Chapter 158

He summoned his armor once again.

“It looks really stylish when you wear it like that.”

On the back of his Platinum armor, a red cape was flowing down. Tim whistled when he saw this.

“You should keep it. It is better than not having it.”

“I’ll decide after I speak with the others.”

They had acquired the Gem as a party. So he had to discuss it with Emily and Grace too.

Tim agreed with Sungyoon’s sentiment, and it was obvious that the two women would let Sungyoon have it. His thoughts were proven right when he unsummoned the cape.

“Oh! Why aren’t you wearing your cape? I thought it looked quite dashing.”

Grace spoke. Emily agreed with her. It seemed the two of them thought Sungyoon cut a fine figure with the cape.

“We have to discuss who should own this Gem.”

“Mr. Sungyoon should keep it. Isn’t it your turn to keep the Gem?”

After Grace had become a party member, he had asked her to call him by Sungyoon. She was also comfortable referring to him as Sungyoon by this time.

Of course, Grace asked him to reciprocate the gesture too and call her by Grace.

After saying that to Sungyoon, Grace turned to look toward the Ross siblings to check if they agreed with her. She saw both of them nodding.

Even if they hadn’t talked about it, they already agreed on this topic.

“Then I’ll keep it.”

It was then decided that Sungyoon would take possession of the Gem.

He slotted the Gem inside the Device once again and activated it.

The red cape appeared on top of the platinum armor. It felt a bit awkward, so he messed with it a couple of times. 

Soon, a cape needlessly fluttered in the air.

“We’ve finished mapping this section of the floor.”

Emily had already drawn the layout on a paper, and she handed it to him.

This paper marked the completion of the mapping of the 15th floor of Sungyoon’s labyrinth.

“Shall we head down right now?”

Emily took out a bundle of paper from the bag she was wearing. It was the map containing the other sections of the 15the floor. Of course, one of the maps held the location of the tunnel leading down to the next floor.

However, Sungyoon shook his head from side to side.

“No. Mana Stream isn’t that far away. Let’s end it here.”

They had acquired new Devices and Gems, and their party's power had increased with them getting a new member, Grace. Despite these facts, he didn’t want to overdo it with the Mana Stream close at hand, and he felt doubly so when he considered the string of abnormal events that had occurred with the labyrinths.

And so, the four of them started moving toward the entrance of the labyrinth.

“What will you do when you go back to Earth?”

As he observed his surroundings, Tim asked Sungyoon.

“I have to see my daughter first.”

“Ha ha! As always, you are talking about Shinhae! You really love your daughter, Mr. Sungyoon.”

“She is my treasure.”

He didn’t even blink an eye as he made that statement.

“What are you all planning to do?”

In the past, he would have answered the question thrown at him, and then shut his mouth. However, this time, Sungyoon had returned the gesture by asking the same question to his party members.

It was another sign that showed he was changing.

“I plan on resting for a bit. I would then travel and eat delicious food.”

“I plan to do the same.”

Tim and Emily gave simple answers.

“I’ll have to act charming in front of my parents and grandmother. They are very worried because of my last escapade.”

“Come to think of it, you haven’t gone down to Earth since that incident.”

It was as Sungyoon had pointed out. After entering Sungyoon's party, Grace had immediately returned to the labyrinth as a Connector. She had shown great courage in being able to return to a labyrinth so soon.

Of course, this frustrated her family to no end. When she would return to Earth, her family would probably rip her a new one.

That was why although she was joking, a part of her was filled with worry.

The party continued to talk afterward. The excitement in their voices was evident.

They would leave behind the hard and tiring days in the labyrinth, and it would be time to rest.

Of course, they’d once again yearn for the Moon, but at the very least, they would be fine for some time.

Filled with anticipation, each of them left the labyrinth.

***

Since Sungyoon spent most of his time on the Moon, he rarely had the chance to celebrate special days with Shinhae.

He was unable to buy her presents for Children’s day. When it was Father’s day, he wasn't here to receive the paper carnations she made.

But for the most part, Jimin made sure Shinhae didn't miss anything, and she went over and beyond. Yet Jimin couldn't be a substitute for him.

That was why Sungyoon was overjoyed when his break coincided with Shinhae’s birthday.

“Here, Shinhae. You should blow out the candles.”

Sungyoon pushed the big cake on the table closer to Shinhae.

The cake was decorated with six candles, and the flames danced above these candles.

“Yes!”

Shinhae balled her two fists and glared at the candles. She looked so cute that Sungyoon let out a small laugh.

“Hoo-ooh~!”

The little girl puckered her lips and then blew out air from her mouth. The flickering flames of the candles were quickly extinguished, and smoke rose into the air.

Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!

Sungyoon was overjoyed. He then popped a birthday confetti.

Pah-ahng!

A loud sound rang out, and paper confetti flew into the air.

Shinhae covered her ears, but her face displayed a bright smile as she watched the paper confetti fall from the air. She raised her arms to chase them. 

“Happy birthday!”

It was the sixth birthday of his daughter, the apple of his eye.

Since this was a special day for her, he gave her a large number of presents. He wanted to celebrate her birthday, but he also felt bad for being unable to be with her. So, the number of presents was a bit excessive.

“Thank you, dad!”

When Shinhae thanked him, he felt very satisfied. With just that one sentence, he felt all his stress melt away, the stress that had been unknowingly building inside him in the labyrinths.

This celebration was the second party of the day. The father-daughter duo had hosted another party earlier at lunch where they had invited all of Shinhae’s friends. But this one was only for the family.

“Here. Let’s cut the cake.”

He gave her the large plastic knife that came with the cake. The little girl had been busy checking her presents, but she quickly grabbed the knife. And as Sungyoon removed the candles, Shinhae immediately cut the cake.

Since it was a sponge cake covered with fresh cream, the knife met no resistance. Shinhae worked like an artist that was putting her soul into making an art piece. She cut it into eight slices, and then, she moved a slice to the dish placed next to her.

“This is yours, dad!”

A child had cut and moved the slice of cake, so the slice wasn't pretty even if Sungyoon was generous in thinking about it.

The fresh cream was missing in multiple spots, and the sponge cake was crushed on one side.

Fresh cream was all over the little girl's hands as she raised the dish toward him. But despite all that, this slice of the cake looked more beautiful and delicious than any cake he had ever seen.

“Thank you.”

Sungyoon took the dish and placed it in front of him. Shinhae carefully moved her own slice to her dish.

“Let’s eat.”

Sungyoon pointed to the food as he spoke. Alongside the cake, the table was filled with all the foods that Shinhae liked. The happy little girl nodded and moved her fork as she picked out food from various dishes.

It made Sungyoon happy. This was a time when the family enjoyed it with each other. Sungyoon wouldn’t trade this time for anything.

“It would've been great if Jimin unni and Jiyoon unni were here.”

Shinhae took a large bite out of a fried chicken leg. She sounded a bit down as she mumbled.

“Both unnis are busy. They’ll be here later, and they’ll bring presents. You just have to wait.”

The two women had work to finish, so they couldn’t participate in Shinhae’s birthday party. Of course, they were disappointed like Shinhae. No, the two women were even more disappointed than Shinhae when they realized their schedule wouldn’t allow them to participate in Shinhae’s birthday party.

“Yes. I know.”

It seemed Shinhae understood the reason behind their absence, so she nodded. However, her mood didn’t recover once it fell.

So Sungyoon told her various stories in order to cheer her up. Thankfully, he was able to lift Shinhae’s mood, and the little girl returned to her normal self. 

It had been a while since the two of them had celebrated a birthday together. So they had a grand time enjoying it.

***

Grace walked through a corridor. It had been a while since she had returned to the palace, but everything looked the same. Normally, she would have been spending her time at her house away from the palace, but her grandmother had called for her.

She loved spending time with her grandmother, and she assumed this would be a normal meeting where they would enjoy tea time.

Navigating the large palace was no problem for Grace. She found the sitting room and entered.

An old woman was sitting inside. Her hair was white, and the passage of time was written on her face. 

She was the current queen of England, the country's emotional anchor.

However, Grace didn't like to think of her in terms of that lofty title. She just viewed her as her kind grandmother. 

She wanted to immediately call out to her. But she didn’t open her mouth as she realized that the queen wasn’t alone.

“You are here, Grace.”

The queen put on a benevolent smile as she looked at her granddaughter with eyes full of love and affection.

Just before, she had been conversing in the room with another man sitting across from her. This man turned to look at Grace.

“It has been a while, Ms. Taylor.”

The man stood up. He looked like a well-built man from an affluent neighborhood. However, his gaze turned sharp at times, indicating that he wasn’t an ordinary person.

“It has been a while indeed, Prime Minister.”

Although the country had a queen, in reality, the prime minister was the one that led the government of the UK. 

He knew the Princess didn't like special treatments, so he called her by Ms. Taylor.

Grace approached the queen. She gave her a light hug and then she sat next her. The prime minister sat back in his seat too.

“How are you?”

“I’ve been good. I’ve been so comfortable that I’m a bit restless.”

After Grace had almost died, the queen’s worries toward her had increased by a significant amount. It was to be expected. Her granddaughter was in a dangerous line of work in the first place, and she had almost died. If she could have it her way, the queen wanted Grace to quit her work as a Connector.

When they finished exchanging pleasantries, Grace spoke up.

“So why did you call me here? Since the Prime Minister is here, this isn't just a simple tea time. ”

Although Grace had entered the room, the Prime Minister hadn’t left. This meant he had some business with her.

The queen looked a bit displeased.

“It seems the Prime Minister has a favor to ask of you.”

Grace looked toward the man. By the look of the queen’s reaction, she could tell it wouldn’t be a pleasant request.

“You have a favor you want to ask of me?”

“Yes.”

The Prime Minister fixed his posture before speaking.

“It could be very serious depending on how it turns out. It might potentially affect the world.”

His face turned very serious, and Grace tensed up.

“Since you are asking me for a favor, is it a task related to Connectors?”

“Yes. Let me start by explaining from the beginning.

“I received a report several days ago about a fairly large cave near the outskirts of London. However, the report wasn’t pushed up to me just because the cave itself was interesting. It was sent to me because something very dangerous was found inside this cave.”

“What is it? Is it an undefused bomb from the second world war?”

If that were true, it would make things so much easier. I could send in the bomb removal squad, and the problem would be resolved.”

He looked a bit tired as he rubbed his fingers near his eyes. And then, with a large sigh, he spoke.

“Inside this cave, we discovered magical energy.”

Previous Chapter Next Chapter