Space 1: Inquiry

SPACE 1. Inquiry

“Damn.”

Ark glared at the planet outside the window.

It was a black planet with mysterious rocks jutting out. After looking at the map engraved in Bao’s body, he had headed to the planet where the 3rd Divine Artefact was hidden. Yet he was facing an unimaginable situation once he arrived here.

“Why the hell can’t we land?”

There was clearly a planet in front of him. Buy it wasn’t possible to land his spaceship. He couldn’t find the terrain, climate or any air currents. He couldn’t even approach it. When heading towards the planet, the ship would suddenly move to the other side.

It was a mysterious phenomenon that couldn’t be understood at all! Tori who had a rich sailing experience….

“Ghost planet! This is a ghost planet!”

….He was rattling on about nonsense.

“I heard about it. Hyung-nim, Hegel and Milan just came to the frontier so you don’t know about it but this is something all sailors know. A ghost planet is somewhere in the frontier that only the dead can enter. Any person who tries to enter the planet will receive a curse.”

“C-curse?”

“What in the world….is this a joke?”

Milan and Hegel looked uneasy at Tori’s words.

“I’m joking? Do you think I would joke in a situation like this? Really! I clearly heard it. A friend’s uncle’s grandfather found a ghost planet and got cursed, losing all his fur!”

“A-all his fur?”

Hegel who was from the Grey clan looked at his smooth body. Tori shouted in a pained voice.

“Stupid! A curse! Fearsome things will happen! As a Grey, you might not have hair but your eyes might fall out instead! If your eyes fall then you will surely suffer and die!”

“E-eyes? T-that can’t be!”

Hegel covered his large eyes and screamed. Hegel’s eyes covered 2/3rds of his face so it would be unimaginable if his eyes fell out. Once Hegel turned pale with fear, Tori made even more noise.

“Look! Isn’t it scary? Aren’t you afraid? We are doing something awfully dangerous! No, I don’t know if I’ve already been cursed! Eh? Eh? Take a look at this. My hair! Look at my hair! I really seem to be cursed. My hair really seemed to have weakened! Hik! N-no! We should run before it is too late! Silver Star, turn around!”

And the moment he grabbed the joystick!

Pak!

There was the sound of a head hitting the dashboard. A red handprint was vivid on the back of his head. However, this wasn’t due to the curse of the Ghost Planet. It was due to Ark hitting the back of Tori’s head! Ark looked down at the handprint on Tori’s head and said.

“Calm down and be quiet, yes?”

“B-but…..”

Tori raised his head from where it was lying on the dashboard.

“This really isn’t a joke! There is a curse, a curse!”

“So?”

“I told you! I really might lose all my hair and die!”

Tori cried out.

Ark had recently discovered this but sailors were surprisingly weak to ghost stories. Brave sailors who wouldn’t back down from pirates would become frightened once they heard about curses. That was true even for experienced soldiers. No, the more experienced ones tended to believe in the supernatural even more. Tori was one of those sailors. Tori started talking gibberish once he was scared by something supernatural.

So Ark was kind enough to explain.

“It doesn’t matter if there is a curse. Even if all your hair falls off. In fact, it isn’t that hard. If you keep talking nonsense then I will make you experience it.”

Tori and the crew all became silent. Any brave (?) sailors would grasp the joystick firmly where they heard about a curse. It was a scene that showed how important the capabilities of the captain was. But that didn’t solve the fundamental problem. The Silver Star still couldn’t even approach the planet.

A frustrated sigh emerged from Ark’s mouth.

‘Damn! Every time….’

The clue to the first Divine Artefact was a mysterious phrase. Then it took a considerable amount of time for Ark to find the Divine Artefact hidden on Rakunka. After obtaining the second one from Muratio Star while the map contained the co-ordinates for the third Divine Artefact. Now he needed to land on a ghost like planet? Being unable to land was even more frustrating than not knowing the location.

‘That Xanax bastard, is he doing this on purpose? Aren’t I the heir? Shouldn’t he just give it to me? Then he should me it easier! Why does he have to make my head hurt like this every time?’

He became angrier the more he thought about it. However, complaining was no use. Xanax had died a long time ago and quests were subject to the law of RPGs.

And in fact, Ark wouldn’t be thankful if the quests were too easy. The difficulty of the quest was indicative of the size of the reward. Easy quests meant less rewards while hard quests gave more.

It was an unbreakable law of RPGs!

‘Yes, there is no reason to think badly. It is difficult to find good items. And a Divine Artefact is hidden on that Ghost Planet so I have to enter no matter what.’

Ark summed up the situation step by step in his mind.

‘Anyway, the coordinates extracted from the map on Bao’s body clearly indicates this place. The galaxy map only gives approximate co-ordinates but it can’t be a coincidence that such a dubious planet is in the area. The galaxy map clearly pointed to this planet. The problem was finding a clue to enter that planet….’

Ark summoned Bao and asked him.

What? How should I know?

It naturally replied with a rude answer. None of Basak’s memories remained anymore so the golem was still rude to Ark….anyway, Ark had been expecting Bao’s answer.

Bao had a galaxy map engraved on his body so he should have a hint to enter the planet. He rolled Bao back and forth while thinking.

-What are you doing? Ik! Why are you looking at my sides? Ik! Why my leg? T-this bastard! Aren’t you my master? Can’t you stop? I’m an honourable Divine Artefact! I’m not a toy!

He checked between the armpits and legs but couldn’t find anything. Then there was only one way remaining!

‘I need to find an answer directly.’

Ark let go of the struggling Bao and stared at the Ghost Planet again.

“Tori, try to land again!”

And the Silver Star headed towards the Ghost Planet once again. But no matter how many times he tried, the result was the same.  He used various detection devices but couldn’t find anything. In addition, the orbit of the Silver Star didn’t change. But just before entering the planet, their location would suddenly change.

He chose various angles to enter from but failed! He changed the speed but failed even when it was top speed or the lowest speed! He failed even heading backwards! This failed! That failed! Failed! Failed! Failed!

“Waaahhh! Dammit! What should I do?”

Ark’s patience reached the ground after 1 hour. Ark wasn’t the only one to run out of patience.

“As expected, it is a ghost planet….curse….I’m going to be cursed….no, I might already be cursed….”

Milan, Hegel and Tori’s complexions withered every time the situation repeated. While Ark was figuring out how to enter the planet, they were so scared of the curse that it felt like their blood was going to explode. No, they might’ve already become entangled with the Ghost Planet.

The curse of the Ghost Planet would make the people approaching go mad!

‘Well, it doesn’t matter right now…..’

Ark had no choice but to make a separate plan. He tried to come up with different methods. Despite that, the Silver Star just hovered around the ghost planet.

‘If these methods don’t work then a special item might be needed to enter the Ghost Planet. If that is true then it is a waste of time to wander here. No matter how small it is, I need to find a clue or information.’

There was only one thing a user could do at a time like this.

Well just imagine it. A user received a quest to find something in a ruin. Yet they couldn’t find a way to enter at all. What would a user with common sense do then? The right answer was….

NPC!

Collecting information from the surrounding NPCs. That was a standard move! It was a rule that had been there since the birth of RPGs. Of course, Galaxian was different from other RPGs. It had a space backdrop. In fantasy games, NPCs could easily be found in villages. But Galaxian was different.

Planets in the frontier were classified into three types.

The first type was unexplored planets. It hadn’t been investigated yet, no special resources were found and the unexplored planet was the main stage for pioneer activities.

The second type was a colony where resources were extracted.

And the third type was a Hive. Its form was different from a colony but resources were still collected. It was a specific colony exclusively developed by a pioneer so there were quite a few prohibited places.

But a Hive offered a safe place to rest, supplies, communication and spaceship repair in the frontier so it was a source of revenue. In other words, it was a place like a village.

‘The order was probably slightly backwards.’

There was a saying passed down in Galaxian.

-An adventure in the space frontier starts and ends at a Hive.

When thinking about it, it was the inevitable result.

After receiving a quest at a village in fantasy worlds, information was gathered in order to prepare for the adventure. It was also a place to repair equipment and organize the loot obtained after finishing the quest.

Just like a village, the Hive in Galaxian was a place to start and end adventures. In Ark’s case, he already knew the co-ordinates of the destination so he hadn’t felt the need to visit a Hive after leaving Istana.

‘If there is a Hive in the nearby area then they will be aware of the Ghost Planet. Rumours would spread all over the place. Then I just need to ask the NPCs for a clue.’

It was the only thing Ark could believe in. It was easy to find a Hive in outer space. Any person within the area could use the public communication frequency. Users scattered across outer space could use this frequency to find a party or trade items.

-Seeking a party in the area of Planet Fatima!

-Looking for users for a Class A Difficulty planet!

Sending a rescue quest! Suddenly! My engine failed so it is impossible to sail. Anybody in the area please send a personal communication to the recognition number T-9011. I’ll be very thankful.

-Selling a rare rocket launcher at 20% cheaper than the market price! In addition, selling various supplies for 10~20% cheaper! I will warp as soon as I’m contacted!

Selling various types of equipment made from meteor materials! For sale! For sale! For sale!

Buying various types of equipment made from meteor materials! Buy! Buy! Buy!

…..Well, that was the purpose of the channel.

Most of the content was no different from noise but when moving to a new area, it was necessary to check the public channel for a bit.

“Connect to the communication frequency channel.”

Ark said as he looked at Hegel. Noise flowed out from the on-board loudspeaker before a voice could be heard.

-…..Pioneer, pioneer, pioneers looking for a Hive should come here to Inquiry! Contains various fuels, food, ammunition, androids for emergency repairs and any equipment required for space adventures at a reasonable price. In addition, there are dozens of experienced and skilled engineers to repair and reconstruct the ship to its best state. If you need rest! If you need supplies! Person who needs to check the spaceship before a long distance voyage! This is Inquiry Co-ordinates are X….

A commercial about the Hive was sent out. This was how pioneers could easily find a Hive. The range of the channel was 10 light years. Therefore dozens of Hive commercials flooded the public broadcasts. There were so many communications that it was difficult to distinguish between each individual one.

That was the reason why he didn’t connect to the public channel. But the area around the Ghost Planet was empty so there wasn’t a lot of communication received. Only the same advertisement for one Hive replayed over and over.

‘Well, that is better for me.’

“Hegel, calculating the distance from Inquiry.”

“Are we going to a Hive?”

“.Temporarily.”

“Ooh! F-finally!”

Tori, Milan and Hegel’s dying expressions finally lightened. And they quickly calculated the co-ordinates since they were afraid of Ark changing his mind.

“It is 54 million kilometres from our current location.”

It was the distance between earth and mars! However, in Galaxian a warp could move 1000~2500 light years so 54 million kilometres was nothing. It was like walking to the supermarket from his house. The preparation time for the warp travel took more time than the journey itself!

“Okay. Tori, move to the Hive.”

“Yes! Co-ordinates have been inputted. Silver Star, wharf sail start!”

After the warp journey…..

“Here?”

….They arrived at the advertised Hive. The Hive was built on a small, brown planet. The advertised Hive was pretty big but the dozens of lights only came from one corner of the planet. It truly felt like a village. But Ark’s attention was caught by something else on the planet.

“Eh? What the?” P-Perhaps?”

Ark stood up and shouted.

“Milan, zoom in on the shadow on the right side of the planet!”

The area Ark pointed at expanded dozens of times on the screen. The expanded area contained a considerably large hollow. Ark’s gaze was fixed inside the hollow. There were 3 structures lined up inside it. There were structures on the left, right and top that formed a pyramid…..

“Pyramid? Do you see a pyramid?”

Ark felt like he had been hit in the back of his head.

‘What? Why? Why is there a pyramid on the Hive?’

The pyramid were remains of the Murat. The Murat was a species that stretched across the galaxy so it wasn’t unusual to find Murat ruins. The question was why it was on a Hive 54 million kilometres away from where the Divine Artefact was hidden.

‘Xanax is the Murat’s Elim. Xanax hid the Baius Shield at a Murat ruin on Rakunka.’

So Ark thought there would also be the remains of the Murat on the Ghost Planet. However, he hadn’t found any ruins on the Ghost Planet.

It wasn’t possible to check entities like mirages to be certain but he couldn’t see anything with his eyes. Yet the planet he came to in order to find information was the one with the Murat ruins. How should he interpret this situation?

‘When thinking back, the co-ordinates recorded from the galaxy map on Bao’s body wasn’t exact. The Nymphe only obtained the approximate co-ordinates. When thinking about the size of the galaxy, the slightest 0.1 mm difference could mean a difference of several light years. Perhaps there was such an error when calculating the co-ordinates on the galaxy map?’

The co-ordinates determined had led him to the Ghost Planet. It would be too much of a coincidence so Ark had been certain that was the destination. That’s why he tried to land despite his frustrating and Tori, Hegel and Milan’s fear of the curse.

But there was a different planet in the area with the Murat ruins. This was too much to be an accident. No, it was more likely that the minor inaccuracy in co-ordinate extraction led him to the Ghost Planet instead.

‘If that was true….’

Dig!

He had wasted 1 hour for nothing.

‘Dammit! I should’ve dropped in at the Hive first like other users! Why is that Ghost Planet there to make everything more complicated?’

“Hyung-nim, perhaps you….”

Then Tori, Milan and Hegel stared at Ark. And they asked with perplexed and resentful eyes.

“Isn’t that the place that Hyung-nim is searching for?”

“Of course not. Otherwise why would we have spent 1 hour at a planet that could curse us? Hyung-nim wouldn’t make such an absurd mistake.”

“It can’t be. No? Please say something.”

“T-that is……”

Ark stuttered with an unbearable expression.

-Communication is being received on the public channel.

Please stop.

A mechanical voice was suddenly heard.

-Your spaceship is approaching a private property. This is a warning. If you try to land without permission then you will be shot down by the automatic intercepting system. Please change your path and land at the shopping district of the Hive. I’ll say it again. Your spaceship is trespassing on private property. Unless you deliberately have the impure intention to invade….

“Private property?”

Ark was confused by the sudden words. Hegel rushed to the dashboard before speaking with a puzzled expression.

“Hyung-nim, there are anti-aircraft radars around the perimeter with the Silver Star as the target! The anti-aircraft turrets are loaded inside!”

It could be seen with the naked eye. 10 lasers were targeting the Silver Star. If he ignored the warning then they would shoot! There was no room to talk about it.

“Tori, let’s leave for the moment. Turn towards the shopping district!”

The lasers disappeared once the Silver Star headed towards the shopping area. A message appeared once he landed at the designated location.

-Route to the Hive [Inquiry] has been registered.

<Co-ordinates to the planet Inquiry has been registered on the Silver Star. You don’t have to enter separate co-ordinates and can warp sail at any time>

* Adventure Points +50

Welcome! Welcome to Inquiry!

————————————————————————–

“Ghost Star Rock?”

Ark tilted his head. An old man nodded and replied.

“Yes, that it the name we call it. Obviously it is a planet that can’t be entered. Some pioneers call it a Ghost Planet but Ghost Star Rock is its official name. Actually, it isn’t an exaggeration to say that Inquiry was formed due to it.”

“Due to Ghost Star Rock?”

“It is quite a long story…..”

The old man that looked like a bear looked at his empty cup. After landing at Inquiry, Ark had headed to the tavern first. This was the best place to obtain information in a new area. However, he needed to make some investments in order to gain information from a tavern.

“Here’s another glass of beer.”

Ark quickly ordered a drink and the old man continued speaking warmly.

“As you know, originally the Hive was a place for pioneers. And a pioneer always comes to a planet where they see profit. But this star system didn’t have any planets that aroused the interest of the pioneers. Therefore this star system didn’t have a Hive for a long time. But that changed once Ghost Star Rock was discovered.”

The old man said this while drinking beer.

“Didn’t you experience Ghost Star Rock before coming here? It is a planet that is different from any planets discovered so far. No, we don’t even know if it is a planet. The pioneers had never seen such a strange planet. The rumours about Ghost Star Rock started to spread among the pioneers. Some people thought a great treasure was hidden on it while others thought there was the secret of a great power. Those rumours brought even more rumours here.”

People gathered in order to collect information. Once pioneers started to gather, several smart merchants set up shopping areas at nearby planets and formed a Hive. This was the reason why this Hive was called Inquiry. The pioneers that gathered to investigate Ghost Star Rock would form a Hive.

“It is no joke once pioneers gather in full force. Dozens of ships came every day so it was difficult to find a spot to land. Of course there would be a lot of problems. Pioneers weren’t people with docile characters. Furthermore, all the pioneers gathered were competitors aiming for the treasure. There were daily fights between pioneers at the taverns and the spaceships in orbit around Inquiry. The merchants were thankful for Inquiry. When they were fighting, all sorts of ammunition would be sold and the spaceships also needed to be repaired.”

The old man smirked with beer foam covering his mouth.

“But now there isn’t a lot of people.”

Ark looked around and said.

Like he said, the tavern was the best place to exchange information between user and user or user and NPC. The taverns near hunting grounds were always overflowing with people. But right now, the only people sitting inside the tavern was Ark and the old man.

The atmosphere outside the tavern wasn’t much different. When Ark landed in the shopping district, it was lined with 30~40 stores but most of them were empty. That’s why only 10 lights were visible. When landing on the Hive, there was only a bleak atmosphere while wind swirled in the empty square.

“Yes, that was an old situation.”

The old man sighed while smoking his cigarette.

“A large number of pioneers visited Ghost Star Rock for several years in order to uncover the secret. However, not one person succeeded. It soon started to spread that the planet was a mirage caused by a natural phenomenon. Once several pioneers suffered from sudden accidents, rumours spread that the Ghost Planet was cursed. It really was a moment. Thanks to the rumours, pioneers gradually stopped coming to the Hive. And it is now as you can see. You are the only guest this month.”

“Then the identity of Ghost Star Rock hasn’t been revealed yet.”

“Yes that’s right.”

Ark sighed at the end of the old man’s words.

In fact, Ark had yet to regret his actions. Including when he played Super Mario, Ark had a gaming background of 20 years. Ark’s intuition was telling him something. There must be something there. Common sense suggested that there was a secret hidden on the Ghost Planet.

‘The probability that a treasure is hidden is also high.’

Besides, no one had ever solved the secret. It meant he could monopolize anything he found on the Ghost Planet. Even if it was a mistake, it was lucky that he had found the Ghost Planet.

However, the reason Ark came here was to find the Divine Artefact. Of course, he was interested in the treasure but the priority was the Divine Artefacts. And he already found a suspicious area on Inquiry.

Right next to the shopping centre was the pyramid. But he had failed to investigate it properly. That’s because it was specified as someone’s private property.

“But Inquiry will soon regain its energy.”

Then the old man smiled and said.

“New ruins were found on Inquiry.”

“The pyramid?”

“You saw it.”

“Yes, I saw it before landing on Inquiry. But I wasn’t allowed access. My spaceship approached without any ideas and was intercepted.”

“Kuk kuk kuk, of course that happened. It is natural. They are nervous people.”

“Nervous people? Who do you mean?”

“Berami’s cronies.”

“Berami?”

“Yes, that sneaky bastard.”

The old man explained with an unpleasant expression. The days of the numerous pioneers had passed and the pyramid were only recently discovered. The pyramid had been buried in the ground. The turbulent wind on Inquiry blew the sand away and exposed part of the pyramid for the merchants to notice.

“We thought this was a good opportunity. The pioneers had stopped becoming interested in Inquiry so the merchants had been losing business. Especially since the ruins were buried right next to the shopping area. The residents believed that these ruins could bring pioneers again. Therefore the merchants joined forces to excavate the remains. A lot of people came out to dig out the pyramid from the sand.”

The reason was that the pyramid was in the hollow. The inhabitants gathered their strength in order to unearth those buried in the ground. It was an ancient ruins for the first time! The residents of Inquiry didn’t doubt that the pioneers would come again. And just when the presence of the ruins was going to be advertised.

“That Berami guy showed up. He placed barbed wire around the ruins, claimed the pyramid as his own and suddenly we couldn’t access it.”

The residents thought it was absurd. However, he had a basis for claiming it as his own. There were a few rules on the space frontier to prevent senseless conflicts. One of them was an exclusive grace period.

If he had to explain, let’s just say that some pioneers found some ruins. At this point, stronger pioneers would forcefully take over. To prevent this, there was the exclusive grace period. Once new ruins were found, they would register the ruins with the Council and could gain the exclusive right to investigate for a certain period of time.

“We didn’t think that far. Because ruins had always been discovered by pioneers. Yet that ridiculous guy Berami registered that he found it first.”

“Then the person who claimed that as private land….”

“Berami! That sneaky bastard.”

The old person replied in an angry voice.

“We later learned that Berami specialized in this. He would snoop around to find rumours about resources on planets and then swoop in to monopolize it. We wanted to resuscitate the Hive but those hyena like guys hired mercenaries to keep us out. But we don’t even have the money to move so we’re just staying on this Hive while dying. We can’t go against the Council’s rules.”

“But why are those guys nervous?”

“The exclusive grace period is almost over.”

It wasn’t necessary to talk about the reason why Berami monopolized the pyramid. It was an opportunity to obtain relics. There was likely to be highly valued artefacts excavated at the ruins. Thus Berami rallied a large number of slaves to excavate the ruins. However, the result was a bit lacking.

So far, Berami had only obtained a few antiques. Even if he sold them, it wouldn’t cover the cost of the slaves’ meal expenses. And now Berami only had a week left on his exclusive grace period. Once that period ended, the residents would start promoting the pyramid and many pioneers could come.

‘A week……’

A frustrated sigh emerged from Ark’s mouth. Berami’s exclusive grace period ended in a week. This meant Ark couldn’t investigate the pyramid for one week. He could use that time to gather money for the planet development. Now he couldn’t chase after it immediately. But that didn’t mean he had to do nothing. And even so, he couldn’t waste one week here. That wasn’t his only worry.

‘One week isn’t a short amount of time. Berami is desperate so he might invest more time in order to find something before the exclusive grace period ends. There is no guarantee that anything will remain after a week. No, the probability was high that he will obtain relics to sell. That probability becomes higher as time passes. And if he finds the Divine Artefact during the exclusive grace period….’

It was difficult to believe. Ark was looking for the Divine Artefacts that were the keepsake of the Elim Xanax. Xanax wasn’t stupid to hide it in a place where it could be easily found. He had hidden the Baius Shield in a place only the Elim’s Heir could find. However, Ark couldn’t bet on that 100%.

Worship the God at the River of Eternity and look at the rising sun to see the sacred numbers become unlucky numbers. Advance from there and you will be able to find the token of new life. Dig with all you might under your feet.

For example, there might be a clue like that. There was no law that didn’t say there wouldn’t be a clue to the treasure. They couldn’t also dig at the place by accident. How could he guarantee that Berami and his slaves wouldn’t find it and sell it?

‘When thinking about it from my position, it might become even more troublesome once the exclusive grave period ends. At the end of the exclusive grace period, the ruins will be promoted and pioneers will come running to Inquiry. In the end, there will just be more pioneers searching at the ruins.’

That situation would be the greatest burden on Ark.

‘Is there a way to investigate the ruins?’

He could sneak in using Stealth. However, Berami’s slaves were working inside the ruins. It was impossible to investigate such a spacious site without being detected by them. If he did it that way then the problem would intensify.

If Berami discovered him then that could lead to trouble with the Council.

‘Damn, it seemed easier this time because I got the galaxy map from Bao but it is gradually getting harder. First I needed a way to enter the Ghost Planet and now it is entering the pyramid. But I can’t just wait and do nothing….’

Wiing!

There was a mechanical sound as the tavern doors opened. When he turned around, a small alien with 8 legs had entered the tavern. And it walked past Ark to the tavern owner.

-I came to receive today’s food for Master.

“Here it is. 50 Space Food, right?”

Thank you.

The alien humbly lowered its head. Then it exited while carrying a package three or four times bigger than it.

Ark watched in dumb surprise before asking the old man.

“T-that alien just now?”

“Like I said, they are Berami’s slaves. Anyway, it is terrible. He found such children and made them work as slaves. Frankly, I wouldn’t see any food to Berami but the slaves are so pitiful that I have to sell it.”

“Excuse me.”

Ark said while standing up.

————————————————————————–

“Hyung-nim!”

Milan ran towards him after he exited the tavern. While Ark was collecting information, he had also given Tori, Milan and Hegel tasks to do.

First, Tori and Hegel went shopping.

Once again, this was a Hive. The types of goods and prices varied depending on the star system that the Hive belonged to. It was the same logic as when seafood was cheap at a harbour or iron ore at a mine. The merchants in the frontier would be an item cheaply and then sell it for a high price at another Hive.

Of course, Ark wasn’t a merchant. However, he had landed on a Hive and the Silver Star’s warehouse was empty.

‘If I sell it at S-20 then I can make a profit. Anyway, I’m not a professional merchant but I can still make profit.’

Ark wasn’t a special case. He couldn’t freely wander around on his spaceship. Every time he sailed into the universe, he spend 2,000 gold on 4 fuel rods. It could be used for quite a while but it wasn’t easy to make money using a spaceship.

Tori and Hegel were useful in calculating things like this. On the other hand, Milan….

“Did you check?”

“Yes, the boundary is tight. There is barbed wire around the ruins and motion sensors. I also saw a few androids acting as guards.”

Milan took over investigating the ruins. If someone controlled the pyramid, the first thing they would think of was other people trying to enter. Therefore Ark sent Milan to check the guards. If the security was this much then it would be hard to use Stealth. However…..

“But I saw people I never would’ve thought of at the pyramid.”

“The Charenjok?”

“Eh? How did Hyung-nim know?”

“I saw a young Charenjok in the tavern.”

That’s right. The little alien Ark saw in the tavern was a Charenjok. Berami had mobilized the Charenjok as slaves to excavate the ruins. They were wearing a Slave’s Collar.

“How many Charenjok are there?”

“They continue to come and go while carrying stones or dirt so I don’t know the exact number. Once I saw at least 60~70 of them.”

“He gathered quite a large number of slaves to excavate the ruins.”

“It’s hard to say because I didn’t enter but it seems quite serious. The remains are buried in the ground so they have to move stones and dirt. While I was watching, the Charenjok didn’t rest and just carried the stones and dirt.”

Yet the daunting task hadn’t been completed yet.

“By the way, those guys really have no consideration for the Charenjok. If there is even a slight delay then they don’t hesitate to kick or whip the Charenjok. I have a close friendship with the Charenjok of S-20 so my anger was surging at the sight.”

“How many people did you see ordering around the Charenjok?”

“Not that many. I only saw 4 people.”

“You didn’t see inside the pyramid?”

“Yes, it wasn’t visible. It was easier to watch the slaves outside than the ones in the interior. But they were being surveilled. A bunch of flying objects watching the Charenjok.”

“Flying….”

“Palm sized surveillance robots. I think it is a flying surveillance camera. Usually treasure hunters who own a large amount of slaves will use them to watch over the slaves. There is an official name but merchants just call it Fly because it resembles them.”

Once again, Milan’s occupation was a Treasure Hunter. Ark had met a NPC strong in that specialized field so he knew a lot of details about treasure hunting. Tori and Hegel returned from the market while Milan was explaining the circumstances.

“There are several stores here without any worthwhile items. But several items that are hard to find on Istana was being sold at a cheap price.”

“It is all finished.”

Ark returned to the Silver Star with Tori. And all sorts of items piled up in the warehouse welcomed him. Daggers, pistols, machine guns, wire rope, shovel, tools, cameras, etc.

In fact, this was one of the nice things about the Silver Star.

Previously the items he could carry was limited to the backpack. Even if there were items useful for adventures, it wasn’t possible to bring tem due to the capacity of the backpack. Space needed to be reserved for important items and items picked up that could be sold later.

However, that situation changed with the Silver Star. He could bring as much items for adventures as he wanted. Ark arranged the shelves in the warehouse by the type of item.

The so called Ark’s Item Collection!

It was great for decorative purposes and acquiring items in the field

“Hmm, this should last for a while.”

Ark grabbed one of his collection and smiled.

“A surprisingly easy method to enter the pyramid might be possible.”

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16 thoughts on “Space 1: Inquiry

  1. Pingback: ATL volume 14 space 1 | Rainbow Turtle Translations

  2. lightdx

    Thanks for the chapter. It was pretty interesting. I can’t wait to see what Ark is going to do.^^
    PD: Is there a chance of a bonus chapter of ATL tomorrow? D:

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    1. Son-Derling

      i doubt that! there are only 71 more chapters of ATL released so far….that is why we only get a chapter every 3-4 days now so it lasts until the end of the year.(so the author can publish more volumes after volume 21)

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      Reply
  3. Bobnini

    where the old hat of the alien squids?, just use the hat to tell that you are cool and GG you enter the pyramid

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