Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Can you imagine that? Ten versus seven. I ran to the upper deck and killed two enemies! I turned around and saw three of my allies getting beaten up. Six of my allies ran back to the ship without offering any help to those in need! This is not the first time it’s happened! I’m about to go crazy soon! The Golden Swallow might sound powerful, but the truth is, this god-forsaken ship is no different than a fishing trawler! I’m afraid we’ll all drown soon if a terrible storm hits us! Our captain didn’t dare to stray too far from the harbor. In fact, the first thing he does when he sees a merchant ship bigger than ours is to run away! A coward is what he is! I won’t be surprised if people think we are the ones being robbed by the merchant ship instead,” seethed an unamused Anne.
Zhang Heng was at a loss for words after hearing Anne’s rant. There were a large number of pirates in Nassau, but most of them were only small-time thugs. They would set sail as long as they had a dozen people with them. Whenever a merchant ship was ready for plunder, they would raise the black flag. Of course, the bunch would return to Nassau with a great haul if their target happened to be afraid of them. If a real fight broke, however, they would also be the first to run away. Technically, these were no pirates but a bunch of opportunists flying the black flag.
“I’m really jealous of your ship. She has around 30 cannons, right? And you have an awesome captain as well. I heard that he constantly targets merchant ships with valuable cargo. He even dares to fight with a navy vessel. This is the definition of a real pirate, and this is the life that I want! Damn it; I would have been able to get myself on a better ship if I’m a man. I even saw some fatsos joining a great crew. With my current abilities, it’s impossible that I can’t join a decent pirate group.”
The more Anne thought about it, the angrier she became. In a moment of rage, she slapped the chair beside her as hard as possible. Her abrupt action caused her wound to reopen, with the shirt covering her body flying off as well. She seemed unbothered by the fact that she was now topless.
“Oi! Fatty, you once told me that you have many friends on the Sea Lion, right? Can you recommend me to your captain?” asked Anne while looking at Marvin.
“How many times have I told you that the Sea Lion has no intention to recruit any female pirate. No one can change the captain’s mind. You are also not allowed to take off your shirt in my house! You have to follow my rules since you are staying in my house!” snapped Zhang Heng while picking up the shirt on the floor before tossing it to Anne.
“What are you afraid of? Why can men go topless, but women can’t?!”
Due to the rampant discrimination she experienced while attempting to join a pirate ship, she had now turned into an avid feminist.
“What are you guys talking about?” asked Marvin.
He was holding a bowl of crushed herbs, which he had collected earlier.
“We are talking about how easy it is for all the men on the island to get whatever f*cking job they like. Then, women are forced to stay at home to take care of the house and children. Women can only become housewives or prostitutes on this damn island! The three of us can actually form a pirate group and venture out into the oceans. Just the three of us! If we encounter any fights, well… I can fight three enemies at the same time! Zhang Heng can fight two, and fatty can at least take on an enemy and a half, right? Our combined force is way better than that stupid Golden Swallow pirate group!”
“What the hell is one and a half enemies?” asked Marvin.
“Why not just go back to where you’ve come from? I don’t think you should become a pirate. Though you don’t like your father, your mother must worry about you. I can provide you with some travel funds if you need some,” Zhang Heng barged in.
“No way! I will not go back! I swore to myself before I left my house that I will not return unless I become richer than that man! Besides, I prefer the pirate’s life because I get to enjoy all the freedom in this world. There is something in my blood that will never change, which is my love for this island. Every mouthful of air that I breathe in is filled with freedom!”
Zhang Heng knew that changing her mind required a lot more than that. Then, someone knocked at the door. Marvin placed the bowl of crushed medicine on Anne’s table and went downstairs to open the door with Zhang Heng. They were greeted by someone they knew.
The person turned out to be the friendly Goodwin.
“Nice place but it’s kind of far from the town. I like the serenity here, and it looks like the two of you have settled down nicely. How is it going, y’all? Encountered any problems so far?”
Zhang Heng and Marvin ushered Goodwin into their house and made some tea. As they sat down, Goodwin started the conversation. “Rothko has retired. He wants to travel to England to visit his daughter. I think you already know that, right? The boatswain’s position is currently empty. Are you interested in filling it up?”
Zhang Heng was surprised that Goodwin would offer him this position, one that was usually not offered to young men. For the past four months, Rothko thought everything that he knew to Zhang Heng. Despite that, knowing all the theories did not mean Zhang Heng could execute them flawlessly. If one wanted to master this job, the person would need to accumulate years of experience. With Rothko leaving, Zhang Heng wasn’t he best boatswain on the Sea Lion by a long shot. Rithko’s men were more qualified to take the position.
“Be confident. We all trust you. You are the only disciple of Rothko. Logically, you should take over his place once he is gone. Trust me, more than one person on this ship thinks that you are more than qualified for this position.”
“Is that right?!”
Marvin became the most excited person in the house. Considering that he fully relied on Zhang Heng now, he sincerely hoped that he would become an influential pirate on the ship. Boatswain was an important position on any vessel. As the two of them had just joined the crew for seven months, this job offer was definitely a giant leap for Zhang Heng.
Zhang Heng did not respond to Goodwin, patiently waiting for him to finish what he wanted to say.
“It’s time for a change. What do you think about our helmsman, Orff? Many on the ship think he’s too weak when he talks to our captain. He has failed to cater to the welfare of every single pirate on the ship. This is especially true for new ones like you and Marvin. I think you guys didn’t receive the appreciation you deserve. In every battle, we always charge at our enemies first. On a normal day, we do most of the work as well. And what do we get for that? The privilege to choose our reward first? All the important positions on the ship have been taken up by a bunch of old men. It’s hard for newbies to shine in an environment like that.”
“I’m not saying that they’re not doing a good job. As it stands, our demand is straightforward. We just want to work in a fairer environment. New people should be given more rights on the ship. What do you think?”
“Who should represent the new people then?”
“I’m not an ambitious man, but I’m willing to take up the responsibility since everyone believes in me.”
Goodwin stood up and smiled at them.