Chapter 88

Sungyoon was leisurely driving across the surface of the Moon in his vehicle.

He didn’t see anything in the front. Normally, on Earth, one saw roads, signs, and other cars. There was none of that here. The only thing he could see was the dark space and the desolate surface of the Moon.

He took a quick glance backward. On the dust-covered surface of the Moon, his rugged Moon Surface Vehicle was creating a large dust trail. The gravity was low, and there was no air. This was why it looked like a sandstorm was rushing as the dust dispersed into the atmosphere. Of course, the dust didn’t find complete freedom. It would settle back down to the ground, thanks to the gravity of the Moon. However, the amount of time it remained in the atmosphere would be much longer than Earth.

Sungyoon pressed down on the accelerator a little bit more.

The path couldn’t even be called an unpaved road. There was no rush hour traffic. In fact, he couldn’t see the presence of another car. However, the ride became beyond rough when he increased the speed, and Sungyoon clicked his tongue as he lowered his speed once again. The shaking subsided.

Since there was no air, he couldn’t hear music. He had to travel for several days in boredom.

He drove for a long time when it happened.

The instrument panel started blinking, and it meant that he was close to his destination. On Earth, the navigation system would let out a sound alert. But since there were many situations where the sound waves couldn’t travel through the atmosphere, the Moon Surface vehicle had a specialized navigation system that gave signals through its display.

Sungyoon glanced at the navigation system from time to time as he drove towards his destination.

In short order, Sungyoon arrived at his destination.

He opened the door and got off the vehicle. As his feet slowly touched the ground, he looked forward. In the distant past, a meteorite had crashed on the surface here, and it had created an enormous crater. As if it were trying to hide the big wound created by the meteorite, the ground created an annular shape with a rim around it. Sungyoon's destination was present at the brim of this enormous crater.

It looked as if it was a door inviting him into hell. It looked like the mouth of a monster that didn’t deign to hide its greed and desire. The darkness within the maw stared out into the dark space across the horizon.

* * *

Sungyoon got up and got off his bed. As he moved his body, he didn’t feel any kink. However, he had just woken up, so he did feel a bit stiff. But the stiffness disappeared as he started moving his body. Still, he didn’t feel the crappy feeling that he daily experienced when he woke up in the Chicken Coop. It seemed the bed and blankets within the Moon Surface Vehicle had done their job. 

He opened a drawer. It contained several containers with vitamins that would substitute as meals for Sungyoon. He popped a couple of them into his mouth. Then, he took out a cup and poured water into it through the sink. He had a sink, but he didn’t plan on washing his face. This place was like the desert, and every drop of water was precious here. The water within the supply tank was strictly for drinking.

After he had been assigned a Personal Labyrinth, he could no longer ask for help from the Support Center. It was why he had to spend an incredible amount of money to purchase water and vitamin packs. Jimin said she would reimburse all his purchases. Yet, it still felt like a waste of money.

He got off the vehicle. His surroundings hadn’t changed at all, remaining unchanged as if they wouldn’t erode or weather over time. He looked at the bare landscape as he walked.

He once again took in the sight of the entrance to the labyrinth. The sight of the entrance remained the same as the day before.

He had driven the vehicle without sleeping, so he didn’t want to overdo it. That's why he had decided to go to sleep early. He had intended to start raiding the labyrinth in earnest the next day.

Sungyoon checked his equipment once again.

His equipment had increased. When Sungyoon’s party had been about to clear the Beginner’s Labyrinth, they had acquired another Gem. It was a Green rank Gem. However, Sungyoon had decided to defer the Gem to the Ross siblings. To be precise, he had yielded it to Emily.

It was because the Gem had the ability to heal.

Of course, he had also received something in return. Sungyoon’s mace had been borrowed from Emily, but when she received the Green Gem, she gave full ownership of the Blue rank mace to Sungyoon. In addition, Emily gave him one more Gem. It was a Purple rank Gem that allowed one to use a healing spell. It wasn’t her main healing Gem that she had been using up until that point. It was a Gem she kept as for auxiliary use. It could heal a critical wound, but it was still the lowest rank Gem. This was why it could only heal twice and could target only one person at a time. The cooldown time was over 15 hours.

Sungyoon would probably attempt his Personal Labyrinth by himself, so he was very thankful for the gift. Moreover, not too long after finding the Green Gem, they had been able to find another Gem. It allowed Sungyoon to lay claim to the Indigo Gem, which increased his strength three-fold.

Currently, his equipment consisted of a Green rank scale mail, a Blue rank mace, a Blue rank shield, and a Purple rank shin guard. He also possessed the Purple rank spear and the Purple rank leather armor for auxiliary use.

In terms of enhancing physical ability, he had a Purple rank Gem that increased his strength two-fold, and an Indigo rank Gem that increased his strength three-fold. His strength increased by five-fold in total, and he also had a Purple rank Gem that enhanced his senses.

Finally, he had a magic Gem. It was the Purple rank Gem that would allow him to use healing magic.

If he were to rank the Rainbow rank Gems from high to low, it went from Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Purple. He mainly possessed the middle to lower rank group Gems, so he was still very far from being able to raid the Great Labyrinth.

Moreover, although the highest rank Gem he possessed was the Gold rank Gem, he didn’t have a Device capable of activating it. This was why he had to slot it into a Purple slot. He also had a Yellow rank Gem, but he didn’t even have an extra purple slot to equip it. This was why he couldn’t even equip the special ability Gem he possessed.

He had a Device on each wrist, and a necklace. Aside from the Device on his right wrist, the other two could only slot purple rank Gems.

Gems were important, but at some point, he had to acquire Devices too.

Sungyoon brushed his hand over his Devices and Gems. Then he entered into the Personal Labyrinth he had been assigned.

The interior of the Personal Labyrinth looked like the Beginner’s Labyrinth. The darkness was absolute, so it made it impossible to see with one’s eyes. However, this labyrinth was also filled with magical energy, so external information was transmitted to his senses through the magical energy.

His body felt heavier. Until a moment ago, his body had been light, thanks to the reduced gravity on the Moon. But now, his weight clearly increased. He was sure of it. The gravity inside this labyrinth was similar to the gravity on Earth.

Boom!

A sound rang out. Sungyoon stomped on the ground several more times. He put more force behind it.

Boom! Boom!

The floor was made out of a hard rock, and it sounded angry as Sungyoon beat the floor with his feet. He was able to hear sound despite the labyrinth being connected to the surface of the Moon. It meant there was air within the labyrinth.

He took a deep breath. It wasn’t the fresh air one could find on Earth, but he would be able to breathe here.

However, it wasn’t a reason for him to be surprised. He had heard from Jimin about the various phenomena that occurred within the labyrinths. If one considered the mystery surrounding the labyrinths, the presence of breathable air wasn’t surprising.

He quickly activated his Gems and slowly started to roam around the labyrinth.

‘I wonder what level this labyrinth is.’

It would be a problem if the level was too low or too high. However, he was aiming for the Great Labyrinth. He’d rather have a more dangerous and higher ranked labyrinth. It would increase his probability of finding good Devices and Gems.

It happened when he had taken only a few steps into the entrance.

It was as if the labyrinth had already made preparations to greet him.

A red light blinked in and out within the darkness. Sungyoon raised his mace and shield as he clearly heard a growl filled with killing intent.

A Slash Cat was slowly walking towards Sungyoon. It possessed a sleek body, and long sharp claws.

‘Already...’

It was a monster that he had seen first on the 3rd floor of the Beginner’s Labyrinth.

‘As expected, this labyrinth is of a higher rank than the Beginner’s Labyrinth?’

However, he soon rejected that idea. He had only seen the true Beginner’s Labyrinth when he had mistakenly gone into the sealed section. Aside from that instance, he only experienced a labyrinth tailored to the Beginner Connectors.

First, Sungyoon got into his fighting stance. He was able to easily kill a Slash Cat in the Beginner’s Labyrinth, but he had only experienced fighting this monster there. There was no guarantee the monster in this labyrinth would be comparable to the monsters in the Beginner’s Labyrinth.

Sungyoon once again raised his shield as he slowly approached the monster.

-Kyahhhhhhk!

It took a large leap as it swiped with its front paw.

‘Still, it seems they have the same attack pattern.’

His eyes were wide open as he tried to not miss even the smallest movement made by the monster.

Tuh-ung!

A substantial force could be felt through the shield when the attack landed. However, that was it.

‘It is a bit stronger than the Slash Cat in the Beginner’s Labyrinth, but it isn’t overwhelmingly stronger.’

The Slash Cat used its agility and powerful single attacks to overcome its enemies. These were the signature characteristics of this monster. It meant he had experienced its full power in the last attack. However, Sungyoon was patient. He remained steady in his advance.

Puh-uhk!

The Slash Cat used the rebound of its attack to retreat backward. Sungyoon followed it, then bashed it with his shield.

-Kyaaang!

The monster was still in the air, so it couldn’t evade his attack. His shield hit the Slash Cat, and its body flew through the air. 

‘Its durability is about the same.’

It looked like a cat. It meant it should elegantly land on its feet without taking much damage when thrown through the air. However, there was no elegance or nimbleness to be seen when it took a blow from Sungyoon. It rolled across the ground in an unseemly fashion.

Sungyoon increased his speed. He swung his mace before it could get up.

Kwah-jee-jeek!

The heavy weapon impacted its side. It couldn’t even let out a scream as it immediately died. When it had taken the blow from the mace, the body of the Slash Cat was ripped into two. It wasn’t clean like being cut by a sword. Flesh and muscle were forcefully pulled apart, and the bones were ground to dust. Blood and its innards had splashed into the surrounding. It was a horrible sight.

However, Sungyoon had seen this many times before. So, instead of focusing on the tragic sight, he focused on analyzing this Slash Cat.

He came to the conclusion that it was a bit stronger, and he didn’t need to be too worried about it.

‘Let’s go around a little bit more.’

Sungyoon picked up the moonstone, and then, he once again roamed around the labyrinth.

* * *

It was a labyrinth that hadn’t been cleaned up. Sungyoon could feel this reality in his bones.

‘Again.’

It was a Needle Hedgehog. Since a Slash Cat had shown up on the 1st floor, it wasn’t out of the ordinary to see a Needle Hedgehog.

The problem was the frequency of encountering these monsters.

‘Aren’t there too many of them?’

There were too many monsters here. It couldn’t even be compared to the Beginner’s Labyrinth. If he re-positioned himself while fighting a monster, there was a high chance that he would be attacked by another monster.

The Needle Hedgehog had its needles straight up in the air, and it started shooting towards its opponent. As expected, it was stronger than the one in the Beginner’s Labyrinth, but it wasn’t something he couldn't handle.

Soon, the Needle Hedgehog became a bloody mess by Sungyoon’s mace, and its corpse changed into a moonstone.

After he gathered the moonstone, he started moving again. He hadn’t walked that far, yet his bag was full of moonstones.

Stop!

Sungyoon, who had been rolling over all the monsters like a bulldozer, came to a stop.

‘It is a fork in the tunnel.’

The tunnel, which he had been walking through, had diverged. Two tunnels now stood in front of him. If he were still in the Beginner’s Labyrinth, he could have picked and chosen a tunnel on a whim. However, that wasn’t possible here. In the Beginner’s Labyrinth, each fork had helpful signs that guided one out of the labyrinth. No such guideposts existed in this place. If he became careless, his greed could get him swallowed up by this place. He would be lost in a maze.

It was good that he had decided to use this time for trial and error. As he had that thought, Sungyoon walked forward.

‘I’ll go left again.’

He made the same choice, each time he came to a fork in the tunnel. If he chose randomly, there was a good chance he would get lost. He would become needless fertilizer for the Moon. This was why he didn’t go back and forth choosing the right or the left path. He chose only one direction, so he had no worries about getting lost.

He continued to walk down the large cave. After walking for a while, Sungyoon witnessed a surprising scene.

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