“As the youngest Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator in the three Sectors, Fellow Cultivator Li is indeed a rising star. You look even sharper than I’ve heard!”
Zhou Yifu spoke loudly and confidently. The historians in the world of Cultivators were mostly similar to him. They would not be able to excavate relics and study ancient classics, which often contained immense spiritual energy, without a healthy body.
Zhou Yifu smiled. “However, while other people might be attracted by Fellow Cultivator Li’s glorious deeds such as destroying the Eye of Blood Demon or sabotaging the Patriots Partnership, what I admire you most for is that Fellow Cultivator Li established Skyfire and tried to restore the truth of history!
“Without history, one will never have the present; without the present, one will not have a future. History is the source of our civilization. Fellow Cultivator Li was truly thoughtful and visionary despite the perils at that time!”
Li Yao immediately blushed. It was true that, when he founded Skyfire in the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the organization had been under the name of ‘The Skyfire Reading Club’, and its goal was to find out the truth between the entire opposing history books of the Heaven’s Origin Sector and the Blood Demon Sector.
However, such arrangements were disguises. There were no actual historians in Skyfire. All the members were just a bunch of rookies horsing around.
They might have been enough to fool those who did not know much about history, but in front of a grandmaster such as Zhou Yifu, they would not be worth mentioning at all.
“You are flattering me, Senior Zhou!” Li Yao said sincerely. “We indeed meant to sort through the history completely, but our abilities were too limited. Although we have a few scattered ancient classics and relics in our hands, it is more than troublesome for us to connect them and to combine all the details immaculately! Therefore, I have been hoping that the real specialists in history studies, such as grandmasters like Senior Zhou, can give us some enlightenment. It will be even better if some of them can be advisors for Skyfire!”
“I would be happy to!” Zhou Yifu said solemnly. “Right now, the federation is in peril. To defeat the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance, we must figure out the details of the two forces; at the same time, we must grasp all the techniques of the Star Ocean Imperium as soon as possible! Both hands require the effort of my fellow historians. I will certainly do my best to help!”
Li Yao was overjoyed. He did not expect that the grandmaster would be so friendly. In that moment, he was more confident about the Meeting of the Nascent Soul Stage than ever.
“Would you please stop adulating each other, dear masters?”
Wei Qingqing was quite familiar with Zhou Yifu. She teased them and said, “There is still some time to go before the meeting begins. How about a short interview on you two masters first? Let’s start from you, Master Li Yao. What do you think of the Meeting of the Nascent Soul Stage? Do we really stand any chance of defeating the Imperium of True Human Beings and the Alliance of the Holy Covenant, which is allegedly even scarier than the former? By the way, that claim was made by your foster father, wasn’t it?”
Three months ago, after finding out his foster father’s last words, Li Yao had considered for a while but still publicized all the information except the part about Li Linghai and the mysterious key as per his foster father’s instruction.
Li Yao had thought that the fact that his foster father was from the Covenant Alliance would raise suspicions and even cause trouble for him.
Suspicions were indeed raised, but they were mainly focused on the formidability and mysteriousness of the Covenant Alliance. However, as to the fact that he had a foster father from the Covenant Alliance itself, nobody felt anything wrong about it. Everybody thought that it was only logical.
Ding Lingdang, after learning the matter, had grinned, too.
“I thought that you were a monster. Otherwise, it would’ve been too unbelievable that an ordinary young man who was born and raised in the magical equipment graveyard advanced into the Nascent Soul Stage after only less than twenty years!
“I didn’t know that you had a foster father who was from the center of the universe. If that’s the case, everything makes sense now. It’s perfectly normal that I can’t beat you for the time being!”
All in all, with the attitude that it was not strange that he was an alien if he was Vulture Li Yao’s foster father, society accepted the matter very quickly.
Her eyes glittering, Wei Qingqing went on. “In the crisis of the Flying Star Sector, the Blood Demon Sector, and the Heaven’s Origin Sector, you solved most of the critical problems on your own.
“Are you confident to continue playing a role as decisive as before when we are faced with the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance?”
Li Yao was amused. He scratched his hair and said, “Sister Qingqing, you should know me better. Many things I’ve gone through were pure coincidences. I was often merely a catalyst to accelerate the progress.
“To be honest, we already have three Sectors right now, and more will be joining us in the future. When the time of clash with the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance comes, we will be fighting them with dozens if not hundreds of Sectors on our side! In such a grand competition, the strength of any individual will be insignificant.
“Also, even during the battles in the Flying Star Sector, the Blood Demon Sector, and the Heaven’s Origin Sector in the past, I was never fighting alone. Lei Dalu, Bai Kaixin, Xiong Wuji, Jin Xinyue, the Fire Ant King, Guo Chunfeng… many companions have been fighting side by side with me and sacrificing more than I did so that we could defeat all the strong enemies!
“I imagine that it will be similar in our clash with the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance. A war cannot be won by one hero. If we truly secure victory in the end, it must be accomplished by thousands of heroes together!
Li Yao paused for a moment and glanced at Professor Zhou Yifu. He smiled. “I am not a person with much strategic insight. I am not good at organizing the immense resources in multiple Sectors, either. It is impossible for me to determine the policies of the federation in the next hundred years.
“In that regard, there are too many people among the participants of the Meeting of the Nascent Soul Stage who are hundreds of times more awesome than me. I’m mainly here to learn from the seniors.
“I’m not being modest here. My specialty and interests are fighting on the frontline and taking part in the work that is more direct and specific. Therefore, if a certain strategy is passed on the meeting and it requires an executor, I will certainly be happy to carry it out without flinching.”
Wei Qingqing nodded quickly. “It seems that you are very confident that we will defeat the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance.”
Li Yao nodded and replied solemnly, “I’m indeed confident. However, I do feel that, even if we defeat the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance in the end, we will not necessarily have crushed them in a head-on battlefield. The more likely outcome is that we will defeat them from the inside.”
Dazed for a moment, Wei Qingqing asked subconsciously, “What do you mean?”
“I am not confident in the federation. It is humanity, and more specifically, the bright side of humanity, that I have faith in!” Li Yao grinned. “No matter what the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance look like, there is one thing that we are absolutely certain about—they both fall into the category of ‘civilizations of human beings’ and that they are made of human beings!
“Since they are made of human beings, I believe that the brilliance of humanity must be glittering in most people’s hearts!
“The rulers of the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance can suppress the brightness by force. But the harder their suppression, the stronger the counterforce will be!
“Think about the Patriots Partnership half a year ago. Now that some ‘local Immortal Cultivators’ can arise within the Star Glory Federation, is it really impossible for some ‘local Cultivators’ to arise within the Imperium of True Human Beings?”
Wei Qingqing could not help but open her mouth. She mumbled, “Although I feel that you are too optimistic, I sincerely hope that what you said is true!
“What about you, master? You are a specialist on the fall of the Star Ocean Imperium. I remember a paragraph from your masterpiece ‘Destruction of the Imperium’, which basically says that even the biggest empire has its day of doom. The bigger and the more invincible it is, the faster it will be destroyed. On many occasions, the destruction is not due to outer forces but boils down to its own weight and ambitions!”
Wei Qingqing turned to Professor Zhou Yifu and questioned him like a real reporter. “Such a theory is somewhat similar to Li Yao’s opinion. What do you think of our future? Do we stand any chance now that we are faced with two immense creatures simultaneously?”
Zhou Yifu smiled and said, “This is what I think. When you have too much debt, you stop worrying about it, and when you have too many lice, you don’t feel itchy anymore.”
Wei Qingqing was dazed, not sure what her professor meant.
“Ever since the news about the Covenant Alliance was out, the entire federation has been panicking and uneasy. Everybody is scared by the dreadful sea of stars!” Zhou Yifu played with his half-white goatee and smiled. “But I have a different opinion. I think that the existence of the Covenant Alliance is not a bad thing at all but the greatest thing in history!
“If the odds of success that the federation fights the Imperium alone are one percent, then the odds that the federation fights the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance together will be at least five percent!
“Don’t you understand? If you are a fat and delicious rabbit, do you think it is better to face one hungry wolf or to face a pack of hungry wolves?
“One hungry wolf? That’s the wrong choice! In a one-versus-one situation, the rabbit doesn’t stand any chance at all! Only when it is faced with a pack of wolves will there be a slim chance of survival for the rabbit!
“Besides, the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance are not two hungry wolves but one ravenous wolf and a tiger that is even more brutal!
“And our federation is definitely not a harmless rabbit, either, but a young lion who has just grown claws and teeth and is short of battle experience. If it has the chance to gain hunting experience from the ravenous wolf and the crazy tiger, we will definitely grow quickly!
“Therefore, I was overjoyed to learn the existence of the Covenant Alliance. This is a great opportunity for the federation!
“Hehe. Not just two super forces. If possible, I really hope to find ten, twenty, or even a hundred super forces at the center of the universe. The more chaotic, the better!
“After all, the resources and relics left by the Star Ocean Imperium are limited. The more super forces there are, the weaker each of them will be. If there are a hundred super forces, there will be no super forces!”