Chapter 23

Chapter 23 of 100 chapters

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation  Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

Tang Hao was puzzled. “What happened?”

Ma Wenyuan explained. “That item is indeed not bad, but at two hundred thousand yuan the margin is too tight. There’s no need to fight over that.”

Tang Hao nodded in understanding.

Bucktooth Zhou was laughing as if he had won a battle. He looked arrogantly at Elder Ma then turned and left. He stopped somewhere nearby. On the table in front of him were twelve jade figurines.

There was a jade rabbit, jade tiger, jade horse, and other animals of the Chinese zodiac carved out of jade. The figurines were intricate and the animals were lifelike. Some of the items still had some dirt on them. They were probably newly unearthed.

Bucktooth Zhou went cross-eyed when he saw those figurines.

He inspected the figurines carefully, then yelled, “I offer the eight hundred thousand yuan for the entire set.”

All the other people crowded around him to see what he found.

“That’s good stuff! It’s an entire set of Song jade. This must be worth a fortune!”

Elder Ma was among those who crowded around. He was also tempted by the set of jade figurines and joined in the bidding war.

The price soon broke past one million.

Tang Hao was left speechless. His entire savings totaled seven hundred thousand. He could not even afford to bid on this set of jade figurines.

“I’m still too poor!” Tang Hao lamented.

He and Ma Wenyuan squeezed through the crowd to look closely at the carvings.

Tang Hao soon noticed something was strange. Everyone said that the figurines were made of Song jade, that was, jade from the Song dynasty. However, he could only feel a weak qi current on the figurines. In fact, it was even weaker than the porcelain bowl earlier.

“That’s strange. Are these counterfeit?” Tang Hao contemplated.

The price of the figurines kept rising. It had already reached one million and three hundred thousand.

“I offer one million, three hundred and ten thousand!” Elder Ma shouted.

“I offer one million, three hundred and twenty thousand!” Bucktooth Zhou kept his pursuit.

Elder Ma hesitated. Gritting his teeth, he shouted again. “One million, three hundred and thirty thousand!”

“One million, three hundred and forty thousand!” Bucktooth Zhou also hesitated before he yelled out his offer.

Tang Hao saw that Elder Ma was about to offer another bid. He stepped forward and discreetly told him, “Elder, I think there’s something strange about this item.”

Ma Jiuye was shocked. He turned around and looked at Tang Hao with bewilderment.

‘Didn’t Little Brother Tang say he had no experience in antique appraisal? Also, how can there be something weird with this set of jade figurines? It is made of Song jade, that’s for sure. None of the other people here found anything strange about the figurines after inspecting them.’

Bucktooth Zhou laughed mockingly. “Go sit in a corner! How can a blind greenhorn like you see something strange? It’s not your turn to speak! Maybe go study for another twenty or thirty years before coming back here.”

The other antique store owners also laughed. They did not find Tang Hao worthy of attention.

‘He’s just an outsider. Just ignore him!’

Elder Ma was different. He knew that Tang Hao was not someone normal, and he might see something that the rest did not.

He began to hesitate. He offered a few more bids and stopped bidding at one million, three hundred and ninety thousand.

The set of jade figurines was finally won by Bucktooth Zhou at one million and four hundred thousand.

“You’re not in your element, Elder Ma! I’m picking up all the goodies. Don’t tell me that you believe what this kid says? Haha! It looks like you’re becoming senile, Elder!

“I can easily flip this set of jade figurines for two million and more. It’s an easy seven or eight hundred thousand profit for me.”

Elder Ma grunted and led Tang Hao outside.

“What did you see earlier, Little Brother Tang?”

“I think that set of jade figurines is counterfeit. I’ve never appraised antiques before, but I have at least an eye for this stuff.”

Elder Ma was speechless.

Any other person would have laughed out loud when they heard this. If you had not appraised antiques before, how would you have an eye for it?

“Oh well!” he shook his head.

Eventually, more and more items were sold to their highest bidders.

Some of the items were hotly contested, and others barely garnered any attention.

Tang Hao went around the hall one more time. He suddenly felt something, and his eyes fell on a terracotta statue in a standing position placed at the corner of the hall.

Tang Hao picked up the statue and carefully inspected it. His face lit up with delight.

The qi in this statue was the most intense among all the items he had seen here. This meant that this was the most ancient item. Typically, the more ancient the item, the more valuable it would be.

He was extremely excited. He knew that he had struck the jackpot.

“I offer ten thousand for this thing!” He shouted at the man in black standing next to him.

The antique shop owners heard that there was a bid being placed and so crowded over to take a look. All of them shook their heads. No one placed a competing bid.

Bucktooth Zhou also came over. He laughed, “That’s a blind greenhorn. He even dares to buy such an obvious imitation!”

Elder Ma saw the item in his hand and told him in a low voice, “Little Brother Tang. I’m not too keen on this item. It’s most likely an imitation.”

“No problem!” Tang Hao replied with a smile.

With no one placing another bid, Tang Hao obtained the statue at ten thousand yuan.

Meanwhile, a few other antique store owners were crowding around a wooden Buddha statue. The price started at five thousand yuan and soon reached fifteen thousand.

Tang Hao went over to look, and soon a puzzled expression grew on his face.

He listened to the store owners’ discussions. The Buddha statue was from the late Qing period, about the same as the porcelain bowl. The material was cheap and the handiwork was mediocre, so it was not worth a lot.

Tang Hao inspected the item for a while but noticed that there was something strange about its qi.

At first glance, the qi surrounding the item was thin. Once he touched it, he could feel a strong current of qi hidden within the statue.

“There’s something amazing inside!” Tang Hao became excited and joined in the bidding.

The price gradually rose. Most people dropped out of the bidding war at twenty-five thousand. Finally, Tang Hao won the auction of the wooden Buddha statue at thirty thousand.

Bucktooth Zhou cast him a sideways glance and laughed. “Elder Ma, your disciple is loaded! He spent ten thousand earlier to buy an imitation figure, and now he’s spent another thirty thousand to buy a worthless wooden statue. He’s bringing shame to the East River Workshop!”

Elder Ma said coldly. “Boss Zhou, I’ve told you. This young man here is not in the antiques business.”

“He might not be in the business, but he’s still your guest! Isn’t that shameful?” Bucktooth Zhou mocked.

The other antique store owners said nothing. All of the people on the antique street knew that they were rivals.

Some of the people were laughing in their hearts. From their insiders’ point of view, the boy’s actions were typical of an outsider.

The terracotta statue was not worth mentioning. As for the wooden statue, it was definitely not worth thirty thousand. The price had been artificially jacked by ten or twenty thousand.

Everyone worth his salt could see that face. Only the kid did not.

The kid’s expression looked as though he had found a great bargain.

‘Poor fella!’ Most of the store owners were thinking like this.

Tang Hao suddenly opened his mouth. He lifted the terracotta statue in his hand and said loudly. “Who said that this is an imitation? This is a genuine antique. It’s at least from the Song, no, maybe even from the Tang dynasty.”

Everyone became quiet when they heard this.

After the store owners recovered from their shock, their laughter shook the entire hall.