“However, for us, the capability of the Core Formation Stage just suffices. If he was too weak, he would hamstring us while exploring the relic of the Pangu civilization, and he would not be of much use after reaching the Flying Star Sector!” Su Changfa said with a smile.
They chatted casually, not in the least bothered by Li Yao’s incident of eating other people.
Li Yao did not pass out after being kicked by Kou Ruhuo. He breathed hard lethargically for a moment before he leaned forward and threw up nonstop.
He shuddered while he vomited. Occasionally, when he raised his head and looked at the three of them, his big, bloodshot eyes constricted into two small eyes the size of beans. Brutality beamed out of his face, only to be replaced by weakness and humbleness later.
He looked both like a ferocious wolf and a dog whose legs had been broken.
He seemed to be both planning to bite the most succulent parts on their body and preparing to cling to their thighs and beg for mercy.
What a pitiful and yet hateful appearance!
“Fellow Cultivator Li, it’s true that you can never judge anyone from their face.” Su Changfa smiled. “I didn’t know that you were so brutal despite your young age and your harmless appearance. You survived because you ate all your companions. That’s something. That’s really something!”
His words seemed to be hitting Li Yao’s heart like bullets. Li Yao’s face was pale again, as if he had recalled certain pictures that he would rather forget. He covered his mouth and continued gagging.
After gagging for a long time, with bloody tears flowing out of his eyes, he still did not dare move his hand away from his mouth. He almost buried his entire body into the crevice, as if he were too ashamed to see anyone. He shouted desperately, “You—you have no idea! In that environment, they would’ve eaten me if I didn’t eat them! I—I only wanted to survive! I want to survive. I want to survive…”
Covering his entire face, he burst into tears.
The three Immortal Cultivators watched his repulsive performance coldly. After a long sigh, Su Changfa said, “There’s endless darkness in the boundless universe. Too many tragedies are being played every minute!
“Your crimes are indeed unpardonable, but you were only doing it for survival. As the saying goes, every man works for himself, and the devil takes the hindmost. Outsiders such as us are not qualified to judge you.
“However, what you did must be seriously in violation of the rules of the Flying Star Sector. Even if you can return to your home, how will such a cannibal like yourself face your compatriots? Tsk, tsk, tsk. When I picture that you are cursed by thousands of people and detested by even your family and friends, young man, I do feel sorry for you!”
Li Yao shuddered hard, as if his deepest worry had been pointed out. His fingers were opening, revealing a face that could not have been more twisted. He mumbled to himself, “I—I didn’t know that I could go back to the Flying Star Sector one day. I—”
Suddenly, brutality flourished inside his eyes again. He picked up a random sharp rock and waved it crazily at the three Immortal Cultivators while he shouted hysterically, “Who—who are you exactly? What did you do to me just now? Why did I say everything in a trance? I seemed to have a terrible nightmare. Were you behind all that? Were you?
“Are you here to capture me? To seek revenge? To execute me?”
The three Immortal Cultivators were all amused.
Looking at her fingernails, Tang Qianhe scoffed. “Young man, don’t overestimate yourself. You are just a poor bumpkin in the Core Formation Stage. What makes you think that you are qualified for us to chase you down? If we want to kill you, you will be blown into smithereens with a yawn from us. Why would we tolerate your disrespect to this moment?”
Li Yao’s small eyes span in their sockets almost ten rounds quickly. The protruding veins on his face slowly recovered. Touching the wound on his chest where he had been kicked twice, he craned his neck and gnashed his teeth. “I don’t buy it! Even if you didn’t want to kill me, after hearing so many… wrongdoings of mine, you should certainly be determined to kill me!
“It is the duty of Cultivators to slay evil. I—I have declined into a monster that is even uglier than demons in the eyes of Cultivators by doing all this. Nobody would hesitate to kill me!
“I—I am a man of pride, too. Now that my secrets have been known, you can kill me if you want, but don’t make fun of me on purpose!”
“Alright!” Tang Qianhe stepped forward with a smile. The mystic rays that entangled the crystal suit’s right arm expanded incessantly and turned into five sharp talons under the restrain of the force field.
Tang Qianhe’s talons of light slid on the wall. She did not seem to be exerting her strength at all, yet the rocks were crumbled and falling down in powder.
Five traces that were more than half a meter deep were left on the wall!
“You seem to boast the demeanor of the Cultivators after all. I will fulfil your wish then!” Tang Qianhe bellowed. The five talons were opened and snatched toward Li Yao’s skull!
“Spare my life, senior!” Li Yao’s neck was almost retreated into his chest. He crouched on the ground and screamed like a pig being butchered. “Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me! Please don’t kill me!”
“I knew it!” Bored, Tang Qianhe sneered and retracted her talons before kicking Li Yao away. “You don’t look like a tough man at all. Why do you have to act like one?”
Li Yao was grimacing in pain as his back hit the protruding stalagmites. He touched his back and yet did not dare to scream. Seeing that the three of them showed no intention of killing him, he put on a baffled expression.
After a long daze, he asked carefully, “Do you three seniors not plan to kill me?”
Tang Qianhe didn’t even bother to look at him. She mocked, “If you continue wasting our time, chances are that I will indeed cut you into twenty pieces when I’m pissed!”
“No. No. Please don’t!” Li Yao was overjoyed. With a sunny smile, he bowed to the ground. “Thank you for your mercy, seniors. Your kindness to me is essentially giving me a second life. I will not be able to return one thousandth of your favor even if I work for you dutifully for the rest of my life!”
“Who dares to ask you to work for us?” Tang Qianhe sneered. “Won’t we be scared that you will find an opportunity to eat the three of us now that you’ve tasted the flavor of human meat?”
Li Yao blushed and came up with nothing after stammering for a moment. With suspicion in his eyes, he hesitantly said, “You three seniors are as marvelous as deities. For you, killing me is as easy as squashing a bug. I wouldn’t dare offend you seniors even if I were ten times more audacious!
“But—but I wonder… Why did you spare me, seniors? I thought that all the Cultivators would draw their swords and kill me the moment they heard such a thing!”
Tang Qianhe raised her eyebrow and looked at Su Changfa.
Su Changfa coughed lightly for a moment. Then, with a feigned smile, he said, “My young friend, who says that we are Cultivators? Hehe. We are… Immortal Cultivators!”
Greatly shocked, Li Yao looked at the three of them in devastation. He then took a few steps back—with terror, confusion, and even a hint of hope on his face!
“What’s that face? You dare look at us like that any longer, and I’ll cut out your eyeballs!” Tang Qianhe declared brutally. “Shameless enough to eat your friends and companions on the same starship as yourself, you are worse than animals. Do you think that you are qualified to judge the true path of immortality?”
“No. No. I’m not!”
Sweating hard, Li Yao’s eyes shuddered, his lips trembling. He stuttered, “I was too ignorant to realize that it was three deities who had shown up. I wasn’t—well—I—”
He was lost for words.
Unhurried, Su Changfa said with a smile, “Fellow Cultivator Li, it appears that you have misunderstanding about the true path of immortality that we the Immortal Cultivators believe in.
“But it’s understandable. The universe is too vast a place. Many great ideas deviated off track and degraded into rumors during the dissemination. Then, with the vilification of the ill-intended fellows, they gradually turned into their opposite, until everybody unaware of the truth would fear the ideas as they feared scorpions!
“It’s just like you, Fellow Cultivator Li. Did you do anything wrong? Did you kill your companions intentionally? Of course not! You were only trying to survive. Are the natural instincts to survive wrong?
“But if other people hear your story, they will not care about the environment that you were in at all and simply convict you as a cannibal. You will be executed and dishonored after your death!
“Nobody knows that you are actually a good man who is kind in nature and that you did what you did because you were forced to.”
“Yes. Exactly!” Li Yao nodded hard and mumbled, “I’m a good man. I’m a good man. I was forced. They forced me to do it!”
“That’s right. It is the case for you, and it is also the case for the Immortal Cultivators. We are just a bunch of people struggling to survive in the dark, perilous sea of stars!”
Su Changfa sighed and said, “Let me repeat myself. Right now, we are on the same boat. We should help each other to run out of this place. There are only the four of us on this planet. If we have internal conflicts, nobody will survive!”
“You are quite right, Senior Su!” Li Yao took a long breath in relief, his face finally relaxed. Looking at their glamorous crystal suits greedily, he said, “It seems that the rumors I heard about the Immortal Cultivators are probably slander! But I wonder, what is the ‘true path of immortality’ exactly? What’s the difference between the Immortal Cultivators and the Cultivators?”
Su Changfa smiled and said, “The connotation of the true path of immorality is too huge a topic to be explained in a few words, but I will tell you this—the difference between the Cultivators and the Immortal Cultivators does not lie in races or Cultivation techniques but in the beliefs!
“As long as you change your belief and get rid of your past shackles, when you observe the universe and mankind from a higher altitude, every Cultivator can be an Immortal Cultivator in order to shoulder the real responsibility for the civilization of mankind!
“It’s like you, Fellow Cultivator Li. You have committed unpardonable crimes in the eyes of the ordinary people. Even if you return to the Flying Star Sector, the secret will accompany you for the rest of your life. When it is revealed, you will be a rat on the street that everybody will stomp on!
“I assume that there must be magical equipment such as ‘polygraphs’ and ‘Meditation Healers’ who are adept at hypnotization arts in the Flying Star Sector, aren’t there? Your little secret will not be so easy to keep, will it?”
Devastated, Li Yao could not help but nod.
“That’s right, Fellow Cultivator Li.” Su Changfa smiled gently. “Since the moment you crossed the line, you have been abandoned by the community of Cultivators! You know fully well that there is no coming back now!
“But the door of the Immortal Cultivators is open to you all the time!”