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    The Black Horse

    Chapter 41


    The Odd Existence of an Unsullied Family

    Translated by Wook
    Edited by sienz


     

    To answer Zhao Ziheng’s question, Bai Shiqi only dropped a saying: “Don’t meddle in affairs that are not part of your position. You can ask Prince Zhou about this kind of matter, maybe he’d know the reason.”

    [不在其位不谋其政: From Confucius.]

     

    In Shu Changfeng’s mind: His Highness is only focused on military affairs and knows very little about local people affairs. You told the Thirteenth lang to go back and ask His Highness, did you do it on purpose?

     

    Apparently, Zhao Ziheng was not that stupid either: “Why would I ask him. Cousin Brother is not in charge of the salt road.” From intuition, he felt that one should not get involved with the muddy water that was the salt business.

     

    Bai Shiqi praised him: “Smart!”

     

    He took the words for real and kept urging: “Which part of me is smart? Which part?” He immediately started to exploit the words. One really must not praise this kind of person.

     

    Shu Changfeng: Indeed, the face has become somewhat smart-looking, however, the gut is still foolish.

    [Basically saying that he’s still a coward.]

     

    When it was time for them to return, Bai Shiqi went to the riverbank to find a passing boat to pass her words to home while Zhao Ziheng and Shu Changfeng waited for her at a teahouse. After an hour, she returned with a carriage with a dying person inside of it.

     

    Zhao Ziheng only thought that she had her conscience, that she understood that it would be a long and exhausting way back home. Upon climbing the carriage, he immediately smelled a very strong smell of blood. There was a person covered with a quilt, his hair was shaggy and his face was covered with a beard. Bai Shiqi urged the coachman: “Go quickly!”

     

    Huang Youbi’s name was well-known, however, his whereabouts were unknown. It was only recently that he started residing in a Taoist temple. No one expected that after bringing in the crippled Zhao Wujiu, she would drag in another seriously injured and dying unknown man, shouting to save the man’s life.

     

    He lifted the quilt and took a quick look at the wound, then he immediately felt a headache: “Take a look at this man’s wound. This is obviously a wound from a sharp weapon. God knows if he’s a bandit or an official? Whichever he is, I don’t want to get involved with these two kinds of people the most. If I bring a lawsuit upon myself, are you willing to go to jail in my stead?”

     

    Mr. Huang’s rule number 5, regarding the choice of the patients: Officials and bandits will not be treated.

     

    Bai Shiqi lied without changing her face: “Old Man Huang, why are you so stubborn ah. Saving a life is more meritorious than building a seven-floor pagoda. What’s more, this person may not be an official or a bandit. He could be a passing merchant who was robbed by the pirates and then stabbed in such a way before he was thrown into the river. Are you just going to watch him die?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu pushed his wheelchair over and pushed the man’s hair away to get a proper look at his face, before exchanging glances with Shu Changfeng. His mind was having second thoughts: This person looks somewhat familiar.

     

    Bai Shiqi successfully persuaded Huang Youbi. Together with Zhu Shoumei, he carried the person into the room for treatment, leaving the rest of them to wait in the courtyard.

     

    When Zhao Ziheng went to change his clothes, Bai Shiqi smiled and took out something from her sleeves and handed it over: “Your Highness, I’ll give you a present.”

     

    Zhao Wujiu took a look and was surprised. He lowered his voice and inquired: “Where did it come from? Why did you have this?” It was an official seal.

     

    “I took it from his hand ah.” Bai Shiqi recounted the course of events: “I was sending a letter to my family when I saw a person floating in the water from the riverbank. I didn’t know whether he was dead or alive, so I dragged him to the shore. He was holding this thing so tightly in his hand. I thought it was interesting, so I snatched it.” She explained them in such a thorough way: “I thought he was already dead by then, but when I tried to take the thing, he suddenly opened his eyes. He opened them so wide they looked like a bull’s eyes.” She patted her chest: “It scared me to death!”

     

    “Do you know what this is?” Zhao Wujiu did not believe her nonsense. This chap’s mouth was full of lies, she could even deceive an honest person like Huang Youbi.

     

    Bai Shiqi looked at the sky speechlessly: “Probably… an official seal.” Even though she had never seen one before, she was a person who read books.

     

    Zhao Wujiu grabbed her sleeve and pulled her aside, wishing he could cover her mouth: “You’re aware that it’s an official seal, but you still dared to trick Mr. Huang? What should be done if he finds out?”

     

    Bai Shiqi looked as if she was earnestly asking for his advice: “Yes ah, what should be done? If Old Man Huang knows that he just saved an official, will he choke the person he had just saved to death?” She covered her mouth and gasped: “Oh God, isn’t that murder!”

     

    “Naughty!” Zhao Wujiu hit her forehead. He felt helpless whenever he was dealing with her.

     

    Huang Youbi’s medical skills were excellent, and the person’s life should be saved. Three days later, he woke up slowly. He first opened his eyes and saw the beam above his head. He thought that he had entered the palace of King of Hell, and shouted emotionally: “I have grievances—” He thought that his voice was a bit loud and hoarse, then realized that his throat was dry and felt like it was about to split.

     

    As it happened, Bai Shiqi was bored and was sitting next to the couch at the time. The man quickly turned his head and found Huang Youbi, who was studying a medical book seriously. He had barely closed his eyes for the past three days, making his face that already seemed like old tree bark to become more and more wrinkled. Paired with his bloodshot eyes, he looked like the King of Hell who was out to snatch living souls from their bodies. He was so immersed in his study and did not hear the faint voice of his patient at all.

     

    Bai Shiqi put her finger to her lips and signaled the person to shut up. She even threatened him with a slitting-the-throat gesture.

     

    The man had just returned from the gates of hell and soon came to his senses. He realized that he was still stuck in the land under the sun and did not become a water ghost who died unjustly in the river. He also knew that it was best to be cautious, so he nodded in difficulty to express his understanding. Bai Shiqi yelled: “He’s awake! Old Man Huang, the patient is awake!”

     

    Huang Youbi dropped his medical book and hurriedly came over to check his pulse, looked at his eyes and his tongue. After checking him thoroughly, he asked: “What’s your surname?”

     

    The man was frightened and doubtful, so he said nothing.

     

    Bai Shiqi: “Is he a mute?”

     

    Huang Youbi: “Maybe he was shocked by the incident and became so scared that he could not speak.” He actually believed Bai Shiqi’s nonsense: “Fortunately, his life could be saved, so let’s just take care of it first.” He sat back at the table, prescribed the prescription, and handed it to Bai Shiqi: “Take this to Shoumei for decocting. I need to sleep for a while. It’s hard to be constantly strained when you’re old.” He thumped his waist and legs, then threw himself on the bed to sleep.

     

    The man on the couch opened his mouth to speak but was covered by Bai Shiqi. She whispered: “Before you get better, you should be a mute.”

     

    One did not know what the man was thinking, but he actually agreed with her. He nodded slowly, and closed his mouth.

     

    Hearing that the man had regained consciousness, Zhao Wujiu stroked the seal inside his sleeve and discussed with Shu Changfeng regarding the reason for the man’s visit to the south: “Imperial Father already assigned that He Yan to investigate the river channel, so for what reason did he assign this person? Don’t tell me that he only passed by here to visit his family and got attacked by the pirates?”

     

    It would be possible to be robbed by the pirates if it were an ordinary merchant, but this one was an official from the capital. Who would be so stupid to go against the government?

     

    Shu Changfeng smiled in reply: “Could it be because of Jiangnan’s salt road?” Upon seeing the unusual changes in Zhao Wujiu’s expression, his smile froze: “… It could be?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu stroked the letter carvings on the surface of the seal and said thoughtfully: “Perhaps it is just as you’ve said. Haven’t you noticed how bad the salt road of Jiangnan is? Private salt is everywhere, so there must be someone behind all of this. The profit must be significant, that they even dared to send people to pretend to be pirates to attack an official of the court…” It was originally only a speculation, but after saying this far, his back turned cold. One afraid he was not that far from the truth.

     

    Shu Changfeng was also taken aback: “They… really dare to be so audacious?”

     

    Jiangnan salt road. No matter where one looked, it was a profitable job.

     

    Zhu Shoumei decocted the medicine according to the prescription and personally took the medicine to the patient.

     

    After feeding the medicine, he pushed Bai Shiqi out again: “I’ll change his bandages and reapply his medicine, you should stay out of the way.”

     

    Bai Shiqi thought of herself as a capable and smart person. Something as simple as reapplying medicine should not pose a problem, but she was unexpectedly being shooed away by Zhu Shoumei: “If you don’t want me around, then you should go away yourself!”

     

    Zhao Wujiu was basking in the sun in his wheelchair in the courtyard. Seeing her out, he waved at her: “Shiqi, come here.”

     

    Bai Shiqi ran over, knocked on his knee, and eagerly asked: “How are you feeling these days?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu smiled in reply: “It’s acceptable.”

     

    Bai Shiqi became unhappy: “You don’t need to be so formal for these kinds of things. Don’t be a hypocrite!” What a waste of her getting to know him. She even disguised him as a member of the shipping group and still had to risk being discovered by Old Man Huang.

     

    Zhao Wujiu gave a wry smile: “The progress is slow.”

     

    Only then she became happier: “There is no such thing as a fast cure. If there’s progress then it’s already good.”

     

    Zhao Wujiu asked leisurely: “What did the guy in the room say when he woke up?” He was actually observing Bai Shiqi’s expression, in case she would lie again.

     

    Bai Shiqi chuckled and simply said: “He can’t speak. He’s a mute. Would you like to ask him yourself next time?” She also warned him: “But he just woke up, so he should still be in the dangerous period. If he gets too emotional and an accident follows, don’t blame Old Man Huang for ineffective treatment.”

     

    Zhao Wujiu: “I see. Then I will wait for his injury to get better first before going in.”

     

    Bai Shiqi: “You are much smarter than Ziheng. You really don’t look like brothers of the same family.” That other one only knew to eat and play foolishly, did not even look shrewd in the slightest. What an odd existence that came out of the unsullied Imperial family.

     


     

    Bai Shiqi: Adding more stress for Old Man Huang!
    Old Man Huang: You’d better not get sick in the future!

     


    Read only at Travis Translations


     

    Wook

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