Yun Yang heaved a long sigh.
"Ji Ling is heading seven-hundred and fifty thousand miles away to find her brother…" Yun Yang closed his eyes in agony.
How was she going to find him?
Supreme Earth had asked the heavily injured brothers to write their wills after a particular battle some years ago.
"The pitcher will at last break by the well, generals risk perishing at the frontline. If we're all not here anymore one day, we have to make arrangements for after our deaths. This is one of those arrangements. Next, it's best if the cultivation method of Nine Supremes doesn't lose its legacy when we aren't here anymore."
"If there were to be an accident one day, our brothers who are still here can read the wills and help others fulfill their last wishes."
Everyone had quietly accepted the decision at that time.
They then began their own preparation, passing the first stage of their mysterious cultivation method to the next brother upon returning. Such was the order - Earth, Gold, Wood, Water, Flame, Thunder, Blood, Wind, Cloud.
After they did it, all of them had complained of their heavy hearts, laden with too much sadness that the effort stopped then and there; all of them had then gone out to relax and empty their mind.
He remembered it was then that Supreme Blood had pulled him along saying, "Ol'ninth, come with me. Big brother is taking you along to have some fun."
Yun Yang reminisced, a faint smile hanging on his face. It was only after some time that he lowered his head to continue reading the content of Supreme Wind's will.
"I'll just speak about what I can't let go of but I don't think I'll need the help from all of you."
Supreme Wind's tone was light and playful, obviously not regarding this with brevity when he was writing it. Yun Yang, however, grew sadder as he continued reading.
"… I have a young sister, she's my only family. My sister's name is Ji Lingxi. It's a nice name, right? Let me warn you bunch of scoundrels, none of you can hit on her!"
"Both of us are orphans but we were found in a small village in the Empire of Yutang. Should we be considered as Yutang's people? I consider myself as a citizen of Yutang's citizen anyway. My parents passed away when I was eight, my younger sister and I were adopted by Ji Family. The head of the family had no descendants at that time, so we were taken in as their children. Ten years later, the head of the family got his own son… my status became rather awkward. My sister is a girl after all but from then on, I was the eldest young master. You guys understand this right?"
I do, I understand! Eighth brother, you speak light-heartedly but I understand the sadness in your heart.
"I don't care about being head of the family or being the eldest young master but my existence would undoubtedly be a prick in my family, so I the only thing I could do was to run away."
"Who would have known that once I got out, I would be lured here by our eldest. Let's not talk about unhappy things. If I really died, brothers, help me take care of two people."
"The first one is my younger sister, Ji Lingxi. Lingxi is my baby, I'll never not be worried about her. If something happens to me, you must take care of my sister for me. You must not tell my sister I'm dead, you must not let my sister cry and be sad, you must not let my sister end up with someone dodgy, you must not let my sister bear a grudge! You must not let my sister be unhappy. If you can't fulfill any of these, you might as well wish you were dead!"
It was a whole string of 'must nots'.
The image of an elder brother who doted on his younger sister was glaring.
It was as if Yun Yang could see Supreme Wind in front of him, looking at him unhappily wearing a frown.
"Sorry, eighth brother, I…" Yun Yang sighed deeply. "… I think I've made our younger sister… unhappy for far too many times."
"My sister is the first one, my treasured baby. Anything good must be given to her first, she must be protected and cared for lovingly. My sister likes to scrunch her nose when she's angry; whoever lets my sister scrunch up her nose, I'll climb out from the coffin and beat him to death!"
"The second one is my fiancé. Didn't expect that, did you? Actually, it was a marriage arranged before the others were here. I was still young then but I really liked her when I was growing up. Her name's Yue Rulan, isn't that nice? This is also the woman I liked the most and felt the most sorry for other than my sister…"
"She likes me too. I initially thought that I would marry her as long as I'm alive. When our business as the Nine Supremes comes to an end, I'll invite all of you to my wedding. Hopefully there won't be a chance to ask your help to take care of her."
"Because of my family, I've distanced myself from her for quite some time. Do you think I'm really unlike a man? I've figured it out now. I want to marry her!"
"Of course, if I really died, go tell her that my heart has changed. I've married some other woman and am living in seclusion. No explanations are needed. But you must keep an eye out for her. She's very sensitive; I'm afraid that she takes things too hard… Watch her for at least a year, this girl is stubborn and a bit difficult. I think I won't die anyway. How could one of the Nine Supremes die? I think I won't be needing help from all of you."
Yun Yang's expression froze in shock again.
He recalled the girl in white who had accompanied Ji Ling when they met that morning as Ji Ling was going out of the city. She had even helped both of them exchange gifts. There was a sense of grief veiling her expression.
Her entire being had looked depressed, as if being weighed down by matters of the heart.
Ji Ling had called her 'Sister Lan'!
She was going to find Ji Ling's brother with her. Could she be Yue Rulan then?
Yun Yang felt his heart squeeze in pain.
Eighth brother, I'm sorry. I've met these two people, but I could do nothing...
"… Other than this, when I don't have mission, my other identity is…" Although Supreme Wind did not care much for the will, he had still listed his biggest secret on it.
These alternative identities were for when the Nine Supremes were lifted off of their duties and needed to relax themselves. This identity would be the other identity that only they knew themselves.
Yun Yang chuckled bitterly and could not help but roll his eyes. The last time his other identity had conflicted with someone outside and was almost put in disadvantage, it was actually with this eighth brother…
He had never thought that eighth brother's other identity was actually a person he had always wanted to take his revenge on!
"Next, there's a hole under my chair. Who dare says it's damaged from my wind, I'll kill him! Inside it is the first stage of ol'seventh's Art of Crimson Soul. You can open ol'seventh's door after successfully cultivating it."
"Other than ol'seventh's cultivation method, there's also my complete Mystique Wind Conjuration, my Supreme Wind Dictum and a Pearl of Mystique Wind. There's also a Pearl of the Flood Dragon, pass this to my sister; there's also a piece of jade given to me by Lan'er previously. I'm giving it to whoever who reads this. Maybe you can give it back to Lan'er as well. If I die, she needs to be rid of all hopes too. Otherwise, she would only be waiting longingly for a dead man. That is so f*cking... inauspicious."
"However, I've left some words for Rulan, 'When I become a hero of the world, I shall marry you, bringing along a one hundred thousand-strong army!' But if my will is being read by all of you, then that's really a dream of a hero, a lifetime of a woman. I implore you to think of something, brothers. Be a matchmaker, don't make her waste her life for me. I won't rest in peace even when I die."
"I'll also mention something else. In the past, I had a mysterious incident, falling into a mountain stream then into a pit. Some experts have resided there. There were a few books, about all sorts of beasts and whatnot; they're all on my table, I'll give them all to you, whoever is reading this letter. The Pearls of the Flood Dragon were obtained from there as well. I've used the rest, don't think about it."
"Last but not least, I'm going to complain. The eldest is such a drama queen, blowing things out of proportion. We're all living well but we have to write our wills. F*cking hell. I'm thinking if us brothers can combine and prank him… This f*cking toy of a will, your father wrote it with such a headache… I've almost cried. Really, our eldest is such an idiot!"
Then it was a bunch of complaints that followed.
"Lastly, something serious. How do I say this? We as Nine Supremes, could be considered heroes, protecting the country and guarding homes. If there's really a day when we die from na occasion in the battle field, when we die because of our country's war, your father will still be pretty proud of it."
"I'm a Yutang citizen, I'll die happily even if I die for the nation. If I die in the battlefield, don't avenge my death - there's no resentment! Warriors from other nations are fighting for their own countries as well, who doesn't want their empire to reign the world?"
"The eldest seems to always have something heavy on his mind, I feel like he's always gloomy. Second, third, and fourth brothers are pretty innocent, those heartless jerks; I'm not worried about them. But fifth brother's matter should really be hurried along. If I die, you guys urge him, tell him I said this. Your father hasn't drunk his wedding wine even until death, don't make the other brothers miss it too. Make him hold the wedding quick! F*cking hell, such a good woman is waiting for him and it's not like he has no flaws. This cheap jerk is so pretentious!"
"There's nothing much with ol'sixth either, just a bit more secrets on him. I feel like he has an unusual background, perhaps a noble family? Always pretending he's better than me. Ol'seventh has too much of his murderous aura, let him know what I say - I hope seventh brother could look on the brighter side before I die. Ol'ninth is too devious, such a young age and he's always plotting schemes and strategies. Talk to him more when nothing's going on, don't let him be like an old man. Even if you beat him up for nothing, it's still better than his state now… If I die, you believe that what I've said must surely work?"
"I'll stop here, I'm sad already!"
In the will, Supreme Wind was laughing, yet tears streamed down Yun Yang's face as he read it.
Eighth brother, you didn't say it out loud but in your heart, you're still the most worried about us brothers.
Do you know the rest of our brothers are gone?
Yun Yang had finished reading the will.
He was incredibly reluctant, reading it again, word by word, as if eighth brother was right in front of him, smiling and smirking.
After a long while, Yun Yang stood in Supreme Wind's room, watching Supreme Wind's will slowly turn into ashes in a ball of fire. Each stroke and every line in the will was already etched in his mind.
"Eighth brother, I'm going out. I've cultivated the first stage of your Mystique Wind Conjuration in these ten days so that I could open your door but to open seventh brother's door, I need to cultivate the first stage of Art of Crimson Soul."
"Wind and cloud are related, hence the cultivation is quick. It won't be so easy for me to cultivate Art of Crimson Soul though, I'll come see you again by then."
"Don't you worry about our sister. I'll find her and I'll take good care of her. I guarantee it! As for Sister Lan…" Yun Yang was troubled and woeful.
"You have Sister Lan here searching for you everywhere, while fifth brother has Sister Yue waiting longingly for him. Eighth brother, fifth brother, what do you want me to do? …"
"How can I hurt her so cruelly as per your instructions?"
Yun Yang poured his complaints as if eighth brother Supreme Wind, who had always been carefree and laid back, was still sitting in front of him, wearing a cheeky look.
"All of you have passed all these matters to me now but what do I do, eighth brother?" Yun Yang moaned in despair. "How I wish it's you who are reading my will now!" Yun Yang murmured, his handsome face taking on a menacing expression.
He mumbled and sat down for a long time. After a while, he finally picked himself up.
"I'll leave first. I'll come see you again when I find our sister and sister-in-law."
"Remember to tell our brothers, ask them not to be impatient." Yun Yang said in a low voice, "Ol'ninth is still here. Ol'ninth can still bear it even if the sky collapses!"
Yun Yang bowed deeply towards all the eight doors before turning to leave in big strides.
A cloud of fog floated among the clouds above the Residence of the Nine Supremes.
There was a slew of corpses decorating the entrance. Was it from the people who had wanted to break through to the Residence of the Nine Supremes in these ten days?
"Serves you right!" Yun Yang's gaze was gleaming with cold sternness. "I shall strengthen the Nine Heavens Demesne further. Come what may, whoever it is, as long as the intention is to crack Nine Heavens Demesne, you can all die here."
After some work, a cloud of mist floated out from the Residence of the Nine Supremes. The air was suddenly filled with a deep sense of sorrow.
Two old veterans who were cleaning the area were both affected. "The nine sirs…"
"How could we lose this battle, if the nine sirs are still here?"
"It's just too bad, the nine sirs… are no longer here after all…"
Yun Yang was stunned.
The frontline, had they been lost?