At the intersection of the Three Realms was complete nothingness, where Sky and Earth met without distinct line, dark and grey with no end. But there existed an enormous ice coffin standing on end in the air, where a beautiful white-robed cultivator was sleeping with his clothes on, his robe as white as snow and his face ruddy. Mu Chen would definitely be surprised if he saw the man in the coffin, because the man looked quite similar to him.
There stood in the air an old man next to the coffin with his head lowered, who was gently touching the coffin; and in a minute, a flicker of restrained pain showed up on his face with unswerving determination, “You fell in love with a woman from mortal world. Consequently, you got punished by the God and were oppressed here, more dead than alive. What could I say! Is it worth it?”
In the meanwhile, at the ancestral hall of Chen.
Chen Mo stared at his own father, his face filled with complaints, and questioned: “You have driven Mu Chen out of Chen Clan and forbidden him to step into our house until his death, even depriving him of his right to visit his mother’s grave. Then, why did you use what his mother had left to lure him back?”
“We brought him up, so he must take his responsibility.” The man looked strict with his young sister’s memorial tablet in his hand, a pair of emotionless eyes and two lines of deep nasolabial folds making him look harsh and ruthless. “With the help of him, your grandfather can definitely make a breakthrough into the Synthesis Stage. If Mu Chen still remembers his own identity, then he should come back as soon as possible after seeing what his mother left.”
“Hum!” sneered Chen Mo, looking exhausted in his eyes. It was them who had taken Mu Chen as a dirty bastard and even threatened to kill him, but now, these shameless people dared to order Mu Chen to show filial piety to them. Chen Mo had felt disappointed at his family when he saw their doings these years. Closing his eyes to cover his disappointment, Chen Mo said slowly: “No, he is named after his father, not Chen family. Aunt gave him the family name ‘Mu’, and never regretted even when she died. It’s you. You betrayed her and let her down.”
“How dare you!” harshly berated the middle-aged man, who put down the tablet and stared at Chen Mo in anger: “How dare you talk to me like that!”
Dejectedly throwing himself on his knees, Chen Mo kowtowed three times to his ancestral memorial tablets, and then gave another three deep kowtows to his father, “I’m a disobedient son. I need to go out to experience for hundreds of years. If I am lucky to survive, then I will show my filial piety to our family.”
As his last word fell, Chen Mo got up, looking at ease in his eyes. He also felt worn-out after all these years.
“You are such an unfilial son! As the next Clan Master, you should discard your family just for a bastard...”
“Father!” Chen Mo couldn’t bear to suppress his anger and roared back: “Chen is the son of your sister! You call him ‘bastard’, then have you ever felt sorry to Aunt?” He pointed to the memorial tablet in front of them, his eyes burning, “Aunt is watching you! She is looking at her respectful brother abuse her dearest son.”
Hearing that, the Clan Master of Chen’s face changed abruptly and he fell silent, perhaps because he had no idea how to react to the outburst of his son who had always been obedient before, or because he felt guilty.
Throwing a deep glance to his father, Chen Mo turned around and left in a determined manner, never turning back his head.
Mu Chen was in confusion, ‘Where had that jade slip gone? How did it disappear?’
Then, he searched for the whole room but found nothing. At the very moment, Mu Chen noticed that his little disciple was kneeling in the corner, his anger being fueled, “Are you done?”
Gu Yunjue looked lovable, “Master, I will get up when you cool down.” Mu Chen knew clearly that the so-called ‘cool down’ meant not to build a wall between their rooms. Mu Chen massaged his own forehead out of helplessness, distractedly saying: “Whatever!”
The next morning, Gu Yunjue knelt by Mu Chen’s bed with his head down, an intense feeling of sadness spreading out. He just looked as if he had nothing left to live for.
A headache overtook Mu Chen when he noticed that.
‘What a stubborn boy!’
Exhausted with the stalemate, Mu Chen sighed, “Alright, I’m not angry anymore. Get up quickly.”
His eyes filled with excitement after hearing that, Gu Yunjue excitedly stood up and rushed to Mu Chen, but staggered on his feet due to the numbness in his legs from kneeling. As a result, he threw himself onto Mu Chen and they both fell onto the bed due to the violent impact that made Mu Chen groan.
Gu Yunjue’s eyes darkened and fixed on his Master under him, while he himself didn’t say a word, nor did he have any intention to get up.
However, feeling the weight pressing his body, Mu Chen took a deep sigh, “Those treasures I’ve fed you are actually not wasted. You are much heavier than before.”
Gu Yunjue giggled, “Now that Master can no longer hold me up, let me hold you in future.”
Mu Chen raised his hand and gave a knock on his disciple’s head, saying in a tone of contempt: “I have hands and feet, then, why must I need you to hold me? Get up!”
Gu Yunjue stood up and held Mu Chen’s hands tightly, “We have made a deal. You raise me up when I was young. Now, I have grown up and I should support you.”
Giving a glimpse at his little disciple, Mu Chen replied ‘okay’ in a casual tone and apparently had no desire to say anything to Gu Yunjue.
Four Great Sects Competition was held as scheduled. Disciples of Lofty Cloud Sect followed different paths in cultivation, some learned swordsmanship, some pursued pill concocting, some went for tool refining, etc., while Ten Thousand Sword Sect had more sword cultivators just as its name implied. Yan Yang Sect was similar to Lofty Cloud Sect in nature, and Bodhi Sect took Buddha cultivation as its principal thing. So they were the Four Great Sects in the Immortal Realm.
Gu Yunjue was the youngest cultivator of highest seniority among the Four Great Sects. So the moment he appeared, nearly all present turned their eyes on him, their gaze exploratory, hostile, or insinuating…basically presenting all the fickleness of the world.
Although Mu Chen came a little bit late and there were already many people in the main seats, no one said anything about his lateness because of his high seniority. Mu Chen, who was sitting on his own seat, looked over to all the cultivators down there for the competition and a young cultivator in a snowy robe in a distance came into his view. This youngster stood quietly in the crowd, his face features fine, his temperament elegant, and his exquisite robe fluttering in the soft breeze. One glimpse at him and you would be impressed by the serenity and grace from him that would remind you of the tranquility of years.
In a sudden, Mu Chen felt that the little one he raised had grown up.
At the very moment, Gu Yunjue saw Mu Chen as well and then with the corners of his mouth hung up, Gu Yunjue cracked a warm smile to his Master. With the edge of his mouth curved up, too, Mu Chen smiled back, seeming in a good mood; but the next second, he pulled a long face. Noticing that change on his Master’s face, Gu Yunjue subconsciously turned to scan those cultivators who stood next to him, and his body tightened in a sudden as he was now surrounded by those female cultivators of Hongxiu Palace...
So Gu Yunjue quietly moved a few steps away and kept a safe distance away from them. Then, Mu Chen looked better.
Gu Yunjue laughed secretly in heart, ‘Little Master looks so lovely when he is jealous.’
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Mu Chen hummed to himself, ‘This little one, if the habit of luring women couldn’t be gotten rid of, then I would give him a sound beat every day!’
Just as that thought flashed in his mind, a towering figure came before him and blocked off the sunlight. Mu Chen then raised his head and saw Yu Tianyi sitting down with smiles before the latter asked, “What are you looking at?”
“My disciple,” responded Mu Chen casually, looking neither passionate nor cold. Yu Tianyi didn’t care about his indifference, and just sat beside him and looked to the stage, recognizing the grown-up Gu Yunjue at once among those who participated in today’s competition, praising: “He’s potential.”
Hearing his compliment, Mu Chen looked softer and replied ‘yes’ slightly; yet a flicker of satisfaction could be heard in his voice.
Yu Tianyi seemed to find something interesting and talked to Mu Chen as if he was interested in everything about Gu Yunjue. Then, Mu Chen’s indifferent attitude gradually melted and he became more talkative as their conversation centered on his little disciple. Of course his little disciple was the best and he’d like to accept others’ compliments.
After a while, Mu Chen felt quite pleased, asking: “Did you get everything ready”
“Not really, I still need the Searing Jade Heart.” Yu Tianyi looked at Mu Chen in quite a good mood, his smile becoming brighter as if he didn’t mind a bit about what he was suffering.
Mu Chen nodded, “As difficult as finding the Ice Soul Pearl.” But he thought to himself, ‘Has the ice poison done any damage to his mind? Why did he still smile like that when his body is in such a poor condition? Is he an idiot?’
“If possible, I still want to explore the Secret Boundary together with you to search for spirit herbs. So I am available at any time you are convenient.” Yu Tianyi proposed in a low and deep tone, sounding like making a promise, which led Mu Chen to tilt his head towards Yu Tianyi and smile, “As the Sect Master, you couldn’t be so free.” Obviously, Mu Chen didn’t believe his word.
Yu Tianyi was dazed for a moment by the sudden smile of Mu Chen before he grinned, “It depends on the matter and the person.”
Mu Chen fell into silence suddenly and didn’t know how to make a response.