Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 387
“Great master, that is a midge fly. Some of them have Midge Ur, a disease which rots your flesh.”
“Midge Ur? What an unwelcoming bloodsucker.”
Ituri’s worst creatures weren’t predators or poisonous animals but weak insects like mosquitoes, ants, and midge ur. Black Mamba’s eyes opened wide as though they were empty. He was using his inner eye which viewed an object with his brain. The insects, which formed a cloud pillar, grew larger, as though they had landed on a palm.
Most midge flies were 1mm small, but there were some red-eyed midge flies mixed into the midst at two to three centimeters in length. Those with red eyes were those that carried midge ur. While midge flies didn’t do much harm aside from being annoying, midge urs were different. If mosquitoes were nighttime Dracula, midge urs were all-day Dracula.
Even amidst the midge urs, those with red eyes were Dracula and hosts of clegs. Horse flies are large blood-suckers which grows up to 15mm. When bitten by a horse fly, it hurts so much that one would jump around in pain.
Horse flies lay eggs in the body of midge urs. Every time a midge ur sucks the blood of an animal, the horse fly parasite (mango bug) pierces through its host’s body and digs into the animal’s sweat glands. This was the same for humans. Mango bugs tear apart a person’s organs. If it grows on skin, the skin dies from the lack of blood, and if it lands on eyes, the person grows blind, and if it spreads through the brain, a person would suffer limb paralysis or whiplash effects. While the horse fly which sucks blood is hated, the parasite mango bug is hated even more.
The environment of the Sahara Desert is threatening and harsh. The burning sun, sand on fire, sandstorms which cover the sky, and rocky lands without a single drop of water creates torture. On the other hand, it makes one learn modesty through patience, and a chance to witness the great nature.
But Ituri’s nature was ominous. Illusions and tricks ruled over Ituri. Even the most unsuspecting creature had some fatal blow. The eerie ghosts of the jungle approached them like a wet premonition.
“This damn Ituri! It’s doing all kinds of things.”
A strand of the black pillar turned towards the hill. Looking at the black pillar which reached several dozens of meters above the water turning and trembling like the wind made the hairs on his skin rise.
Non-biting midges flew around in swarms to mate. A lot of energy went into mating. Hundreds of small blood-suckers were heading their way in order the gain the energy they needed. Of course, Black Mamba wasn’t so benevolent as to provide energy for some low-class insects’ sex flight.
“Ah, they’re coming this way!”
Ulumbo, who saw the approaching black pillar coming towards the hill, rushed to take out the tarp. Black Mamba slowly reached for his Rakshasa handle. Putting a tarp over their heads won’t block those insects which were smaller than rice grains. They were of a size not even a fire extinguisher would be able to extinguish.
While the rescue team were destroyed despite equipment of modern technology, there were killer insects like midge urs. Being infected by a mango bug wouldn’t kill off a person instantly. It just lowered combat abilities and caused secondary life loss.
“This would have been hard without Rakshasa.”
Whoosh! A large whip around 10 meters long danced in the air. The black pillar invaded. Eeeee~~~ His ears twitched at the high-frequency volume. Whoosh! Rakshasa began to make a small tornado.
Bang! Bang! Bang! With the centrifugal force and velocity combined, Rakshasa pierced the sound barrier. The sound of air impacts which streaked through the air turned into explosions due to the doppler effect. The intervals between the explosions grew shorter.
Leaves, twigs, dirt, and small pebbles were sucked into the tornado Rakshasa created and shook the air. The 20m long tornado and the pillar of insects collided.
Sssssh~ The midgets 20 meters tall and 5 meters in diameter were sucked into the tornado helplessly. The entire pillar of midgets was sucked in like a small snake being swallowed by a large snake. Craaaack! An offending sound of something breaking continued to ring. The bunch of blood-suckers was disassembled as though they went through a stone grinder.
“Master, you’re amazing. No, Rakshasa’s amazing.” Even Samedi was surprised at the sight; his jaw dropped.
“Ooh, Mahabharata!” Ulumbo instinctively kneeled and banged his head on the floor. Who else but the Mahabharata would be able to pull off such a miraculous feat!
“What are you saying?” Samedi glared with his red eyes.
“Ah, nothing, sir! I must have lost my mind.” Surprised, Ulumbo leapt to his feet. He’d almost gotten himself in trouble, letting out Mahabharata’s name.
“You’re so boring,” Samedi smirked and turned back to the scene.
The situation ended quickly. The tornado that had eaten up the large midge pillar disappeared without a trace. The entire floor was scattered with dead midges. Samedi’s eyes sparkled in awe as he looked at his master who was folding the large whip back.
Black Mamba’s body vibrated in anxiousness. The slower they were, the lower the chances of the captives’ survival fell. He found himself pathetic for wasting time fighting insects when each day was another life wasted.
“What the hell am I doing when there isn’t enough time?”
Still, it wasn’t as if he could jump into the swamp like washing in the Nakdong River. Danger levels of swamps increased when forests turned into jungles. He didn’t know what kind of danger could be hidden underneath that murky water.
Once, a snake the size of his palm jumped out of a small cave. He wouldn’t be surprised if monsters started jumping out of Ituri’s swamps. The green eyes floating above its surface were all crocodile eyes.
They couldn’t float a rubber boat either. The broken tree branches left here and there across the swamp were dangerous. There were plenty of tree barks with thorns as small as fingers. He didn’t think they’d be safe after getting a rubber boat pierced by that ten-inch strong thorn.
It was a horrible situation. They couldn’t just wash their hands off the matter and wait. The survival rate of those captives was proportional to the time he wasted. Being chased by time, that was the most stressful aspect of a hostage rescue mission. Sounds of gears rolling in Black Mamba’s head rang out as he searched for a way to escape the large forest-turned-swamp.
“Samedi, what do you think?”
“I have a promise to keep and a place to go. It’s better to do something than nothing,” Samedi said, repeating Black Mamba’s words to Black Mamba himself.
Black Mamba smiled and patted Samedi’s shoulder.
“That’s true. Without trying, there’s not even failure. Ulumbo, inflate the boat.”
“Great master, Ituri River’s crocodiles have gathered to eat drowned animals like swarms of bees. While the crocodiles are scary, I fear the candiru more. If you wait another day or two, the water will disappear,” Ulumbo begged on his knees.
The two-seater boat was too dangerous for three people to board. While the Mahabharata and Bodun weren’t human, he was a normal, weak human. He’d have a foot on the doorstep of hell if he ever falls into the water.
“Wakil has ordered. Do you want to cross the river naked?” Samedi growled. He looked like he was about to throw Ulumbo into the swamp any moment.
“Ah, no, not at all. Of course, we must cross the river on a boat.”
Ulumbo shoved the needle into the rubber boat and began to pump the lever with his foot with a tearful face. He’d rather be adventurous than be beaten to death by the Bodun.
Splash, splash. The rubber boat dug into the Devil’s Forest. Ulumbo was very nervous. The rubber boat housing one more than its designed capacity would flip any moment. He carefully fought through the thick forest.
The forest, which had turned into a swamp, was extremely quiet aside from the few dead bodies of animals here and there. The sounds of quacking monkeys or birds couldn’t be heard, only the sound of Ulumbo’s paddling rang. Eeee~ A swarm of midges flew around them annoyingly.
“Damn it, these bastards don’t help in both the desert and jungle,” Black Mamba complained as he chased them away with his hands.
His senses were disturbed by their wings, and the ones attached to his goggle blocked his sight. He couldn’t swing his Rakshasa around either when the grey-brown water was lapping at the boat’s edges.
“Is that an alligator?” Black Mamba tilted his head.
Something was coming after their boat underwater. He couldn’t pinpoint its exact position or shape because of the midges.
Bang! Samedi struck down into the water with his Squeaker. Keegh! A crocodile flung into the air and fell back down. The boat wavered. Black Mamba rushed to the other side of the boat, freaking out, in order to settle its weight distribution. The boat had almost capsized.
A crocodile with half of its neck sawed through floated up with its stomach facing the sky. More crocodiles rushed to it, smelling its blood.
“I’ll kill you all,” Samedi’s eyes flashed.
Predators lounging at him in herds, falling corpses and sprinkling blood; everything raised his desire to be covered in blood.
“Samedi, I’ll take care of it.”
Black Mamba took out his MP5. Leaving it to Samedi would flip their boat. Guns were the best to use in a narrow boat.
Bang! Bang! Holes appeared on the heads of two alligators that were approaching the boat. Keeee! A horrible scream rang out. A crocodile twisted its body around and flipped onto its back. Ssshhh! Green eyes appeared around the dead crocodile. Water started splashing up.
Black Mamba clicked his tongue. The other crocodiles rushed in like bees, flipping and shaking their bodies trying to get a piece of their own kind’s meat. The dead crocodile was torn into pieces and shoved into the bellies of its kin. It was a game of death.
“Agh, hippopotame (hippopotamus)!” Ulumbo, who had been looking out, screamed.
A large head popped out of the water. Its large red mouth split wide open 5 meters ahead of the boat. Black Mamba’s sight turned to it instantly.
That was what was following their boat. He’d been distracted by the midges and the madness of the crocodiles that he’d forgotten about that one. The large mouth above water and its teeth over two inches long looked horrifying. Getting bit by that bastard would either tear his body in half or leave him with several holes as wide as his arm.
“Hey, stop playing around and leave,” Black Mamba scolded the hippo.
He didn’t know anything about a hippopotamus’ offensive nature. While hippos were herbivores, they were famous for their bad temper. Hippos had strong territorial attachments and attacked anyone who came into its territory. The hippo wasn’t the kind to just leave because it was told to when some strange animal invaded its territory.
Its bulging eyes grew red. Whoomp! The hippo charged like lightning. Pa-pa-pa-pa! The MP5 spewed out fire. The hippo that came under fire turned even more frenetic as it frothed blood. The crocodiles that were trying to approach fled rapidly. The angered hippo tore out a piece of the boat’s front.
“You rude thing!”
Samedi swung the Squeaker. A sharp blade 40kg heavy smacked right down on the center of the hippo’s head. Bang! A large impact split its skull in half.
Uuuuu! A large groan rang out on the lake. A hippo’s body weight reaches three tons. Their entire boat flipped because of the large creature’s fall. The humans and zombies without wings were shoved into the lake. Streams of water shot into the air.
“Uaaaaah!” Ulumbo shouted as he moved his arms back and forth. Covered in fear, he lost his mind. No human would be in the right state of mind when crocodiles were rushing to them in glee.
But there were two non-human presences beside Ulumbo. Slap! Samedi gently touched Ulumbo’s cheek with his lid-like hand.
“Weakling, snap out of it!”
The screams ended at the single slap. Samedi lifted Ulumbo and placed him on his backpack. This human was so weak he wouldn’t stand a chance against one crocodile. If he had left him alone, he’d probably come out as another animal’s feces the next day.
“What an annoying creature,” Black Mamba shook his head.
Crocodile herds poured over the hippo’s corpse right before his eyes. One turned its body over and over with a chunk of its tenacious skin in its mouth; another swallowed the flesh it got by moving its head up and down; another made a run for it with a fistful in its mouth, and yet another swung its mouth around to push out a small one. The swamp boiled with their desperation. There was nothing more like hell. Even Black Mamba felt goosebumps rising on his skin at the sound of sharp teeth tearing out the muscles.
“Ha, what do I do now?” Black Mamba sighed.
There was water everywhere, no matter where he turned. If he doesn’t break through this situation quickly, they’d be in more trouble. Of course, the hippo was more unfortunate than the humans. It had lost its life trying to protect its territory while the humans were suffering nothing more than time delays.
While he wasn’t scared of crocodiles, he didn’t like the sound of candirus which dug into one’s crevices. It was a spinal creature at least in name, so he didn’t know whether he could get rid of it with resonance. Moreover, leeches had started to dig into his clothes.
“That brat’s having a fun time.”
Samedi was smashing the approaching crocodiles in half with his Squeaker.
“We don’t have time to play with those crocodiles. Repeat some prayers instead of playing around.”
“I can’t pray because I don’t have the wood fish.”
“Ugh, I’m telling you to make a raft.”
“Wakil, you should say things simply. Should I throw this one away?” Samedi glanced at Ulumbo on his backpack.
“Aaah, great master, save me!” Ulumbo cried out in fear.
“What an annoying bastard.”
Whoosh! Black Mamba kicked off the surface of the water and jumped up. Landing lightly on Samedi’s shoulder, he shoved Ulumbo underneath his arm and jumped off Samedi’s shoulder. Black Mamba soared through the air, grabbed the branch of a large mahogany tree, and lifted Ulumbo onto it.
Crack, crack! The large mahogany tree fell at a few swings of Samedi’s Squeaker. A rushed, messy raft was made by tying several four-meters long barks together with vines. They didn’t have the time to put in effort in a single-use raft. Bang! Black Mamba landed back down with Ulumbo tucked underneath his side.