Sungyoon rested the whole week playing with Shinhae. He spent all this time with Shinhae instead of occasionally visiting the company as he did usually.
However, it was impossible for him to continue living his time on Earth like that. All high rank Connectors now had a duty toward their country when they were on Earth.
Sungyoon headed toward the address given to him by the government. It was a standby location. The navigation system guided him as he drove to a building located at the outer edge of Seoul.
This building had twenty floors. On top of its roof, it had a helipad, which allowed Connectors to be deployed in short order. The roof was connected to the twentieth floor from where the Connectors would have the quickest route to the helicopter.
Sungyoon looked at his watch. He still had some time. He parked his car in the parking lot and visited the cafe located on the first floor of the building.
After getting a coffee, he sat down at a table. It was pretty empty inside the coffee shop.
He took out his smartphone and opened the folder containing pictures of Shinhae. These pictures were from his recent trip to the zoo. Sungyoon was smiling while looking through the photos when it happened.
“Do you mind if I sit next to you?”
Sungyoon raised his head.
A woman was standing in front of him.
She wasn’t Korean. She had glamorous blonde hair and milky-white skin. Her curvy body was not something an Asian woman could match.
It didn’t matter if one was young or old. Her beauty and alluring smile would prompt a man to glance at her without realizing it.
Most men would agree to whatever she requested. It seemed the woman also assumed that she wouldn’t be turned down this time, so she went ahead to pull out a chair next to Sungyoon.
However, Sungyoon looked at his surroundings and then pointed toward the back table with his thumb.
“There are a lot of seats.”
After saying those words, Sungyoon went back to looking at the pictures of his daughter.
The woman’s eyes twitched ever so slightly. However, she desperately maintained the smile on her face.
“I want to sit here.”
“Is that so?”
Sungyoon suddenly stood up.
“Then you can have this seat.”
With that, Sungyoon left the cafe. The woman had a dazed expression on her face as she sat in the cafe staring at the door from where Sungyoon had left.
‘What’s going on these days?’
Sungyoon grumbled as he waited for the elevator.
After he had returned to Earth, the instances of women trying to get close to him had gone up for some odd reason. Moreover, all of them were eye-catching beauties.
Other men would think their dreams were playing out in real life, but Sungyoon found it annoying.
‘Is it because I’m too famous now?’
Sungyoon adjusted his hat and sunglasses. It seemed they weren’t that effective in hiding his identity.
It felt like turning on a mosquito repellent all night, yet finding out that the mosquitoes had still sucked the blood out.
However, unbeknownst to Sungyoon, a worldwide effort to try to acquire his genetic material was currently taking place. Countries were sending beautiful women toward him.
The Korean government had obviously noticed these efforts, but they realized the other countries weren’t trying to scout Sungyoon away from Korea. Therefore, the Korean government had turned a blind eye.
However, all of this didn't matter. Sungyoon abhorred beautiful women. He didn't even want to talk to them. That was why this honey trap was ultimately going to be an abject failure.
Sungyoon's distrust of beautiful women had been mending little by little because of Jimin, Jiyoon, Chelsea, Emily, and Grace. However, it felt he might relapse into distrusting any beautiful women if this kept up.
He didn’t want this kind of luck with women. He kept chewing his straw in annoyance as he rode the elevator up to his destination.
Sungyoon opened a semi-translucent door to enter the lobby. The modern interior of the lobby was quite striking, and it reminded him of a hotel.
“What brings you here?”
Two women stood up from behind the help desk and spoke in a respectful manner. Sungyoon took off his hat and sunglasses.
“Ah. Mr. Woo Sungyoon!”
The receptionists recognized him in an instant.
‘This means my hat and sunglasses are somewhat effective.’
His confusion deepened as he approached the help desk.
“I'm here for the standby duty.”
“Yes, Mr. Woo Sungyoon. I’ve checked you in for standby duty.”
One of the receptionists entered something into the computer, while the other walked out from behind the help desk and stood in front of Sungyoon.
“Please follow me.”
Sungyoon silently walked after her.
“Since this is your first time doing the standby duty, I’ll give you an explanation. When on duty, Connectors will be on standby here. If a monster shows up, you will be quickly dispatched to the site, and you have to defeat them. However, if there aren't any monsters, you're free to do what you want. You just can’t leave this place. We also forbid you from participating in activities that might impair your ability to fight, like drinking. Please keep this in mind.”
Then, the receptionist opened the door nearest to the corridor.
“This is your personal room, Mr. Woo Sungyoon. We will send someone to clean the room only once a day. Aside from that, this room is exclusively for your personal use.”
Sungyoon could see a large bed, a tv, a computer, a small fridge, etc. The room had all the basic household items.
‘This really is a hotel.’
Moreover, it looked a hotel with a lot of stars next to its name.
“This is your key. Please return it when your standby duty comes to an end.”
Sungyoon received the electronic key from her and shoved it into his pocket.
“Next, I’ll guide you through the facility.”
The receptionist started moving once again with Sungyoon in tow.
“This is the cafeteria.”
Sungyoon sensed a fragrant smell all over the room.
“It's open at every time of the day. You can also ask the chef to prepare any dish you want to eat. He’ll have it ready in short order.”
Sungyoon saw several people eating all kinds of dishes laid out in buffet style on a table. The facility was so good that he wondered if it was being wasted on the Connectors.
Then the receptionist continued to guide him to the next facility. He would have to mobilize through the twentieth floor, but it seemed the eighteenth floor was the one that was mainly used as the standby region. It had a gym, an arcade room, a bowling alley, pool tables, etc. It almost felt like a luxury resort. There was even a swimming pool on the rooftop. It was a bit too much for him, but Sungyoon could understand why it was like this.
‘They are forcing high rank Connectors to remain on standby. I can understand why they are making such an effort.’
Basically, high rank Connectors were all rich, yet they had to remain on standby. If the facilities weren’t great, most of the Connectors would become discontent.
This excessively nice facility was an attempt to appease these Connectors.
Sungyoon’s eyes shone when he saw a facility made for children.
“Is it ok if I bring my daughter here?”
“Of course. This place has guards and high rank Connectors on standby. There is no place safer than here. It isn’t as if monsters appear at a frequent rate. You can bring your child here, and you can treat this as a vacation if you feel like it.”
Of course, it wasn’t a true vacation for the high rank Connectors. The services here couldn't even come close to the luxuries they enjoyed on their vacations.
Still, Sungyoon had been disgruntled by the fact that he couldn’t freely meet Shinhae even when he was on Earth. So, this was very good news for him.
“All Connectors have to take the day shift for a month, and the night shift for the next month. You will be on standby for a total of two months. Of course, there is no rule saying you have to be awake on the night shift. If you hear the emergency siren while you sleep, you just have to wake up and go to the roof with your Gems and Devices.”
The rules were quite lax, and the facilities were great. Sungyoon was satisfied.
After showing him all the rooms, Sungyoon and the receptionist returned to the lobby.
“Oh my! You are heading out now, Mr. Kim Jinsoo?”
The woman called out to someone in a pleasant manner. The man named Kim Jinsoo was about to head out the door, but he turned around.
His face was plain, and his stature was short. He was barely over 160 cm.
“I’m going home since my standby duty has ended.”
Kim Jinsoo looked very young, but it was impossible to tell his true age since he was a Connector.
“This person is….”
Jinsoo became surprised at seeing Sungyoon. Sungyoon was basically as well known as an international movie star, so everyone had an easy time recognizing him.
“Let me introduce you to him. This is Mr. Woo Sungyoon, and he'll be starting his standby duty today. You know about him, right?”
“I’m Woo Sungyoon.”
Sungyoon was the first to offer his hand.
“This person is Mr. Kim Jinsoo. Currently, he is one of the Connectors on the nightshift.”
“I am Kim Jinsoo of Fabion. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
Kim Jinsoo shook Sungyoon’s hand. Sungyoon became a bit surprised on hearing the word Fabion.
“It's nice to meet you. I owe a great deal to the people of your company.”
“No. From what I understand, one of our own caused you harm first. ”
“It was merely the act of a person gone rogue.”
“Thank you for saying that. I am glad you think that way.”
The two Connectors exchanged a short handshake.
“When they said this standby duty was compulsory, I wasn’t happy. However, I found it to be pretty nice here once I started living here. If you need something, they immediately acquire it for you. You’ll find it comfortable here, Mr. Sungyoon.”
After saying those words, Jinsoo left through the door.
Someone who had lived here had given a ringing endorsement. It seemed it won’t be too bad to live here. Sungyoon decided he should make himself feel more comfortable for the duration of his standby duty.
* * *
‘So he’s Woo Sungyoon.’
Jinsoo sat in his car and thought about Sungyoon. He had seen Sungyoon on TV multiple times, so it wasn’t hard to recognize him.
Sungyoon was a 1st Gen Connector who had saved London and gained worldwide fame.
Jinsoo’s calm eyes started shaking.
‘He is a 1st Gen? He's only a 1st Gen, so why is he so strong? It makes no sense. The world has someone like me being bounced around to various locations, yet he became the hero of the world by saving London? What kind of nonsense is that!’
Jinsoo took out his phone from his pocket and made a call.
- What is it?
A cold voice came through the phone. It was the voice of Hyunwoo.
Jinsoo pushed down his killing intent and spoke.
“I met Woo Sungyoon.”
Hyunwoo's pleasing remark turned Jinsoo’s stomach inside out.
- What’s your impression now that you’ve met him?
“He nauseated me. I want to kill him. I want to cut his handsome face several dozen times with my razor blade.”
Hyunwoo let out an unpleasant laugh.
- That's so like you. You even want to kill me.
“I want to kill Mr. Hyunwoo? No way! I’m not some ingrate who would kill a benefactor.”
Jinsoo was lying. Hyunwoo was number one on his kill list.
- Kekekek. I’ll just leave it at that.
Hyunwoo spoke in a sarcastic manner.
- So how do you feel these days?
“I feel very good. It feels as if my body is on cloud nine. In fact, I’ve never felt so good before.”
Jinsoo didn't mention that he had thrown up any food he ate, that he had rolled on the ground while stopping himself from throwing up blood. He didn't mention how he had rolled around in his bed as he clutched at his heart.
Yeah, his body felt fucking great.
- You're such a liar.
“I’m not lying.”
- Understood. If you say it's true, it must be true. Take care of your body. Ah! You feel great, so I guess I don’t need to tell you this?
The phone call ended. Jinsoo put down the phone and let out a sigh.
His eyes suddenly widened.
He chewed on his lips as a moan escaped from his mouth. He clutched at his heart.
Jinsoo had felt plenty of pain last night when he had rolled around in bed. So he thought that he would be fine for another half a year, yet this had occurred.
‘This is all that bastard’s fault!’
Jinsoo thought about Sungyoon’s face.
Fortunately, the pain slowly receded.
He was a bit out of breath. When most of the pain was gone, he touched the region above his heart.
Badump! Badump! Badump!
It had screamed in order to make its presence known. His hand could clearly sense his heart beat.Previous Chapter Next Chapter