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Chapter 220: Geologist
With a compassionate expression, Tang Xiu solemnly nodded and said, “Filial piety is the most important of all virtues. So you have done the right thing. Even though I don’t know what the object is, however, this object should be a good thing since this elder offered 120 thousand yuan. Then, I’ll give you 300 thousand. Sell it to me.”
"Really?" The eyes of the middle-aged man and woman brightened up and looked excited.
Tang Xiu took out his mobile and calmly said, “Tell me your bank account number so I can transfer the money to you. Remember, the most important virtue one should have, is to be filial to our parents. No matter if we have to sacrifice everything or lose the family fortune, we have to make our family’s aged parents have a good and comfortable life.”
The middle-aged man said with a grateful expression, "Thank you, thank you."
After Tang Xiu got the middle-aged man’s bank account, he thought for a moment and then transferred 320 thousand yuan. After that, he calmly spoke, “I added 20 thousand more. Use the money to buy nutritious food for your old father.”
“This…” The middle-aged man and woman looked at each other.
For a moment, they almost kneeled out of gratefulness. They were really in dire need of money. Not only did they need it to pay their the debt, but also to rebuild their house and their children’s tuition. Back then, they said that they had a little more than 200 thousand yuan in debts, and now they had an excess of nearly 100 thousand yuan, which can be used to rebuild their house and for their children’s tuition.
This sum of 20 thousand yuan was definitely not a small amount for them.
A few minutes later, the middle-aged man and woman left. There were only the silver-haired old man and Tang Xiu inside the room. The old man narrowed his eyes, carefully looking at Tang Xiu for a long period of time. Only after awhile did he slowly spoke, “If I’m not mistaken, you bought the object for 320 thousand yuan not solely because of their filial piety.”
As always, ones who came across something worth celebrating would look spirited and happy.
“Indeed. Since you didn’t want to buy such a good object, naturally, I had to act. Of course, even if you eventually bought this object, I’d still think up every possible means to get it, no matter the price.” Tang Xiu said with a smile.
The silver-haired man’s face flickered. He propped up his glasses and asked with a deep tone, “That means you know about this object, yes?”
Tang Xiu nodded.
However, he actually didn’t want to talk about this topic anymore. After all, the Demon Stone was not something that could be understood by the silver-haired old man, to begin with. After he received and wrapped it, he said, “The elder’s surname is?”
The silver-haired old man said, “My family name is Hu. You can call me Professor Hu.”
“Mr. Hu, I believe you already know the purpose of my visit from Star City. I want to buy the ores we spoke about. How many do you have?” Tang Xiu said.
The silver-haired old man’s eyes flickered, “There are two Wintertide Fluorite and one Star Fragment Stone. All of which are at the size of an adult’s fist. Since you know about these two ores, I believe you know their value.”
“May I see the ores first?” Tang Xiu asked.
The silver-haired old man walked downstairs followed by Tang Xiu. After passing through the corridor, they arrived at a small courtyard in the back. Much to his surprise, Tang Xiu found that the yard had no plants whatsoever. Aside from the cold, hard concrete pavement, there was only a black painted house, giving off a vibe of repression and gloominess even if one was merely standing.
“Please wait a bit!”
The silver-haired old man spoke as he entered the partial room. Without much effort, he came back with two small black suitcases.
“The ores you want are inside the suitcases. Open it.”
Tang Xiu opened the suitcases and saw the Wintertide Fluorite and Star Fragment Stone inside. After analyzing them for two minutes, he slowly nodded and said, “These indeed are the Wintertide Fluorites and Star Fragment Stone. Professor Hu, say the price!”
“For the two Wintertide Fluorites, 5 million each, and 10 million for the Star Fragment Stone. Altogether is 20 million yuan. If you want them, pay it directly. If you don’t want it, please leave.” The silver-haired old man said.
"20 million?" Tang Xiu frowned. He only had a few million now and couldn’t pay 20 million. However, he wanted these Wintertide Fluorites and Star Fragment Stone, so he dialed Kang Xia’s number, asking her to transfer 20 million to pay these three ores.
A few minutes later, the silver-haired old man had received a transfer of 20 million yuan.
“Might I ask what are you going to do with these two ores? Of course, if it’s not convenient for you to answer, you can forget it.”
Tang Xiu nodded and answered, “Forge some tools!” Then, he took the two small suitcases as well as the Demon Stone coffin which was wrapped in a yellow cloth.
The silver-haired old man quickly asked, “You have the technology to forge them? What can you forge out of them?
While walking, Tang Xiu answered, “I do have some forging skills and techniques. As for what I want to forge, it’s not convenient to say it. By the way, since we’ve concluded our deal, I’ll go back now. If you’re able to get these ores in the future, please remember to contact me. I’ll take as much as you have.”
The silver-haired old man didn’t speak for a few seconds before he slowly spoke, “Although I only have these many, I know someone who has several Wintertide Fluorites and Star Fragment Stones. It’s just, I don’t know if he wants to sell it or not!”
“Someone else also has them? Who is it?” Tang Xiu stopped walking and asked in astonishment.
“He’s my best friend, Le Baiyi. He’s a geologist in Shanghai University’s Department of Archeology. I’d be able to help if you want to find him, he’s also in Tianjin City right now.” He said.
Tang Xiu said with a smile, “Professor Hu, have you had dinner yet? How about we dine together?”
A surprised glint flashed from the silver-haired old man’s eyes. He nodded and said, “Well, let’s consider it as me giving you a welcoming dinner as well. So we can also meet with my old friend.”
The night in Tianjin city was as though within the blue dome of heaven with falling stars. It was filled with bright colorful lights which illuminated everything along with flashing neon lights, leading to a flowing river of lights.
Lotus Blossom House.
This name was famous among the upscale restaurants in Tianjin City and was considered as the best, either for its cuisines or the environment. It was a three-storied restaurant. The first floor was an open hall without tables and chairs with a variety of inlay mosaic paintings and calligraphies on the surrounding walls. Each and every painting had its own title and autograph, whereas the painting patterns were all related with lotus flowers.
Tang Xiu was following the silver-haired old man—Professor Hu to Lotus Blossom House. After arriving, only then did he knew that dining in this place turned out to have a very demanding requirement, for one had to have left behind at least one painting in the hall on the first floor. As for Professor Hu himself, he also had left one painting in the hall.
Tang Xiu used his perception to look around and found that there were a total of more than 200 paintings, which meant that this place only had a little more than 200 patrons. However, one could bring their friends to dine here.
“This custom is truly rare and wonderful!” Following behind Professor Hu, Tang Xiu walked upstairs and exclaimed.
Professor Hu said indifferently, “Some people do have this kind of hobby. As for how they manage and run it, it’s naturally their own business to take care of. There are a total of 24 boxes on the second and third floors. In the case that all of them are fully occupied with guests on the same day, it’s impossible for others to dine here. Needless to say, this method is truly effective as this place is practically fully occupied almost every day.”
“It’s the Hunger Marketing tactic!”
Tang Xiu nodded slowly. It reminded him of the marketing model for Apple’s iPhone. This model specially focused on the psychological aspect of the consumers in regards to the rarity of consumer goods which would result in its value rising. So to speak, as long as the food and wine were that of good quality, the business would be guaranteed to flourish.
“Professor Hu, since Lotus Blossom House is running this type of business concept, wouldn’t they only get a few profits?”
“No. It’s the contrary. Their profit is very big.” Professor Hu shook his head and answered.
Tang Xiu was surprised, "Why is that?"
“The rarer the goods are, the more expensive they become. And in this case, the emphasis is on the ‘expensive’ word.” Professor Hu said.
Tang Xiu understood it in a flash. Even if there were only 24 boxes and a total of fully occupied tables were just 24; however, if the price was extremely expensive, then the profit margin was quite big.
Numerous boxes here were separated by partitions and divided into dining rooms and small drawing rooms. Since Professor Hu’s old friend hadn’t yet arrived, both of them sat on the couch in the small drawing room as the waiter assigned to them handed over the menu for the tea, beverages, and desserts.
Shortly after, a pot of Scarlet Oolong Tea and four desserts had been placed on the tea table in front of them.
“It’s really expensive, truly. 2800 yuan for a pot of Scarlet Oolong Tea and 1200 yuan for four desserts. Even before the main course, we have already spent 4000 yuan. It seems the owner of this restaurant truly has applied the essence of ‘the rarer the goods the more expensive the value’ without restraint. All in all, the requirement to dine here is truly high since people also have to understand about paintings, but they also have to be wealthy and respectable.” Tang Xiu couldn’t help but sigh.
“You yourself are still very young, but you can come up with 20 million to buy a few stones. I believe your identity and background is also unusual, yes?” Professor Hu said with a pale smile.
Tang Xiu couldn’t help but reply in contrast, “I’m only a student who just attended the CET.”
“Huh?” Professor Hu stared blankly for a moment as he said with astonishment, “You’re still studying?”
“Who’s still studying?”
A waiter opened the box’s door as a half-bald old man dressed in a Chinese tunic came in from the outside. The most eye-catching was his eyes, which were full of spirit and extremely bright. Following behind him was a graceful, fairy-like girl. Despite being used to see beautiful women, Tang Xiu himself was somewhat moved upon seeing her.
“Old Le, you’re late.” Professor Hu stood up and said with a smile.
Le Baiyi forced out a smile and said, “This Tianjin City of yours is way too cramped. It’s almost catching up with Shanghai.”
Professor Hu involuntarily laughed. He then spotted the girl as he said with a pale smile, “Ah, it’s the famed first beauty in the capital, Mu Wanying! I heard that a few days ago you painted the ‘Playing White Crane and Lotus’ painting, yes? The news about it quite resounded in the Lotus Blossom House!”
“You’re overpraising me, Professor Hu.” Mu Wanying humbly replied.
Professor Hu faintly smiled. While pointing at Tang Xiu, he spoke to Le Baiyi, “Old Le, the person who wants to see you today is him.”
“How do you do Professor Le, I’m Tang Xiu.” Tang Xiu said.
“You want to see me?” Le Baiyi was puzzled.
“Yes, Professor Le. I heard from Professor Hu that you have several precious ores. Might I ask whether you’re willing to sell them?” Tang Xiu said.
Le Baiyi looked at Tang Xiu with astonishment. He then shifted his vision with a look of inquiry toward Professor Hu.
Professor Hu said, “I’ve sold the two Wintertide Fluorites as well as my Star Fragment Stone to this young man. However, his appetite is quite the big one.”
Le Baiyi understood in a flash. His expression turned more apathetic as he looked at Tang Xiu and said, “I understand your intentions, but those several stones of mine are not for sell.”
“It’s a pity!”
Tang Xiu secretly sighed inside and nodded silently. As the common saying says, a noble person doesn’t rob others’ favorite things.
He was already content to buy two Wintertide Fluorites and one Star Fragment Stone from Professor Hu. If he could buy more, it would naturally be a good thing. But since the other party didn’t want to sell it, he also didn’t want to force him.