1

The three of them continued talking for a while more, but it was slightly more awkward since Vernon was essentially on the other side of the room.

"By the way, Nick," Vernon said. "Don't get surprised when I act like an arrogant asshole in the meeting. I have to do that since, officially, Kugelblitz can't act like it's on the same level as any other Manufacturer."

"I understand," Nick said. "Thank you for warning me."

Nick understood that, officially, Kugelblitz couldn't act all buddy-buddy with a Manufacturer like Dark Dream.

Nick looked at the big clock hanging on the wall inside the room.

'About 20 more minutes to go before the meeting,' he thought.

At that point, the door opened, and Nick looked over.

He was quite excited about meeting all the powerful people in the world.

After the door opened, Nick saw a young and beautiful smiling woman with blonde hair.

She looked to be in her early 20s, and just like Vernon, her skin and hair were flawless.

As soon as she entered, Nick felt his heart stop, and the light in the room focused on her.

He felt like she was the source of all the light in the room with her beautiful smile.

Nick had never seen anyone this beautiful, and he was completely stunned.

When she entered, she threw a quick and polite nod at Nick, and Nick just answered in kind, but his nod was awkward.

"Hey, Aria," Wyntor said nonchalantly.

"Hi, Wyntor," she answered with a motherly voice as she walked over to Vernon.

Then, she sat down beside Vernon.

'So, she's Kugelblitz' Chief Zephyx Extractor,' Nick thought as he took a deep breath.

"How did it go?" Vernon asked casually.

Aria just sighed. "As Koran always says, the bitch is being a bitch again," she said.

Vernon laughed loudly. "I'm so glad I handed that job over to you."

"It's not all bad," Aria said with a chuckle. "It can also be a lot of fun."

"Right?" she asked as she suddenly turned to Nick.

Nick felt his heart rate speed up as soon as Aria addressed him.

"Eh, yes, I guess?" Nick answered.

"Are there any Specters you have issues with?" Aria asked. "You naturally don't have to tell me any specifics since that's confidential."

Nick thought about the Specters they had.

"Well, there's no reason to keep the Fog a secret since everyone knows about that one," Nick said.

Wyntor didn't interject.

Everyone knew that Dark Dream had the Fog.

"Force Specters are always troublesome," Aria said. "What's the issue with the Fog?"

"You have to be stronger than it to escape from its grasp, and you have to be in its domain to work with it," Nick explained.

"That's an issue with most Force Specters," Aria explained. "Force Specters are not very smart, and they basically use all their power whenever they can."

"Either they keep someone restrained, or they start attacking them with all their force. Either way, Force Specters almost always need very powerful Extractors."

"But based on what I just heard, you're actually in luck with the Fog. You can just send an Extractor in and then send a strong Extractor in to get them out when it is time. At least they don't have to resist the assault of the Fog," Aria said.

Nick nodded. "Yeah, sadly, that's always me since I'm the only one strong enough for that."

Aria's eyes widened a bit.

Then, she leaned back.

"Right, I forgot that you guys are THIS new," she said. "A Specter that needs the Chief Zephyx Extractor to personally become active. I only have to get involved very rarely, and there are only two Specters that would do that."

"Luckily, only the bitch requires me to go to her frequently, but it's also not that frequently," Aria said with a chuckle.

By now, Nick got very interested in whatever bitch they were talking about.

That thing seemed to be a huge issue.

"Your name is Nick, right?" Aria asked.

"Oh, yes," Nick said.

"Nice to meet you. I'm Aria," she said with a smile from the other side of the room. "I'm a bit far away for a handshake. Hope you don't mind."

"No, no, it's fine!" Nick answered.

For a while, Aria talked with Nick and Wyntor about just random things.

She was almost like an aunt who was interested in her nephews' little projects.

Some minutes later, the door opened again, and everyone looked over.

Nick saw three men walking into the room.

One of them was older and neatly dressed.

One of them was middle-aged and dressed casually.

The last one…

'Hey, I know that guy!' Nick thought.

Nick remembered this guy and his entourage walking through the Dregs every couple of weeks several years ago.

The guy had brown hair and wore a nice suit, and every couple of weeks, he would stand on a podium in the Dregs and talk about how he was going to improve the lives of the people living there.

He would make it so that none of them had to be hungry anymore, and so on.

Yet, nothing ever happened.

He just kept talking and talking, but nothing actually happened.

Sure, he sometimes donated some food, but it was only once every couple of weeks and less than five kilos for the entirety of the Dregs.

Nick also remembered that the guy always asked the people to vote for him in some kind of election, but Nick had never really paid any attention.

He had been too busy surviving, like 90% of the Dregs.

As soon as the three of them entered, they bowed politely to Nick, Wyntor, Vernon, and Aria before taking their seat…

At the bottom of the table.

Nick looked to his side.

He now sat directly beside the three of them.

Two of them noticed Nick looking, and they just smiled back politely.

Nick blinked a couple of times and whispered in Wyntor's ear.

"Who are those?" he asked.

"Representatives of the common people," Wyntor answered. "We have one guy representing the common people of the middle layer, one guy representing the lower layer, and one guy representing the Outer City."

"They've been added to the meeting several years ago so that the common people have an opportunity to make their opinions known."

Nick looked with surprise at the three of them.

The common people had representation?

That was good, right?

"Of course, they don't have any power whatsoever," Wyntor said.

Nick was deflated rather quickly.

"Anyone of them that interjects in the meeting without being asked to gets replaced by the next one."

"Their job is to be here, watch, and keep the actual contents of the meeting secret."