Chapter 143

“The Orcs are starting to come out on the 10th floor.”

Tim mumbled to himself.

“I don’t know how many floors this labyrinth possesses, but judging by the quality of monsters we have encountered up until now, I believe this is a middle to high rank labyrinth.”

“I think so too.”

Sungyoon agreed with Tim’s assessment and spoke a few words of his own.

“It’ll all depend on how far down this labyrinth goes.”

Up until now, the overall difficulty of this labyrinth had been similar to Tim’s Personal Labyrinth, which was a middle to low rank labyrinth.

However, they were now certain now that this labyrinth was deeper, and higher rank monsters would start showing up anytime now.

Fortunately, this labyrinth didn’t come to an end on the 10th floor, so they continued to head downward.

On the previous floors, Sungyoon had been meticulous in drawing the floor layouts. However, he didn’t put as much effort into drawing the map now, and instead, focused on leading the party deeper into the labyrinth.

They were trying to determine which labyrinths they’d mainly raid as a party. So, they were trying to estimate the level of this labyrinth.

Three Connectors were affiliated with Jungbum, so it meant they possessed three labyrinths. Sungyoon, Tim, and Emily, each had their own labyrinth.

Moreover, Tim's labyrinth was previously owned by his mother, and it was too low in rank.

Therefore, they eliminated his labyrinth as a destination early on. The only labyrinths left were Sungyoon’s and Emily’s.

Emily’s labyrinth was like all the other labyrinths that hadn't been explored. She had no idea about the quality of the labyrinth as it had been assigned to Emily at random.

Keeping all that in mind, the party decided to assess both labyrinths. It would allow them to choose their main hunting ground.

Sungyoon’s labyrinth was decided to be explored first as he already had been in the middle of clearing it. 

“You bastard!”

Tim swung his ax with all his might, and the weapon embedded itself in a face full of wrinkles. His opponent couldn’t even scream in pain before it died.

“Hoo-ooh~! Good riddance!”

Tim put his ax on his shoulder and spoke in a triumphant manner.

“Do you feel better?”

Emily, who stood next to him, asked.

“Yes. For the most part...”

The monster he had just defeated was the Bigfoot. In the past, this monster had almost ended the lives of the Ross siblings. At that time, they had encountered a new acquaintance, Sungyoon, but even after joining hands with him, they had barely defeated the monster.

However, just now, Tim had defeated the Bigfoot on his own, and it hadn’t been too difficult. This fact brought him joy.

“As expected, the Bigfoot stands no chance against you now, Mr. Tim.”

Sungyoon’s gaze headed towards the Devices and Gems possessed by the siblings. The keepsakes from their mother, which they had found recently, were mixed in with their normal gear.

The keepsakes had even included a B&W rank Gem, so they both were much stronger now.

“Yes, it is as you’ve predicted, Mr. Sungyoon. I was able to kill it by myself!”

When the Bigfoot had made its appearance, Sungyoon had talked Tim into fighting it by himself.

Sungyoon possessed two Gold rank Gems he couldn’t use. He also had a White rank Gem that was useless in battle. But a few days ago, he had fought an Ogre with Rainbow rank Gems, and the Ogre was much stronger than the Bigfoot.

So he estimated that Tim could handily defeat the Bigfoot now.

The fact that he could kill the Bigfoot by himself now filled Tim with inspiration. After all, he had defeated a monster that had almost killed him before.

“Shall we go down further?”

It seemed Tim wanted to prove his strength by going down another floor. His face was full of anticipation as he looked at the tunnel heading downward.

However, Sungyoon went against his suggestion.

“I think we should start heading back up. We have gathered enough information to compare it to the other labyrinth.”

“I would prefer that too.”

Emily had never gone to the Personal Labyrinth she had been assigned. She really wanted to visit it, so she quickly agreed with Sungyoon.

The de facto leader Sungyoon and his sister had agreed on something, so Tim knew he couldn’t insist on going to the lower floor.

“Let’s do that. Monsters are a dime a dozen. So we are going to your labyrinth, Emily?”

“Yes.”

“Great! We’ll kill a lot of monsters there! We’ll gather a lot of moonstones, Devices, and Gems!”

Tim was confident as he yelled out.

However, there was no way Tim’s large ambitions would come true.

The party exited Sungyoon’s labyrinth and traveled to Emily’s labyrinth. Since it was the first floor, they had expected to find insignificant monsters even if they were a bit on the strong side. With that expectation, they entered Emily’s labyrinth.

However, as soon as stepped inside, they were confronted with an unexpected monster.

“…”

“…”

“…”

The three of them became speechless. Their eyes kept moving upward to look at the monster standing in front of them.

The large monster stood up to a height of four meters. A single eye was present on the center of its forehead. The monster held a poorly made great sword. This was the monster Hyunwoo had killed because he had assessed Sungyoon wouldn’t be able to handle it. It was the Cyclops. The monster looked surprised as it spotted the Connectors who had suddenly appeared within the labyrinth. 

Since both parties hadn't expected each other’s presence, a silence descended for a brief moment.

“Run!”

He didn't even have the time to speak in honorifics. Sungyoon yelled out loud as he quickly turned his back against the monster.

Tim and Emily broke out of their stupor and quickly followed the man. All of them ran toward the labyrinth’s entrance.

Koo-uhhhhhhh!

The Cyclops came to its senses too, and it started to run. With a loud roar, it quickly chased after the humans running away.

The two groups had a decent amount of distance between them, but the Cyclops possessed long legs and quickly closed the distance. 

Fortunately, Sungyoon’s party had barely moved inside the labyrinth, and they weren’t far from the entrance.

Hoo-oong!

The Cyclops' great sword started falling toward them like a comet. The sound signaled their impending death.

Sungyoon barely exited the labyrinth. He then stretched out his arm toward Emily, who was bringing up the rear.

Emily grabbed the offered hand, and Sungyoon immediately yanked her toward him.

Tim had run at full tilt, and Emily’s body had been pulled out by Sungyoon’s hand. They all exited the labyrinth at the same time.

Boom!

The sword cut at the entrance from within the labyrinth. If they had been a couple of seconds late, the three of them would have become minced meat by that attack. The thought made their hairs stand on end.

They weren't in the labyrinth anymore, so they couldn’t hear anything. However, they could vividly imagine the deafening boom ringing inside the labyrinth.

A sliver of sunlight shone into the labyrinth, and they could see a bit of the scenery inside. The Cyclops looked like it wanted to rush out of the labyrinth, but it stayed in place as it looked at Sungyoon’s party.

Sungyoon felt a weight on top of his armor.

It was Emily. She was like a child trying to hug a parent, and her entire body was latched onto Sungyoon.

He clearly didn’t want a beauty stuck to him like this. But he couldn’t just shove her off him, so he had no choice but to accept Emily’s actions.

Of course, if it had been someone other than Emily, he would have immediately pushed her away.

The Cyclops glared at their party for a long time. Fortunately, it couldn’t come out of the labyrinth, so it snorted before turning its back on them.

Only when the Cyclops completely disappeared into the labyrinth, could Sungyoon’s party finally relax on the floor.

Sungyoon saw Tim’s lips move next to him and his hands moving about. It was obvious that the man was ranting in frustration. But since there was no air around them, Sungyoon couldn’t hear him.

Hoo-da-dahk!

Something suddenly detached itself from him. When Sungyoon checked what had happened, he found the red-faced Emily hanging back a bit away from him.

It seemed she had finally realized what she was doing. Since they couldn’t talk to each other, he gestured with one hand as he stood up.

‘We’ll be wasting our time by staying here.’

He had no desire to go back into Emily’s labyrinth once again.

Hyunwoo possessed one of the highest-ranked labyrinths, and even his 1st floor only had monsters in a similar class to the Bigfoot. But the Cyclops was camping the 1st floor of Emily’s labyrinth.

‘Basically, she received a labyrinth higher in rank than Mr. Hyunwoo’s Personal Labyrinth.’

Moreover, this was beyond being a high rank labyrinth. This might be a special rank labyrinth, and it would basically be suicide if they went back in again.

Sungyoon looked towards the siblings.

Tim still looked disgruntled, and Emily’s red face was finally calming down.

When Sungyoon pointed toward the Moon Surface Vehicles, they nodded.

Even if they couldn’t talk, they understood his gesture. They didn’t need words because they all felt the same way right now.

They would exclude Emily’s Personal Labyrinth as a potential candidate for their main hunting ground.

***

The party decided to return to Armstrong once again.

Their desire to fight became non-existent after they had encountered the Cyclops.

After Tim had received his mother's keepsake, he had become fond of showing off his power. However, even he didn’t speak up against Sungyoon’s decision.

Still, they didn’t go straight back to Armstrong. They decided to visit Tim’s labyrinth on the way.

Although they were no longer interested in low rank labyrinths, this was a special case. They had to confirm if the entrance to the cave was completely closed. They had to check if they could reach the cave where they had found Mrs. Ross’s corpse.

The three were tense because there was a possibility of the Golem still being there. Therefore, the party was slow and methodical in their search within Tim’s labyrinth.

They finally checked the floor where they had fallen through, and the location where they had exited through the wall of the labyrinth.

“It is just a wall.”

It was as expected, yet it was baffling to see it for oneself. Tim sounded very let-down at what they found.

Even the hole created by him had been completely fixed. He was prepared for this, yet he still felt the emotions. 

Sungyoon approached the wall and pounded on it with his fist. It felt like a solid wall. The sound created by his fist was dull as if there was no open space behind the wall.

‘I don't think it filled in the space behind the wall.’

They had watched the Golem repair the floor from where they had fallen. It had only repaired the damaged area.

The newly created wall in front of them was probably too thick to judge whether something was behind it or not.

‘At the very least, we won’t be able to use it as evidence to prove the validity of our story.’

They had the Golem, the Golem’s fragments, and the doll. However, their position would improve the more evidence they had. Therefore, Sungyoon felt a bit wistful.

Of course, he didn’t want to gain fame by proving his story.

He felt wistful because they would become closer to solving the mysteries of the labyrinths if he had more evidence.

‘It can’t be helped.’

Sungyoon let go of any lingering attachments to this place as he turned away.

***

After returning to Armstrong, they visited the moonstone transport company to send their moonstones to Earth. At that location, they were able to hear unexpected news.

“It is from the president?”

The receptionist nodded at Sungyoon’s question.

“Yes. She wants you to call Earth as soon as you get this message.”

Connectors mostly spent their time in the labyrinths. And a huge number of subpar Connectors didn’t even possess a communication device. Hence, it was very difficult for them to contact Earth.

This situation was where the moonstone transport companies came in handy. When Connectors returned from their labyrinth runs, they always visited the transport companies first. They had to unload the moonstones before doing anything else.

Therefore, the transport companies offered a service where they delivered simple messages between Earth and the Moon. Of course, they charged Connectors for this service. 

“Understood. Thank you.”

Sungyoon exited the transport company after expressing his gratitude.

“Do you think something happened?”

Emily had heard the message with Sungyoon, so she asked the question. Of course, she was curious because she was also an employee of Jungbum.

“I’m not sure. We’ll find out once I contact her.”

He led the Ross siblings to a location where they could contact Jimin.

‘As expected, it is expensive.’

This was what Jimin had wanted. She wanted him to call her on a communication device that would allow him to talk to her in real-time. But it was much more expensive than the time he had sent her a short text.

Sungyoon hoped Jimin would pick up the phone. If she didn't, he would have wasted his money.

- Hello?

Thankfully, Jimin picked up the phone fairly quickly.

“It is me, president.”

- … You are safe, Mr. Sungyoon.

He could hear a relieved voice from the communication device. It indicated she had been very worried about him.

‘Is it because of the earthquake?’

He couldn’t think of anything else that might make her worry. The act of going into labyrinths was dangerous in itself, so she wouldn’t be worried about that. 

“If you are worried because of the earthquake, I’m fine. Of course, Mr. Tim and Ms. Emily are fine too.”

- Thank goodness.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter