It was a fancy room. Inside the room, a working desk had been placed in front of a clear window. The desk was made out of expensive wood, and it was the type of desk one bought to put on airs. The center of the room had a sofa made out of soft and expensive leather. A large display cabinet located in the corner of the room contained expensive collectibles and items that could make one hold one’s head up high.
However, in a manner unbefitting the high-quality furniture, the owner of the room was behaving unseemly.
Dongin had been repeating those two words for a while as if he thought they would save him from the danger looming over him. However, those words weren’t an incantation to a spell. They couldn't do anything.
He had locked the door to his office, but the door started to scream in protest.
Dal-kahk! Dal-kahk! Boom! Boom!
The door handle moved, and Dongin heard the poundings. Cold sweat ran down his face.
‘Where did it all go wrong!’
The worst-case situation had befallen him.
Armstrong city had suddenly gone down, and his company’s operation to gather moonstones had ground to a halt. This meant that the prospects of Connectors and moonstone-related industries had crashed. The stocks of these companies had hit rock bottom, and their employees had become restless.
The only silver lining for Dongin in this situation was that his company still retained most of its fighting force. However, that force would only matter if his company had the means to acquire moonstones.
‘Shit! I shouldn’t have carried out a terrorist attack!’
The Connector terrorists on Earth were one of the main culprits being blamed for Armstrong city's destruction. Because of the terrorist attacks that had been happening all around the world, all the countries had pulled back most of their Connectors. With a drain of high ranking Connectors, Armstrong city's defenses had significantly weakened.
‘I only wanted to create an opening to kill that one Moon bitch!’
He could've never expected that monsters would attack the city using the opening his men created. Moreover, he never expected Armstrong city to fall.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
“Hey! Mr. Lee Dongin! Nothing good will come out of it even if you hold out like this!”
Dongin flinched. Right now, he felt like a child that had just heard the cackling laughter of a witch from the other side of the door.
He had already lost contact with all his people from Fabion. Then, the police had come calling.
Dongin had a hunch. He didn’t know where he had slipped up, but the government was out to get him.
‘Shit! Do you think I’ll let myself get caught so easily?’
He had put in too much work until now to give up. It would be unfair.
Dongin pressed his face up close to the window. He looked like a bug trying to escape a transparent container.
‘As expected, they have me surrounded.’
Dozens of light sources flickered all around the building. The lights alternated between red and blue.
Dongin was so desperate that he had even thought of climbing down the building to escape this place. However, his escape attempt came to an end before it could even start.
A powerful force slammed open the locked door. The door hung halfway on its hinges as it creaked.
Dongin turned around to see detectives and policemen rush into the room.
“He’s here! He's just causing trouble for us!”
The detective leading the charge spat out his words in contempt.
“W-what are you doing!”
“What are we doing? You already know what this is about. Don’t feign ignorance. Ah! You committed so many wrongdoings, so you don’t know which crimes you're being charged with? Is that it?”
The detective stroked his chin as he tried to provoke Dongin. The other detectives moved forward to arrest Dongin.
“What the hell! Let me go! Even though you're police, you don't have the right to treat me like this!”
“We are just carrying out orders. It's useless to argue with us. Your best option is to use your famed fortune to fight tooth and nail in court. But...”
The detective tilted his head as he looked at Dongin.
“Seeing how things are evolving, I can say that it won’t be an easy fight. To arrest you and the people of your company, the whole world moved. I’m not speaking in hyperbole. They truly did it under the tightest secrecy.”
Dongin’s face turned pale.
If his suspected crimes were tax fraud or embezzlement charges, only the Korean government would've moved. There was no way the whole world would participate in the arrest. He realized his hunch was right. It seemed they had caught wind of the numerous infractions he had perpetrated.
“Drag him away.”
“Let go! Let go! Let me go! Let me goooooooo!”
He was the chairman of Fabion, the largest Connector company in Korea. Yet, he was being dragged out of his own castle in a humiliating fashion. Right now, he was just a criminal.
“Give us an explanation!”
Hweeyoung slammed her hand on the table.
The cup, which was half-filled with alcohol, spilled over.
The table still had the boiled chicken with rice containing all kinds of herbs, kimchi that had been made with great care along with side dishes, and steaming bowls of rice. Everyone had been sitting around the table just a while ago. They had been trying to forget Sungyoon, who had gone missing on the Moon.
Now, the three men who had been sharing drinks were not here; the police had taken them away. Two of them were her children.
Of course, she was heated.
Aiin, who sat next to Hweeyoung, swallowed something. She threw away the wrapper of the cheongsimhwahn, a calming medicine.
Hweeyoung and Aiin glared at Sungyoon with murderous looks in their eyes, while Jimin looked at him with worry and shock in her eyes.
Sungyoon slowly opened his mouth in front of them. For a while, only his voice rang in the room, although some gasps occasionally overlapped his voice.
His story had been a long one. Moreover, he had been trying his best to not shock Hweeyoung and Aiin too much. Therefore, the story dragged out longer than necessary. However, none of them complained. They couldn’t even tell time was passing as they paid rapt attention to his words.
When Sungyoon finished his explanation, no one spoke up, neither Hweeyoung, nor Aiin, nor Jimin!
Jimin, who sat next to Aiin, held her up. Aiin had eaten her calming medicine, yet it was ineffective. Sungyoon’s words were that shocking.
“It can’t be… It can’t be!”
Hweeyoung absentmindedly repeated those words. She was normally playful and energetic, but that woman was nowhere to be seen.
“D-did you call them Moon people? How trustworthy are their words?”
Jimin's eyes were shaking, and her voice was trembling, as if they were oceans being shaken by the wind and waves of a storm.
She appeared to be calm, but it wasn’t hard to figure out that she was trying to stay strong for her mothers. She was just putting a brave front.
“In my personal opinion, they are very trustworthy.”
The groans from Hweeyoung and Aiin became louder.
Jimin clutched at her chest.
“Then Dongin ahjussi and Hyunwoo ahjussi really…. My father...”
She stumbled over her words and could not say the full sentence.
Sungyoon barely understood her words. Her pronunciation had suffered that much.
She couldn't even breathe properly.
“We don’t know for sure. However, there will be a thorough investigation from now on, and the truth will come out.”
“If... If Fabion really perpetrated those heinous crimes, what will happen to our sons?”
Aiin sounded desperate as she grabbed Sungyoon’s shirt.
Hweeyoung and Jimin also stared at Sungyoon’s lips. They were all hanging on his words.
“I believe that nothing will happen to my brothers-in-law, and they will be released. We currently believe that the Connectors of Fabion are separated into two groups. The first group includes Lee Dongin and Sung Hyunwoo; it's the group willing to commit crimes for power. Then there is the other group, who were hired only to acquire moonstones. I’m pretty sure my brothers-in-law were part of the second group. If they had been in the first, Dongin would have had to tell them the truth about their father’s death, and I don't think they would've cooperated with him after learning the truth.”
“Yes. That’s right. There is no way those kids would do that.”
It seemed Sungyoon’s words had soothed them or maybe, they desperately wanted it to be true. Whatever it was, Aiin and Hweeyoung kept nodding.
“Hoo-ooh! We’ll find out the truth in due time.”
A bit of color had returned to Hweeyoung’s face after some time had passed. Aiin had also calmed down a little bit. It seemed Sungyoon's words about Woosang and Woosung being fine had been effective.
“If... if Mr. Dongin and Mr. Hyunwoo really had a hand in my husband’s death...”
Aiin’s long hair covered her face. She looked like a spirit as she let out a wail of resentment.
“I’ll never forgive them!”
Until now, she had considered them her husband's best friends. She had been very grateful to them since they had looked out for the family of their dead friend. However, it now came to light that those two had driven her husband to his death. They were monsters in the shape of humans. As she thought of it, her skin crawled.
Shinhae rubbed her eyes as she woke up. She wasn’t like most children, who told themselves they could sleep a little bit more. She didn’t burrow further into her blankets and woke up on her own like a good girl.
After she had received love from her newly-formed family, she had started to regain her innocence. However, the habits formed by old wounds from the past couldn’t be completely erased.
The title of Mom came easy to her lips as if she had always been calling Jimin her mother.
Shinhae opened the door to the living room as she searched for Jimin. She wanted to boast about her dream to her mother. The previous day, her father had visited her in her dreams. His rough hands had brushed her hair away from her forehead, and he had patted her back. Then, after kissing her cheeks, he had said his goodbye and left.
Her mother, Jimin, had looked worried about something in recent days, and Shinhae knew that telling a story about Sungyoon would make Jimin happy.
“Mom! Yesterday, I—”
Shinhae, who had yelled as she entered the living room, came to a stop.
Her gaze stopped in one location.
“Yes, my daughter! It has been a while, hasn't it?”
Sungyoon opened his arms out wide.
Her surprise turned to joy. Shinhae’s expression changed like a roller coaster.
Her little feet ran across the living room floor. She didn’t even think as she jumped into Sungyoon’s arms. Sungyoon carefully caught Shinhae. He didn’t want his precious daughter to get injured.
Shinhae buried her face in Sungyoon’s chest and took a deep breath. She cherished the scent of her dad, whom she had missed so much. This scent was the same as the one in her memory.
Shinhae raised her head to see the gentle smile of her father. She now knew this was real. Her father had returned home after finishing his work.
“Heh heh heh!”
Shinhae was in a very good mood as she ate breakfast. She picked at her breakfast. She was too busy sticking close to Sungyoon.
“Are you that happy?”
Shinhae nodded at Hweeyoung’s kind question.
Her father, mother, and grandmothers were all here. Why wouldn't she be happy at this place!
In stark contrast to her, Sungyoon felt like he was sitting on pins and needles. Of course, he was happy about reuniting with Shinhae, but...
‘Their hearts must be suffering.’
Hweeyoung and Aiin had barely gotten any sleep last night. Their sons were locked up, and in some ways, Sungyoon was the reason for it.
However, Hweeyoung and Aiin didn't put any blame on him or showed that they do. They were kind to Shinhae.
At a closer look, one could tell that they were pushing themselves past their limits. However, Shinhae was too wrapped up in her happiness to notice it.
‘They are amazing people.’
Sungyoon felt admiration toward his mothers-in-law.
After eating her breakfast, Shinhae stood up. She was sent to the living room since Sungyoon wanted to have a conversation with Aiin and Hweeyoung. Shinhae wanted to stay next to her father, but she knew she wouldn’t be separated from him for long.
Therefore, she had gone to the living room and turned on the TV.
As soon as Shinhae went away, a sad mood descended on the two women. Hweeyoung asked a question.
“Did you say her name was Plu-El?”
The awkward question was finally out in the open.
Even if Connectors were allowed to have multiple wives, these two women's husband had picked up another wife without their knowledge. Moreover, a child had been born from that marriage. Of course, Hweeyoung and Aiin didn’t feel good about it.
“Are you sure you trust that woman’s words?”
“I snuck home not too long ago to acquire Jimin's hair. We checked her DNA against the child called Soyoung. It was proven that Jimin and Soyoung are related by blood.”
The women let out a sigh at the same time.
“Can we meet that woman?”
“I’ll try to set up the meeting.”
He had no idea what would come from that meeting, but he knew this meeting had to happen. Sungyoon hardened his heart as he spoke to them.