Chapter 63

Hwahk!

Light erupted from the Gold Gem. Sungyoon's entire body became dyed with gold as the light circulated around his body.

Flich!

The sudden appearance of the light made the two monsters flinch, and they hesitated to move forward. Their actions could be considered a boon from Sungyoon’s perspective. He needed time to activate the Gem, and with the monsters stalling their advance, he was able to buy some time.

‘The activation of a Jewel Rank hits differently.’

Sungyoon had forgotten about his current predicament for a brief moment as he became overtaken by awe.

The Gold Gem started to slowly stretch itself out, and the information about its ability started to enter into his head.

‘I can pull it off with this!’

Sungyoon rejoiced when he checked the Gold Gem’s ability. Fortunately, it would be helpful in this fight. It wasn’t a useless Gem, and he wouldn’t even need to change his fighting style. The ability was simple yet powerful.

Ssssk!

After it was completely activated, the golden light disappeared into the Gem. A faint gold residue was left behind, enveloping Sungyoon’s equipment and other Gems.

-Koo-roohk!

The monsters slowly advanced towards the Connector. They had been surprised by the golden light, but they didn’t plan on abandoning their pursuit. Moreover, the golden light had disappeared.

-Koo-ahhhhhh!

The first one to attack was the monster that had been chasing after him from the rear. Overall, it looked like an enormous lizard. But unlike a real lizard, it was completely bipedal. It stretched its fingers as it tried to catch Sungyoon. Its actions were aggressive.

‘This one is called Lizardman, right?’

Sungyoon bitched about the really unoriginal name.

-Ggoo-ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh!

As if it didn’t want to lose, the one blocking Sungyoon’s forward path charged too.

‘This one is called Sharp Leopard.’

The monster possessed long canines that extended up and down from the mouth. It was different from regular carnivorous animals which had blunt canines. Its canines were as sharp as any ice pick that could be created by humans.

There was a leopard in the front and a lizard at his back. Sungyoon decided to charge forward.

-Grrrrrah!

It seemed the Sharp Leopard was a bit flustered when Sungyoon suddenly charged forward. It let out an odd sound. However, its hesitation lasted only a moment, and it increased its speed to charge towards Sungyoon.

Zzuh-uhk!

Its mouth opened wide. Aside from the four large canines, it possessed many small teeth. They were crowded in an irregular manner. They were all sharp as hell.

He could feel its animosity, and he could imagine the teeth ripping open his throat. Chills ran down his spine. However, Sungyoon didn't let his fear rule him, and he raised his shield, moving forward.

The Lizardman’s attack had caused numerous cracks to appear his shield. That was why his shield looked much weaker in front of the Sharp Leopard. There was a chance the sharp canines would destroy his shield, but Sungyoon wasn't doing a suicide charge. There was a clear golden residue around his shield, and it sparkled.

Boom!

The Sharp Leopard’s canines impacted the shield. But surprisingly, the shield was intact. Moreover, he had taken on the charge of a high-rank monster, yet the Sharp Leopard’s momentum couldn’t push Sungyoon’s body backward.

‘It worked!’

Sungyoon rejoiced. However, he didn’t have the time to savor his joy. He had something he had to do first. Sungyoon swung his mace.

Puh-uh-uhk!

The mace, which was surrounded by a golden residue, struck the Sharp Leopard’s face. The face cratered inwards as if a huge rock had fallen on top of it, and it looked as if a sinkhole had formed in its face.

This was not a power that a Blue Rank Gem could generate.

However, the Sharp Leopard wasn’t his only enemy. By the time he had finished killing the Sharp Leopard, the Lizardman had snuck up on him. Sungyoon turned around and raised his shield.

Boom!

The shield rammed hard into the Lizardman. The monster used its enormous size and weight to make full use of its power. Sungyoon was slowly being pushed backward. He was at a slight disadvantage, but overall, he was doing quite well.

“Hoohp!”

While he was being pushed backward, Sungyoon swung his mace. His aim was the monster's thigh.

Kwah-doohk!

Since it was engrossed in a battle of strength, the Lizardman was leaning slightly forward. The mace became lodged in its right thigh. In their previous exchange, it had deflected the mace with ease. But this time, the mace broke all its scales. The broken pieces flew into the surrounding.

-Koo-ohhhhhhhh!

He heard it scream.

‘It works!’

Sungyoon was happy. Earlier, the rebound of his attack on the Lizard Man had caused a stinging sensation to run up his hands. But now, he felt the sensation of something breaking, and the sensation of hitting soft flesh beneath the scales.

‘I can win this!’

The Lizardman punched with its right fist, but Sungyoon deflected it with his shield. It caused its chest to be exposed. He swung his mace at its chest.

Blood flew into the air, and bones broke. The Lizardman hesitantly took a few steps backward. Sungyoon didn’t let this opportunity go to waste. He followed it.

Kwah-jeek!

He swung with all his might as he brought the mace on top of the Lizardman’s head. Its eyes and brain matter shot out like paste as a big crater formed in its head.

Tuhl-suhk!

The Lizardman bonelessly fell to the floor.

Sungyoon was at a level where he should have been running away from these two monsters like a mouse. However, these two monsters were defeated easily by his hands.

‘As expected of a Jewel Rank...’

Sungyoon was impressed as he looked at the Gold Gem letting out a subdued golden light.

The Gold Gem’s ability was very simple.

Boost. It had the ability to boost other equipped Gems by several-fold. 

To be precise, it increased Rainbow rank Gems by a factor of four. The B&W Gems received a threefold increase and any Gems above Gold Gem received a doubling effect.

‘I could probably clear the whole Beginner’s Labyrinth with this.’

Of course, this was all under the assumption that he would be able to protect himself during the nighttime when he rested. However, the Gold Gem’s power was so impressive that he didn’t even think about that.

The only regret he had was the fact that he could only use it once.

Sungyoon was a 1st Gen, and he had only been a Connector for half a year. Those were his limiting factors. Even if he had the talent to be able to handle a Gold Gem, it had been too short a time for him to be able to cultivate that talent.

‘No. It isn’t the time for me to have these thoughts.’

He didn’t know when the Gold Gem would reach its limit and break apart. He wasn’t even going to bother collecting the moonstones. He was about to move quickly when he saw something glinting near where the monster had disappeared. He came to a stop.

‘Gem!’

The item that he had been craving for had appeared. Sungyoon quickly picked it up. He didn’t know what would happen here on out, but he had to gather any item that might increase his power.

‘Yellow Rank!’

He almost yelled out loud while he was running away. It was a much better Gem compared to anything he possessed right now.

‘It is star-shaped. It is another special ability Gem.’

Sungyoon had been extremely satisfied by the ability imbued to him by the Gold Gem. He looked forward to seeing what special ability this Gem would give him.

However, he didn't have a Device that could slot a Yellow Gem. Still, he had to prepare for the next crisis. He forcefully slotted the Gem into the Device. It would still be able to forcefully activate the Yellow Gem. Sungyoon started running once again.

* * *

The Beginner’s Labyrinth was completely different without the culling. It was as if he was in a location that hadn’t received a cleanup, so this place was no longer a labyrinth for beginners. It was basically a normal labyrinth.

High-rank monsters tirelessly charged towards Sungyoon. He had been too busy running away from monsters, so he didn’t know how deep into the labyrinth he had gone. If he had to make an educated guess, he had gone down one floor. However, he had to kill countless monsters as he followed the signs leading him towards Armstrong city. It was endless. The monsters with highly enhanced senses ran in each time they heard him fight a monster. They kept coming in waves.

However, Sungyoon didn’t back down an inch. He charged forward as he slaughtered the monsters.

‘This is amazing!’

Sungyoon had no choice but to become impressed by the Gold Gem’s ability once again. If he didn’t have the Gold Gem, he would have been ripped apart into pieces. He would have met a tragic end where he would be eaten by monsters.

Sungyoon looked at his surroundings. The blood and corpse of the monster were still there. He had no time to spare, but he didn’t move past it. Soon, the monster’s corpse was swept up in a light.

Sungyoon’s eyes shone.

‘It dropped.’

Sungyoon quickly moved towards where the monster’s corpse had been. As expected of a high-rank monster, it dropped a big moonstone, but Sungyoon didn’t care about that. He was only interested in the Gem that had dropped next to it.

Grab!

After he picked up the Gem, he started running once again.

‘Green Gem!’

When he checked the Gem, he inwardly let out a cheer.

‘Moreover, it is an X shape!’

It was an X shaped Gem. It was an armor Gem that Sungyoon had always wanted. Moreover, he had a Device capable of slotting a Green Gem. He slotted the X shaped Gem into the slot. He had no reason to hesitate. Sungyoon immediately activated the Gem through the Device.

Hoo-oong!

The Green Gem started to let out a light. As it absorbed Sungyoon’s magical energy, the Gem slowly awakened from its slumber.

Hoohk!

The Gem was letting out a continuous light when it suddenly turned off. The activation had been canceled. However, Sungyoon wasn’t surprised. In fact, his face turned red from embarrassment.

The reason why the Green Gem failed to activate was because of the fact that he was still wearing his other armors. Currently, he was wearing a leather armor for his upper body, and a shin guard for the lower body. It seemed that the light of the Green Gem had overlapped with his leather mail armor.

Alongside the head, the upper body was one of the two most important locations that one had to protect. This was why it was best to have the highest defense on the helmet and the mail armor. Sungyoon had been at risk of being one-shotted if a monster got in a solid blow towards his body. It was why the Green rank mail armor was something he wanted the most.

Sungyoon unsummoned the Purple rank Armor he had been wearing, and put on the newly acquired Green rank armor.

Unlike his previous leather armor, this armor made a clanking sound. However, the sound didn’t bother him at all. The armor was made out of steel, and it meant his defense had gone up, something he had always wanted.

‘It is a Scale Armor.’

The armor was officially called a Scale Armor. Steel would be shaped into scales, and the scales would have to be laced together in order to make the scale armor. It was much heavier than the leather armor, but Sungyoon didn’t mind the heavy weight.

Moreover, the newly acquired armor was already under the influence of the Gold Gem. A subdued golden light surrounded it. 

‘Even if a monster hits my body, I won’t die from a single blow.’

He tapped on his newly acquired defensive gear. He felt its coldness and hardness through his fingertips. It felt extremely sturdy and reliable.

-Ggoo-uhhhhhhhh!

He once again heard the cry of another monster. Sungyoon didn’t hesitate as he threw his body towards the monster, which was blocking his path.

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