Act 1: The Quest that Shouldn’t have been Accepted!

ACT 1 The Quest that Shouldn’t have been Accepted!

Kyakak, kyakak, kyakak, kyakak!

 A sound could be heard that irritated his peripheral nerve from all directions. At the same time, dozens of red eyes appeared in the darkness like street lights turning on.  The area underneath the eyes split apart to show a red space. It was a huge mouth which would swallow Ark in one bite. The sharp fangs weren’t visible in the mouth. Instead, small sharp projections like needles were densely packed on the tongue and glossy with saliva as it poked out. He had laughed when it first appeared. But now those features seemed like a horror move as it approached.

 “Dammit…..!”

A moan emerged from Ark’s mouth.

‘I thought I could catch my breath…..’

Ark confirmed how much mana and health he had left. He had just finished fighting those guys. Thus he needed a rest to recover his health and mana. However, the prospect of success didn’t look good so he had run away. But he had been surrounded again before he could. He currently only had 50% health and mana left. That wasn’t the only serious problem.

“Damn, what the? Is there another way?”

Clack clack, clack clack clack clack!

His familiars’ health was also in danger from the battle.

‘It is impossible to fight them in this state. But……!’

Ark moved his gaze and checked the surrounding area.

……He had no choice.

While escaping from the battlefield, he hadn’t taken terrain into account and just blindly proceeded. Now even the route backwards had disappeared. It was truly a dilemma. The path to retreat had disappeared because of the area’s special terrain. It…..

 Kukyakyakyakya, kukyakyakyakya!

The black forms narrowed the distance and shrieked. The monsters had a number of features that Ark hadn’t seen before.

“Anyway, I don’t have time to complain!”

Ark clenched Gwisal’s sword firmly and raised his voice. It was the worse situation where he had to fight against dozens of monsters without a short rest! ‘Do I have to become the food of those guys in this place?’

“Racard, use Taunt to lure those guys to the other side!”

“U-understood. I haven’t brushed my teeth for two days so take this spit attack! Spit! Spit! Spit! Spit!”

Racard spat wildly all over the place and shouted. The black forms gathered around Ark turned their bodies. Racard freaked out at the ensuring sharp tongue and ran away. 5 of the black forms started chasing after Racard.

“Now Razak!”

Clack clack clack clack, ttadang!

Razak ran up to them at Ark’s command. Razak powerfully swung his shield and hit three monsters before withdrawing.

“Dark Strike!”

Ark had stuck close to Razak’s back and rushed out before striking with his sword. The darkness assimilated into the blade rushed out and dealt a critical hit. But after a brief moment, those guys gathered again.

“Heok!”

Ark hurriedly retreated behind the shield wielding Razak. The ensuring violent collision caused Razak to be pushed back several metres and he knelt down. While Razak tried to stand up again, the monster flew towards Razak and grabbed him. The confused Razak swung his sword and hit the fellow. But more of those guys surrounded him and Razak wasn’t able to endure before falling down. Then they flocked like hyenas.

Kwa kwa kwang, kwa kwa kwang, kwa kwa kwang!

While Razak struggled to get up, those guys wrapped their sharp tongues around him. Razak’s health was quickly drained by the tongues.

“Dammit…..Razak, summon off! Summon Demon!”

Razak disappeared and then re-appeared near Ark. Although the crisis was overcome, the situation was still serious. Razak had become like a rag after receiving the concentrated attack.  His remaining health was only 15%. If the same situation repeated again then he wouldn’t even last a minute.

‘But there is still a way to use Razak!’

“Steel Loyalty!”

Razak’s body hardened and changed to steel. When Steel Loyalty was triggered, the amount of loyalty was converted to defense and then added to Razak’s base defense. Even if his defense rose, his health was still the same. However, Razak’s loyalty was 952. Even with 15%, the considerable addition of 952 defense meant it was possible for Razak to endure for a significant amount of time. Of course, Steel Loyalty did have one huge weakness. It was impossible to move while the skill was activated.

‘It is useful that an obstacle has formed between those guys.’

That was the reason why Ark summoned Razak again and used Steel Loyalty. The place Ark was fighting had no special terrain features. With Razak turned to steel, it was possible to form a type of wall.  In other words, he could reduce the enemy attacking from 4 sides to 3.

‘But even so……’

It was only putting out a bit of the fire. The fact that he was surrounded by dozens of opponents didn’t change.

‘The problem now isn’t whether I live or die!’

Ark glanced uneasily at his body. Armour, gloves, shoes and cloak….. With just one look, he could tell that all his equipment was ragged. There was no time for an equipment check so the durability had reached the bottom. If the impossible battle continued then several of his equipment would be destroyed. That was the reason Ark couldn’t fight aggressively. He wanted to take off the equipment before dying but the battle had started before he had time to. In New World, it was impossible to change equipment aside from a sword and shield during a fight.

‘I need to find a chance to escape. I have no choice but to endure it and look for a way to escape.’

“Dark Blade! Dark…..cough!”

While using Razak as a wall, Ark received a sharp impact in his side. When the tongue covered in sharp projections struck his side, the edges immediately started bleeding. His vision started shaking while a message window appeared.

-You have received a ‘Blow.’ 300 damage!

<Until ‘Bleed’ is stopped, you will receive 4 damage every 10 seconds until the battle ends>

‘This is serious!’

Ark inwardly screamed with distress. 300 damage. He only had 50% health left so Ark couldn’t ignore the damage. However, Ark was in distress because of that. He also was affected by ‘Bleed,’ making him lose 4 health every 10 seconds. The problem was the Bleeding. When blood appeared, the gaze of the opponents fixed on Ark. They smelled the blood! While they gathered around Ark, the opponents hadn’t been overly aggressive. When surrounded by 20~30 monsters, Ark would instantly be turned into a dust cloth if they all attacked intensively. But they were monsters so they weren’t organized. There were some fellows attacking the steel Razak while others were quite a distance away.

‘Dammit! Of all things…..’

Ark rushed to make a ‘Salve’ using the Food Worshipper skill and stopped the Bleeding.  But after they smelled the fresh blood, all of them flocked to Ark. It was literally a stampede.

‘If I’m pushed like this than I’m screwed!’

If he was stamped on by those guys then his health as well as his equipment wouldn’t survive.

“No, absolutely not! Riposte!”

Ark hit the tongue in front of him with an angry expression. He intended to push them to free up some space to move. However……

Grrrrr.

Suddenly the tongue faded like fog. It was a special technique to avoid attacks, ‘Transparent!’ So his sword separated the sky in vain and he was hit in the chest by that tongue.

-You have been hit by a Counterattack. 400 damage!

<A penalty is applied for receiving a counterattack from Riposte>

Riposte was an attack which pushed the enemy back 10 metres. After receiving a counterattack for Riposte, the penalty was applied and Ark was thrown back 10 metres instead. Ark hurriedly stuck his sword down in the ground. Thanks to his fast reaction speed, the velocity that he was pushed back decreased. But before he could sigh with relief, he felt something empty beneath his feet. Ark grabbed a protruding stone with surprise.

‘Oh my God!’

Ark who had barely stopped his momentum looked down with stunned eyes. Ark was standing unexpectedly on the edge of a cliff…… At the bottom, a river of boiling lava was flowing.  The river of lava which stretched over 100 metres in the floating island with cracks in it was an surreal sight.  The place Ark was hanging onto was the edge of that land. Although Ark was in a crisis, this was the reason why he couldn’t escape from the area. In order to move to another land mass, either jumping or flying was required. Just one mistake meant he would fall into the lava……Dying like that wouldn’t be so bad. But in this situation, the fire damage would destroy his equipment which had low durability.

‘That absolutely can’t happen!’

Ark barely avoided diving into the lava by grabbing the protruding rock. However, he couldn’t be relieved just yet. While Ark was holding onto the stone rock, the monsters were approaching while swinging their tongues.

“M-Master!”

Racard belatedly realized the situation and screamed.

“Ah, that’s right. Racard, leave those fellows and lure the ones over here to the other side!”

“Eh? U-understood!”

Racard flew towards Ark at full speed. But that was a fatal mistake. Racard had lured 5 monsters using Taunt, so when he flew towards Ark than they also followed.  Then they collided with the monsters gathered to attack Ark. There was no need to explain the results.

“Master, I came! Eh? Eh eh eh….heok!”

“You idiot! I told you to get rid of those guys…..wah!”

Ark belatedly grasped the situation and screamed but it was too late. Grrrrrr. Those guys gathered at the edge was pushed like dominos and fell into the lava. A few of them also collided with Ark and he let go of the stone rock thanks to the impact.

“I, I don’t know. I just did what Master told me to!”

Racard shrunk away and tried to explain.

‘D-dammit! I’m falling!’

Ark felt a sense of vertigo as his seen became black.  He shouldn’t have come to a place like this. No, before that……

‘If I knew this was such a disgusting place then I wouldn’t have accepted the quest!’

————————————————————————————————–

“This fellow!”

A rock fell as he heard a booming voice. After turning his head he saw a huge monster.

“Stay away! This is the territory of the Fire Draconians. This isn’t the place for a human!”

The giant form approached Ark.  While the upper part was a body, the lower half was a completely alien form. With sharp claws on the four legs and flames wrapped around and scales stretching over the tail, it was unmistakably a dragon’s body. And Ark had seen a monster with the same form before. Then Racard reacted before Ark.

 “Hiik, V-Valderas!”

Racard screamed and quickly hid behind Ark. That’s right. It was the final boss that appeared in the Event Quest, Valderas! But Ark realized the monster who appeared here wasn’t Valderas. Even if the monster revived for no reason, it was impossible for it to appear in this distant place.  The more Ark looked closely, the more different it appeared from Valderas.  Valderas was a warrior wearing plate armour who wielded a mace, while the monster that appeared on Hwaryong Mountain was wearing red leather armour. It also felt a bit small when compared to Valderas.

‘Did it say Fire Draconian just then?’

Ark came here in order to complete the <Home of the Fire Draconian> quest.  In other words, the quest destination was Valderas’ hometown. It was natural that there would be an existence which resembled Valderas. It was highly likely that the Fire Draconian in front of him was an NPC related to the quest. However, Ark still couldn’t relax. Even if he received the quest, what guarantee did he have that the Fire Draconians would be friendly?

‘Since it hasn’t attacked yet, it doesn’t seem to be that aggressive but……’

Ark was the one who defeated Valderas. There was no guarantee how the Fire Draconians would react to the person who killed someone in the same clan.

‘Should I check the atmosphere?’

Ark thought for a while. The Fire Draconian then lowered its upper body and asked.

“Valderas? Did you say Valderas just now?”

“Huh? That……”

Damn, did he hear Racard say the name Valderas just then? His eyes were quite sharp for someone so big. Ark glared at Racard sitting on his shoulder. Anyway, it was difficult prevaricate now that the name Valderas was heard.

‘I’ll just have to break through the front. Well, if that guy attacks then I’ll just take care of him like Valderas.’

Ark had already taken care of Valderas who was a Fire Draconian. Of course, there were thousands of users at that time and he fought the weakened Valderas underwater or else he would’ve had no chance of winning. But Ark had been level 75 at the time. Currently Ark was level 371. Even if it wasn’t underwater like with Valderas, he had confidence that he could win. Was there a reason for him to be scared? Ark considered and asked with a dignified attitude.

“Do you know Valderas?”

“Who are you to say his name?”

“I am Ark. A few years ago I came across Valderas and had no choice but to kill him with my own hands.”

“Really….. It was you? You defeated the revived Valderas?”

The Fire Draconian looked at Ark with new eyes. After a while, he sighed and rubbed his neck.

“I was passing through the southern part a while ago and listened to the news. Unfortunately, Valderas’ spirit which should’ve passed on a long time ago was resurrected to live a nightmare. But poor Valderas who had been captured by a curse was finally freed thanks to the brave actions of a human.”

The Fire Draconian shifted his gaze to Ark and spoke again.

“I am the oracle of the Fire Draconians, Lumines.   As a Fire Draconian, I would like to express my gratitude for you.”

“Thank you?”

“You killed Valderas.  But that is wrong. The great Fire Draconian warrior Valderas had died a long time ago. No, he was forced to disappear. It was a terrible curse which resurrected him again. Your act of defeating Valderas broke the curse and sent his spirit to where it should’ve originally gone.”

Valderas also said this just before he died. Lumines looked into the sky like he was recalling something and murmured.

“Valderas……Valderas…… Although he is the clan’s disgrace, he is also an object of sympathy. By released the wicked curse which was holding Valderas captive, you have restored his honour. As a spokesman of the Fire Draconians, I would like to express our regards and gratitude for your great achievement.”

……The talk seemed to be going well. Since the conversation was going well, Ark trembled and replied modestly.

“I just did what I had to.”

“Humility is the greatest virtue of a human. But it is a pity.”

“Huh?”

“You might not be aware of it but there is more meaning to the Fire Draconians behind your action of freeing Valderas’ soul. Whether you want it or not, the Fire Draconians have an obligation to repay you.”

“You don’t have to go that far……”

Ark waved it off with his hand while his eyes sparkled. Lumines mentioned there was something meaningful about the death of Valderas but Ark was more interested in the ‘price’ of the repayment. Repayment price! Wasn’t that a quest reward? The Fire Draconian was different from humans. In fantasy settings, a draconian was the symbol of honour!

‘What kind of compensation will be given….?’

Ark was full of expectations but Lumines’ words poured cold water on him.

“It is slightly regrettable.  What you’ve done for the Fire Draconians is really great. If I had gold of jewellery than I would hand it all to you. But the glory of the Fire Draconians is nothing but a memory of the past. The only thing we have left is old armour and staffs.”

‘What the? All that expectation just for a horrible reward?’

Ark looked around with an absurd expression. Lumines looked at him with bittersweet eyes and started talking again.

“As an oracle of the Fire Draconians, I am allowed to give you the ‘Blessing of Fire.’ Come this way.”

‘Blessing of Fire?’

Ark followed Lumines until he stopped at a magic circle carved into the ground.  Once the complicated magic in the centre of the circle was completed, Lumines struck it with his staff and shouted.

“I am the oracle of the Fire Draconians. I order the sacred fire which has existed since the beginning of the world! Those who are unqualified will be burned to ashes and disappear while those who are qualified will receive the Blessing of Fire. Come forth!”

Ku ku ku ku. Ku ku ku ku!

It was at that time. Suddenly there was a crack under Ark’s foot. He was surprised by the sudden situation and retreated. No, he tried to retreat but it was like his body was tied with a rope. Then a white flame which soared dozens of metres high swallowed Ark.

‘Huk, what, what the? That bastard surely didn’t…..!’

Ark looked at Lumines with shocked eyes. But Ark soon realized something strange. The flame which appeared from a crack on the floor was so hot it even melted rock. Yet Ark felt nothing from the flame. It wasn’t hot and there was no change to his health.

“What on earth is going on? What just happened?”

Ark murmured and looked at the fire wound around him with stupid eyes. Suddenly the fire around Ark’s body started dancing and quickly surged into his mouth. His stomach felt hot for a moment before an information window appeared.

-You have received the ‘Sacred Blessing of Fire’ from the oracle of the Fire Draconians.

Although the Fire Draconians are classified as a draconian, their attribute is fire. They were born in fire and will continue to live as the guardians of fire. The oracle of the Fire Draconians has the power to use ‘Blessing of Fire’ on a chosen person. When the Fire Draconians were flourishing a long time ago, many heroes visited Hwaryong Mountain in order to obtain the Blessing of Fire.

<Permanent effects of Blessing of Fire: 20% Fire Resistance, 50% Burn Resistance>

‘Ohhh, w-what is this?’

Ark read the information window with widened eyes. A permanent increase in flame resistance and burn resistance! Fire magic had the most destructive power among all magic. So a lot of magicians preferred to use fire magic. Thus it was important for warriors who fought against magicians to have fire resistance. Items which had fire resistance as a special option would sell for 1.5 times more expensive than similar items.

‘To have the ability go up through this method…..!’

If he received fire resistance items then it was possible to sell it later on. However, the stats would disappear once the item wasn’t equipped anymore. Previously Ark had worn the Veil of Fire cloak which gave 50% fire resistance but he ended up changing it. Naturally having the stat rise permanently was better than from a magic item.

‘I thought he wouldn’t give proper compensation but isn’t this a jackpot?’

He had already halfway given up on the quest reward thanks to Lumines’ words so it was like being hit in the back of the head. However, he would willingly be hit in the back of the head hundreds of times if it was like this!

“Thank you very much.”

“It is a small thing compared to what you did.”

Lumines smiled and shook his head. Ark was satisfied with the compensation and turned his body with a light feeling.

‘Wait? Is this really the end of the <Home of the Fire Draconian> quest?’

It was natural for Ark to be doubtful. Although it wasn’t necessary to say again, quests were more than a simple request in RPG games. Quests were a story. Quests were a device that allowed users to experience various stories and worldviews of the game.  Although the quest was solved and compensation received, it still wasn’t completely cleared up. Then……

‘The <Home of the Fire Draconian> quest might not be completely finished!’

Ark had been playing New World for 2 years now. The content was still unclear but it was obvious that it was a connection quest. Then he went over his conversation with Lumines. There might’ve been a subtle hint within Lumines’ dialog. If <Home of the Fire Draconian> leads to another quest then the rewards would definitely be better. It was possible to receive the Blessing of Fire again as a reward…….If that happened, his flame resistance would increase to +40% and burn resistance to 100%. It would be the jackpot of jackpots. Ark had the thought and quickly turned his body back around.

‘I can’t miss this opportunity! Given the overall situation, this should be a linked quest.’

And there were two types of connected quests. To ‘receive’ or to ‘ask about it.’

‘I have to ask the NPC before I can receive the quest. Sometimes it was necessary to have a ‘keyword’ before the NPC would give out the information. The keyword needed…….’

The one for <Home of the Fire Draconian quest> was Valderas! Then the keyword for the linked quest so be something related to Valderas. Ark reached such a conclusion and quickly suggested to Lumines.

“I was wondering one thing.”

“What it is?”

“I heard that Valderas was a wonderful Lord before.”

“Yes, that’s right. He was a great Lord.”

“Then why did Valderas become a subordinate of the Dark Lord?”

“T-that……”

Lumines made a confused expression.

“If it is you……you’re qualified to hear this.”

After closing his mouth and thinking for a long time, Lumines sighed and started talking.

“Originally…..Valderas was a guardian who protected the shrine of the Fire Draconians. No, he was about to become the guardian. But all the misfortunes started when the guardian went on a pilgrimage in accordance to the rules of the Fire Draconians.”

While Lumines was originally hesitant, now that he started then he continued babbling on. Frankly, Ark didn’t have that much interest in the history of Valderas and the Fire Draconian. Unfortunately, he couldn’t skip the dialogue of NPCs in New World so he was forced to listen. According to Lumines’ words, the person selected as guardian was entrusted with going around to the shrines built all over the continent to receive the fire blessings.

“At that time, the oracle wanted to delay the pilgrimage.”

“How come?”

“At the time, there had been rumours about deformed monsters showing up at sacred Fire Draconians sites all over the continent. I suspect it was an omen of the precursor to the Dark Century. And at that time, the guardian was weakened from old age and couldn’t perform his duties anymore. A new guardian was needed quickly.”

So despite the Oracle’s worries, the Fire Draconians chose some youths as candidates to become the guardian and they went on the pilgrimage. The person elected as the leader of the pilgrimage was Valderas. Unlike previous anxieties, the pilgrimage trip was smooth. After the pilgrimage left and 1 year had passed, they arrived at the southern part of the continent.  When the pilgrimage arrived there, they witnessed a horrific scene. The deaths of so many lives had devastated the earth! It was the doing of demons from the north. Valderas’ sense of justice couldn’t pretend not to see it. Valderas and the pilgrimage resolved to fight the deformities and finally defeated the demon Magura.  In the aftermath of the long battle, everything around them was ashes and ruins.

“Valderas had to make a choice. Either lead the Draconians and continue the pilgrimage or stay and take care of the residents in the area.”

“……He decided to remain.”

Ark nodded and murmured. After hearing that, he could guess the rest of what happened next. Lumines nodded and replied.

“Yes. Valderas chose to remain and become the Lord. Although he was a guardian candidate, he didn’t only think of himself. Valderas restored the territory with the Fire Draconians that remained. That land is now the Jackson territory.”

“Then how did Valderas become a subordinate of the Dark Lord?”

Ark tilted his head to one side and asked. Lumines sighed and replied in a pained voice.

“Valderas….no, no one could imagine. It was the appearance of the evil Magura.  And Magura’s death. It was all a scheme that the Dark Lord arranged…….”

“Scheme?”

“Yes, it was a scheme. It was frighteningly effective…..!”

It had been several years since Valderas became the Lord of Jackson. After the territory had stabilized, Valderas came back to the home cite Dragonian.  He was to be punished for forsaking the guardian position and abandoning the pilgrimage. But the Fire Draconians knew the circumstances and welcomed him warmly.  And their congratulations to the Lord Jackson were sincere. Valderas confirmed that his decision was wrong and went to sleep among the Draconians feeling happy. But that night…..Valderas had a terrible nightmare. In the dream one of the Fire Draconians was engulfed in madness and broke into the shrine, killing the guardian and destroying the wards before slaughtering the rest of his kinsmen. Valderas screamed and woke up. Then he realized something. The scene he saw wasn’t a dream…..

“It wasn’t a dream……?”

“Everything he saw in a dream actually happened. It wasn’t someone else but Valderas who had committed the crime. No, to be exact it was the influence of Magura.”

“Evil influence of Magura? But Magura and Valderas……”

“……He thought he defeated it. Everyone believed it. But it was all the scheme of Magura to make the Dark Lord descend to earth.”

At that time, there was a book called the ‘Immortal Book’ seal in the shrine of the Fire Draconians. It was an ancient artifact which passed down the secret to immortal life. Magura needed the Immortal Book to make the Dark Lord descend to his world.

“So Magura pretended to die and hid in Valderas’ body for a chance.”

Valderas realized too late and was already enveloped in anger and insanity. Anger and insanity was the food that the darkness loved the most.

“Besides, Valderas had been secretly influenced by Magura for 10 years. The moment Valderas became irrational, his soul was completely captured by Magura and the darkness. He died a hero’s death at that moment.”

“Then you are the last survivor of the Fire Draconians?”

“That’s true but it could also be not true.”

“Huh?”

When Ark made a doubtful expression, Lumines clenched his teeth tightly and continued.

“The terrible evil controlling Valderas wasn’t satisfied with the mere destruction of the Fire Draconians. That fellow trapped their souls within the ruins for hundreds of years.”

Ark looked at Lumines with eyes that indicated he didn’t understand.

‘If the souls of the Fire Draconians are stuck then why are you here?’ his expression seemed to ask.

Lumines sighed and shook his head.

“Originally Dragonian was a Holy Land where is protected by wards. In order for Magura to infiltrate it, he had to use Valderas. By killing his kin, the wards were corrupted and allowed Magura in.”

It was located inside the black dome on Hwaryong Mountain. After being violated by Magura, the attribute of the wards completely changed. It now had the demonic property. Ark realized that Lumines was wrapping up his talk.

“In the end, there are two ways the souls of the Fire Draconians can be saved.”

One way was to reset Magura’s corruption and reset the wards to their original form. However, Magura hid somewhere after the incident.

‘The first method is impossible at the moment.’

The second way was to enter through the wards directly and kill the demons who had captured the souls of the Dire Draconians. But that was also impossible to achieve in the present state. Thanks to the demons’ unexpected addition, even the Draconians couldn’t  enter the ward.

‘If I can’t enter then it is also impossible. But…..’

However, Ark felt doubtful at this part. Just before Lumines arrived, Ark had touched the black dome.  Unlike what Lumines said, he felt like his finger was being sucked in.

“Why did my hands enter when I touched it?”

“S-such a thing? The wards…..”

“Is it true? Take a look.”

Ark put his hand on the black dome and spoke again. Then Lumines made an absurd expression like he suddenly remembered something.

“Maybe…..no, I think it should work!”

“Huh?”

“Didn’t you previously say that you were brought here because of Valderas’ insignia? Can you show it to me?”

Ark pulled out Valderas’ insignia without thinking about it. But then Lumines took the insignia and a spark occurred? Lumines looked up with a convinced expression.

“That’s it. It is this!”

“Eh? What is it?”

“Isn’t this Valderas’ insignia? And Valderas is a person who had been corrupted by Magura’s magic. This insignia also contains Magura’s magic.”

“……So I’m not affected by the wards because this contains Magura’s magic…..?”

“There is no reason for a backlash against the same type of magic.”

‘Valderas…….’

All the fragmented information Ark knew then connected. At the start, the Valderas left in the medal wanted to return home.  Ark had thought it was just a part of the game. But there was an inevitable reason he wanted to go there. Just before dying, Valderas had escaped from the dark chains that tied him. At the same time he recalled all his memories. He left the key to enter the wards as well as the fate of the Fire Draconians to the hero who defeated him. It really was a pity the Fire Draconians didn’t know that about Valderas.

‘Which reminds me, Lumines never once spoke badly about Valderas.’

Anyway, it became clear what Ark had to do. The next step was to enter and save the souls of the Fire Draconians. That was the next part of the <Home of the Fire Draconian> quest.

“It’s not a coincidence that Valderas left this to me. It was his last will. So I will enter the wards and fight against Magura’s power to save the souls of the Fire Draconians.”

“Y-you will really do that?”

Lumines looked at Ark with eyes overflowing with expectation. Ark nodded without hesitation and the quest information window instantly appeared.

-The quest has been updated.

The Suffering Souls of the Fire Draconians (Special Quest).

After receiving the guidance of Valderas’ insignia, you have arrived at Hwaryong Mountain. And you have heard about the Fire Draconians’ tragic history from its only survivor, Lumines. Even after the souls died hundreds of years ago, they are even now suffering from the wards. Magura who is the main culprit in all events had his subordinates restrain the Fire Draconians. While defeating Magura’s subordinates, you should look for and free the Fire Draconians’ souls.

<Difficulty: ??? Quest Restriction: Completion of the preceding quest ‘Home of the Fire Draconians,’ possession of the Lord of Darkness Valderas’ Insignia.  Level 300 or more>

“I don’t know why we have to find such an annoying thing.”

Racard waiting on the side complained with disgruntled eyes. Of course an NPC wouldn’t understand the viewpoint of a user who deliberately hunted down difficult work.

“Shut up. It is natural to want to help when seeing someone in difficult circumstances.”

“Hah? Did Master have such a character?”

Naturally he didn’t have such a character. The reason that Ark risked his life on quests was for the profit. At first, Ark thought it was a jackpot if he received the Blessing of Fire again. At first, Ark thought it would be a jackpot if he received the Blessing of Fire again. But after seeing the contents of the quest, he grasped that it was different from the previous quest he received from the insignia. It was a quest to release the souls of the Fire Draconians who had been suffering for hundreds of years!

‘The reward will be much more extravagant!’

Anyway, Ark understood the information from Lumines’ words and instantly accepted the quest. Within the influence of the black sphere, a ‘space of chaos’ was created.  Since the wards were influenced by the power of darkness, wicked souls were drawn in the space of chaos.

“But the identities of the subordinates Magura placed inside is still unknown. They are all huge……

“Don’t worry, I’ll figure out a way once I go inside Dragonian.”

Ark answered with a light tone. At this point, Ark had just been thinking about the bonus quest. He judged that a quest linked to the level 120 restricted quest wouldn’t be that difficult. Ark finished the suitable preparations and moved inside the wards. At first he felt a repulsive force but he was instantly drawn into the wards when he took out the insignia.

-The Lord of Darkness Valderas’ Insignia has qualified you to enter this dark restricted area.

After a long time, it felt like he foot was stepping on mud. How many metres did he walk? Suddenly Racard’s cry rang in his ear.

“Hik, Master. The ground, the ground! Stop!”

“What? Why…..heok!”

Ark stared at the ground and flinched before retreating. In front of him was a cliff dozens of metres high.

“Is this the space of chaos Lumines talked about?”

Ark looked around stupidly. The dark space had rivers of lava flowing. Just like an asteroid belt, it was thousands of floating lands stretching over hundreds of metres. Looking at the landscape caused a sense of fear but also mystery and magnificence.  However, the first emotion that surfaced on Ark’s face wasn’t fear but annoyance.

“Is this land mass the place called Dragonian?”

Ark really felt like it was a game after entering this space. In order to pass through the chaos space, he had to calculate the speed and direction of the land masses before jumping.

“I don’t really like this type of game…..”

That wasn’t the only reason Ark was irritated.

Kukyakyakyakya, kukyakyakyakya!

Then Ark was surrounded by a group of monsters. Forty dark auras began rising from the ground.  Their silhouette resembled a monkey while they had red eyes and sharp projections on their tongues which dragged on the ground. It was a level 300~350 monster called Wendigo. It was the parasitic monsters feeding on the chaos space that Lumines mentioned.

“Hasn’t this become more troublesome?”

The Wendigo with its spirit body was the type of monster that Ark disliked the most. It was a monster with an insubstantial body like a spectre.  Although all monsters were different according to its body, they normally invalidated 50~80% of physical attacks. Of course, using Elemental Sword made it slightly better but it was difficulty to hunt compared to normal monsters.

‘I still don’t know what type of compensation……’

But the wendigoes were level 300~350. Meanwhile Ark was over level 370.  The level difference was large but at the same time it was possible to receive good loot and experience from hunting them. Even with a 50 level difference, he could still get 50% of experience from hunting.

‘But why are there so many of them?’

Whenever he moved to a land of suitable size, the wendigoes would appear. Furthermore, their numbers were proportional to the land mass.  The larger land mass meant that more of them would appear. Every time he moved to one region then he had to check his equipment, so it took many hours to only move a few regions. That wasn’t the only problem.

Kuaaaa!

“Phew, I’ve cleared this one already. Damn!”

Ark cursed as he saw another group of wendigoes. Ark’s destination was the Fire Draconian’s city, Dragonian.

‘Dragonian is probably at the end of the chaos space.  I entered from the east so I had been heading to the west, but the land that I was approaching changed just now…..’

That was the problem. The chaos space wasn’t a fixed location. If he wanted to get to another region then he had to move across before the land changed.  If he made a mistake then he would go to the wrong place. However, it was hard to take notice of the timing to move when he had to concentrate on the fight. If he lost the timing then he would have to wait until the land came around again. Well, it is irrelevant since he could hunt while waiting. But the wendigoes were monsters who didn’t give loot. Ark started to think it was a waste of time.

‘Damn, it can’t continue like this. At this rate I can’t be assured that I will reach Dragonian in a few days.’

In the end, Ark decided the wendigoes were annoyances and decided to ignore them. It was common for users to ignore the monster and move directly to the destination in low level areas. However, this judgment brought about the worst results. In the beginning, there were small rocks so not that many wendigoes appeared. He hadn’t considered it a problem. However, the land masses became increasingly larger so the number of monsters increased. Eventually 30~40 wendigoes appearing was normal! The number of monsters that approached whenever he landed wasn’t a small amount. Therefore Ark ended up being surrounded by wendigoes. After being pursued, he ended up cornered and hanging on the edge of a cliff. Because Racard led the wendigoes stampeding over, he let go of the rock.

‘It is the end if I fall. Not only will the land I took ages travelling over reset but my equipment will be destroyed. If I fall into the lava then three or four equipment will be destroyed!’

The loss of all his equipment would be over 20 million won! No matter what type of compensation he received from the quest, it would be a 100% deficit!

“Dammit, I shouldn’t have accepted this quest!”

…….It was too late for regrets.

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24 thoughts on “Act 1: The Quest that Shouldn’t have been Accepted!

  1. Pingback: Ark volume 17 chapter 1 | Ark Machine Translations

  2. ShieldBasher

    You typed

    “At first, Ark thought it was a jackpot if he received the Blessing of Fire again. At first, Ark thought it would be a jackpot if he received the Blessing of Fire again.”

    Twice

    Thanks for the chapter

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    Reply
    1. Leehar

      Also, “Besides, Valderas had been secretly influenced by Valderas for 10 years”
      By Magura?
      And “Razak disappeared and then re-appeared near Razak”
      Near Ark?

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      Reply
  3. matricha113

    thanks a lot Turtle….

    would it kill the author if he could just swap second half of the chapter with the first half? this is really stupid, i dont see the point of this….i wish i could slap him and wake him up from his delusional dream…

    the taunt was funny as hell))))) the spit and uncleaned mouth.hahhahahah

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Saya

      It makes a lot of sense from a writer’s perspective though. It is different for us cause we just got the last chapeter yesterday and this one today so it seems a bit silly, but you have to remember that this is the first chapter in the next volume. Meaning that probably there was at least a couple months between the release of one to the release of the other. When starting the new book it makes more sense to start with an action to draw the readers in than start with an ongoing conversation. Most authors do something of the sort when starting a new volume.

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  4. wes174

    annoying chapter that ended with the chapter title! why would they ever do that its like s spoiler for the whole chapter. and yeah the author is useing that style of action then explanation a little too much. i think we all wanted to see ark’s conversation no need to further drive us in.

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  5. Astreon

    Thanks for the chapter. As usual recently, a few names got mixed up (the same one got repeated when it should have been someone else’s).

    Like

    Reply
  6. Blaed

    I can already tell I’m gonna be intensely annoyed with the next chapter. This sense of desperation that Ark is going through is completely false.

    For one thing, how the Hell is Ark having problems with Durability? He can use Magic Restoration! There’s literally no reason his gear should have low durability when he can just shout “Magic Restoration”and everything would be brand new again. I’d understand if Ark had to go through a process such as using a hammer and anvil to take care of his items, but no, it only takes a few words. He’s the used Magic Restoration in midst of battle before. There’s no reason he should be going through this tention. It’s completely false tention.

    Next, I know–I just know!–that Ark is gonna end up using Soul Extraction on the Wendigoes and it’ll be SUPER EFFECTIVE! It’s gonna annoy me that Ark didn’t use the ability from the get go when he’s dealing with demonic forces. Does the author think the readers are stupid? Why does the author have Ark need to relearn things? Right when Ark got the power, he got the information for it. And he was using the tech in this very arc! Then when he’s confronted with demonic creatures, he STOPS using it?! Is this a joke?! What’s going on here? Really?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Hamsuke

      Now that you mention it, doesn’t magic restoration reduce the durability of magic items? I know it doesn’t for normal items, but I can’t seem for find the advanced skill window that explains if it does for magic items as well. (I tried searching the prev volumes)

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  7. Pingback: Ark new chapter | Archivity

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