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“Twenty thousand, ha-ha-ha…”
Zhuo Fan rubbed his chin, shaking his head as he reached for the scroll, “Since young miss Long isn’t honest, there’s no need to continue.”
Her body moved back and hugged the scroll, afraid Zhuo Fan might take it.
“Mister Zhao, twenty thousand isn’t little for a 1st-grade array. And this is a drawing instead of a jade slip. This price of mine is fair.”
“Ha-ha-ha, young miss Long, I might not be too learned, but I know when you try to cheat me. Give me the scroll.” Zhuo Fan reached out but was in no rush to take it as he stared down at her.
Tightening her grip on the drawing, Long Kui bit her lip and shouted, “Take it as my loss, thirty thousand.”
“Young miss Long, still is not honest enough.” Zhuo Fan shook his head in disappointment and leaned over to grab for the scroll.
Long Kui curled backward, wanting to dodge Zhuo Fan’s evil clutches.
This drawing was indeed a 1st-grade array, and this wasn’t the first time she saw one. Her original price was quite fair and began with twenty thousand because she knew she couldn’t swindle the knowledgeable Zhuo Fan.
But even so, with how many arrays were out there, she didn’t know them all. The number one appraising noble house in the empire had many arrays in storage, yet this was a rare chance for her to encounter one that was unlike any she saw before.
As such, even if she would lose out, she would do all she could to have this array.
A pity that the relentless Zhuo Fan stood in her way, unwilling to back down even half a step. As such, she turned to the ignored young miss of the Luo clan, “Young miss Luo, this drawing is thirty thousand at most. Only the Veiled Dragon Pavilion has the wealth to buy such a drawing in the entire empire. You won’t gain a better price elsewhere.”
“Uhm…” She hesitated and glanced at Zhuo Fan.
Long Kui knew she had an escape and pushed her advantage to entice her, “Young miss Luo, you and the Veiled Dragon Pavilion are making a great transaction and will become our honored guest. Our doors will forever be open to you.”
Luo Yunchang mumbled, “Isn’t this gaining a supporter?”
Her heart was overtaken with joy and turned to Zhuo Fan, “What if…”
“Not a word!” Zhuo Fan roared and glared at her.
This foolish woman was swayed in seconds. How could the Veiled Dragon Pavilion stick their heads out for some bullshit guests? To get the best of their power, to have their protection, they could only attain it through a trade of equals.
“Young miss Long, I am Luo clan’s steward, in charge of all matters concerning it. Please return the drawing.” Zhuo Fan’s smile was replaced by a cold stare.
Luo Yunchang looked in a daze, first at him then at Luo Yunchang.
Though his words rang true, since when did a steward’s power superseded his lord’s? How was he the steward?
[By the look of things, the lady of Luo clan is unable to keep the steward in check.]
Sighing, Long Kui was very reluctant in giving the scroll back, evident by her slow movement, “Such a pity, mister Zhuo Fan. Your request is too high and I can’t fulfill it. But I am willing to guarantee on our Veiled Dragon Pavilion’s fame, that this 1st-grade array won’t go beyond thirty thousand.”
With the scroll in hand, Zhuo Fan rose from his seat and leaned closer to Long Kui, leaving her flabbergast.
Before she could say anything, he said, “Sorry, it seems I thought too highly of the young miss. You truly don’t understand. Does this place have any other appraiser?”
“W-what, I do not understand?”
Long Kui’s cheeks were tinted red as her heart swelled with anger.
No item that passed her hands hadn’t received a correct assessment. The fact she could point out the fake black jade, yet unable to explain why, was her talent. It was because of this that she rose to a top-rated appraiser.
In short, she was an expert!
Yet, here came Zhuo Fan mocking her talent, refuting her skill in appraising. It was worse than any physical attack, an insult to her dignity.
“Mister Zhuo Fan, your eyes are not wrong, but it is best not to overreach.” Long Kui showed a smile that went beyond just anger. All of them could hear the gnashing of her teeth.
Yet Zhuo only smiled, “Is there any other appraiser here?”
Long Kui glared, “Fine, just wait here.”
And she left. Luo Yunchang was worried about the anger Long Kui showed, “Did we offend the Veiled Dragon Pavilion?”
Zhuo Fan shook his head with an unusual smile.
Moments later, Long Kui appeared again with steady steps. But this time, an old man was at her side.
“Godeye Long Jiu?”
Luo Yunchang shouted in shock and turned to Zhuo Fan, “He is the supervisor of the Veiled Dragon Pavilion in Windgaze City, the head appraiser, Godeye Long Jiu.”
“Ah, it’s Luo clan’s young miss.”
Even from a hundred steps, Long Jiu’s voice resounded clearly in their ears, “I’ve met your father twenty years ago. He was full of mettle then. I didn’t expect for your clan to sell their treasure.”
Zhuo Fan’s heart shivered as his brows knitted.
This man’s power was a cut above Cai Rong’s, to the point not even Zhuo Fan could see through him. It wasn’t that his eyesight were poor, or the fact the old man hid his power. The difference between them was just too deep.
[I see. So Veiled Dragon Pavilion has such an expert], thought Zhuo Fan.
Soon, Long Jiu was supported by Long Kui and arrived before them. Luo Yunchang bowed, “Grandpa Jiu.” The others were quick to follow, yet Zhuo Fan just stood there.
Long Jiu sized him up with his only hazy eye, “Are you Luo clan’s steward?”
“Alright. Anyone’s better than that old Sun.” Long Jiu shot a meaningful glance at them, then sat down, “I heard you doubt little Kui’s skill.”
“Yes.” Zhuo Fan didn’t mince words, eliciting a snort from her and a roll of the eye.
“Ha-ha-ha, little Kui might be new in this line of business, but her eyes are true. She must be more or less right with her assessment. But since you doubt her, this blind old man will take a look.”
Zhuo Fan offered the scroll. The Long Jiu’s smile vanished when he turned to its contents, staring intently at it.
“Uncle Jiu, wasn’t I right?” Long Kui grinned and shouted, “1st-grade array, thirty thousand spirit stones.”
Long Jiu kept staring at the drawing and only after a while did he spoke with a solemn face, “I never thought the Luo clan would hide such a thing. Kid, what do you think of 1.8 million spirit stones?”
They all went slack-jawed, Long Kui in particular. Never had she dreamed of the day the supervisor of Veiled Dragon Pavilion, Long Jiu, would utter such an astronomical number…