Hammurabi Style – Chapter 11

“Did you call me?”

“Yes.”

The black fox clapped his hands after thinking about something for a while.

“I see! You called me because I have the same fox mask. I like your pink fox mask!”

“What? No, wait… Well… No! Hey!”

Sera tried to go back to the main subject when Kimin led her to another conversation.

“Are you a substitute?”

“Substitute… What are you talking about?”

The black fox tilted his head.

“I’m asking who you are substituting for.”

“I have no idea what you are talking about. I’m here for myself.”

Puh-

Mr. Park tried to stop his laugher.

“Don’t lie to me. You are not a skill user. If you get caught by someone who identifies you as an ordinary person, you can’t go back alive. I will let you go secretly, so just go back safely when you are not caught yet.”

“Uh… I am a skill user.”

Sera turned around and stopped.

Kimin was annoying her.

‘Even though I told you to go back alive with my generous intention, you are still denying it?’

“I’m really getting mad. I said I know you are not a skill user.”

“What is she talking about? I know myself the best. What on earth do you know about me? I’m a skill user.”

“Ha… Prove it if you are. Use your skill!”

“Huh? Why do I have to?”

The black fox was being nonchalant.

“I feel like I’m talking to a wall. Are you guys in her group? I’m a little busy, so can you let me go?”

Kimin was showing them a gesture to tell them to do something to her because he was getting tired.

“Sure, of course!! Let’s mind our own business. Fox man, you should get going. Hurry up. Miss, he said he is a skill user. He will take care of himself. Come on, let’s go.”

The head butler felt that the mood was serious.

He hurriedly interrupted them to soothe the situation and took Sera away.

However, Sera felt victimized.

She just became a bad person even though she didn’t try to fight him.

She just needed to hear ‘Ok, thank you,’ from him, but he wasn’t doing that.

“Let go of me!!!!”

Whoosh-

At that moment, Sera’s body became translucent and went through the head butler’s arm. It was one of her many skills called ‘Spirit transform’.

“Hey! Don’t fool around with me! I’m telling you that because I can see that your skill window is empty! I’m saving your life!!”

Sera was huffing while talking to Kimin.

“Then you should prove that you can see my skill window first. How am I supposed to know if you are lying to me or not? We are at the Dark auction. How can I trust you and just tell you everything about my skills?”

Kimin did not bat an eyelid.

Indeed, he was right.

Sera’s words would become believable only when she proved that she really had a ‘Detection’ skill first.

She lost this time.

“You… You…”

Sigh…

The head butler let out a deep sigh and told Sera who was quivering due to her defeat, “Miss, he is right that we need to prove that you have a detection skill first. If you want to continue fighting, we have to call an enforcer. Would you like me to do that?”

The Dark auction mediates arguments between skill users, but they didn’t protect ordinary people. They didn’t get involved if anyone did something to those people. Besides, they didn’t care if they died.

However, the Dark auction needed to verify that the person was really ordinary.

They sent invitations only to skill users, so they considered all the participants as such.

That was why they needed to call an enforcer who was in charge as a judge and also an executor in the Dark auction. They could kill the ordinary person or take everything from his subspace pocket after letting an enforcer know he was ordinary. If they didn’t call an enforcer and just let them do whatever they wanted…

The head butler glanced at the drones in the sky.

‘…We are going to get in trouble.’

“Shit…. Old man. Whose side are you on? Aren’t you supposed to be on my side?”

Sera tightly bit her lips with glaring eyes.

The head butler quietly looked at Sera.

“Miss, are you going to kill that person if you find out that he is ordinary?”

“…No. I don’t want to. I’m doing this all for his sake.”

Her high spirit rapidly lowered. Her shoulders that were widely opened soon shrunk.

“Miss, he won’t concede even if he is really ordinary. Then, we are going to have to call an enforcer, right?”

“Yes… I understand. You are right.”

The head butler didn’t have to tell her the rest of what he was going to say to her. 

If they found out he was ordinary after an enforcer came, her intention which was just checking would be in vain. The probability of his survival would be less than 1%.

It was right to let go of him now.

Sera was just being considerate to Kimin. However, once she forced her consideration onto him, it wouldn’t be consideration anymore.

The pink fox staring at the black fox without any words dropped her eyes.

“The auction is starting soon. Let’s get going.”

The head butler lowered his head in front of her.

“30 minutes left.” Mr. Park looked at the time and talked emotionlessly.

Haah-

Sera breathed deeply and turned around.

“Let’s go to the store where we bought the ‘Tear of the Moon’.”

“Ok.”

“Ok.”

Her group slowly disappeared from Kimin’s sight.

Watching them, Kimin giggled and shuffled his feet.

***

The auction was around the first trailer Kimin was in. This temporary building was as big as an auditorium. 

‘I understand they put the other containers in their subspace pockets and brought them here, but how did they bring this one?’

After Kimin thought about how they brought it, he shook his head and went to the auction.

“Buy a catalog! Catalog!! The No.1 must-have book to bring to the auction! The best-selling book in the Dark auction!!” 

There was a booth with catalogs of the auction goods near the auction. A woman wearing a diving beetle mask was doing abdominal breathing and yelling.

“Here are the pictures and explanations of all the goods at the auction!! And the core of this book is the rich commentary from the famous appraisers and the auction experts!! It’s only $3,000 for all of these!!”

“Establish a strategy in advance!! The auction is not a sport, it’s a war instead!! This book will be your comrade!!”

“I printed 500 books and now there’s only 30 left!! After I sell everything, I’m going to close the booth and participate in the auction too!! If you don’t buy now, you won’t get it later~~~!!”

“Here, $3,000.”

“Thank you, sir! I wish you luck!!”

The area around the booth was noisy.

There were people who were buying the catalogs, sharing one book and contriving a stratagem with each other, and talking on the radio. It was as noisy as a marketplace.

“…”

However, Kimin didn’t buy one. He passed the woman who was yelling and showing the blood vessels on her neck and then just went inside the auction.

There were already plenty of people sitting down. Kimin tried to look for something.

‘Where is it…? Oh, there it is.’

[ INFORMATION & HELP ]

It was an information desk.

It was weird to have a guide at this auction house where there were only a stage and chairs.

“Hello. How may I help you?”

A rabbit mask kindly welcomed Kimin.

“Let me take a pamphlet with me.”

Kimin picked up one of the pamphlets on the desk and left.

He sat on an empty chair and opened the pamphlet.

There were small pictures, names, and simple explanations of the auction products.

Compared to the catalog, it was very shabby.

‘It’s ok to buy the catalog in front of the auction house, but you are not a professional bidder.’

‘In other words, you are not going to resell it later. Therefore, the pamphlet is enough for you.’

‘Just buy a product you want to buy with the price you are thinking about.’

‘Are you asking me if it’s better to know an appropriate price? Hahaha… Sir, the appropriate price everyone knows is actually not appropriate.’

Kimin skimmed the pamphlet while thinking about Saehyun’s advice.

‘Wow, do people really sell and buy these things?’

Most were normal products.

However, most of them were not like that as they were being sold at the Dark auction.

There were things that people would go to jail right away for if they traded them outside, and also many disgusting things were on the list too.

‘Monster Drug FR9-BR… Next. Monster pet… I don’t need that. Monster Drug SN7-KR… What? Is it some kind of a clearance sale for drug dealers?

‘What they’re selling slaves? Completely brainwashed? What the hell…’

Kimin shook his head and stopped when he saw something on the list.

‘This…’

[ Stone Tree: The Tree of Life ]

[ Artist Jaepil Kim’s posthumous work. It is a tree that is based on a monster stone and has about 50 various sized energy stones. It is too sparkly to be just a stone. ]

‘I’ve found something useful.’

Kimin smiled quietly.

At that moment, someone next to Kimin talked to him.

“Good to see you again.”

When Kimin turned his head, there were three familiar masks looking at him.

They were the bulldog, the raccoon, and the pink fox.

‘Pink fox?’

It was the girl who asked Kimin stubbornly if he was a normal person all of a sudden.

However, she was just quiet now.

It seemed like she was trying to consider Kimin as a skill user.

The bulldog greeted Kimin and he sounded like an old man.

Kimin answered back, “Yes, good to see you here.”

Their eyes moved to the pamphlet Kimin was holding.

“Pamphlet…”

Their reactions were all different.

The pink fox shook her head, the raccoon (Mr. Park) stayed still, and the bulldog nodded.

“He shouldn’t be poor, but he has a pamphlet. Such a stingy…”

“You know what to do to enjoy the auction.”

Sera Lee tried to be sarcastic but stopped her words when the head butler, Hakdong Lim, spoke differently.

“I’m not a bidder. This pamphlet is enough for me,” Kimin said calmly.

Sera Lee and the head butler’s eyes suddenly had a suspicious color to them.

Someone instantly passed by their mind.

After a few seconds of silence, Hakdong Lim opened his mouth.

“…It’s a good philosophy.”

“Thank you. I actually didn’t buy it to save money.”

“Uhahaha!”

“Ahahaha!”

They talked about things they were interested in, and so it was time to start the auction.

“Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Dark auction!”

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