Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 638
“Gi-taek, you’ll be late for work if you keep talking to Mu-ssang.”
Yang Mi-ja whispered.
Gim Gi-taek stood. He was too into the conversation that he didn’t notice the passing time.
“I’ll be on my way, sir.”
“No need to rush. No employee likes a boss who comes to work early at dawn. And after work, you should head for Bisan-dong. I always feel great after obliterating a great obstacle! Haha!”
“What are you saying? I should greet you and your wife at the very least. Rest well, Ma’am.”
Gim Gi-taek politely greeted Gim Mal-sun and walked briskly out of the front gate. Yang Mi-ja followed while rubbing her crinkled suit with her palm.
“You look great.”
Mu-ssang smiled contentedly. When both Gim Gi-taek and Yang Mi-ja disappeared from the kitchen, Yeong-hui took the seat next to Mu-ssang.
“I don’t want to move out, Mu-ssang. I want to live here with Mom and Dad.”
Yeong-hui was feeling disheartened. Eungsimje was a paradise. The manor had the vibes of a well-tended park, and the pocket money she got from cleaning the outhouses was pretty good as well. She also had a lot of sisters as well, and the finest bachelor, Mu-ssang, to keep her company.
“Sometimes, you cannot do what you want. Do you want to see your father bow to me, someone who could be his son?”
“Why not? You are higher in rank anyway.”
“Everyone has their own important roles. There is no high or low.”
Mu-ssang chuckled at Yeong-hui’s ignorance.
“But I like living with you.”
Yeong-hui looked downtrodden.
“Humans are supposed to return to their place of origin sooner or later. What Gran meant with salt is actually referring to a person’s character and role. To lose one’s taste means to be unable to fulfill one’s role in life. Just as your parents have finally found good opportunities now because they have fulfilled their respective roles. Your father assumed a big role of managing a company, while your mother assumed her role of taking care of her husband and daughters.”
“But we don’t need to move out. We can just ask Mom to live here with us. I want to live with you.”
Yeong-ji cut in.
“Yeong-ji, the real world doesn’t work like that. Do you think your mother will come here and leave the monk behind? Your family is moving out so that your mother has an excuse to move back in with her family. Your mother is a good person, and she will not have peace of mind unless things go as planned.”
Gim Mal-sun smiled.
“I still don’t get it.”
“Just let it be.”
“But you said one cannot do what one wants.”
“That’s also part of letting it be.”
“Yet, you do whatever you want. You are acting just like the monk grandpa.”
“Well, I am his student so that is to be expected.”
“Oppa, I really don’t want to move out. I think I may be in love with you.”
Yeon-sun smacked the back of Yeong-ji’s head.
“You are still just a baby. What are you even saying?”
“I should move out. I’m scared of her.”
Yeong-ji cried, pretending to be sad.
“Well the front gate is always open.”
Yeon-sun pointed at the front gate. Yeong-hui and Yeong-ji looked disappointed. The two sisters were not able to win against Yeon-sun, who grew up in much more difficult circumstances. Mu-ssang grinned. Yeong-hui and Yeong-ji were eventually defeated. Come to think of it, his mother stood a better chance in this regard.
Yeong-a tottered up to him.
“Careful, lady. You might fall.”
Gim Geuk-do followed, worried. The birds that were hunting by the creek flew around Yeong-a.
“My princess is here.”
Upon sensing Mu-ssang’s approach, the birds fled hurriedly, as if faced with an approaching falcon.
“Come back, birds!”
Yeong-a extended her arms, as several birds landed on her hands and arms.
“How was kindergarten?”
Mu-ssang lifted Yeong-a.
“Yes. I made many friends, and there are many dolls.”
“Do you like kindergarten more than the monk?”
“I like both. The monk fixed my headache and so I am now stronger. Do you want to see it?”
Yeong-a raised her arm and tried to flex muscles that were not there.
“You are such a cutie!”
Mu-ssang rubbed his cheek to Yeong-a’s.
“It stings! I like you, but I hate your stubble. Haha!”
Yeong-a pushed at Mu-ssang’s chest.
“I like you too, but I hate the candy stuck to your hand.”
Yeong-a hurriedly hid her sticky hands behind her back. Her eyes were so bright that there was almost a blueish hue. Yeong-a’s eyes focused on the candy stain on Mu-ssang’s shirt.
“I made your shirt dirty, what shall I do?”
Her big eyes started to tear up.
“This can be washed off. I just hated it because it is not good for your health. Do you want chocolate instead?”
“I love chocolate. Mi-na gave me some yesterday. Haha.”
Yeong-a, who was teary just a few moments ago, looked lively as ever.
“She is indeed my family!”
Something warm soared from the pit of his chest. Just as a new life is born from pain and sadness, so is hope born from despair. A world without a child’s laughter is a dead world, and thus, all happiness began with family. He reminisced on Edel’s ample bosom.
The Golden Bridge which was located off the Coastal Trail hill, was an ordinary cafe that resembled the real thing, with its iron frame and blue observation windows. When one was seated inside, one can catch a vision of the Golden Gate Strait and the Golden Gate Bridge.
But as a large black sedan arrived, it no longer felt like an ordinary cafe anymore. 20 broad-shouldered men dressed like tourists blocked the entrance to the cafe, as the owner hung a “Closed” sign on the door and walked down the Coastal Trail.
A white man, wearing a Panama hat and a gray Burberry coat, got off the vehicle. The man looked around the inside of the cafe before taking off his hat, revealing a man with a lean face, in his early 60s.
It was Henry Davis, who was feared even by the director of the CIA Special Operations, known for their ruthless operations. Henry Davis was in charge of the Socrates Project. He was a powerful man during the Reagan administration, and it was so unusual for him to show himself in the countryside by the western coast.
Davis stopped in front of an antique-looking frame that was hanging on the wall. The frame contained a white text on a red background. It was a scroll referred to as the “Royal Artistic Spirit” by the Freemason. Davis mumbled the phrases.
[At the doorstep of hell
Three shoemakers arrived.
They told the master of darkness
They have something to tell him
The master, with an angered face
To me, hell is
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Only for you.
In front of hell’s doorstep,
There was not a single mason.
The master of darkness
Awaited a hundred, a thousand years
But they didn’t come.
What the masons do is a secret
When they die
They go to heaven directly]
It was a poetic phrase on mysticism and the pride of the elite, just like the expressionless Davis.
“Look at you lingering.”
Davis looked around at the empty cafe.
“Where did you come from?”
A Scottish, coarse voice rang.
“A noble tourist!”
Davis didn’t respond. Suddenly the air in the cafe moved. A silver-haired man in a black Catholic clerical robe and a beautiful woman in tight leather pants appeared out of thin air.
The man held out a palm-sized square plate in front of Davis, as Davis held out a pointed square stone. This was how the Freemasons confirmed each other’s identity.
“I didn’t expect you to come here. Long time no see.”
Davis bowed as Asians do.
“Davis, just call me by my name. I don’t want us to feel distant.”
“You have always been friendly.”
“And you are always sharp as ever. Hahaha!”
The silver-haired man smiled kindly. Davis turned to the woman.
“Matilda. You have levelled up. How long can you use it for?”
“Blind Screen, just five minutes.”
“I wouldn’t qualify it ‘just.’ In that time, an entire troop could already be decimated.”
“I gained wrinkles in exchange for doubling the time. How is Chifon?”
Matilda looked over Davis’s shoulders. The air shifted again and a handful of Matilda’s hair flowed down onto the floor, as if severed by a pair of scissors.
“Your only talent has ever been that: camouflage. And yet you want to fight me?”
Matilda extended her hand as the air shifted once more.
“Chifon has always been shy.”
Davis held up his hands. Matilda lowered hers but continued to frown. Davis was a frightening being, but he also has a great bodyguard.
“Have a seat, sir.”
“All right. My legs have gone numb just by standing.”
The silver-haired man plopped down onto the chair that was pulled back by Matilda. In the meantime, the chair on the other side of the table was pulled back on its own.
“You can show yourself, Chifon.”
A tall black man wearing a metallic cape and clothes made of a bizarre material that strained the eyes appeared. The clothes seemed to come from an SF movie set, but the silver-haired man didn’t pay any attention to them. Matilda glared at the black man.
“Please be brief. Energy isn’t the only thing the old age takes away.”
“The Gorgon in the abyss would laugh if Lamartin says his energy was taken away from him.”
“Can a human evade the universal law of life even as he gained some supernatural powers? Just like her, you gain some, you lose some.”
The silver-haired man waved his hand. The gesture was meant to say that report is due.
“Project Bamboo and Project Green Hammer are proceeding without any problems. We will handle Korea, using Japan as leverage.”
The silver-haired man raised his hand to cut him off.
“We don’t need to talk about the long-term projects. Korea is but a pawn on the chess board. The Soviet Union is to be dissolved. Our focus needs to be on energy and food.”
“Project MK is ongoing despite small obstacles, but Project Cuckoo’s Nest has unfortunately failed.”
“That’s a shame, we put quite some effort into it. How much did we lose?”
“With the loss of the Caparuza Biochemical Plant and the Hasakah Oil Plant, the Mosul, Kirkuk oil plants in Iraq, as well as the oil pipe construction combining the pipes from Syria and Iraq at Al-Bukamal connecting them to Port Beniyas, the loss amounts to 5,000,000,000 dollars in total.”
“Yes. And now, we have a problem procuring oil from the Middle East.”
“The attempt to get Hatay to secede from Turkey must have been foiled as well.”
His wrinkled eyes glinted as he spoke.
Davis bowed slightly. Hatay was a strategically critical area for Freemasonry to operate in public. The unspoken goal of Operation Cuckoo’s Nest was the construction of the Unified Lodge for the Freemasonry.
“I have hidden behind the altar for far too long. There must have been some unforeseen variables.”
“Adam was owned by Abaddon. How stupid. Abaddon is someone who is suspected to be France’s hidden weapon.”
Matilda flinched. They had poured huge amounts of resources to track down Abaddon, but to no avail. Just hearing the name frustrated her.
“He was buried alive when the Levant tectonic plate collapsed.”
“Did you find the body? Or even a strand of DNA? The church has persisted for 2,000 years despite all the persecution, thanks to our accuracy and our habit of confirming with actual evidence. There is no such word as ‘suspecting’ in Freemasonry.”
The silver-haired man’s tone turned terse. The teacups on their plates clanked.
“I see. I will investigate it again.”
“Is Reagan still under our control?”
“It isn’t as smooth as we expected it to be. But since both sides want the same thing, the project itself is ongoing smoothly. They must have caught some hint since they replace all three of their committee members.”
“With his high approval rating, it wouldn’t be as easy to ‘handle’ Reagan as we did Ford.”
The silver-haired man tapped his fingers on the table, driving a hole into the hard mahogany table with each tap. The Ford he mentioned was indeed the 38th president of the United States, Gerald Ford.
Ford survived two assassination attempts, and was the only United States president to do so. Both assassination attempts were at Sacramento and San Francisco, both Californian cities with large Freemason branches. Ford was targetted because he wasn’t too enthusiastic about the Socrates Project.
But when the assassination attempts failed, the Freemasonry pulled a badger game instead to push Ford to his downfall. The world thought he lost his power because of his incompetency and his conflict with the parliament, but it was in fact because of the sexual harassment case that took place in September 1976. Freemasonry had great power but some things don’t always go as expected, even for them.
They dethroned Ford and put one of the Freemasons, a peanut farmer, in his place but to no avail. Carter, scared of how Ford was removed, focused too much on morality and human rights, ended up losing on his second term. The United States, fed up with Carter, chose Reagan who called for “Pax Americana.” The Freemasons’ hard work all became in vain.
“Reagan’s Pax Americana wouldn’t be bad for us either.”
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“Let us see how things play out.”
“Yes. We still have control on the committee anyway.”
“I expect you to handle that with discretion. Anyway, this is the reason why I came.”
Lamartin took out a fist-sized metal box from within his clothes and placed it on the table. The box opened with a click, revealing grayish white powder that looked like bamboo salt inside. Davis stared at Lamartin.
“This is a trace of Ka.”