Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
The moment Squirrel heard that, he raised his paw and said adorably, “Then shall we move to the south?”
After a rowdy evening, Fangzheng chased everyone off the roof and went down himself. He had planned to get some quiet time and act aloof, but who knew that his plan would be foiled by his disciples.
Returning to his meditation room, Fangzheng looked at Zen Master One Finger’s portrait and chatted with him for a while before going to bed.
The night passed uneventfully. On the second day, Fangzheng pushed open the door to see a gloomy sky. With the northern wind blowing, there were snowflakes everywhere in the sky. He wasn’t sure if it was snowing or whether the snowflakes on the ground were just being blown up by the wind.
Before Slight Snow, although the northeastern winds were violent, they were seldom continuous. However, after Slight Snow, the northeastern winds became par for the course. Violent winds would blow as dark clouds churned, sending heavy snow fluttering in the wind. It was quite a sight.
Fangzheng tightened his collar and met with Monkey to strike the drum and bell.
As it was a gloomy day, they couldn’t tell when the sun rose, but the sky slowly turned a hazy bright. As for the villagers down the mountain and the people in the distant Songwu County, they were already accustomed to waking up with the drum and bell gongs. As for the roosters, no one considered them.
From afar, Mt. One Finger was a silvery-white. The leaves on the trees and Frost Bamboo, the roofs, and the walls were all white. After a while, a wisp of smoke slowly billowed out. What was a cold, lonely mountain became invigorated.
While eating, Red Boy took out the cell phone and cried out. “Master, yesterday’s news. Quick, look! Patron Chen and his family got onto the local news. Patron Chen even wishes to thank you. I think our monastery will turn really popular. Unfortunately, with this crappy mountain trail, it’s just too hard to walk up. Once the snow comes, there’s no way anyone can come up.”
Having said that, Red Boy shook his head and sighed.
Fangzheng appeared quite indifferent. He had long thought it through. There was no chance of him earning enough merit in his life. Since there was no chance of renouncing asceticism, he might as well go through the motions. Hence he said with a smile, “It’s not like we can do something about it. It will be better once it’s spring.”
Red Boy thought about it and agreed. He put down the cell phone and began eating.
After having breakfast, Fangzheng received Yang Hua’s phone call.
“Abbot Fangzheng, it has turned cold. Steamed mantou and red bean buns are ready. Why don’t you come down and get some?” Yang Hua’s side was noisy as though there were many people around. He had no choice but to yell at the top of his lungs.
This shout made the table side even more silent on the already silent Mt. One Finger. A couple of heads intently stared at Fangzheng with sparkling stars in their eyes.
When Fangzheng saw this, how could he say no? Hence, he said with a smile, “Alright. This Penniless Monk will be down in a moment. Haha!”
Upon hearing Fangzheng say that, Squirrel was the first to jump up. “Oh yeah! I’m not eating anymore. I want to head down to eat red bean buns!”
“I want to eat the mantou down the mountain! I can eat ten!” Lone Wolf shouted.
Red Boy chuckled. “Finally, we can have something different.”
Salted Fish gaped his mouth open and said, “Reverend, permission to be admitted into the Gluttony Team!”
Fangzheng waved his hand. “Approved! Jingxin, you are in charge of bringing Salted Fish. Remember, you are a salted fish. Don’t get discovered by others!”
Salted Fish shouted. “Don’t worry. No one will notice me for sure! Trust me! I’m trustworthy!”
And so Red Boy, Monkey, Lone Wolf, Squirrel, and Salted Fish swept through all the dishes on the table at an unprecedented speed. Then, they took the initiative to clean up deftly, making the table sparkling clean. Even the kitchen was left spotless. Then, like in a procession, they stood in front of Fangzheng, looking at him with eyes filled with anticipation.
Fangzheng didn’t waste time and waved his hand. “Let’s set off!”
“Charge! The Gluttony Team is heading down the mountain!” Squirrel rode on Lone Wolf as he yelled.
Red Boy dragged Salted Fish by the tail and followed quickly. However, Salted Fish began shouting while on the ground. “Reverend told you to be in charge of me, not to drag me! Reverend, will you do something about this brat? A person is dying here! No, a fish is dying! That’s not right either. A salted fish is dying? That’s still not right. A carp is dy—”
Before Salted Fish finished speaking, he was hit in the head by a rock, and he cried out in pain. Unfortunately for him, Red Boy had no intention of caring about him. Salted Fish struggled a few times and realized that he couldn’t escape his grip. Fangzheng also didn’t seem to be bothered by it, so ultimately, Salted Fish had no choice but to use his fins to hold his jaw as he lay on the ground, allowing Red Boy to drag him as he ran.
Monkey didn’t run but followed behind Fangzheng, fully in line with his monk image.
Fangzheng was rather pleased with that. Although this monkey is active deep down, he actually plays quite the part when he decides to act it…
Fangzheng led his group of disciples down and saw a bunch of snowmen the moment they entered the village.
As Fangzheng walked by, there was a shout from the snowmen. “Brother Fangzheng, do you know who I am? Do you know where I am?”
Fangzheng was instantly amused when he heard Mengmeng’s voice. Although One Finger Village was becoming more lively, with many people who had left the village returning, resulting in many young adults and children, how could Fangzheng not recognize the familiar accent with a rolled tongue? He said with a smile, “Mengmeng, you should change your voice when you try to get people to guess who you are.”
“Ah… You got it so easily? Then guess where I am,” Mengmeng shouted indignantly.
Fangzheng shook his head. These were all games he himself had played when he was young, so how could the little kid use them against him? Fangzheng circled around the snowmen and as expected, there was a tiny door blocked by a paper cupboard behind. Opening the door, he saw a pair of large, raven-black eyes. It was none other than Mengmeng who was dressed in a red down jacket. She looked like a ball of flesh.
Fangzheng carried her out, and Mengmeng immediately pursed her lips. “How were you able to find me…”
Fangzheng roared out loud. “It was a guess. Next time, I’ll definitely not be able to find you if you hide here.”
“Really?” Mengmeng asked.
Mengmeng smiled delightfully. At this moment, Squirrel handed Mengmeng a pine nut, gladdening her even more. However, Mengmeng quickly got away from Fangzheng and climbed onto Lone Wolf’s back. Monkey hurriedly helped her and with a howl, Lone Wolf ran off with Mengmeng and Squirrel. Monkey followed behind to prevent Mengmeng from falling.
As for Red Boy, he chased after them while dragging Salted Fish. From afar, it looked like a tiny mountain king was dragging a cudgel in the shape of a salted fish. He did look quite domineering.
Fangzheng smiled and followed behind. Before he went far, he heard a cacophony ahead. It was a group of children he didn’t really know. They were all gathered around, looking at Mengmeng on Lone Wolf. All of them looked tempted to try, but none of them dared because of Lone Wolf.
Mengmeng raised her head like a queen and looked rather pleased with herself.
Fangzheng naturally couldn’t be bothered with these children because he could already smell the fragrance wafting from Yang Hua’s home.