Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 133
“Hoo, if we had been able to get rid of him then, we wouldn’t have anything to worry about, but there’s nothing we can do now. Think of a way to steer away from the curse. I’ll talk to the oldies in the government.”
After giving his command, Boniface started on his third cigarette.
“Damn, am I another one of his sacrifices? Damn Serpent, I wish he’d stop smoking that fishy cigarette.”
Miguel left the office, clutching at his dizzy head.
“Arago! That damned Arago project, that damned gangster!”
Boniface sucked on the end of his cigarette angrily. The large fear-filled eyes of the children were stabbing at his conscience.
The Arago project was not something he had initiated.
It was the tragedy that Napoleon III had created. In French military history, there is no one as lucky as Napoleon III.
Louis Napoleon was technically the nephew of Napoleon. Louis was the son born between King Napoleon’s younger brother, Louis, and the daughter of Queen Josephine. In Napoleon’s perspective, he was the nephew. In his wife’s perspective, he was the grandchild. If this had happened in Korea, they would have been beaten to death.
Louis had been wandering around like a vagrant before he got the opportunity to gain power in the current political climate. The prisoners and workers had become tired of the government and longed for the return of Napoleon. The business owners hated the socialists, and the workers hated the republican politician, Karenyak. He used that opening to become the president and rose to the throne.
Louis Napoleon had been raised practically like a gangster, so there was no way that he could lead a country with the charisma and skill of Napoleon I. He was ridiculed for being a fake Napoleon all his life. Wanting to raise his self-esteem, he tried to gain power in foreign lands and went around, causing wars around the world.
African Colonization War, Indochina War, Crimean War—he isolated the country through hostility. He dispatched the military to Mexico and got wiped out. He waged war with Prussia and lost miserably. In 1866, he used the excuse of a French missionary being killed to wage a war with Korea. He was obsessed.
In 1865, they had found a unique cave with fossils, in Pyrenees Charle Tortabel. It was unique because the fossils looked like it belonged to a rare species.
The Arago cave gained interest from researchers. The royal intelligence agency was interested in it for a different reason. The people who had traveled into the cave had been found dead, with their bodies twisted grotesquely.
The royal intelligence agency blocked off the cave immediately and started analyzing it.
Three days later, a boy in his teens popped out of the cave. The tiger-like boy started attacking the people of the village.
The walls were broken, and the front doors bashed open. There was nothing that could stop the boy. The boy was strong like a wild bear and as agile as a tiger. He attacked and killed people and animals without any discretion.
The remote countryside of Tortabel became a sea of blood.
The soldiers who were dispatched there focused their energy on trying to kill the boy, but he ended up killing 120 of those soldiers instead.
The Catholic church named Totabel as Satan’s land and blocked people from entering it. Louis Napoleon, who had gotten the information from the royal intelligence agency, thought of that situation differently. He made a terrifying decision. He would erase both men who caused trouble, and looked down on him, at one time.
He decided to figure out the secret of the Arago cave and destroyed his enemies with it. That was how the Arago project started. It was an idea worthy of the narcissist Louis Napoleon.
Many African boys died from the experimentation of the Arago project. There were no changes to the boys who were trapped in the caves. They died painfully instead.
In 1870, after Louis Napoleon lost the war to Prussia, he sought asylum in England. His incredible plan of sending a mutant assassin to Bismarck was soon disbanded.
The Arago project continued secretly even after the death of Napoleon III. In 1910, the royal researchers found a unique chemical that caused the boys’ deaths.
When the unique chemical absorbed water, they found that it proliferated and caused an infection as it entered the body’s system. Back then, there was no concept of a virus. The researchers named this chemical, “excita.”
That winter, Bin Bakarura survived the experiments. He had been kidnapped in the back alleyways of Paris and had been a subject for experimentation.
The third republic government agency raised the child who had lost his memory, as an assassin. Bakarura, who had been injected with the Paranthropus gene, changed drastically. He ran faster than a horse and was stronger than a bull. On the other hand, his intelligence had been decreasing.
It was due to the Paranthropus’s strong bone structure.
As the skull became thicker, there was less space for the growing brain, which resulted in a decrease in his IQ. It was easy to control Bakarura who was intellectually compromised. Government leaders were murdered with no confirmed suspects for five years, since 1912.
The intelligence agency rejoiced, but it didn’t last long. Bakarura, realizing that he was different from other humans, started to act out and became uncontrollable. Eventually, Bakarura murdered the royal agents and disappeared without a trace. 10 years later, he returned as the murderer, Ocelot.
In 1950, the SDECE, which was part of the DGSE, continued the Arago project after they discovered Ocelot. By luck or not, no other mutant was formed after Bakarura.
In 1980, DGSE’s research department, SDECE, took on the Arago project. Boniface became the project’s director. He used Africa as a source for more experimental subjects.
Boniface put out the half-smoked Golnaz angrily. The action seemed to symbolize all the children who had died painfully.
“Hoo, when working for the government, one has no choice but to sacrifice their ideals. If it will benefit the country, then I don’t mind going to hell.”
He shook his head and accepted his fate. Figuring out who would end up as Kanma’s sacrificial lamb was more important.
Boniface’s state was a reaction often seen within an organization that struggled with power.
They brainwashed themselves into believing that their actions were for the organization or country, but in reality, it was just a way to gain themselves power. The motive was to maintain their power and their own safety. The fact that they didn’t realize that, was their downfall.
He had avoided telling Miguel the specifics, but the Black Mamba he had seen in the Sahel was shocking. Black Mamba was a mutant that France had wanted to get their hands on for ages. He was a perfected item. What would happen if the government agents were to get their hands on Black Mamba?
Just thinking about it was terrifying. He did not fear a predator, but he feared an intelligent predator.
Boniface had decided to persuade Black Mamba with everything he got.
Having a scapegoat would not be enough. He held the red phone in his hand as he pressed the button that blocked spy equipment. The list of old men he had to intimidate flashed through his mind.
They were: The Secretary of Defense, Germaine; the DGSE President, Lasco; the Foreign Forces Commander, Dimanche; the Chief of Staff for the tactical team, Montang; the head of the 11 organizations Colonel, Dash; and the government’s Chief financial officer, Perong.
The phone kept ringing.
After finishing a long phone call, Boniface’s face looked distraught.
“The problem is the Cultural Minister, Jacque Long.”
The third thing he needed to take into account other than the sacrificial lamb and allocation of funds was the Legion’s top officer. He was sure that Jacque Long would be furious at the idea of their troops being beaten around by the foreigner, Black Mamba.
“Wait, Jacque Long has a hidden gay lover.”
Boniface smiled bitterly.
“Jang Shin, is there a problem with the vehicle?”
“There is not.”
“Bellman, how did Mike’s surgery go?”
“It ended well. I sucked out Centienne and Emil’s blood and had it transfused.”
“Damned punk, and he calls himself a sergeant.”
Captain grinded his teeth. The person who added Mike as a member had been Pieff. These two annoying men were now lying pathetically like a hot mess. They were in a state of emergency, and to top that off, he had to deal with these two burdens.
Captain yelled out.
“Jang Shin, hurry and pass it around. My stomach is stuck to my back.”
Jang Shin handed out two ration packs to each person.
The mercenaries gulped down the ration packs. It was their first meal in four days. Jang Shin and Emil vowed to never complain about the taste of rations, ever again.
“Wakil, should we cook some ramen?”
“This man is the world’s best butler!”
Black Mamba stared at Ombuti. How fast his learning capabilities must be to be able to read his feelings so thoroughly and quickly.
“I’ve been drenched in too much blood. It’s oily and gross. I was craving something spicy and hot.”
“I assumed you would. I would like some too.”
Ombuti, who had tasted Korean ramen before, enjoyed the spicy and savory flavor of it. It had been a long time since he became a fan of it.
Ombuti brought over a large steaming bowl.
“Wakil, please eat.”
“Wow, it smells incredible. Let’s eat it together.”
Sun WooHyun’s head spun.
“What is this? Who is this sly old dog?”
From the way Ombuti acted, he was obviously a servant. He was perplexed by these thoughts.
He was a sidekick, and the old man was a servant.
He couldn’t figure out whether he should be standing in front of or behind this man.
He felt pathetic for contemplating his ranking, next to an old African man.
“Oh I don’t know anymore.”
He decided to stop thinking about it any further.
Black Mamba called Sun WooHyun, who was standing far away.
“Hey communist, let’s eat together.”
“Quit calling me communist. I am Sun WooHyun.”
Black Mamba made his eyes look big on purpose.
“You weren’t Namir?”
“I don’t have a face.”
“Of course a narochi has no face. I haven’t seen the face of a worm, and I’ve never heard of anyone else seeing it. The truth is, I was contemplating whether to keep you alive or not. It was not in my plan to find out your name.”
Sun WooHyun’s heart felt cold. He had forgotten about that guy’s menace. It meant that he wouldn’t blink an eye while killing someone who had no name. Sun WooHyun realized that the person in front of him really was the Angel of Death.
“Hey communist, they say that you can check out the mountains after you eat. You can finish the complicated dialogue afterward.”
“Call me Sun WooHyun.”
When Black Mamba insisted, Sun WooHyun finally took a seat.
The dark souls who had gone to the army all knew this.
After shooting practice, after finishing their rounds, after building walls, after being pushed around by their superiors—how spectacular that one chopstick full of ramen cooked in a metal pot tastes.
The ramen was shipped from Daegu, on special orders.
The shipping costs were ten times more than the price of the ramen itself. Black Mamba held to heart the words of his father, who said, “you see a person’s true character in front of a meal.”
Shin Ramen was the first Korean ramen created in 1963. Once Lotte and Nongshim jumped on the bandwagon, Korea became the ramen capital of the world.
Black Mamba enjoyed eating ramen too.
Why else would he have shipped ramen all the way to Africa?
He even paid for it with his own money to have it included in the supplies that arrived in the Sahel.
When Sun WooHyun tried to sit next to Black Mamba, Ombuti pushed him away. Then, he pointed to the seat next to him. Sun WooHyun, who had been overpowered, moved with a bitter smile. The old man was no pushover.
Upon tasting the ramen, Sun WooHyun’s eyes got big.
“Comrade, was this made in South Korea?”
The noodles were chewy and savory, and the soup was refreshing and spicy. Sun WooHyun was in love with the taste of the ramen.
“Of course, did you think it was made in Chad? Look at the label. Japanese ramen was nothing in comparison. It’s only oily and expensive. Hey, you can’t go drinking all the soup by yourself.”
“Don’t be so stingy, this is the first time I’m eating this, but you’ve eaten this plenty of times.”
“Oh, you thin little punk. Jang Shin, throw me a pack of steak. I’ll have to fill his stomach if I want him to use his strength.”
“That’s right. You should feed me meat if you want your sidekick to use his strength. Oh, what do you expect me to do if I stay starved?”
The young and old Koreans bickered over the remaining ramen soup. That was the ambitious land of the Sahel.