When Dog Song saw this, a strange gleeful glint flashed in his eyes. He chuckled to himself, "You will be in for a treat! You dare look for trouble with Fangzheng? Heh, heh."
An hour later, Ouyang Huazai and his family, Jiang Songyun, as well as the people from Black Mountain City's Calligraphy Association, finally finished climbing up Mt One Finger. Although it had snowed previously, the people before them had opened up a path, so it was a lot easier to scale the mountain.
But even so, these people who led comfortable lives were still exhausted. By the time they reached the temple, they were already panting.
Jiang Songyun said with a bitter smile, "Finally, we can see the temple. Let's quickly go in and rest our feet. I'm dying of exhaustion."
However, when they looked up, they saw a huge group of people by the door. They were all sitting around, and someone had even lit a fire as the people circled around it.
"Dad, why are there so many beggars here? Why didn't these beggars seek warmth at the bottom of the mountain? What's the point of sitting by the temple's entrance?" Ouyang Fenghua's voice wasn't loud, but it wasn't soft either. Pancake Face and company heard her and immediately, their faces turned red. They felt embarrassed to say anything.
Instead, Fatty laughed out loud as he said, "Lass, these aren't beggars but Songwu County's famous calligraphy experts! When they arrived at the mountaintop, they were inspired to take off their pants to write calligraphy, which they enjoyed greatly."
Ouyang Fenghua looked suspiciously at the group of people and then back at the impressive Ouyang Huazai, who was dressed properly. She shook her head and said, "Isn't the difference too big?"
However, she did not know that when these people had first come to the mountaintop, all of them had been dressed properly and magnificently. Among them, there were people who were no less stately than Ouyang Huazai. After all, people who did calligraphy were uplifted by their trade, forming an esteemed disposition. However, no matter who it was, once they were chased by a wolf and left in a tragic state, whatever disposition they had would be gone.
As the saying goes, clothes make the man. Without good clothes, their tragic state along with their spirits snuffed out and made them appear wretched, almost no different from beggars.
However, there were a few that hadn't been dealt with by Lone Wolf. For example, old man Sun Guanying, who had been obeying the rules of the temple faithfully. When Fangzheng exhorted everyone to be quiet, he got his disciples to speak softly. And when Fangzheng left, he had led his disciples out of the temple, avoiding the danger of the wolf's pursuit.
Ouyang Fenghua instantly recognized Sun Guanying and went forward, "Elder Sun, what... happened? Why does it look like all of them have been through war?"
"Sigh, it's a long story," Sun Guanying laughed bitterly. He felt truly embarrassed to mention the matter. It was so disgraceful!
Pancake Face diverted the topic by saying, "Brother Ouyang, you have finally come. Quickly teach that young monk a lesson. That monk is utter- utterly unbecoming! We went into the temple to sightsee, but he let the dog out to bite us. Ignoring that, for the competition we agreed upon, he refused to have it held in the temple. We have to hold the competition outside! Isn't it infuriating?"
"Ren Qiaoan, is what you said true? The monk did not treat you with respect and even let a dog out to attack people? Elder Sun, is that true?" Ouyang Huazai bombarded him with questions as pangs of fury burned in his eyes. He had been scammed by the villagers down the mountain. Now, his friends had been scammed by the monk up the mountain! He felt incensed as his fury elevated.
When Ouyang Fenghua heard that, she covered her mouth. Her face was covered in shock before she could find the humor in the matter. Although she did not believe that the young monk could beat her father, she began to feel curious about the wondrous monk.
Her mother, Cui Jin, was also stumped. How could the monk be so uncultured!?
"What do you mean is it true!? Why didn't you mention the things that you did? You ran into someone's temple and made a scene. You recited some bullshit poem, yet he let you off lightly by just releasing the dog. If it were me, I would have directly given all of you one big slap!" Fatty exclaimed.
Ouyang Huazai turned and happened to see Wu Changxi, who was sitting beside Fatty.
Ouyang Huazai ignored Fatty. He did not wish to bother with someone that appeared like he belonged to the riffraff in order to avoid trouble. Ouyang Huazai said, "Wu Changxi, the competition was raised by you. What? Are you now afraid and do not dare to compete? You caused all of this to sidetrack us, hoping that we would quit in the face of difficulty?"
Wu Changxi had long since heard of Ouyang Huazai's encounter down the mountain. He shrugged and said, "Ouyang Huazai, don't you malign others. The competition was arranged by me. Master did not know about it, so it's already good that he didn't reject it. As for the matter that you encountered, all I can say is that a person's morals determine his fate."
"I'm not going to continue discussing these useless things with you, are we competing or not?" Ouyang Huazai indeed did not want to get engaged in a war of words with Wu Changxi. The mountain winds were cold and many of the members of the Calligraphy Association had had their pants torn. If not for the fire, many of them would have suffered from frostbite. All of them were shivering in the cold wind and really resembled beggars. It was really disgraceful.
Wu Changxi said, "Master has already agreed to the competition. However, it cannot be held in the temple, so I'll borrow two tables from Master. If we are competing, let's do it outside."
"How can you do that? This darn cold winter day is about to freeze our hands. It's difficult to even lift a brush. How can anything be written?" Ouyang Fenghua exclaimed.
Wu Changxi said, "Then, light a fire."
With that said, Wu Changxi opened the temple's door and went to look for Fangzheng.
"Chair? Table?" Fangzheng looked at Wu Changxi in surprise.
Wu Changxi said, "That's right. It's a necessity for a calligraphy competition."
"I have none." Fangzheng shook his head like a bobbing wave. What a joke, he still had to use a rock as a stool for his meals. How could he have tables and chairs for others to use?
Wu Changxi refused to believe it. Fangzheng permitted him to search and after going one round through the temple, there were really no passable tables other than the offering table in the temple hall. He immediately felt vexed.
"Master, is there no other solution?" Wu Changxi asked.
Fangzheng shook his head and said, "No. As you can see my temple is very poor. Ignoring the tables and chairs, I don't even have writing brushes, ink sticks, paper, or inkstones."
Wu Changxi said, "Those have been prepared for you, Master. However, if there's no table, it would be rather troublesome."
Just as he said that, there was an uproar from outside.
Fangzheng and Wu Changxi went out to take a look. They saw Village Chief Wang Yougui, Secretary Tan Juguo, and Treasurer Yang Ping arrive. They had even brought a group of villagers to join in the buzz and among the villagers, Dog Song, Yang Hua, and company were carrying tables up.
Upon encountering the group, Wang Yougui first greeted Ouyang Huazai, Jiang Songyun and company politely. These people were cultured people from the city, so it was quite an eye-opener for them to come to a rural village like theirs. He thought that if these cultured people could help promote One Finger Temple and One Finger Village, it was possible that their village could end up being developed by external organizations.
Although Ouyang Huazai and Jiang Songyun were proud as city people, they did not appear too cold in front of Wang Yougui and company. They exchanged pleasantries and it could be considered quite an amiable exchange.
At that moment, Fangzheng came out. Wang Yougui shouted, "Little Monk Fang- Abbot Fang, I heard that you would be holding a calligraphy competition on the mountain. I know that you do not have tables in your temple, so I especially brought two tables up. Do you think these would do?"