Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
“Sell it, sell it for a good price. If the price isn’t right, don’t sell it. Alright, I have to go now. Bye,” said the cheat.
“Oh, just…” The elder felt hesitant.
“What is it?”
“Can you call me Mom again?” The elder asked with a hint of a pleading tone.
There was silence on the other side.
The elder turned nervous as she held her breath. She did not dare breathe out, afraid that she might miss it.
Fangzheng, Red Boy, and Squirrel stood by the side, watching nervously.
Squirrel looked to the side where Red Boy was. His face was flushed red due to his nervousness. “Junior Brother, you are a really good person. You are more nervous and agitated than I am.”
“Agitated my a**. Master is pinching me! Master, can you pinch yourself if you are nervous? Why are you pinching me?” Red Boy yelled unhappily with his red face.
Fangzheng was taken aback as he blurted. “You were the one being pinched? Oh, it was a mistake. No wonder I felt something amiss. I didn’t feel any pain despite pinching myself with all my strength… Amitabha. It’s okay. My dear disciple, your skin is thick, so it’s invulnerable to pinching.”
“Your strength is so huge. Who wouldn’t feel pain?” Red Boy looked at his arm that had turned red from the pinching as he exclaimed angrily.
Before he continued, Squirrel interrupted. “Master, do you think the cheat will agree to it? After all, he has already exposed himself…”
“This cheat sure sucks. He called her Mom all the time while trying to cheat her. Now, he’s silent. What does he want,” cursed Red Boy unhappily.
Fangzheng said, “Saying it out without thought is worthless. Only when it comes from the heart is it difficult.”
“Are you telling me he’s going to address her as Mom in a heartfelt manner?” asked Red Boy in astonishment.
Squirrel said, “This…”
Just as the two little guys wore looks of disbelief, a deep and forceful voice sounded from the other side of the line. “Mom!”
“Yes!” The elder’s face immediately beamed. All her tears no longer represented sadness but joy!
“Mom, thank you.” The cheat hung up after saying that.
The elder was baffled. Why was the child thanking her?
At that moment, there was knocking from the door. It were the people from the community development office. Before they spoke, she said, “I’m moving.”
“Auntie Liang, we aren’t trying to force you… Uh? What? You’re moving?” The lady from the community development office had prepared a speech for days only to discover that there was no need for it! She was somewhat surprised and a little dazed.
“I’m moving. Little Wu, thank you for all you’ve done for me. Ever since my son left, I turned into an eccentric old woman. I’m sure I gave you a lot of trouble. I know how well you treat me. If not for all of you coming daily to visit me, washing my clothes, and giving me food, I’d be long dead. However, there was a knot in my heart that I couldn’t entangle. It was suddenly disentangled today. Thank you.” The elder got up and bowed at them.
The people from the community development office were first taken aback. Then, they quickly helped up the elder and beamed.
“Auntie Liang, don’t say that. It’s our job.” The people from the community development office sat down. Some boiled water, others put down the ingredients they had brought and began cooking. They switched on the television, listened to music and chatted. The happy chattering immediately gave life to what was a dead apartment that resembled a coffin. The apartment seemed a lot brighter suddenly.
Upon seeing this, Fangzheng, Red Boy, and Squirrel exchanged looks and gave a rueful smile before leaving secretly.
After exiting the estate, Red Boy chuckled. “Master, you didn’t do a thing this time. Do you feel a little disappointed?”
Fangzheng pressed his palms together and bowed at the estate behind him. “Amitabha, if all the misery in the world could end without needing This Penniless Monk’s help, that would be perfect.”
“Master, why do I feel like what you said is not what you truly feel?” Red Boy rolled his eyes in complete disbelief.
Fangzheng did not say a word. He grabbed Squirrel and threw him at Red Boy’s face. Then, with a flick of his sleeve, they vanished from the streets and returned to Mt. One Finger!
In fact, Red Boy was right. Fangzheng had yet to reach the realm of the great awakening. However, he was not lying either. He really wished that the world would one day be filled with love and that everyone would be happy as they lived amicable lives in this beautiful world. However, Fangzheng still had his selfish thoughts. How was he to earn merit if there wasn’t any evil? Therefore, it was something Fangzheng felt conflicted about.
A conflicted thought did not represent a lie, so he did not get struck by lightning.
Meanwhile, in an underground room in a Chinese city that bordered the sea, a man shut his computer and leaned back into his chair, motionless. He lit up a cigarette and began puffing at it. One stick, two sticks, three sticks…
After he finished smoking the entire box, he pulled at his hair, took out his cell phone, and called a number.
“Hello? Who is it?” An elderly voice sounded.
When the man heard the voice, his heart palpitated as he could not help his tears from falling. As though he was using all his strength, he said, “Mom, I miss you.”
“Ah… Ah Xing? Is that you Ah Xing?”
“Yes, Mom. I miss you.”
“If you miss me, come back. I know you are busy, but no matter how busy you are, you should still take holidays, right?”
“Yes. I’ll return tomorrow.”
“Alright, alright! Our old hen has been fattening up. I’ll boil it for you when you are back! Oh, and your uncle gave us a fish yesterday. I’m treating it in a huge urn. You will return just in time…”
“Yes, I’ll be returning right now. Right now.” The man nodded firmly. In fact, unbeknown to his mother, his uncle had given him a call a long time ago. That fish was given to his mother a week ago to nourish her body, but she refused to eat it. She wanted to treat it and wait for his return so that he could eat it.
Back then, he felt nothing, but today, he finally realized what the most important thing he was missing in life was!
Without saying a word, the man packed his luggage and checked out of his room. He took the train the next day and waved his hands at the distancing city, muttering, “Goodbye, my past. In the future, I’ll be a filial son.”
Fangzheng did not know this. He did not gain any reward for it since he had only been witness to the development without doing anything.
As he walked up the mountain, Fangzheng hummed a tune. He was just short of a hotpot to fully enjoy himself. But either way, he was in a good mood, a very good mood!
“Master, you did not get anything going down the mountain this time. Why are you so happy?” Red Boy asked perplexed.
“I have to be. Why not? If one worries about personal gains and losses all the time, how can one be happy? This Penniless Monk did not gain something in one way, but I did gain something in another way. It’s just that it’s something that cannot be seen.”
Red Boy and Squirrel exchanged looks as they looked adorably at him. “Master, what are you talking about?”