Li Yao opened his mouth, only to come up with nothing.
It was not because he did not have any refutation, but because he had found that the old tortoise was not on the same wavelength as himself at all. They were not pursuing the same thing.
With pride beaming out of his face, Gui Suishou said, “The omittance of history equals destruction. On the other hand, creating history equals immortality! The ancestors of my clan realized the logic thousands of years ago. Since then, we have shifted our attention to the preservation of the tinder of our race, instead of focusing ourselves on the current situation of the civilization.
“In our opinion, both Elder Nether Spring’s endeavor to create ‘the third life form’ and the tricks that Jin Tuyi played are ridiculous and meaningless. Only by preserving the tinder of the civilization in a certain way for billions of years will our civilization really be immortalized. It will even be passed on in a brand-new way by being reincarnated in other civilizations!
“Therefore, instead of dwelling on the competition with the civilization of mankind, my ancestors dedicated all their efforts to the extension of their longevity. We abandoned everything and even spent ninety percent of our lifetime hibernating. Finally, we lengthened our life to a thousand years.
“It is not our own immortality that we pursue. We are merely trying to study the history and the essence of our civilization from a longer time span.
“In our long lives, we gather all the history pieces about the civilization of demons. We sort through them, connect them, and establish a systematic plaza with tales, legends, and myths.
“We are also recording everything that is happening right now dutifully, the eventual fall and destruction of the great civilization that has ruled over the sea of stars for thirty thousand years.
“We will preserve the history and all the most important essence of our civilization, namely the epics, classics, arts, dictionaries, and artwork. We will build them into ‘tinder’ or ‘monuments’ before we launch them into the universe. They will float in the boundless universe without restraint until they are discovered by new civilizations in billions of years. The essence of the civilization of demons will be revived again at that time!
“This is the destiny of our people. This is also the way we plan to win the war of civilizations!”
Li Yao was so stunned that he did not come to for a long time.
This grandpa’s way of thinking was too weird. It was utterly incomprehensible to him.
However, Zhou Yifu, the historian of the federation next to him, was breathing quickly. He exclaimed, “So to speak, Master Gui, you are sort of a historian for the civilization of demons.”
Zhou Yifu was more than a hundred and eighty years old. He was often respected as ‘Master Zhou’. But in front of Gui Suishou, who was almost a thousand years old, he was as young as a prattling infant!
“I guess you can say that,” Gui Suishou said casually. “In our civilization, the historians who share my view are known as the Monument Scholars. We believe that every civilization is running to their inevitable doom from the moment it is born. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how the civilization lives. What matters is how to build a magnificent, delicate monument that stores the essence of the civilization!
“The civilization will last forever as long as the monument exists. If the monument is destroyed, the civilization will forever be doomed with no way of coming back!
“From that point of view, historians, who are responsible for building the monument, are the most important profession in a civilization. The historians of two hostile civilizations are often writing history in two opposing ways and having the fiercest collision. Such a smokeless war is in fact a hundred times more appalling than those fought by the warriors of the two civilizations on real battlefields!”
Zhou Yifu nodded quickly. “So, have you come to the Meeting of the Nascent Soul Stage to record the historic moment, Master Gui?”
“It is only part of the reason.” Smiling, Gui Suishou replied, “I’m also here because I mean to persuade everybody in the three Sectors, especially the experts of the civilization of human beings, to prepare the tinder and monuments of your own like us.”
Li Yao and Zhou Yifu looked at each other in bewilderment. Li Yao was more or less shocked, but Zhou Yifu was deep in thought.
“I was an unwavering pessimist, and I still am,” Gui Suishou said casually. “In the past, I didn’t believe that the civilization of demons could defeat the civilization of human beings. Right now, I naturally don’t believe that three Sectors will be enough to defeat the magnificent Imperium of True Human Beings and the Alliance of Holy Covenant in the center of the universe!
“I know that you won’t give up trying anyway, just like Elder Nether Spring didn’t.
“However, while you are struggling, it doesn’t hurt to sort through and summarize your civilization. You can condense the best parts of your civilization and find a way to preserve them before you send them to the universe as your tinder and monuments.
“That way, even if your final resistance fails, and the Star Glory Federation and the three Sectors are all destroyed, something will still be out there in the universe proving that we once existed.”
Li Yao clenched his fists and gnashed his teeth. “We will definitely, definitely, definitely not lose!”
After a smile, Gui Suishou replied peacefully, “My young friend Li Yao, did you know this? The more you say ‘definitely’, the less confident you actually are about the matter. You can only count on the word to hypnotize yourself.”
Li Yao was rendered speechless and scratched his head hard.
Zhou Yifu pondered for a moment and asked, “I have no doubt that the victory will belong to the federation, but anything can go wrong. Even if the odds of our success are as high as 99%, it doesn’t seem to be a bad idea to be well-prepared for the 1% chance of failure. I wonder, what specific plan to you have in mind, Master Gui? What are the ‘tinder’ and the ‘monuments’ you described exactly?”
“Tinder and monument are just metaphors. In fact, they shouldn’t even be large-scale relics that are easy to find.”
Gui Suishou proposed his plan very frankly. “Large-scale relics are very easy to be found out by our enemy. Also, it risks being destroyed by the tide in the river of time.
“The ‘tinder’ in my plan should be something extremely small. Something like a chip or… a ring. Yes, items like the Cosmos Rings.
“However, while the Cosmos Rings are designed to store materials and real entities, the new rings will be used to store tremendous information.
“We are compressing the vast information of our respective civilization, namely the history, the culture, the strongest technology and techniques, and everything else, into such rings.
“For the convenience of the new civilizations, we can also establish a ‘guide’ or a ‘teacher’ inside the ring.
“The ‘guide’ can be established in two ways.
“Firstly, we condense tremendous telepathic thoughts and produce a highly-developed ‘artificial intelligence’ with the help of tremendous computational ability.
“Secondly, we preserve the souls of some volunteers, which will be cast into the hibernation state. They will sleep for billions of years in the rings until they are discovered by new civilizations.
“My young friend Li Yao, don’t look at me like that. I’m not talking about extracting souls from living people. Aren’t there many spectral Cultivators in the federation? They do not have real entities in the first place but are merely amalgamations of tremendous information and spiritual waves. If we can develop a certain secret technique to preserve the frequency of their waves, they will be able to hibernate much longer than living people inside the rings. It is possible that they will be awakened even after billions of years.”
Li Yao was utterly alarmed by Gui Suishou’s insane idea.
A demon emperor was a demon emperor after all. The plan that he came up with looked evil from every perspective.
Gui Suishou smiled. “If we can produce ten thousand of such rings with the souls of ten thousand spectral Cultivators sealed inside and launch them into the universe, does it really matter if we are destroyed by the Imperium of True Human Beings or the Alliance of the Holy Covenant?
“Imagine this. In billions of years, all the old civilizations have perished, and the new civilizations are only just rising from the dark age.
“Then, there is an ordinary young man in the new civilization, perhaps one whose family is declining and is despised by other people.
“One day, he accidentally gets a mysterious ring, and an omnipotent, omniscient ‘grandpa’—let’s just call our ‘guide’ that—jumps out of the ring.
“With the help of the grandpa, the underdog of the new civilization inherits the legacy of our civilization. He masters the best techniques, which entail endless mysteries. Crushing all his foes, he soars unstoppably and finally establishes his own dynasty and his own era!
“Such a dynasty and aura will, of course, be deeply stamped with the traces of our civilization. Who can say that it is not a civilization of mankind or a civilization of the demon race in a completely new form?”
Wei Qingqing, as a spectral Cultivator, had subtle waves in her man-made eyes. She mumbled, “The universe is too vast a place. Even if there are ten thousand rings that store the tinder of our civilization, the odds of them being found by the new civilizations will still be too low, won’t they?”
“You don’t understand, little girl,” Gui Suishou replied tranquilly. “Even the lowest odds, after billions of years, will be magnified to a realizable extent! Or to put it simply, as long as there is enough time, any miracle will happen sooner or later.
“By then, our civilization will be reborn in such a way and revive our glory. The Imperium of True Human Beings and the Alliance of the Holy Covenant, which fear us most right now, will possibly be nothing more than dust!
“This is my way to resist the Imperium of True Human Beings and the Alliance of the Holy Covenant. I’m meaning to fight a protracted war that will last a billion and even ten billion years!
“Let me see. I’ll just call it the ‘Monument Plan’, or if you think that the name is too ominous, you can also call it the ‘Grandpa Plan’.”