Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 632

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“They say that to a founder, the company is more important than their own children. Don’t you find this sad?”
Mu-ssang tried to gauge his uncle’s true sentiments.
“I have sacrificed my own health for this company. Of course I feel sad. I’d be lying if I say I wasn’t. Hyangsim isn’t a conglomerate but it does have 1000 employees and 10 subcontractors. If I fall, all of my employees including their families will be homeless. This is a huge burden to have. The CEO title may sound prestigious but it comes with a hefty price tag. Overall, I feel sad but also relieved at the same time.”
Bak In-bo became silent and looked out the window. The streets were overflowing with people and cars. He reminisced his early days in business, when he had to hustle about with his business on worn-out buses.
‘Hey, 1,200,000 people depend on me for their lives now.’
Mu-ssang laughed internally. This man, who once whipped his nephew with a leather belt after accusing him of stealing money, was now responsible for making the livelihoods of thousands of people possible. His uncle was no longer a mere small town merchant but already a proper entrepreneur.
“You should visit Ulju. There is this man called Min Mu-sik, who is one of the executives of the Fisheries Cooperative Union and owns 2.5 percent, that is 15,214 shares. He asked me to buy his shares, said he needs to buy a ship. He is on my side anyway so if we purchase his share as well, ours will amount to 47 percent. I also have the signed letters from the other regular shareholders. The Jangs cannot do anything now. Their game is over.”
Mu-ssang calculated the shares. Of the entire issued 507,142 shares, 225,857 shares was 44.5 percent. And with the additional 2.5 percent, it indeed added up to 47 percent in total.
“I shall.”
“Filthy wretches! I gave birth and raised this company myself! Do they think they can oust me? They shall never set foot in this building again.”
Bak In-bo gritted his teeth. Mu-ssang looked at his uncle with eyes filled with pity. His uncle was still a slave to his own ego, no different from Jang Pil-nyeo.
“Uncle, what is the point of gaining the whole world, if you lose your friends and neighbors in the process? What good are piles of wealth if you can just suddenly die anytime? You have left your mark in the world, and that’s more than what an ordinary man is able to do. It’s time to leave all of your grievances behind and focus on taking care of yourself. Just look at this apartment where you live on your own, I bet there is not a single plant to be found. I’m sure I will find cobwebs in your rice cooker, and mold in your toilet. Now it is time for you to live for yourself.”
Bak In-bo moaned as if awakened from a deep slumber. All this time he had been so focused on sprinting forward in his career, not once throwing a sideway glance or a look back. Never had anyone said such heartfelt and sincere words to console him. His days were numbered. What good is there to bear hate and rage?
“You’re right, I’ve done my part. The livelihoods of 5,000 people are your responsibility now. It is no easy task!”
The sounds of hollow laughter reverberated in the office. Mu-ssang then turned around without telling him about his mother. Bak In-bo continued to ponder deeply even after his nephew was gone.
Back in Eungsimje, Mu-ssang called for Gim Gi-taek to his study right away.
“How is business?”
“We have two more food trucks. As you suggested, by adding fried chicken and fried chicken skin to the menu, and after switching the fishcake to the one containing more than 70 percent real fish, our customers have increased. There are no disruptions to our business. There are also rumors that the police frequent the place, so plenty of young women would hang out there late at night to fish for boyfriends. I have managed to pay back the amount you lent me to Jin-sun.”
“Is that so? You are great at this.”
“It’s all thanks to your help.”
Gim Gi-taek started to tear up. Given his dark pass, if he had not met Mu-ssang, he would have been gutted and thrown in the Geumho River.
“Haha. It wouldn’t have been possible if not for your hard work. Unfortunately, I need you to yield your business to someone else.”
Gim Gi-taek’s eyes rolled, like those of an ox that had tumbled on ice.
“I need you to take over Hyangsim.”
“Sir, what are you talking about?”
Gim Gi-taek jumped. It was all so unexpected. For him to head Hyangsim was definitely unexpected news.
“Hmm. I think I owe you an explanation.”
Mu-ssang revealed that he is Bak In-bo’s nephew and is also the biggest shareholder of Hyangsim. He also told Gim Gi-taek that his uncle’s days were numbered.
“Bak In-bo is going to die soon? I knew it. There is no God if people like him are allowed to live for so long.”
Gim Gi-taek trembled as he clenched his fists. He was unable to think of anything else upon hearing the name of his nemesis.
‘Huh. He still holds a grudge.’
Mu-ssang understood Gim Gi-taek’s reaction. His uncle was the reason why his once flourishing company went down and was bought off. Gim Gi-taek was robbed of his company, of his home, and was being chased by loan sharks. It was no surprise that Bak In-bo was his nemesis.
Mu-ssang attempted to explain in brief words his uncle’s health, his fight with the Jangs, and the upcoming shareholder meeting. As he spoke, Gim Gi-taek said nothing and just continued to listen.
“My uncle has been repenting the past few days as well. During this shareholder meeting, he will resign as chairman. Once he hands over the company to you, you won’t have to see his face ever again.”
“You should manage the company yourself. I know you better than anyone else, so I know that if you handle the company, it will become the best in Korea, and even in the world.”
Gim Gi-taek insisted.
“I’m just an ignorant man still lacking in experience. There are still a lot of things I do not know and need to learn. Also, you know I am not the type of person to be bound in one place.”
Mu-ssang sniggered.
“I’ve only managed a small factory. I am not sure if I have what it takes to take over a big company.”
“You will still do better than a selfish person who only cares about himself.”
“I’ve failed in my business before.”
“Failure teaches you how to not repeat your mistakes.”
“Am I dreaming?”
Gim Gi-taek mumbled.
“Sir, you owe me one.”
“I know. You saved my family.”
“So this is your chance to repay me. There are many people out there with the skills and experience to run a company, but only a few have a kind heart such as yours. You have handled textiles all your life. Will you be content with just boiling fishcakes and frying chicken?”
Gim Gi-taek felt his heart skip a beat. It was true. He is not getting any younger, and he couldn’t keep driving a food truck around. Most of all, he was indeed indebted to Mu-ssang.
“You will have full authority with me backing you up. You won’t have to worry about anything as you run the business.”
Mu-ssang pushed a pile of documents which include Hyangsim’s financial statements, current states, and list of clients. Gim Gi-taek, who has been staring at the floor all this time, suddenly looked up.
“Thank you, sir. I know I have many flaws, but I will work hard and think of this as payment to what you have done for me.”
Gim Gi-taek gritted his teeth, his eyes glinted with steely resolve. He fully understood what Mu-ssang meant by giving him this opportunity. He hesitated at first because it was all too much. But knowing that he has the strongest man to support him, he had no reason to hesitate at all.
Mu-ssang smiled. Novatopia had a great shortage of textiles and clothes. This is a great opportunity for Hyangsim with a guaranteed additional 1,200,000 loyal customers. Also, although the African market currently had a low purchasing power, but it still had great potential.
“The shareholder meeting is in a week. Meet up with my uncle every evening starting from tomorrow to check on and monitor the state of the company. The Jangs will recommend Jang Gi-su as the new CEO, but I will take care of that. You only have to prepare yourself for the chairman position.”
“I understand. If it were not for you, I would have ended up dead. Now, I will work hard with the mindset of saving others.”
Gim Gi-taek clenched his fists with a face filled with resolve. Mu-ssang grinned and pushed the pile of documents toward him.
“Mr. Gim, I hope we stay on good terms!”
“Don’t be like that, Mr. Bak.”
Gim Gi-taek said. This man has definitely done him a huge favor. He may not be addressing him as such, but this young man was indeed his master.
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On the day before the shareholder meeting, a rumble that sounded like horseshoes pounding the ground, usually associated to Harleys, could be heard resounding along the road. A motorcycle stopped right at the front gate, and a woman in her mid-30s wearing a hanbok, got off from the back seat. Up close, though her overall demeanor and vibe made her seem like in her mid-30s, but her wrinkle-less, pale face was that of someone in her 20s. Just like magic, Gim Mal-sun has returned.
“Sister, I am heading back now.”
Monk Dae-u turned his motorcycle around.
“Great monk, you can’t go right away. Mu-ssang and Jin-sun will be heartbroken.”
Gim Mal-sun held on to his sleeve.
“I can see my fake student anytime. Today should solely be for your family reunion. This smelly old monk will go see Yeong-a instead. I pray to Buddha that your endless grace and good fortune will continue into the afterlife!”
The Harley revved and Monk Dae-u disappeared without waiting for Mal-sun’s response. Gim Mal-sun, confused, simply clasped her hands together and bowed towards the departing motorcycle.
“Great monk, in exchange for giving me a new life, I will return the favor by helping other suffering souls.”
Monk Dae-u was someone who would do other people huge favors and forget about it immediately. If the Buddha’s reincarnation does exist in Korea, he would definitely be the one. Gim Mal-sun bowed for a long time.
Afterwards, Gim Mal-sun turned around and gazed at the huge front gate. She could hardly believe that this palatial manor house was her son’s. She was here just a week ago, but now that she had regained her memories, this all felt very new and unbelievable.
“My son grew up to be a great man.”
Large tears fell from her eyes. She left her son orphaned at an early age due to her carelessness: she was trying to reach out for some pine leaves that were growing among rocks when she accidentally fell off a hilltop. She had no one to blame but herself. Out of guilt, she couldn’t bring herself to ring the doorbell.
But her hesitation didn’t last long, the majestic gate opened wide on its own. Gim Mal-sun entered cautiously. Several fireworks went off all of a sudden.
“Congratulations, Mother.”
Everyone in Eungsimje were shouting, warming up the cold winter air.
“Oh my!”
Gim Mal-sun raised her head in surprise. Before her was a seemingly unending tunnel made of different colored balloons and chrysanthemums. Jin-sun, who was tipped off by Sister Yang, had hurriedly orchestrated this welcome event.
Gim Mal-sun almost collapsed. Beneath the tunnel of chrysanthemums, a strapping, good-looking man stood, grinning back at her. It was her son. He still retained his childhood features. When she saw his smile, her immediately blanked out.
Mu-ssang caught his mother just as she collapsed. Gim Mal-sun was speechless but continued to shed big tears. Images of her son as a boy, who was already so smart and witty then, filled her head.
“Mu-ssang, I abandoned you! I have wronged you greatly!”
Gim Mal-sun wept, unable to say moe. Mu-ssang’s shirt was soaked with her tears. Gim Mal-sun touched her son’s face and her fingers brushed against a scar. The scar left from a puma’s claws and a grazing bullet was slowly fading, but a mother’s hand could still discern it.
“It must have hurt you badly.”
This boy must have gone through so many hardships. The mere thought tugged strongly at her heartstrings.
“Don’t cry, Mother. It’s nothing.”
Mu-ssang wiped away her tears with his palm.
“Sister! It’s me.”
Aunt Hadong said.
The two women hugged each other crying.
Aunt Hadong’s family members ran towards them. Everyone was crying. After an emotional moment, Gim Mal-sun gave an embarrassed smile.
“You have regained your memories, Mother.”
“Yes, I did. You must be Jin-sun. You grew up to be a fine young lady.”
Gim Mal-sun hugged Jin-sun.
“Where are Teacher and Dr. Giz?”
Mu-ssang asked.
“The monk went back to the temple to look after Yeong-a, and Dr. Giz said he will arrive in the evening.”
His Teacher must have meant for both mother and son to reunite and catch up on all the lost years.
“How is Yeong-a doing?”
“The monk is taking great care of her. He refers to her as a student but she is actually more like his granddaughter. They were busy with training so I couldn’t bring her with me.”
When Gim Mal-sun finished talking, a strikingly good-looking man appeared out of nowhere.
“Mother, I’m Dimanche. Let’s go inside as the day is getting cold.”
Kkamdung who is fully suited up, bowed politely.
“Who could this be?”
Gim Mal-sun turned to her son and asked.
“He is my friend and my brother at the same time.”
[Don’t teleport in front of her.]
Mu-ssang glared at Kkamdung in warning. He shouldn’t have made his entrance by soaring across the ground.
“He is even more handsome than my son. Your friendship must be the most precious thing in the world.”
Gim Mal-sun grabbed Kkamdung’s hand to shake it.
“Of course. Friendship is a pact signed for life. Come Mother, let’s go in.”
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Kkamdung answered cheekily as he held her hand while leading her inside.
‘Look at that!’
Mu-ssang was confused. When did Kkamdung met his mother before? Why is he calling her Mother?
Eungsimje was bustling with the sound of people talking. The current ambiance was a stark contrast to that of a week before. Back then, there was still some awkwardness between them. But now that Gim Mal-sun has regained her memories, her cordial personality has returned as well. The women started talking and catching up endlessly. Mu-ssang and Kkamdung didn’t even dare to join their conversation.
Gim Mal-sun’s entire vocabulary seemed to only consist of good, nice, kind, and beautiful. After all, she was a kind-hearted lady and only had positive things to say. Having met Monk Dae-u and now finally reunited with her son, she no longer held any grudges in her heart. The whole world looked beautiful and good in her eyes.
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