Mu Chen closed his eyes as little disciple asked, his mild and quiet face tilting slightly just opposite to Gu Yunjue, and his thin lips pursing lightly with a soft smile.
Gu Yunjue couldn’t suppress the craving anymore and finally kissed Mu Chen. Having been living together with master for those ten years, Gu had always been fighting against the inner desire to kiss him, possess him, and to entwine with him, even when he was sober. He was just like a drug addict, so obsessed with this man since the very beginning… He knew, however, it was not the time.
It was a quick kiss. Gu Yunjue suddenly regained his sense upon seeing Mu Chen’s eyelashes trembling out of shock. He instantly refrained his greed after the gentle touch and changed another expression that he knew would soften master’s heart to forgive him.
Mu Chen opened his eyes in a rage, only to see his coy disciple like a frightened rabbit watching him in panic, as if the poor child would be scared into tears by any scolding.
“You…” Mu Chen felt hardly to say anything because of anger, only staring at Gu Yunjue furiously.
‘How many times I’ve warned you not to kiss me? This evil disciple should kiss my lips. How dare him!’
“I like master!” This evil disciple bared his heart another time.
Mu Chen looked solemn. He had heard these words many times since his disciple was a little child. But now Gu Yunjue had grown up, so he couldn’t be softhearted anymore. Mu Chen asked with a cold face, “Do you know what this action means?”
“It’s only for the most intimate person, as master taught me.” The answer should seem to be sufficient.
Mu Chen yelled fiercely, “Since you know, why you…”
“Master is just the most intimate person to me!” Gu Yunjue interrupted Mu Chen, in a seemingly aggrieved voice, as if he was complaining, ‘I’ve just done the right thing you taught me before and now you want to go back on your words. It’s unfair.’
Feeling his chest suffocated with something, Mu Chen opened his mouth but then closed it only to find no excuse to refute this evil disciple. Then he was totally irritated by Gu’s attitude, “You evil disciple! You should dare to retort.”
Gu Yunjue twisted the corner of his mouth, knowing that the punishment waiting for him would be—kneeling against the wall.
“Go there to kneel!” Mu Chen raised his hand and pointed at the corner, extremely dignified.
Gu Yunjue walked over to the corner with an unreconciled face, lifted his robe smartly and kneeled down smoothly.
Mu Chen suddenly realized little disciple had been immune to such painless punishment. He fiddled with the tip of his brow, feeling a faint headache, ‘During those ten years, I have tried my best to teach this disciple, but it just feels not right that the kid is too clingy to me. His personality becomes mild, but his true friends seem to be rare. I haven’t seen him do any serious affairs except pestering me every day.’
At that moment, a maid came over, holding a food box in her hand. Seeing Gu Yunjue kneeling beside the wall, the maid seemed to be clear about the situation with a sense of understanding flashing beneath her eyes. The servants had been accustomed and inured to these two being at odds. She still asked respectfully, “Palace Master, where would you like to eat dinner tonight?”
“Fasting tonight!” Mu Chen grunted sulkily. He turned his head and saw the uneven lid over the food box which was vividly inscribed with a stereoscopic peony. Mu Chen suddenly hit upon an idea in a blink. He took off the lid, knocked a few times on it and threw it straight to Gu Yunjue after finding it was wooden, ordering in a cold tone, “Kneel on it to reflect on yourself. Don’t break it.”
Gu Yunjue caught it with the corner of his mouth twisting and his face frozen.
‘Little master should start using tools and punish me with tricks, really getting smarter! What if he knows more to be hardly deceived in the future?’
Although Mu Chen punished little disciple righteously for his mistake, he also felt concerned indeed. Mu Chen let the disciple get up by the midnight, because it would be Gu’s sixteenth birthday the next day. The disciple would become an adult, so he just couldn’t let him kneel to celebrate this day.
Gu Yunjue stood up and patted his knees. Seeing Mu Chen still angry with the back to him, Gu just restrained himself to laugh and walked away with reluctance.
Mu Chen closed his eyes with a hum, feeling a little pissed. ‘Such a stupid disciple! He should directly walk away without saying a word to me. He is feeling unconvinced to my discipline? Apparently, I should punish him more!’
A while later, Gu Yunjue came back with two bowls of noodles in his hands and called master to have snack. Seeing Mu Chen pretend not hearing it, he put the bowls down and hastened to coax his little master who was still in a silent sulk, “Master, this disciple has made noodles for you. Would you like to have some?”
Mu Chen raised his eyebrows, “You made it yourself?”
Gu Yunjue nodded. In order to attract all of master’s attention to him on the way to Pill City, he planned to take good care of little master himself without keeping any servant beside. Therefore, he had begun to learn cooking, which actually was quite easy for him to acquire without even a second look.
Mu Chen obviously had no confidence in his disciple’s skill, saying impatiently, “Don’t you feel it too late for noodles?”
“It’s longevity noodles. Please! I’d like Master to have some with me!”
Hearing that, Mu Chen became softened and sat up. Seeing that the ingredients were all his favorite in normal days, he took over the chopsticks from his disciple and then tasted it like being forced.
It was hard to deny that little disciple’s cooking was quite good. After eating the noodles, Mu Chen seemed a little relaxed. The child cultivators who came over to clear the table felt it so helpless that the two were constantly at odds in a day before they made peace with each other. Every time young master offended palace master, he would coax the other later. Never did the matter last overnight. This was the unique way for them to promote their bonding?
Many people inside the sect had sent lavish gifts to celebrate birthday for Gu Yunjue. Should it be other masters who had only one disciple, they might arrange grand banquet to extend gratitude. Anyhow, it would be better to establish relations for him by virtue of such a marvelous opportunity. However, Mu Chen hadn’t the intent at all. Everyone that came to give gifts would leave right away without a-minute stay. It would be the best that Mu Chen didn’t refuse the gift, let alone to invite them for a meal. Impossible!
Yu Tianyi had intended to go to Yanyang Palace again before he left, but he hadn’t expected that Yue Mingze just appeared without any hint like his tail. Yue Mingze grabbed his sleeves adeptly, with a solemn expression, “Sect Master Yu, I have something to discuss with you!”
Yu Tianyi, “…”
Worrying that his robe might be stained by dust, Mu Chen stood by the door of the treasure house and watched Gu Yunjue pick and choose among numerous cells inside.
Since the two had decided to go to Pill City, they had to use some flying tool for the long journey rather than riding with sword. The spiritual tool Mu Chen used last time was complained by Gu Yunjue for being too small to accommodate both of them, so they came to the treasure house for a larger one. Mu Chen silently twitched his mouth, ‘This disciple is even more finicky than a girl!’
“Master, what about this one?” Gu Yunjue held a red tower and asked Mu Chen with a smile. In so jubilant a color, the tower would alter into a Chinese traditional wedding room with a little decoration. After the tower chose its owner, so long as abundant spiritual stones were supplied to offer energy, it could function as a mobile palace that carried the owner everywhere as he/she wished.
Mu Chen glanced disapprovingly, “Too gaudy!”
Gu Yunjue had to put it down disappointedly. Then he found a shell-like magic tool, picturing in his mind that it might be changed into the smallest size as a chair to seat master, while it could also serve as a bed in a larger size so that he could spread a white blanket on the lower half and carry master inside the shell. That would be wonderful! “Master, how about this one? It also has the defense function!”
Mu Chen remained his impatient attitude, “It looks as if a girl lives inside the seashell, full of fish smell! Put it aside!”
After a whole morning’s selection, Gu Yunjue finally found a flying tool that seemed alike with Yanyang Palace in both color and layout. He asked Mu Chen in an indulgent tone, “This is the last one. How about we take it?”
Mu Chen tilted his head, feeling it incredible that there should be a flying tool with similar color and design as Yanyang Palace while he had no idea about it. It was Dan Yangzi’s another collection? Gradually, Mu Chen’s mind drifted far away. ‘Master didn’t take anything with him when ascending. How did he survive? Did he beg for food in God Realm?’
Seeing no rejection from Mu Chen, Gu Yunjue trickled a drop of blood on the magic tool to complete the procedure of recognition and then put it into the air. Mu Chen was totally dumfounded seeing a magnificent palace floating in the air, “How come it be so large?”
Gu Yunjue rubbed his chin, He had told the artisans to build it into one tenth of Yanyang Palace’s size but didn’t think it should look so large in the air.With that in mind, Gu Yunjue hit on an idea. He changed the flying tool into a smaller one and asked brightly, “How about Master give it a name?” Gu Yunjue had always been enjoying the scene when Mu Chen named things. Therefore, so long as he had something new, he’d take it over and asked Mu Chen to give it a name.
Mu Chen answered directly without even a thought, “Little Yanyang Palace.”
“Good shot! The name just conforms to the real!”
People around them twisted the corner of their lips, somewhat speechless with Gu Yunjue’s attitude. It was totally shameless to pamper palace master like that. Master’s bad temper was all due to him!
In order to train little disciple’s independence, Mu Chen left all things to be handled by Gu Yunjue, while he himself began to prepare some pills for unexpected needs. Black Egg stood on the windowsill, looking at Mu Chen with poor eyes, “Chirp!” Only a peep came out of its mouth.
Mu Chen rubbed it with regret, “I’ll concoct more pills for you. You can surely be back to normal again.”
Black Egg, “…Chirp!” I’ve totally lost my courage to take another one!
At that time, a child cultivator ran over and reported to Gu Yunjue respectfully, “Young Master, someone at the foot of the mountain calls himself a family of Palace Master and asks to see Palace Master.”[xl1]
“A family?” Gu Yunjue frowned coldly.
“He said his family name is Chen and claimed to be Palace Master’s junior cousin.” The child cultivator took out a jade identification card with a letter “Chen” (陈in Chinese) on it. Gu Yunjue sneered, ‘The Chen’s just won’t give up!’ He uttered indifferently, “Break his legs and throw him away. Next time just kill whoever dare to pose as Master’s family. No need to report!”
The child cultivator froze with fear and hastened to pass on the order.
Then Gu Yunjue suddenly stopped him and exhorted, “Don’t bother Master with this matter. Not even in the future. Understand?”
The child cultivator nodded cannily, “Yes, yes, your humble servant will bear it in mind!”
Gu Yunjue smiled slightly, ‘Those servants Guan Shan brought here are quite clever.’
Mu Chen was still concocting pills for Black Egg, completely unaware of what happened outside. In the night of the third day, the two just secretly left Lofty Cloudy Sect by moonlight and headed straight northward.
Bo Jinyu who had been pestering Mu Chen to go along with him arrived outside Yanyang Palace, only to find Mu Chen had left already. He was so pissed off and stamped his feet with anger, “Such a great friend he is!”
“Master, you said you’ll be his permanent enemy, didn’t you?” The little lantern servant kindly reminded him.
“Hum!” Bo Jinyu snorted arrogantly, “We can’t deny that he saved our lives before. Look at him, being cold all the time, as if he is the noblest person in the world so that nobody is allowed to approach him. He must have no friends. So I’m just showing sympathy for him.”
“Master, you are lying.” Little lantern disapproved with contempt. ‘Undoubtedly master just wants to make friends with the one he finally finds of the same personality as himself but feels embarrassed to speak it out. On the contrary, he always stirs up troubles and loses in the end. It’s uneasy for master indeed!’
“We take a shortcut back home. Pill City is my zone. We must arrive earlier than they do.”
Seeing his master tittering, the little lantern sighed silently in his heart, ‘Master won’t make any friends in this way and perhaps gets beaten instead. If he is beaten in Pill City…’ Thinking of master’s family, the little lantern felt anxious for Mu Chen who seemed not to be a timid either. The show would be excellent then!
Meanwhile, a man wearing a black robe received a summoning talisman on which wrote a sentence—Mu Chen is on the way to Pill City.
The man wore a silk mask that covered his upper face. The corner of his mouth curved, seemingly unfathomable. The talisman in his hands distorted and then crashed into ashes after a hard pinch. He looked at the direction to Pill City, crooning with a husky voice, “Little junior brother! Don’t go fast!”