Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Right until Zhang Heng fired his gun, the incident that happened in Nassau not too long ago wasn’t of the minds of the crowd. Zhang Heng eliminated Wilton and his men of two hundred pirates, leaving unscathed. Those who were on the ship after the massacre described the cabin as a slaughterhouse. The entire floor was awash with blood.
Throughout the entire hunting trip, Zhang Heng had been inconspicuous to the point that most forgot he was a man of his word. In a life-threatening situation like this, Zhang Heng had no interest in playing the Werewolves of Miller Hollow with Jarvis. He had done his part by informing Sam and the rest of the captains about this incident. Having them believe what he said was out of his control altogether.
From the gunshot, Jarvis saw Zhang Heng’s determination, which was why he wasted no time asking his pirates to make way for Anne. He only accepted the pardon after he figured out that he made enough wealth as a pirate. However, he would not be able to return to civilian life since he was a wanted criminal in all the colonies. Hiding from the authorities like a scared kitten, his heart was filled with fear whenever he returned to his hometown.
Now that he finally had the opportunity to clear his name by eliminating all of Nassau’s famous pirates, he could eventually return to his hometown with pride and glory. Before he could do that, though, he had to stay alive until the navy came to rescue him.
Jarvis never once doubted Zhang Heng’s determination. From the beginning, Zhang Heng’s gun stayed glued to Jarvis’ head. Even though Sam and the other captains tried to talk Zhang Heng out of it, he failed to change his mind. Such determination caused alarm bells to ring among the others about what was to happen next. Sam planned to send his people to set up an observation point in the woods, wanting to monitor the ships that sailed toward this island. At the same time, Brook was left in a profound dilemma. Due to previous bad experiences, Jarvis was one that Brook could never ever trust. For this reason, Zhang Heng trusted him most right now.
If Brook chose to leave, he wouldn’t get his hands on the gold bars. Throughout the entire trip, the Swordfish suffered the most damage compared to the rest of the pirate ships. His ship’s hull was in a wreck, and repairing the broken masts wasn’t easy as well. It was hard for him to accept he wouldn’t get a single penny out of an operation that cost him so dearly.
In the end, Brook decided that the value of gold didn’t outweigh the value of his life. Immediately, he sent someone to inform his men about the impending attack. That said, he didn’t plan to stray too far from the island. He would linger nearby and observe the situation. The remaining two captains were still in a dilemma, this especially true for the one getting drunk at the earlier celebrations. Even the wave of a gold bar in front of him wouldn’t make him budge.
Time passed swiftly, and soon, every captain had their own plans. To prevent further chaos, they decided to refrain from telling their men the details of the impending attack. Sam did best, having done a shipload of things with the limited time they had. He first retrieved the cannons he set on the beach before handpicking a few sober pirates to set up an observation post in the woods.
Although setting up a post at this time would be pointless, it was better than sitting there doing nothing nonetheless. The spotters would be able to spot a ship from a distance if it was day, giving enough time to inform the captains about an impending attack. Unfortunately, it was in the dark of night, and visibility was extremely low. The fleet would be too close once spotted, and it would all be too late.
The terrain on Parrot Island granted countless advantages when they ambushed the Spanish treasure ship. Now, it had become their biggest inconvenience. The tall ridge blocked them from viewing the port.
Sam actually sided more with Zhang Heng, having worked with him before, after all. Between Zhang Heng and Jarvis, one of them had to be lying. If Zhang Heng was the one, all they needed to do was to keep an eye on the Jackdaw, and the gold would be safe. However, if Jarvis was the one that betrayed them all, then they were in serious trouble.
Less than half the pirates were in any condition to fight, and those who could, couldn’t think straight. After the massive battle, all their ships suffered a certain extent of damage, not to mention out of ammunition as well. They would lose almost instantly if the navy appeared in front of them right now. Zhang Heng knew that they were in bad shape. That was why he wanted to leave the island as soon as possible.
Sam did not blame Zhang Heng for abandoning them and fleeing on his own. Judging the Jackdaw’s current condition, Zhang Heng barely had enough people to operate the ship, let alone sparing some of his men to fight off the enemies. He was left with no other option but to leave the island.
Meanwhile, all the Jackdaw’s pirates had boarded their ship. Harry and Ramsay did a fantastic job, managing to gather most of the ship’s complement in ten minutes amid the chaos. Unfortunately, two pirates from Jackdaw remained missing.
Zhang Heng couldn’t afford to wait any longer. He was the last to leave the island. Seeing that the ferry was here, he pushed Jarvis onto it before he got on.
Anne and a few other pirates rowed the boat with all their might. As for Dufresne, he had temporarily relieved Billy’s position at the helm and took command of pirates still sober enough to understand a sentence. Releasing the mainsail with a whoosh, they retrieved the anchor and prepared to leave the island. Every second counted if they wanted to stay alive. Once the ferry was well on her way, Jarvis finally dropped the act.
“How did you find my men in the woods?”
“No. Technically, your people found my people in the woods.”
“What an interesting coincidence. You do know you can’t be running forever, right? Even if you manage to escape this time, there will always be a next time. It’s extremely rare that pirates have good endings. Take a look at Honegg, for instance. He now has power over the cannons set up to protect the island! He said he’s done with risking his life as a pirate. If the Red Coat from Scotland sniffs him out, he would have no place to run.”
“I agree with you to a certain extent. But, this can’t be the only reason you betrayed the people on the beach. Many saw you as their friend, your brother.”
“You will need some courage to begin a new life, young man. I shall cut off every garotting of my turbulent past. Only by doing that will I be able to live a better life in the new world. You have not seen the way those people look at us, Zhang Heng! We are like savages, ferocious beasts to them! You see, the letter of pardon isn’t of importance. I have to wipe my slate clean and leave everything behind here. If I do that, then I will be able to become a de… a decent human being.”
“I hope you get what you want.”
The ferry finally arrived at the Jackdaw. Zhang Heng kept away his gun and grabbed the rope beside him. Just as the Jackdaw was about to leave, a black shadow appeared near the island.