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    The Black Horse

    Chapter 24


    Bai Shiqi’s Fallacious Reasoning

    Translated by Wook
    Edited by Wook


     


    Chapter 24 : Bai Shiqi’s Fallacious Reasoning


     

    Zhao Wujiu had lived for 26 years. He was already used to the grand appearance of the imperial household as well as accustomed to life-or-death situations. However, only after meeting Bai Shiqi he realized that he was truly alive, there were always many unpredictable people and things waiting ahead.

     

    The children of influential officials in the capital lived in a well-constructed frame ever since they were born. They were adorned with glittering jewels and jade in their beautiful boudoirs, showing off their fathers’ influences and riches. The high-class ladies followed the rules of gait and were accustomed in living with rules in their courtyards deep in the residence, and even after being married off, they could not shake off this frame for a lifetime. Their gaits and tones of speaking were so similar to each other, and even looking at their faces felt as if one had contracted face blindness, could not differentiate one from the other.

     

    Occasionally, there were some young men or women who overstepped the bounds and managed to shake off this frame. However, they would be dragged back by the clan elders to be shaped until they became ideal, then dressed them up and let them participate in social events so they would be able to show the dignity of a well-bred young man or lady.

     

    Bai Shiqi was like a demonic spirit who emerged from the depths of the river. She made people speechless and helpless. She resembled an unkempt but flourished weed on the countryside, existing under the broad sky and grew everywhere at will, completely unrestrained. After irritating Leader Bai, she held Miss Song Si without any care and headed to the side room of the master courtyard, as if the war before had nothing to do with her at all.

     

    When the physician arrived, Miss Song Si was still “unconscious”. Zhen’er assisted the physician in examining her, while Bai Shiqi stopped in the outer room and had tea with Zhao Wujiu.

     

    Zhao Wujiu did not know for what reason, but the more familiar she became, the more he wondered how many more stories she could make. At this moment, he could not help but say: “Shiqi, you provoked Leader Bai’s anger, are you going to admit your mistakes?” He did not forget the “I’ll settle this debt with you later” sentence that was said by Leader Bai. To extinguish the remaining fire before the reignite another fire was his principle.

     

    Having witnessed the way the “father and son” of Bai family get along, Zhao Wujiu had a new understanding of the violent Leader Bai and Bai Shiqi who was specialized in fighting the fire. The words she had said back in the ship were still ringing in his ears, and the always decisive His Highness Prince Zhou still did not know on which side he should stand. What he could do now was to advise Bai Shiqi to reconcile with Leader Bai, as to avoid being chased by the big rod all over the courtyard again.

     

    This time, Miss Song Si suffered the hit in her stead, but next time, she might not be so lucky.

     

    Towards this, Bai Shiqi had her own fallacious reasoning: “How could Cousin Brother never heard that a spurt of energy will wane over time and in the end, it will get exhausted by itself? Fighting a child is like fighting a war since both are supported by qi and blood, as well as courage. The very first time, one will be completely angry, but after one flares up, the anger will be reduced to 60-70% left. When one finally gathers one’s remaining anger and decides to hit the other party, the spirit should be lacking already. Thus, over time, no matter how the children act, one will just agree in the end.”

     

    Zhao Wujiu had the soldiers in his palm for many years, but he was unexpectedly defeated by this theory of hers. He laughed in spite of himself: “Sounds like you’ve done quite a research on this?”

     

    “Of course!” Bai Shiqi triumphantly briefed him face to face: “The things in the world, regardless of whether it’s between father and son, mother and daughter, or husband and wife, can’t be separated from the words “if one doesn’t open, one cannot advance”. For most people, the parents made arrangements for the children from the moment they were born. If one is completely meek, even after one grows into an adult, one will only listen to the parents’ opinion and will not have one’s own view. Living according to your parents’ template, what fun is there in that?” She was sitting with her back towards the door and kept talking freely: “However, I’ve been challenging Leader Bai’s might since I was little. If he hits me 10 times, I’ll resist 11 times. Even though he still gets angry whenever I don’t listen to his words, but he can’t avoid listening to my ideas at times. This is called one may not be able to advance, but one can still retreat!”

     

    Zhao Wujiu was sitting opposite her, his gaze swept past the doorway. At this time he discovered the cold-faced Leader Bai who had just returned and was currently standing inside the courtyard. His expression became stiff, and in a supreme effort he tried to stabilize the awkward situation: “Shiqi—“

     

    Bai Shiqi was all familiar with his “head instructor” tone of voice. She knew that the next part would be a lengthy speech of guidance, so immediately, she became vigilant and interrupted him: “Cousin Brother, don’t think too much. You don’t need to care about my family’s Leader Bai who’s as violent as thunder. With his physical condition, he will only obediently admit his defeat after he beats me for another 10 years at most…”

     

    Zhao Wujiu lowered his head, the corners of his mouth bent slightly, trying hard to restrain himself from bursting out laughing. In his heart: Shiqi, I’ve done my best!

     

    Shu Changfeng, who had been standing by the door, distorted his face. He stood there and stared blankly, assuming the look of pondering over his misdeeds and pretending that he was not at the scene when in reality, his stomach was knotted from holding in his laughter.

     

    As expected, soon after, the sound of Leader Bai’s roar could be heard from the outside: “Bai Shiqi, get your ass over here for Laozi!”

     

    Bai Shiqi bounced to her feet and turned her head in panic, wishing she could slap herself twice: Teach this mouth not to spout things!

     

    Leader Bai’s expression was deep as water, it was completely different from Bai Shiqi’s theory of “a spurt of energy will wane over time and in the end, it will get exhausted by itself”. His anger was like an unstoppable current of a big river.

     

    Bai Shiqi was naughty and mischievous, and had blurted out that fallacious reasoning and talked rubbish with a straight expression, however, she became frantic upon seeing Leader Bai’s fury. She dreaded that the anger would blow up her old father’s lungs. She went outside step by step and turned her head with a pitiful expression pasted on her face, asking Zhao Wujiu for help.

     

    “… …”

     

    Zhao Wujiu pretended that he could not understand her meaning. He turned his head towards the painting of four noblemen at the wall of the study. From the corner of his eyes, he saw that Bai Shiqi had gone outside, following behind Leader Bai like a small chicken and was dragged by the collar.

     

    “… will only obediently admit his defeat after he beats you for another ten years at most, right?”

     

    “Dad! Dad, I was wrong! I was truly wrong this time!” She continuously begged for forgiveness.

     

    “I’m not your dad! You’re my dad!” Leader Bai was already accustomed to the little bastard’s rambling: “If I beat you 10 times, you’ll resist 11 times, right?”

     

    “Dad! Dad, I was only exaggerating! Only exaggerating! If I’m your dad, then what are we going to do with grandfather?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu was sipping his tea. Catching Bai Shiqi’s remark, he spurted the tea out his mouth.

     

    An hour later, Bai Shiqi had changed her clothes and returned limping. Seeing Zhao Wujiu who was sitting straight as a pine tree, she stopped to complain: “Cousin Brother is too interesting. You clearly saw my dad coming, but you didn’t warn me.”

     

    The helpless Zhao Wujiu: “I tried to warn you, but didn’t you interrupt me?” He concernedly asked: “Are you alright?”

     

    Bai Shiqi looked completely disheartened: “My legs are almost broken! Even finding a wife will be hard in the future, maybe I’ll have to live as a bachelor!”

     

    Zhao Wujiu originally sympathized with her, however hearing these words, he felt like laughing—Why are you so obsessed with looking for a wife ah?

     

    The old physician had been waiting outside for a long time, he cupped his hands towards her: “Young Leader, the young lady inside is fine, she only suffer a little skin trauma. I’ll write a prescription and you can apply the medicine to the wound externally. It will be fine in no time.”

     

    Bai Shiqi winked her eye a few times: “Isn’t she seriously hurt and need to recuperate properly? If she doesn’t recuperate properly, in the future she’ll be bedridden and her little life can’t be guaranteed?”

     

    The old physician had been wandering in Huai’an City from house to house all year round, and so he was skilled in telling stories. Sure enough, he changed his words: “It is as Young Leader said. The external injury can be managed, however, the internal injury needs to be observed and she needs to stay in bed for a few days to see whether there’s any blood clot. It shouldn’t be neglected. This old one will prescribe the medicine immediately.”

     

    Bai Shiqi was satisfied. She personally ground the ink for the physician and chatted with him eagerly: “My dad is very concerned about the victim, so you have to use the best medicine to support her. If the old man asks, Physician won’t conceal her condition, right?”

     

    A silver ingot was pushed over.

     

    The old physician received her money and made up a house fight drama in his own mind. The beautiful woman inside is Leader Bai’s current favorite. Young Leader Bai is not willing to let his own mother be treated coldly, so he thought of a way to delay the woman’s illness until the leader’s wife finds a way to get rid of the woman. And so, he promised readily: “This old one knows.” In his prescription, he listed a lot of herbs to calm the nerves. After drinking, one would be muddle-headed. The time one was clear-headed could be counted on one’s fingers, giving Madam Bai a lot of time to think of a way.

     

    Bai Shiqi limped and escorted the physician out. She sincerely expressed her gratitude and appeared very friendly, while the physician, who was satisfied with the consultation fee, worked hard to cooperate and told a lot of precautions along the way, so the passing subordinates listened. The few words were passed to Bai Zhenting’s ears. This Miss Song Si was very delicate, sure enough, she had internal injuries from his beating.

     

    Zhao Ziheng only learned about the farce in the master courtyard later, as he had slept until the sun rose as high as three bamboo poles1. Seeing Bai Shiqi walking in a weird posture, he inevitably asked, and after hearing that Bai Shiqi had been beaten, he was not without sympathy. He stood on Bai Shiqi’s side: “Does it hurt a lot? Uncle Bai is too violent. Even if a tiger doesn’t eat its own cub, it can still frighten it, this saying is really true ah?”

     

    Inside Zhao Wujiu’s heart: Leader Bai is actually very swift and decisive, he doesn’t play around when educating his child. Unfortunately, Bai Shiqi is also rebellious. Borrowing the person’s words, even hitting 10 times might not be useful.

     

    Bai Shiqi’s chair was covered with a thick mattress. Uncertainly, she sat leaning on one side at the corner of the chair. Towards the good brother’s attitude who stood on her side unconditionally, she returned passionately: “Ziheng, it is still you my good brother ah!” She patted Zhao Ziheng’s shoulder and promised him: “Rest assured, my skin is rough and my flesh is thick, it’ll be okay after resting for a few days. We can’t be delayed in our search for Jiang Xiaoxian.” Then she cast a glance in Zhao Wujiu’s direction: “Don’t be like some people who have the heart of stone. He was well aware that my dad was coming, but he didn’t warn me.”

     

    Zhao Wujiu hated that he could not cry out his grievance—He had warned her, but he was clearly interrupted.

     

    Who should be blamed?

     

    What Zhao Ziheng cared the most about was the result of the beating: “Since you’ve suffered the beating, is Uncle still going to send Miss Song Si away?”

     

    Bai Shiqi crossed her legs and resumed her usual sloppy appearance, then bragged: “How could he? My dad injured Miss Si and severely wounded me, so his heart has softened. He promised to let Miss Si stay.”

     

    Of course Old Leader Bai did not say that. He had said: “… How can you let a woman of unknown origin stay by your side? Since she’s hurt because of me, for the time being, let her stay to recuperate. After she’s better, immediately send her off!”

     

    Bai Shiqi originally never planned to keep Miss Song Si in Bai residence for a long time. Even if she agreed to go down because she was taking advantage of the situation, in the end, she still suffered from beatings.

     

    Zhao Wujiu smiled slightly and shook his head: “Shiqi, this appearance of yours doesn’t look like someone who’s severely wounded.”

     

    Bai Shiqi was still feeling resentful towards him, she panted with rage: “A man with character shed blood, not tears. How can I lie in bed from these wounds and let my old man worry? Today I’ve discovered that Cousin Brother is not kind!”

     

    Zhao Ziheng also stood at her side, together they suppressed Zhao Wujiu: “Cousin Brother, Shiqi was beaten, he’s miserable enough. You saying these words truly makes one aggrieved!”

     

    Towards these two troublemaker little demons, Zhao Wujiu kicked away those dogmatic ideologies in his brain and for the first time acknowledge his mistakes: “It’s Cousin Brother’s fault, I apologize to Shiqi!”

     

    Bai Shiqi became happy: “It’s alright.” She grinned, and there were indescribable liveliness and beauty, capable of moving one’s heart at once, and as if a ray of light penetrated in, making people’s mood brighter with her smile.

     

    The three were chatting and laughing in the reception hall. Zhen’er, who was originally looking for Bai Shiqi, heard everything that was said, making her heart thumped wildly. She changed her direction and headed towards the guest courtyard. Upon seeing Miss Song Si, she immediately congratulated her: “Miss, it’s a big day2!”

     

    Miss Song Si was weary and wanted to sleep, she was drowsy-eyed and her words slurred: “From where did you learn these crazy words?”

     

    She had grown up until this old when Wen Tao redeemed her, her foster mother was very pleased. She had thought that after entering Wen residence’s main gate, she would enjoy endless glory and wealth, but to this day her heart was alarmed and there were some lingering fears.

     

    “Could it be that… Leader Bai wants to send me away?” The idea of sleeping was swept away, she propped herself up and wanted to get off the bed, “Where’s Master?”

     

    Bai Shiqi was suffering from Leader Bai’s beatings, even though she did not see the person, but from Zhen’er’s words, it was said that the person was limping. It was obvious that the beating was not light. Just from this thought alone, she was extremely moved.

     

    Zhen’er stopped her hurriedly: “Miss, don’t worry, just now when I went to find Master, I heard him talking with Sir Zhao. Even though Leader Bai beat Master, he has also agreed to let Miss stay.”

     

    Miss Song Si teared up, and patted her hands: “This girl, saying something in half and leaving out the other half, really scared me to death!” Then with eyes full of longing, she said: “From now on, we have a home too!”

     


     

    FOOTNOTE

    1 the sun rose as high as three bamboo poles: Used to describe people getting up late.

    2 it’s a big day:大喜 (dàxǐ): it literally means very happy or it can be used to refer to “to marry/ to get married” and I have no idea how to translate Zhen’er’s words to English without sounding awkward. For example, it can be used as simple as: “My heart is (大喜)” à I am happy” or “Today is my big sister’s (大喜)’s day” à “my big sister’s happy day” or “wedding day” or “big day”.

     


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    Wook's notes:

    The physician has quite a wild imagination XD

    Wook

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