SPACE 9. No Time for a Break!
“Heh, what do you think?”
“There is definitely an impact.”
The main MC in charge of the Game Scoop news, Lee Ji-un nodded. And the elated man standing in front of him was the journalist called Sorin in Galaxian.
“It isn’t only an impact! Look at this! An entire planet disappeared then reappeared! In addition, all the spaceships that are gathered around the planet! The Galactic Federation spaceships that are only mobilized in wartime! There are hundreds of speedboats! This isn’t normal!”
Sorin excitedly pointed at the monitor. His USB was plugged into the monitor where an amazing scene was unfolding.
Hundreds of spaceships and speedboats were floating in outer space. It was just spectacular. But in the next moment, a hazy sphere started to emerge in front of where the spaceships were gathered. As it became more clear and crisp, it was surprisingly a planet! A planet had suddenly appeared.
“But there wasn’t any announcements from the Galactic Federation?”
“Yes, that is the key.”
Sorin replied while moving his fingers.
“I picked up suspicious movements from the Pentagon and traced the military operation to that area. It is dangerous to do practical training in that area because private spaceships can enter. I also checked and there wasn’t anything about military training. So I filmed this video with an optical telescope while hiding 8 light years away. As a journalist, the super telescope is perfect for me.”
“Do you know this planet?”
Lee Ji-un asked Sorin.
“Of course. I retrieved the coordinates and it turned out to be the planet Ikyullos.”
“Ikyullos? It makes sense since that is the original planet.”
“Yes, it is more surprisingly that Ikyullos is the planet that the Emperor of the Galactic Federation recently gave to a user.”
“A planet that is the territory of a user? Who?”
“It is Ark.”
“Who? Ark? Ark…..”
“Yes, the hero of Beltana. And he had the best achievements in the magic circle investigation not long ago. The compensation that Ark received at that time was Ikyullos. But then the planet seemed to have disappeared. And the area was declared a Galactic Federation military operation area. It isn’t confirmed yet but the armed forces of Marquis Martin were on Ikyullos. Nevertheless, there were no announcements from the Galactic Federation. How is it? Can you smell a scoop?”
“….Certainly. It is a wonderful story.”
Lee Ji-un nodded. However, he soon scratched his head with an awkward expression.
“But the problem is actually Ark.”
“Why is that a problem? Ark. Whether or not he is the same Ark from New World, the name is still well known. Doesn’t the speculation about whether he is ‘that’ Ark or not a relevant topic?”
Of course it was a relevant topic. There was some suspicion about whether he was the Ark of New World. The smell of a big secret. It was likely that the Galactic Federation was hiding an incident related to Ark. However, there was a problem involved with covering news about Ark.
“PD-nim has already expressed interest in Ark. Like I said, he is a relevant topic. However, every formal request has been turned down.”
“I don’t know the answer.”
Lee Ji-un replied with an annoyed look.
“There are some users who dislike exposing themselves but Ark’s extent is like a deep sea. He refused to even mosaic his face for a brief interview with the details agreed on in advance. Even if Jung Hye-sun would directly interview him.”
“Jung Hye-sun ssi? Hye-sun ssi would interview him?”
“It was Hye-sun ssi’s direct request.”
“….Yet he still refused?”
Sorin muttered with an absurd expression.
Jung Hye-sun was a female celebrity whose stock price was rising these days. Any user would be dying to meet her. Yet he refused? Sorin was a journalist affiliated with Game Scoop but he hadn’t even properly greeted Jung Hye-sun yet.
But that was different.
‘There is something strange no matter how much he hates to reveal himself. And the man who was involved with suspicious activities on Beltana and Ikyullos….’
He sensed something as a journalist. There was something here! While Sorin was busy thinking.
“This might be an opportunity.”
Lee Ji-un said with a grin after thinking for a moment.
“Huh? What are you saying?”
“Is your telescope still on?”
“We will surprise a grass snake. Stimulating an opponent might be bothersome but there is also something good about deliberately provoking an enemy.”
Sorin had ‘?’ pop into his head at Lee Ji-un’s words. What did his words mean? Sorin soon realized the meaning of Lee Ji-un’s words.
“The Galactic Federation is keeping the matter of planets disappearing a secret. I don’t know what they are trying to hide. We can only speculate about the reasons. Anyway, Ikyullos is Ark’s planet. What will happen if we reveal this?”
“Then of course we will need to apologize for the situation.”
Lee Ji-un stood up.
“Write an article in an organized manner. I have to talk with the PD. The title of the article will organize this week’s Game Scoop News. We will broadcast your video after Ark contacts us.”
“Yes! I understand!”
At the same time, Sorin’s fingers danced on the keyboard.
-The mystery of the disappearing planet!
A planet that disappeared suddenly appeared again a few days ago!
There were suspicious movements in the Galactic Federation fleet before the planet appeared again!
And there was a private meeting between the Galactic Federation army, Ark and Marquis Martin.
Is the missing planet a natural phenomenon? An unknown space monster? Or maybe the Galactic Federation were secretly testing an experimental weapon? What is the Galactic Federation’s reason behind keeping silent?
A shocking video that will appear on the Game Scoop news!
Check out this week’s Game Scoop!
The truth is there….
….The truth was literally ‘out there.’
Ark scratched his head.
“What is it? What happened on Ikyullos?”
“I don’t know yet.”
Marquis Martin shook his head.
“This incident still hasn’t been reported to the Galactic Federation. We’ve defeated a huge Nakuma. In fact, I’m not sure if it is even appropriate to categorize it as a Nakuma. But we have to try and reveal it. A clue might be obtained.”
“You mean the inscriptions on the slab?”
“Yes, a military investigation team will be dispatched to restore the inscription. It is still impossible to decipher the letters written on it but we might be able to find some clues. Therefore I have something to discuss with you. The investigation team wants a research centre dedicated to studying the inscription to be established on Ikyullos.”
Ark has a worried expression on his face.
Once again, Ark was planning to develop Ikyullos. And he had already secured investment funds to develop it. But now there would be a military institute? Of course, Ark wanted to know more about the details.
It was obvious that Ikyullos had disappeared completely. He would be upset if something happened during its development. He would be screwed if it reverted back to the missing state. It wasn’t 100% certain that the Eisyeon Nakuma was the cause of the incident.
He couldn’t guarantee the same thing wouldn’t happen again. So Ark wanted some guarantee of Ikyullos’ safety. If he opposed the military’s research institute then there might be a setback in Ikyullos’ development.
Marquis Martin laughed and shook his head.
“That won’t happen. The nature of this event won’t be declared to the public. But the controlled area will extend 10 kilometres around the inscription. You can take care of the other areas however you like. There will be no setback in the planet’s development.”
“Then it doesn’t matter.”
Ark quickly replied to Marquis Martin’s words. He didn’t care as long as there was no setback in the development.
Originally a planet belonged to the lord so the lord would have to take all responsibility. It meant that Ikyullos going missing was the lord’s responsibility. In addition, Ikyullos was adjacent to the western border of the Galactic Federation where space pirates often frequented.
It would place a considerable burden on the owner. Of course, he could request the assistance of the Galactic Federation troops when attacked by enemy pirates. However, the lord would have to block the attack until the troops arrived. The lord would suffer damage in the meantime.
This was the reason why planets in the Galactic Federation required defenses. Especially if it was a planet on the border. Before starting the full scale development, Ark would need to invest in defense facilities.
However, it was a different story if there was a military research institute. It was a secret laboratory that would require defense facilities. Regular Galactic Federation troops would also be coming and going.
In other words, it was a type of Galactic Federation base. The reason to spend money on defenses would disappear. That wasn’t the only benefit of the research institute. But it was still in the preparatory stages.
“Okay. You can proceed.”
He nodded towards Marquis Martin who continued talking.
“The military will rush to build the research institute. Of course, the Star Gate is also part of that. As you know, originally the Star Gate on Ikyullos was only going to connect to S-20. But it will be a different story if there is a research institute. As well as S-20, it will also be connected to the major cities and 12 planets on the western border. It requires a large construction cost but I have an excuse to squeeze it into the budget.”
This was one of the benefits derived from the research institute.
“I will contact you once the Star Gate is completed. It won’t take that long.”
Ark quickly got up after clearing the situation.
“Then shall I take a look?”
“The talk has only just ended. Are you busy?”
“I’m always busy.”
“Yes, it is good for the young to be busy. When thinking about it, this is the age where you can’t relax if you want to live comfortably later on. A mountain of work can pile up after being gone for a few days. The Noblesse was destroyed so I need to submit a letter of apology.”
Even a noble was reprimanded when a cruiser was destroyed. Ark was now a noble. Despite that, he was the type to still pick up junk metal from a Nakuma.
“Anyway, I also can’t afford to be gone for a long time. But before you leave, please stop by the break room. Fay will be waiting.”
Ark made an uncomfortable expression. Marquis Martin laughed and continued.
“Don’t look like that. He is waiting to give you something.”
“Give me something?”
“Ha, your eyes have become like bright lanterns. You are originally this type of person. Anyway, this is the result of your help. You won’t suffer a single loss. The compensation came from the military budget.”
The important thing was that it didn’t come from his pocket. Ark was OK with just receiving! He hadn’t realized there would be a reward so Ark’s eyes glittered.
“So don’t hate Fay too much.”
Marquis Martin said as he passed by.
Ark turned to face Marquis Martin who had a bittersweet expression on his face.
“Fay had a son. He was an outstanding warrior similar to Fay and perhaps he would’ve received the title of hero later. But he was too young. He died in a border chase with the Rama warriors. Perhaps Fay sees his son in you. His son who didn’t get a chance to receive the title of hero. His mind was probably anxious with worry. So I hope you say some warm words when meeting him.”
Marquis Martin laughed as he saw Ark’s hesitation.
“Anyway, it was intentional but….I enjoyed it quite a bit.”
“I wasn’t that bad.”
Ark replied with a grin. And he headed to the break room after leaving Marquis Martin’s office. A significant number of soldiers were gathered in the break room. Ark was looking for Fay when Hoksullo ran up to him.
“Ah Hoksullo, have you seen Captain Fay?”
“Here I am.”
He heard an answer from behind him. And Fay approached him with a frown. He skimmed Ark with sour eyes and said.
“You are someone who really bothers Marquis-nim. In addition, there is also the supply staff. Why do I have to look at such an unpleasant person? Anyway, there is a bad smell. Well it can’t be helped. Hey, take it. I honestly don’t believe you are entitled to compensation but this incident needs to stay quiet.”
Fay threw a card at him.
|-<Military Scrips: 4,000 has been received.|
4,000 military scrips!
He had previously received 1,000 military tokens when rescuing Irina. At that time, Ark had rescued Irina alone.
On the other hand, this time there were dozens of people. Nevertheless, the reward was 4 times the previous compensation. It was obviously due to Marquis Martin’s position in the military. But personally, Irina was a million times more important than Marquis Martin!
However, this was not the only reward.
“These white ores appeared when the Eisyeon Nakuma disappeared. The rescue team found it in the underground space behind the slab. Some of them were sent to researchers as study materials but Marquis-nim also packed some shares. Resources obtained from space monsters belong to the person hunting. You fought in the battle so you are eligible for this much.”
The Soul Stone dropped from the Nakuma. But Ark had already obtained a Soul Stone. He had quickly packed 4 Soul Stones before the crew members could see! He also obtained a cloak that hadn’t been identified yet. Now he felt slightly sorry for packing 5 more.
Yet Ark didn’t refuse it. Ark quickly grabbed the Soul Stone contained in a stone box. Then Fay caught the back of the box and shook his head.
“Hey, don’t you have something to say?”
“Huh? Something to say….”
It came out of nowhere. Then Marquis Martin’s words suddenly flashed through his head. Fay had a son. Fay might’ve acted cold to Ark on Ikyullos but it was his way of expressing worry.
So he was asked to say some warm words. He should say something, even if it was small. However, he couldn’t think of anything to say. Ark scratched his head and said.
Fay flinched back. His reaction to Ark’s answer….
“What is this brat talking about? Do you want to die? Huh? Be killed? No, I will kill you! Come out! I’ll turn you into a beehive!”
“Wah! Captain Fay-nim, calm down!”
….Hoksullo and several nearby soldiers tried to calm him down.
Thanks to that, Ark pouted with an embarrassed expression. Fay threw the box at Ark with an annoyed look.
“That’s it! Get lost!”
|-<Soul Stone x5> has been received.|
Still, he managed to receive the Soul Stones.
“Hyung-nim, please understand. Captain Fay-nim actually said before you came….”
Hoksullo came up to Ark and whispered. Then Fay burst out angrily.
“Master Sergeant Hoksullo!”
“Huh? Yes! Captain Fay-nim!”
“What is my rank?”
“Didn’t you hear? Stand among the rest of the soldiers in rank!”
Fay shouted harshly. There was a ringing sound as 100 soldiers stood up. Fay walked forward and sneaked a glance at Ark.
“Take a look everyone! This man is Ark!”
The eyes of the soldiers were concentrated on Ark at the end of Fay’s words. There were some soldiers who didn’t know Ark. The soldiers started to murmur as they gazed at Ark. Then Fay’s voices rang out again.
“You might of heard about this! He is Beltana’s Hero! However, I did not admit it! And I won’t recognize it even in the future!”
‘This guy, does he really need to say those words?’
Ark scratched his head at Fay’s attitude. He didn’t have any attachment to fame but it didn’t feel good to be ignored like this. His face also became flushed as 100 eyes gazed at him.
However, he didn’t care about the issues regarding Fay. Just as Ark was about to step out of the room.
“It doesn’t matter what other people say! I know only one Ark! A comrade who went through a battle of life and death with me! And a warrior I am willing to entrust my life to! Ark can be proud of the fact that he saved Marquis-nim! And I want you to pay homage to a fellow warrior of the Galactic Federation! Does anyone object?”
“Good, everyone salute!”
Fay’s voice resounded through the break room.
At the same time, the 100 soldiers organized themselves in rows of two. The heels of their military shoes made sharp contact with the ground and they saluted.
“Congratulations on your safe return! Sir Ark!
|-The <Unknown Planet> quest has been completed.
Quest reward: Experience + 50,000. Galactic Federation contribution + 5,000 Adventure +2,000
<Fame among the Galactic Federation soldiers has increased by 500>
|-Your level has risen!|
And the messages that rose.
He was reminded of something Fay had said something in the underground space. Certainly….Ark was unable to see some things in front of his eyes.
“Pant pant pant! Pant pant pant!”
A dense fog covered a jungle. A woman was gasping for breath.
Her name was Kaya. She hadn’t said it but she was a user interested in Rapid. Don’t ask her why. She just liked him since she first saw him.
It was the reason why she jumped to go to this place. Not long ago, she participated in a quest with Rapid at S-20. She thought it would narrow the distance between her and Rapid. However, Rapid misunderstood her interest as concern for Ark.
She regretted it a lot after that. But Rapid just acted like nothing had happened. In order to reconcile, even though Rapid seemed unaware, she overheard that Rapid was going to rescue the Silver Hand.
She followed secretly on an airship.
Situation 1: Rapid was in danger → Help → His appreciation would significantly rise!
Situation 2: There was no danger → A casual encounter → Think about a relationship → Appreciation would rise slightly!
She needed to create one of these situations! The key point of the operation was to increase appreciation! She thought it was a perfect plan.
Thus she tracked the Silver Star and entered Vesta’s dungeon!
She thought that this opportunity to chase Rapid….everything became twisted. The world that Rapid headed towards was completely different from what he was imagining.
‘It is strange! There is something odd!’
Kwa kwa kwa kwa!
There was a deafening noise as the airship shook. Ark fixed his gaze to the dashboard. And he grabbed the stumbling Irina. It seemed like a scene with a nice atmosphere but unfortunately, the situation meant Ark and Irina couldn’t produce such an atmosphere.
Irina turned her head and shouted.
“Sergeant Hajin, report!”
“I don’t understand the situation! The windows and cameras have been covered by them! I can’t control it! At this rate, there is a danger of crashing!”
“Dammit! This is….”
Ark bit his lips as he looked at the monitor. Just like Hajin said, the monitors only showed a black screen. They weren’t broken. All of the external cameras weren’t functioning due to the creatures blocking them.
It wasn’t just the monitor functioning. They couldn’t manoeuvre the ship so there was a risk of crashing into something.
Why was Ark and Irina suddenly in this situation?
Some time ago, Ark had completed a great task. Ark had been annoyed. It took more time than he thought but he had resolved the problem on Ikyullos. And he left the headquarters after receiving Fay’s warm (?) rewards.
There were no problems up to here. There was just one problem! Once again, Ark was a busy user.
He decided to check the situation at S-20 and the progress that Jay and Tori made on the blueprints. And he also needed to prepare to launch the development of the investment fund. In addition, he had loot that required Item Analysis!
Just like Marquis Martin, Ark had a mountain of work. Therefore, Ark needed the Silver Star to return to S-20.
It was that part that irritated Ark. It was natural for Ark to contact Rapid so that they could return to S-20. It had been 4 days so it was natural for him to think it was over. Yet when he checked, they still hadn’t returned to S-20.
So he tried to call Rapid.
The phone call didn’t connect. It wasn’t just Rapid. Ferguson, A, B and Kurakan. He couldn’t contact them in the game.
‘What? These bastards? Why can’t I contact them? What is going on?’
They hadn’t returned and contacting them didn’t work. Ark wanted to track them down. The situation was frustrating but the Silver Star was the only spaceship Ark had.
‘Fortunately, it seems like the Silver Star hasn’t experienced a problem but….’
The Silver Star was Ark’s ship. Even if other users sailed on it, the owner would receive a message if a serious problem occurred. He didn’t receive any messages so it meant the Silver Star was safe.
‘By the way, why can’t I contact them? No matter what happens in the dungeon, shouldn’t I be able to contact them even in reality? It is irritating that they’re not picking up my telephone call. However, I can’t just wait for them to contact me.’
Ark didn’t have that type of personality. In the end, he decided to go there directly. But it wasn’t an easy task.
Rapid had been heading towards the dungeon in the Outlands hundreds of kilometres away from Sidellin. He could there in a few hours riding the air board but Ark didn’t know the exact location of the dungeon that the Silver Hand found.
He couldn’t search the entire area with just his air board.
“Do you need a ride?”
Then Irina made a suggestion. In fact, the first thing Ark did after exiting the Tatuine headquarters was to meet Irina.
After conveying Ark’s SOS message to Earl Weston’s gleet, Irina returned to Tatuine with him and planned to leave him at S-20. However, Irina suggested accompanying him after hearing Ark’s situation.
But Ark couldn’t just accept it.
“Huh? But Irina-nim…..”
“I have to face disciplinary action for leaving my station.”
“So because of that….”
Irina burst out laughing at Ark’s expression.
“Hohoho. Just kidding. It is true that I deviated from my station but the result ended up helping Marquis Martin. But I can’t go back there after leaving my position so I was given a holiday as a type of reward. So I thought I would take this opportunity to see Ark-nim’s S-20.”
“I am grateful for your help but….”
“Then let’s go. I’ve been a little bored since the magic circle investigation. In the meantime, there hasn’t been a chance to play the game together. I will take this opportunity to adventure with Ark-nim.”
“It might be dangerous.”
“I’m tough and also a hero of the Galactic Federation.”
Irina replied with a cute smile. His mood improved instantly! It made his day!
‘These bastards! If they’re making me worry about something small then they will be dead!’
Ark made a promise to punish them.
Anyway, Ark got on Irina’s ship and headed straight to Vesta. It wasn’t hard to find that dungeon that the Silver Hand disappeared into. Just like Rapid did, he used the optical scanners to find the container trucks and soon discovered a cave covered with vines.
“I don’t see the Silver Star. Did it enter?”
“It seems like it. The Silver Star is displayed on my Nymphe whenever it lands. Based on the message sent in the mail by the Silver Hand, communication doesn’t work well inside the dungeon. So we should look inside that dungeon.”
“Then we will enter.”
Irina’s ship entered the cave. And it vertically descended a huge hole for 100 metres until it angled like a cave. The incident took place when they were moving into the cave.
“Captain-nim, movement is detected!”
Hajin who was sitting in the cockpit reported with confusion. All of a sudden, the sound of wings was heard from every side as a huge number of black objects filled the cave.
The identity of the objects were bats! Bats 1 metre in size flew down from the ceiling and covered the spaceship. And….
“Captain-nim, at this rate….”
Hajin shouted while grabbed the joystick.
The cave was wide enough for the spaceship to enter. In addition, the bats covered the cameras and windows so there was zero visibility. The automatic control system malfunctioned and caused the spaceship to shake violently from side to side.
There was no guarantee that the spaceship wouldn’t hit the wall!
‘In order to escape from this situation….’
“Turn off the automatic control system!”
Ark raised his head and exclaimed. Hajin flinched but Irina just nodded.
“Follow Ark-nim’s instructions!”
“Increase the nozzle of the right wing to the maximum angle! Switch the nozzle of the left wing to the maximum downward angle! The angle of the right wing is 45 degrees! The angle of the left stern is 45 degrees! Report as soon as the adjustments are made!”
“Right 45 degrees….left 45 degrees….done!”
“Maximum output to the engine!”
Flames emerged from both sides of the spaceship at the same time. The spaceship shook violently as the engines fired in different directions.
Marquis Martin had used this method when the tentacle had wound around the Noblesse. Marquis Martin used the fluctuations to loosen the tentacles.
He was able to confirm the effect immediately. Shortly after the spaceship started shaking, the monitors started clearing up. In other words, the bats were falling off!
“Now! Aim at the with the automatic cannons and rush forward!”
Kwa kwa kwa kwa! Kwa kwa kwa kwa!
Irina’s spaceship, the Iron Lady shot ammunition everywhere as it rushed forward.
And after a fierce battle that was a one-sided massacre, the spent 10 minutes crossing the cave and arrived at a huge space.
Before they entered the cave, the landscape had been a lush jungle. This place didn’t seem like it was underground. But the rocks at the top made it clear that this was an underground world.
Now he could find out immediately. The Iron Lady shown a light in the underground space but it was difficult to see more than 50 metres of the terrain. And there was no reason to fly.
-Check the location of the Silver Star. The distance is 30 meters. Coordinates 128….
Ark switched the Nymphe to receive the signal of the Silver Star. Finding the Silver Star was his first purpose. Despite the fog covered the underground world, he soon caught the signal of the Silver Star. The distance was only 30 metres!
‘Rapid must’ve landed quickly because of the fog.’
“Ark-nim, we will land there.”
Syu syu syu syu syu!
Hajin landed the Iron Lady at the point where the signal was caught. And Hajin, Camel and Irina accompanied him once they landed. While the rest were on vacation, Ark and Irina followed the signal of the Silver Star through the dense fog.
Ark stopped and manipulated his Nymphe.
-The Silver Star is running in remote execution mode. Locked status…recognized the top level admin…okay. Unlock device with remote control mode, stealth mode off….
The subsequent messages flashed as the Silver Star emerged in the fog. Irina muttered as she checked the Silver Star.
“You’ve turned off stealth state.”
“Yes, it is strange.”
“The crew arrived here with the Silver Star as their only means of transportation. The weapons should be activated to defend the base. I can’t understand why the Silver Star was only left in stealth mode without anyone defending it.”
At least one of them should be waiting nearby. Other people wouldn’t do this but Rapid is in charge. However, I can’t feel anyone around the Silver Star. I can’t think of a reason.
Ark said as he looked around.
All of a sudden, there was the sound of trees parting from side to side. There were also continuous thumps in the fog.
Kung! Kung! Kung! Kung!
TO BE CONTINUED