“Dominator of the universe…”
Despite the hyperbole and optimism in Zhou Yifu’s words, nobody was willing to argue with the historian at that moment.
In the recent year and a half—under the heavy burden of the expedition army of the Imperium of True Human Beings—the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Flying Star Sector, and the Blood Demon Sector had all been panicking to a degree. Such optimism was of paramount importance to boost the morale.
Even if it was an exaggeration, as long as there was a slim chance of survival, they would still be able to summon all their spirit, courage, and combat ability in the cold, dangerous universe and fight on!
“Fellow Cultivator Zhou is quite right. Us bumpkins at the desolate area and the hard bones that cannot be smashed, bitten, or boiled will certainly be a great surprise for the super forces at the center of the universe!”
Seeing that everybody was firmer than before, instead of waiting for an objection, Jiang Hailiu hurried to proceed. “Now that most of the fellow Cultivators have faith in our survival and rise, let’s move on to our next topic.
“When you know yourself and your enemy well, you will never lose a battle. To defeat the super forces at the center of the universe, we must get to know them better.
“Regarding the Imperium of True Human Beings, the Cultivators from the Flying Star Sector have excavated a lot of information from the scraps of the star child’s soul over the past years. We know it to be a country that has inherited a lot of techniques of the Star Ocean Imperium, is controlled by Immortal Cultivators, and exploits the ordinary people to the maximum extent with ‘evolution’ as its sole purpose.
“From the information we have, we have inferred a lot more intelligence. We can even generally outline the social form and the technological level of the Imperium of True Human Beings, thereby evaluating the possible combat ability of the expedition army of the Imperium.
“But what about the Covenant Alliance?
“We don’t know the first thing about the country hiding in the mist. What exactly are its social form, bureaucratic system, culture and customs, and moral standards?
“The social form of the Covenant Alliance and that of the Imperium are obviously different. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be at loggerheads, but the Covenant Alliance and the federation must be different, too, or Fellow Cultivator Li Yao’s foster father wouldn’t have loathed his motherland so much.
“What exactly is the country that has been called ‘a hundred times eviler than the Imperium of True Human Beings’?
“Right now, we don’t have any files about the country, but the information about the country is very important for our strategic development in the next hundred years. Can any of you here speculate the general picture of the Covenant Alliance with your amazing computational ability and deduction ability?”
After raising his question, he looked at the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators in expectation.
However, his question was greeted by silence.
It could not be helped. Even the best cook could not make food without ingredients. Despite their unparalleled computational ability, how could they infer the truth about the Covenant Alliance with no evidence at all except a name?
A moment later, a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator named Xie Youxuan requested to speak.
He was one of the most distinguished psychologists and Meditation Healers of the Star Glory Federation.
“I think that we don’t need to be troubled by the last words of Fellow Cultivator Li Yao’s foster,” Xie Youxuan said. “The ‘a hundred times eviler than the Imperium of True Human Beings’ allegation is probably overstated.
“I am definitely not implying that Fellow Cultivator Li Yao’s foster father was lying. It’s just a subconscious misconception of the mind.
“Think about it. The Imperium of True Human Beings is already evil enough to regard ordinary people, even including the newborn babies, as weeds that can be exploited and butchered at will. In the eyes of the Immortal Cultivators, the ordinary people are not ‘true human beings’ at all. They think that they are the only true human beings!
“As Fellow Cultivator Li Yao said, in the ethics of mankind, this is already as evil as anybody can be. How can the Covenant Alliance be any worse than that? Are they killing all the ordinary people the moment they are born? Then, who can they count on to collect resources and fight a war?
“The so-called ‘ethics’ are just a set of rules for a community that were slowly developed while mankind tried to increase the efficiency of resource collection and utilization and to reduce internal conflicts for the sake of survival.
“An enormous country that spans the universe requires a very stable social system to collect and utilize resources. Then, it must have its own ethics. It is impossible that the country is being evil because it wants to be evil.
“Even the Four Pillars System in the demon civilization was created in a certain social and environmental context despite the ostensible evilness.”
“Of course!” The Fire Ant King, the firmest objector to the Four Pillars System, rose up suddenly and said emotionlessly, “I once established the Blade of Chaos to encourage the bottom-level demons to fight against the Four Pillars System. I developed a profound understanding of the Four Pillars System during the struggle.
“The reason for the Four Pillars System is very simple. There are limited resources, and the reproduction speed of demons is too high. The speed of the resource collection is far lower than the reproduction speed.
“If every demon is granted equal rights and enjoys the same privileges as the ‘saint-blood demons’ and ‘silver-blood demons’, where will the additional resources that they consume come from?
“Therefore, the harmony and stability of the society could only be maintained when different social classes were divided. Legends such as ‘obliteration, rebirth, immortality’ were made up, and most of the demons were enchanted to be content with their poor lives and hope for a better afterlife.
“Let’s be honest. After we are out of the hall, same as every one of you, I can criticize the Four Pillars System shamelessly in public and depict it as the evilest, the most obsolete, and the most inhumane system!
“But here and now, we should all be clear that it was exactly because of the Four Pillars System that was implemented in the Blood Demon Sector for thousands of years that the basic stability of tens of billions of demons was ensured with such poor land and resources without expansion!
“If the Blood Demon Sector had adopted an electoral system like the federation’s instead of the Four Pillars System and provided tremendous benefits for the bottom-level demons, justice would’ve been served, but where would the resources have come from?
“In order to satisfy the greedy voters, every campaigner would’ve regarded ‘expansion and search for more resources’ as their most important manifesto. The guy who was elected eventually would definitely be the most extreme and radical candidate!
“It is an inevitable outcome that will not be shaken by one’s personal morals. Take myself for an example. If my Blade of Chaos had successfully overthrown the Pantheon of Demons and seized the supreme power of the Blood Demon Sector, how would I have fulfilled my promises to the members of the Blade of Chaos that I would bring ‘brightness, prosperity, and equality’ to all demons?
“Incapable of turning rocks into gold, I would’ve found resources out of nothing. The only approach for me would’ve been to further expand and to conquer the Heaven’s Origin Sector in order to feed all the demons!
“Therefore, I think that you people of the federation should really thank the Four Pillars System, which ensured five hundred years of peace for the federation! If the Blood Demon Sector had turned to a democratic system and significantly improved the benefits and education level of the general public… it would’ve been much more aggressive. Chances are that the Heaven’s Origin Sector would’ve been wiped out as a whole before the federation was born!”
The Fire Ant King’s words rendered all the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators speechless. The atmosphere in the hall was somewhat tense again.
The Fire Ant King, as a leader of the rebellions in the past, sensed the change very keenly. After pricking the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators a little bit, he quickly changed the topic and said, “I’m not saying all this to mock you. It is just a reminder to you that, if we do encounter the Covenant Alliance in the sea of stars one day, we’d better pray that the Covenant Alliance is an evil country that adopts an autocratic and slavery system.
“For a such a country, everything will be good as long as the monarch’s appetite is satisfied. Generally speaking, their aggressiveness and drive for expansion are both insufficient. They are also often faced with the resistance of the bottom-level citizens. The internal strife will be quite severe.
“The Imperium of True Human Beings is more or less like this.
“If the Covenant Alliance is as evil, oppressive, and depraved as the Imperium, everything will be easier.
“But it will be terrible if the Covenant Alliance adopts a democratic system that is as bright and righteous as, if not more than, the federation. If so, in order to meet the almost infinite demand for resources of the citizens of the Covenant Alliance, the country will be forced to expand and invade, and such invasion will be unanimously supported by the citizens. Its efficiency of resource utilization and control over the Sectors will certainly be higher than that of the Imperium!
“Unfortunately, it is likely to be the truth.
“Otherwise, it will be unexplainable why the Covenant Alliance, as a new power, is crushing the Imperium of True Human Beings, a traditional superpower.
“This is all I have to say. Please proceed, Fellow Cultivator Xie.”
The Fire Ant King sat down elegantly, leaving everything in awkwardness.
Xie Youxuan coughed for a moment and went on. “Fellow Cultivator Fire Ant’s words are indeed insightful. Anyways, Fellow Cultivator Fire Ant and I both agree that ‘the Covenant Alliance is a hundred times eviler than the Imperium’ is probably just an overstatement.
“The reason Fellow Cultivator Li Yao’s foster father said that is simple, too. It’s because he was from the Covenant Alliance!
“In psychology, this is a very commonly-seen misconception known as ‘paradise effect’. When one finds all kinds of irresolvable problems in the environment one lives in, one will tend to fabricate a nonexistent, immaculate paradise to comfort himself.
“Fellow Cultivator Li Yao’s foster father was from the Covenant Alliance. Naturally, he must’ve seen and experienced the Covenant’s evilness when he grew up in the Covenant Alliance. Therefore, he was disgusted by the Covenant Alliance.
“On the other hand, he never learned the evilness of the Imperium in person. The best he learned were merely the rumors on the street. It was unlikely that he felt the first-hand pain as the bottom-level people of the Imperium did.
“Or rather, because of the hostility between the Covenant Alliance and the Imperium, he might even have considered the evilness of the Imperium that he heard about to be the propaganda of the Covenant Alliance, thus liking the Covenant Alliance even less.
“If the Covenant Alliance was so evil, the Imperium, which is at war with the Covenant Alliance, might be righteous after all. It’s not unusual that such a thought would occur to anybody. As time went by, the Imperium of True Human Beings became a ‘paradise’, a fictitious guardian, for Fellow Cultivator Li Yao’s foster father!”