Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 140
Now that Black Mamba had recovered, he had been forgotten and overshadowed by the chaos that Emil’s near-death hypothermia had brought about. The fact that Black Mamba had collapsed was a new deal for the mercenaries. Of course, there were two who didn’t forget.
When Sun WooHyun turned around, Ombuti had an evil look on his face.
“Wakil regained his strength by drinking that grass brew.”
The words “grass brew” were slightly accented.
“You petty old man!”
“Hehehe, Wakil said glass beads must be strung together to turn into a treasure.” Ombuti left, parting those frustrating words.
Sun WooHyun’s face crumpled. He became impatient. Ombuti was asking him to prove himself. He would have to show some actual results to be acknowledged by Black Mamba.
Sun WooHyun did not realize that Ombuti spoke out of his own will.
“That rotten old man is a servant with some nobility!”
Or so he thought, but his insides were burning. There was an ominous feeling that his position was going to be decided. No, there wasn’t even a confirmation that Black Mamba would take him in.
“There’s no other way but to attach myself.”
Sun WooHyun was resolved. He was going to be a part of the family, regardless if he was a servant or a slave.
No one thought of waking Black Mamba until the sun rose. No one dared to approach except for Ombuti, who brewed tea for his master’s morning with a bright face. Sun WooHyun shook his head. Fanatics who chanted their fatherland’s name wouldn’t be able to reach that old man’s level of devotion.
Mission Raccoon, Day 41.
Black Mamba’s health and Emil’s rising from the dead raised the mercenaries’ morals. However, their situation couldn’t be resolved with simple morals. The Ratel team had been pushed back by 120 kilometers from Nedeli to Koro Taro. They could cross over from Beurkia to Salae with one more step, but taking that step would be difficult.
The FROLINAT’s defense line turned stronger the more they traveled, and the net distance continued to decrease. They had to turn the handle towards Borkou province since they had failed to pass the blockage, despite Kanem province’s border being at the tip of their noses.
The moti tactic of destroying the enemy’s small units and hiding their traces didn’t reap any more effects. Soldiers crawled out of the anthill endlessly. The FROLINAT’s determination in catching the Kanma and nailing him against a palm tree was unbearable.
Koro Taro was at the tip of the Bodele Depression’s north-east regions. The temperature differences during the day reached 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. The mercenaries became wary after Emil’s hypothermia experience and became more concerned with their personal hygiene. Still, everyone’s conditions were poor.
Pieff’s group members, who were rescued by Black Mamba, were in terrible condition. They were suffering from PTSD caused by the war, on top of dysentery, causing more problems for the Captain and Bellman.
The Captain could only sigh. Black Mamba could have broken through the enemy’s defense lines if Pieff hadn’t come. They weren’t a rescue team, but an escape deterrent instead.
Ombuti had been traumatized by Black Mamba’s blackout incident. He blamed himself for having faith in his Wakil’s tremendous physical strength. He realized that his Wakil might have the Azrael’s soul, but his body was still that of a human.
He once heard that his Wakil’s hometown had clear differences between the four seasons. The temperature ranged between 10 to 15 degrees Celsius, even during the worst days. A human’s body adjusted to its environment. Ombuti believed that his Wakil’s body had received continuous shocks from the Sahel’s violent climate.
The temperatures fluctuated by 30 degrees Celsius in the Bodele Depression and Djourab Erg. One had to avoid the wind and prevent their skin from touching the air during sleep in order to maintain body temperature. Ombuti was born in the Sahara. He knew this better than others.
He dug a pit and gathered rocks which had been heated in sunlight during the day to be buried. On top, he laid palm tree leaves that he had gathered and dried reeds. It wasn’t his sleeping place, but his owner’s.
Black Mamba, who tried to stop Ombuti’s devotion, ended up surrendering with both hands and feet. Ombuti was acting for the greater good by satisfying himself and was exemplary of Laozi’s unbending will. No one could stop his actions, so there was no need to refuse his sincerity and cause him discomfort.
The mercenaries greeted Ombuti’s loyal servitude with both hands. It was because Black Mamba’s condition was directly connected to the team’s survival.
It was also Black Mamba’s responsibility to control the Korean who had become their greatest combat support. Sun WooHyun wasn’t a mercenary or their team member. He was simply Black Mamba’s lackey. He didn’t listen to anyone’s orders but Black Mamba’s. It was his final stand as the second leader of the scouting unit. The mercenaries had long been acting with Black Mamba as their center.
Ombuti glared unsatisfyingly at the special bed he had made. Unfortunately, his master had given his bed to sergeant Mike.
His master had fallen asleep on the ground facing the cold wind. A hateful b*stard was easily using something that he’d put a lot of effort into for his master. He didn’t care whether Mike was a patient or that he was about to die.
“A talentless b*stard who doesn’t know the honor of warriors has become a burden,” Ombuti gritted out through the front of his teeth.
A useless b*stard acting like his master had caused so much suffering in Tanga. The b*stard had awoken from the dead, too. The Tubu clan was rumored to be originally fierce people. His master was an undefeatable warrior, but what could a worthless b*stard do against a clan?
Even then, the sergeant had said something unbelievable.
“Damn it, to think my life has turned into something that needs saving from a black servant. I’m embarrassed by my cape noir. I’d rather die than have my Texas ranger pride be stepped on by a yellow s***.”
Ombuti wanted to stab the b*stard when he had heard those words. He thought the b*stard had changed a little since he had been beaten up by his master, but a dog could never change its habits after all.
That b*stard still didn’t realize that someone had helped him survive. He was someone who didn’t know guilt and humiliation. The more Ombuti thought, the more angered he became.
“You’re not even a warrior. Rather than becoming a burden to my comrades, I would have long killed myself.”
Ombuti left the tent after throwing down those harsh words. Mike’s eyebrow twitched amid his sleep.
Jang Shin, who finished his meal, went to look for Sun WooHyun.
Sun WooHyun was crouched before a bonfire.
“What are you doing, lackey?”
“I’m drying Black Mamba’s combat shoes. I’m Sun WooHyun. Don’t call me lackey.”
Sun WooHyun didn’t even turn to look at Jang Shin. He was resolved in becoming a servant.
“God, that human’s been contaminated by the Ombuti disease.”
Jang Shin was almost in laughter. The sight of a North-Joseonese, high-ranking officer drying a South-Korean mercenary’s wet shoes was truly pitiful.
“Ssun, take the Minimi on the Beta and set it up in the trench. Help me take down the bullet supplies too.”
Sun WooHyun’s eyes narrowed at Jang Shin’s orders.
“I’m Black Mamba’s lackey. As a junior private, you dare to order an officer around?”
Jang Shin was annoyed.
“Dare? Look, you’re a prisoner right now. What the hell are you talking about?”
“You f****** s***, I’m Black Mamba’s lackey, not a prisoner. Don’t you know that you’ll be exempted from the Geneva Agreement if you force a prisoner into slavery? Maybe you’re too ignorant to know such things,” Sun WooHyun shot back.
In Sun WooHyun’s point of view, it was impossible for a private to order an officer around. In fact, Jang Shin didn’t have the power to boss Sun WooHyun around.
“Wang Ba Dan!” Jang Shin shouted at a loss of words.
He couldn’t hold his anger back as he was someone who placed importance in appearances.
“Fine, let’s solve this with our fists. I’ll acknowledge you if you beat me.”
“Of course, it’s fisting for men.”
Sun WooHyun dusted his pants as he stood immediately.
“Wow, Jang Shin, show him your Kung Fu abilities.”
“Show the lackey the spicy taste of Deuxieme Rep!”
The mercenaries had high expectations for Jang Shin’s performance as a high-level martial artist. It was the rule for an existing rock to look down on a new rock.
Jang Shin began to move in steps as he lowered his body, stretching out short, fast attacks without rest.
“Yo! Ha, hap!”
If Tae Kwon Do was an out-fighter, Bajiquan was an in-fighter. It used the Open Gate Eight Extremities Fist to attack, block, and attack. Wrists, elbows, and knees revolved like a water mill. It was like a child’s play compared to Black Mamba’s Ten Point Continuous Blows, but it looked rather flashy.
Sun WooHyun fought with the Kyuksul techniques he had refined for over 17 years. There were several similarities between Bajiquan and Kyuksul. The techniques of attacking in defense and defending in an attack, the form of counters, and the short, fast attacks were similar. Both were field techniques that had no large, sweeping movements.
A sequence of hitting and blocking fists, elbows, and joints exchanged as they used techniques such as popliteus attacks and unbalancing attacks. Sun WooHyun was pushed back in the first half of their exchange.
“Good job, Jang Shin!” The mercenaries screamed.
“Who do you think will win?”
“Didn’t you see the fight between Black Mamba and Ocelot? I’m not interested in children’s play,” the Captain replied uninterestedly to Emil’s question.
“How was that a fight? It was a calamity.”
Just thinking about the two monsters fighting at the garden of Le Marien Hotel made him leak. Walls had crumbled with a single punch, and the building had shaken with a single kick. They couldn’t be called humans when they flew 10s of meters in the air and were capable of ripping off a human’s head with just a whip.
“That’s why I’m saying those two are mice.”
“But Captain, you’re in the mouse rank too. I saw you getting knocked out by Black Mamba with a single punch.”
“B*stard, why are you bringing that up? I think the Korean is going to win.”
“I feel like he’ll lose.”
“That’s why you’re a newbie. Look at his form. He’s barely moving the center of his body. Look at his gaze, he may be moving back, but he saw through Jang Shin’s attacks. That means he’s composed. On the other hand, Jang Shin’s running out of time.”
Jang Shin’s wrist and legs were hurting. His opponent’s arms and legs were as hard as tree bark. He gained more damage the longer he fought. He controlled his breathing to land one major blow.
Sun WooHyun had been protecting the center of his body while he allowed non-critical places to be hit. Suddenly, his expressionless eyes shone. The attacks which had been pouring in like rain had paused momentarily. It was the half of a half beat’s rest.
He pushed through the small weakness. Sun WooHyun swung like a whip and crashed on Jang Shin’s thigh.
The moment Jang Shin tilted, Sun WooHyun’s forehead bashed against his head. Jang Shin, who had received an unexpected attack, defended himself with the King’s Will of Defeat. It had a grand name, but the movement only consisted of a straight reach.
Sun WooHyun hesitated at the attacks which landed on both of his sides.
From then on, a heated exchange of kicks and punches began. Jang Shin was advantageous in the technical aspects, but Sun WooHyun was more advanced in wits and single exchange. Sun WooHyun purposely allowed mediocre attacks to land on his body while looking for the chance to land a critical blow.
Jang Shin’s attacks turned chaotic, the more time passed. His concentration had lapsed in the attacks, which tried to poke at his eyes, kick his legs out, and bite when possible.
Sun WooHyun’s hands and feet had begun to move more fiercely amid their battle. In the end, Jang Shin was beaten to a pulp. Not even a Baijiquan master was capable of going against a Kyuksul master whose techniques were geared towards killing.
The mercenaries, who’d gained nothing, licked their lips.
“We shouldn’t provoke the Korean.”
Black Mamba’s fighting methods were unrealistic. The opponent was demolished in a single blink. His attacks didn’t move their hearts as it couldn’t be seen. On the other hand, the lackey seemed to fly in the air. The mercenaries acknowledged the lackey’s abilities.
It was Emil, Jang Shin’s friend, who had found the situation most unfortunate.
“Jang Shin, what the hell? I’m embarrassed to even lift my head as your friend. You should fight him again after learning some moves from Black Mamba.”
“Damn piece of s***, how did he even become my friend?” Jang Shin frowned.
Black Mamba was training in the Eighteen Beats of Shock, which had evolved from the Ten Point Continuous Blows. It was an attack that landed eighteen resonance-enhanced blows in a second that the Ten Point Continuous Blows was used. Black Mamba was returning from his training when he saw Jang Shin and Sun WooHyun’s disheveled state.
“Are you kids? Growing up with fights?”
The two stared at each other blankly at the accusation of immaturity, before bursting out into laughter. It was a fact that men were all about fists.