Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 120

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Pieff pointed towards the back.
“Nigimi joddo!”
Curse words they couldn’t understand popped out of the captain’s mouth involuntarily. Sergeant Centienne and Corporal Maxim who were wavering precariously on the camel’s back came into view.
The condition of the two heatstroke patients did not look good.
The heatstroke patients had been exposed to the dry environment for long periods of time. Heatstroke was not particularly dangerous in and of itself. As long as they were kept hydrated and allowed to rest adequately, they would be able to recover. The problem was the environment.
The Sahel does not have the temperate environment of Corsica. Temperatures of over 25℃, dry winds, burning sunlight and no available shade, combined to create conditions that made it easy to get heatstroke.
If heatstroke got worse, it could lead to hyperthermia. Hyperthermia could be deadly. The body could still control body temperature when you had heatstroke. For three days, Belman put water on their skin to make sure their situation didn’t deteriorate.
“Ombuti, find shade.”
Ombuti led the 11 camels into the shade under a boulder. The midday sun was relentless. Due to the synergy of radiant heat, even under the shade, the temperature remained at 30℃.
“30 minutes rest”
Belman and Bronin spread out a tarp and laid down Centienne and Maxim. “Jang Shin, how much water do we have?”
“We have half a bottle left.”
Belman and Bronin’s expressions grew dark. To lower the temperature of the two patients, they had used up all the water. They had limited the water everyone could drink so that they could use it for the patients.
“There’s nothing we can do. The patient’s come first. Bronin, bring the bandages.”
Belman undressed Centienne and Maxim.
“Oh no, their temperature is over 40℃. Bronin, hurry!”
Belman took their temperatures and frowned. They were both on the verge of reaching hyperthermia.
Bronin brought over the water, soaked bandages and washed down their bodies the best he could.
Belman yelled after franticly searching for a saline injection.
“Nigimi Ddugural! The camel stepped on it. Bronin, do you have saline?”
“Yes, I have two sets.”
“What are you doing? Hurry up and bring it. inject it.”
The commander’s face was grim.
FROLINAT had been quiet for the last few days. It could have been due to the inner conflicts of their military or the fact that they had been traveling by camel. Even though they were not being chased by them, the mercenaries were already in a lot of misery, because of water.
Their water had been all used up to lower the temperature of their patients.
Even the three packs of water Ombuti had got from the Kigali unit were all empty. The problem was that there was literally nowhere to get water.
The road from Djourab to Kanem Province doesn’t have a wadi with flowing water or an oasis. After refilling the water bottles at Boruku oasis, they hadn’t seen a drop. Of course, there was no rain either.
People are not camels.
Even healthy people find it difficult to last under a blazing sun without water for a day. The team members had to dig holes to try and gather morning dew on their tarps.
The commander couldn’t help but sigh.
They were not a rescue team but a burden. After five members were added to the team, their situation had deteriorated. The communication liaison Sergeant Centienne, medic Sergeant Bronin, and rifleman Corporal Maxim were no help in battle tactics. Commander Pieff and Lieutenant Valboir were useless in a desert war.
Sergeant Burimer was sorely missed. Burimer would have been able to find food and water and would have figured out a way to collect it, while they continued to travel. Mike was rough and impatient and so was eliminated. At least Ombuti had found some camel meat that could be used for rations. Without that, they would have had to survive off of scorpions and beetles.
“What is their condition?”
“They’ve got over the worst, but the problem is what will happen in the future. The other members are also showing signs of dehydration. If we can’t find water, there is a high chance that some will get muscle spasms or start to hallucinate.”
“What is the solution?”
“The severe temperature and dehydration is the cause. If they rest for three days and we plunge them into Lake Chari, they will naturally get better.”
Belman described an obvious recovery option that was not plausible at this moment.
“Nigimi Ddugural! The powerful Ratel team has been reduced to toothless African wild dogs.”
“Luckily, Black Mamba seems to be doing fine.”
“Let’s hope so. This sickly pack of wild dogs is leaning on an alpha lion to pass through the territory of hyenas!”
“Commander, your descriptions are getting ever more profound.”
“Shut it!”
The commander’s sighs grew deeper at Belman’s attempt at a joke.
Located in the middle of Chad, the Sahel is the driest desert in the world.
Especially in the north-east, where there are rough rocks and sediment mixed in with the soil, making it barren.
The hot sun and Sahara winds constantly steal any remaining water from the area. The dry earth is easily swept up by the winds. The exposed layers of dirt are then dried again by the sun and wind. This was the reason that the eroded land had expanded so rapidly.
There was no water or plants, so there were obviously no animals either.
Sick of dried dates, Black mamba went out to hunt but couldn’t find an animal worth eating. The only prey he could find were lizards or bugs.
Pieff and Valboir were sighing also.
“Valboir, I can’t lift my head.”
“I feel the same way. Who could have imagined such an absurd predicament.”
“We were supposed to be rescuing them but we have become a burden instead. We’ll be cursed for some time to come.”
Valboir secretly ate a potato. His loyalty to the commander, who was worrying about their status when their lives were flitting near death, had hit rock bottom.
“Wakil, Wakil! Aren’t you able to find groundwater?”
Ombuti whispered in a quiet voice. Black Mamba shook his head.
“It’s too deep. We can’t dig 10 or 20 meters. Even if we could I wouldn’t recommend it. The men who have heatstroke don’t have the muscle strength or the lung capacity of the others. It means they didn’t take good enough care of themselves as mercenaries. We are not weaklings needing protection but battling soldiers.”
Ombuti felt a chill running down his spine.
It sounded like he said he didn’t want to help those who could not help themselves. Wakil was usually soft with those he felt attached to but sometimes he was frighteningly strict.
“But I would like to fill my stomach. I’m sick of dried dates.”
“Do you think a lizard or a rat will fill your stomach?”
“What about a hyena?”
“I’m not sure. It will be hard to find and they eat rotten meat so…”
Ombuti didn’t ask how he would catch one. If Wakil decided to, there would be nothing to stop him.
“Whether it’s good or bad, we’ll find out once we eat it.”
Black Mamba went out to hunt without a gun.
He had eaten a rotten snake in the past so there was no reason he couldn’t eat a hyena.
Kerki, which connected Djourab Erg to the Bodele badlands, was a chaotic environment. The outcrop, that could be seen in the valley, was not created by water but by the wind. The sand from the Sahara winds had piled up to a height of 30 to 40 meters to create massive sand dunes. Between the grass desert, there was a place that is heavily forested as if water had passed through it in the past. In other words, Kerki was the highest peak within the waterless badlands.
Black Mamba activated his spatial awareness skill while standing on top of the dune.
Anything hiding in the ground, crawling bugs and lizards, four-legged mammals, and hopping birds, was caught in his radar.
For the dry badlands, it was not such a low number. But they were all small animals. There seemed to be no larger ones. Black Mamba activated his spatial awareness four times in increments of 1000 meters.
“Is it this guy?”
He felt the gravity of a large mass between rocks. It was similar to that of the puma he had encountered in the cave at Mount BangTae.
Swish… Like a leaf blowing in the wind, his shadow moved. When he passed the dunes and the tree savannah, he saw it standing on top of a large hill that looked like a high stacked cake.
The spotted hyena had rough reddish-brown fur dotted with grey. With the sun behind it, it looked grand as it stood there confidently. They say that hyenas are nocturnal but that must not be necessarily true.
“It will weigh over 80 kilos. We’ll get a good amount of meat out of that.”
Black Mamba’s lips curved upwards. He would soon find out how powerful it was.
The hyena is known to be as skillful as a puma in a fight. In the wild, pumas have often had their kill stolen from them because hyenas travel in packs.
“Oh ho!”
Black Mamba laughed.
The hair on the hyena’s back stood on end as it went into a crouch. It had already decided Black Mamba was prey. In this desolate land, it had never met its match and so it was without fear. Either that or he was just hungry enough to feel the need to attack a human.
Most predators don’t attack humans. It was due to years of genetic evolution that instilled this fear in them. Most animal researchers agree it is because a human’s shoulder is higher.
Black Mamba turned his back on it.
Grr… Afraid it would lose its prey, it jumped off the ledge. It passed the waterless wadi and ran towards Black Mamba.
“Good! That’s a thank you from me.”
He was relieved he didn’t have to go chasing after it. He had tracked the puma to a cave at Mount BangTae, but now his physique was in a much worse state. There was no living thing on this earth that could cause him harm.
The hyena paced back and forth in close vicinity. It was planning to tire out its prey.
Black Mamba watched for the moment of attack. Ohgeumgong was based on the movements of beasts. A beast’s movements are data that will become blood and skin.
Its pulse quickened. Its pupils dilated and looked upwards. Its muscles contracted as its front legs bent slightly. It raised up its stomach and placed all its strength in its hind legs.
Thud… It pounced at him with tremendous force. Its viciousness resembled that of the puma. When it opened its mouth to bite his neck, Black Mamba punched it with an explosive uppercut to its lower chin.
Thud… It was perfect timing and distance without an inch of error.
The creature screeched and tumbled backward, landing on the ground with a thud.
The hyena didn’t have time to scream.
Its whole body trembled and it collapsed. The predator had become the prey. That was the end of the hyena.
“Whoa, he sure smells.”
Black Mamba lifted the beast over his shoulders and returned to base.
The mercenaries cheered on one hand and were dubious on the other.
The meat of a predator was usually not tasty. Especially hyenas which they knew to eat rotten meant. Their eyes looked suspicious as to whether they could eat it. Black Mamba didn’t pay them any attention. He had a different reason for capturing the hyena.
Blood can replenish water, minerals, and vitamins.
“Belman! Feed Centienne and Maxim blood.”
Belman clapped.
“Wow, medically, that is the best method.”
Jang Shin hurriedly ran over with a water bottle. With familiar skill, he cut the artery of the hyena and filled the water bottle with its blood. He handed the water bottle to Belman and then chopped off one of the back legs. He wanted to try to see if they could eat it.
Pieff, who had tasted barbecued hyena, frowned.
“Jang Shin. I can’t request a souffle but this is tougher than the leather of my army boots. Even with herbs, it would be awfully stinky.”
Jang Shin turned to the rest of his comrades with an uncomfortable expression on his face. Everyone shook their heads.
“Jang Shin, I’ll admit it, the fried scorpions tasted better.”
Emil’s words hit the nail on the head.
Jang Shin swallowed his tears and gave up on the hyena.
Black Mamba shook his head.
‘I guess you’re still not hungry enough.’
“Jang Shin, do you have the ssamjang I left with you?”
“It’s similar to dog so it will taste better with ssamjang for flavor.”
Black Mamba cut into the hyena’s back leg with a knife, slathered it with ssamjang and ate it. Ten different expressions stared back and forth between his mouth and the meat.
It smelled awful but that wasn’t bad enough to make it inedible. Compared to centipedes or beetles, it was much better. It was just their prejudice towards it.
He ate the entire leg and then stood up.
“You can eat it or not. I’m going to sleep.”
Either way, the plan was to feed the patients with blood. In case of emergencies, he had to get some sleep any spare moment he got.
Emil whispered to Jang Shin.
“See, a servant is different.”
“The idiots who don’t know the world of real cooking can get lost.”
Jang Shin, who had got his confidence back, yelled.
Belman woke up Black Mama.
“Black. I’m sorry but I need you to find me some more blood.”
“I’m not a magician.”
Black Mamba shook his head.
“Look, I’m not a vampire. The results look good. I’m asking you as a favor.”
Belman said firmly again.
“It’s hard to find a large animal…”
It was a bother but he couldn’t say no when the patients needed it.
Someone got caught on his radar. He was close, someone that was not there a few moments ago.
‘Is it someone that was returning after going out?’
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