Chapter 276

The Breath traveled in a straight line, vaporizing several high-rise buildings. The outer wall of Armstrong city was very sturdy, but as for whether the wall could withstand the Breath or not, it was up in the air.

Suddenly, someone jumped into the air to get in the Breath's path.

Puh-uh-uhng!

A large wall of energy expanded in the air to block the Breath. Thankfully, the Behemoth’s Breath couldn't destroy Armstrong city.

“Who's that?”

“Probably a Connector working under Armstrong city.”

Even if a good amount of their main fighting force had been drained out of the city, this was 'the Armstrong city'. Here, plenty of Connectors were capable of blocking a Behemoth’s Breath.

Koo-uhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

The Behemoth found it displeasing that someone had blocked its attack. It took a threatening step forward. Armstrong city shook as if a quake had hit it. The huge monster started running toward the Connector who had blocked its attack. Its enormous body crushed all the buildings in its path.

Puh-uh-uhk!

Koo-ohhhhhhhhhhhhh!

The Behemoth reared up as it raised both its front legs. It then let out a roar while blood dripped down its leg. Another Connector had intercepted and injured the Behemoth. It seemed enough Connectors capable of defeating a Behemoth had arrived in the streets.

However, the problem was the fact that the Behemoth wouldn’t be the only monster to come out of the Great Labyrinth.

Koo-oong! Koo-oong!

More monsters stepped out of the Great Labyrinth. Large, medium, small, all kinds of monsters were mixed in with the group. 

Sungyoon immediately made a decision.

Ooh-ooh-oong!

The Royal Gem swallowed his magical energy as he activated its ability. A blue portal appeared next to Sungyoon. The group that wanted to kill Plu-El came to a halt, and it was the same for the man who kept attacking Sungyoon. 

Were they taken aback by the appearance of the portal? The group that had been trying to recover Plu-El charged forward with all their might to attack Sungyoon.

“Run in!”

Sungyoon yelled. He then took out an item from his storage Gem and tossed it to Chelsea. Chelsea quickly put on the magical energy suppressor.

‘I stored one for an emergency. If I hadn't, we would have been in trouble.’

The location he and the others were about to enter was very dense with magical energy. It wasn't a place Chelsea could enter without any preparations.

Kwahng! Kwhang!

Sungyoon and Tim stepped forward to block their pursuers. The time they bought allowed Grace, Emily, Chelsea, and Plu-El to pass through the portal. Even as Sungyoon blocked the attacks, he kept an eye on the man that had kept attacking him. Thankfully, the man wasn’t moving.

“Mr. Sungyoon!”

Tim shouted as the other four had already passed through the portal.

“You go first!”

Sungyoon replied while slowly retreating. Tim did as told and disappeared into the portal.

Woo-oong!

Puh-puh-puhng!

Gravity increased, and stalagmites erupted from the streets. Sungyoon had tried to decrease the intensity of the pursuers' attacks, and it worked. The spells slowed down the attacks from his pursuers, and Sungyoon used this opportunity to jump into the portal.

Even as he moved, his eyes remained on the man he suspected to be Hyunwoo.

Glance!

The man raised his hand. Was he going to stop Sungyoon from escaping? Sungyoon's mind became tense. The man did not attack. He just waved his hand into the air as if to say goodbye. Even though the man had a helmet on, Sungyoon was sure he was smiling right now.

‘What's he up to?’

Sungyoon felt icky as he disappeared into the portal.

As if he wanted to attack through the portal, the archer shot a final arrow toward the portal.

Paht!

However, the portal blinked out of existence, and the arrow went on to pierce a building. 

***

Koong!

The blue light all over his vision disappeared. Sungyoon arrived in a room within the ancient city and saw his comrades waiting for him. He then quickly shut the portal.

Paht!

With the portal closed, he no longer had to worry about any pursuit. Sungyoon then spoke.

“Are any of you hurt?”

“I’m fine.”

“I’m also fine.”

“I’m good.”

“I’ve received no injuries.”

Thankfully, none of his comrades were injured, so Sungyoon finally relaxed. However, that relief lasted only a moment.

“What should we do now?”

They were alive, but things were getting progressively worse in Armstrong city. Sungyoon picked up Plu-El, who was on the floor, and slung her around his shoulder.

“We have to go back. We can’t let Armstrong city go down.”

The two pursuing groups might attack them again, yet there was no hesitation on Sungyoon's face. This had nothing to do with his morals. If Armstrong fell, his livelihood would be at stake and he would have no way to return to Earth.

In that case, their only hope would be to wait for a rescue from Earth. If Earth did nothing, they would have to stay on the Moon and let their body waste away like Plu-El. The Moon would become their cemetery.

“Shouldn’t we leave behind Ms. Chelsea and that woman?”

Tim asked. 

In terms of safety, no place was better than this city. However, Sungyoon shook his head from side to side.

“What happens to them if I die?”

“…”

The only one who could access the ancient city was Sungyoon. If he died in battle, anyone left behind in this city would die.

“Of course, someone else might be capable of activating this Gem, but it took me a very long time to activate this Gem at will. By the time someone else would learn how to use this Gem, Ms. Chelsea would probably be dead. Isn’t that the reason they stopped researching the ancient city?”

When Sungyoon had started monitoring Plu-El, the research within the ancient city was temporarily paused. That was why the ancient city was empty right now.

“Then where should we go….”

Tim's voice contained hesitation.

“We’ll go to the city hall. That place will be the safest location within Armstrong city.”

Sungyoon immediately opened a portal to the city hall.

‘I knew it.’

The ease with which he had opened the portal was proof that the city hall was also covered with magical energy.

“Let’s go.”

Sungyoon’s party once again stepped into Armstrong city, where confusion and violence were running rampant.

***

Sungyoon's sudden appearance shocked the Mayor. However, the shock immediately faded away to reveal a bright smile. The crestfallen Mayor’s face had done a 180 as it showed an expression that was even rare for him.

Sungyoon put Chelsea and Plu-El into the care of the city hall’s employees.

“How’s the current situation?”

“It's the worst.”

The Mayor answered without any hesitation.

“Monsters keep coming out of the Beginner’s Labyrinth and the Great Labyrinth. Moreover, monsters are amassing outside the city too.”

‘This is worse than I imagined. It reminds me of what happened to Gagarin·Yang city.’

It was a terrifying thought, but the city being wiped out was now a possibility.

“What can we do for you?”

“Please join up with the other Connectors and defeat the monsters.”

“Do you want us to roam around and kill all the monsters on sight?”

The Mayor shook his head from side to side.

“No way! We don’t have that many troops left. We have to be careful in how they are used. Mr. Sungyoon and the other Connectors must defend the most critical infrastructure of the city.”

“What do you mean by the most critical infrastructure?”

Sungyoon could immediately come up with several locations that might fit the description. The city hall, the largest hotel at the center of Armstrong city, the two labyrinths, etc.

‘However, he said the ‘most’ important….’

Sungyoon’s eyes sank as he realized it.

“You're referring to the Aldrin spaceport.”

“That’s right. It's the most important place in Armstrong city.”

If the spaceport fell, the people inside Armstrong city couldn’t return to Earth.

“We’ve gathered the most powerful Connectors there. I would like your party to go there and join them. That place has to be protected at all costs.”

The Mayor let out a weak laugh.

“We have to do it even if we have to give up on all of Armstrong. We have to be prepared for that possibility.”

***

Sungyoon assumed it would be pandemonium inside the spaceport and that people would be lined up and fighting to escape the Moon. However, the Aldrin spaceport was empty.

“Where are the civilians?”

The surprised Grace asked.

“They are all inside the shelters. They are still there because this mess started as a simple terrorist attack.”

Terrorist attacks were dangerous, but everyone knew terrorist attacks couldn’t bring down the city. Therefore, Armstrong's residents had headed to the shelters to weather this temporary storm. The monsters' appearance was the unexpected blow that had started the countdown for Armstrong's destruction. 

Spaceships kept departing, but none were arriving.

‘They all probably changed course.’

No one wanted to land in the middle of a battlefield.

“Let’s go and do what we were sent here to do.”

‘Yes. We have work to do right now.’

Sungyoon took out a picture of his family and brushed it with his hand. Then, he led his party into the fierce battle.

***

The war had arrived in Armstrong city just a short while ago, yet the whole city was embroiled in the fight.

There weren’t enough Connectors stationed within Armstrong city to be effective against the monsters. Moreover, there were still the monsters that were merely being kept at bay by Armstrong city's outer defense.

Thankfully, the Mayor was very set in his views. Connectors and governments from numerous countries had mocked him for spending so much on defense, but the Mayor hadn’t listened to them. Armstrong city's defense was enormously powerful.

For a while, the monsters outside the city couldn’t even reach the city's vicinity. However, no matter how strong the defensive measures were, they still had a limit.

Puh-uhng!

A thick needle shot by a monster destroyed a cannon. The number of cannons going silent kept increasing with time.

Then...

Puh-uhhhhhhng!

An attack from inside the city broke through the outer wall as if the wall were paper. The attack kept going until it dissipated into the darkness of space.

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhng!

A new emergency siren rang out as the space sucked out the air inside Armstrong city. A barrier descended from the ceiling to seal the hole in the outer wall. 

Puh-ung! Puh-ung! Puh-uh-ung!

Several more beams of light created numerous holes in the outer wall, and one even destroyed the barrier that had come down from the ceiling. This signified that the Connectors could no longer handle the monsters within Armstrong city.

It was like watching a dam collapse. Armstrong city had started to fall.

***

Sungyoon’s party was in a desperate struggle to stop the monsters' advance.

According to the Mayor, the Aldrin spaceport would be their last stand. He hadn’t lied. All the highest-ranked Connectors were gathered here, and they fought the monsters to a standstill. The desperate struggle went on, but the Connectors were succeeding in their mission.

However, in the end, the event that Sungyoon and his party members feared the most happened. Armstrong city lit up. Every light still under Armstrong city's control sent out a signal. The lights blinked red three times, then blue two times. The pattern kept repeating.

Sungyoon’s face hardened into a frightening visage when he saw the light. This pattern delivered one message.

‘We're giving up on Armstrong city.’

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