Chapter 263 I Don’t Like Number Two
He did so really smoothly, and it took him less than a minute or two. The head looked exactly the same as it used to when it was taken out again. No one knew that he had poached the Spirit Stone.
Qin Haodong calmed down for a bit, as the Spirit Stone finally belonged to him. It had never occurred to him that the cross-culture communication conference would come with such a surprising gift.
He looked back at Chiba Mieko with the number one bronze head in his hand. “I’m done appraising them. This is the authentic one.”
“Mr. Qin, are you sure you don’t want to check twice?”
Chiba Mieko was actually very shocked. She certainly knew which sheep head was authentic. She just couldn’t figure out how Qin Haodong could tell. She wondered how he had been able to figure it out by putting it into the wooden box and taking it out. What kind of method was that?
“That’s not necessary. I’m sure it’s this one.” Qin Haodong looked back at Guo Feng and added, “Director Guo, do you agree?”
Qin Haodong had Guo Feng’s full trust now. Thus, Guo Feng nodded and said, “You speak for me now. We’ll choose this one, and I’ll take responsibility if it’s fake.”
All the spectators were silent. The meeting venue, which accommodated thousands of people, was as still as a grave. Everyone stared at the stage nervously, while someone even held his breath. They knew how important the choice was because the national treasure would come back if it was right. It would be a great shame for Huaxia if it was wrong.
Upon seeing Qin Haodong and Guo Feng’s firm expression, Chiba Mieko felt bitter.
The Yagyuus had had a heated debate over whether to take the sheep head to Huaxia. Those who were against it had insisted that it was not worth it because the sheep head had been in Nihon for more than a century and was worth more than 200 million yuan now.
Those who supported the idea thought that the sheep head carried a special meaning for Huaxia. Thus, its influence would be epic if it was used to set up the Huaxia experts. Their success would shame Huaxia in front of people from all over the world. The reward was worth the risk.
The most important thing was that the fake sheep head was exactly the same as the authentic one. They’ve hired a bunch of antique appraisal expert, but all of them failed to tell which was which. The Yagyuus would fail to tell, too, if they hadn’t numbered them in advance.
Under the circumstances, there was a 50%-50% chance that Huaxia would get the sheep head back. It was worth trying.
The debate had been fierce. However, at last, Chiba Mieko had taken the side of the supporters. That was why the master of the family had agreed to have the sheep head taken to Huaxia.
However, now that Qin Haodong had taken the sheep head so easily, another Yagyuu conspiracy would be in vain. As the old saying went, they had gone for wool and come home shorn. Even though Chiba Mieko had a unique position, she would still be condemned by the public as soon as she went back.
She was totally absent-minded while Qian Duoduo opened the box in his hand without any hesitation. In his opinion, Qin Haodong would never be wrong. The number one sheep head was definitely the authentic one that Huaxia had lost.
The box that thousands of people were staring at was opened. The words on the white card proved that number one was the authentic one.
The meeting venue was completely silent as everyone saw the image on the big screen. A few seconds later, the audience burst into overwhelming cheers.
“Great! The national treasure is coming back finally!”
“Doctor Qin is such a great man! God bless him!”
“Doctor Qin, you are our hero. We love you…”
“Dr. Qin, I want to marry you. We’ll have lots and lots of babies…”
As Guo Feng reached out and touched the sheep head, excited tears ran down his cheeks. Under the stage, Gao Fengwen, Tang Qing and some other old men jumped excitedly. Lang Sanyuan didn’t like Qin Haodong much, but as a Huaxia man, he cheered and shouted himself hoarse.
All the Nihon people at the meeting venue looked pale. The calmest one was Qin Haodong. The choice had not been difficult for him at all. He had wanted the Upper-Level Spirit Stone more than the sheep head, and he already had the stone in his pocket.
Chiba Mieko breathed deeply. Despite her low mood, she asked, “Mr. Qin, can you tell me how you identified it?”
Qin Haodong looked at her with a faint smile and joked, “That’s easy. I didn’t like number two.”
No one had expected this answer. The audience burst into laughter and then yelled, “We don’t like number two either!”
Chiba Mieko couldn’t believe it, but the winner took it all, and Qin Haodong was the winner here.
The second round was over. According to the prior agreement, the sheep head was now Huaxia’s possession. Gao Wenfeng had already sent someone to take it away.
The Nihon people had prepared three collections this time. They had already lost two out of three, yet for the sake of their dignity, they had to take out the last one. They had lost two rounds in succession, so they hoped to save their dignity by winning at least one round.
Chiba Mieko waved at the people below the stage. Two Nihon people carried two cartons onto the stage. The spectators stared excitedly from their seats. The wooden box had contained the bronze head of the 12 Zodiac Signs, so they wondered what kind of good stuff the Nihon people had brought this time.
When the cartons were opened, Chiba Mieko took out two items. They were two three-colored glazed maid pots.
“Tang tri-colored pottery! That’s Tang tri-colored pottery!”
Some spectators below the stage immediately screamed out.
The two three-colored glazed maid pots were about 30 centimeters tall, and their faces looked different. One of them was about to dance, and the other was standing still. They looked relaxed and graceful. They both looked plump, as this had been the ideal figure in the Tang Dynasty.
Their clothes were quite avant-garde and low-cut and looked quite similar to the sexy and gorgeous low-cut clothes of modern society.
Chiba Mieko told Guo Feng and Qin Haodong, “I guess you don’t need an introduction this time. This is Tang tri-colored pottery, which is well-known enough in Huaxia. Please identify which one is authentic and which one is not.”
“I’m on it!”
Guo Feng, who had studied ancient Huaxia porcelain hard, took out the magnifying glass and walked over. Then, he started to observe the two three-colored glazed maid pots.
Qin Haodong remained silent. He stood and watched, as he had sensed no Spiritual Qi from the two pots, which meant that they were both fake.
They had prepared a lot for the cross-culture communication conference this time. They had brought two of Yan Zhenqing’s authentic works, a real and a fake sheep head, and two fake Tang tri-colored pots for the opponents to appraise.
Although they had a nice strategy, unfortunately, they had met Qin Haodong. Although he knew very little about ancient Huaxia culture, he could easily distinguish authentic antiques from fake ones.
Guo Feng checked it for a while. At last, he turned back to Qin Haodong and asked him to come around. “Dude! I am not so sure about this!”
He pointed to one of the maid pots and said, “It’s colorful and the glazing color is bright. The moulding looks exquisite. According to the traditional identification method, the cracked glaze looks right too.”
The cracked glaze Guo Feng had just mentioned were the cracks caused by the inconsistency between the body and the glaze. It was a distinctive, significant feature that helped identify excavated Tang tri-colored pots.
Qin Haodong asked, “Is there anything you can tell?”
They had to admit that both had been made so well that they almost looked the same as authentic ones. He couldn’t see any difference without using his Spirit to sense the Spiritual Qi. However, that was not something he could use as evidence, so he hoped that Guo Feng could find a trace and save him a lot of trouble.
Guo Feng thought about it and said, “The problem is that they are too perfect. Even the one in the National Museum isn’t as intact as they are.”
Chiba Mieko said, “Mr. Guo, I know a little about antique appraisal, but I don’t think ‘being perfect’ can be used as a standard. Nobody said that the one in your National Museum was the best one. Maybe we just preserved them better than you.”
Guo Feng went silent, as that was exactly why he wasn’t sure. If the two three-colored glazed lady pots were copies, then why were they flawless? However, he had the feeling that there was something wrong with them. They were just too perfect to be real.
Chiba Mieko sneered, “How about that? Why is it taking you so long to draw a conclusion?”
“I can answer you right now,” Qin Haodong said, “They are both fake.”
“Both of them?”
Guo Feng shook his head. Although he couldn’t believe that such good items had turned out to be fake, he trusted Qin Haodong even more. He turned back to Chiba Mieko and said, “Did you hear him? Our conclusion is that they’re both fake.”
Chiba Mieko smiled and said, “If you’re so sure, we’ll reveal the answer.”
She nodded at Qian Duoduo, who opened the box in his hand and took out a card.
The eyes of all the spectators focused on the card, only to see that number one was authentic, and number two was fake.
They were all surprised that Qin Haodong and Guo Feng had guessed wrong. However, no one cared too much about this result. After all, they had already won two rounds out of three, so Huaxia had already won according to the agreement.
An inconspicuous smile emerged at the corner of Chiba Mieko’s mouth. They might have lost the game, but it was not that bad. They had beat the powerful Qin Haodong during the last round.
Before asking someone to collect the two three-colored glazed lady pots, Qin Haodong said, “Wait a minute!”
Chiba Mieko asked in surprise, “Mr. Qin, anything wrong?”
“I don’t think that’s the right answer. Both of them are copies.”
When he spoke out, all the spectators grew restless. Nobody had ever questioned the answer given by the Nihon people, as they had seemed fair during the first and second round. They wondered if the Nihon people had cheated and written the wrong answer on purpose. That was possible, given how sneaky they used to be.
Chiba Mieko’s facial expression changed as she said, “Mr. Qin, I admire your talent in the tea ceremony and antique appraisal, but you have to have evidence to question our answer. Can you show us what’s wrong with number one?”
Qin Haodong did not answer. Instead, he turned back and asked Guo Feng, “Director Guo, is there any chance that pottery figurines can be faked inside and outside?”
“I’m not sure, but usually the inner part is very difficult to copy.”
Although Guo Feng was an antique expert, he didn’t know much about making fake antiques. Sometimes, he could distinguish the fake ones, but he had never smashed one to see what was inside.
Qin Haodong nodded slightly upon hearing that. Then, while everyone was watching, he suddenly grabbed the number one pot and smashed it hard against the ground. With a cracking sound, the exquisite three-colored glazed lady pot broke into pieces.