Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The Scarborough opened fire once as a warning, and the French merchant ship compliantly slowed down until it came to a stop.
Seeing how courteous the French merchants were, Elmer’s mood improved, and he returned to the table and tied a napkin around his neck.
The chief officer directed the Scarborough to draw near the side of the Sea Lion, and the officer who had spoken up earlier said, “Sir, we should have our gunners on standby and send someone to assess the situation first.”
The chief officer frowned. He was not some rookie who had never been out on the sea before; of course, he knew what he had to do. It irked him to have a subordinate exhorting him and giving him directions. Had it not been because of Burnett’s lineage, he would have flipped already. It was really no wonder why this man was ostracized by his colleagues.
“Do your own job, Burnett.” The chief officer warned. He had originally wanted to instruct the gunners to wait for orders but he felt terrible after being instructed by his subordinate.; however, having been in the navy for so many years, he managed to overcome his emotions with logical reasoning, and issued orders in an orderly manner according to plan.
Burnett stood aside, unspeaking but with his chest forward and head raised as if he had just won a major battle.
He just wanted to chop him into pieces right now. Fortunately, the first team of 24 men were boarding the French merchant ship, and helped distract his attention.
The captain of the merchant ship was a French man with slightly curly hair. Standing with him, ill at eased, on the deck were his sailors. Obviously, he understood what it meant to encounter the Scarborough. In the face of such overwhelming firepower, even if he was unwilling, he still had to hand over the ship’s inventory.
The officer in charge pointed his musket at the men on the deck who had surrendered, then sent a few subordinates to search the storage room. After a while, Zhang Heng and Marvin were being led up the deck from the kitchen.
The latter’s legs trembled, especially when he saw on the giant warship with its galore of cannons and the mass of men’s silhouettes; he was instantly filled with despair.
His frightened appearance amused the British sailors—some of them whistled and the others sneered. Only one man frowned at the sight of him.
“What’s wrong, Lanny?”
“I don’t know. It’s just that this guy looks very familiar. I can’t seem to figure out where I’ve seen him before,” said the sailor named Lanny.
“Now that you mention it, he does look familiar…” The other guy agreed.
The air on the deck was suddenly very tense.
But suddenly the other guy continued, “He looks a little like your wife. Aw… Poor little Lanny. Can’t wait to let it out already, huh? Maybe our tubby friend here won’t mind.”
“Go *bleep* yourself, Stephen!”
This little interruption loosened the tension and things were back to the relaxed and jovial state. The task was easy and no one paid too much attention to it. After a while, the people who went down to search the cargo returned.
“All clear. It’s all porcelain crockery down there. They look pretty good. We’re going to earn good money this time, guys!”
The English sailors looked ecstatic.
The officer in charge nodded. “Keep an eye on these men. I’ll go report to the chief officer and the captain.”
He returned immediately, with the inventory, to the Scarborough. A few minutes later, the sailors on the Scarborough were mobilized.
In order to facilitate the moving process, the chief officer ordered for more gangplanks to be laid. About sixty new recruits tasked to move the porcelain crockery put down their weapons and got to work.
When the pirates hiding in the mezzanine heard footsteps above them, they gulped nervously. So far, the plan was going better than they imagined. They were almost halfway there. For Sea Lion and Scarborough to successfully connect, they just had to wait for the group of unarmed British sailors to board their ship, and then attack.
But they were growing even more anxious by the minute, fearful that some accident on the deck might reveal the secrets underneath—their whole plan would be ruined.
Only one among them was an exception. He sat in the corner with his eyes closed as if he was asleep. His huge body was like a mountain in the dark; his black beard rising and falling as he breathed. It was very crowded in the mezzanine, they were practically squashed against each other, yet no one stood within a foot from him. Most people who chose the life of a pirate were unruly but whenever they were in the same room with him, they would all turn into well-behaved little kittens.
The crew looked at him in awe as if they were looking at a lord demon.
The plan to attack the Scarborough was a dangerous one. Even if the success rate of Orff’s plan was 50/50, the majority of the crew had voted for it. Apart from the allure of money and treasure, the man before them also had a big part in in—the only thing that could vanquish fear was another kind of fear.
One by one, the sailors of the Scarborough jumped onto the Sea Lion, eagerly entering the storage room. The men in charge of watching Zhang Heng and the others were also in repose. Only the one called Lanny kept his eyes glued on Marvin, wearing a contemplative look on his face.
The farmer’s son was very troubled. Other than his own father, he knew no one else in the New World, and was captured by pirates on his way there. He was certain that he had never met the bloke before, and could not understand why that Scarborough sailor would not stop staring at him. Marvin could not help but wonder if he really did resemble the man’s wife.
Just as the other British sailors were discussing amongst themselves about where they would go after they got the money, the Lanny guy suddenly shouted, “I know—they are pirates!”
Lanny quickly raised his musket and pointed at Marvin.
Marvin was both horrified and disconcerted. What had he done to give the game away? In fact, he was not the only one. Lanny’s associates were just as flabbergasted. Instead of raising their weapons, they asked Lanny, “Are you out of your mind?!”
Lanny quickly answered, “I remember where I saw him now! I saw a sketch of him at the port! About ten months ago, a merchant ship was robbed by pirates. They killed the captain and most of the sailors on the ship. They only gave the remaining passengers a small boat, a bucket and a little food. Fortunately, the survivors were later rescued by a passing ship. According to them, four of the people on board joined the pirate—one of them is this fatty. His features stood out the most which is why I remember him very clearly. Oh, they also mentioned that there was an oriental. He’s probably the one next to the fatty.”