Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 191
“That’s not a human head but a piece of metal!”
Monk Dae Woo grabbed his right arm that was now numb up to his shoulders and took two steps back. He had summoned up his resonance and gone at him with all his strength. However, his fist bounced off as if he had hit a wall. Not only did it surprise him, but it sucked all the strength out of him.
Mu Ssang shook his head slowly and glared at Monk Dae Woo.
It’s the enemy. Kill him. Rip him apart.
The ringing in his head grew louder. His blood circulation increased. His muscle cells expanded quickly. His eyes were ablaze.
“Ah, you’ve blown your top.”
Monk Dae Woo took a step back without even realizing it. He looked like a bull that had just missed being slaughtered by a hammer. The vicious gaze made his skin prickle.
The boulder he had shot off, crumbled. Mu Ssang came flying at him like a missile.
Clang clang clang—
The resonance came from both sides in successions. Every time his hands and feet overlapped, power exploded from it.
Monk Dae Woo was having a difficult time. It felt like he was battling a robot instead. The penetrating attack couldn’t project itself internally. Instead, it created a slow numbing sensation throughout his body. Using his thunder skill on him previously proved to be useless.
The eastern sky started to brighten. Dawn almost turned to dusk. Monk Dae Woo had hit him non-stop for the last hour, but the apprentice who should have been knocked out looked to be perfectly fine. The only things left in ruins were the rocks and bamboo trees around him.
This won’t do.
Monk Dae Woo felt rushed. It was a peaceful morning. The village below would have most likely heard the explosion that had echoed throughout the mountains. Even if he were to tell him to stop, there was no way it would be heard by a man that was on the brink of explosion. In this early hour, no one would be visiting this deep into the woods, but it was still dangerous.
His energy inflated like a balloon. Monk Dae Woo rolled up both his hands into a ball. The power inside of Monk Dae Woo’s body whirled around him like a tornado.
The energy between his two hands started to pressurize. The air suddenly disappeared, and a strong wind that could fling a stone started to blow in its place.
Ball energy was a skill that would pressurize and spin the air like a ball, creating an explosive power that could be used. To the seemingly indestructible apprentice, it was the best method. If he could throw this at Mu Ssang head-on, it would explode, breaking his bones and skin.
He flung out his hands, which he had been holding together. For the first time, a loud exclamation escaped Monk Dae Woo’s lips.
The pressurized ball of air flew and split the surrounding air.
Mu Ssang recognized danger instinctively. An unknown danger was coming toward him. It was already too late to avoid it. A master would not avoid an oncoming attack from an opponent because it was more detrimental to lose one’s positioning than the attack itself. Mu Ssang blocked his face from the attack and rolled his body into a ball.
Monk Dae Woo’s yell echoed.
The pressurized air exploded.
Mu Ssang didn’t try to avoid the explosion. He tried to decrease as much surface area that was exposed to the attack and concentrated on defending himself. Like a baseball that was hit with a human baseball bat, the ball of air bounced off and flew outward.
Kwah kwah kwah—
Bamboo trees that were as thick as Mu Ssang’s thighs broke apart consecutively.
Six bamboo trees had turned into firewood. The ball of air fell into an open area filled with kudzu.
An immense wind swept across them as a result of the explosion. A 10 diameter radius from the spot of the blast had become buried in dirt and dust.
Monk Dae Woo moved like lightning in surprise. He ran as fast as he could toward his apprentice to check his status.
“How could this be!”
Monk Dae Woo’s expression turned strange. He was coughing blood and splayed on the ground, but his brain waves looked to be intact. His body was a mess, but they were all external wounds. He had just been blasted off his feet by the sudden explosion.
The skill would have completely obliterated the strongest of warriors from Godae, but he had survived with just a skin tear and a slight concussion.
“Child, how are you unaffected by my resonance energy beam? What kind of hell did you endure back there?”
With a mentality much stronger than the average person and an immense physique that could withstand the blast, his apprentice’s powers had reached a point that matched his. His body was not one to be affected by the hwanhone attack.
The hwanhone attack did not work against a mentally strong opponent. This also meant that they had a strong self-awareness. His apprentice’s body was special. The ball of air that had been thrown at him could not penetrate past his muscles or inflict any internal damage.
For the hwanhone attack to work, Monk Dae Woo had to shake Mu Ssang’s mentality and body functions.
A reflexive sigh escaped him. In his attempt to teach his apprentice a lesson, his body had turned into jelly. Unfortunately, it looks like my power is no match for him. He couldn’t even erase the menace hidden deep within him.
It looks like I had beaten my apprentice for no reason. In the meantime, he had also exhausted a large amount of energy. In the wee hours of the morning, he had gained and done nothing. As his apprentice liked to say, he had dug his own grave. Monk Dae Woo looked down at his apprentice with a distraught expression.
“Child, are you alright?”
The splayed out apprentice did not speak.
“Hoo, the 80 years of training had all been for nothing. The path of the apprentice is different, but my greed was too extensive.”
He let out a deep sigh. Monk Dae Woo yelled out in annoyance.
“Child, quit acting, and get up immediately.”
“Haha, did you know?”
Mu Ssang’s eyes opened a sliver, looking at his teacher.
“Your brain waves and circulation looks fine, so how could I not know?”
“I’m so disappointed. I thought that you would make more of a fuss.”
“Dubious child, your external wounds will be fine by tomorrow, so why should I make a fuss?”
Mu Ssang staggered with every few steps that he took before he found his balance and stood up.
“Look, my nose is bleeding. If I didn’t block my ears, my eardrums would have popped. How could you use such a powerful skill on me…”
Once he heard his apprentice’s nagging, Monk Dae Woo fainted and fell to the ground.
Mu Ssang rushed over and placed his ear to his teacher’s chest. His heartbeat was erratic, going from fast to slow. It was a result of over-exhaustion. Never would he have imagined that his teacher could control his internal functions by will. He only thought that his teacher had exhausted all of his energy on his apprentice. Mu Ssang quickly picked his teacher up and placed him on his back.
As the eastern sky lit up brightly, the bloodied apprentice carried the unharmed-looking old teacher on his back and went down the mountain.
Take that, child.
Monk Dae Woo stuck out his tongue as he laid on his apprentice’s wide back.
“Teacher, are you very tired?”
“Hoho, I couldn’t achieve my intended result, so all my strength seems to have been sucked out of me,” Monk Dae Woo replied in exhaustion. He sounded like a dying patient.
“Wouldn’t the world go the way that I want it to? Don’t worry too much about it.”
“Alright, a mountain is a mountain and water is water, but my greed was too great, and has caused you distress.”
“Don’t you think you should refrain from waving your fists around at this age?”
“It is for the sake of my apprentice, so how could I resist? How is your headache?”
“It’s much better. The seizure cycle got extended to six months, and the pain has greatly dissipated.”
“Oh ho, you are skilled. What if it was cured after you were critically wounded? There is a chance that it is a side effect of the sehone skill. There is also a higher chance that it may be due to the brain battling a body that has switched its identity. There is a chance your brain could have completely switched over too.”
“Don’t say such horrible things. There is a guy named Ocelot who has turned into an animal.”
“You are also a specially designed psychopath.”
Mu Ssang, who was taken aback by this statement, tripped over his feet.
“Oh, don’t joke around with me. Where can you find a psychopath as normal as me in this world?”
“That’s why I said you were special. A psychopath is a result of one’s genetics and environment. If the MAOA gene becomes too prevalent, it blocks the secretion of serotonin. As a result, one could lose their sense of morality and become violent.”
“Growing up in an abusive environment and the mutated genetics fits the profile of a psychopath. If these are the requirements, then it was inevitable for me to become one,” Mu Ssang muttered to himself.
“That’s right. A psychopath can end up in two ways depending on the environment that he grew up in. Growing up in a privileged environment could breed someone like Hitler. In a non-nurturing environment, one could end up a serial killer like Henry Lee Lucas or Pedro Lopez.”
Legion Etranger kept documentations of terrorists and serial killers and educated its members on them. He already knew about the two serial killers his teacher had just mentioned. Both had grown up in a hostile environment and had become murderers. Ocelot is 100 times more dangerous than those men. What if I become like Ocelot and kill humans as a hobby? The mere thought of it was horrifying.
“Are you saying that your apprentice could become a murderer?”
“Hahaha, how could my apprentice turn out like that? You are not on either side of the spectrum. You are a special case since you make your own decisions based on morality. Although you seem to have a higher sense of morality than the average person, you also have a side where you can kill without feeling guilt or remorse. You may think that you killed those who had deserved it, but that sort of thinking is not normal. No one in this world deserves to die.”
Monk Dae Woo continued, “Your brain moves in such opposite directions that you could be considered a neo-psychopath. To put it simply, you will become a new species. The headache you are experiencing may someday disappear, but in any case, there is a high possibility that you would turn out as an entirely different entity.”
His teacher was serious, unlike his usual self. Mu Ssang was lost in his thoughts. The words neo-psychopath and new species floated in his ears. He could read his teacher’s thoughts. His teacher was telling him not to be so cocky about his identity.
“A new species…it may have been the result of something from back in the past.”
“Yes, the Earth’s history is 1,000,000,000s years old. The current type of human species has come to be after 1,000s of years. Do you believe that within a couple of 100,000 years, a monkey can turn into a human? Can you guarantee that a mutated specimen has not existed before that? You are a species that has skipped the contemporary order of evolution. Give me your injured arm.”
Mu Ssang poked his left arm with his thumb. Blood squirted out like a fountain.
“You dense fool, you pushed it in too deep.”
“It’s no big deal.”
Surprised, Monk Dae Woo tried to put pressure on his vein, but Mu Ssang stopped him.
Within 10 seconds, the bleeding stopped.
“My recovery has gotten much faster. Within 48 hours, all that would be left of this wound is a scar.”
“What you have said about a previously known species could be correct. It may be my prejudice, but a strong physique may be the human’s current state. However, the new species will have stronger brain capacity.”
Mu Ssang unwittingly accepted those words.
“Yes, you sure chose a difficult way to tell your apprentice that he is dense. Don’t worry. Whether you question my identity or my guilt, it won’t change the way I think.”
“That’s good. I was afraid that you would have an identity crisis once I sent you away. The heavens must have had a reason for sending down an entity like yourself. I am afraid of the moral standards that you will create for the world.”
“Teacher, I don’t want to cause chaos in this world. I want to live and protect those who are abused and hungry. I am preparing a small piece of land in Africa to help those people.”
“How skilled of you. How big is the land?”
“I’m thinking of a place relatively the size and width of Gyeonggi-do.”
Monk Dae Woo flinched.
“Hmm, your scale is much bigger than that of your teacher. Have you made specific plans?”
“Not yet. At the very least, I will become an Asura to those who block me from accomplishing my goals.”
“That sounds good. All this time, your teacher has only been passing out the rice. Meanwhile, his apprentice is doing much bigger and better things. Hahaha!”
“That air ball skill…will it be possible for me to learn too?”
“Curb your desire. It is not yet time for you to learn it.”
“In the desert, I had figured out how to use the intermediary ball skill by combining the donggong and intermediary ball skill.”
Monk Dae Woo chuckled loudly.
“If you haven’t figured it out yet, then you are an idiot. There is no such thing as a basic intermediary ball skill. My teacher had taught me that skill in my younger years. The combination of the donggong and the intermediary ball skill used to be called mangong(慢功). While the donggong is used to release energy, the mangong is used to create movement with your resonance. That’s why they say it feels heavy.”
“Whew, I should have known.”
Mu Ssang felt his energy drain from his body. He had wanted to show off his new skills to his teacher, but his criticisms had deflated his eagerness.
“At least, it looks like you haven’t been playing around. Your initial differentiation will soon disappear. Since my apprentice is such a good learner, my mouth will have it easy.”
“Hahaha! I guess so.”
Mu Ssang laughed out loud. He was happy that he did not have to explain all the day to day situations that had happened. At his teacher’s ease, a smile naturally rose on his face.
While they were absorbed in deep conversations, it soon became nightfall. Monk Dae Woo went back up to the temple, and as promised, Mu Ssang put up an offering before heading in the same direction.
The moment he arrived at the gongyanggan, two yellow lights shuffled around quickly after it squealed a warning. It was the ungrateful raccoon that his teacher had mentioned.
The mother raccoon stood in front of her babies and growled at him, baring her teeth. A stupidly brave raccoon that had dared to threaten Black Mamba existed in Korea.
Mu Ssang yelled, “Hey, I am the owner. How dare you glare at me when you don’t even pay rent. Stay quietly in the corner!”
The raccoon, who was scared by his threatening gaze, put its tail between its legs and slowly backed away.
Even a mother protecting its babies could not be a match against a powerful predator like himself.
“Huh, I guess teacher is getting old. Neo-psychopath, my ass! I’m pretty merciful myself.”
Mu Ssang smiled and prepared the offering.