Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
“It’s okay. It hasn’t been that long…” Zhang Huihui replied subconsciously, only to realize that she said something she shouldn’t have. “This place of yours is really nice. Even I’m beginning to admire your lifestyle. There’s no need to worry about food and drink, and there’s good water and a nice scenery on this beautiful mountain.”
Fangzheng knew that Zhang Huihui was a classic softie at heart, so he didn’t pick on her words. He said, “It’s alright.”
“Was this pond really a result of the earthquake?” Zhang Huihui looked at the Heavenly Dragon Pond curiously.
Fangzheng smiled, which Zhang Huihui believed to be a silent admission. She tutted in wonder. “This sure is miraculous. To have an earthquake like this, it’s almost like it’s a game. No damage was done, and such a perfect pond resulted from the quake.”
Fangzheng continued smiling. It was better for him to remain silent on certain matters.
“Brother Fangzheng, Sister and I came all the way here just to visit you. By the way, Sister said that winter was coming, so here’s something.” With that said, Little Seven handed over the box in his hand.
Fangzheng was surprised as he looked at Zhang Huihui who raised her head high, as though she didn’t see him.
Fangzheng chuckled, opened the box, and was surprised to find a hat inside!
“Uh…” Fangzheng’s smile instantly turned odd.
“What’s up with that reaction? Do you dislike it? If you do, return it to me!” Zhang Huihui was instantly infuriated seeing Fangzheng’s smile. She had gifted him something out of good will, but all she received was that look of disdain? With her temper flaring up, she nearly yelled.
Fangzheng hurriedly took it and smiled. “Amitabha, that’s not it. It’s just that This Penniless Monk has really never worn a hat before.”
Little Seven said, “Brother Fangzheng, won’t your head feel cold during winter without any hair? I discussed with Sister for quite a while before deciding to gift you a hat. This hat really warms you. You can try it on!”
With that said, Little Seven took out the hat and helped Fangzheng try it on.
The moment he wore it, the deadpan Zhang Huihui couldn’t help laughing. And she couldn’t stop as she laughed out loud incessantly.
Fangzheng was puzzled. It was only a hat; was there a need to laugh that much? He looked at Little Seven who also began laughing after a momentary shock.
Fangzheng looked at Squirrel who had already run off with his fat ass. From the looks of it, he likely ran off somewhere to laugh…
Fangzheng hurried to the side of the Heavenly Dragon Pond and used the reflection to look at himself. Instantly, his face blackened. This hat was no ordinary hat. There were two bunny ears on it! It was actually fine with the bunny ears, but more importantly, once it was coupled with Fangzheng’s face, he instantly looked like an adorable baby bunny. He looked as adorable as could be, totally incongruent with his original image! That’s not right. Why is the hat so big?
“Fangzheng, you made a mistake. There are two hats in there. The one you put on is for Lone Wolf,” Zhang Huihui said as she held back her laughter.
Fangzheng immediately blushed when he heard that. Indeed, how could a hat be that huge? Besides, he was the master of a generation. Why would he need to wear a hat? Wouldn’t that be embarrassing? Therefore, he quickly took it off and pulled the box on top away. Indeed, there was another box beneath the first one and when he opened it to take a look, there was a tiny round hat inside. It was a white hat with an ancient vibe to it. The moment Fangzheng took it out and wore it, Little Seven clapped and exclaimed. “Brother Fangzheng, you look really handsome!”
Zhang Huihui’s eyes lit up as well.
“Naturally. This Penniless Monk was born flawless, so it’s natural to look good wearing anything.” As Fangzheng spoke, he looked at his reflection in the Heavenly Dragon Pond. The hat actually matched his robes perfectly, making it look beautiful! However, it was quite odd to see a monk wearing a hat. However, since it was a kind gesture of the duo, Fangzheng did not reject the gift.
“How embarrassing.” Little Seven stroked his face before saying, “This hat took me and my sister a day to choose. It was difficult to buy it.”
“Thank you, Patrons, for going through the trouble,” Fangzheng said with a smile.
Zhang Huihui said, “As long as it looks good on you. If it didn’t, I could return it and save quite a bit of money…” Then she changed topics and requested a tour of One Finger Monastery.
Fangzheng naturally readily agreed. As he led the siblings into One Finger Monastery, they walked across the bridge over Heavenly Dragon Pond. Little Seven asked curiously, “Brother Fangzheng, what’s the name of this bridge?”
Fangzheng had long thought of a name, and he casually replied, “It’s called the Bridge of Helplessness 1 !”
Little Seven and Zhang Huihui were stunned, rooted to the ground. Zhang Huihui could not help but comment. “Did you come up with this name?”
Fangzheng nodded matter-of-factly. He obviously knew what the Bridge of Helplessness meant among the common folk. However, he had a reason for coming up with this name. Helplessness—how was one to be helpless when one was empty? He had become a monk helplessly, so he had given it such a name. It was a way of venting his displeasure. There was also another layer to this…
“Yes, it was named by This Penniless Monk,” Fangzheng replied.
“Heh heh. Your naming sense needs to be improved.” Zhang Huihui laughed dryly.
Little Seven asked curiously as well, “Brother Fangzheng, why did you give it such a name? Isn’t it creepy in the middle of the night?”
Fangzheng roared with laughter. “This bridge isn’t that Bridge of Helplessness from the netherworld. That refers to the helplessness of souls. This Penniless Monk’s Bridge of Helplessness symbolizes the helplessness of mortals. What is one to do when facing helplessness? Staying put in one spot will only make one face helplessness for all eternity! By taking a step forward, one will fling the helplessness to the back of one’s head. If it’s already in the past, how can it be something that causes helplessness? It is the same for all beings in the world. There are things that make you unhappy and helpless. Step past them, and when you turn back, they will only be that and nothing more.”
“What you said does make sense,” Zhang Huihui grumbled.
Fangzheng led the siblings into One Finger Monastery before letting Zhang Huihui bring Little Seven into the temple hall to pray for peace.
As for Fangzheng, he stood outside the Ten Thousand Buddha Hall, waiting and watching.
Zhang Huihui was someone who had saved a life, so she had merit on her. Fangzheng was trying to prove something by getting her to pray for peace.
Indeed, when Zhang Huihui knelt down and sincerely prayed for peace, Fangzheng saw the Thousand-armed and Thousand-eyed Guan Yin on the Ten Thousand Buddha plaque walk out. Her jade-like hand gently patted Zhang Huihui on the head and, moments later, Zhang Huihui had a layer of Buddhistic glow protecting her! Upon seeing this, Fangzheng smiled. It would be difficult for his One Finger Monastery to not become popular with this!
Zhang Huihui and Little Seven still needed to rush back. After meeting Fangzheng and fulfilling their desires, they bade him farewell.
After sending the siblings off, Fangzheng called Lone Wolf, who was guarding the bamboo forest, back. Moments later, there was a tragic yelp like a dog was being killed. Then, there was boisterous laughter. Finally, a huge white wolf wearing a bunny ear hat bitterly followed Fangzheng, Red Boy, Monkey, and Squirrel to the side of the Heavenly Dragon Pond. However, this wolf kept looking up towards the sky, insistent on not looking down into the pond. It was as if he would die if he saw his reflection.
The next day, Fangzheng received Wang Yougui’s phone call. County Head Qi was prepared to come over to visit him.
Fangzheng thought for a moment and tried to get Wang Yougui to excuse him by claiming that he was still meditating. It wasn’t that Fangzheng was trying to put on airs, but he was still unsure what he should do when facing the official of this county. Fangzheng could guess County Head Qi’s ideas, but One Finger Monastery was ultimately a land of Buddhist worship. To really make it a tourist attraction would involve him politically. And about this aspect, Fangzheng really knew nothing.