Chapter 73: Genius
Humans often wondered how greedy, lascivious people could possibly accomplish great things or reach a high status.
But this way of thinking was equating ethics with ability, a totally wrong way of looking at the world. There were too many rich and unethical people under the heavens to count.
Often, the richer these people were, the more unethical their morals were.
Li Daohong was a perfect example of this general rule.
His story was actually quite an interesting one.
Ever since his youth, he had been a genius. He had learned to read at the age of three, and wrote the “Wastrel’s Poem” and the “River-Crossing Poem” at the age of seven, creating a storm throughout the entire country. The imperial doctor then diagnosed him with an incredibly powerful bloodline, making him a genius amongst geniuses, even for the Li Clan.
Even so, there was nothing strange about this kind of story — there were always one or two individuals amongst the human race who had a similar life.
However, Li Daohong’s story deviated from the norm at this moment.
“Even though Li Daohong was in fact a genius at the time, his true ability is his wit. He had learned to read and speak early, and given the density of his bloodline, people began to praise him because he was of the imperial family. That was where his reputation initially came from, but he didn’t actually accomplish much with that. What really turned him into a genius was the miracle that happened afterwards.”
Su Chen and Zhu Xianyao talked about Li Daohong as they walked.
“A miracle? Did he find some kind of secret treasure?” Su Chen asked, chuckling.
Zhu Xianyao shook her head. “Quite the opposite. Actually, his backstory is somewhat similar to yours.”
“Similar to mine?” Su Chen was taken aback. “How so?”
“Nothing, really. He encountered an old beggar on the street but was beaten until he became an idiot,” Zhu Xianyao said indifferently.
Encountered an old beggar?
Su Chen felt his heart tremble.
The disastrous situation that had befallen him when he was twelve surfaced in his mind yet again.
Even though it had happened decades ago, and even though he had already forgotten most of his childhood, he would never forget a single detail of that experience.
“An old beggar......” Su Chen muttered.
“Yes. The beggar seemingly appeared out of nowhere and began to attack the Li Clan’s prince, beating him senseless almost immediately. Li Wuyi invited a great number of experts to treat him afterwards, but no doctor was able to treat his condition,” Zhu Xianyao said seriously.
“Then what happened after?”
“Three years later, he began to recover on his own.”
Three years yet again!
He had probably taken around three years to recover back then as well, right?
“And then he became an incredible genius?”
“Yes.” Zhu Xianyao nodded and explained, “Once he was no longer an idiot, he immediately became a well-known genius in Liaoye Country. Apparently, he had gained an eidetic memory, and he spoke with incredible eloquence. His cultivation also advanced at a breakneck pace. Not only did he awaken an imperial bloodline, but his maternal bloodline, Night God, also awakened. Having two awakened bloodlines before reaching the higher cultivation realms is quite rare. This made his cultivation rate progress incredibly fast. Apparently, it only took him half a year to break into the Light Shaking Realm from the Yang Opening Realm.”
Half a year to advance from Yang Opening to Light Shaking.
If Su Chen focused all his attention on cultivation, he probably could have done it as well.
However, this was Su Chen with his microscopic eye.
And now, another supergenius had appeared.
More interestingly, this person’s circumstances were actually quite similar to his!!!
Su Chen’s heart began to beat wildly.
He was almost certain that this wasn’t a coincidence.
Even though he didn’t know why, Su Chen could at least ensure that this instinct of his was true.
Who had ever said that he was the only one who could be cursed or blessed by the Heavens?
Other people could be blessed as well!
Now, it seemed like this was actually the case!
But if Su Chen had obtained a pair of eyes that could see through reality, down to the microscopic level, then what about Li Daohong?
Su Chen didn’t know, but it was obviously somewhat different from Su Chen’s ability.
Even though great waves were surging in his heart, Su Chen maintained his calm demeanor and asked, “So what happened afterwards? This guy began to lead a life of debauchery?”
“Yes. You should know that a person who has fallen far and risen just as quickly will become somewhat extreme in terms of personality. Even though Li Daohong was an idiot for three years, those memories were still present after he regained his intelligence. And his luck when he was an idiot for three years......”
Su Chen understood where Zhu Xianyao was going with this and finished her sentence for her. “Was very terrible.”
Even a prince would be bullied by others if they became an idiot.
The servants around him could bully him, and his elders would forget him.
In some sense, an idiot would suffer an even worse fate than a blind person. A blind person might have dull eyes, but their mind would still be clear. However, an idiot’s mind was blind, which meant that others wouldn’t even bother to care for them.
For this reason, even Li Wuyi had given up on this son of his.
The way his worldview would change when he reawakened would probably be quite drastic.
Some people would mature and grow past their suffering, quickly separating themselves from anything that they viewed as unfair in the past. This was the process that Su Chen had gone through. Others, however, would choose to retaliate, as Li Daohong had done.
The moment Li Daohong regained his clarity and became an incredible genius, the first thing he did was not to further improve his own strength, but rather to uproot society.
He grew complacent, only caring about pleasure and indulging in his lusts. He bullied men and forced himself upon women. He stirred up no small amount of trouble.
Anyone else would have probably disciplined this kind of son quite harshly. Even the emperor of a country would not normally allow this kind of behavior to persist.
However, Li Wuyi felt guilty about having given up on his son earlier, so his disciplining was very light.
Those imperial subjects and officials weren’t much better off.
Who do you think were the ones that mistreated me when I was an idiot? The beggar by the side of the road? Even if I was an idiot, I was still royalty. Not just anyone can push me around! Apart from a few bold servants, most of my bullies were you all, the other nobles!
Prime Minister Wang, your son pissed on my head three times. It’s not too much if I break his arm, is it?
Not at all, not at all.
General Liu, two princes of your family once shoved me into a dung pile, and on another separate occasion, stripped me of my clothes and threw me into the streets naked. That did happen, right? It’s not too much if I break their legs, is it?
Not at all, not at all.
Minister Zheng, your unmarried daughter didn’t do anything to me because she disdained dirtying her own hands. However, she incited her pursuers to bully me at least ten times, and you pretended to turn a blind eye. But I remember everything that happened to this broken mind of mine. All I did was take some liberties with her. I didn’t even force myself upon her! Is that too much?
Not at all, not at all.
Assistant Minister Zhong, your unmarried daughter didn’t do anything to me, but who told you to have such a pretty daughter? I did force myself upon her, but you can always report me if you have the ability to. However, I want to remind you of one thing — everything you did during the Northern Sickle Incident was done right in front of my eyes. Yes, I was an idiot back then, so you didn’t bother hiding it from me. But now I am sober-minded, and I remember everything. If you want, we can go and report each other’s crime at the same time. I am an imperial prince. Even if I raped an imperial official’s daughter, I would at most be sentenced to some jail time, but I won’t die. You, on the other hand, with your crime of executing an entire family unto the third generation...... Do you still think that my actions were too much?
Not at all, not at all.
Li Daohong’s rampage across the capital raged on in this manner. He threatened and swindled anyone he wanted to, but no one dared to discipline him, or to be precise, no one could discipline him.
He had abused a number of sons and daughters of the country’s imperial subjects either out of retaliation or because he had somehow found blackmail to keep them under his thumb. Su Chen had used his blindness to his advantage, and Li Daohong had similarly used the period where he had lost his intelligence to benefit himself.
However, he was much more unscrupulous and wanton in his usage of it.
The imperial subjects couldn’t give voice to their own grievances, and the few subjects who weren’t afraid of Li Daohong tried to resist all on their own. But if the imperial subjects wanted to confront a member of the imperial family, they all needed to band together. If they could take him on one-by-one, then what power would the imperial family actually have? And since Li Wuyi felt guilty towards his son, and Li Daohong was now an exceptional genius, Li Wuyi naturally spoiled him to the utmost extent, and none of the complaints that the imperial subjects brought up were useful anymore.
The result was a prince who was degenerate to an extreme.
Li Wuyi had scolded Li Daohong a number of times, even trying to use the title of Crown Prince to bait him into acting better. However, Li Daohong just so happened to harbor no ambitions and had no interest in becoming the Crown Prince. He proclaimed himself selfless, as he didn’t care about the imperial subjects’ views of him.
Li Wuyi almost died of anger when Li Daohong claimed that he was “selfless”, but all he did was beat Li Daohong. Nothing else really happened to him.
This was the kind of situation Li Daohong grew up in. At the end of the day, he was still a genius, and as he got stronger and stronger, the problems he stirred up grew bigger and bigger as well.
However, he was also quite sly and always carefully controlled himself. Though he would always anger others, it never reached the point where the other party would completely throw away their facade of respect and veneration.
He was a prince, so everyone else needed to have much broader tolerances for his actions. Yet, the evils he committed every year were enough to cause others to shake with anger. And no matter how wise Li Wuyi was, he didn’t seem able to do anything about this son of his. The only other person who could stand side-by-side with Li Daohong in the entire Seven Kingdoms was probably the Water Sheen’s Jiang Bayuan. Outside of human territory, only the Ravagers’ incompetent ruler Anubi had a chacne of beating Li Daohong in terms of tyranny. However, Anubi’s life was currently in danger, and he was under attack from all sides, so his abdication of the throne was imminent. Li Daohong, however, still possessed quite a bit of status.
Yes. Even though he had committed many evil and atrocious acts, his status did not decrease, but rather increased.
For instance, he was the head of the current merchant group.
Yes, he was the head! And unlike most merchant groups, where the useless son would be ranked second and the actually capable individual would be placed in charge of the group, Li Daohong was truly the head!
Even though he was greedy, lascivious, and unruly, he was not incapable.
To Li Daohong, there were only things that he wanted to do and things that he did not want to do, not things that he could not do.
When he wanted to do something good, he would do something good; when he wanted to do something bad, he would do something bad.
Most of the time, however, Li Daohong only wanted to do the latter, and not the former.
However, Li Daohong always took care of his responsibilities as the head of this merchant group.
This was partly because of how lucrative being the head of a merchant group was.
For the sake of making a lot of money, Li Daohong had decided to perform this task well.
How good was he at it? This merchant group, which used to earn hundreds of millions of Origin Stones every year, now lost money under Li Daohong’s command.
This wasn’t because Li Daohong was incapable, but rather because he took all the profits for himself.
The capital accepted his actions.
Because he didn’t ruin their relations with the Harpies, and because he beautifully dealt with all of these matters involving foreigners, he was given free reign. People who knew how to enjoy themselves could always make lots of friends if they wanted to.
Since this prince always caused trouble back at home but did a wonderful job abroad, then why not have him stay abroad? Why would you let him continue to stir the pot at home?
Of course he would be allowed to continue travelling!
The losses of a few hundreds of millions of Origin Stones was nothing in comparison.