Genius of unique lineage Chapter 157

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I was hungry.

The president, having been struck by my mother’s fist, coughed up blood.

His two secretaries reacted to her movement.

“Shh.”

My father stopped them.

He, too, seemed furiously angry as he pointed the barrels of his guns at their heads.

The way he brandished the pistols in each hand appeared all too familiar.

He said he was part of the Phoenix Team, after all.

I didn’t know, but my father was a renowned and capable individual.

Indeed, even though he was a high-ranking civil servant, our house was relatively wealthy.

Not quite born with a silver spoon, but close enough that I often thought so.

Maybe my maternal side, or should I say, my mother’s family, was also considerably wealthy?

Every birthday they’d give me an allowance ranging from a hundred to two hundred as a gift.

Surely, they had to be wealthy.

Clang.

Did my mother intend to kill the president?

As he struggled to rise, her heel descended on his shoulder.

Her movement was simple, her actions light, but the destructive force was more than sufficient.

It was a transfer of power through a light step and a precise shift in weight.

Not just a broken shoulder bone, but shattered.

Just two strikes.

That was enough to make him completely incapacitated, unable to even whimper.

Seeing her now, I thought my mother could probably take down a crocodile with ease.

Well, you never really know until you fight.

Of course, I too could take down a crocodile.

After the crocodile incident, I thought that if we really fought, I probably wouldn’t lose.

Watching my mother beat up the president made me think that.

Does it even matter?

My gaze naturally shifted.

I could see a hole in the wall, the rubble of the destroyed building.

A fellow agent with a severed arm appeared, recognizing me and greeting me with his eyes, until he saw my mother and desperately asked who she was.

When I mouthed where Officer Kwitae was, Johan made a gesture across his neck.

He had been taken down.

Officer Kwitae had been trying hard to keep up with Miho.

But now, how had it come to this?

Well, he couldn’t have died.

Being immortal, he’d probably be tucked away in some healing facility.

Officer Kwitae was an ace among the mixed-bloods, not relying solely on pureblood lineage but mastering the Way of Hwarim.

He must’ve just met a powerful foe.

In the midst of these thoughts, my eyes wandered carelessly.

“Son.”

“Yes?”

My mother had stopped assaulting the president and now stood before me.

Her gaze was devoid of emotion, or rather, she hid it well.

“Did you find joy in killing?”

“No.”

“Did the sight of people dying bring you happiness?”

“No.”

“Do you enjoy killing and being killed?”

“No.”

I had never told my mother that I had stood on such a battlefield.

I had no excuse if she blamed me for it.

“Do you enjoy fighting?”

“Well, somewhat?”

It must be the instinct of a shapeshifter.

Whether before, during, or after putting on a tiger mask, I often felt an instinct overpower my rationality.

My mother glanced at the president, then my father, and back at me.

“Will you continue this?”

“Yes.”

There was no hesitation in my answer.

I would continue. After all, this is why I worked here, not solely for the money.

Sure, welfare equivalent to the Eighty Thousand Strips of Bhikkhuni and a good salary helped. I wasn’t in for uncompensated labor or volunteer work.

Live well, do what I want – that’s the plan.

There’s no need to sacrifice and renounce everything.

That’s what I believe.

Learn and fight for my world. That’s going to be my life.

So I’d live in a world of special breeds.

I planned to do crazier things in a mad world.

“It was a mistake. A miscalculation.”

President Nam Myung-jin spoke.

He was half-buried in the wall.

A terrorist organization targeted my mother.

The situation was created by Nam Myung-jin.

Both my father and mother seemed enraged.

“You should know what it’s like to fall into the abyss with a single mistake.”

My father spoke softly.

His quiet and unemotional voice made his words even more menacing.

I’m not sure what power lay in my father’s words.

But President Nam’s response was different.

“Please forgive me.”

He was being humble – a surprising sight from someone in his position.

How powerful was my father? Was this the influence of the Phoenix Team?

Our eyes met.

Why did he do it?

Why did he sell my information?

Moonlight filtered through the broken wall, and I was oddly hungry.

I couldn’t fathom why the president had done that.

Certainly, there’s a reason.

Anger and questions were endless, but I didn’t want to kill him.

The thought of all the political complexity and the president’s intentions made me cringe. I wanted none of it.

Though knowing such things would help me respond accordingly, everything felt bothersome.

And for some reason, I just kept getting hungrier.

I craved kimchi stew.

And bulgogi – the kind mother would stir-fry with a heap of pork neck in a large wok, adding a smoky flavor.

My mouth watered at the thought.

It had been difficult to eat well after the intense battle.

“If the minister decides to erase this place, you would have no objections. Do you agree?”

My father was like a royal secret inspector.

The president resembled a guilty bureaucrat awaiting punishment.

And my mother, who would be Chunhyang in this scenario, was someone who would pound the bureaucrat to a pulp herself.

Father and the president’s eyes tangled in mid-air; they seemed to share a history.

I was not concerned with that.

As I watched, I spoke.

“Mom.”

“Why?”

“I’d like some kimchi stew and bulgogi.”

“Huh?”

“Is the kitchen still intact?”

If mother went on a rampage, the house would be a mess.

“It’s fine. Are you hungry, son?”

“Yes, very. Let’s call Mari over too. Ah, and Hyemin is outside – she’s a magician. How scarce are talents in this world, right?”

The president is a political creature.

I’m aware of that.

Everything he’s done to support me was for his benefit.

Politics, his position, gains, and losses, deals with enemies.

He must’ve done all that as the complexity of these matters came to a conclusion.

I didn’t want to get embroiled in that complexity.

I didn’t want to hear his excuses or justifications.

Those lights, I’ll receive them later, slowly.

Right now, I just want to eat.

“Hyemin?”

“Yes, isn’t that surprising?”

“Didn’t she, uh, stay away from studies?”

“I guess studying and casting might be different.”

“Perhaps.”

As a shapeshifter, my mother didn’t seem too familiar with the world of magic.

“What about food?”

“Now?”

“Yes. Now.”

I was hungry. Very hungry.

I felt my stomach shrinking with insufficient replenishment for the energy spent.

“Put a lot of meat in the stew. For the bulgogi, add cabbage to make it not too spicy.”

“Hmm.”

Mother scanned the room, especially eyeing the president.

“Do you just want to leave?”

“Yes.”

The president, engaging in his political web, would probably live as such forever.

Well, I wasn’t going to live like that. Isn’t that enough?

“Honey? Kwang-ik?”

“Let’s go, Father.”

What’s this now? With a puzzled expression, my father looked around at the president and the others.

They all had the eyes of prisoners awaiting their execution.

Well, there were many like Brother Johan, who had no idea what the situation was.

I approached the president.

“I’ll be clocking out now.”

“…I’ll make sure your overtime pay is generous.”

“Ah, misspoke. I’m quitting.”

The president was silent.

An unspoken acceptance.

I had nothing more to press the president about.

But I did have a few requests.

“My custom-made gear is mine to keep, right?”

“If you wish, even take the ammunition.”

“Then please, just 5,000 adamantium bullets.”

“…Alright.”

Perhaps a grandiose request in the eyes of some.

I don’t know. But I just didn’t fit into the president’s political games.

So before I leave—

I wanted to receive a reasonable amount of severance pay. Nothing too excessive.

“Just find me a decent apartment with around 50 pyeong of space that guarantees safety. With a security system, and places with magical wards in place.”

Buying an apartment in Seoul can cost around 2 billion won. The price skyrockets if it includes new materials and defensive magic.

So, the apartment I’m asking for is roughly 15 billion won? It’s not excessive.

“I think 3 billion won should be enough for the severance pay.”

Hwalim has money, but not to the extent of pouring this much into one person.

Just handling the accounting for that would be a headache.

Still, I think it’s not excessive. It seems fair.

“Then.”

Without waiting for a response, I turned around.

I stood between my father and mother.

“This is the company I work for, uh, and I’m an adult now, so I can make this decision on my own, right?”

Father probably thought that Mother was in danger because of me.

That would have made him very angry.

Father then alternated his gaze between the president and me.

“Are you satisfied?”

“More tired than satisfied.”

Father placed his hand on my head.

“You’re all grown up, son.”

After that, Father didn’t even glance at the president again.

It looked like a gesture that he was just stepping back for now.

“I’m unemployed now. I’ll be depending on you for a while, Mother. Oh, and Father, I have a younger sister.”

“A sister?”

“Yes, Mother’s daughter too.”

“Daughter?”

Light-hearted chit-chat.

That’s what family conversations are like.

Of course, it was quite a shocking story for Father.

“If you say it like that, people will think I had a daughter somewhere and brought her home.”

Mother commented.

“What bastard?”

Father’s eyes lit up with fury.

“She’s my foster daughter.”

Mother explained calmly, and Father immediately nodded.

“Honey, the subject is dangerous…”

He stopped mid-sentence.

He must have wanted to say it was dangerous.

Who? Dangerous for Mari?

It’s not like Mother is someone who would be taken down by an attacker.

Maybe that’s why I was less angry.

“It’s fine.”

Mother was her usual self. The angry version of her was nowhere to be seen.

As we headed down the messed-up first floor, Father asked.

“If we let it go, that bastard will use you again.”

Father said this emphatically, waving his arm, and I nodded in response.

“Next time.”

I guess I won’t need to be considerate then.

“If there’s a problem, let me know.”

He meant to say he would be there to support me.

Somehow that made my heart warm.

I’m all grown up and yet he’s still worried about me.

“Why did you send me to the special forces?”

I asked the question I had been curious about.

“I was going to ask you once you got used to life a bit.”

“Ask me what?”

“If you want to keep living in this hidden world. But your mom asked first.”

“What if I don’t like it?”

“If you don’t like it, you just don’t have to do it.”

He answered so easily.

A worried look in his eyes. Alongside that, I could sense pride and anticipation.

“It’s okay. I’ll figure it out on my own.”

I’m all grown up.

I know what I should and I’ll handle what I must.

I can’t stay confined within the boundaries my parents set forever.

“I’m about to die of exhaustion. Let’s take a taxi.”

I said.

Woooow.

With the sound of sirens blaring, the scene was chaotic.

Even leaving was a hassle.

“Taxi? Let’s take a helicopter.”

Father was generous.

He fully utilized his influence.

“Phoenix Team, assemble, clear up the admin work, and open the path. I’m on vacation for the next three days. Tell the minister I’m quitting if he doesn’t approve.”

His words into the communicator cleared the way.

No police or anyone else stopped us.

Looked like we were the Moses family.

I caught a glimpse of Hyemin barely managing a nod.

The bewildered Ssangnam brothers were there as well.

Too bothered, so I just waved my hand in greeting.

Saw the Shooter and Miho as well.

Needed to speak with the Shooter later, gave a signal for later, and he nodded.

I should send a message to Miho to go visit Brother Gwitaeh at home.

Then our Gwitaeh brother might recover from an injury that should take ten days in just two, saying something like ‘The power of love!’

After leaving everyone behind, we exited the scene, hopped onto a helicopter, and made our way home.

The balcony window was smashed and the storage room was a mess, but the kitchen was intact.

“Honey, can you buy some meat? And some onions, leeks, and unpeeled garlic too?”

“…You want me to go when our SON is here?”

“Honey?”

“Going now.”

Father glanced at me. It seemed like an invitation, but I looked away.

I’m a little tired right now.

After Father returned from the store with meat and vegetables, we started peeling garlic.

“Let’s call Mari too.”

I spoke up as soon as I sat down.

“Yeah, it might be a lot for just the two of us.”

Mother hadn’t lost her wit.

“Yes, we’re short on hands.”

“Right, let’s see that Mari girl.”

Father joined and Mother called Mari over.

Ding-dong.

The doorbell rang and in came Mari, looking visibly tense.

Upon entering, Mari immediately bowed deeply to my father.

“Nice to meet you, Father. My name is Park Mari, and due to circumstances, I have sought refuge with Mother.”

“Oh, young lady, no need for such—”

Father tried to lift her from the bow, but Mari is a transformed subject with strength.

She firmly completed her deep bow, still pressed down by her own force.

If let go, she might even progress to a full grand bow, so I intervened.

“Dad, it’s Mari, not ‘young lady.’”

“Huh?”

“She’s part of our family too.”

Mother’s foster daughter, my younger sister, naturally, Father’s daughter too.

“If any of you feel uncomfortable with me around, I’ll step away now. If my existence causes any harm, I’ll live quietly out of sight, and if that’s not acceptable either, just wait a moment, and I’ll relocate elsewhere…”

“Mari, was it?”

“Yes, Park Mari.”

Father cut her off, raised his hand, and patted her shoulder with cautious gestures.

“I’ve always wanted one more daughter. From today, let’s be a family.”

Watching Mother beam with a smile, it was clear they were no ordinary couple.

Father could also be quite decisive when it mattered.

“Let’s eat, aren’t you hungry?”

“I am. Brother.”

“Just call me ‘oppa’. How long are you going to keep saying ‘brother’?”

While talking, I pulled Mari’s arm, making her sit at the dining table.

“Let’s start with peeling the garlic…”

The three of us sat around peeling garlic.

As a cold breeze blew in from the balcony, Father fetched a summer blanket and tacked it over the balcony entrance.

“Honey, do we have money?”

“We do. I’ve saved everything I got as a stipend.”

“As expected, my husband.”

Watching the content couple, I continued peeling garlic.

Mari too was diligently peeling garlic.

Soon, kimchi stew and spicy pork were served on the table.

All four of us were big eaters and showed off our hearty appetites.

It was a full meal.

“Burp.”

An accidental burp escaped.

Mother gave me a sideways glance at the table.

“I ate too much.”

“So, what will you do now?”

“Hm?”

“If you’ve decided to live in this world of special beings, there’s no time for idleness. It’s not like you have savings, and don’t think you can live off the money that bastard—no, the company president gave you for the rest of your life. I can’t stand to see my son loafing around.”

Mother almost said bastard but changed her words upon noticing my father. Keeping up appearances is a fragile thing.

“I’m not planning to laze around.”

“Then, I’ll find you a position on my side of the family, and you can start over there.”

Guessing my grandfather on my mother’s side might run a company or something.

That seemed to be her intention.

Risking a life in a world filled with danger, she wanted to keep me within her sight.

I shook my head.

“No thanks.”

I’m done working for others. I’ve got my own plans.

“No?”

Surprised by my answer, Mother tilted her head to the side.

Ah, it wasn’t a suggestion but a command?

“Let me think about it.”

I changed my answer. No need to upset Mother unnecessarily.

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