Heaven Battering King Qi Changsheng had been the first one to jump to his feet, shouting to fight the deities. He was also the first to respond to Meng Chixin at that moment. The leader of the bandits scratched his head and laughed. “I was wrong just now. Senior Meng, you’re right. In any case, as long as we preserve our strength and live on despite the humiliation, there will always be a chance to rise again!
“If this is just a false surrender, I don’t think that it is entirely unnegotiable under appropriate terms. I surrendered many a time when I was hunted by the court’s army and the b*stards from the world of Cultivators before. What’s the big deal? It was just a means to an end! In the end, when I found the opportunity later, I still crushed those b*stards, didn’t I? Hahahaha!”
Biting the tobacco tube hard, Ba Xiaoyu glared at him. “Who are you calling b*stards?”
Qi Changsheng glanced at him and chuckled. “Those who hunted me before are the b*stards. Old beggar, you were never involved in the business between me and the main sects before. Why are you jumping up in such a hurry?”
Ba Xiaoyu sniffed. “Because I don’t like hypocrisy! Your Heaven Battering Army first rose up based on the homeless peasants when you were under the tyranny and forced to do so. However, you committed as many crimes later after your force grew huge! Had it not been for the upcoming deities and devils and the great crisis that the Ancient Sages Sector is faced with, I would’ve chopped off your stupid head a long time ago!”
“Ha?” Qi Changsheng’s eyes were glittering. He extended his head toward Ba Xiaoyu and slapped his neck hard with his palm. “Come on. Here. My great head is right here. Why don’t you come and take it away?”
“You—” Flames of spiritual energy began surging out of Ba Xiaoyu’s body immediately!
“Why are you stammering?” Qi Changsheng was not worried at all. He grinned hideously and said, “Didn’t I committed many crimes? Do you have any idea what crimes are? Don’t think that you are truly a beggar who understands the life of ordinary folk and their suffering after you put on dirty, ragged clothes and added a few ulcers to your body intentionally!
“Let’s face it, Ba Xiaoyu. You are just an honorable aristocrat with quirks. Even though you can pretend to be a humble, devastated beggar, you are a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator deep to your bones! You will never feel the oppression, pain, and hatred that the real homeless peasants, beggars, and poor folk are enduring! Never!
“You have no idea what happened in the northwest in the past. You don’t know how the unscrupulous officials and the scumbags among the Cultivators dealt with the Heaven Battering Army and our family!
“You are just a noble wearing the clothes of the poor who thinks that he is serving justice, yet you are talking about ‘crimes’ with the people who have really been suffering all this time? That’s hilarious!
“What? Do you feel that it is a great and gratifying cause to help the weak when you hang around with the people, especially when the bullies don’t recognize your formidability? Hehe. It’s your own business if you prefer to play the role of a beggar. By all means! But don’t swagger condescendingly in front of me because I know exactly what you’re made of!
“If you are really capable, just overthrow all the officials and Cultivators who are exploiting the ordinary folks in the northwest and give us the justice that we deserve! Otherwise, get lost with your haughty, pretentious attitude, and don’t mind how the poor people are going to save themselves and retaliate against the bullies who have oppressed us before!”
Ba Xiaoyu was rendered speechless before Qi Changsheng’s sharp tongue. There was frustration on his face!
“Fellow Cultivators, let’s all calm down for a moment. There’s no need to quarrel.” Master Bitter Cicada stood between the two Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators, separating them from each other. He pondered for a moment and said, “I believe that, despite all our differences and grudges, we share at least one thing in common—we hope for the happiness of the people and do not wish to see the destruction of the Ancient Sages Sector.
“If there is a way to relieve the Ancient Sages Sector of the torture of wars so that all ordinary folk can live in peace and prosperity, even if it is ‘surrender’, such a way is definitely worth considering, too.
“After all, just like Fellow Cultivator Wu and Fellow Cultivator Meng said, the extraterrestrial land is too vast, and the deities there are too formidable. Other than anything else, if they simply land two hundred Cloud Qin Gold Statues on the Ancient Sages Sector, how are we going to deal with them?”
Master Bitter Cicada’s question was quite sharp. He depicted part of the capabilities of the deities’ realm in a way that everybody could understand.
Everybody looked at each other in bewilderment, deep in thought.
It was indeed a good question. One Cloud Qin Gold Statue had already caused major trouble for them. The Cloud Qin Empire in the past had even claimed the entire world with only twelve Cloud Qin Gold Statues!
How many Cloud Qin Gold Statues were out there in the deities’ realm? Presumably, at least one to two hundred!
What were they going to do if a hundred Cloud Qin Gold Statues landed on the Ancient Sages Sector?
“Whether we consider the surrender to be a necessary step so that we can challenge them later or sincerely surrender to a formidable force in the deities’ realm in exchange for their protection in order to ensure the happiness of the common folk of the Ancient Sages Sector, both of which are viable options, there is one thing that is yet to be answered—”
Looking at Meng Chixin and Wu Suiyun in the eyes, Master Bitter Cicada asked, “How can we be certain that they will be willing to accept our surrender?
“If the Ancient Sages Sector is but a grain of sand in their eyes and the Cultivators here are merely ants, they may not need our surrender at all. In such a case, aren’t we fooling ourselves right now?”
“That’s probably not the case!” Meng Chixin shook his head. “There’s need to underestimate ourselves. Perhaps Wu Suiyun and I overstressed something just now, which misled you into thinking that we boast absolutely no way to fight back against the deities’ truth. That’s not necessarily true!
“This ‘Deity Raincloud’ here is our first clue. If we are just ants for the deities’ realm, it should’ve been easy for her to stomp on us and kill us!
“However, Deity Raincloud and her subordinates seemed to count on the formidability of their weird armor and the Cloud Qin Gold Statue too much. If they are deprived of their armor and their Cloud Qin Gold Statue, they might not even be as good as you. What do you say, emperor?”
Emperor Phoenix lowered his head and replied dutifully, “Yes. When ‘Deity Raincloud’ taught me the arts of the deities’ realm, I felt that while the deities’ realm attached great importance to the power of the armor and magical equipment, their own Cultivation was not necessarily much higher than ours.”
“That’s right.” Meng Chixin pondered for a moment and said, “Perhaps the Ancient Sages Sector is incomparable to the deities’ realm in terms of overall capabilities. For example, the Ancient Sages Sector only has two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators and three hundred Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators, and the deities’ realm may have hundreds of Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators and ten times more Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators, which is quite likely.
“However, a Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivator is a Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivator wherever they are, and the same goes for a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator. We, as the top-tier experts of the Ancient Sages Sector, can’t be too weak even by the standards of the deities’ realm. At the very least, we are of value to be exploited. Otherwise, Deity Raincloud wouldn’t have hesitated to kill Han Baling, Qi Changsheng, and Wan Mingzhu at the cost of ending on bad terms with the emperor!”
Qi Zhongdao’s eyes suddenly glittered. “Senior Meng, are you suggesting that Deity Raincloud is trying to take advantage of us and ask us to fight for her in the deities’ realm?”
“Most likely!” Meng Chixin nodded. “It is not scary to be taken advantage of. As long as we are of value, we will be able to negotiate with them using our ‘value’. Just like Qi Changsheng said, even if we surrender, we will still be able to reach a deal that is in our favor!
“As long as the reward is good enough, what’s the big deal with being made use of? When the tribes on the Dark Cloud Prairies suffer natural disasters and all the livestock are killed in the freezing weather, it is a common practice for us to be hired by the sects and forces in the central plateaus and fight for the people of the central plateaus, isn’t it?”
“In such a case…” Qi Zhongdao’s eyes remained as sharp as before. They were not wavering at all even if he was faced with a Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivator. “Senior Meng, you have long been prepared to surrender. Then, why did you kill those people who surrendered to Deity Raincloud?”
Meng Chixin was amused. He casually replied, “Surrender and surrender can be different. It’s true that I made the most sensible judgement after recognizing the vastness of the deities’ realm and the formidability of the deities, which is that the Ancient Sages Sector does not have a second way out except to surrender to the deities’ realm!
“However, the surrender that I have in mind is to submit the Ancient Sages Sector as an integrated whole. We will surrender together and negotiate the terms together so that we can fight for the best interests of our world!
“I dare not say that I’m utterly selfless, but I can swear to the infinite sea of stars over my head that I, Meng Chixin, have never placed the fate of the Ancient Sages Sector above my selfish interests, and I will never do so in the future!
“But those guys who surrendered to Deity Raincloud were different.
“Those selfish, shortsighted, and shameless scoundrels became dogs wagging their tails, begging for mercy, after Deity Raincloud tossed out some petty benefits. They would bite anyone they were asked to, even their comrades and siblings!
“They surrendered only for themselves. As long as they could gain the tiniest benefits from it, I have no doubt that they would sell the entire Ancient Sages Sector without blinking their eyes!
“Let me put it frankly. Our target right now is to sell the Ancient Sages Sector at a good price. However, those shameless scoundrels would only consider for their personal gains, and they would sell the Ancient Sages Sector cheaply at the first opportunity if they were kept alive!
“That’s what Wu Suiyun and I said just now. United! We have to be united!
“Surrender can be an art, too. Such things often happened when the tribes on the prairies surrendered to the central dynasties—the central dynasties would buy part of the tribes over with some petty benefits and consider them the spies on the prairies before the central dynasties instigated trouble among the tribes, making them fight against each other and be divided and diminished together!
“Eventually, the central dynasties tamed the entire prairies with the least effort. But then, the tribes who had been bought over in the beginning would be useless and dealt with immediately!
“Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture, I believe that such things are anything but unusual in the Southland of Sorcerers as well, right?”