Genius of unique lineage Chapter 217

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Genius of a Unique Lineage

Today, I Become the Owner of a Building

The place where my Photon Conversion friend lived was a tiny single room. A humble side room attached to the main house. I passed through a narrow alleyway after opening a metal door big enough for one person and saw the door to the room. I kicked the door open. Bang. Inside the shattered door, my friend was just about to put wooden chopsticks into his instant noodles. Fragments from the split door fell into the noodles—it was no longer fit to eat. Of course, even if the pieces hadn’t fallen in, I wouldn’t have let him eat in peace.

“Hey there.”

As soon as I raised my hand to greet him cheerfully, without a groan, the Photon Conversion specialist activated his abilities right away. That is, light started to emanate from his body. Anticipating this, I leaped over the high cement threshold and struck near his temple with the back of my hand. It might have looked like a playful jab, but it was a blow that jolted the brain. My friend’s eyes momentarily glazed over before focusing again. The ability initiation failed as I had shaken his head. Immediately he knelt down. The switch in posture was astonishingly quick.

“I’m sorry,” he said, beginning to speak at length.

Everyone has their own circumstances. Jeong-ah noona, once my mentor, lost her family to terrorists. Panda hyung and Mari were experimental subjects. Of course, this guy probably had his own situation too, regardless of his lengthy explanation.

“I needed money,” he said, grinding his teeth as he spoke, and I could see the sincerity in his words—or at least, that’s what it looked like. He was good-looking, not immortal, but still handsome. Big eyes. His eyes looked like they could well up with tears at any moment, eliciting a sense of looking at a tragic hero.

I sharpened my senses—focus enhancement. I had been diligently using the sense control technique I had learned at the airport from watching Kim Nam. I took in his gestures, breathing, the quiver of his pupils, the movement of his eyeballs, and then I came to a conclusion.

It was a lie.

You couldn’t see it unless you looked closely. Sometimes people like him exist, natural talents separate from their abilities. If he had taken the path of an actor, he could have become a superstar even making it to Hollywood. But, of course, that all depends on what someone wants to do.

My eyes caught sight of the 4th-batter and Jungledo sticks laid in one corner of the room. He must have been continuously trying to sell them since claiming he’d made off with them in his cart. This means his physical strength was satisfactory. And from the fact he joined the battlefield as a sniper, it implies that he polished his sniping skills independent of his abilities. Training for shooting would mean he spared no expense on live ammunition if not affiliated with any company.

He did not hesitate to invest money in enhancing his abilities—a good mindset. And above all, I coveted his ability, even as he tried to flee by transforming into light now and again. His Photon Conversion ability, which is one of the rarer abilities among those with special abilities. There are those who burst into flames, and those who can rapidly cool things with their breath, all of these fall under transformation types. And among these, Photon Conversion is quite unique.

Those with this ability can turn their whole body into light, moving faster than anyone else for a brief time. All attacks phase through after a successful Photon Conversion; you can neither burn nor hit light. However, like most in the conversion class, the duration of ability maintenance is short. Not to say there aren’t those who can sustain their ability for a significant duration. But such individuals are often referred to as Psionic Masters.

A Psionic Master, one of the certificates defined by the Psionic Association. Without becoming a special kind of psychic recognized more than those with double or triple abilities, it’s an elusive title indeed. Some belittle it by calling them ‘Sa-Ma’, short for pseudo-master, but it was nothing to ignore lightly. I had heard that surveillance in the association named ‘Fire Chicken’, a special psychic with a single transformation ability, was called a master.

Considering this, one can see the rarity of the Photon Conversion ability. However, it was disappointing that the maintenance time was limited to about 2 seconds. I saw his abilities in action when we first met. He had survived the collapsing building but ended up panting and hardly able to speak. That was no lie.

I desired his abilities. To me, moral character was a secondary issue. Hadn’t my mother always said?

“People can be reformed; if you know the method, it’s simple. It’s not hard.”

I didn’t agree with her method of mostly using fists and feet and not her mouth. But turning a troublesome thief into a usable person, and to my side at that, seemed quite meaningful. Even looking at it from a community service perspective, it wasn’t a bad thing. I planned to reject him only if he proved unsuitable upon direct observation, but I didn’t get a bad feeling right now. He was usable. His character just needed some tweaking.

At the end of all thought, I asked.

“Do you want to try being reformed into a proper person?”

“…Excuse me?”

“Otherwise, getting beaten half to death and going to the police isn’t a bad option either.”

If he really chose the latter, I planned to beat him to a pulp. It’s only fair that if you steal someone’s belongings, you pay the price for it, right? While pondering this, I sensed someone’s presence from behind.

“Who’s there?”

The landlord seemed to be an elderly lady around seventy. With white hair neatly tied back, she looked at the broken door, her shock evident.

“Carrying out official duty…,” I began when the guy succeeded in Photon Conversion, turning into light and passing through the walls to escape outside.

It must have been somewhat of a gamble for him. With an ability that can only be maintained for a few seconds, if it dissipated while still inside the wall, he would end up trapped. Even without a friendly gangster pouring cement, he’d be inadvertently locking himself in.

Simultaneously as I read the direction in which he fled, I said, “I’ll pay for it all.”

And with that, I sprinted forward, angling my body and ramming the wall with my shoulder. Crash. The wall crumbled. Built in the old-fashioned way, the concrete mass burst outwards. I dashed through the gray dust to see him with wide, frightened eyes. You may phase through walls, but I simply break through them.

“Panting, heaving, gasping for breath, adjusting himself, he finally took a deep breath and finished his sentence.

“That’s what I’ve always wanted in my life. Yes, it is.”

He glanced at me, caught his breath, and finished with another inhale.

“Your name?”

It was only then that I formally asked for his name.

“Han Jung-zik.”

The name is quite something.

“Your parents?”

“I’m an orphan.”

“Age?”

“Twenty.”

“Oh, what has happened here…”

Beyond the destroyed wall, the landlord grandmother appeared, and people began to gather around. Maybe this was a bit too chaotic. I took out my phone. Typically, middle-aged hyung dealt with this stuff.

“Hyung, there’s been some damage to property here.”

“What?”

“Could you handle it, please?”

“Hah.”

Middle-aged hyung was quite adept at handling these things. I could hear his sigh through the phone, but I knew he’d manage it well. If he didn’t, there’d be no reason for me to keep working with him.

“May I at least let go of my neck…,” Jung-zik spoke up.

I looked at him squarely, my thoughts organized.

‘You’ll be my partner,’ I decided instead of giving him a chance to reform. We’ll just go together.

“Really going to do it?”

I heard middle-aged hyung speak through the phone.

Before others could take notice, I moved, asking for the landlord’s account info while still holding the phone with one hand and dragging Jung-zik by the nape with the other. Jung-zik followed me quietly after catching his breath.

“You were surprised, right? If you give me your account, I’ll transfer the money right away. Oh, and this guy will be temporarily vacating your house. You know him, right, this guy?”

“Hello, grandma.”

Jung-zik seemed genuinely respectful with his greetings. I took a moment to grab my two weapons as well.

“Are you really going to do it?”

As middle-aged hyung asked again over the phone, I answered.

“Yes, I’ll do it.”

Currently, middle-aged hyung was going around various government offices on my request. He was handling various tasks like setting up a corporation and other related work. I learned from my parents that if you’re determined, act swiftly without hesitation. If it’s not a matter you can ponder over and resolve, it’s better to take action and learn. That’s why I decided to do this.

Rather than being affiliated with a government or a company, I decided to establish my own. I had to register the corporation and report the business as a security and protection service. There was a lot to do, so I let middle-aged hyung handle it.

Security and protection services. Sounds straightforward, but the companies formed by freelancing special-species individuals are all PMCs—private military companies. The one I’m creating is no different.

I even picked the name.

“Right? Sechoituk? Seems about right?”

“Uh? It is. It’s Sechoituk.”

I was repeating the name when I heard a familiar voice recognize me.

“Grandma, I promise to compensate you.”

I ran off after speaking. If I stayed, reporters and everything else would come. It’s not that I uphold mystique, but I dislike nuisance. There’s so much to do.

The 4th-batter and Jungledo weighted down securely, but I was unimpeded in my run.

“If you try to run this time, I’ll break your legs.”

I worriedly warned Jung-zik about his legs.

“I won’t.”

Jung-zik sincerely replied.

I meant it; if he really ran, I planned to do just that. Perhaps my intent got across, as Jung-zik compliantly let himself be led away. Unable to afford a taxi, we left the scene.

That evening, I became the main character in the 9 PM news.

[Sechoituk, private residential damage, a mutually beneficial win-win end.]

What a headline.

They must have gotten grandma for an interview on TV.

“Well, he paid and left, telling us to fix it up here. So I’m thinking of building a new house altogether.”

With those words, grandma smiled brightly on TV—such a heartwarming smile.

“Hyung, you sure have a lot of money.”

Next to me, Jung-zik spoke.

I couldn’t take him home, so I brought him to Panda hyung for now.

So now, I was at Panda hyung’s sweet home. Thus it was natural that both Jung-zik and Panda hyung were present.

“Just in time, the construction ended. That worked well. You can go there together.”

“Is that so?”

I had planned to save up and buy a building on my own, but I never imagined it would turn into my company’s office.

“Keeping the company name the same?”

As I threw my jacket over my shoulder, Panda hyung asked.

“Yes, NS.”

The company’s name is ‘NS,’ which means ‘Non-Standard’ in Korean. Nothing of great significance. I just hoped the company would turn out to be beyond standard norms. Different from the usual corporations seen before.

I don’t aspire to anything grand. My wishes remain consistent. I want to be someone who kills Invaders. I hope to live well, eat well, and maintain everyday happiness while living in a world with special-species and killing Invaders. Is that too much to ask?

Why? Why can’t it be this way?

They say chasing two rabbits will end up catching neither, but what if I don’t let them go? That was my plan. If anyone knows my thoughts, they might call me an idealist. If so, I’ll just shrug it off. Why should I care what others think?

“When it comes to company operations, I’ll think about what I need to do. But since we don’t have an HR team yet, you’ll have to find people for now, you know that? If you accept just anyone, it’ll end up like Hawlim. Especially considering your recent popularity, people will be clamoring to get their people in. What are you thinking?”

As I left with Panda hyung talking incessantly, I fell into a reverie for a moment, contemplating my future goals.

“Where could my ideal type be?”

Unable to express all these thoughts, I condensed them.

“Didn’t I tell you, your ideal type is in the 2D world.”

Panda hyung said this with utmost seriousness.

He’s a very capable and admirable person when working.

We arrived at our destination, getting out of a taxi.

“This is it.”

Panda hyung straightened his clothes, and next to him, Jung-zik wrapped himself with his own hands, shivering from cold.

Come to think of it, the kid hurried over here without grabbing a coat.

Anyway, the building was in front of me. An 8-story studio apartment building. Fifteen minutes away by car from home. If I run, it’s almost 10 minutes. Far from the nearest Ddukseom station, more than a 10-minute walk. So, neither near the station nor conveniently located.

“It’s expensive.”

Real estate in Seoul is crazy.

“There wasn’t even a security system.”

Panda hyung noted, resting his hand on my shoulder. Yeah, this hyung has done his fair share of work.

I bought an entire studio building. Then I knocked down all the walls except for the pillars on five floors. The top floor and the four below.

It cost a fair amount due to this, involving structural engineers among many others. Although it cost money, its advantages were clear, which is why I did it. Building from scratch takes time, but this was quick. It cost me quite a bit from the savings I had built up—buying a building, changing its structure, installing various security measures, adding training equipment, and turning the top floor into a penthouse. I also made facilities to store all sorts of gear.

While at it, I painted the exterior black. Black that reflected light like silk, a stunning color.

Ah, is this the power of capital? A building bought with my own hard-earned money.

“From today, I am the building owner.”

I got an office building at the same time I started my company. I looked up, taking in the entire structure. The weather was clear, the winter sky high and bright. Sunlight hung around the building’s rooftop.

I felt proud.

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