Although the relationship between the women from the two families had never been very good, the men from the two families, Zhang Dafu and Tao Haiguo, got along surprisingly well.
——This was mainly attributed to Zhang Dafu, although he was full of vices such as drinking and gambling, he was relatively generous with his wallet. When he had money, it was okay for neighbors to come and mooch off a drink or two. And even though Zhang Dafu was a rascal, he knew the truth that “Qin Hui still had three good friends” and never harmed his neighbors. Sometimes, he could even introduce help for someone who had a need for it. Of course, every time he helped, he did not forget to request a fee for his hard work. Not much, just enough for a few meals.
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On the other hand, Tao Haiguo’s behavior and way of acting was not as smart, and the Tao couple was always criticized. There were not many neighbors around who were willing to have any relations with their family. Even the old men who played chess at the entrance of the alley were unwilling to play chess with him, so it was only a rsscal like Zhang Dafu who was willing to drink and chat with him. After a long time, the two of them developed some friendship.
In recent days, the old Tao family seemed to have met a benefactor and was feeling quite vigorous and proud. According to the benefactor’s instructions, Tao Haiguo and his wife broke the news with the media and accepted a TV interview. After all the limelight, they even made a lot of money. Seeing this, there also seemed to be an opportunity to get money from their adopted son. Although the old neighbors around were very particular about this matter, Tao Haiguo and his wife didn’t plan to live in this shabby place for a lifetime. The spit from the other families was not really important to them as real tangible cash.
Though they thought this, having people every day pointing fingers at them whenever they went out was really not a pleasant feeling. Especially when Tao Dabao went to school, his classmates all looked down on him, especially those female classmates who shamelessly praised Tao Mu all the time, and after learning a few words on the Internet, they would run over to Dabao and scold him for being shameless, and even instigated the whole class to ostracize him. Children were thin-skinned and couldn’t handle many things, so when he came back home he would throw a tantrum at his parents. They couldn’t beat or scold him so all day long the house was very noisy. Tao Haiguo also preferred to hide outside and drink.
The two went directly to the small restaurant at the entrance of the alley and ordered four dishes to go with the wine. Zhang Dafu didn’t go straight to the topic, but waited patiently until after the third round of drinking before he inquired, seemingly inadvertently, “Old Tao, I heard my wife say today that you two went on TV?”
Tao Haiguo was almost completely drunk. Besides, what Zhang Dafu asked was no secret——not to mention the entire neighborhood alley, that was, the entire Beijing City probably already knew about this. Tao Haiguo was not very vigilant either, he snickered, and asked: “What, old Zhang, do you want to scold me for being unkind and immoral?”
“As if!” Zhang Dafu shook his head, picked up a chopstick of a cold dish, drank a small cup of wine, and ate a few peanuts, then said: “If I have such a capable adopted son, I would also hold on tight. But I think that you have offended him too much, I’m afraid any nice feelings are long gone. Let me tell you, I also know this Tao Mu. Before, our family’s Hanya was almost abducted in H Town. At that time it was this Tao Mu who helped find and rescue her. To tell the truth, he can be considered a good person, but he is also definitely no saint. His methods are very black. You have offended him in front of the world, so are you really not afraid that he will get back at you?”
“That’s impossible.” Tao Haiguo shook his head drunkenly: “No matter how good he is, can he still be better than a big corporation?”
“Big corporation?” Zhang Dafu’s heart jumped and he asked, “What do you mean?”
Tao Haiguo was slightly more alert and knowing that he had said something he shouldn’t, quickly changed the subject: “Nothing, nothing. Come on, drink.”
Zhang Dafu had a drink with Tao Haiguo. Seeing Tao Haiguo’s vigilant appearance, he knew that there must be something tricky in this whole thing.
And he must get to the bottom of this tricky thing today.
So Zhang Dafu called the waiter and ordered six bottles of beer. With such a mix of white wine and beer, even Tao Haiguo, who had a decent amount of alcohol tolerance, was a bit unable to hold up. After Zhang Dafu’s patient questioning, he finally let loose his tongue.
“Tell you the truth. I didn’t intend to offend this adopted son of mine. After all, it was us who didn’t want him and sent him back to the orphanage. I don’t have the face to ask the child to provide elderly support for us. Besides, the child now has another adopted family. The two dads are said to be gangsters, which is not something I can afford to offend. I am also just working for someone…..promised to give us a million yuan after the thing is finished. My wife said that with this money added to the money we’ll get for selling our old house, we can buy a new apartment. If we’re lucky, and Tao Mu can’t bear the pressure of the netizens and is willing to pay us alimony to avoid any trouble, then that would be even better.”
“…..After all, he’s just an 18-year-old child. No matter how capable, as long as he wants to enter the entertainment industry and become an actor in the future, it is important to consider public opinion…..”
With a “click”, Zhang Dafu pressed the pause button on the recorder, rubbed his hands, and said with a slightly ingratiating expression: “That, Mr. Tao, I know you look down on me and don’t want to have any relations with someone like me. But today, I really didn’t come here to act like a rascal. Just how much do you think this recording is worth?”
Tao Mu stared expressionlessly at Zhang Dafu, who had been standing outside the gate of Beijing Film early in the morning and pestering the gatekeeper to call him. He also had to admire this person’s ability to toady for personal gain.
“I say, Mr. Tao, don’t keep silent!” Zhang Dafu looked at Tao Mu, but he was actually not quite as confident as he appeared. He had experienced Tao Mu’s methods first hand, and to be honest, it was really quite intimidating. However, no matter how intimidated he was inside, people couldn’t just give up money that they had a chance at.
Besides, Zhang Dafu had also paid attention to Tao Mu. Although this person had ruthless methods, he seemed to treat the people around him very well. He hadn’t heard anyone say that he was unkind or immoral. On the contrary, many people say that Tao Mu possessed loyalty and always liked to bring benefits to the people around him. Didn’t he work with Guo Yaning to shoot the MV before and brought in mutual benefits.
That was why Zhang Dafu felt that producing such strong evidence to prove Tao Mu’s innocence at such a critical time could be considered as helping out Tao Mu a lot, and even if he didn’t appreciate it, he wouldn’t do anything to him either.
So he plucked up the courage to meet with Tao Mu, and then pestered Tao Mu for a talk at the coffee shop opposite to Beijing Film. Before Tao Mu could speak, he put the voice recorder on the table and pressed the play button directly.
Sure enough, as soon as Tao Mu heard this recording, he didn’t talk nonsense, and asked directly: “What do you want?”
Zhang Dafu chuckled: “I don’t dare to be too greedy. But Tao Haiguo said, Shanghai’s Sheng’an Group asked him to come forward and break the news on TV, and gave him a full one million in return. So I was thinking about it, Mr. Tao has a big business and is also a big man who wants face. Is your reputation worth a million?”
This appetite was not small at all.
Tao Mu twitched the corner of his mouth into a smile, “Don’t you know that recordings are easy to falsify? How can you guarantee that this recording must be true? Besides, even if I spend a million to buy this recording of yours, your illegally obtained recording cannot be used as legal evidence. Spending a million to buy a recording that can’t do anything, am I’m really that dumb?”
“How could it be useless?” Zhang Dafu was also anxious: “CEO Tao, don’t tease me. We all know that this recording can at least prove that you are innocent. The Tao couple was instructed by someone else to accept the interview slandering you. You can sue them for slander.”
Tao Mu continued to smile silently.
Zhang Dafu gritted his teeth: “Okay. Just say how much money you are willing to pay for this recording. Let me tell you the truth. I take this money and I definitely don’t plan to use it alone. Even if I am not a good human being, I know that a grown man should support the family. This money is also reserved for my son to go to school in the future and to marry a wife. And Hanya’s mother will not let her go to school. It’s a problem that the young girl is always working tiring jobs serving dishes outside. If you are willing to buy this recording, I can also pay for Hanya to go to college. It’s just a few ten thousands for four years. I can afford to use this money for it. It’s really no big deal, I can just ask Hanya to write me an IOU and after Hanya works, the money can be returned to me with interest.”
“Zhang Hanya didn’t go to university?” Tao Mu was taken aback when he heard this.
“Yes, I know!” Zhang Dafu slapped his thigh: “Her mother thinks college spends too much money, so she won’t let her go. She insists on forcing the child to go out to work and make money. I told my sister a long time ago that people now looking for a job depend on academic qualifications. What can a high school graduate do besides serving dishes and washing dishes? It simply doesn’t work. One must go to university to earn more in the future…..”
Tao Mu frowned.
Zhang Dafu peeked at Tao Mu’s expression and said, “Hanya, this girl is righteous and knows that you saved her life which can’t be easily repaid, but Hanya is always thinking about doing something for you. Knowing that the Tao couple went on TV to discredit you, this girl stayed outside the public toilet at the entrance of the alley for half an hour before dawn early in the morning, just to get something out of Yang Shufen’s mouth. Although she didn’t manage to get anything out of her mouth, she still had good intentions.”
Tao Mu listened to Zhang Dafu’s babble: “I ran into Zhang Hanya at a hot pot restaurant before, and she didn’t tell me about this.”
“Too embarrassed to say it.” Zhang Dafu chuckled twice: “I say, Mr. Tao, you are a generous person. Send the Buddha all the way to the west, since you saved Hanya’s life, why not save her again.”
Zhang Dafu reached out and tapped on the voice recorder: “You buy this recording of mine. You can prove your innocence, and I can earn some money. Isn’t this the best of both worlds?”
Tao Mu’s eyes fell on the voice recorder, and he sneered: “Just this thing, yet you have the face to ask me for a million?”
Zhang Dafu smiled ingratiatingly and said: “Then how much do you think it is worth, just give however much you think it’s worth.”
Tao Mu chuckled, and his slender finger tapped the tabletop: “The thing is not worth a million. But my reputation is worth more than one million.”
Zhang Dafu’s eyes lit up.
Tao Mu said with a bad tone: “Don’t think too much. I won’t give you cash. A person like you, I don’t know how many I have met. When you have yet to get the money, your words sound better than singing. If you really get the money, you will be the first to go to the gambling table with all the money. What wife, child, niece, can they still be seen in your eyes?”
Zhang Dafu’s heart went cold for a while, and he asked in a sheepish tone, “Then, then, what does Mr. Tao mean?”
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Tao Mu knocked on the tabletop: “If you can trust me, I will take this voice recorder first. After the matter is dealt with, I will definitely give you a job. If you disagree, please take the voice recorder back.”
Tao Mu made a gesture of invitation: “I will not make it difficult for you.”
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