Although the escape route was a path to flee, and more importantly, since they were already riding it, they had no choice but to get on the vehicle. However, if they were traveling alone, they had no intention of doing something reckless like that.
Traveling on a noisy object like a vehicle was no different from telling the abundant beasts outside of Arc that they were here and to come catch them.
"I was actually chased by the beasts before."
They say that over a hundred vehicles left from Chronos to Arc, so there was no need to explain how reckless that was.
Above all, it was difficult to conceal or disguise themselves during a similar situation, so there was nothing better than sturdy legs when traveling outside of Arc in various ways.
"Now, where should I go?"
What is the most important thing for humans to survive?
Clothes, food, and shelter.
These are commonly referred to as the necessities of life.
Fortunately, things like clothing and food were already somewhat secured, so there was no urgent need for them.
Soon, naturally, their goal leaned towards residential areas.
The most important condition for a residence to survive in the world of The Defense was safety.
In that regard, it was difficult to say that Arc was a safe place to be, as survival was not a typical thing in the world of The Defense.
In addition, the conditions necessary for a residence were not just safety.
One of the things that humans must have to survive is water, but unfortunately, this thing called water was not something that could be carried around like a multi-calorie bar.
The weight of one liter of water is one kilogram.
The recommended amount of water for a person to drink per day is between 1.5 to 2 liters.
Even if they were careful with how much they drank, they still needed to drink one liter to maintain their vital functions.
In other words, even if they carried enough water to drink for a week, it would weigh nearly 10 kilograms.
"It's one thing to carry the weight, but it's impossible to handle the volume."
Their military gear was already packed tightly, and there was no room to carry water as well.
When choosing a residence, the distance from the water source must also be taken into account.
"Well, it would make sense to choose a residence near the water source in the first place."Safety.
Distance from current location.
There was only one place that met all of these conditions, as far as I knew.
"Of course, there's nowhere else but there..."
Holy Mount (靈山) Noah.
A volcanic area that emerged from the geological changes after the Great Cataclysm, and the biggest reason why Arks could exist.
That place was where I wanted to make my residence.
Not without reason it was called Yeongsan, as Noah was so full of volcanic gas and heat, and most notably, had an incredibly high concentration of ether that even most beasts and monsters dared not approach.
Moreover, if one could locate the underground water veins, one could access hot springs and indulge in luxuries like bathing in them.
At least, it fulfilled the most important conditions of safety and water supply.
"Although the ether concentration is a concern... I can't find a better place in this situation."
After all, the reason why Arks were built with Noah, a volcanic area, at their backs was for this very reason.
No beasts or monsters could approach it, and it was possible to secure the essential water supply for human survival. Furthermore, the energy supply through volcanic power generation was also smooth.
Although there was a risk in having a volcano that could erupt anytime right behind them, it was a fact that this risk was insignificant when considering the bleak situation that humanity was facing.
"The reason why lines were drawn in Arks is also because of Yeongsan Noah."
No beasts or monsters can approach Noah.
If one truly takes this proposition, then naturally, the closer one is to Noah, the fewer the appearances of beasts and monsters, and thus it becomes a safe place.
That's how the lines were born.
Starting from the White Line, which is located at the center of the Ark that directly faces Noah, the rearmost front line closest to Noah became the Red Line, and conversely, the farthest forward became the Black Line.
Naturally, excluding the White Line, the safest place, the Red Line, became the wealthy district of the Ark where the powerful gathered.
Similarly, the most dangerous front lines, the Rose Line and the Black Line, became the places where the poorest and weakest people gathered.
Therefore, in The Defense, players start as soldiers of the rearmost Red Line, and as the stage progresses, they grow and move forward to new positions.
The order is as follows.[Central]
White Line (??)
Red Line (Stages 1-10)
Orange Line (Stages 11-20)
Yellow Line (Stages 21-30)
Green Line (Stages 31-40)
Blue Line (Stages 41-50)
Navy Line (Stages 51-60)
Violet Line (Stages 61-70)
Purple Line (Stages 71-80)
Rose Line (Stages 81-90)
Black Line (Stages 91-100)
From the backline to the frontline.
Although there may be slight differences depending on the player's decisions, this can be considered the basic progression direction for players.
"But I have broken free from that constraint."
The constraint of being a soldier in Ark.
Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.
However, when I played as a soldier in Ark, I was unable to clear The Defense.
Although it is unclear whether this beginning is right or wrong, at least there is nothing to lose.
"Well, it's something to think about later."I tore open the packaging of the multi-calorie bar and began to eat it hungrily. In a situation where anything could happen at any moment during our travels, it was wise to replenish my energy whenever I had the chance.
Despite being called chocolate-flavored, it tasted more like a brick with a hint of chocolate.
If I considered what I would have to eat in the future, this would suffice.
After eating about half of the multi-calorie bar, I began to feel a sense of fullness. I washed it down with water from my canteen and put the remaining bar in my ration bag. I then proceeded to inspect the equipment that I had acquired.
[Ark-15 Automatic Conversion Rifle] [★★★ (3 stars)]
Ark's basic issue automatic conversion rifle.
It can be switched between automatic rifles, anti-material sniper rifles, and shotguns.
Although it was a basic issue item, the Ark-15 Automatic Conversion Rifle boasted considerable performance and versatility, and was not without reason the main firearm used by Ark's soldiers. With upgrades and customization, it could be ranked up to a maximum of 6 stars (★★★★★★).
"Most importantly, it's quite resistant to overheating."
From my perspective of being able to spew out infinite bullets, there was no better firearm that I could acquire at the moment.
"Let's see, what else do we have..."
[HE2050 Pistol] [★★★(3 stars)]
Ark's basic issue pistol.
It has strong destructive power and recoil.
──────────────Smell Machete-7 [★★(2 stars)]
A type of Smell workshop-made machete no. 7, made of a special alloy that doesn't rust or dull easily.
Truly the work of a master craftsman.
[Standard Issue Armor (Lv.3)] [★★★(3 stars)]
Ark's basic standard issue armor (Lv.3).
"Hmm, very nice."
As I examined the new equipment I had obtained from Lieutenant Imocia, a sudden noise in the distance caused me to instinctively crouch down.
Even though I had taken the safest route possible, it was always emphasized that there was no such thing as a safe path or place in this world.
"A horde of monsters."
Mostly comprised of level 10 beast and monster types, with occasional higher level monsters mixed in.
At first glance, it seemed like a swarm easily numbering in the hundreds. Given my current location, engaging in combat was not a wise choice.
"There's no place to take cover around here. I have to retreat."
Judging from the direction the horde was moving, it didn't seem to be heading towards Ark.
As I avoided the monsters' gaze and moved away, I soon noticed a steep uphill path.
This meant that I had finally arrived at the border of Noah, the Red Line.
"I'm almost there."From the start, they had traveled on foot as the Red Line closest to Noah was adjacent, making the journey relatively short objectively speaking. However, subjectively, there was a sense of delay that couldn't be ignored.
"I wanted to arrive before nightfall...perhaps I was being too ambitious."
Before they knew it, darkness had enveloped the area.
Mount Yeongsan's Noah boasted a desolate, barren landscape devoid of any blades of grass, resembling a volcano. However, due to the rugged and vast terrain, the entire mountain couldn't be seen at a glance.
Fortunately, they already knew of a few locations within Noah. All that was left was to climb the mountain diligently. The problem was that unwelcome guests had started to appear before them.
No beasts or demons usually set foot in Mount Yeongsan's Noah. Of course, as there are always exceptions in the world, it couldn't be considered an absolute safe haven. At least, within The Defense, there were no such safe places.
"Are those Hellhounds?"
They were the most frequently encountered monsters in the rearmost Red Line of Ark. At some point, they had surrounded him, their eyes glowing in the darkness.
Fortunately, they seemed to be fewer in number than the previous pack of monsters he had encountered. At most, there were thirty or thirty-one of them.
"So that's how it is."
Upon seeing the bullet holes in the Hellhounds' skin, he realized how they had managed to crawl all the way to Noah.
"They must be the ones who chased us with the Skull Hounds earlier."
In other words, when the Skull Hounds began to mutate, they fled in fear and ended up in Noah.
"So, we meet again."
However, he wasn't afraid. The difference between his previous self and his current self was immense.At that moment.
【Let's kill them all...】
A voice echoed in my mind.
But it didn't bother me.
"This is just a coincidence."
I had the same thought.
I gripped my Ark-15 rifle and slid my finger over the mode setting lever.
"It's going to be different than before."
Click, click, click-
[Switching to shotgun mode.]
<Exploring the Shelter >