48 Hours a Day
Chapter 108 - Black Sail XIII
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Frazer is the most experienced pirate on this island. I heard of his name even before I come to Nassau. Someone told me that he used to work alongside Henry Morgan to raid a Spanish settlement. After stealing all they could, they managed to loot a total of two million pounds in their last raid. After that, the rich bastard, Henry Morgan, was summoned by the queen, banished to jail the moment he returned to his country. As for Frazer, he left Jamaica and came to Nassau. He remained here to recruit potential pirates to join his creed. At his peak, he had 11 pirate ships, hundreds of cannons, and around 700 to 800 pirates under his command.”
“What happened after that?”
“I have no idea. Rumor says he wanted to accept the queen’s pardon secretly. When his band knew about it, everything changed. He was stripped of his title as captain of 11 pirate ships, and all his crew was dismissed. Right now, that old bastard is no larger than an ordinary pirate,” said the muscular man with a grin on his face.
“But, you still owe him money.”
“Alright! I have told you everything you need to know. It’s your turn to keep your end of the bargain, you…”
The muscular pirate suddenly stopped smiling and spat an expletive into Zhang Heng’s face.
“Last question. Where do I rent a house around here?”
After Zhang Heng’s question was answered, the ten silver pesos were placed on the table, and the deal was complete.
Right now, he was left with 58 silver pesos. Of course, getting a room at an inn was an option. However, the fact that he had to spend over a decade on this island had him thinking that it might be wiser to just look for a proper place to settle down.
The place he chose was a little further from the harbor but closer to the center of the island. The property in question was located near the farming plots, where its perks were serenity and a rental fee that was dirt cheap. Believe it or not, the entire house cost only 160 silver pesos, and it was 17 silver pesos for a two-year rent.
It was no better than a wooden cottage, with rotting wooden boards masking up a potential for collapse. Here in Nassau, places in such a state were everywhere. At a time where piracy was rampant in Nassau, Spain and France would send their military there to ensure things were in order.
Often, this led to large scale skirmishes with the pirates, eventually causing massive collateral involving lives and property left irreparable.
Unsurprisingly, the battle-rattled houses here were worthless.
After Zhang Heng paid the landlord, he proceeded to purchase some essentials for his new nest. The very next morning, he was already up before the sun rose, starting repairs and modifications to the wobbly structure. His long time alone on that island had taught him how to build a wooden framed house with a tiled roof. Armed with the experience, he should be more than capable of mending and fortifying the home.
The subtropical climate of The Bahamas had it at a steady all-year-round temperature of 23 to 24 degrees Celcius. Though it was now spring, it wasn’t as cold as expected. Taking off his shirt, he climbed to the roof, subsequently fixing every hole with a hammer and some nails.
A little girl from the house next to his house kept peeking from behind a palm tree. Zhang Heng spotted her and flashed a smile. Startled, the barefooted little girl instantly scooted back home.
Not too long after that, another familiar face appeared in Zhang Heng’s sights. It was Marvin. Although only separated for less than a day, he had undergone a tremendous change.
A sleeve had been torn out of his shirt, and he was left with one boot. His face wasn’t too awful, just a few cuts on his cheek, dark blood flowing down his lips. It was his body that told a different tale, the festering purple bruises smothering what used to be yellowish skin. He seemed to have been through some very harsh retribution.
“That… can I have something to eat? I’ve been starving since last night,” asked Marvin with a smile on his face, his bloody lips quivering as he spoke.
“Where are your 25 silver pesos?”
“They… they’re gone…”
Marvin had initially planned to hop onto one of the boats fleeing this place. Clearly, his plan had failed miserably, with him being beaten to a pulp and all his money robbed off him. He was so embarrassed that he chose to stay silent, refraining from begging for help. Left with no other options, he had to ask around about Zhang Heng’s whereabouts.
After living with Marvin for some time, Zhang Heng reaffirmed what a selfish prick, coward, and hypocrite he could be. As they parted again at the trade center, Zhang Heng decided that he would not care about Marvin from now on.
This quest had a different goal as compared to the previous ones that he completed. This time, he was asked to form his own force. Having no knowledge whatsoever about this force that he was supposed to build, at least he was sure of one thing. It would be impossible for him to do it alone.
He needed a team. Since the pirates here valued democracy more than anything, numbers meant everything on a pirate ship. Even a legendary pirate, the likes of Frazer, could lose his title after losing the support of his underlings.
In other words, even a useless prick like Marvin had the right to vote as well. He would most likely be rejected by everyone on the ship since he attempted to flee the island, so he was left with no option but to rely on Zhang Heng. Marvin might be despicable, but Zhang Heng was sure that he would come useful to him someday. Instead of exposing him, he decided to help him out.
“There is some cheese and bread on the table. Help yourself.”
Though sounding impossible, Zhang Heng did indeed hope that Marvin would change for the better after this. Marvin only knew a few souls on this island. In other words, no one would help a stranger like him. Considering that he had betrayed Zhang Heng several times, he should have thanked his lucky stars that he didn’t get beaten and kicked out of the house. Zhang Heng’s willingness to share his food took Marvin by surprise.
As Marvin hungrily gobbled down his chow, the tremendous hardship he had to face so far flashed through his mind. Tears started to gush out of his red-rimmed eyes like no tomorrow.
“I’m really sorry! This is all my fault! I have wronged you! I promise you that I will change for the better. From today onward, my life belongs to you. I will never betray you again even if someone threatens to slit my throat open!” wept Marvin, who seemed to be deep in regret.
Did the little display of penance manage to move Zhang Heng’s heart?
For now, at least, he believed that Marvin must have been genuinely grateful to him. At the same time, he knew that this would last no more than two days. In two days, all the promises he uttered would be excreted from his body like feces. Indeed, he would eventually betray him again when his life was threatened. That was just who he was, from his mouth to his intestines.
Fortunately, Zhang Heng wasn’t bothered by it, having never relied on Marvin in the first place.
The moment the barrel was free from the ship, it no longer bounded their fate together.
“Enjoy the food, I’m heading out for a while,” said Zhang Heng while wiping his hands.
Marvin appeared terribly nervous when he heard Zhang Heng was heading out, seeming worried that the truth about what happened to him last night would be exposed.
“Don’t worry. This is not about you.”