Chapter 145

He wasn’t on the same side as this contemptible old man named Dongin.

“The labyrinths are full of mysteries. That has always been true.”

He just shrugged.

“I hope you aren’t going to say you are too afraid to go into the Great Labyrinth. Don’t give me that bullshit, alright?”

Just the mere suggestion made Hyunwoo want to rip Dongin’s tongue out of his mouth.

“Of course not. I feel a bit affronted that you are comparing me to those cowards.”

“Good.”

Dongin gave a big nod.

“I’m sorry for misunderstanding your intentions. Let us work towards the betterment of the two of us.”

“Of course. I plan to do that.”

“You can go now.”

Hyunwoo gave a slight bow to Dongin and exited the president’s office.

Boom!

The luxurious door to the president’s room closed.

Dongin looked at the door from where Hyunwoo had exited.

Unlike his words earlier, a great suspicion appeared in his eyes.

‘That creepy bastard!’

They shared the sin of killing Jungbum, and Hyunwoo was the strongest Connector in his company. In the outside world, he was even known as Dongin’s close friend. But in truth, Dongin didn’t like Hyunwoo.

When they had met for the first time, Dongin felt that Hyunwoo was hiding something.

That feeling had grown over the years.

‘There doesn’t seem to be any falsehood in his words, but something feels off.’

He felt as if he was dancing on the palm of Hyunwoo’s hand.

‘Well, it’s fine. He’s not the only card I have.’

Dongin inwardly decided at that moment. When Woo Sungyoon gets killed in the Great Labyrinth, he’d make sure Hyunwoo doesn’t make it out alive either.

***

‘That is probably what he is thinking right now.’

After Hyunwoo excited the president’s office, he walked down the corridor and perfectly predicted what Dongin was thinking at that moment.

He had known the man for many years, so he could read his thoughts like the back of his hand. 

Of course, Dongin had also known Hyunwoo for a long time too. However, there was a critical difference between the two men.

Hyunwoo knew Dongin’s ambitions. He knew what made Dongin tick. But Dongin had no idea what Hyunwoo wanted, and this created a very big advantage for the latter.

‘Which card will that miserable old man use against me?’

He could come up with several figures in his head, but it was way too early to narrow down the list. It was an impossible task.

‘Well, I have time. I can think this through slowly.’

He knew the old man would just quietly observe him for now, and wouldn’t make a move. But it was sure that he'd send people after him in the future. Hyunwoo had to take control of the situation. The Connectors who would be sent to kill him had to be made into seeds that’d facilitate Woo Sungyoon's growth. 

Of course, there was a chance that Woo Sungyoon wouldn’t be able to overcome this tribulation.

‘It can’t be helped if that happens.’

The number of Connectors who had disappointed him would just grow by one. 

Hyunwoo exited the company building as he cleared up his plans regarding Sungyoon.

He looked up. This was the time of the day when the sun dominated the sky. It was warm, but he could make out the faint outline of the jealous, white Moon in the blue sky. 

It looked like a monster ready to swallow up Earth at any moment.

‘It has been a while. Shall I go and meet them?’

The seismic activity had originated from the Great Labyrinth. It meant his plan was close to fruition.

‘I’ll have to talk to them about what we’ll do from here on out.’

Hyunwoo’s face shone in a terrifying manner.

***

Sungyoon looked at his mirror as he fixed his clothes. Normally, he didn’t care about fashion, but today was an exception.

“Good.”

A handsome mid-20-year-old man reflected his gaze back. His clothes weren’t fancy, but it looked as if he had put a good deal of thought into making himself presentable. Sungyoon looked satisfied as he walked away from the mirror.

Unlike his normal self, he was humming as he exited the front door. It seemed the sky knew it was an important day today as he couldn’t see a single cloud.

He took the elevator to the underground parking lot.

Sungyoon had made a lot of money, so he no longer needed to live off of Jimin. This was why he had purchased a new apartment.

However, he didn't move out of his neighborhood. Shinhae had made friends here, and he didn’t want to break apart her friendships. At the very least, he didn’t plan on leaving this neighborhood until the little girl graduated from middle school.

He got in the car that he had bought not too long ago and pressed on the gas, exiting the underground parking lot.

He drove on the familiar route to his destination, Jungbum's office. When he got there, he saw someone standing on the sidewalk. Sungyoon had contacted Jimin before leaving, so she had come out right on time.

She sat in the front seat next to Sungyoon.

“Ms. Jiyoon isn’t coming?”

Sungyoon asked as if he was surprised.

“Yes. She had something to do.”

“I see.”

Shinhae’s kindergarten was putting on a dance recital today. Thankfully, it had been scheduled on a day when Sungyoon was on Earth, so he was able to attend it.

He could bring other people to the event, so he decided to ask if Jimin and Jiyoon would like to come. He asked them because the two women were close to Shinhae.

Jimin accepted the offer on the spot. He had expected Jiyoon to also accept, but she unexpectedly turned it down.

‘She’s probably overwhelmed.’

Jimin thought about the day when the three women had conversed with each other. At that time, the topic of marriage had come up, and it seemed Jiyoon was still in a state of confusion.

Of course, she was still interested in Sungyoon, and her love for Shinhae hadn’t cooled.

However, she was in her early 20s, and she had never thought about marriage. Moreover, she had been unfamiliar with the concept of polygamy amongst the Connectors. With no idea what to do, she was a bit lost at the moment.

‘She has to formulate her own answer.’

Jimin planned on maintaining her stance as a bystander. But if she asked for help, Jimin was willing to give her advice.

Sungyoon drove with his companion in tow. He drove straight to the location where Shinhae’s school recital would be opening.

“They rented out the neighborhood gymnasium for the dance recital. This is a pretty big production.”

Sungyoon didn’t remember his school plays, but he had pictures of it. Those plays were staged within his kindergarten.

“This is a very good kindergarten. It is to be expected.”

As Jimin spoke those words, she got off the car first. Sungyoon followed suit. It seemed most of the other parents had already arrived as a lot of cars were parked in the parking lot.

They entered the gymnasium. It had been decorated in a splendid manner.

Chairs were lined up in rows for the parents, and a large stage was built in the front.

The chairs nearest to the stage were mostly filled. Still, Sungyoon and Jimin did their best to sit as close to the stage as possible.

Sungyoon took something out of his bag. It was his newest camera, which he paid a lot of money to purchase.

He set up the camera so that he could take pictures of Shinhae at any moment. Then he turned to look at the stage.

He didn’t know how long he had to wait, but at a certain point, the MC came up to the stage. She asked everyone to take their seats.

Finally, the overhead lights were shut off, and a spotlight appeared on stage. The children’s dance recital was about to start.

Sungyoon and Jimin were here to see Shinhae, but they didn’t mind seeing other children on the stage. The music started, and Jimin acted out of character by clapping along with the beat.

Each class started to perform in order.

Finally, it was time for Shinhae to show up on stage.

“Look over there, Mr. Sungyoon! It’s Shinhae!”

Her normally calm way of speaking was gone, and she excitedly pointed towards the stage. Sungyoon instantly raised his camera.

He could see his beautiful daughter through the lens. She started doing very cute choreography to the music beat.

Sungyoon subconsciously found himself smiling. He didn’t want to miss a single frame of his beautiful daughter, so he kept taking pictures of her.

Of course, he didn’t forget to take his eyes off of his camera to see Shinhae with his own two eyes.

“Oh my. Whose child is that?”

“She’s really cute.”

The people sitting closer to the stage were pointing out Shinhae and talking about her. Sungyoon’s enhanced hearing picked it all up, and his smile deepened.

In his personal opinion, Shinhae’s cuteness was unrivaled amongst the children. Her adorable dance moves drew the gazes of other people.

The dance number came to an end. When the children stopped moving, the parents cheered and clapped. Of course, Sungyoon clapped louder than everyone else.

It seemed Shinhae caught sight of her dad, so she waved toward him. Sungyoon responded in kind by waving back.

However, Shinhae and her group had to vacate the stage for the next team. This was why they had to cut their waves short.

“Isn’t Shinhae really cute?”

His normally gloomy self was nowhere to be seen. He spoke in a cheerful manner. He looked like the Sungyoon from his 20s when he had been full of spirit.

“Yes. I think she was the cutest amongst all the children.”

A long time had passed since Jimin had such a big smile on her face.

When the two of them were together, they only talked about business with blank expressions on their faces. 

But now, their faces were full of laughter. They talked about Shinhae and the school’s dance recital. 

If anyone that knew them had seen this, they would have been so surprised that their mouths would have fallen open.

It had been a while since both of them could relax like this. They watched the rest of the recital, and when it to an end, they went to greet Shinhae.

The lead teacher had gathered the children around her like little chicks. When the parents showed up, the children ran toward their parents. Of course, Shinhae did the same.

“It’s dad and unni!”

As always, the little girl ran toward Sungyoon like a bullet.

“Did you see me dance?”

Shinhae’s cheeks were rosy from excitement. It didn’t matter who went first. Both Sungyoon and Jimin nodded.

“Of course! Dad took pictures too!”

“Shinhae was really pretty.”

The little girl was having a blast. She talked about how she felt on stage, and she told them how hard she had practiced. Sungyoon and Jimin carefully listened to every word coming out of her mouth.

“Hello.”

At that moment, someone joined in on the conversation.

“She’s my teacher!”

Shinhae yelled out loud as she stuck close to Sungyoon’s leg.

“Teacher! My dad!”

The girl puffed out her chest. It seemed she was very proud of introducing her father. Sungyoon stroked her head once, and then, lowered his head toward the teacher.

“Hello. I am Shinhae’s dad.”

“Hello. I am Shinhae’s homeroom teacher.”

She bowed her head in response. She looked to be in her mid-30s, and she had a very kind face.

“Thank you for taking good care of Shinhae.”

“No. Shinhae is more mature than the other children, so I’m the one that receives a lot of help from her.”

She wasn’t offering empty lip service. Shinhae was very mature for her age, so she didn’t need much guidance. This was why Shinhae was a favorite amongst the teachers.

The teacher’s gaze headed toward Jimin.

“Hello, Shinhae’s unni.”

The homeroom teacher greeted Jimin.

Most of the time, Sungyoon was working on the Moon, so Jimin had acted as Shinhae’s parent in his stead. That was why the kindergarten thought of Jimin as the guardian more so than Sungyoon, who was Shinhae’s biological father.

“Yes. Hello.”

Jimin bowed back.

The teacher placed her hands on her knees, and she bent her back to be on eye level with Shinhae.

“Shinhae must be very happy since your dad and unni are all here today.”

The teacher knew the little girl didn’t have a mother, so she made sure to not talk about her.

“Yes!”

Shinhae answered with a smile on her face. Her smile was like the sun. Sungyoon, Jimin, and the teacher, all smiled.

After talking a bit more with Sungyoon and Jimin, the teacher left. She had to greet the other parents too.

Shinhae was full of energy even after her homeroom teacher left. Both Jimin and her father were here for her. 

It meant the world to Shinhae. She felt as if she had an entire army by her side. Shinhae was vivacious as she talked and played with the other children.

Since Shinhae was playing with her friends, Sungyoon and Jimin were able to meet the other children’s parents for a short time.

In their everyday lives, Sungyoon and Jimin usually had no expression on their faces. But today, they tried their best to put on a kind expression as they talked to the other parents.

It seemed their efforts weren't in vain. The other parents complimented Shinhae, and they warmed up to Sungyoon and Jimin.

“Oh my! As expected, the child is cute because the mom and dad are a handsome couple!”

One embarrassing topic would always come up in these conversations. Everyone was under the impression that Jimin was Shinhae’s mother.

Jimin had to carefully tell them each time that she wasn’t. It caused some awkwardness with the other parents, but they quickly changed the topic for her sake.

Sungyoon and Jimin kept looking at Shinhae each time because they were worried she would be hurt when they talked about her mother.

Fortunately, Shinhae didn’t seem to mind it. The smile on her face showed no signs of abating.

Time passed, and the crowd in front of the gymnasium started to disperse. The families started to return to their homes.

Sungyoon, Jimin, and Shinhae also exited. Shinhae and Jimin got into the backseat of the car.

“Did you have fun?”

“Yes!”

Jimin and Shinhae held their hands tightly as they talked to each other. They did look like mother and daughter at that moment.

Even Sungyoon thought so as he looked at the rear-view mirror. In some ways, he could understand why the other parents thought Jimin was the mother.

Shinhae was lively as she talked to Jimin, but it seemed today’s event was too tiring for her. She started talking less and less, and her eyes started to close.

Jimin guided her to lie down using her thighs as a pillow. The little girl looked like a baby koala attached to her mother, and she rubbed her face against Jimin's thighs as she fell asleep. However, a weird silence had fallen inside the car thanks to the words spoken by the little girl before she fell asleep.

“I wish unni was my mom.”

Before she went off to dreamland, she had left those words hanging in the air. Of course, her words evoked a great deal of thought inside Sungyoon and Jimin.

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