Chapter 287

Armstrong city had been the only foothold of humanity outside Earth and the only source of an important form of energy, the moonstones. But now, this majestic city had lost all its luster. Large holes were all over its walls. 

A group just dumbly stared at the miserable state of the city as if they were looking at a large grave. 

The city resembled a mound where worker ants entered and exited, the monsters being the ants. This scene was the biggest proof that monsters had stolen Armstrong city from humanity.

The group was watching the city from a distance, and every one of them was full of killing intent. They were armed to the teeth, and every inch of their bodies was covered with armor.

They were the Moon people.

Plu-El, who was leading the group, stopped glaring at the city and raised her hand. It was the signal that everyone had been waiting for, and the Moon people started to move.

This was the first time earthlings would go into battle alongside the Moon people. 

***

“You want us to create a diversion?”

“That’s right.”

The Mayor nodded, and Plu-El gave her affirmation too.

A meeting was happening in a building in the ancient city. The aim of the meeting was to decide how the upcoming fight would take place.

“I want your people to be as flashy as they can be. Draw the monsters' attention, and lead them outside the city. While you do that, we’ll try to locate our target.”

It was a feint operation.

They weren’t trying to take back the city or kill all the monsters. Their goal was to find and recover a few items. In consideration of the objective, this was the ideal plan. If the Moon people were successful, the number of monsters inside the city would decrease by a lot. This would make it easier for the Connectors of Armstrong city to search for Plu-El’s Device and Gems.

The Mayor spoke again.

“I would like your side to attack from the south, and we will attack from the North and from inside Armstrong city.”

“We aren’t the only ones who will create a diversion?”

“We want our enemies to disperse into multiple locations. It’ll make our plan much easier.”

Plu-El thought that the plan wasn't bad. Even though the two groups had formed an alliance, mixing both sides to create teams would be asking too much.

It didn't matter whether they had let go of the feelings of the past or not, there was a high chance that they wouldn’t have great teamwork.

‘This is why he set up multiple diversions.’

With multiple diversions, monsters wouldn’t focus their attacks only on the Moon people. Moreover, the mission wasn’t to engage the monsters, but to bait the monsters out of the city. The risk to the Moon people was low.

Plu-El didn't find any reason to turn down this plan.

“Alright. We accept that.”

“Thank you.”

The Mayor looked a bit relieved as he thanked her. He then continued to explain his plan.

“The plan is simple. The descendants of Planote will attack from the south, and a portion of Armstrong’s Connectors will attack from the north at the same time.”

The Mayor wanted to show respect to the Moon people, so he referred to them as ‘the descendants of Planote'. It was what the Moon people called themselves.

It was a small detail, but even a show of such small respect could only be beneficial to their relationship. The Mayor was well aware of it.

“When enough monsters have gathered around the north and south regions, the other unit of Armstrong’s Connectors will invade the city. They will fight the monsters left inside the city and prevent those that have exited from re-entering the city.”

From the explanation, it was clear that the third unit would be facing more danger than the other two.

Armstrong city was damaged, and its walls were riddled with holes. However, the dome around the city remained strong.

It meant that the group within the city, the third unit, could be surrounded from all sides when the distracted monsters returned. The people in this group might die, but it was a necessity.

“Then, the third unit will infiltrate the city hall, kill the nearby monsters, and retrieve the city hall’s safe. The speed at which they carry out their mission determines how many casualties we take.”

Someone let out a gulp.

“When the third unit has recovered the safe, they will send a large signal into the sky. All Connectors will then retreat. If we reach that point, victory is ours. However, we have something to discuss before we move.”

The Mayor looked at the Moon people.

“From what I remember, many of you can use the portal. May I ask how?”

In the beginning, when Armstrong’s Connectors had clashed with the Moon people, the Moon people had split up into multiple groups while retreating. These groups had then dispersed into separate tunnels and instantly vanished. This implied only one thing: several of the Moon people had access to the portal.

If the Mayor could find out how they did it, the chances of this plan's success would significantly increase.

Hearing the question, Plu-El and Aruwen looked at each other and nodded. Then, Aruwen took out a Gem from his Device and placed it on the table.

“Yellow Gem?”

None of the Connectors in the room looked impressed by the Yellow Gem on the table. All of them were high rank Connectors. They had graduated from using Rainbow rank Gems a long time ago.

However, it was said that appearances can be deceiving.

“No. This isn’t a Yellow Gem.”

“Then what is it?”

When Plu-El said it wasn’t a Yellow Gem, all of the Connectors became curious. However, the answer that they received was beyond their imagination.

“Flesh Gem. It's a Gem made from the corpse of those you call Connectors.”

Everyone froze, including Sungyoon.

“Corpse?”

“Yes.”

The Moon people were calm, but this wasn’t true for the Connectors. Their gazes toward the Moon people turned menacing.

“Did you use the Connectors you killed...”

“No. We made it from the corpses of our dead comrades.”

The hostility went down a notch. Sungyoon, who had asked the question, let out a sigh of relief.

However, the words didn’t dissipate the newly-developed chilly atmosphere.

“Do you mind giving us an explanation?”

“Sure. The act of making Gems from corpses must be profane in your culture. However, it's different for us. Your people lived on Earth without much external threat. Unlike you, we had to deal with monsters every day. Each day was a struggle to survive.”

The Moon people either let out a sigh or furrowed their brows. Some even cursed under their breaths.

“In such a situation, what would you do if you found out that you can acquire new powers using the dead bodies of your comrades?”

The Connectors of Armstrong city didn’t say anything. They could feel the harshness of the Moon people's lives through Plu-El’s words, and it wiped away all of their complaints.

“We now understand your situation.”

The Mayor spoke.

“We didn’t mean to judge from our pedestal, and we're sorry for creating such an unpleasant atmosphere.”

“Given our different living conditions, it's to be expected. Thank you for understanding.”

“Then can you explain why you showed us the Flesh Gem?”

“I will.”

Plu-El pushed the Flesh Gem to the middle of the table so that everyone could get a good look at it.

Even if they understood why the Moon people had made that choice, a couple of the Connectors flinched at the sight of the Gem.

“The special characteristic of a Flesh Gem is quite simple. It can copy the ability of another Gem and use it once.”

Everyone realized the implications of such a powerful ability.

The Mayor quickly asked the next question.

“It can only be used once?”

“Yes.”

The Connectors of Armstrong city swallowed their disappointment, but they quickly accepted the information.

‘It's to be expected. If one could infinitely use the copied abilities, it would be a cheat ability. There's no way something that broken exists.’

Sungyoon soothed his disappointment as he asked a different question.

“Does the rank of the Gem matter?”

“It doesn't. However, if one copies a high rank Gem that one can't handle, the ability degrades. We could use the portal numerous times because we had used the Flesh Gems to copy the ability of my Gem. These Gems can be only used once, so we sparingly used it.”

Sungyoon looked down at the Flesh Gem.

“Do you have any more of the Flesh Gems imprinted with the ability of Ms. Plu-El’s Gem?”

“We have a few. Once the ability is imprinted, it can't be overwritten. That's why it isn’t good to copy the ability beforehand.”

“It means you do have some. Can’t you open a portal to Earth using the Flesh Gem?”

“The Flesh Gem has its limits. It can only reach places on the Moon. Earth is too far away. It's impossible for a Flesh Gem to perfectly copy the ability of a special Gem.”

“What are the special Gems?”

One of the Connectors asked the question.

“As the name implies, these Gems are special. Mr. Sungyoon has the Royal Gem. My Gem, which we are trying to recover, is the Shaman Gem. Aruwen has the Warrior Gem. Then there is the Mage Gem, which went missing. They are the four special Gems. In the old days, when we ruled Earth, the ruling class of our people possessed these Gems.”

Sungyoon gazed at the Royal Gem with a new look in his eyes.

‘I knew it wasn’t a normal Gem, but I never expected it to be a Gem used by the ruling class of an ancient civilization.’

He wanted more information, but he couldn’t ask those questions right now.

It seemed Plu-El knew what Sungyoon was thinking, so she shook her head from side to side.

“I’ll give a more detailed explanation at a later time. Right now, we have urgent matters to attend to.”

“Let’s do that.”

The Mayor, who had been staring at the Royal Gem like Sungyoon, agreed with Plu-El’s suggestion.

“How many Flesh Gems do you have?”

The answer to this question came from Aruwen.

“We do not have a lot. When we ran away from Fabion’s attack, we didn’t have the time to gather all of our Gems.”

“It means we can’t conduct guerrilla warfare using the portals.”

Another one of the Mayor's hopes had been dashed. He did his best to keep the disappointment off his face.

“Alright. Let’s get back to the main topic at hand. I’ve laid out the general outline of the plan. Let us discuss the details.”

The meeting stretched out longer and longer.

***

‘It's about time for us to move.’

The Moon people and the Connectors' group on the other side had to move at the same time. They watched the hour hand of their watch move from twelve to one.

Click!

Signals appeared on both sides as the Connectors on standby and the Moon people moved at once.

Flash!

Light simultaneously appeared in the southern and northern regions of Armstrong city.

The Connectors and the Moon people started to kill the monsters that had been aimlessly moving outside Armstrong city to find any humans.

The men and the women mobilized for this plan were elites.

The small groups of monsters roaming outside the city didn’t stand a chance against them. Moreover, the monsters outside the city weren’t strong.

This advantage for Armstrong's Connectors and the Moon people didn’t last too long.

Pa-soo-soo-soo!

Dust erupted into the air as monsters started to come out of the city in droves. They looked like ants pouring out to protect their queen.

Even with the weak gravity of the Moon, it felt as if the ground was rumbling because of the movement of the monsters. 

If air existed on the Moon, they would have heard a deafening noise. Both the Connectors and the Moon people gulped when they saw this incredible sight. Their bodies shook, but their fighting spirits didn't diminish.

Plu-El and the leader of the Connectors' group raised their hands as they gave the same signal.

[We’ll slowly retreat. Don't panic. We're here to buy some time.]

Initially, they hadn’t held back while slaughtering the small groups of monsters. But now, Armstrong’s Connectors and the Moon people slowly retreated as they clashed against the tsunami of monsters.

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