Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
After hanging up, Zhao Baolin heaved a breath of relief and returned home.
Northeast China had a belief concerning the custom of picking up the bride—the earlier the better. Now, Han Xiaoran’s house was rather far away in Hongtang Village. It would take one to two hours just to travel back and forth. Furthermore, there were all sorts of wedding door games to play, so they needed to get up very early to return in time[1.See Wikipedia for more info on what wedding door games are; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_wedding_door_games].
Therefore, Zhao Baolin set off with his son at around two in the morning by car. Fangzheng did not follow and simply waited at his house.
Around seven in the morning, the bridal car entourage returned. Zhao Baolin was the first to get out, and he immediately beamingly shouted, “We’ve picked up the bride!”
Everyone congratulated him to which he profusely expressed his thanks.
When the cars came to a stop, Zhao Yuhe carried Han Xiaoran out of the car. With a series of congratulatory remarks, he brought her into the house and carefully placed Han Xiaoran on a stove bed.
Everyone rushed in and ogled the bride.
Fangzheng stood at the door as he looked smilingly at Han Xiaoran’s relatives.
For some baffling reason, Han Xiaoran’s relatives felt that the monk was staring at them in a way that left them uncomfortable whenever they passed by. It was as though he could see through their clothes. And soon, few people walked around him.
When everyone dispersed, Fangzheng came to Zhao Baolin’s side and smiled. “Congratulations, Patron.”
“Thank you, Abbot Fangzheng. By the way, could you bless our Yuhe and Xiaoran?” Zhao Baolin made a thick-skinned request.
Upon hearing that, many people looked over. Han Xiaoran’s father, Han Kunyan, and mother, Zhou Shaoxia, looked over as well. They were not villagers from around Mt. One Finger, so they did not know Fangzheng. They asked out of curiosity, “What background does this monk have? Can he bless people at such a young age?”
“In-law, you might be unaware, but Abbot Fangzheng is a very famous accomplished monk in our area! If he’s willing to bless the couple, it will be the greatest honor,” Zhao Baolin’s brother explained.
Han Kunyan and Zhou Shaoxia were slightly taken aback. They did not say a word, but there was contempt deep in their eyes. Han Kunyan was muttering inwardly. “Foolish mountain villagers. To think they actually believe in this. Blessings? Heh heh, if this monk blesses them, he will probably have his reputation destroyed.”
With this in mind, Han Kunyan and Zhou Shaoxia revealed a mocking smile.
Zhao Baolin nervously waited for Fangzheng’s answer. From his point of view, a blessing was just a simple task. Fangzheng, who was usually very obliging, would definitely not be miserly on that.
Fangzheng shook his head gently. “Patron, This Penniless Monk is afraid he can’t bless the couple.”
The moment that was said, everyone was stunned. He had rejected the request! The usually obliging Fangzheng had rejected Zhao Baolin! This puzzled everyone. However, many believed that Fangzheng was putting on airs and that he wasn’t giving Zhao Baolin face because he despised him.
Face was extremely important in life. And at such an occasion, face was even more important than usual. Yet Fangzheng had rejected blessing Zhao Yuhe on his wedding. Although it was not a smack in the face, it still embarrassed Zhao Baolin, Zhao Yuhe, and company.
Zhao Baolin’s expression instantly turned extremely ugly, though it was mostly because of embarrassment.
Zhao Baolin’s wife, Chai Hong, immediately rushed over. “Abbot Fangzheng, you are the most respected monk in our area. Why don’t you bless them?” Chai Hong’s tone was almost to the point of pleading.
Upon seeing this, everyone’s hearts melted. No one watched with amusement and instead, the guests wished that Fangzheng would shower the couple with blessings.
However, Fangzheng shook his head again to everyone’s surprise. “Amitabha. Sorry, Patron, but This Penniless Monk is unable to bless them.”
“This…” Chai Hong was dumbfounded.
“Monk, is it because you don’t know how to give blessings?” Meng Huimei did not know Fangzheng, so she naturally did not stand on ceremony. Upon seeing Chai Hong and Zhao Baolin get rejected, she immediately felt displeased and came over to ridicule him.
The entire place fell into shock when she said that. What kind of person was Fangzheng? He was the abbot of One Finger Monastery, the owner of the Frost Bamboo, a master of carving! It could be said that the improvement of the lives of the surrounding villages was all thanks to Fangzheng! Furthermore, in the more supernatural realm, One Finger Monastery was known for being efficacious at granting children. For this, no one dared offend Fangzheng. This made everyone treat Fangzheng respectfully. Who would mock Fangzheng so blatantly right under his nose? Meng Huimei’s words immediately displeased everyone.
Meng Huimei ignored what everyone else was thinking. She was not from the area, so she was unafraid of anything. She pointed at Fangzheng and said, “Monk, be honest. You do not know how to give blessings, right? Otherwise, why would you be rejecting the request? Isn’t it just giving blessings? How hard can that be? It’s only a few words, but look at you! You ate my cousin’s food, but you aren’t giving your blessings? I’ve never seen someone so petty.”
Meng Huimei’s mouth rabbled on like a machine gun as she unleashed a barrage of words at Fangzheng.
Fangzheng remained calm the entire time as he looked at her warmly. His eyes were tranquil, appearing deep like the starry night. The calmness made Zhao Baolin’s face turn red when finally, he blew his top. “Shut up!”
Meng Huimei was instantly stunned. Who was he asking to shut up? She then came to her senses and realized that it was her! She replied, perplexed, “Brother, I’m helping you―”
“Don’t say a word. Whether Abbot Fangzheng is willing to give his blessings is his decision. We cannot force him. That’s not nice. Sister, please don’t continue,” Zhao Baolin said.
“This…” Meng Huimei never expected Zhao Baolin to say something like that. The matter had nothing to do with her. She had only stepped forward hoping to help Zhao Baoling, but not only did she fail to get on his good side, she was even given a cold shower. She was pissed, very pissed! Should she scold Zhao Baolin in return? That was obviously impossible! As for scolding the monk? She definitely couldn’t to that after seeing Zhao Baolin’s expression.
However, Meng Huimei had no intention to step down. Instead, she said with a sneer, “Monk, monks shouldn’t lie. Tell me honestly, do you not know how to give blessings? And if you do, why are you not giving your blessings to our Yuhe?”
This time, she wasn’t scolding, but her tone made it sound like an interrogation.
Just as Zhao Baolin was about to berate her again, Fangzheng smiled and shook his head. “This Penniless Monk knows how to give blessings.”
“Then why aren’t you giving the blessing? Is it because they don’t have money to give to you?” Meng Huimei mocked coldly.
Fangzheng smiled as he looked into her eyes. His eyes seemed to emit light, which made Meng Huimei feel like she was being seen through by him! Instantly, she felt a little uncertain.
Only then did Fangzheng say, “This Penniless Monk only gives blessings to fated couples. If they aren’t fated, how can blessings be given?”
Once that was said, everyone present fell into chaos!
Many of Zhao Baolin’s relatives stood up.
Although Fangzheng was reputable, who wouldn’t be furious when they heard him say something like that at the wedding of a family member?
Han Xiaoran’s family also stood up, but the look in their eyes was shifty. Theirs was a rage stemming from a guilty conscience!
Zhao Baolin, who had been insisting Meng Huimei shut up and take her seat, was stunned. Following that, he knitted his brows tightly and looked very sternly at Fangzheng. He enunciated his words as he said, “Abbot Fangzheng, we respect you, but this is my son, Yuhe’s wedding. Everyone knows that my son has led a hard life. He couldn’t speak or hear since he was a baby. No girl was willing to marry him. He spent his past twenty years with a shadow hanging over him. Now that he has finally walked into the hallways of marriage and finally stood up…”