Hammurabi Style – Chapter 10

Kimin was surrounded by huge shipping containers while walking around the maze like area.

There were signs on the containers. They had letters under big pictures that represented the concept of the stores.

Kimin checked the map and walked to his destination.

‘Am I almost there? It’s weird… Saehyun told me a few people will try to stick to me like a leech.’

Kimin tilted his head and moved his steps. As soon as he thought about it, someone grabbed his arm.

“Hello, sir! Are you looking for a product?”

‘Here you go.’

It was a sales promoter at the Dark auction.

Sales promoters normally wore a butterfly mask. The promoter dealing with Kimin was wearing a swallowtail butterfly mask.

Kimin remembered what Saehyun taught him and talked shortly.

“Mask type artifact. It’s better if you sell a fake ID as well.”

“Wow~ What a match made in heaven. I’m from the store you are going to. It’s pretty nice.”

‘How do you know where I’m going?’

The guy dumbfounded Kimin.

“The leather?”

“Our store handles ape leather and also human skins. Why don’t you come with me and choose what you want?”

“Hey. I have to look at it first. Don’t treat me like a newbie. I’m getting upset.”

When you need to, don’t hesitate to act strong.

That was what Saehyun advised him.

“…I apologize.”

“Are the leathers processed well? They are not raw, right?”

“Of course not. Please don’t compare those fake shops to ours.”

“Recognition attribute?”

“Of course it has.”

“Let me see your catalog.”

“Yes, sir.”

The promoters at the dark auction treated people differently depending on who they were.

They mercilessly charged extra as sort of an ‘education fee’ to newbies, however, they respected experienced people. In other words, they accepted those people as their ‘business partners’.

A mask type artifact was based on leather and was compounded with various special items.

Since it was for human faces, leather that was similar to a human’s matched well. For example, ape leather was often used.

However, there was an animal that was a better ingredient than apes.

Human beings.

Therefore, people considered human leather, especially face leather, to be the best ingredient for a mask type artifact.

It was pretty easy to get dead bodies. People pretend to cremate a body at the crematory and then stow it away. Sometimes, they just buy it from a bereaved family. However, ape leather was not easy to find.

Even though getting human face leather was easier than ape leather, a mask type artifact made of human face leather was more expensive.

The reason was that the compound of human leather and other monster ingredients were way too difficult to obtain.  Even if someone got many ingredients and tried to compound and attach them, he could barely make a successful one. (So, there were some fake shops that sold those mask type artifacts that were not processed well.)  

Another reason for the price difference was that it didn’t feel as incompatible as mask type artifacts based on ape leather .

Also, there were two reasons why people used pictures of the deceased for the sample picture.

It was kind of awkward to share the mask type artifact with someone, so people mostly applied a ‘recognition’ ability so only the owners could use it.

They couldn’t take a sample photo because the mask would recognize someone as the  owner once the person tried it on. So, people used the deceased’s picture instead.

Besides, human face leather was much more sensitive than ape leather, so they couldn’t change how it looked. That was why people had to look at the pictures of what the deceased looked like during their lifetime.

For those reasons, they made the ‘catalog’ from collected pictures of the deceased.

After Kimin showed off his knowledge about mask type artifacts by asking about the ‘leather’ first. He checked if it was processed and had the ‘recognition’ attribute or not along with the ‘catalog’.

Kimin reacted so well that the promoter was fooled.

The promoter started believing that Kimin was a veteran.

He took out a radio and blew on it twice while pressing a button. Then, he spoke into the radio with a low voice.

“This is Sundal Kim, Sundal Kim. Is it possible to send a ‘real’ mask type artifact catalog? Oh, good.”

By the looks of the promoter nodding even though Kimin couldn’t hear anything, he was probably wearing receivers in his ears.

“Wait a minute, please… Ok, success. Here you go. The products for today are excellent. You are not going to regret your choice.”

The promoter offered a tablet with pictures to Kimin. 

‘Fuck…’

There were masks attached next to the pictures of the deceased. It was necessary to add the pictures, however, Kimin couldn’t help but contort his face.

His mask hid it from the promoter.

‘Ha… People who are alive have to survive.’

Kimin steeled his heart and started judging the masks.

The face he wanted was one that was very common, like nobody recognized the person was there altogether. A colorless face.

Thankfully, he found a face like that in the end. However, he didn’t make any expression like, ‘Oh, I like this one,’ in advance.

“How much is the general price for them?”

“They are mostly around $70,000. The difference is not that big.”

Depending on the quality, $70,000 was somewhat acceptable. Besides, Saehyun advised him to use more money to buy it if he found something he wanted.

Kimin nodded.

“Hm… I need to check the quality. What is your shop called? Phoenix? Resurrection?”

“It’s Resurrection. Are you one of our existing customers…?”

Of course, he was not. He just heard it from Saehyun Jae.

Saehyun said there were three reliable shops and he wouldn’t make a loss if he bought a mask from one of them.

“Oh… I often went to Phoenix. Resurrection… I heard its reputation isn’t that good.”

He hadn’t actually been to the place.

“Oh, sir. Did you hear that from the owner of Phoenix?”

“Well… Not like that… I just heard it somewhere else.”

He hadn’t actually heard a reputation like that.

“Sir, you can’t fool yourself like that. Once you come to our shop, Phoenix? You are not going to be able to think about that kind of shop. I will tell the owner. I’m just like his brother. We’re that close.”

Kimin thought they would have a bad relationship with the rival shop so he tried to trick the promoter and the promoter actually went for it.

Kimin confidently walked into the shop.

‘I’m not going to take a loss.’

Kimin arrived at the shop and looked at the masks carefully while thinking of what Saehyun taught him.

‘Good. Very good.’

The quality was flawless.

It was less than $100,000 for the mask and even two fake IDs for his own face and the mask face.

The owner who heard that Kimin had traded with the rival company gave Kimin a special discount to keep him as their new customer.

‘I should get one more face just in case.’

Kimin added more money since he got a discount and bought an extra mask type artifact to be prepared.

He came out of the shop after the satisfying trade. He was relieved that he had accomplished his purpose of coming to the Dark auction. 

Only then did he start enjoy walking around the market.

Kimin tried to save money just by being satisfied with window-shopping even though there were plenty of interesting goods. It was all for the ‘auction’, the gem of the Dark auction Saehyun emphasized.

「 The auction will be held after an hour. People who are willing to attend, please come to the middle building of this area. 」

Soon, there was an announcement for the auction and Kimin went towards the venue.

***

“Are there more collections that I haven’t bought yet?”

“You’ve bought all the ones you planned to buy, miss.”

“Hm… Something is missing.”

“You have already spent about 5 million dollars. You have to attend the auction too. Why don’t you buy more next time…”

“No. Something’s calling me. Can’t you hear that, old man?”

[ Miss. Sera- Please take me- ]

“Miss, you are not supposed to use the spirit transform skill to transform your voice.”

“What? I don’t know what you are talking about. Ok, deal! Just one more round before the auction!!”

A bulldog mask and a raccoon mask let out a sigh while watching a pink fox mask cavorting.

“Mr. Park, do you have more space in your subspace pocket?”

“No, sir… It’s full.”

“I thought she came to herself after joining ‘the rulers’. What a shame. I don’t know when she’s going to grow up.”

The bulldog recalled the moment when Sera was nagging him to change her mask to the pink one and then shook his head.

“Isn’t it ok for a capable skill user like her to live a life where she doesn’t have to grow up?”

“Are you serious?”

“I think she is acting like a child since she feels comfortable with us.”

“Ha… How is it comfortable? I didn’t have any difficulties while working with Saehyun.”

The bulldog mask tapped his lower back. The raccoon mask looked around carefully.

“You are talking about Mr. Saehyun Jae. I’ve only heard of him.”

“Yes, he was an incredible man. Our lady followed him everywhere. I heard he has a pastime and is resting.”

“Then he could’ve just stayed at the head house.”

“Hm… I don’t know about that. If he did, he wouldn’t be able to rest right… Our lady would… Oh, she’s right there.”

The two butlers hurriedly chased Sera Lee.

“You ran so fast, miss… Um? Is there anything wrong?”

Sera Lee was staring at a person who was wearing a black fox mask.

“Old man. This place doesn’t allow substitutes, right?”

“Of course not.”

“The invitations are sent only to skill users, right?”

“Of course. Besides, the goods on sale here are only for skill users. Have you found someone?”

“That black fox mask. He’s an ordinary guy.”

Sera Lee pointed at Kimin Kim.

The black fox mask was relaxedly walking towards Sera’s group. He would pass by them in a minute.

‘Why of all things would she use her detection skill now…’

The head butler was frustrated.

‘I know she didn’t do it with bad intentions… but, ha… She is so meddlesome…’

He didn’t want her to be nosy around here and just wanted to let him go.

“Miss. Why don’t we just do our business?”

“Right, you wanted to go around one more time. There is not much time left. We don’t have time for that guy before the auction. Let’s go.”

The head butler whispered to Sera Lee and Mr. Park agreed with him.

However, Sera Lee shook her head.

“I’m just going to give him a piece of advice. It’s not going to take too long.”

A shadow dropped over the head butler’s face.

At that moment, the black fox was passing Sera’s group.

“Hey!”

Sera called the black fox.

Liked it? Take a second to support AmyShin on Patreon!
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
close