Chapter 113 “hard headed”
Poor Captain Jack standing outside the Castle; surrounded by several Cavalry horseman, their spears were already pointed at him.
Not because of anything. It’s just that this guy’s outfit is too blatant and arrogant…. With one look, the word “I’m a pirate” is engraved onto his face!
It must be said that all this is Du Wei’s credit. The design he gave this Captain Jack is completely in accordance with the previous charmingly famous pirate movie. This is especially true with the Red bandana on his head, small chin beard, and dark eye circles……
For such an oddly dressed man to come near the Rowling castle, the patrol units would of course lock onto such a target. Ever since Du Wei was abducted twice in the past, the size of the Rowling personal guard forces was increased several folds. If Jack didn’t have Rolynn’s personal token, the Calvary unit would have probably bounded the guy up with ropes by now.
“Ah-ha! My captain, you are finally here!” With a big laugh, Du Wei hurriedly ran out from the Castle to see the cavalry soldiers pointing their spears at the pirate captain. Pausing at the sight, one of the riders below him immediately dismounted and came up to DU Wei in salute: “Young Master, this guy’s clothing is strange and looks to be up to no good. But in his hand is the keepsake token of knight Roylnn, we suspect he……”
“No need to be suspicious, he is my men. Let go of him.” Waving his hand, the group of knights withdrew. Du Wei looked at the somewhat nervous looking Jack and walked up to him to give him a pat him on the shoulder: “You’re finally here. Did you finish the tasks I entrusted to you?”
The Pirate captain has long seen how dangerous Du Wei can be. Quickly bending over his waist to show his respect, he started to speak: “Master, the tasks you instructed was very successful. Although there were some bumps along the way, but with the help of Miss Joanna, everything worked out well and the results were even better than previously expected.”
Du Wei took one look around: “This is not the place to talk.”
Then he had his people take Captain Jack to his study room.
For such a vulgar pirate, where would he have the chance to see such riches from an imperial family of the empire? Just those pure silver candlesticks are enough to make his eyes pop. And to top it off, the southern black tea matched with the sterling silver tea set he was served next rattled him to no ends.
Sending the servants away and closing the door behind them, Du Wei calmly worked up a noise silencing spell. With this, they can talk without worrying about their conversation spreading. Sitting in his chair, Du Wei spoke with a straight face: “You can speak now.”
“Yes!” Putting down his cup, Captain Jack quickly stationed himself up and whispered: “Altogether, this voyage out at sea lasted three months. We raided 19 Islands in the Eastern waters and with Miss Joanna’s help; those recalcitrant guys were thrown into the sea to feed sharks. The ones that were left alive and folded into our forces equaled a total of 421. The total amount of vessels we managed to take in is 32 ships and among them, one is of the Sea King class war ship!”
“Sea King class?” Du Wei was slightly surprised.
In the Roland Empire, sea vessels are divided into four different classes, from large to small: Sea God. Sea King, Sea Salt, and Sea Soul class as the smallest.
Among them, the Sea God class is the largest and is considered the biggest strength behind the Empire’s navy. Let’s use Du Wei’s father for example. Back when Earl Raymond returned from his expedition to the south, the flagship “Dandong” he was on is in fact a Sea God class naval vessel. Considered to be without equal, the deck is 300 feet high and the body length can reach up to 150 meters. At any time, the Sea God class is capable of hosting over 800 personnel’s on board.
And slightly smaller is the Sea King class. With a body length capable of reaching 100 meters – generally only 80 meters – it is capable of carrying up to 500 personnel’s at one time. Of course, it is usually outfitted with a certain number of ranged weapons such as a cannon.
Because there is no gunpowder or heated weapons in this era, there aren’t actually any artillery’s. The so called cannons are in fact just some giant crossbow relying on a wheel mechanism to pull the bowstring. With a range of approximately 1-kilometer in distance, the high penetrating force of the Ballista’s can pierce through even sheets of metal. Often in sea battles, once these weapons are utilized against the enemy vessels, the damage they would cause is direct and threatening.
In an era without long ranged artillery weapons, only the Sea God Class battleship is capable of equipping itself with a few Magic Cannons – based on the principles of magic. This weapon is comparable to regular gunpowder cannons in Du Wei’s previous life, but the cost of producing one is quite expensive and some of the manufacturing process is said to be already lost.
Due to these reasons, the naval warfare in this world is basically still undeveloped. Relying on Ballista and on board personnel to fight, the main strategy is to ram the ship’s hull against the enemy vessels. Once the enemy ship is immobilized, the sailors would then engage in a melee brawl to overtake the enemy.
In such a case, the ship’s capacity to carry more fighters became the main focal point of naval warfare.
Although pirates exist in the eastern coast of the Roland Continent, but most of the ships fell into the medium and small bracket. More often than not, pirates are incapable of facing off against the regular naval fleets, and even some larger size armed merchant ships can fend for themselves.
For a pirate crew to own a Sea King class ship is extremely rare!
Seeing the doubt in Du Wei’s eyes, Captain Jack quickly explained: “The ship seems to have many years on it already, and the hull is quite old and needs much repairing. The batch of captives we captured on the east belonged to a larger group of pirates. From what they told us, this vessel supposedly belonged to the imperial navy, but once it was retired, a wealthy merchant purchased it to be used as a trading vessel. But as fate would have it, the ship was later snatched up by pirates.”
Hearing the explanation, Du Wei finally nods. If pirates can so easily get their hands on a Sea King class ship, then what good is the imperial Navy?!
“Within the 32 ships, there is one Sea King class and six Sea Salt class. As for the rest of the fleet, they are all small ships in the Sea Soul class category capable of only carrying a hundred sailors. Looking at it this way, the fleet right now is comparable to a second tier naval force of the empire in the eastern waters. Although it lacked ships of the larger size, but they could make up for it with the superior numbers.”
Hearing Jack’s words, Du Wei didn’t say much and only smiled.
This guy is after all from a pirate origin – his insight is still a bit lacking.
Comparable to the Imperial Navy? That is wishful thinking.
Du Wei’s old man is after all from the Navy. It was only by relying on the merits and promotions he gained from the southern expedition were he able to get where he is today. Like the last expedition, the fleet Earl Raymond brought with him only had 35 ships, but 5 of them are of the Sea God class and the rest are all Sea King class!
The amount of ships under Du Wei may be a lot, but if he really had to compare it to the imperial navy, it is still not enough.
Luckily for Du Wei, he didn’t have any sort of ambition to raise a rebellion. As long as he doesn’t go agitating the imperial navy and focuses his attention only on maritime trade, his fleet would be a force to be reckoned with.
After saying all of this, Jack’s face looked somewhat pale as he whispered: “However, the way things have developed so far is beyond what we expected. As such, there are certain problems we are unable to solve. At the moment, the entire fleet is docked at the ‘Fertile Haven Port’ located in the southern Lille province. Miss Rolynn is staying behind to keep matters in check and has sent me back here to you…..”
“Speak directly; tell me exactly what is wrong?” Du Wei frowned as he said this.
“Money.” Jack lets out a sigh: “We originally intended to incorporate the stolen loots and wealth amassed by the pirates. This way, we can maintain the expenses of the fleet, but the problem is…..”
Speaking up to here, Jack could not help but sigh: “The problem is that they are too poor.”
Seeing the frown on Du Wei’s face, Jack quickly explained: “The Empire’s naval strength has always been powerful, and in the past decade, the empire had organized numerous expeditions to the southern waters. Although these efforts are a complete waste of resource and without any real obvious benefits, it did in fact expand the empires southern water borders and increase trading activity. Seeing the opportunity, numerous pirate crews started to appear. But in the past, these criminals have never caused any major issues thanks to the overwhelming strength of the imperial navy. If by the odd chance they caused too much commotion, they will incur the wrath of the navy and face annihilation. More importantly, trading in the eastern coast was greatly reduced in recent years and has concentrated their efforts in the southern waters. For this reason, the pirates in the eastern coast were already having a difficult time surviving, so of course they didn’t have much chance to gain any wealth.”
Looking at the serious faced Captain Jack and the way he spouted out all these big points, Du Wei could not help but smile: “All of these points…. Did you figure it out?”
Jack shook his head and honestly answered: “No, I never went to school, so where would I come up with these thoughts? These things are all what Knight Rolynn told me.”
Du Wei’s eyes lit up.
Rolynn? This leggy chick has a good mind.
Jack continues to speak: “Three months on this voyage has gained us mostly materials that isn’t worth much like food and rusted iron. So even if we did sell them in the market, it wouldn’t be much. As for the things that are worth a bit, a portion of it has already been sold in the ‘Fertile Haven Port’ the moment we landed. Also, a certain amount of relationship was needed with the port naval officers because it was inevitable that we would be criticized by suddenly taking in so many new members that are on the wanted list. Under Miss Rolynn’s judgment, we spent a certain amount of money to bribe the officials and remove the bounty on some of the crew members. In the end, the amount of gold we managed to suck out of the pirates only amounted to 10,000 gold coins. After repairs and maintenance on the ships we gained, especially on the Sea King class vessel – let’s not forget the daily food and drinking expense – we could barely balance the expense with the income we gained.”
With his forehead going numb upon hearing all of this, Du Wei waved his hand: “Speak directly, how much in total do we need!”
Hearing this, Jack immediately pulled out a small book given to him by Miss Rolynn before coming here. Opening it, Jack began reciting the content: “Among the 32 ships, almost every one of them is damaged to a certain degree. Given the current financial problem, Miss Rolynn has selected nine of the most severely damaged ships and estimated the cost of repair to be around 3,000 gold. When coming up with this estimate, it was already based on the fact that we used your name to purchase discounted materials from the port. Although the other ships still need to be repaired, we can temporarily leave them as is and continue using them. Once the financial situation loosens up in the future, we can then decide which to repair. And the daily expenditure for 400 sailors over three months has been tallied up to 600 gold. This number is already considered very frugal. If Miss Rolynn dares to reduce the personal expenditures anymore, she feared that the new crew members would defect and leave. On a side note, Miss Rolynn said that since the men’s are no longer pirates and is working under your name; all of them need to be outfitted with a new uniform because it would be an embarrassment for you if they wore tattered rags. As such, every member was tailored two new uniforms with the captains getting a slightly better quality…… This cost us another 200 gold. But most importantly, the weapons in everyone’s hand are too poor in quality. They were all pirates in the past, so once they swarmed a ship, they would go into a random brawl. Such an act is just too shameful. Since they are now part of the Rowling fleet, every Ballista, crossbow, and blade needs to be replaced. I have already checked, some of the former pirates were so poor that they don’t even have a weapon. In the past when they encountered a target, they would grab whatever tool they could find like a hammer or rake to fight. Such a method can no longer be used….. In addition to the expenses of building a relationship with the port officials, the costs of removing the bounty on the pirates ended up costing us nearly a thousand gold coins.”
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