Act 7: Rhapsody Melody

ACT 7 Rhapsody Melody

“That is everything.”

“Thank you.”

Roco handed a cup of water to the sweating Sid and laughed. Sid drank as he looked at the front of the store and muttered.

“By the way, 1 gold is typical for Ark-nim.”

“It is surprisingly popular.”

While Ark was elsewhere, they were in charge of the store’s operations. And the store did a monthly exhibition. This time it was a 1 gold sale. All the merchandise spread on the low bench was 1 gold.

“Items with low durability that can’t be used for long……”

Sid turned pale and shook his head. The items Ark was selling for 1 gold was fairly amazing. Although a lot of the items’ original prices were under 1 gold, they were magic items that could be used for 50 levels. The reason he could sell it for 1 gold was because of the durability. The repair skill that people initially learnt sometimes failed. When that happened, the maximum durability of the items would fall. In addition, people also learnt techniques to strengthen the rating of the item which would also decrease durability if failed. Those were the items that Ark aimed at. If they constantly failed with repairing or upgrading, the durability would fall to 1~5.
Ark had Sid go and buy those items which were being sold as scrap metal in Nagaran. Sid frankly couldn’t see a way to sell those items. However, there was one thing Sid hadn’t considered. Of course, it wasn’t possible to use such equipment in battles. But no matter how much durability was left, they still had the appearance of a perfect magic item. They could be worn as costumes. Users were willing to spend 1 gold on deluxe costumes that they could wear.

“Baby, do you want me to buy you this wonderful magic armour? I’ll be proud to buy it for my girlfriend.”

“But aren’t you lacking money at the moment?”

“Huhuhu, Ark’s store is only selling it for 1 gold.”

“Ah, you can buy the magic armour for 1 gold at Ark’s store!”

“Everybody, Ark’s store is selling items for 1 gold!”

Jana was also advertising at the entrance of the village. Therefore, the store was booming and its contribution to the village quickly increased every day. While Ark was wandering around the City of the Dead, his assets were steadily recovering.

‘Ark-nim always sees everything he starts through to the end. I’ve become very successful as a merchant.’

While Sid was thinking this, Roco counted the box and tilted her head as she asked.

“The amount of resources this time is slightly less than the previous trade.”

“That’s because the situation in Nagaran is quite a mess these days. Every guild is buying weapons and consumables in bulk so the prices have jumped. If I purchase goods at this time and sell it in Seutandal then we’ll only receive a loss.”

“The atmosphere in Nagaran isn’t good?”

“The explanation is a little long…….”

“It’s okay. I need to know in case I have to go to Nagaran.”

“As Roco-nim knows, Nagaran has been quiet because the 5 coalitions that occupy it, including the Hermes Guild, are very powerful. If one of them moves then the other Lords would all act to stop them.”

“Hrmmm, then what is happening now?”

Roco asked with a curious look. Although several exhibitions were held in the store, Ark’s plan was to organize a trade route between his businesses on the continent and Seutandal. And he left that work to Sid.
Sid ran the Continental Commerce Firm in Nagaran. It was a battlefield where a lot of users always gathered. The characteristic of high level users was that they lost all their starting naivety. Most users when they started the game would treasure even 1 copper. If they could receive a few more silvers then they wouldn’t hesitate to carry their heavy bags to the next village. But at the late level, users tended to ignore silver and focused on gold. If their bags were heavy with japtem only worth a few silvers, they wouldn’t care about market price and would just sell it at the nearest store. To Ark it wasn’t any different from throwing money on the side of a road. This tendency was particularly strong in Nagaran. So Sid received the special mission to buy such items cheaply and then he would hand it to Ark’s store when the quantity was sufficient. Those goods would then flow onto Seutandal and so on.

It was the trade route linking Nagaran, Lancel and Seutandal! The triangular route envisioned by Ark was being put into motion. However, the triangular trade route still wasn’t firmly established. That’s why they planned the exhibitions just in case. Anyway, now the situation in Nagaran couldn’t be separated from Ark’s store anymore. So it was natural that Roco as the store manager would pay attention to Nagaran.

“It started to crumble when the Hermes Alliance hired mercenaries to conquer Seutandal and failed. The former balance was broken. So I don’t know what will happen in the future as all the coalitions have made moves to expand their military armaments.”

“But is the Hermes Alliance very large? The Alliance lost 3000 gold so wouldn’t that affect them?”

“That’s a little complicated.”

Sid explained.

“In fact, that is equivalent to the profit the Hermes guild receives from Silvana. 3,000 gold is a lot of money but it isn’t that much to the Alliance. But the problem is Jewel and Duke.”

It was determined that the failure to conquer Seutandal was Jewel and Duke’s fault. If Jewel hadn’t been so greedy and asked for help immediately then the situation would be different. Therefore the guilds belonging to the alliance requested the two of them to withdraw from the guild. However, Raiden was a pioneer and just ignored the Alliance’s request. But Hermes was an alliance, not a guild anymore. Currently 8 guilds belonged to the Hermes Alliance. When the alliance’s leader ignored their request to kick out Jewel and Duke, their dissatisfaction accumulated. In the end, some guilds withdrew from the Alliance and even joined up with other coalitions. Since the scale had grown so large, management had become difficult.

“A lot of the regular customers at the Continental Commerce firm are members of the Hermes Alliance. That’s how I learnt this information. Although the information was hidden, a person with knowledge will know all of it.”

Sid gave a creepy laugh.

“Anyway, the 5 coalitions in Nagaran are secretly preparing for war. Although I don’t know when it will start, the sieges between established Lords is different from before. If the conditions are met, the war can begin without the Lord’s permission.”

That’s why the prices of equipment and consumables in Nagaran were inflating. However, Sid just spoke like he didn’t care.

“Well, whatever. The prices of various precious metals have gone down instead. That’s because each coalition are selling their precious metals in order to buy war supplies. So most of the resources this time are precious metals. You can sell it to users who have learnt the engraving or enchantment skill or you can sell it in Seutandal for a profit.”

“You must’ve gone through a lot.”

“Gone through a lot……”

Sid scratched his head as he recalled the past before saying.

“In fact, I thought it was slightly unfair when I first received the job at the Continental Commerce Firm. But it was actually quite okay after I’ve experienced it. I can use the public funds from the Continental Commerce Firm to buy the [Safe Travel] scroll and I’m also safe from chaotic users.”

On the surface, the Hermes Alliance was the one who received the tax from the Continental Commerce Firm. Therefore the Hermes Alliance was obligated to protect the firm. Since Sid was trading under the flag of the Hermes Alliance, chaotic users wouldn’t dare recklessly attack him. But in fact, more than half of Sid’s travels were under Ark’s directions. The Hermes Alliance was only helping Ark’s businesses. If Raiden was aware of this then he might just end up fainting. Anyway, thanks to that Sid was able to focus on business for the last few months.

“Huhuhu, fortunately I’ve reached level 300.”

“Level 300?”

Sid was the foreign division manager of the Continental Commerce Firm which was growing larger every year. He gained 2~3 levels with every difficult, successful deal so it was natural. Sid then indicated a horse and cart with a satisfied look.

“And I bought a carriage a short time ago.”

“Isn’t this a carriage given to the Continental Commerce Firm?”

“I used all my money to buy it. The most expected thing for a merchant is a carriage. If I use the carriage then the maintenance costs would be paid for by the Continental Commerce Firm. I’ll save the pennies for my own store in the future.”

Sid only held a handful of acorns but he had strong aspirations.

“Then I’ll give this to you and go. I have a lot of places to visit before returning. Ah!”

Sid suddenly remembered something and rummaged through a bag in his carriage. The item that appeared from the bag was an old harp.

“I accidently received this harp during a trade a short time ago. Roco-nim, aren’t you a Minstrel? It didn’t know if you would need it so I just brought it. How is it? I don’t know that much about music instruments.”

Antique Harp

It appears to have been neglected for a long time and using it in this state will just cause it to be broken. But a person with its discerning eyes will be able to see its true value. It has an elegant streamlined body and the optimal placement for a beautiful tune.

It must be the musical instrument which a great commander has poured his heart and soul into it. If the harp is used by ignorant people then it would be a waste of this masterpiece.

Just like described, the harp was very old. But Roco’s heart was captured with one glance at the harp. When she changed to a minstrel, the harp was given as a quest reward so she had handled it for a short while. Compared to other musical instruments, it was quite heavy and expensive so she had changed to a different instrument. But there was a type of quaint charm to it, just like its name. She was particularly impressed with the image of a woman carved onto the handle part.

“This appeals to me!”

“I knew it.”

Sid grinned and nodded.

“I bought it for 5 gold and was planning to sell it for 6 gold. But I’ll give it to Roco-nim for 5 gold.”

“Eh? That’s so expensive. You want 5 gold for a worn-out and broken harp? I’ll give you 2 gold for it.”

“I won’t go below 3 gold.”

“Why are you doing this?” You said you bought it for 5 gold but weren’t you somewhat cheated? Don’t you think it is worth more of a discount?”

No free gifts existed in Ark’s group. They followed the example of their leader Ark in which ‘they would even pick up a stone and sell it!’ That was the motto of the group! However, Roco and Sid saw each other every week so a heart-warming bargaining scene occurred.

“Phew, I understand. I’ll give you a discount. Roco-nim is now formidable. 2 Gold 40 silver. I won’t reduce it anymore.”

“Okay.”

The harp’s price was knocked down to 2 gold and 40 silver.

“Sapjil, Ulmeok, put these goods into the warehouse and figure out the price for it.”

“Yes Store Manager!”

Roco directed the store assistants and went up to the 2nd floor.

‘Hmmm, there is no important work to do these days so it has been quite boring.’

In recent times, Roco had quite a lot of free time. She had only been busy when Ark was trying to reach his rental house deposit. However there was no need for that anymore and her education of Sapjil and Ulmeok was finished, causing them to tremble with fear and shudder at the sight of her. Although she was busy when there was a problem, she didn’t have a lot of duties as the store manager. Roco was grateful for the free time at all. No, to be honest it caused her quite a lot of stress.

‘I thought I would see Oppa more if I looked after the store but I see him even less than before. While I’m stuck here, that fox Lariette will look better……ayu, I’m so irritated.’

Fortunately she checked with the rehabilitation members and it didn’t seem like Lariette could meet Ark as well. But that wasn’t the only cause of Roco’s stress. When they met for the first time, Sid had bad credit but he was already level 300. In addition, Sapjil and Ulmeok’s level also rose thanks to them being sale assistants. It was possible because they were merchants. However, Roco was a Minstrel. She received no experience no matter how much the business profited.  Of course, Roco also played during that time. Sometimes she would go hunting with the former thieves or the Meow around the village. But there wasn’t the same effect as when she was with the rehabilitation group so she still hadn’t reached level 200.

“I’d like to play in Seutandal with the rehabilitation oppas too……”

But she couldn’t leave Ark’s store to Sapjil and Ulmeok.

“Yes, I’ll just have to be patient and protect Oppa’s business.”

She used this thought to build her determination. Eventually Roco started a new hobby in order to appease her boredom. One of Roco’s interests in reality that she could do in the game was handling multiple instruments. The store gathered quite a few japtem. Roco collected the musical instruments and set them aside in a special collection. Violin, viola, trumpet…..the 2nd floor was filled with Roco’s musical instruments. Thanks to her boredom, she played them as soon as possible and her skilfulness became quite high.

‘I don’t have a harp yet so it will go quite well. It isn’t possible to use as an equipment but won’t a nice sound appear if I repair it? It is also beautiful so it can be used as a decoration. For the moment I’ll have to spend time repairing it.’

Roco had a happy expression on her face as she picked up the dust cloth. Roco’s specialty in reality and the game was housework. Thanks to her cleaning up the store, her various household skills have risen to advanced level. When Roco rubbed it with the dust cloth, the harp slowly regained its original brilliance and shine. Roco felt a sense of fulfilment every time more of the harp’s features were revealed.

‘My eyes weren’t mistaken. It looks so beautiful with the original colour. Now what kind of tone will the harp make? Okay, next are the strings. I must quickly repair it in order to play the harp.’

Roco rode to the music store in Jackson and bought some strings. Once all the repairs were completed, Roco looked at the harp with an expectant face.

Ddi ddu ru rung ddi rung ddang-!

“Eh? What is that?”

Why did the harp sound like a brick was being ground up? Roco realized that she had forgotten one of the most important tasks in repairing an instrument. The most important task of string instruments was to adjust and tune each individual string.

“But I’ve never tuned a harp before……”

In fact, Roco had never done any tuning in New World. Most stores sold musical instruments with the tune already adjusted. Of course, Roco had done tuning before. But Roco mainly handled tuning acoustic guitars in reality. On the other hand, the harp had 47 strings to tune. Roco ended up visiting the instrument store in Jackson once again. However, the NPC looked at the harp and shook his head.

“I’m sorry but I don’t know anything about the harp. Furthermore, the life of that harp seems to be finished. Even if it is adjusted, it will be difficult to get the right tone from it. How about you look in the store and find a new harp? A famous artisan has made it so the tone is very beautiful. And the functionality is also amazing. Come, look over here. Do you see the sharp metal in the corner? A monster can be damaged with this…….”

The shop owner recommended her a steel harp with extra attack power.

“I’ll come again!”

Since then, Roco had looked through various textbooks to tune the harp. Fortunately Roco was very interested in music, so she had good sound detection even if it wasn’t perfect pitch. After a rewarding 10 days, she finally finished adjusting the harp.

“That’s it! Now I can hear the tone of the harp properly.”

Roco played the strings with a tense expression.

Ddiririring, ddiririring!

The 47 strings produced a soft, clear sound.

“This is it! This is the sound of a harp! Hohoho, this sounds better than my previous harp thanks to all the effort I put into repairing it. Shall I learn how to properly play a harp now? Where is it, that song I played before……?”

Roco went to her box of sheet music.

Ddiririring ~ ddiririring ~ ddiririririririri ~.

Suddenly there was a poltergeist phenomenon……why did the strings of the harp sitting on the table start to play by itself? That wasn’t the only amazing part. The image of the woman carved into the handle opened her mouth and started to sing along. Roco hesitated as she looked at the harp. The room was filled with the sound of the harp and the singing……. Somehow the harp seemed like it was playing a beautiful, broken melody. It was an unfamiliar melody that she heard for the first time, but Roco quickly became a prisoner to that melody.

‘Ah, it is the first time I’ve heard such a beautiful melody. It makes me feel a heartrending pain in my chest, like I’m sitting alone in a beautiful, mysterious forest. That’s right, this is real healing music.  My frustrated mind seems to be cleansed.’

Roco sat in front of the harp and became lost in its sound. Then there was a loud ringing sound and a quest information window appeared.

-Temptation of the Mysterious Music

You’ve accidentally obtained an old harp. Although the harp was impossible to use, you who loves music repaired the harp and gave it a new life. The harp then played a mysterious song like it was trying to repay your efforts. The contents of the song are about the tragic life of a genius musician. When the song ended, the woman carved on the harp seems to be vaguely staring somewhere.

It is the Melody Hill where the genius musician used to spend all his time. The harp seems eager to show its new owner to its previous owner who met a tragic end.

<Difficulty: B Quest Restriction: Minstrel>

“Eh? A quest? Then this harp is the starting item for a quest?”

Roco read the information window with shocked eyes.

“If it is the Melody Hill than it isn’t far away.”

Roco checked the map and accepted the quest without really thinking about it. She was curious about the quest that appeared after she repaired the harp and heard the incomplete melody. If she arrived at the destination with the harp then she might be able to hear the rest of the song. In addition, she could take the Unicorn so it wouldn’t take more than 1 hour to get there.

“Okay, Unicorn!”

Hihihihing! Hihihihing!

The unicorn snorted and quickly arrived at Melody Hill.  It was a hill overlooking the village of Harukon.When she explored the hill while riding the unicorn, she saw a simple tombstone surrounded by flowers. When Roco approached the tombstone, the harp shook and instantly showed a reaction. But that was all it did.

“What the? Do I have to play it directly?”

The harp’s strings moved like that was the answer. Roco thought she would hear the rest of the song so she was quite disappointed. But she came all the way here so shouldn’t she complete the quest?

“What kind of song do I need to play?”

Actually there was no need to worry. Roco only knew how to play one song on the harp. It was the harp sheet music she received when she changed into a minstrel. Just like a magician learned magic through magic scrolls, a minstrel learned how to play the instrument from sheet music related to it. The magic depended on the skilfulness with that instrument and the percentage of completion when playing the song. Unlike a magician, a minstrel could create their own songs once the degree of skilfulness has risen enough. However, Roco’s harp playing skill was still inferior. She was apprehensive but the tune played to some degree when she concentrated.  Roco played the harp seriously when something happened.

-Ugh, stop, stop! I won’t accept such abominable playing!

The sculpture image on the harp seemed to raise its voice angrily. Roco became startled and stopped her performance while looking at the harp.

-It is not the harp. It’s me. Hey, what the? Raise your head. Over here.

When she raised her head with confusion, a long haired, middle aged person floated from the tombstone.

“W-who are you?”

-Me? I am Melody.  The master of the harp. No, the former owner?

“Huh? But I thought you were dead?”

-I’ll explain it to you. Damn, I can’t say it directly or through the harp. Hah, I’ve lived all of my life for music and now I can’t even talk about the purpose of the harp…… It’s so regrettable, just imagining the way I died is so vexing. I want to cry. I’m going to cry. I’m so sad.

Roco gaped at Melody as he blew his nose.  It was a look which asked why it was regrettable. Frankly, Roco had no interest in the complaints of the ghost. There was a saying that said there were no light graves. And the person was already dead so what was the point of hearing their complaints? But she had to ask or else the quest might not progress.

“What is the matter?”

-It’s so sad and regrettable that I don’t want to explain but I will.

Melody shamelessly confessed his circumstances. He was born in a family which produced many famous musicians through the generations. But he had no great talent unlike his brothers. He suffered from harsh mistreatment throughout his life until he decided to climb up a mountain. While he remained on this mountain, he practiced playing an instrument until he obtained skills that would even amaze his brothers.

-So with the harp in my pocket, I climbed the mountain and spent 15 years here training. I made an effort to reach the state where no one could imitate my skills. Huhuhu, maybe I really was a genius. And finally the day came. The first step into the world after transforming into a genius musician!

“So did you surprise your brothers?”

Melody flinched and sighed before murmuring.

-……..A cliff.

“Huh? A cliff? What?

-Damn, it was a cliff. The first step I took into the world was off a cliff!

Roco’s eyes flickered before she finally understood his words. Melody had spent 15 years training to produce a heavenly sound. While heading down the mountain, he fell off a cliff and died. She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at his story.

-It is so regrettable that I can’t close my eyes even after I died. But if someone gives a satisfactory performance on my harp then I might be able to relax and close my eyes.

Melody murmured in a melancholy voice until he suddenly raised his voice.

-Ugh, but the person who appeared after a few decades holding my harp is this woman. I can’t possibly accept this. Are you really a minstrel? How did you make the harp produce a sound like an ogre? Are you a magician not a minstrel?

“What, what the? All I did was visit and play!”

-Play? You call that playing? It’s just noise! I woke up quickly thanks to that noise.  Huh? I would’ve rather slept than be woken up by you!

“Why should I care about a stupid ghost who dived off a cliff and died?”

Roco exploded and started packing her bags.

-What? What did you say? What, diving? My pride can’t accept a person who makes such noises with my harp. That harp is a heirloom of my family. If you don’t know how to play it then give the harp back!

“I don’t want to. It was quite expensive repairing this. I have no intention of listening to your word.”

Roco stood up with a sulky face. Then Melody looked confused and hurriedly exclaimed.

-W-wait a minute. Didn’t you hear me? I can’t fall asleep again without the harp. Only the expert performance of the harp will make my go to sleep. Why don’t you sit down?

“Whether you fall asleep has nothing to do with me. Because I am a minstrel who can’t play the harp that well. Anyway, the owner of this harp is me. It might seem unfair but I won’t let you take it from me. Do you understand?”

-Okay. Then I’ll do this.

Melody was distressed for a while before he made a suggestion.

-To be honest, I’m not in the mood for this but there’s nothing else I can do Starting from today, I will teach you how to play the harp. If a genius musician teaches you then your body will get the hang of it in no time. Huhuhu, how about it? This seems like a strange fate. You won’t receive many opportunities to be taught by a great musician like me. It is a reward for repairing my harp.

“Bah, I have no interest in a teacher who will harass me because I am a woman. Let’s go Unicorn.”

Roco snorted and disappeared like the wind on the unicorn. The Melody shouted with a desperate voice.

-What the? You’re still a novice so you’re incredibly lucky to have a chance to be tutored by me. Hey, wait! Just hear me out. I wanted to say……please have a look! Okay, okay. I won’t call you ‘Woman’ anymore. So please come back! Come back! Come back! Gone? Are you really gone? Sob, what will I do now……?

“……Roco.”

Roco muttered while walking out of the woods. Melody wiped his tears while he stuttered.

-Eh? Eh eh? Ah, didn’t you leave?

“I couldn’t do it. You woke up because of me. If you say my name properly then I’ll agree to be your student. I also want to hear the harp played well. If I’m your student then won’t I be able to learn the song the harp played?”

-Of course. I composed that song. Oh, you are actually a good woman. Thank you, I’ll teach you anything you want. So please put me to sleep quickly. That is my only wish. Isn’t it simple?

“I understand. I’m going to try.”

Thus Roco became a student of a ghost and started to engage in fully fledged music studies.

———————————————————————————————————————

Dazzling lights which stung the eyes and a noisy roaring sound which resounded through the ears. It seemed so different from the ordinary everyday life that it seemed like an alien space.  In the night, it was a space where the colourful lights lured in humans off the streets. Those who stepped into these places would return back to their primal natures. However, the only people who could enter this place were the ones selected.
It wasn’t based on data but was restricted by the age or clothes of the person. The people who failed the horrible screening test would sob and wail about discrimination! The name of this modern day pandemonium……was the place which was just called ‘Club.’

“Hahaha! Hey, three bottles of alcohol and some appetizers! Quickly!”

A loud voice was audible from the room overlooking the main stage. Then the young woman flanking him sent him flirtatious looks.

“Oppa is so cool. I like it.”

“But isn’t that much slightly unreasonable?”

“What? Is this a joke? Do you know who I am? A few bottles of liquor won’t make any dent in my bank account. Order anything you like. Today I will pay for everything. No, I’m in a good mood so I’m ringing this golden bell after a long time.”

The one smirking with a red face was Lee Myung-ban, also known as Andel who once sought to step on Ark in New World. But that was just inside a game in the end. In reality, Andel was the son of an upper class family. Andel waved his hand that was holding jewel encrusted watches and the women made a fuss.

“Come, this golden bell will only ring once.”

“It’s great that Oppa is ringing the golden bell.”

“Heh, I won’t play with any losers. Okay, you guys have made today merry so I’ll ring the golden bell. Huhuhu, do you want to play the King game?”

“Omo, shall we do that?”

“Oppa, aren’t you being too blatant?”

“Hahaha, every man is a wolf. Don’t you know that yet?”

Andel smirked and stroke a girl’s face. Then the door to the room opened and a testy voice was heard.

“You’re quite fortunate.”

“What the? Who dared come in……?”

Andel checked the face of the young man and flinched.

“Ah, Alan? “You, how are you here…..?”

“I know what type of places you go to.”

The person who appeared was Alan who Andel had known for 10 years. When Alan sat down, the girls’ eyes quickly focused on him. Alan was dressed plainly. It was just jeans and a white t-shirt. But it seemed more luxurious than the shirts embellished with decorations that Andel was wearing. In other words…… Andel suddenly seemed like a commoner after Alan who gave off a noble impression appeared. Their levels were completely different.

“Wah, this Oppa is cool.”

“That’s right, he’s my ideal type.”

Andel became dissatisfied with the women’s reactions to Alan. Andel and Alan had known each other for 10 years but these days their relationship was estranged.  That’s because of Ark. It was because Andel was tricked by Ark that Alan had Silvana taken away from him. Of course, Andel knew how much Alan had poured into Silvana. So he had decided to avoid Alan until he became less upset but his thoughts changed after a while. 

‘It’s only a game. Why should I have to ignore a friend of 10 years?’

“Alan, why did you come to see me?”

Of course, the voice coming out of his mouth wasn’t sentimental. Alan looked at Andel before suddenly saying.

“You’re not connecting to New World these days?”

“What the? Are you still holding onto that thing? I don’t care anymore. I only took the test to enter Global Exos because I thought I should pretend to do some work. But I don’t want anything to do with that test anymore. Don’t you feel the same way?”

“So your interest in New World really disappeared?”

When Alan asked sharply, Andel held his tongue. At first Andel had played the game more aggressively than Alan. Like he said, Andel wasn’t very interested in joining Global Exos. He stayed up all night to play the game was because it was fun. And the reason he hadn’t connected to the game…… Then Alan took out an MP Movie Player. Andel’s face wrinkled as he watched the video. The video shown on the MP Player was something that had previously aired on TV. The protagonist of the video was a black wolf who Andel recognized with one glance.

“Ah, that Ark bastard…..!”

Yes, it was indeed him. The reason Andel wasn’t connecting to the game. Every time he connected to the game, he remembered the humiliation he suffered from Ark and couldn’t stand it. His organization was shattered by Ark and collapsed. Then Alan became angry at him so he abandoned the game. Alan immediately started to talk again.

“Are you really okay with this?”

“What?”

“That Ark. He destroyed everything we built. Now he had this success. Are you really going to act like this? You’re able to forgive him? Was your personality that good-natured? I couldn’t do it. My chest burns at the thought of leaving that guy alone.”

“Damn, I’m also angry. But that’s it.”

“I heard about it. Didn’t you suffer because of that person?”

“Yes, do you know how broken I was because of that?”

“Yet you’re just going to leave it as it is.”

“I know, I know. I also prefer to step on him. Honestly, I’ve already seen that movie. Do you know how long I was furious? But he is not the same Ark. His level and power has increased a lot. It will be difficult to take care of him.”

“No, you have to remember that it is a game. I have a way.”

Alan replied in a firm tone.

“I’m also not interested in the test. But I can never ignore that guy. I’ll go after him no matter what. Whether it is reality or the game.”

Alan’s words were true. In all the time Alan had lived, he had never been so disregarded by another person. No, it wasn’t exactly true to say he was disregarded. Once again, Alan was rich. In addition he was smart. If someone disregarded him, Alan never hesitated to use all his weapons to step on them and he never failed. The only blot on his undefeated record was Ark. When seen objectively, his failure to defeat Ark was the one shame of Alan’s whole life. It was like a hole in his ego. It was a small hole, but his ego was so strong that even a small hole would annoy him. The only way to fill up that hole was to utterly destroy Ark in New World.
Yes, that was where his intense hatred of Ark stemmed from. Andel clenched his fist firmly and nodded at Alan’s words.

“The same goes for me. I’ll do whatever it takes! I’ve never been so insulted by another person. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. At least in the game.”

“Yes, I have to admit that. He isn’t as simple as I thought he was. That’s why it’s even more insufferable. Now New World isn’t just a game that I am playing for fun. I’ll risk everything to erase him from New World. So I require your help.”

“What? My help?”

“Yes, I’ve only been thinking about revenge against Ark so I’ve been raising my power. I’m confident now after increasing my strength. But like you said, he’s not the same opponent as before. Yes, it’s not time yet. I have to wait a little bit more before I appear in front of him. So you should do some preparations.”

“Why is my help necessary…….?”

“You have to gather people. That kind of force is needed if we want to defeat Ark and his group. We don’t need people like the ones in ‘Dawn Blade.’ Chaotic players are good. We need players who will obey our orders. But…..I can’t explain why but I can’t do that task. So I was hoping to leave it to you.”

“I’m still only level 200. Will they listen to me?”

Andel asked with a grumpy expression.

“We have a weapon against them.”

“Weapon? A weapon……”

Alan pulled something out and showed it to Andel. It was a passbook. The women who looked at the passbook screamed.

“Kyaaa! How many 0’s is that?”

“I obtained this for the club a few months ago. What it New World? Shall we create a new club?”

Andel stared at Alan with a dumb expression.

“…..This amount isn’t easy even for you……can I really use it?”

“I don’t care as long as we step on that guy. No, honestly I think this much is lacking for the scale of the organization that I desire. But if I receive the help of a friend then it is possible. How about it? Will you help me?”

Andel hesitated with a complicated expression. But after a moment, he grabbed Alan’s hand and nodded.

“Okay, you and I will step on that bastard. If you have this much determination then I’ll also try my best. Money isn’t easy to raise but you’ve managed to prepare this much. It is like an investment. If we abandon our principles then we can step on him and occupy New World. Is that why you prepared the money?”

“As expected, you’ve understood my real intentions.”

“Heh, I did spend 3 years at a private school with you.”

“Then you’ve decided?”

“Yes, I’ll believe in you and use the weapon you’ve prepared to gather amazing people.”

“Okay, I’ll trust you and leave it to you. But you should keep one thing in mind. Like we said earlier, he isn’t an easy opponent to deal with. You must not move until I’ve finished preparing everything.”

“How many times have I faced him? I know that guy better than anyone. Rest assured that I’ll never make the same mistake. Huhuhu, I can’t wait a couple of months or even 1 year if it means I get my revenge.”

“It’s only once. It will only take one instance for everything to be ruined.”

“Okay, I understand. I’ll endure it. It’s just a game. I’ll wait until things are prepared.

Andel drained the remaining alcohol and stood up.

“Now is the time. Okay, let’s go New World!”

“Oppa, the golden bell?”

“Noisy, I don’t have that money anymore! You buy your own things!”

Andel screamed and exited the room. So after a closed room meeting with Alan, Andel once again returned to the stage of New World. Andel’s strongest weapon was money.

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49 thoughts on “Act 7: Rhapsody Melody

  1. Pingback: Ark volume 14 chapter 7 | Ark Machine Translations

  2. jacobpaige

    If they have that much money, and they’ve decided that they only want to hurt him and they don’t care if its in reality or the game, then why don’t they just use the money to attack him in the real world? They’re much more powerful there and the only thing that could save Ark from them in the real world is the author (who will definitely save him while screwing them over, but they don’t know that).

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Faust Voncleave

      Andel already tried and probably got reprimanded by his father for it. The guy who did the grunt work probably doesn’t want anything to do with him now and andel never told alan about where ark lives. Since it was the grunt that found where ark lives andel probably doesn’t know arks new address either. Might still happen though

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. ironpierrot

    Andel & Alan ///!!!TAG BREAK!!!///

    Alan : “Let me do the buying!” Douche Power Activate !!GOLD RUSH!!

    Andel: “You won’t like… what I’m about to do.” Douche Power Activate !!MARKET CRASH!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Faust Voncleave

    Laugh roco, just laugh. If a ghost seriously appears before you and says that’s why he has regrets you have no choice but to laugh. If you died in the next 50 days after not laughing you’d become a ghost because you regret not laughing.

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  5. Cuz I'm Batman

    Thanks for the chapter. Our very own, highly celebrated, Mr. M is back on stage. He likes being stepped on.

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    1. faulcon

      They hate Ark because he fought back (and won). Peons aren’t supposed to fight back against their glorious superiors (at least not successfully).

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      1. Blaed

        Andel didn’t reduce Ark’s stats. It was Ark’s own idea and his own stupidity in not reading the bare minimum of system notifications that led to that problem.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Blaed - Wrong

      Nope, wrong. It was Andel who proposed the idea – go back and reread. You mixed the names up.

      Come to think of it, where’s Bulma these days?

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    1. Mei~

      Bwahahahahahaha Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha~
      Oh ma gawsh, Dam, thank you random citizen.
      You just made me laugh out loud in a net cafe, they’re giving me weird looks.
      I’m blaming you.

      Like

      Reply
  6. boxk1ng

    Why do i get the felling that those two are going to some how mess with his mother in reality. Am i the only one that thinks this.

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  7. faulcon

    Thanks as always, just a few things that appear incorrect based on context:

    Roco was grateful for the free time at all
    Roco *wasn’t* grateful for the free time at all

    The magic depended on the skilfulness with that instrument and the percentage of completion when playing the song
    The *music* depended on the skilfulness with that instrument and the percentage of completion when playing the song

    Huhuhu, I can’t wait a couple of months or even 1 year if it means I get my revenge.”
    Huhuhu, I *can* wait a couple of months or even 1 year if it means I get my revenge.”

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  8. gnarlytreeman

    i read through all 14 volumes in on great big blitz, this has got to be one of the best light novel series ever, not to mention the translation sounds smooth in comparision to a number of other translation sites.. also the last few books really had my laughing pretty hard XX interception FTW! lol, all the dirty plotting and hardcore grinding and massive amouts of secret hiding remind me of an old game RoE where i played on a pvp server, this should be printed in english and sold in the stores over here it would be a big hit for gamers.

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  9. Astreon

    Annnnd, so Ark will, again, win by setting his enemies against one another. Now it will be the last pionneers (jewel and duke replacements, can’t remember their names) v/s Alan and Andel. Though, Alan is now working with the Ganondorf user (red haired dude that plans on reviving the dark lord), so hopefully, it will not be a repetition of the castle siege. For a while now, i’ve been under the impression that the author is lacking new ideas and is stretching his story…juste reunite the 7 heroes already, and get to the final battle.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. axyraandas

      Ganondorf user… Hah, that’s perfect. Personally, I’d like to see the other heroes develop before the final battle. We have Shambala, Alan, Lariette, and Ark, but the other three…?

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  10. Reader

    I can’t wait a couple of months or even 1 year, i think you should replace the can’t by can it’s sound more plausible

    Like

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  11. Oscuras

    Still,got a question,will the other character who didn’t told Ark about the death penalty make another appearance? I think it was Bulma or something.

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  12. DoktorPrimat

    Interesting, they are probably going to team up with Hermes…

    Thank you for the chapter, Sir Turtle!

    -Dok

    Like

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  13. ireadmanga

    I’m so happy to see Andel again! Really, can never get enough no matter how many times seeing him got crushed.

    Like

    Reply
  14. Daniel Moss

    I have been reading ark about a year are so even when a chapter a month come out i was reading it an wanted to say thanks for getting multiply chapters a week out.

    Like

    Reply
  15. shadovv

    thanks for the chapter. And I think roco might become the new hero . She took a B difficult quest and do nothing so far

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    Reply

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