Li Yao was greatly enlightened. “So to speak, in your eyes, the overall interests of the civilization of mankind are more important than anything, even including the Imperium of True Human Beings, your motherland?”
Su Changfa hesitated for a moment but still said, “Of course, the overall interests of the civilization of mankind are more important than anything. However, the Imperium of True Human Beings represents the greatest interests of mankind. The two concepts are indispensable from each other! There’s no need to trick me on that!”
“I hardly think so,” Li Yao sneered. “Senior Su, have you never given it any thought? The Path of Ultimate Benevolence is truly a creepy ideology. The human beings under its control have lost all their normal emotions and become lifeless puppets!
“But why is such a ridiculous theory, which should be freezing the blood of any normal human, so popular in the Imperium of True Human Beings? Why have so many people devoted themselves to the cause of the Covenant Alliance, rising up against the powerful suppression of the Imperium?
“Do you not feel that the tyranny of the Imperium is an important reason for everything?
“It is exactly because you regard the ninety-nine percent ordinary people as ‘hominoids’, existences no better than animals, and you have savaged and exploited them blatantly, imposing suffering on them, that they abandon their everything for the Path of Ultimate Benevolence!
“Even being puppets is still better than being your slaves! This is perhaps what a common ‘hominoid’ of the Imperium thinks.
“The more you exploit ordinary people, the more determined the ordinary people will be to get away from you and resist you. The power of the Covenant Alliance will snowball as a result!
“This vicious cycle is like an enormous swirl at the center of the cosmos that the Imperium can never flee from!”
Su Changfa burst into fury. His eyelids twitched for a long time before he took a deep breath and said coldly, “How can you explain the national affairs so easily? As you have seen in person, the hominoids were created as ‘tools’ in the very beginning. Being enslaved is in their nature!
“They are dogs that can never be familiarized, animals that can never be fed up! However nicely we treat them, they will still be controlled by the Path of Ultimate Benevolence in the end!
“Forget it. Now that you’ve seen through my intention, I don’t want to play the game of words with you anymore. If you want to hand me over to the people of the Flying Star Sector, so be it!
“The bottom line is—”
With a sneer, he said, “It’s easy for you to kill me, but let’s see whether or not you are capable of retrieving the crucial intelligence deep inside my memories!”
“I don’t want to play the game of words, either, and I don’t want to determine which of our beliefs is correct and which is wrong here and now. I am in the Nascent Soul Stage, too. I know better than anybody that changing the belief of a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator is extremely difficult!” Li Yao said sincerely. “However, if I may suggest that you consider the question from a different perspective, does it really hurt to buy ‘insurance’ for your belief?”
“Insurance?” Su Changfa was dazed. “What do you mean?”
“This is how it goes…” Li Yao explained patiently. “According to your belief, you have absolutely no doubt that the true path of immortality is the only correct path for mankind to march forward and that the Imperium of True Human Beings will certainly defeat the Covenant Alliance and defend the civilization of mankind, right?”
“Of course!” Su Changfa nodded solemnly. “I will implement the true path of immortality with my life to make everything reality!”
“Let’s say that your belief is 99.99% likely to be correct, but what if things go wrong?
“What if the 0.01% possibility turns out to be true and you have been walking down the wrong path further and further? What if the Imperium of True Human Beings can never defeat the Covenant Alliance?
“There’s no need to brag now, Senior Su. Other than you, we have other sources of intelligence. We are aware that the future of the Imperium of True Human Beings is not very promising. Although your country may not be in danger for now, nobody can say how long it will take for you to completely defeat the Covenant Alliance.
“The Imperium of True Human Beings has been mired in the swamp of war. You should know the crisis within the Imperium! Are you really confident enough to swear with your belief that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the true path of immortality, not even in the odds of one ten thousandth?”
Su Changfa was lost for words for a moment.
Of course, he could lie to Li Yao or anybody else, but he could not lie to his own heart.
“You have other sources of intelligence?” For a moment, Su Changfa seemed to become ten years older. He mumbled to himself, “Is it possible that you have met other Immortal Cultivators before? It’s impossible. Absolutely impossible!”
“I can’t tell you anything about that,” Li Yao said honestly. “I simply want you to consider carefully. Should the Imperium of True Human Beings truly fail and be swallowed by the Covenant Alliance, the Star Glory Federation, which believes in the path of the Cultivators with ‘protecting the ordinary people’ as the core principle, might be the last hope for the civilization of mankind!
“At the very least, I’m confident that, in the federation whose environment is relatively harmonious, not so many people will worship the wretched Path of Ultimate Benevolence!
“Since your true path of immortality considers the highest interests of the civilization of mankind to be most important, won’t improving the Star Glory Federation’s capabilities be insurance for the future of mankind? If the Imperium fails, the federation will be able to continue resisting so that the torch of human civilization will burn a while longer!”
Silently, Su Changfa was deep in thought.
“Besides, even if we’re not looking from not the perspective of the overall interests of mankind but the national interests of the Imperium of True Human Beings, it will benefit your country a lot if you decide to cooperate with us and build up our capabilities!”
This time, Su Changfa was truly surprised and amused. “I knew that you were shameless, but I didn’t know that you could be so shameless! My first impression of you wasn’t wrong at all. You are a natural-born Immortal Cultivator! Being a Cultivator is too much of a waste of your talents in shamelessness!
“Come on. I’m all ears. How exactly is the Imperium going to be benefited if I tell you the critical intelligence about the Imperium and the usages of the war base?”
“It’s not wrong that the Imperium of True Human Beings and the Star Glory Federation are in a subtle, hostile relation right now,” Li Yao replied frankly. “If we were the only two forces in the universe, every secret that you confessed would be a brazen action of treason!
“But right now, there are not two but three forces in the universe, namely the Imperium, the Covenant Alliance, and the New Federation!”
“Are you serious?” Su Changfa picked his ear and yawned. “Faced with the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance, can your small federation be considered a ‘force’? There should be a line in your overstatement!”
“The federation right now is definitely no match for the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance, but do you not have high hopes about our future, too, Senior Su?” Li Yao declared barefacedly. “With the relics of the Pangu civilization, if you bring the techniques and secrets of the Imperium to us, we will definitely rise at the speed of light! In the end, even if we cannot be on par with the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance, we will still be a critical variable in the game!”
“How can the Imperium be benefited from it?” Su Changfa said coldly.
“It cannot be benefited at all and will only be greatly harmed,” Li Yao admitted frankly. “Our beliefs are incompatible, and we both consider ourselves to be the rightful successor of the civilization of mankind. A great war of belief and rightfulness will break out between us sooner or later.”
Su Changfa was rather surprised. “Then, why on earth should I help you?”
“Because while we will harm the Imperium,” Li Yao replied, “we will harm the Covenant Alliance even more!
“The Cultivators and the Immortal Cultivators are of the same origin after all. We all believe that human beings are the dominators of the universe and that the interests of the civilization of mankind are of paramount importance! We only differ in the concept of ‘civilization of mankind’ and the specific approaches to defend the civilization of mankind.
“But if we get to the bottom of it, we are all ‘human supremacists’. We can sit down and communicate nicely like right now!
“But the Covenant Alliance is different from us!
“Controlled by the Path of Ultimate Benevolence, they mean to reestablish the order of the Pangu civilization in the universe, which is utterly unacceptable for both of us!
“Just think about our experience in the relic. The Pangu Clan and the Covenant Alliance are our mutual enemies!
“Therefore, if I grade the federation’s hostility toward the Imperium at five points, then the federation’s hostility toward the Covenant Alliance is at least ten points!
“Senior Su, this is just my bold guess, but I assume that the Imperium may not be at an advantage in the war with the Covenant Alliance, right?”
Su Changfa blushed and sniffed but did not reply.
“Then, at this moment, isn’t it a good thing for the Imperium of True Human Beings that a new power that is highly antagonistic to the Covenant Alliance is rising?
“It’s true that we are unlikely to ally with the Imperium. We may even declare war against the Imperium at some point!
“However, when we destroy one starship of the Imperium, we may have already destroyed two starships of the Covenant Alliance! When we kill one Immortal Cultivator, we may have killed three to five soldiers of the Covenant Alliance!
“In my opinion, in a war, the party on the winning side does not want to see new, unexpected factors because victory is theirs as long as the situation goes on according to the current trend.
“On the other hand, the party that is losing always welcomes unexpected factors, which can possibly bring the two parties to level and even help them win, right?”
Su Changfa’s face was gloomy.
The relics of the Pangu civilization had already fallen into the hands of the Cultivators, which was a fact. The federation, with the relics of the Pangu civilization, was destined to grow into an influential force in the coming century.
Just as Li Yao had said, it would be a chess piece that rolled onto the board out of nowhere in the game of the universe.
The Immortal Cultivator quickly calculated what amazing changes the chess piece would bring to the two parties of the game—the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance—after it stabilized its position on the chess board.
After contemplating for ten minutes, Su Changfa took a long breath in relief and said slowly, “If I am willing to work with you to a certain degree, how will you treat me?
“I will certainly not accept my identity as a prisoner, and I am not interested in spending the rest of my life in a sunless cage!”