since you are staying behind, the job of sweeping the yard will be left to you. Jingzhen, you are in charge of monitoring him.” With that said, Fangzheng turned and left.
Liu Beijun was stunned when he heard that. What did he mean? Wasn’t he staying there to calm his mind and cultivate? Wasn’t he there to eat, sleep, piss, and walk around when he had nothing to do as a way to understand the Buddhist Dharma? Why was he now doing the chores?
“I’m not doing that! I’m not here to do your chores!” Liu Beijun shouted indignantly.
Fangzheng turned his head and said to Liu Beijun, “This Penniless Monk does not feed idle people. If you do not do work, there will be no food for you.”
“So what if there’s no food? I’m not doing it!” Liu Beijun was impetuous because of his youth. Since he was not hungry, he was unafraid of Fangzheng’s threat. From his point of view, no matter how impressive Fangzheng was, there was no way he would starve him to death, right?
With this in mind, Liu Beijun insisted. “I won’t do it even if I have to starve to death!”
Fangzheng nodded indifferently. He turned and headed to the backyard to sleep. He also said, “Without This Penniless Monk’s permission, you are not to leave the monastery. As for any other rules, Jingfa, Jingzhen, Jingkuan, Jingxin, the four of you are to teach him well. If he violates any of the monastery’s rules, punishment will be meted out according to the rules.”