His every word was like a super heavy bomb that stunned Guo Chunfeng and the Secret Sword Agents who were eavesdropping on the conversation in the booth nearby.
“Should—should we interrupt their conversation?” one of the assistants stammered.
“Of course not!” Guo Chunfeng roared. “Do you not understand what he means? The Patriots Partnership still have remnants out there! Organized remnants!
“But that doesn’t seem right. Even if there are still organized remnants and they need a new leader, he has no reason to tell us. Moreover, Ding Lingdang doesn’t look fit to be a leader of the Patriots Partnership. What does he mean? What does he mean exactly?”
Even Guo Chunfeng, Abyss, was dumbfounded.
Ding Lingdang was even more shocked. She could not help but let loose of her hands, which were grabbing Lu Zui’s collar. After a long daze, she burst into fury. “Old fart, what’s wrong with you?
“The Patriots Partnership has clearly been demolished. Most of the members have been locked up in prison. Even if some of them are still on the run, they cannot show up in public. Who am I going to lead exactly?
“Also, everybody in the federation knows that Ding Lingdang is a battle-type Cultivator. I like fighting more than anything, but managing a large organization? Mental! You may want to hire somebody else!”
Her reaction was all within Lu Zui’s expectations. The previous director of the Secret Sword Bureau and the incumbent leader of the Patriots Partnership said with a shallow smile, “There’s no need to underestimate yourself. Everybody has infinite potential. You have demonstrated enough calmness and wisdom in the incident of capturing Blood Devil Li Yao. The opinions that you raised a moment ago are logical and well-constructed, too. All that is evidence that you are not a simple warrior.
He paused for a moment and looked at Ding Lingdang’s face before continuing. “The Patriots Partnership in the past had a meticulous, intelligent, and deductive leader, me, and Zhou Hengdao, a big shot in the military. But didn’t it fail eventually?
“If the organization has failed despite the leadership of the wisest people, does it mean that ‘wisdom’ is not what matters to us most? Is it possible that we will reach somewhere new and unexpected if we have a simple, straightforward, stupid, unsophisticated leader?”
“Wait!” Ding Lingdang narrowed her eyes, with dangerous brilliance beaming out. She glanced at Lu Zui’s face up and down, as if she were deciding the best place to punch his nose in to make the guy look more agreeable. “Old fart, are you making fun of me?”
“Maybe I should use a different choice of words.” Lu Zui smiled. “Perhaps, for the future Patriots Partnership, it is not the management and planning ability that matters but the tremendous appeal and the strength to encourage other people!
“It’s true that you are short of organizing, managing, and planning abilities, but your assistants and your colleagues can do the job for you. Your appeal and your strength of encouragement are definitely powerful enough! In the past decade, you have built up your name as the ‘Crimson Queen’ with your own fists one punch after another. Your fame is second-to-none in the new generation of the federation. Few are match for you, too—that is, of course, not counting the monster Li Yao.”
Ding Lingdang sniffed and said, “What can appeal do? Should I go to the prison to call your prisoners to action? Or, are there other secret accomplices whom you have yet to confess? Then, I suggest that you give us the names right now. There’s no way that I’m going to scheme with you!
“It’s true that some of my accomplices are still out there,” Lu Zui said calmly, “but after our conversation is over, I will write a personal letter and certify it with my soul stamp to ask them to turn themselves in. It is part of the deal I made with Guo Chunfeng. I must keep my word with my old subordinate, mustn’t I?
“As for your first proposal, I don’t think it’s bad. Why can’t you call the ‘patriots’ in the prison to action?
“It must be noted that the Patriots Partnership has almost five thousand members, but most of them knew nothing about the planned assassination of the Speaker and the explosions in the Federal Square; they were merely fooled by me. Some of them, including Zhou Hengdao, only knew that we planned to assassinate the Speaker and didn’t know about the explosions!
“Only ten or so people, including several of my foster sons, were aware of the explosions beforehand!
“When they are trialed, the suspects of the explosion case will naturally be charged with treason and arson and sentenced to death. As for those who were only involved in the planned assassination of the Speaker, except for the few chief conspirators, they might not be punished with the death penalty. Political murders are usually handled more prudently than regular murders.
“As for the ‘patriots’ who didn’t know the first thing about the assassination and the explosions, they are even less likely to be executed because they didn’t know anything and only provided help for me when I fooled them.
“Hehe. When I recruited the members, my candidates were all people whose level was relatively high and who boasted certain social influence just like you. Those people are all the valuable treasures of the federation. Now, we are in dire need of talents. How can they be locked in prison forever?
“By my estimation, when everything is settled, they will be sentenced to jail for decades, or maybe only a few years, according to the severity of their crime. Even if they are serving time, they will certainly be engaged in dangerous jobs such as the development of the foreign planets or the exploration of world fragments to atone for their sins. In fact, they will probably be freer than you think.
“However they are punished, those guys will certainly return to society before the Imperium of True Human Beings comes in full scale. They will become the pillars of the federation again and contribute to the resistance!
“Do you not think that several thousand of such people will be an unneglectable force?”
Ding Lingdang was dazed. She was not a quick-minded debater in the first place and failed to come up with any rebuttal in the moment.
But Lu Zui suddenly changed the topic. “However, it is not them that I mainly want to talk to you about today. In fact, it doesn’t matter even if they are all sentenced to death, or even if the Patriots Partnership today crumbles, like the ice under the sun, evaporated and obliterated!
“We are not talking about the Patriots Partnership now but hatred.
“The naïve fools such as Li Yao think that everything will be perfect after the Patriots Partnership is annihilated and that human beings and demons will hold each other’s hands hereafter, singing, dancing, and laughing like kindergarteners, while they stride for a better tomorrow.
“Fine. Don’t glare at me. Maybe I was too mean. It is not Li Yao’s fault. It’s just because he has never felt the first-hand pain as you and I have. He has never had the experience of holding the broken body of the people we love most and slowly sewing up the pieces. He has never known how it feels to wake up at night from a nightmare with tears all over our face. His hands have never shaken, his breath has never been difficult, and his eyes have never been bloodshot on instinct upon seeing demons!
“Therefore, he cannot begin to understand the force of hatred. He even denies it. He doesn’t know the first thing about the force!
“But you know it, don’t you? Judging from our conversation just now, you know how strong the force is all the time, which is what delighted me most.
“If so, it will be very easy for you to understand what will happen. The victors led by Li Yao can destroy the Patriots Partnership, find every ‘patriot’, and put them in jail or sentence them to death! They can push the integration of human beings and demons by force. They can even shut everybody’s mouth under the name of ‘political correctness’ and block every argument that opposes theirs in every newspaper or on every online forum!
“They can destroy the Patriots Partnership, but they can never destroy hatred.
“Let’s take you for an example. Ding Lingdang, is there any way that you can forget the picture of your parents being killed by the demons? Is there any way that you can embrace the demons as your own without any grudges? Is there any way to erase the hatred at the bottom of your heart, leaving no trace behind?”
Ding Lingdang’s eyes were suddenly bloodshot. She gritted her teeth hard and almost could not stop herself from punching Lu Zui. However, after holding her breath for a long time, she loosened her fists, and her back was suddenly not as straight as before.
“Answer me!” Lu Zui suddenly turned into a silver-haired lion, roaring furiously. “Answer my questions!”
In that moment, the chains all over his body were ripped apart, and the barrier on his head was blown away. Spiritual energy was surging out of his body like a hurricane!
Intimidated by his shocking aura, Ding Lingdang was so shocked that she stepped back and fell to the ground.
The one-way transparent glass between the surveillance room next door and the prison cell was suddenly full of cracks.
Guo Chunfeng and all the Secret Sword Agents jumped to their feet.
The few assistants were all sweating hard while they looked at Guo Chunfeng helplessly.
Guo Chunfeng struggled to calm himself down. Then he realized that the ‘broken chains’ were just an illusion triggered by Lu Zui’s immense mental power. His back soaked in sweat, he felt as if he was in the middle of a steamer, but he still issued an order after a long hesitation.
“Prepare to interrupt the conversation.”
The situation was now out of his control. Lu Zui had taken control over everything!
Fortunately, Ding Lingdang seemed to know what he was going to do. Sitting on the ground, she shouted at the glass, “Don’t interrupt the conversation! I’m not done with him yet! Let us finish!”
The assistants looked at Ding Lingdang and then at Guo Chunfeng.
Guo Chunfeng scratched his head hard until it was no better than a bird nest. Every muscle on his face was dancing. Pondering for a long time, he still waved his hands helplessly, gesturing for his subordinates not to burn Lu Zui’s tongue so that they could continue their conversation.
Ding Lingdang was a person who could be dealt with carrots but certainly not sticks. If they interrupted the conversation right now, it would indicate that they were not confident. Even if Lu Zui could not give the answer, Ding Lingdang would find it out on her own—in which case, the answer might be even more terrifying.
Damn it. Has Lu Zui calculated this in advance too? Is that why he asked to meet Ding Lingdang?