Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 339
A bright face that looked like flour had set, a waist that shook like the willow branches, clear eyes that could pull a person in, and a slender body that activated one’s protective instincts—Kim Mal Soon was the woman of his dreams who seemed to shine like the white snow outside. Even if she was within reach, she was like a jewel that he couldn’t touch. She was a woman whom he couldn’t help but love.
In terms of appearance and personality, Jang Pil Nyuh was someone on the opposite end of the spectrum when compared to Kim Mal Soon. If Kim Mal Soon was a jewel shining in the dark, his wife was a pumpkin that had rot because of the rainy spell in July. Looking at her lean figure, rough skin, and face that was covered in chicken-pox scars made him lose all interest.
Why did the heavens only grant his sibling happiness? Jealousy exploded. As the years passed, he grew even jealous. After his brother died, he would avoid his wife’s gaze and head to their house. He would hide under the window of Kim Mal Soon’s bedroom and masturbate, but even then, he was still unsatisfied.
On that day—the day that he had brought a lifetime worth of regrets and distress upon himself—he should have run when Mrs. Jae Soo’s attacker had fled too. He had stayed behind, wondering whether he should console her, which was why that had happened.
Her white top that was pushed up amid her struggle with the attacker, her pants that hung on her ankles, and her white chest and black forest revealed under the moonlight made him lose all reason. His entire body turned hot. An intense lust he had never experienced before in his life filled his head. Only her small chest and black hair filled his sight.
He had almost reached the point of climax while masturbating to the image of Kim Mal Soon’s body beneath the window. His excitement reached its peak when they started fighting. He had forgotten the fact that Kim Mal Soon was a weak woman. He pressed down on her roughly and attempted to penetrate.
He stopped just before he could initiate the rape. He’d climaxed before he could penetrate. It was like the saying, “messing up before the door.” His mind went blank.
[Ugh, you idiot, are you a damn rabbit?]
His wife’s screeching as she looked down at him rang in his ears. His private part shriveled up like a pupa. He had severe premature ejaculation and, to add on, anxiety. The greatest reason why Jang Pil Nyuh looked down on her husband was because of the former.
What the hell? What did I just do?
Surprise replaced his disappearing lust. He stumbled out of the straw house. He ran down the moonlit mountain path and hid in the side room.
He placed a blanket over his head and breathed a sigh of relief. He reassured himself that had it not been for him, Kim Mal Soon would have been raped by the attacker.
There’s a contrast in the notion of chastity!
His younger brother’s love life was inexpressible. The two trusted each other wholeheartedly, leaving no place for doubt, and they shared a love that the heavens would be envious of. Mrs. Jae Soo was someone who’d have died with her husband if she didn’t have a son. Mu Ssang was everything to Kim Mal Soon. So why did Kim Mal Soon disappear, leaving Mu Ssang behind? He had been wondering about that all along.
Wait, did that b**** do something to Mrs. Jae Soo?
A forgotten memory resurfaced. He had returned home secretly at dawn and covered himself with a blanket but hadn’t been able to fall asleep. He had heard his wife leaving the house quietly. She reappeared an hour later.
The next day, his wife glared at him with satisfaction in her eyes. You b*stard might have fulfilled my greatest wish! That was what his wife had said. His thoughts were all over the place. Had he acted accordingly to his wife’s manipulations since he was stupid? What if his wife was aware of his activities and went to threaten Mrs. Jae Soo? Then, it would explain Mrs. Jae Soo’s disappearance.
“Right. That damn b****! Those filthy Jang family, I’ll drag all of you down to hell.”
Park In Bo’s eyes turned red. Although he held grudges, she was still his wife, and they were still his in-laws. Even while executing the plan, he had felt uncomfortable. The Jang family had ruined the Parks. He wasn’t exacting revenge only for himself but the entire Park family. Park In Bo felt relief in a corner of his mind.
Park In Bo became paranoid with time. Park In Bo’s brain rejected his action plan. Absolute rejection of the action plan resulted in blame-shifting. He had believed that Kim Mal Soon’s disappearance was the doing of her son, Mu Ssang. The outcome of that was abuse.
Park In Bo regretted his actions, but he didn’t want to find the cause. His blame and hatred had simply shifted from Mu Ssang to his wife and the Jang family. It was a result of Freud’s repression defense mechanism, and from a psychological perspective, he was a narcissistic, paranoid patient.
“Kugh, damn it!”
He felt a sharp pain in his chest. He couldn’t tell whether it was his soul or his body that was in pain. While pouring the alcohol himself, Ah Young took away Park In Bo’s soju bottle.
“Boss, you already drank a bottle. You’re going to get in trouble if you drink any more.”
Park In Bo stared blankly at Jung Ah Young. Unlike Kim Mal Soon, she didn’t have a small face like a cucumber seed. He turned his head and smiled.
“Fine. You actually nag at me more than my wife. No, my wife doesn’t usually nag. Jung, you go back home now. I’m going to head home later.”
Jung Ah Young looked at her boss pitifully. She knew how broken her boss’ family was. There was his wife who treated her husband like a fish, his eldest daughter who was addicted to buying branded goods, his second daughter who was addicted to drugs, and his son who went around causing trouble. It also seemed like Wu Tak had touched a woman again. From the way her boss behaved, she could tell the other party was someone he had trouble coming to a compromise with.
It seems like money doesn’t make you happy. You need to be happy to live and not live to be happy.
Jung Ah Young was a positive and detached person. She preferred a fat body to an extremely skinny body that was suffering from pneumothorax. She preferred having moon skin to flaky skin. Happiness came from within oneself and not externally. She was happy to be healthy and to be holding a job that allowed her to work hard. Although her parents had passed away early due to an accident, she was happy because she still had an older brother who was strict but caring. She was poor, but she was happy because she still could enjoy a warm meal.
Her boss? He was sick, and he never had a day of peace because of all the family conflicts. He even called her out on Christmas Eve. What was the point of being rich when one wasn’t happy?
“Ah Young, this isn’t something to be said, but let’s say that you were almost raped by someone you know, what would happen?” Park In Bo asked hesitantly.
“I won’t be able to say for sure until I experience it, but I’ll probably be on a complicated psychological escalator ride. I’m an easy-going person, so I should be able to shake it off with time. Reality is already harsh, so there isn’t a need to waste my emotions and strength, right? The problem’s rather complicated, isn’t it?”
“Hehehe, if it was merely ‘complicated,’ why would I be worried my entire life?”
Park In Bo ran his hands through his hair and frowned. How wonderful would it be if he could crack his head open and erase all the tainted memories?
“Go back home and take a break, boss. Sometimes, time is the best remedy. It would be nice if you could relax completely… You can’t go to the red-light district, so why don’t you call an expensive one over to the hotel? Should I call Hyun Ah over? She knocked out that big-nosed guy from Italy last time.”
Jung Ah Young looked like she was about to pull out her phone immediately. Park In Bo raised his fist in pretense.
“You brat, what do you think I am? I wouldn’t do that even if I starve.”
“Yeah, right, that’s not something one should flaunt. Rather, one should be called foolish for it. A cow would laugh if it’s told that a businessman didn’t have such snacks. Go to the mountains tomorrow. There’s not a single employee who likes to see their boss working on a holiday.”
“Gosh, I get it, you brat. Take this and go.”
Park In Bo threw her an envelope.
“Shut up. I’m sorry that’s all I can give you. Go back home and eat some bulgogi with your family or something.”
The loneliness and emptiness of a successful middle-aged man were disheartening. She wanted to ask what kind of person the boss’ nephew was like but now didn’t seem to be the appropriate time. She grabbed her handbag and stood up. Macho men had to be left alone when they wished to be alone.
Three new groups of chattering customers entered the bar while cold wind surrounded the table that was missing Jung Ah Young. Melancholy settled on Park In Bo’s face. His face looked drier than the silver grass found at the top of a mountain in winter.
“Deok San, get me another Kumbokju.”
“Gosh, boss, secretary Jung firmly told me that you shouldn’t be given another bottle. She said if I don’t listen to her, she’ll ban the company employees from visiting. Boss, I really can’t.”
Park In Bo was a long-time regular. Deok San, who knew about his illness, made one excuse after another.
“Huh, that brat’s acting like she’s my wife. Deok San, give me a bottle of beer. I didn’t even have that much since that brat drank most of the Kumbokju.” Park In Bo laughed.
He could see through the owner’s intention of refusing him alcohol, using secretary Jung as an excuse. There were some people who truly cared for him too. His life was not in vain.
He begged and begged, and finally got a bottle of beer. Park In Bo stared emptily at the bubbles spilling out of the glass before it disappeared. His life seemed to be like the bubbles that filled the glass before it slowly disappeared. For what and for who did he live so desperately for!
His eldest daughter who had gotten divorced while traveling abroad because of her shopping addiction, his second daughter who was completely addicted to drugs, his son who caused trouble while running around with gang members, his wife who did all kinds of things to make her husband’s company her family’s, and his brothers-in-law who had bribed the employees to form a worker’s union—although his life seemed shiny on the outside, it was but hellish. It was all flash and no substance.
Money had ruined his children. He had freaked out after learning that the pair of Italian shoes Hwa Ja had bought was equivalent to three months’ worth of a middle-level executive’s salary. The price of a piece of clothing was more than the annual salary of a female employee.
Even his wife and eldest daughter were also influenced by Hwa Ja. The three women focused their attention in the same direction. Instead of shopping for necessities, they fell in love with the habit of buying things that they wanted. The three women were consumed with the personality of the riches—buying whatever they wanted, no matter the cost.
Of course, Korea was a capitalist country. While there were no ranks, there were social divisions. Shopping for luxury goods wasn’t something to be criticized. The ajummas who sold fish in the market wore tetron harem pants. His wife wore a Chanel straight cotton skirt. There was no reason for his wife to wear harem pants. There was no need to criticize car enthusiasts for spending hundreds and millions of won purchasing the BMW M1 Hommage supercar, limited to only 457 cars.
However, the moment a buyer placed meaning on the price alone, they became shallow. There was no reason for anyone wearing a 10,000,000 won Patek wristwatch to laugh at someone wearing a 100,000 won waterproof TAG Heuer watch. The reason why Park In Bo screamed at his wife and daughters was because of that. His family consisted of women who were addicted to the price tags.
“You reap what you sow. Kekeke!”
His shoulders moved up and down—it looked like he was either crying or laughing. Bubbles escaped the glass of beer in his hand. It had been when Hwa Ja was five. Mrs. Jae Soo was calming down his daughter who had returned home crying and covered in mud.
“Why are you crying?”
“Chul Soo hit me.”
“You didn’t hit him?”
“I hit him too.”
“Then, it’s fine. Chul Soo will be in as much pain as you. Don’t fight next time. Apologize to Chul Soo first. Then, Chul Soo will like you.”
“Of course. If you share and apologize first, you’ll have lots of friends.”
Mrs. Jae Soo comforted the whimpering Hwa Ja.
“You worthless good-for-nothing’s spouting weird things. How can you compare our Hwa Ja’s pain to that beggar?” his wife, who had been listening in on the conversation, screamed from the front porch.
“You damn b****, if you’re going to wander around and get beaten up, you can die instead. If you’re weak, hit him with a rock. You just need to shove your fingers into his eyes.”
Those weren’t words a mother should say to her child. He had also joined in.
“If you lose once, you keep on losing. Next time, grab his balls and pull as hard as you can. He’ll sound like he’s dying. When you’re weak, you can only win by being sneaky.”
“Gosh! Brother-in-law, how can you say that to a young girl…”
Kim Mal Soon glanced at him and his wife with a horrified expression and went back down to her house. Her face, which looked like she was about to cry, filled his vision.
“Hehehe, I did teach them to win no matter what… The sun isn’t high or low, but there are tall and short grasses,” Park In Bo muttered the words his younger sibling used to sing in the past.
He’d never taught his children the value of kindness or sharing. He had only taught them how to use and deceive other people.
He had taught his children that one must win, no matter how cruel and evil the methods were. Rather, he had no qualms about being cruel or sly. That was how they were raised, so who could he blame?
Since he had nowhere else to focus his mind on, he grew attached to his business. He didn’t notice the illness that ate away at his body. He had no time to look back at his body. He had worked so hard that he had no friends and only enemies.
How much longer can I live?
He didn’t fear death, but he wouldn’t be able to rest in peace if he didn’t finish what he had started. Emphysema was a chronic disease that ate away at one’s life. Subarachnoid hemorrhage had occurred five years ago. He had been fighting with his wife about Wu Tak before he collapsed. Subarachnoid hemorrhage was a phenomenon in which the cerebral artery burst and blood started accumulating in the subarachnoid space. Most patients would die or suffer from shock before reaching the hospital.
Fortunately, there hadn’t been much blood loss and since the clotting had occurred in an area where it could easily be removed with surgery, he survived. Since then, he had suffered from after-effects such as dizziness, tinnitus, hand tremors, and double vision. There were many times when his hands would tremble, or he would feel dizzy at work.
[Translator’s notes: Mrs. Jae Soo is a Korean title applicable to every sister-in-law in Korea. Kim Mal Soon is her actual name.]