"Initiate a clan wide search. Find any and all Unorthodox methods being used and capture the perpetrators. We must be perfectly Righteous before the Gao Clan's escorts arrive."
"Yes, Lord Patriarch."
The servant bowed before walking into the clan's barracks right next to Wu Jian's own destination, the prison.
Upon entering, the Wu Patriarch was immediately greeted by the guards on duty, who snapped to attention from their seated positions. He cast his gaze over the coins and cards scattered across the table they had been sitting at, and gave them a reprimanding look, but didn't take it further. Instead, he pointed to the most senior of the guards and bid that she gather the Zhao Clan prisoners that they had in the deepest cell of the prison before heading there himself.
Along the way there, every prisoner lowered their gaze so as not to meet his as he passed, most of them sitting so as not to pull on the chains that attached them to the wall. However, one prisoner in particular caught Wu Jian's eye. A young man in the Qi Gathering Realm who moved throughout his cell training a martial technique. With his divine sense, the Wu Patriarch could sense the Energy of the World gather around the teen and aid him in tempering his body. Using that same sense, Wu Jian sent a mental communication to the head guard that she bring that young man to his office instead of the cell where he was heading before continuing on.
"Come to release me?"
A mocking voice greeted him as he entered the deepest room in the prison. There, chained to the floor such that he could not move, was the Wang Patriarch. The man had been deemed more dangerous than the severely injured Zhao Patriarch by merit of his retaining his Clan Treasure, the power within it being usable even in his Qi deprived state. It was also that power which allowed the Wang Patriarch to remain unfazed by the situation as it sustained him and prevented any damage to his dantian from the constant draining.
"The mighty Wu Jian, shining talent of the region, forced to release a lowly prisoner like me."
Seeing the Wu Patriarch's silence, the chained man continued his goading. In response, the Wu Clan Head only glared at his former subordinate before moving to carve a circle into the ground around the seated man with his new sword, Qi being injected into its inscriptions, which glowed and protected the blade from damage.
"What are you doing?"
The Wang Patriarch demanded.
"Aren't you here to set me free?"
He questioned, a hint of panic seeping into his voice. Wu Jian did not reply, wordlessly completing his task. Once he was done, he stepped back and observed the drawn formation for flaws, only finding a couple which he quickly corrected, and nodded to himself. This would do nicely.
The shackled man was interrupted by the cell door opening and two dozen Zhao Clansmen being ushered inside. He went to speak again but was stopped by the Wu Patriarch saying his own piece.
"You are dismissed."
The guards who had brought the prisoners bowed to him and exited the room, abandoning the prisoners to their fates.They knew well enough not to question the situation or stick around for too long.
A Zhao cultivator opened their mouth to speak, but the second they did Wu Jian's Nascent Soul aura blasted out from him and smothered the occupants of the room with its power.
"Each and every one of you in this room has tried to bring the downfall of my clan."
He stated, Qi stirring.
"So it's fitting, really, that you will aid me in ensuring that it lives on."
The building energy rushed out of him, pooling in the circle where Wang Kueng was sitting and sending out strings of Qi only visible to him and Wu Jian that wrapped around each of the Zhao Clansmen. The earth surrounding the room trembled, as if the world itself rejected what was going on, but that did nothing to stop the ritual from taking place.
With a tug, the strings of Qi tugged at the prisoners but did not move them. Instead, the strings passed through their bodies, struggling as if they were being pulled through quick sand. The Zhao Cultivators began screaming, crying out in agony and lashing out at the others around them, as if they were in their death throes. The strings continued their journeys through the clansmen's bodies, eventually dragging out a small orb of glowing silver light from each, and the cultivators went limp as life left them, screams dying on their lips.
Wu Jian smiled as the orbs shifted and struggled, trying to break free of their bindings and answer the call that was beckoning them, but they were unable to do so and were instead dragged towards the stunned Wang Patriarch. As they neared him, the chained man seemed to come to his senses and began to beg.
"Please, you would've done the same."
"I swear I will serve you faithfully forever if you stop this."
But his cries fell on deaf ears. The Wu Patriarch new that the threat of corrupting his soul would break the man, but he had never tried to interrogate or coerce him. He would be used for a different purpose, one that forced the Gao Clan to act in the shadows when dealing with his Wu Clan.
Even if he had to condemn his enemies to a fate worse than death, removal from the cycle of Samsara, he would do it for the sake of his Clan. So he was, using the original version of the technique he had shown the Gao delegates. A technique from an era long passed that had been used to mass produce Nascent Soul masters during times of desperation and had only since been modified into a selfish cultivation technique to promote oneself.
"Goodbye Wang Kueng."
Wu Jian's words echoed through the room as the silver lights merged with the one deep inside the Wang Patriarch.
"May you never find the Dao."