SPACE 1. Lost Planet
“What is this?”
Ark scratched his head and asked. Ark was currently riding on Marquis Martin’s ship. A 3D image was rising from Marquis Martin’s Nymphe. However, a ‘?’ was floating above Ark’s head.
Ark couldn’t understand Marquis Martin’s intent.
‘Damn, doing this when I was busy….’
In fact, deciding to ride on this ship wasn’t an easy decision for Ark. While returning to S-20 after receiving the Phantom Boots, he had received a letter.
It was an SOS from Clem seeking help! It was a fairly serious problem for Ark. If he had to briefly describe it, the Agent could be called a type of service company.
It was a company that would dispatch personnel depending on the situation, from warriors to hunt monsters, researchers and engineers to construction sites, ranger or scholars to survey an area, etc. And he received such a request not long ago.
Clem of the Silver Hand had required support in the Outlands of Istana. It had been a while since he founded the Agent and this was his first official commission. Ark had also received a lot of help from the Silver Star in the early days.
‘Well, I would’ve gone directly….’
At the time, Ark had some separate work to do.
Looking for the 3rd Divine Artefact. It wasn’t something that could be left to others. Ark was unable to do anything so he dispatched the flagship of Dark Eden, the Royal Guards. They should be sufficient.
But the next letter stated that the dispatched Royal Guards were in danger. Once again, the Royal Guards were NPC pioneers so they could resurrect with the Fairy if they died. In the worst case scenario, he didn’t need to worry about losing his employees.
But a considerable amount of money was required for the resurrection. It meant there would be a deficit if the Royal Guards were killed. The first official request would also fail and the Agent’s reputation would drop. It would be difficult to find future jobs and it would become a burden to operate the Agent in the future.
However, those were secondary problems.
‘I reached this place because of the Silver Hand. If I hadn’t met the Silver Hand then I would still be stuck on Beltana. I also wouldn’t have received the support of the Royal Guards. I owe the Silver Hand.’
He always returned everything he received. If there was a grudge then it would multiply! If he received a favour then he would return it!
This wasn’t a situation where he would question the pros and cons. This was Ark’s unchanging view of life. It was because of this that he could form a good connection with people who have maintained his trust.
“Stop all other business and launch a rescue operation to save the Silver Hand!”
Ark hurriedly gathered a rescue team consisting of Rapid, Kurakan, Ellain, Ferguson, A and B to fly to Vesta. But then Ark received an unexpected visitor.
“I don’t know what is going on but there is a place you need to go with me first.”
This was Marquis Martin.
There was no need to mention it but Marquis Martin was like a guardian to Ark. There wasn’t a formal sponsor agreement but he played a profound role in Ark’s growth since Beltana.
However, it wasn’t just Ark receiving benefits. Thanks to Ark, Marquis Marin was able to obtain the upper hand in the magic circle incident and gained exclusive information that put Marquis Jyubel in check. In other words, Marquis Martin gave Ark preferential treatment for rewards.
In the end, the two of them had a mutually beneficial relationship like that between a crocodile and alligator. Was this a glimpse of the relationship between politics and business? No, Galaxian was a game world so it was natural to receive compensation for helping NPCs. And indeed, Marquis Martin always get a slightly better than expected reward.
It was different from the Silver Hand but Marquis Martin was also Ark’s benefactor. And he wouldn’t go directly to S-20 for no reason. But he couldn’t just blindly follow Marquis Martin.
Ark worried for a while before asking cautiously.
“Do I need to go right now?”
“Is your business urgent?”
Marquis nodded at the sight of those gathered around Ark before looking at Rapid. And he thought for a moment before opening is mouth again.
“In fact, my problem isn’t immediately urgent. No, I don’t even know if it is a problem with urgency. To be honest, I can’t grasp a feel of the situation or figure out how to deal with it. The only thing clear is that you need to be aware of the problem.”
Ark was slightly panicked at the end of it.
Marquis Martin had come directly to S-20. He could only imagine that something unusual had happened. This was the first time he had seen Marquis Martin at a loss.
In addition, it was something that Ark needed to know?
“What is going on?”
“Where were you planning to go?”
“Me? A place called Vesta near Sidellin.”
“Okay, let’s save some time. You can ride on my aircraft and join your subordinates in Sidellin. The time it takes to travel to Sidellin will be enough for an explanation. Then the decision will be up to you. Does that work?”
If he passed through Sidellin then he would be a little delayed.
But Ark nodded.
Ark was curious about the matter that Marquis Martin wanted to talk to him about. That’s why Rapid and the 8 others boarded the Silver Star while Ark flew on Marquis Martin’s ship. And shortly after they started flying towards Sidellin.
“Don’t talk until you see this video.”
Martin Marquis stopped Ark and loaded a video on his Nymphe. The ‘?’ on Ark’s head right now was due to the video. Judging by the atmosphere, it seemed to be a serious problem. Therefore Ark was tense when looking at the video….
“What am I meant to see?”
Ark was forced to ask this question.
The universe floating above Marquis Martin showed nothing. Perhaps something was going to happen but there was no change in the video.
“I can’t see anything? Are my eyes not working properly?”
“No, you saw it properly. There is nothing there.”
“Huh? Then why?”
“That is the problem.”
Marquis Martin explained to Ark.
“Right now you are looking at the coordinates X-235, Y-1078. It is the location of the planet His Majesty gave to you, Ikyullos. No, it was supposed to be there.”
“Where….what does that mean….?”
Marquis Martin clasped his hands together and said.
“You asked for it and the construction of the Star Gate passed the audit with no major problems. Now the Star Gate has expanded to a total of 12 Federation planets. One of them is Ikyullos. And as promised, we started working to build the Star Gate to Ikyullos. We sent something to capture an image only to find that Ikyullos wasn’t present at the coordinates.”
Ark’s head became blank.
Ikyullos was the planet he received for earning the most achievements in the quest. Now it supposedly wasn’t there. He had never visited it but Ikyullos was Ark’s planet! If Ark developed this planet then it would be a foothold for him to expand his power.
And he had made preparations for it. In order to secure funds to develop Ikyullos, he had Rapid design an investment fund. He was just waiting for the Star Gate Marquis Martin promised to be linked to S-20. He would pour the money gathered from the investment fund and process the development instantly!
￦￦! $$! ￥￥!
It would be a huge jackpot. How happy had he been the last few days imagining it?
But now it wasn’t there anymore? What was he saying?
“That is nonsense. This is a planet, not something else. Does it make sense for a planet to suddenly go missing? Are you certain a mistake wasn’t made? A problem in the navigation device….”
“That is common sense. So I also checked it a few times. But the navigation device worked normally and the coordinates were correct.”
“Don’t tell me that Ikyullos has exploded in the meantime?”
“Such a thing would be better. There would be a black hole’s gravitational field or signs of debris. But as you can see, there is nothing there. It just disappeared.”
“Just disappearing, such a thing isn’t possible….”
Ark murmured with a dumb expression. And he continued in a narrow voice.
“Perhaps Ikyullos in the first place….”
“I can guess what you are imagining.”
Marquis Martin shook his head and interrupted Ark’s words.
“To be honest, I was also suspicious when I received the first report. His Majesty said he selected Ikyullos but Marquis Martin is in charge of domestic affairs. Maybe it didn’t exist and Marquis Jyubel drew up some papers that made it seem like it was real. Yes, the situation was enough to cause doubts.”
“You mean it isn’t like that?”
“Things had proceeded in such a manner that Marquis Jyubel might try such a thing. But Ikyullos was selected by His Majesty of the Galactic Federation. In order words, Marquis Jyubel would be directly deceiving His Majesty if he did such a thing. Don’t you know what that would mean? He is still the rightful Emperor of the Galactic Federation. If it was discovered that Marquis Jyubel would lose everything. It would be stupid for Marquis Jyubel to do such a thing just to trick one pioneer.”
….Certainly. Jyubel wouldn’t risk his position.
Then Marquis Martin looked at Ark and started talking again.
“Ikyullos was clearly a planet that existed. I can guarantee that much.”
“Yes, I was vaguely familiar with the name after hearing that you received Ikyullos. And I remembered it not too long ago. Ikyullos is a planet adjoining one of the routes used to travel from the Galactic Federation to the space frontier. Due to the characteristics of this area, the route is often subject to pirate invasions. So I conducted a military operation in the area. I didn’t participate directly but I remember Ikyullos. In other words, the thousands of soldiers who participated in the military operation are witnesses.”
“Then it really…..”
“The planet that disappeared existed until recently.”
“How does that make sense?”
“Yes, it doesn’t make sense. But it is true. And….”
Ark narrowed his eyes at Marquis Martin. Then Marquis Martin sighed with a worried expression and said.
“This is confidential information but this isn’t the first time such a thing has happened.”
“This isn’t the first time? There was another incident of a planet disappearing?”
“This is the first time in the Galactic Federation but there have been rumours of planets disappearing in the space frontier. But it wasn’t confirmed. As you know, the space frontier is everywhere except for the areas ruled by the 3 powers. The Council can’t even determine all the areas of the frontier. The number of planets are unknown so it is unconfirmed whether a few have disappeared or not. Therefore the rumours were dismissed and it just became a ghost stories among pioneers. No, the 3 powers and the Council kept it quiet.”
There were two reasons for this.
First, it was a matter for the 3 powers and the Council. The 3 powers and the Council managed the entire galaxy. They couldn’t publish that planets somewhere in the galaxy were disappearing. The authority of the 3 powers and the Council would come crashing down and the residents would fall into fear and chaos.
And the second reason was that the planets were in remote locations, making it difficult to even check if they were missing. Until now it hadn’t been confirmed that the planets were gone. In fact, the 3 powers and the Council hadn’t suffered any damage so there was no need to magnify the problem.
But Ark didn’t want to know about things like that. The planet that vanished this time was Ikyullos that belonged to Ark. Ark wanted to know how the Galactic Federation was handling this issue.
Marquis Martin’s answer….
“Didn’t I say it? The disappearances in the frontier are just ghost stories. The current Galactic Federation agrees with the Council’s stance. This is the first time a disturbing incident is happening in the Galactic Federation so they aren’t going to release it.”
“But isn’t the planet actually gone?”
“Ikyullos is a planet His Majesty gave you. In other words, it was the Emperor’s planet until given to it. Average citizens are prohibited from even exploring it. An average citizen won’t even know that Ikyullos is missing. There is no reason for the Galactic Federation to announce such a thing.”
“So what about me?”
This was what Ark really wanted to know. Whatever the reason was, Ikyullos was gone.
He couldn’t understand it but it had happened. The universe was large and despite how arrogant they were, the 3 powers only had a handful of knowledge. Things that couldn’t be scientifically explained could happen at any time.
What would be done now? Ark would suffer enormous damage due to this. It wasn’t developed yet but the benefits from the development had disappeared so he should be compensated in some way.
Marquis Martin answered with a sigh.
“This is the reason why I came to visit you. I examined the data the Galactic Federation had about the case. If Ikyullos has disappeared then the reward will be invalidated.”
Ark asked with an uneasy expression. As expected, Marquis Martin nodded.
“Yes, a record remains of an investigation team going to Ikyullos before the Emperor gave it to you. In other words, you were given Ikyullos before it disappeared. This is the result of a natural disaster so the Federation can’t give you another reward.”
“Then am I just supposed to give up?”
“It would be fortunate if you could just simply give it up but….”
Ark’s entire planet had vanished. What was Marquis Martin saying? Ark made an astounded expression, causing Marquis Martin to sigh once again and say.
“Basically, all the planets in the Galactic Federation zone belongs to the Emperor. Being made the lord of a planet means the Emperor authorized you to manage it. The lord would then have an obligation to give a portion of the profit as taxes. However, Ikyullos has disappeared. This meant that you lost the planet the Emperor entrusted to you. Then the logical conclusion is that you are responsible for the disappearance of Ikyullos.”
“That is ridiculous….”
He had received the planet as compensation but hadn’t even seen it yet. He hadn’t received even 1 copper from Ikyullos yet. Now that it vanished, he was supposed to be held responsible for it? Wasn’t it like asking for compensation from a victim? It was too outrageous to the point that he couldn’t even be offended.
Marquis Martin lightly tapped the table as he saw Ark’s blank expression.
“It is indeed dirty. This is a common occurrence in this world. Your position is different from the other lords. Ikyullos is a result of your achievements. Unfortunately, this happened after you became the lord but you won’t be asked to take responsibility. But……”
“I shouldn’t expect another reward.”
Unfortunately? Would the word ‘Unfortunately’ clean up the problem? No! Absolutely not! Ark would’ve preferred to not receive the planet in the first place if this was going to happen. Then was he going to give up because the entire planet vanished? Wasn’t that impossible?
Then Marquis Martin looked at Ark and said in a low voice.
“….That doesn’t mean you have to give up.”
Ark narrowed his eyes at Marquis Martin’s words.
At first, it seemed like he was telling Ark to give up. But now there seemed to be a hidden meaning. Ark pondered for a while before an ‘!’ floated on top of his head.
No, Ark had never thought about giving up in the first place.
“Yes, it is like Marquis-nim said. Do you think it is a coincidence that such an incident occurred on the planet that Marquis Jyubel picked?”
“That wouldn’t happen by chance.”
The corners of Marquis Martin’s mouth slowly rose. Now Ark realized why Marquis Martin came to him.
There was no coincidences in this world. And something this weird wouldn’t happen without a cause. There was definitely a reason behind Ikyullos’ disappearance.
Although he didn’t know the cause yet….
‘The planet wasn’t destroyed but disappeared without a trace. It is impossible to be one of the 3 powers since things are tense due to antimatter. Even Marquis Jyubel doesn’t have the power to push Marquis Martin right now. A similar incident had occurred in the space frontier so it is hard to think that Marquis Jyubel was directly involved. But that is just talk. Does Marquis Martin think that Marquis Jyubel know more about the planet disappearances?’
Ark had that idea.
Again, there was always a cause behind everything in the world. And there was a pattern even in chaos.
The planet disappearing incidents. There would be a pattern behind the reason for the planets vanishing. This part was the key. Did Marquis Jyubel identify the pattern? And he knew that Ikyullos disappeared?
‘It is no coincidence that Marquis Jyubel picked Ikyullos!’
If he could prove this then the situation would vary by 180 degrees. The disappearance of Ark’s planet was a conspiracy from the start.
Naturally Ark had the right to demand compensation for that. As well as from Marquis Jyubel who knew the planet would vanish.
That alone was already a felony. The Emperor would have to pay the price.
“Like I said, the Galactic Federation won’t publish this incident. Naturally there won’t be a formal investigation. But my position means I can personally investigate. But then I remembered you. As far as I know, you are the right candidate among the pioneers. You did gain the best achievements during the magic circle investigation.”
“…Besides being the other party involved.”
“So you will investigate twice as hard.”
This was the reason Marquis Martin came to Ark. This was an opportunity Marquis Martin was giving to Ark!
Right now, Ark was going to help the Silver Hand after they sent a SOS. However, if Ark lost Ikyullos then he would suffer a financial loss. The plan to enter the frontier using Ikyullos as a springboard would also fail.
‘But I can’t ignore the request of the Silver Hand. And some information related to Ikyullos is still in doubt. There is no guarantee I can find some information even if I go there. On the other hand, the odds of rescuing the Silver Hand is very high.’
He had to choose one of these options.
“This is quite difficult.”
Marquis Martin nodded.
“Rescuing someone or your planet. It is difficult to choose. But are you sure you need to select just one? Aren’t you a pioneer? You also seem to have a team that accompanied you from S-20. Aren’t there any reliable people among them for the rescue operation?”
“Then is there another problem?”
“But I’m the only one with a ship.”
“You are someone who doesn’t listen to other people’s words. I clearly said on S-20 that you would go with me. And I also don’t condone nonsense like this.”
“I am a person who likes to give service after selling something. The results of the investigation is also important to me. So my cruiser is waiting at the Federation Headquarters in Tatuine. The speed and space exploration equipment cannot be compared to normal pioneer spaceships.”
Marquis Martin smiled and answered.
A cruiser dedicated to the noble Marquis Martin of the Galactic Federation! The Silver Star was a superior grade 4 battleship. Of course, it couldn’t be compared to the grade 5 cruiser.
It was the highest quality spaceship for nobles. Like he said, the speed and exploration equipment was probably superior. It was made by having money literally poured into it. In other words, it was much better than the Silver Star.
He knew all this without even glimpsing the ship! Thanks to that, Ark’s troubles were neatly resolved.
“You want me to do it?”
“Yes, I have another job.”
Ark spoke to the people riding on the Silver Star after arriving at Sidellin. And Rapid’s eyes narrowed as he roughly explained the situation.
“You are going to follow without knowing anything?”
“I won’t know until I try. But I need to hurry if I want to find something.”
“Then you’re going to figure out how Ikyullos disappeared?”
“I will be going with Marquis Martin. So I will leave you the Silver Star. No, you’ll be left with the Silver Star and the rest of the crew.”
It was true. Ark could leave for this task because of Rapid! The Silver Hand had 20 people. Combined with the additional Royal Guards, there were 28 people. The fact that Clem sent a SOS with so many people meant the dungeon had a pretty high difficulty level.
It was a big burden to send his subordinates to a place like that alone. He probably would’ve moved directly. But Rapid was a reliable employee no matter how much he denied it.
Rapid had competed against Ark in New World as Alan! Of course, Rapid still hadn’t fully overcome his obstacles and his combat skills were inferior to the previous Alan. But Ark knew that Alan wasn’t only proficient in combat skills. No, Alan’s value was his ability as a commander.
“Well, I still stepped on him in the end.”
Ark realized what he said and quickly shook his head.
“Huh? No, it is nothing. Do you understand? Once again, I am leaving you the Silver Star and my employees. I believe in you that much. However, you don’t need to work too hard to return my expectations. Don’t be unreasonable and get wiped out in vain.”
“Who are you talking about?”
“You, Rapid. I told you, I believe in you.”
“If you trust me then don’t say that I’ll be wiped out! And I’m not too worried about meeting your expectations.”
“You are so reliable.”
Ark grinned and nodded.
“Yes, keep that mindset. I will join you as soon as I clean up the other matter. If the Silver Star is damaged or anyone dies then you would’ve failed to meet my expectations.”
“Shut up and get lost!”
Thus he left after encouraging (?) Rapid.
He then headed towards the Federation office in Sidellin where Marquis Martin was waiting. It wasn’t just Marquis Martin. While Ark was having a conversation with Rapid, the space cruiser had arrived from Tatuine.
“Ah, is this your first time? This is my private cruiser, Noblesse.”
Marquis Martin laughed as he pointed towards a huge ship 2~3 times the Silver Star.
Still, Marquis Martin was one of the main powerhouses in the Galactic Federation. Marquis Martin wouldn’t have obtained that position if he was careless. He had prepared a pilot with a spectacular career and 60 special guards. And now the hero of the Galactic Federation, Ark was joining as well!
“The coordinates are X-235, Y-1078. Depart with maximum speed!”
Kwa kwa kwa kwa kwa!
The space cruiser emitted flames and flew across the universe.
Ark’s lips twisted.
Marquis Martin’s private cruiser was definitely cutting edge. Ikyullos was approximately 10,000 light years away from Istana. It would take a minimum of 4 hours even when taking proper advantage of the universe stream. However, Noblesse took only 3 hours to travel 10,000 light years!
Despite travelling at that type of speed, the ship was so comfortable that he couldn’t feel the vibration. This was the difference between a pioneer and noble’s spaceship. Even the name Noblesse showed an unacceptable bourgeois!
However, Ark wasn’t cursing because of the huge difference between rich and poor.
It was the thing right in front of him. No, it was because of the ‘unseen’ object. Noblesse had arrived at the place where Ikyullos was supposed to be after 3 hours. But just like the 3D image, there was nothing at the coordinates including space debris.
“Are you sure this is the place?”
It was no wonder that he was suspicious. However, the pilot of Noblesse resolutely shook his head.
“Yes, there isn’t a problem with the navigation system. I looked at the absolute coordinates on the map and calculated the distance and angle to recalculate the current location and this is definitely the coordinates for Ikyullos.”
“It is ridiculous.”
Marquis Martin murmured with a mixed voice. However, Marquis Martin had a reason for this. Noblesse had already arrived here for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, Marquis Martin had used various equipment to explore the area. Gravity field, magnetic field, infrared rays, ultraviolet rays, etc. All the possible data figures showed normal results. It really was like a ghost.
‘….Why did this happen?’
Ark couldn’t understand it.
Planets had vanished without a trace. The 3 powers and Council investigated and couldn’t figure out the answer so they kept it quiet.
Therefore he came to investigate directly. The 3 powers and the Council hadn’t investigated properly. They couldn’t investigate properly. An investigation would be detected.
So pioneers just dismissed it as insane ghost stories. In this situation, Ark’s planet Ikyullos had become one of those ghost stories.
Ark shook his head at the thought.
‘Don’t make me laugh! What ghost? This is Ikyullos!’
But Ark couldn’t see it!
‘This is the universe in the 24th century. Something like a ghost? There should be some signs left behind if Ikyullos disappeared. It isn’t a small rock but a planet! A mass that large wouldn’t vanish without a trail! Yes, I can’t give up yet. The trail just hasn’t been found yet. It is obviously hiding somewhere around here. I won’t quit until I find it!’
Ark had no intention of giving up. No, he couldn’t give up. If he gave up then he would lose his planet. But he wasn’t alone. If Ark refused to give up then Marquis Martin would be floating in this space for a long time. If a clue wasn’t found then it was inevitable that they would return to Istana.
‘Still, I can return here with the Silver Star after rescuing the Silver Hand. But the equipment on the Silver Star is nothing compared to the Noblesse. If this ship can’t find it then it is impossible for the Silver Star.’
This was Ark’s first and last chance to find a clue. But as time passed, hope and expectation only turned to disappointment and despair. Ark was halfway to giving up after exploring for 1 hour.
Marquis Martin narrowed his eyes and spoke in a low voice.
“…..Something is different.”
“You didn’t feel it?”
Marquis Martin asked Ark. Marquis Martin clicked his tongue and continued talking.
“As I thought, you are still quite young. Indeed, you’ve only entered the universe for 1 year so you can’t feel it yet.”
“Feel? What is it?”
Ark couldn’t understand what Marquis Martin was saying. However, Marquis Martin ignored Ark’s ‘?’ and shouted towards the pilot.
“Hoksullo, pull up the flight data. There is a point where it obviously fluctuated for a few seconds.”
“I’ll examine it.”
Hoksullo replied as he quickly pressed some buttons on the dashboard.
“I’ve checked the system fluctuations….no, there it is. It was so weak the system’s navigation didn’t detect it but the spaceship’s speed accelerated by 0.03 seconds.”
Marquis Martin’s eyes shone at Hoksullo’s report.
But Ark still couldn’t understand what Marquis Martin had detected. No, Ark didn’t even know the speed had accelerated before Hoksullo spoke.
It wasn’t just Ark. Hoksullo hadn’t noticed until Marquis Martin’s command. Even the ship’s navigation system found it hard to detect the increase of 0.03 seconds.
However, Marquis Martin had been confident. Marquis Martin laughed at Ark’s incredulous expression.
“It is hard to explain with words. Let’s just say it is some type of resistance?”
“Yes, it happens when the density of space changes. But there is no certainly. It is momentary. But that feeling occurred just before. And like Hoksullo said, it is momentary but the spaceship sped up. Hoksullo, was the engine output the same?”
“Did you hear? The engine output was the same but the speed changed. There is nothing in that space. It is very marginal but we just sailed through a space with a different density. The resistance affected the speed of the ship. And as for the space we sailed through….”
“It was Ikyullos!”
Ark raised his head and shouted. Marquis Martin nodded.
“Yes, it means that Ikyullos is still located here. It is invisible and the exploration equipment can’t detect it but there is definitely something there. I still can’t think of an explanation for Ikyullos’ disappearance. Since it can’t be confirmed with eyes or the exploration equipment….it might’ve been better to deal with a ghost.”
Then an ‘!’ popped into Ark’s head.
So far, Ark thought that Ikyullos vanished through some physical force. Therefore he had been thinking of physical methods. In other words, he had to rely on exploratory equipment. It disappeared with physical force so he thought that physical traces would remain.
But that changed after hearing Marquis Martin’s words.
And a skill naturally floated in his head. The Hajaska rune that he learnt on Inquiry! It could reveal unseen forces that the Silver Star’s equipment didn’t detect. And if Ikyullos was made to disappear similar to the ghost planet, wasn’t it done by some unknown third power in the galaxy?
“Come out, Shire! Hajaska Rune!”
Ark used Rune Carving. Lights engulfed his hand and he used the Shire to draw a rune. Ark’s turned his shining blue eyes to look out the window.
A baffled exclamation fell from Ark’s mouth.
Winds blew and the atmosphere fluctuated.
A huge ring of light then scattered the clouds. Sparks flew from the ring of light and a silver spaceship appeared.
“We’ve arrived at our destination!”
“Okay. Fix the engine to the current position.”
The person giving orders in the captain’s seat was Rapid. After Rapid had been delegated the command of the Silver Star, he immediately headed to the Vesta area where Clem had sent his SOS. But Vesta was a wide jungle beyond imagination.
|-Vesta Dungeon Area.|
On the other hand, they had no clues about the location of the Silver Hand.
“Damn, that Ark didn’t give any proper information. They didn’t even send coordinates along with the rescue request. Aren’t they in a really desperate situation? It is his fault if we are in the wrong location.”
Rapid murmured with a worried expression. Clem was too desperate to send coordinates but Rapid blamed him since they would be wandering the vast jungle. But Ark had left him in charge.
So even if he wanted to quit in the middle….
‘That Ark bastard, I need to rescue them safely in order to beat him. He will treat me like an idiot if I can’t properly handle this task. I can’t listen to his lecture.’
This was the reason why Rapid displayed his patience. He might be Ark’s employee but Ark entrusting him with this task meant he was viewed as a competent user.
‘According to Ark, the Silver Hand moves using a container truck. The truck is used to move large equipment through the jungle. And there should be some evidence unless they intentionally erased their tracks. Then if we find the container truck then we can easily find the dungeon.’
“Hegel, use the optical scanner!”
Rapid used the optical scanner to examine Vesta’s terrain. The optical scanner narrowed the focus and could soon find traces of a truck passing by.
The Silver Star followed that trail.
Hegel turned his head and shouted.
“Look at monitor no. 2! That is clearly the Silver Hand’s container truck!”
“Any bio reaction?”
“Has everyone gone into the cave below?”
Rapid narrowed his eyes as he looked at the monitor.
The monitor showed a truck disguised with bushes. The area in front was covered in vines and underneath the vines was a wide, empty space. It was a large hole leading underground that was covered in vines.
“Should we land?”
“No, it isn’t necessary. Milan, switch the Silver Star to turret mode and aim towards the vine area.”
“Yes. Silver Star, launch shells!”
Kwa kwa kwa kwang! Kwa kwa kwa kwang!
Milan manipulated the Silver Star and beams of light shot downwards. And the vine were enveloped in flames, revealing an enormous hole. The hole could even allow the Silver Star to pass through.
“There is a convenient route so there is no need to go the hard way.”
Rapid laughed before saying to Milan.
“Milan, lead the Silver Star to enter the cave. The width is uneven so pay close attention. I don’t want to hear Ark’s complaints if there are marks on the Silver Star.”
Milan nodded with a tense expression. The Silver Star descended through the enormous hole and travelled approximately 100 metres. And light slowly revealed a cave.
Hegel who was watching the radar suddenly flinched.
“Rapid-nim, movement is detected!”
“No, not a person. Much larger….at least 10 metres….heok!”
“What? What’s going on?”
“There isn’t just one! Dozens, no hundreds of movement is being detected! 200 metres away from the Silver Star and moving at a rapid pace! 180 metres! 170! 160….”
“Damn. Kurakan, Ferguson, A and B, automatically fire at the monsters. Kurakan and A will move to the upper turrets while Ferguson and B head to the lower turrets to prepare for the combat situation!”
“120! 110….they will soon enter the line of sight.
Hegel’s shout came shortly afterwards.
Rapid turned his head and saw shadows approaching the Silver Star. The Silver Star was instantly covered in black shadows.