Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 176
Qu’est-ce qui passe? How could there be such an idiot in this world!
Paul banged his chest. The b*stard was someone who went looking for a cooled pot au feu, leaving aside a Province Bouillabaisse recommended by Curnonsky.
“Black, are you stupid, or are you just pretending to be? I’m about to hate on the woman who’s filled your head. I can’t imagine a better woman than Edel. I’m advising you as a friend here. You must catch her.”
Paul was spitting, slightly overexcited.
“A relationship is difficult no matter how many years have passed by, a cuckoo cries sorrowfully on top of the moonlit Wol Song San!”
Black Mamba expressed his heart by using the seventh verse of Tathāgata, which described the hardships of gaining wisdom. Wol Song San was the Wol Song San mountain in his bridge-village. Of course, the language sounded alien to Paul’s ears.
“Say something I can understand, won’t you? Sometimes I get confused as to whether you’re a monk or a mercenary.”
“Huhu…humans are chaotic themselves, aren’t they? My heart was already torn when we got separated. If I accept this play of fate, my heart will crumble entirely.”
Paul banged his chest.
“Oh, you’re driving me mad. Emil nicknamed you, chastity belt, didn’t he? You didn’t get a single letter for the entire year, didn’t you? Exactly who is that woman? Are you the butterfly wife, no, the butterfly gentleman?”
Black Mamba felt dizzy from the outpour of questions.
“Edel isn’t your sister, so why are you getting so worked up?”
“It’s because I’m frustrated, you idiot.”
“She is a woman who brought light into my dark life. She’d be sad to see no one greeting her when she returns from her long journey.”
Is there a certainty that she’d return? As the saying goes, a man who leaves will return, but a woman who leaves will not. You’re still young, which makes you ignorant. You’ll come to regret this when you’re older.”
“We simply have to meet in our next lives if she doesn’t return. It’s a love that couldn’t be kept alive due to my foolishness and idiocy. Regret is an extravagant word for someone like me.”
Paul’s patience shattered at his stubborn words. While there were guys like Emil who ran at anyone wearing a skirt, there were also stupid, pure men like the b*stard before him. Humans truly did have many colors.
“How are you so frustrating? Are women some treasure, or are you contaminated by some virus? I can’t believe a smart person like you can be so stubborn.”
“We live our lives like drunkards anyway, so being drunk on foolishness is not that bad too.”
Black Mamba’s face turned cold like the fields in late autumn.
The heavy snow turned light as the day brightened. The light snow which scratched down the window created a deja vu. It was on the day when he had helplessly stared at an airplane tail that was headed towards Los Angeles. He had felt the snow landing on his teary face.
“Have some rest for now.”
Black Mamba looked as though he’d placed the Alps on his shoulders, tired and burdened. Paul couldn’t speak any longer and left the room.
A messenger arrived just as he was finishing his lunch, under the protection of a stationed guard.
“What is it?”
“I’m Captain Jaber, affiliated with the Department of Defense’s stateroom. Allow me to report to you the minister’s words. The president should have officially awarded you the medal at Palais de l’Élysée, but I send my regrets for being unable to do so as you’re under the conditions of a call name. My present is a reply to your gift of FROLINAT’s Third command post’s flag. That is all.”
“What flag? Aha, Habib’s flag. Did that end up in the stateroom?”
“Yes sir, several people, including the minister of the Department of Defense and the minister of culture, fought over its ownership.”
“Ha, what’s the point of fighting over that piece of cloth? What strange old men.”
Jaber disappeared after handing him the aluminium case and oak box.
“Hmph, how do I use this hard paper when it can’t even wipe the back of a metal case? It’s just a traditional method those Oecophylla smaragdina use to suck on the blood of the young.”
Black Mamba threw the decoration and certificate aside.
There were five levels to the legion d’honneur that Napoleon designated. In ascending order of distinction, there were the Chevalier, the Officier, the Commandeur, the Grand Officier, and lastly, the Grand Croix.
Legion d’honneur was also known as the Legion of Honor. It was originally awarded to soldiers, but citizens and foreigners could also receive it. There had been no Korean recipient for the legion d’honneur until 1980.
“Oh my god, Legion Grand Officier!” Edel exclaimed once she confirmed Black Mamba’s certificate of award, which he’d thrown aside.
Legion Grand Officier was a decoration given to the head of state of foreign countries. It was of a different standing compared to the Chevalier, which was awarded by nomination. Emil and the others rushed over.
“Wow, I’ve only ever heard of this. This is my first time seeing it.”
“This isn’t possible. Why do we get the common fifth grade while Black Mamba gets the second?”
“What are you saying? Is there anything that Black Mamba lacks compared to the head of state of a foreign country?”
“You s***, do you become a head of state with fists?”
Emil and Jang Shin started fighting with each other, like always. Emil was slightly stupid. On the other hand, Jang Shin liked to tease. They always fought when they were together, yet they always remained together, unseparated.
“Whether it’s the Chevalier or the Grand Officier, they’re both not worth any money.”
The mercenaries, including Edel, fell silent at Black Mamba’s comment. The Grand Officier was a certificate of nobility the government had assigned. It wasn’t something to be thrown about carelessly.
Only Ombuti was smiling with pride. His master was the reincarnation of Azrael. Yes, the Grand Officier was given to the head of state, but it was just a materialistic object for humans. Ombuti’s nose reached the sky.
It was an obvious response from Black Mamba, who wasn’t interested in honor and pride.
Upon opening the smaller wooden case, Black Mamba smiled. It was a silver Walther PPK, a beautiful thing that could only be used as decoration.
“Why’re you laughing?”
“The Walther PPK was the gun that Hitler had used to commit suicide. It’s also a gun that the head of National Intelligence Services had used to shoot president Kim in South Korea. Jermain has given me the signal to shoot him with this gun if he makes a mistake in the future. He’s an old man who’s strong with chances and fast in response. Perhaps, that’s why he’s sitting on that seat.”
“Edel, I would have gifted this to you, but this is an object known for its unholy name, killer of rulers. I don’t want this to be Edel’s gift.”
“Oh, Black! Thank you.”
The sincerity behind those cold words strummed her heart. Moved, she planted a kiss on Black Mamba’s cheek.
This was love! She’d fallen into a well of happiness with a single phrase of consideration. Her cousin Andrew’s sweet words and expensive gifts were bothersome compared to this.
“Oi, you millionaires, I’ve prepared you your snacks.”
Ombuti’s quick wit drove the rest of the group out of the room.
With only the two left behind, Edel moved to open the curtains. The view, which had turned white, shone brightly. The distant Montparnasse Cemetery and Luxembourg Gardens, which had been covered in the snow, came into view.
How wonderful would it be if it snowed in Ati?
She recalled the faces of the children in order. African volunteers were always accompanied by danger. They were also known as diseases and terrorism. Diseases could be treated, but terrorism couldn’t be stopped.
If she was a warrior who caught diseases, Black was a warrior who caught terrorists. She wanted to return to Africa with Black. She imagined herself standing next to Black with a needle as large as a gun. They paired well.
Edel laughed, lost in her imaginations.
I’m not greedy or possessive over him. I just want to work with him. Edel defended herself.
Ombuti entered with two long, narrow glasses.
“Wakil, I’ve tried making sorbet with my poor skills.”
Humans relaxed when they ate sweet food. The great butler Ombuti was trying all kinds of tricks for Edel, whom he came to favor.
“Black, isn’t the world without greed and formality so beautiful?”
Edel’s cheeks reflected the rays of the sunrise as she pointed to the window, glinting like ripe apricots.
Black Mamba’s heart quivered. It was a beauty as shocking as Hae Young’s neck. She was the second woman who exuded pheromones.
“Edel, you’re a wise and beautiful woman. I’m a rough mercenary. I’m fated to live on the edge of a blade day after day. For someone so attractive, what is your reason for sticking with someone who reeks of blood?”
Edel had a mouthful of sorbet.
“Black, I want to transfer this sorbet from my mouth to yours. What do you think would be my reason?”
Black Mamba groaned. It was a refute that indicated the same intentions. He’d been returned what he’d given. She was a strong opponent.
“Black, do you have a woman?”
Edel’s question was peaceful as though she was asking whether he had a sister.
“Why do you think so?”
“A woman is sensitive to the changes of love. Like sharks after blood. All females have a strong desire to spread their seeds, just like men. There’s no reason to leave a strong, shining male like you.”
“Kekeke, what an amazing theory of genetic biology, on top of an amazing superpower.” Black Mamba laughed cynically.
One day in June, when the cuckoos cried sadly, was she, who approached like a streak of dreams, staring sadly at him with wet eyes beneath long lashes.
“There was a woman who had grabbed my hand when I struggled alone in a dark world. She became my sister and my mother. She left for her dreams, but I don’t blame her. I only thought it’d be hard for love to persist between a man and a woman who can’t be stepping stones for each other. Back then, I was her burden. I’m now waiting as I’m finally able to carry her burdens.”
“Ah!” Edel exclaimed shortly.
A man she loved had said he was waiting for another woman. No woman wouldn’t find her heart in tatters.
At the same time, she was moved.
A man who didn’t hold on to his lover because he was her burden, and a man who waited for the woman because he could finally carry her burden—it was the kind of sentence that would appear in pop songs.
Her heart had wavered because he was this type of man. He was an innocent and loyal man to the point of stupidity.
“Black, I’m going to wait too. I’m going to wait for you as you wait for her.”
“It’s a foolish thing to do. We met due to our work. It’s only been 10 days.”
“You’re saying things that are unlike you, Black. There’s no other paradoxical thing like time. Do you want to live a day with the woman you love or live the rest of your life with the woman you don’t love?”
There was pin-drop silence.
His heart stung. Those were the words he’d thrown at Hae Young. Hae Young had laughed. She had said she’d make him love her and live with her for the rest of his life.
He felt conflicted. It wasn’t as though he didn’t know Edel’s intentions. She wasn’t a weak woman. She was a strong-willed woman with a clear opinion but with a soft heart.
Objectively, Edel was the woman who suited him the most. His father had once said that a b*stard who made a woman cry was a b*stard of a b****. It was a very complicated situation.
“I know what your answer is. Mine is the same. I don’t care what you’ll look like or what you’ll do. This is of my own free will. Ah!”
Emil rushed into the room like a bull. Edel’s proposal was cut short due to the intruder’s interference.
“Ya-ho, Black, Black!”
While Black Mamba was relieved from being pulled out of the complicated situation, Edel’s eyes turned into triangles. The human who always interfered was that b*stard.
“Black, Jeanne has agreed!”
“Who is Jeanne? Agree to what?”
“Oh, I haven’t told you apart from Jang Shin. I’ve seduced a nurse at the military hospital, you see, and she’s agreed. To leave for a month-long cruise, that is.”
Damn it. This b*stard’s gone and done it again.
Black Mamba pressed his head. Emil was a b*stard who liked anything in skirts. Mercenaries of the Legion Etranger were popular amongst women. A mercenary loaded with money was sweet prey. The stupid b*stard had been caught by a woman again.
“So, you seduced a main nurse at the hospital that you were taken to and planned a trip to burn flesh and bones with her, is that it?”
“Wow, Black, you really are smart. You’re good at summarizing!” Emil exclaimed at such a minor thing.
“So, when are you leaving?”
“We’re going to Toulon this evening.”
Black Mamba’s eyes grew wide.
“Oh, how nice. I hope you fare well, Mr. Emil.”
Edel flashed into happiness. She was smiling as though a rotting tooth had fallen off.
“Kahahaha, thank you. I’m going to express all the charms of a man called Emil to Jeanne.”
That f****** idiot, he’ll be expressing all the money and loads, is what he’s saying.
Black Mamba looked at Emil pathetically.
 What is happening?
 A French beef stew.
 A type of frozen dessert made with water and fruit juice or puree.