Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 603
“You want to exchange them?”
“Yes, big bro. Kinda like a… hostage exchange.”
“You think the cops will negotiate?”
“Of course. They usually ask for the exchange first. Whenever we release a pig, we make sure to specify the conditions first in order to get our captured student comrades freed.”
“Haigoo… You already have a system in place, huh.”
Mu Ssang recalled Hakam Chartres’s observation on how bright South Korea’s future was. He never witnessed public demonstrations against immoral politicians or unjust regimes in Africa or the Middle East. Although their situation is a hundred times worse than South Korea’s, the people living there were too busy minding their own businesses.
Maybe, this level of passion and the go-getter attitude of the Koreans are the source of the country’s dynamic growth.
Mu Ssang scanned the reading room, then locked his gaze on Kim Sook’s face. The blood-splattering action and gunshots scared off all the cowardly men, prompting them to gather around in a remote corner murmuring amongst themselves. Meanwhile, Kim Sook had finished analyzing the ‘battlefield’ and was deciding on the next course of action.
Most men would end up dazed and lost after getting chased around and beaten up mercilessly, their lives being threatened each time. But this girl was unfazed, making her an excellent commander material – a top general.
‘She’ll whip her man into shape, huh!’
Mu Ssang silently studied Kim Sook. Her determined, tidy face was dotted with 65 freckles of varying sizes, like islands in an archipelago. Although it was a bit of a stretch to call her beautiful, she is still on the cute side.
More than anything else though, Mu Ssang was impressed by her firm, unyielding personality and the concern she has shown for her comrades. The list of unmarried men in Novatopia, which is far too many, quickly scrolled through his head. Most of them were too busy with work, which is why they couldn’t find a good woman for themselves despite making good money and being undoubtedly talented in their ways.
‘She’d be the perfect woman to whip Sun Woo-hyun up into shape! But their age difference… Tsk!’
“How old are you, Kim Sook?”
“22 this year, big bro.”
Mu Ssang’s sudden question caused Kim Sook’s face to flush deeply. If you didn’t know who Darth Vader of the K University was, you had to be a foreign spy. He is the man with enough abilities to embarrass the professors, with his statue-like physique and an outstanding face. Not only that, he was a good man who often paid for the meals and drinks of his juniors, too.
All sorts of rumors regarding his real identity were floating around – some said he was a second-generation chaebol, a secret son of a top political figure, a CIA operative, or even an alien from another planet. His identity might not be clear, but one thing was for sure: as a wealthy, intelligent, good-natured, and kind man, Mu Ssang is considered best husband material in human history. One simply had to grab hold of a man like him if one gets the chance, even at the cost of selling your soul to Mephistopheles.
“That’s a good age in any case. You should take the cop and two Baekgol-dan members with broken jaws to a hospital. As for the rest, do what you want with them. But don’t forget that they are also pitiful bastards. They are nothing more than hands and feet, merely following orders from the higher-ups. Make sure not to hit them or starve them. Right now, you can argue your case with self-defense, but by imprisoning them and beating them up, you’ll get charged with obstruction of justice plus group assault.”
“Understood, big bro. Their state is pretty bad, anyway. Hitting them now might end up killing them, so we won’t.”
Jang Chi-soo and the injured Baekgol-dan members would be taken to the university-run hospital, while the ten remaining members would be locked up in the basement club room.
Despite Mu Ssang giving out his permission, Kim Sook’s expression clearly showed her disappointment. He asked for her age, so shouldn’t he follow up with that? Instead, he said: ‘That’s a good age’ as if he was someone’s grandpa or something! This was what was on Kim Sook’s mind at that moment.
Loud noises of whistles belatedly rang within the library.
“What was that?!”
“Which bastard dares to cause a scene in the library!”
Security guard uncles rushed inside while waving around their pitch-black nightsticks. Judging from all the fuss they were causing, it seemed that they were outside all this time, but too scared to step in and interfere. And now that the situation has come to an end, they must’ve decided to show up to prevent people from accusing them of slacking off.
“Keep it down, will you!” Kim Sook yelled loudly at them.
The security guards flinched visibly and shrunk away, while cautiously minding Kim Sook’s moods. The pitiful scene of their black nightsticks drooping toward the floor was reminiscent of limp d*cks shriveling away.
Whenever there was a commotion on the campus, the most pitiful group of people was the security guards. Indeed, they were the most powerless group of people in this situation, squeezed and kicked around by school authorities, agitated students, and even the crazy police.
“Jang Chi-soo, today was merely a taste of things to come. I shall soon show you what real Hell is like. Of course, it’ll be for free.”
Mu Ssang’s emotion-filled eyes followed Jang Chi-soo as he was carried out in a stretcher. That bastard was one of those people he had to punish sooner or later, but fate conspired to have them get into a tangle like this. Somehow, it felt like some unknown powerful force was herding all of his prey in Mu Ssang’s direction.
Before heading home, Mu Ssang picked up the antique revolver and the spent cartridge. Not only was the environment no longer conducive for learning, but a squadron of riot police was about to descend pretty soon. Moreover, he now has to deal with unwanted attention, despite going through so much trouble not to stand out.
“Dad? What’s going on? Did you come home early because you wanted to see me?”
Mina happily ran up to Mu Ssang when he came home early.
“Of course. My eyes get all tired if I don’t see you for more than an hour, you see.”
“Uh?! That’s no good! Is Dad becoming a grandpa?”
Mina’s large, clear eyes sparkled in a way that was so adorable, Mu Ssang nearly had a heart attack. The unpleasant memories from earlier evaporated instantly, leaving not a single trace behind.
“Ahahaha. No, that’s not it. Whenever a man sees a pretty girl, his eyes will open wide and become very focused, you see.”
“Eii, dad, you’re such a joker!” Mina smiled brightly.
“Aigoo~! You cute little thing!” Mu Ssang quickly picked Mina up, put her on his shoulders, and danced around in circles.
A young girl’s tinkling laughter rang within the Eungsim-je.
“Haigoo… Whenever oppa’s around, that little girl is dying of happiness, isn’t she!” Gye-soon grumbled without any malice in her voice, as she came to the door to welcome Mu Ssang home.
Mu Ssang asked Mina. “How was school? Are you having fun?”
“Ng! It’s so much nicer than the Inje Primary School. And I have over ten friends following after me, too!”
“Wowsers, you’ve become an alley boss, haven’t you? But you’re my daughter, so that’s expected.”
“By the way, my teacher and friends say you’re too young to be a dad. They say it’s not ‘dad,’ but oppa.”
“Really? Which one do you prefer, Mina? Dad or oppa?”
“Dad, of course.”
“I can hug and kiss you all I want since you’re my dad, you know? But I can’t do that if you’re my oppa. Big sisters always call you oppa, and that’s why they can’t hug you and kiss you, you know? See? Dad is so much better.”
“Urgh… I can’t win against her.”
“That sly little thing…”
The seven single girls who called Mu Ssang ‘oppa’ can only shoot glares in Mina’s direction.
“How was your day today? Did anything happen?”
“Yeah, something happened. I had to hit that idiot Dong-seen again.”
“Eh? Isn’t he the kid that you smacked around the last time?”
“Ng! I was skipping rope, but he cut my rope out of the blue with his scissors! I got angry, so I threw him over the shoulder a bit and hit him just a little, but he started bleeding from his nose.”
“Aikoo! Looks like we have a thug in our house.” Mu Ssang pretended to make a serious face.
He used his resonance wave to energize Mina’s physique and taught her a few self-defense techniques as a bit of a joke. But by doing so, it just made her invincible among her peers.
“I’m sorry, dad…” Mina said as she observed his mood.
“Nah, it’s alright. It’s okay to hit a cowardly man. Are you worried about Dong-son’s mom marching into your school like the last time?”
“Ng. I apologized but… Dong-son’s dad is supposed to be a bigshot. Last time, some uncle came to school to scold me. What should I do now?”
“Don’t worry about that. Your dad is an even bigger shot than him.” Jin-soon who was listening, chimed in while smiling brightly.
Even if Kim Dal-su is not a simple chief prosecutor but the Prosecutor General itself, it still wouldn’t matter one bit. Mu Ssang had been chomping at the bits for a chance to settle his score with that man, and now, he just stepped right into the firing line. Mu Ssang might be able to brush aside one transgression with a chuckle, but he wasn’t kind enough to let the second one slide without repercussions.
“Really! I don’t have to worry?”
Jin-soon replied. “Of course. I’ll go speak to your teacher tomorrow, so don’t worry about a thing.”
“Whoa! Mom, you’re the best!” Mina cheered on loudly.
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Jin-soon smiled bitterly and glanced at Mu Ssang. Thanks to her oppa becoming Mina’s dad, Jin-soon was turned into a ‘mom’ even though she remains single. Should she laugh or cry about this? She couldn’t make up her mind.
While Mu Ssang was in the shower, Yeon-soon pounded on the bathroom door. “Oppa, we got a swarm of flies buzzing at the front door.”
Mu Ssang was in the middle of drying his hair. He switched the dryer off and peeked his head outside the door. “Say what now?”
“Oppa, you started something again, didn’t you? A whole swarm of flies is buzzing outside the front door and raising a huge ruckus, you know.”
“You dummy, what do you mean, again! You think your oppa only knows how to cause problems?” Mu Ssang lightly chopped Yeon-soon on the head.
“Police! Open the door, now!”
That roar was accompanied by the pounding noise on the front gate.
“Maybe those idiots haven’t eaten breakfast yet or something? What a diligent bunch they are.”
The ‘annoyance’ came knocking on the door far sooner than Mu Ssang expected. The incident took place yesterday afternoon, yet the Five-O showed up the first thing in the morning. It seemed like they managed to analyze the situation quickly this time… Or, the Educational Affairs Department actively assisted the investigators.
The university authorities were supposed to maintain a neutral stance, but that didn’t mean they were on the students’ side. It didn’t matter which society it was, those who have invested in their personal interests will not want to see chaos break out or for change to take place.
“Oppa, they might break down the front gate at this rate.”
“That ain’t going to happen. That’s the toughest gate you can ask for, made of eight-inch thick teak lumber reinforced with titanium. Even if those fellas resort to using axes, they’ll need to hack away for three days straight just to make a dent.”
“Aigoo… Oppa, now isn’t the time to boast about the gate, you know? Just what did you do, anyway?”
“It’ll be their loss if they manage to break the gate, though. Do you have any idea how much that gate costs? So even if they pay up with every single penny of ten years’ worth of their salaries, it won’t be enough.”
Mu Ssang was completely relaxed and unconcerned. But, of course, if the cops had given the National Security Agency a call, they wouldn’t have shown up here at all. Eungsim-he was registered as a French-owned cultural center, after all.
Of course, Mu Ssang wasn’t considering using his status here anyway.
“That’s not what I asked you, oppa! So what should we do now?”
Yeon-soon was left frustrated by Mu Ssang and his nonsensical replies. The person who should be dealing with this crisis was busy yapping on about the value of the front gate, it’s no wonder she was frustrated.
No matter how incredible he was, the opponent this time wasn’t some typical gangsters, but investigators dispatched by the authorities. There was no way that Mu Ssang could fight against the government now, was there?
“What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be crushing garlic cloves! Girl, you should be worried about your garlic, not the gate.”
Jin-soon smacked Yeon-soon on the back.
“Sis, what is making you slack off like this?” Yeon-soon asked, while watching Mu Ssang trudge nonchalantly away as if he was on his way to say hello to a friend or something.
“You don’t know what kind of a person our oppa is. He’s a hundred times stronger than you think. So, stop worrying about him and quickly crush the remaining garlic, okay? Oppa will get hungry.”
“What’s the point of being strong, though? You also need political power, you know?” Yeon-soon muttered tilting her head, then went back inside the kitchen.
They were living in a world where just a single word from Chun Doo-hwan is enough to ‘evaporate’ a chaebol into thin air, while soldiers were mobilized to shoot civilians dead on the streets. As such, Yeon-soon’s worries were well justified.
“Department head, sir. This won’t lead to trouble, right, sir?”
Detective Ha, wearing a leather jacket, looked back at his superior officer, kitted out in a trench coat. He did as ordered and pounded on the gate to the point of breaking down, but that nervous feeling still didn’t go away.
There’s no way you could afford a humongous residence like this in South Korea unless you had a powerful backer. Also, the material of the gate seemed unusual, too. The new nightstick made out of polycarbonate was his tool of choice, but not a single nick nor dent could be seen on the gate even after all that hard pounding. His elbow was starting to ache from the rebound instead.
The superior officer in the trench coat, Kim Yang-su, turned his head left and right as he took in the massive gate, big enough for a tank to roll through, then scanned the seemingly-endless stretch of the stone walls on either side said of the gate.
This had to be the most prominent private residence he had ever seen in his life. And to think such a place was found within the district he was in charge of – Bul-ro dong (suburb).
The inviting aroma of doenjang stew, grilled fish, and meat wafted out from beyond the walls. Unfortunately however, those aromas which are capable of kicking one’s stomach awake, were interspersed with a nose-stinging stench.
Kim Yang-su brought the dirty end of his trench coat’s sleeve closer to his nose and took a sniff. That stench was coming from his own body.
Thanks to the damn protests getting worse lately, he hasn’t been home for the past three days. As for today, he was catching a couple of quick Zs on the office couch only to be woken up by the director’s call. After an unpleasant call, he rushed here as soon as he could.
For some reason, a flood of rage began filling him up. Here he was, having to munch on stale burgers and kimbap while rushing around everywhere like an idiot without a moment of rest. Yet, some other punk lived in a huge house filled with inviting aromas of many different dishes.
And like an idiot who is still living in a rented room even in his late forties, some other dude was living it large in a house more extensive than an actual palace. And why he hasn’t seen his wife and kid for so long that he could barely recall their faces anymore, some other dude was living in the company of seven young lasses.
The stale, hard dumplings he had shoved down his throat before coming here started acting up in his gut.
“You dumbass, call me either ‘section chief’ or ‘chief detective,’ will you? Just how long are you planning to call me the department head?”
“But sir, that title feels more affectionate and nicer, you know? Besides, ‘department head’ is a higher rank than ‘section chief’ or ‘chief detective,’ too.” Detective Ha grinned sheepishly.
Kim Yang-su was the chief detective from the Dongbu Police Station. Even though he was referred to as ‘department head,’ his actual rank was a lieutenant. In the South Korean cop lingo, the common nickname used for a detective sergeant on a higher pay grade was ‘department head.’
Kim Yang-su had been a ‘department head’ for a long time, so people still called him that even after his promotion to lieutenant. Some people called him ‘detective squad chief,’ but that wasn’t an official title, either.
“You dumbass, we came here to catch a goddamn commie. Doesn’t matter whether this place is the Blue House or the Cheongnamdae Presidential Villa. If no one comes out, break the gate down.”
“Haigoo. But sir, look at this gate. It doesn’t look like it’ll budge even after we lob some grenades at it. Should we blow it up with a bazooka or something?”
Detective Ha’s question was answered from the other side of the gate.
“Holy cow. I didn’t know police officers these days lob grenades and shoot bazookas at an innocent citizen’s house. You sure are wonderful servants of people, aren’t you? Rather than acting as the people’s crutch, you’ve moved up the ladder to become the people’s bomb, huh.”
“You d*ckhead, stop sprouting bullcrap and open the damn gate! We’re here on official business!” Kim Yang-su roared angrily.
“Official business? Dunno what you’re talking about, but let’s deal with it after I have breakfast, okay?”
His roar was met with a snarky response.
“Huh?! What the f*ck is up with this bastard?”
“He’s a tough customer, alright!”
“Well, now I’ve seen everything.”
The four detectives present today were lost for words. Just what kind of an era were they living in right now? The Samchung Re-education Center had been officially shut down some time ago, in the meantime, the hostile political situation had only gotten worse. So even if you say something correctly, you could very well get arrested for spreading false information.
In this era, you could get arrested even without committing a crime, and get beaten black and blue until you end up as a disabled person. Even then, you had no one to whine to. And to think that there would be someone ballsy enough to declare he wants to have breakfast first before negotiating with detectives who are here to arrest him! Either that man was insane, or had a really trustworthy backer in the shadows.
“Oiii, Bak Mu-ssang! Let’s not make this difficult, eh! I mean, if you make me angry, it’s going to get real tiresome for you, too. Get my drift?” Kim Yang-su kindly reminded.
“You have a point there. It is kind of annoying to have flies buzzing around, isn’t it.”
“If you get it, then open the gate.”
“Sure, sure. Do your official business.”
The side gate finally opened. Three detectives shoved the door open and rushed inside.
“You’re Bak Mu-ssang, right?”
“That I am.”
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“You’re under arrest for obstruction of justice and grievous assault.”
One of the detectives pulled out handcuffs while the other two tried to grab Mu Ssang’s arms. However, Mu Ssang shoved back the two detectives and growled unhappily. “Hey, man. You’re supposed to present your badges and the arrest warrant first!”
The four detectives stood there, eyes wide open as if they had just heard something unexpected.
The detective in the leather jacket glared murderously. “What the f*ck did this sh*thead say?”
“Don’t call me sh*thead, you sh*thead! Before I file a complaint of trespassing on your ass, hand over the warrant first.”