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Chapter 4: Family heirloom calligraphy brush
Regarding the items in this house, Huo Zaiyuan actually doesn't want anything. Before his mother passed away, she made sure that all her pieces of jewellery and personal assets will all be under his name after she died, so he isn't worried about what Zhou Huijiao will try to do with them. The only reason he imposed this condition is in consideration for one item only. That is, the Huo family's heirloom.
The Huo ancestors used to be famous calligraphy scholars from the School of Logicians during the Warring States era. At first, they relied on writing letters for other and selling poems to make a living. Afterwards, their talents caught the attention of the Imperial Family and were appreciated, entered Court as a minor noble, which signalled the start of their wealth and fortune. Later, their descendants branched off into merchants as well, acquiring more and more assets.
From the moment he was deemed old enough to understand this, his grandfather told him their family history, warning him that as the heir of the Huo family, he cannot forget his roots. Thus, under the guidance of his grandfather, he was made to learn calligraphy…until after his grandfather's death did he slowly stop practising. But he has never once forgotten his grandfather telling him about a calligraphy brush that serves as his family's heirloom. As his father was the only son, from childhood, he has known that calligraphy brush is kept in his father's study. He even used it to practise calligraphy once in the past.
If he remembers correctly, that brush is a damaged, worn-out item made of bamboo and black hair…it really isn't worth all that much, but who knows why, his heart wants nothing more than to take the heirloom away, even if he had to give his half-ownership of this house in exchange…
It took him a while to search his father's study before finally discovering a shabby, small, old wooden box in the corner of a cabinet below a bookcase.
Huo Zaiyuan opens the case, seeing the item lying inside is exactly the calligraphy brush he wants to take away. The shaft of the brush was already broken in two. Judging from the break, the cause was it fell and split open. The writing end of it has also come apart, having lost a lot of hair when the shaft broke, the loose strands scattered within the box.
From this brush, Huo Zaiyuan is able to tell his father never cared one bit for this heirloom. Sighing lightly, he ran a finger over the wooden pieces. "As the head of the Huo family, I will adhere to the teachings of my ancestors. No matter what, I will not give up this heirloom, even if you have already been broken to such a pitiful state…aiya!"
Just as Huo Zaiyuan muttered to himself, the finger that was running over the brush is suddenly pierced by a stabbing pain, like it was pricked by a splinter somewhere on the bamboo shaft. Lifting his finger to look, there is a bead of blood on his fingertip. Sticking his finger into his mouth to lick off the blood, Huo Zaiyuan closes the wooden box at the same time.
However, he completely did not notice that in the split-second before the case was fully closed, a golden light flashed from both the drop of blood on the brush and the long crack on its shaft.
Zhou Huijiao stares at the wooden box in Huo Zaiyuan's hand, her face still showing scorn, swiping off the box's lid as soon as it came within range. Seeing the broken brush within, she waves her hand. "You can take that away."
Regarding this broken brush being the Huo family's heirloom, of course, Zhou Huijiao knows about it. At that time, she thought it was very important to the family because it is worth a lot of money. Hence, she even sneakily took it out with her to an appraising specialist to look over. Who knew it was just a worn old thing that wasn't even worth anything. In a fit of anger, she threw it to the ground there and then, breaking it.
Nevertheless, that piece of junk is still the family's heirloom, so she put it back into the box and stealthily stashed it in her husband's study, hiding it away in the deepest, darkest corner.
As it turned out, her husband didn't pay any attention to the heirloom. Even though he did see the box whenever he organised his bookcases, he never opened it, thus, he never knew the brush had been broken. Consequently, her worries over it eased.
Seeing Zhou Huijiao wave her hand in dismissal, Huo Zaiyuan closed the box and placed it into his backpack. Taking the fountain pen Lawyer Zhang offered, he quickly signed his name on the contract.
"Lawyer Zhang, there's still a matter I'll have to inconvenience you with."
"Please say, Master Huo."
"Regarding the company's shares, I would like to sell it, so…"
"What?! You want to sell off your 30% share? You…" The complexion of Zhou Huijiao, who was listening on the side, changed.