Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 540

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A bat that would appear out of nowhere like a ghost to devour people’s eyeballs, a giant snake that swallowed several people at once, a leopard that teleported away with a crew member in his mouth, and a monstrous bird that chopped people’s bodies in half with its ax-like beak… An endless stream of unimaginable monsters attacked them one after another.
As if that wasn’t enough, there were insects smaller than grains of sand that entered your body through your nose and ears to consume you from the inside out. Leeches that fell from trees and drained you of all your bodily fluids. Ant colonies nibbled away and left nothing but bones within five minutes, inflicting greater fear than said monsters.
Moreover, the now-hostile Pygmy tribe relentlessly showered them with poisoned arrows. They buried 1,300 bodies in this jungle alone. It came to a point where they could not get anyone to enlist due to rumors about Ituri, the “Devil’s Jungle”. Being ambitious was one thing, but stepping into the gates of hell was a different story.
“I don’t know what that stone is worth, but countless lives must’ve been sacrificed to the Druid because of your greed.”
Mu Ssang felt his lips tighten into a scowl. He was a veteran of Ituri. Outsiders could not last a single day in these woods.
“There are only two types of people. Those who are worth something and those who are not. The Japanese soldiers massacred three hundred thousand Chinese in Nanjing and Hitler commanded the genocide of six million Jews, but the world is no different from what it used to be. Those who are worthless in life are worthless in death.”
“Ha, a worthless person, you say? Is a person’s life something that can be measured?”
Mu Ssang snickered. This clearly was a person who believed the world revolved around him. He reeked of a stench from a rotten soul. A person in a different plane of existence from chairman Margerie.
“Of course. The body of a dark-skinned illegal immigrant that froze to death in the back alleyways of Paris is incinerated together with sewer rats. This is the way the world works.”
“The deadline?”
Mu Ssang said in a steely voice. It was pointless arguing with this kind of person.
“300 million dollars if you find it within six months and 200 million within a year.”
Javer put up four fingers to elaborate.
“Oh! 400 million dollars for a single stone. The Cullinan [1] pales in comparison. Obviously, the usage and purpose of the stone would be secret then?”
Javer just gave a faint smile. As he said, it was obviously a secret. Mu Ssang took a moment to collect his thoughts. Korea’s national budget in 1985 was 12 trillion won (~10 billion dollars). 400 million dollars would be 356 billion won. It was an excessive amount of money for a single stone. He was now in possession of 3% of an entire country’s budget. The life vest that held Ange Shikageo somehow felt heavier.
‘Could it be the legendary Yeouiju [2]?’
400 million dollars would be considered dirt cheap if Ange Shikageo turned out to be a Yeouiju. Gems filled with shamanic or godly powers are called Jubo. Jubos made by snakes are called Saju, by cranes Hakju, by clams Hapju, by tortoises Byulju, and by centipedes Chungju, but at their peak is Yongju (Dragon Gem), or Yeouiju.
Yeouiju is short for Yeouiboju and Seokbisangjeol (Korean biography of Gautama Buddha) depicts it as follows. [At the ear of the Dragon King is the Yeouiboju. By obtaining this gem, the common man would be granted anything he so desires.] Mu Ssang’s mind wandered due to Javer’s insane offer.
But one should always take advantage of those with money. At first glance, Javer did not seem all that fazed, but his brain waves faltered and his blood flow increased. He gave off a shady aura of someone who was hiding something. Mu Ssang took his offer and raised the bet.
“Things got lucky last time. Even I need to put my life on the line in the jungles of Ituri. I’ll think about it for 400 million dollars upfront, and 600 million dollars if I succeed.”
Mu Ssang went all in with his call. He gained nothing but overconfidence dealing with Bonifas.
“Fine. I will pay the 400 million dollars upfront.”
Javer accepted his raise without a moment of hesitation.
‘Whoa, mister hotshot. Maybe I should’ve raised him 40 billion dollars.’
Mu Ssang’s jaw dropped. He didn’t think Javer would say yes immediately.
“Good. I accept your request.”
“Thank you. I will transfer the money to a Swiss bank in Bern. It will be available in three days and registered under Hydra. The password begins with the fifth decimal of pi.”
“Hydra and 92653, huh. 400 million dollars isn’t a small amount of money you know.”
What would he do if Mu Ssang just took the money? But Javer didn’t even budge.
“It’s not a lot of money for me. A professional at the top of their field is priceless. You’re not the type of person that would throw away his pride for 400 million dollars. If you are, then I would blame myself for my lack of judgment.”
“You’ve got guts. I’ll see you after I find the stone.”
Javer could only follow Mu Ssang’s shadow as he suddenly shot up onto the canopy of a bamboo tree before launching himself again. His silhouette seemed to cover the full moon for a moment then the Black Mamba disappeared without a trace.
“He’s no normal human! Not everything is as meets the eye of course. Anyway, what happened to Jackal?”
Jackal, who was supposed to be tailing them with an infrared camera was nowhere to be found. There was just no way the Black Mamba would miss some watchdog. Jackal was thrown back into the shelter after being knocked out.
Javer rolled up his sleeves. The lustrous gold Rolex revealed its splendor. He carefully rotated the crown, pulled it out, and placed it in his ear. The crown and the wristwatch were connected with a thin wire.
[…I’ll see you after I find the stone.]
A raspy voice buzzed in his ear. Javer’s face lit up with assurance. This was more than success to be able to identify the Black Mamba and record his voice.
Javer put his sleeves back down. The ĪłĮĭųḿĭńāłĪ symbol on his wrist disappeared underneath it.
Javer felt as if he was dreaming. For the Black Mamba to come to him, je had hit a home run. Javer didn’t overexert himself trying to analyze the Black Mamba’s actions. It was bound to be a pain for a normal human to try to understand those who are beyond humanity.
“Fufufu! The day the Leviathan sheds his skin will be the day the Njord will rule the world.”
Javer murmured unintelligibly as he approached the shelter.
His follower was sprawled about on the yard. Javer quickly ran over and checked his pulse. It was apparent to him that Jackal was attacked by a leopard spirit. Now the idea that the Black Mamba is a part of the New Race became a fact.
“Worthless! Shameless!”
Javer kicked his follower on his side.
Jackal jumped up into a fighting position. Javer looked at him in annoyance. He was worthless compared to the Black Mamba enhanced or not.
“Gah! Better just give a facial sketch to that vulgar yankee.”
Javer grumbled as he returned to his quarters.
Mu Ssang looked into a small mirror and started to undo his transformation. His rugged face returned to its original smooth silky skin, narrow eyes opened up, square jaws found their curve. After removing the energy from the dark spots, his face was restored. He massaged his still tense face.
‘This is costing more energy than I expected. Looks like it was a futile attempt. Perhaps I should just get botox.’
It was quite regrettable. His plan to separate the Black Mamba and Mu Ssang looked good on paper, but it limited his powers. This was a massive hindrance.
“Ah, screw it. Master told me not to use this technique if possible anyway. Let’s take a look at that billion-dollar egg.”
As always, Mu Ssang decided not to bother with troublesome subjects. He took out the crystal bottle containing Ange Shikageo and the sealed Rousseloufe from the life vest. Rousseloufe looked at him with his red beady eyes. The evil and malice in its eyes were enough to ruin anybody’s day.
‘The artist who wanted to draw the devil could learn a thing or two from those eyeballs.’
Mu Ssang was unaware that a normal human’s mind would immediately be taken over if they were to look into Rousseloufe’s eyes.
“What the! It got warmer.”
Mu Ssang tilted his head quizzically with Ange Shikageo in his hand. Its lukewarm surface was now like a freshly baked loaf of bread. Its dull green color also cleared up.
Rousseloufe thrashed about frantically. However, unlike its usual violent tantrums, it seemed that it was struggling to avoid something truly terrifying.
Mu Ssang placed Ange Shikageo on the crystal bottle and Rousseloufe desperately stuck itself to the bottom. It was like watching a frog trying to outrun a snake.
“A natural predator?”
It was no use thinking about it. You only know something to be true when an event confirms your memories. There’s no use trying to find the answer in your memories when the situation is beyond common sense.
“Guess I’ll know in time. I’ll hand you over to Javer at some point and collect the rest of my payment.”
The reason Mu Ssang was so carefree was that he believed in his spatial recognition. His spatial recognition allowed him to read the natural energies in the physical world. He could find Ange Shikageo wherever it was and retrieve it with the Natural Assimilation technique. The deal was to hand Ange Shikageo over to Javer. He made no promises to not take it back.
Mu Ssang put Balsara, Rousseloufe, and Ange Shikageo back into the life vest and went to sleep. He didn’t know how dangerous these strange objects were, not even in his dreams.
No party lasts forever. Sang-han and his mother left the very next morning, along with doctor Guise and manager Ariba. Bonifas, Margerie, and Javer also parted ways. The rest of the members stayed for three more days before leaving. The five women who came as day laborers from the Resting Leg also went home with their pay and stories to last them a lifetime.
“These laws are a load of bullcrap!”
Mu Ssang hurled the legal precedents he was going through. The papers exploded after making contact with the wall. The documents were scattered all over the study.
“Geez, that temper!”
Jin Soon sighed while peeling an apple. Her dear was allergic to legalese. Not that she was fond of them herself. The reason Mu Ssang had to fight tooth and nail ever since he was a child and became a human butcher was all thanks to nonsensical laws. Jin Soon stuck an apple slice in his fuming mouth.
“Son of a… They send children by the barrel to other countries and make local adoption so damn complicated.”
He couldn’t find a way to adopt Mina. Legally, an unmarried person has to be over 35 years of age to adopt a child. The confusing documents and procedures were problematic, but the biggest hurdle was Mu Ssang’s age.
His attempt to adopt her as a French citizen was also unsuccessful. He couldn’t adopt her as a parent and would have to place her in an adoption agency through social services. He tried to place her with the agency temporarily before adopting her, but was rejected due to his dual citizenship and criminal history.
“Couldn’t Mu Ho’s family just raise her? You gave them plenty of money to support her.”
“I know how people can get. Mu Ho’s wife is no pushover.”
Mu Ssang shook his head. Mu Ho’s wife was a greedy woman. He clearly remembered Mu Ho walking on eggshells as he went down the mountain with a bag of deodeok (mountain herb root).
4 million won (~3400 dollars) was not a small amount of money back then, but he didn’t want to blame Mu Ho’s wife, who had two kids of her own. Only saints could always stay true to their word.
“I heard Grandma Hongchun isn’t doing too well either…”
Jin Soon looked at Mu Ssang with pity. Mina is currently unprotected, with her grandmother being the legal guardian. She knew better than anyone how her brother was feeling, having grown up without parents. The problem was the law.
“Apparently, I need her biological father’s written statement to disown her at the very least. I’m going crazy here.”
Her biological father, Bae Inseok murdered Lee Suk-Ja for being a hindrance before casually marrying someone else. Mu Ssang couldn’t believe they gave him, someone who didn’t even know what his own daughter looked like, her guardianship.
The Wise Sages would be rolling on the floor in laughter if they ever saw the King of Novatopia, the angel of death Black Mamba struggling to adopt a single child.
“Oppa, let’s not get held up on adoption and just claim legal guardianship. We can get her custody if Grandma Hongchun applies for you to be Mina’s legal guardian at family court. Be her guardian first, then adopt her when you get the chance.”
Jin Soon carefully comforted him.
“I would’ve done that already if I wanted to.”
The reason he insisted on adoption was that he wanted Mina to have a father. Mu Ssang understood the anguish and misery of not having a father better than anyone else. Mu Ho’s wife wasn’t a bad person, but she was no philanthropist. If Mina were to be raised in her hands, the discrimination would only leave her with emotional scars.
“Lee Gi Su, damnit!”
Mu Ssang remembered his sad eyes as he told him, ‘Let’s grab a drink when we’re both in hell’. When his spell lifted that controlled him, the 5th Red Mask Lee Gi Su committed suicide after asking him to take care of Lee Suk-Ja his sister. Choi Doshik was the one who drove these two poor siblings to their gruesome fate.
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“Time sure flies. That little bugger is ten already. Think she remembers my face?”
“Not sure. I last saw her 5 years ago. Hopefully, she will remember the phone calls. There are also those pictures we took together. Let’s do it your way. We will only be adding salt to her wound if we push this any further.”
Mina wasn’t happy at Mu Ho’s. She would always ask when they would be coming back. They couldn’t leave her there any longer, and Mu Ssang never looked back after making a decision. He immediately found her biological father, Bae Inseok. And Bae Inseok gave the written statement of disownment, shaking uncontrollably the whole time after meeting his grim reaper once again.
[1] The world’s largest diamond
[2] Wish-Fulfilling Dragon Gem
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