Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Kim Klay took the recommendation letter.
“I might need some time to find all the required people for the vote. It’s easier to look for those living on the island. However, as for captains like you, some of them are currently not on the island. They should be back in about a month. By that time, you should be able to join the meeting officially.”
“Thank you, Mr. Klay.”
“What do you think about a celebration in my brothel when you are allowed to be part of the meeting, eh? My girls have heard a lot about you. They are all very curious, to say the least. I sincerely hope you’ll be able to make it to the party.”
Before he could finish, a girl looking to be about 17 or 18 asked curiously, “Word is that you can summon a dolphin during a battle and go after your enemies riding them. Is that true?”
“No. From what I heard, I was told that the ropes on their ship have some sort of magical power. They can fly on their own and tie up their enemies!. One of the pirates on the Jackdaw told me about it!” a voluptuous woman chipped in.
“When are you going to tell us about your battle with the skeletons? I heard that you encountered a skeletal ship on one of your voyages, and there were 300 skeletons on it! You and your band of pirates defeated them fearlessly…”
The girls chattered nonstop until a pimp came and chased them all away.
“Wow… I didn’t know there were so many stories about me.”
“Don’t mind them. Every rising captain will have their own legendary tale. When Sam took the Quidah into his possession, people believed that he was the heir of Arthur the King,” said Kim Klay while putting a pipe to his mouth.
So, before Zhang Heng set sail again, he went to the secondhand trading center to look for Carina. However, she wasn’t there, and he was greeted by Jim instead. After Jim’s name was cleared of any treason, Carina increased his salary. He was even appointed person in charge of the trade center. At least, he got something good out of his misfortune.
After asking Jim a few questions, Zhang Heng got to know that Carina had been performing some incredible feats in Nassau. Previously, she mentioned to Zhang Heng about opening a grocery store. Now, he heard that she found a suitable location for it, a visible, bustling spot just right beside the market. Carina planned for its official launching tomorrow, so, on second thought, Zhang Heng decided that it was best not to bother her at this time.
The next day, a vast crowd had gathered at the port before Zhang Heng set sail to the sea. This was one of the most significant joint-operations in Nassau in the past few years. All the ships that took part were incredibly famous, the Quidah being one of them. Ever since the disappearance of Teach, Black Prince Sam and his pirates had become the most powerful gang in the waters around the area. This time, every pirate ship that joined him was undeniably powerful.
The least experienced in the convoy was Zhang Heng and his Jackdaw. However, they were now the most famous pirate group in the entire Nassau, and it was the dream of all single men on the island of joining the Jackdaw. The vessel brought a tremendous amount of loot three consecutive times, even managing to defeat a pirate gang three times their size. Though the Jackdaw hadn’t been established too long ago, every step they had taken was genuinely awe-inspiring.
Nobody would ignore their existence now even if they tried to. All the captains of legendary pirate gangs came to greet Zhang Heng, bidding him well wishes for his upcoming journey. Aside from that, Zhang Heng spotted Malcolm as well. This was the first time after the banquet that he laid his eyes on Malcolm. He simply looked the same. Malcolm didn’t linger at the port for too long and wished Black Prince Sam a safe and fruitful voyage before he left the port.
From afar, Malcolm saw Zhang Heng and nodded. Zhang Heng reciprocated with a nod as a sign of courtesy. Outsiders would never know that they were actually enemies.
On the other hand, Black Prince Sam saw that the pirates from six different ships were getting excited about the treasure hunt. Being the bigger man, Sam revealed the route of the Spanish galleon to the five captains. There was no need to keep it a secret from them. With the firepower of the Spaniards, attacking them alone was no different from going on a suicide mission.
“Let’s begin. If we succeed this time, even the Queen of England will hear of our name. When that day arrives, every merchant ship that passes us would automatically lower their flags!”
“There are rats on the ship?”
In the captain’s quarters, Zhang Heng put down the notebook that he used to write new Dutch words he learned. He was conversing with the quartermaster and the cook of the Jackdaw.
“I will let Mr. Ramsay explain the situation to you,” said Dufresne.
“Technically, I have never laid my eyes on those tiny goblins, but there is food missing in the kitchen! And it’s getting more and more serious,” the plump cook lamented.
Rats were one of the most hated creatures on a ship. Not only did they speed up the consumption of food and water, but they also gnawed through the ropes and deck of the vessel. All these problems, though, were not as severe as the horrific plague that they would spread around the ship.
The bubonic plague is a highly contagious disease. Early symptoms would have the infected person experiencing headaches and fever. Soon, they would feel nauseous, and ecchymosis would start to appear on the person’s skin. Then, the person’s lymph nodes would generate pus to the point of rupture. In about three to five days, the person would either suffer severe toxemia, pneumonia, or sepsis. If not treated in time, the person would eventually die from it.
Quarantine was the best way to stop the bubonic plague from spreading, having no known cure for the disease in this era. Zhang Heng knew better than anyone that the condition came with a high fatality rate. During the 14th century, the Black Death claimed a whopping 25 million lives, a third of Europe’s population. The most recent pandemic happened in London 40 years ago, spreading widespread panic amongst its residents
“No one bothered checking the ship before this?”
“It’s my mistake. The day before we set sail, I did check the ship. However, when our new supplies were loaded, I didn’t recheck it. The rats probably came along with the wood and food.”
“I can’t blame you. There was barely any time for us to check everything. I heard that you went around last night gathering our people. Fortunately, we discovered the rats now. Let’s use whatever time we have now to deal with this problem,” Said Zhang Heng.
“I bought a cat when I disembarked the last time. I think it should be capable of tackling the rats. I’ll let it search the ship now.”
“Dufresne and the cook left the captain’s quarters after that. Still, the cat could not locate the rats that have been eating their food. Left with no other option, Zhang Heng had to deploy everyone on the Jackdaw for a rat-hunt. Finally, they found something in the room that they stored their wood supply. Zhang Heng didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh when he saw the results. This was true, especially for Anne. Her face had changed completely.