Space 1: Ruins Exploration

SPACE 1. Ruins Exploration

“This is…..”

Ark muttered with a lost expression.  Ark had arrived at Nephalim, sold to the Silver Hand and hunted the mechanical Nakuma for a fortnight because of one goal. That was the hack the memory chip of the toy airplane to determine the data. It was the reason he rolled around in the mud and was covered in oil. He finally completed the hacking program ‘Invader’ and was ready to access the data on the toy.

-You have attempted a hack.

The hacking process will change depending on the lock.  The lock and degree of difficulty will depend on the rating of the hacking skill.   If you penetrate all the security measures around the lock then it will be released.

“Eh?”

Ark had though the rest would proceed automatically after making the hacking program. Yet the information window said that some technique was necessary to release the lock. Of course, Ark panicked because he didn’t know any techniques…..

-The current lock accessed is ‘High Runner: Level 2.’

The character is located on the left end of your hacking program ‘Invader.’
You need to break through numerous obstacles and the guardian protecting the data to reach the destination. If you touch any obstacles or the guardian then the hacking will fail.

Now, display your newly learned hacking capabilities and try to invade the data!

The Nymphe’s screen ended up changing. A person holding a big key appeared on the lower left and started running. And numerous rocks, traps and robots appeared on the right side. Then Ark’s character hit a rock.

-GAME OVER!

The hacking has failed. If you fail 3 times in a row then you can’t connect to 24 hours.

“Game over? What? So this…..”

Ark was able to 100% understand how to hack after trying it once. Once he understood then it wasn’t a problem completing it. While killing time riding the train or us, he would often play games like ‘Wind Runner’ and ‘Dragon Flight’ on his smartphone.In the end, his hacking would succeed if he moved his character holding the key through the obstacles to the final destination. Well, it was easy enough to understand…..

“…… This is hacking?”

Ark felt relieved at the thought. It was inevitable that Galaxian followed the rules of the game but to have Wind Runner……Anyway, this style of hacking wasn’t bad for Ark. In this generation of smartphones, Ark was familiar with these types of casual games. Thanks to his exception concentration and reflexes, he had placed 1st in quite a few games. He was already an expert in this field!

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!

Jump with perfect timing! Jump! Jump! After the first failure, Ark used amazing concentration to jump over numerous obstacles. Ark’s alter ego finally reached the gates and plugged in the key. The gates parted and a message appeared.

-You have broken through all the firewalls protecting the data and released the lock!

The data from the memory chip has been downloaded to the Nymphe.

“It’s a success!”

Ark cheered with joy. Although he had panicked at the disconcerting sight of the 80’s game, he had succeeded in surpassing all obstacles and obtained the data. It took a fortnight to get here! The result of all his troubles could now be confirmed.

‘What will be on here? A hidden dungeon? Or a skill?’

Was there a time where I’ve ever been so thrilled playing the game? The thought of the hidden heart made his heart pound. He impatiently waited for the data to download. 10%, 20%, 30%…..it finally reached 100%.

“Ohhh! Now!”

Ark clenched his fist and shouted.

-A system error has occurred!

The unverified damage has dealt fatal damage to your Nymphe’s OS……

!!#$&#@##$!caeQdDf1!qolq!#$%!#$#$%!  alq290481-4901#@#$%!!!!

“Huk! W-what is this?”

His cheer turned into a scream. The screen of his Nymphe turned blue once the download was complete. The screen filled with unknown characters and symbols!

“T-this is……?”

Cold sweat appeared down Ark’s back.Ark had seen such a blue screen before. But it was in reality not Galaxian. That’s right. Anybody would understand what it was. It was the typical screen that appeared when something was wrong with the computer’s OS. It was the blue screen that sent any user into panic!

“This is ridiculous! Why is this window appearing on the Nymphe? A blue screen?”

Ark screamed like crazy as he touched the Nymphe. However, the Nymphe……

The screen sometimes changed but the characters and symbols were still there. All his functions on the Nymphe like the character information window, item window and system explanations were jammed!  Ark’s head also become stuck.

“W-why all of a sudden…..?”

Ark shouted before suddenly closing his mouth. Ark was reminded of something.  The blue screen had appeared just after he downloaded the data from the airplane toy. That was the only answer that appeared in his mind.

“No way……the data downloaded from the toy place…..was a computer virus……”

There were also computer viruses in a game? Who would’ve imagined such a thing? But there was no other possible reason.

“Oh my god! What do I…..?”

Ark grabbed his head as he collapsed to the ground. He suffered for a fortnight just for his Nymphe to obtain a virus? Ark felt despair as he saw the blue screen of the Nymphe. The Nymphe contained all the systems in Galaxian. Aside from the character screen, what point was there in playing the game when he couldn’t even confirm items or quests?

‘.…..That’s right!’

Some light returned to Ark’s hopeless eyes.

‘Yes, if the Nymphe is gone then I can’t even confirm items, skills and my character. It won’t be a game at all. This is a serious bug so Galaxian must have a way to recover from it. They wouldn’t want to make the users quit the game so there must be a way!’

It was natural when he thought about it logically. Ark then ran around the commercial district looking for information about how to restore the Nymphe. But he couldn’t find any information even after running around for a few hours. Hacking was a 4 star rated skill. The game service for Galaxian had just started so not that many users had learnt hacking. And how many people would be unlucky in their attempts of hacking like Ark? But there had to be a way. There was no doubt about it. However, there was no guarantee that he could find it. Ark grabbed his broken Nymphe and whined.

‘Dammit, why do I keep having such bad luck?’

Ark let out a heavy sigh.

“Rululu! Rululu!”

A humming sound was heard from near him. The hamster carrying a large bag was entering the junkyard. It was Ark’s employer Tori. Then an ‘!’ popped into Ark’s head.

‘Stupid! Did my head disappear as well as my Nymphe? Why have I been searching in the wrong place? There is an expert right next to me. That’s right. The hamster told me that the hacking skill he taught me was child’s play. That guy must’ve seen other people suffering from the same situation.’

The only thing he was worried about was that it was the hamster Tori. Ark knew that he was a guy who would extort money no matter what. Ark was extremely worried about that point but he had no choice. No, he would pay whatever it took if Tori solved his problem.

“That…….”

Ark deliberately looked hopeless as he approached Tori. The humming Tori stared at him with wide eyes and asked.

“Eh? What are you doing here? You still haven’t made the hacking program?”

“No, I created the hacking program……”

“That is good.”

Tori put down his baggage and pulled out a bunch of papers.

“You’ve created the hacking program so you have nothing to do right? Then scatter some of these.”

“What is it?”

“Isn’t that obvious? Flyers, an advertising poster.”

Tori waved the flyer in front of Ark’s face as he replied.

-Limited time sale for Tori’s store ‘Gear!’

「Ignition Bullet」, 「Superconducting Electromagnet」and a large number of useful item will be sold at 20% of the normal price. This is a great chance to purchase useful items for a cheap price!

Look for Tori’s Gear shop in D-23 of the commercial district.

Those contents were written on the flyer. Ark looked at the flyer and asked absentmindedly.

“Eh? Ignition Bullet? Superconducting electromagnet? You sold such items in your store?”

“They’re all here.”

Tori hit his bag and smiled.

“I’ve managed to obtain these for 50% of the fixed price a short time ago.”

“Eh? 50% of the fixed price? Where?”

“Hihihihi. Actually I lent some money to a store suffering from financial difficulties. But I knew. Their store would perish soon.”

“You lent them money knowing their store would perish?”

“Of course. Then it will turn into money for me.”

Tori the hamster smiled evilly.

“This store has quite a bit of technology. The store also has a patent on the Ignition Bullet and Superconducting electromagnets. Well, they expanded their business by force and suffered financial difficulties…..Anyway, I knew their store was already in an unrecoverable state and lent them money. After I heard that the store had applied for bankruptcy, I quickly collected these items as collateral.”

“So you accepted these items instead of a debt?”

“It’s not just these items.”

Tori proudly took out some papers. It was the patents and blueprints for the Ignition Bullets, the Superconducting electromagnets and others.

“This is the real money.”

This was the reason why Tori lent money to the store that was dying. The dying store had no money to repay Tori and would end up in debt. Therefore Tori received the store’s products instead. And it was obviously a good value for Tori. Tori said 50% but he actually gained it for less than that. No, he said 50% but he had clearly drained them of their blood.

“So you were thinking of money from the beginning…..”

“Of course. Why else would I lend money to a company about to go broke? Bah! Any other company would’ve just deprived them of all their money. But who am I? I already investigated everything. I employed many mercenaries and they eventually gave me the rights to the patents. Hihihihi!”

‘I know this but…..’

He really was a scamming hamster. However, he had no intention of attacking. This was the principle of a capitalistic economy. Ark had also earned quite a bit of money through this principle. Then Tori sent him a coy look.

“Hihihihi. Right now Nephalim is overflowing with beginner pioneers like you. If I sell it to the pioneers there is no doubt that I can earn money. Hihihihi! How about it? Huh? Do you want to buy some now? I’ll give you a staff discount of 23%.”

“That’s okay.”

“Sheesh, what a cheapskate!”

“Cheapskate? You’re the one who arranged for me to collect metal from the Nakuma to learn hacking. Isn’t it impossible for me to have any money? And isn’t Tori-nim my sponsor? Shouldn’t you give me these type of support items for free?”

“One…..it is possible to give.”

Tori surprisingly nodded and agreed. But as expected from the hamster, it actually wasn’t for free. Tori pulled out a few bundles of flyers and said.

“If you scatter all of these then I will give you one Ignition Bullet.”

“How many are there?”

“5,000. Of course, you shouldn’t just scatter them anywhere. You said hand them out properly one by one to each person individually. 1 flyer will earn you 1 mileage point.”

Tori said while waving the flyer. Like it was explained a while ago, originally sponsors would give support to the user. However, the sponsor wouldn’t give it without anything in return. The users could do chores or quests for the sponsor in order to get mileage points. Of course, the mileage would be a lot higher the more difficult the task was. For example, if he distinguished himself in a war area for the galactic federation then he would build up huge mileage and could even receive a unique item. That’s why users preferred the federation of the 4 big businesses as sponsors since they gave quests with huge mileage.

‘Then…..’

Ark stared at the flyers. The contract was just handing out flyers to pioneers…..well, it was impossible to obtain anything other than part time jobs when a junkyard was the sponsor. However, he had a reason to be motivated about the work. He earned 1 mileage point for each flyer so that would be 5000 points.  If he thought about it like that then he would be motivated. Tori deliberately aimed for these items and lent money so they might be unexpectedly useful. However……

–!#$! FDWADR!! @#$!#$ED!

Q!@ER!! #$!%EQR! R#! R#!#R!$#R!#$R$R…….

This was the item information when he tried to search for it on the Nymphe. He couldn’t even confirm the items directly because of the problem with his Nymphe.

‘In this state, I won’t even be able to recognize a legendary item if it rolled on the ground in front of me!’

Ark’s top priority had to be restoring his Nymphe.

‘I need to figure out a way to restore my Nymphe!’

He couldn’t think about money right now. Ark thought for a while before suggesting carefully.

“I understand. I will hand out 5,000 flyers. You also don’t need to give me the Ignition Bullet.”

“What? You’ll hand out the flyer for free?”

Tori’s eyes widened. Ark nodded and Tori stared making noise.

“Hihihihi. You’re finally starting to learn something. That’s right. If you’re a true pioneer then you should give priority to growth over profit. Both the company and the employee will benefit. Pioneers these days don’t realize this. As expected, the one that Cheksun introduced is different. No, isn’t it due to my education methods? Anyway, it doesn’t matter as long as you have that mindset. Then please work hard. If you maintain that attitude then becoming a formal employee won’t be a dream anymore.”

“Yes. I’ll work hard. But……”

“But……?”

“I actually have a small problem.”

“A problem? What is it?”

“That…..”

Ark studied Tori’s face before getting to the main subject.

“Actually, I wanted to learn hacking from Tori-nim because I accidentally picked up a memory chip. I needed hacking to obtain the data. Just before, I finally released the lock and downloaded the data to the Nymphe.”

“Oh! Really?”

“Then suddenly this happened.”

Ark sighed and showed Tori the screen of his Nymphe. Tori’s black eyes rounded and he looked at the Nymphe for a while. He pulled out a cigarette and smoked it for a while before sighing and saying to Ark.

“You….are screwed.”

‘This damn hamster! I already know that which is why I asked you!’

Ark thought angrily but he showed patience and asked.

“Do you know why it happened?”

“There could be a couple of reasons. Sometimes a computer will be infected with a virus and similar symptoms will occur. But that isn’t the main reason. The important thing is that the Nymphe won’t work unless the data is legitimate.

“Legitimate data?”

“You know the basics of the Nymphe but it isn’t just a simple terminal. Some ignorant pioneers might mistake it as a smartphone but it is entirely different from a primitive device like that. It possesses some of the same functions as a smartphone but the most important function is its ability to assimilate the users’ genetic information. It can connect to all devices in Galaxian and the Nymphe can even display special powers if you obtain a powerful weapon. The Nymphe is the basic, required equipment in the space pioneering age.”

He had heard such things when first starting Galaxian.

“Therefore the federation directly manages the OS of the Nymphe. The federation monopolized the patient and stopped other companies from manipulating the systems.”

“So…..I’ll have to go to the federation to restore my Nymphe?”

“That’s the problem.”

Tori stared at his cigarette with an uncomfortable expression before continuing.

“You can go to the federation to restore your Nymphe’s OS. If it was a normal error. That is…..If the error was because of data download from a federation’s program then the OS will be restored for free but……”

Tori put a ‘……’ and Ark waited impatiently.

“Your case is different. If the investigate the system while restoring the OS then the illegal hacking program will be discovered. And you used the hacking program to release a lock and received the data. That alone is a serious crime in Galaxian. Didn’t I say it before? All rights to the Nymphe’s OS belonged to the federation. If it is revealed that the data you downloaded changed the OS then your crimes will just pile up. If you show it to the federation then you will be 100% arrested immediately.”

Tori clicked his tongue and muttered.

“In other words, you’re screwed.”

Ark’s head was blank after hearing Tori’s explanation. He had barely started the game a month ago and he hadn’t even reached level 30 before being arrested. If he was a criminal then he would receive enormous penalties.

‘But…….’

He wasn’t able to play the game directly. He had to report it to the federation even if it meant receiving a penalty. When he was halfway to giving up, Tori secretly whispered to him.

“But there is a way.”

“Huh? A way?”

“Yes, your Nymphe is broken because of something to do with the OS. The OS is a program. So you just need to treat the virus and it will work again.

“But only the federation can……”

“It was originally like that.”

Tori smiled and replied.

“However, if I make up my mind then this Tori can reconfigure the OS.”

“R-really?”

“Yes, when I was younger I would hack recklessly and my Nymphe would also be broken like this. Hihihihi! So I learnt how to catch the virus using Cheksun’s Nymphe. If I use a similar method then your Nymphe can be restored.”

Tori also experienced similar things while hacking. Ark’s guess was correct.

“T-then……”

“Of course it won’t be easy.”

Tori gave a meaningful smile before getting to the point.

“The Nymphe’s OS is incredibly complicated. An enormous amount of time and effort is needed to restore it properly. And like I said before, accessing the Nymphe’s OS is illegal. If you want to restore your OS then I will have to commit a felony. It is dangerous. A dangerous action.”

Ark’s was tense after Tori’s words. Tori…..it was unnecessary to say but he was a scamming hamster. He had requested metal parts worth 200 gold in order to learn the hacking skin. Ark was almost cheated a few times after that so he was prepared. And repairing the Nymphe’s OS was a felony. Wouldn’t he obviously request a lot? Ark was restless from those types of thoughts. Tori’s eyes sparkled and he whispered.

“I’ll do it for free.”

“F-for free? Really?”

“I won’t ask for anything. I will restore your Nymphe for free if everything goes well.”

“Everything goes well?”

“Yes, if the work goes well.”

Tori grinned and nodded.

“It is hard to explain in detail but there is a reason I placed my store in this corner. I once explored Galaxian with Cheksun. During that time, I obtained some information by chance. Nephalim has a significant amount of artefacts buried somewhere. That is why I settled in Nephalim. To excavate the artefacts. I’ve been working on it for a long time and it has advanced.”

Tori looked around before speaking in a lower voice.

“That’s why I’m making you an offer. I’ve been working alone but now there is a problem.”

“A problem……?”

Ark’s voice also became lower as he asked. Tori replied.

“I can dig to the place where the relics are buried on my own. But according to my information, there is a type of security guard where the relics are buried. Even a genius like me can’t deal with that. However, I can’t hire mercenaries to dig up the relics. But you’re different. You are my contracted employee and you also managed to deal with hundreds of Nakuma.”

Tori narrowed his eyes and approached.

“The condition is 30% of the relics discovered. And the restoration of your Nymphe’s OS. How about it? The conditions aren’t bad right?”

An information window appeared as soon as Tori finished talking.

-!#$FDQ! EF!$#!#$!#@#$%^%!$#%!

! Q#$! RSDR@$%R!FR#@!$RR!#$^%! T$! T!@…….

He couldn’t read the information window. However, it was possible to guess the contents.

‘Certainly…..’

Tori’s conditions weren’t bad. No, it was actually a ridiculously good condition. The Nymphe being restored for free and 30% of the relics was a windfall he never thought he would receive. However, the problem was that the NPC suggesting this was the hamster Tori. He was the one who taught the hacking skill for 200 gold and even lent money to failing businesses to obtain their patents! Then wouldn’t his suggestion definitely have some ulterior motive?

‘He is definitely up to some mischief……’

Ark stared at Tori as he contemplated. Tori seemed to suspect Ark’s thoughts and added.

“Okay.  I’ll honestly tell you. In fact, I will also be in trouble if you go to the federation. If the federation starts investigating then they might discover that I taught you hacking. Well, I might be able to appease them somehow but there is no guarantee. In the end, both of us are in the same boat. And I also need a soldier to fight the guardian and find the relics. So I used my big heart and made a proposal…..if you don’t like it then I guess it’s not possible.”

“Wait a minute.”

Ark grabbed Tori’s shoulder who was turning around. Tori’s words couldn’t be 100% trusted. Obviously he was up to some mischief. However, Ark would be trapped in chains if he refused so he had no choice. It was better to believe in Tori. Tori’s suggestion was also registered as a quest. The quest was an absolute law to NPCs. The hamster had registered his offer as a quest so he couldn’t go against it.

“I accept. The offer, I’ll accept it.”

-!#$@! EFD!#$!#$!#$!#$! D!@$##.

The message appeared once he accepted the quest.
————————————————————————————————————————-
“Pant pant pant, pant pant pant.”

Beads of sweat rolled down Ark’s face and back. His shoulders, waist and thighs throbbed as he felt pain in his muscles.

“Ouch, there is no place on my body that doesn’t hurt. Damn, what on earth…..”

Ark sighed as he looked at the long tunnel. The tunnel was hundreds of metres in length and was 100% made with Ark’s hard work and sweat as it lead towards the place the artefacts were buried.
Tori said that the place wasn’t far. When he accepted the quest, Tori brought Ark to a corner of the junkyard. He extracted a bit from the bottom of a pile of junk and a hidden trapdoor to the basement appeared. There was the beginning of a tunnel in the basement. Tori had been working on it for a long time so the tunnel already went for hundreds of metres.

‘He made this tunnel by himself?’

His thoughts about Tori slightly changed after seeing the tunnel. So far Ark thought that Tori was a hamster who engaged in fraudulent schemes. Of course, he still though of Tori as a scamming hamster. But he managed to dig this tunnel and obtained patents from failings stores so he wasn’t a lazy hamster.

‘That guy surprisingly has some good points…..’

He thought like this but it only lasted for a minute. Tori threw him a shovel as soon as he entered the tunnel.

“Now, take this. This will be your workplace from now on. I’ll give you three meals a day so don’t even think about dying before you reach the destination.”

“Eh? By myself?”

“What, are you dissatisfied?”

“No, no dissatisfied but……”

“Well, we’ve traded together so I’ve arranged this for you. I was also the one who located the relics and dug the tunnel up to here. I’m also giving you 30% of the profit. Besides, I’m also repairing your Nymphe for free. Then shouldn’t you do something to prove your worth? Do you want me to dig the rest of the tunnel and give you the relics?”

He didn’t have anything to say to that. If he thought about it like that then Tori certainly did most of the work.

“And my work has built up because I’ve been busy because of the debt. But now I have to fix the Nymphe for you. If you find the relics quickly then your Nymphe will be restored faster. So start digging with the shovel and stop complaining.”

He wasn’t wrong. Thus Ark ended up digging the remaining tunnel alone.

‘Then a machine! This is the future! In the age of space ships, I have to dig a tunnel with a shovel? At least an excavator or something! He wanted to express that thought but……

“I’ll tell you in advance but don’t expect any machines. The devices are possible but the distinctive noise and electronic signals means there is more risk of being caught. Didn’t I tell you? This has to be done in absolute secrecy.”

……He couldn’t say anything else.

“I don’t know what I’m doing in this game.”

A sigh flowed out as he grabbed the shovel. Galaxian was a next generation virtual reality game that captured the attention of gamers around the world! Galaxian was a grand scale SF game with many ancient alien civilizations. And Ark dreamed about being a hero in space when he connected to Galaxian. However, in R-14 he ended up cleaning the pipes. He also rolled around in the mud after arriving Nephalim and now he was digging. This was more like a labour game instead of a SF game.

“I’m shovelling in the age of space ships…..”

A sigh naturally emerged. However, Ark shook his head firmly.

“There’s only one thing to do. I don’t have a choice so it is better to think positively. Yes, it is good because I can restore my Nymphe without becoming a criminal. I can also get some artefacts.”

Tori was a money obsessed hamster. The relics Tori was targeting definitely had value. If an NPC like Tori was aiming towards the relics then Ark was convinced. And he could obtain 30% of the relics once he found them.

“Yes, this is an opportunity!”

Ark was filled with motivation and grabbed the shovel.  He connected to the game, shovelled, ate lunch, shovelled, had dinner and shovelled until he fell asleep! His lower back was broken as he shovelled every day. Shovelling was hard work.  It didn’t matter if this was a game. Digging for 1 hour would cause muscle pain to his shoulders, waist and legs. If he dug for a few days then there was no place that wouldn’t hurt. If he was this tired in the game then he would be suffering in reality.

“But there is no jackpot without pain!”

Ark clenched his teeth. Thus he didn’t rest and shovelled around the clock. It was a truly indomitable spirit! He started to get the hang of it after digging so much. It was possible to move his waist more efficiently and he could handle large rocks more easily…… Once he got the hang of it, his muscle pain also started to dwindle. When Ark’s muscles became used to it……

-#@#$## ‘@$$%@$’ @#$$%$%&##%!

!#$!$!@#$:#$&!#&&$!&#&$@!&&#$!#$……….

An unidentified information window emerged from the Nymphe. He was still unable to recognize the symbols and characters.

“Anyway, I can already guess the information.”

Ark could guess the contents of the information window. As soon as the information window appeared, his digging speed started to increase. The information window was related to digging! He had dug the tunnel for a few days using a shovel so he had learnt a skill. Wiping the pipes for a week on R-14 and gaining the Facilities Maintenance skill, collecting metal parts to learn Hacking and now digging…..Ark started to get bad vibes as he looked at all his skills. Anyway, there was no need to say that the digging skill was immediately useful!

“Yes, this is it! Ohhhh!”

Papapapa! Papapapa! Papapapa!

Ark seemed to turn into a mole as he dug the tunnel with tremendous speed. After another few days, a sound was heard.

Kang-!

The end of the shovel seemed to encounter something. It didn’t encounter rocks. The shovel had hit iron! Ark judged that something was there and removed the dirt around it. And a wall made of metal appeared. No, he thought it was a wall but a door actually appeared once the soil was removed. It was a firmly closed rusted, iron door.

“Perhaps this is where the relics are hidden……”

Ark immediately went back to the junkyard to call Tori. Tori’s eyes shone as he saw the iron door and he laughed.

“That’s right! This is great! This door leads to where the relics are hidden!”

“But it is locked?”

“Hihihihi, of course it is locked.”

Tori pulled out a connector and linked his Nymphe to the locking mechanism on the door. After a few moments of manipulating, there was a beep and the locking device was turned off.

“That……?”

“Who do you think taught hacking to you?”

Tori smiled and pushed open the iron door. Ark’s heart pounded as he entered with Tori. The relics were hidden here. Therefore Ark had imagined the ruins of an ancient city underground. However, the iron door connected with a long, cylindrical passage. This was more like a sewage treatment plant than a ruin?

“The relics are hidden here?”

“No, this passage will take us to the location.”

“Then the passage will connect to some ruins?”

“Ruins?”

Tori looked sceptically at Ark. Then his eyes rolled and he burst out laughing.

Wiiiing-!

Suddenly he had the sound of a motor. Tori jumped back with a nervous look and muttered.

“Ark! Those guys!”

“Those guys?”

“You fool, what did I hire you for? I told you. There is a guardian protecting the relics. Do you understand? From now on it is up to you.”

Didn’t he dig the tunnel leading here? He wanted to question it but there was no time. The motor sound approached and a red light appeared. An android type monster was surveying the area with a red ray of light. The lower part of the android had four wheels like a wagon. The red ray touched Ark and Tori and the android started making warning sounds.

Intruders discovered! Warning! If you don’t surrender now……

Pepeng! Jijijiji!

There was a ringing sound and the android was covered with a type of powder. The android wasn’t able to make noise anymore.

“Hihihihi, how is it? The taste of the Ignition Bullet?”

Tori laughed as he shook a ball like object.

“The Ignition Bullets are useless most of the time. But there is one good use. The powder sprayed contains a special coating that interferes with radio waves. The radio waves are blocked so it can’t request help from other guardians. So rest assured and destroy it.”

‘What? There is such an item?’

Ark eyed the scattered metallic powder. Once again, the Silver Hand had taken advantage of the Nakuma’s radio waves to hunt a lot of them. The Nakuma’s special quality was to send a SOS signal to its colleagues and they amplified that signal several hundred times. So there should be an item to block the SOS signal. In other words, there was an item to allowed users to fight an android 1 on 1.

‘That’s why Tori said it is an important item for beginners……’

He thought it would be good to buy some. Well, that was for after he found the relics.

‘The guardian is an android……’

A confident smile appeared on Ark’s face. During the last fortnight Ark had destroyed a lot of machines. He even came up with a way to overcome his limitations in marksmanship. That was close combat fighting and Close Marksmanship!

“Go, henchman no. 1!”

Tori shouted from behind Ark. The noise was enough to make his motivation fall. However, Ark just pulled out his dagger and revolver and laughed.

“……I will succeed.”

Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu!

The Guardian fired its Gatling gun. Sparks appeared everywhere in the underground passage. And the smell of gunpowder stimulated his nose.

“Shield!”

Ark used his shield to block the projectiles and narrowed the distance. And continued with his dagger! The dagger collided with the Guardian’s shield and it shook. All electronic devices in Galaxian were connected with the Nymphe. Therefore his Infrared Scope also wasn’t working so he couldn’t check the level or health of the Guardian and the shield. However, Ark had fought hundreds of Nakuma.

‘It isn’t an opponent I can’t win against!’

Ark was able to determine this after a few attacks. The only difference from the Nakuma was the Guardian’s lower body. It allowed the Guardian to quickly move backwards and forwards.

‘This will be disadvantageous if the battle continues for a long time. I need to quickly finish this!’

Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu!

The Guardian moved sideways and rampaged with the Gatling gun. Ark turned and ran to the other side. He stepped on a pipe built into the walls, jumped and landed on the upper body of the Guardian. Sparks continuously flew from the Guardian’s shield as Ark kept attacking.

-Danger! Support! Requesting support! Requesting support!

The Guardian started calling for assistance once the shield was destroyed. However, the radio waves were blocked by the metallic powder spread by the Ignition Bullet!

“Go to hell!”

Tang-! Tang-! Tang-!

Ark relentlessly pulled the trigger and attacked the Guardian with his revolver. Every strong point has a weakness. The Guardian’s legs gave it high manoeuvrability but it had low defense compared to the Nakuma. If he focused the bullets on the wheels then its movements would also be sealed. Victory or defeat was already decided at this point. The Guardian was immobile and just helplessly fired the Gatling gun as Ark ran around it and attacked. Ark stopped the Guardian’s blade with his dagger and fired with the revolver. After many gunshots……

-!#$!%!@!#R! F@$R@F!@R! ER!@##$!

An unidentified message appeared as the Guardian died.

“Ohhh! My no. 1 henchman! I knew you defeated a lot of Nakuma but this was unexpected. Awesome! Hihihi, if you’re that skilled then we can easily obtain the artefacts!”

Tori shouted as the Guardian collapsed. The praise from the hamster didn’t feel that bad.

“Well, it is just this degree.”

Ark’s ego became inflated as he approached the corpse of the Guardian. The Guardian was an android so it also dropped some metal parts. Several metal pieces of good quality could be seen.

‘Surely he won’t try to take this away from me?’

Ark quickly collected the metal parts before Tori could. No, he was about to collect it.

“Eh? W-wait? W-what is this?” This is surely……”

Ark’s face became panicked as he saw a mark inscribed on a metal piece. The mark was a space ship and a blue planet. He had seen that mark on R-14……

“……The galactic federation?”

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40 thoughts on “Space 1: Ruins Exploration

  1. Pingback: Ark the Legend volume 2 chapter 1 | Rainbow Turtle Translations

  2. Someguy

    This is obviously breaking & entering a government facility. Also must be entrapment by teaching ARK a flawed skill with booby trap from the start. This issimilar to Sherlock Holmes & the red-headed league.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. anon

      considering how low leveled ark is right now, I must say, the government has some really crappy defence robots

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  3. rosid

    Buahahaha they want to stole the Relic from Galactic Federation IoI ahahahaha you got Scammed😀 ahahaha

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  4. mythu

    hoho Ark&Tori vs Galactic Federation; Tori even wants to rob the multi-world government federation, stay tuned, will we see terrorists?

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      1. Naeko

        The facilities should have hidden as well as obvious cameras. So Ark’s face could be seen. My corporate employer uses both obvious and hidden cameras. Most of the cameras are actually hidden in order to not have a threatening atmosphere. But they are there whether they are built into emergency light fixtures, overhead smoke detectors, a small shiny patch of seemingly opaque flat plastic on the celing that is close to the same color as the rest of the ceiling tiles, etc. Another thing our corporation has is badge scanners that work as you walk by. So, if someone walks by and the scanner doesn’t detect a company badge, that person is possibly an intruder and guards come immediately to check things out. I can only expect even better security at the modern Galactic Federation facilities.

        The androids are blocked from communicating, but they might still record Ark’s face onto memory chips and those chips can be retrieved and scanned later by the FBI (Federation Bureau of Investigations).

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  5. estriole

    i think ark will be cheated again…!!!!
    for starter… he cannot confirm what the quest given by tori… i think tori knew that ark cannot read the quest because of the virus and modify the quest to cheat him to the max…

    i think tori is a heavenly bad karma retribution because of Ark bad deed in previous game….

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    1. Tasear

      If he thought through he could have used tongue to blame Tori or turn in superhacker tori in. It would at lest lower the penlty while getting revenge.

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  6. anon

    LOL hacking is a mini game and the blue screen of death. I’m still wondering if dying would reset Ark’s Nymphe. I’m guessing not otherwise he wouldn’t have to go through all this just to try and reformat it.

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  7. Naeko

    Ark has scammed so many people and given them bad times in the game. Will the minor amount of suffering so far cause him to reform his bad habits ot intimidation, theft, scamming, and virtual slavery thru contracts? Or will Ark learn even worse tactics from Tori?

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  8. Tasear

    Haha, wouldn’t it be fuuny if even after this he gets their sponsorship. It would be fun to see him walk pass his wanted poster.(no pic).

    Poor ark too little dividends in this series.

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  9. Chaos

    waiting for Ark to get the hidden class “Treasurer Seeker”(based off of the Scavenger class of course) or maybe it’ll be called “Relic Hunter” cause it seems that’s what this is building to

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      1. Capture God

        He can be the most wanted galactic space pirate flcl style… just has to get eaten by a robot.

        Like

  10. Naeko

    I wonder if there will be some POV (point of view) side story breaks showing how well Lucy is doing. It would be pretty funny if this time Lucy advances in the Galactic Federation government sponsorship ranks like a bounty hunter. Meanwhile Ark gradually becomes a vicious space pirate because of his criminal record. That would be a delicious contrast to the first story where Ark was part of the government and Lucy was the chief villain that everyone hated.

    If the author has turned everything around and given Lucy all the benefits of being part of the official infrastructure and made Ark into the villain, that would be a pretty interesting story. Since Royal Road was mentioned earlier, I’m still hoping someone from there shows up. It doesn’t have to be Weed, but could be someone like Dain who has been part of the villainous guild side of Royal Road and might be able to adventure with Ark as he pirates his way across space doing accidental good deeds and making grudging or admiring secret allies as he goes. Just as long as Ark doesn’t wear a straw hat.

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  11. Misoup

    Ark will probably learn more advanced scamming skills from Tori as the story proceeds xD I have a feeling that Tori and Ark will have an official sponsor relationship, while the disabled Alan will have the galactic federation as his sponsor and he will eventually be able to be overcome his disability (in Galaxian and in reality or at least in the VR game) and Alan will once again wants to challenge Ark. Then one way or another, either the two sponsors will clash together or team up to fight against something since they have the same goal. In the end, Ark will exploit from his enemies successfully and become a game tycoon of New World and Galaxian (maybe Tori will benefit too…?). This is just a prediction though :p

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  12. Phil1403

    Ark scam are getting worse and worse… so are his relationship with merchants.
    That hamster Tori (a name close to Weed’s vampire lord/pet) is a bold cheating hamster, even more greedy than Ark.
    The new stuff is that Ark really spend most of the time on the bad side of the whip.
    And the fact that he did NOT took the time to have his OS system repaired. Worst case scenario.

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