Ark: Volume 3 Chapter 8

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Jackson’s Hero
“Huhuhu, since I resolved the quest and even took 1st place, I’ll definitely get a ton of bonus points!”

In the corner of a dark room, Hyun-woo grinned while his fingers tapped on the keyboard as though they were flying. After returning to Jackson, Hyun-woo had immediately logged out and gotten onto his computer. This was because all of the candidates had received an email telling them to submit a report as soon as the event quest ended. But even without the email, Hyun-woo wanted to write up a report right away.

Although he didn’t register in the Hall of Fame, of course the Global Exos planning department would of be aware Hyun-woo had tied for 1st place in contribution. If he sent in a report with the details on top of that, he would be able to make a strong impression. Only now did the vague idea of joining Global Exos feel real.

“I’m definitely in front of the other candidates! Getting into Global Exos isn’t just a dream!”

In just a few minutes, Hyun-woo wrote up a 10 page report and sent the email.

Only then did his fatigue from the past three days hit him all at once.

* * *

“Hahh, I feel like I’ve completely become an idiot.” Kim Gwon-tae sighed with a fatigued expression.

It had been exactly 3 days since the event quest began. Though the same was probably also true for the players who had participated in the quest, he had needed to stay up all night battling with a computer during that time, in order to find out system information related to the quest. But his efforts were completely in vain; surprisingly, whenever the situation changed as the quest proceeded, the related information was locked down anew.

‘This is really a monster.’

Even if it could and did exist within the realm of common sense, it was something that couldn’t be. Despite being a regionally restricted quest, the participants numbered in the hundreds. As a result, there were thousands, tens of thousands, of possible variables. For a single computer to be checking all those simultaneously arising variables and automatically renewing the locks on them… Seeing as the data was being constantly updated on the screen even now, he felt a little fear. A living monster… it could only be expressed in such terms.

‘The only way to make that possible is to put a master key on the highest level of the whole system. But how can the system realize this much freedom with a master key? Just what is it? Where is it hiding, this master key programmed in by the genius game director Park Woo-seong?’

Kim Gwon-tae was the deputy of the Global Exos Planning Department. He was a competent programmer and hacker, a hidden heavyweight who was known to be capable of hacking into even Interpol’s (International Criminal Police Organization) information network if he put his mind to it. Of course, it wasn’t like such rumors weren’t exaggerated, but he was certainly an internationally famous hacker.

Not only was he unable to clear a lock on the game, he couldn’t even identify the location of the hidden program that renewed the locks.

‘There’s only two things I can think of.’

Either New World’s main computer had an AI that was beyond imagination, or Park Woo-seong was continuously monitoring the game as he updated the locks from wherever he was hiding.

If the first option was the answer, then there was hope of lifting the lock one day. But if it was the second, the situation was more serious than expected. Even if they cleared a lock with difficulty, their efforts would go right down the drain if he renewed the lock, and an endless war of attrition would continue.

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