Chapter 362 - Treants Don’t Seem Very Smart
Although it was good that the treants knew about the forest's pollution since this would save Alice the trouble of bargaining with them, Alice found it very displeasing to be mistaken as the culprit behind this pollution.
So, even though she was going to erase the little treant's memory of his kidnapping when she released him afterward, she still decided to clear up the misunderstanding.
Though, because of her displeasure, her voice sounded a little cold as she said:
"If I'm responsible for it, would I need to go out of my way to discuss it with you What kind of bad guy would ask their victim how it felt to be victimized Not even novels would dare to write such a scenario."
As someone who lived a primitive lifestyle, the little treant naturally did not know what a "novel" was.
However, the little treant still managed to understand Alice's point.
If Alice was the culprit behind the forest's pollution, now that her plan had gone smoothly, she didn't have to kidnap him and ask if he had noticed the pollution.
As treants rarely had contact with the outside world, the little treant had a relatively simple thought process.
So, after hearing Alice's words, the little treant immediately agreed with her explanation and nodded.
He did not suspect that Alice might be playing an elaborate trick on him.
"I guess you're right."
However, the little treant had seemingly forgotten that he was currently restrained by Alice's rings of flames.
So, when he nodded, his head immediately came into contact with the ring that covered his head.
The flames Alice conjured were not ordinary flames.
Instead, they were created using the taboo Burning Star, and Alice had twisted them into rings using psychic power.
Hence, they carried incredible power, and just a slight touch was enough to ignite the little treant's head and cause the little treant to scream in agony.
Alice scratched her head when she saw the little treant's actions.
From what she heard from Lilith, she originally thought treants to be fierce individuals.
However, after interacting with one, she couldn't help but feel that something might be wrong with the treants' IQ.
Not only was the little treant not fierce, but he also seemed very gullible.
Fortunately, Burning Star's flames were made using Alice's mana.
So, Alice had absolute control over them.
When she saw the little treant's head igniting into flames, she hurriedly waved her hand and extinguished the flames.
However, although Alice had managed to prevent the little treant from suffering any life-threatening damage, the other party's head had evidently shrunk a little.
There were also scorch marks on the exterior of the little treant's head.
It was fortunate that the treants' bodies were made entirely of wood.
If these flames were to make contact with an ordinary human's head, just an instant would probably be enough to cause severe or lethal damage.
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The little treant even thanked Alice after she extinguished the flames on his head.
Seeing how innocent the little treant was, Alice couldn't help but feel that she could try to sell him a slap to the face, and he wouldn't find anything offensive about it.
However, it worked in Alice's favor that the little treant was so gullible.
It would make her life a lot easier when she asked him questions.
Of course, Alice also felt that a part of why this little treant was so innocent probably had something to do with his young age.
Compared to the treants who were still idling in the settlement, this little treant's size was significantly smaller.
Although this "little" treant was already the size of an average adult human, the other treants in the settlement were the size of large trees that were several meters tall.
This stark difference in size most likely meant that the little treant was the youngest in the treant settlement, which was also why Alice had chosen him as her target.
Because treants spent most of their lives cooped up in their settlement and isolated from the rest of the world, even if the little treant had already lived for several decades, his mind was most likely still stuck in an immature state.
This made him very easy to deceive.
Of course, no matter how innocent the little treant was, Alice was still going to erase his memories of their meeting after she was done questioning him.
Even if she could get the little treant to keep their meeting a secret, she wasn't gullible enough to think he would keep such a promise.
She couldn't risk the little treant telling the big treants about their meeting, either.
"If you want to thank me, don't just do it in words.
I'd rather you give me a more practical form of gratitude," Alice said.
Although she felt evil for deceiving the little treant, she was only trying to get some information from the other party.
As for the little treant's burnt head, with the recovery abilities of the treants, it shouldn't be long before he would make a full recovery.
"Practical form of gratitude…"
The little treant subconsciously tried to search his body for something when he heard Alice's words.
Fortunately, Alice managed to restrict his movements with psychic power in time.
Otherwise, the little treant would be burning his hands as well.
Meanwhile, seemingly noticing his foolish behavior, an awkward expression formed on the little treant's wrinkly face.
Then, he said:
"That… I don't have anything to give you."
"Tell me about the recent events in the forest, then.
Has anything out of the ordinary taken place recently" Alice asked.
The little treant's behavior had truly rendered her speechless, so she felt that it was best if she got to the main topic before anything else unexpected happened.
"Have you noticed anything different or something that might have caused the forest's air pollution"
"Recent events" The little treant fell into thought.
Then, a moment later, he said, "Apart from the air worsening lately, there is only one other special event I can think of.
Roughly three months ago, a strange human intruded into our settlement."
"A strange human" Alice's eyebrows lifted when she heard this.
Three months ago was within the possible timeframe of the book Demon King's Shadow's theft.
So, the person who had trespassed into the treants' territory might also have been the thief.
"Do you remember any of that human's characteristics Or, more specifically, do you know what that human came here to do"
I can't describe it.
All humans look the same to us," the little treant answered in embarrassment.
Alice didn't find anything strange with this answer.
Although treants were sentient creatures, they were of an entirely different species from humans.
So, it was normal for them to have trouble differentiating the appearance of humans.
Naturally, the reverse was also true.
However, while it might be hard for treants to differentiate the appearances of humans, they could still distinguish between heights.
So, the little treant added:
"If I have to state a characteristic, I'd say that that human is much taller than you.
That human also looks quite skinny and doesn't have a very good expression..."
Unfortunately, this information wasn't enough to let Alice identify the target.
The little treant couldn't even tell if the other party was male or female.
"Then, do you know what that human came here to do"
Since she couldn't determine the other party's identity, Alice could only focus on other aspects.
If the human in question was the culprit who had caused the forest's pollution, Alice could use this opportunity to seek out the pollution's source.
There was a high chance this pollution source was related to the one causing the demon realm's pollution.
This was a very important clue, so Alice naturally couldn't let it get away.