48 Hours a Day
Chapter 96 - Black Sail I
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
After the exams, the winter holidays were finally here. From today until the 4th of March, the entire university would go on break. Most of the students left their hostels the very next day the exams were over. Wei Jiangyang was the first to leave from Zhang Heng’s dorm.
He had planned for a vacation to Qingdao with Han Xiaoxiao, his girlfriend, before heading back to his hometown. After that, Chen Huadong was the second to leave. He brought almost nothing with him except for two hard drives that had tonnes of anime in them.
As for Ma Wei, he wanted to earn some money first before heading back to his hometown and planned to work till the eve of Chinese New Year. As of today, he had taken up a job as a home tutor for four families. He rested for one night before quickly reading up some high-school physics and chemistry.
Zhang Heng, Chen Huadong, and Wei Jiangyang had always respected Ma Wei a lot. From the first day he enrolled in this university, he had never hidden his family’s conditions from them. Though they weren’t doing well, he never used it as an excuse to exploit anyone. All the while, he worked part-time while studying at to help out his family. If placed in the same situation, Zhang Heng knew that he would never be able to do better. He then gave Ma Wei an encouraging pat on the shoulder.
Zhang Heng bought a train ticket and was supposed to head back to his hometown next week. There was, however, something essential for him to do before he left the place.
At 23:37, Zhang Heng opened up the doors that led to the bar’s lounge on the second floor. After greeting the bartender, he looked for an empty seat and set the alarm that was under it to 23:55.
As he closed his eyes, a new journey began.
[Verifying player’s identity…]
[Verification complete. Randomly drawing the fourth quest for player 07958]
[Draw completed. Your new quest is Black Sail]
“Pirates from New Providence have threatened all trades that are carried out in this area. Every civilized country in this world considers pirates as a public enemy!”
[Quest goal: You are on a ship. Set anchor at Nassau and build your own force.]
[Quest mode: Solo]
[Time flow rate: 3600]
(1 hour in the real world is equivalent to 150 days in the game. The player will be sent back to the real world after 300 in-game days.)
[Friendly reminder: The game will begin in five seconds. Please get ready.]
Just as Zhang Heng was cracking his brain to figure out where in the world this New Providence was, he heard a deafening boom right beside him!
The wall of his cabin had been penetrated by a flying cannonball, crushing the table inside it as well! This was the very first time Zhang Heng experienced such an intense opening. During his last quest in Finland, he was provided with a short grace period of safety right after entering the quest. It allowed him to familiarize himself with his surroundings.
As for this round of the game, he was greeted in kind by a cannonball.
The worst part was, this was just the beginning of his quest. After that, he could hear multiple cannons being fired and people running around frantically along the corridor outside the cabin. Immediately, he took a good look at his surroundings. Earlier, he guessed that this quest wouldn’t be set in the modern world the moment he heard the word pirate.
The cabin’s furnishing and the clothes he wore looked ancient. From all that, Zhang Heng could deduce that he was on a vessel in old Europe. However, he was oblivious as to what the exact date was. The rise of pirates could be traced back to the Lucan from 14th century B.C. The Ancient Egyptians recorded a fight between them in Cyprus. After that, Viking Pirates who ruled the sea from the 8th to the 11th century became extremely famous as well. Although numbering only a few, their ruthlessness at sea made the pirates an infamous menace. They were definitely not afraid of death.
Back in the modern world, a gaming company even designed a class called the ‘berserker,’ inspired by the Viking Pirates. In the 17th century, Fujian and Guangdong of China were invaded by pirates as well.
The golden age of piracy took place during the last stages of the Renaissance. More sea routes had been added, and colonies were constantly expanding. This had made it possible for trading at sea to get better. Merchants and traders regularly encountered pirates when they sailed the high seas. Some powerful pirates would even go up against the navy and attack colonies. After that, the navies gradually became stronger, and piracy slowly died down. In the modern world, some small-time pirates still loitered around the waters of Somalia.
After reminding himself of the grim history involving pirates, Zhang Heng did not continue staying in the cabin. Judging by the direction of where the cannonball was from, he deduced he was still in the heat of a battle. Right now, the first thing he had to do was to leave this place. Who knew, a second cannonball might come crashing down on him, and he wouldn’t be so lucky this time.
Zhang Heng quickly opened the door, only to bump into a sailor that was holding a box of ammunition. The navy sailor was still relatively young, looking to be in his teens. Fear and anxiety were written all over his face. Immediately, he got up and ran to the deck with the box in hand, not saying a single word to Zhang Heng as he sprinted along.
Then, there was a whistle from afar!
Another cannonball had been launched, landing right on the sailor’s chest! Zhang Heng quickly ran over to check on him. Unfortunately, his lungs had collapsed; there was no way he would survive his severe injuries. Before he took in his last breath, he held on to Zhang Heng’s hand, eyes filled with a strong reluctance to leave this world.
After going through the war in Finland, Zhang Heng knew precisely how to deal with a situation like this. All he could do right now was repeatedly tell the man that he was going to be fine. Half a minute later, the young navy sailor passed away, his eyes still wide open. Zhang Heng used his hand and closed them gently, then quickly ran to the deck with a box of ammunition. He needed to know what was going on right now. Right at that moment, a man from the upper deck looked down and saw Zhang Heng.
The man was around 40 to 50 years old. His skin appeared tanned, and he seemed to have spent many years out at sea.
“I have told you guys repeatedly not to leave your cabins! This ship doesn’t have enough firepower! It’s impossible for us to assign personnel to protect each and every one of you,” yelled the middle-aged man who appeared furious.
Zhang Heng was relieved when he heard the man speaking English. He was worried that he might be on a Spanish or Portuguese vessel, and in times like these, things could get messy if he couldn’t communicate with them.
Turning around, he showed the middle-aged man the box of ammunition he had. The dead boy’s body was not too far away from him.
“Your man was hit by a cannonball! I’m here to help.”
The old sailor was surprised by Zhang Heng’s actions. However, this was not the right time for a chat. Ammunition was running out fast!
“Quick! Hand me the box!”
Immediately, Zhang Heng climbed to the upper deck. It was then that he saw how bad the situation was. The entire place had been severely damaged by enemy fire, and bodies were strewn all around as well.
He looked to his left and saw the mast of the enemy ship. Right at its top flew the flag of the Black Sail.