Chapter 248

In their youth, they had seen such a sight in a particular Action-Adventure movie. The movie was focused on an archaeologist who had embarked on a search for a mysterious lost civilization. That abandoned lost city had appeared in the second half of this movie.

Sungyoon remembered that scene when he saw the sight in front of his eyes.

In front of him right now was a well-planned city. The roads were constructed in a straight line as they intersected at right angle. This gave the city a neat look. It resembled a checkerboard where each square held low-rise buildings, and these squares extended into the distance.

It was a testament to how this city had once prospered.

However, that was the past. The deterioration in various locations of the city told the party that the city's appearance was a reflection of its past glories.

“Is this still the Great Labyrinth?”

Grace observed the city. She looked at her surroundings before she turned her gaze upward. A ceiling blocked her vision. It was a bit of a suffocating sight as the city was enclosed in a large space.

However, this didn’t prove that this place was the Great Labyrinth. They couldn't make this judgment with their current information.

“Let’s head down for now.”

The party was standing on a platform attached to a big staircase, and beside them was a building built up high. As the party slowly descended the stairs, their line of sight became lower and another building appeared in their vision.

“That one looks like a palace.”

Emily expressed her thoughts. As with the other buildings in the city, this building was also damaged in various places. However, its huge, grand appearance could still remind anyone of its former glory, and Sungyoon's party was no exception.

“I think Ms. Emily is right. Even if it wasn’t a palace, it must be an important building. At the very least, I think the ruler of the city lived here.”

Grace agreed with Emily.

When the party reached the end of the staircase, the building in question fully appeared in front of them. Admiration surged in their eyes as they looked at it. Out of the four, only Sungyoon was more interested in the building they had just left rather than the one in front of them.

The one they had left was a building built atop a truncated pyramid. It was much smaller in size than the palace-like building, but if the base was taken into consideration, it was much taller.

Sungyoon kept glancing back at the building that they had just left while his party walked to the building in front of them. When they arrived at its entrance, they found out that unlike the immense building, the entrance was very small. It made them wonder if this was the back door.

The inside of the building was as extravagant as its outside. A dust-coated carpet covered the entire hallway, and all sorts of decorations graced the hallway in strategic locations.

Tim looked up at a sculpture that was missing half of its head.

“How much do you think this costs? Do you think it’ll bring some class if I put it in my home?”

“If we're still in the Great Labyrinth and this is proof of civilization on the Moon, it’ll be considered quite important.”

“Really?”

When he heard Grace, a princess, give a definite statement, the light in Tim’s eyes changed. He took a closer look at the sculpture in his hands, but he soon put it down.

“You aren’t going to take it?”

Seeing his previous actions, Emily had assumed her brother would take the sculpture for himself to decorate his home. Therefore, when he gave up on the idea too easily, it surprised her.

Tim shrugged.

“I don’t know who’ll gain ownership of this place. If it's a rare item, it might be sent to a museum.”

“What happened? You actually thought before acting this time.”

Tim frowned at first, but he became dumbfounded when he realized that the shock on Emily’s face was genuine.

“Hey! I’m not that brainless!”

The response he got was a guffaw from Emily. The siblings bickered once again, while Sungyoon and Grace just laughed at their antics.

“Still, we should take a couple.”

Sungyoon spoke.

“It’ll be good to have them. Will serve as proof that we found this place.”

“You think so?”

A twinkle appeared in Tim’s eyes as he quickly handed the sculpture to Sungyoon. Emily rolled her eyes as she saw this.

Ssssk!

As they were busy in banter, an indistinct doll appeared down the hallway. Tim, who had been glaring at Emily, turned his body and took up his shield. Emily prepared her spells. The two of them had become complete professionals when it came to clearing labyrinths. Sungyoon and Grace didn't fall behind and also raised their weapons.

Since a thick layer of dust cushioned the carpet, the party hadn't heard any footsteps until their enemy had gotten pretty close.

This enemy was a Skeleton.

“What the hell.”

Tim grumbled after realizing that this Skeleton was also weak. It had broken apart when he had bashed it with his shield.

“I guess they are the only monsters present here.”

Tim picked up the moonstone that was the size of a fingernail and handed it over to Sungyoon. Sungyoon put it away into his storage Gem and spoke.

“That’s good news. We have no idea where we are, and it would be a nightmare if this place was crawling with Leviathans and Behemoths.”

The party once again went on a thorough search of the building. Since the building had a lot of rooms, the search was taking a long time. They could tell that the rooms had been extravagant in the past, but in the end, they were normal rooms.

The only enemies that the party encountered were Skeletons. Later, they even found a kitchen room and a living room. 

Of course, the most memorable room was the throne room that was much larger than the other rooms. On the other side of its large doors lay a broken throne raised atop a couple of stairs. It instantly caught their eyes when the four of them entered the throne room.

“It pretty much guarantees that this place is a palace.”

Sungyoon combed through the room. A long carpet led the way from the entrance to the throne. Large pillars surrounded the throne from either side, and a large chandelier decorated the ceiling.

Tim walked to the throne. He brushed aside the dust and checked the throne's structural integrity. The throne was basically carved out of stone, so it was still in good shape. Finished with his observation, Tim sat on the throne.

“What do you think? Do I look like a king?”

“You look like an idiot.”

At his sister’s ruthless statement, Tim stood up with a sheepish expression. 

Sungyoon and Grace, who had been searching the surroundings, also approached the throne.

“There’s nothing out of the ordinary here.”

“It is just an audience chamber.”

The room was a special place, but it held no clues as to where they were.

“While we are here, let’s call this place The Palace. We’ll keep it simple. Even though it's big, I doubt we’ll find anything meaningful in The Palace.”

Sungyoon sounded a bit letdown. Since it was the largest building, he expected to find here some pertinent clues about their location. The others felt the same.

“Should we head outside then?”

Tim’s gaze headed to the window on the wall, and he saw the sprawling sight of the city.

“That’s a decent idea, but I would like to suggest going back to the place where we came out of.”

“Where we exited? Ah!”

Grace let out an exclamation as if she had realized something.

“Now that I think about it, we didn’t really do a thorough search of that place.”

Their first thought had been to exit the building. And when they had found and exited the entrance, their attention was stolen by the city and the magnificent building in front of them. The thought of searching the place where they had teleported to slipped their minds.

It should have been the first place to search. After all, it was the building that had allowed them to teleport.

“After we completely search The Palace, we can go back and check that room.”

With these words from Sungyoon, the party's next destination was determined.

***

Unfortunately for them, they found nothing noteworthy inside The Palace.

Before the party returned to where they came from, they decided to check the immediate surroundings of The Palace. Large walls surrounded The Palace, and it reminded them of the ramparts around a castle.

The dirt outside the building was arranged in a neat manner. It seemed there had been some kind of landscaping here, which implied this area had been a garden. However, that was it. There was nothing special even in the surroundings. Although they saw small buildings nearby, they decided to search them later.

The party moved toward the building where they had teleported to. When they arrived at the long staircase, they bent their necks back to look up.

“If the previous building was The Palace, what is this one? Since it's behind The Palace, it must be very important. It also had the room where we were teleported to.”

“From a commonsense point of view, this building is probably very important. Normally, a palace signifies the power and authority of the king, so it's usually the largest and fanciest building. However, this building was placed right next to it, yet built higher.”

Sungyoon silently listened to the conversation between Emily and Grace. Grace was right. No king in his right mind would let someone construct a building that looked down on the symbol of his power.

The party climbed the stairs, and they entered through the entrance to reach the lobby once again. Two hallways leading to opposite directions and a staircase that went upward greeted them. The left hallway led to the room where they had been teleported, and the party had thoroughly investigated that region during their rest. Therefore, the party looked to their right. 

When they went down the right hallway, they reached a room that looked the same as the one they had teleported to. Like they had done in the previous room, the party searched every corner, but they still found nothing. They had seen a sculpture that looked like a flower, but it didn’t react to Sungyoon’s Gold Gem.

Having gained nothing, the party exited the room and took the stairs. When they climbed all the way up, a large door appeared in front of them.

This door was larger than the door of the other rooms. The party didn’t have to move much as they opened the door.

“… What is this?”

Sungyoon mumbled.

Odd and mysterious equipment were lined up on the wall of the large room, and a large circle made out of stone lay slightly raised from the ground in the middle.

This room looked very different compared to the other two in the building.

“We found it. This place definitely holds something!”

Grace spoke.

The party dispersed to check out the equipment. However, they had no idea what these devices were used for or how to activate them. The equipment looked and worked in a different way than the machines they were familiar with. It almost made them think that they were looking at odd sculptures instead of equipment.

Sungyoon moved closer to the center of the equipment that looked like an operating device.

Woo-oong!

“Huh?”

He felt a slight tremor. Sungyoon immediately unsummoned his armor. He had felt the brooch clasped near his chest vibrate. To be precise, the mysterious Gold Gem was reacting to the device.

‘Can it be?’

Sungyoon allowed his magical energy to enter the Gold Gem.

Woooooooooong!

The operating device started to vibrate.

The other three, who were investigating the equipment, turned to look at Sungyoon in surprise. However, Sungyoon didn’t pay attention to their gazes as he stared at the operating device.

The operating device was slowly awakening from its sleep, and blue light started to surround it. As if a brush made out of light had appeared, unknown characters were being written in front of Sungyoon, and he saw several holographic windows appear in his sight.

Tim, Emily, and Grace gathered around Sungyoon. Their eyes fell on the screen that displayed the building they were standing in.

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