Author: Yin Ya
Translator: Renkun27, chiangyushien, Pline
Atop Mount Feng Xia, there was a temple. From a courtyard that was as crowded as a marketplace , up until such time when one could catch a sparrow on the doorstep , this temple had already been around for several hundreds of years. The once glorious building had now become dilapidated due to the exposure of the sun and harsh winds. Although it was still apparent from the exterior of the temple that it was once magnificent, it all had already been gone in the long river of time.
(「门庭若市」méntíng-ruòshì – a place with many visitors)
(「门可罗雀」ménkěluóquè – completely deserted)
The golden-bright sun rose from the east and dazzling down, hanging overhead.
A wooden door, which had been decades old, opened from inside, and the sound of ‘yiya’ almost spread through this open and spacious, and yet, quiet and deserted temple, recounting an age-old melody.
Wang Cheng stretched himself toward the sun. As usual, just like someone mentally deranged, he shook out his entire body, only to begin his day-to-day washing.
He was the only monk left in the temple. Half a month ago, this old and shabby temple also had a staggering and stooped old monk who acted as his companion, that was, his master. Half a month later, he was the only one left. The old monk had died in his bed at a ripe old age.
Wang Cheng was the only disciple of the old monk. After the old monk’s death, he naturally inherited the old monk’s belongings.
He blended steamed stuffed bun with congee, then simply finished breakfast.
After breakfast Wang Cheng returned to the house and cleared away the old monk’s remnants.
He and the old monk stayed in the two best rooms in the temple. The rooms were the best, but at the same time, the worst. None of the doors could be closed. Not to mention the windows — they were broken. The hole made a ‘huhu’ sound when the wind blew in. Also, there was even a mouse or cockroach that would suddenly come in. Night time on the mountain was very cold. The plaster of the walls was peeled off and all of the bricks could be seen. What’s more, with just one poke, it all could fall over. Wang Cheng once tried using one finger to push over the room’s wall. He was chased away with a stick afterwards by the old monk. His buttocks almost blossomed.
(T/N: explode/break up. His skin was raw from the beating he got with stick ~ blossomed).
The old monk did not have that many possessions. His clothing and other personal items for all four seasons added up to less than five sets. The room was so simple and clean that he finished packing up in just two or three times . Everything was packed in a box with half of the space left.
(「三两下」sān liǎng xià – means to do/finish/complete/etc something with no difficulties within three or even as less as two times attempts.)
Wang Cheng went to the bed where the old monk usually slept. There was a gray pillow on the bed. The pillow had already been used for a few years. There was also a rusty color on the surface. The quilts had also been used for many years. The cotton padding exuded a thick musty smell. A mat was spread underneath it. In order to avoid seeing an object which would make himself miss its owner , Wang Cheng decided to burn all of these. He took everything and rolled it up. Just when he was about to turn around, something suddenly fell out from the pillow’s opened end.
(「睹物思人」dǔ wù sī rén – an idiom which meant “the object reminds one of its owner.”)
Wang Cheng looked down and found a pile of papers.
He placed the pillow and quilt back on top of the bed. He bent down to pick up the papers. A few papers had already become yellow, and there was also an envelope with his name written on it. Obviously, the old monk wrote the letter for him. The envelope was slightly thick. He assumed that he wrote a lot. He did not open it right away, instead, he took a few yellow papers and studied them. It seemed that he was unconcerned with the deed of the temple. The temple was so shabby that no one would buy it if it was sold at a low price.
Wang Cheng opened the envelope. As expected, it was the old monk’s handwriting. The old monk wrote it on the night before he passed away. He probably already knew that his own life had reached its limit.
At the beginning, it rambled on and recalled some of his previous memories: from the moment he was received by the old monk’s temple, and many many details that he had almost forgotten were reminded by the old monk’s letter.
His character was quite lively and mischievous, especially when he was younger. He always liked to cause trouble for the old monk. For example, while the old monk was still sleeping, he would run into his house, scrape a layer of dust off the wall, then paint it onto the old monk’s face, waiting for him to wake up, and inevitably see his tabby cat-like face. Furthermore, he would put insects in the old monk’s quilt and shoes, snakes etc… Things like this were too numerous to mention individually, and every time he would discover him, his butt would be red all over.
“Smelly old man, since you don’t trust me, then don’t die like that!”
Wang Cheng muttered this line to himself, in fact the old monk was already more than a hundred years old.
Finally, the old monk brought up the matter of the deed. Those several yellowed papers indeed included the title deeds of the temple. In fact, they were also the deeds for Mount Feng Xia. It took the old monk two months to transfer all of these things to his name.
Unfortunately, these things were useless to him. In his eyes, they were just a pile of papers.
Wang Cheng stuffed them into a box. Afterwards, he moved it to a corner of the storeroom, closed the door, and locked it. A layer of dust fell down, choking him for a moment. Probably it would be a very long time before he would open it again.
He did not expect that he would open this door so quickly again, and so soon.