Hammurabi Style – Chapter 4

Kimin’s brain became addled.

A smile lifted across the corner of his mouth.

“O…Ok.”

The stone in front of him emitted light, then disappeared.

[ C grade stone has been absorbed. ]

[ The transition is pending… The decision has been completed. The skill will be improved. ]

What a marvel.

Humanity’s greatest scholars and world skill users had tried so much but always failed to find out what it was so far, so people still considered it as trash. However, this stone was a ‘transition stone’?

‘I can absorb it? Only I can?’

His happiness wrapped around his body.

‘What kind of skill should I upgrade..?’

Kimin was happy to think about his choices for a moment, but another message from the system soon popped up.

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

[ Abnormal status absorption(S)(Lv.1) release distance increase: 10cm -> 30cm ]

It seemed like he could absorb the transition stone and improve his skills, but he couldn’t choose which one and how he wanted to improve it.

However, Kimin Kim was satisfied.

Not just satisfied, but very satisfied.

‘No choice? Random? I don’t care. Anyways, I’m the only one who can absorb it in this whole world. If I keep absorbing, the skills I want to improve will be developed.’

‘I will survive here. And I will get stronger and stronger.’

– Kieeeee!!

A faint horrifying scream resounded in the deep forest that was too dark. What on earth was living there?

Kimin Kim stared at the dark green background with his sunken eyes.

“Phew.”

Kimin Kim breathed deeply and walked slowly to the forest while holding the awl tight.

***

15 months later.

A three-eyed snake as thick as a tree wrapped around a man.

Hiss, hiss.

The snake hissed and looked interestingly at the guy who didn’t show any fear.

The third eye in the middle of its head stared at the guy’s eyes and emitted strange light.

The third eye appeared all of a sudden.

If this eye looked at a target’s eyes, it would freeze and disable the target completely.

This skill let the snake become not the ‘strongest’, but the ‘untouchable one’.

‘Weird looking white monkey.’

‘Why doesn’t anyone raise their eyes on this mouth-watering food?’

The three-eyed snake rolled its eyes when the question came up, then it just stopped thinking and hissed again.

It had already eaten monkeys many times before.

It considered the man as other similar food and squeezed his body.

Crack, crack!

Broken bones sounded.

Red liquid came out from the prey’s mouth.

Should I make him softer? No, let’s just eat.

When the snake opened its mouth wide, its prey moved its mouth slightly.

Then, unbelievably intense pain overcame the snake.

‘What??! What the hell is this?!?!!’

It felt like its whole body was getting squished. Did the snake get crushed under a rock?

The body that was wrapping and squeezing the man got mushy. The snake had never experienced anything like this in its life. Its body was writhing like a worm that got salt sprinkled on it.

Hiss!! Hissss!!

The snake was being tortured while it didn’t even know that its mouth was bleeding so much.

The man swept off his body just as if nothing happened to him and approached the distressed snake.

Hi..ss?

‘How? I squished him with my body!’

Awakened monsters gained enough intelligence.

‘It wasn’t an ordinary monkey…!!!’

These monsters who got attacked by Kimin Kim formed the same conclusion: ‘The wisest thing to do right now is run away.’

The three-eyed snake was no exception.

‘I need to run away.’

Hisss…

Kimin stabbed the snake’s chest with something and took it out while it barely slithered to escape.

‘!!!’

That was the last memory of the three-eyed snake.

***

“It’s a D grade, again?”

He was disappointed.

He saw only one transition stone that was higher than B grade since the whale monster.

The others were all C or D grades.

He hadn’t seen an improvement message for a while.

‘This is not about absorbing exp. I have fucking absorbed so many transition stones, but I haven’t gotten any messages.’

Kimin Kim agonized seriously.

‘The expression of the message, maybe… it’s like a random box.’

His prediction was correct.

The transition stones had their own ‘percentages’ to improve Kimin Kim’s skill and also ‘the

percentage’ got lower as Kimin’s skills improved.

At that time, it was going to be difficult to improve his skills even with many D grade stones.

“Whoa.”

It was fun to improve himself in this fucking place, but the fun had disappeared long ago.

Kimin Kim thought, ‘I want to go home.’

“Whoa.”

Kimin sat down with a sigh and started to trim his friend, ‘Mr. Awl’.

Trimming was just removing foreign substances on the knife blade.

“Oh… His wooden stick has almost aged..”

Even though the tree was specially processed, it couldn’t handle the overwork for more than a year. Kimin Kim petted the wooden stick carefully.

“Uh!”

Crack. Drop.

The wooden stick’s life might be over. The handle cracked and something came out of it.

“Oh no!!”

Kimin Kim hurriedly picked up all the things that fell off from the handle and held them together.

First, this awl. He couldn’t throw his friend away.

‘I need to make a new handle for him.’

The flashlight?

‘It doesn’t have a battery. I don’t need it anymore.’

Kimin Kim threw it away.

‘Um.. The rest is.. hm? There was more?’

A weird patterned stone. Was it on the edge of the flashlight in the stick?

He didn’t imagine that there was this kind of stone inside the handle.

‘Wait…. This pattern… Stone… I know what it is.’

Kimin Kim had seen it on TV.

He barely remembered and shouted aloud, “The return stone!!”

‘If it really is…’

Kimin Kim thought about the situation when he got his ‘Mr. Awl’. He remembered dimly what Dongsoo Choi said.

‘He said it’s for… emergencies.’

‘If he bought it for his survival, it might be connected to his hideout.’

‘It’s a shame that I don’t have an appraisal object skill.’

Kimin Kim clicked his tongue and sank deep into his thoughts.

Then, he soon made a decision.

‘Let’s use the return stone. Even if it transfers me to his hideout, it doesn’t matter. Only Dongsoo Choi would know the place since it’s a hideout, which means there is a high probability that no one will be there. Even if there is someone…’

Kimin Kim clenched his fist with threatening eyes, then he started to get ready to go back home.

***

Kimin Kim arrived at the most empty place of the jungle he was living in.

He was just a big monkey to the monsters, however, none of them tried to attack this monkey while he was defenseless outside the empty place. 

Finally, they had learned the fact that they would get hurt several hundred times more, or they would even get killed if they touched him.

‘Phew, almost done. I should check one more time and then leave.’

Kimin Kim checked his skills.

[ Abnormal status absorption(S)(Lv.89)(Immunity) ]

“I will take your burden instead of you.”

“Then, you don’t mind if I use it since it’s not your burden anymore, but mine now, right?”

  • You can absorb any abnormal status from living things.
  • ★S grade bonus: You can now release your abnormal status to the other living things.
  • ★★Chaos evolution bonus: This skill is not the target from other skills (Ex. Detection, Reproduction, etc)
  • ★★Opened potential skill ‘Shallow grave’: When you are on the brink of death due to serious damage, you will gain immortal status for 5 seconds. (Limit per day: 10 times)
  • ★★Opened potential skill ‘Thief’s preservation’: You can preserve a target you absorb abnormal status from or release abnormal status from.

[ Skill: Carletto’s mind barrier(U)(Lv. 62)(Conceal) ]

Carletto’s inner space is 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.
  • ★★Opened potential skill ‘Iron will’: If you don’t want to be affected by unconscious skills, for example, sleep or faint, you can resist it.
  • ★★Opened potential skill ‘Rainbow’: You get a certain possibility that lets you reflect mental attacks against the attacker.
  • ★★Opened potential skill ‘Mind wall’: If you don’t want to let people peek at your information with a skill, you can resist it. 

He thought the transition stones could only improve ‘release distance’ or ‘absorption distance’, but he was wrong.

The real jackpot about the transition stone was ‘Open potential skills’.

Let’s talk about the skills of everyone except for those who are super talented. Potential skill is like the hidden gem for skill users. Even if skill users go through tough training and mastery, only one or two potential skills would barely be unlocked. 

However, Kimin Kim didn’t need any of the processes. He gained five potential skills by absorbing the transition stones. If anyone who trained so hard to unleash their potential skills saw Kimin Kim, they would froth at their mouths.

Of course, those special transition stones didn’t come out often. Even when they came out, they didn’t always unlock the potential skills.

However, the most important thing was that there was a possibility for unlocking potential skills. Absorbing transition stones that could unlock the potential skills was cheating.

‘As I heard, this is really incredible. In fact, I’ve got five more skills.’

Kimin Kim closed the skill windows with a proud face and then checked the stuff he was going to take with him one more time. There were several leather pockets that were tied tight at the top. 

‘Since I don’t know about how much capacity the return stone has, I should pack simple. Paralysis powder in the boar’s bladder. Deadly poison powder in the snakeskin pocket. Gallbladders of bear in the bear leather pocket. Ok, all done!’

Kimin Kim didn’t want to leave one of his body parts in the jungle, so he controlled the amount he was taking with him the least as possible.

He looked at the leather pockets. Then he connected all of them together with string and tied them around his waist like a belt.

‘Good.’

He massaged the back of his neck after slapping around his waist several times.

There was a possibility that a battle might happen right after he used the return stone, so he needed to confirm his ‘strengths and weaknesses’.

Without a doubt, Kimin Kim’s strength was that he was close to invincible under certain conditions.

However, ‘certain conditions’ were his weakness.

‘It is a huge penalty that I need a living thing who can be a cannon fodder around me. But I can overcome this with some tricks.’

‘The biggest problem I need to worry about is that it’s hard to take action if the other person tries to attack me physically. For example, if he cuts off my head while he ties me. It’s going to be impossible for me to do something about it with my skills because tying me is not an abnormal status.’

‘Also, the weakness will be discovered more easily in a one versus many fight than one-on-one. A one versus many fight…’

Kimin Kim’s eyes grew deep.

‘Eventually, the best situation is a one-on-one fight when the other person doesn’t know about my ability. I should keep looking for something that can help me overcome my weakness.’

Kimin Kim nodded and then took out the return stone. He put his finger on the back of the stone where it was dented and then spun it slowly.

‘The priority of my revenge is Ohsung group. I’ll give it back to them. Definitely!’

Spin….

One round, two rounds, and three rounds.

Click. Snap.

The pattern that was disjointed at the front and the back aligned perfectly. The light leaked outside from the pattern, and soon a big burst of the light swallowed Kimin Kim.

Nothing was left after the light disappeared. Just the squashed grass Kimin Kim was standing on showed that ‘a human being was standing right here.’


Translator’s notes:

Thanks for reading my work!

I’m going to try to release Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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