Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 574
Chapter 574 Chapter 52 Episode 10 Choi Do-shik
Even more, practitioners were using the Body-Renewing Practice to mass-produce ‘simple’ fanatics.
It was unknown just how many women had been kidnapped. However, according to Gangwon Provincial Police Agency’s database, the missing person cases for the districts of Inje, Yanggu, and Wontong in the past decade numbered over three hundred.
That’s why Choi Do-shik couldn’t be a human, just a dreadful monster. “Chiksho! Tr-ai-tor! You dastardly, sinful degenerate!” Choi Do-shik began growling like a wounded beast. The gypsum board from the ceiling began falling while the windows vibrated noisily. Choi Do-shik’s voice was burning with naked killing intent and resentment. However, it made sense why he’d feel this way when looking at things from his perspective.
No.37 was not only his ‘disciple’ but also an enslaved person. As such, it was not wrong to call Mu Ssang a degenerate since not only did he damage his master’s physical body, he even dared to wreck his master’s influential work (?) too.
Humans tended to see and feel what they wanted to see and feel.
‘He sure can be scary when he’s angry like this!’
The dark and dreary killing intent gushing out from Choi Do-shik stung Mu Ssang’s skin. He circulated the resonance wave to remove the sticky killing intent acting like a fishing net.
“We never were in a relationship of trust and loyalty for you to start blabbing nonsense like betrayal and stuff. Why bother calling me a traitor when two of us are not meant to exist under the same sky in the first place? It sounds like you don’t care whether all those Red-Faces are alive or not. Even though they served you all their lives. I know you got tainted by the Jap’s way of thinking, but humans shouldn’t live like that, you know?”
Mu Ssang snickered detestably. Choi Do-shik’s complexion morphed to resemble a fresh liver yanked out from a Kabuki actor covered in lime. How dare a mere maruta try to lecture the great leader of the Pure White Cult! Not only that but in such a rude manner, too!
The brazen manner of speech from a punk young enough to be Choi Do-shik’s grandson nearly caused the rice grains from a meal he had four days ago to start acting up. “…Dammit!
However, Choi Do-shik quickly reflected on himself. The be-all and end-all of Bushido was the calm mind. A samurai should know how to smile while stabbing into a comrade’s heart and shed tears of sadness while cutting off enemies’ heads.
One deep breath was enough for Choi Do-shik’s enraged expression to revert to his previous pale complexion. The great martial teacher of Higashi Honganji getting riled up by a mere enslaved person’s provocation? The whole world would snicker at that nonsense.
“You are nothing but a failure that won’t last a few more years. After that, either your brain will turn into jelly, or you’ll turn into a madman. I am not so free that I’d get attached to some disposable failure.” Choi Do-shik stopped talking there and silently gazed at the corpses of the Ide disciples. Tanaka and Gondo were excellent combatants even among the Ide disciples. They should be seen as top experts if elders were excluded from the evaluation. As for Elder Gato was more like a ‘manager’ known for excellent administrative abilities rather than his combat strength. However, he was still an elder at the end of the day.
Never mind failing to protect the top inheritor of the clan, Yoshihide. These three capable combatants who had mastered the mysterious ways of ninjutsu for dozens of years couldn’t even swing their swords properly before getting killed off. ‘Hah, hahaha! Although he’s an insolent punk, I have raised him properly, haven’t I? Only I could have raised a creature like him, no one else!’ Choi Do-shik was feeling rather chuffed. No.37, he taught for only around seven months destroyed four special-grade ninjas that trained for decades in the art of ninjutsu. Just how great was this punk, in that case! And Choi Do-shik was the teacher of such a man. Didn’t that prove how incredible he was!
What a bunch of worthless trash, losing to a youngster still reeking of mother’s milk! If No.37 was comparable to a fine gemstone, then these four ninjas were a pile of excrement.
Choi Do-shik’s gaze looking down on the corpses became colder. The unpredictable whim of a psychopath was now swaying in a weird direction.
“Okyubomono!” (You useless trash!) A chilling curse word slithered out of his lips. Mu Ssang didn’t know Japanese, but he did pick up on the ‘trash’ part. Well, he heard that every day from Baek-bu and Missus Jang, after all.
“Hehehe. Trash, indeed. The disposed of objects were defective goods if you consider them as objects. It’s funny. There aren’t many defects among the Japanese goods. Still, many of the actual Japanese is defective in the head for several reasons. Oii, Mister Defect, are you a Joseon-jin or a Jap?” Mu Ssang continued to snicker, but Choi Do-shik replied faintly. “Heh. If you wish to know, then I’ll tell you. Sixty years ago, a Joseon-jin threw away a baby not even a hundred days old in a valley near Cheon-Eunsa in the Jiri Mountain. An honorable Higashi Honganji monk passing by took in this dying baby, personally changed his diapers, and raised him by begging around for milk.
“The monk sent the baby to the medical university and even taught him the clan’s top-secret arts. So, am I a Joseon-jin or a Nippon-jin?” Choi Do-shik returned Mu Ssang’s question with another question while sounding like he was reading off a textbook. The story he told was as dry as his dry, flat delivery.
Dismayed a bit by the reply, Mu Ssang asked back. “And so? Higashi Honganji is a ninja organization. Are you saying you’re glad that they raised you as the organization’s weapon? Thankful that they raised you as a vicious hunting dog?” “What does it matter? Thanks to the clan’s benevolence, I’ve become a powerful individual. What else is needed in that case?”
Mu Ssang and his sharp tongue couldn’t develop a timely retort to that. Choi Do-shik’s attitude resembled a hungry man that would gobble and a thirsty man who would drink water. He implied that he’d alternatively become a more powerful monster than some frail human being. “No.37. Let me ask you a question, too. How did you escape from the stalactite cave? No, wait. How did you escape from the influence of my Soul-Renewing Practice?” That was the homework Choi Do-shik failed to figure out for the past seven years. The curiosity was driving him mad right now.
“Amaterasu lit the torch and guided me the way.” Mu Ssang curtly replied.
How could he explain in mere words all the physical and psychological pain caused by the Soul-Renewing Practice? His killing intent broke out of his control and began boiling over.
“Yosh, Yosh! The brilliant light of Amaterasu lighting the universe is indeed the guiding light of all living beings, the shortest way to enlightenment. The lighting is the grace of Japan’s god.” Slap, slap-!
Choi Do-shik began slapping his forehead.
‘Maybe he is a nutcase, after all?’ Mu Ssang cocked an eyebrow and stared agog at Choi Do-shik acting weirdly. This old fart turned out to be even more insane than some random religious nutjob clinging onto you at the exit of Seoul subway station, busy pestering you with questions of “Do you know what the righteous path is, good sir?” Either he was insane for real, or he was born-again Jap to the core. Choi Do-shik suddenly became severe. “No.37. You are the sole success story of my superhuman project. No, wait. A girl also escaped from the Soul-Renewing Practice’s side effects, so does that make two? No, that girl’s talents are simply not up to snuff, so she’s a failure. Listen, No.37. I shall let bygones be bygones. Come back to the fold. In the past, you were my successor, and you’re still my successor, even now.”
“Come back? Your successor??”
Mu Ssang had to question his hearing just then. Choi Do-shik’s resentment should run to the deepest core of his being since that’s how Mu Ssang felt. Did someone like that say he’d forget about his resentment with a straight face? Even though Mu Ssang stabbed him in the neck with a stalactite, cut off his limb, and even destroyed his dantian?
Not only that, he’d accept Mu Ssang as his successor? Even though the latter burned down the hideout in the Bangtae Mountain built through so much care and attention? Even though the latter slaughtered all the Red-Faces raised at a high cost?!
What an unfunny joke this was.
“That’s right. You are superhuman. And by standing next to me, a celestial being, we can trample on the entire world. So Amaterasu has guided you to the start of a monumental undertaking.”
“Heol?!” Mu Ssang’s jaw dropped to the floor.
He had a feeling that Choi Do-shik was insane, but even he never expected the level of the old fart’s insanity to be this extreme. So a man nearly lost to resentment now wanted to join forces with his sworn enemy to conquer the world?! “Looks like playing the part of a cult leader for too long has turned you into a nutcase suffering from mythomania. So you’ve gone beyond the deep end and came out the other way, huh. Tsk, tsk!” Mu Ssang tutted loudly. “I-am-being-serious.” Choi Do-shik spoke one word at a time.
His expression was serious, his voice filled with unyielding conviction. His irises didn’t even flicker or waver once. His brainwaves remained composed, his blood flow just as calm.
Mu Ssang felt a chill creep upon his skin. This man- he was being deadly serious. He was insane.
Was Choi Do-shik genuinely insane? No, that wasn’t it. A psychopath was a ‘monomaniac’ that happened to be far more honest with their desires than an average person. Their instinct to satisfy their desires was far more potent than other primal instincts like resentment or rage. In that regard, one could argue that the most heroic and villainous people found throughout history were psychopaths. It was impossible to weaken that insane old fart’s conviction, and besides, Mu Ssang had no reason to continue humoring his nonsense, either. A beatdown was the best medicine for a crazy as*hole like him, anyway. “Hey, you piece of sh*t. Your very existence is filth and calamity to this world. Get my drift? Stop making me laugh by trying to play a hero, and offer up your head already. I shall cleanly cut it off this time.”
Feeling thoroughly disgusted now, Mu Ssang spewed out some choice words. The murderous intent and energy emission he’d been suppressing gushed out of him like a hurricane.
‘It’s impossible, then!’
Choi Do-shik tutted inwardly.
No.37 was a once-in-a-lifetime raw material. That’s why Choi Do-shik wanted to re-accept this young man as his disciple by burying the hatchet, but it seemed that reconciliation was no longer on the cards. No.37 was a heaven-defying rebel that managed to withstand the fourth stage of the Soul-Renewing Practice. However, if his ideas remained stubbornly fixed, he had to be eliminated.
“Chiksho! Orokamono!” (You foolish bastard!)
Even before his voice forcibly squeezed out of his vocal cords could reach his target, Choi Do-shik’s figure suddenly extended significantly. His Shadow Flight trained for five decades was as sneaky as the nightly fog and as rapid as a sudden flash of lightning.
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The air split apart. Mu Ssang’s head bent to the side ninety degrees. Swiiiiish-!
A punch missing Mu Ssang’s cheek by a hair’s breadth slammed into the support pillar behind him.
Concrete debris scattered everywhere, and the building rumbled noisily. A concrete pillar wide enough to wrap one’s arms around collapsed as if heavy machinery had crushed
Mu Ssang’s spinning figure was falling towards the back of Choi Do-shik’s head. Choi Do-shik’s upper body, about to get hit by that counter, ignored the human physiology by spinning to the left side and escaping from the arc of the attack.
The jumping attack lost its target and split the air instead.
A standing coat rack in the trajectory was severed in half. A three-inch thick piece of furniture made of maple trees was cut into two parts as if a treasure sword had cleaved it apart.
After this brief exchange of moves, the two men quickly created distance between them. Blood seeped out on Mu Ssang’s cheek after the strong fist wind brushed past him. Meanwhile, blood leaked out of Choi Do-shik’s ear.
Although there wasn’t any direct impact, the capillary vessels in his skin still ruptured from the strong fist wind. The two men became so severe after the first exchange ended in a draw.
The resonance wave traveled along Mu Ssang’s skin.
Purple scales rapidly enveloped Choi Do-shik’s skin.
The resonance wave enveloped the exterior of Mu Ssang’s body with a layer of air. Choi Do-shik’s Hidden Soul Fish Scale Armor was actually ’tissues’ activated through special nano cells formed below his inner skin. Like how a lotus leaf let water droplets trickle down its surface, it performed the role of deflecting any incoming external impact.
Although their natures were different, they were also protective mechanisms performing similar functions.
Mu Ssang didn’t bring out his Billion Water Armor. As a result, he might never get another chance to fight an expert on the level of Choi Do-shik. A strong enemy was supposed to be a good teacher. If he relied on treasures to fight, he might waste this heaven-sent opportunity to enhance his innate abilities.
Mu Ssang charged in first. Rip-! The blade of his hand tore through the air. Choi Do-shik felt the sensation of the middle of his forehead splitting open just then.
Choi Do-shik’s forearm shot up to deflect the attack. But the moment he performed the Hidden Soul Kick, his temple suddenly began itching with the sense of danger. Paht-!
His body reacted before his brain could. Choi Do-shik’s head snapped back so fast that his spine almost broke in half. Fwoooosh
Mu Ssang’s elbow ripped past the air, missed its target, and blew apart a chunk of a concrete pillar in the way. Choi Do-shik’s hair stood on their ends at that sight. His head almost got blown apart just now. No. 37’s reflexes began surpassing Choi Do-shik’s. Then, just a briefest of a brief slip-up by Choi Do-shik, and Mu Ssang’s favorite attack, Eighteen Beats of Shock, erupted forth. His hands, feet, head, shoulders, elbows, and knees spun around in a flowing sequence and attacked like a cartwheel. Thirty-six continuous blows rained down like a hailstorm in a span of a single breath Bang-! Bang-! Bang-! Explosions continued to ring out loudly. Choi Do-shik unleashed his Hidden Soul Energy to the fullest to defend against the relentless barrage of blows.
The two men’s figures could no longer be seen with naked eyes. Only vague dusky silhouettes and explosion sounds were audible. Every time they took a step, the patterned stone floor caved in, and the whole building rumbled and shook. The concrete debris and wrecked furniture scattered and flew around whenever punches and kicks missed their targets.
The office of the Pungguk gang transformed into a deadly ruin. The lightning struck down Yangahchis out of the blue. Pieces of concrete, broken bits of office furniture, ceiling panels, and other projectiles rained down like hailstorms. The incoming storm winds ripped open their heads and tore through their flesh. Like ants trapped in an epic elephant fight, these yangahchis couldn’t do more than cling on desperately to the wall like cicadas. They couldn’t even breathe properly due to being gripped by the fear of getting hit by the debris. They couldn’t open their eyes because of all the dust.
“Huh-euh… Mommy, please save me…” Kang Min-seok tried to dig himself even deeper into the wall’s corner. His skin stung, and his breathing clogged up whenever the fight between two monsters got closer to his position. His skin and clothes were all ripped up as if razors were scratching his body.
He was experiencing the killing intent and powerful fist winds of the genuine experts, something he only heard about in various tall tales. Monsters that should only exist in manhwas and movies had leaped out into the real world. Compared to them, Kang Min-seok was nothing more than a helpless and feeble human being. He suddenly wanted to throw away everything and go back home to start farming with his mother.
A pipe flying at the speed of sound stabbed deeply through the bathroom door. Nupchi, unable to win against his curiosity and was about to open the door carefully, freaked out grandly and hurriedly closed the damaged door. After that, he couldn’t bring himself to open the door again. Nupchi forcibly folded his massive frame below the washbasin and muttered helplessly. “Big bro, thank you. You’re now my religion, big brother. I swear to stay loyal to you forever.”
A tiger merely saw a rabbit as food and would never try to look after it. But, on the other hand, Nupchi was genuinely moved by Mu Ssang’s warm heart that cared for some worthless punk like him. And there were Mu Ssang’s incredible abilities to consider, too.
Boom-! All sorts of noises and explosions continued to ring out loudly. Arm and arm collided, and leg tangled up with leg. Hitting walls caused said walls to collapse. Hitting pillars caused said pillars to crumble. From the start, the two men’s battle remained as close-quarter combat.
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When Choi Do-shik took a half-step forward, Mu Ssang slipped away half a step to his right or left. When Mu Ssang tried to charge in, Choi Do-shik’s turn to dodge to his left or right. The battle between experts was a battle of ‘space.’ You’d lose your space by using large movements to avoid incoming attacks, making it that much harder to counterattack on time.
Exchanges of attacks and defenses filled with danger continued, where one mistake could mean losing their lives. Noises of bones breaking and muscle shredding continued, but the battle only got more intense and unrelenting. The space between the two men grew wide, concentrated killing intent and auras. Even the air became sticky, heavy. Sonic booms exploded every time they exchanged attacks, and the office interior swept up in the strong fist winds now resembled pandemonium. POW-!
Two loud explosive noises rang out simultaneously. The moment Choi Do-shik’s Hidden Soul Palm slammed into Mu Ssang’s chest, the latter’s headbutt burst forth at the speed of light. Mu ssang stumbled back two steps, while Choi Do-shik faltered ungainly and stumbled back nonstop. The latter might have reinforced his physical body through a martial art technique, but it was still not enough to win against an Epidium’s steel-like noggin.
Mu Ssang’s head was so hard that even Monk Dae-woo was amazed by its sturdiness, after all!