Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 571

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Chapter 571 Chapter 52 Episode 7 Choi Do-shik
A duel between experts was often decided by their ‘breathing.’
The moment you lose your breathing was the moment your head went flying and your heart pierced right through. However, you had no choice but to keep breathing in and out to supply oxygen to your muscles contracting and relaxing at an explosive rate. Mu Ssang’s muscle cells trained in the slow-and-deep breathing technique could maintain contraction without oxygen for around seven to eight minutes. Such a thing was basically cheating in close-quarter battles between experts.
One deep exhale led to a large quantity of air being pushed out, and then… Hup-hup-hupThe staccato-like inhales sucked in the oxygen like a vacuum cleaner. Sleeping cells woke back up and their previously limp state tautly tensed up.
It had been a while since he last experienced this feeling of violence. His brain shuddered in ecstasy after tasting the familiar sensation of bones breaking and muscles ripping apart. The reason why he didn’t feel the guilt of murder was because his opponents this time were Japanese, or more specifically, ninjas. The Pungguk gang members could only stay dead still after unintentionally becoming witnesses to a gruesome… no, to a never-before-seen slaughter-fest. The intruder this time had to be an unmatched, unrivaled devil in existence. A mad, savage devil that burned so brightly in front of their eyes! Yangahchis, subjected to terror intense enough to rip out their hearts and cut off their throats, couldn’t even dare to look away.
Mu Ssang pulled out the shuriken caught by his oblique muscles. Five blades gleamed sharply under the fluorescent light. Even the stab-proof vest manufactured out of Bossaurus tendons and Dyneema was still not enough to defend against a shuriken containing inner force. He stared at the hole in the clothes with dismay. No blood was shed thanks to his quick thinking and his skin and muscles trained in the combined repetitive expelling theory. Even so, there was no escaping the fact that he almost got injured from the cheap tricks of some rats. This was the fault of his combat sense getting rusty. He hadn’t entered a battlefield in over a year already. The longer the peace, the worse the rusting of your mind as well as the softening of your muscles. The training was just that, training. Instead of one hundred simulated combat training, participating in just one life-or-death struggle full of blood and broken bones were far more effective.
‘Eiiii, dang it. Gye-soon’s gonna nag the hell out of me, won’t she?’ Mu Ssang was nervous about the holes in the jacket and shirt. Eungsim-je might be a humongous han-ok, but he chose not to employ a dedicated caretaker for the place. As a tightwad, Mu Ssang just couldn’t stand the idea of people lazing around. Kamdoong sneakily took care of repair and reinforcement work while the five sisters took on the duties of cooking, cleaning, laundry, and managing the garden.
Gye-soon was in charge of the laundry. Befitting her sharp, alert looks, she sure had a ton of nagging energy in her, too. Some time ago, there was an incident of Mu Ssang smacking around a Yangahchi near the back roads of the Dalseong Park. The blood from the punk landed on Mu Ssang’s clothes, which led to a barrage of nagging that nearly knocked him out cold. But now that his clothes got a hole in them… it seemed unlikely that he’d dodge that girl’s nagging this time.
“Hey, Jap. Pretty good, not making any noise or giving off any presence.” Mu Ssang spoke while lightly shaking around the shuriken. “You are fine after Hidden Soul Flight? Stunning. I am Gato Danzo. I wish, know the name of you, warrior.” (TN: Gato speaks in broken Korean. Tried to convey that with broken English.) Black Three’s voice was trembling. Although he spoke in broken Korean, there was no issue with understanding him. “Old man, it seems you know how to speak Korean. Why did you let that fatso interpret for you, then?” The ninja covered his face with dark sunglasses and a mask. Even his voice sounded sprightly, too. However, they were still not enough to fool Mu Ssang’s senses. Gato was a wrinkly old man in his seventies. “Kankokujin are inferior subjects. Language of inferior is vulgar, so I don’t use. But, Kankoku warrior, very amazing.” (Kankokujin: Japanese for South Korean) Gato replied matter-of-factly. He was thinking that time was on his side. His opponent must be using some amazingly high level of endurance to withstand the venom of Gokuraku-poon (Paradise poison), but no one could last for more than three minutes against this poison. He was certain that if he played along to keep the crazed dog calm, time should take care of everything. ‘This old fart deserves a damn beating, doesn’t he!
Mu Ssang’s mood instantly soured. The old ninja was saying that speaking in Korean dirtied his mouth, but since his opponent, today was too excellent to be from an inferior race of people, he’d deign to speak in the inferior tongue. You could say anything you want – free speech and all – but that didn’t mean the listener wasn’t allowed to get offended by it.
Any thoughts of sending the old man off gently vanished completely from Mu Ssang’s mind.
“Haigoo-, you sure know how to flap your gums, don’t you? I heard that the halls of the Eastern Monastery of the Original Vow are teeming with senile specters dreaming of the Greater East Asia empire. And what do you know, looks like one of those senile specters has crawled his way in here, too. You must be an elder or something, so why did you stop attacking me?” The life-or-death fight just now ended too quickly for the remaining two to join in, but judging from the nature of ninjas, they should’ve kept attacking Mu Ssang even now. “Iga-ryū shinobi are Samurai. A Jonin (high-grade ninja) don’t join when Chunin and Genin, fighting.” Gato replied flatly while glancing at the much-younger Black Four. Gokuraku-poon was a powerful nerve toxin as well as hemolysin derived from the essence extracted from an osanshouo’s hide (Japanese giant salamander), mixed with melted venom from the taipan species of snakes and fungus. It was about time the toxin’s deadly effects started manifesting. “Haigoo! So, what you are saying is, you threw away expendable underlings to figure out your enemy’s combat strength. Hey, as*hole. You might have been a terrible bastard when younger, but now that you’ve become an old man, you should at least try to be more like a human being. A punk like you is called ‘chinpira’ (yangahchi) in Korea.”
“A warrior doesn’t die, don’t get insulted. We only scatter like sakura petals!”
Mu Ssang found the old ninja busy spewing a line from a haiku laughably stupid. He certainly had no desire to argue the ethics with a loon who seemed to be utterly brainwashed in the legend of Samurai filled with collective madness and willingness to throw away their lives.
Besides, what was the point of wasting energy running his mouth off when he had two ready-to-fight fists and a sharp blade? He didn’t like this old man’s very Japanese-like insidious and hypocritical behavior, either. Sure, hidden weapons and poisons were a part of one’s arsenal. Even then, all those talks about warriors and sakura petals and whatnot were getting on Mu Ssang’s nerves.
“Fut! Busy yapping on like a mutt flapping its wings after chomping on a frog or something. If it wasn’t you, then maybe it was a passing ghost that chucked this poisoned shuriken in my way. You know, Korean warriors will never use poison because it’s too shameful to do so. A low-life punk using hidden weapons and poison busy calling himself a warrior, eh-? You must be the type to argue that a kitten is a lion, then.” Mu Ssang proceeded to pour out a bucket full of insults before licking the shuriken’s poisoned blade. “Heok?!” Gato’s composure collapsed instantly.
That bastard knew that the shuriken was coated in poison all along, but simply pretended to be unaware until now. What’s even more shocking was that he actually licked and ingested the fatal poison, Gokuraku-poon. That poison was a powerful neurotoxin. If ingested, its effects would become so much worse. Gato placed his dimming hope on that.
“Are you surprised? Slightly bitter and sharp, eh? Tastes pretty good, I have to say. Did you know that Koreans enjoy eating garlic and various chilies, and as a palate cleanser, we also ingest venom? Drawing black lines on a pumpkin doesn’t turn it into a watermelon, and likewise, pumping air into a flatfish doesn’t turn it into fugu. Just like you say, allow me to scatter you fools like sakura petals.”
Mu Ssang’s glare became deadly cold. “Euh, euh…” Gato spat out a faint little moan. He felt a creepy chill run down his spine. The opponent today had to be a top tactician. Not only did he excel in stunning martial arts and physical abilities, he was also a resourceful strategist capable of reading the situation and responding to it accordingly. Gato was dismayed to realize that a Jingol’ (true bone) tactician could be found in Korea when the lineage of such tacticians had been severed a long time ago in Japan.
The shuriken in Mu Ssang’s hand began vibrating. His target wasn’t Gato, but Black Four. Mu Ssang caught on to the fact that Gato was secretly trying to protect Black Four. The reason why the old man didn’t personally get involved in the fight just now was probably to secure the safety of Black Four.
A villain would only get to learn the pain felt by others after losing something precious to them.
The red-hot shuriken flashed before jumping across space. Kwa-aaaahA throwing weapon no bigger than half a person’s palm roared like an enraged storm, caused by its velocity faster than that of a bullet.
Black Four’s complexion paled instantly. He felt his own solar plexus tingle ominously when that devil moved his hand. There wasn’t any time to think or dodge; he instinctively swung his wakizashi.
An ear-piercing metallic noise rang out to prove that twenty-plus years of harsh training wasn’t just for show.
Unfortunately…! His wakizashi couldn’t withstand the kinetic energy of the shuriken traveling faster than a bullet and snapped in half.
The shuriken decelerated slightly before stabbing deep into Black Four’s chest. Whiiiirrrrr-!
The spinning shuriken continued to dig deeper into the chest flesh.
Black Four’s brain failed to process what happened in that blink of an eye. Even as the sliced and torn flesh danced and scattered like the sakura petals, he stood his ground while gripping the broken wakizashi with all his might.
Mu Ssang was merciless. He fully repaid Gato for running his mouth off. That’s why one should always be careful with what they say in front of heartless jerks.
A scream belatedly exploded out of Black Four’s mouth, the whites of his eyes showing. “N-no! It can’t be!” Gato hurriedly reached toward Black Four’s chest, but there was nothing he could do by then. “H-how is that even possible?!” Bak Gi-Chung’s jaw dropped to the floor as he pointed at Black Four’s chest.
Thick smoke gushed out of the ninja’s chest as if someone had shoved a burning charcoal briquette in there. The nose-stinging stench of burnt human protein instantly filled up the office.
Human flesh and blood ripped and shredded, scattering in the air; Black Four’s chest with smoke gushing out; a high-pitched howl of the dying and the accompanying thrashing of the limbs; the dying man’s colleague trying to save his life but failing…
This scene created by Asura was on a whole another realm compared to that of human
“I shall be more merciful, then.”
Black Two’s wakizashi crossed the space with great momentum.
The sword skewered into Black Four and flung him backward.
Black Four slammed into the concrete wall. He now resembled a stuffed animal mounted on a wall, smoke still pouring out of his chest.
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‘That’s… not a good look, isn’t it!’
A dark shadow cast over Mu Ssang’s expression. He had already seen through the level of abilities and methods of these ninjas. He never planned to kill them so viciously but then Gato had to say that nonsense about inferior race and whatever.
“Wha, what-what?!”
Shock and horror swept across the office. That thing on the wall was not the head of a deer or the horns of a water buffalo. No, that was a living person, now skewered to the wall!
Blergh, wuu-eeehk… The Punggunk gang Yangahchis began throwing up just then. Bak Gi-chung also joined their ranks. Kang Min-Seok realized how futile his life have been so far. He didn’t even want to live anymore. If only he took care of Kim Gi-Taek’s loans in a normal manner, that monster would’ve just paid up the debt and left quietly. Kang Min-Seok was the culprit that opened the lid of hell.
A devil as terrifying as that man was living a quiet life somewhere, yet Kang Min-Seok busy flapped his gums about how small this world was. Even though he was no better than a bug compared to that man!
He grew so ashamed and hateful of himself. As a matter of fact, he wanted to leave this planet if that was possible.
Gato’s eyes became bloodshot. The Suga Yoshihide Jonin currently impaled on the wall was the successor of the organization. To broaden the young successor’s horizons, they came to Korea to inspect their ‘special’ business operation with the Pungguk gang’s cooperation… only for them to get annihilated like this.
If this was indeed reality, Gato didn’t want to believe it. If it was a dream, then it had to be the worst nightmare in his life.
“Koso Kurae!” (You f*cking bastard!)
Having thrown away his facade of leisure, Gato was now no different from a wild beast that lost its offspring to an enemy. Rage and killing intent changed him into a living demon.
“You said you’re Gato, right? How does it feel to lose something precious to you? Have you enjoyed this chance to reflect on your lives so far?”
“Kudabattesimae!” (I’ll kill you!)
Gato roared and aimed his wakizashi in the midstance. “Very well. Being stronger is justice in this field of work, anyway. Come! I shall give you a chance to exchange some moves with me.” Mu Ssang pulled out Chomolungma from under his jacket.
The milky-white blade began ringing and vibrating
“… The crying blade!” Gato flinched nastily.
In Higashi Honganji’s six hundred years of history, only one person managed to make his blade cry, and that was the Great Martial Teacher with the blood of Joseon running in him.
An unexplainable sense of defeat washed up in Gato’s heart, but he quickly took control of his emotions. A warrior does not die, he merely scatters like the petals. That’s all. Chewa-ruru-!
A string with a pendulum-like weight attached to its end wrapped around Gato’s wrist. The thumb-sized weight emitting dark luster and a string about six meters long attached to the armguard entered his palm.
‘Is that a miniature meteor hammer?’
Mu Ssang was looking forward to seeing how Gato would utilize that meteor hammer-like weapon. Wakizashi were fairly common, but a pendulum-type weapon was quite a rare sight, indeed.
Gato released about sixty centimeters of the string and began rocking it back and forth. The weight rocking left and right soon began spinning in a circle.
A sharp high-frequency noise spread within the office. Yangahchis began frowning. Kkiii-, kkiiiiiii-… The noise slowed down before picking back up again in a strange rhythm. Three different lights seemed to flicker from the weight at the same time. The frowning faces of Yangahchis went slack just then. Their jaws hung loose, their gazes fixed to the spinning weight. “…What a pathetic trickery that is.” Mu Ssang glared at the spinning weight unhesitantly past his ruthless judgment. That was just a hypnotism technique relying on high-frequency noise and light to stimulate a specific part of a human brain. Just like when one took drugs, a large quantity of dopamine is secreted by the brain would cause a person’s consciousness to become blurry and weak. A dirty, cheap skill befitting ninjas, then.
The weight suddenly flew in like a lightning bolt.
The shuddering air was shoved aside.
The weight carrying a great deal of momentum was easily caught by Mu Ssang’s hand. Didn’t matter whether it was a weight or its grandpa, none of it could overcome an Epidium’s physical specs or the defenses of the heavenly artifact, Billion Water Armor.
“Heok?!” Gato’s eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.
He didn’t even have enough time to get shocked, however. An incredible force suddenly yanked Gato forward. However, he was no pushover. Gato instantly stopped resisting, then raised his inner force to lighten his body.
Gato even added repulsive force to Mu Ssang’s pulling power to fly in towards his target like an arrow.
Gato yanked his sword out. An elder-grade ninja’s iaido scything through the air could generate a blade speed of over 100 meters per second. When combined with the wakizashi’s weight of one kilogram, the impact force should be similar to a compact sedan crashing into a wall.
A cold metallic light fell on Mu Ssang’s head.
But then, a milky-white blade rapidly rose up. The milky-white light and the pale metallic one crisscrossed each other.
The wakizashi’s blade was cut in half by Chomolungma. Gato’s chin also happened to be within the bone blade’s trajectory.
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The milky white light scythed all the way through Gato’s crown. His expression became dejected. “…Sugoi! Gonokoto… O… isuusa kokai… ko… kaisimasu yo…” (Amazing! But you’ll come to regret today.) The end of Gato’s sentence blurred. Before he could finish, his soul left his flesh. In one exchange, Higashi Honganji’s martial teacher, Elder Gato breathed his last. This was his reward for angering Asura. Once Gato’s inner force stopped circulating, a crimson line running down from the crown of his head to Adam’s apple gradually materialized.
Blood exploded like fireworks going off. Gato’s head split open wide.
A corpse with its soul long gone crumpled unsightly to the floor. Episode 2
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