|Hello everyone, supermarket will become shopping mall. Also, just to be clear, the story started in the basement first level, then moved to the basement second floor.|
Chapter 4 – Mark of Awakening (1)
The basement second floor of the underground shopping mall, where a cacophonous storm of screaming and blood once resounded, had become calm.
The moment they felt their stress melt away, they were hit with a wave of fatigue, with the end result being that people fell asleep, of course.
There were those that fell asleep without knowing, but there were also those who filled the alcohol aisle, trying to drink to sleep because they couldn’t fall asleep despite their drowsiness.
The scene was literally like how it was described.
Kim Tae Hoon was unlike those who were drinking coffee for the caffeine. He was nursing a lukewarm can of coffee in his hand, and while drinking a mouthful of coffee, he took in the scent of the coffee, enjoying its taste.
It was Kim Tae Hoon’s only hobby.
Kim Tae Hoon always had coffee before and after a battle. While drinking coffee he would prepare for battle or clean up the aftermath while enjoying his coffee.
Even now nothing changed.
After making sure that the marking on his hand was real, he found eight others who also sported a patterned tattoo on their hands. Including the deceased, there were a total of eight people who had it.
With squinted eyes he stared at people’s hands.
Including Kim Tae Hoon, there were nine people. Of the nine, five were males and four were females, with one elderly person but no children.
But with such a small sample size, there wasn’t much he could get glean from them.
‘The patterns aren’t identical, but are similar. Bang Hyun Wook’s pattern is similar to mine, but not the same.’
Obviously, the patterns have differences unique to the person, kind of like a fingerprint.
‘If it’s like fingerprints, then it would express different characteristics per human… but why did it only happen to some people but not all of them? Are there only specific people who get chosen? Or is it the opposite where the ones who are chosen is some sort of ominous sign? Is it some sort of disease?’
The one who helped solve Kim Tae Hoon’s concerns was no other than Bang Hyun Wook.
Bang Hyun Wook, who still dressed in his baseball jumper, approached Kim Tae Hoon with a cautious attitude and tapped his right hand with his left finger.
‘‘Hyungnim I figured this out.”
”This is an ability. Ability. “
Bang Hyun Wook fished out his phone, and showed Kim Tae Hoon a picture he had taken from his smart phone. The screen displayed a close-up of the pattern and his hand. What appeared were translucent letters that were not visible before.
– Strength : 16
– Stamina : 13
[Special Ability ]
– Energy : D Rank
– Physical Defense : F Rank
Kim Tae Hoon stood there silently while looking at the picture.
He quickly took a picture of his hand and immediately went to go look at his phone.
– Strength : 19
– Stamina : 21
[Special Abilities ]
– Energy : F Rank
– Mana : F Rank
– Telekinesis : A Rank
– Physical Defense : F Rank
– Magic Resistance : F Rank
Having looked at Kim Tae Hoon’s abilities, Bang Hyun Wook was surprised.
“Hyungnim were you a psychic? Our ranks are different…… Is A rank the highest?”
However, Kim Tae Hoon didn’t respond to Bang Hyun Wook’s reaction. He simply enjoyed the fragrance of the coffee in his mouth.
‘It’s like a game mechanic.’
It wasn’t very difficult to understand.
It was common ability and stats system that you could see in many games.
Stamina and health wasn’t a very big concern.
What he needed to focus on were two of the abilities under ‘Special Abilities’: Energy and Telekinesis.
‘Is energy like the qi you would read about in a martial arts novel?’
Looking at it, he strongly felt that it was very likely for it to be the same concept that’s found in a martial arts novel.
Of course there wouldn’t be anything different with mana. It’ll probably be the resource needed to fuel magic.
Telekinesis was the easiest to understand. Novels, movies, comic books….. Telekinesis was a staple ability found in those media outlets and was an ability that even the common people would know about.
‘Did it say that I had telekinesis?’
That ability had found its way to Kim Tae Hoon.
There was only one thing that he knew for sure though.
‘There’s no way I had this kind of ability. ‘
Telekinesis wasn’t an ability that Kim Tae Hoon had.
He had never received anything like this A Rank telekinesis.
He didn’t know what this ability entailed or the extent of its powers.
It wasn’t anything he had been in possession of before, so it was definitely something he had only just received.
‘The world has changed ….. and so I have I. ‘
When the monsters began to appear, the world changed and the humans did as well. The evidence lay with the humans since some humans developed abilities to fight against the monsters.
To summarize, those who had received the glyph on the back of their hands are those who had successfully adapted to this new age of monsters.
‘Awakening ……. ‘
A symbol of one’s awakening.
A nonsense tale, an absurd string of words, but still that didn’t matter right now.
At this moment, the appearance of monsters was all the proof one needed to know that the previous common sense was nothing but old-fashioned malarkey.
For that reason, Kim Tae Hoon decided to disregard the previous world’s perception of reality. The enemy before him was real, not the values of before.
The important thing to determine was whether or not the abilities he had were real.
“Bang Hyun Wook, have you used the ability called ‘energy’?”
If the ability is real, there has to be a way to use the ability.”
“Maybe …… no, I’ve definitely used it before.”
Bang Hyun Wook already knew how to activate and use this ability called energy.
“Please give me a moment.”
After disappearing off to somewhere, Bang Hyun Wook came back with two apples in his hand.
After tossing one to Kim Tae Hoon, he grasped the other one with both his hands when suddenly, bbak! It had split in two.
The grip strength wasn’t too bad.
After showing off his grip strength, Bang Hyun Wook tossed the halves onto the floor and looked at Kim Tae Hoon.
Kim Tae Hoon tossed away the apple he had received earlier.
Bang Hyun Wook grabbed an apple with his right hand like a baseball pitcher, and clenched it tightly.
Bang Hyun Wook began crushing the apples like a machine.
The light in Kim Tae Hoon’s eyes changed.
“At first, I thought I was seeing things, but then afterwards, when I saw the state of the baseball bat I was using, I knew it was real. My hand imprinted into the handle, and there were wood fragments in my palm. At that time, I had a gut feeling. I knew that it wasn’t just an illusion, but that I had some sort of super power.”
“But what kind of power is it?”
“I don’t know for sure, but it feels like there’s something wriggling around in my stomach.”
After listening to Bang Hyun Wook, Kim Tae Hoon carefully focused on his stomach area.
‘There, in my stomach…. there’s definitely something there.’
There was truth to what Bang Hyun Wook had said.
“Does it feel almost like an eel?”
However, unlike Bang Hyun Wook’s explanation, Kim Tae Hoon’s strange feeling in his stomach felt more like a loach.
‘It looks like it’s because of a difference in rank.’
Bang Hyun Wook’s energy was rank D while Kim Tae Hoon’s was only rank F.
‘Of course there must be a difference.’
At that moment, Kim Tae Hoon’s gaze turned to a piece of the apple that Bang Hyun Wook had split in half earlier.
Many school students would try and do such a thing.
The fantasy of trying to move something with your mind while staring at it while asking yourself ‘do I have telekinesis’?
And then later when you reflect back on this piece of dark history, you couldn’t help but snort.
But now, while doing the same thing, Kim Tae Hoon felt ashamed because of his age. While looking at the apple, Kim Tae Hoon sent out evil thoughts.
He tried to move the apple and then tried to crush it.
The apple that had been split in half began to crumple like a tissue. The apple quickly condensed into the size of a ping pong ball.
Kim Tae Hoon’s eyes grew bigger. This was the most surprised Kim Tae Hoon had been in his life in the last decade.
It’s not very surprising. His heart was pounding in this nonsense situation.
Could you just accidentally crush an apple that had been split in half into the size of a ping pong ball with just the power of your mind while only exerting the same amount of thought as just grasping it?
‘This power…. it’s dangerous.’
However, Kim Tae Hoon didn’t get too drunk on excitement, Kim Tae Hoon had learned to keep calm through the experiences in his life. It was important to not let yourself get carried away by your own excitement, and to instead maintain your priorities and figure out a ‘key’.
While agonizing over the prospect of trying to figure out the ‘key’, he finally thought of it.
‘The important thing is to find a way to raise one’s skill rank. ‘
That is the most important key right now.
Kim Tae Hoon interpreted all of these situations like a game.
What if this whole situation is just a game?
There were many theories running through Kim Tae Hoon’s mind.
He recalled a way he could test if his theories would work.
‘One of the biggest facets in a game is when you get items and experience after killing a monster.’
The broken bodies of dead monsters quickly entered his thoughts.
Kim Tae Hoon rose from his seat.
“Bang Hyun Wook.”
“Grab a monster’s dead body and follow me.”
Bang Hyun Wook looked at Kim Tae Hoon with large deer like eyes after hearing his orders.
Follow with a monster’s body? Why does he have to do such a gross, cumbersome, and bloody thing?
But Bang Hyun Wook’s embarrassment was short lived.
What did Bang Hyun Wook agree to when he first met Kim Tae Hoon? It was not his place to ask any questions.
At least in this place, he should follow out Kim Tae Hoon’s commands with sincerity.
“H, how should I carry this?”
When following Kim Tae Hoon’s orders, there was only one thing that he wanted to know: what are the difficulties associated with the orders he has to follow.
“Put it in the shopping cart. “
“Ah! Where should I take it?”
Before answering, Kim Tae Hoon turned his neck and looked around.
What he needed to do right now wasn’t something he could do in front of a lot of people.
He would need specialized tools.
Fortunately, there was something Kim Tae Hoon needed that was located in the second floor of the mall.
Kim Tae Hoon’s gaze stopped right there.
“Meat corner. “
“Take it to the meat corner. “
“Monster corpses in the meat section…. heuk!”
After realizing Kim Tae Hoon’s intent, Bang Hyun Wook’s face turned white.