The decoration in the cafe was particularly elegant, and there was also a female drama student working part-time as a pianist in the lobby. Mellow music flowed from the dancing fingertips to linger in the quiet and elegant lobby. The whole environment was incompatible with Zhang Dafu’s military coat.
Even if it was the second time, Zhang Dafu still hunched his shoulders uncomfortably. After the two of them sat down at a table near the corner, Zhang Dafu said eagerly: “Mr. Tao, uh, the case of Tao Haiguo and his wife is over now. Say, about the reward you promised me before…..”
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 )
Tao Mu paused when he heard the words: “Is it over already?” He had been busy with the Sheng’an Group and the Song family recently, and he hadn’t paid attention to the Tao Haiguo couple at all.
However, the lawsuit was fought by Zhou Shenxing. Zhou Shenxing didn’t say anything to him though.
Just as Tao Mu was thinking about this, his phone rang suddenly. He took it out and saw that it was from Zhou Shenxing.
“Mr. Tao, we won the lawsuit against your adoptive parents who were instructed to slander you. I have just come out of the court, and I need to report some information with you. Shall I go look for you now, or do you want to stop by at FlyNews headquarters tonight?”
Just came out of the court…..
Tao Mu glanced at Zhang Dafu who was sitting across from him with a rather exasperated look. This guy was really too eager.
“I’ll stop by FlyNews headquarters tonight!”
After hanging up the phone, Tao Mu looked at Zhang Dafu who had an ingratiating smile on his face: “You are quite well informed.”
Zhang Dafu smiled and said: “Isn’t this related to my own interests? I have been keeping a close eye on it. Today, at the trial, I specifically asked my wife to go to the court to listen. As soon as the result came out, she immediately called me. I just want to share the good news with you as soon as possible.”
“You just want your one million.” Tao Mu snorted, too lazy to bother with Zhang Dafu. As long as it was for money, this guy dared to say anything and could say anything.
Zhang Dafu chuckled, and didn’t argue: “We poor people can only rely on this one chance to make a fortune. How can I not be eager? Mr. Tao, you are a generous and magnanimous person, so please go easy on me and quickly settle this matter. Otherwise I can’t even sleep well at night. To tell you the truth, I haven’t slept much in the past few months. Take a look at how much of my hair has fallen out. It was quite dense when I came to look for you last time. But now I’m almost bald. “
“Come on, you, don’t wag your tongue at me.” (TN: to speak glibly) Tao Mu chuckled, and thought that Zhang Dafu was actually quite interesting when he was not acting like a scoundrel.
“I thought about your matter and I also know the situation in your family. It’s indeed not easy supporting such a big family without any one of you having a proper job.” Tao Mu said, frowning again: “But you and your family. Honestly speaking, none of you have any academic qualifications or ability, and moreover your character is also not all that good. I don’t feel at ease letting you guys out in society. After all, this business is my idea and I’m afraid you guys will scam and cheat people in my name, something I really can’t afford to lose face on.”
Zhang Dafu hurriedly smiled ingratiatingly: “That’s not possible. What kind of person am I? I might not be good at anything else, but at least my eyes are sharp. People who shouldn’t be offended I will never offend, and things that shouldn’t be done I will never do. Honestly, not only are you afraid of losing face, I am also afraid of getting into trouble.”
Zhang Dafu’s words sounded pleasant. But after a pause, still a little unwilling to give up, he continued: “Of course. If you find it troublesome, you can just give me this million directly. I have no objection.”
“In your dreams.” Tao Mu glared at Zhang Dafu, got up and said, “Stop talking nonsense. Come with me.”
“Huh?” Zhang Dafu followed Tao Mu with a bewildered expression and left the cafe. They made a turn and entered the street behind Beijing Film, stopping in front of two shops with rolling shutters installed on both.
There was already a group of people standing in front of the two shops, four men and two women. The men had a sturdy and muscular build, and the tallest one was at least 1.9 meters tall. One of the two women was in her twenties and had hair that was dyed blue, wearing only a white cotton-padded jacket, small leather skirt and high boots despite the winter chill. Her face was also applied with heavy makeup and looked like a female ghost. With just a glance, one knew she was not easy to mess with. The other woman was an auntie in her fifties, dressed in a cotton-padded jacket, and looked very simple and friendly with a smiling face.
“You are here. Did you eat lunch?” Tao Mu nodded at the several people and asked, “Brother Gou, how are you doing?”
Qin Miaoru spoke first: “We came over when we received the call. We haven’t eaten yet.”
Gou Rixin smiled honestly: “Fully recovered a long time ago.”
Then he thought of something and rubbed his head, “I’m just a bit ashamed. Say, it’s you who helped me out for my treatment. Now that I’m discharged from the hospital, I have to trouble you to find me work as well.”
Gou Rixin was discharged from the hospital and was directly signed by Tao Mu to FlyNews Entertainment. Although FlyNews was not involved in the business of signing artists, Tao Mu would sooner or later set up his own studio. In any case, Gou Rixin was just a martial arts extra, so it was better to follow him than to go back to being an extra.
The response towards this year’s National School Beauty and Hunk selection contest was very good, and Tao Mu planned to host another talent show next summer. When the competition was over, he would hit the iron while it was hot, and shoot an idol drama, web drama or something. At that time, everywhere would be needing people. Even if Gou Rixin didn’t want to be an actor, he could also help run the set and learn how to be an agent. In any case, he knew the other well, and using familiar people was always less worrisome than using outsiders.
He also told Gou Rixin about this plan. Gou Rixin really didn’t expect Tao Mu to plan for him so far into the future, and he was immediately touched. He felt his blood rush in excitement, feeling like he had met a confidante worth dying for.
“We are all brothers, don’t say anymore.” Tao Mu smiled: “Since you all haven’t eaten yet, I’ll treat you all to eat Mongolian hotpot later. Let’s go and see the store first.”
Tao Mu signaled Qin Miaoru to open the shutters of the two shops, one of which Tao Mu was going to turn into an Internet cafe. Qin Miaoru’s Internet cafe in Houhai was particularly prosperous, earning millions of yuan in just half a year. Not only did she pay back the money she had borrowed from Tao Mu, but she also had surplus to expand her business.
According to Qin Miaoru’s plan, she originally wanted to follow Liu Yao and open another internet cafe next to Night. At that time, both sides could also take care of each other. But high-end places were too expensive, the rent couldn’t be afforded, and there was no particularly suitable store in Houhai either.
When discussing with Tao Mu, Tao Mu just happened to be pondering about how to settle Zhang Dafu. In the end, it was old man Song who came up with a solution and said casually at the dinner table: “…..If it doesn’t work, then open the Internet cafe near Tao Mu’s school. At that time, Xiao Qin runs an Internet cafe, and surnamed Zhang and his family can do some fast food business nearby. Just let Xiao Qin and the others keep a watch on them. If they dare not do business properly, then just have those big muscular guys frequent their store. See if they dare not do business properly.”
No wonder they say that having an elder in the family was the same as possessing a treasure.
This idea was the best of both worlds. Everyone’s problems were solved.
So Tao Mu immediately looked for a suitable store near Beijing Film. It just so happened that there were two shops next to each other on the back street for rent. The larger one was more than 500 square meters, with a total of three floors. It used to be a photo studio, mainly for taking portraits for students. Later, because Tao Mu’s photography skills amazed everyone with a single brilliant feat during the military training, instantly conquering his schoolmates from freshman to senior. Now whenever Beijing Film students wanted to take art photos, so long as they were not in a hurry, they would all shamelessly wait for Tao Mu to take some time out to help them. Even if the wait was a year or a half, they would still rather choose quality over speed.
Tao Mu was also accustomed to shooting photos outside every time he took pictures. Most of the time, he liked to use spots inside the school, or directly draw people to the photo studio where he worked part-time before, and solicit business for his former boss. After a while, the business at the photo studio just outside the school became less and less, and add to the fact the landlord kept increasing rent, the owner of the photo studio couldn’t continue anymore, closing the shop in a fit of anger and going back to his hometown to get married.
Who knew that this shop would now benefit Qin Miaoru. She came over for a look and found that the three floor shop was just right, with the first floor being the lobby, the second floor being private rooms and the third floor for e-sports, the design of the shop was quite authentic.
As for the smaller shop next to it, it was only slightly more than 70 square feet. It used to sell milk tea but the landlord was in a hurry to use money and wanted to sell the shop. So Tao Mu used the one million he took out of Xiaoheng Capital to pay the down payment and decoration of this small shop. As for the landlord, he received the full payment in his bank account.
Tao Mu said to Zhang Dafu: “I count you 200,000 yuan a year in rent for this shop. I won’t charge rent for the first five years. But after five years, you can either start anew or pay me rent according to market prices. Do you understand?”
Zhang Dafu wrinkled his face: “Mr. Tao, I’ll call you grandfather, okay? I know you have kind intentions. But, what can I do with this shop? I, I can’t do anything! You can’t be thinking of having a grown man like me sit here and sell milk tea, right? Just look at me, do you think those little girls from Beijing Film will dare to come in?”
Huh, so he was quite self-aware.
Tao Mu smiled: “You don’t have to worry about it. I already talked to my old man. This shop will sell braised chicken rice in brown sauce. Tomorrow you will come with your wife, and Aunt Gou, the three of you will learn to cook it with me. It just so happens that this shop will need half a month to be renovated. I estimate you’ll all learn how to cook it by that time.”
“I have already arranged the ingredients purchasing channel. I will give you the phone number. After the store opens, someone will deliver the goods to you regularly. When the business starts, you are not allowed to be greedy and change to a cheaper channel.”
Zhang Dafu promised again and again, his small eyes glanced at Aunt Gou, and asked: “Then this elder sister is the manager of our store?”
“Don’t be petty.” Tao Mu rolled his eyes: “Aunt Gou just wants to learn how to cook with me. She will not be working in your store, normally she just cleans the Internet cafe and helps to cook by the way.”
Zhang Dafu immediately pleaded guilty: “I didn’t mean that.”
“Enough of you. Don’t think that just because I don’t find someone to keep a watch on you, you can play tricks. You are not allowed to buy goods from bad channels when you are doing business in the future. I have a camera installed in the kitchen which is connected to Sister Qin’s internet cafe. Sister Qin will help me keep a watch when she has the time. If she finds out that you dare to be careless on hygiene and food safety I will definitely not spare you. What’s up with that expression? Are you dissatisfied with me?”
“How dare I.” Zhang Dafu defended with a bitter face: “I’m just worried. Mr. Tao, I know you are kind and want to find a living for our family. But our family, how can we do business? To tell you the truth, even if you wipe out my rent I don’t have the money to buy the goods. What braised chicken rice, I can’t even afford chicken feathers let alone chicken meat.”
“Don’t cry about being poor with me. I didn’t plan to let you pay.” Tao Mu gave Zhang Dafu an annoyed glare: “Starting from next month, I will pay for the ingredients for the following six months. I will settle the account directly with the supplier. You will just be responsible for running the shop, and I won’t take any of the money you make. But if you want to hire more people when your business becomes good, I won’t pay the money.”
Zhang Dafu’s expression was joyful, and he immediately rubbed his hands and said: “Aiyo, how embarrassing. Elder Tao, you are a living bodhisattva. As the old saying goes, knowledge is the best charity. Elder Tao has the style of the ancients.”
“Enough of you.” Tao Mu felt a headache. In just such a short time, he had risen from Mr. Tao to Elder Tao. This person really didn’t want face at all.
“Tell your wife. When doing business, be courteous and polite. Don’t make trouble for me, and your whole family can make money happily. If you dare to make trouble for me…..”
Tao Mu trailed off, squinting his eyes and looking at Zhang Dafu threateningly. Zhang Dafu nodded and bowed his waist very tactfully: “You can rest assured. I am sure to do things steadily and earn money honestly, and I will never shame your elderness.”
“Don’t elder this and elder that. You make me sound like I’m eighty.” Tao Mu waved his hand and said with annoyance: “Go away. Tomorrow at 12 o’clock noon, bring your wife over on time.”
“Ai!” Zhang Dafu didn’t expect things to go so smoothly. To be honest, although he believed in Tao Mu’s character, before coming, Zhang Dafu also guessed pettyly whether Tao Mu would not admit to it, or regretted it, and didn’t want to give him the money.
Zhang Dafu even imagined what he would do if Tao Mu really didn’t give him the money. Find a reporter to disclose this? He couldn’t afford to provoke Tao Mu and the group of people behind Tao Mu. But if he just swallowed his bitterness, he also won’t feel reconciled.
This had caused him much torment, and he indeed really had trouble falling asleep in the past few months. He had imagined all kinds of situations but he didn’t expect Tao Mu to be so righteous, directly giving over a livelihood that would support his family.
Don’t look at Tao Mu just waving away the rent and supplying the ingredients, seeming as if he didn’t pay him a penny, but Tao Mu was willing to teach him a skill.
Who was Tao Mu? Beijing Song Ji’s fame was probably known to most of China and not just in Beijing. Tao Mu was the only disciple of the old man Song. There was no question regarding his cooking skills. Even if he just taught their family a single dish, with the Song Ji brand and Tao Mu, this business would definitely not go wrong.
Besides, what kind of area was this? This was the Second Ring Road. The 70 square meter shop only counted him 200,000 yuan a year in rent, five years without rent increase and no payment, and he didn’t even need to pay for the purchase of ingredients the first six months.
Zhang Dafu was not an ignorant person. Although he was a scoundrel and hoodlum, he also knew clearly who treated him well.
Tao Mu was a busy big boss with his own affairs to take care of, and yet he was still willing to solve the mess in their family. Thinking about giving their family a means of making a livelihood instead of just lightly throwing a million at them. For a capable person like Tao Mu, throwing out a million in cash was actually much easier than teaching them a skill.
But Tao Mu didn’t use money to dispatch him. Although Zhang Dafu had a rascally smile on his face, he really appreciated this in his heart.
For so many years, only Tao Mu really regarded him as a person. Treated him as a man who could be the pillar of his family. Felt that he could do things and make things happen. Just for this, he had to work hard and not shame Tao Mu——
Of course, the most important thing was that Zhang Dafu was afraid of Tao Mu’s methods, and even more afraid of Liu Yao’s background. He really didn’t dare to do anything to embarrass Tao Mu. Zhang Dafu could still remember how Tao Mu dealt with him before. Although he didn’t care about other people’s opinions it was still really uncomfortable to be pointed and scolded at by neighbors and strangers.
And that matter had nothing to do with Tao Mu. It was just because he didn’t like that they wanted to blackmail the Yun family and the hospital, yet Tao Mu could use such a ruthless method to deal with them. If he dared to make trouble in the food shop this time, Zhang Dafu guessed that it would not be something as simple as just being scolded. With Liu Yao and that group of people supporting Tao Mu, he could at least expect to be beaten to the point he couldn’t even get out of bed.
Zhang Dafu was particularly self-aware, and when he returned home that day, he explained to his wife carefully.
At noon the next day, the two arrived more than half an hour earlier and waited for a long time outside, shivering in the winter chill. Only then did they see Tao Mu who came out of class, and Aunt Gou who came with Tao Mu. Now she was much smarter, waiting in the Beijing Film cafeteria which was especially warm.
“You’re quite punctual.” Tao Mu glanced at Zhang Dafu and his wife, opened the rolling shutter, and threw the key to Zhang Dafu: “I was in a hurry yesterday and forgot about this. You keep the key. The renovation will start tomorrow, and if you are worried, come over and keep a watch if you want.”
Zhang Dafu bowed with his wife and said with an ingratiating smile: “Towards the people employed by Mr. Tao, how can we not rest assured.”
“After all, it is your own business you’re running.” Tao Mu waved his hand. He gave the supplier in the morning a call, and the other had already delivered the ingredients in advance.
“I’ll teach you to practice hands first, it’s very simple, and you will learn it soon.”
Braised chicken rice was a fast-food snack, and actually didn’t require any secret recipe, let alone knife skills. Basically, those who knew how to cook could learn it just by looking at the process.
Zhang Dafu could be passed over, but his wife was actually a very hardworking person, and she did things very quickly. After learning with Tao Mu for more than an hour, she practically got the hang of it.
“Like this for now.” Tao Mu looked at the time, and seeing that his next class was about to start he washed his hands: “Go back and practice some more. Call me anytime you don’t understand something.”
Zhang Dafu’s wife was very fierce and bossy at home, but in front of Tao Mu, she didn’t even dare to breathe. Hearing Tao Mu’s words, she immediately agreed, and said hurriedly: “Uh, thank you Mr. Tao.”
“You’re welcome.” Tao Mu smiled: “I promised Zhang Dafu. After all, his recording helped me a lot.”
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Zhang Dafu’s wife also knew how the recording came to be, and her face flushed red in embarrassment. Tao Haiguo and his wife lost the lawsuit and now they stood outside their door every day and accused Zhang Dafu of selling out his friends to seek riches. The neighbors also pointed and whispered.
“…..I’m not afraid of anything else. I’m just afraid Tao Haiguo and his wife will come to you to make trouble after they learn about this.”
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