“If the Medicine Fork civilization had survived from the calamitous pestilence, which seemed to be an unavoidable doom at that time, I believe that they would’ve been much stronger and even become a dominator in the sea of stars!
“However, under the leadership of the Cultivators with their petty kindness, nobody was resolute enough to make such an ‘unpardonable’ decision!
“On the contrary, the belief of ‘protecting all the ordinary people’ had melted into the bones of every Cultivator, which decided that they would not give up anyone, not even the carriers and the suspected carriers!
“As a result, the calamitous pestilence got worse and worse. In only one year, the Medicine Fork civilization lost four fifths of the population. The social order completely fell apart!
“It was not until this moment that the immune system in the survivors began to evolve again and raced with the viruses!
“Too late. It was awakened too late. The virus was evolving hundreds of times faster than their immune system! After decades on their last breath, the last survivor of the Medicine Fork civilization was consumed by the pestilence and turned into a pile of filthy bones!
“When the explorers of the Imperium of True Human Beings arrived in the mother planet of the Medicine Fork Sector, we saw many well-preserved starships in a splendid launch field. Those starships that were rather advanced even in our eyes had become paradises for rats and cockroaches.
“The Medicine Fork civilization could have leapt into the stars, but it was smothered in the cradle by tiny bacteria and virus.
“What’s most ironic is that, when the historians and archeologists of the Imperium explored the planet carefully, trying to find the cause of the calamitous pestilence thousands of years ago, we did find the undersea volcano that erupted once, and we successfully retrieved the ancient virus that was in the hibernation state in the sulfur and mud near the volcano.
“Fellow Cultivator Li, do you know what the virus really was?”
Li Yao shook his head hard.
“It was a primordial version of a respiratory syncytial virus.” Su Changfa smiled. “Despite the scary name and the high contagiousness, it is not fatal in any way.
“In fact, the modern mutants of the virus will often cause the follow symptoms: high fever, headache, nasal congestion, rigor, and sore muscles, which are often collectively known as… a cold!”
“Huh?” Li Yao exclaimed in disbelief.
“Exactly. A virus from the primeval era that could cause nothing more than a cold shattered the once glorious Medicine Fork civilization, which claimed to have destroy all the diseases, brutally into smithereens!”
Su Changfa burst into laughter. “The Cultivators of the Medicine Fork Sector naively thought that they could rescue everybody, but as it turned out, they rescued nobody in the end, not even themselves!”
Li Yao’s emotions were in turmoil.
He knew full well that the self-destructive civilizations of Cultivators must have been carefully selected by the authorities of the Imperium of True Human Beings. Chances were that the materials were just propaganda with exaggerated and distorted stories.
However, despite all the overstatement and vilification, the picture where the glorious civilizations in the past slid into the abyss step by step with no way to stop was still vaguely visible.
Li Yao found it impossible to laugh under the helplessness and desperation. He pondered carefully about what the reborn Star Glory Federation would do when the Cultivators were caught in a similar situation.
“The destruction of the Curly Dragon civilization and the Medicine Fork civilization is truly poignant. However, the decay of the Martial Meritocrats civilization is much more thought-provoking than them!”
Su Changfa made a gesture. The Grand Illusionary Land changed yet again. This time, it was a Sector that was even more prosperous.
Hundreds of sailing routes connected almost twenty planets, interweaving with each other like a spider web.
“Now, Fellow Cultivator Li, I would like to show you the self-destruction of the third, and the last, civilization!”
Li Yao was refreshed. The destruction of the Curly Dragon civilization and the Medicine Fork civilization had already been stunning enough for him. Now that the Martial Meritocrats civilization was kept to the last, there had to be even more twists and turns to the story!
At this moment, Li Yao had already changed his attitude. He was not simply viewing everything as the brainwashing methods of the Imperium of True Human Beings. He was also hoping to learn lessons from the destroyed civilizations that could guide the way for the Star Glory Federation or, at the very least, point out the wrong directions for it!
“The Martial Meritocrats civilization was a very classic civilization of Cultivators. They were much more fortunate than the Curly Dragon civilization and the Medicine Fork civilization. The resource reserves were neither too high nor too low. The planets were neither too dense nor too sparse. The enemies were neither too strong nor too weak—neither strong enough to devour them as a whole, nor so weak that their sense of community, ambitiousness, devotion, and other positive spirits couldn’t be triggered.
“All in all, led by the Cultivators, the pioneers of the Martial Meritocrats civilization slogged and strived from scratch. After bloody battles, they destroyed the demons, the extraterrestrial devils, and other enemies, and eventually established a powerful country—the Alliance of Martial Meritocrats!
“Citizens of the Alliance of Martial Meritocrats neither dwelled in the abundant resources of their mother planet and lost their ambitions and courage, like the people of the Curly Dragon Sector did, nor pursued an absolute sterile world fanatically while forgetting the rules of nature, like the people of the Medicine Fork Sector did.
“Although they had defeated the enemies within their reach, they did not lose their sense of enterprising. Instead, by excavating the relics of the Star Ocean Imperium, they gained a deep understanding about the vastness of the universe and realized that many other human beings were still scattered in the three thousand Sectors!
“All human beings are family. March to the sea of stars, find our brothers and sisters, and let our civilization radiate to every direction!
“It was the slogan and dream for every person of the Martial Meritocrats Sector in its golden years.
“Boosted by such noble, great, and righteous ambitions, they strode forward together and successfully developed space cruising technology. Space fleets of an enormous scale were established. Many determined, devoted experts distinguished themselves, too. They marched out into the grand universe without any hesitation!
“Fellow Cultivator Li, up until now, do you feel that the Martial Meritocrats civilization is more balanced, stable, and excellent than the previous two civilizations?”
Li Yao pondered for a moment and nodded.
He felt that the Martial Meritocrats civilization was a duplicate of the Star Glory Federation from the environment of birth to the creeds that everybody believed in.
The federation was in its golden years as well!
However, now that the outcome of the civilization was obvious, there had to be a fatal problem in it. The rise and decline of the Martial Meritocrats civilization would be a highly valuable lesson for the Star Glory Federation. Instead of waiting for Su Changfa to talk, Li Yao asked promptly, “What’s the Martial Meritocrats civilization’s problem?”
Su Changfa smiled and said, “The fatal wound of the Martial Meritocrats civilization was that they adopted a parliamentary system where voting and partisan competition were highlighted when the country was established!”
Li Yao was suddenly alarmed.
Isn’t is exactly like the federation?
What’s wrong about voting and the parliamentary system?
Noticing the suspicion in his eyes, Su Changfa unhurriedly replied, “Voting and the parliamentary system do not have a problem per se. In fact, the Imperium of True Human Beings is quite democratic, too. A voting system has been implemented in many levels!
“However, how can the votes that will decide national affairs be given to ignorant hominoids casually?
“In the Imperium, only the citizens who are ‘true human beings’ have the right to vote. The more important an issue is, the higher the demand on the voters will be. For many national policies, only the Immortal Cultivators in the Core Formation Stage or even the Nascent Soul Stage are qualified to vote!
“This is the only way to keep the stability of a country and the rationality of the decisions to be made!
“However, it was not the case in the Alliance of Martial Meritocrats. What they adopted was an absurd system where everybody had one vote equally. An illiterate hobo with ulcers all over his body had one vote, a lazy, treachery gangster had one vote, and a well-revered, capable Cultivator in the Nascent Soul Stage, theoretically, also had only one vote!
“Fellow Cultivator Li, tell me about it. Is there a more hilarious thing in the world?”
“Well—” Li Yao scratched his head.
After a sniff, Su Changfa continued. “The Martial Meritocrats civilization was the civilization where the hypocrisy, shortsightedness, and petty kindness of the Cultivators stood out the most. The one-person-one-ticket voting system was just the first clue. As for the laws and the social morals, the rights of the ordinary people were overstressed while the position of the Cultivators was belittled!
“With great power comes great responsibility!
“Cultivators are the servants of the civilization of mankind and must devote their everything!
“Cultivators come from the ordinary people and must serve the ordinary people unconditionally!
“Ordinary people are water, and Cultivators are fish. Without ordinary people, there will be no Cultivators. Every crystal that Cultivators consume is a cost of the wealth of mankind. Therefore, the techniques and Cultivation arts that the Cultivators trained with the crystals do not belong to the Cultivators but to mankind!
“Such absurdities were the most popular theories in the Martial Meritocrats civilization. They were the undebatable ‘truths’!
“All in all, Cultivators of the Martial Meritocrats civilization dedicated themselves to the most tiresome and dangerous jobs. Their tax rate was many times higher than that of the ordinary people. When the ordinary people were in trouble, they had to give everything that they had to help them. In short, from the laws to the morals, everything dictated that they be out-and-out ‘saints’!
“The Cultivators of the Martial Meritocrats Sector whose heads must’ve been seriously wrong, after being brainwashed for a long time, accepted everything in the end, too. They degraded themselves but considered it a pleasure. They devoted but never asked for anything in return!”
Li Yao coughed hard. “One side is willing to take, and the other is willing to offer… There doesn’t seem to be a problem, does there?”
“If the territory of the Alliance of Martial Meritocrats had been restricted to the Martial Meritocrats Sector alone, there wouldn’t have been a problem. After all, all the Cultivators and ordinary people shared the same history, creeds, culture, and values. No matter how demanding the ordinary people were, they had boundaries after all.
“Besides, the ordinary people of the Martial Meritocrats Sector fought their way to prosperity through bloody battles, too. They were not entirely lowly, lazy, troublemaking creatures. They were as demanding on themselves as they were on the Cultivators. Everybody was giving it their all to march to the universe so that they could find more Sectors and save the brothers and sisters there!
“What seriously went wrong, however, proved to be the brothers and sisters that they rescued from other Sectors.”