Sungyoon wasn’t an arrogant man. The hardships he had faced over the years had forced him to be humble about his accomplishments. In fact, he was the type of person who lacked self-confidence. Despite these characteristics, Sungyoon had thought that he and his party members had gotten pretty strong. He wasn’t being conceited. Sungyoon was that skilled, and he had gone through more tribulations than most people.
However, right now, Sungyoon felt very embarrassed for having such thoughts.
Russell's clean sword strike slashed through the space in front of him. It wasn't an exaggeration to say that he had cut the space itself. The monster was collateral damage.
The attack was incredibly effective.
The monster’s head flew in the air and landed on the ground. The headless body also fell.
“This is the monster that probably attacked you guys.”
Tim’s shield had yet to recover from the damage that it had received, so he was borrowing Sungyoon’s shield. He checked the monster’s head, which was rolling around Russell’s feet.
“I think it's indeed the one. What do you think, Mr. Sungyoon?”
“I believe so too.”
The monster wasn’t that large. In fact, it was much smaller than the average human male.
“It's a Satyr.”
The monster had an ugly face, dark skin, and sharp horns. The most striking characteristic was its legs. They didn’t resemble the legs of a human, but the legs of a goat.
“We started running across this monster not too long ago. The monster was given an official name, but not enough time has passed for it to make it into the Monster Guide. It can’t be helped. Those up top work very slowly.”
“It shoots air bullets through its mouth. Those attacks really hurt.”
Bruce, who stood next to Russell, shuddered at the thought. It seemed he had been struck by it before.
‘He was hit by it?’
The attack had pushed Tim and Sungyoon at the same time and almost destroyed Tim’s shield. Bruce made an exaggerated gesture of pain, but that was it.
Sungyoon once again felt the gulf between himself and the highest ranked Connectors of the world.
“It is a Dabanarung.”
Plu-El spoke as she looked at the monster.
“Dabanarung? Is that what the descendants of Planote call this monster?”
“Yes. We call it that.”
Plu-El answered Sungyoon’s question in a courteous manner.
It was common for different cultures to have different names for the same thing. However, Sungyoon felt as if he had heard that word before.
“In the past, didn’t you cuss me out by saying I looked like that monster?”
“Ah. I believe I did.”
It had happened when Sungyoon had captured her. At that time, her comrades, Fabion, and Armstrong's Connectors had been fighting a three-way battle to get a hold of her.
Sungyoon looked at the face of the monster. It was really ugly.
“Do I really look like that?”
“I was so angry that I just spat out any words that came to my mind.”
Plu-El gave an excuse.
Was it just her imagination? Sungyoon’s complexion didn’t look good for a while.
The party continued to advance.
Monsters that would cause great trouble to Sungyoon’s party kept appearing, and monsters who could one-shot Sungyoon's party also showed up from time to time.
However, Russell and Bruce were two of the strongest high rank Connectors. They easily killed all those monsters like an irresistible force.
It took them three more days to move four floors down. The tunnel had no forks; it just led downward in a straight path.
“I can finally see something!”
Bruce didn’t hide the joy that he was feeling. When the tunnel ended, they arrived at a large space. At the very least, three soccer stadiums could fit in this place. In terms of height, this place was enough to house a twenty-story apartment.
Surprisingly, this place also looked artificial. All the structures around them were made from square rocks stacked upon each other. It had been stifling. They felt joy when they arrived at a large space.
However, the thing that caught everyone’s eyes wasn't the space. On the other side of the tunnel, there was a wall. A door existed in the wall. The door was large enough that it could be seen from a distance.
“Doesn’t that look like our destination?”
Bruce quickly walked toward the door.
“Hey! At the very least, you should warn us before you rush forward like that!”
Russell quickly followed Bruce.
“I’m being careful! I’ve done this for dozens of years! I know what I’m doing!”
“It's obvious that you don’t know what to do! You make it seem like you learned nothing in the past dozens of years!”
Russell and Bruce exchanged their familiar banter as they took the lead. Even if they were being careful, they had more room for error. The others in the group were tense as they carefully followed the two men.
Fortunately, nothing occurred until they reached the door.
“Opening it should be fine, right?”
Bruce placed his hand on the door. Russell still looked displeased with Bruce. However, they had to open the door at some point, so he didn’t stop Bruce.
Russell gave orders to the other Connector. They stood several feet away from the door and got in formation. They were ready for everything that could go wrong.
Bruce placed his hands on the door and pushed.
The door didn’t move.
“Huh? This must be really heavy.”
Bruce fixed how he positioned himself. He leaned forward with his hands on the door and pushed again.
Bruce gave a shout to concentrate. The others could tell that he was using all his strength. As one of the highest rank Connectors, Bruce possessed an incredible amount of strength, yet the door didn’t budge.
Veins popped out on Bruce’s forehead. However, the door didn't budge, and this hurt Bruce’s ego.
“Alright! Let’s see if you remain closed once I destroy you into pieces.”
“You aren’t opening it if you are destroying it, idiot!”
Bruce was panting as he was about to swing his fist, but Russell slapped him on the back of his head.
A commotion broke out.
“This is what’s wrong with simpletons like him, who possess a single cell for a brain!”
Russell grumbled. He was barely able to stop Bruce from destroying the door.
Sungyoon’s party let out a dry laugh when they saw Russell’s ire.
“However, I would like to point out that Mr. Bruce has a point. We have to destroy it if we can’t open it.”
Unlike his usual self, Sungyoon let out a bold statement.
Emily expressed her worries.
“What if something weird like the Golem pops out?”
“That's a possibility, Miss. However, we have to take the risk right now. We don’t have the time to dawdle.”
Russell answered her instead of Sungyoon.
“However, it should be our last resort. We have to see if there are other ways of opening the door.”
Russell looked up at the large door.
Everyone’s gaze fell at the same spot.
‘It really is huge.’
The door was around four meters tall and covered with geometric symbols. Its appearance screamed that it was hiding something extraordinary.
Sungyoon placed a hand on the door.
It was a door that both Russell and Bruce couldn’t open, and he didn’t think he could open it by pushing on it.
He had just placed a hand on it.
Everyone’s gaze turned toward the door.
Sungyoon was shocked to see that a two-centimeter gap had opened up. It was a very small gap, but compared to before, two centimeters felt monumental.
Sungyoon pushed harder with his hand.
The door hadn’t budged until now, but under Sungyoon’s hands, it opened easily. It was almost like a dream. Unlike its enormous size, Sungyoon couldn’t feel the weight of the door.
He silently looked backward and saw an odd expression on the faces of everyone.
The look on Bruce’s face was especially amusing.
“Is this thanks to your Royal Gem? I think it's likely that the item caused the door to open. That's why I didn’t lose. You know that, right?”
“I understand. How can there be winning and losing when performing a task like this?”
“Mmm. As expected, you're a wise man, Knight. I’m telling you this as your senior. Let me say this again— ”
“Get out of our way!”
Russell kicked Bruce’s butt. Bruce grumbled as the party went through the door.
Russell let out a sigh as he patted Sungyoon’s shoulder.
“Please be understanding of him. He's very childish.”
“I don’t pay attention to it.”
In the first place, Bruce was half-joking when he said those words. Moreover, his words weren't wrong.
“Thank you for being so understanding.”
After thanking Sungyoon, Russell moved up next to Bruce, and the group followed them.
Soon, they could hear the familiar bickering between the two men.
“It seems they are really good friends.”
Grace spoke as she looked at them.
“The two of them will never admit this.”
“Ain’t that the truth!”
The tunnel continued past the door.
As expected, this tunnel was artificially made too. The only difference was the size of the tunnel.
The small tunnel had transformed into a large one.
Moreover, there were no monsters, so the party quickly walked down the tunnel without any hindrance.
“It seems Mr. Sungyoon was right in his prediction.”
Grace spoke when they reached the end of the tunnel.
A large ancient city appeared in front of them.
As with all the other ancient cities, the buildings looked similar; they were all built in a Western-style. It was to be expected since all the cities had been built by people from the same culture.
However, there were distinct differences between each city.
Even after a long time had passed, the capital held the palace, which was dripping with enormous charisma. The holy city held the temples, which gave off a sacred feeling. The fortress city was surrounded by thick city walls.
Then there was this place.
It was assumed that this place was the Mage city, and it also had a distinctive characteristic of its own.
It contained a structure that could be seen from anywhere in the city.
“Is that a tower?”
Emily stared at the center of the city. From there, a long cylindrical structure stretched toward the ceiling. At a glance, it was obvious that it was a tower. The tower was so high that it made this large space feel a bit cramped.
“I’m not sure of the exact measurements, but at the very least, it's easily taller than a forty-story building.”
Tim was using his fingers to estimate the height of the tower. He spoke out in amazement.
Russell clapped his hands to get the attention of everyone.
“We’ll spend only a day exploring this city. If you see something special or important, please remember it and report it later. Let’s set a deadline.”
Russell checked his wristwatch.
“We’ll meet up over there at 2300 hours today.”
Russell pointed at the tower located at the center of the city.
“When are we going to climb the tower?”
One of the Connectors asked the question. It was clear that the tower was the most important structure in this city.
Russell didn’t hesitate as he gave his answer.
The Connectors broke up into small parties as they dispersed into the city. Sungyoon’s party also started looking around. However, they didn’t expect to find something out of the ordinary; the reason was that they hadn't found anything out of the ordinary in the other cities.
As expected, no one found anything special.
Everyone returned empty-handed.
“It seems no one found something extraordinary.”
Russell hadn’t expected much from the sound of his voice.
“Let’s get a good night's rest. We’ll enter the tower tomorrow.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter