1

Nick looked at the table with a crestfallen expression.

A Fallen.

An Adversary.

Level seven and level eight Specters were the biggest enemies of humanity.

One would think that the Eternals would be the true enemies, but it wasn't as simple as that.

While the Eternals did whatever they wanted, many of the Adversaries actually tried to eradicate all of humanity.

This difference in mindset and action could be compared to how an aggressive animal would treat its territory.

If something of a similar size or slightly smaller size entered its territory, the animal would aggressively defend its territory and kill the invader.

However, if something vastly smaller and weaker than it entered its territory, it would mostly just ignore it.

After all, that thing was no danger whatsoever.

Rats would kill other rats, but they wouldn't care about a tiny fruit fly.

In the same way, the Adversaries were far more aggressive towards humanity than the Eternals.

The Eternals just did their thing and terrorized humanity like it was a small hobby or a daily chore.

Meanwhile, the Adversaries actually wanted to attack and destroy humanity since the seven level eight Extractors in the world could fight and kill them.

Even more, if the level eight Extractors managed to capture an Adversary, they could attempt to use the Adversary to become level nine Extractors.

Because of that, Adversaries were more of a direct threat to humanity, while the Eternals just represented an inevitable rule of nature.

And now, a servant of one of these Adversaries had set Nick as its target.

Envy.

A Fallen.

A level seven Specter.

It was stronger than any Specter in the city.

It was stronger than any human in the city.

If it were to appear at this instant, all of Crimson Fungus City would be doomed.

The only possibility of survival would be the Heroes uniting and fighting Envy in a group.

However, there was still a huge gap between them, most likely.

Nick wasn't sure, but he assumed that Envy wasn't an Initial Fallen but stronger.

"Nick," Aria said, taking Nick out of his thoughts. "Envy isn't interested in you. You're only a level two Extractor. We're all in this together."

Nick looked at Aria.

He knew that Envy was after him.

After all, Envy had stated that Nick had the power of an Eternal and that it was very interested in Nick's power.

But he couldn't tell her!

He had seen how the leaders of the Manufacturers acted.

Vernon casually doomed thousands of people to a worse life by increasing their taxes, and he didn't even care about that.

Why would someone like him care about a single weak Extractor?!

If they killed Nick and if they managed to somehow fend off Envy for a bit, it was sure to leave since the thing it wanted no longer existed inside the city, making it not worth the effort.

However, if Nick survived, Envy would keep attacking and persisting.

While Aria tried to calm him down, Nick just kept looking at the table.

'A Fallen is coming!'

'It's coming for me!'

'It said it will raze Crimson Fungus City to the ground!'

'All because of me!'

At that moment, a certain thought entered Nick's mind.

'All because of me,' he thought with a cold and sudden calm.

'I am the cause of this.'

'If I were to die…'

Nick imagined a terrifyingly powerful cloud of darkness falling over the city and everyone suffering.

Elderly, adults, children, and everyone else were dying.

Crimson Fungus City would transform into ruins.

Eventually, it would collapse and join the ruins in the sewers.

The place where Nick had spent his entire life had vanished, and only silence remained.

All because of him.

He would cause the death of all these people.

Nick looked at the table in front of him with unmoving eyes.

Aria kept trying to get his attention, but Nick just kept looking at the table.

'It's because of me.'

'Because of me, thousands of people will die.'

'Wasn't my goal to improve the lives of everyone in the Dregs?'

'And now, I will be the cause of all their deaths!'

Nick's mind was going wild.

'I need to die.'

'If I don't die, I will doom the entire city.'

'But if I choose to die, I will save thousands of lives.'

'But what if I don't?!' Nick suddenly thought with more urgency.

'What if Envy will still destroy Crimson Fungus City, even though I am dead?!'

'All of my scenarios are built on the assumption that Crimson Fungus City can defend itself against Envy!'

'What if it actually can't?!'

'Shut up, Nick!' Nick thought with gritted teeth.

'You're just trying to avoid responsibility!'

'Who the fuck cares whether or not Crimson Fungus City manages to defend itself?! If you don't kill yourself, there will be no hope!'

'But it's only a chance!'

'It's only a chance!'

'So what?! A chance is better than no chance!'

BANG!

Nick felt something knock on his head, and his eyes shot towards Aria, who had just knocked on his head.

It hadn't been painful, but it had gotten Nick's attention.

"Nick! Pull yourself together!" Aria shouted. "If you want to keep wallowing in irrational fear, be my guest, but I still need to know what happened when you talked to Envy!"

Nick looked at the table.

Aria's eyes narrowed.

"What will happen now?" Nick asked.

"I need to know what happened, Nick! We don't have time for that!" Aria shouted with urgency.

Nick closed his eyes with a pained expression.

'I'm so selfish.'

Then, he took a deep breath.

"Sure," he said.

Nick started to narrate his conversation with Envy and what happened but avoided talking about his power.

'I don't need to make a decision right now,' Nick thought, his mind having calmed down quite significantly.

'Making this decision can wait until the city actually manages to defend.'

'If it actually manages to defend against Envy, I can still go through with it.'

'And then, I will know whether survival is just a chance or a certainty.'