Long Yunxin vaguely felt that the name ‘Su Changfa’ sounded familiar.
Also, was the Grand Desolate War Institution not one of the most famous academic establishments for fighting? She had never heard about their expertise in the liberal arts subjects such as sociology. Why was the dean of the Sociology Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution so awesome that Li Yao addressed him as the father of ‘Civilization’?
Looking at his white hair and his unworldly appearance, Long Yunxin was deep in thought.
A moment later, her pupils shrank violently, and cold sweat was all over her body. She could not help but exclaim in shock, “Isn’t Su—Su Changfa the Immortal Cultivator that was captured?”
During the Battle of Kunlun, not only was a member of the Pangu Clan killed, there was also an Immortal Cultivator who was captured alive. It was quite a piece of shocking news back then.
However, the authorities of the federation had kept a tight lid on information about the final outcome of the Immortal Cultivator. There was no public trial or any news that the guy had been executed. The Immortal Cultivator seemed to have just vanished into thin air.
Long Yunxin had thought that the highly-dangerous Immortal Cultivator must have been confined in the most heavily guarded prison of the federation.
She never expected that he would be walking in daylight freely, that he would be so familiar with Li Yao, or that he would be the dean of the Sociology Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution!
What—what—what was that all about?
Now that an Immortal Cultivator had been appointed as a dean of the Grand Desolate War Institution, which was one of the Nine Elite Universities in the federation, were the authorities never afraid that he would brainwash the students?
Also, he was to be credited for the birth of the super game ‘Civilization’, was he?
For a moment, Long Yunxin was utterly confused.
She could not help but take a step back and put on a defensive posture.
Over the past ten thousand years, the Flying Star Sector had never been at war with the demon race. Many of the people had never even seen a demon before. There was no grudge between the two parties.
Therefore, the Flying Star Sector could embrace the demons without complaint and work as the ‘adhesive’ between the demons and the people of the Heaven’s Origin Sector.
But the Immortal Cultivators were a different case.
Several years ago, the Flying Star Sector had been turned upside down in the riot of the Immortal Cultivators, almost doomed.
The Immortal Cultivators, led by Xiao Xuance and the star child who was even more sordid and hideous than Xiao Xuance, had led the deepest impression of terror on the Flying Star Sector.
When she realized that she was so close to an Immortal Cultivator, Long Yunxin somehow felt that she was in the middle of a cold cave being stared at by a cobra.
“Senior Su is a model graduate of the Imperial Colonization University of the Imperium of True Human Beings. He has diplomas in sociology, history, psychology, and more than ten other disciplines.” Li Yao smiled. “That is why he was sent to investigate the critical information about the alien worlds at the edge of the cosmos, such as the social structure and the development of the civilization.
“When the game ‘Civilization’ was devised, Senior Su showed his profound professional knowledge, too. Asking him to manage the newly-established Sociology Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution is almost a waste of his talents.”
“That—that’s not what I meant,” Long Yunxin said in a hurry.
Su Changfa’s kind appearance overlapped with Xiao Xuance’s hideous face in her memory, making her heart beat faster and faster. She did not know what she was saying anymore. “I—I was only meaning to ask how—why—”
“Miss Long, you want to know why an Immortal Cultivator is not watched over closely but allowed to walk freely and even work as a teacher in the college, right?”
With a smile, Su Changfa continued unhurriedly. “Are they not scared that he will preach the Immortal Cultivators’ theories to the students and brainwash the young fellows who haven’t experienced the real world yet?”
It was indeed what was on Long Yunxin’s mind.
However, she was too embarrassed to admit it. After stammering for a long time, she failed to come up with anything and blushed.
“If only all the Cultivators were as kind and innocent as Miss Long.” Su Changfa sighed, not without regret, and mumbled, “But it’s a pity that there are shameless, cunning Cultivators such as Li Yao among you!”
“Huh?” Long Yunxin widened her beautiful eyes and glanced at Li Yao and Su Changfa suspiciously.
Were the two of them not friends?
“Miss Long, there’s one thing that you have to understand. You can kill an Immortal Cultivator, but you can never destroy the Immortal Cultivators’ thoughts!” Su Changfa said casually. “Now that you regard the Imperium of True Human Beings as a great enemy, it’s unavoidable that you must study the Immortal Cultivators’ theories deeply. How can you completely block and even seal the thoughts?
“Caging me or killing me is simply meaningless, because in a hundred years, more Immortal Cultivators—with more powerful magical equipment, more majestic troops, and more thorough theories—will invade from the depths of the sea of stars!
“Killing me right now and pretending that the ‘true path of immortality’ does not exist is like an ostrich burying its head in the desert and pretending that the enemy is not out there!
“As the saying goes, when you know both yourself and your enemy well, you will never lose a battle. If you want to defeat the Immortal Cultivators, you will have to know what the Immortal Cultivators and the true path of immortality are exactly, right?
“This is the biggest reason for the formation of the Sociology Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution. We never intended to set the federation as the research target. Our main focuses are the social forms of the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance, as well as the thoughts including the ‘true path of immortality’ and the Path of Ultimate Benevolence.”
Long Yunxin found it hard to close her mouth. She did not expect that Su Changfa would be so frank. Was the guy a phony, or had she misunderstood the Immortal Cultivators all the time?
“On the other hand—”
Staring at Li Yao, Su Changfa tried to keep calm. “If you want to undermine an idea, the best approach is not to block everyone’s ears, mouth, and eyes.
“An idea is invisible, all-pervasive, and never to be blocked. The more you suppress it, the more vigorous it will be and the more likely it will be disseminated to the whole world because of reverse psychology.
“On the very contrary, the best approach is to expose the idea to sunlight and try to deconstruct it, twist it, and corrupt it slowly!”
Confused, Long Yunxin replied subconsciously, “I don’t understand.”
“For most of the people, it is hard for them to tell whether the ideology of the Cultivators is better than that of the Immortal Cultivators or the other way around. Their theories are often too boring for the general public to study. The people, who think that they are smart, will often shift their attention to the believers of the thoughts as opposed to the thoughts per se!”
Su Changfa scratched his beard out of habit and went on. “Let me give you the simplest example. If, when you are walking down the street one day, an ulcerated, smelly beggar suddenly jumps out of a trash bin and tells you that he has a book named ‘Tricks to Be a Billionaire’ to teach you, promising that you will be a billionaire after you grasp the book, will you believe him?”
Long Yunxin was amused. Forgetting the Su Changfa was an ‘Immortal Cultivator’ for a moment, she shook her head quickly and said, “Of course not!”
“Then, if the very same book is distributed by the richest magnate of the Flying Star Sector who has built his enterprise from scratch miraculously, will you be tempted, Miss Long?”
Long Yunxin blinked and admitted frankly, “Although I am not very interested in money, I think I’d be tempted to see what such a book is really about.”
“Well said, Miss Long. When the same book is distributed by different persons, the outcomes can be vastly different. It is quite understandable!” Su Changfa smiled. “Now, please imagine this, Miss Long. For some reason, the richest magnate of the Flying Star Sector decides to give his Tricks to Be a Billionaire to you for free. However, a sordid, shameless, and cunning scoundrel doesn’t want you to have the book or to believe theories in the book even if you have the book!
“What should the scoundrel do?
“Block the news? It’s impossible. However hard he blocks the book, the richest magnate of the Flying Star Sector definitely has a way to deliver the book to Miss Long. He can’t keep it a secret forever!
“What if he warns you in advance? He persuades you not to believe in Tricks to Be a Billionaire, claiming that it is dangerous, wicked, and will cause grievous side effects.
“I’m afraid that the more he talks in such a way, the more curious you will be, won’t you, Miss Lon?
“Hehe. Perhaps, the best approach is to hire a beggar with some money and ask him to deliver the very same book to Miss Long one step earlier, exactly like I have described in the first case-scenario.
“Or even better, the scoundrel can figure out a way to make a hundred thousand copies of the book and distribute them for free on the street. Hopefully, everybody will own a copy by the end of the day!
“Think about it, Miss Long. In such a case, will you still believe that the content of the book is real, and will you still take the book seriously?”
Pondering for a moment, Long Yunxin shook her head, deep in thought.
It was true that, even if Tricks to Be a Billionaire was real, it would be considered a crudely-made counterfeit!
“This is precisely a successful ‘deconstruction’,” Su Changfa said coldly. “Right now, replace Tricks to Be a Billionaire with the true path of immortality, the richest magnate of the Flying Star Sector with the expedition fleet of the Imperium of True Human Beings, and the smelly beggar with me, and it will be the shameless trick through which Li Yao deconstructs the ‘true path of immortality’!
“The true path of immorality is indeed a truth that can build up our species, but however incontrovertible the truth is, it still matters who exactly brings up the truth!
“If it is proposed by the expedition fleet of the Imperium of True Human Beings and endorsed by the mighty troops and unparalleled experts, naturally, it will be very convincing!
“However, if it is me, a prisoner who only regains his freedom because of the pity of the Cultivators, who puts forward theory, it’s like asking a beggar to promote Tricks to Be a Billionaire. How convincing can that theory be?
“No matter how I elaborate on the truth, I’m afraid that the only thing on your mind will be—if the truth path of immortality is so awesome, how come an Immortal Cultivator such as you has ended up being a captive of the Cultivators like a loser?”