Genius of unique lineage Chapter 161

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160. The scope of their capabilities was unfathomable.

“The government support has been cut off.”

“Banks are refusing transactions.”

“Even foreign financial institutions have blocked us.”

There was no need to ask why.

None of that mattered.

Nam Myung-jin was no fool.

It was clear that external pressure was at play.

To run the company, massive funds were needed, and cutting it off meant they would have to bleed themselves dry to survive.

“I’m sorry. There’s only one thing I know: orders came from above. Deliberate commands that we can’t do anything about.”

Even leveraging his connections had proven futile.

Someone at least at the ministerial level had blocked the support.

And the words from a contact in the financial sector were even more shocking.

“It’s the Dangun Group. They put up the block. There’s nothing we can do. That’s all the information I can provide.”

The foreign firms were even worse.

They didn’t even bother to provide a reason.

“Your enterprise simply does not meet our criteria.”

They merely kept repeating those words.

It was dizzying.

‘The company operations are….’

“Dispose of my personal assets to meet Yoo Gwang-ik’s demands.”

“Understood.”

After instructing his secretary, he sold his house, his car, everything.

Barely hanging on would be an understatement.

‘It’s okay.’

Throughout his life, he’d faced crises more than once or twice; this too shall pass.

Who could it be?

The timing was too perfect.

It was only natural for a name to come to mind.

Yoo Gwang-ik and his parents.

Nam Myung-jin soon shook off the thoughts. Knowing did him no good in his current situation.

Now, he could only hope to wait under the eaves for the rain to pass. That’s what he did when the call came in.

“Who is it?”

“Yoo Gwang-ik.”

The secretary’s voice carried through the office phone.

Nam Myung-jin tapped his fingers on the table.

Once the hero of Hwarim, now a resigned employee and the very person who’d stopped the money flow, the friend who’d forced him into a one-room apartment.

“Connect him.”

Soon, Gwang-ik’s voice could be heard.

“President, why did you do that?”

“Do what?”

“Why did you do that to me? Did I cause you any offense?”

“Um.”

Nam Myung-jin swallowed a groan.

He called out of the blue to bring up past issues after all the harassment.

“……You don’t seem to watch movies much.”

After a brief silence, Gwang-ik spoke.

If he wanted nothing, he wouldn’t call.

Nam Myung-jin simply waited for Gwang-ik’s words.

“Actually, I went through a lot back then. Just thinking about it makes me choke.”

According to the staff, he responded nonchalantly upon hearing about his mother’s situation.

They even questioned if he had looked into it properly.

They knew that he was already a transformed being.

“I often have nightmares. I have trouble sleeping; my appetite has waned.”

Despite how he seems able to eat, bathroom, and sleep well.

Of course, he couldn’t reveal his true feelings.

“Ahem, I would like to heal this heart of mine. I heard someone I have a connection with is in a challenging situation.”

There it was, the main point.

He’d done something needing recompense, a request he urged to be fulfilled.

“What would you like to say?”

“Can you release Deputy Lee Dong-hoon?”

The request was difficult.

More so because it was not something Nam Myung-jin could handle alone.

Asking to secretly break him out was even more troublesome…

“It’s not about sneaking him out. I wondered if he could be freely released with dignity. I thought the president might know how to do it, so I’m contacting you.”

“I am bound by the company and government. I can’t do anything alone, Gwang-ik.”

Nam Myung-jin suddenly felt awkward about how to address this friend.

Without any rank, what to call him?

Gwang-ik-ssi? Gwang-ik-gun?

Considering the age difference, ‘gun’ would be more appropriate.

Thinking thus, he waited for a response.

Gwang-ik soon spoke up.

“Is that so?”

His question was laced with doubt.

Was this his usual temperament?

Gwang-ik’s character portrayed in the rumors among employees was a mess.

But he wasn’t like that towards himself.

Back then, he was an employee of his company.

The turnaround was lightning-fast.

“Say it’s due to a lack of ability.”

“So, what can be done?”

“Are you asking me?”

“Because there’s no one else to help but you, president.”

He was brazen.

Using Gwang-ik as bait was wrong. It was a mistake. Was he exploiting that now?

He could be. There was nothing wrong with his attitude in this matter.

However, it felt like lending a car to a friend who then went on a month-long joyride without paying.

Yet, listening to Gwang-ik now, he wasn’t openly accusatory. He was asking a real favor.

The situation became complex.

He wanted no more of this conversation.

“If there’s a capable lawyer, my side could potentially not object. Gwang-ik-gun.”

That’s the term he decided on.

“Oh, a lawyer.”

“Since there will be a trial.”

“A skilled lawyer could solve the issue, I see.”

Ordinary skill wouldn’t suffice, but correct.

“That’s right.”

“Okay, president, no backpedaling, allllrght?”

It sounded like a directive to take responsibility if he decided to help.

“Of course.”

Click. He hung up the phone.

Nam Myung-jin opened his office window.

He lit a cigarette.

Flick. Puff.

“Ah.”

The deeply inhaled smoke traveled through his lungs, exiting through his nostrils and mouth.

The cigarette tasted bitter.

A knock at the door timed with the exhale.

“President?”

The secretary entered and called out to him.

“Should I give in to Yoo Gwang-ik’s request?”

Focusing outside the window, the president asked.

“It would be good to comply if you decide so.”

“Is that his usual character?”

“Whether you’re referring to a specific aspect, he usually surpasses it. By far.”

“What can I say? Hmm, no, it did not seem like he called to argue, but I feel played.”

“……Leave it for now. What can we do?”

Fiddling further might only worsen matters, blocking more funds.

Then, like this time, he will call again when he needs something. It may seem like a request, but it’ll become a demand.

Nam Myung-jin and the secretary sensed that such incidents would soon become frequent.

Their eyes met.

“I’ll take you to the conference room.”

“The executives?”

“They have all gathered.”

They reached the same conclusion.

Time to get back to work.

Thanks to Yoo Gwang-ik, the company had become a mess.

Of course, the situation could be turned around.

Spies were caught and purged.

They also protected everything they targeted.

The attacks on the first floor and the lab were all thwarted.

Brief moments of judgment changed everything.

These were President Nam Myung-jin’s achievements.

He gave up the first floor to save the lab.

And it had been Yoo Gwang-ik who contributed significantly to defending that first floor.

Thus, he no longer wished to pursue the matter.

* * *

Training followed by more training.

It was an endless series of grueling workouts.

My mouth dried, and my muscles screamed in protest, but it was bearable.

I decided to use this process of punishing my body as an opportunity to refine my sensory control abilities.

Concentrating on each muscle movement, I etched my control skills into my being.

“Are you still pre-transformation?”

My uncle asked.

“Yes.”

Like the protagonist of some comic book, I was shadowboxing with specially made 40kg weights strapped to each arm and leg. The first attempt felt manageable, but after an hour, I genuinely started gasping for breath.

The catch was the focus of the training; to maintain steady breathing.

The goal was to keep my breath steady for six hours.

The first time, I managed over three hours, which seemed to impress my uncle.

“Should we add a penalty?”

Then he added a special mask to the weight bands. It was a pulmonary training mask, another innovative tool designed to increase lung capacity for transhumans.

“Uncle, do you know a lawyer?”

Of course, I adapted to it too.

My adaptability now frightened even me.

Run a few times, do it a few times, and it just happens.

I got used to it.

Thanks to that, my mother, the private tutor, and my uncle’s concern now was how to put more strain on my body.

I heard it through Mari.

“Lawyer? Plenty.”

My uncle replied while observing my physical stats on the monitor.

He’s the 2nd generation of a Chaebol. Walking around, he looks like a drug-influenced back-alley thug, but you can’t judge people solely by appearance.

“Just introduce me to one good lawyer.”

“Did you cause trouble?”

He asked casually.

“No.”

“My lips are sealed. Speak freely.”

He has a very genial personality.

“It’s really not like that.”

“Then why? I need to know the reason to match you with the right lawyer.”

I thought about Deputy Lee Dong-hoon’s charges and put them in milder terms before answering.

“Undercover hiring, concealing personal information, suspect in a terrorist act?”

I had heard that he’d been charged with these because he hid his specimen identity.

“Why does undercover employment lead to being a terrorist suspect?”

“It’s with the Immortal Special Corps.”

My uncle shifted his gaze from the monitor to me.

“I’ll assign you my personal legal team.”

“Are they capable?”

Still maintaining even breathing, and keeping my arms and legs moving, I continued our conversation.

“You know, you should increase the weights or the mask’s level. Capable? It’s my personal team, isn’t it?”

What does having a personal team have to do with competence?

Raising the mask’s level means making my breathing more uncomfortable.

“Yes, I understand about the mask and weights. If it’s your team, they should do fine, right? This person is someone I really want to help out.”

“You don’t know your uncle. When I got into trouble as a kid, my escapades made the Korean news six times. Yet here I am, walking around comfortably, right? Why do you think that is? My defense team is the best in the country, specialized in handling trouble. Trust me.”

Suddenly, I felt a surge of confidence.

I had recently heard from my mother that my uncle had been quite the troublemaker in his youth, impossible to discipline, hardly listening even when scolded, often with a fist.

He must not have been just any mischievous troublemaker.

The scale of a Chaebol’s mischief. I decided to trust him.

“I trust you.”

“Believe me. If I don’t know anything else, I trust my lawyers implicitly.”

After training, I passed along all the necessary personal information and background of the case.

“Do I need to meet with the lawyer directly?”

“You know all that’s necessary. They’ll do their thing.”

“Then that’s good.”

My training starts at 6 AM and ends around 6 PM. Afterward, it’s time for normal activities: eating, sleeping, resting.

However, I usually pass out from exhaustion.

The accumulated fatigue was unavoidable despite how well I held up.

“I’ll be leaving now.”

“Alright.”

My uncle didn’t seem to have anything to do and would show up here every other day.

“Tomorrow we’ll have something even more fun.”

The private tutor said so.

Whenever he said that, unimaginably excessive training tools often appeared.

From the looks of it, my uncle seemed to be fetching them.

Since my mother and Mari had gone ahead to prepare dinner, I walked alone, exhausted.

I wonder when Deputy Lee will be released.

I thought about buying him tofu on his release day.

* * *

“Lee Dong-hoon, you have a visitor from a lawyer.”

“A lawyer?”

Dong-hoon blinked in surprise at the guard’s words.

All his money was confiscated,

alongside various charges related to undercover employment.

The money didn’t really bother him.

The frustrating part was that the caring workplace his team leader had provided could no longer be his haven.

Moreover, there was one more thing.

‘There’s no anime here.’

His sole hobby was gone.

But now, a lawyer?

Wondering if a public defender had come, he proceeded to the visitor area.

The meeting room contained a woman he had never seen before, flanked by two men, all waiting for him.

The central woman, with a slight upward tilt to her eye corners, spoke first.

Dong-hoon concluded that they must be specials, as they didn’t attempt to conceal it.

A half-blood immortal.

“Are you Mr. Lee Dong-hoon?”

“Yes, and you are?”

She clearly wasn’t a public defender.

“I’m from the law firm Balhae.”

His eyes widened.

Balhae — he had heard of it.

The top law firm in South Korea, handling major conglomerate matters.

“Why me?”

“Within 48 hours, let’s say, we’ll have you breathing the air of the outside world again.”

“What?”

“Don’t worry. Trust us.”

“But why…?”

“Because we received a request.”

“Who from?”

The man standing to the woman’s right interjected.

“Dangun Group. That’s all you need to know.”

“Dangun wants me?”

Deputy Lee Dong-hoon furrowed his brow, incredulous.

It seemed almost a joke.

He had resigned himself to the situation.

His team leader, no matter how powerful, couldn’t solve his current predicament.

He expected a trial, possibly three to five years of imprisonment. Even after release, he anticipated continuous government surveillance, being Prometheus’s specimen.

To be made a political scapegoat was easily predictable for Dong-hoon; after all, this had been part of his job at the company.

And now, the situation changed.

That’s life.

What’s impossible for someone can be simple for another.

For someone with power and wealth, the social system might simply be a convenient tool.

“Trust us.”

The woman implored trust, and Dong-hoon had nothing to do but nod.

It didn’t take 48 hours.

He couldn’t even recount how time passed.

An emergency trial for specials was convened.

The lawyers spoke fervently.

In their narrative, Dong-hoon was a man who sacrificed his time and health, deeply unfortunate, utterly devoted to his company’s success.

“A test subject? A person unwillingly drugged and experimented on is a victim, not an offender.”

The lawyer’s final words and the judge’s verdict were swift.

Surely someone, not only the lawyer, had exerted influence behind the scenes.

And of course, Nam Myung-jin, who had received Gwang-ik’s coercive request, was not idle.

He too did everything within his power.

So came the moment he breathed in the freedom once again.

Whoosh.

Something was tossed his way, and he caught it reflexively.

It was a beautifully wrapped block of tofu.

‘Yeo Dang Tofu,’ the label read.

Looking up, he saw a familiar face.

The person who had handed him the tofu.

“What are you doing here?”

The youngest employee of a company once hailed as a hero — now a resigned one, no, a familiar junior.

“You have nowhere to go, no place to live, am I right?”

Gwang-ik followed up with another question.

“Why don’t we go together?”

“You were the one who sent for me?”

“Was the world without anime fun for you?”

“No, it was almost suicidal.”

“Then let’s go.”

Thump – his heart was pounding, an unusual heat rising throughout his body, a warm surge seeming to radiate from him.

Dong-hoon felt an inexplicable elation.

He had always thought this kid was not ordinary, but the Yoo Gwang-ik before him seemed different now.

It was like seeing an aura of radiance behind him.

When he first met the team leader, he had thought him a great man, but this…

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