Zhang Heng managed to talk to Betty for a short while during the storm. She told him the similar story she told Seth. Betty claimed she was an ancient Celtic God, and had the power to protect all sailors out at sea. She would grant her followers the power of controlling storms. This power, however, was limited for now, and Zhang Heng could only use it once a month.
According to Betty, the world had almost forgotten her name. If Zhang Heng could recruit more disciples for her, she would eventually be powerful enough to grant Zhang Heng more abilities. Once she was restored to her pinnacle, she would be able to make Zhang Heng the lord of the ocean. In order for it to come true, the goddess would need millions of disciples. This was why she targeted Zhang Heng all the while after noticing his extraordinary leadership skills.
However, Zhang Heng didn’t answer her on the spot. He knew that he would only be only in this world for another decade. It would be pointless even if he became king of the ocean. Aside from that, what Betty said reminded him about the Moresby, the monster that escaped from Papua New Guinea.
According to that older man, that thing was a sacred totem worshipped by one of the Papuan tribes. Along with the extinction of the Alkiz tribe, Moresby had to stick himself into a short time loop. When it emerged, it had significantly weakened.
After talking to Betty, Zhang Heng discovered that all supernatural entities were actually facing the survival problem as well. As compared to humans, their situation was on the verge of collapse.
Thanks to that, he didn’t wholeheartedly believe what Betty told him. Since she would cease to exist real soon, the promises she made were questionable. Besides, Zhang Heng still couldn’t figure out what happened to the carrack. In no way would he place all his faith in this mysterious being. Be it as it may, he still managed to extract useful information from their conversation.
Whether it was Moresby or Betty, their powers had everything to do with the number of disciples they had. It seemed as if they were afraid of being forgotten by the world. When Zhang Heng was a kid, he heard countless stories about gods. Regardless of where the mythology originated from, gods were always perceived as mighty and powerful beings. They created the world and humans, and they could do anything they want. Right now, Zhang Heng understood that gods and humans actually shared a mutual relationship. Just like the crocodile and the plover bird, the sea anemone and hermit crab.
Zhang Heng wasn’t sure if his metaphor was suitable to describe the ancient gods’ current state of affairs. This evening, he could watch the sunset on the beach. It had nothing to do with any previous occurrence whatsoever. In retrospect, he realized that he had been in this world for almost two years now, and was getting increasingly comfortable with his current life. Memories of his real-life strayed further and further away from him.
As he gazed at the crimson sunset, faint wisps of memories from the real world drifted through Zhang Heng’s mind. Perhaps that was the only thing that remained unchanged throughout three hundred years. Nonetheless, despite being homesick, he didn’t dwell too long in his nostalgia and longingness. He pulled himself back to where he was and finished the wine with Anne. As the sun descended into the horizons, the two strolled back to base camp.
“I’m not sure if Anne’s told you about the progress of our repairs. We are nearing completion! If it all works out, I think we can set sail tomorrow afternoon,” Billy said as he ran towards Zhang Heng.
“Everyone has worked very hard for this. Let’s take half a day off after it’s done. We need to rest well and prepare for our next battle. We will depart to Parrot Island day after tomorrow.”
Billy was cool with the idea. After he left, it was Dufresne’s turn to look for Zhang Heng. He gave the situation report to the captain.
“The food and water problem is solved for now. We have enough for another month and a half. However, since we are heading to Parrot Island to get the rest of the pirates, I’ve hidden the rest of the rations inside a cave west of the beach. By leaving the extra bulk here, our ship will sail faster during critical situations. We can always come back if we need them urgently. After all, it’s only a day from Parrot Island.”
“Good job.” said the captain.
Dusfresne wasnt finished and continued,
“As for our ammunition, we have been through several fierce battles, and we have spent a lot. We still have some for our twenty-four-pound cannons. We got some from Miranda as well.”
“Worst come to worst, we can always replace the twenty-four-pound cannons with the twelve-pound cannons.”
“Actually, I’m not worried about the number of cannonballs we have. I’m worried about the gunpowder. Miranda didn’t do a good job of keeping their gunpowder away from getting wet. When we fought with them, most of their gunpowder barrels were opened. We managed to salvage some of it. I opened up two to see if they were any good. After I looked at it twice, I found it badly affected by moisture.”
“Do you think our gunpowder is enough for the next battle?”
“It’s enough for seven or eight rounds, sir.”
These figures were acceptable for Zhang Heng. Seven shots should be enough to end a battle. However, that meant they couldn’t afford to make a single error. Everything was ready, and they had no reason to give up on the mission. Once Jackdaw was wholly fixed, it would be strong enough to handle a battle. Even if the enemy was more robust than them, Zhang Heng could still choose to run away. Ever since his sailing skill had increased to Lv.3, he felt confident about his seamanship.
Whether it was for the five thousand pounds of gold bars, or to save the pirates marooned on the island, or even for vengeance, this battle was inevitable.
“Don’t worry. We will defeat them with seven rounds,” said Zhang Heng while patting Dufresne’s shoulder.
Dufresne didn’t want to return to Nassau empty-handed as well. His job was done, and he reported the current situation to Zhang Heng. Now, he would wait for the captain to make the call.
The night went by peacefully.
On the second day, the pirates were done fixing Jackdaw, launching it back to sea over a bed of rolling logs. The moment she hit the water, cheers erupted when they saw the vessel bestowed to her former glory. All that effort hadn’t been wasted after all. Not only had all the holes and cracks been fixed, but they even employed extra materials cannibalized from Miranda’s wreck. Blending hard work with a bit of scrap, they managed to greatly fortify the ship.
Jackdaw was now ready for the next battle.