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Home > The Monk That Wanted To Renounce Asceticism

949 Exquisite

 Meanwhile, although Fangzheng knew a lot about carving, there were matters in which he lacked experience. Carving wasn't something he could gain full mastery of just with what the System gave him. As for Wanderer Tranquil, most of her skill stemmed from actual experience and her perspective on nature. Fangzheng similarly benefited greatly from their talk.

As the duo learned from each other, they had a delightful discussion, and they eventually forgot about the time and their meals. Their chat lasted the entire day.

And by the side, Lone Wolf lay there motionless, looking weak and exhausted. Every time the two looked over, he would suck in his breath and depress his belly to show them his hunger. Unfortunately, the two were still reveling in their chat and completely ignored his belly...

Lone Wolf looked up at the sparrows that flew across the sky and mumbled to himself inwardly. I'll never ever go down the mountain again! Over my dead body!

By the time the two realized what time it was, the sun was already setting in the west. The sunlight scattered over Fangzheng and Wanderer Tranquil, and instantly, it added even more flair to the picturesque scene. It was eye-catching and seemed as though they were respectively a Buddha and an immortal fairy.

"Phew..." Wanderer Tranquil put down the teacup in her hand and longingly looked at Fangzheng. "It's said that for good friends a thousand toasts are too few. This Penniless Priest didn't understand this saying in the past, but she has finally gained an understanding. People who didn't share similar interests wouldn't stay long at This Penniless Priest's temple, nor would they have the interest to continue chatting. But chatting with you, it's really easy to be absorbed in the conversation. This truly is a miraculous feeling."

Fangzheng pressed his palms together and said, "Indeed. This feeling is really good."

Wanderer Tranquil said, "We were only engrossed with chatting and forgot to eat. Venerable One, please wait. This Penniless Priest will be right back."

With that said, Wanderer Tranquil went to the backyard. Once Wanderer Tranquil left, Lone Wolf immediately got up and grunted. "Master, you are finally done chatting. You've finally recalled our meals. Aren't you hungry?"

Fangzheng rubbed his tummy and shook his head. "Surprisingly, no."

Lone Wolf was instantly rendered speechless. All the words he had prepared were made useless from that reply.

Just as Lone Wolf was wondering how he could make Fangzheng realize that he had neglected his disciple's well-being-mainly his stomach-Wanderer Tranquil returned. She held a plate in her hand, and on the plate were some exquisite refreshments. They were in all sorts of odd shapes, and there was some pastry in the shape of bamboo that fenced up the different flowers and tiny trees in the middle. There were also some fruits in the middle. At a cursory glance, it was as though a miniature world had gigantic fruits placed in it. Instead of calling it pastry, it was more like a piece of art.

When Wanderer Tranquil placed the plate on the table, Fangzheng looked at the pastry in astonishment as he asked what was on Lone Wolf's mind. "Perfected One, is this really edible? This Penniless Monk means, it looks so exquisite and beautiful. It's difficult for This Penniless Monk to bring himself to eat it."

There was another underlying matter. This tiny bit of food isn't enough for This Penniless Monk! Besides, This Penniless Monk still has a gluttonous dog!

However, Wanderer Tranquil clearly didn't think deeper into the matter. She took Fangzheng's question at face value and said with a smile, "This was made by This Penniless Priest in the morning. It was meant for lunch. Thankfully, there's the both of you, or This Penniless Priest would have to worry about finishing it. Don't stand on ceremony. Have some."

Fangzheng nearly cried when he heard that. How was he to stand on ceremony with this bit of food? If he didn't stand on ceremony, this bit of food wouldn't be enough to withstand even a single lick from Lone Wolf's tongue.

Lone Wolf couldn't hold it in as he wished to say something. Fangzheng hurriedly pinched his tail to make him behave.

Although they thought little of this tiny bit of food, Fangzheng also knew that Wanderer Tranquil's situation was about the same as his in the past. The only difference was that Wanderer Tranquil didn't have a system to help her. And without a system's help, she was most likely poor in such a remote area! It was already pretty good she had some food. It wasn't something that could be forced.

With this in mind, Fangzheng smiled. "Amitabha. In that case, This Penniless Monk won't stand on ceremony."

With that said, Fangzheng picked up a tiny piece of bamboo-shaped pastry under Wanderer Tranquil's hopeful gaze. When he placed it in his mouth, Fangzheng's eyes lit up. He originally imagined that in such rural mountains, even if the pastry looked nice, it wouldn't necessarily be delicious. After all, as someone who was used to eating Crystal Rice and Frost Bamboo, he had quite a picky mouth. Yet Fangzheng was left surprised when he tasted it.

He could taste that the bamboo had been made using glutinous rice. It was fleshy when placed in the mouth. If he tasted it carefully, there was the fragrance of bamboo, with an additional hint of sweetness. He actually had the desire to eat more after eating it, as though he couldn't be satisfied with a single piece.

Fangzheng looked at Wanderer Tranquil in surprise. "Amitabha, Perfected One, your pastry is truly delicious."

Wanderer Tranquil smiled. "When This Penniless Priest wasn't cultivating, she learned some noodle-based culinary skills. After entering the mountains, with nothing to do, This Penniless Priest took the edible things around her, hoping to infuse them into noodles. What you ate had a bamboo fragrance fused into the dough via special techniques. It's good that you like it. Try this instead."

As she spoke, Wanderer Tranquil dug out a piece of the "grass" and placed it in Fangzheng's bowl.

Fangzheng placed it in his mouth and immediately, a unique scent emanated. That feeling... Fangzheng subconsciously said, "The taste of Wormwood sprouts!"

Wanderer Tranquil pursed her lips and smiled. "Venerable One, you are pretty much on the mark. These are the glutinous rice cakes from our region. They are mixed with the tenderest portions of wormwood. They're mashed before being mixed with glutinous rice."

As Fangzheng listened, he took in the nearly perfect flavors in his mouth. Meanwhile, he tried the other pastries, marveling as he ate. Wanderer Tranquil explained the baking process for all of them by the side without eating any herself. She was like a genial elder sister who sat across Fangzheng as she smiled warmly at him. The look she had turned warmer as the two chatted.

As for Fangzheng's bearing, he was more like a boy-next-door, so with them sitting there, it seemed like they had transcended the barriers of Buddhism and Daoism. They were more like siblings experiencing an extremely heartwarming moment.

Of course, in this heartwarming scene, there was a pitiful wolf that hung its tongue out and nudged Fangzheng's legs from time to time. Unfortunately, it was ignored...

Fangzheng naturally didn't only think about himself. After tasting every piece of pastry, he urged Wanderer Tranquil to have some. At the same time, he would throw a piece or two at Lone Wolf. Lone Wolf had long gone mad from hunger, to the point of chewing on tree bark. With the food coming, he opened his mouth wide and instantly swallowed it. Then he smacked his lips looking adorably at Fangzheng, as though he was asking, "What did I just put in my mouth? Why don't I feel like I've eaten anything?"

Fangzheng was exasperated with regards to this. Although the pieces of pastry were exquisite, they were very tiny. This tiny bit of pastry was really nothing in comparison to Lone Wolf's huge mouth... Fangzheng couldn't do much about this. It was already quite nice that Wanderer Tranquil was willing to host them.