Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Fangzheng was rendered speechless as he thought, “As a squirrel, it is already enough that you are speaking! What else do you want? Ascend to heaven?”
Although the rescue team had arrived, Fangzheng remained worried. He led his disciples to watch from the sky until the rescue team left Mt. Tongtian. Only then did Fangzheng return to Mt. One Finger with his disciples. Looking to the east, there was a sliver of light. Without them realizing it, dawn was already arriving.
Fangzheng yawned and stretched his back. “Jingzhen, let’s go strike the drum and bell before going to sleep!”
While Fangzheng was relaxed, there were others who couldn’t sleep.
Hearing the bell gongs from the mountaintop, Yao Zhen sat up in a daze. She was the first to encounter the rescue team and to be brought out of the mountains. Having rested for most of the night, she felt a lot better. She lost her sleepiness when she heard the serene bell and drum gongs, and out of curiosity, she leaned out of her window and looked up in the direction of the gong sounds.
“You’re awake? Want some water?” a woman walked in and asked warmly.
Yao Zhen subconsciously shook her head. She had never been someone who was particularly good at interacting with others. At work, she enjoyed burying her head into her documents, isolating herself from the world. She was always a little cold to others. But after experiencing a life-and-death trip last night, she suddenly discovered how beautiful the world was, and how kind and beautiful the people around her were.
Seeing the person in front of her, although she was a stranger, she still smiled at her. It was the first time she smiled at a stranger. “There’s no need. Thank you… for everything you’ve done.”
“It’s nothing… Are you listening to the bell and drum gongs?” The woman sat by Yao Zhen’s side and looked out the window with her.
The snow was still falling outside. The trees were tall and huge, so they blocked the pair’s view, preventing them from seeing anything.
Yao Zhen nodded and said, “After experiencing life and death, I’ve thought about many things. These gongs sound especially charming. They are easing my heart significantly.”
“Heh heh, you aren’t from Songwu County, right? If you were, you wouldn’t be unfamiliar with the drum and bell gongs. They are from One Finger Monastery. They sound in the morning and evening every day,” said the woman.
“Are all of you Buddhists?” Yao Zhen was taken aback.
The woman smiled. “Us? We are just ordinary people. Why can’t we be Buddhists? This place was originally a forestry station, but the country later promoted reforestation efforts, limiting us from chopping down trees without regard. This place then waned. To not waste the place, we transformed the area and made it a residence for forest rangers. I’ve been to that mountain a few times, and it’s beautiful. The master there is also very interesting and wise. He can always say things that adhere to human nature. From what the townsfolk say, Abbot Fangzheng is quite godly.”
Yao Zhen would definitely not have believed the words she was hearing about the monk being rather godly at any other time. But after recalling what had happened last night, she suddenly came to a realization. She had done her homework before coming, and it would seem that the monk on Mt. One Finger was…
“Does the monk on the mountain wear white monk robes?”
“That’s right. What about it?” the woman asked.
Yao Zhen shook her head and kept mum. There was a look of puzzlement in her eyes. Could it really have been him? But why can’t I remember what he looked like?
She didn’t tell anyone of her encounter with the white-robed monk. Firstly, she had been completely out of it due to the cold. She’d quickly fainted after encountering the rescue personnel without the strength to speak. Now that she had woken up, her mind was lucid again. Secondly, to be honest, she wasn’t sure if what she had seen had been a hallucination or maybe an illusion that resulted from a subconscious effort to save herself. Thirdly, she also knew that what had happened to her was too mystical. It was unlikely anyone would believe her.
But now, after confirming that the monk on Mt. One Finger wore white monk robes, she had a hunch that the person who’d saved her last night was him! However, without any evidence, she chose to remain silent.
After the woman left, the others who were lying beside her woke up one after another. However, they had been rescued quite late and were curled into a bunch from the cold. They yearned to throw themselves into a fire pit and be baked into a steam bun.
“You also saw a white-robed monk?” The person who asked the question was He Haijiang, who had just woken up. His fall made him end up in quite a sorry state. He had a few fractures, but they didn’t affect him from eating or speaking.
Yao Zhen looked at He Haijiang in astonishment, but she didn’t say a word. She clearly remembered that it was this bastard who had abandoned her in the wilderness. If she hadn’t lucky, she would probably be dead.
When He Haijiang saw Yao Zhen’s silence, he also understood something from her expression. He said bitterly, “I met him too.”
Yao Zhen remained silent as He Haijiang lay there, looking up at the ceiling. Bitter feelings were churning in his mind. Previously, he believed that the monk was a member of the rescue team, but later Old Luo told him that there was no such person when he inquired. Although the captain of the rescue team didn’t say anything, he had a nagging feeling that the captain knew something.
As for being saved by Fangzheng’s smack, he was tumbling down at the time and didn’t see a thing. He just felt that someone had patted him on the back before he was plastered to the wall. After he slid from the wall, all he could think of was the pain, unable to make out who had struck him. Therefore, he had no idea that Fangzheng had appeared at the bottom of the cliff.
However, this didn’t stop his curiosity towards the white-robed monk. To be able to take out things from his clothes without end definitely wasn’t some simple trick.
After some time, Yao Zhen said slowly, “I met him.”
He Haijiang was taken aback and probed. “That monk was quite godly.”
Yao Zhen nodded before ignoring him again. In fact, both of them believed that encountering the monk must have been a hallucination at first. But now, with both parties corroborating each other’s encounters, their minds churned as they felt shocked and baffled. They no longer had the capacity to engage in idle chat.
They weren’t the only ones. Cheng Mujie had also long woken up, but she couldn’t be bothered to see He Haijiang or talk to him. Therefore she kept her eyes closed and feigned sleep. When she heard the conversation, she recalled the white-robed monk on the tumbling boulder. Like a god from heaven, he had raised the boulder with both arms, and this sent reverberations through her heart. She had no idea what to say.
And outside stood another person who was listening. He was the rescue team’s captain, Meng Qingrui. He had been standing there for ten minutes. Only when he heard the people gradually awakening inside did he turn and leave.
By that time, everyone had awoken. However, all of them were a little embarrassed meeting each other again. They had split up again and again, with each split resulting in a harrowing experience. If not for the inexplicable developments, they would probably already be dead on the mountain.
It was especially so for Xunzi and Glasses who had suggested the whole event. They were too embarrassed to face the rest.
As for Monk, he had abandoned the others and fled repeatedly. He was too embarrassed to say a word.
Seeing everyone remain silent, Wei Yaqin could not help but try to find out more. “It were the white wolf and the demon that rescued us.”