Chapter 1246: Land of Drought
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Li Yao was suddenly alarmed because he vaguely understood what Su Changfa meant.
Rolling eyes, Su Changfa asked with a faint smile, “Fellow Cultivator Li, if it was in the Flying Star Sector, how would you have dealt with the situation?”
Li Yao pondered for a moment and replied, “If it were in the Flying Star Sector, the Cultivators probably would’ve led the elites among the ordinary people, such as the stronger soldiers, to form ‘dare-to-die teams’. No matter how many sacrifices must be made, the crystals need to be excavated, right?
“After all, without crystals, it would be practically impossible to escape the planet and the galaxy. Everybody would end up trapped on the mother planet one day!
“The Flying Star Sector is different from the Curly Dragon Sector as Senior Su described. ‘Iron Plateau’, our mother planet, was struck by an apocalypse five thousand years ago. The environment there is harsh in the first place, dominated by the aggressive ‘qi-trainers’ who dislike foreigners. Therefore, we do not have a resourceful mother planet that we can count on. We must get everything on our own!
“Having to struggle for a life in the rigorous sea of stars, the Cultivators and the ordinary people of the Flying Star Sector are not as delicate as those of the Curly Dragon Sector. I believe that they wouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice when necessary.
“Moreover, I believe that the high death rate is just temporary. After the environment of the resource planets is improved, the excavation and purification magical equipment advances, and everybody’s experience in mining grows more abundant, they will certainly figure out a set of effective approaches to reduce the death rate to an acceptable level.”
Su Changfa smiled and said, “It appears that the civilization of the Flying Star Sector is still in the rising period and not entirely rotten yet.
“The civilization of the Curly Dragon Sector, however, was too sick to be treated!
“The people of the Curly Dragon Sector lived comfortable lives on the resourceful mother planet without doing anything for too long. Hundreds of years of such a carefree lifestyle corrupted the resolution, doggedness, ambition, devotion, and all the other noble spirits in their hearts!
“Spoiled by the Cultivators, the ordinary people of the Curly Dragon Sector took for granted the benefits that they had traded the future for. They thought that their actions were justified!
“Also, the Cultivators dwelled in the halo of ‘savior’ for too long and lost their way amid the cheers and admiration of the public!
“When the harsh environment of the resource planets, the tediousness and dangers of mining, and all the other cruel truths were demonstrated to them, most people were not able to accept it!
“Other than a few Cultivators, nobody was willing to be killed in such places!
“Was trading their lives of flesh and blood for cold crystals ethical and justifiable, or was it unpardonable?”
“The question raised unabated discussion in the civilization of the Curly Dragon Sector. The entire society was divided into two sides with opposite ideologies. They further drifted away from what they should do and wasted their precious time and effort on meaningless debates.
“The discussions lasted decades, during which, whatever was left of the crystals on the mother planet were still being consumed rapidly, but not a single mining starship was sent to the resource planets!
“Decades later, perhaps because of the stimulation of the alarming stock of resources, the Curly Dragon Sector finally managed to reach a consensus. The crystals had to be excavated, but nobody could be killed!
“Not just death, even the relatively more exhausting work was in violation of human rights and the core principles of the civilization!
“Therefore, they wasted precious resources, attempting to build an absolutely safe and comfortable mining system.
“In the mining system, the mining starships were as extravagant as space yachts, and the mining bases were even more enjoyable than luxury hotels. Most of the dangerous jobs were completed by the spiritual puppets. All the miners had to do was sit in the bases and tap on the light beams while drinking their beverages!
“Even so, few people were willing to mine on the resource planets. The miners who agreed to work in the frontier all believed that their sacrifices were too huge. They greedily demanded higher pay, better benefits, and better working environments time and time again!
“In the end, the package of a miner was several times higher than that of a professor on the mother planet. The yields of the mother lodes, instead of being transported to the mother planet, were dedicated to the modification of the mining resources lavishly!
“Instead of improving the efficiency of mining, they constructed a lot of entertainment facilities unrelated to the work in the mining bases under the guise of ‘building a humane working environment’. They also reduced the working hours to five hours per day, and they went on a strike every once in a while.
“Hehe. You can’t have all the best in the world. Is it possible to excavate crystals so easily?
“Because of their follies, the cost of excavation and transportation soared. They could barely make ends meet in the end. Every ton of raw crystals would waste more resources than the value of the crystals!
“Of course, such a system was not promising. Finally, some Cultivators who couldn’t stand it any longer proposed a reform, but it was too late!
“The miners and part of the administration on the resource planets had established a powerful labor union. As an enormous interest group, they united and negotiated with the mother planet. They even extended their hands into the government of the mother planet.
“High benefits and easy work were considered basic human rights in the Curly Dragon Sector. Most people supported the labor union of the mining industry and believed that they had sacrificed for the entire civilization. Cultivators who grew up in such an environment couldn’t force the ordinary people to do anything, either. Under the aggression of the labor union, they conceded time and time again despite their strength!
“After every concession that the Cultivators made, the labor union would be more arrogant, demanding more privileges!
“The miners’ theory sounded reasonable at first. Crystals were mostly excavated for the training of Cultivators and to provide energy for the magical equipment. Of course, Cultivators would take the most advantage.
“If so, wasn’t it only reasonable that the Cultivators paid more for them?
“Not only was theory acknowledged by most ordinary people, even some of the idiotic Cultivators also agreed with the idea and betrayed their companions!
“Just like that, the cancer in the body of the civilization grew ever larger, draining the nutrition of the mother planet. Instead of fixing the shortage of crystals, it escalated the problem!
“The half-automatic mining system that adopted countless spiritual puppets had a lot of problems itself. As the spiritual puppets were slowly worn, invisible dangers accumulated and reached a tipping point!
“Finally, on a resource planet named Bloody Dragon, a cosmic storm disrupted the communication between the spiritual puppets and the mining bases, and the chips of the spiritual puppets happened to have a fault that escaped the attention of the miners responsible for security. In the end, an unprecedented disaster was caused, in which more than 1,700 miners were killed!
“The gory accident made the Curly Dragon Sector question the safety and legitimacy of mining on the resource planets.
“Is it really reasonable and justifiable to trade lives for cold crystals?
“If a civilization must be sustained by the deaths of ordinary people, what is the worth of such a civilization being sustained?
“Blood crystals! What the Cultivators are consuming are the Blood Crystals traded with the ordinary people’s blood!
“Such voices spread virally under the freedom of speech.
“Meanwhile, the high compensations rendered five insurance companies and the mining group bankrupt, raising a huge economic crisis in the world.
“The labor union of the mining industry took the opportunity to attack. All the miners returned from the resource planets to the mother planet for demonstrations against the Cultivators. They demanded better working conditions and safety measures. In their delirium, they proposed unrealistic terms!
“With the technology of the Curly Dragon Sector at that time, their demands were simply fantasies that could not be satisfied!
“This time, the Cultivators truly had no choice.
“However, even at the moment of life and death, the Cultivators were still unwilling, unable, to deal with the labor union. Instead, they built a mining team exclusively made of Cultivators, hoping to address the resource problem by themselves.
“How was it possible?
“Cultivators were much fewer in number after all. Also, mining on the resource planets was a simple, repetitive, low-intelligence job most of the time. They were wasting their lives by going down the wells in person!
“Just like that, the resource collection system of the Curly Dragon Sector managed to keep functioning at an extremely low efficiency. In the following hundreds of years, the number of Cultivators grew smaller and smaller.
“It was mainly caused by two factors.
“Firstly, with the mother lodes on the mother planet being exhausted, the spiritual energy on the surface was thinner and thinner. It was essentially a small ‘Age of Doom’. Of course, the number of newly-awakened Cultivators plummeted.
“Secondly, the resource planets were highly perilous. When Cultivators mined crazily, burning their life and soul, their average longevity was much lower than when on the mother planet, and the casualty rate was significantly higher!
“Also, after dedicating most of their time and effort to the meaningless mining work, they had barely any time to train themselves and could not advance. In the end, one death meant one fewer Cultivator!
“The ordinary people didn’t notice anything wrong about that.
“It was because the labor union of the mining industry had already berated the Cultivators during the competition with the Cultivators.
“Crystals are excavated mainly for the enjoyment of Cultivators. For ordinary people, we can live an excellent life even without crystals!
“Most of the people of the Curly Dragon Sector were fooled by such a claim. They were not interested in anything happening on the resource planets. After all, the remaining assets left by their ancestors were enough for them to live comfortable lives for hundreds more years.
“For an ordinary person, hundreds of years was long enough. They couldn’t see the end of it even when they were about to die.
“But for a civilization, hundreds of years is just a blink of an eye!
“Just like that, after hundreds of years of fuss, the brilliant and glorious civilization of the Curly Dragon Sector finally embraced its unavoidable doom.
“The number of the Cultivators hit rock bottom and was not enough to sustain the functioning of the resource collection system. All the mining bases fell into states of disrepair.
“As the crystals ran dry, the last transportation route between the mother planet and the resource planet was cut off. The Curly Dragon Sector finally lost the ability of space cruising, collection, and transportation for all eternity!”