508 Striking the Bell, Hitting the Drum

    Fangzheng knew that the curious animals had many questions, so he explained it to them in one fell swoop to save him the trouble from having to deal with their continuous pestering.

    After giving the explanation, Fangzheng hurriedly said when he noticed the time, "Alright, that's all for today's class. Quickly go strike the bell. There's not much time left..."

    Monkey obeyed the order as he immediately rushed to strike the bell.

    However the striking of the bell today was different from the past, because there was the addition of a drum! Today both bell and drum would resonate one after another! It naturally could not be struck randomly.

    On one side, Fangzheng came to the top of the drum tower, and he faced Monkey from afar. The man and monkey pressed their palms together and bowed. Following that, Monkey grabbed the bell hammer while Fangzheng picked up the drum sticks. Following that, both of them took action!

    The striking of the bell was about slowness, while the hitting of the drum was about speed!

    Fangzheng raised the drum stick and struck it down suddenly!


    At the instant the drum stick landed, Fangzheng seemed to see countless flashes of lightning blast in front of him. His entire mind went blank from the resounding blast! Meanwhile, a black gas emanated as the reality before his very eyes seemed to shatter. He saw scenes! The clearest one was a scene of him swaddled in baby garments being abandoned at the foot of the mountain before two figures departed!

    Upon seeing the backs of the figures, Fangzheng's heart winced. The pain of being abandoned erupted in his heart. It hurt! It seemed to rip through his heart! Why had they treated him like that?

    Although Fangzheng had always been loved by Zen Master One Finger and safeguarded by the villagers, which child wouldn't yearn for their parents' presence regardless of the abundant love they received? How could such love be replaced?

    Deep in Fangzheng's heart, he had always yearned for his parents' love, but it was something that eluded him.

    All these years, Fangzheng had always been asking himself the question why his parents had abandoned him. What exactly had happened? Did they dislike him? Or had they encountered danger? Unfortunately, there were no answers to his numerous questions.

    But today, he suddenly saw a scene. Although it was blurry, he was certain that it was genuine! It was true that a man and woman had put him down. Due to the Kui War Drum, Fangzheng's memories of when he was still a baby were dug up and presented to him!

    There was no special reason to be seen. He had simply been abandoned! Abandoned by his own parents!

    At that instant, the pining and yearning that had lasted for more than ten years-dreams that Fangzheng had conjured up for himself-instantly shattered! Pangs of fury instantly rose in him!

    "Ah!" Fangzheng bellowed angrily as he struck the drum once more!

    However, the abandonment scene only turned clearer. He even faintly heard someone say, "Discard..."

    "No!" Fangzheng roared out loudly as tears gushed out of his eyes. He wished to shout and yell. He hoped that the two would turn back and take him with them. He did not want to be thrown away and abandoned! He wanted to return home! He missed his parents!

    Endless grievances and immense pain seemed to erupt as Fangzheng turned into a sobbing mess!

    The third strike was like a tempest!

    The Kui War Drum produced a sound different from other drums. Other drums were filled with a sense of righteous awe, but the drum's gong sounded like an explosive clap of thunder, a behemoth's roar, or the wailing of a wraith! It was jarring and ear-piercing, as though it was about to tear apart a person!

    In Fangzheng's ears, it sounded like a devilish hand which reached deep into his heart, digging out the pains that were buried there to torture him!

    A second scene appeared. It was when Zen Master One Finger passed away!

    "Fang..." However, Fangzheng failed to make out what Zen Master One Finger was saying. His vision was blurry, and he could not see or hear clearly. However the loss of the person he loved most seemed to splinter his heart!

    Without his parents, all he had was the companionship of this elderly monk who was like a father and mother to him. Yet he had passed away. Instantly, Fangzheng felt like he could not find a home where he belonged in this massive world, a world where he had no relatives or anyone to count on. He was lonely among a sea of people. Loneliness surged to his heart as he felt pain!

    The fourth and fifth strike happened as the drumming turned more belligerent and crazy!

    This irascible drumming sounded much calmer when it left the drum tower. Nonetheless, it was still impetuous and crazy! It left Monkey, Squirrel, Lone Wolf, and Red Boy's blood in chaos. They felt their hearts itch with no means of scratching them. They felt very restless, hoping to do something to vent their anger.

    Red Boy was a demon king after all. He immediately sensed that the situation was amiss. He quickly shouted, "Senior Brother Jingzhen, what are you waiting for? Quick, strike the bell!"

    Only then did Monkey jolt to his senses. He gritted his teeth and pushed the bell hammer before striking out with great force!


    A melodious, rustic, and magnanimous bell gong sounded!

    At that instant, Red Boy felt as though he saw Sanskrit chanting resound from the monastery! The bodhi tree in the monastery that had always been used as a tourist attraction rustled autonomously as Buddhistic light and the force of wishes flew out from its leaves!

    "Nice, this monastery's wish forces were all absorbed by it! No wonder I couldn't sense any wish forces accumulate in the monastery. I thought they were taken away by Buddha, but at the end of the day, it was this tree that lucked out!" exclaimed Red Boy.

    The wish forces and Buddhistic aura flew out with the bell's gong as the Sanskrit chanting dispersed. The entire monastery immediately turned extremely mellow and peaceful. All the frustrations in their hearts were swept clean!

    Inside the drum tower, Fangzheng was hitting the drums as the scene of Zen Master One Finger's passing continued flashing across his eyes. The pain his heart endured made him feel like digging it out and massaging it strongly as though that was the only way to soothe his pain.

    And at that moment, the bell's gong boomed. The magnificent gong brought with it boundless wish forces and Buddhistic aura!

    Fangzheng instantly regained his auditory senses as his eyes turned sharp. The scenes before him no longer appeared blurry. He could finally see everything clearly!

    "Fangzheng, no matter what you do in the future, remember your name." Those were Zen Master One Finger's last words.

    When Fangzheng heard this sentence, he recalled the scene of when Zen Master One Finger answered his question of why he was given such an unsoundly name.

    "Oh? You find the name Fangzheng unsoundly? Then, what sort of name is nice?" Zen Master One Finger had retorted with a question.

    Fangzheng sat on a stone as he looked up into the sky. "What about Fang Aotian? It sounds pretty cool..."

    "Haha! Aotian? As in to regard the heavens superciliously? But why would you want to do so?" asked Zen Master One Finger.

    "I heard claims that the world treats all beings as dogs. Since they treat us as pigs and dogs, I naturally have to show disdain for it. I don't want to be treated as livestock by the world," Fangzheng pouted his lips as he said stubbornly.

    Zen Master One Finger laughed and shook his head. "I sent you to school to learn, but why do you only learn half sentences? In the past, you mentioned alcohol and meat pass through the intestines, while Buddha remains in the heart. It is a sentence that people have used out of context countless times. Now, you are saying something like that. Sigh... Fangzheng, you should learn to verify what others say in the future. Do not blindly believe them. If not, it will only lead you to mistakes, with no benefits whatsoever."

    "Master, what do you mean? Is the statement alcohol and meat pass through the intestines, while Buddha remains in the heart wrong too?" Fangzheng was taken aback.
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