Genius of unique lineage Chapter 16

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Genius of a Unique Lineage

16. Neck Slice!

“Even a crawling bug has its way. Can you do me too?”

Sherlock Holmes Forsythia spoke up.

“…Do you think I’ll do it for you?”

“Why wouldn’t you? It’s a practical issue. You and I are roommates. If I sleep well, it’s beneficial for you. Then I might return the favor someday. Can’t do basic arithmetic?”

Sure, you’re practical alright. Seems like you left out any semblance of emotion.

I didn’t want to do it. I was about to refuse, but then I changed my mind.

“Fine.”

Let’s try a different method with you.

Neck Slice!

With a swift strike to the cervical vertebra of Sherlock Holmes Forsythia, I sever the flow within the carotid.

Be it obstructed blood flow or nerve-induced syncope, it doesn’t matter.

As long as the force is controlled enough to avoid damaging the spinal cord or vertebrae, it’s an easy task for me.

Two years of rigorous training with the Transcendent clan perfected my control over the body.

Holmes collapses, and I toss her carelessly onto the bed.

Her limbs hang loose like those of a marionette with severed strings.

I leave her be. The relief is palpable. This is not violence — it’s a favor to ensure restful sleep.

“Next?”

The handsome Forsythia looks at me and silently rolls over.

An eloquent refusal.

So be it.

I lay down myself, quickly falling into a deep, dreamless sleep.

“Don’t snore,”

The handsome Forsythia advises next morning, not to me, but to our colossal immortal comrade.

The obese friend, with his sprawling belly fat, doesn’t respond.

An indifferent glance is all he gives, as if to simply move on.

From the start of the second day, chaos reigns, oblivious to the passing of time.

“Mealtime!”

It’s simple: meet in the dining hall, eat, wash up, then head out for training.

The basics involve running and rolling; tiresome for the ordinary, but just a warm-up for someone like me, trained by the unyielding Transcendants.

After morning conditioning, including brisk walks and weight training, we gather for lunch, then reconvene in the training grounds.

“Anyone with martial arts experience?”

That’s how the technical training with Instructor Park Daram, with her short hair, begins.

The instruction is straightforward.

Fist techniques, steps, ground skills – she’s an expert in close combat and teaches as much.

Our duty now is to learn the craft of hand-to-hand combat, with both precision and intent.

Several declare their experience with fighting.

Among them, a rather dense yet handsome trainee spars with a Bluebird.

“The immortal body is not invincible. It has many vulnerabilities you must heed,” the instructor remarks right before they engage.

It happens in a flash. Instructor’s step-in, trainee’s sway in confusion, followed by the Bluebird’s extended leg and punch that lands squarely on the trainee’s jaw.

Crack.

The trainee’s eyes cloud over as he collapses to the ground with a heavy thud.

“The jaw, the first vulnerability,”

Instructor Park explains while lightly hopping over the fallen trainee.

How can I not laugh at that?

Despite her gentle smile, I can see the devil behind Instructor Park’s words.

Through hands-on practice, we learn about weaknesses.

I stay on the sidelines, observing carefully and memorizing everything—known and new.

“Let’s start with the basics. One-two punch.”

Post assessment, we dive into the basics of boxing.

Those lacking coordination struggle.

And me? I make it look like play. I don’t stand out, nor fall behind—just the right level of effort.

Easing up poses more challenge than executing full force.

Once we have the hang of it, it’s onto drills.

“Hii-ya!”

I spar with the handsome sardine, who claims to have learned wrestling from online videos.

It’s far from playing around; he clings awkwardly to my thigh attempting a tackle.

“Whoops, almost tripped.”

A convincing performance on my part, and with a gentle touch, I fend him off.

“You’re quite good, aren’t you?”

The buxom Bluebird makes the observation.

I simply gift her a gleaming smile.

Yes, I admit, I am quite skilled.

The training is hands-on—assume the position, embed the theory, and embody the skill.

With the day progressing, it’s time for the intimidating Candle Man’s session.

His training parallels that of the stick-wielding tutor.

The immortal tradition of blade-dodging—it figures, this is what immortality training needs.

At his command, we’re shown the training ground.

A run becomes inevitable at the mention of ‘gubo’, and a trainee, somewhat bemused by the setup, eventually asks, “Here?”

“Crawl if you wish,” Candle Man allows.

Agitation is mixed with silent determination amongst the trainees.

Normal response, considering we’re expected to dash across blades.

I survey the short, intense course before us.

About 50 meters in length, with the blades standing 3 centimeters tall.

Why did I start with blades nearly fifteen centimeters high?

Why indeed, dear stick-wielding tutor?

As the training commences, others run splattered with blood, while I feign pain.

“Ouch, this hurts quite a bit.”

My mild complaint grabs the Candle Instructor’s attention at the end of the course. But his threat of ending lives seems incredibly underwhelming.

After all, this is normal for those without the Transcendent’s physique.

For these immortals, enduring pain is second nature.

I take moderate pleasure in the course—it feels like stepping onto acupuncture pads.

A week passes like this, we grow accustomed to the training.

The steps increase in intensity, but in essence, we’re just learning to harness the immortal body.

For me, it’s an affirmation of why advanced study is so vital.

“Run.”

In the morning, we oblige to Instructor Latte’s command; everyone has taken to calling him that.

His favorite saying is always, “Back in my day…”

Starting at 8 AM sharp and ending at 10 without a break, we are put through our paces.

“Think this is hell? This is just the warm-up,” Instructor Latte insists, and I tend to agree.

The rest find it excruciating, gasping for air, some even drooling.

Like the half-blood, well over 120 kilograms heavy, roommate of Group Three—indeed, my own roommate.

With the general level of attractiveness in our surroundings typically so high, his presence serves to ground my standards back to earth.

He groans, emitting a guttural sound akin to that from a horror movie.

Positioning myself beside him, I try to pace him.

Left to his own devices, he would surely finish last, and then Instructor Latte would say something along the lines of, “Back in my day, immortals could control their weight. Is it laziness or rebellion?”

Playing the role of the good Samaritan, unable to look away from those in need, I approach him.

He’s collapsed during morning runs twice already due to his condition.

Standing beside the corpulent immortal, I advice, “Breathe in on your left foot, then exhale on the next left foot.”

He groans in a state far removed from receiving advice.

“Breathe deeply, look ahead not down,” I continue.

Is he even listening?

“You seem to be doing quite well.”

A blue-plumed male chimes in behind us.

“I’m not, honestly, so exhausted. Ah, my legs,” I exaggerate my struggle.

“Just give up,” he says before dashing ahead as my chubby friend collapses, this time fertilizing a tree with an abundant mix of pizza and kimchi pancake.

The stench alone is enough to turn my stomach.

“Disgusting,” mutters another trainee while passing.

Is that sort of talk permitted?

Latte Instructor appears beside me, snapping, “Disgusting? Are my ears failing, or is it my brain? Let me consult the trainees. Have I gone mad?”

“No, Instructor, not at all,” the trainee quickly responds.

“Good, I’ll take your word for it. Finish at the front today, or I’ll cut your fingers off.”

He’s not bluffing—losing fingers wouldn’t hinder this training anyhow.

I’m now at the rear of the group, Latte Instructor glances back but, without a word, walks away.

Only one attentive Bluebird stays behind to watch us.

Am I alright?

After retching, my overweight companion leans on the tree and says, “Leave me, just go.”

I see a look of resignation in his eyes and respond, “Ever seen Slam Dunk?”

“Who hasn’t?” he retorts.

“Be like Jung Dae-man. A friend never gives up.”

It’s too soon for defeat. Be a man who knows not the meaning of surrender!

His eyes betray a suspicion, as if to question, “Is he mocking me?”

“Run, you’ll find it bearable soon enough.”

“That’s true.”

The onlooking Bluebird, notably chested, chips in.

“If you’re about to quit now, you never should’ve started,” she adds with kindness in her tone despite the harsh words.

The morning run is meant to be non-stop for two hours straight along a set course.

Failure to complete means penalty points.

Thus, he has consistently accrued such penalties.

“I’m nothing but a burden,” he utters, a voice filled with defeat and self-criticism.

“Are you giving up, then?” the Bluebird inquires.

I consider assisting him, but the thought of his sweaty underarms quickly dissuades me.

Instead, I grab his clothing by the shoulder.

Channel the strength of the Transcendents—supposedly Herculean but merely enough to make it seem laborious.

I hoist him up slightly and say, “I’ll help you. Let’s finish it today.”

“Why?” he queries.

“Because once you strip away my sense of loyalty, I’m nothing but an empty shell. Plus, we’re roommates.”

Do we need a reason?

There’s no need for rationale when assisting the fallen or rescuing the drowning.

“Let’s go,” I insist without waiting for a reply.

“Focus on your breathing,” I instruct as we run.

After all, I have 24-hour marathon experience from my transformative tutoring.

Breathing is key—control it to regulate the heartbeat, and the rest will follow.

“Don’t drag your feet. It wears you out. If it hurts that much, better walk briskly.”

Encouraging and admonishing him, we run, but we fail to make the cut-off time.

Just before the finish line, our time is up.

Due to my aid, I too fail to complete.

“Are you two an item?” Instructor Latte asks, his derogatory remark met with snickers from several trainees.

I’ve committed their faces to memory.

My overweight friend, panting, sneaks a glance at me.

“Sorry…”

For what? There’s no need for apologies.

“…are you upset?”

Was he not apologizing, but questioning my mental state instead?

“My mental health is robust, so no worries,” I reassure him.

He gives me a side glance before drooping his head, sweat pouring down like a broken faucet, instantly dampening the ground at his feet.

He has put in the effort; his body just hasn’t caught up yet.

“Let’s finish tomorrow.”

“Why bother?” comes his faint response.

Perhaps his inquiry into my sanity wasn’t due to embarrassment, but genuine concern.

Subtle hints appear.

The follow-up Bluebird gives us a knowing wink.

“You have quite the loyalty.”

Yes, I take pride in my sense of loyalty.

And with this day, we continue our routine—eat, run, fight, learn techniques, eat again, and test our bodily endurance.

I learn how quickly a day can pass.

Night falls, bringing another day I play the sleep-bringer to our group.

Will the handsome Forsythia refuse again today? If so, I’ll just have to inquire a few more times before bed.

As he turns away without responding, I can’t help but relish the sheer joy it brings me.

These thoughts fill my mind as I shower, only to be interrupted by someone.

“You’re in Group Three, right?”

It’s the half-blood with thick eyebrows, definitely not lacking in brutal charm despite an overall rugged demeanor.

Covered head to toe in tattoos—an elaborate dragon over the shoulder and a demonic visage on the back, further adorned down the thighs and calves. What an extraordinary canvas you’ve made of your body!

“Isn’t there a no-entry rule for full body tattoos in the sauna?” I quip, lathering shampoo into my hair.

He smirks in response, “Don’t freak out.”

As if I’d be intimidated.

Even back when I was dubbed ‘One Punch Man’ at Jeil High, I had my share of run-ins with wannabe gangsters.

You might be sturdy for an immortal, but to me, your body is just another weapon.

“It’s from my younger days,” he retorts, cutting me off with a reminder of his youth.

Ignoring him, I finish my shower only to sense curious glances directed my way.

“That’s the guy from Group Three.”

“He’s the bus gas bloke!”

“The one who piggybacked the hefty one and got penalized today.”

“A half-blood, huh?”

Their words are clearly about me.

“I’m an immortal, you know. I can hear everything,” I address the onlookers, who promptly fall silent.

The feeling of being watched remains, a mix of curiosity and caution. What’s with these guys?

Returning to my room, I feel uneasy as the dots connect. They pointedly mentioned Group Three.

In a place filled with sensitive people, it’s not surprising for frequent disputes and fistfights to happen.

A perfect environment for such confrontations, given the tendency towards quick healing and high strung natures.

Though our group has remained somewhat apart from the drama, thanks to everyone sleeping well and lowered irritability levels.

“Has our group gotten into any fights?” I asked Johan while drying my hair.

“You didn’t know?” he responds, whispering as if sharing state secrets.

“What?”

He talks even lower, looking nervously at the handsome Forsythia.

The one who had started showing dark circles under his eyes from lack of sleep.

Even while being cautious, Johan relayed every detail he had been dying to share in a whisper.

The story wasn’t long.

Our pretty boy, unable to sleep due to rejecting my touch, had gone out and picked a fight with some sleepless guys from the next room.

Knowing his usual way of speaking, it was likely his fault.

He punched a few of them.

Despite everything, he seemed to have fought well.

Though the guys he fought were also immortal and their physical wounds healed quickly, the emotional scars seemed to remain, hence the abundance of comments aimed at Squad 3 today.

I had a feeling something was about to go down.

Sure enough,

After the roll call, I heard footsteps approaching our room.

With heightened senses, everyone besides me noticed it too. A suitable tension filled the room.

“If a fight breaks out, you’re in the front. You’re perfect as a shield.”

During all this, Sherlock Holmes over there rubbed it in, specifically picking out our chubby friend.

“This is my issue. Don’t interfere.”

Seeing this, the pretty boy declared.

Ah, the epitome of selfishness.

I watched, deciding to just observe him handle it.

The tattooed guy entered with a few others.

Eyes met, and it felt like cold daggers stabbing my heart.

Breaking the silence, the tattooed man spoke.

“Who’s Yoo Kwang-ik?”

He was looking for me.

…Me?

My eyes turned to the pretty boy.

Did that guy use my name? Why is he looking for me here?

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