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We had a short lunch break before collecting the proof of the hunt. Daniela had said something about it before, but I had double-checked at the library. For goblins, it was the left ear. And so eleven ears went into a leather pouch. I put it away in the hollow bag and turned to Daniela. She seemed to be looking far off into the distance. But at what?
“Can you see anything?”
I stood next to her. She had her right hand above her eyes, blocking the sunlight as she stared.
“No, I was just thinking about life. Much as you were.”
“Aye… I am one who lost their family to monsters. And so I never had much reason to care about killing them. If anything, I harbored hatred.”
“I can imagine…”
“But things have a way of fading… It is mostly a way of life for me now. A part of my everyday work, you might say. I think the significance of their lives has plummeted. Faded.”
She said as she looked off into the distance.
“Still, meeting Rachel yesterday was a great shock. In spite of appearances, words and emotions. She used to be a monster. I have lived for many years, but have yet to see another monster like that. She was clearly human.”
“Well, yes, Rachel is human. But Daniela, she is a very rare case. She has a soul that came from the same world, the same country as me. Even if her body was a monster, she was a human inside.”
“I suppose… Surely a monster could not become human without a human soul. They would not even want to.”
I had been stabbed by a thief and been sent to this world on the brink of death.
So, what if I had actually died and reincarnated as a goblin?
Hell, I would still feel lucky to be a monster. But if I had been a bug or a tree?
What would have happened to me then?
“It is not as if I did not have questions after meeting Beowulf or Arthur. An evolved forest wolf and an evolved orc. But it is not so simple as that. It made me wonder what monsters really are.”
Daniela’s eyes left the distant sky and turned to me.
“We are the same. That is what I thought.”
Then she looked past me and at the fallen corpses.
“It is all the same life. We are all living creatures. Humans put a price on the lives of each other. It is no different with monsters. No life can just be taken from one side alone. But I still believe that there is some life that must be taken.”
“Yeah, there are humans that seem to have an infinite capacity for good and for evil.”
“Aye… These things that I now think or feel, they will not change the way that I act. But I feel that perhaps I am able to see a clearer reason behind things now.”
Daniela seemed a little renewed by this.
A reason why some must not be killed. A reason why some had to be.
Moral values tend to change depending on the people, places, and situations. Killing is justified during wars.
So, how were things then?
This was a different world, with different values. The lives of monsters were set below humans. The lives of even humans were quite cheap compared to what I had known.
However, it still had value. It wasn’t something to be taken without thought. But then again, my own life was something that could easily be taken away.
So, how should I live?
There was nothing to it. You had to kill. Before they kill you. Before they kill someone you care about.
It was a world where things had to be taken into your own hands. But I did not think it was wrong to at least do it in a way that you did not accidentally hurt a bystander.
I too felt like I had a new reason to kill monsters. It was not excessive killing, but a way of preventing damage in the future… It was the way to live in this world.