Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 385

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“That’s impossible. The Pygmy tribespeople are peaceful enough even the blacks living on the outskirts of Ituri consider them idiots. The reason they act out is that they don’t have a concept of personal belongings. They respect people with large statues, so the Kigoma tribe and Banande tribe order them around like slaves sometimes. The Pygmy tribe members would never be so evil as to kill a person,” Ulumbo leaped to their defense.

The Pygmy tribe killing white men was as ridiculous as a monkey defeating and eating a leopard.

“Many Frenchmen died from poisonous arrows around the Ituri and Rwenzori regions. The DGSE thinks that had been the work of the Pygmy tribe.”

“They were killed by human hunters.”

“Human hunters?” Black Mamba asked at Ulumbo’s certainty.

“Some evil tribes under the Bantu tribe kill or kidnap blacks, albinos, whites, and Pygmies. They believe that having a part of a black, albino, or white person’s body gains them wealth and power, success, and fortune. They believe they gain physical strength and increased fertility by eating the Pygmies. Human hunters catch whites and sell their body parts. Their wrists, ankles, thigh bones, and collar bones are sold expensively. An albino baby is sometimes sold for the price of ten cows. Those dirty human hunter bastards and spell casters have basically thrown their blame on the Pygmy tribe.”

Black Mamba’s face grew hard. He remembered the mountain of wrist bones that had been piled in the basement of Samaria Farm’s church.

“Is their leader a spell caster?”

“Yes, there are voodoo spell casters and Marabus (priests of West Africa) of spiritual religions. Those evil spell casters encourage ignorant locals to commit evil acts to earn money and increase their influence.”

“That just ruins my mood.”

The gears in Black Mamba’s head turned rapidly. Ulumbo’s words weren’t something to be ignored. There was a high chance the kidnappers weren’t simple rebels but a religious armed organization. This led to some horrible imaginations. Some women of prime age were in the Areva exploration team.

He suddenly had a probable theory that the religious armed forces raised hostages as though they were raising pigs deep inside the Ituri Jungle. This explained why the kidnappers were threatening yet dragging out the negotiations with the French government. In this case, there was a good and bad point. The bad point was that he would have a harder time finding their hideout, but the good point was that the captives were more likely to be alive.

How evil could a person get? Humans, once they lose the conditions of being human, can fall endlessly. While those who wear the mask of religion to commit crimes deserve death, he didn’t have the time to spare mercy to those poor and ignorant people who were easily used by someone else’s greed. Those who take others’ lives must prepare to give their own.

“Samedi, what do you think are the conditions of being human?”

“Samedi’s not smart. I can’t think of complicated things. Big master said I need to learn from my master,” Samedi replied in Korean, saying each word clearly.

“For a tadpole to become a frog, it doesn’t need to be taught to move its tongue to swipe an insect out of the water. Frogs don’t do that because they’re insects; they do that because they move. If a grasshopper doesn’t move, the frog doesn’t recognize it, and if a stone moves it swallows that. The frog’s instinct to reach out with its tongue to a moving object is created by a special function called the innate releasing mechanism (IRM). The idiots who follow the spell casters and eat their own tribe members, serve some ridiculous god, and believe in false legends do so because of the IRM in their DNA. The evolution of humans is the development of self-consciousness which defeated this IRM. If a man harms and eats another man, that’s no different from a frog. You should always think twice before talking and acting.”

Now that he was explaining, he grew frustrated. Samedi had a simple-tracked mind. He didn’t know how to explain this to him. Black Mamba finally thought he could guess how hard a time his master had spent trying to teach him.

“Wakil, white men’s and black men’s meat taste the same. Their blood doesn’t taste different either. Eating white men won’t change anything. The spell caster’s a liar. The religion those liars believe in is also a lie. Why do smart people listen to liars?”

“Hehehe, all religions brainwash their followers. They make their followers believe they’re specially selected people. In this age, they teach them they’re much better than the followers of other religions, and that they’ll gain great rewards after death. Religious leaders never preach about acting according to one’s conscience and morals. This is because the world that religion makes is unfair. Altruistic acts such as charitable acts are concentrated on believers of the same religion.”

“That’s illogical.”

“Oh! You’ve become very smart. Illogical theories aren’t the weak points of religions; they’re their strong points. Those who believe that eating Pygmies or whites makes them stronger and cures all illnesses will band together. If outsiders criticize their actions, they believe those outsiders are invaders of their faith and those who harm their great leader’s teachings. Those within who doubt their leader’s teachings are perceived as heathens to be rid of. The reason why normal humans become frogs bound by evil religions and belief in spells are because of their greed. Their greed to take someone else’s success without putting in any effort themselves. You, too, need to practice suppressing your desires.”

“I don’t drink human blood. I don’t kill people without reason,” Samedi defended himself.

He withheld himself even when he wanted to tear into human flesh and drink human blood. He’d been surviving on tasteless animal blood alone, so he felt disappointed when his master asked him to withhold himself more.

“You’re doing well. People who control their greed aren’t fooled by others easily. You must learn how to control your greed to be human. Humans aren’t frogs.”

“Then can I kill humans who are frogs?”

“You can. When humans lose their conditions of humanity, they’re no different from frogs. I don’t know gods, but I do know my morals. I may be able to ignore God, but I’m unable to ignore my conscience. All humans have a right to protect their humanity, freedom, and wealth. Humanity, freedom, and wealth are the three characteristics that allow a person to live like a human. When they are invaded, of course the invader should be rid of. What is a sinner? A sinner is someone who invaded someone else’s humanity, freedom, and wealth through force. Some people say they hate sins, but not the person who sinned. You, of course, shouldn’t hate humans. Hate the hand which sinned, the brain that did the sin, and the heart that promised sin.”

Boom! A resonance he did not intend to release shook Samedi’s mind. The warning of the Buddhist priest Dae Woo implanted in Samedi’s brain disappeared weakly.

“Wakil is smart. I think I got it now. Samedi doesn’t hate humans. But I will cut off the hands, dig out the eyes, pull out the hearts and slice off the heads of those who have lost the conditions of being human.”

A red light glinted from deep within Samedi’s eyes. His self-consciousness which had been wavering, not knowing where to turn, regained its balance. A soul which had been wandering, yearning for a place to take root, landed on a protective place called Black Mamba.

“Fated to kill, that brat.”

Black Mamba felt a chill in his heart. Son Wu Kong’s golden band would definitely activate. But whether his master’s Tight-Fillet Spell would activate on conditions was yet to be known.

There weren’t coincidences in worldly matters. If his flight to Ituri from the other side of the world was heaven’s will to erase those non-humans, the same reason would apply to Samedi.

Black Mamba and Samedi’s conversation were later written across Novatopia’s foundation temple as such: [Those who steal another’s freedom, humanity, and wealth will be called frogs. Frog-humans must repay the victim twice-fold, and will be treated like frogs for an agreed duration.]

“Are they going to eat me?”

Great master and the Bodun’s conversation seemed serious. Great master looked solemn and the Bodun looked excited. Many in his village ate Pygmies without anyone realizing it. Human meat and bones were traded secretly in Ituri. If the Bodun decided to eat him, he could kill him with a single finger. Ulumbo, who didn’t know a word of Korean, was chilled with fear. Miscommunication can bring about great misunderstandings. Later, when miscommunication became a major topic in Korean politics, the term “Ulumbo Syndrome” came about.

The rubber boat arrived on the opposite bank while Black Mamba and Samedi conversed. The aura on the opposite side of the river was different. Several tree barks of large trees were split and burst. Blue lumps of smoke flew down the dead trees covered in dew.

Why was the fog in Ituri blue? That was because the water that evaporates from the leaves is unable to leave the forest due to the canopy. The defensive chemicals released by the trees mix with the water, which turns it blue.

The floor, piled with corrosive organic matter, was so wet that Black Mamba’s combat boots submerged at least to their soles. The vines that had fallen from parasitic vines and epiphytic plants looked like the loose hair of ghosts. On top of that, water dripped from the tip of the vine. It was a gloomy atmosphere that seemed to have jumped out of the TV program ‘Legends from Hometowns.’ This was a dead forest that far passed the yin-gathering stage.

Black Mamba immediately raised the satellite phone antenna as soon as he landed. The satellite phone had turned more compact and easier to use compared to the one he used in Sahel. He opened the GPS and checked his location, before raising the satellite phone. The person on the receiving end was team leader Holland in base camp.

– Come in, Alpha. Bravo.

The reply came after a slight delay.

– Bravo, Alpha.

– I have crossed the Ituri River. I’m currently in Irumu.

– Continue southeast. We found traces of those bastards in the lower stream of the Efulu River near Mambasa.

– Roger.

Black Mamba finished the brief transmission and turned to Ulumbo.

“Ulumbo, do you know where Efulu River is?”

“Yes, it’s the second-largest river in Ituri Jungle. The lower stream near Mambasa would take three days west from here,” Ulumbo smartly calculated the distance without being asked.

Black Mamba entered Efulu River in his GPS and rolled the trackball. A cross flickered onto his screen and Efulu River which crossed the Ituri Jungle showed up. When he marked the above-mentioned location below Mambasa, a blue line showed up between the two points. It was 185km southwest.

“This thing’s amazing!” He exclaimed honestly.

This was a treasure he wouldn’t exchange for anything. He marked the location on his GPS, turned off the screen, and shoved it deep inside the bag. He didn’t want it to break if he ever came under fire for being in his breast pocket.

His ‘important things’ list changed ranks. The GPS tracker had overtaken water. Water became second-place, and the satellite telephone took third place. The fourth was the guide, the fifth was the food, and his weapons became last.

“Damn it, you want me to break through 185km? I had to act like a mole in Kaparja, now I need to act like a rabbit! What’s that dude doing?”

He looked at Samedi. He had plastered his butt to a rock and was eating white ants. He picked them up rather well with his pillar-like fingers. Samedi, whose body was his strongest aspect, had nothing to worry about.

If he could leave the guide behind, he could reach Mambasa within a day. But he had to bring the luggage along to converse with the Pygmy tribe.

“Let’s go! We have a promise to keep and things to do. I’m raising the speed to 5km an hour.”

Ulumbo’s face grew yellow at the horrible declaration. Human bulldozer Samedi who knew nothing of rest began to dig. Due to the tightly knitted forestry, he was basically digging a cave through the forest.

For dense jungles with high canopies, most trees and grass were unable to grow due to the lack of sunlight. This wasn’t the same for Ituri. They couldn’t proceed without swinging the jungle knife due to the thick weeds, bushes, and parasitic plants which were as tenacious as bamboo. Now he understood why Ulumbo made that weird face when he said he’d travel by bike.

This also increased their danger risk. All kinds of poisonous insects poured out of the grass. Samedi and Black Mamba’s uniform was connected from the helmet to the collar of their shirt by Velcro. This was to prevent the insects such as bullet ants, army ants, black widow spiders, tarantulas, and leeches from getting in.

There were a lot of tree leeches. Tree leeches are known to be reliant on senses. They sense the smallest of vibrations of a small creature passing by. Once an animal passes under its tree, it senses the vibration and pours down like rain.

No pain is felt when bitten by a tree leech, but the bleeding doesn’t stop for hours. This is because of the hirudin within the leeches’ body, which is a strong paralysis and anticoagulant. The leeches, which are as big as one’s fingers, can suck up to five times the blood of its own body.

When over ten of them attach, the person would faint from the loss of blood. Black Mamba had had to fight off those falling leeches from trees three times already.

The largest reason why Ituri Jungle’s water is undrinkable is because of them too. Those things called Hachurus are half-transparent and ⅓ the length of a finger, making them near invisible. Drinking the water where it exists would cause it to attach to one’s nose, mouth, and throat. One would die from the lack of air before the lack of blood.

“What an evil bastard.”

A black leopard on a five-meter tall cecropia tree came into sight. It had hidden surprisingly well. It had completely assimilated with the dark forest around it, as its fur was near dark grey than black. Since Samedi passed it unknowingly, this meant the animal was holding its breath, too.

That evil thing had sent Samedi by and was aiming for Ulumbo who was weaker. The locals were right in calling Ituri the Devil’s jungle. There was danger in every step they took. The three strike forces the government had sent obviously stood no chance.
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