Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 324
There was confidence in lieutenant Pellpeng’s words. The drill rig he brought with him wasn’t a groundwater developing tool but old mining equipment. The government had leased it to him after borrowing from Totals Company. A technician’s pride was their excellent equipment.
Black Mamba was slightly surprised. He saw the drill rig on the trailer in a new light. It was as big as a tourist bus. The supporting equipment alone took up a whole truck. It was a monster compared to the small underground cleaning equipment he had seen in Korea.
“There’s no need to dig that deep. A fault exists 600 meters underground. The aquifer is around 100 meters thick. You’ll be able to dock at its floor once you pass the 700 meters mark.”
Lieutenant Pellpeng’s face creased devilishly at the certainty of his words. The chances of finding an aquifer in the desert were as low as finding a distributed oil layer. How could anyone possibly know what existed underground? Was he claiming to be Gaia’s lover, or was he Oceanus’ incarnation?
Is this person joking around?
Lieutenant Pellpeng studied Black Mamba’s face with suspicious eyes. At times, when people couldn’t adapt to the desert’s extreme temperature differences, they would say random things. From his pale yellow complexion, it was evident he was displaying symptoms of hypoxemia.
“If Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa says so, it is so.” Jamal glared through his narrow eyes.
He wanted to pull out those eyes that dared to stare at Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa.
Damn, that b*stard’s temper.
Lieutenant Pellpeng grew annoyed. He wanted to punch the trusting servant who acted out against him. Just as his temper rose, something flashed before his eyes.
Surprised, lieutenant Pellpeng moved back. A sack of s*** who was holding a shiny knife smiled.
His hand subconsciously moved to his pistol.
Ahmad pointed at the ground with the tip of his knife. A yellow scorpion was twisting its cleaved body around on the floor.
“No, a deathstalker!”
Lieutenant Pellpeng’s eyes widened. Their species were the most poisonous among the dozens of scorpions living in the Sahara Desert. A person would die within one or two hours after getting stung by it. Lieutenant Pellpeng felt a chill in his chest. He could have almost died.
Lieutenant Pellpeng’s face creased as he thanked Ahmad. Black Mamba suppressed his laughter. The distorted expression of one forcing a smile on their stiff face was hilarious. The scorpion was Ahmad’s trick. Ahmad put on a show as he grabbed the scorpion and placed it on the lieutenant’s shoulder.
“Ahmad, you sliced off the lieutenant’s epaulet. You should have handled it more elegantly.”
He scolded Ahmad on an impulse. If the deathstalker had managed to attack the lieutenant’s neck, he would already be on the express train to death.
“I apologize, sir.”
Ahmad lowered his head at Black Mamba’s scolding.
“20 minutes of horse stance.”
Ahmad immediately stretched his arms, lowered his stance, and straightened his back. Lieutenant Pellpeng felt terrible. The swordsman was being punished for saving him. He couldn’t disregard the situation before him because of his conscience.
The moment he opened his mouth, a black man with the build of a heavyweight wrestler passed by. The black man grabbed the twitching deathstalker with his thick hands and shoved it into his mouth.
The sound of its shell breaking left lieutenant Pellpeng shaking.
He automatically groaned. All of the special advisor’s subordinates were crazy b*stards. His initial plan to go against them flew 1,000s of miles away.
“Lieutenant, let’s begin.”
“What? Yes, of course! Aschdan, let’s begin,” lieutenant Pellpeng returned to his senses and ordered his subordinate, who was waiting.
The large 15-ton drill rig came off the trailer. Once the drill rig was in place, four hydraulic supports were used to secure it.
The large boomer stretched. The five Syrians and Nejma had never seen a drill rig before. When the boomer shot into the sky, their eyes widened.
The engineering corps moved quickly. The air puncher hit an outer pipe of 500 millimeters in diameter. The lifter wire dropped from 35 meters above the ground. A group of technicians rushed in to substitute the air puncher for a 25-meter drill and shoved in a fixing pin.
The hydraulic drill bit of 500 horsepower dug into the outer pipe. The operator increased the RPM. Sand flew away from the drill screw, like fireworks. Two engineers dug away the pouring sand with shovels. Although the machine was self-sufficient, there were still tasks to be completed by humans.
The drill bit dug into the ground violently. The 25-meter drill bit disappeared in 150 seconds, leaving only its head. More engineers rushed in to connect the bits and punch the hinges. The process continued for a while. An hour later, crushed rocks and water were hauled up along with the drill screw and thrown into the air.
“Lieutenant, it’s a fault zone!” an engineer shouted.
“Mon dieu, c’est vrai?” lieutenant Pellpeng shouted.
They specifically used 24 drills of 25 meters long. They also dug exactly at the 600 meters point. Was the special military advisor some kind of god?
No, could there be an aquifer?
A fault zone wasn’t an exclusive condition. It was a prerequisite for the existence of an aquifer. Eight additional drills disappeared.
“Lieutenant, get ready. It’s going to burst soon!” Black Mamba warned as he watched on.
He clearly felt the strong currents that twisted like a Korean dragon underground.
The moment he answered, the ground vibrated.
“Lieutenant, it’s going to burst!”
The airman who had been holding the outer pipe rushed to turn on the horizontal pipe’s switch. The drill started vibrating, unable to withstand the water pressure.
“What are you doing! Pull out the drill!” Aschdan shouted.
The hydraulic pressure crank turned. The operator increased the RPM. When the drills in the ground popped back up, the engineers rushed to pull out the hinges and immediately dismantled the drills.
The water suppressed under the aquifer rushed up through the 500-millimeter diameter side pipe and spilled out. Streams of water stretched across several dozen meters. The streams of water created a fountain instantly.
“Wow, it’s water!”
“Hooray for Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa!”
“Oooh, it’s water! Allahu Akbar!”
“May Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa be praised!”
Various cheers broke out. Everyone who was watching jumped and danced. It wasn’t an exception for the engineering corps either. Camels and water were as valuable as one’s life. Although camels had been replaced by vehicles over time, it wasn’t the case for water. The five Syrians rushed in. Their mouths surrounded the side pipe, and they drank the pouring water until their stomachs were full.
The drill bit popped out.
Streams of water rose to the sky. It was a spectacular display.
The engineering corps cheered, drenched in the pouring water.
The drill rig continued digging into the pipes. It was already a determined success. Their movements grew quicker. 200-millimeter diameter pipes disappeared into the ground in rows.
Black Mamba closed his eyes. Memories of him witnessing a water tank explosion in a mining cave when he was 14 years old kept resurfacing. While it had been the water of death then, it was the water of life now.
Father, how nice it would be to grow a peach field here and enjoy the pink flower petals fall with mother.
His heart ached. Tears gathered in his eyes unknowingly. Although he had been busy, he’d never once forgotten his mother.
“It’s a large aquifer considering the water pressure. I think I’ll have to request large pipes and pumps from headquarters, sir.”
Lieutenant Pellpeng’s excitement pulled Black Mamba back to reality.
“You proceed with the rest, lieutenant.”
“Yes, sir. But how did you know?”
Lieutenant Pellpeng couldn’t hide his shock. Finding an aquifer in the Sahara Desert was like finding a needle in a haystack. If finding one was easy, the desert wouldn’t be a desert. Finding the right location was difficult enough, and the chance of a successful digging was less than 0.1 percent.
“I just could!”
“You just could?” lieutenant Pellpeng’s face creased in bewilderment.
“Good work, lieutenant. Here’s your bonus.”
Black Mamba threw at him a total of 10,000 francs from his backpack. He didn’t want to talk to the man any longer. That was the man’s reward for skipping breakfast and being dragged all the way there, covered in sand and water.
“Thank you, sir.”
Lieutenant Pellpeng’s frowning face lit up.
“Aschdan! Commence the water quality analysis immediately!”
Lieutenant Pellpeng spoke with authority.
The powerful streams of water didn’t slow down at all. The water that soared 30 meters up into the air created a waterway on the dry land. The yellow sand turned dark.
“Wakil, please have a drink.”
Nejma handed him a cookware filled with water.
He emptied the cookware without breathing. The water was sweet and refreshing. It was the best kind of water for drinking. There was no need for a quality analysis either. There was no way an aquifer 1,000 meters underground could be contaminated.
“One for all, and all for one! Here is the bridge village.”
Black Mamba mumbled the saying unknowingly. There were actions where the heart was and results where the mind was not.
The only remaining memories he had of his lost hometown was a run-down Chinese house where his neighbor lived and Ha Dong’s house. The place that he would personally build with his hands would become his second hometown.
The ground shook. It was caused by a herd of running camels after they caught a whiff of the water. They rushed toward the flowing water and shoved their mouths in. Soon after, the scouting team appeared.
“What is that?”
“Has it been found already?”
The airborne forces, who arrived late, were wide-eyed. By the time several trucks, 50 camels, and 60 surveyors arrived, the scene had already transformed into a night market.
“Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa is great!”
Mohammad shouted at the top of his lungs.
“Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa is great!”
Black Mamba’s family chanted after him.
Confused for a moment, lieutenant Pellpeng decided to join in. The special military advisor was France’s high-ranking officer. If he simply stood by, he would be taken away by those Arab b*stards.
“Special military advisor is France’s pride!” lieutenant Pellpeng shouted, raising both of his hands in the air.
“Special military advisor is France’s pride!” 80 members of the scouting team chanted after him.
The voices of Mohammad and the rest were buried under theirs. Lieutenant Pellpeng smiled. He was pleased. There were simple and ignorant soldiers who would willingly risk their lives for trivial matters, be it in the West or the East.
Mohammad called Jamal over, noticing Black Mamba’s expression.
“Akh Jamal, organize the place. Shouldn’t Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa give a speech on this important day?”
“You’re right, hadritak!” Jamal shouted.
“Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa will now speak. Quiet down!”
Samedi, who had been assessing the situation, ran to the truck immediately. He lifted the spare 200-liter drum container stored at the back of the truck and returned.
Once he set the drum container down, he looked at Black Mamba with an expression that expected praise.
Lieutenant Pellpeng was tired of it all. The servants were as incredible as their master.
“Huh, his slyness returned.”
Black Mamba patted Samedi’s shoulder and stepped onto the drum container.
“My family and the surveyors from the 11th Airborne brigade, you’ve all worked hard. Today is a historic day for Novatopia as it takes its first step. I believe today’s small step will become pivotal for Africa in the future. Novatopia is the last refuge for the oppressed and starved. Those who aren’t capable of escaping mistreatment and starvation on their own are welcomed as citizens of Novatopia. However, those who attempt to freeride on other people’s coattails cannot become citizens of Novatopia. I have decided to make this place Novatopia’s capital. The capital will be known as Jipoon Dari.”
After the short speech, Black Mamba jumped off the drum container.
“Woooh, hooray for Jipoon Dari!”
“Jipoon Dari, Jipoon Dari!”
The crowd cheered and stamped their feet on the ground.
“Is he the modern version of Moses?”
“The water tastes amazing. I feel like we have to cheer for him, too.”
“I’m glad we’ve managed to become friends so quickly.”
“Hahaha, I suppose.”
“I want to see how far this young man will go.”
“Don’t you have nowhere to go anyway?”
“That is true.”
Professor Orifice and Professor Shernion faced each other and burst out laughing.
“Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa, the camel owner wishes to thank you.”
“Thank me? That kind of thing is expected in the desert.”
“He also has something to say.”
“Then, let’s head over.”
Black Mamba followed Jamal and entered the surveyor’s medical tent.
A military doctor stood up and gave a salute. The man lying on the medical field bed turned his head.
“I’m lieutenant Henry Gillaume.”
“How is the patient?”
“Special military advisor, the Shamu doctors would have cried performing the same operation as you did. I didn’t have to do anything. You have my respect.”
Lieutenant Gillaume nodded his head. The special military advisor had effortlessly performed a surgery that even the best doctors would have found challenging. The chest support was remarkable. Lieutenant Gillaume still couldn’t comprehend how he could have assembled the chest support with car fenders. The special military advisor didn’t seem human to him.
“It wasn’t much. I heard the patient wanted to see me.”
“Yes, sir. Since he is recovering well, there won’t be any problem with holding a conversation. Afwerki, this is the person who saved you, the French special military advisor.”
“I’m Vallé Afwerki. Thank you for saving my life. I apologize for thanking you in such a state, however.”
His tone was polite, and he spoke fluent french. He wasn’t just a regular traveler who dragged around camels.
“I’m Dong-bang-bull-pae. I could meet the same fate as you tomorrow, Mr. Afwerki.”
“Although young, you speak like a Bedouin who wanders the desert. I am an Eritrean. Since my grandfather’s generation, my family has been running a coffee plantation in Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia.”
“Yirgacheffe is the main producer of Arabica coffee, right? If you’re an Eritrean, shouldn’t you be from the north of Sudan? And you also run a plantation?”
The ends of Black Mamba’s eyes were slightly raised.
 My God, is it true?