Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 628

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“Something funny is ongoing. Something like a dogfight.”
Mu Ssang giggled. Even though Jang had wronged them, he couldn’t stoop to the same level. After much pondering, he had devised some plan.
“That bitch! I’d like to lecture her myself.”
Kim Mal Soon bit her lip. According to Aunt Hadong, the woman had her son work like some mule without feeding him properly. She wanted to claw the evil woman’s face and pull out her hair. That was the worst revenge she could think of.
“It will be as you will.”
Mu Ssang said with confidence. He had drawn most of the dragon except for the eyes, which he reserved for his mother. He wanted to give her some closure after she regains her memory and suffers.
“Jin Soon, wait a second.”
Mu Ssang stopped Jin Soon who was about to place the offerings in front of the grave. Mu Ssang pointed at the four-meter-high stone pillar.
“Mother, say whatever you want to say to Father. When I erected that pillar, I had promised him that you would come and place your gravestone herself.”
Kim Mal Soon felt her heart tremble and warm up. At his last moment, her husband must have held their son’s hand and asked him to find her. The young child must have vowed to find her and make a gravestone for him. There could be no father and son more admirable than them. Their upright souls and deep connection moved her.
“Thank you. When I join you, I will bring a handful of cotton seeds and a bundle of pressed noodles.”
Streams of tears flowed from her eyes. She had been saving all the tears for this precise moment.
Aunt Hadong wept too. She knew. The pressed noodles were made with rye. The yearly draught and the wretched poverty. The cotton and rye represented the fate of all the wives in this country. They planted cotton to clothe their families and rye to feed them. She was saying that she would do her wifely duties in the afterlife since she couldn’t do it in this life.
Jin Soon empathized with Kim Mal Soon’s grief. She was in awe that the woman had not passed out yet. It must be because of her memory loss. The mother and her son went through the same kind of ordeal and lost their memories the same way too. Could there be a more wretched coincidence than this?
Regaining memories posed another problem for them. Mu Ssang was capable of everything. He knew Teacher who was capable of supernatural powers. He knew Dr. Giz, a renowned neuroscientist. Mu Ssang’s mother was not as strong as him. When Mu Ssang regained his memory, even with his strong character, the shock of murder traumatized him. Wouldn’t it be better for her to leave the past behind and build a new life? Jin Soon’s worry deepened.
Mu Ssang rose into the air and attached himself to the stone pillar like a gecko. Thousand Water Armor rose and swept the surface of the pillar. The jagged surface of the limestone was now level and smooth.
The moss-covered blackish rock was carved into a gray tombstone. It was a shocking scene but no one was shocked. Everyone took it as a routine incident. Vajra saw the light of the day in a long time. Like a brush dancing on a scroll, the sword crisscrossed the surface of the pillar. Dust rose soundlessly into the air.
[Thank you. When I join you, I will bring a handful of cotton and a bundle of pressed noodles.]
Finger-deep letters were engraved on a feet-thick stone pillar. He added what he wanted to say next to it.
[I will let her join you after several decades. You must understand. We have a lot of catching up to do.]
He felt as if something that has been pressing on his chest was removed.
“Oh my!”
Now there was some acclamation. Jin Soon, who was aware of what Mu Ssang was capable of, still was amazed.
‘My son may save the universe!’
She felt a mother’s greed already swelling in her heart.
Jin Soon lined up the offerings and spread the mat. On it, Mu Ssang bowed twice then Kim Mal Soon did.
“Yeong-a, you shall bow twice too.”
Yeong-a, not understanding the situation, bowed after her mother.
“You shall too, dear.”
With that, Kim Mal Soon acknowledged Jin Soon as her de facto daughter-in-law. When Jin Soon hesitated, Aunt Hadong prodded her shoulder. Jin Soon put out her tongue at Mu Ssang and bowed. Mu Ssang frowned as if he had put something vile in his mouth. He felt as if he was being swept along by some invisible force. With nothing to do, he pulled out some dried weed from the ground.
The stones plopped into the pond and made a ripple around. Mina was crouched by the pond, throwing stones at it. Then there was grandma. Everyone was happy but Mina was quite serious.
The root of her agony was the little girl who called her father “Brother” and her grandmother “Mother.” For Mina, having to call someone four years younger than her “Aunt” and address her formally was enough to get her to feel as serious as Jesus in Gethsemane who prayed that God takes away his burden.
“She could just be Dad’s daughter.”
Mina complained. She wanted to monopolize her father’s love but knew well enough that she couldn’t. When she lived in Inje, she was sad because the woman only loved her daughters. If the girl were her sister, she would teach her how to fight, help her with homework, and teach her how to play jackstones, and even braid her hair. But she turned out to be her aunt.
“If we don’t get along, Dad and Mom will be sad. But will Grandma love me as Dad does?”
“Of course she would, haha!”
Mina jumped at the unexpected response. The short old monk tapped the ground with his wild spinach staff and guffawed.
“Monk Grandpa!”
Mina yelled.
“Girl, you are going to burst my eardrums.”
“You scared me.”
“Did you do something wrong?”
“Then you shouldn’t be scared.”
“You heard it all.”
“I did, of course.”
Monk Dae Woo said shamelessly.
“What shall I do, Monk Grandpa?”
Mina seemed to be on the verge of crying.
“Do you hate Yeong-a?”
“I don’t hate her but I dislike her.”
“Why do you hate her?”
“I have to call her Aunt and talk to her formally.”
“Did Yeong-a tell you to do so?”
“Look at that. You are creating your own useless worries and agonies.”
“It’s not useless.”
“I think Yeong-a will gladly call you Sister and hang out with you.”
“Are you sure?”
Her frown disappeared. Monk Dae Woo scrubbed the holes he made with the staff with his foot.
“That was easy, wasn’t it?”
“Should we worry about why the holes were there?”
“You made it with your staff. What worry?”
“It’s just like that. Erase your worries like this.”
“Haha. You would feel sad if you want to be friends with Yeong-a but she doesn’t know that, wouldn’t you?”
“I would.”
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“To receive, you must first give. If you open your heart first, Yeong-a would be happy too.”
“What if Dad loves her more?”
“When you throw a stone into the pond, the pond stays the same, doesn’t it?”
“A heart is much wider than this pond. Even if there were hundreds of Yeong-a, your father’s heart will stay the same.”
“They are coming. They may scold me for being nosy. Mina, you must not tell anyone I was here. It’s a secret!”
Monk Dae Woo winked.
“Thank you, grandpa! Oh, he’s gone.”
When Mina raised her head from bowing, she only saw some leaves flying in
When Yeong-a got off the car, Mina, who was waiting for her, ran up to her.
“You must be cold.”
Mina gave her wool beanie to Yeong-a along with her mittens.
Yeong-a’s eyes widened. When she wanted to play, other children would just call her names like “fatherless bastard.” Some even threw stones at her. She played with cats and birds because she had no friends. The sudden friendliness confused her.
“I will show you around. Our house is really big.”
Mina held Yeong-a’s hand and led the way. A big smile flowered on Yeong-a’s face. This girl’s heart was as white as snow. Everyone who lived here had a snow-white heart.
“All right, sis!”
The two girls, hand in hand, disappeared. Maybe they felt a sense of solidarity, both born in extraordinary circumstances. They accepted each other without any qualms.
“This is the way!”
Mu Ssang nodded and smiled. Kim Mal Soon, Aunt Hadong, and Jin Soon were grinning too. No one spoke of any hierarchy at all. No hierarchy was needed when a person loved another and shared their feelings.
Kim Mal Soon, finally in her rightful place after a long, winding journey, took the main bedroom. Jin Soon had Mina, Yeong-a, and Young Sook share one room. They had plenty of spare rooms but she asserted this is best for them to get along with each other. The other two women agreed.
The next day, Kim Mal Soon woke early at dawn. She felt the need to cook for her son which she couldn’t do in a long time. She couldn’t sleep soundly because of her excitement and the suddenly changed environment but still felt well-rested and clear-headed. She stood on the edge of the wide-open, wood-floored space between the rooms and gazed at the main house in the distance.
“My son is there!”
She sighed regretfully. Her heart ached at all the lost years she spent without knowing who she was. She remembered Mu Ssang saying that now she should cook for him for several decades. A smile rose to her lips. Even though he now had superhuman abilities, he was still her son.
Kim Mal Soon’s hand moved slowly. Everything was unfamiliar. The kitchen equipment, the expensive earthenware, the oven, the pressure cooker, the blender, etc. She didn’t even know how to use those expensive imported electric tools. The sliding door to the kitchen opened soundlessly. Jin Soon had woken up at the sound of the earthenware clinking.
Jin Soon hugged her from behind.
“You should get some more sleep.”
“I slept plenty. Let me help you.”
Jin Soon explained with patience the locations of the various equipment, how to use the machines, the ingredients stored in the fridge and the refrigerator, and Mu Ssang’s taste. Kim Mal Soon prepped the meal as Jin Soon helped. She well understood a mother’s intent to cook for her own son.
“Mu Ssang, Mother cooked breakfast.”
“She did? On her own?
“Your mother is back. Now she will rule the kitchen.”
“Rule? Haha.”
Jin Soon’s eyes looked beautiful as she looked down at Mu Ssang. He pulled her face close and kissed her.
Jin Soon felt drunk in the thick musk of a man.
“Mother is waiting.”
“You are too gregarious. Why is she suddenly Mother?”
Jin Soon smirked instead of answering.
“The familial hierarchy is all messed up now. An aunt is a mother. A niece is a sister.”
“You have no one to blame but yourself. You wandered too far and too wide. When I saw Mina and Yeong-a asleep together in each other’s arms, I teared up.”
“Thank you. It’s all thanks to you.”
“‘Don’t block the natural flow of your heart. The Great Monk understands the human heart better than anyone, especially better than a certain someone who is the embodiment of pettiness.”
Jin Soon imitated Monk Dae Woo’s voice and pretended to marvel.
“I still want more sleep.”
Mu Ssang pretended to not recognize it.
“This will wake you up.”
Jin Soon slapped a steamed towel on his face. The towel was still scalding hot from the steaming pot’s steam.
“What is this?”
“You will not eat the first meal cooked by your mother in forever with sleep gunk still stuck to your tear duct. Now I shall shave you as they do in those unscrupulous premises in Seoul.”
Jin Soon wiped his face clean with the towel and took out a shaver. He was looking scruffy after not shaving for two days.
“Stop it. I will do it myself after showering.”
Mu Ssang sat up.
“Enjoy it when it is offered.”
Jin Soon pressed his forehead to subdue him.
“You are driving me crazy.”
“You were crazy from the beginning. We shouldn’t let it worsen.”
Her deft hand explored his chest. That was the perk of youth. Every shaving began with the groping of the chest.
‘I am really being driven crazy!’
Mu Ssang couldn’t suppress his sighs. Jin Soon not only awaited his advance like before. Now she actively sought it. Before he knew it, like a boa constricting its prey, like drizzle soaking one’s clothes, she approached her target. Now, with his own mother on her side, Mu Ssang had no chance of escaping.
“Mom, you need more sleep.”
Mu Ssang looked around. The Carrara limestone table imported from Italy was empty. It shone alone in the fluorescent light.
He exclaimed. The press-made, cheap nickel-silver table with a gaudy rose pattern sat in the center of the kitchen. It was the table used by Jin Soon for a long time.
The brassware bowls were so full of rice that they almost toppled over. Clear taro soup. Yellow egg pancakes. Butterbur stems seasoned with powdered sesame. Budding leaves of Toona Sinensis mixed with red pepper paste. Mung bean pancakes. Fermented bean stew with diced radish and pumpkin leaves. A length of roasted hairtail.
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Mu Ssang couldn’t finish his sentence. They were the same dishes his mother had cooked for his birthday in the year she went missing. Her maternal instinct proved its greatness. Her physical brain might have lost its memories but her soul didn’t. His eyes filled with hot tears and he choked up.
“I don’t dare to fill a table that wide on my own. Still, I made a lot of rice. Now eat.”
Kim Mal Soon invited.
“Eat a lot!”
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