“What do you think?”
A voice interrupted Chen Yuanming’s thoughts. Chen Yuanming looked up and flashed a courteous smile. “Of course, there would be no problems with a store Brother Wang has chosen.”
The man in front of him displayed a good tempered smile and did not seem to care that Chen Yuanming had been lost in his thoughts for a while. The two men walked around the brand-new shop one more time and then went straight over to the time-honored brand name restaurant across the street.
Although it was currently late in November, the weather had been sunny over the past two days. The temperature was still 17 to 18 degrees at noon in Wuhan. It was the season for autumn clothing. At this time, it was noon and most people were off-duty thus the roads were almost bursting with bicycle traffic. These few steps across the street took about 10 minutes to walk. Wang Haitao apologetically lowered his head and smiled at the teenager beside him. “Although this place is a little crowded, everything else is good.”
You want more customers, right? Chen Yuanming did not fail to respond to the other party’s attempts to show off. “Having more people is a good thing. The city center is very popular. This is a good location.”
With a few steps left to reach the door of the restaurant, Su Xiao came out quickly, took Chen Yuanming’s arm and said, “Ah Ming, did you go see the place your Brother Wang has chosen? How great is that shop. The rent is only 5,000 yuan a year, and even with additional renovations it did not cost even 10,000 yuan. It’s really worth the money!”
A strong scent of perfume floated up from the other’s side, and Chen Yuanming unobtrusively pulled away a little bit from Su Xiao while responding with a smile.
The three people entered the restaurant together and went directly to the private room on the second floor. The quality of this restaurant was not low. But, while the private room could be described as rich or expensive, of course, in the eyes of Chen Yuanming who had lived two lives this décor was not much. However, for people at this time the restaurant was quite exquisite and luxurious.
A table full of dishes was soon set up and the three people sat around the table, but none of them moved their chopsticks first.
“Ah Ming, how are things going?” Su Xiao picked up the teapot and poured Chen Yuanming a cup of tea. She asked in a pleasant voice “Currently, anyway, you are also worth at least 100,000 yuan. Why don’t you venture out and start your own business? Let’s partner together and by our own freight truck. We can run shipments anytime, anywhere. Won’t that be better than you bitterly following your cousin? “
Chen Yuanming smiled slightly and raised the tea cup without answering.
Su Xiao and Wang Haitao exchanged glances. The man shook his head slightly. Su Xiao could not help but wrinkle her willow-shaped eyebrows. She reluctantly added, “I don’t mean that your cousin is not a good person, but just last month didn’t he get into a fight. He still has injuries, right? As a result, you couldn’t run goods last month. What a delay! How did that affect our transactions worth tens of thousands of yuan in sales”?
“Xiao xiao.” Wang Haitao called out at his wife, smiled and shook his head at Chen Yuanming. “Your sister is just concerned about our business. She doesn’t have any malicious thoughts. Yuanming, don’t take her words to heart. Brother knows that you are person with big ideas. Profits aside, you are still young, so why bother chaining yourself to long distance shipping, you should seriously consider venturing out more.
Though these words appeared very nice and sincere, his meaning run completely counter to what his wife had said just earlier. Chen Yuanming had long understood that Su Xiao was the only one who possibly cared about his career development. Wang Haitao had probably wanted to work alone for a long time. After all, was it not just a trivial matter of securing a truck for long distance shipments? Wang Haitao could handle this on his own. Why bother including an outsider to share profits?
Reasonable things were too easy to guess. Chen Yuanming put down his tea cup and smiled slightly. “Brother Wang is right. Long distance shipping is a common thing. I also plan to go out and do something else next year. I would likely be unable to continue our business here.”
Wang Haitao did not display any surprise at this statement but showed an understanding expression. In half a year, his body had become more and more bloated and almost resembled a real Maitreyan Buddha. The smile on his face had also changed from that of a good-natured person to that of a rich man. He had a bit of the aura of a big boss. It was just that he couldn’t completely eliminate the traces of slick officialdom which inevitably made him seem a bit awkward. Even his wife was dressed up in the style of the rich nobility, one could no longer find any trace of her simple appearance from a few months ago.
However, Chen Yuanming could understand that they had become rich overnight.
Starting from the first single luxury watch shipment, the transactions between them quickly increased exponentially. It took only two months to grow from small sales of about thousands of yuan to trading in high-end goods worth tens of thousands of yuan.
At this time, the luxury goods industry was a real profit-making industry. Securing 80% of the profit was just the bottom line. Double or even tripling profits was possible. In addition, the deposits for the purchase of the brand name luxury watches was often collected directly from the customer, thus even the principal did not cost them anything. This was purely profitable trading.
From a small travel bag stuffed under and on both sides of his seat it grew to almost filling up the driver’s cab with goods such that he could almost not move his hands and feet. Scarface had mocked Chen Yuanming several times but had never interfered.
After one or two transactions his business became very hot and he had made a small profit of 300,000 yuan in half a year. However, because of Scarface’s injuries last month, the delivery of goods was halted for a month. When he came back this month, though Wang Haitao still appeared enthusiastic, his mentality was clearly more alienated and their relationship was no longer the same as in the past.
When you have money, your heart will become more ambitious. Chen Yuanming laughed at himself, if that was the case then why didn’t he also change? It was simply that he and Wang Haitao were pursuing different things. The weight of their goals was not the same.
“Very ambitious!” Wang Haitao had already started showering praise. He grunted as he reached over to pick up a large white wine glass and stuffed it into Chen Yuanming’s hands. “In the past few months, your brother’s family’s money has been spent on that shop and there is really no money left. I may not purchase any more goods from you next month. You also have to go out and wander and I do not know when you will leave Zhuhai, so this time I must have a cup with my brother. Thanks to you, brother, I know how wonderful this world is.”
The Wu liang ye was poured into the white wine glass yet the mix-and-match was seamless. Chen Yuanming raised his wine glass and gave a respectful toast, “If there was no elder brother Wang where I would be today, naturally I must show respect first.”
After speaking, he lifted the glass and downed the full glass of alcohol. The 38-proof Wu liang ye was smooth yet mild and pleasant.
At this time, Su Xiao finally showed a smile and picked up the wine decanter. “Ah Ming, I couldn’t tell that you could drink so well. I didn’t dare to arrange drinks in the past, If I had known I would have drunk more with you.”
“What are you saying.” Chen Yuanming obstructed the wine jar with his hand, “I have to drive a car, Sister Su, don’t pour me anymore, what would I do if can’t walk home today?”
“If you can’t walk then stay! The hotel is ours. Are you afraid that your sister will charge you money?” Su Xiao immediately countered although she had transferred the hotel into her cousin’s care two months ago and she and her husband had already moved into a big house in the city.
“No, I really shouldn’t be drinking …” Chen Yuanming smiled and responded waveringly. Chen Yuanming could be regarded as an “experienced alcoholic” in his last life, especially when he started his own company. To win business he had almost pierced his stomach with alcohol. Thus, the etiquette and rules for drinking, of course, were naturally familiar to him. A real refusal will be too rigid and boring.
One or two glasses of alcohol was consumed, and the meal became lively and interesting but there was no further talk of getting drunk. With a little tipsiness, Chen Yuanming returned to the hotel by car and opened the door to the room. He saw that Scarface was sitting on the bed with a mocking look, as if waiting for him to return.
“Yo! The big boss is back.” Scarface said with a grin and the leaky gap in his front teeth became even more obvious. One of his hands was still covered in plaster and held up by a shoulder sling. Other than that, the only thing that still looked out of place was the bruise on his face which was almost faded but had made the scar on his face seem a little more hideous than usual.
“Ge, don’t make fun of me …” Chen Yuanming stumbled into the room and fell to the bed. “I had a lot to drink … wait a moment …”
” We have time. This is the return journey, so there’s no rush to get on the road.” Scarface shrugged indifferently. “But this is the first time I’ve seen you drink. Did your negotiations go well?”
No one can conceal something like smuggling goods by himself. Further he could not conceal it from the partner who had opened this path for him. So, Chen Yuanming had already told Scarface about his dealings, but the other party had not had given any particular reaction. With a smile, he had just watched Chen Yuanming explore his own path. However, now that Wang Haitao had opened a new store, Scarface was probably aware of this. So why was he waiting for Chen Yuanming to answer?
Chen Yuanming narrowed his eyes slightly, but his words were still ambiguous. “The partnership. The other party’s ambition is too wild. We cannot cooperate for long …”
“Your partner is also not interested in continuing it?” Scarface’s voice was a little more curious and he asked a follow-up question.
“It’s only a few yuan. Not worth the money….” Chen Yuanming impatiently took off his coat, lay down on the bed and pulled the quilt around his body with a look of drunkenness and fatigue. He occasionally responded to Scarface’s questions with a couple of short sentences.
However, in just ten minutes, the volume of the small talk gradually decreased, and finally there was a slight breathing sound. Scar looked at the boy who had fallen asleep and revealed a slight look of inquiry.
At first, when his cousin had asked him to keep an eye on the boy, he didn’t understand what the other had meant. But almost in a blink of an eye, the boy had changed from a poor wage earner to a partner who was worthy for others to collaborate with. Scarface was also a character who had traveled to many places, but how could he have ever seen anyone rise with such speed. Let alone at this age…
Today, Chen Yuanming had obviously given up on his newly created high profit line but had still not yet chosen to leave his smuggling team. How much could a driver earn in a month? Even if he ran three trips a month, it was just a little over a thousand yuan in his account, which was a far cry from his current income. Was it really like his elder brother had said, that this kid was showing them his talents? Was he trying to break into their group and share a spoonful of the soup?
The tip of Scarface’s tongue unknowingly licked the gap in his teeth, and he felt a bit unsure. If the kid was interested in joining their smuggling business, why didn’t he inquire more about it or participate in it. Even last month when they were fighting with other gangs, he did not show up to help. Did he feel that he was too smart and too qualified and wanted to directly take a management position?
After struggling with his thoughts for more than half a day, Scarface licked his tooth and decided not to concern himself with this. First, report the situation to the elder brother when he gets home. He would know what to do. If it was not for the fact that the kid had good potential, he wouldn’t even spend this much thought on him.
After thinking it through, Scarface also lay back leisurely on the bed. The teenager next to him was already making a slight snoring sound, obviously he had fallen into a deep sleep. Scarface was in a good mood after thinking it through. What would it be like if he really succeeded in pulling this kid into the group?
What an interesting kid.
 Wuliangye (Chinese: 五粮液; pinyin: wǔ liáng yè; lit.: ‘Five Grains Liquid’) is a Chinese baijiu liquor made from proso millet, maize, glutinous rice, long-grain rice and wheat.
 Normally, liquors and spirits like Wuliangye are served in shot glasses or short glass tumblers and not in wine glasses hence the “mix and match”
 That’s the degree of potency of the Wuliangye. For reference Vodka begins at about 70-proof while flavored rum starts at about 42-proof. So, 38-proof is fairly mild for a spirit.
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