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    The Black Horse

    Chapter 9


    Cousin Brother, You Don’t Understand Love

    Translated by
    Edited by Wook


     


    Chapter 09 : Cousin Brother, You Don’t Understand Love


     

    Zhao Ziheng hung his head dispiritedly and walked slowly to the side towards the counter, somewhat with a feeling of a stray dog. He swept a cowardly glance at Zhao Wujiu, and using his eyes, expressing: Cousin brother, I have made your esteemed self to lose face!

     

    It was not until the next round when Zhao Wujiu’s guard, named Jin Zhi, climbed the mast at a rapid speed and came out as the winner of the second round that his complexion finally brightens up. He leaned closer to fawn: “Cousin brother, the people around you are truly hidden dragons, crouching tigers1!”

     

    Zhao Wujiu’s expression was indifferent. In the many years of the campaign, he was already used to the scene of killings, bloodbaths, and bones of the dead piling up. The competition before his eyes, even though interesting, was mere child’s play. The outcome of the competition would not be able to make him crease his brows. However, he also had no intention of indulging this white silk trousers2cousin younger brother: “You’re just too foolish.”

     

    Zhao Ziheng’s warm and admiring heart towards his cousin brother suddenly broke into pieces, and he had to hide in the corner to cry.

     

    In most boys’ childhood, they must have dreamed at least once, of becoming a hero. Prince Zhou was a legend among the younger generations of the imperial clan. For white silk trousers like Zhao Ziheng, even though his head was usually filled with meaningless love affairs, but the accomplished Prince Zhou inevitably had his blood racing as well. He regarded him as one would a God.

     

    Unlike a God though… His mouth was harsh, one really could not bear with it.

     

    As a good brother, at the crucial moment, Bai Shiqi was still willing to say a few words for Zhao Ziheng: “Why should cousin brother belittle your own cousin, each person has their own strengths and weaknesses. Apparently, Ziheng is not good at today’s competition, there is no need to force him, right?” She patted Zhao Ziheng’s shoulder to console him, completely forgetting that she had laughed louder than anyone else.

     

    Zhao Wujiu cast a glance at her, in his mind was the image of her laughing so loudly and happily when Zhao Ziheng was climbing the mast. However, at this moment, her doting tone was as good as the elders in the family towards this cousin younger brother. His brows were suddenly raised, two ”pa pa” voices were directed once again at her forehead, giving her the stamp of one who says one thing and does another, a hypocritical person.

     

    –Wasn’t this called praising somebody but putting them at a disadvantage?

     

    Zhao Wujiu’s slender fingers were tapping the wheelchair’s armrest, dimly asking: “I have been away for many years, don’t know in which area does Ziheng’s expertise lie?

     

    Zhao Ziheng was immediately tongue-tied, he couldn’t say: This little brother is somewhat skilled in charming females, right?

     

    Originally, Bai Shiqi only wanted to get Zhao Ziheng out of his predicament. She didn’t expect Zhao Wujiu would be this serious.

     

    When common people greet each other, normally they would not reveal this kind of matter, right?

     

    Unfortunately, Zhao Wujiu wanted to get to the bottom of this.

     

    Zhao Ziheng cast a look of crying for help towards Bai Shiqi, using his gaze to beg her: Good brother, give me a hand!

     

    Meeting his gaze, her brain started to work at lightning speed, and she opened her mouth to talk nonsense: “Cousin Brother might not be aware, actually… actually in these years, Ziheng has really learned a subject. That subject is, psychology.”

     

    Zhao Wujiu looked suspiciously at Bai Shiqi: “Could it be that I’m ill-informed and narrow-minded? I have never heard of this before.”

     

    Within his heart, Zhao Ziheng also despaired: Someone, save me! What kind of plaything is psychology? Laozi has never heard of it either ah!

     

    With a slap, Bai Shiqi put the palm of her hand on Zhao Ziheng’s face, then she ignorantly covered his stunned face. After that, taking advantage of the situation, she also pressed his head down, making him bashful. Then she spoke with certainty: “Psychology is a subject that studies humans’ mentality. Doesn’t cousin brother deal with criminals who have done a lot of evil all year round? However, have those criminals been thinking about doing evil ever since they were born? The emperor has a saying, people are originally virtuous in nature. For those who keep doing evil without a sense of repentance, they are merely heading towards the abyss of sins step by step throughout their lives. Cousin brother, have you learned this before?”

     

    Zhao Wujiu: “… …”

     

    “Cousin brother hasn’t learned this, right?” Bai Shiqi wanted to clap her hands and laugh, she was getting excited: Damn it, he’s about to get fooled!

     

    “Another example is the war this year on Liusha Valley. Great Xia was defeated and fled, and one hears that the war on the border was settled. Many officers and soldiers were dismissed and returned to the farm3. However, has cousin brother ever thought that after those officers and soldiers return to normal lives, perhaps some of them are still carrying phycological traumas from the battlefield which can result in some psychological problems. This is not something that can be solved with money…” Under Zhao Wujiu’s increasingly grave expression, Bai Shiqi started preparing to end this conversation: “Therefore, it is said that psychology is an obscure subject. Some people are ill in their flesh, while some other in here.” She pointed at her own head: “And maybe here.” She pointed at her heart, then shook her head and sighed: “Ai, it is so complicated, everything can’t be explained in a short time. In order to study psychology, a green youth like Ziheng almost lost all his hair, and even his face has been spoiled. It is not as good as before!”

     

    As Zhao Ziheng was up high in the clouds, he only heard the last eight words: “Face spoiled, is not as good as before?”

     

    Bai Shiqi felt incessantly pity: “Isn’t it so.”

     

    He turned pale with fright: “My… My face is spoiled?” He immediately felt bitter and hateful: “Shiqi, will Jiang Xiaoxian despise me?” He was someone who put great importance to his looks and often came into contact with beauties… Being able to be friends with Bai Shiqi was the evidence.

     

    Bai Shiqi clenched her teeth: “Shut up!” Can’t you catch the main point ah, brother?!

     

    Zhao Wujiu looked pensive, but to one’s surprise, he didn’t look any further into Zhao Ziheng’s practice of psychology. Bai Shiqi inwardly cheered: Passed an ordeal!

     

    After that, the mast climbing competition went smoothly. Today was only the preliminary round, the worst was screened out, and the second round of screening would be carried out tomorrow.

     

    Qiu Yunping was moving his brush to record the competition’s situation, however, he got distracted and grabbed Bai Shiqi to secretly asked: “Young Leader, this psychology that you mentioned… is truly that amazing?”

     

    Bai Shiqi immediately shifted the blame: “I only know a little of this matter, the one who has been studying is Ziheng, you can go ask him.”

     

    Qiu Yunping showed disdain in his eyes: Young Leader, your esteemed self has cheated people again!

     

    Damned be the ones who believe in you!

     

    He had been deceived by Bai Shiqi numerous times already, moreover, that Zhao Ziheng looked like an airhead and had the appearance of one who sleeps upon an embroidered pillow. In which part did those resemble someone who is educated?

     

    However Qiu Yunping’s gaze was not intimidating, Bai Shiqi was not pressured in the least and announced with a smile: “That being the case, the first preliminary round of the mast climbing competition has been concluded. Everyone may return to rest, and we will advance to the second competition in the afternoon.”

     

    Zhao Ziheng was frightened. He leaned on Bai Shiqi, intending to fool Zhao Wujiu. Hearing that there would be another competition in the afternoon, he wanted to pretend that his stomach hurts. But he had signed up in front of everyone, moreover, during the mast climbing, Bai Shiqi had humiliated him by questioning his gender. So he held on and courageously asked: “In the afternoon… What’s in the afternoon?”

     

    Qiu Yunping loved money as much as his life, as long as he could collect the registration fee, he did not care about the other person’s ability, he said: “The competition in the afternoon will be catching fish in the river.”

     

    Zhao Ziheng both eyeballs almost went out of its socket, he tremblingly said: “C-Cathing fish in the river?”

     

    Qiu Yunping noticed that his appearance was somewhat wrong, with good intentions he tried to console: “This is the canal, and in order to prevent accidents, the competitors will be tied on their waist, so it is okay even if one cannot swim. At most, it is just a few mouthfuls of river water and not getting the fish.”

     

    Zhao Ziheng: “… …” Mum, I want to go home!

     

    Nowadays the way he looked at Bai Shiqi was wrong. Before he aboard the ship, they were still good brothers who were bound by deep emotions, but now… He felt like an opponent who oftentimes stumbled in the dark. He almost suspected that these competitions were arranged by Bai Shiqi especially for him.

     

    Shiqi?”

     

    Bai Shiqi quickly interpreted his meanings that shouted out “I’ve been wronged!”: “These matters cannot be blamed on me, it was you who willingly signed up to participate.  I’ve been escorting provisions for a few years now, because being onboard is boring, I made these competitions so the others can accompany me to play. Ziheng, don’t you think of any devious thoughts ah!”

     

    Zhao Ziheng scowled miserably: “Why can’t you play other things, why do you have to play these kinds of things? Can’t you just bring some beautiful and tender ladies onboard to play instruments and sing for you to relieve your boredom ah?”

     

    Bai Shiqi: “Do you think I have not thought of that ah? When I originally thought of bringing some beautiful and tender ladies onboard, my dad carried a stick wanting to break my legs, what can I do? With these rough men on board, what else can I play? Surely I cannot let them put on makeups and powder themselves to play instruments and sing for me? They’re also not capable ah!”

     

    Zhao Ziheng imagined the tanned rough boatmen dolled themselves, standing in front of Bai Shiqi and stroking his hair coquettishly. He shivered in a cold sweat, it truly hurt one’s eyes! “Then you might as well disguise yourself as one, after all, you don’t look too bad.”

     

    Bai Shiqi replied in sorrow: “That year I just took in 4 concubines. Each one of them has the beauty that can ruin the world, skilled in playing instruments and singing, and their physiques are top quality, but no matter what, my dad won’t let me bring them to the ship. Once I returned from the north… The beauties have all disappeared. I do not know where my dad sent them off to! My lovable and tender children ah…” She could not become a proper woman, okay, let it be. But acting as a man, she still could not enjoy herself to the fullest. Even just looking at and touching, she had to retrain herself. Really did not know what fun is there in one’s life.

     

    The blue veins on Zhao Wujiu’s forehead had been jumping for a few times already. He really wanted to throw out the pack of scoundrels before him and beat them with his military stick: “Right now, I… have fully understood why the two of you can play together so well.” His congenial attitude was full of mockery, wasn’t this simply calling them birds of a feather?

     

    Bai Shiqi still remembered the matters of the past and tried to free herself from this predicament: “On this Earth, there are only so many flowers and it is easy to die. Beauties are like flowers. For those beauties to be able to meet men like me and Ziheng who can admire and appreciate them is very rare. The majorities are only followers of women and wine4!” She waved her hand and decided to save some effort: “Forget it. Cousin brother probably doesn’t understand these matters, otherwise, you would have been married already!”

     

    “That’s right ah.” Zhao Ziheng dispiritedly followed along: “Shiqi, you are truly my close friend, let us brothers drink for a few cups?” Then the two walked with arms around each other.

     

    If not because he was disabled in both legs, Zhao Wujiu really wanted to leap up and sort out these two bastards!

     

    The sky was against it!

     


     

    The author has something to say:

    Cousin Brother: Can you stop saying that I cannot marry a wife? Is there a sense of accomplishment in poking at someone’s sore points?

    Shiqi: Cousin brother, it is a fact that you can’t marry a wife!

    Cousin Brother: … Bai Shiqi, you wait for me!

     


     

    FOOTNOTE

    1 hidden dragon, crouching tiger:talented individuals in hiding.

    2 white silk trousers: bad connotation of children from rich families.

    3 return to the farm:part of an idiom meaning going back to civilian’s life. This idiom is also included in the synopsis.

    4 followers of women and wine: referring to crude people who only know how to get drunk and take advantages of women.

     


    Read only at Travis Translations


     

    Wook

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