Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
However Fangzheng was in no hurry to try his luck at a draw. If he obtained anything, it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to receive it in front of so many people. Only after he returned, closed the doors, and secretly tried his luck at the draw, could he look and touch as much as he wanted. That would be best!
Fangzheng was extremely happy, but he only maintained a warm, natural smile. It had a hint of happiness and gladness to it, but it was mostly just a calm, faint smile. It made anyone who looked over believe that the monk held no arrogance. Instead, he seemed quite unperturbed by. In fact, Fangzheng was indeed unperturbed. He had rescued them with his own abilities. Were a few words of thanks too much? He deserved them! This was also a viewpoint Fangzheng adhered to. Good people deserved kindness. Since he couldn’t profit monetarily from it, earning some reputation was also good. If anyone felt that it wasn’t right, he would challenge them to do good with what they were capable of and not ask for anything in return.
Fangzheng said, “Patrons, you’re welcome.”
“Fangzheng, sorry.” As everyone was speaking, Sun Caifeng, who had been quiet all this while, finally spoke up.
Fangzheng was taken aback. He never expected the woman to suddenly speak. It did surprise him a little. Although he had interacted little with her, Fangzheng could sense the difference between Sun Caifeng and Bao Yuluo. Bao Yuluo acted the way she did because of her job. She held suspicion and mistrust towards any suspects. Also, her job made her feel overly responsible. She wanted to handle everything and help or save everyone.
But Sun Caifeng was different. The way she looked at Fangzheng was filled with animosity! It was as though Fangzheng had stolen something valuable from her.
“Abbot Fangzheng, don’t mind her. Caifeng…” At that moment, Old Wu wanted to help explain Sun Caifeng’s behavior, but he was made to shut up by Sun Caifeng’s glare.
Sun Caifeng said, “I was wrong. There’s no need for me to go so far as to find excuses for myself. Abbot Fangzheng, I’ll remember that you saved me twice.”
As he looked at Sun Caifeng’s solemn and serious expression, Fangzheng subconsciously rubbed his nose. Those in the know who saw the look she gave and the expression she wore would know that she was thanking him, but those not in the know would imagine that they had a vendetta with each other. However, Fangzheng didn’t mind it. As long as she didn’t find trouble with him, it was for the best. He pressed his palms together and said, “Amitabha.”
Fangzheng didn’t wish to say anything superfluous.
Everyone had mixed feelings having survived the calamity. After thanking him profusely, everyone’s hearts calmed down. As they spoke, they cast their eyes onto Fangzheng again.
“Abbot Fangzheng, were you running on water just now? You even carried an entire rubber dinghy, and it had four people inside…” Old Fifth Gao could not hold back the curiosity in his mind as he asked.
Fangzheng thought to himself, “Here it comes…” During this long period of time, Fangzheng had also been pondering over a solution to deal with everyone’s curiosity. Most importantly, he couldn’t lie! This limited his options.
Therefore, Fangzheng secretly pinched Red Boy’s ass. Red Boy glared at him. Why am I always the one helping you lie? Although he felt pissed, he said, “Everyone, that’s a secret technique exclusive to my master’s lineage. To put it simply, it’s a martial arts technique; Water Striding!”
“There’s actually real martial arts like that in this world?” Of course, no one would believe them if they said they had divine powers. However, martial arts were still a little believable. After all, be it in television serials, folklore, or books, martial arts were common yet still vague. No one knew the limits of practicing martial arts and how impressive they could be. Exaggerating a little was still barely acceptable by everyone. On the contrary, playing it down would only be unbelievable to everyone.
“Abbot Fangzheng, is that for real? The two of you know martial arts?” Officer Li asked in astonishment.
Old Fifth Gao said, “Could it be fake? I’ve long heard that Mt. One Finger’s One Finger Monastery has a child who can carry water buckets this big at a few years of age. He can carry two buckets at the same time up and down the mountain, and he runs like he’s flying. Unfortunately, I didn’t see Venerable Jingxin fetch water the last few times I went up the mountain, but I now believe this. Hehe.” With that said, Old Fifth Gao subconsciously tilted his head up, as though he himself was the impressive person he was talking about.
It wasn’t only Old Fifth Gao. Officers Li and Zhao were the same. As locals, they felt like they were rubbing off of the glory of such impressive characters, especially when among all these outsiders.
“That huge a pail? How could that be possible? Even the world’s weight-lifting champion couldn’t raise that much at such a young age, right?” someone said in disbelief.
“Believe it or not, it’s up to you. When you leave this place, ask around. Not to mention the neighboring villages, even a number of people from Songwu County know of this. It even appeared on many people’s WeChat Moments before!” Officer Zhao said proudly.
When everyone heard that, they were convinced deep down although they still held some doubts. If the master could carry such a huge rubber dinghy with four people on board and run much faster than all of them, the disciple probably wouldn’t be that much weaker.
“Abbot Fangzheng, have you cultivated qigong? There was a sensation about it in our country a few years ago. Unfortunately, the cultivators back then were exposed to be fake. All of them,” Little Zhou said.
Fangzheng smiled without a word. Then, he secretly pinched Red Boy’s ass.
Red Boy continued lying with a look of grievance and indignation. “It’s hard to say if it’s qigong. It’s true that one needs to take in Qi. Of course, this is something that strengthens the body. But it’s not as godly as what is claimed by others. Of course, even so, this is our secret, exclusive treasure, so how can we promote it on the streets?”
“I knew it. If there was such an impressive qigong technique, who would spread it randomly?” Little Zhou mumbled.
“There are many cheats out there. Everyone, you have to be careful.” Red Boy used a tone which sounded ancient in a way far beyond his years. It was like he was some big shot in the pugilistic world and advising juniors.
Everyone could not help but laugh seeing his behavior.
Bao Yuluo even came over and pinched his cheeks. This little guy looked cuter the more she looked at him!
The reason was given, and Red Boy had given a clear explanation—secret mystic technique! Secret martial art! Since the words secret and exclusive had been used, it was not something which could be easily taught to others. Although everyone was curious to know more, they didn’t press further out of courtesy.
Then everyone discussed such topics, such as the mountains which had erudite masters or sects which had martial arts experts. Finally, the conversation came to foreign boxing and mixed martial arts. Many exclaimed that the experts were among the people, not in the boxing ring or octagon. Otherwise, Abbot Fangzheng alone could have brought back several golden belts, not leaving foreigners to monopolize the major competitions.
With regards to this, Fangzheng only listened as a form of entertainment.
As for Elder Wang, when he looked at everyone and then Fangzheng, he turned his gaze to his watch. A look of doubt flashed through his eyes, but he ultimately didn’t say a word.
Sun Caifeng sat beside Elder Wang and whispered. “Elder Wang, according to the rope we released, the lake is at least two hundred meters deep! And the moment Fangzheng emerged out of the water, he also said that the lake’s bottom was two hundred meters deep. Furthermore, he had dived down…”
Elder Wang chuckled and said, “Martial arts.”
Sun Caifeng continued. “Also, the flow speed of the carbon dioxide wasn’t right. According to yesterday’s calculations, today’s carbon dioxide was a lot slower. Besides, we were running with the wind. That should only make the carbon dioxide accelerate.”
“Martial arts.” Elder Wang continued smiling.
Sun Caifeng shook her head in exasperation as she gave a rueful smile. “Got it. Martial arts.”
Elder Wang chuckled and said, “There’s no need to disturb the peace of someone otherworldly.”
“Got it.” Sun Caifeng nodded.
By the time everyone was almost done chatting, the carbon dioxide had mostly dispersed.
On the way back, Fangzheng came to Elder Wang’s side and asked, puzzled, “Elder Wang, why would there be carbon dioxide at the bottom of the lake?” In fact, Fangzheng wanted to know where it had come from when he hadn’t seen any at the lake’s bottom.
Elder Wang seemed to understand Fangzheng’s thoughts as he smiled. “Abbot Fangzheng, have you ever drunk soda?”
Fangzheng nodded matter-of-factly.
Elder Wang said, “The reason is the same as with soda. Under high pressure, the carbon dioxide dissolves into the water. If it isn’t touched, nothing will happen. But when you shake the soda can violently, what will happen when you open it?”
Fangzheng subconsciously said, “Erupt!”
“Yes, the carbon dioxide will escape the water and surge out! According to my research, in the spot beneath Ganfanpen, even if there’s no volcano, there should be some underground crevices. Such crevices allow water to reach all the way down while gases are simultaneously slowly released from underground. The lake is huge and very deep. The immense water pressure suppresses the carbon dioxide in the water. Typically, it is fine, but once there’s any tremor or the impact of a boulder, This balance is destroyed. The carbon dioxide is then released. Of course, the lake doesn’t only have carbon dioxide. There should be other things, but carbon dioxide is still one of the main components. Small amounts of carbon dioxide aren’t toxic, but large amounts of it can suffocate people,” Elder Wang explained.
Fangzheng was enlightened when he received this explanation. So that was the reason.
“Then, is there a solution?” Fangzheng asked.
Elder Wang shook his head. “Such incidents have happened all around the world. It has also caused large numbers of death to humans and animals. Some people have used machines to extract the carbon dioxide artificially from the lake’s bottom, but the results aren’t ideal. Now, the only way is to migrate the nearby villagers or raise awareness. After we return, I will suggest to the government to establish a monitoring station. Once large amounts of emitted carbon dioxide are detected, the villagers should be fine if they evacuate to high ground.
Fangzheng nodded slightly. Although Elder Wang had proposed a solution, Fangzheng didn’t find it reliable. Besides, people could evacuate to higher heights daily, but poultry and livestock couldn’t. Were the villagers of Snow Village and the other villages not to rear animals again in the future? Clearly that was impossible.
Since science could not resolve the problem, Fangzheng could only use non-scientific means…
“How nice it would be if the problem was resolved. Ganfanpen is indeed very beautiful. If we could develop this place, our village would be brought out of poverty,” Old Fifth Gao said somewhat wistfully.
“You can forget about developing it. Ignoring the threat of carbon dioxide, this place isn’t suitable for tourism. The terrain here is extremely complicated, and there’s a magnetic field around it. Didn’t you notice that it’s easier to get lost the closer we are to the center? That’s because the terrain looks identical and our brains are affected by the magnetic field, preventing us from keeping our bearings. Problems would arise if people lived in this environment for prolonged periods of time.” Elder Wang’s words killed whatever hopes Old Fifth Gao had.
On the way out, Fangzheng led the way. This time they were much faster than when they relied on Elder Wang’s analysis of the surroundings to proceed. They only used half a day to leave the forest.
Standing outside Ganfanpen, everyone looked at Fangzheng, impressed.
Sun Caifeng recalled how she had advised Fangzheng on how to leave Ganfanpen. She immediately felt her face burn. She was teaching grandmother to suck eggs!
At this moment, a group of people rushed over. Fangzheng carefully looked at them. Ignoring the various lenses they carried, these people had a very powerful aura. They were obviously not ordinary folk. This aura was something Fangzheng had seen only on television leaders. Fangzheng frowned as he secretly retreated and while no one was paying attention, he hurriedly left with Red Boy.
Although Fangzheng wished to become famous, he was lazy deep down! Against such obviously troublesome situations, he decisively let his lazy bones do their thing. He ran off.
Moments after he ran off, someone chased up to him.
“Abbot Fangzheng, where are you going?” Bao Yuluo asked out of curiosity. Now that the problem with Ganfanpen had been resolved, there was a celebration feast to be held and people would be rewarded. Yet this monk had turned to run. What was he doing? Could it really be the case that there were people in this world who didn’t wish to be rewarded for their deeds?”
Fangzheng pressed his palms together. “Amitabha. Patron, This Penniless Monk cannot deal with such scenes, so he won’t be staying.”
“Don’t say that. You were one of the key contributors to cracking the unsolved mystery of Ganfanpen,” Bao Yuluo said.
Fangzheng shook his head. “The credit is all Elder Wang’s. This Penniless Monk might not have figured out that much alone. Let’s part ways here. Patron, until we meet again.”
Seeing those people approaching already, Fangzheng hurriedly ran off with Red Boy.
When Bao Yuluo saw Fangzheng escape frantically, she had an odd expression as she mumbled to herself in amusement. “This guy sure is adorable. However, there’s no way he can shirk off the credit!” Therefore, this policewoman whose sense of duty erupted rushed back.
However, it turned out Bao Yuluo was overthinking things. Towards the expedition into Ganfanpen, Elder Wang clearly had no intention of taking credit. He recounted everything frankly. Of course, he didn’t mention how Fangzheng ran while carrying the rubber dinghy. He simply said that Fangzheng noticed something was amiss about the situation and warned everyone to run. He had also saved many people along the way.
When the reporters heard this, they were surprised that a monk was involved in it! Furthermore, the series of events was like the plot of a novel. There were ups and downs throughout the story, immediately leaving them curious. They began asking about Fangzheng when a woman silently sneaked away. She took out her phone and made a phone call. “Abbot Fangzheng? Where are you? You are almost back at your monastery? You sure run fast! Alright, I’ll be right there. Wait for me! I want an exclusive interview!”
The person who made the call was the beautiful reporter, Jing Yan!