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    The Black Horse

    Chapter 32.1

    Translated by Wook
    Edited by sienz


    When Qiu Yunping just joined the shipping group, he was dejected and in dire straits. After the Bai family raised him for some years with rice, flour, and noodles, he finally had the appearance of a person, no longer so skinny that he looked unsightly, and if he dressed up like a scholar, he looked proper enough to meet people.


    Bai Shiqi was sizing Qiu Yunping up while walking beside him, who was unaware of the reason behind her staring, thus he felt uneasy from the bottom of his heart: “Shiqi, why are you looking at me with that kind of expression?”


    “What kind of expression?”


    Qiu Yunping racked his brain but no words were close enough to describe said expression, with some difficulty, he found a phrase: “The expression of harboring malicious intentions.” 


    He was quite adept at reflecting upon himself: “The sales account for the return trip this time won’t go wrong ah, don’t look at how much I’ve drunk, I was totally sober when doing the accounting.”


    Inside Bai Shiqi’s heart: I’m afraid of scaring you to death if I let you know about Leader Bai’s intentions!


    She still felt rather compassionate. She patted Qiu Yunping’s shoulder and warned him: “Keep your distance from Leader Bai these days, he’s not in a good mood. If he really blows up, don’t come to me crying ah!”


    Qiu Yunping had personally witnessed the destructive power of Leader Bai. If the obstreperous Bai Shiqi was unable to withstand it, let alone him.


    He shrank his neck and asked in advance: “Did someone from the group provoke him so he’s unhappy? Or could it be… Shiqi, did you provoke him again?” He unexpectedly recalled Miss Song Si who had already entered Bai family’s backyard, as well as the Bai Shiqi’s former four beauties whose whereabouts were still unknown. He became concerned and mumbled: “Shiqi ah, actually… actually Miss Song Si is very pitiful. For the common good of everyone, can you ask for a favor from Leader Bai to give her shelter and to not send her away?”


    Bai Shiqi leaned closer and teased him: “Are you worried about Miss Song Si?”


    Qiu Yunping’s appearance was not the most striking. With features like thin eyebrows and small eyes with barely visible double eyelids that could only be said as nice and proper, was as different as Heaven and Earth compared to Zhao Ziheng’s charming and elegant style or Zhao Wujiu’s martial and dignified appearance. Bai Shiqi was not trying to boast, but with her current appearance in men’s clothes, the little ladies would pick her and overlook Qiu Yunping when the two people stood side by side. Leader Bai and her own mother’s taste truly put people into despair.


    Flustered by her teasing, Qiu Yunping stammered: “Everyone is acquainted in the trip, do you have the heart to let her go to where she shouldn’t be?”


    Bai Shiqi laughed loudly: “You can talk about this matter to Leader Bai, I cannot control him!”


    One did not know what Bai Zhenting’s thoughts were. When he heard the news from his servant that Bai Shiqi had gone to Zhao Wujiu’s room, he hurriedly thought of an excuse and sent Qiu Yunping to call her back. He was so relieved that he and Su shi had already picked someone for Bai Shiqi recently.


    The two entered the study room side by side. He found it regrettable as he discovered that in terms of appearance, Qiu Yunping was really bleak compared to his own cub, even the height of the two was about equal.


    Two thick piles of ledgers were spread on the table of the study. He pointed at the ledgers and said: “You two will check all the accounts from the past few months sent by various branches of the group.” He warned Bai Shiqi in particular: “Don’t even think about running anywhere if you aren’t finished.”


    The moment Bai Shiqi returned to Suzhou, it was as if there were needles pricking under her buttocks. Whenever she sat, she itched to take Zhao Wujiu out to play. Furthermore, this move of Bai Zhenting was too obvious. Locking her inside the room with Qiu Yunping to check the accounts, he was probably feeling very proud of himself at the moment?


    “Dad, you should leave first if you have something to do. Once we finish here, I’ll send someone to inform you.” She pushed Bai Zhenting out of the room and closed the door nimbly, then she reclined on the couch behind the standing screen and instructed Qiu Yunping: “You’re familiar with checking the accounts. Work slowly ah, my dad values you very much.”


    Ever since Qiu Yunping became Bai Shiqi’s little attendant, he had dealt with Bai Shiqi’s private accounts and the accounts of the cost of the goods sold from escorting provision to the north, however, he had never touched the inner business accounts of the shipping group. Being able to do so meant that he could be considered as Leader Bai’s trusted aide, and he was moved emotionally. Just like Bai Shiqi had said, could it be that Leader Bai had discovered his talent and intended to entrust him with greater responsibilities?


    He took a deep breath, rolled up his sleeves, and sat at the table, prepared to go all out to repay Leader Bai’s trust.


    At the same time, the proud Bai Zhenting went to the backyard to report his success to Su shi: “I found an excuse to lock the two in the study, so they can interact more.”


    With all said, Su shi was a woman, and her way of thinking was more exquisite: “… You’re locking Shiqi and Qiu Yunpingi in the study? Isn’t this bad for Shiqi?” After all, it was a daughter, even if she was hiding her identity behind man’s clothes all year round outside, once she returned, one still needed to pay more attention right?


    Bai Zhenting: “It is wrong for Wife to be anxious. What can possibly go wrong with Shiqi? I’m afraid of what she will do to Qiu Yunping! The one you should worry about is Qiu Yunping!”


    Su shi suddenly recalled the words Bai Shiqi had said to frighten her and felt fear as if she was facing a disaster. She could already foresee Bai Shiqi choking Qiu Yunping. She had the urge to go for a look: “Troublemaker! You’re such a troublemaker! Even though I’ve made it clear to Shiqi here, she didn’t agree, threatening to kill Qiu Yunping and throw him into the canal.”


    “She dares?!” Bai Zhenting’s thick eyebrows rose up. He was afraid that Bai Shiqi would capture Qiu Yunping and beat him violently. If that happened, this predestined marriage would be broken. His pride was immediately extinguished as he urged Su shi: “Quickly, go quickly!”


    The two husband and wife hurried over. The first thing they did was to listen carefully for the tiniest sounds from inside the study. When they found the study room was peaceful, they started having second thoughts. They opened the door to find only Qiu Yunping sitting upright at the table, checking the accounts, without any trace of Bai Shiqi’s presence.


    Bai Zhenting became angry: “Where’s that little bastard?”


    Seeing his angry appearance, Qiu Yunping was frightened. Before the madam who usually served as the anger’s extinguisher opened her mouth, he quickly explained: “Young Leader is resting behind the standing screen, saying that the wound hurts terribly.”


    Bai Zhenting obviously did not believe him: “She didn’t run away to play again?” He went past the standing screen into the inner room only to find Bai Shiqi holding tight a quilt that was covering up until her neck. She was curling up on the couch, sleeping peacefully, and did not even wake up from the huge movements.


    Su shi extended her head out to look, then complained at her husband in distress: “You too. You wouldn’t check the accounts and insisted to let Shiqi do it when he had just barely returned. He must be worn out after being outside for several months, can’t you let your child rest ah?” There was a soft pillow on the high bed inside the room, but she did not sleep there and folded her legs to nap on the small couch instead, looking somewhat pitiful.

    [In case it is not clear enough, Su shi uses ‘he’ to describe Shiqi here since there’s also Qiu Yunping present.]


    Bai Zhenting: “… …”


    Su shi went over and pushed her: “Shiqi, wake up. Go back and sleep in your room?”


    Bai Shiqi already heard them the moment the study door was pushed open. In fact, she was never asleep in the first place, she was merely acting. Blame her for having a pair of eyes that were pretty deceiving as well. Suitably looking a bit annoyed and a bit pleased, she slowly opened her eyes at this moment, showing a confused look, and said in astonishment: “Mum, why are you here?”


    Although Su shi had scolded this evil creature, she also felt sorry about the hardships that she had to experience outside for the past few months, and she could not even rest peacefully when she came back: “It’s your father who doesn’t know anything. He still wants you to check the accounts when you’ve only returned? Is it that we don’t have any accountants in the group? My child, how about quickly get up and go back to your room to sleep?”


    Bai Shiqi held the quilt motionlessly, still being awfully considerate of Bai Zhenting: “But Dad may not feel relieved if we let outsiders work on it, that’s why he let me do it. I’m just a little tired, you two should return first and let the kitchen bring some food and beverages over. Tonight we’ll be working all night, don’t let anyone come over to bother.”


    Su shi glanced at her husband meaningfully to reproach him: “You don’t have to be so eager even if you want to let Qiu Yunping enter our door”, which filled Bai Zhenting with physiological pain out of nowhere. He remembered Zhao Wujiu, who had not stated clearly but acted very strangely and felt even more crisis in his heart. He only wished for the two people to marry quickly so they could consummate as soon as possible. He pulled Su shi to return to their room and retorted: “What’s wrong with young people suffering a bit? Calling out tired already? Besides, I’m also not young anymore, why haven’t I seen Wife feeling sorry for me? Hurry and let the kitchen send some food over, I’ll come back tomorrow to check.”


    Once the unwilling Su shi was taken away by Bai Zhenting, Bai Shiqi said proudly: “I’m already aware of Leader Bai’s overly suspicious nature.  He must’ve suspected that I’d escape and planned to catch me off guard. Apparently, I’ve guessed correctly!”


    Qiu Yunping: “… …” This is truly father and son.


    Before long, the kitchen delivered several dishes over, and there was also a small red clay stove with tea brewed on it. After everything was set up, the housekeeper inquired carefully: “Young Master, do you need me to prepare anything else?”


    Bai Shiqi waved her hand and let him go. Then she shut the door and smilingly said: “Mister Yunping, aren’t I great? I’ve prepared all these foods and drinks for you, please enjoy them slowly!” Then she pulled open the window at the back, moving to leap outside.


    Qiu Yunping’s words of gratitude had not been spoken yet, alarmed by her escaping appearance first: “Shiqi, where are you going?”


    Bai Shiqi: “Ziheng and I haven’t seen each other for a long time. My good brother came to Suzhou, if I don’t entertain him well, it won’t be good.” She patted the shoulder of Qiu Yunping who came after her: “I’ll hand over the matters here to you, if by any chance ah… I’m saying that if by any chance someone comes in to refill water for the tea and asks about my whereabouts, just say that I’m resting at the back.” Then she leaped up the window and still thought aloud: “I’m so skilled at escaping from the window, it’s such a pity that I’m not a flower thief!”

    [flower thief: figuratively a rapist.]


    Qiu Yunping was shocked seeing her leaping over the window. At the back was a thick bamboo forest that she quickly disappeared into the depths of. At this moment, the setting sun gradually descended, the bamboo swayed. Nobody was guarding behind the house, and it would be too late to chase after her, so one could only let her slip away, not even the shadow could be seen.


    He surveyed the surroundings. Although the shelves of the study were filled with books,  most of them were gotten from the bookstores outside. Bai Zhenting could not read too many characters, so he only displayed them to show his prestige. Qiu Yunping sighed and resigned to his fate. He shut the window, drank two cups of wine, and ate some snacks. One did not have the leisure to feel sorry for oneself and make poems of grievance. He could only throw himself into work, checking over the accounts to keep himself busy.


    The candlelight in the study was lit all night.



    Editor’s note:

    hi exams got postponed so here am i again hope ur enjoying the story



    Read only at Travis Translations


    Wook's notes:

    Hi, and we are back! ^_^ I'd like to apologize and thank you for your patience. Luckily all things irl have been solved, so here I am again to present you with Shiqi's and friends. The update schedule will be as usual, every Friday on GMT +8. There will be a massive number of advanced chapters, so if you're very itching to read the story you can buy them with diamonds. I personally think I put in a reasonable price, but I'm not sure :') Some might think 'why don't you just update them for free all at once', and I'll ask for your understanding as we use the diamond funds for our site improvements, as the payment from ads alone are not enough for the site maintenance cost and funds are needed since we're aiming to be an official group. BUT don't worry! They WILL be free after some time so you are not FORCED to pay to enjoy the story! Okay, that's long enough. Have a nice day guys!


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