Grenoid had made all the Great Labyrinths through artificial means. However, this didn’t mean that the environment within the Great Labyrinths looked artificial. It seemed as though an entirely different world existed within the Great Labyrinths.
That was why when Sungyoon's party arrived in this tunnel, they found it out of the norm.
“Doesn’t it look like humans made this?”
Tim took a knee as he touched the surface of the floor. Unlike the bumpy and rough floor of a normal labyrinth, the floor here was smooth and made out of square-shaped rocks that perfectly fit.
It wasn’t just the floor. The ceiling and the walls were similarly made by stacking the square rocks. The tunnel was rectangular and was around three meters high and about two and a half meters wide.
Usually, tunnels in labyrinths varied in shape and size. In extreme cases, they didn't even have walls and ceilings. Therefore, this tunnel was out of place.
“It isn’t a certainty. It could be that Grenoid or its underlings created this place. Or its creators might be living organisms other than humans. In fact, the probability of it being built by some unknown life form seems more likely. After all, even the descendants of Planote were unaware of this place. It also could be an unknown phenomenon caused by magical energy.”
Emily tried to see if there were any gaps between the rocks as she spoke.
Sungyoon and Grace also touched the walls and floor and observed their new surroundings.
Grace stood next to Sungyoon and spoke.
“What do you think, Mr. Sungyoon? Do you feel anything?”
“Yes. The feeling is very intense.”
Sungyoon glared toward the other side of the tunnel. Magical energy fed him the visual information, but it seemed the location was too far. It was as if his vision was foggy.
Grace waved her hand through the air, then she held a finger up as if she were gauging the speed of the wind.
“We’ll have to be careful. Something is wrong with the flow of magical energy.”
Sungyoon also raised his finger in the air.
“You're right. Mana Stream is ever-present in the Great Labyrinth, but the one here is unusually intense.”
The magical energy within a normal labyrinth felt like a breeze; the magical energy within a Great Labyrinth felt like a storm; however, the magical energy that they felt right now was like a typhoon.
It felt like a super typhoon.
‘At the very least, a Connector has to be able to use a Platinum Gem to survive this. If not, their body would be ripped apart.’
“Since this proves that this place is special, let’s advance slowly.”
When Sungyoon spoke, his comrades gathered around him. They once again got into their formation as they walked ahead.
“Thankfully, we aren’t in an open space and the chances of being ambushed are lower. It's a comforting thought.”
“Don’t let your guard down in a labyrinth, dummy. Who knows if a monster might burst through the wall to attack us. This place is still a mystery.”
Emily berated Tim.
Their bickering might attract a monster toward them in this enigmatic location, but the steel boots worn by Tim and Sungyoon were already causing a lot of sounds. Therefore, Sungyoon wasn’t bothered by the two of them bickering with each other.
“We have a guest.”
Tim was flustered by Emily’s colorful words of criticism, but his face instantly hardened when he heard the sound. He raised his shield.
The being didn’t plan on hiding its presence. It boldly let its footsteps ring out as it approached Sungyoon’s party. It was clad in a black helmet and black armor; its sword was black too.
The black color all around it gave it an ominous feeling.
“Is he a… Connector?”
“Idiot. Look at its eyes.”
Emily pointed at the black helmet with her mace, and Tim looked at its eyes.
“They are red. It's a monster.”
“It's a Living Armor.”
“Is it another high rank monster?”
Tim’s face distorted. However, he immediately shook his head from side to side.
“It should be on the same level as the Titan. It’ll be tough, but I believe we’ll win.”
“No. This might be more difficult than expected.”
Sungyoon moved up close behind Tim.
“The tunnel is small. We are limited on how we can attack it. We can’t use our normal strategy where I attack from the rear while you keep the monster occupied. Even if I try to go around it, there is a high probability that the monster would stop me from doing so.”
Tim let out a groan.
“Also, I’ll be limited in my attacks. I can't use my flames, lightning, or winds in this small space. If I’m not careful, you might get swept up in the attack, Mr. Tim.”
Tim’s groan became louder when Grace spoke.
“Let’s just fight it! We can figure things out as it goes!”
Tim was a simple man. It was a plan befitting his personality. He clashed his ax and shield together as if he were trying to hype himself up.
“Well, we can’t retreat even before engaging it.”
Sungyoon took out his ax.
His hammer created an explosion on impact, so if he used the hammer, it might implicate his party members. The halberd and the sword were too long to effectively swing in this small tunnel.
‘If I can just post up behind Mr. Tim, I could use the sword or halberd for stabbing.’
Although he thought this, when it came to attacking strong monsters, Sungyoon preferred to attack from the monster's rear. Therefore, he needed to use his shortest weapon.
Tim yelled. The Living Armor held its sword as it charged forward.
At a glance, the armor looked heavy, yet it moved like the wind. It swung its sword in a large arc.
An explosive sound rang out when the sword clashed against Tim’s shield. Since they were in an enclosed space, the sound was very loud. Everyone almost put their hands up to their ears on instinct. The ears of Connectors were much more sensitive than the ears of normal people, so the loud sound bothered them more.
Sungyoon moved. He kept low to the ground as he walked past Tim’s large body.
Then, he swung his ax from the side of the Living Armor.
Sungyoon clicked his tongue.
The Living Armor had been holding its sword in its right hand. Since it was in a contest of strength with Tim’s shield, its right side had been exposed. Sungyoon had used that opportunity to attack from the right, but the Living Armor was exquisite in its use of the sword. It had slightly adjusted its sword to block Sungyoon’s ax.
Sungyoon tried to use brute force to push back the Living Armor. He put strength into his legs. His attack had been blocked, but his initial plan was to move past the Living Armor. He wanted to position himself in its rear.
However, the Living Armor moved its foot.
Sungyoon desperately hit the brakes. He almost rolled on the ground as he moved back behind Tim.
The Living Armor had brought its foot down on the spot where Sungyoon had been trying to rush past it. A frightening sound rang out within the labyrinth.
“As expected, this won’t be easy.”
“Our numerical advantage is nullified in such a small terrain.”
Emily responded to Sungyoon’s lamentation.
Sungyoon tried several more times to move to the rear of the Living Armor, but it blocked him each time.
“I guess we have no choice but to do this.”
In the end, Sungyoon changed his weapon to the long halberd, and a drawn-out battle took place. The Living Armor’s defense was too high. It blocking the narrow tunnel was akin to a large and sturdy wall blocking their path.
The battle continued for a long time.
In the end, Sungyoon’s party barely defeated the Living Armor, and the battle exhausted them.
“This was tougher than I thought.”
Tim, who had the highest defense here, let out a sigh. He planted his shield on the ground and leaned against it. The others were in a similar state. However, they soon had to wield their weapons once again as their faces crumpled.
Another monster was coming toward them in the distance.
“… What's that?”
Emily peeked as she hid behind Tim.
No one had an answer to her question.
“I’ve never seen that monster before.”
Sungyoon had memorized the entire Monster Guide, which contained the information of all the confirmed monsters. Yet, he didn't recognize this monster.
It meant bad news. Fighting an unknown foe was always very dangerous.
Tim lifted his shield and spoke.
“Shall I test out its strength?”
“Wait a moment. It's an unknown monster of the Great Labyrinth. We can’t recklessly attack—”
Sungyoon was trying to discourage Tim from acting when the monster had attacked. Tim saw its actions, so he defended against the attack. No, he tried to defend against it.
Tim’s entire body flew into the air. The fierce impact of the attack had sent both him and his shield flying through the air.
The surprised Sungyoon caught Tim.
The unknown monster didn’t slow down at all. It kept pushing back Tim and Sungyoon. Sungyoon could barely stay on his feet as he tried to slow down the unknown monster.
Tim squeezed all the strength in his body as he lifted his shield. He managed to deflect the monster’s attack at an angle, and the attack hit the tunnel’s ceiling.
An explosive sound and a shockwave rang out. Tim and Sungyoon became the leaves swept up in a storm as they had been sent flying.
“Mr. Sungyoon! Tim!”
“Mr. Sungyoon! Mr. Tim!”
Emily and Grace ran toward the two men. Sungyoon and Tim quickly got up. Their bodies ached, but they hadn’t suffered any serious injuries.
Everyone’s gaze headed toward Tim’s shield. Numerous cracks had appeared on the sturdy shield.
“It did this with just a single blow?”
Tim yelled out in dismay. Everyone was shocked as well.
Without showing any hesitation, Sungyoon immediately injected his magical energy into the Royal Gem, and a portal appeared behind them.
They didn't even have time to respond to his words. The party desperately jumped through the portal, and Sungyoon closed the portal as soon as he passed through it.
The monster’s attack missed by a whisker, and another explosive sound rang out within the tunnel.
“Huhk! Huhk! Huhk!”
After exiting the portal, Sungyoon took deep breaths on the floor. His body didn’t need oxygen, but he injected oxygen into his lungs to calm himself.
‘Where are the others?’
Sungyoon raised his gaze. Thankfully, all his party members were near him. They were in a state of shock like him, but they looked unharmed.
“What the hell! What happened?”
Someone approached Sungyoon.
Russell's eyes became wide from surprise as he looked over Sungyoon’s party. He was the first one to arrive, and following his lead, more and more people started gathering around Sungyoon’s party.
Plu-El quickly helped Sungyoon stand up and kept him steady. Russell did the same with Grace, and the other Connectors extended helping hands to Tim and Emily. Sungyoon and his party members all let out a sigh of relief.
Sungyoon sounded strained as he spoke to Plu-El.
“Can you give me a cup of water, Mother-in-law?”
The party had returned to the holy city, which they were using as a base. The Mayor had been waiting for the Connectors to bring him the news.
After regaining his composure, Sungyoon slowly unpacked his experience in the Great Labyrinth.
“You went down to the 30th floor?”
Bruce's voice contained shock.
“You went very far. Our party stopped on the 27th floor. That was our limit.”
Sungyoon was surprised.
He had the portal in his back pocket, so his party hadn't paid attention to the pre-decided date of their return. They had just pushed forward in a reckless manner. Unlike them, Bruce’s party moved with their return date in mind.
The plan was for everyone to return before thirty days. Therefore, compared to Sungyoon’s party, Bruce’s party was more limited in what they could do. Despite that limitation, they had only fallen short of Sungyoon’s party by three floors.
It once again reinforced Bruce's strength.
“Did you find anything?”
Russell asked the question. Sungyoon looked at everyone as he spoke.
“Yes. I don’t know for sure, but we found a suspicious location.”
Everyone let out a cheer.Previous Chapter Next Chapter