Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 115

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Kikali didn’t ask if it was true, or that he didn’t believe it, or any other question along those lines. Suspicion and mistrust would only insult the great warrior, and compromise his honor.
Pieff was the only one who couldn’t regain his composure.
“Black Mamba. This will be an amazing coup. You will be given the Legion D’Honneur. I’ll remain as a hostage but you must arrest this butcher!”
“My God, this man’s lack of understanding is incredible.” Black Mamba grabbed the back of his neck.
He had brought him along to translate because he said he had been stationed in Algeria, but his Arabic was terrible. He would have been more useful if he had simply kept quiet. He was a fraud who sprayed sand everywhere without wit.
Black Mamba calmly approached him and whispered in his ear.
“Commander, one more word and I’ll beat you up.”
“What? You b*stard!”
Pieff tripped backward. The fear of being swallowed whole by a great white shark engulfed his entire body.
Language was created by the brain. The vocal cords were controlled by the dysarthria, after passing the nervous system and motor nerves. In a situation where someone couldn’t find their words, it meant the loss of the brain’s ability to calculate and sequence vocabulary. Even if there wasn’t a problem with the articulation, a strong shock to the brain could cause muteness. Pieff, who had had his calculative brain compromised, could only roll his eyes.
Kikali lowered his voice.
Many of Habib’s subordinates followed him on instinct.
“Black Mamba. The Tuareg tribe has chosen to walk the path of the Tuareg. Habib is a butcher who knows no honor. I do not want to receive a rotten apple. I decline your offer.”
Kikali narrowed his eyes and turned to look at Saoud, who had just returned from treating his wrist. He smiled. It meant that he was doing well.
“Hmm!” Black Mamba grunted.
This was not what he was expecting. It was a difficult situation, as he had regarded the exchange of hostages as a done deal. His dark, sunken eyes stared at Kikali.
‘Is this the reincarnation of Yeo Po, the icon of betrayal? No, it’s more like the Tumu Crisis.’
There wasn’t a single person who didn’t know of Yeo Po, who was a professional at murdering foster fathers. The Tumu Crisis was the story of the sixth Ming Emperor Zhu Qizhen who was held hostage by the Mongols near Tumu. The Mongol leader Essen offered an exchange for Zhu Qizhen, but his brother Zhu Jianshen refused and ascended the throne. He became the Chenghua Emperor. In short, the Tumu Crisis, was when Emperor Zhu Qizhen was a hostage and he was denied an exchange by his brother.
Kikali was also someone who vied to take charge when his boss was kidnapped. He was like a cuckoo. Black Mamba wanted to hand Habib over black and blue, but now that plan was ruined, he lost his enthusiasm.
‘Should I turn this b*stard into Zhu Qizhen?’
Esen was very clever in trying to return Zhu Qizhen without conditions. The northern faction was in conflict due to the division between Zhu Qizhen and Zhu Jianshen. In the end, Zhu Qizhen was dethroned and assassinated. It would be worth seeing what would happen if Habib learned what Kikali had said before releasing him.
“Do I need to kill them all?”
A thin red aura began to seep from Black Mamba’s eyes. It was the animalistic nature of a Paranthropus. Black Mamba was unforgiving of betrayers and backstabbers. A Paranthropus’ animalistic instinct was violence and full-frontal attack. Many of his comrades held captive would die, but that was their fate.
“I need a more rewarding exchange.”
Black Mamba raised his head. His burning eyes glared at Kikali’s face. In fear, which seemed to stab through his brain, Kikali immediately turned away. Saoud and Pieff came into sight. Saoud was smiling, and Pieff looked as though he might cry.
“It seems like Black Mamba thinks his commander has an inferior combat ability and doesn’t know how to read the situation.”
“Ce mauvais!” [1]
Kikali shook off his fear by giving Pieff a mocking smile. It was the same words Pieff had once said to Sergeant Himlet while testing Black Mamba a year before.
“The reward I want is you, Black Mamba. I want to work with you. I respect your strong combat ability and I’ve been swayed by your sincerity towards people.”
“Are you an Amenokal?” Black Mamba asked out of the blue.
“You know a lot. I am TIbesti’s Atibel [2] Amenokal. [3] If we work together we’d be able to create a Tuareg kingdom, connecting Nigeria’s Bilma and Tibesti regions. There will be over 40 thousand if we unite all the Tuaregs in the Sahel. You’ll become a king.”
“Putting aside the fact I’m not king material, will Libya, who are under Soviet control, watch the Tuareg kingdom grow right under their noses?”
“With your talent and fame, we’ll be able to unite all the tribes in the Sahel. If they can live in comfort without a threat to their lives they’ll support us. If we take over the buffer zone between Libya and Chad, we’ll achieve international recognition.”
Black Mamba looked at the middle-aged Tuareg warrior who was speaking with passion.
‘Did this guy read ‘The Three Kingdoms’ several times or something?’
He sounded like Zhuge Liang discussing the three divisions. His give and take dealings were a mix of Cao Cao and Liu Bei. He wasn’t a cuckoo but a raccoon. He was someone to be wary of.
“I’m not someone who’s troubled by an old Tuareg servant. I’ll pretend that this discussion never happened.”
When Black Mamba refused sharply, Saoud spoke up.
“Black Mamba, sir. How long do you intend to remain France’s knife? Don’t you want to be the owner of a harem with hundreds of beauties under your control? Don’t you want to choose meals served by the best cook in the world every day? The Chinese idea of a plentiful banquet of millions is the dream romance of any man of the desert.”
A smile formed on Black Mamba’s mouth.
‘Could I put Hae Young in that harem? Her mum would appear with a bat in her hand!’
“Saoud, I’m a man of simple tastes, which aren’t enough to keep a woman. I’m satisfied with a single piece of ugali and a cup of date wine.”
Black Mamba paused, and then glared at Kikali.
“I can say one thing for certain. The first problem you Tuareg have is your mentality of victimization and the notion of being a chosen people. Your tribe is still wielding the shamshir and raiding caravans. You long for the slavery of the past and are still using slaves. Isn’t your belligerence the reason why the European powers refuse your independence?”
“Hmm! I see there’s a large cultural and social misunderstanding here. A human’s rank is determined the moment they’re born. Noble blood is different from the very beginning.”
“I believe the status of a human being begins with acknowledging another human being. All you have to do is be loyal to your position as the Tuareg’s Amenokal, while I remain loyal to my role as a mercenary.”
Kikali’s face relaxed. He wasn’t simply a strong man. He was educated and had a resolute personality. He wasn’t someone to be swayed.
“I don’t want to have you as my enemy. We might not be friends, but I’d like us to remain good neighbors.”
“It appears the Tuareg tribe won’t be lost any longer under a leader like you. I’ll accept your request. Allahu Akbar!”
Black Mamba took off his litam and revealed his face. As he extended his right hand, Kikali smacked his palm with the others twice. It was the Tuareg tribe’s expression for agreement and accepting the other as a neighbor.
“Black Mamba, I have a request, too.”
Kikali took out his khanjar. Black Mamba nodded and drew his kukri. It was said that the Tuareg Immoharen’s pride reached the skies. He had also heard that their technique, which had been refined and improved over hundreds of years, was astounding. Of course, someone who talked without experience had to taste the paste to tell whether it was chili or bean. It was the same for him.
The last quarter of the moon hung in the desert sky.
“Oooo, Kikali, Kikali!”
“Immoharen Kikali!”
The guerrillas chanted with torches in their hands.
Kikali wasn’t able to move for five minutes.
His opponent stood with his left hand holding the Kukri limp by his side, without making any defensive stance.
Kikali rubbed his eyes once more. This was the third time. Every time he tried to attack his opponent he blurred as though he was made of magical grains. The moment he relaxed his intention to attack, pressure like a mountain pressed him from all sides.
“As expected, Azrael!”
Kikali relinquished the need to win. This was a human who had overstepped the boundary of being human. He was able to relax, once he abandoned his goal and accepted the exchange as a lesson.
Kikali’s body swayed from side to side.
It was the Mutember that the Tuareg tribe had mastered. With each step forward, there was half a step back from side to side. It was a dance that blurred the attacker’s target point as the distance closed. At the height of its momentum, they were able to move from side to side like water.
“So that’s how he did it!” Pieff exclaimed.
He hadn’t realized when they were fighting but now understood why he had lost. He had waved his hand around meaninglessly at the strange footwork, unable to pinpoint where to strike.
Kikali aimed an extended kick to the lower body with immense strength. As soon as the opponent’s balance was shaken, he would attack with his khanjar. It was Kikali’s strongest move, which made the opponent expect a stabbing attack and thereby create confusion.
Black Mamba hadn’t budged an inch. Kikali, who had made a swipe at his legs, now groaned at the bone-shattering pain. It wasn’t a human leg, but a metal beam.
Kikali’s chest was struck by a palm and he quickly staggered back. It was a single blow of immense power.
Saoud intervened to prevent Kikali from falling over. Thanks to him, he was able to avoid the embarrassment of rolling onto the ground. Kikali shoved Saoud away.
“Thank you for your consideration.”
Black Mamba only smiled.
“Now, let’s go see my friends, shall we?”
“Kanma, no, Black Mamba, sir, we’ve unfortunately had to kill five people,” Saoud said with a stricken face.
“What! You barbaric b*stards! Did you kill some prisoners? Don’t you know what the Geneva Agreement says?” Pieff shoved his finger at Saoud with a reddened face.
Pieff still hadn’t understood just how savage the Sahel really was.
“I’m sorry, but they were critically ill. There are no hospitals like in France out here. Their lives were bound to end in pain. I have been benevolent!” Saoud attacked Pieff in return.
Seeing an old white b*stard acting out in front of great warriors made his mood turn sour.
“Wha… what did you say? You’re a first-rate murderer! I’ll make you stand trial in Paris, no, at the international court!” Pieff jumped up and down in rage.
“Ugh! This b*stard’s driving me crazy.”
Black Mamba was stressed out.
“Commander, this is the Sahel, and we’ve met as enemies. It’s unfortunate, but there’s nothing we can do.”
“Get out of the way Black Mamba. I’ll kill all these b*stards!”
Pieff raised the rifle he was using as a crutch.
A loud crack rang out. Black Mamba slapped the back of Pieff’s neck with his hand.
“You jjonman-ah, I’m sad too. So? Are you going to give up on your life, too? Try rolling around in the Sahel for a month or two, you b*stard, and then you’ll understand what Saoud is saying.”
Doubt suddenly rose in Pieff’s darkening mind.
‘What does jjonman-ah mean? It sounds like a Korean swear word, like nigimi ddugural.’
“Black Mamba. The FROLINAT may disband, but they will never stop tracking you down. The FAP, especially, will attach themselves like ticks. The FAP warlords have decided to let their next leader be the one who takes off your head.”
“Ha, those poor things! What are they going to do with a private’s head? I’ll tell you something. The Tuareg tribe’s Immoharen is my servant. I won’t consider you my enemy in consideration of my servant. Rather, I’ll help if I can.”
“Thank you!”
Kikali lowered his head. The words of a great warrior carried more weight than a mountain. With Kanma’s cooperation, the coalition of the Tuareg tribes would become much easier.
At an hour after midnight, six camels left Boruku Oasis.
On the back of the camels were all those who had been held captive, Pieff, Valboir, Sergeant Centienne, Officer Maxime, and Sergeant Bronin. Their mood had turned into rage throughout the two days due to the violence and the lack of food. Black Mamba wasn’t bothered by his comrades’ moans. They were better off dead if they couldn’t withstand such minor pain. He enjoyed the night air on the head camel’s back as though he had just visited a neighbor.
[1] What an idiot
[2] a large gathering of tawshet, a small tribe
{3} title for the highest Tuareg traditional chiefs
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