Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 528
‘Yin equals water energy?’
Mu Ssang’s worry turned into anxiety. The next word was predictable. Starting from the longevity point, Teacher always emphasized the energies of fire and water. Teacher seemed childish at times, but he retained his expertise. If one was not careful, one could easily be fooled.
“Teacher, I am still a student.”
“You! Stop being perverted. Is your wife the only woman around you? Why don’t you let Jin Soon’s sisters live with you two? Is Mina your son?”
Mu Ssang’s heart dropped. He had forgotten about Mina, who was in Mu Ho’s house because the adoption process didn’t proceed properly. She was abandoned by her father who killed her mother and left her orphaned. She would call Mu Ssang “Daddy!” and cling to his back like a baby koala. And he had almost forgotten about her.
“I promised her that I would come see her when she enters elementary school,” Mu Ssang muttered weakly.
His heart ached when he thought about the girl who would be waiting for him dearly. He paid the wife of Mu Ho a great amount for the expenses but that did not ensure that they would take care of her properly. To quench the fires overseas, he ignored the fire nearby.
There was also Jin Soon and her four sisters. The elder three were going to college in Daegu. There were a lot of rooms so they did not really need to rent a room or stay in a dormitory.
“I visited her this spring. She was energetic but her face showed otherwise. I shouldn’t really be doing your errands at this age. My fate is quite sad too,” added Monk Dae Woo, after glancing at crestfallen Mu Ssang. Mina doesn’t really have anything common with him. He took her in because of pity.
It was great that a high school student took in an orphan and worked hard to make ends meet. Sunlight falls evenly on the ground but blades of grass are of different lengths. Depraved monks chanting non-attachment all day did not amount to one high school student’s action.
“Phew! I had forgotten about her.” Mu Ssang heaved a deep sigh.
“Haha! That’s why you are low grade. Even though you attempt to judge and fix the world, you still need me to function as a proper human. Do you get it?”
“I know. The rice grains you dropped are more than the whole bowls of rice I ate. I will take in Mina right away. I will let Jin Soon’s four sisters stay here too.”
Mu Ssang smiled widely. The more Teacher cares about the world, the later he will leave it. It was a good happenstance. He even thought of making careless mistakes just for the sake of that.
“You shall. Isn’t the back garden quite vast?”
“It is. I shall build an orphanage when the time comes.”
“That is quite auspicious. As you wipe someone’s tears, you are wiping yours too.”
Monk Dae Woo’s expression softened like a spring breeze.
“When do the guests arrive?”
“Jin Soon will come tomorrow morning and the foreigners will arrive the day after tomorrow.”
“What? Jin Soon is coming tomorrow? I was thinking of eating some of her noodles in cold soybean soup but I guess I won’t be able to today.”
“Should I call her now?”
“Don’t. She is working as a nurse. I don’t think you called me, who is quite busy, just to brag. Why did you call me?” Monk Dae Woo drawled and glared at Mu Ssang. He was pressuring Mu Ssang to own up.
“Haha. To be honest, I have quite a hassle that I would like for you to deal with.”
“Eh? Do you have a hassle you can’t deal with? I find that quite unbelievable.”
Monk Dae Woo’s eyes widened. What could prove to be a hassle for Mu Ssang? Money resolves most issues in this world. Power is above money. Violence is above power. If Mu Ssang took offense, he could butcher even the president. What would be a hassle for him?
“To be honest, there is an orphanage called In Ae Won run by Priest Bumwoo…”
Mu Ssang briefly explained the scheme of Abe and his Yamanashi collection, along with Abe’s intention to burn the children to death in In Ae Won.
“That is quite auspicious. I had expected as much but for such a complex thing to happen, I am quite dumbstruck. With your temper, you wouldn’t have spared their lives, would you?”
Monk Dae Woo firmly gazed at Mu Ssang. It was a gaze of blame, asking if he killed them.
“They just plotted it. If we jail them, it would take people’s taxes to feed and clothe them. I sent them off to Novatopia to work. They will need to plant trees in the desert until they die.”
“You did great. They are human-faced beasts but if you are not on a battlefield, you shall not kill. So, you are saying it is difficult for you to move the Yamanashi collection.”
“Yes. The curfew is lifted but considering the zeitgeist, I would like to minimize needless conflicts.”
“Hmm. You have become quite human. Haha!”
Monk Dae Woo giggled. Kamdoong was confused.
“Teacher, Eastern Swordsman is originally human. It is nonsensical to say he became human.”
The wild-spinach staff landed on Kamdoong’s glossy scalp.
“You haven’t become sufficiently human, considering your needless words. Shall I extend your disciplinary period?”
“No! Great Teacher! It is all my fault!”
Kamdoong, startled, knelt and held the pant leg of Monk Dae Woo. Just thinking about the soul-binding Restraining Headpiece was shudder-inducing.
“You, leave it be, lest you tear my expensive leather pants. Why did you even think to budge in when two adults are speaking.”
“I will be careful.”
Kamdoong was completely resigned.
“Let’s look at the cellar first. To move valuable things, we must set specific coordinates.”
“Yes. Let’s go.”
Kamdoong, following them from a distance, changed form. Gonggong changed into a black leopard.
‘Teacher is quite harsh. Am I his only victim?’ Kamdoong complained internally.
After having his skull hit many times, his brain seemed to have become frozen. Kamdoong felt more comfortable in his original form than a humanoid form. A large black leopard followed Mu Ssang as it shook its tail.
“Huh. It’s quite a field!” Mu Ssang exclaimed.
The basement built under the foundation of the main house was about 660 square meters wide. The wide space was filled with only homeostatic devices, a generator, and some tools required for training. It was otherwise empty.
“We must go down one level further.”
Mu Ssang caressed the wall. A part of it became transparent and a number pad floated up. When he entered the passcode, a machine protruded from the wall lining. After his irises and fingerprint were scanned, the floor descended.
“What is all this? Did Korea have such technology?”
“I called a French engineer to build this. It took quite some money.”
The elevator stopped. A dark steel door opened and an empty space appeared. When he caressed the wall surface, the lights were turned on one after another.
“The first underground floor is a normal basement. Here, we are at 20 meters below the surface. I designed it as a bunker initially but now I will use this space as storage for cultural artifacts.”
Mu Ssang skipped details such as Bonipas’s help and the use of Gongjinpa. Teacher could discern the true nature of the phenomena.
“I smell gunpowder.” Kamdoong sniffed.
“Your nose is quite good. Is that because you are a leopard?”
Mu Ssang stroked the wall and it opened. The various weaponry inside the wall emitted a chilly sheen. Two Dragunovs, five MP5sd3s, five Glocks, Minimi light machine gun, grenade launchers, M2 heavy machine gun, stacks of ammo and combat uniforms, a massive whip…
“What is all this? Are you planning a coup?”
Monk Dae Woo opened his mouth wide. Korea has one of the most strict gun laws in the world. Even a hunting rifle requires a permit that is hard to get. When it is not hunting season, it must be turned in to the police. A sniping rifle and a heavy machine gun were outrageous.
“Great preparation prevails, doesn’t it?” Mu Ssang answered indifferently.
To be honest, he wanted to quote Agrippina. He had no intent to open fire in his home country but Korea was America’s alley. Should a conflict arise, he was not going to go down without a fight.
“Huh! You don’t trust the government.”
“I can’t. They are traitors who leaked nuclear and missile technologies in order to gain recognition for their regime. I have a tricky relationship with America. I have finished things on good terms but you don’t know what will happen in this world.”
Monk Dae Woo sighed deeply. Mu Ssang was not the type to attack first but he was also not the type to show mercy if someone touched his family. A fight between a dictator who razed a city with the military and his student, a one-man legion, would prove disastrous. A sigh escaped his mouth.
“Friend, that whip smells like it came from my world.”
Kamdoong pointed at Vajra.
“That’s for sure. It is made from the tendons of a Bossaurus.”
Mu Ssang picked up Vajra. A massive whip drew a circle in the empty space. When it surpassed the speed of sound, it hit the wall, leaving a deep mark on it.
“Huh. That is at least half a foot thick!” Monk Dae Woo exclaimed. He was well aware of his student’s power but the thickness of the iron wall was impressive.
“The outer wall is 1,000-millimeter of concrete and the inner wall is 200-millimeter thick semi-hard iron. Even a bunker buster cannot infiltrate it.”
“Is there a need for such a measure?”
“You already know this. The genetically modified bionic weapon developed by Americans in Area 51 is frightfully powerful. A Predator’s combat strength surpasses that of a tank or a fighter jet. If they send humanoid Predators…”
Mu Ssang shook his head slowly. He needed a substantial defence to deter the humanoid Grendel or psychic Haunters that he defeated in Ounianga.
“Hmm. It is indeed your business. You brought me here for me to move the entire Yamanashi collection.”
Monk Dae Woo changed the topic. Mu Ssang could handle his own business. Monk Dae Woo had already transcended mundane matters. It was not prudent for him to interfere.
“Yes. Please move them to the display shelves.”
“Will you pay me?”
“I will give you Gamulchi.”
“You are swimming in money and choose to be stingy to your own teacher?”
“I will buy you a widescreen television set.”
“Hmm. After you.”
That evening, in the area around the mountain in front of Mu Ssang’s house, a light earthquake of the magnitude of three was felt. The 2,570 items in the basement of In Ae Won, belonging to the Yamanashi collection, 360 kilograms of gold, and the display shelves were teleported to the storage space in the basement of Eungsim-je in Bulro district.
The fruit of the zombie labor of the Sun family, 60 books indexing the cultural artifacts, along with the list of sympathizers to Japanese colonialism, were moved as well. In the books, 30 items of Japan’s national treasures were identified.
The next morning, the ever-tranquil entrance of Eungsim-je became bustling and vibrant. Six women got off a taxi. They looked at each other. They thought the taxi driver brought them to a wrong destination.
The vast building filling the field of view, Hong Ye Mun, and the pavilion sitting on a stone foundation were reminiscent of a front gate of a palace. The tall granite wall seemed to stretch infinitely. They came for a housewarming party, not for a walk around a traditional palace. Jin Soon’s eyes widened too. She had heard Mu Ssang talk about it several times, but a picture was indeed worth a thousand words.
“Jin Soon, is this the right location?”
Yeon Soon looked back at Jin Soon with incredulous eyes.
“It is indeed Mu Ssang’s house.”
“Shall we ask him?”
Gye Soon pointed at the old foreign man standing upright in front of the front gate. It was quite odd for him to suit up with a bow tie in this hot weather but there was no one else they could ask.
“Welcome, Jin Soon and her family.”
The Arab old gentleman bowed deeply. It was Ali Jadir, the father of Bakri Jadir. Hearing his fluent Korean, the Hadong family’s eyes widened.
“He knows us!”
“It really is Mu Ssang’s house!”
“What is happening?”
Ha Dong Daek and her sisters opened their mouths wide.
“Hello. Who would you be?”
Jin Soon asked.
“It is pleasure to meet you. I am Dubai’s butler, Ali Bakri. Call me Ali.”
“How can I? You are my senior.”
“You, Jin Soon can.”
Ali grinned. Ali spent his younger years as a butler to a Jordanian aristocrat. From Wakil’s words, he had guessed that the young lady in front of him was going to be his queen.
“Please come in.”
The vast doors opened.
“Whoa!” They exclaimed.
The lawn was as wide as a soccer field. Clear creek water flowed along the stone waterway. A lush bamboo forest shivered in the wind. A knee-tall stone foundation supported a picturesque, vast traditional Korean house. The view before them was worthy of being featured on a postcard.
“Jin Soon, what has happened?”
Ha Dong Daek looked back at Jin Soon.
“I am not quite sure either. Mu Ssang said it is as wide as a soccer field and it indeed is!”
“There he is.”
“I see the monk grandpa too.”
The sisters swarmed to Monk Dae Woo and Mu Ssang.
“Mu Ssang, we are here.”
Ou Soon jumped and wrapped her legs around Mu Ssang’s waist and clung there like a cicada. Had he not trained his lower body, he was surely going to fall backward.
“Look at her act up.”
Ha Dong Daek scolded her but Ou Soon did not bat an eye.
“Hello, monk grandpa!”
“Oh, the beauties are here!”
Monk Dae Woo grinned widely but was ignored right away. The young women focused their attention on Mu Ssang.
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“Mu Ssang, you must be a ghost, right?”
“Mu Ssang, there must be a djinn in your ring.”
“No, there must be a magic lamp somewhere.”
“Is this really your house?”
Mu Ssang was feeling overwhelmed. It would be easier to handle voodoo zealots than to listen to the babble of the sisters. Jin Soon’s face was not so bright, unlike her sisters. Each brick and each tile must have cost Mu Ssang his hard-earned money..