Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 386

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Leopards were good at climbing trees. Their hunting success rate is 100% when they climb up a tree and wait until an unknowing creature passes by. Ulumbo was too busy following Samedi. The black leopard’s neck stretched. It was about to attack.

“That won’t do.”

Twenty meters behind, Black Mamba carefully grabbed Rakshasa’s handle. While the black leopard’s concealment and attack plan was perfect, it had made the fatal mistake of not recognizing the human behind Ulumbo as the greatest predator on Earth.

The black leopard dropped down from the tree without a sound. It stretched out its four legs and fell, making it a perfect drop position. It was perfect to the point that even Officer Vincent would have exclaimed in pride back at Castellano bridge’s airdrop training center. Instead of a compliment, however, Black Mamba gifted it with a whiplash.

Whoosh! The Rakshasa fell on it with a cycloid curve, like lightning. Rakshasa chased after the black leopard’s jump one meter above Ulumbo’s head in the air.

Ssst! It wrapped around the black leopard’s neck twice like a snake, and the shuriken at the end which worked as a cracker dug into the leopard’s spinal cord connected to its skull. The black leopard didn’t have time to scream. Only the sound of air seeping out rapidly from his lungs through its throat rang.

Black Mamba flicked his wrist. The rakshasa around the leopard whooshed through the air and turned once. Bang! The black leopard which was thrown to the floor stuck out its tongue and spread its limbs. The black leopard which had continued living off unsuspecting humans had died at the hands of a human.

“Ola, leopard!” Ulumbo had turned around at the sound. He stumbled back and fell on his butt.

“Human, why do you even live?” Samedi said as he glared at Ulumbo.

“D- dead.” Ulumbo stared blankly at the leopard whose blood was gushing out of its neck. Many villagers had been eaten by this leopard. The Ituri leopard’s teeth and claws were sharp enough to claw out a hippo’s 50mm-thick skin.

Its razor-sharp blades could tear through a human’s neck at once. He’d just crossed the river Styx and returned.

“Thank you, great master!” Ulumbo kneeled and plastered his forehead to the ground.

“What are you doing? I wouldn’t ignore a comrade’s danger.”

“Of course, sir. A human who ignores a friend’s danger isn’t human at all,” Ulumbo immediately leaped to his feet and began his praises. His great master had to be some great spirit to have a Bodun as his servant. The great spirit Mahabharata who often appeared in the human world didn’t like it when humans recognized it. Ulumbo, who considered himself smart, tried his hardest to hide the fact that he recognized the great spirit.

“It’s not as big as the rumors made it to be. Maybe it hasn’t grown yet?”

The leopard was smaller than he thought. It was just a width wider than the leopardess he threw to death at Nakdong River. He opened the leopard’s jaw to check its teeth. A predator’s gender can be checked by how used its fangs are.

There was a slight crack to the leopard’s teeth and its gum was black. While it was small, it was old. The average weight of an African Savannah male leopard is around 70kg. Ituri’s leopard was a width smaller, but its teeth and claws were sharp to the point that it spooked him.

“Most animals in Ituri are small in size. There are okapis, small giraffes, dwarf hippos, and dwarf elephants.”

“Its bones failed to develop due to the lack of sunlight, I see. Darwin was right after all. Environment makes variations,” Black Mamba nodded.

Ituri’s leopards had evolved into a variant suitable to the Ituri Jungle. It could be said that the Pygmy tribe’s short height wasn’t their tribal trait but something which adapted to their environment.

Ituri’s environment must have been maintained like so for millions of years for a variation like this to appear. Black Mamba memorized the fact that the Ituri Jungle isn’t any normal jungle. The smaller a creature is, the faster it adapts to its environment. It wouldn’t be surprising if there were monstrous birds like bastronis or a large centipede like an astroplier. This meant there could be unimaginable creatures or poisonous insects.

He suddenly felt respect for Henry Morton Stanley who explored this place in the 19th century. There was no such thing as fate in history. There was always a background to an event. There was humans’ greed to a dark history. The meeting of Belgium’s King Leopold the Second and the American Stanley was a meeting between a greedy lord and a swindler. Congo, which was served on their plate, was devoured down to the bone.

Stanley, who was nothing but a liar, is noted as a hero in middle schooler’s textbooks. This was something that stemmed from those “knowledgeable” people’s idiocy, a mistake made in translation. There was more to that mistake. Their history textbooks contained mistakes that were too embarrassing to even mention. The defeat of their nobility and the ghosts of Japan’s perspective remained tenaciously within.


An hour before sunset, Black Mamba stopped moving and checked his GPS. They had moved 20km within four hours. Samedi had acted on Black Mamba’s orders to move 5km an hour to the tee. Even the iron-walled Ituri was unable to stop Samedi’s force-only charge.

Ulumbo continued to sweat cold sweat. Ulumbo, whose black face had turned yellow by the second, finally heeled over and began to vomit.

“Weak bastard!” Samedi glared at Ulumbo who was retching in a corner as though he found the other unsatisfactory.

The ends of Black Mamba’s mouth rolled up. It seemed like a deja-vu of Ombuti and Jang Shin. Rookie Jang Shin vomited whenever they had to clean up the battlefield, and Ombuti continued to roast him. Well, it was something time would solve anyways. Time turned a battlefield rookie into a veteran and turned comrades into brothers thicker than blood.

“Ulumbo, we’ll take a break for today. We’ll be faster tomorrow.”

Although sunset was arriving, if they continued to run, the young Bantu tribe man would probably die. Ulumbo’s face grew bright. Tomorrow’s worries could be worried over tomorrow.

Ulumbo made three hammocks with practiced hands and set up a personal mosquito net over them. Black Mamba leaned his tired body against the hammock. As always, his mind was more tired than his body.

Unknown flies attached themselves to the mosquito net until it was covered black. Sometimes it was a curse to have good sight. He could see their sharp mouth used to suck blood and the tube to carry the blood stuck right alongside its mouth. He’d suffered so much in Sahel because of the mosquitoes. Just looking at those blood-suckers made him frown.

“Those damn blood-suckers!”

Being bitten by forest mosquitoes and swamp mosquitoes in Ituri didn’t end with just an itch. They carried all kinds of horrible diseases and parasites such as malaria, dengue, pilaris, yellow fever, and brain disease. One-third of his vaccinations had been against mosquito-borne diseases.

There were many kinds of mosquitoes, too. Some were smaller than flies, and some larger than horse-flies. When bitten by a big one, a person gets shocked enough to think one got stabbed by a needle.

He remembered the mosquitoes at the bridge village. Falling asleep on the yard plateau with just underwear on made him bound to wake with bumps all over his body. His mother used to paste water boiled with motherwort whenever he scratched them. The sour smell of motherwort tingled his nose. Ulumbo appeared with a plant similar to dried fern.

“Master, you need to be careful of poisonous moths more than those mosquitoes. You won’t die from a mosquito bite, but if you breathe in those moth powder, you won’t be able to wake up the next day.”

“Do we need to burn them?”

Ulumbo almost laughed at the Mahabharata’s pretend innocence. He decided to join in the Mahabharata’s joyful outing amongst the humans.

“You won’t be able to sleep because of its foul smell if you burn them. If you put them in your pocket, the moths won’t approach. There’s nothing bad with being careful.”

“Ugh, damn it!” Black Mamba shouted.

Ituri had become disgusting to him within a day. While he heard of marabunta ants which ate everything except for one’s bones, he’d never heard of a poisonous moth that could send people to hell.

Small bastards as small as fruit flies finally shoved their way in. Even if he sprayed them down, that only lasted briefly. After five minutes, the mosquito net turned into a mosquito cage of nutrition instantly. Black Mamba, who spent the entire night fighting off mosquitoes, only fell asleep near dawn.


Sunlight broke in between the canopy’s gaps. Black Mamba woke up slightly later than usual, unlike his usual self, and still tired. He narrowed his eyes at the sunlight and stared blankly at the black pillar before his net.

“Samedi, did you do that all night?” He asked and looked up at Samedi with incredulous eyes.

Samedi, who was holding a mosquito spray, smiled widely. Two DDT mosquito eraser cans were rolling around his ankle.

“I killed all the rude mosquitoes.” He spoke as though he did something he should have naturally done.

“Ugh, I’d rather die than deal with this. Ulumbo, what are you doing? We need to eat and run!”

Black Mamba grabbed the back of his neck. Ombuti used to do all kinds of things in Sahel, now Samedi in Ituri. Embarrassed, Black Mamba instead scolded Ulumbo who was innocent of the matter.

Ulumbo had prepared ten C-rations and boiled the water with a portable burner. It was a very simple preparation. Black Mamba continued to rush to travel as soon as they could. Ulumbo didn’t have a chance to pick any of the fruits which surrounded them.


They finished their simple meal and the sprint of death with Samedi at the forefront began once more. The deeper they got into the forest, the harsher the terrain became. While some dozen meters tall cliff blocked their path at times, a valley whose floor couldn’t be seen blocked their path too.

“Sir, sir!” Ulumbo called at the top of his lungs for Samedi who was charging ahead.

“Weakling, what is it?” Samedi asked rudely when he returned.

“I think there’s going to be rain soon. We need to prepare ahead of time.”

“How did you know?” Black Mamba asked.

“When leeches start floating on the water, rain falls out of nowhere within three hours, no matter what.” Ulumbo pointed at the black dots of leeches that were floating on some puddles.

“What kind of seed-eating ghost story is that?” Samedi glared.

“It makes sense,” Black Mamba nodded.

He remembered something from his youth. Whenever the fishes in Nakdong River opened and closed their mouths on the surface, rain fell.

While there were dry and rainy seasons in northern and southern Congo, there were unpredictable rainfalls around the equator. When the atmospheric pressure decreases, the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water decreases. Leeches find it hard to breathe, so they rise to the surface for air.

Leeches, which had their own ganglion in 34 segments, are extremely sensitive creatures. In the mid-19th century, George Maryweather of England made sophisticated storm predictors using leeches. Ulumbo had no scientific knowledge of this but knew from experience.

Black Mamba took out three tarps made as windbreakers from Samedi’s backpack. Body temperatures decrease rapidly in a jungle, which also decreases energy. He and Samedi had waterproof uniforms, but they had limited capabilities. Water will get in if it rains heavily.

“Ulumbo, we should head to higher grounds. We should rest when it rains.”

The three, who had climbed up a hill, entered a large limbali tree’s trunk. The huge old tree, which looked small at 5m in diameter, was empty inside. The trunk was already dead, but the roots of the tree were holding it up. After a tasteless meal, a round of cool wind entered as Ulumbo began to make coffee.

The black forest temporarily turned white. Hundreds and thousands of lightning struck in uneven intervals. Following that, a sound which rang the entire forest with a crash was heard. Bang! Crash! Grrr! The sounds of explosions and grinding stones continued. This was the kind of chaos that reminded him of the Islamic idea of the end of the world, which wrapped the entire world up like a mat.

“Uuuu! Prière du seigneur Jésus notre père qui es aux cieux, que ton nom soit sanctifié, que ton règne vienne…”

Ulumbo shoved his head onto the floor and chanted the Lord’s Prayer. It seemed like the man did know something about France after all.

Whoosh! Rain began to fall. The forest growled like a bitch during a storm. Whenever lightning struck, only white flashes could be seen. The sound of rain falling hard on the forest rumbled like a passing train.

The moment the storm landed on the forest canopy, a sound began to ring as though heaven and earth were flipping. Holes appeared here and there in the forest, and the water crashed down like waterfalls. Rain doesn’t come into the jungle. The canopy around ten meters thick absorbs the rain and pours it down onto the ground. They were basically waterfalls and not rain.

Internally, the forest immediately grew stuffy with steam and fog. Whenever a crash rang out, the brighter forest instantly became dark again. Hundreds and thousands of waterfalls crashed down during the sound’s intervals. Every time lightning struck, the fog flickered pink, and the forest ooo-ed like a ghost. Black Mamba and Samedi grew unfocused. This wasn’t their world; it was a whole different dimension. They felt like they were on some other planet that wasn’t earth.

The chaos that flipped heaven and earth around ended in two hours. The madness which started without a forewarning ended without a forewarning. The sound which covered the sky ended, and sunlight poured through the forest like arrows.

“Amazing!” Black Mamba mumbled unknowingly.

No matter how much humans jump around, they were nothing but the hind leg of ants in the face of mother nature.

“Ah! Damn it! We’re in trouble.” Samedi sucked in a breath as they moved out of the limbali trunk.

Black Mamba and Ulumbo’s eyes turned wide like saucers too. The forest had turned into some strange lake. Dead barks were floating on the water, some large trees, swimming branches, and grasses, and some unknown butterflies and insects flying around the lake’s surface, everything an unknown scene. The three humans were isolated.

“What is that?”

A black cloud was moving around several meters above the surface, flickering here and there. Black Mamba’s eyes made him instantly realize that they weren’t clouds but hundreds of small flying insects.
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