Space 4: Over the Border!

SPACE 4. Over the Border!

‘Why…..’

He naturally made an uncomfortable expression. It wasn’t a waste of time to promote the galactic federation. He gained fame and federation contribution and it also allowed him to use the Star Gate to meet Hamad, Asuran and Milan for free. Every time he completed an interview, he would gain fame and federation contribution. He also travelled around the cities to meet old friends but the compensation quest wasn’t neatly completed. Interview, moving to another city, interview, moving, event, moving to another city…..he worked for an average of 18 hours a day for 5 days without any breaks.

‘I have to continue doing this for 3 more days…..’

A sigh naturally emerged. But that would stop soon. Ark had been suffering but he felt uncomfortable now that it suddenly sopped. So he asked.

“There’s still some parts of the schedule left so why are we suddenly stopping?”

Then Marquis Martin answered.

“The effect fell faster than I expected.”

He immediately understood that he meant. When Ark had first appeared through the Star Gate, the reporters had gathered like vultures around the new hero. The hot coverage continued as he started his PR journey. However, the coverage noticeably decreased every time they went to a new city.
When thinking about it, it was the inevitable result. This was the age of information. New news poured in everyday so the same words couldn’t catch the attention of the public for a long time. Besides, every time was always about the war and repeating the federation’s PR words so the viewers found it tedious. There was no need to check the audience ratings.

-Your face has become known after appearing on the broadcast.

<Fame +20>

-The galactic federation’s image has improved due to your public relations.

<Galactic Federation contribution +30>

In the beginning his fame had increased by 100 and the contribution by 150. However, 5 days had passed and that number had decreased to 20 fame and 30 contribution. The messages also stated that the effect of his interviews had decreased. It meant the public was losing attention.

“The degree of exposure over the last few days has become too excessive. You were the hero of the first victory against the Rama recently so I thought I could use the media a bit more. But the public interest has cooled so if we continued then it might have an adverse effect. We should discard food before it reached the expiration date.”

He felt like a wash-up celebrity. Marquis Martin just continued talking like he had no concerns about Ark’s feelings.

“And these days I’m a little busy.”

“Ah, yes……”

Ark’s face looked like he had smelt a rotting cow.

‘This bastard! He’s suddenly busy? He dragged me around like a dog for five days without any breaks and now he is busy?’

Once again, Martin was a marquis. Although having a rank like marquis in an age where ships were flying around was funny, he was still nobility. He was also a councillor of the galactic federation. There was a reason the high ranking NPC had volunteered to become Ark’s manager and accompanied him for five days. There was no way a manager would drop a celebrity just because of a possible expiration date.  The reason Marquis Martin accompanied Ark during that time……

-Once again, the war was won thanks to Marquis Martin’s support…..

He was mentioned every time Ark did an interview! Marquis Martin was a politician. Politicians and celebrities had some similar aspects. Popularity would become power. Marquis Martin accompanied Ark to raise his stock price until there was a potential decrease in popularity. Then here was a question. Ark wasn’t a stupid human being. He could guess Marquis Martin’s purpose when making the deal on Beltana. However, there was one reason Ark didn’t protest the murderous schedule and parroted everything Marquis Martin told him to. The settlement between them wasn’t completed yet.
Marquis Martin promised three rewards if Ark became the galactic federation’s promotional hero. Two of them were the 1st class citizenship and the 3rd generation IC card. There was one more compensation. This was based on a confidential talk between Marquis Martin and Ark on Beltana.

“The same treatment as the regular soldiers. You desire the award the regular troops would receive if they gained as much achievements as you. That is your condition in order to be set up as a hero?”

“That’s right.”

“Of course that isn’t difficult.”

Marquis Martin said.

“No, you might even be given superior items to the ones normally handed out.”

“Huh? Really?”

“Of course it’s not for free. The condition is that you need to go on a publicity campaign for the galactic federation. An additional prize will be given if you become our advertising model. What you will receive depends on you. The price would change depending on how sincerely you promote during your activities. That incentive should be enough.”

There was a condition before he could receive his 3rd reward. And he endured the tiring promotional trip because of it.

‘My original agreement was to tour all the cities on Istana. But I’ve only travelled to 12 cities. That means only 60% of my target was achieved. I don’t have to do the boring interviews anymore but the stopped publicity campaign might be used as an excuse so I don’t receive my exclusive item. This situation is different. I should make sure first!’

Ark opened his mouth to ask that question.

“There is no need to look uncomfortable. I made the decision to stop the publicity campaign. You’ve faithfully participated in the interviews so I will keep my promise. Aren’t I a marquis? I have no intention of being cheap because of a problem like this.”

Marquis Martin was a surprisingly cool guy.

“Besides, you popularity might’ve fallen but you are still a war hero. If you go around accusing me of fraud then it will be troublesome.

……He was also calculating. There was a contract so he had to pay properly. Marquis Martin had no interest in the compensation promised to Ark. But he used the compensation as bait to lure his prey and became a vicious manager. Ark kept making an uncomfortable expression and twisted his hands.

“Is there such a thing? If it wasn’t for Marquis Martin then I would still be rotting in the jail on Beltana. Even if I don’t receive the promised compensation, how can I possibly say bad things about Marquis-nim? Ah, of course Marquis-nim did work me like a dog so it is basic human decency to reward me for it. Obviously Marquis-nim will give me suitable compensation for my work.”

He spoke flattering words but there was a veiled threat. If he didn’t give good rewards then Ark would say bad things! Marquis Martin clearly caught the threat. But he didn’t seem to be offended. He actually looked fascinated and laughed.

“What a funny guy. I don’t dislike it. No, I prefer humans like you. Because I can trust you as long as the give and take relationship is strong. Speaking of that…..how is it? Do you remember what I said the other day? Have you thought about it?”

Marquis Martin leaned towards Ark and asked quickly.

“Yes, you’ve received the Hero title to promote the galactic federation. Despite being a prisoner, it can’t be denied that you did some heroic actions. I estimate that you will reach a high height. More than anyone else.”

Marquis Martin looked at Ark seriously.

“The war with the Rama started again after a long armistice and it is centred on the Bellin constellation. The federation has been stagnating for hundreds of years so it is natural for the public to dislike it. Aristocrats like me can’t avoid it. We need power to survive in such change. That is, we need someone like you to secure our positions. I want to buy the ability that you showed in Beltana. If you come under my banner then I will give you exceptional treatment.”

-You’ve received a scouting officer from councillor Marquis Martin of the galactic federation.

If you accept then you can make Marquis Martin who is a power aristocrat of the galactic federation as your sponsor.

If you accept the aristocrat’s sponsor then you will automatically receive the ‘Private’ occupation.

Do you accept? Y/N

This wasn’t the first time he saw that information window. He received the same suggestion after meeting Marquis Martin on Beltana. The conditions were exceptional. Their standards were better than the galactic federation or the 4 large companies. Unlike other users, he received the war hero title so his treatment had already changed. If he accepted Marquis Martin’s offer than Ark would receive even more privileges.

‘But my competitors aren’t those users. It is the strongest AI Lucifer.’

Ark wasn’t simply playing the game. If he died inside the game then it would affect reality.
He needed to stop the Taek Mountains real estate slump. It was meaningless to be slightly better than other users when fighting against Lucifer. He needed to achieve the ultimate goal in Galaxian. Only one person would occupy that spot and the fight would end.

‘I don’t know what the ultimate goal is yet. So there is only one thing I can do now. To become the best player like Ark in New World. I don’t know what the ultimate goal is but occupying the best position was no different from ending the game. No, Lucifer wants revenge for New World so he might think that is the ultimate goal.’

He needed to rise to the top spot! Then he could also accomplish his goal in reality. This was the reason Ark wanted to establish a business. Therefore he never considered the suggestion no matter how enticing it was. However, there was a problem when rejecting the offer.

“Perhaps…..will the reward vary depending on my answer?”

Marquis Martin looked surprised at Ark’s question. Then he laughed and shook his head.

“Yes, I was too careless and didn’t think about your position. The timing is bad. I mentioned something like that after discussing compensation so naturally you would misunderstand. I was too short-sighted.”

“It is unrelated to compensation?”

“I would be a really lousy human being if I involved compensation in that issue.”
Marquis Martin boldly laughed and took something out.
It was a metallic disc around 1 metre in diameter.

‘Heok! T-this is?’

-Air Board (Property)

Item type: Vehicle

A hover type air board that moves using electronic power.
The hover board uses electromagnetic force to float objects in the air. It is an energy-efficient and light weight, medium-sized vehicle.  However, steady development has made a miniature version with the movement speed improved.

The air board only goes up to 60 km/hr. This is 1/5 the speed of a bike but the advantage is that you can carry it with you. If you become familiar with the operation then you can easily navigate through narrow and complicated topography. But there is no safety device so there is a chance of fatal accidents.

* This item isn’t for sale.

<Maximum Speed 60 km/hr>

‘Heok! This is real! A real air board!’

Ark’s mouth opened as he read the information window. In fact, Ark had been worried about a serious problem over the last few days. It was the existence of a vehicle. New World was set in medieval times so he never had to worry about vehicles. The hunting grounds were close to the villages and other towns were only 2~3 days away. It was a game where hunting was comfortable.
However, the scale of Galaxian was different from other games. Even Istana that was one planet in the galaxy was 2~3 times earth’s size. The hunting grounds were also on the boundaries of Istana. Sometimes people would have to travel a minimum of 100 km after leaving a city to find monsters inhabiting an unexplored region. Anybody walking on foot would understand. It was a waste of time and calories. That’s why Ark suffered when travelling 532 km on Beltana.

‘If I earnestly start adventuring……’

Like always, the problem was money. Typically users in Galaxian moved using a bike. However, even an old model that moved a maximum of 100 km/hr cost at least 200 gold. He didn’t understand it when on Beltana but the 300 km/hr hover bike that he rode cost 700 gold.

‘Although it is necessary to live…..’

There was also a fatal weakness with the bikes. The bike couldn’t be placed in the bag so they had to park it outside the ruins. This was a problem that wouldn’t occur in medieval games. Ark wasn’t worried about the discomfort of parking but security. If someone had a hacking skill like Ark then they could steal his bike! Of course, hacking wasn’t a common skill.

‘But there is enough!’

Thieves were common enough that he was worried about it. Now he could feel relieved. Marquis Martin had solved two problems at the same time. Not only did he get a vehicle for free, the air board could be stored in his bag unlike the bike. It only travelled 60 km/hr but the speed wasn’t a problem. Above all it was free!

‘Amazing! The deadly schedule is worth it in the end. This is the compensation I need!’

“How about it? Are you satisfied?”

“Of course. It is the best!”

Ark answered without thinking about it. Then Marquis Martin smiled bitter sweetly and said.

“I’m glad you are satisfied with your compensation. But to ask if the reward would change depending on your answer……that means you are rejecting my suggestion. Am I correct?”

He was satisfied with the compensation received. This meant he had no more reason to need Marquis Martin. But Marquis Martin was a powerful aristocrat of the federation so there was no reason to offend him. He generously gave him an excellent item so couldn’t he pretend to be grateful?

“I’m thankful that Marquis Martin appreciates my ability. But I’m just a pioneer who appeared in the universe 4 months ago. I luckily became Beltana’s Hero so there is still too much I don’t know yet. I have no confidence that I can return Marquis-nim’s expectations. If I gain more skills then I might work for Marquis-nim in the future.”

“Don’t tell me that so simply.”

“I’m really sorry.”

“No, I can’t do anything if you don’t want to……”

Marquis Martin closed his eyes and became immersed in his thoughts. After a couple of minutes, Marquis Martin opened his eyes and said in a low voice.

“Then can I request a favour?”

“A favour?”

“The explanation might take a while so I’ll try to make it simple. As you know, Nabe is the northernmost city of Istana but there is actually one more there. You might have heard about this. Our ally is the 3rd alien alliance the Aschulat. Apart from Nabe, the other city in the northern wasteland called Charem belongs to the Aschulat.”

“Huh? Isn’t Istana a planet of the galactic federation?”

“It is a planet of the federation. Even if the Aschulat are allies, it isn’t possible for them to have a city on Istana. So the Aschulat claim that they have nothing to do with Charem. But the Aschulat’s reason for denying involvement with Charem has nothing to do with avoiding the federation’s suspicions. That’s because the entire city of Charem is a huge smuggling organization.”

“Smuggling organization?”

“Yes, there are a number of items restricted by the galactic federation. Charem is the city where people smuggle those things through. Of course, even the Aschulat and members of the galactic federation smuggles things through Charem.”

Marquis Martin sighed and continued talking.

“The reason the galactic federation has tolerated Charem is because it was useful. Like I said, Charem is officially a stateless city. Therefore some Rama are also associated with it. The federation were able to get information about the Rama through Charem so they overlooked its existence.”

“……But a problem has formed.”

“Exactly.”

Marquis Martin nodded.

“The Aschulat used the excuse of internal conflicts to leave the Bellin constellation conflict against the Rama. Now all the information from Charem has been blocked off. At the same time, the federation’s contact within Charem also cut off contact. The federation’s line of contact has been cut off but there is no confirmation that the Charem cut off contact with the Rama. In that case, there is a possibility that all the information from Charem is going to the Rama.”

Marquis Martin spoke with a serious expression. It was obviously a serious problem just by listening.
A city situated in the heart of the federation was selling information to the enemy. The problem was more serious than a war. However, Ark wasn’t entirely convinced.

“Is Charem officially a lawless city? There is no evidence that Charem is secretly communicating with the Rama. Even if the city is used to smuggle illegal goods, can the federations’ troops be mobilized without any evidence? Won’t the Aschulat be able to complain?”

“That is why I want to ask a favour from you.”

Marquis Martin replied in a low voice.

“Charem isn’t a normal city. It is camouflaged with a few layers of advanced shields and is equipped with devices to detect movement. Charem is also 1,000 km from the nearest city so it is difficult to find with a radar. The federation might’ve overlooked Charem’s existence but to be more accurate, they have no way to handle it. If we move troops large enough to capture Charem, their information network will detect the movements. They will escape and the situation would become worse.”

The galactic federation had no confirmation that the Charem were secretly communicating with the Rama. If they rallied the troops and failed then Charem would 100% ally with the Rama.
Furthermore, they might’ve officially denied it but the city still belonged to the Aschulat. If the federation mobilized troops for a sudden attack then it could adversely affect the alliance with the Aschulat. The galactic federation weren’t brave enough to take such risks.

“The federation won’t throw away troops when there is no guarantee they can control the situation.”
Marquis Martin’s voice became even lower.

“You will create the conviction for me.”

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about……”

“It is simple. You must sneak into Charem and use this.”

Marquis Martin took out a bag-sized machine.

“This is a GPS transmitter connected to the federation’s military. This is the most advanced GPS transmitter able to send extremely long range signals and the radio waves can’t be interfered with. The problem is the shield. The transmitter can’t penetrate the layers protecting Charem. This transmitter needs to be used when the shield is turned off or connected to Charem’s communication antenna that isn’t shielded.  If it succeeds then the federal troops can overpower Charem.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“I want you to be in charge.”

“But aren’t there other people who know where Charem is?”

“I specifically asked for you.”

Marquis Martin smiled and answered.

“Didn’t I tell you? I have a high expectation of your abilities. But it isn’t your combat power that I rate highly. If it is simple fighting power then there are more reliable guys. I need someone who isn’t simply a strong warrior. I need a warrior like you.”

“A warrior like me?”

“Do you know why I was in charge of your mass media campaign? I only heard the situation from Haman. And I saw the videos you took. I came to the conclusion that you are a pioneer strong in improvisation. You’re a wise and cunning fellow. From what I know of this situation, this talent is needed more than anything else.”

‘That’s right. I can understand the situation now.’

This was definitely the reason why Marquis Martin suddenly cancelled the schedule. He didn’t understand every point but it was possible to know Marquis Martin’s aim. Ark’s visibility started to fall a few days ago. But he didn’t dare cancel the schedule until they arrived at Nabe because it was the closest city to Charem.  This was the best place to spring the plan on Ark.

‘That’s also why he gave an item like the air board as compensation.’

This was the nearest city to Charem but it was still 1,000 km away. If Ark accepted the task then he would need a method of transportation.  Marquis Martin’s behaviour was to make it easier for Ark to accept the mission.

‘If I think like this then it feels like…..’

It had a smell. The smell of a main quest. The quest involved playing a decisive role in helping the federation take control of a smuggling city. If he succeeded then he could guess that Marquis Martin’s reward would be tremendous. It might even be equal to the compensation received when becoming Beltana’s Hero. High-risk, high- return. If the risk was high then he would also receive a lot back. In other words, the larger the risk the larger the prize.

‘What intelligence personnel would be able to find the city, break into it, infiltrate the main facilities and connect the GPS transmitter to the communication antenna?’

It was indeed a mission impossible! He couldn’t fathom the probability of success for this quest.
There were many chances for Ark to get caught and killed. This was a burden so even Ark couldn’t accept the quest blindly. He wasn’t just worried about the degree of difficulty.

‘Milan said he restored the slab……’

Ark had been waiting several days for the slab. Then he was contacted a few hours ago that the slab was restored. If the slab matched Ark and Milan’s expectations then he could get considerable income from the Murat ruins. There was also more security than Marquis Martin’s quest. He could also discover a new rune. Of course, it wasn’t so urgent that he had to go running there immediately.
But he couldn’t think about relaxing. The Murat ruins were hidden but there were many pioneers on Istana so there was no guarantee that they wouldn’t find it. The place Milan found the slab had been discovered by other pioneers so the ruins might’ve already been taken away. The first person who found it would take the treasure. He didn’t know how long the quest would take so it was a burden to accept. However, he could expect a colossal reward if the quest was successful. Not anyone could receive a quest like this. He couldn’t bear to decline it.

‘The most worrisome thing is if Milan’s slab is different from my expectations. If he refused Marquis Martin’s quest and the slab turned out to be nothing then he would’ve blown off a rare quest. But he couldn’t blindly accept the quest. Besides…..eh? Wait? Come to think of it…..’

Ark finally realized something strange.

“But haven’t I been played over and over on the media as a war hero over the last few days? If Charem can grasp the movements of the federation army then wouldn’t they know me? How can I take on this duty?”

This was the problem.

Marquis Martin’s quest was a type of spy work. But Ark was a celebrity thanks to the interviews over the last few days. It would be impossible for him to infiltrate Charem. Marquis Martin laughed like he expected it and took something out.

“I’ve already thought about that.”

-Hyde Helmet (Quest Items)

Item type: Helmet

Wearer Restriction: Level 31 (Body Coating Required)

Defense: 5             Durability: 30/30

A helmet that covers the entire face.

This looks like a normal helmet but a special feature has been added.  There is a special coating on the glass front so the opponent can’t see your face. It also prevents all infrared scopes from detecting your name by setting a different character name. If you want to do bad things! If you want to hide your name! The Hyde Helmet is the best choice for a coward like you.

* If you commit a crime then the chaotic value will be applied to your original name.

<It is possible to change the name the opponent can see>

“T-this?”

Ark eyed the blue helmet with astonished eyes.

“A former informant who infiltrated Charem bought this item. It can be used by the galactic federation, Aschulat and Rama. A lot of people who want to hide their identity will buy this helmet. I will lend it to you for this mission.”

‘There is a way with this helmet!’

Ark’s ears didn’t hear Marquis Martin’s words anymore. Ark became the ambassador of the galactic federation and he became a celebrity. But becoming famous was something Ark wanted to avoid most. Ark had no choice but to unintentionally receive attention from other users. In additional to his name, his face and appearance became known. When visiting Hamad, Asuran and Milan he had heard quite a few people whispering about him. That situation would continue for a while. If it was just interest then it wouldn’t matter that much. He was willing to receive requests for pictures or signatures. The problem was the guys with evil intentions. It was a world where many people hated celebrities just because they were famous. A lot of them would approach Ark under false pretences and then stab him in the back. It was to the extent that his head throbbed when thinking about it.

‘If I use this then it is possible to hide my face and name?’

His problem would be settled. It might only have 5 defense but the unique properties of the helmet made it beyond value! However, the item was leased so he would have to return the Hyde Helmet when the quest was over.

‘But……’

Ark thought for a while before speaking with a serious expression.

“I understand. I will accept Marquis-nim’s request and install the GPS transmitter in Charem. But Marquis-nim knows better than anyone that there is no guarantee this mission will succeed. If I fail then I will lose my life and a lot of time. So I would like a minimum compensation promise.”

“Say it.”

“Please give me the Hyde Helmet.”

“I’ll do that.”

“Of course, I know receiving compensation beforehand seems slightly stubborn. But Charem is 1,000 km from here. And I’m by myself…..”

“So I will give it to you.”

“No, that is…..eh? You’ll give it to me?”

“How many times are you going to say the same thing?”

Marquis Martin frowned and muttered. Ark was dumbfounded by Marquis Martin’s reaction. The defense was low but the helmet’s special function meant it was quite rare. At least in Ark’s view point.
And the item couldn’t be obtained through a normal route. He got a bit of help from Marquis Martin but he was still a NPC. He played the game for several years but he never heard of a NPC that would just give an item to the user. Especially Marquis Martin who had squeezed all of Ark’s fame in the last five days? Marquis Martin declared in an unpleasant voice at Ark’s stupid expression.

“Don’t look like that. This is an urgent problem. You know that too. Isn’t that why you shamelessly pushed the conditions? I noticed your expression when receiving it so the conclusion is clear. Your mouth is babbling on for no reason.”

‘Well, I guess but…..’

The words were coolly spoken so he felt even more uncomfortable. Normal users wouldn’t think that deep but Ark wasn’t a normal user and he felt uncomfortable. He was a user who had experienced a lot of aerial combat!

‘He is a NPC. Unlike users, he won’t act based on his feelings.’

Ark knew that. NPCs normally behaved stingily. If the NPC was willing to settle so easily then it meant they wanted something. His experience with cheap tricks meant there was something fishy. But the circumstances involving Marquis Martin were different. It was a virtual reality game but a NPC was a NPC. They were part of the game. Intimacy was calculated as a numerical value and affected the behaviour of the NPC. Intimacy was also the cause behind the Royal Guards and the Silver Hand’s loyalty. If a NPC accepted an impossible request then it meant the request wasn’t impossible in the first place.

‘Yes, it isn’t a stretch to think this situation is different.’ In fact, the air board wasn’t his compensation for his achievements on Beltana. Marquis Martin just gave him the item required for the mission. The Hyde Helmet was the same. Anyway, now he had a chance to sneak into Charem to proceed with the quest.  And the level restriction of 31 wasn’t high. If he thought like that then Marquis Martin wasn’t actually that generous. Then…..’

He might be able to get even more! Of course, he couldn’t be too excessive. Once again, a NPC’s behaviour was affected by various numerical values. His request wouldn’t be granted if it went beyond the threshold. This was an absolute rule! If he became too greedy and crossed the limit then there was a risk the quest would be cancelled and intimacy decreased. So Ark……

“I’m grateful to Marquis Martin in many ways. I could become Beltana’s Hero thanks to Marquis-nim. The reason I didn’t grumble about the promotional trip without any breaks was because I’m thankful to Marquis-nim. If Marquis-nim requests something from me then I can’t refuse no matter the dangers. Yes, I’ll dedicate my body and heart to your request.”

The reason he spoke like this……

“The thing I’m worried about is how to complete the mission despite the dangers. I’m not afraid to die. But the thing that concerns me is betraying Marquis Martin’s expectations and failing the mission. I heard that the northern region is infested with considerably high level monsters. I’m might be Beltana’s Hero but I’m still inexperienced as a pioneer! I only have equipment of this standard. I don’t know if I can accomplish my duty like this.”

His words were true. The area to the north of Nabe was filled with level 60~70 monsters. He also needed to travel 1,000 km. On the other hand, Ark was level 52. Entering the northern area alone was a significant risk. Of course, Marquis Martin’s quest didn’t require him to catch monsters. It was a quest to find the hidden city of Charem and infiltrate it. The reason Ark was discussing monsters and levels……

‘Now take something out! Bring out an armour with large defense!’

Ark stared at Marquis Marin with that meaning in his eyes. Fortunately Marquis Martin wasn’t a stupid NPC and he understood Ark’s intention.

“Indeed…..”

A meaningful smile floated on Marquis Martin’s mouth.

“I understand what you’re saying. And I admit that I hadn’t thought of that point. Well, even if you can avoid them on the air board…..yes, I should reduce your burden. If you get in trouble and die then you won’t be able to reach Charem.”

“Huh? Then?”

Ark asked with eager eyes. Marquis Martin thought for a while before taking out a small, square case. Ark had expected an armour piece and disappointment appeared on his face. However he changed his mind once he saw the information window.

-STK-VII (×3)

Item Type: Special Grenade (Older Generation Relic)

A weapon where the development and production is prohibited so few exist. It is based on particle decomposition theory and is called the TK technique.  The TK weapon decomposes the target and is a fearsome destructive technology able to evaporate the target. It is an unstoppable weapon with ultimate destructive power. The TK technology was used as a weapon in the 1st Space War and both the galactic federation and Rama suffered countless damage.

The scientists of both nations soon realized the danger of TK technology. The TK technology generated a type of black hole that distorted the area. When both nations signed the special treaty, one of the clauses was the prohibition of the TK technology. The STK-VII was something the galactic federation personalized before the treaty was signed. It is a hand grenade that will destroy all particles within 20 metres when thrown.

* Not for sale

<All targets within 20 metres will receive 1,500 damage and ignores defense>

A destructive weapon where the development and production were prohibited! Naturally Ark had no interest in the contents of the treaty. The important thing was the enormous destructive power of the hand grenade!

‘1,500 damage and defense is ignored……’

Ark was level 52 and his health was lower than 1,500. A level 100 magician with low health would die in one shot!

It was a destructive power that would throw off the balance of the game. This grenade meant that levels didn’t mean anything. The destructive power was so large that any further research into the grenade was different. It was a consumable supply but the grenades had a colossal value.

‘I really could get another item by acting like that! As expected.’

Ark drooled as he looked at the destructive grenades.

“This grenade isn’t a weapon that can be abused. I’m giving it to you because this is an important matter. But bear this in mind. You shouldn’t use it in cases where your identity might be revealed. If you are discovered using the STK-VII then even the galactic federation won’t be able to protect you. Do you understand why?”

It was a weapon banned by the special treaty. However, Ark now possessed the Hyde Helmet. If he used the Hyde Helmet then he didn’t need to worry about his character being revealed. Maybe these items were supposed to be a set from the beginning.

“Of course. Please don’t worry.

Ark smiled as he placed the STK-VII in his bag.

“You said that you are willing to risk your life for me. I’m also taking a risk by giving you the prohibited STK-VII. So I have two more conditions. The first is that you don’t abandon the mission no matter what. And the second is a personal favour.”

As expected, Marquis Martin wasn’t an easy NPC. He was a politician who would only give something if he received something else in return.

“The mission requested by the galactic federation is to install the GPS in Charem. Now I will tell you my personal favour. It is a favour but it might help you with your mission.  In fact, I personally sent an intelligence agent to sneak into Charem a while ago. His name was Kara. But he cut off contact the moment Charem hid itself from the federation’s surveillance network. He is probably locked inside Charem and can’t get out. If your infiltration succeeds I want you to find Kara and give him this. Then he will help you.

Marquis Martin handed him a sealed black bag. When Ark received it, an information window popped up.

<Charem’s Infiltration>

You have received a secret mission from Marquis Martin, an aristocrat of the galactic federation. The lawless city Charem has hidden itself in the area 1,000 km north of Nabe.

Charem has hidden its location using state of the art equipment and the galactic federation fears that it is communicating with their enemies the Rama. You have to sneak into Charem and sent the approximate GPS location to Marquis Martin.

Difficulty:  A

+ Sub Quest: <Intelligence Agent Kara> +

<Intelligence Agent Kara> is a separate mission received from Marquis Martin. Before this situation had occurred, Marquis Martin had sent an intelligence agent to Charem. If you find Kara who is already in Charem then you will be able to receive a lot of help to complete the mission. If you can find him.

-You have acquired the quest item ‘sealed bag.’

“This is just a precaution. I want you to have this as well.

Marquis Martin handed him a small capsule.

-You have acquired the ‘tiny bomb for suicide’ quest item.

“I wish you luck.”

Marquis Martin smiled and said.
———————————————————————————————————————————
“Ouch, damn! There isn’t anywhere on my body that doesn’t hurt.”

Ark rubbed his arms and legs. Ark had immediately started preparing after receiving the quest from Marquis Martin.

-TO: Milan
Something came up and I can’t come for a while. I’ll finish it as quickly as possible so please gather information about the Murat and wait for me.

He first sent a mail to Milan. <Charem’s Infiltration> quest was good but he couldn’t miss out on the Murat related slab. He then bought various supplies for a long adventure like food, basic consumables, bullets and various other equipment. Ark was already a celebrity within Galaxian.
He felt concerned about attracting the attention of users and NPCs. However, there was no problem if he used the Hyde Helmet. There were many people in the shipping district but none of them were interested in Ark. Once again he thought that the Hyde Helmet was truly good. Anyway, all his preparations were finished……

“I’m departing! Let’s go Super Board!”

He got on the board that he already nicknamed and shouted.

Hwiiiiiii-! Kutang tang tang-!

Ark ran into the wall of a nearby store. The same situation repeated for a while. If he started the air board then it would start circling the same spot or it would go in an unexpected direction until he crashed into a wall!

“What, what the? Why is this so hard to operate?”

The air board was a ridiculously difficult vehicle to operate. By default, the air board was just a round disk floating in the air. There was no handle and the direction or speed depended on the weight. It a lot of weight was placed on the front the speed would increase and moving the weight from left to right affected the direction. But it was an incredibly sensitive sensor! If he flinched even a little bit to the back then it would stop! If his body shook then the air board would fluctuate. And the problem was that the air board didn’t have any safety equipment!

Tteok! Kung! Bam!

Every time the air board became unstable Ark would fall, crash into the wall or flew 500 metres. But Ark was patient! He was obsessive! Ark fought with the device for 4 hours before finally accomplishing it.

Bbol bbol bbol bbol……Bbol bbol bbol bbol……

He could finally ride it at 20 km/hr. He was able to go out of the city and he wanted to go at the maximum speed to savour the freedom. But Ark was afraid of falling and had to go slowly. After a while, he started to learn tips to use the air board.

‘Yes, skiing. It is similar to skiing!’

Ark grasped the feeling and started to raise his speed little by little. He started at 20 km and increased to 30, 40, 50…..and finally 60 km! Turning was still difficult but it was possible for him to move at the maximum speed without falling.

“Oho! This feels different from what I thought……”

Ark had ridden a 300 km/hr bike on Beltana. Therefore he wasn’t interested in 60 km/hr but it felt different once he actually tried it out. It was smaller than a car but the bike was still a large machine. However, the air board was just one small disc. The experience of moving on the disc wasn’t inferior to going at 300 km/hr.

The landscape started catching his eye once his posture became stable. An endless grassland stretched out in front of him. Terraforming made it hard for monsters or plants belonging to the old environment to survive. So areas around the city had a lot of mechanical creatures and few monsters. Ark was already level 52 so he wasn’t interested in the Nakuma anymore. So he skipped it and immediately travelled 120 km away from the city! The grassland gradually changed to a red earth. He had reached the boundary between the terraformed land and the wastelands.

‘This border is where the real game begins!’

On Istana there were still numerous secrets and dangers that humanity hadn’t experienced yet.
Ark could finally truly begin the game after four months. And finally he entered a place with dark red earth.

Ku ku ku ku! Ku ku ku ku!

The space started to vibrate as there was a roaring sound. The earth and sand flew and a huge object soared up. Ark lowered his speed as the air board became unstable and rolled onto the ground. The huge object that broke through the earth dropped towards Ark. Once again there was a roaring sound. Ark quickly rolled his body to avoid it and saw a 5 metre earthworm like monster.

-Hakerion-

Category: Space Monster

Danger: C

Combat Power: D

Hakerion is a monster commonly found on Istana. Pioneers who received the body coating and have suitable equipment can easily deal with it. However, it possesses the habit of hiding its body in the ground so beginner pioneers should pay attention.

* You can gain additional information if you face the same type of monster many times.

That was the information that appeared when he looked at the monster. When he received the Survivor coating, he had obtained the basic skill ‘Clairvoyance.’ It had the ability of an Infrared night vision scope and he could check the information about the monster that was stored in a database. Furthermore, if he faced the same monster many times then he could learn their special skills, hidden attributes and the loot normally dropped.

Grrrrrrr!

Green saliva dripped from the mouth of the Hakerion! It was a formidable monster that appeared wen Ark first stepped into the wastelands! It was a creepy looking monster.

“Yes, this is also part of the game.”

Ark grinned as he took out the Impact Blade.

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17 thoughts on “Space 4: Over the Border!

  1. Pingback: Ark the Legend volume 4 chapter 4 | Rainbow Turtle Translations

  2. hayate90

    haha, the old Ark would have said something like this:”i accept the quest, but i need to get something that might help me with this quest, so can u grant me access for the star gate?” then proceed to study the slab and get the rune, return to search the for Charam at higher level

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    1. lord_kuching

      Marquis Martin wont accept that becoz the mission is time sensitive. It need to be done ASAP to avoid the Rama to steal any information or any information leak ..

      That what i guess.. but why dont Milan just send his finding using the messaging system as attachment o.O?? or maybe they afraid the info will be hack or intercept

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      1. Naeko

        >why dont Milan just send his finding using the messaging system as attachment

        Why? Because the author is still using the same trick from the first story where the great majority of readers don’t realize fast enough that there is a logic problem and get distracted by the continual flow of new info from the story. A paragraph later, and boom, the player has forgot about the logic problem due to distractions. While it is true Milan can just take pictures or “selfies” of the restored artifact, we the readers aren’t supposed to realize that before getting distracted by the ongoing story. It’s a writing tactic used in novels too. If there is a questionable logic item, the author may pave around it by having distracting items precede (to hold the readers’ attention) and the follow after the logic problem with either a lot of dstracting items or an action sequence to quickly and strongly pull away the readers’ attention.

        But what happens if an author is confronted? You’d expect most to laugh about it and say it’s impossible to write a perfect story. But some authors might bite back. In long ago anime fandom, the author of Ranma (rumiko takahashi) was publicly asked at a fan convention panel about one of the glaring logic problems with her main character. She responded testily to the fan with something along the lines “I don’t think of such things and neither should you!” It was a public event though, so after the publicity, she covered up the logic problem by adding a few changes to the plot to basically sweep the logic problem under the rug (the problem still existed, but was now deflected).

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  3. Keima

    Thanks for the chapter
    And by the way, take some rests once in a while, we want the chapters but your health is far more important, so take care

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  4. mythu

    lol worms these days have sonars that bypass ground and reach the sky. Bad move from Ark, the slab information was usefull, a visit coudn’T hurt then he was on his way.

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  5. Novo

    LMAO I just had this mental image of Ark yelling out “SUPER BOARD GOOOOO” then riding face first into a wall…then repeating this for 4 more hours….ahahahahahahaha

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  6. anon

    Calling it now, when ark gets to Charem, he will get ambushed by several bounty hunters hired by Valencia. He will then proceed to escape by somehow through the black hole grenade and end up in another dimension that contains magic, kinghts and mecha fighters ruled by a family of monarches whose names are all coffee…. or something of that sort.

    Anyway, thats for the chapter turtle

    Liked by 2 people

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