Genius of unique lineage Chapter 266

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Genius of a Unique Lineage

Everyone has a hidden blade they keep concealed. Thorn Knight’s thorns transform, and its core is the Wheel Knight. True to its Unique Invader nature, it had covered its rear weakness with that transforming thorn armor. How then could it be captured? Crushing each one individually seemed an inefficient waste of time. I chose a more effective method.

Rumble.

A low-frequency roar accompanied by the cries of my mother and Mari, simultaneously released. I mingled in my murderous intent, an unwavering determination to definitively end its existence. This intent became an invisible pressure, crushing the opponent with its weight. To an ordinary person, or even a particularly weak supernatural being, it would have been a pressure that could make them wet themselves or faint.

The unspoken, formless aura of malice weighed heavy in the air, pressing down like a physical force. As this aura threatened to strike at the heart of the enemy, its response was predictable. Thorn Knight focused all its attention on the three of us, the targets that oozed malice, and it had been so from the very start of this operation.

Miho had asked me if I had anticipated this.

“Did you plan this out in advance?”

Of course, I did. Simulations weren’t run on a whim.

While the stage had been set with the help of Panda and Miho, the execution was all from my playbook. While Thorn Knight’s attention was focused on the source of the malice, us three, a flash of light erupted from behind it.

Its body was tough, not something easily broken. Even with its weak point exposed, it had to be finished off in one strike. So the card I pulled was an optical weapon. Kinam’s customized gear—a dagger that shot out beams of light upon contact. With a short grip, Kinam sliced the Thorn Knight from behind, cutting it vertically. Twisting dynamically, the blade went from bottom to top.

The light burst from behind to front. The optical weapon served its purpose. A twisted vertical line was drawn across the Thorn Knight’s body, and from within it, light spilled out.

“Huff.”

Kinam, who had just exhaled, stood behind what had been done. The meshed thorns began futilely scattering. It was over. Mari relaxed the grip on her axe while Kinam looked my way.

See that? I’m this good, aren’t I? Kinam seemed to say with his body language, an obvious thirst for compliments.

I wanted to commend him, just as I was about to speak, Kinam moved his lips first.

“Shi…”

His words were cut short as he suddenly threw himself backward.

“Foiled.”

I completed the sentence. Clattering.

On the ground lay half of the fallen thorn scales, the remainder still attached to the Thorn Knight’s body. In the creature split halfway open, blue flames ignited. I extended my left hand forward, while lifting my right leg to kick upwards at my mother’s wrist, eliciting a burst of explosive power and pressure. The armored gauntlet heeded my will and expanded a barrier field.

In an instant, the Galaxy Field spread before us—Milky Way defense shield, an aura resonating.

Boom!

It was simultaneous—the sound of the explosion coupled with thorns bombarding the Galaxy Field. Several spikes penetrated halfway through the defense shield, a dying creature’s final struggle.

“…That was surprising,” I uttered. What to say, was it fortunate? Without the Galaxy Field, I might have been fine, but my mother and Mari could have been knocked out. Even if they had avoided fatal wounds, serious injury would have been inevitable. It was more efficient to block the attack, and that’s exactly what I did.

I carefully watched Thorn Knight, ensuring it did not stir again. It remained motionless. Just as I was about to take a breath of relief, Mari asked,

“What about Brother Kinam?”

Kinam was close to the origin of the explosion. Blinking several times, I replied,

“He’s fine. The guy’s an immortal.”

Not the sort that would die from something like this. Sure, he was now out of the battlefield, but catching a Unique Invader meant his mission was accomplished.

“Let’s regroup and tend to Kinam.”

It was a relatively easy task.

Look, you Invader bastards, this is how terrifying a prepared humanity can be.

I’ve drifted quite far from the battlefield, the course set by the Thorn Knight’s constant evasions. It should have dropped dead on the spot.

“Shit. Damn. Bastard.”

Kinam hadn’t died. He hadn’t even fainted. His body was half-covered in blood, both eyes pierced with thorns. What he had done at the last minute, I didn’t know, but it seemed he had some kind of protective gear for emergencies. It was no ordinary blast shield, but remarkably, he was intact.

Of course, if a doctor saw him, they’d likely lose their temper, but given the explosion, he was in good shape. Glancing over, I saw gray ash scattering through a tear in his blast-resistant armor. It was single-use protective gear inscribed with a spell.

Pricey, but affordable as a pedestrian spell gear—a scroll concept, something even the black market would trade. Great merchandise if you can’t distinguish between the real and the fake.

Given Ho-Nam’s magical aptitude, he would have procured it. Apparently, Kinam had it without even knowing what it was.

“If you have something like this, you should use it yourself,” I remarked.

Thanks to that, he was well enough to speak. He had lost an eye, parts of his innards, and his left leg had flown off. He’ll need a couple of months minimum to rest.

“Are you alright?”

“Does this look alright to you?”

“Does it hurt?”

“Do you think it doesn’t?”

He’s fine.

“Mari, take him and…”

Before I could finish, a loud sound reverberated, drawing my attention.

A crack between dimensions broke, revealing an unexpected sight.

“Hmm?”

Inside the hall, a gate opened and Invaders began to emerge. They lined up meticulously, each falling into formation, a troop of Invaders arrayed in order.

Their number was formidable. There’s a power to orderly ranks compared to a random assembly, and with that order, the Invaders’ entrance seemed even more formidable. It’s a different kind of Invader, so much so that it stood distinct from the others they had faced.

And then, alongside the blue lightning that accompanied them, I saw the forearm of an Invader. Encased in thick blue armor, it belonged to the Blue Knight.

Their appearance was quicker than expected.

Yet, I was more concerned with the horde of Invaders pouring out before the Blue Knight, furrowing my brows at the unforeseen circumstance.

“NS is a nascent company. We can’t fall behind them,” Chairman Lee Jang-Mo stated.

The four in agreement nodded.

Could the immortals sense the Stealth Knight? They were half-right. They could catch it if they pinpointed a specific region, but how to know where it might be?

Thus, they turned to the power of science.

Just before dawn, before NS had suppressed Thorn Knight, Hwarim was the first to act.

Lee Jang-Mo awaited orders from the command center. Although it’s a special elite strike mission, there’s no reason not to use every advantage at hand, and so they did.

They divided the battlefield, attempting infrared detection. Hwarim’s analysis team was fully engaged.

The body temperature of Stealth Knight exceeded 60 degrees—a little higher than regular Invaders.

“D sector, subsection 3.”

The area was divided alphabetically and then numerically—that’s how they pin-pointed the location.

Five immortals raced there, their senses sharpened. Lee Jang-Mo did the same.

However, locating the Stealth Knight within that zone was a task in and of itself.

The situation was dire.

No need to do so, as they already knew the weak points, and they took full advantage of them.

“Jeong Ho-nam.”

Ho-nam stepped forward.

He aimed the golden revolver, the Spell Gear.

The click of the hammer and the soft thud of the trigger— sounds unfit for a gunshot filled the air.

The bullet, so slow that even those without the reflexes of a shapeshifter could see it, flew and finally touched the Invader. The bullet shattered as if everything was moving in slow motion.

An abnormal event followed the bullet’s impact.

A manifestation of magic, called so because it defied physical laws.

A snowstorm erupted at the point of impact.

Whoooosh.

Freezing was a weakness for both Wheel Knights and Living Armor.

They all slowed down, the storm freezing the Invader’s body.

Kim Han rapidly moved his hands, throwing something into the void without stopping. Fragmentation grenades. Soon, about a dozen grenades fell amongst the Invaders.

Boom!

Allies positioned close to the crack also suffered damage as expected.

A member of the Immortal Special Forces rolled back with a hole in his face.

“Can’t even handle that much? Lacking training.” Kim Han remarked.

After all, this was the responsibility of the Immortal Special Forces.

They attacked relentlessly, disregarding even the Immortals caught in the radius.

That was acceptable.

Immortals don’t die easily.

After all, victory on the battlefield would ensure their survival.

The indiscriminate bombing and freezing proceeded as planned.

Through the frozen and shattered Invaders, Hans spotted a survivor.

Stealth Knights are clever, too clever to get caught in an area-wide attack. That was the focus all along.

The senses of the elite team didn’t miss that.

“He’s escaping.”

It was a Stealth Knight.

They gave chase. Finding them was the problem, not the capture.

That’s why they brought Park Da-ram, the 1:1 expert.

She started running with knives in both hands.

Challenging the enemy after finding him was not difficult.

Especially not with the weapons prepared by Wharim for this occasion.

Park Da-ram swallowed an elixir.

An elixir for Immortals.

That was their prepared card.

Park Da-ram’s thighs swelled as she launched from the ground, the drug not a narcotic but an elixir.

Years of research on elixir humans had finally paid off.

An elixir designed for Immortals.

She instantly caught up to the rear of the Stealth Knight.

The elixir-excited Park Da-ram saw the gleaming blade swung by the foe.

A thin blade, reflecting light.

It was slow to her eyes. She dodged, closed in, and in a continuous motion, thrust her knife up.

Thud.

She plunged it in and dragged it out with force.

Creak.

Her grip strength was several times more potent than usual.

The elixir had granted her the strength of a shapeshifter.

The Stealth Knight barely managed to dodge, and Park Da-ram continued the chase, flipping in the air and stomping on the helm of his shoulder with the centrifugal force.

Crack!

The refined body and strength from the elixir pulverized the Invader’s shoulder. Despite that, the creature twisted and kept moving.

And before him, Lee Jang-mo and the others, also under the elixir’s influence, blocked the way.

“Nowhere to go.”

Wharim’s hidden card was strong and overwhelming.

The Stealth Knight stood no chance.

* * *

Shapeshifters had a drawback— the difficulty of coordinating attacks.

Shifting often meant losing rationality.

Even the most level-headed of shapeshifters could start shouting the name of a lost love once transformed.

Like a drunken ex-boyfriend at 2 AM.

That was the weakness of their transformed state.

Even Wharim’s Hwarang from the Dangun Group couldn’t avoid that.

However, some overcame this drawback.

Not just through training.

They used hypnosis.

After shifting, they used the power of extrasensory abilities to overcome instinct; they trained over and over to fight the hypnosis.

Thus, they honed the sense of controlling their instincts.

Creak.

The body expanded; Kang Ho-eung shifted.

Five other shapeshifters followed.

The Spell Knight created shields and hurled Living Armors like javelins, throwing fireballs too.

The shapeshifters dodged them all.

No matter how swift, they were slower than bullets. Dodging was no challenge. Even the fireball explosions were harmless.

They just had to jump away from the blast range.

The shapeshifters’ capabilities made that possible.

Ho-eung, now in gazelle form, kicked off the ground.

He charged with terrifying speed.

Closing the gap instantly meant no chance for the Spell Knight.

The creature made a last desperate attempt.

Pop.

Teleportation. A spell-induced spatial shift.

But not a great distance.

Kang Ho-eung calculated the gap and the creature’s utilization of the spell.

It was possible because he didn’t lose his composure.

“Chase.”

A word was enough.

All four Hwarangs under his command were beyond first-rate warriors.

Transformed and in control of their instincts, the shapeshifters could discuss being the strongest special species.

Even the squad member who went wild over food now carried candy in his mouth post-transformation. He had even raided a convenience store during a mission.

It was embarrassing to watch him spit out Chupa Chups.

But not anymore.

That shapeshifter, now with a cheetah’s head, sprinted ahead.

He crashed and chased, breaking, smashing, and dodging the Invaders in his path as they pursued the Spell Knight.

At the end of the relentless chase, Do An-gyeol grasped the Spell Knight’s fist.

He didn’t hesitate, tearing at his head, biting his shoulder, and stretching.

The other shapeshifters joined in, disintegrating the Spell Knight in midair.

The purple glyphs that shone over the creature’s body started fading.

The hunt was successful.

* * *

For how long have immortality and transformation been pushed back by time?

“Not anymore,” said the Vice Chairman of the Association, a woman with purple hair.

The Energy Stone provided great potential for the Association.

Not just in Korea, but all over the world, allied Extraordinary Associations conducted joint research.

The research was titled Project PA.

An abbreviation for Psionic Armor.

Their research succeeded.

“Bring it in.”

No matter how sturdy the Iron Knight was, it couldn’t compare to this device, powered by psionic energy.

Atop a dump truck, five heroes of the Association entered the capsules.

Whirring!

With a mechanical hum, armor laced with new materials clung to their bodies.

“Activate.”

At the Vice Chairman’s command, everyone pulled up their psionic energy as hard as they could.

The energy, usually converted into telekinesis, flames, or ice, was channeled into the Energy Stone and, from there, supplied into the armor.

Fwoosh. Woosh!

“Damn, a robot!”

One police officer, always dreaming of such things, admired the Association’s secret weapon as it emerged from the dump truck.

It indeed looked like a robot.

Or perhaps.

“Iron Man?”

It resembled the hero from a famous movie.

Steaming up, the five elite in Psionic Armor levitated.

Whoooom.

They flew with a blue light emitting from the back of the armor.

Soon, they soared towards the Iron Knight.

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