GOR Chapter 224: Strange Man
Chen Xiaolian held the sword blade in his hand and weighed it. It was not light in the slightest.
“There seems to be a pattern on its surface,” said Lun Tai who was standing beside.
“Mm, I see it too.”
Chen Xiaolian held it under his nose and inspected it… under the rust, unique patterns could be made out all over the item.
Those patterns were obviously made during the moulding process. There were patterns on both sides of the sword blade.
Chen Xiaolian promptly brought out the Sword in the Stone’s hilt and compared it with the sword blade.
There were far more rust upon the surface of the sword hilt. However, the broken part of both the sword blade and sword hilt fit one another.
Putting the two of them together formed a long sword used by ancient knights of the West.
Chen Xiaolian watched the two items that he had pieced together… a tinge of disappointment rose within his heart.
Despite piecing the two pieces together, nothing special happened.
“I knew it wouldn’t be so simple.” Chen Xiaolian sighed.
Lun Tai glanced at him and asked, “What is not so simple?”
“For example… a sudden burst of light or the automatic integration or something of the like,” said Chen Xiaolian with a smile. “I thought that by putting them together, it would automatically come together to form a complete Sword in the Stone.”
Lun Tai smiled and did not say anything else.
“Have you found it?”
Sasha sat in the dark room, his hands tapping quickly upon the keyboard. At the same time, he was unable to restrain himself and he shouted, “I told you before, I need a better equipment! Hacking into the police’s surveillance system is not a problem. However, in order to conduct a facial recognition search, I need better equipment! Damn it!”
At that moment, Sasha suddenly called out, “I found it!”
Upon the monitor, a video of several people getting out of a car and onto a road could be seen. Soon, facial recognition software ran upon it and the face of one of the people, a woman, was pulled out.
“Found her! A 96 % match. This must definitely be the target.”
Sasha quickly used the guild channel to inform Lei Hu.
“Bonin Street. She is there. There are… … three men beside her. They have Oriental looking faces.
“Found them. They are at Bonin Street. The Countess from the Norman family is together with them.”
Lei Hu glanced at Culkin.
Culkin was lost in thought as he gazed into the distance.
They were standing on the roof of a building. Culkin stood at the edge of the roof with a road situated right below his foot. Cars travelled back and forth through the road.
“Is it confirmed?” Culkin did not even turn his head. He maintained his imposing posture as he stared into the distance.
Lei Hu smiled and said, “Confirmed. But, Sasha was complaining. He’s asking for better equipment. Personally, I think we could get him what he wants. After all, his skill is very useful for us.”
“Very well. After this instance dungeon is over, we’ll get him what he wants.”
Culkin turned around and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He pulled out one, lit it up and took a puff from it.
There was an odd look on his face and a perplexing expression was evident in his eyes. “Lei Hu.”
“What is it?”
“Have you heard of the Meteor Rock Guild?”
“… … …” Lei Hu appeared stunned for a moment. Then, he smiled and said, “I have. They are quite famous. Their Guild Leader’s name is Qiu Yun. I hear that he’s quite a powerful character.”
Culkin quietly puffed on the cigarette. Then, he threw the cigarette down and snuffed it with his foot. “Qiu Yun eh… … heh, he does indeed have some ability.”
Pausing for a bit, Culkin slowly said, “The fellows we met today, the ones beside the Norman family’s Countess are from the Meteor Rock Guild.”
“Oh?” Lei Hu’s eyes lit up and he asked, “Which one was Qiu Yun?”
“Qiu Yun? No, he’s not here.” Culkin shook his head and said, “Qiu Yun… … he is already dead. He’s been dead for almost a month now.”
“Dead ?!” Lei Hu was somewhat shocked.
“Mm, he died in an instance dungeon,” Culkin said coolly. “The fellows we met this time inherited the Meteor Rock Guild after Qiu Yun’s death. Heh… … an interesting little kid. His strength is not bad.”
“So what if it’s the Meteor Rock Guild? Humph… besides, that Qiu Yun is already dead.” Lei Hu waggled his eyebrows. “Regardless, the sacred artefact must fall into our hands!”
Culkin smiled and said, “In that case, get ready to move out. Bonin Street, eh? Since those fellows from Meteor Rock Guild are there as well… … then, we’ll just take them all out as well!”
“… … you have a grudge against the people from Meteor Rock Guild?” Lei Hu glanced at Culkin in surprise.
“Normally, you would say, completing the quest takes precedence. As long as we can complete the quest, there is no need to complicate matters. Unless the need arises, don’t engage in a life or death battle with other game participants. However, from your words earlier, it sounded like you wanted to kill off the people from Meteor Rock Guild.”
Culkin’s eyes twitched a little and he turned to look at Lei Hu. He jumped down the edge of the roof and walked to Lei Hu’s side. Then, he patted Lei Hu gently on the shoulder.
“You are wrong. There is no grudge between me and Meteor Rock Guild. I just feel that… the fellows do not deserve to use that name.”
“We’ve got the item. What do we do next?” Lun Tai asked.
Chen Xiaolian considered the issue and said, “The system did not issue out any prompt. I am surprised myself. Originally, I had thought that after obtaining this item, the system might give us a prompt, or perhaps issue out some other quest.”
He glanced at Xian Yin who appeared to be staring at pair of oil paintings.
Despite having her back facing them and her show of looking at the oil painting, Chen Xiaolian was certain that the young woman was straining her ears to listen in to them.
However, Lun Tai and him were talking in Chinese – this Countess clearly do not understand Chinese.
Xian Yin, Miao Yan. She was not even capable of properly pronouncing those two names.
“I think the next task for us is to deal with those people who ambushed us!” Chen Xiaolian said with a cold expression.
“Oh? Personally, since we’ve already got the item…” Bei Tai lowered his eyelids and said. “You really intend to protect this young woman?”
Chen Xiaolian looked at Bei Tai. His gaze fell onto Bei Tai’s cut off arm and said, “Protect her to fulfil our promise is only one reason. In the first place, there was another reason why I had agreed to her condition.”
Chen Xiaolian clenched both his fists and said coldly, “Bei Tai, one of your arms was cut off by that fellow! This is not something we can just let go! That is why I had agreed to this woman’s condition. Most importantly… since we’ve decided, then, we’ll not let go of those fellows! We can’t let you lose your arm for no reason! That fellow must suffer the price for doing so!
“Staying by this young woman’s side just happened to be the fastest way to find that man in black!”
Lun Tai’s eyes burned furiously and he chipped in, “That’s right! We cannot let that fellow off! Little bro, your arm cannot be lost for no reason! We cannot just forget about it!”
Bei Tai whispered,” I… I am a little worried. Those fellows’ strength don’t appear all that weak. Besides, we are not at full strength. We might not be able to deal with the enemy.”
“No matter what, we must give it a try. Even if we can’t beat them, we must first fight them!” Chen Xiaolian said coldly. “Back then, they had made the proper calculations, causing us to lose. It was only that way that the black-clad man was able to utilize his skill. This time, we might be able to gain the upperhand!”
After he said that, Chen Xiaolian checked the time.
There were only a few more hours before the cool down for Bai Qi’s summoning to end.
His strongest killing move was almost ready to be unleashed.
Xian Yin was doing all she could to listen in to their conversation. Unfortunately for her, Xian Yin was unable to understand the language spoken by those fellows.
She was quite the smart young woman. In addition to her mother tongue, English, Xian Yin was also proficient in French and Spanish. She could be considered a little talented in the area of language.
However… she hadn’t actually dabbled in the Chinese language.
Thus, she did her best to listen for a long time, memorizing those few key words into heart – however, the possibility of getting valuable information through this method was too low.
Yet, under those circumstances, that was the only thing Xian Yin could choose to do.
Xian Yin waited there for a moment. Finally, the one known as Chen Xiaolian walked toward her.
“How is it? Did you finish your discussion?”
She turned to face Chen Xiaolian and asked him directly.
“Mm,” said Chen Xiaolian with a serious face. “We will definitely keep the promise we made to you. So… at present, the most important thing is to help you deal with those who had ambushed you.”
“How will you deal with it?”
“Very simple, find them and kill them off.” A cold and hateful glow flashed across Chen Xiaolian’s eyes.
Xian Yin appeared somewhat anxious and she said, “You mean to…”
“It’s simple. Since their goal is you, we actually do not need to do much. As long as we stay by your side, I believe that they will come looking for you soon enough.”
After saying that, Chen Xiaolian regarded the large vault. He continued, “I think this place is quite good. We’ll just stay in this museum. I believe they will definitely come here.”
“How can you be certain that they will find this place? They don’t know…”
“I’m certain.” Chen Xiaolian gestured with his head and said, “Trust me. There will always be a way. Rather, there are many ways.”
At that moment, the sound of footsteps suddenly appeared from outside the vault.
After they walked into the vault, they did not close the door.
The ground of the passageway outside the vault was layered with stone tiles. One person stepped out from the elevator. This person’s leather shoes stepped upon the stone tiles, issuing out pattering sounds.
This person was a male with a lanky stature.
He wore a collared grey coloured trench coat. His hair was brown in colour and slightly long.
The cuffs and elbow area of his clothes appeared worn.
He wore a pair of glasses on his face. The glasses had round shaped lenses.
His face was fair and could be considered slightly delicate by Caucasian standards – his aesthetics appeared to lean toward the Oriental style.
Judging from his looks, this man was not that young. He was probably at least 40 years old.
To sum it up, he appeared like a teacher one would see in a school. Or some bookworm involved in civil work.
The man walked over and his gaze fell upon Xian Yin who was standing inside the vault. His originally frowning face loosened into a smile.
“Your excellency, so it was you. When I saw that the door lock was smashed, I thought that some thieves had come in.”
The lanky man walked until he reached to the door. Then, he glanced at Chen Xiaolian and the two brothers.
“Ambler, you came back.”
Xian Yin was slightly startled. Then, she relaxed and smiled. “I did not bring my keys. However, an emergency required me to come in. So, I could only break in.”
“Very well, I will find someone to repair the lock.” Ambler nodded.
“Gentlemen, this is Ambler. He is the manager of this museum who works for me. He is also a lover of good art.” Xian Yin introduced the man to Chen Xiaolian and his team.
Chen Xiaolian glanced at the Ambler.
His disposition and the way he dressed himself was different from an ordinary manager. He gave the atmosphere of a bookworm or an artist.
Overall, his entire being gave off an indescribably deep and tranquil atmosphere.
Chen Xiaolian noticed residual traces of oil paint on the sleeves of Ambler’s clothes. He asked, “You are a painter?”
“No. It would be more accurate to say that I am someone who likes oil painting.”
Ambler gave a very calm smile. He possessed a pair of slender looking eyes that appeared warm.
Let’s put it this way, he looked like the presently popular middle-aged warm hearted uncle.
Xian Yin looked at Ambler and slowly said, “All right, we’ve done what we wanted to do here. Let’s go up. Although this place is not stuffy, I hate staying in the basement for too long. Ambler should have some pretty decent coffee at his place. Oh, there might even be some tea from the East.”
Ambler gave faint smile and said, “I do have tea. However, it’s Ceylon tea, not tea from the East.”
Chen Xiaolian exchanged glances with Lun Tai and Bei Tai before nodding his head.
“Ah, right,” Xian Yin suddenly spoke up. “There is one thing that I nearly forgot.”
The young woman looked at Chen Xiaolian and said, “I want to thank you for all you did for me earlier and what you will be doing for me later on.”
“Hmm?” Chen Xiaolian raised an eyebrow.
“It’s very simple. You allowed me to see that item and even allowed me to hold it for a while,” Xian Yin said slowly. “That is the item that my family had been dreaming of all of this time. To show my gratitude, I must give you something as reward. Then… my reward will be… the three of you may choose one item kept within this museum’s vault and take it away… Naturally, that includes only those put on display on the shelves. Those that are locked away within the cabinets are not allowed to be taken. Those items are my family treasures and I do not have the authority to gift it away just like that.”
Chen Xiaolian was shocked.
Everyone gets to pick one?
This is not a small gesture.
While it was possible that those locked within the cabinets have a higher value…
Even those that were placed on the shelves were likely quite expensive!
Ignoring all else, even the plate with blue patterns from Qianlong’s reign would carry a value that was in the seven digits – as long as it was an official porcelain.
“Are you joking?” Chen Xiaolian regarded the young woman.
“An aristocrat would never be stingy toward those who had assisted them before.” Xian Yin shook her head and said, “I am definitely not joking.”
“Those things are not cheap.” Chen Xiaolian smiled.
“Then just pick one. You fellows should be quite interested in these porcelains from the East.” Xian Yin smiled as she observed the three of them.
Chen Xiaolian raised an eyebrow – he was somewhat incapable of deducing what the young woman had meant.
Perhaps this was merely an act of gratitude, or perhaps there was a more profound meaning behind this?
However, after Chen Xiaolian considered it…
It would be a waste not to take it!
Those were all their own nation’s heritage. Only Hell knew how these had fallen into the hands of foreigners.
Since each of them will only be taking one, what was there to feel embarrassed about?
If not because the other party was Xian Yin, Chen Xiaolian would even consider taking away all the porcelains!
Lun Tai and Bei Tai showed no hesitation. Both of them casually reached out and took one porcelain each.
The one Lun Tai took was the one that Chen Xiaolian had inspected earlier, the plate with blue flower pattern from Qianlong’s reign. As for Bei Tai, he had taken a bottle of colouring powder.
Chen Xiaolian checked the paragraph inscribed at the bottom: Reign of Kangxi .
Were these items stolen from the Old Summer Palace ?
Chen Xiaolian did not feel any sense of guilt.
He walked next to a shelf and took a look at it. He had intended to take an ear vase when his gaze suddenly fell upon something else.
It was the old-fashioned umbrella.
For some unknown reason, this old-fashioned umbrella that appeared to have nothing special to it suddenly seemed different when Chen Xiaolian’s gaze fell upon it.
Additionally… Chen Xiaolian also felt a slightly peculiar atmosphere.
No, that’s not quite accurate.
It was akin to the time when you who had never used a knife before picked up a sharp knife.
You could instinctively feel the danger…
The feeling was… … too peculiar!
But… this was simply an old-fashioned umbrella.
Although the black coloured umbrella fabric had yet to rot away, it was likely not quite intact. After all, even the frame of the umbrella had become rusty.
Inexplicably, Chen Xiaolian suddenly reached out and took the umbrella.
“You said as long as they’re on the shelf, we can take it. Can this umbrella be taken?” Chen Xiaolian turned to Xian Yin and asked.
Xian Yin appeared stunned. However, after considering the matter for a moment, she nodded and said, “Of course… … however, are you certain you want that instead of a porcelain from your country?”
Chen Xiaolian simply held onto the umbrella in his hand and replied with a faint smile, “No need. I think there is an affinity between me and this umbrella.”
Both Lun Tai and Bei Tai looked at Chen Xiaolian with peculiar expressions.
Even Ambler was staring at Chen Xiaolian with a somewhat peculiar gaze.
Ignoring the precious porcelain to choose an old umbrella?
“In that case, let’s head up. It just so happened that I have hot water in my lounge. I can make some black tea.”
Ambler gave a faint smile and turned around before walking toward the elevator.
On the first floor of the museum, within the lounge situated on the left side…
Ambler turned around to pick up a teacup.
Xian Yin said, “Ambler is someone who worked for my father and is someone who knows how to appreciate art. After my father passed away, he had always stayed here to work in this museum. It could be said that he is also the curator here. When I was a child, he had also taught me how to paint oil paintings.”
“The ones you painted in your studio?” Chen Xiaolian asked randomly.
“Yes. Unfortunately… later on, Ambler told me that I do not have the talent for painting. Thus, I accepted his advice and redirected my time and energy toward something else.” Xian Yin nodded her head. “However, Ambler’s paintings are quite good. Although I am not good at painting, after having learnt about it for a few years, I have come to learn how to appreciate it. A pity that he is a very conservative person who do not like promoting himself. I had even wanted to fund an exhibition for him only to be refused by him.
“It seems that his biggest interest is to stay in this small museum to guard those works of art and pass the days in normalcy.”
Chen Xiaolian sighed and watched Ambler’s back. As the lanky middle-aged man was making tea, Chen Xiaolian said, “There is nothing wrong with being a hermit.”
Lun Tai who was beside them suddenly interrupted, “Hermit? You mean like Tao Yuanming? ”
Chen Xiaolian laughed and asked, “You know of Tao Yuanming?”
“Come on. I did at least go to high school.” Lun Tai laughed out.
Ambler suddenly turned around and looked at Chen Xiaolian. He smiled and said, “Thank you for the praise. To think that you would compare me with Tao Yuanming. I don’t think I am comparable to that great poet.”
Chen Xiaolian was stunned as he stared at Ambler. “You… you can understand our words?”
Those words he had exchanged with Lun Tai earlier were spoken using Chinese.
Ambler nodded his head and said, “I pluck chrysanthemums under the eastern hedge, then gaze leisurely at the southern hills. I do know some of Tao Yuanming’s poems – ah, I do know some Chinese.”
I pluck chrysanthemums under the eastern hedge, then gaze leisurely at the southern hills.
The poem had come out from Ambler’s mouth. He had recited the words perfectly!
It could be said that there were no trace of strange accent common when a foreigner attempted to speak in Chinese.
Chen Xiaolian could not help but feel surprised.
Xian Yin cast a glance at Ambler with a seemingly curious expression. She said, “I didn’t know you knew Chinese.”
Ambler replied with a faint smile. Then, he put teacups before everyone and proceeded to pour tea for them.
“You should remember, I am Russian.” Ambler smiled and said, “Due to certain historical reasons, many in my home country know Chinese. And no small number of people in their country know Russian as well – this is a result of a certain period of time in history.”
“But, considering your age, you should not have been part of those who experienced that period,” said Chen Xiaolian as he observed Ambler.
Ambler did not answer the question. Instead, he placed the teapot on the table.
Chen Xiaolian noted that Ambler seemed to really understand some of the Oriental culture.
At the very least, he was not like the other Europeans, adding milk and sugar to black tea.
Within the teacup placed before him was a simple black tea from the East.
“You’ve been to our country before?” Chen Xiaolian asked Ambler.
Ambler considered the question before nodding his head. “I have. However, that was a long time ago.”
“I didn’t know you’ve been there before. From what I can remember, you have always been staying in London within this museum. You’ve never liked to go out,” Xian Yin said with a curious tone.
“As I said, that was a long, long time ago, Your Excellency.”
Chen Xiaolian could sense that this Ambler was a very special person.
How should he describe it?
The way he was reacting toward everything that was happening was extremely unusual.
For example, after seeing that the door outside was broken into, he did not report to the police. Instead, he directly headed to the elevator and went down to check on the basement… he didn’t even bring any weapon. He calmly went down to check things out – did it not occur to him that if there were robbers here, then a weak man like him heading down the basement was the equivalent of courting death?
Another example was Bei Tai’s arm that was cut off. There was also a layer of gauze upon Bei Tai’s body that had yet to be taken off – with such a serious injury, he was still able to run about. An ordinary person suffering from such an injury should be lying in a hospital bed.
Anyone else would be unable to help but take another look at Bei Tai.
As for Ambler… … Chen Xiaolian noted that, other than the time in the basement, Ambler had not given Bei Tai any other special attention – it was as though Bei Tai was an extremely normal person.
1 Emperor Kangxi was a famed capable ruler in the Qing Dynasty. Of course, he also did not have to face any cannon wielding foreign fleet in his time.↩
2 Old Summer Palace is a place where Chinese Emperors of the Qing Dynasty resided and handled state affairs. It was obliterated in the Second Opium War.↩
3 Tao Yuanming. A famous ‘reclusive’ poet during the Six Dynasties period.↩