The dumpling party in the end temporarily turned into a barbecue party due to a serious lack of ingredients. The large group of people moved to the courtyard house of Mr. Song, eating, drinking, and playing mahjong until the next morning. When everyone couldn’t remain awake anymore, and with their brains spinning, they all stumbled into the side rooms on both the east and west part of the courtyard residence, and fell asleep.
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Tao Mu was not so lucky. After randomly washing up in the yard, he had to go to work at Guo Yaning’s studio.
Li Xiaoheng wanted to send him there and then go home to rest. Speaking of strangeness, Li Xiaoheng stayed with them until dawn as well. He didn’t know how to play mahjong, so he sat next to Tao Mu and looked at the international futures market with his tablet. Sometimes he would also make a few phone calls.
Tao Mu felt embarrassed and was also afraid of delaying Li Xiaoheng’s work, so he persuaded Li Xiaoheng to go back first. Li Xiaoheng smiled and said, “Playing mahjong looks like fun. Would you like to teach me?”
Tao Mu immediately gave up his position and let Li Xiaoheng on the court while he taught on the spot next to him.
Li Xiaoheng sat over with great interest. Before playing, he handed over his mobile phone to Tao Mu for safekeeping: “William may call. He is the manager of the investment department of Xiaoheng Capital, and he admires you very much. When he calls again later, you can help pick it up for me.”
Tao Mu hesitated a little. He felt that answering the phone for someone seemed a bit too intimate. But on second thought, he was both a business partner of Li Xiaoheng and the chief analyst appointed by Li Xiaoheng. Moreover, in regards to shorting international oil, he also followed from the beginning, so helping Li Xiaoheng answer a few calls didn’t seem like much. It was not like Li Xiaoheng could play mahjong while on the phone, that would neither let him concentrate on work nor have fun.
Moreover, Li Xiaoheng handing over the phone to him for safekeeping was also a sign of trust and closeness. If he refused him in front of everyone, it also didn’t seem very good.
Tao Mu had many worries, and it was cumbersome to talk about it all, but in fact, the thoughts appeared in a flash, and he immediately made a decision: “Alright.”
Tao Mu took the phone and put it aside, explaining the game rules in detail to Li Xiaoheng. In fact, Li Xiaoheng watched Tao Mu play mahjong next to him, and after a few rounds, he had already touched upon the rules. The other three players knew that Li Xiaoheng was a novice, and they all wanted to defeat him. But, Li Xiaoheng was too good at counting the tiles, winning against everyone within two rounds.
Qin Miaoru wrinkled a bitter face: “No wonder everyone says that novices are lucky players, they really make people want to cry and call for their mothers. I say, handsome guy, please be accommodating, if you keep winning like this, I won’t even be able to keep my panties.”
Du Kang also shook his head and sighed, “I have lost all my food expenses for the week.”
On another mahjong table, Wen Bao, who was playing with the old man and dean Tao, couldn’t help but say: “I say, Xiao Kangzi, don’t be embarrassing, alright? At most there is 20-30 yuan to be lost or won in total. Can this even cover a week of food expenses?”
Du Kang said shamelessly: “This is called artistic exaggeration. Do you understand art? This buddy has won from the moment he played. I tell you, this is no longer a problem of losing money. It is because this game has become very unsatisfactory. You know?”
He then asked Tao Mu: “Where did you find such a capable buddy? He’s practically like the king of gambling. I think if Hong Kong will shoot another God of Gambling movie in the future, they should just find this buddy directly to be the protagonist.”
He was handsome and had bearing, and his head was also really smart. Sitting there, the presence was very strong indeed. That posture was not the posture of playing a mahjong game worth a few yuan. He looked more like he was participating in a gamble of hundreds of millions of international capital. It made people feel timid just looking at him——
To some extent, Du Kang had also hit upon the truth.
Qin Miaoru said very straightforwardly: “I’m not exaggerating. I bought my underpants in the Zoo Wholesale City, three for ten yuan. You guys calculate it, just how many underpants did I lose during this short time?”
“A perfectly good girl, why can’t you talk more decently?” The old-fashioned old man Song couldn’t stand it: “Girls should be gentle and reserved, don’t say whatever without a care. Be careful you can’t find someone to marry in the future.”
Qin Miaoru chuckled, thinking in her heart that she didn’t want to get married at all. Once she struck it rich, she would find a younger wolfdog with a handsome body and six-pack abs for the rest of her life. When that happens, she will replace one each year, keeping it new and fresh every year.
Of course, she did not dare to say this in front of Mr. Song, so she randomly threw a tile out: “Twenty thousand.”
“Missed!” Long Tianao, who hadn’t said anything and had his head down and glaring at the thirteen tiles in front of his eyes, victoriously pushed his tiles and opened both his hands at everyone: “Money, give money.”
“No way?” Qin Miaoru looked at Long Tianao’s tiles with a face of one on the verge of mental collapse: “I fired the cannon again.”
“You are the March 8th Red Flag gunner today.” Long Tianao said with a laugh: “Shooting wherever it is aimed, professional skills particularly excellent.”
“Piss off!” Qin Miaoru sadly dug in her pocket for spare change: “The three of you at the poker table are all men, and I’m the only woman. You don’t know to take it easy on me? Do you guys even have a bit of gentlemanly manners?”
“As if, there are no fathers and sons in the casino.” Long Tianao rolled his sleeves up his arms, acting very arrogant: “Hurry up and hand over the money.”
Qin Miaoru harrumphed and gave the money, completely losing all her spare change. Sitting on the sidelines watching the battle, Gou Rixin quickly took out two coins from his pocket. Qin Miaoru was so happy she patted Gou Rixin’s shoulder continuously: “Thank you, bro.”
The several people continued to play. During the period, Qin Miaoru scooched over to Li Xiaoheng: “Handsome guy, I know some physiognomy, you have a broad head and extraordinary bearing, and you are not an ordinary person with just a glance. Wanna think about firing the cannon for me to help out this weak and pitiful little girl?”
Li Xiaoheng hadn’t even spoken yet, when Da Mao, Xiao Pang and Feng Yuan, who hadn’t managed to a snatch a mahjong place and could only sit on the sidelines to play the Fight the Landlord card game, couldn’t help but expose: “Sister Qin, you ate forty-six dumplings at night.”
“And the username of your FlyNews is Charging Forward With A Big Knife On The Shoulders.”
“That’s right, that’s right.”
“Piss off!” Qin Miaoru rolled her eyes, feeling that these guys really deserve to be single dogs, they didn’t know how to treat a lady at all. Look at brother Yao——pei, he now had to be called uncle Yao, just how considerate he was! Sitting at Meng Qi’s side and occasionally feeding tiles to him and even offering some cannons. This one-stop service made uncle Meng so happy, one could imagine just how happy he would be once they went home.
Li Xiaoheng smiled but said nothing, feeling that Tao Mu’s friends were especially fun. If Tao Mu was always with these people, he could finally be relieved.
This all-night mahjong battle lasted until 5 o’clock the next morning. Those with no work or class, went back to the house to sleep quickly. But Tao Mu had to rush to Guo Yaning’s studio during rush hours.
Li Xiaoheng also stayed up all night. Worrying that something might happen due to fatigue driving, he specifically called the driver and asked him to come over and drive instead. On the road, he said in a particularly considerate manner: “It is estimated that it will take two hours to arrive with the traffic jam. You can rest for a while, and I will wake you when we arrive.”
Tao Mu nodded and lay down on the back seat, taking off his coat and curling it up as a pillow. He closed his eyes and fell asleep very quickly.
Li Xiaoheng took off his wool coat and put it over Tao Mu.
The driver of the Li family secretly peeked at their eldest young master with his eyes, shocked secretly from the bottom of his heart——their eldest young master rarely showed such a gentle and considerate side. It seemed that the young man sitting at the back must be a particularly important business partner for the young master. It was estimated that at least tens of billions could be earned for the young master, and it must be of M gold.
Of course, Li Xiaoheng didn’t know that his driver was slandering him in his heart. He didn’t sleep all night and felt a little tired. He sat in the position of the passenger seat but did not close his eyes to rest. Instead, he took the time to watch the international futures market and continued to collect the last wave of information of the day before the market closed.
Tao Mu, who had been sleeping for more than two hours, recovered most of his energy when the car arrived downstairs at Guo Yaning’s studio. The price was that his face became a little swollen, a red sleep print showed up on the right cheek, and his hair had become particularly messy.
Prepared for this, Tao Mu took out the peaked cap and put it on his head, then rubbed his face severely, trying to rub the mark off, before opening the door and getting out of the car.
Li Xiaoheng rolled down the car window and said with a smile, “I will come to pick you up at night?”
Tao Mu shook his head: “It is likely that Yao Dad and Xiao Qi Dad will come to pick me up at night.”
Li Xiaoheng said: “Your Yao Dad and Xiao Qi Dad didn’t sleep last night, so let them rest. I will ask Lao Zhang to pick you up at night.”
Tao Mu thought for a while, and felt that his Yao Dad and Xiao Qi Dadi hadn’t slept well for two consecutive days and two nights, so they should take a good rest.
“Well then, I must trouble you.”
Li Xiaoheng suddenly smiled and said, “It’s no trouble at all.”
After a pause, he said: “I will call you tonight. Let’s have dinner first, and then I’ll take you home.”
“Just head back to school directly.” Tao Mu said, “I have class tomorrow.”
“Okay.” Li Xiaoheng hooked up the corners of his mouth, and the facial contours that had always been cold and deep became a little softer.
Tao Mu bid farewell to Li Xiaoheng, went straight into the office building, and then up to Guo Yaning’s studio.
Guo Yaning was already waiting in the dressing room next to the studio. She was also excited the whole last night and didn’t sleep much as well. After midnight, she reluctantly removed the makeup and washed up. The next morning, she opened her eyes and crawled over to the studio, waiting for Tao Mu to continue to give her a beautiful domineering older sister look.
But, Tao Mu did not apply the domineering older sister makeup, but a South Korean style nude makeup——because part of Guo Yaning’s MV was reminiscing the youthful years and pure love with her first love boyfriend in high school.
Tao Mu felt that compared with other makeup looks which appeared a bit heavy, nude makeup was better to show off the pure side of girls. Moreover, with nude makeup and a dozen of soft light filters placed at that time, Tao Mu was confident that he could shoot Guo Yaning to look better than an eighteen-year-old girl.
But when he explained the concept of nude makeup to Guo Yaning, everyone misunderstood. Guo Yaning’s agent, Ms. Zhou Fengxuan, said in a faltering manner: “…..Well, although our Ya Ning has also gone the sexy route before, but I think it’s not appropriate to take nude shots for our MV today? Isn’t the scale a bit too big?”
Tao Mu was dumbfounded when he heard this, and it took a long while to react: “Nude makeup is not makeup painted while naked, but the makeup looks like one has put on any makeup——”
What big scale, Tao Mu was speechless.
“Oh, oh, oh,” Zhou Fengxuan and the others also reacted and immediately expressed their understanding. However, they slandered Tao Mu’s naming style as too dirty: “You can’t blame us. You say, why call your newly invented makeup such a name. Can’t blame us for thinking too much, right?”
Was this name something I came up?
In Tao Mu’s heart, there were almost 10,000 grass mud horses whizzing past, and he didn’t even have the strength to complain: “…..It is said that the lewd sees lewdness and the wise sees wisdom, you all are obviously the dirty one who sees dirtiness, okay. What does it have to do with my makeup? Besides, isn’t the name of the makeup quite appropriate. It’s all your own random thoughts…..”
Tao Mu defended himself while putting makeup on Guo Yaning. After the makeup look came out, it naturally caused another round of gasps of amazement in the studio.
During the shooting, Tao Mu asked the lighting techs to apply various soft filters together, so the overall effect was as one could imagine. It was simply beautiful, aesthetic, and fresh.
Guo Yaning and Zhou Fengxuan were immediately impressed: “No wonder netizens praise Tao Mu for being the friend of women. This makeup technique, this shooting technique, there is no one else. If you don’t enter the fashion industry, it will be a waste.”
Tao Mu wondered in his heart, when have I gained the title of “Friend of Women”, how come I don’t know. But he didn’t mind about Guo Yaning and Zhou Fengxuan’s teasing. In the afternoon, they went to a school campus for live shooting. Guo Yaning originally wanted to persuade Tao Mu to take the male lead role, but Tao Mu refused on the grounds of “concentrating on being a photographer and not being distracted.”
Guo Yaning was a bit regretful, but she was also very grateful: “If you don’t want to, then it’s fine. Say, if your beautiful face appeared with me, wouldn’t it just turn me into a wallflower. Originally, I’m just an old cucumber painted with new green paint, pretending to be tender here.”
The most important thing was that Tao Mu’s shooting skills were too expert, and he liked to use various filters and soft light when shooting, which other photographers did not. Guo Yaning was also worried that Tao Mu’s distraction would cause the quality of the MV to drop. So according to the original plan, Wang Boyuan was invited to come as a guest actor.
——The “Faraway Jianghu” starring the two of them had been set for the Lunar New Year. Valentine’s Day also coincided with the release period of “Faraway Jianghu”. Guo Yaning invited Wang Boyuan to appear in the MV pit of friendship, and of course, in order to stir up a wave of enthusiasm.
Wang Boyuan also intended to compete for this year’s best screen couple award, and he was naturally willing to cooperate. Besides, Guo Yaning was also a super A-list actress in China, with very high popularity and presence on the Internet. It was also a benefit for Wang Boyuan himself to be CPs at work with such a female star.
It was just that after seeing Tao Mu, the photographer, Wang Boyuan was a little embarrassed.
In fact, Wang Boyuan was the first to hand over an olive branch to Tao Mu in the crew of “Faraway Jianghu”. It was a pity that Tao Mu was discredited twice before, but out of cautious consideration, Wang Boyuan’s management team did not agree with Wang Boyuan standing out and speaking for Tao Mu when the incident was still unclear. Every time the dust settled, Wang Boyuan would come forward to explain. After several times of this, the relationship between the two became a bit estranged. On the contrary, it was not even as close as the relationship between Guo Yaning and Tao Mu, who had ignored Tao Mu at the beginning in the crew.
If Tao Mu were to comment, Wang Boyuan’s vision and personality might be more steady than Guo Yaning, but he was bound by his managing team and was always too cautious and indecisive when he did things. Safe was safe, but sometimes it was inevitable that opportunities would be missed. Unlike Guo Yaning, even her attitude was not as friendly at the beginning, so long as she made up her mind to befriend someone, she would have no hesitation and fiercely pursue it, making others feel embarrassed if they didn’t accept it. Moreover, Guo Yaning ran her own studio, so she didn’t have to worry about the company’s thinking. Coupled with the full support of her agent, Zhou Fengxuan, it was natural she did things more decisively than Wang Boyuan.
Wang Boyuan was to be a guest male protagonist for Guo Yaning’s MV. He also had two makeup looks. One was the white-collar elite style at the beginning, and the other was the same 18-year-old student makeup as Guo Yaning.
As a domestic superstar, Wang Boyuan naturally had his own team of makeup artists. But in order to unify the style of the MV, Tao Mu must do it personally for him as well. At first, Wang Boyuan’s makeup team was a little unhappy, but after seeing the South Korean style little fresh meat makeup carefully painted by Tao Mu for Wang Boyuan, directly reducing the 30-year-old Wang Boyuan to a 20-year-old exquisite and fashionable young man. Coupled with a dozen of soft light filters, there was absolutely no problem in pretending to be an eighteen-year-old school hunk.
Wang Boyuan’s makeup team no longer said anything.
In a hurry, Tao Mu first took a set of 18-year-old Wang Boyuan and Guo Yaning stills, and then immediately pulled the shooting team to the school that had been scheduled to shoot the memory part.
Sitting in the classroom and reading, running in the corridor, and strolling on the campus grounds where the snow piled up.
Snowflakes fluttered down one after another, and the two of them walked out a heart shaped path on the empty snow covered campus grounds, making snowmen and playing snowball fights in the heavy snow. It was simply too artistically beautiful.
——After the filming was finished in one afternoon, everyone was frozen stiff.
In the evening, Guo Yaning paid to treat everyone in the working group to hot pot nearby. During the period, Guo Yaning held the camera without letting go, and kept complimenting Tao Mu’s photography skills: “It’s so beautiful. Tao Mu, you are really amazing. Wow. You are so handsome and so rich at such a young age. And you even know how to take amazing pictures and videos. How can you let other male actors in the entertainment industry live.”
Wang *other male actor* Boyuan touched his nose: “Ya Ning is right. When Tao Mu enters the entertainment circle, it is estimated that all female artists will want to have you be their boyfriend.”
While talking, the waitress opened the door and came in to serve the food. Tao Mu casually glanced in the direction of the waitress, and was stunned: “Zhang Hanya?”
Zhang Hanya was also stunned: “Tao, Tao Mu?” Guo Yaning rented the filming location in Xicheng District. Beijing Film was in Dongcheng District. Zhang Hanya didn’t expect Tao Mu to come here for dinner. And with big stars like Guo Yaning and Wang Boyuan.
Tao Mu introduced to the others: “This is a friend of mine.”
He then asked Zhang Hanya again: “Are you using the weekend for part time jobs while studying?”
Zhang Hanya hesitated for a moment and then nodded. She glanced at Tao Mu, and said nothing in the end, putting down the dishes and going out.
Tao Mu thought for a while, and followed out: “How are you doing?”
“I’m okay.” Zhang Hanya responded in a low voice. She was actually very grateful to Tao Mu. If it weren’t for Tao Mu, she might have been ruined in this life. But when Tao Mu was discredited, she did not stand up to speak for Tao Mu.
She was not as courageous as Yun Duo and Wu Xiaoxuan, who were not afraid of anything. She was really afraid that people around her would viciously speculate on her after they knew what happened to her. Moreover, her family always cursed Tao Mu for being vicious, so that every time they went out, they had to be pointed at and talked about by their old neighbors. Her aunts even complained to her, saying that if it were not for her, they would not have provoked Tao Mu. Now great, since their bosses saw the news, they refused to hire them as babysitters. She was an unlucky star and it was all her fault.
Her uncle didn’t mind, he was originally a man who had a long list of vices and was usually scolded by others, so he had become accustomed to it. He even advised her to look more openly. In fact, Zhang Hanya felt that she was quite open minded. She had even lived through such a dangerous situation, so what else couldn’t she face in the future?
No matter how bad things were, they would not be as bad as being trafficked and sold into the mountains. Even if her mother refused to pay for college, she could still work on her own and wait until she saved up her tuition fees before applying to night college classes.
That night, Zhang Hanya returned home with exhaustion. Her aunt and uncle were quarreling again. Her aunt complained that her uncle knew nothing but gambling and drinking all day long, and that a grown man like him couldn’t even support his family. Uncle said indifferently that which family was not the same. The people living nearby were all poor people, and their pockets were cleaner than their faces. And it was only this run down house worth a few yuan.
“I didn’t bring money back home. But I didn’t let you and our son sleep on the streets, did I? You were a migrant worker girl who married me and got a Beijing household registration. You now live in such a large courtyard within the Third Ring Road. You should just be content. Look at the little friends you used to work with. Who has your treatment? Either they returned to their hometowns, or they are renting a house with their husband outside the Fifth Ring Road despite their advanced ages. This is Beijing, you know.”
“Pei, you only know to compare with those migrant workers. Why don’t you compare with your neighbors? What man doesn’t bring money home on a monthly basis? Just speaking of that old Tao in the courtyard house next door, he has even become rich.”
“Who did you hear that from?” Zhang Dafu sneered, “It’s not that I look down on old Tao. Tao Haiguo, who can’t even make a fart despite three hits from a stick, can only bring 2,000 yuan a month back home. Him getting rich, are you dreaming?”
“What dreaming? I heard it with my own ears. Didn’t Tao Dabao always quarrel with his mother and complain that their family is poor and that his classmates laugh at him. His mother said it personally, saying that their family would be rich soon. That they will move into a big house, a high-end apartment building within the Third Ring Road. That they won’t be staying here anymore and after a while, they will sell their house to collect enough money for a down payment.”
“Impossible.” Zhang Dafu stood up suddenly: “Where did their family get so much money? And even buying a new apartment? Do you know how expensive Beijing’s house prices are?”
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“How do I know.” Zhang Dafu’s wife gave him an eye roll, turned her head to see Zhang Hanya who was standing in the room in a daze, and she immediately cursed: “You damn girl, what are you doing just standing there? Go to bed already or are you not going to work tomorrow morning?”
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