When Mu Chen was revising the prescription for Black Egg, he suddenly felt on edge without any reason. Then he stood up and walked over to the window to see the scenery outside yet didn’t know what to do next, feeling somehow insecure like floating on the water with nothing to depend on.
Gu Yunjue, who was meditating on the bed, perceived the subtle mood swing of his master. He opened his eyes, looking at his master worriedly from behind. Under the moonlight, Mu Chen’s figure should be enveloped in a faint layer of mist that made him hard to be noticed if not with close attention. Gu Yunjue kept his worry deep down to his heart with a frown and walked over, asking softly behind Mu Chen, “What’s the matter?”
Turning around, Mu Chen saw Gu Yunjue reach out a finger with the fingertip falling between his eyebrows gently. The voice of this youngster unknowingly brought him solace that calmed him down gradually, hence the doubt and emptiness troubling him just now seemed to have disappeared the moment he saw Gu Yunjue. Feeling at ease, Mu Chen said slowly with a smile flickering across his lips, “I might have thought too much. Everything is fine.”
“If Master is tired, you may have a rest on the bed. I am here as your guard.” Gu’s voice sounded even gentler, which at once induced a sense of fatigue in Mu Chen, making him believe a sleep was not bad.
As Mu Chen lay down slowly on the bed, Gu Yunjue put on him a thin quilt and sat on the bedside looking at his sleeping master greedily as if his master was a precious treasure. Gu Yunjue’s eyes went darker as he thought of the mist enveloping Mu Chen just now. He had sent people to look for Mu Chen’s father in the three Realms but not a single trace had been found. The origin of his beloved seemed to be so complicated that Gu Yunjue was worried Mu Chen’s parental relation could bring misfortune to him.
Right at this moment, Gu Yunjue sensed a slight quake of the palace which seemed to be caused by someone landing on the roof. But he didn’t perceive any hostility. All he noticed was that Mu Chen frowned again, so he tapped his fingertip between master’s brows until Mu Chen fell back into a deep sleep. Then he arranged a boundary to protect Mu Chen and left the room.
Outside the attic was a man in green floating in the air, cross-legged. His clothes looked clean but was not that neat and his hair coiled back casually, which served him to be slovenly. Though, he looked quite pretty with a pair of slanted shinning eyes whose color resembled that of amber. Seeing Gu Yunjue come out, the man raised his chin, asking as if he were Gu’s friend, “Boy, do you have any wine?”
Squinting his eyes, Gu Yunjue smiled back, “Sure. Why don’t you come down for a talk?”
The man flew down after waving his sleeves and exclaimed in amazement, “So young as you are, you should have such a profound cultivation! Admirable!”
“This owes to my Master’s teaching.” Gu Yunjue showed great hospitality by serving a fine pot of wine and inviting him to sit down for a share.
“Aren’t you afraid that I am some sort of villain?” The man was shocked by the calmness of this young boy.
Gu Yunjue smiled, showing a natural and unrestrained bearing, like an innocent boy of the purest and truest disposition. He explained: “Apparently, you are a good man, and at least you have no intention to harm me. I am sure of this.”
“Intriguing.” As the man was satisfied with the answer, he wiped the bench with his sleeve and sat down casually, holding the pot to swig a drink directly, exclaiming, “Good liquor! Better if it were stronger.” Saying that, he drank in one sitting half a pot of wine and paused for a breath, “Finally, I’m alive again!”
Gu Yunjue squinted his eyes in order to hide his deep thought, asking with a smile, “Where are you going, senior?”
“Alas, never mention that.” The man patted on his thigh and said bluntly, “I had planned to go to the Lofty Cloudy Sect but got lost on the way.”
Gu Yunjue was astonished with his eyes darkening, “Are you visiting friends?”
“I am looking for my younger brother,” the man replied. He wiped his mouth after a mouthful of wine, then stood up and patted the shoulder of Gu Yunjue, smiling, “You treat me to wine today, next time I’ll buy you some in turn. I feel like we will definitely meet again someday.”
Noticing that he was leaving, Gu Yunjue asked him in a hurry, “How can I address you, senior?”
“My family name is Mu.” Leaving these words, the man disappeared at once. With so profound cultivation, Gu Yunjue should have missed the trace of his leaving. He then narrowed his eyes with the corner of his mouth curling slowly. Though that man looked barely alike to Mu Chen, there just seemed to be a close kinship between them.”
The eyes of Gu Yunjue became dark and dim. It had been ages before someone came here to look for master. How come master had a brother out of nowhere? Master was the only child of his mother. Had Master’s father married another wife who bore other children? Thinking of that, Gu Yunjue presented a thought-provoking snicker. ‘No matter what happens, master belongs to me. No one can take him away from me. It is that man’s own business to find his brother.’
Returning to Mu Chen who was still in sleep, Gu Yunjue felt rejoiced that he had set a boundary to hide Mu Chen’s breath. Otherwise he might have been recognized by that man.
Only by approaching closer did Gu Yunjue find Mu Chen was not sleeping well in that his eyelashes shivered slightly and his breath was unsteady as if he had been trapped by something in his dream. It was rare to see a cultivator have a dream, especially for someone like Mu Chen who was rather mighty. A cultivator’s dream, if any, would indicate that something abnormal had happened or would happen in the future. Gu Yunjue got closer to Mu with a hand touching his forehead, saying in a soft voice, “Master, wake up! Master?”
Mu Chen seemed at a loss when he opened his eyes. After a while, he sighed with a wisp of weariness in his voice, saying, “I dreamed of Jing Ting and Jing Ming. They were injured all over and chased all the time.”
Mu Chen frowned in worry, feeling somewhat antsy. “If they were in the immortal world, we might have a chance to offer a hand. But they live afar in the Demon Realm, which makes my care useless,” he added.
“No worry, Master.” Gu Yunjue comforted him with a smile. “Jing Ting is clever and prudent. He will never easily try anything adventurous. He is thoughtful enough to avoid any danger.”
Mu Chen refuted with a convincing reason, “But Jing Ming may hold him back.”
The smile on Gu Yunjue’s face faded away, because Jing Ming was the exception to be refuted anytime when Gu could always find excuse to coax his master. Jing Ming did pull others back all the time, which was especially hard to handle indeed!
But the two brothers were lucky and tough enough to survive any hardships facing them and would at most suffer for a while.
Things got still more worrisome for Mu Chen as his disciple also agreed that Jing Ming would hold back his brother. He was concerned about their situation. *
Meanwhile, at the Soul Burying Valley in the Demon Realm, blended with the smell of blood, the chill wind carrying black sands whooshed by a cave that could only allow one person pass each time. Jing Ming, with all his hair restoring white again, looked at the outside anxiously. With the familiar smell approaching, a great elation hit his eyes.
With his white hair wrapped under a black robe, Jing Ting returned with blood all over him. Then he set several boundaries around, threw the food in his hand to Jing Ming and instantly sat in meditation at the entrance to the cave to recover his spirit power.
“Brother, what about the people chasing after us outside?” Jing Ming asked. Unlike before, he didn’t eat the food but put them aside, seemingly more determined and more mature than previous days.
“All dead.” Jing Ting replied indifferently, and the reek of blood on his clothes already indicated what he had done.
Jing Ming took out a bottle of pills from a space ring which was stored in another space ring and then handed it to Jing Ting, “We are about to run out of the pills master has given us. If possible, we can buy some herbs outside and I’ll try to concoct some. Though the quality is not as good as Master’s, we can ensure the quantity hereafter.”
The frowned eyebrows of Jing Ting finally unknitted. He asked Jing Ming in confusion, “When did you learn about pill concocting?”
“When you were in seclusion. You think I am still the one who knows nothing but eating?” Jing Ming patted his breast proudly and said, “My aptitude for pill concocting is definitely higher than Gu Yunjue’s!”
Jing Ting lowered his gaze in silence, something complicated flashing over his eyes. Looking at that bottle of pills, he stored it up with great caution before he closed his eyes to hide his feelings. Then he showed no intention of speaking again.
“Brother, why does the Demon Sovereign keep hunting to kill us?”
“Do you think we can return to Yanyang Palace?”
Jing Ming asked two questions successively. Then he realized Jing Ting had no intention to talk with him, neither was he able to read his brother’s mind. Therefore, he walked towards the entrance to stay on guard.
Jing Ming thought to himself that someday they would finally meet master and Gu Yunjue again. Master must be longing for their return. For them, the place where Master lived was their home.
It took Gu Yunjue a long time to reduce Mu Chen’s concern about the two brothers. Also, with the massive cultivators on the way to Pill City as a distraction, Mu Chen worried less about them. Three months later, the master and his disciple travelling along the way as a trip arrived at Pills City in the end.
Over the gate tower, Bo Jinyu in red was sitting on his floating red carpet and waiting with impatience, his chin cupped in his hand. He never imagined he should return one month earlier than Mu Chen did. They had promised to compete against each other for the title of the best pill alchemist in the world. What if Mu Chen was scared to escape? Bearing this in mind, Bo Jinyu felt on pins and needles and thus came here waiting for them every single day.
However, the people of Bo’s all believed he was waiting for his beloved. Though he had explained to them unremittingly the truth, they just didn’t believe him and sent people here for surveillance every day.
Afar from the city, Bo Jinyu saw two people in white walk unhurriedly towards the gate and submit sprit stones in exchange for jade badge pass. His eyes brightening up, Bo Jinyu shouted to Mu Chen in a huff: “Mu Chen, where have you been for so long a time? I thought you were scared away!”
The corner of Mu Chen’s mouth twitched a little upon those words. He looked around with an impulse to run away from here. It was such a misfortune to be pestered by someone like Bo who was so irritating and difficult to get rid of.
Gu Yunjue bought a jade talisman that recorded in detail the maps of the city and distribution of all sorts of stores. After paying the talisman with spirit stones, Gu Yunjue tried to memorize all the things in mind. At this moment, Mu Chen walked over impatiently, dragging Gu Yunjue away with a cold voice, “Let’s find a place to stay first lest something embarrassing happen here.”
Mu Chen did not want to have a close friend since he had been betrayed by Ji Qingyuan in his previous life. But this coquettish man dressed like a red lantern followed him all the time, inducing an overwhelming urge out of Mu Chen to beat him.
Seeing Mu Chen was about to leave, Bo Jinyue stopped him in a bad mood, “Now that you are in my place, it is a gesture of defiance towards friends if you don’t live in my home!”
Mu Chen was speechless: When did they become friends? Totally baffling!
The people who secretly watched over Bo kept sending summoning talismans to his family:
“Here comes the lover of our junior brother.”
“He is fairly good-looking but not mighty at all.”
“WTF! Junior brother’s lover comes with a gigolo who is also very pretty. What can be more irritating is the two are hand in hand!”
“Jinyu goes over to interrogate his lover while dragging the gigolo! Seemingly he is driving the gigolo away to retrieve his lover.”
“Come with your weapons, brothers! His heartless lover should push Jinyu for that gigolo! Kill the bastard!”
Beneath the tower, Mu Chen hid little disciple behind and stared back at Bo Jinyu, both sides being vexed.
Mu Chen: Why did he drag little disciple even after I refused his invitation? Did he fall in love with little disciple? Shame on him! Yun’er was still a young boy!
Bo Jinyu was wrathful, too. Such an ingrate person indeed! All Inns in the city were fully occupied already. He should refuse my kindness so relentlessly. Hateful!
The stalemate was broken by a red-haired young man jumping off from overhead with a sledge in his hand. He shouted indignantly, “Dodge away, Jinyu! Let me teach this bastard a good lesson!”
Bo Jinyu was confused while blinking his eyes: Eh?
“Boy, which one do you want, Jinyu or that gigolo?”
“Gigolo…” Gu Yunjue squinted to conceal the glimmer flashing through his eyes. And then suddenly, a smile spread on his face.
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