SPACE 6. Impeltus
Kaya raised a finger. She smiled and looked at Leon and Slayer.
“I understand. So the two of you are trying to entice Melina?”
“I-Idiot! What the hell are you talking about?”
“We are men who value our relationships! The connection that is formed from the cradle to the grave. That’s the motto of our lives! Melina-nim is like that as well! You know? Do you? So!”
“So what? So you don’t like Melina as a woman?”
Kaya laughed wickedly. And she approached Melina before speaking secretly.
“Hey, Melina, do you know? Those guys just said……”
“Kaack! W-won’t you stop it?”
“Dammit! Stop speaking! This is war!”
“Hmm, is that so?
“What will you do?”
“Huhuhuhu! Watch carefully.”
Kaya moved her hand to her waist and said.
“I have a free and easy character so you guys didn’t notice. Look! And worship! This beautiful body! This face that shines! This body that can be mistaken as Venus! This charming personality! What do you think? Do you see this dazzling beauty now? You should be thankful that you can talk to a woman like me!”
Slayer and Leon’s lips twisted at the sight.
“What, what the? Are you laughing? These brats! Would you like to try it? How dare you laugh at this perfect body? Hey! Sadain, Park, you guys say something!”
Sadain and Park also laughed.
“These bastards! Are you going to insult a girl with delicate sensibilities? Can’t you react properly? Do you want to die? Do you want me to boil you into dog soup? Huh?”
The delicate girl glared with cold eyes. Then Melina grabbed Kaya’s arm.
“Unni, please stop.”
“Yes, please stop.”
Ark sighed while pressing a hand against his head. It took 15 hours to warp from Istana to Turan. Unlike NPCs that had no other choice, users wouldn’t bother to sit idly on the ship. Therefore the 7 users would place themselves into the sleep capsules and run other errands in reality. But contrary to Ark’s expectations, 6 of them were gathered throughout the cabin.
‘For a youth in their 20s to waste 20 hours just sitting in a game……’
It was the gloomy reality of gamers in South Korea. Ark felt a bit of sympathy for them but it was up to the team how they spent their time. They sat in the cabin playing card games like solitaire, making it feel like a MT. They were quite awkward when first meeting on S-20 but Kaya’s group and Slayer’s group gradually got closer as they neared Turan.
……The problem was that they got too close. Whenever there was a break they would start chattering noisily. It was to the extent that he couldn’t even concentrate on one thought. It was quite unpleasant. In previous games and even in Galaxian, Ark would often travel alone. He developed a clear purpose and judged that an agent was necessary but Ark was generally isolated. He would rather play solo than with a party. But that was only when talking about adventure and combat. Until now he had spent several hours being bored. When thinking about it, the noise wasn’t that bad but……
“Stop it and pay attention. We’ve arrived at the destination.”
Ark pointed towards the window. A giant, purple planet was floating in front of the Silver Star!
|※ O-5440 Impeltus ※
A planet belonging to the Hastal constellation in the southern part of the space frontier. While the 1st investigation team were examining planets in the Harmadon constellation, they discovered rare, special minerals.
One of them is a mineral called Burahman. According to the federation database, there are currently 30 planets that contain the presence of the Burahman ore. Among those, 6 of the planets don’t belong to the 3 powers. If ‘X’ (questions about the magic circle) is related to the Burahman mineral, it is likely to be found on one of these 6 planets.
The unit who receives this memory module will move to Impeltus to investigate ‘X’. If they can’t find any traces of ‘X’ then obtain the Burahman ore. The mission will fail if the unit doesn’t return to Turan in 2 days.
This was the information in the memory module given by Hawk.
|<Dark Omen (Pioneer Quest)>
+ Sub Quest: Formation of the Galactic Federation’s Investigation Team → Impeltus Investigation
You have joined the investigation team in Turan and received a new mission from the leader Hawk.
The 1st investigation team had found a special mineral called Burahman. Your mission is to investigate Impeltus to find signs of ‘X’ and the second part is to obtain a sample of Burahman. The mission period is 2 days. The achievement points will depend on when you return to Turan and your performance.
Once the contract ends, the compensation will be determined based on the ranking of achievement points.
The team quest was updated. It took a day to travel from Istana to Turan but Impeltus was a planet on the space frontier as well. It would take thousands of light years even flying at the speed of light. But if he used warp technology then it would only take 1 hour! That’s why Slayer and the others started gossiping while travelling there.
“Oh, this is Impeltus?”
“Pretty. It reminds me of a shining, purple jewel.
“We can’t be careless. The more pretty something is, the more dangerous it can be. It is like how the beautiful mushrooms are the most poisonous and the pretty girls are dangerous. Just like I’m beautiful and strong.”
Slayer, Leon, Park and Sadain lifted their lips again at Kaya’s words. Kaya puffed with indignation and looked at Ark.
“I agree with Kaya’s words.”
“Eh? Is that right? As expected from the Boss. Your eyes really are different.”
But Kaya’s looks weren’t the part that Ark agreed with. Ark recognized that Impeltus was dangerous. The flashing lightning that occurred between the swirling purple clouds definitely made Impeltus look dangerous in Ark’s eyes. However Ark didn’t correct her. She would just become even noisier if he did.
‘I don’t know whether bringing these guys was good or bad.’
But he had no choice. They were the only people he could gather except for the employees of Dark Eden. And they were reliable when it came to combat. Kaya was flattered by Ark’s answer and suddenly asked.
“What will we do?”
“Don’t tell me we’re going to blindly search the planet?”
“Of course not.”
Ark grinned as he looked at Hegel.
“Yes Hyung-nim! Optical Scanner!”
Hegel quickly operated the dashboard. The exterior door of the Silver Star opened and dozens of metal spheres came pouring out. They spread out before flying towards Impeltus at tremendous speed. Ark’s first adventure with the Silver Star was Rakunka. Ark had learnt many things from that adventure. One of them was that he shouldn’t blindly enter a planet without information. If he was more careful then he might not have been shot by the Myutal on Rakunka. And if Xanax hadn’t left a mark then he would’ve been searching blindly for something like a needle in a haystack.
‘The core of this mission is investigation! Combat might be involved but the main task is investigation. The first person to gain information about the magic circle or antimatter will gain the initiative.’
That’s why Ark only hired 6 users. He thought it was a joint mission until he arrived on Turan.
‘Valencia and Rapid won’t dare openly attack my supporters. If a battle starts with the Rama or Aschulat intelligence teams then even 1~2 more people won’t be significant. Then it will be better to invest in equipment rather than mercenaries. It is better to use the contract deposit money on equipment that can be used afterwards rather than mercenaries.’
He reached such a conclusion. That’s right. Ark used 900 gold to hire the mercenaries which left 2,100 gold. He invested the remaining 2,100 gold. One of them was the optical scanner!
|-Optical Scanner (Additional Equipment for a Ship)
Item Type: Investigation Equipment
A compact unit powered by photons that can move within the atmosphere. The optical scanner can sense a variety of energy and the information will be sent back.
Typically an optical scanner is used to survey a planet in the space frontier. In some cases, it can be used to find enemies hiding using Stealth or to track the movement of photon gas.
The scope of the investigation will depend on the number of search units and the skills of the user. This could be considered an essential equipment for ships adventuring in the frontier.
* Number of Units: 15
He had invested 1,300 gold in this device! It was produced directly by Tori in the research institute so it cost 1,300 gold. An optical scanner sold on the general markets went for 100 gold for one unit. If he had 15 then he would’ve had to pay 1,500 gold. Tori definitely was useful in various ways. Hegel was the same as well!
“The Optical Scanner has entered Impeltus’ atmosphere. The units have switched to search mode. Search is currently in progress! Ah! Units 13 and 14 have sensed an energy distortion on the north side of Impeltus. An additional 5 units will be deployed to the target spot”
Hegel watched a monitor that was filled with mysterious numbers and graphs. An Optical Scanner unit might be important but it was also necessary to have a person to analyse the data. And Hegel had received high intensity training from Heksu of the Silver Hand!
–Huhuhu! This degree is enough for him to have value.
That was Heksu’s evaluation. It was why this mission included Hegel.
“Ohh! What the? This guy, he isn’t just an alien with a large head.”
Kaya exclaimed while rubbing Hegel’s head.
“Kaya, don’t disturb him!”
Ark yelled with an annoyed expression. Despite Kaya’s interference, Hegel just continued concentrating without any pauses.
“Hyung-nim, I’ve determined the coordinates. X-342 to 352. Y-20 to 30. The energy distortion is found in a range of 5 kilometres. Given the wavelengths detected, the probability is high that there is an artificial facility there.”
Ark’s mouth rose in a smile. According to the information given by Hawk, Impeltus was an uninhabited planet. Burahman was present but it didn’t have a high economic efficiency. That’s why no one extracted the mineral yet. Yet the presence of an artificial facility was confirmed on the planet. If that facility has something to do with ‘X’ or the Burahman ore…..
‘I might be able to get information about X!’
The location was grasped so there was no more reason to hesitate.
“Milan, start the engine! Move towards the coordinates Hegel gave!”
Ark stood up and shouted mightily. At the same time, the Silver Star emitted light and rushed towards Impeltus.
Kurung! Kurung! Ku ku ku ku!
Sharp mountains like awls rose from the ground. The purple clouds swirled around the mountains like a vortex and lightning caused a roaring sound. An echo sounded from the earth like a ghost sobbing. The landscape trembled enough that it seemed like hell. A streamlined silver body entered that landscape.
“We’ve arrived at our destination.”
Ark looked around from inside the ship with his arms folded. The window showed the landscape of Impeltus. The Silver Star had arrived at the place where the energy distortion had been detected. The range of the energy distortion was 5 kilometres. He couldn’t see the artificial facility from the Silver Star. But Ark wasn’t disappointed. No, he actually felt motivated. It was detected but it wasn’t visible. This meant it was hidden. There was no reason to hide a facility on a planet with no facilities so it meant something was happening here. The probability of obtaining X from the facility had just increased.
“We have to go down directly and search.”
“But there is no place to land.”
“We don’t need to land.”
Ark smiled and replied to Slayer’s words. Like Slayer said, there was no place to land the Silver Star on Impeltus. The ground of Impeltus was filled with sharp, porcupine like mountains. However Ark had already predicted this situation. So he was prepared. He bought additional attachment equipment.
“Milan, switch to the anti-gravity device and fix the Silver Star to its present location. And operate the descent device!”
“Understood! The descent device is working!”
Milan replied in a loud voice. The doors at the bottom of the Silver Star opened and tol tol, tol tol tol, tol tol tol…..a thick rope started to descend. Slayer who had been watching with expectant eyes turned back to Ark.
“That is the descent device?”
“Yes, it is the descent device. Now there is no hindrance to climbing down.”
To be honest, Ark also wanted to install a cooler equipment. However he wasn’t a tycoon and didn’t have an infinite amount of money. He had obtained quite a bit of money from the contract and Hamad. But he didn’t have time to pour money into a cooler equipment. So he casually answered Slayer like there was no problem. There was a disadvantage to this device.
‘It is a little scary.’
Ark swallowed his saliva as he looked down. Currently the Silver Star was approximately 50 metres high. Only one rope was connecting them to the ground. Even Ark was hesitant to climb down the rope from such a soaring height. The same went for the other members of the team. In particular, Melina’s face looked extremely pale.
“Me! I will go down first!”
The one who stepped forward was the Kusan’s strongest warrior, Ellain! Ellain possessed an extraordinary amount of courage.
“I-I will go down first!”
“No, wait a minute! You…..”
“I’m sorry! I won’t hold you up anymore! Ugh!”
Although Ark tried to stop him, Ellain threw his body and gripped the rope. He slid down at an incredible speed and started to vomit as soon as he landed on the bottom. This was the reason Ellain jumped down first! The motion sickness medicine that Mario gave him didn’t have an effect. But that wasn’t Ellain’s only problem.
“Heok! Kuaaack! M-my breath! Ugh!”
Ellain stumbled and grabbed his chest. It was an inevitable result. According to Hegel, Impeltus had a high concentration of toxic gases. Of course those toxic gases wouldn’t be a problem for someone who received the body coating. However Ellain was from Rakunka and didn’t even know what body coating was! He was Rakunka’s strongest warrior but he hadn’t received the body coating. Ark had been too busy in the meantime. So he had forgotten about it until they were moving to Turan. That’s why Ark was indifferent when Ellain was lying sick in the infirmary. If he left it like this then Ellain would become a ghost of Impeltus. Ellain was a level 150 warrior. Such a warrior would be useful in battle but he couldn’t even be used like that.
“…..There really is a variety of things.”
Ark grabbed the rope and quickly descended. He gave Ellain the life support equipment and clicked his tongue.
“Pay more attention. Yes?”
“I’m really sorry.”
Ellain blushed and replied. However Ellain was unexpectedly helpful.
“Okay! I’ll go as well!”
The team members were impressed by Ellain’s courage and started descending with the rope. Sadain, Park and Kaya followed behind Ark. Then it was Kurakan, Berad, Cupa, Hedro, Kalliben, the Royal Guards, Slayer and then Leon. The descent operation proceeded steadily.
“Ah! Ah! Ah!”
Melina looked like she was going to cry when it came to her turn. But she was the only healer in Ark’s party.
“It’s okay! It’s not a big deal!”
“It looks high but you’ll reach the bottom immediately!”
“Don’t be in a hurry! Just take it slowly! Melina, fighting!”
Melina closed her eyes and grabbed the rope after hearing the support of her colleagues. She winced, hesitated and gave a little scream every time the rope shook. That was when the problem occurred.
Suddenly they heard the cries of beasts. Ark turned his head with narrowed eyes and muttered.
“Sheesh, this planet even has monsters? Moreover, so many of them……”
Ark was looking at a dark valley filled with many red eyes. The ones watching Ark’s group were wolves. Of course they weren’t ordinary wolves. He checked them with Clairvoyance and the name Halrosu. However Ark’s group didn’t panic.
“Damn, this is troublesome. How many are there?”
“It is difficult to identify with all the obstacles. But there seems of be 30 of them.”
“They don’t seem to be attacking immediately. It is difficult to see them because of the surrounding rocks. They have a geographic disadvantage so they’re moving slowly. Kalliben, Leon, slowly secure a sniping position. Cupa and Hedro will cover them while Slayer, Kurakan, Berad, and Ellain will attack from the front with me. Sadain, Park and Kaya, you guys take a side.”
“I understand Hyung-nim.”
“I’ll do that.”
The team members replied and moved to their positions. They were troublesome people who normally joked around. It was also their first time in the space frontier! Slayer and Leon were warriors who Ark had led to victory. And Kaya’s group had demonstrated their superior skills in the chaotic hunting event. The Royal Guards had all graduated from the Silver Hand’s hell like training. Their value was shown in battle. Ark and his team members moving into their formations without a sound.
“Why? Why aren’t you guys saying anything? Is everybody there? D-did you guys leave me?”
Melina shouted with a quivering voice while hanging from the rope. Then there was the scream of a signal flare.
“It is starting! Baius Shield!”
The Halrosu exposed their fangs and ran up!
Ark lifted his left arm and ran out. Right before colliding with the Halrosu, crystals started rapidly propagating o form a 1 metre circular shield. It was one of the Elim’s Divine Artefacts, the Baius Shield! The canines scratched over the transparent crystal.
Ark’s sword moved like lightning in his hands. A blue flash shot out and penetrated e neck of the Halrosu.
The Halrosu that had been scratching against the Baius shield screamed but several more immediately rushed forward. At the same time Ark’s body started spinning.
“Khafra Fencing 3rd style! Galaxy Sword!”
Dozens of swords followed his trajectory! The sword cried out as it spun. Dozens of swords swirled around like a storm! The Halrosu caught in the storm instantly turned bloody and flew away. Sparkles of brilliant lights sprang out and followed them.
Wiing! Wiing! Wiing!
Blood gushed from the bodies of the Halrosu.
“Wow! How powerful!”
“Doesn’t he seem more powerful than before?”
Leon and Slayer whistled as they watched Ark’s unfolding dance. It was natural. The last time they saw Ark was on the battlefield. Since then Slayer and Leon were busy with the federal TV appearances so they couldn’t meet Ark. Ark’s skills had grown from Amara, S-20 and Rakunka so they couldn’t see his skills. However Slayer and Leon weren’t just surprised at Ark.
The spear user Sadain! Sadain skewered any Halrosu that ran up to him. Then Kaya stretched her arms towards the struggled Halrosu.
“Body Vibration! Pop!”
The Halrosu caught by Sadain’s spear was blown to pieces. This was the Esper technique that could manipulate or blow up the enemy’s DNA. But the most amazing sight was Park.
“Come out, Car, Kum!”
Park was the autobot controller! When Park raised his fist and shouted, 2 spheres shot out of his bag. The spheres intricately rotated like a transformer to form the figure of a knight and a dinosaur. Car was the knight type autobot! The dinosaur type autobot was Kum!
“The opponents are those beasts! Step on them!”
Car and Kum rushed at the Halrosu after hearing Park’s command. When Car and Kum rushed into a bunch of Halrosu, the area instantly became wet with blood. Car shredded their bodies with a sword while Kum mercilessly trampled and kicked the Halrosu. Slayer’s mouth opened as he saw Kaya’s group fighting.
“What, what the? Those guys are incredibly strong.”
“Damn, they’re making us look weak!”
“That’s right! We’re also people in this game! Show them our strength! Show them our skills! Iron Wall Defense!”
“Ya! You idiot! Iron Wall Defense is a resist technique! Do you think you will look good just before you’re holding a shield?”
“Hah, that’s right! Ohhhh! Get out of the way! Steel Dash! Haaayaahh! Acceleration Iron!”
“Super Magnetic Shot!”
Tutung! Tutung! Tutung!
Slayer and Leon’s strength wasn’t inferior to Kaya’s group. They were people who played the game for more than 12 hours a day! They followed and raised the level steadily. Therefore they had broken through level 100 a while ago. The Halrosu died the moment they all started firing their skills.
‘There is no need to become heated.
Ark looked over the battlefield with a relaxed expression. Slayer and Kaya’s group enthusiastically participated in the battle and the Halrosu numbers were quickly dwindling. In fact, he had expected it since the Halrosu appeared. The Halrosu were only level 80 while their group surpassed level 100. There were 30 of them but Ark’s group had 12 people down there. They wouldn’t be pushed by the large numbers. No, there wasn’t any room for the Royal Guards to fight at all. The power of Slayer and Kaya’s group was overwhelming! The Royal Guards could only fire some bullets before the Halrosu died.
“That’s okay! You don’t have to come out!”
“Yes, shooting will just interfere with our battle.”
While Slayer and the others were discussing it on the mountain.
“G-gunfire? What’s going on? What is happening on the bottom?”
Melina who had been handing on the rope for the long time shouted.
Kwa kwa kwa kwa!
At that moment a lightning bolt flew down from the purple clouds towards the Silver Star. Sparks flew everywhere as the Silver Star was shocked and spun wildly. The rope that Melina was hanging on started to swing in accordance with the ship’s movements.
Melina shrieked. Luckily Milan and Hegel were still in the Silver Star. They were able to centre the Silver Star and stop it from spinning but…..
“Oh no! Melina-nim is gone!”
“Oh my god! She must’ve fallen from the shock just now!”
Slayer and Leon screamed as they looked up at the rope. Melina’s form couldn’t be seen at all.
“D-don’t tell me she is dead?”
“Dammit! Ark, you should’ve bought a proper descent device!”
“No! Melina-nim had also descended. She won’t die even if she fell from that height. It is highly likely that she is somewhere on this mountain!”
Then they heard Melina’s voice. As expected, Melina had slid from the rope and fell to the rocky mountain above them. But the situation became worse before they could sigh with relief. The Halrosu Ark’s group was fighting all turned as they heard Melina’s scream. The distinctive forms of the wolves then started jumping up the rock wall.
“No, those guys are flocking to Melina-nim!”
“No! Melina-nim won’t be able to defeat them alone!”
“Dammit, how can we climb those rocks? And there are a lot of protruding rocks so it will be difficult to climb from this angle! We have to intercept those bastards!”
Slayer had fallen into a state of panic.
“Royal Guards, rescue Melina!”
Ark shouted as he looked at the Royal Guards.
“Hey, do you think it is possible just because you gave a command? For these guys to climb the rocks…..”
Slayer suddenly shut his mouth with a flinch. Berad, Kalliben, Cupa and Hedro had put away their guns at Ark’s command and jumped on the rocks. And leap! They steadily climbed the almost vertical rock wall without a hitch.
“U-unbelievable! How did they…..?”
Slayer stuttered with incredulous eyes as he stared at the Royal Guards. But it was natural. Ark had left a training program with the Silver Hand. One of the tasks was to climb a cliff. Thanks to the Silver Hand, the Royal Guards had to climb a cliff if they wanted to eat a meal. The height of the cliffs exceeded dozens of kilometres! It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that the Royal Guards had already mastered rock climbing. The 90 degrees rock wall couldn’t be considered an obstacle to the Royal Guards.
There was even more.
Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu!
Kalliben was a sniper while Cupa and Hedro used guns. They showed the effects of this marksmanship while dangling from the rock wall with one hand. The Helrosu jumping off the cliff fell at the Royal Guards’ barrage. Meanwhile Berad was steadily climbing and swinging his huge hammer every time he caught up with a Halrosu.
‘…..NPCs can also be useful.’
Ark looked at the scene with warm eyes. Once again, NPCs were generally weaker than users. The Silver Hand’s train converted the stat points into the desired ones but they still couldn’t grow like users. That’s why Ark came up with specialization! It was hard for NPCs to keep up with users in a fight. But it was different when the NPC specialized in a specific combat ability. It was why Ark created his awful training program. Moving through a cave infested with bees, swimming through a swamp, climbing cliffs, they were all exercises designed to increase their capacity by 100%. Now this was the results.
‘But it’s still not there yet. The hell training needs to raise stats that complement their skills. I need to find a way to steadily raise the Royal Guards like users. If I have a chance then I need to make the Royal Guards grow further!’
Ark made a promise to himself. But right now the Royal Guards were enough to shock Slayer.
“Who are they? Was a NPC that helpful in battle?”
“Then what the hell? What is that?”
Slayer muttered with outrage as he kept on staring at the Royal Guards. Anyway, the situation was recovered thanks to the Royal Guards. The firing of bullets from the members on the rock wall! And the Halrosu who fell from every swing of Berad’s hammer! After 20 minutes Melina could re-join the group with Berad’s help.
“Sob! That was so scary! Unbelievably scary!”
Melina sniffled while facing Ark, who received Leon and Slayer’s glares. Meanwhile Milan and Hegel had climbed down the rope from the Silver Star and joined the party.
“Now just in case……”
Ark manipulated his Nymphe.
|-The Silver Star has entered remote control mode.|
“Enter stealth mode.”
He hit a button on the Nymphe and the Silver Star disappeared. This was the 3rd equipment added to the Silver Star! The remote control mode and stealth capabilities cost 2,000 gold. Ark changed the Silver Star and sent it outside the atmosphere. He didn’t want to risk it being hit by the lightning strikes on Impeltus.
Ark mentally summarized the situation as he looked around. He spent 900 gold hiring mercenaries. The Optical Scanner loaded on the Silver Star was 1,000 gold. The remote control and stealth device cost 2,000 gold. He spent 4,100 gold to prepare for this mission. He only received 3,000 gold deposit so he was already losing money. Ark had one reason for investing that type of money!
‘Isn’t this an investment?’
He did this because he had confidence in himself.