Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
When Bao Yuluo heard that, she heaved a sigh of relief and looked gratefully at Elder Wang. As expected of an experienced expert. He did things meticulously, was knowledgeable, and he was kind!
Looking back at Sun Caifeng, she shook her head slightly. People were indeed different.
However, Bao Yuluo still felt uneasy without confirming that Fangzheng was alive with her own eyes. As she walked, she looked around. The center of Ganfanpen’s lake was a place where lakes were connected to other lakes. There were very few trees, and one could see a great distance standing at a high height. But no matter how high Bao Yuluo stood, she couldn’t see anyone. Instead…
“Ah!” A woman suddenly screamed.
“What happened?” Officer Li immediately ran over.
“Bones!” The woman pointed downwards and exclaimed.
Officer Li looked carefully and indeed, there was a bone buried in the mud. Officer Li dug it up and after taking a look at it, he said with a laugh, “It’s fine. Animal bones.”
Elder Wang said, “This is the lakeside. If there’s water, there will be trees and grass. This must have been a paradise for animals in the past. The animals could come to the lake to drink water, but after the carbon dioxide was released, it’s not surprising that they died by the lakeside.”
With that said, Elder Wang pressed his palms together and bowed in every direction, chanting silently.
“Elder Wang, you believe in such things?” Old Fifth Gao asked, puzzled. As a scientist, why would he believe in such things?
Elder Wang shook his head and smiled. “It’s not about me believing or not. There are many animals who died here. What I’m paying my respects to is not the dead souls, but life. Alright, stop dazing around. Time is of the essence. We have to make measurements of a few lakes today.”
Everyone nodded in unison. Before long a rubber dinghy was inflated and placed in the lake. Elder Wang, Sun Caifeng, and Bao Yuluo got onto the dinghy, along with some simple apparatus. These were not digital apparatus as those were useless in Ganfanpen. Therefore, when the researchers came, they basically brought apparatus that worked purely on chemical principles. This was also why many things could only be handled by humans, and not just machines, to be able to do the analysis at the end.
In the middle of the lake, Elder Wang took a piece of rope and tied it to a bottle with a flippable cap. The cap wasn’t screwed tight, and its opening remained open. But when raised, the rope would pull an open knot, causing the bottle to be capped. Elder Wang placed the bottle into the water and released the rope. By the side, Sun Caifeng tended the line. Bao Yuluo was in charge of watching the area. Another student of Elder Wang, Little Zhou, was in charge of rowing the dinghy.
The others were setting up machines at the bank.
“I guess it’s time to pull it up…” Elder Wang said.
As he nodded, he began retrieving the line. All of them looked into the water with serious concern.
Meanwhile, Fangzheng and Red Boy were going in circles underwater. Suddenly, they felt the ground beneath their feet tremble. They widened their eyes the next moment and saw that the calm water was beginning to stir due to the quake. Suddenly, gas bubbles rose out of nowhere as they bubbled to the surface!
Fangzheng and Red Boy exchanged looks as Fangzheng cried out. “Oh no! It’s daytime! The scientific team must have come down from its high spot already! Jingxin, speed up. We need to inform them or lives will be lost!”
“Master, I’ll use my divine powers to suppress these gases,” Red Boy said.
Fangzheng immediately asked, “Can you suppress all of it?”
“I’m not sure if the same is happening at the other lakes or not,” Red Boy said.
“Then stop wasting time. Let’s leave now! Inform them to retreat!” Fangzheng knew that Red Boy didn’t have the ability to clone himself at this moment in time.
When Red Boy heard this, he pulled Fangzheng along as he shot upwards like a rocket. He was many times faster than the bubbles! In a blink of an eye, he opened up a huge gap from the bubbles.
“It’s coming out!” Little Zhou was a little agitated and nervous. This was still an unsolved mystery. If it was solved, even if he wasn’t the principal investigator of the case, he could still brag about it the rest of his life!
Just as everyone was holding their breath to wait for that instant, a black figure suddenly appeared from underwater. Following which, a hand emerged out of the water, splashing water in every direction.
“Ah!” Almost simultaneously, Sun Caifeng and Bao Yuluo screamed.
Elder Wang also jumped in fright, subconsciously reaching out for something beside him to defend himself.
Little Zhou nearly reacted on instinct, striking down with the oar in his hand!
“Bam!” The oar struck the figure hard, and the simple oar broke!
It was with this resounding sound that everyone realized what it was that had emerged out of the water. Bald, fair skin, and white monk robes.
“Fangzheng!?” Bao Yuluo, Sun Caifeng, Little Zhou, and Elder Wang cried out in unison.
“Amitabha. It’s This Penniless Monk.” Fangzheng held one hand to the dinghy and rubbed his head with the other. When he came up, he spotted the boat and wished to inform them as quickly as possible. Who knew that he would end up being struck by an oar… He was quite aggrieved.
“Abbot Fangzheng, what are you doing here? Jingxin, you too? What are you doing in the lake?” Bao Yuluo felt relieved when she saw that it was Fangzheng. However, she still asked warily.
Fangzheng snapped to his senses when he was questioned. He remembered what he was there for. “Patrons, speak no more. Quickly leave. Large amounts of gases are rising. If you don’t leave in time, there will be danger.”
“Large amounts of gases are rising? How do you know? That’s not right. Gas rises at high speeds. If you saw the gases coming up, how can they not have arrived when you’ve been here for so long?” Sun Caifeng asked subconsciously. Then she looked at Fangzheng smugly, seemingly saying, “You were lying, right? You have been exposed, right?”
“Patron Wang, please believe me. The gases are coming up soon. This lake is two hundred meters deep. The gases need time to rise, but if you are any slower, there won’t be a chance of leaving,” Fangzheng said.
“Abbot Fangzheng, what you say is hard for us to believe. But I trust you. Little Zhou, quickly head for the shore.” Elder Wang was even more wary than Sun Caifeng. Furthermore, he felt that Fangzheng wouldn’t joke on such matters. If it was really a prank, he could only admit to it later. With lives at stake, he couldn’t be careless.
Sun Caifeng was just about to say something when Elder Wang glared her down.
However, Little Zhou said bitterly, “The oar has snapped…”
“Master, there isn’t much time left.” Red Boy’s divine perception was spread around them. He could sense the gas bubbles rapidly approaching.
Fangzheng said, “Elder Wang, get the people onshore to evacuate!”
Just as Elder Wang was about to say something, Fangzheng could no longer wait. He jumped out of the water, nearly frightening everyone out of their wits. Following that, they saw him grab the rubber dinghy and using all his strength, he raised the entire rubber dinghy up, together with the four people in it! Then, he began running with the dinghy…
“What’s happening?” Sun Caifeng was flabbergasted. she looked down and was instantly dumbfounded.
It wasn’t only her—Bao Yuluo, Little Zhou, and Elder Wang were dumbfounded as well! This scene was crazy!
The people by the shore a distance away heard a loud boom. Following that, they saw the rubber dinghy rise into the air. The group of people was about to jump into the lake to save them when they saw a monk carrying the rubber dinghy, widening his pace, as he ran across the lake’s surface! Even crazier, a child was following behind them. He was running even faster on the water surface…
Bao Yuluo was the most awestruck one. When she saw Red Boy running on water, she subconsciously remembered what Fangzheng had said the previous night. “… this disciple of mine is capable…”
Was this considered capable? This was basically ultra-capable! The monk hadn’t been lying to her. Upon coming to this conclusion and remembering all she had done previously, she immediately felt her face flush hot red. How embarrassing!
“Holy sh*t. What’s… happening?” Officer Li widened his mouth, his expression one of disbelief.
“Abbot Fangzheng? He’s indeed not ordinary!” Officer Zhao said.
Old Fifth Gao pressed his palms together and immediately said, “Amitabha…”
“Stop dazing around. Run! Large amounts of carbon dioxide from the lake’s bottom are rising! Run! Ignore everything! Just run!” Elder Wang was indeed experienced. He was the first to snap out of his reverie and shout.
Everyone might not believe Fangzheng, but would they not believe Elder Wang? All of them threw everything in their hands and began running for their encampment. However, as it was too far, there was no way they could run faster than the rise of the bubbles. As bubbling sounds behind them emerged out of the lake’s surface, everyone turned their heads and saw a layer of white fog on the originally calm lake surface. The fog formed into a blob that began cascading down like a surging tidal wave. It was coming for them!
At that instant, everyone felt their minds buzz. They lamented being born with only two legs. Why couldn’t they run faster!?
“Jingxin!” As Fangzheng ran, he shouted.
Red Boy nodded. He knew what to do. He conjured an invisible force behind him and reduced the flow of the carbon dioxide. However, this child was just like Fangzheng. He could bear a grudge too. Back then, they were mocked by the scientific team, especially by Sun Caifeng. He could never forget what she had said. As his eyes darted around, he flicked his fingers, and the rubber dinghy trembled, causing Sun Caifeng to nearly fall out.
“Save me!” Sun Caifeng subconsciously screamed.
A hand suddenly grabbed her and pulled her, throwing her back into the rubber dinghy. When she came to her senses, she realized that it was Fangzheng who had saved her!
Fangzheng turned his head to glare at the brat. You can have a grudge, but don’t cause someone’s death! Although Red Boy could reduce the speed of the carbon dioxide, Sun Caifeng clearly couldn’t run fast. If the carbon dioxide wasn’t as fast as she was, anyone would be able to tell that there was a problem. Fangzheng had no plans on explaining more than necessary!
Red Boy stuck out his tongue, not daring to cause any more mischief.
With Fangzheng taking the rear, the others ran ahead. When everyone went up the trees, they looked at the white carbon dioxide surging past them from above. Then, they let out a sigh of relief.
Just as everyone was relaxing, there was a voice that broke the calm.
Everyone turned their heads to see a white-robed monk sitting on a tree branch. The sun shone its rays down, allowing them only to see his silhouette. After it was a rather beautiful and Zen-like scene, the moment he spoke, they felt as though their hearts were producing the sound of glass shattering. “Patron Wang, a huge wave of demonic aura is escaping. Quickly inform the local police to evacuate. Or to climb onto the rooftops… Yes, they should climb as high as possible. Forget about power poles, though. It would be dangerous if there was an electricity leak…”
When Fangzheng hung up, everyone looked at him like he was a monster.
Fangzheng looked at them blankly, asking, “Amitabha. Patrons, why are you looking at This Penniless Monk like that? Is there something wrong?”
“You… actually made a phone call? Does your cell phone have a signal?” While Bao Yuluo spoke, she fished out her phone and as expected, there was zero signal.
Fangzheng shot a glance at Red Boy and then said, “How can I not try? With so much carbon dioxide being released, lives might be lost if they aren’t warned. As for the signal…”
Red Boy came over to look at Fangzheng’s phone and interrupted him. “Master, why don’t you let me use your phone? Eh? What’s wrong? There was a signal a moment ago. Why isn’t there a signal after you finished the call?”
Fangzheng put on a composed look. Red Boy was quite an excellent actor when it came to lying. His face was rosy red, so no one could tell if it was a little red from his lies.
Everyone exchanged looks, but none of them could tell anything amiss.
Instead, it was Elder Wang who spoke first. “There’s a unique magnetic field here. Electronic equipment suffers from interference when we are in here, preventing it from being usable. Signals are even more impossible. Just now, the magnetic field must have vanished momentarily because of unknown reasons… But that’s a good thing. The heavens are protecting us. This phone call was made at the best time. Otherwise, just as Abbot Fangzheng said, the outcome would be unthinkable.”
Everyone quickly nodded.
Fangzheng heaved a sigh of relief. He couldn’t lie, so he got his disciple to lie for him. He never expected that Elder Wang would be the person who helped him plug the loopholes in his lie. Indeed, an expert was an expert. Whatever he said was well-planned, making him more reliable than Red Boy and himself.
With this interlude, everyone finally relaxed.
Elder Wang bowed at Fangzheng and said, “Abbot Fangzheng, I can’t thank you enough for saving our lives. If there’s anything you need from me in the future, feel free to ask. I won’t reject you.”
Seeing his teacher speak like that, Little Zhou hurriedly said, “Abbot Fangzheng, thank you. I’m not good at speaking. But… If there’s anything you need from me, just give me a shout.”
“Do you think you are Abbot Fangzheng? Would your shout be useful?” Officer Li chuckled with a snide remark.
Little Zhou immediately blushed. As a man of the qualitative sciences, he was most easily embarrassed by such quipping…
Everyone immediately laughed loudly when they saw this.
Bao Yuluo also came to Fangzheng and looked at him with mixed emotions. She suddenly realized that she had been judging a book by its cover and was prejudiced towards him. She had indeed dealt with fake monks in the past, clouding her opinion and making her think that all monks were fake and cheats. In the end, it was this monk who she thought little of, someone who she had been mocking for the past two days, that saved her twice. Upon realizing this, she felt her face burn.
“Abbot Fangzheng, sorry. I was wrong previously. Thank you for saving my life twice,” Bao Yuluo said.
Fangzheng smiled and said politely in return, “Amitabha. Patrons, there’s no need to speak thusly. Saving a life is better than building a seven-storied pagoda. Although This Penniless Monk is a monk, doing good to accumulate merit such as saving people is necessary.”
Everyone laughed once again. “Abbot Fangzheng, if you didn’t warn us and got us to run, we would have already drowned due to the carbon dioxide. In fact, you are the savior of all of us…”
Fangzheng was quite delighted hearing that. Firstly, everyone was praising him ceaselessly and thanking him. In addition, he had saved so many people. How much merit was that! He had made a killing!