Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Fangzheng turned back and touched the fire iron.
“And admire the autumn sights!” Red Boy hurriedly added.
“Smart. Quick, get out of bed. We will be going with the villagers of One Finger Village to the Mt. Tongtian range’s high peak to take in the autumn sights. It’s said that we can even see Changbai Mountain’s Heavenly Lake from there,” said Fangzheng.
The moment they heard that they were going out to have fun and not just by themselves, they were stirred. What did kids like the most? They naturally liked a bustle! So by going with a huge group, there would be fun and lots of food! This wasn’t traveling with Fangzheng, which resulted in them either suffering from hunger or the cold. It would be actual fun.
Therefore Red Boy, who was still a little sleepy, immediately jumped up. Monkey stood up and even Lone Wolf, who lay sprawled across the ground to garner pity, jumped up. Then Lone Wolf discovered something amiss and sprawled down again. He had a painful expression and shouted, “Master, I’m in pain… Junior Brother hit me too hard. I need compensation!”
“Alright. Your compensation will be that you may stay home to watch the monastery. You can sleep until the cows come home,” Fangzheng said and walked around him.
Lone Wolf was appalled. Didn’t this mean that he wasn’t going to be included in the fun? Therefore, Lone Wolf jumped up. As he wagged his tail, he thickened his skin and said, “Master, I just realized that my body has been recovering extremely fast these days. I was hurting just a moment ago, but now it doesn’t hurt at all.”
Fangzheng was rendered a little speechless. Why were his disciples all so thick-skinned? He seemed to forget that he had the thickest skin…
Monkey fished out Squirrel from his villa’s bed, but the little guy remained lethargic. He sat up and asked where they were going. When he heard that they were out to have fun, he flipped around and slept on Monkey’s shoulder.
With regards to this, everyone only laughed. They couldn’t be bothered to wake him up.
By the time they washed their faces, swept the temple hall, and prepared breakfast, it was nearly dawn. The drums and bell were struck, and the roosters at the foot of the mountain crowed at the top of their lungs. Across the horizon, the sun emerged, and a brand new day had begun.
When they reached the foot of the mountain, they saw the villagers from One Finger Village coming out in high spirits. Groups of people gathered together and had a great time chatting.
Upon seeing Fangzheng appear with his disciples, they went forward to greet him.
Fangzheng pressed his palms together and returned each of their greetings with a bow.
Monkey, Red Boy, and Squirrel also did the same by bowing with their palms pressed together.
As for Lone Wolf, he was grabbed by Mengmeng the moment he came down the mountain. She mounted him, and they ran off to have fun. In addition, as the only wolf in One Finger Village, Lone Wolf had successfully taken on the role of captain of the Shiba Inu dog security team in One Finger Village. The moment he went down the mountain, his howl would gather a large group of dogs who ran over to report while barking.
The kids found this interesting as they gathered around. Instantly, kids and dogs ran around crazily in chaotic euphoria.
The adults laughed out loud when they saw this. Other than reminding their children to pay attention to their safety, none of them had any intention to stop them.
After Wang Yougui, Tan Juguo, Yang Hua, and Yang Ping did a headcount, a few people were left to watch the village as the rest set off for the Mt. Tongtian range.
The Mt. Tongtian range had a total of three peaks. The Tongtian peak was the highest and also closest. Fangzheng had heard from a young age that standing on the Mt. Tongtian range, one could see Changbai Mountain’s Heavenly Lake. However when he grew up and learned geography, he realized that it was all a farce used to trick children.
From their physical location, it was indeed true that they could see an inkling of Changbai Mountain, but to see the Heavenly Lake? That was nothing but a dream. The Heavenly Lake was located on Changbai Mountain’s peak and was 2189.1 meters tall. And Mt. Tongtian stood lower at nearly 2000 meters. At that height, how could it be possible to see the mountain crater from there? After all, even from Changbai Mountain itself, one had to look down to see it. To see the Heavenly Lake from another mountain, one needed to stand at a much higher height.
“Patron Wang, all of you tricked us good back then. All of us thought we could see the Heavenly Lake,” Fangzheng said with a rueful smile
“Haha! If we didn’t lie to you, would lazy bums like you be willing to wake up and climb the mountain with us?” Wang Yougui said smugly without feeling a tinge of embarrassment.
Fangzheng shook his head in exasperation. Suddenly, he thought of something and asked, “Patron Wang, if This Penniless Monk recalls correctly, one can see a lake while standing on Mt. Tongtian. What lake is that? It’s rather pretty, but that lake seems rather mysterious. One can only see it occasionally, and most of the time, it is covered in thick mist.”
Wang Yougui’s expression turned solemn when he heard that. “I know what lake you are talking about, but I can’t say for sure. It’s best you ask Secretary Tan. He has visited it before…”
Fangzheng felt puzzled when he saw Wang Yougui’s serious expression. Was there a need to put on such an expression for a mere lake? Could it be that there was a story behind the lake? Out of curiosity, Fangzheng went to Tan Juguo and asked.
The moment Tan Juguo heard that, his smiling face stiffened. Then, he took out his huge pipe and sucked at it before saying, “The lake you are talking about isn’t a lake. Instead, it’s an area made up of lacustrine soil. In the past, quite a number of experts came to research it. As it’s made up of many different kinds of lacustrine soil and a perennial fog surrounds it, people also call the area the Thousand Fog Lakes. However, the elderly here do not call it by that name. Instead, we call it Ganfanpen 1 .
“As for why it’s given that name, there are many reasons. There’s a story in folklore that apparently a young lad by the name of Jin Liang once entered the mountains to pluck herbs. There, he met a starving grandpa and immediately gave him some of the rations he brought with him. The elder ate and left without a word of thanks. Later, Jin Liang would often encounter the elder when he went up the mountain. He would ask for food each time, and he would give his rations and food to the elder even if it meant starving himself. One day, the elder suddenly came to Jin Liang and did not request for food. Instead, he gave him a basin. He was told that dry rice would be produced from it as long as the basin had water; hence, he would never need to starve again.”
“Jin Liang brought the basin back and tested it. Indeed, dry rice would be produced once he added water. He was delighted and told his sister-in-law the news. As a result, his sister-in-law instigated his brother to take it from him. Once, when Jin Liang was in the mountains gathering herbs, his brother and sister-in-law secretly followed behind. When they saw Jin Liang using the Ganfanpen to make food, the sister-in-law rushed over and snatched it as she struck Jin Liang’s head with the basin.
“That strike caused the world to suddenly stir. The basin shattered and turned into the present-day Ganfanpen. The water in it turned into a lake and streams, while the rice turned into very similar tiny hills. As for Jin Liang’s sister-in-law, she died in the explosion. His elder brother ran, but no matter how much he ran, he found himself in his original spot. Finally, he died after three days of starvation.
“Jin Liang had obtained the basin with the help of the deity on the mountain. As this place was created by the basin, people simply call it Ganfanpen.”