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Chapter 1147 1147. Unhappy
Jack sighed again. His body felt heavy. He knew he had limited time and should leave now, but he didn't feel like getting up from the throne. He had known from the start, that being the sovereign of this kingdom was not a fun task, but he didn't expect the moral burden to be this heavy.
He looked at John who didn't show any expression. The guy didn't flinch making a plan that could cause the death of innocent civilians. He wasn't sure if that was good or bad. He was just glad that this guy was on his side.
"What?" John asked when he detected Jack's glance.
"I'm sorry. I know your plan is for the benefit of this kingdom. I just can't be comfortable about being a king who let his people die even if it is to stop further bloodshed in the future."
John just looked at Jack for a few seconds before saying, "I don't think that is a bad thing. I lack what you call a moral compa.s.s. Maybe that's why I can be a good tactician. I rarely let emotion affect me from thinking of a solution. But I understand that it is not a good thing. I am glad you are here to be that compa.s.s. That being said, you've better mentally prepared yourself in case whatever you want to do doesn't work. There will also be a time in the future when we storm into enemies' cities. There will be civilians there. There will be collateral damage."
"Sigh… I prefer it if this is all a real game…," Jack said.
"I don't disagree with you on that point," John said.
"All I want to do is have fun and be happy. Sitting on this throne, I'm not sure if that is possible anymore."
"Be happy about the little moments. Then again, being unhappy isn't bad. It drives us to success."
"Another one of your strange philosophies? Ain't we all strive for success so we can gain happiness?"
"People who said that is the most idiotic person in the world," John exclaimed.
"d.a.m.n it, dude. Did you just call me idiotic?" Jack asked.
"Are you angry about being called one?" John asked back.
"Uh… Not really," Jack said. He never truly cared about such labeling. "But why did you say that? Is that expression wrong?"
"Let me ask you something. What do successful people have in common?" John asked.
"Um… They are smart."
John snickered, "Heh! Many smart people work for less smart people. Take, for example, me and you."
Jack couldn't tell for sure if that was a mocking or a compliment.
John continued, "There are also plenty of smart people who live in mediocrity and spent their entire lives without achieving any meaningful success. The reason is, they lack the drive."
"To answer my question. What successful people have in common, is that they are never content with what they have! They might have one dream in the beginning which they tried to achieve. When they achieve it, do you think they will be content? No! They might celebrate for a moment or some s.h.i.t like that but then they will place new goals on the horizon. And they will not stop doing it. If you want to give it a good name, call it a deep pa.s.sion. If you want to call it for what it is, then call it bottomless greed. Whatever you call it, that is the drive one needs to be successful. To be discontent. And you know what is the other word for discontent? Unhappy!"
"Uh… This is a bit heavy, man. You know I'm still reeling from all that inevitable collateral damage thing, don't you?"
John acted as if he didn't hear Jack, he continued rambling, "A person who said that you need to be successful to be happy? Pah! What a moron. Happy is a state of mind. You can be happy anytime you want. It is as easy as flicking a finger. You don't need to be successful to be happy."
"Um… There can be many external situations that make us unhappy. For example, the death of loved ones. Or, worrying about what to eat tomorrow because of having no money. It is not as easy as you said."
Again, John was ignoring Jack. "Those morons. They don't realize that the goal they are aiming at is the very reason that preventing them from being successful. If your target is to be happy, then you will stop after getting your objective. You will be content about it and you won't have any more drive to achieve more goals. If I give you two pictures. One is a picture of a person lying leisurely on a sunbed doing nothing except watching the sunset. One is the picture of a person who stares into his laptop intently while typing. Which one can be described as happy?"
"Uh… Is this a trick question? Um, the sunbed guy watching the sunset," Jack answered.
"That's right. I think anybody with half a brain will agree. But what do you think can be achieved by sitting and doing nothing? Exactly nothing! Being happy means that you just stop, do nothing, and just enjoy the moment. That picture of a guy hammering on his laptop. No sane people will describe that as happy. But I think you will agree that achievement is more likely to be acquired by someone working on his laptop than a person who just lays on a sunbed and do nothing except watch the sunset."
"Well, I don't know… I considered myself rather happy and also successful," Jack said.
"Really? What is your level now?" John asked.
"Seventy," Jack answered.
"So high?! How the h.e.l.l do you… Never mind that. So, are you happy with level 70?" John asked.
"I certainly am!" Jack declared.
"So, since you are so happy about it, how about staying forever in level 70 then?"
"Of course not! I still have many levels to increase."
"Then, you are not happy with level 70?"
"Uh… I'm sure this is a trick question now."
"So, what will be the level that makes you happy?" John asked.
"What's our max level?" Jack turned to Peniel, who had been enjoying the two's discussion.
"99," Peniel answered.
Jack turned back to John and said, "Level 99."
"What if the world gets an update and the level cap is increased to level 200?"
"There is no update. This world is not a game, remember?"
"I said, what if," John insisted.
Jack shrugged. "Level 200 then."
"What if another update and it is capped at 300?"
Jack gave John an annoyed stare.
"See what I mean? You will never be happy as long as there is a higher level to attain. That's how you drive yourself to keep improving. It's because you are unhappy!"
"I don't know why, but your weird pep talk has somehow made me feel less depressed," Jack stood up from his throne. "As much as I disagree with your warped thinking, I thank you for your rant. I will now go and get that one thing that will make Arther and the other officials in Themelot submit. Wish me luck!"
John stared at Jack's straight back that was leaving the room. 'That's how it should be,' John thought. 'That straight back is more suitable on him than his slumped one just now.'