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    The Black Horse

    Chapter 48


    Cousin Brother's Painstaking Efforts

    Translated by Wook
    Edited by sienz


     

    The window opened from the inside. With a pale face, Bai Shiqi leaned against the wall, lowered her voice, and asked excitedly: “Big Brother Zhao, have you brought me something to eat?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu: “… …”

     

    Bai Shiqi walked over slowly while holding onto the wall, then sat on a drum stool in front of the window, her eyes scanning from behind the wheelchair, to his arms and the sleeves: “Big Brother Zhao, I’m going to be starved to death by Old Man Huang… Did you truly not bring at least half a roasted chicken or duck over?” Then she thought she could at least settle for the next best thing: “… Soy sauce pork is also okay ah?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu: “… …”

     

    It was the first time he felt so awkward when visiting a sick person. 

     

    Bai Zhenting and Su shi were very polite to him, but they were also alienating him. When they were asked about Bai Shiqi’s injury, they would only answer with ‘severe injuries’, but refused to say anything in detail. When he mentioned that he wanted to visit the patient, they would block him with ‘still needs to rest’.

     

    Bai Zhenting also said: “Huang Youbi never likes to deal with officials in the government. The only reason he healed Your Highness Prince Zhou’s legs was because my unfilial son had him fooled. I hope Your Highness can remember my unfilial son’s painstaking effort and leave as soon as your legs are fully healed so as to avoid this matter being found out, and ruin our old brothers’ relationships!”

     

    In short, they could not wait to separate them and cut off their connection with him using Bai Shiqi’s injuries as an excuse.

     

    Zhao Wujiu was a majestic prince who kept suffering losses under Bai Zhenting and his wife’s hands. It was something that had never happened before, however, he did not seem to be angry at all. He was being particularly reasonable: “The things that Leader Bai has said just now are not unreasonable, however I’m afraid I won’t be able to follow your wish. First is because of my legs that have not been cured completely, second is… Shiqi has been so dedicated to helping me, now that he’s hurt, how can I leave with peace in mind?”

     

    Bai Zhenting and Su shi exchanged a worried look. Since they could not persuade him, they could only step up their defenses. The women guarding Bai Shiqi’s door kept changing in shifts of three to stop Zhao Wujiu and his brother from visiting the patient.

     

    It had been so difficult to see Bai Shiqi, and he did not expect her to look so pitiful.

     

    Zhao Wujiu could not bear it, but he also knew that she was badly injured and should not eat greasy food or meat: “… Elder Huang won’t let you eat, so don’t eat for the time being.” He truly didn’t know how to comfort others, his tone only made Bai Shiqi angry: “He probably only wants to take revenge for his personal grudges! I have been drinking rice soup for four or five days. I’m so hungry I don’t think I’d be able to get up anymore.” Then she cupped her hands and pleaded: “Big Brother Zhao, can you please give me a bite of meat?!”

     

    Bai Shiqi, who was usually so high and mighty, leaned against the wall powerlessly like a beggar on the side of the road. Her eyes were filled with deep desire for food, as if even mere bones would be able to revive her.

     

    Zhao Wujiu helplessly continued to comfort: “Once you’re well again, I’ll invite you to eat every delicious food in Jiangnan. Alright?”

     

    “But I want to eat it now!” Bai Shiqi could not be coaxed with the big pie he had thrown. She lifted her nose to the air and inhaled several breaths of air: “It’s so fragrant.” Her eyes flashed. She stretched out her hands to Zhao Wujiu and begged: “Big Brother Zhao, since you have brought the meat, please don’t hide it and give it to me?!”

     

    Zhao Wujiu was stunned: “I really did not bring any…” A head suddenly appeared behind him, with a greasy roasted chicken in his hand, and looking smug all over: “Shiqi, your best brother is still me, right?!”

     

    It was Zhao Ziheng who had sneaked over.

     

    All of Bai Shiqi’s attention was immediately attracted by the roasted chicken. Her sweet words poured out as if they were worthless: “Ziheng, having you as my brother is enough. It wasn’t in vain that I took care of you. When I get better, I certainly have to find you 18 courses of delicacies and exquisite wine!”

     

    Zhao Ziheng gave his cousin a smug look, then rushed over to pass the roasted chicken to Bai Shiqi through the window and asked with concern: “Shiqi, what’s wrong with your wounds? Leader Bai and his wife have been treating us brothers like a plague, and keep chasing us at least ten miles away. It’s not easy to come and see you.”

     

    Bai Shiqi took a mouthful of the roasted chicken with tears of happiness: “It’s so fragrant! Oh, were you asking about my wounds? She snorted and said: “I’m alright!”

     

    Her spirit changed in an instant with the roasted chicken in hand. She was taking a bite of the plump chicken thigh when she was suddenly grabbed by the collar. There stood Zhu Shoumei with a green face behind her. He slapped her hand and snatched the roasted chicken from her hand.

     

    Bai Shiqi: “… …”

     

    Bai Shiqi stared stupidly at Zhu Shoumei, who had appeared so suddenly as if he had fallen from the sky. She wondered about how she had only been lethargic for just a few days, could he possibly learnt how to walk silently in just one or two of those days?

     

    Zhu Shoumei reprimanded her with a blackened face: “After barely escaping from death, you still don’t know how to cherish your life?” He pinched her cheeks and even snatched the big bite of meat in her mouth, wishing to hit her hard on the head at least twice, so she could have a better understanding of things.

     

    Bai Shiqi’s eyes were still filled with the desire for the meat, she held onto Zhu Shoumei’s waist and pretended to cry: “Shoumei! Meimei! Did you already forget my support for you during those years? Did you forget my effort to feed you with roasted fish during those years? How could you be so heartless and have to fight with me over meat?”

     

    Zhu Shoumei held the roasted chicken high. He was hugged by Bai Shiqi, her whole body was attached to him, making his face flushed. He was aware that she was seriously injured and did not dare to push her away. He stammered: “I-I… You quickly… Let go! Did Master Huang not warn you to pay attention to your diet?… Get out of the way… Shiqi… .”

     

    Outside the window, Zhao Ziheng laughed loudly and asked from the other side of the window: “Young Leader Bai, do you want me to come in and help you?”

     

    If it were someone else, Zhao Ziheng would have already retreated long ago, however, Zhu Shoumei was on the same level with him power-wise, so he dared to stand up for his brother.

     

    Zhao Wujiu stared at the two entangled figures. Nobody knew what he was feeling.

     

    Zhu Shoumei was afraid that Bai Shiqi would snatch the meat back and her wounds would not heal because of it, so he could only try his best to win against her using his height. He stood on his tiptoes with his face flushed. Bai Shiqi, the monkey, still refused to give up when she suddenly yelped ‘ouch’ and slowly slid down from Zhu Shoumei… 

     

    Shiqi?” Zhao Wujiu hurriedly got up from the wheelchair, wanting to climb over the window, his tone was anxious: “Shiqi, are you alright?”

     

    Zhu Shoumei was also frightened by her. He squatted down and anxiously asked: “Shiqi, what’s wrong?”

     

    Zhao Ziheng was about to climb inside the window, only to find that Bai Shiqi had turned his head to gnaw on the roasted chicken, and winked triumphantly at the two brothers.

     

    Zhu Shoumei’s concerns had been used. When he found out that he had been deceived, he suddenly got angry: “If you keep doing this, I will call the Master! I can’t control you, but Master and Leader Bai can always control you, right?!”

     

    Bai Shiqi was a flexible person, knowing when to be soft and hard. She quickly asked for mercy: “Shoumei! Shoumei! I only took a bite, just a small bite! Ouch, it hurts! The wound hurts!”

     

    Zhu Shoumei asked with suspicion: “Really?”

     

    Bai Shiqi sat on the floor with cold sweat while covering her abdomen, her eyes were half-closed: “It hurts… .”

     

    She had always been lively and rarely looked weak. Zhu Shoumei did not even care anymore whether it was real or fake, he quickly threw the roasted chicken away and hugged the person in his arms. Zhao Wujiu and Zhao Ziheng were still standing in front of the window when the door suddenly opened from the outside. Zhao Wujiu quickly closed the window with his hand, only to hear Bai Zhenting’s loud voice resounding like thunder: “What’s the matter?”

     

    The window was not completely closed, there was still a small gap. Through the gap, Zhao Wujiu saw Bai Zhenting and Qiu Yunping enter the room. He probably saw Zhu Shomei and Bai Shiqi hugging each other, so his expression looked a little unsightly.

     

    Zhu Shoumei: “… The wound might be reopened from walking.”

     

    Nobody knew what Bai Zhenting was thinking about, as he suddenly pushed Qiu Yunping forward: “Yunping, you go and help Shiqi to the bed.”

     

    Except for Bai Zhenting who had given the order, everyone inside and outside the room was taken aback by him.

     

    Zhao Wujiu got back into the wheelchair and motioned to Zhao Ziheng to push him away. He was afraid that if he stayed longer, he would rush in.

     

    Compared with Zhao Wujiu’s sad departure, Zhu Shoumei and Qiu Yunping looked at each other.

     

    Zhu Shoumeii did not want to let go, while Qiu Yunping involuntarily took a step back, as if there was a big pit waiting for him to fall in front of him. If it were not for Bai Zhenting’s insistence on holding him over to visit the patient, he would not step in at all.

     

    Bai Shiqi held on to Zhu Shoumei’s arm and stood up. Her regretful eyes stayed on the roasted chicken on the floor for a while, then she kicked the fat and plum chicken to the bottom of the table, leaving no trace behind.

     

    She leaned against Zhu Shoumei and returned to the bed. He did not know if it was a mere illusion, but Zhou Shoumei always felt that ever since Leader Bai came in, Bai Shiqi turned extremely weak, and even her voice became weaker. She half-leaned against the bed and asked in a low voice: “Dad came here… is there a problem?”

     

    Bai Zhenting hinted to her, saying ‘you understand what I mean’ with his eyes, and pushed Qiu Yunping over: “I guessed you might be bored all alone, so I brought Qiu Yunping over to relieve your boredom.”

     

    QIu Yunping: “… …” Am I just a performing artist in Leader Bai’s mind?

     

    He enthusiastically suggested: “If Young Leader is bored, why not let Miss Song Si come in and entertain?”

     

    Bai Zhenting’s thick eyebrows were almost twisted and he said gruffly: “I asked you to accompany Shiqi, why are you suggesting others to come in?” He wanted to hit his head with the palm-leaf fan in his hand to let the youngster get some enlightenment.

     

    As soon as he said this, Qiu Yunping was puzzled. However, Zhu Shoumei’s face turned ashen, and he stood stiffly at the head of the bed.

     

    ***

     

    Zhao Wujiu had just finished writing a letter and handed it to Shu Changfeng so he could seal it. He instructed: “Send it back to Jing as soon as possible.”

     

    Yu Ang craned his neck and wanted to know the content of the letter. He was most worried about his current situation: “Has Your Highness mentioned anything to His Majesty about this official?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu: “You will still be a dead person even if I mention you.” He was in a bad mood today, so he did not want to be a kind person.

     

    Yu Ang: “Your Highness, that’s different!” He had heard that an official had been appointed by the court to investigate the Lianghuai salt road, and the person was already on their way. This put Yu Ang in an awkward situation.

     

    “Your Highness… Did you not write about the Lianghuai salt road to His Majesty?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu glanced at him coldly, his blood boiling: “No. I wrote to his father to ask him to clean up the pirates in Liang and Huai River, lest they continue to cause trouble.”

     

    Yu Ang: “… …”

     

    Shu Changfeng: “Your Highness… Is it for Young Leader Bai?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu: “This prince is doing this for the people living in the coastal area, so they’d stop suffering under the hands of the pirates.”

     

    Zhao Ziheng was moved emotionally by him. He squeezed his hands tightly: “Cousin Brother, I thank you on behalf of Shiqi!” Since Cousin Brother had moved his hands personally, what else should he worry about?

     

    From now on, Bai Shiqi would no longer have to encounter this kind of danger.

     


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    Wook

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