Chapter 465: You fight, I snatch.
The first thing he saw was the red ellipses on the corner of the artwork group chat, which meant that there were too many messages, exceeding 999.
He wondered why it erupted so he pressed on the chat group to see the texts.
“Are you there?”
“Old Chi, where the hell are you?!”
“I gave him dozens of calls but he didn’t reply!”
“Did he lose his phone? He’s not responding! I gave him more than 30 calls!”
“Did he get kidnapped?”
“Send us something, Big Bro, I beg you!”
Old Chi was stunned.
What’s going on?
Why were they so anxious?
Then Old Chi saw that his phone was in silence mode as someone called him.
No wonder I didn’t hear anything!
It turned that brat put it in silence and even turned out the vibration!
Old Chi was scolding his son in his mind before answering the phone, “Hello, President Xu, how are… what? I wasn’t intentionally not picking the calls, it was just the kids at home playing with the phone and muting it… where am i? I’m at a friend’s house for dinner!”
“Right, this painting is at my friend’s house… Ah, this is his painting…What? My friend’s home addresses? Why are you asking this?… you want to come? Oh? Oh!?”
After being on the phone for a bit, Old Chi turned toward Wang Ling ang He Qiang before saying, “An artwork enthusiast in the group chat is also an owner of a company, he said he wanted to come over and take a look, what should I do?”
“Do what?” Wang Ling laughed, “Is it worth taking this seriously just for a draft to know if it’s real or not?”
“No, what he meant….” Old Chi hesitated, “He wants to buy it.”
“He wants to buy?” Wang Ling was a bit drunk so she blurted, “Tell him how much? If it’s thirty or fifty thousand, he doesn’t need to come.”
Old Chi conveyed Wang Ling’s words over to the person on the phone.
Then he turned his head back with an even more scared and confused expression, “He said the price isn’t a problem, he would give you a very good price if the work is genuine!”
“Tell him to come then!” Wang Ling said without thinking it through.
“Why are you asking them to come?! Do you plan to sell it?” He Qiang gave her a pat, “Stupid! This is a gift from Chen Huan for the Chinese New Year!”
“It doesn’t mean we have to sell him if they come here, can’t we just have him see if it’s real or not?” Wang Ling rolled her eyes at him.
“Right, Brother Qiang, let him come, just so we can increase our knowledge and see what is this calligraphy about.” Xiao Qu echoed her.
He Qiang thought what they said made sense so he agreed.
But then when Old Chi hung up his phone, another call came, and a third call came after that one…
He received five or six calls in a row and all of them wanted to look at the calligraphy.
Wang Ling wanted to have more people to get more guarantee but after seeing the calls were never ending, she asked Old Chi to turn his phone into mute.
The doorbell rang after ten minutes.
Two people came.
One was a man in his thirties while the other was in his sixties or seventies.
“Boss Zhong, hello hello!”
Old Chi opened the door and welcomed them in before he introduced He Qiang to them and vice versa.
He was a CEO of an original equipment manufacturer of rice cookers with more than 100 workers under him and had a big net worth.
Boss Zhong didn’t look like those countryman entrepreneurs as he was in a suit and woolen coat and an air of cultured person.
The old man next to him was filled with white hair but still looked healthy and filled with energy.
Boss Zhong was chatting with everyone and the old man saw at ‘Ode to Redcliffe’ when he lifted his head so quickly ran up to the sofa to inspect it closely.
Wang Ling could somehow see the greed in his eyes.
It wasn’t the malicious kind of greed but the type of greed that wanted to engrave the calligraphy into his mind.
“Good! Good! Good!”
The old man shouted three times in one breath and tremblingly touched the side of the calligraphy before he turned his tearful face toward Boss Zhong and nodded.
“It’s my Teacher’s work, and it’s a very, very great masterpiece!”
Everyone understood who he was after hearing him.
However, Old Chi still had something to say, “Old Master, although I think it is well written, don’t you think the paper and ink are too new?”
“Nonsense! I have studied calligraphy for 50 years, how could I not know?” The old man glared at him, “Firstly, this is very well preserved, preventing air corrosion. Secondly, the weather in Zhejiang is very humid so no matter how you preserve it, it will be a little wet. This phenomenon will happen in a few days if you take it out!”
“It’s really the work of Old Hai?” Little Qu said with a cough, “Old Master, are you sure you’re not wrong?”
“Nonsense!” The old man was getting angry, “Although I’m one of the Teacher’s less talented disciples, his writing style, curves and spacing… I can recognize them with my eyes closed! The characteristics are all there and it’s a bit weaker because it wasn’t his top form!”
“Since it’s true then the price…” Wang Ling gulped.
“I can give 500k!” Boss Zhong heard the old man’s evaluation so didn’t hesitate, “500k directly paid via Habao Pay, then I will take the calligraphy away now.”
“This… if this is fake, won’t you come back for trouble then?” Old Zhu’s wife chipped in.
“What did you say? You’re doubting this old man’s eyesight? Doubting the admiration I have for my teacher?” The old man immediately scolded back.
Seeing that the old man was getting angry again, Boss Zhong immediately said, “Buying antique artwork is like betting, it’s my blessing if it’s real, it’s my poor judgment if it’s fake, it would have nothing to do with you.”
Everyone saw his determination so they all turned their heads toward He Qiang and Wang Ling.
“Why are you looking at me?” He Qiang was stunned, “I didn’t say I will sell! Aren’t you guys the one that wanted to invite them to see if it’s real? It’s real, great! Isn’t the matter over now?”
Boss Zhong wanted to say something else but the doorbell rang again.
He frowned and as Old Chi went to open the door, he said, “700k! I hope sir is willing to part ways with the treasure!”
He came here the fastest and wanted to get the calligraphy before the other came.
There was no better than one on one trading.
If it was one on one, Boss Zhong could have started with a price of 100k before slowly going up and should be able to buy for two or three hundreds thousands.
It wouldn’t be like it was now where the opening price was as high as 500k even rose to 700k in one breath.
A price like this would be given to a full edge well-known calligrapher work on the normal market!
Wang Ling’s eyes lit up and her heart was moved.
But He Qiang still shook his head, “I’m sorry, this calligraphy is a gift from my student, I don’t want to sell it.”
He Qiang wasn’t in pursuit of money.
He had a high salary from the school and the benefit provided from it was also good. It was a stable and definite job. His wife also had a job too.
“Oh, you guys are already talking about the price?”
Right after someone said that, someone yelled from the door and it was quite loud.
Old Chi led two people in again.
These two were similar to Boss Zhong’s double. The one in his forties was President Xu who called earlier and he was accompanied by an old man in his sixties or seventies.
Then when the old man saw the other old man, he bowed and greeted him with a smile, “Brother Tang, you’re here too!”
“Senior Brother Zeng, it had been a long time since I saw you.” The old man Brother Tang also greeted him with a smile.
“I heard there’s a calligraphy by Teacher that had never appeared in public before so I rushed over.”
Senior Brother Zeng walked toward the sofa with a grin and carefully watched the calligraphy for a couple minutes before he gave a nod to President Xu, “It’s an authentic work from my teacher, very good one.”
“That’s right, the xuan paper before was the six feet kind but this is eight feet, so it’s more imposing.” Boss Zhong laughed before he said to He Qiang, “Sir, what do you think about the offer I gave? I believe it’s very sincere. I believe it’s a suitable price for Old Lai.”
“Old Zhong, how much did you offer? Don’t try to cheat him.” President Xu intervened and looked at the calligraphy on the wall, “Hmm, very good… very grand… it’s suitable to hang in my office.”
Wang Ling then said, “Boss Zhong offered 700k Yuan, it’s already a good price.”
“Good?” President Xu looked at her, “Lady, don’t be fooled! Eight foot xuan paper is 26 square feet and Old Hai’s work is 50k per square foot!”
“How could this be compared?” Boss Zhong sneered, “That is the market price and we’re negotiating privately here so there’s no need to pay taxes… moreover, it doesn’t have any history and where it came from at all, it’s a draft on top of it, is 700k low?”
“No history doesn’t mean it isn’t real. What’s more, the two masters already identified it, can it be fake?” President Xu laughed, “Come on Old Zhong, let’s not talk about whether it’s real or not. It’s better if we take advantage of discussing the price before other people come.”
Boss Zhong thought about it before nodding.
The two settling on the price was better than a bidding competition.
Then Old Chi suddenly realized something and immediately said, “Old He, you can’t sell it for cheap, the calligraphy is at least worth 1 million!”
“Why?” Old Zhu asked in surprise.
“Because the original work disappeared! Before there’s the same work that is out, this one is the only one! It means this is the sold ‘Ode to Redcliff’ by Old Hai on the market, how can it not mean anything!” Old Chi said in excitement, “This is the sole artwork! It can completely offset the impact of having no seal or being a draft!”
The expression of Boss Zhong and President Xu shifted when he said that.
President Xu had similar meaning with what he said earlier.
However, he didn’t point it out and Boss Zhong also saw the deeper meaning of his words.
That was why Boss Zhong was willing to negotiate the price with President Xu.
Both of them wanted to get it done as soon as possible within their budget.
And not drag it out.
But then Old Chi came and revealed everything with a single sentence, reducing the probability of getting the calligraphy for cheaper.
Old Chi didn’t feel bad at all when he saw their angry stare.
He spread his hand out and said, “Bosses, I’m sorry but Old He is my buddy since I was a kid, there’s no way I don’t have his interest at heart.”
He Qiang didn’t react to Old Chi’s words but Wang Ling was moved to tears.
Old Chi is such a nice guy!
One sentence improved the price by 300k!
She got excited by just thinking about it.Become a Patron!