Chapter 2616: The Only Way to Prevent Decadence
Together with Wuying Qi’s “tutelage”, the nerval network that looked like black spider threads infiltrated Li Yao’s flames of spiritual energy and crawled into his body through his pores.
No matter how he boosted his flames of spiritual energy and waved his arms, it was impossible to get rid of the clinging parasites. Instead, he felt that Wuying Qi’s words seemed to be echoing from inside his own brain, prompting him to think in a completely different way and from a new perspective.
“You… are completely out of your mind!”
Li Yao tried his best to resist the black nerve strands that had invaded his brain, and he managed to say, “The catastrophe that will result in the death of so many people and even the destruction of a whole Sector is nothing more than a ‘treatment’ in your eyes?”
“That’s exactly how a treatment goes. You can’t perform an operation with no bloodshed or prescribe a medicine that has absolutely no side effects. Or rather, when a patient is too seriously ill to be rescued, it will be a helpful choice to excise most of the organs on the body and replace them with artificial ones.”
Wuying Qi smiled and said in an even more sincere voice. Gentle brilliance was even emitting from his body. Had it not been for the weirdness of the black water drops and the nerval network around, he would’ve truly looked like a caring doctor. “The only reason why you find it unacceptable is the gap in your knowledge. It’s like if an ancient person living in tens of thousands of years ago watches a modern doctor cutting the guts of a patient with a scalpel, removing the pathological tissues, or even plucking the skull with a saw in an operation, he will definitely be so shocked that he considers the doctor to be a devil that feeds on the heart and the brain. However, for the modern people who have elementary medical knowledge, they will naturally know that the doctor is treating the patient. Even though the patient may bleed, get hurt, or even die in the operation, and even though there may be sequela after he recovers, such operations are still acceptable.
“Don’t refute hastily. Please calm down and think carefully about everything you’ve seen after you come to the Imperium. Think about how you agree with Li Linghai’s judgment on the four families. Admit it, Vulture Li Yao. The Imperium of True Human Beings today is at the end of its era. It is corrupted and haunted by both internal and external problems. A reform of a minor scale will not help at all. Without thunderous approaches, the vast Imperium will fall apart instantly, and the billions of citizens will be blown into smithereens!
“The central government is bloated and useless. The warlords rise and fight each other. The men in power control the politics but only consider their own interests. Even the four Kurfürst families have been filled with selfish and hilarious conflicts. The open, fair, and just method to select the elites and the channel for the elites at the bottom level to rise, which I devised for the Imperium a thousand years ago, have been blocked, rotten, and riddled with holes. They do not even bother to make them look functional on the surface!
“The Imperium has the most fertile planets, the most abundant resources, and the largest number of talents in the entire universe. However, it has been crumbled into a tray of loose sand by those pests. They cannot defeat the Covenant Alliance or the reformists. They are barely capable of dealing with the stinky merchants of the Business Alliance of Ten Thousand Sectors. They cannot even extinguish a few insignificant Cultivators. What kind of Imperium is this exactly?
“Shame! This is the greatest shame of the Immortal Cultivators, of the Imperium, and of myself! After I returned to the Imperium and saw that the glorious Imperium that I established arduously after all the difficulties a thousand years ago had been reduced into such conditions by my worthless offspring, I hated it so much that my fury couldn’t have been put out with all the water in the universe!
“Since then, I have sworn to the stars that I will cure the Imperium no matter what it takes so that it will recover the vigor it had in the past and truly be qualified to represent the great civilization of mankind.
“As long as the responsibility and glory of every Immortal Cultivator can be awakened, and as long as the Imperium and the civilization of mankind are rejuvenated, I am willing to try any treatment!”
More and more black nerves crawled into Li Yao’s pores and slithered under his skin like worms, making black air pop up from all over his body and his face.
The black air even attacked Li Yao’s eyeballs and danced weirdly around his pupils.
Li Yao gradually lost the ability to fight back. His face gradually became tranced and hesitative while he listened to Wuying Qi’s preach.
“I spent decades thinking why the Imperium has been corrupted to what it is today. Who is guilty of it? What is the source of the problem?
“Are the four Kurfürst families to blame? Of course. They are all ravenous, shortsighted, and insatiable guys who do not deserve to be called Immortal Cultivators at all. However, it is just the surface. Everybody is selfish. Selfishness is the source of disasters as well as the most powerful impetus to push a civilization forward. It is the sharpest double-edged sword.
“The root of the problem is the vastness of space. The distance between the Sectors that can easily be hundreds of lightyears, and the terrains on different planets that vary greatly, are like some sort of magnifier that enlarges the shortcomings of humanity to the maximum!
“In the age of the ancient Cultivators, the ruler only occupied one planet or a few neighboring worlds at most. However selfish and blind the people under the reign were, and however powerful the dominant officials might be, it was very easy to deploy troops to suppress opposition and control all the people and resources.
“However, in the age of cosmic civilization forty thousand years later, because of the inconvenience of communication and transportation, the Sectors that are far away from each other are very likely to become ramparts in trade, military, and politics, and the ramparts will degenerate into selfish interest groups, which will gradually corrupt the whole body as cancers that can never be completely cut off.
“To make things worse, in many Sectors, the conditions of the habitable planets are entirely different, resulting in different people who have different customs and even different appearances. It is difficult for those people to acknowledge each other and share a common sense of history and honor. They often only know their own tiny world but not the Imperium or the emperor.
“Getting to the bottom of it, based on the brain capacity, means of communication, technological development, and history of mankind, we shouldn’t have established an enormous empire that included three thousand Sectors at all. Instead, it should’ve been divided into hundreds of small countries, each of which managing a couple of Sectors. That should be the most natural state.
“We were a child civilization or a sub-civilization that was created by somebody else in the first place. However, our creator died too early. We barged into the cold universe before we were fully grown, like orphans who lost both parents. We mimicked what the primeval ancestors did clumsily, hoping to unite the universe like the Pangu civilizations’ alliance did, without realizing that we were not ready for such a heavy burden at all!
“The Imperium is not destroyed by the four Kurfürst families; it has been collapsed by its own weight and crushed by this vast universe!”
Fascinated, Li Yao mumbled, “Dongfang Wang, the previous Prime Minister of the Imperium, said similar things. He said that our mutual enemy was the universe!”
“Yes, Dongfang Wang was a real sage. I once discussed the questions with him in secret ways.”
Wuying Qi said, “It’s a pity that Dongfang could see the problems but couldn’t see through them. As the helmsman of the Dongfang family, he had been shouldering the burden for such a long time that it was already embedded into his flesh. There were too many things that he couldn’t bear cutting. So, he couldn’t make up his mind to treat the disease as brutally as I do.
“Even though he did see through the problems, considering the brutal nature of mankind, the hundreds of countries would still fight each other, like in the age of the ancient Cultivators forty thousand years ago. Blood would be shed infinitely.
“If my purpose is only to eliminate the four Kurfürst families, it is in fact very easy. I have a hundred ways to completely destroy them. However, that’s not going to resolve the source of the problem. You may destroy the four families and even all the warlords today, but as long as the means of communication and transportation of mankind are not improved, as long as the Imperium still has as astronomical population, and as long as those people are still greedy and selfish, another ‘four families’ will emerge very soon, like viruses that can never be entirely removed!
“Li Yao, do you have the problem of social stratification in your country of Cultivators, Li Yao? Right, I estimate that your country can’t be very large. Also, having just defeated the Black Wind Fleet, you should be enjoying the benefits in the thriving phase. Therefore, you may not have a deep understanding of the issue.
“But think about it, when your country of Cultivators spreads to a hundred Sectors, with a population of hundreds of trillions, how are you going to ensure the purity of the Cultivators? How can you ensure that the authorities of the central government are acknowledged by the local strongmen? How can you ensure that your so-called education and rising channels will not be twisted and corrupted by interest groups?
“It’s impossible, Li Yao. Let me tell you, I’ve thought of and tried everything, but nothing can stop the decadence of a great country. Even if I don’t destroy your country of Cultivators, and even if I allow you to develop and grow freely, you will be collapsed by your own weight someday.”
Wuying Qi put on a weird smile.
However, what terrified Li Yao was not the smile but the fact that he had believed what Wuying Qi said without him realizing it!
Yes. The experts of the federation agreed unanimously that for the federation, the most appropriate size was eight to ten Sectors. The participation of more Sectors would result in unexpected problems, and it would make the Star Glory Federation collapse under its own weight!
However, while the federation could keep the current size, could the Imperium do the same?
If it was not an option, what could be done in order to keep the current status of the Imperium and to prevent it from dividing so that most of the people could manage to survive, however poor their life was?
“In order to completely twist the wretched fate and to ensure the loyalty, selflessness, and solidarity of all the people on the premise of the intactness of the Imperium, there is only one way.”
Wuying Qin pointed at his temple softly. “That is, a revolutionary method of education, or ‘brainwashing’, as you called it.”