Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 608
The request from the ANS to keep Bak Mussang there caused all of this mess. Otherwise, the police wouldn’t have done their best and even used the smoke bombs to detain him. They say it was a formal “request” when in fact it was an order. This world is one where the local police chief is summoned by the regional director of the ANS, only to be slapped in the face.
‘Even if he were a literal mountain bandit, he wouldn’t be able to weasel out this time.”
Bak Inyong forcibly erased the imagery of Yi Dae-deok’s nasty face that clung to his mind. Even though the ANS were intimidating, the Westerners scrutinizing them with their sparkling blue eyes were ten times the threat. The ANS must not have expected the French diplomats to act this quickly.
Bak Inyong already decided what to do. The ANS would make him shoulder all the blame if this case spread like wildfire to become a diplomatic conflict. Or worse, they could even frame him as someone who made the country lose its face on the international stage and send him to some forced labor camp.
No reality preceded the reality of making one’s living. For him to keep his position, he needed to suck up to Bak Mussang and prevent the Westerners from getting involved. People thought the position as chief of the police station came with some authority but in fact, he could be laid off any day on a superior’s whim.
“I applaud your brave decision. I will release the detained Baekgol fellows today. Do not charge the detained students with anything as well.”
“Thank you. I will treat it as though nothing has ever happened.”
Bak Inyong accepted the offer without questioning it. It was a reasonable response.
“Mr. Kim and the detectives were just doing their job. The riot policemen dispatched here also did a great job.”
“I get what you mean.”
Bak Inyong nodded. He already took a liking to this man called Bak Mussang.
Kim Yang-su, listening to their conversation, felt hot tears welling up in his eyes. His direct superior had pushed him off the ledge and then his victim granted him mercy. The man was not an anti-tank mine but a firework lighting up Kim Yang-su’s life. This is why the world is an interesting place.
“If you want this case to end here, don’t ever be curious about who I am. It will depend on you whether this will turn out great for everyone or otherwise.”
Mu Ssang stood, dusting his clothes.
“I get what you mean.”
Bak Inyong parroted the same response. His only wish now was for the human-plague to leave his station as soon as possible. The man was not someone who would yield to persistence. For Bak, who lost to the man in logic, power, and charisma, had no choice but to await the man’s decision on him.
When Mu Ssang left the police station, the personnel from the embassy followed him in an entourage. The chief and managing staff had to follow them to the door and send them off politely. Thirteen years ago, Mu Ssang had vowed to avenge himself when he left the door of Chilgok Police Station with bloody scabs all over his head. That vow was now realized.
Bak Inyong glared at the rear of the car driving away from them, with gritted teeth.
The next day, all of the detained student protesters were released. The 55 students, previously wanted, had all of their charges dropped. The riot policemen were granted three days and two nights of bonus days off and roared in joy. The East Police Station, after all the mess, overhauled itself into a law-abiding, exemplary police station.
Three days later, the discharge request for Sergeant Jang Chi Su was submitted. He was blamed for corruption, abuse of authority, violation of firearm protocols, and battery. His injuries were not considered to have occurred on duty. The riot police commander and the chief detective handed in their notices and gathered their things. They had to obey the chief of the police station even though they resented it. But due to the organization’s nature, they had no choice but to pack their bags.
If Mu Ssang said he was going to do something, he always did. He sued the head of the violent crimes department, Kim Yang-su, and the three detectives, seeking damages for his house and psychological damages for frightening women who were not in good health. Resentfully, they settled outside the court with settlements worth their entire yearly salaries. Kim Yang-su, taking out a loan from a bank with his retirement money as the mortgage, wailed.
“Women of poor health don’t yell at detectives. They don’t laugh in a front yard where tear gas canisters fly around. My wife flinches and shrieks when she sees a single cockroach. He has more money than all the water in the Nakdong and he is suing us for what must be pocket change for him!”
A week later, four women visited Eungsim-je, all with an anxious countenance on their faces. They were the wife of Kim Yang-su, the wives of his subordinate detectives, and the mother of Detective Bak, who was unmarried. The women acted most cautiously, clearly warned beforehand by their husbands and son as to how to react.
“You did a great job raising a great son. Dear ma’ams also must be great wives to your husbands.”
The women lowered their heads, conscious of what each other is doing. The handsome young man in front of them was like a Grim Reaper for their husbands’ and son’s careers. Mu Ssang handed an envelope to each of them.
“This is the compensation I received.”
The women’s eyes widened like the dish in an oil lamp.
“The police is the bastion of safety for the citizens. Your husbands and son said they only followed their boss’s orders but if the police commit unjust acts, where will powerless ordinary citizens put their trust? But they are also all fathers and sons of families. I am giving you back this money because I believe that in their hearts, they are good police officers.”
“Thank you. We are sorry.”
The women, receiving the envelopes, welled up. Mu Ssang didn’t care for wealth. Those sums were in fact, like pocket change to him. Despite that, he pettily went through all the hassle to sue them for damages to warn the police. Following orders and getting meager salaries couldn’t excuse them from their abuse of authority.
“Mr. Kim and Detective Ha must be still renting a place for their families, right?”
“Yes, we do.”
Mu Ssang took out a plastic bar where many keys were attached by a ring.
“Cheonggu Apartments, in Sincheon-dong. Complex 402, Unit 506, and Unit 703. They are empty now. You can move in right away.”
The eyes of the wives of Kim Yang-su and Detective Ha widened, overstretching their lids.
“You can live there rent-free until you purchase your own homes. It’s not free. There is an orphanage in Anjirangi called Inaewon. You will volunteer there twice a week. I need your signatures or stamps here.”
Mu Ssang held out the contracts.
“Namu Amita Buddha!”
The three women wept and Detective Ha’s mother closed her eyes and recited a Buddhist mantra.
“Thank you. We will always remember your mercy.”
“How shall we ever repay you?”
“It’s just what being human is. Humans differ from animals because we know how to share. I am trusting you to keep this a secret from your husbands and son. All right?”
“Of course. My husband needed this humbling experience. This is mine! Haha.”
Kim Yang-su’s wife giggled with still-teary eyes. The four women, who had entered the front gate of the manor most anxiously, exited it as if they had just had a supernatural experience.
The women promised to keep their mouths shut but some words did slip. The detectives of the East Police Station surreptitiously began protecting the people of Eungsim-je. Inaewon was bustling with volunteers all of a sudden. Mr. Kim’s food truck suddenly had a lot of police customers.
Black Mamba, the Angel of Death, was merciless but Dubaiburupa was merciful. The weak and powerless always ended up benefitting from his grace, except for one, Jang Chi Su.
“He’s been transferred to the convalescent? Then I shall pay him a visit.”
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Mu Ssang, tipped off by Kim Yang-su, visited the university hospital where Jang Chi Su was hospitalized. On his way, he bought a flower basket to boot.
Seeing Mu Ssang entering his ward, Jang Chi Su flinched and wiggled on his bed. He was indeed a human silkworm cocoon, covered with bandages all over his body. He was still in a serious condition. He had his intestines ruptured and six of his teeth broken. His left tibia, the bones in his right hand, and fingers, eight in total, were also broken. Five of his ribs collapsed and his lower jawbone was also cracked. He suffered a total of 15 fractures from a few punches.
He shouldn’t have wronged someone like Mu Ssang who meticulously avenged all the instances where he was wronged. Jang Chi Su illegally kept Mu Ssang locked in the in-station jail for 15 days. Thus 15 broken bones in return. The six broken teeth were to be counted as interest payment.
Jang Chi Su glared at Mu Ssang. He wanted to murder the man but he couldn’t even move his fingers. The metal pins keeping his lower jawbone in place prevented him from talking either. He could only give Mu Ssang the most toxic gaze he could muster.
“Ma’am, you must be worried.”
Mu Ssang cheekily greeted Jang’s wife by his bed.
“Thank you for coming. But who are you?”
Jang Chi Su’s wife asked.
“I was graced by Sergeant Jang a long time ago. Thanks to him, I also became a civil servant.”
Mu Ssang handed the potted plant to Jang Chi Su’s wife. On the decorative ribbons surrounding the plant were written the words “Wishing your speedy recovery” and “On the riverbank of the Yeonhwa.” The second was the alleged spot they picked to frame Mu Ssang with rape. Mu Ssang never forgot any single instance in which he was wronged.
“Thank you. He is kind-hearted, helping many. He sometimes sleeps outside because he needed to help someone. He took his job bestowed upon him by our beloved nation, very seriously. No one knew he would end up like this. Where is justice?”
Mu Ssang stared at the babbling woman without saying a word. She was tending to her injured husband. Yet she wore heavy makeup and luxury clothes. Her finger sported a diamond ring. A Cartier wristwatch glinted on her wrist. Her big natural pearl earrings swung from her lobes. Her scarf and blouse were Burberry, which was not officially imported to Korea. With a policeman’s salary, they were not affordable at all.
‘A wretch. Jang Chi Su must have been taking considerable amounts of bribes.’
Same husband, same wife.
“Did people come from his work?”
“No. It’s odd. He was hurt, trying to arrest a bastard ruining our country. But no one came for a visit in two weeks. Can you believe that? That lunatic cannot be allowed to live! Look at what he did to my husband.”
Jang’s wife shuddered as if they were forsaken by the entire world. Mu Ssang laughed internally. Even though Jang Chi Su’s reputation wasn’t that great anyway before all of this happened, now, no one was going to undermine their own career by visiting him in the hospital. That was how the world worked.
“He must be a psychopath to make your husband like that. Does he have any bad blood? A psychopath is persistent. He may come to visit your husband if he ever became aware that he was still alive.”
Mu Ssang did not intend to keep listening to her whining so he intimidated her a bit. Her face turned from anger to fear.
“Oh my! He is not someone to be begrudged by someone. What should we do if that monster ever comes here?”
“Haha! No way. It was silly of me to say that. Sergeant Jang is not someone to frame and jail someone or hurt someone on purpose, is he?”
The very monster mock-tried to comfort her, all smiling.
“Oh my, you scared me!”
Jang’s wife pressed down on her chest with her palm. Mu Ssang looked back at Jang Chi Su and smirked. His eyes were all bloodshot from elevated blood pressure from anger.
“Ma’am, I have something work-related to tell you.”
“Sure. I will give you some privacy.”
The woman exited the room. The wife of a corrupt cop indeed had a keen sense for such things. Mu Ssang got a portable chair and sat close by.
“Jang Chi Su, do you remember the Sony radio theft case in Jipeundari?”
Jang Chi Su’s eyes widened after a moment of pondering. He faintly remembered the face of a youngster who protested and yelled.
“You must remember the rape case seven years ago.”
A faint moan escaped the steel-pin-ridden, plaster-fixed jaws. The face of the one who he jailed six years ago overlapped on the faintly smiling man’s face now.
‘He is that boy!’
He remembered the scenes in which he argued and wrestled with the boy. Jang Chi Su’s eyes were filled with a look of impending doom.
“You seem to remember, thank God. I was worried you may have forgotten since you ruined many other people’s lives, not just me. I don’t care how much you received from Jang Pil Nyuh. You framed conscientious student protesters to be criminals and caused a high school girl to commit suicide by jumping into an ice-cold lake. How will you ever pay for your sins?”
Mu Ssang poked Jang’s ribcage with his finger.
Jang Chi Su writhed in pain.
“For someone who likes hurting others, you have pathetically low pain tolerance. I can only imagine how many people were hurt at your hands. Do you remember that I said I will pay back all the pain you inflicted on me?”
“Yes, you do. Now it is time for you to pay your debts. You were fired three days ago. If someone like you stays in the police, victims like me would continue to be made. You should have really stopped hurting innocent people even though they may have seemed powerless. Your injuries were not even recognized by your former job. You will pay for your own hospital bills. Give it four months. You will relatively heal. Then I will visit again. Have you heard of lifelong labor? Korea doesn’t have that kind of punishment, does it? Of course. I’m taking you somewhere else. Keep taking care of yourself. See you soon.”
Mu Ssang tapped Jang Chil Su’s cheek and exited the room.
‘I must kill that bastard!’
Jang Chi Su writhed like a caterpillar. He could move his eyes and see the potted plant Mu Ssang brought him. The black letters on the pink ribbon, “Speedy recovery” momentarily seemed like “Condolences.”
One of his half-healed internal wounds ruptured. Blood streamed into his throat.
Mu Ssang whistled as he exited the hospital’s front gate. He felt as if he had just gotten a hurting teeth removed. Korea was too small a country. He had vowed to avenge himself but he didn’t expect it to play out like this. His father’s teaching, that a man should always keep his promises, always proved right.
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Yi Dae-deok’s office.
“Mr. Jeong. You touted that it’s one of the best shots we have. But it seems like you were wrong.”
He gave Jeong Pil-su the evil eye, with his eye with a lot of white.
“You are right. Hmm!”
Jeong Pil-su, at a loss of words, kept silent.