Chapter 229

“Mr. Harris is awake.”

“Ah. Is that so?”

When Sungyoon spoke, Chelsea glanced toward the Moon Surface Vehicle.

“In my personal opinion, it would be best to take him back to Armstrong city as soon as possible. He spoke with such confidence, yet made a fool of himself. He must feel humiliated.”

As soon as the Golem had appeared, the three 1st Gen Connectors had gone into a frenzy.

The one who looked the worst had been Harris. Chelsea clearly remembered that.

Sungyoon agreed with her. He had initially thought that Harris had something against him, but after speaking to other Connectors, Sungyoon learned that Harris had acted in a similar manner toward all of them.

‘He reaps what he sows.’

With that thought, Sungyoon put Harris out of his mind. He then asked Chelsea.

“How were the test results?”

Chelsea worked on the tablet in her hands.

“The same. None of them produced meaningful data like you, Mr. Sungyoon. Although, one showed an increase in his strength.”

Sungyoon, who was disappointed by the first sentence, perked up his ears.

“Schneider lasted longer than the others. The strength displayed by him at the end was quite significant. However, Mr. Sungyoon destroyed the Golem as soon as the change had occurred. Other than that, none of the three reported feeling any difference in power.”

“We need to do more experiments.”

“Yes, we do. However...”

Chelsea looked at the Moon Surface Vehicle containing the three 1st Gens.

“I don’t think we can conduct any further experiments.”

Sungyoon had the same thought.

‘We also have the extra burden that comes from lowering the overall number of Golems.’

They had cleared another labyrinth of Golems. If the loss of Golems called forth the attacks from monsters, Armstrong had just taken another step toward their own destruction.

“We should head back. We won’t be able to conduct any further experiments at least for now.”

Chelsea walked toward her research team, and Sungyoon followed her. After a while, they withdrew from the labyrinth. Several Moon Surface Vehicles drove across the surface of the Moon. Sungyoon decided to hitch a ride on one of the vehicles containing the researchers. He looked out the window to kill the time as the gray surface of the Moon passed by at high speeds.

“Hoo-ahhhhhhhhm!”

Chelsea let out a big yawn next to him. She stretched her arms as her mouth fell open.

“Ooooh. This is so uncomfortable.”

She had taken off her helmet, but she was still wearing her spacesuit. After trying moving every which way, she still failed to create more space within the spacesuit. So she gave up trying to get more comfortable.

Soon, the sound of quiet even breaths came out of her body. She had fallen asleep from all the exhaustion.

Toohk!

Her head fell on Sungyoon’s shoulder, spreading her golden hair on him.

Sungyoon looked down at her.

“Mmm. Mmm-nyaa~!”

It seemed Chelsea liked the feel of Sungyoon’s shoulder as she clutched at Sungyoon’s arm and leaned onto him. Sungyoon looked at her for a brief moment, then moved his gaze out the window once again.

For a while, he could only feel the unpleasant vibration of the vehicle.

After some time...

“Ooh~ Mmm.”

Chelsea’s eyes slowly opened. As she wiped away the drool around her mouth, she froze. Her round eyes stared at Sungyoon and rolled around to assess her current situation. Realizing it, she quickly parted from him in surprise.

“Ah. I’m, I’m sorry!”

“It’s fine.”

Chelsea’s face turned red when she saw a large drool spot on Sungyoon’s shoulder.

“Oh, oh no! What should I do about this!”

She desperately tried to look for her handkerchief, but her tight spacesuit didn’t allow for any items like a handkerchief.

“It’s fine.”

Sungyoon was about to calm down the flustered Chelsea when he stopped. He had caught sight of something outside the opposite window. Instinctively, he injected his magical energy in his Gem to check what it was.

His senses sharpened, and he recognized the object.

‘Arrow?’

However, it was too late to take action against it.

Sungyoon grabbed Chelsea’s hand and pulled her in toward him. Chelsea was taken aback as her face turned red. However, without hesitating for even a moment, Sungyoon summoned his armor and raised his shield.

He caught sight of Chelsea’s helmet, so he picked it up and yelled.

“Everyone, seal your space suit and get down!”

The arrow flew true as it pierced the Moon Surface Vehicle.

In a flash...

Boom!

The space sucked all the air inside the vehicle with a screaming sound. The impact ripped the Moon Surface Vehicle apart like paper, and its pieces were sent flying across the surface of the Moon.

The other Moon Surface Vehicles around them came to a stop.

Sungyoon stood atop the surface of the Moon. His face hardened as he looked at his surroundings. The Moon Surface Vehicle he had been riding until a moment ago had become a wreck of flesh, blood, and organs.

‘There are no other survivors.’

Sungyoon looked at Chelsea, who remained in his arms. She was surprised, but that wasn’t the only reason why she was pale. Sungyoon quickly put the helmet over her head.

“Ha-ah! Ha-ah! Ha-ah!”

Chelsea rapidly breathed.

‘Will she be ok?’

Although it had been very brief, Chelsea had been exposed to space, and she was a normal human.

‘Are you ok?’

Without his helmet, Sungyoon couldn’t talk to her, so he used hand gestures. Chelsea nodded as she hadn't suffered any lasting damage.

The other Connectors exited their vehicles. One of them, who was acquainted with Sungyoon, moved his mouth. Sungyoon could guess that the man was asking what had happened, so he pointed toward the direction the arrow had come from.

The Connectors turned their heads, and they flinched at what they saw. An unknown group of attackers had suddenly appeared on the surface of the Moon. They were clad in armor that covered their entire body and face. Since they freely operated on the surface of the Moon, it was obvious that they were a group of Connectors.

Suddenly, Sungyoon’s eyes picked up something once again.

‘Another arrow!’

Shielding Chelsea, Sungyoon raised his hammer. The arrow had been shot from a long distance, so he still had time. However, the arrow was flying at incredible speed. Sungyoon didn’t want Chelsea to suffer from the secondary effect of the attack, so he charged toward the arrow and swung his hammer.

Kwahhhng!

An explosion followed.

‘Koo-oohk!’

Sungyoon retreated a couple of steps.

It was merely an arrow, yet the power behind it was immense.

‘Is it... vibrating?’

Sungyoon opened and closed his hands to get rid of the tingling numbness. He looked around. None of his ambushers held a bow. His gaze went beyond them, but he still failed to spot the archer. He used his sight enhancing magic, yet the result was the same.

‘Someone is sniping me from a great distance. Even the eyes of a Connector failed to spot the person?’

The ambushers started to charge toward Sungyoon and his group. The latter raised their weapons as a response.

Sungyoon gestured Chelsea to retreat toward the rear, then charged forward with his shield and ax in hand. As he reached the approaching group, he swung his ax toward his nearest enemy.

A heavy sensation ran up his hand as his opponent's large shield blocked the attack. However, the opponent was inferior in terms of strength and was pushed back. Sungyoon didn’t give the person any time to regroup.

He unsummoned his ax and shield, and brought out the halberd. Before his opponent could get back into his defensive posture, Sungyoon stabbed him. His opponent’s movements became undisciplined, and he quickly brought up his shield to block the halberd. As a result, he lost his balance for a split second.

When the halberd was about to hit the shield, Sungyoon unsummoned it and changed his weapon to his hammer. 

His opponent had expected the impact from the halberd, so his movement came to a brief halt.

Sungyoon struck the shield with his hammer. A soundless explosion followed, and his opponent completely lost his balance. The halberd once again made its appearance, and Sungyoon hooked the halberd behind his opponent’s leg. The ambusher fell to the ground, and his upper body became exposed.

Sungyoon took up his ax to apply the finishing blow. However, as he was about to swing it, something caused him to twist his upper body. A spear had flown in from the side, and its blade brushed past Sungyoon’s helmet.

‘Shit!’

Sungyoon glared at the enemy who had interrupted him from the side. This second attacker's face was hidden by a helmet, but his appearance was malicious. Sungyoon swung his ax toward this person, but the ax hit nothing as the second attacker twisted his upper body to dodge it.

Sungyoon let go of the ax, and due to its momentum, the ax continued on its path. At the same time, the hammer appeared. Sungyoon's second attacker had been solely focused on the ax, so he looked taken aback.

A soundless explosion occurred once again.

The second attacker was sent flying to the side, and his upended figure landed on the surface of the Moon. His left arm, which had received the impact of the hammer, was bent at an odd angle.

However, Sungyoon once again couldn’t land the finishing blow as an arrow flew toward him. His eyes looked beyond to see where the archer was located.

‘That bastard is stealthily focusing his attack on me.’

Sungyoon defended the attack of another ambusher.

‘No. It isn’t just the archer.’

The ambushers were grouped up in a way that made it clear Sungyoon was their primary target.

However...

‘They are beginners when it comes to fighting other humans.’ 

Fighting monsters and fighting humans were two completely different things. It wasn’t just the ambushers. Sungyoon’s comrades looked clumsy when fighting other humans too.

Sungyoon was used to fighting against other humans now, and he pushed down on the bitterness caused by this fact. His side was doing a little better. After all, these Connectors were elites handpicked by Armstrong.

However, the arrows that came flying toward them at regular intervals was a problem. Whenever a Connector blocked the arrow with his shield, his movement became slower, as the powerful vibration induced numbness in their muscles.

Sungyoon blocked the sword coming at his neck.

‘Damn it!’

He ground his teeth. The arrows were very annoying. 

Sungyoon’s side slowly started to gain an advantage over the ambushers. After a while, the ambushers decided to retreat, and at the same time, the barrage of arrows became fiercer.

It was clear that their opponents had called a general retreat.

‘We don't need to chase after them.’

Sungyoon watched the ambushers turn around in ones and twos. If he could have his way, he wanted to capture one of them for interrogation. However, he had to protect some people at the moment.

‘It could be a trap too.’

Unfortunately, some of the Connectors in his party didn’t share the same view.

‘Wait!’

Sungyoon reflexively yelled at the couple of Connectors trying to chase after the ambushers. Of course, they couldn’t hear him.

‘Shit.’

He gestured the remaining Connectors to protect the researchers, then took off.

‘I’m not going to go too far.’

He planned on catching up with the Connectors to tell them to stop chasing the ambushers. If they ignored his order, it couldn’t be helped and he would pull back. They would have to face the consequence of their own actions.

However, in front of his eyes, a phantom suddenly appeared on the surface of the Moon.

A sword literally emerged out of the ground, and the phantom swung it toward a Connector chasing after the ambushers. The Connector quickly raised his shield, but the powerful attack sent him flying.

The arrow didn’t miss such easy prey.

Puh-uhng!

That was the sound that would have rung out if air existed in space. The arrow connected with the body of the Connector and exploded it. Since the Connector was wearing armor, his flesh couldn't explode outward. However, blood seeped out through the gaps in the armor, and one could tell what had happened by the sight of it.

The other Connectors chasing after the ambushers came to a stop. It was the same for Sungyoon, whose eyes had widened. However, the reason for the shock he felt was different than that for others.

His eyes gazed at the man clad in black armor and a black cape. A black greatsword graced his hands. It looked as if this man was obsessed with the color black, and in some ways, it completely contrasted in color with Sungyoon’s gear.

Surprisingly, Sungyoon knew that armor. In the past, a proud Jimin had shown him a picture, where her younger self was standing next to a figure. The armor worn by the figure in that picture was similar to the one in front of Sungyoon's eyes now.

‘… Hahn Jungbum?’

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