Hu Han went over and tugged it, "Is it this one?"
"Yes! It's that one!" Zhao Datong yelled.
"It's more than secure enough. There's no problem. Coil it around your body and we will pull you up!" Hu Han shouted.
Zhao Datong immediately grabbed the rope. There was a sliding knot on Zhao Datong's side of the rope. Without much trouble, he stretched his hand and tugged it.
Under Hu Han's instructions, Fang Yunjing and Ma Juan pulled on the rope, feet planted in the grass as they rushed to pull their friend up. Together with Zhao Datong using his strength to scale the cliff, it wasn't long before he was back on top of the path.
The moment Zhao Datong was back on solid earth, the four of them slumped to the ground. Just thinking of the scene from before left their knees shaking.
None of them knew how much time had passed. The sky was darkening when Fang Yunjing snapped out of it. "Hey, it's getting dark!"
They stood up and glanced at the sky. "That's not good. The mountain trail is difficult. If someone were to fall again, there might not be a tree to catch them. Also, there wouldn't be such a conveniently placed rope, another coincidence?"
Zhao Datong shook his head. "It wasn't a coincidence."
"What do you mean it wasn't a coincidence?" Hu Han asked with wide eyes.
Zhao Datong scratched his chin. "I'm not entirely sure myself. When we left, the master from One Finger Temple was looking at me oddly. It left this nagging feeling. I thought he was secretly cursing me or having perverted thoughts or something but now that I think about it, he was likely seeing the calamity that awaited me. But I was being kind of a dick prior to that, so it wasn't possible for him to mention it. In fact, if he had said anything about a calamity, I would likely have punched him..."
Fang Yunjing nodded. "Then it all makes sense. He had seen Ma Juan's fall so he placed a shoe on the ledge to save her. He predicted that Zhao Datong would fall down the cliff so he placed a rope here to save him. I think we have truly met a divinely blessed monk! This monk from One Finger Temple is a true master! He's no fraud after all!"
Ma Juan recounted the scenes from before and nodded. "It seems like that's the case. I think we've misread him. We were rude to him and scolded him... we even insulted him behind his back."
Hu Han scratched his head and said, "About that, take a look. The sky is getting dark. It's too dangerous for us to continue the trek down. Why don't we go back up and take the opportunity to apologize to him? I think we can set up camp here for the night. Since the master is so powerful and kept his calm he should be a decent person right?"
"If he wasn't one, I would be dead! Let's go back!" said Ma Juan.
"Let's go back! I treated him terribly yet he saved my life. If I don't thank him for that I'll have it weighing on my conscience forever," said Zhao Datong.
Ma Juan nodded and clamped her hands, "Same. Let's do it together."
"I want to burn some incense. To have such a powerful abbot, the temple should be rather efficacious, shouldn't it?" said Hu Han.
"It hosts a child-giving Guan Yin..." Fang Yunjing reminded him.
When the quartet returned to the temple's entrance, their attitude had undergone drastic changes. They were no longer filled with contempt and only showed respect. They were astonished to find a person standing by the door. When they looked closer, they saw the telltale bald head gleaming under the moon's light. It was none other than the abbot, Fangzheng!
"Master, how are you? We are back again." The four of them said in harmony as they bowed. It was a form of apology and also respect that came from deep within their hearts.
Fangzheng had the same calm look on his face and smiled gently, but in his heart, he was bursting with pride. "Is this how it feels to be a master? Feels great! It really does! Hehe..."
Just as Fangzheng was about to beam, he heard the System say, "Friendly reminder. As a master, you must remain unperturbed even when the sky collapses. Just a few people are enough to make you beam. In the future, what will you do when there are thousands, tens of thousands or millions of people prostrating before you? A master's temperament must be nurtured bit by bit."
Fangzheng's smile immediately froze as he maintained his calm, humble and wise smile. "Patrons, have you come to return my rope?"
"Eh..." The group was left dumbfounded. They never expected the monk to be so direct.
Zhao Datong brought the rope over and returned it to the monk.
Fangzheng took it and turned around to enter the temple. Without even waiting for Zhao Datong to say a word, he slammed the door!
Zhao Datong was just about to speak when he heard Fangzheng's voice from inside the temple. "It's late and this is but a small temple. It cannot provide food and lodging. Since there are so few of you and you have your equipment I would ask you to remain outside. Friendly reminder, there are wolves on Mt. One Finger. Please be careful."
If he hadn't mentioned the wolves, things would have been fine. The reminder shook the group to the core.
Zhao Datong yelled, "Master, you said there are wolves so why are you making us stay outside? Isn't that dangerous!? Please show us your kindness and let us in. We won't stay in your quarters. Just the courtyard would do."
"That's right. Master, there are wolves! We don't have any weapons." Ma Juan turned anxious.
As for Fangzheng, he was clearly struggling with his own words his face drawn in an ugly expression...
"Ding! It's impossible to reach harmonization without rules. The rules of the temple cannot be violated. If violated, the completion rating will be reduced." Fangzheng cursed at the system, saving them gives you points but keeping them safe is not allowed? What is this nonsense!
After some thought, Fangzheng sighed and the door remained closed. "Amitabha. Patrons, it's best you begin pitching your tents as soon as possible. You need not worry, the area surrounding the temple should be relatively safe."
He quickly left and went to the kitchen to get a knife. Then, he got a pole and placed it beside his pillow. He thought to himself that if wolves truly came, that was all the equipment he had that could save them. Fangzheng didn't hold much hope. He knew very well how much strength he had. If you ignored the wolves, even an angry teddy bear was enough to pin him to the ground and inflict unspeakable horror...
Fangzheng wasn't truly worried. Although it was rumored that Mt. One Finger had wolves, it was just that: a rumor. In reality, throughout all his years on the mountain, Fangzheng had only heard the howling of wolves when he was young. He had never actually seen wolves. Some people said the ferocity of humans had frightened the wolves and they had gone deeper into the woods.
It was because of this that Fangzheng did not feel as bad letting the group camp outside the temple walls. If there were wolves running around on a daily basis, he wouldn't have let them stay outside. Even if the System had punished him, he would have ignored it, life was more important than any kind of deduction.
Preparation never hurt though! Just in case he made sure he had the knife and pole.
Although his strength was negligible, they were better than nothing. He quietly prayed for the group to make it safely through the night before he went to bed and closed his eyes.
Fangzheng mumbled, "System, I saved two lives. Shouldn't I get two chances at the draw?"
"Then, can I draw now?" asked Fangzheng.
"Can I draw it myself? Can you not immediately tell me the result? At the very least, let me participate!"
In an instant, a huge wheel appeared in front of Fangzheng! There was a needle on the wheel, and all it took was a glance for Fangzheng to know how it was done. Turn the wheel and draw a prize! After a glance, his face turned green. The wheel was empty, no words or symbols, nothing!
"System, dear brother of mine, what's the meaning of this? There's nothing on here!"
"Ding! The value lies in the participation. I will tell you the outcome."
"For f**k's sake..." Fangzheng cursed inwardly before giving up. He spun the wheel without much thought and waited anxiously for the reward.