Hammurabi Style – Chapter 1

Chapter 1

“Hey!”

A man was laying on the ground and wasn’t reacting.

“Ha. Bitch. Hey, hey!!”

The man who just spoke was getting irritated and started breathing harder. However, the man who passed out still wasn’t moving.

The man on the ground was bleeding inside his mouth while thinking.

‘Where did everything go wrong…’

***

The great age of supernatural powers.

People with supernatural powers had changed the world as scientists officially stated: “The nucleus of the world is no longer science anymore, but supernatural powers.”

Once someone’s supernatural power is revealed, at least a better than average life was guaranteed. Also, no one wanted to be an ‘inferior ordinary person.’

Kimin Kim was awakened in the middle of the century.

[ You have been awakened. ]

“Me? For real?!”

In a tiny goshiwon(1) where a bed and a desk were overlapped, Kimin Kim raised his body suddenly. A serious burn scar marred his face.

[ Skill ]

Abnormal status absorption(A) : Lv. 0

Carletto’s mind barrier(U) : Lv. –

“Tw..two!!! An A grade and a unique class…..”

Suddenly the light was shining into my trash life.

When you live in a very dark place in your whole life and see the light suddenly, you lose your sights for a moment.

Kimin Kim held his chest. He felt like a hammer made of gold was pounding at his heart.

“No, no… I finally got this lucky. I can’t die before I succeed.”

Kimin Kim tried to relax his beating heart due to the unfamiliar experience and then opened his status with his shaking hand.

[ Skill : Abnormal status absorption(A) (Lv. 0) ]

“I will take your burden instead of you.”

  • You can absorb any abnormal status from living things. The abnormal status will be applied to your body.

[ Skill : Carletto’s mind barrier(U) (Lv. 0) (conceal) ]

Carletto’s inner space was very unique in many ways. None of the vain efforts to invade Carletto’s spirit who was born to be twisted failed.

  • You can resist most mental attacks.
  • ★Concealment: This skill cannot be discovered by any detecting skills unless you reveal it personally.

“Mind defense skill…” 

Kimin Kim read the explanation of ‘Carletto’s mind barrier’ and smacked his lips.

‘I am guaranteed a National Intelligence Service job.’

However, Kimin Kim did not want to go to the National Intelligence Service or ‘someplace that needed this skill.’ 

Why?

‘If I think about why they are willing to hire people who have mind defense skills, there is no reason to go there at all.’

It was so simple to think about why the National Intelligence Service or someplace that wanted the skill.

To defend when ‘they needed to defend their mental abilities.’

It was obvious when that happened.

‘When a secret that is not supposed to be leaked is extracted by force.’

Kimin Kim imagined the horrible end where he would bite a poison pill between his teeth and shivered.

“I’m never going. Of course not.”

Kimin Kim nodded his head and then read an explanation of another skill.

“Abnormal status absorption? It’s uncertain to say it’s… a healing skill.”

His face that brightened up for a moment soon turned serious.

He was an orphan. He didn’t even have a poor family. His life was that twisted and he was living in an orphanage, but he wasn’t stupid at all.

“This…”

Kimin Kim put his brain to work and then his face became dark.

“…You want me to sell my body?”

There were plenty of skilled healers as many as various skilled people had appeared in the world.

However, most of the healers could only heal injuries and also were not fast enough to do that. Besides, people who could heal illnesses had ridiculous penalties for that, so they could not use their skills.

‘In short, the healers now can heal people a little faster than doctors, but no more than that.’

That was why there were almost no healers who worked by themselves. Except for very talented healers, most of them worked with doctors at the hospital.

Furthermore, there was no such medicine as a ‘potion’ that made everything easier in this world. If so, doctors or healers would be bankrupt.

So doesn’t it mean that the skill Kimin Kim got was a jackpot? Because he can absorb all the abnormal statuses and the illnesses?

‘It doesn’t work that way.’

This skill had a death penalty.

‘Once Kimin Kim absorbs an abnormal status, it applies to his body.’

If he absorbs cancer, he will get cancer.

If he absorbs an injury from a person who is going to die in 3 seconds due to a mortal wound, he will die in 3 seconds.

‘I don’t know how much I can absorb, but it’s… just like I’m a replacement. Am I like the boy who got bit instead of someone from the Middle Ages?’

He gnashed his teeth.

What if powerful skilled people found out about Kimin Kim’s existence?

What if a parvenu, who can only spend money and time, find out that there is a man who has an abnormal status absorption skill?

Kimin Kim thought about the tragedy of Hassan, an illness healer, who even came out on the news.

Hassan was a healer. Whenever he healed someone’s illness, he used his life expectancy. This stupid guy bragged about his ability on a TV show and then got kidnapped the next day.

Even though Hassan was barely rescued, his back was bent with age and he looked like a shriveled little boy. He passed away in about 3 hours after he had been rescued and ironically, the cause of his death was natural death.

The doctor said, ‘His body age was about 150. He lived so long. He lived out longer than his lifespan.’

‘Abnormal status absorption… It’s better not to have it. Nobody should know that I have this kind of skill.’

‘Ooh, abnormal status absorption should have a concealment option..’

In this case, using the mind barrier skill became more difficult. If he tried to gallantly use it, his abnormal status absorption would also be discovered.

That day, Kimin Kim talked to himself over and over.

“I am incompetent. I have no skills. I have… I was never awakened. Nothing happened. Today was just a fucked up day. I will… forget everything.”

Kimin Kim bit his lips and lowered his head. Then, he stroked his burned face and clenched his fist.

“I will survive. Definitely. As it has been so far.”

– Erk, centipede!!!

Kimin Kim listened to a hazy scream from outside of his goshiwon as a lullaby song and laid down on his bed.

However, life didn’t always go as desired.

***

Slosh-

Someone splashed water on Kimin Kim’s head.

“Life doesn’t always go as desired. Does it, Kimin Kim?”

“Ugh… ugh..”

Kimin Kim, who was laying down on the ground, barely recovered consciousness.

“Let’s start it again.”

“Ok!!”

As soon as someone said that, somebody picked up Kimin Kim and put him on a chair. Then, another one tied him uptight.

“Erk…”

It was too tight so Kimin Kim’s face contorted.

At the moment, someone walked inside the room with help.

“Chairman, welcome!!”

Everyone greeted the chairman with a deep bow instantly. As the chairman bobbed his finger like they were bothersome, they stood up straight and nodded their heads with great honor.

“Have you… gotten any results… yet?”

The chairman struggled to open his mouth. He was not only old but his body and mind were also collapsing. 

“Don’t worry, sir. Soon, this guy will carry all of your bundles for you instead.”

“Hurry…!! I got.. no time..!”

His aged wrinkled cheeks shook.   

It was enough to make his man anxious even though he didn’t know if his chairman was shaking because of his anger or foggy from his fear of his impending death.

“Yes, sir.”

A guy who poured water pulled out a syringe and approached Kimin Kim.

“I guess you have resistance against drugs. I’m going to inject one that’s 50 times stronger than the previous ones. Don’t you think you should finish your life as a human being in the end at least? Are you still not going to corporate?”

There was no answer.

Only a bloody coughing sound resounded in the room.

The guy shrunk his shoulders and circled behind the chair. Then, he injected Kimin Kim’s arm that was tied back proficiently.

“Urk..!”

The drug from the syringe got pushed inside Kimin Kim’s body.

[ Carletto’s mind barrier(U)(Lv.0) has defended against the mental attack from the top-grade confession injection perfectly! ]

The mind barrier blocked the mental attack from the injection but didn’t block the physical burden.

Kimin Kim was struggling to pant due to the pressure to his heart. How many days had he been kept here?

“Why… is it… not… working!!!!”

The chairman’s cheeks started shaking even more roughly since he had waited long enough, but Kimin Kim experienced no change at all. 

“It.. It can’t be… Just wait a little m…”

“Call… Dongsoo Choi!! Now!!”

“…Ok, sir.”

The man who gave the injection bit his lips.

Even just a drop in the injection made an elephant obey. Did he endure this?

‘It doesn’t matter now. Dongsoo Choi… You will regret that you didn’t obey before he comes.’

Dongsoo Choi came into the room with a heavy backpack after the man and his underlings greeted the chairman respectfully and left.

“Umph-”

Thud.

The sound that came from Dongsoo Choi’s backpack made it seem like it had something very heavy.

Rrrip.

“Oops! This guy came out from it! Hahaha..”

“Manager..! I.. trust.. you!!”

Dongsoo Choi grinned at the strange steel tool that tore open the backpack and came out from it, and turned his head toward the chairman.

“Are you going to observe? Or you can leave the room for a moment. Blood might splash on you.”

“Um… Call me… when you are done…! Do you need… a healer…?”

“It’s better to have one. But you will get what you want even without them. I’m Dongsoo Choi, Chairman.”

“…Ha. I will send… Hayeong Choi… I don’t know how many days you’ll take…but I will wait.”

“Ms. Hayeong Choi..? Yes, sir.”

The chairman and his men left the surprised Dongsoo Choi behind them.

After a metal door closed with the scratching floor sound, Dongsoo Choi grinned at Kimin Kim.

“Shall we start?”

***

How many days had passed?

“I’m very impressed. Dude, let me tell you sincerely. I’ve kind of started to respect you.”

Dongsoo Choi was talking to Kimin Kim who was in rags.

Kimin Kim sank his head toward his chest and had blood dripping from his mouth.

“Are you too shy to answer? Ahaha!!”

Dongsoo Choi laughed delightedly while slapping Kimin Kim’s cheek and then went to the door. His face turned to a frown.

Knock knock.

Dongsoo Choi knocked on the door and talked formally.

“Could you heal him, please?”

As the metal door opened, Hayeong Choi came in with her tired face.

“I’m so sorry, but I have an important schedule starting next week. Now, you should find some other…”

“Yes, I know. After today, no… after this healing, you can go home. You don’t have to come here anymore.”

“…?”

“After today… a vice-chairman said we don’t need to leave him alive.”

“… I’m surprised that you couldn’t do it.”

“I think he has a resistance skill against mental attacks. I haven’t seen anyone this tenacious before.”

“Didn’t the detection skill find out that he only has abnormal status absorption?”

“Without the resistance skill… it doesn’t make any sense he doesn’t listen to me. Even the confession injection, too.”

“Wow, he had endured that..?”

Hayeong Choi’s face showed that she was astonished.

“… If he did, it’d be better to leave him alive and scout him to join our…”

“If someone tortured you like that, would you think about joining them?”

As Dongsoo Choi turned his head to Kimin Kim, Hayeong glanced at the thing that looked like Kimin Kim or a chunk of meat and then started gagging.

Even though she had been watching for about a month, she still couldn’t fight down her disgust.

“This is your last heal. Hurry up, please.”

Hayeong Choi turned her head back, finished healing, and left the room with unsteady steps.

‘Shit… I, Dongsoo Choi… couldn’t.’

Daehong Park, the chairman of Ohsung group, the top company in Korea, passed out a few days ago. He wa in a coma. He must be laying down on a bed with all the equipment on his body now.

Dongsoo Choi thought about the conversation with the vice-chairman, Jinbum Park, who was Daehong Park’s first son and also the inheritor of the Ohsung group.

‘Still?’

‘…Yes. I’m very sorry.’

‘I can’t believe there was something manager Choi couldn’t do. I will give you a week. Try your best, then just dispose of him if it doesn’t work. You don’t have time for that kind of thing. You’ve got a lot to do.’

‘Ok, sir.’

Dongsoo Choi stopped thinking and shook his head. The vice-chairman was right. The skill strategy manager from the Ohsung group, Dongsoo Choi, covered him for a month and couldn’t get any results. It was too much of a loss for Ohsung.

‘It doesn’t matter now, but who the hell is he?’

80 percent of people confessed everything even before his second tool. They started to tell him to just kill them when he took out the fourth tool. When some real tough cookies were handled by his trump card which was his handmade collection, Dongsoo Choi used his skill.

Dongsoo Choi was a ‘mental collapse’ skill user.

None who were tied in the torturing room could endure the mental collapse skill. Of course, it was before he met this guy.

‘He got the healer and also received a transfusion. I’ve tried for a month and this fucking asshole is not listening?’

He tried to use Kimin’s family or friends, but this guy didn’t even have one of them.

Dongsoo Choi was someone who thought of himself as the best in this field. This experience of failure was too unfamiliar, too detestable, and it was just humiliation itself.

He closed the door and kicked Kimin Kim’s face as he was annoyed. Kimin fell diagonally while he was tied to the chair.

“I’ve changed my mind. This is it.”

The torturing technician who always smiled changed his tone to be formal. 

Translator’s Notes: 

    1. A goshiwon is a very small room that students live in while studying for an important test, or if their normal home is far from their school.
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