“Blowing up almost ten million people on his own side?”
Li Yao gasped hard, his mind abuzz. He felt that his heart was grasped by a cold hand. He was shocked, disgusted, and scared.
It was not ‘accidentally injuring’ ten million compatriots in a fierce battle, nor an extreme condition such as one where the commander was forced to barrage an area indiscriminately to destroy the enemy when the enemy’s commander was discovered along with ten thousand compatriots next to it, but a carefully concocted plan since the very beginning where the ten million compatriots were baits to lure the enemy into the trap. The commander had known, and actively pushed forward, the death of the ten million compatriots since the very beginning!
Such—such—such a technique far exceeded the limits of Li Yao or any other normal human being!
It was indeed not wrong to accuse Wuying Qi of crimes against humanity and massacre.
The shock and wariness that Li Yao showed subconsciously made Su Changfa laugh coldly. “Do you not understand such a simple logic, Fellow Cultivator Li?
“The Covenant Alliance may be vile, but they were definitely not foolish. They had been dealing with Wuying Qi for more than ten years and knew very well that he was an experienced, unwavering commander!
“How could it be so easy that Wuying Qi ‘fled in panic’?
“Such a tactic to lure the enemy to march forward before destroying them together was a risky plan in the first place. He had to pretend that he was caught unprepared and forced to escape in a hurry. Only in such a way would there be a slim chance that the Covenant Alliance was fooled!
“If Wuying Qi had evacuated the almost ten million civilians in advance, would it not have suggested that he had foreseen the upcoming assault of the Covenant Alliance? The enemy would have needed only the most preliminary analysis to notice the strange arrangement!
“Therefore, the 8.2 million civilians could not be evacuated. For the country, for their people, and for the glorious victory of mankind as a whole, they had to be sacrificed!”
Li Yao coughed hard. Thousands of thoughts were rolling in his head, tearing his solid belief crazily.
He carefully calculated what reactions his fake identity should make under such circumstances before he stammered to reply, “I understand all the logic. However, sacrificing almost ten million civilians in a row was indeed a bit… violent. No wonder the Cultivators and citizens in the capital were dissatisfied!”
“It is the easiest thing in the world to judge this and judge that on the moral high ground when you are not involved. Nothing really concerns your interests after all!” Su Changfa snorted. “What’s difficult is to actually make the helpless and yet correct choice when you are in a critical situation!
“The lives of 8.2 million innocent victims sound like a big deal, don’t they? Wuying Qi sounds like an inhumane butcherer and a headsman, right?
“However, those guys, and you, Fellow Cultivator Li, have you ever considered the consequences if he hadn’t made such a choice?
“At that time, the border defense army under Wuying Qi’s command was terribly outnumbered. Despite the continuous tactical victories, their zone of activity was significantly suppressed by the intruders of the Covenant Alliance!
“If he couldn’t secure a crucial victory, he would’ve been overwhelmed by the army of the Covenant Alliance!
“In the meantime, behind Wuying Qi were more than ten vassal worlds that were undetermined and on the fence. The controllers of the vassal worlds were all local magnates who only cared about their own interests. They were sordid, shameless tyrants!
“Although they had accepted a lot of aid from the Star Ocean Republic under the name of ‘humanitarianism’, they wouldn’t hesitate to surrender to the Covenant Alliance at the perilous moment at all!
“Once the ten or so vassal worlds betrayed them, the Star Ocean Republic’s defense line on this particular galaxy arm would’ve completely collapsed! The army of the Covenant Alliance would’ve marched into the most prosperous core area of the Star Ocean Republic unstoppably!
“At this time, the Star Ocean Republic had yet to enter the highest warring state. The core worlds were still reminiscing about the hundreds of years of peace and tranquility. The weapons were still all in the arsenal, and everybody was still talking and laughing as usual. They were not ready for a great war at all!
“In such a case, how many ‘innocent civilians’ would’ve been killed in your opinion?
“Ten billion, fifty billion, a hundred billion?
“The worst case-scenario might’ve been that the Star Ocean Republic was completely crushed, and the last hope of the civilization of mankind was extinguished!”
Li Yao did not know how he should answer the question.
Under Su Changfa’s enchantment and the interference of the swirls of light and shadow in the Grand Illusionary Land, he found it impossible to calm himself down and think about the question carefully.
At this time, countless glittering tentacles extended from the Grand Illusionary Land and covered Li Yao’s tightly, as if they were putting extremely cold, black armor on him!
“Hu… Hu… Hu…”
Li Yao heard his own breath, which sounded like it was from the deepest level of hell.
The world in front of him was changing in silence into the bridge of a starship. There was only one button on the panel in front of him. The light beam on the panel was displaying a yellow planet with countless tiny light spots dancing on the surface like dense, shining butterflies.
It was the planet of Karan.
Su Changfa’s voice came from behind Li Yao, dropping like the venom that a viper was secreting incessantly. “Fellow Cultivator Li, let’s do a little mind game. Now, you are Wuying Qi at that day, faced with Karan, which has already become the enemy’s nest!
“You can choose to detonate Karan, and blow up the enemy’s command center and main force fleets as well as 8.2 million civilians, thereby winning the war and saving the entire Star Ocean Republic!
“You can also choose to follow the general principles of humanity, kindness and mercy, and retreat instead of doing that. As a result, the ten or so vassal worlds will surrender, the entire defense line on the galaxy arm will be crashed completely, and the Star Ocean Republic will be open, utterly defenseless. More than ten billion victims will be killed in the war eventually!
“Come on. Make a choice. Will you press the button to detonate the entire planet?
“Press it, and you will be killing 8.2 civilians personally!
“If you don’t, billions of victims will die because of you, and even the entire civilization might be doomed. The 8.2 civilians will not necessarily survive to the end, either!
“Will you press it or not?
“Make a choice! Make a choice! Make a choice!”
Su Changfa’s voice was like tsunamis made of black venom that were crushing Li Yao’s belief crazily.
This was the truly ‘brainwashing’. Everything just now was merely story-telling!
Li Yao gritted his teeth hard, his face twisted, as he pondered if there was a perfect solution with the best of his computational ability.
However, he failed to find a third option when his brain almost exploded.
Deep down in his heart, the mental devil was seething and shrieking, “What’s there to think about? Compared with ten billion people, ten million are just drops in a bucket. Press it. Just press it already!”
The mental devil took control over Li Yao’s left hand again and extended toward the button.
Li Yao grunted and contained the rebellion of the mental devil with his brute force. His entire left arm was uttering cracking sounds, and he seemed to be controlled by invisible string because his movements could not have been more rigid.
Su Changfa observed his actions coldly. Then, after a smile, he clapped his hands. The illusions were suddenly gone. They were back to the ‘bystander mode’ in the beginning.
Li Yao took a breath in relief. All his clothes were soaked in sweat, and the nerves in his brain were still bouncing.
“It’s difficult to choose, isn’t it?
“Normal people are not capable of making a choice. Their nerves are not thick enough for them to face the cruelty of the universe!
“In fact, if Wuying Qi had been merely considering his personal gains and losses, he probably should’ve made the second choice.
“Because of the huge contrast of the numbers of the two armies, even if he failed, he wouldn’t have been held responsible. Instead, it would have been the perfect evidence that the capital’s support for him had not been good enough, which was a horrible mistake. His future development would benefit from it!
“Let’s say that the Star Ocean Republic was truly destroyed by the Covenant Alliance in the end, so what? He could always wash his hands and leave again, continuing his travel in the sea of stars!
“But Wuying Qi never considered his personal gains and losses. Everything he did, he did for the salvation of mankind as a whole and our civilization!
“If not me, who? For the best interests of mankind, Wuying Qi chose the first option without the slightest hesitation. Every single person that he killed meant the salvation of a thousand! Killing ten million people meant saving ten billion. He saved the entire civilization!”
Prideful brilliance was beaming from every pore on Su Changfa’s body, as if he found glory in Wuying Qi’s decision, too.
Li Yao was silent.
Deep inside his brain, his soul and the mental devil were at loggerheads. They were glaring at each other, neither of them backing off.
“Senior Wuying Qi was too great!” The mental devil was sobbing and could not have been more touched. “If not me, who? Such integrity, devotion, wisdom, and courage! What a resolute and incredible man!
“I have decided!
“I’m going to learn from Senior Wuying Qi and join the Immortal Cultivators. I will fight to the last breath for the best interests of the civilization of mankind!”
“Cut the cr*p!”
Li Yao could not help but raise a storm of brain electricity and slashed it hard with the dazzling lightning.
Although the mental devil was screaming and blacked as before, it was recovering much faster this time. There was not much pain on its face, either. Instead, the face was full of fearlessness and determination.
“Come on! The Immortal Cultivators are never scared of the bullies!”
The mental devil craned its neck and shouted, “You can suppress me with violence temporarily. You can even completely kill me. But you will never defeat me, unless you make your choice first. Kill ten million people, or have ten billion people killed? Choose! Choose! Do you have the courage to choose?”
Li Yao was lost for words for a moment.
Ever since the negative emotions inside his soul swallowed the Blood Stripe Virus and turned into the mental devil with an independent personality, this was the first time that he did not know how he should face the dark side of himself!