Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 543

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“Papa, give me a piggyback ride!”
Mina whined after waking up from her catnap.
“Oof, you’ve grown so big that I can’t carry you no more.”
Mu Ssang exaggerated as he threw Mina over his shoulders.
“Giddy-up horsey! Hehehe!”
Mina pulled on Mu Ssang’s ears while giggling. Her laughter echoed across the night sky. Mu Ho stared blankly at his younger brother’s large, ocean-like back.
This passing moment was as overwhelming as looking at a large mountain. No. Perhaps it was more akin to the massive cotton candy that a street vendor might give you at a field meet, puffed to his heart’s content. A smile appeared on Mu Ho’s face.
[The cotton candy heart of a Dokkaebi with a steel-plated back] would be a perfect title for a children’s storybook.
‘Ha, what have I been doing all this time?’
Mu Ho asked himself for the first time. And nothing came to his mind. His wife was not the only one who was to blame. Has he ever tucked the little one in during cold winter nights? Has he ever been out on a stroll with her in his hand?
He liked to venture out rather than stay inside and enjoyed the company of his coworkers and alcohol over his daughters. So even a simple thing like putting up a swing set in his large empty yard never occurred to him. Time flew by, but he had no recollection of ever reflecting on himself. He just assumed that this was how all fathers were.
The difference between him and Mu Ssang lay not in their abilities but in their hearts. He thought he was raising Mina but he was sorely mistaken. A child is a person, not a dog or a cat.
A hundred promises of tomorrow will never be able to outweigh the efforts made today! He was overcome with shame. He may be a great cop, but he was a terrible father. Mu Ho was given an unintentional opportunity to reflect on himself.
“Big oppa!”
“Yes! Big oppa?”
“You’re oppa’s big brother so of course. Or should I call you like this, Officer Park!”
“N- no, no. I just thought it was undeserved.”
Mu Ho stuttered at his never-thought-before title.
“You should get to bed. It doesn’t look like big sister will be joining you anytime soon.”
Jin Soon gestured to the kitchen where you could still hear waves of laughter every now and then.
“That silly woman!”
Mu Ho grumbled as he followed Jin Soon.
The next day, Jin Soon packed everything that Mu Ho’s wife laid eyes on for the couple. Dates, olives, figs, and avocados to name a few fruits, and for meat, a whole hind leg of Basque ham, sausages as thick as one’s forearms, and herbs and spices from around the world.
It wasn’t just perishables either. She rolled up a Turkish rug, grabbed a box of Syrian olive soap, and stuffed sacks of coffee beans into their trunk. Two large trunks were crammed full with all sorts of European and African goods and perishables.
Mu Ho’s face burned bright red. He wished he could bury his head in the sand.
“That blasted —”
Mu Ssang stopped Mu Ho from bellowing by placing his hand on his shoulder.
“Brother, don’t meddle in women’s business and let them be.”
“This is driving me nuts!”
Mu Ho let out a sigh after another.
“Oh my, what in the world! These are real pearls.”
You keep saying yes, and people will take advantage of you. Mu Ho’s wife, Hong Gahae, couldn’t peel her eyes off of Jin Soon’s necklace. Pearls are graded on their shape, luster, defects, thickness, and color.
The two perfectly round 5mm rainbow lipped pearls on Jin Soon’s necklace were a gift from Ombuti and were more expensive than diamonds of the same size.
“It’s probably expensive, isn’t it?”
“Yes, they say that gold chains are nothing compared to rainbow lipped pearls.”
“Was the necklace also a gift from one of Mu Ssang’s friends?”
Hong Gahae’s eyes flashed with jealousy.
“Yes, an acquaintance of Mu Ssang that does trade in Africa gave it to me.”
“My word! The rainbow color is so, so beautiful.”
She couldn’t keep her desire from coming through in her voice. Jin Soon held back a sneering laugh. It is said that cats die of curiosity, sparrows of grain, and women of jewelry, and this woman was the embodiment of that saying.
“Is it to your liking?”
Jin Soon smiled politely.
“Whew! What difference does it make? I’m not even in Mu Ssang’s line of sight.”
Hong Gahae let out a long sigh. The young girl in front of her was enviably attractive and had a wonderful personality to boot. Even so, she had raised Mina for five whole years… She suddenly felt bitterly disappointed in Mu Ssang. It was quite audacious of her to feel this way, but most human beings only see things the way they choose to view them.
“I’ll give it to you as a gift.”
Jin Soon removed her necklace and placed it around Hong Gahae’s nack without much hesitation.
“What! A gift?”
Hong Gahae’s eyes widened in disbelief.
“Jewelry may be expensive, but people are more valuable. You’ve done well raising Mina.”
“B- but!”
Despite her words, Hong Gahae snatched the necklace and hid it under her blouse.
“Stop! Let’s go!” Mu Ho roared. Getting sick of his wife’s behaviour, Mu Ho grabbed her and hurriedly made his escape.
“She was too much!”
“She’s the most greedy woman I’ve seen in my life.”
Jin Soon’s younger sisters stood there, mouths agape.
“Big sis, how could you give her your necklace? Wasn’t that a gift from old man Ombuti?”
Gye Soon squealed.
“Heh, I ain’t no plastic umbrella missy!”
Jin Soon snorted and left them alongside Mu Ssang. Yeon Soon smacked her little sister on the back.
“Don’t you unripe little ones dare to call our big sister’s actions into question. What would the disciples know about their master’s plans?”
“Ow, that hurt. What was so masterful?”
“That woman is the wife of Mu Ssang’s sworn brother. You know our Mu Ssang. He’ll give that woman whatever she wants every time she visits. That’s why big sis showered her with gifts. Imagine how embarrassed the well-mannered Mu Ho oppa felt. He’d probably never show his face here again.”
“Could that woman that took big sis’ necklace know what shame is? I think she’ll nag Mu Ho to come back eventually…”
Gye Soon tilted her head in doubt.
“You moron! That’s why big sis gave her the necklace at the last moment. Mu Ho probably wants to go into hiding just about now. He’d want to get a divorce before thinking about coming back here. If they do, I’ll eat my hat.”
Yeon Soon declared with confidence.
“Wow, what a master!”
“How profound!”
Gye Soon, Mal Soon, and Ou Soon’s jaws dropped.
“What did she mean by plastic umbrella?” Ou soon asked.
“That’s something big sis wanted you to hear, little ones. You’ve probably used plastic umbrellas before. It rips in strong winds, and the bamboo support snaps at the slightest pressure. That woman is a defective product that should be discarded after a single use, and she should serve as a lesson to you. Do you understand?”
“Big sis, that’s really scary.”
Mal Soon and Ou Soon’s faces stiffened.
“You need to meet Mu Ssang’s expectations. Ou Soon, I know you’re making trouble lately you little tramp.”
Yeon Soon narrowed her eyebrows.
Ou Soon felt the blood drain from her face. They found out that she stole her big sisters’ makeup to go out with boys.
“What are you talking about?”
Jang Pil Nyuh glared at her youngest sister-in-law. The rumor that Mu Ssang made some money working overseas and built a spacious hanok wasn’t a big deal.
There were people even in Indong that built their houses with money made from working construction in the middle east. Mu Ssang was a better worker than most even when he was young. But there was nothing for him, someone with a criminal history, to do except manual labor.
The problem was with what she heard afterwards. They said that he has a main house bigger than the grand Buddhist temple and six two-story hanoks fit to be royal palaces. A creek that runs through a soccer field of a front yard and a vast bamboo forest within the premises. These were shocking accounts from the five women who helped them move as day laborers.
Stories of a hundred yankees who came to the house warming party, that their enemies, the Ha Dong family, were living with him, and that foreign visitors treated Mu Ssang like a king. Stories of the Ha Dong family and their daughters swimming in gold and jewelry…
Stories that were harder to believe than if someone were to tell her that a cat just gave birth to a calf. More than anything, the most surprising was the rumor that he went back to college after being expelled. It tore her apart.
“Well, I’ve only heard the rumors…”
Jang Sang Su’s wife trailed off. She also thought the Park family’s claims were far-fetched. She felt she just ticked off her sister-in-law with nonsense.
“Those down-and-out things don’t know left from right.”
Jang Pil Nyuh shook her head in disbelief. It was utter nonsense. No, it couldn’t make sense.
“Those day laborer bumpkins say they saw it with their own two eyes. Maybe it’s not total nonsense.”
Jang Pil Nyuh’s older sister-in-law added while trying to not get her worked up. Sure, it was hard to believe, but there was a smoking gun.
“Hmph, don’t those country bumpkins have anything better to do?”
Jang Pil Nyuh’s stomach was in a knot. Those women would’ve never spoken like that had her family still been in power. They puffed up their chests after most of their land went to Samshik Capital. You just can’t help such uncultured swine.
‘Guess he did build a house. I’ll burn it all down.’
She would not stand Kim Mal Soon’s children running amok while she was still alive. Those cretins should stay down in the gutters where they belong.
‘Ah! Is that the Ha Dong cow?’
Jang Pil Nyuh came across a familiar woman’s back while driving through the new road next to Jipeundari. She was on the ground with her head wrapped in a towel, but she could tell that it was her enemy even from a distance.
“Driver Kim, stop the car!”
The quick-witted driver backed up, parked the car, and hurriedly opened the door. He was often slapped across the face if he wasn’t quick enough. Jang Pil Nyuh got off the car gracefully.
‘Weird, is she digging up premature potatoes because she has nothing left to eat?’
Jang Pil Nyuh asked herself. The Ha Dong wife was throwing premature potatoes in a pile. They were late in planting potatoes due to a severe Spring drought. But it still would’ve grown big enough in two more weeks.
During famines, they would have to dig up potatoes the size of quail eggs in mid-June. She didn’t want to strike a conversation, but her curiosity got the best of her. No, she wanted to confirm if the rumors were true or not.
“Hey, Ha Dong cow, what are you planning to do with all those premature potatoes?”
The Ha Dong wife got up and stretched her lower back. Her eyes met Jang Pil Nyuh’s who was on the new road.
‘Hey, Ha Dong cow? That damned bitch is still spouting hogwash.’
The Ha Dong wife felt irritated. It had been a long time since Indong’s Jang family, who had been expected to rule forever, had fallen from grace. The world had changed, but Jang Pil Nyuh continued to act haughtily as if it were in her blood.
“Well, if it isn’t Wu Tak’s mom. Long time no see. What brings you here?”
‘This blasted wench!’
Jang Pil Nyuh’s face scrunched up in anger. This wench calls the much younger Kim Mal Soon with honorifics and calls her ‘Wu Tak’s mom’. She slightly regretted the fact that she didn’t just pass her by.
“I was just passing by. So why are you digging up premature potatoes?”
The Ha Dong wife was further irritated by the woman’s unfitting Seoul dialect. She started imitating the Seoul dialect after her husband succeeded in his business, like a fraud full of bull.
“I wanted to make side dishes for our Ssang. Ssang loves potatoes but the ones in the market are covered with pesticides meant to kill worms.”
‘Our Ssang? It’s like they’re already a thing!’
Jang Pil Nyuh was dumfounded. Since when did this husband killer and street rat get together? If she heard that right, she was digging up pesticide-free potatoes, premature or not, to make that Mu Ssang bastard side dishes. Even newlyweds wouldn’t care for each other like this. Well, the nosy woman always looked out for that bastard since way back when.
“It’s hot. Here, have a soda before you get back to work.”
Jang Pil Nyuh took out a can of soda from the cooler. Canned products have just started to come out. When would a low life like her have ever drunk an ice-cold soda like this in the scorching heat? Jang Pil Nyuh decided to be patient and show off.
“Ssang has tons of french soda cans in his fridge at home.”
The Ha Dong wife opened the can like a trivial thing.
“Mu Ssang went to a different country?”
Jang Pil Nyuh felt unsatisfied with her reaction but took this chance to prod her with questions.
‘Good! This bitch heard the rumors.’
A smile crept across the Ha Dong wife’s sunburnt face.
“Yeah, he was out of the country for a while, then built his house here, wanting to come back home. Now he’s always here and only leaves the country for work.”
Jang Pil Nyuh couldn’t understand a word of what she said.
“So he made lots of money then?”
“Who knows how much he’s made. Ssang’s been paying for my daughters’ schools and living expenses. They say that the house he just built is 23,000 square meters but I don’t have the brains to figure out the numbers. Apparently, it cost a million dollars just to build the thing.”
“Twenty-three thousand square meters? A million dollars?”
Jang Pil Nyuh retorted in surprise. Her family, the Jang head family’s house is 1,850 square meters. She couldn’t even imagine twenty-three thousand square meters. The Ha Dong wife’s face was dripping with smugness. Jang Pil Nyuh came back to her senses just a bit too late.
“Twenty-three thousand square meters is thirty-five rice fields large. That’s at least sixteen tons of rice. How scary.”
The Ha Dong wife fake shuddered.
“Did you measure it yourself?”
Jang Pil Nyuh said with an unpleasant expression.
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“I’d have to be as blind as a bat to not be able to see how big a piece of land is after spending my entire life farming. There are seven hanoks larger than whales and just the backyard alongside the hill is over 10 thousand square meters. Now, Ssang would finally have done it all he could if he just brings back big sis Mal Soon. Every cloud has a silver lining, you know?”
‘Ugh, Kim Mal Soon!’
Jang Pil Nyuh’s face turned as white as a ghost. The Ha Dong wife felt elated beyond words. This was the face she was waiting for. If only she could get the other women in town to see her face.
‘Where are you, Mal Soon? You should’ve been here to witness this.’
The Ha Dong wife wished she had a camera on her. She really wanted to save that face to show Mal Soon. She blew her nose into her apron. It made her heart weep to think about Mal Soon who must be looking down on her from up above..
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