Chapter 330

However, these were all thoughts he had to go over after this battle.

Sungyoon summoned his halberd and threw it with the spear blade leading the way. The halberd opened up a path of blood, and the blood and flesh of the monsters splattered everywhere in a mess.

‘Other than my Gems that underwent explosive growth, another power is increasing the damage I can inflict.’

He found the power flowing through his body familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

Sungyoon glanced at the Royal Gem.

After he had killed Kevil, the Warrior Gem, the Mage Gem, and the Shaman Gem had awakened at the same time.

Moreover, they all awakened to a power that the previous owners like Plu-El and Aruwen never possessed.

It was a power Sungyoon had sporadically used in the past. It was a connection to the source of magical energy.

Grace, who had been shocked by her own lightning spell, had accessed this power.

Plu-El had fully awakened the Shaman Gem long ago. Although Aruwen had awakened the Warrior Gem only a short while ago, he had become quite adept at using it. That was why, the Gems in the possession of Sungyoon’s party awakening all at once and displaying such power was surprising.

However, Sungyoon had a guess.

When the three Gems awakened this time, they had been around his Royal Gem.

It seemed Aruwen had been right. The three special Gems had to be kept near the Royal Gem.

Of course, none of Grace, Tim, and Emily could use this power on command. Either the three Gems had to be near the Royal Gem, or they had to be gathered in one place. Only then could the Gems fully display their power.

This was the reason Grace had looked around in her surroundings when her spell had acted abnormally.

The power that she could normally bring out was much weaker than the power drawn by Sungyoon on instinct. However, this didn’t mean that she was weak.

The fight went on, and Grace used another spell. This time, it was her Frost magic.

The nearby region froze over. A layer of ice covered the monsters, and they stopped moving. Then, the frozen monsters fractured into pieces.

Grace's spell had a long-range, and it halted the monsters in a large area. Sungyoon used this pause to ruthlessly slaughter. He swung his weapons when the monsters were close and threw the weapons if the monsters were far away.

It didn’t take long for Armstrong city to support the Connectors.

After the Mayor’s orders, all the numerous weapons installed on the city walls started firing toward the monsters.

The guns especially focused on the large monsters. The bullets made out of Mana Knight honeycombed the monsters' bodies

‘We’ll be able to hold the city at this rate.’

Even though monsters were coming at them with overwhelming numbers, Armstrong city’s defense was well fortified.

Moreover, Connectors were on par with or better than monsters in terms of stamina. Even a low level Connector could fight for a week. Of course, this discounted mental fatigue and injuries.

‘We can win this!’

Sungyoon felt his confidence surge.

***

The battle continued on the next day. The area surrounding Armstrong city was full of dead monsters. The casualties also continued to mount for humanity, although their casualties were far fewer than the monsters'.

Armstrong city held the overall advantage in the battle. Moreover, Earth continuously shipped Connectors to Armstrong city, and these Connectors helped in solidifying the city's defenses even further.

When the monsters had attacked in the beginning, all the normal soldiers and Connectors had to head out and block them. It had been a desperate fight. Now, they could afford to split the forces in two. One group defended the city while the other rested.

“We have somehow stopped them.”

Tim spoke. He had been rushing about the battlefield in a frenzy like a boar. 

After participating in another round of battle, Sungyoon's party got the chance to take a rest.

While things had stabilized for now, they didn’t know what would happen in the future. Therefore, they had to use this opportunity to rest and keep themselves ready for their turn to battle.

“Connectors have performed as well as we expected, but Armstrong city’s defense performed much better. I never expected the Mana Knight ammo to be so effective.”

“We made it so effective. The brightest minds of Earth refined the design of the bullets. Moreover, every country entered a defense production treaty. They are producing the bullets in massive quantities. There are a lot of monsters, but humans are also numerous. Our technical capabilities of producing these weapons are amazing.”

Sungyoon explained the process through which Armstrong city had gained this massive firepower, and the explanation surprised many.

‘The Mayor always emphasizes defense. It seems he's correct in his approach.’

The Mayor had gone through a lot of trouble to set up a defense of this caliber.

He did it despite receiving objections from some circles. Armstrong city would become a safe zone in the near future, so the people in these circles didn’t see the point of massively upgrading the city’s defense.

However, prevention was always better than cure. The Mayor’s philosophy shone in this war.

“We are half sure that the monsters can't overrun Armstrong city unless Grenoid awakens. If we consider the monsters we baited and killed in the fight to recover Armstrong city, they should start hitting the limit on how many more monsters they can send.”

“Don’t let your guard down. We don’t know what the future may hold.”

As always, Emily berated Tim.

Tim smacked his lips, then threw a question at Sungyoon once again.

“I’m sure the monsters are coming up with a plan. I wonder if we can do anything to prepare against that.”

Sungyoon stroked his chin.

“I’m not a monster, so I have no idea how they are faring right now. However, there is one thing that I'm being mindful of.”

“What is it?”

“Portals.”

Tim blinked.

“Do you mean the portals that the monsters can use? Didn't that threat disappear once the force field was put up?”

“The threat of monsters appearing on Earth indeed disappeared. However, portals don't lead to just Earth.”

“Do you think monsters could open portals on the Moon?”

“They could open it on Earth, which is very far away. It wouldn’t be strange if they could open it on the Moon.”

“However, we never witnessed them using portals to travel around the Moon.”

“They might not have needed it. Moreover, there is a chance that they can’t use portals for an infinite amount of time. Otherwise, they wouldn’t use portals to intermittently send monsters. Also, they probably have a limit on how many monsters that they can control. Therefore, they probably use portals only when needed.”

However, things were different compared to the past.

“The higher-ups are also worried about this thing. Giving rest to one group was only part of the reason Connectors were split into two groups. The other part is that this resting group can defend against any monsters that invade through a portal.”

That was why the higher-ups of Armstrong city made a schedule where at least one out of Sungyoon’s party, Russell, or Bruce could fight within Armstrong city.

“Now that I think about it, portals can only be opened where one has visited before. When Armstrong city had fallen, monsters had gone in and out of every place in the city. They can surely open a portal here.”

Emily looked around her surroundings as she spoke.

“If they were capable of attacking using portals, wouldn’t they have attacked Armstrong city earlier? After all, our defense was much weaker then.”

Tim raised the question.

“I wonder that too.”

It wasn’t just Sungyoon. All the higher-ups wanted to know about that. 

“We don't know the circumstances of our enemies. Also, they might be coming up with some different plan.”

Sungyoon stopped speaking, and the four of them turned at the same time to look out the window.

A watery light appeared on the Armstrong city's roads, which had not regained its past splendor.

“It’s a portal!”

Grace yelled. The four of them immediately activated their Gems.

‘Speak of the devil...’

Sungyoon led his party out through the door. 

Monsters started coming out of the portal in droves, and Sungyoon swung his sword at them.

The curtain on the battle within Armstrong city went up.

***

The monsters used the portal to attack Armstrong city from the inside. It was a deadly attack. If the defenders of Armstrong city became careless, they could turn into a sandwich with monsters on both sides of them. 

However, the higher-ups already knew about this possibility. This was why they were on their toes as they prepared for the attack. This was why chaos and confusion didn’t reign within Armstrong city.

In fact, the monsters died to Connectors immediately after they crossed the portal. Their attack hadn’t been effective without the element of surprise.

“Isn’t this way too easy?”

Tim spoke as he cut down a monster with his ax. Sungyoon also struck down several monsters with ease.

“We meticulously prepared for this possibility. There’s no element of surprise to this ambush."

“It serves them right!”

Tim swung his shield toward a monster that was charging toward him.

Tuh-ung!

The monster was sent flying backward. It flew away faster than it had run forward.

Tim had awakened his Warrior Gem, and his abilities went up when he was near Sungyoon.

The monsters rushing toward him fell to his ax way too easily.

A new portal appeared in the air.

Unlike the first portal, this one quickly expanded in size.

‘A big one is about to come out.’

Kwahhhhng!

Enormous legs crushed the half-fallen building.

‘Behemoth.’

It was a monster that had a lot of history with Sungyoon, and it had once again appeared within Armstrong city in front of Sungyoon.

Ooh-ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

The Behemoth roared as if it were declaring that it was the owner of this place.

However, Sungyoon wasn’t afraid.

‘You're no longer a match for me.’

Sungyoon lightly kicked off the ground as he ran toward the Behemoth. He summoned his halberd and sliced the monster's front leg.

Suh-guhk!

The halberd cut through the leather as if it were paper. The blade made a deep cut into the Behemoth's muscles and bones.

Koo-ahhhhhhhhh!

The Behemoth shrieked in pain.

It pulled back its front leg but lost its balance in the process.

“Stop moving. You're making it hard for me to slice you.”

Sungyoon activated his Gravity Gem.

He had evolved this Gem, and the Royal Gem was boosting his power. The two synergistically worked to create a stronger spell with a brutal effect.

The Behemoth had considerable resistance to magic, but it couldn't fight back against the spell with an injured leg.

Kwahhhhng!

The Behemoth fell on its belly as the powerful gravity restricted its body. The monster could only shake its body.

“You made it too easy for us.”

Tim sidled up next to Sungyoon and sarcastically spoke.

“I’ll kill it quickly. I feel sorry for it.”

Sungyoon gripped his sword, then moved up toward the immobilized Behemoth.

“You're way too kind, Mr. Sungyoon.”

Tim followed Sungyoon.

It seemed the Behemoth had no intention of giving up.

Zzuh-uhk!

It opened its mouth, and its mouth started to gather an enormous amount of energy. The Behemoth was using the Breath attack.

Since it couldn’t move, it executed an attack that it could use even without moving its body.

Sungyoon and Tim rushed to kill the Behemoth. No, they tried to run forward.

Kwahhhhng!

Suddenly, fire surrounded the Behemoth; the flames were large enough to swallow up most of its body.

Ooh-uhhhhhhh!

The Behemoth let out a short, sad scream, then it died before it could use its breath attack. 

The attack that had killed it was a fireball that had come flying from behind Sungyoon and Tim. The two men turned around to look at the source of the fireball.

“Please don’t put your guard down, gentlemen.”

Grace winked as she shook her staff. Sungyoon and Tim looked at each other and shrugged.

The battle continued. 

Did the monsters not know that their plan had failed? Or was there some different angle to this attack? No one knew the answer, but monsters continued using the portals.

As Sungyoon killed the monsters, he had a feeling that something was off. 

His intuition had indeed been right.

- Mr. Sungyoon! Please directly head to the stake! A large number of portals have opened near it!

‘Their objective is the stake!’

Sungyoon immediately opened his portal.

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