Hammurabi Style – Chapter 5

In a dim backstreet in Seoul at dawn, alcohol mixed with vomit and urine stains were everywhere. All of a sudden, a guy wearing only leather underwear with pockets around his waist appeared. 

He opened his mouth.

“Oh shoot! It’s freezing!”

It seemed like he had gotten used to the weather in the jungle which was always hot and humid. He thought it was obviously summer in Seoul. Cold wind scratched Kimin Kim who stood dazed with the unfamiliar cold.

His temperature was going down faster than he thought. He had to prepare a countermeasure.

‘Mostly gangsters try to fight in novels… So, they give up all of their money and clothes.’

Is there anyone like that around here?

Kimin Kim scanned the street around him expectantly with his neck sticking out and his twinkling eyes.

However, there was no one in the spooky backstreet. Only the vomit under a telephone pole was freezing.

Unfortunately, Kimin Kim didn’t know that he had come back to Korea during the coldest part of winter.

The severe cold watch was already issued two days ago and the temperature that day was under -25.6℉ which was the worst climate anomaly ever.

When Seoul was under -25.6℉ even at dawn, and also in the backstreet, wouldn’t it be weirder if people were here?

Woosh.

The intense cold stroked Kimin Kim’s body like it didn’t want him to expect anything.

“Urgh…”

Kimin Kim groaned unconsciously due to the burning pain.

He didn’t care about sicknesses like frostbite or hypothermia. He could just release them. However, the coldness was something he couldn’t do anything about. Even though Kimin Kim was someone who was a real tough cookie, he didn’t love to suffer.

He wanted to be beholden to any stores that were open, but all the businesses were all dark inside.

“Shit… What am I going to do…”

He was walking while shivering when he found a huge mailbox looking thing that was made of green plastic.

The green box had the big white letters, [ USED CLOTHES ], and also ‘This box is private property. This is for the needy,’ with small letters underneath.

Kimin Kim said quietly, “It’s ok. I’m needy, too.”

After a while.

A guy packed with many clothes that almost looked like a balloon left the used clothes box behind and continued walking.

The used clothes stunk a little bit, but who cared? This was nothing for Kimin Kim who lived with the beasts’ feces and rotten corpses in the jungle.

He finally realized he was back in Seoul after the chill disappeared. If it was a dream, he didn’t want to wake up. So, he just kept walking and walking down the street until street lights turned off in the morning.

‘The air was definitely better in the jungle.’

…He was still trying not to feel the weird yearning.

***

On a weekday morning, even though there was a severe cold warning, the world ran as always. The faithful cogwheels of society had to go to work to do their role as a part of society.

And, there was a weird hippie who went against the suited cogwheels’ flow.

“Yuck, he stinks!”

Against the flow, he was making a huge empty circle around him.

[ Skyclo Monster Shop ]

[ Saehyun’s Monster Shop ]

Monster shop. It was a store that traded by-products and ingredients from the monster bodies.

Skyclo Monster Shop seemed new, huge, and sparkly. The extraordinary neon sign could make the place nearby glitter in the sunset. 

On the other hand, Saehyun’s Monster Shop looked old and shabby.

He couldn’t see inside Skyclo Monster Shop because of the tinted windows, but he couldn’t see Saehyun’s just because it was ‘dark’ inside. It looked like a decaying drug store in a local market.

‘Before my revenge, I need to secure some things. The first thing is money.’

The hippie stopped in front of the ‘Skyclo Monster Shop. Kimin Kim slapped his clothes to check his pockets hidden inside his clothes.

‘Good. All checked.’

There was a dried gallbladder he brought from the jungle inside his hand. He didn’t want to damage it so he clenched his fist very lightly.

‘Ok. I’m going in.’

“Achoo!!”

He sneezed and rubbed his nose.

Ring. Ring.

When he pushed the thick tinted glass door, the bell rang to let the owner know there was a customer.

“Welcome. You are our first custo…”

The owner wiping the counter greeted, lifted up his head, and looked at Kimin Kim’s face and clothes. Then, he slurred the end of his sentence and had a frowny look.

He looked quite young and had a tattoo on his neck down to his left arm.

Wipe. Wipe.

The owner started wiping the counter more violently.

By the look of his shut mouth, it was clear that he took a poor view of Kimin Kim.

Kimin Kim giggled.

‘It was a good idea to hide the pockets inside my clothes.’

When Kimin Kim plopped down in the chair in front of a table in the store, the owner started letting out a loud sigh. He might’ve done that on purpose so Kimin could hear that.

However, Kimin Kim didn’t care about that at all and just walked around the store to take a look inside.

The owner didn’t want Kimin to touch anything else so he hurried to get close to Kimin after he finished cleaning the counter.

The rag he was still holding in his hand looked like he was going to clean the store once again after making Kimin Kim leave quickly.

Soon, the owner sat opposite to Kimin Kim, forced himself to smile, and opened his mouth.

“Buying or selling?”

“Selling. By the way, you are not being polite to me.”

“Well… You stink.”

The owner pricked at his conscience and then changed his way of speaking.

Kimin Kim knew very well that the owner was just making an excuse about the smell. It wasn’t weird at all to go trade with blood all over one’s body right after hunting monsters. 

Did he think that monster blood and feces didn’t smell?

‘What a stupid excuse. It doesn’t make any sense.’

Kimin thought about his appearance at the moment.

Long unkempt hair, a bushy beard that was hiding his face, and his bad-looking outfit that was found in the used clothes box.

He smacked his lips stealthily.

‘He is probably thinking that this homeless guy is fooling him right now. Since my outfit is like this, it is going to make people treat me the same everywhere. Well, it doesn’t matter. I just need to get the right amount of money.’

Kimin Kim smiled and opened his mouth.

“Well, it happens. I understand.”

The owner tapped the table several times and opened his mouth again.

“Anyway, you are here to sell. Show it to me.”

“Ok.”

Kimin Kim put his fist on the table and opened his fingers slowly. A red sparkle came out from his opening fist.

A red gem shined like jewelry inside Kimin’s hand. 

The owner’s tongue fell out of his mouth and then he dropped the rag he was holding on the floor.

***

The owner collected his senses again.

As soon as he saw the sparkle, whether the person was homeless or a beggar became meaningless. That precious thing was too good to be inside a homeless person’s hand.

‘How on earth did this prick get his hands on this treasure?’

If the owner was someone who was prudent, he could guess that there should be a certain reason as to how Kimin got it.

However, the owner was already blinded by the gallbladder’s sparkle. He was holding his worldly desires that he wanted to steal the thing from the homeless’ hand and was forcing himself to smile, however, he couldn’t control his tattoo on his neck wiggling with the desires.

“You have brought a good product.”

“Well, yes.”

“…It’s a giant rabbit’s heart.”

A giant rabbit’s heart?

He was fucking with Kimin Kim.

Kimin agreed that they both looked a bit similar.

They were red and sparkly.

However, it was a so-called gallbladder. If he put them together, he couldn’t obviously think that they were the same, but the man was trying to trick Kimin.

‘I should have brought other cheap ingredients from the jungle.’

Kimin slightly regretted that he left the ingredients while the gallbladder had attracted this dungfly.

He could sell the paralysis powder or poison powder to get a little bit of money first, however, these were Kimin’s weapons. Someone who preparing for war can’t just sell his weapons carelessly.

Kimin giggled and stood up right away.

Creak.

“No no no no no no no no no no. Wait. Wait. Wait. Please wait, sir!!”

The owner’s mind was blown when he heard the sound of the chair dragging. By the looks of the homeless man giggling and standing up, he knew exactly what he was selling at the moment.

It didn’t make sense that the freak defeated the monster alone. So, the owner thought it was 100% stolen. However, he had to get it even if it was really stolen.

He didn’t have to worry about stolen goods because someone who buys it later will launder it on his own.

Currently, the most important thing for the owner to do was to get the gallbladder. In other words, he had to make the freak sit down on the chair again to get what he wanted. 

“I saw it wrong. It is a gallbladder. A gallbladder! A very fine gallbladder. It looks really good.”

The homeless man smiled to the owner who was going crazy about the gallbladder and showed a look of appeal to beg him to sit down, “Yes. Of course, I know this is a gallbladder too. How can I trade with someone who tried to scam me that my gallbladder is a giant rabbit’s heart? I can’t trust you at all.”

The owner held his hands together.

“Please… Please!! I will give you a good price. For real!! Just trust me one more time. Please.”

However, the ship had already sailed.

“Please do not do that to the next customer.”

Kimin shook his head, pushed the chair back under the table, and tried to leave. At that moment, the owner shouted, “You motherfucker! A homeless bitch is bragging about the product he stole!! You were lucky enough to get it, but just put it on the table right now and fuck off if you don’t want to die. Son of a bitch!”

The owner ran to the counter with bloodshot eyes, took a shotgun out from somewhere deep inside, and aimed at Kimin. The corners of his mouth curled up slightly, making it look like he was sure that the gallbladder was already his.

Kimin laughed because it was ridiculous and said, “If you shoot the gun, the door and the windows will break.”

What he meant was that people were going to find out that the owner shot someone in here if the door and the window broke. The owner was triumphant and answered, “This is bulletproof glass, bitch!!”

“Oh, yeah?”

Kimin giggled and looked around.

‘There are three security cameras. Hm… They look like they’re connected through remote transmission. It’s going to be difficult to discard the video here. Then, what I have to do now is… this.’

It was too early to show his skills. He would stand in front of everyone arrogantly only after he made up for his weakness. At the moment, he had to go around a little bit.

Kimin smiled and reached his hand into one of his pockets.

Click.

The owner got surprised and loaded the gun when the smiling Kimin put his hand in his inner thighs and fumbled around.

“Hey, dude. Isn’t it ok to just scratch my peanuts?”

When Kimin acted sly, the owner gnashed his teeth.

‘Disgusting bitch. Should I shoot him…? No. It might hurt the gallbladder. It’s still within the effective range. I should get it first and then shoot him.’

The owner put the muzzle of the gun closer to Kimin.

“Hey, you. Put the gallbladder on the table and roll it to me right now. I’m counting to three. Three… Two… Yuck!! Disgusting asshole…”

The owner saw Kimin Kim repeatedly lick the fingers that came out from his inner thighs, and made a disgusted face.

He was not sure if he would still act the same way while seeing white powder on Kimin’s fingers.

Kimin giggled inside and started counting.

‘Three… Two… One……. Release.’

Then, the owner’s movement and even his disgusted face came to a still.

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