Outside H Studio City, Da Mao and Xiao Pang, who were so angry they looked like two pufferfish, followed behind Tao Mu.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
“Is that f**ker surnamed Luo mentally ill? As if whoever Ye Yao likes has anything to do with you, what right does he have to take it out on you!”
“That’s right! This pathetic crew, let’s quit! So what if he’s an investor! If worse comes to worse I’ll call my dad and ask him to invest in the crew, we’ll catapult you to the male lead!”
“How can they bully people so much!”
After bearing the brunt of the water hose pressure for an entire afternoon, Tao Mu felt both mentally and physically tired. Suddenly he stopped in his tracks, and the chattering Da Mao and Xiao Pang behind him also stopped.
H Town in July was the hottest in the year. Though the Actors’ Guild would basically stop issuing actor licenses at the end of June, it still didn’t stop those newcomers with star dreams coming over by any means necessary to be an extra on a set. And combined with the people who come to travel during the summer vacation, the crew’s own staff and the celebrity’s own team, the small H Studio City would always be packed with crowds.
But right now, the street where Tao Mu was walking on was very deserted. Occasionally, people passing by also hurried past with their heads bowed and tucked into their chests, as if they couldn’t wait to get out of there——the reason being a group of shirtless and beefy extras who were gathered on the streets. For the convenience of filming or to escape the heat, a few of them had even shaved their heads, causing them to look quite fierce, like gangsters seen in TV dramas. Unknowing outsiders would naturally avoid them.
Tao Mu recognized these people. They were also martial arts body doubles hired by the crew of “Purple Cloud”, but they were not the same as Tao Mu, who was a lone wolf. This group gathered together to support each other. The leader was called Gou Rixin, nicknamed Big Dog, known as brother Gou, and was actually quite a well-known group leader among extras.
Many people say that he was righteous with brotherly loyalty. However, when Da Mao and Xiao Pang met this group of people, they looked as if they were meeting their enemies——because when Fatty Liu asked someone to take them out of the crew, it was this group of people who did it.
Da Mao was furious: “F**k, this is endless! You really take me for a coward, huh?”
Xiao Pang also cursed, “Surnamed Gou, you addicted to aiding the villian, right? Is surnamed Liu your father or something, for you to show such filial respect! If you have the balls then let’s have a one-on-one. If your gramps, I, don’t beat you until you piss in your pants then I am your grandson!”
Tao Mu pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling a pounding headache: “What do you want to do?”
As he spoke, his eyes searched the corners and under walls to see if there were any wooden sticks or bricks.
“Don’t misunderstand, us brothers are here to apologize.” The dark-skinned and tall Gou Rixin took two steps forward. The big fellow was about 1.8 meters tall, but standing in front of Tao Mu, he appeared a bit awkward and mincing: “This afternoon, we were not only listening to Fatty Liu. After all, you are still working in the crew, and if these two kids really cause trouble it would not be good for anyone.”
This was true. But——
Tao Mu chuckled, “So what, I have to thank you?”
“That’s not necessary.” Don’t know whether he didn’t hear Tao Mu’s ridicule, or deliberately pretended not to have heard it, Gou Rixin waved his hand with a serious expression: “I said it before, I just brought my brothers to apologize today. You have a hard-temper and good martial arts skills, and us brothers all admire that. I also know that today’s matter, no matter how I say it, it is not something to be excused. So……”
Gou Rixin stretched out his hand and rubbed the back of his head: “A few of us have inquired around and heard that today is your birthday. So we all discussed it and wanted to treat you to drinks. One is to celebrate your birthday. Two is to apologize. Once we’re at the wine table we’ll definitely accept punishment and guzzle it all down. If we frown at anytime, then we are not men.” (TN: Chinese custom to show apology or respect by drinking alcohol, sometimes not just 1 or 2 glasses of it either)
He seemed to rarely make such a long speech, stuttering a bit as he spoke. And the remarks were especially like lines copied from Hong Kong films. This blatant middle school 2nd year syndrome…… (TN: middle school 2nd year syndrome refers to the opionated, rebellious and immature thinking that is prevalent at this period of adolescent growth. The slang came to be used for everyone exhibiting these traits so not just actual middle school 2nd years)
Tao Mu lowered his eyes, his temples aching slightly. He seemed to be coming down with a fever.
Da Mao disagreed: “Who wants you to apologize. Slap someone first and then give them a sweet? You treating us as kindergarten kids?”
“That’s right!” Xiao Pang also followed up with the mocking: “And buying drinks to make amends. Who are you scaring? If you have the ability, then make amends with three knives six holes!” (TN: gang rule for making amends, basically stabbing yourself three times all the way through, hence 3 knife wounds, 6 punctures)
Being mocked like this, the group of martial arts extras behind Gou Rixin couldn’t sit still anymore: “Don’t be speaking like that, kid. We listened to Fatty Liu’s words and dragged the two of you out. But did we do anything else to you? Brother Gou was just afraid that you’ll cause trouble in the crew. The way you looked, what if you really did hit the investor——”
Da——family owns a mine fuerdai——Mao coldly snorted, “I’m afraid of him?”
“Yes, you are not afraid. What about Tao Mu? Does he still want to work in the crew afterwards?”
With these words, Da Mao and Xiao Pang became sheepish.
Gou Rixin waited until his underling had finished speaking before he looked at Tao Mu again with a sincere expression: “Brother, us brothers really admire you and want to make friends with you. I also know that you are different from us and was admitted to a film school. You’re definitely going to be a big hit in the future. Me saying something like this here, might seem like I’m trying to claim connections……”
“Everyone here is an extra, so what connections?” Tao Mu waved his hand, his face was a little pale, but he said decisively: “We’ve decided to go clubbing at night. If you want to join in the fun then come along. I got a headache from the water hose, so I’ll be going back to sleep now.”
Seeing that Tao Mu had already decided, Da Mao let out a cold snort and simply reported the name of the bar. As for the time, it depended on when Tao Mu woke up.
Gou Rixin got the result he wanted, and no longer carried on. He took his group of brothers and went off to get dinner, and on the way they could pay the fee first before the three of them went to the bar——the big man never go back on his words, he said to treat them to drinks then that meant he should also pay the bill!
On the other side, Tao Mu went straight to bed when he returned to the rental house and slept like a log.
This house was helped rented by the old group extra who Tao Mu and the others met up with when they came to H Town. It was very close to the scenic areas and the commercial areas. It was only about ten minutes by walk. As for the waiting place for extras looking for a gig, it was also directly downstairs. The three bedroom and one living room house was decorated like a university dormitory. Each room was equipped with four beds, and underneath was a connected wardrobe and desk. There was a separate bathroom and kitchen outside, with a shower in the bathroom. There was also a TV in the living room. The rent was 200 yuan per bed, excluding water and electricity.
When they came back, the news that someone had made things difficult for Tao Mu only for him to amaze everyone on the set had already spread. The group extras who lived under the same roof all came over to inquire about the gossip. They were so well informed it surprised Da Mao and Xiao Pang.
However, they were worried that so many people gathered in the living room to talk would disturb Tao Mu’s sleep, so they took everyone to the snack bar downstairs to talk——the snack bar had air conditioning, and the group extras had to treat the two in order to hear the gossip. It killed two birds with one stone, not only do they get a free meal, Tao Mu could also sleep well.
When Tao Mu woke up and went downstairs to look for them, he saw Da Mao and Xiao Pang standing in the snack bar, looking like two storytellers as they recounted something. A crowd of melon eating audience sat around them in a few small round tables——the tables were cluttered with bottles of beer, fried peanuts, fried clams, fried sea melon seeds and other side dishes. When something exciting was mentioned, they all clapped their hands and whistled.
The noise could even be heard across the street.
The proprietress who was listening eagerly by the counter saw Tao Mu pushing open the door and entering. She paused in eating melon seeds and said, “Hey, Xiao Mu is here! What do you want to eat tonight, this sister will treat you.”
Even before she finished speaking, some familiar old customers laughed and joked: “Aiyo, different treatment! I say, lady boss, you can’t just look at Tao Mu’s handsome face and give him special treatment. If you want to treat people, how can you only treat Tao Mu? In any case you have to let everyone feel the good fortune right?”
“F**k your mother’s smelly sh*t! You think I’m stupid! Treat you hungry wolves will mean I’ll be eaten out of my little shop.” The lady proprietor glanced at the old customer: “Besides, today is Tao Mu’s birthday. I treat the little birthday star to dinner, that’s justified. Maybe when the little birthday star becomes famous one day, he could even help me promote this little shop. But what use is there in treating you bunch of old gangsters. It’s practically using meat buns to hit the dog.”
The proprietress rolled her sleeves, cursed the old customers out, then turned around and yelled at the kitchen: “Old Feng, make two of your best dishes, and then give Xiao Mu a bowl of longevity noodles. Also, bring the barbecued pork that I marinated last night.” (TN: again, like Ah and Xiao, Old + name is a familiar/affectionate way of calling someone)
Turning around, she smiled at Tao Mu and said, “This barbcued marinated pork is this sister’s secret weapon. I don’t let just ordinary people taste it.”
Tao Mu smiled and thanked her. Knowing that Tao Mu hadn’t eaten in the evening, the owner cooking in the back kitchen quickly served Tao Mu’s longevity noodles and a plate of barbecued marinated pork. Before Tao Mu had even moved his chopsticks, Da Mao and Xiao Pang had already stretched out their paws eagerly.
The pork had been warming in the boss’s big iron pot, and it was still steaming when it was brought out. The two little wolfhounds who stole the food were scalded into barking painfully, and the one with the thicker fur also did not forget to say: “This is really good. The lady boss is indeed the lady boss, she is not only good-looking, but also good at cooking. No wonder brother Feng treat you like a treasure.”
The more candid Xiao Pang disagreed: “I think it’s okay. It doesn’t seem to be more delicious than brother Mu’s. If you ask me, brother Mu’s cooking skills is the real deal, the stewed chicken claws are crispy and crunchy, and satisfyingly chewy. Sprinkle sesame seeds on it and then roast it over the fire, the taste will have you wishing to swallow your own tongue.” It’s a pity that Tao Mu was too lazy, the number of times he cooked could be counted with his fingers.
Won’t you shut up! Not even eating could shut you up!
Da Mao gave Xiao Pang a resentful look. So much to nitpick despite eating a free meal, this child really deserved a beating.
The glare had Xiao Pang feeling bewildered: “Why are you glaring at me?”
“So it turns out that Xiao Mu can cook luwei?” The lady boss’ eyes lit up and she looked at Tao Mu with a smile: “Young and handsome and also a great cook, your girlfriend is definitely blessed.” (TN: food prepared by stewing in soy sauce and spices)
She knew that Tao Mu could cook because she came across Tao Mu when she went to the morning market to purchase groceries with Old Feng. Apparently he was not accustomed to the taste of southern cuisine, and wanted to cook something familiar for himself. The proprietress remembered very clearly that Tao Mu made sweet and sour pork ribs, steamed fish and yellow braised lamb that time. The fragrance floating down from the upper floor when the dishes came out of the pot almost sent the gluttons in the shop to go on a riot.
Just that time left a deep impression of Tao Mu’s culinary skills on the proprietress. It’s a pity that they were not very familiar with each other at that time, and the lady boss was too embarrassed to go upstairs and ask for a taste.
“Of course. You better believe me, let brother Mu show off his skills to you another day.” Xiao Pang put his arm around Tao Mu’s shoulders and decided for Tao Mu. Only for his greasy right hand to move awat carefully under Tao Mu’s gaze.
Xiao Pang’s remarks reminded many old customers of the fragrant food they smelled at noon that day, and they immediately heckled: “Don’t believe it, don’t believe it, unless Tao Mu shows us his skills.”
“Ai, you better believe me.” Seeing that Tao Mu was questioned, Xiao Pang suddenly became anxious, both his face and neck was flushed: “I didn’t lie, our brother Mu’s cooking is first class excellent.”
Including the boss and his wife, all the diners burst into laughter. Wang Ye covered his face with one hand, and couldn’t bear to look straight at his stupid childhood friend.
Only Tao Mu did not react.
Relying on the bowl of barbecued marinated pork she gave away for free, the lady boss smiled and asked: “I say, Xiao Mu, are you interested in showing off your skills to this sister?”
After a pause, she added: “You don’t need to prepare the ingredients, they are all ready for you in the shop. You can come here as soon as it is convenient for you.”
“And sister won’t let you do it for free. Let’s make an agreement, if your luwei is really better than sister’s. Then in the next month, you and Da Mao and Xiao Pang won’t have to cook for yourselves. You three can take your meals here at my little shop. What do you think?”
Before she finished speaking, there were already customers heckling: “Yo, the lady boss is too terrible. The rich lady only keeps one handsome young guy at a time. But you be keeping three at once!”
“F**k your mother’s sh*t!” The proprietress’ phoenix eyes glared, and she put her hands on her waist as she cursed them out, “Dare to make fun of your mama, you don’t want to live, is that it?”
The cursed out guest cupped their hands with a look of pretend fear, and everyone burst out into laughs.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
The lady boss having gone to this extent, Tao Mu could not in good conscience reject her bluntly, so he had to say: “Then this Saturday. I have no scenes on Saturday, so I’ll take you up on your suggestion and cook a meal. Count it as thanks for boss and lady boss taking care of us these days.”
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