Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation  Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

“So, how does our failed voyage benefit Malcolm?” asked the redhead.

“Not everyone on this island supports the establishment of the black-market alliance, especially the smaller, less powerful pirate gangs. But because of their size, no one would pay attention to what they have to say. We are the only ones on the island left who are strong enough but have not joined the alliance–many are watching our every move, which was why we had such a hard time negotiating the price. The black-market alliance doesn’t mind increasing the buying price for a single pirate group. Still, if they were to do that, they’d be violating their own rules, and it would also set a precedent for others to ask for higher prices. So if our first voyage turned out badly, I’m sure that there would be no such trouble.”

Anne was absolutely bewildered and distressed by this scheme. When she was done listening, she said, “So, very simply, if we work with Carina now, then we’ll have nothing to do with the black-market alliance, right? This means that there won’t be any more of this sabotaging bullshit in the future, right?”

Zhang Heng piped in, “I’m afraid that may not be the case. This is exactly the situation that the black-market alliance doesn’t want to see. We returned with a full load, yet chose to sell our loot through a channel outside of theirs. They watched a batch of precious goods leave the island but did not profit from it–the thing they can’t tolerate the most especially since they offered us a much higher price than they normally would for the older pirate groups. All the more, they need to make up for this loss from the new pirate group. There’s a good chance that they won’t turn a blind eye to our misdemeanor.”

“Huh? How despicable! We decide for ourselves how we want to deal with the loot we earn. What does that have anything to do with them? Speaking of which, ever since this stupid alliance was established, Nassau has been under a dark cloud. There’s been an awful atmosphere around here. Why don’t we just go over there now and kill them all?!” the redhead growled, obviously irritated.

“That’s not a good idea,” said a familiar voice from behind them. “They have the support of some of the most powerful pirate gangs. You are at a disadvantage. It’s not wise to make a move in a time like this.”

The three of them turned around, only to see an old pirate walking out of the bakery next door. He was wearing a new outfit and looked rather cheerful, except for the same old grey tricorn on his head. He also carried with him a bag of freshly baked toast.

“Well, well. If it ain’t Frazer. How dare you show up in front of us?” Billy’s tone turned icy as soon as he heard the voice.

Back on the Sea Lion, Frazer constantly went against the group of old seadogs, nearly costing their lives. As soon as they came ashore, they ran to the tavern that their captain often frequented, only to find nobody there. Billy never thought that the old captain would make such a grand appearance now.

“Billy, you know that this is nothing personal. We both share the same goal–to liberate the crew of the Sea Lion from Orff’s and Kid’s lies and barbaric rule. Forgive me for being straightforward, but that little trick you guys pulled was simply not good enough. Thus, I had no choice but to solve the problem in my own way.”

The old pirate shrugged and admitted, “Yes, I did make use of you. Of course, you have every reason to be angry, but if things go according to my plan, I can ensure that you guys won’t be in trouble later. I know you don’t trust me, but, at the very least, you trust Owen, right? That kid’s performance on the ship was stellar. He really did care for you guys. It was genuine. When he becomes captain, he will make sure that justice will be served for you.”

Billy sneered. “You’re right, but that’s provided we can live to see that day. If Zhang Heng hadn’t come to an agreement with Orff, we would’ve been gone even before we arrived at Charleston. I won’t believe your lies anymore, Frazer. Not another bloody word of yours. Your eyes are only on the profit. When it comes to that, there’s no too big of a sacrifice, right?”

“In reality, I’m not as cold-blooded as you think. I know you have your grievances against me. So, take this as me making up to you for all the harm that I’ve caused you.” Frazer then reached into his shirt pocket.

Seeing that, Billy and Anne instinctively drew their weapons. Seeing the situation heating up, he used his other hand that was holding the bread to gesture at them to calm down. With the other, he pulled out an invitation card and handed it to Zhang Heng.

“I admit that there was an oversight on my part. I knew that you were good, but I never thought that you’d perform better than expected. If I can choose again, I would surely recruit you instead of using you as bait. Unfortunately, we can’t change what’s happened, right?” The old pirate sighed deeply. “You’re no less talented than Kidd, and have a group of fine seamen with you. The only thing stopping you from becoming the most powerful pirate gang is time. That’s where I come in. I can help you acquire the time you need.”

The old pirate paused for a minute before continuing. “After much persuasion, Malcolm realized that the way he dealt with you before this was a mistake. He is willing to apologize for what happened, and, at the same time, renegotiate the terms of the deal with you. There will be a dinner party at Terrance’s mansion in seven days. Malcolm hopes to meet you there.”

“So, you were the one behind the black-market alliance all along, huh,” Billy hissed.

“You people overestimate me,” Frazer replied gingerly. “Redmond and Malcolm’s men have learned their lesson from the failure of the first alliance. Now, they’ve set out to explore and establish a new alliance, or to be more precise, the previous alliance was premature; nothing more but a guinea pig. By using that, they were able to practice and accumulate experience while testing and observing the reactions of each party on the island. That’s why the new alliance seemed to be so well established. Now, they’ve prepared for three whole years. When the news was spread a few months ago, they were very near to its completion.

“As for me, it was all just a coincidence. Even without my help, they could still look for others to help them contact those pirates. At most, it would cost them more time.” Frazer suddenly turned dead serious. “You guys have never met Malcolm before, and do not know how scary he can be. He is the most dangerous person I’ve met in my entire lifetime. I suggest that you take this opportunity to mend your relationship with the black-market alliance. The Jackdaw’s hunting ground is on the ocean, and the black-market alliance is in control of the land. There is no conflict of interest between the two of you. If you could just sit down and talk things through like gentlemen, I’m sure there’s no reason to go against each other.”