While Sungyoon was firming his resolve to enter into the labyrinth, Jimin was waiting for the spaceship she would have to board. Chelsea had come to see her off, so she stood next to her. Her hair was disheveled, and she was wearing large dorky glasses. The slightly stained lab coat was still on her, and it showed that her fashion sense remained the same.
“Send me a message when you get home, Jimin!
She gave Jimin a tight hug. Jimin’s spacesuit got in the way, but Chelsea didn’t care. There was clear disappointment in her eyes at the prospect of separating from Jimin.
“Yes, I’ll contact you.”
Jimin returned a light hug.
“You should come up here occasionally, so you can buy your poor researcher some food!”
Jimin wondered why Chelsea hadn’t said anything about it, but Chelsea was Chelsea. She let out a sigh as she let go of the hug and pushed Chelsea away.
“Ah! You pushed me! It means you won’t be buying me any meals in the future!”
Chelsea struggled to glom onto Jimin again. However, Jimin remained unmoved.
“You can buy your own meals.”
“How much do you think I make as a researcher?!”
“I don’t have much money anymore.”
Jimin acted as if she was searching her pockets. She was wearing a spacesuit, so she didn’t have any pockets. However, Chelsea got the message.
“…it’s because of your company?”
Chelsea spoke in a low voice as she asked the question. Her bright and energetic self was nowhere to be seen, and her face had turned serious.
“I was a young woman that had no prior business experience, yet I tried to enter into the biggest market where moonstones are acquired and traded. I was over my head. I thought I could somehow make it because I received a large inheritance from my father.”
“If you set up the company to make money, I wouldn’t have said anything. I could accept your choices.”
Chelsea’s sharp eyes cut into Jimin, but Jimin didn’t say anything.
“Jimin. While I resided in the Moon’s research facility, I saw a lot of Connectors. Their lives are closely intertwined with death. Most of them hate going into the labyrinths, but the magical energy of the Moon draws them in. Moreover, the cost of living is expensive here, so they need money. They must enter the labyrinth to live a decent life up here. A good portion of them greet their death here and can never make it out of the labyrinth.”
It felt as if Jimin would be sucked into Chelsea’s blue eyes, but she didn’t turn away.
“Death frequently occurs amongst the Connectors. However, I don’t know much about the circumstances surrounding your father’s disappearance. I just know that he must have been a great man since you love him so much. However, I think you are being too reckless in sending all these Connectors into the labyrinths to find out whether your father is truly dead or not. If the father you love was here, he wouldn’t have wanted you to do this.”
‘Ah ah! This again.’
All her remaining family and friends had said the same thing to her. They said her father wouldn’t have wanted this. Her eyes showed a little bit of displeasure at Chelsea’s words.
However, she didn’t say anything, as she knew everyone that had told her these words treasured her. They said what they said, because they loved her. Moreover, they knew how the Connectors behaved. These words were only for her sake.
In the end…
“Don’t worry, Chelsea.”
Jimin let out a small smile, but there was an unbelievable amount of sadness in that smile.
“He is the last one. I don’t have much money left.”
Also, she was tired. She had been holding onto a thread of hope all this time. She was too tired to wait for a fairy-tale like miracle to occur.
Chelsea showed the exact opposite emotion from what she was feeling, and her face brightened.
“Yes! I see!”
Chelsea gave Jimin a tight hug.
“It’s fine. Your father would have understood.”
Chelsea couldn’t stand to see her friend struggle like this. Maybe this was why she acted so brightly in front of her.
Jimin could feel her friend’s worry for her, so she couldn’t say anything.
“Still, I’m still the president. Please look out for Mr. Sungyoon.”
“You are referring to the person I met yesterday?”
Chelsea stepped back from Jimin, and she thought about Sungyoon, whom she had met yesterday.
Her first impression was simple. He was grim and brusque. That was it. He didn’t look like someone that liked to cooperate with others. He wasn’t the type of person she liked.
‘At the very least, he wasn’t hitting on us.’
That was the one thing she liked about him. Jimin and Chelsea were considered to be very beautiful in all reaches of the world. Most men tried to talk to them with evil intentions in their hearts. It was annoying. However, Sungyoon seemed to have no interest in the opposite sex. As a Connector, he treated Jimin as his president.
“What kind of person is he?”
She was suddenly curious, so she started asking more questions.
“He isn’t like the previous Connectors hired by your company, right? They ran away after they stabbed you in the back.”
Chelsea remembered two particular Connectors. One had received all the support he could from Jimin, and then he broke his contract when his status as a Connector improved. The other Connector tried to seduce Jimin, but when Jimin didn’t fall for him, he became annoyed. He was a son of a bitch that moved onto another company when his advances were rebuffed. Of course, he had also received all kinds of support from Jimin.
Connectors had sinned against Chelsea’s friend. They were all assholes. Of course, Chelsea would be suspicious of Sungyoon.
“I don’t know. I haven’t known him for too long. There is no way I have figured him out yet.”
There was a proverb that said, ‘You can sound water ten fathoms deep, but you cannot sound the human heart a single fathom deep.’
“He’s been fine so far. At the very least, he isn’t like those two.”
She saw him show an unbelievable amount of love towards his daughter. There was no way he was like the two trash from before.
“Is that so? I’m glad to hear that.”
However, Chelsea's words sounded dark for some odd reason. It seemed she wasn’t able to let go of her negative thoughts.
“If you are worried, you could check in on him. In fact, I was going to ask you to help him in my place.”
Chelsea propped her chin on her hand as she thought.
‘Maybe, he isn’t bad? On the other hand, he might be trying to rip off Jimin. He might be trying to make her fall on her face.’
He might look disinterested, but he might be faking it. While she helped him, she could keep an eye on him. She could assess what kind of person Woo Sungyoon was.
Moreover, Chelsea had already realized something. Jimin was oddly acting favorably towards Sungyoon. She remembered the human trashes in Jimin’s employ in the past. However, Jimin had never acted favorably towards any of them. She clearly interacted with them in her capacity as the president of her company.
‘She shows favor towards him, but I don’t think she is interested in him as a woman.’
In the end, Jimin had a favorable impression of him. This was why Chelsea had to make sure Sungyoon was a decent person. Since Jimin had to run her company, she’d never had a real boyfriend. This fact made Chelsea worry more.
“Alright. What are friends for? I’ll help him occasionally, and I’ll find out what kind of person he is!”
“That’s good. If you said no, I was going to charge you for this.”
Jimin took out something from her luggage, and she waved it in front of Chelsea. Chelsea’s expression stiffened. Jimin was waving a small piece of paper. Jimin was waving it slowly, so Chelsea could see what it was without much difficulty.
It was the receipt from the dinner they ate yesterday.
“Ah ha ha ha! W... weren’t you treating me to a meal as your friend?”
“Do you really think I would treat a friend to a meal at this price?”
Jimin pushed the receipt towards Chelsea as she winked.
“O...ok! I understand! I’ll help him! I was going to do as you asked in the first place!”
In the end, Chelsea surrendered. Jimin looked satisfied as she put away the receipt back into her luggage.
“For your information, I kept all the receipts from all the meals I bought you in the past.”
Chelsea’s face turned white.
“Wait a moment! If you charge me for all of that, you’ll bankrupt me!”
Chelsea had asked Jimin to buy her something delicious every time she came up to the moon. The memory of these instances came at her hard in her brain. Every one of these meals had been very expensive.
“You know what you have to do if you don’t want to go bankrupt, right?”
“Ah, shit! I’ve been betrayed by the friend I trusted the most!”
She acted as if the sky…. No, she acted as if the ceiling of Armstrong had fallen. She despaired.
Jimin looked on with a benevolent look on her face. Chelsea bent over as she grabbed her knees. She kept sighing as she mumbled to herself. Jimin grabbed Chelsea’s shoulder in a kind manner.
“Please do this for me.”
Chelsea raised her head. Up until now, Jimin had bludgeoned Chelsea with money. However, there was a small but kind smile on her lips.
“You always get your way.”
“Oh my. I’m a bit shocked to hear such words from you.”
“Hmmph. Stop being so coy. You are no picnic, either.”
The two of them glared at each other. However, it lasted only for a moment, and then they broke out into laughter.
“Please do this for me, friend.”
“Yes. Don’t worry about it, friend.”
The two of them hugged each other. The spacesuit again got in the way a bit, but it wouldn’t stop them from hugging.
After finishing their goodbye, Jimin got on the spaceship. From the Aldrin spaceport, Chelsea watched the spaceship fly into space with her friend on board.
* * *
He once again felt a horrifying sensation. Blood spurted out from the wound he made with his spear, and it soaked his shoes. However, Sungyoon didn’t blink an eye. He silently continued his ‘work’.
He extracted the spear blade. The Mad Dog died with its tongue hanging out, and its corpse was swept up by light. The only thing left behind was a small Moonstone.
After he shoved the moonstone into his pouch, he sat down on an elevated part of the floor.
‘I’ve killed six with this.’
He was thirsty. It was the consequence of being so tense. As a Connector, his body didn’t need food, but he needed water.
‘I wonder how much I made?’
Each country ran a state-run support center. At the very least, they provided food and a place to sleep for their country’s Connectors. He had checked out the support center with Jimin before. However, they merely provided vitamins and 1.5L of water per day. Everything else had to be purchased.
‘I should go pick up the supplies.’
His lack of preparation was inexcusable.
Sungyoon slowly assessed his body. In the end, he concluded that he was a bit dehydrated, and that nothing else was wrong with his body.
‘I can go a little bit more.’
He got up once again when he got enough rest. His spear was covered in blood. Sungyoon unsummoned his spear.
All the blood on his spear fell to the floor. Afterwards, he summoned his spear again, and this time, the spear had regained its original color.
After he swung his spear a couple of times, Sungyoon once again moved deeper into the labyrinth.Previous Chapter Next Chapter