GOR Chapter 223 Part 2: It’s Yours
Xian Yin revealed what appeared to be a smile and said, “I think in this thousand years’ time, I may be the first person to have laid my eyes upon both the sword hilt and sword blade.”
“I believe that’s true,” said Chen Xiaolian as he nodded his head. “Your ancestors were only able to see the sword blade. You, on the other hand, were able to see both.”
He looked into Xian Yin’s eyes and said, “Now then… you may honour your words.”
Xian Yin nodded her head. “Mm, very well, I will not go back on my words. However… you should already know this but I do not have the sword blade on me. I can lead you people to it.”
“Where to? Your house?”
“Of course not.” Xian Yin smiled and said, “Something like that would naturally not be hidden in any treasure vault at my home. Those who ambushed me would most certainly have already searched through my home.”
“So, you hid it in a very safe place?”
Xian Yin said gently, “Relax, the place is very safe. Nobody would think that the place is being used as a hiding spot.”
The four of them immediately left the stone fortress. They followed Xian Yin’s lead and moved toward the place that held the sword blade.
The place left Chen Xiaolian surprised.
Around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, their car arrived at a place known as Bonin Street in the West End of London.
Like the other roads in London, this road was not that wide. It was a two-way road with only two lanes. The buildings on either side were not high-rise buildings.
However, the place was very quiet. The streets were very clean and parasol trees were planted on both sides of the road.
Their car moved according to Xian Yin’s guidance and came to a stop at an intersection of the road.
The left side of the car was facing an iron fence gate.
There was a copper plate on the iron gate. Chen Xiaolian glanced at it.
“Isa Art Museum.”
Chen Xiaolian frowned and asked, “What is this place?”
“This is a private art museum; a very small-scale one.” Xian Yin who was seated in the first passenger seat said, “This museum is funded by our family. Mm, it would be more accurate to say that we invested in it. It could be considered as my family’s business.
“This is not that surprising. In the UK, many aristocrats who hold interest in the field of arts will invest in the establishment of small-scale museums.”
“You… … you hid the sword blade here?”
Chen Xiaolian observed the building standing before him.
Beyond the fence gate was a small courtyard, a circular fountain and a bronze statue located in the middle of the pool.
There was only one building within the courtyard. It was a red coloured building that was only three-storey high. The red bricks that made up the building gave it the appearance of ancientness.
They stepped down from the car and walked across the road to stand before the gate.
Looking at the closed fence gate, Chen Xiaolian frowned and asked, “This is not open?”
“Private museums are generally not open to the public. Occasionally, some aristocrats will hold some art salons here, or invite some of the more famous artists to put their work in this exhibition. Naturally, this place also holds some of the collection of arts collected by my family. Most of the time though, they would be kept in the basement. Only when it is necessary to show them will they be taken out.”
Xian Yin replied in a very calm manner. She walked to the side where there was an electronic lock – it was a password electronic lock. Xian Yin keyed in the password and the fence gate opened up automatically.
“Are there no one assigned to manage this place?” Chen Xiaolian observed the quiet courtyard.
“It is presently time for afternoon tea, gentlemen,” Xian Yin said while revealing a faint smile. “You do not understand the life of Britons.”
After the fence gate was opened, Xian Yin was the first to enter. Chen Xiaolian and the two brothers followed behind.
The fountain within the courtyard was not operational and there was no water in there.
The statue sculpture in the middle of the pool was neither some ancient sculpture nor the sculpture of a warrior, or others of the like.
To Chen Xiaolian’s surprise, the sculpture was of a man wearing ceremonial clothes and ceremonial hat. In his hand was a walking stick.
The bronze statue sculpture was probably made with a one to one ratio.
“Who is this?”
“My great-grandfather.” Xian Yin smiled and said, “Back then, he was the one who funded the constructions costs for this museum. It is a very old place… it survived the London bombings by the Germans back in WWII.
“At that time, this place was bombed and the building partially collapsed. This statue of my great-grandfather was moved to the basement back then. If not for that, it too would have been destroyed by the bombings.”
Chen Xiaolian walked toward the museum’s door.
“Don’t look at me. Did you think I would bring the keys for all my properties when I come out?” said Xian Yin as she pursed her lips to the side.
Lun Tai stepped forward. He took out the shovel and slid it through, breaking the door lock.
“Please.” Lun Tai cast a glance at Xian Yin.
The place was truly not that big. Concept wise, there was a huge gap between this place and a true museum.
The size of the lobby was only approximately the size of a living room.
The left and right corridors lead to two large lounges. Xian Yin informed them that the place were to be used when holding art salons. At the moment, they were empty.
“The items are hidden in the basement,” said Xian Yin coolly. “There is a storage room there. It utilizes a temperature and humidity regulating system to preserve some of my family collections. Of course, the Sword in the Stone that you people are looking for is also over there.”
Chen Xiaolian frowned and said, “You hid the item in your own family museum’s storage room… … do you consider this place to be very safe?”
“Assuming there weren’t any monstrous beings like you people or those who had ambushed me… … the storage room is secure enough. Besides, I didn’t know that the item would be that precious. Recent generations of my family had only considered it as an antique. Truth be told, it is just a rusty piece of metal for us.”
There was a small elevator in the lobby. They took the elevator and descended down to the basement.
Apparently, the basement was very deep down. However, the ventilation system was very good.
After arriving at the basement through the elevator, they did not feel suffocated at all.
Stepping out from the elevator, they were greeted by a hallway. The hallway was only 45 meters in length. At the end of the hallway, there was an arch and a metal door.
The metal door appeared similar to that of the vault within the banks.
Xian Yin went to the door before the vault. She entered the password to unlock the door. Next, a scanner came up and a red beam of light scanned her eyes.
A “ding” sound rang out, indicating success.
The heavy door to the vault slowly opened up.
“This vault was built by my great-grandfather. However, my father upgraded this door and access system. Perhaps when there is a better technology, I would replace it with a more advanced one as well,” said Xian Yin, pointing toward the door of the vault. “Now, the way is clear. Let’s go in.”
The vault was much bigger than what he had imagined it to be!
After walking in, Chen Xiaolian stared around with widened eyes. The place was as big as a standard football field.
There were special cabinets placed on both sides. There were also some iron frames there.
Chen Xiaolian noted that the place had indeed housed many works of art.
He observed a good number of Oriental porcelain placed atop the metal frames.
There were vases and plates of various sizes there.
Chen Xiaolian did not know much about art. He casually picked up a round plate with pretty blue pattern on its surface.
He then checked the bottom of the plate.
“The Qing Dynasty, the reign of Qianlong.”
Chen Xiaolian was shocked.
“Are these items the real deal?” Chen Xiaolian gazed at the items on the shelf… there were at least 30 of those plates there. Additionally, there were many other bottle like items there. He glanced at Xian Yin and asked, “It can’t be. Did your great-grandfather participate in the Eight Nation Alliance? ”
“Is there any point to asking that question?” Xian Yin asked indifferently.
After considering it, Chen Xiaolian chose not to say anything and simply put the plate back on the shelf.
There were many paintings by the wall. Some were hung on the wall while others were wrapped up and placed on the ground.
Chen Xiaolian even caught sight of two very simplistic looking stone statues.
“Mayan? Aztec?” Chen Xiaolian turned to look at Xian Yin.
“I am not an expert in the works of art. I only know about oil painting,” Xian Yin said coolly.
Chen Xiaolian’s eyes swivelled around and he suddenly noticed an odd item placed upon a cabinet.
Chen Xiaolian looked at it carefully and took a few steps forward.
It was indeed an umbrella.
It was truly the most ordinary kind of umbrella with a wooden handle.
The umbrella fabric was black in colour. As for the frame of the umbrella, it was metal. However, it was not too rusty.
Could this also be considered a work of art?
Chen Xiaolian was simply unable to see what was so special about the item.
This type of umbrella… although it does appear old, I think I could probably find a lot of them in the flea market.
“Is this also part of your family collection?” Chen Xiaolian pointed at the umbrella on the shelf and smiled.
“The items collected does not necessarily have to be items of value,” Xian Yin slowly said. “Perhaps, this item held a special significance to the one who had placed it here.”
Xian Yin looked at the umbrella and said with a wry smile, “I do not know why this item is placed here either. It was probably placed here by my grandfather or my great-grandfather. Perhaps this item held a certain meaning to them.”
Chen Xiaolian appeared somewhat curious. However, it was mere curiosity. After giving it another glance, he shifted his gaze away.
“So, where is the sword blade?” asked Chen Xiaolian as he looked at Xian Yin.
Xian Yin walked to the right side of a row of cabinets. She glanced around before moving to the cabinet on the second row and third column.
Xian Yin opened the cabinet. Inside, there was a wooden box.
It was a long shaped box.
Chen Xiaolian and Bei Tai quickly moved over.
As Xian Yin opened the wooden box, Chen Xiaolian’s eyes quickly narrowed up.
Contained within the wooden box was a long strip of metal.
There was a huge amount of rust on its surface… … however, it was clear that this item had been better preserved when compared to the sword hilt.
That was probably because it had always been kept in the hands of the Norman family. Thus, it had been properly preserved.
Due to that reason, although it also had a layer of rust on its surface, it did not appear as badly damaged as the sword hilt.
At the very least though, it was possible to see the original shape of the sword blade.
“Now, it’s yours.” Xian Yin gave a faint smile and handed the wooden box to Chen Xiaolian before taking the initiative to take a step backward.
1 Eight Nation Alliance. An international coalition formed by the nations of Japan, Russia, the British Empire, France, the United States, Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary for the purpose of putting down the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900. As all winners usually do, after winning, they proceeded to loot the capital. ↩