Su Changfa’s capability was unknown. However, he was apparently familiar with secret techniques to do with the soul and adept at hypnotization and manipulation. He was not at all bothered by Li Yao, who was in the ‘Core Formation Stage’.
Moreover, he was also the captain of Flourishing Sun. Even Kou Ruhuo, who was in the Nascent Soul Stage, showed enough respect for all and addressed him as ‘Master Su’. Therefore, his Cultivation could not be very low. By the most conservative estimation, he should be in the middle level of the Nascent Soul Stage.
The middle level of the Nascent Soul Stage and skilled at the secret techniques concerning the soul—he would prove to be a tough enemy in a fight!
Tang Qianhe was the only one who seemed weaker, but she would not be lower than the middle level of the Core Formation Stage and was probably at the peak of it!
Two in the Nascent Soul Stage and one at the peak of the Core Formation Stage. A ‘vanguard’ made of such personnel seemed rather appropriate.
The war base was a treasure of the Imperium of True Human Beings after all, where countless advanced techniques and technologies of the Imperium had been stored. If a few mediocre crew members were deployed to pilot it, it would very likely be taken away by the enemy. If so, they would not be a ‘vanguard’ but a ‘logistics team’!
At this moment, the comparison of the capabilities of the two parties was as followed.
On the Imperium’s side, two in the Nascent Soul Stage and one at the peak of the Core Formation Stage.
On the federation’s side, one battle-type Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator, one research-type Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator, and one battle-type demon emperor. Also, they had the advantage of intelligence. Lurking in the darkness, they could launch an unexpected assault at any moment.
Judging from the data, the federation had the edge.
However, Li Yao had observed the crystal suits of the three Immortal Cultivators carefully. It was hard to tell how advanced the suits themselves were, but the spiritual shields covering the suits were generations more developed than their counterparts in the federation.
After analyzing the thickness, color, and frequency of the spiritual shields, Li Yao concluded that such spiritual shields for crystal suits could provide a defense ability almost equal to that of many crystal warships in the federation. They were extremely sturdy and almost impenetrable
The squad of the federation boasted the advantage on the offensive and could launch an assault at any moment. However, the Imperium was enhanced by countless Grand Illusionary Soldiers and a war base. Should a battle break out, it was unknown which side would win in the end!
Li Yao calculated in secret for a long time but still decided to not attack until Burning Prairie showed up.
If everything went well and the star beacons were unfolded in space perfectly, Burning Prairie, accommodating dozens of Core Formation Stage Cultivators and Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators, would arrive in a couple of days!
After all, judging from the information that Li Yao had overheard, the three Immortal Cultivators did not intend to summon the main troops but were planning to act purely on their own. It was obvious that they would not be able to produce too many Grand Illusionary Soldiers in only a couple of days.
Besides, they had absolutely no idea that a monster like the Star Glory Federation was drawing close. They thought that they had plenty of time for preparation and focused their attention on the relic of the Pangu civilization for now.
Of course, Li Yao would not hesitate to see them off to the other world!
After briefly introducing the content of the Book of Revelation, Su Changfa seemed to feel that the topic would be too sensitive if he talked more. Thus, he shut his mouth and walked in silence.
Li Yao still wanted to exploit more secrets about the Immortal Cultivators and the Imperium of True Human Beings from the few ‘authentic Immortal Cultivators’. Therefore, he brazenly sidled up to Tang Qianhe.
The female Immortal Cultivator was the youngest and the weakest. She was neither as clever as Su Changfa nor as taciturn as Kou Ruhuo. Although she had been trying to act tough, she was almost as hilarious as a grimacing rabbit in Li Yao’s eyes.
With a big smile, Li Yao rubbed his hands and said, “There’s something that has been bothering me. I hope you can give me some enlightenment, senior!”
Pouting, Tang Qianhe looked at him without giving a reply, both in despise and in wariness.
“Well, I—I did that thing in my confusion when I was forced to. Do Immortal Cultivators really not mind such things? Can I truly be pardoned?”
Tang Qianhe’s nose slightly flapped. She took a few steps back quietly to keep a distance from Li Yao. “Do we mind? Of course, a little bit, but it has nothing to do with morals. It is just an intuitional, psychological reaction.
“For us, what you did was nothing more than feeding on your excrement in order to survive when you are forced. It is not unpardonable, but it is nonetheless disgusting!
“Therefore, rest assured. Just keep away from me. Don’t aim your stinky mouth at me. Also, behave and help us complete the task. We won’t bother you if you cooperate!
“On the other hand, the Imperium has a large territory. The hundreds of Sectors each have their own culture and customs. In some of the places, people like you are not rejected but greatly embraced!
“I’m told that, in the worlds with extremely harsh environments, the Sector Masters gather people like you into an army known as the ‘Ghoul Troop’ or the ‘Ogre Troop’. It is said that such elite troops are often deployed to carry out the most ruthless tasks that cross all the lines!
“If you are interested, I can send you to them someday. I guarantee that you will have a lot in common with the ‘ghouls’ and ‘ogres’! Hahahaha!”
Li Yao shuddered hard and shook his head quickly. Thinking for a moment, he asked, “Imperium? What imperium?”
“The Imperium of True Human Beings!”
Every pore on Tang Qianhe’s face was glowing. She held her head high and declared proudly, “The rightful successor of the Star Ocean Imperium, the only guardian of the civilization of mankind, and the strongest country of human beings in the sea of stars—a nation made of real human beings!”
Li Yao did not understand why she stressed ‘a nation made of real human beings’.
Upon pondering briefly, he realized the reason.
It appeared that, in the official propaganda of the Imperium of True Human Beings, the Alliance of the Holy Covenant was not considered ‘a nation made of real human beings’ but one made of ‘monsters’ as described by Kou Ruhuo!
Thinking for a moment, Li Yao continued pretending to be in shock and asked in fear, “I am determined to join the Imperium now. However, I have committed felonies after all. Am I not going to be punished by law for my actions?”
It was obvious that Tang Qianhe had never been through this before. She did not know how she should answer it, but she was not willing to lose face in front of the ‘new Immortal Cultivator’ who had just surrendered, either. Frowning for a moment, she sneered, “Evidence matters most in every law. Have you left any evidence after doing what you did?”
“Right. Right. You are correct, Senior Tang. I wasn’t thinking carefully because my head is muddled!” Li Yao said in embarrassment. “I am simply hoping to learn more about the rules and regulations of the Imperium of True Human Beings so that I can perceive the mysterious true path of immortality sooner!
“If the same thing happens within the homeland of the Imperium of True Human Beings, and undeniable proof has been left behind, what then?”
Tang Qianhe thought carefully for a moment and replied, “It depends on who exactly you have eaten and whether they are ordinary people or Cultivators.”
Li Yao was dazed. “Are ordinary people and Cultivators not the same?”
“Of course not,” Tang Qianhe answered matter-of-factly. “If the victims are ordinary people, we will see if they have owners. If they turn out to be the slaves of a certain Immortal Cultivator, you will have to pay a large sum as compensation and even rarely-seen materials or magical equipment, depending on the position and Cultivation of the owners, in order to stop them from making trouble for you. If the victims are unowned free folk, the compensation will be greatly reduced.”
Li Yao clicked his tongue. “Compensation? That’s all?”
“Or what?” Tang Qianhe sneered. “Ordinary people are not human beings at all but creatures slightly more advanced than livestock!
“In urgent situations, you are forced to kill a few goats to feed yourself when you are starving. What’s the big deal about that? Is compensation not good enough?
“Besides, most Immortal Cultivators have bought expensive insurance for their slaves. If a few slaves are killed, the insurance companies will pay for the financial losses. What you are actually compensating for is the defamation!”
“Livestock…” Li Yao mumbled, with an expression that indicated that his outlook and worldview had been shattered instantly.
Staring at him coldly with more and more despise surfacing in her eyes, Tang Qianhe scoffed. “Listen, boy. Now that you have abandoned darkness for brightness and embarked on the true path of immortality, the first thing that you need to do is to get rid of the banal dogmas that you formed while you were in the world of Cultivators in the past. You must throw away all the hypocritical, self-righteous ideas!
“Let me repeat myself. Listen to me carefully this time. Ordinary people are not human beings!
“Ordinary people and Cultivators whose spiritual roots have awakened are two kinds of creatures that appear identical, but the similarity in our appearances does not suggest anything!
“Nowadays, as the genetic technology is thriving, we can modify a gorilla into the appearance of a human being through surgery, so what? Does looking like a human being make it a real human being?”
Dumbfounded, Li Yao stammered, “I—I don’t understand. How can ordinary people be the same as gorillas? In the Flying Star Sector, many Cultivators are born by ordinary people and have been ordinary people themselves until their spiritual roots are awakened…”
“Have you ever heard of ‘parasitic wasps’?”
With a smile, Tang Qianhe said, as if she were reciting a textbook, “The parasitic wasps are a very unique insect. After capturing some of the larger prey, they will paralyze the victims with special venom and enzymes. Then, they will implant their eggs into the bodies of the prey. The nutrition of the prey will feed the eggs and the larvae until the larvae grow mature and crawl out of the bodies of the preys!
“During the process, the larvae of the parasitic wasps will even devour part of the genes of the hosts, which allow them to display part of the features of the hosts. Therefore, the parasitic wasps are in weird forms, and their society is ever-changing!
“Many parasitic wasps look exactly like their hosts.
“For an observer who is unaware of the truth, the hosts seem to give birth to the parasitic wasps!
“But can you claim that the hosts are parasitic wasps? Of course not. They are just a bunch of ‘incubators’!”