Ark The Legend / Ark The Legend Vol 2 Chapter 3
SPACE 3. Planet Beltana
‘Already…..I’ve come here.’
The man looked around with a complicated expression. He was the blond disable youth who started Galaxian. He had become a disabled person through an unexpected accident but in reality he wasn’t miserable. His father was the owner of a conglomerate and his father’s financial support meant he wasn’t lacking in anything. It was after he entered Galaxian that he became miserable. His real body had nothing to do with a virtual reality game but he wasn’t used to moving his body after being disabled for a while. In reality, people were considerate of people with disabilities. Even if he was just a decoration……
However, that wasn’t possible in a virtual reality game. The users looked at him who couldn’t move his body properly and promptly dropped him from the party. Yet he didn’t give up despite the insults.
There was a reason he had started Galaxian. He…..in order to meet Ark.
‘Why? Why do I want to meet Ark?’
He had asked the question countless times since starting Galaxian. But he still hadn’t found an answer. No, he knew the way to find the answer. It might be a contradiction but he believed the key lay with Ark. The belief drove him and didn’t allow him to give up. And a chance arrived.
-Young man, do you want to raise your level?
While he was being out casted by the users, an octopus had approached him. It was Burum, the president of R-14’s secret hunting ground. His encounter with Burum became a turning point.
He heard about Ark’s time in R-14 through Burum. This acted like a guideline for him and he started to imitate Ark’s behaviour. No, he personally requested to go through such hardships. His body didn’t work properly so he had spent one month cleaning the pipes and hunting the space bugs…..
-Achievement: A new mission related master of R-14 has been born.
He was finally able to accomplish the same feat like Ark. However, the discovery of Ark’s destination was more significant than the achievement.
‘I received 2 recommendation letters from Bhurad and Cheksun when I completed all the quests. I also learnt the Swamp Walking skill from the Charenjok. Additionally, I gained the same R-14 mission related title like Ark. And the frontier Ark chose……’
A primitive fort city with ultra-modern machines blowing smoke expanded in front of him. The city Nephalim was nestled in a forest on Istana, the capital planet of the galactic federation.
‘Here. I’ve finally arrived.’
A tear formed on the corner of his eye. He felt complex emotions at the thought of being in the same city as Ark. But there was no time to be caught up in the emotions. Ark had arrived at Nephalim for nearly a month. He didn’t know if Ark was still around Nephalim or if he had arrived in another area.
Searching for him would be difficult.
‘I have no choice but to keep moving.’
He braced himself and took one step.
–This is your first time in Nephalim.
A holograph of a beautiful woman appeared next to him.
-I am a guide that will tell the beginner pioneers pertinent city related information about Nephalim.You can use me to discover the city’s geography, the location of the stores and special facilities.
He wasn’t interested so he kept on moving. Various holographic images appeared and made offers to him.
–You can search the news for all incidents related to Nephalim in the last 50 years.
He stopped walking. The information service allowed him to find any events that happened in Nephalim. If he was looking for an ordinary user then that wouldn’t help. However, he was looking for ‘Ark.’ He was the best player in another virtual reality game. Ark had even got the title from R-14 just by completing the tutorial. Ark had already spent a month in Nephalim. If it was the Ark he knew……
That was enough time to leave an amazing reputation.
‘It might be surprisingly simple to track Ark.’
He inserted 50 copper and the 3D image of a middle aged man with a thick stomach spoke pleasantly.
–Welcome. Thank you for using this service. You can read all recent events or use a keyword to search for a specific event.
“Ark….search for someone with that name……”
-‘Ark’ is the name of a person? I understand.
The middle age man searched through a thick book.
-Oh, I found it. An incident recently occurred with someone of the same name.
He was already on the local news about the area. He expected it but the emotions he felt was difficult to describe. He spoke with an impatient voice.
“The incident…..the detailed information…..the place he is now…..can you tell me?”
–All the relevant information regarding the event and the regional area will be shown.
The middle age man nodded and changed into a 3D newspaper. The contents of the event scrolled upwards like a video and the related images were shown. The blond youth’s face warped strangely as he read the contents.
“…..W-what is this?”
The attempted robbery of the galactic federation’s museum.
A week ago, there was an unprecedented event as thieves tied to steal from the Victory Memorial at the galactic federation’s museum. According to the announcement from the galactic federation, the human called [Ark] and the owner of an ironworks called Tori dug a tunnel to enter the museum.
The galactic federation believes that they planned this for a long time and judged that stealing from the exhibit of war heroes is a severe crime. Tori will be stripped of his property to pay the federation for any damages and will be imprisoned for 2 years on the orbit prison Stael.
And his accomplice, the pioneer [Ark] will be forcibly conscripted into military service. As a part of the forced military service, he will be dispatched to a war area and join the prisoner unit until he earns enough achievements. [Ark] is sentenced to the disputed area Beltana until he earns 3,500 achievements.
-Disputed Planet Beltana-
Beltana is a planet 12 light years away from Istana in the Bellin constellation. Beltana was a colony ruled by the ancient race ‘Murat’ but it was thrown away when the Murat left.
Since then, there is an average temperature of -50 degrees and the planet is battered by blizzards. However, a large source of Iridium was discovered on Beltana and the federation has been engaged in a war with the Rama over the planet. However, the federation has experienced difficulties despite the steady dispatch of troops and prisoners.
* Current Occupation: Rama 62% – Galactic Federation 38%
“Please! I was tricked by the hamster!”
“That’s a lie! I’m just an unsuspecting hamster! That guy planned everything!”
In the video playing, a hamster and a guy with black hair was exclaiming while handcuffed. The dark-haired man…..was the ‘Ark’ from his memory.
Ku ku ku ku! Ku ku ku ku!
The temperature of the world was so low that the air seemed to freeze. Armoured vehicles were crossing the wilderness covered by ice and snow. The enormous armoured car was 100 metres in length and was the anti-tank transportation the federation nicknamed Memeod. 100 people were sitting inside the swaying armoured car. They were soldiers armed with weapons and basic military equipment. But their faces didn’t look like soldiers. The sunken eyes had no motivation, their faces were so thin they looked like skeletons and the skin was darkened and dead……
‘They look like they’re going to die in a few minutes.’
Ark sighed and shook his head.
‘It is natural.’
Ark was different from the other soldiers. The zombie like soldiers with no spirit and sunken skin were criminals forcibly conscripted from various cities on Istana and dispatched to Beltana. Ark and Tori were arrested two days ago for attempting to rob the museum and he was forced to join the prisoner unit.
‘At that time…..’
Ark wasn’t significantly depressed. Of course, the situation was very bleak. If the robbery succeeded then Ark would’ve been buried in gold and would spend each day happy. However, the fire alarm had unexpectedly activated because of the breakdown of the battle suit and he was arrested with the stolen goods confiscated. The federation also seized all his equipment and items as compensation for the damage, including his 100 gold. His dream of thousands of gold flew away as he became a beggar. Just thinking about it caused his stomach acid to rise. But Ark’s misfortune didn’t stop there. He was transferred to Beltana until he collected 3,500 achievements. Despite falling to the bottom……
‘I can use this chance to restart my awareness of the game!’
That was Ark’s thought when he received the judgement. Ark also received some positive things.
Naturally there was a reason for it. The first thing was the automatic cancellation of his contract with Tori. Once again, Tori was also arrested and his business and assets seized. Therefore he lost he Gear junkyard and Ark’s contract was voided.
‘I don’t have to pay the 200 gold.’
Ark had been thinking about maintaining his contract with Tori. But he learned through this incident.
The path of a criminal was dangerous. The lure of crime was tempting because of the benefits but Tori ended up with his assets seized. Didn’t Ark also become like this because of Tori? So he came to the conclusion that it was better to break his relationship with the hamster Tori. Tori was sentenced to two years of prison so the problem was neatly solved. But the things he was expected ended here.
‘The thing I couldn’t expect……’
It was related to his Nymphe. His Nymphe had been broken by an unknown computer virus. This was the thing Ark had been most worried about before the stealing incident. However, his problem with the Nymphe was settled so easily that he felt almost empty.
“You will be deprived of all your freedom until you gain 3,500 achievements on Beltana. In accordance with the laws of the federation, the defendant will receive the Prisoner body coating.”
The judge in the courtroom read the contents of his sentence. Body coating was a process where the body’s genes were rearranged, allowing them to adapt to the space environment. The users stats would be readjusted upwards depending on the direction such as a warrior, scout etc. He now gained a ticket. Of course, the Prisoner body coating was different from the other ones. Beltana was a disputed planet that hadn’t been terraformed. The oxygen was thin and the temperature was -50 degrees so body coating was needed to survive on Beltana. Therefore he received a temporary body coating that would be cancelled when the penalty ended.
-The body coating has been completed! Ark-nim’s current body coating is ‘Prisoner.’
Character Information Window
* Title: Cleaning Foreman (Agility + 3)
* Body Coating: Prisoner
+ The Prisoner coating is limited to the region of Beltana.
+ Your body information will belong to the galactic federation after receiving the Prisoner coating.
+ You are unable to receive any other body coating until the Prisoner coating is removed.
‘This is a big deal. My Nymphe will be taken away when I receive the body coating. The hacking program on my Nymphe will be detected. And my crime will go up.’
Ark trembled with anxiety as he was entered the body coating machine. However, his body coating process was completed with no problems and the information window surfaced. He hadn’t even realized that he had gone up 1 level.
“Eh? The information displayed is normal?”
A normal information window was shown on his Nymphe. Ark became aware of the reason after he was dispatched to Beltana. The body coating rearranged his genetic information and amplified his body’s resistance against harm. The adjustment to the body was coordinated through several functions on the Nymphe. Therefore his Nymphe would also be upgraded when he received a body coating. It was the same for the Prisoner coating. The penalties associated with the Prisoner coating was registered on the Nymphe.
“So….the Nymphe is upgraded when receiving the Prisoner coating…..”
This meant his Nymphe received a new OS. That was the reason Ark’s Nymphe became normal. The new OS wrote over the old one and all his problems were resolved!
“Wait? If my Nymphe became normal through the Prisoner coating then couldn’t I have raised my level a bit more to 30 and receive the body coating?”
The method to restore the Nymphe was surprisingly simple. Tori was a cunning fellow who definitely knew that.
“There’s no doubt. That hamster! He scared me on purpose so I would become his accomplice!”
Anger towards Tori welled up inside him again. However, Tori had his property confiscated and was in jail so his anger was slightly alleviated. There was no way for that hamster to make money now. Anyway, his problem with the Nymphe was unexpectedly settled.
Ark checked the restored Nymphe and found something strange. Next to the character information icon, equipment icon etc. were 3 icons he never saw before. There were 2 folders called Backup-1, Backup-2 and an icon that looked like armour.
“Backup? What is this?”
Ark clicked on the Backup-1 folder and the information window appeared.
-The skill data from your previous Nymphe has been registered.
* Passive *
Space Combat (User): Strength, Agility, Stamina, Intelligence, Wisdom +0.5%
Close Marksmanship (User): Hit rate -5%, Attack +10%
Facilities Maintenance (User): Maintenance Speed +30%
Dig (User): Digging Speed +30%, Chance of finding items and minerals +30%
* Active *
Hacking (User): Able to release level 1~3 electronic locks.
* Software *
Invaders Ver 1.0
Now Ark was able to understand the situation. Backup-1 contained the skill information from Ark’s previous Nymphe. While the old OS had been overwritten, an automatic backup of the data on the system had been created.
Ark made a strange expression. When he received the Prisoner coating, the process searched the Nymphe for information and automatically deleted any illegal data. Therefore Ark thought he would have to create the program again. The program he spend a fortnight creating being deleted was really frustrating! But the coating machine couldn’t search Ark’s Nymphe for data because it was broken. So it just proceeded to overwrite it and the hacking program was processed as backup!
“Luck hasn’t completely abandoned me.”
He was lucky in the midst of some unhappiness.
“Then what is Backup-2?”
Ark’s eyes naturally turned to the second folder.
“The name of the folder indicates it is a backup of an old Nymphe……”
But Backup-1 already contained all of Ark’s data. He couldn’t remember anything else.
Ark tilted his head with confusion and clicked the Backup-2 folder. The information window contained a file he never saw before.
……It was an exceptionally long voyage.
That was the first time I encountered the creature called the Ikirium.
The Ikirium are ghost stories passed between the space ship’s crew. They exist like ghosts drifting in outer space and will take form by touching metal like the Nakuma. Our voyage became much more dangerous with the appearance of the Ikirium. However, my brave crew decided to confront the Ikirium to defend the ship.
Unlike me, the crew had experienced many space voyages and I was able to learn a lot while fighting the Ikirium with them. The gun techniques and Sword Mastery learnt from the experienced crew were especially useful on the expedition.
The gun and sword techniques places focus on mental power…..
“Logbook? Why is this on my Nymphe?”
Ark muttered and frowned as he read it. He remembered picking up unknown data. The data from the toy airplane!
“Don’t tell me this is…..?”
This was the data contained on the toy airplane? Ark felt strange at the thought. He had expected something great from the data which was why he invested a fortnight into learning the hacking skill. Besides, he became a criminal thanks to the problem the data caused his Nymphe.
“But it is just the logbook of someone I don’t know!”
No, that wasn’t the point. It was common to experience such things when playing a game. Why did his Nymphe become broken when he downloaded the logbook data? Ark became a criminal so he couldn’t just laugh it off.
“Dammit! This thing! This thing! Give me something!”
Ark flipped through the pages for a while. Finally he reached the last few pages of the logbook. Then an information window appeared in front of him.
-You have gained spiritual enlightenment from the materials the prophet left behind.
-A new skill (Common Occupation ☆☆☆) has been learnt.
Set Bullets Shooting (User, Active): Just like its name, a set of bullets will be fired like a whirlwind.
If you gather the ammunition and pull the trigger than up to 3 bullets will be shot at once. When the trigger is pulled, the 3 bullets will be released with 2.5 times the destructive power. However, a lot of burden is placed on small guns so the durability will quickly decrease.
< 3 bullets will be fired with 2.5 times the attack power and the probability of missing will double>
Applicable Weapons: All weapons except for machine guns and rocket launchers.
Mental Power consumption: 20
-A new skill (Common Occupation ☆☆☆) has been learnt.
Sonic sword (User, Active): If you concentrate your Mental Power then it is possible to increase the body’s potential for a short time and attack explosively. The sword will move at the sound of speed and contain strong destructive power. In addition, the blade will create a shock wave when it breaks through to the speed of sound.
Applicable Weapons: All types of swords
Mental Power consumption: 30
Ark’s eyes looked shocked.
“S-skill? And 3 star rated skills……”
Ark murmured and raised his head. A 3 star rated skill in Galaxian meant it wasn’t that easy to obtain. The method to learn it changed depending on the number of stars and 3 stars meant a skill directly learnt by studying with the NPC or skill books. However, Ark had never learnt a combat skill from a NPC. Then there is only one answer!
“The pages that I just turned must detail how the protagonist of the logbook learnt the combat skills from his colleagues. This logbook must be…..skill book!”
This was why Mald bought the toy airplane for 60 gold. He could figure out what happened.
The cunning fellow tried to use an excuse to snatch the toy. However, Ark was tricked…..he ended up catching a rat. He had suffered a lot in the meantime so he just released his stress using Mald. Now the dismal feeling of being banished to a disputed planet also disappeared.
“I learnt 2 battle skills. That alone makes it worthwhile to learn hacking. Well, I’m stuck in the prisoner unit of Beltana but it isn’t that bad.”
He had already learnt the hacking skill. Beltana wasn’t overflowing with users like Nephalim so it was better for hunting. This was a place where he could fight so he didn’t dislike it. The prisoner status was uncomfortable but he just learnt new skills so wasn’t this the best environment to hunt? He was drafted which meant there wouldn’t be that many chances to obtain items so experience was a priority.
“What? When I think about it, it isn’t that bad?”
Instead of being bad, he actually thought it was rather fortunate. Therefore Ark was motivated as he passed through the Star Gate connected to Beltana.
“Prisoner number 1056, Ark. Move to Beltana!”
“Yes! I’m going!”
His eyes brightened as he plunged into the Star Gate! He was brimming with motivation as he arrived at Beltana.
“Listen carefully, you trash!”
A rough voice was heard as he arrived at Beltana. A middle age man with a huge figure and a thick scar on his face addressed the prisoners. He was the commander in charge of managing the drafted prisoners, Peratul. Peratul surveyed the 30 new prisoners and began to talk.
“The soldiers in the main building don’t expect much from you. I only expect you to avoid the bullets. Do you understand? You guys are lucky since your bodies can be recycled with the Fairy. It is the reason why you guys are here. You can revive when you die. Scapegoats like you are needed in the war to help the elite soldiers survive.”
The Fairy body regeneration system couldn’t revive everyone. It was only possible for users and some NPCs. That’s why the name pioneer was created to distinguish the users and NPCs that could resurrect using the Fairy. Pioneers were an important element in the war. Like Peratul said, they could just revive so they were like infinite resources. That’s why normal NPCs like Tori were locked in jail while pioneers like Ark were dispatched to disputed areas when they committed a crime.
“Even lowlifes like you gain enough merit then you will be pardoned. But don’t think it will be that easy to gain merit. This place is a lot more dreadful than you think. Throw away any expectations you have right now. I assure you. Your body will just be torn asunder like trash after a few years. If you want to live then move. Crawl on the ground and ask for help. That is the only way for guys like you to come back alive!”
He didn’t know what to do with the military regulations that threatened them. However, Ark gained some skills so he didn’t pay attention to those words. The other prisoners who just arrived at Beltana were the same as well. For pioneers, fighting was a part of their daily lives. There was no reason to be tense about coming to a dangerous place. So several pioneers started smirking and chatting after hearing Peratul’s words.
“Battalion Commander Peratul-nim.”
Then a female military officer ran into the barracks. The prisoners whistled and made noise.
“Oh! Pretty good?”
“Is that her real face? Shall we see it outside?”
“These bastards really……!”
Peratul glared at the prisoners with a fierce expression. But the military officer just spoke without paying attention to the prisoners.
“Battalion Commander-nim, the scouting unit has reported signs that the Rama have moved to area D-23. The Commander has demanded that the prisoners be sent to determine the power of the enemy. The regular troops will be dispatched afterwards.”
A smile spread on Peratul’s face as the female officer’s words.
“Yes, that’s great. These guys should realize the reality of this place.”
Peratul looked at the prisoners before saying.
“Did everybody hear? Are any of you confused about the commands? You guys have no rights here. Experience if better than hundreds of words. Yes, this is an opportunity for you to learn from the battlefield. Everybody stand up! We’re moving to the battlefield!”
“I’ve been getting bored!”
The prisoners burst out with joy and stood up at Peratul’s order. Ark was one such prisoner. Ark exited the barracks with a confident expression.
“Huk! W-what the hell?”
Ark exclaimed as he saw the soldiers gathered in front of the barracks. There were 100 hollow skinned soldiers……
“You guys have been placed in Beltana’s prisoner unit. You’re going to be with them for a long time so you should become familiar with them. Hey you guys, your break has ended. We are going to the battlefield.”
The prisoners turned pale at Peratul’s words. The zombie like prisoners seemed to become even more zombie like.
‘Why did their faces become like that?’
Ark and the new prisoners thought at the sight of the senior prisoners panicking. The atmosphere of the normal soldiers in the area was different as they giggled.
“Kikikiki, newcomers have arrived.”
“A Rama unit has been discovered a short time ago. You guys are heading there?”
“I wonder how many will come back intact.”
“Not a lot of them.”
“Hey! Do you guys want some advice? If you give gold to the authorities then we might take care of you on the battlefield. It is better than being crushed to pieces every day.”
“Hey, stop it. They’re new so do you think they will understand?”
“Indeed, they’ll only understand after being crushed.”
The regular soldiers said as they suddenly swarmed. Some of the new prisoners sweated from the words the regular troops spat at them but Ark didn’t pay attention to it. He just needed to prove his skills on the battlefield. The soldiers would stop once he gained some merits. And Ark had confidence in his abilities.
‘Avoid the bullets? Heh, that’s funny. I am Ark. The battlefield is my stage! It shouldn’t take me a long time to earn 3,500 achievements. I will be the faster prisoner to be pardoned in Galaxian’s history.’
So Ark moved to the strategy area with the rest of the prisoners. They arrived at D-23 and a considerable number of enemy troops could be seen on the horizon.
“Now shall I get started?”
Ark checked his equipment and started concentrating. Suddenly a cloud of smoke emerged from the enemy camp that was several kilometres away. The senior prisoners yanked their hair and started screaming.
“Dammit! I knew it! I knew it!”
“What? What’s with these guys all of a sudden?”
“Eh? W-what is going on?”
Then one of the new prisoners pointed towards the sky. The new prisoners turned their heads towards the indicated direction and became amazed.
“Oh my god! T-that…..”
“Missiles! Projectiles! It is a heavy artillery attack!”
Tu tu tu tu! Kwa kwa kwa kwa! Syu syu syu syu! Pepeng!
There was a violent roaring sound that seemed to break the eardrums. The smoke from the enemy camp was the signal for a long distance assault. Various heavy weapons poured devastating attacks on the heads of the prisoners. Flames rose all over the place! The ground shook and rocks and dirt flew upwards. The problem was avoiding the attacks. The whole area where the prisoners were disappeared from the firepower! Ark who was holding the dagger was wrapped in a wave of heat. The same thing happened to the other prisoners. They couldn’t even properly swing their weapons before they were smashed and scattered all over the place.
Ark’s bloody body was on the ground as he looked around. It had only been 1 minute since the battle started. In just 1 minute, 50 prisoners had been torn to pieces and frozen by Beltana’s harsh atmosphere. And that was just the beginning.
“Num! Kara! Marakana! Okara! Akarana!”
The voice of the enemy was heard as they rushed towards the prisoners. They were hundreds of monsters in the form of a mantis that had been biologically engineered by the Rama. The bio-weapons called Carack were weaker than the Rama soldiers but they were sufficient to take care of the prisoners devastated by the heavy artillery.
……It was impossible for them to fight. Hundreds of Carack flocked like mosquitoes and the prisoners instantly became corpses. Ark desperately fought but ended up dying from dozens of Carack. Peratul’s voice was heard from behind as all the prisoners collapsed.
“The enemy’s main forces have moved! Send in the regular troop!”
Ku ku ku ku! Ku ku ku ku! Ku ku ku ku!
The regulars started moving from the rear. Hundreds of androids designed for battle, heavy artillery, soldiers wearing battle suits and the thousands of regular soldiers had started moving! Ark started to understand Peratul’s words.
‘Avoid the bullets…..’
It was an accurate representation. The Beltana prisoners weren’t soldiers. The prisoners were meat shields sent in first to take the bulk of the firepower. They were shields used to stop the heavy artillery from hitting the main troops. From then on, Ark and the prisoners were mobilized for battle a few times but the number of soldiers who survived could be counted with his fingers.
‘Earning 3,500 achievements in a place like this…..’
Ark participated in battle three times and he died three times. Of course, Ark hadn’t believed there wouldn’t be huge penalties from dying. Unlike the regular soldiers, the prisoners couldn’t use the Fairy for free. Instead of paying money, the prisoners had to pay their achievement points in order to resurrect. It was different according to the level so Ark needed to pay 100 achievements. On the other hand, he was given 50 achievement points just for entering the battlefield. Therefore he received -50 achievements every time he died. And the prisoners weren’t able to obtain any achievements. If they went on the battlefield then there was a 100% chance of dying! So Ark’s achievements after a week had passed…..
-Current Achievements: -127
Rather than earning achievements, his had fallen by 127 points. It would’ve been -150 but he earned some points from killing the Carack. However, there was another really distressing part.
Gu gu gu gu…..
There was a ponderous noise as the Memeod moved through the mud. When the back door opened, Peratul looked at the zombie like prisoners and said.
“We’ve arrived. Everybody get off. If you don’t want to then you don’t have to get off.”
Peratul said with a smile. However, there was a small scuffle as all the prisoners tried to jump off. Beltana was a disputed planet because it was possible to obtain Iridium. Iridium was a general resource used throughout space so whoever obtained Beltana would have access to a vast quantity of Iridium. And the reason the prisoners were trying to pick up the Iridium…..
“Urgh! Iridium! Look for Iridium!”
“I’ve already ate all my space rations!”
“If this continues then I’ll starve! I have to use every possible method to find the Iridium!”
……This was the reason. They were soldiers but also prisoners. And the galactic federation couldn’t allow the prisoners to eat for free. Bullets and repaired equipment was needed to fight but essential supplies for survival like food and water weren’t for free. If the prisoners wanted to obtain supplied then they had to pay for it through loot obtained on the battlefield or Iridium. However, the prisoners instantly died so it was difficult for them to loot anything. So they were forced to gather Iridium. Of course, it wasn’t an easy task.
“Ohhhh! Mine! It’s mine!”
Iridium could be gathered but it wasn’t scattered everywhere. As more time passed, it was difficult to find huge amounts. Thus, only Iridium the size of fingernails could be seen and the prisoners would all flock towards it. Iridium paid for food so actual fighting broke out among the prisoners over it. Ark was no different. He needed to raise his achievements to be pardoned. But there was a 50% penalty to his abilities if his satiety fell. And he would die of starvation if it reached 0. Of course, their satiety would reach 50% if they resurrected after starving to death. But they had to suffer from hunger as soon as they revived. That’s why the prisoners turned into a zombie unit. It was a miserable life where they starved and then had to become meat shields on the battlefield.
‘If I’m hungry on the battlefield then I can’t avoid the bullets!’
But there was even more. If they couldn’t gain Iridium then they couldn’t repair the broken equipment and couldn’t fight. They couldn’t even dream of escaping Beltana. So no matter how miserable it was, they were forced to step on each other to gain a piece of Iridium.
“This place…..is hell!”
Ark moaned as his skin became thinner after several days.