Chapter 181

“Thankfully, you are fine.”

Russell looked through the doorway to check up on Sungyoon and stroked his mustache as he entered the room. He then spoke as he looked at the people present in the room.

“Are you talking about what you’ll do from now on? Do you mind if I join in on the conversation?”

“Please join us.”

Sungyoon actually had a question he wanted to ask Russell, so he readily agreed to his request.

“Are you residing in this hotel too, Sir Russell?”

“No. I'm residing in the Armstrong building.”

Armstrong building was the crown jewel building of this city. It was located at the center of Armstrong. Sungyoon had had a chance to visit it when Hyunwoo had invited him to the hotel. As expected of one of the best Connectors, Russell resided in that hotel too.

“Is the hotel still functioning as before?”

“That place really is worth its price. The uneasiness amongst the staff is evident, but the service hasn’t dropped off yet.”

Russell drank the tea, which Sungyoon handed him. He then grumbled in a low voice that it wasn’t black tea.

“Do you know what caused this incident?”

“Well, I was able to attend a meeting with the heads of Armstrong city. I have a general idea of what went wrong.”

Since he was one of the top-ranked Connectors in Armstrong, the city leaders wanted his expertise in this matter. They had brought him in as a consultant.

“First, I know who caused this problem.”

The ears of Sungyoon and his party members perked up.

“The culprits are a Frenchman named Jean Fajardo and his party.”

“Jean Fajardo?”

Sungyoon mumbled. He had never heard of the name before.

“He's one of the high rank Connectors who frequent the Great Labyrinth. He isn’t on the level of Connectors like Sung Hyunwoo, Dennis Bruce, and me. However, he is skilled enough to consistently enter the Great Labyrinth. This holds true for his party members too. The problem is the fact that he's a glory hound.”

Russell frowned. His expression revealed that he acknowledged Jean's skill but didn’t like his personality.

“He would make sarcastic remarks about me because he was jealous of my title as a knight. I ignored him since he was a douchebag. But I never expected him to cause trouble like this. If I had known he would do this, I would've broken a couple of his bones.”

Russell clicked his tongue.

“You probably know what he looks like. He was the man that you guys saved from the Golem.”

“It was him?”

Sungyoon recalled the face of the man.

“Yes. The rest of his party was wiped, but he somehow survived. That's why he was able to tell his full account.”

Russell let out a sigh. The story told by Jean was that preposterous.

“You went into the Beginner’s Labyrinth with the researchers from the International Research Facility, and you found a new type of metal. Am I right?”

“Yes.”

“Jean had somehow heard about it, and he lured one of the researchers with money.”

“Wait a moment. Who did he lure? Was it the director of the researcher facility? Was it a woman?”

Sungyoon quickly asked. He was worried that the researcher Russell mentioned was someone he knew.

“No. The person was a man, and he wasn’t the Director.”

Sungyoon let out a sigh of relief.

At the very least, the two people who he was closest to weren’t involved in this debacle.

Of course, it couldn’t be guaranteed that the two of them had got out of this widespread destruction unharmed.

‘I’ll have to check up on them.’

Sungyoon gestured Russell to continue speaking.

“They lured the researcher because they wanted him to guide them to the metal you guys found.”

They had found veins of metal in the Beginner’s Labyrinth, and the Golems had appeared not too long after.

Sungyoon came up with a fairly convincing conjecture. 

It was a very boring and unimaginative conjecture.

Sungyoon then asked as if he really wanted Russell to deny it. 

“There is no way they went in to take the metal, right?”

“Of course they did.”

Sungyoon felt dejected. He had given such stern warnings on how they shouldn’t damage the wall of the labyrinth, yet someone had gone through with it. Someone had screwed up.

“Did they not hear about my warning? Also, we had no idea what the metal was, so why did they go out of their way to excavate it?”

“I already told you. Jean is a glory hound. He wanted to earn the honor of being the first one to acquire the rare metal. Moreover, he knew about your warning. He just assumed you were being dramatic by exaggerating the dangers. He based this on the fact that you only recently entered the Great Labyrinth. He thought he would be able to contend against the Golem.”

The more Sungyoon heard, the more absurd it got.

“Well, he's skilled. He somehow was able to defeat the first Golem. However, when he took down the first one, more appeared.”

Russell then added one more piece of information.

“It was a group of Golems.”

“How many were there?”

“Eight normal Golems. Then there were...”

Russell paused for a brief moment before continuing.

“Two Super Golems.”

Just one of those monsters would give Sungyoon nightmares, yet two had shown up.

“He’s lucky to be alive.”

“He is.”

“What happened to the rest of the Golems?”

“Other Connectors took down two more normal Golems. The rest went back into the labyrinth.”

“They went back?”

“Yes. Their actions were cut and dry. Unexpectedly, they weren’t interested in harming the people who were running away. Some people got swept up in the fight, but the Golems never initiated the attack. The Golems attacked only if the Connectors attacked. They were only after Jean Fajardo and his party members.”

Sungyoon gained some insight on the principles guiding the Golem’s actions.

“So they went for those that damaged the labyrinth and those that attacked them. The target of their attacks can be classified into those two groups. Am I right?”

“That’s right.”

“We got swept up in this mess because we attacked the Golem that was trying to attack Jean Fajardo.”

“Probably.”

“… We should've just tossed him to the Golem.”

Russell let out a belly laugh.

“Still, we found out why this all happened thanks to your actions. He might be trash, but you did save a life.”

Russell consoled Sungyoon.

“Also, I’m sorry to tell you this, but we handed over all the Golems to the research facility. We should have asked your permission before we did it.”

Sungyoon’s party had defeated one normal Golem, and Sungyoon had applied the finishing blow to the Super Golem. Of course, they had the rights to those two Golems.

“You still own them. You should visit the research facility. They are conducting experiments on the Golems right now.”

“Understood.”

“Also, I wanted to ask you something.”

Until now, Russell had conversed with Sungyoon in an amicable manner. However, his eyes now turned sharp.

“What was that movement you displayed when you killed the Super Golem?”

In the last moments of the fight, Sungyoon’s movement had transcended his capabilities. In fact, Sungyoon wanted to ask Russell about it. So he explained what had occurred and turned the question back on Russell.

“Have you heard of such a phenomenon happening before, Sir Russell?”

“Hmmm.”

Russell fell deep within his thoughts as he stroked his mustache. However, he shook his head from side to side in short order.

“I’ve never heard of it happening before. Your sword is a Gold rank sword?”

“That’s right.”

Russell had fought against the Super Golem. There was no way a Gold rank weapon could cut through the Super Golem as if the Golem were made of butter.

It meant something had strengthened Sungyoon’s attack.

“What did the hospital say?”

Russell's question wasn't directed at Sungyoon.

Grace, who had been by Sungyoon’s side through the whole ordeal, answered.

“Nothing is wrong with him, but it was only a cursory examination. A thorough examination has to be done at a later date if we want more detailed information.”

Currently, the hospital on the Moon was swamped with injured people from the recent incident.

At a cursory glance, Sungyoon looked fine. The hospital couldn’t divert their manpower and resources toward a healthy individual. So Sungyoon was labeled as a low priority, and his tests were pushed to the end of the line.

“Mmm. I see. I’ll ask around about this.”

Russell's precious Grace was in Sungyoon’s party, and Sungyoon was the savior of England and London.

Sungyoon had displayed movements that shouldn’t be possible at his level, so Russell was suspicious for a brief moment. However, he decided to trust Sungyoon.

“How’s your heart?”

“It's fine now. It almost makes me wonder if I imagined that pain.”

Sungyoon placed his hand on his heart. His heart still didn’t beat. He had clearly felt it beat during the fight, but it almost felt like an illusion to him now. No, there was a good chance that he had imagined it. That was what Sungyoon thought.

“Alright. I’ll be leaving now.”

Russell got out of his seat.

“What do you guys plan on doing? You probably can’t head down to Earth for the near term. Should I intervene on your behalf?”

If it were Russell, he could acquire tickets for the spaceship. He had fame, fortune, and political power.

However, Sungyoon shook his head.

“We plan on resting on the Moon. If nothing is wrong with me after a thorough medical examination, I want to attempt the Great Labyrinth once again.”

“You never change.”

Russell liked this characteristic of Sungyoon. He then laughed as he exited the room.

***

Sungyoon took a hard swing with his halberd.

Suh-guhk!

A Slash Cat had been rushing him. His halberd cut its claws and body into half, and he slightly moved to dodge the blood. Then, he experimentally swung his halberd a couple of more times.

“Are you ok?”

Emily stood in the rear. She asked with worried eyes.

“Nothing is out of place. In fact, I feel stronger than before.”

He had waited a couple of days for a thorough examination. Its result was that nothing was wrong with him. So Sungyoon and his party decided to enter the Great Labyrinth once again.

Most high rank Connectors were shaken right now, so they were hesitant to enter the labyrinths. However, Sungyoon’s party wasn't like that. Their desire to challenge the Great Labyrinth was amazing in itself.

However, they had to confirm that Sungyoon was really ok. So they had decided to enter the Beginner’s Labyrinth before heading to the Great Labyrinth. They wanted to monitor Sungyoon’s status.

Of course, they were extra careful not to damage the labyrinth.

‘It cuts much better now.’

When the color returned to his overclocked Gems, Sungyoon couldn’t hide his surprise. 

All the Gems slotted in the Device with the evolution Gem had evolved.

His Platinum rank armor rose to Jade rank. His shield and sword rose to Platinum rank. The Rainbow rank Gems had evolved too. The Red rank halberd became a Silver rank Gem. The Orange rank cape and the strength-enhancing Gem rose to Red rank.

It was an unexpected harvest. Sungyoon had hit the jackpot.

‘As expected, it happened because of killing the Super Golem.’

His Gems had gone through rapid growth. It was straightforward proof that the Super Golem had been a monstrous foe.

“I think we can go back to the Great Labyrinth now.”

Sungyoon spoke. His party had monitored his status for the past three days. They would just waste time if they stayed here any longer.

His party members agreed with him, so they exited the Beginner’s Labyrinth.

“… I never expected things to change so much in just one week.”

Tim sounded dejected as he saw the scene in front of him from the labyrinth’s entrance.

Sungyoon looked around. The Beginner’s Labyrinth had always been a crowded place, but now, the number of people here had visibly shrunk.

The party moved toward the heart of the city to enter the Great Labyrinth.

The city was quite bleak now. Most of the stores were closed, and the streets were all empty.

The buildings that couldn’t be recovered were left alone as rubbles. The barriers that had come down to quarantine different sections gave the city a desolate look.

It was the aftermath of the attack from the Golems.

“Do you think this place will go under like this?”

Emily sounded a bit worried.

Her worries were well-founded. The current city didn't look like a normally functioning city in any way.

Since the safety of the residents couldn’t be guaranteed, this was the inevitable result. The fact that the space lay just beyond the outer wall of the city worsened the situation.

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