I asked Er Dan to bring his wife back home. Actually, it didn’t matter if his family was here; the important thing was for him to bring back the copper pot.
Before I saw the pot, I couldn’t do much!
Er Dan didn’t waste time and rode away in his old motorcycle without having breakfast. He was gone for the whole day, and when he returned with his wife, it was already night time. It was a long journey.
As soon as Er Dan walked into the house, he gave me a big bag. From his sweaty appearance, I knew that the bag wasn’t light. I hurried to receive it and almost stumbled. This thing was really heavy. I wondered what this pot was made of as it weighed dozens of kilograms.
Er Dan’s wife came in with their daughter. I had thought that his wife wouldn’t be different from other women living in the countryside, who usually had dark skin and were rustic looking. But I was completely wrong. His wife had a bright skin tone, and she looked like someone who worked at an office. She was in her early thirties and could be said to be a beauty.
I hadn’t expected that a naive-looking man like Er Dan could have such a beautiful wife. And, their daughter had grown up differently from her father. She had white skin and big, watery eyes. She gave people a comfortable, pleasant impression. This family of three looked strange. If they stood together, people would think that Er Dan was their servant.
“Grandmaster, are you all right?” Er Dan waved his hand in front of my eyes as he saw that I was stunned.
“It’s nothing.” I shook my head indifferently.
“You should continue with your work. I’ll take my daughter back to the room first…” The woman glanced at me and said to Er Dan before pulling their daughter back to their room.
“My sister-in-law has always been shy. She doesn’t even say hi most of the time.” Li Mazi smiled.
They were talking about something back and forth, but my focus was now on the otherworldly item.
I put the bag on the table but didn’t hurry to open it. I found the bowl we had used to keep the black dog blood and smeared my hands in the blood before slowly unwrapping the bag.
“Little Brother Zhang, why do you have to do that? I’ve never seen you put black dog blood on your hands before. Is this a new trick?” Li Mazi could still crack a joke now. I shot him a fierce glance.
The reason for smearing black dog blood on my hands was to prevent any accidents from happening. This otherworldly item had killed Li Mazi’s second uncle, so it probably could do the same to me. I needed to be cautious. After I coated my hands with the black dog blood, they felt sticky and exuded a strange smell. However, I had to endure it.
After I completely unwrapped the bag, I saw that the chamber pot was no simple item. If I wasn’t wrong, this pot should be made of real bronze.
Shang Yang’s  era was the peak period of bronze wares. If an item was from that era, it could be worth around several million renminbi. And, if it was made by a famous blacksmith, it could be worth tens of millions. After thinking about that, my mouth began to water.
Humans had always been greedy, and if this case ended well, I could become a rich shop owner. I would no longer need to worry about the Longquan Villa or the Zhang family.
It was no wonder Li Mazi had tried to trick me.
I shot Li Mazi a glance, and he gave me a forced smile that looked even uglier than his crying face.
“Grandmaster, what should we do next? How are you going to deal with this chamber pot? What are the required materials? I’ll get them for you right away!” Er Dan was restless. He mistook me for a Daoist priest that could bring out a magic altar to perform tricks whenever needed.
I told him he didn’t need to do anything and that he should prepare dinner first.
After Er Dan left, Li Mazi and I started to assess the bronze artifact. To be honest, this copper pot did look like a chamber pot, so I understood why Li Mazi’s second uncle had used it for his nocturnal use.
I carefully stroked the surface of the bronze artifact and saw a lot of words carved on it. However, each word was as big as a mosquito. There were so many of them that I couldn’t read them without a magnifying glass.
“Can you read them? How about we get an expert to take a look?” said Li Mazi as he handed me a magnifying glass. I lifted my head and gave him a faint smile. Li Mazi’s eyes were sharp. I hadn’t said anything, but he knew what I needed.
I held the magnifying glass, and the joy I felt vanished in an instant. The words carved on this pot weren’t that ancient. This was likely an item from the Qing dynasty!
“What’s wrong? Is there anything wrong with this pot?” Li Mazi couldn’t stay calm after seeing my expression.
If it was from the Qing dynasty, it would be a normal antique, which was much less valuable than the artifacts from Shang Yang’s era. Also, the price wouldn’t be that high. At most, it would be a few hundred thousand renminbi. I felt a little downcast. However, I still tried my best to read the words carved on the pot. Since this copper pot had patina and rusted spots, I couldn’t read that many characters.
Anyway, this pot was a grave good that was buried with a general of the Manchurian Eight Banners. His name was Niohuru, and perhaps because it was peaceful during his life in the Qing dynasty, he hadn’t been promoted for dozens of years. In the end, he returned to his hometown without any merit and died with regret. Before he died, his life was rather miserable. He had to sell his armor and everything he owned to the pawnshop just to exchange them for a few steamed buns, which he couldn’t even eat in the end. Before he died, he had to eat soil to fill his stomach. This copper pot was his only valuable grave good.
After knowing the story from head to tail, there were still many things that I felt skeptical about. I still didn’t know why this otherworldly item contained such powerful resentment. Li Mazi’s uncle had just used it as a chamber pot. It wasn’t a crime that made him deserve death.
I had expected to have a nice and delicious dinner, but there was just one meat dish and one vegetable dish, which was sponge gourd soup. The meat dish was their homemade dried meat. It tasted good, but the texture was too tough.
It was just the three of us eating dinner together. Er Dan prepared two bowls of rice and took them to the bedroom for his wife and daughter.
As I watched him do that, I felt curious. Why did they have to hide? It was just sharing a meal. Were they afraid that we would look at them? I had a feeling that the women weren’t ordinary, but I couldn’t tell how or why.
When dinner was over, Li Mazi and I prepared our stuff. Then, we departed. This time, we didn’t bring Er Dan with us since he was just an ordinary farmer and wouldn’t be of much help. We let him stay home with his family.
After we left the house, Li Mazi asked, “Next time, could we not go out at night time? Would it work if we do it in daylight?”
I shot him a fierce look. “You want to unearth a grave in broad daylight? Do you want the folks to beat you to death?”
I brought Li Mazi to the dry well as I wanted to see if there was something inside. Right as we were about to reach the well, we heard footsteps behind us.
Li Mazi and I turned vigilantly. Nobody would come to this place at night time. If someone did, that person wouldn’t just be a passerby.
We found a place to hide. Fortunately, it was the countryside, where the grass grew lushly, so it was convenient for us to hide.
When that person came close, Li Mazi and I were almost scared to death!
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