Chapter 271

Hyunwoo felt like a spectator watching all of this from across a lake. Unlike him, Gisoo was sweating bullets. Right now, Gisoo looked like a dog that kept glancing at its master after making a mistake.

“Wh-what should we do?”

Dongin grabbed his head from across the screen.

Hyunwoo almost fell on his butt laughing, but he somehow held it in. He then looked at Jinsoo and found him also shaking due to holding it in.

- If any of the other moon people had been caught, it would still have been a problem, but not as huge as it is with Plu-El.

‘It's to be expected.’

Plu-El was one of the people who knew the full story of what they had done. Above all else, she was the wife of Jungbum, a central figure of Fabion back then, and she was also Fabion's most friendly collaborator.

In a rarity, Gisoo tried to use his head. Nevertheless, he failed to think of a good idea. He really wasn’t suited for anything requiring a functioning brain.

“Should I go kill her right now?”

“Cut it out! This isn’t the Great Labyrinth that’s far from prying eyes. We are within Armstrong. If we try something like that, we’ll be immediately found out.”

Hyunwoo warned Gisoo before Dongin could answer. However, Gisoo didn’t like being warned by him, so he glared at Hyunwoo. He became hunched as if he were an angry boar about to charge at him.

- Hyunwoo is right.

“P-president!”

In just a second, Gisoo became a docile dog, but his master didn’t even blink at his antics.

- Sung Hyunwoo.

“Yes.”

- You have full authority now.

Gisoo became crestfallen. He felt that the sky had fallen around him, and it was hilarious to see such a large man act like that. 

“Sure. What do I have to do?”

- I’ll tell you later. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just make sure you won’t get blamed for anything.

‘This snake is planning something.’

Dongin liked pulling strings from the back, so it wasn’t surprising that he had a plan. With that in mind, Hyunwoo nodded.

“Understood.”

- Don’t disappoint me again.

Hyunwoo almost burst out laughing, but he held it back once again. Dongin had been the one to orchestrate the previous plan, yet he was speaking such words. Hyunwoo kept his emotions inside himself and spoke one word of acknowledgment.

“Understood.”

***

Screams! Despair! Anger!

All kinds of emotions passed through her as she tried to see past the white smoke, but it was all pandemonium. Plu-El reached out her hand toward the escaping frightened people.

‘I have to help them!’

However, as if chains had constrained her body, she couldn’t move an inch, no matter how hard she tried.

‘No! It won’t be like before! Move! Please move!’

She was different from her past self. She was different from the woman who had run away with a couple of Gems left behind for her by her loving husband. She was different from that powerless woman. She had strength now.

‘Please move!’

Despite her efforts, her body didn’t move, while those devil-like bastards started coming toward her.

They had worn the benevolent masks of angels, but behind their masks were dirty plots. These bastards had stolen her people and her loving husband from her, and one of them stood out to her.

‘Sung Hyunwoo!’

It was him again. He was going to slaughter her people like before. She was horrified as his bloody face surveyed the surrounding. He walked through the ashes of the burning village. Plu-El was both surprised and frightened when she saw where Sung Hyunwoo was heading to.

‘Soyoung!’

Her daughter called out to her with a teary voice.

Sung Hyunwoo reached Soyoung.

‘No!’

Fright appeared in Soyoung’s eyes as she retreated. However, Sung Hyunwoo’s steps were quicker.

‘Move! Damn it! Move!’

Plu-El's body refused to move. Sung Hyunwoo’s sword raged with ominous flames as he raised it above his head. Soyoung looked at Plu-El and desperately called out to her, while Hyunwoo’s sword emotionlessly fell toward the child.

“Nooooooooooooo!”

Bul-duhk!

Plu-El woke up, and the white blanket covering her body fell off. 

“Ha-ah! Ha-ah! Ha-ah!”

She clutched at her heart as she took deep breaths. Being a Connector, she didn’t need to breathe, but the dream had been too shocking. Her rough breathing showed no signs of ending.

“… Where am I?”

Plu-El felt that she were in a dark space before and the light was returning to her. As her eyes swept up the surroundings, no burning buildings appeared in her sight. No acrid smoke hit her nose. And above all, no Sung Hyunwoo and Soyoung showed up. 

“It was a dream.”

She felt drained all of a sudden as a sense of relief appeared inside her heart. Her body fell back into the bed, and Plu-El felt the cold sweat on her back. The relief only lasted a moment, and she straightened up in the bed once again.

‘No, it wasn’t a dream.’

The part where Sung Hyunwoo had attacked Soyoung was a dream, but the rest was reality and the cold, hard truth.

‘What happened? Where are the others? Where’s Soyoung? Did they get away? Is Aruwen leading them well?’

All kinds of thoughts popped up in her head, and her head felt crowded. However, a question pushed them all behind and appeared at the front.

‘Where is this?’

‘It's styled like the homes on Earth.’

Feeling a sense of danger, Plu-El jumped out of the bed and looked out of the window. Her eyes didn't see the ceiling of the dark cave where she used to live or the blue sky of Earth. Only dreary gray walls and ceiling filled her vision.

‘Armstrong city!’

Plu-El had no idea why she was here in enemy territory, but since she was, she couldn’t stay still in the bed; especially since she had been ambushed by Fabion.

Geek!

The door of her room suddenly opened, and it surprised Plu-El, who was in midst of finding an exit route through the window.

“You're awake.”

As Emily entered the room, Plu-El instinctively reached for her Device.

“Please save your energy. We confiscated all your Devices and Gems.”

Emily’s voice was very cold. It was to be expected. There was a high probability that the woman in front of her was one of the ambushers who had attacked her party. Only a saint could laugh in front of such a person, and Emily wasn’t one.

“Please forget about running away. The house is tightly monitored. You can still try if you don’t value your life.”

Plu-El wasn’t as fluent in English as she was in Korean, but she could communicate in the language. Jungbum had told her that the language lessons would be beneficial for her people, and he had taught Plu-El both languages.

Understanding her situation, Plu-El glared at Emily, who snorted and left the room to inform the others.

***

“I’ll ask this once again.”

A gaunt man with lively eyes stood in front of Plu-El. His body emanated an odd pressure as he interrogated her.

“Who are you?”

Plu-El's mouth remained shut as she lay on the bed with her eyes closed. In some ways, it looked like she was sleeping, but her occasionally-fluttering eyes proved otherwise.

The interrogator's eyebrows twitched, and he clenched and unclenched his fists. It almost appeared as though he wanted to squeeze his hand around her neck and shake her.

“Hoo-ooh~!”

In the end, the interrogator sighed to let go of all the negative emotions. He then stood up from the chair next to the bed and left the room. Sungyoon, who was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed, followed him.

“This won’t do. Her mouth is sealed.”

The interrogator sent by Armstrong shook his head from side to side.

“It's hard even for you, Sir?”

“I need someone to lie or deny an accusation. I need some kind of a reaction to either threaten or appease my subject. However, she is refusing to even react, and from my experience, it’ll be very hard to extract any information from her even if one decided to torture her.”

The interrogator's words didn’t mean he could just give up on this endeavor; it was highly likely that the woman had a lot of the information that Armstrong city wanted. He left the house with a tired expression while saying he'll be back tomorrow.

Sungyoon returned to Plu-El’s room and found her still lying down as if she were dead. His gaze headed toward the table next to the bed to see the breakfast she had refused to eat. After waking up, Plu-El had abstained from eating and even drinking water.

‘As a Connector, she’ll last longer than normal people, but the experience will still be painful for her.’

Sungyoon walked up next to the bed.

“… Is Soyoung doing ok?”

Flinch!

Did she not expect this question?

Plu-El’s eyelids fluttered, and her lips parted a little. The reaction lasted only for a moment though as Plu-El again assumed her previous state. Sungyoon glanced at her again, then left.

When he returned to the living room, he found the others—bar Chelsea, who had gone to the research facility—already gathered there.

“Was there still no progress?”

Grace spoke up first.

“None. She's tenacious. Maybe, she has some kind of unshakable belief that she won’t cross.”

“She’s a terrorist. She has no beliefs.”

Emily snorted. She had developed a lot of negative feelings toward Plu-El.

“Did something happen?”

Before Sungyoon came, the three of them had been looking at the TV. Sungyoon had thought that they were watching an entertainment show, but up close, he saw an unpleasant image on the screen.

“It's an act of terror.”

Tim glared at the TV with a crumpled face as if he wanted to smash it.

“Terrorist activities have occurred on Earth.”

Sungyoon turned to look at the TV.

Terrorism.

It wasn’t a pleasant word. Still, acts of terrorism occasionally occurred on Earth. The unique thing about this incident was that Korea was usually free of terrorist activities, so this terrorist act elicited a severe sense of crisis.

Moreover, the details on the TV shocked Sungyoon.

“… It occurred in several locations?”

“Twelve confirmed cases, and this is not the end of them.”

Emily’s voice was very serious. The terrorist attacks were happening all around the world. The TV screen showed a rotating model of Earth with red dots indicating the affected locations. Korea was one of the locations with the red dot.

“The problem is that these aren’t normal terrorist attacks like suicide bombings.”

Sungyoon wanted to call Shinhae and Jimin right now to see if they were ok, but Grace’s words caught his attention.

“These terrorist attacks were committed by Connectors with Devices and Gems.”

The TV screen displayed the image of a destroyed city where smoke rose to the sky.

Sungyoon desperately walked to the communication device to confirm his family's safety.

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