“Ha ha ha! He could find something that’ll put the world on its head? It’ll be amazing if he manages to do that.”
Inhoo laughed as he thought Jimin was cracking a joke. However, Jimin was telling the truth. She didn't laugh, but didn’t go out of her way to change Inhoo’s mind either.
Shinhae, who had been rolling around on Jimin’s knees, perked up on hearing her father's name. She abruptly raised her head and asked.
“Is my dad amazing? Is Dad amazing?”
She first asked Inhoo and then Jimin.
“Of course! Shinhae’s dad is amazing!”
When she saw Jimin spread her arms wide to each side, Shinhae’s face visibly brightened.
The cold and distant Jimin looked very kind at that moment. Jiyoon and Inhoo unconsciously smiled at the sight.
“I know about it too, Mom! Dad said that he can win against a lion!”
A small crack formed on Inhoo’s smile.
‘What did she just say?’
A lion! In London, Sungyoon had famously defeated a monster that could kill a lion in its sleep. But the thing that surprised Inhoo more was how Shinhae had addressed Jimin.
Inhoo knew that Sungyoon fiercely loved his daughter. He had also heard that Shinhae’s mother had divorced Sungyoon, and she later became the victim of a terrorist plot.
Realizing what that form of address now meant, Inhoo glanced at Jiyoon. She was smiling, but as her father, he could easily identify her bittersweet expression.
At some point, Jimin and Shinhae moved on to talk about which juice the little girl wanted to drink. Jimin took out a bill from her wallet and handed it over to Shinhae.
“Don’t go far. You have to get it from the vending machine right outside this room. Understood?”
Jimin laughed as she watched Shinhae’s retreating figure.
“I thought I just heard Shinhae call you mom.”
Inhoo was very careful in asking the question. However, the one to answer him wasn’t Jimin, but Jiyoon.
“The two of them are married.”
“Ms. Jiyoon is right. I am Shinhae's new mother.”
Even as he gave his congratulations, Inhoo couldn’t help but glance at his daughter. Since he knew about her love for Sungyoon, he felt sorry for her.
“Thank you. It's about time you made your decision too, Ms. Jiyoon.”
“Deciding whether you want to marry Mr. Sungyoon or not.”
Inhoo was shocked, and Jiyoon’s eyes turned round in surprise. In contrast to them, Jimin remained calm as she swirled her cold coffee.
“Why are you so surprised? Ms. Jiyoon likes Mr. Sungyoon too.”
“Ah. That is true, but….”
“Then you should start thinking about your decision. The biggest problem was the wall around his heart, and I have broken it. If you aren’t ready for marriage, you can be his girlfriend for a while.”
Jimin spoke in a playful manner.
Inhoo finally escaped his shock. He also realized that a gap existed between his and Jimin's perception.
“… Now that I think about it, Connectors are allowed to have multiple wives.”
“It's tolerated, but it's not legal.”
Polygamy was illegal in the eye of the lawyer, but common-law marriage was accepted. Moreover, it was common knowledge that Connectors practiced polygamy regardless of the country’s laws.
“However, there is momentum to change the law because of what's happening around the world.”
The reduction in the supply of moonstones was putting pressure on the global economy. The global economy was quickly falling into a recession, and the whole world was panicking about it. Thus, the world had decided they needed to accumulate as many Connectors as they could.
“I grew up in a Connector family. I know my perception of what is a family differs from the two of you. That is why I won’t pressure you into this, and the very idea of me pressuring you is absurd. I have no right to do that. I'm only giving some advice to Ms. Jiyoon as her friend.”
As she said this, Jimin looked at her watch and got up from her seat.
“It's time for me to take my leave.”
Jimin said goodbye to Inhoo and Jiyoon, then headed to the door.
“Ah. Let me say this, Ms. Jiyoon.”
Jimin stood in the doorway and turned her head to look back at Jiyoon.
“You have something that puts you at an advantage compared to everyone else. That's why it won’t be hard to win over Mr. Sungyoon if you try.”
After buying orange juice, Shinhae stood in front of the room. As she rubbed the cold bottle of orange juice on her cheeks, she saw Jimin standing in front of the door. Shinhae immediately latched on to her leg.
Jimin brushed Shinhae’s hair and continued.
“It’s because Ms. Jiyoon is Shinhae's dear unni.”
As someone who paved the way first, Jimin was sure of it.
The wall paintings held such a shocking story that they captured the attention of Sungyoon and his party for a long time. However, the four of them knew they couldn't continue to stand there like that.
Sungyoon went to the center of the room. The shocking nature of the wall paintings had pushed all information out of his head, but he soon remembered the pillar at the center. It was a round, thick pillar with all kinds of geometric figures drawn on it. Sungyoon saw a door located in the middle of the pillar.
Sungyoon opened the door. The space inside was quite large. He took out a significant amount of his moonstones.
Sungyoon poured the moonstones into the pillar, then closed the door. After that, he placed his hand on a small disc on the door, circulated his magical energy, and transferred it into the disc.
Like the devices in the room below, the pillar vibrated as it let out blue light. The blue light lit up all the symbols on it.
“Is that all we have to do?”
Grace looked over Sungyoon’s shoulder.
“What will this do?”
“I don’t know the exact details, but it provides the magical energy that’ll open the portal.”
Sungyoon spoke as he pulled back his hand from the disc.
“When we used the portal to run away, the tiny amount of energy left inside it was used up.”
“So that's why you put in the moonstones.”
The moonstones full of magical energy were the surest way of supplying magical energy. Grace glanced at the door, and then at the entire pillar.
“Is that all you need to do to provide the magical energy?”
“I believe so.”
Sungyoon couldn’t give a definite answer as he didn’t have comprehensive knowledge about the function and structure of the portal.
The party once again returned to the room with the devices, and the devices were still letting out a bright light.
“Uh? The screen changed.”
Emily pointed toward the holograms floating in front of the wall. Most of the building within the screen was still red, but the color of one of the three spires had turned to yellow. It was the spire where Sungyoon had provided magical energy.
“You're right. Why is it yellow though? Shouldn’t it be blue? The normal rooms like this one are blue.”
Tim asked, and the others nodded.
“I agree with you, Mr. Tim. Red means it’s powered down. Blue means it's powered on. So does yellow signify that it's in an unstable state? It is turned on, but isn’t completely turned on?”
After she spoke, Grace’s gaze naturally headed toward Sungyoon, and it was the same for the Ross siblings. Since the three of them were completely in the dark, they clung to Sungyoon, who had a smidgen of information.
The problem remained that Sungyoon didn’t know much either.
Feeling a bit cornered, Sungyoon answered.
“I believe so. I don’t know for sure. The information inside my head is incomplete. The only thing I can guarantee is the fact that we can get out of here.”
The party looked a bit nervous hearing him at first, but after he finished speaking, they became relieved again.
Sungyoon placed his hand on the operating device.
A large, complicated holographic keyboard appeared in front of him. Everyone stared at the mysterious keyboard.
Sungyoon awkwardly used his two index fingers to tap on the keyboard as if he were a man operating a computer for the first time. Despite his awkward movements, the images on the holograms changed.
The screen zoomed in on one of the two blue regions: the room they had teleported to. Soon, some unknown words appeared on the screen. Sungyoon tapped the keyboard a couple more times. The letters disappeared, and the screen zoomed out. Finally, Sungyoon brought down his hands from the keyboard.
“All the preparation is done. We have to go back to the room where we were teleported.”
As always, Tim raised his shield and took the lead.
They retraced their steps to enter the other room. The interior of the room looked the same, and Sungyoon stood in front of the sculpture that looked like a blooming flower.
“I just have to choose my destination.”
Sungyoon spoke as he tapped the Gold Gem.
“I can move all of us to any place that I’ve seen before, but the location has to have magical energy. The simplest solution is to open the portal where we were ambushed, but that sounds a bit risky.”
“Those ambushers might still be camping there.”
“I’ll open it at a different location.”
Sungyoon pushed his magical energy into the Gold Gem and thought about the place where he wanted to go. His destination was a location within the Beginner’s Labyrinth.
The sculpture started radiating light. In the beginning, the glow was small as if it were a firefly. The light continued to get bigger, and after a moment, it turned into a blue ball of light swirling in front of them.
Seeing this mysterious phenomenon was amazing even for the second time. Sungyoon gestured to his party members, who were absentmindedly looking at the blue ball of light.
Chelsea returned home. The multitude of tests that she had to conduct today had mentally exhausted her. She entered the front door and yelled.
No one answered her. It seemed Sungyoon’s party hadn’t come back yet.
‘They are a bit late this time.’
It had been a good while since Sungyoon’s party had gone into the Great Labyrinth. Normally, they should've returned by now.
‘I hope nothing is wrong.’
Thanks to Sungyoon’s generosity, Chelsea could freely use this house. However, she hated to wait. Whenever Sungyoon came back a bit later than usual, ominous thoughts would fill her mind. The work Sungyoon and his party did was dangerous, and on top of that, Sungyoon had a track record of getting himself into trouble. That was why, waiting would naturally worry Chelsea.
‘It's all right. He's only a bit late. There is no way he got himself into something massive again. It can’t happen all the time.’
Chelsea wanted Sungyoon and his party members to relax when they got home, so she became ready to clean the house.
Suddenly, she heard the sound of the front door open.
“We're finally back.”
“There's no place like home!”
Chelsea’s face brightened when she heard the familiar voices.
She ran toward the front door.Previous Chapter Next Chapter