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    The Black Horse

    Chapter 10

    The Delicate Bai Shiqi

    Translated by Wook
    Edited by Wook


    Chapter 10 : The Delicate Bai Shiqi


    Zhao Ziheng’s waist was bound with a long rope. He stood tremblingly at the ship’s railing on one side, the boatmen who were laughing at him stood at the other side, while the other side across of them was the canal with deep waters. The good brother, Bai Shiqi, continuously said: “Ziheng, if you’re scared, then don’t jump. Get back here quickly!”


    He thought to himself: I definitely will not make a joke out of myself! He turned his waist, closed his eyes, and jumped off the ship…


    Ai, ai, you really jumped ah?” Bai Shiqi held onto the railings and moved her body forward to see, she saw that his posture was wrong. Then she saw that the other 7-8 competitors were all boatmen who were already used to the canal. She called out to them: “Look after Zhao Ziheng for a bit ah.”


    Zhao Ziheng plunged into the water upside down and choked a mouthful of muddy river water. He got panicked when he fell into the water and flailed wildly, but he could not control his body to the surface. The four limbs of his body could not step on it, making his heart even more panicked. His hands were pulling at the rope around his waist, his eyes were closed, and he instinctively wanted to open his mouth to cry for help. He opened his mouth and took a mouthful of water from the canal. Tightening his hands on the rope, he truly regretted participating in this competition at this moment.


    Looking down from the ship, most of his body was submerged in the water. His posture looked like he was struggling under the airtight space and it could not be seen if he was trying to catch fish or whatnot. It was just, his posture was a bit grotesque and both legs flailed too frequently.


    Bai Shiqi had been playing in the water since she was a child, at a glance she could make out that one would only behave like this Zhao Ziheng when one who could not swim entered the water. The boatmen who jumped down together with him had already dispersed and dove deep into the water.


    “Quickly! Quickly! Quickly pull him up!”


    Those who jumped down the ship to fish were all skilled boatmen, they went down the river like fishes meeting water and refused to tie the ropes around their waist. There were only two new people who joined them on board starting this year who decided to participate after considering the huge prize money. Just like Zhao Ziheng, they also accepted the security measure and plunged into the water with a rope tied around their waist.


    The two boatmen were still grinning and making fun of him: “Young Leader, Young Sir Zhao is still fishing. The time isn’t up yet, won’t he be angry if we pull him up right now?”


    There was an incense burner with a stick of incense on the counter. The time limit was a stick of incense time (T/NAround 15 minutes?), even a third of it had not been burnt. It was really still too early to pull him up.


    Seeing the sorry appearance of Zhao Ziheng drifting in the water, she got flustered and cursed: “You bastards, when I told you to pull him out, just pull him out!”


    The two boatmen who were holding the rope pulled without delay. Unexpectedly, after the person was raised above the water surface, the rope broke without a warning. The two men fell back into the water, and Zhao Ziheng, who had only breathed in one or two mouthfuls of fresh air, burst into tears. The smile on his face had not yet fully bloomed when he fell back again into the water.


    Bai Shiqi’s complexion changed drastically. She pulled off her belt and took off her coat in front of everyone, it turned out she was wearing a black tight-fitting attire inside. She stepped out of her boots and went to the ship railings. Just like a fish returning back to where it belonged, she drew a beautiful arc in the air and there was not even a ripple on the water surface when she plunged into the water.


    There were four boatmen waiting by the ship’s railings, they also took off their coats and jumped down one after another. Zhao Wujiu’s wheelchair was at the side of the ship’s railings, and he clearly saw this scene in his eyes. However, seeing the water that seemed very deep, that when Bai Shiqi entered the water the shadow was immediately gone and one could not even see the shadow of Zhao Ziheng, he could not help but worry: “Nothing will happen, right?”


    The two boatmen who fell down rubbed their buttocks and pulled themselves up at the ship’s railings. They consoled him: “Young Sir doesn’t need to worry, as long as Young Leader gets off the boat, there is no one who cannot be saved. In this ship, Young Leader is the most adept in the water. Let alone a person, even a fish can’t be compared with him.”


    Besides him, another boatman continued: “That’s right ah. These things like mast climbing and fishing in the river are just playthings for the young leader. Said it is boring to play by himself, so he spent a lot of money to let everyone play with him. Our leader said, as long as young leader doesn’t lose himself in female charms, he can play whatever he wants on the ship.”


    These people were evidently speaking in deference to Bai Zhenting, however when they spoke about Bai Shiqi, they were overflowed with smiles and they still teased with a few words: “Young Leader was originally born attractive and intelligent, moreover, he likes to mingle with girls. If it were not for Leader obstructing him, the number of women contained in the backyard might be overflowing.”


    All the guards who were brought by Zhao Wujiu stood by the ship’s railings and looked down. They were not good at water and could only watch.


    Few minutes later, the boatmen who followed after Bai Shiqi and jumped into the canal finally emerged to breathe, yet the shadows of Bai Shiqi along with Zhao Ziheng still could not be seen anywhere. For many years Zhao Wujiu had been in control of his own situation, except the situation of his legs. He had never encountered any affairs where he felt helpless. The joints holding the armrest of the wheelchair were turning white. His brain was filled with bad thoughts for no reason. First, he needed to think about how to explain this to Zhao Ziheng’s parents.


    Zhao Ziheng’s father and the current emperor were cousins of the same grandfather. He was also the current emperor’s study companion when they were young, hence the feelings between them were not ordinary, and yet, Zhao Ziheng’s grandparents were based in Suzhou. Therefore, although the two of them had different temperaments, the empress still chose him to accompany Prince Zhou to the south.


    No less than 15 minutes, the boatmen who were rowdy and joked about the situation in the beginning, after the rest of the boatmen dove again but had not found anyone, finally showed somewhat grave expressions. Suddenly, someone shouted from the bow of the ship: “He found him, he found him…” Apparently after Zhao Ziheng drowned, he was carried by the river current to the front.


    Shu Changfeng pushed the wheelchair to the bow and saw Bai Shiqi who was pulling unconscious Zhao Ziheng with her arms under his, with half of her body exposed above the water. She was really agile in the water. Obviously, she was dragging along the bigger man with no effort.


    A group of people rushed over. Someone had thrown a rope below, and the boatmen who had jumped down to save people swam over, took Zhao Ziheng from her and sent him to the boat. However, Bai Shiqi turned her body and dove into the water. There were no ripples on the surface of the water. Zhao Wujiu did not understand what she was doing, he extended his head out to look. After a while, she emerged from the water again, both of her hands were holding a huge fish weighing more than 5 kilos while laughing, showing her white teeth.


    Zhao Wujiu could not help but smile a little—What a playful kid!


    The river water was squeezed out of Zhao Ziheng’s stomach by an experienced boatman. He felt that he had lost a lot of face. Since the jar had been damaged, might as well break it all the way through. He blamed Bai Shiqi: “I’ve been frightened and I don’t think I’ll be able to stay in a cabin without lights anymore. I want to move to your cabin to stay with you, do you agree or not?”


    Bai Shiqi patted his shoulder: “Master, at present, even if your esteemed self wants the stars in the sky, I will also use a ladder to pick them from the sky for you, however, next time, you need to stop showing off. The first time I learned to swim, I believe my dad was never this anxious.” She instructed the boatmen: “Go and move all Ziheng’s luggage to my room.” Then she sat on the deck to rest.


    Zhao Ziheng glared at her: “Are you taking advantage of my situation?”


    Bai Shiqi chuckled: “You think too much.”


    Uncle Guan felt awkward: “Young Leader, if Young Sir Zhao stays in your room, where will you stay?”


    Zhao Ziheng replied confidently: “Of course Shiqi will stay with me.”


    Bai Shiqi: “Who knows if you will grind your teeth and fart when you sleep. I’ll just stay in a different place.”


    Zhao Wujiu stretched his brows and a faint smile appeared. He ignored the ruckus made by these two stinky boys and pushed his wheelchair to return to his room. His ears still heard clearly the noises made by Zhao Ziheng who was just saved from the water: “… Are you still my brother? You would actually turn your back on me?”


    At dinner time, Zhao Ziheng cuddled under the quilt and drank fish soup on Bai Shiqi’s bed. On the side were simmer-fried fish and steamed fish, as well as a small dish of stir-fried vegetables. He had swallowed a bellyful of river water, so there was a burning sensation in his throat and he got a fever. The kitchen had delivered two large bowls of thick ginger soup for him, and at the moment he was holding a bowl of rice.



    Zhao Wujiu sat at the side of the bed and he was very convinced that Zhao Ziheng was delicate to this degree: “From tomorrow, the training intensity will be increased. As far as your physical condition is concerned, you can’t even resist a little wind and rain. What can you do in the future?”


    Zhao Ziheng who had no ambition was ashamed: “Eat, drink, and have fun ah.”


    “Brother, even to just eat, drink, and have fun, you need to have a healthy body.” Bai Shiqi had changed into a red robe and her hair was tied on top of her head with a golden crown. In addition, her face was like jade, her skin was white as if it was sprinkled with powder, with red lips and white teeth. In her hand she was holding a decorative fan, her appearance would surely attract bees and butterflies. Leaning against the door frame and winking her eyes, she said: “Ziheng, do you know why every time we go out, I am more popular with the young ladies than you?”


    Zhao Ziheng foolishly asked: “Why?”


    Bai Shiqi: “Because I have a good body ah.”


    Zhao Wujiu really wanted to slap this stinky youngster. Obviously had real skills, but not following good examples. Speaking like a hooligan, clearly walking towards the wrong path.


    He originally had a very bad impression of Bai Shiqi. However, he felt relieved when she emerged from the water this afternoon, and at the same time, he could somewhat tolerate the shortcomings of this youngster. He thought that a shipping group was full of rough men, she had been around them all year round and she was praised highly by the boatmen. It was inevitable that she would be influenced by some bad habits.


    He was someone who knew clearly about gratitude and grudges. Since she had saved Zhao Ziheng’s life, he had to accept Bai Shiqi and help to correct her shortcomings. It was still possible to pull her back to the correct ways. He immediately said: “Tomorrow you practice with Ziheng.”


    She clutched her chest and pretended to be weak: “Cousin brother doesn’t know, when I was little, I had heart illness. If I get too exhausted I may fall ill. Recently, I worry about too many things, it is really not suitable for me to get up in the morning to exercise.”


    Zhao Wujiu knew what was going on as soon as he saw her evasive look. This slippery kid must be guilty of laziness. Otherwise, looking at her ability today, the comments of the boatmen, combined with what Shu Changfeng had said that time that she had a stable foundation, she clearly did all of these without any effort. What was this talk about her body was unwell, everything was nonsense!


    He did not want to get wrapped with this muddled youngster. Pushing his wheelchair out, he left leaving only one sentence: “Get up tomorrow at breakfast to exercise, don’t delay your competition at midday.”


    Zhao Ziheng and Bai Shiqi were left in the cabin. Looking at each other, after a long time, Bai Shiqi started: “Ziheng, what is wrong with your cousin brother? Catching people for morning exercise, he does not seem like a judicial officer, more like a military drill master!”


    Zhao Ziheng looked at her in horror, he almost nodded his head.


    Bai Shiqi suddenly realized: “Wait—he really is a military drill master?”


    Zhao Ziheng stammered: “C-Close enough…”


    “How close?” Bai Shiqi ground her teeth in regret: “It seems like today I have to go to another place to sleep at night, and I won’t accompany you to do horse stance tomorrow.”


    In the cabin next door, Zhao Wujiu put everything in his ears, his lips curled slightly and he smiled silently.


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