After he had verified the myth of “The Gift-giving Old Grandpa”, Nello wanted to investigate the authenticity of the mythical “Xian Master of Peach Mountain”. He was collecting related information and evidence in places near Peach Mountain.

        “Seems like there’s nothing here...” Nello muttered; there was disappointment in his voice despite already knowing the difficulty of seeking the truth behind myths. He sat on a large rock and took out his map and notebook. On it he wrote down how he felt at that moment and what had happened in the forest just now.

        Nello sighed, for he knew that there was a mountain nearby with peaches growing all; yet, not only did he not know its exact location, he was also unsure whether a Xiao Master really lived there. Just as Nello started feeling discouraged, Gracious Dog barked at him as if in encouragement. Nello was pleased; he softly stroked Gracious Dog’s head and chin before setting off for a village nearby. As they were passing through a bamboo forest, they suddenly heard children’s laughter and an animal’s mournful howls. They hurried towards the source of the commotion.

        The view Nello saw was unbelievable— lying on the ground was a huge, strong dog being struck by several children. Unable to fight back, it trembled with fear. While it could scare off the children hitting and kicking it with a single bark, it just stayed crouched, moaning in pain.

        Nello and Gracious Dog hurried to rescue the dog. Gracious Dog bellowed, its appearance fierce. Only then did the children knew they were in trouble and swiftly fled. Nello and Gracious Dog inspected the condition of the injured dog, which had countless wounds of varying severity all over its body. They believed that it had been continually mistreated. But what puzzled Nello most was the monk idol firmly tied to its body. He wondered if the dog was born with it or if it served any special purpose...

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