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Time Smuggling Starting From The Year 2000 - Chapter 5

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Chapter 5: Blank Title

Translator: Kim Guo Editor: Tehrn

Liu Ziqing arrived soon with an old man wearing a pair of glasses with a gold frame and broad edges, whose eyes were radiant despite his age and gray hair.

Huang Xuan followed his mom's example and greeted these two men at the door. Lou Ping poured two cups of tea quickly, stood behind Huang Xuan politely and introduced: ’’This is Mr. Liu Ziqing, well-known in the business and widely-connected. This is Mr. Shen Bingde, a famous art appraiser.’’

’’I'm sorry for the trouble,’’ Huang Xuan said, smiling. ’’Since I don't know anybody in this business, and was helping a friend...’’ Picking up the confidential agreement on the desk, he continued: ’’The face value of the stamps is pretty high, so...’’

’’No worries.’’ Liu Ziqing, who was over forty, high-spirited and cordial, read through the agreement and signed his name. Even though Huang Xuan was young, Liu Ziqing didn't treat him differently. Maybe the super-high specification of the office and the identity of Huang Xuan had assured him that this was serious business.

The Butler was quietly reading the newspaper in the corner, Huang Xuan had asked him to put a screen in the middle of the room so that nobody could see what they were doing. After Shen Bingde had signed his name on the agreement, Lou Ping left. Huang Xuan put away the contract and carefully took out the stamp-album.

’’Jesus!’’ Although they had seen numerous rare collections, they were still amazed by the complete set of ’’Red National Mountains and Rivers’’ in front of them.

Before they came, they had had many guesses about what kind of stamps the young master of the Huang family would show them. ’’Red National Mountains and Rivers’’ had come to their mind, so had the more valuable Bigger Red stamp1 and the Dragon stamp, even the printed One Yuan stamp of the Qing Dynasty. However, it had never occurred to them that it would be a complete set of ’’Red National Mountains and Rivers’’. What impressed them wasn't the value of the stamp but the visual impact a whole set had brought.

’’Mr. Shen, appraise it, please.’’ Huang Xuan was delighted with the expressions on the two men's faces.

’’All right.’’ Shen Bingde adjusted his glasses, took a deep breath, and took out his kit from the bag. He started from the quality of the paper and the coloring.

Huang Xuan looked at Liu Ziqing. He was a calm and mature man. Although amazed, he didn't become elated by the potential fortune. Huang Xuan estimated that 5% of 10 million would almost equal the two men's yearly pay.

It seemed that Liu Ziqing didn't mind the stare of the 15-year-old boy. He drank some tea leisurely. Seeing that Shen Bingde had been done with most of the job, he began checking the perforated lines and the stamping gums of the stamps, then asked: ’’Mr. Huang, how much do you ask for this set of stamps?’’

’’What is your estimation?’’

Liu Ziqing thought about it and answered: ’’As I know, there are only three Square Links of 'Red National Mountains and Rivers'. We got one at the price of 1.1 million at an auction in 2005, which was the highest. The complete set of 'Red National Mountains and Rivers' is supposed to be much more valuable, but several years ago one set was exhibited at a show......’’

Huang Xuan had heard of and been to that show himself. He realized what Liu Ziqing meant immediately and said: ’’This set has nothing to do with that guy. You can estimate freely.’’

’’15 million.’’ Liu Ziqing was relieved. ’’The price could be higher if they were sold at an auction. It could even be possible to set a record.’’ Although Huang Xuan had offered a commission of 5%, which meant more than 300 thousand each even after the split between them, yet at an auction, there could be a lot of other affiliated benefits.

Huang Xuan shook his head. ’’My friend doesn't want too many people to know about it, even if the price would be lower.’’ After a pause, he added: ’’Please help me find some potential buyers within the next several days.’’

’’No problem.’’ Knowing that Huang Xuan had made his decision, all Liu Ziqing could do was earn his commission. The one who had the goods on hand would always be the one with power.

***

Just three days later, a collector whose surname was Zhang quoted a price of 17.5 million. Huang Xuan accepted the offer delightedly. The formalities were completed through the family attorney. Now that the transfer of money had been made, there was no need to hide anymore. Sooner or later his mom would notice that over 10 million had been added to his account. Even if she didn't check, the family accountant would know when he did the monthly audit.

Sure enough, Zhang Xinyi immediately received a notice from the attorney and Huang Xuan instantly received a call from the Butler.

His mom was sitting in the chair in the study room with a long face. His father was sitting beside her, dolefully, because he had been asked to come home when he was in the middle of an experiment. In comparison to experiments, he was uninterested in his son's education indeed.

Huang Xuan sat opposite his parents and kept smiling to please them. He was not worried at all because this was his mom and he had earned that money. Currently, the logistics industry was booming, and he was just doing some logistics business, even though he might have gone a little far... Furthermore, except his father who had been devoting himself to science, who didn't possess tens of millions among the descendants of the Huangs? He simply got his millions a bit earlier in a special way.

While he was thinking, Huang Qunsheng broke the silence and said: ’’Son, tell us who gave you the stamps.’’

’’I found them.’’

’’You found a complete set of 'Red National Mountains and Rivers'?’’ Zhang Xinyi wasn't happy about this answer.

’’It was complicated, but this is what truly happened.’’ Huang Xuan was actually telling the truth.

’’Where did you find them?’’

’’At the Confucius Temple market.’’

’’A complete set of 'Red National Mountains and Rivers' from Confucius Temple market?!’’ Zhang Xinyi became angry. Although she didn't collect stamps, she knew how valuable the stamps were just by their reputation, and how ridiculous her son's explanation sounded: ’’If he wasn't my son, he would have been fired already...’’

Huang Xuan knew that It would be too difficult to hide so much money from his parents, but he was just too experienced with this kind of interrogation, and to him, the current situation was just like an extra final exam.

After a long silence, Huang Qunsheng made a cough and said: ’’Xuan, 16 million is a huge amount. What if someone from the government comes and tries to investigate its source?’’

’’There is nothing to investigate,’’ Huang Xuan mumbled. Then he said a little bit louder: ’’I know it seems suspicious, but the money is legitimate.’’

’’Then explain it to us.’’ Obviously, Huang Qunsheng was playing the good cop.

Huang Xuan shook his head and said firmly: ’’No.’’

Hearing this, his mom became even angrier. ’’Then give it to us! We will deal with it.’’

Huang Xuan smirked and said: ’’Grandpa gave the account to me. If you want to withdraw the money, ask grandpa!’’

Note 1: The ’’Bigger Red’’ stamp received its name because it was bigger than the ’’Red National Mountains and Rivers’’ issued on November 25th in the same year. By September of 1968, 29 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions (excluding Taiwan province) had established revolutionary commissions. To celebrate the full victory of the proletarian cultural revolution, Ministry of Post and Telecommunications decided to issue a set of commemorative stamps. The stamp was designed with the red map of China. Above the map were the characters ’’Red National Mountains and Rivers’’. Below it were masses of workers, peasants, and soldiers holding high Quotations from Chairman Mao. The Five-Star Red Flag was flying. In the bottom box were the characters ’’Long live the full victory of proletarian cultural revolution!’’. On upper left printed the characters ’’People's Post of China’’. Below it was the face value of the stamp, which was eight cents. The stamp was 60 mm in length and 40 mm in width. It wasn't issued as planned. However, a few were put on the market. Because of its scarcity, it was seen as a rarity. Hong Kong Xuli Philately Company auctioned a Bigger Red stamp in 1987. The price floor was 80 thousand Hong Kong dollars, which was ten times that of the Smaller Red. It hasn't been seen at an auction ever since, and its current estimated value is more than 1.2 million yuan.



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