Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 478

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“Ah, it exploded!”
“You idiot. Block the left side first!”
“Call an excavator!”
The site was a mess. The bank blocking the oil collapsed in many places. The laborers clamored, wielding shovels. The scene where the black liquid flew like a creek offended Mu Ssang. The laborers’ uninspired movement also offended Mu Ssang.
The laborers did nothing but clamor in front of an emergency in which the bank was collapsing. This kind of lazing off was common among the laborers. They shoveled once and looked up at the sky. The guards with assault rifles did not pay attention to the site either. They snickered, gossiping among themselves.
The amount of oil gushing out of the 200-millimeter pipe was considerable. Moreover, the site was quite elevated. It seemed unlikely that they would be able to hold the oil in place until the Total probing team arrived. If the outer oil-blocking bank collapsed, the crude oil was going to flow into the Pendé river. The Pendé river was the lifeline used by the hundreds of thousands of nearby residents as drinking water and water used in chores. A catastrophe was due if it was contaminated.
“They are useless!”
Mu Ssang muttered. The laborers were leisurely and slow. The work progress was abysmal. The guards shook off their duties. It was a common scene in Africa. The people did not think the work was theirs, unlike Koreans who considered themselves responsible for their jobs and did their best. Perhaps it was because Africans endured colonialism for a long time. That still did not stop Mu Ssang’s sigh.
Mu Ssang looked back at Sun WooHyun and Bakri. They were all calm as if they went out for a picnic. Everyone was calm in the face of an emergency. It was an odd sight. Samdi, reading the air, grabbed a shovel leaning against his backpack. Mu Ssang held him back. It was not wise to pressure the laborers.
“Lackey, do they belong to the farm militia?”
Mu Ssang pointed at the guards.
“What a sight. They are neglecting their duties.”
Sun WooHyun flushed. It was true that he neglected the farm to train. He had nothing to say.
“They are better employed as Dino’s meal!”
Dino opened its mouth wide at Samdi’s words. Quality munching was ready, executable at any moment.
“The pressure is too high, there is no way to stop it from erupting. We need to install a closed-off block but we have no equipment or technology.”
On behalf of Sun WooHyun, Professor Mulsoli explained.
“At this rate, the river will be contaminated.”
“With its viscosity, it will take quite a while for it to reach the Pendé river.”
The professor was calm as well. It may happen later but it was bound to happen. What did speed matter? Mu Ssang felt an urge to read the headspace of the professor.
“Professor, if this was happening in France, would you be as calm?”
“Of course not. But we are in Africa.”
She responded at once. None of her facial muscles twitched. It was the face of a mother disciplining a child just as in a French proverb.
Mu Ssang flinched at Professor Mulsoli’s double-face. She was going to try to stop the oil from flowing into the river but if it happened, it happened.
“Has the shadow of the chicotte consumed you as well, Professor?”
“The chicotte?”
Mulsoli opened her eyes wide and wondered. She did not know what the chicotte was. The chicotte is a whip made by the rawhide of a hippo. “The shadow of the chicotte” referred to a European whose subconscious harbored the violence of colonialism. Hakam Chartres, a historian and cultural anthropologist, told Mu Ssang about it.
In France, a leather whip called “martinet” was used to discipline children. The most expensive is made of the hide of a hippo. In Britain, it was called a nine-tail. The martinet was introduced to Japan in the early 19th century and is now occasionally featured in the country’s famous paid adult videos.
The chicotte is the original form of the martinet. When Leopold II of Belgium colonized Congo, a whip was a necessary item that any European colonizer carried. They considered Africans as cattle herded by whipping, not humans. As the number of slaves grew, so did the amount of whipping needed. It became a chore in itself.
Farm owners and technicians researched the most efficient method to administer whipping. They tested all kinds of leather: lion, snake, crocodile, elephant, etc. Vincent Gillet, Leopold II’s close subordinate, discovered that the hide of the hippo was most effective for use. Thus, the chicotte was born.
Here, “most effective” meant it inflicted deep, bloody bruises with the least amount of force. The chicotte was Europeans’ shame as well as consciousness. Even the civil rights groups advocating the human rights of Africans did not consider them to be the same as Europeans. The chicotte symbolized the violence of colonialism that was deeply rooted in the collective headspace of Europeans.
Japan used Asia as fodder for its growth but did not consider itself an Asian country. Most Japanese consider that they are closer to Europeans than Koreans, Chinese, and Southeast Asians. Their country was located in Asia, but their psyche was that of an advanced European country. That was their perspective.
Japan’s elitism, separating itself from the rest of Asia, also stemmed from the violence of colonialism. That violence, once institutionalized and rationalized, never faded. Violence’s addicting quality was deeply engraved in genes.
During the early 20th century, Japan owned Asia. Then they were defeated and the entire country was covered in ash. When the Korean War happened, Japan used it as leverage to become one of the biggest economic powers in the world. They may have lost their military power but they gained economic power. That was enough to rekindle their arrogance.
The order of the Cold War was established in the mid-20th century. Russia was overpowered and China walled itself off from the world. Southeast Asian countries were nice to Japan, eclipsed by its economic power. Only Korea opposed it habitually.
Japan saw Korea with a certain contempt that is akin to that a master would exhibit toward their servant. Korea resented the colonial period yet was still in its shade. The Japanese wooden shoes, geta; and traditional Japanese socks, tabi were like the chicotte for Korea.
The shadow of the chicotte’s roots was deep even in Professor Mulsoli, a cultured and educated person. Her attitude reminded Mu Ssang of the Japanese, who considered Koreans as second-class citizens. He did not feel like scolding the professor because he knew many Europeans were like that.
“How many tons would equal the pressure?”
The professor, not understanding what Mu Ssang meant, asked back.
“We can’t let that be. We need to stall the eruption. How many tons would surpass the eruption pressure?”
“Are you serious?”
The professor looked at Mu Ssang with incredulous eyes. Mu Ssang gazed at her silently.
“The diameter of the drilling hole is 200 millimeters. The oil is soaring up to 30 meters in the sky so if we take that into the calculation, five tons would withstand the pressure. If something could do that, we can pour concrete in the hole to close it off.”
“Would it work if we wedge something in?”
The professor asked back again. A conversation between a superhuman and a normal person was bound to be inefficient. The starting point of their thoughts differed. Mu Ssang did not feel the need to talk anymore. The professor had her specialties, and he had his.
His gaze landed on the tree trunks piled up on the site. They were for scaffolding and 25 centimeters wide at the bottom end and five centimeters at the top end. They were 20 meters long. It could serve as a wedge. He tossed one trunk to Samdi. He could not do it but Samdi could withstand five-ton pressure.
“Can you?”
“No problem!”
Samdi, unlike his appearance, read the air very quickly and very well. He knew what Mu Ssang intended right away.
“Lackey, make the laborers leave the site and close it off from the outside.”
“I’m on it!”
Sun WooHyun employed the guards to move the laborers and close off the site.
“Samdi, consider it as hammering a nail into a drilled hole in a wall.”
“I understand. If it surpasses my power, you do the hammering.”
Samdi ran like an athlete competing in the pole vault, holding the trunk in his arms. As if an enraged rhino were charging, the ground shook at his every step.
His shout resounded on the farm. Using the trunk as a lever, Samdi soared into the sky. Mu Ssang hurled another trunk at the mid-air Samdi like a spear. The giant trunk met Samdi when he was 40 meters up in the air. It was the point at which the entirety of Samdi’s kinetic energy was converted to potential energy. It was an accurate aim. Samdi, who had started falling due to gravity, grasped the trunk.
Samdi dived while embracing the tree trunk. A great din shook the farm. Half of the trunk was thrust into the hole. It was the wedging that Mu Ssang had referred to. The fountain of oil that once soared 30 meters high, stopped. The trunk moved about, barely withstanding the erupting pressure.
“It needs some hammering!”
Mu Ssang leaped. He landed softly on the trunk and focused his resonance on his lower body. Slam! He trampled on the trunk as if to hammer a nail. The trunk was thrust further into the hole. He trampled again. The tree trunk was fully inserted into the hole.
Today’s events were later described in one of the school textbooks in Novatopia. Everything had been resolved. Mu Ssang’s entourage today was referred to as “Dubaiburupa’s merciless hammer.”
“My God. Is that real?”
“It’s unbelievable!”
“Bravo, Samdi!”
The incredible scene had everyone’s mouths wide open in amazement. An absurd miracle happened before their eyes. A divine avatar, Dubaiburupa, was known for such things but Samdi’s feat was unexpected.
“Mohammad. The hierarchy is set.”
Bakri looked back at Mohammad.
“Samdi has it all: loyalty, power, dexterity, and eloquence. He is indeed the first bodyguard. Brother Bakri, the game is over.”
Mohammad glanced at Sun WooHyun and lowered his voice. There was some noise among Mu Ssang’s subordinates regarding the hierarchy. Society needed order and to maintain order, hierarchy was necessary.
Novatopia was a newly established sovereign country. Tasks mounted up and many important decisions needed to be made. Currently, Ombuti is acting as Dubaiburupa’s substitute but what if something happened to him? Dubaiburupa showed no interest at all in words like “subordinate” or “hierarchy.” It was business among themselves.
“We didn’t need a closed-off block. We just needed a stopper.”
Mu Ssang looked back at Professor Mulsoli and grinned.
“Oh, Samdi!”
Her eyes were on Samdi, not Mu Ssang. Her face was rejuvenated, as if she regained her youth of the last 10 years. It was a good thing to happen.
“Samdi, you are so lucky. In Ituri, you became a god for the Pygmies. in Doba, you became a knight for a lady. You are a popular guy. I am jealous.”
Mu Ssang jested.
“In moments like this, you are not my master but more like a nemesis!”
Samdi growled in a low voice. His frown deepened.
“Leon, prepare to fly. We are heading to Novatopia.”
“Yes. I will get ready.”
Mu Ssang decided to leave without a meal once the problem was resolved. He was in a hurried state of mind.
“Professor, Total will send a probing team in a few days.”
“That’s fast. There are many issues to handle before that regarding the land and environment.”
“I am the Eastern Swordsman. There is no need to delay. The oil plant construction is to be postponed for a while.”
“I see. It is inevitable since we don’t know the exact size of the oil field. The year’s worth of effort may be in vain.”
The professor sighed.
“The cotton farm is crucial too but nothing compares to oil. This place will be run by Total for now. It will take considerable time before the development area is determined. You will go to Novatopia too.”
“That’s great. I’ve always wanted to see it.”
Professor Mulsoli was delighted. For her, being engrossed in work meant days passed quickly. Still, she would miss some cultural aspects. In Novatopia, she could meet Professor Orifice and Professor Shernion. Furthermore, she could spend more time with Samdi.
Falcon lifted off. Half a day had passed since they arrived at the Samaria farm. Mu Ssang moved like lightning. He had an haute cuisine dinner reservation with Total’s Margerie in Jipoon Dari.
He planned to fly straight to Korea after agreeing on a basic MOU with Margerie. The ownership shares and price thereof could be agreed upon later. Today, they just needed to negotiate. The flight distance between Doba and Novatopia was 1,350 kilometers. Falcon flew 10,000 meters above the ground at 850 kilometers per hour.
Novatopia’s borders were determined artificially. From north to south, it was 87 kilometers wide. From east to west, it was 290 kilometers wide. The square area was diagonally laid from northwest to southeast. The considerable area of Novatopia was enduring the construction of infrastructure. The French government was independently building a thermal power station as well. Jipoon Dari was overflowing with equipment, supplies, and people that were pouring in..
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