Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Zen Master One Finger used a plate to get Fangzheng some rice before letting him eat by the side of the kitchen top. One Finger Temple was still very poor back then. It didn’t have electricity, and using candles at night was rather extravagant. Thankfully, the mountain was cool, and the sky was clear. The bright moon shone its lunar brilliance in, allowing things to be seen relatively clearly.
The duo sat there watching the moon outside the window.
Zen Master One Finger asked, “Fangzheng, do you know why you broke the second bowl?”
Fangzheng was puzzled. Why was he asking about the second bowl instead of the first bowl? Fangzheng thought and said, “I was a little nervous…”
Zen Master One Finger rubbed Fangzheng on the head. “Remember, the most terrifying thing in this world is not doing wrong, but having a wrongful mind. Doing something wrong can be corrected, but if the mind is problematic, one will continue doing wrong. After shattering the first bowl, you didn’t tell me and secretly ran down the mountain. You thought that you could hide the matter. At that moment, your mind was already at fault. With your conscience pricked, how can you feel at ease? With your mind not at ease, your body isn’t harmonious, so it’s only natural to make more mistakes.
“Now look at yourself. After I said I wouldn’t pursue the matter and got you a big plate, you are eating at peace.”
Fangzheng fell into thought when he heard that.
Zen Master One Finger looked at the bright moon outside and said, “A thought calms and clears the mind, spreading like a blooming lotus. Remember, regardless of what it is, face it head on when you do something wrong. Only then can it truly be ended. Otherwise, you will only make the same mistake time and time again. Ultimately, when the mistakes pile up to the point of being irredeemable, you will be cornered, and you will reach despair. No one in this world can force you to a path of despair. If there’s someone, then it is only yourself!”
Fangzheng frowned and looked up at Zen Master One Finger. “Master.”
“Yes?” Zen Master One Finger asked.
Fangzheng said, “I kind of get it, but I have another question.”
“Oh? Go ahead and tell me,” Zen Master One Finger smiled as he held one hand behind his back as though he was grabbing something.
Fangzheng didn’t notice that as he said, “Master, you said that making a mistake once will only result in it being repeated. The best way is to change as early as possible, is that right?”
Zen Master One Finger nodded and was rather pleased with Fangzheng’s perceptivity.
Fangzheng continued. “Then, you have been poor your entire life. Why didn’t you change this early on? It’s clear that we are now on a path of despair!”
Zen Master One Finger smiled and took out a feather duster from behind him, chuckling. “Kid, I’ve been waiting for you!”
Pa! Pa! Pa! Pa!
With this in mind, Fangzheng could not help but smile. Now that he recalled the past, he’d been quite the piece of work back then. However, thinking back to what Zen Master One Finger had done, Fangzheng could not help but press his palms together and silently say, “Amitabha!”
Zen Master One Finger never scolded Fangzheng for his faults, blaming him for this and that. Every time Fangzheng made a mistake, he would use a special method to guide Fangzheng, letting him understand what he had done wrong on his own so that he willingly changed himself. Even when he had beaten him, he had never done so with any real strength.
Fangzheng looked up to the sky and mumbled. “Perhaps he couldn’t use much strength with only one finger…”
With this in mind, Fangzheng smiled again. Thinking back to how he had wanted to launch into a tirade against Squirrel, he realized how much more inferior his methods were compared to Zen Master One Finger’s.
Having realizing this, Fangzheng narrowed his eyes and chuckled. “Old Dad One Finger, I’m going to violate copyrights. You wouldn’t mind that, right?”
Fangzheng shouted for everyone to have dinner. Everyone rushed over quickly, especially Salted Fish. Having rendered meritorious services, his helping of food was increased. He sat in his chair, swinging his fish tail, happily shaking his huge fish head. He began recounting what had happened down the mountain. It left Lone Wolf, Monkey, and Red Boy dumbfounded. None of the previous instances had been this complicated and thorny.
In the past, Fangzheng had always been able to solve the problem at its roots with his divine powers, but this time, the situation had been a result of the Internet going awry with countless people participating. It had been nearly impossible for Fangzheng to resolve the problem with just his divine powers alone. Therefore, everyone was puzzled as to how Fangzheng had resolved the problem.
However, Squirrel wasn’t paying attention. He sat on the table, rubbing his tummy while feeling anxiety grip him. He was rather distracted.
Fangzheng smiled. “Jingkuan, get the bowls and set the table for dinner.”
When Squirrel heard that, he was stunned. Get the bowls? That had never been his job in the past! Could it be that Fangzheng knew he had broken the bowl? With this in mind, Jingkuan uneasily went to get the bowls.
As expected, shortly after Squirrel went in, shattering sounds were heard!
Fangzheng was taken aback. That wasn’t good! Then he suddenly recalled that One Finger Monastery wasn’t the One Finger Temple of the past! Back then, shattering a bowl left only one other. But now, One Finger Monastery had several bowls! From the sound… Fangzheng was stupefied. It seemed all of them had been wiped out!
Fangzheng rushed in to investigate and indeed, all the bowls were on the ground, shattered. There were bowl fragments everywhere, and Fangzheng felt his heart ache upon seeing this. That was all money!
He only understood a master’s troubles now that he was in his shoes. Fangzheng’s pure memories were sweet, but only now did he realize how extravagant Zen Master One Finger’s education had been! Thinking back to Zen Master One Finger’s mood, Fangzheng couldn’t help but feel his heart wince for him. However, thinking back to how Zen Master One Finger had been willing to extravagantly invest in his education despite being so poor he couldn’t afford bowls, how could Fangzheng be petty now when the monastery was no longer as poor?
Lone Wolf, Monkey, and Red Boy felt their hearts tighten when they heard the shattering sounds. They had spent a long time with Squirrel and had a tight relationship with him. Everything would be fine if they had small misunderstandings and engaged in some banter, but with so many bowls shattering, the few of them felt worried for Squirrel…
However, Salted Fish thought nothing of it. He leaned on the door and twirled his whiskers, watching in relish. He was just short of humming a tune.
Fangzheng took a deep breath and suppressed the pain in his heart. He silently looked at the floor where Squirrel, whose eyes were wide open with tears welling in them as though he was prepared for pandemonium to ensue, was and said with a nod, “Alright, since they’re broken, they’re broken. Jingxin, put the food into the rice pot. Everyone, let’s use the plates and big bowls for our meals today.”
When Jingxin heard that Fangzheng wasn’t blaming Squirrel, he was first stunned. Then, he happily cried out. “Alright!”
He then ran off to coordinate the situation.
Squirrel was stunned rooted to his spot. What was happening? When had his petty master suddenly become so magnanimous? Had the sun risen in the west? Or was this the calm before the storm? This wasn’t congruent with his Master’s usual behavior! With this in mind, the little guy’s heart turned even more uneasy. His tears began to stream down in huge droplets.
When Fangzheng saw this, he immediately knew what was on Squirrel’s mind. A black cloud hung over his head as he thought to himself, “Am I that unreliable as a master?” Although he always punished them, he never did anything serious. He had never gone overboard, right?