Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 87
Ombuti gazed at Black Mamba with awe. Black Mamba shivered at the reverent gaze. Even he found the old Tuareg warrior’s admiration fearful, despite everything else in the world.
Bell Man’s tearful efforts finally shone. The captain, who had begun to breathe, began to sit up with splayed limbs.
“He’s still above average despite being rotten!” Black Mamba murmured in surprise.
He had thought the captain wouldn’t wake for at least another hour. As expected, a body built through battles was of another tier.
The captain shook his head.
His hazy eyes regained their light. Having found his senses, the captain stared at Black Mamba.
“I landed the blows, and you received them.”
“Damn, that’s a crystal clear reply. I feel refreshed after that beating.”
“Should I make you feel even more refreshed?”
“No, thank you, you b*stard. I’d rather go against an African water buffalo.”
The man who had hit and the man who was beaten looked at each other and smiled. Men were simple creatures who worked out their small disputes with fists. The two had shaken their remaining anger away with those blows.
Twenty-six days into the Raccoon mission, the FROLINAT who had suffered a resounding defeat lost track of the Ratel team. The pickup crashed up north 25 miles without meeting any obstacles.
Paya was the Tibesti Province’s greatest northern city.
As the greatest oasis city in the world, it had an airport and hotel, reaching a population of twenty-five thousand. Several thousand in number was a surprising amount for an oasis city.
Paya Largo was Paya’s old name.
Currently, the two names were used together. Paya was used to refer to the city, while Paya Largo referred to the city’s outskirts.
Chad’s security was shot, but they couldn’t just walk into the city with artillery and machine guns, so the mercenaries had to go through another round of sweat-filled shoveling. They stocked their weapons in the two pickups and wrapped them up with a tarp. They pushed the pickups in a hole and covered them up with sand. Such things were only possible because it was a desert.
After finishing their work, Ombuti handed some loose pairs of pants to the mercenaries who were laying down.
“Paya is Chad’s largest city. We need to try not to attract attention.”
The width of the pants was extreme, while the length was short, with several creases all around. They were the type of pants a Persian prince would wear in movies.
The mercenaries’ eyes moved towards Ombuti.
Ombuti pointed at the yellow-brown uniforms that peeked out under their robes.
“There are too many eyes around. You cannot walk around Paya in that getup. These clothes are outer clothes called ‘Sirwal’ that Arabs wear. They’re clothes you wear without underwear.”
“You don’t wear underwear with Sirwal?”
“Yes. Why would you? It’d be too uncomfortable.” Ombuti replied to Emil’s question.
“But don’t you wear underwear?”
“Right. Usually, Bedu or Tuareg people don’t wear underwear. I won’t ask you all to take them off, so just change.”
Black Mamba tried to stop Jang Shin from wearing the Sirwal on top of his combat attire.
“Jang Shin, if you don’t want to be covered in sweat, take your combat attire off and then put it on.”
“It looks weird, but it seems like it’d be breezy.”
Jang Shin struggled with the large sack-like clothes. The Sirwal, which was over six feet in length from the waist, was three to four times larger than traditional Korean clothes.
“I’ll help you put it on.”
Ombuti called Jang Shin over. Usually, the youngest was called to demonstrate under the officer’s order.
Ombuti made him put on the Sirwal and pulled the waistband closed. He then rolled the remaining cloth over and shoved it into the waist. The lower half of the pants were tied between the calf and ankle at the appropriate tightness.
The mercenaries took off their combat pants without protest and changed into the Sirwals. Even Black Mamba took off his pants that were stiff from sweat and changed into the Arab pants.
The loose Sirwal pants had good ventilation and allowed a wide movement range. Their clothes were as amazing as their food. They were clothes that suited the Sahel. He wanted to take off his underwear too, but the cultural difference caused him to remain put.
“Hm, we look like locals who ran away from home.”
They were wearing the Sirwal, the gandourah robes, and had wrapped most of their faces in litam. The mercenaries’ outward appearances looked similar to those of the northern Sahara locals.
They only took their handguns and cold knives as weapons.
Eight large people folded themselves into one pickup. It would have been an impossible number had there been more weapons involved.
Paya was located in the underbelly of the Sahara Desert and Tibesti’s mountain range, one of the places with the least amount of precipitation on Earth. Ironically, Paya’s main production was farming, despite their low precipitation. The secret that made that possible was the underground river.
Marshes appeared in Paya without rain.
It was water that had been dragged up from the underground river. The Bodele depression and the Tibesti mountain ranges provided water that flowed underground, hence the river.
The water that had traveled through the underground river created a large reservoir underneath Paya. Paya was, in other words, a city floating on water. The locals farmed wheat, date palms, and figs using the water pumped from the underground reservoir. Nature’s wonders were too deep and wide for a human’s small brain to comprehend.
The Ratel team, which had entered Paya Largo, headed towards the Le Marien hotel. The hotel was the sole building that was standing tall. A small lowered light blinked in and out in front of the five-story hotel, which was painted gray. The atmosphere was more like a crematorium than a hotel.
“Hey, go to sleep at your house.”
Mike thumped the front desk. The man who had been sleeping on the desk woke up wearing a fuzzy look.
“Four rooms. We don’t need food.”
“Forty francs for one night. You can check out in the middle, but there’s no refunds,” said the African man while half asleep, blaring his flat nostrils and speaking morosely.
“Yeah, yeah, hand me the keys.”
The man looked around at the group with fatigue hanging off his eyelids before opening the key box.
“You can have rooms 316 to 319.”
The receptionist threw them the keys without even checking their statuses.
“Hey, is there an elevator?”
“Take the stairs.”
He waved at the stairs with an annoyed expression. It didn’t seem as though his expression would change even if they waved their guns in his face.
“He’s the laziest worker I’ve ever seen. A boa with a deer in its stomach would be more energetic than him.” Burimer clicked his tongue.
“An abnormal day becomes a normal day if it continues,” said the captain as he patted Burimer’s back.
“Well, would we be surprised if he pulled out a handgun? Battles are a daily occurrence for us, while lazing around is the norm for him,” Mike said logically, which was very unlike him.
Although this didn’t apply to everyone in the world, there were some who turned into logical humans after a beating.
The lobby was empty, and not metaphorically. It was literally empty.
There was just one other person, an Arab with a turban on his head who was leaning against the wall looking at a tabloid called Le Monde.
Black Mamba took a glimpse at the newspaper the Arab was reading.
His eyes were sharper than a hawk’s and more accurate than a German milling machine. He could read the newspaper’s words from 100 feet away.
It was Le Monde’s November 4th edition.
The Ratel team had been sent on the mission on November 3rd. It was a newspaper that was 30 days past its printed date. He could accept the abnormality, since Paya was located on the outskirts of the Sahara Desert.
However, the Arab’s eyes weren’t looking at the newspaper. Whether he was or wasn’t looking at the newspaper, anyone who looked at anything but their own stuff always had another purpose.
‘What a strange guy.’
His blood flow and brain waves had become stronger for a moment, and definitely after he saw the Ratel team.
Brain waves were unleashed. The resonance that unraveled curled around the pillar and turned another corner.
“There’s no current threat.”
Aside from the Arab, who looked around thirty, there were no other humans or other threatening factors.
Black Mamba wasn’t a person who screamed at uncertainty. He climbed the stairs with his team.
Once the group ascended the stairs, the Arab who was reading the news in the lobby slowly began to exit the hotel. The African receptionist also disappeared through the back door.
A pair of eyes followed the Arab who was walking further away. It was Black Mamba on the balcony of his 3rd-floor room.
“Emil, there’s a tail on us. I’m going to get rid of it.”
“Hm, a tail?” Emil turned his head instinctively.
The linen curtains flapped across the empty balcony.
“That f*cking b*stard, he’s left me to face the captain again.”
His behind, which had been kicked at Gudari, began to ache once more.
Paya was a city that the Frenchmen had constructed during its colonization.
There were dense parks in corners of the city that were laid out like a chessboard.
The buildings ranged from wealthy to poor. While there were two to three-floored buildings of red and white bricks, there were smaller houses built from scraps of metal and wood that resembled tents.
Most of the buildings in the French style were built during the colonized age. They were sad old portraits that were sustained over decades without a single attempt at removal.
The Arab walked through the dark paths without a single moment of hesitation as though they were familiar. He crossed the small park and disappeared down a small side road. Black Mamba followed with leisure.
He couldn’t see the back of the Arab’s head, but he was calm, because he was following the man with his scent instead of his eyes. Hiding, intruding, and following were his specialties. He didn’t have a problem even if the smell disappeared. As long as the man remained within a 1,000-foot radius, no living being could escape his dimensional sight.
The Arab’s traces led him to a single-floor red-bricked house.
He brightened, as he had been beginning to feel bored. He leaped up the ten-foot wall without a foothold. His eyes grazed over the inside, and he threw his body up onto the roof.
He could hear the conversation inside without the need to concentrate.
There was a major problem.
All he knew of the Arabian language were a handful of greetings. He knew even less of the language near Morocco. There was no reason to listen in when his brain couldn’t process the data.
There were five presences, and all of them had strong auras. He could even smell the faint traces of gunpowder. One thing was certain: he didn’t know who they were, but they weren’t just average company workers or farmers who raised date palms.
‘It’s violent, but no matter. It gets annoying if there’s a tail after all.’
If he had been a policeman, he would have had to state his purpose at the door to search the premises, but he wasn’t the police.
They were in a situation where they had to run out of Paya the moment they had a connection with the headquarters. He was also worried about his comrades back at the hotel. He had never attacked someone who hadn’t attacked first, but there was no time to waste.
He hooked his foot over the roof’s water pipe and looked inside using the upside down hanging method.
He could see two people conversing on the sofa. The Arab he had tailed was explaining something to an older person.
“Tueme?! (Who is it?!)”
The Arab who saw Black Mamba’s face hanging outside the window pulled out his gun surprisingly fast. His fast movements brought about his tragic end.
Crash— Bang, bang—
His left hand shattered the glass, and his right hand’s Glock smoked. The moment Black Mamba rolled into the living room, the two men with holes in their foreheads slumped forward.
If he hadn’t pulled out his gun, he wouldn’t have died so meaninglessly.
The conversation in the room ended.
He was going to have to do it anyway. He lifted up the three-seat sofa and threw it at the door.
The thick sofa crashed the door apart.
Pu pu pu— Bang, bang, bang—
Bullets flew inside the room as if it was raining. They were all using guns with silencers on them.
The sofa had been bait. His strong left shoulder crashed against the left wall.
Black Mamba flew horizontally through the hole in the brick wall as though he was lying down. He had used the Golden Mile Moving Wave of Fearless Steps.
A thick cloud of dust covered his view but didn’t block Black Mamba’s movements.
The people who were shooting bullets at random fell to the floor. Black Mamba, who was hanging on the ceiling holding onto a lamp, dropped to the floor.
He finally breathed out.
He had taken a single breath to kill the three while throwing the sofa to break the door, crashing through the wall, and hanging onto the ceiling lamp.
All three were in Arab clothing. Two were white, although one looked familiar down to his eyes. He turned the corpse over with his toe.
“Huh? A Korean?” he exclaimed unknowingly.