Chapter 284

When the Mayor, the Deputy mayor, and Sungyoon went into Plu-El’s room, she was having her meal.

After a conversation with Sungyoon, Plu-El had decided to stop fasting. Only a short while had passed since then, but her face had regained some color. Her wrists were bound, yet she was deftly eating bread.

“Do you have more questions for me?”

Plu-El put away her food to the side.

The Mayor responded.

“Is the food to your taste?”

“It's good. Ingredients like these can’t be acquired within the labyrinths. So it's unimaginably good for me.”

“That's good to hear.”

Contrary to his words, the worry was evident in the Mayor’s voice. They could no longer acquire food provisions on the Moon, and it was beyond food. Drinking water was scarce too.

They somehow endured by rationing the food and water that had been stored in the storage Gems of several Connectors. However, each Connector had a single labyrinth run in mind when they had been storing the food. Therefore, the total food and water didn’t amount to much, and this was one of the reasons the Mayor wanted to send his people to Earth as soon as possible.

“I’ll be direct with you. We need to know how you and your comrades managed to go down to Earth.”

Plu-El blinked at the Mayor’s question, then she looked toward Sungyoon.

“Is that the reason why we are still here? You can just open a portal to Earth.”

“I can only open portals on the Moon.”

“Ah!”

Plu-El let out an exclamation as if she had a realization.

“You still haven’t gained mastery over the Royal Gem. It's to be expected. You awakened it just a while ago.”

Some important words had come out of her mouth, and Sungyoon took a step forward.

“It's called the Royal Gem?”

“Yes. The Royal Gem. I’m talking about the Gem Mr. Sungyoon possesses. The one you took from Aruwen.”

Sungyoon’s gaze headed toward the Gold Gem that sparkled with a red tint every now and then on his Device.

“What's the Royal Gem?”

The Mayor asked the question.

Plu-El furrowed her brows for a moment as she went over her options. In the end, she let out a long sigh and shook her head from side to side.

“I don’t trust you guys enough to reveal such information.”

The Mayor groaned in frustration, but he could do nothing. Their side couldn’t completely trust Plu-El, so they had detained her in this room. In consideration of that, her response was reasonable.

“Can you teach us how to place the portal on Earth?”

Plu-El hadn’t been planning on holding back that information, so she replied to the Mayor’s request.

“Mr. Sungyoon can open a portal to Earth once the Royal Gem’s abilities become stronger. I don’t know how long that will take. If you can just wait until—”

“We can’t.”

The Mayor was firm in turning down that option.

“Mmm! You asking me this question means either you have no other way of returning to Earth or it would be very difficult to pull off such a thing. Am I right?”

“… You're correct.”

“Then give me back my Device and Gems.”

The Mayor, the Deputy mayor, and Sungyoon, all gave her a nasty look.

“Don’t look at me like that. I don’t plan on running away after attacking you guys. I need my Gem to open a portal to Earth.”

“You have such a Gem?”

“It's similar to the Royal Gem. I’ll leave it at that.”

Plu-El didn’t want to give a further explanation, so she shut her mouth.

“… I think it would be wise to accept Ms. Plu-El’s request.”

Sungyoon carefully expressed his opinion, but the Mayor and the Deputy mayor looked dismayed.

Plu-El saw their faces, and her voice sounded as if she was a bit offended.

“It can’t be helped if you still distrust me.”

“No. It isn’t like that...”

The Mayor let out a long sigh.

“We don't have your Device and Gems.”

“What?”

“We were busy evacuating people. The Device and Gems of a terrorist was the last thing on our mind. We didn’t have time to collect it.”

“Then my Device and Gems are...”

“In Armstrong city.”

Silence descended in the room for a moment.

“Let’s think this through for a moment.”

Sungyoon spoke.

“There are three plans that would allow us to get out of this place. First, we can wait for the so-called Royal Gem to get stronger. Second, we can somehow contact Earth and ask them to send spaceships. Last, we can recover Ms. Plu-El’s Device and Gems.”

“The first idea is a no.”

The Deputy mayor struck down the first escape plan.

“We have to transport these people to Earth as soon as possible. There is a lack of food and water here. Even if we ration our supplies, we’ll run out in a week. At the latest, we have to escape within two weeks. Since we have no idea if the Gem will get stronger within two weeks, the first plan is unfeasible.”

Plu-El, who had been eating, looked down at the food.

“That means we have to somehow infiltrate Armstrong city.”

Sungyoon stroked his chin.

“We will have to do it whether we want to acquire a communication device or recover Ms. Plu-El’s Device and Gems.”

“Which is the better option, Mr. Sungyoon?”

“I’m not sure.”

Sungyoon thought about the two options when the Mayor posed the question. 

“As expected, our best option will be recovering Ms. Plu-El’s Device and Gems.”

“That's the safest option.”

The Mayor and the Deputy mayor both agreed with him.

“Even if we do establish contact with Earth, they would have to send a massive fleet of spaceships. Moreover, it will be dangerous if any monster sees the spaceships land on the Moon.”

“The communication part is the problem. The communication apparatus needs electricity for it to work. That means we have to recapture a part of Armstrong city. I’m not sure if that's possible with the force we possess.”

“Basically, we don’t have a choice.”

The words of the Mayor and the Deputy mayor revealed the brutal reality of their situation. Sungyoon agreed with their reasoning.

‘We just have to hope Ms. Plu-El told us the truth.’

“Where is Ms. Plu-El’s Device and Gems?”

“We put it in the vault beneath the city hall. The vault key is located inside my desk’s drawer.”

The Mayor spoke.

With that information, Sungyoon now knew everything he needed to.

“Understood. We’ll move immediately. Time is not on our side.”

“Wait a moment.”

Sungyoon was about to exit the room, but the Deputy mayor got in his way.

“Are you planning on going yourself, Mr. Sungyoon?”

“Yes. Is that a problem?”

“You can’t!”

The Deputy mayor argued against Sungyoon’s plan of action.

“What happens if you die? Only you can open the portal, and we can’t leave without it. We’ll be stranded here, and this place will become a huge prison for us. We can't send you, Mr. Sungyoon.”

Sungyoon had been in a hurry, so he hadn't thought it through. That was why he came to a stop.

“The Deputy mayor is right. As of now, we can't send you to do dangerous missions. You just have to keep the portal open. Didn’t you say you can open a portal to anywhere you’ve been before?”

“Correct.”

“Let’s open a portal to my office, and we can send Connectors to retrieve the key. Then we can open a portal to the vault in the basement. It seems like the best course of action.”

The Mayor gave a rough outline of a plan.

“That’ll be for the best.”

The Deputy mayor agreed with the new plan. It was clear that both the Mayor and his deputy refused to send Sungyoon on a mission. They had a point, so Sungyoon didn’t put up a fuss.

In order to create a more detailed plan, the three of them decided to leave the room. They headed to the room that they had repurposed as a meeting room. As they left, they could hear Plu-El speak.

“If you run into any problems, please come and visit me. I’ll help if it doesn’t compromise my people.”

“I will bear that in mind.”

Sungyoon bowed toward Plu-El, then left the room.

After everyone left, Plu-El picked up the bread once again. As always, the bread made on Earth was very delicious.

***

Woooooong!

The portal radiated a blue glow as it appeared in front of the people.

“As always, it's a beautiful sight.”

It was as if the enormous galaxy was contracted into the portal, dyed blue, and spun in a spiral. The Deputy mayor let out an exclamation without realizing it.

“Does everyone know the plan?”

The Mayor had specifically chosen five Connectors. They just had to sneak out the Device and Gems, so there was no need for a large number of Connectors. In fact, a large group might be a detriment to the plan.

“Yes! We have to avoid making contact with monsters. We should avoid fights if possible. First, we have to retrieve the vault key within the Mayor’s desk—”

Suddenly, something interrupted the Connector that had been answering the Mayor.

Shweeeeek!

The portal rippled, and something flew toward the Connector. It was an enormous bone that was shaped like a sharp knife.

Kwahng!

“Ooh-wahk!”

Fortunately, the Connector didn’t lose his life. The Mayor had stationed Connectors in various locations around the room just to be safe, and one of them had stepped in to block the attack.

The Connector who had been attacked didn't suffer many injuries. He was just surprised by it.

Sungyoon also immediately reacted.

Hoo-oohk!

He canceled the portal and summoned his halberd. Then, he immediately stabbed the monster that had jumped out of the portal.

Kwah-jee-jeek!

The monster had lost its balance, so it couldn’t defend against the attack. Sungyoon's halberd pierced through its back.

Koo-uhhhhhh!

The monster let out a scream, and the other Connectors attacked it before the monster could do anything. It died without putting up much of a fight.

“What... what the hell!”

The situation had been resolved, but the Connector was shocked by the attack. He looked as if his soul had been drained out of him.

Every Connector who had immediately realized what had happened looked at the monster with a serious expression.

“Is it dead?”

“Yes. It's completely dead.”

Sungyoon kicked the monster and flipped it over for the Mayor.

The monster didn’t move at all, and soon, it disappeared to reveal a moonstone.

“It seems there was a monster within the office. We were unlucky.”

The Deputy mayor said as he looked at the location where the portal had been hovering. However, Sungyoon didn’t agree with him.

“Was it really bad luck?”

“… What are you trying to say?”

“What if monsters are guarding the important locations within Armstrong city?”

Everyone’s face stiffened.

“We used the portal in the open to evacuate. They know about it now.”

Since time was of the essence when evacuating, Sungyoon and the others hadn't bothered to open the portal within a building. They had opened it in front of the city hall, and of course, the monsters had seen it.

“… Do you think monsters were ready for us? Aren’t you getting ahead of yourself in making such assumptions?”

Even though he said such words, the Deputy mayor sensed an ominous feeling. He reacted as if he didn’t want to believe it.

“It's a possibility. I hope I'm wrong, but we should open the portal in a different location. We’ll find out if my theory is true or not. It really might have been a coincidence that a monster had been inside the Mayor’s office.”

Sungyoon started opening his portal once again, and everyone within the room became tense. However, the outcome was the same as in the first try: a monster had shown up.

He then opened the portal several more times, but every time, monsters kept crossing the portal. Even if a monster hadn't appeared from the portal, Connectors found the monsters stationed nearby, and they had to immediately return through the portal.

In the end, Sungyoon gave up on opening the portal. An unpleasant mood descended within the room.

“It seems…”

Sungyoon let out a deep sigh as he opened his mouth.

“I’ll have to talk to Ms. Plu-El once again.”

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