SPACE 2. New Goal
“Nice to meet you.”
A man wearing a robe bowed to him.
“My name is Idun. I am the leader of the bioengineering team in the Nephalim branch of the galactic federation.”
“Ah, yes. I……”
“I already know. You are Ark-nim?”
Idun responded to his introduction with a smile.
“It is impossible for me to not know. You are the hero Ark who led the Beltana war to victory! I’m been shut inside the research centre yet I still managed to hear your name.”
“That just happened by chance.”
“You are too modest.”
“No, that…..it’s not being modest but…..”
Ark scratched his head with an awkward expression. Once again, the federation had poured large amounts of money into the war in the Bellin constellation so every day the media was focused on it. Therefore it was necessary for the federation to reverse the situation. That was the existence of a war hero.
‘The federation wanted to make Valencia the hero.’
That’s why Ark was arrested as soon as he returned to the base on Beltana. It was a secret plot to get rid of his achievements and make Valencia a war hero. This was another instance of things becoming complicated after starting Galaxian. But Ark wasn’t a beginner pioneer anymore. While he hadn’t exactly expected this problem, Ark had filmed a video as a security measure to ensure that he received the proper compensation. Fortunately Ark made a deal with Marquis Martin and managed to get the same rewards as a regular soldier would. However, that privilege wasn’t for free.
–I need a hero.
That was the condition Marquis Martin required. Of course, Ark didn’t exactly like the conditions. No matter what happened, the existence of a war hero was necessary for the galactic federation. It was difficult to make Valencia one so they decided to chance to Ark.
‘I expected something like this but…..’
It had been 4 hours since the federation formally announced Ark as a war hero. During those 4 hours, the name Ark poured from virtually every monitor playing Galaxian. The contents of Ark’s fight was being played by reporters in Nephalim as well as broadcasted on the internet. The galactic federation’s manipulation of public opinion had started. And the federation’s plan was a great success when looking at the results. However, the result wasn’t 100% due to the federation’s efforts. This was the first hero since Galaxian was commercialized! That was enough to draw the attention of the public. But there was a separate reason for the explosive interest. It was the name of the hero the federation was promoting!
–It must be that Ark.
–The legendary gamer from New World who appeared on the TV!
–It that user really Ark? There are many users with the same name.
–Still, to become a hero in a game that is only several months old…..
–But the systems between New World and Galaxian are completely different. There is no guarantee that he will do well in Galaxian. But the user has the same name and a similar face.
–If the person called Ark has such great skills…..
–If that person really is Ark then it is amazing!
Tens of thousands of posts were written on the Galaxian community sites during those 4 hours! The explosive interest from users also influenced the NPCs. The video was repeatedly played on the monitors in the federal cities. This was how an NPC staying in the research centre knew his name. But Ark wasn’t thankful for the situation.
‘This is why I didn’t want my name involved with the video…..’
Don’t draw attention. That was one of the absolute principles in Ark’s head. The world was full of strange people and some of them just dislike a person because they were famous. They were the people who would create anti-cafe’s for celebrities and spread malicious rumours. It would be tiring for the famous person involved. Therefore he had been slightly offended and relieved when he heard that hundreds of people could use his name. This meant he wouldn’t draw unnecessary attention in the game. Yet he became a hero out of the blue. At the same time, the situation he wanted to avoid had already begun.
–If that really is Ark then isn’t it annoying? Damn, he already became a director at Global Exos through New World and now he wants to play Galaxian as well?
–That unlucky guy, is he that excellent?
–If I ever meet him at a hunting ground then I’ll prove that guy’s fame is nothing.
Not only that……
–I had to quit New World because of that Ark bastard. If that user really is Ark then I’ll use this chance to get revenge. I’m recruiting any other users who also feel like me. Please leave a memo on the bulletin board in Tatuine. It was no joke.
There were even organizations to track Ark’s movements and kill him.
‘Damn, how can I do anything in such an uproar?’
Part of it was due to his actions. Back in New World, Ark wasn’t exactly a ‘nice’ character. He annoyed other people for no reason and if someone took action against him then he would repay it several times. Of course, even now Ark didn’t doubt that everything was ‘unavoidable.’ It was common sense that those people wouldn’t consider it ‘unavoidable.’
‘I wanted to live a bit more gently this time……’
Therefore Ark wasn’t exactly pleased about being a hero. Ark’s face fell at the thought and Idun stared at him. Ark scratched his head and said.
“It was just by chance. Like I said in the interview, I’m not the only one who played a role in the victory so it is a slight burden on me. The mass media keeps on talking about it so I can’t go anywhere without being crowded.”
He never knew when someone would stab a knife in his back. No, it was the future so it would actually be a bullet shot in the head. It was dangerous but a NPC couldn’t understand those circumstances.
“This is surprising. You took care of a Gigantic by yourself so I thought Ark-nim was full of confidence.”
“I’m full of confidence but that doesn’t mean I can protect my stomach every moment.”
“No, it’s nothing.”
Ark sighed and shrugged. Then Idun pushed up his glasses and laughed.
“This is the first time I’ve seen someone who received the title of hero sighing. But please don’t feel too depressed. It might be a burden but Ark-nim’s existence is comfort to people like me in the galactic federation. I don’t know why you feel burdened but you’ve become a hero so just enjoy yourself.”
“Of course I will.”
Ark smiled and nodded. He wasn’t going to reject the fame because of some worries. He also wasn’t in the position to complain. If he didn’t make the deal with Marquis Martin then he would lose his achievements accumulated and sent to another disputed planet. This situation right now was better.
However, that wasn’t his only compensation for being a hero. Ark also had some conditions in exchange for becoming Marquis Martin’s hero. In other words, it was the promised compensation for the 22,230 achievements. He received three different types of rewards. The first was the title of hero that Marquis Martin announced at his public appearance. Ark received the 1st class citizenship at the same time but this wasn’t the major compensation. All pioneers started off as a 2nd class citizen and they could be promoted to 1st class when contributing to the federation through quests or other methods. In other words, reaching a 1st class citizen was like a rite of passage. But the title of hero was different.
|-You have received the <Beltana’s Hero> title from Marquis Martin.
This title is given to the user who participated in the war on the disputed planet and gains the most achievements. Therefore it is a unique title due to the different names of the disputed planets. Only one person can receive this title so it is different from the general titles.
The user who receives a title with the name of a disputed planet would be given huge compensation from the galactic federation. You will be given priority in investing on Beltana when development stats. You will also receive preferential treatment compared to the average citizen.
<Title Effects: Beltana’s Hero (All Stats +3)>
+ 1,000 additional fame.
+ 3,000 galactic federation contribution.
+ Acquired 200 Adventure points
He wasn’t just a hero. He had literally received the title of a hero. The ‘Cleaning Foreman’ title he received from R-14 gave him +3 agility, while the ‘Ignorant Destroyer’ gave him +7 Stamina and Strength but decreased his Wisdom by 10. However, the ‘Beltana’s Hero’ title gave him +3 points to every stat! That was a total of 18 bonus stats. He also received 1,000 fame and 200 Adventure points. The purpose of the Adventure points was still unknown but it had to be used somewhere. Anyway, the bonus was a different standard from his previous titles. But that wasn’t the true value of the ‘Beltana’s Hero’ title. The important thing was the privileges attached to the title. It gave him priority if he wanted to invest in Beltana. The core of Galaxian was space pioneering. The pioneers would adventure in wastelands or unexplored planets. Users who participate in the disputed planet war or pioneer new areas can gain the right to invest based on their contribution.
This was why the corporations needed a pioneer to sponsor. Investment rights could be given to the sponsor of the pioneer. If they supported a promising pioneer then they could secure many investment rights. This was the required prerequisite for a space company to grow. That’s why small, medium, the 4 large businesses and even junkyards poured huge amounts of funds into sponsoring pioneers. However he only acted as Tori’s servant. Like stated in the information window, users with the Hero title were allowed the maximum investments within the scope of the galactic federation’s laws. In other words, he could invest in the maximum amount on Beltana. He soon knew what a big privilege it was.
Ttiring! Ttiring! Ttiring! Ttiring!
His Nymphe started flowing with incoming mail.
–I am Heris the director of the human resources department of Laius.
I know that your previous sponsor contract was destroyed. If Ark-nim is willing to sign a sponsor agreement with Laius then you will receive the best treatment. Among the 4 large companies, we hold the largest number of patents so Ark-nim will become a leading pioneer if you join with us.
Please get in touch.
-I am Kirian, the director of the Nephalim branch of Hell Lion.
Hell Lion is a company formed by the former governor of Kurim. It is a company that values tradition and trust and has developed various special equipment, with a long and constant focus on quality improvement. We were moved by Ark’s heroic actions on Beltana and feel that your abilities will be useful……
It was scouting offers proposed by various companies. Dozens of mail came in after the interview ended. Normally the 4 large companies and the galactic federation had an entrance examination to join. A user with the Hero title had their pick of companies.
Making a contract with the junkyard was 120% a mistake. Ark had also previously received an offer from the federation but he told them he wanted more time to think. That’s because he knew that sponsors had a large impact on the game and he wanted more experience knowledge before deciding. His decision now was still the same. It had already been 4 months since he started Galaxian but he spent most of his time on R-14 and Beltana so he was still lacking knowledge.
And there was another part that weighed on his mind.
‘I don’t need to be too hasty about it. My Hero title won’t disappear so I can find a sponsor at any time. It won’t be too late when I make a decision.’
Ark decided to postpone the sponsor problem for a while. Right now he had a more urgent issue to deal with. This was why he came to visit Idun.
“That…..by the way……”
Ark studied Idun’s face and said. Idun stared with blankness before remembering and blushing with embarrassment.
“Ah, I just remembered. This isn’t the time……”
“Did you receive the notification from Marquis Martin?”
“Yes, then please follow me.”
Idun smiled pleasantly and turned around. This was the future so science and technology was one of the core resources. The research centre was where the science and technology were developed so the security was very tight. Ark followed Idun for 200 metres. Meanwhile he had passed a few security equipment like fingerprint, voiceprint and retinal scanners.The place he arrived was filled with various equipment.
“This machine is what truly opened up the space frontiers.”
Idun looked around the room with sparkling eyes. He then looked back at Ark and boasted.
“The machine that Ark-nim sees now is something that the genius scientist Lucian developed to rearrange the DNA. This is the body coating machine that modifies flesh.”
Body coating! This was the second compensation he received from Marquis Martin. Generally two things were required for users to receive the body coating. One condition was to obtain an ‘IC card for body coating’ with the data of the type they wanted. This IC card wasn’t difficult to obtain.
They could obtain it from the 4 big companies, the galactic federation or buy it in stores. Prices ranged from 50~100 gold but level 30 was the minimum required to obtain the body coating so it was a high price. The other condition was the sponsor’s guarantee. As mentioned earlier, most users who started the game were 2nd class citizens. Their status was similar to foreign workers entering the universe. Therefore a sponsor was needed to guarantee their identities. That’s why a sponsor was necessary to receive the body coating. It was impossible for a level 30 user to receive a body coating with a guarantor. However, Ark was promoted to a 1st class citizen and also received the Hero title.
This was the reason Ark could postpone the sponsor problem. Users normally hurried to sign a sponsor contract at level 30 to receive the body coating. However, Ark could receive the body coating without a sponsor so there was no reason to rush. Besides, he didn’t need to purchase an IC card.
“Have you brought the IC card?”
“Yes, here it is.”
Ark pulled out something that looked like a USB. Idun examined it with an interested look and nodded.
“As expected, this is a 3rd generation IC card.”
“Not all the IC cards for body coating are the same. When body coating was first developed, the technology was still lacking so the functionality wasn’t perfect. The IC cards were improved and distributed as the 2nd generation IC cards. The one Ark-nim received from Marquis Marin has improved even further and is known as the 3rd generation IC card. But the 3rd generation card is difficult to produce so it can’t be mass-produced. It is a type of limited edition card.”
Ark also knew this information. He had heard the condescending lecture when Marquis Martin gave it to him.
‘The 3rd generation card is far superior to the 2nd generation. This means I’ll get more bonus stats and resistances. Such differences can’t be ignored in a game……’
There was something more important than that. It was the characteristics of the body coating he would receive. It was already mentioned but body coating wasn’t the same as a profession. However, the choice would have a huge impact on his profession choices. For example, if he received a body coating focused on strength and stamina then he would be more suited to raising a warrior than a magician. If he received the warrior type body coating then selecting a warrior profession meant he utilize his body attributes by 100%. It wasn’t that different from a career choice. Of course he couldn’t choose it lightly. So he had been worrying about it since he received the IC card……
“I would like to receive the right for body coating.”
“Have you decided what type of body coating to get? Once it stops then it can’t be stopped in the middle.”
“Yes, I decided.”
“I understand. Then let’s begin. Please wait a minute.”
Idun went out of the room holding the IC card. He went over to a glass wall and connected the IC card to the computer. The unidentified machines started working and different lights filled the room. The light tangled together and formed a 3D image of a double helix. DNA!
|-The body coating has started.
Your DNA information is being scanned prior to the body coating.
However, there is a limit to how many new DNA can be combined and not all the abilities can be obtained. Typically if you strengthen strength or stamina then mental aspects will weaken and vice versa. If you cancel an old body coating and receive a new one then the amount of DNA manipulation will become limited. It is possible to receive 100% of the bonus with the 1st body coating. Meanwhile there is a 20~50% loss after the 2nd body coating due to the physical burden.
Make your decision carefully so you don’t regret it.
Lists containing information about the body coatings available appeared with the message. There are four types of body coating. Body reinforcement, concentration reinforcement, mental reinforcement and willpower reinforcement.
Body reinforcement strengthens the flesh, allowed users to wear heavy armour as well as using heavy weapons like greatswords or heavy artillery. It is suitable for warriors. Concentration reinforcement allows the user to easily capture the enemy’s weaknesses or focus for long range sniping. Mental reinforcement strengthens the DNA involving the brain, allowing users to develop psychic powers or use ancient magic. And willpower reinforcement meant they could develop recovery powers similar to a priest. The four types of body reinforcement could also be concentrated on attack, defense or both. The four body coatings were then subdivided into three types so there was a total of 12 choices!
‘But I won’t even look at 9 of them.’
The first ones Ark deleted was mental reinforcement and willpower reinforcement. When he first read the information about mental reinforcement, he thought it was similar to X-men like powers. However, this was the same power as a magician. Ark enjoyed close combat so these body coatings didn’t fit him. This also applied to willpower reinforcement.
‘In order to display 100% of the ability, I need to understand my own pros and cons. My fighting style is quick and irregular attacks. Maintaining that combat style is impossible if I choose a body coating focused on stamina and strength. Then the only possible option is concentration reinforcement. The problem is that I have to choose one of the three types of concentration reinforcement……’
But Ark’s worries didn’t last long. The different types floated in front of him and one of them caught his eye.
‘The thing I desired most when wandering around Beltana! The reason I grabbed my starving stomach in the -50 degrees weather!’
He wanted to survive.
‘The biggest trap in Galaxian is the death penalty. No matter how much I raise my level or gain powerful skills, it is useless if it isn’t registered on the Fairy. If I spend several days at a hunting ground then it could be a deadly death penalty. So the most important thing in Galaxian is to survive! I need to survive no matter the circumstances!’
The body coating that caught Ark’s eyes matched with that idea. The name was Survivor! Survivor! What more needed to be said?
“Body coating start!”
Woong woong woong woong. Woong woong woong woong.
A fluctuating noise filled the room. The double helix DNA image repeatedly disassembled and reassembled. Finally another blue line was added to the double helix, changing it into a triple helix. The triple helix then plunged into Ark!
|-Body Coating: Survivor
Survivor maximizes your survival ability through the combination of DNA extracted from alien species living in harsh environments. The biggest feature of the Survivor is the awakening of potential to overcome a crisis. The crisis would turn into an opportunity.
* The abilities of this body coating will fluctuate.
|Character Information Window|
|Health||1000 (+90)+250||Mental Power||500+250|
Cleaning Foreman (Agility + 3)
Ignorant Destroyer (Wisdom -10, Strength +7, Stamina +7)
Beltana’s Hero (Strength, Agility, Stamina, Wisdom, Intelligence, Luck +3)
|* Galactic Federation Contribution: 3,000|
|*Body Coating: Survivor
+ Environmental adaptation increases by 50% due to the Survivor coating.
+ The Survivor coating reduces the drop rate of Satiety by 30%.
+ The Survivor coating will reduce fall damage by 50%.
+The ‘Clairvoyance’ effect of the Survivor coating is applied.
|-A new skill (Survivor ☆) has been learnt.
Binding Sword (User, Active): Danger! Escape! The moment the sword hits an enemy, a mental wave will be fired and the enemy briefly paralyzed. Using Binding Sword will reduce your attack by 50%. But if the attack succeeds then there is a 30% chance to stop the enemy moving for 2~3 seconds. This technique can be an advantage when trying to escape but the situation could get even worse if it fails. So please use it carefully.
<Attack decreased by 50%. 30% chance to paralyze the enemy for 2~3 seconds>
|-A new skill (Survivor ☆☆) has been learnt.
Mind Shield (User, Active): Your health has reached the bottom! At this rate you will die! If you focus your mental power in moments of crisis then you can create a shield. This shield is created with mental power so the melee penalty of general shields doesn’t apply.
The durability of the shield depends on the concentration and can vary between 50 to 500.
<Mental power is consumed and a shield with 50~500 durability is produced>
Mental power consumption: 100
Cool down time: 30 minutes
|-A new skill (Survivor ☆☆☆) has been learnt.
Stealth (User, Active): Do you want to check it quietly if it looks dangerous? This will often occur when going on adventures. Stealth is the best choice in situations like that. When using Stealth, the light will bend around the body and you will become invisible to the enemy. However, a large amount of concentration is needed to maintain the stealth state. If you see a cockroach and lose concentration then you could die if an enemy detects you.
<The visible light will refract and you can move around while invisible>
Ark sighed as he walked out. He had selected the Survivor coating after much deliberation.
Gaining 1 million experience or 1 million special skills meant nothing if he couldn’t register with the Fairy before dying. So the most important thing in Galaxian was living. Thus he chose the Survivor coating.
“The bonus stats aren’t bad.”
Ark muttered as he looked at the character information window. When he browsed the internet, he found that the bonus stats normally given was between 65~75. However, Ark had received a total of 85 bonus stats. Marquis Martin gave him a 3rd generation IC card that gave 10~20 extra stats…..
“Of all things, why did my luck stat increase by 20?”
Of course, luck wasn’t a useless stat. No, it was a terrifying one.
|-Luck: Luck can influence the behaviour of the character.
Luck has an influence on critical hit probability, evasion probability and increases the chance of receiving better rewards from NPCs as quest compensation. In addition, the probability of getting good loot also increases.
This was the role of luck in online gaming. At first glance it was a good stat. However, luck was all related to probability. In other words, it didn’t always turn out well. And even if something worked, there was no way to connect it to his luck value. Yet his luck stat had increased by 20. It was like those points had been thrown away. However, Ark’s uncomfortable expression wasn’t due to his stats.
“What the hell? These skills?”
He had learnt 3 skills along with the Survivor coating. Binding Sword, Mind Shield, Stealth……the effects seemed quite useful. The enemy being bound for 2~3 seconds meant he could escape, the shield could stop several attacks and the stealth technology meant he could hide while moving.
They were all techniques that could be used to escape from a crisis. The problem was that the effect wasn’t fixed. The effect changed depending on the users’ concentration. If he couldn’t concentrate properly then the attack damage of Binding Sword would decrease without any other effect while the durability of the shield would also decrease. And if he lost concentration in a hostile area then he would be in danger.
“Can these techniques be used safely? Damn, how can I be assured using these skills in a crisis? Is it luck of the draw?”
He thought it was appalling when he first saw the skill information window. Therefore he had angrily thought about cancelling the body coating. Even if the user was level 100, it was possible to cancel the body coating and receive another one. But cancelling the body coating cost a lot of money. And they also needed to buy an IC card to receive the body coating again. However, that wasn’t the penalty that weighed on his mind. Separating the DNA of an alien species and adding new one placed considerable burden on the body and decreased the stats. It wasn’t possible even if he had enough money. So Ark reconsidered.
“Yes, the skill description is uncomfortable but I won’t know until I try it out. There are many variables but the effect isn’t bad if used properly. No, like its name it is a skill to escape from suitable situations. It was too early to discard it. He had to try it out. The effect wouldn’t truly be known until he learnt it with his own body. Yes, I’ll try it once. There is no meaning in complaining now.”
He thought about trying it out. He wanted to leave the city right now to fight. But Ark wasn’t in a situation to do such things right now. At least in the future……
Ark was walking down a hallway while thinking. He felt a sudden pain and stars spread in front of him. He stepped back holding his forehead and saw someone else doing the same thing. He was too busy meddling with the skill information window that he bumped into someone after turning the corner.
“Wah! I’m sorry. I wasn’t looking…..eh?”
Ark lowered his head after grasping the situation when he suddenly flinched. Surprisingly Ark knew the person. It was Irina. Ark stared at Irina blankly because he never imagined bumping into her. He noticed Irina frowning and laughed awkwardly.
“I mean…..this is a shocking reunion. I’m seeing stars.”
“Are you joking? Or do you want me to be angry?”
Irina spoke coldly with a deadpan voice. Ark hesitated after seeing her attitude and scratched his head. Irina was about to turn around when Ark suddenly remembered and quickly started talking.
“W-wait a minute. I wanted to see you once. So I can say thank you.”
“Thank you, why are you thanking me?”
“I heard about it from Leader Clem. Irina ran around trying to help me when I was imprisoned on Beltana. There was no time after I was released so I couldn’t greet you directly. Thank you for you regard.”
Irina was startled by Ark’s words. She thought for a while before shaking her head and saying.
“I didn’t do it for your sake.”
‘Heh, she must be shy……’
Ark inwardly thought after hearing Irina’s reply. A young woman wouldn’t run back and forth helping a man she had no relation with. Then it was clear. When he heard Clem’s words, Ark was 100% sure that Irina had a crush on him. When he thought about it, there was no other option. Ark had saved Irina from humiliation at the charity party. He was also dressed up in nice clothes so he was looking handsomer than usual.
‘I barely spoke with Irina on Beltana. If Irina tried to help me so much then the answer is obvious. Although she pretended not to know, it is clear that she remembers the incident.
‘Huhuhu, this is slightly okay. But why is she acting cold? Ah, is that possible? Isn’t the cold character the trend these days? Hmm, this is also surprisingly charming?’
Ark arrogantly misunderstood. He mistook Irina’s cold attitude as a strange charm.
“Anyway, it is a fact that I received your help. I am thankful.”
“Then I guess I have to say thanks to you as well.”
“I was actually on Beltana because of Valencia. I was dispatched to Beltana to investigate rumours that someone was taking bribes from the prisoners. It was hard to gather evidence at first but it became easy after you provoked Valencia and I could file a complaint.”
It was the first time he heard this. Ark became embarrassed by the unexpected words.
“But you should be careful. Valencia lost his achievements, was released from his position and reprimanded. It is a weak punishment compared to his violations. But Valencia might still be harbouring a grudge.”
“I already know that but…..”
Ark laughed and shrugged. Ark had noisily returned to Istana as a war hero with a lot of enemies. What did one more person matter? The more important thing was that Ark thought she had a crush on him. He couldn’t show his weak side! Ark deliberately put on an easy going expression and said.
“I’ve believed that justice would win since I was young.”
“And does it?”
“Sometimes. Especially when money……”
Ark made a circle with his finger and showed it to her. Irina stared at it blankly before laughing. Ark was caught off guard by Irina’s reaction to his joke. Ark had seen her many times on Beltana. She was in charge of the prisoners’ supplies so he couldn’t help seeing her. But this was the first time he saw Irina smiling. That wasn’t the only reason why Ark was caught off guard.
‘What? This woman…..is pretty.’
He had thought she was quite good earlier. However, he has always seen her with an expressionless face. But after seeing her laugh, she was an unexpectedly pretty girl?
And it wasn’t just a pretty looking woman. Ark misunderstood that a pretty woman was interested in him! His chest felt strange after being conscious of it.
Ark hesitated as he looked at Irina before opening his mouth.
A bunch of guys flocked from behind him. They were the Silver Hand and Royal Guards. In fact, the Royal Guards were from different areas of Istana before being sent to Istana. When the war ended, they asked Marquis Martin to be allowed to return to Nephalim. There was a reason he brought them together.
‘But I wanted to talk to Irina…..’
Ark turned back around.
She wasn’t there anymore. She had disappeared just like at the charity party.
“W-was she embarrassed? Yes, that must be it. She must be embarrassed.”
Ark thought like that.
“Hey, are you okay? Why are you muttering to yourself in a place like this?”
Mellin approached and asked with strange eyes. Ark blushed as he scratched his head and turned.
“It’s not a big deal. Did things turn out well?”
“Of course. Even if we’re not heroes, we also took part in the victory. Look at this. Isn’t it good? The other members and I received interesting weapons.”
Mellin tapped the machine gun on his shoulder and laughed. It wasn’t just Mellin. While the Royal Guards didn’t receive the Hero title, they received rewards according to their achievements. Of course, they were prisoners so they wouldn’t receive rewards for the achievements left over after they were pardoned. However, Ark made a deal with Marquis Martin for the detachment to be treated like regular troops. Therefore the Royal Guards and Silver Hand were able to receive awards corresponding with their achievements. Now the Royal Guards were carrying new equipment. The equipment were all visibly magic items!
“This is all thanks to you.”
“Yes, we were pardoned and even received new equipment thanks to you!”
The crew burst out around him. If this was the usual Ark…..
“Is that right? It is thanks to me? I’m thankful for those words……”
He would try to get something for it. But now wasn’t the time. Ark had grander goals than some petty cash.
“The items? Is it all under control?”
“Well, Leader Clem knew the owner of the store so we got a decent price for it. It added up to 17,400 gold once everything was sold. I’ve never seen or touched so much gold before. My hands trembled while holding it. It isn’t good for my heart so you should receive it quickly.”
Mellin passed him a heavy purse. This was the money from disposing of all the items they picked up from the pyramid and the Rama base. The total was 17,400 gold! Of course, that money didn’t belong to Ark alone. The proceeds were evenly split up among the 30 members of the Royal Guards and Silver Hand. Of course, Ark had already filled up his bag before the detachment joined him. This was Ark’s personal income. After calculating his personal income, Ark ended up receiving 1,160 gold. 16,800 gold remaining after subtracting Ark’s personal income. This was then split among Ark, the Silver Hand and the Royal Guards. 16,800 ÷ 30 = 560! That was 560 gold per person.
‘17,400 gold seemed like a huge amount but now it is split between 30 people.’
But they also received compensation from the federation and new weapons so it was a type of bonus. Each member received a bonus of 560 gold. Ark also took 1,160 gold so he couldn’t complain.
‘The combined amount is still insufficient!’
17,400 gold was insufficient if Ark wanted his plan to proceed. This was the reason the members hadn’t divided the proceeds and handed it all to Ark. He would now explain his plan……
In fact, Ark had half forgotten about Lucifer while on Beltana. He had to stop it of course but there were other users taking part in the government’s ‘Lucifer obstruction plan.’ But he had changed his mind while wandering around Beltana. The real estate slump in the Taek Mountain area! Ark thought it was highly likely that Lucifer was behind it. Ark was still a common person despite being a legendary gamer. He hadn’t really felt anything about the country’s crisis but now he was impatient.
Ark had realized what an important issue it was.
‘But how can I stop Lucifer?’
Ark hadn’t thought about it deeply until then. Of course, there was the condition that Lucifer proposed.
–The first person to achieve the ultimate goal in Galaxian will win.
……He didn’t know what that meant. Galaxian was an online game. Each game had different endings. So there was no way to know what the ultimate goal was. The game publisher of Galaxian, Successful Future hadn’t released the ultimate goal to the public.
‘The ultimate goal in Galaxian…..is it to become the strongest warrior? Or to reach the highest position in the galaxy? Perhaps pioneering the most planets? Or maybe finding an amazing item?’
He thought of various things but the answer wasn’t clear. But there was one obvious thing.
‘I don’t know what Lucifer considers the ultimate goal but there is one way to reach the target first. I have to become stronger than Lucifer!’
However, Galaxian was an online game. Numerous users were competing to reach the goal. In such a game, a user couldn’t just rely on individual strength. The ability of an organization was inevitably required. He needed an organization filled with users and NPCs to help him. That was the conclusion Ark reached. But Ark decided to narrow it down to two goals. The first thing was the growth and support of his organization.
‘And the starting point of my organization……’
Needless to say, it was the Royal Guards. The idea of his organization was based on the Royal Guards. It was thanks to this idea that Ark gathered the Royal Guards together. An opportunity to meet NPCs in the game that would sacrifice their lives for him was uncommon. And unlike other online games, some NPCs in Galaxian could resurrect. The Royal Guards were those NPCs. He could treat his subordinates like users. In fact, Ark had planned to execute it in the far future when he first thought about it. However, now he was the hero of Beltana.
+ Your status rise gives you the right to manage private businesses.
A 1st class citizen had the right to operate a business!
‘A private business! In other words, I can own my own business like Tori. If I have a registered business then I can be a sponsor!’
This was why Ark snubbed the scouting offers of the 4 large businesses. If he created a business then his organization would have a direct goal. However, this plan had a crucial issue.
“Money! Money! Gold!”
This was part of setting up any business. It required a colossal amount of funds. However, most of the money Ark earned in reality was tied up in real estate. He couldn’t invest in a business in the game. So Ark lowered his goal for a little bit.
‘Yes, I shouldn’t become too greedy. Even if my funds aren’t tied up in real estate, it is too risky to build a company. I’ll start with becoming a mercenary organization like the Silver Hand for the moment. If I purchase the agent rights from the government then I don’t need to buy a building.’
But the price of an agent registration certificate wasn’t cheap. It was tens of thousands of gold! Ark only received 1,160 gold after the payout. This was why most users never thought of creating an establishment and looked for a sponsor. The agent right was necessary to establish an organization and most users couldn’t afford that amount. However, an organization was essential to Ark so he had no choice. So he devised one method.
“You are now free. But I still want to be with you guys forever.”
“Of course! We will follow Hyung-nim until we die!”
“Thank you. But our current situation is limited. We’ve truly become colleagues who faced death together so I want to make it official. After much deliberation, I decided to make our own organization. Of course, building a decent business right now is realistically impossible. But it is different if we become a mercenary company like the Silver Hand. The money needed to buy an agent registration certificate is large but if we join forces then I think it is possible. Then you will become a founding member with a stake in the organization.”
This was the method that Ark thought of. It was collecting member from the Royal Guards under the pretext of ‘establishment funds.’
’10 NPCs together should make a fast profit.’
There was no opposition. Ark’s agenda unanimously passed. The income they earned from Beltana was added to the ‘establishment funds.’ There was one question. The spoils from Beltana were shared between the members of the detachment. Based on the number of people, the Silver Hand had received approximately 60% of the total income. However, just then Mellin had handed all the money to him. The reason why……
“Leader Clem-nim, please take care of my younger brothers.”
“Understood. We will make them work to make up the amount of shares originally belonging to us that we gave to you.”
Clem laughed and looked at the members of the Royal Guards. This was why the income from Beltana entered Ark’s pocket. In the past Ark got a job with the Silver Hand because of Tori and he got the Royal Guards the same job. However, this wasn’t just to finance the business.
‘The Silver Hand has more experience and better skills than the Royal Guards. They grew just from a few days together on Beltana so they will noticeably improve when hunting with the Silver Hand. Besides, now it is possible to receive thousands of gold.’
It was a plan to eat pheasant and egg. Clem also knew Ark’s expectations.
“Really, using a tactic to use a rival group to raise your subordinates while earning money. You shameless guy.”
But Clem accepted Ark’s proposal without any complaints. In the meantime he had steadily raised his favour with them.
“Now we have to separate for a while.”
Ark summarized the general situation and said. Hegel sent him a regretful look and carefully said.
“What will Hyung-nim be doing in the meantime?”
Ark turned his head as he suddenly remembered. After being lost in thought for a while, he sighed and muttered.
“I’m going to sell my body.”