PHA - Chapter 55 - Aird Is Dumbfounded
Alice naturally never killed a person before. After all, she had only transmigrated to this world for a few days. Her mentality had yet to acclimatize to a point where she could kill people without batting an eye.
Previously, Alice could extinguish Grant's soul with relative ease because it was in a blurry and translucent state; it didn't give off the feeling that it was a living person. However, it was a different story for Aird; she was a living, breathing person. Moreover, even though Aird was a demon, if Alice ignored the bat-like wings on Aird's back, Aird would look no different from a human.
Alice hesitated as she kept the Gaia's Spear raised above Aird's head. This was going to be her first time killing someone, after all. She needed to make some mental preparations beforehand. She felt that it'd be too cold-blooded of her if she simply smashed Aird into meat paste and called it a day.
However, Alice's hesitant behavior only served to increase the stress Aird experienced. After all, there was no way anyone could relax when there was a massive stone club hovering above their heads.
Aird's heartbeat gradually accelerated, and her resolve to die waned when faced with this stressful situation. She also couldn't help but wonder if Alice was deliberately putting her in this stressful situation to force information out of her.
Just when Aird was about to suffocate from anxiety, Alice finally showed signs of movement. However, she didn't smash the Gaia's Spear down on Aird's head. Instead, she set her gaze onto Aird's wings. Then, in a surprised tone, she asked, "Your wings… What's the matter with them?"
Aird was momentarily surprised by Alice's question. Then, when she turned to look at the wings on her back, her expression instantly changed. Without her realizing it, the Gaia's Spear's Earthshaker ability had caused her wings to rupture and expose a massive wound.
However, what caused Aird's expression to change wasn't the injury she suffered.
Instead, it was the dense magic circuits composed of crystals that the wound had exposed. Currently, there was even mana leaking out of these damaged magic circuits.
"...It seems I still got found out in the end."
Aird grew silent for a moment. If this situation had taken place at the very beginning, she would've chosen to commit suicide to keep her secret. However, after being put through Alice's mental torture, her willpower had already weakened significantly. So, after witnessing this scene, like a deflated balloon, she revealed a bitter smile and said, "That's right. I'm not a demon."
Alice's eyes widened in shock as she looked at Aird, her mind failing to process the situation. Then, she heard Aird continuing:
"Originally, I thought I could kill you while you were still weak. However, it would seem that staying undercover in the demon realm for over two decades has reduced my ability to think calmly…"
Alice felt that she was in over her head as she listened to Aird's confession. Initially, she had jokingly thought that so long as the humans and demons did not plant spies into each other's kingdoms, the possibility of her identity getting exposed should be zero. Yet, it turned out that the humans did plant a spy in the demon realm. Moreover, this spy had secured herself a position as one of the Four Heavenly Kings.
However, after thinking it over, Alice found this situation to be somewhat reasonable. Unlike in the human realm, one didn't need to have a knack for politics to become a ruler in the demon realm. A person could become one of the Four Heavenly Kings so long as they had sufficient strength. The other demons wouldn't doubt this person's identity. On the contrary, they would do their best to assist this person in becoming a Heavenly King. In a certain sense, the demon realm's political system was very vulnerable to infiltration.
However, someone who had the strength to become a Heavenly King in the demon realm should also be able to secure themselves a high position in the human realm. Typically, there wouldn't be anyone who would willingly work as a spy in the demon realm because of the terrible environment here. The fact that Aird was willing to go undercover in the demon realm also showed that she was sincerely concerned for the human realm.
This also explained why Aird had eventually lost her calm and tried to assassinate Alice. If Aird was truly concerned for the human realm's future, she naturally wouldn't be willing to let go of the opportunity to kill the Demon King while the latter was still as weak as an ordinary human girl.
Looking at the magic circuits exposed on Aird's wings, Alice guessed that these wings should be similar to the fake horns she previously wore. However, unlike her horns, which functioned solely as a decoration, Aird's wings should be a magic tool that replicated the mana-filtering properties of the demon race's unique organs. Apart from serving as a disguise, this magic tool probably allowed Aird to cultivate her mana pool even while living in the demon realm's polluted environment.
"So you were actually human…"
Alice sighed and gently lowered the Gaia's Spear. If the other party was a real demon, she would definitely have to take a life today. However, since the other party was human, there was no need for her to do so. After all, this meant that there was still room for negotiation between them.
"...What are you trying to do?"
Aird subconsciously frowned when she saw that Alice had set the Gaia's Spear aside and showed no signs of wanting to attack her. Then, she shuffled backward on her knees and cautiously looked at Alice. Even if she was already heavily injured and lacked any combat power whatsoever, she still subconsciously got into a defensive posture.
"Ah… How should I put it…" Alice awkwardly said as she scratched her face. Then, she put on a serious expression and revealed her "true identity" to Aird, saying, "Actually, I am the Hero."
Although Aird didn't say anything, Alice could still tell what the other party's disgusted expression was trying to say—Who the fuck are you trying to fool?
"I guess I can't prove anything with my mouth alone… Give me a second."
After pondering for a moment, Alice let go of the Gaia's Spear and ran back into the room. Now that Aird's wings had already been damaged, she could no longer utilize the demon realm's mana, which also meant that she could no longer put up any resistance. Thus, Alice had no more need for such a clumsy stone club.
Under Aird's confused gaze, Aird ran to a corner of the room and dug out her pouch from the rubble. Then, she pulled out a glove, wore it on her right hand, and inserted both hands into the pouch. After fumbling in the pouch for some time, Alice eventually felt satisfied with her work and withdrew her hands from the pouch.
The next moment, Aird saw a resplendent holy light radiating from Alice's right hand. The light looked so sacred that even the priests and nuns of the church would think that God had just manifested before them.
Thus, Aird had begun to question the meaning of life.
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