I Am Supreme - novelonlinefull.com
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Lao Mei charged in like a bull, shadows trailing behind him with a menacing aura. The masked a.s.sa.s.sin in black leaped out soundlessly, a colorless silk string unwinding from his raised arm. He advanced upon the charging manservant, his left hand strengthened and braced for the impending impact. Lao Mei fell upon him like a roc, palms flashing as he landed a series of blows as loud as thunder strikes. The a.s.sa.s.sin singlehandedly deflected the attacks, and as Lao Mei attempted to break past his defenses, he soon found that he was. .h.i.tting nothing but air. The man in black had flitted almost a hundred feet away, ascending to the sky. Lao Mei, caring for nothing but his prey, veered towards the direction of the escaping villain, leaving wisps of smoke trailing from his body. His efforts were wasted, however; the a.s.sa.s.sin was already a tiny, black dot slowly receding into the heavens. The man in black was obviously prepared; should he miss his target, he would flee far and high.
Lao Mei returned with a sour face. The a.s.sa.s.sin’s cultivation base was clearly weaker than his but the man had managed to escape easily, with the aid of a magical silk string, and he could do nothing about it.
“An a.s.sa.s.sination attempt!” Yun Yang’s purple robe was free from dust as he frowned lightly. “Who would want to kill me?”
Fang Mofei walked over to join the duo with a serious face.
“Old Fang, are you able to deduce the origins of this a.s.sa.s.sin?”
“Young master, I can confirm that this a.s.sa.s.sin is not a member of the Concourse of the Underworld,” Fang Mofei replied confidently.
“Why would you say that?” Yun Yang questioned.
“Well, if he were from the Concourse of the Underworld, he would have King Yan1’s Dictum on him. King Yan’s Dictum serves as an indicator of a mission in progress and as a reminder to others to stay away and not interfere. This is a commonly known rule for the entire Concourse of the Underworld’s a.s.sa.s.sins, for those in the Silver Rank and above. This person’s skills are commendable and he should already be a Gold-ranked killer but I am unable to feel the presence of King Yan’s Dictum on him,” Fang Mofei explained.
Yun Yang nodded. “This a.s.sa.s.sin uses flying daggers.”
“It is possible that he’s not from the Hall of Crimson Blade.” Fang Mofei continued, “The Merciless Tower is known to be made up of sword-wielding a.s.sa.s.sins while the members of the Hall of Crimson Blade are, for the most part, saber-wielding killers but this is not all-encompa.s.sing. There are always exceptions to the rule. Besides, the flying dagger is a hidden weapon and not a proper tool of battle.”
“This person is most likely to be from The Merciless Tower,” Fang Mofei conjectured.
“The Merciless Tower.” Yun Yang pondered upon the implications, “An organization with very prominent characteristics. Their terms and prices are clear and transparent. They will only undertake the a.s.signment upon receiving full payment. There is no hesitation, no questions on morality or about cause and effect. Their proof of success is the head of the target, they and will not rest until the mission is complete.”
“Yes, that sounds about right.” Fang Mofei agreed, “Once The Merciless Tower accepts a mission, it is a machine that will not rest, and will continue to send wave after wave of murderers until the target is killed. The only difference is that the client has to supply an increasingly large amount of fees to support the men that they send.”
Yun Yang gave a faint smile and said, “They don’t rest until the mission is complete. Despite the circ.u.mstances, that is a rather commendable trait, which deserves respect!”
Yun Yang retired to his room and when he emerged again, there was already a new Nine Heavens Dictum being issued, moving fast and wide like a spider furiously enlarging its web.
“Nine Heavens Dictum; An Investigation! Who are the a.s.sa.s.sins of the world, who had recently entered Tiantang, as well as their characteristics and the weapons they carried. Above all, who could have hired a.s.sa.s.sins to kill the Marquis of Heavenly Clouds’ young master?”
As soon as the dictum was sent out, the underground world of Tiantang City immediately fell into a state of turmoil!
“I’m going out for a walk.” Yun Yang proclaimed, “Both of you stay at home and look after the house. Fang Mofei, you are tasked to recover from your injuries; the quicker you do it, the better.” He turned about to take his leave.
“Young master, allow me to follow you.” Lao Mei’s pleaded earnestly. “The a.s.sa.s.sin…”
“There is no need!” Yun Yang adamantly refused the offer. “Lao Mei, you have your responsibilities and I absolutely insist. The more danger that lurks around me, the more adamant I should be.”
Before Lao Mei could think about the meaning behind his words, Yun Yang had already gone out of the door and melted into the crowd.
I have my responsibility, you have your stubbornness. Lao Mei thought about it for a long while before managing to come up with a reasonable argument, “But my responsibility is to protect you!”
By the time he managed to come up with this logical repartee, Yun Yang was already long gone. Lao Mei suddenly thought of something. “Young master, the calling cards! What am I to do if those young masters were to come?” There were now crowds of people moving around outside the door; it was impossible to locate Yun Yang to inform him about his impending guests.
Lao Mei turned around speechlessly and was greeted by Fang Mofei chuckling at him. “What are you laughing at？“ Lao Mei glared at him with the most intimidating look he could muster. “DO you feel I have failed to fulfill my duties? Why, just give me half a reason, and I’d give you a drubbing right now! Don't think that just because your cultivation base is higher than mine, that I’ll be afraid to do it.”
Fang Mofei smiled and said good-humoredly, “I wasn’t laughing at you not doing your job, I was simply curious. When did the Single-horned Flood Dragon Mei Wenjian who had once commanded the martial arts world become a butler of the Yun family?”
Lao Mei snorted in irritation, “What does it matter to you? Your father is happy to do so!” He stared at Fang Mofei with a scrutinizing eye. “How about being a butler? Hasn’t the Fealty Jade Sword also come under the roof of our residence?
Fang Mofei wanted to chortle.
“I would suggest that you be more humble in the future.” Lao Mei glared at him. “It is only wise to respect your immediate supervisor!”
Fang Mofei had no response to that little bit of wisdom.
Yun Yang melted into the crowd the moment he stepped out of his residence. When he wanted to be noticed, he could make himself the center of attention even a mult.i.tude of people; when he intended to conceal himself, he could stay unnoticed even if he were to walk alone in the middle of the street under bright daylight.
When it came to camouflage, there was no equal to Supreme Cloud’s Cloud Veil!
He drifted into the crowd as if aimlessly following the flowing current but he arrived at an alley within a few turns. At the end of the alley was a small hill, and under the hill lay a thick fog.
This was the Residence of the Nine Supremes; it was also the site of the Nine Heavens Demesne. Ever since the downfall of the Nine Supremes, the Nine Heavens Demesne had been mysteriously covered with a thick fog which permitted no one to enter and withstood all efforts to destroy it.
Within the year, hundreds of thousands of people had flocked over to the site, either during the day or in the dark but no one had been able to gain entry. Gradually, the place quieted down and fell still. It was surrounded by neatly arranged candles, the areas bordering the fog swept clean. A group of veterans had scheduled themselves into twelve shifts and they diligently swept the place regardless whether it was day or night. They would never allow the residence of their heroes to be covered in dust or dirt! In their hearts, the Residence of Nine Supremes should always be gloriously spotless!
Yun Yang observed the scene from afar. Numerous single-armed men were cleaning the place meticulously, holding onto their brooms with the single arm they owned. They dropped the broom lightly and dragged it slowly, not a single speck of dust or dirt was whisked into the air throughout the entire process. Their expressions were of utter devotion and reverence.
The Residence of the Nine Supremes, the Nine Heavens Demesne; to these veterans, it was holy ground.
Yun Yang took in a deep breath, keeping his tortured emotions under check. He slowly made his way to a tree and stood quietly under the canopy. Looking at the white fog, Yun Yang could only felt his heart boil as his blood burned. He stood quietly until dusk fell. Throughout that entire time, many of the old veterans had swept pa.s.sed his feet with their brooms but none of them had realized that there was a person standing there.
The Nine Heavens Demesne – the thick fog had locked everything within.
“Perhaps, in the entire world, I am the only one who could possibly enter.” Yun Yang closed his eyes. ”But right now, I… dare not do so.”
He could almost see his eight brothers inside, waiting to ask him, “Have you defeated the Four Seasons Tower? Have you avenged our deaths?”
“Old Nine, are you living well now?”
Yun Yang breathed in deeply, the tears that he had bottled up for so long finally flowing freely.
“I have come to see you, my brothers. But now that I am here, I never wish to leave…”
Old Marshal Qiu sat alone at the foyer, his expression tinged with anxiety.
It was already dusk but his invited guest had not yet arrived. Sir w.a.n.g’s eye twitched nervously.
This was the invitation of the Old Marshal, a summons from the ultimate militant of the Empire of Yutang – how dare this man be late?
“Should I send someone over to call upon him?” Sir w.a.n.g asked unhappily.
“There is no need.” Old Marshal Qiu raised his grayed eyebrows. “It doesn’t matter anyway. His Majesty is not here yet either.”
“His Majesty is coming as well?” Startled, Sir w.a.n.g immediately sat upright.
“That is correct. His Majesty and I share the same doubts.” Old Marshal Qiu Jianhan spoke softly, “It is not rather coincidental that Yun Yang attacks a person who then immediately becomes the subject of the Nine Heavens Dictum?”
Sir w.a.n.g said, “Yes, it does seem rather strange.”
“Furthermore, the Xie family’s father and son duo has been guilty of committing those crimes for a long time now; why didn’t Nine Heavens Dictum arrive then?” Old Marshal Qiu asked in bewilderment.
“Perhaps this is purely happenstance.” Sir w.a.n.g said with much difficulty, “After all, this Yun Yang is nothing but a popinjay.”
“Are coincidences so rampant in this world? Even if it were a coincidence, I still believe there is a reason behind it.” Old Marshal Qiu said in all seriousness, “Therefore, this meal today is very important to me. It will be worth it, even if I have to wait but a little longer.”
Sir w.a.n.g sighed, giving up on his attempts to persuade the Old Marshal
Old Marshal Qiu glanced at Sir w.a.n.g and sighed in his heart as well. Sir w.a.n.g had come from a poor background and had managed to make a name for himself by his own hard work. Until this day, he was far prouder that he was a scholar, rather than a member of n.o.bility; he was smart and collected in his thoughts, farsighted and plotted exceedingly well. He could even be considered as one of the world’s best. Unfortunately, Sir w.a.n.g had a deep-rooted bias that could not be changed despite the Old Marshal’s many attempts over the years. It was an instinctual stereotype that the entire second generation of n.o.bles, officials, and wealthy businessmen were merely popinjays! In his single-tracked mind, these worthless and incompetent people were good for nothing other than hara.s.sing the unfortunate and tyrannizing hapless communities.
The Old Marshal could say nothing regarding Sir w.a.n.g’s point of view on this matter. Other than this single failing, he was near-perfect. Sir w.a.n.g could clearly see the suspicious circ.u.mstances revolving around Yun Yang but he stubbornly refused to consider that it was related to this popinjay. It was infuriating, but Old Marshal Qiu Jianhan could only try to make the best of it.
The guards announced loudly from the door, “Marshal, His Majesty has arrived.”
With a sigh, Qiu Jianhan stood up and went out to welcome the emperor.
It was already night when Yun Yang reached the door of the marshal’s residence, carrying a box of fruits in his hands. Lacking a better idea for a gift, he had simply bought the fruits on his way there. The guards by the door looked at him with disapproving glances.
It was an immense honor to be invited by the Old Marshal, and yet this fellow had the cheek to come late, proudly bearing a few bruised fruits!
“Please inform the Old Marshal,” Yun Yang was polite and spoke with an air of elegance, “Yun Yang from the Yun family is present to attend the dinner with a humble gift.” The guard looked at the fruits in Yun Yang’s hands; growing increasingly irritated as he counted the fruits – were there only five peaches? Exasperated, he growled at Yun Yang, “Wait here.”
1King Yan (阎王yán wáng): ruler/guildmaster of Concourse of the Underworld; concept derived from Yama, also known as King of h.e.l.l or Yanluo, the G.o.d of death and ruler of h.e.l.l.