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    The Black Horse

    Chapter 26


    Translated by Wook
    Edited by Wook


     


    Chapter 26


     

    Tian Zongping was an expert at currying favor. Even though Prince Zhou had not disclosed the news of his arrival in Huai’an to the governor, he did not want to let this thread go. It was extremely uncomfortable, he really wanted to climb up. After considering again and again, he thickened his face and came over to seek him.

     

    At the moment, Zhao Wujiu was without his public identity and acted as an idle person to look for the famous physician, other than that, as time went by, he had gotten closer with Bai ShiqiBai Shiqi’s quirky and lively nature as well as her weird antics opened up his world and let him see in a different way.

     

    As for officials like Tian Zongping, they did not have the patience for social niceties. He heard Bai Zhenting introducing him, and without even seeing him face-to-face, he heard someone said from the inside: “This prince is tired, for other matters just let Changfeng handle it.”

     

    Tian Zongping was aware that their identities were too much different, but even though he had complaints in his heart, he did not dare to speak out. He feared that he might provoke Prince Zhou’s anger, so he said in reverence: “Then this lowly official will not disturb His Highness any longer and will come again some other day to pay his respect.”

     

    Shu Changfeng was at the side hall and asked for his purpose for coming. Tian Zongping felt somewhat embarrassed, but in the end, he thickened his face to persuade him: “This lowly official sees that His Highness is alone on his journey to the south and there’s no woman by his side to serve him. By any chance, there’s a pair of twin daughters in my family, even though they look stunning, they’re gentle in nature and very attentive. They’re very suitable to take care of people. I think it’ll be good to present them to His Highness to serve his daily needs…”

     

    Shu Changfeng expressionlessly and with indifferent attitude replied: “I will convey this on your behalf, however, His Highness has never liked being served by womankind. Recently he’s not feeling well, his temper… is somewhat violent, and he doesn’t have tender feelings towards the fairer sex. If your precious daughters get hurt by accident it wouldn’t be good. This lowly one is very thankful for Lord Tian’s considerate thought!”

     

    Originally, Tian Zongping only wanted to try, so even though he might fail, he would not get discouraged. Even if he did not see Prince Zhou, being able to get along with the people around him was already good enough. From the pouch inside his sleeve, he took out a silver banknote and stuffed it over: “In the future, I’ll be in Lord Shu’s care.”

     

    Shu Changfeng took it as he had expected. He sent off Tian Zongping, turned, and delivered the silver banknote to Zhao Wujiu: “This bunch of worms!”

     

    Zhao Wujiu looked down at it and mocked: “Tian Zongping is a big deal.” There were two banknotes 200 taels worth each.

     

    Bai Zhenting was still wandering around the courtyard. He did not go forward, but also did not retreat. He only felt bitter in his mouth. This situation really complied with what was said to Bai Shiqi in the past: The path that you choose, you have to go through the end even if you have to kneel!

     

    He was considering whether to go in and pay his respects to Prince Zhou or to continue drinking and pretend not to know Zhao Wujiu’s identity?

     

    After a while, Shu Changfeng went out and called him politely: “Leader Bai, His Highness wants to see you.”

     

    Ha, can’t pretend to be stupid!

     

    Bai Zhenting went in and paid his respects to Zhao Wujiu: “This lowly one was not aware of the presence of His Highness Prince Zhou, if there were any lack of manners, hoping His Highness can forgive!”

     

    “Leader Bai, please sit down.” Zhao Wujiu casually played with the banknotes on his hand: “This prince has a presumptuous request. Don’t know if Leader Bai can give his consent?”

     

    Inside Bai Zhenting’s heart: As long as you don’t have any bad intentions like kidnapping my family Shiqi, I can give my consent to anything.

     

    With a smile he replied: “His Highness may say it, if this humble Bai can do it, it will be done.”

     

    Zhao Wujiu knocked the table lightly: “Good! As expected, Leader Bai has a pleasant personality. In fact, it’s not a difficult matter. This prince gets along well with Shiqi and likes his lively nature. Going on a trip is boring, so this prince wants to borrow Shiqi for his company for some time. Don’t know what does Leader Bai think about this?”

     

    Bai Zhenting raised his head and made eye contact with Zhao Wujiu. His heart made a huge leap—Prince Zhou looked like he was very determined about this. If he did not see wrongly, clearly he had some kind of intentions towards Shiqi!

     

    At the crucial moment, Bai Zhenting was still able to save his face: “To be quite honest, for these several years, there is a lot of affair in the group that is managed by Shiqi. While he went to escort provisions, the affairs were piling up, so he needs to return to Suzhou as soon as possible to deal with it.” Then he made a sure expression: “This lowly one is actually idle, if His Highness doesn’t dislike this lowly one, this lowly one is willing to keep you company.”

     

    Shu Changfeng nearly laughed out—Leader Bai was also quite interesting. Prince Zhou clearly wanted Bai Shiqi, but to one’s surprise, he actually recommended himself.

     

    “Oh.” Zhao Wujiu said dully. However, from this dullness, Bai Zhenting sensed bad intentions. He said: “Apparently Shiqi is very capable ah?”

     

    Bai Zhenting was like a miser holding a treasure in the dark, wishing he could hide it on his bed and cover it with 17-18 quilts, so as not to be seen by others: “He is also… hard to order about and can’t be forced to do things. Who let him be this old man’s only child, we can only let him bear the burdens of the family since early.”

     

    Zhao Wujiu: “Withdraw.”

     

    “Yes!”

     

    Bai Zhenting walked out of the room and stood in the courtyard, he only woke up when the cold wind hit him: Prince Zhou really doesn’t take himself as an outsider and drove me out of my own room. This is truly… the style of a nobleman.

     

    In fact, he had wronged Zhao Wujiu. His Highness Prince Zhou was simply habitually condescending. Before his identity got revealed, he could pretend to be an ordinary person, but as it had been exposed, he revealed his nature as well.

     

    Shu Changfeng also felt somewhat awkward: “Your Highness, this is… Leader Bai’s master courtyard.”

     

    Zhao Wujiu handed the banknotes to Shu Changfeng casually and said with a slight smile: “Changfeng, Leader Bai doesn’t agree. Tell me, if I personally go to Shiqi, will he agree to accompany me?”

     

    Shu Changfeng’s heart: If Tian Zongping was still here, don’t know what kind of expression he would have.

     

    He tried his best to give his twin daughters for Prince Zhou to make his bed, however, Bai Zhenting would not even let his son get mixed with powerful people. In the end what kind of strange things was this Leader Bai thinking about in his mind?

     

    “Your Highness, even though Young Leader Bai looks rebellious and unfilial on the surface and likes to irritate Leader Bai, however from what this subordinate see, he actually respects Leader Bai.” Otherwise, he would not be so honest when he rose his ire.

     

    “Moreover, even though Young Leader Bai is lively, but it shouldn’t be better than an attentive and considerate young lady. Wouldn’t it be better if Your Highness… reconsider Tian Zongping’s proposal?” Seeing that the master who had been depressed for a long time been in a good mood recently, he could not help but joke around.

     

    He did not expect that Zhao Wujiu’s following words almost made him drop his chin: “There’s a big possibility that Bai Shiqi might be… a woman!”

     

    Shu Changfeng: “This… Surely this is impossible?”

     

    How could there be such an obstreperous young woman in this world?

     

    Zhao Wujiu smiled confidently: “Would this prince deceive you?”

     

    Shu Changfeng was struck dumb.

     

    When the two master and servant left the Bai family’s master courtyard, Bai Zhenting rubbed his hand and followed behind, saying: “Your Highness, Shiqi has no sense of priorities and impatient at times, so this lowly one has sent him back to Suzhou as to not bother Your Highness.”

     

    “Leader Bai is thinking too much, why don’t we go together and ask for Shiqi’s opinion on this?” Zhao Wujiu spoke warmly: “Also, I’d like to ask Leader Bai to conceal my identity lest Shiqi feels uncomfortable.”

     

    Bai Shiqi was still ill-behaved even after having suffered a beating. With the smell of medicinal oil on her body, she was currently directing Zhao Ziheng to bind a paper kite. The glue paste sent from the kitchen was placed in a small bowl and the bamboo strips were split into several strands with uneven thickness. She was lying on one side on an arhat couch with an attitude: “Ziheng are you stupid? Use more strength!”

     

    Zhao Ziheng leaned forward and gave Bai Shiqi a look: “My hands are ruined, look how many holes they have now?”

     

    His, a noble youth’s tender and precious pair of hands, not only had many bloody holes, but also many splinters.

     

    Bai Shiqi, like a big master, raised her feet and criticized him: “You ahnever move your four limbs and can’t distinguish the five crops1, can’t even work this little bit. The bamboo strips are so thin, can they hold the paper kite? It will probably come loose before it flies up, do you want to lose face?”

     

    Zhao Ziheng felt wronged: “But my hands are ruined. Why don’t we… call someone and let him do it instead?”

     

    “Why don’t we call someone and let him feed you while we’re at it?”

     

    Shiqi, your mouth is so poisonous, surely you won’t be able to marry a wife!” Without any choice, Zhao Ziheng intended to return to work, but Bai Shiqi hooked his collar: “Go back!”

     

    Zhao Wujiu could hear the noise inside the room from the courtyard. At this moment, the two were head-to-head together and they looked close from a distance. When he got closer, he saw that Bai Shiqi was holding a needle to poke the splinters from Zhao Ziheng’s hand, and while poking around she said disgustingly: “You said you can’t be a martial artist, but you can’t even do this kind of small thing. In the future when you’re married and have a son, he’ll be too embarrassed to introduce you to people as his father!”

     

    Bai Zhenting rushed forward and snorted: “What are you two doing?” Just now from a distance, the two looked like a pair of young lovers kissing.

     

    Bai Shiqi pierced down without any sign, making Zhao Ziheng screamed and quickly retracted his hand, but then he saw that half of the small needle had penetrated deeply into his middle finger.

     

    “Dad, what are you doing here?” Bai Shiqi calmly pulled out the needle on Zhao Ziheng’s finger and pressed the eye-catching hole that was bleeding straight out: “Didn’t even tell me in advance when you come, it’s really scary!”

     

    Zhao Ziheng: “It hurts, it hurts! Be gentler!”

     

    For a second Zhao Wujiu felt that Zhao Ziheng and Bai Shiqi were excessively close to each other. After Leader Bai’s protective action towards his child, he became even more certain that Bai Shiqi was suspicious.

     


     

    FOOTNOTE

    1 never move your four limbs and can’t distinguish the five crops: living like a parasite

     


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    Wook

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