Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 291

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Food represented culture. And what food was the best representation of the Korean culture? It was kimchi and rice. Koreans who were staying abroad missed eating kimchi-jjigae and rice the most. That was the same for Black Mamba.

The diced kimchi that floated around, the slightly browned pork belly chops, and even the red soup looked right. The chef de partie of the president’s residence, Prechant, made him a rather good kimchi-jjigae, but Edel’s soup could taste different. He lifted a spoonful of soup, drawn in by the spicy and salty smell.


He was shocked. Black Mamba had to use all of his strength to straighten out his scrunched up face. What the hell was that? There wasn’t a single trace of refreshing taste, and only sourness and greasiness coated his tongue, which startled his throat.

He blinked and glanced at Edel. She looked nervous. She looked like a student waiting to receive praise after handing in her homework. How could he throw a stone at her face? Black Mamba desperately flattened his frown and raised both of his hands.

“Oh, this is amazing. Rudrey, how did you make it?”

It was wonderful in an entirely different sense. He wanted to know how it was made.

“Oh, I’m truly happy that you like it. I heard that kimchi-jjigae should have a strong sour taste. I added some vinegar, tomatoes, and pepper to make the soup. I also added some butter because it tasted mild. Dubai, you said you didn’t like smelly seafood before, and anchovies are smelly. Jang Shin told me to put kimchi in water boiled with anchovies, but I boiled it with lamb soup instead.”

Edel was all smiles. The food she had struggled to make received praise from the man she liked. Even the feeling of resentment toward the kimchi soup that had aggravated the cut on her finger, which she had gained while dicing the kimchi, disappeared.

Urk, vinegar in lamb soup, tomatoes, pepper, and butter? No wonder! Black Mamba’s teeth chattered.

The ingredients alone sounded like the epitome of greasiness.

“Wonderful, excellent!” he said as he swallowed the lump of grease and lifted his thumb.

“Oh, thank you.”

Edel’s chin and nose were uplifted. She knew that the recipe Jang Shin had taught her fell short by two percent. She was beyond proud of her decision to compensate for the dish’s shortcomings with her skills.

“I knew you would like it. Have some more.”

Edel ladled more kimchi-jjigae into Black Mamba’s bowl. Black Mamba’s eyes settled into resignation.

Oh, Allah! Can’t Edel be Jin Soon?

He missed Jin Soon, who could prepare all kinds of delicious dishes.

Black Mamba glared at the sour, greasy, sticky, and unfamiliar dish as though it would disappear with enough intent. He would have preferred spoonfuls of botulinum toxin over that. Rudrey, who didn’t look away with a bright smile plastered on her face, was even scarier than the Syrian tank army. He glanced at Ombuti. God! He was spooning the kimchi-jjigae into his mouth peacefully.

S***! What the hell is this?

Black Mamba ate a spoonful of oily jollof and shivered. Jollof was a dish made with thin slices of chicken and several stir-fried vegetables, requiring no special technique. Exactly what kind of technique did she use to make it taste like a spoonful of oil and sand? What combination did she use to make it taste that offensive?

“Rudrey, is there any special recipe behind this jollof?”

“I added cloves and diced clams for extra flavor,” Rudrey answered confidently.

“You enhanced the flavor of a chicken dish with clams?”

That was something to be feared. With the combination of chicken and clams, it created the most offensive taste. Cloves only enhanced said taste. Moreover, she didn’t wash the sand off from the clams properly, adding extra texture to the dish. Humans were not chickens. Tears started forming at the corner of Black Mamba’s eyes as he chewed on the sandy jollof.

“Miss Edel, you did well. Look at wakil’s tears of gratitude. It is a really delicious meal.”

Ombuti leisurely enjoyed the kimchi-jjigae and jollof. The sight of his closed eyes and moving jaw made it seem as though he was a gourmet exploring the sea of taste.

Damn old man, he’s got amazing endurance.

Black Mamba clicked his tongue. It seemed as though Ombuti hadn’t spent 45 years of his life in waste. To detoxify a dish that could contest the botulinum toxin required great endurance. Ombuti added the final blow.

“Wakil, Miss Edel prepared these dishes since she first held the knife three days ago. Isn’t the outcome amazing considering that it is her first time?”

God, is he implying that the ingredients have been out since three days ago? Oh, Allah, my stomach, may you rest in peace.

Sadly, God didn’t grant Rudrey Edel cooking skills. Rudrey was horrible at cooking.

“Rudrey’s cooking skills have come to light,” Black Mamba agreed, blinking back his tears.

Will Ombuti be okay?

At the age of 45, one’s bodily functions would begin to deteriorate. His liver was stronger than a hyena’s. It didn’t matter if he ate rotten meat, but he was worried about Ombuti.

After surviving a torturous meal, Black Mamba immediately ran to the master room. He feared the kind of non-existent desserts that would appear. Startled by the kimchi-jjigae, he had even forgotten about giving Ombuti his gift.

“Ombuti, is the jollof good for you?” Black Mamba asked, unable to hold back his curiosity.

“Shh, a man shouldn’t blame a woman’s dish even if his tongue dries out and his teeth break. A graceful gentleman should enjoy eating any woman’s dish, no matter the cost, as that is his pride,” Ombuti said as he glanced at the door.

F***, I’m about to be poisoned to death. There’s no time to worry about my manly pride.

Black Mamba’s face creased as though he had eaten a rock. God was fair, after all. God had blessed Edel with angelic features and a kind heart, leaving out cooking skills.

“Ombuti, I’m sorry for not sending you any flower bouquets.”

“Flowers? It is a problem since we opened the company without wakil’s blessing.”

Ombuti’s face darkened. Like most African tribes, the Tuareg tribe had a lot of superstitions surrounding spirits. His master was Azrael. Ombuti believed that with the flowers, his master had cast a spell to send away evil spirits.

“In Korea, people celebrate the opening of a new business with flower bouquets and large wreaths. The flowers represent a blooming business. I went around N’Djamena city for two hours but couldn’t find any flower shop.”

Ombuti’s face brightened up at Black Mamba’s explanation. As long as it wasn’t just a spell to chase away evil spirits but also a means of celebration, that was fine.

“Oh, Bismillah! What a good tradition. Wakil’s country is a good place, after all. I’ve been blessed with the time you’ve spent on me alone, wakil. There are no flower shops in N’Djamena. There are no traditions of gifting flowers and no opportunity to buy flowers since everyone’s busy living their lives.”

“I can tell.”

He automatically nodded in agreement. There was no reason for the poor to buy flowers when their food supply was being threatened. Not even the upper class practiced the tradition of gifting flowers. He had done it all for nothing. He took out the golden donkey and misbaha from his backpack.

“It is unfortunate, but here are your substitute gifts.”

Ombuti’s mouth split from side to side. He immediately crawled down from his chair and received the gifts on his knees.

“Ohh! A golden donkey and a black agate misbaha! Wakil, you are almost an African! Donkeys are symbols of wealth. Misbaha is Allah’s blessing. These are rare and good gifts.”

“I know that much. I hope your business flourishes. Bismillah!” Black Mamba replied as though he was aware of such fundamental facts.

“Thank you. Even the misbaha is real. Half of the jewelers in N’Djamena are swindlers. They hire a Kuri[1] technician to make counterfeit products. They’re people who can cut off your nose even if you leave your eyes wide open. Foreigners, especially, must be wary. There are many cases when the owner turns into a robber.”

“There was slight trouble, but I wasn’t fooled.”

Slight trouble meant that he had turned them into disabled people instead of killing them. F*** not being fooled. He wasn’t fooled because he was lucky.

“Something did happen.”

Ombuti was quick-witted as always.

“I bought it at Total jewels, on the second street of Tombalbaye. There were two gang members with weapons, so I roughed them up a little.”

“They attacked you, wakil? Their eyes must be rotten. Wakil, you’re truly gracious for allowing them to live. The donkey statue must have cost over 50,000 francs. You’ve spent too much on someone like me.”

Ombuti didn’t know what to do with the golden donkey miniature. 50,000 francs in Chad was a large amount of money. A laborer could barely earn 10 to 15 francs a month. A laborer would have to work 320 years to earn 50,000 francs. More than the money, he was moved by his master’s benevolence toward his servants.

Ugh, this is worth 50,000 francs!

He felt guilty. He’d basically ripped off 170,000 francs from the owner. The owner who had tried to cheat him of his money and even attempted to steal was the bad person, but that compared to a fair transaction were different matters. It was as though the owner had swindled, and he’d robbed.

“I’m wakil. Ombuti, you’re a precious family member. Money isn’t a problem. I’ll be happy if my family’s happy.”

“Thank you. Wakil’s grace is great.”

Tears filled Ombuti’s eyes at the word “family.” What kind of servant wouldn’t be loyal to a master like him?

“How is your business?”

“I’ve been buying concentrated amounts of corn, date palms, peanuts, and cotton. I’m currently expanding the distributors across Sudan and the east of Zaire. I’ve been buying large quantities of cotton from Doba’s Samaria farm.”

“Samaria farm is Edel’s farm, right? Is the lackey doing well?”

“That’s the thing… he finished off the Nick b*stard and those who revolted, but there’s a problem.”


Black Mamba’s eyes flashed. Sun Woo Hyun liked to brag. He’d sent him, trusting his power, but it seemed as though he had caused trouble instead.

“Not just one but several. I’ll explain the details later, sir.”

Ombuti paused. He had to use the bit-by-bit technique to raise his master’s anger. The following technique brought about desirable effects when he released little information at a time. Ombuti was sharp.

He must have caused a lot of trouble if Ombuti’s being this serious about it. Damn b*stard, what did he do?

Black Mamba got slightly worried. Ombuti went into festive mode internally as he watched his master’s face turn rigid.

Lackey, I wish you the best. You deserve to be punished since you didn’t take good care of your master’s wealth.

His master had no idea how annoying the lackey was when he acted like a king before his eyes. Advising him didn’t work, and Ombuti couldn’t beat him either since they had physical differences. He’d waited for wakil to arrive. Ombuti was planning to be the fox that borrowed the tiger’s strength.

“Are there any other problems?”

“I haven’t been able to buy any date palms and peanuts, which are specialty products of the Sahel. The mid-northern Chad region is famished to the point that children are dying of hunger.”

“It has been eight years since the drought began, after all. Sahara’s sands are invading farms, and the date palms aren’t growing properly, so what harvest would there be? The situation must have worsened now. The hunger would end if the south supplies their corn and rice.”

It was unfortunate. The famine in the Sahel was critical when he last visited during mission Raccoon. He recalled the babies whose skin was plastered to their bones as they sucked on their mother’s breast. The southern land of Chad between Shari and Logone River was fertile. It was enough to support 10,000,000 Chad locals.

“The unstable government and corruption ruined everything. There are no sewage systems and no vehicles or roads to transport products. The grain majors are not handing over anything either, despite acquiring all businesses.”

“Didn’t the government release their emergency military rations?”

“Not only do they lack such rations, but they also don’t keep the citizens in mind, as they are busy fighting for power. The 50,000,000 francs, which wakil had received after threatening France’s Bonipas to contribute to the relief aid, refused to come out from Habré’s stomach. As a member of the Anghel tribe, he only takes care of his own tribe. Mountains worth of foreign relief products disappeared out of nowhere like a fart. The politicians took half of it, and the government officials took the remaining half. The amount delivered to the locals barely reached 10 percent.”

“Damn b*stards!”

A fire burned from within. The most unbearable pain in life was hunger. He recalled the tearful hunger he had suffered during his youth. There was a time when Korea had survived on foreign relief supplies alone. Families with small farmland received one sack of flour every month. The remains of the flour had been of great help at that time.

He had managed to eat lunch with the large bread the U.S. had provided during his school years. If that hadn’t existed, he would have died from the lack of nutrients. If the relief system’s messed up, there was no point in providing aid. No, only the ones with power would flourish. The bountiful southern foods were pointless. Humans were more problematic than natural disasters.

“Should I get rid of Habré?”

“Then, there will be a second Habré.”

“I suppose.”

Black Mamba and Ombuti both smiled bitterly. The problem wouldn’t be resolved with Habré’s death. Ombuti let out a sigh at wakil’s disappointment, and Black Mamba let out a sigh in remembrance of Korea’s foul politicians and officials. Anyway, he had to give what he received.

“Ombuti, I have a request.”

“Wakil, you don’t have to request anything. Please, go ahead.”

“I’ll send you 100,000,000 francs. Buy large quantities of food. One-third of Wakil Commerce Company’s profits belong to Allah. Use Allah’s money and provide aid to the Sahel locals. Order 100 trucks from Korea immediately.”

“Ah, 100,000,000 francs!”

Ombuti’s eyes widened. 100,000,000 francs! His master was an amazing person, but that was unbelievable.

“BNP Paribas bank will wire in the amount tomorrow. Wakil Commerce Company centers around local businesses anyway. Businesses must grow alongside the people. Using as much as we earn is also important.”

[1] Chinese.
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