"So not only did the slave brat escape, but all the Spirit Manifestation cultivators that came with you died as well?" The Clan Head said with restrained anger.
Before him, Tang Li and Tang Bian knelt with their heads down.
"My deepest apologies Lord Clan Head. The Scattered Leaves Chief was stronger then we anticipated. We did not expect her cultivation to be in the Virtue Seeking realm."
"For your sake she better be dead..."
Even though the odds of defeating a Virtue Seeking cultivator without another of equal power was extremely slim, the clan head did not care.
While he may not kill Tang Li for this failure, the same could not be said with Tang Bian.
It wasn't a matter of being fair. As the patriarch of the clan, he had absolute authority to determine what was fair and what was not.
"Yes, my lord. I had a sliver of my father's spiritual sense on me at the time. With that, I was able to use defeat the Village Chief."
"What a coincidence..." The Clan Head responded as if he expected that kind of answer.
"As for Yin Hui. I believe his objective is to leave the province. However, since his cultivation is so low, there's no chance that he will get past any of the borders. Even if he goes for the weakest border, he will need to get through Coiling Pass which will lead to his death without us needing to do anything.
"Very well. Given the fact that you managed to fulfill your secondary objective I will be lenient. Tang Bian, you are sentenced to five years on the front lines. Until your time has been served, you are unable to take a single step into the capital."
"Yes Lord Clan Head." He replied solemnly.
The clan head then turned his head towards Tang Li.
"You on the other hand, will not get off so easy. To think my son is so incapable that a slave who just started cultivating could evade him. No, I think you merely have your loyalties mixed up. With that being the case---"
The doors opened and a glittering ball of light sped into the throne room. Stopping before the clan head, the light subsided and revealed a severely injured man.
"Who dares to interrupt---" Before the clan head could finish speaking, the sound of another person approaching echoed from outside.
Tang Jiao came in shortly after. He moved to where Tang Li and Tang Bian were positioned and dropped to his knees.
"Father! I heard there is news about Yin Hui! Please allow me to hear as well!"
"Tang Jiao... Is this your doing..." The clan head's face was white with anger. Not only was he just getting over Tang Bian and Tang Li's failure, but now Tang Jiao and an injured man had just barged into his throne room without authorization. Were it anyone else, they would have been immediately executed for showing such disrespect.
Half-conscious, the injured man stumbled to his feet. His eyes swept around the room briefly and widened when he saw the old man standing in front of him. He immediately sobered and kneeled before the clan head with his hands clasped.
"Your excellency Tang! Forgive this intrusion! I am Tao Kai of the Eastern Outpost! The outpost has been destroyed due to the efforts of three extraordinary individuals of the younger generation. Furthermore, my father Tao Mu has also been killed in a battle with an elder of the Yan Clan!"
Tao Mu treasured his son dearly and planned for the worst case scenario when he was informed of the attack by Tao Kai. Within the medicinal pill that he took was a life saving spell that would instantly transport him to the Tang capital if his life was ever in danger.
It also contained a memory link that would share all of Tao Mu memories with Tao Kai starting from when he took the pill. That was why he knew of his father's death and the arrival of the members of the Yan Clan.
"Tell me... What were these three individuals like?" He asked quietly.
"One was a girl who seemed to be in her late teens or early twenties. The other two were young boys of about twelve and fifteen. The girl is a terrifying genius, already possessing the power of Virtue Seeking. Apparently she is the granddaughter of one of the Yan's elders."
"As for the two boys. The younger one possesses a strange ability when it comes to talking. It seems like has the power to convince anyone to do just about anything even in the heat of battle."
"The older one is even more special. He has long black hair, purple eyes and radiates a demonic aura. Not only that, but he possesses what my father believes to be a Blood Sacrifice Sword!"
"Fortunately, those two don't seemed to be affiliated with the Yan as they intended to head to the Storm Province after the invasion. They should be long gone by now and will likely not be a factor in the upcoming war against the---"
The clan head pointed a finger towards Tao Kai, who was instantly reduced to a pool of blood without even being given a chance to scream. Waving his hand, the blood gathered and flew into a large bowl beside his throne.
Afterwards, the clan head shot an ice cold glare at Tang Bian, who's face was frozen in fear.
This was the first time in his life that he had ever miscalculated to such a degree. Even now, Tang Bian found it hard to believe that Yin Hui was able to enlist the help of the Yan Clan to help him escape the province.
Tang Jiao was panicking as well. At this moment, he wished he was back on all fours as Tang Mei's personal mount.
On the other hand, Tang Li merely knelt silently with a complex expression on his face.
"Lord Clan Head! Please wait! I--"
Tang Bian's voice was cut as the clan head lifted him into the air by the throat. Using his spiritual sense, the clan head went through Tang Bian's memories until he found a person that matched Tao Kai's description.
"So this is the slave we are looking for."
The entire time the clan head was searching his memories, Tang Bian never stopped screaming. Every cell in his brain felt like it was being melted in a vat of lava. If given time to prepare and done gradually, searching through a person's memory using spiritual sense was painless. However, the clan head was not in a merciful mood and drove his spiritual sense into Tang Bian like a knife cutting grass.
After five whole minutes, the clan head loosened his grip on Tang Bian's neck and dropped his body to the ground. He had already gotten the information he needed within the first few seconds of searching, but intentionally made Tang Bian suffer due to his miscalculations.
"Words cannot describe the anger I am currently feeling. Not only has one slave caused us so much trouble, but the son of my Tang Clan's greatest tactician and my own children could not stop him. Should I be laughing or should I be crying?"
The clan head walked towards his throne and took a seat.
"Tang Jiao! You are waived of your previous sentence! Instead, you and Tang Bian are banished! Not just from the capital, but from the clan and province as well! Also, neither of you are to take any of your belongings, save the clothes on your back. Your banishment will hold until you bring me this Yin Hui's corpse!"
Tang Jiao paused for a moment. However, seeing his father's current mood he let out a sigh and picked up Tang Bian's trembling body.
Turning towards Tang Li, a small black flame ignited on the tip of the clan head's finger.
"You are also banished. The conditions are the same, but you will also have this."
Tang Li grunted as his father shot the black flame into his chest. The flame passed through effortlessly and dug itself deep into Tang Li's heart.
"I know you did not give your full effort the last time I sent you to capture that brat. Since you didn't obey me when I asked nicely, I'll just have to force you."
"If you are to ever encounter that boy during your banishment, the flame will know. When that happens, it will activate and slowly begin to kill you unless you attack him. Also, to motivate you further, I have an imposed a ten year time limit. Regardless of your intentions, if I don't remove the spell after ten years your life ends."
"All this fuss over a slave possibly holding the secrets to an old legend. I can see how the Yan Clan has become such a threat. Unlike us, they are living in the now while we are busy chasing the past." Tang Li mocked.
"Silence!" The clan head activated the flame within Tang Li's heart.
Falling to the ground, Tang Li clutched his chest in pain as he tried to resist the burning within his heart.
"There is plenty of evidence already that this inheritance is no mere legend. Destroying one of the eastern outposts? Obtaining a Blood Sacrifice Sword? It has only been a couple months and this boy has already caused so much trouble!"
"Get out! I want you three out of the capital by first light of the next day. Don't even think about hiding out somewhere in the outskirts either. If you do, I will personally come end your lives myself