Jarvis felt safer the further away he was from the beach. Since he was now away from the island, there was nothing Sam and the other captains could do to him. His boat was getting closer and closer to the navy ship, and once he got on, he would shake off all threats and bid his troubled past farewell. He had been just granted a new lease of life. Just when he was sure that nothing could touch him anymore, he saw the cannons of the navy creaking out of their shutters!
That shocked Jarvis and without thinking, he quickly turned away from the navy ship. At the same time, he saw the Jackdaw on a collision course with the navy ship. He never thought that Zhang Heng and his men were bold enough to attack the navy even after knowing that it would be pointless. Jarvis blamed the Jackdaw for condemning him to such a dangerous situation, and so, wasn’t slightly bothered if Zhang Heng decided to fight or retreat.
The navy would unquestionably fire on the Jackdaw if they saw it on a ramming course. Jarvis was now in an awkward position. Caught in the middle of two raging behemoths, he continued to row to the navy, making sure that he stayed as far as possible from the Jackdaw.
Minutes later, the cannons of the navy ship were in position. Without hesitating, they fired first, having the Jackdaw bracing themselves from the incoming cannonballs. Worden did not ask all the ships to fire at once knowing it was a bad idea. In this operation, there were only two navy ships. The rest of the five armored ones belonged to the pirate hunters. When it came to pure discipline, the navy was no match. Luckily, the battle would prove easy this time. Although having the numbers, the pirates had just undergone a fierce battle, and most were drunk silly as well. Sprawled on the beach, they were all but target practice on easy mode. All they needed to do right now was to sink the ships of the pirates, and they would be completely incapacitated.
The only surprise element in this battle was the Jackdaw, and the navy was thrilled to arrive in the nick of time. Seeing that the Jackdaw was still nearby parrot Parrot Island, Worden wasn’t one to let them just leave like that.
Soon, the second navy ship fired their guns. Zhang Heng was ultra-focused right now, electing not to sail in a straight line. Though it would allow him to reach his destination in the shortest time possible, his ship would be severely damaged. Right now, there were no available cannoneers on the Jackdaw and they were in no position to retaliate either. All they could do was break the defense of their enemies and leave before they sank their ship.
This battle would put the Jackdaw’s defensive capabilities to the ultimate test. It was important that it dodged as many cannonballs as possible. Zhang Heng knew that he couldn’t possibly avoid all of them. What he could do, though, was to take on the lighter attacks and avoid the ones that could cause critical damage to the Jackdaw. The helmsman played an essential role at this moment where life hung by a thread.
So far, the best helmsman that Zhang Heng encountered had to be Hutcheson. Brook came in only second to him. As for Zhang Heng, his LV2 sailing skills were only considered above average when compared to the rest of Nassau’s pirates. That said, he was left with little choice. Amongst the sober pirates here, his seamanship was the best. Besides, he was known to handle such stressful moments with finesse and calm.
Without Zhang Heng saying a word, the crew of the Jackdaw was all ready to brace for their enemies. Anne was the only one who chose to stay beside Zhang Heng. He wanted her to hunker down somewhere safe, but he was only responded by a smile on her face.
Without the slightest warning whatsoever, the first cannonball landed on the deck with a boom! The massive impact blew a gaping hole, sending shards of wood flying all over the place. The impact had shaken the Jackdaw to her core, and as a result, her keel started to take damage as well. This was just the beginning of a long and unforgiving survival game. As more ships joined the battle, the Jackdaw was now under an immeasurable amount of pressure and stress.
Though the navy’s cannons were not as powerful as the Spanish treasure ship, they had the advantage in numbers. During the previous battle, they had the Swordfish to draw the enemies’ attention. This left them to suffer the brunt of the Spanish treasure ship. Right now, the Jackdaw was left alone to face the navy. With their firepower expanding by the minute, the Jackdaw was in an even more precarious state than it had been previously.
The larger the threat was, the calmer Zhang Heng was required to behave. While the Jackdaw was under fire, Zhang Heng tried his best to look for a window out of this sticky situation. He even ignored notifications sent by the system. The chosen escape point wasn’t just a random place. It was a spot that the wind blew at. That wasn’t something people would usually do while battling at sea. Under normal circumstances, both ships in the fight would position themselves into the wind. By doing that, it made their attacks more potent.
However, the Jackdaw couldn’t attack right now and it was pointless doing that. On the contrary, thick smoke from the enemies’ cannons would help conceal it since Zhang Heng elected to sail with a tailwind. Now that the Jackdaw was in bad shape, capitalizing on every environmental advantage that presented itself was essential in surviving the fight.
Meanwhile, Sam fired his cannons from the beach. Technically, it was a bad time to attack the navy vessels. Having just approaching land, some distance still lay between them and the beach. In other words, Sam’s attack wouldn’t be that effective and their ammunition was limited as well. He had launched his attack now, intending to assist the Jackdaw. Zhang Heng was the one who told them about Jarvis’ betrayal. Although it was too late, and the majority doubted Zhang Heng, he was still the one who warned them about Jarvis. It was only thanks to him that they avoided getting stabbed in the back.
Right now, Sam tried to repay Zhang Heng for his good deeds. The least he could do was distract the navy. He knew that saving ammunition and waiting until the navy arrived on the beach was useless. All who were there would probably be killed by the navy tonight. Nevertheless, it wasn’t Sam’s style to just sit there and wait for death to descend upon him. After emptying all the ammunition he had on the enemies, Sam drew his cutlass and cried,
“My brothers, are we willing to fight like warriors and be buried under the sea, or do you fancy a public hanging by the colony’s port? Would you allow your decomposing body to rot in the sun and be devoured by flies? Do you want to be rejected eternally by the people of the colony?!”
“F*ck the navy! F*ck Jarvis!” chanted a pirate.
Seconds later, the pirate’s head was hit by a bullet; his body falling to the ground with a thud and his rage-filled eyes open wide. More and more started to shout in anger, where even the drunk pirates did their best to get up and grab whatever weapons they could find. After a while, everyone gathered around Sam. They knew they were all going to die tonight, but they were unwilling to die as cowards.
“Kill the traitors first and take back our ship. We shall let the navy taste our wrath!”
The moment Sam finished, his men started charging towards the Warrior’s crew like ravenous lions.