Something was coming, something dangerous.
Plu-El tried to warn her comrades, but she was unable to. Even the fierce battle in front of her was soundless. The cold silence of the Moon’s vacuum had buried everything else.
‘I have to block it for now!’
She hoped her comrades quickly picked up on it too. Plu-El moved away from the battle and turned around to face the danger coming toward them.
‘Still, I need some support to fight this.’
She turned her head around to search for Tiotudo. Thankfully for her, she didn’t have to look for him as he arrived next to her. He must have felt the danger too.
‘What about Aruwen?’
She didn’t have high hopes for him, and Aruwen proved her right. He was focused on Sungyoon’s party as he shot arrows toward them.
‘He won’t be of much help anyway.’
She had to remind herself of that fact.
As Plu-El braced herself, she felt a terrifying sensation come from beyond the shallow hill. Three shadows emerged in her sight, and her eyes were drawn to one of them.
Her eyes became bloody red.
This man had killed her husband. He was one of the central figures that had messed up everything in her life. Strength entered Plu-El's hands.
The slim blade aimed for the gap in the helmet, but Sungyoon deflected the sword with his shield. Immediately, two spears shot toward him with impeccable timing. He swatted away one of them with his ax and intended to do the same to the other with his shield.
He saw Grace’s shield being battered aside next to him. The situation forced him to block the ax coming toward her with his shield, but this meant the spear got a clear path to him.
One of Sungyoon’s arms bent halfway as he pushed his shoulder forward.
The impact made his shoulder throb. Fortunately, the spear was only able to inflict a glancing blow, and it then skidded off his armor into the empty air.
‘I was lucky.’
However, this luck couldn’t last forever. Even if his party could buy time through a purely defensive battle, their opponents were too strong and numerous.
‘We can last about five more minutes.’
After five minutes, it was all up in the air as Grace and Emily were already starting to slow down. At that moment, an arrow flew in toward Emily, and Sungyoon barely blocked it.
Someone took advantage of it to stab a sword through the gap in his armor. The sword pierced through Sungyoon's shoulder, and his wound burned. His body immediately came to a halt.
An alarm rang in his head. Sungyoon knew he was in danger, and it seemed his opponents knew it as well. They swung their axes and halberds toward Sungyoon. However, even though only a moment had passed since he was paralyzed, Sungyoon regained control of his body.
‘It's the Red Gold Gem!’
Sungyoon was certain that the mysterious Gold Gem, which sometimes flashed with a tint of red, had released him from the paralysis. He somehow deflected the attacks, but his wound continued to pain him, and his face became scrunched up.
Suddenly, Sungyoon felt his body get lighter. Emily had used her healing spell on him.
‘She had prepared the spell beforehand.’
Sungyoon was deeply moved by how much Emily had evolved. When they had first met each other, Emily had been intimidated by the Bigfoot, and she couldn't properly defend herself. But now, she had the presence of mind to prepare healing spells for emergency use, and on top of that, her support was immediate.
Nothing was more trustworthy than having competent people at one's back.
Sungyoon felt energized as he started blocking the attacks once again. How long had they been defending like that? Sungyoon had no idea when he saw a couple of shadows appear from beyond the shallow hill.
‘Are they reinforcement?’
He couldn’t relax yet, as they could be the reinforcement for the ambushers as well. However, when his gaze fell upon the large fire sword in the hand of one of the shadow, Sungyoon unconsciously let out a yell of joy.
The fire sword lit up the dark sky of the Moon as Hyunwoo swung it.
It was a calamitous attack. Plu-El blocked it with her shield and barely redirected it. An enormous ravine of lava appeared on the Moon's surface.
The arm holding her shield throbbed with pain, and her shield became bright red from the heat.
Plu-El knew it as soon as she received the attack. It was impossible for them to win against Hyunwoo. She didn’t hesitate as she signaled to Tiotudo, and Tiotudo extended his hand toward the sky.
In a flash, a ball of fire detonated in the sky and attracted everyone's attention. The ambushers started to retreat at once toward the nearest labyrinth.
‘What the hell is he doing!’
Plu-El, who had been monitoring Hyunwoo while retreating, became red with anger when she swept her gaze to the side. Instead of retreating, Aruwen kept shooting his arrows.
‘He dares to go against a direct order now?’
When Plu-El and Tiotudo had agreed with Aruwen’s plan, Plu-El had suggested a requirement that Aruwen had to abide by. She would issue the orders in this mission. Since it was obvious that Aruwen was blinded by the Royal Gem, she couldn’t let him have the authority to issue orders.
And judging by the current sight, she had been right.
Tiotudo shook his head as he looked at her. His intention was clear.
‘You want to give up on Aruwen?’
Since Aruwen wasn’t leaving, the people nearest him had no idea what to do. They hesitated to retreat.
Plu-El bit her lips and gestured Tiotudo that she would leave the rest of her comrades in his command. She then ran toward Aruwen.
When she reached him, Plu-El immediately struck Aruwen on the back of his head. Aruwen looked like a possessed man as he kept firing his arrows. Due to the blow, his head bent forward, but he didn’t lose consciousness, unlike before.
Plu-El clicked her tongue. When Aruwen glared at her, she pointed to the labyrinth.
The flame sword came crashing toward them once again. Plu-El barely blocked the attack, and Aruwen started moving his feet. Thankfully, he was running toward the labyrinth. She let out a sigh of relief as she also moved.
Sungyoon’s party did not chase after the ambushers. Hyunwoo’s party was still a distance away, so the ambushers retreated without suffering any casualties.
“You son of a bitch! How dare you ignore Plu-El’s orders!”
As soon as they entered the labyrinth, Tiotudo shouted at Aruwen. His rage was apparent in how his calm self had been worked up. However, Aruwen wasn’t someone that would receive such criticism in silence.
“Shut up! If you did your job, we would've recovered the Royal Gem! You're incompetent!”
“What did you say, you bastard!”
The two men came close to exchanging blows, but Plu-El restrained them.
“What the hell are you two doing right now!”
She sounded almost hysterical.
“If you want to fight, you can do it after we get out of here! You can fight with your weapons, and I will referee it! But right now, we have to open the portal.”
Aruwen still spoke out in anger, but Tiotudo knew that Plu-El was right. He glared at Aruwen once more before opening the portal.
“Hurry up and go through it!”
Plu-El shouted and watched her comrades, who had been nervously spectating Tiotudo's and Aruwen's fight, started to disappear into the portal. All of them soon passed through the portal leaving behind only Plu-El, Tiotudo, and Aruwen.
‘“Hurry up and enter the portal.”
It was unclear if Tiotudo had calmed down or he was suppressing his anger as he spoke to Aruwen, who was moving away from the portal.
“You guys can go. I’ll go recover the Royal Gem.”
“You little imbecile!”
Tiotudo once again exploded in anger.
Plu-El was about to meddle in again when a voice stopped her in her tracks.
“Oh wow! You guys are still here?”
All three of them stopped what they were doing as they watched Hyunwoo saunter toward them from the entrance of the labyrinth. Hyunwoo's gaze stopped at the portal.
“Hmm, amazing! You succeeded in implementing the portal.”
Hyunwoo stroked his chin as he looked between the three.
“I wonder who you guys are. Do I know you? I would appreciate it if you would take off your helmets.”
“Sung Hyunwoo, you son of a bitch!”
“Huh? That voice...”
Hyunwoo’s voice became full of delight. He didn’t know the language, but he remembered that voice.
“Look who it is! My close friend Aruwen! You were a great friend to Jungbum and I! How have you been?”
“Don't you dare speak Mr. Jungbum’s name with that mouth!”
This time Plu-El shouted. Hyunwoo looked at her, then started laughing like a mad man.
“Ke ke ke! I wondered who was using Jungbum’s Gems. I would've never expected it to be you.”
He spoke in a sly manner.
“It has been a while, Sister-in-law.”
Hyunwoo looked at the third person.
“If the two of you're Aruwen and Sister-in-law, the remaining person has to be Tiotudo. Is it you, Tiotudo?”
“It seems I’m right.”
Hyunwoo took the silence to be an affirmation or maybe he was speaking on a hunch. It didn’t matter how he came to the conclusion, but he had correctly guessed the identity of all three of them.
“Ha ha ha! Oh my! In the back of my mind, I knew it was a possibility, but I never expected it to be true! This is so nostalgic! All the old friends are gathered in one place!”
“Fuck off, you trash!”
This time, Aruwen spoke in the language of Earth.
“Ke ke ke! The pretty young master can use such harsh words now?”
Hyunwoo needled Aruwen.
“I don’t know how you were able to reactivate the portal, but I can’t let you leave.”
Hyunwoo’s sword once again raged with flame.
“If you don’t put up a fight, I’ll give you all a painless death for old times' sake. What do you think?”
“Even the emotionless Tiotudo is cursing at me. You guys are hurting my feelings.”
Tiotudo took out a Gem from his Device and handed it over to Plu-El.
“What are you doing?”
Plu-El asked when she saw the Warrior Gem in her hands.
“I want you to take it and leave with Aruwen.”
Plu-El’s eyes widened.
“Leave? What about you!”
Tiotudo didn't reply, and Plu-El knew what the silence meant.
“No! We can’t leave you behind!”
“Since he reached this place, all of us can't leave here alive.”
“Are you going to leave behind a sacrifice? If so, I’m willing to wait. I’m your friend, after all.”
Hyunwoo retracted the flame from his sword and crossed his arms. He was enjoying this situation.
“Think about the future of our people, Plu-El. All of us can't get out of here alive.”
Tiotudo was telling the truth. All three of them couldn’t escape Hyunwoo’s clutches alive as Hyunwoo’s attack would reach them before they could enter the portal. In the end, they had to sacrifice someone.
However, she couldn’t easily accept this truth.
“You haven’t decided yet? I’m starting to get bored.”
Hyunwoo let out a large yawn.
Plu-El glared at him.
“Alright. I’ll choose for you.”
Hyunwoo moved once again.
“I’ll just kill one of you and let the rest live. Is that fair?”
“Hurry up and go!”
Tiotudo couldn't hesitate any longer, and he charged toward Hyunwoo.
“Go in! Hurry!”
Plu-El forcefully shoved Aruwen into the portal, then entered it too. Before her body disappeared, she looked toward her old friend for the last time.
That gaze could last only a moment as Plu-El disappeared along with the portal.
An enormous flame swept through the labyrinth.Previous Chapter Next Chapter