Xue Rui noticed that Li Xinwen seemed to be interested in the rusty jian and he could not help worrying. “Xinwen… Are you sure you want that? How about looking at the rest?” he asked. He knew the manager was trying to take advantage of Li Xinwen’s interest by pitching it to them and urging them to buy it through the back, but Xue Rui was not an idiot. He knew this jian had been around for a long time, and if they were to purchase it through the back, they would end up paying an unreasonable amount for it.
“No need. I want this one,” Li Xinwen answered with certainty, silencing Xue Rui instantly.
“I am glad that you are interested in that jian. Unfortunately, that jian will not be in the auction today. The one that will be auctioned is this one,” the manager remarked, pointing to a beautifully designed jian in another case. “But if you’d like that one, we can let you buy them through the back at a price of 2,950,000 yuan.”
“Are you mad!? 2,950,000 yuan for a rusty jian?” Xue Rui protested. Although this sum of money was insignificant to Xue Rui, he was still unwilling to buy something non-functional for that price. “Manager Wen, it seems that you take us for ignorant fools – clearly you have forgotten who it is you are doing business with,” Xue Rui said in a sharp tone. “Note that I have seen quite a number of antiques in my time and although I agree that this jian may be antique, the price you are offering is unreasonable. You may want to reconsider your offer while I am still in the mood for negotiations,” Xue Rui continued, his eyes glaring at the manager.
Meanwhile, upon hearing the price of the jian, Li Xinwen quickly consulted the original’s memories. He paled when he realized just how exorbitant the price was. ‘The original Li Xinwen has 10 million yuan in savings. This amount is something to brag about considering his age, but this jian is worth almost a third of his savings?!? This manager is a blood-sucking bastard, ah!’ He was so caught up in his thoughts that he was unaware of the menacing aura that Xue Rui was giving off.
Though Li Xinwen was unwilling to part with the jian, with that kind of price he decided to give up on obtaining it. With a heavy sigh, he sheathed the jian and gave it back to the employee.
Seeing Xue Rui’s intimidating expression, the manager’s hands turned cold and he was suddenly overcome with an inexplicable feeling of fear, anxiety, stress and nervous tension. ‘What have I done?’ he thought as he swallowed hard and took out the handkerchief he had painstakingly folded and placed in his suit pocket that morning, to wipe the sweat slowly building on the area above his upper lip.
The manager looked quite pitiful and this did not escape Xue Rui who sat facing him with an unforgiving look on his face.
“Right…please excuse my behavior young master Xue,” the manager paused and averted his eyes from Xue Rui to Li Xinwen. He felt the need to salvage what was left of his pride after Xue Rui reminded him of his place in the societal hierarchy. Trying hard to recover the damage his hasty sales pitch had brought about, the manager came up with a compromise, which he desperately hoped would appease the young master of the Xue household.
“Then…how about this! Later, at the auction, if the two young masters’ purchases are over 10 million yuan then I will throw in this jian as a complimentary gift!”
The compromise that the manager had proposed seemed reasonable, however, Li Xinwen’s expression turned even more unwilling. He made a frown and digested the manager’s remark. ‘Does it not mean that whoever can make a purchase of over 10 million yuan will have a chance to own the jian I have my eye on?’ although still conflicted, he took a deep breath and decided to make the backdoor purchase. As he was about to tell the manager, he heard Xue Rui’s voice exclaim in the background.
“You are such a shrewd businessman as usual! Fine! We just have to purchase 10 million worth of items in the auction, yes? Getting this for free is much better than spending three million for it!” the outward signs of Xue Rui’s displeasure vanished and he abruptly stood up. He gently pulled Li Xinwen close to him before walking off to the auction hall.
As soon as the two men left, the manager suddenly broke into a cold sweat and his knees gave way. One employee rushed over to assist him and whispered “Sir… are you alright? It seems that you have offended the Young Master of the Xue family. If the boss finds out…”
“Shut up! As long as none of you tattles, he won’t find out!”