Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 301
Barungo was careful. The best lwa, Damballa Wedo, was defeated in a single round. He called him Petro, but there was a chance that the b*stard was an existence of a higher rank than a lwa.
Vodou was branded as a demonic religion due to the appearances of zombies, drugs, poison, human offerings, polygyny, orgies, spells, and bizarre rituals. Of course, it varied from region to region, and some rumors were exaggerated, but drugs and poison were inseparable from Vodou. The houngan of the Vodou religion used all kinds of drugs to increase their authority and impress their followers.
The Vodou religion used a drug called yorunba. The yorunba was an authentic, powerful drug that only the Vodun Houngan could create. It could also be said that the drug was the fundamental reason behind the Vodou religion’s survival through times. The yorunba existed in liquid form and had to be stored in shelled cacao to maintain its shelf life. The Vodun Houngan had a separate group of mambos to keep the yorunba in good condition.
The complementary activities of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves determined a human’s behavioral response. If the sympathetic nerves grew excited, one’s heart rate would increase, and their breathing would turn coarse. The body would become tense and exhibit combative behavior. The parasympathetic nerves relieved such excitement and stress.
Yorunba stimulated the production of dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin. With the simultaneous release of these three brain active substances, the sympathetic nerve would become hyperactive, and the parasympathetic nerves would remain inactive. When the parasympathetic nerves remained inactive, one would lose their ability to judge, and their ability to feel pain would disappear.
As a result, one would gain more confidence and encounter an out-of-body experience. The desire for endless violence and destruction erupted. At that moment, the priest could control the drugged human with simple commands, just like a robot.
Drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy, and opiates overworked the sympathetic nerve. With continued use, the cells of the nervous system would break down.
Yorunba’s harmful effects were more damaging. With prolonged use, the cells of the nervous system would produce abnormal hypertrophy like cancer cells within the body. A body with a modified nervous system was like an unconscious doll. It’s the Vodou religion’s zombie, so to speak. Once humans were zombified, they couldn’t return to their normal state.
Under the influence of yorunba and the houngan’s hypnosis, one would not feel pain and move according to the input instructions. It was the height of evil that one human shouldn’t perform on another. Barungo shoved others into hell, not realizing that he had opened the door to hell himself.
“I’ll prepare it immediately, sir.”
“Gather all the zombies. I’ll head out myself.”
Wadanka tilted his head as he ran out. Vodun Houngan was overreacting. At most, two Gazelles could transport eight people. No matter how strong a warrior was, what could they do with eight people? Numbers weren’t a problem. Right then, Wadanka couldn’t have imagined that the Angel of Death had appeared to end all Vodou practices.
Women and men with farming tools in their hands filled the large garden. The garden was overflowing with madness and bloodlust, evident by their twinkling eyes, trembling cheeks, and drool coming out from the corner of their mouths. The atmosphere felt like it would explode at any moment. Only a few guards with rifles in hand seemed uncomfortable, but they couldn’t say anything, suppressed by the mood.
“Uooooh, Vodun Houngan has come.”
“Kill the heathens!”
“Send down the Rada to us!”
When Barungo appeared with an ox’s head costume over his head, the crowd that was high on the yorunba cheered. The cheers of over 500 women and men with twinkling eyes shook the ground. They were probably in a trance.
Barungo raised the skull scepter high.
“Brothers who’ve been chosen by the lwa, I, Vodun Houngan Barungo, order you with the borrowed power of the Damballa. Heathens, who’re trying to destroy our faith and take our lives, have invaded our holy land. Slice the necks of those heathens! Cut their stomachs and pull their intestines out. Once you take the blood of those heathens, Rada will come to you all. Your skin will become an alligator’s hide, and your bones will become an elephant’s bones. You will not die, even when you’re cut by a knife. You will not die even when you’re shot by a bullet. Go! Kill the heathens.”
Barungo shook the scepter to the best of his ability. The strange energy that flowed out of the scepter spread over the crowd’s heads.
“Uoooo, kill the heathens!”
The evil intentions of humans exploded. The crowd, each with a weapon in hand, poured toward the square like a flood. Taken aback by the appearance of someone with a higher-ranking spirit, Barungo had completely forgotten about Namir, whom he was planning to take as a hostage. Lackey’s luck was still going strong.
“Woah! What are they?”
Black Mamba’s eyes widened. 100s of people were rushing toward them like African wild cows on fire. The ground shook, and the atmosphere rang. A gasp naturally escaped from him. The sound energy exuded by 100s of people rushed toward him. That wasn’t battle spirit but madness. He’d thought it was unusual ever since he heard the crazed shouts, but that seemed to be the origin.
“Master, they are Vodou followers under the influence of drugs. They’re madmen who sacrifice live humans and drink their blood!” Jamal shouted.
His Barrett started firing. The guards, who were leading, fell forward. Three Maroons, who were following them, fell forward too. The 50-caliber Barrett showed off its capacity, hitting four people with one shot at a 400 meters distance.
The clear ringing of shots continued. The horrifying scene of skulls shattering, holes in chests, and falling arms continued.
The energy of a rifle bullet could theoretically penetrate up to four human bodies, but in reality, it couldn’t even pierce two. That was because the bullet was often stuck in a bone, or it lost its power from the tumbling phenomenon. A target that received a reverse or vertical bullet suffered extensive damage because of the kinetic energy’s impact.
As a large sniper rifle, the Barrett’s penetration power could crush a human’s bone. The kinetic energy, which is 20 times stronger than a rifle, could pierce over 10 people. The horrifying scene of Vodou followers collapsing in groups and bearing through torn limbs played out.
“We won’t die if we drink the heathens’ blood!”
Although over 20 people were sacrificed instantly, the followers’ momentum grew steadily. There wasn’t an order to their advance. They didn’t care even if the person in front of them had their heads blown off or if their arms and legs had fallen off.
“Oof!” Jamal groaned unknowingly.
His heart was crushed by the madness exuded by the 100s of people. Fear crept over him. His finger, which was on the trigger, trembled.
“Receive the wrath of Allah, those who block Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa’s path!” Aishe shouted, unable to reach the auditory range of the madness.
Jamal’s mind snapped back to reality. That was right. He was a warrior to the mahdi, Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa. Jamal mechanically pulled on the trigger after regaining his calm. The Barrett had weak consecutive firing power. It could not stop the rush of madness.
Black Mamba shouted, enraged. The powerful soundwave loaded with resonance shook the ground. It was a mediocre version of Adras blacky’s low-frequency attack.
The group that were rushing forward swayed as though they were drunk. Some were crouched with their hands over their ears, and some peed, causing a halt to the rush of madness.
About 20 or so men didn’t stop their assault, continuing to wield their machetes, jembes, and scythes.
The Barrett continued spewing fire. Their heads were blown off, their arms shattered, and holes were seen on their abdomens.
“Woah, what the hell is that?”
Surprised, Black Mamba’s original accent escaped out of his mouth. The headless man stood back up. The man with the fallen arm jumped into position. The man with a hole in his stomach and a missing arm also stood back up. There were even men running while holding onto their ripped arms and spilled intestines.
A growl exploded. It was fear, in and of itself. Despite her strong mentality, Aishe was turning pale like the color of paper.
“They’re zombies!” Jamal shouted.
Black Mamba frowned. He didn’t know that he’d meet a zombie, which he had only heard from papers and old materials. For a long time, France dominated West Africa, where Vodou was prevalent. There were more than enough Vodou materials in Legion Etranger.
Zombies lacked self-consciousness or sense—a human who was unlike a human. Zombies were created from the long-term administration of Vodou’s secret drugs and magical after-care. It was said that zombies didn’t go into shock even if they lost their limbs. They really were zombies.
“Vodou religion, was it? I’ll shatter you.”
Black Mamba gritted his teeth at the mention of cults. They were b*stards who shoved human nature into hell and controlled humans to achieve their purposes. His life was similarly twisted by the leader of Baek Baek religion, Chui Do Shik.
He took out the billion’s water armor, which he’d placed in his breast pocket, and wore it. His muscles grew five times stronger when he wore the billion’s water armor. Increasing the Epidium muscles’ strength by fivefold? A comical power in which not even a steel-hard body could support had appeared. It wasn’t the kind of power manageable by humankind. He wore the billion’s water armor so that he could take care of the zombies from long distances. He didn’t have any intention of coming into contact with such evil beings.
There was a pile of shaved trees, meant for cotton transportations in the square. It was three to four meters in length, weighed about five kilograms, and was thicker than his wrist. It would have been a burdensome weight had he not worn the billion’s water armor.
A stake, which was saturated with tremendous amounts of energy, tore through the air. It was a javelin, no, a spear.
The wooden spear that flew across 300 meters at subsonic speed embedded itself into a zombie’s chest. The zombie’s thick skin and bones stopped its penetrating force. The spear dragged the zombie across 10 meters and dug deep into the ground. The shape was reminiscent of an insect secured on an insect collecting plate with a pin.
More spears continued to split the air. The zombies continued to rush forward by the second. The spears that left Black Mamba’s hands embedded themselves into the bodies of the zombies. Skewered, the zombies struggled several times before they stopped moving.
Jamal and Aishe’s mouth dropped open. Their chests shivered at their apostle’s incredible powers. Jamal had witnessed Black Mamba’s ability when he overturned Kaparja. The scene that played out gave him the same thrill he had felt back then.
“Oh, Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa!” Jamal shouted as though he was groaning.
None of the spears that his master threw missed its target. It wasn’t easy to shoot the zombies that ran about frantically, even with a scope on his Barrett. No one could calmly look at zombies running while dragging their intestines around or carrying the arms they tore off themselves in the other hand. He’d barely managed to get rid of three with his trembling hands. His master had decimated the group of zombies within a few seconds. Strength was truly the greatest beauty.
“What the hell is that b*stard?”
Barungo blanked out. The army of zombies he trusted turned into insect displays. Not even the Petro lwa could exercise such tremendous physical power.
A spirit’s avatar with tremendous powers like that b*stard?
The Vodou religion, which revolved around spirits, would have wiped out all the religions on Earth and created an empire. That b*stard wasn’t a Petro, after all. He was the God of Death, Baron Samedi, who preyed on other world’s lwa or spirits.
“Vodun Houngan, we need to push back with the numbers! Please free the followers paralyzed by Petro lwa’s spell!” Wadanka shouted.
“Maroon warriors, he is a filthy being who is possessed by the evil lwa! Amule Amule Bakan! Kill him!”
Barungo returned to his senses, shook the scepter, and roused the madness among the crowd once more. His interference stirred the madness of the followers.
“Yeah, kill him!” the heathens shouted, stimulated by the shock.
The distance was reduced to 200 meters. The surviving guards began to shoot. Although they were mad, they didn’t forget the effective range of their rifles. Aishe’s MP5 began to fire. Holes appeared on the guards’ foreheads without a single miss.
“Jamal, Aishe, retreat.”
The two immediately fell back. There was no such thing as refuting their master’s orders.
A shout like lightning rang. Barungo shouted when the crowd hesitated.
“Kill! You’ll become a houngan if you kill the evil Petro. Amule Amule Bakan!”
The reluctant crowd rushed forward once more. Black Mamba’s eyes turned light red. The b*stard who was wearing the ox’s head costume and shaking the skull scepter—that was the Vodou religion’s head of rites, houngan. That b*stard was the one who moved the workers and created the zombies. The b*stard who considered humans as tools, the kind of human who Black Mamba hated.
“It’s that b*stard. I’ll follow you to the ends of hell and kill you.”
A wooden spear rushed toward Barungo with a whirlwind on its tail.
“Amule Kanta!” Barungo chanted.
The spear that was carrying a tremendous amount of energy bounced back into the air. Barungo flinched but didn’t retreat.
Black Mamba was surprised. It seemed as though there was a real cult-leader within cults. That b*stard wasn’t an ordinary cult leader who manipulated human minds with words and strategies. He was a real cult leader with something up his sleeve. Machine guns and darts were useless against those mad b*stards who rushed in like a swarm of grasshoppers. The solution was to kill the manipulator.
Whoosh whoosh whoosh—
The wooden spears kept flying.
Barungo’s spell stopped them like a wall.
The spears, which couldn’t withstand the kinetic energy, exploded in sequence. Barungo smiled in satisfaction. Nothing could harm him as long as he had the spirit of the rock, Kanta.
“Plates of lwa, the b*stard’s a weakling who’s been eaten by the heathen’s lwa. Kill him! Amule Amule Bakan!” Barungo’s shout echoed in the air.
“Oooo, the devil’s spell has been broken!”
“Hoorah, Vodun Houngan!”
The Maroons cheered.
The madness, which had settled down, returned once more. Bullets began to pour down. While the number of guards had decreased, firepower was still a threat.
“What kind of a trashy b*stard is he? I guess there’s no choice but to get close.”