Feng Jiuli was amused by Mu Chen's straightforwardness. "The tree can absorb a phoenix's soul and foster another phoenix. What if it take me as a dead man, and absorb me?"
Mu Chen stared at Feng Jiuli for a while and asked seriously, "You won't mess up with us?"
Feng Jiuli shook his head with a smile. "I just want to see how you come back."
"I believe in you." Mu Chen curled his mouth and said firmly.
Feng Jiuli's pupils shrank slightly, and he couldn't believe his ears. Mu Chen had been very vigilant all the way and could believe his words after watching him for a while. How come?
"Let's go." Gu Yunjue found the path to go up. Seeing that Mu Chen talked to Feng Jiuli, Gu's face suddenly gloomed. He came over, pulled Mu Chen, wielded his devil soul power to isolate the heat and flew up.
Mu Chen sensed Gu's repressed emotion, turned to look at him and felt helpless. "What a narrow-minded man. How could you be so jealous?" Feeling that the hand on the waist was getting tighter and tighter, Mu Chen grabbed Gu Yunjue's wrist and gently poked it with his fingertips. Mu reminded, "Are you going to kill me?"
Gu Yunjue relaxed a little bit, and said with a cold, "Don't laugh at other man!"
Mu Chen raised his eyebrows, took Gu's handsome face and kissed him.
Gu Yunjue looked at Mu with surprise. "Why did he be so proactive today to kiss me?"
Mu Chen asked proudly, "Still angry?"
Gu Yunjue shook his head unconsciously.
Mu Chen snorted and touched the head of his disciple, "Good."
Gu Yunjue compressed his lips and kissed Mu Chen back in retaliation.
The higher they went up, the hotter it was. The two had flew a long time until a magic formation appeared.
Gu Yunjue confirmed, "Earth Bell should be behind the formation. The map stops here. And know nothing behind it."
Mu Chen took Gu Yunjue's hand and tried to hide Gu behind him. However, Gu Yunjue took the lead and pulled Mu behind him. Looking at Gu's wide shoulders, Mu Chen's mouth twitched yet eventually there was no objection. "Being protected now and that actually feels good. Besides, his body is now much tougher than mine. He could serve as a shield, and shall not be wasted as I have used so many treasures to raise him up."
With the thought, Mu Chen settled behind Gu Yunjue, and pulled his sleeves to avoid being separated later.
Gu Yunjue felt his breath being held as if hot blood infused into his heart, which made him almighty at the moment.
Mu Chen saw Gu Yunjue stopped and impatiently pushed him into the magic formation. "Evil disciple, he really takes himself as a shield, and won't move unless being pushed to!"
When the magic formation operated and a white light flashed, the two felt dizzy in passing through spaces. In a while, they went out of the magic formation and stepped on solid ground where they smelled pungent Sulphur. The sky was gray as dust blurred sunlight, while the air was suffocating. When they looked down, they saw scarlet flame flowers, like burning fire, stretching to the horizon.
A volcano sat in the distance, which had just finished eruption earlier and was emitting rolling smoke.
"Is Earth Bell really here?" Mu Chen asked doubtfully while assessing Heaven Bell's reaction, which was not as active as he was earlier.
Gu Yunjue was somewhat puzzled too. "Earth Bell was not sure either."
"Let's give it a try and search for it." Mu Chen took the lead and flew forward toward the volcano. There was only one obvious object in the space, and if Earth Bell was here, it should be in the volcano.
Mu Chen stood over the crater, and watched the lava rolling underneath with tumbling with demon breath. It was obvious that the volcano was abnormal.
Mu Chen snorted, and showed some curiosity. "The phoenix families are really amazing. They could resurrect after taking a bath in it, and aren't afraid of smearing magmas."
Gu Yunjue smiled and said in a good mood, "Let's look around to see if we could find any Phoenix egg and we could take one back to make omelet."
Mu Chen touched Gu's head and reminded, "Should there be any eggs, they could survive such an extremely high temperature here. I guess it's pretty difficult for us to cook them out of here."
Gu Yunjue thought about it for a while and said seriously, "What master said truly makes sense."
"Stupid disciple." Mu Chen raised his chin and patted Gu Yunjue's forehead with a look of arrogance. "How could you even fail to figure it out? What a fool are you!"
Gu Yunjue was amused by the teasing, curled his lips and was about to approach Mu Chen to kiss him, when his nerve suddenly tensed. An extremely dangerous feeling came from behind without any hint, and it came with murderous intent. After having been through life or death moment time and again, Gu Yunjue had honed his instinct and could react instantly. At the moment, Gu Yunjue didn't turn around and summoned his Azure Fire Sword, wielded it at the back and blocked the fatal attack. However, Gu received great impact from the attacker's strong demon power and fell into to the crater.
Everything happened within a blink of an eye. Mu Chen turned around only to find Yunjue was attacked and was falling into the volcano. The lava in the crater was boiling and anything would be melted, be it human flesh or copper or steel strengthened body.
To live or die, it was the difference in a flash of thought.
Before making any rational decision, Mu Chen had already rushed out, even without giving a glimpse at the attacker. Mu flew over and held Gu Yunjue's body, and the two fell together toward the magma.
The moment the two held each other, Mu Chen was a little embarrassed and felt like a retard. "What am I doing? To die for love?" Mu Chen blushed and slapped Gu Yunjue out of embarrassment. Mu then cursed with anger in a cold voice, "Evil disciple! Idiot!"
Gu Yunjue held Mu Chen tight in his arms, smiling radiantly and looked at Mu profoundly. "Good. Master is willing to stay with me even when I go to die."
Only when he flew into the crater did Mu Chen realized that soul power couldn't work in the volcano. Mu Chen stared at Gu Yunjue angrily, and then held him even tighter. "Gu is the cause I live. I was reborn for him. Life would be meaningless, should he die."
The two was falling too fast to enable them any time to maneuver, and they dropped into the boiling lava in a "PLOP". However, the imaginary pain wasn't felt. The two suddenly entered a null-gravity state, smelt flower fragrance, and recovered their maneuver of soul power.
Gu Yunjue held Mu Chen by the waist, and found they reached another space when they landed. There was no volcano or magma around; nor was there any dust blocking the sky. Instead, the space came with blue sky, clear water and spreading wild flowers, as if it was a seclusion of a mighty master.
However, Mu Chen showed no joy in surviving the disaster, and instead bit his lip tightly; and his face was still bloodless. Mu's eyes were filled with killing intent. "I should be blame for trusting the damn rooster. I not only nearly killed myself but also my disciple."
Gu Yunjue sat down on the ground, held Mu Chen in his arms and took a long breath. Then, Mu rubbed his head against Mu Chen's temples and laughed.
"Evil disciple! How could you laugh?" Mu Chen abruptly held Gu Yunjue, opened his mouth and sank his teeth in Gu's neck. "What an inattentive disciple! How could he be in the mood to laugh?"
"OUCH!" Gu Yunjue cried with pain for being bitten and looked at Mu Chen's angry look with amusement. Gu then leaned over to show Mu Chen the other side of his neck. He smiled and said, "Are you still angry? How about biting me again?"
"Weirdo!" Mu Chen let go of Gu and tried to get up from Gu's leg only to find him being held tighter. Gu's warm breath fell on his neck. Mu Chen glared at Gu and mused, "What are you doing? Want to bite me in turn?"
Gu Yunjue lowered his head and kissed Mu Chen on his mouth, while holding Mu Chen's head with one hand. The kiss wasn't intense and actually quite gentle. Gu Yunjue's tenderness softened Mu Chen from within.
In a while, Mu Chen sighed and said, "I was wrong. I was deceived by Feng Jiuli."
Gu Yunjue stroked Mu's hair and said, "No. Master never made mistake in judging people. The attacker wasn't Feng Jiuli."
Mu Chen turned his head sideways and asked, "Why?"
"It should be an illusion. We were deceived when we stepped into the magic formation. What we had seen were totally out of our illusions." Seeing Mu Chen's response, Gu Yunjue curled his lips and continued, "Master said earlier that Phoenix might live in a volcano, so there was a volcano here. Later, I was worried that Feng Jiuli would come to attack, and we must watch out for him. Then we saw Feng Jiuli attack us. However, when I fell down, I recalled the reaction of Heaven Bell at the very beginning, and I knew that something was wrong here. So if the magma was an illusion, where would we go then? We ended up coming here. Master, look around. Haven't you found the lake familiar?"
Mu Chen was surprised and looked around when he found the views in front of him truly familiar. "It's the fountain at the mountain of Yanyang Palace!"
"Yes, it's where Master often took bathes." Gu Yunjue smiled and rubbed against Mu Chen's nose. "It's the place which I am so familiar with." Seeing Mu Chen stare at him, Gu Yunjue quickly changed the subject and said, "So what we shall do is to find way out."
"After going out, we shall give Feng Jiuli a good beating." Mu Chen was cold-faced and stilled weighed his anger.
Gu Yunjue smiled and stroked the tender back of Mu Chen in his arms. Gu echoed seriously, "I'll help you!"
Now that they knew it was an illusionary formation, they found it easy to break it. As a matter of fact, Gu Yunjue himself was fond of arranging magic formations, especially those hugely damaging ones, while Mu Chen had been through a lot of formations and broken many illusionary ones. The two looked at each other and immediately sat cross-legged on the ground. They converged all their senses to stay focused, and clarify their minds to stay bright.
In a while, their surroundings gradually collapsed, and the natural environment revealed, which turned out to be a cliff.
There was a peach tree by the cliff, which was luxuriant, leafy and aged. The tree was in blossom, and pink petals fell all over the ground. On the lowest branch hung a gray bell, which jingled when it felt people approached.
At the moment, Heaven Bell suddenly became alive and flew towards Earth Bell in surprise. However, it was thrashed away by a twig.
Mu Chen looked at Gu Yunjue in a reminder and both of them were on guard. "The peach tree is a demon."
When they had the thought, a cultivator in white showed up with a flash of red light. The cultivator held Earth Bell in his hand, and looked at it with mixed emotions, as if either recalling the memory or feeling relived. He then looked up at Mu Chen and said, "You are the chosen one. Earth Bell is yours."
Mu Chen raised his eyebrows and asked incredulously, "Why me? Heaven Bell is not in my hand."
The man said gently, "Being able to die with the beloved without hesitation was what Earth Bell's former owner expected from its next owner yet failed to achieve this will before dying. Many people had come for the test in thousands of years, but no one could do what you've done. Earth Bell is yours."
Mu Chen saw Earth Bell fly into his hand, and blushed as he heard the man's comments. "Die with the beloved? I haven't thought about love at all."
Mu Chen then turned to Gu Yunjue, who was also looking at him with a smile, with his eyes burning emotionally. Gu's scorching gaze made Mu unable to look straightforward at him. As a result, Mu raised his leg, and kicked Gu's waist. Being point out what he had been reluctant to admit, Mu Chen was shy and angry. Mu then slapped Gu Yunjue again and said with anger, "Evil disciple! Stupid! Idiot!"