Chapter 196

Sungyoon sat in his seat and checked his equipment.

In the Golem extermination mission, he had gained many things. First, he received real estate in Armstrong. Then, since he had killed many Super Golems, he was told that he would be receiving a lot of additional rewards.

He had picked up information about the Golems and the Super Golems, and he had also learned a little bit more about his mysterious power.

‘Then there’s the Gems….’

In the past, all his Gems had evolved from just killing one Super Golem. This time Sungyoon had killed a group of Super Golems. 

Of course, his Gems went through explosive growth.

‘Still, isn’t this a bit too much?’

Until now, Sungyoon had been growing at an abnormal rate. However, this was too much even for him. It made him question if this was really ok.

‘Now I have...’

His highest rank Gem was his Evolution Gem that was a Ruby rank Gem. His ‘Amplification Gem' and 'Full-body Armor and Shield Gem’ were Jade rank Gems. His Sword, Halberd, Red Cape, and the Strength-Enhancing Gems were Platinum rank.

All of them had been Jewel rank Gems originally.

However, Sungyoon possessed a Brooch with eight Ruby rank slots, and his Gems had been evolving too fast. So he had taken out the bracelet with two Platinum slots and two Gold slots and stashed it away as a backup. His seldom-used Red rank ax, which was the highest ranked Rainbow rank Gem, was raised to Platinum rank. His Silver rank Gem was raised to Platinum rank. Then there were the ‘Sense enhancement and strength enhancing’ Gems, which had been Purple rank Gems. They were now Gold rank Gems.

‘The evolution of the Rainbow rank Gems went way too fast.’

He had skipped two to three ranks each time. The speed was shocking. However, the evolution speed of the Jewel rank Gems had drastically slowed as their ranks increased.

Sungyoon slotted the Gem Evolution, Jewel Amplification, Full-body armor, Shield, Sword, Halberd, Ax, and Hammer Gems into the Brooch. He slotted the Cape, Gem two Strength Enhancing Gems, and the Sense Enhancing Gem into the bracelet.

Sungyoon’s fighting style depended on switching weapons using his fast Gem activation speed.

This was why he determined it would be most advantageous for him to evolve his weapons and shield.

At this point, he had pretty much caught up to the high rank Connectors who had participated in the Golem elimination mission. Of course, this would allow him to clear the labyrinths more easily.

‘The problem is the power difference between me and my party members.’

His party members hadn’t reached their limits yet. If they worked diligently to acquire good Gems, they’ll reach his level at some point.

‘I could evolve their Gems.’

However, he had to discuss this with them first.

‘It is about time for me to leave too.’

At some point, Sungyoon had become the ultimate weapon against the Golems. So the researchers had pushed hard for him to stay behind. Since he still had some time until his party members would arrive on the Moon, he had decided to agree to their request. However, now, it was time for him to return to Armstrong.

‘They should be fine now.’

The Golems no longer appeared in the labyrinths, and the researchers would return to Armstrong city soon.

They had already gathered many samples, and they were under financial pressure. Armstrong couldn’t continue to keep so many Connectors on their payroll.

Sungyoon went to look for the Director. He had to give a report to the Director since the Director was in charge of investigating the labyrinth.

The Director and several researchers practically had their faces against the wall as they studied it. Sungyoon approached them, but they didn't show any reaction. 

Sungyoon lightly cleared his throat.

“Huh? Ah. It's Mr. Woo. What can I do for you?”

The Director moved away from the wall. However, his eyes remained stuck on the wall.

His dedication to research was astounding. The other researchers had reacted to Sungyoon clearing his throat, but they went back to examining the wall once again.

“I’m about to head back to Armstrong.”

“Ah. Is that so? I guess it's already time for you to return to Armstrong. Will you be leaving immediately?”

“No. I plan on staying another day.”

“Thank you for everything. I’m not sure it's appropriate for me to say this, but I would like to thank you as a representative of Armstrong.”

“It was nothing. In fact, I wonder if I gained more from this venture than you.”

“You worked hard for our research… No, you embraced the opportunity to help Armstrong city when it was in peril.”

“You almost revealed your true feelings.”

The Director laughed out loud in embarrassment.

“So how’s your research going? Is it going well?”

When he heard Sungyoon’s questions, the face of the jovial Director stiffened. He let out a sigh.

“If I’m being honest, it isn’t going well.”

“Didn’t you gather a lot of samples?”

“That's about all we accomplished. Of course, it's a good thing that we acquired a lot of samples of the Golems. However, we quickly found out that the wall samples were unexceptional.”

Sungyoon was surprised. The wall boasted extreme sturdiness, and it was capable of deflecting all high rank spells. It couldn’t be cracked with weapons under a certain rank, yet the Director called the samples unexceptional.

‘Is it because it's too hard to analyze?’

Even if it was the case, the Director wouldn’t have used the word ‘unexceptional'.

“Those samples are worth nothing. It might be useful for astronomy, but it holds no value as a sample for studying the labyrinths. It's something easily found on the Moon. The samples are regular rocks.”

“… Only a very high rank Connector could excavate those samples, yet you're saying the wall is just made out of regular rocks?”

“I heard about what happened. I do plan on researching the subject further. However, I don't think the research will bear much fruit. There must be a different reason why it takes a high rank Connector to excavate this common rock. I believe it has something to do with the flow of magical energy within the labyrinths. That is my theory.”

The Director's words were very surprising.

“Moreover, there are no ores here. This time, we thought we would be able to gather more samples of the ores.”

The discovery of the ore had led to the destruction in Armstrong city. It was why they had encountered the Super Golems. It was why the second Lunar city was being built. The ore that was found in the Beginner’s Labyrinth was the root cause of recent events.

However, they were unable to find any ores in the labyrinths that they had investigated so far.

“It isn’t as if you finished investigating all the labyrinths yet. You might still find some.”

The Director nodded.

The Director could see a thread of hope, but he had no idea if that hope could come to fruition.

“Oh my! I unnecessarily showed you an unsightly side of me. Anyways, I will never forget your contribution. Please have a safe journey.”

“Thank you.”

After he shook the Director’s hand, Sungyoon left him behind.

He then said goodbye to all his acquaintances. They were all the top Connectors of their respective countries, so there was no downside to making personal connections with them.

It was as if Sungyoon's instinct as a businessman was revived, and he inwardly let out a bitter laugh.

“Ah. You are leaving now?”

Hyunwoo had left, but Jinsoo, who was a member of Fabion, remained behind.

“Yes. I have to raid the Great Labyrinth once again with my party members.”

“I see. I was ordered to stay here, so I can’t leave.”

‘Son of a bitch! He’s so lucky! That bastard Sung Hyunwoo! Why did he leave me here?!’

As always, Jinsoo’s inner thoughts didn’t match his outwardly smiling face.

“If you don’t mind me asking, which floor of the Great Labyrinth is your main hunting ground right now?”

“We are on the third floor.”

“You're on the snowy fields. So you're still around the entrance.”

Jinsoo puffed out his chest. The famous Knight was raiding a floor that was worse than his. Jinsoo felt a depraved joy in his heart.

“Mmm. Please don’t take this the wrong way. Don’t underestimate the Great Labyrinth. After you get past the plains, plateau, and snowy fields, you’ll have to go through the volcano, lake, jungle, island, swamp and the desert. These nine floors are considered to be the initial floors of the Great Labyrinth. We operate in the true Great Labyrinth, which is deeper than those initial floors.”

Jinsoo felt superior so he spoke about it in a proud manner. Then he observed Sungyoon’s face. He wanted to see Sungyoon’s face crumple from his pride being hurt.

“I know you're experienced in this manner. Thank you for the warning.”

Jinsoo’s expression soured when Sungyoon gave a heartfelt thanks. Sungyoon’s actions made him look like a very petty loser.

“Mmm. If it’s you...”

This time he was trying to act magnanimous. He was about to give a compliment when it happened.

“Mr. Sungyoon!”

Someone called out Sungyoon, and Jinsoo shut his mouth.

It was Chelsea.

“I heard you're heading back?”

“Yes. It's about time when the others will be coming to the Moon.”

After answering Chelsea, Sungyoon turned toward Jinsoo once again.

“Were you about to say something?”

“No, it's nothing.”

‘Shit! He even has a beauty by his side during a mission...’

In this mission, Chelsea had gone out of her way to look after Sungyoon. When Sungyoon had felt a pain in his heart the first time, she had stuck close to him and monitored his health. It seemed she was quite worried about him.

Of course, the fact that she was interested in Sungyoon was one of the reasons she was so worried about him.

“It seems she has some business with you. We’ll meet again if the opportunity arises.”

“Yes. I’ll see you at a later time.”

When Jinsoo quickly got out of there, Chelsea moved up next to Sungyoon in earnest.

“How’s your heart? Is it ok?”

As expected. Sungyoon let out a bitter laugh.

“I’m fine. That power doesn’t come out unless I face off against the Golems.”

Other 1st Gens had felt this sensation fighting normal monsters, but it had been a random and rare occurrence. For some odd reason, Sungyoon only felt the sensation when he fought the Golems.

Chelsea stared at the part of Sungyoon’s chest, where his heart would be. However, she couldn't do much for him.

She inwardly had some regrets about her field of study. Maybe, she should have studied biology.

“Still, you should really be careful. There isn’t much known about the anatomy and physiology of Connectors.”

“It's something hard to do as a Connector. However, I will try my best to be careful.”

“Good. Let’s have some drinks later on. I’ll have to focus on my research for a while.”

Until now, the researchers had conducted their research within the research facility in Armstrong city. However, they now had six labyrinths they could use for their research. They just needed to hire some decent Connectors for protection.

The researchers would probably spend a lot of time within these labyrinths.

“They said they’ll call me when they will clear the Beginner’s Labyrinth. I’ll see you then if you have some spare time.”

“Mmm. That sounds reasonable. Alright. I’ll see you then.”

The two of them conversed a little bit more. Chelsea wanted to talk to him more, but she had come here for research. She couldn’t continue to have a private conversation with him, so she returned to her fellow researchers.

Kyaa-ahk!

At that moment, a monster’s cry rang out.

Sungyoon looked at the source of the sound. A low-rank monster was mindlessly charging toward them.

All the Connectors looked annoyed by the appearance of this monster.

Sungyoon signaled to everyone that he'd take care of it.

Suh-guhk!

He didn’t need any fancy movements. Sungyoon just went through the motion as he cut down the monster. Then he tried swinging his sword a couple more times through the air.

He had tried to assure Chelsea with his words, but he was quite worried about his own power and body

If he could use this new power and senses freely, it would help greatly him in his goal of clearing the Great Labyrinth. That was a guarantee.

Sungyoon put away his sword.

‘I’ll have to hunt monsters and try to awaken that sensation while fighting them. I’ll also have to look up 1st Gen Connectors who felt the same sensation as me.’

Sungyoon turned around and returned to the other Connectors.

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