Hammurabi Style – Chapter 9

Kimin petted the stone once and quietly left.

He wasn’t just leaving.

He was measuring the distance.

The absorption and release distance scaled with [abnormal status absorption]’s level.

‘I should’ve determined the distance but because of those weird freaks…’

He clicked his tongue and measured the distance. 

The absorption message remained while he walked toward the door a little bit more.

‘This is going to be enough.’

The only thing he needed was to wait for a minute.

If the stone disappeared right after Kimin touched it, he could be one of the suspects.

He went back to the waiting line to trick people.

Meanwhile, he waited for his chance.

Finally, he got to approach the effective range of the transition stone.

[ Abnormal status absorption(S) (Lv.89) responds to the transition stone. ]

[ You can absorb the transition stone. Will you absorb it? ]

‘YES.’

Suddenly, light wrapped around the lounge.

It was an incident that happened when a transition stone turned into light. Since the stone was too big, the light got brighter and bigger.

However, people didn’t know about that.

Ignorance became fear.

The people screamed and ran away from the light.

“It’s terror!!!”

Aaaaaah!!!

People pushed each other and fell. The front entrance became chaotic.

Kimin was vacantly staring at something.

Of course, he wasn’t watching the chaos.

He was looking at-

[ Abnormal status absorption(S)’s the one and only characteristic has opened: Adaptation(Sealed)(Available at Lv.200) ]

‘The one and only characteristic?’

He already knew about his potential skills.

Also, he already had some of them.

However, he hadn’t seen the one and only characteristic before.

‘The one and only sounds like something special.’

At least it would be stronger than potential skills.

But, he couldn’t know what kind of ability it was like.

‘What is the seal? Available at Lv.200? How marvelous is it going to be?’

Kimin left behind the Ohsung building and fell deep into thoughts.

***

“You are here.”

Saehyun brought a cup of tea when Kimin sat in front of a table.

He drank a sip and opened his mouth.

“Did you see the news? The energy stone exploded in the Ohsung building.”

“Oh… Yes, I did. The light was incredible.”

He didn’t only see it.

He actually made it explode.

Saehyun put the cup down on the table and tried to read Kimin’s face carefully.

“Sir, have you gone to the monster shop next to mine?”

“…”

Kimin nodded without any words.

“The owner came with a video of you and asked if you came here or not. I’m very sorry, but I couldn’t hide that I bought the gallbladder from you.”

“I understand.”

‘Indeed, I should’ve killed him.’

Saehyun smiled at Kimin who was controlling his murderous spirit.

“He said he wants to ask for your forgiveness. The owner’s brother came with him.”

“….?”

“His brother is a skill user and also a product and money provider at the shop. It doesn’t mean Hyeongdoo is a puppet owner.”

“I see.”

“Hyeongdoo is pretty young… but his brother is a very reliable person. He wants to see you in person to beg for your forgiveness. I just told him that I bought the gallbladder from you, but I don’t know about you.”

“Thank you.”

Kimin had been seeing the old man for not too long, but he knew that this man could judge people well.

‘If he said so, this person might be a good person. But let’s just be careful.’

Kimin released his violent temper and nodded his head.

Sip.

After the sipping sound, there was a silence for a minute. Then, the old man broke the silence.

“Sir.”

“Yes.”

The old man and Kimin looked at each other.

The old man’s eyes seemed peaceful.

“Do you happen to need a mask type artifact?”

Goosebumps-

It felt like the old man had read Kimin’s thoughts.

Kimin instantly bore caution and stared at the old man.

However, his eyes were still peaceful.

“…What are you talking about?”

“Wait a moment, please.”

The smiling old man stood up and went inside the shop. Soon, he appeared with a small gold-plated box in his hand.

He opened the box with shaky hands.

Clang.

There was a black business card inside.

“It’s a market behind a market, the Dark auction’s invitation. If you need it, please take this.”

Kimin looked at the old man blankly.

He guessed what happened and slowly opened his mouth.

“I see. You heard that I’m a curse magician.”

The old man nodded a little bit.

“And my appearance isn’t normal.”

Kimin let out a sigh.

The old man smiled deeply. 

“It’s worthwhile to give you an invitation.”

“I needed it just in time.”

Kimin started smiling too.

“… I don’t know why you trust me this much, but I can’t thank you enough.”

“Hahaha…”

The old man giggled.

“I told you before. I see the aura from you.”

“Yes, you did.”

“Also, the hunch I have that has helped me out until now made me trust you. Of course, I understand you have doubts. You can think I’m crazy, but I believe in my hunch.”

“You have a good hunch.”

“Hahaha…”

“I meant it.”

Kimin smiled and drank his tea.

Clang. Push-

Saehyun closed the box and pushed it toward Kimin.

“The Dark auction opens in two days. I hope you will be perfectly set before then.”

“I will keep it in mind.”

“Also, the Dark auction doesn’t allow people in even if they have an invitation. There are several steps you have to take until you get to the point where you can just show them the invitation. I will explain what to do.”

“Please continue. I will lend my ears to you.”

***

“Old man… He is definitely not ordinary.”

Sssssssshhhhhhhh– 

A subway swayed while Kimin was holding a handle. Kimin shook his head.

‘You are going to be able to comfortably purchase a fine product you want only if you take about one million dollars with you.’

Kimin had to sell a few more gallbladders because of what he said.

He was wondering about something other than his money.

Saehyun Jae. What on earth is he?

No matter how hard he thought, Saehyun didn’t look like an ordinary store owner. First, It didn’t make any sense for an ordinary store owner to have a black market invitation.

‘Am I wrong? Is the Dark auction available for anyone?’

Kimin tilted his head and thought about their last conversation.

‘What on earth are you?’

‘I’m just an old man who enjoys watching young people… hahaha.’

Well, I don’t know.

Kimin licked his lips.

– We are arriving at Bulgwang Station. The door is…

He got off and went up the stairs to exit 3.

There was a beggar lying on his belly in the middle of the stairs at the exit. A basket with a few dollars and coins was in front of him.

Kimin stood in front of the beggar.

Clink, clink, clink.

Clink clink clink.

Clink, clink, clink.

Then, he dropped coins at regular intervals.

The beggar picked up his head and looked at Kimin.

His face had a little dirt on it, but his eyes glittered so brightly that Kimin felt like his mask was going to get penetrated.

“What? Are you joking?”

“Sorry.”

Kimin lowered his head and went back down to Bulgwang Station. 

‘‘What’ was the very first word of his sentence. The number of characters for ‘what’ is four. So, it’s the fourth toilet in the restroom at the station.’

A stinky smell welcomed Kimin when he moved to the restroom.

In front of the restroom, there was a yellow A-shaped caution sign that read, ‘Not available’.

Kimin ignored it and went inside.

He carefully looked around.

There were ‘Under Repair’ signs on all of the toilet doors. Kimin nodded.

‘They are well prepared.’

Clunk. Clunk.

The other doors were all closed, but…

Creak…

Only the fourth one opened.

After he went inside and locked the door, he searched for the door hinge gap.

‘ <- ’

There was a small graffiti.

Kimin pulled out the black business card that the thin letters, ‘Bulgwang’, on the edge.

He inserted it where the arrow was pointing and swiped it like a credit card.

‘Once. Twice. Three times.’

Kieeng-

The business card vibrated for a while and then the word, ‘Bulgwang’ started shining with silver light.

Haah. 

Kimin took a deep breath and tore the business card.

Soon, the fourth door opened automatically.

And there was no one.

***

He blinked once and saw that it was a completely different place.

He looked around and noticed that it was crowded.

People stepping on strange figures on the floor instantly appeared and disappeared.

“Here, come out quickly! Quick! You are not supposed to overlap. Hurry up! Is she Japanese? どいてください! (Move out, please!)”

“Don’t touch my body!”

The place was full of noisy shouting. There were various hair colors here and there. Probably, Koreans were not the only ones who got the invitations, but Koreans were their main customers.

Kimin walked outside of the figure before somebody pulled him out and checked his mask one more time. His expensive mask was tight on his face.

Soon, a sleazy-looking guy approached Kimin while chewing gum.

“Move ou… Oh, you already have moved out. Is this your first time?”

“…”

Kimin shook his head and opened his left hand in front of the guy. After the guy looked at Kimin carefully, he nodded and put something in Kimin’s hand.

“Ok, here you go. This is your mask. Anything else do you need?”

“…”

Kimin still didn’t open his mouth. He put his right index finger under his left eye and drew a vertical line on his face. The guy totally understood and nodded.

“The map… Ok, sir. I guess you already know about the rules here. Have a good time.”

Contrary to his first impression, the man who put a map of the Dark auction in Kimin’s left hand bowed politely and disappeared to the crowd.

Only then did Kimin wear the mask.

The mask he got was a black fox’s face.

It must be a pretty good quality mask since it didn’t pressure his face or ears.

He thought about what Saehyun advised while removing the previous mask he was wearing under the fox mask.

‘The first thing you have to pay attention to is to show that it’s not your first visit. Once they find out, all the worthless guys will stick to you. It’s going to be very tiring.’

‘The Dark auction is a black market. So, they can’t use a proper building. No one can know where it’s going to be held next time. It’s mostly in a container or a trailer.’

‘If you tear the business card, you will be transferred to a trailer. The first building can be a container, but it’s mostly been trailers in my experience.’

‘When you get to the trailer, move out the way right away. You don’t have to do it too hurriedly. When transferring people, there is a safety measure not to let people overlap. You can just walk out slowly.’

‘After that, the marshals will approach you. Then, ask for a name tag and a map. You can just talk to ask for them, but you will look more like a veteran if you show them a gesture. This is how you do it. Follow me.’

‘Good. This is going to be enough not to be looked down on by the marshals. The Dark auction is unexpectedly fair and is controlled well, however, it is also a place that bites you off right away the moment you show them your weak point. Don’t lower your guard, please.’

“….”

Kimin slowly walked outside of the trailer.

‘Huh…?’

It wasn’t as cold as he thought.

Did it get warmer that fast?

He took out his phone, but obviously, there was no signal.

‘There is probably something disrupting the electric waves.’

When he put his phone back and lifted his head, there was a big sign in front of him.

‘Map on sale. $1,000.’

“$1,000 is cheap.”

“Indeed.”

The store had a constant stream of visitors. Kimin looked at it incredulously and giggled. He shook his head and moved his feet.

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