ACT 6 The Tragedy of the Three Pig Brothers
Pa pa pa pa! Pa pa pa pa!
A large lizard running through the wilderness caused a cloud of dust. It was Radunma carrying Ark. After separating from Reid, Ark traversed the wilderness without taking a break. While ignoring the background and the weather, he ended up running for 1 hour. Finally he found the valley that Reid mentioned. After going a little bit further in the valley, there was a small village.
“Is this a village in a different dimension?”
It was approximately 2~3 times the size of Lancel Village. However, the development appeared quite shabby as the buildings were falling down. The houses were covered with leather and looked like tents. When looked at closely, the tents looked like a refugee camp. Since there was no currency, it could be difficult to gain supplied through barter.
‘I can get the necessary information from this village.’
“Radun, good work.”
Ssak ssak ssak, ssak ssak ssak!
Radun became smaller and attached to his waist. When he walked up to the entrance, he saw the guards wearing leather clothes.
“Blue skin, blue skin. Hahaha, look at that.”
Dedric saw the guard and burst out laughing. Just like Reid said, the Myutal was a race that looked similar to humans. But oddly, their skin colour was blue and the eyes were golden yellow. They looked like a smurf in one of those children’s musicals and Ark felt like giggling as well. But since it was a species he was meeting for the first, he refrained from laughing and smirked instead. He had to refrain from dropping any intimacy or else he might not obtain any information.
“Dedric, shut up.”
“But it’s funny. Don’t you thing that they look funny?”
“Do you want to become like that?”
“………..I’ll shut up.”
Dedric mimed zipping his mouth up.
The guards tensed up as they saw Ark approach.
“Who are you? I’ve never seen your face around here before.”
“Yes, I’ve only just arrived from an incredibly distant place. After wandering the wilderness for so long, I was wondering if I could take a break here?”
“Hrmm, it doesn’t seem that dangerous……..”
“Of course, we’re a little reluctant to let a stranger into town.”
The guards looked Ark up and down and muttered. The atmosphere seemed a little bit unwelcome. When first arriving in a new village, the degree of intimacy depending on fame or alignment. But those numbers didn’t apply in the Netherworld.
“Do you perhaps know Reid?”
“Reid? The peddler of the Galgin clan?”
“Yes, I came because of his recommendation. He said that the Myutal in this village were brave and tough, but they warmly welcomed visitors with softness and pride in their hospitality. Can’t you spare such generosity for me who has travelled such a long distance?”
“Oh, Reid said that?”
Although Reid hadn’t said that, the residents of the Netherworld were quite simple. The guards contemplated for a moment before nodding.
“Indeed, we won’t turn away a weary traveller. Okay, you can enter the village. But you’ll be kicked out if you cause any trouble.”
Ark smiled and entered the village. But he didn’t hear the low voices of the guards speaking from behind him.
“He seemed to have travelled quite a difficult path.”
“Exactly. But I didn’t know about a tribe where the youths lacked colour.”
The Myutal species was divided into a number of tribes. Because Ark looked similar to them, they determined that he was from another Myutal tribe. So they pitied him because he wasn’t blue…….so the residents treated him like a handicapped person. But because of their pity, Ark was able to receive a lot of information from the residents.
There were many species who lived in the Netherworld. The Galgin who he met in the wilderness was one of them, and Dedric’s clan of vampires and Deimos as a undead were also residents of the Netherworld. In other words, the difference between NPCs and monsters was unclear. An NPC might look like a monster, or a monster that attacked was instead a chaotic NPC.
‘Then should I travel around this town with Deimos?’
Except for when there was a battle, Ark always carried around Deimos in his sword form. It was in order to lighten the burden on Radun. And he wanted to prevent the intimacy with the NPCs from being decreased. None of the NPCs would get a good impression of him if they saw a skeleton. In fact, he often had his intimacy decreased on middle earth if he travelled around with Deimos. On the other hand, Dedric was often useful for increasing intimacy. His character was bad, but he could transform into a cute little boy. So he was quite popular among adults and the elderly. But it didn’t seem to be a problem when he looked around the village. He saw some monsters that he would instantly use Dark Blade on if he encountered them in the wilderness. Deimos was nothing compared to them.
However, the most common species among the NPCs was something resembling a human. The Myutal was a species that most resembled humans in the Netherworld. The Myutal were scattered all throughout the Netherworld. Most of them live in their tribes, but there were some Myutal that built a kingdom.
” I once met a traveller who talked about money. But they weren’t very tolerable because they didn’t like other species. Some tribes don’t like the Myutal and are even hostile against us.”
The shopkeeper near the village entrance said. The easiest way to get information was to find a store. Since travellers tended to visit the stores first, he could obtain a lot of rumours from there.
“I’ve listened well. Then can I see a few items?”
The shopkeeper nodded and pointed towards the shelves. It was a village with small development so he didn’t expect much. It looked like commonplace japtem but Ark inspected them carefully. Although Reid had a lot of japtem, he had managed to find some items for his summons. Reid said that they weren’t that common to find. But Ark was able to find a useable item.
Umma’s Sap is obtained from an ancient plant.
Even though dozens of Umma trees were picked, it was only enough to fill one bottle. The high density nutrients dissolved inside has the effect of instantly restoring fatigue of the mind and body.
The ancient plant Nadingka is notorious for its grabbing ability. If walking through a forest, you might find yourself yanked by the Nadingka’s roots. However, the Nadingka will exert no harm. It will just touch the body of a passing traveller then go away.
Since the development was low, most of the items were consumption related. However, the effects of the plants were quite good for a primitive world. Umma’s Sap recovered as much health as an intermediate recovery potion.
‘This item could be sold in middle earth for money.’
But the quantity of the consumable items wasn’t abundant. There was only 5 Umma’s Sap and 50 Nadingka fruit. Ark exchanged it for some of the leather, bone and japtem he collected in the snowy mountains.
‘Damn, there are too many overlapping items taking up bag space. I won’t be able to barter recklessly……I can’t grasp whether it is expensive or cheap in terms of money. But if I’ve managed to obtain useful items that could be sold then I won’t complain……..’
Ark finished in the shop and got to his main point.
“By the way, I heard that a wise old man lives in the vicinity of this village.”
“Ah, you’re talking about Beseutyu-nim.”
“Can you tell me where he lives?”
“Just look for the biggest house. That is Beseutyu’s house.”
Ark left the store and walked on the main path looking for it. It was a small village so it wasn’t difficult to find the house.
Although he called from outside several times, nobody answered. Ark waited a while before sneaking a peek through the open door. When he entered, the wall was filled with full shelves. Bundles of crisp parchment was piled on the shelves like a mountain. They seemed to use bound parchment as a substitute for books in the Netherworld. Ark looked at the scrolls before going inside.
“Ah……..damn, unbelievable. What on earth happened? Why haven’t they come back yet? Did something happen? I don’t know what to do…….”
In a corner, an old man pulled his hair and muttered.
“How am I supposed to do my work now? I really can’t endure it.”
“Uh……I wanted to ask you something.”
“Ah, I’m really anxious and concerned…….I don’t want to go ask the stupid guards but I’m so worried……..if something happened then I won’t be able to handle it.”
Ark lightly tapped his shoulders, causing the old man to flinch and turn around. With a white beard and hair, the old man had an appearance like Papa Smurf’s.
“Hah, what the? Who are you? Why did you just come into someone’s house?”
“No one answered no matter how much I called from outside……”
“So you just came in without permission?”
“No, it’s not……..”
“What the hell? What do you want?”
The old man quickly asked without giving him any time to answer.
“I heard that Beseutyu-nim is the wisest person in this village.”
“What the? God dammit, get out! I have no time for a chat!”
“It will only take a short time. Do you perhaps know someone called Magaro…….”
“I said I don’t want to hear it!”
Beseutyu wildly shouted and shook a cane at him. But the next moment, Beseutyu stopped and reached out for Ark’s mantle. Then he asked Ark with surprised eyes.
“You, did you perhaps cross the East Moon?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“So this is Galgashi’s Fur?”
“That’s right. This is Galgashi’s Fur that I got from a mongoose.”
Ark nodded and Beseutyu’s face immediately changed. Beseutyu suddenly spoke in a very friendly voice.
“Ha, Galgashi is very notorious so you must be a great warrior to be able to take him down. Yes, a great warrior deserves kind treatment. Sit down here. But what were you here for? You were looking for a person?”
Did he have dementia? His demeanour changed in an instant…….elderly people didn’t adapt that quickly. Anyway, he was lucky because the atmosphere seemed to be better. Ark nodded and asked.
“Yes, I’m looking for someone called Magaro. Have you heard of him?”
“Magaro……..did he also come over from middle earth like you?”
“You know where I came from?”
“I’m not an elderly person for no reason. I know much more than you do.”
Beseutyu laughed and replied. As expected, the elderly really did know a lot.
“Yes, that’s right. I came here to look for him.”
“When did he cross over?”
“I’ve heard that it’s been hundreds of years.”
“Then I personally wouldn’t have seen him. But there are ways to find out.”
Beseutyu indicated the scrolls piled up.
“My family has recorded everything that’s happened through the generations. That’s right, those scrolls are records of the Netherworld’s history. Isn’t it great? If he every passed through this area then records of him should be here. You might find the information that you want.
“Can you examine it for me?”
Ark asked in an urgent tone. Then he waited for Beseutyu’s reply.
“Of course. If you accept my request.”
A person he met for the first time was asking for a favour? Ark looked bewildered as Beseutyu sighed and said.
“Actually, I’m in a very big predicament at the moment.”
“You probably saw the existence of the dead when you came here.”
“Yes, I’ve seen it a couple of times.”
“Other people don’t know this, but the dead play a very important role in the Netherworld. They’re responsible for keeping the flow of power in the Netherworld balanced……anyway, the deceased are an indispensable existence in this world. But recently, the deceased in this area have started disappearing.”
Beseutyu said with a serious expression when scratching his beard.
“I told you before that I record everything that happens around here. In order to confirm if the rumours were true or not, I sent an assistant to Hagel Forest where the dead had been disappearing. But my grandson became curious and persistently followed. I agreed but…….”
“He has not come back yet.”
“That’s right. He hasn’t come back yet so clearly something happened. I was relieved because my assistant is very experience. Ah, Bona……if something happened to Bona…….I’m so worried about my grandson to the point that I can’t do any other work. But I can’t go after them myself.”
Beseutyu grabbed Ark’s hands and begged.
“Now my request. Could you please find my grandson? If you’ve managed to defeat Galgashi then it shouldn’t be that difficult. Yes? I’ll do anything you want as long as you do this for me.”
Ark’s eyes twinkled. The first quest received in the Netherworld. Who knows what kind of compensation it would give. And he could also find some clues related to Magaro’s quest as a bonus. There was no reason to refuse.
He nodded and the quest information window appeared.
You’ve received a request from an old man in a small village.
Beseutyu records the events that occur in the vicinity. Recently, he sent his assistant and his grandson to Hagel Forest to investigate an event. But some time has been and they haven’t returned or contacted him. Find them in Hagel Forest and return them back safely.
‘It’s been a long time since I’ve received a quest.’
Ark stared at the information window. He thought back to the siege, killing Alan and the Dark Brothers incident…….he really hadn’t received any essential quests. But the highlight of a game was its quests. A complicated quest could completely change the pace of a game.
“Then shall I leave?”
Ark left Beseutyu’s house and headed towards the entrance. But there was work to do first before leaving for Hagel Village. The quest had a C rank difficulty. When considering Ark’s level, the difficulty wasn’t that high. But he didn’t know the rules of this world. So he had to update the resurrection point in case he died.
‘My current resurrection point is the red wilderness on middle earth. Since the gate is closed, if I update the resurrection point to here then there is no way to return to middle earth.’
When he first arrived in the village, he hesitated at the idea. But since the beginning of Magaro’s quest was in the Netherworld, he couldn’t proceed with the quest in such a dangerous state. A totem made of bone and leather was placed at the village entrance. He had seen a similar totem in the jungle near Cairo. Although the resurrection point was at the Quartermaster’s in human villages, the totem build at the village entrance took the role of the Quartermaster’s instead. A message window appeared when he touched the totem.
|-Would you like to register the ‘Valley Village’ in the Netherworld as your new base?|
Ark finished the registration and unfolded his map. The red dot which Beseutyu indicated was blinking from a place not that far away. If he used Radun then he could get there in 10~20 minutes.
“Now shall I leave? Radun, transform…….eh?”
While Ark was ordering Radun to transform, he looked at the valley’s entrance in surprise. Three shadows emerged from where a sandstorm was raging.
“Wait……..those chubby figures are……..?”
“Huk huk huk, it’s a village!”
“Sob, I thought I would freeze and die.”
“We also couldn’t sleep properly after being chased by monsters……..”
“I’m hungry Hyung-nim.”
“Hang in there. We’ll be able to rest once we enter the town.”
The 3 merchants emerged from the sandstorm and approached the village. Yes, it was the Three Little Pigs who had chased after Ark and entered the Netherworld. They dived into the picture full of dreams. They had dreamed that they would find stacks of treasure piled up like a mountain.
“Huhuhu, now all the suffering is over. We’ll wait for a chance to hit Ark in the back of the head and intercept the treasure!”
They hadn’t chased after Ark with no plan. If the 3 of them tackled Ark then it wasn’t possible for him to win. That’s because they wandered the auction roo, for several days and got their hands on a bag of weapons and tricks. Very few people were aware of the fraudulent weapons so they were positive the weapons would hit Ark in his head.
“Now our suffering will end and we’ll live happily!”
Puk puk puk!
The three pig brothers literally became buried in snow. After leaving the gate, they didn’t find the treasure they expected. Everything was snow! Only the freezing cold greeted them. And they couldn’t even see Ark who came before them. In fact, the dimensional door to the Netherworld in the cabin changed location every time someone entered it. In other words, the three brothers used the door after Ark and landed in a different location. Then their desperate struggle for survival began. They were merchants more used to handling money. However, they were dumped into the snowy mountains covered with snow and ice. Fortunately, they had prepared to chase after Ark and filled their bags with all sorts of travel related goods. They had thick coats and also bought enough food. And since they had the ‘Camping’ skill, there were in a relatively better position than Ark. But they were still merchants.
After coming down from the snowy mountains, the wilderness was too dangerous for them. No matter the distance, they would flee from monsters and after repeating this, they finally arrived at the village after running out of food. Meanwhile, Ark had rushed forward on Radun and arrived before them.
“Let’s ask about Ark in this town.”
“But he’s already been here for more than a fortnight.”
“He may have already grabbed the treasure and gone home.”
Ulmeok cried out in a worried voice. In fact, that was what Buksil was most concerned about. If Ark already grabbed the treasure then all their suffering would be in vain. And after a fortnight had passed, there was no way of tracking Ark since his location was unknown.
“We can’t just go back after we came here. We have to see it through to the end.”
So the Three Little Pig Brothers arrived at the village.
“It is good to meet you in a place like this.”
Then they suddenly heard a familiar voice. Buksil lifted his head and barely swallowed his scream. Surprisingly, it was Ark looking at them with folded arms. Ulmeok swallowed his cry and said to his brothers in a desperate voice.
“Huk, A-Ark. Hyung-nim. It is Ark.”
“I can see that. Damn. Although we were looking for him, to encounter him like this……”
“What do we do? Should we run away?”
“No. This is fine. After all, it would be over if we couldn’t find him. And it’ll be useless if we run away after being caught. If he has doubts then it would be difficult to secretly follow him to the location. He’ll have suspicions and it’ll be impossible to hit him in the back of the head.”
“But will he accept?”
“Huhuhu, I have an idea. He is simple. He believed us when we previously told him we were fans. He’s definitely the weak type against those kind of things. If we keep on praising him then he’ll be easy. Just watch me.”
Then Buksil poked himself in the eye and turned around. His eyes became bloodshot and tears suddenly flowed from them. Buksil ran towards Ark in that state.
“Aigoo, Ark-nim! It’s so good to see you!”
“Hrm………what are you guys doing here?”
Ark squinted his eyes and stared at them. Buksil answered with a heavy sigh while tears dripped down his face.
“We’ve been looking for Ark-nim.”
“Yes, actually. Isn’t Ark-nim being supported by the fan club?”
“So what? Our fan club formed thanks to the excellent fighting scene Ark-nim showed. But our members have started declining because they haven’t seen those scenes anymore.”
“So? You want to stop the donations?”
“N-no! Absolutely not. Anyway, we respect Ark-nim so much that we went through a lot of suffering to meet you again. We were wondering if we could promote Ark-nim in order to get more members? So we came up with an idea. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we accompanied Ark-nim on an amazing adventure? If we show a video of the amazing adventure then our members will be impressed. And our donations will increase if the number of members increases.”
Buksil clasped his hands together and entreated.
“How is it? Isn’t it a great idea? After gathering the member’s ideas, we began to search for Ark-nim. We looked up Ark-nim’s achievements as a form of evidence. Then by chance……….it really was by chance…….we heard rumours that you went to the red wilderness and ended up following you here.”
Buksil wiped the tears with his sleeves with a pitiful expression.
“Sob, you wouldn’t know how much trouble we went through just to get here. But we endured thanks to our commitment to meeting Ark-nim. It is something I’m truly proud of.”
The three pig brothers embraced each other and cried.
‘How did these children shadow me?’
Ark stared at the three pig brothers playing around with a frown on his forehead. Ark couldn’t even laugh at the unbelievable excuse. He already knew that those guys were targeting Magaro’s legacy from a long time ago. Ark didn’t know how they followed him, but their ulterior motive was to hit him in the back.
‘I should just kill them.’
Although there were 3 of them, they were still merchants. But the problem was that if he killed them, he would obtain a chaotic alignment. But they wouldn’t go away even if he requested it.
‘How………wait, aren’t these guys merchants? Then………”
Ark suddenly came up with an idea of how to take advantage of the three pig brothers. After organizing it in his thoughts, Ark approached them.
“I’m really impressed.”
“To think that my fans have such a high impression of me…….but granting your request is a burden for me. Frankly, this place is quite arduous by myself. I won’t be able to complete my task and protect you at the same time. In this situation, you might even die because of me.”
“You don’t have to worry about that.”
“Yes, we are not afraid of death.”
“We would be willing to die for Ark-nim.”
“We’ll do anything for you, even if it’s running errands!”
“You’ll do anything for me?”
A sinister smile then emerged on Ark’s face.
“Okay, then let me ask you something. Have you updated your resurrection place to here?”
“No. This is the first time here. We were just about to do it.”
“Don’t do it.”
“In fact, I was just in a difficult situation. I’ve gathered a bunch of items in order to sell it and my bags are full. Unfortunately, I can’t sell it in this village so I have a surplus of items.”
The three pig brothers suddenly felt anxious for some reason.
“It is simple. 1 of you should sell it instead.”
“You can’t sell the items here?”
“No, so one of you will have to return to middle earth and sell it there.”
“Eh? B-but we don’t know the way back.”
“Didn’t you say your resurrection place hasn’t updated yet?”
The three pig brothers now realised Ark’s intention and became terrified. Yes, if they didn’t update the resurrection point in this world then wouldn’t they revive in middle earth if they died? In other words, Ark was saying to die while holding his items. In fact, this method was often used in online games. It might take some time to get back to the village, so people just died. But it was more used in other games. Most users wouldn’t use such a method in New World since they would lose experience and stats if they died.
“You said you were my fans? Wouldn’t fans who came all the way here do such a simple favour for me?”
“Don’t you want to take a video of my adventures? In this situation, I would have to return to middle earth to sell my things. If I have to go back then wouldn’t that be a boring video? Anyway, you don’t need 3 people to shoot a video.”
The three pig brothers had nothing to retort.
“We need to talk about it for a little bit.”
Finally, Buksil took his brothers and withdrew to talk about it. Ulmeok let out a frightened cry.
“H-hyung-nim. What do we do?”
“Um……..He is an evil guy. He obviously considers our lives worthless. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Anyway, that guy has extraordinary senses so he might become aware of our goal before we reach the destination. We’ll have no chance if that happens.”
“Ulmeok, you might have to go through a little bit of trouble this time.”
Buksil said as he placed his hands on Ulmeok’s shoulders.
“You mean I’ll be the one killed?”
“We have no choice. If we don’t give into his demands then he’ll leave. And we can’t secretly follow him because he’s seen us. We have no choice but to accept the requirements if we want to go with him.”
“Sob……..it is terrible.”
Tears dripped from Ulmeok’s eyes.
“I’m sorry. But Hyung won’t let your sacrifice be in vain. I’ll do whatever it takes to steal the treasure. When that happens, you’ll be laughing as you talk about what occurred today.”
“Sob, I understand.”
“I’m sorry. Don’t cry!”
The three pig brothers burst out crying as they embraced each other.
“Okay. Because we respect Ark-nim. We’ll accept your request.”
After a while, the three pig brothers returned with swollen eyes.
“Ah, I can live now. Thank you. I won’t forget it. So let’s sign the contract.”
Ulmeok will sell the items given by Ark and then send the money to Ark’s registered mailbox at the Magic Institute. There will be no sales charge and everything will be handled for free.
Ark handed over his japtem after receiving the contract.
“Then………I’ll be going.”
Ulmeok looked at his brothers as he spoke tearfully but turning around and went off to die.
“Sob……..Ulmeok, your sacrifice will not be in vain………”
Buksil and Sapjil teared up as they watched their brother get further away. However, there was a wicked smile on Ark’s face.
‘Heh, they dared to attempt cheap tricks in front of me?’
Ark had no intention of finishing it like this. A lot of monsters in the Netherworld dropped japtem. In other words, once he’s filled his bag then the situation would be repeated again. Buksil and Sapjil will be his emergency bags for the moment. Every time he filled up his bag then there would be an excuse to send them away. No, he didn’t have to give a serious reason. As long as he received the contract then he might even just let them die during a fight.
‘With two guys, I can use it twice in the future!’
Now he didn’t have to worry about bag space for a while.
‘I’ll get rid of them before I search for Magaro’s laboratory.’
It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that he was truly wicked. Ark was ruthless once he’s sunk his claws into an opponent. But there was one problem. He didn’t know whether they were serious or not, but Buksil was really recording while he accompanied Ark. If he posted on the public bulletin board then he would reveal Ark’s whereabouts. If could become quite a problem for Ark who didn’t want to catch people’s attention. But if he refused then there was no reason to take them along with him. However after thinking about it, there was no reason to worry for the moment.
“But how are you going to record me?”
“Yes? Well, I’m using an item for video capture……..”
Buksil brought out an item similar to a telescope. In New World it was possible to purchase an item to record videos.
|Reggie’s Magic Projector
A luxurious magic projector launched by the Magic Institute.
Using the information from the ancient memory crystals, this magic projector has to technology to record things. However, the memory only lasts for 1 hour and it is sold separately from the projector.
It was a relatively expensive item for a hobby but it was quite popular among the dating couples in New World.
“Really? Then I have to transform myself. Because my fans know me as Dark Wolf.”
Yes, if he turned into Dark Wolf then he would become a different person from Ark. Then there would be no problem if the video became public!
“Now, let’s go?”
Ark transformed into Dark Wolf and smiled, revealing his fangs. The wolf and the pigs………..their relationship was fated.