Chapter 582: Action Follows Prolonged Stillness
Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Time passed quickly, and in the blink of an eye, three days had gone by. Fangzheng had read the sutra for three days. This day, Fangzheng receives news from the top celebrity, Li Xueying.
“Hello! Abbot Fangzheng, do you miss me?” The text was accompanied by a picture of Li Xueying delivering a greeting. She wore a slanted hat and was wearing cowgirl clothes. Her eyes were huge, and she looked adorable.
Fangzheng smiled and replied: “No.”
“That’s too much!” Li Xueying posted an emoticon with her angrily standing akimbo. Then she replied. “To think I went around looking for good artisans to get the best materials to build you a Guan Yin temple and two additional meditation rooms. In the end, you don’t even miss me… How saddening!”
Fangzheng was taken aback. He suddenly recalled that back when City-Toppling Beauty suffered all kinds of repression, he had mentioned that everything would be alright. Li Xueying then said that she would donate a Guan Yin temple to Fangzheng if his words came true. Of course, more of it had to do with Li Xueying praying to Bodhisattva. Now that the crisis was over, she was there to repay the favor.
Repaying the favor was something people did after praying to Bodhisattva for help with something. If that something succeeded, as a way to show their gratefulness, they would donate money, items, or Buddhist figurines, etc. For example, some people who prayed for children and then had children successfully would return to donate some money.
Of course, such prayers should be for something concrete and not ethereal or too grand. You could pray for a child or success in a business deal before promising something in return.
Many people believed that the greater the wish, the greater the repayment should be. But from Fangzheng’s point of view, such a view was laughable. It was naturally okay in the eyes of ordinary people, but these transactions were not carried out even among gentlemen, much less with deities. In the eyes of deities, what mortals could offer was limited. Things that were precious in the eyes of mortals were like dust to the eyes of Buddha. Therefore, what Buddha really minded was not the corporeal items, but sincerity from the heart. Therefore, if the prayer was fulfilled, when one devoutly expressed one’s gratitude and recited the scriptures or Buddha’s name, that was better than anything else.
Therefore making wishes and returning wishes was nothing complex. However, once one made a wish, one had to repay it. If not, it would be cheating. Thus even if Buddha or Bodhisattva did not care about it, one had to fulfill whatever one had promised. It was still important to do so.
Fangzheng did not know if Buddha or Bodhisattva had blessed Li Xueying, but it was a fact that he had paid 700 merit points. Therefore, Fangzheng did not reject Li Xueying’s offer. He frankly said, “This Penniless Monk recites the scriptures every day. There is no matter or person on his mind, so he naturally doesn’t miss you.”
“It’s… no wonder you became a monk. You are destined to be single your entire life,” cursed Li Xueying. She was only joking.
But when Fangzheng saw those words, he immediately felt like tearing up. That was a critical blow! It hurt!
However, what could Fangzheng say? As a monk, could he think of women whenever he had free time? Regardless of him renouncing asceticism in the future, he had to play the role as long as he was still a monk. Therefore Fangzheng replied bitterly with a deep and meaningful message: “Amitabha.”
“Alright, I won’t tease you any further. I have ordered a lot of construction materials for you. There’s also the construction workers. However, they are quite busy and will only be able to go over a little later. I’ll inform you again when I have more concrete details.”
“Amitabha. Don’t talk about it if they aren’t here. You only make This Penniless Monk eager…”
“Haha! Wasn’t there no matter or person on your mind? A**hole, stay eager then. Hahaha!” Li Xueying sent an emoticon with her laughing maniacally.
After their communication, Fangzheng jumped up and laughed out loud. “Haha, This Penniless Monk’s tiny monastery can finally expand a little! Hahaha!”
To Fangzheng, the size of a monastery did not matter. After all, he wanted to renounce asceticism in the future anyway. However, the bigger the monastery, the more people would come. Its reputation would also improve, and he would gain more incense offerings. With more wishes and more people blessed, there would ultimately be more merit! With more merit, Fangzheng would be one step closer to renouncing asceticism.
This was also something the System had affirmed. Every person that came to pray to Bodhisattva or Buddha would typically have their wishes granted if they were sincere, a good person, and if their wish wasn’t too extraordinary. Once the prayers were fulfilled, Fangzheng would gain a tenth of the merit generated. Although the merit earned each time was tiny, there were a lot of wishes! In fact, a small amount of Fangzheng’s merit came from such situations already. After all, the merit he could accrue by doing good himself was limited. Having scale still mattered in the end.
However, what made Fangzheng happy was…
“Old Dad One Finger, our monastery is finally expanding. No, it expanded already. The Bell Tower and the Drum Tower are huge, making it look grand. Our bell is the Yongle Bell from Mount Numinous, and the drum is an imitation of the Kui War Drum used during the Yellow Thearch’s battle with Chiyou. Our temple hall is a Ten Thousand Buddha plaque. Soon, we will build a Guan Yin temple. Didn’t you always wonder aloud when our monastery would become as big as Baiyun Monastery? Such a reality is not too far away. Trust me.” Fangzheng sat in front of Zen Master One Finger’s grave and spoke happily. It was as though he wasn’t looking at a mound of dirt, but as if Zen Master One Finger was sitting across him.
Fangzheng sat there nearly the whole day. It was evening by the time he returned to One Finger Monastery. He was in a good mood, and he cooked personally. He selected a portion of the green vegetables that Liu Hongyun had brought over, washed them, and stir-fried a huge plate of food. He had a feast with his disciples.
As the saying went, action followed prolonged stillness. While chatting with Zen Master One Finger, Fangzheng had said whatever he needed to say, and he had bragged whatever he needed to brag. Now that he had returned to reality, he still faced a problem of merit. Staying there like that was clearly not a solution. Since nothing was coming to him, he could only be proactive in seeking opportunity out. Therefore…
“Disciples, I am planning a trip down the mountain tomorrow.” The moment Fangzheng said that, his disciples looked up in unison. Lone Wolf had little desire, but Red Boy was eager. Monkey was somewhat curious, while Squirrel continued eating, completely unconcerned.
When Fangzheng saw this, he pricked up his brows slightly. Although none of his disciples were human, they were sentient. After they learned to speak, they became no different from humans. In their present state, it was impossible for them to go back to a life in the forest. However, to blend in with human society, they needed knowledge of the human world. Staying uneducated would only make it easy for them to lose out.
WIth this in mind, Fangzheng said, “Jingkuan will accompany me.”
“Eh? Cough…” Squirrel was taken aback when he heard that. He choked as he kept coughing. He looked at Fangzheng adorably as though he was saying: “It’s actually me?”
Red Boy’s eyes were still filled with hope, while Lone Wolf yawned, unconcerned. Monkey did not think too much of it as he enjoyed the tranquility of the mountain.