Toxin Chapter 1

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Author: nicotine

My mother is Ime, and my father was human. My father, a member of the Baedal Kingdom, was a renowned painter. However, he became fed up with only drawing people throughout his life, impulsively left, and while capturing the scenery of Hanarusu, coincidentally met my mother there. Despite recognizing each other as eternal companions at first sight, their future transcending the races was not smooth. Due to accepting a yokai as his wife, my father’s household invaded the Ime village, setting it on fire. The Ime people, who were on the brink of a major upheaval, expelled my mother, and my father severed ties with his family. Nevertheless, the two chose each other, and I was born as the fruit of their union.

However, there was one little-known secret in the world. Ime individuals have a unique toxin called ‘Ime’s Poison’ in their bodies, and if they mix with individuals of other races, the other person gradually becomes poisoned and eventually loses their life. My mother hesitated, and my father didn’t believe it. However, after my mother conceived me, my father eventually passed away. It was his way of proving the terrifying nature of Ime’s Poison.

Branded with the stigma of having devoured her husband, my mother, who had the mark of blood, found it difficult to endure the harsh years and eventually had no choice but to cling to her own race. Only after promising not to give me a name for a lifetime did they finally accept my mother.

So, I still have no name. No, I must not have one. Denied existence and belonging to either side, I turned nineteen without even having a name.


“Ugh… Haugh…”

“Heck, heck… I’m going crazy… Haugh… I’m going…crazy… Haugh…”

I was thrashed in a dirty alley. Clenching my buttocks against the surging pain, the panting sounds of Oromun became increasingly rough, and his thrusts quickened. His full-bodied strength showed no signs of weakening. When the muscular part that pierced through to the end pulled out and plunged deeply again, my head against the wall felt like it was about to fold in half.

After a moment, along with the excruciating pain of all my internal organs being crushed, an immense amount of semen poured out. I almost let out a painful groan, but managed to swallow it. Oromun’s stone-like upper body collapsed onto my back as I slid down the wall unable to bear the weight.

“Haah, haah… Your asshole. Did you smear some kind of honey on it? Once you taste it, you can’t stop. Are you going to die from sticking and melting? Pretty one?” Oromun whispered a chuckling voice in my ear, sniffing and snorting.

“Do you know? Ime has a unique smell, but you have a different scent. It makes me go even crazier…”

He had no intention of leaving me today either, after hours of his relentless actions. My lower body was sticky with the semen he had ejaculated, and my limbs were in a mess. In his busy act of insertion and shaking, there was never a proper kiss or a moment of pleasure. However, that was better. Such a relationship had to be like gathering herbs and obtaining food. As he pulled out, his thing came out completely. I shivered at the sensation. Oromun, breathing into my neck, lightly brushed his erect nipple with his fingertip.

“How about it? Shall I secretly give you a name? It seems like you’ll hate it more if I call your name when you leave. Of course, I’ll keep it a secret that I gave it to you.”

“I don’t need it.”

I forcefully pushed Oromun away. As he untied his pants and robe, Oromun licked his lips with anticipation. In his red eyes, the vague reflection of his name, indicating his Ime heritage, could be seen. Ime individuals usually undergo a unique naming ceremony when born, and the moment the name is given, it is engraved directly into the iris. It doesn’t mean physically carving it sharp; it symbolizes giving meaning to the newborn soul, and the energy takes the form of characters, imprinting on the iris.

Normally, parents name their children, but among Ime, there is a superstition that if someone other than a blood relative gives a name, a spiritual bond will be formed forever. It aligned with the concept of fateful connection. However, the tribe members not only denied me any sign of the tribe but also refused to let me receive a name from anyone, even if I desperately wanted one.

“Acting pricey.”

Oromun threw a small bundle that was on one side of the dirty corner in front of me. “Your fortune is even more messed up because of your sick mother. Well, thanks to me, I get to enjoy the sight of paradise, but still.”

I lifted the bundle that had fallen to my knees and estimated its weight. This time, too, the weight of the herbs had decreased. So, lately, I had to meet Oromun frequently.

“Why only this?”

“Recently, those Baedal Kingdom folks are collecting everything with taxes, and this was hard to come by. I had a tough time sneaking it away without inspiration noticing.”

I narrowed my eyes coldly at his mumbling face. “This will only last for two days. If you continue like this, I have no intention of keeping the deal.”

“I told you earlier, getting herbs these days… No, I gave it to you out of pity, and now you’re complaining? If you don’t like it, just quit!”

Oromun tried to snatch it back, so I quickly grabbed the bundle. Despite his insolent behavior, without this, it would be over. He revealed his yellow teeth with a satisfied expression. “If you and your sick mother want to live here, you’d better behave quietly or take it from behind. See you in two days then.”

Oromun whistled as he left the shack. He was the son of the Ime tribe leader and already designated as the next leader. The fact that our hats didn’t get us kicked out of this village was thanks to him. My mother believed that I earned money by drawing pictures to buy food and herbs.

When I came of age, I inherited my father’s talent and earned money by drawing pictures for the tribe. However, it was a challenging situation, as the work only came once every ten days or so, making it difficult for my mother and me to make ends meet. I wanted to work as much as possible, but there was no one willing to give me a job willingly.

The first time I ended up paying for medicine in this way was after my mother fell ill. At that time, I was only seventeen. I couldn’t determine how Oromun’s proposal, driven by the fear of losing my mother, would turn into poison, how it would gnaw at my flesh and soul. I thought I would stop when some time passed. However, the harsh reality and my mother’s deep illness shattered my aspirations. I carefully untied the bundle wrapped in straw. Today, it seemed like I could bring some meat for my mother.

I quickly exited the shack. Before entering the village, I arranged my hair, which extended to my lower back, and let some of it fall forward to cover my eyes.

The Ime tribe had a unique appearance with red eyes and white horns on both sides of their heads. Along with their peculiar appearance, the unique fragrance emanating from their bodies enchanted humans. Due to this, we were also called the enemies within, ghosts of the White Egret. Humans scorned the Ime’s taste for meat, and the Ime, with a strong sense of pride in their race, harbored intense hostility towards such humans.

However, my appearance, a mixture of both bloodlines, was slightly different from the purebred Ime. Compared to their messy looks, my skin was paler, and my body was smaller. The most prominent difference was my eyes, which were a dark purple color, unlike their vivid red. So, to avoid annoying gazes, I had to cover them like this. I delivered some herbs to the owner of the pub.

“Please give me some meat.”

“Didn’t I tell you last time to bring money next time?!”

“These are valuable herbs, and you probably won’t be at a loss. I’ll bring money next time, so please consider it this time.”

The pub owner squinted at the herbs I offered, then disappeared somewhere. After a while, he returned and threw a twisted chicken neck at me.

“I’ve clearly said this, but next time, don’t expect to get away with these weeds!”

Although he said that, Oromun’s provided herbs always seemed to be quite expensive, as he consistently handed over a whole chicken. At that moment, a man slapped my shoulder and entered.

“Hey. The Baedal Kingdom guys are here. Are you prepared? It’s the Black Martial Emperor’s twenty-seventh birthday, so they might be collecting heavily this time.”

“Darn! Whether it’s a birthday or whatever, it’s all about the stomach! We can’t even enjoy meat because of the cattle we stole from before!”

“Listen carefully. Watch your mouth! But what can we do? If they demand, we have to give. Didn’t you hear the story about the Gollanuru tribe being wiped out just because they resisted a little while ago?”

“Do those Baedal Kingdom guys think they can swallow up all the surrounding countries by catching worthless tails?”

“So, we just have to endure in times like this. If we overcome this crisis, things will be peaceful here for a while. The chief isn’t staying quiet for no reason.”

The man reassured the pub owner and winked at me. Holding the bleeding chicken, I stepped outside. Faint whispers taunted my ears from behind.

“A guy who’s not even Ime pretending to eat meat, I can’t stand seeing that.”

The streets were visibly bustling as they transferred taxes to the Baedal Kingdom. The Baedal Kingdom, a vast empire steeped in the ancient culture of humanity, coexisted with various races beyond time and space in its extensive territory. Founded by Hwan-in, who was revered as a sage, his descendants continued the lineage, subjugating surrounding countries and prospering for thousands of years.

The place I lived in was a subsidiary of the Baedal Kingdom called the Ime Village. The Ime tribe and other neighboring tribes suffered harsh taxes every month, making the people’s sentiments increasingly gloomy. Even when they were prosperous, they never showed any kindness towards me. Lately, rumors spread among humans that Ime horns were precious medicine, causing many Ime to disappear without a trace. Although it was undoubtedly the doing of humans, there was no clear evidence, and they had the massive backing of the Baedal Kingdom, making it impossible to resist.

Whack! Out of nowhere, a flying rock struck my head, and warm blood trickled down my cheek. Pressing the wounded area familiarly, I glared at the spot where the rock came from. Through the flowing hair, I vaguely identified four or five Ime guys in the middle of the road. They always found it disgusting to touch me, so they often used nearby objects like this.

“Why did you enter here without permission?! Didn’t we tell you to walk around inconspicuously?!”

“Kek, tch…! It’s annoying that this mixed kid has those horns in the first place!”

Whenever guys like them forced their way, I either ignored them or showed no reaction, which only fueled their frenzy. Maybe it was better to just let them be afraid of me? However, not even a speck of fear showed in their eyes, so there was no other choice. I stared at them coldly.

“Where do you think this is?! Weren’t you told to walk around inconspicuously?!”

“Hah! The Baedal Kingdom guys are here, and you’re acting high and mighty again?”

“What nonsense is this?”

The guys with narrowed foreheads glared at me.

“Do you think we wouldn’t know?! Some people have everything they’ve gathered by tightening their belts for a whole month taken away, and a mixed kid like you gets away with it time after time…!”

“No need to deal with such guys individually! Aim for the horns! Let’s break them completely today and send them to the afterlife!”

“Throw! Kill him…!!”

A fierce stone-throwing began. Even passing Ime joined in. I crouched down as much as possible, covering my head. The Ime’s horns were a vulnerable spot, so if they were severed or received a fatal blow, it could be a life-threatening situation. Stones flew incessantly, cutting into my flesh and tearing my forehead. However, provoking them further here would have repercussions on my mother. When I showed no reaction, one guy threw a large rock. The rock flew at a terrifying speed and landed accurately on my spine. For a moment, my mind went blank, and my breath was choked off.


The sound that escaped me seemed to please them even more as they laughed uproariously. Another guy threw a rock. Suddenly, they tumbled like fallen leaves onto the ground and walls.



I wanted to see what had happened, but blood streaming down tangled with my hair and obstructed my vision. Suddenly, I heard the sound of stepping on branches.

“Isn’t that guy your family? What are members of the same race doing to each other?”

“W-Well, this is absurd! Raonhiljo, sir! He’s not one of us…!”

“No! He has nothing to do with us…!”

They shivered, but oddly enough, it was me whose teeth were chattering.

“Anyway, sir… please don’t mind and just leave.”

“How about you all just leave?”

Although the voice was gentle, it carried a warning thick enough to chill the air. They grumbled discontentedly, glared at me, then grabbed their waists and got up. After they completely disappeared, heavy footsteps approached. As my vision slowly recovered, I saw a golden uniform with the emblem of the Baedal Kingdom. When I raised my head, a dignified man was gazing down at me.

Human presence among the Ime was quite conspicuous. He was a person named Raonhiljo, a manager from the Baedal Kingdom. He came to collect taxes once a month and stayed in Ime Village to also collect tributes from the surrounding countries. He had been coming here for two years now, and encounters with him had become frequent at some point. Raonhiljo squinted at me.


I tried to stand up, turning away from his gaze, but I hesitated, overcome by the pain as if my spine had been broken. When he reached out, a refreshing scent of herbs wafted into my nose. His voice, as refreshing as the fragrance, settled in.

“Hold on.”

“It’s okay.”

Raonhiljo and I exchanged glances, causing passing Ime to glance at us with suspicion. It was awkward. Not only was I not accustomed to such kindness, but receiving someone’s attention was also embarrassing. This was one reason why I was wary of being human. When I managed to stand up with all my strength, his expression seemed uneasy, indicating that my condition was quite serious.

“This won’t do. Let’s start with treatment. Follow me.”

Without waiting for my response, he wiped away the blood streaming down my face and deliberately walked in the opposite direction.

“Hey, your house is in the opposite direction.”

He had to stop walking since he knew our house. I raised my head with a cold expression and replied.

“I moved recently.”

He stopped his steps. I walked away without looking back. I heard a faint sigh from behind, but I didn’t turn around.


I hurried my steps as I needed to prepare the medicine for my mother on time. By the time I arrived home, which was the farthest place in the village, the sun had set. Although it was barely the size to stretch out and lie down, and shabby enough to be called a thatched house, it was the only refuge where I could avoid contemptuous glances. I rushed into the yard and approached my mother’s room.

“Mother, I’m home.”

I just let my voice be heard, anticipating her reaction from her breathing. If she saw my muddy appearance, I knew what kind of response to expect. Without waiting for an answer, I decided to enter the room.

“Why are you wandering around like that?! I told you to come in before sunset!”

As soon as the door opened, my mother’s reproachful voice echoed. But in her face, I saw a scornful grin, as if she had clawed it with her nails.

“Mother, what happened to your face…?” As I approached, my mother also noticed my face and fell silent.

“Who foolishly went out and got beaten up for so long?!”

Despite her nervous voice, my mother’s actions were cautious. Another sharp pain shot through my shoulder. Her hands, thin and bony, applied herbs to my wounds. My mother, with pure Ime lineage, had red eyes. I had always envied that.

“After doing such terrible things to someone else’s son, she comfortably stretches out and sleeps! Those damn people…!”

My mother grinded her teeth. Today, she had gone to the laundry area with her relatively healthy body, and it seemed she had faced some trouble from the neighborhood women. There would be comments about her, a monster that even had desires for humans, giving birth to a hybrid.

“If your body is uncomfortable, why did you go out? Isn’t it worse than last time?”

“If I’m like this, how would those women be? I nearly killed them.”

My mother touched the nail marks on her face, smiling with a triumphant expression. Laughter escaped from me. Because of that, my lips stung, and when I flinched, my mother’s face darkened.

“Why did you go out and get beaten up like a fool…! Since I take care of my body on my own, don’t worry about it and just kill half of them!”


“But those guys are those guys, and in other places, you always have to behave properly. Even if those guys were wrong, if you act recklessly, you become the rootless one. If you disrespect your father, handle it yourself.”


My mother’s shortcomings and pride were one and the same. If I didn’t speak and act decisively, fierce scolding would rain down. My mother was a companion without flaws and a strict teacher. She had lived in Ime Village all her life, disliking this place, but loving it just as much. She was afraid of leaving this place.

“Your father was a famous painter in the Baedal Kingdom. He was known by name, well-read, and could draw so well… Even if I didn’t fall for his words about drawing me, even if he didn’t insist so stubbornly… If only he hadn’t gone so emptily… What a foolish person… I should have just held his hand and slept…”


I understood why my father, who loved paintings, was attracted to my mother, who was as free-spirited as wildflowers. Suddenly, my mother’s eyes became distant.

“That day, we were on our way back from Hanarusun with your father.”


“Every day, he used to vomit blood, but one day, he suddenly got better. He was so happy and suggested going for a swim… We caught fish and had a great time playing in the water under the Hanarusan waterfall. Then, around sunset on our way back, he collapsed like a lie. He looked so clean and quiet, as if he had fallen asleep.”

The biggest obstacle for the two of them was not the opposition from my father’s family or the tribe that expelled my mother. It was the poison of Ime. My mother’s innocent eyes turned towards me.

“Your father was quiet even in his last moments. Your calm temperament, like that water, must have resembled him.”

I liked hearing stories about my father. I also liked the expression on my mother’s face when talking about him. It was the only time my mother made such a face when telling stories about my father in this place. Even though the ending was always heartbreakingly sad…

My mother, burdened by guilt for having consumed poison from her own body to capture her husband, attempted to end her life several times. But ultimately, unable to abandon her young child, she chose to live tenaciously. I, too, wanted to protect my frail mother. And my mother had to remain unaware of that method.

I cleaned the herbs and the exchanged chicken for my mother. After a simple meal, I went to the kitchen. I had put the evenly distributed meat that we had saved for six days into a jar. I also ate some of the remaining meat and organs on the cutting board to curb my hunger. The peculiar taste of raw meat lingered in my mouth, but there was no repulsive feeling. Suddenly, I felt an urge to show the innkeeper how I ate meat.

After tidying up, I entered my room and unfolded the paper. The pictures hanging abundantly on the wall depicted my mother’s face and the changing appearance of the Hanaru Forest with each season. Usually, red hues were used for the blood of the meat, and green was used for expressing the lush trees by crushing juice from the grass. Various colored petals also became excellent paint.

Engrossed in painting for a while, I noticed the night sky through the open door. I decided to postpone drawing and went outside to admire the vast Milky Way spread out before me. The only thing I liked in this hated Ime village was the night sky. A soul-like night with no boundaries between the sky and the ground. Staring at the immense night sky, which seemed like a gateway to another world, my chest, clogged with emotions, seemed to open up. The twinkling crystalline formations emitted a dizzying light, as if they would shower down on me. If I had only one dream, it would be to have a name like those stars.

From somewhere far in the sky, a lively melody welcoming delivery office guests could be heard, and the lights of Ime illuminated the surroundings, scattering in all directions. The Ime’s light was a unique skill of the Ime tribe, creating leaf-shaped flames with their fingers. However, with half of my blood being mixed, I couldn’t create Ime’s light, and that alone was a cause for scorn from them. I looked at my empty fingers in silence.

Ime’s light… A fire that I could never touch… A futile dream that should never be entertained… Perhaps I am dreaming a futile dream.

The next morning, when I woke up, I screamed as if my bones had been shattered. I examined my arms and legs, which were heavily bruised and swollen. Looking at the bruise marks, I struggled to go outside, where my mother was hanging laundry. When I approached to tell her, she placed her finger on her lips, hushing me. As she turned her gaze away, a butterfly delicately landed on the freshly washed cloth.

“Oh my… A butterfly is already fluttering around.”

My mother’s eyes, which used to be as clear as lotus flowers, emitted a sunset-like laughter. Perhaps if there hadn’t been harsh times, my mother would still be like that innocent butterfly. When I received the laundry, my mother suddenly moved, causing the butterfly to flutter away. At that moment, my mother, who was chasing the butterfly, noticed a bundle on the porch. The golden silk bundle was clearly extraordinary.

“Who could leave something like this here…”

As my mother unfolded the bundle, her eyes widened like lanterns, and I, too, doubted my eyes.

“T-This is an Eokrin! Moreover, if it’s this big, it must be several hundred years old!”

Eokrin, the scales of a dragon, was harder to obtain than plucking stars from the sky. It wasn’t just the Eokrin; the bundle was filled with hefty gold coins. My mother couldn’t contain her excitement at this fairy-tale-like event, but I couldn’t simply rejoice. Holding the bundle, I ran without thinking.

The elegant appearance was specially arranged to welcome guests from the delivery office. The eyes of the delivery office people squinted at the strangers who arrived with the morning breeze. In the midst of it all, Raonhiljo looked at the bundle placed on the porch, then stared intently at me.

He had not collected taxes from us for some time. If, by mistake, someone below collected them, he would return it the next day without fail. I didn’t want to know the reason. Through my experiences, I realized that the purpose of someone showing kindness to me was never purely altruistic. He said, gasping for breath.

“We cannot accept such extravagant items. We’ll consider it as if we haven’t received it.”

Raonhiljo muttered while staring fixedly at the bundle.

“I don’t understand what you’re saying right now. I’m the one who’s curious why this is in your possession?”

“I know that the patterns on the bundle are used only by the delivery office people.”

“Right. I delivered this to the house of someone I know. I gave it to the person living there. But didn’t you say you moved?”

Somewhere in his voice mixed with laughter, there was a fervor directed towards me. I squeezed my brows slightly and pushed out my voice.

“I moved back again.”

As I turned to walk out into the yard, swift footsteps followed. With a hand wrapping around my arm and a rough turn of the body. Amidst my sweaty hair fluttering in the air, glimpses of Raonhiljo’s tidy face intermittently appeared.

“Take it. It’s good for wounds.”

I removed the hand wrapped around my arm and moved away. I heard a deep sigh from behind but didn’t turn around. Just as I was about to step outside, once again, a forceful grip turned me around. This time, eyes that seemed ready to burn into me were waiting.

“You’re really stubborn.”

“If you keep doing this, the villagers will continue to feel discontent. Please don’t interfere with whatever I do in the future.”

“You might be fine, but your mother isn’t doing too well, is she?”


He knows about my mother’s condition too. A sinister fog enveloped me, but this time, I couldn’t easily brush off his hand. What he sent was a rare medicine that I would never be able to afford in my lifetime, and I’m clearly wavering right now. He looked at the bundle he offered perplexedly. Once a child tastes candy, they’ll expect something bigger next time. I was afraid of that sweetness. Raonhiljo, who had been silently watching me for a while, said.

“I’m not just going to give it to you. Instead, there’s a condition.”

His meaningful tone made me think again. He saw through my fatal weakness, and he intended to exploit it… Surely, it must be so. Like a spider ensnaring and destroying me with a dangerous proposal…

“No. I…”

“You’re quite good at drawing, aren’t you?”

“Um, yes?”

Unintentionally, my voice came out hesitantly. It felt like he smiled briefly.

“I heard you’re quite skilled at drawing. Is that true?”

“I’m not that skilled.”

“That’s for me to judge. Draw me once. That’s the condition.”


As Raonhiljo turned away from me, he added.

“Come early tomorrow morning, and don’t be late.”

Even after Raonhiljo disappeared, I couldn’t move for a long time. Draw me… Does that mean he wants me to draw a portrait? I looked to where he had vanished. A job had suddenly landed on me out of nowhere.


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Comments (1)

  1. Nicotine, you have a very good talent in choosing stories that I would go crazy reading. Please continue translating and thank you very much for it