48 Hours a Day
Chapter 114 - Black Sail XIX
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Waves inbound! Waves hitting our port side!!!” shouted the pirate who was on the lookout. Seconds later, his voice was stopped when a six-meter high wave hit the deck, rudely throwing the pirates down to the floor. Zhang Heng grabbed onto a nearby rope, which saved him from being swept away.
Though Marvin was in the cabin, he wasn’t doing too good as well. He was peeling a potato when the giant wave hit the ship, almost costing him his finger. The entire boat rocked violently, and when Marvin looked up, he saw the smoked meat that he hung up earlier was swinging left and right from their hooks, splattering into each other with loud thuds.
Whenever the ship was struck by the restless waves, it sounded like the world was coming to an end. Indeed, one would start to doubt if this wooden ship could withstand the wrath of mother nature.
Immediately, Marvin jumped to the nearest corner and started to pray with all his might. These were the true colors of the ocean. They could be gentle and balmy, but temperamental and merciless as well – much like a teenage girl. One moment, the sea could be smiling a sweet tune, and another, it could be wrathful enough to destroy an entire ship.
As compared to others on board, Rothko was exceptionally calm. Having weathered countless storms throughout his entire life, a small splatter like that was not enough to shake him.
“Hmm. I want you to feel her. This as fast as the Sea Lion goes. If the winds get any wilder, I’m afraid her mainsail will be destroyed. You’ll have to loosen the rope that is tied around the truss and tuck away the mainsail and headsail. Otherwise, the mast will break in half in no time!”
Rothko’s treatment of Zhang Heng had changed completely. So, instead of threatening him, Zhang Heng took a different approach and went against Frazer’s advice. Of course, by threatening Rothko, Zhang Heng could easily force him to stay on the ship.
However, it was worth noting that when one decided to impart his skills to another, there was a big difference between giving his all and halfheartedly imparting knowledge.
No doubt, although Rothko was one of the best boatswains amongst his peers, Zhang Heng could still learn how to maneuver the mainsail even if he lost him. And if Rothko was forced, he might as well just look for another teacher. What was the point when he wasn’t doing it willingly but rather, driven to teach under duress.
That was why Zhang Heng was prepared to make a bet. On the night he confronted Rothko, he decided to tell him the location of his daughter. Immediately, Rothko left the brothel to look for her. At first, Zhang Heng thought that it was all but wasted effort. To his greatest surprise, Rothko returned to the Sea Lion the next morning.
“I told the captain that I want you to work under me. To be honest with you, I will only stay in Nassau for another three months, no longer. In these three months, you must learn everything I have to teach you. If you fail, you have no one to blame but yourself.”
At first, Zhang Heng thought that conscience had made him return to the Sea Lion. One night, Zhang Heng found out the truth from a very drunk Rothko. He apparently spent everything he earned so far, and without any savings, it was impossible for him to travel to England. Besides, he had not seen his daughter for many years. It would be embarrassing for him to visit her empty-handed. That was why he came back here, attempting to earn a more before leaving for England.
Regardless, Zhang Heng now gained another mentor. Rothko changed the way he treated him after the two of them spent some time together. Whether a captain of a cargo ship or a pirate, Rothko had never seen someone as disciplined as Zhang Heng. Every day, Zhang Heng would wake up two hours earlier than others, starting his day with some movement training. An hour later, Owen would join him, and both of them would spar with each other.
When the rest of the crew had just woken up and were having their breakfast, Zhang Heng was already with Rothko, observing the weather and maneuvering the mainsail. Other than that, he would work with Marvin, employing the help of good food and some money to build solid relationships with the other pirates. Through them, Zhang Heng quickly learned how to maneuver a ship, shoot a cannon, and read a nautical chart.
“I heard that your only daughter is still alive! Congratulations! What do you think? Do you think he will become a threat to us?”
Out of nowhere, Orff appeared behind Rothko. He stared at Zhang Heng, who was high above the mast, attempting to fold away the mainsail.
“I don’t think so. Aren’t you supposed to be worried about Goodwin? I heard he has more than half the crew on his side. Soon, he will start challenging your authority.”
“He’s just a clown. Let’s talk about something else. Do you know that a disciple of yours is kind of close to Frazer? I heard he was his debt collector.”
“Did you really think that Frazer quit the pirate’s life and simply retired? If I remember correctly, you were the one who suggested that he should be killed.”
“And I remember that you were the one who defended him.”
“You know I was left with no other options. You have to admit that he was a great influence during that time. Though we forged an immunity letter from the queen, a large number of pirates were still on his side. Out safety would be greatly threatened if we killed him in front of everyone.”
“It doesn’t matter anymore. The past is the past. I’m getting ready to retire as well.”
“We will miss you. I will tell my kids when they grow up, that I was granted the opportunity to sail alongside the best boatswain of the fleet!”
“I will also tell my granddaughter that I used to sail with the most boring helmsman. All he did was talk bullshit beside me.”
“Oh, and send my regards to Koror.”
After that, Orff gave Rothko a pat on the back and left him alone.
Three months passed.
The raids were longer this time, and so was their voyage, and when they finally returned to Nassau, Rothko had been teaching Zhang Heng everything he knew for a good four months. Rothko saved up enough to travel to England and buy a gift for his daughter. Before leaving the grounds of Nassau, he informed the captain that he wished to retire.
Zhang Heng checked on his character panel and found that the skill, maneuvering sails, was not listed. Everything that he learned so far was all categorized under sailing. It was now LV 1. Other than that, his knife skills had also increased to LV 1. At this rate, he was most definitely better than most of the pirates on his vessel. Although beating Owen was still out of the question, he was good enough to have a sparing session with him if he was willing to shave some points.
Nevertheless, Zhang Heng was content with everything that he achieved so far. On the other hand, the same couldn’t be said for Anne.