Chapter 35

It had been awhile since Chelsea Strobe had left her research center. Normally, she would be cooped up in her dorm or her lab. It was atypical for her to go outside.

She carried a large paper bag in her arms as she lightly walked through the city. She looked around her surroundings. As expected, Armstrong city was crowded. If one showed this sight to someone ignorant of this place, the person wouldn’t think this was a city on the moon.

Wonderful clothes were on display in the shops, and the smell of delicious food captured Chelsea’s attention.

‘This is why I really hate leaving the research facility.’

Chelsea grumbled to herself inside.

First, she was a talented woman chosen at a young age to work at an international research center managed directly under the UN. Her salary was high enough that she was envied by the other office workers.

The problem was the fact that Armstrong city boasted crazy prices on goods. Chelsea liked shopping, so she was having a hard time living in this environment. She had to stick to her rich friend, who came occasionally to the moon, to enjoy eating a single steak.

A Connector laughed with a prostitute in each arm, and they walked past her. Chelsea looked a bit envious of the prostitutes. She wasn’t jealous of the fact that they were able to sell their body like that. She was jealous of their clothing and lifestyle.

Chelsea didn’t like to wear only shabby clothes. She didn’t like her old fashioned glasses and unkempt hair. When she was on earth, she liked to wear make up and stylish clothes. However, on the moon, it was impossible for her to do that. Good clothes and cosmetics were too expensive up here. She also couldn’t bring them with her from earth. The price of the ticket rose by the weight of the luggage brought on board. There was a weight limit that had to be kept by the researchers. This was why transporting luxury goods on board was out of reach for her. As a result of not being able to doll herself up, she completely shut out the outside world and delved deep into her research.

The prostitutes were a different story. Basically, their appearance was their weapon, so even if it was expensive, they had to pay attention to their looks. That wasn’t all. They had to spend a great deal of money to maintain their skin and figure. Of course, this meant it was very pricey to book their services. However, the Lunar city of Armstrong was the only hub that gathered moonstones. The city was overflowing with people that could afford their expensive services. In fact, the stress of putting one’s life on the line to gather moonstones drove men to seek out these women more frequently. This was why the schedule of all the prostitutes were booked. The man, who had just passed by Chelsea, had held two very expensive prostitutes in his arms.

Chelsea inwardly let out a sigh.

There was another reason why she didn't like going out. To make matters worse, the other reason was blocking her path. 

“Oh? What the hell, miss? You are really beautiful.”

She heard a sticky voice. It made the skin on her neck crawl. Chelsea let out a sigh as she looked at the person in front of her.

A man with a smarmy smile was blocking her path.

He was quite young. No, it was more proper to say that he looked quite young. He could be really young, middle-aged, or really old. All the Connectors looked like they were in their 20s. One had to be careful when guessing the age of Connectors.

He cut quite the figure. He had worn regular clothes, but he was wearing a lot of rings, earrings, and bracelets. However, not all his accessories were for show.

She saw Devices. From what she could see, he wore four Devices, and there were a total of 10 Gems. Moreover, one of the Gem was letting out a white light.

It seemed he was pretty high up in rank even among those that raided the Private labyrinths.

However, his presence was an annoyance to Chelsea.

“You aren’t a Connector. Are you a researcher? Ha ha. Awesome! Would you like to come have a drink with me? I'll buy you something delicious. You probably don’t get to eat well on a researcher’s salary.”

In his eyes, she looked like a prostitute that would sell her body for food. Chelsea’s insides boiled when she heard his words. She ignored him. She moved to the side, and she started walking again.

“Hey, hey. Are you trying to play hard to get? That’s cute.”

The rude man followed after her. He discreetly tried to put a hand on her shoulder. Chelsea tried to slap away the hand. She used a lot of strength, yet the man’s hand barely budged. In fact, it made her hand hurt.

‘The damned body of Connectors!’

In the end, she dipped her shoulder to dodge him.

She had openly shown her dislike for him, yet the man seemed undaunted. Chelsea was taken aback. She had never seen someone so persistent.

“Huh? What is that?”

The man looked inside the paper bag being held by Chelsea.

“What the hell is this? Is this baked potatoes?”

The man began to laugh like crazy.

“Ha ha ha! What is this? Is this what you eat for a meal? I heard researchers live a pretty poor life on the moon. I guess it wasn’t an exaggeration!”

Chelsea’s eyes became cold. She didn’t show any signs of embarrassment at the man’s words. This idiot made fun of what they ate, but her fellow researchers were working hard to find new information regarding the moon and the labyrinths. Chelsea was proud of her work. His assessment of her occupation was shallow. The life of a researcher wasn’t that bad. The researchers worked at a prestigious international research center. They wouldn’t allow their researchers to live like bums. The baked potatoes were merely a part of her diet. She had chosen to eat it.

“Are you done laughing at my expense? Please get out of the way.”

Chelsea held her chin up high as she spoke towards the man. She refused to be looked down by such a man.

“I’ll buy you good food. Come with me.”

“I’m turning down your offer. If you have so much money, you should go buy a prostitute. I’m busy. I have work to do.”

Chelsea once again moved past him.

Grab!

The man grabbed Chelsea’s wrist. The corners of her eyes rose in anger.

“What are you doing?”

Chelsea’s words were sharp. The man’s expression wasn’t good either. His face was distorted in anger.

“You think you can treat me like an idiot, because I was being nice to you!”

The man yelled out loud, and he was agitated. It seemed he planned on having his way with Chelsea through coercion.

‘Ah ah. Really...’

Unlike the man’s intention, Chelsea didn’t become scared. She just felt her annoyance grow. She took out something from her coat. It was a crime prevention buzzer.

“If you don’t let go of me right now, I’ll call the police. Get the fuck away from me.”

There were police on the moon. However, the man just snorted at the mention of the police.

“Police? Do you think I’m afraid of men armed with guns?”

‘Shit. This is why I hate Connectors, who are drunk on their own power.’

Connectors were able to wield massive power on the moon. A gun might be as harmless as a firecracker to some of them. Still, guns weren’t the only tools that were available to the police. If they didn’t have other means of catching criminals, the Armstrong city would have devolved into a lawless city.

“Are you looking down on the police? If you plan on staying on the moon, you could do that. However, do you plan on never returning to earth?”

Finally, the man flinched at her words. He was able to wield his power in a ruthless manner, because he was being provided with a lot of magical energy from the labyrinths he entered. Moreover, his supply of magical energy was large, because he was on the moon. If he returned to earth, he would merely be slightly stronger than a regular human.

“If you have the guts to live on the moon for your whole life, you can ignore the police. You can continue to cause accidents. You can continue to do as you please, while being drunk on your own power. However, your company and the Lunar city will put a bounty out on you. Do you really want that?”

The man’s rough hand had been grabbing Chelsea’s wrist. Some strength left his hand.

He didn’t want to live full time on the moon. Moreover, a bounty on his head meant a certain death sentence. The Lunar city maintained peace by giving many incentives to companies and countries. To be precise, many incentives were given out by the countries invested in the Lunar city. One could gain much by capturing and turning in a criminal whether it be money or something other benefit.

Moreover, Connectors cherished the Lunar city. It was the only place where they could be at ease. This was why they didn’t like to see people squabble on the streets of the city. This was especially true for high ranking Connectors. They were able to live a comfortable life in Lunar city.

“They might kill you. However, if you are captured, you won’t be able to come up to the moon for a while.”

It was the critical blow. As a Connector, one had to spend a certain amount of time on the moon to get rid of the tug one felt towards the moon. If he was deported to earth as a criminal, he would serve some time in jail. What would happen to him if he couldn’t come to the moon for a protracted period of time? He didn’t even want to think about such a possibility.

“Do you still want to continue this?”

Chelsea waved the crime prevention buzzer in front of him. Anger surged once again within him, yet he remembered Chelsea’s earlier words. He pressed down on his anger. He didn’t really need the reminder. People around him were starting to glare at him. This was especially true for the Connectors. It influenced his decision.

‘Shit!’

The man let go of Chelsea’s wrist in anger.

“Shit! Fuck off! I stepped in shit!”

Still, it seemed he wanted to leave with a scrap of pride left. He spat near Chelsea’s feet then he turned away. 

“Stepped in shit? I should be the one saying that.”

Chelsea was a woman known for her temper. She spoke in a sarcastic manner towards the man’s back. It seemed the man had heard Chelsea’s words. He turned his head around to glare at her. However, Chelsea didn’t even blink an eye. She just turned her back on him, and she went on her way. The man glared at Chelsea’s back for a while. However, he gained nothing from doing it. In fact, it just made him look like a sore loser. He once again let out a string of curses and started walking in the opposite direction of Chelsea.

“What an asshole!”

It had been awhile since she had come out, and she had the worst experience possible. She once again made complaints as she walked forward. She could have just slept in and taken it easy in her lab today. It was unfair, but her discontentment was mounting towards Sungyoon. He was the reason why she had come out to the city. However, she did her best to calm herself. Nothing good would come from venting her frustration out on him.

Her steps didn’t slow as she huffed in anger. Soon, she arrived in front of a building. The Korean flag was raised high on a flagpole. This was the support center for Korean Connectors. The people, who entered and exited this building, looked at Chelsea with odd eyes. She had foreign features, so it was clear that she wasn’t Korean. Her outer appearance was shabby, but her beauty shone through her shabbiness. This was why everyone was staring at her.

When she entered the support center, she walked straight towards the receptionist.

“Uh. What brings you here?”

She had shown up from nowhere, and she was clearly a foreigner. The receptionist was taken aback, and he asked the question in english. Fortunately, only the elites were sent to the support center on the moon. All staff were fluent in english, so communication wasn’t a problem.

She was able to speak a little bit of Korean thanks to Jimin. However, she preferred speaking in her native language. When the receptionist asked the question in English, she didn’t hesitate to answer in the same language.

“Is Mr. Woo Sungyoon here?”

“Mr. Woo Sungyoon?”

“Yes. If he is in, I would like to see him.”

“Please wait a moment.”

The receptionist typed into the computer in front of him.

“He is currently in his room.”

‘Can that really be called a room?’

Chelsea had seen her own country’s dorm provided by the support center. She knew what those rooms were like, so she unconsciously let out a laugh. All support centers operated in the same manner. The rooms were like hibernation pods in spaceships. It was something seen in Space Opera tv shows. In her mind, she couldn’t call it a room.

However, that wasn’t important.

“That’s great. May I meet him?”

“I’ll try contacting him. Who should I say is looking for him?”

“Please tell him I’m a friend of Hahn Jimin. Tell him Chelsea Strobe is here to see him.”

The receptionist nodded his head in acknowledgement, then he picked up the phone that was next to the computer.

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