PHA - Chapter 23 - You Don’t Categorize Magicians by Rank?
After chasing away the reporters pestering Father Kasandora, Alice returned to her room on the second floor. As soon as she entered the room, she found Zauna sitting in front of the computer. Then, when Zauna noticed Alice's return, she greeted Alice, saying, "Welcome back. How was it? Did you find that thief? Did you get any useful information from her?"
"A little bit." Alice nodded. Then, when she walked over to Zauna and saw that the other party seemed to be selecting school courses, she asked, "This is...a course selection interface? Are you starting school soon?"
"That's right. The new term starts in five days. There are limited spaces for each course, and I major in water magic and minor in wind magic, so I need to secure myself a seat as soon as possible," Zauna said, nodding. Then, she sighed and explained, "The wind department's teacher is a good person. He doesn't take attendance for his classes, so many people take the wind course even though they aren't even wind magicians. It's a real headache."
It seemed that no matter the world, so long as schools existed, truants would exist as well. However, after giving the matter some thought, Alice found this situation to be reasonable. After all, the last Demon King had died over 300 years ago. In other words, the humans of this world had enjoyed over 300 years of peace. Even though the conflict between the human and demon realms still existed, no wars had erupted during this period. Hence, students of the new generation wouldn't have the sense of urgency their predecessors had.
For students of the current generation, studying at the Magic Academy was probably only a means to help them secure a job more easily. Most of them probably didn't even care about improving their proficiency in magic. In comparison, Zauna could be considered a more self-disciplined student. She wasn't simply seeking to graduate from the academy. Instead, she was working hard to improve her magic standard.
Then, when Alice recalled the content of the web novels she had read in the past and the ranking system the Mercenary Union utilized, she couldn't help but ask, "By the way, do you guys have a rating system for magicians?"
"A rating system? There is one, but I think it might be different from the one you're referring to," Zauna said, nodding. "If you want to categorize magicians by rank, then they'll probably be separated into University Students, Masters, and Doctors.
"Don't give me that look. I know you probably want to ask if there is a categorization for strength, but we really don't have anything like that. It's been over three hundred years since a major war between humans and demons had taken place. Almost all magicians belong to the research faction in the current era, and only a few belong to the combat faction."
"Alright, then. Things really are different from what I imagined," Alice said, letting out a helpless sigh before sitting down on the chair beside Zauna. "But seeing as you'll be starting school soon, it seems you won't be able to go to the demon realm with me…"
"The demon realm?! What are you going there for?!" Zauna was surprised when she heard Alice's words. Then, turning to look at Alice, she hurriedly said, "Don't forget that you're the Hero! You haven't even grown up yet! If you go to the demon realm and get discovered, the demons will swarm you! Although the demons have become more civilized in recent years, they still worship strength at their core. They won't be as friendly as humans."
"It doesn't matter. There's no way they can tell that I'm the Hero, right?" Alice said, chuckling as she pointed at herself. She had already fooled the demon realm's netizens by spreading misinformation using her Hero BOT account. Based on what she saw on LINKS, many people were already discussing how they should sneak their way to the Gryffin Forest. Nobody even thought of the possibility that the Hero would sneak into the demon realm. "Also, I'm going there with a plan. If this plan succeeds, it'll guarantee that the demons will stop harassing me for a certain period."
Of course, Alice wouldn't be informing Zauna of her plan for the time being. After all, she was going to the demon realm to impersonate the Demon King. Although Alice felt that Zauna was a kind person, they had only known each other for three days. It was best if she acted carefully.
"Well, you're the Hero. You have the final say."
Seeing that her words had failed to dissuade Alice, Zauna decided to let Alice do what she wanted. Moreover, after pondering the matter, she found that Alice didn't have anything to worry about. After all, despite how harmless the blonde girl looked, she could instantly evaporate a large chunk of the Gryffin Forest so long as she was willing to. Since Alice possessed such strength, she was unlikely to encounter any dangerous situations in the demon world.
"But do you have a way to get to the demon realm? The human realm's exit is heavily guarded. The kings won't agree to let you visit the demon realm even if you're the Hero."
Alice had only become the Hero recently. According to historical records, that was when Heroes were at their weakest. It was also for this reason that the demons often only sent weaklings to assassinate the Hero. Though, these demons always ended up becoming experience points for the Hero. The human kings naturally understood this principle, so they wouldn't recklessly allow a weak Hero to visit the demon realm.
"It's okay. I already found a way," Alice said, chuckling. "It's the thief that snuck a photo of us this afternoon. She's called Rosa, and she seems to be doing pretty well in Mana City's circle of thieves. She told me that there would be a merchant convoy leaving Mana City in three days. The convoy might look like your typical merchant convoy on the surface, but it is actually a smuggling team that travels between the human and demon realms. I'll be able to leave if I follow them."
"A smuggling team..." Zauna's mouth twitched. She never thought that Alice would think of following a group of smugglers to the demon realm. Though, after pondering over the matter, she found that this seemed to be the only other way Alice could travel to the demon realm. "Is that thief reliable? Are you sure she won't trick you?"
"Don't worry. She won't dare to lie to me," Alice confidently stated. Even if Rosa ended up tricking her, she wasn't afraid of any danger. After all, she currently had several disposable Artifacts in her possession. If the smugglers had any untoward thoughts against her, a pair of panties was all she needed to obliterate them.
"What a pity. I really want to go with you and take a look at the demon realm in person. The impression I have of the demon realm so far is mostly based on rumors on the internet," Zauna said enviously. However, she knew her limits. With the strength she currently possessed, so long as she blew her cover in the demon world, she would be dead in less than a minute. Hence, she gave up on the idea of skipping school and accompanying Alice to the demon world. Even so, this matter had solidified her thoughts on taking the path of combat in the future. Otherwise, once Alice became a full-fledged Hero, she might not even be qualified to serve as a follower.
If Alice knew of Zauna's thoughts, she would tell her friend not to overthink things. After all, there was no way her strength would grow. Only by pretending to be the Hero in the human realm and the Demon King in the demon realm and putting checks and balances on both sides could she live a comfortable life.
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