Chapter 24: The Bet
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Haha! This kid is a riot! Do you think you can snatch a bargain that we missed? And you said it’s from the Song dynasty or Tang dynasty too! In your dreams!”
“Right, he’s just a blind greenhorn who doesn’t know anything. How dare he say that!”
All the antique store owners were mocking him.
Bucktooth Zhou laughed. “Oh, Elder! Your disciple is so boastful! And he thinks that it’s from before the Tang dynasty too! It’s obviously a worthless imitation.”
Elder Ma furrowed his brows. He looked at Tang Hao suspiciously but did not say anything.
“Why, don’t you believe me?” Tang Hao said.
“Of course not. I’d believe in ghosts before I believe in you!” Bucktooth Zhou said mockingly.
“If you don’t believe me, very well. How about we place a bet on this?”
“A bet? Bucktooth Zhou was piqued. “What are we betting for?”
“Money, of course! Do you dare?”
“Of course!” Bucktooth Zhou was immediately enthusiastic when he heard that money was involved. In his heart, he was already laughing all the way to the bank.
‘This hot-headed kid is so stupid it’s adorable. If he’s offering me money, why not I just take it?’
“How much are we betting on?”
“One million!” Tang Hao stuck a finger out. There was no hesitation in his reply.
“Whoa!” Everyone exclaimed in surprise when they heard Tang Hao.
“One million yuan? Oh my god, this kid is crazy!” All the antique store owners could not believe their ears.
Even Bucktooth Zhou was shocked. He thought he would bet several ten thousands or even some hundred thousands. He did not expect the kid to ask for a bet of one million right away.
That was not a small figure!
He hesitated for a while, but he immediately became ecstatic. He replied. “Alright, one million yuan it is! But do you have that much money?”
“You don’t have to worry about that!” Tang Hao replied.
Bucktooth Zhou looked at Elder Ma and nodded. “If Elder Ma brought you here, that means you must be loaded. It’s a deal then! All you kind sirs here, you can be our witnesses!”
He turned around and cupped his hands to the other store owners.
“Little Brother Tang! What are you…” Elder Ma looked anxious.
“Don’t worry, Elder Ma. I know what I’m doing.” Tang Hao allayed his fears.
“You… sigh!” Elder Ma saw that Tang Hao’s face was resolute. He sighed and did not speak anymore.
“Old Master Zheng is the authority of all matters terracotta. How about we get Old Master Zheng to appraise this item for us? He will be the final word on the authenticity of this terracottas statue. What say you, Elder Ma?”
“Alright! With Old Master Zheng as the judge, there should not be a problem.”
Bucktooth Zhou sent someone away. Very soon, that person returned with an old man who looked to be about seventy. His hair was white, but he was in good spirits.
“Old Master!” The store owners greeted him politely.
“Boss Zhou, I heard that you accepted a kid’s bet? And he’s an outsider too! That’s not very nice of you!” Old Master Zheng said.
“I didn’t start this fight, Old Master. This boy insists on challenging me,” Bucktooth Zhou said.
“Well, that’s none of my business. Where’s the terracotta statue? I’d like to take a good look at it!”
“Here it is!” Tang Hao replied. He walked a few steps forward and handed the terracotta statue to him.
Old Master Zheng took the statue and walked under the light. He inspected the item carefully.
“Old Master, this is nothing but an imitation. This kid is an outsider and knows nothing about antiques, but he insists that this is genuine!” Bucktooth Zhou was trying hard not to laugh as he said that. He occasionally stole glances at Tang Hao and Elder Ma.
Tang Hao remained calm.
As for Elder Ma, he looked anxious.
Old Master Zheng carefully held the statue in his hands and focused his full attention on it. He rotated the statue in his hand and scrutinized every square millimeter of its surface. His face became more and more serious as he looked.
Ten minutes later, he placed the figurine on the table.
“So what is the verdict, Old Master? It’s a fake, right?” Bucktooth Zhou laughed.
Old Master Zheng turned around. He looked excited. He looked at Tang Hao then at Bucktooth Zhou. “Who says this is fake? Boss Zhou, I’m afraid that you’ve let a good deal slip from your hands.”
The smile froze on Bucktooth Zhou’s face. He was paralyzed on the spot.
Soon, his face turned pale as a sheet.
Old Master Zheng’s words were like a thunderclap on a sunny day. He was utterly dumbfounded by the verdict.
“Really? This… how is this possible? Old Master, might you be mistaken?”
“Hmph! Will I be mistaken? Boss Zhou, let me tell you, this terracotta statue is genuine. It’s from the Warring States period and can easily fetch five or six million in an auction.” Old Master Zheng flicked his sleeves and said angrily. “If you don’t believe me, you can ask someone else to appraise it. You will get the same conclusion.”
“War… Warring States?” Bucktooth Zhou screamed. His body teetered and he felt a little faint. He almost collapsed.
Just like that, he lost one million yuan. He was even more regretful that he had missed the chance to acquire such a fine treasure.
The other antique store owners also stood there dumbfounded, and only came back to their senses after a long while.
“Oh my god, it’s genuine, and it’s even from the Warring States period!”
“Sigh, why was I so blind?”
The store owners complained regretfully.
Even Elder Ma could not believe it.
“Sigh! I didn’t expect it to slip my eye too!” he lamented.
“Thank you, Old Master Zheng!” Tang Hao cupped his fists at Old Master Zheng.
Even Tang Hao was surprised. He had only guessed that it was from either the Tang or Song dynasties. The fact that it was from the Warring States period was a delightful surprise to him.
“Congratulations, little brother!” Old Master Zheng was smiling.
“Hey, little brother, sell it to me! I offer five million!”
“I offer five million and a hundred thousand!”
The store owners crowded around him and made their offers. The price soon shot past six million.
Tang Hao felt like he was dreaming. In the blink of an eye, the ten thousand yuan he had spent on the statue had become more than six million yuan. He had never dreamed of this amount of money. He did not know how many bottles of potions he had to sell to earn this much.
“Elder Ma, it’s yours at six million!” Tang Hao handed the terracotta statue to Elder Ma.
“Oh, no, how can that be? It’s worth a lot more.”
“It’s fine. Six million it is! If you hadn’t brought me here, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity.”
“Well.…alright then! Thank you, Little Brother Tang!” Elder Ma was ecstatic. He carefully took the statue from Tang Hao’s hands, looked at it for a while, then passed it to Ma Wenyuan.
“I didn’t expect you to have such talents. You even said that you had no prior knowledge of antique appraisal too! You picked up a hidden gem that no one else saw on your first try, I’m ashamed of myself,” Elder Ma admitted humbly.
“You’re too kind, Elder Ma!” Tang Hao smiled modestly.
“Pft! What are you so arrogant about? It’s just a lucky fluke. I don’t see any talent!” Bucktooth Zhou was still sore over the loss.
His gaze turned to look at the wooden Buddha statue in Tang Hao’s hands.
“If he’s really talented, then he won’t spend thirty thousand on this broken Buddha statue.”
Tang Hao smiled when he heard that. “Who says that this is a broken statue? Thirty thousand is absolutely worth the price!”
“Nonsense! How can this stupid Buddha statue be worth thirty thousand? It’s ten thousand at most.” Bucktooth Zhou smirked.
“You don’t believe me? Alright! How about we have another bet?”