The path is not going to work out after all! Li Yao observed with mixed feelings.
Han Yuantai was confident that the new ‘Cloud Qin’ would live in peace and prosperity forever after destroying the incurable cancer—the conflicting sects.
But that was impossible.
Even in the best-case scenario, where the Cultivators that belonged to a ‘country’ were so united that they did not have any conflict and the resource utilization efficiency had been maximized, there was still a fundamental problem that they could not address.
The problem was that the Cultivators in the ancient age were mostly bottomless holes. While they were consuming tremendous resources, they were not offering any ‘product’ that was of use to society.
How many crystals, medicines, and Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures would a Cultivator consume from the time that their spiritual root was awakened to when they advanced all the way to the Core Formation Stage, the Nascent Soul Stage, or even the Divinity Transformation Stage?
How many folks, how much land, and how many natural paradises would need to be occupied to provide the resources that the Cultivators needed?
After swallowing so many resources and growing into unparalleled experts, what could the Cultivators provide for society?
As far as Li Yao knew, the ancient Cultivators, even those from noble sects, often attached great importance to personal combat ability and mocked professions that could not improve their combat ability, not to mention the immoral, evil Cultivators.
When the Cultivators were ‘serving justice and slaying evils’, if getting to the bottom of it, the main product that they provided for society would be their ‘combat ability’.
When the only produce that most of the elites of a world could provide after swallowing the majority of resources was ‘combat ability’, the overall ‘combat ability’ would certainly be superfluous.
To set such a society on a path of healthy, sustainable development, and to prevent it from collapsing because of the overly-expanding combat ability, there was only one solution, which was to expand and plunder more resources from the outside world with the ‘superfluous combat ability’!
Therefore, in the last years of the age of ancient Cultivators, the faster Sectors that had eliminated the mayhem of contradictory sects inside and concentrated the power in advance all embarked on the path of militarization and expansion when their aggressiveness and combat ability were bursting out.
The historians of the federation defined such a path as ‘classic militarism’.
At first, the path seemed to be a successful one.
Faced with the army of Cultivators who were united under the notion of ‘country’ and were guided by classic militarism, the Cultivators who were still in the medieval age were too disorganized and mired in their own trouble to put up any resistance. They were all demolished unstoppably without any exception.
However, the good days did not last long. Expansion had its limits. When most of the ‘medieval worlds’ of the three thousand Sectors were annihilated, and the only regimes left were the ferocious worlds where classic militarism prevailed, the collisions of the superpowers were unavoidable.
That was the First Civil War of Cultivators as described in the history books.
It was also at the last phase of the super civil war that consumed all the three thousand Sectors when demons were created on a large scale. Then, taking advantage of the weakness of the worlds of Cultivators that had been exhausted in the war, the demons counterattacked and dominated the sea of stars, ushering in the Great Dark Age of thirty thousand years.
Getting to the bottom of it, the greatest problem of classic militarism was that it could not fix the contradiction that the Cultivators took in all the resources but offered nothing in return. Such a methodology was merely covering the contradiction time and time again through continuous invasions and conquests.
However, during the invasions and conquests, the Cultivators would only desire more ‘combat ability’. When the invasions and conquests suffered setbacks, even the most powerful countries would collapse all of a sudden!
The Ancient Sages Sector, on the other hand, would only be more tragic.
Because the star beacons and the space teleportation arrays left by the Pangu civilization in the three thousand Sectors in the outside world had not yet been damaged in the age of ancient Cultivators forty thousand years ago, the three thousand Sectors were still in a network, and the transportation system was quite convenient. Even the ancient Cultivators could launch expeditions across the sea of stars despite their underdeveloped technologies.
Therefore, after a world of ancient Cultivators finished the transformation from ‘medieval sects’ to ‘classic militarism’, it would be easy for the world to launch invasions on other worlds, thereby transferring the internal contradiction!
If the world was lucky, it could swallow multiple underdeveloped worlds of Cultivators in the hundreds of years to come and grow into a giant that spanned the sea of stars, surviving for yet another thousand years.
The Ancient Sages Sector, in comparison, was enshrouded in the thick, dark nebula. It was extremely tricky to jump out.
Also, everything was different today. After tens of thousands of years of wars, the space transportation network outside had been mostly wrecked. Launching a universal expedition was much more difficult than before!
Moreover, the outside world would be dangerous. There was not a single push-over in the sea of stars out there. Not just the monsters such as the Imperium of True Human Beings and the Covenant Alliance, even the Star Glory Federation a hundred years ago would not have been scared of the Ancient Sages Sector at all!
Even if the Ancient Sages Sector truly developed to the stage of ‘classic militarism’, who could it conquer?
Without new targets to conquer, such an untenable system would never last long.
Li Yao believed in Han Yuantai’s sincerity and the ambitions of Han Baling, the regent of Cloud Qin. He also believed that the Cultivators of Cloud Qin were in the most united and organized state right now.
But that was because they were faced with a powerful external threat, and they had a whole world waiting to be conquered.
What would happen after they overthrew the Great Qian Dynasty and unified the world?
If they could not find a new vent for the ‘superfluous combat ability’, Li Yao did not think that the so-called ‘Cloud Qin Dynasty’ could survive five hundred years.
This is an unresolvable, fundamental contradiction.
Only when Cultivators follow the ideology of ‘serve the people’ and return the resources they swallow to the public in forms including but not limited to ‘combat ability’, so that the resources will flow and circulate between the Cultivators and the ordinary people, will a society embark on the path of sustainable development with a virtuous cycle!
If we get to the bottom of it, the so-called ‘cancer’ is not the sects, not militarism, but the Cultivators who take everything but give nothing, who swallow resources like a black hole but are in fact utterly useless!
How many resources must be consumed for the birth of a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator? How much labor and material have been spent without anyone knowing?
The Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator could flaunt their techniques and violate the existing social order without respect for the law.
But even if the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator prefers a carefree and enjoyable life and focuses on his own training without caring about anything else, he will still make absolutely no contribution to society. Eventually, he might be struck by a minor apocalypse when he is advancing into a higher stage. Won’t the resources that he has consumed be wasted?
Moreover, even if he occasionally comes out to serve justice and slay evils, will the contributions he makes be proportionate to the resources he has consumed?
Such an abnormal system will never persevere for long even if it evolves to the form of a modern country under the armor of ‘classic militarism’!
Cloud Qin was walking on the wrong path.
Li Yao was well aware of that.
However, he did not despise Cloud Qin, Han Yuantai, or Han Baling—one of the Four Rapscallions who must have been even more spectacular than his brother—because of that.
Li Yao knew himself very well.
He understood the logic not because he was smart enough but because he was standing on the shoulders of countless seniors. The conclusions had been made by the historians and sociologists.
The Cultivators of the Ancient Sages Sector did not know the first thing about the outside world. They had to learn everything on their own. Like a blind person riding a blind horse, they groped in the eternal darkness. It was already extremely remarkable that they had walked this far!
Then, was it possible to work with the Cultivators from Cloud Qin?
It depended on several factors.
On one hand, Cloud Qin was walking on the path of ‘classic militarism’, which was similar to the Imperium of True Human Beings ‘modern militarism’. The two of them might find each other very agreeable.
However, judging from Han Yuantai’s demeanor and resolution, his brother Han Baling was surely an ambitious, superb person who lived beyond his era.
If such a person could be brought to the federation and allowed to study the history of the outside world, would he draw a lesson from the gory outcome of the First Civil War of Cultivators and realize that it was not a path that was going to work out, thereby choosing a new approach?
It’s getting tricky now.
The most critical question right now is whether or not the Imperium of True Human Beings is involved in all this. If the federation can’t find a way to embrace those ancient Cultivators, they will certainly be bemused by the Imperium!
If I were a scout who discovered the Ancient Sages Sector, I definitely would’ve selected Han Baling as my primary target of communication after I learned the situation in this world!
Is it possible that the Immortal Cultivators from the Imperium of True Human Beings are already hiding next to Han Baling and engaged in certain underground activities in secret?
Li Yao felt a headache coming on. Thinking for a moment, he coughed and summoned Meng Duo and Gu Siduo, the two barbarian Cultivators.
The fat barbarian Cultivator and the slim one, after discovering his identity as ‘Master Spiritual Vulture’, were so frightened that they almost sh*t their pants. They could barely stand on their feet. Kneeling on the ground, they begged for his mercy.
Naturally, Li Yao was not interested in picking on small fries such as themselves. After all, he had grown quite familiar with the two guys recently. He knew that they had done nothing unacceptable and their reputations in the Southland of Sorcerers were not bad. So, he had employed them as his temporary servants.
“Bring me the father and the daughter of the Ling family.”
Very soon, the uneasy Ling Shoujing and Ling Lanyin appeared in front of Li Yao.
“Let’s not waste each other’s time.”
Instead of waiting for the newcomers to bow to him, Li Yao waved his hands and said straightforwardly, “I’ve spoken with Han Yuantai just now and learned the basic situation already. Tell me about it. What exactly do you want, and what can you offer in return?”