Li Yao never thought that Han Yuantai, as an ‘outdated’ person and a ‘barbarian’ in the eyes of the central dynasty, had such a sharp insight on the relationship between the Cultivators and the nation. Also, the man’s mind was very clear besides his bravery. He indeed deserved to be the right hand of Han Baling, the magnificent dominator of Ghost Qin!
He was the first sign of the formidability of Ghost Qin as a force and its leader Han Baling!
With a smile of derision, Li Yao said coldly, “You are exaggerating it, aren’t you? Cultivation sects have existed for as long as Cultivators have. It’s been the tradition for a hundred thousand years. Are they all unworthy as you claimed?”
“They are exactly so unworthy!”
Han Yuantai declared, “It was exactly because the cancer named Cultivation sects has been attached to the nation over the past hundred thousand years that almost a hundred dynasties replaced one another, causing infinite tragedies!
“Let’s leave the history aside and focus the Great Qian Dynasty’s rise a thousand years ago!
“Before Great Qian, the world was in blood and chaos for hundreds of years. At that time, the thousands of sects of the Ancient Sages Sector were kings in their own territory. The wars between them never ceased. Not just the ordinary people, even the Cultivators’ death rate was unbelievably high. It would not be overstating to say that none of the people at that time were confident to see the end of a day in the morning!”
“It was not until the ‘Thunderous Qian Hall’, the predecessor of the Great Qian Dynasty, rose unstoppably and unified the world leading eighty sects, that the new dynasty was founded and the peace in the Ancient Sages Sector was restored!
“However, the peace was merely temporary!
“The world was unified by the Thunderous Qian Hall and the eight sects together. Naturally, the contributors must be properly rewarded. At that time, countless sects and Cultivators who disobeyed the Great Qian Dynasty could be swallowed. After clearing all the opposing forces, the ruling class lived in peace for hundreds of years with the resources that the dissidents left.
“However, during the hundreds of years, because of the peace and prosperity, the number of Cultivators grew exponentially!
“Cultivators’ longevity is always as impressive as their ambitions. None of them are willing to be below someone else. When a senior brother and a junior brother in a sect are on par with each other but have certain conflict, they will often establish their own branches to avoid the conflict and to expand the influence of their original sect.
“Just like that, after hundreds of years, the eighty sects under the ‘Thunderous Qian Hall’ continued branching. Many unaffiliated Cultivators in the world founded their own sects, too. Gradually, they have evolved to the almost four thousand sects today!”
Li Yao sniffed, “The more Cultivation sects, the better. What’s wrong about that?”
“There will be nothing wrong if there are infinite resources.”
After a bitter smile, Han Yuantai said, “But there are only limited spiritual energy and treasures in the world. One more Cultivator means a reduction in every Cultivator’s share, and every newly founded Cultivation sect will add to the pressure of the nation. Although the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty seem to be stronger and stronger, they are in fact approaching their doom fast!
“According to the rules established when the Great Qian Dynasty was established, the emperor and the Cultivators shall reign the world together. Cultivation sects have countless privileges!
“We don’t need to talk about the powerful sects such as the ‘Purple Pole Sword Sect’. Let’s just take a medium-sized, regular sect for example. Such a sect often boasts hundreds of core disciples and ten times more non-core ones. It may occupy hundreds of thousands of acres of the finest farmland. The folks that are attached to the sect can be more than a hundred thousand households!
“According to the rules, Cultivation sects have little responsibility in tax and labor service. Once the Cultivation sects claim the farmland, it will be difficult for the nation to levy the tax. If a folk becomes a disciple of a certain sect, or if they are a relative of a disciple of the sect, it will be difficult to force them to serve in the army or carry out other duties when the Cultivation sect is on their back!
“Such a Cultivation sect, after rooting in a certain place for hundreds of years, will monopolize all the powers in the local area. From the local officials to the local celebrities, everybody will be a disciple of the Cultivation sect. The rules of the sect will even replace the law of the nation. Also, thousands of fearsome warriors, who are not engaged in any kind of production activities but focused in building up their body and grasping new techniques, pasture on the Cultivation sect, which make it even more like an independent kingdom!
“Such ‘independent kingdoms’ hide their properties in the most stunning ways, resist the court’s orders to levy tax or to draft soldiers, and often demand privileges from the court under the pretext of famines or natural disasters. What are they if not unhelpful, bloodsucking cancer?
“When the Great Qian Dynasty was just founded, there were only eighty such ‘cancers’, and the nation was still healthy enough to bear them!
“But right now, the cancers are getting greater and great and even giving birth to smaller cancers. They are more and more vicious in stealing the nation’s wealth, and they care less and less about the consequences! How can the Great Qian Dynasty not collapse when its emaciated body is burdened with such four thousand ‘cancers’?”
Li Yao’s eyes glittering for a moment, before he said coldly, “If someone from Ghost Qin such as you sees through it so clearly, why do you think the emperor of the Great Qian Dynasty turns a blind eye to it? Didn’t you say that the ‘Thunderous Qian Hall’ the emperor belongs to was the greatest sect in the past? Can they not come up with any solution to eliminate the ‘cancers’?”
Han Yuantai smiled and shook his head, “The emperor, which should be the supreme authority in the world, naturally wouldn’t be happy to see so many disobedient ‘cancers’ who act on their own in his territory.
“However, it is more than difficult to eliminate the cancers!
“It’s true that the Thunderous Qian Sect was the most powerful sect a thousand years ago. But its best was to compete with twenty Cultivation sects. If the other eighty sects joined their hands, there would be nothing the Thunderous Qian Sect could do about them!
“That was why the Thunderous Qian Sect had to, however unwillingly, cooperate with the eighty Cultivation sects and found the ‘Great Qian Dynasty’ together!
“The Great Qian Dynasty was more like an alliance of the eighty-one sects of the Ancient Sages Sector than a nation. The so-called emperor was nothing more than the leader of the alliance!
“When the Great Qian Dynasty was just founded, the contradiction between the ‘Thunderous Qian Hall’ which the emperor represents and the local sects was not very intense yet, and the two parties were still able to live in peace for hundreds of years.
“But when the contradiction escalated after the local sects expanded beyond control, the Thunderous Qian Hall had declined and lost the capabilities to rectify the situation!”
Pondering for a moment, Li Yao asked, “Now that the Thunderous Qian Hall seized the power as the royal family of the Great Qian Dynasty, they must’ve been entitled to the best resources, techniques and magical equipment. When the local sects were expanding, the royal family should be growing stronger, too. Why was it declining?”
Han Yuantai said in a smile, “It’s understandable that you do not know this, Master. There are mainly three reasons for the royal family’s decline.
“Firstly, every emperor is busy attending to the national affairs. They are often participating in various meetings every day and dealing one problem after another.
“If the emperor is diligent and works on everything in person, he will not have time for training at all. Even if their level is improving, their combat ability is often dropping!
“If the emperor entrusts the national affairs to the ministers and focuses on training himself, it will be a opportunity for the rise of the local sects, because most of the ministers come from other Cultivation sects and not just the Thunderous Qian Hall alone.
“Secondly, the emperor’s throne is the seat of supreme authority. Even if the title is just the nominal leader of the world, many people are still coveting it, too!
“The political struggles within the royal family and the parricidal tragedies have never ceased in the past thousand years! The emperor are not assured when he entrusts the national affairs to the Cultivation sects. But he will be less assured if he entrusts the task to his brother or the other disciples of the Thunderous Qian Hall!
“Ever since the Great Qian Dynasty was founded, the Thunderous Qian Hall and the entire royal family have been mired in the most cruel internal strife. Counting the new emperor who acceded to the throne last year, there have been sixty-six emperors in the Great Qian Dynasty in the past thousand years. On average, every emperor passed away after they were in power for less than twenty years. Their longevity was unbelievably short for Cultivators who can easily live up to two to three hundred years old!
“It was hardly likely that they died of old age, right? Nobody could tell how many clandestine tales are behind their abrupt death!
“Thirdly, the world is the royal family of the Great Qian Dynasty’s world on the surface. Therefore, the emperor is a common foe for all the Cultivation sects. No matter how contradictory the Cultivation sects are amongst themselves, they will join their hands to compete with the emperor when they are challenged by the latter!
“The emperor lives inside the royal palace in the capital city. He does not know the real situation in the nation, and most of his army come from the local areas, too. If he ends up on bad terms with the Cultivation sects, he does not even know for sure whose orders the soldiers will take. How can he expect to fight against the world?
“After a thousand years of struggles, the Great Qian Dynasty has reached a point where every place is brimming with Cultivation sects. The folks only recognize the leaders of the sects but do not know the emperor. When they are in trouble, they will go to the Cultivators, hoping that the Cultivators will ‘serve justice’, instead of reporting the issues to the law enforcement. It is not strange at all that the emperor’s orders cannot leave the capital city, or even the royal palace!”
Deep in thought, Li Yao said, “So to speak, for the emperor, the Cultivation sects are truly the untreatable and obnoxious cancers?”
“Not just for the emperor. They are cancers that are a hundred times more cruel for folks, too!”
Han Yuantai said solemnly, “Most of the members of every sect are the aggressive, murderous soldiers! They do not work or have knowledge about any trade. What they do every day is to train themselves with the ways of killing!
“Besides, their appetite is shocking, too. The food they take are dozens times more than that of the ordinary folks!
“To feed a Cultivator who does not have a job and who practices his techniques all day long, even if he is only in the Refinement Stage, it will still require almost a hundred peasants to slog in their farmland day and night!
“Moreover, the Cultivators cannot be just satisfied with food. They also demand the entertaining facilities, the crystals and minerals, and the marvelous pills and medicines!
“Therefore, when the Cultivators and Cultivation sects of the Great Qian Dynasty expanded crazily like mushrooms after a rain, their exploitation on the folks was even harsher. The folks who were affiliated to the Cultivation sects couldn’t live on any longer!”