Chapter 116 - The Bottom Line of Civilization
Guan Xiong burst into laughter as did his beard, which moved along with his jaw: "If a bunch of tiny little pests wants to swallow this father, then they would have to first go back and cultivate for another 180 years! However, my cultivation did tumble down from high-level Building Foundation Stage to the intermediate-level, but as long as I cultivate for 3-5 years, I will be like a dragon again!"
Upon hearing this, Li Yao heart sunk.
The road of cultivation was full of risks and hardships. Every advancement was extremely difficult and needed a tremendous amount of hard work, resources, luck, opportunities... and not a single one could be omitted.
Many cultivators, after reaching a certain level, would stagnate for the rest of their life and would be unable to advance even half a step.
Although Guan Xiong said it lightly, Li Yao was well aware that it would not be easy to again return to the high-level Building Foundation Stage from the intermediate-level.
Let alone 3-5 years, if he was out of luck, it could take up to 10-20 years. If he was truly unlucky, it was quite possible that he should forget about ever cultivating back to the same level for the rest of his life.
Even after suffering such a heavy blow, Guan Xiong's complexion still did not show anything; he was talking lively and jovial. He was truly worthy of being called a powerful expert of the Wasteland!
Having realized this, Li Yao nodded his head and said with a laugh, "Alright, the scene of Brother Xiong indomitably clashing with the beast tide is still being played in my mind. Brother Xiong is so awesome that let alone just falling by one level, even if Brother Xiong had fallen to the 1st level of the Refinement Stage, you would still be able to cultivate back to the previous level just like before!"
"Kid, well said! This father likes you!"
God knows from where Guan Xiong took out a bottle of alcohol before chugging down half the bottle with a “glug glug glug glug” sound.
As the drops of alcohol trickled down his beard and fell into the medical treatment solution, a "Chi Chi" sizzling noise was accompanied with rising bubbles, but he did not care and continued chugging down the alcohol.
Li Yao crawled his way out of the medical treatment pod. Once he stood on the ground, he started moving hands and feet, testing his new body after he had become a cultivator.
Then, he realized there was something not quite right. Why was his entire body aching? Why was his right eye swollen?
A small mirror so happened to be placed next to the bed. Taking a look, he discovered that he was black and blue all over, and his head was swollen like a pig’s.
Furthermore, bandages were wrapped around his body, and there were also faint traces of blood seeping through.
"Is this a side effect of awakening the spiritual root?"
Li Yao was quite puzzled. He had never heard that your head would become like a pig's after the spiritual root had awakened.
Guan Xiong let out a burp: "Don't you remember? You were beaten by someone called Jiang Tao."
Li Yao clenched his teeth. "This is simply bullying others too much. Does being a descendant of some Jiang Family give you the right to casually hit anyone in public?"
Guan Xiong was rendered speechless. Blinking his eyes in astonishment, he stared at Li Yao with an extremely strange look in his eyes.
Li Yao felt jittery from his gaze as he touched his forehead; he felt that he seemed to have missed a crucial detail. He perturbedly asked, "Brother Xiong, am I mistaken?"
Guan Xiong mischievously grinned as he started the mini-crystal process, projecting a 3D photo.
In the photo impressively appeared a strange, badly mutilated beast, as though a monkey who had been skinned was lying on the ground. It was already more dead than alive, defecating and urinating; hanging by a breath.
Li Yao jumped in scare: "What kind of demon beast is this? It is too ugly! Just one glance is enough to make people sick for a long time. Brother Xiong, what are you trying to tell me?"
Guan Xiong replied, "This is not any demon beast. This is Jiang Tao."
Li Yao was stunned, "Jiang Tao? How could it be him..."
"How can you say that? He was beaten by none other than you!"
Li Yao was rendered speechless. After being stunned for a while, he vaguely seemed to remember that he had acted first and the Jiang Family's young master was just acting in self-defense. Furthermore, just after two rounds of defense, he was unable to fight back and was trampled like a three-year-old child.
Guan Xiong clucked his tongue:
"Kid, you are truly fierce. You have just advanced to the 1st level of the Refinement Stage, yet you can already beat a 3rd level Refinement Stage cultivator so much that he had peed his pants. There isn’t even a sliver of a shadow of the former human figure. He is still lying in the ICU! Look at yourself, you could be considered better off. I had not expected that you would start off so crazily, so violently!"
Li Yao's pursed his lips as he lightly gripped his fists.
He finally came to remember that his first punch fiercely had landed on Jiang Tao's face, smashing his nose completely into his face.
The refreshing feeling of breaking bones and splattering blood was truly wonderful.
Guan Xiong laughed and said:
"Kid, you were too impulsive! You should not have beaten a descendant of the Jiang Family like this. It is too late to regret now."
Bit by bit, Li Yao slowly recalled the whole thing as well as the words spoken by Jiang Tao.
The hesitation and confusion on his face slowly disappeared, and what replaced it was an indomitable look.
"Brother Xiong, you are wrong. The matter of beating Jiang Tao... I didn't act on impulse, and I am also not regretting it."
"Oh?" Guan Xiong raised his eyebrows like drawing two sabers.
Li Yao clenched his fists and stretched it out before him. Feeling the spiritual energy surging through his meridians, the swelling of muscles, and the pleasant burning feeling on his fists, he said word by word:
"Whether it is Ding Yin and the others, those seven cultivators, or Brother Xiong, even after you clearly knew that you would die, you, in order to save a train full of passengers, still continued to charge forwards, fighting till the bloody end. You are all heroes, and even more so, you are also my, Li Yao's, saviors!"
"Now, when someone is cursing my saviors as 'idiots' in front of me, how could I swallow my anger and dare to say nothing? Isn't that no different than a turtle retracting its head in fear?"
"If I don't smash his nose, if I don't make him pee his pants from a beating, how could I call myself a man? How could I call myself a cultivator!?"
"If Jiang Tao wants to take revenge, then he is welcome to try anytime. I grew up in the magical equipment graveyard, so there are not just one or two people who want me dead. When I was seven years old, I was surrounded by a dozen or so robust men with blades, but I am still alive and kicking!"
Li Yao's eyes flickered with a sliver of ferociousness as he laughed and said:
"Originally, I was thinking of using the moniker ‘Fiend Star’ to roam the Wasteland, but if Jiang Tao truly wants to have this little life of mine, I do not mind letting the cruelty and the ferociousness of the 'Vulture' resound throughout the Wasteland!"
Guan Xiong was moved. He gave a smack to the medical treatment pod, which left a distinct imprint of his palm behind on its metal shell, as he yelled, "Alright kid, you are truly a man! From now on, you, my friend, are definitely a friend of this old man!"
He paused a bit, then once again laughed and said, "However, kid, you don't need to worry. You are one lucky bastard. When you were fighting with Jiang Tao, there was a surveillance camera behind you. Although its mic was broken, it could still record images. From the movement of Jiang Tao's mouth in the video, experts have identified everything he had said. That is to say, everything he had spoken has been recorded. This brat has touched the bottom line of cultivators, so he is definitely going to die and Jiang Family could do nothing to protect him."
"The bottom line of cultivators?" Li Yao was surprised for a moment.
Guan Xiong nodded his head and explained:
"Right, although the rules 'protecting the ordinary citizens is the sworn duty of cultivators' and 'the blood of the strong must flow for the weak' have been spreading in the cultivators community, but in the end, not every cultivator is willing to magnanimously die for others."
"If a cultivator, when faced with imminent disaster, flees instead of fighting, and even if the others came to know, it would just be a topic that’s ugly to hear. Besides morally condemning him, no one is going to say anything. After all, life is precious. No one is born with the obligation to sacrifice himself for the others."
"However, not only did Jiang Tao flee from the battle, but afterwards, he had even wantonly insulted the cultivators who had laid down their lives for others and had even threatened you. This kind of behavior completely goes against the bottom line of cultivators!"
Guan Xiong took a deep breath, sighed, and said:
"In this endless sea of stars in the vast universe, apart from our human race, there are many other powerful races—demon clans, devil cultivators, extraterrestrial devils, and needless to say of the various strange alien lifeforms in space."
"We humans are able to conquer these evil lifeforms and stand at the pinnacle of the vast cosmos all because of the united efforts of cultivators and the ordinary people. They have shared life and death as they fought side by side with each other!"
"Although cultivators are strong, although they have long lives, their numbers are scarce, and furthermore, there are all kinds of restrictions to utilize spiritual energy."
"Even though the battle force of the ordinary people is weak, their population is vast and their reproductive abilities are strong, enough to sustain a sector and become a massive interstellar civilization."
"Much less to say, a vast majority of the cultivators are born from ordinary people, as are a majority of the descendants of the cultivators."
"If cultivators are fish, then ordinary people would be water. If cultivators are trees, then ordinary people would be the firm land upon which they grew in. In short, a large number of ordinary people are supporting the foundation of the cultivation world. If there are no ordinary people, the cultivation world would also completely collapse!"
"Let's take the crystal battleship floating above our head as an example. Although it was designed and manufactured by cultivators, its manufacturing process still needed thousands upon thousands of ordinary workers to assist. Needless to say, the entire large scale industrial system is established by ordinary people!"
"If it weren’t for the collective effort of hundreds of millions of ordinary people, there wouldn’t be any foundation of a powerful, interstellar civilization. We, the cultivators, can refine many ordinary flying swords, but how could we refine huge magical equipment? How could we create such a glorious and splendid cultivators civilization?"
"If the words of Jiang Tao were to spread and be heard by hundreds of millions of ordinary people of the federation, putting it mildly, it would lead to the dissatisfaction of ordinary people and would increase the hostility towards the cultivators. In short, it would cause a rift between the cultivators and the ordinary people and would shake the foundations of the federation. If the federation does not have a foundation, then how are we going to contend with the demon clan, devil cultivators, and alien lifeforms?"
"Even if it's the ugly truth, if all of us cultivators act like bandits and crooks, then what's the difference between the devil cultivators and us? If this father was an ordinary person, I would directly seek refuge under the devil cultivators. Why would we still need cultivators?"
"The elders of the Jiang Family must have spoken of these notions with Jiang Tao. However, he is still a descendant of a noble family. He grew up in a protected environment where he had never faced the wind and rain and had acted all arrogant and domineering. Why would he place such thoughts in his heart?"
"This time, he has caused a huge problem. For sure, trouble will be waiting for him, so you don't need to worry about him."
Having heard this, Li Yao was relieved. He concluded:
"I understand what Brother Xiang means to say. You can choose to become a coward, but after becoming a coward, you can not perfectly justify your timidity and cowardice, nor can you turn back and insult heroes—this is the bottom line of cultivators, am I right?"
Guan Xiong raised his thumb: "Yes, that's just about right."
Li Yao was just an ignorant rookie in the cultivation world. Just as Li Yao was planning to discuss some rules and topics behind the scenes of the cultivation world…
The tent was suddenly opened by a cold-tempered, female officer with the rank of major. She swept a glance around, and finally, her gloomy gaze came to a halt at Guan Xiong's hand.
Guan Xiong's complexion changed as the bottle in his hand suddenly disappeared.
He acted as if nothing had happened and directly looked at the major with an innocent look.
The major lightly snorted and coldly said, "Wait a while. I will come back to deal with you!"
While speaking, she threw a badgeless battle suit at Li Yao. "Put it on and come with me. He wants to see you."
Li Yao blinked his eyes but didn't get a reply. He obediently put on the battle suit and followed the major out.
Just as he arrived at the entrance of the tent, Li Yao stopped and asked Guan Xiong one last question:
"Brother Xiong, when you alone charged towards the overwhelming beast tide… did you truly not think that you might die?"
Guan Xiong pursed his lips as a smile appeared on his face. God knows from where he took out the bottle again and took a sip before winking and said, "Kid, I didn't become a cultivator for something boring like 'live forever and never die'."
"If not for living forever, then why?" Li Yao asked back.
"Of course, it was to become a mighty knight who has the strength to match a thousand knights. I want to happily fight wherever I go!"
Guang Xiong burst into laughter before finishing the alcohol in one gulp. "Crack crack!" He even chewed and swallowed the bottle as the glass shards were struck in his stiff and sturdy beard.