Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 415
Samedi continued to hold the army rope regardless that whether it could bear the strength or not. He wanted to get out of this damned swamp as fast as he could. His master had given him life, and great master had turned him into a human. The world was a fun place. He didn’t want to cross the river Stynx before he could enjoy his life.
The two of them were like water skiers roped to a boat. The moment Samedi slowed down with the riverbank in sight, Splash- An alligator shot out of the water like a cannon ball. It had been hiding between the mangroves.
It flew three meters into the air, despite being an alligator, and rushed at Samedi. Its mouth, spread a meter wide, was the widest he’d ever seen. Samedi’s bronze face paled at the sudden attack. Even Black Mamba who had been getting rid of the poisonous snakes which had been following them was unable to react fast enough.
Slap- Half of Samedi’s body entered the alligator’s mouth. The alligator, as its natural instincts was prone to, moved its weight to its tail and raised Samedi up into the air with him still in its mouth. Samedi wasn’t someone who could be defeated by an alligator, but the precise timing of its flying attack rendered him useless.
A bear’s paw the size of two hands seemed to jump out of nowhere through time and space. Bang- Black Mamba’s revenge punch landed right on its lower chin. Krrrrrr- The alligator cried as though it was sighing. The alligator flipped once in the air and fell back into the swamp with a splash. Black Mamba had let it off easy on the off-chance it was Kamuge’s tamer instead of shattering it in one punch.
Of course his skin which could withstand Priest Dae Woo’s Psychokinesis wouldn’t be chewable by an alligator’s teeth. Samedi used his body as an anchor to wrap his tree-like arm around the alligator’s upper jaw. The alligator’s jaw dropped open.
A large alligator’s mouth strength can reach up to two tonnes. The alligator thrashed, but it couldn’t beat Samedi’s inborn power. Crack- Rip- The sounds of its bones cracking and muscles tearing rang out. Its neck ripped and its body tore. Its red blood poured out like a water fall.
“Brat, eat what you can.”
Samedi threw the alligator’s body which had been torn in half away. The alligator that had tried to eat something shouldn’t have to bear the wrath of Samedi’s anger after getting humiliated. Whether it’s animal or human, only edible food should be eaten to avoid unexpected wraths.
“Damn, this large bastard! Check its eyes.” Black Mamba shouted, surprised.
If it had been more than determined to kill him, it would have.
“I checked. It doesn’t have red eyes.” Samedi mumbled, annoyed, and shot off the alligator’s back.
Once Samedi got onto the riverbank, he grabbed the army rope. Black Mamba, receiving the better end of its tension, flew through the air and landed on the river bank. He was finally on Kadangka. He’d spent 14 days in the Ituri jungle, for that horrible Apadombe, and it was a place he never wanted to revisit.
Black Mamba and Samedi stared at each other and smiled awkwardly. Black Mamba blamed himself and his inexperience for not getting an additional rubber boat, while Samedi blamed his incapability for failing to serve his master well.
Talented people always reflected on themselves before blaming others. Pathetic people called themselves romantic while others called it cheating. This was why the most untalented people on earth are politicians.
“Damn it, why are there so many snakes here. Is it because Damballah Wedo is a fat silken snake?” Black Mamba complained.
He’d killed hundreds of snakes while crossing the swamp or river water. He’d wasted his time and nearly died trying to maintain secrecy by crossing the river naked.
“We should have used the army rope. Master, you didn’t think this through.” Samedi complained in an ant’s voice as he tidied up the rope.
His master who’d always been so careful had made a mistake this time. The rope and whip his master used were good. It could take fruits off high places, hunt animals, and climb cliffs and trees. It did its job once again. If his master had used the army rope from the beginning, they wouldn’t have had to suffer as much crossing the swamp.
‘Ugh, I should have just left him buried in the swamp.’ Black Mamba grumbled inwardly.
It was said that hands and feet suffer from one’s idiocy, and as Samedi said, he could have avoided the trouble had he connected an army rope across. It was his fault taking the swamp too lightly.
“Wakil, you can only pull this out if you slice the tree.”
Samedi made a strange expression as he held up his Squeaker. The dart had passed the tree’s 70cm wide bark and entered the other side. While it wasn’t hard cutting down trees, the sound of a tree falling would attract the attention of nearby Damballahs.
Even Black Mamba was surprised. A dart he’d thrown while he was still weak had pierced the tree. It was the result of extreme concentration. The lie that Oh Ja Seo sliced a tiger and realized it was a rock sliced to pieces in the morning suddenly seemed true.
“There’s no need to slice trees, is there?”
Black Mamba shoved his hand into the bark. The Billion’s Water Armour sliced through the abinisia’s bark as though it was soft tofu. Black Mamba retrieved the dart as though he was retrieving an object in a hole.
“It’s easy, isn’t it?” Black Mamba smiled and gathered the army rope.
‘Did he hear?’
Samedi ignored him with a slightly guilty face.
Once one enters Ituri’s swamp, river, or lake, one must take off their clothes. Black Mamba stripped down even his underwear on the sandbank. There were black things hanging off his naked body. They were swamp leeches that dug into his clothes through his collar the moment he submerged.
Leeches are the most sensitive creatures to vibrations. They gather like bees to the slightest ripple. A leech’s body can inflate in a short period of time. It can eat its fill and still not let go, its mouth yet embedded. These secretive and hateful vampires didn’t know what enough was.
He grabbed the leech by his thumb and forefinger and pulled on it. Its body extended like a rubber. Once its body reached its limit, it tore. The red liquid which poured out of the leech’s body was his precious blood. And its teeth were still in his skin. The leeches at the bridge village let go with a little resistance. But there wasn’t a single tame creature in Africa.
Suddenly, he remembered playing around with a leech that was attached to his father’s calf. If he slid its skin down from its tip to its mouth, it used to lose its skin as though he had pulled off its skinny jeans. Flipping it meant he was turning it inside-out. It was a form of revenge, retrieving all the blood it sucked up. Leeches were nothing but a plaything to children who lived in the countryside.
While its suction would fall if he lit it with a lighter, it was also easy to get contaminated by it as it puked up the blood within its body. He couldn’t light a fire in the dark either. He cracked down on their teeth with his Javer hunting knife.
“These s*** worse than leeches!”
Black Mamba gritted his teeth. He felt as though he’d never feel refreshed even if he received interest in dollars from Kamuge’s group for making him suffer. He was planning to flip Kamuge inside-out just like he did with the leeches.
Black Mamba turned to look at Samedi who was just watching blankly. It seemed like even insects discriminated, as they didn’t attach themselves to Samedi. Or maybe the zombie’s blood didn’t taste good. His anger landed on Samedi.
“You having fun?”
“Hehe, even bugs know Wakil is great. They like Wakil and Wakil’s backpack too.”
Samedi had been joking around, but it only added another frown line to Black Mamba’s forehead. There were countless unknown eco creatures and unfriendly water insects on his clothes and backpack. He really couldn’t like Ituri.
He took out a dieldrin (croldane-based organochlorine insecticide) powder bag from his backpack. The croldane-based insecticide DDT which doesn’t melt in water was just right to use on a wet body. He sprinkled the fine powder all across his body, his clothes, and his bag. The black insects which had been attached everywhere dropped down and fled like mad.
The places where the leeches had been biting had turned black. They weren’t normal leeches. He disinfected those places with iodine and applied ointment for external use. The clothes he’d taken off while he was hunting for leeches had dried. One military uniform was worth a Renault car. It was worth its price. He brushed off his dry clothes and wore them. It was uncomfortable, but he had no choice. There were no other clothes to change into after all.
Kadangka was a circular river island. It was 20km^2 wide, around 2.5 bigger than Yeouido. The island’s outskirts were covered with thick rainforests, beaches, and mangroves.
The point Black mamba landed on was called Legba’s Gate, in the mid-eastern region of the island. Three water houses were leant on the absinia’s bountiful roots in the center of the island, three km west of Legba’s Gate, 20-30m above ground.
They raised their frames with tapioca trees, avoided predators and bugs with banana leaves on their water houses, and avoided ground heat. While it was uncomfortable climbing the rope ladders made of fig vines, their place of residency was the best.
There was a rather large water prison, and one man was wearing a crocodile skull on his head sitting on a leopard hide-covered chair. He had coal-dark skin on a scary angled face, flashing eyes, and wide shoulders. He was someone who Black Mamba called petit odeur (worthless trash), the very Kamuge which the French government was gritting their teeth over. Kamuge was doing some kind of ritual.
[Papa-ee legba pa-eh umo papa reto-noo anne lwa nyorita abri….]
Several mardus (spell wand) staked around Kamuge trembled. The skull’s teeth which decorated the mardu’s head clacked.
[….Wada-oo Ubal-le kadingo wanga wamba legba ansaru tuap!]
Kamuge’s eyes flipped to the back of his head once he finished the chant. The mardus vibrated. The lwa he served, the Damballah Weso, had arrived. Kamuge sliced his arm with a sharp nail and placed the wound against the mardu skull’s mouth.
Clack clack- The skull’s lower jaw moved. The blood which flowed down was sucked into the skull’s mouth. The white-eyed man who was wearing the alligator skull head, the skull as large as a fist which sucked the blood, both made a strange scene which could harm a pregnant woman or old people like a horror movie. Kamuge opened his slightly-closed eyes.
“You’re telling me to be careful since a petro (evil spirit) has arrived? The Legba (doorkeeper spirit) never gave me such an order.”
Frowns lined Kamuge’s forehead. The legba’s messages had never been a lie. Even Kadangka who had made this place his headquarters had only done so because of the legba’s orders, hadn’t he?
Kamuge, who thought for a moment, pulled the rope on the ceiling two times. A moment later, a man wearing an eagle feather on his snakeskin headband appeared. It was Budsela, the head of guards. He looked completely fine despite being three in the morning.
“Macandall (the head of spell casters, the title of Houngan), did you call?”
“Budsela, has there been a problem with the dock entrance?”
“The next shift has just arrived. Aside from a report saying the ouma (snake spirit) ate an alligator, there were no other special occurrences.”
Kamuge nodded his head. An ouma had caused a scene just now. It seemed to have wandered and tried to catch an alligator. The swamp he checked through the Ouma’s eye had also shown no changes.
“Has there been any contact from the Blisa Kisimo plains?”
“Yes, I was unable to report to you, Madangka, since you were out. A follower who carries the message from mother frog arrived three days ago.”
Kamuge raised his hand without a word. Budsela took out an aluminum case from his holding and offered it politely. Kamuge opened the case and checked the documents within. Kamuge’s face brightened.
“Budsela, it seems like our mother frog has finally taken our side. They say they’ll give us 20 million francs and our requested weapons in exchange for our hostages in 30 days.”
“Lwa! Of course those idiot frogs will follow our Makangdal’s orders and wishes. But you cannot trust those frogs easily.”
“Of course. Those bastards requested a hostage exchange. They’re saying they can’t send a one-way air deployment unless the hostages are confirmed. That’s why I trust them more. Let’s make the location Kiv Lake, and instead of taking out the support fire, increase the number of Pamuses to 700.”
Kamuge had fallen for Bonipas’ trick. Bonipas had set up a smoke cover to aid Black Mamba’s operation.
“Do you think they noticed that we’re connected to the Chinks?”
“The mother frog could have changed the location after noticing Blima Kisimo plains is the Chinks’ hideout. We’ve nothing to lose. We’ve received the Chink’s weapons and funds, so there’s no need to mention Blima Kisimo. Contact mother frog. We’ll meet up south of Kiv Lake, in the southern area of Ncombo island. Let’s schedule their drop-off date to be ten days from now.”
“Yes, sir. But our baby frogs aren’t too well, won’t that be a problem? I feel like two will die soon.”
“They won’t die as long as I’m around. They only need to be alive. Don’t mind the captives, and enforce the Kadangka boundary. I received Legba’s order that a pedro has appeared. I also received a report from our Asian friends that the Yankee’s and Frog’s special forces appeared near Bukavu.”
“It seems like those sly frogs have made a two-front plan. They’ll attack if they find our hideout, and if they fail they’ll exchange hostages. Still, it won’t matter if thousands of them appear.”
Budsela was sure that Ituri jungle was the Devil’s forest. Even his followers who knew the Rwenzori mountain range down to their bones couldn’t stand a day without the drug made by Makangdal.