Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 542

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“Yeah, don’t you worry about nothing now. I will pack you the best lunch box in the world.”
“Mina, your papa is a real-life king. You’ve really become a princess.”
The five sisters perked back up and began to babble away. Mina’s mood quickly changed, as children are, and joined the five sisters in their chatter.
Mu Ho’s wife was immensely regretting her past actions. Had she known Mu Ssang was this rich, she would have taken better care of Mina. She could taste the bitterness in her mouth as of she had just taken a bite out of a Chinese motherwort thinking that she had lost her chance to claim her cut.
“Big sis, let’s go get some dessert.”
Mu Ho’s wife ran her eyes over the table with melons, berries, and fruits she had never even heard of.
“The kitchen is filled with fruits and sweets from all over the world. Oppa has a lot of friends from other countries. He only likes Korean fruits, so he doesn’t serve them on the table. Lucky for us since we get to eat them all. Fufufu!”
Yeon Soon and Gye Soon, who quickly caught on to what was happening, dragged Mu Ho’s wife into the kitchen.
“Oh my God!”
A loud outcry broke out from the kitchen.
“I’m sorry, brother. My wife’s so frivolous she doesn’t know what to do with herself,” Mu Ho said with a bitter smile. His wife’s ill cultured actions made it feel as though he was chewing on sand.
“Housewives have no choice but to be more realistic. There is no woman who wouldn’t be envious of a house like this. Don’t worry about it.”
“No man, I’m talking about Mina. I should’ve done better. I saw what she was wearing today and… We received all that child support from you and still couldn’t take better care of her. I’m at a loss for words.”
Mu Ho felt embarrassment beyond description. Mu Ssang worked tirelessly clearing the Mukjeong field to grow peppers. Though he may have more strength and stamina than ten bulls combined, clearing, farming, and selling crops from more than 6 thousand square meters of land was no easy feat. That’s how he earned that six million won (~5000dollars).
His wife promised to take good care of Mina and Mu Ssang gave her most of his hard-earned money before he returned to his hometown. Mu Ho didn’t keep that promise and would have nothing to say even if Mu Ssang were to punch him. On second thought, he would most certainly die if he were to punch him. He would have nothing to say even if he were to yell at him.
“Looks like you had a difficult time, brother.”
“I thought Mina was a quiet kid who didn’t like to talk much. But it was actually because my wife played favoritism that she stopped bothering to. I was f*cking stupid. God, how could I not see that?” Mu Ho asked with this head in his hands.
“No, I know detectives don’t have much time to spend with their families. It also wouldn’t have been easy for your wife to raise Mina on top of her own two daughters. It’s all over and done with. Don’t beat yourselves up too much.”
Mu Ssang tried his best to put out the fire. He knew his sworn brother had a temper. He had no intention of breaking his family apart.
“All right. Mina would always talk about how her papa was going to come back for her when he makes a lot of money. What would have that five-year-old possibly have known? I didn’t really get it. When my kids told her that her papa wasn’t really her dad, she would fight them with fire in her eyes. Mina and Yoonhee especially would be at each other’s throats at the drop of a hat. I should’ve noticed sooner.”
It was difficult for Mu Ssang to hear all this. How heartbroken and desperate must she have been for her to have thought of Mu Ssang as her dad when they’ve only spent a year together! His own face that longed for his mother overlapped with Mina’s in his mind.
They heard Mina, Mal Soon, and Ou Soon’s laughter coming from the balcony. Mu Ssang let out a sigh of relief. Men’s friendships were often broken due to their wives. Fortunately, Mu Ho had not changed a single bit.
“I’ll raise her well. Though I’m not sure I can be a good father. I’ve never been married.”
“Who else but you can? You are the world to her.”
Mu Ho felt embarrassed in front of Mu Ssang. Unlike himself, Mu Ssang was a real man with a big heart. His sworn brother was the only person that could mend that child’s broken heart.
“Do you still visit the older folks?”
“No, I didn’t want to go without you there. I’ve been sending staff members every other week to check. Grandma Hongchun doesn’t seem like she’ll make it through this year and the Bangdong couple’s still doing okay. More than seventy families lived in Achimgari Valley at one point but now it’s a ghost town. It’s all because of that miserable Beak Beak cult leader and the espionage case.”
“Hey, is there any chance maybe…?”
“I know what you’re going to say and you don’t have to worry about it. We mobilized the nearby military units to search Mt. Bangtae’s vicinity, but there was no trace of a cave. The log cabin became a playground for wild animals. There are no more disappearance cases in Wontong and they dispanded the investigation headquarters. It’ll permanently remain a cold case. But he must have died, right?”
“Probably not. A master in control of his ki can still survive for a certain period of time even after being fatally wounded. He’ll recover sooner or later as long as he stays holed up somewhere.”
“That’s a huge problem.”
Mu Ho’s face darkened.
“Oppa, I’ll bring some drinks to the study.”
Jin Soon noticed that their conversation had moved on to something a lot more serious and interrupted them.
Mu Ssang got out of his seat. Jin Soon always knew what he wanted. Something Edel was no competition in.
Mina clung to Mu Ssang’s back befitting her nickname ‘koala bear’ as soon as he stood up. Mu Ssang went down to the study with Mina on his back.
“Mina, do you remember running through the woods on papa’s back?”
“Yeah, papa bought me clothes, gloves, and a lot of sweets. I remember everything.”
“Oho, what a smart girl you are. You’re gonna do so well in school.”
“Uh-huh, but I don’t think I could get first place.”
Mina pouted.
“It’s okay if you can’t be first. I want you to be a good person.”
“How do I become a good person?”
“You have to share your snacks with your friends and give them the last piece if you can. You’re on the right track if you can make your friends happy.”
“Don’t worry, papa. I’m not greedy. I’m popular with my friends.”
“That’s right. That’s papa’s girl.”
“I’m really your girl right?”
Mina’s voice started to shake.
“Of course you are.”
Mina groaned, trying to contain her crying.
‘Maybe I should’ve just killed that Bae son of a b*tch!’
Mu Ssang felt steam coming out of his ears.
“Wow, so many picture books.”
Mina latched on to the bookshelf as soon as they came down. The bookshelf was filled with picture books Jin Soon had bought for Mina.
“Holy, this is a 50-year-old Royal Salute!”
Startled, Mu Ho quickly supported the bottom of the bottle he was clumsily picking up with his left hand. It was one of the many bottles that came from searching the senator’s office. His secretary mentioned that it was easily the price of a car.
“Alcohol is alcohol. There’s no difference whether you get drunk from a Kumbokju [1] or a Royal Salute.”
Mu Ssang gave him a smile and began to recite Lee Baek’s Jangjinju that he remembered was on a wall at Mu Ho’s house.
(Juinhawuiunsojun, As the host, how could I say I don’t have the money?)
Mu Ho’s eyes faltered, not knowing whether to cry or smile after accepting the glass.
(Chasugochuidaegunjak, let me buy us a drink, and we’ll drink together.)
Mu Ho recited the response, then took a shot of the strong whiskey.
(Ohwama Chungeumgu, purebred fine horses and leather clothes worth a thousand gold pieces)
Mu Ssang also drank from the same glass before offering it again.
(Hoahjangchulhwanmiju, call someone over and have them exchange these with fine wine.)
(Yeoidongsomangosu, let us wash away these age-old worries together.)
The two of them exchanged verses as they drank from the glass back and forth. Mu Ho chuckled as he emptied the last glass.
“Thank you, brother. I would have been in trouble if you started reciting Jangjinju from the first verse.”
Lee Baek’s Janjinju has three stages with twenty-five responses. Mu Ho didn’t think he could survive drinking thirteen glasses of whiskey in a row.
“Don’t be a wuss now. Don’t you think I know that you’re spending all that investigation fund on drinks? Here, have another glass.”
“Hey now, don’t be spreading rumors about me being a corrupt cop.”
Strength returned to Mu Ho’s voice. His younger brother recited the Jangjinju from his house on purpose. Mu Ssang’s gesture warmed his heart.
“Brother, if this Choi Doshik recovers he’s bound to come after you.”
“There’s nothing to worry about.”
Mu Ssang glared at the kkwaenggwari(small gong) that was on the wall as a decoration. The kkwaenggwari came off the hinges by itself and floated mid-air. He pointed to it with his index finger. A gaping hole the size of his finger appeared in the middle of the kkwaenggwari. The kkwaenggwari flew towards them and landed in their hands.
“What was that! Telekinesis?”
Mu Ho asked with his mouth agape and the kkwaenggwari in front of him. It was impossible for him to recognize the Iljisun(single finger technique). He was so distracted by the flying kkwaenggwari that he didn’t even notice the hole. Frustrated, Mu Ssang put his bare index finger through the kkwaenggwari again up close.
“What the!”
He finally got a response. Mu Ho keenly observed the kkwaenggwari that was handed to him. Smoke was coming out of the perfectly circular hole. Then he finally realized that the first hole was made by a long-distance attack.
If he used this technique to pierce someone’s heart or brain, they would die without knowing what killed them.
This meant that his sworn little brother could assassinate the president with no evidence if he so desired. Mu Ssang, who had been a blunt sledgehammer in his youth, had now been refined into a sharp sword.
“Better hope that bastard does come looking for you then.”
Mu Ho’s thick lips curved upwards.
“Well, that I don’t know. Choi Do-shik is an extraordinary master. Though I’m not too afraid of him.”
“What sort of world have you been living in?”
Mu Ho’s eyes welled up with tears. Powerful men never got to where they are by chance. His younger brother couldn’t have gained such power if he had led a normal life.
“You wouldn’t understand even if I told you.”
“I guess you were always out of my reach, even back then. What do you really do?”
“I’m working with the French government. It’s a tough job but I’m free. It’s better if you don’t know everything.”
Mu Ho fell silent for a while before suddenly saying,
“It would help me sleep better at night if you led a normal life. You’re the type of person that could survive in any condition.”
“I know I want to live a normal life too but I guess I’m just not destined to stay in one place for too long. Hahaha!”
Mu Ssang laughed grumpily. He wanted to lead a quiet life but at the same time longed for the bloody battlefields. Such is the fate of an Asura.
“it looks like you made enough money. Can you get out?”
“I’m working on it. There could be some blood though.”
Mu Ssang gave Mu Ho a pre-prepared envelope. The envelope contained 10 million won (~8300 dollars).
“What is this?”
Mu Ho asked with a stiff face after checking its contents.
“Let’s call it child support for raising Mina.”
“Call it what? What are you talking about? I’m already ashamed by the child support you gave us the first time.”
Mu Ho pushed the envelope away.
“You fed a penniless amnesiac and gave him a place to stay. I know we don’t have to repay each other as brothers, but I hate seeing you like this. Buy your wife the apartment she wants as a present.”
“No, what present? The hopeless wife of mine deserves no present!” Mu Ho said angrily.
“You didn’t do right to her either. I heard that other detectives save their funding to give their wives gifts every now and then. I also heard that you sometimes ask to get paid in advance to buy drinks for your lackeys. Your wife’s probably not happy with the leftover salary that comes in the mail.”
Mu Ho’s face crumpled up from the harsh truth.
A typical Korean housewife struggling to make ends meet and raise her children on her husband’s salary. Allow your amazing little brother to give you a little boost.
Mu Ho felt his throat tighten. Mu Ssang was defending his wife despite the fact that he was probably upset about what had happened with Mina. His big heart was incomparable to Mu Ho’s. The memoryless teenager he discovered in the past had matured into a real man capable of comprehending the bitterness of this world.
“I’ll take the gesture. The money you gave us five years ago was no small amount. Don’t make me feel any worse about myself.”
“Hyung, let’s do away with these calculations. We’re brothers. You remember the black bean noodles you bought me? You had to spend all the money that you had with you that day because I ate for more than ten people. To be honest, it was pretty unsightly when your wife nagged you back then. Hehehe!”
“Damnit, the sun’s rays hit us all the same, and yet one of us is bigger than the other.”
Mu Ho slouched over. Who was the older brother here?
“Oh my, attached at the hip much?”
Jin Soon smiled at Mina who was nodding away in Mu Ssang’s lap. Mu Ssang stopped Jin Soon from trying to take her away.
“I’ll carry her.”
He caressed Mina’s cheeks. A warm sensation rose from his fingertips to his heart. There was no feeling more tender than this. This poor soul, scarred by the hideous selfishness of adults. It was truly tragic that Mina was not the only one with these circumstances.
‘That damned master of mine tricked me again. Should’ve known when he didn’t say much about the huge backyard.’
He remembered his master’s strange smile when he discovered Yeonbok majored in child welfare.
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“5th Red Mask if you’re watching, I was too late with Lee Suk Ja but I brought your child under my wing. I’ve become her father. I’ve kept my promise.”
Mu Ssang murmured in a small voice. The guilt that gnawed away at his heart disappeared. Now complete and whole, Mu Ssang stood up with Mina in his arms.
“Jin Soon, show him to his room. ‘Night brother.”
Mu Ssang walked out of the study.
[1] Soju
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