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    The Black Horse

    Chapter 56.2


    Unexpected Meeting

    Translated by Wook
    Edited by Wook


     

    Qiu Ying shook his head: “I have never seen you before, or… perhaps I have known you before, but I have forgotten many things. Forgive me.” He then invited everyone into the house.

     

    Bai Shiqi entered the courtyard in silence and found that it was a neat little courtyard. There were brush, ink, papers, and inkstone in the hall. It seemed that before they came, the owner had been reading.

     

    Although the appearance of Qiu Ying before her and the young boy in her memory overlap, his temperament seemed to have changed drastically. He would no longer look at her with a shy smile, let alone follow her everywhere happily. Instead, he looked at her with suspicion: “How did we know each other before?”

     

    Bai Shiqi smiled sadly: “Your parents have passed away. You lived in my house and grew up with me.”

     

    Qiu Ying turned his head towards Suan Pan to clarify. Seeing Suan Pan nodded, his suspicion disappeared and finally showed a familiar shy smile: “I had an accident before which made me forget the past. Please forgive me. What should I call this brother?”

     

    “Surname Bai, first name Shiqi.”

     

    Shiqi?” Qiu Ying pondered: “Your family must be a lively and big family with many brothers and sisters, right?” Seeing Bai Shiqi’s awkward expression, he continued a little uneasily: “Did I guess wrong?”

     

    Bai Shiqi: “I am the only one in my family.”

     

    He turned to Suan Pan to verify again, and the other party nodded. Looking a little awkward, Suan Pan replied: “Young Sir, you should stop guessing wildly. Old Leader Bai only has one son.”

     

    Qiu Ying: “… …”

     

    The two hadn’t seen each other for a long time, and one of them regarded the other as a stranger. After sitting down for a while, Bai Shiqi wanted to say goodbye. On the contrary, Qui Ying seemed to be very interested in their past and kept her: “Brother Bai, you and I have been together since childhood. Since I’ve forgotten many things of the past, why don’t you stay here so we can talk more. Maybe I will be able to remember.”

     

    Bai Shiqi felt the house was cramped, and she was feeling overwhelmed, so she repeatedly refused: “I still have some things to do today. I will come to chat with you another day, there are still many things I want to ask you.”

     

    The pair of master and servant escorted her to the gate and watched the group of people walk out of the allergy before finally closing the door.

     

    After Shu Changfeng went back, he reported to Zhao Wujiu: “It seems that Qiu Ying has really forgotten Young Leader Bai. She must be uncomfortable. Would Your Highness like to comfort her?”

     

    Zhao Ziheng volunteered himself: “It’s not necessary for Cousin Brother to do it. Once I accompany Shiqi to relax, find a few girls to drink and listen to music with, she will return to normal.”

     

    Shu Changfeng: “Thirteenth lang, this method of yours is not appropriate, right?”

     

    Zhao Ziheng: “What do you know? Shiqi likes to have fun the most. If you sit down and talk to her earnestly, won’t that be awkward? We’re all men. Find a place to drink and listen to songs, find some ladies that are pleasing to the eyes…” The rest of his words were swallowed back due to Zhao Wujiu’s stern expression.

     

    —Under excitement, he even forgot the fact that his good brother is a woman.

     

    “Why are you looking for ladies that are pleasing to the eyes?” Zhao Wujiu asked with a soft voice.

     

    Zhao Ziheng: “… Nevermind.” His rebellious heart suddenly arose, and he couldn’t help yelling: “Is Cousin Brother not a man? What else can a man do when he finds good looking ladies? Naturally to have fun ah! Shiqi is manlier than Cousi…” Before he finished speaking, his gaze met Zhao Wujiu, and his voice got smaller and smaller.

     

    Zhao Wujiu: “Why don’t you follow Lord Luo to guard the murder scene tonight?”

     

    At this moment, the dark clouds outside were slowly moving, covering the last rays of the evening glow. The weather was gloomy, and it was not an exaggeration to say that there would be heavy rain tonight. There was no shelter on the shore, so when the rain came, in order not to get drenched, one could only go to the ship to shelter from the rain— spend the night with a bunch of corpses on a windy and rainy day. He got goosebumps just thinking about it.

     

    With his courage, Zhao Ziheng didn’t dare to go.

     

    “Cousin Brother, can’t I make a mistake?”

     

    ***

     

    With the intervention of Zhao Wujiu, Zhao Ziheng‘s comfort plan was overturned, and in the end, Luo Dajue took a hoe to dig out two jars of wine from the tree in the yard where he lived, and prepared to supply Bai Shiqi with wine for free.

     

    He heard of the news that Young Leader Bai had found the supposedly dead relative alive, but the said person had forgotten the past. He assumed that Young Leader Bai must be sad, and would want to get drunk to relieve the heart.

     

    Yang Hai and Wei Shuran, who had followed in escorting Suan Pan earlier in the day, heard that their lord was going to dig up the wine jars, so they dispersed earlier.

     

    The old servant who served Lord Luo laughed and said: “My lord has not been so happy for a long time. He said that one day he will go back to his hometown after retiring, just living the idle life of a farmhouse by fishing, making wine, and planting flowers in his spare time.”

     

    Bai Shiqi was sitting at the table listlessly. In her uneasiness, she said stingily: “Isn’t your lord living the idle life of a farmhouse even now?” In addition to fishing everyday, there were two vegetable seedlings planted in his yard, which still grew stubbornly despite the cold winter.

     

    The old servant: “Young Master must be joking. In any case, my lord is still an official and has a heavy responsibility. How can he really be idle?”

     

    Zhao Ziheng lifted his spirit and thought of the little joy in the midst of hardship: There is no song, no beauty, fortunately, there is still wine. Life in Gaoyou Guard is so idle. Lord Luo’s fishing skills are well practiced, and his brewing skills are not bad.

     

    He said bluntly: “Right, after all, your lord has a salary, and it won’t be good if he’s too idle. It’s better to practice fishing and wine making, so he can still be considered as a cultured person.”

     

    The old servant said in his heart: One can’t really talk with these people!

     

    After a while, Luo Dajue returned and brough two jars of wine with his robe covered with mud. He enthusiastically recommended it to the people: “This wine costs me a lot of good materials. Today, I would like to invite everyone to taste it.”

     

    Shu Changfeng took the wine jar, patted the mud seal on it only to smell a sour taste, and poured a glass for everyone at the table. Zhao Ziheng and Bai Shiqi were both good wine lovers and took the lead. After taking a mouthful, his complexion was distorted to the point of becoming speechless.

     

    Luo Dajue still enthusiastically asked for confirmation: “It’s delicious, isn’t it? Isn’t it particularly delicious?!”

     

    Zhao Ziheng spurted out the wine with a “pffff”, while Bai Shiqi swallowed the wine with difficulty: “… Why don’t Lord Luo try it yourself?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu had always been cautious. Seeing that the two of them had weird expressions, he simply didn’t drink.

     

    Luo Dajue took a big sip and boasted in content: “Isn’t it delicious?”

     

    Bai Shiqi really felt that Lord Luo’s sense of taste was probably broken. The wine he brewed was not smooth, the fermentation process might be problematic. In short, it tasted so bad that it made people nauseous.

     

    Everyone at the table looked at Luo Dajue without a word.

     

    Luo Dajue warmly entertained the guests: “Everyone doesn’t need to be so restrained. Come here and have another drink.” He patted the wine jar and said generously: “We won’t stop until these two jars are done tonight.”

     

    Zhao Ziheng didn’t want to be poisoned by his alcohol anymore, and got up quickly: “I forgot that I have an appointment tonight. Everyone else can sit down and enjoy first.”

     

    Bai Shiqi followed him at once to save her life: “Wait, didn’t you say you want to take me with you?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu watched speechlessly as his cousin abducted Bai Shiqi.

     

    In the evening, Zhao Ziheng took Bai Shiqi to see Eldest Lady Wu’s sword dance. On the table was Wu’s house famous sweet-scented osmanthus cake. Everyone on the table was accompanied by a young lady. The wine and delicacies were brought up like flowing water. The two people used their chopsticks to beat the table, following the beat of Eldest Lady Wu’s dance music. At times they toasted their cups together, or touched the young ladies’ smooth and tender little face.

     

    This is the usual activity of the two, and they didn’t feel that there’s anything wrong with it.

     

    They returned half-drunk with arms around each other. The light in the front hall was still on, and Zhao Wujiu was sitting under the light holding a scroll of art of war.

     

    Shu Changfeng poured hot tea, Bai Shiqi took it and hiccuped before she drank it in one gulp, then she went back to her room to rest.

     

    Zhao Ziheng did the same thing, but was stopped by Shu Changfeng: “Thirteenth lang, His Highness has something to say.”

     

    ***

     

    When Bai Shiqi got up the next day, her drunkenness had faded, and she was completely sober. Early in the morning, she met Zhao Ziheng in the dining room. She stepped forward and patted him on the shoulder. He was usually playful, but today he was frightened by her. He quickly put a huge distance between them and squeezed out a smile that was uglier than if he was crying: “Shiqi, morning.”

     

    “What’s wrong with you? Did you lose your soul?”

     

    Bai Shiqi fell asleep when she was drunk last night, and by the time she got up, it was already a new day. The boulders that were pressing in her heart were all removed. Although the truth remained to be verified, there was no need to frown.

     

    Last night, there was sudden, heavy rain.

     

    Early in the morning, the air was fresh and cold, and the sky was blue, which put people in a good mood. She didn’t realize that she had gotten unusually close to Zhao Ziheng when greeting him today, and unexpectedly, this guy reacted as if he had lost his soul.

     

    Bai Shiqi pulled his arm and held it: “Did you have a nightmare?” Thinking of this spoiled young master who was taken directly into a murder scene when he obviously had never seen blood before, she was sure that he must be frigthened. She cared a lot about this good brother and suggested in a low voice: “If you really can’t sleep because of fright, I will find a shaman for you. I heard that there’s an old expert surnamed Qin in Gaoyou.” She continued to persuade Zhao Ziheng to engage in feudal superstition: “Leaving aside whether it’s useful or useless, I’m sure it will be able to calm your nerves.”

     

    She had never seen a shaman before, so she wanted to meet one up-close.

     

    Zhao Ziheng looked at her charming face and was speechless— It was not the murder secene that was terrible, but the murderous cousin!

     

    When they came back last night, Bai Shiqi went back to her room and slept peacefully, but he was forced to kneel and listen to the teachings of Cousin Brother. He was tossed until midnight, and his knees were still aching at this moment.

     

    Before his cousin and his dog Shu Changfeng came, Zhao Ziheng took his good brother and told her: “Shiqi, my cousin… he has one face in front of people, and another face behind. Moreover, he’s skilled in the art of war on the battlefield. Don’t… Don’t be swindled by him.” With great difficulty, he found a good brother like birds of a feather. He thought that in the lonely days of the next few decades, he could have more fun in life with Bai Shiqi. However, unexpectedly, Cousin Brother had the thought of monopolizing Shiqi. This can’t be done!

     

    Ziheng, you cousin… Did he also hurt his eyes during the war ah?” The two were used to talking nonsense, and without outsiders, they reverted to their old ways: “You told me to be careful, but he’d be better off uprooting the soft haired ones than our coarse and rough Bai family; appearance wise… let’s just say compared to my looks, how many more tender and beautiful young ladies are there in Jing? Whether he wants to swindle the riches or the woman, isn’t our family the wrong target?” She still didn’t understand Zhao Wujiu’s confession. Although his expression at that time was solemn, it made her suspect that there is something wrong with his eyes.

     

    Shu Changfeng pushed his master and stood together at the entrance of the dining room. While listening to the covert conversation about his master, he thought to himself: They’re done for. Master caught them on the spot, he must be furious.

     

    Unexpectedly, he secretly glanced at his master’s expression, only to find that the corners of his lips were slightly curled, and he was in a very good mood. This made Shu Changfeng very puzzled.

     

    Aren’t you supposed to be furious?

     

    Shu Changfeng didn’t dare to make more speculations about his master’s thoughts. For fear that the couple in the dining room would say something strange, he coughed, making the dining room become completely quiet.

     

    Zhao Ziheng shivered, turned his head stiffly, the smile on his face completely frozen, and greeted with a cheeky smile: “Cousin Brother, morning.”

     

    Bai Shiqi, who had been bad mouthing others behind their back, was caught off guard. She was about to put her head on Zhao Ziheng’s body and groaned: “The wine was so strong last night. Ziheng, I still have a headache and feel dizzy. Let’s stop our conversation here.”

     

    Zhao Ziheng received a serious warning from his cousin last night. He subconsciously hid to the side. Bai Shiqi, who did not receive any warning, fell to the ground, and looked at him incredulously: “You… Y-You… Why did you not help me?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu stopped sitting in the wheelchair. He got up and stepped into the dining room, then looked at her condescendingly with a light smile: “I see that you are really not awake, you could even fall when standing still. Why don’t you let someone cook some hangover soup?” As he said so, he stretched out his hand magnanimously: “Get up.”

     

    Bai Shiqi faced the large hand that was stretched over and looked up at the tall and heroic man. He was already huge as a mountain in the wheelchair, when he really stood up, he looked even taller and mightier. As she was looking up at him from the ground, he looked even more impressive. Thinking of being caught for bad mouthing, she took his hand with a guilty conscience, and was pulled up by him.

     

    Sure enough, there was hangover soup on the breakfast table which was made by the Luo family’s old servant. Everyone could smell a sour smell from a distance. Smelling the sour smell, Bai Shiqi only thought that her drinking hobby for several years would have to be resolved. Not to mention that she was already sober long ago. With a green face, she shrugged: “There’s no need for this. I’m already sober enough. Maybe Ziheng is still a bit drunk. Why don’t we let him drink it?”

     

    The good brothers’ relationship was broken immediately. Zhao Ziheng reminded her: “Who just said that they’re still dizzy and even fell to the ground?”

     

    In the end, as Zhao Wujiu personally held the ladle for the soup, each of the two drank two large bowls of sour sobering soup before His Highness Prince Zhou let them off.

     


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    Wook

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