Shortly after Zhang Heng left the ship with his men, Anne received a warning from the watchman that a ship had appeared coming from the southwest.
She took over the bronze telescope and saw a 3-masted vessel. It, too, had apparently also taken notice of the Jackdaw. Instead of turning back in fear, she was steaming towards them at full speed with their black flag raised.
“That looks like someone wants a piece of the loot too,” scowled Dufresne while frowning.
As agreed, the Blizzard had already gone ahead to intercept the incoming pirate ship. Hutcheson even signaled to Anne with a thumbs up, telling her not to worry and to just leave the matter to him.
However, the skirmish between the two pirate ships ended quickly with the Blizzard retreating. Anne knew that the Blizzard was inadequate, but she didn’t expect them to be that useless. They hadn’t even begun buying time for the rest of them before they started cowering and fleeing for their lives.
All in all, the Blizzard only managed to buy them ten minutes. Now they were already on their way back.
Black Sam, who was on the Goddess’ Spear, looked on disapprovingly at their ally. How could he have made a pact with such a poor excuse of a pirate? His crew had only just started seizing the weapons and cross-checking the goods according to the list. However, this was not the time to hold anyone accountable. He had no choice but to order his crew to come to the Blizzard’s aid.
The newcomer’s firepower was similar to that of the Blizzard, and it shouldn’t be too tricky for the Quidah to fight against them. With the help of the Blizzard, they should both be able to take down the enemy.
The moment the Whydah Gall’s helmsman received the order, he immediately rushed to the scene of the battle. Since he did not see eye to eye with Hutcheson, he deliberately made a detour so that the latter would suffer just a little longer or better yet, let the newcomer sink the Blizzard, so they didn’t have to worry about Hutcheson’s portion of the loot.
Unfortunately, although the Blizzard was an incompetent fighter, she sure was very good at running. Once again, Hutcheson demonstrated his excellent skills at the helm, maneuvering the Blizzard so that she dodged every cannonball fired at her.
When Hutcheson saw the Quidah in the vicinity, he immediately fled toward her direction.
The Whydah Gall’s helmsman was so irritated by the cat and mouse game that he thought of getting rid of the Blizzard first. In the end, however, he managed to resist that desire and ordered the gunmen to be at their battle stations.
Although he was reluctant to admit it, the Blizzard did do one thing useful–leading the target straight into the Quidah’s arms. However, perhaps due to panic or some other reason, the Blizzard blocked the Quidah’s cannons, and the latter could not fire. In contrast, the pirate ship behind them was able to fire freely at their target.
Erik, the Quidah’s helmsman, cursed loudly as he instructed his crew to signal to Blizzard, telling them to move as far away as possible.
Thank goodness the Blizzard got the message, as their crew immediately circled around and made her way behind the Quidah. Erik wasn’t bothered to find faults with Hutcheson right now, nor did he pay attention to where the Blizzard was heading. After all, even without the Blizzard’s help, he was confident that they could defeat the enemy ship on their own.
Erik ordered his crew to return fire. With that first counterattack, the Quidah exhibited its legendary Caribbean reputation. The pirate ship that had just kicked Blizzard’s butt a minute ago was overwhelmed by the Quidah. Whether in terms of firepower or the quality of their personnel, the difference between them was so clear that you practically see it with your naked eye. It was only a matter of time before the newcomer would be subdued.
Erik was composed, just like all the other battles he had fought before. Once the Quidah opened fire, it was clear who the victorious one would be. The helmsman even had the opportunity around and spectate the Blizzard’s embarrassment. As soon as he saw the Blizzard’s opening the shutters of the cannons, however, the smile on his face was wiped away.
The helmsman sensed that something was amiss. He immediately shouted to the pirate who was manning the helm, screaming, “Hard to port! Double-time!!!”
It was too late, though, for in a split second, the Blizzard’s weak countenance took a 180-degree turn. Hutcheson’s incredible performance had everyone fooled. He was now in the best offensive position. With their ships so close together, his cannons would tear through the Quidah with ease.
This unexpected turn of events was a disaster for the Quidah. With their starboard side taking a hit from the devastating blow, everything on the ship tumbled and collided, and they were forced to stop their attack on the other pirate ship. This gave the latter an opportunity to counterattack.
The sudden change in circumstance caught everyone off guard, including the Jackdaw. Little did they know, however, that danger was quietly inching towards them.
The pirate on the crow’s nest had not forgotten Zhang Heng’s instructions and kept a watchful eye on the sea. All he could see though, was a vast expanse of ocean and the other ships. Even he himself started believing that he was a little too edgy. If another enemy did show up, it would take them at least half an hour to enter their firing range, more than enough time to prepare themselves for battle.
So, when the first enemy appeared and slit the throat of an unlucky pirate when everyone was still unaware, the first person to react was the pirate on the crow’s nest. Although distracted by the Blizzard’s sudden betrayal, he was first to notice any unusual activities down below, being way up high. He shouted at the top of his lungs, warning his crew that they were under attack. As soon as he did that, an arrow flew into his throat, and the poor guy dropped to the ground without saying another word.
Thanks to his warning, the pirates on deck were now aware of intruders on their ship. One look at the attacker’s wet clothes, and Anne knew right away where they came from. When the Blizzard went to intercept the pirate ship that arrived later, they passed the Jackdaw. These men must have jumped into the water then. They waited until the Quidah was under siege before attacking the Jackdaw.
The redhead was ecstatic. She was just lamenting about staying on the boat, not having anything to do. Now that a battle had presented itself at her doorstep, Anne licked her lips, drew her dagger, and welcomed it with open arms.
Led by the boatswain, the pirates on the Jackdaw quickly snapped out of their initial panic and jumped right into battle.
Dufresne was secretly grateful that Zhang Heng left all the good fighters on the ship. The thirty men that Zhang Heng had brought with him included the cook, carpenter, and doctor. Thanks to early detection by the pirate on the crow’s nest, the enemy only managed to kill around four men and did not cause any widespread panic.
After that, Anne quickly stabilized the situation. There were not many in this group of attackers, only around twenty or more of them. This was not because Hutcheson was reluctant to send more, but rather, he was worried that the more of them there were, the easier they would be discovered. Above all, he still had to fight the Quidah–the enemy that mattered most to him. By comparison, he did not care much for Zhang Heng or his Jackdaw.