Genius of unique lineage Chapter 187

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Genius of a Unique Lineage

Chapter 186: Overwhelming

“Kwang-ik really is a monster, isn’t he?” Geung-nak asked.

“To my son and your nephew, you’re calling him a monster?” Kang Seul-hye retorted expressionlessly.

“No, I just mean it might be too much.”

Seul-hye’s shoulders shrugged slightly at those words. Observing her reaction, Geung-nak continued.

“Even during your instructor days, you never saw this type of talent, did you?”

At Geung-nak’s question, Seul-hye slowly sifted through her memories before abandoning the thought. It was unnecessary.

“Never.”

Bloodline doesn’t dictate talent. Even those with pure blood are fools if they are fools. That was the mantra seething from the lips of the reformation witch, Kang Seul-hye. There were clear limits to fighting with the advantage of bloodline alone. Yes, one can leverage their bloodline to develop physical strength, but what comes after?

A superior shapeshifter isn’t just about hardware. The software installed within is also crucial. What good would it do to run Windows 98 on the latest custom PC? It was the same idea.

This is why training and tempering are essential. Learn and master techniques. Most decent shapeshifters can manage this, as they tend to exhibit talent in all things physical.

What Seul-hye emphasized was the step beyond: ‘Application.’ When you’ve learned and mastered techniques, you need to know when to apply them appropriately. Utilizing what you’ve learned and mastered is a whole different challenge.

In that regard, Seul-hye’s son truly was a monster.

“He copies everything I teach him after a single demonstration and uses it better than me the next time. Seeing that can make someone feel inferior.”

“Hmm.”

It was high praise. Seul-hye sipped her lukewarm tea with a nod, not even needing to bite into a baked cookie to taste its sweetness.

She decided she would talk about her son with her husband after he got home from work today. After all, it was a daily occurrence.

When Seul-hye spoke, Yeon-ho would agree enthusiastically.

“Our son is like this even in the Immortal Special Force. Despite being a half-breed, he doesn’t seem like it. Saving people from the other side, our son is just…”

Her husband would raise his thumb in approval.

As a slight smile began to bloom on Seul-hye’s face,

“If you put him in the Hwarang team right now, a promotion to team leader wouldn’t be a problem.”

At those words, Seul-hye’s eyebrows danced. Geung-nak spoke, peeking at her reaction cautiously.

Seul-hye picked up her teacup. She rinsed her mouth with the slightly bitter black tea.

Hwarang—a name with dual meanings.

Every subsidiary of the Dangun Group operated private military forces. From the law firm Baekhae to Dangun Electronics, all of them maintained private security forces at military strength.

Hwarang is the combat group comprised of the so-called prodigies, geniuses, and talents gathered from all those places.

This outlined the standing of Hwarang within the group—the first meaning of Hwarang.

The second meaning referred to a company organized to maintain peace within Seoul’s city limits, serving as a tool for image-making. In essence, it was an unrestricted force, holding authority to engage in Invader-related incidents and accidents for the pretext of maintaining peace.

“Geung-nak?”

Shapeshifters dislike roundabout talk. To put it more forcefully, they hate it. Directness suits them better.

Seul-hye called her brother with that intention.

“Father wants to see you.”

Geung-nak answered without hesitation.

Geung-nak’s father, and also Seul-hye’s—the chairman and the head of the Dangun Group, wanted to see the prodigious shapeshifter.

This was the casual yet meaningful conversation between siblings during a leisurely afternoon tea time.

* * *

Agent days taught me so much. How to manage an immortal’s body, how to deal with Invaders, and shapeshifter training, too.

My mother was known as one of the finest instructors, dubbed the reformation witch.

My uncle was a chief executive at a subsidiary under the Dangun Group. He talked about the latest training procedures and provided equipment.

Merge the spirit and the mind.

Then, I observe. Two Number 8 Invaders are charging at me. With narrow eyes, flat noses, no mouths, thick necks, four arms, and two legs—they only use fists when fighting.

Weak points and countermeasures flash in my mind; heart in the center of the chest, requires sniping from a distance, anti-material rifles, machine gun firing at the whole body, evasion in close combat, joint locks, and stabbing upwards from the belly into the heart with a blade.

After recalling all that, I dismiss it.

“There are no answers in tactics. If you’re able, ignore them.”

That’s what the Log Teacher said.

And I did just that.

I threw out my left hand, which had been swaying side to side. The Invader reacted to this, raising an arm to block. One out of four, the arm that was raised could shield its body and chest and still have room to spare. It was an arm with a thick, metal fist.

Whoosh.

The fist, curved like a whip, meets the Invader’s guard.

Pow.

I stepped back twice as impact dust billowed from the spot I hit, barely leaving a mark on the surface.

The Invader that was to my right now hurled its fist towards where I was standing.

Whoosh.

The fist split the air, creating a gust of wind. I read the movement from its trajectory, stepping into position.

One step to the left, quickly finding a side position.

I exhale and throw my fist again, aiming for the side of the head. The Invader swiftly raises its fist to guard.

Pow, pow, pow.

I only see dust rising. If I keep swinging, will my fist break first?

The Invader is about to strike—the sensation warns me where it’ll target next. Another step.

I dodge the fist, get my breathing right again.

Mastering one’s heart is said to be the real secret of the shapeshifters, but that doesn’t mean there’s no physical reinforcement.

The power of the pureblood shapeshifter splits into two branches: ‘Strength’ and ‘Monstrous Strength.’

One of the secret techniques stemming from the ‘Monstrous Strength’ is ‘Steel Skin’—one might as well call it muscle fortification.

The secret techniques that arise from ‘Strength’ are there, too. Like the knack for making one’s skin fibers tougher.

Heat rises from the pit of my belly. Based on that, I apply the techniques I’ve learned.

I can feel the muscles in both my arms heat up with fervency.

The technique for ‘Steel Skin’ is simple. I tense up the muscles, increasing their density. The hardened muscles become armor in themselves.

To do that, one must control their muscle fibers.

I do just that, and it’s not that difficult.

Hence the hidden shapeshifter technique I’ve learned, ‘Iron Arm.’ With increased muscle density, it creates armor. And my fist is imbued with that same power.

The red pupil within the narrow slit of the Invader’s eyes whirls, trying to find me. But I don’t stop moving.

My thrown fists are flicker jabs.

Stopping defeats their purpose.

I up the pace, keeping it within my distance while not giving the Invader any.

All the while, my feet create that space.

I lean into the flicker jabs, extending my arm elastically.

My arm bends like a whip. I maintain the bent arm’s strength as I throw my fist.

Aiming for the head, as one fist is extended to guard, the Invader squats down, likely planning to rush in if hit.

Everything flits through my mind in an instant; the crouched posture, the guard, my fist.

Whip—my fist reaches for the guard.

Boom!

The guarded metal fist shatters, fragments flying.

The guard breaks apart. It’s a harmony of power and skill.

It requires technique, and for me, it wasn’t hard at all.

Shattered fragments scatter.

Between them, I spot the Invader’s narrow slits for eyes.

There’s no need to hurry.

I maneuver my feet, taking the side position. I repeat the process, throwing punches.

Bang, bang, bang.

Three hits and the guard breaks, exposing the chest.

The chest has the same hardness as the arms.

I feint a punch forward but instead leap into its embrace, sliding my foot between its legs and stabbing with my elbow.

A technique from Bajiquan called ‘Dark Elbow.’

The shapeshifter’s body realizes techniques from the realm of imagination. Just add the knack, and all this becomes possible, too.

Boom.

The elbow is also a part of the Iron Arm.

With one strike, the chest bone collapsed, and the heart inside burst.

With a thud, bright red blood sprayed out.

As soon as I dealt with one of them, I kicked off the ground.

Whoosh, whoosh.

It was an Invader next to me.

They swung their fist, using the death of their comrade as a distraction.

Of course, I dodged it.

My senses were as sharp as a honed blade, clearly aware of everything around me.

I twisted my body, using a strong stance to unleash a kick.

It was a spin kick, making use of the rotational force.

My sole met with the Invader’s elbow.

Boom.

The arm shattered from the midpoint and bent sideways.

The stone arm, even broken, did not bleed. Instead, a viscous liquid like mercury flowed.

The sticky fluid dropped to the ground, and in that brief moment, my fist broke through the opponent’s guard.

Boom, boom, boom.

Then, a straight punch to the chest.

Bang.

No sooner had the second heart burst than another Invader emerged from the hole.

I heard someone cry out in shock.

It was a belated scream from someone who had just noticed the hole.

I ignored it.

To save people, I just had to kill Invaders.

That simple proposition was the only thing left in my mind.

I ran once again.

Two champions charged at me.

I swayed left and right, creating afterimages, and as they did, eight fists launched a barrage of punches.

I saw them all.

I dodged most and caught the last one midway, twisted the wrist, turned half around into the opponent’s embrace as if dancing a tango.

As I embraced them, my elbow swung, soon meeting the opponent’s chest.

Boom!

It took less than five seconds to knock the third one down.

I was getting the hang of it.

Tap-tap, kicking the ground twice, I shifted up a gear.

The fourth thick-necked Invader champion couldn’t keep up with the sudden increase in speed and lost me.

I grabbed them from behind, gripped their shoulder, and stamped my knee into the spot where the heart should be, in the center of the back.

Boom.

Cracks of crisp noise burst forth continuously.

Since they had no mouths, there were no screams either.

The falling figure was an Invader, and my senses sent off a warning.

Turning around, I saw more Invaders pushing out of the hole.

I twisted my body again and swung my left arm.

The motion of my arm started like a pendulum, whipping as it moved.

It was no different from a pulverizer demolishing the entire body of an Invader.

Wham, bam, bam, bam.

I tore through the guard, lunged into any openings mercilessly.

A few steps and I plunged in close, executing a Mu Rim Jeong Joo, or a knee thrust.

Wherever there was a gap, I used my feet as well.

It was pure hand-to-hand combat.

As I moved, adrenaline surged through me.

Fight more, more.

I hoped the Invaders wouldn’t stop coming out of the hole.

The hole seemed to respond to my wish.

Champions kept emerging.

And I was the executioner standing before them.

* * *

“Damn, Seoul’s traffic.”

While the PWAT team was ranked by position, they fundamentally operated in units.

Teams were divided into numbers like Team 1, Team 2, and there were over twenty such teams.

Among them, some were recognized for their exceptional abilities and called Alpha Teams, but usually, the teams in charge of the Seoul metro area were the numbered teams.

Among them, Team Leader Kim Hyo-jin of Team 7 cursed as she was stuck in a completely jammed road.

Whoo-whoo-whoo.

Even with the siren blaring, the jammed road was impassable.

However, it had improved since the past.

Before, some wouldn’t even move aside. They were obstinate, saying what did they care.

It was like obstructing a fire engine or an ambulance was the same as blocking a law enforcement vehicle; one who obstructs keeps obstructing.

But now, in such times, you just push through.

The PWAT team’s vehicles were also armored.

If they block, just smash and break through.

Luckily, there was no longer a need for that.

There were no more arrogant idiots blocking the way.

The problem was the delay had been lengthy.

‘We’re late.’

Hyo-jin couldn’t shake the thought.

At least tens to hundreds of casualties were to be expected.

‘Damn it.’

Her mouth tasted bitter.

There were two main reasons for this incident.

One was the black hole that appeared without warning.

The alert was detected by the Untact Guard before the headquarters, and as soon as the base detected the hole, the alarm sounded.

This meant the door was already opening the moment it was visible.

The second reason was that it all happened ten minutes before shift end.

It was a moment anyone could’ve been caught off guard.

Until now, holes like this hadn’t occurred.

If there was only ten minutes left, it was usually time to rest. If a detection occurred within those ten minutes, the next team would respond as a matter of routine.

Such sudden openings had not happened since the Hughes Gate incident.

“I’m going crazy.”

She grumbled, barely containing a curse.

“Team leader.”

A member spoke up, a new recruit at that.

Her reply was harsh.

Now was not the time for the rookie to approach the team leader.

It looked like the member’s mentor poked the rookie in the side.

The rookie looked upset, then spoke up.

“You should see this.”

“Now you’re playing with your phone instead of responding to a call?”

“It’s not that. It seems… our scene is being broadcasted live.”

“What?”

That horrible scene? Who would be filming?

Those damn broadcasting station bastards.

A murderous intent glimmered in Hyo-jin’s eye.

With a snap, she snatched the smartphone from the rookie.

It wasn’t a hologram but a broadcast screen.

Not a broadcasting station.

“Do you see this? That person, alone, he’s killing them all. Invaders, goddamn, I’ve never seen something like this before. Dear viewers, I am risking my life to broadcast this live. Eh? I really almost died. Eh? So I was just going to look at the hole and leave, but this person suddenly burst out—”

It was an individual live stream.

The person filming couldn’t hide their shock, babbling incoherently.

Hyo-jin was astonished.

Her mouth hung open.

‘What the hell is this guy?’

Could something like this really happen in the world?

Is this even possible?

At a glance, she could tell.

The adversary was Numbering 8 Champion.

One of the worst Invaders you must avoid in close combat.

Normally, if such a creature appears in the city, landmines are laid before they even emerge.

If that fails, then powerful psychics and immortals are called for.

Buying time with snipers, pushing with firepower—that’s the strategy.

Of course, the easier method is laying mines right before the hole.

It’s funny; these bastards are strong on the frontline but weak to attacks surging from below.

That’s why the vertical-oriented explosive mine was invented.

Embedded with sharp blades, the mine was made specifically for Invader champions.

They made weapons for a single type of Invader.

Why?

Because once they appear, they’re tricky to deal with.

A regular transformed being would have a hard time in close combat with one, and that’s why.

Now the figure caught in the personal broadcast left an afterimage.

Even Hyo-jin could hardly see it properly.

It vanished, then reappeared, emerging in front of an Invader leaping out of the hole. A fist rose from below.

Boom!

With a single punch, the iron-made fist shattered, and somehow the Invader’s chest was blown open.

Blood splattered. Red blood whipped through the air.

Then the creator of this work simply left with the sound of feet pounding the ground, rushing towards another Invader.

‘One, two, three, four, five, ten?’

She counted the bodies scattered on the ground.

There were more than ten.

It was a road that had been delayed by a converging set of mishaps.

It was supposed to be a massive accident with hundreds of casualties.

“Unbelievable.”

One of the team members muttered.

The vehicle arrived at the scene.

There were no casualties, an unprecedented event.

Only a special species, covered in blood from head to toe, stood at the scene.

“Phew.”

The special species exhaled deeply and turned around.

“There are quite a lot coming out of this hole.”

He remarked.

“What?”

Hyo-jin asked involuntarily.

Was that what someone says after single-handedly destroying dozens of champions?

Was this even human?

Such questions ran rampant through Hyo-jin’s mind.

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