Chapter 1:

prologue 00

encyclopedia of good

The smell of flaming wood oil and his burning flesh entered my brain through my nostrils. I hate to say it, but it was delightful. I wish it wasn't, I wish I didn't take joy whenever I saw an adventurer suffer, but it seems no matter how close I get to an adventurer I don't feel anything for them. Maybe it's because of my genes, but I don't want to use that as an excuse. Bookmark here

"I apologize Frezo, I can't help you any further." I mutter to his roasted body. Bookmark here

After the initial euphoria left me, I felt depression and grief for Frezo, I had been adventuring with him for several months before I killed him. I was pretending to be a low-tier magic user. We met at the guild after he had signed all his papers. We initially had what he called a "connection". Bookmark here

He had asked me to join him and to begin to start a party; I agreed and soon did not regret the decision. He had a personality that I found amusing; the other adventurers, however, didn't care much for it. Bookmark here

He would constantly play pranks whenever we would enter a tavern, he told me that all were harmless. Sometimes he would do childish pranks and tap people on the shoulder and run away, or he would switch people's drinks whenever they left the table. Most of his pranks made me chuckle, although the adventurers found Frezo to be too much sometimes. The few times the other adventurers thought he had gone "too far" had gained him hatred. Frezo pretended not to care but his pranks became more personal over time. Bookmark here

Frezo knew that he was universally hated throughout the town, but he liked it that way, as did I. Whenever he would create a rope trap or deliberately trip someone that walked past him I would look at him and smile. I generally would play along with his "harmless" pranks. Bookmark here

Frezo and I never talked about why he would pull these harmless pranks, but I was never interested in the why anyway. One day the townspeople all agreed that he "needed to be stopped.'' Bookmark here

A small team of new adventurers took a quest that happened to cross with the same path that Frezo and I took regularly for our quests. Bookmark here

Once he heard about the team he gave me a certain smile that even I would call sinister. It was the first time I saw him look at me as if he was going to commit an evil deed; he nonetheless assured me that it was harmless. I convinced myself that I was doing a good deed by making him happy. Of course now I realize I was wrong. Bookmark here

"I have an idea, a good one at that." Bookmark here

"What idea is that Frezo?" Bookmark here

"It is the most complex thing I have come up with yet. You see this new group of adventurers that call themselves 'the gravediggers….'" Bookmark here

"That's pretty stupid." Bookmark here

"I agree, which is precisely why I think they need to suffer for the stupidity of their name." Bookmark here

"You think they need to suffer, because their name is stupid?" Bookmark here

"Yes, I do." Bookmark here

At that moment Frezo gave me an odd look as if I was stupid for asking him if they needed to suffer. He was the only contact I had at the time so I took his word for it. After all, I am still learning how to be good, and I figured he would know about good deeds more than I do. Bookmark here

"So, what do you plan on doing?" Bookmark here

"I plan on having them chase false leads until they get lost." Bookmark here

"How do you plan on doing that?" Bookmark here

"We shall arrive at the bizmoth's path three hours before they move. Once they arrive near us I will play the role of a beaten adventurer and lead them far enough into the forest. There, you will use your abilities to teleport me somewhere above them. Once you do that, I shall use this sleeping agent I conjured up a few days ago to put them asleep. There we shall carry them to different parts of the forest and take their supplies." Bookmark here

"Will we not get lost if we take them far enough into the forest?" Bookmark here

"I am glad you asked." Frezo then pulled out a map that seemed to account for every bit of the forest. Bookmark here

"You paid someone to map the entire forest for you?" Bookmark here

"Yes, but do not worry, it did not cost all of our funds. Anyway, I marked four places on the map with the adventurers names." Bookmark here

"Well, as long as you know what you're doing." Bookmark here

Now that I think about it, it was one of the worst decisions that I could have ever made. Bookmark here

After his plan went as intended, the adventurers that we placed in different parts of the woods actually succumbed to the creatures that lived there. They were new which meant that they didn't know about the creatures that lived in the forest. I'm sure that they were told to "stay away from the forest and keep on the path." Bookmark here

After the death of the four adventurers the town's people and the guild put clues together and figured out that Frezo was behind everything. Since I was a part of his party, two of what passed for the local police approached. As long as you didn't tell them so and you were smart, debtless and powerful, they and their prison may as well have been made of paper card. The prison was more of a work program that undesirables wanted to be sent into to leave home promptly and by any means necessary, for last choice job training, and to work off debt than it was an obillette. The air was mildly fecal and the feed may have been compost, but that was true on the Outside as well. No one cared what the inmates had to say, so therefore there was free speech inside the prison. The main reason why not more escaped is that the prison's greatest proficiency was appearing to the inmates as somewhere they wanted to be. The "police" lacked mass action and obeyed the local oligarchs, so they were too passive to necessitate force against them. It's good reputation and saves energy for a more powerful being to be kind to defenseless creatures, saving it for the enemy will force the enemy to kill them instead of attacking you or you killing the creatures, and Frezo wasn't there to tell me to do otherwise. Bookmark here

I put my stuff down on the ground and walked sideways out of arm's length. "Am I being detained, or am I free to go?" Bookmark here

The scraggly "officer" seemed unaware of the bag I was no longer carrying. "Intresting. Wot sort of fancy talk is that," he whispered. This one was about 18-24 years old, and could read and talk. The other, a silent 25-30 year old, could read and write, could bag physical evidence and take rubbings of evidence. Both were functionally semiliterate and basically unable to fight. "Umm, sir, you are, detained, in the sense t'would be rude to not stay and answer a few questions. We've heard much of this Frezo character, and we want to know the truth. Is he bad, or hard, sir," he asked since they've been what passed for well trained in building cases. Bookmark here

I rolled my eyes and grunted, underwhelmed. "Sir, I don't consent to any searches. I wish to remain silent." Bookmark here

"Sir, we are solving crimes, and if you answer our questions, you will be able to prevent the offender from being able to commit additional crimes outside of prison." Bookmark here

"Sir, I ... don't consent to any searches. I … wish ... to remain silent." Bookmark here

"Hmm. Doesn't consent to any searches, wishes to remain silent … odd, I have never heard such talk before. Anyway, we will still try to solve these crimes, we may be in touch," the officer said, leaving. Their partner left as well with them. Bookmark here

After talking to me the police, courts, and word in the market somehow came to the conclusion that I was forced to go with everything that Frezo did. I found myself not caring about the situation, even when Frezo was surrounded by multiple citizens in the town before we had walked to the hotel. I laughed at the situation because Frezo would often do things that would cause other people to become imprisoned. I assumed that it was a harmless joke like all the rest, but he acted differently this time. Bookmark here

"They are going to torture and execute me, but I won't let them!" Bookmark here

"Why are they going to torture and execute you when all your pranks are harmless fun?" Bookmark here

"Are you a dunce? Because of the gravediggers incident! I had not planned for them to die!" Bookmark here

"So, their death was an evil thing? It isn't considered harmless?" Bookmark here

"Of course it was not harmless, people died!" Bookmark here

It was the first time that I heard him sound desperate and unsure of himself. It was the first time I had felt that I was taken advantage of by someone else. He was supposed to be a model of what I considered good, so naturally I was confused. After talking to him I decided to disingenuously confront another person about what he did. Bookmark here

"I think he deserves death. That idiot has gone way too far this time; if he were to continue living he would influence more people to be as evil as he is." Bookmark here

"Were his actions evil," Bookmark here

"Of course they were evil! What kind of question is that?" Bookmark here

"Killing him would be a sufficient course of action then?" Bookmark here

"Yes! Why they did not immediately imprison him is beyond me, it has something to do with the towns politics or something stupid like that. If you ask me he should be put the death right now before he performs other things that he calls 'pranks.'" Bookmark here

"His actions were evil then, not harmless fun as he said it was." Bookmark here

"If it was harmless fun he wouldn't have hurt so many people, if he told you it was harmless fun then he was lying." Bookmark here

"I see." Bookmark here

After talking with the man in the bar, I had thought about it myself and realized the logic to the reasoning I'd suggested. After pondering for a few moments I had come to the conclusion that he needed to be executed. That's when I confronted him in a warehouse at the docks and told him that I would kill him to atone for my ignorance. Bookmark here

"You plan to kill me? You can't be serious." Bookmark here

"I'm sorry, but this is the way it has to be Frezo. To atone for my past evil with you I must kill you." Bookmark here

"Stop messing about with this shit, if you're serious than come at me as hard as you can, I will defend my life until the end, even if it's against you." Bookmark here

"I don't think you fully understand who I am." Bookmark here

"You're a half ass magician who barely graduated from the lowest rated mage academy. Are you forgetting that we have been together for almost a year; I know everything about who you are and your powers. That's how I know you can't beat me." Bookmark here

"Such a naïve and ignorant view you have of me." Bookmark here

I began to change form before him. His eyes turned wide and I saw despair overtake him. Bookmark here

"A demon, you have to be shitting me!" Bookmark here

He ran at me screaming, I feel that he knew he didn't have a chance. At that moment he didn't look as if he was betrayed or that he was tricked. It was pure desperation and awe of the power that stood before him. Bookmark here

A simple wave of my hand sprayed him in flaming light wood oil that immediately engulfed him. He did not die on the spot, only because I did not want him to. He looked up at me hurting, and in betrayal. I was the only person that he had ever talked to normally, I can only imagine what he was thinking once he realized the only person that he could call a friend was a demon. I figured that he himself was unaware of the paths he led me down. The moment made me think that he was not using me, it was truly his nature, evil. After I took a good look at what was left of his body. I realized just how complex benevolence was and how much more I have to learn. Bookmark here

I felt nothing for him, not even what the humans would call "remorse". I felt disappointed, bored, and frustrated. Bookmark here

He was still moaning, which didn't sound like a last breath. "Pff. Shh. Whatever," I said to what was left of him. I suddenly finished the job by flicking an iron club out from the sleeve around my forearm until it pulled taught the cord looped around my chest, grabbing it into my fists, and with it blowing his skull open across the room. I laughed at the bitter jibe he'd become. "Nervous laughter. No other laughter, I swear," I clarified with no audience. After I had disposed of the largest pieces of him, I returned back to hell, and met with my father who seemed pleased with my work. He had thought I was just doing what I wanted to do, but the truth is I hated the entire situation. I wanted to learn how to be good, what it felt like to care for someone and to be cared for. All I knew was ruthlessness, destruction, and enormous demises, like the poor bastard Frezo's. I'd heard about it later when the squash seller bragged about back orders; a team of 8 local "police" spent at least a week of hard work carefully documenting and cleaning up this one demise. They then began to destroy squash in a warehouse to reproduce his demise. They concluded and reasoned that my frame was too small to equal the pendulum they resorted to using in the simulation. I knew the inference was defeasible reasoning, and I let them believe what they wanted. I was tired of this existence and despised it. Nothing is ever worth this, this needs to end, I knew. Bookmark here

It's something that I cannot tell my father, and something I certainly cannot express to anyone else here in hell. That's why I seek validation from the adventurers on the surface. That's why I created something that I like to call the "Encyclopedia of good". It will contain everything I learn about benevolence. Bookmark here

My next step is to try my hand at adventure again, this time in the biggest city in the world, one where I can practice and not have to worry about making mistakes. A city where if I were to kill a party of beginner adventurers I can simply change my identity and shape shift without anyone knowing who I am.Bookmark here

Implement sociopath antidotes as follows.Bookmark here

My vengeance is intense, and if I wish to use something that you do as provocation providing an unsafe and unsupportive environment would fit that end. So provide a safe and supportive environment.Bookmark here

Take complaints seriously. The story is meant as a complaint about behaviour, which is in part mine.Bookmark here

Enforce strict anti-bullying policies. The consequences of interest in behavior such as this are extreme. This is a large part of why I wish to go straight.Bookmark here

Trust your instincts. That way, when you're wrong, you'll learn a lot more then if you trust kooky religions like your pastors', the nebulousness of academics that squabble with each other endlessly and self-righteousness like the speeches of lawmakers and judges.Bookmark here

Carefully document negative behaviors. That way you don't have to incriminate the living while doing so alone and alive. This record is a composite of journals of the behaviors of myself and others.
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