Mu Chen pulled a long face and thought to himself: "As expected, I should never let my little disciple out of my sight. The slightest negligence and he was led astray. If those two nasty boys, Jing Ming and Xiao Liu didn't incite him, how would my little disciple stir up trouble?"
"Jing Ming! Go run one hundred laps around Lofty Cloud Sect!"
"One hundred…" Jing Ming looked frustrated and sulkily pointed at Gu Yunjue. "It was him! He, he…"
Gu Yunjue blankly blinked and foolishly tilted his head. "Ah?"
Jing Ming stared at Gu Yunjue's little nose, little eyes and little bean like face for quite a while before angrily stamping his feet and leaving in a huff. He mumbled to himself as he walked, "Lofty Cloud Sect is so big that it'll take me two months to run one hundred laps. Palace Master, you changed. You've never treated me like this before. You must have found some other…"
Jing Ting lifted his leg and kicked hard at his younger brother's bottom, sending him far away like a pouncing squirrel that whooshed immediately out of sight. The last time his stupid brother brought Gu Yunjue out, they got lost. This time was far worse beyond the reasonable limits, they went to steal fish! Jing Ting was livid. What a retarded younger brother!
Gu Yunjue pulled at Mu Chen's sleeves and stared unblinkingly with obsession at the speckled flush on Mu Chen's fair cheek caused by anger. Ever since he realized his love for the Master, he felt like being possessed by some sort of devil. He just couldn't bear to stand a minute without his Master in sight and even the slightest expression of his Master could make his heart skip a beat.
This body was indeed young; however, Gu Yunjue wasn't anxious. He had enough time to stay by his Master and ensnare him into the snares of love so that he would never be able to escape.
Mu Chen looked down at Gu Yunjue, only to find he smiling so satisfactorily to an annoying degree. Overtaken by somewhat inexplicable anger, he lifted the little kid and gave him a sound spanking.
You nasty little kid! How could you secretly laugh at your playmate's bad luck? Such a behavior can never be spoiled.
Never had Mu Chen expected that Gu Yunjue would always be easily "incited" in the next ten years. Once out of sight, his little disciple would go make trouble with several other nasty boys. This made Mu Chen dare not to neglect his education on Gu Yunjue for a single moment to the point of keeping this kid by his side at all times.
Ten years was but a brief moment in the long life of a cultivator. However, Mu Chen had lived this decade much fuller than the previous hundred years he had.
My little disciple grows even more clinging as he gets older, is this also the case for other kids? Should I do anything about it?
Every ten years, Lofty Cloud Sect would open its doors to accept disciples. Now was the time again and the outer disciples who passed the trial had already been taken away, leaving only a dozen fortunate inner disciples who kneeled in the great hall waiting for the sect master to decide where they could go.
In the first row of seats for six palace masters, Yue Mingze was sitting upright with his usual cold face, Duanmu Feng was dozing off with one hand propping his head, Mo Jinyang and Bai Xunrong, as always, were chatting merrily with each other. On the sixth seat sat Liu Hanzhi with a sword in hand and a murderous air around him. The fifth seat empty like it had always been.
Jin Moyang sized up these young disciples and said to Bai Xunrong, "Their aptitudes are great. There's even a mutated ice spiritual root and his aptitude won't lose to Fu Haolong's."
Fu Haolong was the youth that passed the last trail with the best performance. He had a heavenly thunder spiritual root and now at the age of 26, he already reached the early stage of gold core realm. A talented genius even among the whole immortal world.
"But still not as good as junior brother Gu." Bai Xunrong sounded rather envious. If she could have a disciple with great talent just like Gu Yunjue, then she would really laugh in dreams. Martial Uncle Mu had such a sharp eye that he picked the kid way before they could. Although it was rumored that Gu Yunjue's cultivation was a mere stacking of pills, whoever saw how Gu Yunjue fight would never believe such nonsense.
Mo Jinyang discouraged, "Stop dreaming! You wouldn't find another one with aptitude like that." Gu Yunjue was two months away from 16 years old yet he was already at the middle stage of gold core real. Such a striking aptitude had already broken the records of geniuses through the immortal world for the past thousands of years. No one could compete with him.
Right as they spoke, there came a gentle voice of a youngster after a sudden disturbance at the door. "Sorry for being late. I was delayed."
All looked to the door as he spoke. Coming into the hall was a youngster of 16 or 17 years old, who was tall, gentle and cultured like the soft breeze of March. He was in exquisite clothes that looked white as snow. Hanging on his waist was a jade pendant that demonstrated his identity. He had in hand a long black sword with a miniature of a gold-plated pagoda hanging by the handle. Though not wearing many ornaments, every single piece of the few he carried all demonstrated his unusual identity.
"Master has something else to attend to today, so he specially asks me to come in his place. I'm sorry to have kept you seniors waiting for long." With that, Gu Yunjue smiled. Under his sharp eyebrows, his peach-eyes looked extremely captivating as if radiant glow of imposing immortal aura overflowed. And the tear shaped birthmark on the corner of his eyes became even more enchanting as he grew.
Touching the forehead Bai Xunrong signed deeply, "Perhaps disciples in my Hongxiu Palace might replace all portraits of martial Uncle Mu with junior brother Gu's."
Duanmu Feng who was dozing off suddenly chimed in with his hand holding up his chin, "Isn't martial uncle Mu's smiles better looking than junior brother Gu's, junior brother?
Upon hearing that, Liu Hanzhi raised an eyebrow at Duanmu and immediately the two stared unblinkingly at each other as if competing, unwilling to back down at all.
Bai Xunrong interrupted the two's staring, with a wave of her hand, she bluntly said, "Martial uncle Mu is too cold. Girls like men like junior brother Gu, gentle, caring and thoughtful. Understand?"
Duan Mufeng noncommittally clicked his tongue. looking a bit speechless especially when he heard Bai Xunrong say gentle and caring. As if recalling something, he twitched the corners of his mouth unnaturally.
Yue Mingze let out a forged cough trying to indicate them not to talk about such a thing here. Only the new disciples couldn't hear their conversation. With their profound cultivation, everyone else were sure to catch what they were talking about.
Gu Yunjue went straight to the fifth seat as if not hearing a bit about their conversation. Despite his huge gap in cultivation to the other elders by his side, the youth, 17 years old at most, displayed such an imposing aura that wasn't a bit inferior. All elders in the hall were surprised with some calculation brewing in their eyes.
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Calm and collected, Gu Yunjue quietly took in everyone's expressions as he secretly wondered what master was doing. It seemed that Mu Chen could hardly repress the fire poison in his body for he had been meditating for all these days. He even handed everything in Yanyang Palace to Gu Yunjue, who, out of worry, dared not to leave his Master for a single moment.
As he was wondering in his thoughts, Yue Mingze interrupted and kindly asked, "Junior Brother Gu, does Martial Uncle Mu have any intention to accept a new disciple?"
These words drew all the attention to Gu Yunjue. If Mu Chen wanted someone, none of them dared to fight him for the child. The youngsters all secretly turned to Gu Yunjue, their eyes filled with eagerness. Gu Yunjue looked only a few years older than them but was actually siting at the same level with the sect master, an indication that he enjoyed the same, or even superior, status in the sect. If his master were to accept a new disciple, even if it was just a nominated one, this newly accepted disciple would actually become a junior brother of the sect master.
With a gentle smile, Gu Yunjue replied politely, "Master doesn't have any intention to accept a disciple. I only came to attend the ceremony. Senior Brother, Sect Master, please do as you please."
Several youngsters looked somewhat disappointed while many elders inside the hall exhaled a long sign of relief. Yue Mingze wasn't a bit surprised by the reply and asked his junior brothers about their choice. Duanmu Feng chose a disciple with a water-wood double spirit root. Yue Mingze considerately assigned the disciple with ice spirit root to Liu Hanzhi but the latter refused so he had to take the disciple as his own. The remaining disciples' aptitudes were a bit inferior. In the end, the twelve palaces took in five, the thirty-six peaks got five, and the last three were left to the seventy-two caves.
Gu Yunjue narrowed his eyes and watched all this in silence. After a ten-year period, Yue Mingze became more tactful in handling affairs and began to regain his authority in sect. How he distributed the disciples was a clear sign of suppressing the outer sect.
After the ceremony was over, Gu Yunjue hurried to get back. Right at this moment, a palace master that was waiting for him stopped him. "Junior Nephew Gu, please stay for a moment."
Gu Yunjue stopped and recognized the person. The twelve palaces also varied in power. This palace master was formerly Mu Chen's senior martial brother in the outer sect, Zheng Xuansu, and ranked third in the twelve palaces. Though having no idea why this palace master would call out to him, Gu Yunjue still gave a gentle smile and, with courtesy but also estrangement, looked at him. "Martial Uncle, why do you want me?"
Zheng looked quite like a gentle scholar when he swayed the folding fan. "I heard that your master is not feeling well these days, is it true?"
Gu Yunjue narrowed his eyes, in which murderous intent flashed.
The very moment in Yanyang Palace, Mu Chen, who was in the middle of meditating, opened his eyes, his face looking ghastly pale. In order to prevent Gu Yunjue from worrying, he had been trying to suppress his fire poison from relapsing. But now, it seemed he couldn't suppress it anymore.