Space 6: Straggler

SPACE 6. Straggler

“It’s coming!”

A cry could be heard. The sky turned black like they were covered in rain clouds. Around 100 cylindrical metal missiles were flying with emitting smoke! It was the long distance bombing from the Rama that featured in the prisoners’ nightmares. But this was different from the first time. They managed to find a way to solve it after experiencing it many times. Ark turned and shouted.

“Hegel!”

“Yes, Hyung-nim!”

A prisoner vigorously replied. Once again, over the last 10 days Ark had gathered Iridium and mobilized prisoners to help him on the battlefield. He had investigated the prisoners’ histories and chose the ones that would be pardoned first. Ark had realized something during the personal interviews. The prisoners weren’t identical NPCs. Just like users could pick different species and had different skills, the prisoners had different skills as well. Most of them were serious but they all had one specialized skill.

‘There is a limit to how much combat skills can have an effect on a battlefield compared to fighting alone. So combat skills aren’t that different. But my organization is different. Even skills without a visible use will have a synergy effect in my organization.’

Ark had this point in the back of his mind during the personal interviews. Thanks to that, he was able to find Hegel. Hegel was a 1 metre tall alien with a grey body and black eyes from a species called ‘Grey.’ Hegel’s species was the cause of kidnapping humans from earth and experimenting on them.
Anyway, the Grey’s small frame meant they weren’t that good in combat. However, they were an advanced scientific civilization with high HQ. Therefore the Grey’s skills were aimed towards taking advantage of their high IQ.

“Orbit Prediction Calculation!”

Hegel manipulated his Nymphe with a long finger. He raised his head and saw signs placed on several missiles.

“Hyung-nim, those ones! Those are the missiles that will harm our unit!”

This was Hegel’s skill! It was calculating the missile’s trajectory in order to predict the impact point.
But the Rama’s bombing covered the whole area where the prisoner troops were. Even if Hegel calculated the impact spot, there was no way to avoid the bombing……

‘But my organization is different!’

“The target is three points! Mellin, Berad, Cupa, point A! Beleol, Hedro, Reben, point B! Ralph, Konsed, Kalliben, point C.  Aim for those missiles and stand by!””

“Did you hear? Everybody loaded!”

The Royal Guards kneeled down and loaded their shotguns. There were continuous ringing sounds as the  missiles approached the 100 metre mark. A shout emerged from Ark’s mouth.

“Fire!”

Tang-! Tang-! Tang-!

9 guns fired simultaneously. 3 prisoners aimed for 1 missile! This was the method Ark came up with to take care of the bombing. Hegel would read the orbit of the missile while the Royal Guards would intercept them!

Ching-! Ching-! Ching-! Ching-! Pepepepeng!

Sparks appeared over the warhead and they exploded in mid-air. Beleol at point B had the best sniper skills followed by Kalliben at point C. While the B and C missiles were taken care of, the A missile only exploded when it was 30 metres away. They only intercepted a few missiles but some risk had disappeared. However the prisoners still received damage from the Rama’s bombing. Not many soldiers on the battlefield actually died from the missiles falling on them. Most of them died because they were caught in the explosion. The same thing applied to Beltana’s battlefield.
100 missiles were concentrated on one area. This meant the damage of 100 explosions built up.
Those caught in the centre of the explosion couldn’t breathe and melted. It was the reason Ark didn’t participate in the missile interception! Anyway, Ark had no shooting talent even at short range so he would’ve been no help. But Ark was still affected because he was on the battlefield. It was -50 degree weather yet he was still sweating……

Pa pa pa pa! Pa pa pa pa!

Dig! Over the last 10 days of gaining 7~8 kg per day, Ark’s Dig skill had already reached intermediate. When Ark dug at frozen ground, the shovel easily parted through it like it was soft tofu. He dug at the ground like a motor was attached to the shovel and a big hole was instantly created. The Royal Guards are intercepted all 3 missiles.

“All the warheads are destroyed!”

“That’s it. Enter the trench and lower your body!”

Ark shouting while jumping into the pit. The 10 prisoners also fell into the hole and lay flat on the ground!

Kwa kwa kwa kwa, kwa kwa kwa kwa!

They waited as a violent roar shook the atmosphere. 100 missiles exploded and fire and fragments covered the area. Even heavy armour clad soldiers died instantly from the blasts! However, the blast was the strongest higher up and lost strength as it got lower. The fire and impact only affected the higher places. That was the reason Ark had created the pit. It was only 50 cm into the ground but it still negated most of the effects of the explosion. In other words, if he countered the missiles that would fall directly on the trench then he didn’t have to worry about anything. This was the secret to Ark and the Royal Guard’s survival rate.

“Cough! Cough!”

The explosion swept past them. Ark crawled out from the dust that covered the trench and looked around. Bodies strewn around in the mud caught his eye. Ark could use Dig to make find Iridium and even make trenches to protect the prisoners following him from the bombs. But Beltana was a planet with -50 degrees weather! It was impossible for users who didn’t have the Dig skill or a shovel. The shovel might break down but he could waste several Iridium repairing it. It was possible to counter the missiles and stop most of the damage.

‘Well I still lost 15% health……’

But he couldn’t be compared to the torn rags on the ground. However, he couldn’t afford to sigh with relief.

‘Now the real battle will begin!’

“Is everybody okay?”

“Yes, some are a little injured but we’re all safe and sound.”

Mellin crept out of the trenches with several members and replied.

“Okay, everybody in their battle formations!”

Ku ku ku ku! Ku ku ku ku! Ku ku ku ku!

At the same time the ground started shaking. The area was filled with dust from the explosions so he couldn’t see beyond in front of him but Ark could understand the identity of the noise. It was the Rama’s second attack after the long distance bombing. The dust split apart and they appeared.

“Carack!”

The Carack were the Rama’s biological weapon with the form of a mantis! The Carack rushed forward in a herd. Hundreds of Carack approached the prisoners who were in disarray from the explosions. The injured prisoners were hit by the Carack’s weapons and torn to pieces.

“Waaahhh!”

“S-save me! Waaah!”

Screams and blood swirled through the dust. In fact, most of the prisoners were killed by the Carack rather than the bombing.

“Pay attention! Don’t worry about other units!”

Ark yelled towards the members of the Royal Guards.

“The biggest enemy on the battlefield is fear. No matter how strong the person is and the weapons they have, they won’t win if they’re fearful. So calm your heart.  And trust in me. And believe in your colleagues. We are one. If that trust is unbreakable then we’ll be able to leave here.”

“Ohhhhhh! Hyung-nim!”

“Attack!”

Ark shouted. At the same time, a roaring sound emitted from the muzzles of the Royal Guards. It exploded across a short distance and 3 Carack collapsed.

‘It was worth all that digging.’

Ark laughed as the Carack were wrapped in flames. Whether it was the future or medieval times, the most important thing on the battlefield was teamwork The background of Galaxian might be different from his previous games but Ark knew better than anyone about conducting thousands of soldiers. The reason he created the Royal Guards and pardoned 5 prisoners was to build up achievements for himself. Thanks to Ark’s efforts, the Royal Guards’ teamwork was incomparable to other troops. Ark turned his eyes elsewhere.

‘Teamwork is important but that isn’t everything. Other things are also necessary. In particular, the level of the Royal Guards is lower than other units. But level isn’t something I can change in a short period of time. In the end, I have to focus on long range attacks to increase the survival rate of the members.  Then the best way to raise the combat power is to upgrade their guns……’

If he used the supplies tent then he was able to obtain better guns. However, the cheapest guns considering the levels of the Royal Guards required at least a ton of Iridium. It was impossible for Ark to obtain that much Iridium. So Ark turned his eyes towards bullets. The damage of medieval weapons changed depending on the bow and arrows. It was the same for Galaxian despite it being set in the future. The damage of the gun varied depending on the bullet. There were dozens of different types of ammunition…..

-Fire Bullet I

Attack: Firearm damage +5 (Additional Fire Attribute)

A bullet developed by Laius, one of the 4 big companies.  A flammable substance developed by Laius is loaded within the warhead and will emit a strong flame with impact. The flames won’t affect androids and shields but will have an significant effect on biomedical tissue. There is also a chance the flames will deal continuous fire damage.

<3% chance of continuous fire damage.  50 additional damage will be given every 1 minute>

The bullet Ark selected was Fire Bullet! He chose this based on the Carack’s biological body. Apart from the Iridium exchanged for food, he turned the rest into Fire Bullets. He could confirm the results of his blood and sweat in front of him……

Peng! Peng! Hwarururu!

The fired bullets shaved away the health of the Carack. Furthermore, the soaring flames turned them into ripe meat.

-Achievement + 5.

-Achievement + 5…..

The wonderful messages appeared in front of Ark. He received some experience and achievements from any opponents that the Royal Guards knocked down. It was only 1 point but a bonus was applied since Ark was the leader and added up to 5 points! That was how Ark managed to gain +700 achievements during 10 days.

‘But I can’t be satisfied with just eating little by little.’

And there was a limit to how many Caracks could be stopped with shooting. There were hundreds of Carack. Not all of them were attacking the Royal Guards but there were still dozens of Carack.
They couldn’t use the Fire Bullets anymore because the other prisoners would now be hit. It was the same for the Royal Guards now as well.

Karararara! Kararararak!

The Carack pressed forward with the human wave tactics and attacked the Royal Guards. It was time for Ark who had no talent in shooting to go forward!

“Shut up you bastards! I won’t let you make noises anymore! Sonic Sword!”

Ark threw his body towards the Carack and swung his weapon. He used Sonic Sword! A light flashed from the blade and blue fluid fell from the body of the Carack. A vacuum was created by the blade surpassing the speed limit. However, that wasn’t the real value of the Sonic Sword.

Kiiiiii-! Pepeng-!

There was a shock wave the moment the blade broke through the speed of sound.  The shock wave passed back dozens of Carack. The effect of Sonic Sword pushed them back 5 metres. This effect was more attractive than damage when dealing with a large number of enemies.

“Now! Berad! Ralph!”

Two Royal Guards ran towards the Carack. Berad was wielding an hammer with a strange engine attached. On the other hand, Ralph was holding a dagger. They were the two in the Royal Guards with the best head-to-head skills.

“Yes Hyung-nim! Ohhhhh! Smash!”

Berad twisted his hammer and exhaust fumes emerged from the engine attached to the hammer. The hammer received an explosive acceleration and attacked the enemy! When Berad brought down the accelerated hammer, the head of a Carack immediately became like a dented can. Meanwhile Ralph’s dagger shook as it hit the Carack.

“Screw Blade!”

The dagger rotated in a spiral and pierced the neck of the Carack. The head and neck of the Carack was crushed. Meanwhile Ark was approaching the Carack he hit with Sonic Sword.

Cheolkeok, cheolkeok, cheolkeok!

Ark placed the muzzle to the Carack and pulled it three times.

“Now the fatal blow. Set Bullets Shooting!”

Pepeng-!

There was a sound like a cannon firing. The effect was also like a cannon. A huge hole appeared in the Carack’s head! This was Ark’s 2nd battle skill, where bullets were gathered and fired. However, the damage was 2.5 times. It was shot from close range. However, the weak point was the recoil so the hit rate lowered. But Ark’s marksmanship was for close combat! The hit rate didn’t matter to him. Even if he couldn’t do any damage with the bullets, he could just use evasive movements while shooting. But the good point was that the attack did 2.5 times the damage!

-Headshot!

<You have inflicted a serious blow and the Carack will receive additional 150% damage>

It was a jackpot when there was a headshot! There was an additional 2.5 times damage added to the 150%. Of course, the hit rate had decreased so there weren’t that many chances of a headshot.

Chiiiik……

The combination of the Sonic Sword and Set Bullets Shooting made the Carack melt like water.

-Achievement + 15.

His achievements rose from killing it directly.

‘These guys were so annoying when I first came to the battlefield……’

The Carack were a biological weapon. Although there were an incredible high number of them, they were only level 15. They were difficult to deal with in a group but easy to gain achievements against when the Carack were alone.

Karararara! Kararararak!

“Sonic Sword!”

Ark used Sonic Sword and pushed back the Carack.

“Smash!”

“Screw Blade!”

Berad and Ralph also used their hammer and dagger!

Suksak suksak!

Together they defeated the Carack one by one. Of course, the remaining Royal Guard members weren’t just watching.

Tang-! Tang-! Tang-! Tang-!

While Ark, Berad and Ralph were taking care of the Carack, the other 8 members were using the Fire Bullets. The Caracks’ health fell with every attack while the Royal Guard members created a defensive wall! This was the secret to Ark’s survival rate.

-Achievement + 15.

-Achievement + 5.

-Achievement + 5…..

His achievements were able to steadily build up! There were trial and errors in the beginning but now these tactics had been completely perfected. The bodies of the Carack piled up around Ark and the Royal Guards after 5 minutes.

‘If the battle progresses like this then I should be able to gather up a considerable number of achievements……’

Just as Ark was thinking this.

Syu syu syu syu syu. Pepeng-!

A signal bullet shot up over the battlefield and emitted a blue light. There was a sandstorm on the hill to the rear and 100 soldiers appeared. Unlike the prisoners, they were the federation’s regular troops armed with advance technology.

“T-they finally came!”

“The regular troops are moving! Now I’m saved!”

The prisoners let out a burst of joy. But Ark just sighed and bit his lip.

‘Dammit, only up to here today……’

In fact, Ark didn’t consider the help of the regular troops to be bad. Ark was the leader of the Royal Guards but he was also a part of the prisoner unit. There were only 11 people, including Ark, so they wouldn’t be able to hold up against the hundreds of Carack without the help of the prisoners. However, more than half of them had already been killed by the bombs and the Carack.
Naturally the burden on the remaining prisoners would grow. It was the same for Ark and the Royal Guards. There was a surplus of prisoners at the beginning for the Carack to attack but it became more difficult for the Royals Guards to form a defensive wall as time went on. Therefore the line of defense was pushed back little by little. Ark and the Royal Guards wouldn’t last long in that situation.
However, that changed if the regular soldiers got involved. The regular troops would lighten his burden.

‘But that only applies to other prisoners.’

The reason was simple.

‘That sneaky bastard, he’s a soldier…..’

Ark bit his lip as he glared at Valencia. Valencia received bribes from other prisoners but he had a significant amount of influence among the regular soldiers. It was because he was the leader of the 1st armoured platoon that he could receive the bribes from the prisoners. Valencia utilized that influence to step on Ark.

“Pedro!”

Valencia surveyed the battlefield and called to a soldier. Then the soldier called Pedro led 10 soldiers and advanced towards Ark’s troops. It wasn’t to help them.

“Sonic Sword!”

Tang-! Tang-! Tang-!

Ark and the Royal Guards were attacking the Carack.

“9 o’clock! Attack the Carack that the prisoners are fighting!”

Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu!

The soldiers immediately started firing after receiving Pedro’s command. The regular troops received the full support of the galactic federation. The weapons couldn’t be compared to those of the prisoners. They had machine  guns as well as RPG’s (rocket launchers).  Their firepower with the addition of the special bullets were a lot more powerful than the Royal Guards! The Caracks were instantly turned into chunks of blood once the regular soldiers attacked. Ark and the Royal Guards had worked hard to shave away their health.

‘Dammit, again!”

Ark glared at Pedro and his cronies. Their purpose wasn’t to fight. Valencia’s goal was to interfere with Ark and the Royal Guards. That was the duty given to Pedro. And Pedro had executed this mission for the last few days. If Ark’s unit moved forward then they would follow! They followed Ark like a leech and stole the lives of the Carack that Ark worked hard to decrease. But they didn’t strike right away. Pedro waited until Ark and the Royal Guards had wasted the expensive Fire Bullets before attacking and stealing the achievements.

‘If it was that much then I can endure it……’

They even provoked dozens of Carack and drove them towards Ark’s unit. They couldn’t kill Ark directly so they tried to use the Caracks to kill them! Quite a few Royal Guards died because of that.
But there was no way to deal with it.

“Hyung-nim, what now?”

“It can’t be helped. They won’t act once we withdraw to the rear.”

Gaining achievements was difficult with Pedro’s unit interfering. If they tried to endure against the Carack then it would just become more difficult. Moreover, the Rama would soon send in their regular troops. So it was better to retreat early and secure their safety.

“Retreat to the rear while guarding against the Carack!”

Ark led the Royal Guards and retreated. Meanwhile, the battle between the federation and the Rama was becoming more violent.

“Num! Kara! Marakana! Okara! Akarana!”

The Rama’s regular soldiers moved forward and assaulted the federation soldiers. The Rama was a species users were able to choose that weren’t significantly different from humans. The Rama had dark skin and pointy ears similar to a Dark Elf in medieval times.

Kwa kwa kwa kwang! Pepeng! Pepepepeng!

A confused fight between the Rama and the federation started. Soldiers wearing heavy armour and superalloy swords crashed into each other. There was a colourful exchange of light as the futuristic firearms and psychic energies attacked each other. It was like a scene from a fantasy SF game!

“……As expected.”

Ark muttered while watching the battlefield. It had been 10 minutes since the battle earnestly started and things were increasingly tilting towards the side of the Rama.

‘It is natural. If the core of the 1st armoured platoon is helping the prisoners who paid them or interfering with others then of course they couldn’t fight properly.’

And that wasn’t the only reason. Just like Mellin said a few days ago, the galactic federation wouldn’t throw a huge amount of funds and troops to this planet because they were losing to the Rama. Therefore they placed Beltana as a low priority planet and focused on others. On the other hand, the Rama received a lot of support from their main planet! So there was a difference in firepower, biological weapons and androids. In the end, there were dozens of casualties and the regular troops crumbled.

-Retreat! Return to the defense base in area B-3. All troops return to the Memeod!

The Commander’s voice could be heard from the Nymphe. Anyway, Ark and his troops had retreated from the battlefield a long time ago.

“That’s it. There have been orders for retreat. Leave the field and return to the Memeod!”

Ark turned his body without hesitation and headed toward the Memeod. Peratul’s voice could be heard as he approached the Memeod.

-Prisoner units hurry! The Memeod will be leaving in 30 seconds!

-Time before the Memeod leaves: 29, 28, 27 seconds……

The Nymphe displayed the remaining time. If he couldn’t board the Memeod within the time limit then he would be left on the battlefield. The battlefield was infested with Carack and Rama warriors.
However, there was no reason to hurry. Ark’s unit was a distance away but they could easily board the Memeod within 30 seconds.

‘This is as far as we could get today.’

Ark thought as he led the Royal Guards towards the Memeod.

Pepepepeng, pepepepeng, pepepeng!

Suddenly, dozens of smoke bombs exploded in front of them.

“What, what the? This? Why are there smoke bombs here……?”

Ark burst out with confusion and looked around. Then there was a mechanical sound and something hit his side. Ark was thrown several metres away from the impact. It wasn’t just Ark. Something collided with all of the Royal Guards and they were thrown to the ground.

“This is…..”

“Aigoo. I didn’t see you there. I’m sorry?”

Valencia’s sarcastic voice was heard among the smoke. Ark immediately saw Valencia and the 1st armoured platoon when he flinched and turned around.

“Shouldn’t you get up?”

“You bastard!”

“It serves you right for going against me.”

Valencia smirked and jumped onto the Memeod.

-Time before the Memeod leaves: 1, 0 second…..

Ku ku ku ku! Ku ku ku ku!

The door closed and the wheels of the Memeod started rotating. At the same time, it quickly crossed the ice.

“H-Hyung-nim!”

Ralph stared at Ark with a pale white face.  The Memeod transporting the troops were gone. Ark and the Royal Guards were stranded.

‘That bastard Valencia, doing such a thing…..’

Flames seemed to appear around his whole body as he imagined Valencia’s laughing face. But it quickly blew out thanks to the -50 degrees temperature.

‘The distance to the B-3 retreat spot is 50 km away…….’

Ark looked at the ice covered wilderness. It was a virtual reality game so the players could use all their senses to feel. It was the same for the cold. The body coating helped them adapt to the harsh environment but they still felt the chill. They had to march 50 km in that cold. However, Ark had more to worry about than a 50 km march.

There are some guys remaining! Kill them!”

Ka ka ka ka, ka ka ka ka, ka ka ka ka!

The smoke slowly cleared and the Carack and Rama saw them. A Rama warrior led dozens of Carack and rushed towards Ark’s unit. He cursed at Valencia.

“Dammit! Go!”
————————————————————————————————————————–
Hwiiiii-!

A snow storm raged in the sky. The -50 degrees weather seemed to scrape against his skin. However, Ark already couldn’t feel the chill.

‘Dammit……’

Ark bit his lip and sighed. It had been 1 hour since they had fallen into Valencia’s trap and missed the Memeod. Thus Ark had been engaged in a desperate struggle for 1 hour. Dozens of Carack and a Rama warrior were pursuing Ark’s unit. But it wasn’t easy to shake off the pursuit if the Rama warrior. The Rama had already defeated the federation!

Karararara! Kararararak!

There were Carack and Rama everywhere he escaped to. It was a desperate situation but Ark wasn’t giving up. If he died then all the experience he earned would be lost. Moreover, his achievements would decrease by 100. However, there was a reason Ark didn’t give up.

‘Valencia!’

Valencia was a scoundrel bullying the users! If he died like this then Valencia would win. Ark couldn’t endure it.

‘I have to live and return! I will definitely live and make him regret it!’

Ark held up so far thanks to that one resolution. Naturally the process wasn’t easy.

“Hyung-nim, there are a bunch of them! They’ve blocked all routes of escape!”

Every time he was caught by a Rama warrior, a group of Carack would block them from retreating. The Royal Guards bought time while he escaped! Escape! Escape! But every time some Royal Guards died and now there was only Ark and Berad left. Only two people were remaining.

‘We can’t last much longer……’

Ark looked around desperately. This place was dozens of kilometres away from the federation base. Of course, Ark didn’t know the geography. The GPS on the Nymphe indicated that the B-3 area was in a straight line…….

‘For there is be a crevasse in this place of all things!’

A 10 metres crevasse was blocking the path in front of him. And the Rama and Carack were pursing them. They were literally chased to the edge of a cliff. Valencia’s face appeared in his mind as he saw the gaping crevasse. At the same time, a deep anger swelled in his heart.

‘No! I can’t give up yet!’

Ark gripped his weapon and raised his head.

‘This is the worst situation. But I still can’t give up. 10 Carack and 1 Rama warrior had chased me up to here. The problem isn’t the Carack but the Rama warrior!’

The Rama warrior was a regular soldier. He met the federation’s regular soldiers so he knew their average level was over 40. On the other hand, Ark had just reached level 30. Furthermore, his equipment was incomparable to that of the Rama warrior.

‘But if I can knock the Rama warrior down……’

He could take care of the remaining level 15 Caracks. If he combined forces with Berad then he could somehow handle them. Of course, that was only talk unless he knocked down the Rama warrior. If the Rama and the Carack attacked at the same time then it was game over.  No, there was no guarantee that he could even reach area B-3 if he escaped from here. The Rama had already seized the area.

‘But I have to try!’

Ark shook his head and gripped the dagger. He whispered as the Rama warrior gradually narrowed the distance.

“Berad, can you distract the Carack?”

“Hyung-nim, are you perhaps…..?”

“If you take care of the Carack then I will deal with the Rama warrior.”

“Rama warrior……Hyung-nim can deal with it alone?”

“There’s no choice.”

That’s right. Berad nodded and clenched the hammer with both hands. Berad actually had a higher level than Ark. However, Berad admitted that Ark had better combat skills.

“I understand. I’ll stop the Carack even if I’m torn apart!”

The Rama warrior laughed and shouted.

-Kukukuku, it is up to here. Carack, kill them!

The 10 Carack yelled and rushed forward at the Rama warrior’s order. At the same time, Berad brought his hammer down against the ground.

“Oscillation!”

Kwaaaaaaah-! Pepeng-!

The propulsion device on the hammer shook and cracks appeared in the ice. The Carack stumbled from the shock and Berad raised his hammer before shouting.

“Hyung-nim, now!”

Then Ark shot forward like an arrow towards the Rama warrior. A black light separated the darkness and flew towards the Rama warrior’s neck.

“Sonic Sword!”

Jjang!

-Heh, a prisoner of the federation dares attack me?

The Rama warrior laughed and blocked Ark’s dagger with his shield.  A deep blue sword also appeared from the Rama warrior’s right side. It was a beam sword Ark hadn’t seen yet! Ark hurriedly opened his shield at the sight of the beam sword. However, there was the sound of breaking glass as the shield opened. The shield has shattered with one blow!

‘No matter how weak the shield is……’

To have his shield shatter in one blow from the beam sword meant that the Rama warrior was tougher than expected! The Rama warrior laughed after the shield broke and approached.

Is that the extent of your skills?

The Rama warrior wielded his beam sword and began to pressure Ark. The tremendous power of the beam sword broke the shield in one blow! Even a slight blow of the shield would deal a critical hit! Ark rolled across the floor and avoided the sword. However, he soon realized that he had been pushed in front of the crevasse. Ark’s face darkened as he saw the crevasse.

“D-damn!”

Your tricks end here. Energy blast!

The Rama warrior’s beam sword expanded explosively. The beam sword reached the size of 2 metres!

‘…….Now!’

Ark’s eyes brightened and he rushed towards the Rama warrior. He placed the Fading Steel against the Rama’s shoulder and pulled the trigger.

Tang-!

The Rama warrior’s shoulder exploded and he was pushed back.

-Ugh! This bastard!

The Rama warrior clutched his shoulder stepped back. But anger lit up his eyes and he swung the sword. Ark smiled pleasantly and rotated his body around the Rama warrior. And Ark kicked his back!

-Heok!

A cry of confusion emerged from the Rama warrior’s mouth. Ark had been pushed back against the crevasse by the Rama warrior. Now they had changed positions and the Rama warrior was against the crevasse. The kick in the back caused him to slip into the crevasse. Falling into the crevasse meant death!

‘Success!’

This was what Ark had aimed for. When he checked through the Infrared Scope, the Rama warrior was level 50. Ark’s probability of winning was only 10%. Even if he somehow defeated the Rama warrior, there was no guarantee that Berad could stop the 10 Carack. Therefore Ark’s plan from the beginning had been to push the Rama warrior into the crevasse. All his preparations was for this move! He waited until the Rama warrior was distracted and pushed him into the crevasse.

‘That’s it. This is an icy ground. Once pushed then it will be difficult to recover. Now that he has fallen into the crevasse……’

Ark was sure of his victory.

-Impertinent brat! Armour armament!

A flash of light appeared around the Rama warrior’s body. At the same time, the space distorted and armour like objects appeared. The armour moved like the skin of an insect and formed around the Rama warrior’s body. The insect like armour around the Rama warrior was similar to the Protoss in StarCraft. It was the alternate form of the Rama warrior that Ark had never seen before.

‘T-that is the battle suit of the Rama!’

Armour armament meant the Rama could use the battle suits immediately! The federation and Rama’s battle suits had different mechanical forms and initiation.

I won’t be tricked by your plan!

Kwajijijiji! Uddeok!

The Rama warrior’s armoured fist struck down on the ice and he stopped moving. It seemed like Ark’s plan had ended in failure……

“Not yet! Armour armament!”

The same thing happened to Ark’s body. Armour appeared from the distorted space and wrapped around his body.

-W-what? A federation prisoner with armour armament…..something like that…..!

The Rama warrior cried out with surprise. Ark shot forward like an arrow while encased in armour and crashed into the Rama warrior. The force caused the Rama warrior to fall into the crevasse.
Ark confirmed that the Rama warrior disappeared into the crevasse and turned around.

“Pant pant, it is a success. Now…..”

Snap!

Then Ark’s ankle was grabbed by the Rama warrior’s hand. Ark’s foot slipped on the ice as it was pulled. And endless darkness spread out underneath his body! Ark had fallen into the crevasse. A moment of carelessness had caused Ark to fall into the crevasse. He heard a popping sound as his ankle kept being pulled.

You!

The Rama warrior had grabbed his ankle. The Rama warrior glared and reached out his left hand holding the beam sword.

-I will kill you with my own hands!

“Don’t make me laugh! If I die then you’ll die!”

Ark pointed the Fading Steel downwards and pulled the trigger. The Rama warrior was surprised and quickly activated his shield. However……

Cheolkeok, cheolkeok, cheolkeok!

Bullets shot out from the Fading Steel. They bounced off the Rama warrior’s shield.

-Kukuku, you stupid fellow. You wasted all the ammunition in your gun. You’re pathetic. Let’s see if my sword or you reloading your gun will be faster!

The Rama warrior swung his beam sword again. No, he tried to swing it!

“You said I have no more bullets left?”

Ark smiled and pulled the trigger another time.

“Set Bullets Shooting!”

At that moment, 3 bullets emerged from the muzzle! It perfectly hit the face of the off guard Rama warrior. But Ark couldn’t see the Rama warrior’s confused face. The three bullets had exploded in the Rama warrior’s face.

Pepepeng-!

-Kuaaaaak!

The Rama warrior’s head bent like a bow. The hand that was grabbing Ark’s ankle let go from the impact. The Rama warrior grabbed his face with both hands and spun like a pinwheel as he fell down.  The Rama warrior had separated from Ark! However it was too late. Ark was already falling down the crevasse.

‘I’ve already fallen down hundreds of metres. If I hit the ground at this height and speed……’

100% death! Unconditional death.

‘But I can reduce the fall speed!’

Ark murmured and raised his head. Ark manipulated his Nymphe and a shovel sprung out of the bag.

‘I can slow down the speed using this!’

Bakak-!

Ark used all his strength and plugged his shovel into the ice wall. And a sharp pain split his shoulder. It was natural. The shovel was stuck inside the ice wall so he all the weight was concentrated on his shoulder. An average person would’ve dislocated their shoulder. The reason it was possible was because Ark hadn’t neglected to exercise…..but the reason was different.

Jijik! Jijijijik! Jijijiji!

The armour covering his shoulder rose like a muscle. Everything was due to the battle suit covering Ark. The battle suit was a technology of the future that increased the endurance of the body! Ark was also using the battle suit designed by the Rama……

‘My speed has decreased a little bit! It is possible for me shoulder to hold out!’

…….Just as he was thinking that.

Papapapa! Papapapa! Papapapa!

Ark confirmed the effect and wielded his shovel like crazy. His fall speed would decrease a little bit every time it hit the ice wall. Once his speed decreased to a certain point, he got drive the shovel into the ice wall even more powerfully. Ark grabbed the shovel with both hands.

“That’s it!”

Snap! Kakakakaka!

The shovel tore down the ice. A long scar dozens of metres was created in the ice wall….uddeok! His body finally stopped.

“Pant pant pant, I-I’ve stopped.”

Ark dangled from the shovel and gasped with a pale white face. He had been frantically shovelling after falling off the cliff. It felt like he had done a strenuous workout as sweat dripped down his body.

“If I was a little late…..”

His eyes dropped to the bottom and he felt a chill again. There was only 10 metres until the ground.
If he had delayed even a few more seconds then he would be smashed like the Rama warrior. He looked at the smashed body of the Rama warrior on the ground. If Ark was even a little slower then he would be in the same position.

“It is fortunate that I’m alive.”

But he couldn’t feel pleased when looking at the distance he fell. It had taken him 3~4 minutes to stop falling down the crevasse. When considering his rate of descent, he had fallen at least a few kilometres. In other words, he needed to climb up a few kilometres in order to escape the crevasse.
However, his worries didn’t continued for long.

“Eh?”

Ark looked around the area restlessly. He saw a shining object next to the body of the Rama warrior.
The identity of the object was a piece of armour! The Rama warrior had dropped an item. He stopped worrying about escaping the crevasse the moment he saw the items. A level 50 warrior had dropped an item!

“Isn’t this a windfall?”

Ark cheered and jumped to the ground.

Jang-! Jajajajak-!

There was a sharp sound and cracks spread on the ground. Ark took a deep breath and looked around at the unexpected situation.

‘What, what the? This floor….is it ice?’

Ark had jumped down to a ground made of ice. Luckily the ice seemed fairly thick. However, the ice had weakened thanks to the Rama warrior’s fall and cracks started to spread once Ark stood on it. Once the cracks happened, the ground started to shake.

‘If this continues……’

The cracks would slowly spread across the ice floor. He couldn’t fathom what was underneath the ice. Ark had to live no matter what. If he didn’t live then everything would be wasted. However…..however……

‘I can’t! I can’t give it up!’

Ark swallowed his saliva and stared at the shiny armour in front of him. It was an item a level 50 Rama warrior had dropped. How could he give it up when it was right in front of him?

‘Yes, there is no guarantee the ice will break even if I grab the item. The chances of getting out of the crevasse is 20%. Right now dying is a common part of my history. It isn’t an abrupt thing. But that item will be mine!’

So far Ark had died 7 times on Beltana! He had died so frequently that Ark was desensitized to the sensation. Therefore he became a slave to his greed and carefully advanced towards the item. He spent 10 minutes narrowing the distance little by little. Ark looked at a big crack with anxiety and fear before grabbing the item.

“I got it!”

Harkenion Armour (Magic)

Item type: Light Armour (Coat)

Wearer Restriction: Level 40 (Body Coating Required)

Defense: 45    Durability: 5/50

A armour made from a metal called Harkenion mined from the planet Atempor.  Harkenion is a peculiar material with a unique hardness like rubber and is a widely used metal in armour. However, excellent space resources invites trouble. A few years ago, the Rama raided Atempor for its Harkenion as formed it into a colony. Since then the Rama has monopolized Harkenion and produced many special armour with it.

<Agility +10, Damage by a melee weapon is reduced by 10%>

“A level 40 magic armour!”

Ark cheered with joy.

Jjang!

A sound was heard from under his feet. The cracks spread through the icy ground like spider webs and it was barely hanging on. Ark’s weight had increased after picking up the armour. He had to carefully maintain his balance on the broken ice.

“Hik! N-no! Before it is too late……”

Ark hurriedly turned around. Then it happened.

Jajang! Jajajajang! Kwa kwa kwa kwa kwa!

The icy ground split apart and sunk.

“Heok! Eh? Eh eh eh? Eh eh eh eh? Waaahhhhhhhh!”

He fell and his feet touched the ground. The place underneath the ice wasn’t as deep as he thought.
Ark was sighing with relief when his foot slipped and he started sliding down at a huge speed. There was a steep slope underneath the ice! He was slipping down with no end in sight. Ark hurriedly packed the armour and took out his shovel. He used the same method like when he fell into the crevasse and slowed down. Then something quickly appeared in front of him. It was a pillar of ice as sharp as a blade! If he collided with the ice pillar then he would be cut in half.

“Dammit!”

The shovel wouldn’t work.  Ark hurriedly put away the shovel and took out the Fading Steel.

Cheolkeok, cheolkeok, cheolkeok! Pepepeng!

He blindly fired the Fire Bullets and shot the ice pillars, scattering it. However, there wasn’t just one ice pillar. When one was broken, it was followed by another and another! Ark hurriedly reloaded the Fading Steel and kept on firing as he slid down. How long was he sliding? He had reloaded 13 times. After he had shot the Fire Bullets many times, an underground square unfolded in front of him.

Daekururu, teolsseok!

Ark rolled 100 metres in the square before he could finally stop. Ark’s face slammed into the ice and he flinched after he raised his head.

“Pant pant, I survived once again…..what is this place?”

Ark swept away the ice fragments and looked around. It was a huge underground cave with giant icicles hanging from the ceiling. First he had fallen into the crevasses and then he had slid down a steep slope. He didn’t know how deeply he had fallen. Now he had to determine the distance from the federation base.
“GPS!”

-The GPS doesn’t work normally in this area.

He have fallen several kilometres into a deep crevasse. He was too deep underground so the GPS didn’t work.

“Damn, does that mean I just have to wander around?”

Ark sighed and mumbled. Suddenly a new message appeared from the Nymphe.

-You have received a feeble signal from a nearby structure.

A compass appeared on the Nymphe and the direction was indicated.

“An unknown signal?  Then something is here? Why in a place like this……”

Ark worried about it for a while. It might be a signal for help from someone unidentified but there was no indication if it would be friendly or not. However this was a game. He never expected that a signal would be discovered in a place like this but it was a game so he couldn’t ignore it. Something popping up like this could be a jackpot.

‘I need to confirm what the signal is!’

Ark looked at the compass and ran across the underground cave. The underground cave was more spacious and complicated than he thought. The Nymphe also only indicated the direction so he would often be blocked by the terrain. But he wandered around for a few hours and the terrain gradually became familiar. Therefore he slowly got closer to the signal. The path suddenly lengthened and opened up.

“W-what is going on?”

++ Ruins of an Ancient Alien Civilization ++

You’ve stumbled upon an identified signal underneath Beltana.  You’ve followed the signal and found the remains of an ancient civilization. The purpose of the ruins is unknown.
Whenever a pioneer discovers an unknown civilization or area, they can gain adventure points. Adventure points can be used for various purposes.

* Adventure Points +100

An information window appeared from the Nymphe.

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34 thoughts on “Space 6: Straggler

  1. Pingback: Ark the Legend volume 2 chapter 6 | Rainbow Turtle Translations

    1. estriole

      LOL… but this sequel is quite epic… the author make us guess what kind of hidden job he will have… first he’s a plumber who clean pipes (mario), then he’s a hacker (.hack). then he’s a digger (shovel knight)… what’s next?😀.

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      1. Tel

        Ark studied Tori’s face and approached the Rama. And he quickly grabbed the octagonal object. At the same time an information window appeared.
        -#!$#!@#$@##$!#@@@r@@#E!

        ‘What? An item information window?’

        Ark ignored the information window and pulled the item out. Suddenly the octagonal object vibrating violently and a light exploded from the centre of it. Ark glanced at Tori and quickly covered the object with both hands. Then the octagonal object disappeared with the light?

        ‘Eek? What, what the? Where did it suddenly go?’
        -!#$!#$!%$#!@@E%! Q!! #$!!

        $%@$#%%$#% : #$!#$!#%!#$!#$!#$!#@$!#$!$…….

        A message window appeared in front of Ark. It was unnecessary to say that the information window contained relevant information about the octagonal object. However, he couldn’t read it so he couldn’t understand what had happened.

        ——————————
        Most likely this is where he got the skill armor armament, and the federation armor destructing when he put it on is most likely the result of it being incompatible with the Rama skill. But the author has played fast and loose with foreshadowing before so there could just as easily be a block of exposition and an alternate answer Deus ex machina’ed later.

        P.S. Thanks Turtle I was bored and had several hours to kill every day this last week. Excellent translation, and I like the setting, but on a whole this story seems a lot looser and more led by the nose.

        That Ark didn’t immediately flash on the “Red Rama” as “The Redman”…………. I don’t like how the author treats the reader it was getting bad in the “New World” arc, and it’s worse in “Galaixan”. Not really planning to follow it but leaving the favorite link because you are such an amazing translator and I want to see what you do after Ark.

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  2. Diortem

    Ruins of an ancient civilization, probably containing advanced equipment that might let you explore futher inside and ultimately save the galaxy? So Ark may become the Chozo One?

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  3. anon

    Sonic sword got blocked this early on? Makes me really wonder about the power scaling of this series if a level 40 monster can already move faster than the speed of sound…..

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  4. hayate90

    i know about the armor icon that he didnt check a few chapters ago, but why the hell is the author make Ark wearing it as if it was a natural thing to do, without even explaining anything about it at all

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  5. Naeko

    Looks like this is the 2nd turning point for the author as he’s speeding up the number of benefits Ark is receiving in the storyline. As with the previous story, the author likes to use the writing approach of misfortune followed by giving Ark one or more extra-special powerups.

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  6. merkada

    It will be interesting to see the confused look on Valencia’s face when he discovers that Ark did not die and return via Fairy system. It might take awhile for Ark to return to base, since he doesn’t know its direction.

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  7. Nia

    Shame all his royal guards died, I assume the hammer guy will die too. Since there npcs I doubt they will come back.

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