SPACE 6. Ark x Hawk
“The 3rd Corps marching south have knocked out the fifth city.”
“Majimakaji resisted until the end but it was taken.”
“The 1st and 2nd Corps are currently engaging in the north and west.”
“Among the 30 major cities, 22 have currently been taken over by our revolutionary army.”
There was a stone hut with dozens of pillars. Soldiers circled in front of the pillars showing 3D images and continuously made reports.
A man was sitting down in the centre of that stone hut. Wearing a helmet in the form of a bizarre beast, the man was Set the rebel commander.
“Now there are 8 cities remaining…..”
Set stroked his jaw and muttered. The communication officers were reporting successful coups to Set.
He couldn’t destroy all the Murat fleet floating in space even after occupying all the cities. But the original military power on Muratio Star was trivial. The whole planet was unified and there was the absolute space ward Abraxas so a large military presence on the planet wasn’t needed.
Muratio Star only had the Zodiac Garrison that was fully equipped. Yet the Zodiac Garrison was the one that rebelled. Naturally the coup proceeded steadily as planned.
The beginning of the coup took care of Horus and the Elim at the same time. And now 22 out of 30 cities were taken. If they occupied 8 more cities then the coup would succeed. Muratio Star would then fully fall into Set’s hands. If only there wasn’t one variable.
Abraxas was a double edged sword to Set. Set was able to start the coup thanks to the presence of Abraxas. But if Prince Kuhwen released Abraxas before all 30 cities were occupied then the rebellion would fail. Set and the rebel army would be turned to dust by the space fleet.
‘My mistake. I should’ve taken care of Prince Kuhwen first. I never expected that Horus would give an order for the prince to go on a pilgrimage. That means Horus must’ve noticed my plans to a certain degree.’
A communications soldier turned his head and shouted.
“The signal of Fly Ranger no. 32 has just been cut.”
“That information isn’t confirmed yet. Show the last video sent by unit no. 32.”
The communications soldier activated a symbol carved on the stone pillar. Then sand particles gathered and formed a 3D image. The video showed hundreds of Ants. And dozens of soldiers were fighting against the Ants. Set narrowed his eyes as he looked at the video before shouting.
In the centre of the soldiers was a boy. He was the only person who could reverse the coup right now, Prince Kuhwen.
“The location is X-289, Y-3029. It is the north side of the Valley of Darkness!”
“The Holy Land around there?”
“The closest Holy Land is Tri-Force.”
“Tri-Force….is the 2nd Abraxas control unit there?”
A red light emerged from Set’s helmet.
“Who is guarding Tri-Force?”
“The 2nd unit belonging to Colonel Nemet is stationed there.”
“Tell Nemet that Kuhwen is heading there. And gather my unit immediately.”
Set turned and walked out of the stone hut while shouting.
“I am coming to Tri-Force directly!”
On the other hand.
There was a man who failed in a coup. The man who frowned while sucking on a cigarette was Lee Myung-ryong.
A few days ago a lid had opened for Lee Myung-ryong. The reason Lee Myung-ryong had thrown himself into the Lucifer Hunting was because the country was at stake. He didn’t doubt that the group was working to hunt Lucifer. This was related to a nuclear power plant explosion. Who would let their personal circumstances interrupt?
He was mistaken. There was a fierce war going on between the Prime Minister and Nation Defense office so the two teams didn’t exchange any information. Lee Myung-ryong only noticed it after reading some reports.
When he looked for it, there wasn’t just one or two incidents. Team members divided into the NIS or the Prime Minister’s office hid information and sometimes even interfered with each other.
‘I need to break that immediately!’
Lee Myung-ryong wasn’t an irresponsible person to just give up. If he didn’t break it now then the behaviour would just increase. Thus Lee Myung-ryong stayed up several days and nights collecting the related materials. Then he reported the performance of the two teams at a Lucifer Hunting meeting.
“Please tell me clearly!”
The answer to Lee Myung-ryong’s effort…..
I don’t know what you’re talking about. Why are you questioning us about this?”
“Are you saying that we’re doing this deliberately? We didn’t know about this. It is a problem if there isn’t any unity between team members but shouldn’t you solve the problem? Isn’t that your position as advisor?”
“Or? Is there any evidence that we gave orders for such a thing?”
“If you have it then bring it out. We want to see it.”
A national emergency was being interrupted by a quarrel but now he was being put in a corner. Something broke in Lee Myung-ryong’s mind after hearing those words.
He wanted to jump onto the table and kick the jaw of the Prime Minister’s Office Director and Department of Defense Director until they got a fracture that required spending 8 weeks recovering. After that, he would beat them in the face until they would become unrecognizable for 12 weeks.
…..That was inside Lee Myung-ryong’s brain.
But Lee Myung-ryong had no choice but to endure it. It was because the various problems would probably get even worse. No, to be honest he wouldn’t have hesitated but he had a talk with Kang Ho-cheol before he entered the conference room.
“Hyung-nim, I know what Hyung-nim is thinking but please be patient. The guys in the meeting room are the ones who hired Hyung-nim. And those cheap bastards won’t agree with you. Then what next? Right now Hyung-nim is the only one that can lead the Lucifer Hunting team. What is they change Hyung-nim? And I belong to the NIS but I also have no choice but to listen to the Prime Minister’s office. The Lucifer Hunting team will become worse if you leave. So please look for other ways. This is a request.”
Something else appeared in Lee Myung-ryong’s head. There was still hope. Hyun-woo was his beloved student who was also familiar with the game. Lee Myung-ryong wanted to ask him about Lucifer.
However! However! However!
-The customer can’t receive your call right now so please call back after a while.
He heard that message every time he called.
“Dammit! My temper! It can’t be like this. I should go and visit him directly. If Hyun-woo didn’t lose his phone then he will die by my hands.”
Lee Myung-ryong put out his cigarette and got up.
“It really is Hyung-nim!”
A bunch of guys flocked to Ark.
Kurakan, Ellain, Hegel, Milan, Berad, Kalliben, Cupa, Hedro and the other employees of Dark Eden ran towards him with tears streaming down their faces. Following behind them was Kaya, Park and Sadain. Slayer, Leon, Melina and Rapid also caught his eye.
They suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
“Stop! Who are you?”
Someone interrupted just before there was an emotional reunion between Ark and his team members. A giant with black skin stood in front of them.
“Hyung-nim isn’t a person that everyone can meet. Hyung-nim is the leader of the expedition that guards Prince Kuhwen and the Elim’s successor. If you want to meet him then you have to clarify your status and request to me first.”
“What? This black body?”
“Why is he acting this smug in front of Hyung-nim?”
Berad and Cupa who boasted the best body in Dark Eden approached with unpleasant expressions. Then the huge figure held up his shield and replied.
“I am the guardian Basak! Ark hyung-nim’s most faithful subordinate!”
“You can’t just say that.”
One man pushed between Berad and Cupa while speaking. The man wrapped in a cloak was Ellain.
“I didn’t have any interest in this matter but I am Ellain, Ark-nim’s most loyal subordinate. No one can match my loyalty to Ark-nim.”
Basak shook angrily.
“I’ve been with Hyung-nim for 10 years and I never saw someone like you!”
“10 years? This bastard…..”
Ellain shook his head and shouted.
“I don’t know how you can claim to be with Hyung-nim for 10 years but even if that is true, I am his most loyal subordinate. Loyalty can’t be proven just because of the amount of time. I believe that Ark-nim is God’s Messenger. No other person can top me as his most loyal minion.”
“I am! I am his most loyal subordinate! I am his most loyal subordinate!
“T-this bastard! What are you saying?”
“You don’t apply! Why are you interfering?”
“Don’t you just have a large body? So I’ll tell you this! The position of Ark’s most loyal subordinate is for Ellain! Wouldn’t you get mad if someone is trying to take your place?”
“You’re the one trying to take my place!”
“Say that again you bastard!”
A loyalty competition between Basak and Ellain started out of nowhere.
“I can’t talk to this guy. Hyung-nim, please say something to him!”
“I also want that. Hyung-nim, please say something to him!”
The two of them couldn’t decide in the end and shouted at Ark. But Ark had no intention of getting between Basak and Ellain. While the two of them were arguing, the remaining employees of Dark Eden circled Ark.
“Ohuk! Hyung-nim, we thought Hyung-nim was dead!”
Hegel held onto Ark and spoke while sobbing. It was also true for the other employees. They weren’t hugging him like Hegel but their expressions were thrilled. However not everyone was glad about the reunion.
“I told you. He isn’t someone who will die that easily.”
The testy voice belonged to Rapid. Rapid stared at Ark for a while before sighing.
“If you died so easily then I wouldn’t have gone to so much trouble previously.”
“Why does it sound like you dissatisfied with the fact that I’m alive?”
“No but I’m not so pleased that tears will spill.”
“Is that something you should say after not speaking for several days? No, are you the CEO? You are my employee and subordinate. Shouldn’t you be aware of your position?”
“I’m aware enough. I joined your company in order to meet Lucifer. So you shouldn’t worry about a bullet in the back of your head.”
“Ha! Now you’re making outright threats?”
“You don’t have to worry about that now.”
“That is really a comfort.”
“But don’t be completely relieved. I’m not the only person aiming at you.”
“I know that too.”
Ark shook his head and looked away. Ark’s gaze turned towards the man having a conversation with Kuhwen.
The order was slightly inverted by Hegel’s appearance but let’s return to when Ark saw the Fly Ranger on the edge of the Valley of Darkness. The person who suddenly destroyed the Fly Ranger was now carrying on a dialogue with Kuhwen.
The problem was that this person knew Ark. The man that Ark knew…..
His name was Hawk! Hawk the leader of the investigation team.
It was thanks to Hawk that Ark could meet the team again. No, it was too early to say but it was thanks to Hawk’s favour that the team members could even accompany Hawk. His team members weren’t the only ones accompanying Ark. Along with Hawk’s subordinates and Ferguson’s mercenaries, he was accompanied by 1,000 Murat soldiers. He didn’t know how Hawk managed to lead 1,000 Murat soldiers but it made Ark nervous.
‘If the person is Hawk then there is no guarantee that they are friendly!’
But fortunately Hawk wasn’t the opposition. No, after the first meeting Hawk didn’t even glance at Ark and just started talking with Kuhwen.
“Let’s explain the situation after leaving the Valley of Darkness.”
Hawk helped the expedition with the Ants and they escaped from the Valley of Darkness. And he met with Kuhwen after going several kilometres and setting up camp. That’s how Ark could meet up with his team members now. Ark looked at Hawk for a while before asking Rapid
“What’s going on?”
“That’s what I want to ask.”
Rapid looked Ark up and down and started to talk.
“We were in the middle of a desert once we regained our spirits. The spaceships couldn’t be seen and all our equipment had disappeared. But we were all gathered together. Hawk and Ferguson’s entourage was close as well. You, Tori, Ferguson, A and B were the only ones missing.”
“All of you were in the same place?”
Ark asked Rapid with a frown. Ark entered this world at the training centre by himself. He had possessed a NPC called Jed who had the same occupation as him so that was an explanation but Tori, Ferguson, A and B were also separated. Therefore Ark thought everyone else had been scattered. Yet the rest fell in the same place…..
‘I don’t know the laws of this place. Tori, Ferguson, A and B all have a beast animal species in common. Did the beasts fall into one place while the humanoid species fall in another?’
But such a thing wasn’t important now. Either way he managed to meet up with the team again. The problem was that this wasn’t a one team reunion. Ferguson’s mercenaries don’t matter but it is Hawk’s team that is difficult to convince. Of course, they were members of the investigation team so they couldn’t be called enemies. But that situation changed after entering the black hole.
Ark was drawn into the black hole because of Hawk and Hawk was drawn in because of Ark. And Ferguson was the main culprit in both sides being sucked in the black hole. How did these people act when together?
“There was a problem at first.”
Ark made a ‘?’ and Rapid nodded before explaining.
“A battle started after we noticed each other. It really was a terrible scene when thinking back. Didn’t I tell you? We lost all our equipment when first entering this world. Dozens of almost naked people committing violence against each other…..”
It would indeed be embarrassing behaviour. At least Hawk was able to maintain his decency. Unlike the other members, Hawk had managed to retain is cloak and a few equipment. It meant that Hawk’s equipment were ancient artefacts in present time. Anyway!
The person who arbitrated at that time was Rapid and Hawk.
“It was incomprehensible. First things were put in order. Then it was necessary to secure our safety. Hawk had the same idea so the war was put in order. And while we were consulting about the situation, they appeared.”
“The soldiers we are came who are the volunteer army.”
Rapid indicated towards the 1,000 people gathered in the camp.
As soon as Hawk and I talked to them, we understood that this was a different time zone and planet. We concluded that this unexpected event occurred due to the effects of the black hole. And we knew we should come here. At that time we met one of the lords called Rasius. But rebels under the command of Set just attack his territory and he barely escaped. He was rallying a volunteer army when he received notification that Prince Kuhwen still lived and was moving to oppose Set.”
It wasn’t an exact fact. Rapid said they ‘met and spoke’ but they were actually captured by the volunteer army. Muratio Star hadn’t seen the various alien species so they were suspicious. But Rasius didn’t see any of Set’s subordinates and released Rapid and Hawk’s groups.
However they suddenly fell into a different world so they had nowhere to go. Furthermore, Rapid and Hawk were users strong in the specialized gaming field. It was a sudden situation but they grasped the atmosphere immediately.
Rasius was the first NPC they met in this world. Rapid and Hawk intuitively sensed that accompanying Rasius was the way to escape this world.
“It was the right answer.”
|-<For the Benefit of Muratio Star!>
You came through a black hole and met a militia in another time and space.
Currently Set has incited a rebellion against Horus and Muratio Star is in chaos. Fortunately, the Prince was heading to the Holy Land on a pilgrimage and managed to avoid Set’s assassins along with the retinue that accompanied him. On the other hand, Lord Rasius has escaped from a city under fire by Set and organized a volunteer army to meet up with Prince Kuhwen in the Valley of Darkness. If you help the volunteer army stop Set’s rebellion then you can figure out how to return to your original universe.
The quest was given to the party members at the same time. Ark also received a quest with the name <For the Benefit of Muratio Star!> but the contents were different. Ark had to help Kuhwen directly achieve the objective while Rapid and the others needed to help the volunteer army.
Rapid had an easy journey while Ark had suffered. They had to battle against Set’s armies while moving to meet with Kuhwen. Hawk and Rapid were soldiers that showed exceptional skills in combat. In particular, Hawk and his subordinates had rescued many of the soldiers from a crisis.
Rapid explained up to here with a serious expression.
“When I heard the Seven Swords title for the first time, I thought it was nothing but my mind changed after seeing it directly. Hawk is on a different dimension from ordinary users. His combat skills, ability to lead and strong faith.”
“I don’t know either. It is just my feeling.”
“Sheesh, this guy is one of the Seven Swords. And there is no such thing. Faith about money, faith about money, faith about money…..”
Rapid ignored Ark’s words and continued. Anyway, Hawk’s status quickly increased thanks to his achievements. Then just before arriving at the Valley of Darkness, the volunteer army leader died from an enemy sniper. Just before dying, Rasius requested that Hawk take over control of the militia. That was why Hawk commanded the militia in the Valley of Darkness.
‘For the militia leader to fall in a matter of days…..’
He didn’t know what faith Hawk had but he managed to gain an advantage even after being dropped in a desert.
“You know what happened after that. We arrived at the scheduled destination a few days ago. But time passed and Prince Kuhwen didn’t arrive so we entered the Valley of Darkness.”
They found a Fly Ranger and made an attack. Incidentally, the first attack that hit the Fly Ranger was from Kalliben’s sniping. Rapid had been describing the process to Ark with a serious look.
“This matter is unrelated to me. But Hawk is different from ordinary users. And we already have Lucifer to go against. It isn’t a wise choice to have Hawk as an enemy in such a situation. Isn’t now a good time for a reconciliation?”
“This isn’t something you should be saying to me.”
Ark replied in a curt voice.
“Didn’t you see it yourself? You did. Did I do something bad to that guy first? No? Then it must be a one-sided bullying.”
“It seems like that but…..”
“The difference is the opponent.”
“The difference? What does that mean?”
“I’m not going to tell you anything. And is Hawk childish? Would he harass without a reason? Shouldn’t there be an appropriate reason? Think about it. What did you do?”
“If Hawk has a reason then I don’t know it either. Why do you think I did something bad?”
“Because it is you.”
“Dammit! Am I the ringleader of evil? If I am then will everything be okay?”
Ark declared sharply with an angry expression.
“Ark-nim, His Majesty is calling.”
A guard from next to Kuhwen said. Ark scowled at Rapid and approached Kuhwen.
“Ark, welcome. This person called Hawk told me almost all of the circumstances. You are people who have passed through time and space. Ark, are Hawk’s words true?”
Ark looked at Hawk with annoyed eyes after Kuhwen’s words. However there was no point now that the facts became clear. And once Ark returned to his original world, the real Jed would tell Tot and Basak that it was a lie.
“I never intended to trick you.”
“I think that it was inevitable in that situation. But it is an amazing thing. I honestly don’t believe they travelled through time and space but you are different. Moreover Ark is in Jed’s body who I know for a long time. I feel a strong bond between us. Hawk asked me about the way to return to the original world. Ark, do you have the same idea?”
“To be honest, I can’t give you a definite answer. Time and space travel is still beyond the Murat. However I will make a promise. If you quell Set’s rebellion then I will find a way to return you to your original world.”
In the end he needed to complete the quest. Kuhwen alternated looking between Ark and Hawk.
“Rasius who was the militia leader was killed in battle and Hawk took over command. I am sad that I lost a great lord and loyal servant but there is no time for grief. We must turn off Abraxas quickly in order to prevent a greater tragedy. And now I have reliable people in both you and Hawk. I will leave the militia and expedition to you and hope that you both join forces to overcome these challenges.”
Ark bowed and replied. He then withdrew to the side with Hawk and spoke.
“I’m grateful for the safe return of my employees.”
“You don’t have to say anything. I just judged that it would be favourable to me at the time. But I regretted it after you spoke. I should’ve handled them when there was a chance.”
Ark was about to snap angrily but closed his mouth.
In fact, Ark had never thought seriously about Hawk. Hawk was hostile to Ark first so Ark regarded him as an opponent. Yet he thought it was strange after Rapid’s words. Why was Hawk acting like this? He hadn’t thought deeply about it until Rapid made him think.
“I’m just wondering, have I ever done anything to you?”
“Eh? I have? Me? What?”
“I don’t want to talk about it. You won’t understand even if I tell you.”
“Damn! Isn’t it unfair if you don’t tell me? Wouldn’t you be annoyed if a person said you made a mistake but wouldn’t tell you what it was?”
“It isn’t something that can be fixed. I can’t forgive what you did. It won’t be significant if you apologize to me.”
“Who is going to apologize?”
In fact, he had been quietly thinking about that. Rapid was right. Ark’s ultimate enemy was Lucifer. In such a situation, he couldn’t afford to have Hawk who wasn’t an ordinary user as an enemy. And luckily he hadn’t received any great damage from the Hawk situation yet.
He thought now was the perfect time to reconcile. But he thought it was good he didn’t say anything after seeing Hawk’s attitude. How could he reconcile with such an impolite person? And something like that didn’t fit Ark’s personality.
He didn’t avoid fights. If he avoided fights then he would just be stomped on by this world. He had to be merciless to someone who challenged him in battle so they would think twice about challenging him. If he didn’t then a situation like the 3 monkey brothers would occur. This was the gaming attitude that Ark maintained from his time in New World. However…..
“Now isn’t the time. Isn’t that right?”
Hawk nodded. Hawk had no intention of reconciling with Ark. Ark was the same as well. But now they had travelled to another time and space so the situation was unknown. If the two of them fought over every aspect then it might result in a total loss. So it was necessary to resolve the problem in front of them. It was like when the investigation team’s mission proceeded despite both opposing each other.
“If we win then we can get a clue to return to our original world. If the quest fails then we lose our items and spaceship.”
“It isn’t equipment and items.’
“I killed one of my subordinates once I found that this was a different time and space. Not long ago, he contacted me over phone that he revived in Turan. His equipment and items were returned.”
Ark had also considered such a method. And there were the right people. 3 Monkey Brothers. But Ark couldn’t do it even if they stole money from him. Because the death penalty in Galaxian wasn’t as easy as it used to be at this level. That’s why he thought they were better used as shields for Kuhwen!
‘He sacrificed one of his subordinates just to verify such information?’
This guy really shed no blood or tears.
“But he couldn’t catch the signal of the Death Knight in the original world. The ship fell into the black hole. However, if we’re alive then the ship might just be trapped somewhere. Then I can only come to this conclusion. If I escape this world in the normal method then I might regain my ship. That’s why I can’t die.”
Ark was also the same. He already spent a couple of days in this world and gained 4 levels and learnt 3 skills. Hawk also piled up quite a bit of experience leading the militia. They needed to find a way to get out alive. And currently the only clue was the <For the Benefit of Muratio Star!> quest. Help Kuhwen prevent Set’s rebellion.
They needed to complete the quest even if it meant holding hands with the enemy. Ark and Hawk agreed on that part.
“The Fly Ranger was destroyed but it likely already sent the information about Kuhwen to Set. Naturally the defense at the Holy Land called Tri-Force will be strengthened. So there is no time to delay in this place. If we give them more time to call enemy troops then it will be disadvantageous to us. We need to attack before their troops are ready.”
“I also meant to say that.”
Ark smiled and stretched out his hand.
“I take it this means a truce is established for the moment?”
Hawk glanced at Ark’s hand before turning away.
“Harley, sort out everything! We will depart straight away! The goal is Tri-Force!”
This was an unlucky guy. However, he was a reliable user if they were on the same side.