He pulled back his shoulders as he took a deep breath. It felt as if the fresh air was sending stimuli to his five viscera. The air on Earth was delicious, and it couldn't be compared with the stale air in Armstrong city.
‘Is anything out of place?’
Sungyoon had entered the restroom and kept rearranging his hair in front of the mirror. He also sniffed at his clothes.
He had almost looked like a beggar on the Moon, but that Sungyoon was nowhere to be seen now. He had taken a shower and had washed his clothes. Before he departed for Earth, he had paid a lot of money to gain access to a shower stall and a laundromat.
One might think he was going on a date, but that wasn’t the case at all. He had cleaned himself for Shinhae. It was all for her.
‘Last time, I really didn’t have any money, so I came back looking like a beggar. I have some breathing room now. There is absolutely no reason to meet Shinhae in a dirty state.’
It didn’t bother him if he went on a date with a beautiful woman wearing wrinkled clothes. He didn't mind going out with uncombed hair. However, he couldn’t do that when meeting Shinhae. He always wanted to show the best version of himself to his daughter. It was what he desired.
When he made sure nothing was out of place, he went towards the space center where Shinhae would be waiting for him with Jimin. Soon, he caught sight of his daughter. She was peeking towards the exit to see when her father would be coming out.
As always, Shinhae ran towards him at full speed as soon as she saw him. She shot towards her father like a cannon. Sungyoon easily caught her with his body.
“How are you?”
Shinhae had tears in her eyes, as she rubbed her cheeks against him.
“You don’t stink this time, dad.”
“I made an effort.”
At that moment, he knew he had made the right decision. He had let out a sigh when he had seen the enormous cost of using a shower stall and the laundromat for the first time. But, all the regret of spending so much money evaporated into thin air at this moment.
“My daughter… Let me get a good look at your face.”
Sungyoon put Shinhae in front of him, so he could get a close look at her face.
Her face was cute, and her eyes shined bright. In Sungyoon’s eyes, she was the most beautiful girl in this world.
“Hmm? I haven’t seen these clothes before.”
“Unni bought it for me!”
Shinhae pointed backward. He caught sight of Jimin, who was watching the father and daughter reunion from the back. She had a soft smile on her lips.
“Did she? It is very pretty. Did you thank unni?”
“Yes! I said ‘Thank you very much’ a lot of times. Unni bought me a lot of other things too.”
It seemed he, once again, owed a lot to Jimin. While he had been away, she had provided for Shinhae in many ways. Jimin treated his daughter as her own daughter or sister. Sungyoon felt favorable feelings grow towards Jimin in droves. There was still a chance that she was trying to get in his good grace by taking care of Shinhae. But if that was her plan, it was very effective. Even if she worked him like a workhorse, he wouldn’t complain at this point.
Sungyoon held Shinhae’s hand as he walked towards Jimin.
“Were your travels good?”
“Yes. Thank you very much for taking care of Shinhae until now.”
“It’s nothing. I do it because it is something I like to do.”
She still maintained a cold expression when dealing with Sungyoon. However, her cold visage broke whenever she looked at Shinhae. She had a beautiful smile on her lips.
The three of them slowly walked towards the exit. The people around them kept glancing towards them. A sufficiently handsome man was walking with an eye-catching beauty. A very cute child held both of their hands, as she let out a bright laugh. One might say they were the image of an ideal family that one might see in a drama. Of course, the two of them would deny that this was true. The child wouldn’t know the implications, so she would tilt her head in confusion.
“Is that your harvest?”
There was a surprise in Jimin’s eyes as she looked at the three large bags being dragged by Sungyoon.
“Yes. I brought back a lot more than before, so I had to pay the carriage fee.”
Of course, the fee was outrageously expensive. Sungyoon frowned at the memory of having to spend so much of his money.
“… that’s amazing.”
Jimin was the owner of a small company, so she couldn’t provide much support to Sungyoon. Despite these disadvantages, he had entered the labyrinth by himself and had gained so much in a short amount of time. This wasn’t something that should be possible. Her last two employees, together, had brought in less than half of his harvest in the same short period of time. No, there could be no comparison.
‘I might have to make a contract with a professional company that deals with the transportation of goods.’
Jimin had made preparations beforehand, but she realized that she needed to accelerate one of her plans.
However, that wasn’t the only thing that caused her to be surprised.
Jimin’s eyes widened when Sungyoon handed over his Devices and Gems for storage.
‘He has more now?’
The number of Gems and Devices had gone up in number. It wasn’t just the quantity. The quality of the rank of the Gems he possessed had gone up. It was a very big jump. If he could use them, he would immediately be assigned a Personal Labyrinth.
“It seems I have a lot I have to hear from you.”
“I have a lot to tell you.”
As they watched the Devices and Gems being stored, the two talked to each other. However, they didn’t go any further into that topic.
Afterward, the three of them got into Jimin’s car, and they drove to Seoul. Sungyoon was back to his nice house after three months.
* * *
It had been a while since Sungyoon enjoyed a long break. He played with Shinhae all day except when she was at the kindergarten. Aside from that, he had nothing to do, so he lazed around the house. He lived like a wastrel, yet he had earned the right to do that.
He hadn’t been able to wash every day on the Moon. He consumed water and vitamin packs daily for sustenance. He was able to occasionally eat potatoes and sausages. Hence, he was very glad that he could live like an actual person on Earth. He could eat what he wanted. He could wash his clothes and himself daily.
Still, it was about time to end this lifestyle of living like a wastrel. The vacation given to him by Jimin was coming to an end, and it was time for him to report to her. He had to tell her what had happened on the Moon.
It had been a while since he’d visited his company, but nothing had changed. Sungyoon opened the door as he entered the building.
As always, not a single employee was present inside the company.
‘I wonder if the president is in her office.’
He was about to knock on the door to her office.
“I told you to give up on that!”
A loud noise could be heard from within the office. Sungyoon had been about to knock on the door, but his hand froze. He felt a sense of deja vu. He had experienced this not too long ago. The so-called mother of Jimin had barged into the office around three months ago. She had caused a big ruckus like this.
‘Did that woman come back again?’
According to Jimin, her mother was a piece of trash that could give his ex-wife a run for her money. Naturally, displeasure rose in his chest. However, it wasn’t Jimin’s mother. The voice was clearly the voice of a man.
In the past, he had waited outside of the door. He had waited for the conversation to end. However, this time, he knocked on the door. He thought that Jimin might be in a similar situation as the last time when her mother had visited.
He had knocked pretty hard, so the people inside should have heard it. As proof, the ruckus inside immediately quieted down.
As expected, Jimin was inside. He heard her call out. She sounded really tired.
Sungyoon opened the door and entered the room. The first thing he did was to make an assessment of the situation inside.
As always, Jimin was sitting behind her desk. She had a frown on her face, and she was massaging her temples. It seemed she was dealing with something troublesome. There was a stranger standing on the other side of the desk. This man had been the one to yell out.
It seemed the man was disgruntled by something. He glared daggers at Sungyoon. Sungyoon swore this was the first time seeing this man.
“Do you have a guest?”
Sungyoon had heard the commotion outside, but he spoke in a calm manner.
“It’s fine. He’ll be leaving soon.”
The man yelled out in anger. Sungyoon became surprised by how the man addressed Jimin.
‘He is her brother?’
Her mother had yelled at her, and now her brother was yelling at her in the office. He didn’t know the exact relationship between the two, but her relationship with her family was a bigger mess than he had originally surmised.
Jimin didn’t even blink when her brother raised his voice.
“I would like to hear your report.”
Jimin decided to act as if Woosung wasn’t even there. His face turned red, but she didn’t even spare him a glance.
Sungyoon hesitated for a moment, but he decided to go along with Jimin’s plan.
‘What should I tell her first?’
Sungyoon carefully went over his thoughts.
“First, I would like to talk about the Gold Gem you gave me….”
The chance of him being able to enter the Great Labyrinth had gone up. Sungyoon wanted to tell her the good news first, so he spoke about the Gold Gem.
However, the first one to react to the news about the Gold Gem wasn’t Jimin. It was Woosung.
Woosung’s expression became oddly distorted.
Woosung had a rough idea about Jimin’s current state of affairs. Her business had been a failure for the past couple of years, and she was running a massive deficit. He also knew that Jimin didn’t have personal connections that she could use to raise money. There was no way she would be able to buy a Jewel Rank Gem. It was very difficult to acquire one.
That meant there was only one possibility.
“Did you really give that to him?”
“It is none of your business.”
Jimin's manner was cold as she responded. However, Woosung couldn’t let it go.
“What nonsense are you spouting! That’s our father’s keepsake!”
Woosung was overcome by his anger, so he slammed his hands down on the desk. He yelled louder than before.
He had the strength of a Connector. The slam elicited an ominous sound from the desk.
‘It was something left behind by her father?’
Sungyoon became surprised by this fact. He hadn’t given much thought when he had received the Gold Gem alongside the Purple Gems. He thought it was just an item that would be able to save his life once. He never expected it to be an heirloom left behind by her father.
Jimin didn’t deny his assertion, so it seemed that her brother was telling the truth. Sungyoon knew she was obsessed with anything that had to do with her father. The fact that she had handed over her father’s Gem was very surprising.
“I’ll say this again...”
Jimin’s sharp eyes glared at Woosung, who was panting. Even as a Connector, Woosung flinched when faced with her glare.
“This is none of your business.”
Her voice was sharp as a blade. It was cold as the wind of Siberia during winter. Her voice was dripping with ice. Woosung flinched once again. From personal experience, he knew his noona was beyond angry right now.
However, Woosung was no longer a child. He was past the age where he would back off because his sister glared at him.
In many ways, it would have been much better if he backed off while crying. It was what he had done in his childhood. His inflated ego made the situation worse.
“What? Did you fall for this man or something?”
Woosung looked at Sungyoon as he made that sarcastic remark.
Sungyoon’s outer appearance had returned to his 20s, so he was quite handsome. As a Connector, he didn’t have a single ounce of fat, and he looked full of vitality. He probably looked much better than himself at his prime during his 20s.
“He has that look. He looks like a casanova that leeches off women.”
Woosung kept insulting Sungyoon. Of course, Sungyoon’s sense of self had bottomed out already, so his words were useless. It barely hurt him.
“You said you want to find father, yet you gave our father’s keepsake to a man of this caliber? Do you really want to find traces of our father…!”
A pale hand slapped Woosung’s cheek. Woosung stopped speaking. He looked at Jimin with a stunned expression on his face. His cheek stung, so he reflexively put a hand over it. She was a normal woman, so she couldn’t cause much pain to him, who was a Connector. However, her slap had been enough to cause emotional shock.
She had already gotten out of her chair and was pointing towards the door. Flames of anger were burning in her eyes.Previous Chapter Next Chapter