Chapter 199

“… Isn’t this too excessive?”

Armstrong city had been hit with a double whammy. It had been attacked by the Golems, and a rival city had appeared. Yet, Armstrong would still be the only place churning out moonstones for the near future.

The city was no longer paralyzed, and it was slowly returning to normalcy. New owners had taken over the empty stores. The real estate in the city was still worth a lot.

“If I’m being honest, it is a bit excessive.”

The Mayor discreetly studied Sungyoon.

‘Didn’t they say his company went bankrupt when his friend betrayed him? It seems his wife was in league with his friend.’

Sungyoon had become the hero of Earth. Of course, countries, media organizations, and people on the internet were looking into his past.

The Mayor had access to his government’s information apparatus, so the information he had received on Sungyoon was a bit detailed.

‘He distrusts people, especially women.’

It was the reason the plan to get Sungyoon's genetic material through a honey-pot operation had been a massive bust from the beginning.

‘I probably would've turned out like him if it had happened to me.’

The Mayor sympathized with Sungyoon as a human being and a man. However, it wasn’t the time or place to reveal his sympathy. If he clumsily made it look like he was pitying Sungyoon, the pity might poison their relationship.

“Half of the reward is to make sure Mr. Sungyoon doesn’t move to the new Lunar city. We want to maintain a good relationship between Armstrong and you. The other half is a bribe. We would like you to participate in the mission to exterminate Golems in the Beginner’s Labyrinth.”

“You are giving me so much because you’ll be conducting a Golem extermination mission in the future?”

“Actually, we plan to clear the Beginner’s Labyrinth in two months.”

Sungyoon furrowed his brows.

“The Golem extermination mission ended just a month ago. Aren’t you rushing this too much?”

“A part of me indeed thinks we're being too hasty. This is embarrassing to say out loud, but this decision was politically motivated.”

An embarrassed expression appeared on the Mayor’s face for a brief moment.

Political motivation.

When this word was mentioned, Sungyoon inevitably thought about the other city.

“Does this have something to do with the new Lunar city?”

“Yes. They heard about us defeating the Golems to stabilize several Labyrinths, so they also immediately moved into action. It seems they’ve already destroyed Golems in several labyrinths.”

“They are really fast.”

It had taken Armstrong a decent amount of time to gather all their high rank Connectors.

However, the new Lunar city had cleared several labyrinths just after Armstrong city finished their mission.

“It seems someone leaked our tactic on how to defeat the Golems. The other city knew about how many Golems would appear, and they also knew that the Golems would weaken when Connectors exit the labyrinths. Russia and China used their unique advantage over us on their task. Of course, they had to give up a lot to their Connectors to make it happen.”

From the beginning, the new Lunar city had promised Connectors rights to own parts of the city. So this venture probably hadn't come at a cheap price.

“It feels like we did all the work, and somebody else got the credit.”

Sungyoon and the other Connectors had to put their lives on their line to find out how to defeat the Golems. Therefore, he was a bit despondent when he heard others had stolen their battle plan.

“Well, it's unfortunate that our information was leaked, but we did gain information of our own.”

A mischievous light flashed in the Mayor’s eyes.

“From what I heard, the Golems that the other side faced were very weak. It was the reason behind their rapid pace. Let's take the Golem from the Beginner’s Labyrinth that your party and Sir Russell faced. The Golems in the other city's mission weren’t as strong as this one. That's our guess right now.”

“Are you saying the strength of the Golems differ depending on where it is located?”

It was in no way good news. These Golems were weaker than the ones the Connectors faced in Armstrong, and it gave rise to the possibility that stronger Golems also existed.

Thankfully, the Mayor shook his head from side to side.

“We wouldn't go so far in making that assumption. However, we found something common between the Beginner’s Labyrinth and the labyrinths that were cleared by the new Lunar city.”

“What is it?”

“They are all near the Great Labyrinth.”

It seemed the Mayor was parched, and he drank some water from his cup.

“We chose labyrinths a bit further away from Armstrong for safety reasons. Unlike us, the other Lunar city cleared the labyrinths near their Great Labyrinth. The implication of this information made us all happy.”

While he couldn't defeat the Super Golems in the missions just by himself, Russell had handled the Super Golem from the Beginner’s Labyrinth very easily. Any of the highest rank Connectors could comfortably take on that Super Golem one-on-one.

“That means we'll have an easy time in the Beginner’s Labyrinth.”

Armstrong city was trying to prioritize safety. And one of the important steps to ensure that was eliminating all the Golems within the Beginner’s Labyrinth.

“That’s good news.”

Sungyoon was satisfied with that information. Even if he was basically the ultimate weapon against Golems, he preferred fighting against weaker enemies.

“Yes. This really is good news. This information had a large influence on why we made up our mind to carry out this mission within two months.”

“Were you able to gain any other information?”

Sungyoon wondered if Armstrong city had learned new information that would make it easier to defeat the Golems of the Beginner’s Labyrinth.

“There was no new information that’ll be helpful in our mission. However, we did learn about something else.”

A horrified look appeared on the Mayor's face, and he shook his head from side to side.

“Those bastards messed with their Great Labyrinth.”

“… You're saying they broke the wall of the Great Labyrinth to see if a Golem appears? Is that what you are saying?”

Sungyoon sounded like a person who couldn’t come to grips with reality after seeing something unbelievable.

“You're correct.”

The Mayor let out a sigh.

“I don’t know if they are amazing or stupid. Since their Great Labyrinth is a bit away from the site of their city, they had decided to conduct this experiment. I don’t know what they expected to appear when they did that...”

The Mayor shook his head side to side as he once again took a sip.

“It's good news for us. Since our Great Labyrinth lies within the boundaries of our city, we would never dream about conducting such an experiment.”

If things went wrong, a very powerful Golem or some other powerful mysterious being might appear. And if that happened, it would be the end of days for Armstrong city.

“So what was the result of the experiment?”

It was a crazy experiment. Sungyoon didn’t know if he should commend their bravery or laugh at their stupidity. Still, the information would be beneficial to Armstrong, and he was curious about the result too.

“They couldn’t destroy it.”

“They couldn’t destroy it?”

“Yes. As you probably know, anything that’s destroyed in the various floors of the Great Labyrinth recovers by itself. This holds true for floors like the grassy plains, the plateau, the snowy field, etc.”

Sungyoon nodded. He had burned the grass in the grasslands, exploded the surface of the plateau, and even melted the snow in the snowy fields in battles with monsters.

However, no Golems had appeared. Moreover, the environment had repaired itself.

“The walls of the Great Labyrinth encircles the floors like the grasslands, or they are located in the tunnels leading toward the next floor. The other city's Connectors used all kinds of methods, but they couldn’t destroy the walls at either location.”

“Did they hit the wall with high rank weapons as we did?”

“According to the information we received, they even used a Diamond rank weapon.”

Diamond rank.

It was the highest-ranked Jewel Gem.

The Jewel Gems had eight ranks, and the Rainbow Gems had seven ranks. The Diamond rank Gem was at the pinnacle of these fifteen Gems.

Even the highest rank Connectors had only one of these Gems.

‘The fact that even a Diamond Gem can't do anything to it means that the Great Labyrinth's walls can’t be destroyed with the power of a Connector.’

The revelation made it clear that Golems wouldn’t appear from the Great Labyrinth and lay waste to Armstrong.

“That’s quite fortunate.”

“Yes. It really is fortunate. The only thing we now have to do is defeat the Golems within the Beginner’s Labyrinth, and Armstrong will be safe.”

That concluded all the reasons the Mayor had called Sungyoon.

“Please contact me when it's time.”

“Understood. How long will you stay in the Great Labyrinth this time?”

“We'll be there for around a month.”

“Armstrong will contact you around the time when you come back out of the Great Labyrinth. Will you rest in Armstrong before heading back into the Great Labyrinth?”

“No. I've to go down to Earth for a couple of days. I have something I have to take care of.”

Sungyoon’s eyes turned sharp. The Mayor could sense something was wrong with Sungyoon's abrupt visit to Earth, but he didn't say anything as he led Sungyoon out of the room.

***

Sungyoon's return to Earth was an unplanned one, so he wasn't met with an army of reporters waiting for him.

He was happy to meet Shinhae after so long, but he didn’t have the luxury to relax and spend time with her. He and his party had to enter the Great Labyrinth soon, so he had to settle things quickly.

‘I have to end this before I go back.’

Sungyoon’s eyes turned sharp, and a killing intent appeared in them.

He entered a cafe with Jimin. The cafe wasn’t crowded, but Sungyoon didn't take any chances. He kept his sunglasses and hat on.

Sungyoon and Jimin burned time and conversed about random topics when a voice interrupted them.

“You guys are here already.”

Ooh-doohk!

As soon as he heard her voice, Sungyoon clenched his fists, and as if they wanted to express his anger, his fists made a terrifying noise.

Sungyoon slowly raised his head to look at the owner of the voice.

As always, she was dressed in fancy clothes. Her hands held a handbag that proudly displayed a luxury brand logo.

It was a newer handbag. It seemed she had bought a new one with the money she had gained by selling him out.

Sungyoon pressed down on his emotions and spoke.

“It has been a while.”

But he added another sentence at the end.

“I’m not pleased to see you.”

“Really? I’m very pleased to see you, Mr. Ex-husband.”

“Don’t start with that bullshit. Just sit down. I’m really holding myself back right now.”

Sungyoon felt his throat was burning. He opened the lid to his ice coffee and downed it in one go.

Crunch!

He chewed on the ice, and it seemed the action made him feel a little better.

Miyun sat down on the chair.

“It has been a while, right?”

Jimin asked, but Miyun didn't answer her. She just looked at Sungyoon and Jimin.

The two had been sitting shoulder to shoulder until Miyun had arrived.

“Are you in that kind of relationship already? I’m not sure if I should be congratulating you or not.”

Miyun had spoken in a sarcastic manner. However, neither Sungyoon nor Jimin reacted to her.

Sungyoon took off his sunglasses.

“Stop with the bullshit. Just tell me what you want.”

Miyun stared at Sungyoon’s face.

Before she had betrayed him, his face had been full of wrinkles, and he had a potbelly. However, that middle-aged man was nowhere to be seen.

Sungyoon now looked good enough to be called handsome, and Miyun could see that his body was fit through his clothes.

The Sungyoon she had known in her twenties had appeared in front of her. Moreover, his eyes were sharper than before. It was enough to attract glances from women.

She had thought he would hit rock-bottom and die after living a miserable life of looking after his daughter. But all her predictions had been completely off the mark.

Sungyoon had become world-famous. He was the ‘hero'.

Moreover, he had accumulated an amazing amount of money. According to the media, his net worth ranged from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Miyun unintentionally bit her lips. She had thrown away Sungyoon, but he had become the most successful person in the world. Miyun tried to maintain her nonchalance, but she felt aggrieved. She really was regretting her decision.

However, her pride wouldn’t let her reveal such emotions.

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