The feeling of tension had felt as if he were being pulled by a taut rope. So, when that rope was cut, he felt exhaustion wash over him. Sungyoon suspended the Gems. All the Gems that he had overclocked immediately turned gray. For a fixed amount of time, his Gems would lose their light. However, he was planning on heading back to Earth, so it wouldn’t cause him any trouble.
However, his problem came in another form.
He couldn’t hear the sound. However, he could feel an unpleasant sensation coming from the Device on his wrist, run up his arm.
The Gold Gem fell to the surface of the Moon and became half-buried in the dust. Sungyoon picked it up and shoved it into his pocket. He had to check the damaged slot on his Device and also the new Device he had just acquired. He had a lot to do, but he decided to just sit on the surface of the Moon.
In the battle, he had been extremely worked-up, so he had been oblivious to it all. But after he exited the labyrinth, he finally processed the crisis he had just experienced. Cold sweat ran down his back. He quickly put his hand into his pocket and took out his treasure. Sungyoon absentmindedly stared at Shinhae’s picture for a long time. He continued to stroke it with his hand.
How long did he stay like that? When he felt his heart calm down enough, he put Shinhae’s picture back into his pocket. Humans got used to everything. Humans were capable of getting used to the fear of death. Sungyoon felt himself recover faster than the first time when he had almost died.
He looked at the slot where he had equipped the Gold Gem. As expected, the slot had been burnt black.
His eyes turned grim. The damaged slot was a Purple rank slot. Although it was a waste, it was only a Purple rank slot. It shouldn’t have made him frown like this, but the destruction of the slot disadvantaged him in some other way.
‘I don’t have a Device where I can equip my Gold Gem.’
In the past, he had used the Gold Gem to survive in the sealed section. Afterward, the man had relied on the Gold Gem in various ways. Even if he encountered a danger that he couldn’t handle, he always knew he had the power of the Gold Gem in his back pocket. It gave him the power to overcome what he once thought was an insurmountable situation.
However, this amazing Gem would be useless to him if he couldn’t use it. He no longer had a hexagonal-shaped slot he could use. His Devices no longer had the ability to slot in a special ability Gem.
‘Will I find one here?’
He took out the Device that he had acquired after killing the Bigfoot. This one was also shaped like a bracelet. It seemed the bracelet type Devices were quite common, but he wasn’t interested in the outer appearance of the Device. He needed a slot that was capable of slotting a special ability Gem.
The expression on Sungyoon’s face subtly changed.
There were three slots. The number was a bit low, but in return, the ranks of the slots were higher. There were a whopping two Green rank slots and one Yellow rank slot.
One of the Green rank slots was for a weapon Gem. It was wedge-shaped. The other slot was shaped like a star, and it was capable of slotting a physical ability Gem.
However, the Yellow rank slot was a bit different. It was shaped like a circle. But a circle-shaped Gem did not exist.
It was a slot capable of accepting all Gem shapes.
He no longer had the hexagonal slot capable of equipping special ability Gem, but he had found a Device with a Universal Slot. Fortunately, he had found a Device capable of accepting the Gold Gem.
However, Sungyoon felt conflicted. It was to be expected. It was a Yellow rank slot, the highest rank slot he possessed. But even then, it was still part of the Rainbow Rank, so if he equipped and forcefully activated the Gold Gem, this Yellow rank slot would be destroyed. This fact still remained true. If he put the Gold Gem in this slot for emergency use, he might burn out his highest-ranked slot.
If he didn’t have a Yellow rank Gem, he wouldn't have struggled over this decision. However, he did possess a Yellow rank Gem.
‘First, I have to check what ability it possesses.’
He had never activated it before, so he had no idea what special ability the Yellow rank Gem had. Sungyoon brought out the Yellow Gem from his pocket and placed it into the Yellow slot.
Pieces of metal started to push out from within the circle, locking up the hexagonal shaped Yellow Gem. As he felt a bit amazed by the sight, Sungyoon activated the Gem. Since it was his first time activating it, it took a bit of time. In the end, the Gem soaked in the connector's magical energy, and Sungyoon gained the information about the Gem's ability.
He became surprised. It was the same case with the Gold Gem. The special ability Gems were really unique in what ability they possessed. They were aptly named. Sungyoon tried to organize the information that had appeared inside his head.
This Yellow Gem ranked up the lower-ranked Gems equipped on the Device. If activated, it would steal some of the monster’s magical energy when they were killed. The small amount of stolen magical energy would be used to evolve the Gems.
It really was a good Gem. A Connector’s strength depended on the ability of the Gems they possessed. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that by increasing the power of the other Gems, this Yellow Gem increased the power of a Connector.
‘Of course, this is only true if I have a Device capable of equipping the evolved Gems.’
At the very least, he had two more slots for Green rank Gems. He planned to evolve two Gems to Green rank and use it. They would become great assets to him.
When his thoughts reached this point, his head started to hurt again. If the Yellow Gem was crappy, he would have risked the loss by slotting the Gold Gem in the Yellow slot. However, the Yellow rank Gem had displayed too good of an ability.
‘… let’s head back for now.’
It was time for him to return to Earth. He had a lot of time to mull over this problem. Sungyoon placed the moonstone dropped by the Bigfoot into the storage compartment. He got into the driver’s seat and started the vehicle.
* * *
Sungyoon was sitting inside the Aldrin spaceport. He had delivered all his moonstones to the professional transport company. Hence, he didn’t have much luggage, and only the little he brought up to the Moon was all he was taking back.
Since he was going to meet Shinhae, he had washed his body. His body gave off a faint smell of soap. He had also worn the clothes he only wore when he went back down to Earth. He had never worn it on the Moon. These were new clothes.
As Sungyoon waited for the spaceship, he took out Shinhae’s picture. He passed the time looking at the picture. He had seen this picture so often that it was starting to turn ragged. It happened when he inwardly thought about getting a new picture.
Someone stopped next to Sungyoon. She had a sweet voice that made one feel good just from listening to it. Normally, a person would become curious, and one would look up to see the owner of the voice. However, Sungyoon’s eyes remained rooted on his daughter's picture. Instead, all the people nearby stared at her.
Her luggage came to a stop, and she called out Sungyoon’s name.
Sungyoon was trying to focus on the picture, yet someone was interfering with this task. Sungyoon didn’t care who it was. He raised his head with a sour expression on his face.
In the beginning. Sungyoon didn’t recognize her.
She had clean and groomed blonde hair. Her gorgeous hair was full of vitality as it flowed down to the small of her back. Her exquisite face was perfectly balanced, enough to arouse admiration from others. She had worn skinny jeans that looked painted on her. She wore a shirt with the American flag printed on it, and it couldn’t hide her ample bosom. Her glamorous body was on full display.
“What a coincidence. You are heading down right now?”
Sungyoon blinked his eyes. She knew his name, and she was acting friendly towards him. It seemed this woman knew him, but Sungyoon had never seen her before.
“Who are you?”
He didn’t feel the need to beat around the bushes. Sungyoon openly asked for her name.
It might be considered rude if a person failed to remember you. Of course, there was no way the person being forgotten would feel good about it. However, a smile appeared on the woman's lips for some reason. She looked like a child who had pulled off a successful prank.
“It’s me! It’s Chelsea Strobe!”
Sungyoon looked Chelsea over once again.
Her appearance had completely changed from what she normally looked. The large glasses, the dirty lab coat, and even the disheveled hair were gone. Glasses had been swapped out for contact lenses. She had decked herself out like other normal women, turning from being frumpy to stunning. Just by putting in a little work, she had been reborn as a high-level beauty.
Chelsea’s heart pounded a little bit as she stared at Sungyoon.
‘What kind of reaction will he show?’
The gap between her appearance as a researcher and how she normally dressed was huge. She knew that. It was a small pleasure for her to show her normal self to people who only knew her as a researcher.
“You are Ms. Chelsea?”
“Are you heading down to Earth?”
“I see. Please have a safe trip.”
A small crack appeared on Chelsea’s bright smile.
This wasn’t it. This wasn’t the reaction she had wanted to see. It seemed Sungyoon didn’t care what she wanted, as he, once again, started looking at Shinhae’s picture.
She hadn’t expected him to react like some redface virgin, who would keep stealing glances at her. She didn’t expect a compliment, either. However, she wanted to see him look surprised. For a brief moment, she wanted his grave face to be swept up by shock.
However, Sungyoon was beyond cool. He wasn’t even showing much interest in her. If she stood in front of a guy like this, normally, he would ask her 'what’s up'. It didn’t matter if she was an acquaintance or not. Shouldn’t he pay attention to the person standing in front of him? She didn’t know how Sungyoon was wired, but he kept looking at his daughter's picture.
There was a change in Sungyoon’s gesture. Chelsea’s eyes shone. She waited in anticipation. Finally, he was going to say something to her.
However, Sungyoon just took out another picture of Shinhae, and he just started looking at this other picture once again.
The light in Chelsea’s eyes died. She looked baffled as she looked down at Sungyoon. In the end, she let out a big sigh.
‘I’m the idiot for expecting something from this guy.’
She sank down next to Sungyoon and pushed her head forward. It was almost as if she was placing her chin on his shoulder.
“Show it to me.”
Sungyoon frowned at her abrupt gesture.
If she had put her face near some other man, his face would have turned red. He wouldn’t have frowned like Sungyoon. Chelsea pouted.
She didn’t acknowledge Sungyon’s discontentment. She just pushed her head closer to him. She knew one sure-fire method that would quell his discontentment at once.
“As expected, Shinhae is cute.”
The frown on Sungyoon’s face was nowhere to be seen, and a stupid smile appeared on his lips. This time Sungyoon moved his face closer to Chelsea.
“This is a picture I took when Shinhae was four years old. She is still cute, but she was very cute at that age...”
Sungyoon started to brag about Shinhae.
‘He really is enjoying himself.’
He kept talking as his eyes remained on Shinhae’s picture. His bragging about Shinhae went in one ear and out the other. Chelsea just looked at Sungyoon’s face.
He was quite handsome. Moreover, he wasn’t acting like his normally gloomy self. He had also done his best to dress up for Shinhae, so his looks were highlighted.
However, Chelsea wasn’t looking at his appearance. Her eyes remained rooted on his expression. He looked like an excited young boy when talking about his daughter.
‘He really is an unusual human being.’
In terms of rarity, he was probably like an endangered species.
In the end, Chelsea gave up on thinking about complicated thoughts.
“Shinhae must have really liked her father at that age.”
“Of course! You wouldn’t believe what happened in the past...”
She propped her chin on her two hands and continued to listen to the man loquaciously brag about his daughter.Previous Chapter Next Chapter