“Stop laughing. Explain yourself.”
“What explanation do you need? Can’t you just come to your own conclusion by seeing what’s going on?”
“You are siding with the monsters? Are you saying you're a fucking turncoat?”
“I’m glad it's that simple. All right. I really didn’t like you in the first place. I’ll bury you here with the monsters! I’ll take care of all of you!”
A blue ball of light started to float around Volkov. It resembled the blue light of a firefly. The scene looked beautiful, but the light would take its opponent’s life if one became distracted by its beauty.
‘He started activating it as soon as we started conversing.’
Hyunwoo was surprised by Volkov’s underhanded tactic.
“I’ve always had a problem with you. Why were we treated like equals when I’m better than you? There's no comparison between us.”
Volkov's words overflowed with confidence. The source of this confidence was the ball light revolving around his body. The ball of light was one of the only seven Diamond rank Gems in this world.
“I understand why you look down on the other Connectors. You possess a Diamond rank Gem. It's to be expected that you have developed a sense of superiority. However...”
Hyunwoo gripped his weapon.
“I got something really good too.”
The Gems slotted into Hyunwoo's Device looked different. They were emitting a foreign and ominous light.
“I guess the party started over there too.”
Jinsoo looked down from atop the burning communication building that was still releasing noxious gases. The building was close to collapsing, yet Jinsoo remained tranquil. As he watched Hyunwoo and Volkov fight in the distance, a murderous intent flashed in his eyes.
‘I hope they both die.’
‘No. I hope they both die, but Volkov can die a more painful death.’
Volkov was never shy to express his superiority, so he was more annoying than Hyunwoo. He was blessed with talent. He was blessed by acquiring high rank Gems. Jinsoo hated everything about him to the point where he would gnash his teeth.
‘Still, the most annoying of them all is Woo Sungyoon...’
As Jinsoo's thoughts spun wild, the half-burnt door opened.
“Finally, someone came. You're so slow.”
Jinsoo turned around in a laid-back manner and saw two Connectors.
“Hey! Why did this place suddenly blow up?”
Jinsoo clicked his tongue at their stupidity.
“I called you morons. What else do I call dimwits who can’t recognize that the culprit is in front of them?”
Their eyes turned sharp.
“You caused this explosion?”
“That’s what I said.”
“Why would I tell you? You really are morons.”
The two Connectors looked at each other when they heard the barrage of insults. They could ask questions later after subduing Jinsoo.
“Come at me, Bro! If you want to know why I did this, you have to beat it out of me!”
Jinsoo twirled his spear and licked his lips.
The two men gripped their weapons and charged at Jinsoo. One could tell by their movements that they were quite skilled. However, Jinsoo scorned at them. They were pretty good, but they were nothing compared to him.
‘Yes! They have nothing on me!’
With a firm grip on his spear, Jinsoo ran forward.
The weapons imbued with killing intent were deflected way too easily by Jinsoo's spear. Without any hesitation, Jinsoo immediately stabbed his opponent.
The spear pierced the Connector’s armpit and created a gap between the plates in his armor.
The resulting scream was music to Jinsoo's ears. After retracting the spear, Jinsoo shortened his grip and stabbed the spear into the other Connector’s neck, which was unprotected below the helmet.
Jinsoo cackled at the sound of the man choking.
“You don’t have to breathe, so why are you making such a noise.”
As Jinsoo extracted the spear, blood erupted from the man’s neck, and their eyes met. The Connector's eyes expressed his disbelief, while Jinsoo grinned at the sight.
A lifeless body fell to the ground.
When he saw the death of his comrade, the injured Connector lost his mind. He charged forward. Jinsoo used the spear shaft to deflect the weapon, then he reversed his grip and pushed the butt of the spear into the Connector’s stomach.
The impact caused the Connector to bend over, and his head moved to a location optimum for Jinsoo to hit. Jinsoo smacked the shaft of the spear on the back of the Connector's head.
The Connector's face got embedded in the burning wall.
It was a killing blow, and the body shook for a moment before dropping to the floor.
An odd cry escaped Jinsoo’s mouth. It sounded like a mixture between a moan and laughter.
He laughed as if he had lost his mind.
“What the hell! What’s going on here!”
Another enemy had appeared after hearing the sound of the battle. Jinsoo didn’t say anything and just swung his spear. His slaughter started, and his blade killed every enemy he ran across. At the same time, his laughter kept getting louder.
“Look! Look at me, Ma! I’m a Connector too! These bastards can’t touch me anymore! I’m a Connector just like Dad! I’m not a piece of trash anymore! You can be proud of me now! I am everything you wanted me to be!”
He sounded crazy. No, he was crazy. Jinsoo was in a world of his own as he continued his slaughter.
Suddenly something hit Jinsoo's body and sent it flying. Jinsoo crashed through a couple of walls before coming to a stop.
“I sent my underlings to see what caused the explosion, and I was wondering why they hadn't come back. It seems some weirdo was going on a rampage.”
Jinsoo raised his upper body. His head felt fuzzy, and he was sure several of his bones were broken. He took off his helmet and threw it to the side.
Jinsoo spat out saliva mixed with blood.
“Who the hell did that!”
A woman approached Jinsoo. There was a confidence in her steps, and another of her underlinings moved alongside her. She slowly looked over Jinsoo.
“Aren’t you the puppy who Sung Hyunwoo drags around?”
Jinsoo mumbled the woman’s name. She was one of the strongest Connectors in China.
“Why did you attack my underlings? Are you working for Armstrong? Or are you on the side of those disgusting monsters?”
“Who knows? What do you think?”
Wang Wei kicked Jinsoo’s head, and the head whipped around. The attack flung out several broken teeth out of Jinsoo's mouth.
“Good. A man should have some mettle. For that, I’ll do the honors of extracting the information out of you with my own hands. Don’t worry. I’m really good at dealing with men.”
Her lips held a smile, but her eyes only contained venom. Jinsoo could imagine what would happen if she had her way with him.
Wang Wei’s long slender eyebrows rose when she heard the word 'Grandma'. However, Jinsoo didn’t care. He was having a hard time pronouncing his words thanks to his broken teeth. Air kept leaking out through the gaps in his teeth, but he still spoke.
“I don’t mind facing you, but I won’t.”
“Of course, you won’t. You're no match for me.”
“No, it isn’t like that.”
“Do you know how I was able to enter the heart of this city?”
“What nonsen― ”
Wang Wei couldn’t finish her sentence as a sword pierced through her neck. Her eyes were full of disbelief as life leaked out of her.
Jinsoo smirked as he watched the woman fall over.
“The answer is, ‘There is a betrayer amongst you.’, Grandma.”
The man behind Wang Wei, who had acted like her underling, coldly shook the blood off his sword.
Volkov looked at the ceiling. It was impossible for humans to survive in space, so this structure protected the city. But for some reason, the gray ceiling looked a bit sad today.
“Are you done now?”
Volkov heard the unpleasant voice. He pushed aside the debris that had buried him and raised his upper body into an upright position. The unpleasant figure of Hyunwoo entered his sight.
“What the hell is that power?”
“Isn’t it amazing?”
Hyunwoo looked proud as he showed off his Device. If one looked closer, something was off about the Gems slotted in his Device.
“Is that the power you gained by allying yourself with the monsters?”
“You're quick on the uptake. Yes. I acquired this power when I made a contract with them.”
“You really are a son of a bitch.”
Volkov spat to the side.
“I don’t care if you kill me or not. Do as you wish. I don’t want to beg for my life from the likes of you.”
“You gave up really fast. No. Did you already pass on the information? Is that how it is?”
Volkov flinched. He had a short-range communication device in his pocket. As soon as he had lost, he had sent information about Sung Hyunwoo’s betrayal and the existence of the odd Gems to his comrades. They were probably leaving the city with the information right now. He might have lost the battle, but the war might have been won.
“You caught on, but it's too late.”
Volkov spoke in a confident manner. However, his words couldn’t erase the smile on Hyunwoo’s face.
“I can understand why you would think that way. We did bring a lot of monsters, but they are just low-level grunts. You probably thought your comrades could get away if they avoided the powerful beings like me and Glaia. However, let me fix a misunderstanding you have.”
Hyunwoo pointed behind him.
“You underestimated us too much.”
The outer walls of the city started crumbling. The Space sucked out the air, and it generated a sound akin to a scream. At the same time, an ominous sound washed over the city.
Volkov looked toward the outer wall. Extra-large, large, mid-sized, and small monsters overran the city like a wave. They all differed in size, but there was one common theme. They were powerful monsters found in the Great Labyrinth.
“Do you think your comrades can push past them to escape the city?”
Volkov squeezed his eyes shut.
Dozens of Moon Surface Vehicles drove across the surface of the Moon at top speed. Sungyoon was driving one of these vehicles too. The vehicle in front of him stirred an immense amount of dust, so he couldn’t drive too close behind. This also meant he wouldn’t get lost if he followed the trail of dust.
Tim, Emily, and Grace stood behind the driver’s seat and looked past the front glass. Everyone's face had a grave expression. Grace spoke into the bleak silence.
“Do you think they're still holding out?”
Since they were wearing helmets, they could converse with each other.
“I’m not sure. It has been several days since we lost contact with them. We also don’t know the size of the enemy force, so we have to go see it for ourselves.”
Sungyoon answered her.
This assortment of Connectors in Moon Surface Vehicles was the reinforcement for Gagarin·Yang city. In the end, Armstrong had decided to send support to their endangered rival city.
“Do you think we’ll be fine with a force of this size? They must be in a really bad spot since they sought help from Armstrong. There is a good chance that a force of this size probably can’t handle the number of monsters attacking the city.”
Grace then answered Emily’s question.
“It can’t be helped. Armstrong could be attacked by monsters in a similar fashion. No. Armstrong city has already experienced the Golems' attack, so they're going all out on defense. They were already short on Connectors, and this is the absolute limit on how many Connectors they can send.”
“Still, there are too few of us here.”
“Ms. Emily is right. Armstrong city probably has no plans to save the rival city. They are sending reinforcement to avoid being criticized by the public later on. This is basically a token move showing their benevolence to the world. It's also why they dispatched us since we are the most famous party of Connectors. If we can save the other city, it would be a boon for Armstrong. If we can't, they will still gain some information. I’m sure the higher-ups said to take it easy on this mission. Am I right, Mr. Sungyoon?”
“Yes. We were told to immediately retreat if we think we can’t handle it.”
“I knew it.”
“Also, they want to test out the new weapons.”
Sungyoon let go of his hand from the driving wheel. His hand pointed toward several large truck-type vehicles moving alongside the convoy. These trucks held cannons.
“They are normal cannons, but their shells were made using Mana-Knight. It should be effective against the monsters.”
“Armstrong wants to put their new products to test.”
Grace mumbled.Previous Chapter Next Chapter