Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 137
Black Mamba slung his Dragunov diagonally across his shoulders and settled the Pamus on his bike’s handle. The reason he volunteered to be the front scout was because of the underground ambushes.
The FROLINAT commanders weren’t idiots, either.
FROLINAT had lain ambushes around their escape path like a spider web, surprised by the Ratel team’s deadly sniping abilities. It was a self-sacrificing move that would decrease the number of soldiers’ sacrifice and administer additional damage.
The ambushes with the guerrillas, hidden underground with tarps and grasses, were threatening enough. The largest reason why Pieff’s team failed to fight back was due to those ambush units.
It was also a tiresome matter in Black Mamba’s perspective.
His head ached when he continuously used dimensional sight. Sometimes, he had to send out his resonance to ascertain the location of the ambushes he caught in his dimensional sight. His tiredness was bound to build.
The Captain had turned greedy for the fastest course out, now that their supply issue had been resolved. It also meant that he was tired and impatient. Ombuti led the group towards Nedeli, according to the Captain’s wishes. Nedeli and Salae were adjoined. They would be able to leave the Sahel, as long as they entered Salae.
Black Mamba stopped his bike.
He shot twice at the ground’s surface, 50 meters away to his right and left, as though nothing had happened. A while later, the sand turned red. The following vehicles passed without lowering their speeds. It was the fifth repeat of a cleanup since they followed Barel Gazal’s south-heading underground waterway.
Black Mamba stopped his bike once more. He could hear the ringing of camels’ bells, 700 meters ahead.
“Is it the scouting units again? It’s too annoying.”
Black Mamba raised his Dragunov as he complained.
“Stop! It’s a camel sentry. I’m cleaning up.”
The snakehead increased its speed. It fought up the 20-meters-high dune. When he reached the top, he could see the camel caravan of 10 members clearly.
Pa pa pa—
The guerrillas, who were moving unguarded, fell to the ground in a row. Two witty ones hid behind their camel’s bodies, but it was no use. They only brought about the death of two innocent camels.
The camels collapsed after the strong bullets had shattered their skulls. The guerrillas, who jumped out, had their head holed in before they could even drop to the ground. 10 people had been erased off Azrael’s death list in the blink of an eye. The Azrael turned his bike, not wasting a second of his time.
The ambush and scouting units grew in number as they approached the province’s border. The Ratel team headed south at top speed, but Black Mamba was far too tired. A Paranthropus’ body was healthy, but there was a limit to a human’s mental health. The overusing of his mental abilities had brought about his demise.
A groan escaped Black Mamba’s mouth as the sun began to set. The bike lost its balance and wavered. A pain similar to when Chui Do Shik shoved the needle into his brain, squeezed around his head. He felt as though his brain was turning into crushed tofu.
“Wakil, you need to rest.”
There was worry in Ombuti’s tone. His Wakil’s back was soaked in sweat. He had heard his master groan for the first time. This meant that his Wakil was in severe pain.
Black Mamba shook his head a few times before pressing the start button.
“There’s not much distance left. We need to breathe through when we can.”
“No. You need to rest.”
When Black Mamba became stubborn, Ombuti reached out and snatched the bike’s handle away. His Wakil’s soul was of Azrael’s, but his body was of a human’s. To Ombuti, his Wakil’s safety was his priority, and the other mercenaries’ life or death was none of his concern.
“No. This is my first time seeing you like this, Wakil.”
Black Mamba wiped his face with his hands. Cold sweat was rubbed off. His head rang in clanging noises, followed by a headache. It felt as though someone had shoved a metal plate in his head and was hammering it.
“Fine. I’ll take a break.”
Black Mamba got off his bike.
The Captain rearranged the order of the members on board, once he caught up.
“Ombuti, Black Mamba, Bellman, and I will board the Alpha. Valboir and Maxim, get on the bike and follow the Alpha.”
Black Mamba disagreed.
“Wait, Bellman, you take care of sergeant Mike. Lackey, you get on the Alpha first. Emil will be in charge of the M60.”
The Captain nodded without a thought.
The Beta with two patients—Bellman and Bronin, was a target of protection. It was like using one pickup as an ambulance. Jang Shin and Emil boarded the Gamma, which watched their rear. There was an M60 on the Gamma, with their bike and weapon supplies.
Without Black Mamba, the Alpha had to take charge of the front scout. The lackey was previously the FAP’s battle training officer. If Black Mamba placed him in the front, it was the right decision.
The Alpha went ahead, and the vehicles’ distances closed together.
This was due to the nervousness that was brought about by the absence of Black Mamba’s radar.
The Captain flashed the light on Black Mamba, who was on the backseat.
He had closed his eyes. As always, it was hard to tell whether he was sleeping or not.
“Damn it. I’ve rushed too far.”
The Captain blamed himself. He’d been drunk on Black Mamba’s immense physicality.
Black Mamba had been moving and battling without sleep for the past 38 hours. He had erased Hadad army’s advance guard points, lured their main army to Vilma, and cleaned the ambush units without rest. Black Mamba had endured a strong march that even iron man wouldn’t have withstood.
“Those damn b*stards!”
He cursed automatically. He was cursing at the old men who had planned this entire thing, and the FROLINAT’s FAP who attacked without giving up. He was similarly mad at commander Pieff who was laid on the Beta. He still didn’t understand why the commander jumped rashly onto Black Mamba’s strategic mission.
“Comrade Ombuti, stop.”
Sun WooHyun’s Arabic stopped the Captain’s train of thoughts. The moment the pickup stopped, Sun WooHyun shot three times with his silenced Pamus.
He had aimed at the puddle of mud, which was 10 meters away to their right.
Two humans jumped out of the puddle.
The Captain shouted unknowingly. There was no time to react. He aimed his Pamus, but he already knew it was too late.
“You jjon-ganna piece of s***!”
Sun WooHyun’s Pamus spat another round of fire.
The humans, who had jumped out in a ready position, fell with a splash together. Thick mud splattered everywhere.
The surprised Captain swiped down his chest and rose from his seat.
“Wait a moment,” Sun WooHyun stopped him.
Pa pa pa—
He glared at the puddle for a while before opening fire once more. Blood splattered out of the large mud puddle. The wriggling puddle turned calm.
The lackey shouted with confidence.
“How did you know?”
“I used to be a FAP officer. I know those FAP’s battle tactics very well. I saw a small bubble floating up. It’s the method of the Jerero tribe, hiding until the very end so that we’d let our guard down.”
Sun WooHyun was fluent in Arabic, but his French was abysmal. Still, he was at a level where he could communicate.
“I see the reason why Black Mamba sent you to the front. I should seriously consider making a Korean-only special force.” The Captain nodded.
There was nothing normal when it came to Koreans. It seemed as though there would be many advantages in creating a Korean-only special force, like the Gurkhas mercenaries.
Ombuti smiled at the handle.
“Well done, lackey.”
Sun WooHyun turned his head and raised his chin at the recovery of his pride.
The Ratel team, which had started from Tanga and entered Nedeli within the day, had traveled 156 kilometers in total. Nedeli was located south-east of Djourab Erg. There were only 540 kilometers to N’Djamena. They had arrived at the borderline of Kanem province.
“Stop. We’ll eat and wait until the clouds withdraw.”
They couldn’t proceed without Black Mamba’s guide on a dark offroad. There was a large underground waterway passing through Barel Gazal and Chad lake, connecting the Bodele. It was one of the many rare regions where water could be found in the Sahel.
“Captain, if we move according to our speed today, we’d be able to escape those b*stards blockade line by tomorrow.”
Valboir was hopeful, but the Captain’s face darkened. They had gotten rid of seven ambush units during their seven-hour travel. They had also wiped out three entire camel scouts. They had basically left their traces behind.
They might have gotten away today, but the situation wasn’t good.
“Those FROLINAT old men were certainly angry.”
The nearer they reached Kanem and Boruku’s province lines, the more concentrated the ambush and scouting units got. This meant that they had released countless of 10 to 20 member units, after them.
The reason why the Captain’s face turned dark was due to Black Mamba. The situation had never been bright for them from the beginning. Black Mamba was basically the mother hen who led the chicks around. A chick, without its mother hen’s protection, didn’t last a day.
The border was filled with provoked FROLINAT who were prowling like mad hyenas. There was nothing to be done, with a sick mother hen. The lackey’s presence, at least, was like the rain during a drought.
The lackey was paying up for his food, as Black Mamba had believed. Emil had managed to turn the enemies into rags due to his pre-detection of two ambush squads and a camel scout. From team Ratel’s point of view, whose firepower was rapidly declining, they had gained someone worth 10,000 soldiers on their side.
They were in an ironic situation where the French troops who’ve come to their rescue were bed ridden and a burden, while the Korean, who was once an enemy, filled in Black Mamba’s role with half of his abilities. The Captain’s worries didn’t end deep into the night.
The Ratel team was unable to greet the bright morning. They hadn’t been able to pass the border, as per the Captain’s worry. It wasn’t because of the lack of moonlight, but rather, Black Mamba’s absence.
By the time midnight came, the Captain entered the lit-up tent. Bellman, who was clinging to the field bed, raised his head.
“How is he?”
“He’s still suffering from headaches, and there’s a high fever. Pain relievers and headache relief aren’t working”
“And the cause? Is it endemic?”
“I can’t tell. I can only assume things by looking at his immunity. As you can see, all we can do is give him symptomatic therapies by washing him down with cold or hot water.”
Bellman pointed at Bronin, who was wiping down Black Mamba’s body with a wet towel.
“S***.” The Captain’s face hardened.
“Sergeant Bellman, his fever reached 42 degrees Celsius.”
Bellman’s face turned yellow at Bronin’s report. A temperature of 42 degrees Celsius meant that the brain had long turned into soft tofu.
The atmosphere outside the tent was as bad as the atmosphere within. The mercenaries wandered in and out of the tent with concerned faces. Emil and Jang Shin were sitting in front of the tent, like chicks fed with centipedes. They looked like old men who’ve lived out their lives.
“Black getting a fever is something the hyenas would laugh at.”
“Right. What are we supposed to do if he lies down while we move past the border, which is a crucial moment?”
Jang Shin glared at Centienne and Maxim, who were complaining.
“What are we supposed to do? Ha, you’re f******, aren’t you?”
He looked as though he’d hit them both if it weren’t for their ranks.
“Jang Shin, what’s the reason behind that offending glare?”
Emil grew mad at Centienne’s words.
“Black battled for 40 days without sleep. How do you think you guys are still alive? Black saved your sorry a***s from becoming roasted as captives by the FAP. Black is sick because of you guys!”
“What? Black’s sick because of us? That’s ridiculous.”
“You guys didn’t shoot a single bullet after joining us. Don’t you realize who made it possible? If it hadn’t been for Black, you guys would have long been dead. You guys are only thinking of your safety. You selfish b*stards.”
Emil rambled on the thoughts that he’d been suppressing deep inside his mind.
“I’m a non-combat soldier.”
“Oh, I see, then sergeant Bellman must have been mad to run around with a machine gun when he’s a field doctor. He would have killed at least 50 people by now.”
“You s***, how dare you talk like that to a lieutenant.”
Centienne glared when he had no more excuses to make.
Centienne, who had the back of his head hit by a palm, stumbled a few paces forward as though he’d collapse.
“Who the f*** did that?”
“It’s me, you f***er. I want to rip your mouth.”
When a blade flashed before his eyes, Centienne rushed backward in fear.