SPACE 6. Rakunka
|Character Information Window|
|Health||2,900 (+90)||Mental Power||250 (+340)|
|Strength||280 (+38)||Agility||345 (+41)|
|Stamina||465 (+18)||Wisdom||40 (+13)|
|Intelligence||280 (+68)||Luck||55 (+8)|
Cleaning Foreman (Agility + 3)
Ignorant Destroyer (Wisdom -10, Strength +7, Stamina +7)
Beltana’s Hero (Strength, Agility, Stamina, Wisdom, Intelligence, Luck +3)
Athamas’ Hero (Strength, Agility, Stamina, Wisdom, Intelligence, Luck +5)
Mediator (Wisdom, Intelligence +15)
|* Contribution: Galactic Federation 19,520, Aschulat 500
* Affiliation: Dark Eden (CEO)
|*Body Coating: Survivor
+ Environmental adaptation increases by 50% due to the Survivor coating.
+ The Survivor coating reduces the drop rate of Satiety by 30%.
+ The Survivor coating will reduce fall damage by 50%.
+The ‘Clairvoyance’ effect of the Survivor coating is applied.
Ark scratched his head. When he returned to S-20 from Amara he had been level 107. But now he was level 115. He had gained 6 levels from the surrounding hunting ground as well as the chaotic users. It wasn’t necessary to talk about how profitable the chaotic hunting was. There was a 100% chance to get equipment. He also gained more experience than hunting monsters. He sold the spoils reaped from S-20 and gained 20 bonus stats as well. His fame and federation contribution also increased because he killed criminals. Except for the 1000 Adventure Points that he used to raise his agent rating, everything else had increased. And these changes would be a pleasure for any user.
But right now the details of the information window didn’t register in Ark’s eyes. It was because of yesterday. The date with Irina that he had been waiting for! Yesterday the two of them finally went on a date. The problem was that the result was ‘?’.
……The beginning was good. The appointments had overlapped so Irina ended up meeting the rehabilitation members but the atmosphere was more sociable than expected. The atmosphere was encouraging when they arrived at the Taek Mountain region. She had found out that he was the director of Global Exos and that he owned a piece of land. It was a strange conversation for men and women who haven’t met before to be having. And Irina was surprised but wasn’t offended. There was just one problem. Later talk emerged about the Taek real estate slump. Since then Irina had a determined, sometimes angry expression on her face.
‘I don’t know what that look means.’
It was a date yet talk about real estate problems emerged. A woman who understood the situation would feel bad about it. Ark thought that was the cause at first. However Irina wanted them to explain even more. She actively participated in talk of the cause of the real estate slump and the victims affected. But sometimes she would seem angry.
‘Perhaps Irina also bought land in the Taek Mountains?’
He contemplated that thought. However Irina didn’t seem to be aware of the situation until after they explained it. Plus Irina had to pay her mother’s hospital bills so Ark couldn’t imagine her having enough money to buy a piece of land.
‘I really don’t know. Why did Irina question the situation so much? And what is with the angry expression? Perhaps it is because of me? Maybe she was upset because of the damage I received? I’ll be glad if it is like that but……’
He couldn’t ask her. He asked if Irina was in a bad mood on the drive back and she just shook her head. There wasn’t lot of conversation on the way back to Seoul. He dropped Irina near her house and the date ended in a weird mood. Since then Ark had been worrying about it.
‘Should I call her?’
If he wanted the relationship to progress then he needed to freely call her. However he wouldn’t be able to get a sense if anything was wrong during the call. Eventually Ark sent a careful letter.
It was nice to meet you. I hope you are well. I’m sorry you had to meet the hyungs during our first date. I hope you didn’t feel discomfort etc…..
Ark wrote a lengthy letter and only received this message as a response.
This was the reason for Ark’s ‘?’. He couldn’t understand the meaning of her apology. He wanted to confirm the meaning through a call or another letter. However Ark decided to wait. It would be difficult to discern hidden meaning in letters. It might be nothing but personal circumstances. Ark also knew that he was ignorant in matters of love.
‘We will meet again very soon anyway.’
Ark was part of the second task force to investigate the magic circle. And Irina was part of the first team so they would have to meet.
‘Yes, I can wait and ask the question then. I also have work to do. The remaining time until then is 3 days! Not including the time required to return to Istana, that is only 2 days! I have to finish this job and meet Irina again!’
“Tori, are we there yet?”
“We will exit warp space soon!”
Tori replied as he operated the dashboard. At the same time, a vortex of light was visible outside the window. It was the phenomenon caused when existing a multidimensional portal created by warp travel. There was a small vibration before the Silver Star exited near a planet that shone like jewels. An eye catching nebula was in front of Ark.
This nebula as why he quickly put the situation in S-20 to order and departed for space! Ark had received the <Dark Omen> quest from Marquis Martin and the <Investigate the Negative Energy> quest from the Elim’s Memory. However that wasn’t the only thing Ark needed to do. It wasn’t a formal quest but it was a job that he received first. It was to find the 5 Divine Artefacts so that he could become the true Elim’s Heir. But Ark hadn’t even started yet. The reason was simple. He didn’t know where it was.
–A place where 5 planets become one light.
That was the only information Ark had about the Divine Artefacts. The strange clue was probably a test itself. Naturally Ark regularly search through the information sites related to Galaxian. However he was unable to find the answer until……
“Isn’t that from the sailor’s song?”
The person who said this was Kaya. Once again, Ark had drawn a lot of users to S-20 for chaotic hunting. They were chaotic hunters. Among them were users were a high reputation and fame. Ark didn’t need to try and gain their attention. Ark was already a celebrity in Istana and the sector administrator so some of them came looking for Ark. It would be annoying if they wanted to duel like Kurakan but Ark had no reason to reject the users’ attention. The users that came to say hello included the tournament winner who used a spear called Sadain, the controller Park and the Esper Kaya.
‘I should ask them about it.’
He asked them about the phrase left by Xanax and immediately received an answer.
“The sailor’s song? What’s that?”
“It is a song that the crew of spaceships often sing. I remember the lyrics had something about five stars. Sadain, have you heard it?”
Sadain nodded his head.
“What are the exact lyrics? I think it contained courage?”
“Memory….courage, dedication, desire and passion, the five stars that will guide you towards a dream.”
Controller Park interrupted with the information.
He was sitting cross legged on his dinosaur shaped autobot.
“The lyrics are about five stars that will lead to one light. The sailors sing this song because the five stars often act as a lighthouse in the galaxy. The nebula gas that covers these five stars and radiates light is the largest and brightest in the galaxy. If joined up with the planet in the center called Rakunka then it will form a cross shape. If an NPC crew ever has their navigational system break down then they can use that cross as a guide.”
“Ah I was going to say the cross.”
Kaya nodded and sent a pouting look to Park.
“Sheesh, this guy is so smug despite never catching a monster himself…..”
“People who use guns and swords in the age of flying ships are idiots. And do you think it is easy to create and control autobots? You would never be able to do it.”
“Don’t play around. Have you forgotten what an Esper is? I can change your DNA and turn you into an amoeba.”
“My autobots would’ve killed you before that happened.”
“What? Do you want to try it?”
“When will chaotic hunting be finished?”
Sadain muttered with a tired expression as he watched the arguing Kaya and Park. The three users had known each other before. However they weren’t on good terms and kept on arguing every time they met. However they acknowledged each other’s skills and formed a party once they realized the chaotic users were organized. In this event they were the party that hunted the highest number of chaotic users. Anyway!
‘Oh my god! The answer to the clue was that simple!’
Ark felt like he had been hit in the head. In fact Ark had also heard the sailor’s song. Tori had often sung that song when repairing the Silver Star after they escaped from Amara. However his pitch and tempo were messed up so Ark didn’t think anything of the lyrics that came out of his mouth. But it was the clue to the whereabouts of the Divine Artefact!
‘The five star nebula gas that looks like a cross. It fit perfectly with the clue left behind by Xanax. It is there. The planets linking the cross up is the place Xanax was talking about!’
This was the reason he asked Marquis Martin for time. He couldn’t promise to come back in time to join the investigation team.
‘I want to find it before then if possible.’
He hurriedly cleaned up S-20 and sailed 20 hours towards the cross.
“It must be here!”
His guess turned into certainty. In the centre of the cross was a planet. The 5 planets connected by nebula gas that emitted blue light. The only thing visible from a distance was the light of the cross shape.
“Okay. Prepare to enter the planet!”
“But there are 5 of them. Which one should we enter?”
There was no need to worry about this.
-I will leave a mark for you in the deep centre.
This was the final part of the clue left by Xanax.
“Of course it will be the central planet.”
Ark smiled and replied. The red planet in the centre was larger than the other four. It might seem like a big ball but once he entered the planet then endless land stretched in front of him. However Xanax wrote that a marker was left for the successor.
‘The beginning of Xanax’ clue led to this planet. Then the marker shouldn’t be something small. If I pull the Silver Star back then I should be able to identify the marker. If I explore the planet then it shouldn’t take more than one day.’
No, it didn’t even take an hour. He entered the planet Rakunka in the centre. He used the Silver Star’s exploration equipment to scan the ground and discovered a triangular object covered in a red substance. It was a pyramid, the symbol of the Murat.
‘I discovered the right destination!’
“Tori, land the Silver Star next to that pyramid!”
Tori replied vigorously and lowered the ship.
Pepeng! Kwa kwa kwa kwang!
The ship suddenly shook and a red message flashed on the monitor.
|-You have received enemy fire!
<The durability of Silver Star’s shield has decreased to 92%>
“Hyung-nim, over there!”
Ark turned his head at Tori’s squeal and stiffened. Hundreds of unidentified lights were flying towards the Silver Star.
The centre of the space frontier, Elysium.
Elysium was an artificial planet constructed in the early stages of the pioneering age and contains 70% of the galaxy’s businesses. However there was a separate reason why it was referred to as the core of the space frontier.
The Space Council. The Council was an institute founded by the companies in order to get rid of unnecessary damage from the competition between the 3 powers. Their members came from influential and active companies so its power was on par with the 3 powers! In fact, they could be called the government in the space frontier. Elysium that contained the Council naturally became the centre of the frontier and thousands of ships travelled through it a day.
In the Elysium Council’s Square.
“Sob sob sob sob!”
“Impossible! You can’t do this!”
“We’re screwed! This will turn us into beggars!”
Three men were in the OTL stance and shedding tears.
“Jackpot…..the jackpot was right in front of me……”
The men crying tears of blood were Ferguson and his younger brothers A and B. Not long ago Ferguson had appeared on the game exclusive news as the user ranked number 18. But Ferguson wasn’t satisfied. He needed to ride the momentum and enter the top 10! And he found a way.
‘The tungsten mine!’
They had found it by accident when anchored on an asteroid. Ferguson had explored the asteroid and discovered that it contained a large tungsten vein.
‘If I start development then I’ll be sitting on a money cushion!’
Ferguson sensed that this was the chance of a lifetime. The one who first discovered untapped natural resources would be the owner. They just needed to register with the Council and they could monopolize the mining rights for years. But it wasn’t enough to say that ‘here is some underground resources.’ They needed to accurately report the figures in order to apply with the Council. If they were other users then they would begin the investigation immediately.
Ferguson was prudent. He spend a considerable amount of time gathering information about the exact reserves of mineral resources. The area with the lode was infested with monster. It took a significant amount of time to handle the monsters as well as scan the lode. The thing he had to be most careful of were other pioneers, not monsters! He made sure to scan the surroundings when fighting the monsters. It was like advertising that there were good underground resources in the area. It wouldn’t matter if it was a large planet but this was an asteroid so there was a high chance of being spotted by pioneers and attacked. So Ferguson warped straight to Elysium!
|-You have secured the exclusive investigation rights to asteroid E-2038.
<Merchant’s Soul will have the exclusive right to explore asteroid E-2038 for the next week. If other pioneers violate the sanctioned area than they will receive the Council’s sanction>
He secured the exclusive investigation rights. He gained the right to investigate a certain area for a period of time. Of course it wasn’t for free. A considerable fee was required depending on the scope and duration. He paid 2,000 gold for it.
‘But that is chump change if I get my hands on the tungsten mine. Now I can investigate the asteroid for a week without any pioneer interfering. No one can disturb me! And if I register with the Council after securing the information then I’ll be rich!’
However it wasn’t that easy to investigate the reserves. Ferguson found the habitat of a giant monster called the Kraken while investigating the asteroid. The Kraken was a giant space monster that would attack ships that neared it. But Ferguson wouldn’t let the Kraken stop his plan for a rosy future. Ferguson hired dozens of mercenaries to defeat the Kraken in a fierce battle and was able to complete the survey after defeating it.
“Now I just need to register it with the Council and it will be a happy ending!”
It was shortly afterwards that the problem occurred. While they were warping to Elysium. All of a sudden young brother A who was in charge of steering burst out with confusion.
“Hyung-nim, there is a distortion in our warp orbit! Space interference! Another ship is forcing its way through the warp trajectory that we set!”
“What? That’s a violation of the laws of sailing! Those dumb bastards……”
Ferguson was yelling when he flinched and closed his mouth.
Ku ku ku kung! Chwajijijik!
The area distorted and several spaceships appeared. He didn’t know their identity. However he knew what they were. It was a UFO without the mark of an agent or a recognition number! Those guys could only be one thing.
“Hyung-nim, they’ve started firing!”
Dozens of ray guns were firing at them. Once again, Ferguson was part of Galaxian’s top 50 rankings! That wasn’t possible with the users’ skills alone. This was the space frontier so the attack power of the ship was also important in case of situations like this. A large part of why Ferguson rose to rank 18 was due to his ship. However there were 4 pirate ships!
“It is impossible to deal with them no matter how much firepower we have! Use photon movement after escaping from warp space!”
“Impossible! We can’t outrun them!”
In the end Ferguson’s ship was smashed by the space pirates. Fortunately Ferguson’s ship was insured. If the ship met with an unforeseen accident or assault then the information would immediately be sent to the insurance company. If he wasn’t doing anything illegal then he could receive compensation. However it wasn’t 100%. He could only get back 80% of the ship price. He also wouldn’t receive any compensation for the cargo loaded on the ship. The damage he incurred was 4,000 gold!
……Thus far it was okay.
‘I can recoup all this if I get my hands on the tungsten mine!’
He headed to Elysium as soon as he resurrected……
“The tungsten mine rights for E-2038 has already been registered.”
The Council employee replied. Ferguson felt like the sky was falling down.
“N-no way! I had the exclusive investigation rights! The investigation period hasn’t ended yet so how can another pioneer register for the rights of the mine? Something must be wrong!”
“We received all the data required.”
“That is impossible! We have E-2038’s proprietary investigation survey!”
“But you didn’t submit the data first.”
Then younger brother B interrupted with an uneasy tone.
“Perhaps the mercenaries registered it after being attacked by the space pirates. If the space pirates are with them……”
Ferguson felt cold as he heard those words. In fact, he had a few unanswered questions from this incident. The spaceship was moving hundreds of light years so it was almost impossible to interrupt it. He couldn’t understand how another agent could register the information for E-2038 in the meantime. It took Ferguson only 2 days to revive at a nearby hive and arrive in Elysium. Even if another pioneer knew the information about the tungsten mine, it would be impossible for them to scan the asteroid in only 2 days. Especially since Ferguson still had the exclusive investigation rights. Then he could only consider one answer.
‘One of the mercenaries I hired stashed the information!’
Then they had the space pirates interrupt Ferguson on the way to Elysium. While Ferguson had waited to resurrect, they had registered the details first. Ferguson shouted in a voice that seemed to spout fire.
“This is their ploy! It is all so that they could register the information for E-2038 first! They sold the information to the space pirates! Please cancel the registration!”
“Isn’t the fact that they don’t have the exclusive investigation rights evidence?”
“The agent who registered for E-2038 said that he bought the information from a sailor. Even if there are some doubts, the Council isn’t a law enforcement agency. You’re a pioneer should you should know it. Anything that happens in the space frontier is the liability of the party involved. It isn’t a problem even if they bought the information from space pirates. They might not have the exclusive investigation rights but they registered in the normal way. Therefore it isn’t possible to cancel it.”
He only received a cold reply. The cornered Ferguson immediately went to find the agent who registered for it. However the answer of the bar staff was no different from the Council employee. They paid 30,000 gold to a sailor in order to obtain the information about the underground resources. Then Ferguson looked around Elysium for the sailor who sold the information. However that sailor was involved with space pirates. A guy like that wouldn’t remain in Elysium. Ferguson also knew that much.
However he couldn’t give up. According to the information he found, the tungsten mine was worth 100,000 gold. Even if he gave a 50% share to investors, he would still secure an income of 50,000 gold. All that had flown away. It was similar to a winning lottery ticket being snatched on the way to claim it. How could he give up?
But he searched through Elysium for a fortnight but couldn’t find any traces of the sailor. That person had already run away. An endless universe stretched out in front of Elysium. It was impossible for Ferguson to find the sailor. He had to admit it.
“Hyung-nim, what will we do?”
Sibling A asked while crying. But Ferguson couldn’t think of a good idea.
“I don’t know.”
“Should we return to New World?”
“What? New World?”
“Yes, we might’ve suffered in New World but it wasn’t like this. And we still have a position there. We might’ve disposed of our assets to help in Galaxian but our characters still remain. So instead……”
Ferguson shouted with a frown. Sibling B’s cheeks turned red after Ferguson’s shout.
“Have you already forgotten? The reason why we left that place and entered the galaxy? That guy! It is because of that guy! We came here to show that guy. But now you want to go back? I won’t! I rather die in this universe then serve under him again!”
“It’s impossible! I can’t endure it. If you want to go back then you can! You guys…..you two are my siblings! But I’m not going back! I’m going to stay here and succeed. And I’ll show that guy. What a great user I am!”
Sibling B’s eyes were dyed red. Then Ferguson placed a hand on B’s shoulder and nodded.
“Let’s start again. It is still too early to give up. We might’ve lost E-2038 but we still have our spaceship and strongest equipment. My name is quite well known on the space frontier so I can find decent jobs. We will raise the necessary funds to enter the frontier again. We can do it!”
Tears poured out the swollen eyes of A and B as they hugged Ferguson. Ferguson also said with a teary expression
“Sob! Those bastards…..yes, I will start again. An opportunity will come if I don’t give up. That’s one thing I learnt from him. We can do anything he can. Because he isn’t here to bother us.”
Ferguson said firmly.
|-A new message has arrived.|
The Nymphe vibrated and a new message came up. A smile spread on Ferguson’s mouth as he confirmed the message.
“That opportunity might’ve come earlier than I thought.”
Pepeng! Kwa kwa kwa kwang!
|-You have received enemy fire!
<The durability of Silver Star’s shield has decreased to 78%>
|-You have received enemy fire!
<The durability of Silver Star’s shield has decreased to 52%>
The red message kept on continuously popping up.
“What is this? Such a thing……”
Ark looked out the window with confused eyes. A red substance welled up out of the ground like a mini volcano. Rays of light were being fired at the Silver Star from the crater of the volcano.
“Silver Star’s turret! Auto fire and attack that crater!”
Kwa kwa kwa kwa! Kwa kwa kwa kwa!
Energy shells were fired from the wings on both sides of the Silver Star. The crater melted as it was hit with dozens of shells. He didn’t know what it was but it wasn’t impervious to attacks. However there were approximately 100 red craters in the earth! The sky was literally covered with the lights that it fired. Furthermore the firepower of the lights wasn’t a joke. The durability of the Silver Star’s shield instantly went down to 50%. It wouldn’t take a long time for the Silver Star to be shot down. The problem wouldn’t be settled with destroying a few craters.
“Hyung-nim, landing is impossible in this state!”
“You idiot! I already know that!”
Ark shouted as he bit his lip.
‘Dammit, I was caught off guard. I wasn’t careful when entering the atmosphere!’
The situation was more serious than it seemed. A considerable amount of energy and momentum were required to head back into space after entering the atmosphere. They had entered the atmosphere immediately after warping so the Silver Star didn’t have a lot of power left. It would take some time for the fuel rods mounted on the Silver Star to recharge. However he wouldn’t be able to hold out until then.
‘I can use photon movement…..’
Photon movement was different from warp navigation. The ship seemed to disappear but it was actually moving at a rate close to the speed of light. And right now the sky was filled with light rays!
‘If I attempt photon movement then there is no guarantee how many light rays the ship will collide with. Furthermore the damage will be amplified if damage is received in that accelerated state. There is a possibility the ship will crash if hit by the ray. Then there is only one way left!’
“Tori, get out of the way! I will fly!”
Ark pushed Tori away and sat in the cockpit. Ark had immediately released the Chaff when the surprise attack first occurred. Chaff was a defense item to avoid the heat guided missiles. However the light showed no reaction to the Chaff.
‘It isn’t a guided missile!’
That was his only hope to get out of this situation.
‘If all of those rays were guided missiles then I would be lacking Chaff. But they aren’t missiles so I can avoid them. I can’t exist the atmosphere immediately but it is impossible for the craters to cover the entire planet. I need to avoid the lights and find an area without them!’
“Hold on tight! We’re descending!”
Ark shouted as he pulled the joystick. The Silver Star flew down towards the red ground. Large rays of light were being fired up. It would be suicide to cross the sky covered in that light. Thus flying low was the answer! If he stuck close to the ground then he would avoid hundreds of those lights. He flew down until the ship was only 10 metres from the ground.
“W-what is going on?”
A dreadful situation was developing outside the window. Something welled up from the red earth as soon as the Silver Star descended. It was a spider-like monster! It wasn’t just one. The area that the Silver Star was passing had so many crawling out that it was like the whole area was covered with them! And it entered the ground again once the Silver Star passed.
Kwa kwa kwa kwang, kwa kwa kwa kwang!
Then the ship shook again. A light ray had hit them when he had looked away for a moment.
“Shut up! I need to concentrate!”
Ark shouted while grinding his teeth together.
‘I also played a flight simulation game in the past. There is no reason why I can’t avoid the light rays if they aren’t guided missiles!’
Ark hunched over the control level and focused his attention. He moved the Silver Star up and down, left and right as he kept on flying and avoiding the attacks. He flew by dozens of light rays. However Ark also had a limit.
Kwa kwa kwa kwang, kwa kwa kwa kwang!
|-You have received enemy fire!
<The durability of Silver Star’s shield has decreased to 48%>
|-You have received enemy fire!
<The durability of Silver Star’s shield has decreased to 32%>
The red warning message appeared on the monitor. There was no need to confirm it one by one. He already knew the shield didn’t have a lot of durability left. If he took his eyes off the radar for even a moment then he would be hit by a light. He focused every nerve of his body on flying.
“Hyung-nim, over there! A desert!”
A desert caught his eye. Ark noticed the desert wasn’t covered in the red substance.
‘There! I can survive if I reach that area!’
It was like Ark expected. He managed to escape the pouring lights by entering the desert. But he still couldn’t be relieved. The Silver Star’s shield only had 10% durability left. He had escaped from the crisis but Ark flew a few more kilometres just in case. He sighed with relief as he landed the Silver Star and checked it. Luckily there wasn’t any large damage. Several exterior walls were scorched and dented but the functionality wasn’t impacted.
“What was that?”
Tori asked. Ark also wanted to know the answer to that question.
“I don’t know either. But……”
It was clear this adventure wouldn’t be as easy as he thought. The pyramid was the symbol of the Murat. There was a 99% chance that Xanax had hidden a Divine Artefact here However, the Silver Star had landed hundreds of kilometres away from the pyramid. Meanwhile that land was covered in a red substance. It was filled with the craters that attacked the Silver Star.
‘Dammit, the pyramid had to be here of all places…..’
…..In fact, it was natural if he thought about it. This was a game. If dangers existed then it was created for users. There was no reason for an area that users would visit to be free of monsters. It meant there had to be a way to defeat it. Ark thought it as highly likely that the pyramid contained the key.
‘But I can’t enter that place even if the Silver Star’s shield recovers. Yet I can’t return to S-20 now. It can’t be helped. I need to learn the identity of the red substance first.’
“Tori, wait for me by the Silver Star.”
Just as Ark was saying this.
Something sharp jabbed him in the back. Ark’s face warped strangely.
“What is this?”