SPACE 1. My name is Alan!
Tak tak tak, tak tak tak.
Footsteps moved quickly in the darkness. The soldiers quickly moved between the walls while holding rifles. The soldiers movements showed their training as they had no unnecessary movements. They moved 100 metres and gathered behind a thick bulkhead.
“B team, we’ve arrived in the strategy area.”
–Any enemy movement?
A mixed up voice was heard from the Nymphe. A blond soldier equipped with an infrared scope looked over the bulkhead and replied.
“So far I don’t see any strange movements.”
-Okay. Commence the work immediately. Finish the operation within 10 minutes and join us.
The blond soldier answered and winked. The soldier who received the wink nodded and 3~4 soldiers put down a bag. A monitor the size of the palm of a hand spouted 4 spikes and fixed firmly to the ground while a bag full of mechanical parts were opened.
“We have 10 minutes.”
“Yes, just give me a moment.”
The blond soldier leaned back against the bulkhead and searched his pockets. He pulled out a crumpled cigarette before suddenly turning his head like he remembered something.
“Hey, newbie. Do you want one?”
“No, it’s okay.”
“You should relax a little bit. You neck and back will become too stiff if you don’t relax. Didn’t I tell you? This is also a relaxing technique. It is good to be careful but you can’t show all your skills if you’re too tense. So rest when you can.”
The person wearing a full helmet nodded. However the man still didn’t take his eyes off the other side of the bulkhead.
‘I’ve finally arrived.’
The environment was pitch black. Even without the infrared scope, the enemies swarming hundreds of metres from where the soldiers were gathered could clearly be seen. The shadows swarmed like a group of ants that they would soon fight.
‘How on earth……’
A complicated sigh flowed from the man’s mouth. No matter how thorough his plans, unpredictable actions could happen that would cause adverse situation. At least that was his experience. But this time he didn’t know if he was lucky or unlucky. There was only one thing he was certain of! But whether it was lucky or unlucky, he had no choice anymore.
‘Yes, this is my mission now. So I need to concentrate on survival. I have no choice but to wait for a good opportunity. I have to breakthrough somehow to do that!’
The man made a firm resolution. Suddenly a blue light flashed from the dark side.
‘Eh? A light? Heok! D-don’t tell me……?’
It had only been 1 second since the man noticed the light. Then a streamlined object trailing smoke flew towards him! The blond man who was smoking noticed the smoke and cried out.
“It is dangerous! Rocket!”
Kwa kwa kwa kwang!
There was an eardrum shaking roar. Flames swept past the top of the bulkhead and caused it to melt. Urgency appeared on the head of the blond soldier’s face that had been deeply tanned.
“Dammit, we were found?”
–B team! What is going on? Report on the situation!
“Those guys have detected us! We need support!”
–Damn, it can’t be helped. We’ll move there soon so endure for a little while.
The blond soldier turned his body to the opposite side while answering vigorously. Black shadows were quickly climbing over the held melted bulkhead.
“Heok! T-this fast…..?”
“They’ve also appeared here! Several of them seem to have hidden around here!”
“Ugh, shoot! We must endure until the main forces get here!”
Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu!
The blond soldier yelled with distress and fired over the bulkhead. But the enemies’ movements were faster. They avoided the bullets and ran along the bulkhead towards the blond soldier. Sharp fangs with a horrible smell were about to be driven in the blond soldier’s neck!
There was a ring and the enemy flew sideways as it was hit. The soldier with the full helmet approached and asked.
“Are you alright?”
“N-newbie! Heok, it is dangerous!”
The blond soldier’s face turn pale white and he burst out screaming. Three shadows had appeared behind the rookie soldier. The man realized his situation thanks to the blond soldier’s reaction and turned. However, their movement was many times faster. The rookie couldn’t respond before they covered him. And the man was rolled to the other side.
“Dammit! Newbie! Answer me! Newbie! Ah…….”
The blond soldier cried out with a desperate tone.
Cheolkeok, cheolkeok, cheolkeok! Pepepeng!
There was a ringing sound and the head of a shadow on the man exploded. Half of the head flew away and the other two shadows bounced back from the shockwave. The newcomer in the centre slowly stood up. But he looked completely different from before. He was surrounded by an insect like armour. The black armour was the battle suit designed for space pioneering. And the man wearing the battle suit……
The blond soldier laughed as he saw it.
“Alan…..this bastard, you surprised me!”
“Eh? What, what the?”
Ark was confused.
“What is going on?”
He couldn’t understand the sight unfolding before his eyes. It was evident that something was going on. And there was no doubt that Ark’s actions would have a profound impact. The problem was he wasn’t sure if it was good or not. But there was one thing he was sure about. Something…..there was something strange about the situation.
“No, it can’t be. It isn’t necessary to think of this as something bad. Yes, it’s been good so far. The results seem to be good. There is evidence that I’ve received quite a bit of good luck. Now let’s calm down and think. I might be able to find some clues from the beginning to understand the situation.”
Ark pushed down his confusion and recalled some memories. It was approximately 3 hours ago.
“Found it! I found it! I finally found it!”
Ark was lost in excitement. It was reasonable. He had travelled 100 km from Nabe towards the Nabe lake and searched for a while for Charem.
“I knew there was something when I heard about the prohibited area!”
He had sensed there was a relation after hearing Bakum’s words. But he never imagined the process he would go through to find Charem. He had encountered a group of androids and thought he was going to die! Then he was swept away by a vortex! Once caught in the current of water, he was drawn towards a large propeller and almost turned into mincemeat! It took more than 10 days to reach this point! The result was excellent! Ark wasn’t the type to dwell on the past.
“If my search wasn’t so precise then I wouldn’t have found the Charenjok. My 10 day search wasn’t useless. Yes, that’s right. It is natural.”
He rationalized everything.
“Anyway, I understand almost all the surrounding circumstances.”
Ark looked at his Nymphe’s screen. In fact, Ark couldn’t understand the situation that occurred just now. It was natural. He was suddenly attacked by androids at the bottom of the lake, sucked into a black hole and driven towards a huge propeller. It was difficult to understand something that happened so suddenly. But all his doubts were resolved the moment he saw Charem on his Nymphe screen. He slid the Wire Camera through a gap in the pipe and saw a panoramic view of the city. Charem was a city floating in the clouds and surrounded by a transparent blue sphere! Charem was an aerial city in the clouds.
“Yes, I was moved through a huge water tank. I thought it felt familiar and now I know. The water tank is a water facility. The black hole I was sucked into is a pipe that moves water from the northern lake to facilities in the city. The lobster androids that attacked me are the guards protecting the source of water.”
It was the reason the octopuses disappeared. The android lobsters were placed to protect the water source. The octopuses were probably caught the moment they entered. The octopuses bodies were then sucked into the filter tank, purified and turned into minerals for the drinking water. Anyway…..that was the dreadful secret of the prohibited area.
“What about the quest received from Bakum?”
The ending was slightly uncomfortable but weren’t the octopuses already dead? However, he couldn’t just say ‘this is the last of the missing octopuses’ and hand over some mineral water. Anyway, Bakum asked him to find what happened to the little octopuses and gave him compensation in advance so he should neatly clean up the quest.
Ark opened the quest information window.
-The goal of the quest have been changed.
You’ve received a secret mission from Marquis Martin and managed to sneak into Charem after a long investigation. But you can’t be relieved just yet. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that this is just the start of your mission and the real danger will begin now.
Your job is to transmit Charem’s GPS information to the galactic federation. But Charem is a city that constantly moves so the correct GPS information can’t be acquired. So the GPS information needs to be continually transmitted from inside Charem. Like you’ve already heard, the many layers of the shield is hiding Charem from the federation’s monitoring. The only way to transmit the GPS information outside is to connect to Charem’s communication antenna in their central control tower.
|+ Sub Quest: <Intelligence Agent Kara> +
<Intelligence Agent Kara> is a separate mission received from Marquis Martin. Before this situation had occurred, Marquis Martin had sent an intelligence agent to Charem. If you find Kara who is already in Charem then you will be able to receive a lot of help to complete the mission. If you can find him.
The quest was automatically updated once he confirmed it was Charem with the Wire Camera.
“The information window states that the real danger is beginning now. I have to locate Charem’s central control power. Entering a place like that and connecting to the tower won’t be easy. All the residents and guards here are enemies.”
This situation might be even more difficult! He couldn’t dwell on the fate of the octopuses.
“Okay, now the first thing I have to do is……”
Ark considered for a while before smiling.
“Of course it is shopping.”
He had planned that since receiving the quest. Once again, Charem wasn’t an ordinary city. Charem was a huge smuggling market! And the most important feature was that there was no tax. In other words, all the goods traded in Charem were duty free goods! There was a slight handling fee but it was cheaper than formally importing it. Smuggled goods that were more expensive than regular goods didn’t exist. Furthermore, the goods were prohibited items. It traded in smuggled goods from the federation, Aschulat and even the Rama. It was possible to save money and gain rare items on Charem.
Ark couldn’t overlook the chance to go shopping for such items.
“If Charem is helping the Rama then Marquis Martin will rally the federal army to arrest them. If I complete the quest then Charem will be out of business. So I should use this chance to shop before I begin the quest. And I have abundant money.”
Ark sent a warm look towards his heavy bag. He had tirelessly picked up items on Beltana and earned 17,400 gold! Ark monopolized all the money under the name of a business founding capital. Ark was prepared to pour all that money in if necessary. There was no reason to save money when buying an item that might give him more profit. This was the real reason why Ark postponed the Murat ruins expedition and accepted this quest.
“Huhuhu, this is clearly the revelation of heaven.”
He could smell money.
“I should go outside for the moment.”
Ark wiped up his saliva and crawled along the pipe. Ark had spent a fortnight living in the pipes on R-14. Ark was also blazing with the will to go shopping. Small and complicated pipes weren’t a problem for him. So he crawled through the pipe for 2 hours.
“An exit! Here is Charem!”
Finally he was able to go outside. And……
“What, what the? This?”
He witnessed an incomprehensible sight. Ark had seen Charem from inside the pipe. There were a huge variety of aliens and the atmosphere was like a huge shopping mall. But the place Ark arrived at had a completely different atmosphere. Not that many people were visible. He had deliberately chosen a deserted place and waited for night time where there would be fewer people. Yet he couldn’t find even a single trace of a person once he went outside. That wasn’t the only problem.
“It is like a war has occurred……”
He didn’t realize it at first because it was dark but the buildings weren’t normal. Some were crumbling down while other buildings had huge holes in the exterior walls. That wasn’t all. Some rubble were gathered and used to seal off certain paths.
Why? What was the reason?
‘No, this atmosphere is like they are preparing for a wall. But why? Who…..? Charem has certainly antagonized the federation. But the federation hasn’t found Charem yet. And it is also difficult for the federation to suddenly attack other alien species. If a foreign enemy attacks then the shield around the city can protect them.
The only thing he could think of was an inner enemy!
‘Is it something like a riot or coup d’état?’
But Charem’s atmosphere hadn’t felt like this when looking at the city from the pipe. And a riot of coup d’état didn’t explain why there were no indications of people around.
‘It is clear that something has happened.’ I saw people from inside the pipe so the situation is only happening in certain areas. Then should I return to the pipe and look for a normal section of the city?’
Ark thought for a while before shaking his head.
‘No, it is too risky. If it is a huge event then the whole city might be changed. Whether it is a riot or external attack, the city’s security was higher than normal. If I step into a place filled with people then I might cause a ruckus. Yes, I should learn what happened here first.’
A person naturally appeared in his head when thinking about it. The intelligence agent Marquis Martin sent, Kara. He sneaked in Charem before it was closed off so he would know what happened. He had wanted to put off contacting Kara until he finished shopping but now he had no choice.
|-You have sent a message to recognition code T-3012.|
He sent a message to Kara’s recognition code that he received from Marquis Martin
Cheolpeok! Jiik….. Cheolpeok! Jiik…..
He suddenly heard the sound of something wet against the ground.
‘There is someone!’
He suddenly heard a sound from a place where there were no signs of people. Ark sharpened his nerves and looked around. Then he heard the same sound again. The sound was coming from the opposite corner!
Ark whispered and his body became transparent. The light refracted around his body was one of the Survivor coating skills, Stealth! Ark killed the sound of his footsteps while in Stealth mode and approached the source of the noise. The moment he protruded his head around the corner!
‘Huk! W-what the hell?’
A situation he couldn’t imagine was occurring in the alley. The first thing he saw was a corpse. There were three or four bodies on the round with their flesh torn out. And a strange monster with long skinny arms and legs like a mummified spider were biting away at the bodies. But Ark wasn’t surprised at the corpses or the monster. Galaxian was a game. It was a SF game. Therefore it would be okay even if a monster resembling Taekwon V showed up. Slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people with a nuclear bomb was also okay. The unidentified monster wasn’t an interest to him. But the circumstances were different because this was the middle of a city.
‘Why is there a monster in town? Does the situation in the city have something to do with these monsters? No, why would a monster in the first place……’
Ark couldn’t get a grasp of the situation. However, his worries didn’t continue for long.
‘Eh? What is this? Blood?’
Ark had stepped on some weird blood gathered on the ground. The monster that was eating the corpse suddenly raised its head. Stealth was a skill that only showed its worth when the opponent didn’t know about Ark’s existence. If the opponent noticed Ark then the effect would disappear. The monster heard the noise he made and the transparent effect faded when it lifted its head.
“Dammit! Impact sword!”
Ark cursed and pulled out his sword.
Tang-! Tang-! Tang-!
The sound of gunshots shook the city at the same time. But the monster was already somewhere else. Ark had pulled the trigger of his sword but the monster had already attached itself to the wall and moved towards Ark. The spider attached to the wall moved with tremendous speed. The fangs gleaming with blood soon got close to him. It was the fangs that had been biting the corpses just now!
Ark flinched as it headed towards his shoulder. Ark groaned and rolled across the ground. He raised his body and pulled the trigger again. No, he was about to pull it. However the monster was gone.
“What, what the? Where is that bastard?”
Ark burst out with confusion and the monster on the opposite wall shrieked and rushed towards him. His chest was torn as blood splattered. The subsequent attack had claws scratching his side. It was a speed difficult to spot with his eyes! It also had high damage so his health decreased by 30% after a few attacks. However…..
“I got it!”
Ark exclaimed while laughing. At the same time, his arms grabbed the monster’s waist firmly. He lifted the waist and did a back drop! He threw it firmly to the ground.
“I’m sorry but my specialty is close combat fighting.”
Ark laughed as he looked at the monster splattered on the ground. That’s right. Ark’s combat style combined taekwondo and martial arts. But that wasn’t all. Gwon Hwa-rang introduced him to the famous police officer Lee Myung-ryong and he beat Ark down to make him stronger. Ark was dedicated himself to training to prove his Master’s faith. One part of being Lee Myung-ryong’s desciple was dauntlessness. He needed to become stronger if he wanted to survive with such a master. Therefore Ark definitely became stronger. By training in the police academy’s gym, he became well-rounded in boxing, judo and wrestling. It was part of the reason for the birth of New World’s strongest user. Anyway!
Ark’s nose bled until he got anaemia learning the techniques and they were now ingrained in his body. Ark used the gun but he couldn’t compete in a speed battle with it. He had reflexively become used to shooting a gun first. But the opponent was too fast to be pushed into close combat fighting.
‘A quick monster like that won’t be hit by my marksmanship. But that’s only if I can’t strike a direct blow. It won’t be necessary to use a gun. It is so fast that I can’t catch up but…..’
“Come you zombie like guy, bring it on!”
Ark purposely provoked the monster. And it ran up trying to bite his shoulder.
“Yes, no matter how quick you are you still have to approach me when attacking!”
Ark grabbed the body and slammed it against the ground. But that wasn’t the end. He kept on kicking it when it was forced to the ground. Kick! Kick! The monster struggled to get up and punch! Punch! Punch! It tried to use its claws and stab! Stab! Stab! The monster wasn’t a match for Ark once he used martial arts. He was capable of having a martial arts career. And 100 damage, 200, 300…..the monster was battered after a 3 minute battle.
“Phew, that was more difficult than I thought.”
Ark also wasn’t in a normal state. He had been relentless bit and scratched and only had 30% health left. The opponent wasn’t easy to deal with.
“Now that I have time to speak…..what on earth is this guy?”
Ark breathed harshly as he looked down at the monster on the ground. Ark’s Clairvoyance skill gave him the ability to learn information about the monster. Therefore Ark immediately used the Clairvoyance but couldn’t learn any information.
Type: ??? Danger: ???
Combat Power: ???
You are unable to identify the object.
It had questions marks like the android lobster he encountered. But the one collapsed on the ground wasn’t an android. It bled something like oil but it was unmistakeably a monster. That meant it was a monster not yet identified. It was incomprehensible to Ark.
“Why is an unidentified monster in a city and not the Outlands? How did a monster with no known information about it appear in a city floating thousands of metres in the air? And why is this city like this?”
He had several questions. And he still hadn’t received a reply from Kara.
“Damn, what is he doing? It can’t be helped. I don’t know anything about these monsters and it is too risky to move around. I’ll go back to the pipe for the moment and wait for Kara to contact me. I should search that guy first.”
Ark decided on the course he would take and approached the monster. Suddenly the dead monster started shaking?
“Heok! What, what the?”
Ark had no idea what was happening with the corpse and retreated. The stomach of the monster bloated like a balloon and split open. Then a few spider like insects crawled out? It was so creepy that Ark experienced goose bumps at the scene. But the more shocking scene occurred afterwards. Ark hesitated and withdrew while the spiders attached themselves to the corpses. The bones and limbs of the dead body doubled in length. It became thin and looked like a mummified spider. Surprisingly it turned into the monster that he had just killed. And…..it started producing two bodies.
“This, unbelievable…..how is this……?”
Ark stuttered with a pale face. It was a shocking scene! But that wasn’t the problem right now. Ark only had 30% health left after fighting the monster right now. But now 3 more had appeared.
‘A group! I can’t win like this!’
The monster’s fast speed also meant that it wouldn’t be easy to escape.
‘Dammit, I should’ve escaped as soon as I defeated one…..the odds aren’t in my favour even if I wear the battle suit. There is no other way. I have to run away. If I wear the battle shield and use Mind Shield then I might be able to hold on long enough to escape. I have to sneak away to the manhole.’
Ark was about to implement his plan to withdraw.
Pa pa pa pa! Pa pa pa pa!
The monsters ran along the two side walls at a huge rate. Some also blocked the entrance of the alley.
‘Oh my god! My path has been blocked! At this rate……’
Ark looked desperately at the monsters.
A mysterious yell suddenly resounded through the alley. He reflexively turned around and saw a flash crossing the darkness. The identity was a rocket fired from a RPG. But where did it come from? Who? He had no room to consider these things. Ark had already experienced the power of the RPG on the battlefield. If he was directly hit then he would lost 50% health even when wearing the battle suit! If he was involved in the RPG explosion in this narrow alley then Ark who only had 30% health left would turn to ashes.
“Dammit! What on earth?”
Ark cursed as he ran inside the alley.
Kwa kwa kwa kwa kwa kwa!
The ensuing explosion shook the area. The shock wave caused Ark to fly into a wall! His hair was burnt and he lost 10% health. Ark grabbed his head and cried out.
Ark swallowed a moan and turned his head. Then he heard the same voice that yelled out before.
“A team, B team, now’s the time. Don’t let them rest and continue assaulting them!”
Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu!
After the RPG attack there was a shower of bullets. The monsters were overwhelmed by the firepower and collapsed to the ground.
“The opponents are the Sufferers. C team, finish it!”
Flames engulfed the monsters that had fallen.The monsters wrapped in flames ran around screaming but their movements soon stopped and they turned in to ashes. After a while……A group of people approached through the smoke. They wore glossy armour while holding assault rifles and grenades. And some were equipped with RPGs or flamethrowers. While Ark stared at them with stupid eyes, the soldiers checked the perimeter before nodding and shouting.
“Clear! I’ve confirmed that they are all extinct!”
“Hey, are you alive?”
Then one of the guys walked up to Ark. He was a middle aged man holding a RPG.
“We are Charem’s special riot team Phoenix. I am the captain Kalbern.”
The middle aged Kalbern looked at Ark and laughed.
“I came after hearing some gun shots but you’re lucky. Meeting us like this. If we were a little bit later then you would already be dead. This is a contaminated area but it hasn’t been infested with Sufferers yet.”
“Contaminated area? Sufferer? What do you mean?”
“What? You have no idea what is happening here?”
Ark thought about Kalbern’s question. He forgot for a while but Ark had sneaked into Charem as the galactic federation’s spy. The monsters eating the corpses in the alley were dangerous but Ark also had to be cautious of Charem’s guards. If Ark was detected as a spy then it was likely that tremendous firepower would be turned on him.
Ark thought fiercely as he looked for an explanation.
“You must’ve found some shelter and hid in there the whole time so you don’t understand the whole situation.”
Kalbern seemed like an easy going character who didn’t pay attention to trivial matters. Ark quickly continued the conversation.
“Yes, that’s right. In fact I am a big hermit. I stayed at home for a long time and when I finally emerged it was like this. So I don’t know what happened. I’ve been hiding but I was surrounded by them before I knew it. Ah, I haven’t greeted you. Thank you very much.”
“You went through a lot……”
Kalbern laughed at his expression. Ark was currying favour to try and please the NPC. Anyway, Ark managed to avoid the Phoenix’s suspicions. And he waited for the proper timing before cutting to the chase.
“By the way, did you call that thing a Sufferer?”
“Yes, that is the name of the people who had the monsters attached to them and transformed.”
“People? Are you saying all those monsters were people? Why are those people……?”
“We don’t know the exact reason.”
Kalbern scratched his head and sighed.
“In fact, we also don’t know that much. These monsters suddenly emerged from the central control tower around a month ago. The researchers who took shelter in the safety zone said that it was a type of disease. The patients were called Sufferers. Anyway, they are really annoying guys. The cause of the first onset is unknown but once the Sufferer turns, they become incredibly stronger with a body like a spider and they can infect the dead bodies around them. Thanks to that, the contamination has spread to 2/3rd of Charem. Fortunately we’ve isolated the contaminated area but we can’t stop the spread until we know the cause…….”
Then Ark’s Nymphe vibrated and a message appeared.
|-New monster data has been registered to your Nymphe.|
Category: Mutated Life Forms Danger: A
Combat Power: B~C
The Sufferer is a mutated life form of unknown origin in Charem. It isn’t possible to grasp all the information about the Sufferer. The pathogens of the Sufferer can infect dead people and create a secondary infection of Sufferers. These life forms can increase exponentially and are classified as a 1st class risk in the galaxy.
* You can gain additional information if you face the same type of monster many times.
The information on the Sufferer was updated on his Nymphe. Sometimes information about the monster would be registered after the NPC gives an explanation.
‘The Sufferer can infect the body? Isn’t this like a zombie?’
But the corpses was the only thing that was similar. Ark was also fought zombies in New World. The features of those zombies were generally slow. But the Sufferer’s speed was faster than Ark. He managed to use mixed martial arts to defeat it but it was difficult. Then wasn’t it an enhanced zombie? Something floated in Ark’s head as he thought this.
‘Wait? The Sufferers appeared a month ago? Wasn’t one month ago when Charem broke off contact with the federation? Then the Sufferers are the reason why Charem broke off the exchange with the federation? Kalbern said that Charem’s central control tower was part of the contaminated area. Was Charem’s shield already triggered when the Sufferers appeared? If the Sufferers multiplied and prevents access to the central control power……’
If all the shields were exercised then Charem was perfectly isolated from the outside. The federation didn’t understand the reason and believed that Charem was now a hostile force. Kalbern continued speaking while Ark was thinking.
“The biggest problem is that the shield was triggered but the central control power is overrun with Sufferers. In this situation we can’t send requests for help to the federation or the Aschulat. And there is no guarantee the safety zones won’t be infected.”
‘Oh my god! Then…..’
Ark became startled. Ark managed to enter the city thanks to Charem’s water system. But the water supply facility was designed to be a one way gate. It was an entrance but it wouldn’t work as an exit. In other words, Ark was also stuck in Charem. Of course there were still ways for him to escape. Ark’s last resurrection spot was Nabe so he would revive there if he died. But he would lose all the experience, skills and skill proficiencies that he gained over the last 10 days. Ark had no intention of doing something like that.
“Is there nothing we can do?”
“That’s why we’re here.”
“Like I said, there is no guarantee that the safety zones will remain safe from the infection. And it is impossible to deal with all the Sufferers with our remaining soldiers. Then isn’t there only one way left? We have to retake the central control tower, turn off the shield and send a request for help.”
“We are the squad undertaking this mission. That’s why we’re out here.”
Kalbern scratched his head and replied. Ark thought for a moment and raised his head while saying.
“Captain Kalbern-nim, I have a request!”
“I can guess what the favour is but…..I’m sorry. We can’t protect you anymore. One day has passed since we came here. Charem has been closed off for a month so the food supply in the safety zone is running out. It may sound cruel but retaking the tower’s management system is more important than saving you. We have to accomplish the mission no matter what. Then all the problems will be settled. Why don’t you return to your hideout and wait there? We will give you some supplies if you need it.”
“That’s not what I want to ask.”
“That’s not your favour? Then what is it?”
“I want to go with Captain Kalbern-nim’s unit!”
“W-what? You want to accompany us? Are you in your right mind?”
“Please. I’ve heard about the reputation of the Phoenix unit and have long admired you. It increased even more after Captain Kalbern-nim and the Phoenix unit rescued me! It deeply impressed me. I can understand Captain Kalbern-nim’s worries. You don’t have to worry about my safety. My deep admiration for Captain Kalbern-nim will make me feel worse if you reject me.”
“Ah, no, that is…..”
Ark exclaimed and grabbed Kalbern’s hand.
“I have always waited for this day! I can’t possible remain in the contaminated area now that I know this. I deeply respect the Phoenix squad and your mission so I am willing to risk my life. I won’t be a burden! Please give me a chance! This is my opportunity to be colleagues with the great Captain Kalbern-nim and the Phoenix squad!”
Ark looked at Kalbern with burning eyes. Of course this was 100% a lie. He had only heard about the Phoenix unit now. He was thankful that they saved him but it wasn’t to the extent that he spoke about. But there was a reason he talked like that.
‘It is better to move with these guys!’
Ark came to this conclusion after hearing Kalbern’s words.
‘Looking at this situation, Charem didn’t intentionally cut off contact with the federation. The central control tower was taken by the Sufferers and they can’t control the shields anymore. But I don’t care about Charem’s circumstances. My mission is to connect to the central tower’s antenna and transmit the GPS information to Marquis Martin. That didn’t change even if he discovered the reason for the disconnection. But……’
The Phoenix’s mission was to reclaim Charem’s management system. There would be a problem if the Phoenix succeeded or failed in the mission. If they failed then Ark would be trapped on Charem. However, it was difficult even if they succeeded. If the Phoenix squad regained control of the system then they would release the shield and send a help request to the federation and Aschulat. Ark would also be able to leave Charem. If he looked at it like that then it seemed like a happy ending. No, it was obviously a happy ending for Charem’s NPCs but…..
‘For me it is the worst ending!’
Then the reason for Ark to send Charem’s GPS information would disappear. He wouldn’t be able to receive compensation for the quest anymore. No, Marquis Martin was a ruthless opponent and might make him pay for the Hyde Helmet and STK-VII. In other words, all his efforts over the last few days and overcoming the many crisis would be for nothing.
‘If I don’t want to fail the quest then I need to connect to the antenna before the Phoenix squad to send the GPS information. If the GPS information is sent first then it doesn’t matter if the Phoenix complete their mission. Marquis Martin would have to allow it. But it would be difficult to single-handedly capture the control tower overrun with Sufferers.
He could infer that from his 1-on-1 battle with a Sufferer just ow. No, he wouldn’t have trouble dealing with two of them. But it would be difficult to win if he faced three. Besides, they could infect dead bodies to produce new Sufferers! The control tower was infested with these monsters.
‘There is a reason it is an A ranked quest. I thought that difficult was due to the sneaking in but it was actually for breaking into the control tower. That is the cause of the A ranking.’
This was the reason he wanted to accompany the Phoenix squad. Users couldn’t determine the level of NPCs. However, it was possible to guess their level by looking at the NPC’s equipment. All items had a level restriction attached to them. And the Phoenix squad were wearing weapons that Ark remembered having a level 80~90 restriction. The general members were higher levelled than Ark. And the squad had 30 people! They also fully understood the structure of the control tower.
‘If these troops fail then it will be impossible on my own. I will also be in trouble if they succeed. So the only way left is to accompany them. Once they regain the management system, I have to quickly……’
Everything would be okay if he sent the GPS information first! Charem would be saved and Ark would receive his reward.
“Captain-nim, this is my only wish! Please let my join the Phoenix squad!”
Ark started at Kalbern with eyes blazing with desire. Naturally that desire was towards the quest reward.
Kalbern scratched his head.
“Captain-nim, just accept it.”
A squad member who was watching laughed and cut in. Ark turned towards the voice and flinched. The member who interrupted had dark skin and pointy ears like a Dark Elf. Ark had seen this alien species before. The Rama that he encountered on Beltana!
‘There are also Rama in Charem……’
It felt strange seeing a Rama who was normally his enemy as a NPC.
“Our mission is dangerous but isn’t it also dangerous to leave him here? He managed to defeat 1 Sufferer before we got here so his combat power should be useful. Isn’t Charem’s motto ‘all people are equal when it comes to profit?’ Is there a reason for refusing? Doesn’t he admire us?”
Kalbern worried for a while but eventually nodded.
“It can’t be helped. Then Clark, you take care of him.”
The Rama called Clark looked at Ark and said.
“Did you hear? I’ll be in charge of you from now on. I hope you will do well.”
“Thank you for your help.”
“Don’t thank me just yet. If you’re afraid then don’t come whining to me. Ah, and take this. It is a counter. You will receive a counter every time you defeat a Sufferer and the mileage will accumulate. We might be Charem’s special forces but we are also mercenaries. We won’t risk our lives for anything that doesn’t give money. If you become a member of Phoenix then you will also work for a reward. Why, are you disappointed? Do you find it disgusting that the Phoenix are trying to earn a bit of money from this situation?”
Was there such a thing?
He also collected rewards no matter the circumstances so he understood.
“No. Isn’t give and take a normal part of the world?”
“You are surprisingly flexible. I like it.”
At the same time, the Nymphe vibrated and the information window appeared.
|<Operation to retake the management system>
You have met the Phoenix special forces in a contaminated area of Charem. A rescue operation is in progress to capture the management system at the central control tower.
You’ve asked to accompany the squad as a favour and Captain Kalbern allowed it. You will be compensated depending on the number of Sufferers you kill during the operation. But if you fail or die then you won’t be able to receive the compensation.
‘Oh, a quest?’
He could settle the <Charem’s Infiltration> quest as well! Ark once again burnt with motivation after looking at the information window.
“Then the members will soon be introduced to you. Anyway, you said Captain Kalbern say my name right? The following is…..ah, I haven’t asked for your name yet.
“Ah, yes. My name is A……”
Ark was about to answer without thinking when he flinched and shut his mouth. The quest information window distracted him but Ark was a spy. Of course, Charem’s real situation meant he might not have to worry about being discovered. However, Ark’s purpose was to accompany the Phoenix squad and then send the GPS information to Marquis Martin first.
‘A problem might occur later so I should hide my real name.’
The Hyde Helmet had a full glass coating on the front so people couldn’t see his face The glass like monitor gave him a fake face and fake features. In other words, Kalbern and Clark were seeing someone other than Ark right now. But he hadn’t registered a name yet.
‘Damn, I wanted to write a cool name like Dark Wolf. However I already said part of the name without thinking. If I say a different name then it might cause confusion. Therefore I need to find a name that starts with A.’
That name was……
“Alan. Yes, my name is Alan.”
|-The name ‘Alan’ has been registered in the Hyde Helmet’s memory.|
The message flashed after he spoke. Alan, this was the second name used by Ark in Galaxian.