As he moved around, Sungyoon’s foot kicked something. He looked down and saw an old brush along with miscellaneous art supplies scattered on the ground.
“Were they left behind by the artist?”
Grace asked as she looked at the items.
Sungyoon picked up the brush. Unexpectedly, the brush looked fine and not weathered due to the passage of time.
‘Is it because of the special environment here?’
If this city were on the moon, Sungyoon could guess why the brush had withstood the test of time. At least, nothing here would decay and disappear.
“It seems he wasn’t able to complete it.”
Tim continued to hang around the last painting. The painting could present its viewer with an understanding of the artist's intentions, but the picture was incomplete.
“The incomplete painting and the tools! Did something happen to the artist while he was drawing this? Did he meet a sudden demise?”
Emily spoke as if something bothered her. Sungyoon slowly turned his head, and his gaze stopped where the Skeleton’s remains had scattered. His eyes only found a small moonstone.
“… Could it be?”
Tim also had the same thought when he saw the moonstone. A subtle change happened to his expression, and his face hardened.
“No way! Do you think it was him? Was that skeleton the remains of the artist?”
Tim sounded a bit lost as he pointed to the broken remains of the Skeleton.
Sungyoon lightly tapped his shoulder.
“Even if that's true, he had been turned into a monster. That monster was going to harm us. If it were a normal person instead of us, that person would have been in trouble. So you shouldn't feel so conflicted.”
Tim acted like a disciple that had heard the words ‘Your sins are forgiven’ from his deity. Color returned to his face. However, he still felt bad about it, so he slowly approached the moonstone and made the sign of the cross on his chest.
While the two men had been talking, Grace had been conducting a thorough investigation of the wall paintings. She went from beginning to end, and then, from the end to the beginning. She went as far as to put her face close to the painting in order to check the brush strokes.
Then her gaze headed toward the last scene, specifically the silver moon.
“The content of this wall painting. Do you think it's credible?”
Sungyoon folded his arms. His eyes turned serious as he observed the painting. In the meantime, Grace quietly waited for an answer.
“I have no idea.”
It was far less than what she had expected, but Grace wasn’t disappointed.
“Is that so?”
“As of right now, there is no proof. The only thing we have is this painting in front of us. Honestly, if I had found it anywhere else, I would've dismissed it as a fictitious work and erased it from my mind.”
Grace felt the same. However, Sungyoon’s words also implied that the opposite was true.
“Basically, we found the painting in such an important building that it's worth giving some credence to it. Is that what you are saying?”
“That's my opinion as well.”
Grace extended her hand toward the moon drawn in the wall painting. She was afraid of damaging it, so she didn’t put her hand on it.
“However, I do have a theory.”
“What is it?”
“Do you remember where we found your mother?”
Sungyoon turned his head and asked the Ross siblings.
Tim spoke without any hesitation. Their mother had been missing for a long time, and they had found her corpse hidden inside her labyrinth.
“It was a space beyond a door embedded in the labyrinth wall.”
Tim and Emily both let out an exclamation as if they had realized something.
“We always had a question: why was the door buried in the labyrinth wall? Don't you think that the door became buried when the land crumpled in on itself?”
“Yes. Also, that doll we found on the other side of the wall! What if the Moon broke off from earth? What if a part of the civilization came along with it? And this doll was a trace of that civilization. It might be the piece that corroborates the story in the wall painting.”
“A-are you saying the story in the paintings is true?”
Sungyoon shook his head from side to side.
“It's merely a possibility. I just connected a couple of dots to come up with it, and that doesn’t mean it's true. The city and the items we found might exist for an entirely different reason. Another possibility is that the civilization had originally existed on the Moon.”
“But what if the paintings are real? What should we do?”
Sungyoon didn’t even have to think about it as he spoke.
“We would've to seal the Great Labyrinth as soon as possible.”
Their eyes headed toward the terrifying creature inside the paintings.
Jimin sat across Jiyoon's father, Inhoo. The cups of coffee cooled down on the desk in front of them, but neither of them cared about that. They were focused on the documents laid out in front of them.
“This completes our contract.”
The lawyer sitting off to the side clapped his hands. His action was like a signal that allowed everyone else in the room to relax.
“I look forward to working with you.”
Jimin pushed her hand forward. The shell-shocked Inhoo shook her hand. He felt that he was still in a dream as he glanced at the documents again. The ink from his plain signature and Jimin’s elegant signature was still drying. They were proof that the opportunity presented to him was real.
When Inhoo came back to his sense, he looked at Jimin. Jimin organized the documents in an envelope and handed them to the lawyer. Then she sipped her cold coffee. The lawyer got up first and said his goodbye, leaving only the two of them inside the room.
This status quo didn’t last long as more people entered the room.
“Is it all done?”
The door was pushed half-open, and Jiyoon snuck her head inside. Another small head appeared below Jiyoon’s head.
“Are you done?”
“Uh. Yeah. It's all done.”
“Yes. It's done.”
Both Inhoo and Jimin spoke to their daughters. Shinhae and Jiyoon entered the room. Jiyoon sat next to Inhoo, while Shinhae lay down on Jimin’s legs.
“How was the contract? Did it go well?”
Jiyoon looked at the copy of the contract in front of her father.
Inhoo tapped the envelope containing the documents.
His daughter had congratulated him. She had grown up so well, and he wouldn’t trade her for anyone. Her congratulation had energized him.
Inhoo still couldn’t believe what had happened as he looked down at the documents again. This contract would make him the new president of Daesung Energy. Inhoo had built his business with his own hands. Despite it being a crowded field, he had carved out his place in the moonstone-related industry. This was proof that he was a man of great abilities. Therefore, he felt proud of himself.
But he had felt bewildered when he was given the title of president at a large corporation.
“Are you sure about this?”
They had already signed the contract, yet Jinsoo once again asked Jimin.
“Are you nervous?”
“If I’m being honest, it feels like I hit the lottery because of my daughter.”
Was he having a hard time enjoying his success because of the weight of his new position? Or was it because he had earned this opportunity by selling his daughter’s influence? Was it some form of an inferiority complex?
Whatever it was, Jimin shook her head from side to side.
“I was introduced to you through Ms. Jiyoon. That is true. If it weren’t for her, Mr. Sungyoon probably would've forgotten about you. I'll admit to that. However, we didn’t hire you for this position because you're Jiyoon’s father.”
Sungyoon and Jimin had reviewed Inhoo’s past work before offering him the position.
“If you don’t believe me, you can go prove it through your skill. That’ll be the most conclusive evidence of your competency. It’ll be proof for you and will also validate our decision.”
He was getting a once in a lifetime opportunity. Inhoo nodded.
“It won’t be easy. The moonstone industries aren’t doing so well right now. You do know that, right?”
Many Connectors had died in the destruction of Gagarin·Yang city, and the remaining ones could only enter the labyrinths for one-third of a year. The supply of moonstones had plummeted, and consequently, the moonstone refinery business also had to go through a contraction.
“Our company will provide you the moonstones. However, it won’t be enough for you to lead a massive entity like Daesung Energy. Please prove to us that you didn’t get this job only because you had a personal connection to us. Leave us without any doubt.”
“I promise to do so.”
Jimin was around his daughter’s age, but she was capable of seizing the initiative by coaxing him. Inhoo felt it was an admirable ability.
Jimin soon became a bit embarrassed at what she had done.
“Of course, Mr. Sungyoon should be telling you this instead of me.”
At the end of the day, Jimin was acting as Sungyoon's proxy. Acting like the owner of this company had embarrassed her. This was the first time that Inhoo had seen Jimin show some vulnerability and act her age.
“Now that I think about it, currently, Mr. Woo Sungyoon should be working in the labyrinth, right?”
“He should be. This is the period of the year where he doesn’t have to defend either Armstrong city or his country.”
“I’ve only heard rumors, but how skilled is he?”
Inhoo, who had asked the question, wasn’t the only one interested in the topic. Jiyoon’s eyes shone as she watched Jimin’s lips.
“I’m not too familiar with topics related to Connectors, but I’ve gathered information from other sources. When I piece it together, I think Mr. Sungyoon would be in the upper half of the Connectors that enter the Great Labyrinth.”
Jimin had scared Inhoo a little bit, but in reality, Daesung Energy wasn’t in that dire of a strait.
His company would enter an exclusive contract with Jungbum, a company that had Sungyoon and his party on their payroll. They were one of the rare Connector parties capable of raiding the Great Labyrinth, and they ranked in the middle in terms of skills among those parties.
The chances of Inhoo’s company not receiving moonstones from the Great Labyrinth was very low.
“I heard he's the only 1st Gen Connector capable of raiding the Great Labyrinth. Moreover, his growth is unbelievably fast. It seems Mr. Sungyoon is a really amazing person.”
Sungyoon was a national hero, so all kinds of information about him were spread to the general public through the media.
Jimin let out a bitter laugh.
“That’s for sure. In terms of growth, he’s probably faster than all the Connectors that have appeared over the years. However, it isn’t all that good.”
She let out a sigh.
“His incredible growth speed means that he gets drawn into all kinds of trouble. What other Connectors would face once in a lifetime, he has experienced it almost every day for the past two years. It takes a lot to faze him now.”
Her words were full of meaning, and it was clear that she had given up. Inhoo and Jiyoon were at a loss for words, so they just kept their mouths shut. Sungyoon’s labyrinth runs were much more incredible than what they had thought.
“I’m hoping he doesn’t get himself in trouble again. You never know. He might have found something that could turn the world on its head.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter