48 Hours a Day
Chapter 117 - Black Sail XXII
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The air on the deck grew uncomfortable. The contentious scene everyone expected to happen when Orff showed up did not come to pass. Instead, like an apathetic old man, Orff kept retreating as the gunman advanced towards him, as if he was about to fall off the cliff.
Even though Goodwin believed that he was going to win since the beginning, he had not expected things to go so smoothly, and it was making him feel uneasy.
Orff turned to the crew and said, “That’s right. All of you have reasons to feel disgruntled. It has been a really difficult time, both for all of you and for me. But what I want to say is that from today onwards, these difficult days will be behind us. You’ve been wondering what I’m up to recently, and I think it’s time I tell you.”
The gunner shifted uneasily. That uncomfortable feeling was growing stronger. Logic told him that he should not let Orff continue his speech, but right now, he could not find a reason good enough to interrupt the old helmsman. Orff had the right and freewill to deliver a speech before the votes were cast. It could not just be one-sided whereby the old man was not allowed to defend and explain himself after being denounced by Goodman. Goodman took comfort in the fact that the situation was already set in stone—he had won over each and every one of those people. Many among them were benefiting mutually with him. He was confident that none of them would betray him.
When he saw that he finally had everyone’s attention, Orff continued, “Most of you and I have known each other for a long time. You should know what kind of person I am. My past is not kept hidden from you. Yes, before I joined Sea Lion, I sailed with the greatest captain in the Caribbean, Captain Kidd until he was captured, and then hung in London. His house was searched from top to bottom, but all they found was a little bit of gold and silver.
“I know you must have heard rumors that he had hidden his loot in a secret place—I can tell you, right now, that the rumor is true.”
Immediately, the crew erupted in chatter. Practically everyone knew about Kidd’s story. He was the most powerful pirate in the entire Caribbean from 1695 to 1699. His ship, the Quedagh Merchant had fifty cannons on board. That magnitude of firepower was enough to make many seaport colonies cower in fear. Legend has it that in a short five-year period, he managed to pillage a shocking fortune.
After his death, the whereabouts of his treasures remained a mystery and the Quedagh Merchant vanished.
“I’ve been searching for that treasure ever since Kidd had cashed in his chips. Now, there’s finally some headway, and I have reason to believe that we’re very close to that treasure.”
Orff had to wait until his audience’s chatter quieten down before continuing, “Forgive me for keeping this from you. It’s not that I don’t trust you—I was just worried that the other pirates might hear of it. But now, I have no choice but to be honest with you.”
When he was done, Orff glanced at Goodwin. The latter was drenched in nervous sweat and his face was as pale as a sheet. Just three minutes ago, he thought that he had everything done and dusted. He had not anticipated that Orff would employ such an unreasonable method to turn the tables. As a pirate himself, he understood just how tempting Kidd’s treasure was.
In fact, even he could not suppress the feeling of excitement at that prospect. What more the others, and all his allies? How many more of them would be willing to stand by him, and take the risk of deposing Orff and miss out on such a big treasure?
He had planned this for so long, and even played the good guy for such a long time just for this—always greeting the new crews warmly, putting up with his allies’ peculiar characteristics and habits. Now all of that had gone down the toilet. Goodwin felt like a drowning man grasping at straws. He reminded his rival, “Vote. They still haven’t voted… I haven’t lost yet.”
But Orff’s final sentence shattered whatever last trace of hope Goodwin had left.
“Now, who is willing to sail with me, to go after that legendary treasure?!”
All of the pirates on board were silent for a minute and then they exploded into a loud, enraptured cheer. “Treasure! Treasure! Treasure!”
The look on every single one of their faces were one of zeal and anticipation. None of them bothered to even look at the despondent gunman who felt as if the whole world had abandoned him.
“It’s out!” Marvin rushed down from the deck, calling out to Zhang Heng who was doing push-ups in the cabin. “The result is out! Goodwin was winning but Mr. Orff turned the whole situation around with just a few words. You should’ve seen Goodwin’s face. I feel a little bad for him.”
Marvin paused and then continued, excited again, “Also, we are going to be rich! Do you know that Kidd guy? That big pirate? I heard that when he was sentenced to death by hanging, nearly half of London went to watch his execution—and now we’re going to search for the treasures he left behind!”
Marvin looked around and then lowered his voice, “To be honest, ever since I was tied up by that group of pirates, the days have been feeling like years. But now, I’m starting to feel like perhaps it was not such a bad thing after all. It’s destiny that we boarded this ship.”
Marvin’s eyes widened. “What does ‘heh’ mean? Think about it. The treasure left behind by the legendary pirate king! Aren’t you even the least bit excited? Just now on the deck, I was already thinking about how I’m going to spend the money. I’m going to buy two plantations in Boston, and a group of black slaves, and then I will spend the rest of the money drinking all day long. Do you know that there’s a woman called Daisy at the whorehouse who always look down on me? She wouldn’t even pay attention to me on the bed. When I get the money…”
“Marvin.” Zhang Heng finished his last push up and dried the sweat on his neck. Then he opened his mouth to put a break on Marvin’s dream. “You haven’t even seen the treasure yet. It’s not too late to think about what you’re going to do with it when you actually see it.”
“Sorry.” The farmer’s son realized that he forgotten himself. He had caught onto all that fiery excitement on the deck—everyone was stirred by the words ‘Kidd’s treasure’, and they were all in high spirits.
Zhang Heng, however, was weary at this. Although he did not support Goodwin, it did not mean that he thought that Goodwin’s concern was ungrounded—Orff was indeed too close to the Captain, and this was not a good thing for the rest of the crew, especially after this time, Zhang Heng finally saw just how the experienced helmsman manipulated the crew’s emotions.
A powerful captain and an experienced helmsman—their combined control over the ship was far greater than most people could imagine.
Compared to them, Goodwin was like a toddler who had just learn to walk. Both sides were not on the same level. From the moment Goodwin decided to challenge Orff’s position, his fate was already decided.