“You are indeed as… straightforward as I was told.” Lu Zui smiled and got back to the topic. “Today, I invited you here because I wanted to ask you a few questions. Of course, you can choose not to answer them or simply blow up my head and walk way.
“But until you shut me up, I will be speaking what is on my mind honestly.
“First of all, the scheme of the Patriots Partnership has been disrupted, and the reconciliation between mankind and the demon race has been reached. Nothing but peace and prosperity awaits us. However, Miss Ding, can the hatred at the bottom of your heart be erased without a trace so easily? Can you really forget the scene where your parents were shredded by the demon beasts and killed miserably in front of your eyes?
“Yes. I’m aware that the demon king who organized the beast tide and got your parents killed has been executed by you. It is sort of a revenge, but have all the demons who participated in the attack been killed? Is it possible that some of them are still enjoying themselves in the Blood Demon Sector and will even swagger to the Heaven’s Origin Sector under the banner of ‘peace’?
“At that time, will you really be able to let go of your hatred and embrace them with a smile?”
Ding Lingdang’s pupils shrank violently. She breathed fast and grabbed Lu Zui’s collar again.
In the surveillance room nearby, the assistant asked Guo Chunfeng, “Should we end the conversation?”
Frowning, Guo Chunfeng pondered for a moment but slowly shook his head. “Lu Zui was right. His soul power is unbelievably strong now that he is in the high level of the Nascent Soul Stage. Even though he cannot attack because of the barriers, it is more than easy for him to wipe something out of his mind.
“It’s easy for us to interrupt the conversation, but it will be a whole different matter to dig out the secrets of the Patriots Partnership in his head. Let’s hear what he has to say for now!”
“Secondly…” Lu Zui glanced at the surveillance camera at the corner of the prison cell casually. His eyes seemed to be piercing into the hearts of Guo Chunfeng and all the Secret Sword Agents through the surveillance camera.
His question next seemed to be both for Ding Lingdang, Guo Chunfeng, and all the other Cultivators on the spot. “Do you really believe that, as soon as the surrender agreement is signed, all the demons will turn into innocent rabbits immediately, that they will assimilate into human society sincerely without causing any trouble, and that they will be content as appendages all the time and human beings will always be dominators?
“Is it possible at all, say a likelihood of one percent, that things will not progress as a naïve child such as Li Yao has imagined? Is it possible that, after decades of integration, human beings will lose the dominating role in the alliance and that demons will return in a different appearance and rule over us again?
“Are you absolutely certain that it is impossible? Not even a likelihood of one percent?”
His question made Guo Chunfeng and all the Cultivators lower their heads, all wearing complicated expressions.
Many of those Cultivators had been fighting the demon race on the frontline for their entire life. Their family and friends had been killed by the demons, and they had witnessed countless towns being destroyed with their own eyes.
Even if they were aware, after rational thinking, that putting down the hatred was the best choice, human beings were not cold machines after all. It was impossible for them to have only taken benefits and harms into consideration, and it was not easy for them to accept the new change from the emotional point of view.
Ding Lingdang’s eyes immediately became bloodshot. Like a cow whose nostrils were spurting out steam, she clutched Lu Zui’s collar and shook it violently until his chains were clattering hard.
“Yes. It’s true that I cannot forget my deep hatred with the demon race! I will absolutely not trust the demon race! Never! I don’t want to get anywhere near the demon race!
“But so what? Everything has been fixed right now. Is there anything I can do?”
Ding Lingdang gnashed his teeth and said, one word after another, “Old fart, do you know what I hate about you most? Not that you assassinated the Speaker, not that you killed tens of thousands of our compatriots, not that you framed Li Yao, but that you ruined our opportunity to challenge the demon race in an open fight!
“Why did you have to realize your purpose through such insane, sordid, and shameless methods?
“Why couldn’t you tell the public the truth and fight openly in a ‘competition of the righteous path’?
“If you had declared your stance openly in the beginning and insisted in parliament, to the media, and in front of billions of citizens of the federation that you did not agree with integrating with the demon race at all and that there would be tremendous benefits after we marched into the Blood Demon Sector—if you had done that, I can’t say for other people, but I definitely would’ve supported you and fought for you until the end!
“But you simply chose a different way!
“What did you consider our hatred to be? Was our hatred wrong? Was it clandestine? Must it be kept away from the light?
“Demons killed my parents. I hate the demons’ guts. I don’t see eye to eye with them. I just want them dead! It’s as simple and justified as that!
“Couldn’t you say these words? Were you not able to summon enough forces to smash the Blood Demon Sector into smithereens?
“This is your biggest sin. You tarnished my hatred as well as the most sacred hatred of our compatriots whose families have been murdered by the demons like mine! You exterminated our opportunity to fight the demon race in an open war! With that crime alone, you should be sentence to death ten thousand times, old fart!”
Lu Zui was like a canoe in the surging tide while Ding Lingdang was shaking him hard, but he kept smiling casually until a dirty teardrop flowed out. “Yes, Miss Ding. With everything coming this far, in retrospect, maybe you are right. It is all my fault. I ruined everybody’s most precious hatred.
“Then, it you were me, what would you have done in my place?”
His eyes blinking, Lu Zui looked at Ding Lingdang full of expectation.
Ding Lingdang glared back at him without giving in. “First of all, I would not have kept anything mysterious or vet the members secretly. An underground organization? That’s useless as hell!
“If I were to establish the Patriots Partnership, I would’ve done it openly! Register it in the relevant governmental department as a company, a sect, or even a political party. Regularize it, publicize it, and legalize it. Promote the idea that human beings and demons are not compatible to everybody!
“We are not doing anything wrong. It’s freedom of speech and association. What’s there to be scared of?
“Then, I would establish branches nationwide and draw media attention. I would gather all the victims of the beast tides and unite them. Everybody would make their contribution in their own way. Our voice would be most deafening!
“You were the director of the Secret Sword Bureau, and you certainly had your influence in parliament. I also believe that many representatives agreed that human beings and demons are not compatible! If I were you, after I captured Elder Nether Spring and interrogated the latest intelligence of the Blood Demon Sector out of him, I would have publicized everything to parliament so that all the representatives would know how weak the Blood Demon Sector at that moment was and what kind of secret, invincible weapons we had grasped!
“Following that, I would have proposed the motion of war!
“You and Zhou Hengdao were both firm supporters of the idea that human beings and demons are not compatible. With your push, it is very likely that the motion would’ve passed. After that, we would have been able to wage a war openly! Why did you have to resort to so many redundant schemes?”
Amazed, Lu Zui mumbled, “Old Zhou was quite right. Since you father was a federal soldier, and you are deeply connected to the federal army, Old Zhou studied you profoundly before and believed that you are not as simpleminded as you appear to be and in no way a woman with fists but no brains!
“Your theory is quite beyond my expectations, but on second thought, it makes a lot of sense. How can a top-tier expert of the younger generation of the Heaven’s Origin Sector really lack brains?”
Raising her head, Ding Lingdang sniffed. “Of course I have a well-functioning brain, but it is a habit of mine to solve my problems in the most direct and straightforward way! And in most cases, the most direct and straightforward way is this pair of fists of mine!”
“However, you’ve overlooked something,” Lu Zui analyzed. “If I had publicized everything to parliament, including that I’d captured Elder Nether Spring, I would’ve been obliged to explain why Elder Nether Spring fled to the Heaven’s Origin Sector in the appearance of a human being. Then, two other things would have been exposed.
“Firstly, the same-origin theory and the existence of the Divine Blood of Chaos, which means that human beings and demons are mutually transformable.
“Secondly, the fact that Li Yao sabotaged the Eye of Blood Demon and even reached a deal with Jin Tuyi. Demons were going to surrender!
“When the two things were revealed, they certainly would raise a riot. Many representatives, after weighing the pros and cons, would have made the decision that the war was not necessary, and the victory could be secured with no blood shed. It’s needless to mention the allies from the Flying Star Sector, who would in no way send out their fleet to help our expedition under such circumstances.
“In fact, I made more than ten deductions before. In this scenario, the odds that the expedition motion was passed were lower than ten percent. That’s why I planned the accident in the Federal Square, hoping to force the parliament into the decision of war.
“Miss Ding, if you were me, what would you have done after the expedition motion was rejected by parliament and Li Yao returned with the peace papers of the Pantheon of Demons? Is there any way that you could’ve reversed the situation?”
“Even if I couldn’t reverse the situation, it would still be ten thousand times better than right now,” Ding Lingdang said coldly. “Even if the expedition motion was denied, at the very least, the Patriots Partnership would still be walking in daylight as a deterrence to warn all the citizens of the federation to be wary of the demons!
“If I were you, the war would definitely not be an option when parliament vetoed the motion, but the entire Patriots Partnership and I would still keep an eye on the demon race closely!
“We would let them go if they surrendered dutifully and resumed the ancestral identity of human beings under the banner of the civilization of mankind as a whole. But if they had other ill intentions and meant to instigate trouble, I would chop off their tails brutally when they were wagging them!
“That’s what a real ‘patriot’ should’ve done!”
Hearing that, Lu Zui could not help but burst into laughter. He nodded in approval and said, “Well said, Miss Ding. Perhaps you are right. Perhaps we should’ve done it in the beginning!”
“Well said is not well done!” Ding Lingdang declared brutally. “You have ruined everything. It’s too late now!”
“Maybe it is not.” Lu Zui retreated his smiled. His expression was getting more and more mysterious, and he seemed to have entered a transcendental state.
He extended his right hand, which was still tied in chains, to Ding Lingdang. His face was calm, but his eyes were burning with hope and expectation. “Miss Ding, one last question.
“Would you like to be the new leader of the Patriots Partnership?”