Over ten years had passed since they parted, while Jing Ming's appearance stayed unchanged. He wore a white robe, cuffs tied, and a pair of animal boots, looking very neat. Jing Ming no longer used pills to conceal his demon power. He now had the characteristics of the Wolf Clan. His grey hair made him appear very clean, while his big blue eyes were deep and clear, as he was in his teenager years.
Jing Ming stilled kept the flute in her waist with the skeleton pendant given by Mu Chen. It was obvious that the owner had taken good care of it, as it still looked brand new.
Mu Chen stood up, and waited for Jing Ming to come into his arms. Mu Chen smiled, patted Jing Ming's shoulder and said with delight, "Good."
Jing Ming opened his mouth and called Mu Chen "Master" again, tears filled in his eyes.
Jing Ming was different from his elder brother Jing Ting, as Jing Ming lost his memories of Demon Realm, and everything here was new to him. Jing Ming and Jing Ting stuck together and escaped for life every day. Life had been tough to him. So Jing Ming hoped that he could go back to Immortal Realm, lived in Yanyang Palace, and returned to Mu Chen. Unexpectedly, Mu Chen came to find him before Jing Ming went back. Seeing Mu Chen, Jing Ming behaved like a child who had been away from home for many days, and finally found his immediate relative. So Jing Ming was suddenly overwhelmed with grievance, before talking to Mu Chen.
Mu Chen touched Jing Ming's head, smiled amiably at him with an extraordinarily soft look and said, "It's over 10 years. How do you look like before?" "When they were young, Jing Ming took Gu Yunjue around, but now Gu is a head higher than Jing Ming. Even though Jing Ming looks as he was when he left Immortal Realm, his soul power has been improved a lot and is now at Late Nascent Soul Stage."
Talking about his appearance, Jing Ming scratched his head in embarrassment, rubbed his eyes, and explained with annoyance, "I got it wrong in pills-concocting. I mistook Youth-Retaining Pill as Disguising Pill and ate two of such pills."
Mu Chen couldn't help laughing. Checking Jing Ming's outlook again, Mu Chen expressed his solace, "Not bad. You look good."
"Really?" Jing Ming's eyes lit up and was encouraged by Mu Chen's remark. "I've been upset for a long time until my brother said that I could wait for Master to create some medicine to turn me tall and strong. Now that you think I am good-looking, I might keep my appearance. It's good!"
Mu Chen uttered with a wry smile, "Yeah. It's good." He touched Jing Ming's head with delight. "Jing Ming has kept unchanged both physically and mentally. It seems that Jing Ting has protected him well."
"Why do you come alone? Where is your elder brother, Jing Ting?" Mu Chen didn't perceived the breath of Jing Ting, and was somewhat disappointed.
"My brother is very, very, very busy that he can't get away. So, after receiving Senior Martial Brother's message, I hurried here by myself." Jing Ming emphasized Jing Ting's busyness with three "very". After that, he intended to hug Mu Chen and rub against this master so that he could smell like Mu. In this way, he could show it off to his elder brother and make him envious!
Hearing Jing Ming's explanation, Mu Chen looked at Gu Yunjue and said, "You've held out on me again?"
Gu Yunjue smiled and approached Mu Chen. "I want you to be happy so I planned to give you a surprise."
"Well?" Jing Ming sniffed at Mu Chen and said doubtfully, "How does Master have mixed smells?"
Mu Chen blushed instantly and pushed Jing Ming away, while Gu Yunjue grabbed his collar from the rear, lifted him up, put him aside and threatened, "You can only watch Master, but can't hug him, or I'll cut off you paws."
Jing Ming snorted, pulled a chair over and sat down. He stuck out his tongue at Gu Yunjue and said, "Are you kidding me? I am not afraid of you even though you are taller than me."
Gu Yunjue didn't haggle with Jing Ming, but instead sat next to Mu Chen, poured wine for him, and filled his bowl with food. Obviously, Gu intended to have some food first.
Jing Ming, however, was quite hungry too after such a long journey to meet Mu Chen here. He held a bowl and took his meal happily. After refreshed with enough food, Mu Chen thought of something and asked, "Why did Master suddenly show up here? Why do you wear a hat?"
Mu Chen handed another drumstick to Jing Ming and thought that his underdevelopment of intelligence must have been resulted from malnutrition. So Jing Ming needed to have more nutritious food.
Gu Yunjue interjected and explained, "We learned that Earth Bell is here, so we come to look for it." Then, Gu took out a map and showed it to Jing Ming, "This is the place where we're going. Do you know what it is?"
Jing Ming was busy gnawing the bone and instantly goggled. "You can't go there. It's dangerous."
Mu Chen was afraid of him choking on the bone, and poured a glass of water for him. "Slow down. Take your time and explain it to us."
Jing Ming put down the bone, wiped his "claws", and sit up properly. "The place is called Lost Land of the East where a phoenix lives. The phoenix is fierce and powerful. Anyone who tries to get close to its territory ends up being burnt off. Even the soul cannot escape. Everyone in Demon Realm knows it. And except the Demon Lords and my elder brother, the phoenix is another person that you shall not offend. Besides, he has not desire for power or wealth. What he does is totally out of his preference. In a word, I think we shall not mess up with him."
"A Phoenix?" Mu Chen asked in distain, "Could the phoenix be the rooster we met at Snow City?"
Gu Yunjue showed his detestation too and said, "He is the only bird in Demon Realm."
The smile on Mu Chen's face faded. "The rooster has been looking for his predestined partner yet it's not clear who the person is. Now we're going to look for something in his territory, I shall watch for my stupid disciple. Should he dare to hook up with the rooster, I would…Humph!"
Gu Yunjue sensed his master's thought, and want to cry out his grievance that he has no affair with the rooster, not even a bit.
Mu Chen glared again at Gu Yunjue, and took out a map and said faintly, "This should be the missing part of the map. I'm wondering why my Master had the map of the phoenix's territory. He might have been greedy for delicacy and gone to the phoenix's nest to steal phoenix egg?"
"Wow. Was the map what you found Grand Master's wooden house?" Gu Yunjue picked the map up, and put the two pieces together and they formed a complete map. Then Gu Yunjue thought that Mu Chen had already noticed the secrets in the map, yet kept those secrets from him. Gu then moved his lips as he was saying something, while the ears hidden in Mu Chen's head moved. "Master should hold secrets up from me. We should have been open to each other."
Mu Chen looked coldly at his Gu Yunjue and felt for his head. "What an evil disciple!" Although Mu Chen seldom thought about teasing, yet he knew that Gu Yunjue mocked him with the words.
"How could you have the map leading to the garden of the rooster? Well! Well!" Gu Yunjue snorted and sounded sour while rubbing Mu Chen's arm with his own.
Mu Chen raised his eyebrows and asked, "What do you want? I've said it's left by you Grand Master."
Gu Yunjue looked back and said exceptionally frankly, "I want nothing. But I'm just jealous."
Mu Chen reached for Gu's waist and pinched hardly. "What a stupid disciple!"
However, Jing Ming looked at Mu Chen, then turned to Gu Yunjue, and suddenly felt that he was a bit redundant. As for why he had the feeling, he didn't know.
A master, two disciples, and a bird, the group of four embarked on the journey to the East. Jing Ming found Black Egg have grown up and was very interested. As a matter of fact, Jing Ming played a lot with Black Egg before, and used to fasten him with a rope, and pulled him around. Now Jing Ming indulged himself in having fun with Black Egg, and the two made lots of noises.
After consulting Jing Ming, Mu Chen knew that Jing Ming and Jing Ting were actually the offspring of Howling Moon Heaven Wolf, the ex-royal-family. Their parents were betrayed by four generals, their throne taken over and their family massacred. The two brothers were forced to flee for their life, and Demon Realm was divided into four parts, and governed by the four generals who were now kings.
Now Jing Ting had united members of their clan and recalled the troops loyal to his father. He was busy taking back the rights once belonged to his clan, and therefore had no time to come to meet Mu Chen.
On the other hand, Jing Ting couldn't help Jing Ming out, so when they learned that Mu Chen came to Demon Realm, Jing Ting ordered his younger brother to come. They had prepared lot of gifts for the master, yet Jing Ting suddenly changed his mind when Jing Ming set out, and took everything back. Jing Ting didn't tell his brother why and kicked him out to the road.
Because of the change, Jing Ming couldn't help but lament that his elder brother was now much profound, and difficult to understand, which drove him crazy.
In contrast to Jing Ming, as the elder brother, Jing Ting had truly grown up. He had born all the responsibilities, and thought about avenging the blood feud of their slaughtered parents and clan. How could he wear his heart on his sleeve? The wolf clan were family creatures and vengeful. Although Jing Ting didn't reveal the blood feud to Mu Chen before, Mu knew something about it the previous life. Now Mu was much clearer about the tragedy. In this life, Jing Ting had embarked again on a bloody road, not only for vengeance, but also for survival.
Fortunately, Jing Ting had always protected Jing Ming, so that his younger brother had led an easy life, was not stained by blood, and had kept his purity.
In the Small Yanyang Palace, Jing Ming was so excited at seeing familiar surroundings that he changed into a wolf and ran joyfully around and rolled nonstop about. He even rubbed against rockeries which ended up leaving his white wools all over. Gu Yunjue, however, stood in a high ground and looked at him disdainfully. He regretted bringing here the wolf and now he was pestered. Jing Ming wouldn't leave even though Gu had driven him away. Yet Jing Ming's existence made "things" inconvenient.
"Black Egg, come here." Gu Yunjue snapped at the black bird dozing off on the cestrum tree.
Black Egg immediately changed into a medium-sized crow, flew down and perched on Gu Yunjue's hand.
Gu Yunjue ordered, "Watch for the dog. He could rub against things but you can't let him pee around."
Hearing Gu Yunjue's words, Jing Ming threw a fierce glance at him. Jing Ming was angery about Gu's words and revealed his fangs. "The bastard will bully me as long as Master isn't around. I have taken the blame for his mischiefs for over ten years and now he should still ridicule me. If I could beat him, I had already bitten his flesh off."
Mu Chen stood by the window and looked at the confrontation between a man and a wolf. Mu couldn't help smiling and looked involuntarily mildly at Gu Yunjue. "The bastard behaves like a barrel filled up with vinegar which spills and smells sour once he receives a little bit stimulation. What a narrow-minded bastard! It's absolutely not taught by me."
Seeing Mu Chen look at him, Gu Yunjue flashed back and grabbed Mu by the waist, and attached himself to Mu's back like a piece of plaster. Gu deliberately pressed on Mu with his body so as to make Mu Chen bend over. Mu helplessly turned around, poked Gu's forehead and said in dissatisfaction, "Why do you act like a spoiled child again? Stand up yourself."
Gu Yunjue said seriously, "No, I have missed you so much that my legs hurt and I can't stand up."
Mu Chen was speechless at Gu Yunjue. "The man is much better at horsing around. Sometimes he is so childish and immature like a kid. You can't get rid of him." Mu Chen had no choice but let him be. Then Mu pulled over the medicine formulas and medicine handbooks written by Jing Ming and continued to read them. He had to find out all the mistakes and planned to find some time to teach Jing Ming. Mu Chen wanted to save him from taking wrong medicines again.
Gu Yunjue took the chance and sat down. He put Mu Chen on his laps, hugged him tightly, rested his chin on Mu Chen's shoulder, and watched him pick up a brush and make neat comments with beautifully written characters. Mu Chen was obsessed in making detailed comments, and smiled with satisfaction.
Mu Chen looked at the head on his shoulder and his expression softened.
"It is said that a phoenix's nirvana takes place in magma. Does the rooster live in a volcano?" asked Mu Chen out of curiosity, as he wrote down notes. When they flew close to the territory of Feng Jiuli, the air gets warmer.
Gu Yunjue shook his head on Mu Chen's shoulder and said that he didn't know.
Mu Chen raised his eyebrows and said, "Haven't you two acquainted each other in your last life?"
Gu Yunjue smiled and kissed Mu Chen's face. Gu's eyes fell on the pair of cat ears hidden in Mu's hair. Gu felt thirsty and replied in a low voice, "I told you that we would like to kill each other when we met. Who cares to visit his nest? Anyway, I don't like to eat fried onion with scrambled rooster eggs."
Mu Chen snorted and looked away.
Mu Chen found the arm circled around his waist tighter, so tight that he couldn't clam down and check into Jing Ming's medicine formulas. Mu Chen turned his head with anger, only to find a handsome smirking face. Mu Chen casted a glance at Jing Ming and saw that he was making a lot of noise with Black Egg and didn't pay attention to him and Gu. Mu Chen then pinched Gu Yunjue's face and whispered, "Don't make any trouble."
Gu Yunjue grabbed Mu's hand, pulled it to his mouth, and kissed it with joy in his eyes. "Are you jealous?"
Mu Chen withdrew his hand but was held even tighter and closer. "The unruly disciple makes troubles out of nothing, harasses me with unreasonable demands, and gets more and more rebellious." Then Mu Chen sit still, looked at the approaching face and stared at him with cold eyes.
For a while, Gu Yunjue suddenly covered his eyes with his hands and ejaculated, pretending to be shy, "Master, you are seducing me."
Mu Chen snorted and said in a cold voice, "You've thought too much."
Gu Yunjue put down his hands and restored a serious look. He looked into Mu Chen's eyes and said seriously, "So, let's do couple cultivation!"
Mu Chen was shocked and his eyes widened. "How did he get there while they talked about something totally irrelevant? What was the bastard thinking?"
"Hush!" Gu Yunjue skimmed Mu Chen's lips and whispered, "Don't talk. You will be heard."
Mu Chen's mouth would be shut once he had different opinions. At the moment, Mu was irritated and his face turned into a scarlet red. Gu Yunjue squinted his eyes, waved his hands and closed the door. Meanwhile, Gu set up a boundary around. Mu Chen raised his hands, pinched Gu Yunjue's ears and said with anger, "Don't be mischievous!"
Gu Yunjue bore the pain and smiled, "We are talking about a very serious topic at the moment. I've sent someone to find a method of couple cultivation and want to discuss it with Master. Master often exhorts me that one shall not slack in cultivating, and master shall set a good example for us. It's wrong to lie after all!"
Mu Chen's fingers trembled and looked shocked. "How did I foster such a shameless disciple?"
Gu Yunjue gave Mu Chen no chance to refuse him. As soon as Mu Chen tried to speak, Gu would covered Mu's mouth with a long kiss. Feeling for Mu Chen's cat ears, Gu Yunjue held Mu Chen tighter and decided to enjoy the coming benefit for good even though he might be beaten up afterwards.