Chapter 3 Breakfast Meeting

This wasn’t a traditional Fujian breakfast shop. There were big loaves of flatbread, fried dough sticks, and Hangzhou steamed buns that gave it more of a northern feel.

If you had been to other places before, you would think that all of the steamed buns in the world were from Hangzhou and all of the biangbiang noodles were from Shanxi. But when you went in and talked with the boss, you would realize that this wasn’t the case.

Poker-Face usually ate his breakfast standing up, so he stayed by the door and looked outside as he silently drank his soy milk.

Li Dahu looked at me, a little embarrassed. I figured it was mainly because I wasn’t reacting the way he had expected me to.

When ordinary people ate with two hooligans, there would usually be some tension that would manifest in nervous ticks. But for me, the two people in front of me were just two steamed buns, the duds of the batch. But I also wanted to see what level these low-level hooligans were at, so I couldn’t take it too far. I didn’t want to be perceived as a villain, after all.

“Boss Wu, I heard that you want to open a farmhouse,” Li Dahu finally broke the silence.


“We’re in the same boat. Us businessmen need to help each other out, yes? Are you having any difficulties?”

“The difficulty is that I’ve never opened a farmhouse before. I might lose money.”

“Catering is a difficult business that requires a lot of hard work. You have to be really determined if you want to turn a profit.”

I took a bite of my fried dough stick and looked at Li Dahu’s face. He was already exuding a lot of positive energy as he began to talk about his experiences in a serious manner.

“It’s ok. If I lose money, I’ll just pull out and then Boss Li can take over. I hope that you won’t let me lose too much money by then.”

“That’s no problem. I’m fine with taking over.” Seeing the relaxed atmosphere, Li Dahu finally said what he wanted to say from the very beginning, “Well, Boss Wu, when it comes to the food and drink business, you have to balance both the black and the white (1). Do you want to let the local people participate a little bit? It would make things a lot more convenient.”

The village chief, who had been quietly sitting off to the side, finally spoke up, “Hey, Old Li, I proposed this first—”

“The underworld isn’t complicated, but staying righteous is difficult,” I said to Li Dahu. “It’s just my brothers and I, so it’s very hard to support ourselves.”

“I’ll help you get things settled. Once the fine is prepared, there won’t be any major events.”

I smiled—the essence of this cold smile was a culmination of all the jokes, pretenses, and intimidation I had used on people in my lifetime—and saw that Li Dahu and his man’s faces had changed.

“Don’t worry about it, brother. I’d hate to see anything happen to you,” I said with a sigh. Then I looked him straight in the eye and added, “Don’t get in my way.”

It just so happened that Poker-Face chose this moment to look back at them. Li Dahu instantly broke out in a cold sweat.

“You don’t want to really open a farmhouse. I think you’re planning some other kind of big enterprise,” Li Dahu said.

I narrowed my eyes, “No. I’m just a little boss. I heard that you’re trying to compete in the market with me. I’m not adverse to fair competition.”

He immediately shook his head, “Oh, there’s definitely a big market here. I’m just a small business owner, so I definitely won’t cross your path. I just wanted to see what I could do to help. But if the village head is here, then I’m relieved.”

After breakfast, Li Dahu left in the blink of an eye. I glanced at the village head, who gave me a thumbs up. “You won’t run for the village head position next, right?”

When I got back to the house, I was ready to sign the contract. Fatty had gotten up by this time, but he looked a little off. When I gave him the ten fried dough sticks I had brought back with me, he immediately said, “Call your father. Something’s going on with your grandmother.”

“Don’t scare me, what’s going on?”

“Your grandmother probably snagged herself an old man.”

“I’m not really in a position to give my opinion on this kind of matter.”

“Just call him. Why is it so uncomfortable for you to call your dad?”

It appeared that my dad and I really had nothing to talk about without my mom there.

I took a deep breath and went up to the landline. I didn’t take my cell phone with me earlier, so there must have been some unanswered calls on it, but I still chose to use the landline instead.

<Chapter 2><Table of Contents><Chapter 4>


TN Notes:

(1) I think he means the legit and not-so-legit sides of business. Like how some shops in countries have to pay a “protection fee” to gangsters?



6 thoughts on “Chapter 3 Breakfast Meeting

  1. “ I smiled—the essence of this cold smile was a culmination of all the jokes, pretenses, and intimidation I had experienced in my life—and saw that Li Dahu and his man’s faces had changed” – I am picturing that amazing “oh buddy, you are going to be so, so sorry you messed with me” smile that ZYL pulled out from time to time in Reboot and Li Dahl is right to panic!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “I didn’t want to be perceived as a villain, after all.” Me, squeaking like a forbidden lady, aren’t you already oneee???
    Also, those lovely picture, the snow man behind them seems like black glasses and Xiao Hua or my eyes playing trick on me? Let alone it was poker face who feed brother Xiao Man

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s