After Tao Mu got the recording secretly recorded by Zhang Dafu, he was not in a hurry to deal with Tao Haiguo and his wife who were still jumping around in front of the TV station and various media. In his view, no matter in the previous life or this life, Tao Haiguo and his wife jumping around was just a gun in the hands of others, puppets in the hands of the Yao family. Whatever the Yao family asked them to do, they would do it, have them say whatever and they would say it, which was why Tao Haiguo made such an obvious mistake.
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He got strong evidence, so naturally he must first consider how to snipe the hunter. In order to catch the bandits one must first catch the bandit king, in order to kill the snake one must hit it over the heart. If you can’t find a way to deal with the hunter, but are anxious to attack the gun, it didn’t matter to be laughed at, what did matter was losing a chess piece that could be used against the Yao family. That would be quite regretful.
So the first thing Tao Mu did after getting this recording was to go discuss with his Yao Dad and Xiao Qi Dad——how to find the evidence of the “Sheng’an Group giving him one million to discredit Tao Mu” that Tao Haiguo mentioned.
Liu Yao handed this matter to Da Hui, who had just been discharged from the hospital. After listening to the recording several times, Da Hui instantly sneered: “One million is not a small sum. In order to avoid a weakness falling into the hands of others, Yao Shengan would definitely not choose the method of bank transfer, which means he can only pay in cash. No one would carry such a large amount of cash with them, so Yao Shengan would definitely withdraw money from the bank. With such a large amount, even if the money is to be withdrawn, it cannot be withdrawn immediately. You must greet the bank first. And Yao Shengan will definitely not do this personally. Then the assistants and secretaries he brought to Beijing this time are all under suspicion. I will divide the routes, on the one hand, I will inquire around at the bank, and on the other hand I will find someone to keep a watch on the assistants he brought to Beijing. But the bank part is a bit troublesome, as we don’t know many people there.”
As Da Bui spoke, his gaze secretly glanced at Tao Mu, expressing his meaning.
Tao Mu knew what brother Da Hui wanted to say——ordinary people like them did not have much influence within the banks, and they had no channels to inquire about the privacy of major customers. But the Li family was different. As one of the most affluent families in Beijing, the Li family had deep roots in the capital city, and the influence of their network of contacts was beyond doubt. Moreover, the financial capital created by Li Xiaoheng was the target of all the banks to compete in showing goodwill. If Li Xiaoheng could come forward to help them find out the news, it would definitely get twice the result with half the effort.
Moreover, this kind of effort did not cost money or favors. Li Xiaoheng only needed to make a phone call and say a few words to send Tao Mu this favor. He believed that Li Xiaoheng would not refuse this kind of cost-free method of deepening their relations.
Tao Mu considered the matter with a business mindset and felt that if he was Li Xiaoheng, he would never refuse this kind of easy way to deepen relations. So he immediately dialed a phone call to the newly established legal business partner. Sure enough, after hearing Tao Mu’s request, Li Xiaoheng on the other end of the phone agreed without hesitation.
With the face of Li Xiaoheng, the bank part went particularly smoothly. Li Xiaoheng asked a relative of the Li family who served as the president of a certain bank’s headquarters. Not even half an hour later, Tao Mu received the evidence that Yao Shengan withdrew from his personal account five days ago. From the bank’s surveillance video, it could be clearly seen that Yao Shengan’s most trusted confidant, Bi An, came to withdraw the money.
However, the bank also requested tactfully, hoping that Li Xiaoheng and Tao Mu would not use the bank records and surveillance videos as evidence. After all, banks have the obligation to keep customers’ information confidential. Sheng’an Group was also an important customer, and although its headquarters was far away in Shanghai and had little influence in the capital. However, if the bank arbitrarily revealed the privacy of its big customers to outsiders, other big customers would have doubts about the bank’s secrecy and neutrality.
Tao Mu understood this very well. So he immediately promised that even if he wanted to deal with Yao Shengan, he would never use the bank’s side to do so.
Moreover, through this surveillance video, Tao Mu and his Yao Dad could also determine that the person handling this matter for Yao Shengan was Bi An. And so the following steps were easy to take. Da Hui directly followed Bi An with a few people. After several days, they finally photographed the solid proof that Bi An and Tao Haiguo made contact in private. In addition, they also investigated that Tao Haiguo and his wife had deposited 1 million in their account.
On the other side, in addition to helping Guo Yaning shoot the MV every day, Tao Mu focused on the food-themed online documentary “Life in the City: Food for the People”.
Considering that Song Daozhen had no experience in filming before, Tao Mu thought carefully, and finally rejected the Beijing Film teacher’s suggestion that the students should play guest roles. He was going to make this film into a documentary about small city people. Therefore, it was necessary to ensure authenticity and credibility in the form of shooting, and try to eliminate too much artistic reprocessing. So that when watching the documentary in the future and thinking of the old grudge between the Song family and the Yao family, the emotional rendering was not in place, and viewers subconsciously felt that the crew was just exaggerating.
Tao Mu had prepared so much, and all his moves were aimed at the Sheng’an Group. No matter how dumb the old man Song was, he could see why Tao Mu wanted to do this. Moreover, he was not a dumb man. He hadn’t allowed Tao Mu to inquire about the Song family’s past, because he was worried that Tao Mu was too young and reckless and would lose his temper. At that time, not only would he not be able to avenge the Song family, but he would also anger the Yao family which would then have an impact on his own future.
But now, even if there was no old man like him in the picture, Tao Mu would also face off against the Yao family. Most importantly, Song Daozhen really saw the hope of revenge for the Song family from Tao Mu’s actions. So he was extremely cooperative.
——He had never thought that he would be a leading actor in his life, nor was he a person used to being followed by a cameraman every day. The first thing he did after opening his eyes every day was to wake the cameraman who would then accompany him to the morning market to buy ingredients. Before going to bed at night, he would also use brush and ink to write down the steps of the dish to be made the next day, how to introduce the history of this dish to the audience in front of the camera, and what were the interesting or joyous stories of this dish.
Mr. Song was born in the Republic of China and grew up in China’s most turbulent era. In fact, he was filled with the joys and sorrows of China for nearly a hundred years. Some of these stories were secret legends he heard from his elders when he was a child. At that time, the Song family hadn’t fallen yet. Although the direct descendants of the family did not flourish in numbers, counting the other branches and senior and junior brothers, they were also a big family. Every night, when the family was free, Song Daozhen’s father would sit under the old locust tree with little Song Daozhen in his arms. The moonlight was cool, the locust flower exuded a faint fragrance, and a large group of elders gathered around the old locust tree, sitting on the railing outside the corridor while smoking a pipe as they talked about ancient times.
Some of these stories were personally experienced by the elders of the Song family, and some were anecdotes of famous people in the era. But more were things Song Daozhen had seen with his own eyes during so many years of wandering and lonely life in the city.
Earlier, the Song family was considered to be a culinary family. When the old man Song was young, he was also taught by a scholar who had passed the county level imperial exam from the last years of the Qing Dynasty. So Song Daozhen’s brushwork calligraphy was very good. He even knew how to write in several classical calligraphy styles.
The daylight flowed in, and Mr. Song in a plain cloth tunic, picked up a brush at his desk, and wrote cooking techniques on the gilded rice paper. Such a scene was simply too beautiful, as if there was scholarly ink stain coming out of the lens like this. The warm winter sunlight crept in through the window, climbing the mountains that were the various furniture and objects in the study. Mr. Song wrote the recipe while slowly relaying the story behind it, seeming like the years were quiet and good, or in a manner of idle interest.
It was like a pool of cold water that had experienced turbulent waves, flowing through spring, summer, autumn and winter, flowing through rivers, lakes, and seas, flowing through a dark underground river with strange stalactites, and finally flowing into a quiet well covered with moss, to settle doen still and tranquil.
Tao Mu had followed along the filming several times before he couldn’t stand it anymore. He knew that shooting this program was tantamount to ripping open the scar that the old man Song had been concealing for decades, tearing it fiercely and presenting the softest bloody part for the eyes of others.
He didn’t know if his actions were right or not. Even if his original intention was to enact revenge on the Yao family, and he wanted to tell the world about the nasty things that the Yao family did back then, so that everyone would know how Yao Shengan ungratefully repaid the Song family’s kindness. But if this revenge was based on the pain of old man Song, would there really be any meaning for him to do so?
In the end, it was Mr. Song who dragged Tao Mu for a rank and honest talk.
Song Daozhen personally cooked eight dishes and two pots of wine. The two of them sat in the main room, and when they turned their heads, they could see the old locust tree still growing lushly outside the window.
Mr. Song said that he had never forgotten the old things in his life. He couldn’t sleep every night, and when he dreamt deep in the night, it was of the Song family back then. His father and mother, the son he had never seen, and the prosperous scene of the elders gathering together.
He said that even if there was no Tao Mu’s program, he still couldn’t get past this hurdle in his heart. So he was very grateful to Tao Mu for making such a show, at least giving him a chance to talk about it. Like suppressed magma rolling in a volcano, finally there was a chance to gush out.
After that night, Tao Mu once again visited Teacher Bai An, who was responsible for dubbing the documentary, and Teacher Pu Lincang, who wrote the copywriting for the documentary.
He invited the two to Song Ji, Mr. Song would cook a table of good dishes himself, and accompany it with two pots of warm white wine. While eating and drinking, they could talk about what to do later in the show.
Bai An and Pu Lincang said with emotion that what they have eaten and drank at this meal had a special taste of life. Pu Lincang said that before he came, he had already had a draft in his mind. But after eating this meal, the main reason being that after chatting with Mr. Song during the meal, he now had a different perception.
The so-called “Listening to your words is better than studying ten years.” Bai An echoed these words with emotion. They said that cities were developing faster and faster, and the economy was getting more developed as it got older. Young people had already adapted to the fast-paced lifestyle, and paid attention to efficiency in everything they did. But because of this they had lost the humanistic feelings of the slow and leisurely times back then. Today in Song Ji, in this seemingly old but simple and clean restaurant, they finally felt again the atmosphere of the years back then.
This meal resulted in the two teachers and Mr. Song hitting it off at first sight. In the end, Tao Mu was practically an invisible person. The three of them were happily tasting wine and discussing tea, totally forgetting Tao Mu’s existence.
Bai An even suggested that for this documentary they should not have asked him, a retired host of the National TV station, to narrate, but that old man Song should use his own voice. Such vicissitudes and mellowness, with the simple emphasis of the old Beijing accent, when talking about the joys and sorrows and ups and downs. Only then would there be the sense of recording life and its various feelings.
Pu Lincang knocked the cup with a chopstick and gladly seconded it. The older generation of artists really talked about feelings, and not making money with feelings. Their ideas might not be in line with the general values of businessmen’s interests, but in terms of emotional rendering, they were definitely more qualified than Tao Mu.
The two old artists even offered to help Tao Mu check the script, excluding all the parts that were deliberately sensational and concealed barbs, and let Mr. Song speak in the most simple and straightforward way. When bystanders listened to it, they would have a deeper emotional stirring.
As the old saying goes, onlookers see much more clearly than players. Sometimes, in order for the people in the game to do their best to survive, there was no extra emotion to sigh about life. Only bystanders could taste more meaning from these shocking stories.
Pu Lincang told Tao Mu: The so-called leaving a blank was sometimes better to sublimate the theme. At this time, silence was better than sound, and only when it caused others to keep it in mind contantly, would there be an echo.
If you just shoved everything out, it would instead lose the meaning.
“What’s the biggest regret in life?” Pu Lincang said with emotion, “It’s not wanting something but being unable to get it, it’s being unable to get over something.”
Wanting something but being unable to get it in this life was like the reflection of flowers in the mirror, or the reflection of the moon in the lake surface. A mirage you could only look at from a distance; being unable to get over something, referred to something that should belong to you, but in the end it did not belong to you.
Tao Mu was stunned. Just like in the previous life, when he first met Shen Yu and learned that Shen Yu came from a affluent family and was loved by his parents and family members. Although he envied him, he felt calm because it was something he was unable to get in this life. Later, when he learned that everything about Shen Yu should belong to him, that he had suffered in the other’s place for eighteen years by mistake yet was hated, unaccepted or misunderstood by everyone, and as a result was unable to get over it. He felt like his heart was tormented repeatedly in a frying pan, unable to pick it up or let it go.
Thinking about it this way, being unable to get over something was indeed more heartbreaking than wanting something but being unable to get it.
Tao Mu was inspired by the suggestions of the two old artists. The people of the show crew buried their heads in changing the script, trying to make this food documentary more natural than artificial.
On the other side, after Zhang Dafu returned home, he had yet to hear from Tao Mu despite a long time having passed. Every day, he felt as if his heart and liver were being scratched at, afraid that Tao Mu would break his promises, and that this matter would eventually go up in smoke. Recalling the effort he went to record this recording, and the two bottles of liquor, six bottles of beer and a table of stir-fried vegetables, he felt as if his heart had been dropped into a hot oil pan, and thus fell into a state of being unable to get over it.
After several days of repeated suffering, Zhang Dafu finally couldn’t help it. He took the initiative to find the media and report that Tao Haiguo and his wife had gotten one million people to discredit Tao Mu. He also said that he originally recorded the recording and gave it to Tao Mu——because Tao Mu saved his niece which Zhang Dafu was grateful for, so he wanted to repay Tao Mu. But, Tao Mu didn’t do anything after receiving the recording and Tao Haiguo and his wife still continued to smear Tao Mu during interviews on TV and the media.
Zhang Dafu said that he could not understand how Tao Haiguo and his wife could make black-hearted money without any care for their conscience and hurt someone like Tao Mu. He also said that he understood that Tao Mu was concerned about the image of his adoptive parents, and that he did not want his adoptive parents to be constantly criticized by netizens.
But he couldn’t resist it anymore. He didn’t want to see good-hearted people shed blood and tears (yes, the phrase Tao Mu instructed reporters to comment on the Zhang family was now directly used by Zhang Dafu), nor did he want to see innocent netizens being used as guns by the Tao Haiguo couple. So he stood up and broke the news.
He also told reporters that if they didn’t believe it, they could go to Tao Mu. Tao Mu really had this recording in his hands. If he was lying, then he was not a human being.
Zhang Dafu’s words were full of emotion and righteousness when he spoke. Even Tao Mu, who knew him well, was fooled for a moment. Not to mention the unknowing netizens and reporters.
In Zhang Dafu’s words, Tao Mu seemed to be a holy father white lotus who was clearly hurt but couldn’t bear to let the evil deeds of his adoptive parents be exposed. Therefore, even though he clearly possessed the evidence to prove his innocence he still refused to publish it.
The netizens and reporters were immediately moved. The result was a holy mother heart with compassion for the poor and weak with nowhere to lay it and a kind of anger from being used with nowhere to vent it. Immediately, the Tao Haiguo couple was swept under the waves of stormy curses and accusations, completely forgetting that they had cursed Tao Mu the same way back then.
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 )
On the other side, reporters with interview rights flocked to Guo Yaning’s studio downstairs. When Tao Mu came out of work, they swarmed up to ask Tao Mu why he refused to publish evidence that Tao Haiguo and his wife were instigated to discredit him? Was it true that he was really considering the image of his adoptive parents and didn’t want them to be exposed and cursed by netizens?
Tao Mu, who didn’t know when he became the spokesperson of the holy father, looked at the reporter with a dazed expression: Meow-meow-meow, what are you talking about?
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