Chapter 16

Kimin looked through his memories.

He figured out where the familiar feeling came from.

‘That’s right. It was the Dark auction. The pink fox and the bulldog!’

‘The bulldog guy has a youthful face or an old voice?’

‘Anyway, they saw me using my skills. I don’t want to get involved… I should just nod my head and leave.’

Kimin was about to nod his head and Saehyun Jae stopped him.

“Haha, sir. This is my only niece and my sworn brother.”

“Hello! I’m Sera Lee.”

“Hello, I’m Hakdong Lim.”

The girl nodded her head and the guy looked at Kimin with a surprised face.

He might be surprised because Saehyun Jae addressed Kimin who looked a lot younger than Saehyun with an honorific.

‘Ha… Shit…’

Kimin became preoccupied for a second.

‘Should I just ignore this and leave? But I feel so sorry for the owner…’

He couldn’t just ignore them and leave because of Saehyun Jae.

However, he didn’t want to give them a chance to find out he was the guy at the Dark auction.

‘What should I do…’

Kimin decided to choose a compromise.

“Oh, yea.”

First, he avoided a long answer and also didn’t look at their eyes directly.

Then, he pulled out his phone.

Kimin pointed at his phone with his finger and gestured to show them he felt sorry to leave.

He attached his phone on his ear, dropped his head, and ran outside of the store.

There was silence for a moment after he left without even looking at their faces.

“He must be really busy. By the way, I feel like I heard his voice somewhere…”

“I feel that way too. Hm…”

Sera Lee and Hakdong Lim tilted their heads and stopped paying attention to him.

Rattling Rattling

Their hands moved to their teacups.

They talked about how they were doing and drank tea.

Hakdong Lim sipped the tea and asked a question while reading Saehyun’s face.

“Boss, who was the guy who just left? You called that guy ‘sir’.”

“He deserves it. I won’t take your question.”

“Oh, I was just wondering because if he is something, I want to get close to him.”

“Let’s just talk about ourselves. We don’t have enough time to just do that.”

Sera Lee looked at Hakdong Lim and shrunk her shoulders.

Hakdong giggled and changed the topic.

“By the way, I’m worried about the government who is becoming an enemy to skill users.”

“I agree, however, there is nothing we can do. Skill users and ordinary people have only one vote. Of course, they have an advantage since there are more of them than us.”

Hakdong hesitated for a moment.

“Well… Boss… Have you heard about ‘the leash legislative bill’?”

“No, I haven’t. Wait a second. Let me see… Huh, what? Has it gone to the National Assembly?”

“It hasn’t, but the leading opposition is about to send it.”

“Huh…”

Saehyun Jae let out a sigh after analyzing the hidden meaning behind Hakdong’s words.

The government was hostile to skill users as time went by.

Then, the leash legislative bill was not about the ordinary citizens.

It was a policy for skill users.

The lead opposition pushed ahead with the leash policy and it wasn’t ready for implementation at the National Assembly. 

However, it was reaching the danger level. 

Saehyun shook his head.

“If the National Assembly is prudent, the policy won’t be accepted. There is no reason to carry out the meaningless policy.”

“Public opinion is not like what you think, boss. People who hate skill users are many.”

“I have no idea why they are doing this to us. There are only a few skill users who committed crimes since they’re controlled well”, Sera Lee complained.

“It should be a sense of deprivation and anxiety. We have it, but they don’t. Of course, there are villains too.”

“I still can’t understand. They are going to put a leash on our necks! Aren’t they crazy? How are we supposed to know what they are going to do with us after doing that? Besides, the villains are the ones who put the leash on, not us! They can’t even put it on the villains.”

Saehyun remained mute and picked up his cup.

“…”

“Haves and have-nots? What do they want from us? They don’t want us to use our skills, right?”

“Leash… Boss, if we put it on, there will be no difference between dogs and us. We are going to have no rights as humans. They tell us to kill monsters then we kill them, tell us to give them ingredients then we give them, and tell us to bark then we bark.”

“However, the National assembly won’t pass the legislative bill if they are in their right minds. If they do…, none of the skill users will agree with that.”

Saehyun barely swallowed a word, ‘catastrophe’.

“Boss, new skill user registration rates are already dropping rapidly. Everyone knows the situation and tries to spare themselves.”

“So many skill users are leaving Korea. If all of us go abroad, it’s going to become a worthy sight.”

“Huh… Normal Koreans don’t care if the country collapses or not… I don’t understand why they detest skill users so much…”

Sera Lee bit her lip and Saehyun picked up his cup bitterly.

Hakdong quietly mumbled, “Then… Don’t you think ‘the Rulers’ are going to do something? They don’t mind having a war.”

“…”

Sera Lee listened to Hakdong and made a sad face.

Hakdong who next to Sera who was looking down sadly continued his words.

“Honestly, if the Rulers make up their mind, the leading opposition will be…”

“Stop it, Hakdong.”

“Boss!”

“Hakdong.”

Hakdong Lim closed his mouth when he saw Saehyun’s serious eyes.

Saehyun spoke quietly, “Hakdong, have you already forgotten the head of our group telling us not to become monsters?”

“…No, sir.”

But aren’t the ordinary making us monsters?

Hakdong swallowed the question coming up from deep within his mind and changed the topic while smiling.

This works well to change the sad mood.

“You should get married soon, miss.”

“What??”

“Hahahaha. Are you seeing somebody?”

“No!! Oh, old man! How can I get married when I don’t have a boyfriend.”

“Hahaha..”

***

“So, there is no outcome. That’s what you are saying, right?”

“Yes, sir.”

The new manager dropped his head down in front of the silent Jinbum.

He was a replacement for Dongsoo Choi.

“You couldn’t find any information about the tattoo. Is that possible?”

“We have asked around people who work in the tattoo industry, but no one knows about this.”

Of course, they couldn’t find out.

Kimin tattooed himself in Japan and released it to Dongsoo Choi.

“What about psychometry?”

“They checked his outfit and his body type, but they couldn’t figure out his appearance since it was hidden by a hat and a mask.”

“Aren’t they something that anyone can find out with the security camera?”

“…You are right.”

Jinbum shook his head.

“So, what did you find out on the camera?”

“He vanished without a trace in the restroom.”

“I thought so. I would do that too. He must be using a return stone.”

The vice-president clicked his tongue.

The manager carefully opened his mouth.

“We tried to identify his fingerprints, but that guy had gloves on… I’m terribly sorry.”

“I see.”

“…”

Jinbum Park stared at the manager who stopped talking.

“Is that it?”

“Pardon me?”

“I’m asking if that is all you have tried.”

“…For now, yes.”

The manager swallowed his dry spit and Jinbum shook his head.

“So, that was all you guys’ idea and tenacity.”

“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t understand what you said, sir.”

“That’s you guys’ limit, assholes.”

The manager shut his eyes tight and opened them again.

“If you point out our shortcomings, we will correct them!”

“Shut up. Don’t shout in my room. I’m going to kill you.”

“I’m sorry, sir…”

Jinbum let out a sigh.

“Have you thought about collecting all the hair in the restroom and in the patient room and identifying DNA?”

“…Oh! I will make our team do…”

“People already cleaned in the rooms several times. Do you really think it’s still there, you idiots?”

“Sorry, sir.”

The vice-president massaged his temple.

It meant he got very upset.

The manager stood at ease in front of his angry owner.

“What if that kind of ominous skill user is not registered? Have you investigated about the Dark auction?”

“I’m sorry, I will… Ugh!!”

Bam!

An ashtray flew at the manager and struck his shoulder.

Jinbum Park gasped and growled.

“Such a useless. Get out. Now.”

He couldn’t even grab his shoulder and left hurriedly.

Ha-

Jinbum Park inhaled and exhaled deeply.

He couldn’t control his emotion very well.

There were too many stupid punks.

‘Useless little worms who are paid to do nothing.’

‘If Dongsoo Choi was alive, he would have already investigated everything perfectly.’

However, he was gone from the Ohsung Group and the world.

He didn’t know how precious Dongsoo Choi was before and now he regretted it.

Jinbum pushed himself to his desk.

There was a mountain of documents on it.

It was all he had to authorize.

He had many tasks to cope with besides Kimin.

He was practically a leader of the Ohsung.

The documents gave him pressure on his chest.

‘I can’t believe that I don’t have a trustworthy subordinate…’

He opened a water bottle and gulped it.

***

An empty place outside of Seoul.

There were three people in front of a container that was as big as a room.

“This is all for now. We have found almost everything that is distributed in Korea.”

“Ok. Well done. I will pay for them.”

Hyeongdoo Seo and Hyeongki Seo bowed politely to Kimin and Kimin smiled at them and nodded.

They had already finished talking about it at the Skyclo shop, so they were looking at the results together at that time.

“Paying? No, you don’t have to.”

“No, take it. I’m going to trade with you guys from now on.”

“You mean…”

“Whenever you guys see an energy stone, gather and bring all of them to me. I will give you the right price.”

Kimin pushed a few gold bars to Hyeongki and Hyeongdoo.

The gold bars. They were spoils of war from the jellyfish mask at the Dark auction.

Strictly speaking, they were ‘inside of the subspace pocket’ he got from the guy.

It wasn’t that important.

After the Seo brothers left in front of him, he went inside the container.

“Wow…”

There were tons of energy stones that looked like a mountain.

Whistle-

Kimin whistled.

‘I should have given them more gold bars.’

Appraisal of Hyeongdoo and Hyeongki in Kimin’s mind became higher.

He grabbed some of the energy stones.

‘Their grades are not that good.’

They were pretty small.

The stone’s grade was mostly in proportion to their size.

These sizes were probably C or D grade.

However, there seemed to be several hundred of them.

They overwhelmed with quantity.

As soon as Kimin reached out his hand to them, a bright light filled up in the container.

[ One of the abnormal status absorption(S)’s characteristics will be improved. The improved characteristic: Absorption distance ]

[ One of the abnormal status absorption(S)’s characteristics will be improved. The improved characteristic: Release distance ]

.

.

.

‘There is no message about the potential characteristic…’

Kimin was nonchalantly reading all the messages he got.

At the moment, his eyes suddenly got bigger.

[ Abnormal status absorption(S) has reached Lv.200. The one and only characteristic has unsealed: Adaptation ]

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