SPACE 2. Beyond the Crisis
The carapace tightened seamlessly. Steam appeared in the gaps and the carapace gradually separated. The shell that separated from the body rotated and folded like a puzzle into a hexagonal object the size of a small shield. The hexagonal object was drawn into a warped space. Then a man could be seen from within the steam.
“Pant pant pant, pant pant pant!”
The man sat on the ground and gasped for breath.
“Pant pant pant! Dammit…..pant pant pant! This is the limit……”
The battered man who looked at the wild snow storm with blank eyes was Ark.
“Pant pant pant, then……my decision was a bit……”
Ark murmured with a regretful expression. Now long ago, Ark had defeated 2 Rama warriors. He had experienced numerous trials and errors after starting Galaxian approximately 2 months ago. He was too accustomed to the previous game and hadn’t adapted to the new game, with his pride as a legendary gamer causing he to suffer and make many mistakes. This was the reason he was on Beltana. Therefore Ark became bleak. It was similar to someone born in a first world country encountering a wall for the first time. Of course, he managed to resolve the issue in his own way. But he had been asked by the government to start Galaxian so he had lost confidence. He was lost in despair when forcibly drafted and sent to Beltana.
‘Now it is different!’
He would starve and die without Iridium. Even if he someone managed to obtain food, the prisoners death rate was 80%! Most prisoners conscripted like Ark found the environment of Beltana so hopeless that some users even gave up the game. But Ark had persisted. He found the solution to his hunger through Dig and organized the Royal Guards and mobilized them on the battle field to increase his survival rate. However, the decisive thing was what he found in the pyramid. Ark had struggled for 10 days in the pyramid and obtained a jackpot. It was how Ark was able to beat the 2 level 40 Rama warriors. And all of Ark’s misgivings were gone. He wouldn’t give up just because of some hardships. No, it was an opportunity to become stronger! Hardship was a process towards growth. However, the triumphant feeling was very brief.
Curses emerged from Ark’s mouth after the battle ended. It was because of a message that appeared on his Nymphe.
|-The Nymphe has connected to the bike’s system.
The check has confirmed that there is serious damage to the engine and battery. The central function of the bike has been 80% destroyed and it won’t work anymore.
At first Ark had been anxious when the Rama warrior first caught up. Before entering the pyramid, Ark wouldn’t have been strong enough to defeat level 40 Rama warriors. And there were two of them! So Ark gave up on the battle and wanted a way to escape them.
“Then…..if I hadn’t destroyed the bikes when fighting the Rama warrior……”
Severe regret surged like a tidal wave. In the end there was nothing he could do about losing the bikes. Ark didn’t have the mechanic skill so he couldn’t repair it. However, he couldn’t return to the Rama base again. The Rama base was currently like a stirred bee hive thanks to Ark’s previous actions. Returning there would be like suicide. There was only one choice remaining.
“I have to continue onwards.”
At this point, he only had 4 food remaining. The distance to the federation’s base was 444 km. If he combined the characters 4 times then it was 4444! It was like the number was saying ‘Huhuhu. Give up. There is no future.’ It was a number that made his motivation fall.
‘As expected, it is impossible. I have to walk more than 400 km with only 4 foods left.’
The result was as obvious as ‘1+1=2.’ But he had no choice. Unless a miracle happened, Ark’s chances of survival was 0.0001%. However, if he gave up then he would 100% die. At the same time, experience equivalent to 13 levels would fly away. He could either wait and commit suicide and continued and die! A miracle could happen to those who didn’t give up.
“Bah! Don’t make me laugh! I’ll just change the number!”
Ark swallowed a piece of food and stood up. Ark’s satiety increased by 30% to 50% and he quickly changed the 4444 to 3444 km. And he marched, marched, marched through the snow storm!
|-Your satiety has fallen to 50% and you are in a ‘hungry’ state.
<If the satiety decreases below 49% then you still start to receive a penalty to your stats. Please eat some food>
Umul umul. If he chewed the food while walking then his satiety would increase to 50%.
|-The battle suit Hyper Drone’s mana has been 100% charged.|
Pa pa pa pa! Pa pa pa pa!
If the battle suit was charged then he would immediately take it out and ran quickly. Ark spent two days marching like this without any breaks. Therefore he managed to move 150 km after the second day.
“Pant pant pant! U-unbelievable!”
Ark felt despair as he was confronted with the reality. The direction and destination was shown on the Nymphe’s GPS. Ark headed towards the federation’s base after leaving the pyramid but it wasn’t marked on the map. The other day, Ark had only been caught by the Rama warrior because a crevasse had blocked his way. And the same situation occurred over and over. This time it wasn’t a crevasse but a snow covered mountain. A snow covered mountain was blocking his path. It was that high but the mountain was covered in snow and ice. It was like a wall for Ark who was already depleted of strength. He could turn around and go a different path but……
|-Your satiety had fallen to 20% and you are in a ‘starving’ state.
<Your stats have fallen by 50% and you will die if satiety reaches 0%>
“Up to here……”
In fact, the problem wasn’t the snow covered mountain. All his food had disappeared while moving the 150 km. He had no choice but to watch his satiety fall. The run with his battle suit was his last struggle. Now the battle suit was also gone while charging. Once the shell wrapping his body disappeared, the chill he couldn’t fell surged. It was difficult to maintain his body temperature while starving. Besides, his stats had fallen by a lot so his movements felt heavier.
“There is still 290 km until the federation’s base……”
There was also a huge mountain interrupting him. Now the answer had appeared. The miracle didn’t happen. There was no hope. Ark back up and muttered in an empty voice.
“There is no use in struggling anymore. I don’t have anything left. Here…..it is the end.”
The -50 degrees storm enveloped Ark’s body in an instant. His eyelids became white and frozen. Darkness loomed.
He opened his eyes. He hurriedly jumped up and looked around. It was so dark it was difficult to discern the area in front of him. The large, black eyes blinked a few times and adjusted to the dim environment. The first thing he saw was a rugged wall. The rough walls reflected the interior. And there were iron bars across the window. The iron bars were red from the rust. A sigh flowed from his mouth as he looked at the iron window.
“Phew, it was just a dream.”
The person wiping the sweat off his brow was a hamster! Once again, the reason Ark was sent to Beltana was because of the ‘federation museum theft incident’ that shook up Nephalim. But this incident wasn’t committed by Ark alone. His accomplice, not the mastermind was…..the mastermind was the hamster Tori! Ark fell for Tori’s incitement and became involved in the stealing event. Anyway……
“Why did I have that dream all of a sudden? And I clearly just emerged from a dream……”
Tori scratched his head and revisited his memory. A land covered with ice and a raging snow storm appeared in his dreams. The place was so cold his body trembled just remembering it. One man had collapsed in the midst of the snow storm. The corpse was being buried by snow! Surprisingly the identity of the body was……
“Ark! It was undoubtedly Ark.”
He had forgotten about Ark for the last two months.
“That Ark bastard, wasn’t he sent to Beltana as punishment? Beltana was a place where the weather was -50 degrees and a storm had been raging for a fortnight. He could only imagine the cold. At any rate, that guy was unlucky. Who would like being drafted to a place like that? So why did Ark appear in his dream all of a sudden? Dreaming of that Ark guy of all people…..wait? Perhaps…..this dream……”
Tori trailed off as he suddenly raised his head. Once again, Ark wasn’t the only one affected by the museum theft. Ark was conscripted because he was a pioneer so he could revive through the Fairy. Meanwhile, Tori wasn’t a pioneer so he had his business and all his assets confiscated. He was also imprisoned for two years in the Stael prison.
‘Well it is still better than Ark but…..’
Prison life wasn’t comfortable. The prisoners were given free meals from the federation but it wasn’t that easy to receive. They only had 6 hours to sleep while the rest of the day was spent working. They only received one free food when the quota was fulfilled. The Space Food was made through processed space bugs. It was the most painful thing for a vegetarian who only ate acorns and sunflower seeds. He still ate but his weight had decreased by 10 kg in two months. His formerly thick stomach that he had been proud of was no slender and shabby.
‘I’d rather die than spend 2 years here!’
Tori made up his mind.
‘I have to escape!’
He decided to escape from Stael! Of course, Stael wasn’t that easy to escape even if the hamster made up his mind. Stael was the name of a space prison that orbited Istana. The security was so perfect that no one had managed to escape over the past decades. However, Tori had a plan to break through the weak point. During the last two months, Tori had participated in the forced labour and ate meat while proceeding with his plan. And now there was only a few days left before it could proceed! Then he had a dream where Ark died.
“It is a lucky dream!”
Tori’s fingers tapped as he laughed. Tori believed the cause of his circumstances was Ark. It wasn’t a baseless idea. If Ark hadn’t caused the unexpected explosion then Tori would be swimming in gold. It was 100% because of Ark that Tori was in jail.
“Hihihihi, that’s right. Seeing Ark freezing to death is definitely a lucky dream. Having this dream several days before carrying out my escape plan is indeed lucky! Hihihihi, I’ve had a premonition. The revelation of heaven made it clear that my plan will succeed.”
Tori chuckled and made a lot of noise.
A rough voice shook the room. Tori flinched and turned his head. 10 pairs of eyes stared at Tori in the darkness. The federation wasn’t merciful enough to give prisoners a solitary cell. One room had 10 prisoners living together. This was the biggest reason Tori was determined to escape. Similar species were placed together in order to avoid incidents. Tori was a hamster and the official name for his species was the Tiny Clan. But normally the Tiny Clan were well behaved so there were no other hamsters in Stael. Therefore Tori was classified as part of several common animal aliens……
“Why is this rodent being so noisy?”
The prisoner with yellow eyes and exposed fangs was the Katz clan. They were a cat type alien. A rodent and a cat…..
It was impossible for there to be a friendly relationship. Ever since Tori entered Stael, part of his daily routine was to be beaten up by the Katz.
‘It is impossible! Staying with these guys for two years? I’d rather die!’
Tori was also engaged in a fierce struggle for survival. Tori sweated and started stuttering as 10 set of eyes stared at him.
“I-I had a dream……”
“Nobody cares about your dream.”
The biggest cat scratched his head. Then he yawned and said to his colleagues.
“That rodent woke us up from our pleasurable sleep. Hey, that guy still doesn’t seem to understand. He seems to need more education.”
“W-wait a minute! I-I was wrong! S-save me!”
“Is anyone being killed?”
The cat laughed.
“We’re just playing. Ya, he’s noisy so cover his mouth!”
A cat ran up and wound a blanket around Tori. Once the blanket was fully wrapped, the 10 cats started beating him up. It was a situation of bullying going on in the universe! The 21st century social problem was still occurring in the 24th century.
‘Ack! D-dammit! This is because of that Ark bastard! He should go to hell!’
Tori hurled curses at Ark as he was turned into a bloody rice cake.
The snow storm was still swirling on the frigid planet of Beltana. On the outskirts of the federation base, there was a man turned to stone from the snow storm. With grey skin and black eyes, he was the Grey known as Hegel.
Hegel murmured in a low voice.
“He’s not here yet?”
An old man approached with a bittersweet expression. He was the highest ranked prisoner in the Royal Guards after Ark called Mellin. Mellin looked at Hegel and said.
“Of course I’m hoping that Ark returned. I didn’t properly realize it when he was with us at the barracks but Ark is the centre of our group. But I realized it after Ark was gone. His presence wasn’t that simple. He gave us both comfort and hope. All the members are sincerely wishing that he returns.”
Mellin sighed and shook his head.
“But Ark has already been gone for 12 days. Even if it was different from Berad’s testimony and he somehow managed to survive, it has been 12 days. I’ve been here for 1 year. I’ve seen a lot of situations. I’ve seen many people who gave up resurrecting and chose death. Maybe Ark……”
“That is impossible!”
Someone interrupted Mellin’s words. Mellin and Hegel flinched and looked at the group around him. They were Berad, Ralph, Kalliben and the other members of the Royal Guards. The Royal Guards looked different from their appearances 12 days ago. They didn’t have to worry about food when Ark was there. However, the circumstances changed after Ark disappeared. Their food supply relied on Ark so there were serious problems after he was gone. Valencia also began to disturb the Royal Guards when they were finding the Iridium. The food situation of the Royal Guards worsened and they died many times of starvation during the last 12 days. Therefore the Royal Guards returned to their previous zombie like appearances…..
“Hyung-nim wouldn’t desert us!”
Berad nodded at Ralph’s head and said.
“Yes, I still remember the last time I saw Hyung-nim. Hyung-nim held the body of the enemy and threw himself into the crevasse! He has the fortitude of a warrior! Hyung-nim wouldn’t abandon us when we’re like blood brothers to him!”
“He might have some difficulties but Hyung-nim will definitely return!”
“Hyung-nim even laughed and took a bullet for me on the battlefield! I believe in Hyung-nim!”
“Me too! One month. No, I will even wait 1 year for Hyung-nim!”
Mellin looked at them with shocked eyes. Then he shed tears from his wrinkled eyes and said.
“Ugh! Y-yes. Yes. My heart feels the same as well. It is like you said. It is impossible for Ark to desert us.He will return no matter what. I believe it. Now I need to gather my courage. I’ll wait for him without losing hope. We are Ark’s Royal Guards.”
“Oh, Grandfather Mellin!”
The Royal Guards clamoured as they ran up to Mellin. They embraced each other and shed a fountain of tears.
Suddenly the Fairy in the central square vibrated and emitted a light.
“There hasn’t been any battles for the last few days so why is the Fairy activating? Perhaps?”
“Hyung-nim! Hyung-nim has returned!”
The Royal Guards looked at the Fairy with expectant eyes after hearing Hegel’s words. Meanwhile the light from the Fairy produced the shape of a person like a 3D printer. The biological tissue overlapped over molecules and formed a person!
Cupa was a member of the Royal Guards. The expectant looks on the members’ faces turned disappointed.
“You……did you starve and die again?”
“I was hungry so I sat down and ended up dying.”
Cupa said while looking at his thin stomach with a melancholy expression. In fact, there were two other aliens in the Royal Guards apart from Hegel. Kalliben was from the Unkara clan and resembled a human but with 3 eyes. The 3 eyes of the Unkara clan meant they had excellent eyesight and were a species specialized in sniping. And Cupa was from the Tobil clan and his size was twice the size of humans. Their large frame meant the Tobil clan’s energy consumption was twice as much! While the other members had died three or four times, Cupa had died 8 times from starvation. As soon as Cupa was resurrected, he grabbed his growling stomach and was in tears.
“I-I’m hungry. Am I going to die again?”
The members looked at Cupa and sighed painfully.
“If only we could definitely know whether Hyung-nim died or not……”
Ark raised his upper body.
“I won’t! I can’t die like this!”
He had no other methods and no hope. Ark had tried to give up and humbly accepted death but……
“How did I get this far? I can’t just die like this!”
His regret at the thought of dying exploded into anger. If he was going to die then he should’ve just died when he exited the pyramid. But he had grabbed his stomach and walked for several days through the storm. If he died then it would’ve been a waste of all that time! Ark shook his head wildly and forcibly woke up his body.
“Live! I’m going to live! Even if I have to hit dirt!”
Ark took out his shovel with a spellbound expression. And he started shovelling like crazy.
Pa pa pa pa! Pa pa pa pa!
The dirt flew around as he continued digging.
|-You have discovered Iridium!|
It was a huge chunk of Iridium. It was approximately 3~4 kg so such a huge chunk of Iridium was a jackpot.
“Dammit, I don’t need a chunk of stone!”
But Ark couldn’t throw it away. 100 grams of Iridium was worth 10 copper worth of Space Food so 1 kg of Iridium was worth 1 silver of food. The actual value of 3~4 kg wasn’t just 3~4 silver. The only way for prisoners to get food was to find Iridium. It was worth as much of their lives on Beltana. But Ark couldn’t eat it so it had no meaning to him now. Ark’s bag was also full of the Zaliman ore worth 2~3 gold. There was no point putting the Iridium worth 3~4 silver in his bag, It was also the same afterwards.
Pa pa pa pa! Pa pa pa pa!
|-You have discovered Iridium!|
Pa pa pa pa! Pa pa pa pa!
|-You have discovered Iridium!|
A curse naturally emerged. Normally he would’ve been happy to find Iridium. However, it was pointless when there was no room in his bag. It was to the extent that he felt like screaming. Ark ignored the overflowing Iridium and continued digging. After digging for 20 minutes, something started moving in the earth. Ark’s eyes shone brilliantly at the sight. He threw the shovel and running like a savage beast to grab it.
“Pant pant pant! I-I got it!”
Ark shouted as he lifted his hands.
Pal pal pal pal. Pal pal pal pal.
It was a small and black bug with 8 legs. Beltana was a frigid planet with -50 degrees weather. But some life forms had adapted to this environment. Right now Ark was holding a bug similar to a cockroach. He didn’t care about the name of the bug. No, he didn’t know the name but he had often seen the bug when digging for Iridium. This bug was what appeared in Ark’s mind when he was about to give up.
‘It is also a creature. And if it is a creature then it is possible to eat it!’
That was why Ark shovelled like crazy.
Pal pal pal pal. Pal pal pal pal.
The reason he caught it……He hesitated as he looked at the black insect in his hand……But Ark clenched his teeth tightly and shook his head.
‘No, I need to do this. If I die then I’ll lose 10 days’ worth of experience and a 5 star rated skill. Eating this guy is the only way to raise my satiety! After all, Space Food is also created from space bugs. This isn’t the time to hesitate.’
However, eating pork was different from eating an actual live pig. It was difficult to raise his hands and bring the bug to his mouth. But 13 levels! The special 5 star rated skill!
Ark yelled and placed the bug in his mouth. And….munch, munch, munch, gulp!
“Eh? This doesn’t taste as bad as I thought?”
Close your eyes and chewed the string be swallowed down that blue arc eye and muttered. Ark muttered after closing his eyes and chewing.
|-Satiety has increased by 5%.|
“My satiety increased!”
The message was like a ray of light! It was only 5% but his satiety still increased. He had shuddered at the sight but the taste actually wasn’t that bad. And couldn’t he keep on finding bugs in the land? The motivated Ark started actively hunting for bugs.
“That’s it! I found a way to live! If I collect the bugs…..ouch!”
He suddenly experienced stomach pain! Ark grabbed his stomach and a message he never expected showed up.
|-You have eaten unrefined food and received ‘Food Poisoning.’
<Health -50, Mental Power -100 and you will have a serious stomach ache for 10 minutes>
* If you’re hungry then don’t just pick anything up and eat it!
Sweat dripped down Ark’s face as he muttered. The stomach ache was so realistic it was hard to believe he got food poisoning in a game. It was a pain that twisted his stomach. It was so painful Ark couldn’t move for a while and just stood there dripping sweat! But Ark was more worried about the food poisoning than the stomach ache.
‘Ugh! In the end the bug wasn’t edible after all…..’
He couldn’t eat the bugs. It was like a death penalty for Ark. However, Ark realized there was no reason for despair.
‘Wait? I received food poisoning but my satiety was still increased by 5%. My health and mental power decreased after that but not my satiety. As long as my mental power and health doesn’t reach 0 then I won’t die. In other words, I can eat the bugs until my health reaches 0. And health can recover faster compared to the speed that satiety falls. My health also automatically recovers so isn’t it worth losing some health to recover my satiety?’
The decrease in health meant he couldn’t eat excessively. Because he could die from the food poisoning. However, he could raise his satiety as long as his health didn’t fall to 0. And health recovered faster so he could still eat bugs to restore his satiety and not worry about starving to death.
‘The problem is the stomach ache……’
He had found a way to live when he was on the verge of dying. But it hurt! It was enough to clog his breath! Was being afraid of the stomach ache worth dying?
‘Yes, that’s it! There is only this! I can’t be scared off by the stomach ache!’
Ark wiped off the sweat and started digging. His tearful struggle for survival then began.
Pa pa pa pa! Pa pa pa pa!
It was the intermediate Dig skill that he polished in Beltana! Every time the shovel moved through the frozen earth, a large pit was formed. If he saw any bugs squirming in the dirt then he would quickly snatch it and eat it!
|-Satiety has increased by 5%!
-Food poisoning! Health -50, Mental Power -100, you have a stomach ache!
-Satiety increased by 5%……you have a stomach ache!
-Satiety……you have a stomach ache!
“Ohhh, not yet! Not yet! I won’t die from a stomach ache!”
He shovelled for 3 hours while suffering pain in his stomach! Ark managed to increase his satiety from 10% to 60%. He had to sit down for a while from the pain in his stomach.
“Phew, now I don’t have to worry about my satiety for a while.”
Ark slightly recovered from the stomach ache and got up. He had gotten over his starvation crisis. But it was too early to sigh with relief. There was still 290 km until he could reach the federation’s base. There was also a huge mountain blocking him.
“First I have to cross over the mountain and it will also take time to return to the base……”
Ark looked at the mountain with a troubled expression. The mountain stretched to the left and right like a folding screen. He had no information about the terrain so he was unsure about how far it extended. However, it was better to return by the shortest course even if there were some risks.
‘It is a snow covered mountain so my movement speed might fall……’
Ark used the Swamp Walking skill. It was designed to walk on swampland but it still had some effect on snow. In fact, Ark had completely forgotten about Swamp Walking until not long ago. This was because Beltana was made of snow and ice so there were no chances to use the skill. However, he realized something after walking through the snow for a few days.
Puk! Puk! Puk! Puk!
The snow storm was raging at the time. His foot fell into the snow every time he walked. It was very inconvenient when trying to return to the base. He was thinking about how to increase his movement speed when Swamp Walking surfaced in his mind.
‘Snow and swampland are different but the same principle should apply. Although the Swamp Walking skill couldn’t be applied to the snow field…..the core of Swamp Walking is to remove any unnecessary power and to distribute his weight evenly. Even if I can’t use the skill, I can still apply the same principle.’
It was the right answer. He started to walk like he was just training in Swamp Walking from the Charenjok on R-14. It was the secret to how Ark managed to walk 150 km in two days despite the penalty to his stats when satiety fell below 50%. Everything was useful. He once again realized that truth. He was able to cross the snow by applying that point. Ark became resolute and started to climb up the snow covered mountain.
“Phew, it is like I expected.”
Ark took a rest and looked up at the steep incline. He had been climbing the mountain for 10 hours and it was considerable like he expected. Ice and snow covered the ground so if he was careless he would slip a few times. Plus, his stamina and satiety were consumed more quickly than if he was walking on flat land.
“But this is nothing compared to when I was starving and dying.”
Ark had already reached the threshold of hell. Any experience would be trivial compared to that.
Ark smirked as he opened an information window.
|-A new skill (Common Occupation ☆☆) has been learnt.
Steel Stomach (User, Passive): Sometimes you will unexpectedly encounter crises when travelling the galaxy.
The most common crisis situation is a shortage of food. There are places in the galaxy that don’t have abundant food supplies. In that case, it is best to obtain the food from the local area. However, not all animals and plants in the galaxy are edible. Sometimes plants and animals that grow naturally in the environment are poison to the body of humans. Some will cause light food poisoning while some animal and plants contain deadly poisons that will cause instant death. But you don’t need to worry about that. Pioneers who have received body coatings to adapt to the harsh space environment can gradually build up their tolerance by eating the food.
<You have built up an immunity to toxic food and can withstand mild food poisoning. A penalty won’t be applied even if you receive light food poisoning. Digesting of nutrients has also improved and satiety will also increase by 3% when eating food>
He had been steadily eating the bugs despite the stomach ache. He ate hundreds of worms and received an unexpected skill.
‘Now I can put anything I find in my mouth and not have to worry about starvation.’
It was a 2 star rated skill but the value was terrific. It was a basic skill that would have great use in online games. However, he was just grateful he didn’t have to worry about stomach aches anymore when eating the bugs. Unfortunately, the snow covered mountain contained less bugs. He could only find 4~5 bugs when digging for an hour. And his satiety only recovered by 20%. However, it was possible to maintain his satiety at 50% so he didn’t need to worry.
“I can return! I just need to cross this mountain!”
Ark stood up and started to climb the snow covered mountain again. The snow storm wasn’t enough to stop Ark’s marching. And he finally reached the top of the mountain.
“Oh my god!”
Ark witnessed a sight that made him despair.
……Cliff! There was a steep cliff on the opposite side of the mountain. First a mountain and now a cliff was blocking his return to the federation base. It was the same when he looked to the left and right. The cliff continued for dozens of metres in all directions without any gaps.
“Dammit, if I can’t continue this way……”
He had been climbing the mountain for 12 hours. He had also been digging until he felt like he was about to die. But what was the point now? Ark stared blankly at the cliff for a while before sighing and was about to return.
|-You have received a feeble electromagnetic signal.|
The Nymphe shone with a message.
“Electromagnetic signal? My Nymphe received a signal…..?”
His Nymphe was from the galactic federation. It couldn’t receive a signal from the Rama. In other words, the signal was from the federation! He had stumbled the other day on a signal from the Murat so that experience meant Ark couldn’t ignore it. And there was a chance the signal was from the federation.
‘It is 290 km from the federation base but there is a chance there might be a scouting unit nearby. If I join the scouting unit then I can return to the base.’
He checked and the distance also wasn’t that far. Ark checked the Nymphe and followed the signal.
He was able to reach the signal place after moving for 30 minutes along the edge of the cliff. He found that the result came from the galactic federation. No, to be exact it came from the wreckage of one of the federation’s bikes. While scouting this area, they had been destroyed by the Rama and the wrecked bikes were buried by the snow. The signal was a feeble request the bike had sent before it was destroyed. The radio wave wasn’t transmitted properly due to the snow storm which was why Ark only received it once he reached the top of the mountain.
“Damn, do I have to dig again?”
Disappointed appeared on Ark’s face.
“This is still the remnants of the federation. I might be able to find some supplies.”
He removed the snow with the shovel and looked around. And he removed the remnants of the bike.
Once the bike that was broken in half was taken out, something fell near it. It was a circular object the size of a volleyball. It was a machine he had seen a few times on the base.
“Eh? Wait? Perhaps this is……?”
Ark quickly took it out.
|-Carrier MR-II (Galactic Federation Army’s Common Specifications)
Item Type: General Communication Messenger
A common equipment used for communication by the galactic federation. There are two major types of communication used by the federation. Messages can be sent through radio waves or received directly. The Carrier MR-II is a messenger device that belongs to the latter category.
<Input a message and GPS information in order to send the message to the destination>
Carrier MR-II! It was a basic equipment of the scouting unit. An ‘!’ appeared in Ark’s head as he confirmed the information.
“This is great! I can send a request for help to the federation base!”
The federation base was 290 km away. He didn’t know how long it would take to detour around the cliff. Despite being able to eat the bugs, there was no guarantee he could return alive. But what if he could ask for help from the federation base? If they used the bikes then travelling 290 km would just take 1~2 hours. If the Carrier MR-II arrived safely at the base and a scouting unit sent then he could be back at the base within 3~4 hours. And he could register with the Fairy! He didn’t need to worry about his experience and skills disappearing.
“Then I don’t need to take the difficult path.”
However, the Carrier MR-II wasn’t just a normal item. It was a military equipment. The Carrier MR-II had a security code so no one other than soldiers could use it. However…..
|-This equipment is protected by a security device.
Enter the security code or use Invaders to hack and release the lock.
Attempt to hack? Y/N
Ark had the Invaders hacking program. The mini game this time was Brick breaker. It was a game that required delicate manipulation in order to break bricks with a small ball. He was trembling from the cold so thankfully the degree of difficulty wasn’t that high. Therefore he managed to clear the bricks after 5 minutes! The security device was turned off and Ark immediately entered a message into the Carrier MR-II.
|+ Urgent Rescue Request (Requester: Ark) +
I was stranded after the last battle and was wandering around in the snow storm when I came across the Rama base. I managed to escape from the Rama pursuers but I’m stranded on top of the snowy mountain 290 km from the federation base. I will enter the GPS information of the Rama main base and my present location.
* Rama’s Main Base: X-@$!#! Y-!#$!#!
* Current Stranded Location: X-#@### Y-#!#$
|-The professional encryption has been completed.|
There was a reason he entered the location of the Rama’s main base. Discovering the location of hostiles forces was a tremendous achievement. If he informed the base about the information registered on his GPS then he would still receive that achievement even if he died.
He inputted the GPS location of the federation’s base and started the Carrier MR-II. The sides of the Carrier MR-II opened up, emitted flames and flew off. But thanks to the snow storm, it flew at an incredibly slow pace. Of course, it was still faster than the speed that Ark could walk. In addition, it could fly over the cliff and crevasses without being blocked like Ark would’ve been.
“……At that speed it should take half a day to reach the base.”
Now the problem was waiting until then. His present location was registered so he just had to wait for the rescue party. There weren’t that many bugs on the snowy mountain but it wasn’t a problem.
“I haven’t been able to rest for 2 days. Because the game really catches people.”
Ark sighed and operated his Nymphe. He clicked the ‘exit’ button among the many icons on the screen and a message popped up.
|-You have chosen to end the connection.|
There were two ways to end the connection to Galaxian. One termination method caused the character to completely disappear from the game. However, this method was only possible in non-combat areas. If the connection was ended in the conflict zone then the character would remain in the game. If so the character could choose the ‘Hibernation’ state’ where the satiety, health and mental power wouldn’t be consumed. The character also wouldn’t be affected by certain environmental conditions as well as being immune to poison. If subjected to attacks from the enemy, the damage would be decreased but the character would still receive damage. In ‘Hibernation state,’ the unit would sound an alarm to let the user know their character was being attacked.
The system could be shut down using Hibernation State! In fact, this was one of the difficult things about combat inside Galaxian. Other online games didn’t have such a system and the character would disappear when exiting the game. Therefore some clever users would terminate the connection when surrounded by the enemy and not connect again for a few days. It was also possible to do guerrilla warfare using this method. It was pointed out that this was the main cause behind a breakdown of the balance in a ‘prolonged battle.’ However, Galaxian had a system where the character wouldn’t disappear in a disputed area. It was a penalty but Ark was currently rather thankful for that system. If he entered the Hibernation state then he wouldn’t need to worry about satiety decreasing. On the other hand, his character would remain in the game so he would be there when the rescue squad arrived. Ark moved to a proper position and pressed the end button.
Ark’s eyes closed as he entered hibernation state.
“That’s it. When I connect again then I’ll be at the federation base.”
And he was finally able to rest comfortably after 2 days.