Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 487

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Margerie was shocked by the giant man’s beast-like reflexes and sophisticated bodily movements. The oil business was mostly run by secret negotiations. What was shown in the media was only for show. In negotiations by oil major corporations, armed forces played a crucial part.
Since armed forces were an unofficial means, only a select few accompanied the negotiators. Margerie has an eye for discerning armed forces too. The red-skinned giant was on another level. Was there anyone similar among his bodyguards and Blue Water mercenaries? He contemplated the ones that considered themselves powerful.
The arrogant Savate master, Krav Maga master, Kung Fu master, martial arts champion, boxing champion, etc. The faces of such masters floated up in his mind.
“Shitty bastards. None of them is useful.”
Margerie clucked his tongue. They were all scarecrows. His top-tier bodyguards were stalled by two of Gulbeig’s subordinates.
Skilled bodyguards and fighters seemed useless in comparison. For this reason, a woman would have a less attractive friend accompany her when she was meeting a man.
Margerie glanced at Mu Ssang. He did not seem impressed by his subordinate’s flair. He did not even seem interested. Was magic part of everyday life for them?
None of them was ordinary: the blade-like Asian and fog-like Arab downstairs, the unheard-of giant beast, the red giant before his eyes now. He had no idea how many of such beings Gulbeig would have as subordinates.
He remembered the scenery as he drove through the city. Well-trained and polite soldiers. Lively residents. Widespread construction sites. This was no ordinary African country submerged in poverty and stupor. Africans were known to be passive and lazy. Gulbeig must have been no ordinary leader to motivate them like this.
An odd character that built his kingdom in the middle of a desert. A master with unnumbered professionals and monsters as his subordinates. Margerie never expected there to be a mysterious figure like this in the backwater of the Sahara desert. He could no longer underestimate him as a Saharan bumpkin.
Margerie took a closer look at the owner of the oil field, with an odd name like Sbard Gulbeig. He was tall for an Asian and had sophisticated features like a woman. He looked like an ordinary young man. His clear and deep eyes were as clear as a lake and his firm posture, without any movements, indicated that he was a person with a lot of energy. Other than that, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
Margerie was a boss, leading a major oil corporation. Sometimes greed clouded his judgment but he had an eye for talent. Whether it was animals or humans, the weak could never dominate the strong. With such powerful figures as his subordinates, Gulbeig was no weakling at all.
He had a kind-looking face and delicate hands but was nonetheless a strong individual. In the primitive ages, physical force determined who was stronger, but in the modern era, power and wealth determined it. With fists and guns, one could only expect to be a powerful or rich man’s servant. This man was said to be a billionaire. He had such a wonderful collection of human talent.
“When it comes to money, I’m quite someone too.”
An oil negotiation was a negotiation. A talented man was a talented man. Margerie suddenly found himself coveting him. Only time would tell whether he will be able to take Black Mamba under his wing.
Margerie refrained from providing a realistic offer and continued to be obstinate for two reasons. First, Gulbeig was a young man with no experience. Second, his battalion of Blue Water mercenaries had considerable armed power. The world of oil business was a tough one that required one to have a strong mind just to survive. With strong armed forces, one could save money and negotiate from a better place.
Ever since the 19th century when oil entered human history, the major oil companies possessed their own armed power. Margerie himself had masqueraded as bandits or armed insurgents to wipe out competing parties.
Margerie, who was deciding whether to rob or negotiate, concluded: the other party was young but still powerful and his subordinates were overpowered. It was risky to taunt Gulbeig who had such men under him.
“If I use Blue Water on him, I may end up as red water: blood.”
Margerie gave up on the idea to use the mercenaries. To lead a big corporation, one had to have capabilities but also luck. Margerie’s decision at the moment prevented Black Mamba from manifesting. He would have never known that Total had just evaded total destruction.
Mu Ssang was aware of Margerie’s brain waves, bloodstream, and the amount of serotonin in his system at all times. He was considering many things at once, overheating his synapses. The more one had, the greedier one became.
Mu Ssang had no interest in Margerie’s thought process. Instead, he was engrossed in the extraordinary scent of the coffee on the table.
Edel had a talent for concocting poison out of good ingredients. The dishes she cooked were something but the coffee she brewed did not pale in comparison. He was surprised more than once at what seemed like coffee but was actually poison. The peculiar scent made Mu Ssang feel anxious.
Yirgacheffe coffee beans were an important commercial crop in Novatopia. On the Ennedi plateau, a big-scale farm was being constructed. As the owner of Novatopia, he had to take a special interest in it. Mu Ssang covered the mug with both hands and inhaled the coffee’s scent.
“Hmm. Edel’s quite talented.”
Mu Ssang’s faculty of smell was not as developed as a dog’s but better than a tiger’s. He could tell apart minuscule molecules. A soft and thick scent, without any deterrents, regaled the olfactory organs and filled his lungs. The scent, after filling up his lungs, emanated to the rest of his body. It smelled like a mixture of acacia flowers and lavender leaves.
He held a mouthful in his mouth then swallowed. Afwerki had told him that is the proper way to appreciate coffee’s scent.
“What is this?”
Mu Ssang firmly closed his eyes. He felt as though there was a breeze in his mouth. His entire body trembled. The tenderness of the Mediterranean sea, with its calm waves, wafted in. He could hear the owl’s hoot in a mountain in his hometown. He could see the windflower in front of his father’s grave. The touching scent was Hae Young’s pheromone, the sweet sourness was Edel’s fragrance.
Mu Ssang felt his eyes welling up with some hot tears. How could one incorporate such sophisticated flavors and scents in a cup of coffee? This was extraordinary. Maybe this crop would prove more successful than the oil itself. As he was expecting a cup of poison with a burnt bitterness and sourness, he was even more surprised.
“Samdi, this is the best coffee I’ve had in my life. This wasn’t coffee but life itself. The embodiment of happiness and love. Please relay my gratitude to Edel.”
Mu Ssang’s voice wavered. It was not just the barista’s skill that allowed this to happen. This coffee was made with heartfelt feelings.
“I will relay your exact words. I am scared Miss Edel would die of joy.”
Samdi’s mouth was stretched wide in a smile. He would not be as happy if he himself was complimented. Samdi, about to exit the doorway, added.
“Master, Miss Edel says that it is not proper to let a guest from a distant place leave without some souvenirs.”
“This is my chance!”
Margerie, who was absentmindedly looking down at his coffee mug, brightened up. The mistress gave him a chance to continue the talk when it had fizzled to a halt. He started to speak while holding the coffee mug.
“The mistress is a great barista. I have never tasted such great coffee either. There may be many pretty women but few beauties. There may be some smart women but few wise ones. There may be many women who can cook but few who know how to brew coffee properly. Today, I had the luck of encountering a wise beauty who also knows how to brew coffee. I envy you! Mr. Gulbeig has all the luck in the world.”
Mu Ssang smiled slightly. Margerie’s words reminded him of his father who would praise his mother for being the perfect wife just because she made good rice wine. What Samdi said thawed the frozen ambiance.
“Thank you for your compliment. I usually never go back on my decision but Edel is making that hard today.”
Mu Ssang sipped his coffee and continued.
“A negotiation begins with mutual trust. That is already lost but I will voice my thoughts considering that you journeyed here to the Sahara desert. The amount of investment you calculated assumed that the traditional vertical drilling would prove difficult in Doba and factored in the horizontal drilling and hydraulic crushing. Samaria is an erupting oil well that is not easily found except for some in Maracaibo. The yield will be great. The prospect of production is P1, or rather, 100 percent. By my calculation, the development cost is 300,000,000 dollars. Even with conservative calculation, the extractable reserve is 5,000,000 barrels and 10,000,000 barrels with optimistic calculation. In my eyes, you are a thug that seeks to invest 300,000,000 dollars to gobble up 77,500,000,000 dollars. Am I wrong?”
At his blunt criticism, Ariba pressed his forehead and a deep frown appeared on Margerie’s wrinkled face. He had tried to trick someone who figured out the state of the oil field and the future procedures.
Sbard Gulbeig was not a name wasted on him. Bonipas’ warning, that he should not taunt him, pelted the back of Margerie’s mind. Margerie was filled with greed up to his neck, but he also knew when to back out.
Even though it was a small country, Mu Ssang was its monarch. He must have been sure of himself to come to the negotiation table even though he had powerful subordinates to send on his behalf. He needed to back down now. He admitted his defeat.
“I am sorry. I underestimated Mr. Gulbeig. I apologize.”
Margerie stood up and bowed as Asians do. Mu Ssang stared at him then nodded.
“I accept your apology.”
“Would you call your accountant?”
“I will!”
Mu Ssang pressed down on the interphone and called in the accountant. Margerie asked him a few questions and opened his mouth.
“Total will take care of the probing and development of the oil field. Total is willing to offer 300,000,000 dollars per one percent of the share of the Doba oil field. That is, for 50 percent of the share, 15,000,000,000 dollars. How about it? The payment will be divided over 10 years. It will depend on the daily production rate, but for ten years, Mr. Gulbeig will make at least 30,000,000,000 dollars including the oil sales and the payment for the share.”
Margerie mentioned numbers that were incomparable to his first offer and smiled. Only a major oil corporation could mention a number like 30,000,000,000 dollars.
“Are you impressed? Bite the bait! Deep inside your throat!”
His glinting eyes scrutinized the face of Mu Ssang who was considering the offer. Across the globe, erupting oil wells are a rarity now. The oil well in Doba appeared like a comet at the end of the 20th century. Its value was unable to be estimated. The development cost was significantly less and it was certainly a large oil field with 10,000,000,000 barrels of extractable oil.
The largest oil field in the world, Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, coughed up 500,000,000 barrels of oil each day. Taking into account LNG and sulfuric gas, Aramco made 200,000,000 dollars per day. One single oil field made an astronomical amount of 73,000,000,000 dollars. Such was the power of oil.
It was not just that. Oil wells eventually dried up and oil prices rose. If the prices were doubled, the Ghawar oil field would have made an astronomical amount of oil money that amounts to 140,000,000,000 dollars.
If the Doba oil field yielded 1,000,000 barrels per day, including LNG, it amounted to a daily revenue of more than 40,000,000 dollars. With an annual revenue of 14,600,000,000 dollars, in 50 years, it amounted to 730,000,000,000 dollars. Compared to that, the 15,000,000,000 dollars paid to Gulbeig over 10 years was nothing.
‘What, 30,000,000,000 dollars?’
Even if Mu Ssang was experienced in such matters, he was momentarily dazed at the number. In Korean won, 30,000,000,000 dollars was 26,000,000,000,000 won. A Korean banknote was 0.11 millimeters thick. If the 26,000,000,000,000 won was stacked up in 10,000-won bills, it reached 286,000 meters. That was 32 times taller than Mount Everest. It was not a realistic amount.
When he worked as an assistant waiter in a nightclub, he got 5,000 won as a tip. When he mined coal, risking his life, he got 43,000 won. As he completed tasks as a mercenary, he touched six figures, but never eleven figures.
The entire export amount of South Korea in 1984 was 29,200,000,000 dollars. A single oil company could wield an amount higher than an entire country’s export. Mu Ssang witnessed the power of oil and sighed at Korea’s status in the global market.
Even though he was shocked, now he needed to calculate properly. Margerie initially offered 5,000,000,000 dollars for 50 percent of the share. The amount rose sixfold and the oil revenue of ten years later was added on top of it.
“Could you wield that amount of money?”
Mu Ssang, having finished his own calculations, asked calmly.
“Oil development is a gamble anyway. This time, the prospect of winning was the highest I’ve ever seen. The initial cost is a lot but as an apology for my impertinence, I am willing to take some loss.”
Mu Ssang smiled bitterly at Margerie’s faux magnanimity. Some spinsters were not interested in marriage. Some old people did not care to live longer. But there was never any merchant who would take any loss..
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