Chapter 52: Holmes.Shi Xiaobai
Everyone had a scale in their hearts. It measured so-called righteousness, but when life of different quantity and qualities were placed on the opposite ends of the scale, the standards of measuring righteousness was different depending on the person.
A number of people would treat life as a cold, lifeless number. They would assign salvation to the larger number, while the smaller number would be sacrificed. They would rationally calculate and obtain a final result with the highest number, and stick strictly to it.
And there were others who assigned different weights to different lives. A person’s utility in life would determine whether they would be sacrificed or saved. These people would emotionally determine the utility of a life before rationally abandoning the one with least utility.
When overlaying the two different value systems into the question Shi Xiaobai was facing, the former would choose to save the convicts while the latter would choose to save Dan Liang.
Then, what choice would Shi Xiaobai make? Or instead, where did Shi Xiaobai’s moral compass lie?
Kali watched Shi Xiaobai with interest. Although they were hidden in a black cloud, the black cloud was internally filled with light, so Kali could clearly see Shi Xiaobai’s expression.
“Only two choices?” Shi Xiaobai contemplated for a moment. Before he gave an answer, he responded with a question.
Kali was stunned for a moment before she asked with a smile, “You are thinking of saving both sides?”
Shi Xiaobai immediately pointed his finger in a particular direction. With a solemn expression, he said, “This King wants to save… it!”
Kali traced Shi Xiaobai’s fingers and saw a ginger cat walking across a broken pillar.
In a land of destruction that resembled hell, why was there a cat walking so carefreely?
No, that’s not the point. The point was—the life Shi Xiaobai wanted to save was this cat?
“Don’t tell me that when you first asked me the question…it was to save this cat?” Kali could not help but think of this possibility.
“Of course!” Shi Xiaobai nodded seriously.
Kali immediately blushed as she realized she had cut Shi Xiaobai off, and how she had taken the liberty to say a bunch of “nonsense” that she found profound. Had she been the one overthinking things?
But at the same time, her heart sank slightly. The reason she made Shi Xiaobai make the choice was clearly to see his take on righteousness, and how he decided on matters regarding sacrifice and salvation. She never expected that given a choice between humans and cats, Shi Xiaobai would choose the cat.
Was Shi Xiaobai a person with such a heart of stone?
“Why don’t you want to save the humans, but instead choose to save a cat?” Kali wiped the smile off her face and turned serious. Since she was his mentor, she naturally had to understand the situation, as well as guide him towards proper moral values.
“One side wants to die, while the other side deserves to die. So why should I save them?” Shi Xiaobai similarly looked serious. He looked even more serious than Kali.
Upon hearing this, Kali ruminated over his words. The glimmer in her eye that had converged immediately sprung back, turning more intense.
“I want to hear your thoughts. Can you tell me?” Kali smiled with a blink, like a girl yearning to listen to a fairytale.
Shi Xiaobai was momentarily startled. His eyes swept the devastated land, before looking at the sky-watching Dan Liang and the desperately running convicts. He then took a deep breath.
“This King does not know what sins these convicts have previously done; nor do I know if they feel any gratitude to that Hero, much less know if they would turn over a new leaf if they were to survive. But there is one thing This King knows with certainty. They have never helped each other. While they were running, they would pull their own companions down, entrapping others.
“They are selfish creatures, maggots that yield to their instinct. If they are saved, they might very likely harm others because of their personal greed or desires. The reason why Darkness is Darkness, is because it constantly devours the Light. If saving the Darkness gives humanity a gloomy shade, why bother?
“No one forced them to run towards death. Their direction in life and the direction they are currently running towards are made by their own choice. The reason they will die is because—they deserve dying. This King does not save people deserving of death!”
Shi Xiaobai finished speaking with a heavy tone before pausing. He then turned his head towards the figure lying on the Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake. Shi Xiaobai’s eyes were somewhat in a trance.
Kali kept nodding as she listened to him speak while constantly murmuring a “hmm”. When she noticed Shi Xiaobai stop, she urged him to continue, “Carry on?”
“He lives a tired life. Death might be a form of release for him.”
Shi Xiaobai pointed at Dan Liang and said, “This King does not know what he has experienced. Just now, I heard from you that his superpower is called ‘Death Hypnagogia” and using it requires a fresh head to be sacrificed. And from the feeling he gave This King when he beheaded the convict, intuition tells This King that his motion is very smooth and honed, as though he has rehearsed it thousands of times.”
“So This King believes that he has killed before, and has even killed many. As he needs fresh heads, the ones he has killed are not only enemies. A portion of them might be his partners, friends, or even loved ones.
“So why would such a cold and cruel person throw his life away to save a bunch of incorrigible human scum?”
Shi Xiaobai turned his head at Kali and asked her softly.
“Why?” Kali noticed that Shi Xiaobai’s face looked much more handsome because of his seriousness. Being lazy to think, she directly asked him.
“Because he has been redeemed.”
Shi Xiaobai found Kali’s gaze odd, as he hurriedly turned to face the ground. He spoke in a low voice. “He was redeemed by someone or by something. He realized the errors of his ways and regrets his sins. He desires to leave the darkness and walk into the light. When he saw those convicts, it reminded him of his past self, so he believes that if he doesn’t rescue those convicts, then him receiving redemption would appear pathetic and ridiculous.”
“The reason why he saves the convicts is indeed substantial, but it is not enough for him to risk his life. Then, why did he insist on doing so?”
Kali held her face and asked with a mischievous grin, “Why?”
Shi Xiaobai was very pleased with Kali’s reaction as he carried on. “Because he wishes to die. There are many ways of redemption. Saving these convicts would not even be considered ‘redemption’. He should know very well that if he lives on, he can save even more kinder people. So despite knowing that he would die, he still stubbornly saves those convicts. The reason is very simple. He has a death wish all this time”
“He hates himself because of his life of sin, so for him, living is equivalent to a nightmare. In that case, death becomes a form of release. He wants to die, but he doesn’t want to die so simply. He has been waiting for the most suitable way of dying.”
“If saving those convicts is equivalent to saving his past self, and for that give up his life, then his redemption would no longer be so laughable. Would his death then become great and touching?”
“Maybe he might experience what the person who redeemed him in the past felt. What sort of feeling would it be?”
“For the reasons mentioned, This King does not think he wants to live. So why should This King obstruct his release when he wants to die?”
Shi Xiaobai smiled after he finished speaking. It looked somewhat wry.
“Nice!” Kali could not help but give Shi Xiaobai a big thumbs up.
“Tch, back when This King completed numerous mystery genre games, This King was even given the title of ‘Holmes.Shi Xiaobai’ by others. Back then…”
Shi Xiaobai began counting his former achievements with a high-spirited grin. However, as he spoke, he slowly turned silent, as a repressive atmosphere seemed to emanate around him.
“So… none of them shall be saved?” Kali asked with a soft voice.
“Nope!” Shi Xiaobai’s voice trembled slightly.
Kali sighed. Even if Shi Xiaobai’s reasoning was very good, or even if he was on the mark with everything he said —that there was truly no need to save Dan Liang and the convicts—for a thirteen year old child to coldly watch with his teeth gritted others heading towards their deaths, it definitely felt bad, right?
“Hey, elder sister pixie, you are very strong, right?” Shi Xiaobai suddenly asked.
Kali was momentarily stunned. She did not know how she should feel with the addressment “elder sister pixie”. She was a pixie originally, and she was not irked by Shi Xiaobai’s use of “elder sister”, but she was after all already… Pui! Matters of age should not be mentioned again! Furthermore, she was Shi Xiaobai’s mentor.
Upon thinking of this, Kali suddenly realized that she had yet to tell Shi Xiaobai that she was his mentor.
“Yes, very strong.” Kali decided to temporarily ignore the “elder sister pixie” salutation.
“Compared to baldy uncle?” Shi Xiaobai’s expression could not be seen as he had his head lowered.
Kali was stunned for a few moments before she realized Shi Xiaobai was referring to One-Pun. She immediately beamed. “I’m stronger.”
Shi Xiaobai suddenly raised his head, and said loudly with eyes filled with hope, “Then can you kill the two monsters? Ultraman elder sister!”
Ultraman elder sister?
Before Kali was able to digest what Shi Xiaobai had said, she was stunned by this strange salutation. What was Ultraman?
Shi Xiaobai’s cheeks were somewhat red, but his voice sounded very serious. He spoke in all seriousness, “It isn’t that This King wants to save these foolish humans, but since This King has arrived in this world, then this world would eventually bow before This King. Every inch of land on this world shall belong to This King! These few blind monsters dared to wreck havoc on This King’s fief, so they must be punished!”
“Cough, This King is definitely not doing this to save them, but to uphold the dignity of the Crown!”
Kali finally understood Shi Xiaobai’s intentions. She immediately burst into laughter and stretched out her hands to pinch Shi Xiaobai’s cheeks. She said loudly, “Why are you this cute?”
“Little rascal, clearly you have seen through things much better than anyone, but you are more soft-hearted than anyone.”
Having his cheeks ‘brutalized’ by Kali, Shi Xiaobai naturally could not stand such ‘molestation’. He quickly pushed Kali’s hand away and covered his face, and said in an aggrieved manner, “Will you?”
He looked like a child asking for a toy.
“Yes, I will.”
Kali retracted her hand and looked down at the convicts who were about to encounter the Chimera. She said softly, “I’m not doing it to save anyone, but for you.”
Author’s Note: Those who said Shi Xiaobai is an idiot, go face the wall and reflect on yourselves! This King, Shi Xiaobai, might be funny, but he is not stupid! Hmph!