Chapter 142

The party headed towards a nearby park. They each bought a cup of coffee, and they sat down on an open bench.

“Everything is a bit unsettled for some reason.”

Tim took a glance at his surroundings. The scenery was the same as always. However, it was as if everyone was feeling gray. It made everything look a bit subdued.

Moreover, he could see a tiny bit of fear on the faces of people.

“The early morning earthquake might be the cause.”

“What?”

The Ross siblings had been about to drink their coffee. They froze in place. Emily’s eyes turned round, and Tim asked in a surprised voice.

“There was an earthquake? On the Moon?”

“Yes. You didn’t know about it?”

Tim and Emily looked at each other.

There clearly was shock on their faces. One could tell that they hadn’t known about the earthquake.

‘It seems the earthquake happened while they were still on the spaceship.’

If he thought about the time it took to reach Armstrong from Earth, it was a strong possibility. It seemed he would have to give an explanation. He decided to drink some of his coffee before he spoke.

Tim scratched his head. Tim didn’t ask his question to Sungyoon first. He asked the question to his sister, Emily.

“Is it possible to have an earthquake on the Moon?”

“I have no idea.”

“Maybe, a meteorite impacted the Moon. Wouldn’t that cause the ground to shake a little bit?”

“Armstrong is quite fastidious in monitoring the meteors. If a meteor was about to hit, that information would have been disseminated.”

Tim and Emily looked towards Sungyoon.

“They didn’t say anything about meteors.”

When Sungyoon replied in the negative, the two siblings discussed the event once again.

“There is a chance that a meteor snuck past the surveillance system to hit the Moon.”

“That might be a possibility.”

In the end, the question and answer session between the two siblings brought forth no real answer.

“Was it a big earthquake?”

Tim wanted more information. He looked at his surroundings as he asked the question.

This place looked like any city on Earth, but Armstrong was surrounded by a large dome. Of course, everyone was much more sensitive about earthquakes, since it could bring down the structures around them.

“It wasn’t that severe. It just shook the buildings a little bit.”

It had been fortunate that nothing came out of it. However, it was proven now that an earthquake could occur in Armstrong. This meant there was a possibility of a larger earthquake hitting Armstrong in the future.

“Do you think the labyrinths are fine?”

Emily was careful in asking her question.

“I do worry the earthquake might cause something out of the ordinary to occur within the labyrinths.”

“Mmm….”

Tim folded his arms, and he worried over this problem in a serious manner.

The three of them had experienced falling into an unknown region when the floor of the labyrinth collapsed. This was why they were very interested to know whether the labyrinths were safe or not from the earthquake.

“It was a small earthquake, so I doubt it had a big effect on the labyrinths.”

He was talking that way, but his expression didn’t lighten. He wasn’t an expert on this matter.

“Shall we monitor the situation for a couple of days?”

Sungyoon agreed with Tim’s words.

“That is probably for the best. Anyways, it’ll be hard to acquire tickets even if we want to return to Earth on a spaceship.”

Sungyoon looked towards the Aldrin spaceport, which was a little way off. The Ross siblings followed his gaze to look at the Aldrin spaceport. It was much busier than usual as more people flocked to the spaceport.

People were anxious, and many were struggling to leave the Moon. It clearly showed that it won’t be easy to acquire a ticket to Earth in the near future.

***

The party spent the next four days in Armstrong. Thankfully, there were no other earthquakes.

Sungyoon wondered if he could gain some information from Chelsea, but he was unable to meet her.

It seemed the International Research Center was in a state of high alert thanks to the earthquake, and the guards stopped him from entering. It seemed the research center would restrict entry for the near future.

Therefore, he went to the Support Center as a precaution. He was told by them that the labyrinths would be unaffected by an earthquake of this magnitude.

He had no idea if they were telling the truth. There was a chance that they were just saying it without evidence, so Connectors would continue to bring in moonstones. 

Still, he didn’t hear any ominous rumors about a labyrinth collapsing. 

It was a source of comfort.

“… Will we be ok?”

Sungyoon and the Ross siblings were having a meeting. They were discussing their future plans, and Emily expressed her worries in an anxious voice. However, Sungyoon and Tim didn’t have a clear answer to her question.

“Still, we can’t continue to stay in Armstrong like this. We have to make a decision soon. If we don’t continue to acquire moonstones, we can't stay in this city thanks to the living costs.”

“Mr. Tim is right. We have to make a decision. Do we want to start raiding the labyrinths again or do we want to return to Earth?”

Ross siblings had amassed a good deal of wealth, but they couldn’t live in Armstrong for an extended amount of time if they weren’t acquiring moonstones. Of course, Sungyoon was in the same boat too.

“What do you think, Mr. Sungyoon?”

When Tim asked the question, Emily turned to look at Sungyoon. It seemed Sungyoon had become the leader of the group, and they wanted to hear his opinion.

Of course, Sungyoon didn’t think of himself as a leader at all.

“I think it would be for the best if we go back to raiding labyrinths.”

“Mmm. Do you think the labyrinths are unaffected by the earthquake?”

The only one amongst the three to experience the quakes was Sungyoon. Tim remembered that Sungyoon had said it was an earthquake of low magnitude. 

If that’s true, the labyrinths should be fine. 

Moreover, there was another reason why he wanted to return to labyrinths.

“Of course, this is only my assumption. However, it is also true that we don’t have much of a choice even if it had been a strong earthquake. We cannot completely leave the Moon.”

“That is true.”

Tim agreed, and Emily nodded. The Connectors instinctively wanted to head towards the Moon. The Moon would never loosen its grip on the Connectors.

“I doubt Armstrong will lower their prices for us.”

“They are almost fanatical about taking our money, so I doubt they’ll give us a discount.”

Tim jeered.

“In the end, we have no choice but to go acquire moonstones within the labyrinth.”

Even if they lived like paupers on the Moon, they needed money. They needed water, vitamin packs, and a place to sleep. They needed a lot of money just to satisfy these basic needs.

“So we have no choice.”

Tim let out a sigh. This might be the inevitable conclusion that most Connectors would arrive at.

“Still, we should be thankful that the labyrinths are sturdy.”

“How can you say that when we experienced the floor collapsing under us?”

“You always say the wrong things.”

Emily stared daggers at Tim, who always had to give his two cent’s worth after everything she said.

“The battle had made the floor thin. It almost became nonexistent. That’s a whole different story.”

“Right?”

When Sungyoon took her side, Emily’s expression suddenly changed. Tim looked at her with contempt when he saw this.

“Still, we should be cautious. Let us go to the Beginner’s Labyrinth to see if any changes have occurred.”

The two siblings didn’t hesitate as they nodded at Sungyoon’s suggestion.

***

It had been a while since Sungyoon’s party had entered the Beginner’s Labyrinth, and they were moving quickly through it.

Even if this was the Beginner’s Labyrinth, it was still a labyrinth. However, Sungyoon’s party had leveled up too much, so the Beginner’s Labyrinth was too easy for them.

Puh-uhk!

The Fang Boar didn’t know its place as it charged towards Tim. Tim split apart the Fang Boar with his ax.

“Annoying.”

Tim nudged the Fang Boar’s corpse with his foot.

Normally, they would get into formation to fight the monster. However, Tim was killing all the monsters by himself right now. Sungyoon always preached to Tim that he shouldn’t underestimate his opponents. However, Sungyoon was currently not paying attention to Tim.

Sungyoon’s interest was solely focused on the walls of the labyrinth.

“How is it?”

Emily, who stood next to him, asked the question.

“I don’t see anything abnormal. There are no cracks, and I don’t think the earthquake created space beyond the walls.”

As if to prove his statement, Sungyoon knocked on the wall of the labyrinth. A dull sound was heard. It meant the wall was solid.

“That’s good.”

“Yes. It really is.”

The only problem was the fact that Sungyoon knew nothing about geology.

Still, only Connectors could enter the labyrinths, so humans with high-tech equipment couldn’t come in to study this place.

Basically, it was impossible to do a formal study, so Sungyoon had to eyeball it.

Still, the eyes of a normal person couldn’t find any obvious damage, so it was a relief.

“Shall we head out?”

Tim spoke. He looked bored as he picked up the moonstone dropped by the Fang Boar. Sungyoon looked at his watch.

“Let’s head down one more floor. We’ll be out by dinner time if we do that.”

“Understood.”

Was he happy, because this boring run was about to come to an end? Tim’s feet looked lighter.

They went lower using a familiar path.

Fortunately, they didn’t find anything strange in the lower floor. Still, they witnessed something unpleasant once again.

“It is a Sealed Section.”

They could see a Connector blocking the entrance to a tunnel. The three of them looked disgruntled, but they didn’t do anything. They quietly turned around, and they started heading towards the entrance to the Beginner’s Labyrinth.

“It is still happening.”

Tim grumbled as he expressed his dissatisfaction. He had almost faced a catastrophe because the high rank Connectors had failed to properly clean up the Beginner’s Labyrinth. The memory of that made his mood sour.

However, there was something else that put Sungyoon in a more foul mood.

“As expected, the anomalous event within the Beginner’s Labyrinth is getting worse in a progressive manner.”

Sungyoon turned to look at Tim and Emily as he spoke.

“Do you know when the Mana stream started within the Beginner’s Labyrinth?”

“Mmm. I think it occurred around a month ago.”

Emily’s eyes moved upwards as she tried to pick out a faint memory.

“As expected, the clean up of the Beginner’s Labyrinth should have already been completed.”

Sungyoon’s eyes turned retrospective.

“Anomalies started occurring within the labyrinths, and it was followed up with an earthquake on the Moon...”

Sungyoon’s murmured words and body posture made Tim and Emily turn serious.

“… Do you think something is wrong?”

Emily sounded full of worry as she spoke. However, Sungyoon didn’t have a clear answer for her.

“I have no idea.”

He could only give her a lame answer. It made the worry in Emily’s eyes deepen.

“It’s probably nothing. There is too much information we don’t know in regards to the labyrinth.”

“R... right?”

She was still worried, but Sungyoon’s words had the effect of comforting her. In some ways, she probably looked foolish, but the emotions she was feeling right now were being felt by most of the Connectors on the Moon right now.

“Anyways, let’s head out of this labyrinth.”

Sungyoon broke out of his thoughts, and he started walking forward.

***

It was said that the passage of time was better than drugs in pacifying the mind. Even if one was worried about something serious, it became swallowed up by the current of time, and one became used to it. 

It was the same for Sungyoon’s party. The moonquake incident had caused worry to sprout within their hearts, but they returned to their normal lives when nothing out of the ordinary happened afterward.

In the beginning, they had reacted to every sound thinking the labyrinth might cave in around them, but they no longer did that. Everything was back to normal.

Since the party determined the Beginner’s Labyrinth was fine, they decided to travel to Sungyoon’s Personal Labyrinth, and they started clearing it.

Sungyoon swung his ax at the Orc in front of him.

Puh-uhk!

The shoddy helmet was split open, and the ax dug into its head. It let out a single scream before it fell to the ground.

Sungyoon turned his head when he confirmed his kills.

Tim had killed his opponents, and he was shaking blood off his ax.

Five Orcs had ambushed them this time. Their equipment was shoddy, but they were all equipped with weapons and armor. 

If it was the past, Sungyoon’s party would have struggled to face them.

However, that was no longer the case. Emily didn’t even need to use her support magic to enhance their bodies. Sungyoon and Tim could easily defeat the Orcs.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter