Clad in comfortable clothes, Chelsea kept pressing the buttons on the remote from the sofa. News, drama, art channels, movies, documentaries, etc, all kinds of programs and channels appeared on TV, but none caught Chelsea’s eyes.
In the end, she settled on one channel and placed the remote down. Then she picked up the potato chips and cola on the desk in front of her. Right now, Chelsea was the quintessential single person in a house.
As the dust from the chips settled on her fingertips, she sucked on them and took a swig of cola. All this time, her eyes kept glancing at the front door, which remained shut.
‘When will they be back?’
She became disinterested in watching the TV, so she tossed and turned on the sofa. Her eyes once again swept past the door.
She let out deep sighs as if it were the end of the world.
‘I hate times like this.’
Ten days had passed since Sungyoon had left Armstrong city. It was not an uncommon thing as whenever Sungyoon raided the Great Labyrinth, he would be gone for a longer time.
‘This was a special mission handed down by the Mayor himself.’
After Sungyoon became a Connector, he had been swept up into many dangerous situations. Chelsea was well aware of it. Labyrinths were full of unexpected variables, but the dangers to Connectors plummeted if Connectors acted within their limits. However, Sungyoon had a track record of getting himself into trouble, and Chelsea worried it might happen again.
‘There are so many other Connectors he could have hired. Why did it have to be Mr. Sungyoon...’
Chelsea bit down hard on the potato chip while imagining it to be the Mayor.
The price of goods on the Moon was high, so she didn’t like wasting food; she did this even when Sungyoon didn’t mind her eating all the food in the house. However, right now, she wanted to eat to relieve her stress.
‘This is why I never wanted to fall in love with a Connector!’
As a researcher, Chelsea had a good idea about how the Connectors lived. At the very least, she knew she couldn’t sleep in peace at night if she became a Connector's wife. She had hardened her heart to not fall for a Connector, but her heart had a mind of its own.
As the worry ate away at her heart, she heard a sound.
The front door opened.
Chelsea jumped up from the sofa. She wiped away the chip dust around her lips as she looked at the front door.
The worries in her heart dispersed. Finally, Sungyoon was here. She even forgot to put on her slippers as she approached Sungyoon.
With a bright smile, Chelsea checked if Sungyoon was hurt anywhere, and in the process, realized he was carrying someone on his back.
“We rescued her on the way back. She was lying face down on the Moon's surface.”
“On the Moon's surface?”
Sungyoon's words meant that the woman on his back had been abandoned in space.
“Is... is she ok?”
“Since she is a Connector, she's alive. Moreover, Ms. Emily healed all her wounds.”
Tim trudged into the house and explained in place of Sungyoon.
“We plan on protecting her until she regains consciousness. I’m sorry to ask this of you, but could you prepare one of the guest rooms?”
“Please wait a moment.”
As soon as she received Sungyoon’s request, Chelsea darted into the nearest empty room. Sungyoon carefully followed her to avoid unnecessarily harming the woman on his back.
Chelsea didn’t have to do much. She just brushed away some of the dust on the bed and folded back the blanket. When everything was ready, Sungyoon placed Plu-El on top of the bed.
“Shouldn’t we call a doctor?”
Emily spoke. She had healed the woman's body with her magic, but the woman might have suffered other damages that couldn’t be healed with magic.
“That’s a good idea. I’ll call one.”
Grace exited the room, and soon, the others heard her talk through the phone in the living room.
‘With her stature, Ms. Grace can get a couple of good doctors in Armstrong that she can trust.’
“We should rest for now. We didn’t do much, but it was still tiring.”
“Let’s do that. Since we finished another mission, we should celebrate with food and alcohol.”
Tim enthusiastically agreed with Sungyoon’s words. He wanted to go out right now to get as much beer and vodka as he could carry.
Sungyoon let out a chuckle.
“Beer sounds good. However, I won’t be able to help with the preparations for the drinking party. Let me apologize beforehand.”
“Where are you going?”
Emily looked at Sungyoon as she pulled the blanket up to Plu-El’s shoulders.
“I’m thinking about reporting to the Mayor right now. Also, I want to know which company this woman is affiliated with. I’m sure her comrades must be worried about her.”
“That’s a good idea.”
That wasn't all Sungyoon intended to do. As Sungyoon glanced down at Plu-El, a memory replayed in his mind.
‘In our last meeting, she reacted oddly when she met Mr. Hyunwoo.’
Hyunwoo had said that the two of them were friends in the past, but the woman's reaction had told a completely different story. Of course, Hyunwoo might have been telling the truth, and their relationship might have experienced a fallout because of something.
‘What could cause such deterioration in relationships between close friends?’
Back then, this woman had looked at Hyunwoo as if he was her mortal enemy.
‘I don’t like getting in between other people’s business, but….’
‘She might have information about Mr. Hyunwoo.’
A suspicion about Hyunwoo had recently sprouted in Sungyoon's heart, and this suspicion was deepening as if it were a freight train with no brakes.
‘I must find out this information for her.’
The image of his wife, Jimin, appeared in his mind as he left the house.
Voices rang out in an almost empty city. It looked like the city had been squeezed into this space, and the city abruptly ended in a couple of locations. Even though it had fallen apart in many places, the city had still preserved its look of an ancient city.
The expressions of worry and exhaustion on the owner of these voices suggested that they had run away from a catastrophe. A small group of these people had gathered on the side.
“What should we do now?”
A man asked as he lay on a broken wall from exhaustion. His question wasn't directed at anyone in the group in particular; he was just lamenting about the fact that he couldn’t see a forward path for his people.
When one started speaking, others opened their mouths too.
“What happened to Plu-El? Do you think she is dead?”
“Don’t put that evil on us!”
“There's no way she got out of there alive. We have to take inventory of our fighting force for the future...”
“Future? There is no future! This is it! We lost!”
Unpleasant emotions started to boil up. Rage, confusion, despair, and denial swirled inside these people's hearts. They cussed each other out of frustration. They blamed the heavens. They blamed themselves.
However, one of them kept silent despite the emotions raging around him. He slowly touched his Device.
Even now, he could hear her words in his mind.
‘You're the only one left now. You will lead our people from now on.’
Their relationship had deteriorated over the years, so it had been a long time since Aruwen had seen Plu-El smile toward him. When he saw that smile again, she had been powerless against her enemies.
Strength entered into the hand that was touching the Device.
Someone yelled out his name while running toward him. All the others in the group, who were about to trade blows with each other, came to a stop.
Aruwen slowly raised his head as he asked.
The one who had called him out was a spy he had sent to Armstrong city as soon as his people had arrived here. Even in the midst of the chaos, Aruwen wanted to keep track of Sung Hyunwoo and Fabion. It was a half measure that he didn’t expect much of.
However, the information brought to Aruwen was huge and important.
“I saw Plu-El!”
Aruwen stood up. Everyone else became surprised. A small light of hope appeared in their dead eyes.
Aruwen immediately asked.
“You know that guy we ambushed before? Woo Sungyoon! I saw him with Plu-El on his back!”
Aruwen’s face hardened, and the crowd became agitated.
“Woo Sungyoon? The one who awakened the Royal Gem? Isn’t he friends with that son of a bitch Hyunwoo?”
“Doesn’t that mean Plu-El is in danger?”
They were all happy that Plu-El was alive, but their faces darkened again when they realized she had been captured by Sung Hyunwoo’s friend. All of them looked like a group of goats that had lost their leader, and they argued with each other on everything. Watching them, Aruwen silently came to a decision.
“Then I’ll be on my way.”
After saying goodbye, Sungyoon exited the Mayor’s office.
‘This ends my work for the day.’
He had reported what had happened, then asked the Mayor to find the comrades of Soyoung’s mother. The Mayor had readily agreed to his request.
‘We were given a couple of days off, so we should relax today.’
His party members would've already prepared delicious food and alcohol in his house. Since he had to maintain constant vigilance in the labyrinth earlier, Sungyoon was exhausted. Being in a safe place now, he wanted to relax and get a bit drunk.
‘I’ll have to call Shinhae before I do that.’
Sungyoon could speak to Shinhae any time he wanted to through the communication device. It was the one perk Sungyoon loved about having a lot of money.
‘Jimin… I should talk to her too.’
Sungyoon still felt a bit awkward, but she was his wife and a part of his responsibility now. So he would call her often to get rid of that awkwardness. His feet became light at the thought of talking to his family. However, that feeling didn't last long.
“I knew I would find you here.”
Sungyoon’s footsteps had been so light that he would have flown off into the sky if he were a little careless, and these footsteps came to a stop. He was familiar with this voice.
Sungyoon turned around to see Hyunwoo approaching him with a bright smile on his face. Sungyoon did his best to keep his expression under control as he asked.
“Do you have business with the Mayor too, Mr. Hyunwoo?”
“We’ve been summoned, and we can’t refuse it. It has to do with what you guys witnessed.”
Hyunwoo pointed backward where several people were entering the lobby. They were probably related to Fabion.
“Is your business done here?”
“Yes. I’ve finished all the urgent tasks.”
“That’s great. Do you mind if I talk to you for a minute?”
Sungyoon narrowed his eyes.Previous Chapter Next Chapter