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    The Black Horse

    Chapter 8


    Unique Method to Educate Children

    Translated by Wook
    Edited by Wook


     


    Chapter 08 : Unique Method to Educate Children


     

    Mister Yunping was a famous figure, he had a lot of both male and female fans alike. Zhao Ziheng, who had mastered the art of living a life of pleasure, was one of them.

     

    He had registered his name in a daze, and by the time he finally fully understood the events, he was stunned.

     

    Men who worked on a ship made their living on the surface of the water. The competition was filled with activities focused on every kind of work one would find on a ship, such as; mast climbing, fishing in the river, boat racing, climbing while carrying weight, and so on.

     

    Long-distance voyages were boring. This set of events was familiar to all the brothers on the boat. Everyone took their number plates and dispersed, preparing for the competition.

     

    Bai Shiqi arranged for Zhao Wujiu to sit next to Qiu Yunping, and asked a handyman to serve him with melon seeds and tea.

     

    After Zhao Ziheng found out about the competition events, he came to complain: “Shiqi, does the person who set up these events have a brain problem? Mast climbing, am I a monkey?”

     

    Bai Shiqi: “… …”

     

    Qiu Yunping had the expression of “you brought this upon yourself” and while rejoicing in other’s misfortune, he said to him: “This Young Sir, this set of events on our ship was set by my family’s young leader.”

     

    Zhao Ziheng was struck dumb: “No… I mean, Shiqi, you must have spent so much free time arranging for these kinds of weird events, but normally, shouldn’t competition hold events like horseback archery, or even the four arts of qingo, calligraphy, and painting?” Even though horseback archery was not his strong suit, however, he was still considered very good in the four arts, and composing a few lines of flowery words was not a problem for him.

     

    Bai Shiqi: “Young Master, you want to let a bunch of ship workers who cannot even recognize letters compete with you in the four arts?”

     

    Zhao Ziheng: “… …”

     

    Zhao Wujiu had finished reading the competition’s regulation. Naturally, the booklet was handwritten, and not only thorough, but the regulations were also easy to understand. The prize and penalties were clear, and the handwriting was sparse and uninhibited, showing one’s strength on the paper.

     

    “The set of the events is very reasonable.” Zhao Wujiu had led the troops all year round. The way he looked at problems was very different from Zhao Ziheng. Only by seeing from the surface, like an examiner who set the question, he could already see through the test points of the events at a glance. Each event was set to improve the skill level of the ship workers.

     

    “These events are really arranged by you?” He was really skeptical about this—able to mingle with his unreliable cousin younger brother, acting like scoundrels from the same pack, and was also an incomparable slippery youngster. This person really had this kind of ability?

     

    Bai Shiqi was not concerned about his skepticism: “Everyone is bored, it’s just to have some fun. Cousin brother doesn’t need to take it seriously.”

     

    Qiu Yunping thought highly of Bai Shiqi and pointed out her capabilities: “My family’s young leader is a master of pen and sword. This booklet was indeed written personally by him.” He carried on with his explanation: “The ship workers have to stay over water all day long to make a living. Apart from their work, they like to gather crowds for drinking and gambling. During the first year when Young Leader had just started to escort the provisions alone, the discipline of the ship workers was loose. Once they made little profit, they would lose all their money soon on the return trip. Most of them didn’t even have the money to buy food for their wives and children back home. Only then Young Leader arranged for the competition which attracted everyone’s attention and cut off their ideas of gambling. Anyone who has the ability can win quite a sum of money. We’ve been doing this for a few years, do you still have any doubts?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu let out a rare sentence of praise for her: “Did not expect that Young Leader Bai is actually a talented person.”

     

    Bai Shiqi was very flattered: “Did I hear it right? Did cousin brother just praise me?” Then she shamelessly leaned closer: “Could your esteemed self praise me with a few more sentences? This one really enjoys it.”

     

    If Zhao Ziheng praised her, most of it was just empty flattering. But Zhao Wujiu was the kind of person who cherishes words like one would cherish gold, moreover, his temperament was stiff and rigid like a wooden board. It was surely rare to obtain his compliments ah?!

     

    Zhao Wujiu was really considering-to land his palm onto her face, however, when he met her brilliant smile and the dazzling white teeth under the sunlight, the harsh words from within his belly was unexpectedly stopped in his throat, in the end, he merely haughtily said: “The handwriting is not bad.”

     

    Bai Shiqi who was moved emotionally squeezed his big hand and shook it twice, her eyes lit up: “My soulmate! Cousin brother is truly my soulmate! Wait until we see my dad, your esteemed self must tell him these words! He always scolds me saying that my handwriting is akin to scribbles!”

     

    Bai Zhenting had never learned to write. His understanding of writing characters with a brush was that everything should be square, straight, and orderly. For this reason, Bai Shiqi was beaten up often when she was young.

     

    (T/N: I think Bai Zhenting expected the right one, while Shiqi writes like the left one)

     

    Zhao Wujiu: “… It is slightly better than random scribbles!”

     

    Bai Shiqi rapidly became dispirited. She released his hand and her smile no longer existed. One could not harm the feelings of a disabled person, so she vented her anger on his cousin younger brother instead: “Ziheng, if you can’t compare with my brothers from the ship, just admit defeat as soon as possible!”

     

    Zhao Ziheng did not like to lose. Although he was a bit frustrated with the competition, that did not mean he wanted to admit defeat before even competing: “It hasn’t even started yet, it is still not certain who is going to lose!”

     

    Zhao Wujiu’s mouth slightly bent, could not help but smile a little.

     

    Shu Changfeng was seeing 6 ways1 and listening to all directions. Even though he also took part in the excitement, but his biggest responsibility was his master’s safety. From a few steps away he noticed that his master’s mouth was bent upwards, and he could not help but be stunned.

     

    –Ever since he lost the feeling in his legs, had he ever seen His Highness Prince Zhou show even a little bit of expression of joy?

     

    Young Leader Bai was truly outstanding. Not only possessing an abnormally thick face, dared to push out his family’s master for a walk again and again, unexpectedly one was also capable of invoking Master’s smile.

     

    Shu Changfeng made up his mind to rely on Bai Shiqi. Not for anything else, just for the smile of His Highness Prince Zhou.

     

    The competition had officially started, and the first event was the mast climbing that Zhao Ziheng hated.

     

    The ship they were on was the largest ship in Jiangsu shipping group. It had three floors, five masts, and a height of more than 27 meters. Each group consisting of 5 people would compete using a knockout system.

     

    As luck would have it, Zhao Ziheng drew for the first round. The 4 other people were all ship workers, some were tall and the others were dark and thin. Everyone got into their positions. Uncle Guan held the gong and strike it repeatedly, simultaneously shouted in a clear voice: “Start—” And the 5 people standing under the mast start climbing simultaneously.

     

    The four ship workers all climbed up the mast. The thinnest young man among them rushed up, he was very nimble and really resembled a monkey. In contrast to this, Zhao Ziheng was still holding onto the mast as if his life depended on it. Every time he lifted his body a bit, he would slide down immediately after.

     

    He was unwilling to give up. He tried to climb the mast again, his legs were only 0.6 meters above the ground before he slid down again.

     

    Bai Shiqi thumped the table and burst into laughter, without any trace of politeness, she mocked the good brother and shouted: “Ziheng, did you not eat? Or did you have weight under your butt?”

     

    Many of the ship workers were close to laughter, even Zhao Wujiu smiled after seeing his sorry appearance. He also had an urge to beat Bai Shiqi—what did it mean to have weight under one’s butt?

     

    Zhao Ziheng’s handsome face was flushed. He raised his head and noticed that the most robust ship worker who was also competing, was climbing slowly. At the moment, that person had only climbed for about a person’s height. He immediately gritted his teeth and used every ounce of his strength to climb up the mast slowly. He finally got off the ground and with great difficulty managed to climb about half a person’s height. He was so pleased with himself that he wanted to boast to Bai Shiqi. When he opened his mouth though, his grip loosened and he slid down once again, landed on the deck.

     

    Bai Shiqi laughed so hard until she almost ran out of breath: “Ziheng, are you capable ah?”

     

    Zhao Ziheng nearly cried in anger!

     

    –Men were most afraid when someone questioned their capabilities!

     

    He held the mast and used every ounce of his strength, then desperately climbed up. However, his arms and legs were very clumsy, he could not reach the level of the ship workers who were as lithe as swallows. He was breathing heavily and sweating profusely, looking like a clumsy dog. This invited the laughter of the audience who surrounded the arena, they were all amused by his action. Among those people, the one who disregarded manners the most was Bai Shiqi, who laughed without caring about her appearance.

     

    Ziheng, you really should let those little girls from Jing capital and Suzhou who are after you to come and witness your heroic appearance.” She wiped the tears that came out from laughing.

     

    Zhao Wujiu broke into laughter, he could not bear to look directly at his cousin younger brother’s sorry figure. Looking at the competition regulations, he only felt that the settings for all events were very straightforward. But after the game started, he realized that they were actually very tricky. For example, this first event. That thin, monkey-like young ship worker had climbed and arrived at the top of the mast very quickly, however, the other 3 ship workers were struggling. The second person was 3.3 meters away behind the monkey-like worker, and the one behind him was gradually falling. At the last place was Zhao Ziheng the laughingstock.

     

    A ship worker commented: “This youngster Qin Liu’er normally doesn’t like to talk much, truly did not expect that he can climb the mast as fast as a thief, like the reincarnation of a monkey.”

     

    Another ship worker said: “You wouldn’t expect that he just joined us on the ship starting this year. Maybe he can win the prize money and set aside some of it to marry a wife once he returns.”

     

    “I wonder who is faster between him and Young Leader?”

     

    “How about later on we look for Young Leader to compare with him?”

     

    “… …”

     

    Zhao Wujiu was sitting next to the counter and the ship workers were gathering behind him. The guys laughed at the same level as the earth-shattering Bai Shiqi. When discussing other people, they did not restrain themselves. Their voices were so loud that he could hear clearly what they were saying.

     

    He was looking pensive and looked sideways at Bai Shiqi. However, he was met with the youth’s jade-like face, laughing without restrain, the face glowed in excitement. Noticing his gaze, she turned her head to look at him, still with a smile. She was simple-minded when she was happy, apparently had already forgotten about the unhappiness she felt earlier when he teased her.

     

    Zhao Wujiu involuntarily asked: “You can climb the mast?”

     

    In the past, normally he would not have the interest to chat with others on such trivial things. But amidst the roar of laughter and the voices of the heated crowd booing and jeering over the contestants filling the ears, his mental state that had been tense for such a long time relaxed unconsciously.

     

    Bai Shiqi never expected that he would be curious about this matter, she laughed loudly: “The main reason for this is because my dad educates his child using only intuition. He was extremely harsh on me when I was young, he beat me up so hard, so I could only climb a tree to flee for my life. Hence climbing a mast poses no problem once I grew up and got on the boat.”

     

    Zhao Wujiu did not expect to hear such an answer and laughed for a while: “You esteemed father… sure has a unique approach in educating children.”

     

    After journeying together for a few days, Bai Shiqi had never seen him laughing so freely without any restrain. It was refreshing as a cool breeze, and she could not help but foolishly said: “Cousin Brother is very handsome when you smile ah. You should smile more often so it will be easier to bring home a wife.”

     

    Zhao Wujiu suddenly had a deep understanding of Old Leader Bai’s unique method of educating children—Sure enough, this stinky youngster should be beaten a few more times, so he would not be able to speak so well.

     

    Seeing that Zhao Wujiu’s face was not good, Bai Shiqi was very concerned: “Cousin Brother, perhaps you think this place is too noisy?”

     

    Zhao WujiuIn this place, is there anyone who laughs louder than you?

     


    FOOTNOTE

    1 seeing 6 ways (观六路):idiom meaning that the eyes see all directions, able to observe in many ways and fully understanding things.

     


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    Wook

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