TGL Volume 4, Chapter 21 (3)

Last time, I had a very short discussion about morality with the leader of the … Righteous Holy Sect; I still think Shadow Devil Sect is a more appropriate name for them. Anyway, the results of that short discussion weren’t very fruitful. The people of this lower dimension believe power is everything. Anything to achieve power is acceptable, but that’s not the case. Even if one becomes strong, is there a point to it if the dimension they live in is destroyed because of their actions? “Principal Pentorn, what are your thoughts on your actions? Do you believe it’s evil to slaughter people for your own needs?”

The demon was sitting across from me, face to face; however, it still felt like I was talking to a corpse puppet instead. “No.”

As expected of the true mastermind of the Righteous Holy Sect, she has no conscience. “Have you considered the family members of the people you’ve killed? They’ll be devastated by the loss of their loved ones. Do your needs triumph their feelings? What makes you more important than them?”

“Devastated by the loss of their loved ones?” The demon snorted. “Have you seen what families are like here? Royal progenies slaughter each other for the throne. It’s fine for so-called loved ones to kill each other, but not fine for me, a stranger, to kill them instead? Is that your issue?”

“Not everyone you’ve slaughtered has been part of the twisted royal families of this lower dimension.” This demon is trying to deflect my argument, but I won’t let her do that. “Take the ones you’ve labeled as invaders for example. They’re the chosens of their sects. They had masters and mentors, people who’ve looked out for them and care deeply for them. When you imagine the pain they must be feeling upon discovering their beloved disciples’ soul lanterns dying out, do you not feel any guilt?”

“If I didn’t kill their disciples, those elders would’ve come down here and killed me instead.” The demon leaned back and yawned before stretching out her arm to grasp a teacup. “Since when was self-defense ever classified as evil?”

I seem to have boxed myself into a corner. What the demon is saying technically makes sense, but it still feels as if she’s twisting my arguments. “This isn’t about those people specifically. I’m sure you’ve killed many people who’ve posed no threat to you. Before the seven great sects came through that door, you’ve already had an abundance of sky-realm-ranked weapons. Those must’ve come from the blood and flesh of innocents.”

The demon stretched her back by puffing out her chest and slowly fixed her posture. She took a long sip from her cup and exhaled before smiling at me. “Yes, there were quite a few people who posed no threat to me that I’ve turned into weapons. They had family members too. As you’ve said, they suffered so much upon hearing about the death of their loved one who stood in my way. I couldn’t bear to see them so upset, so I put an end to their suffering as well. United in life, united in death, isn’t a concept like that touching?”

…The demon isn’t even trying to hide it anymore! She’s the epitome of evil! “You—”

“Hear me out,” the demon said and put down her teacup. “When you think about it, isn’t the destruction of one’s body and soul the ultimate form of peace? The poor struggle to survive. They throw away their pride, beg for scraps, and wallow in their own filth to live on. I know what you’re thinking. Even as such, they still have a chance to turn their lives around. Destruction of one’s soul isn’t the answer. However, what happens when they turn their lives around? They’re no longer poor. They have their pride. They can put food on their table inside of their reasonable shelters. So what?

“Now that they aren’t poor, do they no longer have problems? Have they achieved peace? You don’t even have to ask anyone, just go out on the streets and observe. They have to grovel before the strong and noble. One false step, and they risk losing their lives. If a servant, who isn’t poor, spills wine on a monarch, what do you think happens to his head? It separates from his body. Do you think the servant enjoys living such a life? He isn’t poor. He might even have a family, but is he no longer suffering? He wants more, and because he can’t achieve what he wants, he suffers. Sometimes a fairytale-like incidence occurs, a princess falls for a random low-class citizen. Instead of inspiring hope in other low-class citizens, it inspires jealously. Why? Why couldn’t it happen to them instead?

“Even if this servant miraculously becomes the king, he still has to bow before cultivators. He might pour all his wealth into his son, turn him into a successful cultivator. Then his son will have to bow before the saints. The saints bow before the earth-realm experts. The earth-realm experts bow before the sky-realm experts. The sky-realm experts bow before the quasi-immortals. The quasi-immortals bow before the immortals. And what of the immortals? They sacrifice their lives to fight demons and beasts in the immortal realm. Tell me, is it worth it? Perhaps one out of ten trillion people will manage to struggle through the path I’ve narrated. The rest will fail, suffering all along the way. Yes, some may skip steps, luckily becoming a cultivator, but that doesn’t change the odds of becoming an immortal.

“Struggling and suffering is a natural part of existence. When bad things happen to people like, for example, someone like me turns their loved one into a weapon, they suffer. Even if I never existed, never turned their loved one into a weapon, their loved one would’ve died anyway, and the suffering would’ve occurred either way. The only true way to escape the struggle and suffering is for a complete destruction of body and soul. You say I’m evil because I kill people, but I say I’m a savior because I relieve them of their suffering.”

For a second, my heart was nearly swayed. The heart devil that the humanoid beast planted inside of me is more troublesome than I thought. “You may take away their suffering, but you also take away any happiness. Life isn’t all suffering. There are joys in life too.”

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