- She's A Legendary Demon Huntress [Rebirth]
- Chapter 70 - The Natural Balance Between Humans and Demons (1)
Chapter 33: The Natural Balance Between Humans and Demons (1)
After midnight, Mi Wan brought along her squirrel savior and leapt over the wall with practiced ease. Since he had prior warning, Fan Chen was expecting her and had long prepared tea in the living room.
Fan Chen made tea using an antique tea set. And from the moment she was presented with the clay teapot, every movement mimicked the flair of how tea was served in ancient times, Mi Wan was distracted from awe.
“It’s just tea leaves boiled in water, so why does it look more expensive when you’re the one making it?” Mi Wan was a commoner who knew not the words to describe his elegance, so she resorted to using the word ‘expensive’.
“Have a taste.” Fan Chen chuckled and ladled a serving of tea in front of her.
She picked the cup, sipped it for taste, before letting out a long sigh, and shook her head. “Milk tea still tastes better.”
“Luxury is wasted on you.” Fan Chen reprimanded playfully but was generous enough to refill her cup with another serving.
“Are these tea leaves that expensive?” She had deduced the meaning behind his words.
“It’s alright, costs about the same as gold,” he replied, picking up another cup and serving it to the little squirrel on the table that was busy nibbling pine nuts.
“No wonder, but aside from being expensive, I didn’t taste anything special.” She paused, but when she remembered that it wasn’t her money that was being spent, she went back to sipping it without worries.
“You seem to like it here.” He gently tapped on the little squirrel’s head.
“Keke~~” The little squirrel nodded its head rigorously, and lifted his pine nut before Fan Chen while chattering something indecipherable.
“How generous, to think he’s willing to share his pine nuts with you.” Mi Wan was somewhat surprised. See, earlier that evening, she had found a bag of nuts and offered it to the little squirrel. The little rodent immediately dragged the bag and hid it under the bed, refusing to let her even come close to it. She was so miffed that she had Butler Ye bring an entire box of them to her room, just so she could watch it1the squirrel struggle to push it in vain.
“It said you prepared a whole box of tasty nuts for it. It’s never seen such a spread before and plans on sleeping on a pile of nuts tonight.” He translated with a smile.
“Oh by the way, is it male or female?” She suddenly realized that she still didn’t know the squirrel’s gender.
“It wants you to guess.”
Now that’s the problem with spiritually awakened animals. They understand everything you say but you don’t understand them when they talk, so she needed to rely on Fan Chen’s interpretations.
“Why do I need to guess? I can just look.” Mi Wan grabbed the small squirrel and flipped it over to begin inspecting.
“What are you doing?” Fan Chen watched as the small squirrel squeaked helplessly, and asked in astonishment
“I’m checking to see if it has a wee-wee of course~~”
“——” With a dark expression, Fan Chen pushed away her hand to save the little squirrel from her grasp and mumbled in disbelief, “It’s female.”
“Oh, no wonder there’s no wee-wee.” She wore a look of surprise.
“And you call yourself a woman?” He couldn’t help but ask. Society was ruled under conservative feudalism 500 years ago; just how did a sect manage to produce such a “forward” female demon hunter like Mi Wan?
“You’ve literally seen my entire body and soul, need you ask?” She gestured dismissively, with an expression that screamed ‘don’t-ask-stuff-you-already-know’.
“——” Fan Chen was rendered speechless by her question. Feeling an uncomfortable lump in his throat, he uneasily averted his eyes.
“Kegh… Umm… let’s talk about something else.” Realizing her words could be misinterpreted, Mi Wan quickly switched topics. “Why were you on Mount Gu Yuan today?”
“Whenever a mountain loses its spiritual energy, I can sense it.” Once they switched over to a serious topic of discussion, Fan Chen regained his usual composure.
“A mountain with spiritual energy, you’re referring to the tree deity?”
“Tree deity? You’re referring to that cypress tree?”
“Yes. Liu Gu, my classmate, called that cypress tree a tree deity,” she explained.
Fan Chen nodded. “Fifty years ago, I sensed that cypress tree undergoing ascension, unfortunately, it didn’t pass the lightning tribulation.”
“But it didn’t die.” Mi Wan was intrigued. Logically speaking, when one undergoes lightning tribulations, they either successfully ascend or get struck by lightning and die. It is impossible to be in a state where you don’t ascend but not die.
“There are two reasons it survived.” Fan Chen explained, “First, its failure to ascend wasn’t due to his lack of cultivation, but because Mount Gu Yuan’s spiritual energy was insufficient, so even though it didn’t successfully ascend, its spiritual foundation was stable enough to prevent its death from lightning strikes. Secondly, after its heavenly lightning tribulation, its life force was sustained by humans through the power of blessing that came in the form of sincere prayers and undaunted incense offerings. Pity… This belief ultimately doesn’t last.”
Mi Wan nodded in understanding. “So were you there to save it?”
Fan Chen shook his head regretfully. “I was there to save the mountain. In the last few hundred years, humans have excessively exploited this planet’s resources, which decreased the number of mountain ranges that are capable of nurturing spiritual consciousness. This is especially impactful to mountain ranges that are in close proximity to human cities, where deforestation and pollution are excessive, so when monsoon season hits, it results in landslides. If a mountain that was capable of nurturing spiritual consciousness were to experience a landslide, it will destroy not only the mountain itself but also cause all heavenly and earthly spiritual energies to dissipate for good.”
“And if heavenly and earthly spiritual energies were to disappear, then it would jeopardize the existence of demon hunters and demons alike.” Mi Wan instantly reacted.
“Are you sure it’s just demons and demon hunters who were affected?” He retorted. “Have you forgotten about today’s landslide? If that cypress tree didn’t die, that landslide wouldn’t happen.”
“So…” She could sense an answer at the tip of her tongue but couldn’t fully form her thoughts.
“You humans assumed that demons were naturally harmful, and placed yourselves above other races, but do you even know the origins of demons? Demons are spirits nurtured by nature. If demons were to become extinct, so would the planet’s ecological system.” Fan Chen glanced at the girl who had revealed a look of shock, and deliberately emphasized each word. “Demons, humans, nature, all share the same fate.”
If what Fan Chen said was true, then that means demon hunters who indiscriminately hunted demons were also endangering the human race. And demon hunters were not the root cause of demonic ruin, but the destructive acts towards the natural environment of millions of humans that reside on this earth.
“Did you know what caused the Great War between humans and demons 500 years ago?” Sensing that she was still unconvinced, he offered another example.
“Because demons were wantonly killing humans.” Mi Wan remembered it like it was yesterday. At one point 500 years ago, it was as if all demons had gone into a frenzy and slaughtered humans. By the time demon hunters were able to react to the situation, thousands of humans were already massacred by demons. In retaliation, the demon hunters ordered the indiscriminate eradication of any demon sighted, and this was the prelude to the war between humans and demons. The war lasted for seven whole years and resulted in immense losses on both ends.
“Correct, there was a time when demons suddenly massacred humans.” He asked, “But did you know the reason behind that?”
Mi Wan shook her head bewilderedly. Back then, every demon had lost its sense of reasoning as they chanted for the destruction of the human race. No one had the time to investigate the situation when their imminent survival was at stake.
“Back then, there was a powerful demon that sacrificed its life in exchange for a prophecy.” Fan Chen’s gaze became distant as if returning to the past. “Demons would be eradicated by humans within a thousand years.”
“What? How’s that possible?” Mi Wan fumbled and accidentally tipped over her teacup.
“Why isn’t that possible?” He took another sip of tea. “The number of demons that remained in existence is ten times less than what they were before, and it’s only been 500 years.”
“Because what? Because of the Great War between humans and demons?” Fan Chen laughed coldly. “It’s been 500 years. Despite recovering for 500 years, the demonic population has not grown, birth has declined, the heavenly and earthly spiritual energies have thinned, and it’s rare to find naturally awakened plants and animals. As for the human race, their population has long increased several orders of magnitude.”
Mi Wan was alarmed when she heard this. Is this why the number of awakened demon hunters have also declined?
As if reading her mind, Fan Chen continued. “Though the human population continues to grow, the number of awakened demon hunters has declined, do you know why?”
“Because there are fewer demons, so there are fewer demon hunters,” she replied in disbelief.
“Natural balance. Nature produces demons, while also nurturing a race to counter demons, and that would be you demon hunters. So you don’t have to worry about breaking the balance between demon hunters and demons.” Fan Chen looked at Mi Wan. “Because since ancient times, the ratio between demons and demon hunters has always been balanced.”
“So, regardless if I treat demons or not, it would never threaten today’s balance?” If what Fan Chen said was true, her actions would never affect the power balance between humans and demons. Because if the demons prospered, so would demon hunters, and vice versa.
“The ones who broke the balance have always been humans who pollute the environment, and humans who lost faith.” Fan Chen lifted the little squirrel in front of Mi Wan. “It is the toppling of every mountain, and the increase of homeless animals.”
“Keke~~~” The little squirrel squeaked.
This time, Mi Wan could understand what it was trying to say even without Fan Chen’s translations. With the collapse of Mount Gu Yuan, a tree deity died, and a small squirrel had lost its place of cultivation.
“That’s why you’re buying up land to build parks?” Mi Wan finally understood that Fan Chen’s park developments were not for capital gain, nor did he do it because he was a tree demon that naturally liked forests. He was doing everything he could to save the natural environment.
“Mm.” Fan Chen nodded and continued melancholically, “But man-made parks ultimately lack the spiritual energy of nature.”
“Then what has to be done to recover that spiritual energy?” Mi Wan asked.
“I don’t know either. The only thing I can do is grow trees.” Fan Chen said, “I often wondered if everything would return to the way it was in the beginning if the surface of the earth were to be covered by vegetation from 500 years ago.”
“Would it?” Mi Wan could not help but ask.
“I’m trying my hardest, and hoping for the best.” Fan Chen smiled.