Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 158
“Are parasites such a large problem?”
“It goes beyond your imagination. The contaminated water and unhygienic living conditions, with the increase of mosquitoes and flies, are the problem. There are over 10,000 parasite species. The children with protruding bellies either have dietary protein malnutrition, or it’s filled with tapeworms and roundworms. Trypanosomatida, Plasmodium malariae, heartworm, Schistosoma haematobium, Entamoeba, Clonorchis, capillariasis, trypanosomiasis—it’s endless.”
Giz pointed at the hole in his shoes.
“The parasites are one thing, but food shortage is the bigger problem. I’ve been buying food with my savings for new shoes, but there’s not enough. Even with a professor’s salary and the MSF headquarter’s support, there’s always not enough.”
Black Mamba nodded. He had visited only three villages during his mission. Dried lands, the attacks of grasshoppers, the plundering of FROLINAT’s guerrillas, and women holding onto their babies’ remains, were recalled in his memories. That was enough to understand the Sahel’s locals, living in poverty.
“Why is an associate professor from Paris university suffering so much down here?”
“It’s a life shorter than a century! I want to live as my heart wills me to.”
“As your heart wills you to…”
He was following his heart. There wasn’t a way for Giz to know the Diamond Sutra, but it was common knowledge for all. Giz, in his humble clothes, suddenly looked like a bigger man.
A life lived for others, Giz had been on his self-appointed journey while he acted as an Ashura. Their hands were similarly soaked in blood but for different purposes. One had used it to kill while the other had used it to save lives. His nose twinged, and his heart cried.
“It’s a parasite carried by mosquitoes. Its an evil creation that blocks the lymphatic vessels and renders the legs useless.”
“I didn’t know there was such a thing. What about that cut you mentioned?”
“It’s the Dracunculus. It breaks out of the skin when it’s time to spread its parasites. Some idiots caused a scene while I was pulling it out carefully. My concentration broke, so it was cut off.”
“What happens when it’s cut off?”
“It gets more difficult. That thing creates infections in groups. Soon, the limb would be inflamed and calcified, which only leaves one with the choice of cutting their leg. We’ve placed the patient’s leg in water for now, but there’s not a chance for that thing to crawl back out. It’s a ruckus.”
“Is it possible to remove it by surgery?”
“We’ve no way of knowing where that s*** is hiding.”
“Giz, bring the patient over.”
Black Mamba felt sorry. He had met a friend he hadn’t seen in a long time, but his companions had disrupted his friend’s treatment. He felt as though he could do something about the parasite with his resonance. He had the idea that, if he could emit his resonance, he could also pull it out.
A moment later, Edel brought a ten-year-old girl who was covered in tears.
“Giz, can you show me what the Dracunculus looks like?”
He would be able to locate the parasite more easily within the body, using his dimensional sight, if he knew what it looked like.
“This is the other part which was cut off during operation.”
Giz handed him a Petrischale. A disgusting parasite which looked like a knitting thread was nearly a meter long. It was an annoying creature, just by sight.
Black Mamba’s face crumpled at the girl’s state. The tunnel that the parasite seemed to have dug was horrible to look at. The red flesh had been pulled out of the dark skin, causing blood and fluids to drip out. It was an unbelievable sight.
When Black Mamba covered the injury with his hand, the child flinched. The amount of pain she had gone through was telling.
“Don’t worry, child,” Black Mamba said softly.
He had said it in Korean, but the child smiled shyly. The dimensional sight was another form of intent. Black Mamba’s intentions had been sent to the child.
He found the remains of the Dracunculus with his dimensional sight. It was below the knee cap, between the tendons and muscles. There was no sign of life. In such a state, not even medical equipment like an x-ray or computerized tomography could find its location.
He raised his resonance and shoved all his intentions in pulling out the Dracunculus. He’d experienced pouring out all of his resonance, but he’d never tried pulling something out. He succeeded in separating the parasite from its group, but it was hard to drag it out.
He sweated. He’d been enlightened in the Sahel and managed to execute control over its direction and force, but he’d only expelled the resonance and had never pulled. Using his resonance without moving, caused pain to spread all over his body. His wounds were being treated quickly, but it was far from healed.
Giz didn’t know of Black Mamba’s relationship with Hae Young. He encouraged Edel slightly.
“Doctor Edel, Black Mamba knows how to use the mystical power of ki from the east. What he’s doing now is extremely hard. The user’s life may be sacrificed.”
“Oh my God, to treat someone by shortening his own life, Black’s the true symbol of a knight.”
Edel took out her handkerchief and wiped the sweat off Black Mamba’s forehead. Giz smiled slyly.
“This isn’t working. I need to change the way I think.”
Black Mamba raised the resonance in his upper body and lowered it to his lower body. Entropy always flowed from the highest to the lowest points.
In the end, his decision was effective.
The dead parasite was dragged little by little out of the tunnel. The girl frowned. Black Mamba used his resonance with meticulous control.
“Aye-na you-melli-moo-ni?” Edel asked the girl.
Black Mama yelled before removing his hand. He flipped over his right hand, which had been over the wound.
“Oh, how is this possible!”
“God! It’s magic!”
It was the rest of the Dracunculus’ cut body. Giz and Edel’s eyes widened as though it would tear.
“Oh, Lord. It’s done. We don’t have to cut her legs anymore.”
Edel threw her body at Black Mamba in joy. When a woman’s soft body hugged his own, Black Mamba became conflicted. He, too, was a healthy man. Rather, he was a strong man incomparable to normal men. A part of his body moved.
“Doctor Edel, you should treat Kitoi’s injury.”
Edel walked inside with the sniffing child in tow.
“She’s a nice young lady. Pure, determined, smart.”
Black Mamba only nodded his head. She was a woman who didn’t match his blood-soaked self.
“You idiotic b*stard. How did you do that?”
“Just. It’s hard to explain. Giz, you won’t understand even if I do.”
“Well, it’s the same as the past. You’ve become stronger.”
“Maybe! I’m not scared of that b*stard anymore.”
Black Mamba nodded. Giz was one of the few friends he had, who knew his secret.
“How do you feel?”
His heart felt warmth. He had saved a girl’s leg with the hand he’d used to kill countless people. That moment opened Ashura’s eyes to good deeds.
The world looked brighter by simply pulling out a hidden parasite from a girl’s leg. The more he killed, the more his heart felt steadily empty. To feel such satisfaction by treating a single child!
Black Mamba fell into deep thoughts. He memorised the process of finding the parasite with his dimensional sight and separating it with his resonance before pulling it out.
He had gained a new skill while treating the child, too. His master had always said, one gained by giving. He named the new usage of resonance as sucking-resonance. His ability to name things was as horrible as always.
Ombuti knocked on the door and entered.
“Wakil, we’ve finished contacting the headquarters. The helicopter has landed.”
“It seemed as though they were already prepared.”
“Hmm, that doesn’t make their sins go away.”
Black Mamba smiled evilly. His hands weren’t healing hands. His hands were used to smash lightning.
“And the point of landing?”
“It’s here and Baskeval. It will arrive in 80 minutes.”
“It’s finally the end of this annoying Sahel!”
Glee rose in Black Mamba’s face.
“I’ll get ready to pull out.”
Ombuti, quick-witted, moved out of the office in a flash.
“Black, you can’t use that power all the time, right?”
“Well, maybe two to three times a day? Any more would be hard.”
He was tired from pulling out the Dracunculus, after all.
“Hm, so you’re not abled after all. Black, have you thought of setting up a cult in Africa?”
Black Mamba was very surprised that he spoke in his dialect.
“Giz, I went around the Sahel, killing people for a month and a half. I’m simply disgusted at hearing the name, Sahel, at this point. There’s nothing more the heart wants than to leave, now.”
“Ugh, leave it, MSF isn’t something someone as young as you should do anyway. You’re someone bound for greater things. Still, it’s unfortunate.”
If everything happened according to Giz’s greed, he would have dragged Black Mamba into the MSF. He really was superhuman. With his ability, he could treat countless people.
“Sorry. I’ve got a lot to do in Korea.”
Giz looked at his young friend. Five years had turned his friend from a baby-smelling child into a sturdy man. He was a friend who had become more manly and more mystical. His friend was at the age where he had to play in large waters to grow.
“I’ve been paying Africa’s relief fund for a long time. Africa turned out this way because a large responsibility fell upon my ancestors. Here, even a hanging clock has to be under lock and fleeing has to be keyed in, so that it’s not stolen. When we donate sausages for young, malnourished children to eat, the adults eat it all in the kitchen. When we give money to educate the children, the teacher takes it and runs off. There is no one to trust here. It was due to absolute poverty. I realized that morality and ethics weren’t worth a bar of chocolate for humans who were collapsing in hunger.”
“I’ve been raised in a good environment, surrounded by good food. I received a secondary education and was respected by the society. Everything I received was from my parents and the government’s support. Then, how was the country able to get its money, technology, and culture? Europe was insignificant compared to other continents in the beginning. Europe was able to fill its stomach by cutting ties with Africa, Asia, and America. They’re not embarrassed by their actions but instead mocked and disparaged Africa. You should know since Japan is near your country. In the end, I decided to do things that I can do with my own hands.”
Black Mamba stared at his older friend. It was passion. There was a firm foundation in his heart, and the passion for action was boiling atop.
“Are you happy?”
“Mu Ssang, you once told me the saying, ‘Everything comes from the mind,’ didn’t you? It’s that. I needed happiness in order to live.”
He was moved by Giz’s passion. His hands were meant to kill people, while Giz’s hands were meant to save people.
“Am I happy?” he asked himself.
“Giz, keep the Dracunculus incident as a secret for me.”
“Hmm, my mouth will be like a clam if you help me solve three other children’s plight. I’ll even shut the mouths of Edel and the children if you do.”
Giz jokingly pulled his lips with his hands and gestured his palms. It was a joke he hadn’t seen in a long time.
“You’re trying to take advantage of a five-year reunion with your friend? The real Kanma had been my friend Giz, all along.”
“The heavens gave you abilities so that they can be used.”
“Right, right. Let’s hurry before the helicopter comes. If there’s anything I need to do, we need to get it done now.”
“Don’t forget the fact that you’re a patient. Don’t push yourself.”
“Are you giving me medicine after being sick? I’m, in fact, a fake patient.”
“If you’re a fake patient, then all the patients in this world are fake. It’s not good to push yourself. But then again, I don’t want to lose this good opportunity.”
Edel brought three children in, herself, without asking the nurse. She was also quick-witted. She was surprised by Black Mamba’s skills but had realized there wasn’t anything good in revealing it to the world.
“God, please forgive me for pestering my friend! These are the children who’re infected with filariasis. They’ve already entered stage three. We’ve lost the chance to treat them.”
“And the medicines?”
“Not even dihydrostreptomycin would work outside of its allotted treatment time frame.”
The skin of the children, which should be soft, was in ruins. Their fat tissues had increased, causing their legs to be thicker than an adult’s. Calcification had progressed a lot.
White flakes were all over, and pus was leaking out of the skin’s folds. It was as described, these were elephant legs. He grabbed a child’s leg. He could sense the foreign presence without having to use his dimensional sight.
“Do I need to turn this filariasis parasite to dust?”
“That’s it. Grind it down like flour. When it turns into dust, the tissues will absorb it.”
“Black, please. They can be treated once the lymph fluids flow properly.”
Edel shook her tight fists as though she was giving encouragement.
 Doesn’t it hurt?
 “Yes, it tickles.”