Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 614

Prev Chapter Next Chapter

The Korean dictionary defines oden as ‘eomuk’ aka fish cakes, but this is actually wrong.
‘Eomuk’ is an ingredient that is the same classification as the Japanese kamaboko, which is a type of cured surimi. However, oden is a dish where a mixture of kamaboko, fried tofu, daikon radish, devil’s tongue jelly among others are skewered on sticks, and cooked in a broth of ‘jangguk.’ (clear soybean soup)
In other words, eomuk (kamaboko) is simply just one of the ingredients in oden. But, if one follows the dictionary’s definition, a bowl of oden soup would be a bowl of fish cake soup instead.
Borrowed words have integrated themselves deeply into our everyday lives, and have become part of popular culture. Oden is a cheap meal that was meant to fill up a person’s hungry heart during the difficult times throughout Korea’s history. The most common image of oden is one where hungry laborers are found surrounding a steaming nickel-silver pot while feasting on oden.
A shabby food cart that was fashioned from a handcart, inexpertly covered with planks and a tarpaulin. A coal briquette brazier coughing out toxic gas fumes, with carbide lamps hanging overhead to chase the darkness of the night away. The creaking chairs covered in stains. The rough-looking but expert hands of an auntie as she poured the steaming bowl of broth amidst this shabby backdrop…
All these impressionable details and textures would always accompany oden as a fond memory of the past.
Mu Ssang’s eyes lingered on the auntie’s rough hands. Those were beautiful hands used to raise her kids and to protect her home. How heavy a weight and burden has been placed on those hands!
A soft grin floated to his lips. The auntie grinned sheepishly and slowly hid her hands.
“Auntie, how many kids do you have?”
“Eh-whew~, somehow I ended up with five kids. Every day is a bit of Hell, you know?”
“Sounds tough. What about your hubby, auntie?”
“It’s been over two years since he injured his back in a construction site and was forced to stay at home.” Auntie turned her head slightly and quickly wiped a tear off her eyes. It was definitely a story that will tug at your heartstrings.
“It must’ve been tough, auntie.”
“It’s my job to look after my family, of course. So I need to persevere to be able to afford my hubby’s medicine and to send my kids to school.” Auntie grinned energetically.
That was a smile of a strong and brave mother. For a moment there, Mu Ssang recalled the hostesses from Gaomi, as well as Kim Dal-su and his companions who are currently being whipped into shape by Gim Geuk-do. People who chose to make an honest living are always beautiful to behold.
“That dude’s pretty swift, isn’t he?” Mu Ssang smirked as he glanced briefly at the agent assigned to tail him was loitering around in front of a food cart about ten meters behind him.
While he was enjoying oden, the agent’s attire changed again. His face now sprouted a new beard, his brown leather jacket is replaced by a grey parka, while his beret turned into a baseball cap. This man was meticulous, but he chose the wrong target to mess with today.
Tailing someone is an unfulfilling, tiresome hard labor. While Mu Ssang sat here leisurely filling his stomach, the agent following him had no choice but to keep his eyes wide open and stare at his target all day to make sure he won’t slip away. The agent also has to worry about his disguises, and he has to endure the smell of the delicious food yet fight back their hunger.
Did that idiot know that all this hard work was just a massive waste of his time? Now that Mu Ssang had filled his stomach, it seemed like a good time to greet his guest.
“Auntie, that was great. Thank you for the extra serving, too.” Mu Ssang gulped down the warm broth, then left.
“Sure thing. Thank you for stopping by!”
Mu Ssang pushed a cheque with 300,000 Won written on the surface towards her.
“W-what is this?! I, I don’t have enough change, though?”
The auntie pointed at the price list hanging on the wall with a troubled face. Twenty oden skewers would only amount to 2,000 Won. To be able to earn 10,000 Won until dawn would already be considered a good day for her. Unfortunately, she didn’t have enough money to give as change for such a large-sum cheque.
“Auntie, you should use the change to buy your kids Christmas gifts.” Mu Ssang grabbed the reddened hands of the auntie and placed the cheque within.
“Goodness me!” The stunned auntie’s eyes opened wide.
“There are no hands as beautiful as yours, that you have been using to support your home and feed your children, auntie. And also, having a tough day isn’t Hell. Hell is when you have lost all hope for the future. So I will stop by again next time.” Mu Ssang grinned brightly at her, before lifting the tarpaulin flap to exit the stall.
“Aigoo, this isn’t right, young man!” The auntie freaked out and tried to chase after him.
But Mu Ssang didn’t even glance back and simply waved his hand before blending into the evening crowd.
“My hands are beautiful, you say?”
The auntie raised her hands to take a closer look. Her hands, blistered and red from the heat, didn’t look pretty. The young man’s hands were even softer and smoother than her own granddaughter’s hand, who had just began to walk recently.
“You’re right, young man. My kids are my treasure and my hope.”
Tears came into the auntie’s eyes. She pictured the delighted faces of her hubby and five kids once they have received their presents. A warm feeling began to fill up her chest. She thought she’d never forget the moment when the young man held her hands.
‘Huh? Why is he coming out?’
Jeong Pil-su was flustered. He didn’t expect the target to just eat a couple of oden and leave. He was supposed to swap his position with Kim Si-work in the next alley without detection, but the situation had suddenly and urgently changed.
Yet Jeong Pil-su quickly cooled his head and walked forward calmly. He planned to just walk past his target and calmly hand the proverbial baton over to Kim Si-wuk, who is on standby in the next alley.
Jeong Pil-su followed faithfully to the rules of How to Tail a Target 101, but this time, this target was his worst match. Mu Ssang was capable of reading a person’s brainwaves and blood flow. So even if you disguised yourself, no, even if you went through cosmetic surgery to alter the shape of your skull and the color of your skin, even if you change your gender, it would all be useless. Even if you try to change your body odor, the atmosphere you ooze out, or your attitude through whatever special way, he would still be able to see through you.
As Jeong Pil-su was three, maybe four steps away from walking past Mu Ssang, he suddenly flinched. His breathing suddenly clogged up, and a pain that is akin to having his whole body disintegrating just flooded his senses. He quickly scanned around for his target, but he was well out of reach.
‘What’s going on here?’
Jeong Pil-su opened his mouth, but his paralyzed vocal cords couldn’t make any noise. The lights coming from the carbide lamps on either side of the alley began to spin in his vision. His consciousness began to fade away, as if he was sinking into a deep pool of water. it felt similar to symptoms of acute hypoglycemia, but he doesn’t have diabetes.
‘Ah, f*ck! This is bad!’
Jeong Pil-su started to curse his arrogance for underestimating a monster who is capable of firing a ballpen at subsonic speed. He thought he was tailing his target, but he was actually being led around. Desperately, he tried to cling onto his fading consciousness. But soon, his vision turned pitch-black darkness.
“Uh-huh, what’s gotten into you, man? I said you should have only one round of booze!” Mu Ssang caught Jeong Pil-su as he collapsed like an empty sack. He placed the latter under his arms, and left the alley while whistling away.
This alley is filled with folks who pass out or get sick after drinking a bit too much. So to anyone who witnessed this scene, Mu Ssang looked just like a loyal friend looking after his drunk buddy.
“Huh?! Where did they go?!”
Both the target and Jeong Pil-su disappeared like smoke. Kim Si-wuk hurriedly ran around the alley and jumped through the crowd like a grasshopper being chased by a scythe. He continued to circle the bustling promenade like an ant that has lost its feelers.
“Euh, much!”
Jeong Pil-su regained consciousness from the freezing cold. His mind was still hazy, as if a fog had just settled in there. He instinctively tried to move his fingers. No matter what the crisis was, one had to know the current state of one’s body first before dealing with the situation.
‘What is going on here!?’
There was no need to check where he was. He was in the middle of a mountain, the clear moonlight descending like a waterfall. He was dragged into a terrifying location, where the eerie silence was intermittently broken by hoots of an owl, rustling noises of the wind brushing past tree branches, and a small animal scurrying away.
He found himself dangling from a tree branch like a straw raincoat. Finally, he regained full consciousness and felt like his wrists were breaking off and his arms were getting yanked out. At that moment, he noticed embers flying up to the night sky. He narrowed his eyes and tried to focus his vision.
Someone was sitting in front of a campfire. To think that some bastard dared to tie up a National Security Agency operative at his wrists and dangle him from a tree! Only a lunatic would dare do such a thing. Jeong Pil-su wanted to crack open the skull of that bastard who’s done this.
“You woke up sooner than expected.” A weighty voice rumbled through the night air.
“Who the hell are you?”
Come and read on our website wuxia worldsite. Thanks
“It’s me!”
The lunatic turned his head. However, the torso remained still, so only his head spun around 180 degrees like an owl to look up at Jeong Pil-su. I reminded him of a scene straight out of that movie, Omen, when the little girl possessed by the devil spun her head around.
Jeong Pil-su was creeped out. A human is not an owl, after all.
“Ugh?! Bak Mu Ssang?” Jeong Pil-su cried out.
It would’ve been better if he were speaking to a devil. Things will be much more complicated if Bak Mu Ssang was indeed responsible for his current situation. Jeong Pil-su’s solar plexus ached murderously from Mu Ssang’s punches, while his shoulders screamed in pure agony.
How long has he been out? Jeong Pil-su looked up at the sky. A full moon shone brightly, while the faint light of Venus could be spotted leaning towards the west. It seemed to be around one in the morning, judging from the angle. He got caught around eleven or so, which meant he had been dangling around for almost one to two hours.
As he figured out more and more of his situation, the pain seemed to worsen.
The delicious aroma of meat stimulated Jeong Pil-su’s olfactory senses. That bastard used a portable gas stove with a flat stone on top to grill meat. The smell of juicy pork belly assaulted Jeong Pil-su’s nose mercilessly. Now that he thought about it, he didn’t even have supper today.
Slurp, suck…
The sound of oily fingers being licked clean wafted towards Jeong Pil-su. The combined assault on his senses of both smell and hearing has caused his stomach to rumble in pain.
‘That bastard, didn’t he already gorge on oden earlier? And yet, he is eating again now? Is he possessed by a starving ghost or something?’
Inwardly, Jeong Pil-su hurled all sorts of curses. But he was right. A starving ghost indeed possessed Mu Ssang.
“Oii. I brought you to this quiet place so that we can have a nice little chat, just between the two of us. You’re feeling a bit uncomfortable over there, am I right?” Mu Ssang yapped on in a snide tone.
Jeong Pil-su’s brows shot up. Finally, he swallowed back his retort and said: “Would you be comfortable in my shoes, you punk?!”
“Well you got yourself in this mess, so what can I do? Just bear with it for the time being.” Mu Ssang swallowed the meat, then turned his head to look away.
“You… you!”
If he was just going to say that, why did he ask in the first place?! Jeong Pil-su wanted to shoot back with a retort of his own, but the cold air suddenly froze his jaw, and he didn’t want to follow commands.
“Say the right words, will you! Keep yelling in the middle of the night, and the mountain guardian’s spirit will get annoyed with you. So let’s just chat like civilized folk and eat some meat, eh? Even I can’t polish off a boar on my own, you know.”
A blade flashed sharply against the light.
A piece of meat separated from the large black object and floated into the air.
Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh-!
Light flashed several times. Thinly-sliced pieces of meat landed perfectly on the flat stone as if from a magic trick.
Jeong Pil-su’s eyes opened wide. That wasn’t like any magic show being shown on regular TV. Is that bastard even human?! Jeong Pil-su instinctively tried to rub his eyes, but his hands were still tied above his head. Now that he took a closer look, the black object he thought was a boulder turned out to be a giant boar.
Not only was finding a boar difficult, it was even much more difficult to catch one. So just what was the real identity of Bak Mu Ssang?! The ex-convict Bak Mu Ssang? Sbard Gulbeig, France’s cultural advisor? Or the mysterious Dubaiburupa?
Jeong Pil-su felt like his head was about to explode.
“If you don’t want to talk, why don’t you just cross the River Styx, then!” Mu Ssang suddenly aimed a pistol at him. Its pitch-black muzzle was pointing at Jeong Pil-su’s forehead.
‘What is that thing, again?’
Jeong Pil-su stared dazedly at the black hole pointing at him. The sudden change in the situation temporarily paralyzed him.
Jeong Pil-su’s yelp came one beat later. The gun that was holding is the Beretta that should’ve been hidden under his jacket. The round hole of the silencer looked like a hole leading to the Underworld. A tool is just a tool, after all. In an opponent’s hand, a trustworthy weapon turns into a vile item that could threaten the life of its owner.
“Arent’ you supposed to be a National Security Agency agent, so why are you so scared?”
Jeong Pil-su nearly blew his top at Mu Ssang’s snarky remark. He was yelping not because of the gun pointed at him, but out of his fear of Yi Dae-deok’s fists. To think that his weapon was stolen by a civilian… What a humiliation this was, and definitely deserving of getting himself beaten to death.
“Whoa, whoa. Let’s calm down here, shall we.”
Jeong Pil-su was always favored because of his ballsiness and his ability to resolve issues in various situations. However, he needed to find a way to calm his opponent down first for the time being. If the agitated opponent got provoked too much, he’d end up as a ghost in no time at all.
“Calm down? Why should I calm down, though?” Mu Ssang tilted his head.
“I work for the National Security Agency.”
“I already know.”
“If something happens to me, it’s not gonna be nice for you, either.”
“You don’t have to worry about my welfare like a nosy aunt.”
Jeong Pil-su’s opponent didn’t even budge. The gun’s nozzle remained pointing to the same spot, too. Then again, a man with the status of ‘cultural advisor’ wouldn’t be scared of the National Security Agency. Wasn’t that the main reason how he got into this sh*t show?
“I apologize for tailing you. Let’s have a good and sincere talk about resolving this issue.” In the end, Jeong Pil-su had to lower his guard.
“Being sincere is good. Even my father used to say that being sincere is the perfect way to calm an angry opponent. However, are you sincere enough to calm me down? Even though you must’ve been in the Nat-Sec for quite some time now?”
Jeong Pil-su was internally riled up. Mu Ssang implied that every person working in the National Security Agency was insincere and dishonest.
“I am sincere. Take that away from me, and I would just be a corpse!” Jeong Pil-su yelled out. A bird, woken up by his yell, flew away in a hurry.
“You dumbass. Be as wily as you want, but it’s useless. Only owls will hear your cries in this place, you see.”
Their current location is at Hwajeong village. More specifically, it is a spot near town where he had once dug a pit to bury Hwa-ja all those years ago. Never mind a loud yell, Jeong Pil-su could fire his gun here, and no one would even hear him.
Mu Ssang took out a vinyl bag from his pocket. “Ah, is that why you have planted all these bugs in my house? Two wired and five wireless bugs. Seven in total.”
“Bak Mu Ssang, let’s negotiate. First of all, I’m at fault here.” Jeong Pil-su squeezed his eyes shut.
This was the worst possible situation. If this punk lodged an official complaint through the French embassy, it would definitely cause one hell of a ripple. This incident wouldn’t just end with an apology from the country’s president. but Korea would have to suffer an international humiliation. In the meantime, there was a good chance that the National Security Agency might get disbanded.
“No need to get that nervous, fellow. Before I was a French diplomat, I was a Korean. Is that why you idiots keep hanging around me? Although I don’t hold much affection for this country, I still don’t want to see it humiliated by foreigners. A wife who has been cheated on by her man still gets angry when someone badmouths him, you know.”
Read latest Chapters at Wuxia World . Site Only
“T-thank you!” Jeong Pil-su bowed his head without even realizing it. As long as Mu Ssang didn’t try to raise a diplomatic fuss, this situation could be resolved one way or another.
“No need to thank me. I’ll be handling this matter my way, after all. First of all, we’ll talk after I hit you a couple of times. One hit per listening device. How about it?”
“Oi, oi. Hey, let’s calm down and talk first.”
Having gained a bit of an upperhand, Jeong Pil-su returned to being a slippery eel. Getting beaten up was part of resistance-to-torture techniques that have been drilled into him every year since his newbie days. So getting hit seven times wouldn’t even leave a scratch on him.
Unfortunately, he had no idea the severity of Hell that was about to be unleashed.
Prev Chapter Next Chapter