Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 475
“A man is a man, hunger is hunger. Wakir, I seek your audience.”
Mu Ssang, embarrassed at their loud greeting, turned his gaze toward the sky. The iron-red sky had turned to navy blue. The cirrus clouds in the eastern sky seemed to be dyed crimson by the red sphere of light that peeked from the horizon. Mu Ssang had never seen a sunrise on the horizon. It meant he had never seen a meadow that was four kilometers long, which he measured with the naked eye.
The sun rising from the sea radiated red rays of light but the sun rising from the ground radiated bright yellow rays in every direction. The sun escaped the horizon. Yellow light poured upon the savage lands. The light emitted by the wheel in the heavens ousted the fog of the Pende river to its original place.
The fog enveloped Mu Ssang, Dino and Samdi and went up to the clouds. The giant beast and a red giant, visible intermittently in the fog, were the guards to heaven and hell.
Behind Mu Ssang, a yellow halo shone. The wind from the Pende river shook his gandoura and scattered the fog around him. Mu Ssang, surrounded by light, seemed to float in the white cloud. Was it the fog that flew, or the human?
Exclamations erupted. An avatar of God, Dubaiburupa, accompanied by a mystical beast and warrior, descended upon the human world. At the poignant performance directed by nature, everyone was mesmerized.
“What a man!”
Professor Mulsoli’s exclamation was for a different reason. What other human could be more brilliant than that? Could God manage to attract as much respect and trust as Dubai? It was understandable. God did not answer one’s questions, but Dubai did.
A fierce sense of nervousness started at the top of her head and ran through her chest and lower abdomen towards her toes. Professor Mulsoli, who was single for 30 years, felt her heart beat. She could feel her face flush.
“I didn’t hate men. I simply haven’t met a real man.”
She realized this too late. She had wasted her shining youth because of her stubborn obstinacy.
“I’m only 50! Should I ask him out?”
Her dried-up emotions flowed like a fountain but it was not possible. Her age notwithstanding, Rudrey Edel, the angel of Novatopia, was on her guard. Every subordinate of Dubaiburupa was also a fan of Edel. The men before her eyes who were now chanting his name would all try to marry Edel should the chance ever arise. She would be crushed like a cotton flower in a cotton-carding machine if she ever crossed Edel.
The gaze of Professor Mulsoli stayed on the red face of Samdi, who was standing like an iron tower. He was quite attractive too. That man was a real man too, not just Mu Ssang’s alternative.
Sweet water started to flow in her dried-up wadi. The tiny stream soon became a strong river. Professor Mulsoli regained her lost youth, but Samdi was in big trouble.
Mu Ssang, with kind eyes, looked around at the gathered crowd. Professor Mulsoli — the orthodox leader, Bakri — the leader of the orthodox secret guards, Mohammad — the master of guerrilla warfare, Ibrahim — the keeper of Mamluk, Ahmmad. They had all been infected by the Ombuti virus.
They were familiar faces but their chanting always embarrassed Mu Ssang greatly. But it also warmed his heart. For a human being to trust another human being, that was happiness. He felt like he returned from a beastlike world to a civilized world. Not civilized yet but he will, with them, make this world a civilized one.
“Dubai, long time no see!”
“Professor, you’ve been working hard.”
Mu Ssang grabbed Mulsoli’s outstretched hand. Thanks to the oil she discovered, they could now stably develop Novatopia. There was no greater fortune.
“First, greet the other members of the family who worked equally hard.”
Like an experienced professional, Mulsoli turned Mu Ssang’s attention towards the others. They had all the time in the world to talk about oil later.
“That is right.”
Mu Ssang nodded and grabbed the hand of Bakri Jadir, the eldest.
“The successor of Antiochia, the son of Ali Jadir, Bakri Jadir, you did great work. Your hair seems to have reduced further.”
“Thank you. I am your khanjar, a traditional Persian dagger. I am grateful that I am of use.”
Bakri bowed deeply. Dubaiburupa was his whole life and the owner of his tribe. To manage the refugees pouring into Novatopia, he developed alopecia areata, but all of that fatigue melted away at Mu Ssang’s heartfelt gratitude.
“The brother of Bakri Jadir, Mohammad Jadir, you did great.”
Mohammad’s already deeply set eyes looked more sunken due to fatigue. As Novatopia became known in the external world, spies started to infiltrate. He established an intelligence network and sorted out impure elements, that is, the spies.
“I am simply your eyes and ears. You mercifully saved my sister and you brought happiness to us. Long live, Dubaiburupa.”
Mohammad knelt abruptly and kissed Mu Ssang’s feet.
“What are you saying? There is no prettier and nicer bride than Bassel. Ombuti is the one who lucked out, having Bassel as his wife. You must be too busy with your work.”
“The Aklan crew remained in Novatopia with Jamal and Ahmud. It is difficult to leave the field because many important constructions are ongoing at once. They must have some complaints about the workload.”
“Everyone is working hard. Ibrahim, how many of the Kurds have immigrated?”
“I, Ibrahim, worship Dubaiburupa. Over the span of five operations, 4,500 immigrated here. The French government is actively cooperating. By the end of the year, 30,000 are planning to immigrate.”
“Taking our capacity into account, tweak the number of immigrants and speed of the immigration to an apt rate.”
“I got it, sir. We are first evacuating the Kurds in the mountains situated north of Aleppo and in the mountains in Osmaniye because they are at risk.”
“Isn’t Osmaniye a Turkish province?”
“Havuc of MIT is actively helping us. He told us to send his regards to Dubaiburupa.”
“Oh, is the great Havuc helping us? I will buy him a drink next time.”
Havuc was his Turkish friend who helped them when they crossed the Syrian border with the Kurds. One did not know who they would cross paths with at any time.
“Ahmmad, have you been training hard?”
“Thanks to the grace you bestowed upon me, I am three times stronger.”
“Haha. Only you would be grateful after being whipped. Wait, aren’t you Nejema?”
Mu Ssang feigned surprise after spotting a lanky boy. Nejema, who was hiding behind the adults, stepped forth, beaming.
“I, Nejema, worship Dubaiburupa. Nejema recognizes his teacher.”
Nejema knelt. Mu Ssang had taken him in as an apprentice, recognizing his courage when he fought zombies with a club.
“You haven’t been missing your training.”
Within a year, his body became quite balanced. A master was able to discern the amount of training by simply looking at how balanced someone’s body was.
“Yes. I slept less to train more to embody your teachings.”
“Do you mean you have a lot of work to do? Mohammad!”
“Talk to Ariba at the DGSE and have him issue French citizenship to Nejema and Niamma.”
“Select bright children to be given French citizenship then send them to Europe to learn technology.”
“I see. On it now, sir.”
Before Novatopia was formally proclaimed as a country, they had to use French citizenship for convenience. Until Novatopia was internationally recognized, they had to use it.
Could they use Korean citizenship? No way. There was no way to gain Korean citizenship easily. The politicians and bureaucrats, who only took from the people and seldom gave back to them, would spout excuses as to why it was not possible. Realistically, they had to rely on France’s system. Bonipas must have had known that realistically, Novatopia had to rely on France.
“Nejema, when do you feel happy?”
“When I practice five combined movement taught by you and when I learn about the world with the uncles.”
“To be able to learn and be taught is a great joy. Do you have other kinds of joy?”
Nejema was submerged in thoughts. Then, Dubaiburupa’s teaching that one should act upon their hunch and not be ashamed resounded in his head. Nejema abruptly raised his head.
“There are greater joys than those, indeed. I will be honest. When my sibling, Niamma, having eaten plentifully, studies without fearing for her life, I feel happiness. This happiness was given to us by you therefore you are my owner. Secondly, when I help someone with martial arts and knowledge I learned. I am teaching the Eritrean refugee children school subjects and acrobatics. This is also thanks to you who opened Novatopia’s doors and received them. Thirdly, as I said, when I learn and train. You gave me all of this so I will pay you back by helping others.”
Mu Ssang smiled with satisfaction and patted Nejema’s shoulder. The greatness of the soul did not correlate with the body’s age. Nejema had already become a mature human being at a young age, fulfilling the conditions of being a human on his own.
Misfortune could either nurture a human’s character or destroy it. The innate nature is also crucial but the influence and support from their surroundings could never be ruled out. Mu Ssang looked back at Bakri and others.
“This is great. Thanks to you, the future of Novatopia is thriving.”
All of them had different religions and were from different ethnicities yet they had transcended such borders. Whether yellow, black, or white, whether Catholic, Muslim, or Shamanic, they all were one in Novatopia.
“Novatopians do not discriminate by religion, ethnicity, wealth, or gender.”
Bakri said solemnly as if reading an excerpt from scriptures.
“Long live Dubaiburupa!”
The rest repeated after him.
“Novatopians earn as much as they work.”
“Long live Dubaiburupa!”
“Novatopians think of what they can do before they think of what they want.”
“Long live Dubaiburupa!”
‘What am I doing in Africa? This is unbelievable. Can they stop?’
Mu Ssang gave up trying to stop them from cheering. If he let them, they would continue to worship him until sundown. If Barongo and Kamuge had seen this, they would have protested that Mu Ssang is not someone to be worshipped.
The voice cooled the heated ambiance. A peculiarly small-statured man ran from the open-air yard towards where they were. His Fearless Steps allowed him to barely graze the ground. His face was quite fearsome, but his height barely came to Samdi’s waist. It was Sun WooHyun.
“I am late because I had to assign them work.”
Sun WooHyun panted as if he ran quite a distance.
“You are someone now, lackey, You’ve done a great job.”
Mu Ssang smiled widely.
“Wakir, this can’t be. You put me on a farm that reeks of chicken poop. And you only take this red fellow with you. This can’t be.”
Sun WooHyun threw the pick he was holding to the ground and yelled. Sun WooHyun was feeling resentful. Black Mamba had a lot of people around him but still, he was his number one.
If Barongo had not revolted, the Samaria farm would have regained normalcy as Wakir expected. To compensate for his shame, he trained day and night and had considerable good results.
He was planning to put his newly acquired power to practical use but Wakir, without saying a word, went to Congo with Samdi. Sun WooHyun lost his calm because of jealousy and resentment. That was his biggest weakness.
“You are being impolite to him!”
Samdi glared at him.
Before he finished his sentence, a giant beast lunged forward and roared. It was Dino who was standing behind Mu Ssang like a shadow. Being an intelligent animal, it understood what Samdi said. This small human must have crossed the master. The roar was a warning.
The roar, several times louder than a male lion’s, resounded on the farm.
“Why is that big cat like this?”
Sun WooHyun jumped back, startled. Dino, offended, jumped forward effortlessly. It leaped 10 meters then thrashed with its front paws. Its legs, as thick as a log, attacked at the speed of sound. Sun WooHyun, startled, evaded the dagger-like claws and picked himself up in a rebound.
“What animal is this? Die!”
His frontal kick was followed by a vertical slam. Dino’s giant body, unbelievably, was hurled past Sun WooHyun’s head.
Dino’s tail, with great resemblance to an iron club, slammed Sun WooHyun’s shoulder. Sun WooHyun, who never fought with a beast before, received the full blow without any defense. He jumped away to gain some distance. Dino stood on its hind paws and raised its right paw to the sky.
“He gained one point!”
Mu Ssang and Samdi could not hold back their laughter. Dino had been watching a boxing channel ever since they were staying in a hotel in Djibouti. It had learned the gesture of the referee. It was indeed a quite intelligent animal.
Hearing its name, Dino jumped and crouched down at Mu Ssang’s feet. Sun WooHyun’s face was distorted like a demon’s. Dino rubbed its head at Mu Ssang’s legs, swishing its tail. It was a gesture that boasted, “I did well.”
“It is the mystical creature of Dubaiburupa!”
Bakri shouted. The crowd ignored the panting Sun WooHyun and gazed at Dino. It was a bit smaller than a wildebeest but bigger than a lion, equipped with a proud stature and fearsome fangs and claws. It was deft as well as intelligent. The crowd soon began to adore the animal.
“What a cutie!”
Professor Mulsoli jumped ecstatically. If a monster that could decimate a pack of lions in 10 minutes was cute, every animal on Earth must be cute as well. Professor Mulsoli’s taste was not ordinary either.
“Wretched animal! I will end you!”
Sun WooHyun jumped, enraged.
“Lackey, have you already forgotten what you have learned from the Aklan crew? What happens if you disrespect Wakir?”
Samdi glared at Sun WooHyun.
“You! I joined him before you!”
Sun WooHyun glared back.
“You are nothing but a lackey. You are insane. Behave!”