What universally-used "high-level" language(s) is(/are) the closest to assembly?

My reasons for wanting to introduce myself to programming include wanting to learn through developing intuition how a computer works on a lower level; I want to train my brain to grow and learn through necessity; and, I want to have as much control as possible over each program and each part of each program, and I’m willing to take the frustration and many lines that need to be written and checked for that.

As for language choice, all the above apply; plus, I have caught that languages closer to machine compile faster and programs coded from them run faster and more responsively.

So far I’m leaning mostly toward C, for these and other reasons. However, I have not yet gotten a good enough start in programming to be committed, so I would like to know now if there are any other practically-widely-used computer languages that are closer to assembly even than C is, while still qualifying as “high-level”.

If the personal explanation is over the top, I offer an apology. I don’t mean to ham it up. I ramble when I get excited.

C is pretty much the closest thing to portable assembly. It can be somewhat hard for beginners though.

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