Xie Yuchen enlarged the photo and took a closer look at the sack hanging on the tree. While he did that, he continued calling Black Glasses, but no one answered. He compared the thing hanging from the beam in Ah Tou’s drawing to this sack. Although both were very blurry, he could immediately tell that they were the same thing.
Having delved so far into the matter, the clue he had just found was the biggest progress he had made so far. Black Glasses is only there to keep a close watch on them. Why isn’t he picking up?
He looked at his watch. Black Glasses had a special ability where he would answer the phone anytime anywhere. Even if he was deep asleep, he would immediately pick up the call. Moreover, he would unhesitatingly get up if there was work.
It was extremely rare for him to not answer the phone.
Xie Yuchen suddenly remembered that when the house was mortgaged to him, the owner had a very strange expression on his face. At that time, he just thought that there were some infrastructure problems and the other party was worried about whether he would get a good price or not. But now it seemed that there was a big story behind the house.
He felt a little uneasy as he slid the mouse around the computer screen, trying to see if there were more clues in the photo. While he did that, he kept looking at the outgoing calls on his phone.
Then, he suddenly narrowed his eyes and sat up. There was the blurred-out shape of a house behind the tree in the photo.
He enlarged the photo until it filled the whole screen, and sure enough, there was a house behind the tree. No matter how he looked at the shape of this house, it looked like the one he was living in right now.
The building in the photo looked older, and many details were different from the current one, but the shape was exactly the same. The old house in the photo adopted many of the architectural styles from the Republic era and there were some southern Fujian decorations on the upturned eaves.
It was most likely an old house left by a powerful gentry who went to the South Sea at that time. Houses like that were often designed by a foreigner and built by Chinese craftsmen. The materials were local, but the ideas were imported from abroad.
Is this a coincidence, or am I overthinking it? Xie Yuchen wondered as he looked at the yard outside the floor-to-ceiling windows. He printed the photo out, walked out of the house to a spot far away, and then compared the house to the one in the photo.
They were too similar.
The design was certainly the same, yet the details of the facades were different.
This was a modern house, but because part of it was renovated to look aged, many old timbers had been used. The house in the photo seemed to be decades or even hundreds of years old, so why did they share the same design?
Xie Yuchen unbuttoned his shirt collar and cuffs before flexing his head and shoulders.
When he accepted the house, he felt that it had a kind of lethargic air about it and smelled musty, which was the reason why he wasn’t satisfied with it. At that time, he also noticed that many of the house’s decorations were strange. Now that he had compared the house in the photo with the real one in front of him, he had a feeling that they definitely weren’t two different houses.
They just looked too similar. And almost every detail was the same. Even if someone were to build a new one with the same blueprint, it wouldn’t be as similar as this.
He noticed that one of the eves in the old photo had a dragon plate decoration. Many buildings in southern Fujian had overexaggerated decorations on the corner eaves, and there were a lot of dragon heads that exaggeratedly went up towards the ridge of the roof (1). But the current house had replaced those things with a Southeast Asian-style thatched roof and a modern-style wooden structure.
Xie Yuchen took a look at the big tree in the yard, which was a camphor tree. He jumped up and hung from a nearby branch one-handed before flipping up and stepping onto the branch to jump to the roof. He then went up to the ridge and started tearing the thatch off.
It didn’t take him long to reveal the tiles under the thatch.
The tiles were quite old. As he tore off a large patch of thatch and knocked down the wooden decorations, he saw a dragon plate hidden underneath. It was exactly the same as the one in the photo.
It’s the same house, but shouldn’t it be by the sea in Guangdong? Xie Yuchen sat down on the roof, wondering why the house would appear here and why it had been disguised as a modern house.
If he was right, then the interior of the house had also been completely renovated and redecorated.
This has to be the old house itself. Xie Yuchen checked his phone and saw that his calls still weren’t going through. He then dialed Liang Yanyan’s number and found that she picked up rather quickly. “I haven’t seen him yet,” he heard her say. “I’m at Ah Tou’s house. Are you coming? We do have some problems here. Come over and we’ll discuss them together.”
Xie Yuchen hung up the phone. He knew right away that the other party wasn’t Liang Yanyan. Something must’ve happened.
<Chapter 15><Table of Contents><Chapter 17>
(1) Might be something like this:
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