48 Hours a Day
Chapter 198 - Ancient Celtic God
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“We went to the cargo hold after that, but we didn’t see you there until everyone gathered on the deck. What were you doing when you were alone?” asked Anne.
“Betty brought me to the stern. She told me that she had something to show me.”
“And what would that be?” asked Zhang Heng.
“She told me that she’s an ancient Celtic god. She also told me that she has the power to control the weather on the ocean! Apparently, I would be granted a portion of her divine powers if I chose to worship her!”
Seth hesitated and took out a seashell from his pocket. Zhang Heng took it from Seth and started to examine it. Judging by its exterior, it was no different than the white shell that he saw on the beach. Suddenly, he received a notification from the system. Zhang Heng instantly knew then that he must be holding a supernatural game item.
[Betty’s Shell (Unidentified)]
After knowing the item’s name, Zhang Heng still couldn’t figure out what its effect was. Seth had mentioned about an ancient Celtic god. Celtic mythology was one of the three major European mythological systems, juxtaposed to Greek and Northern European mythology. In the ancient days, the Celtics were not a single race but rather, a band made up of different ethnicities. According to history, these various groups were bought together by similar cultures and languages. They were also one of the earlier civilizations that had expertise in the use of iron tools. Other than that, most were equipped with the knowledge to build their own houses.
The Seine in eastern France, the upper streams of Loire, the Rhine in southeastern Germany, and the upper stream of the Danube River were the birthplaces of the Celtics. They penetrated Europe and expanded swiftly, forming a tribe. They could be even found across the Alps. During that period, they were known as warriors, merchants, blacksmiths, poets, and artists. It was said that they could be seen modern France, Spain, Portugal, and other European countries.
When the Roman Empire rose, Caesar seized Gaul, the Celtic’s cultural center, and in the process, killed over a million of them. That was the reason why Celtic culture started to disappear across entire Europe. Many of their legendary tales were lost, explaining why Celtic mythology wasn’t as popular as Greek and Northern European mythology.
The only legendary tale of the Celtics that was passed from generation to generation was the story of Arthur, the king, and his sword that was stuck in a stone. Zhang Heng wasn’t familiar with Celtic mythology as well. His father had studied Greek and Northern European mythologies in college, and his mother studied Christian mythology. When he was still a kid, his parents had told him many tales of Greek, Northern European, and Christian mythologies. Hence, Zhang Heng was unfamiliar with the name, Betty, that was mentioned in the poetry book.
“She told you to worship her, right? How are you supposed to do that?”
“I… I have no idea. Supposedly, I would first need to pass a test. She told me to look for the three notebooks before letting me know the next step.”
“Hmph! Are you still trying to lie to us?!”
Anne was extremely displeased about Seth’s attempt to tell them another tall tale. In frustration, she pushed her dagger closer to his throat.
“The storm that we faced earlier had something to do with you, right?” asked Anne.
“As the captain of the Jackdaw, I’m willing to put aside all everything that you have done but I need you to be honest with me. You have to tell me what you have done to our ship. You saw what happened to the carrack, right? I don’t think you want to see every single pirate from the Jackdaw disappearing without a trace, right?”
Seth could feel chills running down his spine. This time, he didn’t dare mess with Zhang Heng and Anne anymore.
“According to her instructions, I’m supposed to engrave her Celtic name above the Jackdaw’s mast. Once it is done, the ship will be under her protection. I did ask her about the carrack, and she told me that it was an accident.”
“The carrack’s crew was too greedy. All those years, they used her power to summon storms that enabled their ship to sail faster than any other merchant ships. By utilizing the supernatural force, they managed to amass an obscene amount of wealth. However, there was a price to pay for doing something like that. These storms were fueled by their rage. The angrier they were, the more powerful the storms were. In the end, they were lost in a storm that wouldn’t seem to blow away. After knowing that they would be stuck for eternity in a storm of their own making, the sailors sealed all the windows and doors. However, although the entire ship was boarded up, the sound of wind and thunder haunted their ship, and slowly drove the crew to insanity. Having lost all hope, they had were left with no option but to jump overboard.”
“Last question. How did you contact her? Have you seen her true form?”
“I have no way to contact her. All I can do is to pray to her. It’s up to her if she wants to respond to me or not. She answered my prayers once after we left the carrack. As usual, I only heard her voice, but I have never seen her true form.”
Sean and Tracy caught up to them once Seth was done explaining. Seeing Seth leaving the house in a mighty rush and being chased down by Zhang Heng and Anne had baffled them. When they saw that Seth was being forced into a corner, they began feeling uncomfortable and worried. Immediately, Zhang Heng glared at Anne, who promptly kept away her dagger.
“Don’t you ever gamble on by ship anymore. I’m willing to forgive you since this is the first time you’re doing this. Your share of the loot will be reduced by half the next time.”
To avoid spreading unnecessary panic amongst the crew, Zhang Heng had no intention of telling them about this supernatural incident. He was also not worried that Seth would tell others about it. Not only did he hide Betty’s seashell from them, but he even engraved her Celtic name on the mast of the Jackdaw. He could have brought grave danger to the pirates on Jackdaw. If he were smart enough, he would never tell a living soul about this. Just like Zhang Heng expected, he admitted to Tracy and Sean that had indeed put the ship and the lives of her crew on the guillotine.
“You look like you don’t completely trust him. Do you think that he lied to you?” asked Anne after the three of them left.
“In this case, the possibility of him lying is slim. However, this doesn’t apply to that deity whatsoever.”
“Are you talking about Betty?”
“Clearly, she lied to Seth about what happened to the carrack. All those sailors that disappeared did not jump overboard and commit suicide. At least not all of them. The captain quarters that were locked from the inside and the claw marks in the cargo hold make her story a little more than doubtful.”
“Even ancient gods lie?”
“It all depends on which tribe the ancient god belongs to.”
Zhang Heng wasn’t familiar with Celtic mythology, but he knew Greek and Northern European mythologies well. Instead of calling them gods, Zhang Heng saw them as regular humans who possessed supernatural powers. Just take a look at Zeus, for instance. A supposed ‘god,’ he used his private parts more than his brain. All these gods did whatever they fancied on Earth and its residents with little care of its consequences.
However, Betty was an exception. It appeared that she was very cautious. Seven people boarded the carrack, but she only chose to whisper to Seth. It could have simply been her nature, or was she, perhaps, trying to hide something from the rest of them?