Sungyoon handed over the other items he had found.
He took out everything, the doll he had coincidentally came across when his foot got caught in it, the fragments from the door, and the fragments that had fallen off from the Golem.
Curiosity erupted in the researchers' eyes as they observed the new things in front of them.
However, they weren’t interested in the Golem, the doll, or the door as a whole that much. They were more curious about the materials making up these items.
‘Now that I think about it, Ms. Chelsea’s field of study is geology.’
It seemed the researchers she had brought were part of the same team as her. Their expertise probably, too, was in geology.
Of course, they would be more interested in metals and rocks.
“This really looks like the metal of Jewel rank equipment.”
“It does look similar.”
Chelsea held the fragments of the Golem and conversed with the team leader. It seemed they had reached the same conclusion as the Ross siblings had.
The nearby researchers started to noisily speak.
“Is it really?”
“On inspection, it looks similar.”
“Magical energy isn’t flowing through the metal. Wouldn’t we be able to study it in earnest now?”
“What? We can break down this metal?”
Chelsea let out a small shout with intense anticipation in her voice. All the researchers turned at the same time to look at the Golem and its fragments.
“I’m sorry. I was a bit loud, right?”
She sounded embarrassed as she spoke to Sungyoon. Then she looked at her fellow researchers, who were squawking in a childish manner.
Since they were her colleagues, she couldn’t say anything to them. As a fellow researcher, she knew the emotions they were feeling.
“It’s fine. I’m guessing research on Gems hasn’t gone well.”
“If I’m being honest, it really hasn’t.”
“It is hard to acquire Gems in the first place, and a Connector is needed to summon the battle-gear. And even if we satisfy those requirements, it is impossible to study the Gems using our current technology. In order to obtain a small sample of the equipment, the Gem battle-gear has to be destroyed. It causes the battle-gear to get unsummoned, resulting in the Gem being destroyed.”
“It is a pain in the ass.”
The team leader agreed with Chelsea.
Their research had come to a stall. And despite their lack of progress, they continued to live on the Moon. A lot of money was being spent to keep them up here, so, of course, the pressure from above was intense.
That was why the team leader continued to hope even though he thought it could be a hoax.
“You must have suffered a lot.”
Of course, he was completely clueless when it came to all of this, so he could only utter some platitude.
Since his business was done here, Sungyoon got ready to leave the research facility.
“I’ll be going now.”
“Ah. Please wait a moment.”
The team leader held him back.
“We have to create a confirmation document for these items. If they turn out to be genuine, the document will allow you to receive fair compensation. Also, you’ll have a claim over them as the finder.”
The team leader wasn’t asking for a confirmation document only because of the kindness in his heart. He didn't mention that Sungyoon would also have to take full responsibility if it turned out to be a hoax.
“I’ll go with you.”
Chelsea approached Sungyoon, but her eyes remained fixed on the items he had brought. This also remained true for the team leader, who had said he would draft up a confirmation document. The other researchers didn’t even glance toward Sungyoon.
“It’s fine. I’ll leave after I receive the confirmation document.”
A small conflict appeared in Chelsea’s heart. But it was successful in chasing away the greed swirling within her heart.
“No, you are doing me a favor by handing over these precious items. At the very least, I should accompany you while you are here in the research facility. Also, I have to see you out.”
As if she desperately wanted to separate herself from the greed and the desire grabbing at her ankles, she told the team leader to hurry up. She then left the room first, and Sungyoon, who no longer tried to stop her, followed her.
After he was guided to a different room, he silently received the confirmation document. Finished with all the work here, he said goodbye to the team leader and departed for the hallway in order to leave the research facility. Chelsea followed to see him off.
“Anyway, you found something amazing, Mr. Sungyoon.”
Chelsea’s eyes shone as she walked down the hallway.
“Once it is accepted as being the genuine article, it’d greatly advance our knowledge toward understanding the labyrinths and Gems.”
“That sounds amazing.”
When Sungyoon and the Ross siblings had found these items, they had thought the same thing. However, a real researcher was confirming their suspicion with confidence. It seemed their discovery was truly amazing.
“Do you think there was a civilization on the Moon?”
Sungyoon thought about the doll as he asked. The fact that he had found such a modern item on the Moon made him wonder if it was definite proof.
“Mmm. I’m not sure.”
However, the answer he received was inconclusive.
“Ah. I’m not saying this because I can’t trust you. We have found nothing concrete regarding this subject. Moreover, there might be other reasons why the doll existed there.”
“I guess so. It might be remnants left behind by an alien civilization that fell from space.”
In truth, he had thought about other possibilities too. However, Chelsea presented him with another theory.
“It might be as you’ve said. The item could be from an alien civilization or it could be from a civilization that had developed of its own on the Moon. However, I have another theory that I am more interested in.”
“Do you know how the Moon was formed?”
An uncertain expression appeared on Sungyoon's face.
Although he sometimes looked up to see the everpresent Moon in the night sky, he had never wondered how the Moon came to be.
The school might have taught him something about it, but time had long ago washed away such memories.
“I have no idea.”
“The Moon is the celestial body closest to Earth, so many theories have been given on how it came to be. Theories like ‘When the solar system came to be, the Moon appeared alongside Earth.’, ‘A celestial body roaming around space was caught up in the Earth’s gravity field, and it now orbits the Earth.’, etc. However, the most likely theory in my opinion is—”
Chelsea raised a finger, and she cleared her throat as if she was about to say something very important.
“It broke off from Earth.”
“… are you saying the traces of civilization on the Moon are actually from Earth?”
“It is a possibility. If we think about it logically, a massive amount of energy would have been generated when the Moon was ejected from Earth. It is enough energy to basically end a civilization. The traces of civilization should have been vaporized, but the Moon and its labyrinths defy common sense. So maybe, that didn’t happen.”
When he heard about the possibility of the Moon being ejected from Earth, he looked down at his Device.
“Is there a possibility that the Devices and Gems were made on Earth?”
“It isn’t just the Devices and Gems. The monsters probably originated from Earth. There might be a chance that the magical energy on the Moon might have existed on the original Earth.”
It was a very shocking statement.
“However, this is all a theory, and nothing has been proven. That is why we are so glad you found a clue to solving this mystery.”
“I’m glad I was of help.”
As he said those words, his newly gained knowledge made him feel a bit spaced out. Even if it was a theory, the information given to him had been that powerful.
However, Sungyoon quickly shook it off. This wasn’t something he could solve, so he decided to leave it to the scientists.
It wouldn't change his ultimate goal.
Sungyoon exited the research facility as Chelsea saw him off.
‘It is already this late.’
The lights within Armstrong was starting to dim, indicating the day was coming to an end.
Sungyoon was debating whether to start heading toward his labyrinth despite the late hours, or to rest for the night and travel in the morning.
“Huh? Are you Woo Sungyoon?”
He heard someone calling out to him. Sungyoon turned to look at who it was.
It was a tall man with high cheekbones standing there. He wasn’t a familiar figure, but this wasn’t the first time Sungyoon had seen him.
“You are Mr. Sung Hyunwoo?”
He was Jungbum’s friend, and he was called the strongest Connector in Korea. Sungyoon had met this man at Jimin's company previously.
A large building marked the center of Armstrong. Called the Armstrong building, it was named after the city. This place doubled as a hotel and an entertainment center. Armstrong city was known as the city of money and desire, and this hotel boasted the highest prices and the best entertainment in the city.
Even the moderately well-off Connectors didn’t dare to step into this place, which solely catered to the highest-ranked Connectors.
Resources were limited on the Moon, yet this place provided services that could make one forget about that fact.
The current Sungyoon wouldn’t even dare to step into such a place. He was like a penguin stranded in a desert. He was in a high-class bar within the Armstrong building, looking out of place.
“Huh? What’s wrong? It isn’t as if you’ve never been to such a place at your age.”
Hyunwoo downed the liquor in his cup. Sungyoon checked the label on the bottle of liquor.
When he had been running his business, he had entertained clients and drunk many liquors on his own time too. However, he couldn’t place the liquor that was in front of his eyes. He just knew that it was really expensive.
Sungyoon raised his cup. A deep fragrant shot up his nose, as he downed the liquor.
“Yes. That’s it. It doesn’t matter if the alcohol is beer, soju, or liquor. It is best to just down it.”
Hyunwoo let out a satisfied laugh.
A high pitched cheer and a seductive laugh rang out.
Sungyoon glanced at Hyuwnoo’s sides, and then at his own.
Four women wearing risque clothes surrounded the two connectors. Two of the women sat next to Hyunwoo and the other two sat next to Sungyoon. They pressed their breasts and bodies close to the men.
At a glance, one could tell they were women of the pleasure quarters. But they didn’t look cheap. In fact, they carried themselves with elegance.
They were all beautiful. In terms of their natural looks, they were a bit behind when compared to Jimin or Chelsea. However, their makeup accentuated their looks, and they knew how to carry themselves in a sensual manner. They oozed sex from every pore.
Sungyoon felt repulsed, but he didn’t want to offend Hyunwoo.
Hyunwoo had ignored his objections as he had placed two beautiful women next to him. Sungyoon pressed down his feelings of embarrassment and displeasure.
“Do you want to eat anything else? I’m buying, so just order anything you like.”
He passed a menu toward Sungyoon, who instinctively took it. Everything was written in English, and all the items sounded like fancy dishes. However, something was different when compared to the menus from other stores. This menu listed no price.
It was one crucial difference.
‘There’s no price.’
He knew this place was much more expensive than the restaurant where he had been treated to a meal by Jimin. That was why he became surprised.
“Excuse me. There’s no price written here.”
“Hmm? The employee will calculate it at the end. There’s no way it’ll come out to tens of millions of dollars.”
Hyunwoo once again laughed, but Sungyoon couldn’t laugh. By Hyunwoo’s explanation, the people who frequented this place didn’t bother looking at the price tags. They didn’t care if the total came out to be tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
‘There is no way the costs can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. There is no way it can reach a couple of million.’
He kept telling himself that it couldn't be right. However, when he thought about the crazy inflated prices of Armstrong, it was a possibility. It made him lose his already diminished appetite.
“So why did you bring me here?”
When Hyunwoo had seen him, he had suddenly dragged Sungyoon to this place for a drink. Sungyoon still hadn’t heard the exact reason behind the request.
“It isn’t anything amazing. You are the Connector from Jimin’s company, and we brought you harm before. Since we coincidentally ran into each other, I wanted to ask you to have a drink with me.”
The young lady next to Hyunwoo poured him another cup. He downed it once again.
“You didn’t personally cause me any harm, and I've received plenty of recompense for it. Moreover, I’m only a Connector affiliated with Ms. Jimin’s company.”
“You are no fun.”
Hyunwoo looked glum as he gazed at the man in front of him.
“If you need some special reason, you can tell me how Jimin is living her life. No. Maybe, you should tell me how your labyrinth runs are going.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter