48 Hours a Day
Chapter 99 - Black Sail IV
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Both pirates walked towards Zhang Heng and Marvin and proceeded to search them from top to bottom. That included their pockets and shoes. They wanted to make sure that they would not miss out on a single valuable item.
After that, Zhang Heng and Marvin were being pushed into the crowd. Marvin fell into a state of panic when he saw the dead sailors beside him. Out of fear, his body shook uncontrollably once again. At that, the pirates started laughing at him hysterically.
Zhang Heng’s wallet and snuff bottle were confiscated by the pirates. However, his Shadow Key and Shadow Moment were still with him. These two items were his trump cards to protect him from life-threatening circumstances. In order to make sure that the pirates wouldn’t get to them, he had to trigger the Shadow Key’s effect to turn both items into shadow form.
His current situation right now was different from the other quests he had completed. At the moment, he was somewhere out at sea. That meant there were only so many places he could run to even if he triggered the Shadow Moment’s effects. An option was to move his shadow on the sea, but he would surely drown once its effects expire. There was a slim chance that he would be saved by passing boats. However, getting devoured by sharks or drying out in dehydration seemed like a stronger possibility.
The passengers on the ship were merely ordinary folk looking forward to a new life in the colonies that they headed to. Instead of a fresh start, they had now become prisoners of the pirates.
Most of them did not behave as pathetically as Marvin, though, Zhang Heng could sense that woe and despair were slowly festering amongst the crowd like a deadly virus. Then, around a minute later, loud sounds of people brawling and gunshots were heard coming from the lower deck. When the commotion died down, a man slowly strolled towards the crowd.
“I must apologize. Some idiots failed to do what they should have done. I needed some time to convince them. Well, the problem is solved now. Let me introduce myself. I’m the helmsman of the Sea Lion. You can call me Mr. Orff.”
Mr. Orff appeared to be about 40 to 50 years old. Apart from a slight bald, he looked to be in remarkably good health. Unlike all the merciless pirates, he seemed to be a more reasonable man.
For that matter, the helmsman was a position that required excellent communication skills. It was the second most important position on a pirate vessel. He had to continuously maintain a good relationship with the entire crew, where, for the most part, he would act as the representative of the pirates’ interests, serving as an essential link to bridge the gap between crew and captain.
Through the helmsman, the crew felt like they had been given a voice to question the captain if they thought they had been mistreated.
Due to that, many saw a glimmer of hope when they saw the helmsman.
“Please! Sir… please let us live! We are just rankless civilians. My wife and kids are still waiting for me to get home,” begged one of the passengers.
At that, Orff nodded his head in empathy and drew the gun from his waist. Aiming at a sailor who had given up his arms, he pulled the trigger!
The lead ball penetrated the sailor’s head, and he instantly collapsed. Blood splattered all over the helmsman’s linen shirt. After witnessing this raw display of brutality, the prisoners were left panicked and distraught. Suddenly, they remembered that pirates would never show empathy to those they captured.
These were a group of bloodthirsty monsters that would not hesitate to kill anyone they saw as unfit to live. That would mean they were capable of killing off every soul aboard this merchant vessel just because they were pissed off by someone.
The gunshot was definitely not a good omen. Marvin was so terrified that he started to pee himself.
“I’m really sorry. I had to do it. This guy killed two of my brothers when we boarded your ship just now. I will never let a person like him off the hook. I might be old, but I don’t forget. My creed in life is blood for blood. This is how we work,” said an emotionless Orff while putting away his gun.
Every single pirate roared into a loud cheer after he finished talking. At the same time, the captured prisoners were a little less worried. No doubt the killing was carried out so brutally, it was in one way or another acceptable if he did it out of vengeance.
The passengers had forgotten, though, that the sailors were the ones who had protected them from the pirates in the first place. The remaining six sailors surrendered to the pirates earlier than most of the people. Now, to stay alive in this scenario, everyone chose to stay completely silent. Many thoughts ran through their minds. They were ashamed of their cowardice but also glad that they did not participate in the fight earlier.
“Now that the debt is paid, it’s time to talk about what matters the most to all of you. As it stands, this ship now officially belongs to us. This includes every single item on the vessel, your wallets, and all your valuables. Now, folks, we are a reasonable bunch…
We will prepare a small boat for you, and you’ll head back to land. Other than that, you can have two buckets of drinking water, some biscuits, and some smoked meat to keep you alive on your journey. Consider yourself lucky as we are within a trade route right now. I heard the weather should be fine for the next two days. If the gods find favor in you, some vessel might just pass along and come to your rescue.”
Orff’s little speech did little to extend the calm. Instead, new chaos arose. One small boat, two buckets of drinking water, some biscuits, and smoked meat were definitely not enough for 30 passengers! A brief storm would definitely blow everyone to meet their maker. The chances of them dying out at sea were exponentially higher than being rescued by some random passing ship.
Some passengers even started to beg the pirates for mercy. Unfortunately, Orff had made up his mind and was not about to change his decision.
“I know this is a huge risk for you to take, but you have to remember that we are pirates, not philanthropists! If you want to live, figure that out yourself!”
Once Orff was done talking, the pirate beside him launched the small boat on the water. However, the lifeboat was literally a raft of sorts, only able to fit a maximum of 20 souls with zero extra space for food and water.
Suddenly, a muscular pirate walked towards them and made an announcement.
“Are there any cooks or carpenters here? We need two carpenters and one cook. Join our ranks if you are interested in the positions.”
Instead of getting on the small boat, people figured they would have a better chance of surviving if they joined the pirates.
“Me! I’m the ship’s carpenter. I’m willing to join you,” said one of the captured sailors.
“It’s my first time out at sea before, but I have made furniture for the people in town. Do you think I can join you guys?” asked another passenger.
“Sure. For now, you will have to become his assistant first.”
Seeing the incident before them, the passengers fell into a cloud of jealousy. Many were professionals, and even the most ruthless of pirates would have respected them if they were given a chance too.
“One more spot left! Don’t miss out on the opportunity. Anyone else willing to come with us?”
To everyone’s surprise, Marvin was the one who spoke up.