Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“I’m ready to challenge Orff once we set sail again. By that time, many would have taken my side. To be honest, I have more than half the ship supporting me. In other words, that would make me the most likely winner. That said, I don’t want to claim I’m the winner because the final results are not here yet. You might think that I’m arrogant, but you have to know that the Orff era is over. Join us. The future belongs to us!”
Marvin was greatly elated after listening to Goodwin’s little motivational speech. He wanted to run to him badly and shake his hands. On the other hand, Zhang Heng was still sitting on his chair, not uttering a single word. As Goodwin left his hand hanging in the air for a few seconds, the look on his face changed.
“I’m good. I don’t think I will change my mind,” replied Zhang Heng politely.
“I can understand that. You are still new on the ship, and you don’t want to offend the older generation. You are afraid that they might do something bad to you, right? You should also know that nobody likes indecisive individuals amid a war.”
Goodwin attempted to convince Zhang Heng one last time. Those words might have been spoken tactfully, but he was also implying that he too could make them pay the price if they chose to side with Orff. It was a threat.
At that moment, Marvin wished he could take Zhang Heng’s place and just shake Goodwin’s hand. After a moment of silence, Zhang Heng finally extended his hand. Goodwin put on a smile, thinking that Zhang Heng must have had finally come to his senses and join him.
“I’m so sorry to disappoint you. I’m sticking to my guns. I don’t want to get involved in this.”
Goodwin’s smile instantly disappeared from his face.
“You are going to regret your choice today.”
He then turned around to look at Marvin.
“What about you?”
Marvin was afraid, but considering the ample time he had around Zhang Heng, an empty threat like that was not enough to persuade him to betray his benefactor. One thing he could not figure out was why Zhang Heng rejected Goodwin’s goodwill. If Goodwin was not lying, that should mean that he could beat Orff to become the new helmsman.
Goodwin was displeased by their rejection, and this instantly took a toll on their friendship. Goodwin was no longer friendly to them. According to his plan, Zhang Heng and Marvin were supposed to side and vote for him. When they first got on the ship, Goodwin had made sure to treat them well. From his perspective, he could not understand why the two would so blatantly reject him after he promised them a great future.
This was surely not the result that Goodwin desired. Seeing that Zhang Heng and Marvin were not going to take his side, Goodwin left the house without saying a word. The moment he left, Marvin started to worry about their future. Meanwhile, Anne was elated by their exchange of words.
“Come and form a team with me if you think you don’t belong to the Sea Lion!”
“Apply this medicine to your wounds right now. Make sure you protect it from getting infected,” said Zhang Heng.
“Do… do you think that he will fail?” asked Marvin.
“What are you afraid of? Just make sure that you always do your job well. Win or lose, it wouldn’t affect you. Do you really think they will fire the only cook on bard?”
“It’s not about me. I just feel sorry for you. If Goodwin can replace Mr. Orff, you will be assigned as the boatswain of this ship. Your dream shattered the moment you rejected him. No matter who the winner is, you will not be able to lay your hands on this position anymore.
The truth was, Zhang Heng did not mind it at all. He knew that he wouldn’t sail with the Sea Lion forever, and positions meant nothing to him. All he ever cared about was to learn as much as he could. Even if Frazer did not warn him beforehand, he would never choose to side with Goodwin. He would rather stick with the older generation and, in turn, learn more skills from them.
Of course, he would never expose these thoughts to anyone. This time, the Sea Lion’s crew had a brief downtime as in less than three days, she was to set sail again. Goodwin wasn’t nervous at all. On the contrary, he was rather confident about beating Orff.
There could be only one possibility. Orff was in a panic, desperately hoping he could stop Goodwin and convince the others to side with him. However, Goodwin wasn’t even slightly bothered. Though Zhang Heng and Marvin were not going to take his side, he knew that he should have enough pirates supporting him as the new helmsman.
That very night, Goodwin summoned everyone to the upper deck, ready to give a speech.
“My brothers! Have you noticed that we had fought long and hard during previous battles, but our yield has dropped. Now that is a fact! Aren’t you curious about why something so terrible could happen to us?”
The record keeper, Griffin, barged into the storeroom to look for Orff who was counting the supplies and drinking water for the current trip.
“Something bad is going on, Mr. Orff! Goodwin is trying to convince everyone to replace you with him!”
Orff seemed unbothered once again, continuing with his inventory checking.
“So… aren’t you supposed to do something? He might just replace you as the new helmsman if you don’t stop him now.”
“Why would you say that?”
“I have reason to believe that Goodwin is well prepared this time. I heard that he has visited many people. The newcomers on the ships would become his primary target. In the span of five years, newcomers outnumber the veterans by a ratio of 2:1. This means he can get at least two-thirds of the votes.”
“Excellent work. The numbers add up. Well done,” replied Orff with a nod while passing the account ledger to the Griffin.
Griffin was left speechless.
“Okay. My work here is done. It’s time to end the clown show!”
Goodwin’s speech was coming to an end when Orff suddenly walked out of the cabin.
“Having those reasons in mind, we believe that Mr. Orff is no longer suitable as our helmsman. He has failed to look out for our well-being.”
There were no cheers when Goodwin finished his speech. All the pirates silently opened up a way to let Orff through when they saw him. Though rivals, Goodwin still decided to greet him politely.
Orff ignored him, continuing his gaze toward the other pirates. He was surprised that the person he expected to be here was, in fact, not here. This, however, did not affect what he was about to do.
“I have to admit that I have neglected many of you recently. I have heard complaints about me; about the rewards getting lesser. Some of you even suspect that I’ve banded with the captain to take your share. I can understand why you all feel this way. It’s completely normal. Some of you here might think that I’m too old to handle this position well. I must admit that I don’t fight as well as our Mr. Goodwin here. As for the conflict between the newcomers and veterans on the ship, it’s a common thing on every vessel. No matter what I do, one party would always feel that they have been taken advantage of. I saw the problem, but I didn’t deal with it in time. This is all my fault.”
Everyone thought that Orff would defend himself from Goodwin’s accusation. Nobody expected him to admit all his mistakes.