Chapter 256

After they were finished with their respective investigation, the two groups gathered in one place. Fortunately, they hadn't encountered any problems.

“Did you find out where the monsters crawled out from?”

“Yes.”

One of the Connectors in the group trailing the backward tracks replied to Sungyoon.

“Because of the Moon's surface, the monsters' tracks were still discernable, so it was quite easy to track them down. The trail originates from a labyrinth around nine kilometers away from here. What did you guys find?”

“We also found out where they ended up.”

“Is that so? Doesn’t that mean our job is done?”

None of the Connectors thought about exacting revenge on the monsters. Death was their constant companion, and it would be impossible to track down the monsters even if they wanted to do it. The tracks would disappear inside a labyrinth.

“I believe it is.”

“The number of the monsters that came out of the labyrinth wasn’t just one or two. There were at least several dozen.”

“We know it too. We also saw the tracks that went inside the labyrinth that we found.”

“If we aren’t careful, this place will be swarming with monsters like Gagarin·Yang city.”

The Connector talking to Hyunwoo spoke with a voice full of worry. 

Gagarin·Yang city hadn’t built their defense at the time of their demise, but it had many Connectors inside it. Yet, the city had fallen in a short amount of time, and most of those Connectors were either dead or missing now. 

There was no reason history wouldn’t repeat itself through Armstrong.

“Don’t say such horrible stuff. Our city is different. We’ve prepared our defense, and our quality and quantity of Connectors are overwhelmingly superior. So don’t worry too much.”

Hyunwoo patted the Connector’s shoulder.

“Hey!”

One of the Connectors, who had gone inside the Moon Surface vehicle to send a report to Armstrong, came rushing out of the vehicle after receiving a response.

“We’ve received an emergency recall order! Monsters have been spotted near Armstrong city!”

In a flash, the mood of the Connectors turned bleak.

***

Clunk! Clunk!

The Moon Surface Vehicle rattled as the driver kept his foot on the accelerator. The Connectors weren’t traveling across a paved road on Earth, so the bumpy ride didn’t feel good. However, no one complained.

“Hmm?”

As they got closer to Armstrong, Sungyoon continuously waved his hand through the air. When his eyes widened, Grace, who was sitting next to him, asked.

“What’s wrong?”

“It's magical energy.”

“What do you mean?”

“I can feel magical energy in our surroundings.”

When the other Connectors heard Sungyoon's statement, they all focused their senses. Some tried to wave their hands through the air like Sungyoon.

“It's indeed magical energy.”

“I’m sure of it.”

The others felt it too and confirmed their findings.

“How long before we reach Armstrong?”

Hyunwoo summoned his weapon and armor as he asked. Everyone else followed suit.

The Connector driving the vehicle answered.

“Thirty minutes!”

“Alright!”

Hyunwoo looked out the window as he bounced his sword on his shoulder. Suddenly, he moved his face closer to the window.

“I found one.”

He tilted his neck as he spoke.

“It’s a monster.”

The other Connectors moved toward the windows on Hyunwoo’s side.

“It's an Ogre.”

“It really is walking across the Moon.”

The Ogre was a monster with an enormous muscular body, and it could rip apart a hippo with its bare hands. This monster was slowly wandering as if it didn’t have a particular destination in mind. However, it then caught sight of the Moon Surface vehicle and opened its mouth wide.

“Did it just roar?”

Tim mumbled. The monster was acting on instinct to intimidate its enemies, but the Moon didn’t have any air. The Ogre’s roar was useless outside of the labyrinths, but the monster was unfazed by its ineffective roar and charged at the Moon Surface vehicle.

“What should we do? Should we kill it?”

Unfortunately for the Ogre, those chosen to defend Armstrong city were all capable of using high rank Jewel Gems. A monster like an Ogre was weak to them.

“Let’s not do that.”

Sungyoon stopped the Connectors who wanted to jump out of the vehicle.

“We have to prioritize the safety of Armstrong city, so we should reach the city as soon as possible. Anyway, the Ogre is too slow to catch up to the vehicle. It's better to just ignore it and move on.”

“You do have a point. What do you all think?”

Hyunwoo made sure the other Connectors agreed with the proposal. When everyone did, he signaled the driver. The driver pushed down on the pedal and increased the vehicle's speed. As expected, the Ogre fell behind and soon disappeared into the distance.

After driving a while like that...

“I can see it.”

The enormous city of Amstrong came into the Connectors' view.

“It's peaceful!”

The tensed Tim, who had been gripping his ax all this time, spoke in a deflated manner. He had assumed that Armstrong city was in imminent danger.

“We weren’t told that Armstrong city was attacked. We were notified that monsters were found near the city. I’m assuming the magical energy has leaked out from a nearby labyrinth, and monsters are roaming the area. That's plenty dangerous.”

Sungyoon explained the situation to Tim.

The Moon Surface vehicle stopped near Armstrong city, and after contacting Armstrong, the driver turned around to shout at the Connectors.

“We got an order! They want us to search and destroy all the monsters!”

“It’s time to work!”

Hyunwoo spoke up as he stood and stretched his stiff body. The other Connectors started to get up in ones and twos.

“Our foes are probably monsters that exited the normal labyrinths around here. I hope there aren’t any idiots here that will die to monsters from normal labyrinths, right?”

Several Connectors chuckled. Not all of the Connectors here had gone into the Great Labyrinth, but they had long since cleared their Personal labyrinths. It might be an exaggeration, but these connectors could crush the monsters as if the monsters were ants.

“I trust there are none. Still, we should move in groups. Some will fare poorly in an ambush because of their Gems.”

The Connectors grouped up in their own parties, and if their party members weren’t present, they grouped with acquaintances. Sungyoon’s party gathered in one location.

When Hyunwoo saw that everyone was ready, he spoke once again.

“We’ll head out now. The Connectors on standby in Armstrong had already been sent out to defeat the monsters, so we probably won’t find too many monsters. But, it doesn't mean that we should slack off. Our proud city is very large, and it’ll take us a long time just to search around the city.”

“Proud city? In my eyes, it's the vampire city! Sucks out all my money!”

Everyone uproariously laughed at the comment.

“They might suck your blood, but it's the only city that’ll give you honey up here. If you have any complaints, you can take it up with the Mayor at a later time. Let’s get moving now.”

After Hyunwoo’s final words, the Connectors exited the vehicle and spread out around Armstrong city.

***

Puh-uhk!

Tim’s ax cut off the head of a monster that looked like a monkey. Blood fell onto the surface of the Moon.

“This is the fourth one that we’ve killed.”

Tim picked up the moonstone dropped from the Yeti.

“This is going well.”

“It's to be expected. These are monsters from regular labyrinths.”

Emily and Grace spoke in a relaxed manner.

They had already experienced the lower levels of the Great Labyrinth, so monsters from normal labyrinths didn't trouble them. The party would probably lose sleep if these monsters did give them a hard time. Even Emily could now hunt down a Yeti by herself.

After killing the Yeti, Tim surveyed his surroundings.

“Even if we hadn’t come, the Connectors on standby could've easily taken care of these monsters. I wonder why the higher-ups called us back? We could've continued our investigation.”

“Maybe, they just wanted extra security. There is precedence with what happened at Gagarin·Yang city, so a little bit of caution isn’t a bad thing.”

“You're right. However, wouldn’t the ambushers show up here if we aren’t careful?”

Sungyoon’s party was far away from the other parties, so if they were ambushed, they would be in great danger.

“I told you to shut that big mouth of yours.”

Emily glared at her brother. Tim flinched because he remembered he had jinxed the party before.

“Don’t be too harsh on him.”

Grace gently pacified Emily.

“It’ll be to our benefit if the ambushers attacked us here. Even if we are ambushed in a similar fashion as before, we can last long enough if we solely focus on defense. By that time, help would come to us. The nearby Connectors would converge, and we would have a great opportunity to kill the ambushers once and for all.”

Sungyoon had a similar thought, and a small part of him wanted an ambush.

‘We could pull out the source of our problems by its roots.’

The other Connectors could be excluded too; Sungyoon's party just needed Hyunwoo as he could alone kill all the ambushers.

‘The fact that we are expecting it makes it unlikely that they'll attack.’

Sungyoon shook his head and moved ahead in his search.

***

The Connectors easily defeated the monsters near Armstrong city. None of the Connectors died or got injured. Eventually, the magical energy around Armstrong city receded, and all the remaining monsters went away.

The threat being faced by Armstrong city hadn’t really been a threat. However, this didn’t mean the crisis came to an end. After this incident, the magical energy leaked out from the labyrinths again, and more monsters appeared outside. Fortunately, the magical energy of the Great Labyrinth remained inside it. 

Still, the leaks from the normal labyrinths were enough of a danger.

The upper management of Armstrong city was allergic to the idea of monsters approaching Armstrong city, so they sent out the Connectors on standby duty to patrol and exterminate the monsters.

Sungyoon’s party was part of this group of Connectors. However, they were still in danger of being ambushed, so they always patrolled near other high ranked Connectors. This was how Sungyoon’s party spent their time defending Armstrong city.

Of course, their actions didn't go unnoticed.

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