The entire Zhang family had experienced Tao Mu’s methods before. Even if Tao Mu decided to be kind and teach them craftsmanship now, Zhang Dafu and his wife still did not forget how Tao Mu dealt with them back then.
So they must inform him of the matter regarding the Tao Haiguo couple. In case Tao Haiguo and his wife suddenly show up in front of Tao Mu to make trouble and as a result cause Tao Mu to take his anger out on them because of this.
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Their days were finally looking up now, and Zhang Dafu and his wife really wanted to live their days well.
Before Tao Mu could speak, Zhang Dafu elbowed his wife from behind and said with an ingratiating smile: “The old Tao family is really not good people, but you can rest assured, Mr. Tao. I am the one who exposed the recording. Even if Tao Haiguo and his wife are really shameless and come to trouble you, I still have some methods to deal with him.”
Zhang Dafu only had one thought in his head now, that was, since he had received the benefits from Tao Mu he was even willing to be Tao Mu’s dog in this life if he had to. And what was the purpose of raising a dog? Of course it was to guard and look after the home. When a hostile guest came knocking it would pounce and bite the trespasser for its owner.
If Tao Haiguo and his wife really dared to trouble Tao Mu, they would have to get pass him first.
Zhang Dafu thought fiercely, proudly believing that his awareness was particularly high. Tao Mu glared at Zhang Dafu in irritation: “What are you thinking about. Let me tell you, this matter has nothing to do with you, and you shouldn’t get involved in it. When you gave me the recording I promised to give you a million yuan business. Now the storefront is also found for you, and the craftsmanship is handed over to you. From now on, you will do your business honestly. Don’t go out and fool around anymore.”
Zhang Dafu secretly glanced at Tao Mu and saw that Tao Mu was serious. He immediately bowed his back and smiled ingratiatingly, “Ai, I understand.”
Tao Mu was not completely reassured, and once again urged Zhang Dafu not to do things behind his back, especially not to use those shameless and underhanded tricks like intimidate Tao Haiguo and his wife. Only until Zhang Dafu really took his warning to heart did Tao Mu leave.
Before leaving, Zhang Dafu suddenly remembered something, and promised: “Mr. Tao, don’t worry. I will have Hanya resign from the restaurant where she works and return to school. If she can still be admitted to university in the coming year, I will pay for her studies.”
Tao Mu didn’t say anything, he didn’t even turn his head back.
After Tao Mu left, Zhang Dafu’s wife elbowed Zhang Dafu, winking and asking: “Why, does this CEO Tao have intentions towards our Hanya?”
Zhang Dafu sneered: “What are you thinking. What kind of person is Mr. Tao, what kind of beautiful girl hasn’t he seen. Just say Beijing Film, so long as Tao Mu shows any interest, don’t know how many of those future female stars would tush over at his call. Is your niece beautiful? Or is her figure good? Or does she know to dress up? Or can she speak well? She looks as plain as plain noodles and don’t even know how to make small talk. How could Tao Mu be interested in her?”
Aunt Zhang pouted: “Since he doesn’t have any interest in your niece, why are you still rushing to pay for that unlucky star to go to school?”
“That’s not an unlucky star we have here. It’s our family’s lucky star treasure.” Zhang Dafu was for once patient and explained: “If it wasn’t for our niece, would Tao Mu even know who I am? I wouldn’t even have the opportunity to work for him, right? Besides, when I went to Tao Mu I promised I would pay for her to finish college if he gave me the money. Now that Mr. Tao has fulfilled his side of the deal, we can’t assume that there is no such thing, right. “
Aunt Zhang curled her lips, disapproving: “I don’t think so. If Tao Mu really doesn’t have any interest, why would he even bother with you? It may be that he can’t put down his pride. As the saying goes, when girls chase boys it’s easy to get results. So long as it’s a male they will be interested in this kind of thing. In my opinion, don’t let Hanya go back to school. Let her work in our shop. Opposite is Beijing Film, like a pavilion near the water, such a good opportunity (TN: idiom meaning using one’s proximity to the powerful to obtain favor). Have Hanya appear in front of him now and then, while I then spread the news around in the shop. If she can seize this opportunity, she will be the wife of a rich man in the future. Isn’t that better than going to college?”
Their old Zhang family could also benefit from association.
Zhang Dafu became alert, and hurriedly said: “What nonsense! I think you have gone crazy thinking about money! Who do you take Tao Mu for? He will be an actor and a star in the future. Have you ever seen a big celebrity find an ordinary girl outside the entertainment circle to be his girlfriend? They find either a wealthy young lady or a female celebrity. It must be of the same status. I tell you, you must either do business honestly or go back and take care of the kids at home. Don’t you make trouble for me. Why don’t you even think deeper? If you dare to talk nonsense in the store and let those paparazzi hear it later, then that’s spreading rumors. What happened to the old Tao couple who spread rumors about Tao Mu, did you forget? Is your brain soaked in water?”
“If you really anger Tao Mu he doesn’t even need to do anything else, just take the shop back. At that time you can just expect to go back to suffering poverty all your life.”
Aunt Zhang also felt a little afraid after thinking of what happened to the Tao couple. She mumbled, “What did I say…..I just feel like he has that meaning…..”
“If he does have that meaning, it’s his own business. Anyway, you are not allowed to get involved in this, and you are not allowed to talk nonsense.” Zhang Dafu said, still not reassured: “Go home and make it clear to your sister as well. The way I see it, you two are idiots who are greedy for money but have no brains. Don’t think that you can climb up along the pole, turn into a phoenix just by flying up on a branch. A house bird is a house bird, don’t waste your energy daydreaming!”
There was something else Zhang Dafu didn’t say. Tao Mu had been working at Night since he was a child, and both of his fathers leaned that way. Under the influence, who knew if he didn’t have that preference too. You don’t even know if he liked men or women so what are you even doing daydreaming over there by yourself!
Tao Mu was completely unaware of the entanglement between Zhang Dafu and his wife. After school that night, Tao Mu called Li Xiaoheng again and asked him out for dinner.
“You want to open another account with Xiaoheng Capital, and also want to borrow an auditor?” Li Xiaoheng put the peeled braised prawns in Tao Mu’s bowl and said with a gentle smile: “Can I ask you what you want to do?”
“It’s about the orphanage.” Tao Mu swallowed the shrimp in one bite, a little embarrassed: “I bought a shop with that 1 million yuan I took out, situated right at the back door of our school. Now it is being used for Zhang Dafu to do business. So now the money to build a charity fund for the orphanage is gone. Besides, I was negligent before. Directly giving one million to the orphanage is not such a good idea after all as dean Tao doesn’t know how to invest. It’s better to leave it in Xiaoheng Capital, even the most conservative financial management is better than putting it in the bank for that bit of interest.”
“As for the auditor, I want to take this opportunity to check the accounts of the orphanage. You don’t know, towards money dean Tao is a little confused and unclear. Therefore, the accounts of our orphanage have been unclear for so many years. I had someone check the accountant who helps the orphanage manage the accounts, and found that she actually bought two houses within ten years. And her husband is also in charge of the purchase channels at our orphanage. I keep feeling that something is wrong. So I want a thorough check over.”
Li Xiaoheng understood, “No problem. Whenever you need the auditor, just call me directly.”
“Then tomorrow.” Tao Mu said: “This charity education fund, I am going to donate in the name of Xiaoheng Capital…..Don’t refuse. I am also trying to make it so that you have a logical reason to carry out the auditing matters. You don’t know, our dean Tao is very soft-hearted. That accountant and purchasing manager have been in the orphanage for more than ten years. If I donate in my name, and if they try to make a quibble, I am afraid that dean Tao will be fooled by them and following along in persuading me to keep things quiet. It’s better to be formal in the name of Xiaoheng Capital, so that they have nothing to say. Besides, Xiaoheng Capital originally had plans to shift the focus of investment to China. Establishing a charity fund in advance will also support the company’s future development and towards policy support there will also be advantages.”
Tao Mu liked to kill two birds with one stone when he did things, and his mindset was also very firm. The decision he made would not change easily. Li Xiaoheng didn’t intend to persuade him from it either. Not to mention that he liked to do things together very much, just to say that the establishment of a charity education fund itself was beneficial to the image of Xiaoheng Capital.
“Since the fund is established in the name of Xiaoheng Capital, I can’t let you take out the money yourself.”
Tao Mu frowned and was about to retort but Li Xiaoheng directly clamped a lotus root with his chopsticks to block Tao Mu’s mouth: “How about this. We each set up this charitable education fund with 500,000 yuan. As for the specific management of the fund, it can be handed over to Xiaoheng Capital. The company happens to have a department dedicated to charity. It’s just that before, most of the charity activities of Xiaoheng Capital involved international organizations. Doing charity in China is the first time.”
Tao Mu…..Tao Mu was already stunned speechless.
He chewed the lotus root in his mouth in a dumbfounded manner, swallowed it, and after a while he came back to his senses: “Brother Li, you can’t be like this.”
How can there be such a thing as gagging people with vegetables before they have finished speaking.
Li Xiaoheng smiled and asked knowingly: “What did I do?”
Before Tao Mu could speak, Li Xiaoheng asked again: “Let’s talk about you first? Why are you so good to the Zhang family? You teach them craftsmanship and find a shop for them. I remember the girl from the Zhang family was one of the girls you saved from the human traffickers in H Town. Did you save it in your hand? You not only saved the beauty, you also helped her family to do business. You don’t have feelings for the girl, do you?”
How did he come to such a conclusion!
Tao Mu didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Unexpectedly, his business partner, who had always been the very image of an elite, would be so gossipy in private.
“I don’t have feelings for her. Our genders are different, how can I have feelings for her?” Tao Mu smirked, and looked sideways at his business partner: “But I didn’t expect that, big brother Li, you usually look so serious but you’re actually quite gossipy underneath.”
Li Xiaoheng’s mood was already flying from the bottom of his heart. He completely didn’t hear Tao Mu’s teasing comment at all. His head was only left with Tao Mu’s words “Our genders are different, how can I have feelings for her”. Forcibly resisting the throbbing in his heart, Li Xiaoheng asked with a serious face: “Do you like men?”
“En.” Tao Mu didn’t think there was any problem with this. It was already 2008, and the country had already allowed same-sex marriages for many years. There was nothing to hide about his sexual orientation.
Besides, his Yao Dad and Xiao Qi Dad were of the same sex and also married. Tao Mu glanced at Li Xiaoheng: “Why, is brother Li a conservative?”
Regardless of the stage of social development, there would always be people who fear and reject people or things they don’t understand. Don’t even mention 2008, even ten years later, a large number of people still hated homosexuals and thought that homosexuality was a mental illness. Especially in the entertainment industry, artists who dared to announce their sexuality were even rarer.
For the sake of his future acting career, Tao Mu did not intend to make his sexual orientation known to the world. But Tao Mu didn’t intend to hide it from the people around him either.
However, Tao Mu did not expect that Li Xiaoheng, a capitalist who came back from abroad, was actually a member of the conservatives. It was a headache to think about it, if Li Xiaoheng was really a homophobe then he had to think about how to try his best to pay attention to certain things in front of Li Xiaoheng in the future—
“No.” Li Xiaoheng resisted the surging emotions in his heart, and even the tips of his ears were a little red. He said, “I’m the same.”
As Li Xiaoheng spoke, he placed two shrimps that he peeled in excitement in Tao Mu’s bowl, and said inexplicably, “I like men too.”
Tao Mu: “…..” If you like men, then you like men. Why is your expression so serious and your aura so scary?
Tao Mu secretly slandered in his heart. Suddenly he realized something, weren’t the two of them discussing the establishment of a charitable education fund? How did the topic go off and veer into the realm of sexual orientation?
——Sure enough, you can’t be business partners with a good friend. When talking with each other, going off topic was a happenstance.
Li Xiaoheng smiled and said, “In any case we’re having dinner now, why not chat as we eat? You can make appointments for business affairs.”
“By the way, do you have any plans after dinner tonight?” Li Xiaoheng suddenly seemed refreshed and energized, and offered: “If not, how about going to the movies?”
Go to the movies again?
Tao Mu raised his eyebrows, not very interested in going to the movies.
“Then what do you want to do?” Li Xiaoheng put down his chopsticks, and there was a hint of eagerness in his gentle smile.
Tao Mu originally wanted to say return to work at FlyNews headquarters, but when he saw Li Xiaoheng like this, he was a bit unable to say so.
After thinking about it, he suggested: “How about you come back to Song Ji with me. Recently, our old man is busy studying recipes and tinkering with the dishes used in ancestor worship. I also have to learn eight dishes.”
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“If you are free, you can come with me. I’ll let you taste my craft.” Tao Mu said, and couldn’t help boasting: “I have made some really good pea cakes and kidney bean cakes recently. Tonight I plan to learn how to simmer deer tendons and shredded chicken white fungus in a casserole dish. How about I treat you to a late night snack after I’ve made it?”
Li Xiaoheng smiled, and agreed: “Okay.”
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