Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 160
Richie stared blankly at Black Mamba after taking in a deep breath. The pain in his chest felt like he had been severely broken. He hadn’t been able to see Black Mamba’s movements and had flown out three meters to end up slamming into the ground. The desire to take him on completely disappeared with a sheer difference in skill.
“Captain, I am Black Mamba. Don’t you dare speak to me thoughtlessly! That action can only be done by the strong towards the weak. While you were peacefully asleep, we spent nights awake with bloodshot eyes, getting hit by the harsh sandstorms of the Sahara. While you were enjoying a feast, we had to replace our meals with beetles and scorpions. While you drank Evian, we were running from the enemy with dry throats.”
Black Mamba stopped talking and glared at Richie.
“Why am I wasting my time talking to him? Killing him would be simpler.”
Richie flinched at the cold demeanor. Edel hurriedly brought over a cup of water. Black Mamba gulped it down and continued speaking.
“Captain, look at how shabby those men are. For 44 days, these warriors fought 19 battles and survived. They were Captain Paul, medic Bellman, private Emil, private Jang Shin, and our guide Ombuti. Compared to your freshly pressed uniform, theirs are drenched in sweat and blood. They are patriots who had flitted between life and death to get to this point. Treat them with honor and respect. I am the Sahel’s Azrael, Black Mamba. If you dare speak down to us again, I will take your neck apart from your body.”
Richie got goosebumps. His skin actually stung. It was due to the viciousness emanating from Black Mamba. That man is not human but a wild cat, no, a monster. His mind was getting fuzzy from sensing a resentment that could easily rip him to shreds.
French generals were especially prone to feeling elite. They treated the Legion Etranger as lowly soldiers, hoping to gain a buck to their name. Richie was no different and could not get rid of his bias towards Legion Etranger.
When they had first headed out, he had been thoroughly warned by Tanshe.
“Treat the surviving mercenaries with respect and make sure to never get on the bad side of Black Mamba.”
Tanshe’s fearful warning only piqued his curiosity. He had a sudden desire to test Black Mamba. How strong would a mercenary truly be?
Richie regretted it sorely. Due to his curiosity, he had stepped on the tail of a tiger. They say curiosity killed the cat, and it looked like he was about to be killed.
He was prideful but not stupid. The man, who was rumored to have killed 1,000s of men in the Sahel, was real. His words were also real. Black Mamba could most definitely decapitate him and throw him to the FROLINAT. If he didn’t want to die like a dog, he had to keep his head down.
Richie raised his body and saluted.
“Attention, 11th brigade, seventh platoon commando team Captain Richie, I have come to escort the Sahel’s heroes.
Richie’s quick wit saved his neck but caused a different problem. Edel stepped forward to escort Black Mamba and his team.
“Rudrey, what do you think you’re doing? If you suddenly decide to follow them, then what will happen here?” Walter spat out in annoyance.
“Doctor Walter, I am not an official MSF worker, and I do not get paid. I am volunteering to go elsewhere, so what power do you have over that decision?”
“Walter, I never permitted you to call me by my name. Call me, Doctor Edel.”
Edel’s expression was frosty. She didn’t like the sticky nature of his skin, so naturally, she hated it when he was looking at her. She despised the German doctor, who was obsessed with only his opinions.
“Doctor Edel, please reconsider. We need your help here, we have many patients.”
“I know. There are patients waiting for our help all over the world. These people feel the same way.”
“You can’t. If you are not here, how will the hospital run?”
Walter argued passionately. He had been nervous from the time the Asian patients started acting up. The only reason these poor men were still alive was thanks to Edel. The woman he had grown to love for the past year was about to leave.
“This is a matter that the head of the hospital would consent.”
“I can’t understand it. The mercenaries are like hyenas. The SAMU medical team has been arranged for them, so what is the reason behind your decision?”
“That is my choice. I have no reason to explain or make logical sense of my actions to you.”
“Eek!” Walter huffed like a bull.
“Doctor Walter, I have received a contract. Edel will return when Black Mamba has fully recovered.”
At a loss for words, Walter could only glare at Black Mamba, who got into the Chinook.
“You just wait.”
The chinook started roughly. The natives, who had been waving in front of the hospital, hurriedly got away from the rising dust. The children continued to wave cheerfully, even when they were covered in dust. Tears filled Edel’s eyes.
“Children, stay well. I’ll be back soon.”
She greeted them loudly then turned back to face Black Mamba. His eyes were
closed, but she knew that he was not asleep. He always had his eyes closed. Professor Giz had said that it was training. What kind of training required one’s eyes to be closed? If you closed your eyes, you would only fall asleep.
Edel poked Black Mamba’s thigh with her finger. It felt like she was poking at hard Oakwood.
“Ow, it feels like my fingers will break”
Edel exaggerated. There was no reaction. She felt annoyed. If he was a man, then he should show some sort of reaction.
“Black, how are you feeling?”
“You buried six of your comrades in the desert. They say you enter and leave life with nothing, but my heart aches. I am afraid that the memories of the dead, living in the hearts of those alive, will become dull,” he mumbled with his eyes closed.
Ede’s heart fluttered at the deep voice that echoed as if it was reverberating in a cave.
They were suave words coming from a suave man. It suited him well.
“A beast with intelligence!”
It was the judgement by Edel, who was blinded by love.
“Oh! Such inspirational words, I must write it in my journal.
“No need to do that.”
Black Mamba smiled bitterly. Sahel was too rough to live in for a human. After killing many lives and losing his comrades, he had become an adult. He had matured to a point where he could calmly embrace the cheerfulness of a young woman. His teacher’s words were right—in each loss, there is gain.
He looked down at the disappearing land through the Chinook’s window. The
annoying flies and mosquitoes, the nameless poisonous creatures, the sandstorm that erased everything in a single night, the peaceful night sky, the sunset dying the western sky, the ravaged villages, the starving children, and the FROLINAT soldiers who were bulldozed over like weeds.
He shook his head and erased the images. He comically remembered Giz, who had mosquito bites all over his face. An expression full of conviction, it was a happy face.
He didn’t know why the young woman had decided to follow them into such a miserable situation. He slowly opened his eyes and stole a glance at Edel. Her star-like pupils were right in front of him. Surprised, Black Mamba quickly closed his eyes. Edel smiled widely.
While the patient and the doctor were fooling around, Emil’s heart shed tears.
“Jang Shin, I should have gotten berated with bullets and be buried by bombs.”
“Idiot, then you should be wearing a coat made out of wood and placed in a coffin,” Jang Shin replied harshly.
“Damn punk, and I call him my friend.”
Emil pounded his chest. The Captain was a senior who had seen all the sweetness and bitterness of life. It was easy to see inside Edel’s mind, which had been enamored by Black Mamba. Black Mamba was innocent. His heart was only filled with a girl named Hae Young.
He severely doubted whether Edel could melt the heart of the monk-like man. His heart ached at the thought of the kind and innocent-looking young woman, who was bound to get her heart bruised.
It was 420 kilometers from Ati to N’Djamena. On the Chinook, which traveled an average of 260 kilometers per hour, it would take about 100 minutes.
Inside the Chinook cabin, the Ratel team was having a meeting unlike any that they have had, up in the air. With the roar of the aviation engine and the whirring blades, they had to raise their voices.
“Captain, what reward awaits us?”
Jang Shin, who had now recovered, asked. Jang Shin hoped to have his own Chinese restaurant one day.
“It’ll be great. Normally, in this instance, the commanding officer and privates
will be promoted. As a result, the pay will increase from 100,000 francs to 200,000 francs.”
Jang Shin’s face grew bright. That’s plenty enough. He could pay for Hou’s surgery and still have enough to start up a small restaurant.
“Greedy punk, six of our comrades were killed. Do you think we prioritize the reward We should first shoot and kill the punks who shoved us in the alligator pit and released piranhas onto us,” Emil blurted out angrily.
The atmosphere grew dark.
“Captain, what are you going to do?”
Emil, who suffered mood extremities, pressed on for an answer.
“What do you mean by what am I going to do? We are soldiers and mercenaries. Do you want to meet with the Le Monde reporters? Will you be making an appearance on Canal+?” Bellman retorted cynically.
“Then, are you telling us not to do anything?”
“And what would you do otherwise? The organization is no joke. Even if we were to drive a wedge between the mercenary commander and the general, it won’t do anything more than cause a fight in the doghouse. If you talk, it will cause trouble for the foreign military base.” Bellman continued, “Don’t you know what kind of organization the DGSE is? If we go all out, we may be able to leave a scratch on their reputation, but the result will be our annihilation. The CIA may not worry about mere civilians, but the DGSE will shut anyone up if they make a fuss. We’ve already experienced it at Paya.”
“Are you telling me to hold it in when I have lost six of my comrades? Sergeant Bellman, if you are afraid, step aside. I’ll shoot the damned punks and kill them all.”
The Captain was about to throw a fit, but Emil stopped him.
“Quit babbling nonsense. The perpetrators are the upper echelons of the DGSE. Bellman is right. The DGSE’s resolutions were always rough around the edges. If we talk, there is a 100 percent chance that they will shut us up. We are closing our mouths.”
“Shut our mouths? Who says you can do that!” Jang Shin, who had been standing calmly, exclaimed angrily.
“To bring back 10 mercenaries, they sent two Chinooks and four Gazelles. They even sent two high-altitude mirages. Even France elites don’t get this sort of treatment. Why would the military overact this way?” the Captain replied before closing his eyes.
“Hahaha, it’s because of Black Mamba. They are afraid of the Angel of Death. It means that those sitting on top will be sweating anxiously. They can’t control an entity that won’t follow the rules.”
Bellman snickered as he looked back at Black Mamba. Jang Shin and Emil nodded their heads vigorously.
“I don’t need reimbursement. What was that weird ant that Chartres told us about? Shit, I’ve become a bonehead after being buried in the sand with scorpions all this time.”
Emil tapped his head with the Spetsnaz sword.
“You were always a bonehead. Oecophylla smaragdina.”
Jang Shin had his revenge on Emil, who had scolded him previously.
“That’s right. We can bring the Oecophylla smaragdina to those punks sitting on top.”
“We can have the oldies bring back each of our comrades, themselves?”
“That’s a great idea. Black, you sure are smart,” Emil said cheerfully.
“Burimer has two daughters and an elderly mother to take care of. Chartres had parents. Morris has no family. We don’t know where Miguel, Mike, and Mark’s family are. If they have kids or parents they send money to, it could be a problem. I wish I could take care of the remaining family members by providing them with a pension, fund, or something,” the Captain proposed.
“Understood. We’ll have the oldies pay for that too.”
“I want to take off my military uniform. I’m confessing this to you now, but I’m allergic to blood. I even embarrassed myself by throwing up during the war. I don’t want to return to China. To gain citizenship in France, I have to wait another four years. This is a personal request, so I’m a bit embarrassed, but I want to be a French citizen,” Jang Shin said shyly.
“That’s not difficult. That can be done just by beating the DGSE officer a couple of times. Any requests for you, Bellman?”
“It’s a bit complicated to say here. I’ll put in a request at a later time.”
“Hm, looks like whatever it is, it may cause me a bit of a headache. Captain, what about you?”
“I understand the use of the backdoor strategy for an intelligence agency. However, I can’t forgive them for using a double contract. I swore in front of Burimer’s body that I would punish those who sent the hitmen and those who revealed our information.”
The Captain’s eyes flashed in red.
 France’s premium television channel.