According to the information collected by Li Du, the price of this set of silver armor was roughly pegged at 500,000 US dollars.
Even though this wasn't a small amount and he still wasn't a millionaire, he had no use for the money.
As he hadn't purchased a house or land in Americaall he'd done was buy a few vehicles and pay his two employeeshe hadn't spent a lot of money. He had more than enough cash.
After donating to the local museum, he would first earn a reputation with praise from the museum. In the future, if he made the decision to become a citizen, the museum could testify for him.
Secondly, donations were tax deductible. All the while, Big Fox had been the one helping with his tax payments. With their income, the amount of taxes they were going to have to pay would be enormous, and it would be heartbreaking to pay that amount.
Li Du focused on reaping these two rewardsthe positive reputation and the tax deductibleand once he managed to fulfill them, the plan would be considered a success.
Upon hearing that Li Du was going to donate, Sophie was instantly interested and asked, "What will you be donating?"
"A suit of armor," Li Du replied. "It should have some value. When there's an opportunity, your dad should come to see it."
Sophie began enquiring with much curiosity and as Li Du did not find the need to hide any information, he described the armor in great detail. He didn't mention his feud with Frank and York, nor did he mention where the fraudsters had obtained the armor. All he said was that he acquired the armor when he unexpectedly encountered the swindlers.
After listening, the female doctor was impressed. "You're so impressive. You were able to identify the fraudsters and even punish them. You're too cool."
Li Du grinned. "They got what they deserved, and I was also lucky. I could have been fooled."
Sophie was in deep thought and nodded. "I have encountered swindlers before. They are too wickedthey stole the apparatus we donated to the community hospital which resulted in a loss of tens of thousands of dollars!"
After chatting about fraudsters for a little, the conversation turned back to the suit of armor.
Sophie said, "You made the right decision by choosing to donate. Don't be mistakenI'm not trying to encourage people to donate their personal belongings, but this suit of armor is dangerous in your hands."
Li Du had the same thought as she did. Evidently neither of them were foolish.
On the road, Sophie gave a call to her parents. When they learned that Li Du was planning to donate the suit of silver armorwhich had significant cultural valuethe Martins were intrigued and immediately drove over to Sophie's residence.
Li Du took out the silver armor and placed it in the living room. Sophie used a dry cloth to clean it, removing the dust and stains trapped in its gaps. After pushing open the door and seeing the armor, the old man hurried over to study it.
After examining for a while, he evaluated the armor's identity. "Very good, this belonged to the Winged Hussars of Poland's Archduke. It has a silver coating and there's an imprint of their family emblem, signifying this belongs to royalty."
Li Du questioned, "What's the history of these Winged Hussars? What is a Winged Hussar? Were they soldiers with wings?"
"I will reply to your second question first," Mr. Martin said. "Once you understand that, you will know the answer to the first question."
He paused and licked his lips; Li Du leaned in to show that he was listening attentively and ended up saying, "Sophie, my dearest girl, everyone is about to start a history discussion, where's the coffee?"
The lady doctor, who was playing with Ah Ow, lifted her head and made a funny face before entering the kitchen and bringing out snacks and steaming-hot coffee.
"What a good girl." Mr. Martin grinned and took a sip of coffee before beginning to explain. "As I've said, this suit of armor belonged to Poland. Poland is in Eastern Europe and in Eastern European armies, cavalry played an especially important role.
"However, Poland's cavalry was equipped differently from other countries because they were influenced by European Catholicism. Hence, as an Eastern European country, their equipage was also a little influenced by the military advancements of Western European countries."
Li Du asked, "It was still related to Lithuania?"
"Yes," Mr. Martin said, "Poland and Lithuania have had alliances multiple times throughout history. This suit of armor is actually a possession from this alliance. This specific alliance was formed because the Ottoman Empire and Muscovy were threatening Poland more often."
"After that, the king of the alliance of Poland-Lithuania, Stephen Bathory, faced a huge problem: how to integrate the important cavalries of Poland and Lithuania into one that was able to thrive on both Western and Eastern European battlefields."
"Stephen Bathory provided a solution, which was to emulate the Hungary cavalry as well as to bring in the military system of the Ottoman Empire, forming a winged cavalry squad. The military aristocracy from both Poland and Lithuania were integrated into this new cavalry, hence the formation of the plate, lobster brace, and chained breastplate: this is what you are looking at."
As he spoke, he patted the suit of armor laying on the ground.
Sophie, who was holding Ah Ow in her arms, asked curiously, "This is a breastplate? Isn't this a hauberk?"
Mr. Martin smiled. "No, it isn't entirely a breastplate, nor is it entirely a hauberkconsider it a mixture of both, forming a new piece of armor."
"Besides the armor, there were still new designs to integral weapons to improve the cavalry's maneuverability. Hence, the strongbut heavyWestern European carbine became obsolete after the alliance was formed and it was replaced by a long and hollow carbine."
Li Du picked up the silver weapon, which had been dismantled into several parts. "Is this it?"
"Yes, this is the type of carbine. It was initially used by the Polish. Compared to the ones used in Western Europe, it is longer and much slimmer, and is both explosive and lethal."
"This is the main point of the discussion: the integrated cavalry was a lethal force on the battlefields of Europe. Poland-Lithuania's brand-new Winged Hussars became the key component of an army that was ever-triumphant."
"Even though the weapons and armor were highly-effective in war, the aristocrats were unsatisfied with the dullness of the exterior, some of them slowly added feathers and other accessories."
Mr. Martin flipped the suit of armor over and revealed the back.
There were slits in the back of the armor that Li Du hadn't noticed before. Once he saw them, he came to a realization. "Did they stick the feathers and other accessories here?"
"Yes and no," Mr. Martin replied. "They placed wooden strips here and the feathers and other accessories were stuck onto the wooden strips. They were not directly placed on the armor.
"Once the feathers were stuck onto the wooden strips, they looked like wings spread out. The cavalry was recognized as the 'Winged Hussars' and this suit of armor became the signature armor of the Winged Hussars."