Silence descended amongst them. Neither Grace, who had just finished telling her story, nor Sungyoon’s party, who had patiently listened, uttered a word.
The Ross siblings looked at Grace with a sympathetic gaze. But unlike them, Sungyoon went over Grace’s words once again and became lost in his thoughts.
‘Another anomaly popped up.’
Connectors were already putting their lives on the line when working. So any changes to the norm weren’t good news to them.
But Sungyoon soon broke out of his thoughts, and thanked Grace.
“It must have been hard for you to tell us your story, yet you willingly did it. Thank you very much.”
“No. It was actually cathartic for me.”
Her blue eyes looked toward Sungyoon.
“I know I’m very late in asking this, but who are you?”
Now that they thought about it, the party had forgotten to introduce themselves.
“My name is Woo Sungyoon. First name Sungyoon, last name Woo.”
“I do remember Asian names being structured like that. Thank you for helping me, Mr. Woo.”
She gave her thanks. However, Sungyoon shook his head from side to side.
“You don’t have to be so polite with us. We are going to receive rewards, and Ms. Taylor had helped me in the past. I’m just repaying the favor.”
“… Are we acquaintances?”
Grace furrowed her brows as she carefully observed Sungyoon’s face. It seemed she didn’t remember him.
“I wouldn’t go so far as to call us acquaintances. You helped me out some time ago in Armstrong when a Connector tried to pick a fight with me.”
Grace thought hard, and an old memory came to her mind.
She clapped her hands.
“You were with your lover at the time!”
Emily was the first to react to Grace’s words, not Sungyoon. Her eyes turned round as she looked toward the man she loved.
“As I’ve told you before, we aren’t lovers.”
“Ah. Right! You did say that.”
When Sungyoon denied it in no uncertain terms, Emily’s surprised face returned to its normal expression.
“Is that why you came to rescue me?”
“It is part of the reason. We were also tempted by the reward.”
Grace was surprised. Although the memory was fuzzy, she remembered meeting him. But from her perspective, she hadn't done something extraordinary in helping him.
However, this man had come to rescue her because of that small encounter. Of course, he probably had considered many other factors in making the call to rescue her, but the fact that it had influenced his decision was an amazing thing.
The Princess' heart developed a little trust toward Sungyoon. She then greeted the Ross siblings, and just as the siblings kindly responded by giving their introduction, something happened.
Sungyoon’s hands started to shake. He waved his hands through the air as if he were moving it through water.
It seemed Grace and the Ross siblings felt the same thing. The Ross siblings also waved.
Grace looked like a mouse frozen in front of a cat.
He could feel it through his hands. The current of magical energy was starting to turn turbulent. It meant they were in danger. After all, the rest of Grace’s party had been wiped out due to the appearance of an abnormal Mana Stream.
Sungyoon immediately came to a decision and gave the order. The Ross siblings and, of course, Grace didn’t raise any objection, and they started running for all they were worth.
The labyrinth became filled with light.
Thankfully, not many monsters had appeared in front of them. It wasn’t like what Grace had experienced, and a dozen monsters didn’t appear all at once. Moreover, the new arrivals weren't powerful monsters.
Tim ruthlessly struck down any monster in their way with a single strike. He didn’t even bother confirming his kills.
Even if a monster could get up, Sungyoon was behind him. He would stab the recovering monster with his halberd.
They ran for a long time. And after climbing several floors in a short amount of time, they finally reached the 1st floor. But they didn’t slow down as they ran straight toward the entrance.
Grace and the Ross siblings let down their guard when they saw the entrance in the distance.
However, Sungyoon was different.
He had almost died in a Mana Stream when a Bigfoot had appeared near the entrance.
A light appeared in front of them. Sungyoon gritted his teeth.
“Just keep running!”
Thankfully, the entrance wasn’t too far away, and it'd take the monster some time to emerge from the light. So the party quickly ran past the expanding light.
Soon, the light disappeared, and a monster revealed itself.
The party turned their heads to look at the newly-arrived creature.
Tim cursed. It seemed everyone felt the same way as him.
The monster in front of them was clad in heavy armor, which covered its chest, arms, and legs. Moreover, the monster had worn a helmet with a long horn attached to it, and its arms held a sharp sword.
However, this monster was special in a different way.
It had no skin, no muscles, no blood, no arteries, and no organs. The only things its body had were its white bones and the red flames inside the eye sockets of its skull.
In the video games he used to play, the Skeleton was a weak monster. But here in the labyrinths, it was a different story.
In many ways, it was more powerful than the Cyclops.
The ominous fiery eyes buried deep inside the dark eye sockets moved in all directions. The monster soon caught sight of Sungyoon’s party.
Clack! Clack! Clack! Clack!
Its jaws started to move as its teeth rattled against each other. Since it didn’t have vocal cords like other monsters, it didn’t let out a roar.
But the clattering of its teeth felt very creepy.
The skeleton started to chase after the party.
It was fast, but the party would be able to exit the labyrinth before it could catch up.
Fortunately, they were able to do so. It had been a close call.
When they realized they had finally escaped, their bodies became filled with relief. They came to a stop.
The entrance to the labyrinth was in a similar state as when they had entered it. The only difference was the fact that more Moon Surface Vehicles were present now. More reinforcements had arrived.
The employees dispatched from the UK government looked at Sungyoon’s party with wide eyes. Sungyoon had spoken to some of them before he had gone inside the labyrinth.
When these employees saw Grace amongst Sungyoon’s party, all of them raised their hands into the sky.
One could see through their visors. They were cheering within the spacesuits.
They ran toward Sungyoon’s party.
Sungyoon’s party members enjoyed the feeling of safety that couldn’t be enjoyed inside the labyrinth. It was the same for Sungyoon.
‘That was a close call.’
He would have to report this new anomaly to Jimin, and he thought about consulting Chelsea. But as he thought, something happened.
A soft sensation tickled his hands.
In the beginning, he had thought it was a light breeze. But he realized that there should be no winds on the Moon, and this was the sensation of magical energy moving.
Sungyoon felt a chill run up his back. He looked backward. Those red eyes were looking at them from the entrance.
Monsters never went to places without magical energy. That was why they never exited the labyrinth. This was common knowledge.
Of course, the Skeleton should be no exception.
However, the ominous feeling within Sungyoon started to deepen.
‘If an anomaly can occur to the Mana Stream, other anomalies can occur too. I should've anticipated that.’
He thought about what Grace had said earlier.
The monster in front of him placed its feet at the border of the entrance and bent its knees.
He wanted to warn them in desperation, but he couldn’t talk here. Moreover, it seemed no one else had picked up on the abnormality.
‘I have no choice!’
Sungyoon summoned his spear. He threw it in the direction of the people who were running toward his party. They all came to a stop in surprise.
He then extended his arms and hugged Emily and Princess Grace, who were nearest to him. They turned to look at him in surprise, but they were more shocked by what came next.
‘I’m sorry for doing this.’
Tim was a bit farther away from him, so Sungyoon had no choice but to kick him. Tim looked shocked as he was sent flying backward. Sungyoon had kicked him hard, but the kick's location was above his armor. Tim shouldn’t haven’t been hurt by it.
After that, Sungyoon kicked off the ground.
He jumped backward with Emily and Grace in his arms.
From beginning to end, his movements flowed naturally like water. It all had happened at high speed.
Although they couldn't hear any sound, it looked as if an explosion had taken place. The vibration swept through the ground and dust spread into the surroundings.
The people who had been staring at Sungyoon as if he had lost his mind, finally realized something was wrong. They looked on in shock as a pillar of dust rose into the sky.
Sungyoon lightly landed on the ground. He put down Emily and Grace behind him and looked toward the pillar of dust.
‘I can’t see.’
His vision had been completely blocked, and it was annoying. However, this meant his enemy couldn’t see them either.
But it soon walked out of the large pillar of dust. The slow and easygoing monster looked like a predator approaching a cornered prey.
‘What should I do?’
Sungyoon looked tense as he pointed his sword toward the monster.
This opponent was stronger than the Cyclops.
He had done it out of necessity, but his action had created a distance between him and Tim.
‘Should we run away?’
That was the best option. However, he had no idea how far the magical energy would spread.
If the magical energy had spread into a very large region, the monster would probably kill them before they could escape the influence of the magical energy.
‘How are the regular humans still alive?’
He could see the employees scrambling backward on their butts on seeing the Skeleton. They should be within the domain of magical energy. Normal humans couldn't enter the labyrinths because they would become poisoned by the magical energy. He didn’t think that was happening right now.
‘That's a problem for later.’
He could satisfy his curiosity after surviving. Sungyoon tried to give orders to Emily and Grace, who were still behind him.
However, he really hated the fact that he couldn’t easily communicate with anyone due to the lack of air.
The Skeleton moved. Its targets were the employees, who were scrambling backward on their butts.
Sungyoon immediately used his Earth magic.
Stalagmites shot through the thick dust. His spell successfully stopped the Skeleton in its tracks, but Sungyoon couldn’t rejoice.
The monster had stopped running, but it stood atop a half-broken stalagmite and glared down at Sungyoon. All of the stalagmites had been destroyed, failing to damage the Skeleton.
‘Even the Centaur didn’t have that much magic resistance.’
Sungyoon knew this fight would be very difficult.
The only saving grace was the fact that the employees had gotten back on their feet, and they were running away.
Tim had used this opportunity to run toward Sungyoon’s side.
Sungyoon's body felt lighter, and he overflowed with strength. It seemed Emily had placed support magic on him.
But the effects were stronger than normal. Emily had probably overclocked her Gems.
Sungyoon immediately overclocked his own Gems too.
‘What should I do about the Princess?’
It would be best to move her to safety.
He pointed backward to tell Grace to run away. However, she shook her head from side to side. Sungyoon was about to frown at her when she raised her Device.
‘… They’ve recovered.’
He could clearly see that the colors had returned to the Gems equipped on her Device. Moreover, two of them were Silver rank Gems.
Thankfully, she had avoided the fate of her Jewel rank Gems turning into dust.
‘She’s a damage dealer, right?’
Her spells were probably very powerful. If her abilities had returned, she would be a great asset in this fight.
Sungyoon decided to let her participate in the battle.
However, the ability to communicate with each other would be crucial in this fight. So Sungyoon pointed towards the labyrinth and started running.
“What the hell is that bastard!”
As soon as Tim entered the labyrinth, Sungyoon yelled out loud.
“We'll investigate later. We have to save our lives first.”
Sungyoon then looked at Grace.
“I don’t have time to discuss plans or formations with you, Ms. Taylor. When your spells are ready, use them whenever you think it is appropriate. Of course, do not forget to yell at us to move aside.”
“Let’s go, Mr. Tim.”
The Skeleton had followed Sungyoon’s party and re-entered the labyrinth. Sungyoon and Tim charged towards the monster.Previous Chapter Next Chapter