1

Nick told Aria basically everything about what had happened inside the room.

Aria didn't seem surprised when she heard how Riker and Monica reacted after Envy told them that they had become useless.

Since Specters couldn't feel fear and since appeasing Envy wouldn't help in this case, the two Specters just fought back to enter the city's good graces.

They wanted to get put in a Containment Unit instead of killed.

This was the same reason why they didn't run away as soon as they had noticed what happened.

As Envy's servants, Riker and Monica knew what the signal that Nick had activated meant.

Nick hadn't noticed it, but when the red storm of the signal washed over him, it had actually coated the surrounding 200 meters in brightly shining red Zephyx.

Every Veteran and stronger within the city, except those in a Containment Unit at that moment, felt the massive amount of Zephyx getting dumped into the surroundings in the Dregs.

These signals were extremely expensive and caused huge disturbances as soon as they were activated, which was why only the strongest and most influential people had them.

When Monica and Riker felt the dense red Zephyx around them, they knew that they wouldn't be able to escape.

Within seconds, Veterans, Experts, and Specialists would look at the Dregs, and the two of them knew that they couldn't possibly flee from any of them.

And if they tried, they might just get shot, which would end their existence.

It was better to just go to their master and ask what to do.

After a while, Nick was done with narrating the events inside Riker's room.

This time, it was Aria who looked at the table with furrowed brows.

"What will happen now?" Nick asked.

Aria kept looking at the table for a couple more seconds.

Then, she sighed.

"I don't know," she said with a helpless tone. "Matters regarding Fallen are too big for even me."

"In front of Envy, I am just as helpless as you, Nick," she added.

Nick looked at Aria with discomfort.

"Will we die?" he asked.

Surprisingly, Aria shook her head.

"If we are going to die, it very likely won't be today," she said.

"How come?" Nick asked.

Aria looked like she wasn't sure whether or not she wanted to tell Nick something.

But then she realized that she had already told Nick a lot of confidential information.

Telling him more made no difference anymore.

"Someone as powerful as Envy can cross several kilometers per second," Aria said. "The time between your conversation with him and the start of your conversation with us was a bit over 40 minutes."

"Within 40 minutes, he could have reached us from basically anywhere."

Nick felt his heart pump in his chest.

If Envy had immediately started traveling toward Crimson Fungus City, the city would have already turned to ash.

A complicated mix of emotions appeared inside Nick's chest.

Relief and terror.

"And now, Envy probably doesn't have the chance to attack us directly anymore," Aria said.

Nick's eyes widened in surprise.

"If Envy can move that quickly, our Protectors can also move that quickly," Aria said.

"When Markus left about 20 minutes ago, he contacted the Aegis."

At that moment, Aria saw Nick's confused expression.

"The Aegis is humanity's united front against the Specters, and it is being led by the seven Shields of humanity," she explained.

"Most likely, a Protector has already arrived."

Nick took a deep breath.

A Protector.

A level seven Extractor was here!

Crimson Fungus City could actually survive and fight back!

Naturally, the Aegis and the Adversaries had been bitter rivals for a really, really long time.

This fight was so brutal and long that everyone basically already knew everyone else on the other side.

Aegis knew who Envy was and how it operated.

But on the flip side, Envy knew how Aegis operated.

While Envy's attention represented a great calamity to Crimson Fungus City, in the grand scheme of things, it was only switching battlefields.

Instead of fighting in some other city, Envy would fight Aegis here.

This meant that all of this had no impact on the greater whole.

And yet, for Crimson Fungus City, it was probably the most significant event since its foundation.

"Are you sure a Protector is already here?" Nick asked.

"95%," Aria said. "Aegis doesn't have any resources to waste since they are fighting an uphill battle, but going after Envy is most definitely not considered a waste of resources."

"I don't know the specifics since I am not part of Aegis, but I know that Envy is considered extremely important amongst all the Fallen in the world."

"How so?" Nick asked.

"Because of its superior, which is actively trying to destroy humanity," Aria explained. "There are many Fallen, and most of them just do what they need to do to become more powerful."

"While that includes a lot of suffering for many people, it generally doesn't include a threat to humanity as a whole."

"Normal Fallen steal some of your food. The dangerous Fallen want to sew your mouth shut."

"One's bad and annoying. The other one is terrifying and lethal."

"That's the difference between most Fallen and a Fallen like Envy," Aria explained.

Nick nodded.

'This means that I am safe for now.'

A feeling of relief washed over Nick.

Yet, the feeling was quickly drowned out by an overwhelming feeling of disgust.

'I… I just thought that I was safe.'

'I didn't even think about the city.'

'I only thought about myself.'

Nick looked at the table again with discomfort and annoyance.

'This means there is a chance, actually.'

'With a Protector, Crimson Fungus City will most likely be able to survive.'

'If I kill myself now, I will probably end up saving thousands of lives.'

Nick looked to the side.

'Isn't that what I wanted to achieve?'

'Save thousands of lives to redeem myself for what I have done to Horua.'

Then, Nick looked at Aria, who seemed quite distracted.

'I only need to tell her about my power.'