A little three-wheeled motorcycle sped like the wind as it rode toward the jade market in the south of the city.
Five days had passed in the blink of an eye.
After ascending into the middle period of the State of Qi Channeling five days ago, Tang Hao had studied many different sorcery spells as well as certain low-level elemental spells. He was not an expert yet, but he was already considered a student of the elements.
On the art of talisman-making, he was already able to write runes on talismans. The purpose of his excursion this time was to buy some jade to produce talismans.
There were two types of talismans: paper and jade.
Paper talismans were typically written on yellow paper, though the effects were diminished. High-quality paper talismans required a special type of paper that Tang Hao did not have.
The only other option was jade talismans.
Many incidents happened in these five days. The progress of setting up the plantation is going smoothly underway at Dragonrock Village. The production committee had finalized the details of the project with the village council.
The asphalt road project was also due to start in a few days.
Once the asphalt road was built, setting up the infrastructure for the plantation was next.
Two days ago, President Li had called him to talk about Principal Zhang.
Principal Zhang was Zhang Tianhao’s father. His full name was Zhang Hong, and he was the principal of First Public High School. Two weeks ago, Zhang Tianhao had framed Tang Hao. President Li had already promised that he would get even with Principal Zhang.
Zhang Hong had a bad reputation. President Li hired someone to investigate him and found some dirt. Not only had he accepted bribes, but he also had indecent relationships with minors.
President Li had told him that he would publicize this information in the next few days so that Zhang Hong might pay the price for his misdeeds.
As for Chen Sandao, he was nowhere to be found. The police had guessed that he must have escaped from Province Z.
Tang Hao was worried about Chen Sandao. He would remain a thorn in his side as long as he was not caught.
He arrived at the jade market in less than twenty minutes.
Many different stores in the jade market sold various types of jade items. These items shimmered and dazzled under the display lights.
Tang Hao knew that the quality of the items here was not consistent. There was also a chance of buying fake jade.
Furthermore, he was not looking for processed jade but rather unprocessed jade ore to make talismans. He took a look at the various stores, then went into the stone-gambling store. (TN: Stone-gambling is a traditional Chinese hobby. Stores would sell unprocessed stones that may or may not have precious jade inside. The stones are cut open after purchase to reveal its contents.)
Tang Hao had heard sayings related to stone-gambling before. Those include, “A cut divides the rich from the poor” and “Even a deity cannot see past an inch of stone”.
He had no experience in stone-gambling, though he had expected that he should be able to acquire some raw jade with the three million yuan he had in his account.
The stone-gambling storefront seemed narrow, though it was a lot more spacious once he stepped inside. Hunks of raw stones were displayed on the shelves.
The raw stones were of various colors, shapes and sizes.
Some people were standing in front of those shelves, carefully inspecting each of those stones.
A tall woman raised her head when she saw Tang Hao walk in. She soon furrowed her brows.
This boy that just came into the store could not have been rich.
However, she was used to seeing all types of people visiting the stone-gambling store, whether they were rich or poor.
She smiled hospitably while she stepped forward. “Welcome, sir… Is this your first time here? Do you have a price range in mind?”
Tang Hao looked at the person speaking and was surprised.
She was a woman in her late twenties and was unusually tall for a female. She was beautiful and was dressed in a trendy suit. She was refreshing to look at.
“I’ll just look around!” Tang Hao said.
The woman was taken aback. She grunted a reply then returned to her position.
‘This fella… he’s just window-shopping, right? I guess so. He’s so young, he doesn’t look like he knows anything about stone-gambling,’ she thought to herself.
Tang Hao walked straight to the shelves and started looking at the stones.
After a while, he could not see anything special about the stones. He furrowed his brows.
‘Right. The antiques had some qi on them. I wonder if this is the same for jade?’ Tang Hao suddenly had an idea.
He stepped close to a raw stone and carefully touched it. He sensed a flow of qi emanating from within the stone but it was not strong.
He touched some of the other raw stones and felt different auras of qi.
Tang Hao was not sure whether a stronger aura of qi meant higher quality jade.
For antiques, a stronger aura of qi meant that the item was older and therefore more valuable. Jade was different. It was considered as a spiritual object, so he could not use his usual logic.
He hesitated for a while, then decided to touch the stones one by one.
His actions attracted the attention of the other people in the store. They looked at him condescendingly.
“He’s just a clueless kid!” Some of them mumbled.
After a while, Tang Hao stood in front of a boulder.
This boulder was about two feet tall and equally as wide and was bigger by several times than the other stones. The price was an astronomical three million yuan.
He had touched all the stones in the store, and the qi aura from this stone was the strongest. Tang Hao hesitated when he saw the price tag. He only had a little more than three million yuan in his bank account. After buying this piece of rock, he would be poor again.
However, judging from the size of the rock, he should be able to carve an enormous piece of jade from it, and from there he could make many jade talismans.
For a long while, he could not make up his mind.
Many surprised eyes were looking at him standing in front of that rock.
Then, they shook their heads. Normal people would not be able to afford to gamble their money on this boulder. Even if one could afford it, no one was willing to pay that price. Losing the gamble was no small matter.
Many of them chuckled and looked elsewhere.
Suddenly, the boy standing in front of the boulder opened his mouth. He pointed at the boulder in front of him and said, “I want this piece!”
Everyone in the store was shocked. They came to their senses and exclaimed in surprise.
“Oh my god, is he insane? He dares gamble three million yuan on this stone?”
The woman was also stunned. She could only look at him with eyes opened round and wide.
The boy’s proclamation sounded ridiculous in her ears. This was not just any normal stone. It cost a whopping three million yuan! The boulder had been in the store for a few years and no one dared to take the plunge.
This boy did not look like a rich person, so how would he be able to afford it?
She came to her senses a long while later, then rushed to him and spoke hesitantly, “Are you sure you want…”
Tang Hao nodded and replied, “Why, you don’t think I can afford it?”
Then, he took out his debit card and handed it to her. “If you don’t believe it, take a look.”
The woman was still hesitant when she took the card from his hand. She, as well as the other people in the store, could not believe that Tang Hao could afford it. The boy’s clothes did not show that he or his parents were rich, so how was it possible that he had three million?
“I think he’s a phony!” Some people were whispering to each other.
The woman went over to the POS machine and swiped the card, then Tang Hao entered his PIN. Her eyes went round when she saw his account balance.
‘Oh my god! He does have three million yuan!’
This plain-looking kid in shabby clothes was a rich scion!
In her eyes, having so much money at a young age could only mean that his parents were rich.
Her attitude changed. She became a lot more hospitable and respectful.
The other people were also surprised that the kid did actually have three million yuan in his account.
After taking his card back, Tang Hao carried the raw stone to the stonecutter. All the people in the store followed, their faces full of anticipation and unease.