Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 621
“Mom, it’s me!”
“Oh my! You must be out of your mind, sir.”
Gim Malsun felt chills down her spine. The man was huge and beast-like. He looked more terrifying than a tiger, and more revolting than a snake. She was used to having men grab and drag her to the inner room, and eventually pulling down their pants. Strong-looking men terrified her.
These horrific memories started in one fateful encounter That day, the red setting sun filled the sky like blood. She was walking down a newly-paved road when out of nowhere, a van drove up next to her and three men got off. She tried to run back but had barely gone a few steps before getting caught and forcefully thrown into a van.
The van drove all night only to finally stop at the beach. A middle-aged man who was missing two front teeth was there waiting for them. They got on a boat and drove to a remote island. This was the first time she saw a salt farm. There, she was forced to work in a large salt field together with 30 other people, and only five of them were women.
The work was very taxing. They had to push salt all day on the salt farm, with the sun beating down mercilessly on them. The salt was then carried to the warehouse on a wheelbarrow. The same man would yell and beat people up, so there was no way she could find a moment of rest. Her frail body could not cope with working on the salt farm, which was ten times more difficult than working on an ordinary farm. So after three days, she passed out in the middle of work.
The man screamed at her and struck her with a stick, but she remained mobile and seemed almost dead. Finally, he gave up and allowed the workers to eat and get cleaned. Besides the work toil, the frequent catcalls she received from the man made it impossible for her to sleep well at night. Finally, it got too much that one night, she stabbed the man with a pair of scissors.
He shouted at her and beat her up, but she didn’t flinch. She lived this way for 10 years. A distant relative of hers was also working the same salt farm. The two of them plotted their escape from the hellish island. Finally, during a night that was dark as ink, she and her relative boarded a small boat and escaped.
They arrived Busan by car, but was immediately sent to a place where naked women were lined up like dolls on a glass display. Turns out her relative had betrayed her as well. In a way, he was a villain much worse than the man at the salt farm because of his betrayal.
There she was constantly beaten up, and was forced to accommodate multiple men in a day. She begged and prayed but no help came. At last, perhaps by divine intervention, the brothel caught fire, and she managed to escape. She had only been in the brothel for ten days, but still ended up with child, whose father she was not even sure of.
She had lost some of her memories, but this didn’t affect her everyday life. Only her past memories were erased completely, while her daily memories remained intact. Given the choice, she would rather die or hide from the world, but life went on. After the girl was born, she can’t even think of dying anymore.
Whenever she stayed in one place for too long, men wold prey on her. Some men will show goodwill towards her at first, but eventually reveal their true intentions and simply coveted her body. She grew to hate men.
Everytime she was molested on the job, she would quit and find a new one before she can suffer. Over the past seven years, she has worked at 20 different restaurants. Whenever she met someone who did her a favor, her immediate reaction was of fear.
“Mom, don’t you recognize me? I’m your son, Mu Ssang!”
Mu Ssang’s face was filled with emotions, as he enunciated each syllable of his name.
“You must have lost your mind!”
Gim Malsun was unimpressed and clucked her tongue. But the young man’s eyes seemed clear and not clouded by lust. She thought a young man in his twenties would not covet her old body.
“I can’t believe it!”
Mu Ssang trembled as if from cold. In an instant, his entire world was turned upside down. There was no way he can be mistaken. After all, he is an excellent sniper who could easily locate his target among tens of thousands of people.
Mu Ssang recognized his mother, whom he had not forgotten even after 17 years, and longed for this day when they can finally be reunited. But the one thing he was afraid of seemed to have happened. It was the dissociative amnesia that Dr. Giz had been talking about.
“Mother, do you not recognize me? Japan Dari! Bak Jinbo! Bak Mu Ssang! Gim Malsun! I’m your son!”
Mu Ssang continued to tremble. He found his mother at last, but how could she be like this!
Gim Malsun was startled, warmth filled her heart at the mention of the name. The name brought about a distant memory. She clung desperately to these heartwarming feelings, her large eyes pondering as she bit on her lips. Mu Ssang felt hopeful upon seeing this reaction to his father’s name. He sang the song that her mother used to sing whilst she picked cotton flowers in Miyeong.
[I can’t, I can’t pick it all up today.
The soft cotton will fill my son’s winter clothes.
The rough cotton will fill my husband’s clothes.
The sun is setting over the western horizon. Mu Ssang must be hungry.
Gim Malsun groaned softly. She remembered: a hill that was split in half by a deep ravine. White seaweed scattered at the end of a narrow road that wind down a cliff. A man with a broad chest and warm hands. Pale peach blossom petals danced in the air. Slowly, a fog started to fill her head and it felt like it was going to split. She had almost forgotten that this happens to her several times a year.
She yelled, trying to stop these memories from slipping away. Suddenly, she was sleeping soundly when someone grabbed her breasts and covered her mouth. Her clothes were torn away from her, as a hammer hit her on the head at that precise moment.
Gim Malsun screamed and collapsed. Inky darkness fell over her consciousness.
Mu Ssang moved to support Gim Malsun. He blamed himself. Had he noticed his mother’s psychological state earlier and explained to her calmly, she would have been able to understand the situation without passing out.
Within the human brain, each neural network is unique. The neural network itself is malleable, and external factors can act as stimuli to provoke or suppress neural activity.
With every action, theta waves are emitted from the hippocampus. Theta waves are responsible for curiosity, attention, and interest. As such in a dim-witted person’s brain, barely any theta waves are being transmitted, and even if there are, the strength thereof is almost insignificant.
For patients with severe dissociative amnesia, the transmission of signals between neurons and synapses in the hippocampus becomes unstable. When an excessive shock caused by an external factor is registered, the neurotransmission in the hippocampus is disturbed. Memories get jumbled up, causing one unable to distinguish their memories anymore. Sometimes, one can completely lose one’s mind in the process. He had to be careful not to shock her further.
The myth where a son bled into his mother’s mouth in order to save her is nothing but a myth after all. If that had actually worked, it would have been because of the intense smell of the blood that managed to rouse the person from unconsciousness. Human olfactory cells are most sensitive to the smell of blood.
Mu Ssang held his mother with one hand and placed the other on her forehead. He raised his Dimensional Sight to the highest level. Resonance Wave penetrated her brain like a sound wave. The intricately intertwined capillaries and nerve bundles were vividly painted in different colors.
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The hippocampus and amygdala had been impacted. The cerebral cortex was covered with toxic substances. There were also many blocked and broken capillaries. He had no idea where to start. If he accidentally touched any of the complex neural circuitry, the effect could be irreversible.
Resonance Wave could be used to easily disintegrate glucocorticoids and beta-amyloid toxic substances that deposited in the cerebral cortex. Although the microvessels connected to nerve cells remained untouched, but relatively large capillaries had been impacted.
Resonance Wave shook her entire brain. The process is akin to pouring water into a blocked water pump then pouring Drano into a blocked pipe. The brain is a mysterious organ, a hundred times more complex than the heart. Extreme caution is necessary. Mu Ssang was sweating profusely.
The young girl cried.
“Don’t cry. Mom is being healed!”
After finishing the non-invasive surgery, Mu Ssang patted her on the forehead.
“Is my mother dying?”
Her big eyes filled with tears. To this child, her mother was her everything.
“Call me brother. Our mom will wake up soon.”
As if Mu Ssang’s words were a signal, Gim Malsun opened her eyes.
Gim Malsun sat up and pushed Mu Ssang’s arms away.
“Let go of me!”
The young man’s eyes were filled with sadness. She felt heart almost drop. Both mother and son scanned each other’s faces for a while. Mu Ssang was indeed her son. His personality and stature resembled his father, Bak Jinbo, but his face looked just like his mother, Gim Malsun.
A slender face, with gentle eyes like a cow’s, dark eyebrows and long eyelashes, a conspicuous nose, and delicate lips like a woman’s. His features were not unfamiliar. He looked a lot like her. It would be wonderful if the young man who called her mother was really his son! A look of regret appeared on Gim Malsun’s face.
Mu Ssang sighed. He tried to rouse her memory, but his attempt was unsuccessful. His mother will not be able to regain her memory anymore. As Dr. Giz said, memories do not belong to the physiological realm but rather, the psychological realm. Although his efforts can help restore her memory eventually, but they are not enough to retrieve her memory now. He didn’t dare touch the hippocampus, which sat deep with her brain.
“Is my name Gim Malsun?”
Mu Ssang’s face darkened. Dissociative amnesia can improve or worsen depending on one’s environment. Under continuous repression and stress, reactive oxygen species and beta-amyloid, which is a defective protein, will continue to damage synapses and inhibit the production of neurotransmitters.
He may have managed to escape his ordeal with strength and resolve, but his mother was frail. A woman of her beauty was like vulnerable prey. It would not have been just one or two guys who have attempted to touch her. The stress of repeated aggression and her resignation to her fate must have worsened her condition. His heart ached just thinking of the hard life her mother must have endured all these years.
“Are you going to say hello to your son?”
Gim Malsun frowned at the young man’s face. Somehow, she found herself able to him. Although she couldn’t remember, her heart ached at the sight of him, her son. It is the innate recognition of kinship. It has been 17 years since she passed out and lost her memories. If he was indeed her son, how harsh his life must have been to be orphaned at such a young age?
“You still don’t recognize me!”
Mu Ssang said again. Normally, she would fee uncomfortable being this close to a man, but this young man seemed trustworthy. She was reminded of an image of sunshine shining through the darkness.
She has been chased by and learned to be afraid of men her whole life. But this young man’s forearms seemed strong and comfortable enough to protect her from everything. Her head, which always felt cloudy, suddenly felt as clear as the autumn sky.
“Is my name Gim Malsun?”
“That’s a very old-fashioned name!”
The girl said, and Mu Ssang couldn’t help but laugh.
“Is my husband’s name Bak Jinbo?”
“Yes. He loved you dearly.”
“My father died of pesticide poisoning. He held my hand as he took his last breath. He told me to find and take care of you. Those were his last words!”
Tears streaked down Mu Ssang’s face. His heart ached as he felt remorseful for not being able to keep his promise.
Gim Malsun closed her eyes. Seeing the hot tears of this young man tugged at something in her heart. Was it his warm, firm heart that she vaguely remembered? Her head had forgotten, but her heart remembered. All the ordeals she went through seemed to melt away. She had a husband who loved her, and her son finally came to see her.
“Do not cry!”
Gim Malsun comforted Mu Ssang with her hand. Her face was also covered with tears.
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The strongest man in the world found himself speechless. He was shaking from the touch of his mother’s hand which he had longed for everyday during the past 17 years. His heart immediately melted. Neither his superhuman training nor his mental resolve that has been forged in bloody battlefields, could prevent this from happening.
“Mu Ssang? My son!”
Mu Ssang clenched his teeth and nodded. He felt like crying when he answered. For him and his mother to be subject to such a fate, life indeed is harsh.
“What have I ever committed for God to punish me this severely?”
Gim Malsun blamed the divine. She tried to trace her memories but only saw misty fog. She felt resentful of her twisted fate.