Chapter 2083 A New Hero!
Li Jialing listened attentively in silence the whole time. Finally, he complimented sincerely, “What a great idea. I believe no one will ever want to become a shameful Cultivator after such a carefully-planned ‘war stream’.”
Having been complimented ‘sincerely’ by the young man who was refined by himself through a lot of procedures that he had performed on himself before, Wuying Lan could not help but smile.
“Exactly. I never blindly believe in absolute violence. Or rather, true strength is always much more complicated than simple violence. Survival of the fittest is doubtlessly a truth, but there are too many factors that decide what is fit and what is not besides one’s combat ability!
“At the very least, it is impossible to completely destroy the ideas of the Cultivators today purely with violence.”
“Got it.” Li Jialing nodded thoughtfully. Then he looked at Li Lingfeng and asked, “However, why did you bring me here to watch this, and why are you explaining everything to me?”
With a smile, Li Lingfeng said, “The war stream to annihilate Starlight is not very important. What matters here is that I want you to see this new strength—the strength to catch eyes and manipulate people through the media.
“It has been decades since the slaughter stream was first planned, but in the past, it was mainly used to make profits and soothe hominoids. To be honest, that is only the tip of the iceberg of its real potential.
“But today, after hearing Lord Wuying’s explanation, you must have vaguely realized how enormous and immeasurable the iceberg hiding below the surface of the ocean is.
“Such strength can narcotize or stimulate the will and emotions of billions of people, making them caught in our logic or even think in a seemingly independent way according to the shows that we have carefully planned. Such strength can turn someone into a hero in only a couple of days if not hours, and a hero into a devil in several minutes. At the most critical moment, it can even be used to seize and control… the entire universe!
“This is only a minor test to annihilate Starlight, the insurgency group of Cultivators. The key is to find a mature pattern and figure out a way to inculcate our ideas into the brains of all the targets, thereby controlling them without them knowing it at all. If we can do that, the value of the platform will be inestimable, and it can be used to do many interesting things.”
Li Jialing frowned and mumbled, “Is it possible?”
“Of course it is. Don’t underestimate the influence of the slaughter stream.” Wuying Lan chuckled. “Did you know? Among the hominoids on many remote resource planets in the Imperium, there are truly a lot of people. Especially adolescents. They often end up on bad terms with their parents and even kill their parents to loot their money, just to participate in our stream shows and derivative games without caring about anything.
“You cannot compare your wisdom and thinking pattern to the hominoids. We are all brand-new human beings that are highly evolved. We have a profound understanding of the operational logic of the world. Naturally, we will not be deceived by such petty tricks, but the hominoids are no better than the ignorant animals. It couldn’t be easier to manipulate them.
“Greed, indulgence, jealousy, pride, anger, laziness… As long as we start from the fatal weaknesses of humanity, the hominoids will cry, laugh, or hate their parents if we want them to. In the end, their entire souls will be absorbed by us. Only the world in the slaughter stream is the real world, and the world and family next to them become groundless, unimportant things. We are their supreme gods. It is completely possible and exactly what is going on right now!”
Li Jialing sniffed. “It really sounds like a grand design. Then, what is the role that I am going to play in such a magnificent project? I don’t suppose you refined me at the cost of so much time and so many resources just to build a loyal viewer out of me.”
Wuying Lan and Li Lingfeng looked at each other and both chuckled.
“What? You still hate us?” Wuying Lan said with a smile. “You have no idea how much Lord Li treasured you. Most of the refinements that were performed on you had been tested countless times prior. I even tried many of them on myself to check the effects and the safety before they were applied to you. Despite the agony, there were absolutely no fatal dangers.
“In the entire Imperium, few young men can ever enjoy the privileges that you have enjoyed. Now, you have made a significant breakthrough in your training, and your future is nothing but promising. Are you still going brooding over the insignificant things in the past?”
“Although you are young, you are definitely a smart man. So, I won’t beat around the bush with you.” Li Jialing patted Li Jialing’s shoulder heavily. “I brought you to Manjusaka partly to continue your treatment and remove the weird seal inside your head, and partly, if it succeeds, to turn you into a new hero.”
“Turn me into a hero?” Li Jialing was truly somewhat stunned this time. “Me? A hero?”
“Yes. A hero, a star, and a super idol that will be popular among the teenage boys and girls in the entire Imperium, loved by both the hominoids and bottom-level Immortal Cultivators. After a series of operations, you can even become the spokesperson of the notion of slaughter streaming as the god for countless hominoids and low-level Immortal Cultivators!”
Li Lingfeng explained his plans incessantly while waving his hands.
“The war stream this time to annihilate ‘Starlight’ is of a reasonable scale and difficulty. It is the best opportunity for us. We do not even need to introduce your identity and origins or reveal your real appearance at first. All you need to do is arrive from the sky and go on a killing spree in a cool crystal suit when the Cultivators lose all hope and begin their final, futile resistance.
“Through the war stream of ‘Dying Light’, you will leave a deep impression on the hearts of countless people in the Imperium. After that, a series of soul-stirring and mind-boggling quests will be arranged for you so that you will soar into the sky and become a real superhero!”
Li Jialing looked at Li Lingfeng in disbelief.
“Is it so hard to accept?” Li Lingfeng smiled. “Speaking of heroes, you killed one just now, Li Yingxiong. His father is definitely not easy to deal with. After you return to the family, I fear that you will be faced with a medium crisis, but I will not help you directly.”
“I’ve been thinking about how I can stuff you into the channel of ascension of the family, but the regular routes of elimination and upgrade are really too slow. The vetting and education that can take decades are too much for both you and me.
“Therefore, it is not a bad idea to simply bypass the plethora of screening procedures within the family and go down a new path. We will create a very charismatic superhero from the outside. Then, it will be easier for me to do a lot of things for you.”
“Am I suitable for that?” Li Jialing asked after a brief silence.
“What, are you not confident in your strength?”
“I am not confident in my origins. Everybody within the family knows that I am the child of a pair of inferior warriors.”
“That is what makes you perfect. We have decided to continue using that cover story,” Li Lingfeng said. “Ever since the establishment of the Imperium of True Human Beings, the idea that anyone can be successful as long as they work hard regardless of their origins has always been promoted. Born in the bottom class but not giving in to fate and striving all the way until success—this is the image of the most standard Immortal Cultivator of the Imperium and the image of a most attractive hero.”
Wuying Lan sighed added, “It is a shame the Imperium has endured a thousand years. When a tree is too huge, there will always be dry branches. After a thousand years, all kinds of conflicts and accumulated problems are gradually revealing themselves. The consolidation of social stratification is a very serious problem among them.
“I wonder, have you heard a popular joke among the Immortal Cultivators right now, Lord Li? If a father is in the Nascent Soul Stage, his son will arrive at the Nascent Soul Stage; if a father is in the Core Formation Stage, his son will be in the Core Formation Stage, too. The highest levels that most people can reach are exactly what their parents reached earlier.
“As a result, a lot of middle-level and bottom-level Immortal Cultivators who do not have resources and connections are restless. It is not entirely bad if they are too frustrated and give up trying, but I’m afraid that some of them may develop other nefarious intentions, which can be quite damaging.
“Hominoids are all mobsters. There is nothing to be scared of however many riots they launch. But the middle-level and the bottom-level Immortal Cultivators are the foundations of the Imperium. If even they cannot see any hope and are filled with grudges, the problem is truly rather grave.”
“I couldn’t agree with you more,” Li Lingfeng said. “This is not the age of Blackstar the Great anymore, when everything flourished like a morning sun and everyone was full of ambition, ready to burn themselves for the civilization of mankind. The Immortal Cultivators today are no longer the Immortal Cultivators from a thousand years ago. Our society is decaying, and every generation is worse than the last. How many people can still prioritize talents over everything like me and worship the idea that whoever is strong and has enough potential is qualified to inherit my resources and strength regardless of whether or not they are my blood descendants?”
Li Lingfeng shook his head disapprovingly before he focused his eyes on Li Jialing again. “However, this only further highlights your preciousness. As a common descendant in the family with unattractive talents, you never gave up despite all the humiliation you suffered. Through your own hard work, you finally changed your fate miraculously and distinguished yourself in the boundless sea of stars… This is almost a perfect image.
“How about it? Would you like to give it a shot?”
The young man was caught in hesitation and silence.
Or rather, he seemed to be caught in hesitation and silence.
After a long silence, when he raised his head again, there was both desire and ambition in his eyes that had been raised by the persuasion of the two big shots and a little bit of wariness that came from his natural instincts.
Biting his lips, the young man hesitantly asked, “Can I ask you a question? What is your ultimate goal in fabricating such a hero with so much effort?”
 Yingxiong means ‘hero’.