Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
With that said, Fangzheng called out to Red Boy and left with him.
Bao Yuluo looked at his back and stamped her foot in anxiousness. However, there was nothing she could do. When Fangzheng vanished into the woods, she turned back and glared at Sun Caifeng.
Sun Caifeng thought nothing of it as she said, “Officer Bao, don’t forget your mission is to aid and protect us while we complete our studies. Do not look at me like that; otherwise, I don’t mind lodging a complaint against you.”
“You!” Bao Yuluo was so angry that she nearly shattered her canine teeth. Yet there was nothing she could do.
Elder Wang sighed. “Alright, alright. Let’s go. It’s only morning. We still have the whole day. If they walk according to Little Sun’s guidance, they shouldn’t end up lost.”
“Master, what’s the meaning of what that woman said? Why would the spot where the leaves are lush and dense be in the south?” on the way, Red Boy asked out of curiosity.
Fangzheng smiled. “We are in northeastern China. The northeastern sun always points south. All vegetation can’t avoid sunlight. To live better, the plants try their best to grow taller to not be blocked from the sunlight by other vegetation. Meanwhile, they will also try to receive more sunlight, so they will grow more leaves in the direction where they receive sunlight. Therefore, under ordinary circumstances, as long as one finds the area with dense leaves, one can determine north and south.”
“I see.” Red Boy nodded.
“Does your world not use such methods to determine direction?” Fangzheng was a little curious.
“Although the Golden Crow in the sky rises in the east and sets in the west, it runs around all day. It can be in the south and the north at any moment. Anyway, as long as it doesn’t fall to the land, rises punctually, and scrams when it’s done for the day, the Jade Emperor doesn’t care about it. According to what you said, our plants are quite pitiable,” Red Boy said wistfully.
Fangzheng nodded slightly in agreement.
With the help of Red Boy’s Length Contraction divine powers, they quickly circled the entirety of Ganfanpen’s periphery. Then, they began circling towards the interior. They bumped into the scientific expedition a few times, but they circled around them. After all, meeting them would be troublesome. With time to spare, it was better for them to explore and study Ganfanpen.
Meanwhile, Fangzheng was also rather impressed with the scientists. Despite the number of elders and women their group contained, they were still willing to take the risk. More importantly, they were able to truly conquer the complex, nearly identical terrain of Ganfanpen and determine their direction. They constantly headed for Ganfanpen’s center, albeit a little slowly…
Fangzheng and Red Boy were clearly much faster. They covered circles like it was a straight line and rapidly headed for Ganfanpen’s interior. Meanwhile, the more they walked, the more alarmed they became. Even though Red Boy could fly into the sky any time and determine their surrounding terrain, the two still nearly lost their way whenever Red Boy descended. The frequency of this happening increased as they got closer to the center.
“That’s not right. Master!” Red Boy suddenly exclaimed.
“What’s the matter?” Fangzheng asked.
“Master, don’t you sense it? The closer we get to the center, the easier it is for us to make mistakes. I was pointing in that direction just moments ago, but when we came down, we ended up walking off-course,” Red Boy said.
Fangzheng also noticed the situation and said, “Indeed. Village Chief Song mentioned before that the valley has something that confuses people. Have we been confused?”
Red Boy said heavily, “Perhaps. It looks like I need to perk myself up and get serious.”
Fangzheng was surprised. Was this guy just slacking off all this time?
Upon turning serious, Red Boy, who was really getting down to business now, was indeed different. Both of them stopped getting steered off-course and moved extremely quickly. But even so, by the time they were out of the woods and could see the lake, it was already dusk. The lake in front of them wasn’t small, but it wasn’t very huge either. They could see the other end of the lake at a glance. Although the lake was somewhat narrow, the situation downstream was hazy. According to Red Boy’s conclusion from the sky, the terrain was extremely odd. The lake’s downstream area was a huge hole that formed a waterfall. There were another two tiny lakes beneath the waterfall. These tiny lakes gathered together to form a new lake… This way, the lakes formed a messy layout which left one dazzled. However, these lakes weren’t all that huge. The large ones were about the size of the one before him. The smaller ones were about the size of a basketball court. They normally wouldn’t even be considered lakes and were more like ponds.
“Master, I can’t say for sure if there are 81 lakes, but there’s definitely a lot of lakes. The one we can see isn’t even a central lake, just one of the ones in the periphery. The biggest one in the center is surrounded by numerous lakes. Terrain-wise, that’s the highest one among all the other lakes. All the lakes’ water flows from it,” Red Boy said.
“Why are you here?” At that moment, an exclamation sounded.
Fangzheng and Red Boy frowned simultaneously. When they turned their heads, they were surprised to see Sun Caifeng!
Behind her were the shocked Bao Yuluo, Old Fifth Gao, and the scientific team further to the back.
Red Boy had long been pissed off with Sun Caifeng. He pricked his brows and used a tone which sounded ancient, in a way, far beyond his years. “Do we need to ask you for permission to go wherever we want? It’s not like this is your house!”
“Child, what are you saying? How can you be this crass? Didn’t your parents teach you?” Sun Caifeng bellowed angrily.
“Expert Sun, is there a need to be angry over a child who’s just a few years old? Don’t take offense over a child’s babble,” Bao Yuluo defended Red Boy like a mother hen.
“You!” Sun Caifeng was about to say something, but she knew that she wasn’t right. Any further debate would only leave her being mocked. With this in mind, Sun Caifeng scoffed coldly. “I told you the direction, but you still failed to walk out.” With that said, she shook her head and walked to the lake’s side.
“Abbot Fangzheng, don’t be angry. She’s just that kind of person. Besides, I heard that she has a grudge with monks, so she especially hates them,” Bao Yuluo whispered.
Fangzheng was taken aback. He never expected such an underlying reason. However, it had nothing to do with him. Their acquaintance meant nothing, and it was unlikely they would ever meet again.
With this in mind, Fangzheng shook his head. He saw Elder Wang and company approaching. Fangzheng pressed his palms together and said, “Patrons, This Penniless Monk shall pass on meeting Patron Wang and company and shall bid you farewell.”
“You’re leaving just like that?” Bao Yuluo was surprised.
Fangzheng nodded. Weren’t his intentions clear enough?
“Sun Caifeng gave you directions. How did you go the wrong way? Do you really not have a sense of direction?” Bao Yuluo said worriedly, afraid that he really had zero sense of direction. If he were to leave, he would only get lost again.
Fangzheng said with a bitter smile, “Can’t This Penniless Monk walk inside?”
“Don’t tell me that you wish to investigate Ganfanpen with your abilities?” Bao Yuluo suddenly realized something.
Fangzheng smiled as a reply.
Bao Yuluo said angrily, “Are you mad? You came in to investigate knowing nothing?”
Bao Yuluo was so agitated that she subconsciously shouted.
Sun Caifeng, Elder Wang, and company also heard her. All of them looked over, their gazes looking odd and doubtful.
Sun Caifeng said bluntly, “This is the funniest joke I’ve heard this year. A monk doing scientific research…”
“F**k, even a monk has come in here to dabble with scientific research. If he can figure out anything, then what the hell are we researchers for?” A student of Elder Wang mumbled softly.
Elder Wang’s eldest student, a university professor sighed. “The intention is good, but unfortunately…”
He did not finish his sentence, but everyone understood what he meant. They were all implying that Fangzheng was being overconfident to the point of not knowing how much he amounted to. Yet he had rushed in nonetheless. Quite a number of people echoed this sentiment by saying similar words.
Fangzheng shot a glance at Elder Wang and company, giving Elder Wang a kind smile. Then, ignoring Bao Yuluo’s shouts, he turned and left.
Elder Wang sighed. “All of you really like to judge a book by its cover. Can’t you see something for what it is by ignoring age and professional and superficial traits?”
Everyone was stunned when Elder Wang said that. What was the meaning of that?
Sun Caifeng said, “Elder Wang, don’t tell me that you find the young monk truly capable? A monk from a rural village, even if he started studying in his mother’s womb, read the classics and was taught by a renowned teacher, he couldn’t have any lofty achievements in his early twenties, right? Besides, scientific research needs to be taken one step at a time. There are no shortcuts!”
Elder Wang sighed. “I understand what you are getting at, but did you not notice his eyes? His eyes are extremely bright and peaceful, as serene as the sea. It’s as though whatever you said was a mere breeze to him. How can a breeze stir the oceans and cause waves? If he can walk in here from the periphery, and arrive ahead of us at that, that already implies something.”
Sun Caifeng fell silent when she heard that.
The rest fell silent as well.
Sun Caifeng said indignantly, “Calm? Someone completely emotionless, a youth who knows no fear, can also be calm. As for how he walked in here, he’s a child from a farming village. It’s not strange that he can keep his bearings in a forest. Besides, I already gave him advice. As long as he used his brain, all he needed to do was walk in the reverse direction.”
“Expert Sun, if I recall correctly, the theory of looking at leaves stops working once you go beyond Ganfanpen’s periphery. The trees here all grow uniformly, so there’s no way to distinguish north from south. Even a compass doesn’t work. All our equipment doesn’t work either. If not for Elder Wang’s rich experience and observation along the way, allowing him to discover differences from minute details to determine the direction, we would long have been lost. For Abbot Fangzheng to walk all the way in, it shows his capabilities,” Officer Li said.
“As I already said, children that grow up in the rural mountains are good at this. So would a monk who jumps around freely in the woods be considered smarter than us just because he can find wild fruits and rivers? We are here to find the source of the demonic aura, not just to find our way around. Can a young monk like him crack the mystery of Ganfanpen?” Sun Caifeng retorted impolitely.
Officer Li’s face flushed red with anger as he was prepared to debate.
However, he was stopped by Elder Wang. “Enough. It’s already over. We should maintain harmony. Stop arguing on this matter. Along the way, I’ve been thinking. I have some ideas regarding this strange demonic aura, but that’s not enough. We still do not know where it comes from. This Ganfanpen sure isn’t something trivial…”
Having said that, Elder Wang stared at the lake in front of him. His eyes appeared infinitely wise.
“Inside the water?” Sun Caifeng looked at Elder Wang’s eyes and subconsciously asked.
“How could that be possible?” Everyone else looked at Elder Wang in astonishment. The entity up to no good outside was an unknown demonic aura. Auras were gaseous, so how could it be hidden underwater? Could the demonic aura be even denser than water? But, how could that be possible?
“We will know if we go down. However, we won’t be able to make it in time today. The sun is already beginning to set. Let’s find a place to stay for the night. That is also good. I will be able to see what kind of entity this demonic aura is!” Elder Wang put on a domineering expression. He didn’t believe in the supernatural when it was in his field of research.
Everyone looked at the time, and it was nearly evening. According to Old Fifth Gao and company’s recount, it was in the evening that the demonic aura turned active. No one dared to dilly dally as they immediately retreated.
“Teacher, I’ve looked around. There’s a wide clearing over there which we can use to set up camp,” a man said.
“No, we can’t sleep on the ground tonight,” Elder Wang said.
“Not on the ground? Then where?” The man was surprised.
Elder Wang looked up into the distant woods. “Everyone help out. Before evening comes, we need to prepare to spend the night up in the trees! When we entered, I noticed that there were squirrels and other small animals on the trees. That implies that the demonic aura doesn’t go high up.”
Everyone was stunned. Since Elder Wang had said so, no one had any objections. They quickly left the lake area and rushed into the forest and prepared to set up simple tree tents.
Bao Yuluo followed behind as she mumbled worriedly. “I wonder what will happen to that monk. That guy has a screw loose.”
“It’s fine. Abbot Fangzheng is an accomplished monk. He will be protected by Bodhisattva,” Old Fifth Gao said.
“Bodhisattva? Ignorance.” Sun Caifeng shook her head and shouted. “Old Wu, didn’t you bring a loudspeaker? Shout into the clearing. If he’s not deaf, he should be able to hear it.”
With that said, Sun Caifeng left.
Old Wu was taken aback, asking, “What do I shout?”
Bao Yuluo asked, “You have a loudspeaker?”
“Yes…” Old Wu nodded subconsciously.
“Give it to me!” Bao Yuluo cried out. Old Wu took out a loudspeaker from his bag and handed it to Bao Yuluo who quickly ran up to a boulder. She shouted into the distance with it. “Fangzheng! You stupid fool! Climb up a tree to sleep before nightfall! The demonic aura can only harm things that are low on the ground!”
“Don’t you hate that monk?” Old Wu chased after Sun Caifeng and asked in puzzlement.
A look of pain and hatred flashed in Sun Caifeng’s eyes. Finally, she shook her head and said, “Monks are all bastards! However, Elder Wang is here. I can’t leave too bad an impression on him. It’s impossible to develop myself in China without connections.”
Old Wu cracked his mouth open, his expression one of clear disbelief. If Warplane Sun was sensible, she wouldn’t be Sun Caifeng. He chuckled and said, “How many years has it been? Have you not thought of going to the monastery to visit him?”
“Shut up!” Sun Caifeng bellowed angrily and raised her leg to give a kick.
Old Wu dodged hurriedly.
Sun Caifeng left on her own.
“What’s wrong with her? She’s so temperamental,” Officer Li came close and asked Old Wu curiously.