Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 626

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A bell-like laughter of a young girl spread on Tongyeong’s coast. Mu Ssang smiled at that and glanced at his mother. Her previously-gloomy face was now wide-open and clear like the Autumn sky. Her eyes and nostrils had opened wider while her expression was excited. Her reaction was indicative of an endorphin and adrenaline overdose.
“Mother, this feels great, doesn’t it!”
“Of course, son! Am I really riding on a whale’s back? This isn’t a dream, right?” Kim Mal Soon spoke in an excited voice. She resembled a little girl lost in the thrill of a theme park ride.
“It’s just a whale, mother. You’ll soon be living a whale of a mansion, anyway. This son will give you the happiness you couldn’t experience for the past seventeen years, with added interest.”
“I’m getting scared that I might snap awake from this amazing dream.” Kim Mal Soon shook her head.
Her son was bringing her a tsunami of happiness. However, too much of a good thing could also be bad. She was getting scared of this sudden happiness. What if her son summons a crane and rides away someplace while leaving her behind?
“Alright, now. It’s about time you two go where you’re supposed to go!” Mu Ssang lightly stomped his foot on the back of the whale a couple of times, but the humpback whale mother-and-calf duo didn’t swim away from the coast and continued to whimper away.
“Oppa, what if they get snagged in the nets again?” Yeong-a asked worriedly.
“Mm! What can we do about that, I wonder?” Mu Ssang stared at the whales still lingering around the coast.
They were not even human, but a fated encounter was still fate. The only natural enemies of a humpback whale were orcas and humans. A tamer Esper would receive a severe blow to their soul if the animal they were psychically connected to dies. In other words, Yeong-a would be sad, and Mu Ssang simply couldn’t allow that.
The Soul-Returning Pain Administration would be used on humans to reinforce their meridians and constitutions, then the resonance wave would cleanse their marrows. But a whale? Mu Ssang couldn’t think of a way.
‘Hmm. Maybe that might work?’
He suddenly recalled deuteronion, the essence of Epidiums and the building block of the greatest immune system in existence. Deuteronion was a heavy hydrogen compound that would instantly kill a human when injected with it. Then again… An elephant didn’t develop cancers because its massive physique could accommodate an immune system dozens of times stronger than a human being’s.
“Urgh. I’m sure it’ll work out somehow. If not, oh well!” Mu Ssang’s specialty, ‘Whatever happens, happens!’ was activated on this day once more.
Since Hoksoon was ten times the size of an elephant, Mu Ssang suddenly began getting this baseless confidence that everything would work out just fine. He sat down crossed-legged, then circulated his resonance wave.
From his brain, the particles of deuteronion emitting the minty scent flooded out. Mu Ssang then pressed his palms on Hoksoon’s head.
The resonance wave containing deuteronion particles entered the whale’s brain.
‘Gee whiz, this isn’t something I should try again…’ Mu Ssang groaned while sensing his energy instantly drain out of him.
Hoksoon’s massive body began writhing. Mu Ssang leaped off the whale’s back and landed on the solid ground.
Hoksoon went berserk and began thrashing about. A huge whale at least forty tons in weight caused massive sprays of water. Mu Ssang deployed his Dimensional Sight to scan Hoksoon’s interior. The creature’s internals was changing more than he had expected. If he had a thermometer with him to measure the whale’s temperature, he’d have thought that the creature was on fire.
“Oppa, Hoksoon has gotten strange!” Yeong-a cried out.
The whale going on a rampage suddenly went quiet. The previously-black body now took on a crimson hue. The thick ‘fuselage’ of the whale became more streamlined and sleeker while its length had increased by over ten meters. Its fins even developed claws as sharp as knives, too.
With this, a new species with a length of over 30 meters and a weight of 40 tons had made its entrance into the world. The whale now resembled the Mosasaurus that once lived in the Jurassic period.
Hoksoon raised its torso out of the water and opened its maw wide. Its teeth that resembled combs and meant to filter krill now became sharp and pointed like spikes. Those eyes that looked sorrowfully gentle now had transformed into a vicious predator’s. Mu Ssang quickly spread an air barrier around the ears of his mother and Yeong-a.
A grandiose howling exploded into the air. The ocean’s surface rumbled as if a storm had rolled in. As befitting a creature that received a dose of deuteronion, the essence of Epidium’s madness, the sheer intensity of the aura this whale emitted was no joke at all. Yet another absurdly powerful creature had appeared in this world right after the Purple Chicken, Garuda had made its appearance.
“Hey, you! Pipe down!” Mu Ssang loudly yelled.
Hoksoon lowered its head. Its sharp, murderous eyes instantly reverted to its previous gentle ones. After seeing this, Mu Ssang gave up on the idea of modifying Hokdol. He didn’t think the calf would survive the shock of deuteronion being injected into it. It’d be nice if Hokdol received some deuteronion through its mother’s milk, but there was a good chance that the lactation period had already ended.
The future calves would resemble Hoksoon, though. It’s common to see animals in the wild passing down their immune system or vaccines to their offspring. For instance, honey bees – the process of gathering honey and pollen naturally introduces bacteria and viruses into royal jelly.
When the queen bee consumed the royal jelly, the digested bacteria would cling to the protein called vitellogenin. This protein would travel along with the bee’s internal fluids and get mixed with the fertilized eggs. This was the same as the offspring receiving powerful vaccines from their mother even before they are born. This vitellogenin existed in most mammals, as well. Mu Ssang couldn’t help but look forward to seeing what kind of an offspring Hoksoon would produce in the future.
“Now, go!”
As if it understood Mu Ssang’s command, Hoksoon turned its massive body around to head back to the open sea. The whale submerged underwater, then suddenly leaped out of the surface.
“Oh my goodness!”
Yeong-a and Kim Mal Soon cried out in surprise. Hoksoon leaped up almost a hundred meters into the air, flipped on its back, and landed on the water.
A massive column of water exploded up as if a massive anti-submarine depth charge had gone off. Hoksoon repeated this world’s biggest-whale-breaching show around a dozen times, then leisurely swam out to the open sea. Hokdol lingering near Yeong-a also chased after its mother.
“With that much improvement, it’s not gonna get harassed by a pod of orcas.” Mu Ssang grinned brightly. Even after turning a gentle humpback whale into a vicious, berserk monster, he remained utterly nonplussed about it. As expected of the Angel of Death, Black Mamba.
Just as Mu Ssang’s Citroën entered the access road leading to the village near the ancient tombs, snow began falling. This was considered the ‘auspicious’ snow. Kim Mal Soon smiled brightly and stuck her hand out the window to catch the falling snowflakes. Her old habit of getting excited by the snow like a little puppy remained to this day.
“Whoa, Oppa! It’s snowing!” Yeong-a raised both of her hands and cried out in happiness.
A content smile spread on Mu Ssang’s face. The dejected kid became a chatterbox after riding on the back of Hokdol, which could only be a good sign.
“Wow! So huuuge!” Yeong-a cried out in shock next. Her eyes grew twice as large, too.
“Goodness me?!” Kim Mal Soon was also too stunned and she couldn’t even think about stopping her daughter’s nonstop chatter.
That’s because her mind had temporarily abandoned its duty the moment their car slipped past the humongous front gate opening automatically. A lawn as expansive as the salt pan spread out before her disbelieving eyes, while an opulent tile-roofed traditional house as big as several grand temples joined together blocked her view. This scale was well beyond what her son had described earlier.
“Mother, this is the home you’ll be living in from now on.” Mu Ssang grinned after stopping the car in the parking lot.
Kim Mal Soon climbed out of the car, her eyes blinking nonstop. To her left was a row of two-story han-ocks, while the right side was filled with a bamboo forest and an expansive pond, its water gently rippling from the breeze.
This couldn’t be a private home but a well-maintained public park or something. The tall tale her son had been telling her turned out to be underselling the truth. Then again, her son was capable of summoning whales for a ride, so there was probably nothing he couldn’t do.
Gim Geuk-do supervising a group of workers by the pond hurriedly dashed towards Mu Ssang. “Wakil! You’re home, sir.”
“Mm. Did Nupchi call you yet?”
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“No, sir. There hasn’t been any call from that guy.”
“I see. That guy must be crazily busy right now. Hahaha!” Mu Ssang laughed loudly. It made sense that Nupchi was too busy to contact the base. “This is my mother and my younger sister.”
“Sugoi!” Gim Geukdo’s eyes opened wide immediately.
His master had disappeared without a trace only to bring home his mother, someone he’d been searching high and low for quite some time. Not only that but he even brought a cute little princess along, too. What a shocking thing this was!
“Wakil, congratulations.”
“Indeed. This is a day to be celebrated. Mother, this is Gim Geukdo, the butler.”
“Madam! I’m Gim Geukdo. You must be over the moon, ma’am!” Gim Geukdo bowed deeply.
“Thank you!” Kim Mal Soon couldn’t say anything else other than that. She was too busy trying to calm her stunned heart.
Mu Ssang looked around. “Where’s everyone?”
“Sir. Madam from Jip-eun Dari has arrived earlier, and they are currently in the backyard boiling soybean lumps and preparing dried radish greens. Should I call them, sir?”
“No, that’s fine. I’ll go there personally.”
The aromatic smell of beans being cooked had already wafted all over the place by then.
Two large cauldrons by the backyard were spitting out thick steam. Jin Soon and her four sisters were busy tying up the radish leaves with straws. Yeonghui and Yeongji didn’t know the cooking process, so they helped by scooping out and delivering beans and handing over the radish bundles. Meanwhile, Mina and Young Sook were squatting close by to spectate on what was happening. It all looked quite peaceful.
“Oppa!” The youngest of the siblings, Ou Soon, discovered Mu Ssang and called out to him. Auntie from Hadong heard that call, stopped tossing firewood into the furnace and straightened her back before turning around.
Mu Ssang greeted her. “Auntie!”
“Oh, my. You’re finally home… Urhk?!” Auntie from Hadong’s eyes opened wide in an instant. She then stared deep at every part of Kim Mal Soon’s face one inch at a time, like a mother carefully pulling a cutlassfish’s meat out of its many bones for her child.
Auntie’s nostrils widened and her eyes began trembling powerfully. The resonance wave had cleansed Kim Mal Soon’s marrows to rid years of stains on her body and revitalized her beautiful looks from her youth. That’s why auntie could instantly recognize her despite over a decade and half having passed them by.
“…Ah!” Jin Soon’s jaw also fell to the floor, her eyes trembling powerfully, too. Yeon Soon tilted her head in confusion, while Gye Soon, Mal Soon, and Ou Soon could only silently observe the situation. Jin Soon was eight years old when Kim Mal Soon went missing. For Yeon soon, she had her suspicions, but the younger sisters were too young to remember anything. Besides, far too many years had passed them by.
A stunned silence filled the backyard, only the oak firewood cracking in the fire and the steam escaping from the cauldrons breaking the stillness. Yeong-a sneakily hid behind her Oppa’s legs.
“S-sister!” Auntie’s emotional cry rang out into the sky. She hurriedly rushed forward and powerfully embraced Kim Mal Soon. “It… It’s really you, isn’t it! Sister! Sniffle, sob!”
Thick tears rolled down the auntie’s eyes. Kim Mal Soon’s eyes also teared up. Although she didn’t recognize this woman, her deep affection still touched her deeply. When did Kim Mal Soon ever receive such affection before? She gained a renewed realization that she had finally escaped a world of animals and returned to the embrace of humanity.
“O-oppa, is she…?” Jin Soon stared at Mu Ssang.
“Yes, she’s my mother.”
“Oppa! Sniffle, sob!” Jin Soon tightly hugged Mu Ssang and began crying.
The last wish of the man she loved had finally come true. And now, she’d no longer have to watch her Oppa aimlessly wandering all alone in the bamboo forest or sitting blank-faced by the pond as his heart ached. Nothing in this world would be as joyous as this event.
Women were overwhelmingly superior in empathy than men. Jin Soon’s sisters, the Kim sisters, Mina and Young Sook all broke down in tears next. Gim Geukdo watching this scene also silently wiped his tears away. In an instant, the Eungsim-je’s backyard was turned into an ocean of tears. The overflowing emotion here rivaled the North-South Korea separated families reunion that took place in 1983.
It didn’t take Auntie from Hadong to realize that something was wrong. “Ssang-ah, what… happened to your mother?”
“She has amnesia.” Mu Ssang replied, his voice not all that gloomy.
However, Auntie felt like the heavens had collapsed on her. “What did you say! Aigoo, sister! How can this be! Sob…!”
She let out a heartbroken wail. Kim Mal Soon hugged and patted her back. This auntie was supposed to be as close as her blood sister. Mu Ssang also said the auntie was really affectionate and could be emotional, and sure enough, her affection was real and it also moved Kim Mal Soon’s heart greatly.
“Younger sister… Please stop crying.”
“I’ll. I will. You know, for some reason I had a feeling that we should prepare seewood soup for dinner today.” Auntie from Hadong smiled while sniffling away.
Jin Soon instantly figured out who Yeong-a was. This little girl resembled Oppa somehow. Unfortunately, the world wasn’t gentle enough to leave a woman with a pretty face as Mu Ssang’s mother unscathed. Unless he had a child during his teens and developed a talent in lying, this young girl could only be his much-younger sister.
Jin Soon then noticed the girl’s worn-out clothes. Her heart began aching at the sight of the little girl’s nylon top, the cheap and faded parka, tights with its seams coming loose, the loose-fitting frilly skirt and the cheap red vinyl shoes.
“Hi. What’s your name?” Jin Soon crouched and got down to the girl’s eye level.
“I’m Yeong-a!” The girl’s eyes sparkled like an early dawn’s star.
Jin Soon thought she might get sucked into those eyes. Even if their fathers were different, Mu Ssang’s little sister was just like him and something about her seemed extraordinary.
“You’re so smart. What about your surname, though?” Jin Soon gently whispered.
“I don’t have one. It’s just Yeong-a.”
A cold wind brushed past Jin-soon’s chest just then. It seemed that Mu Ssang had missed something important.
“Yeong-a, listen. You’re Bak Yeong-a. Your father is Bak Jin-bo, and your Oppa is Bak Mussang. You’re Oppa’s little sister, so that makes you Bak Yeong-a. If someone asks for your name, you should always tell them you’re Bak Yeong-a.”
Yeong-a quietly stared at Jin Soon, her tamer’s eyes activating. The little girl hadn’t seen anyone with such ‘white’ heart like this older sister. The diner lady’s heart was inky black. Most people were either grey or black, too. Someone with a white heart could be trusted.
“Okay, I will. But… Who are you, sister?”
Jin Soon flinched and hesitated before replying. “I’m your older sister, Yeong-a.”
“Okay, sis! I”m Bak Yeong-a!” Yeong-a grinned shyly but still brightly. All the hardship in her life made this little girl somewhat precocious.
“You’re so kind. Let’s go! This big sister will get you pretty clothes for you.” Jin Soon picked up Yeong-a and headed inside the main house. She had recently purchased some clothes from a department store to give to Young Sook. Two girls were of similar age, so the clothes should fit.
Kim Mal Soon’s eyes chased after Jin-soon’s back.
“Urgh, auntie! I’m dying of starvation here…” Mu Ssang whined as his stomach grumbled pitifully.
He was almost at the brink of collapsing. In the past two days, he only had a bowl of oden, half of a moon bread and a few pieces of boiled chicken. As a glutton like no other, Mu Ssang obviously couldn’t continue on with that little.
“Got it! I’ll quickly prepare something for you. Yeon Soon, you look after your sisters and finish up the rest, okay?” Auntie from Hadong left the unfinished work to her daughter and hurriedly went to the kitchen.
“…Ah!” Kim Mal Soon gasped in awe.
The famous ‘they’ said that clothes gave you wings. Yeong-a emerging from the house with new clothes looked like a completely different child. Kim Mal Soon’s eyes staring at Jin Soon became so much gentler and grateful.
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Meanwhile, the kitchen became a busy place. While auntie put the rice on fire and began preparing vegetables, Jin-soon took out the seaweed from the water and chopped them into large chunks. The water that the seaweed had been soaking in was placed on top of a gas burner’s flames. The chopped seaweed was dumped into a frying pan along with beef, then fried in perilla oil.
She used the back of the knife to pound the cloves of garlic and added them to the frying pan. Soy sauce and salt were added as seasoning then a dash of perilla seed powder was sprinkled on top. As the seaweed soup boiled in the pot, a cutlassfish was grilled, pajeon (Korean style onion pancake) was fried, and duruchigi (Korean-style bouillabaisse) was prepared. Jin Soon was like a flowing stream in her efficiency while her hands moved as fast as lightning.
“My daughter, you’ve learned to cook so well!” Kim Mal Soon praised Jin Soon wholeheartedly.
This young lady possessed a generous heart, had a smart head on her shoulders, blessed with a good figure and even came equipped with an excellent cooking skill, too. Without a doubt, she had to be the best wife material in the world. Kim Mal soon’s expression displayed how content she was.
Auntie setting up the dinner table stopped what she was doing, while Mu Ssang flinched subtly.
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