Genius of unique lineage Chapter 255

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Genius of a Unique Lineage

Battle Date (1)

Shin Joo-ho felt like he was going to die.

The phrase “buried in work” didn’t seem like an exaggeration anymore.

Researching people’s backgrounds was a mountain of work, and leveraging his expertise was crucial.

On his own, the task seemed insurmountable.

He called his family.

Even when he was running a paparazzi company, it was a family business.

They were the ones who would act as his hands and feet.

Of course, there was still not enough help.

He couldn’t just hire new people right away.

The company president may say to hire more staff, but how many people were actually familiar with this kind of work?

“We’ll just have to push through for now,” he thought.

Drip.

That’s when he felt something sticky and wet inside his nose, followed by a warm liquid trickling out.

He thought it was a runny nose.

Blame it on the drastic changes in weather and overwork.

He had felt a cold coming on anyway.

“Honey.”

His wife called out to him.

“Your nose is bleeding.”

It wasn’t a runny nose but a nosebleed.

He pinched his nose as drops of red blood fell to the floor.

He pushed his chair back so none of it would get on the documents he was working on.

“Why are you working so hard?”

His peer-aged wife handed him a tissue and asked.

Looking into her eyes while holding his nose, he remembered he wasn’t the type to work like a workaholic—

“To this extent, anyway.”

It’s not like he didn’t work hard, but never to the point of nosebleeds.

He worked to make money.

If there was no money in it, he would properly let go of the task.

Sometimes, out of compassion, he did jobs that paid less but were done well.

To sum it up, he worked a fair amount at a reasonable level.

So why this sudden change? Shin Joo-ho wondered.

“Why am I doing this?”

What was the reason for working so hard?

There were a few possibilities he could think of.

And one of them was—

“You’re truly remarkable.”

“Haven’t major corporations tried to scout you?”

“Didn’t foreign companies show interest in you?”

All these comments came from Yu Gwang-ik, the company president.

So, it was because of the president.

Who had ever acknowledged his abilities like this?

He had been called a cheating dog, a garbage collector, and other unflattering titles by many before.

But the president had shown him genuine respect.

Their relationship had started off on the wrong foot, but since then—

“I just—”

It seemed too embarrassing for Shin Joo-ho to explain all these feelings.

“It’s hard to see what’s in your heart.”

His wife said that.

As they were absorbed in work, a visitor came to the office.

Knock, knock.

A gentle pair of knocks were followed by the door slowly opening.

“I know you’re busy, I know. But still, have some of this.”

This was a personal assistant to the president, recently hired.

The first thing Joo-ho did was to run a background check on this new colleague.

The assistant had a curious track record, hopping from one company to another, then abruptly quitting to travel the world.

This made digging into their past difficult.

Their messy history was costly in both money and manpower.

This person had to be kept close to the president, a potential risk unattended would be irresponsible.

After some investigation, he learned from former colleagues that:

“Ah, that person. Quite unique, right? Do you know they only have a high school diploma? Wondered how they ever got employed at our company, but they proved their worth. The president really has an eye for talent. Maybe a sort of advanced-level newbie? Despite being new, the work was done often better than by those with experience.”

Even small and medium company owners shared similar sentiments.

“They seemed to have a strong determination. Said if there’s dissatisfaction during the 3-month probation, they could be let go.”

The president could not have known all this. How could one have all such information?

Yet, it was a miraculously well-chosen hire.

The assistant could handle menial tasks and small details, worth ten others.

“Please eat this.”

The assistant said while handing over a small wooden box.

It wasn’t very large—about 30 centimeters tall and 15 centimeters wide—a rectangular box that looked like it might even smell earthy.

“Huh?”

His wife thanked him and received the box first.

As she opened it, a short letter was revealed inside.

It was from the president.

Inside was a rare treasure from Adverside—calendula stone moss, which one had to venture into Adverside managed by Dangun Group to acquire.

“This looks like stone moss, doesn’t it?”

“Seems like it.”

Stone moss, a tonic and energizer several times more effective than ginseng. Anyone, young or old, could chew on it raw to immediately alleviate fatigue—a precious fatigue-recovery treasure.

“A precious thing like this for a mere employee?”

“That’s what I’m saying.”

Mumbling it twice, the wife pulled out one root.

The gray stone moss sprouted tiny offshoots.

They each chewed on a root. There were three in total.

As soon as they ate it, warmth surged from their stomachs.

Though it might’ve been their imagination, they felt invigorated, as if they could punch out an invader that appeared before them.

“Maybe it’s time for a late child?”

Shin Joo-ho suggested, and his wife laughed with a snark.

“Dream on.”

They immersed themselves in work again, acutely aware of each other’s transformations from over a decade of sharing the same bed. The understanding between them seemed clear, at least as much as the stone moss demonstrated concerning the president’s way of treating people.

As they settled back into their focus—

Weeoo, weeoo, weeoo!

Alarms blared from their hologram phones.

Both at the same time.

When their phones, set to vibrate, rang with an alert, it typically meant a safety notification.

Alerts for earthquakes, tsunamis, or other natural disasters.

In a world accustomed to special breeds, this warning sounded rather frequently.

Perhaps because a gate was opening nearby.

Shin Joo-ho unlocked his phone and checked the safety announcement.

Fortunately, it wasn’t about a gate opening nearby.

It was worse news.

* * *

In Seoul, there was a place that had once been known for prostitution. Now it was being redeveloped with new apartment complexes.

In an alley where old traces still lingered, cars could hardly enter the narrow passages.

Telephone poles were erected here and there, and electrical wires crossed overhead.

Suddenly, a black hole appeared in such a place.

It was not huge.

A small hole that looked manageable.

Occurrences like this were not unusual.

Ringed by an untact alert in the middle of the night, two patrol officers came to check.

The officers confirmed it and requested support.

Soon, PWAT arrived.

Three special creatures equipped with gauges arrived.

“A blind dog, Raein,” mentioned one of the special force members.

Hearing this, the junior officer asked,

“Should we call for more backup?”

“We’ll bring our team in and handle it. Leave it to us,” they replied.

“Alright, good luck.”

With that, the officer turned to leave.

The team did as they said.

Another PWAT team arrived shortly.

Now, there were five members at the scene dealing with a “blind dog” line.

A fence was set up around the hole, and they planned to shoot whatever came out.

Officer Raein knew as much.

That’s how they proceeded.

Setting up the fence and blocking around the hole.

Drawing a police line nearby was the rookie officer’s task.

As they mobilized, locals were advised to evacuate.

“Don’t make me leave my shop.”

An angry woman in her early thirties grumbled—a hair salon owner in the neighborhood.

“Yes, but if invaders come out, it’s dangerous. You really can’t enter. If you cross this line, you’ll be arrested for obstructing public duties. Ma’am.”

“I’m not a ma’am!”

She shrieked.

“Look, yelling here won’t resolve the situation, will it? You know the drill. Nothing can be done before the hole opens. Your shop will be fine. This isn’t a dangerous hole.”

The veteran cop who had seen it all convinced her to leave.

“Please take care of my shop.”

The woman, once called ma’am, whispered.

“Of course, don’t worry.”

It was natural to worry about one’s livelihood.

“Hey, talk.”

After sending her away, the senior nudged the junior’s side.

“Yes, sorry.”

“No need to apologize.”

“Everything will be fine, right?”

“What could possibly happen?”

They waited for the hole to open, backed up by more patrol cars lining the area.

It was half out of curiosity that they watched the hole as the five-member special force held their automatic rifles, ready to open fire instantaneously.

“Don’t wet yourself at the sound of gunfire.”

The senior made a joke.

“I was the top marksman in training.”

“I see, how about a bet on our marksmanship?”

“Deal. Bet a blind date?”

“Accepted.”

The rifles pointed at the hole.

If a blind dog jumped out, its body would be riddled with holes in an instant.

And if the pattern repeated, that would be the end of it.

The officers watched for this moment.

Their predictions shattered at the outset.

Crackle. Crumble.

“What?”

The senior murmured as a conical lance suddenly protruded from the fractured fissure.

Since when did blind dogs come with such weaponry?

Never before.

Crack. Creak.

The fissure shattered like glass, and an invader revealed itself.

“Fire now!”

A moment too late, someone from the special force commanded.

Ratatata.

Gunshots reverberated through the alley.

In an instant, dozens of bullets hit the exposed invader.

Tududududung.

Every single one bounced off.

As dawn had not yet broken, sparks flew off the invader’s body in the dim light.

It was an adversary that ordinary firepower couldn’t subdue.

Whining.

Number 65, Wheel Knight appeared.

Whining.

The wheels in place of feet hit the ground, creating noise.

It was the grim end of what was thought to be a light case.

Charging, the Wheel Knight impaled a member of the special force with its lance. The body exploded in a burst of blood.

As it barrelled forward, the lance grazed a telephone pole as well.

Crunch.

Concrete scattered.

One telephone pole tilted sideways, entangling the wires with sparks flying.

Three more invaders emerged from the gate.

Without delay, one right after another.

And the intruders took off running.

The hastily erected fence to minimize damage now became an obstacle for fleeing.

It took no time for the five special force members to be slaughtered.

One barely tried to fight back.

Floating in the air, he attempted to escape.

A flight-capable individual.

One Wheel Knight launched itself skyward.

Using a slanted piece of a telephone pole as a ramp, it propelled upward.

‘…Damn.’

The heavy blow, carrying the full weight, struck the airborne special force member.

Boom.

A hole burst through the hit body, sending it flying backward. The flung carcass crashed into the police car set up by the two officers.

Sirens blared.

Just then, rain began to pour.

A spring shower announcing the season arrived.

The senior officer fixed his gaze ahead.

Fizzle.

Amidst the collapse of the pole causing a blackout in the area, the light dimmed.

The sky, previously bright, now filled with dark clouds, and rain fell.

In an instant, the surroundings darkened, and electric sparkles crackled from the lightbulbs.

Crackle.

Amidst the sparks, a Wheel Knight became visible, glowing blue.

Death was certain.

If the Wheel Knight charged, they’d be reduced to a bloody pulp in no time.

Not even special breeds could handle it.

“Arrrgh!”

The rookie, in panic, drew his .38-caliber handgun and fired.

Bang, bang! Two warning shots trailed by live rounds.

Bang, bang, bang!

Obviously futile. A meaningless bullet hail. Or at least, it should’ve been.

Boom!

The final shot shattered the Wheel Knight’s head.

“…Huh?”

The senior blinked in disbelief.

“Let’s have a date, please. You’re not giving me much help here. I’m upset.”

A woman’s voice could be heard from behind.

“Fine, let’s call it a battle date.”

“A date like this? You’ve got no conscience.”

“Aye, left it at home with my conscience.”

A man’s voice joined in.

Suddenly, as if they had flown in, the pair blocked their front.

A broad back came into view.

‘Huh?’

“Are you alright?”

The woman with the broad back turned and asked.

The senior nodded.

“Uh, there, over there.”

The junior pointed ahead with his finger.

Creeeak.

The air rippled with a growing fissure.

The gate noisily expanded.

The man watched and pondered,

“This feels familiar, doesn’t it?”

“Yes, that’s the one.”

Boom.

From the gate, lightning shot upwards.

What to call it?

Reverse lightning?

Lightning striking up from the ground rather than down from the sky.

“Request backup.”

The man said.

“Huh?”

“Request backup, now. Emergency. A named gate.”

After repeating, the pair finally snapped to reality and frantically shouted into the communicator.

“Emergency, requesting support. Our location—”.

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