Chapter 270

As Sungyoon walked behind Hyunwoo, he kept checking the people near him. The city hall was located at the heart of Armstrong, so it was always crowded. Hyunwoo wouldn’t attack him unless he had lost his mind.

“That place looks good.”

Hyunwoo pointed at a cafe near the city hall.

“Do you want anything to drink?”

Hyunwoo’s attitude was the same as always. 

‘He really is shameless, or am I the one being weird?’

The last incident had hammered home Sungyoon's distrust of Hyunwoo. If one asked an unrelated third party about Hyunwoo, they would probably say Hyunwoo was acting strange.

‘If he really is….’

Sungyoon gulped.

‘Even the idea of it makes me feel an enormous amount of pressure.’

Sungyoon felt chills at the thought of Hyunwoo possibly being an enemy. It didn’t help that he had witnessed Hyunwoo’s strength from up close.

‘Even if I’ve grown stronger, I am far away from reaching this man’s level.’

In the end, Sungyoon pulled himself together.

“I’m fine with an Americano.”

“Ok.”

Hyunwoo ordered the coffee and placed it down in front of Sungyoon. When he saw Sungyoon looking at the cup of coffee, Hyunwoo spoke. 

“Don’t worry about it. I didn’t poison it.”

Hyunwoo cackled as if he had said something clever. Sungyoon didn’t respond to Hyunwoo’s jab. He drank his coffee and asked Hyunwoo.

“What business do you have with me?”

Sungyoon wanted to get away from this tense and exhausting meeting as soon as he could.

“It isn’t much. I just wanted to know if you were still getting stronger.”

The question came out of nowhere. Sungyoon had been tense as he had no idea what kind of questions Hyunwoo might ask him, so he felt drained all of a sudden. However, he quickly put up his guard once again.

“I’m getting strong enough that I do wonder if I’m getting stronger at a much faster rate than everyone.”

“You haven’t reached your ceiling yet?”

“No.”

Hyunwoo laughed. Sungyoon had all kinds of suspicions coming into this meeting, so he was a bit surprised by Hyunwoo’s pure delight.

“That's welcoming news.”

“… I’m sorry, but why would it be welcoming news for you?”

The two of them had become a bit close, but at the end of the day, they were strangers to each other. Hyunwoo had acted like a parent who had seen his child receive full marks on a test. The information shouldn’t have elicited such a response from him.

“Ke ke ke! It's for personal reasons. Let’s just leave it at that.”

Hyunwoo downed the rest of his coffee. He chewed on the couple pieces of ice that had entered his mouth with the coffee as he got up.

“I’ll see you later.”

“What?”

“Why are you looking at me like that? Did you want to hold hands and talk? I only do that on dates. I should leave now since my business with you is done.”

Sungyoon blinked as he watched Hyunwoo move toward the cafe exit.

“… What is he plotting?”

Sungyoon mumbled as Hyunwoo's figure disappeared from his sight.

***

- Sung Hyunwoo said that?

Russell's face was displayed on the screen. He had an unsatisfactory expression on his face as he mumbled to himself.

- What's he plotting?

“I have no idea.”

- Is he flaunting it in our face that he doesn’t think we’ll discover what he did? Is he that confident? Or is it some form of protest that says he did nothing wrong? Were those burnt people really terrorists?

“It would do my heart some good if that was true.”

Sungyoon had benefited in many ways from his relationship with Hyunwoo. If Hyunwoo did kill the terrorists, it would make him feel at ease.

‘Moreover, it would be better for Jimin.’

Sungyoon now found it pretty easy to refer to Jimin without the honorifics.

“How’s it going on your side?”

- The investigators are combing over the site. If there is something to be found here, they’ll find it.

After receiving the report, Armstrong city was quick to act. They had sent over a small team of capable investigators, and as soon as their Connectors became available, Armstrong dispatched them to the site too.

- It's likely we might not find anything here. Even if we call them investigators, they are only Connectors with specialized skills.

The magical energy suppressor could not be used in a Mana Stream, so the Great Labyrinth, where the Mana Stream was ever-present, was off-limits for the real forensic scientists.

- Did those bastards take this into account when they did this?

“That I do not know.”

- The probability of it being true is high. Fabion's president is a snake. He’s easily capable of doing something like this.

‘Fabion’s reputation is worse than I thought it was.’

Sir Russell embodied his title. He was everything a knight should be. Grace was proud of him not only because he was the strongest Connector of England, but also because he was a person of upstanding character. Such a man was badmouthing Fabion to this extent.

‘Mr. Bruce didn’t seem to like them either.’

Sungyoon thought about the past where Dongin had interfered with Jimin’s business. At the time, Dongin had said he had done it for Jimin’s sake. Sungyoon hadn’t paid much attention to it because it had nothing to do with him.

However, things were different now.

‘Shall I dig into them?’

He would dig into the existence called Fabion, then he would look into Dongin and Hyunwoo. But this was a task for a later date.

“When will you be returning, Sir Russell?”

- I’ll wait until the size of the investigative team expands so much that they do not need Bruce or me. I would like to get back sooner rather than later. I always have this thought when I enter a new labyrinth, but I’m not cut out for labyrinth exploration.

Sungyoon let out a bitter laugh when he saw Russell shake his head from side to side.

- I only came out to contact you. Aside from doing that, I have to remain stuck inside the labyrinth. It's quite the headache. There would be some excitement if we could hunt down monsters, but we have to stay next to the burnt corpses and the piles of ashes.

“Don’t monsters occasionally come across that space?”

- They do, but they are weak ones.

Russell let out a sigh.

“Let’s have a drink when you get back.”

- Yes. Let’s do that. I look forward to it. That’ll keep me going.

When he ended the call, Russell looked like a salaryman going to work on Monday morning as he looked forward to the fun he’ll have on the weekends.

“Are you done talking?”

When Sungyoon came out to the living room, Grace asked the question. She held a bucket full of warm water.

“Yeah. I’m guessing she hasn’t awakened yet?”

“Yes. Since she's a Connector, she has a robust physique. Yet, she hasn't awakened even after a week. Her mental fatigue must have been extreme. I wonder what she went through.”

Grace shook her head in dismay as she recalled the doctor's words.

“The doctor said she should be waking up soon, so I’m doing my best to tend to her.”

“You're very kind. If the patient was male, I would help out, but it wouldn’t be a good look for a male to attend a female patient.”

“It's fine. I’ve tended to my grandmother when she was sick before.”

“The Queen must have been happy.”

“Even after she got better, she insisted on keeping me by her side for a while.”

Grace playfully winked at him, then entered the room where Plu-El was being nursed.

‘Soyoung’s mother….’

Sungyoon looked at the door of the room, and a serious look appeared in his eyes.

‘She isn’t registered as a Connector in Armstrong city.’

He had received the information a couple of days ago from the Mayor. The Mayor even said that they had no record of her entering the city. Armstrong city was strict about their security, so they recorded, registered, and compiled information as soon as passengers exited the spaceships. The lack of any information about her was very suspicious.

‘She might be a terrorist, or she might be related to him.’

In consideration of the results from the investigation about the woman, Armstrong was monitoring Sungyoon's house. Connectors had been dispatched around his house on surveillance. If the woman did regain consciousness and run away, these Connectors were here to stop her.

Both the Mayor and Sungyoon wanted her to regain consciousness. For the time being, since her identity couldn’t be confirmed, Sungyoon had been ordered to confiscate her Device and Gems. In doing so, he had activated her Gems to check their abilities, hoping for a clue about her identity.

‘I never expected her to be that warrior.’

Since Shinhae had gotten along with Soyoung, Sungyoon thought highly of Plu-El. However, his emotions became a whirlwind when he saw her sword and armor. The armor and sword she possessed were the same as that of the ambusher who had attacked him. They were the sword and armor once worn by Jungbum.

‘Mr. Hyunwoo and Fabion stated that they had eradicated the terrorists, and then, we found her unconscious on the Moon's surface. It can’t be a coincidence.’

Sungyoon was almost certain that this woman was involved in the incident with Hyunwoo and Fabion, and as a distant possibility, also in the death of Jungbum.

‘Hurry up and wake up, Soyoung’s mother.’

He had too many questions to ask her.

***

- You made a mistake. 

The air passed through the vocal cords of the man on the screen, then the mouth and tongue shaped the words. The words were emotionless, but Gisoo knew it. When Dongin was in this state, it meant he was a volcano that was about to erupt.

“T-that is… I never expected them to have a portal.”

- They could freely move between Earth and the Moon. Even if you didn’t know they had a portal, you should've considered that they would have a special transportation method. Isn’t it obvious?

‘He’s talking out of his ass.’

Hyunwoo inwardly sneered at Dongin, who was in the midst of chewing out Gisoo.

‘He’s venting his anger on a subordinate that he knows he can bully.’

Gisoo functioned exactly as he looked. He was good for leading simple plans, and he wasn’t the type of person to dot the i's and cross the t's when making a plan. This whole initiative was a mess from the start. In his impatience, Dongin had pushed this plan despite many in the company being worried about it.

‘That was why he placed the idiot Gisoo as the leader.’

Gisoo carried out whatever order he was given, and his loyalty to Dongin was unquestionable. The prime example of his loyalty was the current situation; it was obvious Dongin was lashing out in anger, but Gisoo made an expression as he knew he had made a mistake.

‘It's none of my business.’

Hyunwoo was also being berated, but he had learned the skill of ignoring this petty person’s words decades ago. If he was unable to do so, he probably wouldn’t have lived this long despite being a Connector.

As Hyunwoo looked to the side, he realized Jinsoo was letting the words go in one ear and out the other. Hyunwoo inwardly laughed at the sight. 

However, even Hyunwoo had to pay attention to Dongin’s next words.

- It seems Plu-El is in Woo Sungyoon’s house.

“What?”

“Huh?”

“Excuse me?”

Gisoo, Hyunwoo, and Jinsoo spoke at the same time.

“W-why would that woman be there?”

Gisoo stammered as he asked. Hyunwoo and Jinsoo changed their disinterested posture as they listened to Dongin.

- When Woo Sungyoon was returning from the labyrinth, he found her lying on the Moon's surface.

“What kind of a….”

‘What a coincidence.’

As Dongin slowly started to spit fire once again, Gisoo looked shellshocked. Hyunwoo stood behind the big man and desperately bit his lips in a bid to stop himself from bursting out in laughter.

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