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    The Black Horse

    Chapter 30

    Translated by Wook
    Edited by sienz


    Chapter 30


    Su shi had not seen Bai Shiqi in months. She had been feeling anxious every single day, and could not eat or sleep in peace. She had heard that after the shipping boat returned to the port, the heartless nitwit actually stopped halfway to play in Huai’an. She hated that she could not take another ship to seek her and dragged her to return home. With a questioning tone she spoke: “Are you done traveling everywhere like crazy?”


    The moment Bai Shiqi entered the main gate limping, walking looked difficult even with a hefty youth supporting her at the side, she felt distressed incessantly.


    —While Qiu Yunping was ignoring Old Leader Bai’s meaningful glance, Bai Shiqi was using Shu Changfeng as a walking stick in front of Zhao Wujiu’s eyes.


    Shu Changfeng already knew about her true gender, and had never put his arm around the lady’s shoulder. His whole body was stiff, hardening his face, not even daring to glance at his master’s face behind him.


    Bai Zhenting was actually aware that she was making mischief, and scolded her: “Walk properly!” He was riding a horse sent by a subordinate at the dock, giddying the horse and went on his way.


    Bai Shiqi pretended to be delicate, more than half of her body leaning against Shu Changfeng: “So dizzy, can’t walk anymore. Brother Shu, please keep supporting me.”


    Zhao Wujiu: “Did you have too much to drink?” When she was catching mice and doing bad things, not one sign of her dizziness and her aching legs showed. Did she not leap and frisk about?


    Just before they got off the ship, she was still drinking with Zhao Ziheng, with Miss Song Si nearby serving by her side, and every sentence came with a “Master” in front. Zhao Wujiu really could not imagine, if she knew that her “Master” was a beautiful woman, what kind of reaction would she have.


    As for Bai Shiqi, nothing else needed to be said. Look at that, aside from being the successor of Jiangsu Shipping Group, she really had the ways of a young master. Half-leaning against the couch, with one leg raised, she toasted Zhao Ziheng’s cup while the little girl Zhen’er massaged her other leg. Not to mention that she looked very comfortable too.


    After disembarking, some people took the carriage sent by the Bai family to pick up the people. Once Bai Shiqi saw Su shi, she approached and with an indescribable hint of coquetry in her voice: “Mum, I’ve missed you to death!”


    Su shi swatted the back of her hand fiercely: “Stinky kid without any conscience, missing me but still not coming home immediately?”


    Bai Zhenting had already returned in advance, so she had already known from his rough explanation regarding the matter of Bai Shiqi taking in a concubine. When she heard it for the first time, Su shi was shocked. Aside from welcoming the guests, she was also sizing up Miss Song Si.


    Miss Song Si immediately knew that this was the female master of the Bai family, Bai Shiqi’s biological mother. She stepped forward and paid her respects: “This servant greets the Madam!”


    Su shi saw that she had proper manners and each of her gestures were not coquettish in the slightest, but she still could not help knitting her brows.


    It should be easy to make her leave if it was a young and coquettish one with greed and vanity, perhaps a good amount of money or a good husband would be the solution. However, for this type whose outside appearance looked like she had no potential for attack, and moreover seemed like a woman who was totally infatuated with Bai Shiqi, making her leave would pose a problem.


    She looked at her, but Bai Shiqi did not show anything.


    Zhen’er followed to pay her respects, then she leaned over and supported Miss Song Si, looking very loyal.


    Su shi instructed some subordinates to arrange a place for the two, and only then did she get to know Zhao Wujiu and brother under the introduction of Bai Shiqi.


    Zhao Ziheng could never be compared with Bai Shiqi in fights, even his capacity for liquor was inferior to Bai Shiqi. He sluggishly went to pay his respects towards Su shi: “Hello, Auntie.”


    Zhao Wujiu disliked losing face, so he pulled his wrist and dragged him two steps backward. Then, still sitting on the wheelchair, he greeted Su shi: “Greetings, Madam Su.”


    Su shi hesitated. She had heard that both Zhao brothers were nobles. Bai Zhenting warned her again and again not to be disrespectful. She found some people to tidy up the guest rooms and carefully picked some servant girls to serve the guests.


    During the whole journey, Zhao Wujiu had been fooled like crazy and had been tested to the limit by Bai Shiqi, and had never had a proper rest, so he showed initiative to take his leave. Zhao Ziheng also followed, and even Miss Song Si and Qiu Yunping were sent off by her, leaving only the mother and child having their private conversation.


    “Did you seriously… take Miss Song Si in?”


    “Is anything wrong?”


    The way the Bai family educates their children was by either beating with a rod for punishment or giving out sweet dates as a reward. The hard chores of beating with a rod were all done by Bai Zhenting, while the task of giving the sweet dates fell to Su shi. The husband and wife had been coordinating very well and had never had any setbacks for so many years.


    “Do you need me to go over your own circumstances again?” Su shi lowered her voice.


    Bai Shiqi did not care: “Mum, you’re so anxious because you think too much.” She embraced Su shi’s shoulder to return to the master courtyard. Even one’s own biological mother could not put up with her hooliganism any longer, she swatted the back of her hand several times: “Are you sick?” 


    “Yes ah!”1 (T/N: What Su shi means with “sick” here is like being sick in the head/ being crazy. More explanation below.)


    Su shi touched her forehead with the fingertip: “Doesn’t seem like it.” Her eyes were filled with warmth, then she asked her if the journey was smooth, whether she met with bandits and other casual things.


    The young leader had returned. Before she could have a long conversation with her biological mother, Su shi, the moment she entered the backyard, she was immediately surrounded by the several concubines of Bai Zhenting. Some were enquiring about her well-being, some were asking for souvenirs, and there were also some who tried to drag her for a game of leaf card3, which created a commotion in the courtyard.


    “Fifth Aunt2, Seventh Aunt, don’t worry, I’ve already prepared souvenirs for everyone. I’ll assign people to deliver it to your room later.”


    Originally, in order to open up new branches and spread new leaves, Bai Zhenting had taken in many concubines. In the beginning, everyone guarded against each other, seeing each other as rivals, secretly restraining their behaviors, thought about using their abilities to get on the job, and tried to figure out their competitors while pushing each other’s head down. Who would have imagined that aside from Madam Su shi, everyone still had no movement in the end.


    A few years then passed. Nowadays, those who had no hopes of going back to their natal family and stayed behind were all in their thirties. In their old age, they already got over the feelings between man and woman. Love rivals had turned into leaf card rivals, every day winning three to five matches from each other. In their free time, everyone watched plays together or made clothes, spending Bai Zhenting’s money while helping Su shi worry about Bai Shiqi’s basic needs in the passing.


    Bai Shiqi had been pampered and held in the palms of these concubine aunts since childhood. It could be said that in these aunts’ hearts, Bai Zhenting was inferior to Bai Shiqi.


    —Everyone was sensible. As long as one stayed at the Bai residence, in one’s old days one would need to rely on Bai Shiqi. If one did not strengthen the relationships little by little from the start, when the time comes, how would you have any good days?


    Su shi was pulling Bai Shiqi’s arm and would not let go, she stared at the several people: “Are you here to disturb? You’re all very clear that I’ve been concerned about Shiqi every day. He hasn’t even rested after entering the residence, what about the card playing ?”


    Fifth Aunt chuckled. Even though she was not young anymore, she still had some charm. Her long and thin eyebrows were pointed downwards, she smilingly said: “Madam, don’t be anxious. We know that you love your son dearly, we were just joking around. It’s been awhile since we last saw Young Master, so we come to see if he returns safely from his journey. Now that we’ve seen that he doesn’t lack any arm or leg and has returned safe and sound, we will go back to our game. In any case, the Young Master also will not miss us sisters whenever he leaves. Let’s go, let’s go. Don’t delay Madam and Young Master’s conversation.”


    With a gust, she gathered the rest of the concubines and left.


    Su shi helplessly smiled and shook her head: “Surely the bad habits4 of several years can’t be corrected.”


    Bai Shiqi leaned against her body and acted like a spoiled child: “Mum, Dad hit me because of Wen Tao. He even did it ruthlessly. Can you massage me later?”


    Su shi’s slender eyebrows knitted, her expression was clearly not happy: “Didn’t your father say that… he hit you because you took in a concubine carelessly?”


    Bai Shiqi said bitterly: “Dad is a thief who cries thief5! He clearly hit me because of Wen Tao!”


    Bai Zhenting had returned first by horse, at first thinking that he would wait for her here, but in the end, it was true that ginger gets spicier as it gets older.6


    As soon as they arrived in the room, Su shi told her to loosen her clothes so she could see the injuries. Bai Shiqi took off the outer robe and shed off the skin tight flexible soft armor, the thin gauze, and her trousers altogether until there was nothing left. After a bath, she laid comfortably on Su shi’s big couch, letting her rub the ointment on her back.


    Every time Su shi saw this habit of hers, she became sad: “You’re growing older year by year, and I still don’t know what your father thinks. Until when does he want you to act as his son?”


    Bai Shiqi was wearing a wide sleeved loose gown and rolled about on her couch, she unperturbedly said: “What good is there for me to be a daughter? To be restrained in the back courtyard by you and embroider every day? One can live freely as a son!”


    Su shi angrily hit her: “Have you ever thought about your marriage? Don’t tell me you don’t want to get married?”


    The matter had never occurred to Bai Shiqi. She was still a college student in future society and should still be able to mess around for at least another 5 to 6 years, why was mother so anxious.


    However, Su shi did not think so: “I’ve already discussed this with your father. After thinking it through, why don’t we take in an orphaned youngster with good and honest character and secretly marry him to you. With your father keeping him under control, he won’t dare to speak about it outside. After you give birth to a son, it’ll be raised under your name, so our family will finally have a successor.”


    Bai Shiqi turned over and got up, alerted: “Did you two choose someone already?”


    Su shi held her hand soothingly: “What do you think of Qiu Yunping?”



    Editor’s note:
    whats with chinese mothers and marriages omg let the girl live




    1 This dialogue in raw is as such.


    臭” which is usually translated as “stinky” implies somewhere between bad and naughty behavior, while “毛病” means sick/illness/shortcomings.
    So I wanted to keep the wordplays in English but it’s so hard as it became something along this line:
    “What kind of sickness are you ill with?”
    “Stinky illness ah!”
    Which I’m sure is 100% weird for native English readers. I’m pretty sure if my mother hasn’t been spatting the same words since my childhood, I wouldn’t understand that dialogue as well. (oops)

    2 Aunt 姨娘 (yí niáng): Father’s concubine.

    3 leaf card 叶子戏: An ancient gambling game. The gameplay is the same as mahjong. sienz, our Editor said it’s also called 马吊牌.

    4 Bad habits 毛病 (máo bìng): sick/illness/shortcomings. As explained above.

    5 Thief who cries thief: the guilty party files the suit.

    6 ginger gets spicier as it gets older: the older, the wiser. Bai Zhenting originally wanted to wait for Shiqi first, but decided not to because he had expected that she will tell on him. lol


    Read only at Travis Translations


    Wook's notes:

    From previous chapters, I thought that the concubines of Bai Zhenting would be the typical cunning concubines as Bai Shiqi once said that they’re bothersome in her mother’s eyes. I didn’t expect they’d live harmoniously XD OOH, they’re matching her up with Qiu Yunping LMAO.


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