Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Zhang Heng slowly lowered his gun.
Next, the old pirate turned around and looked at Marvin.
“Well, I don’t mind standing here for a little chat with you guys. What excuse are you going to come up with if someone passes by?”
Paralyzed by fear, Marvin lost the ability to think logically. So, he turned to look at Zhang Heng. Seeing Zhang Heng nodding, he moved aside and allowed the old pirate to enter the room.
“Thank you so much. To ensure the smoothness of our conversation, I would first like to inform you that the person in the barrel is not my friend. To be honest, I personally disliked what he did when he was still alive. But then again, we are all here to become pirates and not make friends. It’s impossible for us to like everyone on the ship, right?” the old pirate said while taking his hat off.
“How did you find us out?” asked Zhang Heng.
“I have noticed that you usually stayed calm in most circumstances. You are still young, but it looks like you have been through much hardship. In my entire life, I have only encountered two people who can stay this calm in any kind of situation. One of them is you, and the other is…”
The old pirate paused suddenly, having no intention to elaborate.
“Your friend right here is not as calm as you. When you were sick, it was nice of him to take care of you and all, but things started getting weird when he visited you seven to eight times a day. I also noticed that he is on edge all the time. I always ask myself: what could make a cook, a man who has no other task but to prepare food, be so skittish. Could it be tomorrow’s menu?”
Suddenly, Marvin’s face turned pale, looking to be on the verge of breaking down. He stumbled to the ground on his knees and started to tremble.
“Don’t believe him! I have nothing to do with this! He was the one who forced me to be part of it. The truth is… I have never laid my fingers on Victor. He inflicted the wound on Victor’s back, not me!”
The old pirate was taken aback by what Marvin told him. He then saw Zhang Heng just standing there, staring at Marvin without the slightest expression on his face.
Marvin grabbed the old pirate’s pants and started to wail like a child. After a while, he realized that something wasn’t right and lifted up his head in an awkward manner.
“Don’t worry. Do you think I would have come here alone if I wanted to avenge Victor?” asked the old pirate while patting Marvin’s back.
“What do you want then?”
Zhang Heng was disgusted by Marvin’s awful acting. So, he attempted to steer the conversation back to the supposed topic.
“It’s simple. I just need some of your kindness and a few small favors. As you can see, I’m getting really old. I don’t plan to come back again when we reach land later. It’s time for me to settle down and prepare for retirement. That is why I need someone to help me retrieve some money that someone owes me.”
“I dislike taking advantage of others. The person that you just killed is someone I really hate. So, yes. It is that simple.”
“You should have many acquaintances on this ship, right? Why didn’t you ask for their help instead?”
“You need to understand that things have a nick of getting really complicated when money is involved. However, new guys like you are different. If you dare take my money, I have all the ways to make you spit it out. Besides, I like the fact that you can shoot really well. I think this will be a fine deal between us.”
“Seems like you leave me no choice.”
“You are smart, and I like talking to smart guys like you. Please understand that I have to protect myself in this deal as well. Anyway, I can see that you need help getting rid of the body. You can actually hand over the problem to me. I can help you dispose of it.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“I know what your concerns are. We will arrive in Nassau tomorrow, and when we set foot on land, there will be people tasked to manage all the ship’s items. That includes the food and raw ingredients in the galley. Your secret will be exposed if you don’t deal with your problem tonight. Unless… you know a person who knows the person tasked to manage the stuff on board. That person will inform the men to leave the galley alone. He will also look for an opportunity to dispose of the body. There are only a few on this ship who can pull off such tricks. You guys are in luck. That person happens to be standing right in front of you.”
“After you get your hands on the body, you will turn around and bite us from our backs, right?”
“Just like what I said, I’m planning on retirement. This will be a one-off deal. When all is done, I will be staying out of your life for good. I think you should place your trust in a harmless old man like me than some other stranger.”
“Like our friend, Goodwin. Isn’t he friendly and nice? He has had a sad past, but he still manages to put on a smile every day. Positive vibes have a way of spreading around the ship, and somehow, he appears right when you need someone to encourage you. I don’t like to add fuel to the fire, but I did hear some rumors about him. The friendly cannoneer, Goodwin, wants to replace Orff as the new helmsman.
So far, he has managed to recruit a group of followers. If this matter makes it to the voting session, you will be required to cast your votes as well. There are three other survivors from this merchant ship as well. They will most likely vote for Goodwin.
That would mean he would get another four voters to side with him. And all he needs to do is tell you nice stuff that goes down well with you. I think he got himself a damn good deal.”
“Why are you telling me all this?”
This time, Zhang Heng was surprised by what he heard.
“Before the deal is done, it’s my responsibility to ensure your safety on this ship. Let me give you a piece of advice. Do not get involved in this matter. Our captain is capable of many things. Hence, a large number thinks that Orff’s existence is a useless one, and he has done nothing good enough to impress anyone for the past few years. Frankly, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Orff is a wise man, one that would fulfill all his responsibilities if put under a good captain. Anyone who looks down on him will pay the price ultimately.”
“Who the hell are you?” asked Marvin.
“That’s no secret. Right now, I’m just an old man that is getting ready to retire. But, before all this…”
The old pirate put on his broken hat before he finished his sentence.
Looking up, he continued with gleaming eyes,
“I was the captain of the Sea Lion. That ship over there, she originally belonged to me.”