Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 282
Bonipas didn’t ask about Black Mamba’s plan to utilize the land in the Sahel. He only mentioned that he would help. Unwarranted curiosity and interference was the leading cause of a deteriorating relationship.
“Where are you going to use all that money?”
“All the better with more, isn’t it? You only live more comfortably if you work more in your youth.”
“You’ve figured out life’s secrets 20 years earlier than I did! Kekeke!” Bonipas laughed as he slid forward a blue-colored card embellished with a golden lily.
Lilies were France’s national flower. Golden-colored flowers represented high-ranking officials, while silver-colored flowers represented the average government workers.
“The minister of the Interior, Pione, sent you a gift. To be precise, it’s to bribe you to be more lenient with him. The monthly usage limit is 50,000 francs, the cash withdrawal limit is 50,000 francs, and the usage period is within 30 years. In France and other developed countries, credit cards are widely used compared to cash. Credit cards are gaining popularity in Korea, as well. Use it as your pocket money.”
Bonipas offered without hesitation. One who was fed salt would drink water. Bonipas, no, France knew how to utilize their people.
Black Mamba unhesitatingly took the card. If he could scrape 13,000,000 won monthly with the card and withdraw another 13,000,000 won in cash, that meant it wasn’t a small amount of money. 26,000,000 won was 10 times the annual salary of a banker from a mid-sized company. The amount was too much for it to be considered pocket money. Once again, he realized his value had increased dramatically due to the Ruman plan.
The settlement was concluded. It had been an impressive feat, but the rewards were incomparable. He’d earned more than enough. Both Black Mamba and Bonipas were satisfied.
“If you’re not tired, I’d like to ask you something.”
Now that he’d relaxed, Bonipas finally expressed his curiosity. His patience was truly like that of a serpent.
“I am tired, but I should relieve you of your curiosity.”
“What happened in Kaparja Valley? I’m about to die waiting for the written report.”
“I wiped out Ruman and found the biological and chemical weapons stored in a cave. There were 100s of 200-liter drum containers and metal sealed containers. I feared that carelessly exploding them would cause a leak. I shoved four large propane cans into the cave and caused a vapor cloud explosion with the compositions. Since the area was sealed, the pressure was astounding.”
“Huh, that was the best way to get rid of poisonous gases and bacteria. There must have been a shortage of compositions, so how did you get rid of the Berkut camp?”
“That was the problem. There were over 120 of them.”
“120 missiles?” Bonipas shouted in surprise.
Despite it being an obsolete missile, the Berkut was like rat poison to the Mirage with its radar and evasive system. 120 Berkuts meant that it was impossible for the Mirage to move past Syria’s borders.
“I didn’t have enough gunpowder or time. I gathered all of them in one place and lit them up with a composition.”
“You ripped off all the missiles that were set up on the gantries and exploded them all?!”
Bonipas’ mouth hung open. Black Mamba nodded without a word. The unpleasant memories from spending nearly two months trapped underground, which had been a result of his useless actions, came rushing back.
“I’m at a loss for words. I would never have imagined hearing such an absurd story in my life.”
He had gathered all of the 570-kilogram warheads in one place and exploded them. Bonipas stared blankly at Black Mamba with his mouth agape. Bonipas knew the guy wasn’t human, but his actions seemed so foolishly inhumane.
“Don’t stare at me like I’m some kind of monster. I didn’t know the explosion would be that powerful either. The dam exploded while I was climbing back up the valley.”
“The explosive power of 120 missile warheads must have shaken the weak plate and crushed the dam.”
“That’s exactly it. The lake water trapped in the dam rose to a height of 50 meters and covered the power plant before sending it away. Ugh!”
Black Mamba stopped talking and shook his head. The frightening memory made his mind race.
“I was swept into a crack created by the earthquake. What happened next should be obvious. I was swept into the deep underground and had to crawl back up. It had felt like forever.”
Black Mamba summarized it simply, leaving out any mentions of the underground Mesozoic world. He didn’t want to go over every detail nor tell him anything. He would consider himself fortunate if he wasn’t sent to a mental hospital after explaining the existence of the Concretus, which had attained the pinnacle of science 1,000,000,000s of years ago, the Epidium, and the dinosaurs.
“It isn’t easy to earn 500,000,000 francs, now, is it!”
Bonipas could only laugh at his dry humor. Only Black Mamba could accomplish and survive through such a plan.
“Even Hollywood movies can’t replicate your experiences. Rest well and submit the report tomorrow.”
“I’m a little tired.”
He wasn’t just a little tired. He was exhausted. He hadn’t had time to rest comfortably in over two months. His Paranthropus body also had limits.
Ah, right, Rakshasa!
Black Mamba searched his backpack while standing. He’d lost his Gorgon when the lake water carried him away. He removed Vajra from Rakshasa and handed it over to Bonipas. The Vajra was 100 times more important than the Boss-saurus’ tendon. Modern technology could replace the Rakshasa, but the Vajra was irreplaceable.
“You can make a whip out of it. It is eight meters long and weighs 30 kilograms.”
“What on earth is this?”
Bonipas tilted his head as he received the heavy brown-yellow material. It looked like the tendon of an animal, but no animal had such long and thick tendons.
“I don’t know either. It’s something I have gained unintentionally. Leave its elasticity be, and balance it out with something that weighs 1.5 kilograms.”
“A whip that is eight meters long and weighs 30 kilograms…are you hunting for dragons? The technical team will have a field day. I’ll contact you once it’s completed.”
Bonipas didn’t question him any further. Black Mamba wasn’t the kind of person to answer them either. Bonipas’ divination shone through once more. Black Mamba did beat up a dinosaur in the underground world, after all.
“How’s rhinocéros' operative manager, Geofrey?”
Black Mamba turned just before leaving the office. Bonipas’ heart raced. The scent of blood filled the air. Black Mamba had returned from the Sahel after getting rid of two out of three traitors, Miguel and Tanshe. Geofrey, who was imprisoned on George Island, had been the only one spared from the Arab takfir.
The DGSE’s management became anxious after Miguel and Tanshe’s execution. It got to the point where rumors floated around about how suicide was better than being in Black Mamba’s bad books.
“Geofrey suffered from extreme PTSD. He went mad and committed suicide in the end.”
“Oh, he died happily.”
Ruthless b*stard, he was going to wring him dry.
Bonipas felt a chill in his bones. Death was better than having Black Mamba’s threats hanging over the head of a prisoner. He realized that Black Mamba hadn’t killed Geofrey because he wanted him to suffer the same kind of fear he had experienced in the Sahel.
The operations manager of the 11th Airborne Brigade, Geofrey, was actually an officer from the DGSE’s Middle East Operations team. He was a direct subordinate of manager Miguel, who Black Mamba had burned to death.
The DGSE had poisoned Geofrey to his death in fear that Black Mamba would discover his true identity. It was an unjust death in major Geofrey’s standpoint since he’d only carried out his tasks. However, that was the fate of an operative.
A limousine crossed the Seine and entered the Champs-Élysées. Place de la Concorde passed by outside the car window. It had been the place where the frightened French military dignitaries held their Sahel departure celebration.
Laughter escaped his mouth. Chartres and his friends, who were buried in the desert, came to mind subsequently. That, too, was the destiny of a mercenary.
“Advisor, are you recalling some good memories?”
Ariba, who was behind the wheel, glanced back. The silence almost suffocated him.
“Do you think God would let a blood-stained human reminisce good memories? Some conflicting thoughts momentarily came to mind. It’s more surprising that you’re bringing me to my accommodation since you’re such a busy person.”
“I’m the manager-in-charge by title, so of course I should take care of France’s national treasure. Bristol Hotel provides great comfort, living up to their prices. There are a few Korean dishes in the restaurant too. A female agent who is studying Korean is staying in the next room.”
A female agent studying Korean? Did the DGSE get lessons from brothels? You b*stard. I’ll bet my entire wealth on the fact that she’s a high-ranking call girl.
Black Mamba laughed at him internally. Bonipas didn’t use cheap methods like that. It was clearly Ariba’s doing.
“Ha, the treatment sure has changed.”
“France is a country of free will. You are treated according to your ability.”
“Treated according to my ability? There’s nothing scarier than those words. You see, you need to pay the amount that you’re fed.”
The suite room trembled. Black Mamba scratched his head as he looked at the backpack he had just carelessly thrown. He’d forgotten that it was filled with 400 kilograms of gold.
The room interphone rang.
“Advisor, is there a problem?”
“Nothing. Which bank is the most trustable in France?” Black Mamba asked.
“The BNP Paribas bank. However, we shouldn’t be talking about banks now…”
“Thanks. There won’t be much to do, so take a break.”
“B****, you want me to open that place instead of the bank’s entrance?”
Black Mamba interrupted the female agent and hung up. He had no intention of boarding the scheming plane. He’d already worked with Paribas bank before. There was also a branch located in Korea.
The suite room was comfortable as per Ariba’s assurance. Despite sufficient conditions favorable to good sleep, he couldn’t rest. A man’s ambition and desire to leave a profound impact on the world urged his legs to move.
He couldn’t fly back to Korea anymore due to the work he’d started. Ombuti and Edel had started up a grains company in N’Djamena. Of course, they’d done that under his orders. Africa was, in simpler terms, a unique continent. Despite 90 percent of the population working as farmers, 100s and 1,000s of people died because of starvation every year.
“There won’t be a problem with cassava, but growing coffee will be a problem.”
After researching vegetation and weather, he had decided on cassava and coffee as his main crops.
Cassava belonged to the tuber plant species. Their stems resembled that of cotton, and their tubers resembled sweet potatoes. Their length ranged from 30 to 50 centimeters, and they had a diameter of 20 centimeters, which was much larger than sweet potatoes. Tubers contained 20 to 25 percent starch. They were also rich in vitamin C and calcium. Cassava would be more than enough as stocks. The starch collected from the tuber roots of cassava was tapioca. Many people were aware of tapioca and not cassava because they were widely used to make starch, caramel, confectionery, snacks, and pastes.
They were also easy to grow. The stem would be cut into lengths of 30 to 40 centimeters and planted at one-meter intervals, the roots would secure itself, and the tubers that looked like sweet potatoes would grow within six to 12 months. The crop wasn’t affected by soil quality or climate, and there was a high yield per unit area. The downside was that as much as they produced, they consumed a lot of effort.
The cassava wasn’t a widely grown crop because they needed large amounts of water. However, there was a water shortage. As long as the problem was resolved, the cassava was a crop compatible with the Sahel region’s high temperature and sunlight.
“I can find water and drag all the underground pipe companies in Korea there to make it official.”
Black Mamba’s motto that “something should work” came round once more.
Coffee was the problem. If cassava was a crop that they could eat and survive on, coffee was a cash crop that would bring in money from the consumers. Production was not as important as quality. That meant the environment was a difficult element to control.
Coffee was best grown within 20° on the north-south latitude. The higher the altitude, the slower the growth rate. When planted in those conditions, high-quality coffee cherries were produced. About three months of dry environment control was needed for flowering, pollination, and watering. Water was essential for coffee to flourish.
One of his candidates was Agbaya in Ennedi Plateau, about 23° north. The altitude of 1,000 meters and dry climate made Agbaya an ideal location. The place was worth testing as long as water was available.
The problem was that he knew nothing about coffee. All he knew was how to enjoy a good cup in his dark attic room, accompanied by plenty of sugar and cream. He had been made aware of how useless his actions were when he became a mercenary.
“Ugh, whatever. I can just bring in a professional.”
Black Mamba stopped wondering, like he always did, and pulled the covers up. Instead of looking for his mother, he was wasting his time on people, wounded and tangled in relations. It was frustrating. The more he thought, the more his head hurt. He was a warrior. He wasn’t a revolutionary or a politician. He wasn’t Moses, either.
On the second day, Ariba was called in by Black Mamba and forced to do labor. Black Mamba loathed doing paperwork. Ariba ended up pulling a muscle in his arm from scribing Black Mamba’s words on paper for three hours. He couldn’t ask another worker to do it in his stead since it was a classified matter. From the next room, the sighs of a woman, who had missed the chance to gain 10,000 francs, could be heard.
Four days later, in the Versailles’ President Council meeting, Mitterrand looked intently at each participant. The minister of Foreign Affairs/Interior/Local Government Pione, Defense general Charles Jermain, head director of the DGSE Lagos, chief of staff Bordo, and the observers, Bonipas and Kabaye from the DGSE and the military police chief Majif were present. They were the highest-ranking members responsible for France’s defense and security.
“Is France’s national treasure resting well?”
Mitterrand turned to look at Bonipas with a smile. He was in a great mood after reading Bonipas’ report.
“Yes, sir, he’s currently staying at Bristol Hotel. He’s been spending time taking walks, swimming, and meditating after sending all the agents away, saying that they’re annoying.”
“Make sure he isn’t uncomfortable, director. He should rest as much as he deserves.”
 It is a nickname for the 11th Airborne Brigade.