Chapter 277

Grab!

Sungyoon felt both his arms being grabbed. He looked to see Grace grabbing his left arm, and Emily grabbing the right. Emily was fainthearted, so she sometimes leaned against Sungyoon like this. However, Grace usually didn’t show this side of herself, and it had been an unconscious reaction from her.

The repeating light signaled something dire.

“Hoohp!”

Kwahhhhhng!

Sungyoon extended his hand to cast a spell. Sharp stalagmites shot up from the surface of the Moon and skewered the monsters.

Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo!

Suddenly, Sungyoon's communication device started vibrating. It was a bone conduction earphone, which worked without air, given to him by the Mayor. Sungyoon activated the device.

- Can you hear me, Mr. Sungyoon?

The Mayor's voice came through.

Sungyoon tapped the communication device. His forcefulness in doing so conveyed his current situation.

- It seems you can’t talk since you're exposed to space. I’m sure you can see the light.… We have decided to give up on Armstrong city.

The Mayor's voice was as miserable as it could be. He sounded like an old man speaking his last words.

- Instead of protecting Armstrong city, we will prioritize evacuating the citizens. We’ve already contacted the shelters. The shelters will be unsealed in exactly fifteen minutes. I would like you to kill as many monsters in the city as you can. Help the people evacuate, then we’ll return as many to Earth as it's in our capacity.

Sungyoon wanted to ask a lot of questions. Could the spaceships even take so many people? What if people died in the process? However, he didn’t have the time to run through the list of questions. 

‘We have to move as fast as possible!’

Sungyoon didn't even think about his own escape route. He just silently listened to the Mayor’s words.

***

Sungyoon exited the spaceport and once again stepped into Armstrong city. Tim, Grace, and Emily were left behind at the spaceport. Although they were giving up on Armstrong city, this didn’t change the fact that Aldrin spaceport was still the most important location that they had to protect.

No, the importance of the spaceport was at an all-time high.

Moreover, both Emily and Grace were support units that could bolster the power of fighters stationed within the spaceport. It was best to leave them behind, and Tim would act as their trusty defender.

Ooh-wuhhhhhhh!

As soon as he entered Armstrong city, Sungyoon heard the roars.

‘I can still hear them?’

The fact that he could hear them was more surprising than the fact that the city was crawling with monsters. The outer wall of Armstrong city was riddled with holes, yet some air remained within the city. There was enough to carry sound.

‘Did the Mayor turn on the newly installed safety measure?’

The Mayor had learned a tough lesson when his city had been attacked by the Super Golems. Sungyoon remembered that the Mayor had then installed numerous machines capable of pumping out enormous amounts of oxygen.

The newly installed measure had paid off. However, this measure was supposed to work in conjunction with the sealing of the damaged walls. As of right now, its effectiveness was like that of pouring water into a jar with a hole at the bottom.

The air in the city was barely enough to breathe, but that wouldn’t last long. The last remnant of air would be sucked out into space soon.

“Hoohp!”

Sungyoon indiscriminately swung his halberd and cut down the monsters in his way.

‘There are fewer monsters than I had expected.’

This gave him hope.

‘It seems the two groups of Connectors sent to both labyrinths are faring well.’

When fighting against superior numbers, one had to use the terrain against one’s enemies. It was especially effective to defend against superior numbers at a bottleneck with elite troops.

To clear out the monsters within Armstrong city, the Mayor had come up with this plan, and it had proved effective.

The city still had two other groups that possessed similar fighting power as the Connectors defending Aldrin spaceport, and right now, these two groups were desperately plugging the entrances of the two labyrinths inside the city.

‘I have to kill as many as I can. Even one more makes a difference!’

It would be safer for the civilians who would be coming out of the shelters soon.

Sungyoon swung his weapon and landed a glancing blow on a monster. He looked at the monster before moving on to the next one.

Ggoo, ggoo-goo-goo-goo!

The monster started to foam at the mouth as it fell to the ground. Its wound started bubbling as the flesh started to decay.

The next monster Sungyoon came across had a hard exterior. It looked like a moving boulder. Sungyoon raised his hammer.

Boom!

An explosion occurred. In a single strike, Sungyoon had blown apart the tough exterior. He had dealt a heavy blow, and the explosion occurred where the head of his hammer met the tough exterior. 

Sungyoon didn’t rest as he summoned his halberd. He immediately threw it toward a monster in the distance, and the monster let out a scream as it fell. Then, Sungyoon's sword made its appearance.

Rumble!

The sword sliced through a monster, and a massive amount of electricity flowed into the wound. The area around the wound was burnt black, and the monster fell while convulsing. Sungyoon didn’t slow down as the promised time approached. He kept killing monsters.

Kwah-jeek!

Suddenly, something fell in front of Sungyoon. He was almost in a trance as he swung his weapon, but he came to a stop. The thing that had fallen in front of Sungyoon was a human corpse. Its upper body and lower body were severed from each other, and the corpse was so mangled that every part of it was damaged.

Boom!

The monster that had discarded the Connector's corpse stepped toward Sungyoon.

‘Behemoth.’

This monster had a deep history with Sungyoon, and it got in his way once again.

Wooooooooooo!

The Behemoth let out a cry. At a closer look, it seemed the Behemoth wasn’t at full health. Blood poured out from the wounds all over its body. Due to a deep cut on its leg, it limped every time it took a step. Its left eye was closed shut, and blood leaked out of it.

‘I can do this!’

This Behemoth was stronger than the Behemoth from London, but Sungyoon wasn’t the same fighter from London either. Moreover, the Behemoth in front of him was injured.

‘I have to end this as soon as possible!’

Sungyoon ran forward at high speed.

Ooh-wuhhhhhhhhhhh!

The monster let out a roar as it tried to locate Sungyoon. However, Sungyoon took advantage of the blind spot of its injured left eye and the broken buildings to avoid its gaze. It hadn’t located him yet when Sungyoon jumped high above its head.

Sungyoon unfurled his wings and accelerated down toward the Behemoth’s head.

“Hoohp!”

Kwah-jeek!

His sword pierced the head. The sword couldn’t reach the Behemoth's brain because of its thick skull, but Sungyoon didn’t panic. He immediately brought down his hammer toward the hilt of his sword.

Kwahhhhng!

Koo-ahhhhhhhhhhk!

Sungyoon liked to use this strategy against large monsters.

The sword moved deeper into the Behemoth’s head, and the blade scrambled the brain with its electricity. The Behemoth let out a despairing cry, but the outburst lasted only a moment.

Boom!

The enormous body of the monster slumped to the ground.

Sungyoon had defeated a powerful monster without much trouble. Yet, a cold sweat ran down his forehead.

‘I was lucky.’

Sungyoon had gambled on using this strategy because of his time constraint. Even though the Behemoth couldn’t see through one eye, there was a chance that it would have still located Sungyoon. He wouldn’t have been able to jump above the Behemoth’s head then. In fact, the Behemoth would have probably swatted Sungyoon out of the air. However, Sungyoon was fortunate, and the gamble had worked.

After giving his brief condolences to the dead Connector on the floor, Sungyoon resumed killing the monsters.

Flash! Flash!

While he was killing the monsters, the lights flashing around Armstrong city suddenly changed. Now, they only flashed blue.

‘It's the evacuation order! It has already been fifteen minutes!’

The tension within his heart climbed higher. He would have to evacuate the citizens of Armstrong city in earnest. Thankfully, because of his and the other Connectors' work, the streets of Armstrong city were mostly empty of monsters.

Fierce fights were ongoing only at the entrance of the two labyrinths in the city.

- I’m opening the doors to the shelters!

The Mayor sent a message to Sungyoon, and it didn’t take long for people to exit in the open. They started coming out from various buildings and underground bunkers in small numbers. All of them were dressed in spacesuits, which had been stored in the shelters. Even if Armstrong city lost all its oxygen, none of these people would die.

The evacuation plan had been spread throughout the shelters. People were desperate, but they moved with purpose.

‘I’m in charge of this side.’

Sungyoon turned his body. The Mayor hadn’t opened the doors to all the shelters at once. If he had, there would have been a stampede. People would've died from getting trampled. Therefore, the Mayor opened the shelter doors in order. It also meant that he was choosing who would live and who would die. There weren’t enough spaceships to transport all the people in Armstrong city. Only the humans released early could live.

‘We can’t save everyone.’

Sungyoon made that cold assessment as he arrived at the region under his charge.

“Ooh-ahhhhhhhk!”

“Kyahhhhhhhhhk!”

As soon as he arrived, he heard screams. He saw a monster charging toward the evacuees. Sungyoon immediately threw his halberd.

Kwah-jeek!

The monster had been stretching its hands out toward the evacuees when the halberd pierced its neck. Blood pooled up in its throat. The monster let out a gurgling cry as it fell to the floor.

“Hurry up and move!”

After Sungyoon's yell, the civilians started running toward the spaceport. Like a brick wall, Sungyoon protected his assigned region and the people as they ran away.

***

An endless stream of people exited the shelters. Even if this wasn’t a city on Earth, Armstrong city was a metropolis. An enormous number of people were stationed here. Thankfully, the number of monsters in the city had decreased to the point where one barely caught sight of any monsters now.

‘It’s fortunate that matters didn’t devolve any further.’

Sungyoon was on the roof of a nearby building as he surveyed his surroundings. He didn’t see any monsters. After descending from the roof, he started running. He had just received a new mission from the Mayor.

Most of the monsters within the city had been killed. In some ways, Armstrong city had regained its peace on the surface. So the Mayor decreased the number of Connectors tasked with defending the civilians. 

However, this was a momentary peace and a peace built on top of a cracked foundation. The Mayor wanted to extend this period of peace, so he shifted the Connectors that had gained some reprieve.

Tuhk!

Sungyoon arrived at his destination. The inner city had regained momentary peace, yet a fierce battle was ongoing here.

“Block them!”

Ggoo-ehhhhhhk!

Numerous Connectors gathered at the large entrance of the Great Labyrinth were fighting a massive number of monsters amassed past the entrance.

Sungyoon was a veteran who had gone through a lot of hardship, yet even he had to come to a pause when he saw the sheer number of monsters. Nevertheless, Sungyoon immediately hardened his heart and jumped into the battle.

‘It doesn’t matter if it's the Beginner’s Labyrinth, the Great Labyrinth, or the outer defense of Armstrong city. If any one of them is breached, it's the end of Armstrong city!’

The smell of death permeated the air as Sungyoon swung his weapon.

He had no idea how long he had fought with his fellow Connectors, but at some point, he received a message.

- Mr. Sungyoon.

The Mayor's voice had regained its calmness.

- Please return immediately to the city hall.

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