After he escorted Tim and Emily back to their lodging, Sungyoon walked around Armstrong city. Although he hadn’t drunk alcohol as if he were trying to kill his liver, he still had to put up an appearance of keeping up with the siblings. So, he had drunk a bit more than usual, and at the very least, he was a bit buzzed.
Finally, he had finished clearing the Beginner’s Labyrinth. Due to it, Sungyoon felt deep and profound emotions. It was the reason why he hadn’t immediately returned to his lodging. He was walking around Armstrong.
Even if everything else was expensive, it was free to walk the streets of Armstrong city.
He went to take a glance at the Beginner’s Labyrinth. Then, he went to look at the Great Labyrinth, his final goal. He also walked outside of Armstrong to see the blue Earth, which remained suspended in the sky.
‘I’ve really gotten used to this.’
In the beginning, he had been terrified of death. After his daily hunts, he would usually go see Earth or the Great Labyrinth. When he viewed the Great Labyrinth, he whipped his heart into shape. He told himself that the Great Labyrinth was his goal. When he viewed Earth, he thought about Shinhae. The beautiful sight soothed his heart.
However, he was no longer overwhelmed with fear.
He had gotten used to it. He daily hunted monsters in the labyrinth, and he had become used to the idea of death.
Sungyoon ruminated on all the changes he had gone through, as he returned to his lodging. It was night, but the time wasn’t too late. Before Sungyoon went into the Chicken Coop, he approached the receptionist in the Support Center.
He had something he had to do.
He asked the receptionist to send a message to Earth. Telephonic communication was expensive because of the distance between Earth and the Moon. However, he was going to send a text containing several words. It was less expensive than making a call, but the text still cost a lot of money. Normally, he would wait until he arrived at Earth to send a message. However, this time, he wanted to send a message to his president right now.
Sungyoon handed the note to the receptionist. The content was short.
<Finished clearing Beginner’s Labyrinth.>
* * *
Jimin let out a large yawn. She always presented herself as an iron wall, but she was helpless against the fiendish time known as the morning. Her eyes were half-closed, and she was fighting a battle against a formidable foe called sleep. She stretched her arms to chase away the sleepiness.
It was quite the provocative scene. She was wearing a gown instead of pajamas, and the gown was out of place. It was caused by her tossing around in the bed. One could see her white underwear through the gaps.
However, it wasn’t as if someone was watching her. To be precise, there was one other person, but Jimin didn’t care about it at all. The other person was a child, and one as the same sex as her. She wouldn’t feel embarrassed because she showed her underwear in front of the child.
Shinhae had been deeply sleeping next to her. She let out a small moan as she rolled over. It seemed that Jimin’s movements had caused her to briefly awaken from her sleep.
“It’s fine. You can sleep more.”
Jimin patted Shinhae on the chest. It seemed that the little girl liked that. A smile appeared on her lips, and in the next moment, one could hear her even breathing. She fell back into sleep. Jimin pulled the blanket up to her chest, and then, carefully got off the bed.
She exited the room and silently closed the door. She thought about her morning tasks.
‘I have to wash first, then I need to make breakfast. Then I’ll wake up Shinhae, and we can eat together.’
It was their day off, so she didn’t need to send Shinhae to kindergarten. Her way of thinking was similar to how a mother thought about her child. She was still pretty clumsy at making food, but she did her best to make breakfast. In recent days, it had been a small joy in life for her to see Shinhae laugh and eat her food.
The first thing she had to do was to check if anyone had contacted her during the night for business. She picked up her handphone.
She had received a message from an unknown number. She read the text displayed on the screen of her handphone.
Her eyes turned round. Her normally cold face was infused with happiness.
<Finished clearing Beginner’s Labyrinth.>
It didn’t say who sent the message, but the president immediately knew who it was.
The short message caused a ripple in her heart. It was like a violent storm.
‘I don’t have any time to lose.’
She was filled with motivation. Her employee had done very well, and he had taken his first step. As the president, she had to be generous in supporting him.
Shinhae sounded like she had just woken up from her sleep. She opened the bedroom door and walked out after. It seemed that she wasn’t fully awake, as her eyes were barely open, and she kept rubbing them.
Jimin approached the little girl. She put her hands on her knees, and she tried her best to be on eye level with her.
“You want to meet your dad?”
Shinhae blinked her sleepy eyes.
* * *
“I look forward to working with you.”
Sungyoon watched as a large sack full of moonstones rolled up on a conveyor belt. He spoke to the person next to it.
“Please do not worry about it. We’ll make sure the cargo gets delivered to Earth.”
The middle-aged man was wearing glasses. He gave off a trustworthy attitude and had put on a benevolent smile as he spoke to Sungyoon. Sungyoon nodded and then exited the building.
‘Is that all I have to do for now?’
He had handed over all the moonstones that he had recently gathered to the transport company. He had put his life on the line to acquire those moonstones, and they would be sent down to Earth by the transport company. Then they would be handed over to Jimin. The moonstones from his earlier runs had already been transported to Earth.
Sungyoon walked towards his lodging.
He would go to the labyrinth the next day. The siblings had made a big deal about it being their last run in the Beginner’s Labyrinth, but it was in the context of it being the last run together as a party. Tim and Emily had to go down to Earth because of their company policy, and like last time, Sungyoon planned on going into the Beginner’s Labyrinth until Mana Stream would happen.
The next day...
He got up at the same time and in the same pose as every morning. He was like a machine as he put the vitamins into his mouth, and then, he started heading towards the Beginner’s Labyrinth.
However, he came to come to a stop at the entrance of the Support Center.
He had thought that Tim and Emily would have already gone down to Earth by now, yet, they were waiting for him. Sungyoon looked at them with surprise in his eyes.
“Mr. Tim. Ms. Emily. Weren’t you supposed to be on Earth by now?”
When he heard Sungyoon’s question, Tim scratched his head in embarrassment. His expression alternated between embarrassment and shame.
“We had to rethink our plans. We will not go into the Beginner’s Labyrinth anymore, so it was ridiculous of us to follow a schedule based on the Beginner Labyrinth’s Mana Stream.”
The siblings had declared to everyone that they had finished clearing the Beginner’s Labyrinth, yet, they planned on heading down to Earth like all the other beginner Connectors. Everyone in their company looked at them in bafflement. That experience still made their face turn red in embarrassment.
“I see. So, you aren’t here to go back into the Beginner’s Labyrinth?”
“Do you still plan on going into the Beginner’s Labyrinth, Mr. Sungyoon?”
“Yes. Every penny counts. I would like to make more money.”
“We can’t. Our company wants us to immediately go through the legal process of being assigned a Personal Labyrinth. That is why we are busy.”
Even though it was small, their company had a base on the Moon. This was why they could expedite this process. Sungyoon was a bit jealous of them.
“Then what brings you here?”
Tim and Emily looked at each other, and then they looked towards Sungyoon. Both of them looked embarrassed.
“We came here because we wanted to apologize.”
“Yes. We became drunk, and you escorted us back to our lodging.”
‘I guess they want to talk about that.’
Sungyoon had been confused when they had made a grand gesture of apology. However, it seemed they were here to apologize for the trouble they had caused him while being drunk.
‘It is understandable. I would be embarrassed to show that sight to others.’
Tim’s face had turned red from embarrassment. Emily couldn’t meet Sungyoon’s eyes. It was like when she had met him for the first time. Even if they had been drunk, it seemed they had retained their memories of the incident.
“It’s fine. You were feeling good after drinking alcohol. It happens.”
Korea had an advanced drinking culture. Some might call it excessive. Sungyoon had run a business in Korean society, so he had seen clients turn into dogs from drinking too much alcohol. At the very least, Tim and Emily were capable of walking under his support, and they hadn’t thrown-up on his clothes. He was thankful for that fact.
However, Tim and Emily didn’t feel the same way, so Sungyoon changed the topic.
“So, when will you guys be able to enter the Personal Labyrinth?”
Tim realized Sungyoon’s intent, so he answered the question without making a fuss.
“We have no idea yet. We have to be assigned a Personal Labyrinth first. Everything else is secondary. If possible, we would like to be assigned the Personal Labyrinth that had been assigned to our mother in the past. We have looked into it. We won’t be able to do anything if that labyrinth was already assigned to another Connector.”
Tim and Emily held their mother in very high esteem, so their actions were understandable.
“I hope you are assigned that one.”
“Thank you! It really isn’t a good labyrinth, so our company isn’t that happy with our decision.”
“What level is it?”
“It is slightly better than the original Beginner’s Labyrinth.”
The Beginner’s Labyrinth was originally a middle to low rank labyrinth. If he were to be honest, it wasn’t a good labyrinth. They might be better off taking a chance with a labyrinth that had never been assigned before. It would be better to be assigned a labyrinth that didn’t have a concrete rating.
Still, they wanted to inherit what their mother possessed, and they were having a hard time letting it go.
“I have nothing to add to that. Anyway, I hope you have no regrets about your choice.”
He didn’t want to be unnecessarily nosy. He had no right to give them an opinion, so Sungyoon spoke positive words as he changed the topic.
“Thank you very much. I hope you don’t mind me asking this. When do you plan on applying for a Personal Labyrinth?”
“I have to discuss it with the president of my company. I’ll have to go down to Earth...”
Sungyoon had been about to give his answer when it happened.
A child’s loud voice could be heard. Everyone's gaze turned towards the source of the sound. It was really rare to see children in Armstrong city. In the first place, people didn’t come to Armstrong city to dwell there. At most, the kids that traveled to Armstrong city were children from affluent families, or they were family members visiting the Connectors on the Moon.
Sungyoon turned his head alongside everyone else. However, his head moved a bit more violently than the others. He knew that voice. It was the voice of his treasure, the goal of his life, his everything.
Sungyoon’s eyes picked up the sight of a child. A little girl was running towards him. Of course, Sungyoon knew who it was.
The little girl jumped into her father's arms. He didn't want his child to get hurt, so Sungyoon lowered himself. He embraced his daughter.
Shinhae displayed a pure smile as she looked up at his face. She still looked cute. Although it was true that Sungyoon’s eyes were biased, even in the eyes of others, Shinhae really was cute.
“How did you get here?”
He really was glad to see her. He thought that he would have to go to Earth to see his child, yet, he was able to meet her here. How could he not be glad? However, he couldn’t help but feel confused too.
“I brought her here.”
He heard another familiar voice. He had been focused only on Shinhae until that moment. It was only then that he finally raised his head and saw the woman who had accompanied Shinhae.
As always, she had worn a black suit. She was cold, but she was a woman that gave off an aura of a capable career woman.
Jimin was standing there.Previous Chapter Next Chapter