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    The Black Horse

    Chapter 56.1


    Unexpected Meeting

    Translated by Translated by Wook
    Edited by Edited by Wook


     

    Staying in the bottom cabin for a long time where the air was dirty and smelled rotten made it difficult to breathe.

     

    After investigating the scene, the four people quickly came out and stood on the shore to breathe fresh air after disembarking from the ship.

     

    Zhao Ziheng stood far away, wishing to be three feet away from Bai Shiqi, and said in disgust: “You wash the blood on your shoes.” If circumstances permitted, he wanted those people to take a bath first to get rid of the smell on their body.

     

    Bai Shiqi was depressed today, so she ignored her good brother. She sat alone on a large bluestone on the bank of the river to wash her boots. Ten steps away, many people gathered from villages and towns, and the atmosphere was lively. Suddenly, she caught a glimpse of a familiar dark-skinned and thin young man from the corner of her eye. With a muddled mind, she stood all of a sudden and went straight to the crowd.

     

    Many people did not bother with her. They just did not understand why the pale-faced youth suddenly rushed over to them. However, the dark and thin young man reacted quickly. His expression froze upon seeing Bai Shiqi, and he was already running away when Bai Shiqi just got up.

     

    Bai Shiqi moved very fast, making Zhao Ziheng mutter in a low voice: “… I didn’t even say anything offensive. She doesn’t have to sulk and leave!”

     

    Zhao Wujiu found this stupid cousin of his hopeless since long time ago, so he directly gestured to two sturdy-looking subordinates: “You two, go and see what is wrong with that person.”

     

    Shu Changfeng kindly explained: “Bai Shiqi saw a suspicious person, so she chased after him.”

     

    Zhao Ziheng: “Is it a pirate? One of the same group as the murderer?” This young sir had never even seen chicken being killed, not to mention a murder scene. The smell of blood made him nauseated and vomit. There was no room left to pay attention to the surrounding environment and people.

     

    Zhao Wujiu: “… Not necessarily.” Although she chased after that person at an extremely fast speed, he couldn’t see any violent aura from her figure and movement. This implied she didn’t have the intention to attack, perhaps the other party was just an acquaintance.

     

    “Cousin Brother could even see this?” Zhao Ziheng was not really clear about the situation that happened in a split second, as Bai Shiqi was already almost gone when he just noticed.

     

    Zhao Wujiu: “… …” I really want to teach this cousin to cherish words like gold, and that if one doesn’t understand something they could at least avoid showing their stupidity.

     

    Shu Changfeng: “If that was a member of the pirate group, she would’ve brought weapons.”

     

    Next to the big bluestone where Bai Shiqi had just sat a moment ago was a saber used by the soldiers of Gaoyou Guard.

     

    Zhao Ziheng could only kneel down to his cousin and Shu Changfeng… How could they see so many clues in such a short moment?

     

    For the first time in his life, he questioned his IQ.

     

    ***

     

    Bai Shiqi ran as fast as lightning. The dark and thin young man in front of her also gritted his teeth and ran desperately. He ran fast, but Bai Shiqi was still faster. The distance between the two gradually narrowed. The man started to pant like a dog, while the person behind him shouted: “Suan Pan, do you believe it or not?”

    [T/N: Have I ever told you about this author’s unique and lazy style in naming the character? Suan Pan 算盘 can mean “abacus” or “plan/ scheme”. You can guess how the story goes with this name.]

     

    Suan Pan continued to run, but the person behind finally caught up to him. She stretched her leg and swung, making the other person fall forward to the ground.

     

    Bai Shiqi stepped on his spine and stomped it twice. “Do you believe it or not, if you try to run again, I will break your bones?!”

     

    Suan Pan lay on the spot without moving, then he heard a harsh question from above his head: “Aren’t you dead? Why are you still alive?”

     

    “Speak!”

     

    Suan Pan was the child that Qiu Ying rescued in the canal. At that time, he had already stayed in the shipping group and had become Bai Shiqi’s playmate. 

     

    This kid had a flexible mind. He was the kind of person who was eager to make one penny into ten pennies. He could buy a lot of small gadgets from Qiu Ying’s allowance, and that was how he got his name that was given by Bai Shiqi as a joke, “Suan Pan”. His original name was kind of ugly, and this one was a bit more satisfying.

     

    When Qiu Ying’s accident happened, he was also with Qiu Ying and never returned. Bai Shiqi could not find a complete corpse of her playmates, the cabin was only filled with a bloody smell that could choke people. It was hard to distinguish the broken limbs of the enemy and her own people…

     

    Suan Pan’s attitude was still firm despite being stepped on his back.

     

    Not long after, the two sturdy subordinates of Zhao Wujiu caught up to them. One of them pulled Suan Pan up from the ground, while the other one said: “Mister Su, leave this matter to us. Even the hardest bones will turn into a coward.”

     

    Suan Pan turned his head in fright towards Bai ShiqiYoung Leader, you won’t let them, right?!

     

    Bai Shiqi stood with her arms folded, her expression indifferent: “These guys are not me. They won’t consider the old feelings!”

     

    The two men twisted Suan Pan’s arms and almost broke the bones, making him gritted his teeth in pain. Before he could say anything, one arm had been dislocated.

     

    Then one of them pushed the arm up with a cracking sound before pulling it down again like a toy…

     

    Suan Pan: “… …”

     

    “Mister Su, as long as you give Yang Hai the order, he can tear down the bones of this kid one by one. You don’t have to worry about not being able to ask anything. Even the most vicious pirate won’t be able to stand his method if they fall into his hands.”

     

    There two people had participated in the war of resistance against the Japanese in the coastal area, together with Luo Dajue. As Luo Dajue got promoted to commander, these two people were transferred together to Gaoyou as his confidants.

     

    Thinking of the pain, he didn’t care anymore about the relationship between Bai Shiqi and the two people, and shouted: “Young Leader, save me! I know… I know what you want to ask. He’s not dead! He’s not dead!”

     

    Bai Shiqi looked extremely shocked.

     

    The two men were even more shocked when they heard that “Su Qi” was called “Young Leader”.

     

    ***

     

    Suan Pan was taken back, and Bai Shiqi was observing the surroundings. There were onlookers not far away, so it was not a good place for interrogation. She turned around and went back to the murder scene, signalling the two men to lift Suan Pan into the ship.

     

    She entered the owner’s cabin. It was the best cabin on the ship. It was well lit, and one could see the scenery on both sides of the strait when the window was opened. There was a hacked woman and a 6-7 year-old child lying on the floor. The child, lying in a pool of dried blood, may be the wife and child of the shipowner.

     

    Bai Shiqi looked around. There was blood on the chair, but the bed was clean, so she sat cross-legged on the bed, while the two men made Suan Pan knelt on the place, four or five steps away from the dead woman and child. One could still see the woman’s eyes widened in horror.

     

    Bai Shiqi was normally cordial and full of smiles. She was very generous and kind towards the brothers under her hands, but she was also quite imposing when she lost her temper. She had been living on the tip of the knife all year round because of this matter that became a knot in her heart for several years. She played with a sharp dagger which she had gotten from God knows where, her eyes filled with anger: “Let’s talk about it. What the hell is going on? If you refuse to tell me the truth, don’t blame me for being impolite with your fate!”

     

    Suan Pan knelt in front of her, trembling for a long time, before he said stutteringly: “When the accident happened, Young Sir hit his head and now he can’t remember the past. I took him… I took him to a different place to live. I won’t let him live in the shipping group anymore.”

     

    Bai Shiqi scraped the dagger lightly on her own thumb, and said casually: “I never knew that you have the right to decide on his matter.”

     

    She still had the white pebble in her purse, but it was not the right time to take it out.

     

    Suan Pan stretched his neck and said: “Young Sir saved my life. His business is naturally my business!”

     

    Suan Pan ah, Suan Pan. I really didn’t see it before that you’re such a smart guy!” Bai Shiqi sneered: “Since he’s not dead, why don’t you take me to see him?”

     

    Suan Pan flinched backwards: “No. Once you see him, do you want Young Sir to work on the ship again for you?”

     

    Bai Shiqi always felt that there was something strange, but she couldn’t tell where the problem was. There was a mess in her mind, and there was even another sneer in her heart: This is not a TV series, how could I come across an amnesia case? Is there a bloodier plot than this? But her mind, on the other hand, said: That’s Qiu Ying. Both of his parents died and he lived in the shipping group since childhood. There’s no reason to lie to you, isn’t it?!

     

    But what about the pebble at the murder scene?

     

    Bai Shiqi got up, and looked down condescendingly at Suan Pan: “I know you are loyal to him. But Suan Pan, worthless loyalty means nothing. Now think about this. Do you want to take me back to your place to speak the truth with your young sir, or do you want me to chop you to pieces right this moment just like how the crew of this ship died to the pirates? You choose.”

     

    Suan Pan knelt still on the ground, as if fighting against heaven.

     

    “Once you’re done thinking, tell these people whether you want to be dealt with or whether you want to go out with them.”

     

    Bai Shiqi was getting impatient. After leaving the cabin, she found out that Zhao Wujiu was standing on the deck, pondering while staring at the river. Hearing the movement behind him, he turned around, and with a worried expression on his face: “What’s the matter?”

     

    “This kid… is Qiu Ying’s close friend. He said…” She pretended to be composed and took a deep breath: “He said Qiu Ying is not dead!”

     

    Zhao Wujiu raised his long eyebrows slightly, and a look of surprise flashed across his face. He quickly held her hand and felt her trembling. He took off his cloak and put it on her. His movements were natural and smooth. He then held her shoulders: “It’s good that the person is not dead.” He unexpectedly felt somewhat glad.

     

    Rather than let a dead person stay in her heart for a long time, it would be better if the person was alive, so the old affection could slowly go away.

     

    Bai Shiqi had a strong self-control ability. Perhaps it was because Zhao Wujiu’s strength made it easy to let people lower their guards, so she had shown a moment of fragility, but soon she regained her senses and even showed a faint smile: “I’m fine. Hearing that he’s alive… I’m very happy.” And aside from being happy, there are also deep doubts, which cannot be spoken to other people easily.

     

    Standing far away on the shore, Zhao Ziheng saw the two people were standing close together while holding hands. He covered his eyes in pain and muttered to himself: “Cousin Brother… How could you have your eyes on Shiqi?”

     

    Shu Changfeng: “What’s wrong with it?” The two of you could be said as wearing the same pair of pants. What is this act of turning your head and disliking the other?

    [T/N: wearing the same pair of pants: people of the same kind with close relationship]

     

    “You don’t understand!” Zhao Ziheng tried to let Shu Changfeng understand his inner feelings: “Whether Shiqi is a man or a woman, she will always be my good brother, but she will never be suitable to be my sister-in-law.”

     

    “Why is it so?”

     

    “Cousin Brother is staid and boring, Shiqi is lively and active. If everyone goes out to play together, there will be more young ladies who love Shiqi than Cousin Brother. Is this appropriate?”

     

    Shu Changfeng: “… …” It sounds reasonable.

     

    He imagined that situation, and couldn’t help but worry about his master.

     

    The two people on the ship got off without knowing what the two were talking about, and the two sturdy men behind them came out with Suan Pan. The boy was dropped off the ship, andYang Hai said: “Young Leader Bai, he promised to take you there.”

     

    Luo Dajue: “Young Leader… Bai?”

     

    What the hell?

     

    Bai Shiqi apologized at once: “I apologize for lying to you.”

     

    When hearing that Su Qi was actually the young leader of the shipping group in Suzhou, he was actually very happy. He clasped his fist and said, “I heard that Young Leader Bai of the shipping group is a hero. In the past few years, he has spent much effort to clean up the river course, head-to-head with the pirates. If only the local guards have a small part of your courage, how could we still worry about this place?”

     

    He was very ambitious in doing his job, but he had been suppressed by his superiors and squeezed out by his colleagues for many years. When he heard about Bai Shiqi’s deeds, he put this matter in his heart, and that’s why he became more enthusiastic in treating her. He spoke mysteriously: “I have some jars of wine which I made two years ago. After we go back today, I will dig it out to entertain Young Leader.”

     

    Zhao Wujiu: “… …”

     

    Zhao Ziheng felt it was peculiar: “Apparently His Highness Prince Zhou’s reputation could not beat Young Leader Bai’s reputation?”

     

    No matter how ignorant he was of current affairs, Luo Dajue also admired Prince Zhou, who was known for his merits, and quickly explained: “Your Highness, the wine made by this official is a crude one. How can it be served to you?”

     

    Even though Bai Shiqi still had a lot in her mind, she was amused by Lord Luo: “Then I will thank Lord Luo for his care.”

     

    The two sturdy men holding Suan Pan gave each other a meaningful gaze, and silently shed a tear of sympathy for Young Leader Bai.

     

    ***

     

    Bai Shiqi took the two men and Shu Changfeng along with Suan Pan passing through a small alley covered with moss, and stopped at the door of a small courtyard with two entrances.

     

    Suan Pan stood at the door and knocked, then a familiar voice came from the courtyard: “Who is it?”

     

    Suan Pan: “Young Sir, it’s me.”

     

    The courtyard door was opened. A tall and handsome young man saw the bunch of people at the door and his gaze met with Bai Shiqi’s. His expression did not waver, only showing a slight surprise: “Suan Pan, who are they?”

     

    Suan Pan looked awkward: “Young Sir, this person is your former… friend.”

     

    Across the threshold, this was the first time the two met after four years of separation. For countless nights, Bai Shiqi woke up from nightmares, always dreaming of her playmates standing in front of her drenched in blood. The young man had grown into a steady young man. He looked at her unfamiliarly, and said in hesitation: “We… know each other?”

     

    Those memories of growing up with him passed by, and Bai Shiqi lost her voice for a moment, only looking at him blankly.

     

    It was said that Qiu Ying’s mother was once a well-known young lady, her beauty eclipsed many of the other young ladies along the river. Qiu Ying resembled his mother, with fair skin and elegant appearance, coupled with a pair of sentimental eyes. He had long and thick eyelashes. Upon meeting, people couldn’t help but think of the word “affectionate”.

     

    Bai Shiqi took a deep breath to calm her mood. The once lawless monkey cautiously probed: “Don’t you remember me?”

     


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    Wook

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