As they conversed, someone suddenly exclaimed. Its fogging up!
Fangzheng looked over and saw that it was beginning to fog up at the bottom of the mountain. The fog rose, but it didnt reach the mountaintop, gathering at the mountainside like a sea of clouds.
Holy crap, my luck is great! A sunset matched with a sea of clouds. Im going to make a killing! someone cried out in ecstasy.
Hubby, take a picture for me!
Dear, dont move. Change your pose!
Eyes were rolled. Damn, public displays of affection even when watching a sunrise
Fangzheng directly ignored them. As the clouds increased, the sea of clouds looked more beautiful. Once the wind blew, the white clouds would stir, turning into a truly vast ocean. The pale glow across the horizon grew increasingly brighter. The horizon also appeared to be ignited, turning redder and brighter. Finally, the sun peeked out of the horizon, releasing a red glow that resembled the red flushes of a tipsy beauty or a stirred baby. Many people exclaimed upon seeing this scene as they kept snapping pictures with their cell phones.
Fangzheng also took out his cell phone to snap some pictures. Most people, due to the lenses on their phones, wouldnt manage to capture much of anything when snapping a sunrise. The sun would appear like a tiny dot, and it would fail to fully accentuate the beauty and grandeur of a sunrise. It was the same for Fangzheng. Helpless, he attempted to zoom in.
Fangzheng was instantly amused when he zoomed in. Logically speaking, zooming beyond the optical zoom limits of the phone would reduce the clarity of the image, but Fangzhengs phone remained extremely crisp and clear! In his bemusement, Fangzheng continued zooming in. The image still remained clear at 8, 16, and 32!
Fangzheng smacked his lips and mumbled. Oh my, this cell phone can already be used as a DSLR[1.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_single-lens_reflex_camera]. Haha, theres a saying that people go broke once they start dabbling with DSLR, but This Penniless Monk doesnt have to spend!
In his good mood, Fangzheng continued zooming in, and he only stopped when the sun appeared almost inches away from him with the sun on the screen slowly peeking out. Glancing at the cameras of everyone around him and the tiny red dot on their screens, Fangzheng felt increasingly smug.
As the sun rose higher, the light it released grew brighter. The red sun rays scattered across the tumbling sea of clouds, seemingly igniting them in an instant. The clouds turned into a golden-red tumbling sea as the entire Mount Heng seemed to be draped in a layer of golden-red fabric. Everyone subconsciously shut up as they looked at the beautiful scene in a daze.
At this moment, the sun suddenly seemed to exert strength and completely leap out of the horizon. It released its full brilliance, sending out its blinding light that made it impossible for people to open their eyes. It pulled everyone back from their shock as they marveled and heaped praise on the view.
Fangzheng knew that the sunrise was over. He jumped off Lone Wolfs back and patted him on the head. Faced with Lone Wolfs aggrieved gaze, Fangzheng said, Alright, alright. Dont be angry. Ill carry you the next time so that you can watch. Deal?
Deal! Lone Wolf immediately indicated his answer with his eyes.
Fangzheng nodded as Lone Wolf happily followed him while wagging his tail. Somehow, he had forgotten it would be a cold day in hell when an opportunity for a sunrise viewing came again. Furthermore, this monks skill to renege on deals was as thick as his skin
After seeing the sunrise, Fangzheng followed Venerable One Ingenious up Zhurong Peak. Zhurong Peak had a huge temple named Zhurong Temple. In front of it were long rows of staircases, and on the sides of the staircases were two huge metal furnaces. Flames were burning in the furnaces as the smell of incense churned out of them.
Fangzheng saw that many devotees brought their incense sticks and lit them before bowing towards Zhurong Temple. Finally, they would throw the incense sticks into the furnace.
Venerable One Ingenious said, Zhurong Temple isnt very spacious. There are many visitors that come every year. If everyone were to enter the temple to burn incense, theres no way the temple could accommodate them. Besides, with too many people, the burning of incense might result in a fire hazard. If theres a fire high up in the mountains, it will be hard to fight. Therefore, Zhurong Temples incense is burned in the two furnaces.
Fangzheng nodded slightly. This was the first time he was seeing such a scene, and he was just puzzled. At the same time, he remembered that his temple hall wasnt that big either. What was he to do when the day came when his incense offerings were as plentiful? With this in mind, Fangzheng felt a little stumped. Would he have to get the devotees to stay outside the monastery when they paid their respects to Buddha?
If he really did that, he probably would drown in their spit.
As they walked up the staircase, Zhurong Temples main door was like the gate of a stone castle. It was grand and solemn, and it filled the visitor with respect. Passing the door, there were four small courtyard-like spaces. There were lots of words written on the left wall, describing Zhurong Temples history as well as the development of Buddhism on Mount Heng and how they had come together.
As Fangzheng read, Venerable One Ingenious explained. This Zhurong Temple has quite a history. This building existed before the Sui dynasty already. According to the Tang-dynasty record called the Short Record of the Southern Peak, Li Chongzhao wrote that it was initially called the Heaven Governor Huo King Temple. Its was later moved to the foot of the mountain, becoming the former incarnation of the Grand Temple of Mount Heng. And other than that, it was also called the Old Shengdi Temple, as well as Heaven Rule Convent. It was a palatial building built on a gigantic boulder at the top of Zhurong Peak. Due to the harsh coldness from the high altitude and the elements, the monastery eventually fell into disrepair. It was only in the Ming dynasty, during the second year of Wanlis reign, that Surveillance Commissioner Li Shi of the Huguang province built a Cloud Opening Shrine here again. The story goes that he scaled the mountain in the day and experienced rain at night. He watched the sunrise in the morning when the clouds opened up. He believed it was Heavens will that he built a shrine there. He ordered the local Mount Heng county to build a shrine on the mountain peak and funded it. As a remembrance, he used the words Cloud Opening. However, it was later reduced to ruins again.
In the Qing dynasty, during the sixteenth year of Qianlongs reign, instead of rebuilding above the ruins, the Qing government learned from the numerous destructions from the past and decided to build Zhurong Temple with stone walls and metal tiles. And since it was worshiping Lord Zhurong, it was formally given the name Zhurong Temple. Look at the special metal tiles spanning two-thirds of a meter long and one-third of a meter wide at the roof. Each of them weighs more than 15 kilograms. Most of the tiles were made in the Qing dynasty with dozens of them preserved since the Song dynasty. This construction was to allow the temple to withstand the elements.
Unfortunately, despite having stone walls and metal tiles, after years of poor maintenance, the building still collapsed. The Zhurong Temple you see now was built thanks to the donations of Patron He Jian. Many of the original materials were used to maintain its antiquity.
Back then, Zhurong Temple was managed by our Shangfeng Temple. The incense money received here was also one of the sources of income for Shangfeng Temple.
Upon saying this, One Ingenious sighed.
Fangzheng asked, Oh? From what you are saying, its no longer under your jurisdiction? Then who manages it now?
There was a huge fire, and Shangfeng Temple suffered from it. Just as This Penniless Monk mentioned before, the front of Shangfeng Temple burnt down, with only the ancient buildings left behind. After that huge fire, Shangfeng Temple no longer had the ability to manage Zhurong Temple Hence, the Nanyue Buddhist Society took over management up to this day, One Ingenious said with a sigh.
Upon hearing this, Fangzheng sighed. Zhurong Temple was enjoying a lot of incense offerings now. If only it were still under Shangfeng Temples management Just the thought of the money involved left one envious. Hence Fangzheng asked, Has Shangfeng Temple never thought about getting it back?