Chapter 557: Choices Five Thousand Years Ago
Translator: flycrane01 Editor: Millman97
Sha Yulan glanced at Xiong Wuji and, seeing no objection on his face, explained after pondering for a while. “The apocalypse was the greatest change of the Flying Star Sector in the last five thousand years. I had never been told the full story before I was forced to land on Iron Plateau, but I’ve managed to have a general idea of what happened after investigating and analyzing the information for more than ten years.”
Li Yao was beaming with curiosity. He observed, “Since I was born and raised in a remote town in the sea of stars, I’d never heard of this apocalypse before, and I definitely have no grudge with the qi-trainers. But for some reason, the qi-trainers of the Burning Sun Tribe seemed to regard me as their mortal enemy. They started fighting me after only a few words. It was completely unreasonable. I should at least know what I am killed for if I have to be killed. What exactly happened five thousand years ago? What is the so-called apocalypse? A meteor shower?”
Xiong Wuji sniffed and replied, “An apocalypse is the greatest catastrophe for a sector. It is so much more complicated than a simple meteor shower!”
He waved his hands, gesturing for Sha Yulan to continue, while he sat aside with a solemn face, deep in thought.
“I haven’t seen a Cultivator from space for more than ten years. Considering that you saved my son’s life, and that this is not a big secret on Iron Plateau, it doesn’t matter if I tell you about it.
“All those qi-trainers, including those of the Burning Sun Tribe, although rude and reckless, have good reasons to hate Cultivators.”
Sha Yulan cleared her throat. “Qi-trainers and Cultivators, from their own perspective, both think that justice was on their side. I’ll try to tell the story without bias.
“Brother Li Yao, you should know that the Flying Star Sector used to be an important region for the Star Ocean Imperium ten thousand years ago; a lot of space fleets were stationed here, and countless military bases were established. The development level of this area was quite high.
“When the Armageddon Rebellion took place, Blood God, supreme commander of the expedition army of the imperium, revolted and became a demonic Cultivator who called himself the Mad Armageddon. A civil war thus began. Hundreds of years of battles shattered the Flying Star Sector and almost demolished it.
“Even so, a lot of relics in the area could still be made use of, and many damaged starships could be repaired, too. The remaining soldiers of six troops of the imperium as well as their descendants struggled in various planets and world fragments. The six troops gradually evolved into six big sects, which led the people to be united and to pass on the civilization.
“The majority of the six sects were soldiers of the Star Ocean Imperium and their descendants. Naturally, they were much more organized than civilians.
“Also, debris and relics were everywhere in the Flying Star Sector. A lot of knowledge could be analyzed and inherited from them.
“Therefore, the development level of the civilization of the Flying Star Sector recovered very fast. About six thousand years ago, although still relatively small, it had already reached seventy percent of the brilliance of the Star Ocean Imperium when the latter was at its peak.
“The Flying Star Sector, at that time, had developed more than ten space zones and permanently altered the territory and atmosphere of three planets with the energy from almost ten stars. The planets were the new lands for human beings.
“On more than another ten planets, mines were established to collect the precious Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures.
“The entire Flying Star Sector was flourishing.
“Iron Plateau was the capital planet, or mother planet, of the Flying Star Sector. It was where the coalition government of the six big sects was headquartered, as well as the origin of the human civilization of the Flying Star Sector.
“In space, citizens of the Flying Star Sector had repaired a lot of the starships of the Star Ocean Imperium and created newer, bigger, faster crystal warships based on them that could cruise in the universe.
“Those were our golden years. Everybody shared the same goal, which was to explore other constellations and find more brotherly human civilizations. We planned to help them, unite them, and eventually rebuild a great alliance of human beings across the entire universe!
“At that time, everybody firmly believed that the invincible human beings would definitely be able to achieve that!”
Bitterness suddenly appeared on Sha Yulan’s hopeful face. “One year before the expedition fleet was to set off, the astronomers of the Flying Star Sector suddenly discovered that a weird wave was crashing right at the Flying Star Sector. After extremely complicated observation and calculation, it was ascertained that three meteoroid showers, one large and the other two small, had been aimed at the only habitable planets of the Flying Star Sector, with the large one targeting Iron Plateau precisely!
“If they were common meteoroid showers, how could they have been aimed at all three habitable planets at the same time?
“There was no doubt that it was not just an astronomical phenomenon, but an apocalypse whose target had been selected neatly!”
Li Yao listened carefully and exclaimed when he heard ‘apocalypse’.
Sha Yulan said, “Apocalypses are the most mysterious phenomena in cosmology. When a Cultivator advances to a certain level, or a civilization is developed very fast, an apocalypse might be triggered!
“In the era of the Star Ocean Imperium, mankind encountered many apocalypses. Some of them were resisted by the joint efforts of the Supreme Emperor and the twenty Guilds of Provenance, but some of them couldn’t be stopped at all.
“An apocalypse often leads to the complete destruction of one or more worlds!
“The astronomers immediately ran the most precise calculations about the trajectory, scale, and damage of the apocalypse. Their final conclusion was…
“There was a fifty percent likelihood that the apocalypse could be resisted if all the resources of the Flying Star Sector were summoned.
“There was also a fifty percent likelihood that, however many resources were summoned, and however hard they struggled, they were not going to stop the apocalypse from destroying the three planets!”
Li Yao was dazed. He asked, “Couldn’t the estimation be more precise?”
Sha Yulan smiled bitterly. “Apocalypses are the most inexplicable phenomena of the modern Cultivation world.
“Ancient Cultivators believed in divinities or the so-called ‘heavens’. Apocalypses were easier to explain for them. They simply perceived such disasters as punishments or tests that were arranged by supernatural powers, and they could survive them with faith and righteousness. The bottom line is, everything was related to religion and thus unfalsifiable for them.
“We modern Cultivators don’t believe in superstitions, nor do we accept the existence of divinities.
“For ten thousand years, the superstitions of the ancient Cultivators have been ruled out one by one. The objective laws of nature behind them have been found.
“But apocalypses are as mysterious and incomprehensible as they have ever been. They are the fatal weakness of the modern Cultivation theorems.
“It is said that a Cultivator whose surname was ‘Liu’ and whose title was ‘Master Star Prier’ saw through the mysteries of apocalypses during the last years of the Star Ocean Imperium.
“But soon after, he was mentally deranged and got involved in the warfare, never to be seen again.
“Therefore, it was already an unbelievably troublesome task to capture the trajectory and estimate the time of the arrival of such enigmatic phenomena like an apocalypse. Countless astronomers burnt their life and soul while they were calculating the apocalypse until they perished because of fatigue in the end.
“It is said that the estimation of the damage of the apocalypse depended on a fickle, unpredictable value. If it was odd, then the apocalypse would be resistible; if it was even, the apocalypse would not be stopped at all.
“A team of dozens of astronomers sacrificed their lives together, but they still failed to determine whether the value was odd or even!
“The details have been lost in the passage of time. All you need to know is the outcome.”
There was mockery and sadness on Sha Yulan’s face; telling the story seemed to be draining her. She took a few breaths. “If it was more likely to resist the apocalypse, or if the apocalypse was more likely to be unstoppable, everything would’ve been easier. But the problem was that each possibility was fifty percent.
“The Flying Star Sector, at that time, had the ability to perform a large-scale space migration and to provide absolute defense for one of the planets. But either choice would consume tremendous resources.
“Faced with the incoming apocalypse, the Cultivators were inevitably divided.
“Some of them call themselves ‘homers’. They suggested that all the other planets of the Flying Star Sector should be abandoned and that the population and resources be concentrated on the mother planet Iron Plateau. With all the resources available in the Flying Star Sector, a super stellar-level defense array could have been established outside the mother planet, which could be used to resist the apocalypse.
“According to the advocates of such a notion, the apocalypse was definitely resistible if all the resources of the Flying Star Sector were focused on one planet. As long as the mother planet was saved, the mines and secondary planets in the periphery could have been reestablished within the subsequent hundred years.
“The rest of the Cultivators were known as ‘spacers’, and they maintained that staying on Iron Plateau could only lead to the doom of the entire civilization.
“Now that a large fleet was already available, and that the technology of universal sailing was quite advanced, they argued to concentrate all the resources of the Flying Star Sector to upgrade the fleet and to refine a large batch of star fortresses.
“Since the target of the apocalypse was the planets, everyone might as well be evacuated from the planets and into space. A civilization in space would be created!”
“The arguments of the two sides had their own pros and cons.
“The proposal of the homers was a gamble. If the apocalypse was successfully resisted, all would be good. But if the stellar-level defense array was broken through, the entire civilization would be destroyed.
“The spacers, on the other hand, were asking everyone living on the planets, from infants in their cribs to seniors over a hundred years old, to move into starships within several decades. It was definitely not an easy job.
“Besides, mankind originated from planets. To move away from planets and live in cold, narrow starships without having the chance to stand on real soil again was too cruel a penalty for a civilization.”
Li Yao blurted out, “They could’ve stayed in space temporarily and moved back to Iron Plateau when the apocalypse passed.”
He realized that he was not thinking at all after he heard what he said.
The resources of a sector were limited. If they were devoted to the starships and space towns, building a stellar-level defense array would definitely have been impossible.
Without enough defense, it was quite likely that Iron Plateau would have been blown into smithereens by the apocalypse. How could they move back if that happened?