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    The Black Horse

    Chapter 50


    Bai Shiqi's Difficulties

    Translated by Wook
    Edited by sienz


     

    Many years ago, the 7-or-8 years old Bai Shiqi was sent to Huang Youbi’s side because of injuries.

     

    She became acquainted and played together with the awkward and peculiar Zhu Shoumei. All day long Zhu Shoumei brought her up the hill and down the river to make trouble. Seeing his little disciple becoming more lively, but also lawless, Huang Youbi had a headache and had to think of a way. And so, he started to teach Zhu Shoumei how to diagnose illness from the pulse.

     

    Zhu Shoumei was extremely talented, and he was quite savvy in medicine. Under the deterrence of Bai Shiqi, the friends in the village were forced to lend their wrists to Zhu Shoumei for practice.

     

    Bai Shiqi even encouraged him: “You must have a sweet mouth. Just be polite, or give away the licorice root that Old Man Huang has, so the aunties in the village will be willing to lend their wrists for you to practice with.”

     

    Zhu Shoumei had been begging since he was a child. The number of unfamiliar women who looked at him in disdain couldn’t even be counted anymore. If not because of his situation, he would’ve preferred to take a detour rather than face those women. Even since he was taken in by Huang Youbi, he was reluctant to deal with these women anymore. Following Huang Youbi as a medicine boy when he went out to offer consultations, he acted as a background board, as long as he obeyed the master’s instructions, it was not necessary to personally deal with these women.

     

    “No, no…”

     

    Seeing that he was cowering so much, Bai Shiqi guided him: “First, prepare a lot of licorice tea. Tomorrow, I will take you to visit those women in the village.”

     

    Zhu Shomei had personally witnessed Bai Shiqi’s crooked skills. Even his own master was willing to bow down, and Aunty Fatty who came to settle accounts had been repelled. What did he not believe Bai Shiqi could do?

     

    So, at that moment, he gathered the wild tea and licorice root collected by Huang Youbi from the mountain, wrapped a dozen packets of licorice tea, and fell asleep in anxiety.

     

    In the early morning of the next day, after Huang Youbi left for the mountain to gather medicine, Bai Shiqi climbed on Zhu Shoumei’s back. He carried a large bag full of licorice tea and was driven by her to knock on Aunt Fatty’s door first.

     

    The one who opened the door was Da Pang. He cowered a little upon seeing Bai Shiqi, and carefully stretched out his fat arm across the courtyard door and closed his eyes: “H-Here you go.”

     

    Bai Shiqi poked her head from behind Zhu Shoumei and asked enthusiastically: “Is Aunt Fatty home?”

     

    Da Pang shrank back in shock and stammered: “I-I haven’t bothered Zhu Shoumei recently, don’t tell my mother!”

     

    After suffering from a big loss the last time he bullied Zhu Shoumei, after he got back home that day, he was ruthlessly sorted out by his mother. She repeatedly warned him to not bully Zhu Shoumei. However, what he learned from this event was that the most horrible one was not Zhu Shoumei, but the crippled Bai Shiqi.

     

    Bai Shiqi looked at the sky expressionlessly: “Who said we wanted to tell on you? We want to ask Aunt Fatty for help.”

     

    Da Pang ran to call Aunt Fatty.

     

    Zhu Shoumei was very surprised. He thought that the things which made him helpless or afraid did not seem to be a problem in front of Bai Shiqi. Bai Shiqi could quickly solve everything and the results were quite good.

     

    Aunt Fatty came out very quickly.

     

    When Bai Shiqi saw Aunt Fatty, she seemed to have forgotten how she had frightened and threatened Aunt Fatty in the yard a few days ago. She waved to her enthusiastically and unscrupulously, and spoke with a sweet voice that was like honey: “Aunt Fatty, Aunt Fatty, Shoumei was bored at home and made some licorice tea. Thinking that Da Pang’s been a good playmate for us, Shoumei thought of sending a portion to Aunty. This licorice tea can relieve cough and diuresis, moisten the lungs and detoxify, and can also relieve spleen, abdominal pain, and fever. Would you like to taste it?”

     

    Hearing that it’s medicated tea, and thinking that she always  gets the coughs in the autumn, Aunt Fatty quickly smiled: “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

     

    Zhu Shoumei put Bai Shiqi on the stone bench in the courtyard. She tried her best to promote the benefits of licorice tea and motioned to Zhu Shoumei to take a pack. Then she said a little distressedly: “We need Aunt Fatty’s help in something.”

     

    Having received other people’s grace, and not to mention getting Huang Youbi’s favor, Aunt Fatty was not reluctant: “What is it about?”

     

    Bai Shiqi: “My Shoumei has been  learning to diagnose from the pulse recently, but the pulses he felt were too few, so he’d like to feel Aunt Fatty’s pulse. Would you be willing to help?”

     

    Not only was she willing, Aunt Fatty also generously pulled out the white radishes from her house. There was a 13-year-old girl, an 11-year-old girl, a 5-year-old boy, and a toddler who had barely learned to walk, in addition to Da Pang, whose pulse had been felt by Zhu Shoumei several times. After getting even plumper this time, he lifted up his fat wrist and let Zhu Shoumei feel it again.

     

    Zhu Shoumei not only felt Aunt Fatty’s pulse, but also her mother-in-law who was sick all year round.

     

    With more than a dozen packets of licorice tea and Bai Shiqi’s sweet tongue, Zhu Shoumei had felt the pulse conditions of the common people in the village several times, with the exception of the scholar families. During that time, when the villagers met Zhu Shoumei, they’d greeted and teased him: “Little Physician Zhu, would you like to feel me to see if there’s anything wrong with me lately?”

     

    Zhu Shoumei was a stubborn and serious person. For others it was just a joke, but he seriously checked their pulse. It’s been a month and he could already diagnose some minor problems.

     

    One day, on a whim, he wanted to check Bai Shiqi’s pulse.

     

    Bai Shiqi happily rolled up her sleeves. Zhu Shoumei pressed on her wrist over and over again. He was so shocked that he sat down on the ground and covered his face in shame: “Shiqi, I may not be suitable for being a physician.”

     

    “Have you not been doing a good job? Even Old Man Huang praised you as a medical genius. You are making great progress.”

     

    Huang Youbi had only suggested it casually to save his little disciple from the rotten path and did not expect him to be so talented, so recently, he was in a good mood. Even under the constant trouble caused by Bai Shiqi, he still walked briskly.

     

    Zhu Shoumei felt that most of his cowardly temperament had shrunk since he was praised as a genius by his master. Studying medicine gave him great self-confidence. But at the moment, he was cowering on the ground and was almost crying: “No, I’m not! No matter how I touch it, the result keeps telling me that you’re a girl!”

     

    The friend before him had red lips and white teeth, and leaned more to the beautiful side, but… but, Bai Shiqi is obviously the best boy in the world!

     

    The more Zhu Shoumei felt her pulse, the more he lost confidence in his judgement. He even suspected that Huang Youbi’s praise was merely to comfort him: “Is it… Is it not suitable for me to study medicine?”

     

    Bai Shiqi: “… …”

     

    She never thought that one day her gender would become a stumbling block for her friend who was learning.

     

    She kicked the frustrated Zhu Shoumei twice with her good foot, and said in a small voice: “Shoumei, I’ll tell you something. Actually… I’m a girl.”

     

    Hearing that, Zhu Shoumei now felt that there was also something wrong with his ears. He stood up and looked at her from top to bottom: “Nonsense! Bai Shiqi, you’re lying to me again!”

     

    It was not a problem for Bai Shiqi to tell a lie casually. It was as natural as eating and drinking water for her. Zhu Shoumei couldn’t believe her at all right now, and he became very emotional: “I know you are afraid that I won’t study medicine again. But Shiqi, we have known each other for almost two months, how can I not know if you are a boy or a girl?”

     

    Bai Shiqi looked at the little friend before her as if he was stupid, her thoughts were complicated, and after a long time, she said: “Not to mention you, if I were to tell the people in the shipping group, I’m sure they won’t believe it, but I’m indeed a girl. It’s just… My dad doesn’t have a son, and there’s nothing else he can do about it, since he doesn’t want other people to take over the group.”

     

    Zhu Shoumei was skeptical: “… For real?”

     

    Bai Shiqi became angry: “… Do you need me to take off my clothes and show you?”

     

    Zhu Shoumei recalled Bai Shiqi’s mischievousness. After she came here, she had never taken off her clothes and had never took baths in the river. Every time Zhu Shoumei invited her to take off her clothes and bathe in the river, she only pushed him and never went.

     

    Huang Youbi was also very strict about her bath. Every time he would tell Zhu Shoumei to boil hot water and bring it to her room, letting her take a bath behind closed doors. One day, Zhu Shoumei also proposed “I will help you rub your back”, resulting in Huang Youbi’s curses.

     

    The more Zhu Shoumei thought about it, the more suspicious he felt, and he finally had to accept the fact that… his little friend was a girl.

     

    “It’s not… I just can’t believe it.” He stood in front of Bai Shiqi and looked at her carefully: “No wonder you’re so pretty.” Only girls can be pretty.

     

    Bai Shiqi smiled and scolded him: “Get away! I’m the young leader of the shipping group, how can I be called pretty? It’s handsome! Handsome!” The 7-or-8 years old naughty child was sitting on the ground with a limping leg, and Zhu Shoumei willingly supported her with a hand: “Of course! Young Leader Bai is so incomparably handsome!”

     

    “This is a secret, you can’t tell anyone!” Bai Shiqi said: “You have to swear to heaven and keep it a secret for me!”

     

    Zhu Shoumei stood in front of her and swore very solemnly: “I, Zhu Shoumei, swear that if one day I reveal Bai Shiqi’s secret, let me… let me become a pig or a dog, and I’ll be called a bastard for the rest of my life!”

     

    The child’s words rang.

     

    A few months later, Bai Zhenting reappeared, picked up the still alive Bai Shiqi and returned to Suzhou. The two little friends said goodbye to each other, but this matter had always been in Zhu Shoumei’s heart.

     

    At this moment, when he mustered up the courage to propose that he wanted to enter the Bai family for the rest of his life, Bai Shiqi’s eyes were full of surprise, and after a while, she laughed: “Shoumei, I remember you said that in the future you want to be a famous physician that will be remembered in the generations to come. You said you want to be a physician like Old Man Huang, treating common people, and travel around to learn more about intractable diseases. Why are you so confused now and want to get involved in this muddy water?”

     

    Zhu Shoumei: “But I’ve changed my mind now.”

     

    The rear window was pushed aside with a bang. The two turned to look, and saw the two Zhao brothers outside the window: Zhao Ziheng standing and Zhao Wujiu in the wheelchair.

     

    Zhao Ziheng looked at her foolishly: “S-Shiqi… You’re a woman?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu’s voice was calm, but what he said was shocking: “Shiqi, what do you think about having me as the leader’s son-in-law?” 

     

    Bai Shiqi almost fell off the bed!

     


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    Wook's notes:

    Cats out of the bag~~ :lmaocry: About time.

    Wook

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