Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 607
It was already too late for that, however. He was beating a dead horse. Stepping on the man’s back, Park Sangeun whispered in Kim Yangsoo’s ear.
“You useless f*ck, I told you to wrap it up. So why’d you stir up the hornet’s nest and make all this commotion? Did you not hear me when I told you over and over again to follow the rules and regulations? Did you think you’d keep getting gold flakes shaking down the rich? Jang Chi Soo’s one of yours, isn’t he? And you call yourselves civil servants.”
He whispered but loud enough for everyone around them to hear what he said. Startled, Kim Yangsoo darted his eyes around the crowd. His coworkers were poker-faced, Bak Mussang had a smirk on his face, and the foreigners looked thoroughly confused.
‘Ha, this godd****d son of a b*tch!’
Kim Yangsoo’s face fell dark. A fire rose from the bottom of his chest. He could see that his superior was trying to make him the scapegoat now that they were on the losing side. In the end, he was nothing but a cannon fodder.
This was his godforsaken reality. His so-called direct superior wasn’t going to hold him back from falling off the ledge. Instead, he was the one pushing him off. Who was it that told him, ‘Shake down a nobody and they’ll drop jack shit, but shake down the rich and they’ll drop flakes of gold.’?
Was it a doppelgänger that told him to shake down Bak Mussang for all he was worth 10 minutes ago? He should be nominated for an award for how fast he changed character. Getting stabbed in the back was a regular part of life, but this wasn’t it.
‘Do I shoot this m*****rf*****?’
A bloodthirsty look appeared on Kim Yangsoo’s face. If his chief weren’t so adamant about getting his cut, he wouldn’t have stepped on this landmine. He would’ve put a bullet in his head if it weren’t for his son, who got into college last year, and his daughter, who was graduating high school next Spring.
The time spent on every individual’s thoughts and circumstances came and go as quickly as the speed of light. Then, Mu Ssang scanned the room filled with the embassy’s people, the police chief, the head detective, and the other officers and raised his hand.
Even a cuckold would stand up for his wife when others curse at her. This was his country, whether he liked it or not. This interference from the embassy wasn’t part of the plan, nor did he want outsiders to witness their dirty inner workings.
“Un instante, Ankur! (One moment, Ankur!)”
“Oui, je vais écouter. (Yes, I will listen.)”
Ankur straightened his posture. He didn’t know Mu Ssang’s true identity, but he knew that Svärd Gullveig was a special military advisor – someone with the same level of authority as a vice minister.
“tais-toi et fais comme si tu ne savais rien! (Be quiet, and act like you don’t know anything.).”
“Oui, bien sûr! (Yes, of course.)”
Ankur smiled. Mu Ssang looked over to the crowd. There were the desperate faces of the police chief and the head detective, the drained look from the sergeant, the petrified officers, and the ever-so-curious female officers. There was more than meets the eye. Every person had their own stories and struggles.
“Secretary Ankur, thanks for coming all this way. There was a small misunderstanding. The Korean police are fair and just. We are resolving the matter in a free, open environment, so please stop troubling yourself and enjoy a cup of tea with the police chief.”
Ankur stepped aside without question. Before leaving the embassy, he was ordered to extinguish all personal opinions and make all of Mr. Svärd Gullveig’s wishes come true. It was a suspicious situation, but everything was according to the special military advisor.
The police chief bowed his head. He broke out in a cold sweat that ran down his back. He felt he had just come back from the gates of hell. The head detective followed suit and bowed until he heard his bones crack.
“Jon, this is a police station. The Korean police do not use force in their questioning.”
Mu Ssang looked at the military officer Jon who was still on high alert. Like hell, they didn’t. They cuffed and beat their suspects when they set foot in the interrogation room. Mu Ssang wanted him to leave the room.
Jon finally caught on and left the room without further questions.
The department regained its peace but lost the will to investigate. Kim Yangsoo was staring out of a window at the feather-like cloud floating by.
“Sergeant Kim, don’t you need to write up a statement at least?”
Mu Ssang cleared the air.
“Ah, yes. Thank you, sir.”
Kim Yangsoo’s attitude did a one-eighty.
“See, the atmosphere’s softened up now that you’ve softened your attitude.”
“I’m sorry. Let’s get started then.”
Kim Yangsoo awkwardly pulled up in front of the typewriter.
“Did you assault officer Jang Chi Soo, Lee Sibal, and the other 12 officers from the task force?”
Kim Yangsoo felt an itch on his face. This was the first time he had ever spoken formally to a suspect while writing up their statements. And yet it felt natural for him to do so. Whether it was because he was feeling immense pressure from the suspect in question or a polite person, to begin with, was up for debate….
“I couldn’t tell if he was a police officer or not because he barged in without a uniform. However, I did subdue a criminal that was shooting up a library. It couldn’t have been a civil servant of justice that opened fire on a student, could it?”
“It, it couldn’t have been. So the first shot wasn’t a blank?”
Kim Yangsoo asked carefully so as not to step on another landmine. Mu Ssang looked at Kim Yangsoo with pity.
“Sergeant Kim, do they make blanks that can go through library ceilings nowadays? Jang Chi Soo fired a loaded gun from the start and shot three more times. If someone like that can call themselves police, this administration is on the brink of collapse. I’ll make it collapse with my own hands.”
Mu Ssang said with a fierce look on his face. Doom- Kim Yangsoo shuddered at the crushing pressure. He finally realized. The person in front of him didn’t need others’ help or support. He was already glowing without power or money.
“Ah, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it that way.”
“Hmm! Sorry for getting worked up. I took pictures of the scene. Should I give these and other evidence to the press? The majority may already be in the hands of the government, but there must be a few crazy enough to cover it. If not, I could always give them to the foreign press or a correspondent. I wouldn’t have to go far; I could give it to Ankur.”
Mu Ssang pulled out a plastic bag with the revolver and the bullet in question from his inner pocket. Kim Yangsoo’s face darkened. The station was looking all over the place for that very missing gun.
‘He’s got us boxed in. Jang Chi Soo, just who did you decide to mess with?’
An exasperated sigh escaped his mouth. Their opponent wasn’t a simple martial arts master. It was someone who was more cautious than a veteran detective. Someone with endless resources, an identity that’s got French officials shaking in their boots, unimaginable physical power, and as meticulous as a detective. This wasn’t an average landmine; it was an anti-tank mine.
Mu Ssang persisted.
“The situation is simple. Police officers off duty raided a school library carrying guns and weapons. Not only did they relentlessly assault a student, but they also opened fire. I was almost killed by the very same gun while trying to de-escalate the situation and, in the process, had to defend myself. That is all. If you want to know more about the event, you’ll have to talk to a lawyer with the people from the embassy present in the room. FYI, the officers and the commander that invaded my home sweet home should expect a lawsuit coming their way. On charges of trespassing, vandalism, abuse of power, and intimidation. Looks like your superiors are going to have a field day with this. That’s my entire statement. You figure out the rest.”
Mu Ssang said heartlessly and stood up.
Kim Yangsoo hastily grasped at Mu Ssang’s sleeves. Everything was a blur. At this rate, France would get involved in the trial process. And the result was obvious. Those involved would be let go, and the station would get dissolved. Not to mention their country becoming an international laughingstock.
“Mr. Bak Mussang, I’ll apologize. Let’s pretend that nothing happened.”
“Would you have been able to pretend that nothing happened even if I was a powerless regular citizen?”
“Of course not. It’s not something a detective like me should say but, ‘one law for the rich and another for the poor and ‘one law for the powerful and another for the powerless’ isn’t it?”
“That’s very honest of you. So you were following orders, huh?”
“The police have to obey their superiors. The little guys don’t have any power. I’ll take responsibility. Let the young ‘uns go. They have it rough as it is.”
Mu Ssang observed Kim Yangsoo indifferently.
“Sergeant Kim, how old are you?”
“Do you have a house?”
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“It’s embarrassing, but I still rent a place.”
The man looked like he was in his mid-fifties with prominent wrinkles, rough skin, a curved back, and a burned-out expression. Humans adapt and conform to their group’s culture and environment. The Syrian secret police, Mukhabarat, holds absolute power in the country. If one were to speak against the government or Assad, they’d disappear without a trace. They would beat women to death for not wearing their niqāb now and then. It’s because Assad and his officials egg them on.
Kim Yangsoo was no different. He was on the front lines of violence because of their corrupt government, but at his core, he was a loving father to his family and your average police officer that looks after his subordinates. But unfortunately, the world wasn’t going to change from beating up a few low-ranking police officers.
“Have you eaten?”
“I had a few dumplings that were leftover from yesterday before I was called in.”
Kim Yangsoo spat with a flush of anger. Mu Ssang smiled.
“Call the police chief.”
“I can take care of you, sir.”
Kim Yangsoo dissuaded him with a troubled expression.
“Didn’t you say you’re the little guy? So what could a low-ranking detective do for me exactly?”
Kim Yangsoo got up after Mu Ssang cut him short like a guillotine.
‘F*ck it. It’s out of my hands now.’
Kim Yangsoo gave up entirely.
Later in the interrogation room, the police chief and Mu Ssang sat across while sergeant Kim sat behind them on a metal folding chair. Again, Mu Ssang cut to the chase.
“Do you want this to be resolved within the East police station? Or do you want it to be reported to the higher-ups?”
“Mr. Bak Mussang, about your identity….”
The chief trailed off. Those men from the embassy didn’t reveal anything about this man’s identity. So he had to know to figure out how to respond.
“What’s my identity got to do with the situation at hand? Do you treat your cases differently according to who the person is?”
The chief flinched from Mu Ssang’s lightning-like gaze. He had an odd suspicion that he’d get punched if he answered honestly.
“That’s what I’m talking about. Criminals should get punished, and those who harmed others should pay for the damages- whoever they may be.”
The chief answered sourly.
“Sergeant Kim, was it your decision to circle my house the first thing in the morning?”
“I was ordered by head detective Park.”
Kim Yangsoo happily took the bait.
“Who ordered tear gas bombs on my house?”
“It was the task force commander Kim Hyun.”
“Who ordered the raid on campus?”
“Head detective Park Sangeun.”
Kim Yangsoo made sure to punctuate every syllable as he uttered the words ‘head detective Park Sangeun’.
“Who was the prosecutor that filed for the warrant?”
“Prosecutor Kim Dal Su from the East branch.”
‘Is that so!’
Mu Ssang raised his eyebrows. Jang Chi Soo was a member of the Jang family. Members of the Jang family are dispersed in different areas of the government thanks to their power. He remembered Jang Pil Nyuh’s snake-like eyes. This was beginning to reek of their conniving.
“Chief, would Jang Chi Soo qualify for worker’s compensation?”
“He would not.”
The chief answered, passing the perception check.
“If someone were to beat someone with a stick, is it the stick’s fault or the person’s?”
“It’s the person’s fault, of course.”
“Chief, I hope I don’t see some thug with a stick walking around in a police uniform. I may be busy, but I have time to consider the image of our police.”
‘This is much more frightening than telling him that he’s fired.’
Kim Yangsoo thought. Officer Jang Chi Soo, commander Kim Hyun, and head detective Park Sangeun were degraded as common thugs. Mu Ssang was telling the chief that he would be next if these people weren’t fired. Kim Yangsoo basked in this moment of glory.
Head detective Park Sangeun had made a colossal mistake. He would still be out of Mu Ssang’s radar if he hadn’t tried to be clever and whispered in his ear. But unfortunately, Mu Ssang was an individual that can see through betrayal and false accusations. He dug his own grave while trying to outsmart him.
“I understand what you’re saying.”
The chief answered without putting up a fight. He was in no position to look after his subordinates when his neck was on the line.
“Are there any students in your holding cells?”
The chief turned to Kim Yangsoo.
“125 students were brought in from the scene of the protest yesterday. But, unfortunately, we ran out of room, and some are in the training room downstairs.”
“I heard that the violent protest in Donsung-ro yesterday was inflamed by the police….”
Mu Ssang tailed away while scowling at the police chief. The chief pulled out a handkerchief and dabbed at his forehead. His eyes were as dry as sand, and he felt a sharp pain like a razor blade cut him. He had a peculiar case of increased heartbeat and difficulty breathing each time Mu Ssang looked his way.
“Sergeant Kim, tell me what happened.”
“It’s illegal to march on the roads, and it’s a principle to subdue them. The task force assaulted the student with the megaphone and dragged him out. Enraged, the other students rushed forward. At that point, everybody was involved in the fight. Jang Chi Soo and the White Skull Gang chased after the students who ran away.”
Kim Yangsoo told the story as it is. Most fights between the police and protesters broke out this way.
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“Chief, you’d sneak your son out of this mess if he was involved, yes?”
“I can’t say I wouldn’t have.”
“These young students are your son who worries about the future of this country. You understand, don’t you?”
“I do. I’ll release the students we have detained. I’ll also lift the search on the others who merely participated in the protest other than the radical few that assaulted police officers and destroyed public property.”
The chief surrendered and gave up everything in his arsenal.