The Courtier Drum case ended here. We kept our promise and sold the Courtier Drum to Ao Bai’s descendants, who lived in Malaysia. They couldn’t thank us enough and generously gave me a cheque. Then, they buried their ancestors’ remains and let them rest in peace.
I checked my new bank account balance, which made my eyes bulge. Three million renminbi! That Malaysian businessman was really rich.
The next period of my life was a little monotonous. Every day, I would sit in my antique shop and watch people walk past my door. I appraised antiques and beautiful calligraphy drawings from time to time, but none of them could arouse my interest.
Although trading ordinary antiques could help me earn some dimes to make ends meet, it was nowhere as thrilling.
Otherworldly items were like drugs. Once you tried the business, you would get addicted. There was no cure for it.
Yin Xinyue also said that I was doing nothing besides eating and sleeping these days.
I could only nod to confirm her comment.
“Honey, I don’t know if I should let you run your antique shop any longer.” Yin Xinyue sighed.
I knew she was concerned about me. If I didn’t accept any deals or otherworldly item trades, I would act like a zombie. But if I accepted such deals, my life would be in danger...
Under these difficult circumstances, I had to admit that it wasn’t easy for her to be together with me.
One day, I was dozing off in my shop while watching a trashy TV series. These shows were either about people tearing monsters apart with their bare hands or snipers shooting monsters from hundreds of miles away.
While I was drowsy and dozed off, I heard a series of footsteps.
When people normally entered an antique shop, they wouldn't run like that. Since my antique shop was full of ancient bottles and jars, if someone accidentally knocked any of them and broke them, the person would have to pay me.
If someone was rushing to my shop, it had to be about something very urgent.
A flash appeared in my head. I immediately opened my eyes to see what it was. A young girl with an elegant appearance stood before me.
This girl looked around sixteen or seventeen. Puberty didn’t hit her well, and she was kind of flat. However, her body was still nice, with creamy skin and slender legs.
She wore an immaculately white dress, which made her look mild and gentle.
She held a red fabric bag that contained something rectangular. Her arm shivered as she tightly held onto it. The thing inside that red bag seemed important to her.
The girl had come out of nowhere, and the item she had brought along had to be from a big background.
I was excited. I took a swig of tea and asked the girl, “Miss, do you want to sell something?”
“You should take a look at it yourself!” As she finished talking, she placed the red fabric bag in front of me.
After I had carefully unwrapped the red fabric and a layer of bubble wrap, I saw the item.
It was a bronze sword approximately one meter in length. The bronze sword had a layer of patina, and the surface was carved with patterns. I also saw a gleam of blood.
I instantly recognized that this wasn’t just a priceless ancient sword. It could be an otherworldly item.
Bronze swords were the preferred weapons of youngsters from rich families during the Spring and Autumn seasons and the Warring State Periods. For example, in 1965, they had unearthed the Sword of Goujian, which was an outstanding item and represented very well the items from that period.
The Sword of Goujian was made of various kinds of alloys like bronze, tin, lead, and iron. It was forged in a way that it would not rust after thousands of years.
However, antique merchants like us didn’t dare to buy three-thousand-year bronze weapons like this.
Generally speaking, these items were national treasures. In our business, we used the term, ‘U-turn price.’
It meant that even if someone could sell the item at a high price, they wouldn’t be able to enjoy a good life.
The crime of trading a national treasure wasn’t different from treason. It was somewhat okay to sell it to some people around, but if it was sold to a foreigner, that merchant would be exposed as committing treason. He would never be able to mingle in this business again.
As soon as I saw this sword, I knew that it was unearthed by some tomb robber.
When my grandfather was still alive, he had a good friendship with a tomb robber whose family name was Hu. He had earned quite a bit of money thanks to that person.
Afterward, that person changed his job and started to write memoirs. They never contacted each other after that.
Most of the time, I didn’t buy items unearthed by tomb robbers.
There was a big risk that the government could track them. Moreover, they brought along great danger. Many of them had been buried for more than one thousand years, accumulating a lot of resentful energy. And now, they were suddenly disturbed. It would be surprising if they did not cause trouble.
I took a look at the sword then carefully wrapped it with the red fabric. I turned and said to the girl in a serious tone, “I’m sorry, but I can’t buy this item. You should ask the other shops on this street.”
The white-dressed girl bit her lip. She didn’t talk and picked up the red fabric bag, leaving.
I watched her beautiful figure disappear from my shop and exhaled in relief.
I had thought about buying the item, but I remembered that I had promised Yin Xinyue that I wouldn’t do any deals that could threaten my life.
I was a man who kept his word.
After the girl left, I suddenly felt anxious. I had a premonition that this wasn’t the end of it…
Since I had nothing to do, I continued to watch a drama on my computer. It was a boring soap drama, so I dozed off after a few minutes.
Usually, I would only wake up after Yin Xinyue clocked off and went home.
However, ten minutes later, I was surprised to hear someone knock on the door of my antique shop.
This time, it wasn’t one person, but two people.
I opened the door to check. It was the girl in white again. With him was no one other than Li Mazi. He had brought her back to my door.
As soon as they came into the shop, Li Mazi started to say flattering words. “Haha, little miss, allow me to introduce you to this person. This is a renowned otherworldly merchant in our circle. He’s an antique expert and a history professor at Tsinghua University. When the new semester begins, he will teach at various schools and universities. He is Zhang Jiulin!”
I didn’t know which nerve in Li Mazi’s head had just broken. Why was he trying to flatter me like that?
Since there was another person, I couldn’t curse at him and pretended to be a real expert. “If you have anything you want to say, just tell me. Don’t talk nonsense.”
“Mr. Zhang, if I’m not wrong, this little miss has come across a very rare otherworldly item…”
Li Mazi looked at the girl in white and continued, “This otherworldly item is very dangerous. If Mr. Zhang doesn't help us, I’m afraid no one can subdue it! Speaking of which, she went to a shop earlier. That shopkeeper was rather incompetent and pussied out as soon as he saw this sword. He told her that he couldn’t buy the item no matter what.”
The girl in white shot me a glum look and pulled Li Mazi’s arm. “Mr. Li, he’s the one I just met.”
My face was rather unsightly at the moment. I faked a cough and said to Li Mazi, “Li Mazi, stop causing trouble. You really like to gossip, don’t you?”
When Li Mazi discovered that I didn’t dare to receive this item, he knew that he had messed up. His face changed. “Little miss, why didn't you tell me that you had already met Mr. Zhang? Things suddenly became very complicated...”
He pretended to be troubled and said, “This sword must be hiding a thousand-year old evil spirit. If Mr. Zhang doesn’t dare to accept this task, I’m afraid no one will.”
I knew Li Mazi was exaggerating to increase the price, but I had made up my mind that I wouldn’t accept this case. I wasn’t going to accept, not even if Li Mazi could overthrow the sky with his words.
I stood up and said to the two of them, “Can you please leave? I want to close my shop.”
Li Mazi was bewildered. “Little Brother Zhang, what’s going on?”
I said, “Li Mazi, I don’t dare to accept this deal. My advice to you is that you shouldn’t, either. This sword has accumulated a huge amount of resentful energy. If we enter this mess, even my grandpa won’t be able to save us.”
Li Mazi was scared and hurried to shove the red fabric bag into the girl’s hands.
I locked the door in front of them and turned around, leaving as fast as I could.Previous Chapter Next Chapter