Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 418
Samedi’s night vision was better than that of nocturnal predators. Finding paths walked by humans under the full moon’s light wasn’t even considered bothersome to him. The Damballa guerrillas’ base was simple. They either hung a foothold on a branch of suitable height or a hammock made of thick vines.
The Damballa lacked a sense of alertness due to the long absence of external attacks. They had been told to tighten security by the higher-ups, but that was something they heard all the time. Samedi wasn’t one who would miss the slow conversations and the unique smell coming from all the Damballa followers unless there was a counter-attack spell. Samedi started erasing the guards one by one around the outskirts of the base.
The sound of sandbags being smacked by a wet wooden stick continued to ring. The two guards, who had been lying down diagonally on Rosales, dropped like overripe persimmons. That was the fourth guard post.
“Ah, damn it!” Samedi complained as he kicked the ground.
The men he shot were falling into the swamp instead of the direction he had estimated. His wakil, a perfectionist, would definitely mention it if he heard splashing noises. He threw himself in as though he was going diving and barely managed to whisk the two away.
His hand slipped on the greasy skin. Samedi shivered at the sensation of rubbing off grime. Those b*stards only wore shorts and hats. It rained every three to four days in the Ituri Rainforest. It seemed like the words “bath,” “shower,” or “wash” didn’t belong in their dictionary. Just standing in the rain with their limbs spread apart would have saved them from that filthiness.
Samedi shook off the humans in his hand back into the forest like they were bullet ants and rubbed his hand until his skin seemed to peel off on his trousers. He would have preferred to touch an elephant’s s*** instead. Unlike his appearance, Samedi was very meticulous. He would prefer to stay near the Lakes of Ounianga even if he was forced to wander the Sahara for several decades.
“Nimi jotto, they’re dirty as f***. Carrying around this toothpick is frustrating.”
Samedi angrily replaced the MP5 magazine and disappeared in search of new targets. Compared to the MAG, the MP5 was truly nothing more than a toothpick.
Black Mamba opened the emergency pouch and took out the Angel’s Egg. He was about to confirm whether the object could actually break spells.
The Angel’s Egg lit up in light blue. A spell had spread across the base and covered it.
His ears perked up. No, he could hear sounds that he didn’t hear before. There was the sound of nocturnal creatures fighting over food, birds fluttering through the night, Damballa guerrillas gritting their teeth, low-pitch howlings that were buried under snores, and a very deep sigh that could demolish caves.
The Angel’s Egg wasn’t just any piece of treasure. It got rid of the barrier spell that blocked the senses, something that even Black Mamba hadn’t noticed.
All great spellcasters had their own specialties. Barungo was good at binding and trance spells. Kran was good at animal taming spells. Kamuge was good at hiding, concealing, and animal taming spells. Kamuge was a b*stard far more dangerous than Barungo or Kran.
Wait, a sigh from underground?
He flinched and came to a realization. There was no rule that hostages had to be kept above ground. Of course, the Vodou followers wouldn’t be kind enough to supply vitamin D to their hostages.
Black Mamba followed in the direction of the sighs and aggressive low-frequency sound waves. It was the goat pen he thought was unlikely. Goats occupied the higher prison, and the lower pilotis were covered with rocks and mud. He saw something that seemed to be an entrance to some staircase inside the goat pen. A door made of tree bark was blocking the entrance. To think that there was a way down to the pilotis inside the goat pen!
“Damn, humans below animals, huh?”
Black Mamba blamed his preconceptions. There were structures that allocated animal pens below human homes, but he never imagined that humans would reside below animal pens.
A goat cried at the sudden presence of a human. Black Mamba flinched and raised his MP5. He’d be in trouble if the goats, nearly 20, started crying all at once. Since he couldn’t tell the goats to be quiet, he had no choice but to silence them.
I’m sorry, goats.
He apologized sincerely before pulling the trigger.
20 goats that got their brains shot by nine-millimeter bullets at close range collapsed without a single scream. Perhaps it was fortunate that they were destined to die painfully as sacrifices of the Bois Caïman ritual.
Black Mamba jumped in and pushed the wooden door gently. It was a rough door, 30 centimeters wide, and held in place with hinges, but it was weak against his Billion’s Water Armor. No, it was a weak obstacle he could remove with 1.5 horsepower of his power.
The wooden door stood firm. Black Mamba, who made a fist and decided to crush it into pieces, shook his head. He had the Vajra, so why should he worry? He took out the Vajra from his emergency pouch and sliced the chain that secured the door.
To think that there would be an object that the Vajra couldn’t cut!
No. That was the power of a powerful barrier spell. That meant the b*stard called Kamuge wasn’t some common spellcaster.
“This b*stard’s making me work more than I have to.”
He took out the Angel’s Egg from his pouch and placed it against the chain. The Angel’s Egg shone in blue. The ground shook. The spell broke. He sliced the chain with his Vajra.
The thick metal chain the width of his wrist broke apart like a rotten twine rope.
Black stairs appeared on the other side of the wooden door. A black throat bared itself wide open down the stairs. An iron door appeared on his left by the time he was halfway down the stairs.
The hinges of the iron door fell apart at a single kick.
“This is how it’s intended to be. Huh?”
Black Mamba was surprised by the unexpected development of the situation, which contrasted with his initial confidence. He blinked rather quickly. His eyes, which were exposed to bright light, stung. The room was bright like the day. There were white lights on the ceiling, and two Murata power generators were buzzing in a corner.
Black Mamba’s mouth hung open at the culture shock. The small room of around 50 pyung was a chemical research lab. There were several clocks lining the wall, some medicinal cabinets full of capsules, experiment tools, chambers, beds, and several aid tools. The pool of blood that filled the stainless tank on one side of the wall gave off a putrid smell.
“This is Kamuge’s workshop, isn’t it?” Black Mamba frowned as he looked around.
That kind of equipped facility couldn’t exist in the Ituri Rainforest, what more the remote Apadombe.
A heavy howling sounded. It was the low-frequency sound he heard above ground.
A hole appeared in the wall with a single punch, and rocks fell all around him. It was a 300-millimeter thick brick wall. He tore down the bricks and stepped inside. The room was dark like nighttime. Black Mamba’s eyes burned blue. Blue-lit eyes behind the iron cages lining the wall also glared back at Black Mamba.
“Woah. What are all these?”
Even Black Mamba, who had experienced all kinds of things, flinched at the sight of dozens of blue eyes. There were ancient predators and reptiles locked behind iron bars the size of a goose’s egg. Dinofelis, Carnufex, Titanoboa, Smilodon… No, they only looked like them because of his biological knowledge. The ancient creatures didn’t have the body of a fully-grown monster. The Titanoboa was 15 meters long and weighed 1,000 kilograms. The one in the cage was barely eight meters. That was the same for the other animals.
Looking at that, it seemed likely that the Mai-Mai and Damballa were responsible for the ancient creatures he had encountered in the Ituri Rainforest. He couldn’t understand, but that meant the b*stards created creatures by modifying DNA and using spells.
Black Mamba’s mind grew muddled. Could Kamuge assemble such a facility without a backer? That was impossible. His backer was either a large organization or some government. He could smell the foul stench of an ongoing conspiracy.
He checked the time. It was 04:10. It was barely two hours until sunrise. Black Mamba didn’t do anything else and left the lab. He could erase those monsters later. His target was the hostages. Once he reached the lowest staircase, a similar door to the one he saw upstairs appeared. He made a hole with the Vajra around the door lock to remove it and pushed the door open. The rusty hinges squeaked. The humid air and foul stench attacked him.
He unknowingly took a step back. Was it comparable to the smell of salted anchovies? Although he was known for his patience, he found the smell, which hurt his nose, overbearing. Once he stepped in, the smell grew pungent. There was even the smell of rotting flesh. His blue-lit eyes searched the room.
“Bingo!” He shouted unknowingly.
He found people spread across the 50-pyung floor. They didn’t react to the door opening as though they were all asleep. No, they looked like they had lost the will to live instead. While it was difficult to distinguish them by their features as their face was caked in dirt, his sniper’s eyes immediately knew they were of a different build than the Hutu tribe members.
He finally found his targets. However, the numbers were different. Karungo had told him there were 20, but there were only 16. Black Mamba hadn’t thought it through. From the hostages’ conditions, more than four could have died within the timeframe.
Using his sniper’s instincts, he assessed the environment. The prison was semi-underground, and the ceiling and walls were secured with dongbari. They basically kept the hostages in an underground pen.
“That b*stard must have worked his subordinates to the bone.”
Black Mamba was slightly impressed. There was a 30-centimeter slot lining the side of the ceiling and wall. From outside, it was an undetectable vent as the upper floor’s edges covered it. The moonlight shining through the slot provided the room with a dim light. They purposefully exposed the top part of the basement to the ground so that air would flow naturally.
Leaving the hostages there was the best bet. As long as they didn’t release poisonous gas through the vent after he sealed the entrance, they wouldn’t be able to harm the hostages. Black Mamba silently crept out of the underground prison. The situation would get worse if the hostages started screaming in shock. He opened his headset in the laboratory upstairs.
“Samedi, are you done?”
“I’m done. I erased all seven outlying guard posts. These b*stards are really dirty. Don’t touch them. There were too many guards in the four large treehouses, so I didn’t kill them.”
“Good job. I found the hostages. They’re in the goat pen’s pilotis covered with mud. It’s showtime.”
Black Mamba raised his Dragunov once he was done communicating. Although the ancient creatures were young, they were a deadly threat to the hostages. He didn’t know what might happen if dozens of them escaped above ground.
The animals screamed and kicked when Black Mamba entered the animal pen. It was an instinctive reaction to Black Mamba’s bloodlust. The animosity and anger in their blue eyes were obvious. They would have eaten him up if they weren’t locked up in cages.
“Goodbye. Earth is not a world for you guys,” Black Mamba said, as though he was reading a cheesy phrase from a comic and pulled the trigger.
It was the Dragunov that the DGSE made with extreme care for Black Mamba’s personal use.
The 7.62-millimeter bullets tore apart the ancient predators and reptiles at 5,400 Joules. Black Mamba left the room without turning back after emptying two 20-round magazines.
Kamuge, who had been enjoying a sweet nap, flinched into consciousness with his eyes wide open. He jumped up as though he was bouncing.
“Wh…who dares to kill the oma…Agh!”
Kamuge grabbed his chest and collapsed. Blood flowed down his nose. It was the after-effects of the forcible mental disconnection with the oma.
It was lightning in broad daylight for him, who’d ordered to tighten the security before sleeping. Kamuge held on to his shattering chest and pulled on the bell. He barely counted to 10 when the rope ladder started shaking.
“Madangkal, it is Budsella.”
It was also hard for Budsella, who was called twice into his room at dawn.
Budsella opened the door and immediately lowered herself onto the floor.
“Budsella, the oma are dead. It’s not just one or two.”
“What, sir? But who dares-”
Budsella’s eyes widened as though they’d rip. There were 10 oma in the cursed room that protected Katanga. Six awaited the Lus Luwe’s birth by the gates of Purgatory. Could anyone kill the oma that were created from spells?
“It’s highly likely that Kran, sent by Ntaganda, killed them. That b*stard utilizes several crocodile monsters and zombie servants. Send a mid-fire power strike force immediately and check the cursed room first.”
“Yes, sir. Should I alert the Asian friends too?”
“Leave them be. We cannot be undermined.”
Budsella went down the ladder as though she was flying.
“Damn it, the Legba’s prophecy was a warning about Kran! Kran, this b*stard, to attack us at this important time. I’ll kill you!” Kamuge hit the floor.
He forgot about their tracker, Kran, who was after them since there were no movements for several months. A woman’s enemy was a woman, and a spellcaster’s enemy was a spellcaster. Kamuge didn’t realize a powerful Angel of Death incomparable to Kran had appeared.
A treehouse far away from the underground cave, which Kamuge called the gates of Purgatory, lit up. Sa Do Chung turned on the lights and tilted his ear. It was buried under the sound of generators, but he definitely heard a gun with a silencer go off. His senses were extremely sensitive as he was the successor of the Northern Mount, the Heng faction’s secret arts.
Sa Do Chung was an intelligence officer the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of State Security had sent as an operation team leader to watch Mobutu.
 A ritual of revenge in the name of an ancestral god.
 An extinct genus of crocodiles.
 An extinct genus of large snakes.
 A thick tree bark that supports caves from collapsing.