Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 367
“What do you think? Snaps you right back into attention, doesn’t it?”
Mu Ssang twisted his lips and smiled. Abe was the Higashi Hongan-ji’s first disciple who went through intense ninja training. Pain was a part of his life.
“Hehehe, time’s passed. There isn’t time for this,” Abe mocked, revealing gums that had turned red because of blood.
His eyes flashed with excitement from the violence.
“Yeah, right. I turned six Japs into mush and put them in their place. B*stard, stop dreaming!”
Abe’s face creased. The more creases there were on his bloodied face, the more he looked like a devil.
“Aigo, look at this b*stard talk. He speaks Japanese when he’s mad!”
Mu Ssang went on to slap him on both cheeks. Teeth kept falling out of the man’s damaged gums. Priest Bumwoo and Hyung Dong, alongside the five gangsters, were shaking.
“Damn it! One measly Joseon person ruined our great plan,” Abe mumbled.
“Great plan! You’re saying burning children to death is a great plan? Wow, this b*stard’s the worst of his kind.”
Angered, Mu Ssang continued to slam Abe’s face into the floor.
“B*stard, children should be protected and treasured. Compared to Koreans, you guys don’t even have basic morality. Oh, look, this guy has passed out. Why is he so weak?”
Mu Ssang lifted Abe as though he was lifting a bunch of harvests and threw him to the side. Abe, who landed on the floor loudly, trembled and stopped moving. The office was as quiet as a mouse.
“Hyung Dong, tie them up like fishes on a string.”
Hyung Dong brought over a ball of nylon string used to hang laundry. The head Abe, the two b*stards who used ninja techniques, the tax collector, and the five gangsters were tied up together like Corvina fishes on a string. Mu Ssang’s frightening gaze swept past the Chil Sung market gang members.
“Weaklings, fighting commences once you’ve assessed your opponent’s abilities. You guys aren’t even considered gangsters when you’ve sided with a Jap. You’re just parasites.”
The heavy shuriken on the chain knocked on their heads mercilessly. The gangsters who were scared stiff didn’t even have the time to scream. Mu Ssang tapped Abe, who’d fainted.
“Oi, why are you acting like this when we both know the truth? A direct descendant of the Higashi Hongan-ji shouldn’t pass out so easily, that’s impossible. Think about the honor of your martial hall.”
“Kugh, how did you know?”
Abe raised his head. His front teeth had all disappeared, and his pronunciation was butchered because of his torn lips. It was impossible for his face to remain normal after getting slammed into the cement floor several times. His entire face was a mess, and his features were no longer distinguishable. Any regular human being would have died 10 times over from that level of shock. A first-class ninja was truly different. Mu Ssang smiled. His assumption was proven right.
“I can tell. Chui Do Shik, no, do you know Sai Dojiku?”
“Uuk! How do you know Sai-san?” Abe returned a question in surprise.
“That b*stard taught me once.”
Abe was confused. No disciple would call their master a b*stard. If Sai-san taught that b*stard, he should be on the same side as him.
“You should know the All-Torture too, then.”
Abe’s face creased devilishly. The All-Torture was both a torture and fundamental strengthening method that disciples of the elders learned. He couldn’t even advance to the second level of that evil training method.
He heard that there was a similar training method called the Seizure Protection. Seizure Protection was administered by hitting one with a thick wooden stick, but the All-Torture was administered by hitting one with an ash tree branch or a Betula schmidtii branch the width of a nail. The All-Torture’s Extended Modification Ki was an endless continuation of pain that didn’t allow one to pass out, and the torment kept coming in like waves. Just thinking about it made him nervous and caused his muscles to tense up.
“Who are you, really?”
“Are you a chicken-head? I said Japs don’t have the right to ask, didn’t I? I question, and you answer. If you answer me properly, I might even let you live. If your answer is insincere, I’ll be very sad. When I’m sad, I tend to cheer myself up by administering the All-Torture. By the way, there is no Grand Defrosting Flow liquid. You get what I mean?”
Abe realized what it meant to feel earth-shattering despair. That b*stard who knew the existence of the Grand Defrosting Flow liquid was the real deal. That disciple could be someone whom Sai Dojiku raised in secret after betraying the clan. If he made a mistake there, he’d have to crawl around the marketplace’s floor with all 12 of his joints damaged.
“What’s the real identity of Chui Do Shik?”
“He’s the great master of the Higashi Hongan-ji. He’s in his mid-30s and a genius of our times who mastered Jutsu, fighting techniques, spells, and the art of medicine,” Abe replied honestly, pushing his question aside.
That’s a relief.
Mu Ssang secretly let out a sigh of relief. If there were more than 10 people in Japan with Chui Do Shik’s abilities, it would be a disaster for Korea.
“Where is Chui Do Shik?”
“I don’t know. We’re also looking for Sai-san. We’ve not been in contact ever since he went missing five years ago.”
Mu Ssang nodded. Five years ago was around the time when he fled Bang Tae San with severe injuries. Abe’s brain waves, blood flow, and heartbeat were normal. That meant he wasn’t lying.
Is he dead?
Considering his wounds, he should be, but Chui Do Shik wasn’t any ordinary person. He was the leader of the Baek Baek religion. He suffered severe injuries on his neck and abdomen and also lost his left arm. Although they were severe injuries, he knew three people who wouldn’t die from that. They were Ocelot, Samedi, and himself. Even the regenerative skills of those chimeras he met at the lakes of Ounianga were more surprising.
He was certain about Chui Do Shik’s death in the past, but with more experience, he grew more certain that he was still alive. A master’s death wasn’t confirmed unless their head was separated from their body. A master advanced one level through death. If he reappeared, there was a possibility that he’d be stronger.
“Since you’ve taken over the Chil Sung market gang, Eel must have been smoked. Do you know Bullhead?”
“He’s a mid-level boss with skills. I was going to raise him by sending him to my headquarters, but then he disappeared.”
So, the b*stards who dug up his father’s grave were the Chil Sung market gang members. That was why enemies lasted longer than friends.
“Why is a skillful person like you here in Korea acting as the head of a second-rate street gang?”
Abe couldn’t answer and simply frowned. His frowning face was a disturbing sight.
“You don’t need to tell me. I can just release my stress on you, and you can die slowly releasing all kinds of fluids.”
“Damn it, just kill me already.”
“Hmmm, this means you’re confident in handling torture. You two over there, are you Japs too?”
Mu Ssang glared at the sports-hair guy who used the chain and the block-hair guy who used the ring shuriken.
“Right. We are the second generation disciples of the Higashi Hongan-ji.”
The block-hair guy straightened his back proudly.
“Oh, of course, that’s such a great thing. You b*stard!”
Mu Ssang slapped the back of the block-hair guy’s head with his palm. His forehead hit the floor every time he got hit. The block-hair guy stubbornly straightened his back again.
“Skilled disciples from Japan’s finest ninja clan coming to take over a nameless street gang in the suburbs of Korea? That’s really suspicious.”
Mu Ssang started hitting the back of the sports-hair guy’s head with his palm. This time, he was hitting with more emotions. The sound of one’s forehead hitting the cold hard floor rang. The sports-hair guy stubbornly fought back, unwilling to let his bloodied face get in contact with the cold floor. It was a protest that he would not give up his pride. Of course, Mu Ssang wasn’t the slightest bit impressed.
“Planning to burn down a building alongside dozens of children just to take over some countryside building? What kind of b*stard plans out such a great play with fire? I don’t understand. Do you guys understand?”
Mu Ssang started hitting the back of Abe’s head. There was a reason why he was hitting the back of their heads. He was releasing resonance to mess up their occipital lobe’s recognition function and the spindle cells in their frontal lobe. Spindle cells played a part in processing self-awareness, empathy, and willpower.
Those b*stards who passed the ninja training center were b*stards well-trained to handle pain. They weren’t the kind who’d surrender because of broken fingers and peeled skin. Traditional ninjas had their own suicide methods. There was a possibility that they’d commit suicide to keep their secret if he administered the All-Torture.
The Japs were madmen who loaded their jets with fuel and covered it with bombs before flying right into the U.S.’s traps. Madmen must be brought back to their senses.
“I’ll ask again. What’s the reason behind your attachment to some unknown orphanage?”
“We’re planning to set up a temple here. We’re planning to set up a Korean version of the Higashi Hongan-ji and spread it as a religion.”
“Really? I’ll believe you. Then, shouldn’t you have offered to buy it at a reasonable price?”
“I initially offered 400,000 won per pyung. However, the priest refused. I got mad. So, I lowered the price.”
“You b*stard, all of the children go to school and work here, so where do you expect us to move to?” the priest barked.
He was listening in. Mu Ssang glared at Abe. That b*stard was lying. A b*stard whose intention was to quietly spread his influence but was causing a scene that would take the world by surprise instead? That was absurd. Mu Ssang decided to use the most classic method.
“Abe, if you’re going to lie, make sure that your story makes sense. I’m going to propose one thing to you b*stards. All three of you are on the same boat. You’re all criminals who tried to burn children to death. I’ll release any b*stard who tells the truth.”
“Hmph, a warrior of the Great Empire of Japan doesn’t fall for such lies.”
“Really? Let’s test it out.”
Mu Ssang dragged the block-hair guy to the next room. Those b*stards were people who dropped kamikaze attacks shouting “Tennōheika Banzai.” He wanted to test whether they had such great loyalty and trust.
“Look, I didn’t ask for your names. Do you get what I’m saying? It means I’ll simply release you if you open your mouth. However, if you don’t, and the other b*stards don’t, I’m planning to hand all of you over to the police. If you don’t open your mouth, and the others do, you’ll suffer the second level of All-Torture and thrown to be fed to the pigs. Ah, don’t try to lie. My ability to detect lies is far superior to an actual lie detector. If you lie, forget about the safety of your family members.”
The block-hair guy’s face creased. Mu Ssang’s offer was cruel. If the block-hair guy talked, he’d be released. If the block-hair guy decided to remain silent, and the sports-hair guy talked, he’d be tortured and thrown to be fed to the pigs. If both of them remained silent, they’d be handed over to the police to be punished.
From the block-hair guy’s point of view, he must open his mouth to survive. Would he remain silent and trust his comrades? Was their collective consciousness stronger than their survival instinct?
“Now, I’ll give you five minutes. I’ll keep my promise. You should know masters like me take their words seriously. I have just the right thing too.”
Mu Ssang shook the weighted chain. It was a silent threat. The block-hair guy’s face creased. The person before him was a master of unknown levels. For a person to reach that level, he’d have to survive death at least 100 times. That guy wouldn’t be able to lie since his mental toughness was already at its limit, and he was way too prideful. If he said he would release him, he would release him.
Images of his wife and young son, whom he had left behind in his hometown, flashed before his eyes. The clan’s benevolence to him and his family was great and profound as they were the ones who taught him martial arts and provided him with generous living expenses. The block-hair guy’s thoughts were all tangled up.
“I scattered seeds over the rock you gave, with the water of love…”
Mu Ssang hummed a song. He heard that song playing from a handcart when he crossed the train platform in Seoul after returning from the Sahel. The lyrics were so desperate and sad that his heart ached and his nose twitched. The past years seemed futile, and the reality seemed bleak.
What was the point of having so much money? What kind of dream could someone drifting through life have? Money spent on someone was more worthwhile, and honor only shone when one’s proud of it. It was all meaningless because there were no roots.
Do I need to get married? No, I should find my mother first.
The block-hair guy stared at the goblin-like human who was humming a song with resentful eyes. He couldn’t read the person’s intentions at all.
“You can. Living’s better even if you have to roll in a field of s***.”
The block-hair guy shouted determinedly, but Mu Ssang simply nodded. The Japs’ loyalty and collective consciousness were a lie. The organization was put under hypnosis imbued with collective madness and subservience for over 1,000s of years. An impossible story came out of the block-hair guy’s mouth.
“This is where the private warehouse of Hanzo Yamanashi, the fifth governor of Joseon, was located. Governor Yamanishi was troubled because Jo Myeong-ha, a Joseon citizen, stabbed Kunihiko Kuninomiya in Taiwan. Kuninomiya was Hirohito’s father-in-law. Anxious, he started preparing bribes to move the Tanaka warlords. Then and even now, the Japanese would go crazy over Joseon antiques. At that time, governor Yamanashi collected 1,000s of antiques, including Goryeo ceramics, Joseon white porcelains, royal seals, calligraphies, and books. It is also said that there were over 100 cultural properties of national treasure grade amongst the collection.”
“Impossible! How did you b*stards obtain this information?”
Mu Ssang was surprised. What kind of lightning in the bare sky was that! Treasures seemed to follow him wherever he went.
“Governor Yamanashi is from the Higashi Hongan-ji. Moreover, there were many pro-Japanese members in Joseon.”
“Nigimi Ddugural! Who are those b*stards!”
Mu Ssang’s eyes flashed. Those pro-Japanese were always the problem. The block-hair guy was basically saying that the pro-Japanese faction in Korea backed them up. If someone was to create chaos, it would be himself and not those pro-Japanese faction members who took advantage of the country.
“I don’t know who’s cooperating in Korea. I’m only here because the elders ordered me to take over this area.”
“If that’s the case, you should have taken care of this matter quietly. Why did you try to burn the children?”
“Are you really going to release me?”