“Lord!?” Jae was surprised, he never thought a homeless man like this would have a name like that, but at the same time, it suited him. He had a very powerful presence and Jae couldn’t help but hang on his every word. If Jae had met this man in vastly better circumstances he might have been convinced that this guy really was a Lord of some kind.
He wondered how someone like this had ended up living under the jungle gym of an abandoned creepy park. Well, life was hard, everyone had their own stories and circumstances, yet Lord didn’t strike him as the type of man to be defeated by life and to end up like this.
Everything about him was so mysterious.
Jae was even more dumbfounded when he looked at Lord’s hand, his fingers were long and slender, and really soft yet Jae could feel his incredible strength. His grip was strong and Jae felt his hand almost being crushed by his.
Was this the hand of a homeless man?
“Wh-where are you from Lord?” Jae asked, “I mean I noticed the accent you don’t seem British, are you European?”
Lord looked at him strangely, there was a scanning almost cautious look in his eyes.
“I am not from here, I travelled quite far to get here.” He simply said.
Jae wondered if that meant he was some kind of illegal immigrant. Seeing how carefully Lord picked his words, Jae decided not to interrogate him further.
“I’m also not from around these parts. Not from the countryside of England that is. I used to live in South Korea.” Jae didn’t know why he felt so comfortable with Lord if anything he should be feeling nervous, but instead, he chatted with him like he was greeting an old friend.
Before Jae knew it he had told Lord his life story. Lord listened quietly, he didn’t interrupt only nodding at parts.
“I was never bullied before, and I don’t intend to stay like this, before the end of the year and before those fuckers graduate I’m going to show them!” Jae proclaimed.
“Well that is if I can train properly” he sighed.
Lord looked at Jae, scanning him up-down, “You said you’ve been regularly training every day for the past six months, what’s your routine?”
Jae thought for a bit before replying, “Well, I normally wake up at 5, I do a 3km run in the morning before I get ready for school. When I get home I do homework or revision. Then in the evening, I go to the gym, I do circuit training, some time on the treadmill, I spend some time on weights, then I focus on the abdominals. Some days I focus on arms and then on legs. Then I get home around 8pm and go to bed. I repeat it all over again until the weekend when I have kickboxing classes.”
Jae had given himself such a strict routine because he was determined to change. When he said it all out loud he realised he did a lot, yet he still wasn’t strong, it was so annoying. Why wasn’t he getting any results?
“And you’re still not forming muscle and your punches are still weak?” Lord asked in surprise.
“Yeah,” said Jae grimly, he was feeling depressed now.
“Can I touch your arm?” asked Lord.
Jae hesitated for a second before he reached out his arm.
Lord began pressing his fingers against Jae’s exposed skinny arm. He pressed down so hard on Jae’s muscles, that Jae winced, it hurt. All the while Lord’s eyes began to glow mysteriously.
Suddenly he let go of Jae’s arm, a disturbed look on his face. Then he weirdly began to laugh.
“To think I found a physique like yours here in these circumstances, what are the odds.” he laughed a little more until he sighed and looked up at the ceiling, “someone up there is really messing with me” Lord muttered.
Jae was confused and weirded out by Lord’s little outburst. “I…I don’t understand is there something strange about my body?”
“No matter how hard you try or train, you won’t be able to improve that body of yours, you’ll always be weaker than your peers. Well, that is if you keep using those ordinary means.” Lord explained.
Jae was confused, “What do you mean?”
Lord sighed and told him, “You have a rare body type. Where I’m from people call it a Void Physique, it’s also known as the Barren Body.”
“A Barren Body can absorb all types of energy, as a result, they’re very versatile. You have the rare and incredible magic resistance, no spells can affect you. However, the issue is that a Barren Body is extremely hard to train. It needs a lot of input to get even a slight amount of output, but if someone with a Barren Body becomes strong enough they can even shatter a mountain with a finger. Your body has the potential to surpass physical limits never reached before. However, most individuals with Barren bodies never realise it until it’s too late, the older they get the more energy their body consumes until it even consumes their own life energy. Eventually, they get weaker and they die. The average life span of someone with a Barren Body is at max 30 years old.”
Jae didn’t know how to respond, he had thought Lord had seemed alright, but he obviously wasn’t sane. Here he was talking about magic and absorbing energies and saying he would die by the age of 30. Jae was only 16, he felt healthy enough even if he wasn’t gaining muscle, saying he would die by thirty was just crazy.
“Of course a man who lives underneath a jungle gym isn’t sane,” Jae thought.
He didn’t want to agitate Lord by calling him out on his insanity, so he just sat there and nodded.
“I…see,” he said slowly, “So does that mean I should give up now and just sit back and wait for myself to die.”
Lord sighed again, “There are ways to train yourself but they aren’t easy methods, your life would also be in danger training that way. It’s not a path you should tread on lightly. If we had met in the past I might have trained you, but I have my own circumstances. My own abilities aren’t what they used to be. If only we had met under different circumstances.”
Jae didn’t know how to feel about this. On a level, he was convinced that Lord was crazy, but he also felt this strange sinking feeling in his gut.
This hopeless feeling.
Lord gave him a resigned look, “I’m sorry Jae.”
“You don’t have to apologise. If you can’t help you can’t help” Jae felt awkward. Lord was obviously talking crazy yet for some reason he strangely believed him.
Jae felt weird now so he steered the conversation to something new.
“I heard this park is filled with creeps, you’re not the only person here are you?” Jae asked.
Lord shook his head, “I’m not. There are others, they have tents or shelters across the park. Some of them do have depraved minds, but most are just lost souls”
“Ah, I see well I’m glad someone nice like you helped me out.”
“I’m not that nice” Lord shook his head, “I was going to ignore you at first, I don’t like getting involved in the business of others. But, then I noticed that some of the others had bad intentions towards you, and you were probably going to get really sick in the rain. So I stepped in.”
Jae went deathly pale, just the thought of people having bad intentions towards him made him scared. He felt even more thankful to Lord.
“You still helped out so you seriously have my thanks. After I find my clothes I promise I’m gonna repay you, I’ll treat you to a yummy meal.”
Lord looked at him with a strange expression, “It’s been a long time since I last ate a yummy meal. I don’t even remember the taste of such things.”
‘Wow’, Jae felt really bad for Lord.
“I promise you, I’m gonna treat you to a great meal.”
Lord nodded, “Well, I look forward to it.”