Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 469

Prev Chapter Next Chapter

The area of the Samaria farm to be purchased in Doba and Delta was 50 square kilometers. It was six times the area of Yeouido. Mu Ssang’s father labored for 20 years to acquire rice paddies of two-25,000th of the area.
His uncle and aunt kidnapped his nine-year-old self to steal those paddies. They needed the excuse of raising an orphaned nephew to purchase the fields. If there were no paddies, he would not have had to live like a slave for five years. He still remembered the anger and disappointment he felt when he found out their true intent.
He looked up at the night sky on the veranda. Countless stars were embroidered into the black sky. His mother used to say that a good person becomes a star after death. He did not believe this when he was younger but now he knows it is not a question of believing it or not. The stars were not in the sky but in one’s heart.
‘Father, are you looking at me from the sky? It’s no longer rice paddies but 50 square kilometers of land. I have become rich like this. Are you proud?’
Mu Ssang felt a strong, hot surge of emotion welling in his chest. His nose was tingling.
“Hey, admit it if you are happy. The land Seward bought was a frozen wasteland. You bought not just any land but a receptacle filled with black gold. It will be 100,000,000,000,000 francs if you get 10,000,000,000 barrels out of it. I am so jealous.”
Bonipas feigned jealousy. Bonipas is not known to be playful like this. If anyone saw, they would have been surprised. It was out of character for him. Doba’s oil was such shocking news that it even excited someone who is usually known as the Serpent.
“A reserve of 10,000,000,000 barrels? The entire world’s reserves are estimated to be 1,000,000,000,000 barrels. How can a single reserve take up 0.5 percent of the world’s available oil?”
“What are you even talking about? No one can accurately estimate the world’s reserves. No one believes the bullshit in ‘The Journal of Oil and Gas.’ Oil is still being produced even today. Major oil companies spout such lies about diminishing resources to raise the oil prices.”
“It is becoming more and more difficult to drill. How are you going to compensate for losses when a probe drill finds that there is not enough oil to justify drilling?”
“It’s no use probing it. The Doba oil well is P1 without a doubt.”
“A P1 oil well has more than 90 percent of success rate. For oil drilling to be successful, the amount of oil is important but what is more crucial is its retrieval rate. Like you said, as the difficulty of drilling increases, the value of the reserve drops. No one would invest 200,000,000 francs to gain 100,000,000 francs’ worth of oil.
Mu Ssang was confused. Bonipas was the head of an intelligence agency. He once mentioned that he was not sure if this Bonipas was genuine. Yet he was sure of this.
‘Bonipas is usually suspicious of everything. He must have some data to be that sure.’
Mu Ssang narrowed his eyes and read Bonipas. His bloodstream and brain waves were calm. It was the characteristic sign of a person who was sure of what they were saying.
“I should take security measures first. Samdi, call the lackey. Round up the workers who witnessed the oil eruption and raise the security level to Jindo 3.”
Samdi went into a room, holding a satellite phone. No one knows what will happen in the future. Mu Ssang got involved in the farm because he pitied Edel. No one knew oil would be discovered there. This was an extreme stroke of luck.
“One should venerate their ancestors for luck like this. That f*cking wench sullied my father’s grave!”
Mu Ssang ground his teeth suddenly. His anger toward Mrs. Jang was revived. He knew it was futile to take revenge but that did not mean he was going to forget about it. The civilized world is no different from the jungle of Ituri if there is no payback for an act that no human should ever have committed.
“What is it?”
“Nothing. Do you think I should let a major oil company take care of probing and development?”
Mu Ssang, who was thinking about something else, waved his question away. Even though he liked having oil, he did not want to be concerned with the development details.
“The major oil companies develop and sell more than 60 percent of the Middle Eastern oil. I recommend that you give Total some share of the reserve’s ownership and let them take care of development and sales. You can just pocket the money like the Saudi royals.”
“I’d like that, but can we trust Total? I heard some terrible rumors regarding the major oil corporations.”
Bonipas spat out the wine in his mouth. Terrible rumors? Whatever they were, they were nothing compared to Black Mamba’s.
A palm as big as the lid of a pot covered Mu Ssang’s face.
“That’s disgusting. Filthy fellow.”
Samdi rubbed his hand covered with wine and saliva on his pants.
“I am sorry. I didn’t intend for that to happen.”
Bonipas threw a handkerchief at Samdi and nodded. Even after seeing it with his naked eyes, Bonipas still felt that Samdi’s speed and dexterity were unbelievable. Samdi was definitely capable of blocking a bullet. Bonipas suddenly found himself thinking less of the bodyguards outside the suite.
‘Did he save the world in his past life?’
Mu Ssang himself was an extraordinary person and so was his bodyguard. Bonipas was jealous of Mu Ssang for his bodyguard who could easily win against 10,000 men.
“No human can deceive the Angel of Death. Unless Margerie wants to part ways with the world, he would not try anything funny.”
“If he could, he would.”
“Even then, no one would want to die by fire or evisceration. The problem is how we should estimate the value of the shares we are giving them. When we estimate the size of reserves, we are usually conservative. The value of the shares varies greatly depending on the grade of the oil field: 1P with 90 percent of success rate, 2P with 50 percent, or 3P with 10 percent. It also varies greatly depending on the oil prices at the moment of estimation and the estimated future demands. Political uncertainty and economic growth rate of importing countries are also factors. A high-quality oil field should first be evaluated for the size of its reserve and its retrieval rate before we can start crunching numbers. If we are too rash, an experienced major oil company may get the best of us. First, we should enter into an agreement regarding the probing phase and draw up a contract regarding production and sharing of ownership later. Could you place your trust in me with regards to the contracts?
Bonipas’s eyes glinted. It was best if Black Mamba kept the ownership and Total acquired development rights. It was the most opitmal solution for the French government.
“There are two Frenchmen who protect me. Emil guards my back and Bonipas guards my pockets. I do not trust you with my back but I do trust you with my pockets.”
Mu Ssang held out his hand. Bonipas shook it.
“I’m not sure if that’s a compliment but thank you for trusting me. I am breaking my back working for you. Do you mind giving me some reward?”
Bonipas stared at Mu Ssang. His eyes were shining like that of a dog who has completed a trick and is awaiting its owner’s compliment. But those were also the eyes of a proud bureaucrat who prioritises his country’s benefit. This pride was the reason that France, seemingly laid-back, is one of the major countries of the world.
‘Korea needs a bureaucrat like this too…’
Mu Ssang’s eyes exhibited envy. Politicians and bureaucrats worked for their country and people. When they work honestly, the country advances. When they are corrupt, the country falls.
“Haha. I admire your boldness in openly asking for a bribe. I will grant you one percent of the ownership of the Doba oil field.”
“Are you sure?”
Bonipas’s eyes widened. His eyes were shining in glee.
“The Eastern Swordsman does not lie.”
“Then it’s a deal!”
Bonipas’s face became stern.
“Is the retirement age of government employees 60? You have five years or so left until your retirement. What would you do if you could retire earlier? Would you enjoy the sun in the Luxembourg Garden? Will you go for long walks along the Seine, holding your dog’s leash?”
Bonipas had never thought about his life after retirement. He supposed he would live for 20 more years or so after retirement. He suddenly came to his senses. France is lenient when it came to former government employees joining the private sector. The problem is that private companies did not welcome former government employees. French public workers were known to be rude and incompetent.
He could picture himself walking his small dog in parks. He will receive a sufficient pension to live comfortably, but money was not everything in a man’s life. Work was a means to self-actualization rather than simply a way to obtain financial compensation. No one wanted an idle life.
“I invite you, Bernier Bonipas, to be an advisor at Eastern Swordsman Oil Company. But you will only start working after one month has passed since your retirement. Your salary will be calculated from the first day of your work and one percent of the company’s shares will be given to you as a stock option.”
It was outrageous. Bonipas stared at Mu Ssang without a word. One percent of shares in such a company is the Devil’s temptation that no one could resist. His salary did not even matter. A stock option was valid from the day the company was established. It was a verbal agreement but Black Mamba would cross hell to keep his promises. His promises were as reliable as the landmass of France.
Black Mamba made the director of the DGSE his de-facto subordinate with mere words. The promised job was five years away from now but the gratitude was immediate. Bonipas has been appointed as an advisor of the future oil company.
“You are truly what they say! You are a natural boss. You don’t like hassles but people are drawn to you. We don’t know what the world will be like in the future, so I accept the offer. But only act like you are my boss five years later.”
“That’s for certain.”
Mu Ssang smiled. There was no outcome without a cause. Now Bonipas would act differently when he sits at the negotiation table with Total. This time, Black Mamba has succeeded in winning over Bonipas. The tables have turned.
“So have we wrapped things up regarding the oil field in Doba?”
“There was nothing to wrap up. There was only work for you to do.”
Mu Ssang buried himself in the soft sofa. He had come across an unexpected loot and now found someone to manage it too. He only had to pocket the money. This is all thanks to the auspicious location of his ancestors’ graves.
“Why do I feel like I’m missing out on something whenever I meet you?”
Bonipas pretended to be angry at this supposed injustice.
“It’s because you are small-minded. There are some people I’d like the DGSE to track. The head of the CIA special operations department, Louis Adam, and a female agent named Matilda.”
“Louis Adam is already on the watchlist, but who is this Matilda?”
“A woman in her mid-30s. Responsible for SIGINT and IMINT.”
“It must be someone special if Black Mamba the Great cares about her.”
“She is the one who dispatched two Shadow squads in the jungle of Ituri. She must have wanted to check on the serpent Grendel that I killed. According to the confessions of the squad leader Major MecPee, she is involved in the development of Haunters and Grendel. She herself is a psychic Haunter.”
“Psychic Haunter? Is the American gene manipulation technology so advanced that it is capable of producing a sentient person with supernatural powers?”
Bonipas was startled. The French Laboratory of Biotechnology had discovered the gene-control switch and named it “homeobox.” They were experimenting with the analysis of the mouse’s genome and inserting the eye-forming gene into fruit fly larvae. The experiment has only been semi-successful. There were multiple eyes across the body of an adult fruit fly. The limit of modern science was that there was no way to control the homeobox.
“I am not sure if she is a produced Haunter or a born one. I think that by tracking her, we will get to understand the Americans’ Socrates Project.”
“That is important then. You supplied this information voluntarily. There will be no reward for this. Haha!”
Bonipas was finding it increasingly funny to imitate Black Mamba’s way of speech.
“Director, I am still young and have to make money. A stingy man is abandoned in old age.”
“You are the richest man in Europe. How big do you intend to make your inheritance for you to use me like this?”
What Bonipas said made Mu Ssang’s countenance cloud over. His parents were happy without money. A simple brush his father bought from the market would make his mother’s face bloom like a beautiful flower. When his father returned from a day’s work on the fields, his mother would remove his earwax with a swab. His father’s face on his mother’s lap looked relaxed and satisfied, as if he had the entire world in his hands.
“Dear, look at this peach. Plump and balanced, it’s just like your butt.”
“Oh my, Ssang is listening!”
Mu Ssang reminisced about his father’s jest and his mother’s embarrassment. It was a memory as vivid as a picture.
When pink peach petals danced in the wind, the fields filled with the bustle of people working and the song of cuckoos. His father was planting rice, unaware of his wet clothes. His mother brought meals in a large wooden bowl. Mu Ssang was engrossed in catching a crawfish in the creek. The warm smiles of a happy husband and wife melted the fatigue of the day like cotton candy. Happiness came from the heart, not money.
They smiled together when flowers blossomed. They cried together when the flowers withered. But Park Jin Bo and Kim Mal Soon had disappeared, like the petals that fell on a creek only to be swept away when the spring rain came. Mu Ssang, with broken wings, was left alone..
Prev Chapter Next Chapter