Chapter 197

He took out a beer can from the cold refrigerator and gulped it down. It was refreshing.

The coldness of the can stimulated his fingertips. There was nothing that could compare to this sensation. 

“Koo-ooh!”

Tim kept chugging the beer in front of Sungyoon as the carbonation tickled his throat. He had downed a 500 ml beer can in one go.

“As expected, beer hits a bit different on the Moon.”

The beer's taste wasn't any different on the Moon. If Tim had to describe it, the beer just put him in a different mood. Aside from his sense of taste, there was something else that accounted for this difference. He just couldn’t put a finger on it.

“How was life on Earth? Was it good?”

Sungyoon asked the Ross Siblings.

“It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. The standby duty was too boring. We ate, slept, and played around. It was ok for a day or two. However, it got boring really quick. A monster did show up once, and the situation almost made me glad to see its ugly face.”

Emily nodded at Tim’s words.

“How was your stay down there, Ms. Grace?”

“About the same. The only difference was the fact that I helped in the recovery efforts of London. So I was busier than them.”

It had been a while since the party had reunited, so Grace had come to Sungyoon’s company building.

The Ross siblings and Grace had a similar experience on Earth as Sungyoon had.

‘I guess it's to be expected.’

At least, Sungyoon had Shinhae by his side. He used his free time to play with her, but it seemed that the three of them didn’t have any diversion to reduce their boredom.

“What about you, Mr. Sungyoon? I heard you achieved great achievements up here.”

When Grace mentioned achievements, the Ross siblings tilted their heads in confusion.

“Achievements… I don’t think it should be called that. Did you hear about it from Sir Russell?”

“Yes.”

It seemed Russell had returned to Armstrong city a bit earlier than Sungyoon.

“What achievements? What did he do this time?”

The siblings were no longer surprised by anything related to Sungyoon, and they asked Grace while calmly drinking their beers.

“Wouldn’t it be better to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth?”

“… I guess that would be ideal.”

Sungyoon didn’t want Grace to tell them a third-person account where others might have exaggerated his actions. He didn’t want to be treated as an amazing hero, so he did his best to speak plainly about what he had gone through.

However, even if he didn’t exaggerate anything, Sungyoon had done something amazing.

In the beginning, the Ross siblings calmly listened. However, their jaws soon fell to the ground.

“… You easily destroyed the Super Golems? And these Super Golems were stronger than the one we faced?”

Tim remembered that he had been sent flying by a single punch from the Super Golem. So the story sounded absurd to him.

“Amazing! As expected of Mr. Sungyoon!”

Emily’s admiration for Sungyoon deepened.

However, she was also worried about him.

“Are you sure your heart is ok?”

“It's fine. When my senses aren’t awakened, it's fine. Moreover, the pain I feel after my senses awaken has decreased over time.”

“Still, shouldn’t you get regular checkups from the hospital? You never know what might happen.”

Emily was coming on very strong on this subject, so Sungyoon had to nod.

Usually, Emily wasn’t assertive. So when she did become assertive, it was hard to turn her down.

Unlike the Ross siblings, Grace had heard everything from Russell, so her expression didn’t change. She spoke up.

“According to Sir Russell, Armstrong city is going to publicize what had occurred. They are doing it to keep their rival city in check. They have no other event that they can use to raise the fallen status of Armstrong city.”

The higher-ups of Armstrong city inevitably made the political move. This meant his fame would spread further. Sungyoon let out a sigh.

Unlike Grace, Tim and Emily didn’t really care about politics. They were interested more in the other topic.

“So, you own this building now?”

Tim looked around.

Armstrong was still the only city on the Moon, as the other one was still under construction, and its real estate couldn’t be bought with money. So the value of a building inside Armstrong was priceless.

“Yes. I received this building outright. The rest of my reward will be settled after they tally up my account.”

“Ha ha ha! I'll have to tread lightly around Mr. Sungyoon!”

Tim laughed in a jovial mood. As he laughed, he looked to Sungyoon's side.

“Why are you so stiff?”

“Huh? What?”

A flustered voice came from someone next to Sungyoon. It was like watching a clumsy new private.

After finishing his trip in the Beginner's Labyrinth, Sukhwahn had come to the company building to rest. Tim had dragged him out to the group meeting. Since he was their comrade now, Tim wanted to become more familiar with him. However, Sukhwahn was having a hard time recovering from his strained nerves.

He was basically a chicken that had hatched from his egg not too long ago, while Sungyoon’s party raided the Great Labyrinth. In Sukhwahn’s eyes, they were like gods. This was especially true of the world’s most famous Connector.

Sukhwahn was already having a hard time behaving normally in front of Sungyoon, but now he was sitting in front of Grace, the beloved princess of Britain. She was also very famous. It made Sukhwahn even more nervous, and he had no idea if the beer was going down through his mouth or his nose. 

Moreover, he was still getting used to the price of goods on the Moon, so he couldn’t help but tally how much the food in front of him cost. All of these factors worsened his state of panic.

However, the others didn't pay attention to his nervousness. They were curious, and they started asking him questions.

“Which floor are you clearing in the Beginner’s Labyrinth?”

“S... second floor.”

Sukhwahn was working very hard to make sure his voice wouldn’t crack as he answered Grace’s question.

“Second floor…. Is the current Beginner’s Labyrinth different from the original one?”

“It must be similar, right? In our Beginner’s Labyrinth, it was pretty easy to tell that it was artificially made to be like that.”

The Ross siblings discussed the subject with each other. They also had junior Connectors in their last company. However, they felt a curious sensation when they realized that this junior colleague would be walking down the same road as them.

The Ross siblings asked many questions, and Sukhwahn stumbled over his words as he answered all of them.

“Is Mr. Sukhwahn aiming for the Great Labyrinth?”

Tim queried him.

“Yes. I want to go there because only the best Connectors can enter the Great Labyrinth.”

Sukhwahn's contract didn't force him to go into the Great Labyrinth. Jimin had firmed her resolve not to force Connectors to go into the Great Labyrinth. Sungyoon would be the last. So this desire to enter the Great Labyrinth was entirely Sukhwahn's own.

Tim heartily laughed.

“That’s right! All Connectors should set the Great Labyrinth as their goal! A man of great intellect joined our company!”

Everyone from their past company had laughed at the Ross siblings when they had proclaimed that they were aiming for the Great Labyrinth. So Tim really liked his new junior colleague. Emily felt the same way. On the other hand, Grace wanted to raid the Great Labyrinth, albeit for the good of the world, so she also held a good opinion of Sukhwahn.

And this was how Sukhwahn successfully got in the good graces of the Connectors within the company besides Sungyoon.

The reunion celebration lasted deep into the night.

***

Sungyoon’s party stood in front of the Great Labyrinth once again.

He had carried out missions for Armstrong city, and he had protected the people of Earth. However, Sungyoon's priority had always been raiding the Great Labyrinth.

“Please take this, Mr. Sungyoon.”

Grace said.

“He really is letting me borrow it.”

Sungyoon exclaimed.

“We have to increase the overall power of our party. It's a necessity, and Sir Russell has a very high opinion of you.”

Grace had presented Sungyoon a Device.

It looked like a normal bracelet-type Device. However, the color and the number of slots were beyond normal.

“It's a bracelet with fifteen Ruby rank Universal slots.”

“This is much better than what I had expected.”

“It really isn’t something one would lend out. However, you were adamant that you were only borrowing it, and in the eyes of Sir Russell, this Device isn't that valuable.”

“I see.”

Charlie Russell would only consider the stuff he used on a regular basis to be truly valuable. Those were off-limits.

“Nine slots are for your use, Mr. Sungyoon.”

Sungyoon transferred his main eight Gems from his brooch to the bracelet, and in the last slot, he equipped an Indigo rank strength-enhancing Gem. 

This meant he had six slots left.

However, as Grace had said, these six slots weren’t for Sungyoon to use.

“Please slot in two Gems from each of us.”

Grace removed two Gems from her Device and gave them to Sungyoon. Tim and Emily did the same.

This was a plan that Sungyoon had come up with. In the fights against the Super Golems, his Gems had gone through explosive growth. He could no longer be compared to his past self where he relied only on a single Gold Gem. Of course, this meant the power difference between him and his party members had widened.

So, Sungyoon had asked Russell for one of his Devices. It would allow Sungyoon to evolve the Gems of his party members.

Russell’s answer was the Device around Sungyoon's wrist.

Grace already owed a lot to Sungyoon, and this plan would mean an increase in Grace’s power. So, Russell hadn't hesitated in giving up one of his back-up Devices.

The party had discussed it earlier. Sungyoon would equip two Gems from each party member, and he would evolve them. The remaining nine slots were for Sungyoon to use however he wanted.

But the Gems Tim, Emily, and Grace handed over were low-rank Rainbow Gems. This way, their overall battle capabilities weren’t affected too much. On the flip side, it raised Sungyoon’s power by a small amount.

“Shall we head in?”

After finishing their preparations, the party once again stepped into the Great Labyrinth.

***

Sungyoon’s party moved quickly through the plain and the plateau. They arrived in the snowy fields, and a flurry of snow greeted them.

The snow captured their footprints. It didn’t take them too long to see monsters running at them.

A blue cold energy circled the Frost Wolves' bodies, and they revealed their sharp fangs.

The party got ready to face off against the monsters, and Sungyoon raised his sword.

Pah-jee-jee-jeeeeek!

Blue electricity flowed across the surface of his sword. It was a phenomenon that the rest of the Sungyoon's party hadn't seen before.

The blue sparks of lightning looked very dangerous.

Kyahhhhhhk!

The Frost Wolves started their attack, and the party got into their formation. Sungyoon swung his sword at the Frost Wolf rushing toward him.

Kwahhhhhhng!

An ear-splitting noise rang out. Sungyoon’s swords cleanly cut the Frost Wolf, and the monster's fur turned stiff and emanated a burning smell.

The charred Frost Wolf fell to the ground and sent snow flying into the air. It was an instant-kill.

Pah-jee-jeek!

As if it wanted to show off its own power, the lightning once again flowed across the surface of the sword.

‘It became amazing after increasing in rank.’

The amount of power difference between each Jewel rank was massive, and as the Gems reached the higher ranks, the difference became stark.

Sungyoon's past sword’s power was modest compared to the current sword.

In the past, the lightning would merely enter through the wound of the monsters and fry their insides. The current lightning was much more violent. It indiscriminately burned and destroyed everything, be it flesh, muscles, nerves, or innards.

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