2369 Bing Bing’s QuestionsLi Yao was greatly enlightened. He had been wondering if the underground wildlings were the best warriors because, despite their tough nature, they were unintelligent after all.
Now that Nepenthe was thriving, they did not appear to be in need of the help of a few wildlings. Why would they send a few people to gather wildlings at such a critical moment?
So, the purpose was to unlock the weapons that had hibernated for ten thousand years with the blood, or in other words, the pure genes, of the wildlings. That made much more sense!
As the powerful magical equipment unleashed a dazzling light, blowing countless stalagmites and stalactites into pieces, the whole cave was mired in a bright, aggressive mist.
The wildlings popped up in the darkness, staring at the marvelous weapon in shock and thirst. For the wildlings who had lost most of their sanity and only kept the instincts of killing, those marvelous weapons were obviously more attractive than anything else in the world!
What was weird was that, despite the eagerness in their hearts, neither the wildlings nor the Nepenthe believers showed much delight. They were as tranquil as the water in a well, like machines that had been inputted with the instructions to kill.
Li Yao couldn’t tell which was more terrifying, the ferocious, hideous wildlings with abundant expressions on their faces or the humans who were obedient but who were nothing but empty shells.
Countless thoughts were rolling in Li Yao’s head. He couldn’t help but recall “Fist King” Lei Zonglie, the machine expert that he encountered on the Land of Sins!
The Fist King was not a human being, but he could simulate the feelings and even the self-awareness of humans perfectly with the highly-developed databases and the optimal screening mechanisms. As a result, people tended to forget that he was not a human of flesh and blood but a machine of iron and steel.
The people before Li Yao’s eyes, on the other hand, were undoubtedly human beings, but they were doing their best to abandon their flesh and souls to become cold machines.
Machines wanted to become men, and men wanted to become machines. What exactly marked the boundary between machines and men? Men were nothing more than machines made of countless cells. Were they any different from the machines made of metals? If there were really a civilization of machines, would the civilization of mankind be different from it?
Li Jialing couldn’t help but approach Li Yao. Rubbing the goosebumps on his arm hard, he said in a low voice, “Those guys are so creepy. They are like the emotionless people of the Covenant Alliance. I would rather face the ferocious Immortal Cultivators than confront those cold, inhumane monsters!”
After spending a long time with Li Yao, while he never admitted it, Li Jialing considered him less and less an Immortal Cultivator, or at least not a pure Immortal Cultivator.
Li Yao was silent.
Before he had the heartfelt communication with Long Yangjun, he had nothing but 100% disgust and wariness toward the guys who were emotionless and as cold as machines.
But right now…
Li Yao sighed and said in a low voice, “How could there be the emotionless Covenant Alliance if there weren’t the ferocious Immortal Cultivators?”
Li Jialing was rather surprised. “Brother Yao, what did you say?”
Li Yao clenched his fists, and his face became colder than ever. But two stubborn fires were ignited inside his eyes, as if he were going to blow up the ice that sealed the souls of the wildlings and the Nepenthe believers with the sparks.
Staring at them for a long time, he said, one word after another, “Let’s go back above and see what changes we can bring to this absurd world!”
When Li Yao, Li Jialing, Long Yangjun, and the Nepenthe believers returned with the huge group of wildlings who had “found peace”, the 10,084th district looked entirely different from when they left. Every sign suggested that a war was coming.
The 10,084th district was one of the towns where Nepenthe was promoted best. More than half of the residents were Nepenthe believers. The remainder of them were also sympathizers and supporters of Nepenthe.
This time, Nepenthe had decided to overthrow the Black Iron Group’s reign in the local area in a riot. Naturally, everybody of the 10,084th district was mobilized.
By the time Li Yao and his companions returned, the whole town had been enshrouded in vague gold mist. The air was brimming with the oily, scrumptious aroma. That was the folks butchering the rock worms and roasting their meat as food.
As for the Red Lizards, they could not bear to butcher them anymore because the Red Lizards were the best “horses” that could arm the folks into “underground cavalry” that could move freely in the tunnels.
From the hollow stone columns, countless young people walked out in lines and sat cross-legged like cold statues. Staring at the dim and illusionary light above their heads, they chanted spells in solemnity and entered the state of telepathy. There was no telling whether it was just their daily brainwashing or a prewar mobilizing speech.
The prewar mobilizing speeches were supposed to be the most exciting, blood-boiling moment, but the only things that covered the town from inside to outside were gloom and lifelessness, giving Li Yao an illusion that it was just the activation of countless battle puppets in his trance.
Even the children were too scared by the heavy and dull atmosphere to laugh and sing anymore. There was no telling where they were hiding.
Li Yao couldn’t help but feel that his heart was heavy.
He wanted to help the people who had completely lost hope and therefore did not trust the world or themselves at all, but he did not know where he should get started from.
It was like being locked in an impenetrable iron room that did not have any windows or doors, and furious flames were burning outside of the iron room. There was barely any chance to break the cage at all.
Perhaps Long Yangjun was right. The battles after he came to the center of the cosmos were entirely from those at the edge of the cosmos.
This time, it was not a specific enemy that he was dealing with. It was not the four Kurfürsten, not Dongfang Wang, not Lei Chenghu, not Long Yangjun, not Li Linghai, and not even Blackstar the Great, but the twisted, topsy-turvy, and ludicrous world!
Could he win this time?
Or rather, could he luckily win the help of the majority again?
While he was very resolute when he talked to Li Jialing, Li Yao was somewhat confused when he was by himself after he returned to the stone column where he was resting.
“Honorable guest, please have dinner.”
Right when Li Yao was upset and at a loss about what to do, the door was knocked again.
The girl who brought food to them earlier came again. She still appeared cold, taciturn, and rejective. Bowing at Li Yao courteously first, she then put a tray of food before Li Yao, like a precisely-devised machine.
However, compared to yesterday, the frost on her eyes was slightly loosened.
Perhaps she had sensed Li Yao’s difference when he went through all the trouble to repair the air circulation system.
His mind occupied, Li Yao did not pay much attention to the girl’s minor change. He simply said thanks and kept planning what he was going to do next.
But out of his expectation, the girl did not leave but stood before him in silence.
Li Yao raised his head and looked at the girl in curiosity, only to discover a hesitant face covered in the broad hood. She appeared to be much more emotional than the cold machines.
It appeared that the girl had only joined Nepenthe recently and her abilities to express feelings hadn’t been washed yet. Slightly relieved, Li Yao said with a smile, “Don’t be scared. Just speak if there’s anything you want to say. Do you have any magical equipment that needs maintenance? Or maybe you want to learn how to repair the air circulation system? That’s not a problem.”
After a long hesitation, the girl still took off her hood and her mask of coldness. Widening her black and bright eyes, she summoned her courage and asked, “I only mean to ask… Does the honorable guest come from the surface of the planet far, far from here?”
Li Yao smiled. “That’s right. It’s true that I come from the ground. To be more exact, I’m from the sky that is even higher than the ground. My name is Li Yao. What’s yours?”
He was supposed to give a fake name.
But for some reason, he did not want to carry too many disguises when faced with the girl who had volunteered to take off the cold mask. So, he might as well give his true name. Even if Blackstar the Great might find him, so what? He would certainly drag Wuying Qi to die together with him if he must!
“My name is Bing Bing,” said the girl.
The underground world was often insufferably hot. The temperature could easily go beyond fifty degrees. The ice blocks made of cooling rune arrays were almost necessities for survival. Therefore, the names of a lot of locals had “Bing” in it. In many underground dialects, “Bing” also meant peace and auspiciousness. “Bing Bing” was a rather common name here.
Bing Bing introduced herself rather ill at ease and secretly observed Li Yao. Seeing that the big shot from the ground did not grow angry but hinted her to keep talking with a smile, she grabbed a corner of her clothes and said, “If you come from the ground, you must’ve seen the real sun, haven’t you? They say that the sun is more dazzling than ten thousand Fire Flowers combined. Is it true? I can’t imagine what the sun is like at all.”
“Of course it is true.”
Li Yao couldn’t help but smile. “It’s more than ten thousand Fire Flowers. When the sunlight is at its brightest, it is more brilliant than a million Fire Flowers that are blooming at the same time. I can’t describe how spectacular it is, but I’m sure that you will have a chance to see the sun, the blue sky, the white clouds, and the billions of stars with your own eyes on the ground!”
Bing Bing bit her lips and bowed at Li Yao deeply. “Thank you, honorable guest.”
Although she said thanks, she did not move but appeared even more hesitant, as if she was wondering if she should continue asking.
Li Yao was too smart to be fooled even by Xiao Xuance, Bai Xinghe, or Lu Zui. Naturally, a little girl’s thoughts could not escape his attention. “Bing Bing, what you really want to ask is not the sun but something else, right? If so, just ask me. Brother Li Yao will certainly tell you the answer if I know it.”
“Thank you, honor… Brother Li Yao.”
Encouraged by Li Yao, Bing Bing grew braver. Worries finally surfaced on her face, and she raised the questions that had been haunting her for a long time. “Nepenthe is about to fight a war up above. I was told that it will be a real war, nothing like the defenses against the wildlings. My father and my mother will go to the frontline too. Brother Yao, since you are from the ground, you must’ve been through real wars, right? What are they like exactly? Will we win? Will… anything happen to my father and my mother?”
 Note: Bing Bing means “ice ice”. She is not the player of the former Wings, though xD