Right after Zhang Heng and Carina left Hyman Manor, they met up with Billy to improve and calibrate the plan that was to be carried out when they received Laeli’s letter. That included the partnership with Eugene. They needed to spread the news as soon as possible within the black-market alliance, badly needing all the support they could find on the island. In this operation, Redmond’s approach was the key to their success. As the leader of the black-market alliance and a highly-reputed black-market merchant, his decision would affect the fate of all the other black-market merchants in Nassau.
However, it wasn’t easy convincing Redmond to go against Malcolm. After all, Redmond was old, and it was getting hard for him to deal with all these managerial nonsense. With Malcolm leaving the alliance, it would be almost impossible for him to keep it running. The good news was that Redmond was from his counterpart and was not quite as ambitious as him. When it came to Carina’s trading business, Redmond actually wasn’t that harsh on it.
As of now, Zhang Heng had two trump cards with him. One was the friendship between Redmond and Normand. Almost the entire island knew that Redmond was Normand’s only supporter in the black-market alliance. If Redmond knew what Malcolm did to Normand, he would definitely not sit still.
The second trump card in Zhang Heng’s hand was Malcolm funding the political enemy of Redmond’s son-in-law behind his back. With the heated argument that had broken between them, there was a high chance that Zhang Heng could pull Redmond to his side.
The sun was almost up when the discussion came to an end. Carina returned home, where she cleaned up and prepared to take a short nap. Just as her head hit the pillow, a horse carriage pulled up in front of her house. She heard a knock at the door and an ensuing commotion. Immediately, she put on some proper attire and went to open the door. The sight of her newly hired bodyguards with loaded guns in their hands greeted her. There were in a confrontation with the visitor, and a fierce fight seemed to be imminent.
“I think I’m not very welcome here,” said the man as he pulled off his black gloves.
Carina was in shock when she saw the unexpected visitor.
“You’ve got some nerve, showing up in front of my house after what you did to me. I should order them to shoot you right now!” she replied.
“Why don’t you do it then?”
At that, Carina was rendered speechless.
“It seems like you’re still thinking straight. You know you’ll never set foot in Nassau again if you kill me. Great. I love dealing with those who can think logically. Since you are not going to shoot me, aren’t you going to invite me in?”
Carina didn’t like what she was feeling right now. It was just like the feeling she had at the coffee shop, the very essence of herself being overshadowed by an oppressive aura. Right now, Malcolm held absolute power over her, and she found it hard to argue with him. Technically, there there wasn’t much the two could talk about right now. After tonight, the winner would be disclosed.
Be that as it may, Carina moved aside and allowed Malcolm to enter.
Malcolm was cool and calm when he entered Carina’s house. He appeared to be comfortable as if he was in his own home. Carina’s two bodyguards, on the other hand, were on high alert and stuck as close as they could to her. After hesitating a short while, she ordered her bodyguards to stand down. Carina and Malcolm were now alone in her house. Malcolm pulled out a chair, sat down, and went straight to business.
“I want to suggest a truce between us.”
“Why? It’s because you can’t hold up any longer?”
To her surprise, Malcolm didn’t disagree.
“I have to admit that I made many mistakes. I thought of two possibilities when Sam set to plunder the Spanish treasure ship. The first would be them successfully getting the 5000 pounds of gold. The second would be failure, and they would be forced to return to Nassau. None of these possibilities would solve your current problem. However, I’m astonished that it was Jackdaw who took into possession more than half the gold. The navy attack was unexpected, though. After learning a few lessons, do you really think I lost this time by coincidence?”
“Isn’t that right?”
“If my plan had been perfectly executed, in no way would I have allowed you to survive until Jackdaw returned.”
“I see now. The omnipresent leader of the black-market alliance has to resort to parlor tricks to drive fear into me.”
“You don’t know who your real enemy is, do
Malcolm placed his gloves on the dining table and leaned back on the chair.
“No. I’m entirely clear about the matter. You ordered pirates to plunder my ship and asked that asshole of a Wilton to threaten me and kill my sailors. You also planted a mole in my company to monitor me. The entire black-market alliance locked me out, and I was bullied for my lack of experience. You’re also the one who lured me into over-expanding my business…”
“This is what competition is in business! You’re doing the same thing to me as well, are you not? All the while, you’ve been snatching away tons of captains from me. Do you know what trouble you’ve caused me? It seems you’ve been enjoying this, huh?”
“Enjoying this?! You used dirty tricks to incarcerate my father and destroy my family. Now, you are telling me we are supposed to be friends?! This has to be the lamest joke I’ve heard in my entire life.”
“So it’s your father. I finally know where your anger comes from.”
Malcolm raised his eyebrows and paused before continuing,
“What if I tell you that I have nothing to do with your father getting jailed? What would you think of me then?”
“C’mon, Mr. Malcolm, I still respect you as a competitor. Please do not lose whatever little respect I still have for you.”
“I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I wasn’t joking. From the beginning, I’ve always respected your father a lot. We have a different view on things, and as a competitor myself, I won’t hesitate to defeat him and drive him out of Nassau. Rest assured, I will never resort to such lowly methods to eliminate him. The moment he was in jail, I contacted my family for help in investigating this matter. Unfortunately, concrete proof in such matters is usually hard to find, and in the end, I made them contact Count Slaughter with their connections. We invited him over for a meal and gifted him with two pieces of top-notch ceramics in exchange for telling us what he knew. Eventually, he told us who put your father in jail.”
“And who might that be?”
“You wouldn’t believe what I’m about to tell you. This man was a dear friend of your father. No, he was a friend to every black-market merchant on this island. His name is Redmond, the current leader of the black-market alliance. It’s not the first time he’s done something like this. Have you heard of a man called Normand? He used to be Redmond’s close acquaintance as well. The first-generation black market alliance’ dismissal had everything to do with Redmond!”