SPACE 5. Bio-Plant(PART : 2)
The first thing he saw were dozens of capsules.
The capsules filled with milky vapour were lined up on both sides of the wall. And there were multiple monitors with blue screens in the centre of the room.
Ark walked forward towards the monitor.
|-Bio-Plant Section B’s present state…….
Experimental Conditions: Ecosystem Conditions- Normal
Fog Generators- Normal
Spatial Wards Equipment- Normal
Laboratory Conditions: Archived Samples Status- Abnormal
That message floated on the monitor.
Bio-plant, a biomedical research center. Many of Ark’s questions had been resolved when he saw those words.
He was thinking it was strange. The T-rax and Dilophosaurus had been extinct a long time ago but now they existed in a space with heavy fog. This couldn’t be natural. There was an artificial force.
Ark had those thoughts and he finally found the answers here.
“Experimental conditions, ecosystem, fog generator, spatial ward…in other words, the dinosaurs in the foggy forest and the building’s owner…this must be the experimental place of the Alkan Clan. And this building is a type of laboratory to manage the forest and dinosaurs.”
He could figure out those things immediately. The reason why the Alkans who created this laboratory disappeared was still a mystery.
However, those questions were placed aside. There was a limit to how much he could figure out. Ark had already entered this world. And he was nervous about Irina but he couldn’t leave without finding Rapid and the Silver Hand.
It was natural. Ark was a user. A user had come to a dungeon. In addition, a mysterious ancient species had lived in this dungeon. He was looking at something invisible.
Leaving such a place without properly exploring it was outrageous! Once he stepped inside, he needed to sweep through and grab everything in the nooks and corners. Then he needed to figure out information about this underground world. There was no reason to worry ahead of time.
And Ark already knew where he needed to go. Another monitor was next to the one about the laboratory data. There was a triangle floating on the monitor that was divided into three equal parts labelled Section B, Section A and Nosferatu.
‘This triangle is a map that shows the structure of the underground world. And the forest area I was wandering in is Section B. Next to it is Section A. The Silver Hand and Rapid probably went into Section A. And if they progress a little more then they will arrive in Nosferatu, at the end of the underground world.’
If the Silver Hand and Rapid were still safe then they would naturally join forces while heading towards Nosferatu. And Nosferatu was probably the central place of the Alkan.
There was a high probability that he could gain something from Nosferatu. The problem was getting there.
“It is simple.”
Ark laughed as he manipulated the computer.
The forest was confusion due to the fog and spatial distortions.
If he got rid of these two things then he could head straight through to Section A and then Nosferatu. And Ark was current in front of the computer managing the fog and spatial wards!
|-Fog Generators- Stopped Working!
Spatial Wars Equipment- Stopped Working!
A simple manipulation could solve his problem.
“That’s it! Now….”
Ark’s gaze looked around.
“The specimens are probably being kept inside the capsule.”
The monitor stated that they were all corrupted. However, Ark was just ‘Ah, really? Then I have to see it.’ He needed to check everything. This was the correct action for a user! Ark manipulated the computer to open all the capsules.
Warururu. Tukk, busususu.
Dark objects poured out of the capsule. A thick stench also emerged along with it.
The dinosaurs witnessed in the forest were contained in the capsule but their status was closer to a fetus. But like the monitor said, it was just corrupted meat. However, he wasn’t the type to get disgusted or queasy by something like this.
|-T-Rex’s Cells (Rubbish)
The cells of the T-rex that reigned as the strongest ancient creature. However, it is so badly corrupted that it is useless.
It is just rotten meat.
“Sheesh, why did I bother? The smell is entering my nose. Well, there is nothing else to be found so I should go.”
Suddenly, a greasy object covering a rotten flesh caught his eye. A cry of confusion emerged from Ark’s mouth.
“Eh? T-this is?”
The stench of rotten flesh. There was only one decaying body. The body was in the shape of a person. But that wasn’t what caused Ark’s surprise.
No, it wasn’t a surprise to see a human mixed in with dead dinosaurs. It was more shocking to see the skin covering the body. The skin was like black, polished leather or metal. The texture of the skin was like the shell of an insect. The shape was different from Ark’s but….
“Battle suit? Oh my god! A Rama battle suit!”
Ark immediately ran over to the rotten flesh.
It was indeed a battle suit. There was a significant number of scratches on the surface of the battle suit and clearly someone had equipped it.
Ark was completely confused.
‘This is Istana. Why is there the body of a Rama in this place? In addition, the body was inside the capsule. A place that contains the samples of dinosaurs. In the end, the Alkan used the Rama as research material. Why? Weren’t the Alkan’s studying the ecology of dinosaurs?’
The questions kept on biting the tail of another question. However, Ark shook his head. He was curious but there wasn’t any explanation about the body. And currently, Ark couldn’t obtain any information to explain it.
So worrying about it would only hurt his head. And those facts weren’t important to Ark right now.
‘I should go to Nosferatu to find the answer. No, I don’t care about why the corpse of the Rama is here. The important ting is the Rama’s battle suit!’
A Galactic Federation’s mechanical battle suit could be upgraded. However, the Rama battle suit required the magical creature called Drone to upgrade. Two Rama battle suits were necessary for an upgrade. The experience would accumulate in one battle suit.
‘And the other one….!’
Ark touched the battle suit. The battle suit was wrapped in blue light and turned into an octagonal object.
|-You have obtained the core of a new battle suit!
* Cores Obtained to Date: (1X) Experience: 150,000/139,000
|-You lack the necessary experience to evolve!|
And the information window that appeared!
Unfortunately, he still lacked the experience to evolve.
However, simply fighting in a battle suit was enough to accumulate experience. The more difficult condition was to obtain the core of a battle suit. Once he absorbed a core, it was only a matter of time before his battle suit evolved.
If he had to give a brief summary….
Ark had a way to obtain the cores. Upgrades for the Galactic Federation battle suit were available in stores so the core could probably be purchased in a Rama store.
In Ark’s case, he was a member of the hostile Galactic Federation but it wouldn’t be a problem in the space frontier where all three powers gathered together. Even so, there was a reason Ark opened his mouth and said ‘Jackpot.’
Whether it was the Galactic Federation or Rama, materials could be purchased from stores to upgrade the performance. But if Ark reused a material that someone else used in the past then he would obtain bonuses.
The knowledge of the previous user. When Ark absorbed the battle suit of the Murat that died on Amara, he had obtained the skill Hyper Booster.
It meant there was an ‘X’ attached to the core! It meant a new skill would be created when upgrading the cores. The users shopped for ingredients so there was no reason to use old materials to upgrade.
Even if it took a while, material acquisition was more beneficial in the long term because it was a chance to obtain skills. That’s why he was happy about a ‘used’ core!
But that wasn’t the end. The ‘?’ wearing the battle suit was a mummy. After the battle suit was removed, the skin of the mummy cracked and it turned into powder. And light was then sucked into Ark’s hands?
At the same time, a video surfaced in front of him.
A ship was blowing out smoke on the ground.
Someone breathed roughly while staring at the ship with a desperate expression.
Then dozens of forms appeared on the ridge behind the spaceship.
They looked like the Alkans present in the photos found in the laboratory. The person wearing the battle suit resisted but was eventually captured by the Alkan. And just when he thought the video ended….
“Heok! Ugh! W-what is this?”
Ark was watching blankly when he screamed and jumped up. A sharp metal was in front of him. And a scream and blood rang out in the dark space!
At the same time, an information window appeared.
|-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.
+ The strength of the new Shire has increased mana by 25.
+ You have acquired a Rune (Sham) from the Murat memory contained.
|-A new skill (Common Occupation ☆☆☆☆☆) has been learnt.
Rune Carving – Sham (Users, Active): A rune modelled after the god that the ancient Murat served. At the time, the Murat served an unusual god until all the gods merged into each other.
The Murat made the rune ‘Sham’ to imitate the nature of the gods. People who have the Sham rune activated can combine two runes in order to manifest a new power.
+ Two runes can be fused in order to manifest a new effect.
“S-Shire! Wait? Then this corpse isn’t a Rama….”
It was a Murat. And perhaps this video was a memory imprinted on the Shire.
“What is this? Why is a Murat in this place? And that video just now? In the video, the Murat had been attacked by the Alkans. But he wasn’t killed. That last scene I saw….”
Blood was sprinkled all over the place and there was screaming! The Alkans had captured the Murat alive and tortured it. That’s why the Murat’s body was placed in the capsule as a sample.
He learned a few facts from this. The Murat meant the facility must have been created at least hundreds of years ago. And the Murat had a hostile relationship with the Alkans of this facility.
It was hard to understand why the body was kept as a specimen. Originally the Murat was a peace-oriented species. In addition, other species worshipped the Murat like they were gods. Even so, wasn’t there a Murat Elim sanctuary on Istana?
Why was there a tribe hostile to the Murat? The situation was becoming more complex after finding out about the Alkan and the Murat. However, Ark didn’t think about it any deeper.
“Ark-nim, what is going on?”
Irina yelled as she came running. Ferguson, A and B followed behind her while carrying their weapons. They had been searching the 2nd floor when they heard Ark’s screams. And they flinched and retreated with fright when seeing the corrupted dinosaurs on the floor.
“That is where the forest is managed.”
“Managing the forest?”
Ark nodded at Irina’s question and showed her the computers.
“The dinosaurs that we encountered in the forest were experiments created by the Alkan clan. And the Nosferatu of this underground world is probably the central place of the Alkans. The rest of the information will probably be obtained there.”
As expected of Irina! She neatly summed up the situation.
“But why were you screaming just now?”
“Huh? Oh, that…..”
It was only a short time ago but it seemed like a few hours.
“I was surprised by the rotten corpses pouring out of the capsule. I’m a little weak to things like this.”
“Huh? That was the reason? Hmm, it is certainly nasty but….”
Irina looked at the corpses with an unconcerned expression.
“That is a surprising weakness.”
Why? Why did there seem to be a misunderstanding?
“Anyway, I’ve done everything I need to do in this room. And the odor is getting worse. And now we’ve confirmed the underground world’s structure and disabled the fog and spatial distortions so it should be okay. Irina-nim, where did you search?”
“I was on the 2nd floor.”
“We went on the other side and was heading up to the 3rd floor when we heard your scream. We admire Ark-nim a great deal so we came running.”
“So we should go up to the 3rd floor.”
Ark moved up to the 3rd floor after hearing Ferguson’s words.
The 3rd floor had an entirely different structure from the 1st and 2nd floor. It was the rear of the laboratory so there was no wall on the cliff side. And there was a machine with an antenna.
“What is this machine?”
“Let’s make it work.”
Ark shrugged and walked over to the machine. The machine had a control panel but a password needed to be entered….
|-Hacking has released the security device!|
….A simple solution!
At the same time, the machine started buzzing as it started. And a red ray suddenly shot out from the antenna of the machine. For a moment, Ark thought it was a weapon like a laser. However, not long after the ray reached the other side of the cliff.
Ku ku ku ku! Ku ku ku ku! Ku ku ku ku!
An oval object flew along the ray. And it stopped before Ark, Irina, Ferguson, A and B with the door open.
Letters were written on the surface of the oval object. An ‘!’ appeared on top of Ark’s head as he confirmed the information.
“Aha! That’s right! This is a cable car!”
“C-cable car? This isn’t a tourist attraction…..”
“It isn’t an attraction but people lived here. And the underground world is considerably wide. Furthermore, there are dinosaurs like the T-rex in the forest. The Alkan probably didn’t want to go through the forest every time they needed to move to Section B or Nosferatu. Of course, they would make their own method of transportation. That is the cable car. This cable car has A↔B written on it so it moves between the laboratory and Section A. If so, there is probably a research institute in Section A that will lead to Nosferatu! We can just sit there and head to our final destination!”
Ark explained in an excited voice.
The Alkans had no need to explore the underground world. There were facilities made by the Alkan hidden here. And if they took the cable car then there was no need to fight the T-rex.
However, that wasn’t the only reason for Ark’s excitement.
‘That bastard Rapid, won’t his face be funny when he realizes that this is thanks to his trick? The goddess of luck is with me. I never imagined that I would get a battle suit core and the Shire. There is also a cable car that heads to my destination! In the end, the fool just gave me shortcut!’
If Rapid was aware of this fact then he would throw a tantrum. That image caused all his stress to fly away. Irina thought of something and turned to Ark to ask.
“But if our paths cross the opposite way?”
“Rapid and his group came here to look for the Silver Hand. What if Rapid finds the Silver Hand and heads back. Then wouldn’t we end up missing Rapid?”
“That won’t happen.”
Ark already thought about that.
Rapid didn’t pick up the phone because he knew Ark would curse at him. No, Ark didn’t even think about calling Rapid.
If Rapid hadn’t arrived at Nosferatu yet, it was likely that Ark would arrive there first due to the use of the cable car. Ark thought about Rapid would say if Ark arrived later.
-Heh, you’re late.
And if he arrived before Rapid….
-Thank you. I was able to ride the cable car thanks to you.
‘I’m looking forward to the expression he will show.’
Of course, there was the problem that Irina mentioned.
‘Rapid finding the Silver Hand and coming back? That is impossible. Rapid isn’t a beginner. He spent 4 days here and still hasn’t emerged with the Silver Hand. He would probably sweep through the dungeon to pick up loot. Then he will eventually reach Nosferatu!’
“Then let’s depart.”
Ark smiled and entered the cable car.
Irina, Ferguson, A and B boarded after him. He pressed a switch and the cable car headed towards the other side of the cliff.
The day before.
Rapid suddenly raised his head.
A giant looming mountain was in front of him. They entered some rock formations after exiting the foggy forest.
Rapid had felt a strange feeling the moment he stepped foot in this place. He spent two days wandering in the stifling forest so escaping made him feel a large sense of accomplishment. Solving a puzzle with a high degree of difficulty after numerous trials!
‘This feeling is worth it.’
Rapid was a deeply caring man.
He felt a sense of accomplishment after using a lot of effort. So he gave Ark the opposite direction so he could experience the forest longer.
His troubles were eased whenever he thought of Ark suffering. He felt good imagining the scene of Ark wandering the forest! Imagining Ark’s rage when he arrived at the end in the wrong destination gave him an invigorating feeling like he was 10 years old again!
He did all this because he cared for Ark. He wanted Ark to experience the same sense of accomplishment.
However, that pleasure only lasted for a short moment.
‘It is obvious but….’
There were common rules used in the dungeons of all games.
Enemy → strong enemy → even stronger enemy → scary enemy → even scarier enemy….
That was it. Stronger enemies would always emerge when progressing through dungeons. This rule also applied to the underground world.
Monsters were yelling strange sounds!
Once they emerged from the foggy forest to the rock formations, there were also dinosaurs. However, there were dinosaurs in the rock zone with 5~6 tails or those that looked like they were a mixture of different species joined together. Therefore looking at them gave him an unsettling feeling.
The only thing they had in common was that they were all strong!
Unlike the dinosaurs in the forest, they were clever and used special attacks like spitting fire from their mouths. Rapid used the terrain to escape or counterattack.
It was confirmed that their level was between 150~160 but Rapid felt like he was fighting level 200 monsters. Thanks to Rapid abandoning Ferguson, A and B, he only had 6 people in his group.
‘It is fortunate…..’
The remaining team members were stronger than he expected. Among them, Ellain and Kurakan were especially prominent. Kurakan reconstructed his M-620 so the firepower was the best in the group! It could turn the dinosaurs into beehives in an instant.
And the one who gave Kurakan that opportunity was Ellain. The strongest warrior of the Kusan clan used sleek movements to act as a diversion, giving Kurakan the chance to fire.
G*ns and swords! Firepower and agility! In no time, the combination of those two people became the flagship of Rapid’s party.
And Milan, Hegel and Asuran stayed back and conducted themselves in an orderly manner according to Rapid.
‘These NPCs managed to be gathered together.’
Their conduct was reliable. Ark’s NPCs certainly weren’t ordinary.
NPCs in the game had will but that didn’t mean they worked exactly the same as the user. And sometimes the NPCs were more useful than users e.g. Ferguson, A and B.
‘Indeed, Ark always had the talent to attract NPCs like this.’
Even so, the deformed rock dinosaurs were tough opponents. So Rapid threw away his impatience. He moved around and lured 1~2 dinosaurs. He then moved to a safe place with the group of monsters he lured.
It took a bit more time but Rapid wasn’t in a hurry. He knew that impatience was the most dangerous when dealing with nasty enemies.
Taking it step by step! He was patient and slowly advanced forward. It wasn’t long before he could find the Silver Hand.
The Silver Hand was stranded on a stony mountain while surrounded by dozens of deformed dinosaurs.
He could understand their situation with just one glance. The Silver Hand had 20 people. Ark had dispatched 8 Royal Guards to save the Silver Hand so there were 28 people. Rapid had come this far with only 6 people but he had advanced easier than the Silver Hand.
‘Perhaps there is poison.’
This situation was something that users commonly experienced. Those with sufficient power would release their tension. And they couldn’t afford to fight or other members might intrude on the battlefield. So they had climbed up the stony mountain in order to escape the dinosaurs. However, Rapid didn’t rush towards the Silver Hand when he found them.
He hid nearby and watched the dinosaurs closely to get the proper timing to lure the dinosaurs.
He led them hundreds of metres away and slowly reduced the number. This lasted for 4 hours. Eventually, there were only 10 dinosaurs around the mountain and they were wiped out in a pincer movement with the Silver Hand.
His objective in the underground world had been achieved! This was a turning point.
‘My objective has been achieved. But……’
Rapid was also a user. And this was a place for users, a dungeon. The objective to rescue the Silver Hand was achieved but they still hadn’t cleared the dungeon.
There was no user who would give up on such a dungeon. Furthermore, Rapid was curious about why this place had dinosaurs. No, he hadn’t spent the last three days reaching here just to turn around with nothing.
-So? In the end you just gave up? Is this okay?
He imagined Ark saying those words!
So Rapid thought about it. He couldn’t go back. And there was no need to go back. So far it had been pretty hard but hadn’t he now joined up with the Royal Guards and the Silver Hand?
Their speed would naturally grow.
“I would like to examine the end of this dungeon.”
Clem spoke the right answer.
“Of course we have to go! Although we made a mistake due to the structure, we are search specialists. How can I show my face in the future if I just run away now? Ark needed to dispatch people to rescue us. We haven’t even obtained any loot yet.”
“As long as we obtain the loot before Ark gets here…..”
The Silver Hand accompanied Rapid! Thus, 34 people marched forward after the Silver Hand joined Rapid.
….In other words, Rapid didn’t deviate from Ark’s expectations.
Anyway, their march speed went UP! UP! UP! Rapid and his companions ran at a speed many times faster than before. Meanwhile, the rock formations were becoming increasingly narrower.
Rapid belatedly learnt some facts. The underground world had cliffs on the left and right sides. The width increasingly became narrower.
‘In other words, his underground world is shaped like a triangle. Then the answer is simple. Perhaps the end of the underground world is the apex of the triangle! Clearly there is a narrow plateau that will be the final destination.’
Rapid’s guess was correct. Now Rapid was facing a cliff that narrowed little by little. And at the end was the silhouette of a huge building.
“This is the final destination of the underground world!”
Ark’s lips twisted.
Ark had imagined a comfortable and pleasant ride in the cable car as he headed to the final destination.
However, Ark had forgotten. Galaxian was a virtual reality game. A dungeon would never be comfortable! Ark’s fate meant he could never take a break!
“It was solved too easily!”
The cable car arrived at the institute in Section A as expected.
And when Ark arrived at the rooftop of the laboratory, there was also a cable care heading towards Nosferatu.
The problem was that it was smashed. It wasn’t just the cable car. The computers and equipment inside the laboratory were also smashed.
It was unbearable. Anyway, he had travelled half-way comfortably.
However, the laboratory in Section A was built on a sheer cliff. Section A was beyond the cliff but there was no way to get down. The only means of transportation was the cable car connecting section B and Nosferatu. But the cable car connected to Nosferatu was destroyed.
There could only be one conclusion from this!
“This…what do we do now?”
“Are you really asking that question now?”
Ark snapped towards the crying Ferguson.
“Do you have wings?
“Huh? Oh no, I don’t?”
“So what else are we going to do?”
“If you know already then don’t ask such annoying questions!”
They could only return to the laboratory in Section B. And then walk through the foggy forest, past Section A and into Nosferatu. This was a really annoying strategy!
And the trip was in vain but he managed to get quite a lot of japtem from the laboratory in Section A!
‘Now I have to catch up with Rapid.’
This was the most annoying thing. But there was no other way. He gazed at the broken cable cars with regret. In the end, Ark sighed and got back on the cable car.
Irina then thought of something and turned to Ark.
“Isn’t there something strange?”
“There is nothing else in the area. We wouldn’t have arrived here if we hadn’t taken the cable car. So why is the facility in Section A more broken than in Section B?”
It was strange now that he heard about it. But why was it important now?
“There has to be some circumstances. Anyway, we’re not coming back so this has nothing to do with us. And if we head to Nosferatu then everything will be revealed….”
Ark shrugged and replied.
There was a sudden sound.
[TL] Please read the announcement post here to find out some important news about ATL.
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter