SPACE 4. The 3rd Group (PART: 1)
A curse naturally emerged. He saw the same information window every time he died on the battlefield. But this time he hadn’t been killed on the battlefield. He had wandered away from the unit while searching for Iridium and had been discovered by a Carack scouting unit. Killed on the battlefield, dying while picking Iridium……
“This is a complete thrashing.”
That wasn’t the whole problem. Ark had taken a few steps. Then there was a sound effect and a red warning message floated in front of him.
|-Your satiety had fallen to 20% and you are in a ‘hungry’ state.|
‘In the end I’m hungry……’
A sigh emerged from Ark’s mouth as he grabbed his stomach. Ark had gone to extract Iridium twice in two days. Iridium harvesting was similar to finding gold dust. They had to find a small piece of Iridium in the dirt. However, the competition was fierce among prisoners and he had failed to collect the amount required for food. And his satiety had fallen until he reached the ‘hunger’ state. The countdown to starvation had started.
“Not only do I have to worry about dying in battle, I also have to worry about starving to death……”
This was the first time he had been so miserable since playing online games.
But Ark braced himself.
‘Yes, I am Ark. I can’t collapse from this much. There is always an escape hole even if the sky is falling. If I endure then I will find a way. I’ll endure. Hang in there. I just have to hold on and avoid starving to death!’
Ark had realized something during his time here. The minimum condition for survival on Beltana was the procurement of food. The satiety system also existed in Galaxian. If satiety fell below 50% then penalties would be applied to the stats. That was the reason Ark died so easily when he was found by 10 Carack. With his stats decreased by 50% thanks to the 20% satiety, Ark couldn’t even deal with scouting Caracks. No, he couldn’t even run away before being skewered and dying.
‘The problem is this situation is difficult to escape from once it happens.’
If he died of starvation then satiety would be restored when he resurrected. However, satiety would only recover to 50%. A penalty was received as soon as he revived. Of course, the chances of surviving on the battlefield would decrease with the penalty. He also received a -50 achievement if he fought but if he died of starvation then he would lose another 100 achievement points. It was like a vicious cycle of borrowing money from loan sharks and then borrowing even more to pay off the previous debt. Now Ark’s biggest target was a meal.
‘I’m lucky despite that.’
Ark sighed with relief as he looked at his backpack. He had realized the importance of food supply and started gathering Iridium. Although he became too greedy and died from wandering off, at least he wouldn’t die of starvation. He was satisfied when he saw the amount he gathered……
“Ah! Damn, my stomach seems to be twisting with pain. Let’s hurry.”
Ark grabbed his starving stomach and ran across the base. He finally arrived at the supplies distribution tent near the prisoners’ barracks. Ark heard some shocking words.
“It’s not enough.”
A woman in an officer’s uniform said in a serious voice. Her name was Irina. She was the female officer who talked to Peratul the first time Ark arrived at Beltana. She was an eye-catching beauty who caught the interest of the prisoners when they saw her for the first time. But no prisoners dared throw a joke at her after a few days. There were two reasons. One was that she was in charge of distributing the supplies that was like a lifeline to the prisoners and the other……
“It’s not? What are you saying?”
“Can’t you see it?”
Irina indicated the scales in front of the supplies. The Iridium Ark had gathered was placed on the scale and had stopped between 99 and 100.
“100 grams is required for Space Food. Unfortunately you are lacking the required amount.”
“T-that…..you won’t give me food because I am lacking 0.5 grams?”
“You are still lacking even if it is only by 0.5 grams.”
“T-that is ridiculous!”
“It is the rules.”
“W-wait a minute! My satiety had already fallen to 20%! If I can’t purchase food this time then I will die of starvation before the next harvesting operation!”
“Then it will be like that. I’ll see you next time.”
Irina dropped the death penalty on him with an emotionless face.
……This was the second reason the prisoners stopped showing their interest. Ark and the prisoners shabby forms were thin and sunken in from starvation. Anyone looking would feel sympathy! However, Irina was so lacking in compassion that she would let him die even if he was lacking 0.5 grams. The prisoners had a bad impression of the woman who let them starve.
“Damn, what type of business is this? How anal retentive.”
“There’s no doubt that she’s an ill-tempered old woman in her 40’s in reality.”
“As expected, it isn’t possible to believe the faces in the game.”
It was now accepted as fact among the prisoners that Irina was a lady in her forties. However, Ark didn’t care if Irina was old or not. If he couldn’t get any food this time then he would die of starvation.
“It’s really terrible!”
Ark shouted angrily.
“Of course I’m a prisoner. But I’m also a soldier fighting for the federation. Right now a soldier is starving to death. And I’m only lacking 0.5 grams at most. Yet you just want me to starve?”
Ark’s sympathy plan didn’t work so he tried to use logic.
“Didn’t I tell you? It is the rules.”
As expected, it didn’t work.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re missing 0.5 grams or 0.1 grams. If you’re finished then get out of the way.”
Deep anger at the federation boiled in his chest. Ark wanted to stab her even more than the Carack!
However, Ark pushed down his anger. She was the quartermaster for the prisoners. Prisoners could do nothing against her.
‘But if I can’t get food this time then I’ll starve and die. Only……’
Ark worried a while before using his last resort. Ark hadn’t understood when he saw the prisoners the first time he came to Beltana. Beltana was a planet with a temperature of -50 degrees Celsius. Even if he had the body coating which adapted his body to the harsh environment, he still felt the cold. Yet there were quite a few shirtless prisoners. But Ark could now understand the reason.
“I will use this!”
Ark took off his jacket and handed it to Irina. This was the reason why the prisoners were shirtless.
Iridium wasn’t the only way to get supplies. Various loot obtained from the Rama and the equipment the prisoners were wearing could also be exchanged for supplies. But when they were arrested, all the items were confiscated. He was only left his equipment and weapons. It was all in order not to die of starvation.
“Hmm, this amount is worth 3 Space Foods.
And his coat was exchanged for 3 Space Foods. He felt chilled to the bone after taking off the coat. Ark became a ‘prisoner who was starving’ to a ‘bare and starving prisoner.’
‘I’ve sold my armour……what now?’
Ark asked as he withdrew from the supplies tent.
“Hey, you over there.”
Suddenly a group of soldiers approached from the side. They wore the mark of the galactic federation. A sigh naturally flowed out when he saw the shiny equipment. Ark had also received the scouting offer from the galactic federation and never replied. However, he judged that they didn’t fit together. That was what Ark regretted most about going to Beltana. The regular troops on Beltana were all pioneers contracted with the galactic federation. They were dispatched by the federation and could use the Fairy and get supplies for free. They also received achievements and could get various equipment according to how much points they earned. A lot of soldiers also received battle suits if they earned enough achievements.
‘If I had accepted Ponen’s offer then……’
Ark had put them off. However, he had then been caught in a contract with the hamster. In the end, he became a criminal and was forever deprived of the opportunity to contract with the federation. He was a stripped prisoner so he looked at the federation soldiers with jealous eyes. He grasped the status different with just one glance.
“Are you a user?”
There was a status difference so he had no choice but to stomach the rude tone. Ark nodded and the man with a square chin laughed.
“You, do you want to get out of here?”
Ark was confused by the sudden question. The guy placed his arm over Ark’s shoulder and spoke in a low voice.
“In fact, I have an offer for you.”
“Yes, you’ve been here for a while so you should know the atmosphere right? Frankly, it is impossible for a prisoner to gain enough achievements to be pardoned. It is difficult to gain enough food not to die of starvation let alone any achievement points. It seems you’ve also realized that as you took off your upper armour. But if won’t be difficult to get food and achievements if we help you. Of course, you’ll have to show some sincerity in return.”
“Show some sincerity…..how?”
“Kikikik, you know. You’re a user. I’m also a user.”
“Users have their own way of communicating. It is simple. You just need to show your sincerity through my account. Then we’ll pay attention to you. We will protect you from the long range bombing. We’ll also allow you to build up achievements. It will only cost 2 million won. How about it? Wouldn’t that be better than quitting the game?”
Ark frowned as he heard those words.
‘Who does this fellow think I am?’
He was amazed by those words. Who was Ark? He was a legendary gamer. The reason he started Galaxian was because he was commissioned by the government. He might be a prisoner, shirtless and starving but still! Still! A legendary gamer couldn’t give money to people to protect him! It was a blow to his pride! Ark had almost reached his limit…..
“That…..I can’t afford it right now.”
The man with a square jaw laughed.
“Then if you find the money then look for me. I am Valencia of the 1st armoured platoon.”
The man called Valencia laughed and left. He was so angry he wanted to drive a bullet into someone. But like the supplies tent, he had no choice but to stomach it. Even if he survived the long distance bombing, he still had to fight the Rama in close combat.
At this point, the survival of the prisoners depended on the actions of the regular troops.
If the regular troops helped then their survival rate would increase by leaps and bounds. Especially if they were the users from Valencia’s 1st armoured platoon. Wearing battle suits, they were the elite federation troops. Of course, Ark never thought of paying money for help. If he was someone other than Ark then he probably would’ve paid for help. However, his pride wouldn’t allow him to no matter the circumstances. He rejected it because he couldn’t bear to pay money. It could also be more harmful than helpful. They might increase the chances of survival but not by that much.
“First that woman at the supplies tent and now that man. It is enough to make me miserable.”
Ark murmured with a bitter expression.
“Those guys are dangerous.”
A voice was heard from close by. He turned his head and saw a prisoner. A few days had passed since Ark came to Beltana so he already knew some of the prisoners. The old man was the most senior person in the prisoner unit and was an NPC called Mellin.
“Our difficulties are because of those guys.”
“Huh? What are you saying?”
“Ah, of course you wouldn’t know about it.”
Mellin scratched his head and complained.
“In fact, the circumstances weren’t that bad when I arrived at Beltana. The circumstances were similar to now but the prisoners could gather a lot of Iridium so they didn’t need to worry about food. But a few months ago, the Rama managed to break the stalemate and secured a wide area. There are so many scouting units that we can’t go far from the base to extract Iridium.”
Ark also knew all of that. The 1st armoured platoon said they could help Ark but they were also defeated on the battlefields. Of course, they gained quite a bit of equipment and achievements before dying but the federation was losing the war. The Rama and the federation were technically at a stalemate. The decisive act to win was destroying the opponent’s Fairy and Star Gate. Therefore satellite and radar weapons were mobilized to find the enemy’s stronghold where the Fairy and Star Gate were contained. However, it was difficult for them to detect each other. Therefore the Rama continuously used the Carack and the federation used the androids to search for the enemy’s stronghold. But in battles, the troops that were defeated had their ground taken away. They would continuously do this until the soldiers ended up retreating back to their home base. Currently, the war situation on Beltana was 7:3 in the favour of the Rama.
‘Well, it doesn’t matter to me if the federation wins or not…..’
However, the prisoners were in a serious situation because the areas containing Iridium were being taken away. Not only was Iridium difficult to get, the chances of being attacked by a Rama scouting unit also increased.
“Why doesn’t the federation send more reinforcements?”
“They don’t have any.”
Mellin responded in a deep voice.
“Beltana isn’t the only place where the Rama and federation are fighting. Although it isn’t a complete war, the federation and Rama are fighting in several places around the Galaxy. In fact, compared to other regions the Beltana battlefield is quite small. So the federation can only dispatch the prisoner unit. Listening to the regular soldiers talking…..”
Mellin whispered in a low voice.
“I heard that an amazing person has recently appeared among the Rama. There had been fierce battles between the Rama and the federation all over the universe. The federation was dominant but that changed 180 degrees when that guy appeared.”
“I’ve heard that story.”
Another prisoner nodded as he interrupted their conversation.
“The federation outnumbered them 100 to 20 and a Rama warrior wearing a red battle suit wiped them all out. So he got the nickname Red Slaughterer.”
Ark frowned at those words. He wasn’t sure why but that name gave him a disturbing feeling.
But Ark had other things to worry about than a Rama warrior running wild on other planets. The important thing was that the federation wouldn’t send any reinforcements to Beltana. In the end, the regular troops were broken by the Rama and he couldn’t extract any more Iridium. Ark had died because the Beltana regular troops were worthless.
‘Yet they even wanted some bribes…..’
He became angry once again. In the end, those guys were just strutting around trying to act elite. But right now Ark couldn’t curse them. Once he realized the circumstances again, it really was deplorable.
“They might seem disgusting but they’re not exactly wrong. So day, only prisoners who paid a protection fee to them managed to escape from this place. If you can afford to give something to them then you will be better off. I would’ve also done that if I could. It is better than staying in a place like this for 1 year.”
“Eh? 1-1 year?”
Mellin sighed and nodded. A horrible scene appeared in his imagination at Mellin’s words.
‘I can’t stay here for 1 year.’
It would’ve been alright if he could fight on the battlefield to some degree. Yet the result was always death. 100 achievement points were taken every time he died so he was at a standstill if he gradually earned achievements.
‘If my experience increased a little bit then……’
Galaxian’s revival system was through registering at the Fairy. Even if he earned experience on the battlefield, it would return to zero when he died. His achievements were decreased and he was the same level as before so it was a vicious circle. It was even difficult to purchase food to eat right now.
Yes, there was no way he could escape from this place.
‘Even if I don’t have to worry about food…..’
The military situation was worsening so extracting Iridium was more difficult. There was also an intense competition among the prisoners so it was hard to even obtain 1 gram of Iridium!
Anyway, it was impossible to build achievements if he was starving on the battlefield.
‘Dammit, what’s the point of my new skills? I don’t even have any chances to use it.’
Ark sighed as he looked at the skill information window. Then something popped into Ark’s head.
‘Wait? Iridium is a space resource. Then perhaps…..maybe……’
Thoughts began to revolve quickly in his head. The conclusion that he came to…..
‘It is worth a try!’
Just as Ark was thinking this.
“Hmm hmm, didn’t you get some space food before? I’m sorry but just one…..”
Mellin studied Ark’s face and spoke carefully. This was the reason Mellin kindly gave him the information. He approached in order to receive one Space Food. He was a senior prisoner on Beltana for 1 year so he couldn’t get that much food. Food for prisoners were urgently required. Ark was the same as well. He had exchanged his armour in -50 degrees weather for food. Normally he wouldn’t give away one food generously.
“Here it is!”
Ark threw food to Mellin before running to the supply tent. Once again, the goods spread through the supplies tent weren’t just food. Various equipment and general supplies as well as food were sold there. Of course, the prisoners couldn’t even afford food so there was no way they could get the other equipment. But there was something necessary for Ark.
‘As expected, it is here!’
Ark’s eyes brightened as he examined the supply tent and he shouted.
“That one! How much is it?”
“That…..1 kg of Iridium.”
Irina looked towards the place Ark indicated and replied.
“What about this?”
Ark took off his shoes and asked. Irina frowned as he placed the shoes on the counter.
“That is only worth 300 grams of Iridium.”
‘Damn, do I have to use my last resort?’
Ark worried for a while before taking off his pants. Ark took off his top, shoes and pants so his character was almost naked. Being naked in -50 degrees weather……
His jaw instantly trembled after he became naked in the game. However, he didn’t freeze and die thanks to the body coating!
Ark caught his first glimmer of hope.
|–Your body has been restored through the revival system ‘Fairy.’
The Fairy in this disputed area is only offered free of charge to the regular troops of the galactic federation. The hired soldiers will need to pay a fee to revive. However, prisoners forcibly drafted will pay with 100 achievements. In addition, the time it takes to revive will depend on the level like the other Fairies.
* 30 minutes of playing time and 100 achievements have been consumed in order to revive.
Ark laughed. A Rama scouting troop wandering the area had been discovered and the prisoner unit dispatched. Ark had died from the long distance bombing before even seeing the Rama troops.
It was natural. His pants, shoes and armour had been exchanged so Ark was naked. There was no way he could survive the bombing in such a state. The Rama’s long distance bombing exploded onto Ark’s -50 degrees frozen body. Therefore his achievements were shaved by -50 again but…..
‘I’ve already thrown away my body so -50 achievements is nothing.’
Ark wasn’t interested in achievements now. He was walking around naked and gambling everything on one bet! Ark had been on the verge of getting the results he wanted when he had been summoned to the battlefield. That’s right…..
“Please weigh this.”
Ark walked into the supplies tent and said. Then he started pulling black ores out of his bag.
The black ore with a faint purple aura around it was Iridium. However, the Iridium Ark took out was different from the other prisoners. His Iridium wasn’t a small particle like gold dust! They were 10 lumped of Iridium the size of a fist.
The prisoners in the area gaped as they heard Irina’s answer. It was difficult to even obtain 50~60 grams of Iridium from hours of searching through the ground. It was natural to react like that when seeing 8 kg.
“N-no way! How on earth? Where did such Iridium come from……”
The corners of Ark’s mouth lifted as he heard the prisoners talking.
‘I also thought it was impossible at first.’
It was impossible to collect several kilograms of Iridium when they were mixed with the earth like sand particles. Ark rapidly changed his mind after seeing a skill on his Nymphe.
|-A new skill (Common Occupation ☆) has been learnt.
Dig (User, Active): A useful technique to dig at the ground with a shovel. Something as simple as shovelling also have their own tips. You’ve dug for a long time so you have discovered the knack of digging more efficiently.
It was the digging skill! In fact, Ark had forgotten he had this skill. It was because Ark couldn’t see the Nymphe’s information window when he mastered this skill. But Ark was able to confirm the skill when he arrived at Beltana because of the galactic federation. That was the idea that popped into his head.
‘The Rama and galactic federation are fighting over Beltana because it has a significant amount of Iridium. In order words, the Iridium might be buried. The prisoners had to obtain small particles of Iridium which was difficult thanks to the Rama. There might be even more pieces buried under the ground. Then it is better to dig for Iridium then wander around blindly looking for it!’
And the odds of discovering minerals increased with the Dig skill. Ark’s expectation was correct and he was able to get more Iridium. The problem was that a shovel was essential to use the Dig skill. Tori have given him a shovel to dig the tunnel but that was seized when he arrived at Beltana. So he had to take it off. He took off his shoes and pants in order to exchange them for a shovel. He was cold and gave up on his defense.
“I predicted it correctly……”
Despite trembling and being so cold he felt like dying, he was forced to go out in the -50 degrees weather. It was a gamble where he gave up all his defense items and risked his life to buy a shovel! He put his life on the line and started shovelling.
|-You have discovered Iridium!|
A jackpot like message rose in front of him.
“It came! Iridium! And it is a lump of ore!”
There was a lot of ore in the ground. That’s because there wasn’t anyone among the prisoners with the digging skill. It was natural. This was the future with space ships flying. In this age with machines like excavators, what type of person would use a primitive item like a shovel? Moreover, it hadn’t been that long since the game started so most users were focused on raising their level. But he had spent a week digging in the ground. Obviously he would learn the digging skill! Now that he could mine Iridium, his circumstances changed by 180 degrees. The other prisoners had to search through the soil to find a sliver of Iridium……
|-You have discovered Iridium!|
|-You have discovered Iridium!|
Ark crazily dug up the earth and found chunks of Iridium. He had managed to collect 8 kg of Iridium in just one day! When considering that the other prisoners gathered 50~60 grams, it was 160 times the efficiency.
‘Digging is really useful!’
Indeed there are no useless skills in the game. Ark realized that truth after seeing the Iridium piled up in his bag.
‘How about it? Am I different from the other prisoners now?’
Ark puffed up with a conceited expression as he looked at Irina. Well, he might seem like a pervert but he still gathered 8 kg in one day. Even the emotionless face of the robotic Irina had to change. However, unlike his expectations Irina didn’t have any reaction.
“What do you want to exchange it for?”
‘What? What’s with this reaction? Aren’t you surprised? Huh? Don’t you have no choice but to be surprised? This is startling!’
Ark tried to convey that through his expression but there was no response. In the end, Ark just gave up and looked at the goods.
Space Food (Iridium 100 g) – Your satiety will increase by 20% when eating this.
Purified water (Iridium 100g)- When drinking with Space Food, the satiety will increase by 30%.
Equipment Repair Kit (Iridium 500g) – General equipment can be repaired.
Smoke Bomb (Iridium 1.5 kg) – A smoke screen will spread out in a 30 metre radius.
Low-level Recovery Ampoules (Iridium 5 kg) – This will restore 250 health immediately…..
He could buy 8 kg worth of items.
‘I’ve obtained kilograms of food so I don’t have to worry about food anymore.’
He could buy food at any time. Naturally the various equipment and weapons caught his eye. The prisoners had exchanged their equipment for food. Ark had also taken off his equipment. His armour was equivalent to 1.3 kg of Iridium. However, interest piled up and now he had to pay 2.5 kg to buy it back.
‘Even if I take back my equipment, there is 5.5 kg left.’
He eyed the other things he could afford.
‘Smoke bombs and recovery ampoules……’
If he bought a few of them then it would raise his survival rate. But Ark soon shook his head.
‘No. These supplies won’t be a big help on the battlefield. If I think about the amount of achievements I have to earn in the future, they won’t be enough. I have to invest in something like this now. This is what I really need to survive!’
Ark surveyed the goods for a while and took a deep breath before speaking.
“Please return the equipment I left behind and change the rest for food and water.”
“The remaining Iridium…..is that right?”
Irina stated with a frown. It was the first time he had seen that look on her face. Of course she would be doubtful. He wanted to exchange 5.5 kg of Iridium for food and water. That was too many to eat by himself.
“You can also reserve mileage. Don’t you want to buy them steadily and get something useful for battle instead?”
“No, change it all to food.”
Ark replied in a firm voice. Irina looked doubtful but did as he asked without questioning Ark any further. He gained 55 Space Food and Purified Water!
‘Now for the troublesome part!’
Ark headed towards the barracks holding the packed food.
Several prisoners visited him as soon as he sat down.
“That…..I’m sorry for asking.”
He didn’t even have to listen to their requests. Most of the prisoners were starving from a lack of Iridium. This scene would obviously occur after buying 55 food. In this place food was the same as gold…..
“I can guess what your request is. Please take it.”
Ark gave one Space Food and Purified Water to each prisoner. Eating those together would fill satiety to 50%. That amount was enough to recover so that they wouldn’t receive a penalty. The prisoners looked at Ark with wide eyes.
“Y-you’re just giving it?”
“You don’t like it?”
“N-no, I didn’t mean it like that……”
“You and I have fellow soldiers suffering the same things. We are sharing our lives. It is natural to share food with fellow soldiers. If you’re hungry then visit at any time.”
“It’s okay. Aren’t we fellow soldiers?”
Ark smiled and shook their hands. The prisoners were immersed in a crucible of emotions. It was natural. They were lacking food so there was a desperate struggle for even one small piece of Iridium. Giving this much food away for free was unthinkable. Ark looked like a saviour in the eyes of the prisoners.
“W-what did you say? You said you were going to help fellow soldiers right?”
Mellin who had already received food asked. Ark gave him a condescending look and laughed.
“Bring anyone who is hungry. I can’t promise to help everyone but I’ll do everything in my power.”
“Ohh, for someone like you to be here!”
Mellin brought some more prisoners. Their bodies were so shabby it seemed like they had been starving for ages.
“It must be hard. Please take it.”
Ark distributed the food to them without asking for anything in return. That helped Ark on the battlefield.
“It’s dangerous! Ugh!”
If the other prisoners spotted damage then they wouldn’t hesitate to block the attacks. It didn’t matter if they were killed because of it! As the days passed, Ark’s name started to spread among the prisoners.
“Hey, have you heard about a guy called Ark?”
“Ark? Of course. Yesterday I received food from Ark.”
“So he’s really giving the food for free?”
“Yes, but only to people who are about to die of starvation. Anyway, quite a few people stopped dying of starvation because of Ark. And that’s not all. Ark didn’t care about self-protection and even helped me on the battlefield. Well, I still eventually died……”
“Ha! He really is a crazy guy. Why is he doing that?”
“What? Crazy? This bastard!”
The prisoner’s warm look changed to anger.
“Don’t talk too much! Shut up, we’re prisoners so how can we distinguish between good or bad? I was really impressed. If you’re going to talk like that then don’t come to this place. Anyway, Ark said we are fellow soldiers. Fellow soldiers! Do you know what that means? I will never let you speak badly about Ark!”
It only took Ark three days to hear talk like this.
‘Huhuhu, it is going as planned.’
Ark laughed as he noticed the atmosphere among the prisoners. Ark became like an angel thanks to his venture into philanthropy. No, it was because there was nowhere overflowing with Iridium. There was a reason for it. Ark had gained 8 kg of Iridium the first time he used the digging skill.
‘I don’t need to worry about starving to death!’
Ark was glad about that and ran wild. But after some time passed, he felt rather lonely. He was definitely pleased about not having to worry about dying anymore. \When he was on Nephalim, hunting one monster was enough for several days worth of food. He was glad he didn’t have to die of starvation anymore but……
Rejoicing in something like that by himself felt lonely.
‘Be steady Ark! Your goal is to live!’
Ark had to become the best player in Galaxian. He had to get off Beltana in order to do this.
“Yes, that’s right. The important thing right now is to get off Beltana. The problem of living is settled for now so I have to focus all my power on that objective. Fortunately it is possible to gain recovery ampoules and equipment from here. I’ve found a way to obtain Iridium so buying them won’t be a problem. But……’
It wasn’t a 1 on 1 battle. Ark was fighting on a battlefield filled with hundreds and thousands of soldiers. A few ampoules and equipment won’t have much effect. Especially if his level was low.
Therefore the thing Ark needed right now was colleagues! Reliable colleagues.
‘The prisoner unit is different from the other troops. The atmosphere was bloody as the prisoners fought over pieces of Iridium. In such an atmosphere, asking to be colleagues right now won’t work. Then I should make them come to me first.’
That was the reason Ark changed all the Iridium to food. Not surprisingly, the prisoners started to visit when Ark gave out the food for free.
“If you give us the steady food supply then you can join our group.”
A prisoner called Guren said this to him. In fact, the prisoner unit were actually split into 3 groups.
The first group were the prisoners who paid money to Valencia to protect them. The second group were made of high level prisoners. And the last one were the prisoners who didn’t belong in the other two groups. Guren was the leader of the first group. Although the first group had a high survival rate thanks to the protection of the regular troops, the regular troops monopolized all the loot so it was difficult to get a steady food supply.
But Ark declined their offer
‘My survival rate will definitely increase if I join the first group. But unlike the other users, I have a conditional exemption. My position will be lower than the other users. Of course I will get a chance for achievements. If I survive the battle then I can get 50 achievements. I would rather make a new group.’
It was better to be the head of a snake then the tail of a dragon. Even a snake would be able to eat a frog. Despite having a small head, it could still get benefits.
‘And I’m going to absorb the 3rd group!’
Ark gave out the free food to the prisoners belonging to the 3rd group. Some users bribed Valencia with gold to protect them. And the 2nd group had to be a certain level. The 3rd group was where the remaining users and all the NPCs were gathered, which was why Ark picked the 3rd group.
‘They are the prisoners who don’t have a place to lean on. So I will buy their hearts!’
He could raise his intimacy with NPCs unlike users. It was no different when saving them from a harsh situation. His investment paid off after three days. He raised his public image with the NPCs. And little by little the effects showed.
“Ark, it is dangerous! You have to live!”
The prisoners who had helped started protecting Ark on the battlefield. The change in the NPCs spread quickly. It hadn’t even been 5 days before all the NPCs were surrounding Ark on the battlefield.
“Hyung-nim, give us a chance to return the favour! We will stop the bombing!”
His title changed to Hyung-nim in no time. So Ark formed the 3rd group in the prisoner unit. Thanks to the Space Food, the prisoners became loyal bodyguards!
“Now the game is starting!”