Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The Jackdaw’s pirates waited patiently in the cabin, staring at the fallen cabinet. Harry had been under the water for a minute and a half. An ordinary person could only hold their breath underwater for about thirty to forty seconds. For those who lived by the sea from a very young age, they could stay submerged for two to three minutes. Considering that Harry needed to fix the hole while holding his breath, his oxygen consumption would increase and should be reaching his limit now.
There was no still response from below. Then, the pirates saw that the water had stopped rising. In other words, Harry must have successfully blocked the hole. The pirates started cheering and patting each other’s backs. Soon, the cheers faded off as they realized that Harry hadn’t emerged. Immediately, Dufresne took off his shirt and jumped into the water.
Harry didn’t disappoint, managing to fix the hole as promised. Unfortunately, when he was about to head back, his leg was caught a fishing net. Desperate to flee himself, Harry did everything he could, but only got entangled more. Despite his best efforts, he couldn’t get rid of the net. Soon, he started choking for breath, and strength slowly sapped away from his muscles.
Due to the lack of oxygen, Harry’s mind went blank.
“Is this where I die? I should have told them that I couldn’t do the job. But then again… come to think about it, I think I’m the only one capable of fixing the hole. If I didn’t do it, the Jackdaw would have sunk…”
Harry’s lungs burned and could see his world turning darker and darker. His hands and legs stopped moving. That was all he remembered.
He regained consciousness after feeling someone slapping his face and pumping his chest. Immediately, Harry vomited a mouthful of seawater as he sputtered and gasped for dear air. The next thing he remembered was somebody lifting him onto their shoulders, and pirates chanting his name.
‘Is this what it feels like to be a hero? Hmm… I think I like this feeling a lot,’ thought Harry as he scratched his head in a daze.
Before he could relish the fame, there was a violent jolt, and he was thrown back into the water! The pirates around him were shocked as well. Suddenly, the Jackdaw started shaking and vibrating. It was so bad that nobody could stand on their feet. The roof started to crumble, and the holes and cracks they just fixed started to tear open again.
Dufresne quickly ordered two men to pump all the seawater from the cabin. As for the rest, they were instructed to get down to fixing the holes and cracks again. Everyone in the cabin was tasked with something to do. Soon, the situation stabilized, and when Dufresne was sure that they were out of danger, he ran up to the main deck in a hurry.
The moment he got outside, he was dumbfounded by what he saw. After he spent twenty minutes in the cabin, the ocean had changed entirely. Giant waves rocked the seas, and a gale with terrifying howls blew at them with ungodly force. With the storm came bright flashes of lightning. The wheelhouse was only a few steps away, but Dufresne spent half a minute to reach it. He even slipped and fell twice.
“Where’s the captain?!”
Anne was unable to hear Dufresne over the deafening wind and thunder. Now, Dufresne had to shout to get his question across. Anne pointed at the mainmast behind her. It was all blurry, but Dufresne could see a shadowy figure right atop of the mast. Of course, he didn’t connect the sudden storm to Zhang Heng, thinking he must have gone up to keep the mainsail.
“Where is the navy?”
It was about then when a cannonball suddenly landed ten meters away from the Jackdaw. An armored ship was hot on her tail, closing in fast from the left! The captain of the enemy vessel had ordered his men to attack it. Fortunately, the wild storm would stop even the most experienced cannoneer from landing an accurate shot. Every time their cannoneer adjusted their sights, a mysterious wave would hit them, and the cannons would be misaligned.
As for the other enemy that was further away from the Jackdaw, they were less fortunate. The storm came so suddenly that their sailors failed to keep their mainsail in time. The unrelenting gusts caught the sails and broke their mainmast along with it. Left with no options, the captain turned around and returned to Parrot Island. With one enemy less, the Jackdaw could breathe a small sigh of relief.
The same couldn’t be said for Dufresne’s mood. Though they managed to solve part of the problem, he knew that it would be a great challenge for the severely crippled Jackdaw to survive such weather. As for Anne, she was busy wrestling the ship. Throughout this time, she had managed to employ brute strength to convince everyone that she was worthy of staying onboard.
However, Dufresne and a few on the ship knew all about her background. Before she came to Nassau, she had never been to sea before. In other words, she didn’t know how to handle a ship. From the start, all she did was to hang on the wheel for dear life! Zhang Heng told her that all she needed to do was to make sure that they traveled in a straight line.
Dufresne was getting more worried that Anne might actually mess this up. What amazed him the most was the waves hitting the bow, literally like an undulating magic carpet ride. He didn’t see a single wave hit the Jackdaw’s side. However, Dufresne wasn’t one to risk sinking the ship, and after witnessing Anne’s less than stellar skills, he immediately took over the wheel. The enemy was still on their left. Soon, the storm only grew bigger, and the enemies started to question their rationale for continuing the pursuit.
The enemies knew that the Jackdaw was reaching the end of its line. All they needed to do was to strike them with some cannonballs, and they would see her on her merry way down to the bottom of the ocean. They were so close to their goal, and giving up now would be a waste.
However, these were pirate hunters and not the navy. Though Worden told his men to eliminate the Jackdaw at all costs, they wouldn’t just put down their lives for some order. Under such dire circumstances, it was simply too risky for them to continue on. The storm too didn’t look like it was about to let up anytime soon. There was a good chance that it would destroy their ship even if they managed to sink the Jackdaw.
Frustrated by the futile effort, the pirate hunters were forced to turn back after a few minutes. The Jackdaw was finally free of enemy pursuit. Right now, they had one last enemy left to fight – the storm. That was what bothered Dusfrene in the first place. They would be forced to endure the raging sea for a little longer. Half an hour later, the wind gradually subsided, and like sorcery, the sea returned to its former calm.
Things seemed to be looking up for the Jackdaw once again. Throughout their tumultuous voyage, they managed to overcome every single threat that was hurled at them.