Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 522
Not wanting to be discovered, Mu Ssang employed the One with Nature technique to slip out of there in silence.
Socrates once said that meeting a good wife was happiness, but meeting a queen-of-nagging wife will turn you into a philosopher instead. How bad must it have been for a great scholar like him to make a remark belonging to the category of ‘moral victory’?!
While slipping out of the alleyway, Mu Ssang racked his brain hard enough to nearly fry his synapses. He wanted to live a happy life and definitely did not want to end up as a philosopher. But, by failing to appease Jin-soon’s mood, he could morph from Dubaiburupa to a philosopher whether he wanted to or not.
Jin-soon was a typical example of a so-called “iron hand in a velvet glove” in both mind and body. Any man meeting Jin-soon for the first time would be surprised by her superb body and facial features, but also by her Janus-like personality.
Just staring at Jin-soon’s figure was good enough to purify one’s eyes; you’d get surprised by her round hips supported by those slender ankles, then surprised again by her voluminous chest supported by her slender waist, and then finally get surprised once more by her open and friendly face supported by her slender neck.
Jin-soon was basically a female Buddhist saint. She just could not ignore others’ hardships. She might haggle in a department store, but would never do that in traditional backstreet markets. She did not even frown or wince while taking care of the excrements of her patients too.
She considered the viewpoints of others first, and you could easily sense her kindness in every word she said—so much so that patients under her care called her the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.
Jin-soon was also broad-minded. Even if something hurt her, she would shake it off soon after. If the other party apologized first, she would forgive them right away. If her junior in school or from work called her for help, Jin-soon would head out to pay for the drinks even if it was middle of the night.
Jin-soon was tenacious and could be stubborn too. A young lady with a killer figure and a friendly face was also blessed with a nice personality. Unfortunately, such a thing was also a magnet for maggots. When those maggots dared to cross the line, the Buddhist Goddess would transform into Medusa in an instant.
A guy who could not take a hint would get his crown jewels done in by a front kick, and then a Judo throw would ensure that he kiss the ground. An armbar would then break his arm. If she were royally pissed off by him, she would even pay a visit to his lecture hall and boarding house to beat the living daylights out of the idiot.
Jin-soon was born with strong bones, and on top of that, she had the resonance wave that washed her marrows. She even learned self-defense technique too. Any men marked for death by Jin-soon would have to choose between begging for mercy or hiding until the end of their days.
From their single-digit ages, Mu Ssang and Jin-soon went through all sorts of ups and downs like a married couple. If Jin-soon knew Mu Ssang better than he knew himself, then he could also safely say that he knew her better than anyone out there.
And now, the Janus-like Jin-soon declared that she would dig in her roots like mistletoe and nag him for the rest of their lives. How scary was that?! Of course, he had no choice but to try cheering her up!
Even Lord Buddha taught his followers that one should give their partners gifts every now and then as it would make your life that much easier. Mu Ssang made his way out of the alleyway, got on his bike and hurriedly rushed back to In Ae Won.
Even the one and only Mu Ssang was a failure in the field of women.
Jin-soon was none the wiser about Mu Ssang’s brief stop-by. As for her monologue, it continued on for another thirty minutes.
Jin-soon poured out her frustrated heart through a monologue that could have been either a longing prayer or a lamentation of her fate. Once finished, she plopped down on the floor. Her throat had dried up, while her vision was becoming dark and blurry.
She gulped down the bowl of purified water resting on top of the dining table in one go.
A refreshing burp burst out of her throat as if she had downed a bowl of makgeoli (raw rice wine).
Then again, she was capable of drinking a whole pot of makgeoli by herself when she was still in high school with braids still dangling off her head, so this much was nothing.
Her parched throat had calmed down, but fatigue flooded in like an evening tide. It felt like her joints were breaking down and her melted cells were trickling out of her pores.
Jin-soon’s day was always so exhausting. She would wake up around three in the morning, then head over to Gorangol Togul-Am Buddhist monastery to fetch medicinal water. The trip back and forth took over one hour, but the rumors of the water from there being miraculous prevented her from giving up.
She then offered the ‘purified water’ and pray for her dear Mu Ssang’s safe return, before catching a quick shut-eye for a couple of hours. At around six, she would eat a quick breakfast and go to work.
A nurse’s shift changed every twelve hours. Even though the shift change occurred around seven in the morning, a low-rank ‘servant’ like her showing up at work exactly on time would result in an immediate execution by glares of the veteran nurses who worked throughout the night.
Looking after patients and getting tortured as doctors’ gopher for twelve straight hours caused dark circles to sag all the way down to her lips. Her gums would swell up, while her bloodshot eyes felt stiff and crusty as if she suffered from dry eye syndrome.
As for today… A large group of victims of food poisoning rushed in from a nearby high school without any warning whatsoever. It was so busy that she could not even eat lunch. And to make matters worse, Yeon-soon called just as Jin-soon was about to go home for the day, finally tipping her anger over the boiling point.
[Big sis, I wanted to eat buckwheat soba noodles tonight!]
Gasoline was poured on top of a seething fire. A girl who should be old enough to know better was treating her big sister like a kitchen maid.
[Did you shove down all the pocket money I gave you down a cow’s gullet or something?! Just go to a damn diner and eat whatever, will ya?!]
The stunned Yeon-soon hurriedly hung up the phone. But that only stoked Jin-soon’s anger even higher.
“What’s wrong with me?”
Some random personality had managed to devour her original one. It felt like the goddess of rage, Fury, was shaking her around by her throat. Jin-soon knew that this was an acute manic disorder caused by the serotonin hypersecretion, but she had no avenues available to release her anger.
The culprit for her manic disorder was the lack of news for the past three months, her dear Mu Ssang seemingly having disappeared without a trace. It was rather obvious where he went off to though – a hellish land full of devils.
How difficult must it be for him? He was not injured, was he? Was he eating his meals on time? Maybe he was suffering from extreme cold or heat? A minute felt like three years to her. If it were not for the old monk’s assurance that she had nothing to worry about, Jin-soon would have gone mad a long time ago.
The trio of worry, fatigue and irritation drove a young woman named Cho Jin-soon into the flames of hell. So much so that an intense need boiled in her, hoping that someone would try to get on her nerves on her way back home.
If a woman pissed her off, Jin-soon would yank and drag that poor hag by her hair. If it was a man, then she would kick his nut sack. With her preparation complete, she brazenly wandered the street. Whether it was a good thing or not, no one tried to get cute with her.
‘Even if he’s detestable, just one more time…’
And so, she ended up offering another bowl of water and prayed away.
Jin-soon pressed her face closer to the vanity mirror on the dressing table. The reflected face without any make-up looked puffy and cracking.
‘I prefer you and your fresh face, though.’
That one sentence from him made it so that she had applied a single dab of facial cream ever since.
“Sigh… Fresh, my foot! All fresh things must be kept frozen to remain fresh anyway!”
Jin-soon scooped up and smeared a lot of rejuvenating cream on her palm. Not having used makeup all too often before, she had no clue on how to do it. Like a frustrated husband painting an innocent wall with clay for no reason, she plastered her entire face with thick amounts of cream. And while trying to find her powder case, something she could not even recall when she bought, Jin-soon turned her not-that-large room upside down.
“Just where have you gone and disappeared to?”
She kicked the dressing table, and just like that, a powder case covered in dust popped out.
“Seriously! Whether it’s a man or a product, a locally made thing needs a good kicking first. Hoho!” Jin-soon smiled triumphantly before smacking her face with a powder puff. So strong was her smacking that even Mu Ssang would have been scared by it.
Since she got the party going, Jin-soon also pulled out a light pink lipstick. Her dear really liked this color.
A sigh accompanied by tears leaked out of her all on their own. The month of April with pale pink peach blossoms dancing around in the winds would always dye Mu Ssang’s face dark with longing. Despite the abuse of that viper-like Missus Jang and Baek-bu (father’s older brother), he still resolutely endured it all while waiting for his mother to come back home.
“…What’s gotten into me?! I’m not some hooker or anything, so what’s up with all this Dokkaebi trying to cross a muddy field nonsense?!”
Her own pale pink lips had never looked so unfamiliar like right now. And she found herself so pathetic for raising a fuss with a bloody lipstick in the middle of the night too. She began scribbling some words on the mirror with the lipstick.
[Mu Ssang, you’re a bad person!]
But when she finished scribbling, she realized that it was nonsense. He had never done a bad thing in his life. So, she wiped that off and wrote something else.
[Mu Ssang, you’re an idiot!]
But this was wrong, too. He was smart. Even as Missus Jang tormented him to no end, he still managed to read every single book in the primary school’s library. He always ranked number one among the students in the village’s middle school too. She wiped the mirror clean and wrote something else, again.
[Mu Ssang, you’re a busker!]
“Good. That’s so him!” Jin-soon grinned brightly. “Dear, you’re a busker, and a grumpy, mean person at that. I don’t care. I don’t care anymore! You keep getting my hopes up with all ’em words, but you soon start reciting irrelevant nonsense to change the topic, and that’s why you’re a busker.
“I don’t care anymore, you know! And you’re such a selfish person too! Grapes are so ripe that they are about to turn into wine, and the spring hiding deep in the mountainside is starting to overflow. But like Lord Buddha sitting there aloof, you have your back turned against me. That’s why you’re a meanie and selfish guy. I don’t care anymore.”
Jin-soon displayed a high-level of expertise at entertaining herself by yapping on and on. Doing so gradually calmed her heart down.
“I might go insane at this rate,” Jin-soon muttered while staring at her depressed face in the mirror.
The youth of Jin-soon, once filled with overflowing vitality, had disappeared, replaced by a Kabuki actor glaring back with bloodshot eyes.
“What am I even doing? Why am I wasting my emotions for no good reason?”
The great teacher’s words about centering her thoughts not on the outside but inside rang loudly in her head. But Mu Ssang was not outside, but on her inside. She could shake off all external matters, but what was she supposed to do about this lump buried deep inside her chest!
“Right, I’m tired, that’s why. It’s all because of stress.”
Jin-soon shook her head quickly.
To use as the offering, she had to be the very first one to draw the water from the stream. Togul-Am’s mineral water was found on the eighth ridge in the Gorangol. To be the first person there, she had to leave the house at around three in the morning. But preparing a lantern and a water bottle during the pitch-black darkness of the early dawn would always make Yeon-soon throw a fit.
She would say, “What will you do if you fall down a cliff? What would you do if you ran into a wild animal on the way?” She would also say, “Big sis, you ain’t made out of forged steel. Just get some much needed sleep, okay?”
Her intense nagging would end with, “You think Mu Ssang would be happy to learn that you’ve been doing this?” Of course, Yeon-soon was right. If the man knew, Jin-soon would have received a stern lecture.
And just like Yeon-soon said, not going to draw the water would give Jin-soon two extra hours of sleep. But knowing that her dear Mu Ssang was wandering around hellish battlefields out there, she had to do something. All she could do was pray, so how could she stop?
Jin-soon began tidying up her messy room.
“He might suddenly show up out of nowhere, after all. I mean, he always shows up or disappears like a Dokkaebi, doesn’t he? And dear also likes buckwheat soba, right? Okay! Perk up, Cho Jin-soon!”
Jin-soon stood right back up, changed to a pair of jeans and headed to the kitchen.
Mu Ssang picked up a small box containing a pair of earrings found in In Ae Won’s basement. Apparently, this pair was worn by Gwangjong’s beau, Queen Daemok. While on his way back, he managed to catch the owner of a flower shop about to close up for the day and bought a bundle of roses too.
Even though he thought this was a bit cringey, he was still prepared to do anything to satiate a starving lioness.
He remembered Edel tearing up from a box of macarons. Edel was an angel, while Jin-soon was a female Bodhisattva. The corners of Mu Ssang’s lips unconsciously curled up a little. He was beginning to act like a total thief dying of happiness, not knowing what to do with a Western beauty in one arm and an Eastern beauty in the other. The thing was, both looked and tasted so good!
A weighty baritone voice rumbled on and shook the old tile-roofed house.
‘What’s this?! Did a Dokkaebi really show up?’
Jin-soon, sagging on the floor like an auntie having to contend with birth labor the whole night long, stopped counting the patterns on the ceiling. Her breathing stopped, her ears perked up. Even if that voice was hallucinatory, she wanted to hear it one more time.
“Jin-soon! Come over here this second!”
That unhesitant, playful voice… It definitely belonged to her dear Mu Ssang. Jin-soon’s consciousness wavered in excitement just then. Lightning bolts and fireworks went off in her mind.
The sliding door was yanked open, hard. Jin-soon, now changed into a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, rushed outside barefoot.
“Haha! Nothing happened while I was gone, right?” A laughing Mu Ssang shoved the bundle of roses right in the nose of Jin-soon charging straight at him.
She was planning to jump into his arms but now, she missed the timing. Her brows quivered unhappily. She one million times preferred hugging him once over hundreds of these roses. And when she thought about it some more, this over-the-top performance was out of character for him.
If a person suddenly started doing something they did not do before, then well, there was always a good reason for that.
“Hey, you’re feeling guilty about something, aren’t you?”
Jin-soon was still Jin-soon; she expertly hid her tearfulness, armed her voice with blade-like sharpness and began stabbing at the core of the issue.
“Uh, yeah. Actually, I came back a few days ago. See, the thing was, I was trying to prepare a present, and…” Mu Ssang faltered and began mumbling away.
All ten excuses he had prepared were melting away to a puddle as tears pooling in her eyes began spilling over.
“A preseeeeent? Do I look like a thoughtless woman who wants a present from someone coming back home?” Jin-soon’s voice became icy.
“W-well, no. That’s not it, but you see, even Lord Buddha said one should give presents to his woman, so…”
Mu Ssang inadvertently recalled Jin-soon’s figure declaring her resolve in front of a bundle of mistletoe. His hand taking out the gift box suddenly began losing strength.
‘Dang it, should’ve lied and said I just arrived.’
No matter how quickly regret arrived, it was always too late.
Jin-soon continued on. “Be honest. You forgot, didn’t you?”
“Never! Never! I would never forget about such a thing!” Mu Ssang gasped in alarm and hurriedly placed the gift box in her hands, an awkward grin filling up his face. Of course he did not forget; he was simply avoiding her because of ‘that reason’ pricking his conscience.
Jin-soon’s tightly wound-up heart wavered precariously at that moment. Just what kind of a person was Mu Ssang? According to Uncle Samdi, Mu Ssang’s abilities pierced the heavens, and hundreds of thousands of people worshipped him as their king.
Despite all that, he remained as Mu Ssang from Jip-eun Dari. To Jin-soon, any presents were fine. But the greatest gift—and the only gift—she would love to have was Mu Ssang never changing and becoming someone else.
“Why don’t you open it and take a look?” Mu Ssang, still mindful of her mood, gently urged her on.
Jin-soon narrowed her eyes and leered at him. “I wonder, will some jewelry made out gold crumbs be enough to exchange for a few missing days?”
“Y-you don’t think so?” Mu Ssang’s expression became troubled. It seemed that this operation was a failure.
“I need to open and confirm something else first.” Jin-soon replied, then grabbed his hand to drag him inside the room.
Mu Ssang could not resist and was dragged inside in a fluster.
Jin-soon ordered him. “Take everything off!”
“But, uh, it’s still early in the day, though?”
“Your dad jokes aren’t funny. Take them off!”
At her icy command, the guilty Mu Ssang hesitantly took off his clothes. Taking off and chucking away the tight T-shirt revealed his sculpture-like upper torso. Jin-soon’s eyes taking in the sight became dreamy.
He did not stop there, however, and took off his pants too. While he was at it, he also took off his underwear.
Thanks to getting bitten by the Legba tarantula back in the jungles of Ituri, Mu Ssang’s junior had evolved to a higher stage. The component in the tarantula’s venom, atrax, was a malehood enhancer that surpassed even the mandragora. His horse-like member dangled out of its hiding place.
‘Oh my god?! What on earth is that now?’
Jin-soon acting high and mighty gasped out in shock. As a nurse, she had seen her fair share of male reproductive organs by now and even handled quite a few of them, but that one…! Her heart began pounding faster, while her mind grew fainter.
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Jin-soon was mistaken, though. The junior of a person she loved was always going to be different physically than that of a patient’s.
Besides, the presence given off by a docile kitten and a raging tiger was as different as heaven and earth. An equine member instantly transformed a nurse’s eyes to that of a woman’s. Her breathing quickened while blood rushed to her face until it was about to burst.
Her resolute determination to confirm whether he was injured or not using the trained eyes of a nurse crumbled to nothingness in that one moment.
“Ack?! Why did you take your underwear off?!”
Jin-soon belatedly screamed her head off..