SPACE 7. Visitors
“It is good that I received S-20.”
He had worried about if for a while. He gave up all the other compensation for the <Athamas’ Battlefield!> quest in order to receive the sector. But it felt extremely difficult after he first arrived at S-20. A landslide had occurred on the mountain and only wreckage was left. Ark lost all his energy. After the space pirates attacked, he had gone away with Marquis Martin straight away so he couldn’t see the result.
‘Is it useless?’
He didn’t express it to the members but he was worried about this. However he had already obtained it. And the value of the gallstones inside the dungeon was high enough that he thought it was worth a try. Thus Ark launched the reconstruction work! He mobilized the Royal Guards to dig up and clear out dirt in the upper layer of the cave.
The first visitors appeared in S-20. No, it wasn’t precisely their first visit.
“It really is Ark.”
“I wanted to look since I heard that Ark-nim came back.”
It was Shein, Kuma, Face etc. They were the users who assisted Ark when the Kero clan attacked. They had left for another hunting ground after Mt. Fargo became blocked but came back after hearing that Ark was making a sector here.
“I heard that you’re opening up Mt. Fargo’s dungeon again……”
“Yes, I’m still working on the middle layer but the upper layer has been completely opened.”
“Ohh, is that true?”
“I felt uncomfortable because I couldn’t finish gathering gallstones the other day. Now we can hunt in this sector again. Oh, this is now a sector so I had to pay a fee to use it.”
This was the first income opportunity for S-20! But Ark gracefully shook his head.
“That’s okay. We are fellow soldiers who fought the space pirates together. This might be a sector but how can I charge you money? Don’t pay any attention to the fee. I’m the administrator for S-20 so use it freely.”
“But this won’t be feasible for your livelihood……”
Kuma said as he looked at one of the signposts erected. However Ark shook his head without any hesitation.
“It is sufficient that I met you again.”
That perspective…..the Royal Guards had shed a lot of blood clearing the middle layer of the cave and killing the Thanatos. They had been digging at the dungeon for one week! However Ark had his own ideas. The basic source of revenue for a sector was the admission fee from visitors. The fee was to allow people a place to rest from the monsters of the Outlands. But that was only when it was properly equipped with amenities. A sector needed a terminal for airships, a Fairy to register at and shops selling various goods. Pioneers paid the entrance fee for a sector in order to take advantage of such facilities. However S-20 was in the middle of nowhere.
|-Sector S-20 Administration
That was the only signpost in the sector. Of course S-20 had the gallstones from the dungeon. The dungeon had been covered up from the landslide so they had to use 100% manual digging to clear it. It was natural to receive a fee for such efforts. But Ark had a different opinion. Ark hadn’t waived the fee for them because they were acquaintances. The regular users not familiar with Ark would no doubt complain. In the early days of a business, he had to be the most careful about any complaints.
-This sector is a dud. I wasted money paying the fee!
Rumours were the biggest obstacle for the growth of a sector!
‘A business isn’t built in one or two days. Right now reputation is most important!’
Reputation gathered people. Money would be collected at the place where people gathered. Ark already knew how to conduct business from New World. And that part was a little clearer in Galaxian. The fee for using the sector was the basic income but 90% of the real earnings came from the port fees, Fairy fees or taxes from the proceeds of the store. However, he couldn’t create port or Fairy without money. The Fairy and port was a public facility. It was impossible to establish a transport ship route or Fairy when there were no people. The sector needed to reach a certain level before permits would be given. It was the same with the stores. No NPC merchants would build stores in a sector with no visitors. The most important thing for a new sector was to gather pioneers! He couldn’t be too greedy over petty cash. Ark’s approach was effective.
“But we heard Ark-nim was setting up this sector so we came to help. If you don’t want a use fee then please let us do something else.”
“Yes, I will do whatever.”
“I know a lot of users so I’ll call my friends.”
Ark didn’t refuse it again.
“Thank you very much.”
In fact, S-20 had a lot of unexpected work to do. One of them was to create a boundary fence around the sector to prevent monsters and bandits. An average sector also installed a shield generator on the fence. Naturally Ark had no money to create such a fence.
‘But it won’t be that much with the materials.’
Ark laughed as he looked at the pile of debris on one side. They were the previous stores that had been broken by the Kero’s attack! They packed their money after the battle ended by the junk was left there. Therefore there was a pile of junk stacked up. There was also the wreckage of the abandoned Laius research centre.
‘The crew is in the dungeon so I’m lacking in manpower…..’
Now he had dozens of volunteers. Therefore Ark was able to launch construction work on the fence. Of course, they were customers so he couldn’t work them as hard as the Royal Guards. But Ark was a user who had the ability to draw out more effort from people.
“Pant pant pant! Isn’t this pretty hard?”
“Then you may stop soon. Fortunately you and your colleagues made 300 metres last night so you’ve progressed quite a lot. Aren’t you really good at this? Your party members have worked around the clock without any complaints. This shows that they trust their leader. They must be working hard because they know your character.”
Just throwing in a few words like this…..
“Eh? What is it? You can stop now.”
“Pant pant pant! I-it’s fine. After I thought about it, I realized I don’t have anything else to do. And this is the moral obligation of a man! It isn’t in my temperament to not help out. Isn’t that right?”
“Yes, that’s right!”
……The users starting working again. With Shein, Kuma and Face’s party helping out, they managed to insert the poles of the fence into the ground. At that time one trailer truck arrived.
“Ark, good to see you again!”
A middle aged man with a rough beard greeted him. He was the president of Hammer Industries who explained about the gallstones when Ark first arrived.
“I was in sector S-15 when I heard rumours that pioneers are gathering here again. My specialty is gallstone fusion so I have to take advantage of this place. It is perfect now that those damn Laius people have withdrawn. But I didn’t know you were the administrator of this sector. Can I do business here?”
Ark eagerly replied as they shook hands. It was more imperative for his sector to have stores than a Fairy or port. Pioneers could buy or sell various things. Ark also had a lot of supplies that needed to be sold. Ark also repaired equipment using Cheksun’s toolbox but he couldn’t repair magic or rare items. He had reached the limit. Then the store appeared like rain in a drought!
“Gid-nim is a comrade who fought with me against the Kero clan. You also suffered from the incident so I will only collect a tax of 1 copper for the next 6 months. That will apply to any other merchants who received damage here.”
“Is that true?”
“Of course. I promise.”
It would take 6 months to truly establish the sector. He would rather attract a wide variety of stores in order to quickly grow the sector.
“I see. Then I’ll contact the previous stores and gather them. I have a lot of friends who will come running if these are the conditions.”
Ark’s tax-free policy started building S-20 up. Gid also contacted the previous stores who used to be there and they gathered one by one in S-20. Users naturally started gathering to use the stores. Pioneers also started coming from distant cities thanks to Slayer, Leon and Melina’s promotion. When S-20 first started, there was only Ark and the Royal Guards members. Thanks to their steady efforts, the population was able to reach 500 in just a fortnight. Meanwhile Shein’s work was also proceeding steadily and the fence entered the final stages.
“……The time has come!”
Ark launched a full scale commercialization.
Sector S-20’s special opening event!
The first 1,000 people to register will receive a lifetime pass to the gallstone dungeon for only 10 silver!
You absolutely can’t miss this chance of a lifetime!
That was the new sign erected at the entrance of S-20. Usually pioneers had to pay a fee of 1 silver to enter a sector. This was 10 times the amount but the package meant they could enter the dungeon for an unlimited amount of time! When considering that most pioneers needed to hunt in a place for a minimum of 10 times, that was an exceptional price. Of course that was just bait to advertise his goods.
“I’ve secured 1,000 customers. And the lifetime pass means that they won’t leave S-20. I need customers to raise the population. A population of 2,000 is required in order to apply for a Fairy! I have half of that with just the package!”
This was the real purpose of the sale package. The packages sold like hot cakes. The 500 pioneers already in S-20 purchased the package immediately and the new users who arrived also bought it without any hesitation. It was rapid progress! S-20 quickly regained its previous energy. It wasn’t just S-20 that grew over time. The users who bought the lifetime pass killed the Thanatos in the upper layer!
Pa pa pa pa! Pa pa pa pa!
Meanwhile 11 people were digging in the darkness.
“Pant pant pant, how many days have passed?”
“Damn, how would I know? I haven’t seen the sunlight you know.”
The Royal Guards had been digging for a fortnight now! However their state was actually better now than when they first came in. There was no choice. They had become accustomed to it. Eat breakfast, dig, eat lunch, dig, dig dig! They had spent the last fortnight only digging…..
|-You have experienced the profound sense of ‘Dig’ and the skill proficiency has increased to Lv. 2!|
This message appeared x11! Finally their Dig skill had increased! All members had reached intermediate level in Dig. This meant they could dig much faster while consuming less stamina.
“We don’t have to worry about dying anymore.”
“I agree. At first I thought it was worse than the Silver Hand’s training but now I’ve got used to it. It turns out I can adapt to digging.”
“Besides, digging isn’t as bad as I thought.”
“That’s right. Take a look at this. Do you see my muscles here? Huhuhu, isn’t it wonderful? These muscles are a result of the labour.”
They had time to chat while digging.
“Frankly, I was quite resentful when Hyung-nim first made us start digging. We had finally met after all that suffering and then he made us do this. But like Hyung-nim said, S-20 is our home now. If we don’t work then who will?”
“Yes, sometimes a leader needs to make harsh commands.”
“Our way of thinking was too short. We can’t compare Hyung-nim to the evil Silver Hand.”
They were still unaware. The Silver Hand were only following the training program Ark gave them. Anyway, their appreciation for Ark once again rose! Of course, this was due to Ark’s brainwashing of ‘S-20 and our future.’ At any rate, they continued working while having the wrong impression of Ark. Their growth wasn’t just in digging.
“That’s it! We’ve pierced through here as well!”
The members cleared out the dirt and revealed a cave. Then several pair of red eyes appeared in the darkness. They were the Thanatos that appeared in Mt. Fargo’s dungeon! The regeneration limit of the dungeon used to be 2~3 monsters at once. However as many as 5 were gathered. And the members were working in the intermediate layer. The Thanatos here were level 140~150.
“Sheesh, this place is also infested. They’re like cockroaches……”
But there was no tension in the faces of the Royal Guards. They had already swept the level 100 Thanatos in the upper level and came down to the middle. And they had spent 10 days in the intermediate level. Now they had no difficulty cleaning up the Thanatos. That’s because the crowd of Thanatos also raised their levels. And there were 11 of them. Now the Thanatos were just like cleaning up cockroaches!
“Let’s take care of them quickly and move to the next place.”
Mellin took out a machine gun while the other members armed themselves with hammers or swords.
Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu!
And they started earnestly eradicating the pests! The repetition of this situation meant the Royal Guards in their 60’s could reach level 70 within a fortnight.
|-Mellin has acquired a Gallstone (Intermediate).|
“Isn’t this good?”
Gallstones would also fall occasionally.
“Now we’re finished! Shall we go if we don’t want to be stuck in the dungeon forever?”
They once again took up their shovels and crossed the dungeon. Meanwhile a man was watching them with warm eyes.
“I don’t have to worry about them for the moment.”
It was Ark.
“The sector is rapidly growing and the members are working fine so I don’t need to meddle. I can concentrate on my own work.”
While all of this was going on, Ark hadn’t just been playing around. Ark focused on growing the sector, encouraging the Royal Guards in the dungeon, helping Shein with construction and managing the pioneers. However Ark had other challenges remaining. He spent all of his free time on the tasks he hadn’t completed yet.
“But in the meantime I’ve learnt quite a few things. This time…..!”
Ark clenched his fists and turned his body.
A blue light wound around his body. It started from the bottom and the swirling speed started to gradually increase as it reached the top of his head. Then it changed into an intense white light and was sucked into his head. That process repeated a few times until all of the blue light was converted to white. Finally the light surrounding his body was completely white.
|-You have succeeded in the Elim’s Heart Force conversion!
Character Information <Mental Power: 0 (+315) Mana: 0 Force: 1825> has replaced it.
Ark shouted with flashing eyes. He had converted all his mental power and mana into force. He had been honing Elim’s Heart Force until he could switch all of his mana and mental power into force. Of course, this wasn’t Ark’s challenge. It was just the transition time into force. This was all preparation for his task.
–Are you ready now?
Ark heard a distant voice. The voice came from a sphere of light in the centre while stone statues were lined up on either side. This was the Elim’s Sanctuary that had been sealed off for hundreds of years. Ark looked at the light orb and nodded.
“Yes, I am ready.”
–Is this your fifth time?
“This is going to be the last.”
–I hope so as well. I don’t want to see the pathetic form of the successor I have been waiting hundreds of years for anymore. But I don’t want to see you die so you can call for help at any time.
“That will never happen.”
–I’ll believe it when I see it.
The light orb moved to the other end of the sanctuary. Then a passageway opened and two warriors appeared. This place was the successor’s training centre. Ark had actually known this place existed when he was flying back to Tatuine with Marquis Martin. After receiving the Athamas quest, he had opened Xanax’s ship log. Page 3 was sealed! The seal was released after he became Elim’s Heir but he hadn’t read it yet. He thought Xanax would’ve recorded the location of the Divine Artefacts or skills on it. Ark quickly opened the log book page on his Nymphe. But in contrast to what he expected, the information on page 3 was just a single line.
–Begin from the training centre.
He learnt the meaning of those words when he came back to the sanctuary.
–Training centre? Yes, that is here. That is the place where the Elim trained in the basics of swordplay. What? Xanax wrote that in his journal? Well, speaking of that…..I remember. Xanax entered the training centre the last time he came here. I thought he was just reminding himself of his original intention before leaving for a long trip. But he might’ve left something for his successor who would come one day. That means you can’t receive it until you pass the training centre.
Pass the training centre! This was cumbersome for Ark.
‘I have to pass this as well?’
Ark headed to the training centre straight away! And he had been on the verge of dying when he was warped away by the light orb. He challenged it 4 more times but it was a crushing defeat! It wasn’t a problem with his level. No, levels didn’t matter in the training centre.
|-A mysterious power has triggered the balancing levels effect.
<Everybody who enters the training centre will have their level fixed to level 50 and the equipment and stats of the character readjusted.
In addition, any weapon except for ‘Heir’s Sword’ can’t be used here>
Ark felt a sinking feeling at the message that appeared when he stepped into the training centre. Level equalization was fixed to level 50! The degree of difficulty would be the same even if he was level 999. That meant the user required combat skills in the training centre! It was more pitiable than that. Ark had confidence that he wouldn’t be pushed by normal users in a 1 on 1 fight. While his battle with Valencia was quite close, he had been pushed by the Red Slaughterer because of his level not his skills. Nevertheless, he lost 5 out of 5 times. He couldn’t even pass the place called the basic training centre. It was frustrating at first. However that idea soon changed.
‘I started regaining my combat sense from New World after fighting Valencia. But it isn’t like that. His senses felt even better after fighting the Red Slaughterer. That means my senses are still rusty and I haven’t regained everything. No, I can’t be satisfied if I couldn’t defeat the Red Slaughterer. I….need to become stronger than that!’
The devastating self-criticism! There was no future for those who don’t self-reflect. He started practicing the taekwondo exercises that he had been neglecting since New World. In the past he had no trouble kicking while standing on one foot but now he was unsteady. He once again realized how rusty he was. That was the problem. Ark had regained some of his previous combat senses. However, that feeling meant nothing if his body couldn’t follow along.
‘This is igniting the oil in my stomach!’
Fire burned inside Ark and he started exercising. He got up early at dawn to begin jogging and then started his taekwondo exercises. It also awoke the feeling of when he practiced swordplay in the past. The training affected the game. The hell training that the Royal Guards went through! Ark also started a training program for his body. So after a fortnight!
‘I can do it! No, I will do it!’
Ark lifted his blue lightsaber.
Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu! Tu tu tu tu!
Three troopers emerged from the darkness. At the same time, bullets started to rain all over the place. The troopers were holograms but he still felt pain from the bullets and his health was still reduced. But it was the movement of the troopers that was more threatening. The 3 people moved in unison and cornered Ark. When he entered the first time, he had become riddled with bullets.
‘This time it will be different!’
Ark rotated his body like a spin top while swinging his sword. The sword sparkled and bullets scattered all over the place. It was Sword Defense that he learnt in Athamas! He used the special quality of the lightsaber to change the trajectory of the bullets. While dealing with the troopers in the training centre, he realized that Sword Defense wasn’t as simple as he thought. The orbit of a projectile could be changed! In other words…..
Ping! Ping! Ping!
A bullet that Ark deflected penetrated a trooper on the opposite side. It meant he could change the trajectory in the direction that he desired!
‘Sword Defense can be used for attack and defense!’
Ark narrowed the distance and attacked the trooper that had stumbled. The light carved over the body in a complex pattern and the trooper feel down.
“One down! Shield Emission!”
Ark shouted as he lifted the shield. Then the shield broke into pieces and attacked the troopers. The fallen trooper disappeared into particles of light. The situation turned from 3 against 1 to 2 against 1! The decreased number of bullets meant it was easier for him to move. He took care of the rest one by one until the two troopers had dissolved. But Ark didn’t lose his tension.
‘Now is the real start!’
When the troopers disappeared, 3 people holding lightsabers showed up. It was a mistake to think that opponents with a sword were easier than those with a gun. If those were real bullets then he would die but this was a game. It wouldn’t make a difference if they were level 100 unless they dealt a deadly blow. That’s why skill could overpower the troopers. Ark proved it with the troopers just now. It meant warriors were the next checkpoint.
Wiing! Wiing! Wiing!
The lightsabers headed towards him from three different directions! There were no gaps while they were attacking and they immediately changed to a defense stance afterwards. Therefore one technique was a must.
A vortex poured out from Ark’s sword. The attackers quickly retreated in a defense posture but they collapsed the moment the vortex hit them. Defense Break was a technique to deal with the opponent’s defense stance! His sword penetrated their chest. Ark clung tenaciously to them like a wolf’s fang was in the enemy’s neck and the attacker eventually disassembled into particles of light. Once 1 person was dealt with, the remaining 2 became disorganized.
“Sonic Sword! Defense Break!”
Ark relentlessly attacked over and over again. The light continuously crossed through the darkness. The result was that the remaining 2 turned into particles of light. It had been 10 minutes since he entered the training centre. He was breathing harshly from not being able to rest. And……Ark finally reached the last checkpoint. Then 3 more warriors appeared from the light! They were fights holding a lightsaber in one hand and a gun in the other. Troopers had emerged at the 1st checkpoint. And warriors holding swords were at checkpoint 2. Now even more difficult warriors had appeared at the 3rd checkpoint. The fighters were difficult opponents.
Wiing! Tutung! Wiing! Tutung!
If he avoided the bullets then he was hit by the sword, if he avoided the sword then he was hit by a bullet! There was no time to think with the 3 fighters attacking.
‘No, I can’t think! From now on it is instinct! I have no choice but to believe in my instincts!’
Ark realized this after being defeated 3 times. He had to attack without thinking. If he started to think then he would respond too slowly. So he was better off not thinking. He entrusted his body to his senses.
‘There is no way back. If I can’t win then I’ll die.’
Ark ignited his fighting spirit after he was pushed into a tight corner. This was different from fear. It was a manifestation of his will! All the nerves in his body started to become extremely sensitive. He stopped thinking. There was no need to think. He had fought them 3 times already. His body knew what to do before his head. His body flowed naturally and his sword reached his destination. It was faster than he could think!
The sound was of sword hitting flesh. His sword had used the exact timing to hit the vital spot!
At the same time, Ark’s sword stretched out like a fan. And the fan of swords struck the fighters. Ark narrowed the distance and struck the shaken fighter. He used Defense Break, Sonic Sword and then Galaxy Sword! The fighter that was hit with the continuous attacks changed into light particles. The initiative had returned to Ark.
‘I see it! I can see the movement of the fighters!’
His confidence surged upwards! That confidence made Ark’s sword even sharper. He also had the timing of their gunfire. Ark’s body moved before they even pulled the trigger and the bullet missed him by a large margin. His lightsaber moved before the bullet even hit the wall on the other side. And finally!
The lightsaber penetrated the neck of the fighter and it disappeared.
“Pant pant pant! Pant pant pant!”
Ark breathed in harshly and flopped down. Sweat seemed to flow from all the pores in his body. However his mind was surprisingly clear.
“I-I did it! I finally passed the 3rd stage!”
Delight surged inside his body. It he passed easily then he wouldn’t feel the pleasure of winning. Ark could only celebrate such a victory after the darkness. Then a light soared up from a pyramid in the centre. Then a helmet appeared from it! It looked like the helmet the Spartans would wear a long time ago.
“Don’t tell me this is…..?”
An information window popped up when Ark grabbed the helmet.
|-Elim’s Helmet (Unique)
Item Type: Helmet Wearer Restriction: Elim’s Heir
Defense: 35 Durability: 100/100
A helmet handed down to the Elim.
The Elim were mighty presences with a strong mentality that wouldn’t yield to any temptation while protecting the galaxy. This helmet was created by the Murat using ancient techniques in order to raise the Elim’s mentality even more.
When wearing this helmet, you will gain strong resistance to evil powers and it will be easier to switch to force. In addition, this helmet is equipped with a vast database that can automatically record battle scenes for analysis.
<Immunity to mental energy +50%, Force recovery rate +50%>
Special Option (Battlefield Memory): When a battle is recorded on the helmet, you can return to that battle and fight it again.
A unique helmet! Immunity to mental energy +50%……he had never fought against an Esper properly but he was sure it would have a huge effect. Force recovery rate also increased by 50%. But the even more significant thing was that this helmet was left by Xanax for his successor.
Ark wore the helmet. A black fog appeared in front of him and hazy images were shown. The image stored in the helmet, probably by Xanax, was of many planets in a constant orbit. They weren’t really planets. The planet shaped objects were moving around according to Ark’s hand. This was Xanax’s power. But Ark felt like he was the one moving the objects. It was like invisible strings were attached from his fingers to the objects. The objects moved according to the movement of Ark’s hand. After a while.
|-A new skill (Occupation Restricted ☆☆☆) has been learnt.
Psychokinesis (User, Active): You have gained the helmet left to you by Xanax after passing the training centre. After wearing Elim’s Helmet, you were able to catch a glimpse of Xanax’s power. One of the most basic uses of force is telekinesis techniques.
This is one of the basic ways of using force but it needs to be taught by a mentor in order to understand the way of utilizing it. Xanax was able to communicate the tips to you through Elim’s Helmet.
The success rate of this power will depend on your concentration.
<It is possible to move small objects at a relatively close distance using only mental power>
Force consumption: 50
A new skill! Ark never imagined that he would receive a skill like this. An image then appeared on his Nymphe. Letters similar to the ones in the logbook were written on the screen of his Nymphe.
–How wonderful, my heir.
This is proof that the one who inherited my will has passed the training centre. I pay my respects to your efforts. I left my helmet here to reward your hard work. I’m sorry but unfortunately this is all I can give you now.
I’m leaving on a trip now and there is no guarantee I will come back. Therefore I’ve laid down some necessary measures for my heir to continue the Elim’s mission if I don’t come back. Even I don’t know where I will travel yet. That’s why I won’t leave everything here.
I will be leaving for another place. A place where 5 planets become one light. I will leave a mark for you in the deep centre.
“As expected, it wasn’t in this room.”
He needed to go to some other places to find the remaining skills and Divine Artefacts. Ark left the training centre and explained this to the orb of light.
–A place where 5 planets become one light…..
The light orb blinked. It seemed to be loading.
–I don’t know the place you’re talking about. I don’t know what you mean by 5 planets becoming one light.
……The loading failed.
“Doesn’t that mean a place with the correct angle that 5 planets line up would look like one planet?”
–Those terms are too broad. Do you know how many planets there are in the galaxy? There are hundreds of celestial bodies that will periodically move into that arrangement. Will you go around to all those planets and ignorantly look for it? Do you know how many hundreds of planets there are?
–Xanax left a clue for his heir. There has to be a specific hint somewhere in his writing. You have to figure out what it is.
A frustrated sigh emerged from Ark’s mouth. He had expected that he could go search for Xanax’s relics after passing the training centre. Yet he kept on running into a war over and over again. If this was a general fantasy game then he could recklessly run around but this was Galaxian. The size meant he couldn’t run around blindly. Like the light orb said, he needed to figure out the clues left behind by Xanax so he could narrow the search range.
‘Does this mean I have to search for some more clues?’
Then Ark’s Nymphe vibrated and a voice message appeared.
–Ark-nim, it is Shein. There is someone at the sector entrance looking for Ark.
“For me? Who?”
–They said they would tell you directly.
Ark looked uncomfortably at the man in front of him. Ark had received a notification that someone was looking for him. But Ark only left the Elim’s Sanctuary after 20 minutes. In fact, this wasn’t the first time he got visitors. Ark was a user who received the titles of Beltana and Athamas’ Hero. Slayer, Leon and Melina were also in the middle of promoting sector S-20 while accomplishing their billboard duties. Therefore sometimes pioneers would come to S-20 just to see Ark. He thought it was just another pioneer requesting him so he saw no reason to hurry. He had wandered around after receiving the report. But the man waiting wasn’t ordinary. The man looking for Ark was surprisingly……
“I am Buldio, the section chief of the federation’s 1st internal affairs department.”
Someone from the federation’s administration! He was also from the internal affairs department. It was normal for the populace to cower when meeting someone with an official title like that. Ark was one of them as well. He had a number of reasons for that. Ark hadn’t legitimately become the administrator of S-20 but received it through a quest. The sector originally fell under the jurisdiction of the Domestic Affairs department. He received it thanks to Marquis Martin. Marquis Martin had exercised a little pressure to skip the intermediate examination process.
‘The internal affairs department investigates wrongdoings! Did he come to investigate me?’
Naturally he would feel uneasy. Ark asked with a deliberately unconcerned expression.
“What business does the section chief of the internal affairs department have with me…..?”
“In fact, I’m visiting with a request.”
Ark asked with a confused expression.
“What request would Section Chief-nim have for me?”
“I’d like you to find some people. No, I want you to rescue them.”
“I don’t understand what you’re saying.”
“Let me explain.”
Buldio nodded and said.
“Not long ago, a riot occurred at the orbit prison Stael and several prisoners escaped. Some staff from my division chased after the prisoners. A few days ago, they were finally located in the northernmost Harmadon constellation on a planet called Amara. However I lost contact with my staff members yesterday. The guys chasing the prisoners on Amara were caught in a trap and only one crew member who was waiting at a certain distance wasn’t caught.”
“How exciting. So?”
“Like I said, I’m asking for Ark-nim’s help.”
“Don’t your employees belong to the federation? Then shouldn’t the federation be in charge of the rescue operation?”
“There are a few problems.”
Buldio sighed and continued.
“Recapturing the prisoners was a top secret mission. The federation would be in a difficult situation if the media finds out that prisoners escaped from Stael. Only a small number of federation members know about the mission. Even if the pursuers are in a difficult situation, the federation can’t move.”
“But aren’t there special agents in the federation?”
“That’s why I came to Ark.”
“Ark-nim is a user who received the titles of Beltana and Athamas’ Hero. You gained the dame on Beltana in a way similar to a secret agent. So I thought Ark-nim would be qualified for this mission and I also received Marquis Martin’s recommendation.”
Ark’s face tightened after hearing about Marquis Martin’s recommendation. Ark was entwined quite closely with Marquis Martin after Beltana. Marquis Martin was a troublesome existence as well as a VIP customer for Ark. He gave difficult quests but the reward if successful couldn’t be compared to normal quests. S-20 was one such reward. The relationship with a useful NPC was give and take. Ark needed to maintain a good relationship with Marquis Martin. But he wasn’t always thankful to have a VIP customer. This was unofficial but it was still a quest from the federation. No, it was an informal quest so he might be able to extort more rewards. But a federation quest would take a lot of time.
‘My philosophy is to accept quests but…..’
Most quests could take its time being completed. But if he accepted this quest then he would need to fly to the fringes of the galaxy immediately. However Ark still needed to solve the clues left behind by Xanax as well as help S-20 grow. Leaving this place for a long time would be a burden. So Ark had every intention of politely declining.
“I received some achievements in the Beltana and Athamas war. However a lot of it was due to luck. I’m too inexperienced for a heavy task like this. So please look for other people. There should be qualified people other than me……”
“You can’t reject it.”
Buldio interrupted Ark’s words.
“Ark-nim is the reason why she is involved in this situation.”
He said it was Ark’s fault the federation employees were caught by prisoners? Ark was amazed by this outrageous remark.
“Do you remember the name Irina?”
Ark’s eyes popped out at the name.
“Irina? Then the employees caught by the prisoners……”
“She is a part of them. Ensign Irina is a member of my division. She incurred Commander Haman’s anger on Beltana and was sent to chase after the prisoners. She wanted to help a trapped prisoner so they thought she should be the one to recover the escaped prisoners of Stael.”
“Because of me…..!”
A moan emerged from Ark’s mouth. In fact, Ark hadn’t seen Irina since returning from Beltana. He never saw her in the hospital when his mother had regular check-ups. That’s why he was worried. Now Irina needed Ark’s help. Besides, she was in such a situation because of Ark. He didn’t know what happened but he couldn’t pretend ignorance anymore.
“What do I need to do?”
“Ensign Irina didn’t make a mistake.”
Buldio nodded with satisfaction.
“The airship I came on will take you to Tatuine. You will then travel from Tatuine to Amara. Once you arrive on Amara, one member of the pursuing team will be waiting for you. The name is Hajin. He’ll explain more about the situation.”
|<Rescue the Pursuers>
You have received a secret mission from the internal affairs department of the federation. The pursuing team chasing after the escaped prisoners from Stael have been caught in a trap and captured. Buldio was looking for a secret agent and Marquis Martin recommended you.
This mission is top secret. If the media gets wind of the Stael breakout incident then the federation will be placed in a difficult situation. In addition, the lives of the pursuing team can’t be guaranteed. Therefore you must sneak into Amara as a regular prisoner and meet a sergeant to quickly assess the situation and rescue them.
Irina’s name wasn’t mentioned in the quest window. In other words, Irina was something that Buldio thought would convince him. The ever evolving artificial intelligence mean the NPCs now thought like real users. Just like Lucifer……
But now wasn’t the time to think about that.
“I’ll get ready soon.”
Ark called Mellin and Hegel outside. They were the people Ark trusted with running S-20 while he was away. Ark left the management of S-20 to them and boarded Buldio’s airship.
1 airship crossed the sky. A young man looked up at the noise from the airship.
“An airship from the federation? That’s rare. Seeing the federation’s airship in a place like this.”
The young man watched the airship for a while before shaking his head.
“No, that doesn’t matter now.”
And he operated his Nymphe while looking around at the environment.
“Yes, there is it. That hill is Mt. Fargo. Where sector S-20 is location. Finally…..I finally get to meet Ark. Soon…..soon I can meet Ark!”
He ran through the dense jungle with an excited expression. The young man who had just received amnesty on Athamas was Rapid.