Chapter 144

Jimin seemed really worried. Sungyoon could clearly feel her emotions across the receiver.

As he watched the communication costs slowly rise with his anxious eyes, he sighed and let go of those feelings. He then shifted his grip on the receiver.

Deciding to ignore the costs for now, he decided to soothe Jimin in earnest.

In the first place, he had paid off all his debt, and his income had significantly risen. When that was put into context, the communication costs didn't seem all that excessive. Moreover, Jimin would put it under business expense if he asked for it.

This was purely his miserly habits acting up, something he had retained from the days when he had been beholden to his debt. He was being cheap for no reason.

“We really are ok. The earthquake wasn’t that large. In the beginning, the people of Armstrong were in a state of panic, but things have significantly calmed down.

- It is because Armstrong came out with a statement saying nothing is wrong.

It appeared Jimin had calmed down a bit after Sungyoon's words of reassurance, and her voice almost returned to its normal tone. Sungyoon had already given up thinking about the fees, so he decided to ask some questions of his own.

“Is it possible for such a phenomenon to appear on the Moon?”

- It happens.

Jimin answered his question.

- The earthquake on Earth forms for a different reason, but the result is the same. The ground shakes. However, this seismic event is problematic because it is different from a normal moonquake.

“How is it different?”

- The seismic center was the Great Labyrinth.

Jimin dropped a bombshell.

- The high rank Connectors, who were heading into the Great Labyrinth, said they had felt a special flow of magical energy before the seismic activity erupted. In the first place, Armstrong city was built with the ability to withstand moonquakes. The moonstones maintaining the gravity of Armstrong also dampen the seismic shock. This is why Armstrong city usually feels a much-reduced version of the moonquakes. However, the city is almost connected to the Great Labyrinth. Therefore, this time, Armstrong city didn’t see the dampening effects take hold.

“Do they know what caused the seismic activity?”

- They are still investigating it.

Sungyoon closed his mouth. He never expected a proper investigation to happen since the researchers couldn’t enter the Great Labyrinth.

- It seems it is a mess on Chelsea’s side too. She left me a message saying she won’t be able to contact me for a while. I’ve lost complete contact with her since.

“I checked up on her too. It seems Armstrong’s International Research facility has gone into a state of emergency.”

- I see. She’s going to have a rough time too.

Chelsea would be busy enough to make her eyes spin. Jimin quietly wished her the best of luck.

- Also, what happened with the recent shipment of moonstones? The quality of the moonstones suddenly increased by a lot.

“I met Mr. Sung Hyunwoo on the Moon not too long ago.”

- You met Hyunwoo ahjussi?

Jimin sounded surprised.

“Yes. I was able to go to his Personal Labyrinth through his goodwill. I learned a lot about high rank monsters there. Moreover, he gave me all the moonstones we acquired, and when we parted, he even gave me a Gold Gem.”

When he recounted it like this, it just drove home the fact that he had received a lot of favor from Hyunwoo.

- He went that far? I’ll have to call Hyunwoo ahjussi to say my thanks.

“When you do, please express my thanks once again. I really feel grateful.

- Understood. Anyway, our financial situation has become very good thanks to the moonstones brought in by you. That is why I would like to accelerate my plans. This includes purchasing a new Moon Surface Vehicle.

“You want us to buy a new Moon Surface Vehicle?”

- Yes. We can’t always have Mr. Tim and Ms. Emily rent their Moon Surface Vehicle. Moreover, it is inconvenient that we can't contact each other when we want. That is why I would like to purchase a vehicle with a communication device installed in it. It’ll be much better than the one they are driving right now.

“Even if we earned a lot this time around, isn’t it too expensive?”

It was true that the Ross siblings needed their own Moon Surface Vehicle. However, even Sungyoon’s used Moon Surface Vehicle had boasted a hefty price tag. He gathered from Jimin's words that she wanted to buy a brand new vehicle instead of a used one. Moreover, she wanted one with all the bells and whistles. 

- As you hit your stride in raiding the labyrinths, the company’s financial situation became much better. Even if I buy a new Moon Surface Vehicle, it won’t put our financial situation in dire straits.

Although Jimin was the company owner, she didn’t take any of the profits for herself. This was part of the reason she was able to do this.

Considering why she had established the company, she was satisfied and thankful for the fact that her company was no longer in the negative.

Above all else, Sungyoon was leaps and bounds better than the Connectors usually contracted to a small company. The earnings of other small-scale enterprises couldn’t be compared to Jungbum.

- Even if I buy a new one, you won't be able to drive it off the lot. You’ll have to wait around a month.

“Understood. I’ll look forward to it.”

He then asked how Shinhae was doing. And after exchanging a few more words, he ended the call.

***

Hyunwoo had come back down to Earth. He was resting when he received a call from Dongin. The man could clearly discern from across the phone that Dongin was upset. Hyunwoo knew his president hadn’t called him in because he had something good to discuss.

‘It is probably about Woo Sungyoon.’

Jimin had called him not too long ago to thank him. Hyunwoo was sure his guess was right.

‘She really likes to do unnecessary things.’

It would have been great if she had only contacted him. But it seemed she had called Dongin to thank him too. It was understandable since Hyunwoo was affiliated with Dongin’s company. But her efforts in trying to keep good manners created an annoying problem for him.

‘Well, it doesn’t matter.’

He smirked when he imagined what kind of expression Dongin had on his face when he had received the call from Jimin.

He had probably spoken in a kind voice, acting as if he was the benevolent friend of her father. However, his face was probably red from all the blood rising into his head.

Hyunwoo let out a low laugh.

He entered the enormous company building and went straight up to the top floor, where the president’s office was located.

Standing in front of the door, he knocked.

“Enter.”

The man on the other side was clearly in a foul mood. Hyunwoo opened the door and went inside.

It was a very fancy looking office. Dongin already had a lot of wrinkles even if he didn’t frown, but right now, his anger accentuated all the wrinkles on his old face.

Hyunwoo almost burst out laughing when he saw Dongin’s unsightly state. However, he was able to hold in his laughter, albeit barely.

“You called for me?”

Dongin didn’t say anything even after Hyunwoo had spoken. He just glared at him.

Of course, Hyunwoo wouldn’t be intimidated by a man who wasn’t a Connector. He displayed a calm expression on his face as he faced Dongin, who stared at him.

“… I heard you helped that bastard Woo Sungyoon?”

‘As expected.’

How could Dongin never act out of character like this? Hyunwoo could always predict how this miser would react. If he weren’t careful, his true emotions might be revealed, and he might look down on Dongin with pity in his eyes. He almost clicked his tongue.

However, the man didn’t reveal his inner emotions as he answered the question.

“Yes.”

Boom!

Dongin brought down his fist on the desk.

“Why did you do such a dumb thing! Do you realize he’s the number one person we have to kill!”

Hyunwoo had watched over Sungyoon as the 1st Gen Connector had hunted monsters. He had even given him the moonstones, and not to mention a Gold Gem.

The act was an unbelievable amount of goodwill toward Sungyoon, and it was enough to blow Dongin’s lid off.

“Now that I think about it, you were quite friendly toward Soobin too! Are you up to something! Why are you so nice to the Connectors from Jimin’s company!”

Hyunwoo became very rankled when Kim Soobin was brought up.

‘How dare he compare that bastard with Woo Sungyoon.’

Amongst all the people he had seen up until now, Woo Sungyoon was the closest person to being what Hyunwoo longed for.

Kim Soobin had merely been a flash in the pan. He had made Hyunwoo full of anticipation, and it was the reason why his disappointment had been that much larger. As for Woo Sungyoon, he was several hundred times better than that dumbass.

However, Hyunwoo didn’t even change his expression as he spoke.

“I met him by coincidence, and I wanted to confirm something. I wanted to see if he could really reach the Great Labyrinth and make sure if he was the real deal capable of finding traces of Jungbum.”

It seemed Hyunwoo’s excuse sounded convincing as Dongin’s anger dissipated a little bit. However, he hadn’t cooled all the way down.

“… So, what was the result of your investigation?”

Hyunwoo desperately pushed down on the joy in his heart as he spoke.

“He is fully capable of challenging the Great Labyrinth.”

“Then you should have killed him there!”

Dongin was shrill as he screamed at Hyunwoo. However, Hyunwoo gave him a baffled look.

“It seems you are a bit too worked up right now, President. Numerous CCTVs captured footage of me taking Woo Sungyoon out of Armstrong. If I had killed him there, I would've been the number one suspect. What if they had brought me in for questioning and dug into my motive for killing Sungyoon? What would you have done if they had started digging into the past about Jungbum?”

Dongin shut his mouth. He had been too agitated to think properly. And now he could see that Hyunwoo had a point. 

Still, this didn’t explain away all of Hyunwoo’s actions.

“So, why did you give him the Gold Gem?”

“I want to lure him into the Great Labyrinth as fast as I can.”

Dongin’s eyes twitched. However, he didn’t yell out this time. It seemed he was willing to hear Hyunwoo’s explanation, so he waited and let the man continue speaking.

“I’ve looked at his skills, and it is only a matter of time before he becomes capable of entering the Great Labyrinth. He already has a Jewel rank Gem and a B&W Gem. He has also gathered good comrades. They are skilled 3rd Gen Connectors, and they are contracted to Jimin’s company now.”

Dongin already knew all of this.

“If that is true, it is better for us to send them into the Great Labyrinth as soon as possible. As you probably know, the Great Labyrinth is a very dangerous place. Even if a few people go missing in there, no one would become suspicious.”

Hyunwoo put on a bloody smile as he added another statement at the end.

“It’ll be the same as what we did to Jungbum.”

Dongin groaned.

Those words had a certain logic to it, but he couldn’t fully agree with Hyunwoo.

Hyunwoo wanted to take care of them within the Great Labyrinth, but Dongin considered this to be the act of last resort.

However, he realized that this might be the only method left. Hyunwoo’s words were persuasive.

“… Is there any way we can kill him before that?”

“If we invest a lot of time in accomplishing it, it’ll be possible. We need time to create a trap, and we need to create something we can blame his death on. By the time the plan comes to fruition, the eyes focused on him would have lessened. However, I believe he’ll be able to enter the Great Labyrinth before we can set all that up. That is my assessment.”

“Isn’t there a chaos on the Moon right now due to the moonquake? What if we used that to our advantage?”

It seemed Dongin wanted to kill Sungyoon right now. Hyunwoo was inwardly fed up with the man's paranoia.

“It is too late for us to use the confusion to our advantage. The moonquake might have reached Armstrong, but it didn’t cause any real damage. The panic has subsided to a degree. You already know this.”

Dongin indeed had got wind of this. He couldn’t call himself a president of a large conglomerate if he was ignorant of such facts. He had known it wasn’t possible, yet he had spitballed the idea. It was a form of a tantrum.

“Damn it!”

Boom!

When things didn’t go his way, Dongin reacted by becoming very emotional.

This was why he became that much more frustrated when he realized he couldn’t touch Sungyoon right now.

Above all else, he knew this bastard had become a Connector not too long ago. 

Still, Hyunwoo knew Dongin’s reaction was a bit too excessive right now for it to be only about Sungyoon.

“It seems you are in a really bad mood. Did something bad happen other than this?”

“It is the moonquake.”

Hyunwoo almost laughed out loud.

He couldn’t help it. It was so enjoyable when the miser’s face scrunched up like that.

Still, he held himself back.

“Is this moonquake different from the normal ones?”

“Yes. The seismic center was the Great Labyrinth, so a couple of the Connectors got spooked. They are now refusing to go into the Great Labyrinth for the near future. The government is powerless to do anything, and since our company is one of few companies capable of raiding the Great Labyrinth, they are asking us if we have any info regarding the moonquake. They are really pestering me, and it is causing me a great headache.”

He placed a hand on his forehead.

“How the hell should I know!”

Hyunwoo knew. He knew what had caused this moonquake. He also knew what changes would this moonquake bring about. 

However, he didn’t say anything.

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