48 Hours a Day
Chapter 202 - Opportunity
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“You gave me your assurance that there will be no more surprises this time,” Malcolm groaned.
Frazer hung his cloak on the coat rack and shrugged.
“If I remember correctly, we agreed to sink the ship, kill everyone on board, then leave quietly.”
“That is right.”
“Tell me then, what happened on the beach four days ago? Why did the Gentle Breeze and her crew return to Nassau? And why did that Wilton guy use the crew to threaten Carina?”
“I did as you asked and found the most brutal pirate outside the island. It seems that even I have underestimated his ruthlessness.” Frazer appeared frustrated. “Things got out of hand. Wilton was a lot greedier than expected. He took our deposit, but I suppose that wasn’t enough for him because he tried to milk more money by using the Gentle Breeze’s sailors. He flouted our agreement. I planned to see him the next day but, on that very morning, I found out about what happened after… look, the good news is that we don’t have to pay them the rest of the money,” said Frazer as he picked up the glass on the table.
Malcolm pointed at the brandy on the shelf. “So, after spending so much energy and effort, not only did we achieve the undesired result, we even gave her another cargo ship?! On top of that, the whole incident inadvertently helped the Jackdaw become ever more popular on the island. In fact, they are about to surpass the fame of Black Sam’s Robin Hood of the Sea!”
Frazer walked to the shelf and poured himself a glass. “Although I’m considered his teacher, I’ve never really seen through him. He’s different from Black Prince Sam, but they do have one thing in common–they both clearly know what they are doing. When I heard that the Jackdaw returned to port, I had a bad feeling. I should’ve warned Wilton ahead of time. I didn’t think he would be so rash in his actions. But in retrospect, it was his best chance to make a move.”
The old pirate took a sip of brandy and continued, “In fact, I just received some bad news.”
“Black Prince Sam is making allies with several captains with parliamentary seats on the island. He intends to induct Zhang Heng into the parliament. With his influence and connections, he managed to get seven parliamentary members to support him, so the prospects of Zhang Heng joining the parliament is pretty much set in stone. I hate to admit it, but the Jackdaw’s influence on the island is growing bigger and bigger. Are you still not planning to consider my proposal?”
Malcolm gave Frazer a cold look. “I am a businessman, Frazer, not Julius Caesar. I came to this island to make money. These few years, Nassau has undergone rapid development. The volume of goods we get is increasing every year, but the quality has been dropping. There are fewer top pirates, and since Blackbeard Teach attacked Charleston, he’s disappeared. Now, Sam is the only top pirate left on the island. The Jackdaw might be the one to fill in this void. Carina is relying solely on one pirate ship to survive. This just shows how strong the earning power of the Jackdaw is.”
“Only on the premise that he is willing to cooperate with the black-market alliance,” Malcolm replied. “If we can cut off his channel for transporting the goods out of the island, he will be forced to turn around and work with us. If it hadn’t been for that small error on your part, he would already be negotiating with us.
Frazer sipped up the last drops of brandy in his glass. “What should we do now then? Should I find someone else to rob her cargo ship? Our spy has been exposed. They will be even more cautious now. It’s not going to be easy to get our hands on their planned route again. Besides, they have two cargo ships now. If we sink one, there will still be another left. I heard that some captains are already meeting with Ms. Carina to explore the possibility of a long-term partnership. Opinions of her are also changing–more people are beginning to believe that she’s no longer just a passerby in this place.”
“Let’s set the robbery idea aside first. Although this is the simplest and most effective method, it also brings many negative effects along with it. The black-market alliance is still young; I haven’t been able to completely take control of it. There are still voices of dissent within it. This situation cannot be allowed to repeat itself. If we can’t solve it in the shortest time possible, then we’ll have to seek other ways.”
Malcolm continued, “I met her not long ago. I thought that she was going to be exactly like her father–the basis of my previous arrangement. But I soon found out that there was an error in my judgment of her. She is nothing like him. On the contrary, she is very much like me in my younger days, only more ambitious and radical. I can probably guess what she’s thinking right now.”
“After she found out that Malone had been bought over by me, she must be filled with anger and resentment. These emotions, however, will quickly turn into hunger. She will yearn to beat me more than ever. This hunger will motivate her even more, but it will also make her more willing to take risks. So, I will give her a chance.”
Frazer cocked his eyebrows. “What chance?”
“A chance to beat me,” Malcolm answered.
This time around, the Jackdaw’s repair only took a short while, in the span of a little less than a week. Because the Gentle Breeze was robbed on its way out, they were unable to bring back new information from the port. However, Black Prince Sam came looking for Zhang Heng two days ago, inviting him to join a hunt.
“A Spanish treasure ship?” Billy repeated himself to make sure he heard the guy correctly. “Did you say a Spanish treasure ship? The type that has three decks full of cannons, and over 200 heavily armed sailors? Spanish galleons are usually accompanied by frigates. As far as I know, the only person who has ever successfully plundered a treasure ship and managed to transport its loot back to China is Peter Hein, and he had to deploy the entire navy fleet to do that!”
“Really? I don’t know this story, but I heard that back when you were with Blackbeard Teach, you successfully took over the proud Scarborough with a little more than a hundred men against the Royal Navy’s 700 sailors,” Sam said.
“Whoever told you this certainly didn’t mention that we were just simply at the right place and the right time. Orff’s scheme worked, and it took a lot for us to get on the deck. Captain Teach alone fought against ten men, and everyone else gave everything they got. But even then, if it weren’t for Zhang Heng’s shots at the end, and their captain’s fear of death, we would’ve fallen short of our goal.”
“So, you don’t wish to experience that same excitement again?” Black Prince Sam blinked.