When framed that way, Sungyoon might have done Jaeho a favor by putting him out of his misery.
“So what led up to the death of Lee Jaeho and Lee Miyun?”
“Why are you asking me that?”
Jinsoo flashed an innocent expression in his eyes as he asked in response.
Hyunwoo immediately struck Jinsoo on the back of his head.
“You're going to make me barf. Stop looking at me like that.”
Jinsoo pouted as he glared at Hyunwoo.
“How did you know about that?”
“Even a blind bat could piece it together. Who else has a grudge against Woo Sungyoon and would benefit from helping out Lee Jaeho? Also….”
Hyunwoo pointed toward Jinsoo.
“You keep smiling as if you’ll pass out from having so much fun. It's obvious that you were involved.”
“Is it that obvious?”
Jinsoo massaged his cheeks.
“I don’t know the exact details. I just took a peek when Woo Sungyoon went into the warehouse. The Connectors who I introduced to Lee Jaeho were doing very badly against him, so I backed out. Of course, I would have killed him if there was an opportunity.”
Jinsoo spoke in a playful manner, but his body emitted an immense amount of killing intent.
“The ones you introduced were your friends, right? 'The Rejected’!”
Jinsoo looked at Hyunwoo. No matter how he felt inside, Jinsoo always showed respect toward Hyunwoo on the surface. However, right now, he openly showed murderous intent toward Hyunwoo.
“… Could you not use that word?”
“I made a mistake. I’ll take back my words.”
Hyunwoo stopped laughing as he gave an apology. Jinsoo continued to glare at Hyunwoo for another moment, but in the end, he resumed speaking after clicking his tongue.
“Well, it's true that they are my former comrades. However, a lot has changed since those days.”
“You were foolish in choosing them. They are elite troops considering they can use their abilities on Earth. However, there were only five of them, way too few to get rid of Woo Sungyoon.”
“That’s what I said.”
Jinsoo agreed with Hyunwoo as he gave an explanation.
“However, our boss wanted to carry out the plan. Since Lee Jaeho had spent a lot of time around Woo Sungyoon in the past, Boss was sure Lee Jaeho knew Woo Sungyoon’s every weakness. So Boss thought we just had to hand Lee Jaeho some troops and he would succeed.”
The word referred to Dongin, their president.
Hyunwoo shook his head from side to side.
“That man has worked with Connectors for so long, yet he thought a couple of Connectors of that caliber could kill Woo Sungyoon. Jeez!”
“I thought the plan to attack his weak point was fine. It just didn't work because the troops he provided were trash.”
“Normal people know that Connectors are strong, but they have a hard time comparing the strengths of Connectors.”
“They have to see us fight to have any frame of reference.”
The first available battle footage of a Connector was Sungyoon fighting against the Behemoth. Since more monsters appeared on Earth later, more such footages appeared, but their number was still few.
“Those five were idiots. They truly thought they could take down Woo Sungyoon if they worked together. Well, the five of them could easily take down the Behemoth that showed up in London as a team, so in many ways, it was a logical conclusion. However, Woo Sungyoon’s growth speed breaks all common sense. That's why I warned them, but...”
Jinsoo clicked his tongue.
“Boss is pretty down right now. The monsters attacking Earth, the abnormalities in the labyrinths, the discovery of Mana-Knight, the destruction of Gagarin·Yang city, etc. These events have been occurring non-stop recently. So he wants to resolve the issue with Woo Sungyoon as soon as possible. Moreover, I heard that ‘that bastard’ was spotted. Is that right?”
“Yes. I had spotted him when we were cleaning up Gagarin·Yang.”
“Huh? You're unexpectedly laid back considering the news.”
When he had found ‘him’, Hyunwoo had been incredibly flustered. However, none of those emotions were on display right now.
“It’ll happen quickly or slowly. That are the only two choices. The truth will be revealed sooner or later. When the truth is revealed, Boss will go down. At that time, we can move with the monsters in earnest. We’ll just join their side for good.”
“You do have a point.”
Their circumstances differed from Dongin, so Jinsoo nodded. He then turned to look at the TV. Jaeho’s face was plastered all over the screen as the news program was going over his backstory.
Jinsoo was the hooded man who had urged Jaeho to kill Sungyoon, and he laughed as if he found everything to be amusing.
The thick door opened, and Sungyoon’s eyes took in the familiar sight of the house. He instinctively looked over his house.
His expression softened.
Shinhae jumped into Sungyoon’s arms.
It had been a while since the father and daughter had reunited. Sungyoon unburdened himself of all negative emotions as he felt the presence and warmth of his daughter.
Jiyoon followed Shinhae and stood in front of them.
“Is everything ok now?”
When Sungyoon was temporarily imprisoned, Jiyoon had taken care of Shinhae alongside Jimin.
“It’s fine now. We still have to tie up some loose ends, but he's mostly out of the woods.”
Jimin, who entered behind Sungyoon, answered Jiyoon.
While she was in Sungyoon’s arms, Shinhae waved toward Jimin. Jimin let out a pretty smile as she waved back.
Sungyoon lowered his head towards Jiyoon.
“Thank you very much for taking care of Shinhae.”
“It was nothing. Shinhae is an obedient child, and she caused me no trouble. Right, Shinhae?”
When Jiyoon asked the question, Shinhae nodded in a fervent manner.
“I was a good girl!”
Sungyoon stroked the little girl's head as they headed toward the living room. Shinhae climbed all over her father’s back as if it were a cliff. Then she rolled around in Sungyoon’s lap while laughing. It really had been a while since he had played with Shinhae.
Jimin and Jiyoon felt warm inside when they saw the father and daughter play with each other.
Even if Shinhae was a child overflowing with energy, she couldn’t win against the stamina of a Connector. His body had pushed past the limitations of a human, so Shinhae became tired first and fell asleep.
She slept like a little angel. Sungyoon laid her on her bed, then placed a gentle kiss on her cheek. After brushing her hair aside from her forehead, Sungyoon left. When he exited to the living room, Jimin and Jiyoon were still there. Sungyoon sat in front of them.
“Are you really ok?”
Jiyoon was careful in her question.
Nine people had died. Korea had good public order and security, so a large scale massacre such as this was rare. It was easy to see why Jiyoon was worried.
“I’m really fine.”
Sungyoon reassured Jiyoon, and Jimin gave an additional explanation.
“As you probably saw on TV, this wasn’t some ordinary revenge plot. It was a terrorist act against Mr. Sungyoon.”
“‘Was it the work of 'The Rejected’?”
“Yes. They were hired by Lee Jaeho.”
Many people wanted the seed of a Connector as the child of a Connector had a high probability of awakening as a Connector. Therefore, the prostitutes on the Moon and some other regular people tried to get pregnant with the child of a Connector. The problem remained that although the probability of having a Connector child was high, it wasn't a hundred percent.
So, many normal children were born in the process. Some grew up in loving families, but the world contained many human trashes. So a large number of these children were abandoned. Those who abandoned the children wanted the prestige that came with becoming a parent of a Connector, and any non-Connector child was an obstacle to that life.
Many of these abandoned children grew up in horrible conditions, and they came to resent the world. But what they hated the most were Connectors, the Moon, and the labyrinths. They gathered to make a terrorist group that was called The Rejected.
“I thought they were thrown away because they couldn’t become Connectors? But weren't those who attacked you were Connectors?”
“Some awaken as a Connector very late in their lives, so these Connectors awakened after they were abandoned. I've heard that most of 'The Rejected’ can’t let go of their hate even after they awaken as Connectors. It's to be expected. Even if they awakened as Connectors, it doesn’t change the terrible life that preceded their awakening. Those memories don’t disappear.”
Jiyoon looked sad when she heard Jimin’s answer. She was fundamentally a good-natured person. So when she thought about the children that became twisted due to such circumstances, her heart ached.
“That's the reason The Rejected are a terrifying terrorist organization. They were thrown away because they hadn’t awakened as Connectors. However, their parents were Connectors, so there’s always a higher than normal chance that they could awaken as a Connector too later in life. Amongst the terrorist organizations, they have the highest number of Connectors amongst their ranks. The proof of this could be seen with the five Connectors hired by Lee Jaeho.”
“That’s so scary. I feel sorry for them too.”
“We already held an advantage, but it became overwhelming when their identities were revealed. Who would blame Mr. Sungyoon when Lee Jaeho had hired notorious terrorists to kill him? Moreover, they used Gems and Devices on Earth without permission, so Mr. Sungyoon’s actions fell under the self-defense law. A trial wasn’t even needed. Daesung group is still clinging to the hope that a trial will occur, but I doubt it. A lot of dominoes already fell in our favor. We can’t expect more than this.”
Jimin shrugged. Her words and gesture exuded confidence, so Jiyoon relaxed and let go of all her worries. Jimin continued to speak as she looked at Sungyoon.
“You aren’t permitted to leave for the Moon for now. However, I expect them to grant permission soon. It seems Armstrong city is pressuring the Korean government to let you go since you're innocent. Please be patient and wait a little bit longer.”
“I’ll think of it as a vacation.”
“That’s what I like to hear. Now, please rest.”
After saying those words, Jimin left the house with Jiyoon.
For a short time, Sungyoon sat on the sofa in the living room with a vacant expression on his face. At that moment, the door to Shinhae’s room opened. The little girl rubbed her eyes as she exited the room.
“You woke up?”
It seemed she was still a little asleep as her voice sounded sleepy. Shinhae then rapidly blinked as she looked around the house.
“Are the unnis gone?”
“Yes, they left.”
Shinhae walked toward Sungyoon. She used Sungyoon’s thigh as a pillow as she lay down on the sofa. As her father gently brushed her hair aside, she spoke.
“Is Mom dead?”
Sungyoon’s hand came to a stop.
“Where did you hear such a thing?”
“I saw it on the TV.”
This incident was given a wall to wall coverage, and even Shinhae had seen it. The media didn’t even hold back the identity of the victims as they plastered their pictures all over the news. Of course, Shinhae couldn’t help but notice.
“Yes. Your mom went to heaven.”
Shinhae didn’t speak.
She buried her face in his thigh and firmly gripped the hand on her head.
Miyun had thrown her away and practically sold her child for money. Shinhae felt fear more than affection toward Miyun. Yet, it couldn't change the fact that Miyun was Shinhae's mother. When Shinhae put aside the scary and cold image of her mother, she remembered the memories where Miyun had been kind and gentle.
Sungyoon didn’t do anything. He didn't try to find out what Shinhae was feeling. He didn’t even check if she was crying or not.
He just continued to firmly hold his child’s small hand and stroke her head.Previous Chapter Next Chapter