Sungyoon had thought that he had found a way of predicting the next ritual sites. He had thought this tiresome hide & seek game with Kevil would come to an end soon.
However, he had been way too optimistic.
“They discovered one in India.”
Sungyoon spoke as he ended the call.
He put down his cellphone with an annoyed expression.
Tim leaned against a tree, and some of the snow on the tree branches fell to the ground.
“We're in Canada. That’s on the other side of the world.”
“Were there no Connectors nearby?”
Unlike the disappointed Tim, Grace wanted more information.
After the night Grace had looked for Sungyoon in his room, her attitude toward him had turned cold for a while. However, her behavior had returned to being normal now.
“The nearest Connectors capable of dealing with this situation were in China.”
“That’s far. Were they near the border by any chance?”
“We weren’t that lucky. By the time they arrived, they found no traces of Kevil.”
“As expected, we have too many locations to cover. It's impossible.”
Connectors were already small in number, but the lack of manpower was further exacerbated by the fact that the number of Connectors capable of dealing with Kevil was even smaller.
Plu-El had surmised these locations had been used to create a massive magic diagram, which had expelled magical energy from Earth. Since the magic diagram had to react with all of the magical energy of Earth, these locations were magical energy hotspots.
“However, unlike before, we at least have some information. We are in a better spot. We don’t have to shoot blindly. Our predictions were correct.”
Tim tried to cheer up everyone. It helped that he was telling the truth.
At the very least, Kevil had been appearing only in the old ritual sites. The problem remained that there were too many of these locations.
“How’s the damage?”
It was Emily who asked the question this time.
“Two infantry companies protecting each site was destroyed. The Mana Knight bullets had no effect on Kevil.”
Everyone’s face darkened.
“However, it isn’t all bad news. According to the security cameras set up in those sites, the number of monsters under Kevil has significantly decreased. It proves that no reinforcement would be coming for him.”
Kevil was very strong, but he was one monster. In some cases, it was more troublesome to fight numerous above-average foes.
Above all else, the enemy’s fighting force had decreased. That was significant in itself.
“There were some casualties, but it can’t be compared to before. Connectors are back to defending Earth. That's a factor, but a large part of it has to do with the reduction in the number of monsters under Kevil’s command. There are fewer of them, and it's causing Kevil to attack less frequently.”
“The frequency of the rituals has also decreased.”
Once they laid it all out like that, they realized it wasn’t all bad news.
“However, the sacrifices haven’t ended yet. It’ll only be possible if we end Kevil once and for all.”
Sungyoon put his party members on alert once again.
“That rat bastard! That bastard is basically a rat trapped in a cage!”
“However, time is on its side. It becomes stronger as more magical energy returns to Earth.”
Tim groaned when Grace pushed back on his assertion.
“You're right, Ms. Grace, but Mr. Tim isn’t wrong either.”
Sungyoon looked at the sky. It was the time of the day where the sunlight wasn’t as bright, so he could see the white Moon.
“There is no way Grenoid and its underlings will do nothing like this. They’ll come up with a plan.”
“Shit! Is there any other plan we can try?”
The dark being wearing a robe swiveled its head.
It glared at the person who had expressed his grievance. Jinsoo was the one who had complained, yet he lifted his chin.
“What? Do you have a problem with what I said? You weren’t able to predict this in the first place, yet you still have self-respect for yourself?”
Jinsoo baited the robed figure.
Udocus’s robe started to shake. It was clear that 'it' was trying to hold back its extreme anger.
Killing intent spread in the surroundings.
“Kim Jinsoo. Stop it.”
“Jeez! You shouldn't take their side so much, Mr. Hyunwoo! How long have we been stuck on this dreary Moon? I’m not like those dumb rabbits! I like the smell of Earth better than the smell of this dank labyrinth!”
Jinsoo continued his spiel about the blue ocean and the blue sky, but he stopped speaking when Hyunwoo glared at him.
“Tsk! I can’t even complain now.”
Jinsoo surged to his feet.
“I guess I should have expected it. Even the mighty Udocus doesn’t know everything.”
Jinsoo looked at Hyunwoo as if he wanted Hyunwoo to agree with him. However, the look in Jinsoo’s eyes told a completely different story. He knew Hyunwoo was playing his own game, so Jinsoo also planned to play his own game. It was as if he was daring Hyunwoo to call him out on it.
“Alright. You should stop antagonizing him. If he gets really mad, I can’t hold him back.”
“OMG! I’m so scared! I should start running away!”
The two men exchanged glances. They tried to see what each other was planning. Both suspected each other of hiding things, so it was an exchange based on distrust.
Jinsoo hummed as he left.
“I’ll apologize in his place.”
“… No need.”
Udocus’s reaction was very cold, and it turned its back on the two men in a cold manner. That was all it did to reveal its displeasure.
‘It seems its pride has been hurt.’
If it were any other time, Udocus would have blown off Jinsoo’s arm. It would do just enough damage that could be fixed through a healing spell.
‘Kim Jinsoo realized this, so he tried to get a dig in.’
As always, Kim Jinsoo was quick on the uptake.
“I admit it. I never expected them to thwart my plan like this. I never expected those bastards from the past to set up such a device.”
Hyunwoo became surprised twice. He first became surprised when Udocus correctly guessed who had created the force field. He became surprised for the second time when Udocus admitted his mistake.
“However, I'm also confident in my intelligence. I won’t take this lying down.”
Udocus spoke in derision underneath its hood.
“Do you have some kind of a plan?”
“I already told Kevil what to do next.”
“You were able to contact him?”
According to the information Hyunwoo had, the monsters didn’t have a way of communicating through space.
“I told him a couple of things before he went down.”
“You were prepared for this scenario?”
“I didn’t expect it, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t prepare contingency plans. Also, two plans work pretty well in this scenario.”
As expected, this monster wasn't to be underestimated. Hyunwoo once again had that thought.
“Then you don’t have to beat yourself over this. I don’t get why your pride is hurt.”
“I prefer not to use those methods. The fact that I’m using those backup plans means my original plan went awry. Moreover, one of the two plans is my last resort. That's why I can’t standby and do nothing.”
It slowly turned around to look at Hyunwoo once again.
“I have to move. I have to make preparations.”
Udoccus had never expected the insects to land a body blow, and it wanted to hit back.
Kevil was proving hard to catch. Security cameras had been mounted on all the suspected locations, and a lot of manpower had been deployed. Therefore, Kevil wasn't hard to spot. The problem was that no Connector with the capability to defeat Kevil could show up on time.
Until now, Kevil slaughtered all the nearby infantry units, then it finished the ritual before leaving with plenty of time to spare. It even smiled at the cameras that it spotted.
The situation had reached the point where Kevil was becoming an unignorable problem. Therefore, the people on top came up with a special plan.
- How do you feel, Knight?
A voice asked through the communication device. The owner of the voice wasn’t far away.
Sungyoon looked in front of him.
“It was fun in the beginning, but it's starting to get very boring.”
-Ha ha ha! I see.
The pilot of the fighter plane transporting Sungyoon laughed.
- I’m sure it was exciting to get on a fighter plane for the first time. However, it isn’t something nice to ride in for a long time. This beauty isn’t meant for transporting people. It's meant to deliver weapons. I always complain about how uncomfortable it's in here.
The only thing they could see was the blue sky and white clouds.
Then there was the damned hot sunlight.
He had enjoyed the sight for several dozen minutes. If he was being generous, he would say he had looked at his surroundings with amazement for two hours. However, boredom had set in after that.
“How long have I been on this plane?”
- Around ten hours.
Sungyoon looked to the side. Three more fighter planes were flying in formation not too far away. His party members were in those planes.
- This is an unprecedented order. Since we have no idea where the enemies would show up, they want you guys to be ready in the air. They put you all into fighter jets.
Sungyoon once again let out a sigh when he heard the pilot’s words. Currently, he was sitting in the cramped back seat, trying to kill time.
An airborne tanker had been deployed for this plan too.
In the beginning, Sungyoon had looked at pictures of Shinhae and listened to some music. However, he could keep that up only for a day or two. In the end, he tried to sleep through it. If he couldn’t, he just blankly stared outside.
“It can't be helped. The number of people being sacrificed is growing.”
- It's something I would expect the Knight to say. Also, I'm amazed at Connectors like you. We have to go through rigorous training to get used to flying in a fighter jet, yet you Connectors adapt to it pretty quickly.
“I guess that's one way to look at it. However, you guys are the ones protecting the skies of Earth. You carry out a very important job. You can be proud of yourselves.”
- Ha ha! You aren’t wrong!
It seemed the pilot was a big fan of Sungyoon. He remained silent when Sungyoon was asleep or otherwise occupied, but other times, the pilot tried to strike up a conversation with him.
Since Sungyoon was bored, he welcomed the conversations.
Suddenly, the pilot received a message.
- They’ve appeared!
Sungyoon’s dead eyes regained life.
- It isn’t too far away! We can reach there in thirty minutes at top speed!
The four fighter jets turned at the same time and flew toward the location where Kevil had shown up.
When the four fighter jets reached the vicinity of their destination, they quickly descended.
- Are you ready?
- I’m ready for it, but I have no idea if this is the right thing to do!
The pilot’s voice wavered a little bit.
“Thank you for worrying about me, but I’ll be fine!”
- Well, we have no other choice since we are already here!
The fighter jet quickly decelerated.
- I wish you luck!
The pilot gave a thumbs up, and Sungyoon also put his thumbs up in response.
The plane’s canopy opened, and winds buffeted against them.
Sungyoon stood up.
The air felt like a hammer slamming into him. However, due to the protection of his armor, Sungyoon was fine.
He grabbed the side of the cockpit, hung off it, and let go.
The fighter jet flew into the distance.
Sungyoon’s body rapidly fell toward the ground, and his party members also jumped out of their respective planes.Previous Chapter Next Chapter