Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 548
“I’m going to take your eyes out.”
“I’ll use your guts as a jump rope!”
Trash talk ensued as they gathered their weapons.
‘Geez, it’s like these guys haven’t ever fought in a group before.’
Mu Ssang sighed. These thugs didn’t even know how to use their weapons. They were waving the knife back and forth, twirling the motorcycle chains, and even attempting to lunge at him with a throwing ax firmly rooted in their hand. They were minor gangs normally used deployed as front-line combat warriors.
He resisted the urge to teach them how to throw the ax for distraction, whip the chain diagonally, and have the guy with the knife rush in and aim for a one-hit-ko in between his third and fourth ribs.
Mu Ssang shook his hand back and forth as if trying to frighten away flies. The three thugs advancing on him spun in circles as a result of the impact. He was careful not to crack their heads open, but they wouldn’t be able to eat solids for at least a few months.
The thugs wobbled around as if drunk before collapsing with a *thud*. Their arms and legs began shuddering for a few moments before slumping over. Not totally unlike a frog pancaked on the ground.
“Damn, the hell am I doing with these kids!”
Mu Ssang exhaled smoke from the cigar feeling a bit deplorable.
“Wow, the dark force!”
“Darth Vader hyungnim, hurray!”
Sungshik and the gang exclaimed in triumph. Eyes of disparagement fell on Chulsoon who shouted ‘Darth Vader hyungnim, hurray!’.
“Hey, why’d the Darth Vader thing come out? If you want to get blasted with the dark force, do it alone.”
Sungshik raised his eyebrows.
“Huh? Uh, no, I just got excited.”
He wasn’t the only one making odd noises. Nupchi jolted up. His stomach clenched and had difficulty catching his breath. He brushed it off thinking Mu Ssang was unexpectedly strong when Muldae was taken out in a single blow. He could probably do the same himself, but laying out three bodies that are carrying weapons was a completely different issue altogether.
‘Fuck, he’s in another league. Damn it!’
Nupchi’s face darkened with gloom. Not even the Cutting knife hyungnim back in Dongsungro could do something like this. Hopeless, he glanced between Mu Ssang and his defeated gang. His sense as a fighter, be it only trained in gang fights, was warning him louder than ever.
“Nupchi, right? Should I smack you before you apologize or do you want to apologize before I smack you?”
‘Fuck, what’s the difference!’
Nupchi became infuriated. He was considered the simpleton in their gang. The reason he survived 10 years of being a gang member wasn’t because of his fighting skills but from having guts. A gang fight is about not backing down. The one with bigger balls wins. It was all do or die anyway. The blade inside his inner pocket gave him some courage.
“Shit, what, it’s not like you’re wearin’ steel plates ’round you.”
Nupchi pulled out a short cutting knife. The blade flashed, reflecting the sunlight.
“I will break you if you use a weapon.”
Mu Ssang said seriously.
“Fuck, let’s go then.”
Nupchi danced around him nervously. Having guts is one thing, but the opponent was rendering that useless. This pretty boy’s pale face seemed like the grim reaper’s in his eyes.
“Ha, I felt bad so I was going you let you off with a smack…. Tut, tut! If you have a death wish, you’ll get what you’re asking for.”
“Fuck, I’m gonna get you at least once before that.”
Nupchi ran his tongue across the blade. Blood trailed down from the slightly open wound. The second stage of intimidation.
“Man, what are you doing with that cheap mass-produced kitchen knife? You’re embarrassing me. If you’re going to cut yourself, at least do it with a Honyaki knife. You’ve got no class.”
“Fuck, I was wondering why I saw my mother in my dreams yesterday. What a shitty day.”
Nupchi clenched his jaws. His opponent wasn’t going to be intimidated and was proficient in weapons. He should’ve realized that when his underlings were taken out in a single blow.
No matter how much he wanted to run away, he couldn’t sheathe his knife and concede defeat like this. The competition was fierce in the criminal world as much as those who worked a nine to five. It would mean the end of his career if he backed down without putting up a fight.
“Fuck, I don’t know anymore.”
It didn’t seem like he was going to forgive him easily anyway. Nupchi put his right foot forward with his elbows tucked in and jabbed his shoulder into Mu Ssang’s upper body. The move was called hissatsu that he learned from the Cutting knife hyungnim.
Nupchi drew a breath of surprise. His upper body that he was aiming for had suddenly moved to the left. His opponent didn’t seem to have moved any other part of his body. The blade appeared to have missed its target when Nupchi bent his elbow and thrust the knife the other way
“Look at this guy!”
Mu Ssang raised his eyebrow. From the quick and decisive technique, he could tell that numerous others must have fallen victim to having their arteries severed and guts spilled out. Tap- Mu Ssang grabbed the blade with his bare hands.
‘Ufufufu! You’re mine now.’
Nupchi smiled as he twisted the handle. He was imagining Mu Ssang’s fingers being sliced off when the sound of something cracking open echoed through the air.
Nupchi smacked on his cheek, was forced to do a backflip then crashed onto the ground. He was like a bale of hay tossed aside after crop-dusting.
Nupchi raised his head. The skull-splitting pain forced him conscious. He had ringing in his ears and a blurry vision like walking through a thick fog. He felt his brain rolling around inside his head as if a giant had thrust him into the water and was violently shaking him around. There was a flash then everything turned dark. He didn’t know what was what. The fog lifted and his sight returned to its focus.
‘Why is my knife in the fucker’s hands?’
Nupchi stared blankly at the cutting knife in his opponent’s hands.
It felt like he was possessed by a ghost. But there was no way that a mere thug would be able to recognize the technique that was used.
“Huh, this guy is as resilient as Sunwoohyun.”
Mu Ssang was slightly surprised. This wasn’t your average thug’s resilience. He did watch his power when hitting him, but he didn’t expect the thug to regain consciousness this quick.
“In just one hit.”
“That’s Mu Ssang hyungnim for you.”
The cheers broke out.
“Did you see?”
Sungshik looked around at his classmates with his chest puffed out as if he had taken out the thugs himself.
The classmates said unanimously. The overwhelming violence that was used to subdue evil had moved them more than works of art.
“Wake up dickheads, I know you’re all awake!”
The thugs slowly opened their eyes at Mu Ssang’s words. Terrified, they averted their gaze not knowing where to look.
The thugs hesitated to follow Mu Ssang’s order.
“Look at these guys! Still haven’t had enough I see.”
He kicked them like a soccer ball without any regard as to which part of the body he was kicking.
Screams and grunts filled the mountain range.
“Be it Korea or Africa, these thugs don’t listen to you the first time around. Assemble!”
The fact that violence is more effective than words is a never-changing truth. The five thugs kneeled in a single file line with lightning speed. Mu Ssang flicked the cutting knife he was holding with his finger. Klang- the impact broke off about 30mm of the blade from the tip.
“You halfwit, you can’t even tell the shinobi(blunt edge) from the Yokota(sharp edge) on this knife. You should be ashamed. It doesn’t even have a Hamon(hardening pattern). Were you trying to draw blood with this cheap thing that wasn’t struck even once after coming out of the mold? Get this out of here. This is only good for peeling fruits.”
Mu Ssang indifferently handed the now blunt knife over to Minja.
“Minja, use this to prep vegetables and fats when making the soup.”
“Oh my, our kitchen knife just happened to be in awful shape. This is great. Thank you, Oppa.”
Minja took the knife with a wide smile.
“Didn’t I tell you that I would break you if you pulled out a weapon?”
Mu Ssang turned around and faced Nupchi. His expression, warm like the spring winds while talking to Minja, transformed like a cold stormy winter night. Blood drained from Nupchi’s face. He’s been in the gang business for over 10 years now. There are rules even in this line of work. Those who lost even after using weapons would have to pay their debts by cutting off the ligaments in their wrists or ankles.
“No reason to look so glum. Ashtray!”
Nupchi quickly put his left hand out and supported it with his right. Mu Ssang put his shortened cigar out on his palm. The thick extensively dried cigars are different from your average rolls. They are not easily put out. This bizarre scene is what is known as a performance of complete submission in their world.
The stench of burning flesh filled the air, but Nupchi stayed expressionless. The onlookers, on the other hand, looked horrified. The girls covered their faces.
“The one thing that I’m good at is beating the shit out of people. I’ll break just three of your bones. You won’t lose consciousness or die from this.”
‘Fuck, was that supposed to be reassuring!’
Nupchi wanted to cry. He would rather have his ligaments cut off. If he broke his femur or spine he would have to beg on the streets.
“I have nothing to say. Do what you want.”
Nupchi closed his eyes. He picked a fight with a monster and was going to pay the price. He only prayed the monster would show Mercy and not destroy him.
“That’s a good attitude. Let’s make this quick then. I’m just going to smack you with my hand so don’t be too scared. Thank your luck that you didn’t hurt these kids too badly.”
“Thank you for showing mercy!”
Nupchi bowed. He thought there was no way anything could be broken from a smack. Nupchi still had no idea what his opponent was capable of. Mu Ssang was someone who was raised on beatings. He was beaten by his uncle when he was nine, Choidoshik as a teen, and by his Master’s staff as an adult.
Money comes to those who know how to spend it, and women are respected by those who get around. From those numerous beatings, Mu Ssang became proficient in dishing them out. He became a beating master who can inflict the exact amount of pain he wants to.
Bam- “Kuek!” Pow- “Aak!”
Mu Ssang’s palm ripped through the air. Nupchi stood there and took the hits like an old wall being demolished just without the chance of crumbling down. The sound of the impacts and the screams of a pig being butchered echoed off of the Gasan mountain fortress. The thug underlings buried their faces in their arms and covered their ears. Their boss being destroyed was just a spoiler of what was to come.
Nupchi wanted to die. His palm was surely made of steel. He could feel his flesh being torn apart and his bones breaking into pieces with every single hit. He came to resent his resilience to beatings. He wanted to pass out but his resilience prevented him. The beating was short and impressive. Nupchi was tossed aside like a rag doll.
Sungshik and the others’ faces grew pale from witnessing the harsh beating.
“Sungshik, is that the same person that we know?”
“Hehehe, didn’t you say hyungnim was a pushover? You’re fucked Chulsoon.”
Sungshik looked at Chulsoon like someone on their deathbed.
“Fuck, no I didn’t! I said hyungnim was the kindest person in the world.”
Chulsoon denied the allegations. Darth Vader was always smiling, unlike his nickname. He was called a pushover amongst their friends for always paying for food and drinks. They were at a loss for words from witnessing the true cruelty of Darth Vader who they thought was just a kind Hyung with lots of money.
“Just three bones as promised. The 6th and 7th ribs are on your right and your left forearm. I left your right arm intact so you would have no problem eating and your upper ribs so they don’t pierce your lungs. I was going to break your spine but held back because I felt sorry for you. Aren’t you glad?”
“Hyungnim, thank you!”
Nupchi bowed. The monster did hold back a lot considering everything. Ribs and forearms weren’t too necessary(?) in performing day-to-day actions and healed relatively quickly. It was pretty weak retribution for drawing a weapon.
“What! Hyungnim? You son of a bitch, do I look like someone who’d consider you my brother? Get on the ground heads down before I knock your teeth out!”
Mu Ssang roared. The thugs all planted their heads into the ground when the words ‘heads down’ left his mouth. There were no two words more familiar than ‘heads down’ to those who served in the military. This was natural for these thugs who took the extended class for ‘heads down’ from being in a gang.
“Myungsoo, get me something to beat them with.”
Myungsoo went to search with lightning speed. The students broke their silence and started to talk amongst themselves. Myungsoo came back with the thick pole used to support their shared tent.
“Ho, this is pretty good.”
Whoosh- the aluminum pipe cut through the air. The thugs’ faces darkened.
-We almost died from a smack to the face. That is going to kill us.
-Fuck, let’s run away.
-You’ve got no chance, shithead. Didn’t you see him moving around like a ghost?
The thugs made eye contact with each other while communicating nonverbally.
“Ah, screw it. Myungsoo, take over for me.”
Mu Ssang handed the pole over to Myungsoo. The thugs collectively let out a sigh of relief. Myungsoo and Sungshik hit them while taking turns, but the thugs all had smiles on them. It was better to get hit a hundred times by these kiddos rather than once by that monster.
“Nupchi, your lackeys are just thugs but you look like someone with experience in cutting people open. Where are you from?”
“Samshik gang- No, I mean, I’m with Samshik Services.”
He answered immediately. His mouth seemed to have a mind of its own.
“Who’d you learn to use a knife from?”
“From Sashimi hyungnim.”
“Sashimi? You mean the one who was in the Yakuza before killing two cops and fleeing to our country?”
“Ah! Do you know Sashimi hyungnim?”
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Nupchi asked. Bam- the aluminum pipe struck the top of Nupchi’s head.
“You stupid fuck, what would I have anything to do with a thug like that? Wait! You, you kidnapped a female student from the flower garden 5 years ago, didn’t you?”
Mu Ssang asked suddenly. He connected the face of the person who pierced his lungs to this thug named Sashimi.
Nupchi stood up all of a sudden then keeled over. Feeling the immense pain of broken ribs penetrating his organs..