Chapter 169

“I’m sorry for not being able to visit you at the hospital.”

Grace sounded really apologetic.

“It’s fine. You had to guard the cave, for anything could happen.”

The top Connectors of the UK were still on the Moon. Grace was the highest-ranked Connector present in the country, so of course, she had to be on guard against the unknown.

This was also the reason the Ross siblings hadn't visited Sungyoon at the hospital. As soon as the two had arrived in UK, the British government implored them to monitor the cave alongside Grace.

While they were conversing, Sungyoon could see several people around them. It seemed the British government had been desperate. They had brought in Connectors from other countries, who happened to be on Earth.

Since these Connectors were low in rank, they would be of no help against a monster like the Behemoth. Still, something was better than nothing. Moreover, these particular Connectors were capable of activating their Gems on Earth.

The other Connectors kept stealing glances at Sungyoon. Sungyoon was the hero who had solved this incident in a stylish manner. However, it seemed they had received instructions in advance not to bother him. So they didn’t approach Sungyoon.

“Is this the cave in question?”

Sungyoon observed the cave where the Behemoth had exited. It was much smaller compared to the labyrinths on the Moon.

However, a Behemoth had crawled out of it, so this single fact turned the cave dangerous.

“The magical energy isn’t that strong.”

“That’s right. We did go in near the entrance, but the magical energy was too thin. It was a wonder that a Behemoth appeared in this place.”

Tim gave an explanation as he stood next to Sungyoon.

“Let’s head in.”

Sungyoon activated his Gems. Several days had passed since his fight, so his Gems had recovered from their post-overclocked state. Their original colors had returned. Moreover, the hole in the side of his armor, which had formed in the fight against the Behemoth, was nowhere to be seen.

“I’ll go in first.”

Tim pounded on his shield as he stepped forward. The others followed him and entered the cave.

“As expected, it's hard to see.”

For Connectors, it was not light but magical energy that presented them with information. However, the magical energy here was too thin, so the information delivered was very limited. It was better than the time when they found the broken Golem and Mrs. Ross’ corpse. Still, the lack of information was frustrating.

“However, this time we have this.”

Tim confidently said as he turned on the headlamp placed around his helmet. The dark cave brightened.

“Electronic equipment really does work here.”

Sungyoon also turned on his headlamp. Although he had heard electronics worked in here, to see it with his own eyes was something else.

“It would be great if electronic equipment worked in the Moon’s labyrinths.”

“Absolutely.”

Sungyoon and Tim exchanged whispers as they pointed their headlamps in various directions.

They could see much better with the help of the headlamps. Due to the lights, shadows formed, and the party felt like they were going down a very dark road with a single flashlight in hand. 

Emily was in the rear, and she took up the camcorder. Since electronics worked, they would be able to record footage. It would allow them to turn in a thorough report.

“I’m prepared to film now.”

“Then let’s go.”

The party moved deeper into the cave. They didn’t see anything suspicious, but they still treated this as if they were within a labyrinth on the Moon. 

They became tense, but they had no reason to be tensed. Unlike the labyrinths, this place was just a large cave.

Moreover, the cave wasn’t too deep either. They could clear it in two days. They had been moving slowly because they were being cautious. If they threw all caution to the wind, they could clear the cave in a single day.

“There’s nothing here.”

Tim became dejected when they arrived at the last dead end. Even if the Behemoth had been in a weakened state, this cave had spat out a monster of that caliber. So he had been tense, and he thought he would encounter something dangerous. But now, he felt stupid for being so nervous.

In terms of magical energy, the deepest part of the cave had a similar amount of magical energy compared to the entrance to the cave. The magical energy was thin at all locations.

“… Let’s head up for now.”

Sungyoon turned around when he reached the dead end.

“Ah. This is such a drag.”

Tim grumbled, but his voice was unexpectedly bright.

“Still, this means there will be no threat from this place, right?”

Tim didn’t want London to be attacked again. Despite his statement, the other three party members didn’t lighten up.

“I’m not so sure that is true.”

Sungyoon sounded negative when he spoke.

“Why? There is nothing within this cave.”

“You idiot. What do you mean there is nothing? The magical energy is present.”

Emily was blunt as she shot back at Tim.

“What does that have to do with anything?”

Tim sounded aggrieved. However, Sungyoon was the one to answer this time around.

“It might have been better for us if we did find something. If an item had created the magical energy and summoned the Behemoth, we would have been able to solve everything by destroying it. We would have wrapped it up nicely. However, we found nothing within. It is as Emily said. There is only magical energy here, so then, where did the Behemoth come from?”

“Of course, it’s like the labyrinth where...”

Tim finally realized the implication, so he shut his mouth.

“As you’ve realized right now, there is a high probability that the light, which spits out monsters, might have appeared in this cave. If we assume the cave behaves like the labyrinth, multiple monsters might continue to spawn as long as the magical energy is present here.”

“Also, we couldn’t find the source of magical energy, which means we have no way of getting rid of the magical energy. Basically, there is no clear solution anymore.”

The additional explanations given by Emily and Grace helped Tim get a clear understanding of the current situation. His face turned serious.

“What should we do now?”

“There’s nothing we can do. When Connectors are on Earth, the nearest Connectors will have to rush toward the place where the monster appears. That is all we can do at this point. Let us hope the researchers will be able to find a solution.”

Sungyoon could only give that answer to Emily’s worried question.

***

The party spent several days monitoring and roaming the cave. However, nothing happened.

There were times when researchers accompanied them. The magical energy was causing no harm to electronic equipment and small animals, after all. Several brave researchers decided to take on the risk, and they asked to accompany Sungyoon’s party.

Thankfully, they didn’t suffer from magic toxicity.

Still, there was a chance that the magical energy could turn poisonous to normal humans once again in the future, so the government stopped most normal humans from being near the cave.

In the end, Sungyoon’s party couldn't stay near the cave indefinitely. Sungyoon and the Ross siblings booked a flight to Korea. The researchers would keep studying the cave even after that. However, Sungyoon’s party had one more thing to do before they could leave for their home.

“How does it feel?”

Jimin spoke. Sungyoon didn’t answer her. He just stared at the item in his hands.

It was the GBE medal, the greatest honor that could be awarded in the United Kingdom. He was a foreigner, but it didn’t diminish the fact that it was a great honor.

The whole world watched as the Queen gave him the medal and other rewards. Sungyoon brushed the medal as if he cherished it.

“I never knew Mr. Sungyoon was interested in being knighted.”

She thought he would act disinterested like usual, but Sungyoon showed more interest than she had expected. And this had surprised Jimin.

However, Sungyoon was Sungyoon.

“Shinhae really liked it.”

It seemed he had already shown it to Shinhae through video call. If Shinhae liked it, it didn’t matter whether the item was worthless or priceless. The item would be worth more than any item in the world. Jimin reaffirmed this fact once again.

“Anyway, you are dressed differently today.”

Sungyoon's gaze left the medal, and he looked at Jimin.

In contrast to his clean suit, Jimin’s attire was very surprising.

Since London was a mess right now, it wasn’t as if she could acquire a fancy outfit. However, she was always dressed in a plain black suit that looked like something one wore to a funeral. But her current suit was a bit more stylish.

“Well, it's an important day.”

Jimin spoke a bit as if she was making an excuse. However, if one considered her usual personality, she would have worn her normal suit even if she was going to an important function. Sungyoon wondered what brought about this change.

“What do you think? Does it look good on me?”

“Yes. It looks good.”

Jimin’s face turned a bit red as she smiled.

It happened at that moment. Someone knocked on the door, and they could hear a voice calling for both of them.

“Let’s go.”

Jimin opened the door.

The guide, who had come to pick them up, led them down the corridor. They had been staying at Buckingham Palace at the insistence of Grace and the Queen.

They received great hospitality here, but it was time for them to leave soon. This was why the Queen had invited them once again to a dinner party.

“Ah, it's you!”

As soon as they arrived in the dining room, they met someone unexpected.

“Sir Russell.”

Charlie Russell approached Sungyoon in a familiar manner and with a big smile on his face.

“Wow. I knew you were someone amazing, but I never expected you to save London!”

He pounded Sungyoon’s shoulder.

“I am really thankful. The place where I live could have been completely destroyed, but you saved it. If you need anything in the future, just contact me. If it's within my means, I will do my best to help you.”

Charlie Russell was one of the strongest Connectors of this world. His backing was a tremendous boon. Some might consider Russell’s offer a bit excessive, but Sungyoon had done something that deserved it.

“Who is this lady?”

Russell’s gaze headed toward Jimin.

“It's good to meet you, Sir Russell. My name is Hahn Jimin. I am the president of Jungbum, the company Mr. Woo Sungyoon is contracted to.”

“Ah! You are Hahn Jungbum’s daughter.”

“You knew my father?”

“Of course. We were Connectors of the same generation, and I myself considered him to be my rival.”

“Thank you for speaking so highly of him.”

She lowered her head.

“Well! Let’s go! I was invited to the dinner party because I know you! We cannot make the Queen wait. I’m not speaking as her vassal. We shouldn’t make her wait as men.”

Sir Russell started walking with his arm around Sungyoon’s shoulder. Sungyoon was almost being dragged forward, and Jimin followed them.

On the way, they met the Ross siblings. They were asked to stay in the palace too since they were Grace's party members. The group arrived at the dining room and found the Queen and Grace already waiting for them inside.

“Please enter.”

The Queen laughed as she greeted the group. After a few words of greeting, everyone got in their seats. They started conversing as the food came out.

“Did you like your stay here?”

“Yes. Thank you very much for inviting us here.”

Sungyoon spoke as the representative of his party.

“I’m glad to hear that. Normally, we would throw a banquet, and we would celebrate your accomplishment. However, the city isn't in a good state right now. Please be understanding.”

“Of course.”

The people of England cheered for the birth of a new hero, yet it was also a time of sorrow and grieving. The capital city had taken a lot of damage, and a lot of people had died.

Even if Sungyoon was the hero who had saved London, they couldn’t throw a party. It would be in very poor taste, and it would be heavily criticized. Moreover, Sungyoon wasn’t interested in a party.

“I would like to thank you again. You saved England. You saved London. You saved my life.”

The Queen had invited Sungyoon to investigate the cave, and she never expected him to achieve such greatness. Even if she thanked him several more times, it wouldn’t be enough.

“I am very thankful too.”

After the Queen, Sir Russell gave his thanks too.

“How many Gems did you break? Just wait a little bit. I’ll be sure to compensate you for it.”

Sungyoon’s ears perked up at those words. In truth, the spear was a backup, so it wasn’t much of a loss. However, the loss of his main shield hurt him to the bone.

This was why he didn't plan on rejecting any rewards.

“Thank you very much.”

“Yes. I’ll send it as soon as possible.”

It was a normal dinner party.

Some conversations happened, and some laughs sprinkled in. Sungyoon and his party spent their last evening in England in a quiet manner.

***

Puhng! Puh-puhng!

Sungyoon was now used to hearing the flashes going off.

Sungyoon, Jimin, and the Ross siblings furrowed their brows. The airport was full of reporters, and it almost gave them a headache.

However, the atmosphere here was clearly different from what they had experienced in London. The most obvious difference was the fact that most of the reporters here were black haired Asians. They outnumbered the foreign press.

After experiencing all kinds of hardships in London, Sungyoon’s party had finally returned to Korea.

***

Sungyoon gave a short interview, but the reporters wanted to ask many more questions. His party almost had to run away from the reporters. They split up after they got away from the press, and headed to their respective houses.

Sungyoon walked toward his house with light steps. Thankfully, the reporters hadn’t found his house yet. 

When he opened the door, two people greeted him.

One of them was Jiyoon, who had protected his most precious treasure while he had been in London. He felt gratitude toward her. The other person was...

“It’s daaaaaaad!”

She ran toward him with her hands in the air. She was his treasure, and he would never trade her for anything or anyone in this world.

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