Li Yao felt so creeped out that his Cosmos Ring was bouncing. He was not sure whether or not he should summon his crystal suit immediately.
“Don’t be anxious. I’m not done yet.” The Fire Ant King smiled. “Master Gui taught my brother for a while before, but he didn’t teach my brother the methods of fighting or the secret arts to produce viruses. What he taught my brother is a theory!”
“Theory? What theory?”
Li Yao blinked. He realized that it did make sense on second thought. This Gui Suishou, although respected as the most senior demon emperor of the Blood Demon Sector, was in fact nothing more than a mascot. He had no marvelous techniques. What could he possibly have taught Elder Nether Spring?
“Theory about pessimism.”
Before the Fire Ant King answered, Gui Suishou answered on his own.
The demon emperor who was a thousand years old had a voice that was not as weary as his appearance. Instead, it sounded smooth and refreshing, like a jade that was excavated from the bottom of the ground and carefully crafted.
The membranes that covered his eyeballs opened layer after layer. The purest brilliance that had been cleansed by time beamed out of his eyes as he observed Li Yao up and down. He said warmly, “My young friend Li Yao, greetings. I am Gui Suishou, an unwavering pessimist.”
Scratching his head, Li Yao realized what was going on.
Before, Elder Nether Spring had admitted frankly that he was an unwavering pessimist who believed in the doom of the demon race. He insisted that all the strategies that the demon race implemented would be hopeless. Therefore, he had to carry out the Spore Stratagem and try to plant the blossoming flower of ‘the third life form’ on the soil of human beings and demons!
Li Yao had never known that it was Gui Suishou who inculcated the demon race’s inevitable failure into Elder Nether Spring’s head!
“In fact, I was not exactly the young boy’s teacher. We had a discussion for a while. That’s all.” Gui Suishou smiled. “It was decades ago. At that time, I was sleeping in a residence in the West Ocean of the Blood Demon Sector, but the little boy named Ye Mengsheng snuck undersea, seeking the so-called relics of Chaos.”
Only then did Li Yao learn that Elder Nether Spring’s real name was Ye Mengsheng.
“As it happened, the relic of Chaos was exactly the residence that I was sleeping in. I only chose the place because it was cool and quiet, and I was not really interested in the arts and artifacts inside. So, I asked the boy to move lightly, leave as soon as he packed up, and not interrupt my sleep.”
Gui Suishou talked slowly. The great villain Elder Nether Spring was nothing more than a misbehaving kid in his mouth.
“However, the boy was rather bad-tempered. He didn’t stop after getting what he desired. He also wanted to kill me.
“Of course, he couldn’t, but I was too lazy to kill him. After all, every bit of my strength is extremely valuable and must be used to extend my longevity. If I summoned my demonic energy and stabbed him, I would live several fewer hours at the end of my life. That would’ve been a terrible deal, wouldn’t it?
“Moreover, I hadn’t floated to the surface of the ocean for decades, and I was rather interested in whether anything thrilling was going on outside. So, I chatted with the boy and told him the neat theory that the demon race was doomed. I could tell that he was fascinated by the theory.
“I thought that he accepted my theory. I never expected that he would do such things in order to escape from the unavoidable doom. He was still too young and naïve!”
Gui Suishou shook his head hard, apparently not thinking highly of his student.
Li Yao looked at Wei Qingqing in bewilderment before he asked carefully, “So to speak, Master Gui, your ‘pessimism’ is different from Elder Nether Spring’s ‘pessimism’?”
“Of course,” Gui Suishou said. “The boy Ye Mengsheng can be called a ‘relative pessimist’. Although he acknowledged that the demon race was doomed to failure, he was under the illusion that he could make the demon race rise again in a different way!
“Not just Ye Mengsheng, there’s also the commander-in-chief of the coalition army of demons who was trialed recently. What’s the boy’s name again? Right. Jin Tuyi. He is also a ‘relative pessimist’.
“As for me, I am an ‘absolute pessimist’. I firmly believe that the demon race does not stand any chance after the fall of the Demon Beast Empire and the foundation of the Star Ocean Imperium ten thousand years ago. Individuals can be transformed and changed, but the demon race, as a whole and a civilization, is doomed to destruction. However you struggle and try to save it, it is as useless as the dying breath.”
It was truly an eye-opener for Li Yao, who scratched his head for a long time and still found it hard to believe. “So, Master Gui, you simply abandoned struggling and watched your civilization go to doom?”
“Of course not,” Gui Suishou said slowly. “If we look everything from a closer perspective, say, the tens of thousands of years recently and to come, it is an unchangeable outcome that human beings will win, and demons will fail.
“However, if we are to consider the question from a more macroscopic view, the victor might not be necessarily so!
“For example, if we extend the time length and consider the competition between human beings and demons from a scale of one billion years, it will be hard to say who the final winner will be.”
Li Yao was dumbfounded. Despite the computational ability of the Nascent Soul Stage, he felt that his head was not functioning properly. “One billion years?”
“Yes, one billion years!” Gui Suishou nodded. “Pangu created demons and human beings, which marked the beginning of our civilizations, somewhere one million years ago. Even counting from the prosperous years a hundred thousand years ago, our civilizations have still lived a long time.
“My young friend Li Yao, even if you are confident in your civilization, are you certain that the glory of your civilization can survive the next billion years?”
Li Yao frowned. The conversation was getting too philosophical. Who could foresee what would happen a billion years later?
Gui Suishou smiled. “If you think that the civilization of human beings can survive a billion years, what about a trillion years? It is the law of nature that things age and perish. Every civilization is destined to fall no matter how brilliant it is during its heyday. It is true about the civilization of demons. Will the civilization of human beings be an exception?
“Even if the civilization of human beings has defeated that of the demon race right now, so what? In the river of time of billions of years, we only perished one second earlier than you did!
“After the universe blinks and a billion years have passed, and when both of our civilizations are destroyed, we will be back to the starting line again and determine the winner between us in a new way.”
Li Yao was stunned. “Are we already destroyed? How can we determine the winner?”
“Civilizations can be destroyed, but important information can be passed on through their bodies, just like the fossils of the prehistoric creatures can give us a hint of their magnificence in the past,” Gui Suishou said casually. “If both civilizations are destroyed in a billion years, the criterion of the competition will be the quantity of ‘fossils’ that a civilization has left, or to wit, the relics and the tinder of the civilization!”
Li Yao was still baffled, but Zhou Yifu, as a historian, was beaming with interest!
“Let me give an example.”
Gui Suishou touched the burl on his stick as if they were Sectors. Narrow his small eyes, he mumbled, “Imagine that one billion years have passed. Civilizations of human beings and demons have perished in the river of time, and the universe has been occupied by some other civilizations!
“One day, the new civilizations discover an ancient relic on a planet. After analysis, they find a glorious ancient civilization that was known as the demon race.
“After the excavation of the relics of the demon race, the new civilizations find that the civilization of the demon race was a kind, brave, peace-loving, and hard-working one, which developed bright and beautiful technology, culture, and social form!
“However, good days never last long. A dark force named mankind, which was evil, brutal, terrifying, and swallowed and destroyed everything in its way. Naturally, the fabulous civilization of the demon race was ruined, too!
“The new civilizations believe everything said in the relics and write it into their history books. Maybe, the war between the civilization of the demon race and that of mankind will even be adapted into fictions and other entertainment works.
“Of course, in such works, the demon race will always be on the righteous side, while human beings will forever be evil and ugly.
“My young friend Li Yao, in your opinion, if such a stereotype comes into being in the mainstream civilizations in the universe in a billion years, which of us will be the final winner?”
Dumbfounded for a long time, Li Yao was rather amused. “Even if what you said does happen, our civilizations will have been long gone. Does it really matter who wins?”
Gui Suishou smiled and said, “In either the civilization of human beings and that of the demon race, countless warriors have fulfilled their mission to make their side win by sacrificing themselves.
“They were clearly destined to die, and they know nothing after they pass away. Why would they care about which side wins?
“Some things are higher than life and death. The outcome still matters to a civilization even after it is destroyed.”
Li Yao was lost for words, but Gui Suishou went on. “There’s another scenario. In a billion years, there isn’t any mainstream civilization that is highly developed, merely ‘quasi civilizations’ that appear like monkeys.
“One day, a monkey from one of the ‘quasi civilizations’ discovers a relic by accident. After opening it, he finds the arts, magical equipment, and classics inside, thereby igniting the fire of wisdom for his civilization!
“Henceforth, the quasi civilization regards the relic as a miracle and the master of the relic as their creator and ancestor. As for the enemy to the master of the relic, they are definitely the most wicked and hideous fiends!
“When the quasi civilization grows into a real civilization and extends its hands into the sea of stars, it will still be deeply influenced by the relic. They will even name their own civilization after the name of the master of the relic!
“It is definitely a possibility. Just like both mankind and the demon race regard the ‘Pangu Clan’ as gods and themselves as the successors of the Pangu Clan.
“Then, here comes the question. My young friend Li Yao, would you rather the monkeys find the ‘relic of human beings’ or the ‘relic of the demons’?”