Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Everyone looked towards the sound and confirmed that it was the patient with Lou Gehrig’s disease who was speaking! In an instant, everyone’s eyes nearly popped out. The patient was actually speaking! Furthermore, he was speaking Korean.
“What?” Park Mintae cried out like he had seen a ghost.
Park Changmin was also astounded as he stood in his spot, dazed and motionless. He was the one who had brought the Lou Gehrig’s disease patient, so no one knew how serious his problem was better than him. This man had been plagued by the disease for a decade and had not spoken in years! Park Changmin had even made the claim that the man would be unable to speak for the rest of his life. Yet…
It wasn’t only them. The people on the Internet were stunned as well.
“Holy sh*t, am I seeing things?”
“No way? The patient spoke!”
“This is on par with a corpse reanimation!”
“Is this a miracle or a horror story?”
“What exactly did Master do?”
Countless questions flashed in the minds of the viewers. Finally, all their eyes were focused on Fangzheng.
However, Fangzheng wore a genial smile as though he had not done anything yet also everything at the same time. Fangzheng pressed his palms together and said to the patient, “Amitabha. Patron, remember This Penniless Monk’s words.”
“I’ll abide by them. I’ll do more good to accumulate merit,” said the patient earnestly.
Fangzheng patted him on the shoulder and slowly came to Park Changmin. He smiled. “Patron, do we continue?”
When Park Changmin saw the speaking patient, he felt his face burn. With his medical skills, he could only slightly improve the patient’s situation, but he couldn’t cause any conclusive change. Yet with this bit of results, he had used that to flaunt himself to the point of rushing to China to shamelessly challenge everyone. Now, looking at Fangzheng who could restore a Lou Gehrig’s disease patient’s ability to speak with just a wave of his hand, he couldn’t flaunt his medical skills anymore. He immediately felt like a clown when doing the comparison. His face turned red. But at this point in time, what else could he say? He bitterly bowed and said, “I’ve lost. I utterly admit your superiority!”
There was an uproar immediately followed by joy before undulating waves of cheers! After holding in their displeasure after so many days, the Chinese people could finally let it all out. They had finally won! TCM was safe! This was definitely something the entire country could rejoice and cheer about, and resounding cheers swept through every city.
“Impressive. Way too impressive! I didn’t even see what Master Fangzheng did before that patient ended up speaking.”
“Seriously impressive. I always thought Western medicine’s use of technology was quite a posturing act, but now, I realize that TCM is even better at posturing!”
“The poster above, don’t lead people astray. Master Fangzheng has already said that Western and Traditional Chinese medicine are all medicine. Neither is superior to the other. All that matters is whatever is more suitable. Besides, didn’t Abbot Fangzheng say? His medicine combines all schools of thought. Whatever’s good is used.”
“That’s right. Master Fangzheng said that one’s heart has to be broad and one shouldn’t seal oneself off. A good thing should be learned and fused into whatever you have. Only then can progress be made. I feel like all medical students are impressive.”
“Enough. You are making me want to be a doctor! Yes, I’ll first learn TCM…”
“Hehe, me too…”
The huge war finally ended on Mt. One Finger. China cheered while South Korea sighed with a heavy burden. Some people were indignant at the result, but most were relieved that the farce was finally over. These were the common people. Their goal was simply to lead their life, indifferent towards politics. Yet there were always a bunch of political figures who enjoyed entwining politics with the people, doing things they believed to be right in the name of the people. With regards to this, many citizens felt helpless as well.
After the end of the competition, all reporters swarmed Mt. One Finger, wishing to get an exclusive interview with Fangzheng, who originally wanted to build his reputation. However, he abandoned that thought when he saw all the cameras. These reporters were prepared with hand warmers and thick quilted jackets. Some even went the extra mile to prepare their own electric heater, carrying it like a tiny portable sun!
Clearly, all of them had learned their lesson from their previous encounter with Fangzheng. They were prepared to face Fangzheng until the end!
When Fangzheng saw this, he hurriedly closed the monastery doors in shock. He claimed that he would be entering seclusion to meditate over the Buddhist Dharma and refused to meet anyone.
He refused to come out even when Songwu County’s County Head Qi came.
With the reporters failing to grab Fangzheng, all they could do was turn their attention somewhere else. They interviewed all the villagers beneath Mt. One Finger and heard how One Finger Village had become rich thanks to Mt. One Finger. Everyone found some piece of news, so together with Mt. One Finger’s beautiful scenery, they managed to come up with an article.
However, the biggest piece of news was that Park Changmin hadn’t left!
“Master, Park Changmin has been standing by the door for three days and three nights. Are you really not going to meet him?” Squirrel stood in front of Fangzheng and asked, feeling some pity.
Fangzheng shook his head. “I cannot agree to his request. If he wishes to listen in on the lessons, he needs to join the line. Lessons are held once a month. Latecomers are not entertained. That is the rule. No one can break it.”
“Master, your rule seems fair, but this is China. When it comes to snapping up spots, who can beat the Chinese?” Red Boy chuckled. “Master, can’t you be considered biased? That’s not how a real master should behave.”
Fangzheng pricked his brows and said righteously, “All my life, I’ve relied on China, eating and drinking its resources. Even the incense I receive is from China. What’s wrong with being a little biased? Besides, I never planned on becoming a real master.”
Red Boy was stunned when Fangzheng said that. Indeed, the monk before him really didn’t seem like a master.
Squirrel asked, “Master, why don’t you just say directly that it’s open only to the Chinese? Wouldn’t that save you a lot of trouble?”
Fangzheng looked at Squirrel with a profound look before ruffling his tiny head, smiling. “If I were to do that, wouldn’t that be akin to smacking my own face? One’s heart has to be broad…”
“Uh… Master, your actions remind me of an idiom,” Red Boy suddenly said.
Fangzheng shot a glance at the brat, saying, “Hold it in, no matter what you’re thinking!”
“It’s that saying about not only wanting to be a whore, but while being one still wanting to maintain a good name, right? Though you aren’t supposed to say it~” Salted Fish cried out from the side.
Instantly, a huge slap came hurling over.
A salted fish flew out of the monastery’s door and into the Heavenly Dragon Pond. It gave Park Changmin, who had been standing by the door for three days and nights, a fright.
After sending Salted Fish flying, Fangzheng returned to his meditation room with his hands behind his back. As he looked at Zen Master One Finger’s picture, he sighed. “Master, I feel like I’m not suitable to be a monk. My heart isn’t broad enough…”
Zen Master One Finger didn’t say a word, but the System did. “That’s why it’s difficult for you to become Buddha. Yet despite all your flaws, none of them are irredeemable. That is precisely why you matched my selection standards. Otherwise, what would be the point in me redeeming an accomplished monk? On the other hand, if I had chosen an actual ruffian, wouldn’t that have lowered my status?”
Fangzheng was stunned. It turned out that his middle-of-the-road characteristic had ended up being a virtue. However, he sort of understood the System. The System was using him as a marker. Only by redeeming someone like him could it gain the right to redeem others.
“Sigh…” Fangzheng knew himself well. He had too many tiny flaws; yet, he never had plans of changing them. These thoughts weren’t uniquely his. Instead, they had existed in Zen Master One Finger already. Otherwise, with his insights into the Buddhist Dharma, he could have long gone down the mountain to lead a carefree existence. It wouldn’t have resulted in him becoming so poor. At the very least, he could have become the abbot of a much better place.
Amid his random thoughts, Fangzheng fell asleep.
Park Changmin waited outside the monastery for a week. During this period, he fainted twice from hunger and thrice from the cold. At each instance, he was carried down by the villagers. After pleading for days, Red Boy finally brought him some calligraphy. Park Changmin sighed when he saw it. He bowed at One Finger Monastery and left.
After Park Changmin returned to South Korea, he had a huge change in temperament. He was no longer arrogant and instead, he lived alone on a mountain where he imparted medical skills to his disciples.
On this day, Park Mintae came to Park Changmin and asked, “Master, I still don’t understand. Why did you keep getting me to look at the mountains back then?”
Park Changmin looked up at the distant mountain peaks and sighed. “Back then, I wanted you to understand that there’s always a taller mountain out there, and that someone will always be better than you. One needs to have what it takes to be arrogant. With China’s five thousand years of culture, its medical skills couldn’t have been just what they seemed on the surface. The three sages were only people who wanted fame. Many medical experts do not wander outside, such as Abbot Fangzheng.” Park Changmin wore a look of reverence when he mentioned Fangzheng.
Park Changmin continued. “Back then, Teacher Lee Jae’am mentioned that China is Korea’s roots. Denying China is equivalent to denying ancient Korean culture. Being China’s enemy is the same as destroying oneself. In the eyes of the West too, it is nothing but a joke. Unfortunately, I persisted willfully and headed for China. In the end… Sigh. I tried to teach you that there’s always someone better than you, but I forgot that there’s always a taller mountain out there for me too.”
“Teacher, I have learned,” Park Mintae said reverently.
Park Changmin shook his head and said, “Study medicine well in the future. Abbot Fangzheng is right. It’s pointless fighting about TCM, Western medicine, or TKM. The world only recognizes those that can defeat terminal illnesses, those that can push the boundaries of medicine, and those who can alleviate humanity from diseases.”
Park Mintae listened with his head bowed.
Meanwhile, Fangzheng went viral on China’s Internet over the next few days. There was news about him almost everywhere. Even live newscasts introduced him, Mt. One Finger, and One Finger Monastery. For the first time, they received intense media exposure. Of course, when people saw the scenery of Mt. One Finger, all of them turned agape. It was like an immortal paradise!
In addition, Park Changmin’s pleas for Fangzheng to leave a few spots for South Korea when he gave his lessons to the point of fainting from hunger or the cold while outside the monastery was also spread.
China was even quaking!
“Impressive. Although Park Changmin’s character could be better, his medical skills make him an international powerhouse. Yet just for a few spots, he stayed there for days. Tsk. He’s really giving Abbot Fangzheng face.”
“That’s right. Abbot Fangzheng is indeed impressive. That’s how he brought glory to our country.”
“More impressive is that despite all the hardship, Abbot Fangzheng maintains his principles. That’s what a master is! Regardless of you being an internationally acclaimed doctor, we don’t give two hoots about you!”
“Abbot Fangzheng is the definition of awesomeness. But speaking of which, why do I keep thinking Abbot Fangzheng doesn’t feel like a monk. Or should I say, he’s like a fake monk?”
“Yeah, I have the same feeling. He feels like a frivolous monk.”