48 Hours a Day
Chapter 107 - Black Sail XII
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Without so much as a warning, Zhang Heng’s feet flew across the tavern, before landing hard on a table! The violent landing had knocked him out for a bit, and he was on the ground for a while before mustering enough strength to stand up again.
With his head spinning, came loud cheering in the air and glasses clinking.
In contrast, the strapping man grabbed a glass of beer from the hooker who walked by with a tray.
“I’m sorry, what did you just say? I can’t hear you! Speak up, you rodent,” growled the muscular man with a loud burp after bottoming up his frothy pint.
Zhang Heng could do nothing about it, having lost quite a bit of weight after his recovery from the illness on the ship. Though fully recovered, his strength was still limited, requiring more time to build it back up. The muscular man notwithstanding, Zhang Heng was way stronger than his current self when he just entered this world.
Gasping and screaming for air, Zhang Heng stole a glance at the old pirate, who sat silently while watching the drama unfold before him. With a plate of barbequed pork and a glass of wine placed in front of him, he chewed thoughtfully, sipping his drink and lavishing ay the sight of the boy getting thrashed by the pirate. The 300 silver pesos seemed like the last thing on his mind now.
When Zhang Heng finally mustered enough strength to stand on his feet, a fist came flying at him again. Fortunately, Zhang Heng was quick enough to respond, dodging the attack by inches. Knowing that he had missed, the buff man wiggled his finger with a grunt, taunting Zhang Heng to retaliate.
Without so much as an ounce of hesitation, Zhang Heng drew his gun and pointed it squarely at the chest of his opponent.
No one expected that Zhang Heng would use a gun in this fight, their dissent made apparent by the loud boos of disgruntlement the moment they spotted him drawing his weapon. With the gun cocked and loaded, he squinted, not about to make any sudden moves. No matter how many fists he could block, how many heads he could smash, one puny bullet was enough to send him to the afterlife.
Many took the muscular man’s side, and the entire tavern roared in support of him. Zhang Heng was unbothered by this. He wasn’t here to please the crowd. Since there was a quick and effective alternative, why should he hesitate using the firearm? If he knew the muscular guy would so abruptly toss him aside without so much as a word, he would have pointed the gun point-blank at the brute’s head from the very beginning.
Seeing the murderous glaze in Zhang Heng’s unremorseful eyes, the muscular man knew his life was really on the line. He took out his wallet unwillingly, still eyeballing the gun, and handed the money to the old pirate.
“Where is the other half,” asked the old pirate.
“That’s all I have for now. I will return the rest in three months’ time.”
“Fine! By that time, that’s an extra 50 for the interest.”
“Frazer… you old goddamned blood-sucking vampire!”
“Whoa… that wasn’t the language you used when you wanted to borrow my money.”
Frazer then waved to Zhang Heng, signaling him over to the table.
“Job well done, me lad! C’mon over and have something to eat. We’re moving on to the next one after this!”
Right until sunset, Frazer dragged Zhang Heng around hunting the other four pirates who owed him money. Three were willing to return a portion of what they owed. As for the last person, he was with around 20 pirates. Obviously, Zhang Heng wouldn’t make it out alive if he confronted the lot. After assessing the situation, Frazer decided it was an unworthy risk, thus, letting him go. For now.
In total, Zhang Heng assisted Frazer in retrieving 429 silver pesos and even a piece of oil painting that was used as collateral. The oil canvas was Leonardo da Vinci’s infamous Last Supper. Without needing a second take, Zhang Heng instantly saw the tellings of a counterfeit painting, with a glaring mistake a kid would notice. There were only seven disciples instead of the supposed twelve. Nevertheless, Frazer was adequately satisfied, deciding in the end that it should be valued at 20 silver pesos.
“Not bad. Better than what I expected. I have to say, you’re terrible at close-quarters combat. That guy in the tavern, how did you lose to someone like him? You have a lot to improve, and you have very little time. The real trouble comes later.”
“I’m sorry, but I thought this is a one-time deal. You said you’d leave us alone after this.”
“Hey, kid. I don’t wish to lengthen our deal as well, but I see you are unable to collect all the money in one go. So, it looks like we are stuck to each other now.”
“How much more?”
“Soon. You will know when the time is right.”
Frazer grinned as he tossed the smallest coin bag to Zhang Heng.
“This is remuneration for what you’ve done for me today. A total of 42 silver pesos. As I have said, I’m no miser. As long as you can get me back all the money that others owe me, I don’t mind giving you a tenth of what I got. This rule will not change. Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere. Just come and look for me at the tavern every time you return from the sea.”
Frazer did not bother looking at Zhang Heng’s after that, merely picking up his newly obtained forgery of the Last Supper and left the place while humming a tune. Zhang Heng was surprised that Frazer even paid him for today.
The art of debt collection was both a simple and a complicated one at the same time. At first, he thought Frazer refused to do it just because he was aging. With that amount of money, hiring muscles to help him collect his debts was a no brainer. Though there was a possibility of him losing all that money to the thugs he hired, Zhang Heng believed that a man the likes of Frazer should be witty enough to avoid it from happening.
Up until now, Zhang Heng had already guessed that asking him to turn into an overnight debt collector was just an excuse for something else. There must be a reason why Frazer had chosen him. Zhang Heng wasnt one to wait for answers, so after doing some thinking, he decided to look for someone that could tell him more about Frazer. It wasnt that he did not enquire anybody before this. Apparently, everyone, even the friendly Goodwin, was not willing to divulge about old Frazer.
This time, Zhang Heng changed his target. He returned to the tavern where Frazer dined at. As luck would have it, the muscular guy from Knight Errant was still there. Sitting on a chair, he slowly enjoyed his pint of beer.
“You again! Shameless bastard! You have emptied my pockets! What else do you want?! You better get lost before I change my mind!! I might just break your head this time…”
Before the muscular guy could finish his sentence, Zhang Heng drew his gun again, this time, placing ten silver pesos in front of him.
“Tell me everything you know about Frazer, and these coins are yours.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me right? I thought you are with him?!”
Beggers were no choosers and considering he was left with nothing, he wanted to take the deal badly. Nonetheless, he was still suspicious of Zhang Heng’s intention.
“To be really honest with you, we are actually not that close,” replied Zhang Heng, who did not bother to explain more to him because he was the one who first asked the questions.