193 Chapter 190 Objectively Evil
They were floating over a large open field.
"Are you sure they are below that?" Stella asked, a faint smell of oranges permeated the air around her.
"Yes, I just need to dig down now. Ready?" He gave her a smile, and took her hand as they settled onto the ground.
Joseph stood there patiently, as he looked down below their feet, until he finally found what he was looking for.
The dirt and rock below their feet began to move, lowering them until they stood against the edge of a shimmering barrier. Behind them a staircase wound back up to the surface.
Joseph reached out to touch the barrier, and found it solid under his hand. Studying the magic that was inside his territory, he saw that the barrier was meant to prevent evil from entering, and would then cause damage to any evil that managed to enter it, as well as preventing any dirt and rock from squishing whatever it hid within it.
"It's pretty, whatever it is," said Stella, as Joseph studied it.
With a shrug, Joseph pushed on it, and was able to push past the barrier. With a firm grasp on Stella's hand, they stepped through, and found themselves on the edge of a fantastic city. In front of them, a tiny golem, barely a foot tall, was meticulously grinding a stone. As they stood there watching, it carefully placed the stone back into place among the stones that made up the walkway, then carefully pushed all of the stone dust into the cracks around it.
Joseph shrugged again, realizing he felt hot and prickly, as if insects were biting him all over. Stella also looked uncomfortable.
'What do you think, Joe?' asked Joseph, baffled by the constant damage he was taking.
'The barrier should protect against evil, not against any non-gnome,' said Joe, also confused.
'That's what I was thinking. Could it be targeting us because we are Wizar and it doesn't know what that is?' he wondered.
(JOSEPH THE BARRIER IS WORKING JUST FINE. YOU ARE JUST OBJECTIVELY EVIL.)
'What?' Joe was just as surprised as Joseph was.
(YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR PEOPLE, RIGHT?)
'Of course! Shouldn't that make me good?'
(BUT YOU LEFT AN ENTIRE REALM IN CHAOS AND DESTRUCTION, BECAUSE THEY ANNOYED YOU.)
'Not the entire realm… And I saved the oppressed beast-kin.'
(AND USED OVERWHELMING MAGIC TO BRAINWASH THEM INTO ACCEPTING YOU AS THEIR KING.)
'Some of that was you,' he said.
(EVEN THE DEMON WORSHIPPERS THAT YOU HAD THE OPTION TO 'RESCUE', YOU OPTED TO KILL INSTEAD. YOU HAVE KILLED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE.)
'You're counting them? I saw what they had in their heads! The world is definitely better off without them!'
(YES, AND LOOKING INTO THEIR HEADS HAS CAUSED YOU ADDITIONAL TRAUMA. YOU ARE OBJECTIVELY A HIGHLY FUNCTIONING SOCIOPATH.)
'I think I kind of get it,' said Joe.
'I still don't see it,' Joseph said, shaking his head.
(YOU WOULD LOCK STELLA UP, IF SHE EVER TRIED TO LEAVE YOU. IT'S ONLY THE STRONG FEELINGS OF LOVE AND DEVOTION THAT KEEP YOUR ANGER AND JEALOUSY FROM TRIGGERING. YOU UTTERLY DESTROYED THAT FOOL NURKONG DOMINATED, TO SAY THOSE THINGS ABOUT THIS REALM BEING A GALGE.)
'I was under a lot of stress from all the filth in my head after having to mind probe those cultists,' he argued.
(GRANTED, BUT YOU STILL HAVEN'T REMOVED IT ALL, AND IT HONESTLY ISN'T REALLY BOTHERING YOU. YOU SHUNTED MOST OF IT OFF, LIKE YOU DID TO YOUR PAST LIFE MEMORIES. THAT DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACT YOU ARE MENTALLY UNSTABLE.)
'But why is it reacting to Stella?'
(STELLA IS TOTALLY EVIL AND PSYCHOTIC.)
(SHE WORSHIPS YOU AS THE BENEFACTOR OF HER LIFE, WHO LITERALLY GAVE HER THE STRENGTH TO BE WHERE SHE IS. YOU EVEN GAVE HER ME, SO ANY REWARDS I GIVE, OR THAT SHE EARNS, STILL GET THE MENTAL BLESSING OF 'JOSEPH GAVE ME THIS, SO I MUSTN'T LET HIM DOWN.')
'That doesn't make her evil,' said Joseph. Joe agreed.
(SHE DOESN'T QUESTION IF AN ACT IS GOOD OR EVIL. IT IS ONLY EVALUATED IN IF IT HURTS YOU OR YOU TOLD HER TO DO IT. SHE CARES FOR YOUR PARENTS BECAUSE YOU CARE FOR THEM. SHE IS FRIENDS WITH SELENA, BUT WOULD STILL KILL HER IF SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS A THREAT TO YOU. IF YOU REQUESTED, SHE WOULD PROBABLY GIVE YOU A FUNNY LOOK BUT STILL MURDER ALL OF THE CHILDREN IN THE NURSERY.)
'Oh please. I wouldn't do that to my own people.'
(FINE. YOU HAVE NO QUALMS ABOUT HUMAN EXPERIMENTATION. NOT THAT IT DOES OR DOES NOT BOTHER YOU. YOU LITERALLY FEEL NO ETHICAL ISSUES AT ALL IN IT. YOU DON'T EXPERIMENT WITH IT MORE BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO FAIL AND AFFECT YOUR PEOPLE, BUT IF YOU HAD EXTRAS FROM OTHER REALMS, YOU WOULD HAPPILY MUTATE THEM TO OBSERVE THE RESULTS.)
Joseph's mind thought over the people he had just acquired as slaves. 'That's not a bad idea actually. I have several spells I've been wanting to try out.'
(YOU SAVED THE ELVES BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT THEY WOULD MAKE A GOOD ALLY, AND THEN BECAUSE IT WOULD INTERFERE WITH YOUR ENEMY, AND NOW BECAUSE YOUR LITTLE SISTER IS ONE, AND THEIR GOD IS PROMISING YOU A REWARD. YOU LIKELY WOULDN'T HAVE COME TO SAVE THE GNOMES WITHOUT THE REWARD.)
'I am very busy. The clue to the location of the meta rune is here, somewhere as well. Besides, I've done a lot of good, too.'
(FIXING THE WORLD BECAUSE YOU WISH TO RULE OVER IT, IS EXPEDIENT. FIXING THE WORLD FOR ITS OWN SAKE, IS GOOD.)
'Okay, Joe is convinced, but I'm still not sure. I believe my dad raised me to be good.'
(YOUR FATHER IS ALSO EVIL.)
'Wait, what?! He saved thousands of people. He has given tens of thousands of unwanted children a better life.'
(HE PRODUCED HIGH QUALITY SLAVES AND CARED FOR THEM, BUT ALWAYS THOUGHT OF THEM AS SLAVES. YOU GET MUCH OF YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS YOUR NORMAL CIVILIANS FROM HIM. PEOPLE ARE ASSETS AND YOU DISLIKE WASTED ASSETS.)
'Hmmm. Is being evil a problem?'
(OH, NO. I WORK ON FEAR AND AWE. I'M FINE WITH WHATEVER. I ONLY WANTED TO POINT OUT THAT THE SPELL WORKS ON OBJECTIVELY EVIL BEINGS. THIS REALM IS SO FOUL AND TAINTED THAT RELATIVELY YOU ARE A SAINT.)
Joseph still didn't think he was evil, but decided it didn't matter. He still had a goal, and was wasting time arguing with the system. Joe agreed.
Turning to Stella that had been watching the little golem work on the road while he inner dialogued with the system, he said, "I guess the spell is working correctly. We should keep going."
She nodded, scratching her arm as they turned towards the alley before them. He used his mana territory to heal the two of them so that the damage from the barrier was nullified.