While talking, Su Changfa took out a new badge from his Cosmos Ring and gave it to Li Yao with both hands as if it was something serious.
Li Yao accepted and observed the badge. It was carved out of a certain type of jade that was purely green and surrounded by flowing, vigorous spiritual energy. At the center of the badge were three golden, glittering patterns, just like the pattern on the Triple Star-Lightning Flag. There was a saber and a sword on the left and the right respectively, both entangled by olive branches.
“Green card?” Li Yao touched the surface of the badge and could not help but have an absurd feeling.
“Yes. The so-called ‘green card’ represents the right of permanent residency in the Imperium of True Human Beings. For foreigners beyond the territory of the Imperium, this is an unusual privilege.”
Su Changfa scratched his beard and explained, “Every green card must be issued extremely prudently. I only took advantage of a loophole in the policies and considered Fellow Cultivator Li a native of the planet. Then, when the planet became the territory of the Imperium, as a native, you were granted permanent residency and turned into a subject of the Imperium automatically!
“However, a ‘subject’ is still different from a ‘citizen’. Only ‘citizens’ are the owners of the Imperium who have political rights to decide the direction to march forward for the civilization of mankind. They are also entitled to the ever-evolving, magnificent Cultivation arts, techniques, marrow crystals, magical equipment, Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures, and all other resources in advance!”
Li Yao thought of something and asked, “How can a ‘subject’ become a ‘citizen’?”
“Citizenship represents the ultimate glory and heavy responsibility. It cannot be granted easily! Even the Immortal Cultivators born and raised within the homeland of the Imperium are not immediately given the citizenship when our spiritual roots are awakened! We have to strive for the Imperium and the civilization of mankind as everybody else does. Only after we make great contributions and after we prove that we are healthy, wise, and calm enough to be qualified for political participation will we be granted citizenship!”
Su Changfa was quite proud of the citizen system of the Imperium of True Human Beings. The other two Immortal Cultivators were also glowing in delight, too.
“In the Imperium, all citizens are classified into twenty levels, not according to their bloodline or their wealth, but according to their personal capabilities, Cultivation, and contributions!
“All citizens have the right to vote and decide on important issues. However, the higher your Cultivation is and the more contributions you make to the country, the louder your voice will be in the decision-making process. One vote of a high-level citizen might carry more weight than a hundred votes of the low-level citizens!
“The sacred and supreme emperor is at the peak of the citizen system. He also proves his legitimacy to rule over the universe with his strength, wisdom, and courage!
“In fact, since the era of Blackstar the Great, instead of titles such as His Majesty, our leaders for generations preferred to be respected as First Citizen. His Majesty is based on a bloodline, while the First Citizen is purely based on their own capabilities!”
Li Yao was dumbfounded. “So, as long as somebody else is stronger than the Wuying family, the royal family of the Imperium, they can replace the incumbent ruler at any time?”
“Theoretically, yes.” Su Changfa grinned hideously. “Whoever isn’t scared of death is free to taste the heavy punches of the emperor anytime!”
Li Yao clicked his tongue. “Why is there such a system?”
“Even if such a system did not exist, would schemers not rise up in times of turmoil when the emperor’s power declined?” Su Changfa said with a cold smile.
Li Yao failed to come up with a reply.
“All in all, strength matters most in this world! The Imperium does not believe in the divine right! Under the guidance of Blackstar the Great, our royal family trains harder than anybody else, and the competition within the family most cruelest of all. Only by making greater contributions and sacrifices to the Imperium and the civilization of mankind can the honor of the First Citizen be preserved forever!
“We are a new imperium in the sea of stars. We are totally different from the traditional, corruptive-in-nature empires!”
Pausing for a moment, Su Changfa pointed at the ‘green card’ in Li Yao’s hands and said, “The citizen system of the Imperium is fair, open, and just. Any contribution you make to the civilization of mankind will be transformed into contribution points, which you can redeem for the techniques and the magical equipment that you want in order to earn more contribution points. When your stock of contribution points is large enough, you will be able to redeem them for citizenship of the Imperium and climb up the ladder level by level!
“According to their Cultivation, everybody will be given a certain number of ‘initial contribution points’. You will gain additional contribution points for your every advancement later, including the improvement of a minor level, or even a new technique that you have grasped!
“Also, during the calculation of contribution points, different levels have a weighting coefficient that must be timed. There’s a set of complicated and precise algorithms!
“I’ll save the trouble of explaining the tedious calculation process to you. All in all, the higher your Cultivation is, the faster you will be able to accumulate contribution points. For those in the Core Formation Stage such as you, Fellow Cultivator Li, you will be earning contribution points much faster than those in the Refinement Stage and the Building Foundation Stage!”
Li Yao nodded in approval in his heart. Such a contribution point system was indeed useful to motivate everybody to serve the Imperium. Even a foreign Cultivator not from the Imperium of True Human Beings such as himself was somewhat attracted!
“Specifically speaking, how can I earn the contribution points?” Li Yao pretended to be impatient.
“Hehe. You must be concerned that you cannot become a citizen of the Imperium, right, Fellow Cultivator Li?” Su Changfa said with a smile. “Don’t worry. The greatest accomplishment is right in front of us, and you can catch it simply by extending your hand!
“Any discoveries that you make in the primeval battlefield when you are exploring it with us will be exchanged for tremendous contribution points!
“Then, Fellow Cultivator Li, you can bring us all to the Flying Star Sector… Our operations all depend on you from now on. If everything goes smoothly, I’m sure that you will soar into the sky as a new noble in the Imperium!”
His muscles twitching on his face, Li Yao gradually put on a greedy smile.
He understood what Su Changfa meant.
As long as he helped the Imperium to swallow the Flying Star Sector, the contribution points would of course be astronomical!
“Look!” Su Changfa was scared that he was not entirely relieved yet. He tapped Li Yao’s green card and triggered a 3D operation menu, on which his name, Cultivation, fingerprints, voiceprint, and brainwave information were listed. Together, they constituted a unique identification code.
“Don’t underestimate the tiny green card. It was actually crafted by the most magnificent refiners of the Imperium carefully, with dozens of soul stamps of the top experts of the Imperium. Every green card is uncopiable, unchangeable, and indestructible! Right now, your identification code has been affixed to it. It is all yours now! You shouldn’t have any worries now, right?”
Li Yao blinked and pretended that he was confused. “Worries about what?”
“At the beginning, were you worried that we would kill you to keep your mouth shut after the job was done, Fellow Cultivator Li?
“But right now, with the identification code on the green card, you have proved yourself to be a subject of the Imperium. So, we will no longer be able to kill you without a good reason!” Su Changfa explained.
“The information on every green card will be sent back to the Imperium for vetting later. If it is found out that we have slain a subject of the Imperium in the Core Formation Stage, we will certainly be punished!”
“Huh?” Li Yao blinked and asked in confused, “Isn’t ‘survival of the fittest’ accentuated in the Imperium? Can’t you kill anybody when needed?”
“Blackstar the Great drafted the Magna Carta, in which he explained the concept of ‘survival of the fittest’ in great detail!
“I’m not saying that you cannot kill somebody else. It all depends on the specific conditions!
“Take the mission to explore the relic for example. If we ask a foolish boy to scout for us and kill him after the treasure is found, we will indeed be able to get everything without sharing it with him. However, the price is that our credit will be lost, and the reputation of the Imperium will be sullied. As time goes on, nobody will dare cooperate with the Imperium anymore, right?
“Trading long-term interests for short-term interests—more importantly, trading the overall credit of the Imperium for personal gains—is, of course, behavior that is absolutely intolerable!
“There are too many ancient relics in the vast sea of stars. If one is greedy enough to swallow all the benefits this time, the credit and the reputation of the Imperium will be ruined, to the point that nobody else will ever trust the Imperium. So, such criminals truly deserve the death penalty!
“Therefore, in the Imperium of True Human Beings, there are laws on the exploration of ancient relics to protect the rights of the ‘foolish boys’!”
Li Yao was almost convinced.
Su Changfa burst into laughter and patted his shoulder warmly. “Fellow Cultivator Li, as I said to you earlier, we stand for justice and truth, and we are nothing like the evil beings out there!”
Greatly moved, Li Yao nodded quickly, but in his heart, he simply sneered.
The guy was talking so fancily, but was it not really because they had discovered more value in him and therefore decided to go easy on him for now?
In the beginning, when he pretended to be in a coma, they had even been discussing whether or not to slice him up for research!
Moreover, Su Changfa mentioned to the other two Immortal Cultivators that the Black Wind Fleet, which was marching toward the Flying Star Sector aggressively, would very likely kill them all and claim their discoveries.
Was that not contradictory to the ‘contribution system’ that Su Changfa had explained?
Perhaps, when Blackstar the Great founded the Imperium of True Human Beings, he indeed established a just, fair, and efficient system, which was as perfect as Su Changfa described .
However, after a thousand years, even the most solid system had gradually become corrupted and riddled with holes.
The interest groups such as the Black Wind Fleet, which was tough and relentless, were still able to negotiate with the emperor and even wrestle with him, ignoring the system!
The situation was so severe that, when Su Changfa and the other two Immortal Cultivators discovered such a piece of fat meat, they did not dare establish a space gate to summon the Black Wind Fleet!
Li Yao figured out everything in his heart, but he pretended that his face was burning with passion. Waving his fists, he shouted, “What are we waiting for? Let’s set off now and explore the relic!”