48 Hours a Day
Chapter 170 - Target: The Goddess’ Spear
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Following a piece of intel given by Carina, the Jackdaw was chasing down a ship called the Goddess’ Spear, a whaling vessel plying the waters around this area. Their patience finally paid off this time, after being at sea for over a year. Recently, some ships which returned to Nassau told everyone that the Goddess’ Spear had managed to hunt down a 70-foot giant sperm whale. It was so smart that the Goddess’ Spear circled the same spot for three months just to capture it.
It was time for them to reap the rewards of their hard work. Getting a sperm whale was a giant treasure in itself. Its fat could be refined into blubber. The oil from its brain could be used to make whale-wax. And then, the most valuable treasure, ambergris, lay within the whale’s intestines.
Ambergris either came in a hue of black or grey. When first extracted from the whale’s stomach, it would be in wax form, not to mention that it smelled terrible. Once dried, it would turn amber, and the foul smell would be replaced by a unique fragrance. It was typically used as a fixative for very premium perfumes. As a result of its rarity, ambergris was more expensive than gold. This was undoubtedly the reason why Zhang Heng set his sights on the Goddess’ Spear.
The previous pirate ship that attempted to plunder the Goddess’ Spear did not end up well. In this era, whale hunting was to be considered a job with extremely high-risks, and only true men dared to venture in this field. Having such brazenness, they didn’t even flinch when they saw a pirate ship. At that time, they did not have enough firepower to take on it. Nevertheless, their captain instructed them to take on the pirates the moment they boarded the ship. At the end of the day, they used tridents and fishing nets to defeat the pirates that came with guns and sabers.
The entire ship of pirates ended up being prisoners of the Goddess’ Spear. The sailors took possession of their weapons and ammunition. Once the situation was under control, the sailors were instructed to slit the throats of the pirates and toss their bodies over the deck. It was a clear warning to any other potential pirates that this would happen to them too.
Their brutal method worked way better than expected. Whenever the weaker pirate vessels saw a pile of bodies on the deck, lying on their own blood, they would turn around and leave the Goddess’ Spear alone. As for the more powerful pirate groups, the sight of the bodies only got them more excited. This could only mean that the ship must be hauling some precious cargo.
The Jackdaw did not retreat as well. After his first victory, Zhang Heng managed to recruit even more pirates to join him. Right now, he had a total of 62 pirates on board. The newly hired pirates were of better quality than the first group of pirates who joined them. This was especially true for the cannoneer. Billy managed to convince the most skillful cannoneer from another experienced pirate group to join the Jackdaw.
Dufresne, too, had managed to recruit a very talented chef. Initially, the chef worked for a hotel on the island. After joining the Jackdaw for about half a month, every single pirate on board took turns to complement his food. It seemed that life on the high seas wasn’t as bad as it was anymore.
Most importantly were the newly recruited pirates. The old pirates had their absolute faith in Zhang Heng. Due to their previous success, Zhang Heng did not need to give them another morale-boosting speech. No one on the Jackdaw feared the piles of bodies on the Goddess’ Spear, which gave Zhang Heng the confidence to continue pursuing them. The fierce battle that they were about to face would only increase the combat experience of his pirates.
Previously, the fight between the Happiness and the Jackdaw proved too easy for them. It was evident that the Happiness was a lot weaker than the Jackdaw in terms of firepower. In fact, it did not even look like a battle at all, being more like target practice. In the beginning, the Jackdaw took a few hits from them, but soon after that, the Jackdaw dominated the rest of the battle. The only dangerous thing that happened on the Happiness was Anne getting ambushed by the navies that hid in the cargo hold.
This time, taking down the Goddess’ Spear wasn’t going to be that easy. Although the whaling vessel proved a formidable foe, Zhang Heng was more worried about his competitors. One week after they left port, they crossed paths with a pirate ship. Not too long after that, they met another one. Both ships raised their black flags at almost the same time. Thankfully, after a short conversation and exchange of information, the Jackdaw and the other pirate ship came to an agreement that they would leave each other alone.
They were actually not being friendly but were simply afraid of the Jackdaw’s overwhelming firepower. As nobody had any loot on their ships during that time, they chose to settle the matter peacefully.
Zhang Heng’s mind drifted elsewhere as he had his gaze fixed on the pirate ship that slowly sailed away from them. He was wondering how Carina was managing her situation back in Nassau. Before he left, she discussed her plan with him, and Zhang Heng decided to invest 100 gold coins in her. The money could be used to solve some of her problems besides fortifying the partnership between Zhang Heng and her.
Zhang Heng also promised that he would invest another 800 gold coins in the future. Carina would no longer need to worry that Zhang Heng would kick her out of the game. By becoming her partner, he would be entitled to 20% of her yield. If Carina did manage to convince more pirate ships to partner up with her, and if they returned to Nassau with a ship full of loot, Zhang Heng would also be able to profit from that as well.
Billy was tempted to invest in this venture as well but was forced to reconsider as he needed to provide for his family. In the end, he invested only 30 gold coins. As for Anne, she spent a total of 40 gold coins since there was no more need to purchase a house. And just like that, the two of them became small shareholders of the business.
At the same time, Laeli began to contact his people at the mansion.
After a short moment of distraction, Zhang Heng snapped back to reality. He realized that it was pointless for him to worry about Carina. It was entirely out of his control since he was out at sea. All he could do was to have faith in his partner. As captain of a pirate ship, he should focus more on the sea. If not for the conundrum of the black-market alliance, there would be no need for him to care about what happened on the island.
The Jackdaw needed to grow a lot stronger. Once his vessel was categorized as a top-tier pirate crew, it would easier for him to control his fate. That was why every voyage was important to Zhang Heng. This time, he was confident that he would be able to bring something valuable back to Nassau.
As compared to other pirates, he had his Hunter’s Blessing and Lucky Rabbit Foot with him. If everything went right, these two items should help him in pursuing the Goddess’ Spear. Besides that, he received a notification from the game to inform him that his sailing skills had increased to LV 2.
With everything set in stone, it was time for the Jackdaw to shine.