Dufresne started getting nervous the moment he saw the black shadow.
“What should we do? Are we going to attack them?”
“How many sober cannoneers do we have?”
Zhang Heng and Anne were probably the only ones that could remain calm in a critical situation like this. They displayed uncanny fearlessness even as the fleet of battleships charged towards the island furiously.
“Four. I was a cannoneer last time. I can take up the position if you need me…”
“It’s pointless to fight with them with sticks and stones. Release the mainsail. Let’s get to them before they get into formation.”
“They have seven battleships! How are we going to fight?”
“We don’t have many choices here. It’s do or die right now. They will sink us if we stay on. We will also lose our window to attack if they get into their battle formation and seal off the port. As long as we are fast enough to charge into the middle of their formation, I’m pretty sure that only two or three ships would attack us since they need to be careful and not shoot their allies. I believe the Jackdaw is tough enough to withstand the onslaught.”
When all was said and done, Zhang Heng took a glimpse of the beach. The pirates had realized that a fleet of navy battleships was moving fast towards them. Immediately, chaos and panic broke among the crowd. These the best pirates Nassau had ever seen, gathered here for a common goal, doing something that no one had done before. If only they’d not gotten drunk and prepare respective ships, they might have a chance to defeat the navy. Unfortunately, just a single lapse of judgment sealed their fate. The celebrated pirates were reduced to running and screaming headless flies.
The only pirate that hadn’t given up was Black Prince Sam, mustering up his people as he attempted to aim the cannons at their enemies. The fact that he was the only one who retaliated made him seem a little lonely. On the other hand, Jarvis boarded a small boat and was ordered to row back to the island. However, he changed his mind the moment he saw the navy fleet dawning on Parrot Island. He quickly changed direction and rowed towards the navy, waving his hands and screaming out to them.
At this point, Zhang Heng wasn’t bothered about his allies anymore. He turned around and looked at his men. Panic and despair had hit the crew hard. Helpless and afraid, they didn’t know what they should do if they wished to live to see another day. Suddenly, Zhang Heng heard a deep, commanding voice in the dark.
“Don’t worry. I will take you home.”
The fleet of battleships moved faster than expected. Even though the Swordfish decided to leave Parrot Island, they were still attempting to gather all their men. It was too late for them to escape. Brook’s face had turned pale with the Jackdaw being his only comfort. Although Zhang Heng and his men got on the ship earlier than them, it seemed like it was too late for them to get away as well.
To everyone surprise, not only did the Jackdaw not retreat, but they now charged at the navy without respite. Such a suicidal move shocked everyone.
Worden, the navy fleet commander, stood on the deck, watching the Jackdaw calmly.
“Is that the corvette we lost earlier?”
“Her exterior seems different. I believe the pirates modified it. But yes, sir. This was indeed the Glory, a corvette we lost during the battle of Charleston,” replied the chief officer after taking a good look at the Jackdaw.
Worden kept shaking his head as he replied emotionlessly, “This corvette no longer deserves her name of the Glory. Elmer, the idiot, has chucked the glory of the navy to a bunch of bandits! Now, I have to clean up his mess. Open fire at them right away. I want them all dead tonight.”
“What’s wrong? Is there a problem?”
“Captain Jarvis’ boat is still close to them. If we open fire now…”
“Have you just graduated from navy school? Didn’t you hear my orders?! I told you to kill everyone! Everyone! That includes Jarvis and his barbaric beasts.”
“But… I thought they were ours? Captain Jarvis provided us with all the information that we need. I heard he has an agreement with Count Lambert. After we eliminate the pirates, Count Lambert is supposed to grant him and his men immunity! After that, they will serve the queen…”
The chief officer was interrupted by Worden.
“Open your eyes and have a good look, Chris! Look hard and long! Those creatures on the beach aren’t humans. They are a herd of wild beasts! Do you know what they did to Count Bellomonte and governor-general Watt in Charleston? Oh right, and the idiot Elmer. Let me tell you! They took over the Scarborough and killed every single man on board. I’m talking about seven hundred navy sailors! That excludes the collateral of innocent citizens killed during the senseless raid.”
“Do you know why Count Lambert asked for me specifically to deal with sea-threats, kid?”
“Because you are the best at dealing with pirates?”
“No. Because I never negotiate with wild beasts. I know a few aristocrats who said that we should deal with them in the most humane way possible. I can guarantee you; I’m not the kind of person to be merciful to such a lot. What makes you think I’ll allow a bunch of thugs immunity, let alone returning them to civilized society? After all the blood on their hands, all the pain and suffering they’ve caused, we grant them a good life as punishment?! Let’s just pretend nothing happen then!
“So, no. I will never allow such good to happen to them. Over my dead body! So, do me a favor and kill everything that moves out there! No one will know what happens tonight except for us. Our mission will be complete, and Count Lambert will get to keep his reputation. Now, are my orders clear?”
“Excellent! Let’s begin.”
By now, everyone knew that Jarvis was the traitor in question. The pirates from the Warrior started fighting the other pirates as well. It came as no surprise that they were all still sober. Knowing a fight was coming, they had kept their weapons close to them. From the very start, they had the upper hand in the situation.
However, they were outnumbered not too long after that. As time passed, Sam and the other captains managed to hold the line, albeit barely. They started to turn from being defensive to offensive. The pirates from the Warrior began to panic as Jarvis, their leader, wasn’t with them. Besides, whatever they were to their fellow pirates doing was uncouth, nothing to be proud of. Soon, their morale diminished, and they were defeated. Jarvis wouldn’t risk his life by heading to the beach to help his men to fight back all the other pirates.
His only option left was to row to the navy as fast as his arms could muscle the oars.