Fangzheng got the sled out once again and mounted it on the extremely reluctant lone wolf. And once again, "Giddy up! Woo!" Amid cheers, he got the wolf to pull the sled.
Into the night, Fangzheng opened WeChat once again and had a casual chat with Fang Yunjing, Ma Juan, and Zhao Datong before going to bed.
It was an uneventful night. On the second day, Fangzheng continued his daily chores of eating and cleaning the temple hall. It was quite a carefree and easy time.
However, this tranquility was soon interrupted by a series of footsteps. Fangzheng looked up and frowned immediately. Li Fengxian was there again!
"Little Monk, I'm here again." Li Fengxian immediately beamed when she saw Fangzheng.
Fangzheng stood up and held his palms together and said, "Amitabha, Female Patron, are you here to pay respects to Buddha or is it for other matters?"
Li Fengxian shook her head and said, "I'm here today to thank Master for saving my life."
There was absolutely no way Fangzheng would believe her. If he had really saved her life, the System would have already rewarded him. There wouldn't be a need for this woman to come to him to thank him. Fangzheng shook his head and said, "This Penniless Monk only did what was necessary. There's no need to show any gratitude."
Li Fengxian said, "How can I do that? If not for you getting people to send me down, I might have died from my chronic illness. So I had to come to thank you in person no matter what."
Fangzheng said, "Amitabha. Patron, there's no need for that."
"Little Monk, why are you so obstinate? Aren't you curious about how I'm thanking you?" Li Fengxian's beautiful eyes twinkled as if they could speak. She believed that it was a look any man would understand!
Fangzheng watched as Li Fengxian's eyes twinkled as if there was an electric generator installed in them as she shot out electrifying beams of light from her eyes. It made his heart race. Fangzheng shook his head and said, "It is only destined. This Penniless Monk does not think too much about gains and losses." However, he was thinking to himself, "Aren't you tired just talking without any action? If you want to give money or do something else, do so, please, I'm dying of the wait."
"Why aren't you able to read the signs? Why don't you guess?" Li Fengxian asked with a flirtatious look.
Fangzheng immediately responded by giving her a look at the clean, white back of his head. He turned around and thought to himself, "I still have the temple to clean and a ton of chores waiting for me. I don't have the time or effort to play any guessing games with you." However, he said, "Patron, please continue your guessing. This Penniless Monk has matters to tend to. Farewell."
"You! Little Monk, stand right there!" Li Fengxian turned anxious as she yelled.
Fangzheng turned around and asked, "Female Patron, is there anything else?"
"Little Monk, I heard that this temple of yours is rather efficacious, yes?" Li Fengxian asked.
Fangzheng nodded and said, "Any temple is efficacious, for efficacy depends on sincerity. However, this temple has only a child-giving Guan Yin. If you wish for a child, go in and offer some incense and pray sincerely. It will naturally work. If you aren't wishing for a child, it's meaningless entering as well."
Li Fengxian was rendered speechless. She had hoped of using the imploring of Buddha to tighten their ties. But, all there was inside was a child-giving Guan Yin. Why would she go in? She didn't want children...
However, Li Fengxian immediately said, "Little Monk, to be honest, I met with a big problem in life, and I wish for you to help me resolve my conundrum. What do you think about that?"
Fangzheng decisively shook his head. He was full of questions himself, yet he needed to help others resolve their conundrums? Wasn't that a joke!? Therefore, Fangzheng said, "This Penniless Monk lacks training and probably will not be able to help you. If there's nothing, This Penniless Monk shall leave first."
"Wait, what's the rush? I haven't even mentioned the matter. How do you know you won't be able to help me? As the saying goes, a third party sees things more objectively. Perhaps, you are able to do so? Do you really want me to continue wallowing in sadness until I go down the forbidden path?" Upon mentioning the words 'forbidden path', Li Fengxian secretly pinched her back ruthlessly. Immediately, her eyes welled with tears as she looked melancholic.
Fangzheng did not know that Li Fengxian was attempting to garner pity by physically abusing herself. Since she was already almost crying, he decided to listen to her story.
Therefore, Fangzheng and Li Fengxian sat down once again. What left Li Fengxian downtrodden was that they could only sit on rocks in this poor temple. It was truly depressing. She had suffered the cold yesterday, and she still needed to suffer the cold today. How infuriating!
Li Fengxian said, "Little Monk, my life is so tragic..." Then, she looked at Fangzheng.
Fangzheng remained motionless.
Li Fengxian continued, "Sigh, my mother died when I was still young, and my father sold me. You probably can't imagine it. My father told me that we were going to a market when I was ten. Then, at a tiny alley in the city market, he sold me! I still clearly remember myself crying until I went hoarse. I kept pleading him not to sell me. I cried... And cried..."
"Eventually, I fainted from crying. In my dream, I saw my father return and bring me home. At that time, I really didn't hate him. Instead, I was very happy."
"But when I woke up, I realized that reality wasn't like that. I had been sold! I had really been sold! I had been sold by my very own father!"
"The person who bought me was an old bachelor in the city. Thankfully, the old man did not rear me like I was a child bride. Instead, he raised me as a daughter. The days after that weren't considered that terrible. I just didn't get to go to school or wear new clothes."
"When I was fourteen, the old man turned gravely ill. After spending all his money on medical bills, he passed away."
"I buried him and then... I walked alone on the streets. I did not know where to go either. Later on, I met a benefactor. Although she wasn't a good person, she taught me how to live on as a woman."
"I used the methods she taught me to live on. Although living in such a manner made it seem like I had resigned to the circumstances and I was looked down upon, I still managed to survive."
"Little Monk, to be honest, I lied to you. I'm not a doctor. I'm a- Forget it. I'm too ashamed to talk about it."
"I know, you are clean. I'm filthy. You look down on me. I did not have any hopes of you looking up to me. It's not like anyone in this world looks up to me. Even I look down on myself. But I want to live on. I wish to live to the day when I meet that heartless bastard and give him the middle finger! I want to use my actions to tell him that I can still live on without him!"
When she came to this point, Li Fengxian was taken aback. Her original plan wasn't to mention all that at all. Yet the story she had fabricated a long time ago had not been used. She had gone off topic. However, when she looked at the peaceful and untainted monk in front of her, who was smiling back at her, she felt a sense of calm for no apparent reason. The impetuous feelings that rose up in her immediately dispersed. Thinking back on her life, sorrow came from within her heart as teardrops began pouring down.
Fangzheng sighed and gave a Buddhist proclamation before taking out a handkerchief from his sleeves and handing it to her.
"Handkerchief?" Li Fengxian was stumped. There were still people in this day and age who used handkerchiefs?
Fangzheng said, "This is the only thing This Penniless Monk's parents left him with. This Penniless Monk doesn't even know who his parents are. From a young age, This Penniless Monk was brought up by an old monk of this temple. My food and lodging were provided for by the masses. However, This Penniless Monk knows one thing. The reason why trees grow taller than grass is that they thirst for sunlight. The reason why flowers are more beautiful than grass is that they want to be prettier and let more people appreciate them. This Penniless Monk isn't well-educated either. This is what my master taught me, or maybe it should be said that it was taught to me by my father. Today, I'm passing onto you what he taught in the past."