“Miss Long, what’s wrong? Are you interested in my true disciple—Lu Qingchen?”
Su Changfa was apparently very proud of his disciple. Scratching his long beard, he declared, “Li Yao went through all the trouble of setting up such a scheme, but he doesn’t understand the logic of ‘Man proposes, God disposes’. However fabulous his thoughts are, there will be many unexpected changes when they are implemented! Lu Qingchen may be the first unexpected change, but I believe that he is definitely not going to be the last!
“Qingchen, there’s something I must discuss with Fellow Cultivator Li. Please walk with Miss Long and introduce the development of our ‘Civilization’. If she is interested in you, you may introduce yourself to her well, too!”
The young Immortal Cultivator Lu Qingchen nodded and bowed to Long Yunxin courteously. “Miss Long, this way, please.”
Long Yunxin knew that the two Nascent Soul Stage experts were going to talk about some strange and mysterious topics again.
The communication in the Nascent Soul Stage was too weird for her to follow. She sometimes even found it hard to tell whether they were praising or cursing each other.
The young man, on the other hand, seemed to be a better subject of communication.
Who was he? Why did he become an Immortal Cultivator’s true disciple? Did the federal government simply let it happen?
Ten thousand questions were rolling on her mind. Su Changfa’s suggestion was exactly what she wanted. Therefore, she left the room with the young man quickly.
Too impatient to wait any longer, Long Yunxin asked while they were still on their way, “Mister Lu, how did you become Senior Su’s true disciple? Do—do you really believe in the true path of immortality?”
“What’s wrong about the true path of immortality?” Lu Qingchen asked back casually.
It appeared that the sophisticated young man did not consider Long Yunxin, who was more than ten years older than him, to be an opponent of the same level as him.
Lost for words briefly, Long Yunxin blurted out, “Isn’t it obvious? The true path of immortality is of course wrong. Just look at the game ‘Civilization’. How brutal the Immortal Cultivators are!”
Lu Qingchen smiled. His voice was not utterly devoid of the freshness of a young man, but it was mixed with a unique coarse taste. “As you said yourself, ‘Civilization’ is just a game, and not just any game but a strongly biased one. It is just a way of brainwashing for the Cultivators. How can you decide whether the true path of immortality is right or wrong with that?
“Under my master’s lead, I was partly involved in the development of ‘Civilization’ as an assistant. When designing ‘Civilization’, and especially the DLC ‘Rise of the Imperium’, the designers intentionally chose pictures, scenes, and plots that were unfavorable for the Immortal Cultivators so that the players would despise and loathe Immortal Cultivators before they knew it.
“Such doing is no different from the brainwashing procedure the Immortal Cultivators performed on Master Li Yao in their war base. They are simply selecting a certain facet, magnifying it and extremizing it, in order to achieve their purpose.
“Today, you may be ‘deeply touched’ after only playing a game for several hours and decide that you hate the true path of immortality. Then, tomorrow, you may be moved by the tenacity and the hot blood of the Immortal Cultivators, or intimidated by the mighty troops and invincible fleets of the Imperium of True Human Beings!
“But if we get to the bottom of it, people like you know neither the Cultivators nor the Immortal Cultivators. You are merely puppets speaking and dancing according to others’ will.
“As the saying goes, the picture of ice is indescribable for an insect that only lives in summer. How can I answer your question when your belief is so infirm?”
Long Yunxin was dumbfounded!
She suddenly would rather listen to the incomprehensible talk of the two Nascent Soul Stage experts who might be praising each other or might be cursing each other than stay with the little monster here any longer!
“Therefore, before we discuss whether or not I believe in the ‘true path of immortality’, we must figure out what the ‘true path of immortality’ is exactly! If it is good, where and how is it good? If it is bad, how specifically and to what extent is it bad?”
The young Immortal Cultivator paused for a moment and then said solemnly, “This is the only reason why I am learning from my master. I want to understand the true path of immortality and figure out what it is exactly before I decide whether or not to believe in it.”
There was finally something that Long Yunxin could understand. Greatly relieved, she said, “I understand now. You are just curious. You are not a real believer of the true path of immortality. So, you are still a Cultivator, right?”
“No.” Lu Qingchen shook his head quickly. “As I said, I will not believe in any theory recklessly, either the Cultivators’ and the Immortal Cultivators’, before I completely understand it. Therefore, I am neither an Immortal Cultivator nor a Cultivator. I am just a regular trainer and a student who is groping for my life. You may consider me as a man without a belief!”
“Well…” The answer was even more unfathomable than if the young man thought he was an Immortal Cultivator; Long Yunxin was utterly confused. “Without a belief? You don’t believe in anything?”
“Exactly. Is there anything wrong about that?” Lu Qingchen glanced at her matter-of-factly. Thinking for a moment, he said, “When I was little, I believed in many things childishly like you and many other people.
“I was born in the Grand Desolate Plateau. I lost my parents in a demon beast outbreak. I was raised by my foster father, who was also a war orphan. I lived together with my foster father and my grandfather.
“At that time, I firmly believed that demons were living embodiments of evilness and our most ferocious sworn enemies. My foster father and my grandfather were great heroes and pillars to support the federation!
“When the news of the Imperium of True Human Beings’ attack came over, the whole world was suddenly turned upside down. The ferocious demons suddenly turned into comrades whom you could unite with, and the heroes determined to fight to the end against the demons became dishonored traitors and schemers.
“The demon emperors, who used to be described as cruel and unpardonable, arrived on the land of the federation openly. My foster father and my foster father’s foster father, Lu Zui, became national enemies because of their Patriots Partnership!
“My grandfather died without a sound in prison. My foster father was sentenced to fifty years in prison and sent to your Flying Star Sector for mining.
“Fine. It took me a lot of time to convince myself, but I persuaded myself that they deserved their punishments and that the Immortal Cultivators were our most dreadful enemies. Faced with the threat of the Imperium of True Human Beings, the bloody grudge in the past could, and must, be put down, including the death of my own blood parents!
“I really figured everything through and let it go. I smashed my belief in the past and establish a new belief that was even tougher, solider, and more unwavering. My hate toward the demon race was poured toward the Imperium of True Human Beings and the Immortal Cultivators!
“However, when I just found my new belief, another piece of stunning news came over. As it turned out, the Immortal Cultivators were not the evilest enemies in the enemies, either. There were still existences that were even more wicked than the Immortal Cultivators, which were the people of the Covenant Alliance!
“Hehe. Since the news of the ‘minor apocalypse’, the federation had been exaggerating the terror of the Immortal Cultivators, exactly like they exaggerated the terror of the demons in the past. How ugly and vicious they were!
“But this time, everything changed again, and the Immortal Cultivators became understandable and communicable. Under extreme circumstances, we might even have to join hands with the Immortal Cultivators to resist the Covenant Alliance.
“Isn’t it ridiculous?
“If sworn enemies could become the most intimate allies, and great heroes could turn into ambitious traitors, and the Immortal Cultivators could vacillate between the role of ‘enemy’ and the role of ‘friend’, who could say for sure that we wouldn’t be fighting side by side with the Covenant Alliance when an existence more evil than the Covenant Alliance popped up?”
With a thin smile, the young man said, “Tell me about it. Faced with such abrupt changes, what should I believe in when I am unused to the world? I fear that the unpredictable reality will jump out and smash my new belief into pieces the moment I choose it!”
Long Yunxin was rendered speechless.
Born in a rich family and growing up smoothly, she should not understand the young man’s troubled and thrilled life at all.
“Therefore, I choose to believe in nothing,” Lu Qingchen said. “I need to spend some time studying the difference between the Cultivators and the Immortal Cultivators. Maybe, it will take me decades to study the two paths before I finally decide the one that I will walk on.”
“Decades?” Long Yunxin was greatly shocked again.
Seeing the solemnness on the young man’s face, she could tell that the young man was not bragging but making a serious life plan.
“Is it strange?” Lu Qingchen said disapprovingly. “Sometimes, I think that people like you are the real strange ones. When you buy a cabbage in the market, or when you buy a crystal processor in a store, you will pick and analyze carefully before you make a final decision. But when it comes to the decision of beliefs, an issue of paramount importance, why do you choose to become a Cultivator or an Immortal Cultivator recklessly just because the so-called ‘time’ comes?
“It wouldn’t be strange at all if such a decision was studied and considered with one’s entire life and wasn’t made until one was about to die. In fact, this is exactly how such a decision should be made!”
Long Yunxin was blushing in embarrassment because of Lu Qingchen’s words. She managed to change the topic in order to cover her discomfort.
“Well, Mister Lu, so to speak, if you reach the conclusion that the true path of immortality is correct after decades of research, you will become an Immortal Cultivator without any hesitation, right?”
The young man nodded. “Of course.”
“But have you never considered the consequences of your decision? I can tell that you are not disguising what you are trying to do at all. Do you not feel that your decision… may cause you some trouble?” Long Yunxin looked for a suitable word carefully.
A hundred years later, when the magnificent army of the Imperium of True Human Beings arrived, the Star Glory Federation would definitely be on high alert. If a blatant Immortal Cultivator appeared from within by then, his outcome would certainly be much more than ‘trouble’.
The big-eyed young man laughed, like a sprout that was dancing in the breeze.
“I know what you mean, Miss Long.”
With radiance that resembled two rainbows spreading out inside his big eyes, Lu Qingchen said unhurried, “There is quite an interesting coincidence. When offering their enlightenment on my training, my grandfather Lu Zui and my master Su Changfa said something that basically meant the same.
“They said—if the truth is hidden in the deepest level of hell, then who should go to hell if not me?”