Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 502

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“This is the first time someone has told me he will become my follower.” Mu Ssang giggled.
“I am in love with Waki; as well. I will willingly be your follower. I am your responsibility now,” Professor Mulsoli added.
‘What did I ever do?’
Mu Ssang looked at Professor Mulsoli as if he had just been struck by an ox’s horns. Bonipas was responsible for all of the people here, not him.
‘They have finally come to their senses!’
Ombuti smiled, satisfied. Even the lofty professors from grandes écoles sought to serve Mu Ssang. It pleased Ombuti. Ombuti believed that a boss and a subordinate acted like one being. The boss’ performance depended upon the capacity of their subordinates. That was his odd belief. The more intelligent his subordinates, the brighter the boss shined.
“Wait for a second!”
Ombuti stood abruptly.
“May I have all of your attention, please. The brothers and sisters who sat here are of different ethnicities and peoples but have one common point: We are all graced by Wakil. I, as well, was saved many times thanks to Wakil’s grace and could avenge my wife and daughter. Sean and Jamal were reckless daredevils who opposed Wakil but now are our brothers, spared by Wakil’s mercy. Bakri, Mohammad, Ahmmad, Aishe, Ibrahim, Nejema, and Afwerki were all saved by Wakil when they faced extermination with their entire people. Even Dino is saved by Wakil. What did you do for Wakir?”
The crowd went silent for a while. Bakri stood, holding the hem of his baggy tobe in his hand.
“I met Wakil who was wearing a tobe and keffiyeh on a foggy lakeshore. I was wary but my six-year-old daughter was friendly to him, as if he were family. A pure soul had recognized a great soul. Wakil noticed Wael’s postnatal deformity and fixed it on the spot. Wakil had invested his precious time and effort for a stranger’s daughter.”
Bakri stopped talking and looked around at his audience. A solemn ambiance descended upon the round table. Sun WooHyun reminisced about the people in his past. Orifice reminisced about the time Dubaiburupa appeared like a scene in the bible. They nodded. They understood the psychological shock Bakri must have experienced.
“Wakil, without expecting anything in return, healed my young daughter and avenged my son. He led hundreds of my people and escaped Syria without a single casualty. Wakil always gave and never expected anything in return. ‘The paths of our fate crossed. It’s just that. Please live happily with your daughter.’ He said such words and left us. I still reminisce about that every day. Wakil, to his great burden, developed Novatopia for unfortunate people to live in. Throughout human history, no other god showed acting mercy like Wakil. They preached to us, ‘Even pain is God’s benevolence.’ That was empty consolation and hypocrisy. If God’s benevolence means my children would be drawn up and killed without any reason, that my hard-earned assets would be taken from me, and my wife would be defiled, I deny such a God.”
Bakri inhaled and adjusted his clothes.
“Wakil, you graced us with great mercy yet we couldn’t pay it back at all. I am ashamed. Wakil, you are the master of me and the people of the Jadir family.”
Bakri bowed solemnly and sat down.
‘This is making me feel awkward.’
Mu Ssang shuddered at the over the top flattery. He saved Bakri’s people and the Kurds purely on a whim. It took considerable time and energy on his part but Bakri also helped him with the operation.
“As Brother Bakri said, we attempted to pay back Wakil’s grace but we only became his burden and trouble. This is because we hadn’t exercised our capacities in an organized and unified manner. Today, even the three lofty professors willingly decided to serve Wakil. We consider ourselves to be serving Wakil but private relations are not suited for nation-building. I, the Aklan crew, seek to serve Wakil as the master of my soul. What do you think?”
Ombuti looked around at the audience with his penetrating eyes. He was old but his upright posture and clear voice were worthy of the title of Tuareg nobility.
The audience was silent.
“What is the master of one’s soul?”
Orifice asked Ibrahim who was sitting next to him.
“It is a covenant that is traditional to the tribes of the Sahara and the desert tribes of Southwestern Asia. One devotes one’s and one’s family’s life and everything to one’s master. It is valid even after death so if one’s body perishes, one’s soul serves the master.”
Orifice was very surprised. When he heard that it is valid even after death, he was taken aback. It was slavery, without any rights but a load of duties.
“What happened to the god of your religion?”
“One’s soul master is incarnate in the world. No other God would be able to mesmerize me as he does.”
Ibrahim lowered his voice.
“Can that be?” Orifice hesitated. It was not a joke. Even his descendants risked being bound by a slavery contract. On the other hand, he thought maybe it is not too bad. A god’s role is to be someone a human can rely upon. People believed in formless gods. There was no reason for him to not believe in an incarnate god.
“I would accept him as my soul’s master willingly. If it were not for him, I would have become a skeleton long ago.”
When Jamal said this as if it was a matter of fact, many followed. The Kurds, including Ibrahim, complained that this due ritual has been postponed for way too long.
“How about you, the three professors?”
“We are for it. I have lived many years and I don’t mind a slave contract. What a diverse life. Isn’t it so, buddy?” Orifice asked, seeking Shernion and Mulsoli’s approval.
“They said you are bound to serve even after death…”
Shernion did not finish his sentence. He was a devout Catholic. He needed to enter the pearly gates after death. If he had to serve Dubaiburupa, that plan was interrupted.
“When we listen to the lectures of the Catholic fathers, heaven is not quite fun. No cars, no slot machines, no hot women, no tequila. Wouldn’t you prefer a fun hell than a boring heaven?”
“You have a point, however…”
“Think carefully. It would be so tedious to listen to the harp-strumming angels in an all-white palace. There is no Novatopia there. We are having so much fun even now. The afterlife with Dubaiburupa is going to be so much more fun.”
“That is right!”
Shernion was convinced by the words “Novatopia” and “a diverse life”. He had left his school because of its tedious routine. If he ever returned to a life full of routine, he was going to lose his mind.
“All my friends seem to be hanging out with Dubaiburupa. I was so bored in Doba. I don’t want to feel left out.”
Mulsoli nodded with a resolute face.
“Bassel, please bring us a big bowl.”
At Ombuti’s shout, Bassel brought a salad bowl. The glass bowl the size of a chamber pot was placed in front of Ombuti. Ombuti took out Tasenzoter from his pocket.
‘What bizarre show is he going to perform?’ Mu Ssang started to feel anxious. He was acclimatized to most instances of culture shocks but he was still wary of Ombuti’s impulsivity and Edel’s cooking. The occasional shows Ombuti performed were especially unbearable.
“Tasenzoter Ariamma Junge Dubaiburupa!”
Ombuti recited a spell and slashed his forearm with Tasenzoter. Fresh blood erupted like a fountain from the slashed flesh. Ombuti did not bat an eye and poured his blood into the bowl then staunched the bleeding. He then handed Tasenzoter to Bakri.
‘He is overdoing it again!’ Mu Ssang screamed internally. He had tasted enough blood on battlefields. Mohammad, Ibrahim, Aishe followed suit and poured their blood into the bowl. Lastly, Sun WooHyun, with the most reluctant face, buried the blade into his forearm. The salad bowl holding blood instead of the usual vegetables looked grotesque.
Orifice and Shernion’s faces paled. They did not expect such a gruesome ritual to be performed. Professor Mulsoli averted her gaze with a face that was on the verge of screaming.
When his turn came, Orifice closed his eyes firmly. He did not dare to let the blade slash his forearm.
“Don’t worry. It’s already done.”
Ahmmad whispered.
“What? Is it already done?”
Orifice opened his eyes. Ahmmad was holding Tasenzoter dripping with blood and his left forearm was bleeding into the bowl. Ahmmad, with his wide grin, looked like a homicidal maniac.
Sheltered in his comfortable life in the lab, Orifice never was once stabbed by a needle. Orifice’s eyes became all white, his face paled, and his body drooped. These were symptoms of anaphylaxis to excessive stimuli.
‘A rolling stone gathers no moss!’
Mu Ssang wanted to applaud. Ahmmad had used the secret art of Mamluk Circassians to block Orifice’s pain nerves then slashed his muscles. His surreptitious and rapid maneuver was a sight to behold. Sun WooHyun’s rank was going to drop further.
“Huh. It seems he is not as bold as he is smart.”
Ahmmad moved unconscious Orifice to a sofa. Professor Shernion boldly drew his own blood. For Professor Mulsoli, Ahmmad stabbed her fingertip with the tip of the blade to draw a small amount of blood. Including Professor Giz, who arrived late, a total of 15 people drew their blood. Ombuti held the bowl in which blood was sloshing and stood in front of Mu Ssang.
“Great Dubaiburupa, our lord. Here, your loyal servants have willingly gathered their souls. The ones that drew the blood of solemn promise would always, alive or dead, serve one master. They will worship no one else but their master. Long live, Dubaiburupa!”
“We pledge our allegiance. Long live, our master Dubaiburupa!”
Their roar shook the entire Yoa House.
‘Am I supposed to drink all of that?’
Mu Ssang, holding the glass bowl reeking of blood, grimaced. It was not like they were in a blood donation van but they nevertheless had drawn so much blood. The amount of blood from 15 people could easily fill a gourd bowl. He could drink it if he had to but he did not want to. Ombuti pressured him with his firm gaze. It was going to be a joking matter for a long time if he chickened out.
‘Let’s get it over with!’
Mu Ssang held the bowl and gulped down the blood, forcing himself to think he is drinking some cola. When he was about halfway done, his head started to ring.
“What is this?”
Mu Ssang put down the bowl he was drinking from. He held his breath. Someone was sending him an intent but he could not figure out what it was. He had once received a telepathic message like that from Kamuge in the jungle of Ituri.
One’s telepathy has their own wavelength. It was not Kamuge’s. Perhaps due to the distance, the waves following the ringing were too weak. He discerned some kind of intent asking for help but could not figure it out further. The feeble waves soon faltered.
‘They will contact me again if they need to.’
Mu Ssang, as always, shrugged it off. He was busy handling the crowd bowing before him.
“First, straighten yourselves up. The elderly shall not overwork their backs which are already frail. Even before the ritual, we were one family. It doesn’t change a thing if you consider me a friend or a master. What matters is fraternity and trust. Those things are mutual, not one-way. You should drink this too. I would mix my blood in here but my blood is poisonous.”
“Master, you speak rightfully. You shall spit in it then.”
‘Spit in it?’
At what Ombuti said, Mu Ssang, shocked, looked around at the crowd. No one seemed to question the suggestion. They seemed like they were going to mutiny if he refused. He was perplexed but there was no alternative. If he refused to spit, Ombuti would then ask him to urinate.
Black Culture each took one sip of the blood with Mu Ssang’s spit mixed in. The desert tribes drink camel urine when they did not have enough water. They do not have qualms about drinking spit or urine. Professor Giz also took a sip of the blood-spit.
It was a great reward for Mu Ssang’s entourage. The epidium in Mu Ssang’s blood acted as a hormone that greatly boosted one’s immunity. They were now able to keep most diseases at bay.
“You are in a pickle. I am not a good master. I may even be an evil one. Instead of luxuries, expect to be worked until you die. I will promise one thing. I will always be standing in front of you.”
“We will be your stepping stone.”
“Great. A master shall gift something to his servants on a day like this. Let’s call it a day with the briefing first. Don’t worry about electricity. The French government gifted us an 800-MWp heavy-oil thermal power station. The construction will be done in 14 months. The groundbreaking will take place early next month. The electricity that we need now will be provided by wind turbines and solar panels that will be expansively installed. You shall endure inconveniences for only two or three months.”
“Oh! Merciful France! I am sure Master would have paid them something comparable to their mercy, though.”
At Mohammad’s words, everyone burst out laughing. Unless they were complete fools, France had no reason to waste such money..
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