Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 258
“Am I blacky?”
The black leopard mumbled internally. There was a hint of excitement in its thoughts. Black Mamba was slightly embarrassed. The “blacky” he’d called out without much thought became its name. He felt sorry since the receiver seemed to like it.
“Right. You’re blacky.”
“Thanks. But what are you?”
“I’m what you call a human. I’m Dong-bang-bull-pae.”
“Human? Dong-bang-bull-pae, could you share your knowledge? Your knowledge and way of thinking seem very different from mine. I need to understand your knowledge and perceptions to start a conversation.”
His brain suddenly felt a cool sensation. The poking sensation he felt on his brain tickled him. At the same time, he could relive a block of blacky’s memories as though it was his.
“Wait, are these blacky’s thoughts?”
Black Mamba’s meditation broke off. The moment he realized it was blacky that had sent him those thoughts, his consciousness returned to the present.
“F***, what is that!”
Dumbfounded, Black Mamba could only look at the black leopard. The b*stard, which he thought would die soon, was staring at him in a comfortable position. It had returned to its original shape. It had also recovered at a tremendous speed. That wasn’t the problem. Now that he was in the right mind, he was aware that those thoughts had come from that b*stard instead of his inner voice. He was at a loss for words.
“Human Dong-bang-bull-pae, thank you for sharing your name and knowledge. With this, I have gained attributes and a form. I have become a defined existence.”
“Ha! Is it at my teacher’s level? Mind language of enlightening wisdom? Translation of intentions?”
Despite their language differences, its intentions had successfully reached his brain. In other words, it was a standardized thought wave. One’s ears could pick up languages through air fluctuations created by sound organs when conveying IPA in which the brain would analyze.
If intentions could be transferred directly to the synapses in the brain’s language center, there would be no need for languages. Did the blacky convey its intentions directly to his brain? The situation was turning more and more like Wonderland. It was a living fantasy. Was that even possible?
Black Mamba slapped his forehead. He’d conversed with the black leopard in his silent meditative state. It meant that he could convey his intentions through his resonance waves. There was no reason why he couldn’t convey his intentions through resonance waves when he could deliver resonance waves through his voice. That would be the mind language of enlightening wisdom, featured in martial arts novels.
He calmed his mind with the mind centering technique. He disregarded the external disturbances and engaged his inner mind.
It automatically triggered his resonance waves. It was soft and resistant. It wasn’t the thick, violent resonance waves that usually rushed around. He placed meaning in his resonance.
“So, you gained attributes and a form? What are you? Aren’t you a black leopard?”
What was that thing? His curiosity might drive him mad. It was an isolated ecosystem from the Mesozoic era. According to the evolutionary tree and no matter how far back he went, the leopard’s origins dated back to no more than 4,000,000 years ago.
It was hard to connect a point from 100,000,000 years ago to a point from 4,000,000 years ago. While the differences in geological age were ambiguous, there was too much of a difference. The saber-toothed tiger, which belonged in the same family tree as the leopard, was a good example. Based on the geological time scale, there wasn’t much of a difference between its appearance and the leopard’s appearance.
“No. I’m an atypical being that exists yet doesn’t exist. According to your stored memories, I’m neither an animal nor a plant. The black leopard is an image you made up yourself. You have a bad memory with leopards. That memory recognized me as a black leopard. So, I appeared in the form of a black leopard. Now, I exist as blacky, because you gave me that name.”
“What? So if I recognized you as a female human, you would have appeared as a female human? Does it work like that?”
“Damn, how good would it be if I had recognized you as Edel?”
Black Mamba clicked his tongue. It was a ridiculous thought. If the black leopard was speaking the truth, there wouldn’t be a reason to fight so violently, and he could have spent the time well and peacefully.
“Can you change again if I recognize you as a female human?”
“Kekekeke! You’re lonely, aren’t you? A rock will always be a rock no matter how much you wish it to be a diamond.”
The blacky crackled. The b*stard, which had sent terrifying low-level ELF attacks with glaring eyes, seemed so different.
Black Mamba came to a realization. The black leopard was something like a god. A true god wasn’t a presence that could be justified. How could an inferior human understand and conceptualize a higher being?
An ant could only recognize a human’s finger as a large pillar. The same went for humans. When justified and conceptualized, gods were no longer gods. In other words, that gave meaning to something insignificant. He’d given a meaningless presence, which took up space, the concept of a black leopard, and it had turned into a black leopard.
When concepts combined with reality, it turned into beings. He hadn’t thought of that since the possession of names was natural. He was born a human and existed as Mu Ssang since that was his name. He acted like Ddu-bai-buru-pa, which was why he was called Ddu-bai-buru-pa. The black leopard had become a black leopard with his definition and became a purposeful existence with the given name, blacky.
“Describe your past from before you became blacky.”
“I don’t have a past. The concept of past and future only existed when I became blacky. It is considered foolish to find meaning in meaningless things. I will explain to you the primitive knowledge I have within me.”
Long ago, when the past couldn’t be defined by a humans’ concept of time, the master of the Earth was the Concretus. They were the owners of the Epidium and me, blacky’s master. The Concretus extended their lives with advanced science and medicine. It optimized the genetic map and revived species that died from accidents or age with genetic engineering. I, blacky, was one of the elements required for the Concretus’ revival, who died in the Age of Twilight.
“What a surprising story. If that’s the case, I can understand the existence of atypical and non-conceptual beings. Your master must have removed the necessary parts from others to fill in any missing parts of those that needed treatment. Was it a level of philosophy beyond medicine? Why did the great Concretus disappear? Are there any other intelligent beings?”
“I don’t know other intelligent beings other than the Concretus. Primitive knowledge is based on self-preservation. It is extremely unstable and fragmentary. It cannot be judged or reasoned with at all. My knowledge has increased from gaining self-awareness, but I’m still lacking. It means I can’t answer complicated questions. I need you to understand simple things.”
“They were responsible for the fall of intelligent beings. They extended their lives using science and medicine. Their lifespan of 120 years extended to 500 years. They praised science and medicine. Enamored by their longer life spans, they desired for eternal life.”
“They focused on extending their lives even longer once they fell into the dogma of transcendent science. They could live up to 700 years. They were like gods but not gods. They had developed genetic engineering enough to create me, blacky, but signs of the Age of Twilight, which soon followed, also appeared. The longer they lived, the slower the evolution and the lesser the diversity.”
Blacky continued, “Species evolved by overcoming pain and danger. There was no reason for the Concretus to be in danger or be tormented when advanced science had been achieved. The Concretus’ genes grew weaker across 1,000,000s of years.”
“Anything alive evolved through a selection. Weaker species with malignant genetic factors were eliminated earlier on, breaking off any genetic link. For example, patients with congenital heart disease or diabetes would die earlier, unable to live out their lives. A person with weak leg bones would die earlier from being chased by a ferocious beast. It meant that their genes couldn’t pass on.”
“But the Concretus didn’t die until their lives ran out. With science and medicine, the Concretus lived for 700 years. It could even revive a Concretus that had committed suicide. Was it a blessing or a curse?”
“Wow, to not have the freedom to die is like hell. Those malignant genes must have increased in number,” Black Mamba thought.
“Yes. Over the course of 1,000,000s of years, the gene pool grew full of malignant and modified genes. The entire species became weak, and genetic diseases and mutations continued. The HeLa cells, especially, were the problem since apoptosis couldn’t function properly. A deformity in which specific body organs would grow endlessly was found. In human terms, it was god’s punishment for those who disregarded divine providence.”
“Viruses and bacterias are components of the Earth, just like air. Cells evolve by fighting and cohabiting with viruses, even accepting parts of it. Viruses invade cells and leave imprints of their DNA. Cells that overcome viruses become even stronger. In summary, it gains immunity and delivers genetic information to the next generation. The Concretus didn’t give a chance for their species to be tormented.”
“They used vaccines, immune serums, antibiotics, and clones to save lives. The opportunity for immune genes to grow was deprived, and the weak genes were passed onto the next generation. The Concretus were isolated from the cycle of natural evolution due to advanced science,” Blacky went on.
“Although they managed to extend their lives by manipulating genes like telomeres, their immunity system and bodies weakened. In the end, birth rates dropped significantly. Inevitably, they had to resort to external fertilization to create offspring. Strange enough, the offspring born from external fertilization wasn’t the Concretus but the Epidium.”
“You mentioned an Epidium before. What is an Epidium?” Black Mamba asked.
“Kekeke, that’s you. There seems to be a human species called the Paranthropus in your memories. They were originally called the Epidium. The weak Concretus wanted a strong descendant. They modified all kinds of genetic information to strengthen the body and improve sight. The existence born from that was the Epidium.”
“They were strong, but for some unknown reason, the Epidium had low intelligence. They didn’t even reach the intelligence level of a Concretus offspring. It was probably due to their weak genes. They were flustered by the birth of a strong and unintelligent child. The Concretus tried everything they could for a long time but weren’t able to solve the problem.”
“They used the Epidium, which couldn’t integrate into their society, for two purposes. The tame Epidium took on the hard work for the Concretus. Meanwhile, they injected transmitters into the violent Epidium and released them into nature. They wanted to observe the evolutionary processes following nature’s cycle. You’re a descendant of the violent Epidium that the Concretus released into nature.”
Black Mamba’s mouth hung open at the great story that took place during the ancient times. Apparently, 100s and 1,000,000s of years before the emergence of modern humans, a highly intelligent civilization called the Concretus had existed. The Paranthropus, no, the Epidium was a result of the Concretus’ unsuccessful external fertilization. He couldn’t help but be surprised.
Blacky continued the story.
“The aged died, and the birth rate decreased over time. The population’s deceleration phase got out of hand. The Concretus named the day of their last birth the “Button of Twilight.” 50,000 years from the Button of Twilight to their extinction was referred to as the Age of Twilight.”
“In the Age of Twilight, they created soulless beings to transfer their souls into them. That was their last attempt at stopping extinction, I suppose. Countless experiments were carried out. The Concretus slowly dropped from Twilight to Darkness through successes and failures.”
“They didn’t acknowledge the existence of the experimental outcome. They referred to the creatures of the experiment, Adras, as non-existent beings. According to your knowledge, Adras is a kind of homunculus. While the Epidium were just idiots, the Adras were non-existent beings with bodies. Basically, pitiful creatures without souls or self-will. Well, I suppose the concept of pitifulness was created after they were given their names,” Blacky carried on.
“Their end was brought about by a massive meteorite impact. While the Concretus could block a meteorite with their advanced science, they were helpless. They had the ability but hadn’t been prepared. They had focused all of their resources and manpower on genetic engineering. They had to, to prevent extinction. Large-scale volcanic eruptions and shifting tectonic plates tore the Earth apart. The Concretus couldn’t do anything.”
“When society fell into chaos, a hole opened amidst their fight against the viruses. The Concretus conducted indiscriminate genetic manipulation and created drugs to protect their immune system. Countless virus variants were created in the process. They believed that they could control the virus outbreak, but that was just arrogance. Viruses evolved too. The Concretus that was almost in the last phase of extinction during the Age of Twilight suddenly disappeared. Either way, they would have silently disappeared within 1,000 years or so.”
“How could this be!”
Black Mamba was extremely confused. It was a story about an ancient civilization that resided on Earth 1,000,000s of years ago and how their extreme intelligence drove themselves to extinction. All the knowledge he’d learned and memorized until now seemed useless. He felt as though he was listening to the future of Homo sapiens, who were completely immersed in scientific universalism. Did the arrogance of intelligent beings lead to destruction?
“A part of the Earth’s crust, where the experimental factory was located, collapsed. Some of the liquefied Adras flowed into this place. The liquefied Adras was designed to be sensitive to viruses. It is the same for me. There’s no such thing as life for the Adras. Environmental maladjustment and viral infections would kill the Adras. All the Adras that flowed in here were destroyed,” Blacky explained.
“I don’t know why I am alive. I’ve simply kept my place, neither dead nor alive, for several years. The smell of the Epidium woke me up. I am glad to call myself by my name. I’m glad to experience this emotion called happiness. My master, the Concretus, disappeared in the Age of Twilight, but the genetically enhanced Epidium survived by adapting to the Earth’s climate. I’m surprised an Epidium still lives. There’s a good concept called ‘friend’ in your memories. I want to be your friend.”
The blacky’s long story ended. Black Mamba had nothing to say except to exclaim. It was an unbelievable story, but the Mesozoic era had existed before him, and there was a blacky called the Adras.
 A concrete presence.