Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 617

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Min Ju-seok sat there shuddering in anger while holding the phone’s receiver. His rage gushed out of his head like steam from a boiling pot.
“This f*cking b*tch! Imma just…!”
He slammed the receiver down hard, almost enough to break the phone, then quickly put on his jacket. He looked like a pit bull ready to rush over there and show who’s the boss.
The sound of a typewriter pecking rapidly away like a machine gun came to an abrupt stop right at that moment.
“Mister Min, don’t you know what our boss is like? Are you planning to bail out of work only to sh*t blood later?” The person typing away, Kim Jin-suk, raised her head and threw that out there as if she found Min Ju-seok too pitiful to behold.
“Ah! R-right. There’s that, too.” Min Ju-seok faltered where he stood. Even though this situation called for him to rush over to that insolent girl’s house and slap some sense into her to vent his anger, his shin bones’ safety was a greater priority.
He suppressed his emotions and picked up the phone once more.
“I’m calling from Daedeok Company. May I speak to Bak Mu…” Min Ju-seok tried to sound as courteous as possible. But, unfortunately, doing something he wasn’t accustomed to only made him feel like throwing up.
-Go away.
Beep, beep, beep…
Even before finishing his sentence, he was greeted with a cold rejection followed by yet another dead phone line.
“Kuwaaaahk! If I don’t beat that b*tch’s ass up right now, I ain’t no Min Ju-seok but some loser motherf*cker!”
“Mister Min Ju-seok, stop with b*tch this and b*tch that. The woman listening will get annoyed with you if you keep doing that. Besides all that, this is troublesome, isn’t it? Now that they don’t even want to answer the phone!” Kim Jin-suk pouted deeply.
Min Ju-seok was a musclebrain that mistook boorish behavior and overbearing attitude as qualities of being a man. Kim Jin-suk didn’t know who the woman on the other side of the phone line was but still felt deeply refreshed by this event as if she had drunk a bottle of ice-cold cider.
“Ah, crap!” Min Ju-seok realized that now wasn’t the time to get angry. He was the one with the urgent need here. He was even ordered to perform civil service as gently as possible (?), but his short temper always proved to be a stumbling block. “Miss Jin-suk, can you make the call instead of me?”
His calling again would get nowhere fast. He knew that he was being shameless but still decided to ask Kim Jin-suk for a favor anyway.
“I don’t want to! Do something about your temper instead, Mister Min.”
“Just this one time, will ya!”
“You will stop using ‘b*tch’ in the office, yes?”
“Yes, yes. I got it.”
“And I can’t do it with an empty stomach.”
“Fine, I’ll buy you kuruma prawns for dinner.”
“Okay, then!” Only then did Kim Jin-suk pick up the phone.
‘Blooming hell, this is why women should just stay home to look after kids and cook food!’
Min Ju-seok panted angrily while his expression crumpled. There was a good reason why he remained single even into his mid-thirties.
“Ah, yes. I’m so sorry about that… He has a short fuse, you see… Yes, it’s an urgent matter… Thank you so much.” Kim Jin-suk winked before handing the receiver to Min Ju-seok.
“Hello, this is Min Ju-seok from Daedeok Company calling.”
-Hello. How can I help you?
The woman who got into a verbal showdown with him earlier replied calmly as if nothing had happened between them. Min Ju-seok briefly wondered if this woman was the same b*tch he had been arguing with a few minutes ago.
He gritted his teeth and continued. “I’d like to speak to Mister Bak Mu-ssang.”
-Unfortunately, my Oppa isn’t home right now. If you’d like to leave a message… Who did you say you were from Daedeok Company?
‘Is this girl messing with me?’
The woman’s ‘friendly’ and gentle demeanor only served to fuel Min Ju-seok’s rage even further.
“It’s Min Ju-seok, miss. When can I speak to him?”
-He should be home soon.
“Please write down my phone number, miss. Again, I’m Min Ju-seok from Daedeok Company.”
“Yes, I’ll ask him to give you a call.” Jin Soon ended the call and grinned slyly. “How dare a douchebag as you call me a b*tch? What a stuck-up idiot. Busy screwing around without knowing who you’re messing with!”
Living together with a crow for a little too long has led the swan to the dark side.
“So, this guy wants me to call him back on this number?” Mu Ssang asked while looking at the memo. He didn’t know who Min Ju-seok was, but he sure knew what the Daedeok Company was.
“Ng. And he was such a douchebag, too.”
“Well, folks from that neck of the woods are always like that. As soon as they get just a tiny bit of authority, they just can’t resist showing that off.”
Mu Ssang immediately requested an international call. Korea’s National Security Agency became the CIA’s underling quite a while ago. By calling Bell Man, who still maintained a connection to the CIA, it’d be a cinch to confirm the identity of Min Ju-seok. Sure enough, he got his answer in less than one hour.
-I heard you were looking for me? I’m Bak Mu-ssang.
A weighty baritone voice traveled through the copper line to reach Min Ju-seok’s phone.
‘This punk is putting on some airs, and sh*t isn’t he…’
Min Ju-seok’s irritation level shot up again. Acting essential and all were reserved only for actual agents with fundamental authorities. Something must be wrong with this family since the woman was rude as hell, and the man seemed to think he was a big-shot or something.
“My boss wants to change the appointment time, you see.”
-You must be Na Gyeong-bok, then?
Min Ju-seok was taken aback. Only his direct superiors knew his real name. Not even the administrative agent Kim Jin-suk knew the name of Na Gyeong-bok.
“W-who are you, mister?”
-You called without knowing who you’re dealing with?
A point-blank retort slapped Min Ju-seok in the face. He began massaging his forehead. Whether it was the man or the woman, they both were rude punks.
“Look here, man. Why so rude? You sound like still a young man, so it’s not nice to forget your honorifics like this.” Min Ju-seok politely tried to scold the other party. Although the voice on the line sounded weighty, its timber indicated that the other party was a young man.
A short silent interval ensued.
‘Heh, this punk. He got scared, isn’t he?’
Min Ju-seok smirked softly. He had no idea that the man on the other side of the line was trying to decide whether to rip his throat out or pull out all of his teeth.
-Hey, moron. Was there some weird clause about Nat-Sec agents not using any honorifics, but innocent civilians must always be courteous? So some random bastard that draws a salary from the tax we pay wants to threaten a tax-paying good citizen?
Scared, my foot! A rather bone-chilling response came flying through the phone’s copper line. Min Ju-seok was momentarily left flustered. Ordinary civilians didn’t use the term ‘agent.’ Just as Min Ju-seok tried to grope at the other guy’s identity, more shock-inducing bombshells dropped on his head.
-National Security Agency, Daegu branch, Special Government Employee 8th grade, Na Gyeong-bok. Disqualified from the field duty due to lack of ability, excluded from civil service duty due to coarse language and overbearing attitude, and re-appointed to administrative burden last July. But, hey, as*hole, you’re just a lowly paper-pusher, so why the f*ck are you all acting high and mighty and sh*t? Hurry up and get to the point already. Or get Yi Dae-deok on the line!
“Huk?! J-just who are you?” The freaked-out Min Ju-seok stuttered severely. Without robust backing, no one could investigate his background and career record that quickly. He felt a deathly chill run down his spine and this prickly sensation on the back of his head.
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-Doesn’t matter, moron. I was thinking of chopping your head off, but I’m going to take pity on your sorry ass. Why did you call me?
“S-sir. My boss wondered if he could bring forward the appointment to ten in the evening. Will that be fine with you, sir?” Min Ju-seok inadvertently ended up using honorifics.
Here was yet another sad portrait of the military dictatorship that lost itself in the power game and forgot to care about the familiar people.
-Very well. If you don’t want to learn how comfortable inside a coffin is at your young age, you better understand some manners, you rude little punk!
Mu Ssang didn’t even wait for a reply and down the receiver.
Beep- beep…
Only the uncomfortable beeping noise of a disconnected line came out from the phone. Min Ju-seok dazedly stared at the phone’s receiver. His back felt itchy and hot, as if several leeches had stuck onto him.
“Sons of goddamn stinking parasites!” Mu Ssang grumbled angrily after putting the phone down.
The current regime’s real heavyweights were the National Security Agency and the Defense Security Command. Like how it was with Namyeong-dong’s and Seobinggo’s Anti-Communist Branches that tried to re-enact literal hell on earth, these two state organizations lorded over the administrative, legislative, and judicial branches of the government. The power of these two agencies was absolute. An average, innocent person could transform into a felon overnight, ministers and the members of the National Assembly had to lower their gazes, and not even the National Prosecuting Authority could raise a voice at them. A regular citizen stood no chance.
Most parasites didn’t harm their hosts. But that’s because a parasite would die if the host died. However, some parasitic creatures like tachinid flies, parasitoid wasps, and toxoplasma gondii mature by devouring the hosts they infect. So if organized criminals or yangahchis were simple parasites, then privatized government institutions with absolute authority were basically like a predatory parasite that strangled its host, its own country. Min Ju-seok was just another cog in that machine, and that’s why it was pointless to point fingers at him.
Mina lying on her stomach on the floor and dozing away, raised her dizzy head. Her arithmetic homework was stained with drool marks.
“Dad? Who are you scolding like that?”
“Oh. Just some random rude punk, that’s all.”
“How was he rude?”
“Well… When being rude, it can be described as you not having four important things. You don’t have eyes, so you don’t know how to look, you don’t have ears, so you don’t know how to listen, you don’t have a neck, so you don’t know how to lower your head, and you don’t have a mouth, so you don’t know how to explain. So someone like that is considered rude.”
Mina began imagining a person without eyes, ears, a neck, and a mouth. And that person looked like an egg ghost.
“It’s an egg ghost, dad?”
“Eh? Oh, wow, you’re right!” Mu Ssang chuckled at that child-like imagination. “Mina, you must learn to use your eyes to find good people, use your ears to listen to good things, use your neck to greet people and use your mouth to say only good things. Okay?”
“Ng. I’m already good at that, dad. Big sisters always say I’m kind and well-mannered.”
“Aigoo~! My cute little kitten! By the way, is that kid Seon-dong still causing trouble at school?”
“No, he’s depressed lately. Kids he bullied are bullying him back now. Dad, did you scold his dad?”
“Yeah. I did teach him about those four things.”
“Wow! Dad, you’re even more amazing than my teacher!”
“Ehehehe~. I’m your dad, after all. Oh, hey. Wanna go to a department store with me?” Mu Ssang, feeling pleased now, decided to spend big today. Mina’s favorite pastime was shopping, after all.
“No, I like going to the local market more.”
“Eh? You wanna go to a traditional market?”
Now that was an unexpected reply.
“I like it there, ’cause lots of grandpas and grandmas are there.”
Mu Ssang instantly figured out where this was going. “Mina, do you want to see your Grandma?”
“Ng. It’s unfortunate for my Grandma, you see? Achimgari is cold, you know.”
Mu Ssang felt the tip of his nose sting a little. Was this because the blood was thicker than water? “Got it. Let’s go see your Grandma during your winter break.”
“Waaah! Dad, you’re the best!” Mina began bouncing around in joy.
Mu Ssang was proud of her. Despite her young age, Mina hadn’t forgotten about her maternal grandmother. But, of course, it isn’t the first condition for being a human, not forgetting one’s roots and family!
The central park was located near Daegu’s city center, Hyangchon-dong. Gyeongsang Gamyeong still stood there, along with some other historic remains. The park was easy to reach and blessed with a verdant forest, making it a favored picnic spot for Daegu’s citizens.
At precisely ten in the evening, Yi Dae-deok parked his car in front of a coffee shop named Da Vinci, about 30m away from the Palgakjeong. (Octagonal pavilion) This position afforded him an unhindered view of the pavilion facing the westbound street.
Yi Dae-deok spotted a well-built man’s silhouette in front of the pavilion. The dim lights of the park’s street lamps cast a long shadow of this man.
One didn’t win the title of the Nat-Sec Section Chief through a game of cards. The management of the Nat-Sec was made up of three deputy commanders and twelve section chiefs. As for the position of the department head, that’s occupied temporarily by the so-called parachute appointments.
Yi Dae-deok was a veteran of the espionage game who had experienced all sorts of scenarios. That’s why he didn’t just rush ahead. Instead, it was crucial to make the other party anxious first to seize the initiative.
He waited for ten minutes, but that man was like a sturdy tree, not even budging an inch from the spot. Plenty of folks with nothing much to do, like wandering drunkards and couples out on a date, loitered around the park, but that man’s presence remained absolute, oppressive even. There was this heavy stillness around that man as if the air surrounding him now weighed a ton.
If Yi Dae-deok dared to break that stillness, a sharp blade might come flying in his way, which raised goosebumps on his skin.
“How long are you going to stand there?”
A voice suddenly rang in Yi Dae-deok’s hearing. He had to furrow his brows deeply. He felt a bit frustrated that he lost the initiative to the other party from the get-go. He began walking forward in heavy steps. He failed to secure a psychological advantage. What a slip-up that was.
“Bak Mu-ssang?”
“If you wish to know who you’re talking to, introduce yourself first. Authority entrusted to you by the citizens isn’t a blunt club. But, unfortunately, whether it’s Jeong Pil-su or Min Ju-seok, you people tend to use the club meant to catch sons of b*tches to take cheap shots at your real paymasters.”
Yi Dae-deok wasn’t prepared for a lecture like that and became speechless for a moment there. This punk… Even though Bak Mu-ssang was still a youngster, not only was he not cowered in the slightest, he even dared to treat a high-ranking officer of the National Security Agency like a piece of discarded gum.
A manager of a Nat-Sec branch was comparable to a director’s position in the headquarters – meaning, no one dared to throw an insolent remark like this at his face. It seemed that a wet-behind-the-ears punk became blinded by power after climbing to the position of ‘advisor’ for an overseas powerhouse nation. This young punk was staring straight at Yi Dae-deok and unhesitantly spitting out a lecture.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Yi Dae-deok’s temper began rising.
“You’re not very polite, are you. Do you even know who I am?” Yi Dae-deok tried to remain cautious with what he said, though. His opponent this time was a high-ranking diplomat and a superhuman with an unknown background.
“Since you don’t use honorifics from the start, I don’t think you’re in any position to talk about how polite I am. And I now know why your subordinates are such a bunch of rude punks.”
A curt reply immediately came back in Yi Dae-deok’s way. As the report said – this man was a demanding customer to contend with.
“Huh, huh-uh. Well, fine. I’m Yi Dae-deok. It seems that you’ve already investigated my identity.”
“I’m Bak Mu-ssang. And you also did some homework on my identity, did you not?”
Yi Dae-deok’s moods soured even more. This youngster just didn’t want to give an inch here. Forgetting about one’s status for a moment here, Yi Dae-deok as an elder, was getting displeased by this attitude.
“Don’t you think you’re a bit too discourteous as a younger person?” Yi Dae-deok shot a sharp glare.
“You came here to talk about your age? I know a bit about how people like you operate. You people see other humans as either enemies or disposable tools. If you want respect, start showing some respect first.” Mu-ssang sharply ended his sentence there as if he was using a knife.
Yi Dae-deok was filled with greed to fix Mu Ssang’s attitude and bring the latter under his wing, while Mu Ssang planned to scare the bejesus out of Yi Dae-deok and make the Nat-Sec stop interfering with his life. Two men dreaming of two opposing dreams didn’t even entertain the idea of shaking hands and simply sharpened their knives, hoping to snatch away the initiative.
Mu Ssang unleashed his bloodlust that he had been purposefully holding back. It wouldn’t do for him to beat his fellow countryman because things were getting annoying. However, this Nat-Sec agent was the type to cling onto his target like a leech if not sufficiently suppressed right here, right now.
Mu Ssang’s deeply-hidden visceral bloodlust spread all over and seeped into his eyes as a blood-red aura.
Yi Dae-deok sucked in his breath. His psyche was shaken up by the vicious, violent aura and the burning glare of a slaughterer staring at him. He had left fieldwork a long time ago, but his intuition that got his hands stained with plenty of blood in the past still hadn’t gone anywhere. People with those eyes didn’t hesitate to kill, whether they were killing dogs or humans.
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Yi Dae-deok’s dismissive attitude about his opponent being an immature punk disappeared into the ether instantly.
“I’m beginning to seriously wonder if this country is a liberal democracy as explicitly stated by the Constitution. Police officers meant to protect the citizens’ property and lives invaded a university campus’s library, assaulted a young female student, and indiscriminately fired their guns.
“And then, the National Security Agency operative named Jeong Pil-su dared to break into an innocent citizen’s home to plant listening devices and even tried to tail said citizen.
“The bastard named Min Ju-seok started hurling insults and threats to my younger sister for no good reason, even though they have never even met before.
“Right now, I have half a mind to crack open the skulls of this country’s so-called civil servants and check out the state of their brains. Let me ask you this, are you also one of those dimwit bureaucrats that treat fellow citizens as your servants?”
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