Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 530

Prev Chapter Next Chapter

When you have a daughter, you are bound to worry. You worry that she will be catcalled in the streets. You also worry that she won’t be attractive enough for that. If Mu Ssang lives together with them, it would be extremely assuring but it was also too great a favor to ask.
Thanks to Mu Ssang, her five daughters could study without worrying about money. She could not possibly ask for lodging as well. Ha Dong Daek hesitated between her love for her daughters and her face of honor.
“What should I do?”
Ha Dong Daek looked at Jin Soon. Her eldest daughter was an adult now. She had been for quite some time. She has always been clever since she was a child and after college, she was perhaps a hundred times smarter and clear-headed than her own mother. Ha Dong Daek found herself relying on her eldest daughter to handle things.
“Leave it be. Mu Ssang will take care of everything. If he lives with you, you don’t have to worry about anything.”
Jin Soon was nonchalant. She did not see any problems at all.
“Hey, there is a thing called face. It is not even one or two people. How can I let him take care of all of you five? Since your father died, Mu Ssang has been helping us tremendously. I only fed him with cold leftover rice. This is too great of a favor for him to return.”
Ha Dong Daek reminisced about the past days in which she relied on Mu Ssang. She suddenly felt a wave of emotions. Ha Dong Daek lifted her apron and blew her nose with it.
“We can just do as Mu Ssang said. Yeon Soon is 23 and Gye Soon is 21. Mal Soon is 19. They are quite adept at chores. For the maintenance of this vast house, we needed people anyway.”
“Yeah, my daughters are quite adept housewives. Still, it doesn’t feel right to keep receiving things without giving.”
Ha Dong Daek shed her guilt. She excused herself by saying that it is late to tell off her daughters.
“Auntie, do as told. You are already one big family. Family doesn’t operate on such objective terms. Life is an interwoven fabric of relations. It is good for Mu Ssang as well. Rely on the light of the infinite one!” Monk Dae Woo blurted out.
“Yeah, I will follow what you said, Monk. I will have my daughters move in right away.”
Ha Dong Daek answered unconsciously. Thanks to the monk’s words, her uneasiness vanished at once.
“You should move in too and take care of Mu Ssang’s meals. Aren’t you sick of Jip-eun Dari?”
Ha Dong Daek shook her head.
“You are better at tending to Mu Ssang than me. I have been a farmer my whole life. This kind of luxurious house intimidates me. I will wait for Mu Ssang’s mother in Jip-eun Dari. If you are well, I am well too.”
Ha Dong Daek’s words were watery with emotions. Jin Soon, moved, held her hand. Black dirt under the nails, gnarly joints, dark skin clinging to the bones with barely any flesh in between. Her hands expressed the sorrow of a widow better than any words.
Those were the hands of a superwoman who raised five daughters. They were the most beautiful hands in the world. Those were humble hands, faithful hands, and kind hands.
‘Mom, Mu Ssang and your daughters know of sorrow as well. The one who knows sorrow also knows that happiness is near. Do not worry at all. I am happy living.’
Jin Soon’s tears fell on the gnarled hands of Ha Dong Daek.
Mu Ssang was not the type to procrastinate. Furniture for students was necessary. He called a truck and moved Jin Soon’s, Yeon Soon’s, and Gye Soon’s things to Eungsim-je. Thus, Eungsim-je welcomed its first tenants.
The main house, excluding Mu Ssang’s quarters, had six separate rooms. Excluding the living room, Jin Soon, Yeon Soon, and Gye Soon each picked a room and moved in. Mal Soon and Ou Soon, who also each picked a room, said they wanted to change schools and move in right away. Teenage girls, already enamored with the palatial manor, didn’t see their countryside house that smelled of excrements of cows and chickens as a house.
“F*ck. Lee Sang-han is in quite a pickle.”
Sang-han grumbled as he attached a support on his lame left leg. Because he was the only son across three generations, he was assigned to civil service but he enlisted as a career soldier claiming that was what a man was supposed to do. In fact, he was also fleeing the smell of chicken shit.
He was assigned to a scouting regiment and commuted to the Demilitarized Zone. He belonged to the so-called DMZ police. The South Korean DMZ police sometimes breached the border but the North Korean DMZ police did it routinely. Often, they just swore at each other from a distance but sometimes there was gunfire. He spent each day in blood-draining anxiety.
“F*ck. The sky is the same as before. Treacherous bastards. Lieutenant Kim, Captain Park, and Lieutenant Colonel Lee, I will sever your ankles even if I end up in hell.”
Sang-han swore. That day, when he retreated due to inferior firepower, the weather was as scorching as today. Sweat ran down one’s body even when one was standing still. He still hallucinated the gunshots, clamors, and screams. One of his colleagues stepped on a mine then he lost consciousness.
When he came to in a hospital, his entire body was wrapped in a bandage. He went through three rounds of operations to remove the shrapnel of various sizes. However, he could not keep his ankle where half of the tendons and muscles were decimated.
The doctor suggested an amputation and a prosthetic but he could not accept that. Rather than lose a limb, he chose to withstand the pain and inconvenience. He blamed the sky for the unbelievable reality but nothing could be done.
The absurd reality did not stop there. He was labeled with mutiny and disobedience. His subordinates died in the blast or were shot to death. No matter how hard he defended himself, his bosses did not budge. He needed to go home with a measly amount of compensation.
“I envy you. You have a friend.”
His wife jested as she extended him a shopping bag. Her name was Go Min-ji. They went to the same middle school. Now she was the wife of a cripple Lee Sang-han. They hurriedly got married because he was the only son across three generations. In fact, Min-ji’s stomach was bulging from an accident on the day of the alumni reunion, necessitating an early wedding.
Sang-han was dumbstruck. He fled to the military six months after their marriage. He came back a cripple. It was a miracle that Min-ji was still by his side.
“I am sorry. You must not have any spare money.”
Sang-han looked at Min-ji with embarrassment. They could barely afford the milk formula for their child. They had to shudder at buying even a measly cuckoo clock.
“It’s fine. I sold a truck of eggs yesterday. Your mother must be waiting. Go.”
Go Min-ji got him his crutch. Sang-han was a man of few words but had a great heart. She sometimes did blame him but he was still her husband whether he did well or poorly. She was glad that he had a friend who called him to such an occasion. Go Min-ji was yet another Jin Soon.
“I didn’t let the girls move in to be maids!”
Mu Ssang shook his head.
“It is a needless expense. I and the eldest three, us four can handle a hundred guests and more,” Ha Dong Daek insisted.
She did not understand why they needed to hire caterers when there were less than 100 guests.
“I know. If you hurt your back, the medical expense will be more. We are creating jobs for the caterers as well.”
“You have already spent a lot building this house. We shall save even a penny.”
Ha Dong Daek’s insistence ended with Jin Soon’s remark, as always.
“Mom, do as Mu Ssang said.”
“I see, girl. Is your mouth Mu Ssang’s?”
Ha Dong Daek hired five friends from Jip-eun Dari who were all great housewives. She promised three times the normal daily labor wage and additional transportation allowances. The five women from Jip-eun Dari came at once, leaving behind their work in the fields.
Mu Ssang’s eyes widened as he exited the front gate. A middle-aged woman and a man on a crutch — it was Lee Sang-han and his mother.
The middle-aged woman, overwhelmed by the architecture, jumped in astonishment.
“Mu Ssang!”
Sang-han’s mother hugged him tightly.
“Ma’am, is everything all right? How is Sir doing?”
“I am always fine. Sang-han’s father is busy handling the farm after half of the chickens died.”
“Ouch. That must have been a great loss.”
“It’s fine. One goes through such a thing at least once when one has a chicken farm.”
“Mom, let me see him too.”
Sang-han gently pushed his mother away.
Mu Ssang’s eyes scanned Sang-han’s crutch and leg. He had assumed that it was from another drunken fight. But it was not such a simple injury.
“Mu Ssang, your friend, always so disobedient to his own mother…”
“Mom, that’s enough. This is really nothing,” Sang-han insisted.
“You were alive!”
Sang-han, quite stout, cried in Mu Ssang’s chest. It had been seven years since his best friend decimated Kang Choon Shik and the Kkalchi gang before disappearing.
“I am sorry. I had my reasons.”
Mu Ssang was feeling emotional too. When he was cleaning the chicken shit at Sang-han’s family’s chicken farm, Hae Young and her friend Choi Min-sun came to the grape orchard to hang out. The events that happened then played before his mind’s eyes like an old film roll. The two men, who each trudged through their own eventful path, hugged and shared warmth without saying a word.
“Let’s enter first.”
“Is this your place?”
“Have you ever seen me lie?”
Mu Ssang grinned.
“Yeah. You never lie.”
Sang-han’s eyes widened as he entered the front gate.
“Whoa! This is driving me crazy.”
“You are driving me crazy. What happened to your leg?”
“F*ck. It’s a long story. Your story must be longer though.”
Old Man Ali, spotting Mu Ssang, approached them in quick steps. Sang-han’s eyes widened. A suited-up old Arab man was quite a peculiar sight to him.
“Ali, this is today’s VIP. Tend to him well.”
“Aye, I will do my best. Could you be Mr. Lee?”
Sang-han had to smother laughter at the old Arab man’s sloppy Korean pronunciation.
“Yes, I am Lee Sang-han.”
“Welcome. Lady Jin Soon ordered me to guide you to Wakil’s study.”
Ali bowed.
“Mom, let’s go.”
“I am still quite overwhelmed.”
Sang-han’s mother shook her head. For Mu Ssang to have a house larger than a Joseon aristocrats… It was quite supernatural.
“Who is that foreign old man?”
“He is my butler.”
Sang-han’s eyes followed Ali’s back. For the maintenance of this vast estate, there must be a butler. It was a certainty. He had many things to catch up with Mu Ssang. Unfortunately, Mu Ssang could spare no time.
“Wakil, Councillor Hamilton from the British embassy.”
“Wakil, Mr. Davis from California.”
“Wakil, Mr. Jang Shin from Singapore.”
Old Man Ali reported busily.
“Sang-han, get some rest. Something can be done with your leg. Don’t worry too much.”
With that, Mu Ssang went out to greet the guests.
“Huh. He has many foreign friends.”
Sang-han had hundreds of question marks whirling in his head but had no choice but to be stuck in the study.
“Sang-han, what is happening?”
“Mom, you sound too grim. This is a good thing to happen.”
Sang-han was confused as well. It was not a study but a whole other world. The beams, pillars, and rafters were made of the highest caliber pine. The window frame was made of a Chinese parasol tree. The loess wall was covered with traditional Korean paper.
A 10-meter wide wall was covered with bookshelves. The other three were open to outside with windows and doors raised to the ceiling. He felt like he was sitting in a large pavilion in the middle of a forest.
“What did Mu Ssang say about your leg?”
Sang-han’s mother’s eyes glinted.
“He was just worried about his friend.”
With that, Sang-han lay down and rested his head on a wooden pillow.
“He must have made a lot of money. It is great to see such an unfortunate boy make it.”
The antique wooden pillow had a distinctive scent. Sang-han had no idea that the very wooden pillow under his head was used by King Sejong himself.
The wide study was filled with the scent of pine and the moldy smell of books. Sang-han only knew how to use his muscles but he still has heard of a thing or two. He recognized some cultural artifacts on a national-treasure level such as the antique folding screen, cushions, tea table, and the mat on the floor. He was awestruck.
“Wakil, Lady Edel and Aklan crew are here.”
Before Old Man Ali finished his sentence, a sequence of cars arrived. The French government still treated its national treasure well. As soon as the chartered plane arrived at the airport, the waiting vehicles from the French embassy in Korea took the guests and ran down the Gyeongbu Expressway.
From the vehicles, the wise ones from Novatopia such as Orifice, Samdi and the generals, Edel, Dinofelis, Yijihana and the cooks, and various attendants swarmed out.
Read latest Chapters at Wuxia World . Site Only
Exclamations erupted. A blonde goddess, wearing hot pants and a tank top, showed herself. Various eyes gazed at the goddess ambling across the lawn toward them.
Edel, thanks to Mu Ssang’s “grace,” has had her beauty upgraded a level further. Her skin glowed as if it was powdered in gold. Her curves became more stark. Her blonde hair had a better texture and glowed in the midday sunshine beating down on the ground. Her gait, trained by Bassel, was fluid as if dancing.
“Is that a Western nine-tailed fox?”
Ha Dong Daek’s mouth was agape in awe..
Prev Chapter Next Chapter