Chapter 102

It was the cry of a person who had suddenly fallen from the high point of his life. The pent-up anger overflowed. Soobin’s words strongly expressed his frustration. When a person complained about their lot in life, usually, the listener expressed pity. On the other hand, it could also lead to negative emotions rising within the listener. Everyone felt a different emotion depending on their mentality on life.

Of course, Sungyoon wasn't an exception. When he heard Soobin’s words, Sungyoon had a single thought.

‘So what?’

He felt complete apathy.

‘That’s your lot in life.’

He couldn't afford to sympathize and feel sorry for Soobin. He couldn’t afford to ridicule him either. It wasn’t as if he couldn’t understand why the man had cried out in anger and frustration. However, Sungyoon wished Soobin would say this in front of someone else other than him.

Soobin was complaining to a person that couldn’t afford to sympathize with him.

Still, Sungyoon didn’t stop Soobin from talking. His rant about his lot in life gave Sungyoon some time to think.

When it seemed Soobin had vented to his heart’s content and was starting to wind down, Sungyoon made an offhand remark. 

“Ms. Jimin didn’t look down on you, yet you ignored her. You left. Do you have the right to speak such words?”

Sungyoon wasn’t being sarcastic, nor had he spoken out of moral superiority. He just wanted to extend this conversation.

Fortunately, Soobin fell for his plan.

“Ah! Hahn Jimin!”

He smiled. It didn’t matter how many times one saw his smile. The smile would remain ugly.

“I did receive a lot of help from her. She was a good woman. If she had become my woman, I would have reconsidered my plans to leave her company.”

As expected, Soobin had made a pass at Jimin.

“That woman had a large part in why I was able to gather these Gems. She would give me a couple of lower rank Gems, and I would trade them for a higher rank Gem. I used that method to gather a lot of these Gems.”

When he heard this, Sungyoon’s mood soured a little bit. Soobin spoke as if these low-rank Gems were no big deal, but Jimin had poured a lot of money and effort into acquiring them. She had done it to hold onto a gleam of hope in finding traces of her father. At the very least, he shouldn’t be saying these words since he had backstabbed her.

“If I think about it, those were the good days. My power grew every day, and I made a lot of money. Moreover, a pretty woman like Jimin was giving everything she had to me. Well, she completely blocked me from approaching her in a more personal manner.”

Soobin’s eyes became a bit unfocused. He started recounting memories from the good old days.

Sungyoon’s hands twitched. He had been about to catch Soobin off his guard, but, unfortunately, Soobin broke out of his reveries in an instant.

“However. It’s fine now. I can return to the past once again. I can return to those good old days.”

Soobin’s eyes started to see the reality. No, to be precise, he was seeing a delusion overlaid with the label of reality.

“She turned me down from re-entering her company. But what would happen if you disappeared? She would become really discouraged if the Connector, whom she considered her last hope, was no longer there. She’d have a hard time turning me down when I tell her I want to join her company. It is a foregone conclusion. I’ve become amazing now.”

Soobin let out a creepy laugh.

“This time, I’ll be sure to crush her underneath me!”

Soobin loudly laughed. It seemed he was having a good time just talking about it.

“Let’s end this now. I can see you slowly starting to make your move. It is annoying.”

‘I got caught.’

Sungyoon had been giving suitable responses to Soobin’s words as he was about to move towards the Gold Gem. He paused for a moment.

‘What’s the distance?’

It was still far away. Even if he started running right now, before he could grab the Gold Gem, his attacker would catch up to him.

When he came to this conclusion, Sungyoon started to run back deeper into the labyrinth.

“You bastard! You can’t run away from me!”

Soobin extended his hand towards Sungyoon, who turned around to look when he heard those words.

‘That’s the pose.’

He started to count inside his head.

Boom!

His body turned heavy once again.

‘It takes him around 5 seconds.’

The casting of a spell coincided with the time needed to activate a Gem. Basically, Soobin needed over 5 seconds to activate his Gem.

‘Even if he has other Gems, he won’t be able to use them for 5 seconds.’

He had acquired another piece of information. However, he had to endure a great deal of danger in order to gain this information. The danger came calling.

“Hahhhhhhht!”

Soobin swung his halberd towards the sluggish Sungyoon. Sungyoon had been prepared for this, and he gritted his teeth as he raised his shield. He had known his weight would increase, so he made adjustments for it. This was why he was barely able to raise his shield in front of the halberd.

Kwahhhhng!

A violent force hit him.

‘Shit!’

Sungyoon cursed. Even though he had expected it, he didn’t feel good seeing his shield shatter. This shield had saved his life multiple times.

‘I’ll have to apologize to Ms. Emily.’

His optimistic thoughts felt out of place right now. Sungyoon was sent flying backward again, and he rolled across the floor.

Ssssk!

The gravity went away. Sungyoon immediately stood up.

‘It takes about 6 seconds for the hypergravity to disappear.’

He gained another piece of information and put it away inside his brain.

Since he had always fought with a shield in hand, his hand felt empty. Sungyoon prepared for the worst by grabbing the mace with both hands as he raised his guard against Soobin, who slowly walked towards him.

‘As expected, he is playing with me.’

It was as he had thought. Soobin didn’t plan on just ending this fight. The fact that Soobin completely dismissed him as a threat should have been insulting. However, Sungyoon preferred this. Soobin playing with his prey meant that he would make mistakes. Sungyoon would be able to take advantage of it.

‘If that is true...’

Sungyoon extended his hand to the side, acting as if he was trying to concentrate on activating his Gem. However, his eyes remained on Soobin.

It seemed Soobin looked amused by his gesture. He didn’t move to stop Sungyoon.

‘Good.’

Sungyoon was fortunate. He had been worried the man would just rush him. 

After several dozen seconds...

Hoo-oong!

A spear appeared in Sungyoon’s hand. He unsummoned his mace and aimed the spear at Soobin.

Soobin ridiculed him.

“What the hell? It took you this much time to summon a single spear? It seems you can only activate a Gem slowly. Pathetic! I only need 5 seconds to activate a Gem!”

Sungyoon furrowed his brows. He hadn’t taken offense at Soobin’s words.

‘I gambled and lost my shield in order to find out his Gem activation time...’

Soobin didn’t hold back the information. He had just given the information to Sungyoon. By the look of Soobin’s attitude, Sungyoon would only need to ask whatever he wanted to know, and Soobin would have proudly revealed everything to him.

‘Should I consider it fortunate that he has a big mouth?’

However, carelessness was his greatest enemy. Soobin was capable of dispensing information like a dandelion seed dispersing into the air. But although he had revealed favorable information to Sungyoon, their power difference was too large for Sungyoon to take advantage. The information blathered out by Soobin could only close the gap between the two of them by a bit.

Sungyoon gulped. He couldn’t run away since Soobin possessed the Gem containing the gravity spell. He had to somehow win through a frontal attack.

Of course, considering the quality of Gems he possessed, it was a ludicrous idea.

‘I have to be ready.’

He had laid out his overall plan. It wasn’t much of a plan. If luck and circumstances didn’t roll in his favor, he would be slaughtered before he could do anything. It was a plan that wasn’t really a plan. It was a gamble.

However, he couldn’t die like this.

‘I have to go see Shinhae no matter what!’

He thought about his lovely daughter’s face as he made the resolve.

“Finally, it seems you are ready to fight.”

Soobin sounded very satisfied with this.

Soobin didn’t consider this to be a fight or a battle. His opponent has grown quickly, but he was only a Connector that had just graduated the Beginner’s Labyrinth. In terms of battle experience and the rank of his Gems, Sungyoon couldn’t touch Soobin. It might have been a different story if Soobin was like his previous self, who wept at his own limitations. However, he had acquired massive power now.

‘If I kill this bastard, he said he’d give me more Blood Gems.’

It really was a fantastical power. Everything changed from having this one Gem.

It was a Gem that defied common sense. It allowed him to escape his normal rank. He could activate it just from equipping it. The number and the rank of the Gems he could activate increased by a lot, and his activation time had tremendously shortened. Moreover, as the Gem absorbed more blood from monsters, his abilities would increase.

‘If I can acquire more of these...!’

Just the thought of it made him happy. If it would allow him to acquire a Blood Gem, he was willing to kill a human that he felt jealous of.

Boom!

Soobin’s halberd and Sungyoon’s overclocked spear clashed. However, Soobin’s halberd was capable of destroying an overclocked Blue shield with several blows. The spear had just risen to its Indigo rank, so it couldn’t contend with the halberd.

After clashing twice against the halberd, a crack started to form on the spear blade. Moreover, Soobin’s enormous strength meant Sungyoon’s spear could be deflected from a distance. To make things worse, the halberd’s reach was similar to the reach of the spear.

Kwah-jeek!

“Ahhhhhk!”

The halberd’s blade embedded itself in Sungyoon’s left shoulder. Sungyoon screamed.

Grin!

Sungyoon’s scream sounded like the sweet music from a beautiful woman. Soobin grinned. He let out a bright smile of satisfaction.

“What? You are screaming at a wound of this size? A promising 1st Gen Connector shouldn’t scream like that.”

Soobin retracted the halberd and blood dripped from its blade.

Sungyoon gripped his wound as he fell to his knee. The area around his wound felt hot as if he had suffered a burn. Blood flowed past his fingers.

‘It’s fine. This is fine. It is a much shallower wound than what I had expected.’

Sungyoon desperately tried to give himself a pep talk. He knew he couldn’t get out of this situation without taking any damage. He even thought about purposefully getting injured. It would make Soobin underestimate him even more.

He was doing much better than the worst-case scenario he had imagined. If he had been unlucky, he would have received an injury that would have rendered him unable to fight. When he put it in context, he had received just the right amount of damage.

Sungyoon didn’t look away from Soobin as he placed the spear on the floor. However, he kept it within his reach.

In that state, he acted as if he was focusing for several dozen seconds. As expected, Soobin waited for him.

Sssk!

A mace appeared in Sungyoon’s hand, and he immediately unsummoned his spear.

“You are using a mace this time? I guess you can’t handle the spear with just one hand.

When Sungyoon got up with his mace in his hand, Soobin got into his battle stance. He looked like a cat playing with an already captured mouse. He playfully swung his halberd as he approached Sungyoon.

Sungyoon endured the pain as he glared at his enemy.

‘The pieces have been set to the best of my abilities.’

By receiving an injury, Sungyoon had tricked Soobin into thinking that he was a prey, along with planting the false information about himself.

He had only a single moment to turn the tables on Soobin. Sungyoon made his resolve.

“Ha-aht!”

He purposely let out a loud roar as he ran towards Soobin. Unlike him, Soobin still moved in a leisurely manner.

He swung his mace with all his might, but...

Kah-ahng!

His prey could only use one arm, and he was suffering under the pain from the wound. There was no way his attack would be effective. Soobin’s halberd easily deflected Sungyoon’s mace.

A cruel smile appeared on Soobin’s lips.

However, this was the moment. Sungyoon had been aiming for it.

His weapon had been deflected, and he was suffering under a wound. But, his enemy had completely taken him lightly.

‘Now!’

A spear appeared in Sungyoon’s hand. It was an instant summon with no delay. Shock appeared on Soobin’s face. However, Sungyoon didn’t even bother checking Soobin’s face. He stabbed with his spear.

Poo-oohk!

The spear blade pierced into Soobin's right forearm where his armor didn’t offer any protection.

“Ggoo-oohk!”

Until now, Soobin had been letting out a cruel and coarse laugh. But now, his face crumpled from the pain he felt. Sungyoon didn’t hesitate to take over the reins of the current situation.

He forcefully moved his injured left arm so that he could grab the spear shaft with both hands. He put more strength into the attack.

Koo-jeek!

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhk!”

The spear blade moved deeper, and it completely pierced through Soobin’s arm. Blood sprayed out from the wound.

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