Kill the Sun

Chapter 527 – Friends, huh?



Chapter 527 – Friends, huh?

"So, what will you do now?" Aria asked after the two of them returned to his office.

"I'm not entirely sure," he answered absentmindedly.

Nick had barely even registered Aria's question since his mind was drifting at this moment.

He still remembered the time Horua had died and how he had nearly killed himself.

Back then, the Parasite had talked to him and told him that he should just help a thousand people to make up for causing Horua's death.

That was when Nick's goal was formed.

Before then, he had had some vague goals about helping the poor people, but he hadn't truly gone all in until that moment.

'Help a thousand people,' Nick thought.

A moment later, he thought about the Dregs.

The Dregs were shrinking day by day.

It wasn't that people were moving out of that place but that more and more people got enough money to live a normal life.

The shops and stalls became more luxurious, and the food they sold increased in quality.

More people were buying that food, which made the shops improve their image even more.

The people also finally had access to buying real clothing and didn't need to walk around in iron wool anymore.

There were still criminals, but the number was far lower than before.

Of course, some people would never get out of the Dregs, but that was more of a personal issue for them.

The opportunities were now there.

As the city kept expanding, more and more jobs popped up.

At this moment, there were more jobs available than there were unemployed people.

It went so far that many of the companies even offered to help new hires to get a real education just so that they could get new employees.

Even more, the pay for these jobs was surprisingly high.

The reason for that was Kugelblitz.

Kugelblitz needed to offer a lot more money for someone's blood now, and the offer was so high that many people could easily survive by just donating their blood every month.

Of course, with much more money now circulating in the Outer City, the prices of everything increased, which meant people had a higher pressure to donate their blood.

Donating blood was the only relevant factor about being able to survive or not, which was why no one was interested in a job.

Well, that was until the companies got much more access to funds due to the higher prices and desperately needed more employees.

Eventually, it became necessary for a salary to outclass the money received from a blood donation to get an employee.

The jobs became more and more lucrative, and the lives of more and more people improved drastically as a result of that.

Right now, having a job was necessary to live a comfortable life, but with just the blood donation, it was possible to survive.

Nobody needed to fight for their life anymore in the Dregs.

Additionally, as long as the city kept expanding, even more people would be needed to fill out the space.

Ironically, even though the minimum taxes the Dregs paid had been lowered, the city now got several times more taxes from the Dregs since most people were now far above the minimum amount of income for the tax.

Nick had done it.

Essentially, the Dregs were no more.

Everyone living in the Dregs had their life improved drastically.

The dream he had aimed for almost two decades ago was fulfilled.

And yet…

Nick just absentmindedly looked at the wall.

'This guilt is still there,' Nick thought.

'I know that I am only partially responsible for Horua's death. Wyntor told me as much.'

'Additionally, I drastically improved the lives of over 2,000 people.'

Nick sighed.

'So, why do I still feel like shit?'

'Why is this guilt still eating me up?'

Nick's mind wandered to the Crimson Sea incident.

'I guess that's the reason. Improving the lives of 2,000 people is not enough to rectify the deaths of 1,000 innocent people.'

'I just need to do the same thing for several cities, and things will improve.'

'As long as I keep improving the lives of the normal people, things will become better.'

At that moment, Nick's heart rate sped up, and he became nervous.

For some reason, he had difficulty believing his own thoughts.

But that had to be it, right?

What other way would there be to deal with all of this guilt?

This had to work, right?

Nick convinced himself that it had to work.

Otherwise, what would the alternative be?

Living forever with this guilt?

'I might as well end my life right now if that's my fate,' Nick thought.

"Are you alright?"

Nick's eyes snapped to Aria.

He had completely forgotten that Aria was in his office.

"Yeah, everything's alright. What was your question?" he asked.

Aria raised an eyebrow.

"What's bothering you?" Aria asked with empathy.

Nick furrowed his brows. "I told you. Everything's alright."

"Nick, I can see that you're worried," Aria said. "Is it that difficult for you to tell me? Aren't we friends?"

Nick's mind was catapulted back to his last real conversation with Wyntor.

Friends.

Wyntor had been the only person Nick had considered a friend, but even that had proven to be false.

Wyntor had just invested money into his employee, and he even killed Horua while letting Nick wallow in misery.

That was not a friend.

A friend was someone that Nick could trust.

Someone without an ulterior motive.

Nick looked with annoyance at Aria.

Yet, he didn't say anything.

Friends…

Aria had helped Nick many times, and she hadn't asked for anything in return.

Aria had been willing to risk her life for Nick's dream.

While she had done many things to help Nick, he didn't feel like she had done so in an attempt to influence him.

Aria felt completely genuine to Nick.

Additionally, Aria hadn't done anything unforgivable to Nick.

She was just… nice.

Nick's gaze relaxed.

"A friend, huh?" Nick repeated.

"Are we not friends?" Aria asked with a raised brow.

Nick remained silent for a while as he looked at the wall.

"It's difficult to come to terms with it. I'm not sure if I ever had a true friend in my life. I'm not sure what a friend really is," Nick said.

When Aria heard that, she felt bad for Nick.

Not having a friend sounded horrible.

"We achieved our goal today," Aria said. "Why don't we take off for today as a celebration and talk a little?"

As soon as Nick thought about not working, he started to become nervous.

Whenever he stopped working, dark thoughts appeared in his mind.

However, he also felt tired, which was ironic since Experts didn't need to sleep.

"Sure," Nick said.

Aria smiled and led Nick to a break room inside the headquarters.

A couple of people were already there, but when they saw Nick and Aria, they quickly excused themselves and left.

Nick was still stuck in his thoughts.

Then, a cup of coffee was put on the table in front of him.

"No, thanks," Nick said.

"I remember you and Vernon talking about coffee all the time," Aria said. "I thought you liked coffee."

Nick sighed. "That's not it."

"Then, what's the issue?" Aria asked, sitting down beside Nick.

Nick sighed again. "I hate the upper layer for all their luxuries while the people in the Dregs suffer. Every cup of coffee costs a thousand credits, which is such a high amount of money that it could pay the blood tax of several people."

Nick looked at the coffee. "I can't hate the upper layer and indulge in the same things as them at the same time."

Aria just looked at Nick with skepticism.

"I can see where you are coming from, but you're stuck in the past," she said. "The price of coffee fell down to 500 credits per cup, and the money available to the people of the former Dregs is so high now that they could afford a cup per month without having to starve."

"Sure, everyone would view this as a waste of money, but if they truly wanted one, they could get it."

Aria pushed the cup closer to Nick.

"And you made all of that possible," she said with a smile. "You were the one that tamed the upper layer and implemented all of these reforms."

"The people of the Outer City love you."

"I don't think anyone living in the Outer City would be angry that you're drinking a bit of coffee."

Nick listened to Aria and looked at the mug.

Her words made logical sense, but his emotions didn't agree.

He felt like he didn't deserve the coffee.

He didn't deserve to have any pleasure in life.

However, when it came down to it, Nick believed his head more than his heart.

"Do we have milk and sugar?" Nick asked.

Aria's brows rose in surprise.

"Yeah, sure," she said before opening a fancy fridge to retrieve some milk.

Nick put a ton of milk and sugar into his coffee before he drank it.

Aria could have sworn that Nick was a person who drank his coffee black.

Seeing Nick essentially make a sweet milkshake with some coffee taste took her aback.

It was so weird to see the serious and stoic Liaison drink a milkshake.


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