Chapter 46 - Day 12, Theft
I thought they would bring me a blanket at most, but Kim Tae-hyun’s brought me pants, a t-shirt, jacket and sneakers. After changing clothes and looking in the bathroom mirror, I examined something I learned today: Essences could also be absorbed.
[Essence - Elder Salamander]
[The ‘Fire Lizard’s Mark’ will be inscribed on both hands. It is possible to switch it from an active/inactive state through a command.]
[Fire and heat resistance have increased by 10%. This won’t turn off as long as your HP doesn’t fall below one.]
[The average body temperature will rise by one degree. There is no physical deterioration caused by high body temperature.]
[You have become 5% more vulnerable to cold air.]
[Technique - Fire Lizard’s Mark: A technique that controls the energy of a salamander through the inscriptions on both hands. You can shoot out flames of various sizes and shapes, as well as in the form of explosions. They are magical flames, but consume the user’s ‘Hunger’ and ‘HP’ instead of magic power. If either of these numbers aren’t high enough, then it can’t be used.]
[The maximum firepower will rise in proportion to the level. Precision has increased.]
[Once active/inactive is used, it requires five minutes for the next inactive/active.]
[Become 50% more vulnerable to the cold when active.]
[Current level: Lv 1. 1/100]
It was certainly a pleasure to gain the technique that almost killed me, but my resistance against the cold had further weakened. It was already weak due to the leech essence. Moreover, the suited man wasn’t a king. I hadn’t seen a message about gaining a city. He might not have tried this if he had such a position.
The Fire Lizard’s Mark. Active.
The same pattern as the suited man appeared on the palm of my hands. I imagined a flame. I imagined the explosion that attacked me earlier.
At that moment, a very delicate flame rose from the palm of my hand. Of course, it was an intentionally small fire. Was it due to my imagination being enhanced in the dungeon? I was able to create a much cleaner flame compared to what the suited man blew from his hands.
As I heard footsteps coming into the men’s bathroom, I formed a fist. Then I turned towards the entrance of the bathroom. “Have the rest of the people been sent back?” I asked Kim Tae-hyun, who had just entered the bathroom.
Of course, I didn’t order it, but Kim Tae-hyun was bound to do so. It was the most obvious action after explosions had occurred. I had done such a widespread provocation that it was unknown what type of conflict would have occurred if Kim Tae-hyun left it alone.
“Take this.” Kim Tae-hyun threw a piece of paper at me. It was laser printed paper like a bank sheet. The ID of a virtual account to handle electronic money and the password were written. The account contained ‘72’ points, the number I earned today.
I asked a question in a blunt manner. “How many points to cover up murder?”
“It varies.” The answer came back straight away. “It’s because the value of human life isn’t the same.”
I personally disagreed with that, but it wasn’t the place to discuss the value of human life.
“In addition, it will be different depending on how they are killed and the situation going on around them. We look at the convenience of covering up the murder. For example, if there were thousands of witnesses in the middle of a city then it would cost thousands of points.” Kim Tae-hyun continued. “But... Let’s see... If there are no witnesses and the victim doesn’t have a nuisance job like a journalist or lawyer... It will be around 50 points.”
He seemed like a salesperson describing a product in the catalogue. I could understand the meaning in his eyes. If there was a mysterious and sudden death, the police would turn away if the victim didn’t have a special background.
Yes. That was exactly what I wanted to know. For example, even if I was stronger than Yoon Sang-gyu’s grandchildren, I couldn’t attack them first. Their status wasn’t a joke. But they didn’t have to worry about that. I had a weaker status. They might try and use their points to bury me with no hesitation.
"Is this an unfair game? The man who attacked us before is in a lower bracket than you. Maybe he noticed this unfairness and acted.”
I bent down and tied my shoelaces. Then I asked. “What about theft?”
“For example, if I steal someone’s wallet, then is there a difference between stealing from an ordinary person and high class person?” Kim Tae-hyun narrowed his eyes.
“There isnt’ a single person who would use points on such a ‘wasteful’ thing. At least, I’ve found that throughout my career.”
“But it isn’t certain.”
Kim Tae-hyun was silent for a moment. “... It depends on the material worth. It depends on how much capacity the victim has to punish you. If it is a simple pickpocket then it should be around two points.”
“I roughly know what you are thinking.” Oh really?
“If you try to hack in order to gain more points, then it’s useless. Points are a distinct credit asset that this country deals in. A person with a mere background shouldn’t make a fuss.”
Kim Tae-hyun had almost growled out the words.
“If I think about a pickpocket...”
I got up. As soon as I got up, I moved closer to Kim Tae-hyun.
“Uh!” Kim Tae-hyun gave a short moan but didn’t pull his body back. He thought I was trying to scare him.
“I asked because of this.” I pulled out a gun from the waistband of my pants. It was the gun that I had taken away from Kim Tae-hyun. “I'm quite greedy so I took this without knowing.” I put the gun back in the holster revealed by my open coat. I continued keeping an eye on Kim Tae-hyun.
“Now. Haven’t I given it back?”
“You seem to keep on misunderstanding me. Why are you so scared?”
“... Today, you keep trying to eat.” He suddenly stopped talking in honorifics. Kim Tae-hyun shot me a blazing look. “There is nothing to worry about. This is my job so I can push aside my personal feelings. But you should keep something in mind. You’re just a brat.”
“You’re just a struggling 23 year old university student. Did I warn you about hacking? I must have been crazy.”
“Whoa.” I withdrew from Kim Tae-hyuk. Kim Tae-hyun finished talking. He took a deep breath. Then he suddenly spoke in honorifics again.
“Well then, this is the end of our business here.”
“Indeed. I hope you’re not angry anymore.”
“... Please go safely.” After those meaningful words, Kim Tae-hyun left the bathroom first. I followed behind him. In the corridor, I headed the opposite way from Kim Tae-hyun. As I headed down the emergency exit, I recalled my talk with Kim Tae-hyun.
Hacking. “Hah.” I sneered.
Hacking a virtual account? What did he think the computer engineering department taught? I honestly hadn’t thought about it until Kim Tae-hyun said it.
Well, there were the doors, and I pulled one open. I left the convention hall and pulled out the phone that I kept hidden in my sleeves as soon as I mixed in with the crowd. It was Kim Tae-hyun’s phone. I got his attention by pretending to return the gun, then I stole his phone.
Instead of trying to break the pattern lock, I looked at the side of the phone to see if there was an external memory.
“Bingo.” After pulling it out, I squeezed the phone with my hand. I put it in my pocket and continued destroying it.
In an instant, a ping pong ball sized piece of plastic was left in the palm of my hand. It literally went down the drain. I didn’t know if this phone was for business or personal use. If I picked well, then there would be a list of clients in the contacts that the department was responsible for.
Obviously, there would be information about the other explorers gathered at the convention centre. Who they were. What they did and where they lived. As Kim Tae-hyun said, it was an unfair game.
But so what? I had made a declaration of war. I didn’t expect everyone to be scared of me. I had to fulfill those expectations with strength.
“What happened?” Yoon Sang-gyu asked as soon as he heard the door open. Many things were omitted but the answer came back straight away.
“Ji-hee will survive for some time.” Yoon Chan-hee, Chairman Yoon Sang-gyu’s first grandchild, said. “As long as she isn’t abandoned by him.”
“Longer than you?"
“... I think it isn’t likely.” The old man turned in his chair and looked at his eldest grandchild.
“I want to hear more.” Yoon Chan-hee gave a short, concise explanation of what happened today. He spoke about what he observed from Hee-chul and what he saw in his gaze. “I see. Then how would you rate that young man?”
It was an interesting story, but he was more interested in the expressions on his grandchild’s face. “Impressive.”
“He is extremely capable of hiding what he is thinking. Although he hardly expresses any emotions, I get the feeling that every emotion shown is calculated.” Yoon Sang-gyu nodded silently.
“Despite being fully conscious of the risks, he dives in without any fear. I think that is a disadvantage.” A questioning expression appeared on Yoon Chan-hee’s face because Yoon Sang-gyu was laughing.
“Since you were a child, I’ve heard a lot of people say the same thing about you. It is your biggest advantage. But is this the first time? You turned it into a shortcoming when evaluating someone else.”
“...” Yoon Chan-hee had nothing to say at his grandfather’s analysis.
“Besides, somehow I don’t think it is a disadvantage.”
“As a matter of fact, don’t you think so as well?” He couldn’t answer. He couldn’t say that it wasn’t the case. Was the man called Hee-chul much better than he thought? Since Hee-chul was backing his cousin Yoon Ji-hee from behind, did he really have to consider her a competitor to take control of UZ?
Or was it due to his grotesque appearance? No, that wasn’t the main reason. Yoon Chan-hee used his analytical power to come up with an answer. “... He is a little different.”
Up until now, Yoon Chan-hee had met many people. He was superior to all of them. They either respected him or were jealous of him. When he looked at it, the quality of Hee-chul’s gaze was similar to theirs. Hee-chul was a dog barking at a tree that he could never climb.
But one thing was different. Yoon Chan-hee had assumed that Hee-chul’s personality was a disadvantage. Yet Hee-chul revealed his sharp teeth. Yoon Chan-hee could feel the coolness of his fangs, despite being on the tree.
“I could tell his quality from a brief phone call.”
“You talked to him?”
“He is an interesting type. Isn't it? If you face him and survive, then you will have learnt a lot.” Yoon Sang-gyu looked at the clock. 11:37 p.m. It would soon be time.
“Then. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”
“Yes. Grandfather.” Yoon Chan-hee bowed and left, then he waited in his room for the dungeon. As the stairs appeared, he suddenly felt a sense of curiosity. Besides him, did the remaining six people have the same impression? The damp coolness that touched their necks?
Maybe they did. They might be confused and hesitate before stepping on the stairs. Yoon Chan-hee didn’t pray.
Maybe that was why... He encountered Hee-chul on the ninth floor.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter