Perhaps due to not being able to get the copybook, though the auction proceeded as usual, Tang Cheng and Ning Weiqiang’s mood wasn’t that good. It was Chen Jiangnan who was excited and almost every time a product was displayed, he will ask Qin Fang to go and appraise it.
After that, Qin Fang will give a simple evaluation, mostly about whether it was real or fake.
Luckily, most of the products that were able to get in were genuine articles, and fakes like the copybook didn’t appear much. This allowed Qin Fang to not harbour any grudges for this auction.
Chen Jiangnan also got the chinaware that he had set his eyes on, and it was obtained for 560 thousand dollars. It was still within the range that Chen Jiangnan could accept. However, the dignity he exuded when he was bidding caused Qin Fang to the a double take at the handsome guy who he mistook as a thief before.
The auction continued, and Qin Fang assumed the role of a bystander all the while, without any intention to join in at all. Well, he didn’t have the right either. The lowest any product went so far was at 120 thousand dollars, and it was not a sum a poor guy like him could take out.
As usual, another product was displayed again. This time, it was a statue of Sakyamuni Buddha made from clay. Qin Fang looked at the description, and saw that it was only from the Ming dynasty, and wasn’t that expensive. It was one of the lower end products in this auction, and was probably placed to make up for the lack of numbers.
This time, Qin Fang still went up to look at it. However, Chen Jiangnan who was not a Buddhist naturally did not have any interest in the statue, and couldn’t be bothered to go up.
As usual, Qin Fang only went up, used [Appraisal], and after getting the result quickly left. He usually didn’t stay for more than 30 seconds.
It was no exception this time, and Qin Fang wanted to leave unconsciously after getting the result. But…
<[A Buddha Statue From The Ming Dynasty That Holds A Great Thing Within]>
“Huh? Why is it like that?”
Qin Fang was stunned. This result was quite out of Qin Fang’s expectations. At least, since the start of the auction, even after appraising thirty plus products, not one had such a description.
With this realisation, Qin Fang couldn’t afford to leave. He turned around, and observed the statue carefully.
The statue was only 30 cm high, and looked like a normal Buddha statue. Qin Fang observed it hundred of times, but still didn’t find anything weird.
“Great thing within? Could it be inside the statue’s stomach?”
If the skill said there was a great thing within then there must be a great thing within. And the only place left unchecked was inside the statue’s stomach.
However, what was inside was unknown to Qin Fang. There could be a heaven-shaking treasure inside, or there could be just two rock fragments inside. Anyways, anything was possible.
Qin Fang didn’t have X-ray eyes, and while knowing something was inside, couldn’t see what was it. So, he could only come up with empty conjectures.
“Right! Doesn’t the result change if you constantly use [Appraisal] on an object?”
Just as Qin Fang was clueless on what to do, he suddenly recalled the time when he used the skill on Chen Jiangnan. He clearly remembered using the skill when seeing Chen Jiangnan behaving so suspiciously, and the appraisal result was different from the first one he got when he used it the second time.
Though Qin Fang didn’t know whether the results would change, he still started constantly appraising the statue.
<[A Buddha Statue From The Ming Dynasty That Holds Great Things Within], it seems heavy…>
<[A Buddha Statue From The Ming Dynasty That Holds Great Things Within], there is something inside.>
<[A Buddha Statue From The Ming Dynasty That Holds Great Things Within], buying a wooden box and returning the pearls inside is not a bad choice.>
(T/N: buying a wooden box and returning the pearls inside means to show poor judgement. It’s an idiom. Well, it in this case, the system is hinting that buying this statue and giving away the things inside might be good.)
As expected, the results verified Qin Fang’s conjecture, and there was indeed changes in the results of appraisal.
“Buying a wooden box and returning the pearls…”
Especially the last result, it made Qin Fang unable to resist the urge to mutter.
As long as one wasn’t illiterate, most people would know about the classical story about buying a wooden box and returning the pearls. Now, the system was seemingly trying to get Qin Fang to do such a thing.
In the classical story, the pearl which was worth cities was obviously the thing inside the statue, and the wooden box that hid the thing was obviously the statue in this case.
With such simple reasoning, Qin Fang’s thoughts got clear. So the real precious thing was the item inside.
The appraisal time was over, and Qin Fang was naturally asked to come down.
“Brother Qin, what is it? Did you like that? I saw that you didn’t spend much time on other things, but on this…”
Chen Jiangnan was a businessman, and his eyes were not ordinarily observant. Naturally, when he noticed that Qin Fang was showing a much different reaction, he couldn’t help but tease Qin Fang, but also, to find out what the product was.
Qin Fang at first didn’t talk, but just flipped the booklet. On it, the estimated price of the statue was between 60,000 to 120,000. Not high, and was literally this cheapest here. Yet, Qin Fang had no money…
“Brother Tang, Brother Qiang, Brother Jiangnan, can I discuss something with you?”
It was okay if he didn’t have money, as he had three people beside him that didn’t seem to care about money. Though he was not close with them, nobody would pass up an opportunity to get richer.
Thus, taking the opportunity when the auction master was happily raising the price of the statue, Qin Fang explained his findings to the three. Qin Fang was almost certain that the statue was worth way more than it should.
“You are saying that this statue is a good thing?”
Tang Cheng didn’t show much reaction, but it was Ning Weiqiang and Chen Jiangnan who showed interest.
“As for how good it is, I can’t say. But it should be several times more than the statue’s original worth. Brother Qiang, you know my plight. If I could, I would have bought it myself!”
With such a good thing in front of him, it would be such a waste if Qin Fang just let it go. If this statue fell into the hands of others, it would only be revered by Buddhists, and who knows how long it will take for the secret within to come to light!
“Are you really sure?”
Ning Weiqiang was not really convinced. This was the statue of Sakyamuni Buddha, not Maitreya Buddha. The stomach wasn’t really big, and even if there was indeed something inside, it’s worth should be limited…
“I’m sure! Brother Qiang, if you don’t believe me, then let’s do it like this. Treat the money I use for this bid as a loan from you guys, and when I sell the thing, I will repay you. It should be okay like this, right?”
Seeing that Qin Fang was being like that, Ning Weiqiang and the others started believing in Qin Fang. They were suspicious in the first place due to being bitter about not getting the copybook.
“Let’s do it like this. Treat the money we use for this bid to be the four of us’, and if it really is precious, we will split it equally. How about it?”
Qin Fang was surprised that the one who talked this time was not Ning Weiqiang, but Tang Cheng, who in Ning Weiqiang’s words, was ‘Qin Fang’s convenient brother-in-law’.
Everyone naturally consented. Such a statue would at most be worth 120,000, and if there are more bidders, 200,000. If split equally, it was only 50,000 each, and to the three rich guys, it was like a drop in an ocean.
As for Qin Fang, he was hoping for a precious item…
Finally finished my midyear exams T.T…