Qin Haodong was the calmest one among all. He looked at Zhang Wankui. The old man’s mouth was half opened, and his eyes turned dull. He looked like a fool.
It had taken quite a while before Zhang Wankui woke up. He raised his hand and slapped himself twice on his face. He had been digging in the antique industry for half of his life, and he surely knew how valuable the Xuande Censer was. It was the treasure he could only dream of.
Someone sent it at the door of his shop today, asking for only 100,000, but he refused it without hesitation.
He almost wanted to kill himself at the moment. He wanted to grab the shiny Xuande Censer and held it in his arms, taking it as his own possession.
Looking at these enthusiastic onlookers around him, Qin Haodong went towards Qian Duoduo and whispered with a little embarrassment, “Bro, what’s Xuande Censer?”
He did have more than 500 years of experience, and he had seen all kinds of treasures, but those were treasures of the Cultivation World. He knew little about the cultural heritage on earth, and he knew much less about Xuande Censer.
“Let me tell you.” Guo Feng stood up after he heard Qin Haodong. Then he said, “The Emperor Xuande of the Ming Dynasty asked his royal craftsman to design and build a batch of censers based on the famous china simples from Chai Kiln, Ru Kiln, Official Kiln, Ge Kiln, Jun Kiln, Ding Kiln hidden in the palace.”
“To ensure the quality of the censers. The craftsman chose tens of precious metals such as gold and silver and forged them with red copper more than ten times. The finished products looked shiny and translucent. They were craft treasures. There was a long period in history when all bronze censers were called Xuande censer.”
“However, there were only 3,000 censers in total that had been forged during the third year of Xuande period. No censer has produced ever since. All of them were hidden in the forbidden palace. Most people have heard about their stories while few had seen them in person. Now hundreds of years have passed, censers forged during the third year of Xuande period are rarely seen.”
He became sentimental as he talked, “I’ve seen numerous antiques in my whole life, but never have I seen a real Xuande Censer. I feel so lucky today to see it, and I have nothing to regret even if I die now.”
“Director Guo, how much is the Xuande Censer worth?”
Someone was asking the question, and Qin Haodong wanted to know it, too.
Guo Feng continued, “Xuande Censers are priceless. I could only give you the price as a reference. Last year, in an auction in Hong Kong, a Xuande Censer was sold in 25 million.”
“Gosh, 25 million. That’s enough for ordinary people to live for more than their whole life…”
“Trade 25 million with 180,000. The young man can never be luckier…”
“I’ve been burning incense and worshiping Buddha every day at home, why am I not as lucky as him?”
The onlookers were discussing. Another people asked, “Director Guo, is there any chance that the censer is a fake?”
“That’s possible!” All the onlooker’s expression changed as he said that. He continued, “Antiquaries have never stopped imitating Xuande Censer from Xuande in the Ming Dynasty to the Republic of China, in order to make exorbitant profits. After they stopped forging Xuande Censer, some of the officials in charge even summoned the old crafts and tried to imitate according to the design drawings and technical procedures of the real Xuande Censers.
“Those fake ones were almost on a par with the real ones, and even experts failed to tell the difference. There are many Xuande Censers exhibited in big museums in the country, but none of them had been recognized as a real one by the experts. The identification of Xuande Censer has been one of the toughest cases in the domestic archaeological community.”
Then someone asked, “Director Guo, is this one real or fake?”
Guo Feng looked at the censer and said, “I think it’s a real one, but that’s not important. It’s so delicate that even if it’s not from the royal batch in the third year of Xuande, it must be one of those imitated by the officials in the Ming Dynasty. It’s so perfect!”
He turned to Qin Haodong and said, “Brother Qin, I love this censer so much. I can pay you 30 million if you’re willing to sell.”
After that, he looked at Qin Haodong nervously. 30 million was generous enough, but the other party would never sell it if he was an antique fan. As time passed by, the price of it would rise a lot.
“30 million, my Gosh. That’s 5 million more than the one sold in Hong Kong.”
“I envy him so much! I’ll go and smash a few iron censers later, and see if there’s any Xuande Censer hidden inside.”
“It’s OK. You can take it if you like. It’s no use if I keep it.”
Xuande Censer was surely very expensive, but Qin Haodong had seen too many priceless and exotic treasures in the Cultivation World in the old days. A censer without any other use couldn’t arouse his interest. It was better to sell it and earn money.
“Brother Qin. Thank you so much! Give me your account and I’ll pay you now!”
Guo Feng was overjoyed to get the priceless treasure. He acted like Qin Haodong would go back on his words. He took out his phone and transferred the money immediately.
Zhang Wankui’s expression looked more than ugly when he saw Qin Haodong had earned 30 million in such a brief moment. 30 million! That was more than what he had earned throughout his entire life! The opportunity was sent to him at first, but he had given it to someone else.”
Seeing that the Xuande Censer be claimed, a man in the crowd yelled, “Geezer Zhang! The young man has found the treasure. Why not fulfill your promise? Are you going to break your promise?”
“Dad! You’re my real dad!” said Zhang Wankui who had totally changed. He rushed to Qin Haodong with a flattering face and asked, “Young daddy, how can you tell that there was treasure in the iron censer? Can you teach me that? I can call you dad every day if you can do that. I’ll raise you when you’re old and bury you!”
Qin Haodong felt embarrassed. The old man changed too quickly. “Bury me? How many years do you have? Are you cursing me to die young?”
After thinking about it, he felt it normal because immoral businessman like him can call other people dad, grandpa, or even forefather as long as it was profitable because they had been used to it and would do it without any hesitation.
He was disinclined to talk to that kind of people. So he said, “You just said that I can take one thing I want in your shop if I won the bet, right?”
“Yes! Yes! I’m a man of my words! Just pick up whatever you like!”
Zhang Wankui said, with a forced smile all over his face.
He agreed on it very quickly. On one hand, the witness was Director Guo Feng of antique appraisal center whom he couldn’t afford to offend; on the other hand, he had nothing valuable in the store. He did have a few fancy goods, but they were all well-hidden, and he was sure nobody could find them out.
Qin Haodong ignored Zhang Wankui and stepped into the antique store. He checked around and found all the goods fake. There wasn’t anything valuable in there.
With his strong intuition, he found Spiritual Qi was given out behind the wall, but the Qi was faint. He thought it was some aged antique which he didn’t care about at all.
What to take? Qin Haodong turned around and suddenly found Spiritual Qi overflowing in a corner of the wall. The concentration of the Spiritual Qi was a match of that of the Xuande Censer.
He strode over and found a wooden box in the corner, in which there were all kinds of broken bottles. Parts of the bottles had missed.
He traced the source of the Spiritual Qi and found an egg-sized piece of iron. It’s the source of the Spiritual Qi.
“That’s good stuff!” Qin Haodong grabbed the iron piece in his hand and looked overjoyed. He looked ten times happier than he was just now when he found the Xuande Censer.
Others might have no idea what it was, but he recognized it at a glance. It was a guardian instrument, which equaled a second life for its owner. Thus, it was priceless.
He sensed it with his spirit and found that the level of the instrument was satisfying. It could counter three strikes from cultivators in Golden Core realm and was a nice treasure for him to protect himself now.
He found himself wise to visit the Antique Row today. He had sold a Xuande Censer worth 30 million, and now he found a nice instrument to protect himself. The only pity was that he hadn’t found a proper magic instrument.
Zhang Wankui was following Qin Haodong, seeing him pick up a black iron piece out of his waste box. He was totally confused and wondered if that was something nice, too.
He had surely checked the stuff, and it was by no means an antique. He wondered what Qin Haodong would use it for.
“This is what I want!”
Qin Haodong flashed the piece of iron before Zhang Wankui and put it back in his pocket, and then he strode out of the store.
When he walked out of the door, he said good-bye to Qian Duoduo and Guo Feng, then he left here and kept looking for magic instruments.
He searched ten more stores and still failed to find what he wanted. At the moment, he heard a scream coming from behind.
The scream sounded so shrill that lots of people craned over there. Qin Haodong looked back, too, but he saw nothing.
But when he was turning back to watch, he ran into something. He turned around and found he had run into a short-hair young man. The young man fell back for a few steps, and an antique mirror fell on the ground.
This short-hair man was nobody else but Laosan. He was introduced here by the Fatty Wang. They had been waiting in the crowd for long because they envied Qin Haodong so much on the 30 million he had just earned. They swore that they had to rip some money off him.
Laosan had been following Qin Haodong since he left the store. It was his fellow that was screaming. Laosan ran into Qin Haodong so that he could take the chance to blackmail him.
“My mirror, my precious mirror.”
Laosan was a good actor. He picked up the mirror on the ground, then started wailing.
Qin Haodong had already known that the guy was trying to blackmail him. He thought to himself that there were so many traps in the Antique Row that he had run into two groups of frauds within one trip.
But instead of being angry, he stayed silent and watched Laosan’s show. The people around immediately gathered and wanted to see what was going on.
Laosan wailed for a while. He stood up and yelled to Qin Haodong fiercely when seeing Qin Haodong remaining silent, “Young man, you’ve broken my precious mirror, you have to pay for it!”
Qin Haodong was cooperating with him very well, and he asked, “OK, how much do you want?”
Laosan yelled, “30 million, not a penny less!”
The guy made Qin Haodong laugh. Qin Haodong knew that he must’ve seen him sell Xuande Censer, and he knew clearly how much money Qin Haodong had now.
He smiled and said, “Was it made of gold? But even a gold one isn’t worth 30 million.”
Laosan held the mirror in his hand and yelled like he was reasonable, “It was the mirror of Su Daji, the loved concubine of the last Emperor of the ancient Shang Dynasty. I was going to sell it if you hadn’t broken it.”
Qin Haodong smiled and said, “You’re so good at blackmailing. Su Daji? Why don’t you say it’s the mirror of the Heavenly Mother of God?”