Chapter 201

Puhk!

Miyun threw her handbag on top of her bed in annoyance. Her pouch, handkerchief, portable battery, and other items fell out of her handbag.

“Those fucking bastards!”

In her fury, she bit her nails. She had left her home with a good and optimistic mood. However, she now felt as if someone had dumped a trash can over her.

Her anger didn't subside even though she threw her handbag. She raged for a long time before calming down.

‘Be patient. Be patient, Lee Miyun.’

Even though she was angry, she had to keep her wits about her. A massive amount of money was on the line.

Miyun went into the restroom and splashed water on her face. She finally felt like her normal self.

“Where did you go today?”

As Miyun exited the restroom, she was met by a question from her mother.

Half her mother’s hair had gone white, yet she had worn stylish clothes unbefitting her age. One could tell that Miyun hadn’t fallen too far from the tree. 

“I went out to meet my ex-husband.”

“Husband Woo?”

Her mother’s eyes twinkled.

“Husband? That bastard isn’t my husband.”

“Why isn't he your husband? He married you, and both of you brought our cute granddaughter into this world.”

After Sungyoon’s business had gone under, Shinhae had spent time with this very grandmother of hers. Of course, back then, neither she nor her other family members had shown any interest in Shinhae at that time.

Now that Sungyoon had made a comeback… Now that he had become more successful than he was ever before, Shinhae had become her precious granddaughter once again.

“It’s been a while since I’ve seen Shinhae. You didn’t bring her here? A child should be raised by both parents. Why don’t you guys get back together?”

“You should wake up from such false dreams. It will never happen.”

Of course, Miyun had thought about it too. Any woman would consider Sungyoon very attractive and appealing right now.

However, when Miyun recalled how Sungyoon had reacted to her, she knew that getting together him was impossible even if the sky fell down.

“False dreams? Is it because you asked for a divorce? A man shouldn’t be so petty about such a thing. A man is responsible for supporting his family. When he is incapable of doing that, divorce is inevitable; no parent wants their daughter to suffer. However, if a man regains his ability to support his family, he should come back and reclaim his family. That’s a given.”

If others could hear these selfish words, they would think the old woman had gone senile and lost her mind.

“You have to hold onto him with all your might. I heard Connectors practice polygamy. That's so shameful. Women will flock around him to get a piece of his wealth. You have to be on your guard.”

“I’ll take care of everything. Stop meddling in my business!”

Miyun shrilled at her mother, then slammed her door shut. Things were already too complicated, yet her mother was drinking the Kool-Aid.

“I’m saying this for your benefit! Look at how rude you're behaving! This is why you are in this mess! You couldn’t even wait for your husband to turn his life around! You bitch! You know your father’s business isn’t doing so well right now! You have to take a firm grip of your husband so that his money can be ours!”

Miyun's mother's yelling was so loud that their neighbors could probably hear her, but Miyun tried to ignore her. However, she couldn't turn a deaf ear to some of her mother's words.

Her father had expanded his business too fast, and his company had hit a very rough patch. Miyun was no longer getting any money from her father. In fact, they might try to take her money at this point.

‘More! I need more money!’

Miyun had received an advance payment from Jaeho, but she was no longer satisfied with that money.

She didn’t want her way of life to be ephemeral or that of a commoner.

A good house, good clothes, good food, and a good car were a must for her, and she wanted to live a life where she had everything.

Her gaze went over to her desk, and then to the bottom-most drawer, which was firmly shut under lock and key.

‘If I can receive some real estate in Armstrong...’

Miyun wouldn't mind even if she didn't get the real estate. The ‘contract’ was worth a lot to Sungyoon, and the probability that he would pay a lot of money to possess it was high.

However, Miyun had thought Sungyoon would be a pushover, and she was proven wrong. Her plan to extract money from Sungyoon didn’t look easy right now. 

Her mind was embroiled in great conflicts, and her eyes reflected that.

***

Jimin had previously said that she had made preparations. However, it wasn’t much. She had only focused on protecting Shinhae from Miyun.

However, her focus now also included bringing about the destruction of Jaeho and Miyun. Even if she couldn’t ruin them, she had to bring them so down that they wouldn’t dare to mess with Sungyoon and Shinhae. 

Miyun wouldn’t be too much trouble, but Jaeho, he was the president of a world-renowned company.

Even with Sungyoon's money and fame, Jaeho would be a tough nut to crack.

Of course, Sungyoon and Jimin were prepared to use all their wealth and personal connections. And if push came to shove, they were prepared to use physical force too.

However, they had done a little experiment and found out that Miyun still possessed a crucial card. Therefore, Jimin decided they had to let the situation develop for a bit.

‘Of course, I’ll set it in motion whatever I can do right now.’

At that time, Jimin’s smile had been so cold that Sungyoon had felt a chill down his back.

Sungyoon did as Jimin asked and decided to forget about Miyun and Jaeho for the near future. Jimin would do the rest for him.

If he thought about it, both of them had been lucky to meet each other. 

***

Although Sungyoon had planned to keep his visit to Earth very brief, he did his best to use some of that time to play with Shinhae.

On the day before his return to the Moon, he and Shinhae were again playing. Using crayons, Shinhae was drawing a figure on a white piece of paper, and Sungyoon was acting as the model. He was doing his best to properly do the job.

“Ah! Dad! You moved!”

“R...really?”

Sungyoon had defeated monsters, saved a city, explored labyrinths, and gained enormous wealth. Yet, he found modeling for his daughter laborious.

Thankfully, Shinhae allowed him to watch TV while he modeled.

Shinhae was like Vincent van Gogh before he had cut off his left ear. She looked as if she had been tormented by life and art. The little girl's attention was fully focused on drawing squiggly lines.

‘Huh?’

The light in Sungyoon's eyes changed so fast that it felt as if his soul had left his body. Shinhae also stopped drawing and looked up at the TV.

The channel was broadcasting a preview of a famous investigative journalism program in Korea.

‘Is it already being shown?’

A company had approached him for an interview not too long ago, and he had turned it down. Yet they were already going to air the episode so soon.

Sungyoon could only guess that most of the background work had been done beforehand and that his interview had been the only thing left.

This preview was for a program about Sungyoon. To be precise, it was an exposé on the relationship between Sungyoon, Jaeho, and Miyun. It showed how Sungyoon had been accused of committing fraud and incurred massive debt.

The sudden background music created a tense mood. The interviewees, whose faces were mosaicked and voices were disguised, appeared to discuss what had happened back then.

These people were probably from the same industry as Sungyoon and Jaeho, and they were privy to all the rumors regarding Sungyoon at that time.

“It is the bad ajussi.”

Shinhae pointed at the TV, toward Jaeho.

It was said that kids knew more than what the adults assumed them to. Shinhae had once been tricked by Jaeho because he had pretended to look out for her in various ways. And now, she really didn’t like Jaeho.

‘The production value is pretty high.’

The background, the music, and the testimonies blended in with each other and instantly created a serious mood.

This was the power of editing by a media company, and their ability to create a narrative. From what he saw in the preview, Sungyoon could tell that the story they were pushing was very close to the truth.

As the preview ended, Sungyoon turned away from the TV. This episode would cause great damage to Jaeho’s public image, but in the end, Sungyoon knew it lacked the final bullet.

‘Ms. Jimin will do a good job.’

He could only support her from the background, and he just had to lend a hand to her when she asked for help.

“Dad! You moved again!”

However, that was for the future. For now, he had to become a great model for his daughter.

***

‘In the end, it is being released.’

Jaeho closed his eyes. He was watching the same preview of the famous investigative journalism program on his large TV.

Even though he had done everything in his power, he had failed to stop the media and the public from taking interest in the Knight of London.

‘Thankfully, they couldn’t get an interview with that bastard Sungyoon. It's a stroke of good luck in the midst of misfortune..’

His media source had given Jaeho a heads up about Sungyoon's interview.

Thankfully, the priming powder that would cause the biggest explosion hadn’t been loaded. But, it didn’t mean Jaeho was in the clear.

The public was stupid and boorish. They were in their fantasyland trying to guess what had happened with Sungyoon while badmouthing Jaeho.

The story of the program seemed closer to the truth, but Jaeho didn’t think of himself as the source of his own problem. He laid zero blame on himself.

‘That bastard! Why couldn’t he have just died when he hit rock bottom? Why did he suddenly have to come back as a Connector!’

If Sungyoon had died, Jaeho wouldn’t have to face this predicament. Large companies had many skeletons in their closet, and Sungyoon would have been one of the casualties left behind by his company. His story would have been buried.

However, Sungyoon had become the hero who had saved London, and he had elevated Korea's prestige. And now, this obstacle named Sungyoon clutched at Jaeho’s ankle.

‘I can't let it end like this. I poured too much work into this company!’

Jaeho had already received a tongue lashing from his grandfather and father, and it meant that he was moving farther and farther away from his dream of becoming the successor of his family.

He needed to do something similar to stealing technology from Sungyoon to escape his troubles.

‘In the end, that’s my only choice.’

He thought about the new Lunar City still under construction.

***

The investigative journalism program about Sungyoon was aired after he returned to the Moon.

The episode had far-reaching consequences on Earth, and the reactions from the public were fierce.

The culprits who had dared to push the hero of Korea into misfortune had been revealed.

One of them was Jaeho. As expected, he became the center of widespread criticism and condemnation. The public boycotted any products produced by the Daesung conglomerate.

However, Jaeho stood strong.

‘It’s fine. There's no evidence. I don’t care if they badmouth me. They're only insignificant bugs.’

Jaeho’s company, Daesung Energy, refined moonstones and delivered it to the clients. Their main clients were power companies that didn't have direct exposure to consumers boycotting Jaeho.

However, this didn’t mean everything was fine.

The other subsidiaries of Daesung Conglomerate that had direct exposure to consumers saw their sales fall. Their reputations took a big hit.

Jaeho’s family and the Daesung group also fell under fire.

However, the entire conglomerate had gone into damage mitigation mode, so Jaeho thought he just had to ride out this storm, and his company would eventually go back to normal.

Unfortunately, a new problem fell into his lap.

Jungbum stopped their supply of moonstones from the Great Labyrinth to his company.

***

Currently, the supply of moonstones had fallen drastically. This was especially true of the moonstones from the Great Labyrinth. It could almost be called a shortage.

Some Connectors were barred from entering Armstrong because they were helping build the new Lunar city, and this included many high rank Connectors.

The new Lunar city had poached a lot of the Connectors who used to enter into the Great Labyrinth to promote itself.

Another major problem was the rights to the Personal Labyrinths. Armstrong city and the new Lunar city were fighting over that, and the countries affiliated with each city had also joined the fray.

The only place free of disputes was the Great Labyrinth within Armstrong. To be precise, it was useless to fight over it.

A Great Labyrinth also lied near the new Lunar city, but the city was still under construction.

Moreover, many Connectors now had to stay on Earth for an extended amount of time.

It all contributed to the supply of good quality moonstones from the Great Labyrinth diminishing sharply.

With the technology stolen from Sungyoon, Daesung had invested a massive amount of money to become a company specialized in refining moonstones from the Great Labyrinth. That was why Daesung Energy had taken a massive hit in recent days.

Since the supply was limited, the moonstones from the Great Labyrinth weren’t being exported by anyone.

For example, the moonstones acquired by Sungyoon’s party were sold only to Korea, England, and Canada. Moreover, Jungbum had maneuvered to become the biggest supplier of Great Labyrinth’s moonstones for Jaeho’s company. So when Jungbum stopped their supplies to Daesung Energy, it only made a bad situation worse.

Jaeho had known this was a possibility. However, it was impossible to prepare contingency plans to replace an irreplaceable resource.

Of course, this immediately caught the attention of the business world in Korea. Due to the recent program, everyone knew that Sungyoon and Jaeho had bad blood between them, and this situation meant that Sungyoon’s company had basically declared war on Daesung Energy.

This was all going according to Jimin’s plan. Of course, she didn’t expect this to topple Jaeho.

She was merely aiming at Miyun with this move.

***

All kinds of fireworks were going off on Earth, but Sungyoon was oblivious to it. He was back in the Great Labyrinth.

His party had barely got past the volcanic region, then they had charged past the lake region. Currently, they were on the 6th floor of the Great Labyrinth, the jungle.

“It’s so hot here!”

Tim sounded like he was dying as he brought down his ax. The vines obstructing their path were cut away. 

However, they only revealed more vines. 

“This place is killing me in a different way compared to the volcanic region.”

The volcanic region had been like an oven. This place was like a wet sauna. It was hot, but the heat was humid, and the cloying humidity was causing the party a lot of trouble.

It also didn’t help that they had just come from the lake region. The beautiful scenery, the ideal weather, and the cool breeze of that floor made this much worse.

Sungyoon was used to the high humidity of Korea in the summer, yet even he was having a hard time on this floor. Therefore, he could guess how miserable his other three party members.

Shwahhhhhhhhhhh!

Suddenly, the rain started to fall from the sky. It was such a heavy downpour that it stung their skins.

“It's a squall. This place has all kinds of stuff going on.”

Grace’s complaint in the rain perfectly reflected the mood of the party.

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