Chapter 77

Who could hate people that took your side and worried about you? Sungyoon inwardly felt thankful towards Tim and Emily. They were showing genuine friendship. Still, there was a voice in the back of his mind that wondered if they would eventually betray him. He hated himself for having such thoughts.

“It’s fine. He has been arrested, and he will go through the legal process. He’ll be given an appropriate punishment. I’m satisfied with that.”

In the past, the legal process had failed him, and he had been sent into a life of poverty. However, he had evidence and allies by his side now. This time, the result would be different.

Tim and Emily closed their mouths. They were a third-party, and it would be a bit weird arguing against Sungyoon, who was the victim.

As if it had been choreographed, the three of them downed their beer at the same time. The conversation had come to an abrupt halt, so an awkward silence descended around the table.

Tim was the one to break the silence.

“If you don’t mind me asking, could you tell us what happened in the sealed section?”

Puhk!

Tim felt a blow to his shin. He furrowed his brows as he looked to his side. Emily had kicked his shin with the strength of a Connector, and she glared at him.

‘Why don't you shut up? He probably doesn’t have any good memories of that place. Why bring it up?’

Tim could hear the words she wanted to say in his head. It wasn’t something ridiculous like telepathy, but he knew her thought process. 

He tried to endure the pain that was radiating upwards from his shin and turned to look at Sungyoon. Of course, he made sure his sister couldn’t interfere with his request. 

Puhk!

Pain radiated upwards from Emily’s shin, and she bit her lips. She didn’t want to shriek in pain. She didn’t want to look crazy in front of someone she liked. She couldn’t talk for a brief moment as she tried to ride out the pain. Tim’s plan worked as planned.

Tim checked Sungyoon’s mood as he continued to speak.

“If you don’t want to think about it, you don't have to talk about it. Still, you fought against high ranked monsters. I want to hear your impressions.”

He was worried that Sungyoon might get angry or feel disgusted by his request. So he continued to monitor Sungyoon.

Sungyoon was absorbed in his thoughts for a moment. It really was a horrible memory. He didn’t know when his life would end. Tension had been high as he had moved only for his survival. As a last resort, he had activated his Gold Gem and was able to slaughter all the monsters from that point on. However, if it weren't for the Gold Gem, any monster could have sent Sungyoon to the afterlife.

However, he was calm as he nodded.

“If you think it’ll help, I’ll tell you about it.”

While joy appeared on Tim’s face, Emily looked relieved. However, there was one common emotion that arose in both of their hearts.

It was respect.

He had experienced a situation where his life had been hanging on the balance. However, he looked indifferent as he agreed to humor Tim’s unreasonable request. When they thought about their fight with the Bigfoot, they still felt fear. In comparison, Sungyoon looked like a hero from a fairytale that was undaunted by adversity.

However, Sungyoon wasn’t someone that impressive. He had been betrayed by his best friend and his wife. His business had gone under, and above all else, he had to say goodbye to Shinhae. In some ways, he had experienced things that were scarier than losing his life, so he had developed some tolerance to these types of experiences.

The reason behind it didn’t matter. Sungyoon slowly spoke about what had happened within the sealed section. He had been in almost a trance as he ran away, so there were some parts that were fuzzy. Still, he tried his best to explain what had happened to him.

Tim and, of course, Emily were all ears. 

The drinking session continued.

* * *

It was around the time when Earth had started setting beyond the horizon, and darkness had descended to the city. The artificial light of Armstrong illuminated the darkening city. Tim and Emily were walking towards their lodging after their drinking session came to an end. They adroitly avoided the crowd. At a glance, one might think they looked like lovers in a fight. But if anyone made such assumptions, they would probably be shoved into a trash can. Still, it was obvious that there was a cold atmosphere between the two. One might even call it a hostile atmosphere. 

“How can you be so tactless? Why did you ask him about his experience within the sealed section? What would have happened if Mr. Sungyoon’s mood had turned sour by your question?”

As soon as they got away from Sungyoon, Emily threw away her coy act. She started to berate her big brother. Tim wondered what would happen if he recorded this scene and showed it to Sungyoon. Of course, he couldn’t do it. As soon as he moved to make such a plan into reality, his sister would come at him using all her Devices and Gems. A family fight would ensue. She was his really annoying sister, but she wasn’t annoying enough for him to incite a life or death fight. It was an awesome plan, but he decided to fold it for now.

“He didn’t feel bad about it. Also, it is true that we needed to hear his first-hand account. We’ll be going into a Private labyrinth in the near future. It would be great to know how a Connector who is of a similar level as us, deals with such monsters.”

“Still, he almost lost his life. You asked him to relive that memory. Isn’t that too much? What would have happened if he had ended the party right there? Are you trying to burn my chances at finding love?”

In the end, she was worried more about the negative consequence in regard to herself. Tim snorted. However, he didn’t say anything. If he were to place himself in her shoes, he would have acted in the same way.

“Anyway, it turned out pretty good. Moreover, the chances of Mr. Sungyoon entering the Great Labyrinth with us went up. We have the better Gems, but in terms of being a Connector, he is ahead of us now. We have to work hard if we want to catch up to him. We have to do it for your damned love life too.”

Tim had a point, so Emily shut her mouth. 

“Still, I never expected Mr. Sungyoon to be able to handle a Jewel rank Gem as a 1st Gen. It is unexpected.”

“How amazing is he! He is a 1st Gen, yet he has risen so far! The number of people that can claim such a feat is extremely small!”

Emily had dreamy eyes. He had appeared when she was in danger and had saved her like Prince Charming. She had liked him even when she knew that he was only a lowly 1st Gen. Now that she learned his abilities were that outstanding, it was like icing on the cake.

However, Tim broke her reverie by clicking his tongue.

“Do you really have no idea what is going on right now?”

She glared at her brother, who had intruded on her good mood. However, he didn’t care.

“It is true that Mr. Sungyoon is amazing. I do believe he has a chance to be able to enter the Great Labyrinth. I’m starting to think that. Of course, I’m fine with the idea of him entering into the Great Labyrinth. I expect nothing more from him. But shouldn’t you be reacting differently?”

“I should react differently?”

By his attitude, she knew that he wasn’t saying this to make fun of her. Emily’s instinct to sense danger started to ring a bell of alarm.

“Most 1st Gen Connectors stay in the Beginner’s Labyrinth. Even if they are assigned Personal Labyrinths, they can only clear a couple of floors. They are weak. However, the very few 1st Gen that are able to reach the really high ranks are treated very well. You know that, right?”

Emily nodded.

‘I’ve spelled it out for her, yet she still doesn’t get it.’

Tim clutched his head. It seemed that she was very infatuated with Sungyoon.

“Think about it a little bit. Why are they treated so well?”

It was like feeding a milk bottle to a baby. Tim tried to lead Emily towards the conclusion.

Fortunately, his hard work paid off, and his sister's face hardened. It was quite scary.

“You finally got it. Yes, it doesn’t matter if they are 1st Gen, 2nd Gen, or 3rd Gen, all high-rank Connectors are treated well by all countries. However, high-rank 1st Gen Connectors are treated better than all the other Gen.”

There was only one reason.

“It is because of the 2nd Gen ability amplification.”

Tim spoke in a forceful manner. His words cut off Emily from retreating. He made her face the facts head-on.

When a 2nd Gen was born, in the worst-case scenario, they received abilities that were dozens of times stronger than their parents. And if it was the best-case scenario, a 2nd Gen could be born with their abilities amplified by several hundred times. This was normally why the 2nd Gen and beyond Connectors were treated like the true Connectors. It was the reason why they were treated like valuable assets.

But what if there was a 1st Gen that outstripped most of the 2nd and 3rd Gen in terms of ability? The children born from this Connector would bear children that were on another level compared to the other Connectors. Basically, the chances of the high-rank 1st Gen’s children receiving a massive amount of power were guaranteed. It was baked in.

In truth, the children born to those extremely small numbers of high-rank 1st Gen Connectors were making their name as the best amongst the Connectors.

“Do you get what I’m trying to say?”

Tim didn’t care about this. If he had been blunt, he would've said that these high-rank 1st Gen Connectors were used as studs. This was why all the countries and companies hated risking them. It is also the reason why none of the high ranking 1st Gen Connectors entered the Great Labyrinth, even if they met all the prerequisites. However, Tim thought about Sungyoon’s resolve. The chances of him giving up on his goal of raiding the Great Labyrinth was extremely small. He was happy at the fact that he would be able to go to the Great Labyrinth with Sungyoon.

However, it was different for Emily. Sungyoon’s children were guaranteed to receive great ability from him. It meant that a lot of women would become interested in him. Each country and company would recruit women, so they would have the chance to acquire Sungyoon’s children.

Basically, an incredibly large black cloud had formed around Emily’s love life. She would gain a lot of rivals in the future. Even if Connectors practiced polygamy, there was a limit as to what a woman would tolerate. If she was too slow, the man she liked would be taken away from her. She might lose him before she could do anything.

“W... what should I do?”

When she realized her current situation, Emily looked like she was going to cry. Her very first experience in love might become capsized.

Normally, the siblings bickered and didn’t show any respect towards each other. However, there was still affection between the two of them. Wasn't this the way all siblings behaved?

Tim decided to help out his hopeless little sister.

“What should you do? You have to start winning him over. Currently, not many people know the fact that Mr. Sungyoon is a high-rank 1st Gen. You should try to gain points with him while everyone is oblivious.”

“But he hasn’t shown any interest in me.”

Emily didn’t hold back when talking to Tim. However, she could be like this in front of him only because he was her brother. She was comfortable in front of him. In front of anyone that wasn’t family, she became shy and embarrassed. She had trouble dealing with strangers. Of course, she would have more trouble when she was dealing with the person who was the recipient of her one-sided love.

However, she had pushed past her shyness, and in her own way, she had tried to appeal to Sungyoon. However, the man hadn't even blinked an eye.

‘That is a problem.’

Tim became troubled.

He knew his sister was beautiful. He was used to this fact. His sister had shown no interest in men even if one brought a truckload in front of her. However, all the men around her asked Tim to introduce them to her. He had become sick of it. His sister’s looks were that outstanding. There was no one around them that could hold a candle to her. It was hard to find women more beautiful than her, even in the media.

Even if one was a family man, Emily was beautiful enough to attract the attention of such a man. However, Sungyoon hadn't even shown an ounce of interest in her. In the past, he had wondered if Sungyoon was gay. However, that wasn’t the case. He now knew he had married before, and he had a child.

In the end, Tim shook his head from side to side. He had no idea why Sungyoon was like that.

“Well, you should keep trying to attract his attention. I’ll help you. Since he isn’t showing any interest in a woman of your caliber, the probability of him showing interest in other women is low. Let’s just think about the positive for now. You are ahead of the other women right now.”

Emily nodded.

The siblings talked about ideas on how Emily could capture Sungyoon’s heart as they returned to their lodging.

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