Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Liu Ying was also dumbfounded. This was Fangzheng?
Are you kidding me? This is ugly?
After having this thought, Liu Ying instantly blushed. Li He and Cui Jiandong felt their faces burn. To call him ugly right in front of him, only to have him be out-of-this-world handsome. This… F**k! The two really wished to find a hole to burrow their heads in.
Lin Xi came back to her senses and asked weakly, “How many Fangzhengs are there at your monastery?”
Fangzheng looked ahead and said, “Only This Penniless Monk. Patrons, if you are here to find Fangzheng, that would be This Penniless Monk. Patron Lin Tai, do you still remember using so much force that you broke the basketball hoop back when you were playing basketball? Patron Li He, do you still remember when our form teacher beat you for an entire lesson because you were caught switching seats to read pornographic books? Patron Cui Jiandong, it seems you fell into the…”
“Fangzheng! I knew it was you! Hahaha! We were just pulling your leg. We actually long recognized you. You are indeed as handsome as always!” Cui Jiandong interrupted Fangzheng immediately. There was nothing he could do. If he allowed Fangzheng to continue, he would be completely disgraced. It hurt to look back to those times, so it was best not to mention them.
Fangzheng smiled in response and seemingly said without any sarcasm, “Thank you, Patron, for your compliments. In fact, This Penniless Monk didn’t wish to mention how you fell into the toilet bowl years ago and ended up burping when you were fished out.”
What a joke! They had been cursing him the entire journey up. Did they really think Fangzheng was a good-tempered person? This was something Red Boy knew very well, but this fellow was a big baddy!
The moment that was said, Cui Jiandong’s face turned green.
Lin Xi widened her eyes and stared at Cui Jiandong. “Cui Jiandong, you actually… Heavens, you even burped! How much did you eat?”
Cui Jiandong’s face instantly blackened.
It was fine if Fangzheng had not mentioned anything, but now that he had, the memories of the past came surging to their minds. Lin Tai, Lin Xi, Li He, and Liu Ying subconsciously maintained a distance from him.
Cui Jiandong glared at Fangzheng as he gnashed his teeth hatefully. He wanted to bite off that Bald Donkey’s head!
Fangzheng ignored him and looked at Liu Ying. “Patron Liu Ying, thank you for offering your lunch back then.”
Fangzheng was really poor back then. At times, he did not have enough for his living expenses, so he had to skip lunch. Once, Liu Ying noticed it and bought two sets of lunch and gave him one. But from the looks of it, Liu Ying had only done so out of a charitable heart. She did not really pay much attention to Fangzheng. However, to Fangzheng, it was an act of kindness that he had engraved in his heart.
“Are you really Fangzheng?” Upon hearing Fangzheng recount their past, Liu Ying covered her mouth and looked at Fangzheng incredulously. Her impression of Fangzheng was definitely not this handsome!
Fangzheng pressed his palms together and smiled. “Amitabha, a monk doesn’t lie. This Penniless Monk is Fangzheng, and Fangzheng is This Penniless Monk. Why don’t we reminisce the past?”
“Enough, there’s no need.” Lin Tai immediately stopped him. Who didn’t have some embarrassing moments during their school days? If they were unearthed, the ones to be ashamed would be themselves. Lin Tai quickly changed topics and smiled. “Old Classmate, long time no see. How have you been? How’s that monastery of yours? It didn’t topple, right?”
“The monastery This Penniless Monk resides in was recently renovated. A bell tower and drum tower were built by the side. There is a bodhi tree in the yard to provide shade, and there’s a bamboo forest behind to provide coolness. There are quite a number of devotees, and the incense offerings received aren’t too bad. This Penniless Monk is living quite an okay life.”
Upon hearing that, Li He scoffed. He had food to eat and water to drink, so he had no worries? A bodhi tree and a bamboo forest? Although Li He hadn’t been in the area in years, he still knew certain things. At the very least, they knew that Baiyun Monastery and Hongyan Monastery held Dharma Assemblies from time to time. The frequency and scale of a monastery’s Dharma Assemblies often represented how popular or famous the monastery was. After all, if one lacked the reputation and did not have any devotees, who would the Dharma Assembly be for? Wouldn’t that be embarrassing oneself?
Before coming up the mountain, Li He had done some checks. One Finger Monastery had only held one Dharma Assembly in the past year. Furthermore, it had only been attended by the people from One Finger Village. There hadn’t been any Assemblies ever since. What did this imply? It meant that apart from the One Finger Village villagers who offered incense out of friendship, there was no one else! Without people, there was no incense. Without incense, there was no money. Without money, how could he renovate the monastery or build a bell or drum tower? What was Fangzheng eating? He was obviously lying!
He even talked about a bodhi tree. Who didn’t know that the bodhi tree in One Finger Monastery had long since frozen to death. Could that kind of tree survive the harsh winters of the north? He could believe the story about the bamboo forest. After all, there was quite a lot of bamboo down the mountain. But bamboo took a year to grow. Who knew how much would be left once winter came? Therefore, he surmised that Fangzheng was lying and bragging about that too!
Although Fangzheng was dressed in white, his clothes were not very thick. Now that autumn had come, the weather was turning colder. Logically speaking, he should be wearing more; yet, he was dressed so thinly. Wasn’t he afraid of the cold in the mornings and evenings? Besides, it should be even colder at the mountaintop.
No matter how he thought about it, Li He believed that Fangzheng couldn’t be having a great time. What he said was only to puff himself up at his own cost.
Cui Jiandong and Li He shared the same thoughts. Besides, they had been to Mt. One Finger before. They had seen the dilapidated One Finger Temple, so on careful thought, they finally determined that Fangzheng was bragging.
What they concluded was naturally something Liu Ying and Lin Tai could come to as well. However, Lin Xi did not think too much about it. From her point of view, looks were all that mattered. The rest could wait.
Lin Tai narrowed his eyes at Fangzheng. They were filled with a hint of mockery as though he was saying: “Do you think we are fools? If you are poor, say it. Why brag?”
Liu Ying knitted her brows slightly. As a monk, Fangzheng had bragged and lied. This implied a character problem. She was disappointed completely with such a Fangzheng. In the beginning, she felt a little regret coming to Mt. One Finger. After Lin Tai and company changed after seeing Fangzheng, she was already quite displeased. Now with Fangzheng acting this way, she was completely disappointed with her former classmates.
However, they were ultimately still former classmates. Since Fangzheng insisted on lying, she did not expose him. She sighed inwardly and said, “Since Fangzheng is fine, we can feel more assured. Let’s end it for today. Lin Tai, let’s go.”
“Liu Ying, why the hurry? Since we are here, we might as well go up the mountain to take a look. Let’s see how awesome our mighty Abbot Fangzheng’s big monastery is. To have a southern bodhi tree resist the cold―hehe, I should really have a look at this,” Cui Jiandong said with an eccentric tone.
All Liu Ying could do was smile bitterly inside her heart. Why did Fangzheng lie without any thoughts? Did he forget that they had been to One Finger Temple before and had seen the withered bodhi tree? He actually used it as a lie. How… immature! How retarded! How brainless! Was he treating them as idiots because he wanted face? Liu Ying had expected better from him.
Lin Tai was originally very resistant about scaling Mt. One Finger because he felt that climbing the mountain to visit a sucky classmate was a waste of valuable time. This time could be spent with Liu Ying—having a meal, watching a movie, etc. If their relationship warmed, they could even share a bed that night. He would fulfill the dream he had had for years. But now, he suddenly realized that the mountain wasn’t so boring. Fangzheng would provide him with entertainment. To brag in front of him? Didn’t he know how sharp he was? He would trample on every lie he had made and posture in front of Liu Ying in the process. Perhaps, the effects would be even better than having a meal or watching a movie.