48 Hours a Day
Chapter 142 - An Intruder
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Businessmen abhorred competitors, where having competition was equivalent to earning less profit. Whether it was about getting more customers by increasing the buying price or funding ambitious pirates to help them with their quest for the throne, it was undeniable that these things were going to cost them a large sum of money. According to Frazer, they had thought about setting up a business alliance, but they could not solve the problem of sharing its profits. Without getting a unanimous decision on the profit-sharing proposal, the plan of setting up a business alliance was deemed to fail.
For those unhappy with the proposal, they did what they would usually do. As usual, they increased their buying prices to attract more potential customers in the hopes that they’d deal with them instead. Soon, other black market merchants that stuck to the rules could stand it no more after seeing their business partners leaving them for unethical black market merchants instead.
In the end, everyone realized that the rules did not benefit them at all. Thus, the business alliance that had been set up for only three months fell apart. This incident happened three years ago, still fresh in the memory of the black market merchants. It made no sense for them to try their luck right now. There must be something that they still had not figured out.
“I will go and investigate the incident tomorrow. We need to know what is going on,” said Dufresne.
Zhang Heng then nodded, knowing that there was nothing he could do before he could figure out the whole thing. After that, the two of them went to visit the arms dealers on the island. The firearms on the corvette that Zhang Heng took possession of recently was equipped with a shipload of weapons. In total, the vessel carried 50 guns and 60 sabers. For now, they did not need to purchase any more. However, Zhang Heng knew for sure that the ammunition they used would definitely deplete in no time. It was crucial that he stocked the corvette with extra ammunition.
For that, Zhang Heng went to Baal, the arms dealer who sold four blunderbusses and one rifle to Zhang Heng earlier. As compared to other black market merchants, Baal was much friendlier. Not only did he invite the two to enter his house, but he even instructed his maid to make them some coffee. First, he congratulated Zhang Heng for becoming the captain of the Jackdaw. After that, he went straight down to business.
“I can easily get all the other stuff that you want. However, it is quite difficult to acquire ammunition for the 24-pound cannon. Most of our cannons here are six-pounders and nine-pounders. A 12-pound cannon is rare. And then, only the navy would use a 24-pound cannon.”
Zhang Heng knew that Baal telling him the truth and wasn’t trying to deliberately increase its price. This was a massive problem for him, where his corvette’s primary weapon was the 12-pound cannon. However, he had eight 24-pounders equipped on the ship as well. This kind of firepower far outgunned any ordinary merchant ships. All these powerful cannons brought Zhang Heng another big problem. It was not going to be easy for him to buy ammunition for all these. Nevertheless, it seemed that Baal might just be able to figure out a way to acquire them.
“I have some connections in the navy. I might just be able to get you the ammunition you want. That said, I must tell you that I cannot guarantee you that I’ll get them. Also, please understand that it’s going to cost you a lot.”
Zhang Heng agreed with Baal. As for now, the ammunition on the Jackdaw was still sufficient, and he wasn’t too concerned. After that, Dufresne started to check out the price of the shells that Baal offered to them. Before becoming a pirate, Dufresne was a quartermaster on a navy vessel, which explained why he knew the market quite well. The conversation between Baal and Dufresne went as smooth as silk considering none of them had any intention to cheat the other.
This was the reason why every single pirate crew wanted to hire someone with useful skills. If it was not for the power play that happened on the Sea Lion, it would have been almost impossible for Zhang Heng to recruit people like Dufresne and Billy.
Arms dealers on the island were a lot fewer than black-market merchants. Hence, competition among them wasn’t as fierce. Baal was happy enough to get a regular customer like Zhang Heng. Soon, it had gotten late. Baal wanted to make Zhang Heng and Dufresne stay for a meal, but they rejected him in kind.
Dufresne’s wife and kids were living on this island. He could still make it back home for dinner after he got down from the ship. Considering that all their affairs were settled, for now, both of them had no intention to stay any longer.
Zhang Heng assumed that Anne must still be loitering outside and hadn’t eaten yet. So, he decided that he should look for her. Once Zhang Heng arrived at the beach, he heard that a crimson-haired girl had defeated a few men who challenged her. In the end, all of them proceeded to the tavern to enjoy some drinks together.
The results did not surprise Zhang Heng at all. This was precisely the kind stunt that Anne would pull, and the only thing she could do to earn the crew’s respect. She would have achieved a lot by now if she was not a female. With the events that had happened today, everyone on the ship should agree that Anne was more than qualified as the boatswain of the vessel.
In the end, Zhang Heng decided to leave her alone. Anne had stayed on this island for a long time and caused a lot of trouble as well. She should be fine even though she went for drinks with a group of men.
Zhang Heng then returned to his home through the harbor. Upon arrival at his home, he suddenly stopped in his tracks. He could not help but notice that the door was slightly ajar. Judging by Anne’s personality, she would either shut it tight or leave it open as wide as possible. Moreover, he saw that the curtains were drawn as well. Clearly, these weren’t the kinds of things that Anne would do as well. Immediately, Zhang Heng drew out his gun. If he remembered correctly, he should not have any enemies in Nassau. At most, Frazer might hold a grudge against him because of Owen. But then again, the Queen Anne’s Revenge was not even back in Nassau. There was no way Frazer could suddenly appear out of the blue.
Even if he did know about it, the one he should be worried about was Blackbeard. Even Orff came looking for him first. It did not make sense that he would mess with Zhang Heng, now that he owned a corvette. That was why Zhang Heng could not figure out who the mysterious person in his house was. Perhaps it was just a petty thief?
Zhang Heng didn’t let his guard down, unsure if the intruder still lurked in his house. He first used his saber to nudge the door gently. Instantaneously, he jumped into the house through one of the windows.
When he took over the house, Zhang Heng tried his best to fix everything after noticing that one of the windows was extremely loose. Seeing that it could still be used, Zhang Heng decided that he would leave it there for now.
He would have never thought that he could enter his house through this broken window.