The signing of the peace agreement between the Heaven’s Origin Sector and the Blood Demon Sector marked both the end of the war and the arrival of a new era.
The delegation headed by Jin Xinyue, after signing the peace agreement on Distant Expanse, immediately shifted to Burning Prairie, the crystal warship from the Flying Star Sector, and began the discussion about the trilateral universal development of the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Flying Star Sector, and the Blood Demon Sector.
In the sea of stars, a hundred years was nothing more than a snap of one’s fingers. Faced with the threat of the Imperium of True Human Beings, they needed to seize every second!
However, such intricate, boring details were not what Li Yao was really into.
On the front desk of Burning Prairie, Li Yao, Wu Mayan, Xie Anan, and Luo Xingzi were saying farewell.
“Senior Luo Xingzi, I’m truly sorry for what has happened,” Li Yao said, somewhat embarrassed. “I hope you are not disappointed in the federation.”
In the scheme of the Patriots Partnership, the people from the Flying Star Sector were certainly the most unfortunate ones.
Honestly speaking, the Flying Star Sector was friendly enough for them. Not only did they bring the latest technology as well as tremendous warships, Cultivators, and even Grand Illusionary Soldiers, they were even prepared to fight side by side with the Cultivators of the Heaven’s Origin Sector if the demon race invaded.
Li Yao knew full well that it was a huge cost for the Flying Star Sector, which had just quelled a ten-year riot of the Immortal Cultivators and was battered by war itself.
Although the Flying Star Sector was doing all this hoping to better resist the Imperium of True Human Beings later, their sincerity in the alliance with the Heaven’s Origin Sector was beyond any doubt.
But as it turned out, after the Flying Star Sector sent the strongest warship and the best Cultivators to the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the leaders on the federation’s side, such as Lu Zui and Zhou Hengdao, were trying to seize Burning Prairie and sacrifice the elite soldiers of the Flying Star Sector to begin the war!
If Li Yao had not stopped it at the last moment, perhaps the people from the Flying Star Sector would have been killed by the savaging Demon God Virus, and Burning Prairie would have been nothing more than a piece of broken, rusted garbage now.
Li Yao considered the situation from the Flying Star Sector’s point of view and thought, if he were in the same situation, he certainly would have burst into fury because somebody had stabbed him in the back, and he would have reevaluated the alliance with the Heaven’s Origin Sector, if there was still an alliance to reevaluate at all.
Therefore, after the incident, he had been rather anxious, and he did not even know how he should face Wu Mayan and Xie Anan, both of whom were from the Flying Star Sector.
But as it turned out, the Flying Star Sector reacted much more calmly than he had expected. After learning everything, they had announced that they believed it was the personal action of the few criminals, not the stance of the federal government. The incident would not affect the cooperation and the alliance later.
Such a forgiving attitude was almost the most important premise for the collaboration of the three Sectors and the quick kick-off of the universal development.
Li Yao was very moved, if not slightly confused, by the Flying Star Sector’s magnanimity.
“Fellow Cultivator Li, you are overthinking. What’s there to be disappointed at?”
Luo Xingzi was amused. Under the setting sun, his face was illuminated with a layer of vague brilliance.
The junior brother of Xiao Xuance, who had been the leader of the Immortal Cultivators and a great man of the Flying Star Sector, after the baptism of the numerous tides, was gradually assuming his senior brother’s aura. Looking at the rolling red clouds on the horizon, he said slowly, “The Flying Star Sector and the Heaven’s Origin Sector are different.
“Ever since your civilization was awakened, you have been fighting against the demon race all the time. The fire of your civilization was forced into being under the tremendous pressure of the demon race.
“The Star Glory Federation has only been established for five hundred years. It is in the most vigorous era of growth. Faced with the strong enemy that was the demon race, you were united and striving without retreat, and you were able to suppress the dark side of humanity.
“Therefore, in your heart, humans are good, kind, pure, righteous by nature, and the non-humans such as demons are evil.
“Good and evil are clearly distinguished, and evil never laughs to the end. This was once your belief.
“But after the incident of the Patriots Partnership, in which you saw how evil humans can be, many of you have wavered and begun to be suspicious about humanity, even including many representatives. I have felt that very clearly when I’ve been talking to them.
“But the Flying Star Sector is different.
“Our world was already highly developed in the era of the Star Ocean Imperium. There were never any organized demon forces.
“Over the past ten thousand years, we were divided into ‘homers’ and ‘spacers’ at first, fighting among each other. Then, we were faced with the scourge of space pirates and the extraterrestrial devils. Even the extraterrestrial devils, our greatest banes, had to look for the loopholes in humanity and attach themselves to human beings in order to cause damage.
“It is safe to say that, for the last ten thousand years, we have been fighting against ourselves! On one side, our enemy is the vast, cold, dark universe. On the other side, our enemy is in our heart, something colder and darker than the universe.
“On a starship that has lost momentum with limited food, floating at the edge of a desolate space zone, anyone can turn into something a hundred times more evil than demons and extraterrestrial devils, trampling all the moral standards and causing indescribable tragedies.
“Such tragedies have happened countless times throughout history, and they are still not entirely avoidable to this day.
“Therefore, we know the dark side of humanity much better than you do. The space pirates, the Immortal Cultivators, and those guys who killed all their companions on board in order to survive a couple of days more after an accident, are they not human beings?
“However, on the other side, the space pirates and the Immortal Cultivators who nearly destroyed the Flying Star Sector are human beings, but aren’t those who prevented them from doing so and protected the world human beings, too?
“Let’s take this incident for example. It is true that the chief criminals such as Lu Zui and Zhou Hengdao are federal citizens, but aren’t you, who stopped them, one of the most excellent representatives of the federal citizens? Aren’t the tens of thousands of veterans and citizens who waved the flags and sang the national anthems in front of parliament federal citizens? Isn’t the so-called Star Glory Federation made of people like you?
“Why did Lu Zui and Zhou Hengdao have to turn to the clandestine approaches? They must’ve been well aware that people were not on their side, mustn’t they?”
Li Yao was dazed. “Senior Luo Xingzi, after experiencing so much darkness, are you still willing to believe in the federation and believe in humanity?”
“Humanity?” Luo Xingzi smiled. “Human beings are giant, contradictory objects in my eyes, a double swirl that is revolving in two opposite directions simultaneously.
“Whenever I trust humanity without reserve, the ugliest, most potent black foams always pops up from the swirl.
“However, when I cover my nose and run away, not trusting it any longer, the black foam will explode one after another and give out the most brilliant colors!”
He patted Li Yao’s shoulder and said, “However, if I have to choose, I think I will still choose to believe in humanity and human beings. I will not suspect it no matter how much darkness I experience, no matter how much ugliness I witness, and no matter how many times I am betrayed!”
He paused for a moment before saying with a bitter smile, “Do we really have a second choice?”
Li Yao was deep in thought. Then, together with Luo Xingzi, he put on the sunniest smile under the setting sun.
Taking a long breath in relief, Li Yao was clearly much more at ease than before. “Right, there’s one other thing. I’m told that you were about to jump to the Blood Demon Sector while I was on my way. Then, a boy scout of the Burning Prairie Fleet made a mistake and broke the space jump array. You were delayed for a few hours as a result. If that’s the case, the boy scout was the greatest contributor who helped stop the war!”
“What kind of contributor is he?” Luo Xingzi could not help but snort when he mentioned the boy. “Don’t mention him. He is still in detention!”
“Why?” Li Yao was greatly surprised. Almost three months had passed. Even if his mistake caused the malfunction of the space jump array, it still seemed to be too harsh a punishment.
Seeing his confusion, Luo Xingzi was amused. “You don’t need to bother about him. Honestly speaking, he didn’t delay us on purpose. It was just a lucky accident.
“After we learned the whole thing, we thought that he had made great contributions, although by accident, and that we would set him free after locking him for ten days or so. But on the seventh day, the boy somehow escaped from the fully-enclosed detention room and swaggered to the living area to gamble! All the tutors were almost deformed in fury! Do you think that locking him up for two months is still a heavy punishment?”
Li Yao scratched his nose but did not know what to say. Before, he had been quite interested in the guy who had accidentally stopped the war and wanted to meet him. But since the guy was still in detention, he might as well drop the idea. Burning Prairie had its own rules after all. It was inappropriate for an outsider like him to intervene.
“Anyway, everything has been settled now. The war is finally over!” Li Yao held his head with his hands and stretched his arms comfortably.
Looking at the distance, Luo Xingzi said with mixed feelings, “Yes. The war between human beings and demons is over, but the war between human beings and human beings has only just begun.”
“But why do I feel that there’s still something I forgot to do?” Li Yao tilted his head and thought hard for a moment, only to come up with nothing. “It seems to be something very important that will threaten my life if I don’t do it.”
“Master.” At this moment, Wu Mayan reminded him in a low voice, “You haven’t proposed to masteress yet.”
“Huh?” Li Yao blinked rapidly.
“Didn’t you say that you were going to be married after you were back home?” Wu Mayan said. “Also, Masteress asked me the other day if you were ‘prepared’. Note that she asked while gnashing her teeth and rubbing her fists!”
“Right!” Li Yao slapped his head. “I’ve been too busy with the important affairs of the country and the universe to give it any thought!”