The bidding process shall be omitted. With influential people such as Ning Weiqiang and Tang Cheng bidding, those who wanted to bid surrendered beforehand, and they only spent 60,000 to get the statue.
After they got the statue, Qin Fang and the others didn’t care about the auction anymore. It passed by quickly, and all of them were waiting for the unraveling of the secret within the statue.
After paying the money and getting the goods, Qin Fang and the others sat inside a private room in the salon. Ning Weiqiang specially asked for an appraisal expert to help them appraise their statue. This expert was much better than those ‘professionals’ outside.
“Young Master Tang, Young Master Ning, you two want to…?”
When the appraisal expert came, he didn’t know what was going on. The two were staring intensely and hovering around a statue that didn’t seem to be worth much at all.
“Don’t ask me, ask him.”
Tang Cheng stayed calm despite the expert looking at them like idiots, while Ning Weiqiang directly threw him towards Qin Fang.
“Don’t hurry, wait for me a little…”
Qin Fang also didn’t care about the expert, and was carefully observing the statue. In his hands was a really small awl, and he was waving it around in the air, as if finding for a suitable place to knock into the statue.
“Dear young master, what are you…?”
The expert looked at Qin Fang with surprise. He couldn’t see where Qin Fang was going with his actions, and thus asked what he was doing.
“Where do you think I should hit to be able to break this statue, and yet, not harm the thing inside?”
Qin Fang looked at the expert from the corner of his eyes. He knew the expert was a real professional at this, and asked for his opinion.
When the expert heard this, he couldn’t help but roll his eyes. However, he had been in this salon for quite long, and knew the quirks of these rich people. Though he felt pity for the statue that was not really that expensive, he didn’t dare to not do what these people asked him to. Even if Qin Fang’s dressing wasn’t that much different from his own.
“From the head. The bottom is too thick, and the sides will damage it easily!”
The expert was also quite curious. He didn’t understand how Qin Fang knew that the statue had something inside its stomach. One should know that this statue had went through the expert’s hands before, and after attentive observation, he didn’t find any gaps at all. Naturally, he didn’t know whether there was something inside at all.
However, to protect his job, he still gave Qin Fang his opinion, which was about the same as Qin Fang’s.
Thus, with the expert’s help, they laid the statue down, and placed the head of the statue at the edge of the table. Qin Fang then raised up the awl in his hands, and lightly tapped it.
A crisp sound came out, and following the sound of something breaking, the head was broken.
“Huh? There really is something!”
Chen Jiangnan was also observing by the side. When the statue’s head was broken, other than a few pieces of broken clay, something really exposed itself.
Hearing Chen Jiangnan’s shout, the two rich son of influential people who were drinking also looked at each other in shock. They then stood up and walked over together.
At this time, Qin Fang carefully took out the thing hidden inside. Luckily, the statue was hollow inside, and though it wasn’t spacious, there was space for the stick-like object to move.
When Qin Fang took out the cone-like stick object that was close to 30 cm out, everybody surrounded the table.
The object was rectangular, and it was wrapped with something similar to paper. It was something commonly used during the ancient times for waterproofing. True to it’s appearance, when Qin Fang pinched the paper, it felt quite old.
“You do it.”
Qin Fang didn’t dare to touch the paper anymore, and left the important and delicate job of removing it to the expert they specially called over.
The expert’s heart was already pounding when something really showed up after breaking the statue, and now that Qin Fang was giving him such an important task, to say that he was not nervous was bullshit.
Luckily, he was a true professional, and was also excited about unraveling an old artifact himself.
Qin Fang and the others didn’t know about the paper, but the expert did. He could tell at a glance that it came from the Ming dynasty. Thus, the thing wrapped inside should be as old as or older than the Ming dynasty.
And if such an object was hidden in a statue, it must mean it’s worth was much higher than the statue. As a appraiser, how could he not get excited about finding out what it was?
“Careful, don’t spoil it!”
Looking at the expert’s slightly big movements, Chen Jiangnan started calling out, fearing that it will break.
“I understand, I understand…”
The expert had a bitter smile, and was scolding Chen Jiangnan in his heart. In this room was two people he could not afford to offend, so he had to bear with it.
Though he was talking, but his hands didn’t stop at all. Carefully, he peeled off the paper that was practically stuck onto the object, and finally, the object was revealed in all its glory.
When it was revealed, what they saw first was a scroll of yellowed paper, and when the expert carefully unrolled it, Qin Fang and the other finally knew what was in front of them.
Almost everyone took in a deep breath.
Compared to them, the expert who had seen a lot of treasures recovered quickly, and started to carefully examine this object. But when he did, he almost got a stroke.
“Lan Ting Xu!”
Originally, Qin Fang and the others were hoping for a miracle in their hearts, but when the expert said what the object was word by word, all of them also almost got a stroke too.
As long as one knew a little about calligraphy, even if that person had never written proper words before, then one will know that ‘Lan Ting Xu’ was regarded as ‘China’s Number One Calligraphy’.
“Analyse it more. Which dynasty did it come from, and who copied it…”
Tang Cheng was still a military personnel in the end, and though he was truly shocked, his mind was still relatively calm and immediately ordered the expert to appraise it properly.
Lan Ting Xu’s inscription tablet was quite widespread, and many had copied it before. So much so that since the inception of Lan Ting Xu, every single great calligrapher afterwards had at least copied Lan Ting Xu once before. If this particular one is hidden so secretively, it meant that it’s orgins were extraordinary. It could be an extremely precious treasure like Qin Fang expected.
“No need to see. I have seen such a work before. It was made by the Tang dynasty scholar Feng Chengsu who copied from the real work of Wang Xizhi. As for whether it this is the original of Lan Ting Xu made personally by Wang Xizhi or not, I can’t say now. I had seen the copy of this work at the Beijing Museum, and it was exactly the same as this…”
When the expert was talking, even his voice started shaking.
Though he couldn’t determine for sure whether it was the original, but from the clues available, he could say it was true without any doubts.
And if it was confirmed to be the original, then a scroll which original was considered to be lost forever would be brought back to light again. That would mean he would be the first witness of this historic moment. His name could even be spread for ages!
“Are you sure you didn’t see wrongly?”
When he said those words, Tang Cheng, Ning Weiqiang, Qin Fang, and Chen Jiangnan’s face didn’t have happiness from getting something precious anymore, but cautiousness.
“It is the original. Brother Tang, call people over!”
At this time, Qin Fang also appraised the scroll, and when the results came out, his face was full of helplessness. However, he still told Tang Cheng about it. He didn’t want to lie to his future brother-in-law.
This was one of Qin Fang’s good points. He knew when to restrain himself, and turn a loss into a benefit in the end.
All in all, this was not just about getting good stuff anymore. They had gotten heaven-shaking object so good, to the point people like them could not afford to possess…
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