Mr. Martin was indeed a history teacher. He had somehow managed to introduce the messy history of the two countries in an organized manner. After listening to him, Li Du more or less understood the historical background of the suit of armor and said, "It was created in the 17th Century then?"
Mr. Martin nodded his head. "Yes, the 17th centurythe middle of the 17th century. In the early periods, even though the cavalry already used hide as embellishment, they didn't yet place the outstretched wings on them. The feathers were usually fixed onto their shields instead.
"During the middle period of the 17th century, Cossacks from Khmelnytskyi lead Ukraine into causing an uprising, resulting in Poland entering a tumultuous period.
"While the Cossacks were causing a big headache with the uprising and all the attention was placed on it, the Soviet Union and Sweden were preparing to initiate an attack to take territory from the Polish.
"As the focal point of Poland's military, the Winged Hussars were crucial in defending Poland. Along with the advancements of the military aristocrats, the winged cavalry then was already much more advanced and well-equipped than the early 17th century. The symbolic feather wings began appearing on the other proud Polish cavalry too."
After listening to his introduction, Li Du couldn't help himself and asked, "In reality, how big were the wings on the Winged Hussars? The cavalry was required to charge forward to be effective, right? Wouldn't these wings result in air resistance?"
Mr. Martin patted him on his shoulders and said, "You're a good student, Li, you bring up a good point. In reality, winged cavalry did not wear their feathered wings at all timethey usually wore them during parades or marches.
"The huge wings and the feathers attached to them would cause friction with the air, hence producing loud noises when moving forward. To the aristocrats, this was something worthy to be proud of."
Mrs. Martin, who had been silently listening the whole time, began speaking: "Ultimately, it's like how in your civilization, the guards of Ming Dynasty placed accessories onto their helmets as a form of expression for them."
Li Du smiled. "Mam, you are well read."
Mrs. Martin had taught geography, and for her to know all this, she was indeed well read.
Sophie smiled. "Oh, so the wings in the back were used as decoration? I thought they were used for war, like fending off arrows shot at their backs."
After listening to what she said, Li Du smiled and Mr. Martin gave her a puzzled expression. "Next time don't participate in these types of conversationsyour thought puts a part of history to shame."
Mrs. Martin shoved him. "Knock it off," she said in displeasure.
Mr. Martin snickered, "Of course Sophie brings up an important point toothe feathered wings indeed had a use on the battlefield. When chasing after the defeated enemy, the wings would produce very loud noises that frightened and diminished the enemy's morale."
Knowing the history of this suit of armor, Mr. Martin estimated it to be worth around 600,000 to 700,000 US dollars.
After mentioning the evaluation, he asked, "Li, you're sure you want to donate this suit of armor? You must know that this is not a small amountMrs. Martin and I don't even earn half this amount for our annual salary."
Li Du explained, "It did not originally belong to me. It should belong to an audience that appreciates this vibrant period in history."
Mr. Martin further encouraged him to reconsider. He did not want Li Du to regret the decision in the future as, like he'd emphasized, this suit of armor was worth quite a bit of money.
Li Du knew he wouldn't regret it. This suit of armor had been taken away from another with nothing in exchangeeven if it were thrown away, he wouldn't have been heartbroken.
With his confirmation, Mr. Martin called the head of the museum and asked for an appointment tomorrow for Li Du, and told him to bring the suit of armor over.
The museum understood that they would be receiving a suit of armor with hundreds of years of history and was excited. If it were not for the museum being closed, they would have wanted to receive it immediately.
While conversing about the armor, Li Du had another question: "This armor has a long history and is made with silverit's only worth six to seven hundred thousand?"
"Indeed, this is an antique, but the winged cavalry was a troop, and had a large number of people," Mr. Martin explained. "There were quite a few sets of this armor left behind."
This was the reason: the rarer the antique, the more expensive it was. Even though the collection of armor and weaponry was popular, there were quite a lot of these antiques that had been passed down.
Especially since the winged cavalry had been a huge influence in Europe. Even though its usage vanished in the 18th century, there were still admirers and the continued production of counterfeit versions.
In addition, the armor was not entirely made of silverthe outer layer was silver coating for aesthetic purposes. Silver was soft, and could not have been possibly used to make weapons. Mr. Martin held up the silver-coated weapon for him to see; there was damage to the body, revealing the black iron hidden underneath the coating.
After finishing their conversation, they prepared to have dinner.
Sophie and her mother went to prepare the food and did not want assistance from Li Du; they just wanted him to wait and eat. Li Du, however, couldn't relax: once Sophie left, Ah Meow immediately pounced on Ah Ow, almost causing her to pee herself.
He immediately went forward to chase away Ah Meow and pulled the puppy out.
The puppy was strong; even though she still had quite a small stature, she seemed to have a burly frame, acting with vigor and a tough temperament. Once she stood up, she barked at Ah Meow.
Mr. Martin looked at the puppy and frowned. "Li, I didn't notice before, but now that she's grown big... I don't think she's a dog."
Li Du replied, "If she isn't, then what could she be?"
Mr. Martin lifted her tail to look; Ah Ow turned around and bit him. It was just a bite to deter him and was not viscous. She then pushed him away.
"Ah Ow, you cannot bite people," Li Du warned her. "That's wrong!"
Ah Ow curled her mouth, her gaze still aggressive.
"Li," Mr. Martin said, "she might be a wolf!"
Li Du was shocked. "What? A wolf?" He immediately shook his head. "She's a Czech Wolfdog. Maybe she looks like a wolf cause she's small, but this just proves that she's purebred."
Mr. Martin wasn't so sure about this answer; he replied, "From a morphological perspective, she is a wolf, but from her intellect and character, she is more like a dog."
"Then she is definitely a Czech Wolfdog," Li Du said proudly.
Ah Ow detected the happiness from his voice and was immediately happy too; her tail drooped and she lifted her head to bark.
Mrs. Martin stuck her head out from the kitchen and asked, "Why is there a wolf howl?"