PHA - Chapter 16 - There's a Mole
After searching the black-clad girl's body and making sure that she didn't hide any other recording device on her body, Alice and Zauna released the girl's bindings. Of course, they kept the phone that contained the photos and voice recordings the girl secretly took. That way, even if the black-clad girl went out and announced to the world that "the Hero is a blonde little girl," it was unlikely for anyone to believe her.
However, compared to the black-clad girl's matter, Alice was more concerned over the information the girl mentioned. If it were true, then she would be in a world of trouble soon. The demon race's Four Heavenly Kings... Although novels usually described such characters as joke characters, Alice dared not bet her life on this world's Four Heavenly Kings being clowns with no real combat effectiveness.
"Demons and humans are different. The kings of the human realm are experts in governing a country, and they are selected after undergoing various tests and observations. The kings of the demon realm, on the other hand, rely on overwhelming strength to gain their position," Zauna worriedly said. Although she knew that Alice could exhibit godlike strength at a moment's notice, Alice looked no different than a harmless little girl during normal times.
"Meanwhile, the demon's four kings are called the Four Heavenly Kings. They possess incredible strength, and they will only ever submit to the Demon King. There were even instances of Demon Kings being incapable of suppressing the Four Heavenly Kings in the past. If they intend to assassinate you..."
After hearing Zauna's explanation, Alice celebrated the fact that she had kept her identity hidden. At least now, the Four Heavenly Kings would have to waste a lot of time finding out who the real Hero was. They might even foolishly search for a man with a tiger's back, a bear's waist, and a pretty face. So long as no accidents happened, there should be no way the Four Heavenly Kings would find her. Although the black-clad girl was a potential danger, the Four Heavenly Kings would treat her words as nothing but gossip without any substantive evidence such as photos and voice recordings.
Meanwhile, the best way to defeat gossip was to spread more gossip. If news that "the Hero was a little girl" started spreading among the public, all Alice needed to do was bring it up with the Gryffin Kingdom's King. At that time, many other types of false rumors regarding the Hero would spread, such as the Hero being a weak old man, the Hero being a cripple with no legs, or the Hero being a Milu Rabbit. With so many different rumors spreading around, even if a factual rumor were to be mixed in, it would remain nothing more than a rumor. Hence, Alice would still be able to sit back and relax.
"But, Alice, even if you are safe for the time being, if the demons fail to find the Hero's whereabouts after a long time, I'm afraid they will increase the number of spies they send into the human realm," Zauna said, bringing up another worrying point. "If we let this situation fester, it may increase the friction between the human realm and the demon realm.
"Many demons have originally been thinking of invading the human realm already. The only reason why they haven't done so yet is because they aren't confident in winning. Hence, they've chosen to wait for the Demon King to appear. However, if a large number of demons infiltrate the human realm, I'm afraid the friction between the two realms will escalate before the Demon King even appears."
"Indeed. If humans and demons are as similar in appearance as you said and a large number of demons infiltrate the human realm, conflict will arise sooner or later even if the Demon King doesn't appear."
Alice also felt a little distressed. Currently, she had no clue if the Demon King had awakened yet or not. If she wasn't the true Hero, it also meant that the Demon King wouldn't appear. However, the demons and other humans didn't know this. They would think that since the Hero had appeared, the Demon King's birth was also inevitable. This belief would, in turn, increase the demons' confidence and raise the possibility of war between the human realm and the demon world.
"It would be great if we could find out about the demon world's situation..." Alice murmured.
While saying so, Alice logged into her LINK once more to advise others not to recklessly start a war. The Hero's identity still held significant importance in the human world. She would receive the VVIP treatment should she decide to visit or stay in any of the human kingdoms. Alice also had the feeling that she had become something akin to a national idol. Hence, she felt that if she were to give such advice using her identity as the Hero, she could more or less delay the inevitable war.
However, Alice couldn't help but be a little confused when she tried logging into LINK since the application took much longer to load this time. When she looked up this world's internet before, she found that radio waves like WIFI didn't connect the internet of this world. Instead, the internet was a network constructed using mana of a specific frequency. Meanwhile, devices like mobile phones were tuned to connect to this specific frequency of mana.
For these reasons, one could gain access to this world's internet so long as one was in a place with mana. And as mana was something present almost everywhere, it wasn't an exaggeration to say that one had internet access in every corner of the world.
Of course, it was still possible for a device to lose internet access. For example, someone could suck away or disrupt the mana surrounding a mobile phone. However, such actions required a person to have a very high degree of control over mana. It was equivalent to having a person manufacture nano-level materials using their bare hands.
Frowning at this situation, Alice turned to Zauna and asked, "Zauna, is your network access okay?"
Logically speaking, as long as mana existed around her, she shouldn't face any speed issues when accessing the internet. Moreover, her phone was practically brand new. It shouldn't have any malfunctions. So, why was her connection speed so slow?
"It's fine for me. Can you not access the internet?" Zauna said after skeptically checking her phone's internet access. After verifying that her connection speed remained fast, she walked up to Alice and looked at the latter's phone.
To Zauna's surprise, Alice's phone currently displayed LINK's loading screen. It was quite a rare sight for the people of this world. She never thought that not only would Alice get such a loading screen, but the screen had even remained there for such a long time.
As soon as Zauna said so, the loading screen on Alice's phone disappeared and replacing it was a user interface resembling LINK's.
Alice sighed in relief when she saw the interface. However, upon taking a closer look, she immediately felt a chill crawling down her spine. What appeared on her phone wasn't LINK's interface. Instead, it was a completely different social media platform with a user interface resembling that of LINK.
However, what frightened Alice wasn't the similarity of this other social media platform's interface. What shocked her instead was the post that got recommended to her homepage.
"The Hero is currently in the Gryffin Church's second floor. Anyone wanna assassinate him?"
If a person made such a statement in the human world, they would probably have their post censored and receive a thorough background check from the government immediately. However, according to the post's timestamp, the post had remained live for many minutes already. The post had even received a ton of replies.
"Is the information reliable? If it is, I'll set out immediately."
"Since the Hero has already appeared, His Majesty the Demon King should be awakening soon as well, right?"
"Aren't the Four Heavenly Kings already preparing to take action? I think I'll wait for the good news instead."
Alice immediately came to a realization. What she had connected to wasn't the human world's internet but the demon world's internet instead.
When Alice held her phone in her right hand, the system had granted it an additional effect called Mana Network with the description of "You can access the internet using this phone." However, evidently, the "internet" referred to here wasn't just limited to the human world's internet. This also explained why it took so long for her to connect to "LINK" before. Not only was she far away from the demon world, but there was also a barrier separating the human world's and the demon world's mana. Hence, it was only natural that her network speed was sluggish.
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