Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 575
Chapter 575 Chapter 52 Episode 11 Choi Do-shik
Even his hard skull or Hidden Soul Energy couldn’t withstand the blow on a par with the momentum of a 1,000-kilogram perforator hammer. Blood oozed out of Choe Dosik’s nose and ears and flowed down his face. His skull was cracked and his brain was shaken which he perceived as vibrations that felt like ocean waves. When the sensory processing was halted, he couldn’t see or hear anything as if he entered the deep sea.
“I will finish you off! Huh?”
Mussang, approaching him again, somersaulted in the air. Several dozens of bullets as big as a knuckle grazed his soles and buried themselves in the wall. Even though Choe Dosik was unconscious, his experienced body, which trained for 50 years, protected itself reflexively.
Hidden Soul Energy flowed throughout Choe Dosik’s body. His sensory organs were reanimated his bleeding stopped. His shock-induced temporary blindness lifted. The objects that were shaken and distorted in his vision, came into focus. Subject 37, in the posture of Stillness of Heaven’s Will, filled his field of view. Choe Dosik stared emotionlessly at Mussang. ‘Could he be a human?’
He kept his poker face but he was in fact severely shocked. His strike landed squarely on its target. He could feel it in his hand. Hidden Soul Palm, loaded with his inner energy, directly struck the man’s pit of the stomach. His palm could have shattered a thousand-year-old rock. The man was supposed to be coughing up blood on the ground now. Yet he stood proudly. Choe Dosik was awestruck.
Choe Dosik sent Hidden Soul Energy down his arm to relieve his numb hand. That man wasn’t made of flesh and blood but steel and quicksilver. It wasn’t just his palm that delivered Hidden Soul Palm that felt numb. His every limb that struck the man’s body felt numb and its joints felt loose. He felt as if he was fighting an elephant wearing iron armor.
‘Is that man the one I remember?’
It is said that a young man’s day is worth more than an old man’s year. But even that had to have a limit. He was a weakling that he could crush in less than a second. Now he stood before him, after seven years, as a master giving off inner energy. The man was now surely his match. If it was a joke, it was an awkward, unpleasant one. Even if the man were his student, Choe Dosik couldn’t have brought him to this level in seven years.
He had doubted the existence of Subject 37. They were said to possess the best physical strength and force of will in the entire world, but their existence was a mere possibility. For someone to reach a level where they can wield their energy at will, even with natural aptitude, it would take at least 30 years of training. When it came to the level where enlightenment was possible, hard work alone didn’t suffice.
Astonishingly, the man’s punches and kicks were loaded with Matured Evil Energy. It was an ability only someone of the highest caliber could acquire when they endure through the eight burning hells and the eight freezing hells. Even without a direct hit, Matured Evil Energy could make cells perish with its mere presence like radioactivity. Choe Dosik shook his head. He couldn’t figure out that one back then. He still couldn’t.
It was a matter of course. Mussang wandered around the very burning and freezing hells that Choe Dosik knew of. Thousands of humans died at his hands. There was no reason Mussang couldn’t acquire Matured Evil Energy which he himself referred to as Resonance Wave. Choe Dosik was forever destined to wander, oblivious that Subject 37 was the very Black Mamba, also known as the Angel of Death or the Nightmare of Battlefields.
‘Should I unleash a Great Way?’
Choe Dosik hesitated. Great Way Of Charged Blood And Energy was a spell that would eat away at his own life force. It overheated one’s body. With each use, a year was deducted from one’s lifespan. He also hesitated because he was coveting the young man.
South Korea’s police and military forces were tremendous, due to its conflict with North Korea. Whenever there was an incident, many trucks loaded with armed policemen ran to the site in no time, and fully arms soldiers swarmed out of the nearby barracks. Choe Dosik himself was arrested and charged with treason several times, which he barely escaped.
With firepower and advanced strategy, a single individual’s combat power fizzled. Choe Dosik had learned and practiced supernatural powers that allowed him to calmly gaze at the world without being influenced by it. But a swarm of men armed with modern weaponry could still subdue him. The deftest human could still not overtake the speed of sound. No amount of training rendered the body bulletproof. The most powerful master was still wounded by a bullet fired by a rookie cop or a new army recruit. For the last few decades, he witnessed his limit as an adept without the support of a superhuman. With Subject 37’s combat power and his supernatural powers, they could rule the world.
The conflict was short-lived. Subject 37 was already a fully grown beast with fangs and claws and all. Choe Dosik couldn’t turn him into his ally. An untamed beast needed to be euthanized. If he tried to catch it, he was going to be its feed.
Choe Dosik, with his fingers, deeply pressed the energy centers in his chin and the back of his neck. With the blockage removed, the stored energy coursed out like waterfalls. His blood vessels and muscles bulged.
Mussang, unlike Choe Dosik who was desperate, was feeling calm and leisurely. Choe Dosik, who haunted his dreams for a long time, now felt like nobody. He felt his trauma melt away.
Choe Dosik was adept at mobility and improvisation but he was as lightweight as he was quick. Mussang had overpowering physical strength and supernatural powers. Mussang didn’t know if Choe Dosik had unrevealed hidden powers but he also had many yet-to-be-unleashed numbers. Resonance Wave, Camouflage, Psychokinesis, Finger Wind, etc. If he lost to a man in his sixties, he surely didn’t merit the nickname Eastern Swordsman.
“What are you called?”
Choe Dosik had asked Mussang’s name for the first time. Choe Dosik proudly considered himself an adept. He only remembered the names of a few people whom he considered worthy. The rest were mere numbers.
“You can’t be serious.”
Choe Dosik gave off tremendous murderous energy. Feeling offended, he sprinted toward Mussang with heavy steps.
‘He is all show!
Mussang found Dosik’s quick and shallow movements laughable. Choe Dosik stabbed Mussang’s eyes with his fingers. All of his moves lacked grace and class. Mussang, after parrying Choe Dosik’s elbow, rolled left but something unexpected happened. He had thought he had figured out Choe Dosik’s moves and their patterns but it wasn’t so. When he expected a fist from his right side, a knee flew in with lightning speed from his left. Choe Dosik’s combat power was suddenly 150 percent augmented. Mussang’s body flew back like a log. Choe Dosik didn’t miss the chance where the opponent was sprawled on the ground. He straightened his leg and struck Mussang’s chest with his heel. Mussang, desperate, made a multi-layered shield of Resonance Wave on the struck area.
The thud was not characteristic of a normal strike. It was a sound similar to kicking styrofoam. Mussang, sustaining damage, bounced into the sky with his foot forward. The foot shoved into Choe Dosik’s chest like a missile. Choe Dosik, astonished by Mussang’s movement that seemed to defy natural laws, barely had time to block his foot. The momentum still shoved him skyward. Choe Dosik, without any resistance, let the blow hurl him away. When he landed, he took a deep breath and replenished oxygen.
The two monsters struck each other again. Mussang’s Five Combined Movement and Choe Dosik’s Hidden Soul techniques became enmeshed. Hands met hands and feet met feet. Knees, elbows, shoulders, and even head and buttocks, became weapons. None of them could utilize any great skill but had to resort to a succession of minor skills to defend each other’s attacks.
The place, over 3,300 square meters wide, was filled with crazed winds. The metal cabinet was crumpled like paper and desks and chairs turned to dust. The walls and floor were covered with dents. The surface of the walls was rapidly eroded as if carved by an invisible hand plane.
‘Does he not need to breathe?’
Choe Dosik was reaching complete exhaustion. Breathing was what differentiated offensive moves from defensive moves. The man didn’t seem to need to breathe. Therefore his moves had no such distinction. Each move was at the same time offensive and defensive. Even with superior speed, Choe Dosik found himself being overwhelmed due to the lack of breathing pauses in the man’s moves. Choe Dosik, cornered by Eighteen Beats of Shock, leaned against a pillar.
He had no way to withstand the powerful blows from all directions. He was planning to reduce the space the opponent could use offensively. Then he would attempt a counterattack. A kick, whose sound alone was shudder-inducing, struck. Choe Dosik embraced the pillar with Hidden Soul Steps and flew around it. Tremendous momentum struck the pillar.
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A bomb-like din sounded. The fortified pillar, struck by Mussang’s kick, collapsed. Even the 500-millimeter wide concrete pillar could not withstand repeated blows. The building trembled. Shards of concrete flew like shrapnel and gypsum boards fell from the ceiling.
Sad screams were heard. Those were of the shrimps caught in between a fight of whales. Concrete shards, flying at the speed of sound, shattered the thugs’ heads and ground their bodies. The lucky ones died instantaneously and the unlucky ones screamed. “Whoa!”
Choe Dosik, evading the blow by moving around the pillar, was still caught in the blast. The pillar, once his shield, became a murderous weapon. As the blast engulfed him, numerous debris cut his face, body, and limbs like flying blades. Choe Dosik, now completely covered in his own blood, was flung back like a kicked can.
Choe Dosik kicked a wall and turned in the air. His Panama hat was long gone. His Burberry coat was now blood-soaked rags. Choe Dosik, with messy hair, flashed across the space. He embodied the phrase, “The white ghost slinks at night.”
Choe Dosik’s kick landed on Mussang’s chest. He hadn’t expected Choe Dosik to bounce back to him like a ball bouncing off a wall. Mussang was flung back and hit a pillar. Choe Dosik flashed to him. Mussang, startled, teleported away. A punch landed where he used to be. The pillar cracked, threatening to collapse at any moment.
Mussang cracked his neck from side to side and adjusted his posture. He didn’t feel so calm and leisurely now. If his armor hadn’t reduced the initial damage, a few of his ribs would have been broken. Choe Dosik was much more adept at supernatural powers and moves. Even with Mussang’s natural aptitude, decades of training were not something that could be easily surmounted. “How are you able to do that?” “Hidden Soul Mirror!”
Choe Dosik answered simply. He needed to breathe. He had no time for long talks.
“I want to learn it!”
Mussang coveted the skill. It was an overpowered counter move, amplifying and returning the opponent’s move. Miraculously, silence enveloped the scene. All of the indoor lights had been shattered. Through the newly glassless windows, bright moonlight shone. Mussang wasn’t feeling quite satisfied. Choe Dosik’s face was starkly pale.
Choe Dosik clucked his tongue. When Subject 37’s fist grazed his shoulder, his bone cracked. His body was indeed metallic. He routed Hidden Soul Energy to heal the fracture. If he continued to fight the human metal, none of his bones and joints were going to last. He felt angry at himself for not being able to subdue a young kid like him.
‘Something feels weird.’
Choe Dosik felt a sudden pang of doubt. It was an absurd prospect but he felt like the young kid was steal-learning his skills. Did he have time to do that in the murderous scene? He didn’t feel good. He even had to reveal Hidden Soul Mirror yet he still couldn’t defeat the kid. How could such a being exist in this world? If the night grew long, more nightmares were bound to come. He had to put an end to it.
“I will kill you.”
Choe Dosik’s pupils turned gray. He needed to unblock another energy center. He opened the energy center below his belly button and awakened the energy stored around the area. The energy he inherited from his five teachers awakened his cells and coursed through his nerves. With that, his three-year energy-saving plan was foiled. Energy, once used and not retrieved to be stored in the body, evaporated. The whole situation fueled his rage.
Choe Dosik took out a dagger from his clothes. The blade was sharp and had a stark, blue sheen. The length was mere 30 centimeters but with the wavy patterns on its surface and the bright moon, the dagger gave off bloody, murderous energy.
Choe Dosik smiled at Mussang’s recognition of his beloved weapon. He even felt a bit of friendliness.
“The dagger from hell, Hell-Muramasa!”
Choe Dosik grinned. Muramasa, once a name of a famous swordsmith from the Muromachi period, now became a term to refer to the legendary weapons crafted by him. They were known for their sharpness. Like most daggers, Muramasas were used for many mutiny-assassinations. For this reason, they earned the nickname, “monster-blades.” The Hell-Muramasa was the blade with a horrendous backstory, in which Muramasa put his wife and daughter into the melted iron to forge the blade.
Mussang took out Chomolungma. It gave off the milk-white sheen.
“From that blade, I feel the weight of eons. What is it called?”
“A worthy name.”
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The blue blade flashed across the space with its owner and stabbed Mussang’s solar plexus. Mussang’s solar plexus retreated as if made of liquid. Five Combined Movement was combined with Flexible Moving Technique. It was a simple ruse but very effective. The opponent, suddenly losing their target, was bound to expose their own weakness.
What? Mussang grimaced. Choe Dosik’s arms were elongated and the tip of his blade thrust further without the least consternation. It was Hidden Soul Soul-Shattering Strike, which followed the target’s estimated movement. It was as cruel a skill as its name.
Mussang, despite all of his experience, was startled. He barely parried Muramasa with his left hand. As his balance was minutely disturbed, Choe Dosik brought his right arm closer to his chest with his left forearm, loaded his foot with momentum, and kicked Mussang. He had successfully used Mussang’s strength to his own benefit. Mussang, flung into the air, flew like a fired shell. A din was heard. Mussang had turned around in the air and landed on two feet. He barely evaded being a subject of a shameful sight.
Muramasa drew a circle then another. It drew five circles which then surrounded Mussang and danced around him like will-o’-the-wisps. It was Hidden Soul Tailing Steps. The ghostly fires rained down on him.
The milky white sheen of Chomolungma coursed across the air. The ghostly fires faded away in turn. Mussang had previously severed the wings from thousands of flies with a kukri.