Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Zhang Heng entrusted Anne with the two other enemies while he took off his inner shirt and bandaged the wound on his back. After that, he continued running towards the beach.
All in all, his entire trip back to the bonfire party took him less than twenty-five minutes.
Things weren’t looking good right now. The party had been going on for quite a while, and most of the pirates were already gin-soaked. No other pirates successfully robbed a Spanish treasure ship ever before. Everyone, including Sam, was in an extraordinarily cheery mood.
In the past, although there had been joint-operations between Nassau’s pirates before, this was the first time six influential pirates collaborated with each other. Since the partnership was off to a good start, many thought about joining forces again. They also intended to use this as an opportunity to cultivate stronger bonds amongst themselves.
The gold was just a few hundred yards from them, almost within grasp, and the fact that so many were gathered together gave them a strong sense of security.
One had to admit that Jarvis had chosen a good time, a time when the pirates were at their most gullible and susceptible. Other than six people guarding the gold, even the men in charge of patrolling the area couldn’t help but join the celebration.
The sailors were so drunken on rum that they lost the ability to determine one’s own keep. Pirates from different ships had their arms slung around each other’s shoulders, and they were all mixed up. No thanks to all the intermingling, Zhang Heng couldn’t locate Sam.
When someone saw that Zhang Heng had returned, they stumbled over to him and urged him to have a drink.
Instead of accepting the bottle, Zhang Heng grabbed a musket from the pirate and fired a shot into the air!
The camp ran silent for a moment. Then, in all bewilderment, the pirates exploded into roars of laughter, thinking it was a sideshow that Zhang Heng prepared. Some found it so amusing that even they joined in, firing their guns into the sky!
All at once, gunshots rang all over the island, along with the pirates’ loud cheers.
Zhang Heng knew immediately that with the condition they were in, confronting the men wasn’t the brightest option. It was simply unrealistic to expect this group of dazed men to pick up weapons and fight the navy, of all people.
The only viable option was to inform the captains and have them evacuate their people. As he was looking for Harry, Zhang Heng found a dozen men who were not as sozzled. These men should be reliable enough to navigate the Jackdaw. As for whether the other ships could find enough sober men for their helms, Zhang Heng didn’t know for sure. He couldn’t do anything about it either.
Zhang Heng found Billy first in the crowd. Unsurprisingly, he was as drunk as a skunk and was sprawled on the ground, snoring away. Zhang Heng shook Billy hard, hoping to wake him up, but the man seemed to be out like a light. It took a good while before he finally responded. Billy opened his mouth but appeared to completely clueless – like a completely different person from the usually calm and reliable helmsman he was.
Realizing he couldn’t possibly rely on Billy tonight, Zhang Heng searched for a few more sailors. Most, however, were in bad condition. The Warrior’s crew had been coaxing the others to drink the whole time. Now, the people on the beach were no different than Billy, having drowned themselves in rum for a good two hours. Many of them were worse for wear.
Zhang Heng looked everywhere, and after a lot of dragging and hustling, was finally able to put together a group of sober sailors. With Ramsay being the main chef of the bonfire, he and his helpers were so busy roasting that they didn’t drink much.
Zhang Heng pulled Ramsay aside and told him, “Hurry and find all of our crew. Tell them to gather and tell them… forget it. Tell them I’m about to give out extra money, and those who are late won’t get any. As for those who can’t walk straight, have the others carry them. Remember, you have ten minutes. In ten minutes, I want to see at least fifty people here. Do well, and you’ll get double your portion the next time we distribute the loot.”
“Alright,” Ramsay nodded vigorously. He immediately put down the lamb he was cutting, wiped his hands on his apron, and hurried off to find his fellow sailors.
Knowing that the kitchen staff must be sober, Zhang Heng quickly found the cooks of the other ships, including the Warrior’s chef. He asked them to bring their captains here, telling them that he had figured a way to get the gold out.
The situation was worse than Zhang Heng imagined it to be. He knew that the people on the beach would be drunk, but he never thought that they would be this bloody drunk. Strangely, the Warrior’s men were in the best condition. So, even though the other ships had the numbers, it would be challenging to overpower Jarvis and his men, at least in the short-term. At this rate, it would be easier if everybody just surrendered to the navy.
Zhang Heng’s only advantage now was that Jarvis didn’t know Zhang Heng knew about his betrayal. The three assailants in the woods only made a move because they saw someone sprinting. So, Zhang Heng decided to change tactics and take the opportunity to overcome Jarvis lest it would be difficult to board the ships from the beach.
Every second that passed was painful, especially when he had no way of knowing when the navy fleet would arrive.
In the meantime, Zhang Heng used Billy’s clothes as a tourniquet for his wound, even taking his cutlass and short musket.
The person who appeared first was Brook from the Swordfish. He appeared to be in pretty good shape, probably because he was still outraged. Having lost so many of his men, he didn’t have the appetite for drinks and merry food. Because the Warrior and Swordfish were also enemies, Jarvis’ men did not coerce Brook to drink.
When he came over to see Zhang Heng, he looked somewhat surprised. “So, you’ve figured out how to get the gold, huh? That’s great! I won’t have to see Jarvis’ annoying face again.”
Zhang Heng shook his head. “No, it’s something else.”
Brook looked at Zhang Heng with raised eyebrows. He was about to ask more when the second captain arrived. It was Captain Kemp of the Shark. He had to be carried all the way to the rendezvous point, and on his way there, he thought removing his trousers would be a good idea. Luckily, the ship’s cook could stop him before he did. The third captain soon arrived in no better condition.
Black Sam and Jarvis arrived last. The two chatted and laughed away. Sam looked sober for the most part, except for a little stumbling. When he saw Zhang Heng, he flashed him his signature smile.
“We were just talking about you! Where’d you go? You disappeared when the party started, so we had to ply your helmsman with liquor. To be honest, I like the man. Had you not returned, I would’ve been tempted to recruit him over to my ship.”
However, Sam suddenly stopped in his tracks as Zhang Heng pulled out a short musket and pointed it at Jarvis. “I’m sorry to interrupt the fun, but I’m afraid we’ll have to end the party early.”