Chapter 356 - It's Not Easy Being a Thief
"Huh Investigate the Demon King's Shadow's theft"
Lilith had informed Sylvia about the general gist of the situation after the other party took a seat at the table.
However, Lilith decided to keep Alice's identity as the Hero a secret from Sylvia for the time being.
When Lilith had asked Etoria about Alice, Etoria initially tried to deny all connections between Alice and the Hero.
This meant that Alice being the Hero was information that must be kept a secret for the time being.
So, even if Sylvia was one of her most trusted aides, Lilith didn't choose to tell Sylvia about Alice.
Lilith was aware that the reason Alice was willing to share her identity as the Hero with her was because Alice trusted her.
However, she'd be overstepping her boundaries if she nonchalantly shared this secret with others.
She wasn't so dense and foolish that she'd make such a mistake.
According to my investigations, the person who stole Demon King's Shadow is most likely a thief.
All fingerprints, footprints, and secretions at the crime scene were erased when the crime took place.
There are also some traces of special mana left behind at the scene, and I suspect the mana is from 'Traceless,' a spell only thieves know how to use," Alice said, nodding.
Then, she pulled out the magic crystal and put it on the table, saying, "Stored inside this crystal is the special mana I mentioned.
So long as this crystal comes into direct contact with the owner of this special mana, its color will turn from blue to golden."
So, you wish for me to inspect the Rhine Kingdom's thieves and see if anyone has mana matching the mana stored inside this crystal," Sylvia said, understanding what Alice was trying to get her to do.
Then, she turned to Lilith, and only after seeing Lilith nodding to her did she agree to take on Alice's commission.
Although Sylvia didn't know why Lilith would decide to help Alice on this matter, she would naturally complete any orders Lilith had for her perfectly.
When Alice saw the subtle interactions between Lilith and Sylvia, she couldn't help but inwardly sigh as she thought of Luna.
Although the relationship between Lilith and Sylvia was similar to her relationship with Luna on paper, Alice noticed that Lilith and Sylvia interacted with each other more like friends on equal footing than master and servant.
Although Sylvia would still prioritize Lilith's opinions, she didn't behave like a servant who'd need her master's permission to speak.
Sylvia's behavior around Lilith starkly contrasted with Luna's behavior around Alice.
Even now, Luna still stubbornly insisted on putting her position far beneath Alice's, which frustrated Alice greatly.
"But aren't there many thieves in the Rhine Kingdom Can you handle it, Sylvia" Lilith curiously asked when she saw Sylvia putting the magic crystal away.
She would rarely have any direct participation in matters relating to the thieving industry, so her understanding of the thieving industry was limited.
"Not to mention, the culprit could have left the Rhine Kingdom already.
Wouldn't that make it even more difficult to find them"
"That won't be a problem.
I've narrowed the search range significantly after hearing that the culprit used Traceless," Sylvia said, chuckling when she heard Lilith's question.
"Although Traceless is a spell only thieves can get their hands on, very few thieves know how to use it in reality.
After all, this is a spell normally only those seeking to do unscrupulous deeds would use."
Aren't thieves supposed to be professionals at doing unscrupulous deeds
Although Alice wished to speak her mind, she felt it would be inappropriate to say such a thing to Sylvia in this situation.
After all, it'd be terrible if Sylvia got angry and refused to help her.
So, Alice chose to keep silent and continue listening to Sylvia's explanation.
"The profession of thieves, as the name suggests, is mainly about stealing items and selling them.
However, times are changing.
The name of this profession was coined thousands of years ago.
The internet did not exist in that era, and the management of the various countries was also very loose.
So, this created an opportunity for thieves to act recklessly."
Although Alice did not say anything, Sylvia noticed the change in Alice's expression and understood what was going through Alice's mind.
So, she took the initiative to offer Alice an explanation.
"But it is different in the modern era.
The advent of the internet has made long-distance surveillance a reality.
The increased popularity of teleportation arrays and other modes of transportation have also made it easier for the various countries to manage every corner of their territory."
After speaking up to this point, Sylvia took a moment to observe Alice's reaction before continuing:
"So, in such a situation, thieves can no longer act as recklessly as they could in the past.
Aside from a few petty thieves, most thieves have used the skills they learned from their predecessors for other purposes.
Intelligence gathering, black market trading, and material excavation are a few examples.
You can even say that stealing has become the least popular activity for thieves."
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So, you're saying that thieves who rely on stealing to make a living have already become a minority because of society's current state.
Adding on the condition of the thief has to know Traceless…you can reduce the scope of your search significantly."
Alice finally understood why Sylvia would think this task wouldn't be a problem.
At the same time, she couldn't help but recall Rosa.
Rosa had seemingly retired from being a thief and switched to becoming a paparazzi because she felt there was no future for the thief profession.
Regardless, so long as a thief had mingled in the thieving industry for one or two years, they'd be able to rely on their connections with other thieves to get in touch with all sorts of thieves.
Meanwhile, thieves who knew how to use Traceless were few and far between.
So, Sylvia's investigations shouldn't take long to produce results.
When Sylvia saw that Alice seemed to get her point, she nodded in satisfaction.
Then, in a slightly prideful tone, she continued, "Anyway, even if the culprit has left the Rhine Kingdom already, I can dig him out for you within a week."
After saying so, Sylvia excused herself from the room and promptly left to carry out Alice's request.
"I told you, right It was the right call to get Sylvia's help on this matter," Lilith said, grinning as she looked at Alice.
"By the way, I've already helped you to such an extent.
Shouldn't you be giving me some compensation"
The average person definitely wouldn't dare to ask for compensation after helping the Hero.
This wasn't some Hero RPG where just about anyone would dare to give trivial tasks to the Hero.
However, Lilith did not regard Alice as the Hero.
Instead, she treated Alice no differently from before.
"I don't have any more figurines to give," Alice said, shrugging.
The first thought she had when Lilith asked for compensation was that the Rhine Princess wanted another figurine like Andusia.
At the same time, she also couldn't help but wonder what expression Lilith would make if she learned that her cherished figurine was actually made from the treants' precious Living Wood.
"I don't need any more figurines.
I want something else for compensation," Lilith said, waving her hand.
Then, in a slightly embarrassed tone, she asked, "The next time you fight the Demon King, can you bring me along"
Alice was stunned when she heard Lilith's words.
Then, she couldn't help but look at Lilith strangely and wonder what was wrong with this girl.
Whenever the Hero and the Demon King fought, bystanders would usually try to get as far away as possible from the battlefield.
Yet, Lilith wanted to get closer to it