Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 565
Chapter 565: Chapter 52 Episode 1 Choi Do-shik
Ttol-bbak took off his wig as tears threatened to burst out of his eyes. The oily-smooth forehead and the crown of his head were surrounded by a rather bushy shrub of hair on the side of his head. The exposed skin on his scalp began glistening under the early morning sun’s rays.
[A small spring inside a forest, that!]
Mal Soon whispered softly at this sight.
The girls giggled quietly to themselves.
“Whoa, that uncle is sparkling!” Mina walking out of the kitchen cried out with both of her hands raised up high. It was like she had discovered something amazing.
Ttol-bbak’s complexion changed to various shades in real time, looking more and more like a boiled octopus with every passing second.
“And what is wrong with that idiot?” Mu Ssang, dumbfounded by this development, stared at Nupchi.
Ttol-bbak didn’t seem to be suffering from the male pattern of baldness nor some kind of a fungal disease. However, it also didn’t look like he deliberately shaved that part off with a razor or something.
“Big bro, that dude’s speciality is headbutting, and that’s why he’s called Ttol-bbak. He’s been smashing his forchead against trees every day to practice his move, so there’s no way his noggin is unscathed after all that abuse, boss. As a trade-off, no bastard out there can withstand one headbutt from that,
dude,” Nupchi replied with a sheepish grin.
“Sigh… Gimme a freaking break, will ya. Hey, you dummy! You trying to blind me or what? Cover your head already!”
“Yessir! Thank you, boss!” Ttol-bbak hurriedly put the wig back on.
‘Mu Ssang addressed Nupchi again. “Did you get the intel on those leeching bastards?”
“Yessir. The Pungguk Capital is a registered small-time money lender. Their funds have Japanese roots, and their main targets are small-to-medium businesses and private individuals. The Pungguk gang deals in loans and the collection of debt, but according to the rumors, the real owner of the
operation is the Yamaguchi gang. Their official monthly interest rate is 4%, and their main clientele come from Nowon-dong, Bisan-dong and small businesses in Seongseo-dong.”
As expected of the enforcer rumored to be the smartest in the Samsik gang, Nupchi summarized the report down to the essential information only.
“4% monthly, eh? That’s not what I heard, though. Besides, such a rate shouldn’t be a problem to most people, so why?” Mu Ssang tilted his head slightly.
“That’s the official line, big bro. But they have another team that handles the unofficial side of things. They take 10% as interest paid in advance, and the monthly rate starts off as 5% but it increases one % every month. Kinda like an escalator going up, boss.”
“Heol. That means you’ll be paying almost 30% interest one year later. Two years, and the interest would be ten times higher than the original loaned amount.” Mu Ssang’s jaw dropped. No wonder Gim Gitaek was driven into a desperate comer like that.
“Yessir. They are using the mentality of people being ready to butcher even cows for some easy-sounding credit to slowly suck out even the bone marrows of their victims. Kinda like boiling a frog to death, I guess. And these bastards are doing their damnedest to throw mud at the honor of us the
organized boys, boss.”
“If you don’t pay the interest on time, they beat you up, and I’m guessing that when the deadline comes, they deliberately go into hiding and make it impossible to pay off the debt.”
“That’s correct, big bro. Once their pro collection team pounces on you, they’ll even clean out the headstone of your ancestors. Even a man capable of enduring the pain after getting his balls stuck in a cotton gin will not be able to endure the piling interest rate of these bastards. These punks are such
rotten human beings that they might even yank out a bean sprout stuck in your assho… Oops, my bad, big bro. I meant, they might even pull out a clove of garlic stuck in one’s nose or something.”
Nupchi noticed Mu Ssang’s raised eyebrow and quickly changed his wording.
“Are the unofficial collection agents also members of the Pungguk gang?”
“I’s a dualized system where the planning and commanding are done by the Pungguk gang’s inner circles, while the actual yangahchi activities are done by the members on the periphery, boss. As for the Japs, only one representative resides on-site at all times, and their higher-ups show up once a month
to do an inspection, apparently. That crocodile, Jang Yeong-pal, is the boss of the separate team tasked with collections. He’s a vicious bastard that will never let go once he gets his fangs into you like a real crocodile. Stuff like illegal human organ trafficking, assault and even rape are a given with this
guy. This vicious bastard sells his male victims off to shrimp boats and women to brothels, big bro.”
“Oh, my gosh! What an evil bastard! Oppa, you gotta break all of his limbs and make him crawl around on the ground for the rest of his life.” Jinsun listening in suddenly roared out in anger as if Jang Yeong-pal had stolen her liver or something.
“Oppa, smash all of their heads in!”
“Right, buy them all alive!”
Even Yeon Soon and Gyesun joined in and began shouting, as well.
Yeonghui and Yeo!
stared blankly at the three sisters burning in thick bloodlust. Even Nupchi and Ttol-bbak flinched a little at their murderous aura.
“Ladies, I really respect you! You alll deserve to be the younger sisters of our big brother boss!” Nupchi raised his thumb high up while Ttol-bbak bowed his bulky torso ninety degrees forward.
“Haigoo, can’t you just gimme a freaking break here?!”
‘Mu Ssang groaned and shook his head. Staying next to a heartless bastard would eventually make you sound similar to him, and as if to prove that idiom, these girls were sounding more and more like your local hoodlum.
He voiced his guess next. “They must be thinking of cutting off their tail if a problem rears its head. Their location?”
“Their headquarters is located in Nowon-dong, while a branch is set up down in Busan, big bro.”
“Wait, what? The headquarters is in Daegu?” Mu Ssang tilted his head in confusion.
Something about that seemed like it’s in the wrong order of things. Most of the Japanese-backed loan sharks planted their roots in the city of Busan. Which meant there was another untold sting to this tale.
“Who’s the boss of the Pungguk gang?”
“He’s name is Bak Gi-chung, but he’s not that well-known in our line of work, big bro. As for the Jap representative, his name is supposedly Yamazaki, but, uh… what was the name of his organization again…?”
‘When Nupchi began wringing out his memories to get that elusive name, Ttol-bbak quickly came to his aid. “Bro, he’s supposedly from Higashi Honganji temple , right?”
“Ah, that’s right! Higashi Honganji temple!”
Nupchi raising his hand for a smack suddenly flinched and faltered. While cautiously minding Mu Ssang’s reaction, he began patting Ttol-bbak’s head rather than smack it like the usual. The memories from that day on the Gasan mountainside came blowing in like a blizzard in his chest – the day when
‘Mu Ssang punished him for beating up his own underlings.
“Higashi Honganji is a temple in Kyoto, isn’t it? Man, foreigners taking us for a ride wasn’t enough, so now even the bloody Jap monks are out to steal from this country, too?”
‘Mu Ssang felt his irritation shoot up. It had already been over a century since Higashi Honganji set foot in Busan under the pretext of ‘missionary work.
Outwardly a Buddhist temple, they were actually the originator of the infamous ninja clan, and they were also practically the head family in the world of yakuzas. During the Japanese Occupation, Higashi Honganji was also the backer supporting the Japanese imperialists’ efforts to plunder the land. These
bastards must’ve set up Pungguk Capital’s headquarters in Daegu because they had another loan shark business operating in a similar manner down in Busan.
The Japanese Buddhism was completely different in nature compared to the Korean Buddhism. While the Korean Buddhism could be described as the ‘mountainside’ Buddhist philosophy that distanced itself from the mundane world, the Japanese Buddhism was more like a lifestyle Buddhism, factional
Buddhism, and an economy-driven Buddhism.
Many Japanese Buddhist temples either ran corporations or shops of some kind. Basically, they were corporations out to make money by borrowing the good name of Buddha, their focus not on spreading Buddhist teachings but pocketing more ‘offerings’, so to speak. Even the object of their worship was
not Lord Buddha, but the founder of the temple or the sect, sometimes even the abbot.
The duty of the National Security Agency’s domestic division was to determine the flow of the funds belonging to the Japanese yakuza and the bogus Buddhist temple blooming like poisonous mushrooms within Korea. Knowing that, Mu Ssang felt his unhappiness at Yi Dae-deok flare up again. That man
tried to investigate Mu Ssang’s background while being utterly oblivious to the country’s guts aching away like this.
Or, maybe Yi Dae-deok and his gang of agents were turning a blind eye on what’s going on after they were ‘pressured’ by the pretext of foreign capital investment.
‘By the way, who told me about Higashi Honganji back then?
‘Mu Ssang tried to comb through his memories. He was pretty sure that someone had mentioned that place before.
“Big bro?” Nupchi carefully called out when Mu Ssang fell deeper into his thoughts.
“Yeah! Continue with your report.”
“Last month’s Japanese inspection team apparently wanted to prepare extra moolah to celebrate the sixtieth birthday of Sai Dojiku, so they…”
“Dammit, Sai Dojiku!”
‘Mu Ssang’s mind was jolted awake by that name. He had completely forgotten about it! Abe currently withering away as a slave for life in Novatopia was a first-rank ninja from Higashi Honganji, wasn’t he?
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According to that insidious bastard, the missing Choi do-shik was the Great Martial Teacher back in Higashi Honganji temple. Should he blame his numbness to murder encroaching into the obliviousness of daily activities for this slip-up? He was disappointed at himself for forgetting such an important
“Choi do-shik, he’s still alive!”
‘Mu Ssang gritted his teeth without even realizing it. Unsurprisingly, that bastard did not die back then. Even if he was inflicted with a fatal wound, a martial artist on the level of Choi Do-shik should never be presumed dead until his corpse was verified. As an example, didn’t Mu Ssang also manage to
overcome several close brushes with death by relying on his incredible physical specs and willpower?
Not only was that bastard alive and well, he even held his sixtieth birthday celebration, as well. The thorn in Mu Ssang’s side had finally reared its head once more. It was said that old grudges never died, and mortal enemies would eventually run into each other on a lone bridge somewhere. To think that
the encounter with Kim Gi-taek would lead him to Choi Do-shik like this!
“I wonder, how good is his combat prowess nowadays?”
Even an elephant would die from a black mamba’s bite. Back in Bangtae Mountain, Mu Ssang got extremely lucky and got to learn the One with Nature technique, which allowed him to defeat that bastard through a sneak attack. But that was just a one-time thing. Back then, he only barely finished
awakening as an Epidium, meaning he had nothing but high physical stats.
Since then, Mu Ssang learned the five combined movement, acquired supernatural senses and powers, and even mastered the modern weapons and combat tactics. Never mind his combined combat strength, even his close-quarter combat prowess had incomparably gotten stronger.
However, Choi Do-shik back then could leap thirty meters with one step and could puncture a boulder with just a finger. What would it be like if the two of them fought each other now?
In terms of combined combat strength, Mu Ssang was overwhelmingly superior. Besides, his talent lay with sniping. Instead of getting up close and personal, he could just put a bullet in the target’s head from afar and end it right there and then. Block the potential path of retreat by lobbying multiple
grenades in a row and let the target taste the pain of ‘three taps’… Not even that old bastard Choi Do-shik would survive that.
What if they fought in close-quarter combat, though? Mu Ssang might be ahead in terms of physical specs, but he was definitely inferior in experience and wisdom. He might have acquired the Finger Wind recently, but he wouldn’t be able to use it in a situation where flurry of offense and defense
happened at a lightning-quick pace.
The moment he try to focus ki, his head would go flying. It was the same story for Choi Do-shik who knew the Hidden Soul Palm technique. His wind strike could split boulders apart and chop huge trees into pieces, but Mu Ssang was confident of breaking that bastard in half the moment the latter tried
to condense ki.
‘Whether that bastard was in Korea or Japan, it really didn’t matter. Mu Ssang simply wanted to have a go at him. His blood began boiling with hunger.
“Uncle, how much do you still owe them?”
“Tm not completely sure, since they change the amount all the time. But if we calculate the interest according to their ways, then it must be several tens of million Won.”
“Don’t you have the loan agreement with you to make sure?”
“Last time they showed up to pick a fight, they forcibly took it away…” Gim Gitaek roughly scratched his head. He realized how pathetic he sounded just now.
The three sisters cried out simultaneously. “Uncle, you idiot!”
“Uh-huh? You guys are being rude!” Mu Ssang tutted away.
‘What could a normal person do against a bunch of gangsters when he probably had never taken a swing in anger his entire life? Even if Gim Gitaek came across as pathetic in this case, there was nothing he could do but get pushed around by those bastards.
The issue here was with how the five sisters perceived and evaluated men. An unintended side effect of all men coming across as disappointing seemed to have occurred here after the girls started living with Mu Ssang.
“They’ve planned this whole thing, then,” said Mu Ssang.
It didn’t take a genius to guess that those bastards must’ve altered the agreement to suit themselves by now. This Pungguk gang turned out to be a nest of parasites rivaling even the Midge Ur back in the jungles of Ituri. A Midge Ur laid eggs and devoured the host’s body until the poor victim was dead.
Just like what happened to Habib, these punks deserved to get buried in the middle of the desert as per Allah’s commandments. Let the hyenas feast on their bones until nothing’s left behind.
“What’s the relationship between the Pungguk gang’s boss Bak Gi-chung and the separate collection team’s boss, Jang Yeong-pal?”
“Mutual cooperation, big bro, with neither above the other. And Jang Yeong-pal’s a second-gen Japanese Korean.”
“Hmm… We’ll deal with Jang Yeong-pal first, then. The number of the separate collection team’s members?”
“Not sure exactly. The regular members seem to be around twenty, but another fifty or so other yangahchis are brought in depending on the situation, big bro. The regular members all stay in the dormitory inside the branch office, by the way.”
“That’s good. As long as I know where, their overall numbers ultimately don’t matter.” Mu Ssang nodded slowly. Ten or hundred, it didn’t really matter to him one way or the other. “Nupchi, this girl here is Yeonghui, and this one is Yeongji. You’re now in charge of their protection from today onward. I
don’t have to tell you the reason, right? Until I say it’s enough, commute to this place every morning and accompany them to their schools, then bring them home after the school’s over. If annoying flies dare to buzz around these girls, don’t worry about the consequences and pulverize them.”
“Yes sir, leave it to us.”
“Girls, you should not wander away from either your schools or this house for the foreseeable future. You must not try to sneak out, understand what I mean?”
“Hooray, I’m finally going back to school!”
Yeong-hee replied demurely while Yeongji joyously bounced around. As luck would have it, today was the opening day of her school. Yeonghui didn’t have lectures today, so she chose to stay home while Yeongji went to pick up her school bag.
“sparkly uncle, please take care of me!”
“Don’t you worry about a thing, princess,” said Ttol-bbak as he bowed his gorilla-like torso ninety degrees forward.
“Thank you so much, President Bak,” said Mrs Yang as tears pooled in the edges of her eyes. To think that she’d get to see the day her daughter could go back to school! It didn’t feel real at all even after it happened right before her eyes.
“You can rest easy, ma‘am. That fella Ttol-bbak might look a bit slow in the head, but he’s on another realm altogether compared to some measly loan sharks.” Mu Ssang grinned back, then turned around to leave, his new destination the basement floor.
It might seem pointless to compare the sizes of acorns (gangsters), but still… Some acorns were larger than the others.
On the second basement floor under the Eungsim-
“Yawn… You’re here again so soon? Must be something important, huh. Where’s that chicken always waddling behind you, though?”
Kamdoong lazily rolling around on the hwamunseok yawned loudly, then wiped away a trickle of tears with its front paw.
“It flew off to Japan. Chicken had been nagging me for tritium, so I asked DGSE about it. And they said it’s half a million Francs for one gram. Obviously, I freaked out. That dang thing wanted three thousand grams of the stuff, but I didn’t have the money for it.”
“Wait, the invincible Eastern Swordsman has no money?” Kamdoong’s lips quivered.
“Yup, I don’t. Bonipas informed me on the sly that a heavy-water nuclear reactor with the TRE  built in can be found in the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant on the coast of Shizuoka. And apparently, Hamaoka’s reactors produce about 4,000 grams of tritium per year. Our little cock with no feathers just
took off like a lightning bolt when I mentioned the coordinates.”
“Aigoo, you cheapskate! Just by selling off all the gold down here, you could…”
“Hey, those are just a pile of lead painted yellow, got that? Just painted lead, that’s all. Besides, Chicken can just cling onto the reactor’s titanium exhaust and siphon as much tritium as it wants. I see no reason to waste 1.5 billion Francs in that case. By the way, why does it even need so much of that
expensive tritium, to begin with?” Mu Ssang smartly steered the conversation away to another topic.
“Tritium is a necessary catalyst in nuclear fusion. The probability of Heca’s energy source being a fusion reactor is quite high.”
“A fusion reactor? Are you saying that a furless cock is capable of controlling plasma over a hundred million degrees in temperature?”
‘Mu Ssang’s eyes widened. A nuclear fission reactor and a fusion reactor were not even on the same scale of difficulty. The technology of working fusion reactor is an energy source of dreams. It had been twenty years since the United States of America commissioned the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
USS Enterprise. However, even such a nation had failed to take a single step toward a working nuclear fusion reactor.
The scientific community was raising a lot of noise over this technology. Currently, two opposing sides were glaring at each other with no signs of backing off — one side arguing that within a century, we’d see a working prototype of a nuclear fusion reactor, while the other side arguing that the idea of a
fusion reactor itself was a just pipe dream.
To think that Chicken had a built-in nuclear fusion reactor, though! Even if that little thing was a living robot built by the Concretus, that still sounded utterly unbelievable.
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Kamdoong continued on. “By compressing either methyl mercaptan or hydrogen sulfide with the pressure a ten million times heavier than the atmosphere, you get superconductor. Stack one million superconductor membranes on top of one another, punch a hole with the radius of one/one-hundred
thousandth of a micron through the stack, then shoot tritium inside to get…”
“Ah, aaaah! That’s enough. Enough, I say! Yes, yes, I know I’m stupid, okay?” Mu Ssang hurriedly waved his hands. Listening to a bunch of alien words he didn’t understand would only give him a nasty case of migraine.
“I knew it. Explaining to you was a waste of time. In any case. Heca will awaken once it acquires enough energy. By the time it returns to you, I’m sure it’ll have transformed significantly.”
“Sigh. No matter how much it’s changed, it’s still Chicken to me.” Mu Ssang grumbled away while pushing aside the large business-use refrigerator.
(1] The Eastern Monastery of the Original Vow
 Tritium Removal Facility