48 Hours a Day
Chapter 97 - Black Sail II
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Sporting a tricorne above of his head, the plump man should be the captain of the ship. He stood on the bridge, observing the enemies with a pair of bronze binoculars. Knowing that his ship was on the losing side, he could not help but feel nervous.
“Father, I think we should surrender. Our ship simply can’t go as fast as them. We don’t even have a third of their cannons, and we have only 15 guns on board! There’s no way we can win this fight. We should surrender while we…” muttered the young man that stood beside the captain.
The captain then glared at his son and shouted at the sailor behind him.
“Where is the ammunition? I need it right now!!”
“We are awaiting your orders, captain,” replied one of the old sailors.
“Cannoneers! Light your fuses!”
The moment he gave the order, the enemy opened fire, and a cannonball landed directly on a cannon that was currently bring reloaded. The heavy barrel fell off its base and crushed the two cannoneers behind it. Everyone could hear their agonizing screams. Then, the whole ship fell silent. It seemed that they did not survive. At the same time, the barque flying the Black Sail flag was coming full speed ahead!
“Everyone! Hang in there! All we need to do right now is to damage them! We need to wreak fear into the hearts of those bastards! Let’s hope that they would give up attacking us and look for somebody weaker instead!!! I will reward every single man here with six pounds each when we arrive in Boston later!”
The sailors’ low morale was once again ignited with renewed flames of passion. When the enemies entered their shooting range, all 15 guns were fired at them at the same time. Zhang Heng could clearly see that the sailors lacked shooting practice. Most of their lead landed on the enemy vessel’s gunwale. With an attack like that, it would surely be impossible to put fear into their enemies, let alone damage them. Instead, they were hammered with a vengeance following a more powerful retaliation.
Soon, another nine sailors were killed, and the rest of the shipmates lost their will to fight. No amount of reward money could compel them to further risk their lives in fighting off their enemies. Just as expected, every single sailor on the ship started to drop their weapons. Thus, the captain knew that the battle was lost. There was nothing he could do now except to stare at his nemesis in despair. As he turned around to check on his people, he realized that his son was lying on the deck as well.
The boy was clutching his chest, frantically trying to plug a deep gash, of which blood gushed out like a swollen river. The captain then took off his tricorne, knelt on the ground, and held his dying son to his chest. At the same time, Zhang Heng quickly ran to the captain’s room. The moment he spotted the barque flying the Black Sail flag, he knew they were going to lose the battle. There was nothing he could do even if he decided to join the battle right now.
The ship that he was on right now was just an ordinary merchant vessel from England. In order to make sure that they could haul as much cargo as possible, the vessel was scantily equipped with eight nine-pounder light cannons. A lack of ammunition plagued them as well. As for the enemies, they had at least 30 cannons on their ship. If their goal wasn’t capturing the ship and its cargo on board, they would have destroyed them a long time ago.
Instead of making the pointless move of defending the ship, Zhang Heng ran to the captain’s quarters the moment chaos hit the boat. Usually, this was the most heavily guarded part on a ship. Right now, there wasn’t a single soul in the room. There were some valuable decorations around, but Zhang Heng did not bother taking them. He wasn’t sure if he would get to keep anything when the pirates boarded them. He then saw a wooden table on his right and quickly opened all the drawers.Read more chapter on NovelFull
Then, he found what he was looking for.
It was the ship’s logbook, a compulsory record for every vessel to have. It was used to record dates, the direction of the wind, weather, and major incidents. The only thing that mattered to him right now, though, was to find out the era he was in and some basic information of this ship.
Opening up the logbook, he started to read through its records. Three minutes later, he heard a loud boom, followed by the ship violently shaking. It was so intense that it almost caused him to fall to the ground. When it had finally calmed down, he opened the curtains and took a peek outside. The first thing he saw was a giant cannon.
Immediately, he shut the curtains! He knew that he did not have much time here. With both ships getting closer to each other, that would mean a close standoff between two was about to happen soon.
Judging by the merchant ship’s lethargic firepower, the battle would surely end faster than expected.
Luckily, Zhang Heng had scanned through most of the important information recorded in the logbook. It was the year 1712. If he remembered correctly, the 1701 war of succession in Spain had caused the entire country to fall apart. Through a series of treaties, England managed to claim several colonies that had originally belonged to the Spanish. And with that, England became the new king of the sea as time went on. At the same time, piracy saw its most active period as well.
This merchant ship carrying an entire shipload of woolen goods was supposed to travel to Boston. After unloading the goods for sale, they were scheduled to ferry a shipment of tobacco back home. As bad luck would have it, they crossed paths with a band of pirates just as they were about to arrive in Boston. Knowing that they had a slim chance of escaping, the captain decided to fight and protect his ship. After all, he was an ex-navy officer.
Zhang Heng could hear the sailors screaming in agony from the captain’s cabin. It seemed like the captain’s plan had failed miserably. Zhang Heng soon managed to locate the location of New Providence from the map on the table. It was located in the central north of the Bahamas. Nassau, one of its small towns, was located in the north of New Providence. Zhang Heng wanted to study the map in better detail, but there was no time left. The pirates could enter the captain’s room anytime now. Quickly, he returned the logbook back into the drawer and left.
Initially, he wanted to return to where he came from. However, he changed his mind halfway and went to the galley instead. He then took out his Lucky Rabbit Foot, Hunter’s Blessing, and Paris Arrow and hid them under a plank. As he was leaving, he bumped into two men. One of them was running away from the other.
The one running for his life crashed into Zhang Heng, and both of them fell on the ground! The person giving chase was clearly not a crew of the ship. He wielded a bloody ax and glared at the plump guy that was crying and crawling on the ground. He was ready to execute him. The moment he saw Zhang Heng, he became even more excited.
Having no room for hesitation, Zhang Heng rushed toward him and disarmed the pirate with a hard sidekick. Immediately, the pirate extended his arm, and a fist landed on Zhang Heng. In that split second, he instinctively extended his arms to protect himself. The blow was so powerful that it temporarily paralyzed his arm. As for the pirate, he suffered no injuries. Seeing that he was unscathed, he grinned and drew his dagger from his waist.
Zhang Heng instantly realized that he was in big trouble. Close-quarters combat was never his forte. Judging from the pirate’s attack, Zhang Heng knew that it was impossible for him to defeat him from such a close distance.