There was something about being in a foreign land that made people's hearts flutter. This was especially true for those that lived in Seoul.
The party walked down the road at night while gazing at the bright stars and the Milky Way.
“It has been a while since I could watch the stars like this. It's very pretty.”
“Don’t you work on the Moon as a researcher, Ms. Chelsea? You should have gotten a lot of opportunities to see the stars.”
“You really don't know anything, Mr. Sungyoon.”
Chelsea wagged her finger.
“There is a clear difference between watching the stars from space and from Earth. They both evoke completely different emotions.”
The others nodded at Chelsea's words.
Sungyoon and his party were heading toward Lee’s house. However, even though he had accepted Lee's invitation of his own volition, Sungyoon looked disappointed. He kept looking backward.
Jimin let out a sigh and said.
“It is just a couple of hours. You're usually separated from her for a longer period, so why are you acting this way today?”
“That’s for work, so it can’t be helped. But we're on vacation. What if Shinhae wakes up? What if she becomes disappointed by her father's absence?”
Shinhae and Jiyoon were not going to the dinner. The little girl had been tired from swimming all day, so had gone to sleep, and Jiyoon had stayed behind to look after her.
“Shinhae told you she was tired and wanted to sleep. It's true that she doesn’t like being separated from you, Mr. Sungyoon. However, she’s not the type of girl to cry without a good reason. Don’t worry about her.”
Shinhae had spent a lot of time away from Sungyoon, so she did become lonely easily. However, she had also developed an independent streak thanks to this experience. And even if Shinhae were to look for her father on waking up, Jiyoon was there to give an explanation. Shinhae would be disappointed, but she would understand the situation and wait for her father.
“If you're like this right now, what will you do when she gets married?”
Jimin spat out her words.
Sungyoon came to a stop. His head moved in a mechanical manner as he looked at Jimin.
“You don't have to react in such a stereotypical manner. Stop it.”
Jimin shook her head from side to side and walked forward. The others let out a burst of bitter laughter.
Lee’s house was located atop a hill in an isolated location, so the road was quiet and didn't even have proper illumination. It was a scary environment, but none of them felt fear. The world-famous Knight and his party had negotiated with their countries, and they were allowed to carry their Devices and Gems. Since they were fully armed, they had no reason to be afraid.
The party stopped walking. They heard a pretty large explosion and saw flames reaching high in the air.
By the location of the flames, the party could tell that the explosion had occurred at their destination, Lee's house.
When Grace called out his name, Sungyoon immediately increased his speed.
“The two of you should accompany Ms. Jimin and Ms. Chelsea!”
Since these two couldn't fight, Sungyoon left them in the care of Grace and Emily. Then, like a bullet, he shot forward toward the fire. As he moved closer to the red conflagration, the smell of smoke got thicker. So he put more strength into his legs.
When Sungyoon arrived at Lee’s house, he saw a large flame dancing and engulfing the picturesque white bricked house. It was a horrifying dance expressing the devil’s delight.
Sungyoon was about to check if anyone was inside and save them, but before he could do it, something else caught his attention.
- Hmmph! Your resistance is futile.
His eyes clearly saw a monster.
This monster was much larger in size than a human. Horns, wings, and black needles were all over its body. It couldn't be anything other than a monster, but...
Of course, monsters were incapable of speaking as they didn’t possess a rational mind. However, the monster in front of him had spoken. This was his first time seeing a monster capable of speech, so Sungyoon was taken aback.
‘Did this guy do all this?’
Sungyoon looked between the burning house and the monster. He couldn’t fathom the identity of this being, but one thing was for sure. It was not to be underestimated. Sungyoon quickly took out his weapon.
- Some poor bastard came in. I guess he doesn’t value his own life.
The monster already knew Sungyoon had arrived on the scene, so it didn’t look surprised. It turned toward Sungyoon, while Sungyoon wondered how to respond when meeting the first monster capable of speech.
He didn't know whether to immediately attack it or ask it a question. While Sungyoon was having a hard time making up his mind, Kevil’s eyes widened.
- What the hell? This guy is better than this one!
The delight in its voice was evident. Kevil then unloaded something from its shoulder and carelessly threw it aside. Sungyoon finally realized Kevil had been carrying Lee. The old Connector was still alive since he was groaning. But Sungyoon could tell he was in a rough state.
Lee was missing an arm and a leg, and his entire body was coated in blood. Sungyoon could even see bones sticking out the region where the limbs had been severed. The version of Lee, who had been deeply moved by meeting Sungyoon, could no longer be seen.
This monster had attacked Lee for some reason and set his house on fire.
Sungyoon raised his sword and shield. He had no idea how strong the monster was, so he overclocked his Gems.
“Did you do this?”
Sungyoon's voice was low and calm. However, anyone familiar with him would have heard the suppressed rage in his voice.
However, Kevil didn’t respond.
-Ke ke ke! It's really hard to find sacrifices. I can’t believe a good one just happens to be nearby. I’m really lucky on my first expedition!
“I asked if you did this.”
Kevil ignored Sungyoon’s words once again.
Kevil took a stride, and Sungyoon raised his shield in preparation for the attack.
No, he was trying to raise his shield.
Sungyoon had no idea what had just happened when his eyes shot open.
As if a groan had risen up from the deepest part of his body, Sungyoon's entire body hurt.
If he were a normal person, he would've died from the breathlessness due to the pain.
- Huh? Did you regain consciousness? You're pretty amazing.
Sungyoon heard an ominous sound and shook his fuzzy head. As his eyes came into focus, he looked ahead.
The demonic monster was approaching him.
Sungyoon tried to get up, but his body wouldn’t move. So he looked down.
That was the only phrase that could describe what he saw.
All his limbs were broken, and they were pointing at odd angles. The middle region of his armor had been destroyed, and he could see his chest caved inward. His ax and his shield lay in the distance.
A metallic taste rose up into his mouth, and Sungyoon threw up. Red blood flowed down his lips. He was sure his organs had been damaged. Sungyoon realized that he had been hit by the monster.
However, Sungyoon didn’t remember what kind of an attack it was, and how had he received it.
- If you had stayed unconscious like that guy, you could have avoided feeling the pain.
Kevil spoke in a sarcastic manner. Sungyoon ignored the pain as he moved his broken hand and tried to activate his healing Gem. His twisted limbs returned to normal, and the pain slowly dampened.
- Oh ho! You're different from that trash over there. I can see why you give off a strong scent.
Strong scent! It was an odd choice of words, but Sungyoon couldn’t afford to pay attention to what the monster was speaking. He had to either defeat it or run away.
Sungyoon activated his spells.
Massive gravity hit Kevil.
At the same time, spikes made out of rock shot up from the ground. These spells were much weaker compared to what they were on the Moon, but Sungyoon couldn’t be picky.
He got up and immediately moved away. His body still ached, but he didn't have the luxury to rest. His sword and shield re-appeared.
The rock spikes surrounding Kevil crumbled into pieces, and a long whip of fire shot toward Sungyoon.
Sungyoon bent down, and the attack grazed past above him. However, it was enough to cause damage, and the effect of the attack was astonishing.
The whip had been flying in the air, yet the grass on the ground was set on fire. Sungyoon felt as if he was walking within the volcanic region of the Great Labyrinth.
The rock spikes melted from the heat, and Kevil appeared from the aftermath. Its hand held a long flame which looked like a fire whip.
The long toenails protruding from its black feet crushed the broken pieces of the rock spike.
- Good! Good! It's fun when the prey puts up a fight.
Kevil swung the fire whip in a threatening manner, and it was enough to burn the surroundings.
However, Kevil didn’t look satisfied.
- Tsk! Places with no magical energy are annoying. How much power did I lose?
The monster wielded a shocking amount of power, yet it complained about the reduction in its power. Sungyoon was baffled.
Kevil once again focused his attention on Sungyoon.
- That one was too weak. He almost lost his mind from fear when he felt his great presence. I gave him some points for putting up a fight even as he cried to protect his family. Still, he remained a piece of trash. His family was burning in front of him, yet he could only cry. He wasn’t able to put up a decent fight. I hope you fight back a bit harder. This won’t be fun for me otherwise.
Sungyoon’s face crumpled.
His wife was a failure, but Sungyoon treasured his daughter. So he couldn’t forgive any violence against Lee’s family.
It happened at that moment.
He heard some voices. His party members, who he had left behind, arrived at the scene.
The faces of Jimin, Chelsea, Emily, and Grace went pale. They watched the flames rage around Sungyoon and Kevil.
- Are they your comrades?
Sungyoon could clearly see a smile form on the monster's face. A chill ran down his spine, and he could feel cold sweat cover his whole body.
Kevil’s red eyes looked down at Sungyoon, and it spoke.
- This is great timing. The spices to the main dish have arrived. What will you do?
Just then, Sungyoon heard the loud sound of the heartbeat within him.
However, the heartbeat wasn’t the only thing that had sought him out this time around. Sungyoon felt like foaming at the mouth. Then, as if he were having a seizure, his hands violently shook and went limp. At this moment, he just wanted to sink to the floor.
Ba-dump! Ba-dump! Ba-dump!
Sungyoon felt as if he were hiding, and a scary giant eye was looking down at his back. He felt fear.Previous Chapter Next Chapter