Moon’s Labyrinths - Chapter 263
“Would you like to drink something? I’m buying . ”
Sungyoon pointed to a nearby cafe .
“No . We can’t impose ourselves on you like that . It's too expensive . ”
‘It seems she isn’t a high rank Connector . ’
When Sungyoon saw Plu-El shake her head from side to side, the thought came to his mind . If she were a high rank Connector, she wouldn’t have refused the drink with such words . In fact, she would have offered to buy the drink instead .
“It's fine . An expense of this magnitude won’t be too burdensome for me . ”
When Sungyoon insisted on it, Plu-El smiled after a moment of hesitation .
“Then I will accept your generosity . ”
She looked at the menu above the counter, while Sungyoon turned toward Aruwen .
“You should pick a drink too . ”
Sungyoon didn’t like the man, but he couldn’t just ignore him .
“No . I—”
“He likes anything sweet . ”
Plu-El butted in from the side, and Aruwen glared at her .
“Is that so? Will a caramel macchiato be ok?”
“… Yes, please . ”
Aruwen looked away from Plu-El and lowered his head a little toward Sungyoon .
‘Did something happen?’
Sungyoon realized that this man's demeanor was entirely different than that in their first meeting . However, they had encountered each other only once, and that too for a moment . It could be that Sungyoon hadn’t gotten an accurate read on him . Therefore, Sungyoon decided to keep that matter to the side .
With their hats and sunglasses, Plu-El and Aruwen had disguised themselves . It could be seen that they were trying very hard not to be noticed . Sungyoon led Plu-El and Aruwen toward a park to have a quiet conversation .
“What business do you have with me?”
Sungyoon asked as he sat down on a bench .
Plu-El took a moment to gather her thoughts .
‘It’ll be important from now on . ’
This was the first and critical step in creating an alliance between the moon people and the earthlings . Moreover, she was facing the person who could use the Royal Gem . If she wanted to convince her people, she needed the outsider who had awakened the Royal Gem . It would give their efforts legitimacy .
‘I can’t believe he came up with this idea . ’
She glanced at Aruwen . Tiotudo’s death had brought on a significant change in Aruwen . Of course, Plu-El had no intention of forgiving him yet .
‘I have to acknowledge it . He has started to change . ’
Plu-El desperately wished this good change continued .
“Mr . Woo Sungyoon, I’m not sure if you will believe the words that will come out of our mouths from now on, but these words are the absolute truth . I hope you understand that it's very difficult for us to speak about this . ”
Sungyoon took the straw out of his lips when the mood turned heavy .
“I’m all ears . ”
When Sungyoon gave his full attention, Plu-El opened her mouth . No, she was going to open her mouth .
“In truth, we are—”
“Hey! Look who it is!”
A chill ran up Plu-El's and Aruwen's spines . Without even thinking, they bounced up from their seats and immediately created some distance .
The coffee cups in their hands fell to the floor .
“Jeez! What’s with the overreaction? They wasted the coffee . ”
The man wiped the coffee on his shoes as he spoke, while the look in Plu-El's and Aruwen’s eyes turned ugly . Sungyoon was a bit dumbfounded at what had just happened . He turned to look at the newcomer .
“What brings you here, Mr . Hyunwoo?”
Plu-El and Aruwen turned away . Their eyes became round as if they didn’t want to believe what they were seeing .
“I saw you with these guys and became curious, so I followed . ”
“Do you know them?”
“I do . Very well . ”
Hyunwoo looked at the two of them and continued .
“In some ways, we're very close . ”
Aruwen cussed . His body kept twitching as if he wanted to attack Hyunwoo . However, the single thread of rationality inside him allowed him to hold back .
“… Mr . Woo Sungyoon . ”
Plu-El's change in tone surprised Sungyoon .
“Are you close to this human? Are you friends with Sung Hyunwoo?”
“You could say our relationship is like that of a teacher and his student . ”
Hyunwoo put on airs as he spoke . It was a bit of an exaggeration, but it was true enough that Sungyoon couldn’t deny it .
“Is that true?”
“It's something like that . ”
Plu-El firmly shut her mouth . The words she had been about to say to Sungyoon disappeared down her throat, and she immediately turned around .
“Let’s go . ”
Plu-El said as she pulled at Aruwen . Her demeanor was as cold as her eyes, but she didn’t forget to keep her guard up against Hyunwoo .
However, Hyunwoo didn't show any intentions of chasing them . He just waved them off . Plu-El gritted her teeth at his brazen attitude, but she couldn’t recklessly make a scene here . She was in the enemy’s home ground . If Hyunwoo decided to pursue them, they would have to run away with all their might .
Plu-El clutched at her burning heart as she quickly disappeared into an alleyway with Aruwen .
“Do you know them?”
“I should be asking you that . The fact that you know them is more surprising . ”
“When I was on Earth, my daughter hung out with that woman’s daughter . ”
Hyunwoo’s expression turned odd as if he were desperately trying to hold back a laugh .
“What a curious coincidence!”
“What's your relationship with the two of them, Mr . Hyunwoo?”
“We're on bad terms now, but we used to be close friends . ”
Remembering how they had reacted to Hyunwoo, Sungyoon guessed that the fallout must have been big .
“So what were the two of them saying to you?”
Hyunwoo looked at Sungyoon, and an odd pressure leaked out from him . Sungyoon had already started feeling leery toward Hyunwoo, and because of Hyunwoo’s attitude, another unpleasant feeling welled up inside him .
“You came before they could say anything . Moreover, they are gone now . ”
“I hope you aren’t lying to me . ”
Sungyoon frowned .
“Why would I lie to you?”
Hyunwoo studied Sungyoon’s face for a brief moment, and in the end, chuckled .
“I'm sorry . As you probably saw, we aren’t on good terms . I was wondering if they were talking behind my back . As I get older, the only thing I hear is flattery or insults . This is why it sucks to get old . ”
Hyunwoo tapped Sungyoon’s shoulder .
“I’ll buy you a drink later as an apology . ”
“It’s fine . ”
“No . It isn’t fine for me . I have to make it up to you . ”
When Hyunwoo insisted on it, Sungyoon agreed . Hyunwoo had helped him before, and Sungyoon couldn’t sever their relationship because of one unpleasant moment .
The defense duty of Armstrong assigned to Sungyoon's party had neared the end of its term . However, no one had come up with any solutions to the problem of the ambushers . The party was deep in thought about their next move . If they were to gather moonstones, they could be ambushed once again .
As they contemplated what to do, the Mayor called them .
“How have you been, Mr . Sungyoon . ”
“I’ve been well, thanks to you . ”
Sungyoon shook the Mayor’s hand . He had become used to coming to the city hall now .
“Did you hear any news about the ambushers?”
Unlike his usual self, Sungyoon took the initiative to ask the Mayor . Since the Mayor had called him in now, Sungyoon wondered if he had found some clues about the ambushers . Unfortunately, his hopes were dashed .
“I’m sorry, but I didn’t ask you to come here for that . ”
“I see . ”
“We're doing our best to investigate the ambushers, so I believe we’ll find something sooner or later . We do consider them to be one of the more urgent threats to Armstrong city . ”
The Mayor consoled the disappointed Sungyoon .
“So, why did you call us here then?”
“Are you close to Fabion?”
The Mayor carefully looked at Sungyoon's face as he waited for a response . Sungyoon was puzzled by the question, but he nodded .
“Yes . My company's president is close to some people working for Fabion, and as you saw last time, I do have a personal connection to Mr . Sung Hyunwoo . ”
“Do you know if there's anything special going on within Fabion?”
“No . I may have some personal connections, but I do not correspond with them . ”
The Mayor relaxed when he heard Sungyoon’s words .
“I’m guessing you don’t discuss matters about Fabion through these personal connections . ”
“… Did something happen to Fabion?”
“I do not know for now . ”
The tone of the Mayor’s voice was unsettling, and Sungyoon frowned .
“You're saying that something might be going on with Fabion . ”
“I do . ”
The mayor’s words sounded heavy .
“Recently, Fabion has been acting a bit strange . ”
“Fabion and similarly large companies rotate their Connectors to give them rest . Usually, some of their Connectors gather moonstones in the labyrinths, while the others rest on Earth . The companies do this so that they have a steady stream of profit . ”
Sungyoon’s company was small, so they didn’t have enough Connectors to rotate like this .
“So you mean Fabion isn’t doing that . ”
“That’s right . ”
The mayor tapped his fingers on the table .
“An overwhelming number of Fabion’s fighting force has come up to the moon . Of course, not all their Connectors have come up, but this is highly unusual . I had asked Fabion if something was up, and they kept repeating the same line: nothing is wrong . They said they are doing this because there was a mixup amongst the schedule of their Connectors . ”
“That's a likely explanation, right?”
“Yes, it is . So we let them be, but we also monitored them . If there was a mixup, they were supposed to sort it out . Some of the Connectors should've been sent back to Earth, and others should've started to gather moonstones . However, all of Fabion's Connectors in Armstrong remained on standby as if they were waiting for something big to happen . Then yesterday, a large number of them left the city . They left in ones and twos so that no one would find out . ”
The situation sounded odd to Sungyoon too . He was already suspicious of Hyunwoo, and now, Hyunwoo's company was also acting strange . Something stank . At the same time, it cast doubt on the mayor .
“You're well-informed . ”
“In the current state of affairs, we are tightly monitoring what goes on in the city . I know many won’t approve of such surveillance, but these are extraordinary times and we have to use extraordinary measures . ”
In the end, the Mayor had surveilled the Connectors in his city, so his voice became defensive as he made excuses .
Sungyoon frowned, while Grace glared at the Mayor .
“You can chew me out at a later date, and I'm willing to take your criticisms . But right now, I would like you to carry out my request . ”
“What's the request?”
“I would like you to find out what Fabion is up to . ”
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