Chapter 175

When the monster was wounded, it tried to run away into the sky. But Sungyoon threw his halberd.

Poo-ook!

Ggwehhhhhhhhk!

Since the wound was located in its wing, the monster was having a hard time flying upright. Due to this, Sungyoon’s halberd easily pierced through its body. The Four-Winged Vulture fell to the floor and struggled before dying.

However, Sungyoon didn’t have any time to rest.

“Kyahhhk!”

“Mr. Sungyoon!”

Tim desperately called out to him. 

Sungyoon immediately ran toward his party members. One of the remaining two Four-Winged Vultures was pummeling Tim’s shield by shooting its feathers.

Tim was doing well blocking its attack, but the other Four-Winged Vulture was causing trouble for him.

Grace and Emily, each held a small shield as they kept the other Four-Winged Vulture in check. However, their opponent was too quick and mobile. It could shoot its feather from multiple angles.

Emily had blocked block most of the feathers with her shield, but two feathers got past her shield.

“Kyahhhhk!”

Thankfully, the feathers couldn't inflict much damage. 

Emily had acquired a new Jewel rank Gem as a reward, and this Gem had the ability to create a barrier capable of blocking attacks up to a certain point.

However, the barrier wouldn't last forever.

Sungyoon didn’t hesitate as he resummoned his halberd.

Too--hawhk!

As soon as the weapon appeared in his hands, he threw it. However, he knew he wouldn’t hit his target.

As expected, the Four-Winged Vulture slightly tilted its body to easily dodge the halberd. It then shot its feathers at Sungyoon.

Ting! Ting! Ting!

Plates extended from Sungyoon's shield to block the feathers, and he charged forward. Seeing that its attack had been easily blocked, the monster decided to put some distance away from its opponent. It started to flap its wings.

But, Sungyoon instantly activated his cape and accelerated forward.

Suh-guhk!

Ggoo-ehhhhhhh!

The monster could have never expected Sungyoon to arrive so quickly. It fell to the floor after being cut down by Sungyoon’s sword.

Sungyoon then immediately rushed at the Four-Winged Vulture attacking Tim. He and Tim attacked from both sides as they killed it. 

“You bastards! You scared the shit out of me!”

Tim kicked the corpse of the Four-Winged Vulture in a rough manner. 

Sungyoon examined the status of his party. Fortunately, no one had suffered any big wounds.

“The mobility of the flying monsters was beyond my imagination.”

Grace sank to the ground as she spat out her words.

“It really was. I thought we just had to be a bit cautious, and we would be fine. But they gave us so much trouble.”

Sungyoon coldly dissected the fight. If Emily hadn’t cast her defense magic beforehand, the party would have been in trouble.

“We'll have to come up with another plan. The Four-Winged Vultures aren’t overwhelmingly powerful monsters. We struggled more than we should have. We just aren’t used to fighting monsters capable of flight.”

“We just have to get used to it.”

As expected of Tim, he gave a very simple and short answer. However, his words cut through all the bullshit.

“You're right. If we aren’t familiar with it, we’ll just have to get familiar with it.”

Since Sungyoon agreed with Tim, Tim started acting cocky in front of Emily, and the siblings bickered. 

Sungyoon let them be. But then, Grace asked Sungyoon a question.

“How will we get used to it?”

“We’ll make the grasslands our main hunting ground for now. We'll occasionally come to the plateau. When we do come here, we’ll go all out like today. We’ll use all our support magic and attack magic. We’ll first make sure we are as safe as possible, and then, we can gain experience by fighting the flying monsters.”

“Understood.”

Tim nodded as the representative of the two siblings.

“Honestly, we came to the Great Labyrinth too early. From all the rumors I’ve come across before, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Connectors who came in this early like us. We accomplished our intended goal of entering the Great Labyrinth. Let’s use this opportunity to slow things down a little bit.”

Everyone agreed with Sungyoon’s words. All of them had barely passed the requirement needed to enter the Great Labyrinth.

They had barely acquired three Jewel rank Gems. Moreover, some of these Jewel rank Gems weren’t ideal for use within the Great Labyrinth. The party needed to bolster the quantity and quality of Gems they possessed. 

All four of them had been tirelessly moving toward their goal of entering the Great Labyrinth. But now, they decided to slow their progress by a little bit.

***

Even though they were taking their time, the party was still making lots of money because this was the Great Labyrinth.

They hunted down the flying monsters in the plateau. Mainly, they waited for Devices and Gems to drop as they killed the monsters, and in the meantime, they collected the moonstones.

It was around this time when Chelsea contacted Sungyoon.

***

“Oh my! The celebrity is here.”

Sungyoon was greeted by those words. A researcher had guided him into the research facility's reception room, which he had visited once before. And upon entering, he saw Chelsea's face.

Chelsea looked the same as always. She was still wearing her large, thick old-fashioned glasses, and her dirty lab coat was rumpled. Despite all this, her beauty shined through. The dark circles under her eyes suggested that she had been working very hard in recent days. But that was the only thing different from her normal self.

“It has been a while, Ms. Chelsea.”

“Tsk. You're still no fun. It’s indeed been a while, Mr. Sungyoon.”

Chelsea pouted when she saw Sungyoon extend his hand without reacting to her teasing. She grumbled as she shook his hand.

Sungyoon saw a white-haired researcher standing next to Chelsea.

“Let me introduce you to him. He is Carl McGregor, the director of this research facility.”

“I’ve heard a lot about you. I am Director Carl McGregor. It is an honor to meet the hero of London.”

“You flatter me. Please just call me Sungyoon Woo.”

After the brief greetings, the three of them sat down.

“Why did you call me here?”

Sungyoon cut off any small talks and went straight to business. In some ways, his actions could be considered rude. However, it seemed McGregor liked this no-nonsense attitude.

“You're a straight shooter. I like it. This will make our conversation progress much faster. I’ll be direct with you. Our research facility would like to use a part of the Golem.”

Chelsea and McGregor looked very nervous. Sungyoon owned the Golem, so their research was contingent on his consent.

However, they were anxious for no reason. Sungyoon sounded very cool about it.

“Please do so.”

The two of them slumped in relief. It almost made them look foolish for worrying so much about it.

“… As I explained to you before, you really should be more sensitive to your rights as the owner of the Golem.”

“I’m reluctant to say this since I am meeting you for the first time. However, Ms. Strobe is right.”

An odd scene developed in front of Sungyoon. These two were the ones who were asking for permission to use the Golem, yet they were now lecturing him about being more jealous of his rights as an owner.

“Of course, I plan on asking for payment, and I would like an explanation on what you are planning to do with the Golem.”

It was enough to make the two back off. However, this didn’t change the fact that Sungyoon really wasn’t interested in how the Golem would be used.

Sungyoon felt a small amount of possessiveness about the Golem. However, he was ready to hand it over if for fair compensation from someone who really needed the Golem. He wasn’t too hung up on keeping it.

“Of course, I’ll give you an explanation. Firstly, we had analyzed the Golem from various angles. The first thing we analyzed was the fragments that broke off from the Golem. Let me explain the technique we used...”

“Director?”

Chelsea had to reign in McGregor.

“Jeez! I almost let my bad habit as a researcher take over me.”

McGregor looked embarrassed as he wiped his forehead with a handkerchief.

Sungyoon felt relieved. He really didn’t want to listen to which research methods they had used. Even if he were interested, he wouldn’t understand.

“You willingly handed over the Golem to us for research. But unfortunately, we gained almost no new information from our experiments. As researchers, our lack of results was embarrassing. Thankfully, we were able to discover one fact before our pride as researchers was really hurt.”

McGregor cleared his throat. He looked like a student who hadn’t slept for several days in order to write a research paper and was now about to hand in the paper to the professor. He looked like a chef about to present his new dish to a customer. The excitement and anticipation were evident in his voice.

“It's about the ore that makes up the Golem! The ore is capable of blocking magical energy! It can protect living organisms from the harmful effects of magical energy with the labyrinth!”

“That’s amazing.”

It truly was amazing news. However, Sungyoon was a Connector capable of walking through the magical energy. He could withstand the turbulent magical energy of the Mana Stream. So even though this news was amazing, he couldn’t muster any emotions beyond that.

Unlike Sungyoon’s dry reaction, McGregor looked excited.

“Yes. It's an amazing discovery! This will allow researchers to enter the labyrinths.”

Sungyoon showed some interest in those words. The research on the labyrinths had been stagnant over the years because the researchers couldn’t enter the labyrinths. Therefore, this discovery would present them with a way to overcome the obstacle blocking their progress.

“It's a worthy cause, and I'm willing to help. As I’ve said before, I’ll let you use the material if you provide adequate compensation.”

“Thank you very much. Also, I’m sorry about this, but may I ask you for another request?”

“What’s the request?”

“When we're ready to enter the labyrinth for research, can you guard us?”

The researchers had no abilities to fight, so of course, they needed an escort. Even if they were capable of withstanding the magical energy, they would be killed by the monsters. 

“Where do you plan on going?”

If McGregor suggested the Great Labyrinth, Sungyoon planned to immediately leave. Fortunately, McGregor had enough sense.

“The Great Labyrinth has the most appeal, but I know that isn’t possible. We plan on entering the Beginner’s Labyrinth.”

The dangerous and strong monsters within the Beginner’s Labyrinth were regularly culled. The labyrinth was also within Armstrong, so it was easy to access.

“We’ll match our schedule to yours, Mr. Woo. Please give us one week before you plan on leaving for Earth. Of course, you will be well compensated.”

‘I could do that….’

The request sounded reasonable.

Of course, they couldn't give adequate compensation. However, Sungyoon thought about the magical energy and the monsters appearing on Earth. In many ways, the world needed this research.

Sungyoon was leaning toward accepting their request. However, he couldn’t unilaterally make the decision.

“I have to discuss this with my comrades.”

“Please do so.”

McGregor smiled as he nodded.

***

After walking Sungyoon out, McGregor let out a sigh.

It was a sigh of relief.

He was worried that Sungyoon might turn down their request. However, Sungyoon had given his consent without so much as a fuss.

“What did you think about Mr. Sungyoon?”

Chelsea asked as she sat in the seat where Sungyoon had sat a few moments ago.

“He’s a good person. I was interested because I heard you were really into him. I can see why now.”

“Really into him! Who’s spreading such false rumors…!”

Chelsea stamped her feet as she hotly denied the allegation.

However, it was said that a strong denial actually meant a strong affirmation. 

That wasn’t true in most cases, but it was true for Chelsea.

‘What’s the point of denying it when your face is so red...’

At the very least, it seemed she was interested in Sungyoon.

“Alright, alright. He’s just a close friend of yours.”

He wasn’t going to fight her over this, so McGregor took a step back.

“Anyway, I’m really thankful to that young man. Is he a young man? I can’t tell the age of a Connector.”

“From what I know, he’ll be forty in a couple of years.”

“Ah. He's a young man.”

Considering McGregor’s age, forty could be considered young.

Chelsea, who had just turned thirty, shut her mouth. She chalked it up to the generation gap.

“I should buy you dinner sometime, Ms. Strobe. You introduced me to the famous hero of London. And as the rumors said, he has a good character.”

‘Mr. Sungyoon does have an upright character.’

However, was Sungyoon really deserving of so much praise from McGregor? Chelsea curiously asked McGregor.

“Does he really have good character?”

“Of course. But not everyone is like this. Most Connectors become quite twisted in their personality. It has to do with their environment and their fights against the monsters. Money is also one of the reasons. This is especially true for the Connectors who enter the Great Labyrinth! The Connectors who enter the regular labyrinths can’t offer much help since they are busy avoiding the Mana Stream. It's understandable. However, the Mana Stream is constant in the Great Labyrinth! Is it really so hard to take a picture for us within the Magical Void!”

It seemed McGregor held a grudge against some Connectors regarding his research. Still, he couldn’t vent about it in public. If the news of it got out, his career would come to an end. 

Chelsea blamed herself for asking this line of question. She just wished McGregor would quickly end his rant.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter