Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 268
Black Mamba accepted reality. He’d become their apostle purely by chance. It was an embarrassing and overwhelming title, but he did call himself Dong-bang-bull-pae. The being, who refused to bend in the east, was himself.
A man shouldn’t pull out of the mess he made. I would cut through the wind if I pulled out my knife.
Hatay was originally called Alexandretta and only became famous after the filming of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. The area was 4,700 square kilometers, which was eight times the size of Seoul. Hatay, which was Syria’s territory, became Turkey’s territory after getting caught up in the sly political tactics of Kemal Atatürk, the father of Turkey. Syria watched on as it lost Hatay to Turkey. His greed to reacquire Hatay resulted in Assad’s accumulation of biological and chemical weapons.
It was hard to differentiate Turkey and Syria when it came down to religious and ethnic persecution. The Kurds fled to Syria to avoid the racial wipeout, while Armenians and Orthodox Christians fled to Turkey. Of course, neither of them were welcomed on either side.
At all times, there was unpredictable tension around Hatay’s borders. Fights broke out randomly. However, it wasn’t at the level of a few warning bullets, like the Korean DMZ. They shot with mortars and rocket shells. One had to risk their lives to cross the border.
Instead, Black Mamba welcomed the conflict. Both sides needed only a spark to go up in flames. He could use that conflict to escape unnoticed. That was why Black Mamba had decided on the shortest and fastest route.
There wasn’t a problem with France’s cooperation, either. Bonipas was a talented negotiator. Black Mamba hadn’t killed Bonipas because there hadn’t been a better communication channel than him when he returned from the Sahel. Debt should be repaid with debt. France was rather benevolent toward immigrants and asylum seekers. 460 Syrian refugees weren’t a big deal. Mitterrand might even welcome them to emphasize his government’s support for morality and human rights.
Black Mamba was rash but not stupid. Sufficient calculations and evidence backed up his claim as the Ddu-bai-buru-pa.
Mohammad couldn’t close his mouth. If that were the case, the Orthodox Christians would be able to escape without strife. However, there was little possibility of actualizing such a reality. Turkey was Syria’s enemy state, and France wasn’t some pushover.
Moving 460 followers, transportation vehicles, and large-scale passenger ships; crossing borders and Turkey’s cities; protecting the fellow Orthodox Christians—nothing was easy. He believed in the apostle, but he doubted the plan.
“Then…then are we…?”
Black Mamba wasn’t nice enough to clear Mohammad’s suspicions. He continued talking.
“It’s approximately 600 kilometers to the French Embassy in Damascus, and it will take two days back and forth. I’ll move with Ahmad. You must finish preparations by the 11th of October, which is four days from now. We’ll move quickly. They can only take things transportable by hand.”
“Yes, I understand, sir,” Mohammad answered as though in a trance.
And so a great escape plan was conceived haphazardly while the world slept on. That was Black Mamba’s answer to the question, “Did you try?” A leader’s worth didn’t rely entirely on precision. It also relied on one’s decision-making skills, if they were decisive enough to cut off a tangled thread when necessary.
“Apostle, I believe they have finished.”
“What a sad reality.” Black Mamba nodded.
It had been a long time since the screams stopped. They were unfortunate people oppressed by religion and dictatorship. If it wasn’t for the self-serving society, they would have to keep facing the murderer. A citizen left unprotected by the country wasn’t a citizen.
They’ve cut him like sashimi.
There were pieces of flesh covered in blood on the basement floor. Aksur’s fingers and toes were severed. It was revenge for cutting off their son’s wrist. The qisas ran deep in the Arabs’ DNA.
He wasn’t about to criticize or scold them. Black Mamba had a strange tendency of acting strong around the strong and weak around the weak. His view on crime was conservative enough to be biased. He behaved strongly around shameless criminals who kidnapped or raped the weak, including defenseless women and children. He didn’t believe in preventing crimes through correction and guidance. He preferred relentless revenge.
Crimes are prevented from the fear of punishment. That phrase later became the foundation of his legislation. Monk Dae Woo had lamented that his character was unlike a Buddhist.
The sight of Bakri, who sat crumpled on the ground leaning against the castle ruins while blinking away his tears, came into view. He must be feeling the emptiness that followed after revenge.
“Ahmad, God has taken pity on this father of yours and sent me Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa. You’ll be able to rest in peace now! Uh-uuuu!”
“There’s nothing more like a butcher shop.”
Bakri and old man Alli, who had collapsed on the ground, leaped to their feet.
“Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa, Ahmad can now rest in peace. Thank you.”
“Bakri, your other child who is still alive, is more important than your dead child. Bury Ahmad in your heart and prepare for the future of your remaining children.”
“Ah, is it starting?”
“I’ll lead the believers myself. Discuss with Mohammad and prepare to immigrate immediately.”
“Thank you, God! Finally, finally! Uhuhuhuhu!”
Bakri’s heart swelled since his desire to escape was becoming a reality. Even if it was just for a day, his lifelong wish to live peacefully was about to be fulfilled.
“My brother Bakri, you’ve finally gotten your revenge. Congratulations. Ahmad, cut the swine’s neck and legs before tossing him into the lake. He’ll reincarnate into a fish in his next life if he remains in a fish’s stomach,” Mohammad spoke in a snappish manner.
Ahmad silently picked up a large jungle knife. Black Mamba shook his head. The Arabs were persistent when exacting their revenge. They burned the body of the dead or chopped them into pieces so that the soul couldn’t reincarnate. The elites of the Joseon dynasty used to dig out the corpses buried in the grave and chopped them into pieces. There wasn’t much he could say.
Sick of the smell of blood, Black Mamba turned toward Maydanki Lake to look at the eastern Orthodox Christian village. To the west of the lake, there was a well-organized farm, while the east was filled with barren hills. There were cleared farmlands between the hills. It was similar to the morning scenery in Gangwon-do.
To the west of the lake, there lived the Muslims, while in the east, there lived the Orthodox Christians. The Orthodox Christians, who used to live in the west, moved to the east because they were robbed of their wealth and couldn’t stand the discrimination. In other words, the lake was divided between the Muslims and the Orthodox Christians.
He looked around three villages. The largest village was village number 45. Although the villages were small due to the lack of farmland, it was mostly because of the government’s control over the organized communities.
The Orthodox Christians were frequently accused of spying or guerrilla reinforcements. The truth wasn’t important. The village was cleared, and the locals were forced away to desolate lands or the desert after an accusation was made.
The Orthodox Christians’ houses were nothing more than temporary residences. They built the walls carelessly with rocks, soil, and wallpaper and covered it with a tin roof. The officials didn’t bother knocking on the houses as long as the rain didn’t leak through, and it looked modest. That was because they were used to the frequent attacks by Islamic extremists and orders of eviction.
They couldn’t go to the hospital even if their child was injured. Syrian hospitals didn’t accept heathens. They stole lands, even if someone else farmed it. A grown daughter was prone to receive hate. There was nowhere for them to turn, either. The Syrians who couldn’t call Syria their home were the Orthodox Christians.
All the people he met in the village looked tired and sad. Their backs were hunched from the weight of life. Everyone who met him avoided him. It was also hard to converse with them.
“Tsk, I feel like I’ve turned into a pest or a disease.”
He clicked his tongue. They were people with fear ingrained in their blood and saw outsiders as feared subjects. Their timidness exceeded his expectations, which was based on the information he had heard from Bakri and Mohammad.
“Marhaban!” he greeted a young boy who was leading a herd of goats.
The child’s face stiffened. His blood rushed, and his brain waves became unstable.
The boy, who was about the age of 10, ran to the village and mumbled a greeting in return.
Black Mamba turned his feet. He wasn’t about to shout, “I’ve come to save you all,” like he was Jesus. He’d be nothing but trouble to them if he kept wandering around.
Beginnings blossomed from small occurrences. He shared a fate with them ever since he met the six-year-old girl, Wael. It wasn’t as though he was incapable. They were people he had already decided to accept. He couldn’t ignore them, not when they were overwhelmed with anxiety and fear!
Darkness approached. Black Mamba smiled as he rummaged through the Boss-saurus’ tendons.
“Hehe, would Ahmad be shivering in the basement? Maybe, he won’t even blink since he’s brave.”
The weight of the tendons that he’d brought over was about 80 kilograms, and those were the small ones. The tendon connecting the lower chin to the skull was at least 60 centimeters wide. He’d purposely brought it, enamored by how it strengthened the Kukri’s rebound.
He picked out a tendon of about two centimeters wide and two meters long. Its tenacity and elasticity were great, and it was heavy. It was best used as a stick. He swaggered up the hill with a one-of-a-kind bat.
Black Mamba tilted his head when he heard a strange sound. From a distance, he could hear a chilling cry alongside screams.
It was the very sound he had heard before commencing the Ruman plan.
His fearless steps were pushed to the limit. A whirlwind rushed into the castle ruins’ basement.
There were 150 steps leading to the basement. The white dust, which had accumulated over the centuries, rose. He halted at the lowest step. The basement was bright from the five oil lamps that Ahmad had brought with him. He’d brought quite a lot, perhaps out of fear.
“What the hell is that?”
About five raccoon-sized monsters were gathered around Ahmad, attacking him violently. It was an unexpected scene.
They had bright red eyes, spikes like that of a hedgehog, sharp teeth and nails, long tails, and movements that weren’t comparable to martens. However, he still couldn’t come up with a name after searching through the animal encyclopedia in his brain.
Ahmad’s clothes were soaked in blood.
The creatures flew like arrows. Ahmad stretched out with the knife in his left hand. It was the best defensive move executed at the right time.
The creatures turned once in the air with their mouths agape and retreated.
Ahmad swung the shamshir in his right hand in an arc. The shadow of the blade gleamed in white. It was the dual-wielding swordsmanship. It was better than Black Mamba’s in terms of fineness.
“He’s not bad. Woah!”
What was most shocking were the creatures.
The shamshir that landed on the creatures’ waists made a clanging sound.
The creatures, which landed on the floor, immediately counterattacked. The blade couldn’t cut through their hides.
One of the creatures, which had been aiming for the man’s back, leaped without a sound. It was a double-sided maneuver that predators often used. Ahmad was too busy fighting off the other creatures that were attacking him from the front, left, and right. He failed to notice the creature that was aiming for the back of his neck.
“Ugh, that idiot!”
The Kukri flashed.
A piercing scream was heard from the creature when it received the Kukri’s accurate aim.
The creature crashed against the other side of the wall and flopped onto the floor.
“Huh, it’s not dead?”
Black Mamba’s eyes widened. The creature was trembling, unable to withstand the pain. His Kukri had failed to pierce its hide. The creature was simply shoved toward the wall by its force.
“Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa, please avoid them! They’re sila. Blades won’t work on them!”
Even in his difficult circumstance, Ahmad told him to run instead of asking for help. Black Mamba raised the young man’s score.
“To a mere creature?”
Black Mamba jumped down the stairs, his blood starting to boil.
A thick airwave that twisted the surrounding air sounded.
The Boss-saurus’ tendon swung in the air. It wasn’t as effective as the Gorgon, but it was heavy enough to break apart a living creature.
Bang bang bang—
The creatures were thrown relentlessly into the air and slammed onto the wall and floor.
“Hah, impossible! Is there such a creature called sila?”
He forced out a breath in surprise. Not a single one was dead, all of them struggling to stand. The tendon was heavy enough to shatter a rock. Even if their hides resisted, their bones should have shattered. He’d grinded the terrorists and their weapons together in Ruman’s basement like a juice mixer with his Gorgon, after all.
“Ahmad. Is that a cat, a rat, or a bird?”
“I’ve never seen such a creature before either, sir. I feel as though they’re much bigger than rats considering their teeth and tail.”
“You’re right. Strange things have been happening since that Ocelot b*stard popped up. Wait, Ocelot?”
He got a brain freeze as though he had just drunk cold water. Was he the only one who had inherited the Epidium’s gene? There was Ocelot, after all. What if an animal managed to survive after coming into contact with the Epidium’s gene?
Wouldn’t the sila of the Arab legends or the Himalayan Yeti be created in such a manner? The problem was that if such a creature was released into the outside world, not only was the environment going to crumble, humans wouldn’t be able to defeat it either.
“It’s not a land that I like, but I can’t leave such creatures be.”
The creatures’ existence would only harm the world.
The creatures’ bloodlust and attacking instinct evolved. Sparks leaped out of their red eyes. They had recognized Ahmad as the prey and Black Mamba as a greater foe. There were no other idiotic animals that would run toward a prey alongside a stronger enemy before them.
A black line was drawn. The biggest b*stard leaped off the ground and crossed a distance of 20 meters instantly. They were playing with Ahmad. Their momentum and speed increased.
A fist with an iron grip was wrapped around the creature’s neck.
The creature struggled. Black Mamba’s skin tore due to the creature’s sharp claws. Its claws were as sharp as his Kukri.
“I should get rid of the dirty remains.”
He swung his arm around in the air and flung it toward the ground relentlessly.
A stone, which was at least two feet wide, shattered. He looked carefully at the creature that laid limp on the ground. There was a gap between its sharp anterior teeth and molar. It didn’t have fangs. Its teeth were typically seen on a rodent. He could only assume that the creatures were variants of rats.
He grabbed the creature’s upper and lower jaws. He ruthlessly tore apart its jaws with his immense strength, snapping its body into two. A strong bloody scent started to spread. He had to properly get rid of it in case it was remnants of the Epidium.