Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
The moment Lone Wolf came up, he shook his head and jumped around like an idiot. After jumping around all day, he cried out. “Take it easy the next time. It hurt so badly that I almost shat myself!”
Everyone was rendered speechless. This darn dog really didn’t know how to mince his words!
Monkey was good at climbing trees, so it naturally wasn’t a problem for him to reach the roof.
“Why are all of you here?” Fangzheng asked.
“Since our master can’t sleep, we can’t sleep either,” Monkey said before sitting by Fangzheng’s side.
Red Boy lay down beside Fangzheng and said, “We are all concerned about you, unlike that fellow Salted Fish who doesn’t have a heart. He’s probably sleeping…”
Just as Red Boy said that, he looked up to see a huge fish head above his head. Its pair of fish eyes were staring at him intently as its whiskers were flailing up! Then Red Boy heard Salted Fish speak in his aged, experienced voice. “Child, speaking bad behind someone’s back will shorten your dick.”
A fish was sent flying into the air, turning into a meteor before it splashed into the Heavenly Dragon Pond…
Before long, Salted Fish returned with a walking stick in hand. He roared furiously. “Reverend, are you not going to do anything about this? This child is too brattish. He actually beat a person like me… No, a fish like me!”
Red Boy shot a glance at Salted Fish and said, “If you have what it takes, don’t stand so far, with Master in between us. Why don’t you stand on the moon?”
“As an old man, I speak about culture and propriety. I don’t fight or curse,” Salted Fish cried out righteously.
“You aren’t fighting because you aren’t my match, right?” Red Boy chuckled.
Salted Fish blushed and said, “If not for your age, I’d have long beaten you.”
Red Boy pricked up his brows and was about to get up.
Salted Fish hurriedly cried. “Reverend, look! Your disciple is too brattish. Won’t you do something about him?”
Fangzheng looked at the two jokers in exasperation and smiled. “Enough. Cut it out. Time out.”
Red Boy naturally stopped with Fangzheng giving the word. He lay down beside Fangzheng and looked at the sky. “Master, what were you looking at? What’s so nice about all the stars in the sky?”
Seeing that Red Boy wasn’t going to attack him, Salted Fish came over as well. He lay down like a dead fish beside Fangzheng and looking up at the sky, he said, “How terrifying it is when one lacks culture. Don’t you see the change in the astrometeorology? The seasons are changing,”
“What’s astrometeorology? Master, is Salted Fish speaking the truth?” Squirrel asked curiously.
Fangzheng didn’t pay any attention to the word ‘astrometeorology’, but when Salted Fish mentioned it, he looked carefully at the sky and indeed, there were some changes to the starry sky! It was completely different from the sky from a while before! Fangzheng took out his cell phone to search for information before he came to a realization. “So that’s the reason.”
“Master, what are you talking about? What reason? Say something.” Squirrel was the most curious as he pressed.
Fangzheng said, “Today is the 20th solar term of the twenty-four solar terms, Slight Snow. On this day, the weather changes. Look at the northern sky. Is there something different?”
As Fangzheng spoke, he pointed to the northern sky.
However, after asking the question, Fangzheng regretted it. How could wild animals like squirrels, monkeys, and wolves know anything about astrometeorology!? As expected, the three animals looked at him with a dumbfounded look, especially Lone Wolf. His eyes widened into looking like a silly husky’s, as though he was asking, “Why can’t I tell? Aren’t they all stars?”
Instead, it was Red Boy who raised a question. “Eh? Why is the arrangement of the stars so similar to the Earth Immortal Realm’s?”
Salted Fish scoffed. “You only noticed it now? How imperceptive. I discovered it the first day I was here.”
Fangzheng ignored the two bantering fellows and continued. “On the day of Slight Snow, the handle portion of the big dipper in the sky will no longer point north, but somewhere a little to the northwest. It’s something like… Well, something like the ten o’clock position on a clock. Look at the big dipper. Is the spot it is pointing at different from before? If you trace the big dipper, it won’t reach the northern star anymore.
“I’ve heard people mention that some starwatchers don’t even use the northern star’s position to determine their location, but the W-shaped Cassiopeia constellation.
“It’s almost eight at night. Look at the big dipper. Does it look like it’s sinking? Also, look at the Pegasus constellation that’s slowly rising. The eastern horizon’s Orion constellation is also beginning to peep out of the horizon, isn’t it?”
With Fangzheng pointing out one constellation after another, the few animals, including Salted Fish, began looking up into the sky. One by one they identified the different constellations and listened in relish to the tiny stories accompanying each constellation.
“Master, that’s not right. Today is Slight Snow of the twenty-four solar terms. Why isn’t there any snow? Also, why is this day called Slight Snow? It has already snowed so heavily a few times.” Monkey enjoyed thinking over problems, so he quickly came up with a question.
Fangzheng smiled. “Slight Snow isn’t just a solar-term of the northeast, but of all of China. The Slight Snow here doesn’t refer to Slight Snow in the northeast, but the area north of the Yellow River. At this time, that area should be seeing snow too, so it’s called Slight Snow.”
“Uh, so that’s how it is,” Monkey said with a nod.
Squirrel came over and asked, “Master, then other than the different layout of the stars, what else is different about this day? Will an eagle fly into the sea to become a super-big clam this time?”
Fangzheng stroked the little guy’s head and smiled. “Little fellow, you really know how to draw inferences. However, there’s no flying into the sea to become clams. Our country split Slight Snow into three phenomena: ‘Rainbows hide and are invisible. Heaven’s ether ascends, Earth’s ether descends. All is closed up, and winter is fully formed.’ Don’t rush to ask because I know you will want to know what it means. I’ll slowly explain it to you.” Before Squirrel even said a word, Fangzheng already knew what he was going to ask.
Fangzheng continued. “The meaning behind this is that the weather will turn colder by the day. Rain will freeze into snow, and without rain, there’s naturally no rainbows. Meanwhile, the Yang ether of the sky will keep rising while the Yin ether of the land will keep sinking, causing a choke and disharmony between Yin and Yang. All things will lose their vitality and the heaven and earth will close up, turning into severe winter. This is the definition of winter according to the ancients—a season when all life seems to disappear.”
Everyone nodded when they heard that, having learned something new. Only Squirrel cocked his head and mumbled. “Master, that’s not what I wanted to ask.”
“Oh? What do you want to ask?” Fangzheng was taken aback before coming to a realization. Could this little guy be…
Indeed, Squirrel said, “I want to ask if there’s any good food to eat during this season.”
Squirrel had asked the question on everyone’s mind as the group stared at Fangzheng.
Fangzheng said with a wry smile, “There’s definitely special food to eat elsewhere, but there’s nothing in the northeast…”