Chapter 3 - Artifact Reading Inspector

Chapter 3: Blood Cannot Be Denied (2)

“Captain Hwang.”

Haejin arrived at the residential area of Guri, Gyeonggi-do.

The building had been demolished and the debris had been almost cleared, so it was time to harden

the ground. However, the construction workers were nowhere to be seen. Instead, a man in his fifties

and another old man in his seventies were waiting for him.

“Oh, this is Park Haejin. Haejin, this is Yang Sangman, the building’s owner.”

Hwang knew many people in Guri, so he was able to receive many construction jobs.

“Hello, sir.”

“You are a fine young man. You don’t look like you belong here…”

Yang Sangman studied Haejin up and down.

Just as he said, Haejin was six feet tall and had handsome looks so people often asked him why he

worked as a construction worker.

Last summer, while he was driving the construction truck in Hongdae, he saw a beautiful woman. He

tried to start a conversation with her and was later able to get her number. They ended up breaking up

a few months later; however, Haejin was still someone very handsome and women often asked for his

own number.

“Thank you. But I think all jobs are equally important. May I see the thing first?”

“Yes, come here.” Sangman took Haejing away from the site.

Excited, he was wondering what kind of artifact it was. However, he tried not to show his emotions

and kept talking to Hwang.

“Where are the others?”

“Uh? Oh… we didn’t work today. I just waited for you to come.”

Something like this had already happened in the past, but Hwang had never been so secretive. This

meant that Hwang was alone when discovering the artifact…

After walking for a long time, they finally arrived at a shabby real estate agency. Sangman opened the

door with a small key and went in. This was probably his place.

“You can sit here. Do you want some coffee?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“These days, it is a lot easier with this instant coffee. In the past, I had to ask that to every customer. A

long time ago, there was a coffee shop down the street, in there… I don’t remember her name.

Anyway, she made great coffee.”


Sangman kept saying all kind of uninteresting things. He then brought two cups of coffee and put

them in front of Haejin and Hwang.

“You already heard about it, right? I need you to promise me something before I show it to you. You

must keep it a secret. You know what I’m saying, right?”

If the artifact wasn’t important, it seemed that Sangman would resume construction. Otherwise, if he

informed the government and the artifact was deemed to not worth a lot, the construction would be

stopped immediately and he wouldn’t get enough compensation. He would lose everything.

More precisely, he would just bury everything unless a bunch of national treasures came out.

“Okay, don’t worry.”

“I trust you.”

Sangman held Haejin’s hand to make him understand the importance of this. He then went inside to

take something out. In his hands, you could see some white porcelain.

“Well, take a look. Is it expensive?”

Sangman carefully carried the item as if it were a baby that could crack at any time. Next, he put it on

the table.

The moment he saw it, Haejin knew that it was real.

“Please wait.”

He took out a small magnifying glass to take a closer look.

Seen from the side, the top and the bottom were similar to ordinary Korean white porcelains.

However, when looked at it from the top, you could see a perfect dodecagon.

Its height was 20cm while the diameter of its top and bottom was 12cm, so it wasn’t that small. What

was strange was that the apricot flower tree and the bamboo painted on its side were red.

It was in great conditions, so it was unlikely for it to be just left on the ground. It was probably kept in

an old chest or a warehouse.

“It’s a Red Dot.”

“Red Dot? What is it?”

“Oh, if you paint or write with red dye on white porcelain, apply glaze then bake it, the porcelain will

look red like this. It used to be called Red Dot Porcelain, but nowadays they call it Red Dye White


“Is it old?”

“Oh, you can’t calculate it accurately… it’s not like it has a pattern or sentence of a particular period.

The Red Dye White Porcelain was normally made from the Goryeo period to the late Joseon period,

so I cannot tell you the exact date it was made.”

“But you must have a feeling!”

Since it was white porcelain, Sangman was very eager to know more about the artifact.

“Hmm… honestly, I think it is probably from the late Joseon period. The Red Dye White Porcelain was

more popular during the 18 th and 19 th centuries. Look at the pattern of the bottle. You can see a bird

sitting on the apricot flower tree. It was a typical pattern used by commoners and it was used a lot

after the 18 th century. It’s also in great condition so it cannot be that old… of course, you must consult

a real expert to know the details.”

Actually, even an expert would not be able to tell you much. It wasn’t like they could use age dating.

To find the exact age of the porcelain, it meant that the expert would analyze the patterns or letters on

it, its shape, its heel, its glaze, its dye and the mud that was used to make it. It wasn’t perfect, in fact,

it was more like appraising than determining the exact age.

Most people would think about carbon dating when finding the age of the objects; however, as

porcelain is made of inorganic matter, mud, and it was baked in high temperatures, it didn’t contain

carbon. So, they couldn’t use the method on porcelains.

“It wasn’t just buried in the ground. There was a huge closet buried. The reason why it is in such

perfect condition is because it was well kept in that closet. Now, how much money is it worth?”

“Well, if I am right and it was made in the 18 th or 19 th century, if you sell it to an antique dealer, I think

between 5,000,000 and 10,000,000 won. Of course, you could get more if you put it on auction.”

“Really? Can I really get 10,000,000 won?”

It was a big amount of money, but Sangman’s face brightened up too much even though his

construction was about to be stopped. He must have more than one artifact.

Moreover, he didn’t seem to think about informing the Cultural Heritage Administration. Well, it made

sense. If the porcelain had been buried in the ground, the site could have been a historical site but,

since it came out of a closet hidden underground, someone had probably hidden it there.

“I think it is worth that much.”

Currently, Haejin only cared about how many white porcelains Sangman had.

He suddenly recalled last night’s dream.

‘That magic…’

It felt like it could be real.

It was strange since normally, when he woke up after having a dream, he couldn’t remember it after

some time passed; however, this dream was different. He could still remember the content very

clearly, from the beginning to the end.

He could only think of one reason.

The book his father had brought. He thought that he had been cursed after burning the book.

Therefore, he was terrified of using the language of that curse but, at the same time, he was curious

about it.

‘Reading the memories of objects…’

The cursed spell that had been implanted in his mind during the dream, last night, was about reading

the memories of objects.

He thought about it for a long time.

He knew how the spell worked. He didn’t know how, he just knew it. It was as if he had been born with

it. That made him even more scared to say it out loud.

“Thank you. This is my gratitude, so take it.”

As Haejin was thinking about using the spell on the porcelain, Sangman gave him a yellow envelope

that wasn’t used often these days.

It was for appraising the artifact and keeping the secret, so Haejin had no reason to refuse it.

“Thank you.”

Originally, appraising this kind of artifact would cost at least hundreds of thousand won. However,

Haejin didn’t bother to ask how much was in that envelope. Sangman didn’t even know what antiques

are. There was no reason to start explaining how things worked in that area.

Haejin took it and started to think about the spell again, but Hwang made it clear that they were done.

He decided to give up.

Even though he was curious, that curiosity melted like snow when he recalled his father who died in


He left the place after a few words.

Sangman and Hwang would probably sell that porcelain and divide up the money.

Then, Haejin opened the envelope. 300,000 won. Even though Sangman knew nothing about

antiques, he had still given him quite a lot.

Haejin was sure that he didn’t know much about these things because, otherwise, they wouldn’t have

asked him to see it. In fact, if he had already chosen who to sell it to, the buyer himself would have

appraised the porcelain.

Haejin went back home and continued his break.

He didn’t receive any calls from Hwang, so he thought that they had already taken care of the

porcelain on their own.

That night, he had another strange dream.

Black hair, bloody red eyes and black nails. It was a creepy witch. Like before, she muttered a spell

while shaking Haejin’s head.

It was painful.

Her voice was so terrifying and revolting that he wanted to throw up. Next, when he woke up after all

that pain, his bed was drenched with his sweat.

He kept having that horrible dream. It was always the same. No, the spell changed little by little while

the pain got even worse.

After three days, he could feel that the miserable dream would end only if he used the spell.

He couldn’t, not after seeing what happened to his father.

Then, on the fourth day of the dream, someone pounded at his door.

Bam! Bam! Bam!

“Hey! Haejin! Are you there?”

Haejin was trying to focus on a drama to forget the dream. Hearing the shout, he stood up full of

anger. He was already on the edge and that shout made him feel even worse.

“Who is it?” Angry, Haejin opened the door.

Surprised, Hwang stepped back. He then answered, “Huh? You were at home?”

“What are you doing here?”

Haejin wasn’t aware of it, but his voice was full of anger and annoyance. Hearing him, Hwang’s voice

got smaller and smaller.

“You see… about that porcelain you saw the other day…”

“What about it?”

“It’s fake! Do you know anything about porcelains? Didn’t you just pretend to examine it when you

knew nothing?” Hwang raised his fists and yelled as if the porcelain was his.

“It is real. You probably got a punch in the face somewhere. Why are you letting out your anger at


“What? A punch?”

“You brought the thing and they scolded you saying it’s fake, right? You probably didn’t put it on

auction and went directly to a dealer of Insadong… didn’t you? You just kept it and didn’t tell the

Cultural Heritage Administration.”

Hwang flinched then yelled again, “You know we will lose everything if we tell the government! We

knew something was strange, so we took it to an appraising agency! The expert in there said it was


How much had Hwang been promised to be given that he was raging like that?

“So, you want the money back?”

“Yes, you were wrong, so you must give it back.”

He didn’t come just for the 300,000 won. He ran here because he had no other place to vent his


Haejin didn’t have a problem with giving him back the money and never see him again, however, he

was enraged.

I am Park Haejin, who has seen all kinds of artifacts and strange things with my late father. Now,

someone dared to call the artifact I have appraised to be real as a fake?

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