To Hell With Being a Hero! - BestLightNovel.com
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Chapter 174. Belonging, For, and By the Choi Family (4)
From the perspective of a gardener instead of an architect, Chi-Woo would’ve been a very picky seed. It wouldn’t be enough to just plant it in suitable soil and water it like other plants; each and every part of its growth process must be tended with care before it would sprout and bear fruit. In other words, Chi-Woo needed management that perfectly catered to his needs from start to finish in order for him to grow. If even one condition wasn’t met, he would wither without blooming a single flower. Thus, before Chi-Hyun began, he grilled Chi-Woo about everything that had happened since he came to Liber and until Chi-Woo met him.
“Tell me that part again in detail. What did you say you drank there?” Chi-Hyun specifically asked for more details about Chi-Woo’s life in the cave. And after hearing the story, Chi-Hyun checked Chi-Woo’s body personally, touching a few parts in particular and using a tiny amount of mana to investigate.
“Would you give me an answer now?” Chi-Woo asked nervously after Chi-Hyun pulled his hands back. “What do you mean that I’m a mess?”
“Your body is a mess,” Chi-Hyun said bluntly. “Your physique is too poor for you to use your skills.”
Chi-Woo furrowed his brows. He didn’t know about the other aspects of himself, but he had a hard time agreeing with what Chi-Hyun just said. After all, his user information told him that he possessed a perfectly balanced body that most humans couldn’t compare to.
“But the Golden Ratio—”
“Only the ratio is good,” Chi-Hyun cut him off. “Don’t fool yourself. Golden Ratio is an inherent ability and not the result of your efforts.” It wasn’t an ability Chi-Woo achieved through blood and sweat; he was effectively an ordinary person who had suddenly received a tremendous gift. It was only natural that Chi-Woo would have no idea what to really do with it.
“And even that ratio is becoming distorted.”
Chi-Woo flinched and wondered how Chi-Hyun knew.
“At this rate, Golden Ratio would regress to rank AA,” Chi-Hyun said.
While Chi-Woo was locked inside the secret room, Mimi had said something to the effect. It was when he, under Philip’s suggestion, opened his user information to check how many merits he had acc.u.mulated. Seeing how many merits he needed to upgrade Golden Ratio, Chi-Woo realized something was off. Before, he had needed 2,178,675 merits, but when he checked it in the secret room, the number had increased to 2,217,392. Chi-Woo knew he hadn’t remembered wrong. There was a discrepancy of 38,717.
In that regard, Mimi had also expressed her concerns. To make an a.n.a.logy, if Chi-Woo was studying a particular subject to level 10, and he was already at level 5, where he knew half of the materials, he would need to study five levels worth of more materials. Should he fail to study properly and forget what he had already learned, causing his level to drop from 5 to 3, he would have to study seven levels worth of materials. That was essentially what had happened to him.
“There are several things in this world that don’t lie. Do you know what they are?”
Chi-Woo shook his head at Chi-Hyun’s question.
“Data and statistics.” Chi-Hyun tapped the user information displayed in the air. “It’s all in here too.”
8. [Golden Ratio AAA] – … While the skill creates the best body a mortal could have, if the user’s physical abilities are originally low and lacking, the effects of this ability will only be semi-permanent, and the user will only be able to maintain it through continuous training.
“See, your physical abilities started out low and lacking.”
“And it’s a semi-permanent ability that can only be maintained through continuous training,” Chi-Hyun said, emphasizing one word in particular. To maintain a semi-permanent skill, one must fulfill the conditions to make it permanent, and Chi-Woo hadn’t been able to do so the entire time.
“But I trained…every day…”
“Really? What did you do?”
“Uh…I ran…” Chi-Woo stopped talking and looked embarra.s.sed. Now that he thought about it, it really didn’t make sense that all he ever did to maintain an AAA ability was running and doing push-ups. Running had been difficult at first. He heaved before he could even finish a single lap, but after coming back from the cave, running dozens of laps no longer tired him. He thus increased the number of laps he ran to raise the intensity of his training. But looking back, this was all meaningless. He had become too complacent, satisfied with the fact that he hadn’t skipped a single day of training. But that only fulfilled his self-satisfaction and couldn’t be considered true training. Without even realizing this fact, he had complained that he made no progress and envied Ru Amuh.
“You at least know to be embarra.s.sed.” Chi-Hyun snorted. “The time you spent in the cave was poison to you.”
“To call it poison might be going too far…”
“No, it was poison,” Chi-Hyun said firmly. “You only acquired loads of power you can’t even digest properly. That’s why you are in this current state.”
“What do you mean I can’t digest it?”
“If what you told me is true, it doesn’t make sense your exorcism mana level is only D after eating and drinking so much of that good stuff. The things you failed to digest probably seeped into your veins and blood.”
“Isn’t that good?”
“…But didn’t you say that you made a contract with La Bella?” Chi-Hyun looked baffled.
Chi-Woo nodded. He had sworn to La Bella that he would fix everything that harmed the balance on Liber. A vow made to a G.o.d wasn’t to be taken lightly in any way, and it was necessary for a hero to progress. The vow didn’t apply only to the outside world, but also to the hero himself.
“You said she was the G.o.ddess of scales and the guardian of balance, right? You think she’d be pleased to see the power she gave you clumping up throughout your body and harming your internal balance?” Chi-Hyun said. Somewhere they couldn’t see, La Bella slapped her lap in agreement and eagerly nodded.
“It harms my balance?”
“Did you not read your user information? Or ever study Core of Balance?” Chi-Hyun repeated the phrase ‘seeks absolute balance’ several times out loud for emphasis. “This is a skill given to you for your growth. Don’t you think then that you should center your progress around it?”
Chi-Woo pouted slightly as Chi-Hyun kept badgering him.
“…Then, what should I do?” Chi-Woo asked, and Chi-Hyun calmed his breathing. Chi-Woo had a remarkably good body and an engine; the problem was the fuel that moved him. His current fuel didn’t match him, and there was too little of it. It was like he was pus.h.i.+ng his body to run hundreds of kilometers with enough gas for only one kilometer. It might work out in the end once or twice, but if he continued on like this, his body might fail to endure anymore and end up breaking down; once the engine broke, he wouldn’t be able to run ever again.
“First,” Chi-Hyun stretched his neck and continued, “Let me just beat you up a bit.”
Chi-Woo looked at his brother like Chi-Hyun wasn’t making any sense, but the only response he got was the sound of Chi-Hyun’s knuckles cracking. Chi-Hyun stomped forward, and Chi-Woo instinctively backed away.
“You’re going to hit me? Why?”
“Hearing you out gets on my nerves.” Chi-Hyun bared his teeth. “Now that I think about it, it’s only right that you get hit for doing something wrong. This is for your own good, so stay still.”
Chi-Woo was completely baffled. “Wait—kuh!” He couldn’t resist even one bit. And as soon as he realized something was wrong, Chi-Woo doubled over in pain. Chi-Hyun had landed a blow in the center of his stomach.
‘He hit me? For real?’ Even his mom and dad never hit him before. And things didn’t end with just one blow. When Chi-Woo collapsed, Chi-Hyun began to pound on him mercilessly as if he had been waiting for the moment. He punched and kicked Chi-Woo in several places, spreading his. .h.i.ts throughout Chi-Woo’s body evenly.
“Ah! Urgh! Kuh! Kkurgh!” Chi-Woo felt like he was dying. Chi-Hyun hit him so hard that sparks burst wherever he got hit. It felt like Chi-Hyun’s blows had pa.s.sed through his skin and penetrated deep into his muscles and organs. Chi-Woo tried to resist in his own way after a while and cursed, questioning if Chi-Hyun was really his brother.
However, it was all futile. Chi-Hyun swung his arms and legs without rest with an extremely intent expression. Thanks to his efforts, Chi-Woo was simultaneously feeling intense pain from the top of his head to his toes.
“Kwackkkkkkk-!” Chi-Woo even squealed like a pig getting beheaded and collapsed. But even then, Chi-Woo did not stop beating him up.
Slam! Chi-Woo’s eyes burst open as he was strongly kicked again. ‘…Ah?’ It hurt. It hurt so much that he felt as if he was going to die. In fact, it would have been normal for him to lose consciousness and faint by this time. However, Chi-Woo’s mind felt clear; no, if he wasn’t mistaken, it was getting clearer. And he felt another change.
‘What, what—?’ Chi-Woo felt an inexplicable pleasure despite the immeasurable pain. He was aware that it sounded a bit perverted, but his pain was undeniably sprinkled with intermittent sparks of pleasure. Something hard and stiff in his body softened, and things that felt stuck burst open. It felt as if hot liquid from deep inside his body was flowing out. An unknown and pleasant stimulus made his whole body tingle. He didn’t know how much time had pa.s.sed, but as Chi-Woo’s pain subsided, Chi-Hyun’s breathing grew harder. Finally, Chi-Hyun stopped kicking and knelt on one knee, struggling to breathe with his head low.
“…Huff! Huff!” Chi-Hyun panted like a person who had just dived into the ocean to their limit.
“…Why are you…having a…harder time than me…” Chi-Woo struggled to speak as intense pain and an unknown stimulus warred in him.
“d.a.m.n…you….” Chi-Hyun gasped as if he would collapse at any moment and steadied his breathing. “How much holy sacrament did you f.u.c.king eat…how much holy water did you drink that…you’re still…”
The various foods Chi-Woo ate and the holy water he drank just like ordinary water in La Bella’s paradise hadn’t disappeared. It merely changed shape and got absorbed into Chi-Woo’s body. Chi-Woo lay down and looked up at the sky in a daze. A strange sensation engulfed him, and he felt air currents fluctuate all over his body. This sensation didn’t come from the outside, but from within himself. Same with the energy. He felt as if he was getting hit by a heavy waterfall.
“Get up. Even if it’s painful, move your energy through your body. Based on your user information, you should know how to do it, right?”
At Chi-Hyun’s urging, Chi-Woo closed his eyes. Chi-Hyun frowned when he saw his brother curl up. “What are you doing?”
“You told me to move my energy.”
“…You’re moving your energy like that?”
“Yeah. That’s what I learned.”
Chi-Hyun quickly observed Chi-Woo’s flow of energy and was flabbergasted. “Who taught you that?”
“Why? Is there a problem?”
Chi-Hyun became speechless. Strictly speaking, Chi-Woo wasn’t using the wrong method. He didn’t know who taught Chi-Woo how to move his energy, but he was at least grateful to that person for teaching Chi-Woo the basics. However, there should be a limit to how basic it could be. Chi-Woo’s current method of moving his energy was the basics of the basics—essentially, it was the practice people did so that they would be able to do the basics.
“Seriously…do you have a middle-ground…?” Chi-Hyun lamented and asked, “Did that blonde guy teach you how to do that?”
“Huh? How did you know? You know Ru Amuh?”
“d.a.m.n it.” Chi-Hyun got up as if he had expected this. “From now on, let whatever that guy teaches you go in one ear and out the other before you ruin your body.”
“Why? I like it.”
“I’m not saying it’s bad. It’s not a matter of good or bad, but a matter of efficiency.” To put it simply, Chi-Woo might as well be trying to get into an Ivy League school after learning 1+1=2. This was impossible for even geniuses. In the end, it was a problem with Ru Amuh’s teaching rather than a problem of talent. There was a reason Ru Hiana complained about Ru Amuh’s teaching method.
“Sit up and get into a lotus position.”
Chi-Woo propped himself up while grumbling, but he soon tilted his head. “Lotus position?”
“There’s no point in talking.” Chi-Hyun sighed and helped Chi-Woo get into the posture, putting his hand on Chi-Woo’s back. “Close your eyes and focus.” He carefully sent a bit of mana into Chi-Woo’s body. “Breathing is important for this method. Even a stray dog can do this if communication is possible, so carefully listen and follow what I say.”
“Take a deep breath and exhale whenever I tell you to. Remember the way your energy moves.” Chi-Hyun added that Chi-Woo would be worse than a dog if he couldn’t do even this. Then he stabilized the energy flowing every which way throughout Chi-Woo’s body and began to direct it in a specific direction. “Slowly breathe in.”
Every time he heard his brother’s voice, Chi-Woo focused on the flow of energy within him and slowly breathed.
The more Chi-Woo breathed in and out, the more his chaotic energy calmed down. It didn’t take long for his energy to stabilize, moving in one direction and swirling through his body.
‘Uh…?’ Then it hit home. Like boiling a leg bone twice to make a deeper flavor or skimming foam from soup until there was only clear broth left, the filtered pure energy was refined once more—resulting in 100% pure energy with not even a fragment of impurity rather than 99.99%. Of course, the total amount of energy Chi-Woo possessed had decreased after the refinement, but the amount he could gather was incomparably greater compared to the previous method. Chi-Woo couldn’t help but admit that his brother was right.
It wasn’t time to get distracted though. He focused on his energy flow as his brother had told him to. Chi-Woo was drawn by the strange phenomena happening inside his body and quickly fell into a trance.
–Yeah, that’s right.
Philip watched the two at work bemusedly.
–It should be like this.
Chi-Woo had received a considerable amount of energy, and all his acupuncture points had been completely opened up. In ordinary circ.u.mstances, Chi-Woo’s exorcism mana should have already broken through S rank and gone up even higher. Or it should be at least A rank. Philip had confidently told Chi-Woo that he’d teach him, but in reality, he hadn’t taught Chi-Woo much of anything. It wasn’t because Philip was lazy or unwilling; he simply couldn’t teach him.
As a hero who had left a clear mark in history, Philip could clearly see and sense Chi-Woo’s unstable state the more he understood Chi-Woo’s condition. It was not something to carelessly mess with. Philip thought that the only way to solve Chi-Woo’s problem was to gain real life experience. During life and death situations, there were times when a person’s survival instincts kicked in, and they unconsciously exceeded their limits out of pure desperation. Philip had hoped Chi-Woo would go through something like that, but to his amazement, Chi-Hyun was forcing this reaction out of Chi-Woo. Even though it was a violent, straightforward method, it was extremely effective. Once Chi-Hyun corrected Chi-Woo’s growth and stabilized his condition, Philip would finally be able to teach Chi-Woo his techniques and vision without hesitation.
—Look at the s.p.a.ce he created and his teaching method. I guess a brother is always a brother.
Philip said with a smile.
—Don’t you think so too? Mademoiselle?
[f.u.c.king b.a.s.t.a.r.d. s.h.i.+tty punk. f.u.c.king h.e.l.l. f.u.c.king evil b.a.s.t.a.r.d….]
For some reason, Mimi sounded extremely furious. What in the world happened to her?
Philip slowly moved away.