Chapter 152 Unlucky Apprentice
Ye Fei continued to point at the apprentice and repeated, “I want him to cut the stone.”
Suddenly, everyone present burst into harsh laughter.
The apprentice’s face turned red. He pointed to himself and repeatedly shook his head, saying softly, "You want me to cut? No, no, I can't."
"What's wrong? Did you not finish your apprenticeship? Or will your master not allow you to cut?" Ye Fei asked, frowning. He knew this apprentice could cut stone, but he was frustratingly refusing to do it.
Master Xing spoke up. "I’m his master, and I didn't tell him not to help you. Unlucky boy, since this guest wants to help him cut, you should help him."
The smile on Master Xing's face was odd.
"Unlucky boy?" Ye Fei asked, astonished. Why was his master calling him unlucky?
The gamblers began speaking about the situation in loud voices.
"That young man doesn't want one of the more skilled men to help him. He just chose this unlucky boy to help him. What a great decision!"
"The unlucky boy is actually quite nice and kind, but he certainly has a bad luck. Any good stones are going to be broken in his hands."
"Obviously he’s possessed. He really does have bad luck!"
From the gambler's words, Ye Fei understood where the nickname "unlucky boy" came from.
Men who gambled on rocks were full of superstition, so naturally, they would want to find a cutting master who had good luck.
The unlucky boy had finished his apprenticeship, but the men had determined that he was “unlucky” and would refuse to let him cut their rocks. The boy didn’t argue against their beliefs, so he’d never had an opportunity to cut the stones. Instead, he stayed around the gambling hall doing odd jobs.
"He’s the one I want to cut my stones!" Ye Fei had a feeling about the boy, so he insisted that the boy was the cutting master he wanted.
"Unlucky boy, go help him!" Xu Tongda said, growing happy. He knew it was impossible for the boy to cut any of the stones and find jade without breaking them.
At first, the boy was hesitant, but after his boss ordered him to help, he walked to the cutting machine, looked at the stones in Ye Fei’s hands, and said, "Those stones are not bad. Let me rub them first."
Ye Fei handed the rocks to the boy and said, “I don’t know the procedure for cutting stones, so do what you think is best.”
The boy nodded with a serious expression.
Rubbing the stones first required taking off a bit of the rock’s outer layer to see if there was green underneath. If there wasn’t any green, the process was repeated in a few different spots. If none of the cuts yielded green, the rock was determined to be a bad one and discarded.
"Cut this one first," Ye Fei said and pointed to the stone that Lin Qingwan had chosen.
"This one isn’t so good…" the boy murmured. Although he was very young, he had good insight, When he saw this stone, he knew it was a common stone without jade inside.
However, Ye Fei insisted on cutting this rock first, so the boy didn’t say anything more. He chose a spot and started to cut. The sound of the cutting machine was shrill, and when it stopped, the people gathered around looked for a hint of jade within. No green.
The boy tried cutting the stone in a different spot but there was still no green. The third time didn’t yield different results.
Seeing the situation, people began to whisper and laugh at Ye Fei. Lin Qingwan’s face grew pale. If this stone was just a normal rock, then she would lose 1.6 million just like that.
This money wasn’t too much for her, but she still felt sad to lose it. She walked over to touch Ye Fei's arm and whisper, "Ye Fei, you clearly knew this stone was a common stone. Why didn’t you stop me? That money's equivalent to a year's salary." Her arm was shaking.
Ye Fei patted her arm, then smiled and said, "Don't be nervous. It’s just the first stone. It's okay."
Ye Fei’s words were like a warm ripple, and they quickly calmed Lin Qingwan down.
"The first stone will lose you more than 1 million! And think about other stones…" Xu Tongda said with a sneaky smile.
As the cutting progressed, people began to shake their heads in pity. Almost one-fifth of the stone had already been cut.
At that moment, the boy was also panicking a little. If he couldn't find jade in this stone, he would really lose confidence in his abilities.
The boy turned around to ask Ye Fei about how to cut the stone. Ye Fei confidently chopped down through the air with his hand and said, "Split it straight down the middle."
The boy nodded and the cutting machine sounded again.
Everyone was holding their breath. The men in the crowd were even more nervous than Ye Fei.
Suddenly a strange noise sounded.
The boy hurriedly stopped the cutting machine, had a look, and realized the grinding wheel was broken.
“It’s so strange. The grinding wheel is broken. How could that be?”
The gamblers had surrounded the machine to see what was going on.
An old master went to have a look and shook his head. "Inside the stone is a lump of iron. No wonder the grinding wheel broke."
In an instant, the courtyard filled with laughter.
One of the gamblers patted the boy’s shoulder and said, "You're really great. You can cut a stone into a lump of steel, hah."
Master Xing came to have a look, then shook his head and looked at his apprentice. His eyes were full of disappointment.
There was no green in the stone. Lin Qingwan became much sadder.