48 Hours a Day
Chapter 106 - Black Sail XI
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The next morning, there was a noisy commotion among the pirates as they cleaned themselves up.
“Land ho!” shouted one of the pirates loudly as he came running down from the upper deck.
The pirates fell silent for a few seconds, followed by roaring cheers as they ran to get the first glimpse of land. Zhang Heng and Marvin were being pushed out of the cabin along with the happy mob, where they saw the harbor appearing on the horizon.
Throughout their time on the ship, this wasn’t the first time they heard the pirates mentioning the place.
There were those who praised this land, cursed this land, paid tribute to this land, and forsake the land. One magical thing about this place was that it seemed to have a curious magnetism, causing those who set foot on it never to stray too far, always yearning to return.
Behold, the city of Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas.
Located in the northernmost part of New Providence, the best harbor in the entire country could be found here. The indigenous people of the island were called the Lucayan, a fishing community that depended on their catch for income. In the year 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered the place, before the first Europeans set foot on the island in 1647. They then started to develop it, subsequently making it their home.
“I’m sure all of you here will love this place, especially if you like freedom and adventure! There’s no way you will say no to this paradise. The place used to be colonized by Spain, and after that, the English came along,” explained Goodwin.
“What about now?” asked Marvin.
“Right now, it belongs to us, the pirates! Welcome to Nassau, the motherland of pirates. This is the land of freedom!”
Soon after that, the merchant ship and the Sea Lion approached the harbor at the same time. From the ships, the pirates dropped several wooden canoes to the ocean and started to sail towards their land of freedom. Now that they were here, all they could think of was to enjoy themselves to the fullest. Only pirates who had been given tasks remained on the ship to finish up their work.
Dufresne ordered Zhang Heng and a dozen pirates to help with the unloading of the ship’s goods. Marvin could not help but feel nervous, turning around to steal glances at the galley from time to time.
“Don’t worry about that barrel. Just do what you need to do right now. Come look for me at the tavern once you are done with everything,” the old pirate reassured Marvin as he patted his back once again.
With that, he climbed aboard the wooden boat and headed to the island. Zhang Heng and Marvin had to move all the items from the ships to the trade center of Nassau. It wasn’t before that afternoon that they finally finished their strenuous job. To their surprise, the pirate tasked with managing the ship’s items did not even go into the galley. The barrel was gone when Marvin proceeded to check it out.
“As a matter of fact, the raid we conducted this time had nothing to do with the two of you. However, it is not right of we just let you off with empty pockets, so, here are 50 silver pesos. It should be enough to cover your expenses for a few days in Nassau. Feel free to look for jobs around. Remember, do not sign any long-term contracts. One of us will inform you before we set sail again.”
Zhang Heng and Marvin left the trade center after thanking Dufresne. The moment they were some distance from him, Marvin urged Zhang Heng to pass him his share of the money. It wasn’t hard to read what was in his mind.
When they were walking away from the trade center, Marvin was peeking at the boats parked at the dock. Nassau was, in fact, located close to the American colony. Getting to Boston was just a short journey away, and he knew that being home was way better than cooking for a band of pirates.
The thing was, Marvin had no idea that it would be impossible to make a run from pirates. Unwilling to let the two off the hook, they must have had eyes everywhere since they allowed them to roam around Nassau so freely. Zhang Heng had no intention to remind Marvin about it.
Seeing that Marvin wanted to embark on a separate path, Zhang Heng was more than willing to give him his share of the money – a total of 25 silver pesos.
It appeared that Marvin wasn’t about to honor the deal with the old pirate. Now that he had the money for a ticket home, he would not hesitate to do so.
Having no baggage to tie him down, Zhang Heng went to check out the small town on the island. During the 18th century, Europe did a great job of maximizing their production rates. Since the Renaissance had just come to an end, aesthetics of buildings and their decorations had found favor among the elites and nobles.
Unfortunately, this place was in stark contrast to other parts of Europe, where Zhang Heng’s first impression of Nassau was that it was a largely disorganized city. There were no theaters, churches, or bell towers, nor did he see any well-dressed folk moving around to attend dance parties as well.
All he could see were rotting wooden huts and dilapidated stone cottages. Nassau was a place filled with palm trees as well. This place increasingly looked like a massive slum to him.
Scantily dressed hookers roamed the streets in search of prospective clients, deliberately revealing more skin whenever a man passed them by. There were urchins running barefoot on the unpaved roads, and it was in places like these that a traveler had to pay close attention to their wallets. Armed pirates terrorized the streets in groups. A few of them were seen exiting their taverns heading for the local gambling den.
There were also the local fishermen and hawkers, lining up along the busy street to sell their produce. Lastly, Zhang Heng saw a young priest talking about his god on a pedestal by the road, relentlessly preaching about how their sins could be washed away.
Though the place might seem impoverished at first glance, there were traces of prosperity and vitality streaming beneath the crowded chaos. The current quest was the longest amongst all the other quests that he had completed. He was required to stay in this world for 300 days.
Combined with the extra 24 hours that he had every day, it meant he would need to stay here for a whopping 3,900 days, more than the all the days in his previous quests combined.
This was going to be a long journey, and he had no idea what challenges lay beyond him. He could only continue moving forward since the game had already begun.
Zhang Heng organized his belongings and took out the items he had hidden under the wooden plank in the galley. Other than that, he had been given a gun with the words FH engraved on its stock. Its previous owner had probably been reunited with his maker. Besides that, he was given a dagger as well. Judging by its appearance, it should only be able to yield a few pennies if it were to be sold. Then, there were the 25 silver pesos from his reward. This was the common currency of Spain, and was widely used among its colonies.
That was basically all the wealth he had for now, and he even had a debt waiting to be settled. After entering a few taverns, Zhang Heng finally found the old pirate in the fourth one. This tavern was located on the west side of the city, near the giant reef.
The old pirate was watching an exotic dancer as she bounced her curvy body across the stage.
“If I’m not mistaken, I remember that I made a deal with two persons. Where is your friend? When will he come?”
“He’s not coming anymore.”
“Haha… that is unwise, my friend. I think he doesn’t know what big troubles lie ahead of him. I hope Owen captures him and not Phoebe. Otherwise, the word suffering would be an understatement for him.”
“When can I start work?”
“You start now. See that shirtless muscular guy on your right? He’s Knight Errant’s gunsmith. Last year, he borrowed 200 silver pesos from me. With interest, he now owes me 300 silver pesos. Ask him to return the money to me.”