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Past Life Returner 16
Yesterday, Ulsan became a metropolitan city from a former Company Town, after Sia Motors Corporation went into default. I was in a boxing gym the next day. As my left arm whipped back, my right punch hit the sandbag. (EN: Default is the failure to repay a debt including interest or principal on a loan or security. A default can occur when a borrower is unable to make timely payments, misses payments, or avoids or stops making payments. … Default risks are often calculated well in advance by creditors.)
The sandbag violently rippled, and I was satisfied with the sound the punch made. The entire gym suddenly went silent, and everyone exercising was looking at me. The manager approached me.
“I’m sorry to interrupt you, but are a pro? Who’s your coach?”
“I am not with any gyms.”
“Do you have a license?”
“Are you twenty-one?”
The manager did not suspect a thing, and even I saw that my physique was that of someone in his early twenties. Of course, it could not be helped that my face looked younger. I nodded to maintain my disguise.
As the manager beamed, I shook my head.
“Exercise is a hobby for me.”
“Your talent is stunning. Hit the sandbag again, and let’s see the weight.”
The manager went behind the sandbag and hugged it. He tapped where I should hit it with his palm, the manager’s response had been inevitable.
[Power: F (20)]
[Senses: F (20)]
My stats were near the initial stats of professional athletes. I could move fluidly and accurately like those who have been trained.
I did as he wanted, and the manager smiled after feeling the weight being punched into the sandbag. The manager called a young man, who was someone the gym was raising as a professional. He told me to spar, and I did not refuse. The reason I came to this gym had been for this.
The young man could not control his anger and screamed right after spitting out his mouthpiece. The eyes that glared at me were fierce as he shook with anger.
It was something unimaginable in the future. An ordinary man against an awakened? It was the same for fights between the awakened. Except for comrades who trusted each other, taunting another awakened like that was clearly asking for a fight until death.
No country’s law nor military force would not intervene in that battle. The young man was lucky. Blood was coming out of the ripped glove, and he had to go down from the ring to stop the flow.
I also spat out the mouthpiece. The manager spoke like he had been waiting.
“Hey! Hey! You don’t need to go anywhere, right?”
“Are there any others? I’m barely warmed up.”
“Gichan, go up!”
A new guy called Gichan prepared to enter the ring. He glanced at me as he put the boxing head guard on and bit into a mouthpiece. His gaze was somewhat familiar because hunters looked at guild members from other countries like that. I was a stranger here, too.
The bell rang, and the new guy was slightly better than the previous one. However, he was still at an amateur level, and the only thing I could compliment was that he endured the pain when I accurately hit him in the stomach. However, his movements slowed from then and allowed me to dominate.
The feeling of hitting something was not welcome because I was too weak, compared to the Awakened I remember being. Even as I gave the punch my all, he did not immediately go down. Gichan stumbled and leaned against the corner.
“Gichan, come down!”
The manager shouted.
“I can go on.”
“What are you talking about?”
The manager came up to the ring and sent Gichan down, and began to prepare himself. I didn’t stop him. While the trophies in the showcase were won by the athletes affiliated with the gym, the old picture hanging at the most visible spot in the gym depicted a young man in a fighting pose. He had to be the manager, and the younger version had a champion belt around his waist. Even if he had retired, the manager and previous champion were better than mediocre amateurs.
After allowing a few of the manager’s punches in my face, memories of my first training when I had been an E class flashed by. I had done that training with eight other E classes.
I took a clean hit, and I felt blood in my mouth even while biting the mouthpiece. The manager was going on full force, and he let the muscle memories in his body do their thing.
While his power and reaction speed were not like his professional days, his expertise and skill were not lost despite the time. The manager knew that he could not face me without giving his best, and his smiling eyes turned firm. I threw an uppercut under his chin.
There were many ways to take the manager down when I found a gap in his defense, such as a kick, elbow slam, tackle, and striking inside the fold of his joints. However, I had to follow the rules of boxing since I was at a boxing gym. With a loud thud, the manager staggered. I distanced myself and moved to the corner of the ring. The manager acknowledged the situation.
“Hey! What was your name?”
“It’s Jungho. Jungho Kim.” (EN: Yep, an alias.)
“Jungho, let’s go for the Rookie of the Year Award! You said you don’t have a license. You can do this! Right?”
“…Is there anyone else?”
“Someone who took the Rookie title, or a pro. I still need some more training.”
“I see you have stamina! I know you’re strong, but how about stopping there? You’re rushing things.”
“What are you talking about this being a hobby when you’re that enthusiastic? I’ll set you up with another if you’re going to take boxing seriously!”
It was then a young man who had been standing quietly at a corner of the gym came up. He was wearing black and had been watching us spar after stopping his workout.
“Manager, let me do it. We’re about the same size, and he hasn’t had boxing training. You know that. Letting him go like this is embarrassing for us.”
He had a sharp eye since he was right, I had never received boxing training.
“You said you’re Jungho, right? How about going up with me?”
The man did not wait for my answer and started to wrap his hands. The manager did not stop him, and he came up where the manager had been standing. I looked at him, and he smiled as he spoke.
“I’m a pro, and because of what you said, I’ll go a bit hard on you.”
“How long have you been boxing?”
“I’m a beginner doing jump ropes.”
“Your boxing skills show that, and you were filling that gap with other skills.”
“Are you ready?”
“Let’s go on slowly. I’m not going anywhere. You should take a breath since I don’t want to hear any excuses.”
He was right, and my breathing was rough after taking on the manager for three rounds. I nodded after my breathing calmed down, and no one was doing their own workout in the gym by then.
Everyone gathered around the ring as an audience. From what they were saying, he fulfilled the conditions as I had asked for, as he was a pro boxer in the light heavyweight class. (EN: Between middleweight and heavyweight.)
His name was Daesoo Park, and he was quite well known in the boxing world.
I had three reasons for coming to the gym. The first was to confirm when the title ‘Adversity Overcomer’ became effective. The second was to try to train for combat with my currently lowered stats, as all my battle skills are from my past life, as an Awakened. The third was to secure the stats that I could raise by merely training to my limits. Unless I prepared for everything, I could not even look oward where the dungeon was.
However, as a light heavyweight boxer hammered punches on my face and stomach, I could not ignore the anger that came from deep inside. He latched onto me, and we grabbed each other’s necks as our breathing grew hot and rough.
We went back to our corners as the bell rang in the gym. The people gathered could not hide their surprise when I went against the manager. However, after I fought in the fourth round against a pro boxer, they began to cheer at my punches.
Some of the new members looked like they were rooting for me. Someone gave me a towel to wipe my sweat, and as I wiped the sweat off, I mumbled just in case in a faint voice no one could overhear.
[Name: Sunhoo Na. Stamina: F (2) Power: F (20) Agility: F (13) Senses: F (21) Accumulated points: 87]
Oh! My senses had increased by one. The spar had been fierce like an actual fight, and that was why I must not have seen this message.
[Your senses have increased by 1.]
“Daesoo, you’re not going soft on him, right?”
“That kid…where did he come from? You hit the jackpot today, Manager.”
“Don’t laugh when I’m dying here.”
“You can’t lose, though.”
“Don’t say that. I have to save face as a pro.”
However, Daesoo thought that it would be difficult even as he forced himself to smile. Daesoo stood up as he tapped his head with both of his gloved hands. His eyes grew cold as he stared down at Sunhoo.
“You’ll see me at my best. Don’t blame me for this.”
Edited by Userunfriendly