Chapter 173

When he heard its unpleasant cackling, Hyunwoo’s eyebrows twitched.

- Good. Very good.

“Why are we going out of our way to use this method? We already have our original plan.”

- It's good to have many plans in reserve. If the backup plan is more effective than the original plan, there is no reason why we can’t switch them. The transport of the Behemoth was a success. I don’t think it's an exaggeration to say that my plan is better than the original plan.

“Is that how it is? I wouldn’t recommend you using that plan.”

When it heard Hyunwoo’s words, its four eyes narrowed.

- … What are you saying? Didn’t you say the attempt was successful?

“Yes. It was a success. The transport to Earth was a success.”

- … It seems there was some other problem

Hyunwoo could imagine the repulsive face scrunch up within the hood, and the thought cheered him up. He spoke.

“The Behemoth was successfully transported to Earth, but there was a fatal side effect.”

- What kind of side effect?

“It became incredibly weak.”

- … By how much?

“The Behemoth had staggered on its feet after letting out one Breath.”

Hyunwoo heard a groan as a response to his words.

It always showed arrogance as it looked down on humans. It even looked down on him. So when it groaned, Hyunwoo felt his mood significantly improve.

“Since there was no magical energy in the surroundings, the Behemoth couldn't use its true power. However, it had become too weak even if there was a lack of magical energy. The only conclusion I can come to is that there is a problem with the transportation process. Why don’t you just focus on executing the original plan?”

He was giving advice in good faith, but it coldly turned him down.

- You don’t have to worry about that. In my plan, I have some room to work with. A variable of this magnitude won’t stop my plan from coming to fruition.

“However, what if your carelessness brings harm to your master?”

In a flash, a massive amount of killing intent shot out of its four eyes. However, Hyunwoo remained languid as he let the killing intent flow past him.

“Hey, hey. Don’t get so excited. I’m saying this because I’m worried. I've no ulterior motive. Although I'm human, I’m on your side. He isn’t just your master. He is our master. Of course, I would be worried about our master, right?”

Its killing intent lessened, but the unpleasant energy coming out of its body didn’t disappear.

- That's none of your damn business. 

“Is that so? I’m fine with that.”

Hyunwoo didn’t push any further and backed off. This caused it to glare at Hyunwoo even more fiercely before turning its back on him.

- Do not forget this. Your power was given to you by us.

After leaving behind those words, it disappeared into the darkness.

Hyunwoo snorted.

‘It doesn’t matter if it's Lee Dongin or this bastard. Why am I so unlucky? Why can't I get a decent boss? Jeez.’

Lee Dongin was probably going nuts at the arrival of the Behemoth on Earth. He was probably looking for Hyunwoo. Hyunwoo just shook his head.

Hyunwoo no longer wanted to stay in this dark and damp place. He turned around to exit this place. However, he suddenly felt the urge to look behind once again.

‘Our master….’

For a brief moment, Hyunwoo looked at the door that remained firmly closed. Then he resumed walking.

***

Sungyoon and Grace were cautious as they hunted monsters within Sungyoon’s Personal Labyrinth. This went on for several days before the Ross siblings finally arrived on the Moon. When the much-anticipated news about the siblings' arrival was delivered to Sungyoon and Grace, they immediately headed back to Armstrong.

“It's really good to see you, Mr. Sungyoon!”

It seemed Tim had gone through some difficult times. He vigorously shook Sungyoon’s hand. Emily, who stood behind Tim, also looked very happy to see Sungyoon.

“Did everything work out?”

“It didn’t go well.”

Tim shook his head from side to side. At the very least, Tim and Emily wanted to match their rotation schedule with Sungyoon and Grace’s schedule. However, it had been impossible to arrange it that way.

Sungyoon listened to the Ross siblings' schedule.

“Our schedule differs by a month.”

“We did our best to match our schedule to yours.”

Tim sounded as if he was making an excuse, but that wasn’t the case at all. Tim and Emily had fought tooth and nail in order to sync their schedules with Sungyoon and Grace.

“Thankfully, the fact that we were partied with Mr. Sungyoon and Ms. Grace allowed us some leeway.”

If that had not been the case, the higher rank Connectors would have been given priority over the Ross siblings in the rotation schedule. Then, Tim and Emily would have been given a completely different schedule from Sungyoon.

“I bet they were giving priority to parties with all Canadian members. It's to be expected.”

“That's right.”

When Sungyoon spoke in an understanding manner, Tim enthusiastically nodded.

“It’s fine. The difference in our scehdules isn't that big. I think it turned out pretty well all things considered.”

It wasn’t as if they could meet only once a year like the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl. A month's difference could be overcome.

Anyway, the mana stream within the Great Labyrinth was constant. There wasn’t a time period that was safer to enter, unlike the regular labyrinths.

“So we’ll finally be entering the Great Labyrinth tomorrow.”

When Sungyoon spoke those words, the faces of Grace and the Ross siblings stiffened from nervousness. They would finally enter the infamous Great Labyrinth.

The three of them had decided to raid the Great Labyrinth of their own volition, but it didn’t mean they weren’t nervous about it.

Still, they couldn’t be fearful forever.

“Let’s do it!”

As if he wanted to break the chain of fear, Tim shouted out loud.

“I can finally continue my mother’s legacy.”

“As a member of the British Royal family, there is no better way for me to serve the country than this.”

Emily and Grace vocalized why they wanted to go into the Great Labyrinth, and they let their fighting spirit take over.

“We’ll head in tomorrow.”

The Ross siblings and Grace nodded at Sungyoon's words, and the firm resolve on their faces was evident.

***

On the next day, Sungyoon’s party re-checked everything one final time in front of the entrance to the Great Labyrinth.

Each member needed three Jewel rank Gems in order to enter the Great Labyrinth. Aside from Sungyoon, the rest of the party had been short a Jewel rank Gem. However, the British government had given them each a Silver rank Gem as a reward for investigating the magical energy within the cave. 

Sungyoon and Grace had received more since they had saved London. Each of them received an additional Jewel rank Gem, and Sungyoon even received a high-rank Device.

Sungyoon checked the Jewel rank Gems that he possessed.

The Rainbow Gems were divided into seven ranks. As for the Jewel Gems, they were divided into eight ranks. Diamond was the highest rank, followed by Sapphire, Emerald, Ruby, Jade, Platinum, Gold, and Silver.

Sungyoon possessed a sixth Jewel rank Gem in the Platinum armor. Then he possessed two seventh Jewel rank Gems in the Gold shield and the Gold amplification Gem. Finally, he also possessed a fourth Jewel rank Gem in the Ruby evolution Gem.

This evolution Gem had originally been a White evolution Gem that Sungyoon possessed. But the British Government had given him a one-time-use Gem that instantly upgraded a Gem to Ruby rank. And Sungyoon had immediately used it on the White evolution Gem.

He had done this before, so he was familiar with the process. He didn’t hesitate as he further invested in upgrading the ‘evolution’ Gem. Then he equipped it on the Brooch type Device, which was given to him as a reward.

The brooch had eight universal Ruby rank slots. In some ways, this brooch type Device was more precious than a low Jewel rank Gem.

One could tell how grateful the British government was toward Sungyoon by the rewards he had received.

Sungyoon slotted the Ruby evolution Gem, the Platinum full armor Gem, the Gold sword Gem, the Gold shield Gem, and the Gold amplification Gem. He also slotted in the Rainbow rank Gems. These included the Red rank halberd Gem, Orange rank cape Gem, and Orange rank sevenfold strength amplification Gem.

‘If I can evolve all eight Gems to Ruby rank, I’ll have a much easier time clearing the Great Labyrinth.’

In the past, he had focused on evolving his magic Gems first, but his party now had Grace. She was an accomplished magic specialist Connector. Sungyoon's role in this party now was offense, so he decided to fully commit to evolving Gems for offense.

Sungyoon looked at his party members. They had finished checking and activating their Gems.

“Let’s head in.”

Sungyoon pointed at the entrance. All of them slowly walked toward the Great Labyrinth.

Most Connectors avoided the Great Labyrinth like the plague, but the four of them steadfastly advanced toward their goal of raiding the Great Labyrinth and stepped inside together.

***

The violent magical energy that was unique to the Mana Stream tickled their entire body. Was it the evil reputation of the Great Labyrinth causing the nervousness? Or was it the fact that they had finally achieved a dream that they had for a very long time? Sungyoon’s party was silent.

Aside from Sungyoon, fear and anticipation were etched into all of their faces. Sungyoon had already entered the Great Labyrinth once before, so the other party members had heard his story. It had the effect of heightening their emotions.

They could see a light in the distance. Soon, they arrived at the grassy plain, which was the 1st floor of the Great Labyrinth.

“T... this is…!”

“Wow!”

“Oh my!”

Tim, Emily, and Grace didn’t even try to hide their emotions. Even the most famous tourist destination on Earth couldn’t compare to the sight before them. The grassy plain was beautiful.

‘There is no way this looks like a place with an evil reputation.’

This was his second time here, yet Sungyoon was still almost mesmerized by the scene in front of him. However, he knew that a brutal blade was hidden within this peaceful atmosphere.

Kahng! Kahng!

Sungyoon clapped his hands twice. His gauntlets clashed against each other, so the sound of steel hitting steel rang out.

“I understand being mesmerized by the sight, but please do not forget that we are within the Great Labyrinth. A small mistake will get us killed.”

Hearing Sungyoon’s words, the party quickly readjusted their mindset.

Sungyoon was the first to step onto the grassland, but he didn’t move any further. He could feel a faint vibration through his feet. In his previous visit, he had such a hard time learning how to identify this vibration. 

“Everyone… Our first guest is here.”

As soon as he finished saying his words….

Pah-ah-ahk!

Dirt sprayed into the air, and something shot out from below the ground. The monster was creepy and long, and its large mouth looked like a lamprey eel. It was the Brutal Worm.

“Kyahh!”

“Oo-ahht!”

The female members let out a high pitch scream. While the prospect of danger didn’t faze them, they were more sensitive to things that had a gross outer appearance.

This didn’t mean Tim was unaffected either. His face was scrunched up within his helm. And in contrast with them all, Sungyoon, who was used to it all, looked calm.

“Let’s start.”

Sungyoon spoke as he raised his sword.

***

Kwahng!

A large pillar of fire rose into the air. The hot flames consumed the small patch of forest in its entirety. Black smoke covered the blue skies.

Kyahhhhhhhhhhhhhhk!

Amongst the green trees, camouflaged monsters had been waiting for their prey. And after the attack, several of the trees screamed as they ran out of their cover.

Even though their entire body was on fire, these Treants charged through the grassy plains toward Sungyoon’s party.

“You should act like trees. Just die after being set ablaze!”

Tim swung his ax at a Treant and then, he bashed it with his shield. Sungyoon dodged the sharp branches as he swung his sword.

Kah-doo-doo-doohk!

The flame had burned away the monster's outer bark, and its defense had gone down significantly. Despite this, Sungyoon was having a hard time cutting through the Treant.

Boom!

He swung his shield to bash the monster. Then using the rebound of the shield, Sungyoon extracted his sword and stabbed once again.

Ggoo-reek!

The monster let out a bizarre scream before it fell.

However, Sungyoon had only taken down one of them. Tim was attacking another Treant, but he was more focused on his role of protecting Emily and Grace. So, most of the Treants had to be killed by Sungyoon.

“Hoo-ahhhhhhhht!”

Sungyoon planted his sword in another Treant, and at the same time, he summoned his mace. He swung it toward the hilt of his sword. He had used this method to defeat the Behemoth before.

Ggyahhhhhhhhhhk!

The sword went deep into a vital point, and the Treant fell over. Sungyoon moved on to the next foe.

After a short time, all the Treant in the plain fell over like cold blocks of wood.

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