Chapter 358 - Andusia's Melancholy
Despite Lilith's warning about the treants, Alice still decided to visit them and see if she could persuade them to give her a block of Living Wood.
Although the treants' Living Wood would rarely find their way into the hands of outsiders, the fact that it was mentioned in some alchemy books meant that some Living Wood had flowed out of the treants' hands and ended up in the hands of some alchemists.
Alice also doubted that these alchemists had acquired their Living Wood by force as Andusia did.
There was no such thing as a taboo-level spell in alchemy, so it would be incredibly difficult for any alchemist to snatch a block of Living Wood from the treants by force.
Instead, these alchemists had most likely persuaded the treants to part with some of their Living Wood using some method.
Or…maybe they threatened the treants
This was also a possibility.
After all, the treants were an intelligent race.
Since they were intelligent, it meant they had weaknesses.
If the alchemists threatened the treants using the treants' weakness, it would also be possible for them to get their hands on some Living Wood.
"If you must visit the treants, I can tell you the location of their settlement… It's in the Kalu Forest that's located between the Rhine Kingdom and the Ymir Kingdom.," Lilith said.
Although she didn't know why Alice wanted to seek out the treants, considering Alice's identity as the Hero, Lilith simply thought it was a secret relating to the Hero.
"Some magic stones have been placed near the treants' settlement to warn humans not to approach.
If you go past the marked area, there is a possibility the treants will attack you.
But with your strength...I doubt you need to be afraid of them."
After returning home, Lilith asked Etoria why Alice needed to keep her identity a secret.
The answer she got was so that the Hero could have some time to develop in safety.
If Alice's identity were to get exposed, many demons would definitely come to harass her.
However, be that as it may, the residual mana collected from the "battlefield" outside Icarus City and the footage of the Hero and the Demon King fighting outside the Elven Forest proved that Alice's strength had already reached a frightening extent.
Although the treants were superior to humans in combat due to their powerful physical bodies and mana, they were still vastly inferior to Heroes.
Not to mention, the treants had a tiny population.
If they were tied together, Alice could probably wipe out the entire treant race with one taboo.
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"I'll DM you the exact location via LINK.
There are also some human soldiers guarding the area to prevent anyone from getting near and attacked by the treants.
However, with your status, I doubt they'll dare to stop you.
They'll probably let you through if you show your face to them," Lilith said, chuckling.
Although Alice couldn't expose her identity as the Hero, her identity as the Gryffin Kingdom's princess should be enough to persuade the guards to let her through.
"But I recommend you bring a few people with you.
Even if you are a princess, I don't think those guards will dare to let you get near the treants' settlement without any guards.
After all, they'd be finished if you met with any accidents inside."
What Lilith said made sense.
Although Alice could use her identity as the Gryffin Kingdom's princess as an entry pass, she would need to at least prove to the guards that she could keep herself safe before they would dare to let her through.
Otherwise, if anything bad happened to her, they would definitely take the blame.
Between angering a princess and shouldering the responsibility of a princess's death, it went without saying which option the guards would choose.
"But I didn't bring anyone here with me…"
Alice scratched her head awkwardly.
She had come to the Rhine Kingdom to secretly conduct an investigation, so she naturally needed to reduce the risk of her getting noticed as much as possible.
Hence, the only person she brought with her to the Rhine Kingdom was Andusia.
"There's no helping it, then.
There is also the option of sneaking in," Lilith said gleefully.
From how Alice spoke, Lilith could tell that even though Alice wanted to meet with the treants, it wasn't to the extent that she had to meet them no matter what.
Hence, Lilith reacted nonchalantly to Alice's plight.
"Or, maybe you could ask my dad for some people If you are the one asking, he'll probably loan our royal guard captain to you without hesitation."
The royal guard captains of the five human kingdoms were the epitome of strength in the human realm.
They were existences capable of trading blows with the demons' Four Heavenly Kings.
Under normal circumstances, it was highly unlikely for any kingdom to loan their royal guard captain to someone else.
However, if Alice was the one doing the asking, King Haydn might very well agree to loan her the Rhine Kingdom's royal guard captain.
It wouldn't be the first time a king had loaned their royal guard captain to Alice.
Take Hatter, for example.
Under Hatter's order, Catherine had practically become Alice's nanny already, helping Alice take care of all sorts of miscellaneous matters.
"Sneak in, huh… I'll do that, then."
However, Alice did not decide to borrow the Rhine Kingdom's royal guard captain.
This was because Lilith's joking response had given her an idea.
Why was she even mulling over this problem in the first place So long as she turned her magic robe into a weapon with her right hand, she could use its Mana Concealment skill to conceal her presence and appearance.
At that time, wouldn't sneaking into the treants' territory be a piece of cake
In reality, if Alice was willing to secure a block of Living Wood by any means necessary, she could simply steal it while staying invisible, and the treants would never know she was responsible for the theft.
However, this would be different from when she secretly learned the elves' taboos.
Her act of learning the elves' taboos wouldn't cause the elves any actual losses, but if she stole a block of Living Wood, it would cause the treants to lose one of their treasures.
Hence, Alice decided that she would sneak into the treants' territory, learn about the treants' present situation, and see if the treants had any requests.
Then, she would satisfy their requests in exchange for a block of Living Wood.
After coming up with a general plan, Alice nodded in satisfaction and thanked Lilith for her help.
Then, she hung up the call, leaving Lilith with a stunned expression in her home.
"Could she really be planning to sneak inside"
Lilith scratched her head.
There might be invisibility spells in this world, but when these spells were activated, the user would have their movements limited.
Hence, she couldn't figure out how Alice planned to sneak into the treants' territory without anybody noticing.
Andusia, who was placed in the figurine cabinet by the desk, looked at Lilith's confused expression and yawned out of boredom.
She had naturally overheard the call between Alice and Lilith, so she knew that Alice should be preparing to get a block of Living Wood and carve it into her replacement.
This was good news.
If Andusia were to be honest, she had gotten so bored that she had the thought of revealing her identity to Lilith.
That way, she could move freely in Lilith's house.
However, Andusia eventually shelved this idea.
Her real identity was that of a Demon King.
If she were to reveal her identity to Lilith, the girl would probably be scared out of her wits.
Then, Lilith would most likely report this matter to the Rhine Kingdom's king.
At that time, let alone gaining freedom of movement, she might even get Alice into trouble.
Hopefully, that kid can get the Living Wood soon.
Andusia, who felt like her body was about to rot, prayed.