Chapter 171

A stillness descended around them.

“… Are you saying Shinhae might not be my daughter?”

“Yes.”

Jimin gave an immediate reply.

“In truth, it is a possibility if we think about your ex-wife, isn’t it?”

Kwah-dook!

Jiyoon jumped in her seat.

The wooden armrest of the sofa was crushed by Sungyoon’s grip. However, Jimin didn’t even blink.

It was clear that this was a highly volatile situation. Sungyoon glared at Jimin, but Jimin looked right back at him. Jiyoon, who was stuck in the middle, was anxious. She didn’t know what to do.

“… I know you've been very good to me and my daughter. However, I believe you've overstepped your bounds.”

“I know. But this is for Mr. Sungyoon and Shinhae’s sake.”

Silence descended once again. However, the worst-case scenario didn’t happen. 

“Hoo. I would like to hear what you are thinking about, President.”

Sungyoon relaxed his hands as he spoke. Jimin had always helped him so he decided to trust her one more time.

“Thank you. I hope you don’t misunderstand my intentions. I’ll never try to separate Mr. Sungyoon from Shinhae. In fact, my goal is the opposite. I want Mr. Sungyoon and Shinhae to live together in happiness. That is what I want.”

Jimin took a small sip of her coffee to wet her lips.

“Also, I know you don’t care if Shinhae is your biological daughter or not. Am I right?”

“Yes.”

Sungyoon did have this thought before. He knew Shinhae might not be his biological daughter as he was betrayed by his ex-wife after all. 

However, it didn’t matter if Shinhae was his biological daughter or not. It wasn’t important to him. Whatever the case was, Shinhae was his treasure. It would always remain the same.

“You were able to live your life with your adorable daughter until now. You just want a happy life for both of you, but things are different now.”

“… I see. I get where you're going with this.”

Sungyoon understood the implication within Jimin’s words.

He was famous now, and the fact that he had a lot of money was common knowledge.

The worst possible face flashed through his mind.

“Lee Miyun….”

“Yes. Your ex-wife might try to come back into your life again.”

A torrent of anger and hate boiled up inside his heart. Sungyoon once again pushed those emotions back down into the depths of his heart.

If he wanted to protect Shinhae, he couldn’t be hot-headed. He needed a cold and logical approach.

“If she does that, her goal will be your money.”

“That’ll be the case nine out of ten times. The problem remains that she knows Shinhae is your biggest weakness. She is also the one capable of using this information against you in the most effective way. She’ll probably do the same thing as before and threaten Mr. Sungyoon by taking Shinhae hostage.”

“… It certainly sounds like a plausible threat.”

As long as Sungyoon was next to Shinhae, he would never let Miyun approach either of them. However, he had to go to the Moon.

The fact that Miyun had acted in a rotten manner to induce the divorce wasn’t known to the outside world. Everyone else had thought that it had been an amicable divorce. So Sungyoon had no grounds to completely stop Miyun from meeting Shinhae.

“… Do you have some kind of a plan?”

“I’m not asking you to take a DNA test because my plan hinges on it. However, the way I will deal with this problem changes depending on the result of the test.”

“It seems you do have a plan.”

When it came to his daughter, Sungyoon could move heaven and earth. He was willing to do terrible things. He was ready to do the worst. However, it seemed Jimin had a plan, so he decided to put such thoughts away for now.

“Alright. You just need my hair and Shinhae’s hair, right?”

“Yes. I need to borrow your name too.”

“Understood. If we are going to do this, let’s do it as soon as possible. I’ll bring everything tomorrow.”

“I’ll make sure to finish all the preparations by then.”

Their business was done now.

“I’ll be heading out now.”

After this serious conversation, Sungyoon really wanted to see Shinhae.

“Mr. Sungyoon.”

He was about to leave when Jimin called out to him. 

It seemed she had more to say.

There was a chance that his most precious treasure might be threatened by an unknown source. So Sungyoon once again became tense as he turned to look at Jimin.

“This is the last thing I want to confirm. Do you mind me using every possible means to protect Shinhae?”

With a cold expression, Sungyoon spoke.

“Not at all.”

“I needed to hear those words.”

Jimin let out a beautiful smile. Jiyoon, who had witnessed the exchange, gulped. Jimin was a very good boss to her, and Sungyoon was a good person. However, currently, they looked very scary.

“Ah. One more thing...”

Jimin raised her hand. Did she have something important she wanted to discuss further? Sungyoon focused on her words.

Jimin pointed at the sofa where Sungyoon had been sitting.

“Since you destroyed it, I’ll buy a new one out of your pay.”

“… Please do that.”

Sungyoon had no choice but to answer in a sheepish manner.

***

After Jiyoon left, Jimin once again sat in front of her desk.

‘Most of the preparation for my plan is done.’

She had received consent from Sungyoon, and she had told Jiyoon what was going on. As Jimin had expected, Jiyoon cried as she promised to help Shinhae any way she could.

‘I feel bad for using Ms. Jiyoon like this...’

It was as she had said to Sungyoon earlier. She would accomplish her goals by any means necessary.

As an apology, she would make sure to set up a date between Sungyoon and Jiyoon at a later date. Jimin then took out a folder from the drawer. She had secretly investigated that woman, and she was looking at the report.

As Jimin looked through the files she found a picture stuck to the front page. The main subject of this investigation was Miyun.

Although Jimin had brought up the topic of Miyun to Sungyoon just that day, she had already been working on it from the background for a while. She looked down coldly at the picture.

‘Lee Miyun….’

That woman had betrayed Sungyoon, and she had wounded Shinhae. Before, Lee Miyun had only been an unpleasant existence to Jimin. However, it was different now.

‘She should know her place. I will leave her alone if she never approaches Mr. Sungyoon and Shinhae. But if she once again approaches them to do something despicable again...!’

Jimin’s eyes turned cold. For a long time, she glared at Miyun’s picture. Then, she closed the folder and leaned back in her chair as she looked up at the ceiling.

[I’m still speaking as a father of a child. I would feel proud of having such a daughter like you. It would be proof that my daughter loved me very much. It would be proof that my daughter viewed me as an excellent, wonderful, and loving father. I would know she loved me.]

Sungyoon’s words appeared in Jimin's mind again, and her heart started beating faster. She let out a small sigh as she placed a hand over her chest.

She would never hand over Shinhae and Sungyoon to that woman.

‘I’ll never allow that woman to do as she likes.’

A coldness appeared in Jimin's eyes.

***

Sungyoon was the hero who had defeated the Behemoth and saved the people of London. However, his life hadn’t changed too much.

He planned on having fun with Shinhae until the Mana Stream in his labyrinth ended and then go to the Moon.

However, his plan was completely destroyed on that day.

“How is it looking on your side?”

Sungyoon had his handphone pressed against his ear as he asked the question. A deep voice came through the handphone.

- It's too early to tell. The difference in opinions is too large.

Tim replied, and the frustration in his voice was clear. He wore his emotions on his sleeve.

- How about you, Mr. Sungyoon?

“Everything was fine when I talked to Ms. Grace. It seems the Korean government is taking my wishes into consideration since I’ve gained renown and fame in the battle in London.

- I’m envious of you. Anyway, we told the government that we are party members with Ms. Grace and Mr. Sungyoon. I think they will show some leeway considering our relationship with both of you. However, I do not think we can perfectly lineup our schedule with yours.

The high ranked Connectors of Earth had to be on standby.

When the Behemoth rampaged in London, every country made plans regarding the possibility of monsters appearing in their country.

Each country was searching their lands to check if any place was starting to emit magical energy. They wanted to be prepared so that they could defeat any unexpected monsters. One of the contingency plans was to put high rank Connectors always on standby. Of course, the countries couldn’t give up on acquiring moonstones, so they decided to schedule and rotate the duties of Connectors.

The problem was the order of the schedule. There were multiple Connectors in a party, and the Mana Stream period differed for each labyrinth. Therefore, it was very hard to come up with the perfect schedule. The process had become complex.

Of course, Grace was the granddaughter of the Queen, and she was one of the two heroes who had saved London. So her government listened to whatever she had to say.

As for Sungyoon, he had acquired great fame when he saved London, and it had brought great prestige to his country. That was why the Korean government tried to accommodate his requests as much as possible. However, the Ross siblings didn't get to enjoy such privileges.

“It can’t be helped. Please contact me when you get some concrete news. We’ll discuss our plans further when that happens.”

- Understood.

Sungyoon ended his call.

‘We won’t be able to go into our labyrinth for a while.’

Sungyoon tossed his handphone, and he rubbed at his eyes.

If the Ross sibling arrived late, he couldn’t go deep into his labyrinth. He would have to hunt with Grace as his only companion. 

However, Grace recently had a bad experience in a labyrinth, so it was a bit iffy going into his labyrinth with just the two of them.

His handphone rang at that moment.

‘Is it Mr. Tim?’

Did he forget to say something? 

Sungyoon answered the phone, but he was greeted by someone totally unexpected.

- Sup, Mr. Hero. How are you doing?

Sungyoon heard an energetic and confident voice. He didn’t hide his surprise as he answered.

“What drove you to make this phone call, Mr. Hyunwoo?”

Sung Hyunwoo was on the other line of the phone.

- I saw you make the headlines. I wanted to check on how you are doing, and also make an offer.

“An offer?”

Sungyoon heard a half-playful suggestion from across the phone.

- Are you interested in the Great Labyrinth?

***

It had been a while since he had been up here, but the Moon remained the same.

The air was stale, resources were scarce, and everything was expensive.

Moreover, he thought there were fewer people here now. People were still spooked about the incident where magical energy leaked out from Grace’s labyrinth.

However, Sungyoon couldn’t think about any of that right now. He stood in front of the wide open entrance to a cave.

“Why are you so tense?”

Hyunwoo slapped Sungyoon’s back hard and laughed. It made Sungyoon cough.

“You aren’t a rookie. You're the hero of London. You shouldn’t show any outward signs of nervousness.”

Sungyoon became very embarrassed when Hyunwoo spoke that way. Although, Hyunwoo had probably spoken that way because Sungyoon had reacted that way.

Still, it was true that Sungyoon’s popularity had spread far and wide. The Connectors near them kept glancing at him.

“Let’s go. You came up early for this.”

Hyunwoo lightly pushed Sungyoon’s back. Sungyoon let out a sigh as he activated his Gems.

“Oh shit!”

The Connectors let out a sound of admiration. It seemed they were surprised when they saw Sungyoon’s Gems' activation speed.

Sungyoon didn't pay attention to the reactions. He and Hyunwoo slowly entered the Great Labyrinth.

The entrance to the Great Labyrinth looked the same as compared to the other labyrinths. However, Sungyoon could feel it.

Hwoooooooong!

Unlike the calm flow of magical energy within regular labyrinths, the magical energy here was like a fierce gale.

Sungyoon was greeted by a constant Mana Stream, which was the special characteristic of the Great Labyrinth.

“I can’t believe you made it to the Moon.”

Sungyoon had been tense as he looked at his surroundings when Hyunwoo, who had been walking in front of him, spoke.

“I’m sure the government didn’t want you to leave the country.”

“They really didn’t.”

Sungyoon sounded annoyed as he mumbled.

The government had praised his actions as being very heroic. They had praised him for enhancing the national prestige of Korea, but they also didn’t want him to endanger himself anymore.

They only wanted one thing. They wanted him to have a lot of children.

“Of course, I turned down their recommendations.”

“This is normal with 1st Gens. You can live a comfortable life. There are a lot of benefits that come with being a ‘stud’.”

Stud. 

Even as everyone praised him, the government only wanted him to take on the role of being a stud.

“It’s not my problem. I don’t care if I’m a 1st Gen or not. My goal is to raid the Great Labyrinth. I won’t go along with their wishes. It's also the reason why I came here first. I did so by leaving behind my party members.”

The Ross siblings still hadn’t received their rotation schedule. And Grace had to act as the hero of her country and direct the recovery of London, so she was still on Earth.

Only Sungyoon had come up to the Moon.

He had taken advantage of Hyunwoo’s offer of taking him to a field trip to the Great Labyrinth.

It seemed Hyunwoo liked what he heard.

“Yes. That’s good! Even if you're a 1st Gen, you have the right to decide your fate! I knew I liked you!”

Hyunwoo turned around.

“This is your first entry into the Great Labyrinth. It's a historic moment.”

First entry. It was an odd choice of word. Sungyoon had already entered the entrance, and he walked forward. The crazy fluctuation of magical energy was proof that he was in the Great Labyrinth.

Hyunwoo had turned to look at him, and a light appeared behind him. At first, Sungyoon thought it was the light that summoned monsters. However, he was wrong. It was too bright to be a monster summoning light.

Sungyoon went to the place illuminated by the bright light.

“This is...!”

He became surprised. No, he was shocked. He had known this information, but to see it for himself was something else. Sungyoon saw a large grassy plain that had green grass that reached his thighs. He could see a creek to the side too.

Clusters of trees formed a small forest. A warm light fell down on him.

It was a sight that shouldn’t exist below the surface of the Moon.

Hyunwoo looked at Sungyoon and spoke.

“Welcome to the Great Labyrinth.”

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