Meng Chixin coughed and stopped everybody’s discussion. “Fellow Cultivator Wang, is there anything you want to say?”
Everybody was all ears.
Nobody dared overlook the opinion of the Lead Eunuch who had once manipulated the court. At the very least, her words were certainly much more valuable than those of the pure warriors such as ‘Sword Maniac’ Yan Liren.
Long Yangjun’s narrow and long finger touched her lips while she put on a half-masculine-half-feminine, enchanting smile on her face. Turbulence resembling rainbows was spreading in the deepest parts of her eyes, as she stared at Li Yao mysteriously and said with a smile, “Fellow Cultivators, please calm down for a moment. What Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture just said enlightened me and prompted me to come up with a new possibility. Please wait a moment, everybody, and allow me to run some deductions in my head!”
Li Yao felt creeped out under her stare, not knowing what the prehistorical intersex was up to exactly!
A moment later, Long Yangjun’s smile was even sunnier than before, and her voice grew softer, as if it were an irresistible swamp. She moved her colorful eyes from Li Yao and glanced at the other eight Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators and the two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators, before she said unhurriedly, “In fact, Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture does have a point. I’m afraid that everybody here considered the possibility of joining the Star Glory Federation earlier like I did.
“The Imperium of True Human Beings is too powerful. If we join it, as Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture put it, we will be the icing on the cake, if not dogs wagging tails begging for the leftovers of the master!
“The Star Glory Federation is weak and faced with immense war pressure. If we offer ourselves to them like firewood in a cold winter, not only will we be able to ensure our independence, we will also receive the federation’s gratitude and a chance of sincere cooperation. It is even possible for us to supplant the host and enter the leadership of the federation as one of the controllers of the federation!
“This is like a gambling game with two options. The first one is safer and has high odds of success, but we will not gain much even if we win. The best we can expect is to break even. The second option will be a wild gamble with considerable risks. However, if we win, we will be rich after the first try!
“Do you agree with my conclusion, everybody?”
Long Yangjun’s eyes moved around everybody and eventually stopped on Qi Zhongdao’s face.
Qi Zhongdao’s personality and integrity were well-acknowledged by the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators of both sides.
After pondering for a moment, Qi Zhongdao nodded and said, “Yes. Surrendering to the Imperium of True Human Beings is ‘breakeven’ at most, whereas joining the Star Glory Federation gives us a chance to throw a sprat to catch a herring! In the universe, we and the federation are both barbarians in a desolate region. So, we will have more common ground, and it will be easier to negotiate on equal terms. As Lord Wang said, it is indeed possible for us to enter the pivot of the federation and speak for the interests of the Ancient Sages Sector!
“So, why haven’t we given any thought about the federation when we were thinking a way out for the Ancient Sages Sector?
“Because we don’t know the first thing about the Star Glory Federation right now. We have absolutely no idea about the strength, size, system of the country, and their stance toward the outside world!
“The system of the Imperium of True Human Beings is certainly imperfect, but it has proven to be effective enough to support the stable functioning of an enormous country. What if the Star Glory Federation is a country a hundred times lousier and eviler than the Imperium of True Human Beings? What if it is feeble and utterly worthless?
“Therefore, after much deliberation, I eliminated the Star Glory Federation as an option from my mind!”
Long Yangjun nodded. “That explains a lot. So, just like me, you did consider joining the Star Glory Federation, but you couldn’t make a decision when you didn’t know the specific conditions of the country, right?”
“Of course!” Ba Xiaoyu could not help speaking up. “If possible, I wouldn’t want to demean myself to be a dog of the Imperium, but even if we want to join the federation, where should we go, and who should we contact? It’s not like a scout from the federation will just land from the sky in the middle of our discussion, waiting to be interrogated by us, right?”
“Hehe.” Mother White Lotus Wan Mingzhu challenged Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar again. “If a scout truly lands from the sky, he will not be trustworthy at all. Who knows whether or not it is a trap? There can’t be such a coincidence!”
“Exactly.” Long Yangjun nodded again. “Your concerns are all valid. The greatest trouble for us right now is our lack of knowledge about the outside world. We can only speculate about the situation of the Imperium based on the confessions of a scout of the Imperium whose veracity cannot be confirmed. Is it any different from a blind person groping on an elephant trying to figure out what the animal looks like?
“Our knowledge about the federation is even poorer. We haven’t caught any captives. There isn’t even an elephant for us to grope!
“We are like a bunch of people riding blind horses on a bridge between two cliffs. In fact, we will fall wherever we set foot in our next step! The best solution right now is perhaps not to jump into any decision but to gather as much intelligence about the universe as possible!”
“Lord Wang, that is an interesting thought, but Heiye Lan has confessed everything she knows about the Star Glory Federation,” Han Baling said coldly. “That’s all we’ve got right now! We can’t deduce the truth of the federation even if we think until our heads explode! Should we simply yearn for a scout of the federation to fall from the sky and tell us everything about the federation dutifully?”
Long Yangjun smiled casually. She suddenly turned to Master Bitter Cicada and said, “Master, I once heard a saying in the Stupa Sect, which is that ‘if the mountain does not come to me, I will go to the mountain’. Do I remember it correctly?
“The mountain has no feet and will not run to us. If we want to appreciate the magnificent scenery at the peak of the mountain, we have to go to the mountain and climb it in person. It’s the simplest logic!
“It’s impossible for a scout of the Star Glory Federation to just appear in front of us by chance and tell us everything about the federation.
“Besides, seeing is believing. The scout from any force must’ve received the harshest training. Will they speak the truth? Will they speak the whole truth?
“If we want to truly understand a country and even the vast universe out there, perhaps the twelve of us should stop sitting here, rambling, and march forward actively. We will establish a ‘scout squad of the Nascent Soul Stage’ that serves the Ancient Sages Sector and head to the Star Glory Federation!”
Long Yangjun’s speech was greeted by weird silence, which was replaced by the fiercest exclamations immediately!
The comments, doubts, and refutations from everybody after their shock even eclipsed Li Yao’s loud, uncontrollable coughs!
“Actively march forward to the Star Glory Federation? Are we capable of that?”
“Is it appropriate? We will be a lone army in a foreign land. It’s too risky!”
“We have no life experience in a modern Cultivation civilization. Our behavior will certainly be vastly different from the customs of the locals of the Star Glory Federation. We might be exposed anytime!”
“This is too unbelievable and hilarious! We will be like fish out of water if we leave the Ancient Sages Sector, won’t we?”
Knock! Knock! Knock! Knock!
Long Yangjun unhurriedly tapped the dining table again.
Her confidence and serenity seemed to be contagious. Without anybody knowing, everybody stopped commenting and suspecting.
“There is no need to argue yet, everybody. I only just came up with the possibility because of Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture’s enlightenment just now. Naturally, the idea may be very crude and inappropriate. However, the merits of such a choice are obvious. Perhaps we can truly find a new way out for the Ancient Sages Sector if we spend some time patiently studying it.”
‘Heaven Battering King’ Qi Changsheng asked in a hurry, “What are the merits? Please do tell us, Lord Wang!”
“There’s no need to be anxious,” Long Yangjun said with a smile. “We have to consider the issue from two perspectives. Firstly, what are the benefits and losses if the twelve of us team up and infiltrate the Star Glory Federation? Secondly, if the benefits outweigh the losses, is it possible for us to find the Star Glory Federation across the universe and infiltrate it?”
The Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators and the Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators looked at each other in bewilderment. Deep in thought, Meng Chixin said, “Fellow Cultivator Wang, you are very considerate. That’s exactly the questions we must answer. Please do enlighten us!”
Long Yangjun coughed and said, “Let’s examine the two questions in order. To answer the first question, in my opinion, if we can truly sneak into the federation, there will be great benefits and few losses. It’s a lie to say that the endeavor is risk-free, but it is certainly worth a try!
“What are the benefits exactly? Simple!
“We don’t know anything about the current situation of the universe today. About the social form, government system, magical equipment, techniques, strategies and plans… and everything else that is thousands of years ahead of us in the modern Cultivation civilization, we don’t even know the fundamentals of them. Isn’t it necessary for us to find an appropriate place and study carefully?
“Part of the reasons that we were thinking of joining the Imperium just now is also that we can learn from the Imperium. However, if we join the Imperium, what we can learn will only be the knowledge that they offer to us and allow us to learn. Will it really be any good?
“Disguising and sneaking into the federation, on the other hand, will give us an opportunity to freely choose whatever we want to learn. We will be able to broaden our horizons and observe the universe from a fresh perspective after the shortest amount of time, thereby shortening the gap between us and them!
“Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture, I can see that you are nodding your head quickly deep in thought. Do you find my proposal very attractive? You must also feel that we will certainly learn a lot of techniques and knowledge that the Imperium can’t offer us if we can truly sneak into the federation, right?”
“More—more or less.”
“Great minds think alike. Now that even Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture agrees with me, I can rest assured!” Long Yangjun was smiling like a blossoming flower that ate people. “The second benefit, observation! Fellow Cultivators, are you not interested in the size and strength of the Star Glory Federation and whether or not it is capable of resisting the attack of the Black Wind Fleet? Then, we will simply find it out on our own!
“Without alarming anyone, we will infiltrate the Star Glory Federation and profoundly observe the politics, economy, culture, military, their attitudes toward the outside world and the general public, and all other aspects that call for attention. Everything will be seen with our own eyes and experienced by us in person. It can’t be false at all. Won’t it be much clearer and more reliable than the confessions of a scout after interrogation?”