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Home > The Monk That Wanted To Renounce Asceticism

953 Mountaintop

 After Zen Master One Finger passed away, the handkerchief had accompanied Fangzheng all this time. Typically, he wouldn't take it out. This time though, for some unknown reason, he had handed over his handkerchief.

However, Fangzheng didn't think too much about it. Instead, he smiled. "There's not much This Penniless Monk can do. He's poor and can't use paper tissues that cost a yuan or two per packet."

Wanderer Tranquil only wrote his words off as a joke. She pursed her lips and rolled her eyes at Fangzheng. She took a deep breath and said, "Alright, with the rites over, are you going to get some sleep? Or do you still want to chat?"

Fangzheng looked up at the sky. Sleep? He was indeed a little sleepy. However, he also enjoyed discussing deep topics with others. For example, he had spent an entire night chatting with Venerable One Ingenious, and he had spent the entire day under the tree talking to Wanderer Tranquil. Moments like that gave him an even better feeling than having a feast. It felt as though his body and mind were liberated, like he was a lonely recluse meeting a confidant. With the right person, it was almost as if he could feel the tap to conversing being opened! More importantly, there was a response to everything he said, and even a debate at times...

Thinking back to that comfortable feeling, Fangzheng immediately nodded. "The night is still young. Since This Penniless Monk can't sleep, let's chat more. This Penniless Monk is still very interested in matters of Daoism. Perfected One, if you don't mind, please share more with This Penniless Monk."

Wanderer Tranquil smiled with a nod. "Alright. This Penniless Priest will take another bath and have a change of clothes before joining you."

Fangzheng nodded.

Wanderer Tranquil returned after half an hour. Indeed, she was now wearing an azure-colored Daoist robe. Her entire bearing had changed a little again, effusing a refreshing and natural vibe. Her footsteps were as light as though she was walking on wind. She felt like a fairy.

Upon seeing Wanderer Tranquil, Fangzheng's eyes lit up. He sized her up carefully. Having changed out of that thick, solemn, and dignified purple Daoist robe into a clean and pure, azure-colored Daoist robe, she looked like she was in her teenage years or twenties.

Instantly, Fangzheng was somewhat stumped, thinking, "How old is this woman? When she looks mature, she looks like an elder sister. But when she looks young, she looks even younger than me. What a wonder!"

Finally, Fangzheng gave himself an explanation. The clothes make the person, so this probably had to do with her clothes and bearing. However, it didn't matter how old Wanderer Tranquil was. Fangzheng didn't mind.

Wanderer Tranquil led Fangzheng to the banyan tree once again. Sitting by the side of the square table with potted holes, the two drank tea and chatted about the development of Buddhism and Daoism since ancient times. They chatted about the bright moon in the sky, about the immortal path, all kinds of matters related to Buddhism and Daoism. The more they chatted, the happier they became.

Lone Wolf lay to the side, yawning. Finally, he dozed off. In his dream, he seemed to see Fangzheng flying up with a Buddhistic glow. With a wave of his hand, he scattered countless exquisite pastries, allowing him to eat his fill... Lone Wolf began to chuckle in delight in his sleep.

The round moon above slowly streaked across the sky and descended towards the horizon. At the same time, it meant that the last full moon night of the year was over.

Following that, the chirping of birds snapped Fangzheng and Wanderer Tranquil awake. They looked up at the sky and realized that all the constellations had already faded away. The sun was about to rise, and the night was almost over.

The two exchanged looks and saw the incredulity, as well as the reluctance, in each other's eyes. At this point, Wanderer Tranquil stood up. "Since it's almost daybreak, why don't we move to the mountaintop to see the purple mist from the east and watch the sunrise?"

Fangzheng had already seen one sunrise and had experienced its beauty. Back then, he was still vexing over how he wouldn't have a second chance to see another anytime soon. Now, with Wanderer Tranquil mentioning it, Fangzheng expressed his interest and nodded. "Perfected One, please lead the way."

Wanderer Tranquil smiled as she led him up the mountain. Fangzheng shot a glance at Lone Wolf. Typically, although this fellow slept very soundly, he was still very alert. He would immediately wake up with any tiny commotion. However, this fellow actually didn't wake up this time. He was sleeping like a log.

Fangzheng pulled at him twice, but Lone Wolf remained snoring away. At the most, he would turn his body around and expose his belly. His mouth would open slightly as he hung out his tongue which plastered across his face. The sweet dreams he was having made him look like an idiot.

Upon seeing this, Fangzheng couldn't be bothered to wake him up. He directly followed Wanderer Tranquil up the mountains.

The moment the two left, Lone Wolf got up and smacked his lips. "I'm not going to be a third wheel. The two of you only have each other in your eyes. What difference does it make if I go? I'll just end up being ignored! I'd rather conserve my strength. My stomach is already shriveling from hunger... Sigh."

The mountain wasn't too high. In fact, none of the nearby mountains pierced through the clouds. Wanderer Tranquil led Fangzheng past the bamboo path and arrived at a dirt road. Thankfully, it hadn't rained, so it wasn't difficult to traverse the path.

Fangzheng felt mixed emotions when he arrived at the mountaintop again. Previously, he had been with a wolf, but now, he was with an elegant woman with extraordinary bearing. The feeling was really different. When with Lone Wolf, he felt that the mountaintop was empty and nothing of interest. But now, Fangzheng felt especially good. He even felt a little prideful, the kind of pride any man would know.

However, this thought disappeared as fast as it appeared. As the horizon lit up, a red ray of sunlight shot out. When it shone on Wanderer Tranquil's body, it added a tinge of sacredness to her beauty.

At that moment, Fangzheng suddenly realized that the scenery at the mountaintop was really not bad.

Meanwhile, Wanderer Tranquil also glanced at Fangzheng. At that instant, there was a unique look in her eyes. This was because after the red light receded from the monk before her, all that was left was a golden, sunny glow. Standing there, he looked like a Buddha who had descended upon this world. His solemnity and dignity included a benevolence for all life. In her adrift moment, Wanderer Tranquil was unable to tell if Fangzheng was man or Buddha.

The two didn't say a word as they stood on the mountaintop alongside each other. They looked up slightly and watching the burning fireball leap out of the horizon. They took in the serenity of the morning as the wind blew.

After the sun completely appeared, the two exchanged looks and gave each other a knowing smile. They turned to leave.

Down the mountain, Lone Wolf was already losing his patience. He looked at all the pastries on the offering table with an evident expression. "Look, the deity is done eating. All this is left. Why don't I help you guys finish it?"

Wanderer Tranquil also read Lone Wolf's thoughts. She pursed her lips and said, "It's no wonder you took in this wolf as a disciple. He's rather intelligent. If you are hungry, you can eat all these things. However, I'll need to tidy things up first."

Upon hearing that, Lone Wolf was instantly overjoyed. He ran around the yard and was just short of rubbing himself against her to express his intimacy. However, he knew that he would probably be starving if he did that.