48 Hours a Day
Chapter 112 - Black Sail XVII
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Zhang Heng followed the young lady for about 15 minutes.
Then, without warning, she abruptly turned around and rushed into an alley. Without hesitation, he increased his pace and went after her. But just as he was about to reach the alley, a shadowy figure appeared from it. He was a redhead, as if a raging fire burned atop his head. Zhang Heng noticed a rapier in his hands, with clear stains of blood on it.
Suddenly, Zhang Heng remembered Frazer saying that he had hired another person to help him. Instantly, he felt that something must have gone horribly wrong. Immediately, he broke cover and ran to the alley. The first thing he saw was Randall’s wife lying there unconscious, looking as if she had been knocked out by someone.
Looking to be unscathed, she should turn out fine. Right beside her, a man was lying in a pool of his own blood, leaving him to suspect that this must be Jacob. His chest had been penetrated by something sharp. His eyes were wide open, frozen in time as he took his last breath.
Not wasting any time, Zhang Heng went after the man holding the rapier. It seemed like the man noticed that Zhang Heng was after him. His first instinct was to sprint as fast as possible, attempting to lose himself among the crowd. He was a man of small stature. This meant he was extremly agile, choosing always to run head-on in the direction of people.
Unfortunately, his crimson hair shone like a beacon amongst the crowd, and there was no way he was about to go unnoticed just like that. Besides, he had chosen the wrong strategy of shaking off Zhang Heng, assuming that his excellent stamina was sufficient and Zhang Heng would tire out eventually.
15 minutes later, the man was already gasping for breath. Zhang Heng, on the other hand, hadn’t even broken a sweat. His persistent training for all those long runs had finally paid off. Seeing that the man was willing to use up his energy, Zhang Heng had no intention to stop him. Although he knew there was an opportunity to catch up, he chose to tail him with at least ten steps between them.
The man with crimson hair soon realized that running towards crowded places wasn’t the best idea and hence, turned toward more sparse areas. In the end, he stopped at a beach. It appeared to be a good place for confrontation, seeing that was no one else around.
“What is your relationship with that thief? Are you his accomplice?” asked the man when he turned around and looked at Zhang Heng.
To his greatest surprise, Zhang Heng saw that the ‘man’ he went after was actually a girl. Judging by her appearance, she should be around 16 to 17 years old. She was, however, dressed similarly to teenage boys on the street and even carried a personality to match. In fact, she was actually more decisive than some men. Though it was a simple confrontation, her rapier was tight in her grip – ready to strike. Left with no other option, Zhang Heng had to draw his gun to protect himself.
“I’m really sorry. It’s Frazer. He asked me to retrieve a bag of pearls.”
“So, that old bastard looked for someone else to help him right after he hired me, huh! What are you going to do now? Snatch them from me?”
The crimson-haired girl suddenly went on high alert.
“Actually, I’ve figured out how we can both benefit from this.”
Frazer was having dinner at the tavern. His lavish meal consisted of a rack of lamb paired with lemon juice. All of a sudden, a blue bag was tossed on the table as he was enjoying his meal. Black pearls scattered all around the table.
“I must be dreaming? Since when the two of you work together?” asked a startled Frazer.
“We have retrieved whatever you’ve asked us to find. Is there a problem?” furiously asked the girl.
Frazer had entrusted her with completing this task. It came as a shock to her that he would look for Zhang Heng to help him as well. Clearly, this indicated that he did not trust she could retrieve the black pearls successfully. This had her feeling betrayed and extremely angry, where one of her hands was already placed on the rapier. She would not hesitate to attack Frazer if things went south.
“Anger might not be a bad thing, after all. Using anger wisely to fuel yourself will make you stronger and more powerful. If you really want me to help you to become a proper pirate, it’s better if you learn how to control your anger first lest you might just get yourself killed someday.”
“I would rather die a warrior than to cower under a girl’s skirt like a coward.”
“That’s a great speech! I might not fully agree with you, but I believe that what you’ve just said deserves a toast!”
“What about our reward?” asked Zhang Heng with a straight face, unwilling to raise the glass in front of him.
Frazer then waved at him and whispered something.
“Did you not tell him about it?”
“It’s for his own good. Look. He’s doing really well now.”
“No. I bet you refused to tell him because you don’t want to lose your boatswain, right?”
“Hmm… well, that was part of the reason, but right now, I don’t have to worry about it anymore.”
Frazer then took out a wooden horse and placed it on the table.
“Show him this wooden horse. He will believe whatever you have to say. However, you have to make sure that you learn everything from him first before telling him the final destination. Sticking to his promise is never his forte. You will never be able to look for someone better than him to teach you how to control mainsail if he manages to run away from you.”
After that, Zhang Heng left the tavern with the crimson-haired girl. She looked to be in an excellent mood, having just received a recommendation from Frazer to become a pirate on the Golden Swallow. Most pirate ships forbode women on their vessels. It was a rare moment that a girl was given the opportunity to join the ranks as an ordinary pirate on the vessel.
As for a band of sultry, female-only pirates, those existed only in movies or manga. Undeniably, although there were women strong enough to do what most men could do, it was also true that most lacked behind men in terms of strength and stamina. The difference was clear if a fight broke out between two ships. Worse, things could get really awkward if their aunties visited them at the wrong time.
Now that everything was settled, Zhang Heng wanted to bid the girl farewell. To his surprise, she spoke to him first.
“Hey! Man from the east. Do you have a place to stay?”
“As you can see, I just moved here not too long ago. This morning, an argument broke out between a friend and me, and now the friendship is over. I don’t have anywhere to go right now. Initially, I wanted to borrow some money from that old bastard but, everyone told me that he is a blood-sucking vampire. If you are willing to let me stay at your place, I’m willing to give you half my loot when I return from sea. What do you say about this deal? Oh right! I haven’t officially introduced myself to you. Me’ name is Anne. I’m from Cork, Ireland.”