Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 371
It was said that money earned through sweat was sweet. However, money earned through bloodshed was as heavy as the price of blood. How many had died in his hands! The 330,000,000 francs and 350 kilograms of gold sleeping in BNP Paribas bank were treasures heavier than Mount Meru.
The social overhead capital, which was going into the construction of Novatopia, was fully funded by the French government. The smaller expenses were covered by the profits of the farm in Doba and Wakil Commerce Company. Even the monthly wages he received as a major kept building up in his bank account since there was no place for him to use it.
He worked enough for his food. A full lion wouldn’t notice fatty nutrition. He earned enough money. He was called a national treasure, but ultimately, it was just a call name. He was a knife that they used. France had nothing else to give him apart from money, which he had plenty of, so he wasn’t interested at all.
“Colonel Juan told me to tell you this if you seem unwilling.”
“Major General Philip of the Legion Etranger wishes to see you.”
“Damn it! Philip’s looking for me?”
Mu Ssang unknowingly yelled. Major General Philip generously took care of his dead comrades in the Sahel. It could have been a show, but at least, Philip wasn’t one of those Oecophylla smaragdinas. In turn, he promised to hear out two of his requests.
The promise meant that he bound himself to two requests. He had to do so since promises were meant to be kept. He wasn’t a politician, whose neck hardened like concrete after the elections, and shortly after, suffered from severe dementia. He was Ddu-bai-buru-pa.
If Philip’s looking for him, it should be an official operation. It also meant that he could act as he pleased. He could see himself wading through a river of blood. The tackle came just as he was about to have some fun dealing with minor matters.
Oh, Holy Maria, please take pity on me and calm the Special Military Advisor down.
Lieutenant Bout was extremely terrified of the ominous aura. The words of the ambassador of Damascus, “A chaque hour ce puis sa soleil,” prompted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to send emergency missives to officials around the world.
His superior, Sarco Riverie, who acted foolishly before the Special Military Advisor, was beaten up with his team and thrown into jail. His superior, Riverie, moved down by two ranks while the other soldiers moved down by a rank. Even then, their punishment was reduced because official Ecjose begged with his hands and feet. From what he heard, the ambassador was also kicked by the advisor.
Damn b*stard, I hope you get scabies on your private part.
Lieutenant Bout chewed the head of guards out repeatedly for waking him up from his sleep and sending him out there.
“I’ll escort you, sir.”
Lieutenant Bout didn’t forget the ambassador’s reminder to bring the advisor over immediately. Samedi glared at lieutenant Bout. He raised his hands, which were like a 60-millimeter mortar, and shook them.
“Lieutenant, wakil told you to leave. If you remain stubborn, you’ll get hit.”
Bout instinctively took a step back at the rumbling of the low-frequency voice. No matter how hard he tried to view that man in a positive light, he was a lowland gorilla. His breath got stuck in his throat because of the burly black man’s overpowering aura.
“I’m going to leave soon. Go back.” Mu Ssang nodded.
The clueless Lieutenant Bout came a long way from Seoul to deliver him that single message. There was no reason to get mad at the lieutenant.
Bout let out a sigh of relief. The gorilla was 100 times scarier than the Special Military Advisor. The nagging of an ambassador, who was several miles away, couldn’t compare to the black threat before him.
Mu Ssang called the lieutenant just as he was about to get in the car. He realized it was his chance to easily get rid of Abe and his members back in Hwajeon village.
Surprised, Bout turned around and froze into a salute.
“Contact Colonel Juan the moment you get down the mountain. There will be 16 people on board. Send a chartered plane to Seongnam Air Base and a small bus with a diplomatic plate here immediately. I need 15 military uniforms.”
“Could you repeat that one more time, sir?”
The lieutenant repeated his orders and drove down the mountain.
“Damn it, it’ll be a problem if I can’t take the final exams. I wonder if they made Rakshasa? I should retire after this.”
Perhaps, it was because he’d been living in peace for too long. The call was unpleasant. As Bonipas said, natural disasters occurred wherever he went. To put it positively, he was a one-man army. 1,000s of people’s blood were unintentionally shed in Kaparja. He also took his teacher’s words about how all living things had a reason to live in this world to heart.
Three and a half hours later, a 20-seater microbus arrived at Chun Sung Temple. Mu Ssang forcibly pushed the bus to Hwajeon village. The bus driver was drenched in cold sweats as he tiptoed through the narrow mountain path covered with branches and bushes.
Samedi, who opened the door to the house, immediately stepped back. The smell of decaying organic matter, blood, and human body odor combined created a repulsive stench. Samedi, who was severely affected, covered his nose and even cried a little.
“Wakil, there are 15 tactical weapons emitting gas in there.”
“Ke, I can’t deny that.”
Mu Ssang frowned. The three Higashi Hongan-ji disciples and 12 gangsters, who were left to rot for two days without treatment, looked horrendous.
“Release them and get them on the bus.”
“Ae, I feel like I’ll contract a disease.”
Samedi grabbed them by their ankles and threw them into the bus.
“Uaaaa, someone, save me!” The gangsters, who were treated like watermelons that had spoiled due to the rainy season, protested.
Laughter escaped out of Mu Ssang. The gangsters, who were hanging by their ankles, were no different from the chickens flapping around in the hands of the elders in the market. When catching chickens, one had to hold both wings with one hand to restrict movement. Grabbing it by its legs would only cause it distress.
“Didn’t you promise to release us if we cooperated?” Abe protested.
It was difficult to make out what he was saying since his jaw was broken, and his teeth had fallen out.
“Shut up, I’m keeping my promise here. Don’t you see that burying all of you will only cause more trouble? You think I’m a Jap like you, huh, who changes my mind anytime I want?” Mu Ssang shouted.
He was being honest. He took the hard way around because he didn’t want any more deaths on his hand.
“You rude b*stard!”
A hand as hard as an iron stove lid slapped the back of Abe’s head. Samedi couldn’t understand the humans who couldn’t tell apart s*** from bean paste. Wakil was irresistible at first glance, and people usually bowed down to him. Samedi decided to teach those humans who lacked such comprehension. Whoever talked back, argued with, or glared at wakil were all rude people.
Rude people had to be beaten up. Even the great master said that rude people should be beaten up. The new replaced the old, that was him. Following the Ombuti virus was Samedi’s Theory of Rudeness.
At the French Embassy in Hapdong, Seodaemun-gu,
The 20-seater microbus passed the front gate. Abe’s group was handed over to the medics who were waiting after receiving an advance notice. Mu Ssang and Samedi immediately headed straight to the briefing room.
“…we don’t know the status of those 22 hostages.”
Colonel Juan, a first-class military officer, summed up the briefing and glanced at Mu Ssang. That was the person rumored to have incurable rabies and known to be the worst of the worst—the Special Military Advisor. While it wasn’t a problem if the troublemaker was of a lower rank than him, one had to be careful of superiors with such personality. Although the Special Military Advisor held the rank of a major, his position was at the level of a deputy minister VIP who could grab and shake the collar of a minister.
“F*** the fist of justice. For six months, you’ve only buried precious youths in the forest. There’ll be a better fruit harvest soon.”
The GIGN was a counter-terrorism unit that specialized in urban terrorism. What were they thinking, sending them into the forest one after another? He was born in Korea where there were great mountains and clear water, so he didn’t know what the forest was like. Minister Germaine previously served in the Indochina Peninsula as a commander. He did something that no one could understand as a veteran of jungle combat.
“It all ended up a waste. It seems like Minister Germaine wanted to keep the DGSE in check.”
“A common trait of Oecophylla smaragdinas. Blinded by power, they will sell rice and buy shit, and tip the sesame seed oil bottle over trying to pick up sesame seeds,” Mu Ssang mocked, raising his legs to sit with his legs crossed.
Orders were given by old men, and the blood of young soldiers was shed. In the military, victory came at the expense of young soldiers’ blood. The Oecophylla smaragdinas intercepted the blood of the soldiers from the backline.
“This is common in Korea. They fight to gain the favor of whoever’s in power and throw out an entire plan to get a ticket. Hahaha!” Juan laughed.
“Damn, I can’t deny that. The person who called me wasn’t Germaine but that raccoon, Bonipas, right? That damn b*stard, he just can’t see me in peace.”
He still couldn’t shake off his irritation. The person who brought him out of peaceful isolation wasn’t Philip or Germaine but that raccoon Bonipas. He wanted to raise his middle finger and shout “f*** you” in the man’s face, but he was too far away.
“Think of it as a hot vacation, sir. Even if you stay in Korea, you’ll only inhale more tear gas. At least 50 years have to pass for Korea to become demo-”
Something whizzed past his cheek and crashed into the wall behind him. Colonel Juan couldn’t finish his sentence and froze like ice. His neck creaked as he turned, and soon, his face turned pale. A heavy glass ashtray was embedded in the wood-paneled wall.
“Haha, I went a bit too far, didn’t I!” Juan forced out laughter.
“Colonel, do you want to accompany me on that hot vacation?”
Mu Ssang glared at Juan through his narrowed eyes. No matter how much he hated it, anyone would get mad if someone badmouthed their family and country.
“Hiik, Germaine and Bonipas are nothing but greedy rice insects. They don’t know much but to grab your waist, sir, and complain. Hehehe!”
Surprised, Colonel Juan started sucking up. Colonel Juan’s second identity was a consultant for East Asia in the DGSE Operations Department. Knowing that the man before him was Ange de la Mort, he immediately chewed his superiors out and tried to go with the flow.
“I don’t know about Germaine, but Bonipas isn’t a rice insect. He’s a rude old man, but I need to give credit where it is due.”
“Of course. He placed the DGSE on a solid foundation. He’s someone who sacrificed his life for the national interest of France,” Juan said, changing his words again.
No matter where one lived, it was a forest. To survive, one had to choose between becoming strong or wagging their tail.
“Are there any intelligence bases in Ituri and Rwenzori?”
“There used to be an operational base in Mavivi, but it had to withdraw when Congo gained independence in 1960, and the civil war worsened between Lumumba and Mobutu.”
“So, there is a 20-year gap in the information system.”
A deep frown settled on Mu Ssang’s forehead. Information was crucial during hostage rescue operations. Information wasn’t obtained in a day or two. Information had to be collected and filtered for a certain period, and it only held value after meeting the criteria of authenticity.
Information piled up like a mountain through a sudden influx of resources was nothing but trash. He went through hell in the Sahel due to a lack of information. He’d be nothing but a chickenhead if he put himself through that again.
“That’s it. There is an ‘East African Resource Development Agency’ in Bukavu. Operations agents are working to revive the closed Mavivi base.”
“Even Bonipas wouldn’t be able to reap potatoes where seeds weren’t planted.”
He couldn’t just blame Bonipas. The west side of the Congo River was French territory, and the east side of the Congo River was King Leopold I of Belgium’s private land. While it was shocking that a land 20 times larger than that of Korea was private land, that was the true nature of imperialism in the 19th century. It would be difficult for France to conduct any intelligence activity in someone else’s territory.
“How many agents were deployed?”
“50 operations agents were deployed to the Ituri Rainforest and a wetland area near the Mountains of the Moon, Mount Stanley. Guerrillas from Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda are rampant, so the information obtained compared to the number of deaths is limited.”
“I guess so.” Mu Ssang nodded.
Although he wasn’t familiar with the Ituri Rainforest, he knew a little about the Rwenzori Ranges called the Mountains of the Moon. The Rwenzori Mountains were located between Lake Edward and Lake Albert of the African Great Lakes region. It was an alpine zone with more than 20 high mountains of over 4,500 meters tall.
Stanley, an explorer who introduced the Western world to the Rwenzori Mountains stretching across Congo and Uganda, was on a mission to find Dr. Livingstone. The great explorer from the U.S., Henry Morton Stanley, was a scammer who left an indelible scar on Congo’s history. He was like the Korean version of Itō Hirobumi.
The way the U.S. created heroes was childish to the point that it was famous. They even committed the offense of creating heroes out of the most absurd people. Stanley was one of them. Perhaps, Korea, which was obsessed with ideologies and busy devaluing historical figures, could learn something from that.
While exploring Congo, Stanley joined forces with Leopold I, who was greedy for more land, in the formation and augmentation of an organization called the International Association of the Congo. Leopold I used Stanley to make Congo a private land with the U.S. and Europe’s approval.
With the Treaty of Berlin, France took the west side and Belgium took the east side of the Congo River. Congo’s history was as strange as Korea’s, which got its land seized as a result of the Eulsa Treaty. Such were the tragedies of powerless and divided countries.
“Limited… that means you know nothing about the Ituri Rainforest.”
“In short, it’s uncharted land. It is a paradise for plants and animals, and we know it as the Devil’s Forest. Even its land area changes back and forth from 50,000 square kilometers to 100,000 square kilometers. Natives don’t enter the forest either. Even bodies aren’t found deep in the forest.”
“100,000 square kilometers? Oh, my life!”
Mu Ssang grabbed his head.
 Tomorrow brings tomorrow’s sun.