Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 536

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Mu Ssang began tutting away. “The operative and the reporter from Le Monde went around running their mouths off, and that’s how I got to learn about it. That operation wasn’t like you, director. The standard of the operatives was fairly low too. Mitterrand must’ve lost a ton of face, so it’s unsurprising that your position is in a bit of precarious state.”
Mu Ssang had been crisscrossing the world without much rest for around five years. It was said that an uneducated maid of a saint could quote Latin with enough time. Similarly, in the past five years, Mu Ssang acquired ‘eyes’ to discern the flow of international politics as well as the ulterior motives of the higher-ups.
“You can say that we got what we deserved for getting drunk on the legendary tales of our National Treasure,” Bonipas sighed in bitterness.
Having tasted unparalleled success in the last few years, the DGSE became a bit too arrogant and complacent. The organization mistook the cheat code called Black Mamba as its own competence instead.
Also, the national security council was unenthusiastic about the idea of mobilizing Black Mamba thanks to the astronomical commission fee. A rather typical attitude of short-sighted bureaucrats that only focused on the budget before their nose, neglecting the potential returning benefits hundreds of times greater in scale.
The operation itself was simple enough: an operative would infiltrate Greenpeace as one of their own, while another operative dispatched from the intelligence division disguised as a tourist would deliver an explosive device. The operative would attach the explosive under Greenpeace’s ship then coax the rest of the members to disembark from the rigged ship.
One large “Ka-boom!” later, it would be the end of the operation.
The problem started during the process of sinking the ship and escaping from there. The operative was no Black Mamba; while wandering around the port, he ran into police officers and got into an almighty scuffle only to have his butt arrested in the end. Then, an anti-nuke reporter working for Le Monde exposed the whole thing, leaving the DGSE with little room to deny involvement or try to cover it up. Overall, the whole operation had been handled rather poorly.
The Minister of Defence took the fall and resigned, but the pressure from both domestic and foreign sources had not let up yet. Public opinion was one thing, but just as important was the head of the bureaucrats, Mitterrand, flying off his handle for not deploying Black Mamba for the job. Even though he had been the most reluctant one to hire Black Mamba in the first place, he began throwing tantrums after the operation went sideways, blaming others for making wrong decisions.
“I’m guessing you were left hanging out to dry for not deploying Black Mamba, then. Hehehe!” Mu Ssang chuckled while staring at Bonipas’s wane, exhausted complexion.
It was so obvious. No head of an organization would willingly admit to making mistakes, after all. The sacrificial lamb was already set in stone.
“It’s better this way, actually. Not only would the Angel of Death never accept such a commission, I wasn’t even thinking of requesting it in the first place, anyway. Hehehe!” Bonipas also began chuckling away.
The head of the idiot bureaucrats could only see one thing and not the whole picture. Black Mamba was not some common trash enslaved to money nor was he a marionette that came to life with a flick of a switch.
All the missions he had taken on happened to match his principles, that’s all. You’d be lucky not to get a merciless beating after asking him to bomb the ship of Greenpeace which was made up of peace-loving hippies.
“I’ve been dancing in the shadows for 35 years now. I did many unmentionable things for my country at that time. I think I’ve done all that I can,” Bonipas began muttering away.
He’d be sixty years old the day after tomorrow. People in the east called that the end of the first act to one’s life story. For the second act of his life, Bonipas wanted to be in the light and do something more ‘constructive’ for once.
If the DGSE was the shadow, then Novatopia was the light. The dynamic, pulsating nation that appeared like a mirage in the middle of the Saharan desert, Novatopia! And the man who’s building such a nation from the ground up, the invincible Eastern Swordsman blessed with luck and momentum! The combination of Novatopia, its king, and Doba’s oilfield was truly a game-changer.
No one could stop the march of a man riding on luck and momentum. In around five years, Novatopia would have finished building enough foundation to establish an independent economy of its own. Doba’s oil deposit that showed up out of nowhere would provide the necessary funds for such rapid development. What Bonipas could contribute in this situation would be to construct and strengthen the combat power of the nation.
Bonipas took out the Fang de l’abîme. “Eastern Swordsman. Before we deal with your friend’s matter, can you name my Fang first? Dapsang’s been showing off so much lately that I can’t stand it anymore.”
Mu Ssang tilted his head in confusion after receiving the dagger. The only mountain taller than Dapsang was Mount Everest.
“Do you want to be named Chomolungma [1] or something?”
“Don’t invite trouble like that! I’ve already witnessed Chomolungma earlier today. If Edel is a lady who will be loved by everyone, Jin Soon is a lady who will embrace everyone.”
Bonipas jumped up in alarm. As expected of a director of an intelligence agency, he accurately pointed out special qualities of Edel and Jin Soon in one sentence.
Mu Ssang smirked a little before focusing his mind.
Sparks flew from the Fang’s handle. The engraved letters said Chogori, which was a Balti word for a tall mountain, and it also denoted K2, just like Dapsang.
“Bonipas, you shall now receive this item, Chogori.”
“Thank you. From this moment on, Chogori will act as the member of Nova and become Novatopia’s shell.” Bonipas politely received the modified Fang with both of his hands.
“I’m sure there’s no need for a lengthy preamble between us. Your job as Chogori is to create Novatopia’s military system.”
“Yes, I’m well aware. I better put on my best poker face for a while if I want to keep my position as the director of the swimming pool.”
Mu Ssang nodded. Bonipas needed to remain in the general director’s position in order for Novatopia to get France’s stored military equipment without running into much issues. This was why working with smart people was the best.
“I promise to work you to your bones, director.”
“Well, I found a new job at my old age, so I need to pull my weight, obviously.” Bonipas grinned sheepishly. This was the first time in his life that he felt his mind so relaxed.
“Congratulations, Chogori.” Edel smiled brightly.
“Thank you, miss. But I should congratulate you instead, Miss Edel. I was informed that Yoa House was rocked by…”
The back of Bonipas’s head was suddenly struck down, causing him to kiss the floor in an instant.
“…Urk! Dino?!” Bonipas, freaked out by what happened, hurriedly clamped his mouth shut.
Dino appeared behind him without making any sound, silently shaking its front paw like a rolled-up fist. If Bonipas dared to say one more word, his skull might be bashed in. Not even the ‘dog’ among the boss’s close aides could be called ‘normal’.
“Ehehe~, serves you right!” Edel stuck her tongue out. Dino pretended to be none the wiser and stared into the distance.
“Anyways, congratulations, director. If you work hard, I’m sure you can become a true servant one of these days. Hahaha!” Doctor Giz laughed out aloud.
The ‘servant’ of Novatopia did not carry the same meaning of ‘servant’ that everyone in the world knew of. No, it was the single greatest position in existence where you got to act as Dubaiburupa’s deputy. This concept was created by none other than the supreme sovereign of raising a fuss, the demon king of going overboard — Ombuti himself.
“Bloody hell? Fine, fine. Do be kind to me once I am in a high-enough position.” Bonipas’ stiff, stubborn-looking face filled up with a warm grin.
Sang-han and his mother could only look on in silence, their eyes blinking nonstop. They couldn’t understand a single word of this conversation taking place in French. Things seemed to be progressing quite quickly here, but they couldn’t even imagine what these people were even talking about.
“Goddamn it, what are they yapping on about here? Man, this life of mine with no connections whatsoever sure sucks donkey balls!” Sang-han muttered in anxiety.
“Oppa, I think you should finish up your friend’s matter now.” Edel quickly redirected Mu Ssang’s attention.
“Yes, you’re right. Doctor Giz, I’ll ask you for this favor. This guy here is my best friend since my childhood days.”
“Your friend is my friend too. I’m the best in the field of biological electric signal linkage. You can rest easy.” Doctor Giz easily agreed to it.
“Sang-han. This old me will fix your leg now, so what are you going to do for me in return?” Mu Ssang asked in a playful manner.
Sang-han’s mother sitting a bit further away and silently listening in perked up instantly. She wanted to rush toward Mu Ssang and ask if he was being serious here, but had to stop herself. Her dumb son threatened her earlier with leaving home for good if she even dared to open her mouth, after all! Her innards began drying up from anxiety.
“Mom, you should come closer, too.”
“O-of course!” Sang-han’s mother listening closely rushed in like a lightning streak.
“I’ve always been your underling since our school days, no? What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is also mine, right? Besides all that, can you really fix my leg?” Sang-han’s voice trembled as he asked.
Mu Ssang suddenly grabbed Sang-han’s leg. “There’s a lot more to this world than meets the eye, bro. Anyways, this will hurt a bit. Hold on.”
The resonance wave was injected into the leg. All the osseous tissues corroded by the inflammation began to break down as if sandpaper was grinding them down.
The resonance wave seeping into the tissue rocked the cells to reawaken their dormant vitality.
The stenosed capillary vessels were revived, and the mitochondria began to get active once more. With this, Sang-han’s osteoblasts should start regenerating his bones. The passage of time should take care of the rest.
Mu Ssang changed the flow of his energy from ‘pushing’ to ‘pulling’ and began running his palm across Sang-han’s calf, shin and femoral region. All the small shrapnel still embedded in the bones and muscles got sucked out by the inhalation wave.
“Keugh!” Sang-han clenched his teeth.
Skin on various parts of his leg tore open and blood began dripping down. Mu Ssang took his hand away, prompting Edel on standby to quickly wipe the bloodied leg with gauze and disinfect it. Sang-han’s mother, shocked by this unexpected development, sucked in a deep breath.
Mu Ssang opened his palm. The eyes of Doctor Giz and Bonipas widened in surprise. Dozens of tiny metallic debris resembling sesame seeds stuck tumbled to the floor from his open hand. This sight was more or less familiar to Edel, but it wasn’t to Bonipas and Giz, and they couldn’t hide their shock.
Bonipas muttered in amazement. “Yet another one of boss’s miracles, huh?”
“S-Ssang-ah? Wha, what is all this?” Sang-han’s mother asked, her eyes threatening to pop out of their sockets.
“They are tiny shrapnel still embedded in Sang-han’s flesh and bone, mother. Because of these things, Sang-han must’ve been in a lot of pain until now.”
“Oh my, you dummy of my son! Why didn’t you say anything!” Sang-han’s mother held her son and broke down in tears.
Just how excruciating the pain must’ve been, what with all these abominable shrapnel buried in his flesh? She couldn’t hold it in anymore after realizing the pain her son was in, and her resentment toward the country flared up in an instant.
“You told me it’ll hurt a bit, but it wasn’t much, bro.” Sang-han declared confidently, his forehead caked in sweat. As expected of a dude who was labeled as a scary, unrelenting bastard back in his middle school days.
“How does it feel, Sang-han?”
“Refreshing. What just happened here, though? Was that the Absorbing Star Technique from wuxia novels?”
Mu Ssang grinned brightly. As expected of his simple-minded blood brother; totally playing into the stereotype of a wuxia geek, this idiot began talking about the Absorbing Star Technique the first chance he got. However, Mu Ssang used the inhalation wave to extract the shrapnel, so his friend was technically not incorrect on this one.
“Okay, Sang-han. Listen closely. From today onwards, you are an employee of the French embassy stationed in Korea.”
“What are you talking about?” Sang-han dumbfoundedly blinked his eyes like a cow falling on its butt on slippery ice.
“Dummy, if your boss says so, then it is so. Got it?” Mu Ssang pretended to smack Sang-han in the noggin.
Sang-han’s expression became dreamy as if he was actually dreaming right now. Boss, was it! A title that he missed so much, a name he longed to hear so badly all these years! Their middle and high school days spent together as blood brothers flitted in and out of Sang-han’s memories.
Indeed, if the boss said so, then so it was.
Mu Ssang continued on. “You’re going to follow Doctor Giz over here and leave the country for a while as a diplomat. In a secret location, they’ll perform a medical procedure on your leg. To put it simply, they will reinforce your bones with stents, then attach artificial muscles and tendons afterwards. The material used will be top secret, while the procedure itself will also be super top secret, got that? If all goes well, you won’t even need six seconds to sprint 100 meters, and even run as fast as a horse for one solid hour.”
“A-are you being serious? Does that mean I’ll become the Six Million Dollar Man for real?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. The procedure will cost around five billion Won.”
“F-f-five billion?!”
The complexions of Sang-han and his mother went pale with fright. No other words registered in their brains as the sky-high amount of five billion Won rang too loudly in their ear canals.
“My blood brother, Lee Sang-han, is getting piss-scared by mere five billion, is it? Heh. Don’t cry, your big bro is here. All you gotta do is just go through the procedure. Leave the rest to me. The procedure and rehabilitation will take around three months, though. And from today on, you will no longer have a mouth. You understand what I mean, don’t ya?”
“Got it. I won’t blab my mouth until the day I croak.”
“You also can’t show off your strength. Just live like a regular person, and that will be all. Can you promise me that?”
“Of course. I give you my word.”
“Uh…?” Sang-han’s mother was left utterly dazed by this rapid, unexpected development and could only make ‘uh, uh’ noises.
“Mother, you heard us, right? Your son, Sang-han will be receiving a procedure that doesn’t exist in this world. That’s why you must keep it a secret, too.”
“Of course, of course. This old hag won’t have any mouth anymore. I’ll do anything if my boy can get his leg back. B-but, what about that huge medical fee…?” The wrinkled face of Sang-han’s mother darkened with worry.
“No need to worry about that. It’ll all work out, I promise.” Mu Ssang grinned brightly at her.
Bonipas watching on from the side was enraptured. Yes, that smile… That was it! The smile of a real man who haughtily looked down on the world but still empathized with the pain of his fellow men — that smile filled with self-belief and confidence!
“Sang-han. You came to my housewarming with a gift, so don’t you think it’s about time you hand it over?”
“…Uh, well, about that. The thing is…” Sang-han hurriedly hid the shopping bag behind him.
The eyes of his mother trembled at this sight. She could clearly feel her son’s shame. Her breathing seemed to clog up at that moment.
“You dumbass. Your big bro is about to spend five billion for you, so why are you acting so cheap?” Mu Ssang snatched the shopping bag away and pulled out its content. “Hey, this is great. Isn’t this one of those cuckoo clocks that’s in high demand recently?”
Mu Ssang pressed the coffee spoon in his hand against the red clay wall. The cutlery silently dug into the wall that looked as impenetrable as a forged steel plate. He mounted the clock on the wall and began raising a fuss over it. “Rudrey, what do you think?”
“That really is a priceless gift, oppa. It goes well with the decor, I think.” Edel replied while lightly wiping her tears away.
Expressions of both Bonipas and Giz became solemn. Even at a casual glance, one could tell that was cheap clock mass-produced in an unnamed factory somewhere, something that stood out like a sore thumb in this elegant, high-class study. The kind, warm heart of their boss rushed at them like the warmth from a fireplace.
“B-boss!” Sang-han’s voice trembled weakly. His big bro-cum-boss had this talent of making people cry, whether it was now or ten years ago.
Sang-han’s mother suddenly stood up. She tidied up the hem of her clothes, then began prostrating on the floor toward Mu Ssang.
“M-mother?! What are you doing!” Mu Ssang, taken by surprise, hurriedly tried to stop her, but Sang-han’s mother still managed to finish bowing to him three times.
“I’m an uneducated country bumpkin and couldn’t see Lord Bodhisattva right before my eyes. The first bow is meant to express my gratitude for saving my boy’s life, sir. The second bow is meant to express my respect for the real man who overcame all sorts of hurdles to become an important person. The third bow is my show of reverence at Lord Bodhisattva who shares happiness with people around him. Thank you, sir. Thank you! Sob, sniffle!”
Sang-han’s mother began shedding thick tears.
‘Holy cow! Since from when did my mother become so eloquent? Bloody hell, I guess I take after my father, then…’
Sang-han’s eyes grew as wide as lampshades. His mother wasn’t acting like her usual quiet, reserved self today. But then again, he still didn’t know about the fact that every mother on Earth was capable of transforming into a superhero for the sake of their children.
“Mother, you mustn’t do this. You know that I’m a lonely guy at heart. I need a friend, and I also need the friend’s mother to look after us. You can always earn money and save up to build wealth. But what does a person live off on, mother? It’s affection and love. A mother who gladly welcomes you home when you throw open the front door to enter, a mother who prepares supper for you even if all that’s remaining are some leftover rice and young radish kimchi… Such a mother is precious to me. I hope you understand what I mean.”
“Sob, sniffle… Yes, I do! What did this unlucky old hag do in her past life to be blessed with such good fortune…” Sang-han’s mother hugged Mu Ssang and cried even louder.
“Em-Mu-so-Ttu Yi-Sang-Gi-Ttim! [2]”
Bonipas muttered in the typical tongue-twisting French accent.
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The National Security Agency’s Daegu division was located in Dongseong-ro’s back alleys. The exterior of the three-story building with various signboards messily decorating it looked just as shabby as all the others surrounding it.
Its basement floor was a bar, the first floor was a stationery shop, the second floor was a coffee shop and finally, a signboard proclaiming ‘Daedeok Company’ could be seen hanging on the third floor.
[1] Everest, the mother of all gods
[2] Eung-Mu-So-Ju Yi-Saeng-Gi-Sim!
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