Li Yao took a long, deep breath and gradually calmed down his messy mind.
His soul was like a flawless gem, and no matter how the mental devil surveyed it, there was not the tiniest gap through which the mental devil could infiltrate at all. “There’s no need for fancy talk. I will find the origin of the demon race. If the demon race and mankind share the same origin and there is no reason for the two parties to attack each other, I will try my best to stop the war that could potentially destroy both worlds!”
The mental devil laughed so hard that it could barely catch its breath. “Human beings and demons have fought for forty thousand years. The blood shed during that period is enough to extinguish a burning star. They are literally ‘sworn enemies’. How are you going to stop the fire with nobody but yourself?
“Right now, the Blood Demon Sector and the Star Glory Federation are both in the highest state of war, summoning all of their resources available. The war machines are now functioning at full capacity. When a bullet is locked and loaded, you have to shoot it no matter what. Even though your capability is equal to that of the Nascent Soul Stage and demon emperor, so what? You will only be crushed into a sandwich if you choose to stand in the middle of two colliding worlds!
“Besides, your identity is unfavorable on both sides.
“In the Blood Demon Sector, you cannot reveal your identity as a Cultivator, or you will certainly be attacked collectively by all the demons.
“If you return to the Heaven’s Origin Sector, how are you going to prove that you are the pure ‘Li Yao’, not under the influence of the Blood Stripe Virus?
“Yan Xibei could not prove that, nor can you.
“Therefore, nobody is going to believe what you say. The Blood Demon Sector and the Heaven’s Origin Sector will not trust each other, either.
“Even if you manage to reach out to the leadership of the Blood Demon Sector, say, Jin Tuyi, the commander-in-chief of the coalition army of the demons, and you persuade the twelve demon emperors of the Pantheon of Demons to abort the plan on attack the Heaven’s Origin Sector and end the war, how can they be certain that it is not some plot of the Heaven’s Origin Sector? How can they be assured that the Heaven’s Origin Sector will choose peace, too, when they stop the war?
“Hehe. Do you feel that human beings are innocent victims who are defending their home and that demons are the evil, aggressive intruders? Do you think that the two worlds will live in peace forever as long as you work in the Blood Demon Sector?
“In fact, deep in your heart, you know that it is not the truth, don’t you?
“You know that the Grand Desolate Plateau was home to the demons. Almost a hundred demon kingdoms in which countless demons lived once flourished on the Grand Desolate Plateau. Eventually, the multiple expeditions launched by the Star Glory Federation destroyed all the demon kingdoms and swallowed the Grand Desolate Plateau!
“On your way to the Grand Desolate Plateau, right before the Giant Blade Pass, have you not seen the tower high into the sky in person? Did you not feel proud and hotblooded for the great achievement of the Star Glory Federation’s expansion of its territory?
“Besides, the Heaven’s Origin Sector has its own plan to conquer the Blood Demon Sector, too. Wasn’t the ‘Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit’ designed for such a plan? When millions of federal soldiers are all equipped with the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit, the iron heels of the Star Glory Federation will soon stomp on the entire Blood Demon Sector!
“Therefore, how are you going to convince the leadership of the Blood Demon Sector that your so-called ‘ceasefire’ is not an evil plan of the Heaven’s Origin Sector to make them give up resistance?
“By the same logic, even if you persuaded the twelve demons, how are you going to convince the primed soldiers, the ambitious generals, and the Speaker of Parliament, who has great plans for the future, that peace will embrace them as soon as they stop the war? Why will they believe that it is not a scheme of the Blood Demon Sector and that you haven’t turned against your own species and become a spy for the Blood Demon Sector?
“Right. I’m sorry. I was mistaken.”
The mental devil giggled and said, “Look at yourself. There are ‘demonized cells’ everywhere inside your body. With a telepathic thought, you can unleash intense demonic energy. I’m afraid that you are not even qualified to be a spy for the Blood Demon Sector!”
Li Yao was rendered speechless. He could not do anything except stand by his beliefs.
The mental devil smiled casually. “It suddenly occurs to me that the Blood Demon Sector and the Heaven’s Origin Sector are now in a standard dark forest situation.
“I think that the smartest individuals of the two worlds who clearly know the capabilities of the two worlds can certainly reach the conclusion, after careful calculations, that the Heaven’s Origin Sector and the Blood Demon Sector will perish together in a strategical final war since they are on par with each other. Nobody will be a winner!
“But why have the smartest individuals not tried to cease the war when they realized that the war will bring neither party any good?
“Because they can’t.
“In a modern war, for two forces that are on par with each other, the side that orders a general mobilization and enter the highest warring state first will get more resources and soldiers in the war, and they will have the advantage in the war.
“Stopping the mobilization means suicide.
“The warring state cannot last forever. It is like a balloon that is being blown nonstop. There will certainly be a point where it explodes.
“Therefore, the two worlds cannot trust the sincerity of the peace offer from each other, nor can they stop their general mobilization. So, a final war is inevitable. They can only expect to swallow the enemy before their own economy collapses and then heal their wounds slowly.
“Even if one of the two parties wishes peace sincerely, how can they be sure that the other party wants peace sincerely, too? Two people are each pointing a gun at each other’s forehead, and their fingers are both placed on the triggers, slightly exerting strength. Which of the two is willing to lay down their gun first?
“Hehe. This is a chain of suspicion. This is the dark forest!”
After a moment of silence, Li Yao’s somewhat dimmed soul shone again as he said softly, “As I have said before, even if the universe is truly nothing more than a cold, dark forest, I will burn it to the ground with my soul as the fuel!”
“Excellent. I very much look forward to it. But it appears to me that you won’t have any help this time. You are destined to fight the war all by yourself.”
The bloody demon paused for a moment and smiled. “Just like Yan Xibei in the old days. An idealist who plans to change the world alone.
“Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. It sounds so great and admirable. It’s a pity that Yan Xibei failed in the end. Let me see. Whom exactly was he defeated by in the end?”
Li Yao sniffed and realized what the mental devil was trying to say.
Fighting a world alone was doomed to be a lost cause.
Besides, it was not one but two worlds that he was going to fight right now.
However, the mental devil did not pursue any further aggressively. Instead, it sighed and retracted the eye-catching bloody mist, turning into a crimson statue.
Li Yao found it odd. “Are you not going to attack me?”
“Your belief is still firm at present,” the mental devil replied lazily. “Even if I keep on attacking you, it’s not like that I can wipe you out completely. Why should I waste my strength?”
“Wipe me out?”
Li Yao was startled by the mental devil’s choice of words.
“Exactly,” the mental devil replied casually. “From your point of view, I am just an insignificant mental devil, but from my point of view, I think that I am the real Li Yao, the one who has seen through the truth of the cold universe and the ideology of the dark forest.
“And you, you are nothing more than a mental devil that is enveloped in the decayed concepts of mercy, smugness, and hypocrisy.
“You are trying to wipe out the mental devil, and I am trying to wipe out the mental devil. Let’s see which of us wipes out the other in the end!”
While talking, clever brilliance suddenly beamed out of the eyes of the mental devil, who grinned and said, “In fact, I almost can’t bear to wipe you out so quickly. Why don’t we make a bet?
“I bet that there is no way that you will stop the final war between the Heaven’s Origin Sector and the Blood Demon Sector. The war will most certainly break out, with both worlds shattered, and will not stop until one world is completely ruined!
“Hehe. You should know what the ‘wager’ is, right?”
Li Yao was silent, not giving any response to the gamble game, because he knew that it was not something that he could refuse.
Accept it or not, the game had already begun.
He firmly claimed that he would find an approach to resolve the dilemma of the dark forest. It was his belief right now.
If he tried his best and still failed to stop the Heaven’s Origin Sector and the Blood Demon Sector from perishing together, his belief would certainly be shaken.
By then, the mental devil would perform a full attack and occupy his body, and a ‘dark’ Li Yao would be born and establish a new reign in the two battered worlds.
Li Yao smiled. Either way, he had found a way to wipe out the mental devil.
“I’m going to wipe out the mental devil. I certainly will!”
The declaration resounded for a long time inside his brain. There was no telling whether it was said by Li Yao or by the mental devil in his head.
Right then, a flock of birds suddenly cackled and flew into the sky from the forest in the northeast. It could vaguely be felt that a stream of overwhelming demonic energy was sweeping close.
Jin Xinyue stopped the sword dance. She held her arms, and goosebumps were appearing on her smooth skin.
“Subordinates of Elder Nether Spring!”
After hiding in the Hundred Desolation Mountain for four days, Elder Nether Spring’s subordinates had finally caught up to them. This time, their scale was apparently much larger than previously. The demonic energy soared into the sky, and even the bloody moon seemed to be shaking.
Li Yao flew to the crown of a giant tree and sensed the situation carefully, only to discover that the demonic energy was all focused on the place where he trained himself during the day.
I must have caused too much havoc when my soul dived into the cells in pursuit of the primeval strength during the day, and they have detected the anomaly.
Li Yao packed everything up in a hurry and fled further into the Hundred Desolation Mountain. While rushing in the forest, he asked, “With your understanding of Elder Nether Spring, who will he send now that the princes of the Nether Spring Kingdom have failed?”
“There are several experts under Elder Nether Spring’s command who are at the level of demon emperor. He has more than ten high-level demon kings, too, who are all adept at driving snakes, rats, and ants,” Jin Xinyue replied. “When such pests flood over the battlefield, one must retreat regardless of their expertise.