Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
With this in mind, Fangzheng’s mind began to wander. Is this considered a violation of the precepts? I gained a wife and child before renouncing asceticism. Well, I guess it doesn’t count. This Penniless Monk is doing a good deed. But does this really count as having a wife? If so, how should I address her? Dear? Will I be beaten to death if I do that? Will the System strike me with lightning?
Fangzheng’s face blushed… Although he was thick-skinned, that was only the case concerning certain matters. He was a rookie when it came to birds and bees.
It was Keke’s mother who broke the awkward silence by asking, “Venerable Fangzheng, where do you cultivate?”
The question pulled Fangzheng back to his senses. Firstly, once it concerned anything not related to romance, Fangzheng’s mind could turn active again. Sitting there, he began recounting his life story. He talked about Mt. One Finger, One Finger Monastery, and One Finger Village, as well as Zen Master One Finger. While listening to Fangzheng’s playful stories from his youth, Keke and her mother would laugh from his occasional jokes. Instantly, the room turned warm, and the barriers between them slowly vanished.
Lone Wolf was slumped outside the door, secretly memorizing the embarrassing childhood stories Fangzheng told of himself. He thought, “This can be considered a chink in Master’s armor. It’s really not easy to obtain some dirt on him. I wonder if I’ll be able to use it to exchange for an extra meal or two when we’re back… Yeah, if I don’t end up being beaten to death.”
After chatting an entire morning, Fangzheng also learned the name of Keke’s mother. She was Zhang Huixin. Keke’s father had passed away when she was one. He had died in a car accident while they were out on a family trip. Zhang Huixin was the only one who survived the accident. Later, due to various incidents, Zhang Huixin slowly severed her ties with her family, and she led her life with Fang Ke alone.
She originally imagined that the accident hadn’t affected her physically. To handle the funeral of her husband, she became extremely busy, so she didn’t go for a checkup to the hospital. To ensure their livelihood, she worked several jobs a day, only returning late at night. In the first few years, she even had to bring Keke to her work place… Finally, she succumbed to fatigue a few years later, and she was unable to stand again. Also, due to her fatigue, her cornea had problems. All she could see after a while was a blur, and finally, her illness developed into complete blindness.
From that moment, she had to rely on Keke as well as the help of her neighbors to barely survive. If not for Fangzheng, she wouldn’t have known that Song Bin had taken away everything in her house. She would have also been at a loss as to how she could deal with a hooligan like Song Bin.
When Fangzheng heard this, he sighed. At the same time, he found fate miraculous. The scroll’s mission had sent him there. If not for the scroll, he wouldn’t have met Zhang Huixin and Keke. What would have happened to them in that case?
With this in mind, Fangzheng shook his head and dispersed those thoughts. He only needed to keep one thing in mind. Perhaps he couldn’t save everyone in the world, but he had to help whoever he met.
The trio managed to chat until noon, when two rumbling sounds were heard. Only then did Fangzheng recall that it was lunch time! As for the duo in front of him, they both looked a little embarrassed.
Zhang Huixin hurriedly said, “Keke, is there anything left to eat at home? Use it for our meal.”
Clearly, she wanted to be a good host to Fangzheng.
Keke exclaimed. “Ah, I got Granny Zhang to stew…”
“Stew what?” Zhang Huixin asked when Keke suddenly stopped mid-sentence.
“Chicken. Chicken stew. She hasn’t brought it yet. I’ll go get it…” With that said, Keke planned on heading downstairs. Fangzheng was worried for her safety, so he said, “This Penniless Monk will follow Keke. Jingfa, you watch the house.”
“Awoo!” Lone Wolf howled to express his understanding.
Zhang Huixin was puzzled. “Chicken? Keke had the money to buy a chicken?”
Although Fangzheng knew that Keke was lying and didn’t reveal it, he didn’t wish to aid in her lying either. Once he said a lie, there was a high chance of being struck by lightning. Hence, he feigned ignorance and went down with Keke.
Granny Zhang was the woman in red. Her house was on the ground floor, and it was a big apartment. Her doors were open as she ran a mahjong parlor at home. The place was lively throughout the day. Similarly, there was billowing cigarette smoke everywhere. Typically, Keke wouldn’t be willing to enter her place. Although Granny Zhang ran a mahjong parlor, she was a warm person who cared for Fang Ke. She was the neighbor who took care of Zhang Huixin’s family the most. Whenever there was anything good to eat during festivals, she would bring some of it over for Keke and Zhang Huixin.
Keke was too young, so she didn’t know how to stew things like chicken. Therefore, she’d requested Granny Zhang’s help. Seeing how sensible Fang Ke was, Granny Zhang had naturally agreed.
And this time, Granny Zhang felt a little worried. This was because Fang Ke had gotten her to stew a pigeon!
Granny Zhang knew Fang Ke well. This pigeon was a gift her mother had bought for her for her birthday. It was a friend she had grown up with. In the past, she would play with the pigeon almost every day as the pigeon accompanied her while she chatted. Now, she had personally handed the pigeon, Gugu, to her. When she saw her appearance stained with tears, she also felt as though her heart had been sliced with a knife.
Granny Zhang couldn’t help but sigh as she looked at the steam billowing out from the pot.
On the staircase, Keke slowed down her pace until she stopped walking. She stood there crying. Finally, she looked at Fangzheng and asked, “Daddy, is there really reincarnation in this world? Do you think Gugu will be mad at me?”
Fangzheng knew what Keke was talking about. However, he wasn’t sure how to answer her.
Red Boy had mentioned before that this world’s Spirit Qi was too thin, so it was already remarkable that it was conducive for life. Things like ghosts and monsters had high requirements for Spirit Qi, so it was impossible for them to be produced or survive. Humans had souls, but once they left the bodies, they would be like fish out of water, vanishing instantly. Red Boy had no idea if there was reincarnation in this world either, or if there was hell, since he couldn’t sense it. However, the appearance of new life also indicated that certain things existed to allow souls to appear once again.
Red Boy wasn’t able to explain clearly, while the System’s explanation was that there was nothing like that.
But if that was the case, where did souls come from?
Fangzheng’s mind was filled with questions without answers. Now, how was he to answer Keke?
Fangzheng didn’t wish to lie to her, so he lifted her and asked her, “Keke, if you were Gugu, would you be mad?”
Keke was stunned before she slumped over Fangzheng’s shoulder and cried. “I… I would be very sad, very mad… Sob…”
Fangzheng allowed Keke to cry as he carried her downstairs into Granny Zhang’s house.
Seeing Keke cry, Granny Zhang sighed. She poured out the pigeon soup and walked out with a smile. “Keke, don’t cry. The pigeon soup you want is here.”
Upon hearing the words ‘pigeon soup,’ Keke cried even more despondently.