Ark The Legend - Volume 9 - Chapter 3
SPACE 3. Water Cleaning Strategy
Sparks rose in the darkness. At the same time, 2 flashes occurred on the left and right.
One person moaned and kneeled down.
’’The horoscope I received a few days again really isn't a joke. Now many rare prey remain and I just happened to meet one.’’
Ark smiled at the man's words. The man making a rotten expression had a red ID floating on top of his head. It was evidence that Mt. Fargo was occupied with chaotic players. Ark lifted his blue lightsaber.
’’Don't tell me you still think you're hunters?’’
The man cursed and smoke gushed out. It was a smoke bomb and dense smoke instantly filled the cave. The chaotic users in the dungeon had many things prepared in order to escape. If he was anyone else then his opponent would've escaped. However the chaotic player had met the wrong opponent.
A blue light spread over Ark's eyes. He detected a shape moving through the smoke. Ark extended his lightsaber.
’’Khafra Fencing 3rd style! Galaxy Sword!’’
There was a vortex that blew the smoke apart. Dozens of swords were projected forward and hit the man. It was common sense that damage and the chances of a critical hit increased when attacking from behind! The opponent's health drastically dropped as he was struck by dozens of swords and he was blown back 10 metres and died.
’’Now shall I open the treasure box?’’
Ark walked forward at a relaxed pace. Something fell as the sword lodged in the guy's back disappeared.
|-Destruction Pants (Magic)
Item Type: Heavy Armour (Pants) Wearer Restriction: Level 90
Defense: 45 Durability: 25/80
The 4 large companies account for 70% of the weapons and armours distributed around the federation.
The price is slightly expensive but the performance is the best so it is difficult for others to compete. In order for small and medium enterprises to compete, their products need to have additional functions and options. Of course, the price had no choice but to rise but the functions are something often used by pioneers.
* Add-on (Hidden Blade): This armour has superconductor blades hidden in the knee area. A strike with the knee can cause fatal damage if the opponent is caught off guard by the blade.
<Damage: 20~30. 30% chance of causing Bleed>
’’It was something like this.’’
Previously when he had attacked the guy. Ark remembered being damaged by a knee strike. It was just an ordinary knee yet he had started bleeding. He had been confused but it was all due to the blades hidden in the knee area.
Well, the 'hidden blade' is just like a skill but......
’’There was technology like this? If the opponent is at the same level as me than hidden technology like that can change the situation. Equipment that monsters dropped can be remodelled in this way. I'll have to be careful if I duel with users in the future.’’
He didn't know about it. In the game he needed to continuously acquire skills and item information. He learnt quite a bit from fighting the chaotic users. In addition, he also earned income!
’’This can get at least 100 gold.’’
That wasn't the only item dropped. There were also 4 intermediate gallstones. Ark packed the Destruction Pants and looked around with a happy look.
’’There aren't a lot of chaotic people anymore so this is valuable.’’
The chaotic group that had pushed Ark into a corner! However that situation changed after he posted something on the website that caught the users' attention. The users gathered in order to hunt the chaotic users for their items. But it didn't work that well in the beginning. The chaotic people hadn't come here by chance. They had intentionally been hired by the Laius company! In order to hunt they had been organized into parties. Therefore quite a few users were killed in the beginning. But that only lasted for a brief moment.
’’Damn it, they're organized!’’
’’This place really is infested with chaotic players everywhere.’’
’’We won't beat them if we fight by ourselves!’’
’’In the end the only......’’
The eyes of the chaotic hunters met each other. People with the same purpose formed a party!
’’It can't be helped. I'm unwilling but I will grasp your hand this time.’’
’’Okay. We'll share the loot.’’
The hunters became organized in order to match the chaotic users. The opponents were chaotic. If a user didn't have confidence in their ability to catch chaotic users then they wouldn't have come out in the first place. The users who gathered were actually quite famous in different regions. The chaotic users quickly decreased once they started working together. Over 50 chaotic players were caught in a few days! But they had no place to escape.
'The Laius company might not know this but S-20 is still my sector. S-20 is at the dungeon entrance and a large number of users are outside.'
The result would be the same if the chaotic users left the dungeon. They were like mice in a bag. The only way they could be free was if the Laius company obtained S-20. They gave up on resistance and scattered or hid.
'But I won't let that happen!'
The population of S-20 was going up again. 60~70 chaotic hunters had gathered after seeing Ark's post. They alone couldn't increase the population by 1,500 people. However their influx into the dungeon had decreased the number of chaotic people by half. The dungeon was safe to start hunting again!
'This is an opportunity to gather back the pioneers!'
Ark set a sign in front of the sector.
Limited time only!
Currently S-20 has received a command to stop all facilities.
Therefore the sector and dungeon admission fee has been stopped. All facilities will be free and open for your disposal.
Operation had been suspended so he couldn't charge an admission fee. He had no obligation to stop users from entering the sector.
’’I heard a lot of people rushed to kill the chaotic users.......’’
’’Then why should we go to another dungeon?’’
The rumour quickly spread among users. But there was even more.
’’Hahaha, it is a jackpot!’’
’’I did well coming here!’’
’’It's only been 2 days and I've gained 1,000 gold from the chaotic users!’’
The news was also spread by the chaotic hunters!
’’Yes, there is no reason to be afraid of the chaotic users.’’
’’If we have a few more party members then we can catch these guys.’’
’’Damn, why didn't I think of that before? It is like that. Now those guys have got there before us! Catching one chaotic person is better than dozens of Thanatos!’’
’’If chaotic hunters are in the dungeon then there won't be any problems hunting the Thanatos! Plus it is free! Let's go!’’
Pioneers once again flocked to S-20! Thanks to that, the population that had fallen to 1,100 increased to over 2,000 in just 3 days. There was 9 days left for the audit command.
'Now I don't have to worry about the population. I can apply for public facilities 2 days before the deadline. If I can buy the sector extension then all my problems will be resolved!'
......He wanted to be relieved......
However there were two problems with this. The first was the funds needed for the extension. He had 5,400 gold when the issues first started but he needed to refund a large amount thanks to the PK event. In addition, the population had grown again but he couldn't get any money from the dungeon, sector or airfield. That's why Ark dived in directly!
'If I catch the chaotic users then I can earn some money. This is also relevant to me.'
Ark was also in a more favourable position compared to the other hunters. The Royal Guards were the ones who restored the dungeon after it collapsed so they knew it better than anyone else. Naturally they quickly found the chaotic people. Ark was able to find 7 chaotic people thanks to that. He obtained 9 equipment from them. Combined with the gallstones that dropped, he obtained a total of 1,500 gold. This meant the sector extension problem was okay.
'The problem is that Bain knows of this situation.'
That was the second problem. Ark was worried about this the most. Bain already knew Ark needed to extend to sector to resolve the audit problem. If he made up his mind to remove the research centre then Ark's plan would fail. He would be deprived of his sector administrator license. The research centre had already been almost completed. If it was dismantled then Bain would suffer a huge loss. Therefore the Laius company couldn't easily remove it. But they would also suffer damages if Ark extended the sector. 'Even if they lose money, their purpose is to obtain S-20 so they might judge that is better.' But there were no signs of that. Rather than demolition, the construction of the research centre had continued.
'It is one of those two options. They either can't remove the research centre or there is another ulterior motive. It is imperative that I figure out what they're thinking. If I figure it out then I can defend against it. In the worst case scenario, if they dismantle the research centre then I'll have to sell the Silver Star!'
While Ark was busy thinking.
-Hyung-nim, I've found it!
Kalliben's voice was heard from the Nymphe.
-A chaotic person is hiding in a corner of the middle layer.
’’Okay. I'm coming so stay there.’’
Ark smiled and replied.
’’I'm lucky today.’’
’’Chief-nim, I've received a report that another one was killed!’’
’’You don't have to keep on telling me things like that!’’
Bain shouted in a raspy voice.
’’That damn bastard Ark! Why does he keep on interfering every time? I'm different from a mere pioneer so I should be able to step on him! So why does he always embarrass me? But he is still a trivial pioneer! He's mistaken if he thinks he can beat me with something like this. I'll make him realize the difference between an elite executive of the Laius company and a pioneer!’’
Bain bit his lips until it became bloody. Like Ark thought, the reason the research centre wasn't demolished was because Bain had an ulterior motive. His conclusion was correct. Chaotic hunters had started to gather. Bain already had a premonition that things would turn out like that. He had intended to just dismantle the research institute.
'But there is no guarantee the problem will be settled with that. Since he is trying to settle the audit order by expanding the sector, it is clear he doesn't have a lot of funds. But there is no guarantee he can't raise the money within the time limit. He had a spacecraft so he might be able to sell it. Removing the research centre isn't necessarily the solution. And......'
The research centre had already been constructed. If he took it down then he would receive huge losses. Of course, Laius is one of the 4 big companies so that damage would only be a drop in their wealth. The problem wasn't the Laius company but Bain.
'A research centre had already been destroyed!'
What would happen if he caused enormous damage again?
Needless to say, it would be a dismissal! Even if Laius obtained S-20, Bain would still be finished.
'I have to obtain S-20 in order to live! I have to do whatever it takes!'
In the end, Bain found a way. A way to deal an unrecoverable blow to Ark!
'That Ark bastard, let's see you think your way out of this. Yes, laugh while you still can. I'll soon turn your laughter into tears. I'll make him realize how stupid it is to mess with the Laius group.'
Bain smiled and asked a guard soldier.
’’What is the progress?’’
’’It has almost been completed. We can start it at any time so you just have to say.’’
’’The necessary personnel?’’
’’We've failed to reach the target because we've had to gather them covertly. But I've contacted several organizations and the target number of personnel will soon be gathered.’’
’’That means we just have to wait.’’
Bain looked down at S-20 and grinned.
’’Just wait Ark. I'll soon show you hell!’’
S-20's main office.
Ark had a solemn expression on his face. Thanks to the chaotic hunters, the influx of pioneers had exceeded 2,000 for 6 days. Now he only needed to wait one more day to apply for a server extension. In the meantime he diligently hunted the chaotic users to ensure he had plenty of funds for the extension. He only needed 1 more day before everything would be settled. His concern had been that the research centre would be demolished. The already completed research centre was in front of the sector. Even if they started demolishing it now, they wouldn't be able to remove all the facilities in one day. There was also a few days left for the audit command so he could sell the Silver Star to obtain the funds required. But Bain didn't know this.
'That's the problem.'
Nothing had happened!
'He must have an ulterior motive that I can't think of......'
Ark had interrupted their plan by releasing the chaotic hunters. But he hadn't detected any responses to his action.
’’Perhaps they just gave up?’’
Hegel carefully presented his opinion. But Ark shook his head with a resolute expression.
’’That is impossible.’’
If it was just the Laius company then they might give up. However Marquis Jyubel was associated with this business. It was a chance to deal a large blow to a rival politician so he wouldn't easily give up. He probably negotiated to gain a stake in the research centre. But there were no visible actions despite only having one day left.
’’Is there really no movement?’’
Ark replied curtly and looked at the research centre.
’’What they are doing is unknown.’’
Of course those guys wouldn't be doing nothing. It just meant the thing they were planning wasn't visible. He wouldn't be able to figure out the reason from the outside.
’’I need to go there directly if I want to find out the answer.’’
’’Huh? Go there directly?’’
’’Those guys won't let us in!’’
’’So I have to hide.’’
This was the reason for Ark's serious expression. The thing Bain was planning definitely wouldn't be small. Right now he had 1 day before he could get permission to extend the sector. Ark had to assume what Bain was planning would happen today. It wasn't the time to be playing around. The final method Ark came up with was to sneak in! He had to enter the research centre directly in order to figure out Bain's plan. Confusion appeared on the members' faces as they heard Ark's words.
’’T-that is ridiculous!’’
’’Do you know how many guards there are in the research centre? You heard what Tori said when the research centre was being built. The centre has enormous security. Sneaking in is just suicide!’’
’’I also oppose it.’’
Mellin jumped in and shook his head.
’’We know better than anyone what a great pioneer you are. But something like this is reckless. You are the administrator of this sector. There is no telling what will happen if you caught. No, you'll be caught before you even enter.’’
’’I've already thought of a way to enter.’’
’’What? What do you mean?’’
’’Have you already forgotten? The research centre......’’
Ark was replying when he suddenly flinched and shut his mouth. It was like a lightning bolt struck him.
’’Oh my god! I had forgotten about that!’’
’’Forgotten? What do you mean?’’
’’If what I'm thinking is right......’’
Ark muttered like he was spellbound.
’’Kalliben, Beleol, have you seen any airships entering or leaving since the research centre was completed?’’
’’Yes, I saw several airships in the last few days.’’
Kalliben's words combined everything in Ark's head. Bain hadn't acted even with the sector expansion time limit approaching. He had finally figured out why after remembering something he forgot. The answer was right in front of him.
’’That is what he is planning?’’
Ark muttered as he bit his lip.
’’Can we trust him?’’
A low voice said in the dark. Another man laughed.
’’Who do you think I am?’’
’’Butcher. That is my nickname. I had to kill many people to get that name. That guy won't be a problem.’’
’’But those guys aren't to be trifled with.’’
’’You still don't know.’’
There were quite a few people in the darkness.
’’Aren't we criminals because we PKed?’’
’’We did it because monster hunting is boring. The battles were repetitive. This appeased our boredom.’’
’’Chaotic hunter? Kikiki, how funny. Those bastards don't know what it means to be chaotic. We have the capabilities to catch those bastards. They'll find out soon enough. They'll be so scared that they'll start pissing their pants.’’
’’Y-you are so reliable.’’
’’Then will we get the promised reward?’’
’’If we don't get paid after the work is finished......’’
The man's pupils shone with an intimidating light.Then Bain shook his head and answered quickly.
’’That will never happen. I'll make sure you get paid at the end of the day. And I'll stay here as a personal guarantee until you escape.’’
’’If you give us the promised fee then you don't need to worry about anything.’’
’’Huhuhu, this is quite good. We're getting paid to slaughter people.’’
’’I can soak up the taste of blood in a long time.’’
'W-what scary guys.....'
Bain sweated as he looked around. The people around him had malicious auras surrounding them. They were chaotic people who murdered pioneers. This was Bain's plan. Ark had called in chaotic hunters. The countermeasure Bain came up with was easy. If Ark called in chaotic hunters then he needed to call in more chaotic users. Bain's subordinates contacted every notorious organization to gather more chaotic users. The final number exceeded 2,000! That was S-20's current population.
'There might be 2,000 pioneers in S-20 but only a few hundred of them can take care of the criminals!'
It was clear what would happen if 2,000 chaotic users swarmed that place. The chaotic hunters were strong but the criminals were bad guys. It was like the chaotic hunters were chasing savage birds of prey! S-20 would instantly by turned into ruins. Of course he couldn't send too many villains into the sector. It might give the federation a chance to intervene and there was a risk of backlash on Bain.
'If the events take place in the dungeon then the federation can't intervene.'
That's why Bain and the criminals were gathered in a dark tunnel. The identity of this tunnel......
-This is a construction site for the Laius company.
Sorry for the inconvenience caused by construction noise.
Laius is going to build an underpass to Mt. Fargo so all pioneers are welcome to use the dungeon for free.
It was the tunnel Bain had advertised when the construction first started on the research centre. In fact, this tunnel had already been completed a few days ago. They didn't disclose it for the sake of this moment!
'Huhuhu, you diligently cleaned out the dungeon over the last 6 days? But I won't let you extend the sector. You won't be able to stop this.'
’’How long do we have to wait in this place?’’
’’My body is itching to move.’’
The chaotic users took out their weapons and started fidgeting. They might be creepy murderers but right now Bain thought they were very reliable.
'The pioneers in this dungeon would be swept away in seconds. Ark will once again fail to expand the sector. And there is only 2 days left until the audit time limit. He won't be able to maintain the population in time and he will be stripped of his administrator license!'
This was one of the reasons he didn't move until the last moment. He wanted to gather more criminals as well as crush all of Ark's hopes!
'And now is the time!'
’’It is time! Everybody get ready! Make an opening in the tunnel!’’
Bain shouted like a general.
Kwa kwa kwa kwa kwa kwa!
At the same time, the end of the tunnel was torn down with a heavy sound. Dust fell as a cave spread out in front of them. It was Mt. Fargo's dungeon!
’’Enter and kill all the pioneers!’’
The criminals cried out like beasts and poured into the dungeon. The yells rang through the dark cave......
’’What? There's nobody here?’’
’’Weren't the pioneers crowding here? Where did they all go?’’
’’What? There isn't anybody? Such a thing?’’
The criminals were looking around in confusion at the empty dungeon.
Ku ku ku ku! Ku ku ku ku!
There was suddenly a loud roar as the tunnel shook. The roaring sound was coming from the rear of the research centre's tunnel. Bain turned his head with shock as he heard the deafening roar. No, it wasn't only Bain. The thousands of villains in the tunnel were also astonished. The source of the tunnel's shaking was.......
’’Water is pouring into the tunnel!’’
Kwa kwa kwa kwa kwa kwa!
They screamed as a giant river swallowed them. Bain lost his spirit as he was caught by the current. Bain and the criminals were swept by the water through the complex dungeon. How much time had passed?
Bain reached a sewage pipe and his body soared into the sky. He landed on stone earth and rolled dozens of metres before painfully lifting his head.
’’Huh! It really worked.’’
’’I thought flooding the closed up mountain with water was nonsense......’’
’’And they are all chaotic. When I went looking they were hard to find. Are they cockroaches? There were that many guys hiding?’’
People were buzzing around the criminals. Bain and the criminals had been spurted out of the dungeon by the water. A huge number of pioneers were now surrounding their drenched forms. And the person in front who was watching Bain.....
’’Isn't that the director of Laius' research centre?’’
’’T-this.....don't tell me you.....?’’
’’As expected from the head of the laboratory, your judgement of the situation really is fast.’’
Ark said with a smile. Once again, Ark hadn't noticed Bain's plan one day ago. Therefore he thought about sneaking into the research centre despite the risk. And he already thought of a way to sneak in.
'I can enter the centre through the tunnel that Bain advertised would open for free. That means they are constructing that tunnel. If I use the tunnel then I don't have to sneak past the guards at the door.'
Just as he was thinking that! Ark had forgotten the most important thing.
'What if the tunnel has already been completed?'
That meant they could freely come and go from the dungeon without going through the sector. Furthermore, the tunnel was inside the research centre. In other words, Bain could send a large number of chaotic users through the tunnel. Kalliben's testimony supported Ark's guess. There were several transport ships that completed a few round trips to the research centre. It was already completed so there was no reason for the airship to come and go so often. Then there could only be one reason for the transport ships!
It was a no-brainer. It was a rehash of the strategy to decrease S-20's population with mass PK! But now the situation was different from before. Previously hundreds of people were killed in an instant but now there were people chasing after the chaotic users. Some of them were chaotic hunters who were experts in PVP.
’’Before 100 chaotic users were enough but now players are aware of them. Bain has to gather enough troops to decrease the population to less than 2,000 before the time limit to extend the sector!'
However there was no reason to panic. Ark had suffered a fatal blow because he had been unaware. But Ark already suspected Bain's plan. There is only one day remaining until he could apply for a sector expansion so he could just stop the pioneers from entering the dungeon. The troops were gathered to PK. And the dungeon was right outside the sector. If they couldn't leave the dungeon then they couldn't PK.
'But I can't be assured with that. If this operation fails then it will be a huge loss to the Laius company. There is no telling what they will do. If Bain gathered this many chaotic users then they might even attack the sector. And then he just has to destroy the tunnel to get rid of the evidence. In that case......'
He had to drag them out first. That was the conclusion Ark reached. The method was surprisingly simple. It was time for the Royal Guards to show their muscles! Bain had purposefully built the research centre in the path of the channel to annoy Ark. And the tunnel to the dungeon was in the basement.
'I can connect the water channel to the tunnel!'
At that moment a plan formed in Ark's head. Needless to say, the ones carrying out the plan were the Royal Guards! The members had spent one month only shovelling. The one who showed the most significant growth was Milan! Once again, the proficiency of a skill could differ even if two people were the same level. Technical achievement depended on the person's talent and ability to learn. That's why he removed Mellin and Hegel from digging in the early days. The senior citizen (Mellin) and child (Hegel) showed no signs of their proficiency rising after reaching Dig Lv. 2. Of course it was the same vice versa. The Royal Guards' proficiency grew at a similar speed once reaching Lv. 2. However, some with talent had their proficiency increase rapidly after reaching Lv. 2 and Milan was the one who showed the most potential.
’’The texture of a shovel in my hand! The comfortable sensation when the shovel digs into the earth! What....I mean.....it seems like I've been doing this for a long time.....yes! I have been! The duty of a treasure hunter is to find treasure! And the basic of a treasure search is digging! I can't possible get this feeling from an excavator! I'm a true treasure hunter for the first time!’’
He awakened! His skill proficiency quickly increased!
|-Milan has realized the heart of 'Dig' and his skill proficiency has reached Lv. 4.|
A member who finally beat Ark in digging was born. The enlightenment Milan gained was incredible.
Pa pa pa pa! Pa pa pa pa!
Milan dug that land at a speed equivalent to an excavator with just one shovel! The seat of the strongest digger had transferred to Milan but Ark's Dig was still intermediate level! And the remaining 7 also obtained intermediate Dig. In just one day, Ark and the crew worked together to connect the channel to the dungeon. And when they opened the floodgate! This was the result. The lake water swept Bain and the criminals through the dungeon and outside. This was Ark's Water Cleaning Strategy!
’’I used the water to eradicate these pests.’’
Ark said with a smile.
’’You.....you bastard.....you dare......’’
’’What are you doing?’’ What is he saying?’’
The chaotic users were still unable to grasp the situation and gaped at Ark.
’’It really isn't a joke. Well I can understand just by looking at them. Their names indicate they are chaotic. But there's something I don't know. I'm certain that tunnel was connected to the Laius research centre. The tunnel was connected to a channel which is why water came flooding in. But why is the director hanging with criminals? Don't tell me that Laius is conspiring with criminal organizations......’’
’’S-shut up! There is no evidence!’’
Ark smiled as he looked around.
’’Isn't the fact that you're here evidence?’’
’’I told you before! I don't have any connection with these guys!’’
’’I guess we'll see when I investigate.’’
’’Who do you think I am? I am the director of Laius! You guys dare do something......’’
’’You seem to have forgotten but I am the administrator of S-20. And right now you are on my land. S-20. I have the authority to investigate even if you are Laius' director.’’
Bain retreated with a pale, stricken face. He then lifted his head and looked at those gathered at the dungeon entrance. In the meantime he had summoned chaotic users from around the planet. They numbered 2,000. That kind of number could take care of all the pioneers gathered around. No, they had to! If he gave up then Bain was a dead man anyway. The Vice President wouldn't leave him alive. But there was still hope if Ark and the pioneers at S-20 were annihilated. Ark would be deprived of his administrator license and Laius would obtain S-20. Then Laius would cover up what happened here!
Bain waved his arm and shouted.
’’Kill all the guys here! It is the only way to live!’’
The 2,000 chaotic users simultaneously took out their weapons. It wasn't because of Bain's command. They had no choice but to kill the pioneers in order to escape.
’’Dammit! If this happens then we have to see it through to the end!’’
’’Yes, we were going to do it anyway so let's blow up the whole sector!’’
The pioneers also lifted their weapons. And just before there would be a flurry of blades and bullets!
An explosion scattered the clouds in the sky above the two groups. Dozens of airships appeared in with a flash of light. Bain and the chaotic users' faces drained of blood as they saw the airships. It was due to the mark on the hull. The blue planet and ship of the galactic federation!
-Galactic federation's 1st special division.
That was the sentence written below the mark.
The man occupying the captain seat in the centre of the main airship. The middle aged noble looked at the monitor and clicked his tongue. He looked at his adjutant before smiling and saying.
’’This is really perplexing. I was just observing the 1st special division's training manoeuvres only to see this scene. Doesn't it seem like thieves are attacking that sector? A sector falls under the authority of the federation. Those thieves are attacking a sector. We might be here for training but we can't pretend ignorance. Isn't that right?’’
The adjutant proclaimed.
’’Then this will be our practice. The special division is one of the two major forces of the Emperor. The opponents are just mere thieves so they can be considered practice. Don't disgrace yourselves when fighting with them.’’
’’I'll give you 30 minutes.’’
The middle aged noble said after peering at his watch.
’’Don't let even one of them leave alive.’’
’’Go! Special division, attack!’’
The adjutant shouted through the microphone and a lower portion of the airships opened.
Dugung! Dugung! Dugung! Dugung!
Thousands of soldiers started pouring out of the air chute like bees from a beehive. The sight of thousands of soldiers pouring down like rain was spectacular!
’’It can't be! What? Youuuuuuu!’’
And to some people it was a nightmare.