Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 204

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The willow tree’s leaves rustled from the sudden gust of wind. Scattered rays of the sun hit his face like laser beams. Jin Soon took off her jacket and covered his face with it.

“Why do you like a hollow shell of a man like me?” Mu Ssang mumbled the question with his eyes closed.

Jin Soon was what they called a Queen Bee. She was tall and slim, and her face was perfectly symmetrical. She was a beauty. Plus, her personality was easy going. Any man with eyes would be drooling buckets in front of her.

“What reason do you need to like someone? There are many men in the world, but there is no man like you. I’m going to spend the rest of my life cooking for you and washing your underwear.”

Mu Ssang yelled, “Hey, don’t be ridiculous. Do you want to die a virgin?”

“Ha, what’s wrong with dying a virgin? There are a lot of people who grow old as virgins. Nuns devote their lives to God, and bhikkhunis devote themselves to Buddha. I’m going to devote myself to nag at you for the rest of my life. So, don’t you worry about it.”


He couldn’t think of anything to say. He had hoped that she would date a good man in college, but that didn’t work out.

“There are probably truckloads of boys falling head over heels for you. What have you been doing all this time?”

“I was dragged out to some meetings a couple of times, but those boys are like children. None of them emitted the aura of men. They were either thugs or mama’s boys, so I kicked them to the curb.”

“Oh, if you just took them seriously for a little while, they will look different. If you are too sure of yourself, your perspective will be distorted. It is the difference between seeing gentleness as weakness, catering to your needs as multiple personality disorder, and thoughtfulness as indecisiveness.”

Jin Soon shook her head. Having a chicken over a pheasant was one thing, but having a crow in place of a pheasant would be a bit of a complication. She had the same virus as the unwavering Ombuti.

“I may look a bit slow to you, but I’m not a ditz. I know how to differentiate between intuition and common sense. Anyway, because you are such a good catch, the idea of marrying me off to another man has gone out the window.”

“What makes me a good catch?”

Jin Soon started to count her fingers.

“You’re smart, strong, affectionate, determined, kind, a good fighter, and now you even make good money. 10 fingers won’t be enough to list it all.”

“Ha! You’ve got thick rose-colored glasses on, don’t you?”

Mu Ssang clicked his tongue.

“As long as I live my entire life with them on, there won’t be a problem. The truth hidden by fact is no different than a lie.”

“Oh, you sure are smart. Ever since you started college, your persuasion skills have gotten much better.”

“If you start getting awkward around me, I’ll become really sad. I’m okay with being a housemaid or a cook. I’m good at working and cooking.”

Jin Soon’s expression turned sorrowful. The day that oppa had left for a foreign country, she had secretly gone to the airport. She went even without knowing his flight time. She had cried all night while watching the planes take off and land.

When she opened a book, he was in the book.

When she looked up at the sky, he was in the sky.

When she stared into the lake, he was in the lake.

Oppa’s face was everywhere.

She could see him but could not reach him.

If she extended her hand now, she could touch his face.

Scared that it might push oppa away, she hid her hand away.

Tell me just once that it’s okay to extend a hand.

No. Don’t say anything. I’d be your shadow, like always.

When she closed the book,

When the clouds blocked the sky,

When the wind shook the lake,

Oppa’s face was always there.

Yesterday and today, I am waiting.

Couldn’t you extend your hand to me just this once?

Is that too much to ask for? Would the heavens forbid it?

If it was a dream, I didn’t want to wake up, and if it was not a dream, I want to remain asleep.

Tomorrow, 10 years from now, 100 years from now, I would still be there.

It was the song that she had sung crazily to herself as she walked along the path at night. Every time she had missed him, she would hum the song. Now, she would naturally hum the song whenever her heart ached for him.

What should I do about her!

Mu Ssang’s expression turned serious. Her confession was as red as blood. It was desperate and beautiful. The blatancy of the confession caused him a heartache. What was her reason for loving such a man who had nothing to offer? They said that there was no reason behind love. The reason was purely the fact that they just do.

“There is no end to the sunlight, but the grass is both long and short.”

He let out an exasperated sigh.

If Jin Soon found out the identity of Black Mamba, the Sahel’s Azrael, and the Angel of Death who had taken the lives of 1,000s of men, would her feelings for him remain unchanged?

Her feelings would obviously not change. She would only be immensely sad about it.

He hated himself as he laid his head on Jin Soon’s lap, whose soul was innocent. He was Asura, who wasn’t even once haunted by the souls of the 2,000 people he had killed. Not even one dead man’s soul had visited him in his dreams. That was why his teacher had claimed that he was a neo-psychopath. Was he worthy of receiving this kind of love? He hummed to himself without even realizing it.

I have survived an unrelenting life.

As if on a trip, I followed the beckoning of my mother.

Generosity might change, but the truth was like a diamond.

Love would set like the sun, but affection would have no end.

I returned here because I had memories of the place.

I circled back from far away to return here.

If I returned, would my bloodied soul be cleansed?

Would love be possible with hands covered in blood?

I came here by crossing the Styx river.

I killed others for my own survival.

I came here because I was still alive.

Could I hold on to happiness with hands covered in blood?

The soft baritone voice echoed through the willow tree forest. The tone was accompanied by a mixture of sadness and pain. Jin Soon’s heart ached. The fact that she had missed him was like a childish complaint of a pitiful schoolgirl compared to oppa’s sorrow and loneliness.

“Stop it oppa. I’m getting teary-eyed.”

The tears welling up in Jin Soon’s eyes fell on Mu Ssang’s face. She had cried the same way 10 years ago on oppa’s back as he sang Clementine to her. Today was sadder than the memory she had of that day.

How much she had mourned on the day that her respectful and righteous oppa had been framed for a crime of assault. When his reputation was ruined, the woman he had loved had even left him. Oppa, who had been left all alone, couldn’t stand it any longer and had left his home.

She knew what type of work the mercenaries did. The place he had left for had been hell too. The numerous scars on his body were an indication.

Jin Soon looked down and continuously stared at the thin face lying on her lap. The cross-shaped scar on his cheek caught her attention. How much pain he must have had to endure every time he got hurt!

He would have killed many people to make up for the numerous pain he had to endure. How painful and lonely it must have been for him since he was far away from home. She felt sorry for her oppa who could not live a normal life and escape his fate.

Even though he’d traveled a long way, he had not changed one bit. He remained kind-hearted due to his strength, and he couldn’t let go of the love he had for the one woman he had loved his entire life. He had such an attachment that he took care of the five siblings who had abused and tortured him instead.

“Oppa, aren’t mercenaries those people who go out to fight in wars? Even God can hurt innocent people by striking lightning at the wrong places. A soldier killing an enemy during war is not something you can control. Don’t hold it too close to your heart. To make amends, you even give offerings every day.”

There was only silence around them.

Mu Ssang’s eyes widened. She was very persuasive. That was why people said that it’s important to go to college.

“Oppa, aren’t you incredibly tired?”

“There is nothing easy in the world. There was a lot of mental stress, but there were instances where I was mentally comforted too. The desert night was terrifyingly desolate yet beautiful. Some stars twinkled from one end to the next within the vast sky. The wavy dunes reflected the shine of millions of stars. The moon rose with the sound of the bells on the camel’s neck. It filled the heart with the sensation of being alone in this world.”

“Wow! It’s like a poem. A poem. Is it Shangri-La or Mureung Dowon?”

Mu Ssang smiled bitterly. If the Sahel was Shangri-La, then Korea was heaven. Based on how one described something, it could look as different as night and day.

“Northern Africa, south of the Sahara Desert, was the place where the villagers traveled by camel. It was the place where women carried their starving children next to their naked bosoms and chased away the swarming flies.”

Jin Soon couldn’t sense the reality of it.

The Africa that she knew of was the desert and the jungle that was full of wild animals. Africa was just a place full of Black Congolese whom she had seen in movies. In her head, she could only associate vast diseases like yellow fever, typhoid fever, and cholera with the place. Mu Ssang had a similar sense of how Jin Soon had viewed Chad.

“The operation in Chad that I was thrown into had been a civil war between the north and south. Compared to Chad, our country is blessed. During the day, it was so hot your face would burn, and at night, it was so cold you could die from it. Sandstorms continuously blew while swarms of flies and mosquitoes sucked your blood day and night. Even the flies were different than the ones in this country. Mosquitoes as big as wasps would suck your blood to the extent that it would make you jump in pain. I couldn’t even drink water in peace since it was polluted and filled with bacteria. After many years of erosion, the rivers and lakes had all dried up. There were times when we didn’t have a drop of water to drink for three days straight. We only had the option of slicing open a camel’s neck to drink its blood. That is what northern Chad of the Sahel was like.”

“Oh my! It sounded like a fantasy before, but it feels like hell now. Thank you so much for returning back safely, oppa.”

“Isn’t the world just like that? When a person returns home, it is filled with nostalgia and longing. You see as much as you know and feel as much as you’ve seen. The desert is like a fantasy. Beautiful but also deadly. However, even in a place like that, humans find a way to survive.”

“This place is no different. There are a lot of sad people thrashing about in hell. If it hadn’t been for you, I would have been in the factories dying cloth until I reeked of chemicals instead of attending school.”

“You’re strong. You will do well even without me by your side.”

Jin Soon shook her head. Even a cow needed a secret hill. A person like oppa, who had overcome the odds after experiencing so many obstacles, was a special case. If oppa had not helped her, Yeon Soon and Gye Soon would have met the same fate as Jum Soon and ended up as a conductor.

“Oppa, I’m hungry. Shall we go visit one of our old fishing spots?”

Jin Soon changed the subject to steer away from the somber atmosphere.

“Hey, look at the water’s state. How can we catch fish from such a dirty pool of water?”

The clear lake water had turned into a foamy polluted lake from the construction runoff. The clams that he had easily found and enjoyed when he was younger had bid their goodbyes.

“Since we are together, I couldn’t even smell the stench of the fields. With oppa by my side, I’m already full. Let’s just walk.”

Mu Ssang stumbled. His hair stood on end every time she mentioned being full because it felt like she was referring to something else.

Ha Joong’s sandy shore was so wide that other beaches couldn’t even compete. There were a lot of pretty seashells around, just like those on the beaches. Jin Soon took off her high heels and bounced about in the sand.

Her hair flew around from the strong wind of the lake, her green midi skirt ruffled, and her hands were busy trying to fix the flipping ends of her skirt.

That moment overlapped with the images of his moonlit vacation, no, his final vacation with Hae Young—the twinkling stars which had looked like it would rain down on him, the gust of wind that felt like it would blow the world away, the lips that had turned blue from the cold, the woman who had placed her cold hands on her bosom and laughed, her passionate seduction, the airplane that had disappeared into the clouds, the tears that had wet his cheeks, and the strong gust of wind that blew through the hole in his heart.

Yes, I should be content with only one love.

His heart wavered for a second before finding its rightful place once again.

Kweh kweh kweh—

The sound of the pheasant brought him back to reality. Ha Joong’s forest was like a heaven of its own. Many birds like pheasants and sparrows had inhabited the forest.

April was mating season for the pheasants. A male pheasant flew around the forest and made a racket with its chirping.

The male pheasant usually did many childish things to impress its mate. It flew around and cried to make itself more noticeable.

If it couldn’t find an adequate flight pattern, its flight became short. There was a repetition of short flights and landing. As a result, it became easy prey for hawks, other predatory birds, and animals like foxes.

A cooked pheasant is good!

He picked up a couple of round rocks. He found a large male pheasant. Mu Ssang quietly blended with the forest. Jin Soon did not realize that Mu Ssang, who had been walking beside her, had disappeared.

The male pheasant made a raucous without realizing that a dangerous predator was targeting it.

Kweh kweh kweh kweh—

The male pheasant sat on the edge of a thick branch, crying loudly. It was 10 meters away. He could hit it with his eyes closed.


The rock that had left his hand hit the pheasant squarely on its head. The pheasant that had extended its neck and made a scene suddenly keeled over. Overtaken by a predator, the male pheasant didn’t have a chance to pass down its genes with its flamboyant feathers.

Mu Ssang, who had disappeared, returned with two large pheasants in his hands.

“Where have you been? Oh, when did you catch the pheasants?” Jin Soon asked in confusion.

“They surrendered to feed my hungry companion. They were fighting over who would make the sacrifice, and they both decided to take the fall for each other. They were both thugs. Even pheasants wouldn’t enjoy good fate if they try to wield too much power over those below him.”

“Hohoho, oh, that’s all a myth.”

Jin Soon grabbed her stomach while laughing. Her oppa had special skills even when he was younger. He became strong ever since fourth grade and was good at catching deer and rabbits. It was no surprise to her that he had caught two pheasants.

“What do we have as complements for the meal?”

“Bomdong, garland chrysanthemum, and green garlic will be out in the fields. There’s even spinach. However, there is no water to clean it with.”


Mu Ssang laughed out loud. It had been the time when they were getting ready to counterattack Habib’s base camp. Jang Shin had told him that there was no vehicle to travel with. He was reminded of the blank look on his comrades’ faces. How flabbergasted they must have been!

Even the frigid winter had a scent. The cabbages and radishes that had been buried in the earth were ripening. At the end of April, there were a lot of things to eat, so they weren’t too worried about it. The problem was that there was no clean water to wash them with. It was the same feeling that he had felt when they were preparing to leave, but there had been no vehicle available.
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