Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 369
Mu Ssang growled like a dog that got its bowl taken away. He could smell Jang Chi Soo’s interference in the matter. He was the b*stard who threatened him to stamp on a fake testimony by beating him with a black police baton and seized every opportunity to slap his face.
Abuse endured at a young age left deep wounds. While his uncle was a filthy human for tampering with evidence, Jang Chi Soo was the worst kind of evil. At Madam Jang’s request, he threw him behind bars and beat him every day, forcing out a fake confession. He was so mad that he wrote down Jang Chi Soo’s name on his blacklist.
There was a paper’s width of difference between a gangster and a detective. A detective was someone who lived off taxes, and a gangster was someone who stole from others. Both got along well because they were of a similar kind. Many detectives maintained brotherly relationships with gangsters in the area that they were in charge of. Gangsters were their informants, but they mostly took bribes from gangs and overlooked their illegal activities. Mu Ssang had a bad impression of the police because of his childhood trauma.
“Who’s the investigator who told you to sell the orphanage, priest?”
“He’s from the investigation team called Senior Patrol Officer Kang.”
“There’s another guy who I need to beat up.”
Mu Ssang remembered Senior Patrol Officer Kang from the Southern Office’s Investigation Team. When one ignored a pile of s*** thinking it had nothing to do with them, the same s*** water would pour down on them someday.
“By the way, In Ae Won’s finances aren’t looking great,” Mu Ssang mentioned a subject that was difficult to bring up.
Priest Bumwoo was a reliable person. If his friend couldn’t afford to buy the children a bowl of soup each, it meant that they were struggling financially. He could guess plenty enough from the way that the DaeDeok restaurant owner treated Hyung Dong.
“At first, I used to bring home children who had nowhere to go and feed them. However, as the number of children started to increase, my house couldn’t take in all of them. Boss Park of Good Heart Lodgings, whom I know by chance, donated this building to me five years ago.”
“Boss Park In Bo of Good Heart Lodgings?”
Surprised, Mu Ssang asked again to confirm. Park In Bo! What kind of lightning in broad daylight was that?
“Namu Amita Bul, it seems like monk Mu Ah knows him too. I’ve never seen a Bodhisattva like him. I complained about my rough situation, and he handed me a bank account and stamp so that I could purchase a building. He even sent me funds through that bank account.”
“Huh, am I supposed to believe this?”
Mu Ssang shook his head. His uncle was someone who’d never hand over a 10 won coin to another person if it didn’t benefit him. However, he found it odd that his selfish uncle donated a 500-pyung building to an orphanage. He thought his personality remained unchanged since he was fighting with Jang over management rights. Still, what was that about him being kind!
“Who else can I trust if I don’t trust him? There are three more orphanages that Boss Park donates to. I’ve never seen such a kind person like him in my life. He said nothing else other than to feed the children well and send them to school.”
Feed the children well and send them to school? You don’t deserve to say that, b*stard!
The shock left Mu Ssang staring into space. For five years, his uncle starved him and tried everything to prevent him from going to school. Dogs didn’t grow ivory, and Park In Bo didn’t speak the language of kindness. He must be doing all kinds of charity work since death was approaching him.
“He didn’t say anything else?”
“He said I should live out my life as I wish. Thanks to Boss Park, I had enough funds to eventually take in over 40 children. However, six months ago, the donations from Good Heart Lodgings stopped. Although I’m struggling, I managed to continue to run this place thanks to Buddha’s grace. Huhuhu.”
“Why did the donations stop?”
“Well, I don’t know, but he must have a reason since he isn’t the kind of person to do so. Although I’m worried, I didn’t contact him out of fear of being a burden to him.”
“Reason… Is it almost time for him to die?” Mu Ssang, who was lost in his thoughts, said unconsciously.
“Hm! What do you mean?”
“Ah, nothing. Priest, was there a basement when you bought this building?”
“Initially, I didn’t know there was a basement. The children found it while playing hide-and-seek. We don’t use it since it’s cold and eerie.”
Mu Ssang nodded. The basement was filled with yin energy. As the block-hair guy said, there was something off about it.
“Priest, sell In Ae Won to me.”
Priest Bumwoo wasn’t surprised at all.
“There’s a reason why I should, right?”
“The b*stards you saw today are more dangerous than you think. They’re tenacious b*stards. The kind of event that unfolded today can happen again. It’s a land filled with yin energy too, so it’s not good for the children. Priest, you just find a good location. I’ll build a building for you. You can continue to use this building until then.”
“That’s good news for me. Won’t you lose a lot, monk Mu Ah?”
People who lived without greed had an eye for people. Bumwoo realized that he met someone special in this world. There was no reason why he should refuse when the childrens’ safety was being threatened.
“I’m someone who practices Buddhism at least by title, it’ll be a shame to discuss money loss.”
“Hahaha, that’s true. I know a bit about reading faces. Monk Mu Ah, you’re someone who turns calamity into good fortune. Let’s write up the contract now. I would like to transfer my ill fortune to you as soon as possible.”
“Let’s.” Mu Ssang smiled.
The two immediately wrote up a sales contract.
“Hey, did you rest well?”
Around noon, Hyung Dong entered the basement. Abe and his gang members looked terrible after getting beaten up by Mu Ssang. Hyung Dong held a grudge against them. He automatically grew happier.
“Huh, why are you guys like this?”
Hyung Dong tilted his head. The gangsters looked weak like frozen lettuce leaves. Their eyes had lost focus, and one was frothing at the mouth. Mu Ssang nodded his head. There was clearly something wrong with the basement.
“These b*stards are putting up a show.”
Mu Ssang slapped their cheeks as though he was slapping a rice cake into shape. The gangsters’ eyes immediately regained focus after getting slapped. Mu Ssang kicked the gangsters’ butts and shoved them into the Bongo Coach.
The nine-seater Kia Bongo Coach was released in 1981. When well-built people were shoved into a small car like sardines, the car began to reek of blood and sweat, giving off a deadly stench.
“Boss, do you think those cars aren’t cars? Are you planning to make soup out of them by letting them boil in the heat?” Hyung Dong complained in the driver’s seat of the Bongo.
“Aigo, I must have lost my mind!”
Mu Ssang slapped his forehead, looking at the cars lining the entrance of In Ae Won. He couldn’t leave those b*stards’ cars there.
“Dot-face, bucket-hair, do you know how to drive?”
“Yes, very well,” dot-face and bucket-style hair answered, jumping to a salute.
Both animals and humans grew tame after a beating.
“Bucket-hair, you’re driving the salon, dot-face, you’re driving the pony.”
They were about to die, crammed into a small space with their superiors. Dot-face and bucket-style hair grew happy. They got off the Bongo.
Mu Ssang shoved the three ninjas into the Royale Salon and sat on the passenger’s side. The three were traditional ninjas, at least by title. They were people with unpredictable moves. Although he dislocated their shoulders, he didn’t know what they’d attempt if they left his sight.
Two cars and one van left Daegu. Mu Ssang drove the cars to Hwajeon village, deep within the northern side of Chun Saeng Mountain.
“Wow! Boss, where is this place? A ghost’s going to pop out.”
Surprised, Hyung Dong’s jaw dropped open. There was a good reason why. The Hwajeon village that they visited for the first time in five years was eerie to the point that ghosts might pop out. Only five houses remained after everyone left 10 years ago. He met his teacher there while trying to bury Hwa Ja alive. Fate turned and turned, bringing him back.
“You don’t need to know. It’s a place where ghosts really exist.”
“F***, I’m about to pee in my pants. What are you planning to do with those b*stards? Should we bury them?”
“Dude, I’m weak-hearted, so I can’t do that. I’ve got something else to bury.”
Yeah, right, if you’re a weak-hearted person, then what am I? Hyung Dong complained inwardly as Mu Ssang started smashing the pristine cars.
Suddenly, noises were coming from the middle of the still mountain.
Two cars were torn apart like puffed chips. The bonnet crumbled, the engine shattered, and the door fell off. The wheel that he kicked fell off its axle and rolled away. He sliced the universal joint of the driving axle and the huge engine with his Vajra, and he crushed the body with his bare hands like he was kneading clay. Two cars were dismantled and turned into scrap metals instantly.
“Wow, that… that’s…”
Hyung Dong couldn’t close his mouth. He didn’t realize that he was drooling. Humans were humans and not junkyards. Still, Hyung Dong’s surprise had only just begun.
Mu Ssang dug into the ground. Hyung Dong’s eyes widened like lantern lights. Mu Ssang was a special human by nature. When he beat up those Chil Sung market gang members in the orphanage, he found it tolerable. However, the scene before him wasn’t.
Mu Ssang, who’d disappeared into the ground, leaped out like a cannonball. He shoved all the scrap metals into the hole and filled it up with soil before moving a large rock on top. The Royale Salon and pony disappeared from the world without a trace.
Mu Ssang nudged Hyung Dong’s shoulder lightly.
“Hyung Dong, the world that you live in is different from the world that I live in. You get what I mean?”
“F***, I get what you’re saying. I didn’t see anything, and I never met you.”
Mu Ssang smiled.
“Brat, you’ve grown wittier after dragging those children around. Those b*stards will disappear from the world. That’s all you need to know.”
“Damn, you’re still boss, right? I’m suddenly very scared of you.”
“Hah, don’t talk like you don’t know. Humans can change their shells whenever they want. It doesn’t matter as long as their core doesn’t change.”
“Right, I didn’t change either. What are we going to do with those b*stards?”
“We need to keep them somewhere for now.”
Mu Ssang shoved Abe and the rest into a house that was barely standing. He was planning to send them down to a port in Busan by calling on the embassy’s car once the day was bright.
“Lackeys, you’re so dead now. You should have lived kindly, you know?”
Hyung Dong smacked the gangsters’ heads one by one and slammed the door shut.
“For the first time, I pity those b*stards. Can I see you again?”
“Life’s about parting when we meet and meeting when we part. If you don’t live to the best of your abilities, you won’t even notice the opportunity coming.”
“Damn, you still speak in riddles. I have a burning question though. What do you work as, boss?”
“A lion of justice.”
“Damn, I knew you’d say that. I’m going now. I’ll remember the soup that you bought me for the rest of my life.”
Hyung Dong drove off with the Bongo and disappeared.
Mu Ssang returned to the temple feeling unsettled. Thoughts of his uncle kept messing with his head.
“Feed the children well and send them to school?”
Something didn’t add up when his uncle returned his house and field. Although there was a saying that people changed before they died, his uncle wasn’t someone who’d die easily.
He had been sharpening his knife for the past 15 years, from the time he wrote down his uncle’s name on his death list. Instead of catching a tiger after entering a cave, it felt like he came across an old one. Energy seeped out of him. Mu Ssang’s eyes widened when he entered the temple’s prayer room.
“Huh, that brat!”
The candlelight burned brightly in the prayer room. Samedi was sitting on the elevated platform with his legs folded while reading a book. No, he was memorizing his teacher’s teachings. His teacher was an amazing person who turned a zombie into a Buddhist disciple. That or he was the con-artist of the century.
The first zombie priest was about to make his appearance in the history of Buddhism. He couldn’t recall a time when he read the sutras as seriously as Samedi. He deserved to be scolded for being worse than a zombie.
“A stone stuck in the road is a stumbling block. Even if you trip over the stumbling block, do not blame the stumbling block and blame yourself for your carelessness. If there are no obstacles, how can you appreciate a smooth road? If a stumbling block is placed under a roof, it becomes a table stone, and if placed in a stream, it becomes a stepping stone. Table stones and stepping stones are both supporting stones. Supporting stones are valuable because they support the lowest part of one’s body, the foot. The most valuable person is the person beneath everyone else. Luck comes from frugality, virtue comes from modesty, and wisdom comes from meditation. Worry arises from love, disaster arises from greed, and sin arises from impatience. Don’t look at others’ wrongdoings with your eyes, and don’t talk nonsense with your mouth. Do not refuse what comes, and do not hold on to what leaves. Would a salt raker be glad over a bag of rice? A hungry person is happy with a bowl of rice, so don’t seek happiness. Living is happiness itself.”
Mu Ssang stood quietly in the shadow of the temple’s roof and listened to Samedi’s repetitive chanting.
Am I a stumbling block or a supporting stone?
All those years spent in a frenzy flashed into his mind. According to his teacher, he was the cause of his own misery. He made himself busy by creating all that work. When Hyung Dong walked into the restaurant with all those children, should he have ignored them? No, he wouldn’t be able to live that way even if he died.
“Don’t blame the stone in your path? I’ll dig it out with a shovel or shatter it with a hammer. Samedi, you b*stard, try reading that for 100 days. Humans live as they wish.”
Mu Ssang smiled and quietly walked down to the sleeping quarters without disturbing Samedi. Even if the branch wished to be still, the wind wouldn’t leave it alone.