Chapter 28:

Interlude: An Appeal to Justice and Selflessness: Why What I Did Was Justified, All Circumstances Considered

Fighting For My Freedom In Another World

Now, this is where you may be thinking, “what could make someone go from not wanting to hurt anyone, from doing nothing for anyone else’s sake, from doing nothing selfish in her whole life… To then burning down a whole city?”Bookmark here

So, hear me out. Bookmark here

Burning down the city was actually a very selfless act. At first glance it may not seem like it, but it really was. Bookmark here

Let’s start with this. What is it really that makes something go from being selfish, to being selfless? To not just be something cruelly done for your own benefit, but something other people will approve of and maybe even thank you for?Bookmark here

I would imagine most people have their own answer to that question, but I will give my thoughts on the topic.

The most obvious answer would be personal gain. If you’re the only one with something to gain from a decision of yours, it wouldn’t be anything but selfish. Bookmark here

What about burning the city down? Did anyone other than me have something to gain from it? Bookmark here

The answer to that was, of course, a resounding yes. Bookmark here

Alena was right behind me at the time. Still clinging to me, and very much in the way of danger if I were to be attacked. As long as I was safe, she would have my defence. But she would have been done for the moment I got taken out. Bookmark here

And I was running out of magic. Was practically running on empty. Bookmark here

The shield I had created to protect us was already pretty much gone. Bookmark here

That raises an important question. Bookmark here

What if you had a choice between saving people or stuff? What matters more? People’s lives or their property? Bookmark here

I’d like to believe the latter was the correct answer. That human lives are worth saving no matter the material cost. Bookmark here

But what if it’s one person weighed against a whole lot of collateral damage? Damage that would severely impact the lives of hundreds or maybe even thousands of people? Irreparable damage that would change people’s lives forever?Bookmark here

I would still have chosen the princess. Prioritised her life over any material thing. Stuff is, after all, nothing more than plain old stuff. Not something worth spilling lives over. Bookmark here

But in the event some of you would disagree with me…Bookmark here

...I would say there are reasons to believe the way I chose to act was in the benefit of the majority of Denert’s population. Bookmark here

I take it you have not forgotten that much of the city was already on fire at the time. I can assure you I had nothing to do with it, and thus was unable to stop the raging fire as easily as I would the ones caused by my own magic. No matter what I did, it would merely have kept spreading towards the edge of the city, eventually burning it all down. Not stopping until there was nothing left to burn. Bookmark here

But if someone intervened? If someone who had the ability saw it fit to take pity on the burning city? Wouldn’t that be a different story? Bookmark here

I would like all present to reflect upon this for a moment, and then I will outline my own reasoning. I take it there is no problem with that? Good. In that case, I will do exactly that.Bookmark here

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I take it most of you will have arrived at a conclusion by now?

The way I see it, the presence of such an individual would change things greatly. If they were to have been there, and taken the circumstantially best course of action, would you have judged them for that? Bookmark here

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...I see some of you shaking your heads.Bookmark here

Then I will make the following appeal: Bookmark here

I could have been that person. That individual. Bookmark here

The sole reason the destruction only spread as far as it did, instead of the whole city being ruined. I must admit I did not have as much success in this area as I had hoped, but the truth that I tried still remains. Furthermore, I had no ill intent behind what I did and there was someone else who committed acts that I personally see as far worse than anything I may have attempted.Bookmark here

My own thoughts at the time? Yes, I can give those. Bookmark here

At the time I was thinking something like this:Bookmark here

There aren’t any people around in the rest of the city. Everyone has been evacuated. The soldiers are all gathering up here to fight me. Bookmark here

It was fine to burn as much as I needed to. No one would get hurt. A few houses would be ruined, but that would be preferable to the princess losing her life. Beyond any personal affection I may have possesed for her, she was valuable. Her death would have meant a great loss not just for myself, but for the kingdom as a whole. Bookmark here

That was the logic that led me to my final conclusion: It was fine to burn down as many buildings as I needed to if I could save Alena. The danger it posed to the city at large would be minimal, because I would be able to control my fire in a way the natural one could not have been. Bookmark here

Especially since my fire didn't spread the way normal fire did…Bookmark here

Didn't…Bookmark here

Spread…Bookmark here

I could stop it. Bookmark here

That was what all of it led me to realise. Bookmark here

The fight, and the raging fire that would burn it all down if nothing was done to stop it. Bookmark here

I could deal with both of them at the same time, and save the princess while I was at it. An outcome that would be beneficial to all involved, don’t you think? Bookmark here

The preceding was my thoughts regarding what I did, which I realise some may see as a rather controversial decision. However, I think it was fully justified considering the circumstances at the time. Bookmark here

All I did was act in a way that would minimize the total damage. Bookmark here

I do not believe that deserves any sort of punishment. Bookmark here

As for what happened next, I believe most of you know already. Bookmark here

But since some details may not yet be known, I will now continue my account. Bookmark here

What I have left to tell is, after all, by far the most important part of the story. Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.