All the vehicles here looked like motorhomes, each larger than a standard bus. The vehicle in front of them was absolutely a large one, but if one compared it to the other vehicles parked in the lot, it was on the smaller side. One could see much larger vehicles near them.
“You made a very good decision in choosing this vehicle. You really do have an eye for items.”
The dealer’s silver tongue worked overtime. Unlike his greedy and piggish appearance, his voice was pleasant. It was quite easy on the ears. The only slightly unpleasant part was the fact that his desire to sell this vehicle was reflected in his voice.
“It is a slightly older model. But if this is your first time owning a Moon Surface Vehicle, an older model might be preferable. In cases of accidents, the repair costs are quite hefty. These vehicles can’t be insured. This is why it might be better to buy a used one, so you can use it roughly. And when it breaks down, you can trade it in for a better one.”
The dealer took out a little remote from his pocket and pressed a button. It was the car key. The door to the vehicle automatically opened up.
“You can have a look inside.”
He slightly bent forwards with both hands extended towards the entrance. It was as if he was servicing a noble. Jimin was the first to enter the vehicle. Curiosity reflected in his eyes, and he entered the vehicle as he conversed with Shinhae.
He saw a small space that had a bed, a desk, drawers, a large cabinet, and a sink.
“The basic plan for this vehicle is quite simple. The amount of furniture one can put into its free space is quite limited. If you buy a slightly bigger vehicle, you’ll have the option of putting in a shower, kitchen, and other amenities...”
The dealer, who had been giving an explanation, trailed off as he looked towards Jimin. He had already realized that she was the one with the money. When the dealer tried to convince her in a roundabout way to upgrade the size of the vehicle, Jimin didn’t hesitate as she shook her head from side to side.
“No. This is enough.”
With the money she had put into purchasing this used, small Moon Surface Vehicle, she could buy a couple of the top class Hypercars on Earth. If her company increased in size, thanks to the money brought in by Sungyoon, she might be able to afford a larger vehicle. However, it would be a waste of money to buy a bigger vehicle right now.
The dealer looked a little bit disappointed, but he was a pro. He quickly erased the disappointment from his face.
“Then I’ll continue describing the features of this vehicle. The engine is capable of being used as a moonstone motor. Its performance evaluation has been completed.”
As expected of a vehicle called the Moon Surface Vehicle, it was a vehicle that could be used to travel across the rough surface of the Moon outside of Armstrong. The moon’s environment possessed no oxygen, so the engine could not burn fuel to generate power. It was why the internal combustion engine, which was widely used on Earth, couldn’t be used on the Moon. But it also didn't mean electric motors were the solution. It would be very difficult to set up charging stations all over the Moon. Moreover, there was only one power plant on the Moon, and the electricity generated could only satisfy the energy needs of the Armstrong city. In the end, processed moonstones had to be used for fuel. The engine was capable of using moonstones as fuel, and hence, the price of the vehicles was so high.
“Of course, if the size is right, an unrefined moonstone can also be used as fuel. However, it’ll overwork the engine. So, unless it is an emergency, you shouldn’t use an unrefined moonstone. You might break the expensive engine.”
The dealer exited the vehicle as he warned them about the exorbitant amount of money that would cost to replace such an engine. Everyone followed him out of the vehicle.
This time he took the trio to the back of the vehicle.
“This is the storage compartment.”
The dealer pressed a button on the remote control, and the back of the vehicle started to open up. The storage compartment made up two-thirds of the vehicle. It was completely empty right now.
“Since the vehicle is small, the storage compartment isn’t that large either. However, it can handle the number of moonstones that can be acquired in the mid to low rank labyrinths.”
It would take a long time to fill the storage compartment of this vehicle with the moonstones found in the Beginner’s Labyrinth. However, as for the moonstones acquired in the Personal Labyrinth, it was unknown how large they would be. At the very least, they would be larger than the moonstones from the Beginner’s Labyrinth.
The dealer moved to various locations around the vehicle as he gave a thorough explanation. Sungyoon and Jimin didn’t miss a detail, giving the dealer their full attention. Shinhae just looked around with wonder in her eyes.
“What do you think? At the very least, I am confident my vehicle won’t be found wanting anywhere else.”
The dealer rubbed his two hands as he spoke in a subtle tone of voice. From one to ten, this guy personified what one's thought of how a greedy merchant should look like.
At the very least, he hadn’t said anything suspicious in his explanation. However, Jimin was cautious.
“Wait a moment. I have something I want to check.”
“What do you want to check?”
Jimin didn't answer the dealer’s question, and she just looked down at her watch.
“Hmm. She should be here soon.”
At that moment, someone approached the group. He was wearing the same uniform as the man who had been giving them information about the vehicle. He was another used-car salesman.
“Are you looking for these people?”
The man turned to ask someone a question. It was then they realized another person was behind the newly arrived dealer. Sungyoon saw a dirty lab coat and disheveled blonde hair. He immediately recognized who it was.
The eyes behind the out-of-fashion glasses looked over the group.
“Yes. You found them. Thank you for guiding me here.”
Chelsea thanked the person who had guided her here.
“I guess you came right on time.”
It seemed Jimin had called her here. She didn’t show any signs of surprise as she greeted Chelsea.
“What the hell? You messaged me out of nowhere. You told me to be here at this time. No explanation!”
Chelsea grumbled. When she saw Sungyoon, she gave a small greeting with her eyes. It wasn’t as if they hadn’t seen each other for a very long time, so they didn’t need to make a big deal about greeting each other. Chelsea met Sungyoon almost every week to have a conversation with him. Sungyoon had asked her to be his conversation buddy, and Chelsea had kept her word.
Of course, Chelsea frequently visited him, not just because of their promise. There might be an ulterior motive, but it was something only she knew.
“Oh my! Is that child Shinhae?”
Chelsea’s eyes shone when she saw the girl in Sungyoon’s arms. She had seen Sungyoon unceasingly stare into his daughter's picture. Even if she hadn’t seen the picture, Sungyoon was holding the girl like a precious jewel. She knew he was an idiot for his daughter, so she had an easy time deducing the identity of the girl.
“Yes, she is my daughter.”
“She is much cuter than her picture.”
Chelsea had a broad smile on her face as she approached Shinhae.
Shinhae became reserved when she saw a stranger. However, she didn’t bury her face in Sungyoon’s chest like the time she had seen Tim. The reason being that this unni was like Emily, pretty like a fairy.
“Hello, Shinhae! Unni is called Chelsea.”
She spoke in a kind manner, but Shinhae couldn’t understand her. Sungyoon had to translate for Chelsea.
Chelsea and Shinhae finished giving a simple introduction to each other, and they were about to enter into full-fledged chitchat. But before that could happen, Jimin pulled at Chelsea’s arm.
“I’m sorry, but you can do that later. I have something you have to do right now.”
“What is it?”
Chelsea apologetically looked towards Shinhae, and then, she asked the question to Jimin. It seemed that her friend had an urgent task for her, so her face turned a little tense.
“You know a lot about cars, right?”
“Hmm? Yes! What about it?”
When Chelsea would return to Earth, she would drive around the US in her beloved car. She probably had much more comprehensive knowledge about cars than the general population. She was more knowledgeable about cars than most men. Her being a researcher also had a role in her having such comprehensive knowledge.
“You are quite knowledgeable about the Lunar Surface Vehicles, right?”
“No way. Did you…”
At this point, Chelsea knew what her friend wanted from her. Chelsea looked dumbfounded, but Jimin calmly brushed aside her gaze and placed a hand on the vehicle, which she had toured up until now.
“Please check if this is a decent vehicle.”
“… you called me here because of that?”
Jimin unapologetically nodded.
“You said you weren’t busy today. Also, you don’t have any urgent research you have to do. You said you have a lot of free time right now.”
“I did say that.”
Still, Chelsea had come here without knowing what Jimin had wanted, and now she wanted Chelsea to inspect the vehicle. However, everything changed when Jimin calmly spoke one sentence.
“I’ll buy you dinner.”
“Alright! I just need to inspect this vehicle?”
Chelsea took the key from the dealer as if she was stealing it from him. She immediately got on the vehicle and started a thorough examination.
“… is it ok for you to do that to her?”
“It doesn’t matter. It is nothing compared to all the meals I bought her.”
Jimin shrugged her shoulders.
Jimin kept up a cold and dispassionate image as if she was someone that would keep to a contract no matter what. However, it seemed she was capable of playing a prank on her friend. Chelsea would have walked away in anger if anyone else had done this to her. This was the irony of their relationship. The two of them were very close, yet at the same time, they could be quite ruthless to each other.
The dealer inwardly felt offended when Chelsea had suddenly appeared to inspect the vehicle. The buyer wasn’t hiding the fact that she didn’t trust him. However, he kept his emotions hidden. Emotion was emotion, and a deal was a deal. He had to separate the two. Moreover, he knew that it was dumb and useless to tell a prospective customer to trust what a dealer was saying. He decided to stay in the background, and he made sure Chelsea didn’t damage the vehicle.
She looked all over the vehicle, and if she had questions, she asked the questions to the dealer. She was quite thorough in her inspection. Sungyoon and Jimin stood a bit away as they let Chelsea do her thorough inspection.
Jimin opened her mouth, and asked Sungyoon.
“Do you know why I’m buying this?”
“It’ll allow me to travel to the Personal Labyrinth, and it’ll also allow me to transport moonstones back from the Personal Labyrinth. Am I right?”
After a Personal Labyrinth would be assigned to him, the Moon Surface Vehicle will be an essential item that Sungyoon would need.
“I’ve applied for your Personal Labyrinth, but I don’t know which labyrinth you’ll be assigned. I asked for one that hasn’t been fully assessed yet.”
There were labyrinths that had their rank fully assessed. Usually, these labyrinths returned to the governments when the Connectors possessing the labyrinths either retired or died. The labyrinths closest to Armstrong were assigned first, so labyrinths that had been owned at least once before were near the Armstrong city.
These labyrinths were all of a certain standard, but when they were returned, Connectors immediately snatched them up. In a place swirling with money and greed, an owner-less labyrinth was like a diamond without an owner. There was no way Connectors would let those labyrinths remain unoccupied. Usually, these labyrinths were snapped up by companies who had a certain amount of influence in the Armstrong city. They were the first to be informed when certain labyrinths became available. This was also why the leftover labyrinths were all low level.
Of course, the almost empty labyrinths were pretty popular too. The 1st Gen Connectors, who were deficient in ability, didn’t mind if they could bring in an extremely high income. The low-rank labyrinths looked attractive to them as the chances of them dying was low. However, this wasn’t the case with Sungyoon. A low-rank labyrinth only dropped low-rank Devices and Gems. If he wanted to raid the Great Labyrinth, he needed above-average Devices and Gems. He needed a labyrinth that would drop Devices and Gems of a certain caliber.
This was why Jimin had asked for an unrevealed labyrinth. This labyrinth would be located far away from Armstrong city.
“It might be the perfect fit for you, or it might be worse than the Beginner’s Labyrinth. It also might be an extremely high-rank labyrinth that you may not be able to attempt with your ability.”
Jimin took a glance at Sungyoon.
“… if you are unsatisfied with my decision, I can change it. You haven’t been assigned a labyrinth yet.”
There was a chance that she was putting his life in danger. Maybe, Sungyoon wanted a low-rank labyrinth near Armstrong city. It would allow him to make a decent living with a very low risk to his life.
However, Sungyoon made a throwaway remark as he played with Shinhae.
“I told you I’ll leave all the planning to you, president. If it puts me on the path to the Great Labyrinth, I don’t mind danger.”
She had expected such an answer. If he could head towards the Great Labyrinth, Sungyoon wouldn’t hesitate to step onto a path full of bramble.
His answer should have made her happy. She had basically purchased a slave that would loyally follow her plan. She basically had been able to acquire such a person by buying his 7 million dollar debt. She should have been happy. He was full of ability, and he had an unchanging mind. She had been clutching at straws when she came across Sungyoon. She thought she had acquired a rock, but in reality, she had acquired an unrefined diamond.
However, Jimin’s heart wasn’t filled with happiness and sunshine. A muddy swamp-like feeling of guilt surrounded the dark abyss in her heart.Previous Chapter Next Chapter