Chapter 140

Jimin had been very busy, because she had been in the process of expanding her company. This was why she was unable to spend as much time as she wanted with Shinhae in recent days. This was why she had scheduled a day where they would go out and eat.

Jiyoon was invited to the outing, because she had a pretty significant relationship with Shinhae, and she had looked after Shinhae today.

Shinhae was so happy that she circled around Jimin in joy.

“We’ll be eating out with Shinhae. Would the two of you like to join us?”

Jimin returned to her office to get her belongings. As she did so, she posed the question to the Ross siblings. The two of them looked around at the people within the company.

“Is the whole company going out to eat?”

Tim asked the question.

“No. I’ll be going out with Shinhae and Ms. Jiyoon. This isn’t a company dinner. It is a meal between close acquaintances.”

The welcome party for the new employees had already passed. Jimin planned on having another one when Sungyoon came back, but she had no plans on taking the new employees to a private gathering.

“May I tag along?”

Whenever Shinhae was mentioned, Emily showed interest.

Tim looked over at Emily. It was said that love changes a person. Still, he always became surprised whenever his sister showed initiative.  

“Of course.”

“Thank you.”

Emily quickly jumped in feet first. Of course, she expected Tim would come with her, but he shook his head from side to side.

“I’m fine.”

Emily stared at Tim in surprise.

“What? Why are you looking at me like that?”

“I want to go check if everything is ready for our departure. You should go. I can do the inspection by myself.”

It was merely an excuse. He felt a bit awkward being the only male between the three women.

Of course, he didn’t think of Emily as a woman. She was just his sister. Still, there were two other women, and he absolutely refused to be stuck there.

Emily was a bit conflicted. She was an introvert, and she didn’t feel comfortable without Tim’s presence. He was putting her on the spot.

However, they were siblings, so they knew each other’s tendencies. Emily knew Tim wouldn’t go back on his decision.

She turned her eyes towards Shinhae.

She saw the cute child’s smiling face.

She firmed her resolve.

“Then I’ll go by myself.”

“Alright. Have fun.”

As her big brother, Tim encouraged his sister’s courage.

***

A delicious smell permeated her surroundings, and she could feel the lively energy from the people around her. Emily looked a bit awkward as she watched the meat being grilled in front of her.

The dish was called Galbi. A metal grate was placed above the charcoal, and the heat from the charcoal cooked the Galbi. The smell of the dish stimulated her nose.

She had never seen this dish before, but it looked delicious. It was enough to make Emily’s mouth water.

Jimin was the one grilling the meat.

Jimin sat next to Emily, and she flipped the meat with practiced hands. She made sure the meat didn’t burn. Shinhae sat right across Jimin, and Jiyoon sat next to Shinhae. Jiyoon continued to take care of Shinhae.

Jimin used the tongs to move the completely cooked Galbi to the corner of the grate.

“Please eat.”

After giving permission for Jiyoon and Emily to eat first, Jimin started to pick out the most well-done pieces of meat, and she placed them in Shinhae’s dish. If there was a slightly burnt part, Jimin used the scissor to trim the meat. 

“Thank you for the food!”

Shinhae spoke in excitement. She was now quite familiar with using her chopsticks. She picked up a piece of meat.

She tried to cool the meat by blowing on it with all her might. It took a while to cool it. 

She put the piece in her mouth and chewed. 

“So good!”

The girl laughed. A smile appeared on the lips of the three women when they saw Shinhae’s innocent laughter.

“Unni will cool it down for you.”

Jiyoon cooled Shinhae’s Galbi by blowing on it. Shinhae looked happy as she once again chewed on more meat.

“You should eat your vegetables too.”

Jimin placed a lettuce in front of Shinhae. Children usually frowned in disgust when presented with vegetables. However, Shinhae wrapped the meat in the veggie, and she ate it all.

Jimin and Jiyoon took care of Shinhae every step of the way, and Emily couldn’t participate. She didn’t know Korean, and she had no idea what these foods were. She couldn’t step up and take care of Shinhae.

Thankfully, Jimin and Jiyoon were quick to pick up on this. They tried to bring her into the conversation as they helped her get along with Shinhae.

Moreover, it helped that Shinhae was very interested in Emily’s brown hair. She looked very different from the people around her. This was why Emily was able to achieve her small wish of getting a bit closer to Shinhae.

“I’m done eating!”

The three unnis kept putting food in front of her, and she kept eating. Shinhae put down her chopsticks when her stomach protruded like a little tadpole.

She was adorable as she let out a little burp. 

“I’m going to go play!”

She stood up from the dining table, and she headed towards a playroom located in the corner of the restaurant. 

All the women had laughter in their eyes as they sent off Shinhae. However, an awkward silence descended amongst them when Shinhae was gone.

The three of them had met each other not too long ago, and all three of them didn’t have outgoing personalities.

The only commonality was their interest in Shinhae. Once Shinhae was gone, they fell into this hilarious yet awkward situation.

“Let’s….”

Jimin was the president, so she spoke first.

“Let’s drink some alcohol?”

Both Jiyoon and Emily nodded.

Several bottles of beer had been emptied, and they were slowly starting to get drunk. This was why the three of them started to speak a little bit more freely.

Of course, Emily was a Connector, so she wasn’t drunk at all. However, the mood had relaxed, and she was finding it easier to talk.

Still, they didn’t know much about each other. Of course, the conversation naturally flowed towards a topic they shared. 

However, the only common topic they shared was about Shinhae and Sungyoon. This was why they naturally found themselves talking about Sungyoon.

“When I saw Mr. Sungyoon for the first time, there was an air of sadness around him. I also thought he was just a regular 1st Gen Connector.”

Jimin swirled her alcohol in her cup. She spoke in English for the benefit of Emily.

Emily couldn’t speak Korean at all, but Jiyoon was quite fluent in English.

“Ah. I know what you are talking about. It was the same for me.”

Jiyoon thought about the day when she met Sungyoon for the first time. He was a shabby middle-aged man that had fallen to the bottom point of his life. However, he looked brighter than ever when he was with his daughter.

“I met him in a very dangerous situation, so I’m unable to clearly remember my first impression of him.”

Emily had met Sungyoon in a really dramatic fashion. At first, she had been very disappointed when Sungyoon turned down her offer of teaming up against the Bigfoot. However, he had changed his mind, and any disappointment disappeared in an instant when they defeated the Bigfoot.

“Still, I do remember that there was a feeling of sadness around him.”

The three women let out small laughs.

From that point on, they started to engage in an animated conversation. The most sociable one amongst them was Jiyoon, so she spoke the most. Emily kept asking questions, so she could learn about Sungyoon’s everyday life. Jimin joined in occasionally.

After they conversed for a while, Emily and Jiyoon could sense it. They knew they loved the same person.

Basically, a rival in love had appeared.

However, the two reacted in an entirely different way.

Emily looked a bit uneasy, but she didn’t feel truly threatened by Jiyoon. It wasn’t a matter of confidence. Even if Sungyoon chose a different woman, she was willing to become his 2nd or 3rd wife. She didn’t think too much about it. 

She grew up in a Connector household, so this was how most people around her thought about marriage.

On the other hand, Jiyoon had grown up in a normal household, so she wasn’t familiar with such a concept. Jiyoon’s gaze was much more guarded compared to Emily’s gaze.

Jimin had an odd look in her eyes as she observed both of them. 

“Unni!”

Another awkward silence was about to descend when an energetic and cheerful voice broke it all apart.

Shinhae had come up on them without their notice, and she draped her body over Jimin’s knees.

“You are done playing?”

Jimin stroked her head as she asked the question. Shinhae shook her head from side to side.

“I want another bite!”

Shinhae pointed toward the grilled meat, and she opened her mouth. She looked like a baby bird asking for food from her mother.

Jimin rolled a well-grilled Galbi into a lettuce then she placed it in Shinhae’s mouth.

“Nyam!”

She looked like a chipmunk as her cheeks became full. As she chewed her food, she went back to the playroom.

“Won’t it be a joy to become that child’s mother?”

The two of them turned to look at Jimin.

“She has been hurt very much in the past. If you are trying to aim for the role of being her mother, you have to bring happiness to that child. If Mr. Sungyoon decided to remarry, he’ll pick a woman capable of doing that.”

“… You are right.”

It was a bit embarrassing, but Emily didn’t deny her feelings.

However, Jiyoon looked flustered.

‘Mother?’

Emily was basically saying she wanted to marry Sungyoon in the near future. Jiyoon had just awoken to her first love, so it was way too early to think about marriage. She was also the youngest amongst them.

Moreover, Jiyoon’s love had grown slowly over time as she saw the good aspects of Sungyoon. Emily had fallen head over heels in love when they had overcome a dangerous situation together. Maybe, this was why their love differed.

Emily didn’t pick up on Jiyoon’s troubled mind. She decided to ask the question that she always wanted to ask Jimin.

“What about you, President?”

Jimin’s relationship with Sungyoon was much deeper and longer compared to their relationship. Moreover, Emily could see that Sungyoon treated her differently behind the scenes. 

Of course, Emily knew there weren't any romantic feelings between the two of them. However, Emily couldn’t help being bothered by it.

However, Jimin shook her head from side to side.

“It is true that I feel very grateful towards Mr. Sungyoon, but I do not carry such feelings towards him.”

“I see.”

Emily accepted her answer at face value.

However, Jimin somehow didn’t feel good about saying those words.

She was sure she didn’t see Sungyoon in a romantic manner. However, she was relying a lot on him.

She had forcefully pushed her half given up goals on him, and he was performing beyond expectation.

She swore this on her life. This was the first time she had felt such strong positive feelings towards a man aside from her father and two siblings.

‘I’m sure this isn’t love.’

She was sure of that right now. However, she also felt as if she wouldn’t be able to stop her heart from falling for him if some catalyst got the ball rolling.

“Unni.”

A child’s clear voice broke her out of her reveries. Shinhae, who had been playing in the playroom, had once again appeared next to Jimin.

“Hmm? What’s wrong, Shinhae? Do you want to eat more?”

Jimin picked up her chopsticks, and she tried to pick up the remaining meat. However, Shinhae shook her head from side to side.

“When are we leaving?”

It seemed Shinhae was bored of playing in the playroom. Moreover, Shinhae’s eyelids looked a little bit heavy.

Jimin looked down at her watch. It seemed their conversation had lasted a long time. They had mostly drunk and ate everything they had ordered.

“Shall we go?”

Jiyoon and Emily nodded.

They exited the restaurant, and the three women went their own way.

However, each woman was in deep thought in regards to the conversation they had shared. 

***

He looked up. He had been sick of seeing the hard ceiling of the labyrinth, but he was no longer seeing that. He saw the vast expanse of space.

If he let go of his mind, it felt as if he could leave the confines of his body. It felt as if he would fall endlessly into space. It was a fantastic sight, and at the same time, it was a terrifying existence.

Still, Sungyoon was very glad to see space. He had been trapped within the labyrinth for two weeks, and he had fought fierce battles against high rank monsters.

“What? Are you feeling the joys of life once again?”

Hyunwoo had followed out behind him. He smirked.

Hyunwoo slapped Sungyoon on the back.

“Don't be such a baby. Let’s hurry up and go. You said your appointment is tomorrow. We have to really go all out tonight and party.”

Hyunwoo turned on his Moon Surface Vehicle, and he indicated for Sungyoon to follow him. Sungyoon quickly got on his Moon Surface Vehicle, and he followed Hyunwoo.

However, the distance couldn’t be compared to what Sungyoon had to travel to reach his Personal Labyrinth. They were able to reach Armstrong in a short amount of time. Hyunwoo dragged Sungyoon off somewhere before he could object.

Hyunwoo went to the place where he had shared alcohol with Sungyoon. It was the bar within the unbelievably expensive hotel.

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