Chapter 5 - Artifact Reading Inspector

Chapter 5: Using Magic (1)

He planned to go straight to the auction house.

No matter what kind of story the porcelains had, they were already in his hand. He didn’t want to

bother other’s business. He also didn’t want to announce that he had them now.

“Oh… I shouldn’t do this…”

He knew that he didn’t have to, but he went past the Korean Auction, his destination, and went deep

into Insadong.

He wanted to see the faces of those who dared to play with the valuable artifacts of the ancestors.

“Is that-?”

On the first floor of an old building, he spotted a sign saying ‘Cheonjin Appraising Agency’. He was

doubting his idea again but, in the end, he went inside the building.


He opened the door. The bell rang while making a clear sound.

“Welcome. Have you come for an appraisal?”

A woman in her mid-thirties looked at Haejin and smiled.

She was pretty, so it didn’t seem like she would belong in a place with old-fashioned stuff. The woman

looked more like the employee of a big company.

“Yes, I came to have a white porcelain appraised,” Haejin said.

“White porcelain? Oh… could you please wait for a moment? Can I bring you some coffee?”


She opened the door and came out with a cup of coffee which she then gave to Haejin.

About ten minutes later, Haejin was finally asked to go in.

“Oh, a young CEO. Sit here… this is my friend. He is a very good expert so please show us the item.”

“Hmm… okay.”

The man who greeted Haejin warmly was in the early 50s. He was wearing a modernized Hanbok

(traditional Korean cloth) and he somehow looked familiar.

If a man working in Insadong looked familiar to Haejin, there was only one possible reason: Haejin

had met the man when he worked with his father.

“You brought white porcelain? Many people bring them nowadays. The white porcelain is basically

just a white bowl, so it is hard to appraise unless you are a real expert.”

He started his scheme before Haejin even took out the porcelain. The man in his 40s next to him

smiled oddly and kept looking at Haejin and the appraiser back and forth.

Haejin saw the people of Insadong with his father only when he was very young. Since he stayed

mostly abroad, except for those who excavated with his father, few knew Haejin’s face.

Haejin must have seen often the man when going around Insadong with his father to learn. Well, he

didn’t get attached to them, so he was not going to go easy on him.

Anyway, he then put the small water container on the table and slowly unwrapped it.

A snow-white porcelain with some blue painting was revealed.

“I don’t even know your name. Your name is not Cheon Jiin, right?” Haejin asked.

The appraiser flinched, he then replied, “Of-of course not. I am Gang Cheolsang. Everyone knows me

at Insadong. However… this is odd. I think I saw this just a few days ago.”

“Really? Actually, I got lucky earlier today and bought this. I wondered how much it is worth and came


“You bought it today? Then…”

“From an old man. He said that those precious-looking porcelains were all fake and kept sighing, so I

bought them all at 1,000,000 won each because I thought maybe it was worth more than that.”

“1,000,000 for each?”

Cheolsang was shocked. He probably felt like Haejin had stolen something that should have been his.

“Yes. I thought of it as gambling and spent 5,000,000.”


Cheolsang and the man next to him stared at the porcelain. They were distressed.

What will happen? Will they keep insisting that it was fake? Or would they show some respect to this

precious Blue Flower White Porcelain?

Actually, there was nothing that could be done if they just kept saying it was fake. Porcelains could not

really be measured scientifically.

They could only guess the period, the kiln it was made in, its shape, colors and patterns.

So, even experts were sometimes wrong.

It was somewhat different, but a typical example would be of the well-known painting called ‘Painting

of a Beautiful Woman’ from the artist Cheon Gyeongja.

Although the artist said that she never painted the painting, the expert said that she did. Who was in

the right?

As a result, Haejin could not sue Cheolsang even if he kept insisting that the porcelain was fake.

“Sadly, I don’t think it’s real.”


“First, you need to know a few things. The people who don’t know much about porcelains, they find

the Blue Flower White Porcelains as beautiful because of their splendid color. Therefore, a lot of fakes

are made. Judging from the color and the patterns, it is from the mid or late Joseon. However, its

conditions are too good for them to be from that period. Can you also see the letters at the bottom?”

“Yes. It says ‘Park’.”

The word was written under the porcelain. It must have been the last name of the artisan who made it.

“Artisans didn’t use to engrave their names on Joseon White Porcelains since they valued their


The expert then closed his mouth.

Those were the only reasons why it was fake? Haejin almost laughed.

The porcelain was in good condition because it had been preserved well without making it come in

contact with the air. Moreover, even though artisan would normally not write their name when it comes

to White Porcelains, it just meant that Hajin’s was even rarer.

The appraiser had to come up with a different reason to say that it was fake, but he couldn’t find it.

Haejin thought about accusing him; however, he decided against it.

He didn’t want to openly admit that he would be making a huge profit.

However, he couldn’t back off now. A spell kept hovering in his mind.

He knew this was coming. Because of the growing pain, he would have been eventually forced to use

the magic. Today was the day.

He started to record with his phone while dipping his index in the water on the table. He then waved

his hand.

“So, is this fake?”

“Ah… it must be some really bad news for you since you bought it for 1,000,000 won. However, I am

sure that it is fake.”


Haejin waved his hand to draw the pattern he wanted while quietly saying the spell. He then felt like

something was leaving his chest.

He felt like vomiting while his head hurt like hell.

“Excuse me? What did you say?”

“Nothing. Hmm… this is really fake, right?”

He was terrified and scared. He feared that he might grab his chest and fall but, at the same time, he

wanted to find out whether the spell would work.

“No. It’s real,” Cheolsang’s face turned red after he said that.


“Uh? What are you saying?”

The man next to him was also surprised. He even stood up. However, he was less surprised than


“It’s real? Really?”

“It’s-it’s real,” Cheolsang couldn’t control himself. He looked at the guy next to him, he was about to


“Then, why did you tell me that it was a fake earlier?”

“Because I already said it was a fake before! To rip that ignorant old man off!”

He wanted to make excuses, yet his mouth kept saying things he didn’t want to say. Panicked, he

screamed and wailed; however, he couldn’t say what he really wanted.


Even though Haejin casted the magic, he could only make some hollow laughs. How could this be

called magic? It was more like a curse.

“What is wrong? Are you crazy?”

The guy grabbed Cheolsang and shook him.

“Shit! I don’t know! There’s something wrong with me!”

“Then, you must have tricked the original owner. I will not let this go.”

Haejin showed them his phone to let them know that he had been recording.

Their faces turned pale, the appraiser then replied, “It is all his fault! He couldn’t recognize something

so valuable! If I had told him it was real, you think that old fox would have sold it to me? He doesn’t

deserve to own this!”

“Stop! Please!”

The man tried to stop Cheolsang, but the truth kept coming out of his mouth.

“I understand. Then, goodbye.”

Haejin picked up the porcelain, tried to control his shaking legs and left the agency. All his strength

had been drained out of his body. Maybe it was right, he had really cursed the man.


He eventually leaned on a wall and threw up.

The spell he had just used had the effect to make others tell only the truth. It was one of the many

spells he knew. He thought it would be fun, but…

He was supposed to draw the spell with blood. However, he just used water to make it lighter so it

wouldn’t last for long. That’s good.

Even though it was very close, he took a cab to return. At first, he planned to go to the auction right

away, but he was feeling really bad. He even wondered whether he should go to the hospital.

He couldn’t even take a shower, he just fell on his bed since he was feeling both dizzy and weak.

He just laid there without thinking. He smiled. It was weird, strange, but also felt good. He knew that

Insadong was full of frauds, but everyone thought of antique dealers as frauds exactly because of

people like Cheolsang.

Punishing those frauds felt great. It was different from the pleasure he used to feel when working to

earn money.

He always felt like he was sinning because of his father’s original sin, robbing, but maybe he could

now do the right thing with his newly obtained power and knowledge.

He continued to think like that and soon fell asleep.

“Pant… pant…”

Opening his eyes, he saw that it was still bright outside. However, he then looked at his clock, it was 8


“What? A day has passed?”

The date on his phone said that it was the next day. Surprisingly, Haejin had slept for more than 16


While getting up, he jumped lightly and shook his arms. To his surprise, his body was full of energy.

The emptiness he had felt had been replaced by a mysterious energy.

“Shit… I have been hooked.”

That strange energy brought fear in him. He felt like the devil’s power was now in his body.

He walked around in the room for a while, but he couldn’t come up with a good plan. It was because

he could feel that the pain had been greatly decreased during the dream last night.

Will the pain get worse again if I stop using the magic? Probably.

But what if it’s not a curse? It must be a fortune worth greater than winning the lottery.

He decided to stick to his original plan and go to the auction. He took a shower, put on his clothes and

left the hotel.

The Korean Auction was located next to Insadong. It was the biggest antique auction agency in

Korea. Most rich people got their antiques in there. Of course, those who were much richer than them,

the so-called trillionaires, had many other ways to get their things.

“Welcome. Are you a member of the Korean Auction?”

Haejin decided to forget about the curse for now.

Father, just let me live a decent life from now, okay?

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