SPACE 4. Are You Ready?
“I’m really sorry.”
Ellain was lying flat on the ground. The person with a shabby form in front of him was Ark. The incident had taken place 1 hour ago. Ark had been transformed into a Myutal as a side effect of Mix-up when he came face to face with Ellain.
“No, it is I. This was an experiment……”
There was no time to explain. The Myutal were Ellain’s enemies! When Ellain witnessed the Myutal (Ark) in front of him he immediately took out his sword. Ellain wasn’t interested in why a Myutal would be in a place like this. The only idea in his head was killing the Myutal. Ark retreated and desperately shouted.
“What are you doing? I’m trying to tell you, I’m Ark!”
“Shut up! How dare you impersonate God’s messenger! I’ll kill you!”
But Ellain was already to irrational. And he unleashed an onslaught of attacks!
“Damn, it can’t be helped. I can only unclog his ear holes! Heir’s Sword!”
In the end Ark was forced to pull out his sword. However there was a problem he didn’t realize until now. Ark grabbed the Heir’s Sword that flew out of his backpack…..tak! Tak! Grab…..tak! Tak!
‘I can’t grasp it!’
Ark had changed into a spider type monster. His limbs had changed into skewers and he couldn’t grasp the sword hilt.
Ark panicked as Ellain’s sword descended towards his head. This was the beginning of Ellain’s merciless attacks. But Ark couldn’t even wrap his arm around his sword. All Ark could do was roll and run away. Fortunately his physical condition hadn’t fallen due to his transformation into the Myutal and he could use any skill unrelated to the sword. And this transformation had a time limit.
“Mind Shield! Welcome to the alter ego! ”
He desperately used skills and escaped for 1 hour. Then a fever swept through his body and he returned to his original appearance.
“Ah! M-Messenger-nim? W-what’s going on?”
Fortunately Ellain noticed and finally stopped talking……
“It’s not a big deal. I just almost died because of you.”
……Ark was already bloodied. His body was a wreck.
“I’m sorry! Without knowing the circumstances……I never would’ve dared raise a sword to God’s messenger! Attacking God’s messenger is no different from committing a blasphemy against God!”
This was the reason for Ellain lying flat on the ground.
‘I think the same……’
He had been beaten like a dog for 1 hour. It still tingled every time he moved! But right now there was another problem to worry about.
|-An adverse side effect of Mix-up has occurred!
There was a genetic conflict when the DNA of a monster was inserted.
A momentary physical change has occurred thanks to this genetic conflict. The process of combining DNA has cause a mutation so this physical change of varying duration. will spontaneously occur over the next few days.
‘A few days……’
A frustrated sigh emerged from Ark’s mouth. That’s right. The Myutal’s transformation hadn’t ended. It would randomly occur over the next through days. In other words, he never knew when his body would seize (?) throughout the next few days.
‘There really is a variety of things.’
In fact, it usually wasn’t a big problem. No, it wouldn’t be a problem if it occurred immediately after returning to S-20. But this was already the 3rd day since returning to S-20 and he was preparing to leave for Turan to join with the rest of the team. Yet now this ridiculous side effect occurred.
‘The atmosphere since the beginning of the 2nd investigation team……’
First there was the advent of Rapid and Valencia. Now there was this improbably side effect from gene synthesis just before departure. He felt an ominous feeling. However he had no choice. He already received the down payment and used it to make preparations for the expedition. And the remaining time was just one day! There was no time to hesitate.
“It doesn’t matter. This is my mistake so don’t worry about it. Has the team gathered?”
“Yes, they’ve all gathered at the roof airfield before I came here.”
“Then they must’ve been waiting quite a while. Let’s go.”
Ark and Ellain rode the elevator up to the roof. He had parked in the sector’s public parking when returning to S-20 because of the Charenjok but originally he had built an airfield on the roof of the administrative office. But the Silver Star wasn’t the only thing waiting on the airfield. There were more than 10 people gathered in front of it. It was the team that would go with Ark to join the investigation team.
“It’s been a long time Ark-nim.”
The first person to greet him was Melina. Ark had realized how important a healer was while fighting the Myutal on Rakunka. Constantly fighting the Myutal made him realize how important it was. And Melina was the only healer he knew. Therefore Melina popped to his mind when picking people to participate in the team. He sent her a mail and fortunately she could make it.
“Thank you for coming.”
“It’s nothing. I didn’t have any other work to do.”
“We’ve come as well!”
“Yes, because we are a set with Melina!”
Then two guys pushed between Ark and Melina. It was Slayer and Leon who had followed Melina from the first time he met her.
‘These guys, they’re still haunting Melina?’
He hadn’t anticipated that Slayer and Leon would follow. However Ark acknowledged that both of them had a certain degree of proficiency. He didn’t have any reason to refuse. They would also refuse to leave Melina behind. Anyway, he managed to secure a family in one go! There were more people apart from Slayer’s group.
“Sheesh, these guys are annoying.”
The woman who pouted with dissatisfaction was Kaya.
“What did you say? Do you think I want to see your face?”
“Let’s stop it. I’m embarrassed of both of you.”
The two men bickering with her was Park and Sadain. In fact, Ark had originally intended to hire the Silver Hand mercenaries. They were NPCs with lots of experience and they were friendly with the Royal Guards so they would be a lot of help. They were mercenaries that Ark had formed a connection with. He sent a mail when returning to S-20 but they hadn’t replied yet. He was in a rush so he called Kaya’s group who he became friendly with after the chaotic hunting incident. Of course it wasn’t for free. This was a long term mission that would take at least a month. They had only been friendly for a fortnight so there was no way they would participate for free. It was the same with Melina’s group.
-A deposit of 150 gold. If the mission succeeds then Ark will pay you 5% of the reward.
This was the condition that Ark proposed.
‘If possible then I would like to bring helpful users……’
That’s why he gathered Melina’s party and Kaya’s party for a total of 6 people. He already had to give those 6 people 900 gold and 30% of the success reward. That alone was already a significant bleed. He would also need various expenses when the mission was in progress so the thought of hiring more mercenaries was taxing. And there was no need for him to hire mercenaries. Ark was the CEO of Dark Eden! He employed 18 people. Of course he couldn’t bring all 18 people.
‘Users are more profitable than NPCs for exploring the frontier.’
Kurakan was the only user on his staff so he joined. Considering that this was a survey mission, Hegel’s distinct skills were required. And Ark’s combat troops consisting of Berad, Cupa, Hedro and Kalliben also participated in this mission. Until now Tori had been steering the Silver Star but he was a NPC so his life couldn’t be guaranteed on the frontier. He would remain in the sector to expand the research centre’s facilities. Instead Milan would steer while Hegel would manage the engine room. Ellain wasn’t a pioneer but he was a combatant unlike Tori. He could take him to dangerous places. In addition, Ellain was determined to accompany God’s messenger on this mission. That meant there were 8 employees of Dark Eden! And 6 mercenaries!
|Character Information Window|
|Health||3,100 (+275)||Mental Power||200 (+340)|
|Strength||300 (+35)||Agility||355 (+51)|
|Stamina||505 (+55)||Wisdom||40 (+13)|
|Intelligence||270 (+68)||Luck||55 (+8)|
Cleaning Foreman (Agility + 3)
Ignorant Destroyer (Wisdom -10, Strength +7, Stamina +7)
Beltana’s Hero (Strength, Agility, Stamina, Wisdom, Intelligence, Luck +3)
Athamas’ Hero (Strength, Agility, Stamina, Wisdom, Intelligence, Luck +5)
Mediator (Wisdom, Intelligence +15)
|* Contribution: Galactic Federation 19,520, Aschulat 500
* Affiliation: Dark Eden (CEO)
|*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.
And Ark! There was a total of 15 personnel in the team. Ark checked the information window before looking at the team.
“Some of you are seeing each other for the first time but there isn’t a lot of time to arrive at Turan. There will be time to greet each other on the voyage so let’s board the ship.”
Ark’s team entered the Silver Star at his words.
“Come on, let’s go! The destination is Turan in the Igracia constellation!”
Ark shouted vigorously.
A sudden crack! He felt a sharp pain as the top of his head was hit.
“Ouch! W-what are you doing?”
“I’m really sorry. It is my unconscious reflex……”
Ellain stuttered with a puzzle expression when Ark turned around. Ark’s reflection in his eyes was that of a Myutal.
“Huhuhu! How is it?”
Gwon Hwa-rang laughed wildly. And he pushed a picture under his nose.
“Isn’t it amazing? This straight leg and shapely body! Moreover, isn’t the face pretty? The nose and eyes looks just like me! Doesn’t an exclamation suddenly come out? This is definitely the looks of a celebrity.”
“Where are the eyes and the nose?”
“What? Can’t you see it? Are your eyes just decorations?”
“I think your eyes are the strange ones.”
Hyun-woo looked at Gwon Hwa-rang with astounded eyes. Only the top 1% of Koreans would be able to determine the positions in the photo. No, it wasn’t an exaggeration to say that only 0.0001% would be able to see the baby. However Hyun-woo wasn’t interested in the baby’s looks. There was a large age difference between them and the baby hadn’t even been born yet. No, he was more interested in the gender. In the picture the baby was 4 months and it was determined that the baby would be Hyun-woo’s sister.
“Can’t you see it at all?”
“What about it?”
“Look closely at the strength in the legs and the glare in the eyes. Doesn’t she get those legs and eyes from me?
What marvellous harmony.”
“Sheesh, don’t talk like that.”
“Bah! You’re just speechless from her beauty. Huhuhu! It really is amazing the more I see it. How come my daughter is such a beauty? Although it is natural since she is also Park So-mi’s daughter. She hasn’t been born but I know she is as pretty as Miss Korea. Then wouldn’t a Miss Korea come from our family after 20 years?”
Gwon Hwa-rang laughed as he rubbed the picture against his face when he suddenly flinched.
“Uhh! Wait? Doesn’t that mean you’ll get married? N-no! I won’t let a pup steal you away! What if he is a thief or something? No! Yes, I’ll have to mobilize my juniors in the police force to do a thorough background check……”
“Then you’ll have to prepare for a divorce.”
Park So-mi approached and said. She was Gwon Hwa-rang’s wife, Hyun-woo’s mother and the mother of the future Miss Korea. Gwon Hwa-rang stared at Park So-mi with surprise.
“W-what does that mean? D-divorce proceedings?”
“I don’t want me daughter to grow up with a father who would make his police friends do a background check on her boyfriends. Shouldn’t you use that time to learn how to change diapers?”
His mother sighed and turned to Hyun-woo.
“Would you like a father like that?”
“Let’s see. Maybe a donkey would be better?”
Hyun-woo giggled as Gwon Hwa-rang remained frozen in his spot. Then he peered at his mother’s belly and asked.
“By the way, are you feeling comfortable like this?”
“It isn’t bad. The doctor also said there are no problems. Your father is also taking good care of me. I don’t know about me daughter but he is a good husband for me.”
That couldn’t be doubted. He was a good husband and father. He learned how to change diapers and read a lot of books…..he was a good man. Gwon Hwa-rang looked at Ark and asked.
“Have you finished all your errands?”
“Yes, I haven’t seen you in a long time so have a meal with us.”
“No, there is a place where I have to drop by.”
“I have something to do. I have some time today so I’ll see you in the evening. We’ll eat together then. I’ll buy some beef. I know that mother likes beef.”
“You seem to be quite busy these days. I thought you visited the hospital because today was your day off but that wasn’t the case?”
“It’s not like that.”
Then Gwon Hwa-rang opened his mouth and laughed.
“This guy is quite busy these days but it isn’t because of work.”
“What are you saying?”
“Huhuhu! I know everything. Haven’t you been meeting a girl lately?”
“Eh? What does that mean…..?”
“This brat, no need to act shifty. I heard all about it. Didn’t you see her some time ago? We told you to hurry and think of getting married. By the way, I’m quite mad when thinking about it. If you have a girlfriend then shouldn’t you introduce her to your parents first?”
“It’s not like that yet.”
“You never told me you were seeing someone.”
His mother jumped in after hearing Hyun-woo’s words.
“Who? What type of person is she? Her age? How long have you met her?”
“It hasn’t reached that stage yet.”
“Is there such a thing? Didn’t you bring her to hang out with the other rehabilitation members?”
“It couldn’t be helped since the appointments overlapped. Anyway, we’ll take about this some more later. I’m leaving first. I’ll drop by in the evening.”
Hyun-woo avoided the questions and got out of his seat. Not long ago the rehabilitation members had met Irina, or Cho Min-sun. He hadn’t told Gwon Hwa-rang and his mother about her but he wasn’t intending to hide it. Anyway, she met the rehabilitation members so of course he had intended to introduce her to his parents. However their relationship was a little strange after returning from the mountain region.
She sent a letter with only those words. After that they didn’t have any contact.
‘If possible then I would’ve rather called.
Hyun-woo had two reasons why he didn’t call. The first reason was that it was difficult to talk after seeing the ‘Sorry’ message. The second reason was that he joined the 2nd investigation team so he would’ve met her soon anyway. But now the situation was different. Hawk was the leader of the investigation team and set the meeting point in the Igracia constellation. That was a considerable distance from the 1st investigation team that had been dispatched to the Harmadon constellation.
Marquis Martin said that the 1st team had already been exposed to the Rama and Aschulat forces so they would be avoiding contact and proceeding on a separate mission. Their reunion might be indefinitely postponed in Galaxian so he needed to meet Cho Min-sun in reality. But he couldn’t call her now.
Then Gwon Hwa-rang called. His mother was in her 4th month of pregnancy. She would be at the hospital to check the gender. He had already finished all his preparations to depart to Turan. And it would take 15 hours to reach Turan. Therefore he promised to meet at the hospital today.
‘Yes, that’s it!’
Hyun-woo had seen Cho Min-sun at the hospital. He had seen her sitting in the ICU when he first received news that his mother was pregnant. At that time Hyun-woo already had an interest in Cho Min-sun and learnt that the patient was her mother through a nurse. That was the work Hyun-woo had to do.
‘This is my chance!’
He would be busy once he arrived in Turan. He wanted to try meeting Cho Min-sun before that. Of course it would be difficult to encounter her. The last time had been pure coincidence. Hyun-woo visited the ward where he first saw Cho Min-sun. He opened the door slightly and didn’t see Cho Min-sun.
‘Has she already left?’
“Can you get out of the way please?”
Then a woman’s voice was heard from behind him. Hyun-woo turned his head and stiffened with surprise.
The woman approaching from behind Hyun-woo was Cho Min-sun.
‘She’s really here!’
A sigh flowed from Hyun-woo’s mouth. Cho Min-sun had the timing of a ghost. She had contacted him just before his appointment with the rehabilitation members and now she appeared when he was peeking into the hospital room. Hyun-woo couldn’t get a grasp of the situation. And Cho Min-sun seemed to know what he was thinking.
“……Let’s move somewhere else.”
So they walked 10 minutes before finding a spot on a lounge. Cho Min-sun was locked in her thoughts and didn’t say anything.
‘Should I make excuses or explain it?’
Hyun-woo was filled with anxiety.
“Why are you here?”
“Huh? N-no…..that is……”
Hyun-woo sighed as he scrambled to reply.
“I’m sorry I hid it until now. I didn’t mean to hide it. I didn’t get a chance to tell you. To be honest I learnt that your mother was hospitalized. I saw you attending to your mother in the hospital. I accidentally saw it when I came to the hospital the other day with my mother. Today I came to visit my mother so I thought I would see if you were here. Ah, but my mother isn’t sick. She became pregnant a while ago……”
Hyun-woo scratched his head and hesitated.
“Actually, my father passed away in an accident a few years ago. My mother was hospitalized for a long time thanks to that accident but she remarried a year ago and is now pregnant. Therefore she often goes to the hospital to receive check-ups.”
“I know that Hyun-woo’s father passed away.”
“I’ve seen your autobiography.”
Hyun-woo turned red at her answer. In fact, 90% of the reason why Hyun-woo didn’t reveal his identity in Galaxian was because of his autobiography. When Hyun-woo joined Global Exos as an advisor, Ha Myung-woo came up with a way to promote New World. It was his autobiography! The autobiography was called ‘I succeeded in this way.’ Of course, his character was changed to fit that of a hero so he appeared smug and elite, causing the netizens to ridicule him. Hyun-woo didn’t want to be reminded of that dark history again! He especially didn’t wat to hear it from Cho Min-sun.
“Now I understand.”
Then Cho Min-sun opened her mouth again.
“Is that why you seem interested in me?”
“Huh? Those words? What do you mean?”
“You discovered I’m taking care of my mother like your past so you feel some sympathy for me.”
“What do you mean? That I’m interested in you because I pity you?”
“I understand if you did such a thing. But I……”
“Don’t joke around!”
Hyun-woo jumped up and shouted.
“I didn’t do something like that! Pity? Are you kidding me? I know what it is like to nurse my mother alone! It isn’t pity! No, I also didn’t want pity! But I can still feel compassion! Because I also experienced the same thing as Min-sun ssi! I understand what it is like to be staring down at a mother lying in a hospital bed! But I’m not stupid enough to confuse love with compassion!”
“No, I have a little bit more to say.”
Hyun-woo forcefully shook his head and said.
“I knew about your mother a while ago but do you know why I didn’t say it? I was worried that you would misunderstand like now. I’ll speak clearly. I had a good impression of you since the party to help the refugees. And I already liked you when we met after returning to Istana!”
Cho Min-sun was about to say something after Hyun-woo’s words when she flinched and stopped. Her face turned red and she looked embarrassed. She looked away as she blushed. Hyun-woo also turned red as he realized. He had unknowingly confessed.
‘W-what did I say?’
He felt his entire body curl up. Hyun-woo grasped his fist firmly as he felt embarrassed. But the water had already spilled. He had no intention of taking it back now that the words were out there. And he didn’t want to cause a misunderstanding. Hyun-woo had already made such a mistake. He was scared and hesitated for so long that nothing came of it. One such experience was enough!
“And now I like you even more!”
It was a subsequent declaration bomb! No, a confession bomb! But Hyun-woo forgot about something when he confessed. Right now Hyun-woo and Cho Min-sun were in a resting room. The resting room was also full. Hyun-woo and Cho Min-sun belatedly realized that fact too late. The people around burst out laughing and murmuring.
“Ohh! Isn’t this atmosphere nice?”
“It sure is nice that he can explain in such a loud voice.”
“Hey Lady, hurry up and accept. If I keep on watching then my limbs will curl with embarrassment.”
“This is really good. The atmosphere is hot.”
Cho Min-sun grabbed Hyun-woo’s hand. And she pulled him out of the resting room with a bright red face. Finally she stopped at a bench in front of the building.
“Sorry, this wasn’t my intention.”
“Heh, you’re saying sorry to a guy who just confessed to you?”
“Huh? “No…..that……you see……”
“Is that your answer?”
“That’s not it! I truly appreciate your sincerity!”
Hyun-woo quickly looked around after the loud exclamation. And he spoke in a low whisper.
“Why are you speaking so softly? Just before you were shouting!”
“But Min-sun ssi…..”
Cho Min-sun avoided Hyun-woo’s eyes while talking. Hyun-woo looked at Cho Min-sun’s face. It was autumn and the moderately cool wind blew her hair. Her profile and the nape of her neck revealed by her hair caught his eye. He felt a strange tickling in his heart. It was a feeling he wasn’t familiar with. Hyun-woo eventually sighed and opened his mouth.
“Is it the previous outing?”
“I sent you a message after returning from the Taek Mountain region. I thought about it but couldn’t come up with another answer. But I wanted to check it out directly. I’m sorry…..I don’t want to meet you anymore……was that the meaning of your message?”
“……That wasn’t my meaning.”
“The message…..it means exactly what I wrote.”
Cho Min-sun sighed and continued.
“It’s because of my father.”
Hyun-woo had thought Cho Min-sun’s mother was a single woman. The nurse the other day said that Cho Min-sun was the only one to visit. That’s why he was surprised to hear her mention her father. But she spoke with a slight flinch.
“My father is rich. He is a tycoon.”
“That’s nothing to be surprised about. My father has a legal wife. So my mother was his mistress. But I loved my father. My father often came to see my mother and I in a nice car with many servants and I thought he was brilliant. I didn’t know what a mistress was until I was older but that’s not the reason I dislike my father. I hated my father once I became older. My father is a tycoon so he would do whatever it took to raise money…..I only knew afterwards what he was doing. And I came to know my father’s dark side after I met with Hyun-woo on that day.”
“The day you met me? What happened?”
“My father has bought real estate in my name and my mother’s name before. And I learnt this fact after the land was sold.”
“The land? Then perhaps……”
“It was the real estate in the Taek Mountains.”
Now most of Hyun-woo’s questions could be solved. That’s why she was so interested in talking about the Taek Mountain’s real estate and her dark expression on the way back.
“But why did you send me the letter saying sorry?”
“Didn’t you hear me? The Taek Mountain region……”
“Yes, Cho Min-sun’s father bought the land and sold it. But it’s not like that is my land. No, even if that was the case it doesn’t have anything to do with Min-sun ssi. So why should Min-sun ssi feel sorry? There is no need for you to say sorry.”
“What does that mean?”
“I told you, I’m Ark. You’ve read my autobiography so you know that I pay everything back with interest. I is the same with the Taek Mountain real estate. I have no intention of withdrawing. If you father is the one behind the real estate problem then I will eat him up. So what reason do you have to feel sorry?”
“My father has a lot of money. He can do quite a bit of damage.”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with you feeling sorry.”
Hyun-woo said with a smile. And he hesitated before carefully asking.
“In the evening…..can I contact you?”
Cho Min-sun sighed at Hyun-woo’s question and nodded. Then she smiled brightly and replied.
“I’ll be waiting for your call.”
The world was unfair. While someone was in a pink-tinged state of happiness, others were drowning in their sweat and feeling like they were going to die. This was a place where those people were gathered. A dojang (dojo)!
Several prestigious national fencing players had trained in this place. It even had an area for general workers who didn’t train with such intensity. Some people considered martial arts as a hobby. But there were always exceptions from this.
One man was wielding his sword alone. The other members started at him while they were resting.
“Who is that friend?”
“Hasn’t he been at it since the time we arrived?”
“His stamina is no joke. And isn’t he unusually skilled in the sword?”
“That’s nothing compared to his old skills.”
A man approached and said.
“Teacher Kim, you know that person?”
“I know. He is my classmate. He was in the kendo club with me in high school and took a bronze medal in the national athletics competition. However he fell into the virtual reality game and started becoming a gamer after he graduated.”
“Game? So he is a pro-gamer?”
“I don’t know. Anyway, we weren’t in contact for a while when he suddenly contacted me about coming to this gym. Since then he comes and crazily wields his sword withou a break for several hours.”
“I don’t understand it but I feel like he is staking his life on the sword. Ha, this really…… I don’t know what his goal is. That guy was rumoured to be quite malicious during his school days.
The instructor stared at the man. That person hadn’t stopped moving for even a moment. He couldn’t stop. Left to right, top the bottom, he moved his sword like he was attacking and blocking attacks from an empty space. A hateful smile was on his face.
Drops of sweat ran down the man’s face. The opponent he was staring at was Ark. And the man was called Valencia in another world.
A light gleamed in the eyes of the sweaty man.