Chapter 100

Sungyoon frowned when he returned to his labyrinth. Even if he had spent an unexpected amount of time in Armstrong, the round-trip had taken two weeks.

‘I can see why people want labyrinths that are closer to Armstrong.’

If he had spent these two weeks raiding the labyrinth, he would have earned more moonstones, and he would have progressed in clearing the labyrinth. He couldn’t shake the idea that he had wasted his time.

Still, it was too late to change anything, and nothing would come from complaining about it. Sungyoon immediately moved to the 2nd floor.

In front of him, four tunnels leading to the 2nd floor appeared. Sungyoon looked at the neat and well-drawn professional map and moved to the closest tunnel.

He immediately entered the 2nd floor.

The 2nd floor was like the 1st floor, filled with monsters. The first monster he encountered was the Big Horn Deer.

It was a monster commonly seen on the 6th floor of the Beginner’s Labyrinth. It looked like a deer, but its red eyes were filled with murderous intent. It was a monster in no uncertain terms. Its entire body bulged with muscles, so it didn’t have the sleek and light form of a deer. When the monster saw Sungyoon, it growled.

-Koo-roo-roo-roo-roo!

It clearly wasn’t the cry of a deer. The horns on its head looked like the roots of a bonsai tree. The monster aimed its large horns at the prey in front of him.

Sungyoon raised his shield.

-Koo-ahhhhh!

The Big Horn Deer's tongue protruded out of its mouth, and the monster ran towards Sungyoon like a dog with rabies. It shook the labyrinth as it ran straight towards its prey.

Sungyoon focused his mind so that he didn’t get overwhelmed by the monster’s ferocity. This monster was like Bloody Rhino that used its large horns to execute a fierce attack. If one was careful of their charge, these monsters were pretty easy to handle. Of course, it was under the premise that one had enough agility to dodge or enough defensive capability to block the attack. 

Sungyoon deflected the attack to the side with a practiced hand.

Boom!

Despite him turning aside the attack, his shield rang out from the heavy impact.

After deflecting the Big Horn Deer’s attack at a slight angle, Sungyoon immediately turned around and caught sight of the monster’s rear. It was trying hard to stop its forward progress, but it couldn’t overcome its own momentum. Sungyoon caught up with the monster and swung his mace.

Kwah-doo-doohk!

Its buttock sunk inwards, and the monster let out a mournful cry as it fell to the ground. Blood gushed out. Its pelvis had been completely crushed by the attack, so it couldn’t use its rear legs. The loss of mobility was like a death sentence for this monster. It couldn't even stand up, and its future was obvious.

Kwah-jeek!

With Sungyoon’s mace landing on its head, the monster lost its life.

Wooooooooong!

“Huh?”

He was waiting for the familiar process of the corpse turning into a moonstone when it happened. Sungyoon raised his arm to look at his Devices.

It was the Device which had been equipped with the Yellow Gem. The two Purple Gems were surrounded by a yellow light, which swirled around them before being sucked into the Purple Gems.

Then, the two Gems changed colors. Purple turned into indigo.

‘It rose!’

In truth, although he had equipped the Yellow Gem, the man had no idea if it was working. He was suspicious as to whether it was capable of ranking up a Gem. However, the Yellow Gem had done its job.

He immediately tried to summon his spear.

The image of a spear appeared in his head, but the spear didn't materialize. Sungyoon was a bit taken aback. He tried to summon it a couple more times, yet the spear refused to be summoned. In order to cover all his bases, he let his magical energy flow into the Gem. It was the same procedure he went through when he had summoned a Gem for the first time.

It took around 20 seconds.

The spear appeared in Sungyoon’s hand.

‘It treated this as my first summon.’

Even if it was a Gem he had used before, when it advanced in rank, it was treated as a new Gem. Sungyoon unsummoned his spear and, once again, pictured the image of a spear in his mind. This time, he could summon the spear in a normal manner.

The outer appearance of the spear had changed a bit. The spear blade was attached to a polished wooden pole. That hadn’t changed. However, the spear blade had gotten a bit longer and sharper. Overall, the length of the spear was similar to before.

Hoohng! Hoo-oong!

He swung it a couple of times. Thankfully, it didn’t feel awkward. He could immediately use it in battle.

Sungyoon unsummoned his spear, and then, he activated the strength-enhancing Gem.

‘If I can raise it by one more rank, the spear will be the same rank as the mace.’

At that point, he could use it as his main weapon. The mace wasn’t bad, but sometimes, he missed the long reach of the spear.

He didn’t know how long it would take. Still, it was better than doing nothing and waiting for a Gem to drop. Moreover, it was possible for him to evolve any Gems that fit certain criteria.

‘Awesome!’

Sungyoon was in a good mood as he once again started to roam the 2nd floor.

* * *

Jimin held her handphone as she stared at the screen. Her long slender brows were furrowed as if she had received some bad news.

“What’s wrong?”

Chelsea entered the office with two cups of coffee in her hands.

Chelsea was still in Korea, so Jimin sometimes used her as free labor. Usually, Jimin’s company didn’t generate much work, but due to Sungyoon’s exploits, her workload was starting to increase. Of course, the volume of the increase wasn't that much. She didn’t need help from others to finish it. Jimin was just being a bit wicked in ordering Chelsea around.

“Did something bad happen?”

Chelsea placed the coffee cup in front of Jimin and asked the question as she drank her own cup of coffee.

“No. It’s nothing like that.”

Jimin placed her handphone on her desk.

“Mr. Sungyoon isn’t spending any money.”

“Money?”

“Yes. As you know, my company is making a good amount of money now, thanks to Mr. Sungyoon. But since he can no longer receive help from the Support Center, I opened an account for him to spend on food and lodging. However, he hasn’t used the card at all.”

Of course, the account didn’t have enough money for Sungyoon to live in luxury. However, it was enough for him to rent a decent room for his stay in Armstrong. It was enough for the man to fill his stomach with bread and sausages. Most companies provided this level of support to their Connectors. Of course, the bigger companies provided much more to the higher-ranking Connectors. The really rich Connectors didn’t even bother with the companies. They just used their money to live the high life on the Moon.

“He’s a notorious penny pincher. It probably galls him to spend that money.”

When it came to Shinhae, Sungyoon’s wallet was wide open. He didn’t hesitate in spending when it came to her. However, Sungyoon was really strict when it came to spending on himself. Chelsea remembered he had always looked like a beggar on the Moon.

‘It means it was an extremely kind gesture for him to buy me coffee in the past.’

She thought about the coffee he had bought her during the incident with Nicholas. She, once again, felt her good feeling towards Sungyoon rise.

“I think you are right. There is also the debt that he owes me. He probably sees it as a waste to spend that money.”

Jimin grumbled. He was needlessly being considerate towards her when it came to money.

When the next time he came back to Earth, she decided to give him a piece of her mind. She would somehow make him spend that money. Jimin firmed her resolve. It happened when she was about to pick up her coffee cup.

Crack!

“Kyahhh!”

The coffee cup suddenly cracked and broke apart, and the hot coffee and the broken fragments of the cup spread all over the desk. The steaming coffee dripped off the desk to the floor. Jimin quickly got up from her seat.

“Are you ok, Jimin?”

Chelsea quickly approached her friend, who calmed herself by placing a hand over her surprised heart. Jimin nodded.

“I’m fine.”

Fortunately, she wasn’t hurt. Chelsea let out a sigh of relief when she realized Jimin was unhurt. However, Jimin’s eyes remained tense.

This was just bad luck. She just had to wipe away the coffee and collect the broken fragments of the cup. However, her heart remained uneasy. This was a small accident. She would forget this happened in a couple of days.

But she didn’t know why, she had an ominous feeling. Her heart started beating fast in a foreboding manner. It unnerved her.

* * *

Tuh-buhk!

The dust had piled up like snow on the surface of the Moon, and new footprints had appeared on top of it. Aside from the survey party that had made a quick survey of this location, Sungyoon was the only one frequenting the labyrinth called H-023. However, another person’s shadow fell across the entrance of the labyrinth.

‘I guess this is the place.’

His destination was Woo Sungyoon’s labyrinth. Soobin’s eyes narrowed.

His gaze headed towards the Moon Surface Vehicle parked in front of the labyrinth. He had been thrown away by his company, so he hadn’t even been assigned a Personal Labyrinth. Even if it was a used vehicle, this 1st Gen, Sungyoon, was driving around a Moon Surface Vehicle. Soobin felt jealousy sprout in his heart again.

He checked the interior of the vehicle. It was empty.

‘He must be inside the labyrinth.’

Thankfully, they hadn’t missed each other.

Crunch!

He summoned his halberd and destroyed the wheels of the Moon Surface Vehicle.

‘Just in case...’

The masked man had said that he would erase all evidence after the deed was done. However, Soobin wanted to make sure he destroyed all escape routes.

Soobin slowly entered the labyrinth. He had never been in a labyrinth other than the Beginner’s Labyrinth. However, his footsteps were confident. He wasn’t afraid at all. There was no need for him to be afraid.

The power he had acquired was that amazing.

He activated his Gems. A helmet and an armor appeared on his body, and his body overflowed with strength. He readjusted his grip on his halberd as he looked at his surroundings.

The space beyond the entrance was incredibly large. A gentle slope extended from the entrance to the inside of the labyrinth. Soobin leisurely looked at his surroundings as he moved deeper into the labyrinth. 

He came to a fork in the road. Soobin rubbed his chin as he became absorbed in his thoughts.

‘We might miss each other, so I should probably wait for him here.’

He smirked as he looked at the arrow placed on the surface of the wall. As he looked around to see if there was any place to sit, his gaze chanced upon a pair of red eyes observing him.

‘Mad Dog.’

It was a basic monster that could be found in the Beginner’s Labyrinth. It seemed they existed in this labyrinth too.

The Mad Dog revealed its teeth as it growled. It was clearly making threatening gestures towards Soobin, but he only snorted in derision.

-Koo-ah!

The Mad Dog revealed its sharp teeth as it charged towards its prey.

In the past, even a single Mad Dog had made him nervous, as there was a chance that he could die. He had been so careful when he hunted this monster. His past self looked dumb and foolish.

However, he was different now. His body was overflowing with power, like the time when he had just awakened. It felt as if all the nerves in his body were firing.

The Mad Dog jumped towards Soobin’s neck.

Suh-guhk!

A silver light split the air. The halberd was swung parallel to the floor, and the Mad Dog was cut in half in mid-air.

Chwahhhk!

The Mad Dog fell to the floor. The two severed pieces of its body fell far from each other, and blood and innards fell to the floor like rain.

A person with a weak stomach would turn away from such a sight. However, Soobin didn’t show any emotion as he looked at the corpse of the Mad Dog.

Something odd happened at that moment.

Soo-roo!

The blood from the Mad Dog’s body flowed out and moved as if it had sentience. In the beginning, the two blobs of blood looked wary of each other, but in the end, they merged into one.

It was an extremely bizarre sight.

Chwahk!

The blood, which had been crawling across the surface of the floor, suddenly shot into the air. It was sucked into a single location.

A circular necklace, 10 cm in diameter, hung on Soobin’s chest. The Blood Gem was slotted in the middle, and it was greedily sucking in the blood.

‘It is as the name suggests. It is a Blood Gem.’

Soobin had a broad smile on his lips as he watched the odd and frightening event. He didn’t care if this Gem was odd or not.

There was only one thing that was important to him. This Gem would bring him future success. 

Also, it would bring him joy.

Soobin sat cross-legged on top of an extruding rock wall. He was going to leisurely wait for Sungyoon.

His eyes were filled with anticipation.

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