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    The Black Horse

    Chapter 7

    The String of Cash Qiu Yunping

    Translated by Wook
    Edited by Wook


    Chapter 07 : The String of Cash Qiu Yunping


    The whole journey, Bai Shiqi was very scared and on the edge. She feared that the strict and iron-faced Zhao Wujiu would use the clauses of law to prevent her from “doing business” along the way. In the end, this person was probably disturbed by the injuries in his legs, so he did not mention it at all.

    After she took Zhao Wujiu off the boat to stroll around for the first time, on the next day, she enjoyed the miserable appearance of Zhao Ziheng doing the horse stance. Shu Changfeng who came over to search for her: “Young Leader Bai, may I trouble you to push my family’s master out for a stroll?”


    At that time, the shipping boat was sailing smoothly in the canal, and Bai Shiqi did not quite understand what he meant: “Stroll where? Today the ship isn’t going to dock.”


    Shu Changfeng smiled politely: “Ever since my master suffered injuries in his legs, he has not even been willing to leave the door. He seemed to be in a much better mood when he came back yesterday, so…” Their group of guards was already used to obeying orders, they did not have the courage to defy the wishes of His Highness Prince Zhou. And right now, he was trying to hit Bai Shiqi with this belief.


    “What good is it for me?” Bai Shiqi used her toes to kicked Zhao Ziheng’s stiff calf, causing him to shrieked miserably: “It hurts, it hurts…”


    Shu Changfeng: “… …”


    Bai Shiqi did not care how Shu Changfeng thought about it. As long as Zhao Wujiu did not come to trouble her, she was also a beautiful youth with self-respect. If it was not necessary, she certainly did not like to face a cold and alienating face from time to time. She crouched down and slapped her palms together, then she pressed Zhao Ziheng’s left calf muscles. She patted and kneaded fiercely, ignoring his wailings until she felt the muscles under her palm softened: “Get up and try again.”


    The method used by the guards working under Zhao Wujiu to train Zhao Ziheng was especially brutal. After struggling for several days doing horse stance, they began to teach him to practice boxing. For the noble Zhao Ziheng’s delicate body, who had never even used a needle since he was young, this intense method to toughen one’s body was very disastrous.


    He always suspected that the bones in his whole body had come loose. Walking and crouching were as if dragging a pile of crumbling parts, producing creaking sounds, and it felt like his forearm or even the whole arm might fell off at any time. The worst thing was the muscles in his whole body were very sore, especially his stomach. It felt like someone had stolen a lump of it. When Bai Shiqi was clowning around a moment ago, he had let out two ha-ha sounds before he needed to stop and covered his stomach with a distorted expression—It hurt so much.


    Let’s not talk about the muscles in his four limbs anymore. The external part of his skin was certainly in good condition, but the internal part was painful for no reason. It seemed like there were piles of minced meat under the intact skin. When walking, the minced meat rubbed against each other, making it hurt even more. He had described the pain as “even the punishment of cutting one’s flesh did not hurt as much as this”, however, he got lectured by Zhao Wujiu instead: “Skipping daily exercise, such a pampered and spoiled person, how can you call yourself a man?!”


    Zhao Ziheng stupidly replied: “Whether I am a man or not, Cousin Brother does not need to worry about it, the many girls from Jing capital can testify!”


    He admitted covertly that he was such a casanova outside, and Zhao Wujiu could hardly tolerate this. As a result, not only he extended the morning exercise time, but also doubled the intensity, “It’s good to vent his excess energy”—was what Zhao Wujiu said.


    In the midst of this, Bai Shiqi cleverly made use of her identity as the ship captain to avoid Zhao Ziheng’s morning exercise time. Every day, she appeared on the scene after his exercise, and conveniently laughed at this brother.


    At the moment, the paralyzed Zhao Ziheng was clenching his teeth, struggling to stand up, then walked two steps. He clearly felt that the left calf that had been “violated” by his good brother was much more comfortable, and the symptoms of soreness and stiffness were greatly alleviated. He was suddenly surprised: “Come, come, come, knead this big master’s right calf as well, do good and you’ll be rewarded!”


    Bai Shiqi lowered her body to “violate” his calf, and at Zhao Ziheng’s constant and clear grieving roars, she flattered: “Big master, I demand more rewards!”


    Shu ChangfengThese pair of shameless scoundrels!


    He suddenly felt that good luck had come and blessed his soul as he found another way to communicate with Bai Shiqi: “Young Leader Bai, if you could come to push my master outside to get some fresh air every day, we can negotiate about the reward.”


    Bai Shiqi: “If we’re talking about silver, it really moves my feelings ah? Why don’t you open the offer?”


    Zhao Ziheng enthusiastically signed up to participate: “Count me in, count me in! Aiyo! You, a little bit… Knead a bit gentler! Go higher, knead my thigh too.” Sailing on a ship was very boring. He was already tortured by Cousin Brother, it was good enough if he could find a few people to accompany him to spend the time.


    Bai Shiqi called the passing worker: “Ah Wu, go to the kitchen and bring me a rolling pin.”


    Inside the cabin, Zhao Wujiu heard the commotion outside. Zhao Ziheng blood-curling screech was high-pitched and penetrating, it gave the impression that one was facing death bravely. He pushed his wheelchair to the front of the window and saw a scene that surprised him from a distance.


    Bai Shiqi was carrying a stick and kept beating Zhao Ziheng’s thigh in different spots. Zhao Ziheng who was flogged kept hopping and screeching, but he stayed obediently on his spot and accepted the beating. It was an absurd scene.


    The distance was quite far, the passenger cabin was located at the topmost level of the ship, and the deck was on the level below the cabin. Aside from Zhao Ziheng’s terrible wailings, he could not hear anything else.


    15 minutes later, the cabin door was knocked, and Bai Shiqi appeared in front of him with a brilliant smile. Without needing any explanation, she came up and push the wheelchair: “The autumn sunlight is just right outside, what’s the point of Cousin Brother being bored inside the room by yourself? It would be better to go to the deck and see the scenery outside. We have organized a single-elimination tournament, asking Cousin Brother to attend it!”


    Inside Zhao Wujiu’s heart: What kind of damnable thing is this slippery youngster making this time around?


    He asked: “Just now, why did you beat Ziheng?”


    Bai Shiqi answered with some nonsense: “He needed a beating. After getting a beating, one tends to be well-behaved. It was not convenient to bother Cousin Brother with this matter, so I did it in your stead.”


    Zhao WujiuI’ll be damned if I trust your nonsense!


    A large area had been marked out on the deck at this moment and idle crewmates on the ship had been summoned. Uncle Guan hit the gong and announced: “It is still the old rules. Everyone will take part, if you win, you will be rewarded! Today, there are other guests on the ship who are willing to participate. Go to Mister Yunping to register your name and receive your number plate, then look at which event you’re willing to participate in.”


    Zhao Ziheng muttered to himself: “Mister Yunping? The book writer Mister Yunping?”


    The group of noisy crowds rushed forward and covered up his questioning voice. He was also pressed from either side to the front of a numbered counter.


    A numbered counter was set on the side of the deck. There was also a gentle-looking young man carrying a writing brush, with a pair of hazy and intoxicated eyes, greeting: “Come over here to register.” He was probably the one called Mister Yunping.


    Qiu Yunping was in a drunken stupor today, it was clearly seen from his expression. Just a moment ago, Bai Shiqi had assigned some people to scoop him out of his quilt and dragged him to the deck to work. He was still yawning and had a hangover when he woke up. Seeing Bai Shiqi, he was very dissatisfied. He shouted from afar: “Shiqi, you come over here.”


    Bai Shiqi pushed Zhao Wujiu over. She stepped aside and went straight to the numbered counter, she was beaming with smiles: “Qiu Yunping, have you sobered up?” And urged him: “Don’t drink too much during these days, or else we won’t have anyone to manage the tournament.”


    Qiu Yunping suspected her deeply: “Shiqi, you drank the same amount as me, how come you’re still in good spirits? Or is it that you’re okay with liquor but you can’t drink plain water?”


    Bai Shiqi did not know whether to laugh or cry: “Don’t compare your capacity for liquor with me.”


    These few days, Shu Changfeng did not spend too much effort to find her. As it turned out, every night, she hid at the bottom cabin and drank with Qiu Yunping while calculating the expense for this trip. She was not idle at all.


    Zhao Wujiu felt that he had heard of the three words “Qiu Yunping” somewhere, his gaze swept across Shu Changfeng. The latter was already shocked when he saw Bai Shiqi pushing his master out for a walk. One did not know what kind of things this Young Leader Bai had eaten, for she was very courageous. She put a blind eye towards the cold and rejecting expression of His Highness Prince Zhou, and able to push him out for a walk again and again.


    Anyway, whatever the case, it was good to let his master get some fresh air from time to time compared to being cooped up in the room all day. Shu Changfeng was determined to stop worrying about this matter. But then, he was even more shocked when he heard the three words ”Qiu Yunping”. Accepting his master’s questioning look, he could not help but asked excitedly: “Qiu Yunping… Are you that book writer, Mister Yunping?”


    Bai Shiqi responded dully: “En, this Qiu Yunping who looks like someone who doesn’t do honest work wrote those few lousy books.”


    The rumors outside were saying that Qiu Yunping was an unconventional scholar, and with the help of a magical brush, he had written several books with the bewildering yet chivalrous and inspiring plot in a free and unconstrained style, which quickly became very popular. Many plays and musical dramas were made based on Mister Yunping’s works, and his name gradually became famous in the world. In the words of later generations, they would say that he was a best-selling author. His first work was excellent using cliffhangers. His “listen to the next chapter for explanation” method made the readers could only suppress their curiosity. He was the most favorite story-teller, as listeners tend to linger a bit longer when he was around.


    Even though Shu Changfeng and the others were far away in the frontier, every time they followed Zhao Wujiu back to Jing, they would listen to Mister Yunping’s stories in the city to relieve the bitterness they had experienced in the frontier. They admire Mister Yunping’s mind so much, they even talked about him to Zhao Wujiu.


    “Mister Yunping? It really is Mister Yunping?!”


    Shu Changfeng and the crowd of guards beside him gathered and came to greet Qiu Yunping, one by one they expressed their admirations.


    Qiu Yunping was very happy: “Are you all participating? Let’s see which event each of you want to participate in?” From the side, he took out the regulations of the events with frayed edges and handed it over: “The registration fee is 50 wen per event, and it must be paid in front.”


    Shu Changfeng and his guards: “… …” The image of their idol evaporated in an instant.


    “One still has to pay to join the competition?”


    Qiu Yunping smiled amiably: “This is the idea of our young leader. He said that if one has to pay the registration fee, then one will make an all-out effort for the competition. Moreover, there are a lot of prizes and everyone has the same opportunity to win it.”


    Zhao WujiuIn the end, how many strange theories does this youngster have?


    He asked: “Why is Qiu Yunping on your ship?” He finally scooped out this question from the depths of his brain.


    Bai Shiqi: “He is my accountant ah. Cousin Brother may not know but it is very cumbersome to deal with the accounts. Qiu Yunping is precisely only a wine jug and a string of cash. Inviting him is really fitting.” Of course, how she managed to invite him remained a secret. (T/N: She’s saying he’s cheap.)


    At this moment, Qiu Yunping was moving his brush to register the names, and at the side was a youth who moved out a small box to collect the money. Another youth handed out number plates and told the first participant: “Pay attention to your number plates, the color of each plate is different.”


    Zhao Ziheng squeezed over and wanted to say a few words to Mister Yunping. He was moved emotionally, and at last, he opened his mouth to ask: “You’re really Mister Yunping?”


    Qiu Yunping delightfully admitted: “It is really me, that book writer. Does this Young Sir want to participate in all events? The total will be 500 wens.”


    Zhao Ziheng did not even read the regulation of the event. He muddleheadedly fished out some money, held a pile of number plates, and giddily squeezed out with a suspicious smile on his lips as if he was sleepwalking.


    Bai Shiqi was stupefied: “Ziheng, can you swim?”


    Zhao Ziheng regained his consciousness: “Ah? I can’t.”


    She pointed at the red-colored number plate among the piles: “Then why did you sign up for something that requires you to swim?” She was rather sympathetic: “Moreover… You have to fish in the river.”


    Zhao Ziheng smiled stupidly: “Mister Yunping has asked me to participate.”


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