Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
From afar, the group saw the emerald-green bamboo forest and a red monastery sitting silently under the azure-blue sky. The bell and drum tower stood by the monastery’s entrance like two guardians. This scene lit up everyone’s eyes.
“It’s that bell tower,” said Lin Tai as he pointed at it.
Jing Yuhang nodded slightly. He led Jing Yulong and Lin Tiancheng over. The trio didn’t come alone either. Behind them were two elders, and although they were advanced in their years, they had extremely sharp eyes. Especially when they saw a corner of the bell tower’s top, their eyes focused. Both of them were antique masters, and they were especially knowledgeable when it came to antiques. Just one glance was enough for them to know that they hadn’t made a wrong choice in coming!
Just from the bell’s curve and silhouette, they knew that this was a huge bell!
The rays of the morning sun landed on the bell, reflecting a faint golden luster. It cloaked the entire bell tower with a lustrous layer of mystery, magnificence, and flair.
Jing Yuhang was also an antiques enthusiast. In fact, these children of family clans all had some knowledge on antiques, jade pieces, and literary work. However, their levels of expertise varied. Even so, Jing Yuhang could tell that the bell was extraordinary.
Song Tianqiao had long seen the Yongle Bell already, but he had not observed it too carefully in the past. Instead, he had been captivated by the bell’s imposing presence. He had taken a few looks before being shocked and rushing down to explain the situation. Now, seeing the Yongle Bell again under the light, his heart could not help but race. A treasure! This was an absolute treasure!
A gust of wind blew by as Song Tianqiao trembled. He could not help but let out a long sigh. “Unfortunately… I won’t be able to keep it!”
Lin Tiancheng didn’t know about such stuff, but the elders he brought knew. Besides, he had a keen perception. When he saw the expressions of the experts, he knew that the bell was definitely something good! Therefore, his mind immediately began whirling as he thought of ways to get the bell from Fangzheng’s hands.
The few of them came to the foot of the bell tower. Lin Tiancheng, Jing Yuhang, Jing Yulong, and the two elders could no longer resist as they immediately went up the tower, only to stand shocked in their spots.
Although Lin Tiancheng didn’t know anything about bells, he could tell something. As he looked up at the Yongle Bell, he felt overwhelmed with regret, but he did not say a word.
All he did was listen to his daughter and another woman behind him as they shouted out what was on his mind, “It’s huge!”
“This doesn’t seem to be made of bronze,” Jing Yuhang touched the bell and said in shock.
Jing Yulong was far inferior to Jing Yuhang in this area. As he touched the bell, he said, “If this was made of pure gold, that’d be amazing. Master Zhang, can you take a look and tell us what this thing is made of? Also, how old is it?”
Among the two elders, the elder with a goatee nodded slightly. He took out a magnifying glass and began carefully observing the Yongle Bell.
By the side, Lin Tiancheng gestured for the other master to take a look. The master was already eager to do so, so seeing his employer nod, he immediately started to observe. As he looked, he couldn’t help but marvel. “What a great bell! Excellent!”
Ten minutes later, both masters were done.
Jing Yulong asked nervously, “How is it?”
Master Zhang said, “It’s indeed not pure bronze. To forge a bell this big with pure bronze would be quite impossible even with present-day techniques. Furthermore, it would be impossible to do it so intricately. The thinnest spots would be prone to cracks. To be honest, I can’t tell what material this bell is made of. It has the color of gold and the sound quality of a bronze bell. On it, there are scriptures engraved which are ancient and filled with flair. If one looks carefully, it’s like they can see Buddha riding a divine dragon. This is shocking! Just too shocking! I’ve lived for so many years, yet I’ve never seen such a magnificent bell! Unfortunately…”
“Unfortunately?” Jing Yulong’s heart tightened. Could this bell have some problem?
Master Li immediately finished the sentence. “Unfortunately, it’s hard to determine its age based on the surface. More equipment will be needed to determine the age, but it is definitely…”
“Definitely what? Hey, don’t just stop mid sentence. Quickly tell us if this thing is worth any money.” Lin Tiancheng already knew that the bell was worth something, but he had no idea what it was worth. Although he was crude in his questioning, it was still something that Jing Yuhang, Jing Yulong, Lin Tiancheng, and Lin Xi all also wanted to know.
Master Li nudged his reading glasses and said with a sigh, “A National Treasure!”
Master Zhang said, “Even if this work was done in modern times, its value would be impossible to determine.”
“Hiss!” Upon hearing that, Lin Xi, Lin Tai, and Lin Tiancheng all drew a gasp of cold air. The woman who didn’t speak a word all this time was named Zhou Yiluo, and she was Jing Yulong’s girlfriend. She didn’t think much of coming up the mountain and was just joining in the bustle and using it as a way to get closer to Jing Yulong. Even when she saw the Yongle Bell, she didn’t think too much of it. She didn’t have much interest in such matters, but when Master Zhang and Master Li gave their conclusions, she covered her tiny mouth in disbelief as she looked at the bell. Her eyes darted around like she was making plans.
“Yulong, weren’t you wondering what to get the Patriarch for his birthday? I think this bell is pretty good,” whispered Zhou Yiluo to Jing Yulong.
However, Jing Yulong rolled his eyes at her. “To give the Patriarch a bell 1 ? Are you sick of living?”
Only then did Zhou Yiluo remember that giving a bell was taboo. She immediately shut up.
Jing Yulong snorted and continued. “However, if such a treasure were placed in front of the Patriarch, it would definitely make him happy.”
“Isn’t that the same?” Zhou Yiluo asked.
Jing Yulong shook his head and couldn’t be bothered to explain. Besides, there was trouble at hand, the topic of this bell had been raised by Jing Yuhang, so it was not his to take. However, the more he looked at the Yongle Bell, the more his heart heated up. He wouldn’t be able to accept it if he just gave it up!
Jing Yuhang shot a glance at Zhou Yiluo and frowned. Were they trying to snatch it from him? At that moment, Jing Yuhang began to regret bringing Jing Yulong along.
They were both from the indirect line of the Jing family and were about equal in standing. However, if anyone of them were to place the bell in front of the Patriarch, it would definitely please him. That would give them a different standing! This was absolutely a good opportunity for them to soar to the heavens! As for familial ties and friendship? They were all unimportant when personal interests came into play. This was something Jing Yuhang had learned from a young age. However, he had originally written Lin Tai’s words off as bragging. He had come partially to oblige to Lin Tiancheng. Although Lin Tiancheng’s corporation was inferior to the Jing family, it would be quite a useful ally for Jing Yuhang. Little did he expect that such a huge development would take place… That foppish Lin Tai had actually managed to find such a treasure!
Jing Yuhang narrowed his eyes and smiled. “Yulong, you won’t be snatching it from me, right?”
Jing Yulong roared with laughter. “Cousin, what are you saying? Am I that kind of person?”
When Zhou Yiluo heard that, she immediately turned anxious as she pinched Jing Yulong. However, he acted like he didn’t understand what she meant and kept silent. Zhou Yiluo clenched her teeth and said, “Brother Yuhang, I don’t think we should be talking about snatching this bell.”
“Oh? Then what should we be talking about?” Jing Yuhang shot a glance at Jing Yulong who had not stopped Zhou Yiluo from speaking. He knew that the stupid woman Zhou Yiluo was being used by Jing Yulong as a vanguard. Although he was acting quite frank and unconcerned, he had probably guessed that Zhou Yiluo would voice out his thoughts already. Depending on the situation, words said by Zhou Yiluo could be a lot more powerful than words he spoke himself.