Chapter 274

Kahng!

Sungyoon skillfully deflected a sword coming at him. When the weapons clashed, he used the rebound to swing his ax to the side.

Hoo-oong!

The ax split through the air, but the attacker easily dodged.

However, Sungyoon’s effort wasn’t in vain. His opponent had to bend his upper body almost parallel to the floor, and this gave Sungyoon's party the time to create some distance.

“Shit! Annoying bastards!”

Tim smacked away a spear with his ax. He then swung the pointed edge of his shield toward his opponent.

Boom!

The opponent’s shield blocked the attack, but the shock transmitted by the impact was significant. The man groaned and came to a stop for a moment. This scenario kept repeating itself for some time; the intruders caught up to Sungyoon’s party, then Sungyoon and Tim would push them back by retaliating.

The situation was precarious, but the party was maintaining the status quo.

“We can’t increase our lead.”

Tim mumbled as he looked at their tenacious pursuers.

Unlike the pursuers, Sungyoon’s party didn’t consist of all warriors. Due to the presence of Emily and Grace, they were slower than their pursuers. Moreover, there was another problem. Emily had to carry another person in her arms.

“I’m... I’m so sorry!”

Chelsea was aware of the fact that she was a hindrance to the party.

“You don't have to apologize. I’m the one who's slow. It's not your fault, Ms. Chelsea. Please don’t worry about it.”

Emily consoled Chelsea, then glared at Tim, who had been expressing his frustration. There was no ill intent behind his words, so he was flustered by Chelsea’s reaction.

He tried to apologize to her, but he was attacked once again.

“These sons of bitches!”

His enemies weren’t even giving him the opportunity to apologize. The irritated Tim swung his ax.

In terms of strength, Sungyoon and Tim were superior to Emily and Grace. But neither was carrying Chelsea because they were busy protecting the party. Plu-El, who was on Sungyoon’s shoulder, was causing enough trouble as it was.

‘I can’t let Ms. Emily or Ms. Grace carry her.’

Even if she was in a weakened state, Plu-El was a Connector. Emily and Grace lacked physical strength, so if Plu-El decided to struggle within their arms, their speed would further decrease.

‘The Mayor wants us to protect this woman, but if push comes to shove, we might have to abandon her.’

Even if she was an important figure, she wasn’t more important than his comrades.

“Mr. Sungyoon!”

Tim wheezed as he blocked another attack.

“I believe we know what they are aiming for, right?”

Tim’s eyes were fixed on Plu-El. 

Sungyoon felt the same way.

“Yes. Both groups are aiming for this woman.”

“However, their reasons are different, right?”

“Yes.”

Sungyoon looked at the archer's group.

“This group is trying to rescue the woman.”

Sungyoon's gaze moved to the other group.

“That group wants to kill her.”

“Is she that important?”

Emily kept glancing toward Plu-El with a hostile expression in her eyes.

“Even the Mayor thinks she's worth holding onto. I believe she's important. That’s good news for us. We can use her to our advantage.”

“What? Are you going to let her go?”

Tim was surprised on hearing Sungyoon's words, but Sungyoon firmly shook his head.

“That's the last resort.”

Sungyoon said those words as he brought down Plu-El from his shoulder. He then placed his arm around her waist. Plu-El tried to resist, but her fists lacked strength. Moreover, Sungyoon’s body had the extra protection of his armor.

One of the pursuers got close to the party once again, and Sungyoon looked at him.

‘He’s in the group that wants to take this woman back alive.’

This situation was perfect. The usefulness of the woman depended on how this group would react to his next move.

“Hoo-oohp!”

Hoo-oohng!

Sungyoon heard the pursuer take a breath as he put strength behind his swing. The sword let out a frightening sound as it split through the air near Tim. Tim grumbled once again as he raised his shield. Since they were running away, he couldn’t get into a proper fight. He was as angry as he could be.

However, what happened next made Tim, the pursuer, and even the struggling Plu-El rear back in shock.

Hweek!

Sungyoon kept a firm grip on Plu-El as he extended his arm forward. Plu-El’s body appeared in the path of the pursuer's sword.

“Ooh-ooht!”

The shock was evident in the man's voice. The gasp was so loud that even a normal human would've heard it from far away.

Hoo-oong!

The sword took a sharp turn as the pursuer almost threw his entire body to change the direction of his attack.

Puh-uhk!

The man's body had bent low to the ground in the process, and Tim used this opportunity to smash him with his shield. The shield was already hefty, and the blow contained Tim’s strength as well. The shield's edge hit the pursuer, and the man’s armor couldn’t withstand the blow.

“Kuh-huhk!”

Following a short scream, the man rolled across the ground as Sungyoon’s party left him in the dust.

“M... Mr. Sungyoon! You!”

Tim had attacked the pursuer on reflex even though he had been shocked by Sungyoon's actions. His round eyes kept staring at Sungyoon. The living shield named Plu-El was in a similar state. She didn’t need to breathe, yet she took ragged breaths to calm down herself.

Emily, Grace, and Chelsea were also shocked, but Sungyoon was surprisingly nonchalant.

“The shield works better than expected.”

All kinds of words poured out of Plu-El’s mouth. Sungyoon couldn’t understand the words, but he knew they weren't praises. He then silently pushed Plu-El toward his rear once again.

Flinch!

One of the pursuers, who had gotten close to Sungyoon, froze in place. As Sungyoon said, the tactic was quite effective.

“It really works well.”

The frequency and the power of the attacks noticeably decreased, so Tim mumbled.

“Still, it won’t work against the other group.”

The other group wanted to kill Plu-El. If Sungyoon used her as a shield, Tim assumed they wouldn’t hesitate to attack her. 

When Sungyoon heard Tim, he shook his head from side to side.

“The other group's attacks will decrease too.”

Sungyoon said those words as if he were predicting the future. 

Tim tilted his head in confusion as he couldn’t imagine any scenario where the other group would slow down because of the woman. However, he soon found out the meaning behind Sungyoon’s words.

Kwahnng!

The sound of weapons clashing rang out, but Sungyoon’s party hadn’t been attacked.

‘This is what he meant.’

Tim watched as one of the pursuers swung his weapon toward the woman, but his attack was deflected by the weapon of another pursuer. Until now, the two groups had been in an uneasy truce as they had chased after Sungyoon’s party.

This status quo was disrupted when Sungyoon started to use Plu-El as a shield. The Moon people felt bitter about it, but they defended Plu-El from the Fabion Connectors' attacks.

Kwahng! Kwahng! Kwah-kwahng!

As the two groups fought, the attacks coming at Sungyoon’s party lessened. In fact, it dropped to zero.

“It's very effective.”

Grace sounded a bit despondent.

Plu-El once again cussed out Sungyoon, but Sungyoon couldn’t understand what the words meant. Even if he could, it wouldn't have mattered. He was deep in thought so her words didn’t reach him.

‘The result is good.’

Things were working better than what he had expected, but something bothered him. He looked toward the group that had the intention to kill the woman.

‘It feels as if they aren’t trying their best right now.’

Suddenly, a chill ran up his spine. Sungyoon’s eyes met a pursuer's, and he understood something at an instinctual level.

‘He's aiming for me!’

Sungyoon passed Plu-El to Tim.

‘This shield thing won't work against him!’

If Sungyoon were careless, he might lose his valuable shield.

Tuhk!

The pursuer who Sungyoon stared at hunched his shoulders and reached Sungyoon in a flash. Sungyoon had already taken out his halberd and swung it.

Kwahhhhhhhng!

“Koo-oohk!”

When Sungyoon received the blow, his hands stung. He realized the pursuer was very strong.

‘He’s dangerous!’

The pursuer indiscriminately swung his mace, and Sungyoon increased his concentration to the maximum to deflect the attack. 

Sungyoon's hands became numb from deflecting those powerful blows, but he somehow defended against all of them.

‘This man is a novice at using a mace!’

Sungyoon realized that the mace wasn’t the man’s weapon of choice. However, this weakness was masked by the pursuer's amazing powers. Sungyoon had overcome all kinds of hardships, so his battle sense was unparalleled. Yet, his opponent was crushing him with pure physical ability. 

It was obvious that his opponent was using incredibly high rank Gems.

‘As expected, they weren’t using their full power!’

If this man started to fight in earnest, the other group and Sungyoon’s party wouldn’t stand a chance.

‘What is he planning?’

The man wasn’t revealing his true skills, and his moves didn't contain killing intent either. In fact, his movements gave off the impression that he was very curious about the fight. The man acted as if he were a child poking at a frog with a branch to see how the frog would react to each jab.

‘This is unpleasant.’

Sungyoon felt that he were a doll being pulled by its strings, but he didn’t complain. This pursuer’s unpleasant actions allowed his party to continue escaping.

“You bastard! Get away from him!”

Tim was about to swing his ax, but Sungyoon quickly stopped him.

“No! I’ll face this person. Mr. Tim, you should keep an eye on the others!”

“But...”

“Do it!”

Tim flinched when Sungyoon wielded his words like a knife. After a moment of hesitation, he did as Sungyoon ordered and moved away. He had assumed Sungyoon had a plan, but that wasn't the case.

‘There is a high probability that this man might kill Mr. Tim.’

A child playing around would become very angry if someone interfered with the game. It would be the same for this man. His every action expressed deep interest in Sungyoon, and if Tim interfered in his game, the man might take severe action.

‘At the very least, he doesn’t plan on killing me.’

Sungyoon decided it was best if he faced this man, so he increased his focus and became oblivious to his surroundings. He didn't have the luxury to pay attention to anything around him, and this was true for the others too. Therefore, they didn't notice the magical energy that had started to spread across Armstrong city.

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