Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 357
Jin Soon, who wasn’t easily surprised, leaped in the air. There was a long shadow under the streetlight, it was her oppa who had disappeared. Mu Ssang walked up to her. Jin Soon’s heart throbbed. Her heart seemed to beat faster with each step.
What am I doing? It’s not like we’re strangers. Why am I acting this way?
She turned her body slightly and pressed her palm down on her chest. The full moon, which was covered by the clouds, peeked out. Moonlight poured down like arrows. Mu Ssang was breathless for a moment.
She really is a beautiful woman!
The way she stood—slightly tilted to the side with her hand on her chest—under the moonlight created a beautiful scene. The scent of a mature woman wafted off her slim silhouette. Mu Ssang suddenly forgot the reason why he had returned.
When did the girl, who used to hide snacks in her skirt, grow up so much? When did her tan face become so bright like the moon? She, who used to drag around a heavy handcart while sticking her tongue out—when did her short legs grow so long? A person whom he had been considering a younger sister suddenly seemed like a woman to him.
“Yes!” Jin Soon replied meekly.
The casual tone she always took with him disappeared.
“It’s a gift.”
Mu Ssang pulled out a small jewelry box from his pocket. It was the diamond that he brought along with him for his mother when he escaped the underground world. When Mu Ssang opened the lid of the jewelry box, an intense radiance shot out. The surrounding radius of three meters glowed brightly.
Jin Soon was distracted by the magnificence of the flashy pink diamond in the black opal box. It was natural. The jewel that Jin Soon received was the perfect jewel. Mu Ssang had thought about its shape and used his eyes and his dimensional sight to cut it down with resonance waves. It was a unique item.
He practiced the 58-sided brilliant cutting skill whenever he could to master control over the Billion’s Water Armor. The 3,000-karat diamond was reduced to 1,000 karats since he kept cutting until it was perfectly symmetrical and balanced. Only Black Mamba, who saw the diamond as nothing but a rock, was capable of doing so.
“O…Oppa, what is this?”
She didn’t ask out of ignorance. She asked because she was shocked.
“I was going to give it to my mother as a gift if I meet her, but I feel like this kind of gift will only get in the way of our relationship. The owner of this item is you.”
“Is this a real diamond? I’ve never heard of a pink diamond. Do I even deserve this at all?”
Jin Soon’s mind was focused entirely on the diamond that was glowing brightly in her palm. Nonsensical words came out from her naturally.
“If it’s not my mother, only you can have it.” Mu Ssang smiled.
“Oppa, you’re everything to me like how auntie is everything to you. I’m horrible for being distracted by it when oppa’s right here. The rightful owner of this item is auntie.”
Jin Soon closed the jewelry box. The world suddenly grew dark. Jin Soon returned the jewelry box to Mu Ssang.
“Hm? You seem to forget, but if you sell it, you’ll get 1,000,000,000s of dollars.”
“I know. However, the reason why I’m not accepting it is the same reason why you’re not giving it to auntie, oppa. No matter how expensive it is, there’s a price. Oppa, you’re priceless.”
Jin Soon smiled softly. Mu Ssang smiled along with her. It was only something that Jin Soon could do.
“I want to receive this from auntie instead of you, oppa. Although jewels aren’t problematic, it becomes a problem if I don’t have the power to protect them, right?
“I didn’t think that far,” Mu Ssang admitted.
He only paid attention to the latter part of her response, forgetting the part about receiving it from his mother.
“Tsk, it’s still regretful. Maybe I am too attached to money, hehehe!”
Mu Ssang opened his arms. Jin Soon snuggled against his broad chest. Her heart shook at the strong scent of a man. She was happy. Oppa was hugging her, so what’s the point of a shining stone?
Mu Ssang enjoyed her refreshing soul. Could there be a soul purer than hers? Her soul, which shone brighter than the 1,000s of diamonds embedded in the tunnel, sealed the gaping wound that Hae Young left behind.
Damn, did I save 1,000 widows in my past life?
Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain on the bridge of his nose.
Mu Ssang grabbed a taxi at Anjirang. He would have to eliminate Bodhisattva Young Mae depending on the situation. Although it would only take minutes if he rode on his snakehead to Daehan-ri, a temple-owned village, he didn’t want to draw unnecessary attention.
That wasn’t some petty revenge. From how Bodhisattva Young Mae acted, it was highly likely that there were other victims. From an unknown time, adults and good-doers started disappearing. The society grew unsympathetic, and communities started crumbling down. A child’s childishness was comparable to an adult’s foolishness. Childishness did not only apply to young children but also foolish people. Adulthood meant the breadth of knowledge in one’s possession. Adults were adults because they reprimanded and guided ignorant children.
The gathering of individuals was called a society, and on a larger scale, a nation. If the number of people turning a blind eye to dangerous situations and injustice increased, society would grow sick. If society grew sick, the habit of ignoring the common good and blaming others would spread. There’s a sick society behind the saying, “fire and fistfights are the best entertainment.”
When one turned a blind eye to injustice, karma would hit the back of their head like a boomerang. The degree of danger one’s exposed to would increase. Before one could reflect on themselves, the disease would worsen as the blame was pushed to the government, society, and neighbor.
Mu Ssang wasn’t Don Quixote who interfered whenever he liked without a plan. He used the same reason why he saved the Orthodox Christians and the Kurd tribe for his trip to Gatbawi. It was because he wanted to. Mu Ssang’s agenda followed the teachings of his father, Park Jin Bo, which was to live like a man and his teacher, which was to do what his heart wanted.
Taxi number 909 sped through the countryside roads and stopped at the entrance of Sinhan-ri. Gatbawi was located to the left of the village townhouse, four kilometers straight through a small side road. Mu Ssang willingly walked to the destination.
Gatbawi or the “Stone Seated Medicine Buddha” was national treasure number 431 and located at the top of Palgong Mountain. The reason for Gatbawi’s nationwide fame was because of the rumor that one’s wishes would be granted if they prayed sincerely. Was there anyone without a wish! On Buddha’s birthday or entrance examination day, people would push each other’s backs from dawn to reach the statue.
Mu Ssang ran on the deserted side road. No matter how amazing Gatbawi was, no one climbed the mountain paths late at night. His body aligned with his abilities, and he moved like a leaf fluttering in the wind when he utilized the fearless steps. Even if someone saw Mu Ssang sprinting, they would think it was a mad crow.
Five kilometers was nearby. Mu Ssang stopped walking after five minutes. A rock with the words “Bodhisattva Young Mae” engraved appeared.
“She settled in an amazing place,” Mu Ssang mumbled.
The Left Martial Hall showed their prowess by borrowing the ghosts’ energy. Of course, they preferred eerie places where ghosts could easily come and go.
A deep valley, a waterfall that evoked an eerie feeling, the shade of a tree that covered the building, and the dark mountain shade—all of that made up the typical yin-based feng shui grounds.
The building itself was normal. It wasn’t a gutdang with green traditional sliding doors and a light pink charm but an ordinary house. If it weren’t for the large bamboo poles leaning against the door, it would be like any typical house. Still, just because it was a house, that didn’t make any difference. 300,000 people made a living out of being a shaman. Even a shaman who set up a gutdang in an ordinary house was no different.
It was a bizarre night; only the sound of the waterfall could be heard. The aura of dark demons surrounded the old tiled house covered in the shade of a giant 100-year-old tree. He suddenly remembered the black bull that fought the ridiculously large snake underwater.
His dimensional sight spread. That was the first time he used that ability since his return. There wasn’t a single human within his 400-meter radius. There were three people in the building. He could sense thin and sharp women and a heavy and dull man.
Mu Ssang put on his Ray-Ban and pressed down his Yankee hat. Even if it wasn’t for his teacher’s advice, he had no intention of hurting anyone—if that was possible. Mu Ssang pushed the large front door open and went in.
He paused at the unexpected sight. The inner door to a room was wide open, and a woman wearing traditional clothes was lying on a large platform in the courtyard outside of the room with her hair loose. Inside the room, through the open door, was an altar and colorful shaman materials.
White incense smoke floated past the shamanic paintings. On the left and right walls were several armaments such as the three-pointed trident, blue dragon’s blade, and Jangpal spear. In that bizarre setting, the woman, who was clutching her chest with unruly hair and thin clothes, looked weak as though she could die on the spot.
When Mu Ssang made a sound, the woman leaped to a stand and rushed out barefoot. She seemed to be in her 50s, with gray roots growing out. She collapsed before him on the ground.
“Great God, this lowly girl pleads for her sins. I’ll take whatever punishment you’ll bestow.”
Huh! Mu Ssang exclaimed internally. He felt goosebumps rising on his skin because the woman had shamelessly called herself a girl despite her graying hair.
“How did you know?”
“A general I serve told me. He said the great God of the universe will arrive today and determine this girl’s fate.”
This person’s the real deal.
Mu Ssang was slightly surprised. She wasn’t a fake who deceived others but a real shaman.
“Who are you?”
“I’m spellcaster Sun Woo Bang Na, who inherited master Jeon Woo Chi’s secrets.”
“Hm, Sun Woo is your last name, huh… It’s an old family name from the Three Kingdom’s period. Did you put the two to sleep on purpose?”
Mu Ssang glanced at the smaller side-house. A man and woman were fast asleep.
“Yes, sir. I put them to sleep hoping that you, the great God, won’t be disturbed.”
Mu Ssang tried recalling the image of the female spellcaster called Sun Woo Bang Na. He could pull up the other person’s image when he used his inner eye and dimensional sight at the same time. She was as cold as a lake. Although it wasn’t clear, she wasn’t contaminated like the houngan of the Vodou religion. There was no hatred or bloodlust either.
She isn’t the kind of person to covet money or use evil spells…
Mu Ssang tilted his head.
“Are those two, who are asleep, your disciples?”
“They’re my disciple and helper.”
“Do you know why I’m here?”
“I heard my disciple was recently hungry for some money. It’s been months since I scolded and punished her. It seems like you’re here because of my disciple.”
Huh, did she plan this knowing that I was going to visit?
Something about the situation felt off.
“Hm, can your disciple perform the deprivation of the soul’s permanent seal?”
“Permanent seals are evil spells that this girl didn’t dare learn. The deprivation of the soul are charms passed down… Ah!”
Surprised, Sun Woo Bang Na raised her head and lowered it immediately.
“Great God, I’ve committed a grave sin. I once gave my disciple the deprivation of the soul charms, a secret in my possession, because she needed it for her research. My disciple must have used them for evil purposes.”
“She did. Is there a reason why you have not destroyed such evil charms yet?”
“Great God, the deprivation of the soul sealing charms were made by my great master who anticipated the Japanese’s attacks, with the purpose of sealing their general’s bodies. However, since the ignorant government imprisoned him and accused him of fooling the people, he was never able to use them.”
As the story unraveled, it got stranger. Apart from Jeon Woo Chi, the Japanese war was also mentioned. What kind of charms lasted 500 years? The charms, which were meant to seal the bodies of Katō and Konishi, were used on his innocent father.
“Bring me to your disciple.”
Sun Woo Bang Na got up and led him to the smaller side-house. There was a pile of kalopanax before the door. It seemed to be an imitation of the traditional exile method. Sun Woo Bang Na removed the kalopanax and branches before opening the door.
An old woman was sleeping inside the room. She seemed to be in her 60s. Mu Ssang immediately realized that she was put to sleep by a spell.
“Wake her up!”
Sun Woo Bang Na grabbed a chain of bells from her sleeve and shook it. With three rings, the woman woke up.
The woman screamed and leaped to her feet the moment her eyes met Mu Ssang’s.
She stepped on her skirt, fell face first, and trembled as she crawled toward a corner of the room. Shivering, she curled herself up and covered her face with both of her arms.
“You evil thing, do you know the great God has come? Did you use the sealing charms?” Sun Woo Bang Na’s tone was harsh.
“I committed a grave sin, please, I must have been momentarily mad.” The woman lowered her head.
“Did you deal with a woman called Jang Pil Nyuh?”
The heavy voice shook the woman’s eardrums.
“Please, forgive me.”
The woman kneeled flat on the ground.
“If you committed a grave sin, you belong in a grave. You’re someone who’ll bring harm to the world.”
When Mu Ssang raised his hand, a sharpened shaman knife levitated in the corner of the room and transported into his palm.
Sun Woo Bang Na collapsed to her knees.
“Great God, please, hear me out.”
Mu Ssang glared at Sun Woo Bang Na.
“Lately, this girl is working on a traditional business that brings shaman practices into yang constitutions. My disciple must have committed this sin because there weren’t enough funds. Although my disciple must die to pay for the sins she has committed as a practitioner, I am at greater fault for not teaching her properly. Please have mercy and take my life instead.”
“A traditional business that brings shamanism into the…?”
It was a grand, no, unexpected story. Mu Ssang was intrigued by Sun Woo Bang Na’s words. The Left Martial Hall was a yin-world. Shamanism was no different from Vodouism.
“Shamanism is our own religion that isn’t influenced by China. It’s no different from the Japanese Shinto. However, we dismiss it as superstition while Japan considered it their national religion. We destroyed shaman altars and shaman groups to erase shamanism, but Japan covered their land with divinity. Our country leaders have abandoned the ancient tradition, but Japan started the year by praying to their gods, using it as a means to unite their people.”
 Commercial temple.