48 Hours a Day
Chapter 178 - Naval Ram
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The sailors of Goddess’ Spear were elated to see the pirates fighting among themselves. Some even started thinking about fighting back since the whole thing had fallen apart. To their surprise, Black Prince Sam and Zhang Heng were calmer than the thought. Zhang Heng did not expect Hutcheson to pull such a dirty trick. Thankfully, he had asked Anne to stay with the Jackdaw. The ship’s real strength lay not in her pirates but her cannons.
Most of the pirates that stayed behind on the Jackdaw were cannoneers. These were young men in their twenties or thirties and were definitely more than capable of handling close-quarters combat. With Anne by their side, they soon managed to take control of the situation. At the same time, Zhang Heng realized that Hutcheson had no intention to take over the Jackdaw but was attempting to stop the Jackdaw from joining the other fight that was raging on.
Though the Quidah was Black Prince Sam’s real target, he wasn’t the least worried. As of now, the Quidah was under attack by two ships. Still, Black Prince Sam managed to keep his calm and instructed his people clearly on how to deal with the critical situation. He even smiled when he saw Zhang Heng looking at him.
“Many people compare me to Honigg and Blackbeard and say I’m the best captain of the Caribbean. I think they overestimate me. I started to work on the ocean four years ago, and I only came to Nassau about a year ago. At that time, I was just a small-time pirate that nobody knew. After that, I met a helmsman called Eric at a tavern. His captain was caught red-handed stealing their share of the loot. During that time, I didn’t have a job, and they needed a captain to lead them. We were so drunk that night, and the next thing I knew, I became the new captain of their ship when I woke up the following day.
“Even though I became their captain, I told myself to push on harder to earn my keep. I made many preparations for my first plunder. Unfortunately, I got drunk again the night before it happened. When I opened my eyes the next morning, I found that the ship was already loaded with loot.”
“Until today, few know that I actually suck at maneuvering a ship, shooting a cannon, and fighting at the frontlines. Despite all my weaknesses, my crew has become the most powerful pirate gang in the entire Nassau. All these within three years. It’s all because of my reliable crew. They are willing to place their trust in me, and I fully trust them. This is why we dominate the oceans. They will surely pay with their lives if they think that they can underestimate the Quidah when I’m not on the ship.”
The main mast of the Quidah was struck by a cannonball, and it down it came, tumbling on the ship. It then landed on a group of pirates. Usually, most of the pirates would start panicking in a time like this. Even worse, their captain was not with them. To everyone’s surprise, though, the Quidah’s pirates used the shortest time possible to reorganize themselves were quickly back to what they were supposed to do.
The cannoneer continued to load the cannons with gusto.
The doctor continued treating wounded pirates.
The carpenters were busy fixing the leaks.
Even the cook was helping to clean up the deck.
The helmsman got up from the deck, brushed away the woodchips on him, and continued to direct the Quidah’s maneuvers. Seeing that this was a golden opportunity, the other two pirate ships attacked the Quidah with everything they had. Miraculously, the Quidah’s iron-plated hull managed to nullify all the attacks. The few carpenters on board were working frantically, trying their best to patch up the leaks as fast as possible. After that, the Quidah quickly took down their secondary mast.
Hutcheson could not figure out what the Quidah was trying to do. Right now, they faced the Quidah’s bow. In other words, they would be able to return fire with their side cannons. The only weapons that were still functioning were the bow and stern cannons. Still, it was not powerful enough to deal with the two pirate ships that attacked them.
No captains with a logical mind would decide this. Suddenly, the Quidah’s hull was opened, and two rows of paddles were presented in front of everyone. She then started to row towards the other pirate ship. Hutcheson was left paralyzed in shock. He had heard that the Quidah was one of the most potent pirate ships in the Caribbean, but he didn’t expect it to move around with paddles. After all, he did not come from Nassau, and whatever information he had about the Quidah was minimal at best.
After noticing that the wind was against them, the black helmsman quickly decided to keep the mainsail and used the paddles to maneuver the ship instead. The other pirate ship did not expect that the Quidah would make such a bold move, seeming as if they were willing to go down with the pirate ship that they targeted. Now, it was too late for them to move away. All they could do was to continue firing their cannons. They hoped to sink the Quidah before it could get close to them. Unsurprisingly, their plan failed.
“Go down with you? What a naïve thought!” said the helmsman with a smile when he saw that both ships were about to ram each other.
The pirate ship started to shake violently even before the Quidah came into contact with them. To their horror, they saw a giant gaping hole at the bottom part of the hull! Seawater mercilessly gushed into the ship. The hole was also too big for the carpenters to fix. In other words, the pirate ship was slowly sinking. Their crew desperately looked for places to run, with the captain still paralyzed in shock. None of them knew what happened to their fine ship.
From afar, Hutcheson could not believe what he saw as well. Suddenly, a thought crossed his mind.
A naval ram is an object that was used to destroy the hull of an enemy’s ship and was usually hidden under the waterline. These were widely used by ancient Phoenicia, Greece, and Rome until the invention of cannons in the 18th century. It wasn’t before the 19th century, where the naval ram was once again installed on armored ships.
Hutcheson did not expect the Quidah to be equipped with an outdated weapon. He wished he knew about it earlier. In retrospect, Hutcheson figured that the naval ram was no threat to him. He just needed to make sure that he steered clear of the Quidah.
It was too late for Hutcheson to regret, as there was nothing he could do to help the other pirate ship. He watched it slowly taking on water and sinking. Their crew was forced to jump overboard since there was nowhere to run. At the same time, the Quidah had turned in a different direction.