“As the saying goes, when a snipe and a clam are locked in combat, the fisherman will take advantage of both of them. In the fight of two behemoths that are the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance, the federation is nowhere close to being the fisherman, but there will still be room for to breathe.”
Jiang Hailiu’s opinion was more or less the same as Zhou Yifu’s theory before the meeting. “If there was only one super force named Imperium of True Human Beings at the center of the universe, they would be able to gather all the resources and soldiers to crush the secondary forces at the edge of the universe. With the three Sectors we’ve got, it is naturally far from enough to compete with hundreds of Sectors.
“However, the greatest enemy of the Imperium is the Covenant Alliance. The two parties are engaged in a magnificent war at the center of the universe. It goes without saying that neither of them will spare too many troops to deal with the ‘bumpkins’ who are living in a ‘slum’.”
Jiang Hailiu’s self-mocking metaphor raised a round of laughter. The atmosphere in the hall was more or less relaxed.
After a smile, Jiang Hailiu continued. “Most of the information we have about the Imperium of True Human Beings is from the ‘star child’. The star child also told Li Yao, Luo Xingzi, and the other Cultivators in the battle that the Imperium of True Human Beings’ policies were quite ‘lenient’ and that if they were willing to cooperate with the Imperium, the Flying Star Sector would be granted high autonomy, provided that the Flying Star Sector submitted population, resources, and experts incessantly.
“His words might not be entirely ungrounded. The Imperium and the Covenant Alliance are having an evenly-matched, life-and-death war. For the war, both parties are trying their best to collect workers and resources from more Sectors, which they can devote to the inferno of war. The side that gathers more people, resources, and experts might secure the final victory!
“Then, the purpose of the expedition army of the Imperium is obvious.
“They are not here for a long conquer but to plunder people and resources as quickly as possible to deal with the real important war between them and the Covenant Alliance.
“Therefore, the expedition army that we are going to be faced with in one to two hundred years might not necessarily be the strongest troop of the Imperium of True Human Beings. They are more likely to be ‘slave catchers’ or ‘raiders’ who are here to look for ‘cannon fodder’!
“We don’t need to destroy the army completely. We only need to let the Imperium realize that the resources to be consumed in the war will far exceed the benefits it will gain after defeating us. If so, the Imperium is likely to retreat from the war as it is obviously not a good bargain!”
After hearing Jiang Hailiu’s analysis, many Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators were cheered up.
They had thought that the expedition army of the Imperium of True Human Beings would be a devastating catastrophe, but on second thought, war was always an extension of politics, and what mattered most in politics was benefits. Nobody would wage a war that would give them nothing.
Magnificent as the Imperium of True Human Beings might be, it would definitely be exhausting and consuming to project an immense expedition army to millions of lightyears away. The Imperium might be evil, but they were definitely not stupid. What was their purpose?
Cannon fodder! They were going to the federation to collect cannon fodder that could be dedicated to the war with the Covenant Alliance later!
It meant that, as long as the expedition army of the Imperium was heavily struck by the federation, and the Imperium came to the realization that the yields of the war would not cover its investment, it was very likely that the federation would retain its independence!
“The federation, of course, will not be content after winning the insignificant war of defense. It will only be a beginning point for us!” Jiang Hailiu said thoughtfully. “War is the best catalyst for a civilization and the most convenient approach to learn from others. If we can really weather through the stormy attack of the expedition army of the Imperium, our civilization will certainly make a giant leap ahead!
“At the center of the universe, the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance are now engaged in a fierce war. The Imperium must’ve developed a lot of tactics and magical equipment targeting the Covenant Alliance, and vice versa.
“If the federation has the opportunity to learn how the two universal behemoths fight each other, how they bite each other’s throat and dig out each other’s heart, we will definitely be able to grow into a new behemoth, too!
“You might think that I am too whimsical, but we don’t need to grow into the size of the Imperium or the Covenant Alliance. It will be sufficient as long as our comprehensive capability is only one tenth theirs.
“As long as the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance are on par with each other, they will be like a balanced scale. Then, even if we are nothing more than a feather or a blade of grass, we will have the chance to influence the balance!
“We will only have one rule, which is to help the weak and to suppress the strong. If the Covenant Alliance is strong and the Imperium is weak, we will join with the Imperium against the Covenant Alliance. If the Covenant Alliance, as a new power, lacks momentum and the Imperium is on the winning side, we will work with the Covenant Alliance to fight against the Imperium!
“All in all, we must keep the balance between the two super forces and prevent either of them from dominating the competition. We will let them bleed in the prolonged war while we learn their most advanced arts, skills, and technologies, until our claws and teeth are sharp enough and our feathers are complete. By then, we will be the top players in the sea of stars!
“In short, the federation is hopeful. The three Sectors are hopeful! Fellow Cultivators, as long as all we walk forward together with a firm belief, not only will we be able to resist the invasion of any enemy, we will even march to the center of the universe where humanity will be illuminated in its true glory!”
Jiang Hailiu’s blood-boiling speech raised a round of applause. All the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators and demon emperors were thrilled.
As a super expert, did any one of them not have the ambition to travel in the vast universe? Were any of them willing to be stranded at the desolate area at the edge of the universe and regarded by the super forces as ‘bumpkins’?
Also, after they learned that countless ordinary people were still being savaged by the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance at the center of the universe, even their beliefs would not allow them to stand by and watch.
We are the most rightful heir to the ‘Star Ocean Imperium’ spiritually! We are the last guardians of humanity! Let’s march to the center of the universe and revive humanity to its former glory!
Including Li Yao, all the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators, whether they were battle-type or not, were breathing fast and roaring the same thing in their hearts.
As for the demon emperors, they had even more complicated feelings.
Maybe, they could not understand the whole meaning of ‘humanity’ yet.
But ‘marching back to the center of the sea of stars’ was a dream that had haunted their ancestors for ten thousand years and had leaked into their blood!
For ten thousand years, demons had been on a losing streak. They had lost one home after another, and finally, the Blood Demon Sector was one of the last worlds of demons.
Even when the Blood Demon Sector was slightly stronger than the Heaven’s Origin Sector in the past, every demon emperor in the Pantheon of Demons had been well aware that ‘marching back to the center of the sea of stars’ was just an impractical fantasy!
But right now, if they worked together with the Star Glory Federation, there was a chance, however slim it was, to go back to the center of the universe.
Although they would be under a different banner, a different identity, and even a different appearance, they would still be going home after all!
For a moment, all the demon emperors were looking at each other and breathing heavily.
“What Fellow Cultivator Jiang said is very true. I also feel that the federation is very hopeful. In fact, the capability gap between the federation and the Imperium or the Covenant Alliance might not be as huge as we imagined!” Zhou Yifu, the historian, spoke again.
“It’s true that we have only grasped three Sectors, while the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance, which are looming at the prosperous area of the universe, are perhaps in control of hundreds of Sectors!
“But the ratio of capability between us is certainly not as simple as 1:100!
“I wonder, have you ever heard of theory that the territory of every country is limited? Due to the complexity of communication, transportation, and information processing, even the most enormous empire can only be expanded to a certain point, just like even the strongest primeval beasts couldn’t grow unlimitedly. They must stop developing when they are large enough. Otherwise, they will very likely collapse because of their own weight!
“According to the definition in modern cosmology, a Sector is an area with concentrated resources and within the reach of normal cruising methods at a sub-light speed.
“In the same Sector, a sub-light speed or an even lower speed would be enough for transportation. The communication of resources and population is relatively easy. The control of the government is the most effective, too.
“As for different Sectors, the transportation can only be conducted through space jumps. Not only will it consume tremendous resources, the journey can also be highly perilous. The vehicles are often caught in the turbulence in the four-dimensional space and gone forever!
“Sub-light methods instead of space jumps? Then, it will take more than a hundred thousand years to cruise between two Sectors that are a hundred thousand lightyears away from each other, not counting the expansion of the universe itself!
“Think about it. Today, we are only gathering the experts from the three Sectors and having a meeting, and we already have to resort to the space communication array, which burns innumerable crystals every second. Due to the interference of the higher-dimensional space, the signals are delayed several minutes or even longer!
“Then, even if the Imperium of True Human Beings and the Covenant Alliance both boast hundreds of Sectors, how much control will their rulers have over those Sectors? How can the Empyrean Terminus Sector, capital of the Imperium, enforce absolute control over another Sector hundreds of thousands of lightyears away?
“The vaster a country is, the weaker its control over the frontier and the higher the internal friction of the country will be. Most of the resources of the country are not wasted on the wars against foreign forces but on the vast land of the country itself. In the end, it is not necessarily the foreign forces that cause the fall of the country but its own immensity and the redundant, clumsy bureaucratic system that is designed to cope with the immensity. It is a law that works both in the ancient times and right now!”