Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 197
Sun WooHyun lowered his voice as much as possible on top of the platform.
“Baki, Kingurae, Sukuli, Umbiku, Songoi…I name you all the 100 member council by the name of Namir. Those who couldn’t be a part of the council will be named a part of the 10 member council.”
“From now on, the answer will be given in salute.”
Sun WooHyun taught the 100 member council and the 10 member council the motions of a salute. A similar movement was created after repeatedly practicing for 20 or so times.
“Butler, bring the 10 member council’s armband.”
Their repeated practice finally showed its effect. Salutes came in places where it wasn’t needed. Sun WooHyun distributed the 10 member council’s armbands to the 100 member council.
“The 100 member council will now give the 10 member council their armbands. From now on, all work will be done in groups of 10. When the 10 member council’s work is deemed lacking, the 100 member council will report this to their leader and take back their armbands. Understood?”
Sun WooHyun decided that was enough. He could oversee 14 members of the 100 member council himself, but he couldn’t oversee the 10 member council at the same time.
Sun WooHyun became drunk on power. The flow of people who had moved according to his orders, and the true power in awarding armbands by his will—he became drunk on the sweetness of it all. He didn’t realize the armband could turn an innocent person into a monster. He’d underestimated the power of the armbands that were given to ignorant people.
“From now on, you’ll segregate yourselves accordingly into groups of 100s and 10. The 10 member council will stand in front of the groups of 10, and the 100 member council will stand in front of the groups of 100s. Get into rows!”
After some confusion and shoutings, troop lines of 5 by 10 had covered the entire field.
“Everyone, listen well. I’ve learned that your wages are 10 francs per month. From this month henceforth, I, Namir, will increase your wage to 20 francs with the power granted to me by Azrael and Miss Edel.”
An explosive announcement was made. Sun WooHyun knew that the conservative socialist crowds would be very mesmerized by the sudden reformation and incentives.
“Hoorah!” the workers cheered.
“The 100 member council will receive 50 francs, and the 10 member council will receive 30 francs. However, the council member will be dismissed if someone fails to maintain their work performance and repeatedly comes in last on performance reports.”
The 100 member council and the 10 member council cheered at the sudden increase in wage and their newfound position.
“Butler, I will give you one month. Make a cafeteria in the worker’s lodgings. Make it big enough so that all the workers can eat comfortably.”
The butler had turned into a repetitive answering machine.
“I will assign a one hour break after your morning shift, starting tomorrow. Eat and rest comfortably. The farm will provide you with three meals a day as soon as it is prepared.”
An immense cheer rang. It was predictable. Their supposedly two meals had decreased to one ever since Nick became the farm owner. The workers had to skip breakfast or find food themselves. Most had substituted their food by eating cotton flower buds that had not bloomed.
There was an increase in the number of workers infected by diarrhea or parasites. Obviously, their working capacity fell. They continued to work the workers to death in order to increase the harvest. Whether Sun WooHyun could stop the cruel cycle or not, it was something to look forward to.
The farmworkers only ate two meals a day, even when Doctor Edel was around. Those who had sought three meals a day among the Chad citizens were less than one percent. Three meals a day was an explosive proclamation to them.
I’m Wakil’s servant. I can’t let them starve to death.
Sun WooHyun gave them everything. His calculations were simple. The failure of socialism had been a result of ignoring an individual’s greed for accomplishment. Hadn’t he been disillusioned too? There was a vast difference between those who had worked without meeting his eyes and those who had worked as though the work was theirs.
“Your basic wage will be 20 francs. There will be bonuses according to your monthly performance growth as judged by the 100 member council and 10 member council. The judgment will be based on your performance and loyalty. The first group of the 100s will receive 1,500 francs, the second group will receive 1,000 francs, and the third group will receive 500 francs. The rewards for the 10 member council will be greater. The first group of 10 will receive 200 francs, the second will receive 100 francs, and the third will receive 50 francs.”
Exclamations rang across the farm. The end of Sun WooHyun’s mouth rose. Wakil was definitely planning something big. He thought he’d read a portion of Wakil’s thoughts.
Would he gain 10 returns of a 10 dollar investment or 40 returns of a 20 dollar investment? That was what Black Mamba used to say.
Wakil is testing me.
Wakil didn’t like suppression and held importance on effort-based results. He said that humanistic treatment and hope for better living conditions would change Africa.
I’m going to show Ombuti that I’m more useful than him.
Sun WooHyun’s eyes raged with fire.
“You, the one who’s carrying a jembe.”
The worker, who was suddenly called out, turned around in confusion.
“Yes, you. What is your name?”
“It’s Spudi, sir.”
“Which group do you belong to?”
Spudi looked at the 10 member council with a worried expression. Someone from the 100 member councilman ran up to him and whispered his organization into Spudi’s ears.
“I’m in the fifth 100 member group and the third 10 member group.”
“Oh! Good job.”
Sun WooHyun flicked a one franc coin at Spudi.
“Spudi, if the fifth 100 member group takes first place, and the third 10 member group also takes first place, how much would you earn?”
Spudi racked his brain for a while before raising his head.
“55 francs, sir!” he shouted.
“Oh, good job.”
Sun WooHyun threw him another franc.
“That’s right. This means that the best 10 members from the 10 member group would receive an additional 55 francs.”
When the actual bonus was announced, a clamor echoed the entire place.
“Silence, the worker who performed the lowest amongst the 100 member group and 10 member group will have two and three francs subtracted from their basic wage, respectively. If both the 100 member group and 10 member group you’re involved with comes in last, you would receive 15 francs.”
Spudi’s face crumpled. The difference between 55 francs and 15 francs was too large. 55 francs could get him meat for his family. Spudi’s face turned fiery with greed.
Sun WooHyun’s mouth quivered into a smile. It was the basic strategy of a carrot and stick.
“I will place butler Barongo, who is the 1,000 member representative of this farm, as the head overseer. Each 100 member council and 10 member council will listen to Barongo’s orders to complete their jobs and get it checked. Barongo, step forward.”
Sun WooHyun tied a black armband around Barongo’s left arm.
“Black represents nobility and death at the same time. I will give all farm operative authority to the 1,000 member representative. Head overseer, I hope you make the Samaria Farm a happy place to work in.”
Sun WooHyun stopped talking and looked around at the workers who were concentrating with blazing eyes. This was it. They concentrated on every word he had said as it decided their losses and gains. This was why capitalism had developed quickly.
“Those who are loyal will be awarded, and those who sin will be punished severely. Barongo, do you swear loyalty to me, who is Azrael’s warrior and Miss Edel’s representative, Namir?”
“Yes, sir!” Barongo shouted a salute in return.
As expected of Barongo, his wits and reflex were amazing.
“Azrael is your owner, and Miss Edel is the true master of Samaria Farm. Does everyone understand?”
“Do you swear loyalty to me, the temporary farm owner, Namir?”
“I, Namir, will protect and give you plenty of food with the power given to me by my master, Azrael. What will you guys give in return?”
“Loyalty to Sir Azrael!” butler Barongo replied quickly.
“Loyalty to Sir Azrael!” the workers chanted back.
Sun WooHyun was all smiles. With the increased break time, meals, and wages, he’d organized and taken over the workers. The result was great compared to what he had done.
“Baki, take the first 100 member group and search the battlegrounds. Gather all the corpses and weapons. The rest of the 100 member groups will continue their daily tasks. Begin!”
Loyalty was now solidified.
“What should we do about the outsourced workers, sir?” Barongo asked.
“Let them carry on with their usual routines. Gather them here as soon as they arrive. Butler, you’ll be in charge of the outsourced workers too.”
“What should we do about the corpses?”
“Dig a suitable hole in the cotton field and bury them all. Next year, the cotton will probably bloom well.”
“Barongo, call a doctor over. Treat Nick and Enduma and give them enough food. I’m going to take a break.”
“I’ll prepare the bath and clothes, sir.”
“Butler, I don’t know the details of farmwork. I don’t even want to know. Isn’t there a mountain of work to do? You don’t need to take care of me.”
Barongo stared at Sun WooHyun’s swaying back for a long time as he walked away. His dark eyes were shining in greed.
“Hehehe, Ombuti, you called me a muscle-brained b*stard, hm? Just use my strength for Wakil and nothing else? I’m someone who can get things done.”
Sun WooHyun returned to the house filled with pride. Sun WooHyun was someone who’d looked up to a capitalist structure since his early 20s. He had gained some insight into the structure while wandering around other countries beyond North Korea.
Evil monsters and innocent humans were all people. Sun WooHyun had tried his best, but the allure of absolute elevation in benefits and status wasn’t light. It was to the point that an innocent person turned into a monster.
Mu Ssang replaced the old tiles on the temple’s roof and the TV and refrigerator, which had constantly lost electricity. He turned the temple’s side house into a kitchen and upgraded the bathroom with a modern flushing system. Surprisingly, the workload progressed quickly.
90 percent of the roof tile renewal was mostly carrying mud and tiles onto the roof. That wasn’t a difficult job for him. Mu Ssang placed the necessary mud and tiles on the roof before the workers were called.
If he rolled his feet lightly with several tiles in his hands, he was instantly on the roof. It wasn’t a hard job. The workers often tilted their heads. Monk Dae Woo didn’t say a word. Instead, he smiled from time to time. The roof replacement was completed within a fortnight. There were still 10 days to go for the soul-refining service to be over.
A telephone booth came into his view as Mu Ssang returned from grocery shopping. He impulsively shoved a 50 won coin into the booth’s slot. His fingers paused before he could finish turning the dial. He almost dialed Hae Young’s house.
A long sigh was exhaled. His head had forgotten, but his fingers hadn’t. Mu Ssang pulled his finger away from the dial and stared at the numbers for a long time. There wasn’t a place that he needed to call desperately.
Mu Ssang’s human connections were limited. He didn’t like forging new connections with humans. It was a result of the accumulated, horrible trauma from the five years he had spent as a slave in his uncle’s house, the inhumane treatment he had received from his neighborhood at the half-submerged bridge town, and the humans who had used and backstabbed him since young. Those sad memories had prevented him from doing so.
The tendency grew worse as he lived the life of a gentleman. He hated intervening in other people’s lives and couldn’t accept others intervening in his life. Mu Ssang’s estranged personality was one of the reasons why Monk Dae Woo had forced him to go overseas.
He wanted to contact Jin Soon, but it was too late in the evening. He wasn’t desperate, but he had felt the tugging of his heartstrings.
Senior Patrol Officer Park Mu Ho of Inje division.
It was a deep voice he hadn’t heard for five years. Like a panorama, he recalled the days when he had trekked up the Inje Nature Preserve with Mu Ho.
“Hyung, I’m Mu Ssang.”
“What? You damn b*stard, where are you?”
The rough, grating voice carried across the line punched at his eardrums.
“I came back to the country a few days ago.”
“Came back? Were you overseas?”
He hadn’t said anything to Mu Ho hyung when he had left the country. The conversation was about to get complicated.
“It’s nothing much. I just went out to deal with something.”
A few moments later, a rather exasperated voice came through.
“If you say so. Mina’s growing well. She graduated this year. She’s missing you very much, which is a problem. Other than that, everything’s fine. Grandma Park passed away last year. The other elders are fine.”
Senior Patrol Officer Park knew Mu Ssang’s personality better than anybody else. He removed all the unnecessary details and went straight to the point.
“Do you have enough money for Mina’s education?”
“You little s***, what the hell are you talking about? The money you gave us from selling all those peppers is still more than enough. Don’t worry. Should I hand the phone to Mina?”
“Don’t. There’s no reason to shake up a normal girl.”
“Guess so. That girl followed you around way too much.”
The child experiment number five that he’d taken care of while escaping Mt. Bang Tae and couldn’t ignore was Mina. He had asked Mu Ho to take care of her as he had been in no situation to raise her.
There wasn’t much to say after learning of Mina and the elders’ whereabouts. One was a silent person, while the other was secretive like a mountain bandit.
“I’ll go visit you soon.”
“Yeah. Do what you can until your mind’s settled.”
Mu Ho still thought that he was struggling with woman problems.
Mu Ssang stood there blankly for a while after the call ended. He hadn’t asked for Mu Ho hyung’s health or his wife’s. This wasn’t something cool but a phenomenon of an apathetic mind. He hadn’t been this bad even when his mind had deteriorated.
She was a child who called him papa, a child who had been born from a libertine man’s rape of a mentally retarded Lee Suk Ja, and a child who had been abandoned by her father after he had killed his wife for being in the way.
The law was far, and money was close. No, the law was useless before money. He had made sure that the man would ride in a wheelchair for the rest of his life by breaking his joints. However, what was the point? Mina had already become an orphan.
He suddenly found his fate despairing as he floated around like duckweed without roots.
“天長地久有時盡 此恨綿綿無絶期! Dirty b*stards, if you’ve given up on being a human, I’ll give you the conditions of being an animal.”
 It is a goblet-shaped drum of African origins, carved from a single piece of African hardwood with a head made from animal hide.
 Older brother.
 Even the heavens will end one day despite its eternal form, but there’s no end to the hatred in one’s heart!