Yun Yang sat quietly but he did not have to wait for long.
Just as the eleventh hour came around, the sound of footsteps could be heard from the staircase.
It sounded like there was only one person, the heavy footfalls solid and determined.
There was only a momentary hesitation when the person came to the door but the footsteps began again almost immediately. Resolute, there were no further pauses after the initial one.
A smile of assurance and admiration hung on the corners of Yun Yang’s lips.
It was only human to pause before the door.
Even the greatest hero, one who disregarded death itself, would still hesitate when facing such a situation.
Going another step further would precipitate the possibility of being killed while taking one step back meant that the person would still be able to roam the world freely.
Someone who could take this one step forward, even if was with hesitation, was someone who would stand at the side of justice with no regrets, even if he saw death at the end of the road.
How could he not admire such a person? At the same time, Yun Yang was comforted that eighth brother had such a subordinate.
On the contrary, if Shui Wuyin had come in without any hesitation whatsoever, Yun Yang would have been more leery about this man's character. This was because there would only be two possibilities – one was mindless courage, acting boldly without much thought; another was overconfidence, having an exaggerated estimate of his own abilities.
Yun Yang did not like these two types of people very much.
The approaching footsteps had stopped; he was already standing at the open door.
Yun Yang could even imagine the look on the man's face as he gazed upon him.
He did not turn his head to face him but sat stationary to look outside, watching the Residence of Nine Supremes from afar. It was illuminated by a string of lights, covered in the fog of the night. Even though the vision was blurry, he knew that the Residence of Nine Supremes was there.
"You came." Shui Wuyin stood at the door, his voice hoarse.
Looking at the silhouette in the shadow that he was extremely familiar with yet so estranged at the same time, he felt a sudden shudder tingling in his spine.
"You came as well." Yun Yang said nonchalantly, "Where have you been all this time? I’ve been looking for you."
Shui Wuyin trembled then, his voice raspy as if his vocal cords were about to tear when he spoke, "Looking for me? I’ve been looking for you too!"
Yun Yang exhaled easily and said, "You must have made preparations before coming here."
Shui Wuyin’s unusual voice sounded like two pieces of sandpaper rubbing against each other in the night. "That’s right. You are the most threatening person I’ve ever come across in my entire life. I dare not come without being complete prepared."
Yun Yang smiled softly and turned to him, facing Shui Wuyin with the face that belonged only to Towering Wind Pavilion Master.
Shui Wuyin sucked in a deep breath and said, "Since I’ve come, please take off that face."
Yun Yang questioned, "Why?"
"This is my lord’s face, not yours." Shui Wuyin stood by the door, his raspy voice tinged with a hint of iciness.
"Do you know who your lord is? How do you know this is not my face?" Yun Yang looked at Shui Wuyin with clarity in his eyes. "Could it be that you know your lord’s true identity?"
Shui Wuyin said softly, "What you’ve said is not important. What matters is that you are not my lord, you are only an impostor!"
Yun Yang replied, "Impersonate… Have you wondered how trusted and familiar someone would have to be to impersonate your lord and deceive you for even a short period of time?"
Shui Wuyin said coldly, "Of course I have. But there are only two possibilities regarding your identity – first, you could be someone close to my lord, someone whom he trusted the most but you have exploited this relationship to kill him and take over his property."
Yun Yang chuckled. "The second?"
"You could be someone who was close to my lord, close enough that he trusted you to impersonate him and manage his affairs for him."
Shui Wuyin’s voice was hoarse and displeasing to the ears, but it had been calm all along, icy even.
Yun Yang thought about it seriously. "True, there are indeed only these two possibilities. Which of these do you think is true?"
Shui Wuyin answered honestly, "I am unable to figure this out; only time will tell. But since you’ve come today, and I’m here too, let’s get some things straight. The worst that can happen is either one of us dies here today."
Yun Yang sighed softly and said, "It’s still early to discuss life and death. I’ve always been curious about you as a person, your identity, and background. I know a lot about your lord but the only thing he didn’t explain was your origins. I have wondered for a long time."
He said slowly, "Your lord once told me that he had never seen Shui Wuyin anxious before. I believe this because I’ve never seen you anxious as well, until now. I believe if your lord were here now to see you so worried about him, he would be deeply touched."
Shui Wuyin tightened his fist and looked at Yun Yang. "I only wish to know who you are. All else is secondary."
Yun Yang stood up slowly. He had not moved but the windows around them slammed shut on their own. Shui Wuyin had been standing by the door and was not entirely inside the room but for some reason, his body took a step forward involuntarily and the door behind him closed soundlessly.
Shui Wuyin snorted and said, "Do you think that by closing the door you can convince me to stop questioning you?"
Yun Yang said gently, "I wish to tell you the truth, but nothing can leave this room. It would be better if only our ears are privy to our conversation."
Shui Wuyin snorted and ignored him.
Yun Yang continued, "Your lord is someone who is very close to me."
A mocking expression came over Shui Wuyin's face as he said, "I know and have always known that you’re very close to my lord. Nonetheless, do you know that right now, there are thirty-six people outside, holding triggers to hidden weapons aimed here, ready to fire at any time?"
He was not bothered by what Yun Yang had said and continued speaking, "Besides, there are enough explosive materials placed under this pavilion to turn an entire lake into a desert if detonated."
"I have also hollowed a portion of the wall to insert poison in there."
"I believe that portion alone would be enough to kill half of Tiantang City."
Shui Wuyin said calmly, "Therefore, even if you have the highest cultivation base, even if you’re Ling Xiaozui himself, you will never be able to walk out of here alive if you can’t give me a satisfying reply."
"I don’t even have to order these to be triggered. With my willpower alone, I can bring all of these to bear upon you."
Shui Wuyin said softly, "Are you familiar with the control of willpower?"
Yun Yang replied, "Control of willpower? Could I possibly be speaking to an Eldar?"
Shui Wuyin only snorted and asked, "Speak, who are you?"
Yun Yang smiled faintly. "You have told me so much. It is only right that I repay you with the same. I don’t doubt anything that you’ve said. It’s just too bad that none of these will work against me!"
Shui Wuyin chuckled coldly and was about say something derisive, but the silhouette standing in front of him had vanished. What replaced him was a cloud of white fog, floating in the air and churning gently.
Shui Wuyin’s eyes went large, his mind and train of thought crashing wrenched off its tracks.
The fog in the air separated into thousands of flows of mist at once, filling up every inch of space available in the room. It then recombined into the ball of fog.
Yun Yang’s body then materialized in front of Shui Wuyin once again.
Looking at Shui Wuyin’s extremely shocked gaze, Yun Yang smiled warmly. "Wuyin, can you recognize me now?"
Yun Yang had shown his true self.
"Young… Young Master Yun? Yun Yang? Is that you?" Shui Wuyin was stuttering but he had instinctively lowered his voice.
Yun Yang sighed softly. "You still can’t recognize me?"
Intense emotions and reverence danced in Shui Wuyin’s eyes; he nodded with a flushed face, his voice suppressed to the faintest of sounds. "You are… Supreme… Cloud?!"
Various sentiments seemed to glide past Yun Yang’s gaze as he said slowly in a solemn tone, "Your lord is my eighth brother."
"Wind…" Shui Wuyin was dumbfounded!
His lord, whom he had been serving, was Supreme Wind? A hero that the entire world revered?
"Your lord… my eighth brother… He’s already…" Yun Yang closed his eyes. "Your guess was right. He has given everything of his to me. That is why I impersonated him… I must say, I didn't do too badly, considering that you were the only one who could see through me."
Yun Yang’s words sounded humorous, but both men only felt despair and grief.
Shui Wuyin stood dumbly, his mind abuzz with a hundred thoughts.
Countless peals thunder and lightning were running amok in his mind, turning his brain into mush; even his spirit seemed to have been broken into rapidly vanishing pieces.
What was left was Yun Yang’s voice repeating in his ears like a dream.
After a long, long time…
"Do you… believe me?" Yun Yang asked.
"I…" Shui Wuyin’s gaze was pained as he said hoarsely, "I do! If I can’t even believe Nine Supremes’ words, there is no one else in this world who is worthy of my trust!"
"I hope that you can help me." Yun Yang said seriously, "Help me seek revenge, help me – help us… complete what we have yet to complete."
Shui Wuyin shut his eyes tightly and murmured, "My lord… is he really… not here anymore?"
Yun Yang turned away and did not speak for a while.
Yet the muscle on the side of his face that twitched wildly was all the answer Shui Wuyin needed.
The muscle on Shui Wuyin’s face tightened with resolve. He gritted his teeth and said without hesitation, "I promise you that I shall do all that you ask, I shall serve you loyally. But I have a request that I hope you can grant."