“Master…” Xie Anan was weeping, her apple-like face red.
Of the three disciples, her aptitude and Cultivation were the lowest. Li Yao had only recruited her as a disciple for her determination.
Li Yao was more than satisfied that she could participate in the research programs of some of the high-end magical equipment. He was not expecting her to become someone great.
Working in the field to one’s liking and finding and surpassing one’s limits were already good enough.
As a refiner, it was actually Xie Anan who had spent the longest time in Li Yao’s company in the past five years.
Her level was the lowest, and her emotions were the most obvious of all. Her affection and unwillingness written all over her face, she sobbed. “Master, are you really leaving just like that?”
“Rest assured. I’ll be back one day!” Li Yao felt somewhat heavy himself, but he pretended to be smiling. “In a few decades, or a hundred years at most, I will certainly announce my return. You will only be in your a hundred and twenties by then. For a high-level Cultivator, it is just the beginning of your golden years. We can always reunite again!
“Anan, while I’m away, you must train with the techniques I’ve left for you. Do not be left behind by them too much. Got it?”
“Rest assured, Master. I’ll certainly try my best!”
Biting her lips softly, Xie Anan clenched her fists.
However, her face collapsed again after being ‘resolute’ for only half a second. “Master, I really can’t bear to let you go. I really don’t understand why you are making such a choice! You already have everything in the Star Glory Federation. Position, power, money, and strength. You can whatever you want easily. Are they not attractive enough for you to stay?”
“The things you mentioned are exactly why I must leave.”
Pondering for a moment, Li Yao stared at his three disciples with his sparkling eyes and said solemnly, “Anan, did you ever do ‘role-playing’ when you were little or simulation board games such as ‘Monopoly’ with your playmates?”
Dazed for a moment, Xie Anan nodded. “Of course I did.”
Li Yao smiled and continued, “When you were role-playing, you must’ve played a lot of roles, even including princesses, didn’t you? When you played ‘Monopoly’, you must’ve earned a lot of money in the game and become a billionaire before, right?”
Xie Anan nodded in a daze again.
Li Yao looked at her and said, “Then why did you stop playing such games?”
Xie Anan frowned and blurted out, “Do—do I need a reason? It’s because I outgrew the games. They were no longer as interesting to me as before.”
“If I tell you that, for me, the titles such as Ultra-Level Federal Hero are like ‘Your Highness’ when you were playing role-playing as a little girl, the tremendous assets brought to me by the Glorious Sunlight Group, the Double Dragons Union, and Skyfire are like the cash you earned while playing games such as ‘Monopoly’, will you find my decision more comprehensible?”
Xie Anan was lost for words for a moment. She, Jin Xinyue, and Wu Mayan all fell into deep thought.
After a long sigh, Li Yao said slowly, “People say that Cultivators have no desires and choose to pursue the unpredictable, ultimate truth instead of enjoying all the temptations of the mortal world!
“When I hadn’t reached the level yet, I had exactly the same questions and thought that the so-called ‘unearthly’ is just bullsh*t. If a Cultivator does not know how to appreciate the beautiful world but simply throws away fame, fortune, and entertainment as if they are well-worn shoes, what’s the difference between such a Cultivator and a eunuch?
“It was not until my Cultivation reached such a level that I began to realize that Cultivators do not ‘have no desires’. On the very contrary, our desires are hundreds and thousands of times stronger than ordinary people’s. We are essentially so ‘horny’ and ‘lustful’ that we want to pursue, swallow, and burn with everything we have!
“However, our desires can no longer be satisfied by the wealth, entertainment, and power of the mortal world, just like your desires cannot be satisfied by the title of ‘Your Highness’ while you are role-playing or the vast wealth in a game of ‘Monopoly’!
“If a bunch of three-year-olds invite you to role-play, saying that they are willing to crown you with the most fabulous titles such as princess, queen, fairy… and if they play ‘Monopoly’ with you, offering you all the cash and real estate, I’m afraid that you will still be too bored to play the games with them, right?
“In the eyes of little kids, you are someone with no desires because what they cherish and pursue is not worth mentioning at all from the bottom of your heart.
“But you know that you have long surpassed the level of the little kids. Of course, you have your desires, your goals, and your dreams, but they are things that can never be gratified by role-playing and Monopoly.
“Even the greediest bandit will not fight for the toy cash in a game of Monopoly with little kids, right? It’s the same!”
“How can they be the same?” Xie Anan said in a hurry. “Role-playing and Monopoly are both false, but the world that we are living in is real! How can becoming a ‘queen’ in role-playing and becoming a… let’s say, Speaker of the federation in the real world be the same?”
“They are the same, in that they equally cannot satisfy my appetite and desires.” Li Yao smiled. With the greediest brilliance beaming out of his eyes, he mumbled, “What about Speaker of the Federation?
“The federation has been established for five hundred years. There have already been almost seventy Speakers, and there will be another seventy in the five hundred years to come.
“Even turning into the Speaker of the Federation only means that you are just one of the hundred and fifty people.
“The Star Glory Federation, on the other hand, is just an insignificant country in a remote area in the sea of stars. How many Speakers, prime ministers, presidents, and even emperors have been out there in the three thousand Sectors over the past ten thousand years?
“Thousands? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands?
“Becoming one of the hundreds of thousands people and repeating the ‘great accomplishment’ that hundreds of thousands of people have achieved… can I be satisfied by such a life? This is a great joke!”
Xie Anan, Wu Mayan, and Jin Xinyue were all greatly moved.
They never knew that their master’s ambitions were so huge!
“Then, what is it that you are pursuing?” the three of them asked respectfully at the same time.
A hint of confusion flowed out of Li Yao’s eyes at first before it turned into intense excitement. He said with a smile, “I don’t know. The sea of stars is a vast and splendid place. Even I don’t know what kind of wonders and interesting beings are lying in wait in the universe! Therefore, I can’t say for sure what I’m pursuing after right now. The best I can do right now is broaden my horizons, step by step, know myself, and understand what it is that not I’m pursuing.”
Pausing for a moment, Li Yao covered the back of his head with both hands before he leaned back in his chair and said with a smile, “Perhaps, this is the most fascinating part about being a Cultivator!”
There were three days to go before Li Yao’s departure.
He held a grand party in Floating Spear City, gathering the closest friends in order to say goodbye to them.
Professor Mo Xuan, Fiend Blade Peng Hai, ‘Solar Eclipse’ Jiang Shaoyang, Meng Jiang from high school, who are from the Star Glory Federation; the Fire Ant King from the Blood Demon Sector; and Xiong Wuji, Lei Dalu, and Bai Kaixin from the Flying Star Sector all attended the party.
“Li Yao, you still didn’t leave the opportunity to me!” Professor Mo Xuan said with a bitter smile. “I knew that you would make such a choice!”
“My apologies, Professor!” Li Yao laughed. “I can concede in almost anything except the quest of the Great Dao!”
“Li Yao, I will take great advantage of this!” ‘Solar Eclipse’ Jiang Shaoyang’s eyes were shining and said, “Your training progress will be very slow while you are in the hibernation state, if it is moving forward at all, whereas I will certainly make great breakthroughs in the next hundred years. You will certainly be no match for me in a hundred years!”
“That will be for the best!” Li Yao licked his lips and grinned. “I’ll simply allow you to train yourself for a hundred years before we have another competition!”
Lei Dalu and Bai Kaixin bashed their chest and said, “Li Yao, leave everything in the Flying Star Sector to us. Just rest assured!”
Ever since Li Yao soared in the Flying Star Sector, the Great Horn Exo Society had begun to develop unstoppably.
At first, they cooperated with the Glorious Sunlight Group and monopolized most of the transportation business between Iron Plateau and the outside world. With the opportunity, they then established the trade routes among the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Flying Star Sector, and the Blood Demon Sector.
Eventually, the Great Horn Exo Society and the Glorious Sunlight Group even had a merger. Lei Dalu and Bai Kaixin became the core management of the Glorious Sunlight Group.
Right now, Lei Dalu was responsible for the armed transportation business, which was one of the Great Horn Exo Society’s focuses in the past, and Bai Kaixin had slowly taken over the operations of key businesses within the Glorious Sunlight Group.
It was not because Li Yao distrusted the members of the Wu family who were running the Glorious Sunlight Group in the beginning but because Bai Kaixin, who had apparently inherited all his father’s wisdom and cunningness, boasted rarely-seen talents in administration and management that were impossible to be fully carried out in a small Great Horn Exo Society. After he joined the Glorious Sunlight Group, he was like a dragon or a ferocious tiger who had been set free from the shackles and immediately distinguished himself!
Li Yao, Lei Dalu, and Bai Kaixin were life-and-death friends. Naturally, it was not difficult for him to put Bai Kaixin in charge of the Glorious Sunlight Group.
Li Yao raised the cup, gazing at the familiar faces in front of him.
The buddies who used to horse around with him, the teachers who had offered him wholehearted tutelage, the seniors who showed him the mysteries of the world of the Cultivators for the first time, the comrades who went through life-blighting battles with him, and even the competitors who were at loggerheads with him in the past all gave him complicated feelings.
“Let’s meet again… in a hundred years!”
Li Yao knocked his head back and finished the wine in the cup!