It was dusk, and the sky had darkened. The setting sun was slowly submerged under the mists of the Xishan Mountains, rendering the entire Beijing City to look as if it was awash in an orange-red color. Neighbors in the same neighborhood who got off work at night rode bicycles and electric motorcycles through the narrow alleys. Lights were turned on in the dark rooms. The bright yellow lights could be seen from the windows of every household along with the sound of advertisements on the TV. The wok and the iron spatulas clanged against each other. The sound of cooking from the kitchens could be heard, along with the smell of fragrant food suddenly permeating the alley.
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 )
In the small yard of the orphanage, a group of children were running and playing all over the small area. The caretaker auntie stood at the door and yelled for everyone to come inside to eat. Tao Mu’s nose told him that today’s dinner was stewed Chinese cabbage with potatoes and fried saury.
There were too many children in the orphanage and the funding was too tight. Even if dean Tao tried her best to provide nutrition for the children, most of the daily meals were cabbage, tofu, radish and potatoes. Every weekend there would be a big meal——basically a whole chicken stewed with potatoes, or a few pork ribs stewed with pickled vegetables, or a few fish stewed with tofu. With so many children and the caretaker staff of the orphanage eating together, it was conceivable how much meat everyone ended up getting in the end. And the taste of big pot meals…..there was no need to say more.
Tao Mu didn’t like to eat it. He had a picky tongue since he was a child, and would sneak out of the orphanage for a bite to eat at the small restaurant opposite, only to find himself an old grandfather who was very kind to him.
Now, grandpa was getting old and maybe he had suffered a lot of grievances back then. He had no way of finding justice for himself and needed Tao Mu, a younger generation, to stand up for and support him. Tao Mu couldn’t pretend to be ignorant, even if it’s just for the sake of the food he had eaten over these many years.
“Dean Tao.” After dinner, Tao Mu stuck to dean Tao and entered the office with her: “Please tell me. What happened to our old man before? Who is that bastard surnamed Yao? “
Dean Tao sighed: “I am also not very clear——”
“Impossible! You two have been old neighbors for so many years.” Tao Mu really didn’t believe it at all. He walked behind dean Tao and massaged her shoulders with great enthusiasm: “Dean, just tell me. I especially want to know. But I can’t ask the old man to his face. Today I just inquired a little bit, and haven’t even said anything yet, but he was very fierce with me. I can only come to you.”
Dean Tao sighed again: “Things have happened so many years ago, even if you know about it what can be done?”
“The old man is the old man of our family after all. If he is really bullied by others, I have to avenge him!” Tao Mu said with a serious face.
“Avenge?” Dean Tao shook her head subconsciously, and said with a sorrowful expression: “Sure enough, it’s what a child would say. Those people are big and influential, how can you avenge——”
“Dean, so you really do know.” Tao Mu’s eyes flickered slightly. He walked around to face dean Tao, squatted down, and looked up at dean Tao with a sincere expression: “Just tell me. Just like you said. If the old man is really wronged, and there is such a powerful enemy, I, as the younger generation of the old man, should know.”
Dean Tao was silent. She knew Tao Mu’s temperament. If Tao Mu knew the truth, he would definitely not let those people go. But dean Tao was really worried that if she told him the matter, Tao Mu would be implicated. After all, given the other party’s current family background, they were really not people ordinary people could provoke.
But if she didn’t say anything….. These past years, old man Song’s life was truly too bitter. He deserved to seek justice for himself and for the many lives in the Song family.
Dean Tao felt that even if Tao Mu couldn’t do much now, but when he became a big star and knew more powerful people, he could at least announce this to the public so that everyone knew what evil deeds surnamed Yao had committed in the past.
“Dean Tao? Dean Tao?” Tao Mu gently urged: “I promise, I just want to know what happened to the old man. No matter the truth, if I am not confident, I will not act rashly.”
In the eyes of dean Tao, her Xiao Mu was only 18 years old this year. It was precisely the age a young man was at where one was not very reliable, and yet liked to pretend to be a true adult.
But for some reason, the Tao Mu in front of her now made dean Tao feel that he had a more mature and restrained attitude than his peers. It seemed as if his words suddenly held weight. He really wouldn’t act rashly just because of a moment of anger.
Dean Tao struggled for a long time. She was still unsure whether she should tell Tao Mu about the past. Finally, she sighed silently: “Let me think about it.”
“Aw, no.” Tao Mu knew the importance of hitting the iron while it’s hot. With dean Tao’s character, he really didn’t know how long this consideration would take: “Just tell me, please. I promise, I will definitely not mess around.”
Tao Mu’s character had always been persistent, something that even two lifetimes could not change. Anything he decided on, even if it led him to a dead end, he still wouldn’t look back. Moreover, he was well aware of the various methods one could employ to stubbornly persist on something, and he knew how to choose and say different words according to the weakness of different people.
In the end, dean Tao was pestered by Tao Mu so much she told him the old events from that year long ago.
“…..People of our age still remember the Song Ji that was opened on Gulou Street. This Song Ji was opened by the Song family. The ancestor of the Song family was an imperial cook in the palace. Later, when the Qing Dynasty ended, the ancestor of the Song family began to do business in a shop on Gulou Street. The Song family only has one child in each generation, so when it reached old man Song’s generation, old man Song was also the only child. His father Song Liansheng had two apprentices at the time. The eldest apprentice was Yao Sheng’an, and the second eldest apprentice was Wang Yipin. Accepting apprentices at that time was different from now. People believed that teachers should be respected and treated as one’s own father. Everyone lived together like a family, and apprentices had to support their teacher in retirement. Of course, those apprentices who were highly valued by the teacher could also inherit their teacher’s business.”
“At that time, the head chef of Song Ji was still old man Song’s father and the Song family had an ancestral cookbook. Yao Sheng’an wanted this cookbook at the time, but old man Song’s father felt that Yao Sheng’an’s craftsmanship was not yet skilled enough, so he didn’t plan to pass the cookbook to his eldest apprentice but pass it onto his son.”
“Yao Sheng’an probably felt that it was unfair so after that, he left Song Ji and set up a new business on his own. Later, during the special period, Yao Sheng’an reported on his teacher and Song Ji was shut down and sealed for this reason. The Song family’s ancestral recipes were also snatched away. Old man Song and his father were dragged onto the streets every day to accept criticism. Old man Song’s father couldn’t stand the anger and humiliation, so he hung himself in the middle of the night. Old man Song was also sent to a farm to work and receive reform. At that time he had only been married for a few years and his son just learned to walk. The main pillars of the Song family were both gone overnight, leaving the old and the young left. His wife could not bear the hardship, so she remarried, throwing the child to old man Song’s mother. The child had no one to teach him since he was a child, so by the time he grew into a teenager, every day he would mix with some gangsters and hooligans on the streets. Later, when the government led a crackdown, he was executed by a firing squad. The old man Song’s mother couldn’t bear it and went crazy. Everyday, she would wander madly on the streets, calling her grandson’s name, calling the old man Song, calling her husband. One day she slipped and fell into the lotus pond in Houhai and drowned. In the end, her corpse was recognized and collected by neighbors in the neighborhood…..”
“When the old man Song came back from the farm, it was to an empty hiuse with every family member gone. The government returned the Song family’s ancestral home and all the things inside. But what’s the use? The occupants were already gone.”
Dean Tao sighed deeply: “At that special time, there were too many instances of such regrets.”
Tao Mu had no expression on his face. After a long while, he asked darkly: “That Yao Sheng’an, is the founder of Sheng’an Group?”
Dean Tao nodded: “So you know too. Back then, Yao Sheng’an was very looked down on by his neighbours for betraying his teacher and benefactor. He couldn’t stay in Beijing anymore, so he ran to Shanghai. Later, he founded. Sheng’an Group, which has grown into a big business now. I hear that they are even well-known philanthropists.”
Tao Mu lowered his eyes: “He also has a grandson named Yao Wenxiao.”
Dean Tao shook her head: “That, I don’t know.”
Dean Tao looked at Tao Mu curiously: “How did you know?”
Of course he knew.
Tao Mu looked indifferent but he quietly clenched his fists. Both the Shen family and the Yao family were in Shanghai, and their families were of equal status, so naturally both families had a friendship. Yao Wenxiao was Shen Yu’s childhood sweetheart and one of Shen Yu’s admirers. The Star Media, which he established by himself, was the main force slandering Tao Mu in those days.
Tao Mu really did not expect that while he had dealt with Yao Wenxiao so many times in his previous life, there was actually such a deeper grudge between the two families that stretched back a long time ago.
After being reborn, Tao Mu originally wanted to avoid the things and people in Shanghai and live his own life in a down-to-earth manner. But now it seemed that there were some ill-fated relationships that one simply couldn’t avoid no matter how many twists and turns were taken. They existed in the same world, so a bitter fight was practically destined. Until one of them died, there was no way to avoid the hatred.
When Tao Mu left dean Tao’s office, it was completely dark.
Feng Yuan squatted on the corridor outside the office. Hearing the creak of the office door, he immediately stood up: “Brother Mu Mu, I will see you, go out.”
He held a flashlight in his hand and looked at Tao Mu eagerly.
Tao Mu smiled slightly, and reached out to touch Feng Yuan’s dry and brittle hair. In fact, Feng Yuan was only a few months younger than Tao Mu. But for some reason, he was born dark and thin, looking like a fifteen or sixteen-year-old child instead. In Da Mao and Xiao Pang’s words, these many years of feeding him pork elbows and fried chicken legs was really in vain.
But this dark and skinny kid who couldn’t even speak well was the person Tao Mu trusted the most in his previous life. And this life was no exception.
In the black alley, Feng Yuan raised his flashlight and walked in front to illuminate the way for his brother Mu. Hearing Tao Mu calling him, the child quickly turned around: “Brother Mu Mu?”
“I want to do something. And I need someone to help me.” Tao Mu looked up at the clouded sky and suddenly said, “I don’t believe in others, and I don’t want to trouble brother Yao and brother Xiao Qi. So come and help me.”
Feng Yuan’s eyes lit up and nodded vigorously: “Okay!”
Hearing Feng Yuan’s straightforward answer, Tao Mu’s lips curled up into a gentle curve. He turned his head to look at Feng Yuan, his dark eyes brighter than the stars in the night sky: “Xiao Yuan, I won’t let anything bad happen to you this time.”
Feng Yuan blinked and looked at his brother Mu. Although he didn’t know what his brother Mu was talking about, he nodded affirmatively: “Yeah.”
With a deep feeling of bitterness, Tao Mu rushed back to the dorms before curfew. Only to be met with sanitary napkins flying all over the room.
“What’s the situation?” Tao Mu looked at his three roommates with a shocked expression on his face. They were bent over and stuffing sanitary napkins into their shoes: “What are you doing?”
“Uh…..According to reliable information, it is very comfortable to put sanitary napkins in your shoes during military training.” Du Kang waved the little pink angel in his hand: “You should too.”
Tao Mu’s face turned black: “I don’t want it!”
Hearing Tao Mu’s resolute rejection, Du Kang sighed and shook his head: “I say big brother, I have found that your idol baggage is truly serious. But this thing today, it’s the collective activity of our 301 dormitory. You should just put your idol baggage down for now. In life, one must learn to stand aloof from worldly affairs.”
Stand aloof from worldly affairs, my ass! Please don’t use such a high-end and profound phrase in this context, okay? It made him feel so sorry for the phrase being insulted in such a way!
Tao Mu let out a “hehe”. He would rather not fit in than do this kind of thing. And he felt that his persistence had nothing to do with idol baggage.
“This kid, why won’t you listen!” Du Kang held the little pink angel and said in a tone of voice an old mother would say of their naughty boy, and turned his head to look at Wen Bao and Chu Sui’an. The three roommates exchanged looks for a while, then suddenly got up and threw themselves at Tao Mu. One hugged Tao Mu from behind, and the other two lifted Tao Mu’s legs to take off his shoes.
“You’re just refusing a toast only to be forced to drink a forfeit, boy. Since you won’t listen, don’t blame us for forcing an honest girl into prostitution!” Wen Bao said in a singing opera voice, deliberately laughing insidiously while moving his fingers to Tao Mu’s skate shoes.
“Hey, don’t go too far!” Tao Mu struggled, not knowing whether to laugh or cry, watching his shoes forcefully being taken off by two roommates. The normally quiet Chu Sui’an, our future TV emperor Chu, shoved two sanitary napkins into the shoes in a manner of one not allowing any rejection.
“Du Kang, you really don’t want any face?!” Tao Mu couldn’t help complaining: “And you guys also, you’ll all be big stars and film emperors in the future. Is it okay to leave this kind of dark history on your record?”
“So this is a secret that our 301 dorm must not leak.” Wen Bao smiled like a cat that had caught a mouse, winking at Tao Mu: “In order to prevent traitors from appearing on the inside, everyone must be consistent in their actions. One’s weaknesses must be shared with each other. This is the safest way to keep secrets. Understand?”
“What do I understand, I!” Tao Mu was so pissed he laughed angrily: “Du Kang, just look at what bad ideas you have!”
“What does it have to do with me?” Du Kang retorted innocently: “This was clearly Chu Sui’an’s proposal, okay?”
What? ? ? ? ?
Tao Mu looked with astonishment at the feminine and melancholic features of the other’s facial features. Every gesture and move was very gentle and polite. He was even praised by the media later as the “most popular star in the Chinese entertainment industry with a gentleman and scholarly air”. Did he have smoke in his ears just now? He must have heard wrong, right?
Chu Sui’an pursed his lips in a particularly shy manner, and explained with great embarrassment: “I also heard this method from my classmates.”
Tao Mu: “…..” Fuck! ! ! It was really you! ! ! ! !
He didn’t expect the handsome and gentle big TV emperor Chu to be the most dangerous one hidden among the crowd! This was simply shattering one’s illusions of the guy!
Tao Mu looked at Chu Sui’an with a disillusioned expression. This kid was more than hiding a deeper side! No, this was clearly already revealing all of his deeper side!
Tao Mu sat down at the table in a daze, opened his “Introduction to Programming”, turned on his laptop, and entered a well-known international interactive learning platform, preparing to learn two chapters of the C language.
“What’s this?” Three big heads squeezed over in front of the computer screen, looking at the screen full of unintelligible English codes, and the “Introduction to Programming” spread out on the table, raising eyebrows as they asked: “Tao Mu are you reading a heavenly book?”
“Why don’t you say that I am reading the scriptures!” Tao Mu said in an angry voice, “Let me put it out there first, even if you stuff all my shoes with that thing, I won’t wear it!”
The three roommates stared at each other, squinted their eyes and rubbed their chins. Wen Bao rubbed his hands in a devious manner. The three of them approached Tao Mu with a smile: “Little brother, we know that your idol baggage is very serious.”
When Wen Bao said this, he also specially emphasized the word ‘very’: “However!”
Wen Bao’s words were sonorous, and he looked at Tao Mu with a piercing look, a look of confidence: “After entering the doors of my Eastern Depot, the choice is no longer in your hands. Today, you must obey, whether you like it or not!” (TN: Eastern Depot or Eastern Bureau was a Ming dynasty spy and secret police agency run by eunuchs)
As Wen Bao said this, he made a big wave of his hand, and the classic Peking opera veteran began to sing: “Little ones, go meet out his punishment ah ya ya ya ya ya——”
“Aye aye!” Chu Sui’an and Du Kang accepted the order in unison, and the two pairs of evil hands reached out to Tao Mu’s armpits.
“Aiya!” Tao Mu squeezed himself into a ball in order to defend himself against the evil claws of his roommates. However, he was outnumbered and weak, and his resistance was futile.
In the end, Mr. Tao, the future Golden Crow film emperor and Internet superstar, had to succumb to his roommates’ evil power, promising to join in on their questionable plan.
“Hey, no, we won’t need to go to military training tomorrow!” After fooling around, Tao Mu came back to his senses: “Didn’t we agree to take uncle and aunt to tour Beijing City. Why are you guys in such a hurry?”
“Oh!” Listening to Tao Mu’s words, the other three also reacted, looking at each other.
“That’s right, the military training will be the day after tomorrow! Who proposed the idea?”
“Chu Sui’an!” Seeing everyone looking at him, Du Kang did not hesitate to point out the culprit: “You suggested we go to the supermarket downstairs to buy sanitary napkins.”
“I was listening to the advice my seniors gave me.” Chu Sui’an also quickly explained: “I didn’t say we should get it right away.”
Then who did!
Du Kang and Chu Sui’an looked at Wen Bao silently. It was clearly this kid who started to unpack the pads as soon as he returned to the dormitory. So how come the blame was on others now?
“Is that right?” Wen Bao was truly bad, pointing at himself and widening his eyes in an innocent pretense.
Tao Mu could see that these three were all bad guys! None of them were good!
“Hey, I say Tao Mu, are you programming?” After a while, everyone was tired. Sitting at their own desks, Wen Bao tilted his head and looked at Tao Mu, particularly curious: “You actually know this?”
“I know a little bit.” Tao Mu smiled and replied humbly: “At best, I can just make a website and fix a computer or something.”
“That’s right, I think knowing how to repair computers is too important. Especially for celebrities.” Du Kang suddenly remembered a gossip and he looked at everyone with an expression of “you understand” on his face: “Just that Hong Kong star recently, quite a handsome guy. If it wasn’t for needing to repair his computer, so many photos wouldn’t have…..hey, have you all seen it?”
Boys aged 18 or 19 were at the stage where male hormones were currently doing wacky things to their bodies. Whenever they gathered together, there were only so many topics to talk about. Sports, celebrities, girls….. Sure enough, it didn’t take long for the content of their conversation to drift to girls, led by Du Kang. He said: “The way I see it, the school hunk of our 2008 Beijing Film class will be our Mu’er without exception. But as for the school babe, now that’s up for grabs. Hey, when you reported today, have you guys seen a particularly beautiful girl?”
“There are too many beautiful girls! Practically blinding the eyes.” Wen Bao immediately echoed: “I also want to know who the school babe of our Beijing Film will be. With our school’s students’ high attractive index, just what kind of devastating beauty can stand out from the crowd.”
“Want to know?” Classmate Tao Mu, who had been tapping away coding, raised his eyebrows and tapped a finger on the laptop screen, making a crisp sound: “It’s not difficult. As long as you can provide pictures of the girls.”
The other three males in the dormitory looked at each other and then turned a dazed expression on Tao Mu.
Under the white incandescent lamp, Tao Mu smiled meaningfully.
He knew some programming. Mainly because of the domestic investment environment in the previous life. Any project with a little profit and development potential could not bypass the Internet. Before he was reborn, the Internet plus finance was almost synonymous with netting in money.
As an under-qualified finance graduate, aside from the entertainment industry, the only thing Tao Mu was familiar with was financial investment. But for a thing like investing, if one didn’t know how to do it, it was the same thing as throwing away money. So from the beginning, Tao Mu’s investment direction was all related to the entertainment industry. For example, live streaming sites, game platforms, video sites, etc. Later, he gradually came into contact with e-commerce websites and social software.
In order to understand in more detail what exactly he invested in, what the operation modes and profit modes were, and where exactly did the development team burn the money at, Tao Mu began to learn programming by himself at that time—— The main purpose was to better communicate with the entrepreneurial side. So that he would not be deceived by others and have his investment money defrauded.
Of course, Tao Mu had no talent in IT programming. He had taught himself for two or three years, and at best he was a second-rate programmer. He could tinker with a website, mobile app, etc. Anything more complicated would not work. It was completely incomparable with those talented tech masters. Of course there was also no need for comparison.
However, he did not expect to be reborn and live life over again or that his second-rate skill would turn out to be one of the major capital on which he could rely on.
Tao Mu calculated that with the end of the Olympic Games, he would have already invested all the money he had on gambling platforms into the international oil futures market. According to historical data, international oil prices would fall to 32.4M gold per barrel at the end of December. A decline of more than 75% meant that Tao Mu’s money would have at least several dozen times turnover profit.
At that time, the profit made in the futures market would be enough to support his development of his website.
Tao Mu stared deeply at the computer screen, staring affectionately at what he had coded.
Learning of the experience of the old man Song was as if he was suddenly dosed with cold water, directly awakening Tao Mu. He could finally put aside those unrealistic fantasies and instead try to make himself stronger.
Only in this way could he guarantee that he would no longer be humiliated by others; only when he was strong could he have spare capacity to protect the people he cared about most.
After being reborn, Tao Mu believed that he had passed the stage where he was the most helpless and powerless. Towards some people and some things, he would not compromise and there was also no need to compromise.
If he must avoid them because of his temporary personal lack of power. Then he would wait until one day when he had grown strong enough to break Shen Yu’s protagonist halo and break the curse of the plot. When the time came, he would make a comeback, returning stronger than before.
Tao Mu subtly squeezed the mouse and stared at the computer screen with a scorching gaze. In the eyes of the three roommates, that posture of determination and certainty caused them to look at each other with bemusement.
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 )
——Then, without Tao Mu’s knowledge, these bastard roommates quietly gave Tao Mu the label of “technical type pervert with extremely serious idol baggage”.
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