Chapter 7 – Cremation Ashes of the Buddha
The antique street existed on the boundary of Jianghai city. The distance between here and the central city was quite far, but the traffic of this area was not inferior to the central city. The stores on this street were all large store specialized in selling antique or precious goods and outside of these shops countless vendors would set their stalls.
These little vending stalls were what people loved the most as those store were only opened once a year for important customers, thus they also bared their shop fronts with their own vending stalls.
As these little vending stalls enticed people the most, they sold all sorts of things. Though the majority were scams and if not scams, they were counterfeit. Therefore valuable goods were a rarity among the multitude of objects.
All types of people sold things here. It was rumored that this was a place that the government doesn’t pay heed to, but people still did not dare to cause a ruckus here as this place was under the surveillance of a boss, which everyone refers to as Boss Xue (Xuē),
There were once people who used this place’s special conditions to smuggle and sell slaves 1, however these people disappeared into thin air.
Boss Xue had once said that this place was to be a clean place.
Purchasing counterfeit goods off Tao Bao was a very normal thing, but Boss Xue would not allow this place to be used for transactions against the law. In fact, it was because of Boss Xue’s supervision that the government did not interfere with this area.
There were no taxes on things sold or bought here either.
Of course, there would be no thieves who had the nerves to act on Boss Xue’s territory.
The taxi driver sighed after dropping Xia Tian off at the street before leaving. From his impression, Xia Tian was also a person that lived in this dream of becoming rich; he was so young, but had already come to mess around in such a place. He felt that it was a pity; he couldn’t count the number of people he knew that went bankrupt in this place.
Many people would carry a Tao Bao mind set, but they all ended up exhausting their family fortune.
This place was like a massive casino. The only difference between this and the casino was that people who had good perception would not be cheated.
After the first step Xia Tian took into the street, he saw a endless ocean of people and an uncountable amount of vending stalls. Though each of these vending stalls were small, each of them had their own standards, each had different goods on show. Some of these stall owners were also yelling out and advertising their goods 2.
Qing dynasty china, bodhi seeds, Ming dynasty vases, Qin dynasty ancient sword, etc.
The yelling followed on after another, to which Xia Tian laughed hearing these loud promotions. If these were all genuine articles, then they would not need to sit to man these stalls and could sell these to the shops behind them. The price for these articles would not be this low either.
Even then, imitations of the genuine article were not cheap.
“This is really a good place.” Xia Tian affirmed as he had activated his x-ray vision.
A thread of cyan light came out from the crowd just as Xia Tian had guessed, as genuine goods who would have accumulated spirit qi over the ages 3 would emit this kind of cyan thread of light.
“Quickly come and see! The treasure appraising grandmaster Xu Dechuan (Xú Déchuān) has arrived.” A voice suddenly yelled out from the crowd. Soon everyone’s gazes landed on Xia Tian. This left Xia Tian at a loss, but he soon understood. The people who looked towards him was did not have their gazes aimed at him, but the famed old expert behind him.
The old expert was dressing a Tang dynasty gown, with the demeanor of a 60 or 70 year old grandmaster. The most special thing was the mountain goat mustache he had. He was guarded by 4 top of the crop bodyguards which everyone would describe as the strong and valiant.
The old expert walked steady and firmly, the surrounds all looked towards this old expert with envy. Everyone had already split to let a river through except Xia Tian still stood there.
“Kid, quickly let old Xu through,” a person on the side yelled.
Xia Tian did not pay that person any heed and continued walking forward. He didn’t care about whatever old man he was as he had no dealings with him. Xia Tian was here to buy things and this situation would let him choose the crane in a flock of chickens.
The sides were filled with standing people, no one walked through the middle except for Xia Tian as they had let way for old man Xu. This scene made old man Xu look like Xia Tian’s attendant.
Old man Xu who walked behind Xia Tian was slightly stunned and had halted his steps. This was the first time a situation where one walked in front of him happened. 4
“Wei, kid, do you not see that this is old man Xu’s road?” One of the bodyguards could no longer stand it anymore asked the obstructing Xia Tian.
“That kid really doesn’t know the vastness of the heavens and the earth, and even dares to walk in front of old man Xu.”
“Rascal that doesn’t know how to respect their elders. Old man Xu is here to guide us on how to become rich.”
“A newborn calf really isn’t afraid of a tiger, old man Xu is an upright and famous character therefore everyone would make way for him willingly, but this rascal dares to walk first.”
All the people in the surroundings were displeased looking at Xia Tian. Appraisal grandmaster Xu Dechuan was a famous figure in this antique street as he recognised antiques from all ages and also could identify different types of treasures. Furthermore, he did so on the spot free of charge and it was not just this, but every time old man Xu came, he would choose three people and pick out three treasures for them.
This is why old man Xu had become a famous character of good moral standing.
Xia Tian’s eyes locked onto a booth and directly headed that way. Seeing that Xia Tian had left the middle of the road, the bodyguards said no more and everyone definitely reckoned that this newbie had realised that he shouldn’t have been walking on the street and had left.
The people praised how the bodyguard did not make things hard for Xia Tian after what he had done.
“Worthy of old man Xu’s bodyguard, having such character not making things difficult for that kid.”
“Yeah, old man Xu’s bodyguards definitely have gone through careful selection, not only do their skills have to be good, but also must have etiquette. ”
“That kid just then was truly disrespectful. If old man Xu became angry and left, the people here would have not been able to resist skinning him alive.”
Hearing all of the surroundings praise, old man Xu was completely pleased and proceeded to take large steps strolling down the street where the surrounding shop owners greeted him, at which old man Xu returned with a slight nod.
“How do you plan to sell this?” Xia Tian asked seeing a fish shaped jade pendant, this jade pendants appearance looked absolutely like a kids toy. Seeing a customer had come, the stall owner piled a smile on his face.
“Your insight is very good young man, this is the most valuable thing in my booth. It is engraved jade from the west ponds of heaven. The jades pitch black body does not reflect light, low-key and has not lost much qi. Not only that, but if this is worn all year round, it as an effect of strengthening the body,” The vendor replied as he finally came across someone easy to swindle, thus he started to speak without rest. With respect to his experience, this youth seemed like a freshy that had came for the first time and did not understand a thing.
It was the easiest to earn a profit over people like this.
“How much is this piece of jade?” Xia Tian opened his mouth and asked.
“Seeing that you’re so honest, eight thousand. I’ll sell it for eight thousand to you. If it was someone else, I would not sell at a bargain of ten thousand.” The vendor opened his mouth popping out an offer of eight thousand. He did not really think that this youth could fork out eight thousand dollars, but this offer was for easier bargaining5.
“Eight thousand is a bit too expensive. I’m still a high school student and don’t have this kind of money.” Xia Tian respond singing the same tune as the vendor owner.
At this moment, old man Xu stopped his steps, gazed at the jade in Xia Tian’s hand and scornfully laughed as his eyes could determine that it was a just a simple jade decoration. It could be purchased from the large streets for twenty dollars a piece and could only be used to deceive dumb people like Xia Tian.
Though he had seen it, he did not interfere, but instead stood aside waiting for the show. Just before, Xia Tian had walked in front of him and he had become thoroughly unpleased. If it was not for maintaining his composure, he would of already commanded others to teach this youth a lesson.
Thus now, he saw the youth being scammed, he did not go up and dissuade him.
After seeing old man Xu’s smile, cold sweat trickled down the vendor’s forehead. He knew that this object could not escape old man Xu’s eyes, but now he could only pray that old man Xu would not expose him.
“How is two hundred dollars, boss? I already know that this piece of jade is fake,” Xia Tian faintly smile and offered in a low voice.
The boss already knew that his previous expression had already sold him out, but he still opened his mouth to raise the price, “Little brother possesses discerning eyes, but this jade pendant cannot go below five hundred else you can go find another shop.”
“Fine, five hundred is five hundred, but these small rocks are pretty how about you give them to me as a present?” Xia Tian suggested pointing at a few rock on the side. These rocks were completely normal and were completely worthless. The vendor owner had only placed those there as they were pretty.
“This little brother is sure straightforward, let’s trade.” Xia Tian then gave five hundred dollars in cash to the vendor owner and then slipped a few stones into his pocket.
Old man Xu faintly laughed beside Xia Tian before saying, “Little rascal, your youth and experience is still a bit tender, you bought a twenty dollar decoration for five hundred dollars. Only unweaned 6 youths like yourself would buy such a thing.”
“Oh really?” Xia Tian replied with his mouth slightly slanted. With the loosening of his left hand, the jade pendant fell on the ground and swiftly broke. At this moment even old man Xu was stunned.
“Why? Could it be that you knew a long time ago it was fake?” Old man Xu asked confused looking towards Xia Tian.
“When one has money they’re willful.” Xia Tian faintly smiled, the treasure was already in his hands, therefore this jade pendant was no longer of use. Of those stones earlier, one of them emitted a strong golden radiance. This golden radiance was different that others, as other treasure emitted a cyan radiance. This indicated that of these decorations, it had accumulated years of spirit qi.
For an object to emit yellow light, there was only one possibility. His father had once told him that it was the cremation ashes of a buddha and if the radiance was this strong, then it was highly likely it was the an artifact created from the cremation ashes of an ancient buddha 7.
- Censored ↩
- This is very common in an Asian (Chinese Asian, I’m not sure about other types) marketplace. ↩
- Chinese uses an idiom 日积月累 which means over the days and months but it’s awkward to put in english. ↩
- In Chinese culture the attendant must never walk next to or in front of the master, in some customs it is specifically 3-5 steps behind. ↩
- If you’re unfamiliar with bargaining they call high because it’ll be haggled lower. ↩
- Chinese uses 这种黄嘴丫子还没退 which is yellow-billed birds that have not retreated. Which mean immature but a bit cruder. ↩
- It is some practice in ancient China to bless or create items with the cremation ashes of an ancient buddha ↩