Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 4 Book of Kan – Chapter 25 Destruction and Humanity
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 25 Destruction and Humanity
“It’s the same,” Wen Jiubo said calmly.
“Whether it’s planned or an impulse, murder is murder, there is no excuse. The moment you decide to kill a fellow human being, motive becomes unimportant, and the only thing that drives you… is instinct.”
“Killing is an instinct?”
“Yes, it is. It’s also called murderous intent.” Wen Jiubo lowered his head. Although he spoke eloquently, he did not look happy about it from his expression. “Whether it is to kill a person or to kill a group of people, the intent is the same. There is no reason other than murderous intent. If you quarrel with someone, angry or sad, those are your emotions. You want to beat up or hurt someone really badly, that is your emotions. However, if you think, ‘Ah, I can kill this person’ during the process, the moment you have that idea, you’re no longer influenced by your emotions.”
“By then, what drives you is just pure murderous intent,” Wen Jiubo said.
I felt lost after hearing his words. However, though reluctantly, I gradually understood what he meant.
“That’s why I said, whether we’re talking about the motive behind a murder or the concept saying that work is mandatory, it’s only an excuse that human beings make up in order to maintain social stability. If the police or the murderer doesn’t seek a motive after someone has been killed, then we can only consider the murderer to be a madman.”
The murderer would only be treated as a madman…that’s true.
If one believed that killing was an instinctive act, he would be treated as a madman. Because his or her worldview wouldn’t fit in our society.
“Then, let’s go back to the topic about the person who wants to destroy the world.” Wen Jiubo adjusted his posture. Now he looked lazier and more languorous. “Do you still believe that there is no one in the world whose pure intention is to destroy the world?”
I became uncertain. I tried very hard to recall every word Wen Jiubai said, trying to find any arguments that I could use to refute him.
After all, I did not want to lose hope for this world.
“No, my opinion hasn’t changed,” I said.
“Oh?” Wen Jiubo narrowed his eyes. It seemed like it surprised him. “How so?”
“You mentioned before that society formed as a result of human selfishness, as everyone wants to stay alive in this world, right?”
Wen Jiubo nodded.
“That is to say, everything comes from our own selfishness. Many seemingly inconceivable things, including murder, are in fact human nature concealed by social morality, which I agree with. But destroying the world is something different,” I said. “Destroying the world is different from killing people. Even if the murderer can’t extend his own life by killing the victim or can’t gain any benefits from it, he won’t lose anything either——Erm, it’s another story if he gets caught. But destroying the world is different since the culprit will also lose his own life, won’t they? So will the culprit still do it although his survival instinct and his selfishness are against it?”
“Gu Yu.” Wen Jiubo looked at me with a faint smile. “Even after everything I told you, you’re still unable to think of human beings as animals.”
“Human beings are animals, but they are definitely different from ordinary animals. They can think. Of all the creatures in nature, human beings are the only one with the ability to think, to recognize the time, to think about the future and the past.”
I frowned. “But monsters are also…”
“Monsters are just extensions of human beings,” Wen Jiubo replied casually. He skipped my question and went on, “In nature, human beings are the only species able to end their own lives based on their free will. In other words, they are the only animal who can through reflection decide that they shouldn’t stay alive.”
This was indeed true…
“Then, why do you think that no one believes that the world needs to be destroyed?” Wen Jiubo looked at me.
“Do you really think someone could draw this conclusion?” I was surprised.
“Of course they will. Human beings are such creatures. Although their ability to think gives human beings advantages, it sometimes misguides them,” Wen Jiubo said. “For example, human beings often jump to conclusions during their thinking process.”
“Jump to conclusions?”
“For instance, there are many cases like this in our lives. A young girl used to be enthusiastic and have hope for life and love. But soon after she fell in love, her beloved boyfriend cheated on her. What would she do?”
“Probably… she would be disappointed.”
“Afterward, she finally recovered from a broken heart and fell in love with someone else. However, while she expected this new lover to help her forget her own past, the boy broke up with her due to a disagreement.”
“Ah, what a poor girl.” I couldn’t help but sigh.
“I didn’t ask you to comment on her poor experience. In your opinion, what did the girl think at that moment?” Wen Jiubo asked.
“Well…” I thought for a moment and answered. “She would feel really desperate. She might think that there was no good man in this world. To be honest, this is what my mother believes.”
Wen Jiubo nodded. “Yes, indeed. But you see, this girl only met two bad men, but she jumped to the conclusion that there was no good man in the world. This is what I said before, the limitation of human’s thoughts. Although macroscopically, the world is vast and there are various human beings in the world, the world everyone knows is just a self-centered world, no matter how society develops or how much computers becomes a part of it.
I nodded since this was true.
Although many people talk about what kind of a world it is, most people only know the world based on their own experiences. People know little about the areas they’re unfamiliar with, even if they do know, they only know a small part.
“However, they often reach to the inductive generalization based on insufficient evidence because of their arrogance,” Wen Jiubo said leisurely. “If a girl meets one or two bad men, she believes that there are no good men in this world; If a man loses one or two jobs, he is convinced that he’s useless. Such extreme beliefs are widespread in human society, which is the reason why people commit suicide. Gu Yu, the reason why people commit suicide is that they have reached the end of their world.”
“What does that mean?”
“They lose hope, they feel useless, they can’t live in this world anymore,” Wen Jiubo said. “Those negative thoughts lead to their suicide. The reason why people have such negative thoughts is that they have reached the end of their ‘self-centered world’. Their world just collapses. But for the world at large, nothing has changed. The only thing that collapsed is just their small world.”
“Whereas human beings often have this illusion that their life can affect the world,” Wen Jiubo said flatly. “I am so upset, but why can’t the sky cry for me for just a moment? I’m so sad, but why can the sea look so peaceful? When this kind of emotion grows stronger, it becomes anger. When the anger reaches its peak, I’m afraid it will turn into an impulse to destroy the world.”
I looked at Wen Jiubo in surprise.
“When you become desperate for your own self, you begin to feel despair for the human race, which then turns into despair pushed onto the whole world. The only way to express my anger and despair is to destroy this world, this should be what the culprit thinks. It’s a pure impulse, a pure desire for destruction and murder. Yet, even so, human beings are hypocritical creatures, they still find themselves excuses for their actions. They would say, I’m going to purify this world, to make the world a better place, to eliminate all evil demons for the world, and to bring back peace to the world. In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to sacrifice someone.”
The light in his eyes was grim and difficult to understand as he continued, “However, they don’t know that human beings are small and powerless in this world. Killing someone will only impact the victim’s family and friends, it has no influence on society. Even if he has the power to destroy the entire human society, there are other creatures on Earth that will thrive without human beings. Even if humans destroy the whole planet with their nuclear weapons, and then what? It will have no impact on the vast universe, it will be as if the ocean had lost one drop of water.”
I was stunned. I stared at Wen Jiubo and asked, “This…. this is no longer about the topic we started with, right?”
“No, on the contrary, we are finally back to the topic.” Wen Jiubo smiled. “You asked me, what did Bai and I do while you were gone, and my answer is that I went to save the world.”
It suddenly dawned on me. “So, the person who wants to destroy the world…is the Taoist priest Ling Xiao?”
Wen Jiubo nodded. “He’s the one we have been talking about.”
I always had this curious and fearful feeling towards this Taoist priest hiding in the shadows. It was said that he was the only person who could seal Wen Jiubo, but no matter how many times I asked him, Wen Jiubo never said a word.
It seems that he planned to tell me now. I was so excited that my heart was beating fast, as if I was a child who had found candy.