The steward and his upper staff along with the remaining Jin disciples greeted them at the gate, bowing low in the dusty ground. They had been faithful to Jin Ling. Jin Guangyao knew they'd been faithful, but they weren't blood. "Remain here." As they cowered in the dust, Jiang servants set up camp a few hundred feet away. Wei Wuxian, while obviously himself, still eerily looked too much like Lan Wangi even dressed in the black and red he'd come to favor. As he played his flute, harmless little tunes, the remnants of the Jin Sect cowered in the dust. They stayed like that until nightfall.

As sunlight faded from the horizon, the tentacled nightmare, unseen but not unheard, started to sing. Those of the Jiang bloodline were, of course, unaffected but even the strongest Jin cultivators couldn't help but cover their ears as they writhed in agony under the power of that eldritch discord. Holding their hands over their ears didn't help them. Blood poured from their eyes and ears and mouths until they fell, stiff and cold against the dust. The little sharp-teethed ones ate well that night.

The eldritch tune grew louder and eerier. Muck, the decay of a thousand generations, boiled up from below the ground, supplanting the manmade palace with swamps and fetid ponds. Strange fungi grew well in that new soil.

The next morning only the lotus pool, expanded into a series of small ponds, remained. Servants were sent to dump what was left of the fresh kills, which wouldn't be edible for weeks, into the swamps. Jiang Cheng sent to Yunmeng for architects and craftsmen, and then stayed until the new palace had been built. Nothing of what Lanling had been could be seen in Heian Zhaoze. Buildings careened at impossible angles. There were corridors that changed, corridors that shifted when no one was looking, corridors where a man could be lost forever. Colors not meant for human eyes spun in and out of existence. No one not of Jiang blood ever entered willingly and those forced inside quickly lost their sanity.

In the evening, Jin Guangyao joined Jin Ling by the lotus ponds. Tentacles rose from the surface of the water to swat over bones for the boy to try his baby teeth against. Wei Wuxian, calling on an uncle's privilege to show up unannounced, took to the roof to play his flute. The notes echoed eerily across the waters from which Jiang Yanli rose. Jin Ling tottered to her eagerly. Dripping water weeds and leaving mucky tracks in her wake, she grabbed him up, swinging him into the air as he giggled in delight. His pale skin glowed against her pale corpse-green. When she finally settled down to let her young son suckle, she grinned over at Jin Guangyao. Her green grin, stretching from ear to ear, dripped ichor as if someone has slashed her face to create that smile.

Jin Guangyao smiled back in contentment. The world was finally safe for his nephew.