Chapter 13

“So how do you feel, Mr. Woo Sungyoon?”

“I’m good. In fact, I’ve never felt better.”

Previously, as he was aging, his body had started to creak and ache. Now it was beyond fine. He didn’t feel tired when he woke up, and he had no trouble moving his body.

“I can tell just by looking at you. You’ve become much younger in the past couple of days.”

Leemin looked at Sungyoon with envy in his eyes. The doctor was over 50 years old and was approaching his 60s. He was starting to put his life in order as he was approaching the latter stages of his life. Sungyoon had regained his youth, and Leemin desperately wanted it too. He probably would give up all his accomplishments to be young again.

He wanted it, but it was impossible for him to acquire it. Leemin put aside his jealousy and got back to work.

“How much do you know about the Connectors?”

Leemin organized the chart on the computer monitor as he asked the question.

“The Moon’s Labyrinth is filled with magical energy, and this magical energy is supplied to the heart. Connectors are people capable of receiving and using magical energy.”

“You are well informed. Most people would just tell me that Connectors are those that make a lot of money by going into the Moon’s Labyrinth.”

“My previous business had some dealings with that sector. That is why I have a bit of knowledge about it.”

Sungyoon’s expression hardened a little bit. When he spoke about his business, he always thought about his once-trusted friend and his bitch of a wife.

“I see.”

Leemin nodded as he discreetly observed Sungyoon. Normally, Sungyoon kept his emotions tightly bottled up. However, his emotions had clearly turned for the worse.

‘Did I step on a mine?’

It made sense. If his business was doing good, he wouldn’t be sweating over the hospital bill.

“I don’t know how much detail you know, but I’ll try to give you a full rundown. This is in regard to your body, so Mr. Sungyoon should know about it. Are you fine with that?”

“Yes, I don’t mind.”

In fact, Sungyoon welcomed it.

“Good. First, Mr. Sungyoon’s heart has gone through a complete change, and it is now unlike a normal heart. A normal heart looks like this.”

Leemin directed Sungyoon’s gaze towards the monitor on Leemin’s desk. The monitor screen held the image of a red heart. It was totally gross, but a familiar image. Anyone that had gone through the regular school curriculum in Korea knew what a heart looked like.

“However, for Mr. Sungyoon and the other Connectors, the heart looks like this.”

Leemin tapped a couple of keys on the keyboard, and the image on the screen changed. An object that clearly did not look like a heart was shown on the screen. It wasn’t organic at all.

It was a pink colored object, and at a glance, one might mistake it for a heart. However, compared to a normal heart, different materials had been used in the making of this object. It was reflecting light from its surroundings and sparkling. Instead of an organic matter, it looked to be some kind of ore. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say it looked like a gem.

Leemin pointed at the image on the monitor as he spoke.

“This is the state of your heart right now. This is the heart of a Connector.”

Sungyoon stared at the monitor.

“A lot is still unknown in regard to the heart of a Connector. It can perform the basic function of a regular heart like pumping blood. However, its most important function is its ability to gather the Moon’s magical energy. It acts as a form of ‘door’. That is why the Connector’s heart is called a Gate. Those that possess this type of heart are called ‘Connectors’. All their hearts are connected to the Moon.”

Moon’s magical energy.

The Labyrinth was located on the Moon, and it was full of magical energy. It was a form of energy that humanity had never dealt with before. It was a completely foreign power. It was unknown as to whether this power was a blessing or a curse, but only the Connectors could harness this power.

“You can talk to the experts on a later date. It’ll be more beneficial for you to learn from them on how to use that power. I do not have that information. However, I can explain what kind of changes were brought on by the effects of the ‘Moon’s magical energy’.”

Leemin looked at Sungyoon, who had been listening closely.

“First, Mr. Sungyoon no longer needs to eat food in order to acquire energy. You don’t need to breathe either.”

His words were surprising. Food and breathing were essential to human life. If one told someone to stop eating and breathing, it was basically telling someone to die.

“I don’t need to breathe?”

Sungyoon could not hide his surprise.

“You can try holding your breath right now. You are breathing right now out of habit. It isn’t necessary.”

Sungyoon did as Leemin had suggested. He held his breath. A couple of seconds passed then a minute passed. In the past, he would feel the need to breathe at this point. However, he was comfortable right now. He didn’t show any signs of needing to breathe.

“In the first place, humans only eat three meals a day, because they need energy. They breathe and they do annoying daily upkeep for one’s body to be able to live. However, Connectors do not need to do any of that.”

Leemin placed his hand on his own chest.

“An overwhelming amount of energy is provided from this place.”

Sungyoon mimicked Leemin’s gesture and discreetly placed his hand over his heart.

“Of course, this doesn't mean that you can completely stop eating food. The only thing provided by your heart is energy. You have to continue ingesting nutrients to maintain your body. This also is true for water. But at the very least, you don’t need food to generate energy that’ll maintain the basic functions of your body. I’m not saying you should refrain from eating. You can eat whenever and whatever you want. It doesn’t matter. Aside from that...”

Leemin looked at Sungyoon’s handsome face.

“You can feel it already, right?”

He was probably talking about the rejuvenation process. Sungyoon already knew about this phenomenon, so he nodded.

“The ‘Moon’s magical energy’ of a Connector maintains the body at its peak performance. That is why you were given your youth back. Aside from injuries, you don’t have to worry about diseases.”

“I knew about it, but it is something else entirely to experience it. It is truly surprising.”

“That is understandable. I’ve seen this a couple of times before, but it is still surprising each time I witness it. Moreover, your physical abilities should have increased significantly too. If someone picks a fight with you, you have to be careful while using your fists. You might kill your opponent.”

After he reached this point in his explanation, Leemin adjusted his posture a little bit.

“Do you have any more questions?”

“No. I have a good idea of my body now.”

When he awakened as a Connector, Sungyoon had gained many things. However, his dreary voice hadn’t changed. Although his outer appearance had changed, his low self-esteem hadn’t improved. He still had a pessimistic personality.

“We’ve run most of the tests. You can leave the hospital today if you want. It won’t be long before someone from the government contacts you. You can learn how to use the Moon’s magical energy from that person. You can learn about your future from him.”

“Thank you for everything you’ve done.”

Sungyoon stood up and bowed towards Leemin. Then he left the hospital.

* * *

After he came out of the hospital, he wondered what he should do. He had acquired youth and an amazing body. He was clearly in a better place than before. However, his overall situation hadn’t changed. He had failed in his business, and his debts still existed. He could try to use his abilities as a Connector to do something, but he had no idea what to do. It wasn’t as if he’ll get bonus points for putting down his status as a Connector on his resume.

The only thing he could do was to wait for the government to contact him. In the meantime, he once again started doing construction work.

Fortunately, his physical abilities had increased, so unlike before, he was able to do well in construction. In the past, he had been afraid of his pay being deducted because of his poor work.  Now he received more on top of his daily salary.

Not many people recognized Sungyoon. He had a really dark personality, so he had refrained from making any friends. Of course, there were a couple of people that recognized Sungyoon. They asked what had happened, but Sungyoon brushed them off and just ignored their questions. The people, who had asked the question, grumbled or they swore before leaving Sungyoon alone.

Several days passed like that when a single call arrived on his home phone. It was the call he had been waiting for. Someone from the government had contacted him.

The next day Sungyoon got on an express bus. It felt like forever as he experienced the bumpy ride of the bus. Sungyoon finally arrived at Sejon city.

 After a brief walk, Sungyoon arrived in front of a building. His final destination was a government-owned building.

It was quite a large building, and there were large words written on the wall. It said, ‘Office of Business and Administration for the Moon’s Labyrinth’.

‘This place is…’

In the early days, they had been part of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy. However, they had broken off into their own branch of the government. They managed most of the business dealings with the Moon’s Labyrinth. As a Connector, it was a branch of the government Sungyoon would have to get acquainted with.

Sungyoon entered the building. There were a lot of people inside, some Connectors like him, and some people that did business in regard to the Moon’s Labyrinth. These people might become Sungyoon’s ‘partners’ in the future, but he didn’t show any interest in them.

Sungyoon went to the front desk, took a ticket, and waited for his number.

After a brief moment, he could hear his number being called.

“What brings you here?”

The receptionist queried Sungyoon.

“I came here after being contacted. I was told that Connectors have to register here.”

“What is your name?”

“My name is Woo Sungyoon.”

As part of her profession, the receptionist had seen a lot of Connectors. This was why she didn’t bat an eye when Sungyoon said he was a Connector. She clicked on her keyboard several times.

“Uh?”

Her face showed a little bit of surprise.

“Is something wrong?”

“Ah, no. It’s nothing.”

The receptionist wiped the surprise off her face. After she put on her professional face, she spoke to Sungyoon.

“Yes, Mr. Woo Sungyoon. I’ve confirmed your identity. Please go to ‘Support’ on the 3rd floor. Please remain in the waiting room, and your case worker will come to you.”

“Thank you.”

Sungyoon gave a curt and unfriendly bow then he left the receptionist’s desk.

He immediately found the staircase to the upper floors. He didn’t feel tired after climbing 3 floors of stairs thanks to his increased physical abilities. It didn’t tax him at all.

He was able to find the ‘Support Department’ immediately. The entire third floor was basically the Support Department. Sungyoon searched for the waiting room. In the corner, there was a room separated from the rest of the floor with glass walls. The entrance leading into the room had a placard indicating that it was the waiting room. Sungyoon entered the room and he quietly sat in a chair.

There weren’t many people inside the waiting room. There was one impatient person bouncing his leg, and another person had his legs crossed with an arrogant expression on his face. Then, there were the others without any expressions on their face as they waited for their name to be called. All kinds of people were gathered there.

Sungyoon quietly sat among them. He still didn’t think of himself as their peer, so he didn’t feel the need to talk to them.

They had nothing to do with him.

How much time had passed? Many people left the waiting room as their names were called. Sungyoon continued to wait.

Then…

“Mr. Woo Sungyoon.”

His name was called.

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