Chapter 61

She spoke in a soprano tone, which was easy on the ears. Her voice was delicate, but there was an indomitable will behind it.

The three of them automatically turned to look at the owner of the voice.

A woman stood there. She had blond hair that reached her lower back, and it looked like that she had a hair of spun gold. Each strand was like the work of extensive workmanship. The hair looked beautiful as it swayed back and forth. Her large eyes were like blue lakes, and they remained unshaken. There was great power and will behind her eyes. Her skin was so pale that it looked like high-quality marble. It made one wonder if just touching her skin would leave behind a smudge. Her outfit wasn’t fancy. She had worn a black pleats skirt and a white shirt. It was quite simple as the black and white created a harmony. She wasn’t voluptuous, but she wasn’t skinny either. Her clothes fit her body well.

Anyone would fall for her at first glance. Sungyoon, who hadn’t even backed down when threatened by Nicholas, took a step backward. She was that beautiful.

However, her beauty couldn’t quell Nicholas’ rage.

“What the fuck?”

It really was his unlucky day. People who kept getting on his nerves kept showing up in front of him today. Nicholas was baffled.

“Hey, Miss! You said to stop. There is no way you were talking to me, right?”

“Of course, I was talking to you. Who else is making a scene right now?”

She didn’t back down an inch as she replied to Nicholas. He snorted. The floor crawling maggot had bared his teeth to him, and now another bitch was getting in his way.

“A blonde princess shows up after Prince Charming? When did Armstrong city go back to the Middle ages? Why is this place full of princes and princesses?”

Nicholas sneered.

“Look here, princess. You should know your place before you interrupt someone else’s business—”

However, Nicholas suddenly stopped speaking. His eyes widened when he got a good look at the woman who had dared to confront him. Soon, a sour expression appeared on his face. It seemed that he had finally recognized her. Even Nicholas couldn’t act rashly against this woman. Her position wouldn’t allow it.

“Princess Grace.”

Nicholas mumbled her name in a low voice.

When he looked beyond her, he realized more people had moved in around them. Several women surrounded her as if they were guarding her. Of course, these women weren’t looking at Nicholas with kind eyes.

‘Fuck. She really is the princess!’

In the end, Nicholas had to let Sungyoon go. Even if he discounted Grace, the women guarding her looked plenty strong. If he didn’t back down from the fight, things would get out of hand. If he dared to attack Grace, he couldn’t fix what followed. Nicholas was able to regain some of his rationality thanks to the meddling of Grace.

Nicholas let out a string of curses in a low voice, and he turned around. Of course, he didn’t forget to glare at Sungyoon before he left.

“Are you ok?”

Grace approached Sungyoon and Chelsea. Sungyoon looked a bit surprised as he looked at Grace.

‘I never expected to meet her.’

Grace Elizabeth Victoria Taylor.

Most of the countries had turned to a republican form of government, so the title of the princess was mostly found in the history books. However, even now, some countries that still had a monarchy and noble titles existed. One of the prime examples was the United Kingdom, which had a constitutional monarchy.

Grace was the granddaughter of the current queen of the UK. She was very low in the right of succession, but she was a real princess.

“Thank you for your help, princess.”

Sungyoon expressed his thanks. Chelsea had been taken aback, and she looked starstruck. She quickly followed Sungyoon’s example as she gave thanks.

“It is nothing. I just did what had to be done.”

She spoke as if it was her duty to save the weak and expel the wicked. Her answer was overflowing with a sense of justice. Sungyoon inwardly nodded. 

‘As expected, she enters the labyrinths to observe the spirit of noblesse oblige. I should have expected such an answer.’

Her father was a 1st Gen Connector, and in turn, she was able to awaken as a Connector thanks to him. She had also volunteered to brave the dangers of the labyrinths for her country. She chose to gather moonstones like all the other Connectors. Her actions made her the epitome of noblesse oblige, and she became beloved by the citizens of the United Kingdom.

‘I’m sure the more practical reason had a bigger influence on her decision than the romantic reason.’

She was a Connector, so she had the innate desire of wanting to come to the Moon. However, a massive amount of money had to be spent if she wanted to live on the Moon. Of course, she could scale back her living expenses to live on the Moon, but she was part of the royal family. Moreover, she was the granddaughter of the current queen. She had to maintain a certain standard of living, since she had to worry about keeping up appearances.

However, she would receive incredible amounts of criticism if she used too much money to maintain the lifestyle she had on Earth. The public opinion might turn, and it might ultimately lead to the abolition of the monarchy.

In reality, Grace had to participate in the labyrinth raids as a Connector. It was inevitable for practical reasons.

Even if she had a practical reason for exploring the labyrinths, she received much more support as a member of the royal family compared to other Connectors. However, it was also true that she took on a lot of risk in exploring the labyrinths.

“Also, I’m not a princess.”

“Understood. I’ll be careful here on out.”

The title of princess was a title of affection given to her by the British citizens. She hadn’t received the official title of princess yet. In the first place, her parents refused to take on the title of nobility.

“Are you two a couple?”

It seemed she was interested in other people’s love affairs. Her eyes shone as she asked the question.

“No.”

Sungyoon shook his head from side to side without much thought.

“Is she family or a close friend?”

“She is a friend.”

“Amazing. You stood up to a frightening opponent for a friend. It must not have been easy.”

“I do owe her a favor.”

Sungyoon’s reply was very dry. One could tell from his words that he didn’t have many feelings towards Chelsea. If Nicholas had threatened a stranger unrelated to him, Sungyoon wouldn’t have gotten involved. He would have gone on his way.

However, Grace still thought highly of Sungyoon’s action.

“It is a world where people backstab you even after you help them out. You did a noble act.”

Sungyoon shut his mouth. He had a hunch the princess’s opinion wouldn’t change no matter what he said. An image of what kind of person he was had already formed in her mind.

“I hope your sense of justice never changes.”

She let out a pretty smile for the last time before she left.

As the situation resolved itself, the nearby onlookers started to disperse. It didn’t take long for the park to return to its normal state.

“Are you ok?”

Sungyoon asked Chelsea. By the look on her face, she looked bewildered and embarrassed. There was a slight hint of fear in there too.

“I... I’m fine.”

She answered him, but she stumbled over her words. It seemed she wasn’t doing so well.

‘I guess it can’t be helped.’

Sungyoon left her sitting on the bench for a moment, and he headed towards a nearby store. He could smell the fragrant smell of coffee tickling his nose. It was a modern cafe with a memorable interior design. As expected of a shop on the Moon, the price on the menu was outrageous. However, Sungyoon worked up the nerve to buy two cups of coffee. After forming a party with Tim and Emily, he was able to acquire numerous moonstones. It was the reason why he was bold enough to buy the coffee. He was also paying back the favor to Chelsea, who had periodically brought him potatoes and sausages.

“Here.”

Sungyoon pushed the cup towards Chelsea.

“Thank you.”

Normally, Chelsea would have been happy about this treat, and she would have made a big deal out of this. However, it seemed Chelsea still couldn’t get over the shock from the previous incident.

Sungyoon didn’t say much as he quietly sat next to Chelsea. The two of them sipped their coffee amongst the loud noises of the park.

“I’m sorry.”

When half of her cup became empty, Chelsea hesitatingly opened her mouth.

“What for?”

“You got unnecessarily pulled into this mess, thanks to me.”

Sungyoon thought for a brief moment.

“The man from earlier seemed to know you. Do you have some kind of prior relationship with him, Ms. Strobe?”

“Not at all. I turned him down when he hit on me.”

Chelsea started to speak slowly and quietly as she explained what had happened. 

“Then, you don’t have to apologize to me, Ms. Strobe.”

He had seen Nicholas’ personality, and he had picked a fight with them in a one-sided manner. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say Chelsea bore no blame in this. Chelsea’s story merely reinforced this opinion.

“People with a trash personality like him act like trash. You and I are the victims. As a victim, you don’t have to apologize.”

Sungyoon meant what he said. He had been on the other side of vicious attacks by trash people like him. There was no reason for Chelsea to apologize to him.

Did she feel the resoluteness behind his words? She no longer apologized.

“Still, I would like to say thank you.”

Sungyoon had protected Chelsea from Nicholas, he didn’t reject her thanks.

The meeting with Chelsea came to an end. Chelsea still felt uneasy, so he walked her to the laboratory. When he returned to his room, he wished he would be able to see Shinhae in his dreams.

* * *

He had gotten involved in an incident yesterday, yet Sungyoon had entered the labyrinth on the next day. He had to acquire moonstones, and above all else, he needed Gems. He had no time to rest.

Puh-uh-uhk!

He swung his mace, and it easily blew away the head of the monster. The momentum of the monster’s charge remained, so its headless body took a couple of steps before it fell to the ground. The momentum ran out after a couple of steps.

Boom!

The monster fell to the floor.

‘As expected, there aren’t that many monsters now.’

The Mana Stream was close at hand. Basically, this was when there were the least amount of monsters inside the Beginner’s Labyrinth. Also, he was hunting by himself, so his efficiency suffered. Of course, it meant the speed at which he gathered the moonstones had slowed, and the probability of acquiring a Gem dropped too.

‘It can’t be helped.’

Still, he planned on continuing the hunt until he reached the time limit.

“Huh?”

Sungyoon stalked through the passageway to hunt monsters once again when he came across something.

He came to a fork in the tunnel. This was nothing new. There were a lot of divergent paths in the labyrinth.

However, someone was standing in one of the tunnels.

He was wearing sturdy chain mail. He had a large shield and a frightening morning star. At a glance, one could tell that he didn’t belong in the Beginner’s Labyrinth.

‘Is he a sentry?’

It seemed the sentry didn’t pay any attention to Sungyoon. He could clearly hear Sungyoon’s footsteps, yet he only looked forward. It was a full-face helmet, so Sungyoon couldn’t see his face. However, the sentry probably had a very bored expression on his face.

‘No way. I guess they aren’t done cleaning up the labyrinth yet.’

The Mana Stream was only a few days away, and the labyrinth would be re-filled with monsters. Despite this fact, high ranked Connectors had failed to completely clean up the Beginner’s Labyrinth. He was new to this life, yet he found this to be odd.

However, he didn’t say anything unnecessary like Tim. In fact, he moved towards the other tunnel, so the sentry wouldn’t pay attention to him.

Even if the clean up of the labyrinth was not done, Sungyoon still had his own work to do.

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