48 Hours a Day
Chapter 199 - Confrontation
Zhang Heng and Anne finally figured out the reason behind the storm that battered them. As for the tragic incident that happened on the Jackdaw, only Betty, the ancient goddess, had the answer to that.
After Zhang Heng acquired the seashell from Seth, Betty did not attempt to contact him. He figured that it probably had something to do with him being on land. However, he did not underestimate her. The first thing that he did was to return to the Jackdaw and scrape away her name that was engraved on top of the mast with his dagger. After that, he looked for Carina, instructing her to get someone to look for a Tule tree among other colonies.
According to the bartender, a box made from the wood of a Tule tree could be used to ward off all kinds of supernatural forces. Tule trees were typically found in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. If memory served him right, Zhang Heng remembered that Oaxaca was a colony of Spain.
If everything went smoothly on his next voyage, he would be ever closer to acquiring a box made out of Tulewood. Unfortunately, this thing wasn’t a game item. Otherwise, Zhang Heng would have loved to bring a box like that to the real world, where he wouldn’t have to worry about where to store his game items.
To prevent others from being tempted by Betty, Zhang Heng decided that he would keep the shell close to him before he got his hands on the box. At the same time, Carina’s investigation of pinpointing the mole had come to an end as well. The person she assigned to watch Malcolm told her that he had just quietly left his mansion with the intention of visiting Captain Baal.
Now, Captain Baal was part of a disinformation campagin coined up by Carina. That said, Malcolm remained cautious, leaving Baal’s house ten minutes later. Instead of looking for the next person on his list, he went to visit an irrelevant person, an attempt to misdirect and confuse whoever that was targeting him.
However, Carina had locked on her target. Surprisingly, Malone wasn’t lazing at the brothel when Carina found him, and this time, he was all prepared. He took out a military sword and a gun that he kept inside a box for a long time. Carina took a deep breath as she took the gun from Malone.
“Are you sure the two of us are enough? Should we get a couple of sailors to come with us?” asked Carina as she loaded the pistol with gunpowder and bullets.
“If you are right about him doing all these for his sister, I don’t want others on the ship to know. We will let him walk free after I’ve asked him whatever I want to ask. Jim is simply a records keeper, and he doesn’t know how to fight. The two of us are more than enough to handle him.”
“That would be the best-case scenario. Don’t you worry, I’m not that old yet. I’m confident that I wouldn’t lose a one-to-one fight.”
“You would sound more convincing if you could make that belly smaller.”
Once Carine was done loading the weapon, she tucked it in a concealed holster on her back. No one could see that she was carrying a gun from the front.
“How do I look now, eh?” asked Carina.
“You look like you are going for a walk in the park.”
“Let’s go. Malcolm might send someone to warn him if we are slow.”
Carina took the lead and proceeded down the stairs, not wasting a single second once they received the news. Jim was tasked with checking their new storage location. Ever since Carina’s business bloomed, her old warehouse had run out of space. It was filled to the brim with all the items she bought. As a result, she had been scouting around for potential new storage spaces to keep her business going. When she asked for Jim’s assistance, he did not suspect a single thing.
The storage space that she found wasn’t too far away from the port. It consisted of two buildings with a vast and empty land between them. It was perfect as her new storeroom. Be that as it may, Malone’s and Carina’s faces changed the moment they arrived at the place.
They saw a pool of fresh blood on the ground between the two buildings. A series of bloody footprints led to the building at the back.
“Shit! Did Malcolm and his men arrive here before us?” asked Malone.
Immediately, he drew his sword and ran to the building. Using his body to ram the door, he managed to open it but found no one inside the building. The floor was covered with a thick layer of dust, and there were no visible footprints. Suddenly, Malone’s eye twitched. He could sense that something terrible was about to happen to him.
When he turned around, Carina was pointing her gun at him!
“What are you trying to do?” asked Malone with a smile on his face.
“You tell me, Uncle Malone. You’ve known my father for 20 years. You’ve been around since I was a kid. You are like family to me. I never thought you would betray me just like that.”
“What are you talking about?! Wasn’t Jim the one who spread the news to Malcolm?”
As he spoke, Malone attempted to inch forward slowly. When Carina noticed that he was approaching, she placed her finger on the trigger. That made Malone stop in his steps.
“You know, I actually told him a different name. In fact, I told different names to all the people that I suspected. Little did I think that you were the one who betrayed me.”
“How dare you… how dare you set me up?!”
“I just… I had to consider every possibility. This is what you taught me, Uncle Malone.”
“Should I be relieved? You’ve grown at an incredible rate during your tenure in Nassau. No wonder Malcolm saw you as a threat. I’m afraid your own father won’t be able to recognize you if he were to be here.”
The moment Malone was done talking, a few men came down the stairs. That included a very confused Jim, four pirates from the Jackdaw, and a man with both hands tied. This man was an assassin sent by Malcolm to kill Jim. If Jim had indeed been murdered here, Carina would have thought that Jim was the mole. No one would ever suspect Malone anymore. Fortunately, the assassin was promptly apprehended by the pirates.
“I have lots of questions to ask you, but there’s only one thing I care about. Did you have anything to do with my father being jailed, Uncle Malone?”
“I will never betray Fegan matter what, as long as he’s still around. Once we came to Nassau, Malcolm’s men approached me. At that time, I got cheated and lost a huge amount of money in the casino. They told me that they were willing to help pay off my debts. In return, I would have to deliver useful information to them from time to time. It was already was too late when I realized how wrong that was. Betraying you was never my intention. I thought that you’d leave this island after a short while, just like the others. That’s why I couldn’t find a valid reason to say no to him.”