Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation  Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

On the second morning, every pirate was asked to gather on the deck. Those who were injured and tasked with assignments were exceptions. That included the captain, Edward Teach, and the helmsman, Orff. A solemn expression adorned the faces of all present. In total, 47 pirates had been killed in battle, with 29 suffering severe injuries, and seven died last night. There was a good chance the remaining 22 wouldn’t it till tomorrow.

All the pirates on deck knew too well that the path that they chose would be smothered by blood and flesh. Though they were well prepared, they still grieved for their mates who left them. Marvin’s eyes welled with tears as well. They were not shed for the dead pirates but he was simply sad that someday, he too might end up like them. The wind traversing the ocean battered the mainsail with distinct flaps. Everyone on deck remained silent.

“Let’s begin,” proclaimed Edward Teach as he nodded his head.

Four pirates moved the dead who were covered in white cloth to the gunwale. Orff then started to spell out the names of the dead pirates. Once a name was spoken, their body would be tossed into the ocean. The dead spent years out at sea, and naturally, their final resting place would be the ocean. When the last body was committed to the sea, Orff closed the name list.

“I pray that Thetis, Goddess of Ocean, would guide your souls forever. Farewell, my brave friends.”

After that, Orff tossed a bag of salt into the ocean to complete the ritual, with Edward Teach returning to the captain’s quarters once the bag sank down. The moment the captain was gone, the pirates on the deck finally let out a sigh of relief.

Most pirates had mixed feelings towards the captain. No doubt, he was fearless when he was in battle, the worst nightmare for his enemies. On the other hand, they also felt tremendous pressure each time they were in the same room with him. They were afraid of him but respected him a great deal at the same time. Luckily, he didn’t usually join them. Most of the time, he hunkered down in his own quarters, away from the crew. Orff was the one who relayed his messages to the pirates.

“We have lost countless of our own during the last battle. Some positions on the ship are now vacant. I’m sorry for what happened to our old Michael. We need a leader for the boatswain position. Since we are all here now, let’s vote!”

“Zhang Heng! Zhang Heng! Zhang Heng!”

Before Orff could even finish his sentence, the pirates started to shout the name out loud.

“It appears we all agree that Zhang Heng is best suited for this position.”

Orff then nodded at Zhang Heng and said, “Congratulations, you are now the leader of the boatswains on this ship. Lead us to the treasure! Next, we need some frontliners! 20 positions are available…”

Zhang Heng wasn’t surprised by the outcome as well. The previous boatswain’s leader had worked only two months before a bullet hit him. Zhang Heng’s vote count came only second to Michael, and he had performed exceptionally well during the previous battle as well. Naturally, the pirates on board would vote for him again. Though combat power had nothing do with the boatswain’s leader, that was just the way pirates thought. Usually, there were two types who could win over their votes. The first kind got voted because they truly deserved it. As for the second type, they voted for them because they wanted to. Most of the time, the second scenario would win the person more votes.

If they could think logically, none of them would abandon their life to become a pirate. Besides, Zhang Heng was Rothko’s only disciple, and he was good at what he did. All things considered, Zhang Heng truly deserved the vote.

After he was appointed the boatswain’s leader, the system awarded him with another five game-points, though he had no idea if this was a good or bad thing. He would be leaving the ship in a month and didn’t mind if he didn’t become a leader of any position. Noticing that the election went so smoothly, it proved that he had quite an influence on the vessel. Sadly, this could have been the very reason why Orff saw him as a significant threat on this ship.

To Zhang Heng’s surprise, another person had looked for him before Orff. During lunchtime, a limp old pirate sat right opposite him.

“Are you a man of faith?”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Don’t misunderstand my intention. I’m just trying to give you a good reminder. Under the leadership of Teach and Orff, whatever happened this morning will continue to happen. Eventually, we will all die on this ship. I’m right, am I not? The residents of Nassau would usually use the Thetis ritual to send away the dead. They believe that their souls would travel the deeper parts of the ocean. If you have someplace you wish to go, I think you should tell Frazer. After all, all these things have something to do with personal freedom. Of course, that includes the freedom of religion.”

“There had been only one exception since I joined this ship. That kid was an Alava from Saint Vincent. According to the culture of their tribe, they would usually devour their dead. Alava believes that the ritual allows them to stay with their loved ones forever and ever. We feared that he would die someday. Unfortunately, his right leg was shot during one of the raids, leading to its amputation. In the end, he did not survive the surgery. So, we are all voting to break his tradition. We chose not to devour him. Oh, right. Let me introduce myself to you. I’m Kent, cannoneer of this ship.”

“Cannoneer?”

“I know that everyone prefers to call me the carpenter. I would use a saw to slice an enemy into half during a battle. That’s how I got this nickname.”

Suddenly, Kent lowered his voice and looked around cautiously.

“This is not a good place to talk. Orff is watching us. We need to talk. Come look for in the carpenter’s quarters on the second floor.”

Zhang Heng did not say a single word after that.

“Did you know, a lot of pirates on this ship are related to Frazer? Why is Orff so cautious of you? Frazer will never simply get a debt collector without a good reason. Throughout the many years, Frazer had only two debt collectors working for him. You and the only other being our captain. In other words, both of you are his disciples.”

“Edward Teach used to collect debts for Frazer?!”

“Yes. Frazer groomed him to become captain, hoping that he would take his place someday. Unfortunately, Teach conspired with Orff to betray him in the end. Right now, you are in grave danger, and I’m the only one who can help you!”

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