Ripples spread out of Professor Mo Xuan’s silver metal body, which soon broke out of the boundary of his body and extended to every corner of the big assembly hall.
Both the students of the Sky Fantasia Academy in the video and Li Yao who was watching the video in the shuttle decades later were deeply stunned by the magnificence, perpetuity, and infinite possibilities in Professor Mo Xuan’s short monologue.
Even Xie Wufeng, a leading member of the ‘alarmists’, was deep in thought with a pale face. A moment later, he began to argue back. “Professor Mo, I still feel that you are too optimistic and ideal about the ‘child civilization’. Like I said just now, I have two sons and one daughter, and I have watched them grow up bit by bit. So, I understand the nature of infants and children very well. It may be too far to call it ‘evil’, but their nature does entail blatant damage when driven by their unconscious curiosity!
“Babies and children can burn ants with a magnifying glass and have great fun in it. They can twist the wings of a dragonfly just in order to watch the insect writhing and wriggling. They can also spend two hours constructing a tower with their building blocks just to enjoy the pleasure of demolishing it in one second!
“That is what children do. That is the undisguised evilness of human nature!
“For general mischievous children, adults, who are much stronger than them, may be able to raise and teach them, but we have absolutely no idea what form a virtual civilization born based on crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus will be in and how much damage it can possibly boast!
“I have to remind you, Professor Mo, as well as all the students that even we are some sort of a ‘mischievous child’ to some extent! Think about it. Our rigorous ‘father’, the Pangu Civilization that blatantly exploited and enslaved us, was naturally swallowed, suppressed, and destroyed by us! But how about our gracious ‘mother’, the ‘Nuwa Civilization’ that helped us selflessly and awakened us? Where did they go? Were they swallowed, suppressed, and even destroyed by us, too?
“This is all I’m trying to say. We must never underestimate the damage of mischievous children, and we must not keep away from the evilness. In the cold, dark universe, there is no such thing as natural-born kindness!”
His words made the atmosphere that was more simmering than ever fall cold again. A lot of the students were caught in deep thought. Whispers were echoing everywhere on the auditorium.
“Your worries are very valid. I totally agree with your opinion, Professor Xie.”
Outside everyone’s expectations, Professor Mo Xuan made such a statement. Then, while all the students were still shocked, he suddenly changed the topic and said, “Then, there are only two roads left for you as well as all the other ‘alarmists’.
“To choose the first road, Professor Xie, as well as everybody who concurs with Professor Xian and believes that a dreadful ‘mischievous child’ will eventually be born and destroy mankind because of the development of the crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus, please take off your portable crystal processors immediately, smash them to the ground, and refrain from using crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus henceforth. No more shopping online, no more take-out orders through the Spiritual Nexus, no more online games, no more remote education, no more online dating, no more online financial services In short, just try to return to the age of slash-and-burn agriculture where everybody lives independently on their own.
“Not only are you going to do that for yourselves, you are also going to try to persuade the authorities of the federation to do the same until the crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus are entirely banned nationwide.
“No. Only sealing the crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus in the Star Glory Federation is not enough. Both the Imperium of True Human Beings and the Alliance of the Holy Covenant have mainframe crystal processors that are much more powerful than the machines of the federation. Their Spiritual Nexus is at least as developed as ours, too. Therefore, you will have to persuade the authorities of the Imperium and the Covenant Allianceas well as all the unknown civilizations of mankind in the three thousand Sectors and the unknown civilizations of non-human beings beyond the three thousand Sectorsto give up technology including but not limited to the crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus.
“If you cannot ‘convince’ the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance, you will have to figure out a way to develop the federation until it is powerful enough to completely destroy the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance without the help of the crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus.
“Come on. Would any of you here like to give it a shot? I’m not talking about forever. I’m not asking you to be secluded from the crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus for your entire life. Let’s just run a minor experiment first. One year! Who can swear that he or she can stay away from the Spiritual Nexus for one year? Anybody? Raise your hands, please. The other students can supervise them and testify for them!”
Meaningless chuckles echoed in the assembly hall. For a whole minute, nobody dared to raise their hand.
Professor Mo Xuan smiled, too. “There seems to be none. Then, what about you, Professor Xie? Since you are so vigilant of the grand-unified Spiritual Nexus, would you like to set an example for everybody by keeping your distance from the Spiritual Nexus and the crystal processors from today on? I notice that you are wearing a ‘Flying Swallow IX’ mini crystal processor on your left wrist, which is a model of the super advanced mini crystal processor released only last month. Also, judging from the patterns on the two sides of the crystal processor, you also chose the best configuration with the highest computational ability. It seems to me that you’re not worried that your ‘Flying Swallow XI’ might betray you!”
Chuckles burst out in the assembly hall again, which was now occupied by a joyful vibe.
Xie Wufeng blushed. He subconsciously hid his portable crystal processor which was exposed to the air in his sleeve. He stammered, “Wewe are certainly not completely denying the significance of the crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus. We are only saying thatthat the development of such technology should know its boundaries”
“Boundaries? Where are they? How exactly should we control it?” Professor Mo Xuan asked aggressively. “For example, should the parliament of the federation pass a new law, declaring that all the crystal processors within the border of the federation cannot have a computational ability higher than one billion instructions per second? Should we regulate the highest net speed on the cross-space light circuits in the four-dimensional universe, meaning whoever surpasses the limit of the speed will be breaking the law?
“Just face it, Professor Xie! The truth is, once we start to use the crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus, there is no stopping them from having a higher and higher computation ability and speed. They will develop exponentially and break one ‘tipping point’ after the other! If brand-new life forms are truly born in such a virtual world, the life will find a way out for themselves. Nothing can stop it at all!
“Your warnings are already too late! Perhaps, your concerns might’ve been of some use when human beings invented the first crystal processor or even the first shabby computational magical equipment! But right now, the wings of the butterflies have been flapped. Invisible storms are brewing and growing in the depths of the Spiritual Nexus and will soon sweep across the entire universe!
“We cannot enjoy the convenience and progress brought forth by the crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus while refusing to shoulder the possible changes and consequences that they might have! Your concerns, with all due respect, are of no practical significance except for bringing you the pleasure of being the only one sober in a world of drunkards!
“If you are a real ‘alarmist’ and you want to avoid the catastrophe that a ‘mischievous child’ may cause, the road that I just mentioned is not going to work out. You can only walk on the second road.
“Which is join us!”
Eight metal tentacles slowly grew out of Professor Mo Xuan’s body of liquid metal, making him look even weirder and less like a ‘human being’ in the traditional sense.
His voice was also turning deeper and calmer. “Professor Xie, and most of the participants here, are all culture-type Cultivators. You can become very distinguished script architects and content managers. You are all welcome to join the production team of ‘Civilization’. Let’s create a beautiful new world, a bright future, and a virtual universe that originates from reality but transcends reality together!
“In such a case, even if our child, a certain brand-new life form, is truly born in ‘Civilization’ one day in the future, when their first self-awareness is awakened, they will see such a warm, kind, and beautiful new world. They will consider the law and order of this world as the self-justified truth and real ‘humanity’ that is worth inheriting and protecting!
“Do you understand it now, everybody? Whether or not it becomes a ‘mischievous child’ depends on us and everything we do in reality and in the virtual world!
“This is my view. On the scale of thousands of years, a virtual child civilization based on crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus will certainly be born. The only problem is whether it is born in the federation, the Imperium, or the Covenant Alliance! If it is born in the Imperium or the Covenant Alliance, it will very likely grow into a ‘mischievous child’ as Professor Xie is worried about and destroy us all.
“Since it is unstoppable, the only solution for us is to find a way to let it be born in the federation first and to enlighten it with the ‘belief’ of the federation so that it will grow into a ‘virtual civilization of Cultivators’!
“We always say that the war of the federation, the Imperium, and the Covenant Alliance is not just about the hegemony over the universe but more about the future path of humans’ evolution.
“Then, who exactly will give birth to a ‘virtual child civilization’? Which party’s beliefs and spirit will it inherit? Will it grow into the next ‘federation’, the next Imperium, or the next Covenant Alliance?
“This is perhaps the ultimate representation of the competition of the country’s beliefs!
“The birth of a virtual child civilization cannot be finished in one day. The ultimate competition of beliefs will likely last hundreds of years or even longer, but the process begins right now and is in our hands!
“Join us and join Civilization, Fellow Cultivator Xie and all my young friends here! Civilization needs your help. The federation needs your help. The future needs your help. ‘Child of mankind’, the civilization that we will give birth to eventually, needs your selfless help!”