Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 585
Chapter 585 Chapter 53 Episode 7 Connections
“You don’t want to taint your father’s name!”
Mussang reminisced. Do all children feel the same? Mussang himself had stayed in Jipeun Dari not to taint his own father’s name, even enduring abuse and hunger. Unless one gave up their humanity, one shouldn’t tarnish their parents’ names.
Parents are the same. Even though they have to wear torn-up rubber shoes, use coal to warm themselves, and have to gut countless fish to make a living, they want their children to wear good clothes, use a radiator, and never have to gut any fish for a living. Such beings are parents.
Even when they faced a sudden blizzard in a mountain pass, he was genuinely fearless, assured when he was with his father, and he wasn’t afraid. Even though his father’s body had disappeared, the memories they shared, such as time spent around a campfire in a cave and his father’s broad back on Mussang’s chest, stayed as nostalgia. Now, to Mussang, the weeping criminal thug in front of him didn’t look so evil.
“Ha Geukdo, are you Japanese?”
Mussang tested him the first time. “My real surname is Gim. It was given to my ancestor by Korea’s king. I am Gim Geukdo, a Korean. My ancestors came from Japan, but they have lived in Korea for 400 years and settled down with Koreans in marriage. So I am a real Korean.”
“If the surname gets revealed, could your ancestor be Gim Chungseon?”
Mussang wondered. He had thought that Koreans living in Japan didn’t belong to either country. He had never paid attention to them until now. He just thought to interrogate a yakuza thug. He didn’t expect to get confronted with a peculiar lineage.
“Yes. Sayaka, or Gim Chungseon, a Japanese hero in Korea, is my ancestor. My grandfather got deployed to Sakhalin for assisting independentists, and his surname got changed to Ha too.”
Ha, Geukdo’s voice took on an outraged tone, and his eyes welled up. The miserable lives over three generations passed before his mind’s eye. His grandfather, a wealthy farmer in Dalseong, was sent to Japanese Sakhalin forcibly and had to work as a logger. It was for assisting the independence movement, but the real reason was his lineage.
The Japanese, especially the ruling class, didn’t tolerate differences. His grandfather was sent to Sakhalin because he descended from Sayaka, who surrendered to Korea. For that sole reason, he was sent to the deathly Sakhalin and changed his surname. The king-given name Gim then switched to Ha, whose character means “to blame” and “to insult.” Exhausted by taxing labor and harsh nature, his grandfather birthed his father and passed away early. The actual cause of death was said to be pent-up anger.
His father was born in Hwatae. When he was 20, Japan fired the first gunshots of the Pacific War. The following year, he was dragged to the Battleship Island but toiled for 16 hours every day in the mine exhaustingly. Then, he heard the news of Japan’s defeat in the mine too.
After the war, he settled down in Osaka, and his father met his mother, who was in similar circumstances. They got married and had a son. But, unfortunately, their happiness didn’t last long. It was pneumoconiosis. Even on his deathbed, his father cursed Japan and blamed Korea. But, unfortunately, it wasn’t just him. All the forced laborers shared the same sentiments.
The laborers who developed pneumoconiosis demanded compensation and medical expenses from the Japanese government, Mitsubishi, and Mitsui. The three entities swiftly dismissed the demand. Since Korea was Japan’s colony, forced labor didn’t constitute legal. Regarding compensation, Japan had already paid a lump sum to the Korean government during the settlement between the two countries in 1965. Therefore, they were saying that they should demand that the Korean government compensate.
Even Korean victims of the atomic bombings could not receive any compensation. So it was not surprising. The problem originated from the Korean government. The war victims overlooked the nuclear bomb blasts that led to the social fallout of pneumoconiosis victims. The victims had neglected all medical warnings. The offender was Japan, but their own country, Korea, also abandoned his father.
To save money, his father kept trying home remedies. Finally, seven years ago, hearing the method from someone, his father emptied a pumpkin, filled it with uric fertilizer, made a soup with it, and ate it all. The following day, he couldn’t open his eyes. Maybe he ended his own life because he was sick of the
The night before his death, he called Geukdo to his deathbed. He told him that their real surname is Gim, not Ha. He also told him to live as humanely as possible every day. But, unfortunately, Geukdo wasn’t heeding the advice.
As a teenage boy, Geukdo was full of rebellious energy. So what? What does that change? His father had told him to be proud of his roots and live as humanely as possible, but he didn’t want to. He resented that they got shoved about because they had no power.
He wandered the back alleys of Osaka, knifing and punching. Then the Hamon clan hired him. Thus, the descendant of the noble knight, Gim Chungseon, joined the yakuza.
“I want to live as humanely as possible. For my grandfather, who died of pent-up anger in frozen Sakhalin. For my father, who resented and missed his country at the same time. For my mother who went back to Goryeong saying she is sick of Japan and her son who turned into a thug!”
Gim “Razor” Geukdo wept. Gim Geukdo intuitively knew from the moment he saw Mussang that three generations of his family’s existence, tossed around in the strong currents of the era, could, at last, be concluded. Had he met the man before him seven years ago, he wouldn’t have ended up in yakuza. He had one shot at life. If the man decided to kill him, he was going to die. If he chose to spare him, he would serve the man.
“How will you live if I let you live?”
Mussang tested him for the second time. He was not a Christian minister who opened the doors to heaven when one repented. He was Black Mamba, the Nightmare of Battlefields. No matter the circumstances surrounding Gim Geukdo, the sins he committed as the henchman of the Hamon clan weren’t light.
“I will liquidate my assets and open an orphanage. I will take care of orphaned, hungry children and raise them, so they don’t have to end up like me and hurt others to live.”
Mussang gazed at Gim Geukdo nodded at last. He only made some foolish choices. His was good-natured, in reality. He needed someone to brief him on the Japanese syndicate anyway.
“I don’t have much time. I detected 70 in this facility. Twenty-two, including that Jap, belong to the special unit. Are there others?”
‘I am spared!’
Gim Geukdo’s face brightened.
“You are correct. Of the 48, eight girls and two boys are for prostitution. Twenty young men and women are for blood transfusion. Eighteen are for organ transplants. Some are here because they needed money, and some get kidnapped or scammed to come here.”
A peculiar strength shone through in Gim Geukdo’s voice. Since he was assigned human resources and finances tasks, he knew the specifics better than his boss, U Beomseok.
Mussang’s heartfelt stuffy. The last Japanese governor of Korea, Nobuyuki Abe, said the following words when he went back to Japan after the country’s defeat.
(Japan is defeated, but Korea didn’t win. We sowed a colonial mindset among Koreans, more dangerous than any swords or rifles. Submerged in defeatism, Koreans will fight and continue their enslaved existence. Korea will not come to its senses even after a hundred years. I will come back then.)
After saying those words, he died of an illness not more than ten years later. He couldn’t return to Korea, but his curse still haunted the land.
“I shall curse Japan with Eastern Swordsman’s curse. I was hoping you could give me the list of clients, or rather, animals of the welfare center. I also need the list of hospital personnel connected to the welfare center and any Korean involved in the running of this place.”
“I see. How shall I call you?”
“I am Eastern Swordsman.”
A pleasant-sounding baritone voice reached Gim Geukdo’s eardrums. He could feel the power and resolve palpably in the vote. How could the same human species have such vastly different individuals? He didn’t dare to ask his real name.
“What shall we do with the special unit members who are asleep?”
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“If I tell you to kill them, will you?”
“For the greater good…”
Gim Geukdo murmured. His hands were already filthy with all kinds of sins. If he added an ounce of betrayal on top of them, nothing was going to change.
“Gim Geukdo, there is no greater good in the world. The greater good is just an excuse made by the powerful. Anyone who mentions the greater good is one hundred percent a con artist. There is only willpower. The resolve to retain the human condition. I will take care of the special unit.”
“Thank you. I will gather the documents.”
Even though he had decided to betray them, they were still his colleagues. If ordered, he would kill them, but he didn’t like to. After which, Gim Geukdo opened the cabinets and safes and swept together the data.
“Sir, it’s ready.”
Gim Geukdo brought a massive travel carrier.
“Wait for a second.”
Mussang flashed away for a moment then came back. Gim Geukdo didn’t ask where he went. Mussang didn’t say either.
“Do you have vehicles in the building?”
“Two passenger vehicles and 25-people minibus. I have the keys.”
“That’s great. Bring the people.”
Gim Geukdo hesitated.
“Do you have hidden obstacles? There are only eight guard dogs around the walls. Of the ten, I tranquilized the two.”
Gim Geukdo was startled. He had discerned that the man was a great power, but he hadn’t expected him to figure out the exact number of the dogs around the property.
“We sent them to the basement and welded the doors shut. To open the iron door, it will take quite some time.”
“Is there an end to your wrongdoings?”
Mussang remembered the French people locked up in the underground stone room in Apadombe. The Japanese surpassed even the voodoo priests in cruelty. Mussang stood abruptly, pulled U Beomseok’s limbs to dislodge his joints, and smacked his temple.
U Beomseok fell like a sack of potatoes. Murai, whose joints were fractured long before, had his templed smacked and passed out. They didn’t deserve any mercy.
Gim Geukdo flinched. He didn’t say “Lead the way” but “Go.” He looked back at Murai and U Beomseok. Their eyes were unfocused like that of a boiled octopus. He doubted they would ever need to regain their functions at all. He shuddered as if he had just urinated on a utility pole in the middle of winter. Had he challenged the man, he would have ended up like that. Instead, he tucked the carrier under the table and followed Mussang.
Mussang entered the left building that Jang Yeongpal had referred to as the waiting room. He didn’t intend to loiter. The longer the night, the more numerous the dreams. When he entered, he could smell an unpleasant smell.
Gim Geukdo turned on the switch. Big and small rooms remained strung along the hallway in the middle. The room was more spacious than it had looked from outside. He pushed the door of the first room. There was a particular push to oppose the force. Gim Geukdo hastily dug out the keys.
Mussang waved away at him and turned the inner door handle with telekinesis. The door opened. Gim Geukdo hurriedly pushed it open and turned on the switch. The room was about 10 square meters wide and had a pink wallpaper printed Tinker Bell holding a magic wand. The ceiling had wallpaper that had Snow White and the seven dwarves. There was a toy-like dressing table and a small wardrobe. Except for the large bed in the middle of the room, it was a typical child’s room. Mussang frowned. The use of the room was evident.
“This room is for child prostitution. We covered the stench with chemicals.”
Mussang nodded. He could smell no human scent but only carbolic acid.
“The rest of the rooms? The same?”
“Yes. Here stay the children and the donors who get destined to certain doom, fatality. Willing organ and blood donors stay in the building on the right.”
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Mussang said nothing and pushed the door of the fifth room on the right. Gim Geukdo, sensing his intent, moved the big wooden bookcase. Behind it stood an ordinary wall. Mussang struck the area and heard a sharp clanging of metal sounds.
Even though they were welded shut, it didn’t matter if the whole door frame got detached. A stairwell submerged in the dark opened its maw wide in the space. Gim Geukdo shook his head. The man had surpassed all human standards long ago.
“Is there such a thing as an evil gene? They live across the continents but do the same kind of things!” Mussang muttered as he went down the stairs. All kinds of junk blocked the stairwell: broken desks, kitchen utensils, car tires, and all types of indoor exercise machines. Gim Geukdo made a disconcerted face. Humans have no foresight. When he was to block it, he hurled everything in sight. Now, he had to unblock it and saw no easy way of doing it.
“Stay upstairs for a while.”
Mussang sent Gim Geukdo up the stairs and took out the Gorgon from his clothes. If they cannot move them, they could demolish them. The Gorgon roared in the narrow space. The junk hit by the Gorgon’s weight dissolved like sliced vegetables, including wood, plastic, and even metal. In a short amount of time, the debris disappeared, and fine dust replaced it. It was still no match to Rakshasa, but it was still quite effective in a narrow space.