SPACE 3. Mt. Fargo
Ark couldn’t stop laughing. He was rapidly crossing the Outlands on his air board. In fact, the reason Ark hadn’t taken the Charem-Nabe shuttle wasn’t just because of money. The airship flight time was much slower than the Star Gate’s spatial movement but it was cheaper. 1 copper was still a huge amount for Ark but……
It had been over a fortnight since Ark received Milan’s notification that the slab was restored. If he considered that point then it might be easier to pay the price of the shuttle. Nevertheless, Ark had his own reasons for crossing the Outlands.
‘It is important to find the new Murat ruins but I should get a hang of what I already have.’
It was the pyramid he obtained from Charem’s laboratory.
‘After listening to the video in the pyramid then I can obtain a new rune just like on Beltana.’
However Ark still hadn’t released the pyramid. When he first got his hands on the pyramid, he hadn’t registered with the pyramid and couldn’t be assured that he would survive. And he had put it off until now because he needed to clean up the Sufferers incident, registering as an agent and establishing the food manufacturing plant. There was no reason to rush. He could obtain it at any time. Leaving something for later would make it tastier. If he could afford it then he would like to act slowly.
‘And nothing might happen even if the Shire appears. I didn’t know how to use the Ikram rune for a long time. Getting a skill I don’t know how to use will make me anxious. So I should check the skill in better conditions.’
This was the reason he decided to walk. He intended to try out the new rune in the Outlands overflowing with monsters. While crossing the land on the air board, he opened the bottom of the pyramid and the light emerged.
The mysterious power of the Murat, the Shire!
“Come out Shire!”
Ark had experienced it already so he touched it with his hand. And the moment his hand touched the Shire!
|-You have absorbed the photon life form ‘Shire!’
The Shire are mysterious photon life forms and are some of the most mysterious creatures in the universe. According to old documents, they will condense over millions of years to form mana. The Murat have the ability to use the power of the Shire through ‘Rune’ characters.
+ You have absorbed the Shire and acquired a Rune.
+ You have acquired a Rune (Immortal) from the Murat memory contained.
Up to here it was identical to the previous time. However there was a crucial difference between the old and new rune.
|-A new skill (Common Occupation ☆☆☆☆☆) has been learnt.
Rune Carving- Immortal (User, Passive): the runes used by the Murat have the ability to extract the potential of the photon life form Shire. Therefore the Shire can store the memory of the runes. The Immortal rune is the symbol of Osiris who sought eternal life. Thus the Immortal Rune has imprinted the source of life on your body, mana. Those who already use mana will gain 100 mana while those that don’t will have 50 mana generated. And the maximum amount can rise every time you absorb new Shire.
+ 50 mana has been generated with the Immortal rune.
+ 25 additional mana has been gained for the Shire from the Ikram rune.
Ark’s eyes looked shocked. The new rune was a passive skill! Ark hurriedly opened the character information window.
|Character Information Window|
|Health||1,850 (+90)||Mental Power||1,000 (+75)|
|Stamina||335 (+18)||Wisdom||20 (+5)|
Cleaning Foreman (Agility + 3)
Ignorant Destroyer (Wisdom -10, Strength +7, Stamina +7)
Beltana’s Hero (Strength, Agility, Stamina, Wisdom, Intelligence, Luck +3)
Mediator (Wisdom, Intelligence +15)
|* Contribution: Galactic Federation 6,850, Aschulat 500
* Affiliation: Dark Eden (CEO)
|*Body Coating: Survivor
+ Environmental adaptation increases by 50% due to the Survivor coating.
+ The Survivor coating reduces the drop rate of Satiety by 30%.
+ The Survivor coating will reduce fall damage by 50%.
+The ‘Clairvoyance’ effect of the Survivor coating is applied.
He had checked it once before leaving Charem so it wasn’t necessary to see most of it. The important thing was…..
“The mana stat was really created!”
The mana stat was sitting in his character information window! Ark could now use mental power and mana. Mental power was the basic power that all users in the federation used. However some users didn’t stop there. Some users would receive magic when the received the body coating that was classified as the magician type. But in those cases mental power would disappear. Warriors used mental power while magicians used mana. This was common sense in Galaxian. However Ark had preserved the mental power stat when mana was added. This meant he was a warrior but he could learn skills associated with magicians! It meant he was a magic warrior in fantasy terms. Of course he wasn’t yet at the standard of a magic warrior. Usually magicians got 200~300 mana when they received the body coating. Depending on the bonuses added by intelligence and wisdom, they would get at least 500 mana to start with. Currently Ark only had 75 mana. It was only 25% of the mana that Espers stated off with.
He still received it!
“Now I don’t need to wear the battle suit to use the Ikram rune.
The Ikram rune that summoned the hell hound! It was a fairly good 5 star skill but it hadn’t been really useful so far. That’s because the skill couldn’t be used unless he wore the battle suit. Now he didn’t need to wear the battle suit to summon the hell hound. Of course there were some restrictions. The Ikram rune consumed 10% of the battle suit’s mana when he used it. He could only summon a maximum of 9 hell hounds. The mana stat might be generated but he would only be able to summon 1 hell hound. Ark had only been looking at the ‘%’ of the battle suit’s mana but the Ikram rune consumed 50 mana. Even if it was 1 hell hound, the utilization couldn’t be compared to before.
“Besides, if I obtain more Shire then my mana will increase!”
There was no reason to lament over having low mana. He was satisfied with the result.
“Although this is kind of ambiguous…..”
Ark eyed the memory chip. It was the memory chip that Jay said was safe to download. Of course Ark had already checked the contents of the memory chip. Ark had been more interested in the memory chip than the pyramid. It was because he expected to learn skills like Sonic Sword and Set Bullets Shooting. He had released the lock with hacking and downloaded the data to his Nymphe.
|-# Logbook 01~03 page has been downloaded.|
The previous memory chip contained the logbook 4~6 pages. If he looked at the page numbers then this was the first part of the previous logbook. But when he read it the contents seemed like it was the end.
How long ago…..
When I think back to the beginning, my journey began from a bitter betrayal. The fact that this betrayal came from someone of my blood made it a lot harder for me.
It was a question that I asked countless times. But no one answered. Therefore I felt even more hurt and frustration when I thought of something. Is it possible that they did’t understand either? It was the first time I thought this. I’ve been wandering about this question for a long time.
Right now a large number of disputes are spreading through the galaxy. I’ve thought about it and the dispute must’ve started somewhere. Teacher-nim always said it. Don’t believe your eyes and search for the truth. This is the mission entrusted to us. Teacher-nim’s words have been a big consolation for me.
If the truth is different from what I though then I might be able to relieve this miserable feeling. But I was wrong. The truth I discovered was scarier than I imagined. Its true name caused huge despair. And I found myself in front of a door. Any souls who step close would be swallowed up in despair.
But I can’t stop. I have to spread the truth to the large number of species in this universe. However, if I step foot in ‘that’ then there is almost no chances of coming back alive. I’m not afraid to die but I need to pass on the mission that I’ve inherited.
That’s why I’m leaving this logbook. If anyone….even if it takes hundreds of years, I hope that an adventurer will find this. If someone sees these writings then I’ll tell you in advance.
Discovering the truth will drop you into despair. Nevertheless…..if an adventurer who discovers this logbook has the courage to find the truth…..then you and I are tied by the same thread of fate that transcends space and time…..if you look for it then you will inevitably reach my hometown…..
My experience and knowledge will be helpful to you at that time.
Lock- <Sealed Contents of a Quest> -Lock
This was the contents of pages 1~2. That was written in the first half of the logbook.
‘The truth discovered will cause despair? What does that mean?’
Naturally he was curious. But nothing else about the ‘despair’ was written. And Ark wasn’t curious enough to be impatient. This was a game. How many users would read the contents of these pages? If a user was interested then they would eventually get some results. He just needed to wait. But the contents of the 3rd page were sealed. He couldn’t accept that so he opened it with hacking.
‘…..What is this?’
An information window he never imagined had appeared in front of him.
|<Proof of Qualification (Occupation Quest)>
You have found an old logbook in the Charenjok’s toys that have been handed down.
The contents written are obscure and difficult to understand. The only thing determined if that this is the last message of someone sailing on a journey to their death. And the contents were left in data form. But the data is locked by a mysterious force and you must satisfy certain conditions to get it. If you want the prophet’s experience and knowledge then you need to prove the four virtues necessary for a true adventurer.
-Proof of Destiny: Obtain 2 logbooks (2/2)
-Proof of Courage: Dispose of monsters higher level than your own (0/100)
-Proof of Faith: Rescue your colleagues (0/200)
-Proof of Eligibility: Finding a sanctuary (0/1)
Unlike other games, having an occupation wasn’t essential in Galaxian. Other games needed an occupation to receive skills other than the basics but this was taken care of with the body coating. Therefore an occupation was optional…..there was no insistence on picking one in the game. Of course, it might not be required but picking an occupation could give exclusive skills and bonuses. When considering the skill proficiency, it was good to select an occupation earlier. However there were no vocational schools in Galaxian. Unlike other games, Galaxian didn’t have occupation related NPCs in each major city. And there was no fixed level or method to receive an occupation. Just like Ark received Heksu’s ‘Scavenger’ or Marquis Martins ‘Private’ offer, they needed to find clues or the related NPCs to receive an occupation. In order words, all occupations were hidden!
They also varied greatly. All occupations might be hidden but the degree of difficulty differed. Occupations like Scavenger was something easily obtained while ‘Private’ from an NPC was a lot harder. The bonuses given would also change depending on the difficulty. In the end, even hidden occupations could be sorted into ratings. This was the reason Ark felt ambiguous. When he received the Scavenger or Private offer, he could guess the related skills and bonuses. However this was an occupation quest that he couldn’t figure out.
‘It is clearly a warrior affiliated occupation!’
This was because he received the Sonic Sword and Set Bullets Shooting from the second part of the logbook.
‘And it isn’t an easy occupation to acquire. The other parts weren’t special but it isn’t easy to obtain 2 logbooks. When judging by that point, I have a considerable advantage because I already received the other logbook on R-14. Anyway, the conditions are surprisingly tricky so the occupation might be decent. Just because I accept the quest doesn’t mean I need to accept the occupation.’
Ark accepted the quest.
“By the way…..”
Ark scratched his head and looked around.
“Doesn’t this mean I didn’t have to take the air board across the Outlands?”
Ark had decided to cross the Outlands in order to test the skills he would learn from the pyramid and logbook. But he learnt a passive skill from the pyramid and the logbook was an occupation quest.
“Well, I can still use this situation to relieve stress.”
Ku ku ku ku! Ku ku ku ku!
Then an enormous monster rose from the ground. It was a Hakerion, the monster that Ark had first encountered when coming to the Outlands! He remembered that he had quite a hard time but…..
Seokeok seokeok! Pepeng! Pepeng!
Now there was no need to even get off the air board. A quick double attack shot out from the air board! And the Hakerion soon turned into minced meat. Once again it had been a fortnight since Ark left Nabe. His level and equipment were completely different from when he first entered the Outlands.
“Come on, let’s go! Towards Nabe!”
There were no difficult areas he couldn’t overcome.
The Tatuine noble council. The federation’s nobles had gathered a while ago to hear some shocking news. They had lost Hanan! The planet in the Bellin constellation that had the most military support had collapsed. The council of nobles heard the terrible news and quickly panicked. Just as they were on the verge of mass hysteria, they heard good news that they never considered.
“Yes, I met directly with the Aschulat ambassador and signed an agreement. The Aschulat home planet has already given their approval and is gathering the support army to send.”
“This news is like having rain in a drought!”
The Chairman spoke in an eager voice. However some nobles couldn’t hide their dissatisfied expression.
“But acknowledging the existence of Charem is unacceptable. Right now the smuggling city is like a parasitic lump on the federation. Officially recognizing the city is like going against the legal system. Not to mention the damage that will be done to the merchant association. Who will shoulder the responsibility for that? I’ll tell you in advance but the Department of Domestic Affairs wouldn’t shoulder the responsibility!”
The aristocrat who said this was Marquis Jyubel. He was the Minister of Domestic Affairs. Martin looked at Jyubel and nodded.
“It is like Marquis Jyubel said. Although we were promised military support, it is difficult for the federation to recognize Charem’s existence. In addition, there is quite a bit of resistance from the merchant association. I realize that I’m responsible for this matter.”
A smug smile spread on Jyubel’s face after hearing Martin’s answer. But that smile didn’t last for even 1 minute.
“Naturally I should take all responsibility for those problems. Therefore I’ll be in charge of the management of Charem from now on.”
“What? But that is a matter for the Domestic Affairs…..”
“It is under the jurisdiction of the Domestic Affairs Department. However it is irresponsible of me to dump everything on the Domestic Affairs Department. Didn’t Marquis Jyubel also say that someone else should shoulder responsibility? Then the person who has to shoulder the responsibility should be me. I’m the one responsible for the problems with Charem so shouldn’t I take care of it?”
Jyubel stuttered with an upset expression. Naturally this wasn’t what Jyubel had been aiming for. He wanted to rebuke Martin while still getting his hands on Charem. Unlike other cities, Charem’s growth potential was high. Jyubel’s concern was that if Martin gained Charem then his power would also grow rapidly along with the city.
“City management is under the jurisdiction of the Domestic Affairs Department!”
“But you just said that this department won’t be liable for Charem.”
“I already proposed this to the Prime Minister and received permission. I was worried that this would upset Marquis Jyubel who is in charge of city management but luckily you don’t want responsibility. Thank you. ”
Jyubel couldn’t say anything else.
“Since the Prime Minister approved it, the problem will be handed over to Marquis Martin.”
The Chairman who was watching the two Marquis’ psychological warfare anxiously put the situation in order. And he brought out a different agenda.
“But how are we going to handle this problem?”
“The video sent by the Rama on Hanan.”
The nobles started buzzing again after hearing those words. The Chairman was talking about the message made from the corpses of federation soldiers. The Rama warrior called the Red Slaughter had sent a challenge to Ark. Most of the nobles already knew about this unprecedented event.
“This is unrelated to the agenda but I would like to hear opinions.”
“It is not worth doing anything.”
Marquis Martin replied without thinking about it.
“This is a war. It is a war where the federation and Rama soldiers risk their lives. Reacting to a message that an enemy soldier sent is foolish.”
“But the opponent is the Red Slaughterer.”
“So that makes it even more difficult. The Red Slaughterer is the Rama’s hero while Ark is designated Beltana’s Hero. Their battle would have a significant impact on the morale of the military. It isn’t necessary to explain if Ark wins but this defeat would pour cold water on the situation. With this agreement with the Aschulat, the tides of the war will turn in our favour when they send reinforcements. In such a situation there is no need to bother with a risky gamble. So just dismiss and ignore the message from the enemy.”
“……That makes sense.”
The Chairman nodded his head.
“I understand. Like Lord Martin said, the Aschulat reinforcements will be sent soon.”
The council meeting was ended after that. Marquis Martin received the greetings of some nobles before exiting the assembly hall and saying to his adjutant.
“Do you know what Ark is now?”
“I just know that he left Charem not long ago.”
“From now on keep an eye on Ark’s whereabouts.”
“I understand. But why the sudden interest in Ark? Didn’t you say to ignore the Red Slaughter’s message?”
“I have decided to ignore it, now.”
Martin stopped walking and laughed.
“Soon an even better stage will be prepared. Watch him until then.”
Milan greeted him after he arrived in Nabe.
“There were no replies no matter how many emails I sent so I really thought you died!”
Milan complained as soon as he saw Ark’s face. If he explained for a moment, the Nymphe was like a smartphone with communication capabilities and other functions attached. The communication range was only 50 km. This was because communication antennas weren’t installed anywhere other than cities. There were many electromagnetic pulses outside the area so there were many times when communication failed. This also applied to communication between cities.
There could be problems even if the city had a large communication relay. Therefore there were many constraints to communication through emails. The recipient had to enter the city and link to a relay machine to receive the email. That was why Ark only received Milan’s emails once Charem was recovered. It had taken a fortnight. It was natural for Milan to be worried.
“I’m sorry. I was in a situation where I couldn’t receive the mail.”
“Where on earth did you go……?”
“I’ll explain it slowly. Where is the slab?”
“Here it is.”
Milan carefully observed the surroundings and pulled out the slab. When Ark first saw the slab, the surface was considerably damage and many characters weren’t recognizable. But the slab Milan pulled out was neatly written. The slab had been restored using the 3D restoration machine.
Ark received the slab. The Nymphe vibrated and automatically translated the letters.
–Descendant of the great ruler, you who have inherited the lineage of the Murat.
Although it has been a long since our great blood relatives left, the Elim hasn’t forgotten them.
The Elim have left a great legacy in the place where the sun sets and the sun rises for the descendant of the Murat who will someday come! It is for a true pilgrim! Don’t hesitate. You will need to prove your qualifications.
But you have to reach that place.
|<Secret of the Slab>
You have stumbled across a slab and acquired information about the ancient alien species the Murat.
Numerous alien species have disappeared that weren’t recorded in Galaxian’s history. The science and technology of these alien species will far transcend the imagination of modern species. Therefore explorers who find historically significant relics can gain wealth and honour.
Of course this doesn’t apply to all relics.
A quest was registered on the Nymphe.
‘This slab really is related to a Murat relic!’
In fact, slabs weren’t a rare item in Galaxian. The slab was like a treasure map on the frontiers. Actually Ark had found a treasure map while hacking the circuits to raise his skill. But when he visited there, other users and NPCs had already been there and only trivial japtem remained. Therefore there were almost no users that collected slabs anymore. If this was a different time then Ark probably wouldn’t care about it. However the slab had Murat letters written on it.
‘So I had some expectations in my heart…..’
The slab said that the Murat’s legacy was hidden somewhere. The only problem was to find the place referred to on the slab.
“I have to go to the library.”
Ark immediately looked for Nabe’s public library. He said library but it was more like a type of internet that connected to the federation’s enormous data base. The city also had a network that users and NPCs could access but the information there was more general and less reliable. However, the library contained only government-certified materials so the reliability was 99%. Therefore the conditions to use it were difficult.
1st class citizens had to pay 5 gold as an admission fee.
‘5 gold just to browse some materials, what a rip off!’
But now wasn’t the time to save money. Ark paid the 5 gold and entered the library. Despite the expensive fees, quite a few people were running around the library. They were probably people like Ark who came to gather information about a slab or treasure map they found. Therefore reading rooms were created in the library to maintain security.
-What information are you searching for?
A mechanical voice murmured as he entered an empty room. He didn’t need to worry about this. Looking at the contents of the slab, the write was a species called the Elim. The Elim historian stated that the legacy was sealed in a hidden location. Naturally the search keyword would be Elim!
-There is a total of 130 different data retrieved about Elim 35 cases are the names of an item, 63 the name of a person and 3 cases are related to species. 4 are brands…..
-All materials associated with Elim species will be shown.
A huge amount of text popped up in front of him. But there was no reason to read the huge wall of text. He already found the information he desired at the beginning.
–The Elim is the name of an indigenous people that used to live on Istana.
According to the records, the Elim were people granted special powers by the gods and helped keep the peace on Istana. But the Elim suddenly disappeared hundreds of years before humanity migrated here.
Why they disappeared is still a mystery. Not much is known about the Elim but according to information recently registered by pioneers, they worship at the place there two suns intersect around a dormant volcano called Fargo……
He had a feeling as soon as he read those words. Istana has two suns, one large and one small sun. They moved around a different orbit so there were points where the two suns overlapped. That was the dormant volcano Fargo! The place written on the slab where the sun set and the sun rose.
“The location of Mt. Fargo.”
The GPS coordinates were transmitted to Ark.
“The result is good despite wasting money.”
Spending a bit of money will sometimes release a lot. Milan also nodded after explaining it to him.
“In my opinion Mt. Fargo also seems to fit.”
“Okay. Then let’s do the necessary preparations to leave.”
He had finally figured out the location of the new Murat ruins. There was no reason to delay. But Mt. Fargo was 1,800 km away. Furthermore, Ark’s air board only had the ability to move 1 person. Therefore Ark was forced to tearfully take the shuttle to the pioneer village nearest to Mt. Fargo.
‘I need to gain some capital!’
Ark once again became motivated when his pockets became lighter. Ark finished making his preparations at the sector. When he left the sector the atmosphere had completely changed. The Outlands were filled with strange trees and bushes. Completely different types of flora and fauna grew in the Outlands. Ark had only experienced a small fraction of the Outlands. The swamps around Mt. Fargo contained thorny vines that wrapped around the body and contained venom as well as other natural traps.
“It is dangerous out there. There are black plants that discharge poisonous gases instead of drawing in air. And some bushes will cause you to lose consciousness suddenly.”
Milan was a NPC that specialized as a treasure hunter. Milan’s experience was a considerable help in the Outlands. However Ark wasn’t the type to follow behind Milan.
Chi chi chi chi! Chi chi chi chi!
Red eyes appeared in the shadow of the forest. The Outlands were infested with monsters. The monsters in the forest zone were stronger than the monsters around the northern lake. They were 10 levels higher than the Bellos. But Ark wasn’t the same as his previous self.
Ark instantly swiped through the bushes. The monster was shattered by his attacks.
“Hyung-nim, what happened in the meantime? You became stronger.”
A light of respect dawned in Milan’s eyes. As a treasure hunter, Milan needed to explore the frontier so he had strong combat power. No, he was even higher level than Ark on Beltana. Ark was weaker but Milan had followed him in order to obtain food. And Milan was pardoned so he only remembered his original impression of Ark. Now he realized that Ark was different from the warrior he met on Beltana. But Milan was impressed for a separate reason.
“Heok! T-this! Hyung-nim!”
“It’s dangerous! Ugh!”
When Milan was in a crisis, Ark would run down and protect him. This made Milan recall his memories of Beltana.
‘As expected, Hyung-nim is different from other people. He changed the situation by gaining food and gathering colleagues. I received Hyung-nim’s favour but I didn’t completely believe in him. But Hyung-nim has changed. He is stronger compared to Beltana and I can now consider him a colleague.’
Ark laughed as he shed blood. He could smile with accomplishment despite being hurt when saving his colleague! Milan’s respect increased by 100 times! He was so impressed that tears gushed out. However, that wasn’t the reason for Ark’s laugh.
‘As I expected.’
-Proof of Faith: Rescue your colleagues (1/200)
It was the completion condition for the quest he received not long ago! He could accomplish it by saving his colleagues. But Milan didn’t know the circumstances and couldn’t help being impressed.
‘To be honest, I thought those guys will stupid for following Hyung-nim even after leaving Beltana. Now I believe in Hyung-nim! I will follow him to the end!’
And the heart was determined. There were a large number of traps and monsters but they couldn’t stop the two men whose friendship had solidified. He spent two days passing through thick greenery.
Milan calculated the coordinates and lifted his head. He then pointed to a hill a short distance away with a thrilled expression.
“Over there! That hill is Mt. Fargo!”
He had finally arrived at his destination.
“Finally! Let’s go!”
Ark and Milan hurriedly jumped up the hill. But their faces warped strangely the moment they arrived at the top.
“Huk! W-what the hell?”